Book Review: Caligation by Brhi Stokes

book review banner copy

35518379._SY475_

A city of the bizarre and the unfamiliar, inhabited by monstrous beasts and people with unnatural gifts. A city of tall glass spires mingling with old gothic architecture, where wild animals roam alongside the populace.

This is where Ripley Mason finds himself.

University dropout, casual drinker, and newly fledged hitchhiker, Ripley is tired of the daily grind of study, drink, repeat. Only halfway done with a degree he never chose, Ripley heads north to see if life won’t throw him something less monotonous.

Early into his journey, Ripley suffers a brutal car accident and awakens in a rundown hospital. Nervous, he ventures into dark, unfamiliar streets and comes face to face with horrific beasts. Thrown into a world of supernatural fantasy, Ripley fights to discover where he is, how he came to be here and, most importantly, if he can even get home.

All he knows of this place is a single word: C A L I G A T I O N

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Caligation


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

When university dropout Ripley hitches a ride, he is involved in a serious car accident. Upon waking in hospital he finds that he has somehow been transported to the city Caligation. A city filled with supernatural beings and a reality that Ripley does not believe can be real. As he navigates his new surroundings, Ripley finds himself reluctantly drawn into a world that he is trying to leave.

Caligation is an extremely imaginative and clever urban fantasy novel.  The author creates a dark and complex world full of shifters, vampires and other supernatural beings. The characters are paired with an animal that they can talk with telepathically and I very much enjoyed the banter that Ripley had with his owl, Athena. Each different supernatural species has their own politics and agendas, and Ripley finds himself put in the middle of all of this as he is trying to find his way home. I really liked the character of Ripley. He’s not a bad person, but he never set himself up to be a hero either. He does his best with the situations that he finds himself in.

The writing style is quite heavy and I had to read it in smaller chunks so not to miss what was happening. Whilst the style suited the novel and the tone perfectly, it was something that I did struggle with at times, but not enough that it detracted anything from my enjoyment of the novel.

I enjoyed reading Caligation, and whilst I had my ideas about what the place really was for Ripley, I never saw the end coming.

Book Review: Only Love is Deathless by Sita Bethel

book review banner copy

53487871._SY475_

Sreka’s younger brother, Dobrina, is in love. The only problem is that the law forbids him from courting until Sreka is married. Sreka hires the local adventurer, Košmar, to marry him so Dobrina can wed his love.

Even if he has to sleep on the couch, instead of with the crown prince on their farce wedding bed, Košmar will get to live like a king for a year. And once Dobrina is married, Sreka will quietly divorce him and send him on his way with gold for his services.

Nothing says destined romance like a battle with a dragon, so Sreka and Košmar stage their first public encounter to fool the royal court. However, as fate would have it, the dragon that was supposed to be as fake as their love is real.

Pre-order Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Only Love is Deathless


Review

*I received an advance copy for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

Sreka’s younger brother is in love. The only trouble is that as heir to the throne, Sreka must marry first before Dobrina can wed. So Sreka hires Košmar, the son of a famed adventurer, to become his husband for a year. For Košmar it is a pretty good deal. He gets to live in luxury for a year and then paid handsomely at the end of it.  In order to stage the perfect meeting to fool the court and his family, Sreka decided to ‘rescue’ Košmar from a dragon. Unfortunately the ‘fake’ dragon turns out to be real.

I really enjoyed reading Only Love is Deathless. It’s a fun and imaginative fantasy adventure set against a different backdrop and meeting for the two heroes. When I first started reading it, I was expecting it to focus primarily on the growing attachment between Sreka and Košmar, and I was delighted that it evolved into much more too. The two of them not only realise that they are developing genuine feelings for each other, but they must embark on a mission to save the entire kingdom.

Only Love is Deathless is a really great fantasy story filled with mythical creatures, dark magic and romance!

Book Review: The Dreamer by Travis McBee

book review banner copy

30238109._SY475_

Oak Grove, Georgia
It’s a tiny mountain town where nothing ever seemed to happen.

Until dreams began to come true. Dreams that could more aptly be called nightmares. Monsters, wild animals, nefarious traps, anything is possible. No one is safe. The only thing they have in common is a teenage girl, Natalie Mullin, who dreams about each new horror as they happen. But why does she dream of them? And can she stop them before she dreams of everyone she loves?

