Sunday, March 31, 2013

Double Dealing: When Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures / Larry Shields

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Financial Thriller

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
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“Larry started his Wall Street career in 1980, spending the first twenty years developing, marketing, and promoting investment products for corporate and wealthy investors. Writing was just one tool of communicating and promoting, combining it with video and personal presentations to help ‘tell a story.’
The market crash of 2008 created many stories to be told, yet all the media were caught up in the ‘blame game,’ attempting to explain how and why it happened. No one told the story of despair and desperation that everyone lived through, which many have still not recovered from.”

This is Shields’ first novel. He is currently at work on its sequel.


“Scott is a master of the universe at a Manhattan venture capital firm.
He has the requisite nerves of steel and the connections to be a serious player. What he lacks is the big score, the deal that will put his name on the map. And time is ticking down. In the wake of the Wall Street crash of ’08, his mentor, Jordan Holstein, has been forced out, and Scott’s been passed over for partner. It won’t be long before he’s out on the street himself. His home life isn’t much better.

Then redemption arrives in the form of a techno geek Stanford undergrad with a $500 million dollar idea.”


This is the kind of book I naturally gravitate to, with legal and financial thrillers taking up a big chunk of my library space. If the story involves computers or technology, even better. This one touches on that area, with the storyline involving a Silicon Valley software startup looking for investment capital. The investment parts rang true, with details that obviously came from the author’s work experience. The software parts were fewer and more vague, which kept them on the right side of the believable/unbelievable line, although close at times. I liked the protagonist Scott, even more as he grew as a person and learned from his mistakes. All in all, a good read that should appeal to fans of the genre.


Adult language and minor adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos and other proofing misses.

Rating: **** Four stars

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Abide With Me / Ian Ayris

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Coming of Age / Thriller

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
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Ian Ayris has had a love of writing since childhood and has had some forty short stories published. Recently first novel, Abide With Me, was released. Ian is currently studying for a degree in English Literature. He lives with his family in Essex in the UK.


Abide With Me is the story of the two fourteen year-old boys, Kenny and John, growing up together in the East End of London during the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s. One is very odd, the other very normal. Inexplicably drawn together their lives eventually take very different turns until fate brings them back together again.


If you’ve read any of my previous reviews you’ll know I favour the genres of crime / thriller / noir (delete as applicable). So to pick up a coming of age novel is somewhat of a departure. However, I was so blown away by the quality of writing in Ayris’ A Day in the Life of Jason Dean I felt compelled to read this full-length novel. And I’m very glad I did.

Written in the first person from John’s perspective, Ayris immediately paints a strong view of working class London life in a small community with close friends and family – good and bad. John lives reasonably well, not poor, not rich. He’s full of life, loves his football and his school days. His neighbor, Kenny, couldn’t be more different. He comes from an abusive background and it shows. The kid is withdrawn, uncommunicative, and downright weird.

However, John finds himself drawn to protecting Kenny at school and as a result develops friends and enemies that remain in place through this teenage and eventually adult years.

Like A Day In The Life… Ayris pulls the emotional heartstrings very well, it is easy to immerse yourself in this powerful story of two very different children. The characters are highly compelling, the strongest part of Abide With Me. As a reader I really wanted to know what would happen to the pair, particularly when their paths diverged for a period (John ends up in prison and has a pretty brutal seven year stretch) and then ultimately cross paths again. Kenny eventually repays John’s faith in an incredibly emotional final scene.

The prose and dialogue are excellent, locally themed, but this adds to the story, rather than detracts. John’s voice is excellent, it varies throughout the story as he matures and then ends up in trouble. You can feel the character developing through his eyes. Very well done.

This is an excellent debut novel and readers that enjoy strong, compelling, and raw characterization would do well to pick it up.


Adult language throughout.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: ***** Five Stars

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Horseman at Midnight / Jameson Parker

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 55,000-60,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: YES  Paper: NO
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Jameson Parker has been a freelance writer for twenty years, writing for a wide range of outdoor magazines. The Horseman at Midnight is his first novel.


