Belle Vue by C.S. Alleyne


Belle Vue

By: C.S. Alleyne
Genres: Gothic Horror, Horror
Pages: 350
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Published on: August 25, 2020
Belle Vue by C.S. Alleyne

Jealousy, betrayal, murder and a hunger for vengeance that spans the centuries...
History student Alex Palmer is thrilled when his girlfriend, Claire Ryan, buys an apartment in Belle Vue Manor, formerly a Victorian lunatic asylum.But as Alex begins to discover the dark truth about the asylum’s past, he, Claire, and their friend Marianne find themselves on a nightmarish journey. Each will face the deadly consequences of the evil that began with the construction of the first Belle Vue Manor by an aristocratic French émigré in 1789, as well as the cruelty and satanic practices that continued when it became an asylum for the insane. As the two strands—past and present—unfold, Alex uncovers a supernatural mystery where revenge is paramount and innocence irrelevant—without being aware of the price he, and those around him, will pay.

 

Mental asylums were very popular in England and the United States of America in the 1800s and early 19o0s.  I live in Oregon which has the Fairview Training Center that has a really dark past. In 2000, those in charge of Fairview made a decision to close down. Since then part of the property is now a sustainable housing development. Demolition of the remaining cottages took place in 2016. They have put up fencing to keep people from walking in and taking pictures. What is interesting is that after closing Fairview in 2000, another asylum continued to operate. Pendleton Oregon’s “Eastern Oregon Training Center” would continue until 2009.

 

 

There are many movies and TV shows that speak to what happened in asylums. Most speak to what the patients experience, but some look at the workers as well. This book takes it a bit further.  The book starts with a flashback. An orderly at the asylum takes a young woman who is ill from her room. It set the book up really well in the sense that you understand it is going to be dark. I was not completely ready for the level of depravity this book has. It wasn’t to the point of making me ill or anything. It was just initially surprising.

 

 

So after the initial flash back the book is really two stories. One spotlighting the past focusing on a woman and her half sister. There are other characters that come in and out. The bulk of the plot however is on those two. The other half of the book is based in the present. A woman, her best friend, and her boyfriend are the main characters for this half. Like with the past other characters come in and out, but they are the main focus.

 

 

The past deals with the asylum while it was running, and actually even before it was an asylum. The small comments and hints of what happens in the asylum show that the author spent time researching. Specifically what exactly happens at English asylums during this time. Yes, watching movies and such will give you a good idea about what happens. Doing research into it will provide that edge that I feel this book has.

 

 

The present deals with after the asylum has been empty for years. A developer has bought the property and decides to create apartments. All she wants is a new start after her parent’s death. Graduate school is hard; between the classes, proving your thesis, and the research. These are stressors that can be a hindrance to a social life. Her best friend hates the asylum but is supporting her the only way she knows how. Initially, her boyfriend had plans to work on another project. After seeing the asylum, however, he decides that the asylum is perfect for his thesis.  That is when all the things go wrong, or at least start to go wrong.

 

 

As the stories unfold, the reader can see how they intertwine. However, even someone who reads a lot of books similar to this will not be ready for how they intertwine. As I think this is the most surprising part of the story. I feel it will also be a spoiler if I give it away. I can tell you that this dives into more than what happens at an asylum. It also looks at the darker side of secret organizations.  That is one of my favorite parts of the story actually. Not because of what transpires there, but the fact that it is interwoven into the basic fabric of the story. Without the outlying parts, the entire story would actually fall apart in my opinion.

 

 

Mental health in the United States is often overlooked or stigmatized to the point where people don’t seek out the assistance they need. We have a much better understanding of how the brain works than doctors in the 1800s. However, that hasn’t stopped people from thinking those with mental or emotional health issues shouldn’t be locked away. One of the reasons why the Eastern Oregon Training center was still open in 2009 was a product of this. Yes, there is a need for a facility that can help those who have such severe mental health needs that medication alone can not cure them. But those patients deserve the same level of respect that all people do.

 

 

Reading about what happened in an aslyum in the 1800s in England shows how far we have come. It also shows how far we still need to go. While we do not send people who have seizures to mental hospitals anymore, do we send people who we don’t know what is wrong with them? “Oh they have something wrong, let’s just institutionalize them.” Then you have the people who think that those who are mentally insane for purposes of criminal activities are ‘just faking it’, it makes it very difficult to really seek the help one needs.

 

 

Overall this is a very good story, albeit dark look at what happens when those in power look the other way. Or are looking the right way for the wrong reasons.

 

 

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AMAZON

About C.S. Alleyne

C S Alleyne grew up in Australia and originally trained as a hotel manager in the UK. After several postings in the Caribbean she changed tack and completed her MBA followed several years later by a PhD in Information Systems. She is a management consultant and also lectures in several universities.

