Hunting Ground: And Other Stories by Will Svensen


Hunting Ground: And Other Stories (Gondolend Book 1)

By: Will Svensen
Genres: dystopian
Pages: 186
Series: Gondolend #1
Publisher: Tyrant King Productions
Published on: May 8, 2015
Hunting Ground: And Other Stories by Will Svensen

Welcome to Gondolend, a fantastic world where man and dinosaur coexist. Written using the most up to date paleontology available, Gondolend features some of the most scientifically accurate dinosaurs in modern fiction. In this collection of stories and vignettes you will meet explorers, hunters, rangers, princesses, nomads, and simple herders, spanning a period of time from over a thousand years ago to the present day. In Hunting Ground, the sun-baked Samara grassland is in danger of becoming an abattoir as two mysterious predators unknown to science appear to wreak havoc among the local fauna, and a reckless amateur zoologist must race to document the animals before they're brought down by vengeful locals or a big-game hunter looking for some excitement. Then, in Long Summer Night, two rangers in a remote wildlife preserve at the edge of the known world find themselves caught out in a blizzard during the sunless polar winter, and must brave the elements and predators driven to desperation by hunger on a long and dangerous trek to safety. These and other stories await you, in this dinosaur-packed Gondolend anthology!

I received this book for free from Author Gifted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Andi's Review

 

This book is short stories, then a full-length story, and then more short stories.  With a disjointed flow, the book was difficult to read.  I originally thought it would be all short stories.  Although it had that serious issue, the overall a good story.  Anyways to the story itself.  This story is set in a world that dinosaurs not only live, but they are zoo attractions and even pets.

 

A possibly new dinosaur is on the loose, and everyone wants a piece of the pie.  A novice searcher stumbles onto evidence that not only does the dino exist, but it may be something never seen before.   Joining the search may result in her death or likely being a dino’s dinner.  She is not the only one, especially after this new dino starts noming on livestock.  The story is actually pretty sad if you look at it from the dinos perspective.  Well, I guess from her’s as well since she is not the most graceful of people.
The majority of this story is carried out well, however, the small stories are not.  Following the main story, there are short stories.  The initial story preceding the main story is a good introduction.  The short stories really do not fit, and feel like the author was trying to hit a set word goal.  All of the shorts directly relating to the main story would have made this book much better.   The book is complete following the main story, in my opinion.  Obviously being the first in the series, the shorts may have importance.

 

4 fangs

 

 

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I Kill Monsters by Dennis Liggio


I Kill Monsters (Nowak Brothers #1)

By: Dennis Liggio
Genres: Action & Adventure, Paranormal, Paranormal Thriller, Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies
Pages: 298
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published on: February 3rd 2015
I Kill Monsters by Dennis Liggio

Mikkel and Szandor kill monsters. They're not government funded, they're not from a time-honored lineage of hunters, nor are they rich kids with lots of toys. They're two twenty-something brothers from the poor side of town who have taken it on themselves to rid the streets and underground of creatures who would prey on the innocent. Donning gas masks and using makeshift weaponry, they delve into the labyrinthine sewer system of New Avalon to grapple with snarling zombies, flesh-eating ghouls, insectoid hive creatures, and more. It's a dirty job and it rarely pays, but someone has to do it.
Hired by a woman from the rich side of town who believes she's being stalked by monsters, the two brothers think they've finally gotten an easy job that will pay well. But as they follow the clues, things are not adding up. Kidnappings, jackbooted commandos, and mysterious emails are just the beginning. Soon they find themselves involved in something bigger than monsters. It's anybody's guess whether they'll come through it alive, much less get paid.
I Kill Monsters is an exciting punk rock urban fantasy for those who enjoy their protagonists with a mouth on them and a weapon in their hands.

I received this book for free from Author Gifted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Andi's Review

 

I was doing so well and then life came up and bitch slapped me.  With what is going on in my personal life, it is fitting this book came up for review. It is about family love, and the tie that binds brothers and I think that some families may lose this in the day to day grind of life.

