Release Blitz Tribes of Decay

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About the Book

Picture1Title: Tribes of Decay

Author: Michael W. Garza

Genre: Horror / Zombie Apocalypse

Our world decayed and a new world arose from the ashes of the old.

The remains of the human race cling to life decades after a decimating global plague. The infected hunt the living as the dead roam abandoned streets craving the taste of flesh. Mia and Rowan hoped to carve out a life for themselves in an apocalyptic wasteland, but fate had other plans. They’re forced to leave behind the relative safety of their home after a chance encounter challenges everything they’ve ever known.

Evolution always finds a way…

 

Author Bio

2378359Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes that everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.

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Book Review: The Girl from the Well

18509623Title: The Girl From The Well

Author: Rin Chupeco

Genre: Young Adult, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

The Girl from the Well has been on my wishlist for over a year. Figuring out I’d never get my hands on it if I didn’t help destiny a little, I finally purchased it from Amazon a few weeks ago. From the mmoent it arrived in my mailbox, I finished it in a few days. The story is just so good, the characters so intriguing, and the use of Japanese folklore and legends gives it an unique, creepy vibe.

I’m a huge horror buff, but Japanese horror is usually so creepy I can’t always stomach it. But reading about it? Sure thing.

Okiku is a centuries’ old spirit. After getting murdered, she’s determined to find child murderers and punish them, and setting the children’s spirits free. But then she sees Tarquin, Tark as his family calls him, a fifteen-year-old boy covered in strange tattoos. Okiku senses another presence lingering near Tarquin, and it’s not a benevolent one. The tattoos are strange and eerie, and everyone seems to avoid the boy. Okiku’s interest is triggered, and she starts following him.

The best parts of the book were the ones focusing on Japanese culture, and the ones actually happening in Japan. I loved reading about the country, the ancient legends, the mikos and how they perform exorcisms, and so on. The book is creepy (what did you expect), but it’s also original, has great writing, and is overall, a very enjoyable book, and certainly different from most other YA horror books.

If you’re in the mood for some genuinely creepy horror, I recommend this book. I already ordered the sequel.

Book Review Dora’s Jinx

Dora's Jinx EBTitle: Dora’s Jinx
Author: Boom Baumgartner
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Dora Behn might as well have been born invisible. She could wear bright colors and dance the Macarena in the middle of class without so much as a glance. It’s not that she’s antisocial, just no one other than her family seems to even notice she’s there. This would naturally put a damper on her romantic life… If she had one to begin with.
Everything changes on her sixteenth birthday when a talking cat appears and tells her she is a witch. For Dora, nothing could be worse. No one dated crazy cat ladies!
Things go from bad to worse when the other witches’ familiars go missing, including her aunt’s. Dora’s magic may be the only thing that can prevent the total destruction of the sleepy town of Kinderhook. But to save her friends and family, Dora must learn to embrace who and what she is. She just needs to figure out what that means.

In Dora’s Jinx, Dora figures she might’ve been invisible, considering no one else but her family even notices she exists. But on her sixteenth birthday, as if being ignored by just about everyohne isn’t bad enough, she meets a talking cat who tells her she’s a witch. Goodbye normal life, forever. As if she’s not on a rollercoaster of bad luck already, the other witches’ familiars go missing, and Dora’s magic is the only thing that can save down from destruction. But if Dora wants to save the day, she’ll have to accept herself for who she is.

A lovely, fun tale of a girl looking for her true self, and coming to terms who she really is. I loved the magical elements, and how it combined the more traditional view on witches from fairytales and folklore with modern elements. A quick read, too, and fast-paced. Would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy.

Cover Reveal Blitz Timeshaft

timeshaftcoverreveal

Booktrope are shortly publishing a revised edition of Stewart Bint’s time travel novel, Timeshaft…and here’s a sneak preview of the dazzling new cover created by Booktrope designer Troy Johnson.

Originally published on Smashwords in 2013, the new edition features a new beginning and ending, along with a number of new scenes.

About the Book

9781513706887_cover FRONT

Title: Timeshaft

Author: Stewart Bint

Genre: Time Travel

By the twenty-seventh century, mankind has finally mastered time travel—and is driving recklessly towards wiping itself out. The guerilla environmentalist group WorldSave, with its chief operative Ashday’s Child, uses the Timeshaft to correct mistakes of the past in an effort to extend the life of the planet.

But the enigmatic Ashday’s Child has his own destiny to accomplish, and will do whatever it takes within a complicated web of paradoxes to do so. While his destiny—and very existence—is challenged from the beginning to the end of time, he must collect the key players through the ages to create the very Timeshaft itself.

