Do you read Apocalyptic Fiction? Enjoy Dark Humor? THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!   A is for Asteroids … Z is for Zombies – A Bedtime Book for the Coming Apocalypse – Written by Paul Lewis – Illustrated by the talented Kenneth Lamug. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Title: A IS FOR ASTEROIDS … Z IS FOR ZOMBIES   

Subtitle: A BEDTIME BOOK FOR THE COMING APOCALYPSE

Author: PAUL LEWIS    

Illustrator: KENNETH KIT LAMUG      

Genre: FICTION, APOCALYPTIC FICTION, HUMOR

Length: 40 PAGES

Publisher: ANDREWS McMEEL PUBLISHING    

Type of Book: EBOOK    

Received From: NETGALLEY    

Release Date: OCTOBER 10, 2017   

ISBN: 9781449486884

Price: $14.99 USD (Hardcover)   

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

DESCRIPTION:  

Are you a fan of dark humor? What about zombies? Are you the type of person who reads everything you can about the Apocalypse?

What about your kids? What do you tell them when they come home from school with questions about the future of our world? 

Well, if you are anything like  author Paul Lewis, you create a faux-children’s book of ABC’s that allows you to list all the ways our civilization might end.

The next step is to find an illustrator that can bring your vision to life. That is where KENNETH KIT LAMUG comes in.

Between the twisted imaginings of Paul Lewis and the equally, if not more twisted illustrations of Kenneth Kit Lamug, what you end up with is an uproariously funny book that is sure to become an instant Bestseller. I for one will be purchasing several hardcover copies for myself and my friends.

The fact that each page of the book is told in sing-song rhyming prose adds to the overall unreal quality of this hilarious book.  

If I had the skills to write a book of this kind, this would be exactly how I would want it to turn out.

What I want to say most, is that I recommend this book as highly as possible. If you do not add it to your must-buy list, then you will be missing out. In fact, I forsee many awards and accolades in this book’s future. Let’s just hope that Paul Lewis receives his rewards before one of his potential apocalyptic scenarios comes to pass.

I give 5 out of 5 Stars for this highly imaginative, highly entertaining, and uproariously funny book. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

*I would like to say a special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PAUL LEWIS is an English professor at Boston College, the president of the Poe Studies Association, and the author of Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict (U Chicago Press).

A fascination with gothic fiction and horror films prepared him to publish “The Funeral Game” in Crazy Magazine while he was in graduate school, coin the word “Frankenfood” at the dawn of the GMO era, and write A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies.

As a freelance writer, Lewis has published op-ed and humor pieces in leading newspapers.

To learn more visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

AMAZON    

CHAPTERS    

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE   


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: 

Kenneth Lamug is an author/illustrator based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a child, he made comics and books from scraps of used copy paper. Then, stopped drawing for the longest time when his entire family moved to the US from the Philippines.

He finally got back to his creative roots and has been having loads of fun making books and comics for all-ages.

Kenneth’s debut picture book “A Box Story” won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, Literary Classics, Pinnacle Awards and the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

 In 2014, he launched a Kickstarter campaign which funded the all-ages graphic adventure book, “The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca.” 

His most recent books include the macabre children’s fairytale, “The Stumps of Flattop Hill” (One Peace Books) and the parenting parody book, “HURTS LIKE A MOTHER” (Doubleday).

Kenneth is a husband, and father of three rabble rousing boys.


AWARDS KENNETH LAMUG HAS WON: 

2016 SCBWI National Postcard Contest Winner   

* 2016 Children’s Book Academy Golden Ticket Winner

* 2016 Literary Classics (The Stumps of Flattop Hill)  

2014 Moonbeam Children’s Awards Graphic Novel (Talbot Toluca Quest For The Ore Crystals)

* 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards (Talbot Toluca Quest For The Ore Crystals)

* 2012 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards (A Box Story)  

* 2012 Literary Classics Seal of Approval (A Box Story)  

* 2012 Nation Indie Excellence Awards Finalist (A Box Story)

* 2012 Pinnacle Awards (A Box Story)

To learn more about this amazing illustrator, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS 

TWITTER     

FACEBOOK   

INSTAGRAM    

CHAPTERS        
PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE   

   

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4 Stars for the Speculative fiction short story LEVIATHAN by SAUL TANPEPPER. 

Title: LEVIATHAN – A SHORT STORY 

Author: SAUL TANPEPPER  

Genre: SPECULATIVE FICTION

Length: 31 PAGES

Publisher: BRINESTONE PRESS

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 11, 2017

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:


Earth is dying.

