Section Roads is a captivating mystery novel by Mike Murphey that follows a group of friends getting together at their small New Mexico hometown for their high school reunion after more than forty years. As freshmen band geeks, Cullen Molloy and Shelby Blaine meet in the small town of Arthur, New Mexico during the 1960’s. As they experience their first love, they also form a friendly relationship with Buddy, a misunderstood football player. Little do they know, this friendship will be forever bonded by a dark secret. When they reach sophomore year, Buddy is charged with the murder of a girl named Chrissy Hammond, though later absolved of the charge. The crime causes the three friends to leave Arthur in hopes of starting their lives over elsewhere, that is until forty years later they return to their hometown and are forced to face the past as a new killing takes place.
Mike Murphey has an extraordinary way of intertwining past and present events smoothly to form a single story. One that does not cease to surprise at every turn. The main character, Cullen Molloy, is a semi-retired attorney with a newfound confidence he never displayed during high school. He considers himself a protector of his friends, especially Buddy, who he feels has carried a terrible weight on his shoulders for too long. Shelby is the perfect example of the shy but pretty girl who peaks after high school and develops an outgoing, slightly flirtatious personality and lives by herself after divorcing twice. Her connection to Cullen is deep, yet they never seem to be at the same place at the same time. As for Buddy, he is a loner man as he was a loner teenager. Haunted by the events he lived through high school and plagued by the guilt of the death of his fellow classmate. He finds himself in trouble when he returns home forty years after high school. The way the author creates a story that spans over four decades, the relatable characters and setting, and the exciting course of events rich with drama, murder, romance, and suspense, makes for no less than a five-star review. It reminds of the same character and plot buildup effortlessly accomplished in Stephen King novels. I enjoyed Section Roads thoroughly and highly recommend it to any mystery fan out there.
Pages: 361 | ASIN: B07RSLSFKS
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All Roads Shattered is the third book in the All Roads series of dark fiction stories and poems. In the last book you said you wanted to go darker and bring more sci-fi into the story. Did you want to continue that in book three or did you envision a different path?
With All Roads Shattered I wanted to show darkness and variety, perhaps a different type of ending other than just brief character life lessons or moments.
The characters are all superbly created, as usual. Is there anything from your own life that you put into your characters to make them more believable?
Most of the time, no, at least not with this book. I did that with All Roads Home. In All Roads Shattered I wanted my characters to have their own life and story. Put my “empathic feet” into make believe shoes.
I enjoyed all the stories in the collection, as they all inspired some reflection afterward. Is there a story that didn’t make it into the collection?
If anything, a poem might get put to the side to be reworked but that’s about it.
Do you find that you write stories that challenge you as a writer, or stories that are easy for you to write?
I write what I feel or imagine, so it’s not difficult. I never mind a challenge if it inspires mournful beauty or captivating contemplation.
ALL ROADS SHATTERED, the third book of Lisa Diaz Meyer’s All Roads Collection contains two short story sagas, five multi-genre, dark fiction short stories and twelve macabre poems. Other books in this dark fiction collection are ALL ROADS HOME and ALL ROADS DESTINED.
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All Roads Destined is a collection of stories from fantasy to science fiction with links back to your first collection. What was the inspiration for this collection of stories?
As for the Outposts, I wanted to continue on since I’d left it as a cliffhanger in All Roads Home. I then felt I wanted to bring more loneliness and some addiction awareness into the equation as these subjects, real or imagined, can be sad and frightful.
I felt that this book was a bit darker than the last collection. What were some themes you wanted to capture while writing this book?
I did want to go darker, bring more science fiction in but based off subjects that make people uncomfortable. Again the addiction issue, some odd poetry. As you said in your review, the short story The Crone was your favorite. It was also mine, too. And I love when something like that can just come upon me, the imagery and the way I want it to be read.
You also included a selection of poems in the section titled The Fragments. What was your favorite poem from the collection and how did you pick which poems made it into this collection?
The poems or fragments I write in between or even during a WIP. My favorites in this book were Clocks and The Water Globe, both having to do with the passage of time.
What is your process like for writing short stories? Does it differ from longer novels?
There’s a certain pace with short stories that I prefer. I may be inspired to write a longer novel one day, just not yet.
Destiny is what we bring to the world where the roads are stained with tears and blood, and paved in eternal stone. In Part One, the continuation of The Outpost Trilogy shifts from post apocalyptic to science fiction. Part Two, The Enduring contains five dark fiction short stories. Part Three, The Fragments include fifteen poems of urgent struggle and destination. New York author, Lisa Diaz Meyer relates to the odd, macabre & funereal. ALL ROADS DESTINED is the second of her ALL ROADS trilogy.
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All Roads Home is a collection of your short stories covering many genres and topics. Did you write this collection with the intention of putting them together in a book or did you write them separately?
All the stories, poems and plays were written at different times in my life and I decided to put them together thinking to showcase the many different genres and writing styles I enjoy.
The book is split into six sections with each covering a different theme. The Enduring was my favorite section. What was your favorite from the collection?
The Outposts were my favorite to write as it was my first time trying a post-apocalyptic story line which I later I turned into a saga that runs throughout my current books.
