Friday, September 17, 2021

A Plague of Traitors: A Leine Basso Thriller by D.V. Berkom

 


Genre: Thriller

Description:

“A former assassin leads a heroic band of foreign fighters to thwart an enemy like no other.

Former assassin Leine Basso races to prevent Syrian intelligence from obtaining a lethal Russian bioweapon—a savage combination of toxins never before seen in nature.

Leine’s called back to war-torn Tripoli, enlisted by her former employer to train a heroic group of Isis-fighting snipers to crush the horrific threat. But there’s a leak, and the Libyan operation goes terribly wrong—the bioweapon ends up in the hands of a brutal terrorist who will stop at nothing to force the West to its knees.

Are there spies in their midst? Can Leine and her warriors prevent a ruthless enemy from releasing the deadly toxin before it's too late? Or will humanity be destroyed in a cataclysmic finale orchestrated by A Plague of Traitors?

Author:

“DV Berkom is the USA Today bestselling author of action-packed, riveting adventure and crime thrillers. Known for creating resilient, kick-ass female characters and page-turning plots, her love of the genre stems from a lifelong addiction to reading spy novels, action/adventure stories, and thrillers.”

Appraisal:

This is book 11 in author D.V Berkom’s Leine Basso thriller series and I’ve read and enjoyed them all.

In some ways I know exactly what to expect to find, which is good. As Ms Berkom’s bio makes clear, her books feature what I’ll call kick-butt females to hopefully dodge any bots looking at language on some internet sites. Leine definitely does that, kicking, shooting, and exploding the specified body part and others when needed. Although Leine has a past that might be a bit unsavory, these days she’s always on the right side, even if what she has to do gets a bit messy at times.

But what gets me every time if the part of the series formula that is unpredictable. While we can assume that the bad guys are going to be involved in human trafficking, since Leine is working for an organization combating that, who they are, where they are operating, and exactly what they’re doing to get the attention of Leine and her cohorts varies each time, but is always engaging. It keeps me on the edge of my seat, wondering what’s gong to happen next every time.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Reprise Review: Nothing Normal In Cork by Chris Coulson

 


Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

Chester feels he’s a failure. He’s a disappointment to his family in America. He drinks too much. His life is mundane, going nowhere. He has repeatedly made the wrong life decisions, and so he escapes to Cork, Ireland, just before his fiftieth birthday and vows to change. On or before midnight of the last day of his forty-ninth year—he will never be “normal” again.

Author:

“Chris Coulson had a lot of jobs before writing this book; golf caddy, bartender, obituary writer and morgue attendant (simultaneously, night shift and day shift - had 'em coming and going), newspaper reporter, actor and other jobs less romantic. And he always carried a 50-cent Bic pen in his pocket.”

Learn more about him at his website.

Appraisal:

This novel was a lot of fun. Funny, poignant, deeply introspective, and yet hope filled.

The work may be more accessible if you’ve ever drunk alcohol and had one or two too many or know someone who does or has, but that isn’t necessary. The author does a fine job of outlining the benefits and the pitfalls of booze.

It may also help if you’ve been to Ireland or maybe know someone who has told you tales of the Emerald Isle. Again, that is far from essential in order to enjoy the story as the descriptions of the people, the culture, the pubs, the weather, and the scenery are so vivid.

The writing is lyrical, full of fresh imagery and James Joyce-like streams of consciousness (although I don’t personally enjoy Joyce, so that isn’t a prerequisite either).

If you are a fellow author, and I know many of Big Al’s subscribers are, then cast aside any bias you have against the present tense. I often find present to be an awkward tense for a novel, but in this case it pulled me inside of the story and imbued the characters with a tangible warmth and closeness.

The writers among you may also have to check your internal editor at the door, because Mr. Coulson happily breaks many of the normally expected rules relating to point of view. Expect to inhabit every character in the book at one stage or another, including a pepper-colored terrier. Yet, as though to prove the adage of the exception proving the rule, the head-hopping works and delivers a kaleidoscope of viewpoints and internal perspectives that add colorful layers to the tale.

In my humble opinion, this is an exemplary example of why self-published books add hugely to the body of writing out there.

Highly unusual, and highly recommended.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

English spelling.

