Posted in reviews

Hinterland by L.M. Brown Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Trigger Warning: Themes revolving around mental illness are present in this novel. If you or someone you know suffers from illnesses such as schizophrenia and are easily triggered by these storylines, reader discretion is advised.

A husband and father trying to take care of his wife and child finds himself struggling as a childhood friend returns home, bringing complex feelings back to the surface and a dark secret threatens to tear apart his family in author LM. Brown’s “Hinterland”. 

The Synopsis

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

The Review

This was a well written, slow-burn style mix of family drama and thriller. The author explores two important themes in this narrative: the lengths a parent would go to in order to protect their child, and the hardships of trying to care for someone suffering from a severe mental illness. 

The protagonist Nicholas is a complex man, with both many faults and a desire to protect his daughter Kate from heartbreaking truths. From the return of his childhood friend Ina to the struggle he has with his wife Kathleen and her struggle with a serious mental illness, the author beautifully focuses on character development to highlight the story within this book. 

The Verdict

An emotionally charged, dramatic, and evenly paced read, author L.M. Brown’s “Hinterland” is a must-read thriller drama. The heartbreaking circumstances that push Nicholas and his family to the edge are truly engaging and keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and definitely felt like the delivery of the narrative was very reminiscent of a classic Hitchcock thriller. If you haven’t yet be sure to preorder your copy today or grab it on October 13th, 2020!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

L.M Brown is the author of novels Debris and Hinterland, and the linked short story collections Treading The Uneven Road and Were We Awake. Her award winning stories have been published in over a dozen magazines. She grew up in Ireland but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.

https://www.facebook.com/LornaBrownAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/l.m_brown/

Posted in reviews

Treading the Uneven Road by L.M. Brown Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author L.M. Brown delivers a powerful collection of short stories that explores the connected lives of several people living in a small village in Ireland during the 80’s and 90’s in her upcoming book, Treading the Uneven Road. Here’s the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The stories in this linked collection are set in a small village in the Northwest of Ireland in the early 1980’s and 90’s. A by-pass around the village has rid them of their once busy traffic. The residents feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later. 

The collection is not only about the characters need for salvation but it is about a society that is unraveling. In Amends, we hear about the Bishop who has fathered a child. A priest is beckoned by a dying man to be mocked. The world inside and outside the village is changing. In every story the characters need to make a choice on how they might carry on.

The Review

This is a fantastic short story collection. Filled with heart, passion and fantastic character development, the story flows naturally and makes for an even paced series of stories that build this village’s life in unique ways. Exploring this unique time period and showing off some of the many problems people living in Ireland faced on a daily basis was an inspired choice, highlighting the changing world around them and how some people accepted this change, while others fought it wholeheartedly. 

From the hostility towards anyone who comes out or is found to be gay in a very religious community to the trouble that comes from  parenthood and how some people aren’t made to be mother’s or father’s. Exploring marriages, friendships and everything in between, this emotional roller coaster of a short story collection is truly unique and brings some heartfelt struggles to life.

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The Verdict

This upcoming collection is a must read 2019 book. An interesting journey of individuals with their own personal struggles and how those struggles affect others really shone brightly in the novel. Amends in particular is one short story you won’t want to miss, as the story takes readers into shocking directions and forces the reader to ask themselves how our elders prejudices affect us, and how they can affect others. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy of L.M. Brown’s “Treading the Uneven Road” today (or grab your copy of the book if it’s already released)!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Treading-Uneven-Road-L-Brown/dp/194438880X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548732149&sr=1-1&keywords=9781944388805

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Luci Phurr’s Imps by  Dale Mettam, Celina Paquette (Editor), Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It’s a classic story of a man selling his soul to the devil for world domination. Yet when a mix up at the home office delivers the three imps sent by the devil himself to help the man’s ambitions to his daughter instead, comical chaos ensues as the young girl’s innocence clashes with the imps evil nature in Luci Phurr’s Imps by Dale Mettam, Celina Paquette (Editor), Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator). Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Local TV weatherman Lou C. Phurr (not the brightest bulb in the newsroom, having once predicted 12 inches of snow during an August heat wave, curiously this turned out to be the closest to an accurate prediction in local weather forecasting in the past sixteen years) has made a deal with the Devil. Well, being as he works in media, he made a deal with the Devil’s people but the net result is the same. In exchange for Lou’s soul, he’ll be granted ultimate power. To help steer Lou towards world domination and ultimately a sulfur-pit-side apartment with a great view of the lesser tortured souls being…well, tortured, the Devil has sent him three imps to serve and provide for Lou’s every need. While they say the Devil’s in the details, he’s also occasionally out hunting, entering fiddle-contests in Georgia, and has a regular tee-time every Friday morning at the most elite golf courses across the globe. And unfortunately, a combination of mistakes, misadventures and a liberal dose of pepper-spray resulted in the imps ending up in the hands of Luci Phurr, Lou’s daughter. Now a small girl holds the power to bring about the End of Days…or get that pony she always wanted. 

