Publication Date:  April 9, 2021 Links:  Amazon   |  Goodreads M ore than 20 years after her abduction at the hands of the elusive Pan, Wend...

Guest Post || Liz Butcher - Navigating the World of Social Media



Publication Date: April 9, 2021
Links: Amazon Goodreads

More than 20 years after her abduction at the hands of the elusive Pan, Wendy Darling is all grown up and a successful detective. But when a local girl vanishes in the middle of the night, her past comes rushing back.

Grieving the death of her mother, Detective Darling wants nothing more than to throw herself back into work. When the Lord Mayor’s daughter, Rosalie, vanishes, she insists on taking the case, triggering memories of her own past abduction. For years, Wendy struggled with her nonsensical memories of her captor, who she only knows as Pan. Yet the more she uncovers about Rosalie’s disappearance, the more Wendy is convinced her worst nightmare has come true—Pan’s back. Her fears are confirmed when the girl suddenly reappears and Wendy realises she’s walked straight into Pan’s trap…

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Navigating the world of social media 
by liz butcher

As an author, I found myself inherently bound to a multitude of social media platforms. It’s a necessary evil in the world of the indie author and can often feel like you’re tumbling down the rabbit hole a ’la Alice in Wonderland. Start talking about algorithms and click rates and my eyes glaze over—terrible, I know! I don’t pretend to know why one person’s post my garner hundreds of ‘likes’ and another only a handful—I unfortunately lack the savvy knack so many other authors possess. Yet there is a silver lining to the world of social media, and that is the vast number of authors and readers. The writing and reading communities are amazing across all platforms and all of my writer friends are ones I’m made through social media. Most I’ve learned about the do’s and don’ts of self-publishing have come from these talented people sharing their own experiences and knowledge, and in turn, I like to pay it forward. 

I thought that when Tiktok arrived I would draw the line and I said I would never join, but low and behold there I am and I have to say this is so far my favourite way of connecting with other writers and readers. Getting to know the myriad of authors across all genres has not only helped me grow as a writer but taught me so much about the importance of championing each other and celebrating the successes of my talented writer friends. As an author I also appreciate the importance of highlighting those books which I enjoy and sharing the love on social media and in turn, it’s so thrilling when you find readers giving your own work a shout out! So as daunting as it can all be once you find your feet, there is an endless and enjoyable source of knowledge and connections within the world of social media.



OTHER WORKS BY LIZ BUTCHER: 

Camille’s father just inherited the family manor from his estranged uncle, forcing her to leave her friends and city life just before her senior year of high school for the small town of Woodville, England. After seeing a strange old woman lurking on the estate grounds, she embarks on a mission to uncover the history of her new home.

What she finds is wilder than she could have imagined—the murder of her ancestor, Caleb LeRoux, on the same day his six-year-old daughter vanished without a trace. And an unforeseen connection to Camille herself, as the only female LeRoux born to the family in over two hundred years. With the help of her new school friends, Camille delves into the secrets of the manor, uncovering an all-encompassing truth that will change the entire course of her life—past, present, and future.



The last thing Jonah Sands expected on his thirtieth birthday was to have his life thrust into the hands of a dangerous, red-haired woman—or to be the only person in the world to survive an encounter with her.


As the death toll skyrockets, Jonah and his two best friends, the siblings Tristan and Ava Carter, find themselves at the epicentre of inexplicable phenomena—a stranded ferry transforms into a barge headed for the Underworld; young girls levitate to whisper ancient riddles; technology across the globe is controlled by some unseen hand. And it all seems to lead back to the woman with red hair. When a stranger finds them in the midst of a thunderstorm and offers his otherworldly assistance, Jonah finally unravels the truth about who he really is. And what it means for the rest of humanity.



