‘SurReality’ by Matt Doyle – Review

‘Everything that happens in SurReality is entirely real’

Clever and unique, ‘SurReality’ is a combination of speculative and addictive fiction that I read in just a couple of sittings.

This short read shares the same title as the smash reality TV show it is about focusing on the paranormal and urban legends. After experiencing a sharp rise to fame with online viewers after their 2015 Christmas special turns gruesome, the story follows the fallout and subsequent reaction through the mode of transcripts, blog posts and news articles giving it a unique but modern Dracula-esque touch.

With one host missing and a lot of chatter online, this is modern look at how a TV show tries to live off the ‘reality’ of certain events whilst capturing the imagination in a unique way. Sometimes shorter reads are all you need to pique our interest and imagination, ‘SurReality’ is a perfect example of that. Great cover also!

5 Stars

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads #9

The road to reviewing indie books continues and so here are some of my recent reads, all of which I recommend!

‘A Stranger From the Storm’ by William Burton McCormick

Brilliant fun – a historical mystery with plenty of atmosphere

Full Review

‘Witch in the Lighthouse’ by Azalea Forrest

A quaint and fun magical tale…

Full Review

‘The View From Here’ by Leon Stevens

An exploration themed sci-fi novella not of this world…

Full Review

‘The Caverns’ by Olen Crowe

In The Caverns an ancient evil lurks…

Full Review

‘Red on White’ by J.P Biddlecome

‘The Wolves came, rising from the waves…’

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of Awesome Recommended Indie Reads. Keep reading and keep reviewing!

‘The Caverns’ by Olen Crowe – Review

In The Caverns an ancient evil lurks…

In the small rural town of Linston an ancient evil lurks and suddenly awakens with a whole bunch of mystery. When The Caverns; a tourist hotspot and only real economic attraction of the place begins to swallow people it soon becomes both a problem and a media circus.

What is the evil? Although deadly it has no real physical manifestation and gets into the heads of everyone in town including a group of friends who just happen to be there for a curious visit to the Linston Caverns on a road trip of sorts. There’s a good mix of cliché fun and conflict here as the town drunk lays down fair warning whilst the money driven people in charge of the attraction push to keep it open no matter how many lives are taken. Locals don’t appreciate anyone from the outside with a prying nature that may damage the towns reputation and combined with the harrowing events a perfect storm ensues. There’s a wide group of characters, some a just bit-part throwaways subjected to the evils of what lies below and others that carry the story.

For those who enjoy mystery horror with a hint of humour and the unexpected, you’ll definitely find it here.

4 Stars

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads #8

And so the journey of reading indie books continues. Here are some of my recent reads…

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi…’

Full Review

‘A Still Life’ by Elliott Wink

Short and intriguing, an original sci-fi tale perfect for reading in one sitting…

Full Review

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick 

‘It comes in the night…’

Full Review

Check out Lee Hall on Patreon

‘Fallout’ by Pat Griffith

An imaginative and highly original tale about first contact with corporeal beings from another world some of which are already here….

Full Review

‘Where Darkness Meets Light’ by Sabrine Elouali

Thought-provoking poetry reflecting many themes surrounding the dark and light…

Full Review

‘San Francisco Suite: A Rudy Parsons Story’ by Ethan McCaffery

Well-written detective mystery with noir tones and a metaphysical twist…

Full Review

‘Pirate Sea’ by Kyler Kuehler 

A swashbuckling and sometimes brutal tale packed with action

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of awesome recommended indie reads. Thanks for stopping by and remember to leave a review after your next read!

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick – Review

‘It comes in the night…’

Antoinette McCormick delivers an atmospheric and descriptive story of ‘Amara’ who is on a quest to solve her twin sister’s murder and the circumstances that have seemingly followed her since childhood. Just what exactly is this mysterious force stalking her? It seems to have always been there and the mystery keeps the reading experience intriguing.

As the events unfold, reader’s are left guessing with a writing style that can best be described as textbook horror where not too much is given away whilst leaving readers wanting to know more. In near enough every chapter something unexpected unfolds keeping everything on edge with a certain urgency. To find out what exactly happened ‘Amara’ must explore memories of her sister through a unique procedure giving the story a sci-fi futuristic edge. The ending although satisfying to me will definitely be the course of some division but like all good stories, they always are. For anyone looking for an atmospheric and thrilling tale with mystery, this is the one for you!

5 Stars

‘SKINNER: Thirty-five years. Four killers. One city’ by Nathan Jones – Review

Immersive near future sci-fi meets the macabre…

Dayne Mitchell has a fascination for the macabre and the wider subject of serial killers who have plagued the British city of Bristol for many years. As a sufferer of bipolar he almost looks to the dark subject of killing as a coping mechanism to get through life in a near future world that is intriguing and imaginative – these two words are what I would use to describe a story that takes readers to dark and sometimes graphic violent places.