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The Review

This is a truly genius work of fiction. A blend of classic children’s illustration with a mixture of adult and youthful humor and a splash of classic mythology surrounding good and evil, heaven and hell, and heroes vs villains, this unique tale is unlike anything I’ve read before. The way the villainous imps relate their tales of evil throughout history and their influence on the world (call waiting, phone chords, etc), was so funny to read, and the comic strip style of imagery really helped bring this story to life in a whole new way.

While Luci Phurr is a huge part of the story, the real heart of the hilarious tale has to be the imps themselves, Pain, Tears and Misfortune. Their unique chemistry and the struggle they go through trying to bring about the apocalypse while tied to the whims of an innocent 8 year old girl are what make this story so unique and fun. 

The Verdict

Overall this is a must read novel. Filled with hilarious tales of mischief and a fantastic cast of supporting characters, Luci Phurr’s Imps is a truly otherworldly read that you have to read to believe. If you haven’t yet make sure to preorder your copy of this amazing book today.

Rating: 10/10

Perfect for holiday gifting – Buy Online, Pick-up at your local Barnes & Noble store within an Hour!

About the Creative Team

Despite both possessing gender-neutral names, neither Dale Mettam nor Courtney Huddleston are girls (though it should be stated that one is significantly more manly than the other… they both know which one this is).

Both possessing a creative edge, which if exhibited a hundred years earlier would have likely resulted in them being recognized alongside such visionaries as Tesla, Edison & Sporkerssen* (in fairness, it could also have led to them being committed to an Home for the Criminally Insane).  When this craziness… um… creativity is combined, you get something like Luci Phurr’s Imps… or an explosion.

Having worked together on several projects (and avoided killing each other despite provocation), Luci Phurr’s Imps seemed like a natural next project to explore, mixing humor, storytelling and a generous portion of evil.

However, what you see in the adventures of Luci and her impish associates would not be anywhere near as amazing were it not for the incredible ebon-brushed talents of Matt Keltner, Tracy Bailey’s profusion of perfect pigment and the eagle eyes of Celina Paquette.

As of Jan 2012, Tracy stepped up and took over all the art duties, this caused some initial shock, alarm, teeth-gnashing and not a little wailing in the streets.  When not performing heroic piece of art, she enjoys hunting wild fire-places (occasionally suffering injuries along the way) and provides Color Commentary for SumoTV.

She also makes awesome baked goods.

You can find more about Dale hereCourtney hereMatt here and Tracy here.

* Now lost to the annals of history, Ingmar Siggersen Sporkerssen (1864-1902) was a Scandinavian naturalist, naturist and breeder of Whooping Alpacas.  While traveling in the foothills of the Andes, he sketched a design for a utensil that combined a fork, a spoon and a knife into one handy unit.  Unfortunately, in his prototype, after working the spoon and fork elements on one end, he added a razor-sharp blade to the handle end.  In its first test-run, Sporkerssen found the blade easily able to handle the tough leg meat of a recently captured wild Rhea; however, when he attempted to fork a mouthful, he slashed his own wrist and bled-out in the wilds of Peru.

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We All Need Therapy by Lamar Neal Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warning: This book of poetry deals with themes and elements of abuse, self-harm and suicide. If these themes are triggering to you, be advised and prepared.

An emotional story of one man’s journey of defining himself and struggling with the world he was born into takes center stage in poet and author Lamar Neal’s poetry book, We All Need Therapy. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

This is a collection of poetry of how a boy, who started whole, encountered the world, which caused some painful cracks to appear in his vessel. He soon learned that when we do not hide your imperfections, a cracked vessel is the one, which lets the light shine through.

The Review

I was taken aback by the beauty and tragedy and pure emotion of this poetry book. The poems spoke to me in a way that touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. You can feel the poet’s pain and heartbreak in each line, such as this passage from the poem Morning/Mourning:

“Living in the ruins of dreams
I was never supposed to have. Tomorrow we might lose everything Before our hearts can prepare.”

The author does an amazing job weaving themes and issues that plague our world to this day. Challenging the toxic masculinity that haunts young boys who dare to live outside of societal norms, fighting back against racial injustice and dealing with themes of love, loss and the pain of not fitting into the mold set out by our elders/peers, this book brings the causes of both inner turmoil and societal upheaval in our world currently into the spotlight like no other book of poetry out there right now. It also does a great job of addressing mental health overall, challenging this need to label anyone with a mental health condition as “crazy” when they are far from it. It was refreshing to see a poet and author expose their mental health struggles to the world in such an open and honest way, and showcase the need to fight against the stigma of mental health overall.