“Do our actions as time travellers change what would otherwise have happened, or is everything already laid down in a predetermined plan?” he asks. Stewart Bint’s Timeshaft is an expertly synchronized saga of time travel, the irresistible force of destiny, and the responsibility of mankind as rulers of the world.

Author Bio

Stewart Bint author picStewart Bint is a novelist, magazine columnist and PR writer. He lives with his wife, Sue, in Leicestershire, in the UK, and has two grown-up children, Christopher and Charlotte.

He is a former radio presenter, newsreader and phone-in show host, but always wanted to become a fiction writer — a dream that came true when his first novel was published in 2012 at the age of 56. Now the author of five novels, a collection of short stories and a compilation of his early magazine columns, he was signed by Booktrope in 2015, who published a revised edition of his paranormal novel, In Shadows Waiting, in August.

They are publishing a revised and re-edited edition of Timeshaft shortly.

As a member of a local barefoot hiking group, when not writing he can often be found hiking in bare feet on woodland trails and urban streets.

Stewart Bint online:

Website and blog: http://stewartbintauthor.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StewartBintAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorsjb

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Interview Guns, Gods and Robots

Today I’m interviewing Brady Koch, author of “Guns, Gods and Robots”. Welcome!

Author Interview

Guns_gods_and_robots_v32 smallestHow long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction for about three years now. I’ve dabbled in it here and there before that time, but never to the point where I thought I’ve had anything complete enough to share.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I love what I’d call classic Americana science fiction: robots, trips to nearby planets and the apocalypse. What can I say? I’m nostalgic for Twilight Zone style stories.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I love nonfiction books, but can’t quite determine a good subject to tackle. I like the Mary Roach style of nonfiction book that’s a blend of journalism, research and first hand storytelling. Perhaps I can find something fun to tackle over the next year.

Please tell us about your book.

Guns, Gods & Robots is my first collection of sci-fi short stories and novellas. The diverse concepts may be unusual or disturbing but at the center of each story is a very human character faced with a set of really difficult decisions. As much fun as it was to write about automatons and living in a bunker, I really enjoyed trying to give these flawed characters some real emotions.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

My favorite in this collection is Cid’s wife Bess. Cid is trying to troubleshoot a very corrupted robot and not getting anywhere for his efforts. While he’s racking his brain though the majority of the story, she’s calm and collected and true to her beliefs. These kinds of steadfast characters may seem one dimensional, but I really like how she turned out and is the kind of person I’d like to have in my circle of friends.

My least favorite was Clint in Popular Mechanics for Young Widows. The first draft was much longer and I even shared it on Noisetrade. Reading it again, Clint came off as too villainous. Almost like he was twirling his moustache the entire time. I took the novella down from all stores and drastically reworked it. Clint was overhauled and his actions and intentions are more nuanced than previously. His actions are greyer than in the first draft, and I’m happier for it. Life is rarely black and white.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I tend to write long then cut the stories down to the bone. This obviously results in a shorter story, but I like how condensed they are. Think of these as a collection of bonsai trees.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I typically write on the morning train to work and edit on the train back home. If I’m on a tear, I’ll write both ways then edit late at night after the family is asleep. The only thing I absolutely need to write is a seat on the train. It’s the worst when you board the train with a head full of ideas and discover it’s standing room only and

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

This book took about two years. There were quite a few stories I wrote that didn’t make the cut for the final seven. Some I’ve published on my site and others I might revisit in a year when I’m assembling a new themed collection.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

My wife is my main editor. She’s incredibly direct with her feedback and it’s quite a help. My stories are the stronger for it.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Not a series per say, but there are shared worlds that these stories belong in. Numbers 16:32 and Timothy both have shared elements. I’m already outlining a novel that exists in the world of one of these tales.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Be brave and share your work with strangers. Try out a local writers group or a site like OpenBooks.com or Noisetrade.com. I talk to a lot of hobby writers, that never take their manuscripts public even through the book has been 99% done for years. Don’t wait for perfection.

Why should everyone read your book?

I would say that each of these stories is based on my own fears under the guise of science fiction. The characters make as many bad decisions as good ones, and I like hearing from readers who share with me what choices they would have made in similar circumstances. I remember one of my more detailed reader letters dissecting Valerie’s actions in Popular Mechanics for Young Widows. She honestly read more into the characters motivations than I’d intended, but it was still one of the best feelings in my life to get to initiate this long conversation through one of my stories. I invite all my readers to do the same.

This book is for the non-sci-fi reader as much as the fans of the genre. I typically get “I don’t like reading this kind of book, but this really kept my interest.”

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

. . I always worry about meeting an idol and them not living up to my idea of them in my head. With that warning, I’d love to meet/have met Kurt Vonnegut, Brian K. Vaughn, and Bill Bryson.

What inspired you to write your book?

