Friday, October 28, 2022

 This Week, I Faced Up To My Own. . .

Dark Fear

This second book in Marcus Abshire’s Ways of the Warlock Series sees the pace and mayhem increase exponentially. Jakobus and Melandra are edging ever closer to finding out who it was that ordered the slaughter of the white witch, and, subsequently, trying to frame Jakobus for that deed. The trouble is, the closer they get, the more frantic things become. As the blurb highlights:


White witches can’t be trusted, and anyone with any sense knows that. So that either makes me an idiot or a fool to do so. I’ll let you decide which.

I have a good reason, though. A sister of the white witch coven wants revenge for a murder she thinks I committed. Problem is, I didn’t kill anyone. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve killed people, lots of people, just not this one. Melandra says she wants to help, wants to keep her coven sister from corrupting her soul by sending a monster made from magic to kill me. But it’s not that simple. Things usually never are.

I need to clear my name and keep from getting killed. Hopefully, in the process, I can save Melandra’s friend from falling into darkness, and while I’m at it, avoid a lethal assassin and an insane Immortal, both with their own reasons to see me dead. I thought that if I stopped using black magic, my life would get less dangerous… Turns out, I was wrong.


Yes, things get rather fraught as Jakobus and Melandra home in on the assassin; the one who sent her; and the actual reason why their respective worlds are turning upside down. And uncovering the truth doesn’t make things any easier. Mistrust and doubt still exists, especially among the witches who insist on treating Jakobus like a murderous villain. Of course, this has the potential to lead to complications. Exactly the thing they need to avoid if they’re going to survive what’s coming. History is unraveled. Secrets are revealed. Sides are chosen. Risks taken. And consequences set in motion.

Who lives and who dies?

Ah, for that, you’ll have to face your own dark fears. So, settle in for the ride and take delight – as I did – in the relentless action; the pieces of a complex puzzle falling into place; and the epic conclusion that sees Jakobus facing off against an unkillable creature.

All in a day’s work for a former warlock.

Friday, October 21, 2022

 See My Review Of. . .

Rise of the Titanosaurus

As soon as I laid eyes on the cover of Rise of the Titanosaurus – Book One of the Primal Roar Series, by John Grover, I thought . . . Oh, I’ve just GOT to try that out.

And do you know what? It’s darn good fun. Check out the blurb:


By the time you hear the roar, it's already too late...

In the near future, a powerful earthquake wreaks havoc on San Francisco, California but that is only the beginning of the city's troubles. From beneath the Earth and from the depths of the ocean rises something ancient, something gigantic, something... enraged. A dinosaur unlike anything in the history books challenges mankind to fight or face extinction. A dinosaur with a roar so powerful it can decimate entire city blocks. It's only a matter of time before the entire city is torn apart.

It's a race against time, a fight for survival, and a story of redemption as three storylines intersect in a final showdown with the unimaginable. The Titanosaurus is here!


All I’ll say is, if you want to spend some time enjoying a darn good romp through the rubble of a devastated city, then THIS is a story that will take you there and keep you grinning all the way.
Seriously, I caught myself smiling on multiple occasions as I was reading, it was so relatable. Think of the atmosphere created by Cloverfield, mix it with the mayhem of King Kong vs Godzilla, and add a dash of the ‘death & destruction all around’ plane scene in 2012, where they fly through falling skyscrapers, and you’ll encapsulate the frantic pace Grover has threaded throughout his story. Yes, it’s time to take a breath and hang on. Don’t miss it!

Friday, October 14, 2022

 The Darkest Acts

The Darkest Acts

I’ve become something of a Walsh Ritter fan over the past several months. And in this, his third outing, Jeff Crawford takes us along slightly different tack. A wise move, as it not only helps to keep the storyline fresh, but allows a continuation in Ritter’s evolution.

