What Hides Within

Clive Menard was leading a dull uneventful life. He wasn’t unhappy but he wasn’t passionate about anything either. He was just going through the motions. His whole life changes though when he goes Kayaking with his friend Morgan and discovers a giant spider nest. Since that fateful day Clive got a new unwanted roommate in his head. He named the spider Chester and even a lobotomy couldn’t get rid of him. It’s not all bad though, Chester is making Clive’s life better, but at what cost?

Chester helps Clive get the girl he always wanted and a promotion at work but then things get a little weird. There is also to be a killer stalking the neighborhood, a mad bomber on the loose and the person sharing Clive’s apartment is wanted by the police.  Could all these events be connected and where did this talking spider come from? Clive has to decide if he can overlook all the things happening around him in order to keep his new improved life.

What Hides Within by Jason Parent is a murder mystery , a horror novel and a study on how people will act when their morals get challenged. We know early on that Chester has an agenda but he promises to make things better for Clive if he cooperates. Clive doesn’t necessarily like Chester but he sees the benefits to having him. One thing Chester brings to Clive is a passion for life that he has never had before. Clive’s new passion also has a big effect on Morgan who has always loved Clive, but now she can’t bear to be away from him.

. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Chester says he has to leave Clive’s skull for a while causing Clive to break down and say he is nothing without her(Yes Chester is a girl). Clive knows that Chester has changed everything and he is willing to overlook certain things but soon he has to make a decision. Chester is faced with whether he wants to be responsible and take care of his young niece and work his better job or do Chester’s bidding.  This book is all about choices, are you willing to sacrifice your morals and free will to get what you’ve always dreamed of?

What Hides Within is a good book that is well worth your time, but it does have its flaws. I found that I didn’t care about the mad bomber or the killer on the loose. There is no good explanation on why the killer did what he did except to add a little to the mystery surrounding the bomber. What I was really interested in was the relationship between Chester and Clive, so the parts that didn’t include the two of them together fell flat for me. That being said there was one great scene where Chester on his own goes to kill one of Clive’s rivals that ends up being the most suspenseful part of the book. What Hides Within has more good parts then bad. It also has some funny moments such as when Chester informs Clive on what Clive did when he got drunk and passed out at a party. I’ll be looking forward to reading more books by Jason Parent in the future.

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Guest Blog Post: Jason Parent

Here’s a guest blog post from Jason Parent author of What Hides Within. To find out more about Jason’s work check out his website at: http://authorjasonparent.com/

Jason Parent’s Best Read in 2017

Closing up 2017, a lot of readers share their “Best of” lists. As a reader, my year was stacked! In a year that included a re-read of It, a first read of Ghost Story, and a half-dozen McCammon books, picking a best of list is going to be next to impossible.

But here goes anyway. These books represent the best I’ve read in 2017, regardless of their publication date, and why:

1. Best Novel by a Reigning Horror Master: Mister Slaughter, by Robert McCammon – Rich, well-crafted characters, a murderous psychopath creating more than enough horror to please even the most die-hard of the genre, and a plot that keeps on moving, rivaling the first book for best in a series without a dud among them.

Honorable Mentions: Straub’s Ghost Story; McCammon’s The Providence Rider; King’s It

2. Best Novel by a Rising Horror Master: Bird Box, by Josh Malerman – A mysterious evil; a desperate solution; an all-out perfect story. Why I waited as long as I did to read this, I’ll never know. Reminiscent thematically of The Road.

Honorable Mentions: Shea’s We Are Always Watching; Cutter’s The Troop; Schweigart’s Northwoods; Golden’s Ararat; Langan’s The Fisherman; Gifune’s Kingdom of Shadows

3. Most Enjoyable, Fun and Fast-Paced Read: Kutter, by Jeff Strand. Humorous yet somehow touching, no one does horror-comedy better than Strand.

Honorable Mentions: Curran’s Grimweave; Lawson’s Bad World

4. Best Novella: Odd Man Out, by James Newman. This was one powerful, disturbing, all-too-real and incredibly well-written story. If it doesn’t make you feel, you don’t have a heart.

Honorable Mentions: Burke’s Sour Candy; Prentiss’ Invisible Fences

5. Best Anthology or Collection: Black Pantheons, by Curtis Lawson – All of the stories in Lawson’s collection were good, but four of them were some of the best short stories I have ever read. The only other single author I can recall having that many tales that blew me away in one collection is the man called King.

Honorable Mention: Finn’s Dreaming at the Top of My Lungs

6. Most Beautifully Written Prose: Detritus in Love, by Mercedes Murdock Yardley and John Boden – This tale is beautiful melancholy, heart-wrenching loneliness, and smothering horror. Each word is perfectly chosen, every image laced with impending dread.

Honorable Mentions: Langan’s, The Fisherman; Vandermeer’s Annihilation

7. Best Short Story: Tie – Lawson’s “Demons of Manzanar,” Lawson’s “The Carousel Horse,” and Finn’s “Stranded.”

Honorable Mention: Smales’ “Carol of the Bells”

8. Best Non-Horror Novel: Theft of Swords, by Michael Sullivan – Good old-fashioned fantasy fun that follows two thieves and somewhat reluctant heroes (more so on Royce’s part). Sure to entertain.