What do you find enjoyable and challenging about writing short stories over longer novels?
I like the idea of creating short stories and many different worlds. The challenge is to pack as much of a punch in a small amount of pages and create characters to love, hate or identify with in a short amount of time.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on my fourth book of dark fiction short stories and poems. I am hoping to have it published in the early months of 2019 or sooner.
All Roads Shattered by Lisa Meyer is the third book in the All Roads collection. This collection of dark fiction stories and poems begins with The Outposts III, which satisfyingly continues with the story of Georgia and Mitchell who we have been following through both books one and two. As we left them in book two to come to terms with their new life together, in this collection, Lisa picks up with the journey the two still must endure.
Then there is a three-part story in the form of People of Gods, a haunting selection of 12 pieces of poetry in the section titled Fragments, two further extended stories in the section The Enduring and finally, to end the collection, three small but perfectly formed short and simple stories which pack a huge punch in the section of The Oddities!
The Oddities features three ‘out there’ stories with Preacher, Crooks, and Helge. In a word, wow is what springs to mind when reading through each of them!
With Preacher, I never saw it coming at all, but the conclusion was oh so satisfying! Crooks was a great concept and equally mesmerizing. However, Helge had to be the most disturbing story of them all! I had, in fact, become so captivated by the last three stories that I wasn’t expecting the book to end when it did.
Helge produced some near awful visions in my mind as I read through, think Jack the Ripper style, back streets of grey and misty London; enough to give you nightmares. Yet, it was a tremendous and thoroughly satisfying end to a superb collection.
Having read both the first and second books in the collection, a part of me would have thought that perhaps by now Lisa may have run out of steam. After all, All Roads Home and All Roads Destined were for me, both 5 star reads. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
When you have read all three books, you may begin to feel that Lisa has a stronger connection to the futuristic sci-fi genre. This is perhaps because it is always the more extensive of stores and at the very beginning of each collection, with a continuation throughout the three.
However, in All Roads Shattered, the story I found the most compelling and atmospheric was Dinner with Myles. This was a story which I didn’t want to leave and could easily imagine Lisa writing a book based on this genre; such was it handled so well.
The ending to this story was, yet again, superbly accomplished by Lisa, as all her short stories have been throughout. However, I would still love for her to write a prequel to this one! Neil and Myles are wonderfully drawn, and complex characters and I could very well imagine them as partners working on crimes and investigating mysteries!
The great thing about reading Lisa Meyer’s collections is that each one gets better as you go along. That is particularly hard to achieve for many writers of such collections, but the All Roads Shattered collection is perhaps the most extensive and best written one yet.
It almost feels as though Lisa’s confidence has grown with each outing and this is therefore reflected in the intensity and broader scope of her writing. Her stories seem to expand and take on a deeper meaning in their unique genres in this collection, and I believe her writing style almost borders along the lines of perfection this time.
If you only manage to read one story, then Dinner with Myles should be that one. I can guarantee you that once you’ve sampled this nearly perfect piece of prose, you will feel compelled to read on.
Pages: 252 | ASIN: B0718Z38LD
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All Roads Destined by Lisa Diaz Meyer is the second book in the All Roads Trilogy. Consisting of a collection of dark fiction stories and poems, the book is divided into sections including one story in four parts, four shorter stories and a selection of poems to finish off with. I would strongly recommend reading Lisa’s first collection, All Roads Home, as the four-part story in this collection continues from a story in the first book, charting the characters activities since we last read about them in book one.
Slightly different than the format of her first collection, All Roads Destined leads with a prologue and then three parts of one short story, alternating in each chapter with Mitchell, Gerard, and Georgia.
The Building, The Alpha Post, The People’s Government and Notas Territory are all chapters of a story which cleverly links back to the first book and includes the character of Georgia, whom we discovered was being held as the subject of scientist’s aim for cancer immune females.
Previously, Georgia finally escaped the people who were working on her as an experiment and now has her baby Sylvie with her as well as her partner Mitchell, equaling her own little family. However, there’s still a way to go and escaping her captor’s clutches was only the first part of this journey.
Immediately dark at the first-page of the prologue, with a superbly built up tension permeating the very start of this book, we begin with Georgia once again, though we know very little about the mass confusion that is happening at this moment in time.
The flip between narratives in this story is an excellent way at holding your interest long enough and succeeds at explaining a little about the primary doctor, Dr. Gerard, who worked on Georgia for many years. This is one short story which is experimental in structure, but fascinating to read!
The middle section of the collection is titled The Enduring, and it is here where perhaps my favorite story of the book is, called The Crone. So simplistic in its action but so stylish in its deliverance, this is the story that highlights how easy it is to conjure up any one of Lisa’s characters instantly. However, here the prose also excels. With Harret and the returned Berkstadt left to live out their remaining time together in their beautiful kingdom, this was a thoroughly satisfying and complete short story.
Finally, Lisa has included a selection of poems in the section titled The Fragments. Personally, I found these poems more satisfying than those in the first collection.
