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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown - A New Graphic Novel

Giant monsters summon visions of larger than life battles, accompanied by unfathomable destruction, and an unlikely hero saving the day.  Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown gives us a glimpse of the chaos that is to come and does not disappoint!

The story begins with Kodoja, a genetically created bio-weapon, escaping from his hibernation chamber.  The creature weapon is programmed for a battle simulation, and he won't back down until the threat is gone.

The debut issue, of the five part series, introduces us to the humongous threat known as Kodoja and the destruction he intends to cause.  The city erupts in chaos as the powers that be struggle to figure out a way to stop the beast.

 "What happens when the ultimate weapon turns against us, and that weapon happens to be a 20 story tall kaiju monster?

The story centers on Kodoja, a kaiju-sized bio-weapon hibernated three years by a special division of the government (Special Weapons) for being too powerful.This morning, Kodoja was awakened from hibernation, cutting a swath of destruction in doing so – and now Special Weapons scrambles to stop the unstoppable weapon they helped create.

Two giant monsters are better than one! As the world scrambles to stop Kodoja, a second monster appears on the scene, tying in with some HP Lovecraft-style strangeness bubbling up around the world. Both monsters head to Terror Mountain, leading up to a massive monster vs monster battle - a fight among the skyscrapers that will *only* level the city... if we're lucky."
Although the first issue does not introduce us to Kodoja directly, the suspense as we await his next move is well worth the wait.  We see him in action, but we do not get to see his true emotion and personality that lives beneath the calculated rage.The characters, such as Major General Jennifer Cruz, are realistic and dynamic enough encourage you to take sides within the first few pages.

Keith Foster, the creator of the series, has brought new life to the giant monster genre and is sure to breath new life into Godzilla-esque genre, possibly providing readers with a version of the giant monster that towers above any of the newer movie incarnations of the most infamous of the humongous monsters- even the one from the newest movie.

Rory Smith's artwork is gritty, raw, and insanely beautiful in its composition.  It captures the chaos that is about to ensue on perfect detail and captures the movement of the action with precise fluidity.
If you are sick of the run of the mill gigantic monster vs Godzilla remakes and rehashes, check out Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown and fall in love with giant monsters all over again!

Visit Kodoja.com to check out all five issues and add them to your collection today! While there, check out the free Kodoja mix!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I'm Not Guilty: The Case of Ted Bundy (The Development of the Violent Mind Book 1), by Al Carlisle

I'm Not Guilty: The Case of Ted Bundy (The Development of the Violent Mind Book 1), by Al Carlisle is a raw look into the mind of Ted Bundy.  When I received the book, I expected it to be another story of Ted Bundy and the author's viewpoint of how the famed serial killer thinks.

I was wrong.

Instead, the reader is treated with actual conversations and interviews between Ted Bundy and Dr Al Carlisle Ph.D. The reader is taken on an emotional journey through Ted Bundy's life from his preteen years up until his time in prison.  At times, the reader begins to fees empathy with Bundy, but is quickly reminded of the sick and twisted nature of his mind.

Dr. Al Carlisle Ph.D. is not your normal author that writes about the mind of a serial killer.  Instead, he was fortunate to meet Ted Bundy face-to-face and get to know the man behind the murders.  His first hand account of Ted Bundy's revealed reasoning and feelings about the crime is honest and raw.

As an individual that is studying to become a psychologist, I took my time reading I'm Not Guilty and took many notes on the questions and interaction that Dr. Al Carlisle enacted.  I thought I would finish the book in a week, but here I am a couple of months later, and I am just now getting around to the review.

There is a lot of information to soak in, and the details can make the weak stomached individuals squirm, but the read is well worth it.

I recommend I'm Not Guilty: The Case of Ted Bundy (The Development of the Violent Mind Book 1) to anyone that real horror, psychological thrillers, or just an overall good read!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dale-A-Palooza: The End of an Era, a Final Goodbye

Normally I post book reviews on this blog, but I felt it fitting to post about Dale-A-Palooza here because it is the final chapter in a story that will never be recreated. 