With a lifelong love of reading, anything historical and a fascination with the supernatural and death, her vacations usually include visits to such places as the Pere La Chaise cemetery and the catacombs in Paris, the tombs in Egypt, the Popes’ crypts in the Vatican and any church yard with gravestones – you get the picture…

Cheryl was inspired to write Belle Vue by her daily journey past a block of luxury apartments that had been converted from an old asylum. Like her protagonist, Alex Palmer, she started to investigate its past and learnt that one of the inmates was murdered there in the late 19th century. The victim’s sister was hung for the crime. Cheryl was also thrilled to discover the asylum’s overgrown cemetery in her explorations of the area!

Belle Vue is her first, full length novel. Jonathan Myerson (Oscar nominated, Bafta and 4 Time Emmy winner) says he is ‘blown away’ by Belle Vue – ‘I am hugely impressed by this novel – it’s ambitious and daring and amazingly imaginative’.

Cheryl has a daughter and son-in-law who live nearby and a partner who, since reading Belle Vue, says he now sleeps with one eye open.

She is represented by Gandolfo Helin and Fountain Literary and Dramatic Rights Management.

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Odd Tales and other Stories by L.E. Perez


Odd Tales and Other Stories

By: L.E. Perez
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories
Pages: 25
Publisher: Palmas Publishing
Published on: October 29, 2019
Odd Tales and other Stories by L.E. Perez

A weird, odd, creepy story is good any time of the year, not just Halloween. In this series of shorts, shiver when you see what happens against a Phantom Ferries Wheel. Discover true fear when you realize the legend of the Chupacabra is not a legend after all. A lawn mower with a life of its own and a squirrel with intentions not of this world.

Have a read and enjoy the journey.

Also by this author: The Devil's Cut, When They Call, Lily's Grace

 

Again author L.E. Perez knocks it out of the park with this collection of short stories.

 

Each story is different, but they all play on different emotions.

 

This collection of stories has four stories, and since there are only four I am going to talk about each one for a bit.

 

Phantom Ferris Wheel – Sometimes you just side eye something. You don’t know why, but you have that feeling of dread when you are around it. This could be a house, a car, a person, a river, or really whatever. Everyone has that instinct that tells them something is bad. In this story that instinct is much closer to reality than the main character wishes for it to be.

 

Mow the Lawn – This is another story that has instinct built in. Only this time instead of a ferris wheel, it is a lawn mower. The story behind the lawn mower is sad, but I was not expecting the end. I mean I guess knowing the author, I should have expected it, but I wasn’t ready.

 

Ser Quirrel – I actually read this story twice. It questions what mortality looks like. It also makes you look at what steps that one may make to gain immortality. Even if immortality comes with a price, are you willing to pay it?

 

La Leyenda de la Chupacabra – I will preface this upfront, this story is heartwrenching. It is also probably a lot closer to reality than the others. Not the Chupacabra, although I will be the first to admit that they may be chilling out in the woods somewhere. Not up where I live, we have Bigfoot and he pretty much rules the roost. I mean they have a refuge for him near the town I live in. Anyways, the story of the girl is probably pretty historical. Sadly it is probably still happening in many parts of the world.

 

Of all the stories, Chupacabra hit me the hardest, maybe it is because I think that we all have a little mystery and ancient in us. I also think that it is partially because I have a daughter who is around the same age as the girl in the story.

 

Overall this collection is a good, a quick read. Although I expect great stories from L.E. Perez because the emotion, the passion, the reality they are able to infuse into the story makes it much more than a story.

 

 

Buy Now

AMAZON

 

About L.E. Perez

L.E. Perez is a lover of all genres; Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Steampunk; and loves stories with amazing fight scenes that make you cheer, scream and cry before they lift you up and dust you off.
Her mantra: STRONG WOMEN, STRONG STORIES.

Sign up for L.E.'s New Release email list and get notified about new releases before anyone else.
http://eepurl.com/cCDQqn

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Thrill of the Hunt: Buried Alive by LE Perez and others


Thrill of the Hunt: Buried Alive

By: L.E. Perez
Genres: Horror
Thrill of the Hunt: Buried Alive by LE Perez and others

Thrill of the Hunt: A Collection of Suspenseful Tales Book 5
~What happens when you find yourself "BURIED ALIVE"? Sometimes it's more dangerous to fear yourself than the Reaper.
This collection of stories challenges you to understand the fear of being Buried Alive, whether physically or metaphorically.

Also by this author: The Devil's Cut, When They Call, Lily's Grace

 

 

 

This is the 5th book in the Thrill of the Hunt anthologies and each one gets better and better. A great place to find up and coming authors with amazing storytelling skills, this series has something for everyone. Each book has its own theme, from Urban legends and now Buried Alive.

 

The fear of being buried alive is a very real thing for many people. I don’t think anyone would be too keen on the idea to start with, and this book brings that fear to life in a variety of ways. I love an anthology where every single story is a great read. It doesn’t happen often, but this series has consistently delivered on that front.

 

I can’t say I had a favorite story because they really were all good. They all had their own twists and turns that I could appreciate. I think the two stories I loved the most were Trapped by Celeste Kuri and Buried by J. Nichole Parkins. I’ve read stories by both of them in the past and, once again, they didn’t disappoint.

 

If you’re looking for a book with a variety of stories to creep you out, look no further. The Thrill of the Hunt anthology is worth reading.

Purchase Links

Amazon

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