Honorable Mentions: Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress; Fleming’s Casino Royale; Sullivan’s Heir of Novron

9. Biggest disappointments – I don’t usually focus on the negative, but as these three books have huge followings, I’ll just lay them out a give you my reason why:

a. Swan Song, by Robert McCammon – every horror reader just simultaneously spit on me. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKED THIS BOOK and would even recommend it. But the hype it gets – how many people cite to it as the best of the genre – I guess I went in with high expectations and came out tempered.

b. Final Girls, by Riley Sager – This was just one of those books that sounded like it was my thing, but when I started reading it, I soon realized it wasn’t my thing. It’s a standard horror-thriller, akin (to me) to something by James Patterson (but nowhere near as good as Kiss the Girls)

c. Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie – It was free on Audible, so I figured I’d give it one more try in my middle life. But what I hated as a kid, I still can find no appreciation for today.

All in all, I’ve had a stellar year of reading. What were some of your favorites?

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David’s Haunted Library: Lucy Furr

My last Horror addicts post, I’t’s been a fun ride:

HorrorAddicts.net

The city of Mable Town is ruled over by Valkos Enterprises government, they force their rule over all of their citizens and they demand conformity. Not all people are unhappy with the system though. Mary, Joseph, and their cat, Lucy Furr, love their mundane existence and other people seem happier around them. Unfortunately, there is a  gang of teenagers who are jealous of them and have decided to make them pay.

The group captures the feline and takes it on a ride which jump starts a horrifying chain of events. One evil act leads to another and no one’s life will ever be the same. In this strange society that has very different rules than our own, revenge is still the way that some people right wrongs.  Lucy Furr by Russell Holbrook is a bizzaro gruesome thrill ride that you will never forget.

This is a hard book to describe, it’s very different and…

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Author Interview: Mark JG Fahey

What made you write a book about…?

I have always been fascinated with Halley’s Comet from a early age and one day this

amazing thought came into my mind. Halley Comet is really a intergalactic casino = Halley’s Casino.

After that the story just flowed out onto the page almost by itself as if it had a mind of its own.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing all my life, poetry, lyrics, short stories but finally found the

discipline to write a whole novel. Concentration, focus, determination played a huge part.

I had been telling anyone that would listen since my teens that I would one day write a book and I have

written two and I’m now in the process of writing the third.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?

You know I do not believe in writers block as such. What I mean by that is, if one

is focused, has a plan, a clear head, it should all fall into place.

Of course who hasn’t stared at a blank page, a blank page is only blank until

you fill it.

What is your next project?

Well, Halley’s Casino is part of a trilogy the second book  Marine – Halley’s Casino is

is available alone with Halley’s Casino and the third, here is a news flash for you.

The third book of the trilogy is entitled ( drum roll please) Return Trip – Halley’s Casino III

is 50% completed.

After that I have three other books mapped out though not sci fi. ( spoilers)

What is the last great book you’ve read?

The dictionary!. Don’t leave home without it  🙂

Mark JG Fahey is not I repeat not an alien, contrary to what you may have heard, though he swears he has been to space. Mark has dabbled in many undertakings throughout his Illustrious career from on-air reporting/host/ stand-up comic Messenger for the Prime Minister of Canada to name a few. His excellent culinary skills have entertained many far and wide.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and raised in Aylmer Quebec where he presently resides and can’t seem to find the way out. Mark continues to search…

Marine is the second book in the Halley’s Casino trilogy.

Look for the next installment coming soon Return Trip – Halley’s Casino III

For up-to- date information on Mark and the Halley’s Casino Trilogy please go to…

www.markjgfahey.com

Twitter @jg_fahey

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Halleyscasino.com

https://www.ireadbooktours.com

 

Halley’s Casino

Nebula Yorker seems like an average guy but at the age of 26 he is about to have his world turned upside down. The year is 1986 and Neb is waiting for the arrival of Halley’s comet when a strange visitor by the name of Mr. Tict appears out of a ball of light. Mr. Tict explains that Halley’s comet is really an intergalactic space station/casino which he is the Concierge of and he wants Neb to be his assistant.

Neb is then transported to the casino and finds several different types of aliens that all coexist as part of the Council of U. He also finds a staff made up of mostly androids and a very much alive John Lennon. That’s not all, Neb also finds out that time travel is possible which leads to a mystery that affects the casino and the life Neb thought he knew.

Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey is a book with an awesome concept that Science Fiction fans will love. I can’t imagine how the process for planning this book must have worked because there is so much going on. While I thought the story here was a little light, I loved how the author managed to create a universe along with some complex characters. He goes into great depth describing the Casino, the history of it, the aliens that visit it and how everything works. One of my favorite scenes of the book was when some of the alien races questioned Neb on how Earth people can create a show like Star Trek yet be so violent to each other. There are also some funny scenes where a couple of popular rock bands perform for the casino customers but aren’t sure where they are.