Original review posted April 6, 2016.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found only one minor typo, but on my Kindle there was a translation issue on quotation marks, which appeared as a strange non-keyboard character. Because the problem was consistent throughout, it didn’t spoil my reading enjoyment.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Approximate word count: 60- 65,000 words

Monday, September 13, 2021

Review: Reborn by T.M. Parris

Welcome a new Pal to the Books and Pals' team with his first review. 



Genre: Spy Thriller

Description:

Disgraced ex-MI6 operative Rose Clarke is given the chance to redeem herself by tracking down John Fairchild, an independent dealer in information believed to be selling British secrets to the highest bidder. But Fairchild’s motives are unclear, and as Clarke tracks him through Hong Kong, China and Tibet, another story begins to unfold.

Author:

"A history graduate from Oxford, T.M. Parris has earned a living teaching English in Budapest and Tokyo.

Her first career was in market research, during which she travelled extensively to numerous countries and had a longer stay in Hong Kong which involved visiting many of the surrounding countries. She has also taken sabbaticals for a road trip in the USA and to travel by train from Brighton in the UK through Russia and Mongolia to Beijing and around China to Tibet and Nepal.

More recently she has played a role in politics, serving as a city councillor in Brighton and Hove on the south coast of the UK.
She currently lives in Belper, a lively market town near the Peak District National Park in the centre of England.

She started writing seriously in 2011. She published her first novel, Reborn, in 2020 and is the first in a series of international spy thrillers, She is drawn to international settings and the world’s most critical and life-threatening political issues, as well as the intrigue, deception, betrayal and secrecy of clandestine intelligence services.

Crime and action thrillers are her favourite books, film and TV choices. She enjoys walking, running, cycling and generally being outdoors in beautiful countryside, as well as cooking and baking and, of course, travelling.”

Appraisal:

T.M. Parris’s Reborn definitely hits the ground running. From its first scene – a shootout in a Hong Kong restaurant – to its suspenseful closing pages, there is not a slack moment, and there are enough fight scenes, escapades, thrills and suspense to keep your typical thriller reader turning the pages. This is all very nicely done, and the frequent action scenes are both believable and well put together.

However, the book is more than just a thrill ride, and the action is backgrounded by the cultural colour of a string of far-flung locations (far flung to me, anyway!): Hong Kong, China, Nepal and Tibet. All of these feel well researched, and anyone with an interest in in the East – and in travel in general – will find these places painted with a confident and no doubt well-informed hand (judging by the author’s declared love of travel and familiarity with these areas). These provide background to an intriguing and cleverly constructed plot which eventually draws our two protagonists into the struggle of a group of dissident Buddhist monks in Chinese-occupied Tibet. Here, there is some careful and knowledgeable handling of Buddhism, together with a nuanced view of the political situation (with understandable sympathies for the Tibetans), all of which helps elevate the story above your run of the mill thriller.

The characters are well drawn with relatively good psychological depth and enough shades of grey to make them interestingly unpredictable, though personally I would have liked more of this. There are a few elements of both protagonists’ backstory that provide some relevant impetus to the plot, but which I felt could have been introduced or hinted at earlier on. The dialogue and description are good and unfussily workmanlike (without being sparkling), and the spy talk and “tradecraft” of the world of espionage seem believable without rivalling Bond levels of ingenuity.

Overall, a great first instalment to a promising series, of which I look forward to reading more.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

British spelling.

Format/Typo Issues:

A very small number of typos and no significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Gareth Southwell

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Friday, September 10, 2021

Review: Ruthless Spirits by Sandy Wolters

 


Genre: Paranormal/Horror

Description:

“Terry Anderson’s lifelong dream has come to fruition. Finally his success as an artist affords him the opportunity to purchase the home that has beckoned to him since childhood. What he doesn’t know is, if he moves in, a sinister evil will be unleashed, threatening everything and everyone Terry cares about.

As High Priestess of her Wiccan Coven, Rainy Stratton’s sixth sense has never failed to shed insight on anyone who crosses her path. That is…until she encounters Terry. Intrigued by his eccentric style and humor, she finds herself drawn to him, and despite her misgivings, she eagerly entrusts her heart to the man she can’t read.

When the wicked come out to play, Rainy and Terry face a battle of good versus evil, but she can’t see how it will end. However, the price of losing is unacceptable. For if they do, the devil will claim their souls.”