 

I Kill Monsters is the story of two brothers trying to scratch a living in the poorest section of New Avalon.  The Nowak brothers are two very young adults who find themselves hunting and killing monsters.  Do they do it for glory?  Not really.  Do they do it for the girls?  Maybe a little.  Do they do it because they feel they have to after what happened to their mother?  Yes.  Mikkel and Szandor  are in their twenties, they have crappy jobs, and they kill monsters.  Or at least they try to without injury.  OH, and they will do it pro bono if you need help in the community they are from.  Yeah, it sucks because that means they are using tools and supplies without getting money for them, but they believe helping those who helped them is more important in the long run.

 

When hired by a woman who does not live on their side of the tracks, in fact, lives in the very wealthy section of town, they think they hit a gold mine, but oh how looks are deceiving.  What started as a simple “make sure she doesn’t get killed and eaten” has turned into a fight for their life.  Life is hard enough when there isn’t enough money to go around, but when  you start having zombies breaking down the door of your shitty apartment it becomes almost impossible.  When their hand is forced by a shadow government agency, the brothers must pick a side.  They hope they pick the right one.

 

I Kill Monsters is not just a story about two brothers who kill monsters.  This is a story about socio-economic differences.  It is about how the poorest may be the richest in many ways.  The story is how the rich will take advantage of the poor if able.  Not just about financial wealth, but of love, of family, and of a community.  I think this book touches on many aspects that people don’t want to look at.  The dirty side of invention and of exploration. Not to discount the overall nastiness of greed and power.  With all of that in one book, it is worth reading.  I personally think that it is worth reading twice, because you miss so much the first time.

 

So take a chance and get this book.  It will be worth it, and maybe give you nightmares.

 

4 fangs

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About Dennis Liggio

Dennis Liggio is the author of eleven books, including the Damned Lies series, The Lost and the Damned, the novella Cthulhu, Private Investigator, and I Kill Monsters. He is a veteran of the game industry, enjoys long walks on the beach while thumbing through tomes of unspeakable evil, and rumor has it that if you say his name three times in front of a mirror at midnight he will appear and give you Hostess Fruit Pies. He writes primarily in the genres of geeky absurdist humor, horror, and urban fantasy. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two furry monsters.

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New Orlean’s Hustle by P.J. Nevada


New Orleans Hustle

By: P.J. Nevada
Genres: Erotica, M/M Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Torquere
Published on: September 7th 2016
New Orlean’s Hustle by P.J. Nevada

Tristan Beaumont, owner of Voodoo Dolls, a gay bar in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, is successful enough, keeping busy operating his popular club. Along with the help of his bar manager, Nolan Geoffrey, and a black male escort named Antoine LaChance, who spends some of his time at the bar, all struggled to find love and survive the rigors of life from day to day.Trying to balance his love life with the issues of a running a popular bar, Tristan faces the local police, specifically Officer William Durant. Tristan and Billy Joe have kept their distance since their shared days in high school back home. Tristan's hectic and steamy life seems to be out of control, especially after receiving some dire warnings from a long-time acquaintance, the old voodoo queen Miss Magnolia, who foretells of great trouble and danger heading Tristan’s way.Tristan is suspicious of these voodoo warnings, but what little voodoo influence comes his way should not be trifled with, especially after a young, drug-cursed man named Gabriel is dragged into his bar by Antoine, who just found the lad beaten up on the streets outside Voodoo Dolls.Can Tristan find the tranquility in his life he so desperately seeks? Will he survive the emotional roller coaster presented to him by Antoine, Nolan and even Billy Joe? More importantly, will Miss Magnolia’s unseen influence become a blessing or a curse in this explicit language romantic tale? Previously published independently by P.J. Nevada.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I received this book for free from Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Andi's Review

 

Yes, yesterday I reviewed a paranormal romance, and today I am reviewing a paranormal m/m romance with an erotic twist.  As you can plainly see, I will read just about anything, and of course if I like it, and sometimes even if I don’t, I will review it.

