The Steps by Iveta Redliha REVIEW

An attempt to create the perfect family leads to secrets and tragedies in Iveta Redliha’s novel, The Steps. The Latvian author, (along with a beautiful translation from translator Karina Loza), builds a haunting world in which two decades collide and a haunted past could lead to a bloody future. Here is the official synopsis:

“Shivers ran down Reyna’s spine. For a moment she thought his last words were meant as a threat. The stranger’s look had been so sharp and penetrating, horrifying and exciting at the same time. She embraced herself and shuddered once again. This time it was due to the pungent wind that was becoming stronger as the evening grew closer. For a while she stood there watching Lucas walk away, then finally looked away.”

Bradbury is a gorgeous property that stands amidst dark secrets. One fine day a young reckless woman Leonora, driven by desire for easy money that a rich couple would offer their surrogate mother, comes to live at the mansion, unsuspecting of the paths this seemingly carefree life and lust for money will bring to.
Meanwhile, Reyna’s steady life is turned upside down the moment her mother dies in suspicious circumstances and leaves her an unknown property and dark secrets from her turbulent past. Around that time handsome yet secretive Lucas comes into Reyna’s life. At the end the truth about the young man and the horrors of his past that haunt him, not allowing him to give in to his feelings, serves a final blow to Reyna.

Iveta Redliha (b. 1977) is a Latvian writer. With great passion she unravels in writing destinies of people of different walks of life, and their entangled feelings. “The Steps” was born out of the writer’s imagination and built on inspiration from gothic love and detective novels.

This Gothic Thriller is extremely unique and delivers a chilling story. The characters are flawed, human and sometimes terrifying. The story of a young woman’s mission of greed becomes a horrifying family drama, while another woman meets a mysterious man and learns he may have a dark side he is hiding from her. Telling the tale of a powerful family ruled by money and influence, and those that get ensnared in their power struggles and selfish desires is something we’ve seen play out time and again, and yet it’s given a breath of fresh air from author Iveta Redliha.

The writing is exceptional, delivering a spine-chilling account of two worlds colliding in messy and unexpected ways. It was a fast paced read with
lots of twists and turns, and while there are a few spots where you can see where the grammar didn’t match up with the translation, overall the
book was greatly translated for the English speaking audience, delivering a powerful literary experience that is wholly unique and fun.

Overall this was a fantastic read. The atmospheric nature of the Gothic genre blends perfectly with the mystery of the thriller genre in Iveta
Redliha’s The Steps, and if you haven’t yet I highly recommend you pick up your copies today!

Rating: 8/10

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Jane of Manchester by J.G. Dow Review

An intimate look into the life of a twenty-something woman living in the U.K. shines brightly in the debut novel from author J.G. Dow, “Jane of
Manchester”. The story showcases Jane as she goes through her life, watching friends and family grow and excell in life, love and friendship while
she feels as if she isn’t growing at the same pace. Here is the official synopsis:

Jane’s life on the face of it isn’t really too bad…she has great friends like party girl Natasha who’s always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better…

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside!

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet…

This story is definitely more of a chill and relaxing read, taking the reader on a personal jouney of one young woman who must decide for herself
what kind of life she wants to lead. While so many young women are constantly pressured to get married and have children, the world is also evolving
and women are finally being recognized and respected for wanting a career before family. Jane feels caught in the middle of these two ideologies,
as her sister is excelling in her career and her friends are all getting married and having children, while Jane herself kind of just lives her
life. Working as a florist and enjoying simple nights out with friends or curling up with a good movie and a glass of wine, Jane begins to
wonder what more she wants out of life.

The story is well written, taking the reader into the everyday life of this woman and showcasing her interactions with friends, family and
strangers. Showcasing things like drunken bar crawls, sexual harrassment and more, this story does a marvelous job of delving into the everyday
life of a modern woman and showing the struggles women face when the world seems to be waiting for them to decide who they want to be. While
this book is not an edge of your seat thriller, it is a pleasant and wonderfully simple read that drama and coming of age story fans will fall in
love with. For a debut novel this was a wonderful read from author J.G.Dow and I look forward to seeing what he has in store for the future.
Be sure to pick up your copies of Jane of Manchester today!

Tales of Wonder Anthology from Inklings Press Review

(I was sent a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.)

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a book blogger is working with people you know and trust, and getting the opportunity to witness writers
and authors working together on collective works. An example of this is the wonderfully written anthology Tales of Wonder from Inklings Press.
A collection of the fantastic genre Science Fantasy, these stories explore worlds that fuse science with magic in the most wonderful way possible.
Here is the synopsis:

Science Fantasy is the collision of science fiction and fantasy – where the impossible and the improbable come together. This is a universe of spaceships and sorcery, of mechanics and magic, where zeppelins soar through the ether and conjurers stalk dark tunnels with a ball of light in their fist. So cut loose, let slip the mooring ropes on your imagination, and join these nine authors as they set course for the horizon – and beyond.

Nine tales of science. Nine tales of fantasy. Nine tales to make you wonder.

