Escape to Danger - Watson Jenkins

A thrilling adventure by land and sea it to find out!

I read this novel after meeting the very courteous Mr. Jenkins on twitter @KornerKaff. I must admit that halfway through the book, I could not put it down. I had to shoo the kids and wife away to continue reading uninterrupted.

My initial impression of Mr. Jenkins novel was that the main character, a 60+ recent retiree named Duncan, was a coward. Duncan continually does the Chicken Little routine "The sky is falling". Duncan is driven by a personal conviction that a terrorist-fundamentalist group threatening to bring destruction to the heathen British will make good on their threats at any moment. He tries to convince friends and family to flee, but it's an inconvenient thing, they don't listen. Duncan goes it alone, and so begins his great escape adventure.

I found the pace a little slow at first. The author gives us a very detailed picture of Duncan's life and memories of his deceased wife. I don't want to give away too much, but I'll say that when the proverbial shit-hits-the-fan in the plot, I was hooked, and the pace rolled right along perfectly.

In the end, Duncan's metal is sorely tested, and he's found to be a far braver individual than he ever believed himself to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey discovering what kind of man he really is. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants an exceptionally written thrilling tale of adventure and perseverance through adversity.

...And the Stars Will Sing - Michelle Browne

Wormholes, aliens, and space pirates, need I say more?

I met the author Michelle Browne in my social media ramblings. She’s a snarky, interesting girl, which pretty much describes her writing.

I have read A LOT of sci-fi novels and short stories. I subscribe to Analog magazine and enjoy every issue of it. This novella could easily have been a miniseries in Analog. It’s top notch sci-fi. She has an easy-flowing narrative style in first person, essentially a woman’s diary of her unusual work assignment aboard a wormhole mapping space vessel.

As the plot unfolds, the vessel receives a series of threatening messages from an unnamed source. The threat: If they continue their work on wormholes in that sector, they’ll pay the price with their lives. The mapping isn’t going well, unexplainable wormhole anomalies pop up where they shouldn’t be. Something is definitely not right. Amidst this setting, our heroine is falling in love with a coworker, very much against ship regulations. Overall, it was a very interesting, creative, and entertaining read. My inner sci-fi nerd crept out from under its shell to smile.

I found it fascinating they actually map out and create or repair wormholes through space for interstellar highways. And the various different alien races that interact, sharing meals, relating to one another, bridging massive gaps of culture and language to find common ground.

My only complaint is that it should have been longer. I would really like to see a full length novel of this quality sci-fi from Michelle Browne.

Tired of the same old werewolf-shifter slut-screws-the-wolf-pack cliche?

The Clearing - Thomas Rydder


How about a refreshingly horrific take on the werewolf genre:

Escaping his own personal tragedy of a divorce, Sheriff Cutlip has built an easy life in a sleepy Pennsylvania mountain county. He likes it that way, simple, uncomplicated, which is why he took the job.

All that changes in the span of a few weeks.

Beth Lowe lives out at the edge of the forest covered mountains, raising her niece as a daughter after the death of Beth's sister and husband. Beth's quiet existence is shattered by the presence of an ancient, monstrous evil.

Her dog has been attacked, and within hours, days, it begins to change into something large and vicious.

In the hunt for these elusive beasts in the forest, Sheriff Cutlip's brother is attacked, bitten severely.

What began as a simple threat to livestock, becomes an intensely personal battle for survival of their community.

THE CLEARING harkens back to the good ole days of classic horror, where werewolves slaughter men who stand in their way. Something reminiscent of The Howling or American Werewolf in London.

You won't find any muscle-bound shifters dragging women off to the wolf pack gang-bang, but you will find a well written thriller with true-to-life characters facing horrific circumstances.

Horizon - Kayla Stonor

If you're new to Kayla's writing, this is a perfect introduction. It's a brief, enticing example of the intricate relationship dynamics of an alpha male willing to submit power and control to a woman he loves.

This is a recurring theme in her work. As a man reading this material, I'm beginning to wonder what I might be missing out on with my wife.

