logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: war-zone
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-02-02 12:37
A dark and creepy read with a twisted sense of humour
Call Drops: A Horror Story - John F Leonard

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novella.

I won’t keep you guessing, I loved this story. After reading several longish novels in a similar genre, I fancied a break. And what better break from reading than reading something completely different?

I had read some great reviews of another one of Leonard’s novellas (also from the Dead Boxes Archive series) from members of the review team and knew I was in for a treat.

The story starts innocuously enough. An old man of means, Vincent Preece, (he used to have a business, one of the early businesses in mobile phones, and he sold it making a big profit) who likes to go to second-hand shops and car-boot sales finds something rather unusual and impossible to resist for him. It looks like an old mobile phone, but he does not recognise the model and cannot find any indication of how it works. Still, he has to have it.

If, like me, you loved the old Friday the 13th TV series with its creepy objects, or other similar stories (including some of the films in the Conjuring series), you will have guessed by now that things are going to take a turn for the interesting. And they do.

I don’t want to spoil the read, but let’s say the phone does not keep silent for long, and the atmosphere gets creepier and darker as it progresses. The story, told in the third person but almost totally from Vincent’s point of view, gets deeper and deeper into the protagonist’s psyche. When we meet him, he is a lonely man, somewhat embittered and opinionated (although he keeps those opinions to himself), who has suffered losses in his life, from his business and his cat, to his wife and daughter, but he seems settled and has learned to enjoy the little things in life. He is a keen and witty observer, has a quick mind, and a sharp sense of humour. I am not sure I would say she is the most sympathetic character I’ve read about, but he comes across as a grumpy but amusing old man, and his wit and the plot are more than enough to keep us engaged and turning the pages. If you’re a reader of the genre, you’ve probably guessed that things are not as clear-cut as they seem, but I won’t give you any specific details. You’ll have to read it yourselves.

Is it a horror story? It is not a scary story that will make you jump (or at least I don’t think so), but there are some horrifying scenes in it, graphically so (although no people are involved), and they’ve put some pictures in my mind that will probably remain there for a long time, but it is more in the range of the darker The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents type of stories than something that will have you screaming out loud. If you read the description of the series, you’ll get a good sense of it, and the epilogue and the closing warning to the reader are very well done and reminded me of both these TV programmes.

The writing style is crisp and to the point, and the author manages to create a credible character with recognisable personality traits despite the briefness of the story. There are also moments when the writing reaches beyond functional storytelling, as if the character had dropped his self-protective shell and his stiff attitude and was talking from the heart.

Here, talking about his wife and daughter:

Their departure had left Vincent mystified and empty. As if the marrow had been sucked out of him. Hard to stand with hollow bones.

But also:

However liberal you tried to be, some folk were simply a waste of good organs. There was no denying it.

I won’t talk about the ending in detail. There is a twist, and although some readers might have their suspicions, I think it works well, and I enjoyed it.

I recommend this book to people who like dark and creepy reads, have a twisted sense of humour, and don’t mind some horrifying scenes. If you love The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents and are looking for a short and quick-paced read, give it a try. Perhaps we don’t need Dead Boxes’ objects in our lives, but we definitely need more of their stories.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-01-30 07:10
Audio Blitz - Out in the Deep/Out in the End Zone

 

Both Now Available in Audio!

 

 
Title: Out in the Deep, Out in College #1  
Author: Lane Hayes  
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Narrated by: Michael Pauley  
Release Date: January 17th, 2019  
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex  
Pairing: Male/Male  
Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins  
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Water Polo, Coming out

Add to Goodreads
Listen to an Excerpt & Purchase at Audible

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.

Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.

 

 
 
 

Out in the Deep (Out in College, #1)Out in the Deep by Lane Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gabe has changed schools for the benefit of getting ready for the Olympics. With finishing his last year of college, he knows it is time to get ready to move on and make his life happen. Being attracted to the team captain was not in his plan.

Derek wants his last year of college to be full of great memories. He plans to do his best, to be the best, and a new teammate that he does not get a long with was not in his plan. Gabe changes things for Derek. Almost right away he is not the same.

Being explosive right from the start, these two men are in each others pockets almost right away. No wanting to get along, and not wanting to be attracted to one another, they cannot find chemistry that is nearly electrocuting themselves. With decisions to make, and places to be they finally give in to their feelings and must decide how to tackle the future if they are to be together.

Narrated by Michael Pauley, I love the voice inflections and changes that tell you that there are new voices talking. I really loved listening to the book even more than reading it. It made me feel like I was right there in the room with the characters. This is the beginning of a great series, and I am excited to listen to the rest of the books that are coming.


***This early copy has been given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 

Title: Out in the End Zone, Out in College #2
Author: Lane Hayes  
Publisher: Lane Hayes  
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Release Date: January 23rd, 2019
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex  
Pairing: Male/Male  
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins  
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out
 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Evan di Angelo is an upbeat, good-natured goofball who loves his friends and family… and football. A traumatic accident may have ended his hopes of playing professionally, but he’s made the most of his four years on the field at a small Southern California college. He’s learned the hard way to embrace change, take chances and try things outside of his comfort zone...like agreeing to play fake boyfriends for someone else’s senior project.