For when she lays her head to rest, it’s your life that’s put to the test.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Dreamer


Review

*I received a copy for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

A series of strange incidents and unexplained deaths have a small town’s police department baffled. Unable to explain what is going on, they struggle to find a rational explanation or solve each case. The only thing that the events all have in common is that a teenage girl claims to have dreamed about them before they happened.  At first Natalie Mullin discounts her strange and disturbing dreams. However when she realises that they are a foreshadowing of events, she desperately searches for answers and a way to stop them before it’s too late for everyone whom she cares about.

The Dreamer is a really suspenseful and page-turning horror novel. Rather than focusing primarily on one character’s point of view, you see events through the eyes of victims and protagonists. The author took their time to develop each character and I really enjoyed the dark humour added in, which gave even more life to each personality.

I enjoyed how the events unfolded slowly with the right amount of building up to the finale. I thought I knew what direction it would take, but I was proved wrong in the last act. The ending caught me by surprise and left me with that feeling that I sometimes get in cinema after watching a really good horror film. Slightly shocked and unnerved, but in a good way.

I definitely recommend The Dreamer to horror fans.

Book Review: Stalked by the Zozo Demon: Real Life Paranormal Experiment by Celina Summers

book review banner copy

36222169._SY475_

During the summer of 2017, LiveSciFi paranormal investigator Tim Wood and author Celina Summers conducted a real-life experiment where Wood contacted the demon known as Zozo every night for a month. Wood believed Zozo was a demon; Summers believed Zozo was a myth. The Zozo experiment was to be the first paranormal experiment live streamed to thousands of witnesses. Its purpose? To determine the validity of the Zozo entity once and for all.

But the experiment didn’t end. Demonic influence pursued both researchers through their subsequent investigations…and their daily lives. As the activity heated up, the questions grew more difficult to answer. Was there really an entity named Zozo? Or was Zozo a smokescreen for something more sinister? At the end of the day, they had to confront the most terrifying question of all: were they stalking the Zozo demon? Or was Zozo stalking them?

The Zozo experiment is not your normal paranormal.

Purchase Link: To be advised

Goodreads: Stalked by the Zozo Demon


Review

*I received a copy for free for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

I was drawn to this book because it is very different from the books that I normally read. I’ve always had a fascination with the paranormal and occult, so for me I was really interested to see how the experiment worked out and the conclusions that it would bring.

The style of writing is light considering the material, which is a good thing as if it was too heavy it would have struggled to keep my interest. It is told from the author’s point of view and through her you get a good idea of the personality of the investigator. The subject of the Zozo demon is controversial. From reading the book, and my own experiences and knowledge, I believe that they certainly summoned something of a sinister nature and that it enjoyed playing games with them.

The book slowly builds on tension. The presence of the demon increases as the experiment continues. Both the investigator and author begin to feel its impact even outside of the sessions. There was no conclusive conclusion as to what it was that they were communicating with, but this is not a criticism as due to the subject matter I believe there are things that we will never fully explain. Stalked by the Zozo Demon does do a great job of trying to shed some light on the entity and provides its own conclusions and theories. I think it would make an excellent film too!

Book Review: You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy and J.C. Michael

book review banner copy

35777913

What would you do if someone demanded you write the best story of your life, to be judged online? That your life depended on it. Four well-known authors receive an email telling them they are responsible for a suicide. Their antagonist makes it clear she is out for revenge and they have no option but to comply. Their task is to post the best story they can imagine online and await judgement. Filled with guilt, anxiety, and even a few murderous tendencies, each writer weaves their tale and hopes for the best. It’ll be the competition of their lives. Who’s story will win? Will anyone survive?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: You Only Get One Shot


Review

*I received a copy for free for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

When four authors receive an anonymous email claiming that they are responsible for a suicide, the sender demands that they post their best story online for judgement. The prize? The winner will get their life.

You Only Get One Shot is a clever and thrilling read. Each part is broken down into chapters from each other’s point of view and then their stories. The stories and characters are all very different and well-developed, making them each credible and deserving winners.

Once the stories are posted the waiting game begins and I did not see the ending coming at all. Staying true to the horror genre, there is an unexpected and gruesome finale and the final twist at the end is brilliant. Well worth a read!

Book Review: Lament of the Fallen (Hero of Darkness #2) by Andy Peloquin

book review banner copy

30973111._SX318_

Can a killer escape the evil inside him?

The Hunter has fled his home and the suffering left in his wake. Hoping to cleanse the stain of blood on his hands, he aids travelers beset by bandits only to discover those he saved are warrior clerics on a holy mission to kill him.

Left for dead, he must hunt down the priests to reclaim his stolen birthright and silence the relentless whispers in his mind that hunger for blood and death.

