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text 2018-03-02 11:46
Middle Grade Fantasy Freebie!
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black

The Book of Kindly Deaths is currently free for the Kindle version. If you like MG Fantasy I highly suggest you grab this one.


The blurb: Eliza Winter's whole world is turned upside down when she discovers a hidden room in her missing grandfather's sprawling Gothic house. Inside the room, below a stained glass window where moonlight shines no matter the hour, waits The Book of Kindly Deaths.

Desperate for clues for grandfather’s whereabouts, Eliza opens the book of ominous, enchanted tales and soon discovers that nothing is what it seems, and that sometimes fairy tales are true...

When a sinister man claiming to be a book collector arrives at the house, Eliza realizes there's far more at stake than she could have ever imagined.

Now Eliza must battle her darkest fears to save her family from the book's guardian, the terrifying ghoul Grim Shivers. Soon she is forced to travel into the heart of the Grimwytch, a haunted world of terrifying monsters where it's forever midnight.


My review:


2 Cups original imagination from an obvious talent

1 Cup Grimm’s Fairy Tales

½ Cup Incorrigible children like those from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

1 pinch each disgusting, gross and weird

Fold in one plucky heroine, one missing grandfather, and one very mysteriously creepy book

Season with atmospheric description and deliciously creepy writing

Mix together and sprinkle lightly with gruesome details.

"On a desk in the room with the stained glass windows sat a book.
It was a thick volume with a worn and cracked black cover showing a gold symbol, a rectangle within two circles that sparkled and flickered as if teased by ghostly fingers. Voices whispered from inside the book, growing in volume, a few human, a few not."

Poor Eliza has a dreary mother, one of those practical sorts who doesn't allow things like imagination and curiosity. I already know I don't like her much. But perhaps she does have reasons for this sad flaw.

Twelve year old Eliza has come with her parents to clean out her grandfather's house and catalog things of value. As her grandfather is missing this seems a bit odd and perhaps slightly premature.

As Eliza reads some of the stories in The Book of Kindly Deaths there are clues these might not be simply stories. Including a strange memory she has of the last visit to her grandparent’s home six years before when she was only six.

"The phantom of a forgotten memory crossed her mind. A ghost of an event that had occurred the last time she was at this house. Although the recollection was fleeting, she still felt an icy sting of dread."

After Eliza, and we the readers, are treated to some tales from The Book of Kindly Deaths, where we learn a bit about the denizens of a place full of nightmarish creatures called Grimwytch, Eliza comes to be in immediate danger and finds herself in Grimwytch. There she finds both villains and allies, and learns what happened to her grandfather.

This book has that dark fairytale vibe, and stories within the story. The writing is descriptive and deliciously creepy.

There are a few mildly gruesome bits, but nothing I’d hesitate a middle grade reader reading, as long as they enjoy dark and creepy stories. Young people who delight in spooky tales will eat this one up.

I also think people older than Middle Grade will enjoy this one. I’m an adult and I sure did. I very much hope there are more stories of Eliza to come.

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text 2017-10-28 18:24
Potentially the most disturbing/horrifying Laundry Files
The Delirium Brief - Charles Stross

I'm not that far in, but while they've always had an element of horror, with the lampshading of spy novels and the overall wit, the Laundry Files to me are more fun tentacular-horror entertainment than unsettling (though, to be utterly honest, some pretty horrific things happen in them).  Actually, The Apocalypse Codex got to me, but that's legit for some person reasons that made the evangelical pseduo-christian cult be something that is deeply deeply unsettling.


This one... well, things start out having gone all Pear Shaped, and Bob is playing damage control after the events... and things get more tangled from there.  I love the jibes at Trump, but without spoilers let's just say that within the first 1/8th of the book I've had an "Oh Fuck" moment.

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text 2017-10-16 21:50
Self-Pubs That Shine
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black
Rewinder - Brett Battles
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
Paladin - Sally Slater
Haven - A.R. Ivanovich,Michelle Ivanovich
Nightfall Gardens - Allen Houston
Marking Time - April White
Slumber - Samantha Young
Timebound - Rysa Walker
Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley

Most of us these days are aware of the flood of self-pubbed books and how difficult it can be to find a gem in the sea of mediocrity.  We often see reviews of the sub-par and/or reports of unethical marketing schemes or unprofessional behavior on the part of some authors.

But some of us who have stuck a toe or two into those waters have come across a few gems.  I thought it'd be good to share a few self-pubbed & small press books I really enjoyed and that I feel stand well among their trade-pubbed counterparts. 

So here are a few I've discovered that I am proud to recommend.

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review 2017-10-14 19:12
[Book Review] A Scandal in Battersea
A Scandal in Battersea - Mercedes Lackey

The Christmas season has come to London, along with a new moon, and there are things that take advantage of the dark of night (reviewer aside - why Christmas Eve and not Solstice?).  Among all the gifts and cheer, a Book finds its way into the hands of a resentful young man who desires power.  What starts as a sacrifice and invocation, soon proves dark and alien, to a dangerous end.

So.  Mercedes Lackey has written a story with Lovecraftian flavor.  This has resulted in probably the coziest "C'thulhu Mythos" story I have ever encountered.  Note: there is no direct reference in name or language to the Mythos, but the traits are heavily present throughout.  It also gives us more of her vision of Sherlock Holmes & Co, as introduced in A Study in Sable, and stars the ever steady Nan, Sarah, and their birds.  If you want more Nan and Sarah, or just want cozy Mythos story, give it a try.  If the idea of a cozy Lovecraftian novel hurts your mind, I recommend skipping this one.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/10/book-review-scandal-in-battersea.html
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text 2017-09-21 19:06
techie giggling
The Jennifer Morgue - Charles Stross,Gideon Emery

I love how he snipes about power point and Apple user culture.

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