 

This book was originally self-published and was just recently taken on by Torquere Press.  If you haven’t been over to their site, you need to NOW.  They also have a sub-press, Prizm that has everything, and a lot of books about teens going through self-identification and acceptance.  Truly a great company.  Oh and I know the owners and they are sweethearts who love Halloween as much as I do.  It really is a win win win for me.

 

So Tristan is the owner of Voodoo Dolls, a gay bar on Bourbon street in New Orleans.  With him is Nolan, his bartender and good friend, and Antoine, a local male escort.  Oh and you can’t forget Miss Magnolia, even though she is not a large part of the book, her southern “charm” had me liking her from the beginning.  Tristan is trying to find love, but not at the detriment of his business, and so when you work every minute of every day, you don’t have a lot of time for a social life.  When his bar is vandalized, Billy Joe is the police officer to take the statements, oh and arrest Tristan, but only to make sure that he didn’t start the fight.  Oh did I mention that Billy Joe and Tristan went to high school together, and Billy Joe doesn’t really spend time in the gay scene.  With a hustle and some voodoo help, Tristan may just find what he is looking for, in a place that no one is expecting.

 

This story is set in New Orlean’s and while I have never been there, the description of the bar and the few locations mentioned, makes me feel like I am walking beside Tristan and Nolan.  The personality of Miss Magnolia is strong and you will either love her or hate her, especially with her half truths and stories for Tristan to figure out on his own.

 

This book has some graphic sexual situations between male couples.  If that bothers you, or you do not want to read graphic sexual encounters, please do not get this book.  I would hate for a possible dislike of that to color the overall story line, which is good.

 

Oh yeah I forgot, this book doesn’t come out to September 7, 2016.  Remember how I said before the owners were cool :).

 

4 fangs

 

 

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The Vampire’s Valentine Surprise by Kristen Painter


The Vampire's Valentine Surprise: A Nocturne Falls short

By: Kristen Painter
Genres: Humorous Paranormal Romance, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 44
Series: Nocturne Falls #5.5
Publisher: Bayou Moon Press LLC
Published on: February 8, 2016
The Vampire’s Valentine Surprise by Kristen Painter

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.
The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.
Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.
When Delaney Ellingham enters the Nocturne Falls Valentine’s Day Bake-Off, she has no idea that an old rival will create such havoc. Her husband, Hugh, and her friends all come to her aid, but even they can’t guess the surprise that lays in store…

Also by this author: Dead Man's Hand, Queen of Hearts, House of the Rising Sun

Andi's Review

 

So I may have a bit of a problem, I love the world of Nocturne Falls so much that when my husband gave me a Amazon gift card I bought not only the 5th book but all of the shorts, which this “Vampire’s Valentine Surprise” is one of. So if you haven’t read the Nocturne stories, I would suggest checking out Delaney’s origin story that I and Melanie did a review on; The Vampire’s Fake Fiancee.

 

So Delaney entered herself in a Valentine’s Day Bake-off, yes the owner of the wildly popular bakery feels that she needs this to validate herself as a baker.  Drive and all of that.  Well down the street from here there is another bakery type place, one that Delaney hasn’t ran out of business, but the owner does not like her.  Well to make matter’s worse someone or something is sabotaging Delaney’s work station, even while she is trying to help her rival’s daughter be successful.   When it becomes obviously that something is really wrong with Delaney she has no choice but to call in her husband, founder of the community, Hugh Ellingham, even if it may cost her the competition.   When she is examined by a doctor however, they realize that there is a lot more going on then originally thought.

 

So obviously I like the series, since I have bought/read/reviewed all of the full length novels and now I am moving on to the short stories.  I think that a couple of reasons why I like it is that it is your normal every day town, that loves Halloween so much that everything they do is Halloween based.  If I could live in that town, I would.   But it isn’t that they love Halloween as much as they love themselves, and they want their paranormal citizens to feel comfortable in their own skin.

