Book Review: Instrument of Evil by Lori A. Lowthert

Rebekah Johnson has a really big secret, one she's pretty sure will end her new relationship with Scott. She'd like to tell him, but she anticipates his response would be to break up with her. Or report her to the police. Most likely both. Rebekah is a fledgling serial killer, and she's not ready to put killing aside. What's a young serial killer to do? Can she give up killing to save her relationship?


I have to admit that I messed up. I actually read the second book in this story first, but that’s another review.

Instrument of Evil is about a female serial killer as she grows up, and the events that led her to kill. During college, she has to write a thesis for phycology, and decides to write two separate ones. One thesis is about children, and their habits of lying, and the other about psychopaths, which Rebekah has self-diagnosed herself as.

I was forced to accept the idea that I was a psychopathic person, a person who would lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others, for the fun of it.

The first third of the book was spent solely on backstory, which seemed to serve no real purpose other than to prove that she was brought up in a somewhat normal household. Rebekah’s character rubbed off on me as a spoiled, intelligent, brat, who only did things for attention. There were long descriptions of family vacations and shopping trips, but they didn’t really show us anything other than descriptions.

There was nothing fantastic about the first half of the book to me, and I had trouble really getting into the story, as it was just normal life of a girl growing up. She gets into trouble like most teens, and the only thing remotely disturbing is that fact that she lied and help convict an innocent man of rape.

The story is told from first person perspective, and could have easily showed us insight into the mind of a killer, or given us opinions of what a serial killer thought of the events around her, but there were only a few sarcastic monologues that reminded me of the disgruntled teen that she is.

Personally, when I read a description about a book that includes a serial killer, I expect murder to be a huge premise of the story. We don’t really start to tread on the subject of murder until we are almost halfway through the book.

Even though Rebekah’s character falls into the personality traits of a psychopath (for those who study theory of mind obsessively like me), the traits actually tend to sway toward the tame side, and even then I had trouble finding it convincing. I was hoping for more of an internal struggle from the character, and it just wasn’t there. I believe that the author was shooting for a more apathetic personality, which holds true in some cases, but I was hoping for a massive tortured soul, possibly including the audio and visual hallucinations. Rebekah’s psychopathic tendencies fall under the thrill-kill category, but her off-putting personality has you doubting that she is even getting a thrill from it. I was hoping to either see her fighting with the urge to kill people, or to battle keeping her life in control because of the murders, but nether seemed to emerge and flesh out. She seemed to drop in a line here or there that she stop killing, but there was no big internal debate over the subject.

Now for the kicker. We don’t know what really goes on in the mind of a serial killer because most of them have either been sentenced to death, or have never been caught. There are so many varying degrees of insanity that no two would be the same, so to say that Rebekah’s character is unrealistic can be debated, and let’s not forget the fact that this book is merely fiction.

I have to give Loria Lowthert credit. It was a fabulous idea, and I still don’t know whether I like this book or not, so I have to settle in the middle with a 3 star rating. The book was well written and edited, and it had me arguing with myself over theory of mind. I don’t think I’ve ever had a love/hate relationship with a book before, until now.   

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Author Spotlight: Jonathan Maberry

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than twenty countries.

His novels include:

The Pine Deep Trilogy:

GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006)

The Joe Ledger series of action thrillers from St. Martins Griffin:

PATIENT ZERO (2009, voted one Best Zombie Novel of 2009; winner of the Black Quill Award and a Bram Stoker Award finalist)

THE WOLFMAN (NY Times bestseller from Tor and winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation, based on the Universal Pictures film starring Benecio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Sir Anthony Hopkins)

The Benny Imura series of Young Adult dystopian zombie thrillers from Simon & Schuster:

ROT & RUIN (2010)
DUST & DECAY (2011)
FLESH & BONE (2012)
FIRE & ASH (2013)


Jonathan was featured in a History Channel special, Zombies: A Living History, which aired October 25, 2011. He has also has co-authored and worked on several non-fiction books that that explore vampires and zombies.

He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR and the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE PUNISHER, and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS WOLVERINE. All of Jonathan's comic book collections will be released as Graphic Novel collections.< /span>

Jonathan is also the author of several short stories, and the Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers). He is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books.

On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill.
Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others.

To find out more about Jonathan check out his site,

Excerpt of Jonathan Mayberry's Dead Of Night

Book Review: Hellwatch: Mephistopheles by Larime Taylor

Ester Vasquez, 25, was born with arthrogryposis. As a child she showed a natural aptitude with computers that eventually led to the online underworld of hacking, where she became a star. Though she was never caught, she decided to turn her skills to more legal endeavors, attending Arizona State University and offering her services as an online security specialist. A successful early career followed. Roughly four years ago, however, something happened within her family that shook her to the core and brought on some drastic changes over time. She still refuses to talk about it.

