Book Review: Suffer the Children by: Craig DiLouie


Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Permuted Press

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: From an acclaimed horror writer, a chilling tale of blood-hungry children who rise from the dead in this innovative spin on apocalyptic vampire fiction.

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod's Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were...but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

Review: One day, all around the world, children succumb to Herod’s Syndrome. Not just the first born children, but all children. When the children reawaken, they’re different…and hungry. The children who returned, those who were not autopsied or cremated, don’t desire cookies or their parents’ hugs. They need blood or they’ll relapse into a death-like state. A single human can only give so much blood, so what’s a parent to do…?

SUFFER THE CHILDREN isn’t a mainstream horror novel. It’s not about blood, guts, and gore – it’s about the people and the degradation of society. The characters are strong written and watching them devolve is painfully real. SUFFER THE CHILDREN is not for the faint of heart. The story is strong, well-developed, and creepy as all get out. Enjoy at your own risk…

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"How do you write?": Guest Post by Jonathan Winn, author of Martuk...the Holy: Proseuche


Publication Date: July 6, 2014

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords

Synopsis: And cradled in her kindness, I dove back into the blood soaked memories of this, my life. 

With those words, the immortal Maruk's tale continues. 

From modern Paris, he speaks of his life in the religious chaos and pagan magic of 3rd century Antioch. Of his friends, a man haunted by grief and regret, and a woman with secrets as thick as the woolen of her constant cloak. Of days marked by the greed of Rome and the ambitions of those driven by dangerous delusion. 

He remembers wandering souls who returned with their own stories to tell. Who shared their own memories of blazing deserts and a darkness with teeth. Of being imprisoned in a myth built by the lies of others. And then Martuk recalls a magic so dark it summons demons from a cloudless sky and rips the sleeping dead from their slumber. 

The past revisited, Martuk ends his tale with a confession. A modern-day betrayal so cruel, the rest of his life everlasting threatens to be one of searing regret and never-ending shame. 

This sequel to Jonathan Winn's Martuk ... the Holy is a tale of stumbling humanity and shocking brutality. Forgiveness and release. Death. Immortality. And the tenuous hope for blessed redemption. 

This is Martuk ... the Holy ... Proseuche.

Author Bio: Screenwriter, playwright, actor, and author of Martuk ... the Holy and The Martuk Series, Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle, WA. He currently lives in the US. Martuk ... the Holy: Proseuche is his second full-length novel.

Guest Post: How do you write?

JK Rowling scribbled Harry on napkins whilst traveling on a train. Anne Rice used to spend her nights, sundown to sun-up, filling page after page with her infamous vampires. And Stephen King?  He's a machine, writing from 9 to 5, week after week. Or something like that. I think a sandwich might be involved at some point. Maybe.

Then there are those who have days where thirty words is cause for celebration. And still others, like me, who go on a writing blitz, cranking out several thousand words Day One and then absolutely zilch Day Two. And even less Day Three.

Regardless how we get there, we all end up with words on a page. We hope.

There are countless ways of doing that. There is no right or wrong. There is no better or best. Or worse or worst. All there is, all there can be, is the telling of your tale.

So, if you need a writing contest to kick your butt into gear, go for it. If you need to light some incense, chant to the heavens, and pray you can eke out a paragraph or two by nightfall, I salute you. If clickety-clacking away at a Starbucks is the way you roll -- Venti Salted Caramel Mocha in hand, iPhone earbuds firmly in place -- well, more power to you.

What am I saying?  It's simple really.

Write. Oh, and read.

Of course! How else will inspiration strike? How else will your creative – competitive? – juices reach a boil if you don’t lose yourself in the work of those who've cracked the code? Who have already hit the heights you’re still striving for? Wrap yourself in what they’re doing right. Recognize it, appreciate it, and then steal it.

Absolutely. Look at how they structure their sentences. How clean their writing is. Or how lush the prose is. Notice the sparing, yet effective, use of adverbs and adjectives. Soak that up. Soak it in. Dive down deep and swim around until you understand, until you totally get, WHY and HOW it's so damn good.

But don't forget you are you. Silly to say, isn't it?  Seriously, though, admit that and give  yourself permission to become the writer you are, mistakes and all. Then write. And for God's sake don't apologize for not being the more successful Them. For not scrawling on a fistful of napkins or not slamming coffee while burning the midnight oil or not clocking in, come rain or come shine, at 9 AM. Don't ever apologize for not rolling out your word count like Them because you're NOT them and you'll never BE them, you know?

Which doesn't mean you won't become someone else's Them. And to do that, you need to write. Which means figuring out the best way TO write. For you. Ignore all those Should Bes and Should Dos and This Works for So-and-Sos. Take a chance. Wander off the reservation. Just write. You're not gonna hit the sweet spot if you don't put fingers to keys or pen to paper. Even if it turns out to be a completely deletable, forgettable mess, keep going until you figure out what works for you. Don't stop. You never know what the key will be that’ll start your writing engine.

