Alone by Cyn Balog #bookreview #YA #thriller

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…Goodreads.com

The setting of this story is really a character in itself, and is reminiscent of The Shining – in fact, several characters mention it.  The MC has two sets of twin siblings – twins!  There’s even a huge freezer and pantry just like in The Overlook.  Secluded old hotel that previously hosted murder mystery parties, creepy secret passages, several feet of snow, no cell reception – you get the picture.  A perfect setting.

I was ready for a chilling, twisty, good time – but it didn’t occur until around the 70-75% mark.  The first part of the novel casts shadows and hints, so there’s plenty of opportunity to form theories and entertain suspicions.  Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up, so the ending was rather brisk, but when all was said and done, it just didn’t sit right with me.  Yes, it was a surprise, but my reaction was more of a disbelieving ‘Really?’ than shock.

This is a fun read that contains some gore (just a warning to those who are squeamish), and the snippets of marketing materials from the murder mystery inn at the beginning of each chapter are quite humorous, but just be ready to settle in with this book for a little while before it takes off.  Alone is scheduled for publication November 7th, 2017.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.

 

 

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#IndieAuthor Friday Sean McDonough #horror

Today’s indie author is here with his new horror novel, Rock and Roll Death Trip, scheduled for release next week!

The Demons of the Four Points have been unleashed in the California desert. The roads run red as they rip a bloody path from Barstow to Primm. Ferocious. Merciless. Unstoppable.

Shock rocker Jackie Galindo was just looking to take a break from his life as the most beloved and reviled front man in all of rock and roll. He didn’t hit the road in search of car crashes, dismemberments, and a bloody fight to the finish but that’s exactly what’s in store for him on… the Rock and Roll Death Trip.

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

Know when to stop revising. When I was 21 I was interning for a production company and one of the Producers told me that you’re always going to feel like there’s something else you can tweak in your writing. You need to be able to recognize when a piece is the best it’s going to get.

What are your favorite books in your genre?

IT by Stephen King. It’s a perfect love letter to the horror genre and it’s scary as hell. I also love Stinger by Robert R McCammon (great popcorn horror/sci-fi) and Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love surprising myself with a story. I don’t stick to any kind of outline, but I usually have a rough idea where I think a story’s going to go and I love those moments where a character goes rogue and takes the story in a direction I wasn’t expecting.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?

He says, “Listen to me, GET OUT! The chicken tacos aren’t really chicken!”  and he’s there to be the main course.

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Length and variety are your friends in a situation like that.

How would your best friend describe you?

“If your sense of humor were personified, it would look like the magister from True Blood.”

Author Bio

Sean McDonough is the writer of three horror novels and one season of mediocre “guided reality” TV. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. “Rock and Roll Death Trip” is partially inspired by his love of rambling road trips through the California Desert.

 

Social Media

Facebook

Buy Links

Terror at Turtleshell Mountain- https://www.amazon.com/Terror-At-Turtleshell-Mountain/dp/1943932387/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505780529&sr=8-3&keywords=sean+mcdonough

Beverly Kills- https://www.amazon.com/Beverly-Kills-Sean-McDonough-ebook/dp/B00POGV5IG/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1505780529&sr=8-6&keywords=sean+mcdonough

Rock and Roll Death Trip – https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Death-Trip-McDonough-ebook/dp/B075KMWJJL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506382643&sr=8-1

Are You Ready for Body Armor, Because It’s Finally Here!

It’s finally here – Staci Troilo’s new book in her Medici Protectorate series!

Staci Troilo

Body Armor coverWell, I think it’s about six months late, give or take a week or so, but at long last I can happily announce the release of Body Armor, book 3 of the Medici Protectorate series.

Many of you have asked when it was coming, and I’ve been vague in my answers because a litany of bizarre issues kept pushing the release back. But it’s finally here, at least in a limited capacity.

The eBook is available on Amazon, and more eBook carriers will be added soon. The paperback and hardcover versions are also on the way. I am sharing the Universal Purchase Link because other vendors will automatically be added to it as the title becomes available at other retailers.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for its release. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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The Empress by S.J. Kincaid #bookreview #YA #scifi

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it? – Goodreads.com

This book.  I may need a moment – not that it would help.  Deep breath.

I went through bouts of happiness, rage, frustration, hopelessness, and had to step away from this novel at times, but it is undoubtedly one of my best YA sci-fi reads this year because of the completely shocking, soul-crushing, and infuriating twists the story takes.

Tyrus may possibly be one of my favorite YA characters – he’s intelligent and usually ten steps ahead of everyone else, flawed, idealistic, and has a strong moral compass, but his soul is striated with shades of gray.

Occasionally, second books in a series are filler before the finale, but beware, folks – that isn’t the case here.  This is an emotionally gut-wrenching tale that will leave you in agony waiting for the next book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.

