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review 2015-03-05 23:38
Not your average paranormal...yay!
Writing Your Own Ransom Note (Purgatory, Inc.) - Sam Schooler

A Hearts On Fire Review

3.5 HEARTS--Different. Hella different and I liked it for what it brought to the table.

Tired of reading paranormal that feature the ever popular choices of shifters? Want to read about a different type of beast? Want diversity? Want to read snark without it going into lames-ville?

You might be interested in reading Sam Schooler's "Writing Your Own Ransom Note".

Set in Chicago, Jazz is 19, bi, Canadian, a victim of racism and bullying due to his vitiligo. Believable. But the story doesn't play the 'woe is me' card which I give kudos to the author for. He's working at a doughnut shop and his coworker spots a monster wolf-dog (hilarious internal dialogue BTW) sitting on Jazz's car. He tries to cajole the wolf-dog off his car but instead the wolf-dog has plans for him.

The animal is not of this world, he's a hellhound named Pyxis. And Pyxis is on the hunt for rotting souls...guess who Pyxis thinks has one?

The two encounter a mini snark filled, junk food gobbling road trip to save Jazz's soul. And they perform an inventive way on sussing out the soul rot. This is a short story, so not too many guesses on how Pyxis works this out. (Don't fear, Pyxis has a human form)

The story wasn't action packed or suspenseful. No bang, bang, shoot'em up here. This is perfect for a reader who wants something to read between novels or on a lunch break. There is sex but it wasn't intense or something that might make you get flustered. Everything about it was quirky and I liked the vibe and for the different ways it introduced different types of people. There was an ease about it that I liked.

But the story was kind of too short. Something about the ease of Jazz and Rosa's reactions was a little hard to swallow for me. And it ends with barely a HFN. I think I'd have liked a little more length. Maybe finish the case or at least read what happens to the culprit.

Overall: quick, easy and different. This is part of a series of standalones short stories, Purgatory Inc.

Great concept. 

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text 2015-02-27 20:51
This week's book haul
Fighting Silence - Aly Martinez
Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison
By Any Other Name (Forbidden Book 1) - J.M. Darhower
The Good Life Gets Better: Panning for Gold - Dorian Amos
The Blue Bear: A True Story of Friendship and Discovery in the Alaskan Wild - Lynn Schooler
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review 2013-12-31 00:00
Proprietary Rights
Proprietary Rights - Sam Schooler More like 2.5 stars. Well written but not very satisfying.
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review 2013-11-21 12:55
The Prophesy Gene by Stuart D. Schooler
The Prophesy Gene - Stuart D. Schooler

I won this in a GR giveaway, that hasn't impacted on my ability to review it honestly and critically.

2/4 - I haven't started this yet, but I immediately have problems with the spelling of 'prophesy'.  The following is the definition of prophesy according to wiktionary (wikipedia's dictionary):

Prophesy (third-person singular simple present prophesies, present participle prophesying, simple past and past participle prophesied)

To speak or write with divine inspiration; to act as prophet. [from 14th c.]
To predict, to foretell. [from 14th c.]  [quotations ▼]
1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 745:
‘It has been prophesied more than once that he will find it.’
(intransitive, Christianity) To speak out on the Bible as an expression of holy inspiration; to preach. [from 14th c.]

Remember, a verb is a doing word - like jump or run.

The following is the definition of prophecy according to wiktionary:

Prophecy (plural prophecies)

A prediction, especially one made by a prophet or under divine inspiration.

Remember a noun is the name of something - like bike or television.

Now, I'm only going by what wiktionary and other online dictionaries tell me, but I think I'm right in saying that the spelling should be prophecy, as it is the name of the gene; a noun is being used.  Maybe I'll be proved wrong and when I actually begin reading I'll find out that the name of the gene is taken from someone whose last name is Prophesy, and so it's still a noun despite the spelling.  I guess we'll see.  To be continued...


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review 2013-10-27 19:33
Bump in the Night - Heidi Belleau,Ally Blue,Sam Schooler,Brien Michaels,Peter Hansen,Kari Gregg,Rachel Haimowitz,Laylah Hunter

Resurrection Man by Laylah Hunter – 3.5 stars: Great idea! I loved this feeling of uncertainty. I thought every minute something terrible would happen.


Mating Season by Kari Gregg – no rating: Totally creepy and disturbing! Seriously! I still have no words. And I don’t know how to rate it…  But it’s definitely not my favorite.


Flesh and Song by Ally Blue – 2.75 stars: Where was the horror? Nice idea, but this story could have been so much better.


Out from Under by Brien Michaels – 3 stars: The best part? Fromunder seeking revenge!


Sleeping with Ghosts by Peter Hansen – 5 stars: I was looking forward to read more by Peter Hansen, but I didn’t expect such an amazing story! It had a dark and captivating atmosphere and a world that was so fascinating, that I didn’t want this story to end.  Really loved it! Sleeping with Ghosts is my favorite story of this anthology!


Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint by Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler – 4.75 stars: Wow, another really great story! Creepy but totally worth reading!

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