Fourteen-year-old Grady hitchhikes from Virginia to California because of his love of horses and his dislike of his father. He shows up unannounced at his grandfather’s horse ranch, hoping to find a place where he belongs.


Never have I highlighted so many sections of text in a story I read for review. I won’t quote a bunch here, suffice it to say Mr. Patterson is a skillful writer. His prose had me entranced. The picture he painted of life on the horse farm brought to life not only the workings of the horse training business, but also the ambiance of the rural community in California where the story was set.
A large portion of this book is devoted to horses: riding them, talking about them, talking to them, feeding them, and psyching them out. I’ve only ridden a horse one time—a distinctly unpleasant experience which I plan never to repeat. So, it’s even more remarkable that the author kept my interest. For those readers who like horses (and I understand there are such people), this book would be a real treat.

Grady has an innate affinity with horses. After Grandpa’s second wife died, horses became the center of his life. So, their relationship, from its beginnings in the seed of familial obligation, blossoms into a one of love and mutual respect. The character’s development is expertly managed by the author--I was along for the ride and rootin’ for both of them (pardon my puns). Heck, I was even rootin’ for the horses J

So why is this brilliant story receiving only four stars? Because IMO it needs more work. If Grady and his Gramps are brilliantly realized, sadly, his father and the life Grady ran away from, aren’t. And that’s a shame, because we never get to experience how the father and his son, or the father and the grandpa reconcile—which leaves the story feeling unfinished.
And mostly because of the ending. It’s an understatement to say this was rushed. I had to re-read a large section to find out what happened to the main character and how the climactic scene actually played out.

Gosh, I wish Mr. Parker would go back and write a dozen more chapters. Let Grady’s dad and girlfriend arrive and fill out the family saga while all the players are still alive. Maybe give a little more depth to the drug addict and his dealer (whose part in the story makes it a thriller). And take as much time detailing the ending as he does over the breaking of a “boogerty-bastard palomino”.
Despite my frustrations, this is an enjoyable, feel-good story with excellent prose. I’m glad I read it, and even those of you who, like me, don’t ‘get’ horses will be, too. A must-read story for horse lovers and outdoorsmen/women.

Format/Typo Issues:

None noted.

Rating: **** Four stars

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pendulous - A Guest Post from Morgan C. Talbot

Do you ever get that feeling that your life’s a pendulum? That you’re swinging between two extremes, and probably out of control more than you’d like to admit? 

That middle point can be a welcome familiar spot where you’re balanced and where you feel most centered. Or it can be a rock bottom that you can’t help falling into, time after time. I suppose it depends on whether you see your pendulum as right side up, or upside down. Is the middle the good or the bad? Are the ends escapes, or prisons?

I have both kinds of swings in my life. My mood swing (ahaha) tends to spend most of its time in the Happy zone, with only the occasional dip to the far Depressed end. My writing swing flicks back and forth like a frantic windshield wiper as it tries to clear project after project. My introvert swing… well, it doesn’t really swing. It just sits there, content to be at rock bottom all the time. 

Most important to me, no matter which swing I’m on, is which way I’m facing. In elementary school, did you ever get your swing chain to wind up and then unwind while you swung back and forth, preferably as fast as possible? Such a rush, wasn’t it? Not sure at any given moment if you were going to break your legs off at the ankles against the swing set pole… unless you were facing the direction you were swinging. Then you could adjust. Then, you had some control.

So ride your swings, kids. Just try to jiggle those chains so you can see where you’re headed next.

Morgan's latest book, Death Will Attend, is now available. Get your copy from Amazon US (paper or ebook), Amazon UK (paper or ebook), or Barnes & Noble.

And be sure to enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#Free for your #Kindle, 3/28/2013

The author of each of these books has indicated their intent to schedule these books for a free day for the Kindle versions today on Amazon. Sometimes plans change or mistakes happen, so be sure to verify the price before hitting that "buy me" button. 

Bridge Ices Before Midnight by S. Rose

Spirit Dance by Stephen. G. Lonefeather

Author's interested in having their free book featured either here on a Thursday or a sister site on a Monday, visit this page for details.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Naebody’s Hero / Mark Wilson

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Thriller

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Mark Wilson is a full-time teacher, full time dad, and part-time writer. He’s married and lives with his family in Edinburgh, Scotland. Naebody’s Hero is his third novel, a sequel is in progress.

