*REVIEW* – The Angel Alejandro, by Alistair Cross

#urbanfantasy #paranormal #horror #romance

Adult Read

taa

Book Blurb 

A Man without a Past

After a near-fatal accident, Madison O’Riley is faced with an astonishing problem: What to do with the man who saved her life. Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro … and he has no memory of his past. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes he harbors deep – and otherworldly – secrets that will shatter her understanding of reality … secrets that may put her in grave danger.

The Devil in the Details

And now, there’s another stranger in town. Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a small price, he’s willing to make a deal. By day, he walks the streets of Prominence in top hat and trench coat, tempting the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. By night, he and his legion of insatiable acolytes corrupt the locals at Club Mephistopheles, a den of unholy delights housed in an abandoned church.

The Battle has Begun …

The townspeople are changing in outrageous and appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

My Review ~ A battle between good and evil in another modern Gothic masterpiece ~5 Stars *TOP READ*

Alistair Cross once again excels himself with another of his modern Gothic masterpieces, this time set in the seemingly sleepy town of Prominence in California. I am a real sucker for books pitting angels against demons, as I just love tales of good versus evil. I therefore jumped at the chance to review the author’s latest novel The Angel Alejandro, which blurs the lines between paranormal romance, urban fantasy and horror and is an absolute delight for fans of these genres. Once more, as someone who is familiar with the author’s work, having read The Ghosts of Ravenscrest and Mother, which he co-wrote with Tamara Thorne and his novel The Crimson Corset I just knew I was in for a real treat!

When a handsome and mysterious stranger saves Madison O’Riley from a fatal fall, little does she realise that her life and that of the inhabitants of the town of Prominence will soon descend into the depths of the Twilight Zone. It is not long before Madison and others start to realise that the amnesiac who calls himself Alejandro, has powers which defy comprehension…

When the strange and compelling Gremory Jones and his associates arrive in town the book gets increasingly darker as Gremory’s intent becomes clear as he begins to ensnare the townspeople in his machinations. Add to the mix a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police, who is a recovering alcoholic, and the scene is set for a series of dastardly, dark and depraved scenes. The town succumbs to chaos and carnage, with its inhabitants merely collateral damage in a battle between good and evil. Rest assured though the read also contains plenty of scenes of humour and romance giving relief from the ensuing horror!

I just LOVED this thoroughly gripping and entertaining read and I was on pins waiting to discover if Alejandro would remember his true nature and protect himself, the town and the woman he is growing to love before it is too late.

The author’s characterisations are brutally honest, insightful and full of dark humour as he explores the human condition, lifting the lid on the private desires and personal hang-ups of the characters. The romance between Madison and Alejandro is a sweet one and due to Alejando’s innocent disposition there are plenty of scenes where the author exploits this for comedic value. The new Police Chief Nick Grayson, who has come to Prominence to make a new start and to clean up his act, certainly has his work cut out with the temptations and increasing body count that the town throws at him from day one of his arrival! I enjoyed the pivotal part he plays in the emerging plot.

If you are already familiar with his author and/or you enjoy the work of Steven King and the cinematic genius of David Lynch you will savour this read as much as I did. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair ad honest review.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33951905-the-angel-alejandro

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://alistaircross.com/

https://twitter.com/CrossAlistair

https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair

*Book Blitz* Raven’s Peak (World on Fire #1) by Lincoln Cole

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Raven's Peak - kindle cover copyTitle: Raven’s Peak (World on Fire #1)

Author: Lincoln Cole

Genre: Horror, paranormal thriller

Release date: July 5th, 2015

Length: 276 pages

BUY LINKS: Amazon UK and Amazon US

Blurb: A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to find out what is happening. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

She rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, and also trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is considerably more difficult for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.

Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

Author bio

Ryan_JordanLincoln Cole is a Columbus, Ohio-based author who enjoys traveling and has visited many different parts of the world, including Australia and Cambodia, but always returns home to his pugamonster puppy, Luther, and family. His love for writing was kindled at an early age through the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen King and he enjoys telling stories to anyone who will listen.

https://www.facebook.com/lincolnjcole
https://www.twitter.com/lincolnjcole

http://www.LincolnCole.net

 

**Author Interviews** ~ Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Regular readers of this blog know that Caroline, my BFF and co-blogger, and I love to read a variety of genres. Both of us have a penchant for dark and psychological reads. Since reading The Ghosts of Ravencrest (an erotic Gothic horror par excellence), by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross I have become a HUGE fan of their work.

