Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

ASIN: B00EQESHAQ

Publisher: Attic Clown Press

 

Jeremy C. Shipp takes readers on a dark adventure in his playfully twisted imagination.

 

Monstrosities is a short story collection of ten stories: Figs, The Tunnel, Almost Paradise, Worms, The Little Glass Soul, Clown Hands, Cold, Flesh and Blood, Buried, and Googly.

Figs: A man is haunted by someone from his past.

The Tunnel: A man goes on a “trippy” voyage through a tunnel.

Almost Paradise: Halloween means different things to different people. To some, it’s the freedom to let their darkness out.

Worms: Sometimes, no matter how comfortable someone tries to make one feel, it’s not as good as the real thing.

The Little Glass Soul: Fairytales are usually a happily-ever-after affair, but not this time.

Clown Hands: A man’s body turns against him with other personalities and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Cold: An intense re-enactment turns into revenge.

Flesh and Blood: Sometimes flesh and blood are the price you have to pay for something you want.

Buried: A misguided man tries to rid the world of those he believes are soiling humanity with their existence.

Googly: A young man goes through his parents’ right of passage to survive.

 

This is the first I’ve sampled Jeremy C. Shipp’s writing; he is insanely imaginative, literally! The stories in this collect are bizarre and unique – I don’t you’ll find anything like them somewhere else. The collection is well written. The only thing I didn’t really care for was that some of the endings were a bit too vague.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

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Spider Soup by Lori R. Lopez

Spider Soup by Lori R. Lopez

Spider Soup by Lori R. Lopez

Spider Soup by Lori R. Lopez

ASIN: B00OZROEZQ

 

Lori R. Lopez takes the reader into some uncomfortable places…and turns their world upside down.

A couple inherited a house from a strange elderly family member – one that protected and cared for the spiders in the house. They do the same in the spirit of their loved one’s memory.

One night they wake up and find out that all of their spider friends have turned on them; they’re spun in webs and are being hauled to the basement.

 

This story is fairytale-esque, from the fantastically strained plot to the cliché dialogue between the characters. Some might find this charming, but all it did for me was keep me from connecting with the characters or story. There was also parts where the POV was confusing, and the story was packed with rhetorical questions. Otherwise, there were a few grammar issues.

I give this book: 1 QUILLS

1Q

Lynda’s Lace: City Heat (Book One) by Lacey Alexander

Lynda’s Lace: City Heat (Book One) by Lacey Alexander

Lynda’s Lace: City Heat (Book One) by Lacey Alexander

ASIN: B0031LJ4O8

ISBN: 9781419906831

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing

 

Lynda Phelps is the Sex Queen of New Orleans, but she’s scared to let her wild, adventurous nature out to play with her boyfriend. He sees her as a precious treasure that should be adorned with sexy lace, when she would prefer leather.

Since she’s scared he’ll thinking less of her, she keeps her kinky side locked up tight. After all, the sex that they do have is really good, just…boring.

He senses that she’s holding something back and tries his best to get her to let loose and confide in him. But…if she does, will he be able to accept the truth and still keep her on a pedestal?

 

This story was sexually graphic and adventurous with real human emotions involved. The book was well written erotica that didn’t disappoint in story or heat. It’s a good example of trusting those we love with the deepest, most secret parts of ourselves – truly trusting them to love us for us.

 

I give this book: 3 QUILLS

3Q

 

Straight to You by David Moody

Straight to You by David Moody

Straight to You by David Moody

 

Straight to You by David Moody

ISBN-10: 0957656327

ISBN-13: 978-0957656321

ASIN: B00IC0OHDG

Publisher: Infected Books

 

David Moody takes his readers on an emotion and physical ride through his nightmare of world ending destruction.

 

Steven and Sam experience an extremely personal emotion trauma, which neither of them really knows how to handle.

Steven shuts himself off and drowns himself in work. This affects their marriage badly.

While they’re dealing with their own life and hearts, the sun is on the verge of killing itself and the world.