Tonight, a celebration of life and a reunion of non -blood family took place in honor of Mr. Dale Hamel.  Dale was the kindest and most generous man that I have ever met.  He was a a giver of opportunity to those that otherwise might not have fit in.  He was a scholar in his own right, guiding others toward a path of success via the lessons he learned in life and from his own past failures.  He was a father figure to those that needed that support.  He was a friend to everyone, even those that didn't know they needed a friend.  Dale was all of these things and so much more.

Unfortunately, Dale-A-Palooza could not occur within the club that he built from nothing to the sanctuary that it had become before closing unexpectedly.  However, we were lucky enough to hold it at another location that bears the same name as the club.  The turn out and the mood was all but unknown before it began, but we knew that it would be a good time regardless. 

From the first notes that Rumble Strip played, a surreal feeling hovered over the event.  Somehow, the feeling that I was back in the club with all the regulars had returned.  The mood, the feel, the chatter, the faces, the everything was exactly like Club Landing used to be.  The feeling continued into Ultrafab's performance, then into Blammo's set, and finally int Sam Goodie's set. From beginning until the end, it was like the old days had never gone. 

Despite the familiarity, the welcoming of friends, and the heart pounding music, there was one piece missing from the complex puzzle.  Yet, in an eery way, you could tell that the piece was there, hiding in a corner, smiling from ear to ear. 

We may be closing the pages on the book of Club Landing, but honoring Dale with a night in his honor was the perfect way. 

Thank you to all that came out to experience the event.  Thank you to the Hamel's for orchestrating the event and allowing this to happen.  Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped along the way. Thank you to the bands and members of other bands that stepped in.

Most of all, thank you Dale.  You are missed, you are loved, and you are a part of everyone that attended and wanted to attend.  You touched so many people in so many ways. The era may have come to an end, but your impact is everlasting.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It Won't be much longer: Final Reverie - releasing soon!

It won't be long now until Final Reverie is released by J. Ellington Ashton Press. I cannot wait to share the adventures of Chij and Franklyn with all of you. Until then, here is a small excerpt:

“Can you imagine living your life in a box, staring at a box, and clicking little buttons that are shaped like boxes?” said Franklyn. “Not I,” said Chij. “Anyway, if all of the technology was still here I would not be having this conversation with you. I would probably be chained to a tree and drinking from a bowl.” “That is probably true, but that is how things were back then. Can you imagine the period between the demise of technology and the emergence of magic? I heard that a lot of people went crazy and few survived,” said Franklyn. They mused how the humans coped once the dust had settled, as the land renewed itself over the course of years, ushering forth a new age as the devolution caused by the now rotting machines was finally unhindered. How they managed to adjust as magic emerged too, and gained control of the land as the people readjusted their lifestyles, forcing them to rely less on their mechanical crutches. Most of all they wondered about the interaction between man and beast, as they became vocal and intellectual equals in the new world, and how they learned to rely on one another as something other than pet and master."

 This book has been in my head for quite some time.  I feared, at one point, that I would never finish it and the tale would be kept secret within my head until the end of my time.  However, I decided to see what would happen after the 2013 NaNoWriMo event.  Somehow I managed to finish the book in that time.  It was rough and missing quite a bit of detail, but the first draft was complete!  I went back through, from beginning to end, and added about 10,000 more words. I was completely ecstatic with my progress.  

As I said above, it won't be long now until Final Reverie makes its way into the hands of the fans.  I hope to start on the second book soon.  The working title is Salient Reverie and it will be be another labor of love.

Stay tuned for my toddler's book, which is being worked on now, "The ABC's of Zombie Friendship" which will also be released by JEA Press.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Final Reverie Cover Reveal!

As many know, I am currently working on my first novel, titled "Final Reverie".  I received the final cover artwork a couple of days ago and could not be more excited about the way it turned out! 

Before I get into the book itself, I need to give a huge thank you to artist David McGlumphy, he did an outstanding job.  His top notch communication and desire to gather my input was unsurpassed.  I didn't know what to expect, but he ensured I was informed throughout the process.  This cover will undoubtedly draw attention to the story within!

