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Publication Date: 1st May
Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses. Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.
The Monstrous Me collection are split perspective books looking at situations from other points of view, helping children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this book, ‘My Brother is a Monster/My Sister is a Monster’ two siblings are convinced the other is a monster. But, are they really? When we look at the story from the other side, we see a very different story.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the third book in the entertaining and educational Monstrous Me series. It explores how brothers and sisters see each other. It’s easy to read and understand. Bright, humorous illustrations make it appealing to young children too. The book explores everyday events where siblings may not understand each other, encouraging understanding of others behaviour and points of view. The final pages end with a positive message.
My Brother is a Monster. one book, two stories with humorous text and vivid and vibrant illustrations.
Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction. Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.
Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting. This is the third book in her Monstrous Me collection.
Luna suffers from an undiagnosed illness causing hallucinations and blackouts that have plagued her for years. The root of her bazaar illness comes to light when she meets her pro-wrestling hero, Gunner Cain, and his wrestling faction friends, The Tribe. Luna discovers her romantic connection to Gunner isn’t just a fangirl crush, he is her eternal soulmate.
Gunner wants Luna to become his Alpha dreamer mate, for as part of a prophecy written in the Lycan Oracle, Luna must choose to bond to the Alpha of the Tribe, or all will be stuck in wolf form, forgetting their humanity forever. Luna learns the steps they must take to complete the bonding ritual could also end a centuries-old curse, saving lone wolves abandoned by their packs and plagued with the dreaded Lycan fever. Gunner’s connection to Luna is more than prophecy fulfilled; it is hope for Lycan kind in this steamy shifter tale of prophecy and romance.
Loretta Kendall is a professional image consultant, writer, and author of the new novel Dreamer. She started her life with a daydream and a story in her mind. As long as Loretta can remember, she was a storyteller sharing stories with her friends from her overactive imagination. After twenty-two years as a talent manager, professional makeup artist, and photographer for the entertainment industry, she revisited her love for storytelling.
Loretta is a hopeless romantic and lives for a good happy ever after. Her husband must agree because they have had twenty-four years of wedded bliss. When she isn’t reading or writing steamy stories, she’s probably singing, watching pro wrestling while yelling at the TV, or spending time with nature.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have hot, funny, feisty, rule-breaking angels protecting and fighting your corner? Keeping an eye on those who slip through law enforcement’s fingers?
Well here you go…the Fallen. You’re welcome!
At the age of four, Amy Fox was taken…. She survived….
A week later, another little girl was taken…. She didn’t.
Angry, Amy made a deal with the heavens. Decades later her lifeless body was found beneath a London commuter train and she became an angel. But for how long? Lusting after her partner, competing with hell warlords, avenging personal scores, and dishing out toughkarma on evil exes, crime gangs, traffickers, drug dealers, rapists, abusers, trophy hunters, trolls, and serial killers, all without her units authorization, will have her thrown below ground. Running with a world network of fallen angels, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making a deal was a mistake.
I received an audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.
This audiobook creates a believable world where fallen angels bring evil humans to justice. This is a hard-hitting series with disturbing themes. It’s difficult to listen to in parts because of the detailed descriptions, but the author creates a world of avenging angels who don’t follow the rules to achieve what human justice systems cannot.
It works well as an audiobook, with the narrator distinguishing between the characters and bringing them to vivid life. This is an adult story, the action and language befitting the evil portrayed. Relatable characters and relevant themes make this an absorbing story to listen to for adult fantasy fiction listeners.
CUNNINGHAM writes suspense thrillers and paranormal rom crime with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating passion. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.
An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and worked in music, film, sports and crime (CID, Wanted/Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Crime Investigations). She is owned by daughter (artist Scarlett Raven), three dogs and two cats.
And GlamMa to a brand new grandson who has stolen her heart.
The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.
When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.
With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.
Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.
This story starts with a tragedy and then returns to the present day where it appears, history is repeating its self. A missing girl and horrific deaths mean the inhabitants of Harper Pass are in danger but by whom or what?
The author builds a believable world centred around a group of young adults. The friendship and bullying described are relatable, and the team dynamic realistic. There are elements of horror and mystery. The author explores the susceptibility of young minds to the paranormal believably. The bond between young adults grows into a powerful force for good.
Perfect for audiobook media, the excellent narrator creates easy to identify characters, and traits bringing the story to life for the listener.
The story is claustrophobic and intense. The author’s use of sensory imagery immerses the reader into the characters’ lives. The ending is exciting and satisfying with a twist that makes you want to find out what next?
Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late? When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.
Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press.
On the hundredth anniversary of being turned into a vampire, Edith Dorset joins her adopted daughters and their friends at the Heartsong Clan’s annual Live Action Role Play recruitment event where she meets an eager young man named Dan Paxton. His older brother and Hunter, Darren, thinks Dan’s merely chaperoning a trip to a nerd convention, but has no idea he’s partnered with vampires for the weekend.
When Darren discovers Dan missing, he follows the only lead he has to the Heartsong Clan’s residence on Tombstone Row. Edith and Darren’s first meeting is uneasy because he lies his way into the Clan’s house, claiming to be there to play on the side of humans. He’s determined to keep his Hunter instincts in check, rescue his brother, and get it out of there.
An impromptu late-night encounter leads Darren and Edith to come clean with each other about who and what they are. Edith longs to keep Darren and his brother close, although it goes against Clan rules, and Darren is finding it harder than he thought to snuff out Edith and her family. Darren and Edith grow closer as they seek out the truth from her Sire, Mr. Heartsong.