PRAISE FOR LIZ BUTCHER 

“What really sticks out from the very first chapter is just how fast the author takes  readers into the action and mystery of this story.” Anthony Avina, Top Book Reviewer  Book Sirens 

“Readers will love the larger-than-life characters, mayhem, and magic. I heartily recommend this book and urge you all to grab yourselves a copy if this is your type of story. Or even if it’s not!” Reads and Reels 

“This is one impressive debut from an obviously gifted artist who knows how to blend human drama with metaphysical fantasy and mythology to create a splendidly unique novel with visceral force. Very highly recommended.” Grady Harp, Top Shelf Magazine



Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. Liz was previously the former Executive Assistant at the Horror Tree, which is a mainstream resource for authors and has published a number of short stories in anthologies including her own collection, After Dark, in 2018. Fates Fury was her debut novel and LeRoux Manor, her stunning new novel set for release, September,  2020.  
More information can be found about Liz at her website:  

Publication:  August 17th, 2021  by Harper Voyager Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sand...

Review || King Bullet by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim #12)



Publication: August 17th, 2021 
by Harper Voyager

The incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sandman Slim series filled with an explosive ending and intense kick-ass action from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey.

It’s been three months since Stark stopped a death cult and a potential ghost apocalypse, and he’s at loose ends. His personal life is a mess. His professional life isn’t much better. And the world…well, the world is going to shit. L.A. is gripped by a viral epidemic that has everyone wearing masks and keeping their distance from each other. But what’s even more frightening is the Shoggot gang and their leader, King Bullet, who revels in the city’s collapse.

Who is King Bullet? No one knows. He seemingly came from nowhere with nothing but a taste for mayhem and an army of crazed killers who follow his every command. What king wants seems simple on it face: Chaos. Destruction. A city in flames. But there’s more to the king and his plans for L.A. and what Stark discovers will change Heaven, Earth, and Stark himself forever.

It's hard to believe that this is the final book of the Sandman Slim series. The series finale finds Stark in the midst of a viral pandemic where everyone is wearing masks. LA is in chaos. And in the midst is gang leader King Bullet, who seems to have a vendetta for Stark. Hold on to your hats because the train is barreling into the station and there's no one at the helm. 

This is a welcome change as the last book in the series, Ballistic Kiss, definitely felt like one of the slower books. Kadrey put a lot more emotion into Stark, with more introspection than the kick-ass action that I have come to know and love from him. King Bullet takes us back to everything that the Sandman Slim series has been. Once again, there is a very eccentric villain (King Bullet) that Stark has been tasked with taking care of. He's questioning why exactly he was tasked with it, lending credence to the idea that Abbott has not been on the up and up with him. 

This pandemic is no COVID, as terrible as that has been. This one causes autophagia, the consumption of your own body. Yes, these people are chewing their lips and fingers, and...ugh. Disgusting.  In a lot of ways, it's a parallel of a lot of what's happened since COVID. Businesses are shuttered, masks have to be worn everywhere, and for other reasons, riots have happened. Honestly, I read to escape the real world, so reading a story about a novel pandemic in the midst of a novel pandemic wasn't really my cup of tea.

Kadrey certainly wraps up all the loose ends with this finale. All the character arcs are settled without feeling like they were quickly tied up for the sake of completion. I think most fans will be happy with the fulfillment of the Sandman Slim series. Don't think we can completely count Stark out though. That ending might just leave the tiniest bit of wiggle room. 






Publication: November 30th 2020  by Beneath Hell Publishing Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads " W e’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy...

Review || The Cockroach King by Andrew Cull



Publication: November 30th 2020 
by Beneath Hell Publishing

"
We’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy pulled the first bones from the garden.”

When Cassie Baker buys the house on Cedar Street, it’s partly because it reminds her of the house she grew up in in the ‘80s. It reminds her of happier times, when her Mom was still alive, before the cancer had taken her. It seems like the perfect place to raise her baby boy, Sam.

That is, until a friend unearths the remains of a dog, buried in a shallow grave in the backyard.

After the bones come the cockroaches…

The Cockroach King is a new novella written by Andrew Cull, the award-winning author of Remains and Bones.

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Cockroaches are one of those bugs that most people hate and of which even more have a phobia, with good reason. They hide in the walls proliferating unseen, scattering when exposed to the light, invading our spaces. The Cockroach King not only plays with our innate revulsion of these scuttling six-legged pests, it quickly escalates it. At only 65 pages, this is one novella that excels at tending a feeling of dread and then coaxing it into an inferno of unease. 

