I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride. http://coffee2words.wordpress.com
What appears to be some sort of slice-of-life drunk dad leaves family story, swiftly takes a turn for the paranormal.
Scott is a young boy and the protagonist. The climax is sudden and quite unexplained and really did nothing for me.
The writing needs work, too many descriptors that weren't needed, too much telling and not showing (e.g. I was panicking), and in general, simplistic narrative that just seemed bland.
Note: only 25% of the book is actually the story, the rest is promotion of the authors other work.
Probably my favourite of the lot, Out of Place Mate sees eldest brother, Sean Quaid come to Gunther's bar in search of his lost brothers. The other two Quaid brothers mated with wolf shifters in stories 2 and 3 of the bundle or Bar Mate and Mate by the Music.
Sean meets damaged wolf shifter, Victoria and I'm sure you can imagine what happens.
The characters in this story have more background and characterisation than in the others. I would like to read more about them.
With little backstory outside of some name dropping from story two, we see Scott and Nancy partying like it's 1969.
This felt too unreal, the sex too perfect (I get that one of them is a wolf shifter), but it's all too perfect, the orgasms and everything working so perfectly was just too unrealistic.
I did like these characters better than those in Bar Mate though, which surprised me.
There's something about girls 'creaming' their pants that turns me off so fast it's not funny. This little piece was too heavy too quickly and really didn't do too much to keep one's interest.
The characters were flimsy at best, the sex boring and the shifter/human relationship felt totally forced.
True to Rebecca Royce style, Unwanted Mate brings the shifters along in quick succession. It didn't have the polish of her longer works (see the things I noticed, below), but it was an interesting glimpse into the world of Gunther and Judy.
I am reading this as part of the Rebecca Royce BUNDLE pack. I will review the bundle as a whole against it when I'm finished.
Overall this bundle consists of four short shifter/biker stories. The pace of the stories was fast, the characterisation minimal for the most part, and the backstory almost non-existent.
I liked some of the stories, but others I really disliked. The feel of the bundle was rushed and unfinished, unlike Rebecca's other polished series, this one leaves a bit to be desired.
Things I noticed:
12% - ...at the very top of least (left) breast...
16% - ...are you going to put it (in) my...
42% - His (He) adored her with his eyes.
This is a very short tale about the owner of a cargo ship 'The Black-Eyed Susan' who runs into trouble with money lenders.
There's not a great deal of characterisation to go on, but I feel like a solid story could be made about The Black-Eyed Susan and its crew. Which I'm happy to say is just what J.A. Clement has done. This is book #0.3 of the On Dark Shores series. I have already read On Dark Shores: The Lady.
The emotional impact was missing from this, but I suppose it can be very difficult to pack a punch in a few pages.
If you like your sailor stories, this might be the first taste of something you'll enjoy devouring.
Everything I've ever wanted is a short story about a stay-at-home mum who locks away her secret life from the family and kids. But once she gets a letter, she can't hide it any longer.
This would be an epic dream come true for most people who share the infliction the protagonist does.
I didn't twig what the secret was until the mention of the purchased devices after her first attempt.
Great little tale Tony.
This edition of Aurealis sees the neo-noir 'Enfolded', from J Michael Melican and the punchy 'Discarded Pieces' from David Coleman making a splash.
I enjoyed both stories, but Enfolded was something extremely unique. I would have liked to learn more about the characters past, which was hinted at, and know what the future held for him. A truly interesting piece that outshone the other piece easily.
Having said that, though, both pieces are well written and formed part of a nice edition, including some advise for self-publishing and promotion as well as a handful of reviews on books.
I really liked the cover art of this edition.
Overall this collection of stories only made up approx 70% of the book (the rest was dedicated to promotion of the author's other works) and left quite a bit to be desired. There weren't really any creepy stories here, and the 'horror' was in very small quantities.
My favourite story by quite a way was 'Death comes for Maggie McDaniel' because of the haunting sadness and the fact that it was a well written and interesting tale. I would definitely read more by Grayson Bray Morris, Pamela Turner, Donna Johnson and William Meikle. The rest I probably wouldn't bother.
I feel that the four best stories are dragged down a bit by the others that get a nudge into the realm of good because they're being carried by the four better stories. Not a great collection, but an OK way to spend a couple of hours if you want a not very scary collection of stories.
Story specific thoughts below:
Out of Order - 3 stars
This one has a single horrible animal scene, which is written off in one or two lines. The horror aspects were not a problem, a bit simple, like a child witnessing a murder, too simplistic to be very impactful. A shame really because the idea is interesting.
Our lady of the toads - 3 stars
Witches tale that reads quickly but doesn't really offer anything new. Not a bad read, but a touch boring.
Family Heirloom - 4 stars
An interesting idea, but the story was over too quickly. I'd have liked to see the story teased out a bit more.
Ring of stones - 4 stars
A really short tale rich with imagery and sensory information. But a glimpse, captivating.
Death comes for Maggie McDaniel - 4.5 stars
A sad tale, full of character and loss. I only wish it were a touch longer so the blow to guts had the impact it deserves. Lovely writing.
Creatures of the night - 4 stars
The creepiest story so far tied in with the character being a writer so it's an instant win for me. The pace is quick, detail light but enough to paint a picture.
Druid stones - 2.5 stars
The story gallops along to its own tune, the ending obvious from a mile off. A lot of flowery wording that could be cut to make the story stronger.
The Loft - 2 stars
Rather boring, even what should have been tense moments lacked any sort of urgency. Repetition and an annoying MC made for an uninteresting or engaging story.
Life in miniature - 3.5 stars
A great idea, but over far too quickly. This should have been teased out, hints dropped etc. Who is Susan? Who is Michael? A little more character behind them would make this a great story.