I enjoyed the poetry section even more as I’m very selective about poems and won’t automatically reach for a book of poetry when purchasing my preferred books. So, to have it included in a collection such as this encourages you to read it, seeing as you’ve read the stories, and its addition opens your eyes to something new and different.
Ultimately, The Fragments serves as an entirely satisfactory ending to yet again, a beautiful collection.
Pages: 217 | ASIN: B01M0DVEO1
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“Ya know, it’s my understanding that the success rate of funerals is impeccably high.”
The Sounds from the Hills Go Away When the Sun Goes Down is the latest book by author Dave Matthes. I very much enjoyed the style and tone of Dave Matthes’s writing. The story is about what Matthes describes as “an examination of the present moment during a fragment of time in the lives of several of what society considers downtrodden, gutter-decrepit, low-living, and expendable, taking place in a corner of the world most only have fleeting nightmares about.” In the story, we follow several characters. Wendel Trope battles his anxiety attacks with alcohol, Jerry, the owner of the run-down hotel where the story takes place, Bush Betty, a prostitute, and Lotus, a young girl struggling with her past. This collection of characters creates a strange community that holds each other up. The relationships between the characters were one of my favorite parts of this story. The peculiar and subtle interaction of people who haven’t known each other long but are connected by struggles and traumas.
The morbid humor of the book fits perfectly with the setting and the characters. That being said the subjects of this book are pretty dark, including a suicide early on, so if you find yourself triggered by these kinds of subjects this might not be the book for you. The way Matthes deals with these emotional subjects throughout the book is done with a gritty artistic class. He is not afraid to talk death, addiction, and mental illness, subjects that are often considered taboo to speak about. Matthes deals with them in a relatable and real way. They are apart of peoples lives, even if society would prefer to ignore it. The matter of fact tone of the book allows life to stand on its own two feet, not shied away from or glorified. This story was a whirlwind to read as it took me on an emotional roller-coaster. The story itself really captures the moment in time aspect where there doesn’t need to be a grand arc because it is simply a fragment in the lives of people. I very much enjoyed reading this intense book and look forward to delving into more of Matthes’s extensive collection of works. I would definitely give this book five stars and would highly recommend it.
Pages: 350 | ISBN: 1975607597
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With a start in Berlin, 1945, The Immortality Trigger launches into present day, hurtling between Europe, South America and Africa with a gripping pace.The author, Douglas Misquita, is moved to write large-scale thrillers, and with the second book in this series, surely achieves that goal. Not only is this book vast and well-written, the story it tells picks angles with many appeals.
The Immortality Trigger clips along as expected being at heart an action-thriller and were it not for the hook at the beginning taking place during the closing years of the Second World War that hinted at monstrous experiments, it may be too stuck in one genre. But for fans of fast-paced modern tales with global reach that dabble in history, this is a perfect storm. Having the hint of science fiction gives the story a cross-genre feel, and the monstrous brutality at once has an otherworldly feel while being rooted in our dark reality. Turning the news on the right channel, and you will see how timely and accurate these atrocities are. All of them. From the experiments that took place in wartime Germany to the extermination happening in countries from east to west alike, the author offers some guide to fact at the end of the book.
From the outset, we follow INTERPOL agent, Sabina Wytchoff. Her grandfather has succumbed to cancer and his wish of being stored cryogenically has just been carried out. In his safe lay ties to an ancient society still very active today. Too active, as the bombing incident that killed her parents only a week before may be involved somehow.
Illegal fight rings delight in the superhuman strength of Luc Fortesque and it seems being more than human is something of a problem. He’s not the only one. An experimental and unstable drug he was given may make him a star in the ring, but Luc won’t rest until he’s found the transhumanist faction responsible. He may be an army of one, but there are armed and demented soldiers between him and his goal.
Colombian newspapers have been blaring the face-off between drug-lord El Fantasma and their rival, El Angel, who will stop at nothing to bring down the cartels. After a vicious and heart-stopping fight – in the middle of a bust free-way in daylight – a terrible clue is left bleeding in the leg of El Fantasma; a silver dagger. With no clue how this Nazi war relic came into El Angel’s possession, the threads begin to draw together when everyone involved needs answers.
By the midpoint of the book it seems nearly impossible for these factions with their very different worlds to be pieces of the same puzzle, but readers will delight in how problems new and old have become entangled.
Overuse of jargon, while inevitable in a story that deals with military language, is much more noticeable in the beginning of the book. Nearing the middle, it is either not as glaring or has been quelled. Using the same word four times in one paragraph never sounds right, however, and there are a few points where this is troublesome. Very tightly written otherwise, going from lush landscapes to cities, drug-fuelled frenzies to tense negotiations. For fans of epic thrillers, Douglas Misquita may well be the next binge read. With many previous books, this new series reads like a flashy blockbuster film, so it must be worth it to see where this author has come from. The cast is large, though not entirely dizzying so just enough to feel like a realized world of people but still keep track of all the players. While there is a little tedium in jargon, having a near Lucha Libre feel to the Colombian stand-off, the ghosts of Nazi Germany and pharma-infused soldiers leering from the shadows knocks this all closer to a perfect action novel for fans of bleak, realistic and dark action.
Pages: 386 | ASIN: B077GHCT7X
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