Pilot

It has been 5 years since the Hall of Information opened it’s doors. Here’s a look back at the first ever blog entry. A nod and a thank you to everyone who has supported this; old or new!

Lee's Hall of information

It’s that moment, much like when you watch the first ever episode of a TV show you come to love years later.

Where it all begins, a wild eye medical intern called JD passes through the walls of a daunting hospital known as sacred heart. Or that moment a cartoon layabout and accidental time traveler meets a well-known robot bending unit, unaware he has just stepped into a suicide booth.. Yes I am referencing TV pop culture because apparently it’s appealing. I pity the fool who doesn’t use pop culture to entertain, ok I’ll stop now.

Many of us have those favorite shows we watch over the years but never see the pilot. We will have that eureka moment when we realise why something is the way it is. That is of course if you are lucky enough to be around for the first episode. For you this is that…

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Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

An important re-blog and a warning to authors looking for reviews. Seeing as my following is a lot higher and this is my most read post, I thought I would share it again…

Lee's Hall of information

Unfortunately we live in a world that is rife with the dishonest, and this is especially so in the Uber Democracy known as the internet. A place without any real regulation. I intend for this blog entry to act as a service first and foremost to my fellow wordsmiths who have delved into the world of publishing, independent or not, it is with great importance I come to you with this.

warning

I don’t see other writers as competition but as fellows where we are all trying to convince the world our words exist. And it is our responsibility to look out for one another especially when our ultimate integrity is threatened. I use the word threat because what we do takes so much work and only a select will understand what that truly means, but for everyone concerned with writing books I have to do my duty for our industry. 

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Weekly Ramble #41

I turn 30 this weekend and I’m okay with it, mostly. It’s been a ride and I’m looking forward to being taken more seriously; that’s the impression I get with age, experience. It’s kind of strange when you turn around and take a moment to think how much road has passed underneath your feet. Looking back, I don’t regret much, everyone has few steep or sharp learning curves but I have a lot of pride in the things I’ve achieved. 

We don’t stop learning or evolving and those two things alone are probably what keeps anyone driven along with persistence. All of the results I have got took time and a lot of work. Nothing in this world worth having comes unless you roll up your sleeves and do the work. 

4 books, 3 stage plays and possibly a short film is a pretty decent repertoire for someone just starting to get old. Jack Thorn – my dream story is shaping up well and if you tune in to my Instagram stories I recently discussed what exactly Jack Thorn is. Instead of studying as a 15 year old impressionable lad; I was writing ‘JT’ – now I’ve got more published works than qualifications for the exams I was studying for and more importantly, writing experience which you can only get from churning out stories. Guess it worked out but stay in school kids…

I can’t go without mentioning the recent success of this blog considering yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of the opening of the Hall of information. The numbers have never been higher, the follows are flowing in from all angles and I’m producing content like a motherfu**er. This time last year I set out to get more than a handful of views by changing the way I do things. How did I do that? I changed my philosophy and did 2 things.

  1. Interaction – don’t be an island and say ‘buy my book’ all the time.  
  2. Started reviewing indie books/regular persistent blogging

Eventually I picked up the attention of some great people along with the already established 4 year following I had, things started to move. In order to succeed with creating content you have to convince people that the content is needed. People need book reviews because they want to know about the product- everything else followed. The numbers speak for themselves and so it’s simple, if I can do it, so can you!

 

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Thank you/ Tell me about your blog…

We broke more blogging records! Yesterday saw the greatest number of views ever for the Hall of Information. Let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone. Followers old and new, this record belongs to you.

all time 2

This blogging effort has only been made successful by readers like you who have joined me on this journey.

In celebration of the numbers and the sheer amount of new followers this blog has I want to know more about you. Now I know most of us writer types are introverted but we all love an opportunity to talk about our own stuff so tell me about yourself via the comments; followers old or new; what do you blog about? Share a link to your latest blog. Interaction is the key to this game so tell me more about you! 

Looking forward to the comments and have an awesome weekend!