Final Reverie is the story of two adolescent boys, one human and one wolf.  Due to a reemergence of magic upon the world, the powers of good and evil were quickly thrown off balance.  An evil incarnate, Nafets, works on emerging form a subterranean prison while the boys, Chij and Franklyn, are tasked with the mission to destroy him. However, Atrin - a beast with a similar but more nefarious mission plans on stealing their thunder. 

Final Reverie is the first of three books, told in reverse order, in the Reverie series.  The second book is still in the works and will tell the story prior to Final Reverie, reintroducing us to characters from within. 

I want to give a thank you to everyone at J. Ellington Ashton Press for the kindness and support that they provided through this process.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but I never expected such a supportive family of writers and artists!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: Max Booth III's FISH: An Erotic Horror Short Story

From the moment I first loaded FISH into my Kindle app, something smelled funny.  Despite the aromatic warning, I couldn't resist continuing onward through the digital pages, ignoring my best judgment, and experiencing Max's fulfilling release of creative juices once finished. 

"When a boy, desperate for sex, finally finds a lover, he gives himself to her completely, body and soul. She will ensure that he does anything necessary to protect her, and their family..."

Honestly, I thought that this would be a mere lustful teenage love story riddled with a twist somewhere near the end.  I should have known better with an author like Mr. Booth III involved.  This is one of the most disgustingly beautiful short stories I have read in quite a while, and would recommend it to anyone with an extra 99 cents in their bank account.  Hell, charge your Kindle reader battery and shorten that electric or heat bill by a dollar.  This read is worth a month without unnecessary luxuries; the cavemen didn't need such extravagant wants, why do we?

In all seriousness, Max Booth III is a fantastic writer and well deserving of praise for his works; short and long.  His dedication to the craft of writing, and to his fans, is only equated by a select few.  Dare I say he is one of my literary heroes? (Or is that creepy and stalker-ish?)  Regardless, Max is quite talented and this short story samples his abundant talent within. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Deep Within, by Charles Day

Deep Within, by Bram Stoker nominated author Charles Day, is a a well written tale of psychological dimensions.  I expected nothing but greatness based on what I read in The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief and The Adventures of Kyle McGerrt :  Hunt for the Ghoulish Bartender.  I was not disappointed in the least as Charles Day pulled out another instant classic.

Before I continue, I will apologize for taking so long to publish the review.  Prior to reading Deep Within I read another book that took place in a similar setting.  It was still quite fresh in my mind and I wanted to give some space in between to ensure one did not influence the other.  I am glad I did.

Although I have never met Charles Day, I have interacted with him on Social Media.  He has become somewhat of a literary hero of mine and he continues to impress me with his sincere demeanor and stand up values. I can see a lot of his personality within his writing, which brings a beautiful level of depth to his works. He puts everything he has into his work and it shows.

"When a mad psychologist decides to tap into the human mind, what he creates may be darker than anyone may ever know. As the creature begins to take physical form in our world, a group of childhood misfits set out to stop the bloodshed before all hell breaks loose."

Deep Within takes us  on a journey into the inner walls of a psyche ward.  In many books of similar themes we see the darker side of the institution.  However, Charles provides us with a delicate balance between our perception of such institutions and reality; providing us with the horrific in between.  The characters within feel real and dynamic and the situations and environment are well crafted. 

Each chapter is rather short, allowing even the busiest reader the opportunity to experience the tale in small portions and pick it up again when time allows.  I urge anyone with a love for psychological horror, emotional fear, and surprises around every corner to pick up their copy today!  Of course, after you read it, please leave a review and tell the world what you loved about Deep Within!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review Once Upon a Grave by William Bove

Once Upon a Grave by William Bove is a personal glimpse into the the life of a Vampiress as she discovers herself.  Caught in a situation in which she is forced to leave her group, Nicole adjusts to traveling on her own without the support she has grown to know.  On her travels, she meets another vampire that allows her to discover her lineage and take control of her future.

I was quite surprised with the depth of story that was presented in the book.  I expected to see a short glimpse into a brief event of the vampire life.  However, I was rewarded with a fantastic tale of self-discovery and growth. The only complaint I have is that I want more of the story (Hint Hint).

William Bove is an amazing writer and will definitely be someone I follow.  Keep an eye out for him and his future releases, you will not be disappointed!