You can read more about the author on his website.


Rob Hamilton, abandoned by his parents as a child, one day learns he has extraordinary powers – incredible strength, speed and the ability to fly, among others. He’s a superhero with a powerful sense of right and wrong.

Whilst Rob is growing up Kim Hamilton, US secret agent, is trying to track down the terrorist group that killed her husband and son, the shadowy al-Qaeda which spreads its tentacles ever wider over time. Eventually it touches on Arif Ali, a young, increasingly radicalised Pakistani boy living in England and exposes him to some horrible events.


The first draft of this review started with the phrase ‘This is a powerful story, a superhero tale with a difference.’ However that was a shallow assessment of a powerful story. That Rob has super powers is incidental, it is simply a part of who he is.

Naebody’s Hero is an international thriller. Wilson cleverly blends three storylines over some thirty odd years and several continents leading to its climax on 9/11. The characters are excellently rendered. Driven Kim, desperate for revenge on those who stopped her life in its tracks (ironically she affects herself perhaps even more by being unable to move on from her grief). Rob himself, who learns to use his powers and his touching relationship development with his foster parents. And, most interestingly of all, is Arif Ali. I really liked the additional window this strand opened up, into the lengths terrorists would take to ensure conversion to the radical cause. There are some difficult, disturbing, and surprising subjects addressed. The sense of place is consistently strong, wherever in the world the action is taking place.

Another fascinating turn is the events running up to 9/11 and the day itself – the conclusion fitted perfectly into the world Wilson deftly created.

In conclusion this was a very strong book, intriguing and unusual. I understand there’s a sequel in progress. I’ll be picking up a copy.


Some disturbing scenes.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: **** Four Stars

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rosy / Suzanne Tyrpak

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
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“Suzanne Tyrpak ran away from New York a long time ago to live in Colorado. When she's not working at Frontier Airlines or writing, she enjoys bike-riding, swimming, skiing, hiking, and dancing.”

Tyrpak has several books available that range from the comedic (Dating my Vibrator) to historical fiction (Vestal Virgin, set in ancient Rome). For more, visit Tyrpak’s blog.


“Dreams can become nightmares. Small town girl, Sarah, hopes to find love and fame in New York City, but following her dreams leads to a downward slide into the insanity of the late 1970s: nightclubs, sex, drugs, and violence la Magic Mike.

Desperate to dig herself out of debt, Sarah becomes pole dancer Rosy Dreams. But the more money she makes, the darker her nightmare becomes as she sinks into a world where no one can be trusted--especially the men who claim to adore her. As Sarah slips deeper into the underworld, she questions not only her dreams, but her sanity. She battles demons--imagined and real—while fighting to survive the city's brutality, fighting for her dreams, and ultimately fighting for her life.”


At its heart, Rosy is a tense tale of how one easy decision can set us down a path that is hard to reverse. Rosy is easy to like and I quickly became invested in seeing her meet and overcome the challenges she faced. It’s a great coming-of-age story with widespread appeal.

However, for this child of the seventies, the setting made this story even more enjoyable. Tyrpak captured the attitude and climate of the decade perfectly. A nice little touch were the chapter headings, each a song title or a snippet of lyric that summarized the chapter while evoking some musical nostalgia. As a music geek, a link to the song on Amazon made me happy, as 
I was able to quickly answer the question “who sung that” when I was stumped. Those who read the book on a suitable device should even be able to stop for a short musical interlude between chapters while listening to a sample of each song.


Adult language and themes.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of proofing and copyediting misses.

Rating: ***** Five stars

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Puppet Maker’s Bones / Alisa Tangredi

Reviewed by: SingleEyePhotos

Genre: Fantasy/Suspense

Approximate word count: 65-70,000

Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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Alisa Tangredi lives in California with her husband and her dog. She worked for many years as a stage actress, during which time she also wrote novels and some stage plays, although most of what she wrote ended up hidden in a drawer. She is also the author of the psychological thriller Under the Looking Glass. For more, visit her website and a blog.