Rock and roll man!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination!

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A big-time thank you to Megan of a Geeky Gal who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Let me just take this opportunity to speak about Megan’s awesome blog which is an incredible array of all things geek, she also talks about some very important subjects such as mental health and self reflection, I am especially fond of Megan’s  ‘Monday Musings’ section. She is a great supporter of my blog and tweet machine efforts which is very much appreciated. Without that loyal support my stuff wouldn’t reach the heights it has done as of recent. 

geekyAnd so this is the 3rd award nomination the Hall of information has received this year but what are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions as asked by Megan: 

What song do you think makes people remember you?

That’s a tough one because my perception of myself compared to what others think of me is probably way different. But saying that to some people I might come across as self assured (I tell myself that in the mirror everyday…) so I am going with ‘Chesney Hawkes’ ‘The one and only’. This song is the epitome of early 90’s cheese…

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What character would you choose to be your best friend?

batman

I’m not really a best friend type of person, I have a cluster of close friends all of which I am close to but if we’re going with any character then it has to be Batman; unless I can be Batman, Batman would be my best friend. We would hang out in the Bat cave and brood, get Alfred to make us sandwiches, he would take down the bad guys and it be would cool. 

What book do you need to read/game you need to play/show you need to watch still?

I really need to read ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The television adaption was awesome and I’ve only heard good things about the book. 

I also really really need to play ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ I have heard it’s the most epic of games out there, it’s on my birthday list… 

In terms of shows, I really need to watch the final season of Orange is the New Black which should hopefully drop any day now – that is my top Netflix binge recommendation…

Have you smashed any personal goals recently?

Funny you should ask that because this year has been my most record breaking ever in terms of writing and blogging!

I’ve never sold so many books or got as many views on this humble blogging operation until this year. Of course none of that would be possible without my loyal and ever growing following, so a tip of the cap to you all, and here are the numbers…

growth

views

If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and play?

This is going to seem like a shameless self book promotional response but it’s kinda the truth. If you really wanted to understand me or know who I am then my third book ‘The Teleporter‘ contains more about me than anything else. The MC ‘Kurt Wiseman’ is probably the closest to my own personality than anything else I’ve written. 

teleporter logocreated by

In terms of watching; you would probably find a lot of my understanding in life aligns with the values of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ – a show that got me through some tough times way back when and I’ll happily admit my first real hero was Buffy! 

Double answer for playing: 

My all time favorite game/series is Half-life. Not only is it unique; the main character doesn’t say word throughout, its also action packed and based upon science that is very similar, even eerily similar to where I work in real life, but without the violence, aliens and apocalypse. Not to mention the g-man…

If you really, really wanted to understand me, then you would have to sit opposite me whilst playing a game of Monopoly, I straight up become ruthless!  Money and property hungry to say the least, but if you beat me, I’m tamed for life… and slightly resentful… 

List your favorite fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.

As mentioned I am a big fan of Buffy, but the wider universes created by Joss Whedon that some call the Whedon-verse is certainly my jam! Firefly in particular had a huge influence on me and my story telling. I would like to say I identify with witty and sometimes sarcastic pilot ‘Wash’ played by Alan Tudyk.  

semi muscualr

What are three things that you are enjoying right now?

I am currently enjoying:

  • The rather hot weather over here in the UK which is normally notorious for being mundane, but this summer has been bright so far! 
  • The amount of awesome content on Netflix, if you haven’t got it, then you should!
  • These questions, they rock! 

What is your favorite YouTube channel?

joe rogan

I have a rather weird specific taste when it comes to YouTube, it’s either podcasts or failarmy that I tend to frequent but for the sake of this question I’ll say that I enjoy Joe Rogan’s podcast which is full of all kinds of subjects, from exercise advice, motivation, conspiracies and even history. I recommend it! 

List three of your favorite songs right now.

AC/DC – Back in Black 

Foo Fighters – Everlong 

Elton John – Rocketman

What are some ways you practice self care that others might consider different or weird?

