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review 2018-11-12 17:55
WELCOME TO THE SHOW edited by Doug Murano
Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue - Somer Canon,Rachel Autumn Deering,Brian Keene,Jeff Strand,Matt Hayward,Glenn Rolfe,Patrick Lacey,Matt Serafini,Adam Cesare,Jonathan Janz,Kelli Owen,Doug Murano,Mary SanGiovanni,Robert Ford,Bryan Smith,Booth Tarkington,John Skipp,Alan M. Clark

 

WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a themed anthology with all of the stories revolving around, (or involving in some way), a rock n' roll club named The Shantyman. That's it! There's no hard thread connecting all the tales other than the club itself. That makes WELCOME TO THE SHOW different because there's no one "bad guy" to blame things on. In this case, the "bad guy" is anyone or anything the writer wanted them to be. In this regard, I think the authors involved had a lot more leeway as far as the direction each story would take and I think that resulted in an above average anthology as far as the quality AND the variety of the stories within.

 

I can't get into all of them here, because I don't want this review to be as long as the book itself, but the tales that stood out the most to me were:

 

WHAT SORT OF RUBE by Alan M. Clark was a perfect start to this book, providing a bit of history and setting the tone. (I've never read any of Clark's work before, but he's on my radar now.)

 

NIGHT AND DAY AND IN BETWEEN by Jonathan Janz. This story went in a totally different direction than what I had expected. Loved it!

 

TRUE STARMEN by Max Booth. I'm not sure that it was supposed to, but this story cracked me the hell me up! It's the first time THE SHANTYMAN hosted pod-casters instead of a band, and the results just made me laugh.

 

OPEN MIC NIGHT by Kelli Owen. The 27 Club-you know, those singers and musicians that never made it past that age? I thought this anthology would be a shoe-in for stories about that club, but this was the only one. I was glad because it made this tale stand out even more.

 

PARODY by Jeff Strand. Zany Chester and his plans to be the next Weird Al fizzle out before they even got started. (It's birdies, not bodies!) Chester had to go to a few back up plans, actually, and none of them were pretty.

 

DARK STAGE by Matt Hayward. This tale spoke to me in a personal way which made it that much more horrifying at the end.

 

A TONGUE LIKE FIRE by Rachel Autumn Deering. The end was NOT what I was expecting at the beginning. Usually I can see that coming..in this case I saw something coming, but not what I got. Well done!

 

Brian Keene's tale RUNNING FREE made me laugh at the premise before it got all serious. (A man trying to run himself to death by heart attack, thereby evading death from the cancer already running through his body. Come on, that's kind of funny! [All right, I know I'm messed up.]) Anyway, this story didn't go the way I thought it would and I loved how it tied into previous tales in this book.

 

WE SING IN DARKNESS by Mary SanGiovanni. This story had everything that I've come to expect from Mary's work. A terrifying future where music is banned is only the beginning.

 

I enjoyed this collection and even though it was a little uneven throughout, the variety and quality more than made up for that. I liked that everyone didn't have quite the same view was to what was going on at The Shantyman because that allowed for more creativity in the tales. Variety is the spice of life and all that, you know?

 

I read a lot of collections and anthologies over the course of a year and there is no doubt in my mind that WELCOME TO THE SHOW will be among the best I've read this year. For this reason, I highly recommend it!

 

You can get your copy here: WELCOME TO THE SHOW

 

*11.12.18 We are currently reading this book, along with most of the authors in the Horror Aficionados Group at Goodreads. Feel free to join us, read along, and ask questions of the writers, if you like! (Our read continues until the end of this month.) Here's a link: WELCOME TO THE SHOW at Horror Aficionados

 

**I bought this book with my hard earned cash and these opinions are my own.**

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review 2018-11-12 07:10
Review Tour - Fireworks

 

Fireworks

by Sarina Bowen

 

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a wiener on the traffic map.

 

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern created a perfect schlong? 

 

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s willing to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

 

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. She can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and slide back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

 

But things go sideways the moment she steps over the county line. Her stepsister is running from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke Skye’s teenage heart.

 

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

 

Things are about to go boom.

 

 


 

FIREWORKS is available at:

 

⭐ Amazon: http://geni.us/AmazonFireworks 

⭐ AmazonUKhttps://amzn.to/2T79lGT

⭐ AmazonCA: https://amzn.to/2T6iqjs

⭐ BAM!: http://bit.ly/2T95itE

⭐ iBooks: http://geni.us/AppleFireworks 

⭐ Kobo: http://geni.us/KoboFireworks 

⭐ B&N: http://geni.us/BNFireworks 

 

 

 

 

Fireworks (True North, #6)Fireworks by Sarina Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #6, in the True North series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding of the series, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this compelling series in order.

