Soul Seeker opens with a man on death row for the murder of his son. What seems like a heartbreaking homicide with a bleak conclusion turns into a riveting supernatural tale when the man on death row tells his lawyers the truth. A demon named Crighton killed his son. This sets the tone for a novel that is equal parts grounded and gritty with a good measure of the supernatural to keep you guessing.
What I truly enjoyed about this book was the characters. Each one is meticulously developed and evolves as the story progresses. Benjamin Poe, the dedicated father, is empathetic but strong. Crighton is the stand out character, for me, in this haunting novel. He’s Lucifer’s top soul catcher and through his introduction and story line we get to explore various ideas about morality, or the perception of morality, and the dividing line between the two. As well as how choice plays into all of it. Kaylin McFarren has done an excellent job of creating a gray area that allows your mind to wander while being absolutely thrilled by the intricate paranormal story that unfolds.
What happens when a demon and an angel fall in love? As in the beginning, I was not expecting this book to pivot to a paranormal story, and then pivot again to a romance story. Kaylin McFarren has a similar literary talent to Stephen King in her ability to introduce just the right amount of mystery into a story that keeps things eerie and the tension high. Soul Seeker is an exceptional paranormal thriller that delves into the souls of humans, demons and angels. What we uncover is surprising.
Pages: 345 | ISBN: 9798665284903
Tags: angel, author, book, book review, bookblogger, demon, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, Kaylin McFarren, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, Soul Seeker, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
The Night and the Land is the kind of book you need to get when you come out of a massive reader’s block. The storyline is thrilling, the characters are impressive and Matt Spencer’s writing style is engaging. The author knows how to capture the reader’s interest through minute things like the description of events and details of locations. This is a story propelled forward by Sally and Rob’s characters. A unique development of characterization plays well within the confines of this gritty dark fantasy novel.
We follow the lives of Sally Wildfire and Bob among many other interesting characters. Sally’s family is not the best. They show inconsiderate at best and cruel at their worst. While running away from her family, Sally comes across a compelling young lad, Rob. Sally and Rob begin to develop a relationship that is gripping and provocative. I was fond of Rob but I liked Rob’s father even more. I was thrilled by the father’s surreptitious past and wished the author had written more about him. Reading about the characters’ families, their backgrounds and relations with each other was the most thrilling part for me in the book.
Character development is one of the best features in Mat Spencer’s writing. His style makes it easy for the reader to follow and enjoy the plot and activities the characters engage in. The supernatural elements and the horror incorporated among the themes in the book spiced up the sometimes horrific story. The transition from somewhat real life-like setting to events in dark fantasy is magical.
The Night and the Land is an enthralling dark fantasy novel, utilizing the best parts of the horror genre to explore the depths of some captivating characters.
Pages: 362 | ASIN: B07N7T224R
Iron Dogs follows a group of outlaws who are wounded and on the run. They seek shelter in a deserted New Mexico town. However, they soon realize that something is seriously amiss in the town. Something evil lurks in the shadows. The band of outlaws, once the ones bringing the trouble to town, are now the ones who must fight against it. Each man is tested beyond his limits. Who, if any, will survive the evil that lurks within this desolate town.
Iron Dogs book mixes horror with action and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story begins with Father Ramon, and immediately there are little tidbits that lead you deeper into an intricately woven story that continues to gain layers as the story progresses. The tone is set from the start, a blend of western thriller with modern horror. I could tell from the first page that the novel was setting a gritty and intense tone. The band of outlaws are close at first, but the challenges that lay ahead test their personal limits as well as the limits of their relationship when they must decide who will be sacrificed.
One of the characters, in particular, Virgil, reminded me of people I knew (in certain scenes) that had me feeling more invested. Especially as the book began to get creepier. One of the things that really thrilled me about this novel was the western feel that permeated the novel, reminiscent of George A. Romero’s gruesome and satirical horror films. Though Virgil was one of the characters who stood out the most to me, I enjoyed Frank’s character as well. As with any good book, the characters act the way they do because of inner motivations and characteristics, making the reader feel a connection to them. A word of warning Iron Dogs will pull you into the characters, but it takes a few chapters. They seem a bit shallow at first, but given time they develop into some intriguing characters.