On a barren, windless shore of a dead sea, two people, a father and his child, eke out a meager existence. They eat what little they can find. They are tormented by memories and tales of what the world once was.

Then, on a day no different than the thousands of others they have lived, the child hears the ghostly call of a sea creature presumed extinct for decades. Was it real? Or was it the last gasp of planet nearing death?

Leviathan is a short, dark, and haunting post-apocalyptic story (6500 words) written in stream-of-consciousness. Fans of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which inspired this story, will recognize similarities.


Appropriate for readers of all ages. 


CHECK OUT THE TRAILER: 


MY REVIEW
:

As the world nears its end, a father and his child are tormented by the ghostly call of a sea creature presumed extinct for decades.

Is it the last gasp of a dying planet? Or a reason to hope?

This is an thought-provoking and extremely interesting story. It may have been short, but it packed a punch. It is worth reading.

I rate LEVIATHAN as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Saul Tanpepper is the speculative fiction pen name for Ken J. Howe, a retired PhD molecular biologist and biotech entrepreneur who writes full time in multiple genres. The pen name honors the memory of his high school buddy, who passed away at age 27. “Salt and Pepper” was a favorite epithet, given the author’s premature graying.

After a childhood in a small town in Upstate New York, he entered the U.S. Army and was trained as a combat medic. He did a tour in West Germany before the wall came down, working as both a medic in an armored infantry unit in Mannheim and a hospital attendant in Frankfurt. After returning Stateside, he did a tour as a trauma specialist in the emergency room at Walter Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and at Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts.

He attended university in Santa Barbara, CA, majoring in biology and creative studies while working as a medical assistant. He studied molecular biology and genetics as a graduate student, then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Berkeley.
Prior to entering the work force, he and his wife spent six months traveling through the Middle East and Africa, logging over 50,000 miles in a refurbished garbage truck.

He spent 10 years in biotech, working his way from bench scientist to Director of R&D and site manager of a major pharma company. He then formed his own company, Collabria BioSciences, and was VP of R&D of another startup.

He retired from the business in 2011 to write and publish full time. Under his real name, he writes literary young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books. As Saul Tanpepper, he writes and publishes speculative fiction (scifi, horror, fantasy).

​He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, children, and many pets and farm animals.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

FACEBOOK 

PINTEREST     

GOODREADS    

SMASHWORDS    

TWITTER         

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS    


BY EMAIL: Send email to: 
authorsaultanpepper@gmail.com  

MORE BOOKS BY SAUL TANPEPPER: 



THE SEEKER’S KEYS – The third and final book of THE TREEMAKER’S TRILOGY – RELEASED TODAY – Read my 5 Star Review

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Title: THE SEEKER’S KEYS   

Series: THE TREEMAKER’S TRILOGY

Author: CHRISTINA L. ROZELLE

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION

Length: 438 PAGES

Publisher: A SPARK IN THE DARK PRESS  

Release Date: DECEMBER 3, 2016 

ASIN:  B01M73AK5A

Price: $2.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:

Where is The Wall?” I asked my father one night while he brushed my hair.
“Somewhere east . . . And you’re going to find it one day, I know you are. I hear,” he whispered, “there’s an underground passageway that leads straight there.”

Joy Montgomery’s life has never been as it seems. She knows this now. Her tragic journey has been a complex mirage of dreams and illusions set in place by her ancestors’ secrets and driven by the calculated genius of her late father, Zephyr the Magnificent. In the Greenleigh Tree Factory, under the rule of the wretched Superiors, he’d prepared her for this future as if he’d already known the outcome. He’d instilled into her the quest for truth, freedom, and love, and had given her the strength to guard with her life those she now protects, some of whom she must risk her life to save.
Now, the treemakers and the saltminers are split over Bygonne. They must acquire the Seeker’s Keys with the help of Zephyr’s clues, which also must be found along the way. Stakes are high, war is coming, and now, Joy has everything to lose. Will they be triumphant, like Cheyenne said they’d be, and grasp the promised victory? Or will they face defeat at the hands of Lord Daumier and lose the future waiting for them on the other side of The Wall?

“What did you see in me?”
“That you’re a hero. You’re my hero.”
“I’m no hero, Joy. Don’t ever forget this, okay? You’re the light in the dark. You’re the love that conquers fear and evil. You’re the hero, Joy. You always have been, and you always will be.”