I must admit I am a fan of Kayla Stonor's work. Having said that, this short story left me wishing she had made a novel out of this plot. It was a juicy little teaser of what I know Kayla is capable of. I am somewhat spoiled by having read one of her full length novels first.

To say that its sexy is a given. Everything she writes is sexy, but that doesn't do it justice. This is the first step in a journey of discovery. Once you've tried this, take the next step and read one of her full length novels. See how far she'll take you into the provocative and erotic world of alpha male submission in BDSM.

I always imagined I should be the one with the whip in my hand, Kayla is slowly convincing me otherwise.

The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming - Michelle Browne

I admit I had the opportunity to review the headliner novel of this compilation as a beta reader. It was good then, but much better now. I really enjoyed The Underlighters. It’s a dark and horrific dystopian fantasy where nightmares take physical shape in the daylight. Within this cyberpunk-horror is an intricate tale of a young girl coming of age, learning she is strong and beautiful and worthy of love.

What surprised me to no end was the short stories following The Underlighters. Each tale is very different, some sad, some creepy, and some are imaginative retellings of old fables. The thin veil separating dream and reality is torn and scattered. These short tales are often bittersweet poetry, existential, with literary explorations of the human condition.

There’s something for everyone in this package, it crosses most genres of fiction. There’s a dangerously sensual tale of the party to end all parties, a woeful but inspirational tale of rape and forgiveness, and other strange musings of a very talented and diverse wordsmith.

Like a box of assorted gourmet chocolates, at least one flavor of Michelle Browne’s fiction sampler is guaranteed to suit your tastes.

Rogue Genesis (Shimmer in the Dark, #1) - Ceri London

So, you like scifi?

How about epic, universal, telepathic, psychokinetic, electromagnetic, space-time warping, worm-holing scifi?

Yeah…I thought so.

This novel is all that and so much more.

Rogue Genesis presents us a seemingly simple military man, Niall, who has a little something special, an uncanny intuition, and the ability to astral project out across the reaches of space. Niall soon learns he will be held responsible to save all 100 million inhabitants of an alien planet on the far side of the universe. This planet he visits regularly in his subconscious dreams, Astereal, happens to be parked curbside to the apocalypse. Not one, not two, not even three, but SEVEN black holes encircle this poor solar system. And one of them has become dominant, throwing the whole deal off balance.

But the US govt., and age-old corrupt secret societies are not having it. Not unless they are in control of Niall and his abilities.

Niall finds his whole world turned inside out, friends become enemies, everything he holds dear is threatened, and yet the responsibility to save these alien people resides solely in his hands.

Astereal is running out of time, and Niall is running out of options on Earth. As this epic paranormal scifi thriller drags you to the clinch point, we realize the future of mankind and the Astereans depend on the choices Niall makes.

As it says so eloquently in the description, “The fate of two worlds rests on his shoulders.”

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this one you can. The book is even more awesome than the pop-bang-wow head-turning cover art.

If you call yourself a fan of scifi, you need to read Rogue Genesis.

Just do it.

Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, Book One) - John Dolan

I met John Dolan on twitter, his tweets are consistently entertaining. I figured a guy with such wry wit might actually be able to write. It was a good guess. Mr. Dolan authored a highly engaging, entertaining, and at times hilarious novel.

The setting is exotic, slightly erotic, and filled with all the third-world Thai corruption you can handle. A great place to get down and dirty with a murder mystery.

His characters are fully three dimension, lively and perfectly imperfect in all the ways they should be. My hat's off to John Dolan. A very good read indeed.

Smokin' hot vampire erotica

The Exception: an eternal kiss - Penelope Jones

I had occasion to read this short but entertaining story as a beta reader, pre-publication. And considering the fact that I am both an avid reader and writer of vampire erotica, I am uniquely qualified to give an opinion.

OPINION: I loved it.

Short, sweet, succinct, with great character development, a bit of thriller-suspense intensity, and just enough erotic zing to make you wish it was a full length novel.

Penelope Jones allows the reader to slide into the story on the standard vampire mythology assumptions, leaving more room to develop characters and an intriguing plot very quickly.

