Vices and Virtues: A Horror Anthology

Vices and Virtues is a horror anthology edited by Ashley Franz Holzman and includes 16 stories that all tie into vices and virtues we have in society. I wasn’t expecting much from this anthology because I didn’t know any of the authors but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of work in this book. All of the stories in this book are like an emotional roller coaster with normal characters  you can relate to put into extraordinary circumstances.

The first story did a great job of setting the tone for the whole book. The Girl Who Died by C.K. Walker is about a lonely girl who has no friends except the animals in the woods. One day she finds a dead animal in the woods that changes everything. We then see this girl go from never being noticed by anyone to being infamous all because she cared to much. The next story in the anthology is I Loved You So Much by Christopher Bloodworth which is in the same vein as the first one, a child who is a little lonely finds a new friend who ends up bringing destruction to the kid’s family. Both of these opening tales pack an emotional gory wallop and were a lot of fun to read.

One of my favorites in this book was Constance by Adam Grey, this was an emotional story about a confused older woman, a single mother and an innocent young child. Constance is an old woman living in an apartment building and working in an abortion clinic when she gets let go by the clinic she goes off the deep end and a young mother in need of a baby sitter makes  the bad decision of leaving her child with her. This story was disturbing and at the same time really made you feel for the characters involved in it.

There is a great mix of stories here and one story that mixes Science Fiction and horror is The Lonely Man by Kristopher J. Patten. Set in the future we have a captain on a spaceship going to Mars on an exploratory mission. The last visitor to Mars was 120 years ago and since then on Earth there has been was, famine and several deaths. Much to the captain’s surprise when she reaches Mars she finds the last person to visit alive and well.What has kept this person alive so long and what plans does he have now that he has a way to get back to Earth. The plot of this story is very similar to the movie Space Vampires but has a much more personal feel to it and much scarier.

This anthology felt like it was a labor of love for all the authors and there wasn’t a bad story in the book.. Each story had a personal feel to it with one character going through something emotional that no one else could understand. The authors in this book seem to know what it takes to write a good story and they have put together a great book that mixes literary fiction with horror and Science fiction.

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Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Because David is such a fan of Markham in the Night’s Knights series, I’ve decided to share an excerpt from the new book, Dusk’s Warriors, where Markham is battling Hellhounds. It also involves Minidoo, a Canadian Ojibawe Indian who is a new character in this sequel.

Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors:

A gust blew off Markham’s hat and he tripped over a tree root, pitching forward and landing face-first. Snow pushed up his nose and into his mouth. It was clean, but stung like the blazes.

Markham stood and brushed himself off. He covered his mouth and nose, breathing heavily to clear the coldness from his skin. Hearing a rustle in the woods, he pressed against a nearby tree, trying to blend in to the forest. The trees were dense and as he watched in the direction of the noise, a doe galloped past him about two yards away. After the doe, a woman dressed in furs, long black twin braids flying out behind her, sprinted past. Her head snapped in his direction, but she kept moving. Markham followed cautiously behind, watching the woman grab the doe and sink her canines into its neck. The doe made a yelp when caught, but then was still. The woman drank of her prey, concentrating on the animal. Markham kept his distance, knowing not to approach a vampire while feeding. The woman’s eyes flew open, her mouth still connected to the doe.

As Markham was about to step out and introduce himself, he heard Ridge approach. He could read his thoughts before he saw him.

Kill the girl, get free. Kill the girl, get the money. Never have to go to Hell again, Ridge thought.

Whe nesh na baa?” the girl asked, and Markham thought she spoke to him, but she looked past him, to the right. Her eyes narrowed, a cold dark stare as if she would kill with a mere look. “Annish mampee enna kian sha ganosh?” She stood, blood trailing onto her white furs as she whipped her two long braids from her face.

“Listen,” Ridge said as he stepped into view, a gun trained on the girl. “I don’t understand your gobble-de-gook. If you’re gonna threaten me, do it in English.”

“Who are you to come on this land, in a forest of peace to dishonor the ancestors of the people?” she asked, clear and confident with only a slight accent.

“Glad you asked. My name’s Ridge. You are?”

“Minidoo. I belong here. You do not.”

“Look Mini, I really have nothing against you, but I made a deal and you are my way to freedom. So stand real still like…” He fired his gun. The shots missed and Minidoo had Ridge in a head lock before he could blink.

