Publication date: October 19th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads F lowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Ro...

Review || Flowers For The Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn


Publication date: October 19th, 2021


Flowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Rosemary's Baby by way of Octavia E. Butler.

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek. 

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Iraxi has reason to be angry. She's stuck on a ship in a flooded world, surrounded on all sides by those who despise her, and monsters of air and sea who are waiting to end her. She's pregnant with a child she doesn't want in a new world where no one has yet to carry to term. She's not even sure the child is human. Her hatred burns her from within, leaving no room for anything else. Her anger is like the water that filled her world, rising swiftly and submerging everything in its path. 
I am insistence personified, and the spite I draw is my sustenance...

 This is a novella that will speak to all your senses. Not only is Iraxi's rage all-consuming, but the descriptions of the ship and its people will also engulf you. Seventeen hundred forty-three days at sea. She is locked in this place surrounded by rotting wood, the sea lapping at it from all sides, mildewing in the salty air. The stink of bodies and fluids and blood all around. Unable to even escape to fresh air due to the razorfangs from the sky and tentacles from the depths. This narrative will envelop you in its depictions like a dark, oily dream from which you can't awake. 

While the eldritch creatures encircling the ship would typically be the focus of a novella, Rocklyn beckons us to sit with Iraxi in her boiling resentment and fury. We experience her loathed pregnancy, the debilitating changes to her body, and eventually the horror of her labor and what comes after. If you are looking for a dark and disturbing visceral tale, Iraxi's account will whisper bleakly to you. Flowers For The Sea is ghastly and gloriously weird and well worth the read. 


green background with woman's silhouette wrapped in tentacles


Publication date: October 11th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads In a battle between two ancient evils, can one naïve young man become the ...

Book Blitz || Beneath the Veil (The Valor of Valhalla Book 1) by Martin Kearns


Publication date: October 11th, 2021


In a battle between two ancient evils, can one naïve young man become the last hope against powerful creatures of legend?

David Dolan thinks he’s already got the world figured out. But when a collapsed bridge plunges him into the icy Hudson, he’s pulled deep into the deadly realm that exists between life and death. And with his earthly form trapped in a coma, he’s vulnerable to the horde of demons hell-bent on his utter destruction.

Traversing the road to the afterlife, David seeks the wisdom and skills he needs to fight the demonic forces reigning havoc on his allies above ground. But as one hellish threat closes in on his defenseless body, David must defeat another terrifying fiend waiting in the shadows to use him…

Can David escape the world beneath the veil in time to stop the bloodshed?

Beneath the Veil is the gripping first book in The Valor of Valhalla dark urban fantasy series. If you like reluctant heroes, infernal myths, and bloody epic clashes, then you’ll love Martin Kearns’s formidable foray into the unknown.


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An eerie feeling of solitude wrapped around Mark at the small campsite he had set up earlier in the week for some solace with his fiancé, Lindsay.

She hadn't come back to the campsite after full dark despite having them both done so  for the last week and a half camping in the Catskill mountains. Being back before dark was more an act of instinct, though there had been a few other outdoor adventurers, fewer and fewer dotted their days as the chill set in and the morning frost lingered well beyond its welcome.  
He called into the tree line for her, with no response. Lindsay had taken to heading down to a small waterfall around sunset each night after they'd chanced upon it during one of their exploratory hikes. She had said the lightly cascading water helped her to collect her thoughts as she watched daylight disappear behind the rocky outcrops of Sage's Ravine. However, tonight was first time she'd been this late to return.

Mark moved a pot of boiling water to a stone and pulled a jacket on over his windbreaker. The hike to the little falls, as they'd come to call them, was only a few minutes, but being without the right gear in the wilderness stretches time. Headlamp in pocket while the twilight still served as an ally, he set out on the path to find her. Mark found himself slowly descending a small, steep incline and his mind conjured a few horrible occurrences which may have befallen her. Eyes on his feet for most of the descent, he was then jarred by a peculiar sight as his eyelids flicked up. There were four or five headlamps of varying colors ahead, which wasn't unique in that his own lamp could emit three, but the movements seemed off. Too smooth in their fluidity. The lights appeared as a dance.

Mark walked a few more paces and made out Lindsay's outline. She moved along with the lights weaving her arms and twirling her body with abandon.

"Linds?" Mark asked. The lights halted their waltz and Lindsay's arms fell to her sides at the pace of deciduous leaves meeting the ground around them.

"Come. Come and hold me," Lindsay said.
 
Marks eyes were keen enough to see the headlamps did not hold human outlines of their own.

​"Let's get back to the site," he said, but found his feet moving him closer to her. Lindsay wasn't wearing her coat despite the autumn chill. Her feet and shoulders bare, she slowly swayed her hips and held her arms out to draw him.