There are a wealth of modern subjects and heavy themes in this book that are executed very well by Nathan Jones who merges near future science fiction to thrilling murder mystery with a lot of depth. The vessel being Dayne who endures a journey of discovery, twists and then horrifying revelations as his research into Bristol’s murderous past eventually comes to him. Fans of darker crime drama will certainly appreciate this one along with those looking to learn about the geography and history of a great city.

5 Stars

Free and Discounted Books Today Only!

Book Promotion Activated! Hello kind readers and followers, I have decided to take the plunge into some book promotion to celebrate reaching 27,000 Twitter followers and you’ll be able to grab my debut horror novel Open Evening for free today but that’s not all! You can also grab the three other books in the same series for a discounted price for today only. Details are below!

Today Only Open Evening is Free!

Open Evening was my first foray into indie/self publishing and serves not just as my debut but a tribute to horror films from the early 2000’s. If you enjoyed ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘The Faculty’ you’ll most likely enjoy this one. Fans of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Alien’ will also find something to enjoy about this book which is also a partly semi-autobiographical tribute to my own school days.

“As soon as you open this book, it will grab your attention!”

Recent Review by Ellen Khodakivska

This book is also just the beginning of my wider occult Order of the Following Series with the 5th book planned for release soon. The three titles from that series are exclusively discounted today in digital format.

Head on over to Amazon and give one of the above titles a search to grab yourself some discounted or free goodness and if you do, remember to leave a review! Peace out!

Indie Book Rec’s : Horror

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to the genre of Horror and here are some books I highly recommend and hold in high regard of the genre.

‘Nocturnal Blood’ (Nocturnal #1) by Villimey Mist

A modern vampire story that takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns…

Full Review

Nocturnal blood

‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H. Night

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

Full Review

the 4

‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ by Dave Williams

A twisted, haunting and enjoyable read that dives deep into the shadowy depths of one man’s mind…

Full Review

‘Deification’ by Brooklyn Dean

The intimate description and deep prose will consume you long before the apocalypse…

Full Review

‘Building 51’ by Jennifer L Place

Urban exploration horror filled with tension and some truth…

Full Review

51

‘Fear Farm No Trespassers’ by S.J. Krandall

Immersive page-turning horror stories full of thrills and chills…

Full Review

‘Evil Eye: A Slasher Story’ by April A. Taylor

An unpredictable fast-paced slasher with plenty of twists and tension as the storm unfolds…

Full Review

‘Blood of the Sixth’ by K.R. Rowe

A slow burning tale that twists into the deep shadowy darkness of the unexpected…

Full Review

sitch

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!

The Best Books I Have Read in 2021

As the year draws to a close I have saved the best until last. Although I appreciate every author and their wonderful works that got me through 2021 this post is dedicated to the books that stood out to me.

‘From Voiceless to Vocal’ by Danielle Larsen

Having read this memoir all the way back in February it has remained with me since for being a brave, candid and incredibly well written account by Danielle Larsen. Mental health and escaping abuse are the central themes while also being subjects that might not be talked about as much as they should – this book isn’t afraid to go there with the path it carves in order to get that point across. Its ultimately inspiring and gives hope even to those who seemingly have so much stacked against them.

Quote from my review:no matter how many chips are down you can always come back, there’s always hope and survival is probably the greatest gift we have.

‘Nocturnal Salvation’ by Villimey Mist 

Part 3 of the ‘Nocturnal’ vampire series is both the concluding pay off and a display of how far Villimey Mist has come as an author. Her craft unfolds throughout the series and much like the story peaks in this one. If you are looking for a modern and sometimes gory take on vampires, then this book and wider series is for you.

Quote from my review: ‘There are dramatic turns and even shocking moments that’ll keep those pages turning before a resolve that is both satisfying and even a little emotional.’

‘Josef The Writer’s Cat’ by Ellen Khodakivska

This story comes from a unique perspective and that being a writer’s cat. Its a brilliantly executed tale of one cat’s journey and how he see’s the world while also being a reminder of how important animals and pets are in the family. Ellen Khodakivska delivers a book that will appeal to many different ages and especially those who write.

Quote from my review: ‘We do sometimes take things for granted in life and this story reminds us that pets are such an instrumental part of it while they also have a life too.’

‘Life of Maggot’ by Paul Jameson

Paul Jameson delivers another masterful vision of literature through a unique style that favours deep description and classic style language. This book is very much laid out like lyrics from a song in what is a story about the end of time and told through the eyes of ‘Maggot’ as chaos unfolds. This is escapism in its finest possible form.

Quote from my review: ‘No matter what bad is happening there is always hope and ultimately there is some light to be found somewhere.’

