Monday, November 23, 2020

Book Review: Ring Shout by P. Djèli Clark

 

Ring Shout     


Author: P. Djèli Clark

Publisher: Tordotcom

American release date:  October 13, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Historical Fantasy/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

1920s Macon Georgia is a time filled with prejudice and hate… and filled with the evil that is the Ku Klux Klan. But there is something not right about these Ku Kluxers, other than the obvious. Some of them are not what they seem, demons in human form, inhuman incarnations of hate. But Maryse Boudreaux can see them for what they are. And she has a sword that can whup them real good. And lots of friends who feel the same way and want nothing more than to send these misbegotten demons back to where they came, if not worse.

Now they’re about to re-release that damned movie, that Birth of a Nation, that stirred up so much trouble, so much hate, and so much violence, the first time it saw the light of day. There’s trouble brewing in the air, and Maryse isn’t about to sit back and let it be… she’s going to do something about it, no matter what the cost… and no matter how terrified she is of what’s coming.

I literally drank in this book in just a couple of days, a fascinating, brilliant tale that combines history with fantasy, and introduces us to some damn memorable characters. I cried at the end. Was it relief or sorrow? Read the book and find out for yourself.

This is my first book by this author, but it won’t be the last. He writes with a rich colorful language that sings, much like Maryse’s sword, and it’s filled with people you won’t soon forget. Even hateful ones, like Butcher Clyde. I look forward to reading more of his work.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Book Review: In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

 

In the Miso Soup    


Author: Ryu Murakami

Publisher: Penguin Books

American release date:  March 28, 2006

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Psychological Fuctuib/224 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Twenty-year-old Kenji works as a guide for tourists who come to Tokyo and wish to enjoy the seamier side of the city. He knows the “best” places to go to get the most bang for your buck and which places to avoid, no matter what it is you’re looking for. He knows what women do what for how much, and he is also a translator, speaking English pretty well.  But there’s something about this tourist, the American named Frank, that is frankly off-putting, although Kenji can’t put his finger on just what it is. On the surface, he seems like a regular guy. But then, at times, there is… the Face.

Frank is… for lack of a better word, different.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Kenji has been reading about the recent deaths of young women. A serial killer is on the loose. Could Frank be the guy they’re looking for? And is Kenji in more danger than he’s ever been in before?

This is one heck of a ride, a great read from beginning to end. I was never sure how this one was going to turn out until the very end. Murakami is great at digging into his characters’ very souls, and making us question what is normal and what is not. Horror does not have to be in the form of a chainsaw-wielding maniac or a guy in a strange mask carrying an axe or knife. Horror can look like an average Joe. And it’s all the scarier for it.

I am really enjoying getting to know this author’s works and look forward to more. I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a good horror story.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday Briefs: Super Trooper #43 (10.1)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Chan and Evan are dealing with what business needs to be done. Namely, arranging the cremation and seeing the lawyer about the will. See how they're doing in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

Super Trooper #43 (10.1)

Everything was happening so quickly. Chan felt as though he was caught in the middle of a dream—the worst nightmare ever. The trouble was he knew there was no waking from this dream, this was his reality now. His and Evan’s. And his poor siblings.

He wanted to cry every time he thought about them, but he forced himself to maintain a visible calm, for their sake. Not until he was alone with Evan, in the privacy of the guest bedroom, did he feel able to fall apart, at least a little bit, and let Evan put him back together again.

 Chan called their babysitter and she was more than happy to watch the kids while he and Evan ran the necessary errands, especially once he explained to her what had happened.  First stop was the mortuary. The people at the funeral home were very sympathetic, used to facing death on a regular basis, and they made the whole painful process of arranging for the cremation surprisingly quick and easy. They had already brought Chan’s parents from the hospital, after Evan’s call. The private viewing would be held the next day.