Either writing alone or in partnership their work includes the paranormal, horror and dark, psychological thrillers such as their current collaboration Mother. Their writing, which can be downright S-C-A-R-Y, is often shocking and infused with dark humour, but is always a rollicking good read  and I love the devilish plot twists these authors inflict on their readers!

I was delighted at the chance of interviewing this writing duo and I hope that you find their candid responses to my questions as fascinating as I did. Tina ❤

Mother cover

1. Can you share with our readers a little about yourselves and your writing careers?

Tamara and Alistair both began writing around age eight  – both loved ghost stories most of all – and both wanted to be writers when they grew up. Tamara has been in print since 1991 and Alistair since 2012.

2. I understand that you have been collaborating since 2012, and have written, amongst other works, The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest, the first book in The Ravenscrest Saga. How did you begin working together and what special elements do you each think the other brings to the partnership that distinguishes the works of Thorne and Cross?

Alistair became a fan of Tamara’s work in the 90s, and when social media sites like Facebook came along and made it easy to connect to others, he looked her up. Having just been published for the first time, Alistair was doing author interviews on his blog as a way of meeting other writers. Tamara was one of the first people he asked. We became fast friends and were brainstorming ideas for new books before we’d even conceived of the idea to officially write together. It flowed very naturally – it was simply meant to be. We soon found that our writing style – as well as our personal and professional ethics – was so remarkably similar that continuing on the path together was simply the instinctual thing to do. Alistair brings an intense work ethic to our virtual office while Tamara brings jolly good fun. We need each other for balance. And hard work. And fun

3. Why do you think there is such an appetite for horror and psychological thrillers amongst readers? TamaraWhat is it within the human psyche that craves such stories?

People crave (safe) danger. Danger fascinates us, but things like scary movies, horror novels, and roller coasters are a way of facing our fears without risking our lives. These things force us to explore those uncharted parts of ourselves which can teach us proper response in the face of real danger. It’s a survival mechanism. Avoidance of fear is fatal, and the human psyche understands this. Thus, it draws us toward the things that frighten us. Plus, scary books are just awesome. 

4. The flipside of this – why do you both enjoy writing in these genres?

Horror is a release from the everyday. Neither of us watches the news – real horror is too depressing. But fictional horror and suspense provides a rush akin to amusement park thrill rides. Fiction, by its very nature is escapist and, to us, there’s nothing better than a toe-curler to escape reality for a little while. We are especially partial to suspense and supernatural horror because ghosts, vampires, and assorted elementals are literary equivalents to a carnival where we can find lots of thrills and chills. In Mother, our heroine, Claire, starts with a turn on the merry-go-round, then soon ends up on a scary roller coaster and finally enters the dark ride, which is too frightening to be fun for her.

5. You must have both been asked this question in many forms before – but do you base any elements of your characters on anyone you know or are they purely fuelled by your imaginations?

AlistairEvery character is imaginary; it would be no fun for us to plunk down living people in our books! That said, we are the products of our lives and experiences. Everything around us, from sights, sounds, and tastes, to hoarders, psychopaths and ghosts are inspired by lifetimes of observation and experience.

  1. 6. Would you both like to tell us something about your latest release, Mother?

Mother is a psychological thriller in the vein of Psycho and Misery, with a pinch of Peyton Place and a dash of Gaslight. It concerns a young, expectant couple, Claire and Jason Holbrook, who’ve fallen on hard times, forcing them to move in with Claire’s estranged mother. Claire vowed to have no contact with the overbearing woman ever again, but Mother is thrilled at the prospect of a grandchild. At Mother’s, Claire and Jason begin experiencing things that make them determined to leave immediately … but when a cruel twist of fate makes leaving impossible, Claire becomes obsessed with her mother’s motives. Fantasy and fact blur together as her compulsion consumes her, and Jason wonders who the villain really is. When a cache of macabre family secrets is uncovered, Claire and Jason find the answers they’re looking for – answers that will change them forever … assuming anyone can get out of Mother’s house alive.

7.  Did you have to carry out any research into the issues explored in Mother, before writing the novel?

All books require research. Mother’s research was relatively easy compared to other books. It consisted primarily of a brush-up on sociopathic and narcissistic behaviors. We also researched topics like hoarding, epilepsy, flight schools, Catholic funerals, and ugly furniture from the 1970s and 80s. When we write books that include science or a good deal real history that must be woven into our fictional characters’ lives, as in our Ravencrest novels, the research is far more intensive. All fiction must have its roots in reality to keep it believable.