Where do you draw the line between sanity and madness; between isolation and loneliness? Is the memory of a lost love worth the knowledge that you were guilty of her death? Which is a harsher punishment: a life of isolation and guilt or death?


This book started out rather slowly and a bit predictably, although there were hints of something that wasn’t predictable; those grabbed my attention and kept my interest. The first few chapters alternated between the current time, introducing the reader to Pavel Trusnik; and the mid-1700s, telling the beginning of Pavel’s story. Pavel is an old man – how old is anybody’s guess – and he lives alone in a beautifully preserved Victorian house. No one has come inside or seen him in decades. Yet he watches life go by through the curtains, and steps outside at night to enjoy his garden.

Then the scene shifts to Kevin, a sociopathic, teenage killer, who lives across the street from Pavel, and like Pavel, he watches through the curtains.

As the story goes on, we learn more and more about Pavel’s past and Kevin’s present. And see that when their paths converge, there will be no future.

The author’s pacing was well-done – she kept the reader guessing and wanting to know more. There were moments when I felt that the storyline jumped around just a little too much between past and present and between Pavel and Kevin, but in retrospect, I really don’t see how it could have been done otherwise, and still kept the atmosphere of escalating tension and inevitability. At about 60-70% in the book, the tension really began to ratchet up, and the full implications of Pavel’s grief and guilt started to become evident. From that point on, there could be only one ending to the story. Characterization was well-done, although I can’t really say that I warmed up to any of the characters. All were deeply flawed – some had human flaws that the reader could relate to; others did not. The overall impression was of a Greek tragedy – the actors’ fates were out of their hands, and no matter how they struggled, they moved inexorably towards a foreseen doom.

Format/Typo Issues:

None noted.

Rating: **** Four stars

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Killing Time in Vegas / Tony Black

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Crime Fiction/Short Story Collection

Approximate word count: 10-15,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
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Tony Black is an award winning national journalist who during his career covered a diverse range of stories from crime to nightclub reviews. Tony then moved into writing crime novels and novellas, with thirteen now published to critical acclaim.

More information can be found about Tony Black on his website or blog.


An anthology of seven original short stories, gathered together for the first time.


Another fine set of short stories from Tony Black, but with a difference – instead of the usual gritty Edinburgh setting we find ourselves in various locations across the USA. That being said the trademark noir atmosphere pervades each tale.

For me the sign of a good writer is being able to tell a strong story with a minimum of words - Tony Black delivers both in spades with yet more of the highest quality writing. The sense of place is excellent, the dialogue sharp & the characters very visible, all within a matter of sentences. Another interesting touch with his style – the tales are all in the first person, which results in the reader experiencing full on all of the character's angst.

In Killing Time in Vegas Francis Jarman is a steroid-driven body builder with an anger management problem. His day goes from bad to worse and when he meets one of his childhood tormentors his fuse really blows. Francis takes revenge in a gruesome but apt fashion.

The Long Drop is cleverly written and is a particular favourite. The tale starts and ends with a car crash, played out through flashbacks. The unnamed protagonist is involved in a plan to extort money from a wealthy heiress. As you can probably guess, it goes horribly wrong.

Daddy's Girl - Jonny is doing a job for crime boss Patto, however he gets involved with Patto’s daughter, Angie. Jonny's loyalty gets pulled in a new direction with bloody consequences. The underlying plot has been partially used in another of Tony Black's excellent novellas so I'll keep this one under my hat. You'll have to read it for yourself.

Enough of This Shit Already is a seedy short. Alana is beginning to have recollections of events at a party a few weeks ago. She's been branded a slut after local jock Brad was seen on top of her. To make matters worse Alana had a boyfriend who's now dumped her and all her friends are aware of the gossip. Alana begins to puts two and two together, and when she receives some shocking news decides to take revenge in a particularly final way.