I always like daydreaming and thought it would be fin to see if I could write formalize some of the stories that would roll through my hear. I started writing purely as a challenge to myself. I wanted to see if I could follow through with it and then self-publish. It’s feels freeing when the story is done and out of your head. Like checking something off of a list.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m writing a quartet of novellas that all take place in the same high concept universe. Without too much away it’s about dreaming, blue-collar workers and hunting a serial killer who may not actually be serial killing.

About the Book

Guns: A girl’s birthday wish comes true when she gets to spend an afternoon on manhunt with her lawman father.
Gods: An old man discovers his crops aren’t the only dead things on his farm.
Robots: A heartless machine built for compassion malfunctions, leading its engineer on a hunt to fix the corruption before it spreads.
In Guns, Gods & Robots, Brady Koch, mixes and remixes three themes across this collection of stories and novellas that spans the range of science fiction and horror. The stories, collected here for the first time, range from the uplifting to the horrifying. Sure to spark your imagination, the seven stories in Guns, Gods & Robots will also keep you up at night.
ENJOY. 

If interested in reviewing, I am more than happy to provide the book in the eReader format of your choice. If there’s another way to send this to you let me know and I can accommodate.

If short story and novella collections are outside of your scope of review, but you are still able to support my work as an independent writer, I’m more than happy to participate in an interview for your blog. Please let me know if you are interested.

Guns, Gods & Robots Launch Press Release:  http://www.bradykoch.com/p/press-releases.html

About Me

Brady Koch lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife and children. Feel free to read over Brady’s shoulder if you see him working on a new novel or short story at the coffee shop, library, or commuter train into NYC. Despite his penchant for crime, horror, and the unusual in his writing, he’s actually a nice guy and welcomes your feedback. Brady Koch’s first collection of short works, Guns, Gods & Robots, is now available.

Website: www.BradyKoch.com

Twitter: @BradyTheWriter

Guns, Gods & Robots on Amazon

Book Review: Blood Gold Revenge by Dave Wright

9781742845708_cover18112015-200x300Title: Blood Gold Revenge

Author: Dave Wright

Genre: Thriller

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

“A lot of things have happened up this way over the years. There’s got to be at least six missing person’s that I have heard of.”

There is gold in the vastness of the Australian outback, and a special breed of men who prospect for it. Tim is bush-hardened and skilled; the love for this harsh country comes naturally. His prospecting partner John shares Tim’s love of the freedom, but times have changed. A new breed of prospector has reason to appreciate the desolate isolation of the bush — but it is not gold he is after. The country’s biggest meth lab is doing well, and its owner, Mr C. does not appreciate passers-by.

The cattle on the Hatchet River Station homestead have not been mustered for the past ten years. The brutish Maxine, her husband Scrubber, and her brother Price have agreed to run interference for Mr C.; after all, they have always enjoyed killing the odd lone prospector when they had the chance.

But they make a mistake, and the solitary prospector they pick off one day was not alone as they thought. There are witnesses to the crime this time, and they want justice for their friend. Tired of the Hatchet River trio’s murdering ways, intimidation and threats, and suspecting local police corruption, Tim, Jack and Sam call in the state authorities.

A massive search begins; the hunters become the hunted, the innocent pay for the crimes of the guilty and the good guys don’t always win. But the net does tighten. The well-camouflaged drug lab explode in flames and the blood of many, good and bad, soak into the parched land in a spectacular finale. It is not the authorities who bring justice to Hatchet River, however, but a band of indomitable bushies, who have never learned to say die.

In Blood Gold Revenge, we meet with a bunch of gold diggers literally looking for gold in the vastness of the Australian outback. Maxine and Scrubber, a husband-and-wife hit team, along with Maxine’s brother Price, run interference for Mr. C, who has the biggest meth lab in the country. They often kill lone passers-by. But when a prospector gets murdered, and it turns out he wasn’t as alone as Maxine and her gang thought, you end up in a fast-paced thriller that races on until the end. With the state police called in, those who once hunted…have now become a prey.

It was a thrilling ride of a book, and had a lot of twists I ddin’t expect. The characters were well-rounded and some of the action was down-right spectacular. Would recommend to everyone who enjoys thrillers.

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

waiting_on_wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerley anticipating. These can be debut novels, sequels, eBooks,…as long as they aren’t released yet.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Waiting on Wednesday‘ posts.

I’m waiting for…

Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Add on Goodreads.

I enjoyed the Paranormalcy series, so I’m looking forward to reading this new book by Kiersten White.

Book Review: Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

25517205Title: Beside Myself

Author: Ann Morgan

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: DNF

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex.

Beside Myself is my first DNF in… probably forever. Usually I struggle through a book, no matter what, and I keep on going. But here, I just couldn’t. Several things worked against this book, and I’ll list them all below. I did read the ending just to see where it would lead (I had half-expected that end) but I quit after fifty pages.

