Category Archives: Reviews

Exquisite Insanity

It’s always nice to get a good review… well, any review is gratefully received, but good ones are especially welcomed. So after a pretty rubbish few weeks – life can suck at times – the following 5 star review put a smile on my face.

5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Insanity, 23 Oct 2014
This review is from: Watcher (Kindle Edition)
You’re in for a gruesomely horrific treat with Alen B. Curtiss’ “Watcher.” I’m tempted to compare this short story with the early works of Stephen King or, for a particular story, Dean Koontz’ “Intensity.” Mr. Curtiss (as Koontz in his novel) describes much of the action in the story via the main character’s thoughts. Still, this author is truly in a class of his own; a high level to be sure.

The insanity of the watcher is immediately prevalent as he goes about playing his game and continues into an occasional back-story that firmly establishes the character. His current victim, however, proves difficult and the author does an excellent job of charting her course from a confident, ex-military woman to desperate to paralytically frightened victim to…well, I won’t spoil the show here. Woven throughout the tale are several unexpected plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat through to the conclusion, which if you’re like me…will knock your socks off.

Mr. Curtiss’ writing style is clean and easy to follow without excessive narrative detail that allows the reader to utilize their own imagination to color the pictures he provides. I highly recommend this story to all horror, speculative fiction fans. I’m looking forward to finding and reading more of this author’s works.

Reading it for the first time really made my day. Reading it again it still makes my day. Thank you L.A.S., whoever you may be.
Anyway, enough…
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Reviews


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Five Star review…

imageA little bit of shameless self promotion…

Latest Five Star review for Watcher…

“At the start you know something is wrong, something is going on and all is not what it seems, soon you realise you’re in the mind of someone who is deluded and dangerous. Watching and stalking, but by the end of the story you find out there is more to the plot than a mentally unhinged man.
The action is vivid and I like the fact the woman is strong and fights back.
The twist at the end leaves you wondering what will happen next. And if there will be a sequel?”

Watcher is available NOW on Amazon Kindle Click Here

The stalker – spending his time observing, following, studying those who he calls his Play Mates. His victims – spending their time living their lives, going about their daily routines, oblivious to the fact they have been singled out, have been selected to participate in the End Game.

Driven by a need even he doesn’t fully understand, the stalker is compelled to play his game until the very end, compelled to ensure he and his chosen Play Mate are locked together, as close as lovers, as the End Game concludes. It is his game. They are his rules.

But what would happen if one of his victims refuses to play his game, refuses to abide by his rules. Would the End Game be completed, as dictated by the stalker’s primal urges, or would a new and even more sinister game be created?

He watches. That’s what he does.

Can you feel his eyes upon you?

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Reviews


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Songs Of The Dying Earth – Review

imageBook Description

Return to the unique and evocative world of The Dying Earth in this tribute anthology featuring the most distinguished fantasists of our day. Here are twenty-one brand-new adventures set in the world of Jack Vance’s greatest novel.

A dim place, ancient beyond knowledge. The sun is feeble and red. A million cities have fallen to dust. Here live a few thousand souls, dying, as the Earth dies beneath them. Just a few short decades remain to the long history of our world. At the last, science and magic are one, and there is evil on Earth, distilled by time … Earth is dying.

Half a century ago, Jack Vance created the world of the Dying Earth, and fantasy has never been the same. Now, for the first time, Jack has agreed to open this bizarre and darkly beautiful world to other fantasists, to play in as their very own.

The list of twenty-one contributors eager to honour Jack Vance by writing for this anthology includes Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock, Terry Dowling, Lucius Shepherd, Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Tad Williams, Walter Jon Williams and George R.R. Martin himself.


Many years ago, when I was still a moody teenager, I was browsing in a local used book store. I read a lot in those days – still do, but sadly not as much as when I was a teen, as life has a habit of interrupting like it never did when I was a kid. I enjoyed mostly horror and fantasy, with the occasional foray into science fiction. Sci-fi hadn’t caught my attention as much as the other two genres, though I did enjoy Ray Bradbury’s stories, and the Dune series.