Iron Dogs is one crazy good story. If you are a fan of riveting horror novels with plentiful action then Neil Chase has written a novel just for you.
Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07CV85D36
Tags: action, author, book, book review, bookblogger, crime book, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, Iron Dogs, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, Neil Chase, nook, novel, occult, read, reader, reading, scary story, story, thriller, urban fantasy, western, writer, writing
Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul is a collection of thought-provoking short stories. What were some sources that informed your writing?
First, I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus. I knew the Universal Studios and Hammer films weren’t true to the book, as movies often aren’t, and I wanted my Frankenstein to be based off the book. In the book he is a sympathetic character, but becomes a murderer. He’s not given the chance to redeem himself and I wanted that opportunity for him.
Next, I read about Mary Shelley. It was important to me to get inside her head and understand her motivations. I watched the movie about her life and I read several books about her including Mary Shelley: Her Circle and Her Contemporaries and Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein. I read university papers about her life and spoke to professors and other experts.
I’ve always been a fan of horror. I love the classics. I’ve read and reread so many classic horror tales that I plan on tapping into as I write. I read modern horror as well. I want to be able to appeal to the modern reader while intriguing them with classic stories.
Adam is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
I’ve always felt especially drawn to two fictional characters in my life; Frankenstein’s monster and Jane Eyre. There’s something about a person who is all alone in the world trying to be better even when no one else might care about their life. I admit that Adam has some traits you may find in Mr. Rochester. Rochester warred with himself, justifying what he did even when he knew it was wrong. But, he had such passion the reader forgave him his past deeds and wanted to see him become the man Jane deserved.
In the novel, Frankenstein, the monster, who I’ve called Adam, is intelligent and realizes his own plight. He’s not the green-faced monster of the movies. His acceptance of the world’s rejection of him drives him to insist on a companion so he won’t be alone. I think we can all relate to feeling alone in the world at some point in our lives. What can loneliness drive us to do?
I knew immediately that the only way to keep Adam from becoming a true monster was to give him love and let him experience love for someone, or something else. A life totally devoid of love will certainly make anyone a monster. I gave him Bella, his little dog who also happens to be immortal. It wasn’t just the fact that dogs will love you no matter what you look like as long as you’re kind, but it was Adam’s experience of loving and of knowing he had the capacity to love that changed the trajectory of his life.
The Madame and the Madman is my favorite story from the collection. Do you have a favorite, or one that stands out from a writers perspective?
Although I admit to loving any story Victor Dracula shows up in, such as The Madame and the Madman, my personal favorite to date is Marked. It can be difficult to show character growth in short stories. And though I hope to show a little of that in each story, I felt Marked showed the greatest growth. Adam starts out a total brute willing to kill someone for kicking his dog. He’s calculating and unsympathetic to Seline at first. But, the little girl and her acceptance of him change things in Adam. Knowing that Sabine is not the girl’s mother, but is risking her life for the child change something in him. I love who he is at the end of this story.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I recently signed a contract with an amazing agent who is excited about Adam and the other stories surrounding Mary Shelley’s League of Supernatural Hunters. I’m doing the final edits of The Deadly Pieces, which is the first full Adam Frankenstein novel. It’s set in modern times and he has become a U.S. Marshal in Houston, TX. He’s secretly after a witch conducting unsanctioned experiments on the homeless population. So, there’s still the paranormal element though I do work with an actual U.S. Marshal to ensure any procedural parts of the book are correct.
I do have Adam Frankenstein comic books and am currently working on his origin story according to my own mythology. That should be out the first part of next year.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, occult, paranormal, read, reader, reading, science fiction, Sheila English, short stories, short story, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
The LeRoux family traveled a long way to move into a family estate they have inherited. What they don’t know, is that strange things have happened in the grandest and oldest house in the province – the LeRoux Manor. The story follows Camille LeRoux – a teenage girl who is exactly where she needs to be. The only problem is, she doesn’t want to be there – but, there is no going back. Once she dips her toe in the waters of a possibly parallel universe, the water is quick to create dark, furious waves that slowly engulf her.