If you need a light, fun, sexy read, or if you're looking for the next up and coming erotica author, don't hesitate to give this one a shot.

Paranormal Thriller Baddassary!!

Council of Peacocks (Activation #1) - M. Joseph Murphy

I read this book twice over, as a beta ~ critique reader. The thriller intensity sucked me in, hook, line and sinker. My inner scifi/paranormal/horror geek was thoroughly satisfied.

This is precisely the kind of book I enjoy reading. It hits all the buttons: Epic battles, epic moments of self-discovery, epic tales of heroes and villains, and of course there's loads of angst ridden teenagers with badass paranormal/psychokinesis abilities, trying to find their way through horrific scenes of violence and callous disregard for human life.

Can I get HELL YEAH?

Its X-MEN meets CLASH OF THE TITANS directed by Quentin Tarantino. *cue the cheesy surfer music*

We begin the story with this enigmatic character named Wisdom. He’s just been through a vicious brawl, but he won. Wisdom isn’t exactly human, he’s something else: a demi-god, so powerful he can move through space-time to restart the battle in an attempt to balk fate. This isn’t the first time he’s fought this battle.

But something has changed. Some other party is mucking about in the timeline, the outcome is no longer certain.

As the tale unfolds, we meet a series of gifted people Wisdom has collected over the years, the Anomalies. They are being trained for the showdown.

A secret society of sorcerers known as The Council of Peacocks is plotting their return to power. Once a thriving religious group, they are now led by one of Wisdom’s mistakes, Propates, a man transformed into an immortal. The Council intends to use humanity as a bartering chip in their deals with demonic entities from other dimensions who want a piece of Earth.

With his army of ragtag teenager Anomalies, Wisdom intends to stop the Council, at all costs. But these kids are freaks of nature who don’t even know how they came to be, let alone how to harness their wicked powers.

And how can a band of kids who have more in common with demons than angels become heroes when they barely understand what the hell Wisdom is asking them to do?

In the end, we are securely lined up for the next installment of a very promising series.

M. Joseph Murphy raises concepts of faith, religion, an insightful view of human history, and a couple of philosophical questions.

Is there really such a thing as fate? And if we could move through time, could we change it?

Revenge of the zombie ex-girlfriend - an instant cult classic

Tell Me When I'm Dead - Steven Ramirez

Steven Ramirez brings on a hard-hitting splattergore zombie thriller, told by the ultimate anti-hero, Dave. Dave's not brave, he's not honorable, he's not a muscle-bound MMA fighter or an ex-military sniper. He's a recovering alcoholic, with a past that just won't quit.

The one thing you learn about Dave, he's good with an axe.

Dave had it all going for him, Holly - the perfect wife, a good job at Staples, clean and sober, dumped his loser drinking buddy Jim. Two years without a relapse, and he had built a real life for himself. But Jim won't leave him alone. Jim doesn't know when the party ends.

Then Jim got the jimmies, and now he's a flesh-eating zombie.

And like many men who live with alcoholism and instant gratification, Dave couldn't settle for his perfect life with Holly, he had to get a little on the side with Missy. The zombie apocalypse comes home in a personal way for Dave, first with Jim and then Missy.

It's the zombie ex-girlfriend straight from hell. Missy doesn't just want revenge, she wants to eat him alive, starting with the soft, mushy underbelly, where all those yummy guts are found.

Every zombie knows it's the belly that's the most delicate part of the body.

Guts and gore and death galore.

This Zombie apocalypse is set in a home town environment, where you personally know each of the 'draggers' who are dying to eat your guts.

And if the draggers don't kill you, the militant, survivalist whackos will. Pandemonium and martial law equals survival of the fittest. No one can escape the quarantine zone and the widespread madness overtaking the survivors.

"People talk about survival. What they mean is killing the other guy."

And that is precisely what it takes to survive in Dave's hometown of Tres Marias. Don't hesitate to dive into this novel for your dose of splattergore-thriller-horror, and perhaps you'll learn a few things about human strength and frailty under duress.

The Underlighters - Michelle Browne

I admit I had the opportunity to review this as a beta reader. It was good then, but much better now. I thoroughly enjoyed The Underlighters.

