Archives for posts with tag: Horror fiction

Hi all:

As you know it’s been Easter and again I managed to catch up with some reading and I bring you the reviews of two books I’ve finished reading very recently. Both are by female authors I know (at least in the social media dimension) and in both cases I’d read a previous work by the author and really enjoyed it. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed this time either.

Please, check the books out. They’re both fabulous. If you prefer horror, I recommend Regina’s book; if you love imagination, fairy tales and unusual stories, read Mary’s. Actually, read both. You’ll thank me for it.

I’ve also had time (I’m afraid) to experiment with videos, so I leave you a link to a video where I talk about my novel The Man Who Never Was. Come on, you know you want to watch it!

And don’t forget to click on the links!

Regina's tales of horror

Regina Puckett’s Short Tales of Horror

I can start by saying I loved this book. I love horror movies and I love to read horror novels and stories, so this one was right up my alley. The stories are different enough to suit most tastes, from monsters, to ghosts, from slashers to dolls (clowns even, horror of horror!). After reading `Mine‘ that I found scary and unsettling, I knew I was in for a good ride. I know from Ms. Puckett (I follow her on Twitter and she’s a great follow) that she has now written and published the continuation, `Ours‘ and I’m looking forward to it. As I’ve said the stories are varied but I noticed that many have female protagonists (might be perpetrators and/or victims) and men tend to suffer sometimes the female rage, sometimes pay the price for not taking women’s concerns seriously. Some of the stories are pure horror in the best tradition (like `Mine’ or `Inheritance‘), but others like `Pieces‘ are horrific and tragic whilst touching on really serious issues (domestic violence). And what about `Will Work for Food‘ and its dark (humorous?) comment on the crisis? I won’t talk about the stories in detail as I don’t want to spoil the surprises but can thoroughly recommend the book to everybody who likes horror and does not scare easy (unless you like to be scared, of course!). I have read one of the author’s romances and also really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to her new works. And the ones I haven’t read yet.

http://www.amazon.com/Regina-Pucketts-Short-Horror-ebook/dp/B0097H1QZ0/

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Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story by Mary Meddlemore

All power to stories and imagination

‘Forever After’ is ‘a dimensional love story’ as the title indicates. It does not fit in well with any standard genres. It has romance, but a very special kind, it has fantasy (and even dragons, but that’s in the story within the story), has an ecological theme, is a fairy tale, a parable…More than anything, ‘Forever After’ is a triumph of imagination.

Mary Meddlemore is the name of the main character in the novel, and that proves how powerful a grip over the author’s imagination she obtained, that she insisted on writing the story herself. There is a story dimension in the novel, and a reality dimension, and we discover that although Mary lives in the reality dimension (the reality of the novel) she belongs in the story dimension. The fact that she has a little lamb (love Miss Lamb) and that neither she nor her lamb ever grow older should have been a clue. As her name indicates she meddles, trying to bring together two people who are made to love each other but unfortunately live in different dimensions. Andrew and Jenny can’t believe Mary’s explanations but…

The main characters are endearing, lovable and original. A boy with a dragon suit who grows into a lawyer defending good causes. A girl who managed to save a town with the help of a teacher (I also love Hannah) and a dragon (Abibus). And Mary…And Miss Lamb, of course. But even character with small parts are unforgettable: The Flower warrior, the Dragon Crier, Hannah, even the waiter at the restaurant obsessed with ‘The Suit’ and providing perfect sugar cubes…Charlie Kaufman would feel quite at home with this story that like many of his scripts explores the boundaries between reality and fiction and celebrates the power of stories and imagination. Like in ‘Enchanted’ fairy tales and reality mix with wonderful results.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Anybody who loves books, writing and stories will like this book. On the other hand if you think that reality is superior to fiction and material things more important than imagination, maybe you won’t.

I have read the author’s collection of short stories ‘The Seventh Sheep’ and adored it. I follow her blog (http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com) and I am aware that she’s working on a sequel of Forever. I can’t wait and in the meantime plan to read ‘In the Reign of the Ilev’ too.

http://www.amazon.com/Forever-After-Dimensional-Story-ebook/dp/B009HXI30A/

GO ON, CLICK!

And, miss at your peril. Here I’m talking about The Man Who Never Was. Have a laugh!

http://youtu.be/51H6QzATtb0

Thank you for reading!