Author:

From Ms. Wolters’ Amazon Author page: “I've been an avid reader for years. To my husband's dismay, I have bookshelves full of books, rooms full of books, boxes full of books. My cars have books in them. I just can't seem to get rid of them after I read them. You just never know when you will want to read it again, right?

About two years ago, my husband gave me the dream gift, a Kindle. It was love at first sight and my first foray into the world of eBooks.  While I still have books everywhere, I no longer take ten or twelve books with me when I go on vacation. The only thing I need is my Kindle. It never leaves my purse.

My genre of choice is romance with a paranormal twist…The women in my books are strong individuals that have moments of weakness and frailty to work through.”

Appraisal:

Terry Anderson is an artist who has just purchased the home of his dreams. He, Nathan, and Jody used to walk past this house on their way home from school. There is a building in the backyard which will provide Terry the perfect art studio. As Nathan is helping Terry move in Nathan feels an oppressive presence around the future art studio. However, he is hesitant to mention to Terry that he thinks the place is haunted.

Nathan enlists Jursic to help in the move and assure Nathan that he is right about the state of the studio. The three human men try to battle the supernatural entity as best as they could, to no avail.

Another arc of the story is Jody and Jared’s hand fasting ceremony to be performed by Rainy, a Wiccan High Priestess. Terry is captivated by Rainy and they become quick friends with a promising relationship. Nathan gets his first glance of Bright Flower, the woman who has taken over his dreams.

Terry finds himself in deep trouble for not telling Jody and Rainy the ordeals he has had with the monster inhabiting his house when all he was trying to do was protect them. With all in the open now Rainy gathers a team to confront and battle the demon. Ms. Wolters does an excellent job putting the reader in the middle of the action as they storm the house and battle the demon. The whole book is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Ruthless Spirits is a great addition to the Spirit Voices series, not to be missed.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Ruthless Spirits is book 2 in Ms. Wolters, Spirit Voices Series. There are a number of F-bombs and one hot sex scene that is tastefully written.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Reprise Review: Armageddon Girls (The Juniper Wars Book 1) by Aaron Michael Ritchey

 


Genre: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Adventure/Young Adult

Description:

“It is the year 2058. The Sino-American War has decimated several generations of men, and the Sterility Epidemic has made 90% of the surviving males sterile.

Electricity does not function in five western states. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana are territories once again. Collectively, they are known as the Juniper. It is the most dangerous place on Earth.

On a desperate post-apocalyptic cattle drive to save their family ranch, Cavatica Weller and her two gun slinging sisters stumble across a rare boy. Sharlotte wants to send him away, Wren wants to sell him… and Cavatica falls in love with him.

Little do they know that an inhuman army is searching for the boy and will stop at nothing to find him.”

Author:

“Aaron Michael Ritchey was born with Colorado thunderstorms in his soul. He's sought shelter as a world traveler, an endurance athlete, a story addict, and even gave serious thought to becoming a Roman Catholic priest. After too brief a time in Paris, he moved back to the American West and lives semi-comfortably with three forces of nature: a little, blonde hurricane, an artistic tornado, and a beautiful, beautiful blizzard.”

Mr. Ritchey’s Long Live the Suicide King was a nominee in BigAl’s Books and Pals 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards under the YA category. For more information about Aaron Michael Ritchey please visit his website.

Appraisal:

I generally don’t read dystopian stories, but the premise of this one grabbed my attention. The characters are all well-developed, quite unique, and interesting. This is going to be an epic coming-of-age saga contrasting two disparate worlds existing side by side. Aaron Michael Ritchey has done an outstanding job setting up his world and has kept it as realistic as fantasy can get while still pushing the limits of reality with the elements he employed.

The story is told through Cavatica Weller’s eyes. She is the youngest of three living sisters who has been pulled out of school, The Sally Browne Burke Academy for the Moral and Literate in Cleveland, Ohio, to assist in a cattle drive to save the family ranch in the Juniper. Each sister has her own strengths. Cavatica is strong-willed, opinionated, naïve, and ruled by her emotions. A persevering theme throughout the story is the New Morality Movement. There were several times I wanted to slap the s**t out of Cavatica. Her views are so extremely colored by this New Morality that she can’t see straight. I found it frustrating and kept having to remind myself of her young age. I hope she will eventually find a balance that will serve her better in coming sequels. The mysterious young man they rescue from a raid adds a complicated element to the storyline, especially when the oldest and youngest sisters set their sights on him.

The character-driven plot is fast-moving with several surprising twists thrown into the mix, which continually causes adaptions to be made to the Weller sisters plans. I have found myself invested in this family’s quest to get their cattle to a fair market with their family, friends, and employees intact. The surprise at the end left my jaw on the floor. Mr. Ritchey has woven a tangled web and I am not sure what to expect next. I do know that I will be anxiously awaiting the next addition of this story.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Armageddon Girls is the first book in The Juniper Wars series.

Original review posted April 8, 2016.

Format/Typo Issues:

I read and reviewed from an advanced readers copy, so can’t really comment on editing.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Monday, September 6, 2021

Review: She Shits Bricks and Other Short Stories by Samson Tonauac

 


Genre: Science-Fiction, Cyberpunk, Short Story Collection

Description:

“Twerker, COVID-991, advert jinn--we all went a little crazy after 2020 ... did we not? 13 ultra-short science fiction and cyberpunk stories inspired by the events of 2020.”

Author:

Besides this short story collection Samson Tonauac is also the author of a cyberpunk novel, Dreamsphere: The Day We Stopped Dreaming.

Appraisal:

When I decided to give this short collection a read, I was looking for a change of pace. Something that wasn’t one of the genres I gravitate to most often. Something different. This definitely fit that. The future world where these stories take place is different in many ways from today’s, but as the description indicates, they’re also inspired by the events of 2020. The people in the stories may live in a vastly different world, but they’re still human, and still react in many of the same ways. The things that are good about humans and the things that irritate the heck out of us are still there. The stories may make you laugh, they may make you think. Both applied to me at times, but most importantly I was entertained and got that change of pace I was hoping for.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 18-19,000 words

Friday, September 3, 2021

Reprise Review: Jonathan’s Shield by Channing Turner

 


Genre: Historical fiction

Description:

“Beral's only goal is to serve loyally as Jonathan's shield bearer and protect his prince through whatever battles may come. But Jonathan needs a friend as well, a man he can trust while navigating the precarious footing of his father's court. Being that friend puts Beral's life in danger and stretches his loyalty to the breaking point. For what Jonathan wants is to do Yahweh's will, whether that be through defying his increasingly paranoid father, King Saul, or supporting the aspirations of young David, whom Jonathan believes is the rightful heir to the throne.

As he competes with David for the hand of the king's daughter, Beral struggles to hold true to his loyalties, even while he watches King Saul descend into madness. If Yahweh withdraws his protective hand, Beral and his men will be all that stand before their gathering enemies. Only one thing is certain: Beral's fate, as well as the future of Israel, is tied to the virtue of their king, and Saul's honor has long since fled.”

Author:

His publishers (Red Adept Publishing) say of him: “A son of the South, Channing Turner grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana before graduating from Louisiana State University in Psychology. He did graduate work in marine biology and became an estuarine biologist along the Texas coast. After retiring from the petrochemical industry where he worked in Louisiana and Montana as a laboratory analyst, he managed the 2010 US Census in Montana and northern Wyoming. He now lives in eastern Washington with his wife, Barb.

Channing served in the army and was discharged as an Armor captain. Reading and writing are his sedentary pursuits, but he also enjoys riding his Tennessee Walker in the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon.”

This, I believe, is his first published novel. To learn more about Mr. Turner feel free to visit his Amazon Author Page or follow him on Facebook.

Appraisal:

I enjoyed Jonathan’s Shield very much. Turner has gone to the Bible, and imagined what the arc of the extraordinary events described in the Book of Samuel might actually have been. The Bible is fruitful ground for writers. I’ve worked up a fictional ‘what if’ from the New Testament myself. It offers lots of opportunities for one to fill in all the frustrating gaps in the story which have occurred in its transmission through time and various languages down to us today. But it is, of course, a fiction. It is not a Christian book. It may, indeed, be a book some Christians will find strays too far into fictional territory. There is plenty of smiting, a lot of treachery, and hubris gets its comeuppance, but there is also a fair amount of sex.