It could be something as simple as sitting down, pulling up a blank Word DOC, and typing

How do you write?

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Book Review: Guarding His Heart by: Carolyn Spear


Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Publication Date: January 9, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: On an island where paranormals walk secretly among humans, can Trevor trust his heart and his secret to a human woman? 

School teacher Cassidy Sinclair’s sanity is questioned after claiming to see her hero appear out of thin air. Her savior dies in her arms after intercepting a gunshot meant for her and her student, Allan Branson. The only person who believes her account is the boy’s father who arranges her one-week stay at an exclusive holistic healing spa called the Wiccan Haus off the coast of Maine. 

Trevor Green, a paranormal, is recovering—again—from gunshot wounds at Wiccan Haus. His body battered and his confidence broken, he is tasked to protect the woman he almost got killed. The one he’s fantasized about for months and who thinks he’s dead.

Series: Wiccan Haus Series

Review: Cassidy Sinclair saw the bodyguard of her student, Allan, killed in front of her after he appeared out of nowhere and she hasn’t been dealing with the psychological aftermath well. Allan’s father has sent Cassidy to the Wiccan Haus to heal her emotional wounds. Trevor Green, Allan’s bodyguard, isn’t dead but injured and is also at Wiccan Haus for healing. Now he’s been asked to be Cassie’s bodyguard, but he doesn’t know if he can – she’s the object of his fantasies and, more importantly, she thinks he’s dead. Will Cassie be able to accept the truth about Trevor and can they find love? GUARDING HIS HEART is not your standard Wiccan Haus novel. While there are paranormal elements, this is more of your standard romance novel. Trevor’s species is very secretive, but he’ll come clean just for Cassie. The characters are engaging, as is the story, with a beautiful HEA. Those who love the Wiccan Haus series will enjoy GUARDING HIS HEART!

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Book Feature: The Healer by: C.J. Anaya


Publisher: Beau Coup Publishing

Publication Date: May 31, 2014 

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Hope longs for a normal teenage life, but with a gift like hers, normal equals healing illnesses and injuries instantly. Keeping a secret like that isn’t easy, especially when two handsome, young men move into town and begin unearthing other secrets concerning Hope’s future and past, revealing to Hope that her gift may be the fulfillment of a prophecy gone wrong.

Excerpt: I knelt down in front of him and raised a tissue toward his face. In a flash he had me by my wrist.

“What are you doing?” His suspicion of me made me want to laugh. It was so ironic.

“I’m cleaning the blood off your face. Believe me, it needs to be done.”

“It hurts too much for you to touch it.” He released my wrist.

“You’ll survive.”

I reached my hand up to his face and slowly began to wipe the blood from his chin and then his lips. I cupped the side of his face in my other hand to keep his head steady.

“Alone at last,” he whispered.

“Was it everything you hoped it would be?”

“It will be.”

Tie reached out and brushed a strand of hair away from my face. The light contact on my cheek gave me goose bumps.

“You could do it, you know.”

“Do what?”

“You could heal me.” He said it without any hesitation.

I stopped wiping the blood from his face and gave him a steady look. His gaze never wavered, and this time there was no smug little smile to contend with, just a very unfamiliar expression of sincerity.

My face was only a few inches from his, but I couldn’t work up the energy to put more distance between us. His confidence and knowledge about my gift made me feel nervous and happy all at the same time.

I wanted to pour out my heart to him and tell him everything I was capable of. I wanted to show him what I could do. I wanted to heal him.

Then I remembered who he was and why he was here. If I healed him there would be no going back.

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Book Review: Lifebound by: Leigh Daley


Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Publication Date: February 20, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: A fine line divides ecstasy and death; they are about to cross it.

Lamia Adriana Velen doesn’t want another host. She has come to Wiccan Haus to learn to balance her energies without draining the life of a human. However, when extreme skateboarder Josh Trenton comes near, his energy practically leaps into her. Josh just wants space to recover from an accident that could end his career, but one touch from Adriana threatens to enslave him---body and soul. Can they walk the fine line between ecstasy and death, or will she consume him, utterly?

Series: Wiccan Haus Series

Review: Adriana Velen is a lamia (think of a cross between a muse and psychic vampire) whose host recently died. Josh Trenton is an extreme skateboarder who had a terrible accident, severely breaking his leg. They are both at Wiccan Haus because they are each in need of healing. When Josh sees Adriana, he’s magnetically drawn to her regardless of the consequences. Adriana is also attracted to Josh – and the high levels of energy he carries. With everyone at Wiccan Haus trying to keep them apart for Josh’s safety, he’s willing to risk it all to be with the woman who has captivated his soul. LIFEBOUND is, to me, one of the ‘light’ books in the Wiccan Haus series. The characters were good, but not my favorites out of all those introduced in the series. I was a fan of the creative ending leading to a HEA. Still, LIFEBOUND is a good addition to the Wiccan Haus series.

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