From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter journeys toward the truth about his forgotten past and the demons he pledged to hunt. But will his discoveries be his salvation, or will they cost him his sanity and even his life?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Lament of the Fallen


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

In the second instalment of the Hero of Darkness series, the Hunter sets out on a quest to discover the secrets of his own past. Along the way he again faces adversity from those he meets, as well as his own internal struggle with the demons that threaten to consume him.

I really enjoyed reading the second novel in this series. It is more focused on the character of the Hunter and his personal struggles. Delving into his mind, you learn more about his motivations and also how he fights against his own destiny as an assassin. Through the people that he meets on the road, you learn how the Hunter really craves companionship and acceptance although forced to hide the true nature of what he really is for fear of attack or rejection. These fears are often proved founded however there is also hope for him that he can forge some relationships with those open and willing to look beyond and see the man that he truly wants to be.

His internal struggle makes for some compelling reading and you really get a sense of who wants to be. Even in his darkest moments, you can really feel for the man fighting the demon and this invokes an empathy that on a less well developed character you might feel does not deserve it.

The Hunter’s path inevitably leads to conflict and his compassion at the end of the novel fits in well with who he has developed into as a person.The world-building is as rich and vivid as the previous novel, as is the description. The fight scenes are realistic and as brutal as they need to be, contrasting against the Hunter’s reluctance to engage in the violence that he is forced into.

This a really great, character-driven story and I am very much looking forward to finding out the secrets of the Hunter’s past in further novels in this series.

Release Blitz and Review: Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Handsome Death

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Carnation Books

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Genre/s: Paranormal M/M romance, contemporary M/M romance

Trope/s: Vampires, bondage, hurt/comfort, age gap

Themes: explicit sex, past abuse, dark, immortal, graphic violence, stalking

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

I’m not hunting him; I’m protecting him.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I’m the perfect vampire to watch his back.

But what if keeping him safe isn’t enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?

I need him. But I’ve never needed anyone.

In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.

That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters– and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.

Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.

Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to… well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too…

*This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.*

Continue reading

New Release Blitz and Review: Jeopardy in Tights by K. Childs

Title: Jeopardy in Tights

Series: Men of the Pantheon, Book One

Author: K. Childs

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 9, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 42600

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, alternate universe, super heroes, super powers, bodyguard, businessman, interracial, second chances

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Down on his luck ex-security meets CEO looking for special bodyguard. Fine print: hazardous working conditions.

Errol Mason got fired from his last job and put on a blacklist for a good reason. Now, scraping the bottom of the barrel and desperate for any job, he finally lands an interview with Stardust Global.

Errol’s interviewer, company CEO Nathan Parkes, has a secret, one that might get Errol killed. All Nate wants is a meatshield while he goes on a one-man crusade against a bunch of psycho cultists and tries to rescue his missing stepmother. Errol is the meatshield in this equation.

Things start pear-shaped and only get worse from there. Between military small-arms fire, freeway fisticuffs, and escaping the cult’s secret bases, the duo quickly forms a bond of trust and lust.

Continue reading

Review: The Life Siphon (The Life Siphon #1) by Kathryn Sommerlot

book review banner copy

45446933._SY475_

The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Life Siphon


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

When circumstances and rash decisions uproot Tatsu from his self-imposed isolation he finds himself with a choice; agree to the terms of the Queen and save the Kingdom or face life imprisonment for his crime. All chosen for their different skillsets, friends and strangers must work together to travel through dangerous lands in order to steal the Life Siphon that is threatening their world.

The Life Siphon is the first novel of the duology. I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing and how the events flowed together in a way that kept me fully engaged and not wanting to put the book down. Tatsu is a reluctant and unlikely hero whose standoffish mannerisms pick at the nerves of his companions to begin with. However as the truth around the Life Siphon and the personal implications for Tatsu reveal themselves, he finds something to fight for. I think it was this aspect of the novel that I enjoyed the most. Tatsu is a reluctant and unlikely hero and I look forward to seeing how his character and story develops further in the second novel.

Blog Tour and Review – Hathonatum by Taylin Clavelli

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Publisher: MLR Press

Genre/s: Science Fiction, Contemporary M/M, Interracial (Alien/Human), Inter-dimensional, Reincarnation. Multi-Verse, Historical elements.

Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames

Length: 89 000 words

The story can be read as a standalone. It is the first book in the Pelethus Series. The next book involves different main characters that are connected to those in Hathonatum.

Buy Links

Publisher: MLR Press | Smashwords

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

Blurb

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost.

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

Continue reading