A new review of ‘Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights’ by Jason Beech at ‘Messy Business’

A great new review from Jason over at Messy Business – yes, I have been there before and a lot of fun it was too!

Here’s a snippet:

Sonia Kilvington’s Nightmare Asylum and Other Deadly Delights (Close to the Bone publishing) is a creepy beast of a book – all short stories, some flash length, every one of them delving deeeeeep into the characters’ psyches. And what dark, twisted and sometimes sad minds they are. Kilvington has really dug into motivation, though sometimes I’m not sure it’s motivation but some trauma which carries characters onto the rocks against any wishes they ever had.

That sense of uncertainty pulls and pushes until disaster strikes. Even when it turns out for the best, there’s that restlessness which means the character can’t quaff a nifty glass of champagne and enjoy the rest of their lives. They’ve got a shoulder to constantly look over to see what else is on their tail.

It’s unsettling…Read More…

A Review of ‘Love Is A Grift’ by Graham Wynd

If you are looking for love; you have come to the wrong place! You certainly won’t find love, empathy and understanding in Graham Wynd’s short story collection, Love is a Grift and Other Stories of Desperation.
This is a collection of dark tales, with lust, manipulation and sexual obsessions recurring with frightening and exciting, regularity. The featured story has all the hallmarks of classic noir; seedy bars in Galway, a gullible man lead by his desire, a disposable wealthy husband, and a femme fatale who can literally charm the pants off any man she encounters. This beautiful grifter is a survivor, who is always at least one step ahead of her criminal companions, playing them for everything they are worth, before making her ultimate and timely discards. Is the lady a sociopath? Quite possibly, does she exploit her sexuality with vicious cunning; absolutely!

It was challenging to pick out individual stories as my favourites; because they are all good. But my personal preference was for ‘These Toys Are For Tough Boys’ as I loved the comedy, and the Slovenian connection. The characters are a bunch of ill-suited petty criminals operating way out of their league when they attempt a kidnapping, which goes horribly wrong – or right depending on the character’s allegiance.
On a more serious note, some of these stories show the depths to which a woman’s life can descend, when she has created her world, around a love that has become a restrictive nightmare. ‘Repetition’ and ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ are stories in which women have lost themselves to the mundane torture of their daily lives. However, as this is written by Graham Wynd, you can be sure they will find a way to extricate themselves from their soul-destroying situations.

The dystopian story ‘Rebellious Jukebox’ was a fantastic tale of life in the city of continuous noise. Imagine a world surrounded by loudspeakers and tannoys, making constant nonsensical announcements. It’s a place where only the very rich can purchase illegal earplugs. This story of torture by noise, with imprisonment and banishment for perceived infractions; has a genuine Orwellian feel to it.

I loved the classic noir, the dystopian tale and the hints of dark magic in this collection. But to return to the theme of dangerous attachments, with the concluding story, another favourite of mine, ‘Thirty Versions of Leatherette,’ – love is in this book is more often than not, a sexually charged car cash.

 

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A Review of The Sapphire Eruption (The Sword’s Choice Book 1) by I. M. Redwright

The Sapphire Eruption is an excellent fantasy novel with many classic elements. It is an exciting escape into a perilous world, populated by four warring lands ruled by ruthless kings and queens, who do not deserve to wield power. Surprising new rulers are anointed in mystical ceremonies in which the powerful and possessed swords chose their heirs to the kingdom. But these choices come at a price, as the swords don’t automatically offer allegiance and control to their owners; who have to earn the right to possess these potent weapons.

Noakhail survives the ascendency ceremony by a narrow escape and develops his swordsmanship skills with the help from his adopted father, Lumino. His relationship with the sword is always fraught and double-edged. Vienne is chosen as future Queen of Aquadom. However, she is unsure of herself and sceptical of her powers, leaving others in her kingdom, including her own sister, to take advantage of her weakness and plot against her.

These two unlikely heirs to the supreme power of the swords are set on a dangerous collision course in the first book of a very promising series.