The book deals with what happened when the Israelites, under King Saul, got fed up with being pushed around by the Philistines in particular and most of their neighbours in general and fought back. Historical figures about whom we know rather less than, perhaps, we think we do – Saul, Jonathan and David – get plenty of time on stage and Samuel the prophet has himself an important role to play; the events of the book are observed, experienced and related by Beral, the shield bearer of the title.

Turner uses a verse from Samuel as an epigraph before each chapter, and what follows expands on that, rolling the sparse source material together and forward to build an exciting story. The author has a good, plain style without frills or furbelows which suits his subject matter well and keeps the story moving at a goodly clip. He knows how to pace a story, what to put in, what to leave out. This is a lean, mean, fighting machine: lots of battles occur and are excitingly related. Even the drilling of soldiers to become an everyman army, with the tricks of how to catch the men’s imagination and commitment, and revelations about Beral the narrator in the mix, is riveting.

Turner fleshes out female characters as well as male ones (not something the Bible does much of) and the book is the richer for this, as women are often motivation for upheavals in empire as well as beside the domestic hearth. Seeing both genders in their familial and societal roles lends verisimilitude and depth to the work as a whole.

Despite the small quibbles below, this is a work that is well worth your time if you enjoy biblical era epics, adventures set in the Holy Land, or sword and sandal fiction in general. And if you haven’t tried any, this book is a fine place to start.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

In a few places, tiny infelicities of expression left me puzzled as to who someone was, or why the plot had just taken the turn it had. If you go with the flow it soon comes clear. Two such instances: who is Miriam? (she is a slave of Saul’s who Beral acquires as a maid later on when one has quite forgotten her earlier, momentary, walk-through part). And a second: why does David bring his brothers food? They are in the army, he is not – yet he is part of Saul’s entourage and it is odd if he doesn’t know that all food is shared via a commissariat system. It is, of course, an authorial device for getting him to the army camp, which just needs a teensy tweak to work perfectly.

Original review posted May 13, 2016.

Format/Typo Issues:

None. Looks very good on the page.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Judi Moore

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Review: Giving the Devil His Due by Various

 


Genre: Short Story Anthology/Fantasy/Horror/Science Fiction

Description:

"What if a young girl had the power to stop her tyrannical father from battering her mother ever again?

What if a student had a secret weapon to end sexual assault by her predatory professor permanently?

What if a housewife had unusual means to get back at her controlling husband and walk away from her marriage alive?

In Giving the Devil His Due, The Pixel Project’s first charity anthology, sixteen acclaimed fantasy, science fiction, and horror authors take readers on an unforgettable journey to alternative worlds where men who abuse and murder women and girls meet their comeuppance in uncanny ways.

Featuring stories from Stephen Graham Jones, Christina Henry, Peter Tieryas, Kelley Armstrong, Linda D. Addison, Hillary Monahan, and more, Giving the Devil His Due presents sixteen stories that will make you think about the importance of justice for the victims of gender-based violence, how rare this justice is in our own world, and why we need to end violence against women once and for all.”

The proceeds from this book will go to support The Pixel Project, a non-profit focused on ending violence against women.

Author:

Sixteen authors, each with their own take on things and each bringing something personal to their story as mentioned in the appraisal below.

Appraisal:

The description for this collection says that these stories “will make you think about the importance of justice for the victims of gender-based violence, how rare this justice is in our own world, and why we need to end violence against women once and for all.” That’s the obvious goal of the stories and they absolutely deliver on that promise. The stories vary in genre, tending to have aspects of the speculative fiction genres, horror, fantasy, and science fiction, since these are the genres the authors invited to contribute specialize in. I found that some of the stories connected with me better than others, but hasten to point out that this wasn’t due to flaws in the stories. Instead, it was the particular set of circumstances and how well it related to those things I’d observed or could relate to in some other fashion. Which stories click with you will no doubt be different, but are varied enough that I think most will find many they can relate to.

After each story there is a brief author’s note that discusses the inspiration for the story, often a real-life experience of the author or someone close to them. These brief notes drive home that while these stories are speculative fiction and in some cases have paranormal or other aspects that obviously aren’t true, the issues at the core of the story are all too real.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Some adult language and a lot of adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

My version was a pre-release ARC (advance readers copy) and I’m unable to gauge the final product for these kind of issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Monday, August 30, 2021

Review: The Cougar Candidate by Will Worsley

 


Genre: Political Fiction/Satire

Description:

“Five years after her humiliating re-election defeat, California's ex-governor Pitypander is still sulking in her seaside mansion, bingeing on romance novels, and ogling her pool boy, when she is hastily drafted to run for president.