As you know I usually tend to write about…well, writing, on Tuesdays’ posts. I had an ‘interesting’ week last week (I got stranded in Charles de Gaulle airport due to the snow and ended up spending most of two days there. I didn’t sleep there thanks to my friend Iman and her family, and the RER [train line], but otherwise…). The change of plans gave me time to finish reading some books I had pending and I’ve done a number of reviews. I thought I’d post them here too, all together, for your enjoyment. I’ve also included the translation of the review of a book in Spanish ‘La llave del éxito’. They are all five star reviews, but very different books. I’ve also included links and hope you feel interested enough to have a look at them. And on Friday I have a guest author: Nicole Fergusson…Really looking forward to her post.

Don’t forget to click!

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Nic Taylor’s A Plague of Dissent

‘Be Scared, Be Very Scared’

Don’t let the title of my review put you off. No, Nic Taylor’s A Plague of Dissent is not a horror book (although I love horror books). At least not a horror genre book. What the title refers to is the slow realisation – whilst reading the novel – that it is not only topical and the socio/historical events described very close to the bone, but the fictional elements are more than plausible. Although one might have a different opinion as to some of the premises (who organises the terrorist attacks and their reasons, for example), the actual details and planning of it sound incredibly convincing and the more horrifying for it.

The author is well versed in British current affairs and he uses them to create a multilayered background to his fictional (? we hope) story. Recent big news items (phone hacking scandal and enquiry, riots, allegations of child pornography, coalition government…) are not only part of the setting of the novel but become an integral part of the plot, and they are seamlessly woven together to create a complex and realistic tapestry. I live in the UK and must say some of the incidents and situations made me chuckle.

The novel is extremely well plotted and even minor incidents that at first sight might appear insignificant are eventually relevant and their significance revealed. A woman accidentally ran over by a car, a man caught up in the riots and injured, a rugby training session…everything falls into place like a well-oiled machine.

We get to know the main characters gradually, and they reveal themselves to be not only likeable, but also true heroes. Adam is a fantastic protagonist, who goes from being maligned by the media; in an attempt at revenge by a jealous husband, to risking his life to save…well, everybody. His brother, Dan, Ron, his friend and special agent, Isobel, his love interest, the few honest detectives and policemen, are all real people you can relate to but make a larger than life cast who can take on any situation. You would want them by your side in a moment of crisis.

‘A Plague’ is cinematic in its style, moving with ease from sweeping takes that quickly provide a general view of the national and international situation and the consequences of the events narrated, to minute takes of details such as weaponry, computer files and medication. The pace accelerates and you become gripped by the events, at once thrilled and worried as to what would happen if it were real. Would there be enough honest members of the police, and concerned citizens (like Adam and friends) to halt such a terrorist ploy?

I don’t want to give away too many of the details of the novel as not to spoil the many surprises, but I won’t hesitate in recommending it to anybody who enjoys well plotted thrillers, conspiracy theory based stories, current affairs (not only British but international), spy novels…In summary, anybody who loves a good book. I was pleased to read that Nic Taylor is planning to follow ‘A Plague’ with at least two more novels. I for one can’t wait.

Here is the link to the book in Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/A-Plague-Of-Dissent-ebook/dp/B00BRI7YMQ/

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A Year of Book Marketing Part 1. Marketing Your Book One Day At A Time by Heather Hart.

I was familiar with Mrs. Hart’s work from some of the publications she has co-authored like ‘Book Marketing 101: Marketing Your Book on a Shoestring’ and the writers’ group of same name in LinkedIn. I asked for a copy of her book when I read her reply to another author who was after novel ways of marketing his book, and a bit tired of ‘same-old, same-old’. She kindly offered me a free copy in exchange for a review and I’m pleased to be able to respond in kind.

The idea behind the book is that it can be used (after reading the first three chapters that contain general advice on marketing, particularly useful to the novice writer) as a daily prompt/calendar, that instead of only having quotations for the day, contains an idea or marketing prompt for each day. The idea is explored in some detail and follows a quotation. Some of the quotations were familiar already (not less useful because of that), some less so, but all were at once reflective and encouraging. The clear message (if it can be simplified into one) is: work hard, consistently, focus on what works for you and you enjoy, but don’t be afraid to try new things. And Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’m fairly new to self-publishing and marketing, although I have been trying my hand at it for a few months. I found reading Ms. Hart’s book that I’d tried some of the ideas suggested, some would not be workable for me at the moment (I’ve only published e-books so far and some of the ideas require a physical book), and some…Well, I should try. I’ve left notes to myself, and even before I read the whole book I checked the appendix and started listing my book on some of the free sites I hadn’t tried yet.