Cassie is a single mother, intent on raising her little boy Sam and creating a life. Told from the first-person view, we quickly feel for her. She's just poured everything she has into their very first home after the death of her mother. She's so well written. She's relatable and her grief is familiar. There's a strength to her that you find yourself quickly cheering for. You want her to succeed and something is standing in the way of her hopes and dreams as Cassie soon finds that their house isn't quite the home-sweet-home that she'd hoped it would be. 

From the very first line—“We’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy pulled the first bones from the garden.”—Cull sets the scene for something foreboding and insidious. This is such a creepy little read. The characters are intimate and the pacing is excellent. The writing is deliberate and invokes such great visceral reactions while reading. The tension builds as the reader is given more questions than answers until it all comes down in a culmination of exposed horrific secrets. 

Interestingly enough, while I was writing this review, my husband came in from outside with an odd discovery: a tiny skull in his hand that he found lying next to the driveway.  We've had numerous pet rats throughout the years and they are all buried in the flower garden. I went outside expecting to find the rock pile set on top disturbed and the burial hole open; It was not. I don't know how the skull got where it was but I find any roaches in my house, you can bet I will bug-bomb this sucker to kingdom come. 



Publication date: April 27th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads "M essy divorce? Check. Emotional stability of the involved parties? Qu...

Review || Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff (The Many Travails of John Smith, #2) by Chris Tullbane



Publication date: April 27th, 2021


"Messy divorce? Check.

Emotional stability of the involved parties? Questionable.

Possibility of bloodshed? High.

Yep; it was definitely starting to sound like one of my cases."

​In addition to being San Diego's supernatural mediator, John Smith is the city's least successful private investigator. Those two careers collide when what was supposed to be a simple infidelity case draws the attention of the local werewolf pack. John soon finds himself pressed into service mediating a separation between the pack's married leaders.

Even under normal circumstances, divorce is hell. But when werewolves are involved? It's murder.

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Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff is book two in The Many Travails of John Smith, following Investigation, Mediation, Vindication. We pick up in John's life after his first mediation for the paranormal community went...well, he survived anyway, mostly unscathed. He's back in the PI business and even has a date! He did anyway until the vampires had to show up and ruin it for him. Truth be told, they didn't need to show up for it to be ruined; he's entirely capable of doing that himself. Something about still living in your parent's basement at 25 doesn't exactly lend itself to having a phenomenal dating life. He still has his PI business going for him and it's thriving—until werewolves start trying to kill him. 

John has truly made some interesting life choices along the way. He always manages to end up right in the middle of the mess. Not that he's trying, mind you. It's truly a matter of happenstance and some drunken advertising that has landed him where he is. This time he's been hired by a husband to find out if the wife is cheating. He's still out there giving it everything he's got and it turns out he's actually a pretty decent mediator despite getting in way over his head all the time. 

Humor is still a big draw in this series. We've continued with the truly fun chapter titles "In Which ___". For example: Chapter 12, "In Which People Are Strange When You're a Stranger". The vegetable demigod Bill, who is so strangely charming, is absent but he has tasked John with the care of his ward, Jee Sun aka Tiny Flower, who manages to be both adorable and a diminutive terror. John's inner voice is still as quirky as ever and his outside voice is still spewing things that would much be better kept inside. Tullbane's casual writing style hasn't changed but Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff gets darker than the previous book. John is still the average guy trying to feel his way through but the action kicks up a bit more leaning more towards typical UF fare while still avoiding second book syndrome.

I judge a lot of UF by whether you could pick up a book in the middle of a series and still understand what the heck is going on. The Many Travails of John Smith #2 passes muster. A good chunk of the opening is reintroducing characters and bringing the reader up to speed. That being said, the reader would get more enjoyment out of knowing the characters a bit more intimately and immersing in the worldbuilding gradually.  This is a series that is going to go the distance so do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. 









Publication date: March 19th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he stakes are real. The mediator isn't. An exiled vampire queen. A vege...

Review || Investigation, Mediation, Vindication (The Many Travails of John Smith, #1) by Chris Tullbane




Publication date: March 19th 2021

The stakes are real. The mediator isn't.

An exiled vampire queen.

A vegetable demigod.

A magic Nintendo.

When supernatural forces collide, it will take a skilled mediator to keep their conflict from destroying San Diego.

Unfortunately, all they have is John Smith.