#BadMoonRising Chauncey Rogers #IndieAuthor #thriller #horror #ghosts

It’s Bad Moon Rising Bonus Day!  Chauncey saw the call out for authors just a little too late to make the October list, but we can celebrate one more day, right?  Chauncey’s nightmare neighbor is one that hasn’t been mentioned here, but I loathed her with a heaping passion.  He’s also working on a project that will melt your heart.

I wanted to thank all the authors for participating in Bad Moon Rising 2017, and everyone who tweeted, reblogged, retweeted, or shared these posts in any way.  I hope you enjoyed yourselves, met some new authors, and added to your TBR piles.  Here’s Chauncey Rogers to wrap up Bad Moon Rising for this year!

Some dangers you cannot outrun. Some nightmares do not end when you wake.

Something is watching Katherine Harris. She can feel it when she goes out. She can feel it inside her home. She feels it in her bed. Her husband, Alex, wants to blame her anxiety on her pregnancy, but he’s often away for work. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be stuck in a small town, to be trapped in a tiny house on a run-down street, to be alone. Kat does, and the feeling only grows worse.

Whatever is going on, Kat’s certain that it’s far more serious than pregnancy jitters. When Alex takes Kat on a second honeymoon to get her mind off things, it becomes far more dangerous as well.

Any paranormal experiences you’d like to share?

Once, while out driving with my brother and friend, a flying saucer flew over our car. We all saw it–a great flying disc, with colored lights around the bottom. It passed directly over the vehicle, flew out in front of us, then banked left and disappeared over some tree tops. The thing was flying rather low to the ground, not much higher than the trees. The experience lasted only a few seconds, but we all saw it, and we were all sober. Not sure what it was, but it was certainly strange.

What fictional character would be your nightmare neighbor?

Dolores Umbridge. I HATE this woman. She makes my favorite type of villain, because we’ve all known a real-life Umbridge or two, perhaps more; people who are entirely detestable. Anyways, Dolores Umbridge as my neighbor would be a nightmare. She wouldn’t even have to be a witch. In fact, it would probably be worse if she was in charge of the neighborhood’s Home Owners Association (which I’m sure she would be). A close second would be Mrs. Fanny Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility.

If you could go back in time, where would you go and what would you do?

There are so many things I’d like to see, and so many times and places I’d like to visit. Since you’re making me choose only one, I’ll go with something more simple and trivial (but still cool to me). I’d like to sit in for the first screening of Star Wars, back before it was Episode IV: A New Hope. Since apparently Disney is never going to release the theatrical version, going back in time is the only way to see it now.

What are you working on now?

A project for my three-year-old daughter. She wanted me to write her a Cinderella story, so I am (sort of). My take on the story is that a group of thieves/con artists are going to swap out the original glass slipper for one that they can fit into, and thus steal the prince and throne. We’ll see how it turns out!

Which horror/thriller novel do you wish you’d written?

Jurassic Park. The first book I ever read, and I still love this story, both the book and the film (which are quite different, but both wonderful). Michael Crichton was a brilliant sci-fi author in my estimation, and I feel that Jurassic Park was some of his best work. But the greatest thing about it is the simplicity of the idea: scientists clone dinosaurs to create a breathtaking zoo/amusement park. Brilliant. It’s a million-dollar idea, with wonderful storytelling to back it up. The legacy that it has spawned is well earned, though the sequel films and book never touch the magic of the originals.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve created?

My first novel was a (trueish) horror story about chickens. One of the characters is a rooster named Long Tail, and he’s probably my favorite character I’ve created thus far. He’s a bit of a divisive character among my readers, but I like him quite a bit. He’s an authority figure trying to protect traditions that are being forced out by better ideas, and he gets caught up in the back and forth, lost in both trying to be nice and trying to do his job.

Author Bio

Chauncey Rogers has bounced back and forth between the western and mid-western United States. He obtained degrees in history education, linguistics, and editing from Brigham Young University, and has been writing stories all his life. He considers himself a rather savvy story critic, and enjoys informal film and literature reviews.

He married in 2012 and has two children. His first novel, Home To Roost, was published in in March 2017. His most recent novel, Cleaving Souls, launched Oct. 10 of this year.

This holiday season, he plans on getting a pet rat.

Social Media

Twitter:  @ChaunceyRogers
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16620235.Chauncey_Rogers
http://chaunceyrogers.com

Buy Links

Home To Roost
Cleaving Souls

#BadMoonRising Sue Coletta #IndieAuthor #thriller #mystery #crime

Happy Halloween!!!!  I know today’s author will be familiar to many of you – she’s released several thrillers, and is currently working on the third book in the Mayhem series.  She also has excellent taste in movies (I just watched John Wick 2 for the second time a few days ago).  Welcome, Sue Coletta!