The Verdict

This is a must read book of poems. Due out on January 25th, 2019, these poems will touch on the struggle to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to fit you into a mold you don’t feel comfortable in. Full of heart, pure emotion and a message of hope and struggle that will help highlight the very healthy need for everyone to get therapy and face that inner turmoil head on. If you love beautiful poetry and raw emotional story telling, then pre-order your copy of We All Need Therapy by Lamar Neal today.

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/All-Need-Therapy-Lamar-Neal-ebook/dp/B07JQYYKCL/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=dbs_s_def_awm_dirs_l_2&storeType=ebooks

Instagram– @theghostcharades

Twitter-@Ghostcharades

Facebook– /lamarKeonNeal

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Longevity: The Wardens of Time by Caleb Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

One young man’s journey of self-discovery leads to a world of magic and danger in author Caleb Smith’s novel Longevity: The Wardens of Time. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Noah Thomas is a scrawny seventh grader who is bullied to the brink in his new town. Friendless, except for sassy tomboy Wendy Sherman, who seems to lend him the confidence he needs to stand up to his oppressors. Upon stumbling into a bookshop one afternoon while on the run from some teenaged tyrants, Noah is hurled into an unexplainable adventure. Noah learns that the bookshop does, in fact, lead to the Akashic Records – a place that holds all spirit lives recorded in tablets of light. With this new found knowledge, Noah begins to grow in wisdom and confidence to face his fears. His biggest challenge comes in the form of five demonic spirits that he accidentally lets loose from a lost tablet. Will Noah succeed with the help of his guardian angel cat he calls Keeper, or will all Hell’s henchman prevail?

The Review

This YA Paranormal/Coming of Age story was an incredible read. The author does a marvelous job of blending the struggles of a young middle school child struggling with his status as an outsider and being bullied with the magical and mythical circumstances he finds himself in throughout the book. Noah is a very relatable and heartbreaking character. In an age where bullying and even cyber-bullying are at an all time high, Noah’s struggle with the bullies at his school and it’s affect on his life was an emotional struggle that readers will be able to hone in on. Meanwhile Noah also struggles with maintaining his first real friendship with Wendy, while also coming of age and discovering his independence while dealing with a worried single mother and no father to help guide him through the hardships of life.

While children will identify with Noah and his adventures, parents will immediately love Noah’s mother and Wendy’s father as they both serve as single parents struggling to raise children on their own. Meanwhile the paranormal element of the story helps illuminate Noah’s real life struggles by giving him a taste of heroism and showing the power that stories and words really have in this world. Delving into the lore of a surprising mythology, the story turns to a classic yet epic battle of good vs evil, and what happens when a small, frightened young boy grows into an adult and becomes the protector he was always meant to be. The writing here was well done, using the mythology told throughout the story to paint a fantastic image of what ancient forces descending on a small town would really look like.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. The characters and story really did an amazing job of drawing me into the book and created a fantastic new YA mythology that has the potential for far more stories in the franchise. It’s a story of finding hope, discovering your inner strength and standing up to the bullies and evil of the world around you. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Longevity: The Wardens of Time by Caleb Smith, available for pre-order now and set to release on October 25th, 2018.

Rating: 8/10

Check out the Author’s Facebook page down below, as well as a special giveaway happening for the book on Goodreads!

https://www.facebook.com/calebsmithauthor/ 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_kindle_giveaway/284681?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget

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Book Announcement: Freshman Hunt: A Nightmare Academy Novella by Anthony Avina Preorder

Hi there everyone. This is Author Anthony Avina. You know I share a lot of reviews, author interviews, blog tour posts and so much more on this website. Yet something I haven’t done a lot of that I need to start doing is sharing more of my own personal work. I am an indie author, and for the past few months I’ve been hard at work finishing the second novella in my YA series, Nightmare Academy. Today I am happy to announce that the book I’ve been working on nonstop is now available for preorder!

FRESHMAN HUNT Book Cover Professional Art
Cover Art by Mike Wehner http://www.mikewehner.com

That’s right, my book is now available. I had the good fortune of working with an incredible artist on the cover named Mike Wehner. He designed this amazing polygon art cover that is truly unique to the YA genre. I hope you guys like it. His work is truly amazing and you can find his work at his website! I will be making several more announcements in the weeks to come, including some giveaways, freebies, book trailer news and so much more. If anyone would be interested in a free copy of this ebook in exchange for a fair and honest review, email me using the contact page on this website! Feel free to share this online and sign up for my newsletter to get the latest news about this release. Expect the book to come out August 24th, 2018 on all online retailers!

Preorder Your Copy!

Select Young Adult Paperbacks: 3 for $20

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