Chest of Bone by Vicki Stiefel


Genre: Murder Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release:  February 14, 2017
Pages: 347 pages
Format: ePub
Where to Buy:  Amazon USAmazon CANBook Depository
Other links: Good ReadsCuriosity Quills Press

13.25 Stars


As magical and mundane worlds entwine, empath and unawakened Mage Clea Reese must team up with the secretive James Larrimer to hunt her mentor’s killer and stop the forces of corruption from obtaining the Chest of Bone, the ultimate source of otherworldly power.

Larrimer is a predator who stalks endangered-animal traders. Or so it appears. And none are prepared for the fusion of Clea’s and Larrimer’s song, a wild resonance which can bind one to the other.

Powerful forces align against them, and only Clea, the singular Key, and Larrimer stand between these malignant entities and their ruthless quest.


I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to enjoy this book so much. It sounded so interesting from the synopsis. But it was really tough to get into.
The writing style, alone, makes it difficult. It is an unusual style. It kind of broke up the fluidity of the story and it made getting to know the characters much more difficult.
There are other issues as well, like everything in the story is thrown at you. All at once, too.
I did receive it as an ARC, however, there were so many errors in this book. I really hope the finished piece is much more polished.

The novel actually starts out more in the Murdery Mystery and Thriller genre, where we’re introduced to Clea Reese and her significant loss of a mentor. Clea is a tough bird, and works for the FBI as an interrogator. She had some interesting tricks to get criminals to talk. I enjoyed the uniqueness of that.
But that fantasy element was missing for a long time and it didn’t really make a major appearance until the middle of the book when Clea begins to explore her mentor’s death with her partner James Larrimer.

Even without the romance, this novel would have done well. But I understood where the author was going. It was part of Clea finding her magic, connecting to someone like Larrimer.

I did, in the end, find that I did have a favourite character which was Bernadette. She was Clea’s rock. A mixture of the perfect grandmother and no-nonsense ass kicking warrior. I loved when she would bring out her gun and tell everyone it was her duty.

The novel actually touches on several genre’s, which can make it very confusing. It was hard to tell where the author was trying to take this.
Another issue was there was a lot of details that were left out which made a lot of the decisions in the book very disjointed. But there was also a surplus of details that involved a back story that the reader doesn’t ever really learn of. Again, this adds to the lack of flow and disjointed feel of the book.

Which is entirely too bad because it was a great story idea. Despite the issues, I did enjoy it. I enjoy the odd murder mystery and the fantasy element added a new depth to the story. It just would have done better with some polishing and more flow to the story.


My new paranormal romantic suspense series, The Afterworld Chronicles, launches with Chest of Bone, (February 2017 Curiosity Quills Press). My mystery/thrillers—Body Parts, The Dead Stone, The Bone Man, and The Grief Shop, a Daphne du Maurier winner—feature homicide counselor Tally Whyte and are soon to be ebooks. I co-wrote (with Lisa Souza) 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters. My late husband, William G. Tapply, and I ran The Writers Studio workshops.

I grew up in professional theater—the Ivoryton Playhouse—and planned to become an actress. Instead, I’ve slung hamburgers, managed a scuba shop, and am a professor. I’m a mom to two humans and a furry pack. My passion for scuba diving, fly fishing and knitting pop up in my novels. As do vinho verde and bourbon (not together!) and Maine lobster and chocolate (also not together!). I sing musical comedy scores in the shower, unfortunately not an Equity venue, write daily and teach fiction and modern media writing at Clark University. I’m currently pounding the keys on the series’ second novel, Chest of Stone.


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Teaser Tuesday


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

My Teaser:

Page 333

“Smoke spiralled about her, and dissolved. The great bird looked at me, blinked and vanished. Poof. Another damned poof!”

As magical and mundane worlds entwine, empath and unawakened Mage Clea Reese must team up with the secretive James Larrimer to hunt her mentor’s killer and stop the forces of corruption from obtaining the Chest of Bone, the ultimate source of otherworldly power.