*** This series is intended for mature YA audiences, as there are mature themes (some abuse, some graphic violence, some sexual situations, some language, character deaths, etc.) which may be too emotionally intense for younger readers, and/or disturbing to those sensitive to such content. ***

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MY REVIEW:

This trilogy is absolutely amazing. If the main characters were not teenagers, this would most likely not have billed as Young Adult fiction. It will appeal to readers ages 16 and up who love dystopian fiction.

Someone asked me today what it was that I thought made for a great dystopian book. I did not have to go far to look for answers, Those answers came directly from THE TREEMAKER’S TRILOGY and from this final installment; THE SEEKER’S KEYS. I believe that the main factor in a good dystopian fiction novel is the world-building. If the world is not detailed enough then readers will see through it and not want to continue reading. That is not a problem with this series. The world the characters are living in is horrific and the fact that people were considered expendable may be hard to believe, but author Christina L. Rozelle has done a fantastic job of detailing how the world got to be the way it is in the books.

This last book is a bit different from the first two in the series. In THE SEEKER’S KEYS the “narrator” does not remain a single person. It is told from four alternating viewpoints which allows readers the privilege of getting inside the heads of characters who we previously only knew through Joy’s filters. For me, this fleshed out characters I hadn’t felt I knew as well as some of the others.

At the end of the second book there is still an unresolved love triangle involving Joy. This triangle disappears in this book and concrete decisions about who she chooses are made. Of course, this has far-reaching ramifications, but at least she finally made up her mind.

I do not want to give too much information away but I can tell you that you will NOT be disappointed with this book. It is full of action, emotion – both happy and sad (just like real life) and an epic conclusion. There are quite a few scenes that will surprise readers, which in my mind makes this book even better.

I rate THE SEEKER’S KEYS as 5 out of 5 Stars and with this trilogy I truly believe that Christina L. Rozelle has now joined the ranks of the highest echelons of Young Adult Dystopian Fiction Writers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Christina L. Rozelle is a native of Richardson, Texas. She is a writer of dark Young Adult and adult fiction laced with light, doused with horror, tinged with romance and always an adventure.

Christina’s Fansite 

Sign up for the “Rozelle Army” to be emailed directly about exciting upcoming events and promotions, or when new releases become available.

Facebook 

Official Blog

Twitter 

Goodreads  

CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW TO BE TAKEN TO EACH BOOK’S ORIGINAL REVIEW WRITTEN BY ME:

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RED DEATH by Jeff Altabef contains dynamic writing and an epic plot-line that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE PAPERBACK NOW

Title: RED DEATH

Series: RED DEATH: BOOK ONE

Author: JEFF ALTABEF

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION

Publisher: EVOLVED PUBLISHING 
Release Date: NOVEMBER 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1622533213 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1622533206 (Softcover)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

 I LOVED THIS BOOK!

The world-buulding is truly exceptional. The author has created not just a single city or even a single state; he has created an entire world that is like a MAD MAX version of a mixture of Tolkein’s Middle Earth and Medieval England.

RED DEATH is a story of teens surviving in a world where even the air they breathe can kill them. They need to learn to adapt and they need to learn to plan for the future. They must achieve all of this in a world where corruption and greed hide in the most unexpected of places.

The story takes place many centuries after a virus was unleashed on the world and decimated the human population. Survivors have splintered into tribes and the virus is still a problem. No one lives long past the age of 21 – eventually they all succomb to the virus that permeates the very air they breathe.

There is one colony that was isolated from the rest of the world during the Apocalypse. The virus – THE RED DEATH – is still a problem and no known cure exists, but the people of Eden are protected by isolating the air they breathe and by killing anyone who comes too close to their hidden sanctuary. Trained “Guardians” are responsible for keeping Eden safe.

One of those Guardians is seventeen year old Aaliss. She is the best of the Guardians and takes her job very seriously. She also takes the job of protecting her thirteen year old brother Wilky seriously.

Wilky may only be thirteen years old, and a bit – OK, A LOT – strange, but he is also a genius who discovers a cure for the plague.

When the High Priest finds out about the cure, he sees it as a way to solidify his power. There is just one small problem – Wilky and his sister Aaliss. He needs them gone for his plan to succeed so he brands them traitors.

The penalty for being a traitor is death and so Aaliss and Wilky run for their lives.

” They seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.”

Aaliss had been told from birth that those who lived outside of Eden were savages who had no souls.

But as Aaliss spends time with the people of the Tribes, she starts to believe that maybe, just maybe, everything she ever thought she knew was a lie.