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Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

I don’t often read fantasy novels, but when I do, I want pure escapism and this novel filled with great characters, exciting journeys, action, adventure and bloodshed; did not disappoint!

A new review of Nightmare Asylum And Other Deadly Delights by K. A. Laity!

It’s a special feeling when a writer you have admired for years reviews your book! Kate Laity’s noir stories are fabulous, and to me, she is the undisputed queen of noir, so I was more than a little nervous about her review – almost too nervous to read it!

It does feel odd reading other peoples perspectives of your stories; as while you are writing them, you are so wrapped up in your own, enclosed little world of experiences and perceptions, it’s strange when someone enters your imaginary kingdom. “Mum’s off in book-land again” my daughter would say. “It’s pointless talking to her now” my husband would agree. Writers must be a nightmare to live with…

I will stop wittering now, and get on with the review, here is a snippet:

This collection of stories is shot through with a gothic ambience of darkness, disease and madness in the clinical sense. From its opening story death is always close by, reading to lay a cold hand on someone’s neck. The tales seldom wander far from the haunted corridors of the Asylum — proving you can change the name and the purpose but the horrors that happened there leave echoes that reverberate for a very long time.

Women wronged — and most often the men who wronged them (this is gothic horror after all) — figure prominently in this collection. Read more…

 

Out Today! ‘Man Of The World’ by Paul D. Brazill ∼ Book Review

Congratulations on the publication day of ‘Man Of The World’ to Mr Paul. D. Brazill!

They say there are some jobs it is impossible to retire from, and being a hitman is definitely one of them, especially if you are an ex-soldier with a temperament more situated to violence and the settling of old scores.

Tommy Bennett has reached an age where he is searching for a quieter existence and believes he may find a more restful pace of life back up north in his native Seatown. But ghosts from his past lurk in the shadows and old friends with dark memories bring new chaos into his life.

With an extraordinary past working in covert operations as well as dishing out his own type of justice for friends with cash to spare and grudges to settle; it seems  that Tommy is more afraid of a visit to the doctor’s surgery than tackling hard men from his past,

‘You know, I’ve mellowed over the years,’ I said. ‘I really have. I lay off the booze for long periods of time. I drink bloody coconut water. I recycle. I even stopped smoking after half a century of sucking on them foul cancer sticks. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to get my goat, guaranteed to wind me fucking up, it’s if someone pisses down my back and tries to tell me it’s raining.’

His rehabilitation is short-lived, and it’s not long before Tommy is propping up bars all over Europe while laying low, after taking out a notorious self-styled, east end Mafiosi amongst many, many others…

It’s an action-packed tale, with vivid, eccentric characters, and plenty of comic dialogue to keep you amused!

 

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 Amazon.co.uk 

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A Review of ‘Back To The World’ by James Shaffer.

This is a beautifully written, action-packed tale of a father and son, trying to reintegrate back into society after being away at war. Their responses couldn’t be more different. Father Tom sinks rapidly into alcoholism and gambling in a sorry, ineffective attempt to numb his pain and cope with life “back in the world,” bringing trouble to the family’s door in the form of a loan shark named Ed.

Johnnie attempts to control a hazardous situation by taking devise action, sending his hapless father off to Chicago, with a bag of money. Tom is adept at creating chaos at every turn, and some of his actions leave you wanting to throttle him.
Meanwhile, Johnnie changes his name to Jake and then sets off on a wild road trip to New Mexico. The whole story racks up several notches when he is picked up by a bunch of good time loving cowgirls in 1960’s T-Bird convertible.

“I was on the run. The bottom of my knapsack held twenty thousand dollars a fully loaded colt. 45 magazine-fed, semi-automatic pistol and an accountant’s ledger. She didn’t know that. They say that what you don’t know won’t hurt you. They are probably right, but it can get you killed. I learned that hard lesson in another life. Back in the world now, the same lesson applied. I added a wink to my smile.”