8.  I am delighted to learn that you host a horror themed internet radio show, Thorne and Cross Haunted Nights LIVE! What have been some of your favourite moments on the show to date?

There have been many great moments. We loved hearing The Walking Dead author Jay Bonansinga tell us his thoughts on why zombies are so popular, and Charlaine Harris’ stories about about being recognized in public were hilarious. We were laughing out loud when Christopher Rice told us what it was like for him to read his mom’s (Anne Rice) Sleeping Beauty series. Chet Williamson’s reading from his novel Psycho: Sanitarium gave us chills. Chatting about twisted family dynamics with Andrew Neiderman, who also authors the V.C. Andrews book series, was fascinating, and talking with Laurell K. Hamilton about vampires was a lot of fun. Those are just a few of our favorite moments. 

Mother teaser

9. Are there any collaborative projects in the pipeline that you are able to share?

As always, we’re working on the continuing Ravencrest Saga and have just released the second serialized installment titled, Dead of the Night. We are also working on a sequel to Tamara’s vampire novel, Candle Bay, which also serves as a continuation of Alistair’s The Crimson Corset. The Darling family of Candle Bay made appearances in Corset and that set the course for Candle Bay II – we decided we had to get our vamps together in a serious way. As soon as Candle Bay’s sequel is complete, we will begin work on the second book in our Trilogy of Terror. Mother was the first. The second is unrelated to Mother as far as characters are concerned, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see Father Andy show up, assuming we set the next book in Snapdragon, where Mother takes place. The Trilogy of Terror is made up of three psychological suspense novels that are more about human monsters than supernatural ones. On the side, we’re also both knee-deep in a pair of solo novels.

10. Have you a message to readers, or to writers who are thinking of branching out into penning horror/psychological thrillers?

We always say that the most important thing is to write what you love. If you love what you’ve written, others will too. Also, writing requires dedication and discipline. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have time to write, but if you want to be a serious writer, you have to create time.

 

*Book Blitz* Psychopomp and Circumstance (Books of Nethermore #1) by Adrean Messmer

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Psychopomy and CircumstanceTitle: Psychopomp and Circumstance (Books of Nethermore #1)

Author: Adrean Messmer

Genre: Horror, New Adult

Release date: May 1st, 2016

Released by: A Murder of Storytellers

Length: 311 pages

Blurb: It starts on Facebook—an update that Nell doesn’t remember making. It’s bad enough that she’s dying and none of her friends know. Now, she’s pretty sure she’s going crazy too. She sees the Sewercide Man everywhere she goes.

The bright, safe little town of is Bandon descending into darkness, dragging the inhabitants along for the ride. Death follows madness for those bound to the Sewercide Man’s will.

But the Sewercide Man is more than just a ghost or a monster. He is death without justice. He is destruction without remorse. He doesn’t have a plan.

He just wants to bring everyone home.

“A blend of gritty realism and dark supernatural, Psychopomp and Circumstance is Heathers meets It Follows, with a sprinkling of The Twilight Zone, all told with black humor, nihilist teen angst, and a buried need to be loved and accepted.”—Richard Thomas, author of Tribulations

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author bio:

Pychopomp and Circumstance authorAdrean Messmer is a horror writer living in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a tiny human she put together from some spare parts and a technowizard husband. She has a cat named after a Batman villain, and a dog who’s really a magician.

When she was eight, she asked her mother to read Stephen King’s It to her as a bedtime story and her mother actually did it. So, that probably explains a lot.

https://twitter.com/JunkyardPoet


https://www.facebook.com/adeymess/

www.Splatterhouse5.com

 

**Review** Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals series 2, book 3) by Tim O’Rourke

She’s back! Wicce Julia is hoping to bring peace to the Beautiful Immortals as the werewolves and vampires are at war with each other. But, do both sides really want to negotiate? It appears not. After travelling with weres to find the vampires, it cannot be helped that by spending time with them she is starting to find friends among them. And, as it is the weres who appear in more danger, the reader won’t help but side with them during the beginning of this series. With chases, fights, romance, mystery and magic this is a must-read for any paranormal/horror fan!

Vampires of Maze 3Title: Vampires of Maze (Part Three) (Beautiful Immortals, series 2)

Author: Tim O’Rourke

Genre: Paranormal thriller/adventure/romance

Release date: April 1st, 2016

Length: 65 pages

Blurb: From Tim O’Rourke #1 bestselling author of ‘Werewolves of Shade’ (Beautiful Immortals Series One) comes ‘Vampires of Maze’ (Beautiful Immortals Series Two) a vampire and werewolf romance with a twist.