‘Born in Stockport – Grew up in the Royal Navy: Book One’ by Maurice Perkins

Charming, funny and full of variety, Maurice Perkins or Moz as he is known tells a wonderful life story of childhood antics and then joining the navy. In between there are some great moments that bring a lot of enjoyment to an awesome candid memoir.

Quote from my review: ‘From a youth spent being a ‘scallywag’ getting into all kinds of trouble to finding success in the Royal Navy – his journey is both inspiring and full of lessons that are valuable for anyone…’

‘Wonder Rush’ by Dan McKeon

Dan McKeon delivers an awesome tale of one teen assassin that has always followed orders and fulfilled her mission no matter what name she is given and then events make her think about the morality of everything she stands for. What follows is a coming of age morality check journey that is both enjoyable and easy to read.

Quote from my review: ‘You can give a person all the assassin training in the world and try to engineer out all human elements but they are still human.’

‘Sleeping Beauty and The Cursed Code’ by Emma Jean

Emma Jean has combined two concepts that I have a lot of time and passion for, that being STEM and Fairy Tales. All Fairy Tales have a deeper important message and this one carries that while also encouraging younger readers to take an interest in STEM subjects. Sleeping Beauty is brought into the 21st century and this adaptation excellent.

Quote from my review: ‘With some fun moments along the way and plenty of awesome tech, magic, original concepts and a good old fashioned good versus evil story this one is guaranteed to bring enjoyment to younger and older readers.’

‘Everything, Except You’ by Emma Jordan

It can be hard to find a really good slow burning romance and while that’s just my taste in love stories Emma Jordan hits all the right notes in this one. With a little drama and plenty of feel-good vibes along with a little cosiness, I really enjoyed this tale.

Quote from my review: ‘A well-executed story about two people and their lives that are made better for finding each other and the way in which they discover a love for each other…’

‘We Watch You’ By N.S. Ford

With dark tones and missing person vibes, N.S. Ford tells a tale that takes readers down the rabbit hole of the unexpected as three friends try to decipher a mystery that consumes their lives. The journey is eventful and culminates after a multi-layered puzzle for a plot that pulled me in all the way to an unpredictable perhaps even haunting ending.

Quote from my review: ‘The darker moments carry impact and overall there is some real power in this story that continually goes to unexpected places and even strange places.’

‘Deceit of the Earth – Heavy Metal’ by Henry Cox

Having enjoyed the first ‘Deceit’ book by Henry Cox I was intrigued to see where he would go next and with this story I was immersed into the world of rare earth metals and how they dictate the future of our technology while also being a bargaining chip in military politics. This thoughtful story takes readers back in time and fuses fact to fiction flawlessly. If you like Crichton or Dan Brown then you’ll enjoy this one.

Quote from my review: ‘From military aircraft to world geography, the delivery of his knowledge and imagination merging makes everything believable and the final verdict may even be out of this world.’  

‘The Right Thing’ by Kelsey Kupitz

Kelsey Kupitz tells a page-turning easy-to-read story about a past trauma that finds itself returning for ‘Astrid’ who has struggled with it for most of her adult life. Now she must face that past and what follows are chilling mysterious tones with a little dose of the unexpected.

Quote from my review: ‘Atmosphere, originality and intrigue take the reader to the depths of the unexpected with some great twists at the end because ‘everyone has a secret’.’

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

Futuristic world building combined with societal concepts that echo our own reality are two things that are right up my alley and so when I saw Rebecca Crunden had made this free to download I jumped at the opportunity. You may know Rebecca and the awesome support she shows authors via her Indie Book Spotlight account on Twitter and I really enjoyed this thrilling spy type story that takes readers across worlds.

Quote from my review: ‘There are plenty of messages and themes throughout with many pointing towards revolution and the nature of humanity.’

‘The Right Thing’ by Kelsey Kupitz – Review

An easy-to-read mystery full of intrigue, atmosphere and chills…

I managed to read this in just a few sittings as Kelsey Kupitz delivers an easy-to-read story filled with imagination, atmosphere and originality. There’s a chilling mystery that drives a creepy but unexpected series of events from the past all the way to the present that keeps pages turning.

We meet ‘Astrid’ who spends her days haunted by what unfolded fifteen years ago when her friend ‘Peter’ went missing in a forest and now someone else has befallen to a similar fate. Even after escaping her home town, having a career and time going by, ‘Astrid’ struggles with alcohol and leaves the reader wanting to know what happened. This mystery drives the story which becomes a two in one kind of deal as we slowly find out and its very much unexpected. That is also whilst she is approached by a private detective looking to solve the more recent missing person case. Those events from the past collide with the present in a cleverly executed story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Atmosphere, originality and intrigue take the reader to the depths of the unexpected with some great twists at the end because ‘everyone has a secret’.

5 Stars