"Against the backdrop of the Great Depression , a group of young vampires move through the nights. Barns and shacks decorated in corpses are the only landmarks to their presence. Within the group a quiet rebellion grows and with it the means to tear them apart. Blood and death always carry with it a truth."

  • Print Length: 36 pages
  • Publisher: J Ellington Ashton Press (September 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F2C6WB2

Friday, May 16, 2014

The things we find on software disks

I was installing a program on my PC and decided to review the files on the disk.  I wasn't expecting to find the text that I have pasted below.  Feel free to read through it and discuss in the comments below:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: Outlaw Circus by Alex S. Johnson

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to read when I started reading OUTLAW CIRCUS.  I figured that there would be clowns, bearded ladies, and elephants galore. Boy was I wrong!  Instead I was welcomed by a eclectic grouping of stories ranging from the Bizarre to the surreal. 

The crowning jewel of the book is the final piece, aptly titled Outlaw Circus and co-written by Charie D. La Marr, which takes us on a whimsical ride into controlled insanity.  I absolutely loved it.  The following line from the book will give you an idea of what I mean:

"They rode for hours, the twins on their tied-together horses and the clown and the
wolf boy in a serape and a Mexican sombrero, sharing a donkey" (Outlaw Circus, 2014, p. 84)

Of all the stories in the collection "Mourning Becomes Bizarro" is probably my favorite. What we begin to believe is a somber story about the mourning of a dear friend, quickly takes a bizarre turn (as the title suggests) and blows your mind, thinking "what the hell did I just read?", but in a guilty and satisfying way.

As with any book that is published by JWK Fiction, this was a no brainer to read.  His eye for talent is unsurpassed. If you have read the book, or will be in the near future, I would love to hear about your favorite tale within!

Submission Call: MISUNDERSTOOD: An Anthology for those Hiding Behind a Mask of Hope

Submission Guidelines for MISUNDERSTOOD: An Anthology for those Hiding Behind a Mask of Hope

Immortal Gaze Press is proud to announce its inaugural CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS.

We invite you to submit a story for consideration! Original stories only please. NO reprints, duplicate or simultaneous submissions. We also welcome artwork for this anthology. ALL ARTWORK MUST BE YOUR OWN, AND CANNOT BREAK COPYRIGHT RULES.

Publication Date: TBD

Open Period for Submissions: March 29, 2014 - May 31, 2014. Any submissions emailed before or after set call dates will not be considered.

Project Title: MISUNDERSTOOD: An Anthology for those Hiding Behind a Mask of Hope

Subject/Theme: Open concept revolving around the struggles that pre-teens through young adults experience. This can include peer-pressure, self-harm, addictions, self-doubt, low self-esteem, inflictions of sadness and pain, and any other stigma that might set us apart from what we know perceive as the norm.
Manuscript Format: 12 pt Times New Roman; double-spaced; formatted tabs with 0.3 auto indent; extra line between paragraphs; pages numbered; your name/contact information/story title in header of every page.

-Flash fiction should be between 500 and 1,000 words, formatted as described above.
-Short stories should be between 1,001 and 5,000 words and formatted as described above.
-Essays will also be accepted. We would prefer they are a minimum of 750 words. Please ensure that all necessary citations are included to avoid accidental plagiarism.
-Poetry will be accepted at any length.
-If you have an original song that you would like to submit, there will be limited space for such pieces. Feel free to include original sheet music as well.
-Art must be a minimum of 300dpi and should be submitted in a standard format. If the artwork is submitted in color, please be sure it will translate to black and white for the print version of the book.

Submissions must be sent directly to Immortal Gaze Press as an email attachment. Any questions or concerns should also be directed to Immortal Gaze Press by emailing them directly to:

In your email please include your full name, title of the work you're submitting, and the final word count of your manuscript. Please use the following format for the subject Line:
MISUNDERSTOOD/Your Name/Title of Work/Type (Ex:Poetry/art/Etc)

It is expected that submissions will be fully edited and proofread prior to being sent in for consideration. ALL submissions that are accepted for publication in MISUNDERSTOOD: An Anthology for those Hiding Behind a Mask of Hope, will be subject to minor editorial corrections.