Yoga and walking are two sure fire ways that get me out of most troubles these days. Walking is great for near enough getting my mind through everything along with yoga. Both of them as a combination are great for self care…

Angry – go for a walk

Sad – go for a walk

Back hurts – go for a walk

Writers problems (there are too many to list) – go for a walk 

Bad day – go for a walk 

Ate too much – go for a walk 

Injured – yoga and then maybe a walk…

Wanting to exercise but cant be bothered – yoga and walking… 

What is the hardest part about blogging?

The biggest challenge I face in blogging is creating good content. If you have material for good content, you will always have followers. I guess right now I have plenty of ideas, so its going relatively well, some ideas are inspired by the fact people will read my stuff.

I think a lot of people are disheartened when they start out thinking that nobody is reading their blog. This stuff takes time to gather momentum – my advice is to begin, follow others, interact and produce stuff that people want to read; try to make it inclusive to the reader. 

The bloggers I would like to nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award are: 

Joe Campling @ Joe the poet

Sean C. Wright @ Seanarchy

Jaycee Lynch @ Thinking Moon 

Emma @ simplyemsblog

Michaeljordahl 

Little Fears 

Blair @ Feed the Crime 

And any other blogger out there who wants to take part!

My questions for nominees:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Who is your go-to blogging influence/blogger that inspires you?
  • Name 3 music albums that shaped your life?
  • Is there something out there who you think is underrated?
  • Which season of the year do you prefer and why?
  • Name a television show or film you couldn’t live without?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you currently writing?
  • Name something you don’t like but ‘everyone’ else does?
  • Do you have a profession outside of writing/blogging?
  • Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit but never have?

 

Thanks for reading folks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #40

Today marks 40 days since my last alcoholic drink. A new personal best and also the same number of ramble posts I have made; I’ll admit that those numbers lining up is pure coincidence and most of  the success in my life has either been accidental or pure chance. Either that or the fact someone out there is shining down on me which is probably more realistic. 

This blog has been nominated for another award; two in the past week and I am astounded to be thought of like that; thank you. Next week you can expect more on that subject. Speaking of good stuff, 300+ people now follow this blogging effort; a huge number which started off at 150 when this year started! Welcome to anyone just joining me on this journey and of course a nod to those who have been here for some or all of the duration.

Although this ramble is a short one, it’s an important one because I have some huge, huge news which I cannot say a lot about right now but it rhymes with a short film script I wrote getting a potential green light! I’ve already said too much.

Positive thoughts and vibes. Those who are in heatwave territory, drink water, lot’s of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

300 Followers Special

There aren’t a lot of folks out there who realise their dream at the age of twelve and then stick to it. Life happens, we grow up, we move away, we get jobs, we build a family, some have their hearts broken, some lose fortunes and others become a success. Throughout my life all of those things have happened to me in some capacity but no matter what has happened I have never ever let go of that dream I had. And like anything worthwhile having in this world it takes work and it takes time.

I’ve never considered myself an academic or clever in any capacity, the daunting task of writing a book is something I taught myself, something I found within because that desire I had, that dream, never ever died. And yeah, it started out awful, maybe a sentence in one hundred actually sounded good, but the story, the story has always been in my heart. I’ve known for a long time I wanted to be a writer, a story teller or whatever you call it. My calling was realised way back when I was reading and found myself immersed in a world to the point where I forgot my own. I was floating in another world and that desire to immerse others like I have been is where all of this stands.

Eventually that solitary good sentence was paired with another, and then another and before I knew it, I had a book’s worth of stuff. After all this is just words or good ideas in an orderly fashion. Long gone are the days when I would come home from work and then my actual work would begin nightly. Four hours a night for four years I toiled and typed, figuring out how the hell I’m gonna get these stories inside me onto a page. But I did it, by hard work and dedication alone.

There is no real science to hard work, you show up, you roll up those sleeves and you get to it. Results don’t happen at the start and they should never be expected on this solitary journey, results are a side effect of that work and those words you put down.