 

At the base level, Nocturne Falls is about living your life the way you were meant to, fangs and all.  Also it is about being true to ones self and I think that is a great element of these stories that resonate with so many people.  It is hard to be your self, everyone wants you to wear a different mask; job, family, significant other, etc.  Add on to that being paranormal, and I can not even begin to imagine how hard it is for these people if Nocturne Falls didn’t exist. Being from a small town and not being “small town” was hard.  My parents were educated thinkers that pushed me to go outside of what the town could make me and seek more, seek to travel, seek to learn, seek to live essentially.  I did it, heck, I am still doing that when funds and family allow.  I think that is why I am so enthralled by these books, they speak to me on some base level.

 

The only thing that I didn’t like was the cover.  Delaney looks like the perfect little Vampire, but her husband Hugh?  I do not picture him looking like that.  I see him having more charisma then the man on the cover.  But that is just me, and I am sure that he is walking around in the author’s head just like on the cover.

 

4.5 stars

 

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About Kristen Painter

When the characters in Kristen Painter’s head started to take over, she decided to put them on paper and share them with the world. She writes paranormal romance and the gothic fantasy vampire series, House of Comarre, for Orbit Books. She has also been published in non-fiction, poetry and short stories. The former college English teacher can often be found online at Romance Divas, the award-winning writers’ forum she co-founded. She’s represented by Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency.

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Snowed by Veronica Forand


Snowed

By: Veronica Forand
Genres: Romance, romantic suspense
Pages: 126
Publisher: Amazon
Published on: March 1, 2015
Snowed by Veronica Forand

Don't fall in love with the man sent to kill you...
Lorena Rubio lived a safe, simple life until she's kidnapped by Andres "Con" Conesa, right hand man for the drug lord who murdered her sister. Con must keep her at a cabin in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains until his boss can confirm or deny the rumor that she'd provided specifics about his drug cartel to the police. Their attraction ignites in the middle of this winter wonderland, but he's in deep cover for the FBI and has to remain there, and she refuses to attach herself to someone in the criminal world. When the boss arrives a few days and wants Lorena put on ice, Con's willing to blow his cover to save the woman he craves beyond reason, but he may be too late.

Andi's Review

 

I received this book as a judge for a competition.  The competition is over and done so I can now do some reviews, especially on the ones that I really enjoyed.

 

Snowed is the story of a young woman who is a run of your mill, normal woman.  She lives her life and she works.  Oh and she is hell-bent on getting her sister’s killer in jail.  It doesn’t matter to her that he is one of the largest drug lords in the region.  When you are that powerful you can send henchmen to kidnap and hold her until his boss can confirm if she was the leak.  Just your normal every day weekend.

 

So you have “Con” the kidnapper, and Lorena, the kidnappee are stuck in a small, romantic cabin and the sparks begin to fly.  Lorena is not okay with being with a criminal who has no qualms with taking innocent women to cabins for their deaths.  Con however has his own secrets. When his boss determines Lorena’s fate, Con must either keep his secret and watch the women of his dreams die, or break his silence and let the chips fall where they may.

 

This is a quick read that was surprisingly a lot better than I expected.   The blurb reads like many other romance books so I thought it was be just another story.  It wasn’t though, and it was really good.  I kind of saw the “twist” coming because there are a lot of stories have a similar twist, but it was done in a setting that was different and so that is how the author was able to set her story from similar stories.

 

4 stars

 

 

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About Veronica Forand

Veronica Forand is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense.

She’s lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Kiss of Death, RWA’s chapter for romantic suspense and mystery, the RWA Contemporary Romance Chapter, the Valley Forge Romance Writers, the Washington Romance Writers, and the International Thriller Writers.

Veronica is represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary Agency.

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