Eat Shit is a cracker. A lawyer has dumped a sexual harassment suit on Eddie, telling him to stay away from Gloria. However, Gloria is a good time girl and it's all a set up. Eddie turns to old friend Miami Mike who has enough firepower behind him to draw out the truth…

I Want Candy - Jake is an ex-cop who can't get his last case out of his head so much so his life takes a downturn. He subsequently turns to a life of crime to keep his head above water but he's a mess. Then he takes a job that may help him close both the case and his problems.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: ***** Five Stars

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ice Cream Headache / Jeffrey Miller

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Historical Fiction/Drama

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: YES  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“Jeffrey Miller has spent over two decades flitting around Asia as a university lecturer and writer, including a six-year stint as a feature writer for The Korea Times, South Korea's oldest English-language newspaper. Originally from LaSalle, Illinois, he relocated to South Korea in 1990, where he nurtured a love for spicy Korean food, Buddhist temples, and East Asian History.”

Miller has three other books available: War Remains, a Korean War tale, and two non-fiction books, Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm and Invaders from Mars and Other Tales of Youthful Angst.

For more, visit Miller’s website.


“Amid the turbulent and tragic year of America in 1968, the lives of five people in a small Midwestern town, who are caught up in their own personal turmoil, become inextricably interwoven forever by the events which transpire one spring day.”


Ice Cream Headache is a book that is hard for me to nail down with the terms I normally use. Historical Drama (stolen from the author’s genre choices in one ebook store) is as close as I’m going to come. It is historical only in that the setting is in the late 60s in small-town Mid-America. Drama, because each of the main characters have problems in their past or present that come to a head in a dramatic fashion during the day the story takes place. Think of it as a slice-of-life from the heartland with infidelity, regret, avarice, friendship, and what it means to go to war all in the mix. Whatever it is, I liked it.


A small amount of adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

Friday, March 22, 2013

Readers' Choice Spotlight (Speculative Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, and Young Adult)

Remember to vote for your choices on this page and don't miss the other entry options for the giveaway.

Speculative Fiction

Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson

"Outcast from Hell. Banished from Heaven. Lost on Earth.

The battle of Armageddon was finally fought... and ended with no clear victor. Upon the mountain, the armies of Hell and Heaven beat each other into a bloody, uneasy standstill, leaving the Earth in ruins. Armageddon should have ended with Heaven winning, ushering in an era of peace. That's what the prophecies said. Instead, the two armies--one of angels, one of demons--hunker down in the scorched planet, lick their wounds, and gear up for a prolonged war with no end in sight.

In this chaos of warring armies and ruined landscapes, Laila doesn't want to take sides. Her mother was an angel, her father a demon; she is outcast from both camps. And yet both armies need her, for with her mixed blood, Laila can become the ultimate spy... or ultimate soldier. As the armies of Heaven and Hell pursue her, Laila's only war is within her heart--a struggle between her demonic and heavenly blood."

Loki by Mike Vasich

"God of Mischief. 
Father of Lies.
Harbinger of Destruction. 

Exiled and tortured by the gods, Loki swears vengeance. 

He will summon the mighty Fenris Wolf and the legendary Midgard Serpent, and they will lead an army of giants and all the dead in Niflheim. 

Brimming with the power of the most destructive being in the Nine Worlds, he will not rest till Asgard is in ashes and all the gods are dead under his heel."

Machines of Eden by Shad Callister

"PARADISE GONE WRONG. Awakening on the beach of a tropical island, a combat hacker finds himself at the center of a plot to turn Earth into a new Eden where humanity has no place. Caught between an advanced A.I. and her sadistic physical counterpart, and with the clock ticking toward an apocalypse, only one thing is clear: they picked the wrong man to push around."

Seized (The Pipe Woman Chronicles) by Lynn Cantwell

"The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....

Naomi has a pretty sweet life. Respected as a skilled mediator, she has an almost uncanny knack for getting people on both sides of a dispute to agree. And her handsome boyfriend Brock has just proposed to her. But a white buffalo calf is bowing to her in her dreams. And who is the Native American man who has been following her around?

Naomi doesn’t know it, but things are about to change..."

The Succubus Gift by BR Kingsolver

"Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance. The Succubus Gift is a completely different take on the succubus myth. Brenna's life isn't the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath and having other paranormal Gifts, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift. She's always been a good girl and isn't comfortable seducing men, except one she really loves. That's just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there's the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid? 