I started this blog to put my words somewhere for others to enjoy. Whether or not they enjoyed them is their choice. What effect our art has on people can be wonderfully unexpected. If you work at it and try to improve eventually you will and eventually something awesome will happen; you’ll gain a following, some people who you may never see in the flesh but they are there because they can feel something in your words, in your art. Some of them will even be immersed. Eventually people will listen to what you have to say but you’ve got to be persistent. 

My number one lesson in blogging is simple: Create content that people want. Have something that people want. And be persistent. 

To have 300 people follow this blog has been an enduring journey of figuring stuff out. I already knew how to write but to find a way to write that reaches and speaks to people, that is the true art of blogging and I am only just realising that. I know this is pretty deep for a blog post but these words are truth, they are real. And when something is real, people listen.

Thank you to everyone who follows this blog. To those who like my stuff without fail and who are always there for me. To those just starting this journey with me and to everyone else. 

 

 

9 Reasons why you should read Indie Books!

I’ve read 9 indie books since the last time I did a wrap up post. So consider this a review of my reviews and here at the Hall of information we pride ourselves on promoting authors of all persuasions especially indies! So here goes with 9 reasons why your next read should be indie…

Prophecy Girl by Ravin Tija Maurice reads like a crime mystery, and is mostly a crime mystery but eventually the reader is taken down the rabbit hole and that abyss is shared with Vampires!

prophecy

As quoted from my June review ‘the ideas of realistic crime being fused with magic and vampires is an odd but unique pairing. Author Ravin Tija Maurice has obviously worked hard to execute this and has done so by way of a well written novel…’

The news is that Prophecy Girl has a sequel and so the story of main character ‘Camille Bishop’ continues with ‘Believer’ which is out now!

Next up I took on a series of shorter stories which are all part of ‘The Night Audit’ Series by Bruce Knapp. These quick fire fun tales follow Zach as he takes on a new job as night auditor for a hotel. He finds himself in a range of situations from the straight up gross out hilarious to the baffling and strange. I thorougly enjoyed each one and here are my thoughts on them:

So it begins -A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…

so it begins

Nights of Hell – Working nights can mess with one’s head…

nights of hell

Guy’s Night out -A hilarious account of one drunken night out…

guys

The Phantom -Strange happenings in the Stay Over-Nite hotel

phanotm

Dirty Lawyers -Fun gross out comedy…

dl

Next up my reviews of the ‘Quantum Series’ by Christina Engela continued when I read ‘The Time Saving Agency’ which is the second book in the series.

Quantum Series #2 - The Time Saving Agency 2019 - FrontI thoroughly enjoyed this story which fused elements of time travel to the already established quirky futuristic universe that Engela has constructed, referring to my review here’s what I said:

‘Christina Engela has created a story that follows not only a similar concept of the previous entry into the Quantum series but one that fuses those ideas with something completely different and original. Written in a way that sometimes tributes Terry Pratchett, yet again readers will find this story quirky and clever with a style that confides in the reader.’

These stories also take a big step towards positivity for the LGBT community by being unclusive to characters of all persuasions but it’s done in a manner that gives the subject a level of normalcy; something that is needed today! Plus there’s a talking plant, it’s pretty awesome. I shall be reading the next story in the series very soon!

Next up comes a book that probably has one of the most unique premises I have ever seen and read; I am talking about The Good Audit by C.P Aiden.

good auditAs quoted from my review it’s ‘Enjoyable, clever and original’ but what exactly is the Good Audit about?

‘C.P Aiden has put together a story that on the surface appears to be about the trials of auditing and finance but in fact it’s about everything else that comes with the territory. This book is so well written and concise you could argue it’s use as a teaching aid for the profession and I mean that in the highest regard even though I am layman to all things finance I found myself able to follow and enjoy everything that was happening.’

I haven’t read anything like this book ever and you don’t have to be knowledgeable in the subject matter to get it. All you have to do is read it and find out. There’s something in this book that everyone can relate to from the world of work.