These tales are perfect examples of taking the fantastic and larger than life aspects of both the fantasy and science fiction genres with the
real life human struggles we face on a daily basis. Stories of discovered love, surviving poverty, exploration of the unknown and the bonds
formed between a parent and their child is fused with tales of time travel, magic wielding assassins and space exploration gone wrong. The
stories are short yet sweet, as they bring to life deep and emotionally driven characters that connect to you on a personal level in the midst
of these amazing mythologies that the authors have created. The writing was excellent and each story flowed smoothly, keeping a fast yet even
pace that quickly set the tone and backstory in order to deliver the best possible story and shocking twist endings that people won’t necessarily
see coming.

Overall this was a wonderful read. Full of adventures, terror and heart, these tales will dazzle and amaze readers with their galaxy spanning
stories and passionate characters that speak to us all. The imagery used is incredibly vivid and paints a picture that one wants to see
translated to a television screen, leaving the reader breathless and hanging on the edge of their seat wanting more. If you haven’t yet please be
sure to pick up your copies of Tales of Wonder from Inklings Press today!

Rating: 10/10

Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna Review

Poetry. It illuminates the mind and speaks from the heart. Poetry is the art of piercing the soul and opening oneself for all the world to see.
It allows poets to pour their hearts out and wear their emotions out on their sleeves, whether they be hopeful, romantic or sometimes sad. In
the book Adultolescene, poet Gabbie Hanna shows the world the humor she’s become known for and the depth and emotion that dwells within her, and
is brought to stunning life through over 200 pages of rich poetry and beautiful illustrations. Here is a synopsis:

From Teen Choice Award-nominated comedian and vlogger Gabbie Hanna, known on YouTube as The Gabbie Show, an astounding debut poetry collection that captures the essence of what it means to come of age in today’s world.

Full of confessional, whimsical, and darkly humorous observations about life, love, and the early years of adulthood, this collection of over 150 poems, each illustrated by Gabbie herself, will introduce you to the unique point of view of one of the internet’s most remarkable voices.

The popular online personality showcases her incredibly smart comedy skills with her heartfelt emotional tales of breakups, childhood and loss,
and the struggle many young adults face as the years between childhood and adulthood are bridged. The piercing emotions displayed in these poems
is beautiful, sometimes tragic and yet authentic in every way. Poems such as “Time”, which explores the connections we make with loved ones, or
“Poetry”, which shows the struggle to communicate the feelings one has for someone they love. One poem that I especially loved was a short one
called “Nap”, which in it’s simplicity spoke volumes of the feeling of loss that feels like it will never heal, and yet often is reawoken
unexpectedly.

These poems are a real work of art, and it’s refreshing in this digital age to see the art of poetry is not dead but thriving in our society.
The recent trend of online personalities writing their memoirs has been a popular trend that I have enjoyed, but this change of writing
style-wise is a fantastic approach to opening the readers minds and hearts and discusssing important topics in sometimes lighthearted and often
impactful ways. Whether you buy this book as a fan of Gabbie’s or as a true lover of poetry, this is a book everyone needs to have in their lives.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copies of Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna today!

Rating: 10/10

You Can Follow Gabbie At The Following Links!
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGabbieShow
INSTAGRAM: @thegabbieshow
http://instagram.com/thegabbieshow
TWITTER: @thegabbieshow

The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross Review

Sin and mankind’s misconceptions about the world at large play major themes in the supernatural thriller The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross.
Exploring the world of tempations and the battle everyone faces within themselves when they give into their darkest desires, this incredible story
showcases the ruthlessness that can reside in the best of us, and the strength it takes to push temptation aside to do what is right. Here is
the synopsis:

The Angel Alejandro

A Man without a Past

After a near-fatal accident, Madison O’Riley is faced with an astonishing problem: What to do with the man who saved her life. Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro … and he has no memory of his past. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes he harbors deep – and otherworldly – secrets that will shatter her understanding of reality … secrets that may put her in grave danger.

The Devil in the Details

And now, there’s another stranger in town. Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a small price, he’s willing to make a deal. By day, he walks the streets of Prominence in top hat and trench coat, tempting the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. By night, he and his legion of insatiable acolytes corrupt the locals at Club Mephistopheles, a den of unholy delights housed in an abandoned church.

The Battle has Begun …

The townspeople are changing in outrageous and appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

 

The first thing that grabbed me about this story was how similar the premise is to one of my favorite Stephen King stories, Needful Things. A
charming salesman brings chaos and destruction to a small town, and must be battled by the forces of good within that very town. However this story
is unique in that the overpowering threat of Gremory Jones and his followers is evenly matched by a powerful force for good working to help
those few souls who see the cracks forming amongst the townspeople. The mysteries of the town’s descent, the arrival of Gremory Jones and the
identity of Alejandro come colliding in the final moments of the book in a vicious and bloody battle between good and evil, and the small town of
Prominence threatens to be destroyed forever by its own greed and sin.