Larrimer is a predator who stalks endangered-animal traders. Or so it appears. And none are prepared for the fusion of Clea’s and Larrimer’s song, a wild resonance which can bind one to the other.

Powerful forces align against them, and only Clea, the singular Key, and Larrimer stand between these malignant entities and their ruthless quest.


Review to come.

The Girl at The Bar Book Tour & Giveaway

Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Publisher: Fireflies Publishing
Date of Release: February 1, 2017
Pages: 271 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past.

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.

No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows.

Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion…

Please join Quill & Ink Book Tours in supporting Nicholas Nash’s debut release, The Girl at the Bar.

Nicholas Nash is the exciting new author of The Girl At The Bar, a psychological thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a brilliant cancer researcher and the quest to find what happened to her.

Nicholas resides in the concrete jungle of Manhattan in New York City with his wife and three children and enjoys every moment of it. An accomplished finance professional, he has a passion for reading fiction and non-fiction books which inspired him to write an intriguing thriller. Nicholas hopes you enjoy his work.


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Dreadnought Collective Book Tour and Giveaway

The Collective will embrace several types of Black Arts as it grows and faces unusual challenges. These once belonged to the realms of Science Fiction but are fast becoming a reality in the emerging new world.

This is a series of Whodunits set in the future.

Sci-fi, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: April 8, 2015
Pages: 382 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

Seb and his younger brother Bart customarily spend all of their long summer holiday in Spain, with their grandparents. Gradually, as they all become older, relationships are strained, as the old folk try to find things to keep the boys amused.

It is not long before the grandfather, Tumbler, who is a retired detective, is using Seb as a trainee investigator to keep tabs on the movements of a sector of the local town who he thinks ‘don’t fit it in’ – they are in fact dwarves of alien origin.

Soon, Tumbler and his apprentice are rumbled, and Seb is invited to join a summer campus. Coincidentally, this is run by the dwarves and has only recently been set up, virtually on the Tumbler’s doorstep!

At the campus, it gradually becomes apparent that Seb and his classmates have been chosen beforehand, by genetic engineering. They find that they possess special abilities, which have been implanted in them at an early age, and realise that these are now being developed in a matter of weeks.

Whatever plans they may have had for the future, their chosen destiny now awaits them.

When the food had been served, they all settled down to eat, with Bart taking his teasing of Seb to a new level by swinging his legs back and forth to brush against his legs. Grandfather Terry witnessed this when he sneaked a look under the table, and it was not long before minor foot contact was being made with the target, which was one of Seb’s shins.

When Seb failed to react to the regularly delivered kicks, the swings got longer and the contact became stronger, with Bart being determined to get a reaction from his silently suffering brother. Seb had in fact attached his footballers’ pads to his legs, anticipating what his odious brother would do.

Terry could stand it no longer when Bart resumed his awful humming. Forgetting that he was wearing hard-soled brogues, he retaliated instinctively by aiming a savage kick at Bart under the table. He hit Bart’s nearest shin dead centre, and realised with sudden alarm that the pain must have been excruciating for the younger piglet. This was confirmed immediately, as Bart’s eyes rolled back, his face screwed up in anguish, and he howled the roof down.

Sandra and Maisie looked up startled, and the female boss of the house asked, “What on earth’s the matter?”

“He kicked him!” said Terry, pointing at Seb.

“You rat!” said Seb, scowling. “It was you that did it!”

“Well whoever did it, it was really cruel!” Sandra said.

“Look at my leg!” yelled Bart, who held it up to show a slight, emerging bruise, and trying to launch a kick back with his other foot, without success.

Maisie calmly got up, walked around the table to where Bart was clutching his injured leg, and daintily dabbed it with the damp cloth that Sandra had just fetched from the kitchen.

“You poor thing,” she said sympathetically, as she stroked his forehead with her free hand.

“That’s better isn’t it?”

“A little,” he sobbed, glaring with hate at his brother and grandfather. “But I’m gonna get the one of you toe rags that did it!” You had to admire him for his pluck, even if he earned no brownie points by saying it.