My final and 9th read but by no means least comes in the form of a truly addictive and very readable story called ‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H Night.

the 4I took me around 3 days to finish reading this story which follows the new girl in town trope but becomes so much more. My very recent review quotes:

‘The Four Before Me leans a little towards cliche but it works in an original way that keeps readers guessing throughout. It’s the late 80’s and Alice our main character; moves to small town ‘Wintersburg’ in search of a new start from the big city and to perhaps be closer to her now deceased Grandmother’s roots. Soon after her arrival she learns that four women are currently missing and that’s when the chilling coincidences begin. I say coincidence but that’s only if you believe in such things and for Alice this starts to play on her mind which in turn becomes psychological – the true strength of this story. She cannot help but think of the many similarities she and the missing women have, in particular ‘Sarah’ who was in fact the previous tenant in Alice’s new place…’

What unfolds is a page turner of a novel which has chills and thrills that reminded me of Stephen King’s works- yes I thought it was that good! There’s a series of mind blowing twists in the final act which rewards the already immersed reader.

That wraps up my newest review of my book reviews and this one possibly has the best line up so far this year! Thanks for reading and remember to leave a review if you’ve read something recently!

Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of this Blog, we are near to 300 followers which is awesome because this year I started with less than 200! 

Rock and roll man! 

 

 

Real Neat Blog Award Nomination!

The Hall of information blog has been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Jaycee Lynch of the Thinking Moon Blog!

real neat

In what appears to be my most important year for writing and blogging things just get better and better. It’s an honour that a blogger as renowned as Jaycee would think of an operation like this and so a huge thank you to an awesome fellow blogger and important member of the writing community.

thinking moon

Seeing as one of the only things I am good at is manners I shall take this opportunity to tell y’all a bit more about the blogger who nominated the Hall of information. The Thinking Moon Blog is a plethora of adventure into the written word. From sustainability, to interviews, music and various immersive writings, it’s the pinnacle of what a successful blog should be. Plus we’re both huge fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so it’s safe to say we’re cultured individuals with aligned tastes. Jaycee has been a huge supporter of my work and is one of the helpful few who have allowed me to reach the many.

So what does the Real Neat Blog Award nomination mean? Well there’s some rules which are:

  • Display the Award Logo. 
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions from the blog who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Ah right, I think I got this… so here are the questions provided by Thinking Moon that I shall try my best to answer in a fun, witty but clever way…

1. If you won a Grammy for any genre of music, what would it be? 

It would most probably be for a musical album, no joke. If I were ever to enter the music industry it would have something to do with my writing getting me there. I’ve always played around with the thought of converting one of my sci-fi stories into a full on musical. Just imagine being in the cinema watching some epic inner city battle between robots and humans; then they break into song!

2. Who is your favourite villain(s) from any universe?

There is a stack of awesome bad guys out there but so many of them are missing that final piece of a nearly complete puzzle – beliveable motive. In the comic book universes especially; a big bad will normally show already being bad and it just feels one dimensional.

dent.PNG

I don’t have a specific bad guy that I am fond of but my favourite in terms of journey, motive and all around reasons for being bad is Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent from the Dark Knight. Here we see a man who is good and wholesome, but the world his character interacts with has turned him into the villain he becomes in the latter stages of the film. He is a creation of the environment around him and actually sees sense in aligning himself with the anarchy of the Joker. This also moves us to a pretty awesome segway into question 3…

3. What was your all-time favourite Halloween costume or cosplay you’ve done? Pictures please! 

I was literally asked the other day by someone; do you remember Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight?

joker yeah

Way back when, before the aging process set in, I looked a lot like Heath Ledger (apparently… I didn’t just go around saying this to everyone) but you got to admit; that picture above, I can confirm is me at the London New Years Day parade, does look a bit like Heath’s joker.

nor con

4. What’s the weirdest trend you’ve ever partaken in? 

In the age of the internets there have been a huge amount of flavour of the week fads or trends and in all honesty I don’t usually get myself caught up in such things, I live under a rock most of the time, but even I couldn’t resist the urge to play…

flappy bird

Now considering I am a bit of technophobe/ can’t be bothered to keep up type of person, this game had me hooked!