Witch, Julia Miller, has been sent by the Wicce to bring an end to the war that rages between the Beautiful Immortals. Joining a pack of werewolves, Julia must travel with them to a land unknown to her. Here she will learn the horrifying truth about the dark secrets hidden in the town of Maze.

To stay alive, Julia will not only have to figure out who to trust but also who to love. For Julia’s worst nightmares are about to get a whole lot more terrifying as she heads into the war raging between the vampires and werewolves where even her own magic abilities won’t be able to protect her.

Note: This ends on an unbearable cliff-hanger. Part Four will be published within the next few weeks.

For readers 16+

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

The story picks up exactly where we left off in Vampires of Maze part 2 within it’s first sentence. That terrifying cliff-hanger from book 2 is answered immediately. However, there is no time for calm as soon afterwards Julia and her were-friends are being chased down by many vampires. This is a fantastic action sequence with the speed of the chase and bullets being fired all over the place.

Julia was hoping to negotiate between the wolves and vampires to bring peace and stop the war between the two Beautiful Immortals. However, Julia’s thoughts begin to change as she realises that the vampires do not seem willing.

“And as the vampires looked through the air at us, faces twisted with hate and claws scratching the walls… any ideas I might have of ever finding peace with these creatures seemed impossible.”

We are clearly reminded of previous scenes from earlier on in the story via great dialog. In this instalment we discover what Julia’s nightmares entail, and why she can’t let herself become too close to a Beautiful Immortal.

I love Morten’s character: an older were that has guided them to where the vampires are at Maze. He has stayed in their company and worked with them, but he has appeared quite fragile until now. His courage and loyalty shows greatly in this instalment.

“… with an agility and speed that defied his decrepit look, Morten once more sprang into the air.”

Werewolves Trent and Calix come across as quite protective of Julia. They support many of her ideas, and even calm Rhea as her jealousy and suspicions of Julia and Trent burn more ferociously. I do believe that they Trent and Calix are taken with Julia and like her in an intimate way, however she also may be the answer they need as they begin to realise the wicce powers she possesses.

With every story I read of Tim O’Rourke‘s I feel I am taken as far as my threshold will go in terms of terror, suspense, thrills, passion and emotion; and yet there is always more with surprises and shocks, and even gentle, tender moments from some of the tougher characters when you least expect them.

The author writes so clearly and straightforward, with great description that you escape in the story and become a part of it. A rare quality that fans of the author embrace easily. Book 4 of Vampires of Maze is due for release in early May.

A copy of Vampires of Maze part 3 was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Vampires of Maze part 3 is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

You can catch up with all info and reviews for the Beautiful Immortal Series 1, Werewolves of Shade, and the previous books of Series 2, Vampires of Maze below:-

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #1) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #2) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #3) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #4) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #5) – short story

Werewolves of Shade (Beautiful Immortals #6) – short story

Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals series 2 #1) – short story

Vampires of Maze (Beautiful Immortals series 2, #2) – short story

**REVIEW** DEMON (Kassidy Bell #3) by Lynda O’Rourke

Lynda O’Rourke’s début series, Kassidy Bell, is one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll have, if you can cope with psychological, paranormal horrors! I am ecstatic to discover that although originally planned as a trilogy, there are now going to be more books! Lynda has a special talent, for this genre in particular, to be able to darken real life situations and stretch them into a great fantasy as admitted in a recent interview. She is most certainly an author on the top of my list!

“…. I….feel like I’m in a bad dream…. like I’ve stepped out of reality and into hell.” (Drug, book 1)

Demon Kassidy Bell 3Title: Demon (Kassidy Bell #3)

Author: Lynda O’Rourke

Genre: Psychological thriller, horror

Date released: February 24th, 2016

Released by: Ravenwoodgreys

Length: 170 pages

Blurb: After escaping the Bishop’s house with Ben Fletcher, Kassidy soon learns that there’s more to Ben than the eye can see.

Still running from the demons and police, her journey takes her north in a frantic pursuit to find Doctor Langstone, in the hope that Kassidy and her friends can remove the ever-spreading drug – VA20.

But will Kassidy get there before it takes over her mind and body, before she is snatched back to Cruor Pharma? Can she really make it, now that the demon, Doshia, seems to be travelling amongst her and her friends?

“Demon” – Book 3 in the #1 bestselling paranormal thriller series, by Lynda O’Rourke.