Making a comeback won't be easy. Patty must overcome her husband's resistance, her rival's smear tactics, a Russian plot to wreck her campaign, and the most dangerous foe of all: her special fondness for young men.

When Jack Snap, a naive 22-year-old reporter, investigates a sex scandal in Patty's past, he unintentionally ignites her desire. The closer he gets to unearthing her misdeeds, the more recklessly infatuated she becomes. But if Patty doesn't stop Jack's search soon, her quest for the White House will end in disaster.

Can the befuddled politician get a grip on her midlife fantasies and foil the young reporter before he destroys her? Find out in this lighthearted satire about a candidate torn by conflicting urges, grasping for both power and passion--as her nation's future hangs in the balance.”

Author:

A full-time writer of fiction since 2016, Will Worsley had taken his two masters degrees in business and English and put them to work, working for a period as an editor for Time-Life books and another stint as a money manager. Both would have come into play in writing his first book, Investing in Vain, which was satirical fiction just like his latest work that will be discussed here.

For more visit Worsley’s website.

Appraisal:

Satire has a purpose, going over the top in the depiction of something as a way to show how close reality is coming to ridiculousness. As The Onion and other sources of political satire have found out recently, reality can sometime reach the point where it is tough to tell that something is satire and not real.

This book hits that fine line, going a touch over the top, but not so much that it feels like it couldn’t potentially be reality. We’ve seen plenty of male politicians going too far with females they interact or work with. That the premise of this book has a female as the candidate who is going too far, turning the cliché on its head, makes it that much better. I also liked that regardless of your political stances your reaction to Patty, the title character, isn’t likely to be much different. You’ll also find that neither candidate, Patty or her opponent, is likely to feel like a good choice.

Like all good satire this will get you thinking about real life, how out of touch many political leaders seem to be, and how we the people view them. I pondered on ways that the system works and ways that it doesn’t. Or you can ignore the serious subtext and just laugh. (Guaranteed to laugh, regardless.)

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Certainly some adult subjects are mentioned or alluded to in subtle ways, but things don’t get too explicit.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Friday, August 27, 2021

Reprise Review: Dark and Disturbed by Morgan Winters

 


Genre: Flash Fiction Collection

Description:

“This collection of 25 flash fiction stories features darkly humorous and sometimes creepy works ranging from a ten-year-old serial killer to talking woodland creatures. Each story includes a written prompt and a full-color photograph, so the reader can see how they were twisted to be dark and disturbed.”

Author:

“The nefarious Morgan Winters is a supervillain who writes dark flash fiction on those days when taking over the world just gets to be kind of a pain.

Morgan Winters is a pseudonym, or a ‘nom de plume’ if you will. You can try to find out more about him on his website or stalk him on Facebook, but you won’t be able to learn much… The best information about Mr. Winters is from his Guest Post on Indies Unlimited. There is also a highly entertaining interview at The Indie View by Mr. Winters.”

Appraisal:

I don’t normally read dark twisted stories or horror. However, I have found that taken in small doses, like these flash fiction pieces, they can be enjoyable. Each story in this collection is vastly different from the one before and stretches your imagination to wondrous limits and then leaves you to ponder the possibilities. I found all of these devilishly delightful, but not overly graphic, or profane.

Morgan Winters has gathered the Flash Fiction prompts and photos from the weekly IndiesUnlimited Flash Fiction Competition and presents them alongside his stories here. He doesn’t enter to win, purposely writing more words than the competition allows. Mr. Winters uses this vehicle to stretch his writing muscles so that one day he will be able to write his own magnum opus to share with the world. He disappeared for a while, but when I noticed he was back at his craft again I decided to pick-up this book to review. Hopefully he will stick around and gift us with more of his fiendishly scandalous words. I am looking forward to seeing more from this author.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

I read Dark and Disturbed on my Kindle Paperwhite, which shows the photos in black, white, and shades of gray. Original review posted May 16, 2016.

Format/Typo Issues:

No issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Print Length: 83 pages