After several years as the ‘It Girl’ of online security, she all but gave up the profession and took up a more peculiar one: hunting demons and monsters. She continues to live on the money that her company makes, though she has very little to do with its day-to-day functions and dealings, leaving that to a business manager and several other young hackers hired on to take her place after she walked away just over two years ago. A former Catholic priest-turned-demon hunter in Boston named Jacob Bridges took her on as a student and became her long-distance mentor.

Ester met Samuel ‘Sammy’ Lutui, a registered nurse, soon after when his grandmother hired her because she was convinced that he was possessed by a demon. Grandma was old and old fashioned, and being gay was something she just couldn’t come to accept. Funny enough, it turned out that there was a demon in Sammy, but it had nothing to do with his being gay, and Ester easily got rid of it. In his gratitude, Sammy became Ester’s live-in care provider as well as her demon-hunting assistant, and in the two years that followed they’ve become best friends. Together they protect the unaware masses from the monsters and demons that lurk in the shadows and prey upon them.

The enigmatic Demon in Black, an independent agent and Ester’s occasional contact, surfaces with some important information. As he looks to be playing both sides of the fence, whose side is he really on? Can he make Ester an offer she can’t refuse?


Mephistopheles is the second episode of Larime Taylor’s Hellwatch series, and I highly recommend it to anyone that loved the movie Constantine. You can read the pilot episode on Larime’s site, along with each new episode, which will be appearing on a monthly basis until Halloween 2012.

In the second episode we get to see Ester and Samuel at their best. They are recuperating after capturing a nasty demon in Mexico, but Ester tries to hide some emotional wounds that run deeper than her healing laceration.

There are things about Ester’s past that Samuel doesn’t know. Ester struggles with her own inner demons. Ester had seen things that caused her to pursue a life as a demon hunter, but what Samuel doesn’t realize, is that what she saw came from her home.

In steps Mephistopheles. He’s not too fond of making deals with the devil’s spawn, but he is concerned about one person – himself. Mephistopheles is a fallen angel that not only turned his back on god, but the devil too. He has no desire to help in the war between good and evil, he only wants to be left alone. If that means making a deal with the one of the princes of hell – so be it.

The devil’s children are looking for a way to gain Mephistopheles cooperation, because he knows one thing that they can’t figure out. Mephistopheles has possessed the body of a human without there being a physical conflict between human and the demon’s soul. This is valuable information that all the demons would like to know, but Mephistopheles only wants one thing – to be omitted from the war.

Pacts are signed in blood and deals are made. You can break a deal with a demon, but there will be hell to pay afterward.

I read Mephistopheles before it was completely through the editing process, and have to admit that Larime Taylor has a great talent for story building. The author has created a complex world of greed; with an unfolding deeper plot that I’m sure will take us on a ride through the series. His characters well thought out and dimensional. Larime tells a story from the view most of never see, and has a great lure to keep you captivated. 

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An interview of me.

It's not often that I'm the one in the hot seat. Brent Michael Kelley, author of Chuggie And The Desecration Of Stagwater, decided to ask me some hard hitting questions about writing, Harrison Ford, and space rays. You can read my answers on his site by click here: 

And if you haven't read Brent's book, check out my review of it by clicking here:

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Book Review: The Last Man On Earth Club by Paul R. Hardy

Six people are gathered for a therapy group deep in the countryside. Six people who share a unique and terrible trauma: each one is the last survivor of an apocalypse. 

Each of them was rescued from a parallel universe where humanity was wiped out. They’ve survived nuclear war, machine uprisings, mass suicide, the reanimated dead, and more. They’ve been given sanctuary on the homeworld of the Interversal Union and placed with Dr. Asha Singh, a therapist who works with survivors of doomed worlds. 

To help them, she’ll have to figure out what they’ve been through, what they’ve suffered, and the secrets they’re hiding. She can’t cure them of being the last man or woman on Earth. But she can help them learn to live with the horrors they survived. 


I’m usually not one for science fiction, but I have a weakness for apocalyptic fiction. Whether it’s the all-consuming zombie virus, or just the scientific deterioration of the world, I find myself drawn to stories that contain some type of cataclysm. When I read the synopsis for The Last Man On Earth Club, I couldn’t refuse.

Everyone has a theory as to how the world will end, but Paul R. Hardy presents us with six.

Imagine if you can. There are an unlimited amount of parallel universes, with one that had been dubbed the Hub. The Hub’s main goal is to scour all of the parallel universes for worlds (or Earths) that are in trouble. Their function is to keep these worlds alive by intervening and providing the people with the resources that they need, or evacuate the remaining refugees to the Hub.

The Last Man On Earth Club is exactly that. The Hub was too late in six universes, and the result was that there was only a sole survivor of the “species” on each planet. The catastrophes range from machine/human wars, nuclear fallouts, zombie plagues, species extinction (on a world with more than one species of humans), spontaneous combustion, and an electromagnetic pulse phenomenon. The single survivors are sent to Hub to begin post-traumatic stress disorder therapy as a group. In a way that reminded me of The Breakfast Club, the group talks out the trauma that they endured.

This book is a huge bite at a staggering 170,000 word count, and I almost wanted to pass on reading it because of the length. I’m glad that I didn’t. The book is broken down into individual therapy sessions that I found compelling. I only had two complaints: a lack of physical descriptions of characters, and not attributing dialogue in group therapy. It can get a little confusing when you’re not sure who is speaking in a room of seven people, especially when the characters are growing and changing so much.  

Overall I really enjoyed the book, even though it felt like reading six apocalyptic books at the same time. It’s not the regular horror stories that I normally read, but there are the elements of horror with the sense that nothing is under control, and you are helpless to the inevitable. 

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Danse Macabre Giveaway!

There is still time to sign up for the Goodreads Danse Macabre giveaway.

Spencer Mason has discovered a secret spell that will raise the dead, and as a funeral home director, there is no short supply of bodies. As Spencer builds a legion of undead soldiers, he plans to get revenge for the torment he endured during his childhood years - until Raven Anderson moves into town. 

Blind since birth, Raven struggles to adapt with her new surroundings after the death of her mother. She finds a sympathetic shoulder to lean on when she meets Spencer, and the two find out that they have a lot in common. 

Raven senses that Spencer is troubled by something that he isn’t sharing, but the thing that tortures Spencer the most is something Raven cannot see.

5 STARS - "She reels you in with a heartfelt story, only to punch you hard in the face, making you wonder if you yourself are sick and twisted just for reading it! Pure brilliance at best!" - Shannon Yarbrough, author of Are You Sitting Down?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Danse Macabre by C.V. Hunt

Danse Macabre

by C.V. Hunt

Giveaway ends February 29, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
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Book Review: The Hungry Mouth by Isaac Marion

A man and a woman on their first date discover they have amazing powers

Tyrannosaurus Rex enjoys modern life as the guardian and spiritual mentor of Seattle. 

An angry stoplight manages traffic for the lawless humans it despises. 

An immortal and indestructible man discovers the horror and beauty of living forever. 

serpent exchanges emails with government agencies, confessing to a lifelong murder spree. 

feral cat sends psychic postcards to the family dog he left behind. 

A child abandoned into foster care grows into a very, very hungry man

A boy competes with his older brother for the affections of a girl before discovering a mysterious hole in the bottom of a lake

An old man reminisces on his career as a disease engineer for a shadowy world organization. 

A teenage girl and her kid brother make their way through a post-apocalyptic Seattle while being pursued by a large, lonely zombie

The black hole at the center of our galaxy delivers a fierce and final soliloquy

From the author of WARM BODIES, a collection of strange stories about strange people, strange creatures, and strange objects experiencing joys and hungers that are not strange at all. 

20 stories, including "Grass Through The Concerete" a novella set in the world of WARM BODIES. 

Limited Edition designed and published by the author. Only 500 copies will be made. All copies are signed.

Where the book can be purchased:


I think the back cover of this book describes The Hungry Mouth the best:

Short and long stories about people, animals, cars, crashes, love, disease, death, dinosaurs, black holes, breakups, zombies, gods, children, happiness, and hunger.

Isaac Marion is best known for his novel Warm Bodies, which is well on its way to a movie theater near you. The Hungry Mouth is a compilation of stories by Isaac, with a story toward the end a bit longer than the others called, Grass Through The Concrete. Warm Bodies fans can rejoice. The author has taken us back to the zombie fall-out. We meet Nora at sixteen and Julie at age ten, as they struggle in a world that has crashed and burned. The heartfelt sentiments are just as deep as its predecessor, and the strange sad satire is just as thick.

The other stories in The Hungry Mouth leading up to the zombie prequel were just as satisfying. They were bizarre, horrifying, comical, and thought provoking. She And I Walking stood out as one of my favorites. It’s about a man waiting for his blind date, only to bump into another girl waiting for her blind date. Their walk together explores what Love should and could be.