The next stop was the lawyer’s office. Aaran Patel, as it turned out, had known his parents for some time, and was very saddened to hear of their passing. Apparently they had updated their will when they began having children, which he had advised them to do since life was unpredictable. Chan couldn’t help but shiver when he heard that. If he was more superstitious, he would consider that foreshadowing, but practically speaking, it was just foresight on their part. That and good planning.

The terms of the will were simple. The house and its contents were to go to Chan, as well as any money in their checking and savings accounts. The house would be paid off through the mortgage insurance they had bought when they purchase the home.

Most importantly, Chan was named as his siblings’ guardians until they came of age. That came as no surprise to him. They had no one else. He would have done it, even if his parents hadn’t requested it. And Evan said he agreed that they belonged with them.  Still, Chan felt they should discuss everything. He wanted to make sure Evan understood completely what would happen. He didn’t have any children, after all. Neither did Chan, but he’d been around these children for all of their lives. He almost felt as though they were his own, and he couldn’t love them any more than he already did.

Chan signed the necessary papers for Mr. Patel that would make his guardianship official once he filed them with the court. Now no one could take them away from him. He felt relieved, even though there was no one would possibly contest his guardianship. Better safe than sorry.

When they got back in Evan’s car, Chan reached for his lover’s hand before he could start the engine.

“Is something wrong?” Evan asked.

“I just want to let you know how much this means to me,” Chan said quietly. “I couldn’t do this without you. You mean so much to me…” His voice broke a little. He swallowed in an effort to stem the tears that threatened to fall.

“And you mean everything to me,” Evan said. “You and them. I will protect all of you with my life, I promise.”

Chan knew he meant what he said. He had no doubt of that. But did he realize how much this would disrupt their lives?

“We… we will have to move into the house,” Chan said. “The apartment isn’t nearly big enough for us and three children.”

“Absolutely,” Evan said. “I can arrange for a sublet until the lease is up in a few months. Besides, they’ll be better off in familiar surroundings, don’t you think?”

Chan nodded in relief. He was glad Evan understood. “Thank you,” he said.

“An apartment is just a place.” Evan placed his hand over Chan’s. “Home is where the heart is. And mine is with you. Now and always.”

Chan was overwhelmed and overjoyed at once, and he couldn’t stop the tears this time as they flowed down his cheeks. But they were happy tears.

“Did I say something wrong?” Evan fussed, wiping at Chan’s cheeks.

“Not at all, everything’s perfect,” Chan said.

Evan leaned in to Chan and kissed him tenderly. “Ready to go home?” he asked. “We can pick up some dinner on the way.”

Home. That sounded so nice. They would have to arrange to move their things in, but right now he just wanted to be with his family and love them, and take care of them. They’d be especially thrilled when they discovered they were getting fast food for dinner. The thought of their excitement made him smile.

to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

J Alan Veerkamp

Carol Pedroso

Monday, November 16, 2020

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 27 by Tite Kubo

 

Bleach, Vol 26     


Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 3, 2009

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/2106 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

While communicating with the Soul Society from Kakura Town, Captain Hitsugaya is surprised to see Hinamori up and about. She apologizes to him for having doubted him, of having accused him of murdering Captain Aizen, since obviously that didn’t happen. Her only request is that he not kill Aizen now.

Renji is frustrated with Uruhara, who more or less tricked him into training Chad, but the training is not going smoothly. Ichigo is still training with the Visoreds when Orihime suddenly appears, much to their surprise. How did she even know how to find them when their location is so off the grid, and how did she slip through Hachi’s barrier? Orihime delivers to Ichigo the important message regarding Aizen’s plan, which includes the destruction of Kakura Town for his own nefarious ends (when are his ends not nefarious?) Uyru’s training with his father is not going very well either, and the man is pushing him to his limits.

When Kiskue calls for Orihime to come to the training grounds, she assumes that she is to train also. But his message is quite different—he tells her that she is stay out of this battle. Orihime understands, but is crushed, nonetheless. Rukia finds her and promised she will help her find a way to grow stronger.