Liz Butcher takes us on a journey full of layers that unravel slowly and in no specific order, giving the reader a feeling of a déjà vu similar to the one the protagonist feels, almost as if you have felt the terrors of the manor upon yourself a long time ago. Butcher has successfully implemented the elements of fear, surprise, mystery, and suspense in the story to create an uncertain, sickening feeling. A feeling that you are there with Camille, watching her unravel her past, but not being able to say anything. The main idea of the story is easy to follow, while still twisting your mind and confusing you, making you feel like you are the one narrating it, and not Camille. This book definitely took me on a ride, one that moves you back and forth so quickly that you feel it in the pit of your stomach like a wild roller-coaster, knowing that you are about to drop and feeling the adrenaline rush through your body. Reading the book, I felt like I was Camille LeRoux, entering a world that is completely upside-down and trying to complete a puzzle that seems endless.
A clever connection and a splendid addition to an already well-developed story line is the mentioning of the novel “Through the Looking Glass” – an extraordinary piece of fiction that depicts a world where everything is in reverse. This connection is very supportive to the plot, as it helps the reader grasp the main idea and understand Camille LeRoux’s slow path to losing her mind, and finding herself. She never finds what she is looking for intentionally, but by accident. Everything happens backwards until she understands what – and who – she is.
Much like the essence of the novel – the reader and Camille are two sides of the same coin. Things repeat in history, and the same thing always happens. Camille’s brave character and her inability to look back turns out to be a dangerous beast that she shouldn’t have woken up, but she cannot escape her fate. Liz Butcher has a neat way of penetrating the deepest, darkest parts of the human mind and staying there for a long time, haunting your thoughts and your soul.
Pages: 212 | ASIN: B089W59RBF
The Deck of the Numinon is an epic fantasy novel by GJ Scherzinger. The story takes place in a mysterious universe surrounded by magic. Where cities battle each other for dominance and control, and in faraway lands women in convents known as Sybellines study magical artifacts and train in the arts of shapeshifting. When a deck of magical cards with the power to manipulate people and time falls into the hands of a player with malicious intentions, cards are drawn and a series of catastrophic events follows. As generals and diplomats from the different kingdoms blame each other for the destruction of the fabled towers of Safrasco and prepare their armies for war. The Standish general Artis Ferriman enlists Cerra, a bling girl of humble means, as his agent at the embassy in order to find the culprit of the attacks. Cerra sets off on her journey, accompanied by her demon lover Yutan. Unaware that both of them represent cards in play. While dealing with diplomatic life and an unexpected loss, she soon finds an ally in Havi, a Sybelline trainee entrusted with the mission of finding the deck and removing it from the player. As Cerra navigates a mysterious world dominated by greed, lust, and betrayal, she discovers that her mission goes beyond spying, she is a player in the game representing The Queen of Quills and must embrace those qualities in order to locate the “seer” and stop the game before she runs out of time.
The Deck of the Numinon is an engrossing and riveting novel. From the carefully detailed world to the incredibly original plot, The Deck of the Numinon is everything any fantasy reader can dream of. Once you start reading, there’s no putting the book down. It never gets mundane as events play out smoothly, each with schemes and backstories left and right. The author does an incredible job of describing characters that are complex and unpredictable. Cerra, the main character, is a pacifist unwillingly thrown into conflict, which makes her fun to follow. She is blind, yet her remaining senses compensate for that loss, which makes for a different kind of power. She feels the world in a way that any reader can relate and connect with on a personal level, I know I did! As for the writing, the story is extremely well planned and portrayed, and really has to be to accomplish such a deep story on an epic scale. But the language used is quite complex and can be hard to grasp, an important observation for anyone looking for a light read. All in all, I highly recommend this book for its originality and engaging plot. I definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
Pages: 562 | ASIN: B08CQ937B4
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, GJ Scherzinger, goodreads, high fantasy, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, occult, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, sword and sorcery, The Deck of the Numinon, thriller, writer, writing
Nicole has found herself in quite the predicament. As an unwanted child left to abusive relatives herself, she doesn’t quite know what to do when she is presented with young Shelby. Shelby, missing since the night of her parents’ brutal murder, has stumbled upon Nicole. Their pairing is an odd one but at the same time destined to have occurred. Longing for her parents and her Uncle Tee, hurting, lost, and hungry, Shelby does the only thing she knows how–she eats. Her need to feed, however, is like nothing Nicole has ever experienced–Nicole herself is Shelby’s sustenance.