Jerry Lives Forever is another that stood out in my mind. It’s about an immortal man, and his exploration for happiness as the universe around him crumbles is thought provoking and insightful.

I know Warm Bodies fans will come for Grass Through The Concrete, but I hope that they give the other stories a chance. The variety of emotions and satire that are compiled in this book are too good to be true. But hurry, the author only printed 500 copies, and they can only be obtained through his website:

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I'm a horror writer?

They tell me I’m a horror writer, but I don’t think that I am. I guess I don’t look at my writing as typical horror at least. When I think of horror, a couple of things spring to mind. The thoughts usually involve a type of cold and mindless monster, a group of people afraid of it, and some hell-bent chaos as people try to kill said monster. That’s not what I write.

While most people automatically side with the frightened humans, I’m usually internally asking: Why is the monster so mad? What did the humans do to him?

Maybe he’s just looking for someone to accept him for who he is, and humans automatically want to kill him because he’s different. After a while, I would be ticked too if people rejected me as soon as they saw me, and then wasted all their time and effort to hurt or kill me.

I guess I have sympathy for the devil syndrome, this was some of the methodical thinking that went into the Endlessly series. What if the monster was just like you? Maybe the monster has feelings, and he is only doing what every creature on earth is doing – surviving. He’s not proud of what he does, but it’s essential to his existence.

Monsters need love too, you know.

With the final book of the trilogy so close to publishing, I thought I would give a small inside look at the main three characters. With every character I create, there always seems to be some song (the lyrics are the important part) that I stumble upon and find fitting for them, and their story. As most of you know that have read these books, each one is told by a different character’s point of view. Here is the breakdown:

#1 Endlessly – Verloren Fagan: The grumpy, centuries-old vampire. For countless years he has been restricted to the rules and regulations that he doesn’t completely agree with. He’s been told countless times who he can, and can’t have a relationship with. Watched with scrutiny about how he presents himself physically. It’s sort of like having overbearing parents that tell you what you can and can’t do, and what you can and can’t wear. What happens to kids with overbearing parents? They tend to rebel.

SONG: Endlessly, She Said by AFI

#2 Legacy – Ashley Nicely: Emotional, nervous, compulsive, and sometimes a little awkward. She comes from an emotionally detached family, and has broken free of a controlling relationship that was both emotionally and physically abusive. Her knight is shining armor shows up with the capacity to love her the way she has longed for, and give her the freedom she needs to soar. Sometimes there is a high price to gain freedom and love, she didn’t think twice before she leapt blindly into it.

SONG: Earthquake by The Used

#3 Phantom – Jason Zurk: The indecisive werewolf in denial. Vulgar, rude, and can’t make up his mind what he really wants. He tends to think with that thing in his pants, instead of his head. But deep down, he really just wants to love someone, and for them to love him just as much in return. He hates to admit that though, because that makes him look like a wimp. Talking about emotions is Jason’s weak point.

SONG: Smile Princess, You’re Perfect by Us, From Outside

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Book Review: Satan's Casting Call by Lisa Maliga

Duncan Smith-Holmes is a struggling young actor who is in desperate need of a paying gig or he has to leave Hollywood. But a bizarre casting call and an opportunity to land a major role in a high budget movie is something he can't pass up -- no matter what the consequences.


Satan’s Casting Call is a quick read at just over 9000 words. While the story is entertaining, it does lack the depth that keeps you emotionally attached to any characters.

Duncan is an out-of-work actor and he’ll do anything to get in the limelight. He arrives at an open casting call, and is astonished to find out he is the only person there for the audition. After discussing the project with the producer, Duncan decides that this role is far too important, and high-paying to let it slip from his fingers. The only problem is the people involved want the actor to resemble the main character… to the point of disfiguration.

Desperate and broke, Duncan seeks whatever it will take to land this role. How far would you be willing to go, and for how much money?

This was tasty tidbit of horror that reminded me of The Twilight Zone.

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Book Review: Zombie Maelstrom by Bryan Cassiday

Virulent pockets of plague, first reported in China, break out worldwide and spread with mind-boggling speed. CIA black ops agent Chad Halverson flies to Los Angeles to visit his brother after receiving a call that his brother has been hospitalized after a car accident. Halverson's Boeing 737 crash-lands in an eerie Los Angeles shrouded with an impenetrable haze of smog. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of Halverson's nightmare. Lurking in this mist are legions of plague-infected living dead who are driven by an all-consuming lust for human flesh. Halverson's reunion with his brother must take second place to his own struggle to stay alive.