In Hueco Mundo, Yammy has received a new arm, but Grimmjow hasn’t, which means he is no longer an Espada. Ulquiorra and Yammy are called by Aizen and told to carry out the order given by him a month before. They are also to take along the new Arrancar, Wonderweiss. In the Seireitei, Ukitake and Hisagi watch Rukia and Orihime train. Ukitake is pleased to see them together, as Rukia has few friends and finds it hard to let people in.

When the Arrancars drop from the sky, they are met by the Soul Reapers. Ichigo tells the Visoreds he has to go, against their better judgment. While they are thus engaged, Ulquiorra carries out his missions…

In this volume of Bleach, we get a little more insight into what the despicable Aizen has planned. I can’t believe Hinamori still defends him, in spite of what he did to her. She has a rude awakening ahead of her. Training for all our heroes is difficult, but no pain, no gain, right? The Visoreds are running out of patience with Ichicgo, especially as he keeps interrupting his training to step into the fray. Wait until he finds out what Aizen has done now. Or rather what he has sent his minions to do. Ichigo will lose his mind. He will not less this pass.

A lot going on in this volume, all a prelude to something that will be some time in the making and has just barely begun. Another great volume, can’t wait for 28!

 

Virtual Book Tour: Alien Legacy - The Empath by Keri Kruspe

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author Keri Kruspe to Full Moon Dreaming today! She is here to tell us about her new release Alien Legacy - The Empath. Keri will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on Keri's tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


 


Alien Legacy – The Empath

by Keri Kruspe


 

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GENRE: Sci-fi Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

The aliens we thought were long gone are coming back. 

 

Just his luck, alien-hybrid Ben Duncan is the only one for the job. Being an empath and a financial wizard, he’s called in to uncover an essential ally at a small regional bank in Vegas to thwart a plot his alien ancestors, the Akurns, seemed to have started there. If their heinous plans are successful, the global economy would crash and weaken mankind for their invasion in less than five short months. When Ben arrives at his assignment as a covert consultant, he meets the intriguing Julienne and is instantly alarmed at the intense attraction he has for her. He’d love to indulge in his obsession with the delectable woman, but knows he has no choice but to stay as far away from her as possible. The fate of billions don’t leave time for anything personal.

 

As senior vice-president, Julienne King leads a stressful life immersed in organizing a huge merger for a local bank in Vegas. And meeting some arrogant, hotter-than-hell, aloof outside consultant makes things worse. When she stumbles on an insidious money laundering scheme that threatens the global economy, she’s caught and kidnapped by one of her hateful bosses. While in captivity, she’s threatened with alien experimentation, death, or both. But what shocks her the most is it turns out she may not be who or what she thought she was.

 

Now it’s a race against time. Can a banker and an alien-hybrid overcome their misconceptions and to not only work together, but to realize their love is the key to mankind’s salvation?

 

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EXCERPT:

 

 

 

Julienne took a step back to put some distance between them. It didn’t help.

 

Ben’s lips turned up at the ends but his well-built arms hung loose at his side. Now her mouth dried. This was the first time she’d seen him without a suit. His dark T-shirt molded lovingly to his taut frame. She gave herself a mental head slap and struggled to pull her gaze away from his chest. “What are you doing here?” She coughed. Damn frog in her throat was in the way

 

The skin at the edge of his blue eyes crinkled before he strolled past without answering. He opened the door and poked his head out before leaving the small closet.

 

Dammit! She stomped her foot before following the exasperating man. She almost plowed into his back when he stopped.

 

He turned to face her. He was in the shadows and she couldn’t see his expression. When he said nothing, she put her fists on hips. “Excuse me, you didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”

 

“Apparently I’m saving your sweet self.” His smile widened. “And what, may I ask, are you doing here? Find anything interesting?”

 

Her nose rose a notch. “Yes, damn it!” She flung an arm to the wall that Bernie disappeared through. “What in the hell just happened? How did Bernie create a mirror that wasn’t there, walk through it and then vanish?”

 

“Are you sure that’s what you saw?”

 

She gritted her teeth as a slow, burning heat crept up her neck.