Sci-fi, Fantasy, Suspense
Publisher: Sombrella
Date of Release: September 18, 2015
Pages: 350 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

The Dreadnought Collective Book 2

This is a ‘black humour’ science fiction story set in the near future, where a man finds that he has a very special talent. It is to take over other people’s souls and thus possess their bodies as if they were his own.

As he becomes increasingly aware of his abilities, he first uses them to mete out justice to mentally warped criminals, and then to undertake sexual adventures.

Growing tired of what are, in the scheme of things, trivial pursuits, he embarks on a life of crime intent on accumulating serious amounts of money. Whilst fleecing the wealthy, he comes across an alien hiding amongst us, and is impressed by the seamless transport system on its own planet, so he decides to emulate it on Planet Earth.

With a colleague recruited from The Lockheed Skunk Works in America, he develops a vehicle based on UFO technology, and uses it as a stepping stone to power. His motivation soon goes beyond his revolutionary and hugely successful transport system, and extends to a serious attempt at population reduction. For this he requires even more prominence on the world stage, as he battles aliens to prevent annihilation of the expanding human race.

This book charts his progress, as he strives to achieve the impossible. It also monitors the impact on his family life, where he eventually has to decide whether to opt for mortality or immortality.

If all you want to read about is sexual adventures, and cannot be bothered with the future of mankind, this book is not for you. It is intended for those who like to ponder the value of life as we lead it, and what it could be like if we chose to take up the challenge.

Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy, Fantasy
Publisher: Ingram Spark
Date of Release: November 26, 2015
Pages: 291 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

The Dreadnought Collective Book 3

A group of friends who have drifted apart decide to reunite and take a trip together. It is the near future, and their intention is to travel on the latest type of transport, in order to visit the ancient sites in Turkey.

They want to do this in luxury, and the travel company they selected has done its best to accommodate their desires. They are lost for words when they first cast their eyes on the spectacular, gleaming new vehicle waiting for them. It is in fact alien in technology, and far more of a futuristic craft than a mere ground-hugging coach.

Unwittingly, they are entering a world where time travel is a reality and machines can cater for individuals as well as the masses.

Soon, they embarking on a sightseeing tour like no other they could have imagined, and meeting a time-travelling stranger who takes them under his wing.

More than one person has a hidden agenda, as they realise when reach a highly protected secret location. It contains hybrid creatures on which the Gods of mythology are based.

They stood there staring at this marvel of transport. It was only slightly larger than a normal, luxury coach, but in no other way did it resemble one. Was it meant to travel on the road, or did it fly?

In structure, it was a gleaming, metallic bronze tube with rounded ends. Midway up the top section was a row of oval windows from front to back, but they couldn’t see inside.

The overall impression gained was of a futuristic craft, standing on four short, stout struts straddling the road surface, there being no wheels visible. Yes, this was the deciding factor: it had to be some type of aircraft.

To a gasp of amazement from the onlookers, two previously invisible door-frames emerged midway up, near the front and back. From each of them a single door seamlessly popped out and slid sideways with a hiss.

Ramps then extended down from them at a steep angle, and thumped as they made contact with the pavement. From the front ramp, Erdal descended to greet them.

Admiring his new craft, Erdal asked them, “What do you think of it?”

Graham replied with awe, “Amazing!” The others nodded.

Billy asked, “What’s it called?”

He looked at Erdal’s puzzled expression and tried to clarify his question, “What is its name?”

Erdal’s face brightened in comprehension, “Ah, we think we’re going to call it The Magic Carpet or The Turkish Express!”

John commented, “I quite like both of those! But Magic Carpet is more to my fancy!”

Wilf’s face lit up as he spoke, “I’ve got a much better name for it!”

Fearing the worst, Terry groaned, “Oh no!” while Wilf continued in a loud whisper, “I think it should be called The Turkish Floater!”

Terry bellowed in exasperation.  “NO WAY!” while Erdal’s face was a picture of innocent bliss.  He endorsed the name with enthusiasm, “Yes, I like your choice more! It best describes what it does!”

Billy, Graham and John doubled-up laughing, as the older women tutted.

Mary piped up with a frown, “What’s a floater? Why’s the choice of name so funny?”

Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Sci-fi
Publisher: Sombrella
Date of Release: August 21, 2015
Pages: 316 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

The Dreadnought Collective Book 4

Witness at first-hand a group of specialist investigators, as they set up and run a new, innovative crime fighting agency. They are dedicated to the resolution of criminal cases using paranormal assistance. This will be a new, innovative and emerging brand of policing designed to protect the citizens of our country.

Read how they deal with the anti-social, disturbed behavior of a wayward, divorced husband, who is on the verge of destroying the lives of his ex-wife and their two young sons.

Read how they identify the members of a murderous ring of pedophiles from relatively few clues, and bring them to justice.

Read how they move from ineffectively resolving one case at a time, and onto tackling multiple cases with far more beneficial results to society.

Read thereafter how they clear the penitentiaries of criminals, starting with the most dangerous inmates, using novel means to cleanse their souls of sin, and equip them for new roles in life in special clearing centers. The objective is to reintegrate them into society, rendered capable of performing straightforward tasks and genuinely purified, via the novel process of atonement.

Read how they find one talented young man who was lost, presumed dead, and reunite him with his family. Thereafter, as agents of change, they help launch him on the path to stardom.

This is not a simple, gory, two dimensional book, but an exploration into the timely use of mediums in crime detection. It can pay dividends in assisting the fight against crime.

They use the latest techniques and technology in a future world that is not far removed from that which exists today.

Fantasy, Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Date of Release: August 11, 2016
Pages: 307 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

The Dreadnought Collective Book 5

The first recruit to the new Sightseers Agency is a remote viewer who actively seeks the resolution of events threatening world security.

Both his fledgling agency and that of The Deaduction Agency are members of The Dreadnought Collective.

The term ‘Dreadnought’ is based on a type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than ever before and equipped entirely with large-caliber guns.

It applies in this instance because the cerebrally talented agents who enter its portals are expected to fear nobody and be scared by nothing in the performance of their duties.

They pursue those who indulge in criminal and seditious activities in the modern meritocracy using unorthodox techniques.

There was no doubting her anger; she was seething with it.

“Scumbag!” she hissed, picking up a heavy onyx pencil holder from her desktop and hurling it at her protégé. Adrenalin fueled her strength.

He held his head high as he strode towards the door. He had his back to her, and he should have been unaware of the object aimed at the back of his head. It could have killed him, but it stopped mid-flight and dropped to the marble floor, where it broke into sizeable pieces and cut into the surface.

He paused, turned, and fixed her with a steely gaze, which chilled her to the bone. Coming to her senses, she realized how vulnerable she was to her former employee if he decided to retaliate. The room was soundproof, the two guards outside unaware of what was taking place, and the man she had tried to assault could attack with impunity; he didn’t need to use visible, physical force.

The woman was Tara DiCaprio, an angular blond-haired, smooth skinned woman with a jutting jaw and athletic physique. She was in her forties, and her formidable presence was consistent with her role as a ‘Black Ops’ Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The man who had antagonized her was special agent Richard Pencil, a tall, slim dark-haired man in his thirties who kept himself fit by practising martial arts in his spare time. Her anger was justified, and was the main reason he was exercising self-restraint.

Richard was a very special agent, as had been proven when he instinctively protected his back with an invisible shield. He knew Tara might attempt to attack him, having read her intentions.

Terry Tumbler
To give you some idea of my background, I was born in 1944, retired in 2004 and now living with my wife in Spain, amongst the Spanish. For over 30 years I was in the computer industry, some of which were with IBM before I got itchy feet, even though I was well regarded. Afterwards, I worked as an Organisation & Methods specialist and came up with some cracking ideas before I moved into mainstream computing and became involved in programming, analysis and management.

At school, I gained a string of school level certificates before leaving and gaining a commercial apprenticeship, an Advanced Certificate in Business Studies, and professional qualifications in Personnel Management and the Institute of Company Secretaries and Administrators. During my time, I have used desk top publishing and spearheaded the writing and publication of two detailed, technical manuals, one of which was regarded as the administrative bible by a (then) major force, British Olivetti. The other manual was used by me as a resident teacher of electronic data interchange (EDI) for a specialist software house, where it was distributed as a tour de force.