While Darren uses all his Hunter skills to free his brother and be the hero, Mr. Heartsong banishes Edith from the Clan for her behavior towards Darren. No longer having Clan protection, Edith is faced with a terrible choice. Just as Darren returns with Hunter reinforcements, Heartsong and his Clan have vanished, along with Edith and her family. All that remains is a note from Edith, begging Darren to find them. And so, the hunt begins.
I received a copy of this book from the authors in return for an honest review.
It seems like vampires and all things paranormal are enjoying a resurgence in popular fiction at the moment, and this story is a promising start to the series. Clever world-building and relatable characters drive a plot with mystery, romance and family at its heart.
The fast-paced story increases the tension and keeps you turning the pages. The writing makes good use of sensory imagery and draws the reader into the world of vampires, hunters and the supernatural.
USA Today Bestselling Authors Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk are the authors of the Captivity series and the Celestial Academy series. Independently, they write across multi genres including: YA, urban fantasy, historical, and cozy mystery. Sarah lives in Boston with her husband and son. Molly lives in Denver with her husband and three daughters.
A sheet of black filled his vision as hundreds of birds dived at the cottage, pointed beaks thrust forward. From this angle, he couldn’t see many of them striking it, but the few he did see held nothing back as they hammered into the shutter. The scale of the attack was beyond anything he’d seen or heard of. And bloodied casualties littered the ground: skulls shattered, wings broken, innards spilling from them. The fact that so many of them continued with the onslaught in spite of this filled him with even more dread.
Salin has always wanted an adventure and, when the opportunity presents itself, he grabs it with both hands, taking his friends along for the ride – whether they want to or not.
With strange lands come strange creatures that stand between them and their goal. And that goal is the same for someone else, a man who believes the prize is worth every sacrifice – especially when the sacrifices are made by others.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This noir fantasy adventure takes the reader on a journey in an intricately built world. There is enough familiarity in the setting to make it relatable, but the story is vivid, filled with fantastical creatures and manifestations of good and evil.
The prologue entices the reader into the story and introduces the antagonist and the birds who are so important. The protagonists are diverse and believable because of their flawed characters. Salin, the leader of the quest, is courageous and tenacious, but for him, the end justifies the means even when it leads others into danger.
There are some graphic images in this story which reinforce the depravity of the antagonist, and backstory that illuminates why they are evil. Like all fantasy stories, you have to believe the world, and be invested in the quest. With carefully reading, this is easy with this story.
Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country, and has spent most of his life immersed in fiction – books, TV, movies – turning to writing his own during his early teens.
With his interests in story-telling sparked by an excessive amount of time sitting in front of a black and white television, his tastes are varied. Influences ranged from the Irwin Allen shows (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, etc.) to ITC series (The Saint, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) and so many more), so the common theme was action and adventure, but crossed into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as crime and espionage.
This diverse interest in fiction continued with his reading and his discovery of the magical world of cinema. As a result, his stories don’t always fall into a specific genre, but will always maintain the style of a thriller.
Graeme’s first novel, Ravens Gathering, was published in 2012, gaining excellent reviews and a committed following. His second novel, Carrion, was published in 2020, and has been greeted with enthusiasm by readers waiting to find out what he’ll come up with next. He hopes not to keep them waiting so long next time.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.
WHEN MONSTERS COME TO LIFE…In the aftermath of Ambrosius’ attack on Tintagel Castle, young Morgan is sent away to the fortress of Dimilioc with her family, friends and tutor. But when bandits ambush their party, Morgan gets lost in the forest with nothing but her wits and her magic powers to rely on.In her battle for survival, Morgan faces a cruel, hostile world that is suspicious, afraid and jealous of her magic. Silver-tongued faeries who are not what they seem. Vengeful Piskies and Muryans holding her friend Ganieda captive. Angry Giants and Spriggans who have awakened in the earth. And the ever-present threat of Ambrosius and his army, waiting to strike again…To rescue her friends and outwit her enemies, Morgan must draw upon all her gifts, magic and mortal, in a perilous journey that will test her strength, faith and loyalty to the utmost…
Jo-Anne Blanco was born in Brazil to an English mother and Spanish father. She has spent much of her life travelling around the world as a teacher. Her travels, together with her lifelong passion for reading, writing and storytelling, inspired her to embark upon her Fata Morgana epic fantasy series, about the life and adventures of Morgan le Fay. Mythology, fairy tales and Arthurian legend are all major influences on her work, and her ongoing journeys to countries of great landscapes and folklore are never-ending sources of inspiration.She is the author of Morgan Le Fay: Small Things and Great and Morgan Le Fay: Children of This World. These novels are the first two books in the Fata Morgana series.Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth, the third novel in the series, will be published in 2020.
Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.
Jonathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.
A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.
All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.
I bought a copy of this book from Amazon UK for 99p.
Atmospheric with authentic historical detail this quirky short story takes the reader to 1850s California, where gold prospecting is a way of life. Abner is a young man hoping to make his fortune, everything about the place unnerves him, but the chance for riches keeps him there. Enter the devil who sees him as a soul ripe for the picking and the age-old battle of good versus evil commences.
The devil has an enticing manner with untold evil barely hidden beneath the surface. The writing style draws you into the story. It makes you suspend belief, and the ending shows how unpredictable humans and life can be.
An ideal Halloween read which makes you want to seek out the author’s other books.
Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw
Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.
After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.
He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.
HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.