Mark spied the arc of mushrooms between them and carefully stepped over the toadstool barrier to take her hands. The orbs of light sprang into motion and Mark's eyes followed. A hypnotic daze rose through his pragmatic defenses and soon his body swayed along with Lindsay's. The faeries of fall delighted about the young lovers as night's curtain fell on the day. Their bodies, naked and sapped, would not be found until the evanescence of spring revoked the snows of a coming winter.





I am an English and special education teacher and what draws me to the classroom year after year are the reactions my students give to the literature I present to them. Stories were my first love and during rare moments of quiet my mind turns toward those I've watched, read, and lived. They bring to mind possibilities, which are really where the seeds of a story begin. I truly hope to bring creative tales to readers who, like me, enjoy finding themselves lost somewhere in a world of endless possibilities.

Currently reading: Sabrine Elouali and Todd Keisling  

Publication date: October 31, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads J oey’s a mechanic. One night, she receives a call from her best friend, ask...

Review || Bleedmore, Bodymore by Ian Kirkpatrick

Raven with red bleeding eye on purple background


Publication date: October 31, 2021


Joey’s a mechanic. One night, she receives a call from her best friend, asking for his car to be picked up from the infamous body dumping grounds of Baltimore: Leakin Park. When she arrives, there’s little more around than a stalled-out car and a couple of ravens, so she leaves only with the car. Back at the body shop, it doesn’t take long for the smell of rot to permeate the trunk. Inside? A corpse. The cops say her friend did it. His absence is his guilt, but Joey knows better. She will find her missing friend and she will prove his innocence.

But something isn’t right in Baltimore. It’s not just the feeling that someone is always watching from the city’s abandoned buildings... Her search for her friend reveals something much worse hiding under the city. A ghost town, a reaper, regret. Suddenly, the city’s rage and the stink rising out of the dirt make much more sense. 

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Bleedmore, Bodymore is a YA fantasy horror with a very nice nod to Greek mythology. Our protagonist, Joey, is thrown immediately into the fray, showing up in the slums of Leakin Park after a call requesting a tow. Only there's a body in the trunk of the car of her friend and her friend is nowhere in sight. Who is the person in the trunk? Did her friend kill him? If he didn't, why has he disappeared? Down the rabbit hole goes Joey into a whole different world transposed on the city of Baltimore and Leakin Park.

I was all for the atmosphere of this read. It's dark and gritty showing the shadowed side of Baltimore. There's a dank and mealy vibe coating everything and you can conjure the wet asphalt and garbage smell in the air without even trying. That's where the novel excelled. The pacing worked well enough though there were some slowdowns and breakneck parts. 

Where it lost me was taking a hard right turn beyond the murder and mystery sticking us straight into mythology and the underworld. I was expecting paranormal. That wasn't the problem. Additionally, I love a good mythology/horror combination, but I was honestly confused enough to backtrack thinking I missed something. Once I reoriented myself, I loved the addition—this dark underworld filled with a ghost town, a river of regret to drown in, heart-devouring raven shifters, a reaper, and dead-but-not-dead abusive alcoholic fathers. (Tw - abuse, alcoholism, and suicide)

I didn't care so much for Joey aka Josephine. I wanted to like her and I wanted to care about her plight but it didn't happen. She never quite made it past a one-dimensional character for me. She comes across as being very immature and she makes some extremely stupid decisions for seemingly no other reason than "I'm tough and edgy". If I had to hear about her licking or sucking on her lip piercing ONE MORE TIME, I was going to lose it. As far as the secondary characters went, the most interesting ones were Charon and Val. I wanted to know more about them. This is a continued series though so surely the author will expand on that later.  

There's plenty here that worked well of though. There is loads of action and it moves the story along fairly quickly. Joey is actually pretty witty and some of the dialogue will give you a laugh. There's some great imagery as well and the atmosphere is top notch. I feel like this would be better promoted as urban fantasy versus horror, though it certainly contains horror elements. Hopefully, book two can address some of the weaknesses and give a stronger more cohesive read. 

Publication date: September 21st, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads ' H umans, as is there wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess ...

Review || The Monsters of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny

Gothic house surrounded by a white fence

Publication date: September 21st, 2021


'Humans, as is there wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess of everything.'

Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world.

But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren't necessarily the ones you can see.

A thought-provoking, chilling and beautifully written novel, Pádraig Kenny's The Monsters of Rookhhaven, stunningly illustrated by Edward Bettison, explores difference and empathy through the eyes of characters you won't want to let go.

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The Monsters of Rookhaven is a delightful middle-grade gothic tale of a little girl named Mirabelle and her family. For centuries, the Family has lived protected in their home away from the eyes of most humans. Until one day, the veil tears and two abandoned and abused human children find their way in. They are promptly and fiercely championed by seemingly normal Mirabelle to stay. While the rest of those living at the estate are unsure, the children are quickly settled in amongst the strange and usual characters.  The rift, however, leaves the family vulnerable to those that might wish them harm and it has been out there patiently waiting. 