I took up writing at an advanced age simply because I had the time and desire, and the first hand enjoyable experience of helping my younger daughter to tame her two mischievous boys.


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A’vean Chronicles Book Tour & Giveaway

Book 1:

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: November 11, 2015
Pages: 364 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

Book 2:

Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: December 31, 2016
Pages: 394 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

Sophia Woodville’s life is anything but ordinary. You can’t be ordinary when you’ve discovered your’e an Earth-born Angel. Alone and suddenly powerless in the stinking heat of the Daimon realm, Sophia has been betrayed by the one person she trusted most. She must find a way to escape and continue her quest to unravel the clues left for her eyes only, fighting the Zombie-like Rogues to preserve the prophecies of Enoch. Only then can the Fallen Angels return to their homeland and humanity be released from the grip of Yeqon and his evil horde.

I grew up in Melbourne, Australia in the 1970’s when entertainment came in the form of sport or a good book. I chose both. An avid love affair with my pinto horse ensued as well as a healthy diet of any book I could get my hands on. English and history were always my favourite subjects so logically I studied to become a Critical Care Nurse! Books, particularly historical fantasy, have remained my number one go to for a healthy retreat from the craziness of the real world. After having a beautiful family and bringing a wonderful nursing career to a close, I finally took the time to write down one of the many stories that have been swirling around in my dreams for years. My dreamscape is rich with fantasy that both inspires and frightens me at the same time. I am pulling out those threads and spinning them into the type of stories I love to read. I’m finally letting out all my angels and demons.


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The Order Book Tour and Giveaway

Book 1:

Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: August 2, 2015
Pages: 913 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazonBarnes and NobleiTunesBook Trailer







A clumsy step, the wrong branch to hold on to and a bump on the head to leave her unconscious – no more than that causes Eryn’s life to turn upside down and to suddenly find herself in the capital city as a prisoner to the king.

She is determined to keep her magical abilities a secret in a kingdom where magicians have only ever been male as long as anyone knows. That doesn’t work out that well, though. The Order, the governing body for magicians, and the king seem to have their own plans with her, none of them caring in the least that she just wants to leave that blasted city behind and return to the peace and quite of her profession as a healer.

And then there is Enric, a high ranking magician in the Order thanks to his considerable strength, who seems to find watching her struggles an amusing diversion.

Book 2:

Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: March 9, 2016
Pages: 1000 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazoniTunes







Ram’an has, to Enric’s great relief, left Anyueel again to return to his home country – which leaves him to figure out the challenge that Eryn still presents to him in more than one area of his life.

Eryn is restless, unnerved by the Order’s demands and her own urge to do something useful. Thus an expedition into the woods to teach the herb gatherers in the city how to provide her with acceptable goods seems just the thing to do to pass the time until the new healer’s place is ready for use. Ten peaceful days of collecting plants far away from the city. Or at least that’s the plan.

Book 3:

Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: July 29, 2016
Pages: 602 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazoniTunes







After the delegation’s return not only the Old Kingdom has to face changes as a consequence of the contact with the Western Territories. Eryn and Enric, too, realise that their recently established bond is not without side effects. Eryn centres all her hopes on the healer from Takhan who is supposed to aid her for a few months and who is bound to arrive soon…

Astrid Christine Donaubauer – that’s me. I don’t normally use my middle name for any purpose whatsoever, but I thought that two initials look better on a book cover than just one. And thus, after more than 30 years of being either ignored or a nuisance when I had to fill in forms, my middle name has finally turned out to be useful for something. I was born and raised in Austria (not Australia, mind you – no kangaroos!) and still live there with my husband. You might have heard of that small country somewhere in the middle of Europe; we are known for Sound of Music, Lederhosen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and, lately, Christoph Waltz. Another recent claim to fame: In The Big Bang Theory Austria was mentioned as one of the countries that look like a Wiener… Isn’t that lovely. I haven’t managed to look at a map without giggling since. I would call writing a hobby, yet I am not sure if hobbies are supposed to drive you crazy and haunt you at night if you don’t give in to them. Calling it a vocation sounds a bit grand for my liking, so let’s just say it’s what I spend a lot of my free time on. In real life (I like to consider my writing activities as kind of a double life; not quite as grand as Batman’s secret identity, but you get my drift) I earn my keep as a freelance trainer and translator, pursuing the quest of helping people to improve and develop their communication and language skills. I have no wish to make writing my primary occupation – I am convinced that in my case sitting down and letting my fingers type what is going on in my head has so far only worked because I am not bound by any deadlines or financially dependent on producing anything halfway enjoyable. That’s how I would like to keep it.