The characters in this book are written so vividly that they start to feel real to the reader. They fairly leap off the page and are complex and believable.

RED DEATH contains dynamic writing and an epic plot-line that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Not only is this book highly entertaining but it also examines topics that everyone can relate to.

Aaliss’s struggle between believing in what she has been taught her entire life and what she has witnessed and experienced for herself is reminiscent of the struggle for youth to follow the religion of their parents.

The High Priest turning on Aaliss and her brother teaches readers the lesson that what people are like in public and what they are like behind closed doors are not necessarily the same.

There are so many facets to this story that I actually plan to re-read it because I believe I might even enjoy it more the second time around.

Although this book is targeted at a Young Adult and New Adult readership, I firmly believe that it can (and will) be enjoyed by readers of ages 14 to 114.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars, but would rate it higher if that were possible.

 CLICK HERE TO BUY THE PAPERBACK NOW

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives with his wife, two daughters and Charlie the dog. He writes adult thrillers and young adult fantasy novels. Often he can be found wondering hiking trails with Charlie discussing the fine points of his stories. To date, Charlie puts up with him, but that could change at any moment.

Jeff volunteers at the Writing Center in his local community college. He believes that everyone has stories to tell and enjoys helping others tell them. He’s also an avid Knicks fan, which explains why he goes through long morose periods during hoops season.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS   
TWITTER   
FACEBOOK    

AMAZON   
  


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SKITTER by Ezekiel Boone is the second book in THE HATCHING Series and it is even better than Book One. THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU REALIZE WHY WE SHOULD BE AFRAID OF SPIDERS. 

Title: SKITTER   

Series: THE HATCHING: BOOK TWO

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE 

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 352 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON AND SCHUSTER  

Release Date: MAY 9, 2017

ISBN: 9781501125072

Price:  $26.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

If you were a bit scared of spiders before reading the first book in this series then you probably now have an extreme case of arachniphobia after reading THE HATCHING. Well, once you read SKITTER, that arachniphobia will morph into a full-blown neurosis. You might even need therapy. Seriously!

I had been waiting (not very patiently) for the sequel to THE HATCHING and I was thrilled when I was able to read an ARC (Advance Review Copy) courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley. The bad news is that if you are not a reviewer like me, you will have to wait until May 2017 for this book to be released. Might I suggest that you spend some of that time re-reading THE HATCHING.

In the first book we learned that a very old spider species has awakened from their slumber and that they were hungry. A group of researchers found an old dried out egg sac and sent it to America for identification and study.

That simple event seemed to trigger a worldwide awakening of spider egg sacs that had lain dormant all over the world for thousands of years. The spiders were unlike any that humans had encountered since the beginning of recorded history. They were bigger, they were meaner and they were much deadlier. 

Worse than finding egg sacs, people discovered (too late) that the spiders often travelled inside people who had no knowledge that they had even been bitten. Thus they spread throughout the world – much as the spread of a viral pandemic.

Los Angeles is deemed lost and it’s residents are quarantined as are many other cities and provinces around the world. Just as it seemed that all was lost, the spiders seemed to have reached the end of their life span and they all died off. However, they did leave thousands if not millions of egg sacs behind.

Now, it seems that all that is left is the clean up and to eradicate any egg sac sites and then all should be ok. Right?

Wrong! In SKITTER we learn that the threat is not over and that, in fact, that first wave of spiders was only the beginning.

Something is coming. Something really bad. The question is: Can mankind survive it?

You will need to read SKITTER to find out.

This book may sound like a typical horror story, but it is anything but. Both THE HATCHING and SKITTER are actually a mixture of multiple genres. Yes, there is definitely a horror element to this story, but it is much more. In fact, I could argue that it fits into every category of adult fiction.

It is a thriller. It is a drama. It is very much a mystery. It is Apocalyptic Fiction as well as Science Fiction. It is literally everything a reader could possibly want in a great book and for that reason I give this book the highest possible rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I cannot wait to get my hands on the third installment of THE HATCHING SERIES. Ezekiel Boone has a lifetime fan in me!

WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
 
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

 

A unique tale of life nine generations after the apocalypse – THE DEAD ROOM by Stephanie Erickson – A 5 Star Read 

Title: THE DEAD ROOM    

Series: THE DEAD ROOM – BOOK ONE

Author: STEPHANIE ERICKSON

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: POST-APOCALYPTIC, DYSTOPIAN, FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 210 PAGES

Publisher: PICKLES PRESS

Release Date: FEBRUARY 2015

ISBN: 978-09909-293-2-1

Price: EBOOK: $0.00 on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited or Buy at $3.77

Price: PAPERBACK  $12.91

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 


MY REVIEW: 

322 years after the apocalypse on an island in the Northern Pacific are the last remnants of mankind. 

Once an islander reaches thirteen years of age, they are assigned a job that they are expected to do until the day they die.  

Ashley Wortham isn’t like the rest of the island’s inhabitants, she is naturally inquisitive. Ashley wants to know what killed off the world’s population and what is out there beyond their island home. But, no matter how much she wishes it were different,  answers are not forthcoming. Asking questions in a world where questions can get you killed is probably not the best idea. 

The nine elders who govern the island and it’s residents see it as their responsibility to maintain their way of life. According to the elders: 

“If the community raises questions … they will be answered with our standard response – ‘You do not need to concern yourself with that information. You have enough burdens.'”

Mason is Ashley’s best friend and when he walks in on Ashley’s chosen-for-her  “match” beating her and Ashley holding a knife dripping with blood, he is arrested and sentenced to death. 

However, the elders have other ideas of how they can use both Ashley and Mason.

This book is the first one in a trilogy that is not only a story of survival in a Post-Apocalyptic world. It is filled with well rounded characters that are incredibly realistic. In fact, Burton reminds me of a Post-Apocalyptic Donald Trump. 

There are lots of undertones to this tale. There is unrequited love, political and personal dramas and a mystery to solve as to what really caused the destruction of most of the planet. Not least of all is the question of whether or not the islanders can ever return to the mainland.

The story will hold your attention from page one right up until the cliff-hanger ending. Fortunately, the second book in the series is already available for purchase. 

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and am looking forward to reading THE DEAD WORLD which is the next book in this dramatic series. 


FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Suspicion leads to questions. Questions lead to unrest. Unrest leads to anarchy.” 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

  Stephanie Erickson was born in Michigan but is essentially a native Floridian.  You can tell because she can’t handle cold temperatures.

She graduated from Flagler College in 2005 with a B.A. in English.  Always the bibliophile, she did what she could to live and breathe the written word.  After graduation, she worked for a large circulation newspaper in South Florida, but as we all know they are a dying breed.  No matter, because she voluntarily departed copy editing and page design to follow her husband in his pursuit of an aviation career.  Once he was settled into his career, she could once again return to storytelling.  Her first novel, The Blackout, was a surprise hit upon its release and she’s been trying to duplicate it ever since.

Currently, she is working on her 11th novel and is placing her hope in you, the reader, to devour it and her other 10 novels so she may continue her love affair with words.

Stephanie lives with her husband and their daughter along Florida’s Treasure Coast.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS AUTHOR VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

GOODREADS      

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK      

AMAZON      

iTUNES
  
INSTAGRAM    

 

IN THE VALLEY WHERE BELLADONNA GROWS by TIM LEBBON ends with a twist readers won’t see coming. 4 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 

Title: IN THE VALLEY WHERE BELLADONNA GROWS

Author: TIM LEBBON   

Genre: FICTION, HORROR, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 78 PAGES    

Publisher: ENDEAVOUR PRESS – VENTURE PRESS 

Release Date: AUGUST 25, 2016

ISBN: 9781537450827   

Rating:4 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Mary has lived alone in her valley for over 16 years. She has been there ever since her husband banished her from the city. It was supposed to be a punishment and at first it was, but over time she came to love her valley, her garden and even the wildlife that often visited. Now in her late seventies, Mary cannot imagine wanting any other kind of life. She is happy – content.

That is why she is so surprised when she gets a visitor from the city with a message from her husband saying that she is now free to leave the valley. But she already felt free, so why should she leave if she did not want to.

When her first visitor in sixteen years appeared, he somehow brought change with him. That small change in routine leads to more visitors and other changes and Mary wonders why things had to change. And those changes are not for the better.

Reality has come crashing into Mary’s world and she is not sure what to do about it. So, she chooses to ignore it and does nothing. “Routine calmed Mary’s recent upsets and made placid the upheaval that had struck the valley.”

But will Mary be able to survive the changes through sheer force of will? What will happen to her? And why are these changes happening now?

You will have to read IN THE VALLEY WHERE BELLADONNA GROWS to find out.

Although this book is technically a novella since it is only 78 pages long, it contains a full novel’s worth of story.