If your story is selected for publication, a contract will be provided authorizing Immortal Gaze Press to publish your submission within the anthology. The submitter will retain all rights to their works. This is a “For the Love of” project, meant for exposure only. We are currently looking into the possibility of donating proceeds to a charity, and will keep authors informed as we proceed.

Upon acceptance of your story, a brief biography will be requested, to be included at the end of the anthology. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of your publications or weblinks, just a short bio to let readers know about the contributors.

PLEASE NOTE: ANY submissions or inquiries sent anywhere other than to the email address provided above will be deleted.
Immortal Gaze Press would like to thank you for your interest, and wish each of you luck in completing your submissions.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Cherub, by David C. Hayes

I became a fan of David C. Hayes when he and Mark Scioneaux teamed up on Cannibal Fat Camp.  When I saw that he was releasing a new solo book, I jumped at the opportunity to give it a read.  What I found was that his masterpiece, CHERUB, far exceeded my expectations.

From what I saw on the cover, I expected to read about a large, baby-like maniac, that murdered his victims with his bare hands.  I was definitely intrigued.  Upon reading the prologue, I was sure that I guessed correctly.  However, David's writing style drew me in, so I continued. 

As I read further into the first chapter, I was disgusted by the beast that was presented to me within the pages.  I knew that he would be the worst of the worst, with no morals, no feelings, and no clue as to the pain he would wreak upon the world.  Then I found out that I was wrong.  I found out that the "beast" that I wanted to hate so much was really one of the most loveable characters that I have ever read about.  Sure, he does some bad things in the book, but they aren't quite his fault.  Although Cherub is essentially the bad guy in portions of the book, I look at him more as the protagonist in the end. 

I won't give away the plot, nor any secrets within.  However, at the end the unexpected happened.  Maybe I was overly tired. Maybe my wife was chopping onions in the next room.  Whatever it was, I found that tears collected in my eyes, and a single refugee escaped down my cheek, splashing down upon the screen of my Moto Xoom.  As the last word was absorbed into my eye, I uttered two words under my breath. 

"Dammit, Hayes"

If you are a fan of the somewhat bizarre, the unexpected, and don't mind a few feels as you read, I overwhelmingly suggest CHERUB, by David C. Hayes.

"David C. Hayes is back with Cherub. If you are familiar with his previous work, you know what you're in for. If not, then get ready for a ride through the absolute worst in human nature. Hayes has the unique ability to convey the most sickening acts in a way that will have you laughing between retches. Once the book closes, you'll need to shower and after that you'll wonder what it says about you that Hayes managed to touch so deep and dark. You will be affected." - Kevin Moyers at CinemaHeadCheese.com He wasn't like the other boys. Too rough. Even on the day he came out of Momma's belly. When Momma died, though, they sent him away to a terrible place. A doctor place... but the people there didn't act like doctors. They called him Cherub and they made him do awful things. Wet things. Hurty things. Until he met his angel, that is. She made it better and the pain went away. For awhile. Nothing lasts forever except a mother's love."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, by Alfred R. Taylor

Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, by Alfred R. Taylor is a futuristic love story disguised as crime and mystery novel.  The twists and turns that guide you through the pages keep you on the edge of you seat, anticipating the turn of the page, and yearning for what comes next.

The characters within may be Androids, as well as some humans, but their personalities and characteristics ensure their likeability.  You really start to root for them, and sympathize as you learn more about their past.  Not since C-3PO and R2-D2 have I been so intrigued with an android character.

Don't get me wrong, although this is a love story at heart, the crime aspect has a noir-ish hint to it, reminiscent of a classic black and white film that has found its home within a future dystopian society.  The writing reflects the environment, and the world through the view of an Android, mostly John-27's.  There are some "geeky" elements within the book that might go over the head of some.  However, they are usually setting the stage for a later scene within the book, or described within the context of the current scene.