Read the blurb and you’ll see what I mean:


Weeks following his escape from the mountain hunting cottage where Walsh Ritter had put an end to the Victorrio bloodline by killing Angelina Victorrio, he has made his way to what he believes to be the most serene town he had ever passed through, the town of Pleasanton, Wyoming.

The mountain fortress where he had been held captive for so long would have broken nearly any other man, and then his experience with Angelina had just about been more than he could bear. He needed a place with clean beds, peaceful streets, good food, and no one trying to kill or torture him. Walsh Ritter could not have been more wrong about a place to take his sabbatical and possibly begin his retirement.

Secrets are revealed that prove Pleasanton and its residents to be the most vile and heinous place and people Walsh has ever encountered. All of the pain and anger and misery that has built up over the past five years is about to be let out and the town of Pleasanton will see what real brutality and darkness looks like.


Yes, after surviving a prolonged catalogue of abuse, Ritter has every intention of putting the past behind him; going somewhere quiet; settling down; kicking back and just taking life easy. A wise choice, seeing as he’s carrying an unholy array of physical and mental scars that would see a lesser man in an asylum.

Yet it seems fate can’t forgive the brutality of Ritter’s past. No sooner does he try to do the right thing, than it comes back to bite him in the posterior. How, exactly, I’ll leave to the flair and skill of Jeff Crawford’s storytelling, which portrays Ritter’s predicament with an aplomb that will keep you riveted from beginning to end.

(If you’ve followed Ritter’s journey from the beginning – as I have – you know exactly what he’s been through). You can empathize with his earnest desire to blend into the background and disappear. So much so, that when trouble rears its ugly head? Ah, you’ll appreciate his self control. For all his black heart, he really is a man of his word. He has a personal code that he will not waver from . . . even if it digs him a deep hole with a personal invitation to jump in.

And THAT is what this story is all about. Ritter’s determination to see things done, even when the whole world – or in this case, town – is against him. He suffers for his principles. Hugely, as you’ll see. But unbeknown to his abusers, the secrets of the past 5 years have prepared him for this moment. To survive. To keep focused. To wreak a terrible revenge that will never be forgotten.

I absolutely loved it, and can’t wait for the next installment of . . . The Gun Hand series.
Seriously, do yourselves a favor and saddle up. This is one series you don’t want to miss.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

 I Left Nothing Unturned in My Review of. . .

The Stone of the Under God

Jim Colton’s dreams of settling down are almost within his grasp. Now back in the Rockies – a place intimately familiar to him from when he was growing up – he’s keen to reacquaint himself with places that will help him do just that. Alas, it would seem there’s one last obstacle standing in his way.


Jim Colton has returned to the West. Seeking to connect with his roots, he endeavors to find his old family home in the mountains of northern Colorado. When a freak blizzard delays his travel, Colton is forced to take refuge with a strange group called the Order of Chthar. The Order is made up of the rich and influential, but they welcome Colton as a guest to wait out the storm.

The longer he stays at the castle, the stranger it gets. He is plagued by terrifying dreams that seem all too real, and then there's the matter of the sounds that only come at night.

Colton must solve the riddle of the castle or risk losing his sanity and maybe his life.



I DO like it when a blurb doesn’t give you any clues as to what’s coming. It makes discovering the plot for yourself all the more interesting. And interesting just doesn’t do justice to what happens to Jim Colton as he regains his bearings as a guest of the creepy cult that have secreted themselves away from the rest of society in their mountain stronghold.

Of course, you suspect from the outset that their intentions aren’t really benevolent; that their kindness and courtesy must serve an ulterior motive; that their earnest desire to see him well is nothing but a charade. Yet Jon Dobbin’s gradual peeling back of the ‘layers’ is a treat to behold, drawing you into his dilemma as much as it makes you impatient to see things rectified.

No spoilers! I never do that. But this is a polished ‘gem’ of a story with oh so many facets to it . . . And better still, not everyone gets to walk away unscathed.

Treat yourself, and dig a little deeper into the world of Jim Colton. You’ll be glad you did.