“Who sent you?” She lifted him off the ground, his neck still in the crook of her forearm as she floated upwards.

“Put…me…down…God damnit!” Ridge struggled against her, grunting and kicking back at her. “All right, no more Mr. Nice Guy.” Ridge took something from his pocket and put it too his mouth.

Minidoo dropped him, screeching and covering her ears. Markham didn’t hear anything, but it seemed to work on the poor girl.

“What is it?” she yelled.

“Hell whistle.”

Markham could stand by no longer, he stepped between them, his back to Minidoo.

“Ridge, your torture stops here.”

“Markham O’Leary! Two for the price of one. Imagine my luck!” Despite his cocky humor, Markham could see doubt in his mind. Can the Hell whistle defeat two strong immortals? Will I live to collect my money?

From the woods came a howl so horrific, it couldn’t be a normal wolf. A mangy set of dogs came out of the woods.

“Hmmm…in all my days, I ain’t never seen a hellhound so ugly. Glad he’s on my side. Go get ‘em killer.” Ridge smiled self-righteously.

The animals didn’t seem to be “hounds” exactly, but the Hell part Markham believed. They were giant wooly dogs, almost bear like. At first it looked like they were chained together by twos, but the closer they got, he realized they were attached in the middle like mutant Siamese twins, each having four legs and a separate head, but combined in a wide body. Brown in color, their fur seemed to undulate as if it was liquid. Their eyes were deep crevices where eyeballs should’ve been. When they snarled, deadly sharp teeth and skeletal jaws dripped with blood.

Have you encountered this sort of beast before? Minidoo asked Markham silently.

No, you? Markham asked.

No.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love

 

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.”

~David Watson, The All Night Library

 

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

 

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Emerian Rich was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1973, the only child of pastors. She lived in thirty-two different places by the time she graduated high school. With no siblings and no consistent peer relationships, the pen became an integral part of her life, granting her an inexpensive pastime that she could take with her anywhere. The characters in her stories became her friends and her journal, her only continuous confidant.

Emerian graduated The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California with an A.A. in Visual Presentation and Space Design. She has been a consultant on window design, store merchandising, web design projects, company logos, event planning and decoration, newsletter production, and has been voice acting since 2008.

Emerian began her non-profit zine, Dark Lives, in 1997. Her goal was to give unpublished talent in the horror genre a place to have their work published and enjoyed. Originally began as a paper publication, Dark Lives became exclusively a webzine in 2002. darklives.com officially closed it’s doors at the end of 2007.

Emerian now serves as Horror Hostess for the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net.
HorrorAddicts.net has become not only a podcast but a widely read publisher of horror news, reviews, and fiction.

Emerian has been a part of many social and business groups including: The Katz (Supernatural Investigators), Wicked Women Writers, Mad Hatter Tea Society, Quillz Literary Group, and others. She is also an active volunteer for the following causes: Clean The Beach Days, Earth Day, Oil Clean Up Education, Service to Elders, Children’s Day Camp, Community Support for Abused Children, and Activities for the Developmentally Disabled.

She has also written under the names: Emerian Mordrige, E. Mordrige, Emmy Z. Madrigal and Emz.

Emerian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. To meet Emerian, check out her events.

http://www.emzbox.com/

Sovereignty

In the 23rd century the world is a very different place. The population has dropped from 9 billion to 3 billion and the whole planet is controlled by one government. There are no cell phones or personal computers and everyone has a chip inserted into their arm so the government knows where they are at all times. People work at jobs assigned to them by the powers that be and if anyone breaks a law in this new world, it is dealt with harshly. There is no more religion or personal choice, there is just the Sovereign Regime or SR.

Many of the world’s young people aren’t happy with this way of life but it seems pointless to resist the SR’s will since they know your every move. Eighteen year old Goro and his friends Alex and Cory have found small ways to annoy the SR, such as a wristband to block their control chip’s powers and setting off explosives in a park. Their actions bring them to the attention of a small grass-roots organization with the goal of over throwing the SR. The odds are against them but with their old lives a distant memory, Goro and his friends do what needs to be done to make life better.

Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes is a YA novel set in a post-apocalyptic future with themes of loyalty, friendship and the importance of freedom. The story is told in a fast paced manner from Goro’s point of view. Each chapter begins with a historical quote and then gets into a short history of how we got to where we are in the 23rd century. The idea of telling the history behind the story in small segments rather than having a couple of chapters devoted to setting up the story was a great idea. Anjenique Hughes knows her audience and you never get a chance to get bored with this book as it gives a history lesson, throws in some action and gives you characters that you can relate to.

This brings me to my favorite part of the book which are the characters. All of the characters come across as someone you might meet in real life complete with flaws and a good side. Take Goro for instance, he comes across like a normal teenager with a big ego and issues with authority. He is the hero of the story but he is complex because he creates a lot of his own problems. He hates the SR and wants to rebel but some of the actions he takes hurts his family and friends as much as it hurts him, though in his mind he’s always doing what’s right.

There is a point where Goro’s father finds out some horrible secrets of the SR. Goro finds out and his actions  leads his family to greater danger with some drastic consequences. Even when Goro joins the resistance he still has problems with authority and questions their leadership. Even Goro’s friends complain about how he was acting. What I liked about this was it seemed like normal behavior for most teenagers. Goro has a good heart but his ego and attitude still make life harder for the people around him. Goro is a shade of grey and in the real world people have a good and bad side to them so Goro comes across as realistic.

Sovereignty is an excellent read for a YA audience or an adult audience. While reading this book I found myself comparing the SR regime to other governments throughout history, there are parallels to the Nazis and any dictatorship that has ever been. Even in the future history is always repeating itself with a crooked government rising to power and a rebel force attempting to bring them down. This is one entertaining thrill ride and the first book in a series, do yourself a favor and check it out.

http://www.sovereigntyseries.com/

amazon.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

Book Spotlight: Middle South by Maya Nessouli Abboushi

Book Description:

 

Layla has recently moved out of her parents’ home in the Atlanta suburbs and into an apartment in the city to assert her independence. Between her job as a feature writer for a small newspaper and her social life, Layla has little time to think about marriage and children, much to the dismay of her Lebanese parents.

 

On a hilarious journey that takes Layla from the Southeast to the Middle East and back, she finds out a little more about herself and what she is looking for in life and in love.

 

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble ~ BookLogix

 

Add on Goodreads

 

Author’s Bio:

 

Maya Nessouli Abboushi is a Lebanese American born and raised in the United States. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

 

​Connect with the author:  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

Then She Was Born

It’s hard to even know where to start when describing Then She Was Born by Cristiano Gentli. The description doesn’t do it justice. This is a complex novel that has several sub plots and themes, but at the heart of the story is a young girl trying to find where she fits within society. The story begins with an albino baby born in a small community in Africa. The parents disown her and the village wishes to kill her because she will bring bad fortune. The baby’s grandmother Nkamba saves the infant and talks the village into saving her by giving the lake gods a chance to destroy it, if the baby is truly evil. The baby survives and is named Adimu.

Adimu leads a hard existence, she is shunned by the children in her village and makes friends with the farm animals that she has to take care of. Being an albino in Africa,  Adimu is not seen as a person, but as a thing. To Africans her body parts are considered valuable and they will pay to have parts of her. Adimu gives pieces of her hair to other kids so she has someone to play with, until her grandmother puts a stop to it. One day Adimu is very excited because some kids want her to go on a boat ride, but later she finds out from her grandmother that those kids are not her friends, Legend has it that if an albino is on a ship that sinks, the albino will float and the others can use her as a flotation device to get to safety.

Things are bad for Adimu but sometimes good things can come from bad. She has learned to become self-reliant and though she is lonely she carries on. Adimu has the love of her Grandma, and an English woman named Sarah who can’t have kids befriends her. Adimu is never safe though as bounty hunters are hunting her for her body parts including Sarah’s husband Charles. Everyone here has an agenda and only a few have Adimu’s best interests at heart.

Proving how complex this novel is, their are several other stories that are also told. You have a man driven by greed who is willing to do anything to expand his empire. There is a wife who is heartbroken that she cannot have a baby. Another woman looses everything including her identity to follow her husband to Africa. It has a witch doctor willing to do anything to keep his power in the village and a priest who wants to get more people to follow his congregation. We also have a young African man who believes he has Aids and is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as a village leader, despite wanting to be a doctor. This book is a fictionalized version of what Africa is like.