This book is perfect for anyone who has ever felt alone or abandoned and for anyone wanting a unique read with an interesting twist.

I enjoyed reading this book and loved the twist at the end. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 

* I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tim Lebbon is a talented, highly-respected author, and the winner of multiple writing awards.

Tim was born in 1969 in London and lived in Devon until I was eight, and the next twenty years were spent in Newport. With his wife Tracey they then did a Good Thing and moved back to the country, and now live in the little village of Goytre in Monmouthshire with their kids Ellie and Daniel.

It’s a lovely place – pub, shop, chip shop, school – and they are  very happy there. Two minutes’ walk in any direction and they’re in the countryside, and the area has featured, intentionally or not, in much of his writing.

AWARDS

Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction – 2001 Reconstructing Amy

British Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction – 2000

WhiteBritish Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction – 2001Naming of Parts

British Fantasy Awards 2007 – August Derleth Fantasy Award for Best Novel

DuskScribe Award for Best Adapted Screenplay – 2007 30 Days of Night

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   
TWITTER   
GOODREADS    

5 out of 5 Stars for the Amazing Book – THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by MEG ELISON – THIS IS A MUST READ

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Title: THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE   

Author: MEG ELISON

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION, LGBTQ

Length: 190 PAGES

Publisher: 47 NORTH  

ISBN: 9781503939110  

Cover Designer: CHRISTIAN FUENFHAUSEN  

Publication Date: OCTOBER 11, 2016

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS  

 

In almost every post-apocalyptic novel I have ever read (and I have read quite a few,) the author writes about the dark side of human nature that most people predict will take hold if, and when an apocalyptic event strikes our planet. In THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE this darkness is once again unleashed, albeit in a very unique and interesting situation. #tbotuh

However, author Meg Elison must be an optimist at heart since her book allows readers to believe that even in the darkest situation there is hope, and even in a world that appears that it just might not be worth saving, there might be people left who are holding onto their humanity with both hands. It is this hope that makes #TBOTUM such a compelling read.

Readers will be taken on a journey along with the main character as she travels on a northerly route from California to wherever she ends up. This journey is not only physical, but is also emotional and mental. From the craving for human companionship to the fear of running into the wrong type of people, readers will find themselves increasingly invested in the midwife’s survival.

Meg Elison has done the near impossible with this book – that is to get readers emotionally invested in the trials and tribulations of a character of whom they do not even know her real name. When asked near the beginning of the book what her name is, the midwife responds by telling the man her name is Karen. “She was not Karen. Karen had died a week ago, still wearing her name tag. He wasn’t going to ask for ID. She decided to be Karen for now.”

A fever followed by intense illness and then death has swept the globe. This pandemic is unlike anything ever experienced in human history. Women had a mortality rate around 99% and the Midwife discovered through her job in the Maternity Ward at a major hospital that no babies survived more than a few minutes after birth. In fact, most were stillborn. Despite the fact that all the marvels of modern medicine were still available, the mothers also died shortly after their infants. The mortality rate was 100% in newborn infants and in the general population, 99 out of 100 women who contracted the fever never recovered. Men were much luckier and therefore the ratio of females to males became skewed.

What happens when something you want is in short supply? You tend to stock up on that commodity and to guard what you have left. Well, this is similar to how men responded to the lack of available women. Once people realized that they were most likely not going to die from the plague, they began to think of what they wanted and needed to survive in the new, lawless, post-apocalyptic world they found themselves in.

I believe that when the constraints of society are removed in such a way that there is little hope of order ever being restored, that many people will allow their baser instincts to overrule the ideals of goodness and basic human decency. Add to that volatile situation a lack of food, a lack of purpose and a lack of consequences for their actions and you have some seriously big problems. Now, top off an already untenable situation with the fact that very few females survived the initial plague and anyone who knows anything at all about human nature will agree that this is a recipe for disaster.

Karen “Went to sleep and the world was dying … woke up and it was dead and gone.” After an intense and terrifying experience Karen is forced to kill a man to save herself from being raped and beaten. It is after that she realizes she needs to hide her femininity if she is to have any chance at long-term survival in this new world. Karen soon realizes that survival was not going to be her only challenge. In fact, it just might be the least of her problems.

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is exceedingly difficult to surprise me, but THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE did exactly that.