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Investigation, Mediation, Vindication (I'm already tired of typing that) is comedic urban fantasy gold. The story follows private investigator hopeful John Smith, who has an unfortunate genealogy of a long line of John Smiths. Let's be honest; there's a lot of unfortunates about John Smith. He still lives with his parents, he hasn't had a girlfriend in years (might be due to #1), and he's just found himself caught up in a potential war between a noble vampire House and the demigod of nightmares. He's casually enjoying a local Comicon when he's attacked by crab people and kidnapped by vampires for his own good. As it turns out, in one night of drunken bad choices, John posted an ad stating that he was in the business of investigation, mediation, and vindication, and after a hit on all the mediators in San Diego, he's the only mediator left. 

John is a fantastic character. He's nerdy, witty, twenty pounds out of shape, and way over his head. John has absolutely no magic or really any job skills for that matter.  One moment he's trying to survive paying the rent on his business in the not-so-great side of town, the next he's trying not to be killed by the vampires and prevent San Diego from being sucked into a Hell dimension. Pretty much the only thing is he's got going for him is a big mouth that doesn't know when to shut up. He does, however, seem to have an innate ability to avoid vampire whammies, to the displeasure of the vampires. 

There are a lot of secondary characters but they still manage to be unique for such a large cast. The snarky, vampire Juliette who wears Ramones t-shirts and nicknames John "little bird", thanks to his shower singing, is fantastic. However, the real character not to miss is the demigod of nightmares and terrors, Lord Beel-Kasan—who just happens to be a seven-foot-tall asparagus with coal for eyes, a carrot for a nose, and a magic marker drawn mouth—and goes by Bill. Yes, Bill (as if that's the weirdest thing about that sentence).  Thanks to John's immunity to supernatural mumbo jumbo, that's how Bill appears to him. Apparently, to others, he's enormously more frightening. Even without arms or legs, asparagus demigod Bill somehow steals the show.  

From the chapter titles like "In Which Hell is Being Stuck Somewhere With the Wrong Person", to the fact that the war might be started over a classic Nintendo, humor is obviously the main driving force in this urban fantasy.  Ridiculous and irreverent, it still manages funny without quickly nosediving into annoying. John is a huge nerd though so a lot of the dialogue is low brow. For example, after being kidnapped by the vampires, his inner dialogue is trying to decide on names to call the vampires. He settles on "manpire" and "femmepire" and he's really proud of himself for coming up with the second. Sometimes the banter takes a bit too long for the sake of the joke, which drags the novel down a bit, but it definitely gets better the further into the plot it goes. 

It's nice to have an urban fantasy series where the MC truly has no idea what he is doing. There are no magical abilities or black belts in martial arts. No weaponry expert or military background. Just a dorky smart-mouthed guy named John who has stumbled into the paranormal world. 








Publication date: February 11th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads W hile landscaping his backyard, ever-conscientious Paul Prentice discover...

Book Blitz || The Between by Ryan Leslie

Glitched skull on black background

Publication date: February 11th 2021


While landscaping his backyard, ever-conscientious Paul Prentice discovers an iron door buried in the soil. His childhood friend and perpetual source of mischief, Jay Lightsey, pushes them to explore what’s beneath.

When the door slams shut above them, Paul and Jay are trapped in a between-worlds place of Escher-like rooms and horror story monsters, all with a mysterious connection to a command-line, dungeon explorer computer game from the early ’80s called The Between.

Paul and Jay find themselves filling roles in a story that seems to play out over and over again. But in this world, where their roles warp their minds, the biggest threat to survival may not be the Koŝmaro, risen from the Between’s depths to hunt them; the biggest danger may be each other
.

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 About the Author


Ryan Leslie oversees research for a large health system, where making stuff up is generally frowned upon. His creative outlet has always been writing fiction. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, children's author Lindsay Leslie, and their two sons.

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Here is this month's roundup of anticipated horror releases!  ( If you plan on purchasing any of the books on this page, it would be awe...

This Month in Horror: May 2021




Here is this month's roundup of anticipated horror releases! 

(If you plan on purchasing any of the books on this page, it would be awesome if you’d use the affiliate links. This helps to support the blog and doesn’t cost you a thing. Thanks!)