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review 2018-03-13 22:27
A Collection of Twisted Tales
A Collection of Twisted Tales - Kraig W. Dafoe
A Collection of Twisted Tales is a selection of short stories and poetry that is written in the style of beloved Edgar Allen Poe.  Many of the stories revolve around death; however, how the death is achieved in each story is done in a variety of interesting ways.  Like many collections of stories, I had my favorites.  Two stories that stuck out to me were The Clock and My Friend, The Wanderer. 
In The Clock a series of letters recounts the series of events that led up to the death of the owner of a family home with a peculiar clock.  This story walked the line of supernatural and psychosis leaving me wondering if there truly was an evil clock or if mental health issues run in the family.  
My Friend, The Wanderer opens with a time travel mystery and ends on a much sinister note.  This story drew me in with adventure and intrigue and finished with gore and cruelty.
My only wish for this collection is that I could delve deeper into some of the stories.  Overall, a nice mix of horror, thriller and supernatural short stories for a quick read on a rainy day.  
This book was received in exchange for an honest review. 
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review 2018-02-22 22:10
A great read, full of fascinating, curious, sad, and even horrifying stories.
A Secret History of Brands: The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love - Matt MacNabb

Thanks to Alex and the whole team at Pen & Sword for providing me with a review paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I would not class myself as particularly “brand-aware”. Although when I was younger I wanted to have the latest of everything, especially if all my friends had it (oh, the wonders of peer-pressure, even then), with time I’ve become quite skeptical about it, and I tend to avoid them if I can. (I understand the status thing, but I can’t see why I should have to pay and then, on top of that, be happy to advertise the product by making sure everybody knows what it is). Give me local craft any day! So, of course, I could not resist a book that promised to share with its readers ‘The Dark and Twisted Beginnings of the Brand Names We Know and Love’. And it delivers, for sure. I suspect if you are big authorities on the subject, you might already know a lot of the information contained in this book but if like me, you are just curious, this is a gem.

I’d never read anything by this author before, but his style is engaging and he pitches this volume at the right level for the subject: he includes the adequate amount of historical information about each one of the brands and characters (inventors, creators, public figures…) to make sure that the readers understand the context of each brand and its products, and then focuses on the more intriguing and less publicized aspects of their evolution. Some of them might be more familiar than others (I suspect a lot of readers will know about Coca-Cola and its early cocaine content), but even then, MacNabb manages to unearth elements of the story that are bizarre and less well-known (so Coca-Cola still contains extracts of coca leaves [no actual cocaine though, don’t worry!] supplied by the only lab in the US with a permit to import coca leaves).

While some of the chapters are curious and amusing (like the Coca-Cola one or the chapter on the Kellogg’s ‘war on sex’), some can be quite disturbing. There are many connections to Nazi Germany I was not aware of, like Hugo Boss’s manufacture of Nazi uniforms, Adidas & Puma’s Nazi connections (I had no idea the creators of these two brands were brothers, either), Chanel’s spying for the Germans (and the fact that the information was kept under wraps by the French government). For me, the most shocking were the chapters on Bayer (not so much the Heroin production, even if they seem to have become aware of its addicting properties quite early on, but its direct connection to slave labour and the production of Zyklon B, used in the gas chambers in the concentration camps), and Henry Ford and his anti-Semitic beliefs and writings (that seem to have inspired Hitler). The chapters on Winchester and Bakelite were intriguing (as I didn’t know anything at all about the history of the objects, other than some vague notion of the importance of the rifle) but sad, due to the personal tragedies behind the stories.

This book is a great read, a page-turner, and I suspect most readers will move on to read full accounts on some of the selected topics. Although the brands are chosen for their interesting stories, the author gives credit where credit is due and always tries to offer as balanced an account as possible of the people and the companies, making sure to emphasise how things have changed for most of them. It is a sobering thought to reflect upon the past of some of these household names, and it is important we don’t forget the lessons learned.

I recommend this book to anybody interested in brands, pop culture, history, and it will be a resource of interest to writers and researchers. (The notes contain bibliographical information for those interested in further reading). Another great addition to the publisher’s varied catalogue.


