Clarissa’s Warning by Isobel Blackthorn

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

A woman’s good fortunes turn dire when her dreams of owning and restoring old ruins leads to a dangerous situation in author Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

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A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

The Review

This was the kind of classic slow burn horror story that defines the horror/thriller genre. What starts out as a mission to fulfill a dream turns into a nightmare when Claire must struggle with the distrust of the locals, tales of an ancient curse and mysterious happenings that defy logic. The story flourished under the hopeful eyes of protagonist Claire. Peeling back the layers of this well rounded character, readers will love seeing the complex relationships with her parents, her close knit bond with her aunt Clarissa, the strength of taking a leap of faith and going after her dreams, and the struggle to merge her logical, scientific mind with the supernatural/curse nature of her new home.

The setting really brought this story home however. The Canary Islands take the center stage in this tale, an inspiration from the author’s own travels and mission to bring ancient structures on these islands back to their former glory. Themes of conserving our past, pursuing our passions and bringing the truth to light all shine through in this truly incredible horror thriller. 

The Verdict

Overall I loved this tale. The novel soars as a classic story of love, passion and a promise to protect the places that hold our civilization’s history within it. With a heavy focus on character development with light doses of horror and thriller elements, this is a story readers will thoroughly enjoy. Be sure to preorder your copy of Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning” today.

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific Australian novelist of dark psychological thrillers, mysteries and contemporary fiction. On the dark side are Twerk, The Cabin Sessions and The Legacy of Old Gran Parks. On the lighter side are AsylumThe Drago Tree and A Perfect Square, and the short story collection All Because of You. Soon to be published are three more novels: A Matter of LatitudeClarissa’s Warning and The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

Isobel’s writing has appeared in journals and websites around the world, including Paranoia Magazine, Mused Literary Review, Backhand Stories, Fictive Dream and On Line Opinion.

Isobel’s interests are many and varied. A humanitarian and campaigner for social justice, in 1999 Isobel founded the internationally acclaimed Ghana Link, uniting two high schools, one a relatively privileged state school located in the heart of England, the other a materially impoverished school in a remote part of the Upper Volta region of Ghana, West Africa.

Isobel has a background in Western Esotericism and she’s a qualified Astrologer. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ After working as a teacher, market trader, and PA to a literary agent, she arrived at writing in her forties, and her stories are as diverse and intriguing as her life has been.

Isobel performs her literary works at events in a range of settings, gives workshops in creative writing, and writes book reviews. Her reviews have appeared in Shiny New Books, Sisters in Crime, Australian Women Writers, Trip Fiction and Newtown Review of Books. She talks regularly about books and writing on radio, in Australia, and on occasion in the UK and USA and Canary Islands.

British by birth, Isobel entered this world in Farnborough, Kent, as Yvonne Margaret Grimble. She has since been Yvonne Rodgers, before changing her name completely in 1996 to Isobel Schofield. After a number of years as Isobel Wightman, she is now very happily and permanently Isobel Blackthorn. Isobel has lived in England, Australia, Spain and the Canary Islands. She now lives on Australia’s southern coast with her cat, Psyche.  You can find out more about her other achievements here.

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Sleep Savannah Sleep by Alistair Cross Review

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace

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

One man’s journey to rebuild his family after a tragic loss turns into a nightmarish journey to discover who was behind a small town’s grizzly murder in author Alistair Cross’s “Sleep Savannah Sleep”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The Dead Don’t Always Rest in Peace 

Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own – and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings. 

When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder – and he becomes a likely suspect. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him. 

Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem – and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace. 

“SLEEP SAVANNAH SLEEP hooks you with a small-town atmosphere that quickly turns ghostly cold. Beware a plethora of twists and turns …” – Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks and Phantom Effect 

The Review

This was an incredible story. Author Alistair cross continues to shine as one of the horror/thriller genres best writers. Feeling like a successor to greats like Dean Koontz and Stephen King, the author captures the mystery and intrigue of a murder-mystery while bringing in an emotional story of a father trying to hold his family together in one piece after losing his wife. 

The story itself is intriguing, as it keeps you guessing all the way to the book’s end who could be behind this senseless violence. It’s a story of family, loss (both physical loss and the loss of a spiritual or mental variety), and the impact the past has on the present. The setting is incredibly vivid, bringing to mind the small town horror stories fans have grown to love from authors like Koontz. It was a roller coaster of emotions as you felt for protagonist Jason. Why was he chosen to be thrust into this investigation, and will he be able to protect his family from the true killer? That’s the quest the author takes readers on.

The Verdict

Overall this is a must read thriller. Filled with action, suspense and fantastic characters that draw the reader in, the novel is incredibly powerful and a prime example of how modern day horror thrillers need to be. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Sleep Savannah Sleep by Alistair Cross today.

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series.In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was a bestseller. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

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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

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