Let’s start with the good. The plot is unique, and original. Two twin sisters, one the leader, the other the follower, and they switch positions. Helen becomes Ellie and Ellie becomes Helen. Except when the joke is over, Ellie doesn’t want to switch back, and Helen is stuck taking on the role of Ellie, who everyone laughs at, who is slow, who Mom is always angry at. With Mom’s new boyfriend coming into play, things don’t get easier for Helen either, and no one seems to have a clue that they switched places. Even when she tells them, no one believes her.

The book alternates between present and past. In the past, we see Helen and Ellie as they grow up. In the present, Smudge, as Helen has started calling herself, lives the life of an addict. Everything she knows has fallen apart. Meanwhile, Ellie – posing as Helen – has become quite famous.

A lot of people loved this book, and I understand why. The plot is unique, and the author’s writing is descriptive and lyrical. It’s just not for me.

On to the bad. First of all, the writing style. I’ve seen descriptions that run several paragraphs long in this book and before I figured out what the author was trying to say, I was almost a page further. It’s page after page filled with these descriptions that are beautiful writing but significantly slow down the narrative. I had to skim pages just to find the plot, it was hidden under so many descriptions.

Next up, the story. It annoyed me to no end. I had to stop reading primarily because of this – my heart beat was going way too high, and I was ready to pull my hair out. I was so annoyed at EVERYONE in this book. At the mother figure in particular. How can you not tell your own children apart? And then, with that ending, I hated her even more. I was annoyed with the way everyone treated Ellie and later Helen. If a child, part of a twin set you can’t keep apart, keeps saying she’s not the twin you think they are, then someone, at least one adult, will grow concerned. It would be so easy to fix this! Blood testing. DNA. Handprints. Or if Ellie is really so slow as the book wants us to believe, have them both do a test and see how the scores work – in that scenario, Helen would’ve done a lot better than Ellie.

Poor Helen. I felt so sorry for her. She was so helpeless, and this annoyed me so much. I was going to freak out if I kept on reading, because the scenario made no sense. Not even Helen’s friends recognize her? Some friends they are. It’s very hard to believe no one will figure it out.

Also, a thriller? I don’t really see any thriller aspects in the book. It’s mostly about mental health, and Helen’s struggle.

Ultimately, a lot of people liked this book (just check the Goodreads reviews, lost of 4 and 5 stars) but I couldn’t finish it. It annoyed me too much, and I don’t want to waste my time reading a book that annoys me to no end.

Teaser Tuesdays (35)

Teaser-Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. In this meme, we grab our current read, open it to a random page and share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page with our readers.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Teaser Tuesdays‘ posts.

Here is my teaser:

“Do you really think he’s involved?”

“He’s got a motive for Chloe Jenkins. I’ll be interested to see where he was last night.”

~ p. 192, The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

What’s your teaser for this week?

Book Review: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden

25476259Title: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden

Author: Brandy Purdy

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 2 stars

PurchaseAmazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime. Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters. Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes… Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden is one of dozens of books based on Lizzie Borden, the infamous axe murderess (or alleged axe murderess) who supposedly snapped one day and killed her stepmother and father in a most gruesome fashion. Lizzie was eventually acquitted of the crime by a jury. The story is almost as famous as the history of Jack the Ripper, so I’m sure you’ve all heard the tale.

In this book, the author dives into Lizzie’s life (fictional, of course) and tries to establish a different kind of Lizzie, one who travelled the world, felt locked in a cage when at home, had a frugal father who denied her frivolities like new dresses and such, had a terrible love life, and eventually murdered her stepmother and father.

The story is an okay one, although it drags on a bit in the middle after the supposed climax (the murders) has happened, and then you still have over a hundred pages to go. It makes sense, because Lizzie’s life naturally didn’t end up with the murder of her parents, she lived on for many years after that. But as a reader, you’re most interested in the build up toward the murder – what made her do it? what were her thoughts? – and everything after that isn’t all that interesting anymore.

The writing was all right, although a bit quaint, a bit flowery and wordy. The plot was pretty decent too. We see Lizzie go on a trip to Europe, we see her falling in love and then being denied said love, and so on.

My major problem with the book, however, is Lizzie.

Here, Lizzie is portrayed as a child. She may be thirty or forty years old during some chapters, but she’s still portrayed as a child, looking for love, doing everything she can to find it. She acts very childish when she doesn’t get what she want, she’s so naive that at times I wanted to slap her and basically she holds nothing of the allure, charm, or just general complexity you’d expect from Lizzie Borden – or just from about any person.

Lizzie annoyed me so much that I couldn’t enjoy the book because of that. She didn’t seem realistic at all, more like a child stuck in an adult’s body.