The character of “Karen” is not your typical post-apocalyptic female survivor. She is complex in many ways and yet simple in others. She is tough as nails and yet she also craves human companionship (although she would never admit that to anyone). Too many books in this genre stick to gender stereotypes; THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE does not. By placing Karen in the role of the main character, author Meg Elison challenges the view that a woman must have a man with her in order to survive and thrive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Not only does this book entertain readers with a fascinating story, but it also points out the unique issues that would face women in a post-apocalyptic world. (Think tampons and birth control.) In a world where woman are almost guaranteed to die in childbirth, especially since hospitals are no longer operational, birth control would be more important than ever before. Karen stocks up on the injections required for months of preventing unwanted pregnancies and makes it her mission to offer it to anyone who wants or needs it. I can almost guarantee that no male novelist has ever written (or could write) anything similar to this book and have it come across as realistic and believable as it does in TBOTUM.

With this book, female Young Adult readers have a new heroine to celebrate and to cheer on. And to make her even more loveable, Karen is a BADASS. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she is ready and willing to kill to protect herself.

Feminism and the power of women are not the only topics of discussion that come up when reading this book proving that Meg Elison is not afraid of controversy in her writing. This is demonstrated once again when Karen comes across a small religious settlement where residents act as if the apocalypse had not happened and present a good-looking face to the outside world. It is only once she looks deeper that she realizes that the leaders are using religion to rid themselves of unwanted rivals for the attentions of the few female residents. When Karen (dressed as a man and calling herself Rusty) tries to dissuade one man from leaving the safety of the town to travel far away as a missionary because that is what his bishop ordered him to do, she is frustrated when he dismisses her argument that it is too dangerous to travel with only a bible and his faith for protection. She realizes “There is no argument to be had with faith.”

Meg Elison has tackled the topics of women’s rights, gender equality, as well as the blind faith some people place in their religion, so it is only fitting t hat she also uses this book to bring up differing types of sexuality. In fact, our heroine is bi-sexual.

Aside from controversial topics being included in the narrative, this is just a damn good story. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this book as well as the numerous twists and turns – many of which I did not see coming. The conclusion is a masterpiece of the unexpected that readers will not see coming.

This book was originally written in 2014 and is being re-released in anticipation of the release in early 2017 of the second book in the series THE BOOK OF ETTA which I have already added to my TBR (To Be Read) list.

I rate THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE AS

5 OUT OF 5 STARS.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Meg Elison is the author of THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE, a post-apocalyptic feminist speculative novel, Tiptree recommendation, and winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. The sequel to #TBOTUM is called THE BOOK OF ETTA and will be published in early 2017.

Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, throws themed sing-along parties, and appears at Bay Area literary events whenever someone allows it.

If she could eradicate one societal ill, it would be misogyny.

When she is alone she likes to live deliciously while she writes and breaks hearts.

The three women, dead or alive, she most wants to see square off on Jeopardy are Ada Lovelace, Margaret Atwood, and Queen Elizabeth I.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS     

FACEBOOK          

TWITTER  

AMAZON    

GOOGLE  

 

 

 

5 Absolutely Horrified Stars for THE HATCHING by Ezekiel Boone – An Utterly Terrifying Read that will justify a fear of spiders for the rest of your life.

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TItle: THE HATCHING

Series: THE HATCHING – BOOK ONE

Author: EZEKIEL BOONE

Type of Book: Hardcover

Genre: Fiction, Horror

Length: 330 Pages

Release Date: JULY 5, 2016

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE CANADA

ISBN: 978-0-345-81648-1

PRICE: $29.95 CAN (Hardcover)

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Reviews are not required, but they are usually appreciated.

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MY REVIEW:

ARE YOU SCARED OF SPIDERS?

If you aren’t scared of spiders before reading this book, you will be once you reach the final page.

Personally, spiders scare the crap out of me. Yes, I admit it. I have a case of arachniphobia.

Speaking of “Arachniphobia,” When I read the first chapter of this book I was reminded of the movie from 1990,  starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman called ARACHNIPHOBIA. I was actually worried that this might end up being an updated version of the same storyline. But, I needn’t have been concerned. While both the movie and this book both center around spiders, this is WAY different and much more terrifying.

I read quite a bit of Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and prior to reading THE HATCHING, I thought I had read about every possible way that modern civilization could be brought to it’s knees. The Hatching proved that I was dead-wrong.

I loved this book even while cringing and recoiling in both revulsion and terror at the subject matter.

Do you love a good scare? Do you enjoy Horror stories? If so, then you MUST add Ezekiel Boone’s novel to your bookshelf ASAP.