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Keri Kruspe, award-winning “Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures” loves nothing more than to write about romances that feature “feisty heroines who aren’t afraid to take a chance on life… or love”. Her writing career started when she became irritated that most SciFi romances had women kidnapped before they could find love. Determined to create something different, she turned “the alien kidnapping trope upside down” (Vine Voice) and the ALIEN EXCHANGE trilogy was born.

 

Keri’s latest SciFi Romance novel, ALIEN LEGACY: THE EMPATH, is the first in a five-book series of the Ancient Alien Descendants, taking the Ancient Alien motif and mixing it with a sensual, romantic twist.

 

A native Nevadan, Keri is a lifelong avid reader who lives in Northwestern Michigan with her hubby and the newest member of the family, a Jack Russell Terrier named Hestia. When not immersed in her made-up worlds, she enjoys discovering the fascinating landscape of her new home and pairing red wine with healthy ways to cook. Most of all, she loves finding her next favorite author.

 

If you want to know when Keri’s next book will come out, please visit her website at http:/kerikruspe.com, where you can sign up for her mailing list. You’ll get a FREE copy of the novella, The Day Behind Tomorrow that is a prologue to the ALIEN LEGACY series. Not to mention being kept updated on the life of a dedicated, obsessed author.

 

https://www.facebook.com/klkruspe15

https://twitter.com/keri_kruspe

https://www.instagram.com/kerikruspe/?hl=en

 

The book is on sale for $0.99 on Kindle or Nook during this tour.

 

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Legacy-Romance-Ancient-Descendants-ebook/dp/B08FT98KQ8/ref=sr_1_2

 


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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Book Review: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

 

The Ballad of Black Tom     


Author: Victor LaValle

Publisher: Tordotcom

American release date: February 16, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/dark fantasy/160 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Tommy Tester is a dutiful son. He works hard to take care of his dying father, to provide them both with a place to live, food to eat… just the basics. But life is hard in Jazz Age New York, especially for a black man. There are places where he isn’t meant to go, things he can’t do. People who look down on him because of the color of his skin. But with survival the name of the game, sometimes you do things that are necessary. Even if they’re a little dark.

Take for instance the book that Tommy delivers to the white lady in Queens. He’s not stupid. He knows what kind of book that is, and what she is, and what someone like her will use it for. But that’s okay, he’s fixed it so she won’t be able to, and he’ll still get paid.

And then a strange white man calling himself Robert Suydam offers Tommy $500 to play at his home. Now Tommy plays the guitar, and  hesings, but he knows he isn’t all that, not like his dad, so what’s up with this offer? Still, that’s a whole lot of money, and he and his dad can live comfortably for a long time. His decision is a no-brainer. So he agrees to play, and receives $100 as a down payment.

Suddenly, he’s on someone’s radar—a cop and a private detective, who shake him down and want to know what his business is with Robert Suydam. He tells them what he knows, which isn’t much, and they take his money. Okay, now he’ll still get $400, and that is worth it. He spends a few days practicing his limited repertoire, and his dad teaches him a new song. And then the night comes and he goes to the mansion and plays…

This story is engaging from beginning to end, as you tear through it, trying to figure out what’s going to happen, and what’s going on. It’s told from two different perspectives, between Tommy Tester and Malone, the private detective. Nothing is what it seems, and I certainly didn’t see the ending coming. This is an old school horror story, harking back to writers such as HP Lovecraft.

Well-written and well-told, I truly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to those who like to read horror stories, especially if you like HP Lovecraft.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Virtual Book Tour: Raven's Apprentice by D. Robert Hardy

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author D. Robert Hardy to Full Moon Dreaming! He's here to tell us about his new release, Raven's Apprentice. He will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on his tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


 


Raven's Apprentice

by D. Robert Hardy


 

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GENRE: Autobiography/Memoir

 

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BLURB:

 

Raven's Apprentice is a compelling true story from the west coast of B.C. that launches you into the world of Raven and our interconnectedness with all living things.