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Review ***** (5* rating)

Demon is the third instalment of the Kassidy Bell series, following Drug and Dwell. What begun as a small group of young, healthy volunteers taking part in a drugs test (VA20) has now become a full-on psychological and paranormal adventure of terror and horror; as the survivors of the group try to head towards the sister company of Cruor Pharma they hope they will meet with Dr. Langstone, a demon himself but one who chose to leave the original experiment due to differences of opinion.

The group hope that he may have the answer to prevent the VA20 from coursing through their veins and from them turning into demons themselves!  In the meantime they are being chased by the police, demons and ‘cleaners’ who are quite excited to take over their body, and it’s also possible that demon ‘Doshia’ is possibly travelling amongst them too. But which one of them, if any, has Doshia been lurking in?

Placing doubts in Kassidy’s mind, Raven shares her suspicions with Kassidy in regard to Max and Jude. But, Doshia can’t be in both. I find Raven to be quite irritating and constantly on Kassidy’s back, pointing out everything she finds odd with Jude or Max. This makes you wonder if she is in fact Doshia and trying to throw Kassidy off the scent. However, she could also have a point due to the behaviour of the others at times. I love the to-ing and fro-ing to keep the reader on their toes.

Despite Dr. Ben Fletcher having the demon Quint within him, both seem to be protective of Kassidy, even if she fears him at times. The electricity between these two characters is powerful, and I can’t help but be attracted to Ben, just as Kassidy is, regardless of his attentions! However, Kassidy’s friends are quite peeved when she defends him a little. From their point of view he has a demon inside of him, and he was the one to inject them with VA20! Why Kassidy listens to him they don’t know and this causes tensions between the group.

I feel the author displays a great deal of empathy towards Ben from Kassidy’s point of view, despite how the other characters feel about him. This not only makes you feel more kindly towards him and understand what he lives with on a daily basis, with Quint always ready to burst out and take over, but it also shows how considerate and thoughtful Kassidy is by recognising this.

It is this side to Kassidy which helps her try to reason with Quint early on in the story. When Quint takes over Ben and threatens Jude and Max quite strongly, Kassidy manages to talk him down when asking him to let go of them. I love the fact that Kassidy has this tiny hold over Quint, even if just in this instance. It shows the ability that Quint has to listen to her. This particular scene reminded me of John Connor talking down the ‘good’ terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day when the terminator tries to kill a couple of big, innocent guys that were just checking if John is okay after being grabbed by the terminator. John is able to order the terminator to leave them alone and he miraculously listens to John. Here, we find demon Quint listen to Kassidy. But, will this happen moreso as Kassidy gets closer to him/Ben, or is it a one-time occurrence?

This exciting, thrilling read will barely give you time to catch your breath as you find yourself in a very fast-paced read that is electrifying at every turn, whether it be the thrill of the chase or the powerful, intensifying moments between Kassidy and Dr. Ben Fletcher/Demon Quint.

Demon is great into picking up where we left off in Dwell (book 2) and reminding readers where Kassidy is at and what she has been through. Due to the author’s clarity, great description and some of the dialog it is clear what is happening with the story. That said, if you really want to feel every little bit of what Kassidy and the gang have gone through I would strongly recommend that you read Drug and Dwell too.

Demon is chilling to the bone – a raw blend of gritty horror and gore. All the strong feelings that make you feel alive are present within the first two chapters alone! You’re heart will be racing and you’ll put anything else off in order to finish the book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it will leave you craving for the next adventure. An unforgettable experience!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

*Cover Reveal* Madame Lilly, WICKED (Vol. 4) by Dormaine G

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Madame Lilly, Wicked (Vol. 4)

By Dormaine G

Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy

Madame Lilly, WICKED (EBOOK)

Book description

It’s 1890 in New Orleans, a time of rich white men, sprawling plantations, Voodoo, high class parties and the unspoken Placage. Amidst the thick heat, magic and sorrow, a beautiful Creole woman exists in this cruel world. Although born free, she never knew life without the call of a ‘Master’ – until now.

Blessed with an ancient power, Madame Lily has an agenda that has galvanized her into the deepest reaches of High Society and to the darkness that is swirling with Voodoo.

Elijah is a First Made Protector tasked to guard and cleanse the world of the evils that roam. He spent millennia with only goodness in his heart until cursed – one meant to corrupt his very soul with love, obsession and infatuation… for Madame Lily, a woman that should rightfully be his adversary.

Drawn together by fate and magic, these two forces face off and sparks fly. A love that never should have been is born – a love that may change everything for both of them.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorDormaineg/?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dormaineg

http://www.dormaineg.com/

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1N4Biox