Friday, December 30, 2011

Lucky 13 . . . The Best Of 2011

Here's my list of the best books I read this year. It was difficult to narrow it down, I could easily have twice the number up here. I tried to have ten only but I couldn't do it. So, I managed to chop the list down to a baker's dozen. Lucky 13.

I'm listing them in no particular order because choosing where they should stand in comparison with each other is impossible. Although, if I had to say which one was my absolute favourite, if I was about to be kidnapped by aliens (for example) to read them bedtime stories and they said I could only take one of these books, it would probably be Stuart Neville's The Ghosts Of Belfast. That one blew me away.

And now for the Lucky 13...

In Nine Kinds Of Pain by Leonard Fritz

The Lonely Mile by Allan Leverone

Between These Pages, These Places by Frank Duffy

Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

Street Raised by Pearce Hansen (new 2011 kindle edition)

The Ghosts Of Belfast by Stuart Neville

Devils In Exile by Chuck Hogan

Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

Mountains of Smoke by Frank Duffy

The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Beautiful, Naked & Dead by Josh Stallings

Monday, December 26, 2011

Between These Pages, These Places by Frank Duffy

Whenever I start reading a Frank Duffy story, I can barely pull myself away. I let the dinner burn, the dogs whine to be let out, my own writing wait—so powerful is the lure of the arrangement of Duffy’s words on the page. You get sucked down into this beautifully dark, intimate, almost salacious vortex that seems other worldly, and yet strangely familiar. And it’s completely hypnotic.

So while my husband mops up the dog pee, I serve the burnt (it’s Cajun blackened!) chicken, and try to put into words for my family how amazing this guy’s writing is that I’m reading. They listen and nod, chewing their over cooked chicken. We enjoy lingering at the dinner table engaged in conversation, but I’m anticipating it being over so I can get back to reading Frank Duffy. As long as Frank is writing, I will be reading every word, every short story, novella, and full length work. I wish all the stories by other authors I read could be this damn good.

Get a copy of Between These Pages, These Places on Amazon kindle. If you like Koontz and King, I know you'll love Duffy. And when you've finished reading it, read Duffy's novella Mountains Of Smoke. It's simply brilliant.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review of Richard Godwin's Getting High On Daisy

In the fifth installment of Paul D. Brazill’s fantastic Drunk On The Moon series, Richard Godwin, has created a dark and delicious tale about Roman Dalton, the werewolf PI in only a way that Godwin can—brimming with sex and violence. Getting High On Daisy is classic Godwin at his finest. The character of Daisy is introduced in this story, a beautiful woman with a whip who dabbles in BDSM. Roman seems to have a primal sexual addiction to her as well as a psychic connection.

Daisy also suffers the same affliction as Roman and together they make a tantalizing team. Except that she’s missing. And Roman, after waking from the usual moon-lit hangover, not knowing where he’s been or what’s happened, can’t remember where she is or even who she is. All he knows is that he’s got to find her, and save her as it turns out, from a horrible fate. Getting High On Daisy is an aphrodisiacal fusion of erotica and noir, lewd and brilliantly written. It will leave you hungry more.

But wait, there is more Godwin to be had, check out his new crime novel, Apostle Rising.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ink, Skin & Paper

Meet Teresa. She's enjoying an ebook while getting tattooed. Teresa's reading the stories in The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology. It's an excellent collection of noir from some of the finest crime writers in the industry, the brainchild of Fiona Johnson, Thomas Puck, and Ron Earl Phillips. The anthology contains thirty stories that benefit two children's charities. So you can enjoy reading some cool stories knowing you're helping a great cause.

Teresa particularly enjoyed The Return of the Grievous Angel by Paul D. Brazill.

"It's really interesting," says Teresa. "There's a good amount of detail, yet he leaves a lot to the imagination, which I like."

Teresa works as a prison guard and she can kick your ass. So if she recommends a book, well...I'd buy it (just saying). The ink she's having done is the start of a full colour oriental sleeve. Today, Fabien, artist extraordinaire at Malefic Tattoos, did the outline for the samurai.

We'll check back with Teresa another day and see how the sleeve is progressing and if she's got any more recommendations for books to read while getting inked.

In the meantime, do yourself a favour and buy this book. Available on Amazon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Miles To Little Ridge by Heath Lowrance

There’s something about a cowboy that makes a girl’s heart pound a little faster. I must admit I’ve always loved those ten-gallon hat and leather wearing, big gun toting, whiskey drinking outlaws of the wild, wild west. I’ve enjoyed all the Clint Eastwood westerns (he’s the coolest of the cool). But I can’t say that I’ve ever read a western before, so it was a thrill to dive into the new edition of Edward A. Grainger’s western short story series Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles. This new installment called Miles To Little Ridge is written by Heath Lowrance, author of The Bastard Hand.

Being a fan of Lowrance’s writing, I knew it was going to be good. And as expected, I was not disappointed. Lowrance has skillfully crafted a stylish and compelling tale that tantalizes like a shot of whiskey to a desert-parched throat. The voice is authentic and the setting so real you can almost smell the horses and taste the grit of the kicked-up dust in the air. This was a great read with the right amount of knuckle-bearing violence you would expect from a good cowboy story. The only complaint I have is that it ended.

But that’s okay because there’s more where that came from...

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles

That Damned Coyote Hill