A chance encounter …a deadly predicament …a lethal decision.

The infamous Mr. Mayhem is not your average serial killer. Reminiscent of the beloved Hannibal Lecter, minus his thirst for flesh—because eating humans is just plain rude—Mr. Mayhem storms on the scene with style, grace, elegance, and a zest for life unlike any other. Impeccable manners also help. He may commit murder, but there’s no reason to be impolite about it. 

Accompanied by his loyal crow companions, Poe, Allan, and Edgar, his crimes strike fear in the hearts and minds of folks across Massachusetts’ North Shore. When Shawnee Daniels—cat burglar extraordinaire and forensic hacker for the police—meets Mayhem in the dark, she piques his curiosity. Sadly for her, she leaves behind an item best left undiscovered. Or is it serendipity by design?

Color him curious, but he yearns to examine the psychology behind her life choices, tough girl routine, witty banter, and unique double-life. In a different time and place they may even become friends. But unfortunately, their predicament defines the risk. 

The stakes are too high to stop now. 

For reasons authorities cannot fathom, these seemingly unrelated murders will go down in history as the most impressive killing regime of all time. His coup de grace, if you will. Even if it means permanently erasing Ms. Daniels from the equation. All the pieces are there if the authorities look hard enough. The question is, will they? The only new wrinkle is Shawnee Daniels, and she may be his toughest opponent yet …if she’s clever enough to play the game.

“I had heard so much about this book going in, that I was excited to start it, and wow, I’m glad I did!

This book has so many twists and turns it kept me guessing the whole way through. Filled with snarky characters and a killer that gets a thrill out of turning his victims into masterpieces, and you have one thrilling ride!

Shawnee Daniels is a memorable heroine; part-time cat burglar, full-time police computer techie, she is all attitude, strong, brave, and maybe a little bit naive. Mr. Mayhem; talk about a complex character! Ms. Coletta does a stupendous job of drawing the reader into the chilling mind of a serial killer with a twisted sense of humor and an imaginative way of murdering his victims. Oh yeah, he trains crows to do his bidding, as well!

This book will stay with you long after it’s finished, a highly recommended read.” ~ USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar

What’s the best horror/thriller movie you’ve seen this year so far?

Solace with Anthony Hopkins. It’s an intense psychological/paranormal thriller that had terrible reviews when it released, but I loved it. Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan did a superb job, IMO. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEu7BS8IsuA

I also loved John Wick II, with Keanu Reeves. It’s not as good as the first John Wick, but I still really enjoyed it. The ending is intriguing. It’ll be interesting to see where the screenwriters take the story from here.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChpLV9AMqm4

What fictional character would be your nightmare neighbor?

Hannibal Lecter, though it would never be boring!

If you could go back in time, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d love to buy Edgar Allan Poe a drink and claw through his amazing mind.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on Book 3, Grafton County Series, working title RACKED.

Biggest horror/thriller novel influence?

Thomas Harris, Jeffrey Deaver, and Karin Slaughter.

Which horror/thriller novel do you wish you’d written?

That’s an easy one: Silence of the Lambs. Doesn’t every writer of serial killer thrillers? Thomas Harris paved the way for the rest of us. He also set the bar high.

Author Bio

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, bestselling, multi-published author in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. Every third Tuesday of the month, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners in Crime” on Writestream Radio Network with Homicide Detective (Ret.) and Cold Case Expert Kimberly McGath.

2017 Award-winner of Feedspot’s Top 50 Crime Blogs (Murder Blog sits at #6), Sue’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

Join her Crime Lovers’ Lounge at www.suecoletta.com and be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret key code will unlock the virtual door.

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, who deals with a crazy crime writer feeding circus peanuts to crows named Poe and Edgar, a squirrel named Shawnee (the Marilyn Monroe of squirrels, with her silky strawberry-blonde tail), and a chipmunk dubbed “Hippy” for his enthusiasm and excited leaps each time he scores a peanut. No way isn’t he shouting, “Hip, hip, hooray!”

Social Media

Website: http://suecoletta.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SueColetta1

Facebook: https://facebook.com/SueColetta1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14078869.Sue_Coletta

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/suecoletta 

Crossroad Press: http://ow.ly/EjOl30frIhy

Tirgearr Publishing: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Coletta_Sue/index.htm

Buy Links

Universal Amazon buy link: https://smarturl.it/Mayhem2 

Apple iTunes: http://ow.ly/5ALP30frHUh

Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/GfXd30frHNz

Google Play: http://ow.ly/usaT30frI0n 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/738602

#BadMoonRising Will MacMillan Jones #IndieAuthor #horror #occult

Today’s author describes a chilling paranormal experience that has the potential to be a horror novel – kind of a book within a book, and I suspect his nightmare neighbor tops many lists.  Welcome Will MacMillan Jones!