Things around them keep getting worse, but they don’t pay close attention because they’re more concerned with their marriage and keeping things as normal as possible.

It’s not until Sam leaves to visit her father that Steven realizes his mistakes, but with the world falling apart faster than anyone thought possible, will he make it to her in time to straighten things out before it’s too late?

He races the deadly effects of the sun’s wrath to see the woman he loves one last time…but will he burn to death before he reaches her?

 

This book hit me a little too close to home for comfort – I was proud of myself for not bawling during the first few chapters. I’ve had personal experience (twice) with the traumatic, emotion struggle the couple deals with. That being said, Mr. Moody nailed it – the shutting off and distancing and the struggle with knowing how to deal with the situation at home and in public.

I thought the apocalyptic sun aspect of the story was fun, because it was different and there was no way anyone could really do anything about it. It’s the classic “the boat is going down and we’re all screwed” scenario that you don’t see too often anymore. Most people want at least that hope of salvation through some miracle. There’s none in this book. Just the hope of love and forgiveness.

I thought Steven’s journey was a bit long, but in reality, all that stuff probably would be in someone’s path to slow them down. In the end, it just showed his determination to make it where he wanted to go despite how much got in his way. Although, toward the end…he was really, really exhausted, but then flipped completely and could do things like walk and run easily that minutes before he couldn’t.

Note: The book has British grammar.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

 

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

ISBN-10: 0984751904

ISBN-13: 978-0984751907

ASIN: B006S3FB52

Publisher: Redrum Horror

 

Joe McKinney grabs ahold of his readers and pulls them inside his stories. He makes sure he carries you along in his worlds so that the one around you fades away.

The Red Empire and Other Stories is made up of eight stories. I’ll comment briefly on each:

Story One – The Red Empire: The first story of the collection is the longest. It’s based on a military experiment that gets unleashed on the public. At the same time, a convict escapes. A young woman and her daughter (who just had surgery on her eyes) have to deal with both. Luckily for them, one of their new neighbors cares enough to make sure they’re okay.

Story Two – Blemish: A man is haunted by a choice from his past. He didn’t step in when he knew that one of his old girlfriends was being abused by her new boyfriend. She ended up dead. He sees the dead girl’s ghost…from time to time, and this costs him his sanity and his job. The regret and guilt over knowing he could have done something about it eats up his entire life. He meets back up with his main girlfriend from college who always seems to be taking care of him, but her dad dies, and for once he has to step up and take care of her. They decide in the end, that it’s best if they take care of each other.

Story Three – Cold Case: A man who is joining the police force is awed by the pictures and stories of past servicemen who grace the wall. He becomes fixated on a certain one and vows to himself to find out what happened to him. He searches and searches, only to find out through old records what caused the man’s death, but he was never able to find the man’s grave… Still he searches.

Story Four – The Old Man Under the Sea: A man by the name of Ernest Hemmingway wins a boxing match and saves a rich man’s daughter. He and the daughter stumble upon strange wreckage while strolling on the beach. The father appears and tells Hemmingway to stay away from his daughter, but he doesn’t listen. In the morning, he is ordered by the father to assist them in finding out about the wreck, as it was his nephew’s boat. Reluctant, but curious, Hemmingway goes. What he finds is completely beyond what he could have ever dreamed up.

Story Five – The Millstone: A woman comes home from work to find the police surrounding her house. Her boyfriend has been murdered. Her younger sister, who is beautiful and home all day, tells her that her boyfriend came in jealous and killed him. The woman tries to deal with her loss, but soon finds out that her sister had been having sex with her boyfriend. She ends up killing the neighbor lady when she shows her the murder weapon as proof. She kills her neighbor and her sister, and gets away with it.

Story Six – Empty Room: A man and his friend are outside a party, having drinks. The man starts talking about his failed divorce…and about ghosts. His friend listens and tries to comfort and reason with him. But, the man claims to be haunted and blows his brains out with a gun he has with him.