If you don’t find yourself checking all the dark corners of your house and under your bed for spiders after reading this book, I will be tremendously surprised.  I knew there was a reason that I dislike spiders and Ezekiel Boone has made me realize that those people who used to think my arachniphobia was silly, well, those people aren’t saying its such a silly fear after reading this book.

This book is one that will definitely have people talking. You don’t want to be the only one around the water cooler that hasn’t read THE HATCHING. If you do not read this book, you will be missing out. 

I rate The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

The fact that this is only the first book in a planned series has me wishing that Book Two – SKITTER was already available. However, since I do need to sleep sometime, it is probably good to give my terror levels time to get back to normal before I continue on to the next part of this series.

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AN INTERESTING SIDE-NOTE:

Prior to reading THE HATCHING, I had never heard of the “Nasca Lines” in Peru. These lines are mentioned in the book and I wasn’t sure if they were a creation of the author’s imagination or if they were real. An internet search provided me with the answer. They are real!

Don’t know what the Nasca Lines are? Click here for pictures and more information. I have now added seeing these Lines to my Bucket List. I find them absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait to research them further.

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WATCH THE TRAILERS:

 https://youtu.be/QhaQYliQ6qg

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Photo By Laurie Willick

EZEKIEL BOONE is a Canadian writer who currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

THE HATCHING is Zeke’s first thriller and the first book in the series, with SKITTER coming in 2017.

THE HATCHING series has sold in twelve countries and nine languages, and has been optioned for the screen. When not writing thrillers, Zeke writes acclaimed literary fiction under a different name. Along with a healthy respect for spiders, Zeke has two poorly behaved dogs and enjoys the outdoors.

To find out more about this author visit:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE HATCHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
 
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

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5 Stars for SOLARIS MORTEM by Rusty Henrichsen – BOOK REVIEW

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Title: SOLARIS MORTEM

Series: THE NEW PATRIOTS – Book One

Author: RUSTY HENRICHSEN

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Science Fiction

Type of Book: Softcover

Length: 240 pages

Release Date: May 29, 2016

Publisher: Cabin Creek Press LLC

ISBN: 9781533313225

Price: $9.50 USD for paperback

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

* I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. 

As I began reading SOLARIS MORTEM, I started to think that it was going to be the same as so many other Post-Apocalyptic books that are now available. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this book is different.

There is a huge twist away from the typical ‘survival-at-all-costs’ plotline. This book will actually make you think while still being hugely entertaining.

The character of Terry is (or was) a long haul trucker. He’s unmarried and lives with his divorced sister and her two kids. He is on his way home to Seattle from California when a series of solar flares light up the sky and a blinding white flash of light nearly blinds him. When he is able to see again, he realizes that the power has been knocked out, including the power to his truck and to all the other vehicles on the road.

Two hundred and fifty miles from home Terryville has a long and dangerous walk ahead of him, but he eventually makes it.

Reaching Seattle he is shocked and confused with what he finds there. A government-type group calling themselves “The New Patriots” have taken over his hometown as well as the lives of all those who live inside it.

Is this group benevolent? Are they just trying to restore order in a world that has quickly devolved into chaos? Or is something more sinister going on? And if so, what is Terryville going to do about it?

I received this book in the mail yesterday and as soon as I started reading, I was unable to put it down. The book is fast paced and packed with action, yet this did not take away from character development. The characters are believable and they are regular people which is another choice by the author that I heartily applaud. Too often in this type of book the main character has military training or is a Prepper. This is unrealistic. I am much more interested in reading about how an “average Joe” would deal with the apocalypse.

Not only is SOLARIS MORTEM a terrifically entertaining tale, but it also poses many questions and quandaries for its characters regarding morality and personal values. It is impossible to read this book without asking yourself what the reader would do if he/she were to face the same dilemmas. I know it certainly made me think.

I highly recommend this book. I give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I will definitely be on the lookout for the second book in THE NEW PATRIOTS Series.

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The second book is titled SOLARIS MORTEM – HOMECOMING and is due to be released in September 2016.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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RUSTY HENRICHSEN makes his home in Washington state and enjoys all manner outdoor activities.

He also likes to lock himself indoors, stare at an LCD screen for hours on end, and bang away at the keys of his trusty laptop.

When he’s not busy enjoying outdoor activities or exhibiting writer’s neurosis, he makes a living designing homes.

He is also a husband and a father with a brood of seven, the greatest of all his accomplishments.

For more information visit the author online:

Official Website

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