If there was any downside to this book it came from giving the history of the casino. There was so much information given in chapters eight and nine that I felt myself not being able to keep track of it all. From there the focus then returns back to the characters on the casino and things start to pick up again. I also found myself getting a little confused when we got into the time travel part of the story, though in all honesty whenever I see the idea in stories I get a little confused..  I still enjoyed the idea of how the casino crew can change history but try not too. This leads us to an idea that you see repeated throughout the book which is: “always move forward.”

Halley’s Casino is an ambitious novel.This book works on a lot of different levels, it’s a  Science Fiction novel but can also be considered  comedy, satire, alternative history and even human drama. I love the concept of a casino in space but what really kept me interested in the book was the characters. Even the villains in the story are more shades of grey then black and white. To me the story in Halley’s Casino was secondary  to the concept of how different life forms would interact in a universe where anything is possible. There are some similarities to Star Trek but in the universe of Halley’s Casino the humans are not as advanced and are considered dangerous. Check this book out if you are looking for a fresh spin on the Science Fiction genre.

http://www.markjgfahey.com/

Want a chance to win a copy of Halley’s Casino? Click on the link for your chance:

https://goo.gl/6gfsG7

 

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Dusk’s Warriors

The vampires of Night’s Knights are living in a new plane of existence that they’re not use to and once again everything is about to change for them. Ridge is a man working for the devil and he’s gathering souls from immortals living on earth. When he attacks Markham’s significant other Jimmy, it causes a chain reaction. An epic battle between Heaven and Hell begins and a street gang of vigilantes may be the deciding factor on who wins.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich is a sequel to Night’s Knights but it can be read as a stand alone novel. The foundation was given in the first book but this one takes the story to the next level. It describes the mythical realms that the characters now live in but also focuses on what’s happening on earth and introduces a new cast of characters. Among them are Ridge who is hunted by the Drog and working for the devil and Zack who doesn’t really know his place in the world and unknowingly follows Ridge into .Hell. The story starts off with a bang beginning in Hell as Ridge gets his orders from The devil. I loved how the settings in the story are described and the opening of the book had me hooked.

There are several good characters here but my favorite in this book is Reidar, a vampire who has taken it upon himself to chronicle what happens among all the vampires and the different realms of Heaven. I loved how he describes his feelings for Severina the Goddess of dusk and what he does to deal with his unrequited love. He has the best scenes in the story such as when he enters a man’s dream in order to remove the man’s mental anguish. He quickly learns that some things can’t be helped.

I also loved The Drog in this story. They’re a street gang of vigilantes that believes they work for the chosen one. In one good scene members of The Drog confronts people working for the National Organization of Supernatural Specialists. They state that by studying evil that the Noss themselves are evil which leads into a great battle scene. I loved how the characters are so complex and even the ones that you look at as good have a dark side.

Dusk’s Warriors is A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down. That’s not all though because this book can also be considered a dark fantasy, it also has a couple of good love stories, some erotica(Ever want to read a book where a woman grows a penis? you got to check this one out) and a vividly described battle between heaven and hell. Don’t go into this book thinking it’s just a vampire book because it’s more complex than that. Emerian Rich has created a universe where horror and fantasy mix together and everyone in it is a shade of grey. This book is a must read.

http://emerianrich.com/

 

 

Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body

To people who haven’t tried it, yoga may seem like some mysterious new age religion that is hard to understand. What I mean is that you’ve probably heard people describe all the benefits but you are left to wonder how will it help me in my day-to-day life? Yoga can help you deal with anxiety, depression and help you become stronger but it’s hard to explain how yoga can do that. Yoga is something that has to be experienced in order to find out what it can do for you.

This being said, if you are looking to learn more about what yoga is all about it’s a good idea to hear it from the experts in the field. Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body is edited by Melanie C Klein and describes the practice like it hasn’t been done before. Included here are 30 essays from yoga teachers telling you exactly what they got out of the practice of yoga and why it is so important.

A lot of times when you read articles on yoga you hear about how it will lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and help you focus but it doesn’t tell you how you get from point A to point B. Yoga Rising gives you stories on how many of these instructors found meaning in yoga  Many of them tell how they have dealt with issues like body shaming, eating disorders, race issues, anxiety and how yoga helped them to work through these issues. They also describe how yoga changed them in a way that I’ve never seen described before.

One of my favorite essays in this book speaks about how doing yoga got her past the negative self talk in her head. It was no magic pill, she achieved this by continuing her practice and eventually all of the self-hatred faded away. Yoga may be hard work but it leads to great results. One of the messages I saw in this book a lot was how yoga is accepting how there will be suffering but if you don’t fight it and act mindful the suffering will be less intense. and lead to growth. I see this as an important lesson to learn.

Many of the writers in Yoga Rising also take a look at how the media sends the wrong message about yoga. When you see people in the media who practice yoga they are usually thin white athletic women who make regular looking people feel intimidated. That’s what’s beautiful about this book. A lot of the instructors in it have different shaped bodies, come from different ethical backgrounds and most of all show that they are not perfect people like the media would portray. This is one of the best books on yoga that I’ve read because it gives you stories you can relate too.