Crimson Moon is the third in a series by Georgiana Fields. The Dhampir are the focus of Fields’s work and provide readers with a whole new cast of characters who by far outweigh any vampire novel I have ever read. Their shapeshifting abilities and the way in which they can sense one another’s life forces makes for a truly engaging read. Shelby and her extended family are standout characters with a closeness most families would envy.
One of the most striking elements of Nicole’s character development is the way she regards Tristan’s behavior toward Shelby. Nicole is at a loss on how family could and should behave. She has never received love in any form or fashion. At the hands of what little family she has, Nicole has endured unimaginable abuse. Her attempts to start over have been thwarted, and she can’t possibly relate to the display of love she sees being shown to Shelby. After seeing her “family,” readers will deeply feel Nicole’s yearning for true affection when she observes Tristan and Shelby.
As with Fields’s first book in the series, Crimson Dreams, readers will find intense action sequences, bloodthirsty characters, and breathtaking moments. Right out of the gate, Fields grabs readers’ attention with a chaotic and heart-wrenching scene between Shelby and her parents. Readers will know what four-year-old Shelby can’t possibly understand as she makes her frantic, yet forced, escape on her own. Fields knows how to pull in readers and keep them invested from cover to cover.
Having devoured Crimson Dreams, I was eager to follow the saga and was not disappointed. Fields builds on the scene set in the first book and succeeds in keeping the momentum going. I highly recommend Fields’s books to those interested in branching out of the vampire genre. There is much to be gained by exploring the world of the Dhampir according to Georgiana Fields.
Pages: 318 | ASIN: B07KQFCX3J
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, Crimson Moon, dark fantasy, ebook, fantasy, fiction, Fly by Night: A Riveting Spy Thriller, Georgiana Fields, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, thriller, vampire, werewolf, writer, writing
22 Dutch Road follows Billy who goes back to his late father’s house and finds something strange going on with the statues on the property. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
The inspiration came from an amalgamation of ideas that were stuck in my head for several years: wouldn’t it be creepy to be alone in a house surrounded by statues that seem to move? What would be the circumstances that would keep you there despite your own sense of self-preservation telling you to get out of Dodge? Was it all in your head, because of medical reasons, or were there malign forces at play? If these statues really were moving around, why were they doing so? How long have they been doing so? Who, or what, is pulling their strings?
Billy is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
From the beginning, Billy was going to be somewhat of a early twenty-first century “everyman”, a young man without means, living under the shadow of an overbearing and totally unfair father. He was, however, also going to be supported by a good (if not somewhat overbearing in her own way) mother as well as extended family “father figure” uncles. He would have a few close friends. He was going to be “a good guy” but not a perfect one, one with visible strengths and weaknesses. Despite being chastened by years of ill treatment from his father, he would secretly yearn for connection anyway. He was going to be reasonably clever and witty but not brilliant or hilarious. He was going to be likable and attractive in a Professor Snape sort of way. He was going to be good with his hands.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was this planned before writing or did it develop organically while writing?
The basic storyline of a struggling, haunted young man returning to an “ancestral” home out of necessity, only to engage in a psychological struggle with his father, was there from day one. There were always going to be some key elements like a cute dog and a helpful neighbor. About 75% of the detail, however, developed organically; I found myself discovering how things “happened” in the story as I wrote it; most of the subplots developed by themselves and some of these plots changed significantly over the course of writing. For instance, the lawyer character, Bates, was originally going to be a one-dimensional character, merely there to develop the plot, but became interesting enough to me to flesh out more. He’s an adroit, cold lawyer, but why is he that way? Many of the sub characters started out this way–one dimensional–only to have their back stories flesh out over the three and a half years I spent writing this book.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is called The Evil Men’s Book Club. At the pace that I write–writing is a hobby and I have a job and family, like I imagine most writers do–it should be complete by early 2022. By the way, there really is an Evil Men’s Book Club, also known as the EMBC, formed in the DC area in the 90s. The EMBC is an informal club of my friends and the book, a murder mystery, will be loosely based on it.