The world that Kenny weaves is mysterious and enchanting. The estate that the family lives on is brooding and sprawling, replete with unnatural flowers guarding the paths. Each of the family has a unique "talent". There's Uncle Betram, who can transform into a huge bear. Aunt Eliza is made up of spiders. Gideon can transport via portals. The twins, well they are their own breed. Piglet is the literal monster in the basement. We have to learn much later what their talent is, but the family keeps them behind a tremendous locked door and whispers "Piglet is dangerous." 

There are themes of friendships and found family, and how the monsters aren't always the one to be feared. It's not all love and sweetness though—the last half takes a very dark turn. There is a defined evil under the the burgeoning friendship and comfort that the family supplies. Secrets often can cause harm and there is a big ominous secret waiting in the wings for Mirabelle. It will change everything.

I was lucky enough to get The Monsters of Rookhaven on audiobook narrated by Emma Noakes. She has a gift with voices and made the listen that much more enjoyable. Her volume ebbed and flowed through all the different voices, bringing each character to life in turn. I found myself smiling while listening. I couldn't wait to get my earbuds plugged back in to this unforgettable story with its captivating narrator. 

Fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will be charmed by this story. It's fantastical and magical. Perfect for middle-grade readers or for those wanting a little more enchantment in their lives. 





Publication date: October 5th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil. A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolati...

Book Blitz || Golem by PD Alleva


Publication date: October 5th, 2021


Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil.

A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolation, contempt, and fear.

On November 1, 1951, war hero John Ashton was promoted to detective. His first assignment: find the district attorney’s missing daughter. But his only lead is Alena Francon, a high society sculptor and socialite committed to Bellevue’s psychiatric facility.

Alena has a story for the new detective. A story so outlandish John Ashton refuses to heed the warning. Alena admits to incarnating Golem, a demonic force, into her statue. A devil so profound he’s infiltrated every part of New York’s infrastructure. Even worse, he uses children to serve as bodily hosts for his demonic army, unleashing a horde of devils into our world.

When Alena’s confidant, Annette Flemming, confirms the existence of Golem, John is sent on a collision course where fate and destiny spiral into peril, and the future of the human race hangs in the balance.

The Devil Is In The Details!

Fans of The Silence of the Lambs, Clive Barker, John Connolly, old Stephen King, and Anne Rice will be fascinated by this edge of your seat psychological horror thriller with a story that tears out the heart of humanity and throws it on a slab to be feasted on.
 

Potential Trigger / Content Warnings


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Born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Westchester County, New York, living in South Florida since 1992. A child of the 90’s PD has coined a new genre, Alternative Fiction. Why? Because Multi-Genre Author sounds like you’ve got marbles between your cheeks. 

 Horror, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Supernatural, Dark Fiction, Thrillers and Mysteries, a little bit of sumpin sumpin for readers who enjoy intellectual and yet over the top lets blow our minds and rock out to amazing and extraordinary stories, heroes and villains. PD's latest release is The Rose Vol 1, a dystopian science fiction thriller, a series that features a sophisticated although primal and ravaging species of Alien Vampires living in hollow earth who have conspired with alien greys and elite humans in an attempt to subjugate the human population. Vol 1 was published on October 7, 2020 with Vol 2 slated for publication in early December 2021. PD will also publish his horror novel, Golem in early October 2021.

PD can best be described as a kind hearted, compassionate, hypnotizing, mesmerizing, do good save your life simpleton who would rather hang out all day with the characters in his books than venture too far away from home. A lover of isolation, meditating on the beach at sunrise, and howling at the moon after sunset, he’s either the life of the party or the oddball sitting alone in the corner with that really strange look in his eye as if he’s talking with people that are just not there, perhaps receiving a few concerned stares as he laughs at himself or maybe a funny joke one of those voices just told him. OH, All IS WELL ISN’T IT?

 PD loves the creative process that comes with writing. From the spawning of a new idea to jotting down notes or sending a hurried email to himself even during the most off time to do so (the book always come first), to the artful craft of editing all the way to publication, there is nothing better than producing an exceptional book. 

An avid reader who loves to talk books, PD will write short reaction reviews for the books he has finished and has not one issue answering questions from readers as they come.

So don’t miss a thing that PD has going on, check in often, like follow and share on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads and lets all have the time of our lives discussing what we all love best, BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. 

O ctober is my absolute favorite month of the year!  There's the cooler weather, the smell of leaves, and of course, Halloween!  My birt...

This Month in Horror: October 2021



October is my absolute favorite month of the year! 
There's the cooler weather, the smell of leaves, and of course, Halloween! 

My birthday is also on October 21st so it's a month-long celebration. It's the perfect month to settle in with a warm blanket and a scary book. 

If you are looking for a read for the season, here is October'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!)