Monday, June 22, 2009

Sacrifice Screams of Gripping Horror

There is nothing better in horror than a seductively murdering woman that gets painted into your grey matter with vivid pictures that only John Everson can deliver, four-inch stiletto-heeled boots merged seamlessly into a glossy black bodysuit and arm-length vinyl gloves that showed every flow of flesh and muscle beneath.

Sacrifice, has terrific characters, well developed, and likable even when they are bringing an axe down on their parents shin bones, with blood spraying, bones cracking and splinters flying, you still like this murdering teenage girl named Alex. Or how about a husband, with his hands buried in his wife’s belly and pulling gnarly strands of fist-thick intestine out of her.

This is a modern horror of ghosts, demons, sadistic spirits, and one woman’s dedication to unleashing the Curburide...they’re coming!

Impressive. This is the mystery suspense novel done right!

North Korea, China, assassination, and world threat, Hagberg’s timing couldn’t be better with today’s fractured world of North Korea’s chessboard maneuvering of espionage and game playing. David writes a fast flowing, gripping adventure mystery that reads like a white-knuckle thriller should. Immediately, you start to wonder with a story this good, if Hagberg has an inside seat during the CIA and foreign government briefings.

The story is set up perfect, characters flushed out, realistic, and the plot unfolds with a reading experience that moves like a bullet. The ending of this novel sets America up for a nightmare, and knowing Hagberg’s novels...we’re in for it. I’ve got to know where his next book takes us. Excellent read!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The true events that inspired Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October


 A Cold War Thriller

This was David's first venture into the non-fiction world, with all the action, drama and intrigue it reads like one of his bestselling novels. With his Air Force background and understanding of terrorism, David Hagberg captured the history, frustrations and naval culture of the Soviet Union, and the events of it's officers leading up to the cold war mutiny.  

Aboard the antisubmarine warship the FFG Storozhevoy in the fall of 1975, Mutiny is a firsthand account that anyone interested in the Soviet system or life aboard one of its ships should read. Written with senior lieutenant Boris Gindin whose offering is insightful, heartwarming, and heroic, triggers questions of how his life in the USA compares to his years in the Soviet Union.  

The story itself, is the life of Boris Gindin who at the age of seventeen in 1967, enters the St. Petersburg Military Engineering Academy to build a career in the soviet navy, and rises through the ranks to become a senior officer when most of the crew of the Storozhevoy mutiny. Life in Russia is bleak, harsh and difficult, but Hagberg and Gindin bring it to life as they build the the events of this important story. There is a rewarding account of the most famous mutiny in naval history aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789, where David summarizes the events concisely in just a few pages. 

Confined belowdeck, the captain, officers and Gindin survive the attack of the soviet navy and air force who are ordered to hunt down and kill the warship. In the end the KGB execute the officer who was behind the mutiny, arrest everyone, even the officers who opposed the mutiny, and are forced to swear secrecy on pain of death if they told their story.

Thirty-two years later Boris Gindin and David Hagberg tell the truth, the record has been set straight.  

DAVID HAGBERG has published more than seventy novels of suspense, including the bestselling JOSHUA'S HAMMER, SOLDIER of GOD, and ALLAH'S SCORPION.

Visit David Hagberg at

Lucinda Betts is a four time award winning author of fantasy romance novels

Lucinda Betts decided to become a writer after a bet. Rumor has it while under the influence of one too many martinis, and we have all been there, the question surface about writing a novel. Someone said she can’t, she knew she could, and we are thankful for it. I’m curious as to what she won besides the wager, being a writer of hot romance novels I’m sure it was something interesting.

After completing her seventh novel for Kensington Books , Aphrodisia, Lucinda has found herself embracing a comfortable writing style that lets her stories unfold into elaborate tales rather than staying bound to a restricting landscape.

Her previous novels are Night Spell, Pure Sex, The Supplicant, Moon Shadow, She, and Eros Island

With numerous writing awards, the Gayle Wilson Award for Excellence in Writing, the Reviewer's Choice Award at Road to Romance, the Fallen Angels Reviewer's Choice Award, and a Coffee Times Romance Recommended Read, Lucinda is also a 2006 PEARL finalist in the Best Debut Author category.

Running Wild is a fantasy tale of two worlds, two people, demons, and the mystical journey in each of their kingdoms. Princess Shahrazad is submissive to the male society, however her world changes when on her wedding day a magician shows up and turns her into a pegaz. By day she is a winged horse and at night her beautiful seductive self.  

Tahir, a prince from an opposite kingdom where women rule, lives  the luxurious life of impregnating young girls, but all this changes in his attempt to save his sister from a spell with the help of Princess Shahrazad. Their journey is an erotic fantasy romance with torrid love scenes and fighting demons.

The style in which Lucinda writes combined with the erotic adventure fantasy she creates makes her a unique voice that sizzles. But don’t take my review for the final judgement. Go to and pick up a copy of this novel and her many others.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Echo Park

Echo Park

Michael Connelly is the bestselling selling author of Lincoln Park, and The Closers.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

 After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat.  In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. 

Taken from the official web site of bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Now for my review For “Echo Park,”

 A Police Crime Story

I was fortune enough to meet Michael Connelly at the Florida Mystery Mingle in Sarasota Florida, March of 2008. Michael Connelly is quiet but his writing is not. This was the first book of his that I have read and what a find. His style is fast and grabs you with his detective Harry Bosch. Echo Park is just the type of story I like to read, and with no extra words he moves the novel forward effortlessly making it one of the better police crime books I've read in awhile. Every chapter seems perfect as the story unfolds. 

Harry Bosch works the open unsolved cases and one of them surfaces again when the DA calls informing Bosch that he missed a clue back in 1993 that could have solved the disappearance of Marie Gesto and sent the suspect to jail.

Required to take the suspects confession, Bosch is part of a team escorting the killer into the woods to identify the victims remains when he escapes and Harry Bosch is left to find him.

I loved this book, it embraces all the levels required to deliver a terrific police crime story.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Conqueror Worms

I love discovering a new author, at least one that is new to me, Brian Keene, a well known name in the horror world was just that. Being a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award for “Jobs in Hell.” in 2001, and again in 2003 for his well received zombie tale “The Rising.” Then a 2004 Shocker Award (Non-Fiction) for “Sympathy For the Devil.” His list of works is staggering. I’m going to stop here for a long second and go into my consulting mode and do some arithmetic, 15 novels, 10 short story collections, 3 non fiction collections, 140 Novellas, Novelettes and Short Stories, and the list goes on...I think you get the idea, a massive amount of work.

His background or at least his occupations before becoming a full time writer gives him plenty of first hand accounts of characters to dip in and pull from his stories.

His novel “The Conqueror Worms,” takes place in West Virginia. Interestingly most of his novels are about that region of the country. Born in 1967 and growing up in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, it’s not surprising this is the hunting ground for his horror. 

The rain won’t stop, I mean it goes on forever. Keene introduces us to a world of large things that crawl in the mud coming to the surface only to feed and terrorize us. This West Virginia story of two old timers attacked by monstrous earthworms is very descriptive. The story is told through the first hand account of Teddy Garnett and his friend Carl Seaton as they struggle to live each day. They are joined by survivors from a helicopter crash, and this small band meet the monster of all monsters, worms that rise from beneath their house destroying it and taking lives. Creative concept, next time it rains you will look at earthworms differently. You might want to think twice before squashing one of those juicy night crawlers just in case its mother shows up. 

Norman Applegate

Needles & Sins

This may be the horror novel of the year.

What a thrill to have met this author at the 2008 World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, casually talk to him about writing and discover John to be a soft spoken, oh yeah he lost his voice traveling to the convention, truly nice guy.

I find when reading a collection of short stories there are usually a few I’m not fond of with but John’s collection I found myself turning pages, drinking cold coffee cause I wouldn’t put the book down for an instant and realized this is without a doubt one of the best gathering of horror tales compiled into a novel I have read.

Two time Bram Stoker award-winning author John Everson plunges deep into the gory syrup of what makes horror writers wish they had written these 19 stories of “Needles & Sins,” and readers of the dark and twisted screech with parched throats as they cradle this treasure of a book.

Having published nearly 100 short stories, winning the Stoker for Covenant in 2004 and Sacrifice in 2007, I suspect he’s in line for another with this book

My favorite story, if there is one, OK there’s a three way tie, The Char-Lee, “He stood, gore dripping down the hair of his chest like perspiration.” 

Mutilation Street, “The best part is, when she gets really wicked, she stuffs chunks of his bloody colon into the fridge after he’s passed out and then fries them up for him to eat with his eggs in the morning. Talk about a breakfast that sticks to your ribs.

And The Devils Platoon, how Germany almost won the war, with a sacrifice, an alliance with Satan, and the Devil on their side.

Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with this one...

Norman Applegate