4th of September 2019

Good evening folks. It feels like it’s been a busy week, and in some ways it has. The day job is always busy but with writing I don’t feel like I’ve really got my teeth stuck in at all. Part of that is I feel like I’ve ran dry on the couple of short stories I’ve been working on. One I feel could be something a little bigger, while the other just died out after a couple of hundred words. So I’ve gone into editing mode again and have started on the CS1 edit. I’m planning on rewriting a lot of the ending and adding a lot more detail in the early stages that’ll make things later on work better. As I was writing it sub-plots came about that have no base in the early stages of the story. There’s also a few elements which I let drop accidentally as the story moved forward. So I’m going to pick those up as I go. I’m glad I’ve left this story for a while as I feel like I’ve got a better handle on it now I’ve let it simmer.

I’ll end up by sharing the link for my next story release. I have a story in the upcoming Elements of Horror: Air: Book Two. (Click the link for the pre-order). It’s released on the 1st of October. This story was one of those that came very easily and I knew where I was going with from quite an early part of the writing process. This is book two of four of a series from Red Cape Publishing. There’s a few more details here.

That’s it for tonight. I’m wiped out and my bed is calling.

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Book Review: Four: A Novella by P.J. Blakey-Novis

I liked Four: A Novella. I liked the format of slipping from the main characters to the stories they tell while sitting around a camp fire. It felt smooth and wasn’t over done. P.J. Blakey-Novis kept these transitions simple.

The characters are established quickly, and again smoothly. We don’t get hit over the head with too much unnecessary information.

The use of gore is not overdone and fits in nicely with the feel of the story.

I found the layout of the story very pleasing. I don’t get much time to sit and read, so most of my reading is in bite-sized chunks. This book was written for someone like me in mind. P.J. Blakey-Novis breaks the scenes down into nice sized sections that were just the right length for the whole. I’d be interested to know how many drafts this went through because it’s tightly written book.

Definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Skinzz by Wrath James White

Skinzz is a brutal ride that doesn’t let up and builds to an ending I really didn’t see coming.

Wrath James White crafts this story with these characters with a stunning amount of skill that puts you into this world and makes you feel what the characters are fighting their way through.

This is one of those stories that isn’t going to fade away with time, it’s going to sit with me and I’ll be thinking it through for some time to come yet.

Book Review: Empty Graves by CL Raven

The story of the grave robbers of that time isn’t something I know much about. I knew it happened but getting into the why and how was really interesting and CL Raven put in characters who have their conflicts they’re dealing with.

The Grayfriers Gang was fun and the banter between them is fantastic. I would happily read another book with them in it!

CL Raven do a lot of research for their books, and with these historical ones (The Malignant Dead, The Devils Servants, and this one) they really manage to put that research to good use and you feel like you’re in Edinburgh, whether in a graveyard or an inn you feel part of the city. Edinburgh is now definitely on my to visit list.

Empty Graves is a page turner. The characters are fun and have depth to them that leaves you wanting to know more, and I learned a little about our past that I hadn’t known before.

Book Review: Soul Asylum by CL Raven

Aside from a couple of places where it felt a little slow I liked this book a lot. The atmosphere created sticks true throughout and CL Raven give you a good feel for the Asylum. I think if they hadn’t then it would loose some of its impact because the Asylum feels like another character.

The characters are in part a little annoying but also engaged in trying to discover the secrets of the history of this Asylum.

I did find the protagonist, Phineus (yeah I know I’ve spelt that wrong!) particularly annoying, but in the way that makes me want to turn the pages and get to the bottom of the mystery.

I did suspect one of the big reveals, but not the other one. That one was bigger and I didn’t even have a clue, but it slots everything into place once you’ve realised.

This is one I’ll read again in the future so I can connect all the clues now I know the secrets of Raven Retreat.

Book Review: Fur by Matthew Cash

Fur tells the story of a group of pensioners who have their worlds turned upside down by a revelation that one of their number isn’t what they seem.

This book I really enjoyed. There is a pretty broad group of characters that have their own identities and motivations. The core group of senior citizens pretty much all have something about them that made me like them, with one exception. That one exception, causes their lives in a small town to change massively and the journey Matthew Cash takes is on with them is at times hard to take, infuriating at others, and heart warming in places. I felt the love many characters had for each other, even in some unexpected cases.

I couldn’t guess how it was going to end, and even as it was coming to its conclusion I still couldn’t peg how Matthew Cash was going to wrap it all up. I like how he did, even with part of it coming out of the blue somewhat.

Please check Fur by Matthew Cash out. I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Thomas Bestwick. Bestwick did a fantastic job with a narration that had multiple accents in as well as getting some real heart and emotion into the sorry as a whole.

I’d also recommend reading the prequel story Werwolf also by Matthew Cash. You can see my review for it here.

Book Review: Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

Wow, Dark Hollow blew me away! My favourite Brian Keene story so far. I liked the characters, they felt very real and like they really were friends. The way Keene fleshed them all out was really impressive, even Big Steve the dog had an amazing character and story arch.

Having the characters so well fleshed out made it a hard listen when it all hit the fan. The ending had me chocked up with teary eyes.

Chet Williamson’s narration only added to making these characters real.