The Bone Valley

Happy Release Day to The Bone Valley! Be sure to grab your copy if this sounds perfect for your October bookshelf!

The Bone Valley
By: Candace Robinson

Finished: 8/23/2021

I’ve read quite a few books by Robinson, and I can enthusiastically say that this one is my favorite! This is perhaps the most intense, grotesque, and beautiful story I’ve read from her, and I had a hard time putting it down!

I really loved Anton, a lover, and Nahli, a thief. They seem like characters whose paths would never cross until things go very, very wrong. Even Daryna, the old witch who lives int he woods, grew on me throughout this tale. Pav, Anton’s little brother, grew on me throughout this tale. At first I didn’t think much of him since he just seemed like he wanted to emulate his brother, but as the tale goes on he gains so much empathy and shows he has such a pure heart. I keep bouncing between Pav and Roka as my favorites, but as of this writing, I have to say the little skeleton meerkat Roka was my absolute fave. I can’t say too much about him without giving things away, but his tragic tale and determined love was touching. And he was such a cute companion to them.

I really can’t gush enough about this book because there were times when I was just blown away by the viciousness, the beauty, the cruelty, and the incredible levels of world-building. I could practically imagine this in a stock-motion animation ala Nightmare Before Christmas at times, and it was gorgeous. Robinson’s imagery and creativity was unmatched in this piece. She has such strength in mixing romantic storylines with horrific and dramatic world building and beautiful character development, but this one is a shining example of her skill. If this wasn’t already obvious, this book should not be missed!

I’ve never read a book like this and would happily devour more books in this style or in this world.

My rating: 5/5 skeletal thumbs up

Lineage

Lineage
By: C. Vonzale Lewis

Finished: 3/8/2021

Wow, this book absolutely blew me away! It has multiple parts to love, from evil corporation, to mysterious ancient magic, to a number of very sexy scenes. Not to mention the ending was incredible!

Lewis has a wonderful knack for piecing together many parts into a whole, cohesive world that makes it easy to fall into. She excels at creating multi-faceted characters to the point that you end up cheering for all of them. You fall in love with them without even realizing it. She slowly builds the magic of the world, dripping out piece by piece of information, until all the puzzle pieces come together. The further you get into the book, the more the train starts to build up speed and you have a hard time putting it down! At the end you are fearing for all of them and horrified by the people they are up against. And boy, are the villains in this tale twisted!

Lewis also tackles some dark themes in this book while also exploring the difficulty in dealing with trauma in a realistic way. Just as the magic system slowly evolves, so too does our lead character Nicole, a woman who has been kicked out of so many places of employment that she has to work for the seedy corporation that appears to be the only option left. Her fiery temper and quick wit make her bristle under authority. I absolutely loved her. She is confident and determined to speak her mind, which of course leads her to making some not-so-great decisions. But you understand why she does it because Lewis is so good at making her believable, relatable, flawed, and human.

A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys complex magic systems, a complex love life, detailed world-buidling, and plenty of hot and heavy moments!

My rating: 5/5 magical stars

Happy Release Day to The Impostor and Other Dark Tales

It has sure been busy as I prep for all of the things going on this October, but today I’m celebrating the release of my first self-published full-length book, The Impostor and Other Dark Tales! This collection has been a labor of love and given me the chance to work with some incredibly talented people. I’ve also been blown away by the reviews and support this book has already gotten, but mostly I’m so thankful to have these tales I’ve loved for so long out in the world in one solid place!

Happy book birthday to my dark, twisted, beautiful short story collection!

Now available in ebook and paperback wherever horror books are sold!

Buy a copy of The Impostor and Other Dark Tales

Batman: Fear Itself

Batman: Fear Itself
By: Michael Reaves and Steven-Elliot Altman

Finished: 2/19/2021

This was a refreshing tale involving not only a desperate horror author but also one of my favorite Batman villains, The Scarecrow. I really loved the analysis of horror writing “going too far” with scaring readers, and whether the potential liability falls on the shoulders of the author. Of course that question gets ramped up since this involves the Scarecrow.

I grew to like Ulysses Cutter, the afflicted henchman that worked with Crane. However I struggled to like Maggie as a character since we ended up having both Bruce Wayne and the Horror Author fighting over her attention. I had some issues with the ending, but if you read enough comics or watch enough comic book movies, it’s not terribly surprising.

I enjoyed the characters and the setup, and I chuckled multiple times at the literary references and classic horror movie references. I may be biased toward this story since I am a horror author myself. 😉

Overall a fun read if predictable at the end.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Frightful Fables: Volume I

Frightful Fables Volume I
By: DC Phillips

Finished: 12/19/2020

This was a short collection of horror short stories, but there was so much wry humor! I really loved “You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide” with the flip of expectations. I think my favorite was “Patches” though. Who could say no to the kitties?

Overall each of these tales left a lasting impression with some truly wonderful twists that made me smile. I loved the inclusion of artwork to really set the mood for each piece too! Overall this was a fun read!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!