All families have secrets or skeletons in the cupboard, hidden away from view. Most of those secrets are better left undisturbed, for very good reasons. When Mister Jones agrees to deal with the Estate of a recently deceased cousin, he finds that the secrets hidden by his family are very dark indeed, and that the skeletons in this cupboard are very real – and not yet entirely dead.

Drawn once more by Fate into a world where magic and myth are all too real, and danger lurks at every turn; Mister Jones confronts a past that seeks again to become the present, and to plunge his future into a rising Darkness. The father he has never known is imprisoned in a web of failed sorcery, but believes that he has now fashioned a key that will allow him to escape from the half life he has endured for decades. Mister Jones is an integral part of this scheme – but is he to be a participant, or a victim? Can he escape the Demon’s Reach?

What’s the best horror/thriller movie you’ve seen this year so far?

I’ve been on a bit of a retro kick (I refuse to use the word ‘journey’, and am organizing a petition to make the use of the word outside of a travel program a criminal offence with a mandatory prison sentence) recently, reading older and classic works and watching the associated or derived films.  So the answer to this one is ‘The Woman in Black’. The original story is cold and frightening, and the film takes on the themes brilliantly. It is beautifully, hauntingly, shot: perfect gothic horror viewing for the coming season.

Any paranormal experiences you’d like to share?

My grandparents’ home was haunted, or maybe possessed is a better word? I had a lot of exposure there to the world of the paranormal – not that it was ever explicitly discussed. But I eventually managed to use the experiences in a book  – ‘The Showing’ . That book fought me every page of the text. I ended up having to save every hour’s writing in three separate places, or else the day’s work would vanish from the files overnight, or become unusably corrupted. I often woke up with night terrors as I wrote, until finally it was nailed down. Rather a cathartic process, and also a bit scary in itself, as if whatever had been held within the house was using the writing process to break free and indulge its hostility towards me. The result was worthwhile, though.  The house itself could feel either friendly, or – within a heartbeat – terrifyingly dangerous. I was glad when it was sold.

What fictional character would be your nightmare neighbor?

Pennywise.  I have a thing about clowns, which I was relieved to discover is actually a recognised condition, called coulrophobia. Stephen King used it in his book ‘IT’ to devastating effect, of course. Can you imagine living next door to Pennywise? To know that at any moment you might look up and see that face peering through your window, observing you in your most intimate moments? What if you heard him mowing his lawn, looked over the fence and saw the lawn mower moving around on its own? I for one would not sleep easily, I can tell you!

Biggest horror/thriller novel influence?

It’s a toss up for me, between Stephen King and Susan Hill. Hill can write with such atmosphere, creating the spell by her choice of words and phrases, while King is a brilliant (if over verbose) story teller.  I myself do a lot of performance storytelling, both for children and for adults, and so appreciate the skill.  On balance, I suspect that I’ll choose Susan Hill.

Which horror/thriller novel do you wish you’d written?  

Oh, that’s a hard one! There are so many, and so often one’s favourite novel is a question of mood, isn’t it? Lovecraft has to be there, so does Matheson’s work (I said that I was on a retro kick, didn’t I?), Shirley Jackson, Sheriden Le Fanu…  but in the end I’ll go slightly off the wall and choose Ray Bradbury’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. Horror, terror, and a coming of age novel all wrapped up in some of the best prose you could hope to read.

If you could change one thing about your writing career, what would it be?

This is an easy one: I’d start earlier! Well, actually I did start in time. I started the process of submitting my first novel forty years ago. But after collecting the inevitable (and I must confess, well deserved) rejection notices, I stopped. Back then there was no internet, so the support networks that we all take for granted these days were few and far between, hard – if not impossible – to find. Certainly I found it impossible to find one, and as a result became discouraged and stopped. If only I had persevered! That’s one of the very few regrets I have in life. So there is a change. I could have produced much more work, for my pleasure and hopefully for the pleasure of others. That explains, really, why I am so driven to write now: to catch up for lost time.

Author Bio

Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage.  He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV.  A just turned sixty lover of blues, rock and jazz he has now fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases.  When not writing, he is usually lost with the help of a satnav on top of a large hill in the middle of nowhere, looking for dragons. He hasn’t found one yet, but insists that it is only a matter of time.

When not performing as an oral storyteller and poet, he writes Dark Fantasy, fantasy he fantasises is funny, and books for children. Some of his pieces have won awards but he doesn’t like to talk about that as it draws attention to the fact that other pieces haven’t.

Social Media

Website:  www.willmacmillanjones.com

Twitter:  @macmillanjones

Facebook  www.facebook.com/william.macmillanjones

Buy Link

Amazon