 

"Suddenly, without warning, they spun on a fin and started charging the boat. My thrill turned to real panic. Killer whales attacking a boat. Had there ever been such a thing? A paralysis gripped me. Now, within striking distance, they slipped into an arrowhead formation just below the surface. If the leader of the pack didn't bring the boat down, his flanks would."

 

"At about 20 feet off the bow, the frontrunner broke the surface, peeling waves off his rostrum as he continued his commitment to engage. Bracing for impact, my hands squeezed into the railing..."

 

Travel with me aboard MV Lady Guinevere. Witness being charged by transient killer whales, stalked by wolves and walking creeks so pristine you feel as if you were the first human to experience the wonder of nature.

 

"You have succeeded in bringing the reader on the voyage with you and into the deeper experience of transcendence and heightened awareness. Some of your experiences are literally skin tingling, many will leave your reader thinking and remembering for a long time to come." - Sid Tafler – Writer, Editorbr.

 

 

"Don Hardy’s RAVEN’S APPRENTICE is a great and compelling story, both nuanced and vivid, that will leave readers wanting to head off on adventures of their own."

- Heather Stockard - IndieReader

 

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EXCERPT:

 

As I lay there, content and contemplating the beauty of the bay, I felt that familiar feeling of dread and heaviness I experienced before an intense dream. I put my head down and …

 

… I could hear native ceremonial chanting. Cedar smoke filled the air. I slowly opened my eyes. It was dark and I was still on deck. I looked up to see the black sky filled with millions upon billions of tiny light holes. The ceremonial chanting drew my attention to the beach. And then I saw it.

 

On the edge of the forest, an aboriginal longhouse shimmered like a mirage. It must have been 150 feet long and 50 feet wide. The cracks in the walls were leaking light and shadowy figures danced inside. Smoke billowed from the flaws in the roof and beckoned me closer with its enchanting cedar and pine scent.

 

The whole spectre was a disconcerting sight from the bow of my boat. How could I have missed something that large? Was it always there and I didn’t notice it?

 

The chanting was hypnotic and charming. I slipped into the dinghy and slowly rowed ashore to explore the apparition. As I drifted closer, the chanting and drumming became louder and more defined. I scraped up on the sandy shore and slid to a halt. I stepped out without feeling the sandy bottom. The anchor was in my hand. I dropped it near the tidemark.

 

The word “nevermore” drifted into my thoughts. Just above me I saw movement on one of the splayed branches of a great cedar tree. It was Raven. He was sitting quietly alert. I carried on towards the longhouse. He watched me intently, turning his head with every step. I looked back and he dipped his beak as if to reassure me it would be OK.

 

 

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Born in Halifax Nova Scotia. Grew up in small-town Cumberland, BC. but could not wait to get out and make his mark. Toured throughout Canada and the US as a professional musician until he realized he hated touring. Settled in Victoria, BC. Wrote six unpublished screenplays until he had real success with a stageplay called "A Garland for Judy." It toured down the west coast from Bellingham to Los Angles but topped the bill in San Francisco for six months to sold-out shows. Eventually settling into technical writing and developing online courses for most of his working life. Raven's Apprentice is a memoir that captured the imagination of a retired CBC executive who said, "You must bottle up all of this adventure into a book! ...being rescued by transient killer whales encounters with wolves, spirits in the kelp ... it's all too exciting!" And so it is done.

 

Connect with D. Robert Hardy:

WEBSITE

https://www.droberthardy.com/

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/ravens_apprentice/?hl=en

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/drobert.hardy.1/

 

Purchase Links:         

AMAZON.COM

https://amazon.com/dp/0228822297

AMAZON.CA

https://amazon.ca/dp/0228822297

KINDLE

https://amazon.com/dp/B08CS193XX          

INDIGO CHAPTERS

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/ravens-apprentice/9780228822301-item.html 

BARNES & NOBLE

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ravens-apprentice-d-robert-hardy/1137324048

 




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