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
Sorcerers Prayer is a genre-crossing novel with elements of mystery, suspense, and culture as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
In 2014, I was walking into the ocean (off of Honolulu, Oahu) to take a mile long dip. I thought to myself, after having read all of the Dan Brown and James Rollins novels while attempting to get my virgin aquaponic garden business off the ground, ‘I can write my own Hawaiian thriller’. While engaging in research at the Hawaii State Public Library, concerning newspapers and letters from the 1800’s–complete with white cotton gloves and a spatula to flip the pages–I learned about a Honolulu judge who relocated to the Big Island of Hawaii and started a religious cult; two law officers were killed during a religious luau/festival. I spun it off from there. It started off as a thriller and holistically crossed-over to other realms. In addition, with my fun-loving persona, I could not help but weave in an additional genre – humor. Other reviewers stated that the location (the Hawaiian culture and environment) is an ancillary category.
Kawika is an interesting and well defined character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
For the most part, Kawika is an extension of myself. I was once a biology professor at a local Oahu college and fell in love with the life and culture that is Hawaii. The character’s adventurous, athletic, intellectual, and holistic interests were autobiographical in nature.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the mystery before writing or did it develop while writing?
Initially, I did not employ an outline and the stories were molded on the fly. I would order a chai tea at *$, take out my composition book and pen, and then composed with an impassioned long-hand; I could not write fast enough to keep up with the creative flow. As numerous authors have previously stated, ‘the book wrote itself’.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Sorcerers’ Prayer: Book 1 Sacred Idol is the first part of a trilogy which is currently in its 4th edition polished state. I plan to finish amending Books 2.1 (Precious Blood) and 2.2 (Honor and Majesty) by the end of August 2020. I currently possess extensive notes for Book 3 (Eutropos) and I’m nearly ready to get back on that caffeinated and literary galloping horse. As Orson Scott Card looped back expertly with the supporting characters of “Ender’s Game”, I am currently mulling over a similar circumstance with the Sorcerers’ Prayer procession, to create another limb of the burgeoning ensemble.
A more modern and brutish man than one may expect, this monster embodies both of his namesakes rather well, the innocent first man of lore and the man-made of many. The monster we meet in the collection Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul by Sheila English is all at once stoic and terrifying—yet he counts Mary Shelley and Van Helsing among his friends here.
In this continuation of a story we thought we knew, meet the man-made man for hire, Adam Frankenstein. He is not without his charms, however hideously disfigured. Some characteristics we may remember do remain; he is a man of few words, gigantic in stature, and will kill in terms of black and white logic. Adam has an unsettling presence yet, is profoundly gentle.
Poetically, and by murky gaslight, Sheila English dazzles the reader with pressing adventures and a companion by our side. Adam travels with his loyal dog Bella, who he protects to the bitter end of all who cross them.
In the first novella, Marked, we meet the street-wise Sabine and her charge, the young Celeste, who require help though at a glance we know they must have tremendous problems as both are more than capable of defense and have made their way through dark city streets until now, however they could.
Then, a monster’s point of view short story Last Man Standing leads the reader through a terrifying nightmare as an angry mob hunts Adam. Written in first-person, the shift is not as jarring as expected. This story is at least a refreshing change of pace and being the shortest story does not overstay its welcome. We land again on the cobblestone streets of London in another tale where we meet a vampire ally in The Madame and the Madman. While this is another kind of Dracula all together, the weaving of cherished horror stories together always makes for an entertaining read, and here is it done with both flair and grit. The reality of the sooty and smelly 19th century is used to brilliant effect in describing not only the fast-paced and bloody action, but what scant leisure time Adam is afforded. Between the two, English gives the reader a glimpse into what our hero sees in mankind when looking out of a monster’s eye. A very thoughtful creature Adam Frankenstein is, and one that readers of historical fiction and horror alike will be glad to have met.
When we come to the modern world of 1976 in Freak Show, the stage is set since we now know Adam and his cut and dry way of reasoning. Considering the people he encounters, it is a balancing act in each story to decide which of the two sides are truly flawed – questions that good fiction raises in a reader reflecting on society, and our wants and needs as earthly inhabitants. While there is a bonus story in this collection, Doll Therapy, that fits in bleak outlook and poetic prose and is presented separately. Other stories by the same author feature the titular Adam Frankenstein and with luck, there will be a larger collection for them all someday. It would be an opportunity to update the cover art as it does not reflect the high-level character crafting and adventurous ideas here that lead to wanting to read more. Adam Frankenstein himself is all five stars of five in here and recommended for a highly entertaining read that puts a cavalier edge on this classic human monster.
Pages: 138 | ASIN: B07RG7JZ42
Tags: Adam Frankenstein, author, book, book review, bookblogger, classic, ebook, fantasy, fiction, frankenstein, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, monster, mystery, nook, novel, novella, occult, read, reader, reading, scary story, Sheila English, short story, story, writer, writing
People are always bragging about their rebel life. But, is one truly a rebel if they live within the confines of society? Has one really lived a rebel life until they have lived according to their own philosophies without caring about the conditions of the social construct? So many young men were tired of the way their lives were being directed and decided to live by their own rules. Unemployed and almost destitute, they set out to start a hash farm. They survived harsh conditions and overcame many difficulties to not only make their dreams come true but also to stay ahead of the authorities.
Life Before Death is set in the twentieth century. Matthew William Frend has expertly captured the spirit and feel of that time. He has described the characters in ways that get the reader invested in the story and even willingly joining their sojourn. This book will appeal to the part of you that just wants to be set free.
Life Before Death may be an interesting and entertaining piece of literature. However, once a layer is peeled you find therein lessons about life and living. You find lessons about friends and acquaintances. Thus it is aptly titled. It truly is a book about the journey of life between birth and death. It is a book about purpose and self-actualization. The writer narrates this story with a certain bubbly spirit. You can feel the excitement reverberate off the pages, urging you to join in on the joy. All of this while also being thought-provoking.
Matthew William Frend writing is simply executed with a sort of laid back tone. His descriptions of the scenery in the Australian countryside will thrust you right beside them with their special cookies and desire to be truly independent. This book in no way advocates for flouting the law for personal enjoyment. It does however let you see what it would be if the society lived under reasonable laws. This book is an enlightening and entertaining literary trip.
The way the author uses the English language is absolutely delightful. The style of narration is beautiful and appealing. Life Before Death was enjoyable and deeply significant.
Pages: 415 | ASIN: B0098EY7B2
As a teenager, Lu Darlington attracted national attention when she and her friend Lisa escaped a sadistic killer known as the Professor of Death. She never told anyone about the daemon who saved her life that day.
Ten years later, Lisa shows up at Lu’s door, fleeing another psychopath stalker. But Lisa’s not the only one seeking Lu after all this time. One by one, the daemons descend:
Voracious Chama. Sinister Black Claw. Beautiful Talion.
Chama wants Lu, but Talion claims her. The women of Lu’s family have always belonged to Talion—and they’ve suffered deeply for it.
As the human threat draws closer, Talion demands that Lu bind herself to him in a harrowing ceremony that will destroy an innocent man and change her forever—but might save Lisa’s life.
Can she navigate the violent intrigues of the daemon world without being consumed by its terrible, all-consuming demands?