Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Door of Dreams

The Door of Dreams is the first book in a new YA fantasy series by Greg James. This story has a sad beginning; we meet Willow Grey who has a terminal brain tumor and only six months to live. Willow is taken by her father to a remote house out in the countryside to finish out her days, but she is soon pulled into another world where magic exists and almost anything is possible.

This book  has a dark fairy-tale like quality to it that I really enjoyed; I was pulled in immediately to Willow Grey's world and the new fantasy one that she finds. James' writing style is very smooth and brings the reader along at a comfortable pace on this fantastical adventure where the monstrous and beautiful coexist.  This is a book I would recommend for readers young and old. 

I give it five cocktails.

This book can be purchased by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble

Friday, June 19, 2015


Bloodfellas, written by Jasper Bark, is my first graphic novel and I enjoyed it immensely. I read the ebook version, which looked stunning on my iPad. The artwork by Mick Trimble was fantastic and complemented the story beautifully. And what a story it was. Bark once again delivers a different take on zombies; this time combining the religious philosophy of voodoo with gritty noir gangsters. It is an odd pairing but Bark really makes it work. I was sucked into this dark and desperate world that he created where the dead have no rest and the living barter their souls. The book is set up as a collection of short stories that follow individual characters and a final story that ties all of the plot- lines together. I don't know if this is a common format for graphic novels or not, but it made reading the stories very enjoyable as you could see where different characters cross paths and how one story influenced another. I'm sure lovers of graphic novels will agree this is a great addition to the medium, and readers of novels will enjoy reading and looking at Bloodfellas. Bark's prose is just too hard to resist. 

I give it five cocktails. 

You can purchase Bloodfellas by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleWaterstones

Friday, June 5, 2015


Peeper, by S.J. Smith, is the first book to come out from Sinful Press, which is a small, independent publisher. And books like this are why I like small, independent publishers. Peeper is erotica, but unlike the flooded BDSM market, this book caters more to male fantasies, and unusual ones at that. It is written in the first person and the main character, Jenks, who, although he very much loves his wife, finds himself in some unusual situations with a woman named Veronica who can't seem to keep her windows closed. With Jenks, Smith is able to pull off something difficult. Jenks is a lovable everyman. He is described very little physically, but the reader gets to know him (and his kinks) quite well, and all the while the plot is kept interesting and moving along even with an increasing number of sex scenes towards the end. Smith has a great writing style that had me immediately involved with the characters and their world. Peeper is filled with humor and doesn't take itself too seriously, which is why I think women will enjoy this one as much as men.  Smith is a skilled author and I can't wait to see what he comes out with next. 

I give it five cocktails. 

Peeper can be purchased by clicking on the following links: Amazon USAmazon UK

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bottled Abyss

Bottled Abyss is one of those books that I rarely seem to find; it is both an easy and entertaining read as well as one that has lots of substance to it. Ethridge sets the scene with a blending of Greek mythology and the American desert, where a family that has suffered horrible tragedy reawakens something ancient and forgotten. This reawakening brings with it a chance to heal and renew, but at a very steep price. 
What I enjoyed most about this book was the use of mythology that isn't often used in contemporary literature. I haven't seen much of anything to do with the Greek goddess Nyx, but Ethridge uses the myths surrounding her to create a really interesting backdrop to a story that is all about revenge and judgement. The story starts out in a way that may seem like familiar territory, but by the end Ethridge has taken the reader on a page turning ride with lots of twists and turns you won't see coming. This was a great read and I highly recommend it. 

I give it five cocktails. 

You can purchase this book from the following retailers:  Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Angel Manor

One thing I was thinking recently, is that there aren't very many beach reads for horror fans. Chantal Noordeloos helps to change that with Angel Manor. Angel Manor is a more gruesome take on the classic haunted house tale. In fact, the prologue was a bit too over the top for me to read (I know that is a selling point for some people), so I skipped it after a few pages and went straight to the beginning of the book, and I was pulled in immediately. The story starts out with a group of friends who are going to renovate an old mansion and turn it into a hotel. One of the friends actually inherited the property and  is somewhat aware of its sinister past, but, of course, she doesn't know everything. The book continues to use familiar and somewhat predictable horror tropes, but they really work here.  This was an easy read that was also genuinely frighting in some places with fantastic monsters dwelling in the basement. (There was more than one occasion when reading this that I was VERY glad I don't have a basement in my house.) So while it had a few problems with the prologue and was somewhat predictable, I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to Noordeloos scaring me again sometime.    

I give it four cocktails.

You can purchase this book by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleWaterstones

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lost is the Night is the second installment in Greg James' dark fantasy Khale the Wanderer series. A high bar had been set with the first book, but James surpasses it with his beautiful writing style that is so suited to the terrifying. In this book, we find Khale has been sent on a strange journey to Lord Barneth's castle where there is to be a feast in his honor, but not everything is as it seems. James quickly brings the reader into a world where the brutality knows no end, and he does it with his wonderful poetic prose that effortlessly blends horror with fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all of the strange places it brought me, and it is one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a peek into the darker side of humanity. 

I give it five cocktails.

This book can be purchased by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lucky's Girl

Lucky's Girl, by William Holloway, is a story about an inherently bad person that manages to tap into an ancient evil in his home town that he then uses to manipulate others, with some drastic results. This story was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I felt like Holloway was trying to do too many things at once with this story, but not quite succeeding with all of them. There are anthropomorphic wolves which I felt were unnecessary (he could have still used the wolves to shock readers without giving one of them a point of view), sex scenes that went on a bit too long for anything other than an erotic horror novel, and a constant repetition by a few characters that something just isn't right with Lucky (that was almost as annoying as the wolves). But even with all of the problems I just mentioned, Holloway can write. I loved his descriptions of the bleak town that has everything going against it as well as his ability to switch points of view with the main characters. I was never confused over whose inner thoughts I was privy to at any given time, and they had some really interesting things to say. But most importantly, I was entertained. This novel is divided into three sections and two epilogues, and while the two epilogues fell flat for me, I had a great time reading the wild ride that was part three. I won't mention what happens in that section as I hate spoilers, but it was entertaining enough to make me forgive the other problems with the book. Is Lucky's Girl perfect? Absolutely not. It is extremely gory and entertaining though, and in the end that's all that really matters. 

I give it three and a half cocktails.

You can purchase this book by clicking the following links:  Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble