Published online for the third time, this collection of short works by dark novelist Jane Timm Baxter is a demonstration of the author’s twisted sense...morePublished online for the third time, this collection of short works by dark novelist Jane Timm Baxter is a demonstration of the author’s twisted sense of humour and original talent. Be prepared to be scared, be prepared to be highjacked, be prepared to be seduced, be prepared to be amazed by these, sometimes raw, always intelligent works. You’ll start with flash fictions delving in fantasy as much as in science fiction. You’ll be taken away with six short stories that will leave you reeling. Finally you’ll be taken over by an entrancing epic pagan poem. Hold your breath, while Jane Timm Baxter doesn’t withhold her punches. I was once again hit by “Hospital” and “Reflections”, and forever spellbound with “Pathways”.(less)
A new voice has risen from the vampiric realm. Her maker has no idea of her great power. Lila Bishop herself has no idea about her true origins yet, b...moreA new voice has risen from the vampiric realm. Her maker has no idea of her great power. Lila Bishop herself has no idea about her true origins yet, but her writer –Jane Timm Baxter- starts her story with an important fact: pissing off Lila Bishop is tantamount to a death wish, and Max, Ebonadrakry or not, will pay the price. Lila’s maker, Victor, was beheaded by vampire hunters during World War II on the eve of their wedding. Lila hasn’t been really involved with anyone since his death until meeting Max. Unfortunately Max, or whatever his name is, has other plans, or more exactly no plans at all. He is an Ebonadrakry who doesn’t follow any rules, an experiment about to infuriate his maker. You could say that the Ebonadrakry are the gentry, the queens and kings of the vampires. Lila Bishop will meet some of them before the end of her road trip, the road trip she started when she found out that Max had faked his death and swapped bodies to opt out of their relationship. Jane Timm Baxter had me hooked on Lila Bishop and Whispers the mysterious hummingbird (reality or delusion?) flying about the vampire’s hair. ‘Shadows of Dawn’ is an intelligent novel that sucks you in with attaching characters, characters you want to be friends with, characters you wish to see again. It is the first installment of a vampiric trilogy, released recently and currently available as an e-novel on the Smashwords website. It is more than about time than Jane Timm Baxter releases this novel, after showcasing her talent in various anthologies, and spreads her wings beyond the limitations of short stories and flashes. Personally I can’t wait to read more of her addictive writings. ‘Shadows of Dawn’ is a captivating novel written with dark humour and sensitivity by a writer wealthy with imagination. (less)
A serial killer has been striking in West Hawthorne for a year. Along comes a copycat. Meanwhile Karen Krane's fiancé commits suicide in East Hawthorn...moreA serial killer has been striking in West Hawthorne for a year. Along comes a copycat. Meanwhile Karen Krane's fiancé commits suicide in East Hawthorne. Grieving, in the company of her ever-supportive best friend Andrea, Karen starts receiving anonymous letters from a secret admirer going by the initials of NG. NG seems to know every move Karen makes and speculations over his identity are rife. Could the initials stand for the Night Garden? The place Karen created on her house roof to enjoy peace and solitude.
Jane Timm Baxter created a suspenseful and tense mystery where everyone Karen knows and meets is a suspect. The colourful support cast includes the Cirkus Freakatorium where Karen does body hook suspension and where someone pretends to be a vampire. Her best friend Andrea has contacts in the witchcraft community to scrounge protective spells.
While Karen's stalker plagues her with more letters, gifts and the occasional threat, increasing his creepy factor, the serial killer, or the copycat, kills closer and closer to Karen's life, and Karen's paranoia reaches new heights. 'Night Garden' is an intense read with a stunning ending that will echo in the readers' minds like ripples on a great lake. Jane Timm Baxter is an original talent to watch out for. (less)
Multitasking Jennifer L. Miller is back with an anthology (similar in form to what appeared previously in 2008 and 2009) featuring unknown and talente...moreMultitasking Jennifer L. Miller is back with an anthology (similar in form to what appeared previously in 2008 and 2009) featuring unknown and talented writers, whose styles will surprise you, captivate you, bind you with a spell, and make you shiver. But what is Horror? Jennifer L. Miller attempts to define this genre in the foreword, but as she says herself, "One person's clown is my spider." So, what is Horror? Is it a ghost? A werewolf? A giant insect? A zombie? A vampire? Maybe it is just an icy feeling insinuating around your heart, and the monster inspiring it is simply human. Maybe it is the shrill sound of your alarm clock at 7 am, because you haven't slept enough. Maybe it is under your bed, or watching you from the shadows, biding its time. Maybe it is lurking at the back of your mind, haunting you day and night. Whatever Horror is, these fourteen writers are sharing with you figments of their imagination, and a glimpse of their lives, within the pages of this remarkable anthology, in the shapes of short stories, poems, novel extracts, flash fiction. Will you get lost in the insane lands of their minds? Will you come back to your reality? Or will you gasp for breath, breaking the watery surface of your consciousness, asking incongruously, "Did I save her? Did I save Alice?" (less)
(review written in February 2005) This book got to me so much that I went through a phase of eating a cinnamon roll every day (or equivalent Danish whi...more(review written in February 2005) This book got to me so much that I went through a phase of eating a cinnamon roll every day (or equivalent Danish whirl I could find). Because the main character bakes cinnamon rolls and other wondrous delights for a living. I love the way Robin McKinley drew the readers into the story, the world of Sunshine. Sunshine, also known as Rae Seddon since her mother married Charlie Seddon, the owner of the coffee shop 'Charlie's' in Old Town. Sunshine is 25 and happy. Her boyfriend Mel is an ex-biker turned cook (he works at Charlie's, too). She has two half-brothers who are typical teenagers. She has friendly colleagues, a protective mother who always means well despite their daily clashes, and a landlady who looks like an ordinary, if very private, elderly woman. What a sweet life. One Monday evening Sunshine goes off for a drive to the lake instead of enjoying the weekly movie with family and friends. Oh sure, she's briefly mentioned the Voodoo Wars, but her life sounds so good, you've happily ignored the hint, because you wouldn't mind having Sunshine's life. So, one Monday evening, she drives off to the lake and sits by the old cabin where she last saw her grandmother (father's side) about fifteen years ago....... and gets kidnapped by a gang of vampires. Yeah, I had almost forgotten I was reading a vampire novel. From then on you forget about post-voodoo-wars-happy-world. Because to be kidnapped by a gang of vampires and two days later escape with your fellow prisoner, is not enough in a world created by Robin McKinley: your fellow prisoner happens to be a vampire. Oh, and remember the Voodoo Wars? I was Humans Vs Others, and at the time Humans barely won. So they created the SOF (Special Other Forces, and some SOF agents are actually regulars at Charlie's because they love Sunshine's cinnamon rolls and other baked marvels (I could do with one or two rolls right now). The Others are Weres (wolf being one kind, they can be anything), Demons, (various types, but mostly not worrying, not too worrying), Elves, Fairies, Magic Handler, etc, and of course, Vampires (totally illegal). So yeah, this world is not what it seemed at first glance. To grow horns or be able to turn blue is not really a problem, you just have to register with SOF. You're very likely to lose your chances of promotion at work as a result (sound familiar?). Anyway, Sunshine was actually born Raven, daughter of Onyx Blaise, as a lot of people forgot. Sunshine, last time she saw her father, was too young to know that the Blaises were an extremely powerful Magic Handler family. As a result, Sunshine found herself able to perform two small feats: 1) She transmuted a pocket knife into a key to unshackle herself and her cellmate; 2) By simply holding hands with this vampire she made him walk in full daylight without him turning into a ashy pile (He refused to have her for dinner, she is the kind paying her debts). Even Sunshine is not what she seemed at first glance. She doesn't know what she is. The SOF agents are curious, too. Robin Mc Kinley tells this tale with great humour. This is not merely a vampire novel, it is a literary novel. Sunshine is the character narrating the events, every now and then imparting knowledge on part-bloods, vampire literature, charms and wards, globenet, etc, all the information necessary to our survival in her world, and more. I'm gonna email this writer and ask for Sushine's cinnamon roll recipe.(less)
ADVERSARIUS SHADOW OF THE ROSE – BOOK 1 By M. L. Chesley (Published by Hellfire Publishing, 2012)
The king and queen of Paridzule are dead, seemingly acci...moreADVERSARIUS SHADOW OF THE ROSE – BOOK 1 By M. L. Chesley (Published by Hellfire Publishing, 2012)
The king and queen of Paridzule are dead, seemingly accidentally. Kayta and Hedrik are presumed dead. The only surviving heir to the throne, Senweis, is unwilling to take the succession. Fizanu, Goddess of Justice, has entrusted her priest, Black Rose, with a mission; the future of Paridzule depends on. Alabassin, son of the king of Relavia, was engaged to Kayta and has been thrown into the darkest recess of a dungeon by his father. His father wants to take over Paridzule and now would be a good time. Black Rose has hired Nightshadow, an assassin, and four of the best warriors. His mission is to escort Kayta back to Paridzule. Kayta was rescued by the Pyrate Sorcha. She is physically recovering, but has lost her memory. The characters of this fantasy novel made it a great read. I was pleased to see strong female characters like Nightshadow perfectly capable of standing for herself and of protecting her friends and allies. Even a female heir to the throne is expected to fight and serve her country, and Kayta can do it as skilfully as any male. 'Adversarius' is the first instalment of the trilogy 'Shadow of the Rose'. For many of its characters –elven, humans and ogres–, it is a quest for a better future. Their destinies could very well be entwined with the future of this world created by M. L. Chesley. The story is flowing; the characters and their interactions are captivating, made even more alive by their accents. While I would have liked more details, M. L. Chesley's carefully polished style kept me reading and the cliffhanger left me looking forward to the sequel.