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Lethal Lore by Monica Shaughnessy

Short and Sweet

Genre: Horror, Folklore, Short Story
Publisher: Jumping Jackalope Press
Date of Release: October 27, 2015
Pages: 89 pages
Format: ePub
Links: Good ReadsAmazon




Lethal Lore contains the broken remnants of folk tales, recast in blood. Four harmless legends–the jackalope, the doppelgänger, the lucky penny, the Green Children of Woolpit–become the stuff of nightmares in this collection. From campy horror to eerie gothic to nail-biting contemporary, each short story delivers a chill of a different kind. For fans of Twilight Zone and light horror (this isn’t slasher gore).

“Simple Math”
A mathematician on the brink of suicide meets his doppelgänger, doubling his troubles.

“Killer Jack”
A naïve Cajun bags more than he bargained for during a jackalope hunt.

“Hell Cent”
Good luck for one person is bad luck for another, as The Professor soon learns.

“The Bells of Bury St. Edmunds”
A servant girl exacts revenge after her brother’s death, unleashing terror on her medieval town.



I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Oh my goodness! This was such a trip down memory lane for me. The stories reminded me of a mish mash of Tales from the Crypt, Stephen King’s Creepshow and the Twilight Zone.

I have reviewed each story separately in order to touch on how each book read to me. Plus each should have it’s own spotlight.

Simple Math is about a mathematician who got into the world of gambling and in order to save his family, is willing to sacrifice himself. When a freak accident places him and his doppelgänger in the same vicinity of each other. Eventually you get to the twist in the story and I admit, I had to laugh a little. It was a bit obvious but the author explained it perfectly. It was very Twilight Zone-esque.

I know very little about jackalopes other than they look super cool. But in Killer Jack, I have learned that jackalopes like good whiskey and can murder men. Out of all the stories, this was my least favourite. Murderous bunny like creatures with a craving for hard liquor are on a scale of meh for me.

In Hell Cent, this was a tougher story. It was more of a psychological thriller for me. The other tales were more fantasy driven. This story focused more on this gender-less Professor who has become an outcast to society and their psyche unravels as they continue to pull murderous acts on people. I did enjoy this Professor underestimate their opponent/victim. Everyone makes a mistake sooner or later.

I had no idea of the tale about the Green Children of Woolpit. Quite the interesting mystery there. This tale was about the children surviving on Earth. The sister had begun to adapt to the foods while her brother refused to eat and thus died at the hands of a cruel monk. She begins to exact revenge on the monk in The Bells of Bury St. Edmunds. There is murder, rejected love affections and a girl determined to fit in despite her differences.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you enjoy unique tales. Each tale was also backed with history and facts, which made the novel really unique, in my opinion.


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Monica Shaughnessy has a flair for creating characters and plots larger than her home state of Texas. Most notably, she’s the author of the Cattarina Mysteries, a cozy mystery series starring Edgar Allan Poe’s real-life cat companion. Ms. Shaughnessy has nine books in print, including two young adult suspense novels, a middle grade superhero novel, an Easter picture book, two cozy mystery novellas, and numerous short stories. Customers have praised her work time and again, calling it “unique and creative,” “fresh and original,” and “very well written.” If you’re looking for something outside the mainstream, you’ll find it in her prose. When she’s not slaying adverbs and tightening plots, she’s walking her rescue dogs, goofing around with her family, or going back to the grocery store for the hundredth time because she forgot milk.


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