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course."

Wool (Omnibus) by Hugh Howey

"In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last."


A Referendum on Conscience by Christopher Truscott

"A terrorist attack. A vote against a popular war. A re-election campaign.

Rebecca McElroy is looking forward to retiring as she nears the end of her second term in the U.S. Senate.

Clarissa Rogers, the senator's young speechwriter, is glad to be out of the campaign business and has no intention of ever going back.

Then terrorists launch a devastating attack on Washington that drives the country into a bloody war and changes everything for the pacifist senator from Minnesota.

Clarissa's sent home and is tasked with managing a campaign the experts predict is doomed to fail. They're running against fear and anger—and public opinion. All they have to go on is the senator's conscience."

Deeds of Mercy by M.P. McDonald

"An unexpected visitor from Mark's past brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. Unable to decide who is friend and who is foe, Mark becomes a fugitive from the law, but with thousands of lives at stake, he is forced to put aside his fear of capture, and instead, seek help from his pursuers."

Hope for the Wicked by Edward Lorn

"Sometimes, bad people do good deeds.

Larry and Mo Laughlin are retired killers turned private investigators with monetary woes. So when their handler introduces them to the Trudeaus, one final job is placed on the docket.

Jacob and Bernice Trudeau need their teenage daughter, Amy, found, and they also want the men responsible dead. Two million dollars is an offer Larry and Mo can’t refuse.

To find Amy, the Laughlins must travel to Mexico, where they are thrust into a world of debauchery so foul they will be forever changed.

One crazed pimp, a veterinarian turned doc-for-hire, and an enigmatic facility called “The Show” lie in wait for the wayward couple.

Is there any hope for the wicked?"

Long Way Down by Tony Black

"Gus Dury is down on his luck and looking for distraction when Danny Murray asks him to find his old school friend, Barry Fulton. Fresh from jail, and attracting the attention of a new breed of Irish gangster, Barry is treading a fine line between his past and the activities of present-day Edinburgh crimelord, Boaby 'Shakey' Stevens.

Dury knows Barry has put a time-bomb round his neck and if he can't defuse the situation the consequences for his old friend don't bear thinking about. As the clock ticks Dury finds himself sliding the Long Way Down a winding spiral of tension and despair as he tries to save Barry from his own impending destruction at the hands of those who know brutality as a way of life."

Lost in Thought by Simon J. Townley

"A journey into the labyrinth... where the monsters lurk

Imaginative, madcap slipstream fiction, a psychological thriller with a fantasy twist.

A secret that could change the world, lost inside a dysfunctional scientist's comatose mind. The only hope - Richard Trescerrick's own invention, the Brainscape device, an unproven, untested mind-link technology and doorway to the subconscious. 

To save his life, solve the crime and recover the formula, a team of doctors, police and scientists link with Trescerrick's mind, entering the Brainscape, a world created by memory and controlled by metaphor. With them, estranged son Luke - part fisherman, part artist, devoted father and full-time drunk. 

To unmask a killer and expose a conspiracy, Luke journeys into the deep subconscious, searching for the hidden algorithm and a metaphor that leads to freedom. But in the labyrinth of the Brainscape, death is real. Enemies lurk behind every memory. Secrets spawn riddles wrapped in metaphor. Stories come alive. And monsters are made flesh."

Young Adult

Integration by Imogen Rose

"Second haiku warning:

A boyfriend missing
A lover must pay in blood
A princess must die

Welcome back to Bonfire Academy."

Our Summer of Discontent by S.L. Baum

"Summer. A time for travel, relaxation, and above all - fun. But for Charity, her family, and her friends, this summer holds more in store than any of them anticipate.

While Charity learns to harness her newfound powers, others around her discover their own surprising abilities. And a vacation to New York becomes a catalyst that has their paths crossing with the unexpected, yet again.

Emotions run high as life-altering games taunt and test them all. Who will win and who will lose, during their Summer of Discontent?"

The Ugly Stepsister Fights Back by Sariah Wilson

"Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake. 

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is a sweet, clean, contemporary young adult romance."