Story Seven – Burning Finger Man: A cop is assigned the slums, and he has to deal with everything that’s going on, from drug dealers to crazy women with mentally retarded daughters who live in the complex. A rash of sexual assaults happen in the area and they can’t find the man responsible. The cop finds the man’s hiding place and blocks it off, but doesn’t tell anyone. This leads to the people of the slums capturing the man and taking him down to the furnace room while he’s on another call. He gets there in time to see what they do, and even though he pleads for them not to punish the man, he doesn’t stand up to stop them either.

Story Eight – Eyes Open: A police officer and his partner try to help a homeless man. They succeed in getting him to a hospital right before he rips his own eyes out. He warns the officer that he’s now marked and he’ll be seen; soon his eyes will be open. The officer doesn’t know what the homeless man means, but the next day his life begins to change. He ends up following homeless people into a barn…and something tries to attach him. After that, his eyes are open, and he becomes the crazy homeless man on the street that his old partner tries to take care of.

 

The Red Empire and Other Stories is an eclectic mix of heart felt and twisted stories. Each one has their own draw and pull. Of all of them…Blemish, Burning Finger Man, and Eyes Open are my favorites.

As far as technical errors, there was some missing punctuation and a couple missing words here and there.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

 

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

ISBN-10: 1496190246

ISBN-13: 978-1496190246

ASIN: B00JPKOBUG

Publisher: Nocturnal Press Publications

 

Mark Taylor brings a fresh burn of imagination to the reader with his suspense, thriller Shutter Speed.

Shutter Speed starts out with a young boy named Jimmy, who has an abusive father. Jimmy likes to take pictures. Well, more than that… He likes to let places tell stories through his pictures. All of this leads him to being away from home a lot, taking pictures.

When a particular old building under renovations catches his eye and he can’t resist the urge to tell its story, even though he has to sneak in through the window. Everything is old, beautiful, and full of secrets, but it’s definitely not safe.

Two older boys also break into the building, and what they do to Jimmy really burns him up and changes his family life forever.

After what happened…his family had to move, and he had to change his name. The past was just too much for them to carry around for the rest of their lives.

Fast forward YEARS later…

The reader is introduced to a group of young men on the wrong side of the law and you start wondering… “Which one of them is Jimmy?” And just when you think you know, your mind is spun again with an evil laugh from the author while Jimmy strikes again, and again, and again.

In the end…everything comes back to that old building, the one with stories to tell through the lense of Jimmy’s camera. And even though he’s the one taking the pictures, he’s wrong about how the building’s story turns out.

 

Shutter Speed was a fun story that kept me guessing through most of the book. The characters are interesting, but are many for such a short book. I found it confusing at times, but they all served their purpose to the story in some way.

There were some formatting issues with the book – the words overlapped onto the header in a couple places, but I could still read it. There were extra spaces between paragraphs and breaks here and there, and there were a lot of wrong, missing, or extra words. There were also a few issues with punctuation.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS.

2Q

Governing Ourselves by Harold D. Thomas

Governing Ourselves by Harold D. Thomas

Governing Ourselves by Harold D. Thomas

Governing Ourselves by Harold D. Thomas

ISBN-10: 1614349134

ISBN-13: 978-1614349136

ASIN: B007JWCOD8

 

Harold D. Thomas has a good grip on politics and the times, as well as how the Constitution is supposed to work.  He shares his thoughts and ideas in an educated manner.

 

In Governing Ourselves you’ll find out what the Libertarian movement is about and why it’s needed.

There’s so much controversy over the political climate today, and most people don’t understand how far America is from where it began, where it should be.

The United States has strayed far from what was intended by the Founding Fathers for our people.

This book will open the eyes of the reader to the problems, and give them practical solutions as to how to get the government back to where it needs to be.

But, at the same time, this book does not tell the reader what to think, but shares different thoughts and options.

 

I found the book enlightening, educational, and hopeful for a secure future that could be for America if we understand what’s going on and pay more attention to politics in an open minded way.

I give this book: 3 QUILLS.

 

3Q