Winter is here, dead knights, Gothic horror returns, and the ravages of drug addiction compose this week’s reads

I’m way behind on my reviews but I did get a lot of reading done. Let me hit some highlights here – and reviews should be posting in about 5 days.

I’m way behind on my reviews but I did get a lot of reading done. Let me hit some highlights here – and reviews should be posting in about 5 days.

The Snowball Book Launch by Ray Brehm

I like this one better for the value over his other book on book launches. This one covers all the other one does and more. Heavy emphasis on ad buys especially through Bookbub.

I think the information here on how to build momentum through a coordinated effort is something many authors could benefit from.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Wow! A sumptuous rich feast. Worth the hype. Both husband and I are reading this so will probably get a compound review on all that we liked. Dig in and enjoy!

Initiating Angels by R.M. Garino

This was a fast paced, energetic battle of a short story that takes place during book one so is best read by those who have read The Gates of Golarth. Garino is an author who knows how to write action – it is heart-pounding, non-stop brutal!

BTW did you read my earlier review of this book? If you love high fantasy, this author is a must-read.

Mr. Stoker and I by Becky Wright

I’ve really been enjoying this Gothic horror – just a little masterpiece for fans of the original Bram Stoker but also for those who have enjoyed Wilkie Collins and other writers from this era.

I do think it needed a little judicious trimming here and there but the story is fascinating. It tone it reminded me a lot of Charlotte Zang’s Consuming Beauty.

The Hunted Maiden by Douglas S. Pierce

This dense high fantasy book where Pierce has put a lot of time and effort in his world building – and it shows. However, the amount of detail sometimes bogs me for it’s a book that you need time to read. And time around here has been of little quantity.

Ailey of Skye by Wendy Hewlett

Not my usual fare but gosh, it really tears at your heartstrings. Ailey’s story about drug abuse and the aftermath as she rebuilds her life is written by someone who clearly knows her topic. Recommended for those who like contemporary, gritty stories dealing with real-life issues.

The Stately Home Murders by Catherine Aird

The writing is superb, the interaction between the members of the police force is droll, but the many family members are easy to get confused. The pacing is moving a bit slow which is in turn slowing down my reading. However, the writing is so good I would read other works by this author.

Blast from the past —

Mapping Winter by Marta Randall
was formerly published under the name The Sword of Winter

While I fully sympathize with Randall’s editing and publishing house nightmare (see the book description on Amazon) I have very mixed feelings about the book in its re-worked edition. It meanders, it stalls, it goes off the rails way too many times. There is a self-indulgence here that an excellent editor could have helped. I think Randall’s feelings of ambiguity about her own book seeped into it.

Each Friday (when I have time) I post my current reads and what I’ve reviewed. If you want on the review list, I prioritize those that personally interest me and books by those who follow me on social media.

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