It’s a dark and horrific dystopian fantasy where nightmares take physical shape in the daylight. Within this cyberpunk-horror is an intricate tale of a young girl coming of age, learning she is strong and beautiful and worthy of love.

The thin veil separating dream and reality is torn and scattered for poor Janelle. This lovely young lady faces the daily trials of an underground society scraping by on scavengings from the surface, and what little they can produce in their farms.

This is a dark place made darker by strange, inexplicable happenings. Nightmarish creatures that have no right to exist are roaming the tunnels, stealing away the children. Janelle and her friends face hellish monsters born of their darkest fears.

She can hardly tell whether its real or if she's just losing her mind.

Read the Underlighters for an H.P. Lovecraft styled subterranean world of fantasy and horrors. You'll soon find yourself reading all of Michelle Browne's novels.

The Steward: Weald Fae Journals (Book 1) - Christopher Shields

(Read Jan. 2013)



I started reading this novel through the holidays. It dragged me back to its pages despite all the holiday insanity. I launched one of my own novels Christmas day, camped in front of my PC for hours, but I couldn't escape this book. I kept trying to find the time to snatch a few more minutes of reading.

About a 1/3 of the way in I was thoroughly seduced by the 2700 acre Weald. I found myself contemplating the purchase of real estate in Arkansas, and I've never been there. The author transported me to this enchanting countryside through three whole seasons of the year. Forestry, islands, country cottages, gardens, cliffs, caves, I could see it all crystal clear in my mind's eye.

The tale is an enthralling read about teenage Maggie's discovery that what she thought was a dead-end backwoods life in Arkansas is actually a secret sanctuary of the Weald Fae, a.k.a. Fairies. But these are not little Tinkerbelle pixie wing creatures. These are the demigods of old, masters of the elements. The Fae are extremely powerful, and not overly fond of mankind. Trespassers on the Weald property find horrible misfortune. And this brave teenage girl Maggie has been entrapped into a position of great responsibility and peril as the new Steward of the Weald.

It's a coming-of-age romance, an awesome supernatural thriller. It's a young adult paranormal fantasy. It's a damn good book for just about anyone of any age. I can't help but wish this was a movie.

And of course, I must read the second in the series, "The Changeling". The ending guarantees you cannot live without reading the next book. Hooked on the Weald.

A gothic tale of love, hate, obsession, and the quest for immortality

Luna Sanguis - Simon Okill

"The sweetest music he had ever heard slowly evaporated from his memory like the dying sighs of a thousand angels."

Eternal - Delicate Rose - Petite Fleur, is a woman with a fractured mind from the horrid savagery she witnessed at the hands of her pursuer, Count Lucien.

This gothic, dark, poetic tale leads us through the twisted mind of this poor woman as she is entrapped in the bowels of an insane asylum reminiscent of Dante's Inferno.

She and the Count share a commonality, they exist in a perpetual dance of love and hate, mutual obsession. Both are inhabited by the souls of ancients entwined in an age-old battle for her precious, eternal blood. Through snatches of broken memory we learn Eternal has been pursued by the Count in all his incarnations across ancient Europe, the two of them leap-frogging into one life after another, each vying for that magic moment when her blood will bring forth its gift of eternal life.

"He heard that word again - "Eternal" - carried on a breeze of subconscious design."

This lost soul plays the role of Madonna, bearing aspects of pure innocence and the predatory succubus. Through the centuries she has seduced kings, queens, statesmen, and all manner of rulers. A muse inspiring artists to greatness, forging conquerors from average men, she is a living paradox, the woman every man wants but can never truly have.

Simon Okill crafts a lyrical and disturbing story in the grand fashion of Edgar Allan Poe, told from the perspective of tortured souls with dual personalities. The characters are colorful, lively, despicable, yet still lovable in their human frailty.

A genre-bender, the story is definitely not what you would ever expect. A clever world where nothing and no one is what they seem, a world mired in grey morality where villains and heroes trade places like schizophrenics. (less)

The Bone Church: A Novel - Victoria Dougherty

When long-time author friend Victoria Dougherty offered review copies of her debut novel The Bone Church, a historical WWII thriller, I said, "Over here please!"