"Chaos Reigns on Amalthea. The Omega Class android is humanity's ultimate servant. These machines have the bodies of super models, and thanks to Romanji Corporation’s total synaptic transfer process, the minds of human geniuses, and they are eager to satisfy every human desire. Until Marshal John-27, an Omega Class android, leaves on a routine patrol of the Amalthea Sector. His discovery of a derelict spacecraft opens an investigation that exposes corruption within the government of Amalthea, ignites an android rebellion, and ultimately a struggle to retain the newly won freedom."

I strongly recommend Full Circle: Freedom's Firewall, as well as Alfred R. Taylor's other books.  You can find them on Amazon by clicking here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: Anything Is Possible, by Thomas Bähler

"Anything Is Possible", by Thomas Bähler, provides the reader with a glimpse into the life of a historical figure that we seldom think about unless we are telling bedtime stories to our children.  Æsop's tales have intrigued children across the world for many centuries, and teach us life lessons that we can carry with is through the journey to adulthood.  However, Æsop was not always the Philosopher that we all believe him to be.  In fact, his past was filled with much pain and turmoil, no doubt contributing to his fantastic tales.

In the book "Anything is Possible", Thomas Bähler provides us with a captivating view into the life of Æsop, beginning with his life of slavery, and carrying him forward.  Details of his life are presented to us in exquisite detail as some of his fables are presented to us through his eyes, from inception to presentation, such as "The Fox and the Grapes" is told in chapter 3.

As a writer myself, Æsop's tales are among my many inspirations from my childhood.  The tale of Æsop that Thomas Bähler has provided us gives those stories more meaning, and allows a foundation upon which to look deeper into the tales, and see how the meanings could be so much more than talking animals and children's tales.

Within the pages, we are also presented with an amazing array of artworks that were illustrated by Yulee Kim. Although minimalistic in form, the line art is fantastically integrated within the pages to present us with an imaginative view of the characters within the pages.  I must say that the illustration of Danae on page 18 is my favorite, but I might be partial since my youngest daughter's middle name is Danae. 

I recommend reading "Anything is Possible" to anyone that loves a good tale of the evolution of the little guy into something much more, or a history buff that would love to find out more about a figure that has little written about him - other than his own fables, or anyone that enjoys a good read with an intriguing lead character.

"A thought-provoking modern treasure, the life of the great philosopher and teacher Æsop is explored for the first time ever in a brilliantly crafted historical fiction.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: Dead Cold, by Ed Gorman

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494894726?tag=httpesselprbl-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=1494894726&adid=1E216P7ZP1WPHVD3Z77JWhere do I start with Ed Gorman's "Dead Cold: Book One in the Robert Payne Mystery Series?  Well, for starters, I can start by asking why you haven't read it yet.  If you have, why haven't you shared it with everyone you know?  Better yet, I can ask you if you are as excited as I am that this is a mystery series and not just one book?

"FBI Criminal Profiler Robert Payne just wants to find a quiet town to retire in, and New Hope, Iowa fits the bill. But when a mysterious, seductive woman offers him $25,000 to find the psychopath who brutally murdered her young daughter, he uncovers secrets the small, close-knit community has tried so desperately to keep hidden. But when his client is found on an abandoned farm with her throat cut, Payne realizes that he is facing an evil criminal mastermind who is determined to keep Payne and New Hope's beautiful police chief, Jane Avery, from standing in the way of his murderous plans."

I cannot say when I last read a book that was a part of a series, let alone the first in the series, that made me want to read more within the series.  Sure, there are those that I have enjoyed, but not enough to continue past the book that I just read.  "Dead Cold" is one of those rare books that has me wanting to tune in for more.  It is sort of like that television series that we anticipate each and every week.

From the moment we first meet Robert Payne, we are hooked on his character.  He seems to be an enigma of sorts, yet is still an everyday guy that is easy to like and root for.  He has much depth, that I hope we can explore as the series unfolds before us.

Not only do I recommend "Dead Cold" as a fantastic read, but it is also a very easy read.  I just so happened to read it during a time that I was overwhelmingly busy, but the short chapters (some as short as one page) make it the perfect "on the go" book.  Don't let the 64 chapters scare you aware, you will be disappointed in yourself for passing it by!

As the bars say, don't forget to tip your waitress, do the same for your authors by leaving them a review!  Visit the Goodreads and Amazon to purchase your copy, or leave a review today!