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I just had nothing better to do on that particular day. Nothing had caught my fancy on any of the many shelves, so I turned my attention to the cheapest of the cheap books, piled in wooden boxes set on the floor. And there it was – Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth. At the time, I’d never heard of Jack Vance, didn’t know what he wrote, didn’t know if he was any good. But the title had caught my attention. In the midst of my depressing and negative teenage angst, the Earth dying had a certain appeal to me. I paid a few coins for the dog-eared paperback and ambled off home.

Hours later, bleary eyed and yawning, I read the final page and closed the cover. Although tired, with a slight headache from reading for too long in poor light, I was ecstatically happy and grinning like a loon. What I had just read, just experienced, was, for me, nothing short of amazing. Pure brilliance. That world, under it’s fading red sun. Those people, in their crumbling cities. The magicians, sorcerers, thaumaturges, with their spells. Spells so vast many years were needed to memorise just one. The creatures, the demons, the created beings. And the stories! Oh, what imagination, what creative genius! I fell asleep a very happy teenager. And when I awoke the next morning, I turned straight to page one and read it all again.

Songs Of The Dying Earth – an anthology of short stories by 21 notable authors, and edited by George R. R. Martin, was put together as a tribute to Jack Vance and the fabulous world he created.

Each of the stories is lovingly crafted, trying – and succeeding – to capture the essence of the original tales. Some use characters and places created by Vance, others use their own original people and cities in the style of Vance. Each one is a thoroughly enjoyable read but, in my opinion, there are two that are weaker than the others. It seemed to me that they were trying too hard to emulate Jack Vance – most notably the unique language that he uses. That’s not to say they’re not good short stories though, as they are.

Reading this anthology transported me back to my youth, to the joy, wonder and amazement I experienced when I first read Jack Vance’s work. It was almost as if I was back in the bed of my teenage years, curled up under the covers, desperately reading as fast as I could, trying to reach the final page before the dying batteries in my torch finally gave out.

If you haven’t already read The Dying Earth by Jack Vance then I implore you – buy it as soon as you can and lose yourself in it’s magnificence. And once you have done so, make sure you get your own copy of Songs Of The Dying Earth and travel back to Mr. Vance’s masterpiece.

Trust me, it’s worth every penny. Go get it. Now.

Songs Of The Dying Earth is available to purchase from Amazon and all other good book sellers.


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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Books, Reviews


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Mountain Justice by Karen Black

20130816-144538.jpgA nice, short read, ideal to keep you entertained during a break at work etc. And entertaining it is too, keeping you involved and gripped from the first paragraph. The characters are well developed, and even for such a short read, you still care about what happens to them.

It was nice to see a horse play such a big part in the outcome, rather than the usual literary ‘heroic’ dog. Justice prevailed, which is always a good thing.

A good story, well worth the time to read it.

Available now from Amazon

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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Reviews


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Passive Income for Life by Eric Michael

20130816-144413.jpgThis is the first book by Eric Michael that I have read, but it won’t be the last. His writing style is very clear, explaining his examples in plain, easy to understand language.

Let’s face it, who hasn’t thought about how good it would be to be able to buy items cheap and sell them for a profit, earning themselves a nice secondary income in the process. Eric Michael’s book explains how easy this can be, and why Amazon is the ideal market place.

Mr. Michael leaves you in no doubt that this is NOT a get rich quick scheme, but rather a tried and tested long term method. It takes dedication, but it in no way consumes all of your time.

Although obviously written for the American market, don’t let that put you off. The easy to follow directions are easily translated to suit whichever country you may be in – the UK in my case.

Excellently written, clearly explained – a must read for any budding entrepreneur!

Available now from Amazon

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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Reviews


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Out Of The Darkness by Lisa Procter

20130815-222232.jpgThis is a story about two people, Livi and Shane, who have both been made fragile by differing life experiences. The story revolves around them gradually forming a relationship after their first fortuitous meeting, and Livi helping Shane with his demons. At the same time, really unknown to Livi, Shane is also helping her to come to terms with an abusive upbringing.

Shane and Livi are portrayed very well by the author, their characters are believable, and you find yourself really caring for the both of them.

The story as a whole is well written, secondary characters are brought to life well, and the text is flowing and descriptive.

I thoroughly enjoyed this short story, and will definitely read more from this author. Highly recommended and well deserving of it’s five stars.

Available now on from Amazon

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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Reviews


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