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review 2019-01-15 12:45
THE PIGEON by Andrew Lennon and Christopher Motz
The Pigeon: Nothing Goes Unseen - Christopher Motz,Andrew Lennon,Ryan C. Thomas

Don't let this rather vague-looking cover trick you into thinking this is not a full-fledged horror story. THE PIGEON is not some little psychological tale with a talking bird or poetry like an Edgar Allan Poe story. And it's not some fancy literary fiction either. It's an in-your-face, fast paced, gory, twisty-turny little novella that might even make you laugh at times. How much fun is that? A lot! It's a LOT of fun.

 

When Andrew Lennon asked me if I could review this book last fall I think it was, I said sure without really knowing what I was getting myself into. If I had known it was this short, I probably would have tried to squeeze it in even sooner.

 

A young lady hates her job and is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend. He shows up at her house and things just go downhill from there. Fast! There's no way I can get across to you how surprised I was at nearly every turn this story took. And it's because of the fact that I want you to be surprised too, that I'm not going to go further into the plot.

 

If you like your horror unpredictable, bloody and gory, with a sense of humor on the side? THE PIGEON is for you!

 

Highly recommended! Get your copy here: THE PIGEON

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2019-01-13 17:16
THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU by Chad Lutzke
The Same Deep Water as You - Chad Lutzke

 

I'll start simple: I love me some Chad Lutzke! THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU is yet another tale from the author I view as the one most able to make me cry. If there was a ribbon for that, he would take blue for first place.

 

As always, Chad put together an intimate story where his writing is top notch. The language is plain but the words are put together in such a way that they make you feel. They're like tiny little word arrows shot into your heart.

 

 

" You can put life on hold for a whole year dating someone, getting to know them, and then it all falls apart. Your heart is broken and you can’t do shit for another half a year without thinking of them, missing them, missing all that wasted time. I suppose with each one we walk away learning something about ourselves, about life, about how to love. Maybe we’re all just stepping stones for each other. We’re all helping somebody get somewhere. From here to a better there."

 

 

 

While I did enjoy this novella, I didn't feel the same poignancy that I normally experience when reading Chad's work. I've been thinking on it and I've come up with this for the reason why: the time period in which it's set. I came of age of with ACDC, Motley, Judas and Ozzy. I'm pretty sure The Cure came after that?? That means that all references to them went right over my head, (other than those to their most popular songs.) Being more familiar with the band and their music would probably have provided that extra connection or nostalgia I felt I was missing.

 

This is still Chad Lutzke though, so it's all good. It's still a story that grabs you and makes you think. It still has phrases put together in such a way that they touch your heart. It still builds into a satisfying tale in the end and what more could you ask for?

 

Recommended! You can get your copy here: THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU

 

 

*I bought this book with my hard earned cash. *

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review 2018-12-10 18:45
THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY by John Hornor Jacobs
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky: A Novella of Cosmic Horror - John Hornor Jacobs

 

"Misery is a condition that we are all promised."

 

THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY is a beautifully written novella with rich, layered characters and an unfamiliar landscape.

 

Two ex-pats develop a friendship between them. Isabel, an educator and Avendano, a poet, have both escaped a political coup in their home country of (the fictional) Magera. As their friendship deepens, Isabel learns more about Avendano's reputation and his past. When he asks her to watch his apartment so that he may return to Magera, she does so willingly. While so doing, she reads a few of the manuscripts he left behind. It's in these manuscripts that the true horror lies. Will Avendano ever return home? If he does will he find Isabel there waiting for him? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

I loved this book and that's mostly because the characters of Avendano and Isabel are so deep and well drawn. I did not expect to develop such complicated feelings for characters in "A Novella of Cosmic Horror." But develop them I did-especially for Avendano. I disliked him quite a bit when the story began, but I empathized with what he went through later, (or actually, before), and my feelings for him changed dramatically.

 

Whenever I see or hear the term "cosmic horror" lately, I find myself thinking of tentacles. But cosmic horror runs much deeper than that, and in this book it plays a small but certainly disturbing part of the narrative. When the miasma becomes so thick you can almost cut through it, watch out. There are things in that stinking fog, things existing just beyond the limits our visibility, but all too alive just the same.

 

The real horrors here are executed by humans and they make tentacles and Cthulhu look downright silly. It's easy to overlook coups in other countries, easy to overlook the human rights violations and the often abominable acts. We don't seem them on our daily news, so to us they seem foreign and distant. But for the people living under military rule or the rule of dictators or religious leaders? They see these horrors every day and sadly, they are now just part of life. When anyone dares to look more closely, like Avendano for instance, who knows what horrors will befall them as a result? They may take the form of torture, they may take the form of torturing those you love, they can even make you torture yourself, and that's the worst torture of all. 

 

"The pain becomes an offering and sacrifice becomes a beacon."

 

 

 

A beacon to what? That is the question.