Vic and I have chatted of many things, and found common ground in our love of Allen Furst, whose novel Red Gold was one of my research sources for my own writings on WWII Paris. If you've seen Victoria's phenomenal blog COLD, you'd know right away, this is an author well worth your time when she finally released her first book (and hopefully soon a second).

A sophisticated thriller, The Bone Church, did not disappoint.

Fans of Allen Furst, gather round, here's the new girl on the block - and she can write. Victoria Dougherty weaves a complex tale of one of the darkest periods of European history, birthed from the unsung stories of wartime Prague and post-war Prague. The author's Czech heritage shines brilliantly in this powerful story of the underground rebellion, of men and women struggling to survive and shove a wrench in Hitler's plans, any way possible.

Jumping through time from the height of the German occupation of Prague to the great communist decline post-war, The Bone Church brings us a perilous account of pure duplicity. Treacherous secrecy, double deals, double agents, Nazi sympathizers, Catholic revolutionaries, thieves, gypsies, and survival by subterfuge. No one is what they seem, and their alliances are as double-edged as the knives they stab in everyone's backs.

Yet, within this dark, twisted novel is another story of forbidden love with a Jewish woman marked for death. Postwar communist Prague brings no respite for our Jewish heroine.

Identities and residences are changed more often than clothing.

The intricate weave of events and time slipping back and forth carries the reader through to the promise of hope, and the sublime synchronicity of the secrets resting beneath the consecrated bones of The Bone Church.

A solid five star read. ★★★★★

Beyond the Black Sea (Activation) (Volume 2) - M. Joseph Murphy
Read in June, 2014

Those naughty little half-demon bastards are at it again!

Wisdom, a genie and time-traveler extraordinaire, is back with all the usual suspects, for round two of the Activation saga. The mythology delves deep into the very origins of humanity, birthed from the decadence and decline of Atlantis.

Plots hatched millenniums ago are coalescing into the endgame ... and the end of mankind.

In short: Earth is screwed.

The only thing standing in the way of Armageddon is a gang of half-demon bastards, the last people you'd ever want tasked with saving the world. Antiheroes abound in this short, intense tale of a bad situation gone to hell faster than a jail cell fills with drug addicts.

Its X-men on crack, complete with doomsday devices, wizards, winged lizardmen assassins, dragons, shapeshifters, body-snatching demons, and of course, undead cybernetic solders that catch a scent and hunt their prey to the ends of the Earth -- all the old favorites.

Fans of dark fantasy, urban fantasy and horror should love this fast-paced novel chocked full of mayhem, chaos, destruction, and snappy one-liners. Joseph Murphy at his best .

Want more? Check out my review of the paranormal badassary of Council of Peacocks, Joseph Murphy's first novel:

MOTH by Sean Poindexter ~ A dark, wicked, and gritty #UrbanFantasy #Review

Moth (A Max Hollingsworth Paranormal Mystery Book 1) - Sean Poindexter
Max, CPS investigator, is on the trail of several mysterious child disappearances. Max digs through trailer trash hovels, neo-nazi meth dealers, and every form of Deliverance-backwater scum you can find rotting in a 1970's singlewide. The search for these phantom missing children seems to dead end every which way ... the parents can't remember they ever had children.
Its the memory blackout that proves who's behind these heinous crimes. Damn vampires are at it again, erasing minds, stealing children and selling them off to vampire truckers and pedophiles.
This is every CPS worker's nightmare case, and no one in the department can handle it, except Max. He's immune to vampire glamour, sees right through their bullshit. Forced into a deadly alliance with rival vampires, Max plays supernatural politics to his advantage and brings down the hammer of retribution.
I'll never be able to look at a trailer park the same way again.
Moth delves into the darkest depths of child exploitation in America, while seamlessly blending in a hidden underworld of supernatural nasties. An intense genre-bender of urban fantasy, horror, thriller, mystery-suspense, with a splatter of steamy, erotica.  
Definitely my kind of novel, a SOLID FIVE STAR READ ★★★★★