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review 2018-02-20 10:00
New Release & Release Day Review! Sons of Broad Series Prequels by Tara Thomas
Shattered Fear: A Novella of Romantic Suspense (Sons of Broad) - Tara Thomas
Hidden Fate - Tara Q. Thomas
Twisted End - Tara Q. Thomas



From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

Forbidden love never felt so good...

She’s got a killer to catch.
He just might be it. 
Undercover detective Janie Roberts needs to find out for sure if Brent Taylor is a murderer.
Handsome, wealthy, and sexy-as-sin Brent Taylor. 
She’s got to get close enough to learn his secrets.

But getting this close is dangerous in more ways than one…




From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

He’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe…

Someone wants Janie dead.
Brent will do anything to protect her from a ruthless killer’s hunt. 
But an enemy this powerful won’t give up easily….

And danger and passion will explode as they fight for each other.




From New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me, writing as Tara Thomas, comes an explosive new romantic suspense series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

First comes desire.
Then comes love.
But Janie and Brent need to stop the man out to ruin them,

Before they can live happily ever after…


This review is for the three Sons of Broad prequels: Shattered Fear, Hidden Fate & Twisted End.



Strong, compelling characters pull readers into a thrilling story that fills readers with suspense and holds them hostage until the very end. This new series is off to a strong start with a series of three prequels that are fast paced, full of edge of the seat suspense, lifelike characters and steamy romance.


The author brought the story to life with well written words that provided vibrant imagery that makes it easy for the readers to picture each and every scene which keeps them glued to the pages and embroiled in the thrilling danger with surprising twists that keep readers guessing and a romance that is sweet and steamy. The first two prequels Shattered Fear and Hidden Fate end is hair raising cliffhangers, so you do have to read all three to get to the happily ever after but even with the romantic conclusion for Janie and Brent, there are still mysteries to be solved and bad guys to catch so the series will continue with the first full length novel Darkest Night and I am looking forward to reading the coming books in the Sons of Broad series.




Shattered Fear is the 1st of 3 prequels in the Sons of Broad series and

is available February 6, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon    B&N    iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   ebooks


Hidden Fate is the 2nd of the 3 prequels and is available February 13, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks


Twisted End is the 3rd of the 3 prequels and is available February 20, 2018 in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks


The 1st Book, Darkest Night is set to be released on February 27, 2018.

Keep an eye out for my review of Darkest Night coming next week.


& the 2nd book Deadly Secret is set to be released on March 27, 2018.


Tara Thomas can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter

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review 2018-01-19 01:26
Pib's Dragon (Twisted Fairy Tales) by Beany Sparks
Pib's Dragon (Twisted Fairy Tales) - Beany Sparks

The first half was OK, I was thinking 3-3.5 stars, but second part was full of info dumps and unnecessary details.
Uber convenient magical abilities and handy magical artifacts popping up at the times of need don't add stars either.

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review 2018-01-14 02:45
Book Review: A Dark and Twisted Heart
A Dark And Twisted Heart (The Dark Heart... A Dark And Twisted Heart (The Dark Heart Chronicles Book 1) - Merrie Destefano
*I offered to read this book for an honest review.

William is a young man that loves yet struggles with more. He's done something he shouldn't have done. And having that ghost with him may push him to do something again.

Wow, this is one quick read. An hour at tops. (Really, I'm a slow reader and it didn't take me that long.)

Katrina is a ghost, and she's haunting her love. William. The story is from William's mind as he's the one alive and doing things he shouldn't.

We get to see an evening with William. We meet Katrina, his love, as he's walking through the woods. Katrina is a constant reminder of his love for her and what he did to her. But he's been spending time with Adelle too.

Merrie has created a story in one moment of a person's life. This moment is one that will change his life forever. The details of the forest aren't given as you know what it is from what the forest is named and believed to be. It's called Dead Man's Wood. Just the name alone lets you know people don't normally visit this part and what they believe, it is a ghost story. The story is in what William lives through this evening...

William gets what he deserves in the end. And Katrina and her friend seem to enjoy it. You can tell from Katrina's actions she is up to more than what she's saying. The girls have left me a bit curious as to the world they live in and what they are thinking.

A quick story with ghosts and a warped love for the Halloween season. This is the first in a series of short stories, and I'm looking forward to where they go.
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