 

I've tried hard to impart to you the gravity as well as the beauty hidden behind that oh so lovely cover. I've tried to do it without spoiling anything, but I'm not sure I've succeeded. The writing is sublime and I got lost a few times, just ruminating on the beauty of the language. That doesn't happen often these days, but it happened several times within the pages of this beautiful, scary, depressing, lovely novella and for that reason I highly recommend this book.

 

Get your copy here: THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY

 

*I received a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.* 

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review 2018-12-06 15:06
Amish Celebrations
Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas - Beth Wiseman

Amish Celebrations is really a combination of 4 stories in one book. They are all different but have something in common. They all are about celebrations.

 

Here are all the books and there reviews for each one.

 

The Gift of Sisters

Hannah and Elizabeth are twins. When a new boy comes to town, he seem to attracted both girls. They both fall for him in there own ways. He seem to have them pulling them away from each other. Will either one of them choose this new boy or will they both leave them.

 

Will it be two late to reunite to be sisters. One is doing something to protect her sister and the other think the other is trying to ruin her life and her love life at that. Will they find what best for them.

 

A New Beginning

Noah and Rebecca seem to be heading for marriage? Noah does something and make Rebecca think about getting married? What was it that Noah did? Will Noah walk way or will he forgive himself. What could Noah be struggling with? Rebecca is also navigation their relationship as well. Does she want to be with Noah or trust him?

 

A Perfect Plan

Priscilla knows who see was marrying since she way sixteen years old. Once the question is pop to her. They seem to think they know the prefect plan. God seem to have another plan or a bit of changes to that plan when one disaster will occurs after another. Is God testing there relationship?

 

There seems to be a special person who has something for both Chester and Priscilla. They each receive it at different times and separately. They are both told to not open it until there wedding day and not before and promised. Will they even get married or will they not?

 

A Christmas Miracle

Every feel overwhelmed with life or motherhood? Well, Mary feels this and does not know how to cope with her children. She seems to feel like she a bad mother. Though she got her husband and her husband seem to try and help. He for a loss to help her as well. Though he suggest that she ask her mother in law to help her.

 

There seem to be something more to stress of the marriage. Will her husband get some advise to help his marriage and his wife before it to late? There seems to be someone really important that happens when Mary befriends an elderly man in a red suit and his side kick elf?

 

I really like how this story outcomes turn out. Will Mary really get what needs and help she needs to cope with her situation. Does Mary's mother in law dislike Mary or is it something else.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/12/amish-celebrations.html
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review 2018-11-30 21:05
So much goodness here...
Male/Male Mystery and Suspense Box Set: 6 Novellas - Josh Lanyon,Chris Gebauer,Lance Greenfield,Jason Clarke

It's been absolutely ages since I've read these stories but in the true test of time they are every bit as enjoyable now as I remember them being and just as enjoyable to hear on audio as reading the stories were the first time around.

 

Josh Lanyon was one of the first authors that I discovered when I initially stuck my nose into the world of m/m stories and I've loved everything that I've ever read by this author. From the first Adrien English until this collection of stories this author has not failed to give me hours of enjoyable reading. As with most I've enjoyed some books more than others but for the most part this author has always given me stories that were 4 and 5 star reads.

 

With 6 different standalone stories to enjoy, even though I've read them all I loved the variety that this collection offered and while I'm not going to take the time to review each story separately I will say that 'Lovers and Other Strangers' along with 'Cards On The Table' are my absolute favorites. Also while 'The Dark Horse' works as a standalone there is a follow-up story that readers can enjoy called 'The White Knight'. 

 

So just to give a bit of a frame of reference as to how I rated these books I'm going to list each story with the narrators name and my individual rating for the story...

 

The Dark Horse......................4 stars.........Jason Clarke, narrator

A Vintage Affair.......................5 stars.........Chris Gebauer, narrator

Blood Red Butterfly.................5 stars.........Lance Greefield, narrator

Don't Look Back......................4 stars.........Lance Greenfield, narrator

Lovers and Other Strangers....5 stars........Jason Clarke, narrator

Cards On the Table.................5 stars........Jason Clarke, narrator

 

On a side note some of these stories have been recorded before by other narrators...

Dark Horse, White Knight, narrated by Derrick McClain

A Vintage Affair, narrated by Paul S. Fleschner

Blood Red Butterfly - only on this audio collection

Don't Look Back, narrated by Graham Halstead

Lovers and Other Strangers - only on this audio collection

Cards on the Table - narrated by Sean Crisden

 

While I have to admit I am a big fan of Sean Crisden, I'm also more than happy to say that Jason Clarke's narration for 'Cards on the Table' was well done and overall I'm looking forward to enjoying all of these stories again...in the near future. I would have gone back to the  beginning as soon as I got done the first time but some times like it or not we all need to do a bit of adulting in the real world...ok, that's code talk for a have a home to decorate for the holidays.

 

So all in all this one was a really enjoyable collection of Josh Lanyon stories that even from a purely practical viewpoint for what amounts to the price of maybe 3 of the stories you can get 6 and 2 of them are only available in this collection...it's a BOGO Sale (Buy one, get one) ok, I've done a bit of pimping here but it's only because I enjoyed these stories so much, that I want to encourage everyone to enjoy them as well.

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