Mitch Peterson knows that being his authentic self is the path to true happiness. He’s grown from a shy, quiet kid from a broken home to an out and proud budding internet sensation bound for grad school. An awesome senior project is the key. It’s unlikely anyone will believe the hunky, straight athlete is Mitch’s new lover, but it’s worth a shot. However, as their tentative friendship blossoms into unexpected attraction, the lines between reality and fiction blur for both men. Evan is forced to face old demons and decide if he has the courage to take the next step and come out in the end zone.

 

 

 

 

Out in the End Zone (Out in College #2)Out in the End Zone

by Lane Hayes

This is book #2 in the Out In College series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding of the series, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

Evan and Mitch have mutual friends. They are often at parties and places together with their friends in common. When Mitch's project gives them reason to be together more often, Evan jumps at the chance.

Mitch is not sure what to think. He is grateful he has found someone open enough to the possibilities that he can finally get the test results for his project to be done. At the same time, he is incredibly attracted to Evan.

This to me, is a wonderful add to the series, as well as this author's finest book yet. I found the characters charming. Their story felt very real. I sure hope this is made into a movie. Would love to see this on the big screen. Narrated by Michael Pauley, it is a joy to listen to. He changes the sounds of the voices and makes it easy to tell whom is speaking. I found this to be a great addition to the Out In College series.

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

View all my reviews

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Meet the Narrator:

 

Michael has well over 50 audio book titles currently available for purchase on Audible.com. He is versed in multiple styles and genres including fiction (novels and short stories) ranging from romance to science fiction to crime dramas to thrillers; business strategy books; health and wellness books; and even an occasional children's book.

 

 

Fans of Michael's narration are welcome to follow him on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

 

 

If you are interested in working with Michael to produce your next audio book, you can contact him directly at voice@michaelpauley.info.

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

  Blog Button 2
 
 
 
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-27 05:05
Aware
Out in the End Zone - Lane Hayes

This is book #2 in the Out In College series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding of the series, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Evan and Mitch have mutual friends. They are often at parties and places together with their friends in common. When Mitch's project gives them reason to be together more often, Evan jumps at the chance.

 

Mitch is not sure what to think. He is grateful he has found someone open enough to the possibilities that he can finally get the test results for his project to be done. At the same time, he is incredibly attracted to Evan.

 

This to me, is a wonderful add to the series, as well as this author's finest book yet. I found the characters charming. Their story felt very real. I sure hope this is made into a movie. Would love to see this on the big screen.  Narrated by Michael Pauley, it is a joy to listen to.  He changes the sounds of the voices and makes it easy to tell whom is speaking.  I found this to be a great addition to the Out In College series.

 

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

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-01-19 14:32
The Buzzard Zone by Ronald Kelly
The Buzzard Zone - Ronald Kelly

An unknown parasite brings the human race to it's knees....transforming the living into ravenous Biters, ambulatory undead vehicles of infestation and certain death.
The only warning that they are coming....monstrous flocks of buzzards that follow the swarming Biters....feeding on the carnage they leave in their wake.

And people aren't the only living things susceptible to the plague.

Levi Hobbs and his family have managed to survive in his childhood home in the Smoky Mountains. But when their luck finally runs out and the Biters find them, they are forced to flee east, seeking a new safe haven.

But safe places are few and far between. And the Biters aren't the only threat on the road to sanctuary.

Along the way, they will find survivors, decent people fighting for their lives.....and predators who prey on them.

Will they find a place to make a life in a world gone mad......or a place to make a last stand against the inevitable?

Ronald Kelly has written a tense, superior zombie thriller, peopled with characters that are perfectly imperfect. Each bearing the traumas of their own pasts, traumas that surface as the trauma of their battle for survival takes it's toll. Add in a welcome dose of true humanity, and country common sense, you can't help but feel for them....and in doing so, feel the horror of their plight that much more.

And let's not forget appearances by folks that fans of the horror community will recognize immediately.

Ronald Kelly is back....and better than ever.

Highly recommended.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-12-31 16:39
Your Art Matters
V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone: An ABC for Grownups - Seth Godin

There seems to be a trend of books that look like they are for children but written for adults. There are adult coloring books and picture books on writing or life. This picture book from
Seth Godin is on the abc’s of motivating to create art. 

In some ways, I felt this book, with its motivational words of wisdom, reminded me of another author’s speech about creating art and that author is Neil Gaiman. It’s a wonderful speech and if you haven’t heard or read look for it on the interwebs. This picture book is simple but prompt. Something to pump up an artist who, like me, wonders if their art matters.

The feeling the book gives is a wonderful pick me up even if the literal words do not stay with you. I have to keep reading over each letter trying to remember what the one before it said. I guess that makes it is a good thing it’s only a picture book. 

V Is For Vulnerable is a book that can be read repeatedly especially when you need a push to keep creating. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?