Skye returns to the place she hates the most to help out the sister she always wanted. When she gets there, tables have turned. There is now danger if she pushes too far in finding her sister. Who can she turn to?

Benito AKA "Ben" is a blast from the past, who has always had a thing for Skye. She was the one that got away, and he has no intentions of letting that happen again. He also has to find her sister and solve his case.

While this author is a definite auto purchase, she always brings the goods to the table. In this story, we get a second chance romance with such heart and heat that every page is a sizzling delight! I loved the banter, and was eagerly turning each page to get to the next.


***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

Can we also mention that: 

 

Don’t forget the first book in the series is FREE!

 

 

While you're waiting, pick up Bittersweet at:

 

Amazon: http://geni.us/BsAmazon 

iBooks: http://geni.us/BsIbooks 

B&N: http://geni.us/bsbreach 

Kobo: http://geni.us/bskreach 

Google: http://geni.us/bsgreach 

 

 

About the author:

 

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of many things, including: the True North series, Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy, The Ivy Years series and the Brooklyn BruisersAnd more!


Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina's books broken out by trope and style.


Need to know what's coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina's website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don't miss a book or a deal.

 

Sarina's Links:

 

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-10-31 01:14
Welcome to...the sex trade...
Hotline - Quinn Anderson,Nick J. Russo

Zack is a PSO (Phone Sex Operator) for Murmur Inc. It's not a permanent thing just a temporary stop to pay some bills until he gets himself back on track. But somehow he's been around longer than he'd planed he's fallen into a bit of a rut or at least he was until the day that 'John' calls. 

 

What starts out as a simple phone sex call...just another day on the job for Zack begins to evolve into something more as the calls continues and with each call...each new role play that the men begin, each one of them begins to slip bits of the real them into the story.

 

For Zack life is getting better...at least on the work front it is. Zack's landed a whale and he's finally good earning money and he's doing it talking to a man who seems to push all the right buttons for him. Needless to say for the first time since who knows when Zack doesn't find work to be a hardship.

 

John's educated, cultured, lead a life of privilege. In Zack's eyes he's everything that Zack's not or at least that's how he sounds and that's ok because it's just phone sex and they're never going to meet...or at least they're not suppose to but Destiny...she'd be Karma's sister and sometimes she's also a biotch...anyways, Destiny has other plans for Zack and John and when Zack finds himself face to face with John he does what any sane young PSO would do...he runs.

 

It's going to take more than a few phone calls for these two men to work things out. I have to say these two have a rather unusual path to follow if they're going to get things sorted out. Zack may make a living talking dirty and John may plan on becoming a lawyer but these two mean are going to need to learn how to have some pretty open and honest conversations if they're going to take things from the phone to the same room.

 

Surprisingly while the sex was good when it happened for me the phone sex was the smoking hot stuff and maybe that was because of the fact that these men didn't know each other and it was obvious from that start that they were going to so there was definitely a layer of anticipation involved that wasn't there when they finally met.

 

'Hotline' was definitely unique in the overall premise of the story. It's the first story that I've ever read where one of the MCs is a PSO.  'Hotline' was a light fun read, laced ironically a bit of miscommunication and a touch of humor...all of which combines to make an enjoyable little romance story.

 

Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and as always his narration made what would have probably only been a 3 star read for me into something just a little bit better. I could go on about this narrator and expand on all the reasons that I enjoy listening to audio books that Mr. Russo has narrated but I think the simplest thing I can say is in the world of audio book narrators Nick Russo is on my auto buy list. 

 

***********************

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review 2018-10-26 07:03
Heated
Fireworks (True North #6) - Sarina Bowen

This is book #6, in the True North series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding of the series, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this compelling series in order.

 

Skye returns to the place she hates the most to help out the sister she always wanted.  When she gets there, tables have turned.  There is now danger if she pushes too far in finding her sister.  Who can she turn to?

 

Benito AKA "Ben" is a blast from the past, who has always had a thing for Skye.  She was the one that got away, and he has no intentions of letting that happen again.  He also has to find her sister and solve his case.

 

While this author is a definite auto purchase, she always brings the goods to the table.  In this story, we get a second chance romance with such heart and heat that every page is a sizzling delight!  I loved the banter, and was eagerly turning each page to get to the next.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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