5. What Movie/ Play/ Game soundtrack is your favourite?

If I want to be consistent with question 1 then I’m going with a musical soundtrack. The Greatest Showman is possibly one of the best modern musicals for a very long time. Nearly every song is catchy and meaningful, plus for Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron reasons.

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An honorable mention must also go to my top Nightshift listen ‘Once more, with feeling’ the album taken from Buffy’s famous groundbreaking musical episode!

once more

6. What was the best thing, before sliced bread?

Although sliced wholemeal does appear frequently in my diet I will have to say the best thing before they decided to sell sliced bread would have to be books! I wasn’t around when they first decided to slice bread but I know for a fact they were slicing pulp into pages way before! Although I am kind of obligated to say books (being an author and all) I have to show my support for the literary industry as a whole…

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7. What is your favourite inspirational quote? 

I actually have two which come to mind. Both from films that have influenced me:

robin quote

Of course I couldn’t just leave a Robin Williams quote without saying how much his work influenced and filled my childhood with awesome memories. Even into to adulthood I learned to appreciate his comedy, energy and presence. Robin Williams was truly a wonderful performer who left us too soon.

doc

Back to the Future is my all time favourite film and the series isn’t far behind. No matter how many times you go back or forward in time to change things and no matter how much time you think you don’t have; you future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!

Nomination time

Fellow bloggers I would like to nominate and acknowldge for the Real Neat Blogger Award are: 

  1. Debjani – Debjani’s Thoughts
  2. Blair – Feed the Crime
  3. Bookshelf Q Battler – Bookshelf Battle
  4. Irene – Irene Pylypec.com
  5. Christina Engela – The Crow Bar
  6. Sifar – sunilmdabral
  7. Michaeljordahl

Questions for the nominees

  1. From all the books you have read, name one you would have loved to have written and why?
  2. What was the subject of your very first blog post?
  3. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you had any paranormal experiences?
  4. Do you have a go to music album or vocal artist you have always listened to?
  5. In a few sentences how would you define blogging?
  6. Have you ever had a hero you’ve looked up to?
  7. Are you a believer in luck? Tell me about your luckiest moment in life?

 

Thanks for reading and of course thank you to Thinking Moon for thinking of me with the nomination. Rock and roll man!

The Four Before Me by E. H. Night – Review

‘While some monsters are born, others are created..’

the 4

Upon picking up this book I was instantly immersed into the words and descriptive style E.H Night brings to what is a chilling and mystery shrouded story. By the 8th chapter I’ll admit I couldn’t put it down. 

The Four Before Me leans a little towards cliche but it works in an original way that keeps readers guessing throughout. It’s the late 80’s and Alice our main character; moves to small town ‘Wintersburg’ in search of a new start from the big city and to perhaps be closer to her now deceased Grandmother’s roots. Soon after her arrival she learns that four women are currently missing and that’s when the chilling coincidences begin. I say coincidence but that’s only if you believe in such things and for Alice this starts to play on her mind which in turn becomes psychological – the true strength of this story. She cannot help but think of the many similarities she and the missing women have, in particular ‘Sarah’ who was in fact the previous tenant in Alice’s new place.

As the story unfolds we meet a cast of three dimensional characters all of which serve purpose and depth to the story such as likable law enforcement officer ‘Blake Darrow’ and neighbor ‘Tiffany’ which Alice befriends. Of course there are the less savory characters such as ‘Benji’ or the town renowned ‘Wonderbread Will’. Can they be trusted when so many people are missing in this small town?

There were some instances that my mind was blown by the amount of twists and turns this story had. With elements of crime, mystery, suspense and even some chilling horror you could compare this book with the early works of Stephen King although the voice in this story is fresh and new. Whether it’s the sights or smells, emotions or feelings, this book captures everything including a little nostalgia.

5 Stars