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review 2017-10-17 00:17
Monday Mini – Ari by S M Boyce @thesmboyce
Ari: To Each His Ghost #1: A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Novel (Volume 1) - S. M. Boyce

A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Novel, Ari by S M Boyce

 

I love the covers for this series and think Sarah Montee did a fabulous job on them.

 

Ari (To Each His Ghost, #1)

Amazon  US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

“…You won’t get help. Not from me, not from the white shirts, not from the docs. Demons don’t simply play with their food. They take prisoners of war…”

Ari is a virgin, young, innocent and head over heels for Marcus. He’s a dick, with a capital D. He only wants to get into her pants and place another notch on his belt.

 

 

 

For their date, they are heading to the Lodley farmhouse. Ari should have listened to her instincts and Marcus should have listened to Ari when she said it was a very bad idea.

 

Now, they are both being haunted, each in their own terrifying and deadly way and these ghosts do plenty more than go bump in the night.

 

The tension and anticipation I feel as I wait for whatever is coming on the next page and the next page, makes it hard to contain my excitement. I don’t know what’s coming but I am thinking it will get so much worse…

 

I am loving what S M Boyce has done with this ghostly story about haunting and redemption as it comes full circle.

 

Now, I have met Mel and Marcus and I can hardly wait to spend more time fighting demons and monsters with them.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

My Review of Origins by S M Boyce

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/monday-mini-ari-by-s-m-boyce-thesmboyce
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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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text 2017-10-09 16:01
Future Japanese mystery reads
The Moai Island Puzzle - Ho-Ling Wong,Alice Arisugawa
The Devil's Disciple - Shiro Hamao,J. Keith Vincent,Hamao Shiro
The Ginza Ghost: and other stories - Keikichi Osaka,Ho-Ling Wong
The Tattoo Murder Case (Soho crime) - Akimitsu Takagi
All She Was Worth - Miyuki Miyabe
The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel - Keigo Higashino,Alexander O. Smith

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders makes me want more Japanese mysteries. Sadly, that appears to be the only book by Shimada translated into English, and I've already read everything available in English by Yukito Ayatsuji, the first similar author that comes to mind.

 

It looks like The Moai Island Puzzle and The Ginza Ghost are my best bets for mysteries similar in style to Shimada's book. The others in my list also seem like good possibilities, although not necessarily similar to The Tokyo Zodiac Murders in style.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-07 20:43
Shedding some light . . . .
The Walker in Shadows - Barbara Michaels

This was at least my third or fourth read of this book.  I initially read it when the Berkley mass market paperback edition came out in 1992; that's the edition I bought new and still have.  I read it again during the summer of 2016, shortly before Halloween Bingo and our buddy read of Michaels's Ammie, Come Home.  And I've just read it again, along with Be Buried in the Rain.

 

This is my first review, however.

 

Pat Robbins has been widowed for a year.  She and her college-age son Mark -- I believe he's 19 -- live in a huge old antebellum mansion in western Maryland.  The style is American Gothic, not the Greek Revival pictured on the above cover.  So the house is spookier looking, less like Tara.

 

 

Pat is a nurse for what I'm guessing is a doctor or doctors in private practice.  Therefore she probably makes(or made, in the early 90s) decent money but not oodles.  I'm not sure exactly what her husband Jerry did for a living before he died.  Regardless how much Jerry fell in love with the house, an edifice like that requires . . . oodles . . . of money to restore, renovate, upgrade, and maintain.  Not to mention taxes and utilities.  It sits on a two-acre lot.  Did I mention taxes?

 

Mark attends the local community college in part for the cost savings and in part to stay with his mom while she's grieving the loss of her husband and his father.  Mark does not have a job.

 

After years, maybe decades, of sitting empty, the house next door to Pat's has been sold and Josef Friedrichs moves in with his teenaged daughter Kathy.  I'm not sure exactly how old Kathy is -- maybe 16? -- but she is blonde and pretty and attends a private girls' school to which Josef drives her every day.  Josef is obsessively protective of Kathy, so when she and Mark strike up a romance, Josef is bitter and nasty to both Pat and Mark, but especially to Mark.  And his nastiness to Pat is about Mark.

 

Given what's revealed about Josef's prior marriage, I didn't understand his vicious antipathy toward his daughter's new boyfriend.

 

Anyway, the house is purchased, contractors come in to repair and redecorate, and Josef and Kathy move in.

 

This house is a mirror image twin of Pat's house.  No explanation is offered as to why a single father with one daughter needs a three-story American Gothic mansion on two over-grown, untended acres, especially since said single father is decidedly anti-social.  It's not like he's going to be entertaining or anything.

 

Within a few days of their moving in, weird things start happening.  Creepy lights, attacks on both Kathy and Josef, and so on.  Pat intervenes, and thus a relationship of sorts is established between the two families.  The weird things get weirder and more dangerous, Mark and Kathy join forces to figure out what it is, and then everyone lives happily ever after.

 

Unlike the problems I had with the house in Ammie, Come Home, the twin mansions in The Walker in Shadows worked well with the story.  There were no structural issues; other than the idea of two people rattling around in a house with five or six or eight bedrooms, the house part worked okay.

 

The historical research Mark and Kathy did to "solve" the mystery also worked well and made sense, with a somewhat surprising twist.  The resolution to the supernatural aspect seemed a little too contrived and easy, but it wasn't totally out of the blue.  I would personally have preferred a little more tension in the climactic confrontation but oh well.

 

Mark and Kathy's insta-love didn't pose a problem.  They're both young and eager and their relationship is more catalyst than main plot, so good looking young man falls head over heels (almost literally) for pretty new neighbor and that's okay.

 

What didn't work for me at all was the romance between Pat and Josef.  Pat is still grieving.  Josef is still angry.  That they fall in love and start calling each other "dear" and "darling" was just syrupy to me.  I realized that Michaels seems to have this problem in a lot of her books -- the romances are often just not believable.  It's as though they're thrown in because someone told her "we're going to publish it as romantic suspense, so make sure you have some romance."

 

There were major romance problems in Ammie, Come Home as explored in our buddy read analyses, and also in House of Many Shadows as well as Wait for What Will Come and Patriot's Dream.  Michaels did better with the romances in both Be Buried in the Rain and Houses of Stone, but I'm not really sure why or how.

 

Could the romance threads in these novels have been improved?  I think so, but I wasn't her editor!  I guess my only comment at this point would be, don't count on a great romance woven through these books; just take them as they are.

 

 

 

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