This is not normally the kind of book I like to read but I was asked several times to give it a look and decided to give it a chance. Then She Was Born is a perfectly written human drama that highlights the human experience in Africa. Africa comes to life in vivid detail in the description of its people, there superstitions, how their communities are ran along with the beauty and poverty of the country. You also see the characters in the story change their attitudes towards Adimu. Some can’t leave their superstitions behind, while others find that the way they see this African Albinos is wrong. Then She Was Born is a great piece of literature that I hope raises some awareness for Helping African Albinos.

http://www.helpafricanalbinos.com/en/

Book Spotlight: Silence Interrupted

Silence Interrupted

By

Sania Shaikh

silence-interrupted

Two months before Troye Saavedra’s senior year of high school, his father’s drinking problem skyrockets. When Troye’s parents make an impulsive move to Georgia in order to “help” him finish high school on a positive note, he is forced to leave behind everything he knows. Things couldn’t get worse for Troye. That is, until he meets three enigmatic teenagers: Adelaide, an independent violinist with radical ideas; Zaidan, fiercely loyal and always funny; and Arabella, a girl who harbors secret struggles. Together, the four friends try to pick up the jagged pieces of their lives without getting hurt themselves. An insightful tale of perseverance, Silence Interrupted is a young adult novel about the beauty and peril of traversing the world as a teenager.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1610058127/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479146592&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=silence+interupted+by+sania+shaikh

sania-shaikh

Sania Shaikh is a junior at Cambridge High School. Inspired to write from a young age, she worked on Silence Interrupted, her debut novel, starting in eighth grade.

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5 Must Read Books For Hairy Potter Fans

5 Must-Read Books (1)

5 Must-Read Books for Harry Potter Fans

Harry Potter is one of the most popular book series ever written!

Its whimsical characters and magical adventures have captured the hearts of millions. If you’re a Potter Maniac, you probably think that no story can compare those of the mystifying Hogwarts and the boy with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. But have you read these spellbinding masterpieces?

***Attention Harry Potter Lovers: In honor of J.K. Rowling being named the Top Followed Author on Reader’s Legacy in 2015 we’re holding a 1 week sale on ALL of her books. From April 25th-30th, 2016 any Rowling book is 20% off AND double the LitCoins will be loaded into your account just for purchasing. Click the link to check out this limited time offer! ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling***

 

1.   The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – http://bit.ly/1NygYMp

Like Harry Potter, this series comes in 7 installments and features a secret world full of wonders, its magical inhabitants, and the child-heroes who must save it from destruction.

 

2.   The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – http://bit.ly/1VeZwof

A prequel to the famed “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, this delightful classic takes readers far from reality as it follows a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins on an unexpected and perilous quest to help his friends reclaim their home, which has been taken over by a gold-loving dragon.

 

3.   The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – http://bit.ly/1qCCSJj

Told in 3 parts, this is the story of Bilbo Baggins’s nephew Frodo who, with the help of some unlikely allies, must travel to the ends of the earth to destroy an ancient ring, before its evil power brings his world to ruin.

 

4.   Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  http://bit.ly/1YDW3NQ

This endearing story tells of an imaginative young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a world full of whimsical (and more-than-slightly backwards) characters, where nothing is practical and anything is possible. Alice and her topsy-turvy friends return in the sequel, Through the Looking Glass (http://bit.ly/1rcoVmm).

 

5.   The Inheritance Series (Eragon) by Christopher Paolini – http://bit.ly/1WbUnfs

4 fantastic novels tell what happens when a farm boy named Eragon finds a mysterious dragon egg, it hatches, and his life is eternally changed as he becomes the last known Dragon Rider…and the primary target of a rising evil empire.

 

These are just some of the countless wonderful fantasy novels out there. By expanding your literary horizons you will gain a deeper love of reading, and acquire a tasteful appreciation for other authors/genres – even ones that may not be your favorite. Check out these books, or one of your own finding, and tell us what you think!

As an added perk of Reader’s Legacy’s Rowling celebration, we will be holding a special 20% off sale for each of her novels from April 25th to April 30th –ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling

The sale not only celebrates J.K. Rowling, but was also brings attention for a special grant program we have created in order to give away 1 million physical books in support of literacy programs! Spreading a love of books, and ending illiteracy around the world is 100% possible, and with the help of reader’s on the site, we believe will be one step closer to achieving that goal! Get in on this sale HERE.