Ms. Hart’s style is easy to follow, engaging, and I particularly liked her sharing her own experiences and insights, including things she did not feel comfortable doing, and her less than successful efforts. I also liked the pace of the book, the encouragement it offers, and its emphasis on having a long-term plan, checking what one is doing and trying to maximise that, rather than frantically trying everything at once.

I read the whole book at once, rather than using it as it is intended (and that’s a limitation of my review), but will definitely be taking her advice at heart and trying some of the ideas I hadn’t considered (and some I’ve been thinking about but haven’t quite got around to…).

In conclusion I would recommend it to anybody who is into the publishing business, no matter the genre, and who feels they could benefit from encouragement and not heavy-handed expertise. And I will be looking forward to part 2.

Click on the link to buy it in Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Year-Book-Marketing-Part-ebook/dp/B00AVGUSVO/

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Naked in New York. A Memoir by Emmy Winning Writer Alan Cooke

Naked in New York is one of those books that we might never have come across unless circumstances conspired to bring them to our attention, but once they do we feel fortunate because they enrich our lives.

Although I love poetry (or some poetry at least) I don’t regularly read it. I came across the author’s YouTube video where he reads an excerpt of this book (that at that point was not yet published) in Facebook. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoVOnxcdJjg

Alan Cooke is an actor, writer (poet), filmmaker, and hearing him read ‘Naked in New York’ is an experience that I can recommend wholeheartedly. It’s mesmerising, emotional and ravishing. (His audiobook is available in his website).

The memoir describes the five years the author spent in New York, shortly after the 9/11 attack. He is not only an observer but also a participant that immerses himself in the city, its people, and its atmosphere that had been hardly shaken by the incident, an open wound that has left an indelible scar. His is not a story of the American Dream come true (at times quite the opposite), but even if it was just a necessary condition to get to write this book, it would have been more than worth it.

I have had the advantage of listening to a copy of the audiobook read by the author. It has made me stop on my tracks more than once, left me speechless because of the beauty of a sentence or a moment, made me sad at times (like when he reflects upon 9/11 or on the fate of the less fortunate inhabitants of the city), made me smile (a small gesture noted, a deep shared moment with a stranger, the bird having a bath and smiling), and made me reflect and think back to moments and experiences I could identify with. I might have thought it, but he says it much better.

Naked in New York is beautiful, heartfelt, insightful, self-reflective, personal and universal at the same time. It is truly human. I can’t think of anybody who would not like this book, and I would be worried about anybody who does not. Please read it and tell others about it. There isn’t enough beauty around. We must promote it.

Click on the link to buy the book it on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Naked-In-New-York-ebook/dp/B00BMCWR88/

Click on the webpage to buy the audiobook:

http://www.wildirishpoet.com

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The Key to Success. Be noticed in Amazon: Marketing for writers by Armando Rodera

I am a writer and started to publish e-books a few months ago. From that moment on (although now I know I should have started well before that, but we can always learn something new) I’ve been reading a fair amount about book marketing. I have watched podcasts, I have read how to guides, books, YouTube videos, I have taken part in groups and discussions…What I mean is this is not the first book I read about it.

What makes Armando Rodera’s book different to all the others? (Because I can assure you it’s very different). Although the majority of these book have personal examples to share about what worked or did not work for the person writing the book in their efforts at marketing, The Key to Success is something other than just a marketing book, it is the story (or as we’ve heard so often these days the ‘journey’) of the path that Mr Rodera has followed since he discovered his vocation and love for writing up to now when he’s a world renown author.

The author offers advice, but it’s based on personal experience, rather than on strategies, plans and boring formulae that might or might not apply to the personal circumstances and taste of each reader. It is a publishing business’s (independent publishing mostly) guide , but one of this annotated guides, where one pauses to read about the typical dishes of the area, the customs and habits of the people, and the folklore of the region. It’s a guide for the traveller of discerning taste and good palate.

Another thing that makes the book exceptional (in my opinion the most important one) is the sheer quality of the writing. The majority of the marketing books I’ve read are written in a fairly simple and practical way, and that’s it. The Key to Success is different. When I was reading it there came a moment when I was no longer focused on the advice and I just concentrated on the pleasure of reading the book. I can assure you that any person who reads the book and has not read any of the author’s novels will feel compelled to read them.

Read The Key to Success. Use the good advice, but most of all, enjoy the prose and style of Armando Rodera. I believe this is the real key to his success.

Click to buy it (in Spanish) here:

http://www.amazon.com/LLAVE-%C3%89XITO-Spanish-Edition-ebook/dp/B00ARJUSFQ/

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to CLICK. I’m checking!

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