The story and characters were very well drawn out throughout this story. Combining the best elements of authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz,
Alistair Cross showcases a unique talent for bringing to life the complex differences between people and showcase how supernatural or extraordinary
events are handled by ordinary people. The characters are very relateable and the story itself flows smoothly, setting up the arch slowly and then
zig-zagging at lightning speed as the action begins and the town begins to tear itself apart. The grammar was spot on and the imagery throughout
the story is vivid, painting a picture that can easily be played across the recesses of the mind like a movie on a projector screen.

Overall this was a wonderful read. It had twists, shocking deaths and a fantastic ending that leaves the story for some characters open and brings
a dramatic conclusion for others. This story highlights the incredible storytelling abilities of Alistair Cross, and he proves that he is one of
the growing voices in the supernatural thriller genre. Be sure to pick up your copies of The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross today!

Rating: 10/10

The Angel Alejandro: http://amzn.to/2fAGFUE

Boylord Issue 3 by Nathan Peabody and ManuelaSoriano 

The continuing adventures of Ettan in a world where science fiction meets the supernatural was a massive success with Nathan Peabody’s Boylord. Here is the synopsis of the series:

Welcome to Boylord Comics!!!
You are about to enter an alien fantasy-land, where life is lived longer, and better, than you could possibly imagine. In fact, be prepared for a whole lot of things that will seem quite alien to you. Like a society that functions well; that provides children with excellent parents. These cat-people are called pranans, and they enjoy being the dominant species in their galaxy. Warning: clothing is optional and, and they are sexy!

Following the shocking conclusion of issue 2, readers are treated to the customary blend of advanced technology fusing with demons, gods, and psychic abilities as the hunt to find Ettan continues. After being blasted by a goddess (after being possessed), Ettan finds himself in a demonic realm where he must locate his organs and find a way back to his home, but that may prove more difficult than he originally thought.
The artwork for this issue is as beautifully drawn by Manuela Soriani brings this story to life in vivid color and detail. The world this dynamic duo have created feels like the next big cosmic comic adventure that the industry needs, and if this issue is any indication there’s no shortage of plot developments or characters that can be introduced into what i hope is a very long series. 
Overall i loved issue 3 of Boylord. It had action, adventure, humor and larger than life plots that make any comic book truly great. If you haven’t yet please go pick up your copies of issues 1-3 using the link below and help support this amazing writer and artist so the adventures of Boylord can continue!
Rating: 10/10
http://www.boylord.com/

Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce Review

A brutal murder. A desperate detective. In the middle of a sinister cat and mouse game between a ruthless serial killer and the seasoned detective
desperate to put him away for good, a stalker with an unhealthy view on love may be the only person that can tip the scales in Robert Skuce’s
novel, Kiss of Death. This intense thriller explores the dark depths of humanity and showcases that not everyone in this world is good, and those
that we consider our heroes may end up being the villains of their own story. As a heartbroken father becomes a ruthless vigilante, the detective
must race to find the killer before his best friend becomes the monster he’s already starting to become. First here is the synopsis:

Homicide detective, Bruno Norcross, is called to investigate the brutal murder of a college call girl. This isn’t just any other crime scene.
Bruno has seen this scene before, only the last time, the killer got away leaving Bruno feeling as though his career is incomplete. Nobody
escapes Bruno’s grasp twice and when his nemesis arises again, it’s time to bring him in. A serial killer, only known as the Kiss of Death, is
back, only this time he made a mistake. A witness, like no other, was left behind and this witness knows the victim better than anyone.

Rosie’s stalker, Ashley Truelove knows everything about her, from what she wears to who she sees. The question isn’t can Ashley help Bruno catch
the killer, but will he? With meager and confusing clues, two known victims and time running out, Bruno realizes that the cost of bringing the
murderer to justice will be paid in blood. With the police Sergeant on his back to catch this killer and provide justice for the death of his
daughter, Bruno is racing against time. Kiss of Death only hunts occasionally and time is running out before he vanishes again. Can Bruno find
the evidence to stop him or will he escape his clutches once again?

This story had an incredible plot. A true credit to the author’s handle on the thriller genre, this story takes the readers through twists and
turns galore as they begin to question who they can trust, who the true suspects are and who can really call themselves the hero of this story.
Allies become enemies and suspects become partners as the hunt for this ruthless serial killer will take the reader into the minds of both the
delusional yet crafty killer and the respected detective who desperately wants to avenge the death of his friend’s daughter and prevent more lives
from being lost.

Now, I will say that if I were to have any critiques for this story, it would be the editing. I do feel that this story could have been improved
if an editor had been able to catch the grammatical errors in this story. While the errors didn’t deter me in my enjoyment of the story at all,
I will say that it was noticeable and with this writer’s powerful storytelling power I’d love to see a keener eye help clean up the grammar to make
this story shine even brighter. However the character development was great in this story, as each character was very human in that they suffered
from various flaws and showcased how darkness can reside in the best of us, and how we all have the power to overcome that darkness if we so choose.

 

Overall this was a fun read that I highly recommend for any psychological thriller fans out there. It’s a classic noir detective book with a 21st
century technological spin as the hunt for the Kiss of Death begins. Be sure to pick up your copies of Kiss of Death by Robert Skuce today!

Rating: 7/10