These girls are far more dangerous than they look, and Ed and other members of the interstate crime organisation are hunting Tom and Johnnie down to stop themselves from being killed and bring back the stolen money.

It was a hell of a road trip, which I enjoyed very much! Highly recommended.

 

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Amazon.com

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A Review of ‘Come Join The Murder’ by Holly Rae Garcia

‘Come Join The Murder’ is a highly unusual, and exceptionally assured novel debut from Holly Rae Garcia. Her ultra-smooth prose is pitch-perfect and her dialogue engaging and faultless. There is an understated elegance to her writing, which may lull you into a false sense of security at the beginning of the story, leaving you utterly unprepared for the torrent of horror that is to come.

The story racks up the tension relentlessly as Rebecca Crow discovers her husband is missing, and her beloved son has drowned, under very suspicious circumstances. Consumed by guilt for not replacing the spare tyre in the family car, she blames herself for their demise. Lost in a nightmare of grief and despair, Rebecca cannot function in the world; her personality disintegrates as she no longer knows who she is, or how to live:

“The realization that Oliver was gone didn’t come in the heart-wrenching moment she saw his small arm draped on the back seat of Jon’s car. It didn’t even come at the funeral, when his pale little body lay surrounded by cold white silk. Rather, it came in the million little things that built up around her and swallowed her whole until she found herself in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by emptiness, and no idea how she had gotten there.”

Rebecca is on the verge of drowning, both psychically and metaphorically, when her survival instinct kicks in. She knows the only way forward is to fix her problems; choosing a route that is both foolhardy and deadly dangerous. It is too simple to say that Rebecca turns into a vigilante; her quest is much more personal and primal than merely balancing the scales. What starts as a coping mechanism rapidly descends into an obsessive compulsion, over which she has no control…

 A fantastic roller coaster ride of revenge and retribution!

Holly Book:

 

Amazon.com

 Amazon.co.uk

Hard Hat Book Site Review of Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights

 

I was delighted to receive such an in-depth, beautifully written, great quality review from De Gevallene of the ‘Hat Hat Book Site.’  I am usually at a loss to understand how others perceive my writing –  so, this was a very intriguing experience!  The review is honest and insightful:

Here’s a snippet:

Here is an author who really relishes the darkness of the damaged human psyche. In the more cheerful of these stories this is a darkness that erupts in a torrent of revenge or anger. In the more chilling ones, it seeps and creeps from her characters, a sickness becoming gradually apparent in faces that start off looking innocent. Sonia Kilvington is surgically merciless in these explorations. She mines through her characters twisted reasoning, till the reader is there, deep inside the hurting mind, knowing how that place feels, how the world looks, seen through those eyes. And its not nice. All of her many characters are disturbing and most exist either on the borders of psychopathy or a little the wrong side of it…Read Review

Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 3

Reading Jason Beech’s latest short story collection, ‘Bullets, Teeth & Fists 3, I got a lot than I’d bargained for. I was looking forward to some fast-paced crime stories that packed a punch, but there is substantially more depth and breadth to this book. The collection includes tales of psychological horror, despair, a stalker and life after a zombie apocalypse. Talk about something for everyone!

Quite a few of the stories are narrated by woman, which can be a really bad thing, with some male writers. But that was definitely not the case here, as, in these torrid tales, the women are tough as well as vulnerable and demonstrate a level of emotional complexity, that was completely unexpected. Not that you would trust any of these devious creatures for a single second – especially with a gun…

All of the stories had something different and to offer. Jason Beech is a natural storyteller; his tales have wonderfully unexpected twists, a disturbing sense of wry humour and characters that jump right off the page. I did have a couple of favourites, although there were so many great ones it was difficult to choose. I can never resist a supernatural story, and ‘Edna’ was beautifully plotted and intense. ‘The Tip-Off’ was a first-class crime story with an unexpected twist, and ‘Look at Him’ could break your heart if you’d let it!

An excellent read for short story lovers – highly recommended!

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