You have one message - 3 stars
Probably the creepiest only because of the unknown factor and the panic written on the characters faces. The story offered little by way of characterization, but for once this worked because it allowed the faceless masses to form and show mass hysteria even in a small window of opportunity with limited character visibility. Still, there were too many unanswered questions and not enough content to really make this stand on its own.
**Note: I won an electronic copy of this book through the Booklikes giveaway program**
Forbidden is a short introduction to Elle Thorn's Never After Dark series, a white tiger shapeshifter romance.
While the story takes a pretty tried and true course - impossibly handsome, but broody Adonis-esque Alpha male is single despite all odds and happens upon the perfectly normal, slightly unique and not model material woman who has no idea about shifters. They fall into bed together and then into mated love - and offers nothing new to the paranormal romance or shifter romance genres, the writing flowed well and was an easy read.
Despite the expected outcome and actions by the characters, I did actually like Jax, at least up until she didn't bat an eyelid at something that should have caused even some sort of reaction.
Rafe is fairly generic alpha material, all animalistic and domineering, broody dark god that he is. He seems to be part porn star too, his ability to make Jax gush seemed a little too easy.
Overall this is an enjoyable, quick paranormal shifter romance with a little sexy time. Nothing groundbreaking or fresh, but still entertaining and engaging.
One thing I noticed:
22% - Chapter is at the top of the paragraph text.
**Note: I was given an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Ok, so the time it took me to read this is not an indication of my disinterest or lack of engagement to the story, instead I ended up doing NaNoWriMo and a massive work project in between August and Dec.
That aside, Nica's tale certainly contained a lot of interesting and original ideas. The world building was fresh and the characters rather amusing.
I think my favourite characters were Miles and Monk, purely because of the intellectual way they spoke and sense of humour. I also found I developed a bit of a soft spot for Hernandez.
Where this story fell over for me was in a couple of ways. The length: at only 302 pages, the story felt densely packed and far, far longer than 302 pages.
The pace: the characters were rushing through from one thing to the next, and one frame to the next so fast it became a little too much and things started to blur. Perhaps a few less scene changes and story plot points would help alleviate the feeling of being rushed.
Nica's character and personality might irritate some readers. I found her mildly annoying at times, but amusing at others.
Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.
One thing I noticed:
3% - blood-?-soaked (not sure why there's a question mark hyphenated between these two words).
*Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Individually these stories range from 1-4 stars, but all together the book just doesn't stand up as a polished piece of work. There are some really great ideas within, but they need some work to make them stand on their own, or even in a collection of short pieces. Some of the ideas really need a lot more room to develop, while others are clearly aimed at the titillation crowd but they just don't mesh well with the rest of the pieces.
I've got some comments on each piece below:
She marries her
Sweet and tender, the blushing brides are a nice read, except the end felt a bit too much for the rest of the piece. If you're going to go with sweet and tender, leave it there. Don't go for too much. There's also a few adverbs and adjectives I'd pull to strengthen the story, but overall a nice story.
Are Angels Allowed to swear?
Interesting premise, nice, albeit swift lead up to and complete sex scene, but reasonable. The story on the whole was more of a glimpse than a whole story.
4 stars (really needs to be longer!!)
Scars of War
What a sad story. The beginning started so peacefully, only to be shattered by war, fighting and death. I feel this one could benefit from being longer to give the reader a better picture of the world and belief system. In the story as it is, only a small glimpse is possible.
Way too short, not enough of anything to really get into.
Wava and Claire
Paranormal vampires and a heap of backstory thrown at the reader. Too short to work well, too much info dumping. Not enough characterisation to really set the tone. Some editing required to smooth the adjectives and adverbs not needed.
There is so much wrong with this story it's not funny. Too much gushing, both characters are experts in bed when they've only just met, they each have way too many orgasms, the intimacy is too much and in general there's just too much of everything. Totally unbelievable and clearly written for the titillation crowd, not those who might want more of a story.
One thing I noticed: '...and slowly start moving my fingers in and out of her quickly.'
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
While the finish of the story on the whole was a little rough around the edges (see things I noticed at the end of the review), the pace was fast enough that the issues didn't detract from the story being told.
Some seriously messed up people in this book, none more so than that creepy little mistress of murder. She's enough to seed nightmares for months.
Horrific in some of its simplicity, Rape Van offers a twisted view into the lives of serial killers. It included some imaginative ideas and sadistic scenes. One wicked little ride that will likely scare the bejesus out of readers and turn stomachs of all but a hardened few gore veterans.
I would have liked more time spent with the victims, it felt a little rushed at times, which detracted from the impact of some of the scenes.
An easy read in one sitting, if you dare.
The first Tim Miller read for me, but it won't be the last.
A few things I noticed:
Pg 9 - ...Why did you do that?" Mar(t)in screamed.
Pg 21 - Mar(t)in had gone completely hysterical...
Pg 56 - ...I'll get in(it) in the oven...
Pg 61 - chapter 6 needs to be on a new page.
Pg 189 - The(y) did pull back some, at least.
My first Shane McKenzie book and while not as disturbing as I was expecting, still enough gore and violence to keep me reading.
I didn't love nor hate this, but I can't really fault it either because it is what it is. Graphic horrific content. I felt a little removed from the action in this, almost as if I were a spectator behind glass. It might have been the character and my inability to relate to him, more than any writing style or technique.
Certainly not for those with weak stomachs or sympathetic vomiters, Fat off sex and violence should intrigue as much as it disturbs with its graphic content and explosive conclusion.
I'm keen to see what else Shane has on offer, this will not be the last of his I read.