As civilization crumbles into chaos, it will take all the skills and wits Halverson and his fellow passengers possess for their hunted party to survive in a world overrun with hordes of flesh-craving zombies. Which will pose a bigger threat to Halverson and his ever-dwindling band--their own bickering as they try to organize and defend themselves, their enemies the living dead, or the new "civilization" of men that is superseding the old?


Zombie Maelstrom is filled with the repetition of killing the virus riddled dead. It tells the story of a group of survivors trying to make it through the zombie apocalypse with limited information.

Chad Halverson knows that something is amiss with the so-called plague, because he works for the CIA. Chad keeps what information that he has to himself, as he, and a group of plane crash survivors try to make heads or tails of what is happening. The action keeps rolling as the group is devastated over and over by the onslaught of the undead.

The story reminded me of Night Of The Living Dead, but in a bug out scenario. My biggest complaint about the story is that I couldn’t find anything that hasn’t been portrayed in every zombie movie or book in the last 40 plus years: A couple of leaders, an over opinionated jerk (that everyone wants to see get offed), a girl that seems to lose her marbles, some one that flips out under the pressure, a group of renegades that want to build their own government, and then a few stragglers that just seem to waste space and resources.

There are a two things I consider when I read a zombie book.

ONE: What makes this different from every other one that I’ve read?

With Zombie Maelstrom I couldn’t seem to find anything that struck me as different. But with that said, there are quite a few zombie fans that love the repetition of the zombie ‘slash and dash’ story. They want the gore and carnage, and they aren’t looking for anything but the overflow of an all-consuming virus. For those people I would suggest this book.

TWO: Being a zombie coinsure, I look for whether or not I would have stayed with this group if I were there.

I’m sorry Bryan Cassiday, I would have cut and run from this group as soon as possible. The inevitability of my death would have had me hightailing it out of there as soon as I was able to obtain a weapon. With this group they took too much time overanalyzing their every move, and bickered amongst themselves under the siege of zombies.

If you like the tried and true zombies of 1964 then Zombie Maelstrom is for you.

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Author Spotlight: Guy Harrison

Guy Harrison is a Phoenix area-based author raised in Philadelphia. Once an aspiring sportscaster, Harrison has worked in public relations in higher education for the past six years. Agents of Change is his debut novel. He currently lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife Lindsay and their two cats.


An amiable corporate manager by day and a fledgling matchmaker whenever he can get around to it, Calvin Newsome’s new dream job falls into his lap when he’s recruited by a secret worldwide organization whose agents use uncanny abilities to empower and influence everyday downtrodden individuals. Disaster strikes, however, when an elaborate scheme leaves Calvin as a prime murder suspect…and his new employer is presumably to blame.

With the authorities on his heels and his life left in ruin, Calvin uses his new powers to blend in until a journey for freedom becomes a quest for peace. As the agency’s rival organization threatens the security of all of earth’s inhabitants, Calvin teams up with unlikely allies and battles startling enemies hellbent on unleashing their power in a twisted version of justice, innocent lives be damned. 

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In my world of writing.

Since this area of my site is titled “Updates/Reviews” I feel obligated to fulfill the first half of that title every once in a while. 

My site has been changed up a bit if you haven't noticed. I get bored with a look after a while, and my husband suggested the catch phrase: Do Not Dispose Of In Fire! It's the warning that is on some electronic and batteries due to they may explode in a fire. He thought it was a funny pun on burning books, and I thought what the heck. 

I'll move on to other business. I guess I will answer the question that I get asked the most.

Q: Are you writing right now?

A: At this point, I’m sort on hiatus. Within two months I will have published three works, and promoting all three is becoming a nightmare. 

First there is Danse Macabre, a novella that is not related to the Endlessly series. It’s a zombie story mixed with satire, but not the modern disease riddled corpses that we call zombies. It’s based on the origins of zombies – Voodoo.

Second, I was part of a love poetry anthology, Love Notes.  It was published on January 31 in hopes of promoting it for Valentine’s Day. You can find out more about these first two by clicking the pages on my site.

And third, Phantom, the finale of the Endlessly trilogy will be out February 29. This has caused writing to come to a crawl and almost a standstill as I read through the final review of Phantom.

So, am I writing right now? Not really. I’ve been piddling with some poetry, because that doesn’t require long nights in front of a computer. This way I can devote more time to reviewing Phantom. Also, I’ve played with the idea of compiling all my miscellaneous poetry, (unsung) songs, and paintings into a random picture book.

I do have three books started though.

The one that is closest to completion is Switch. For those of you that follow my posts, you know that this book is related to the Endlessly trilogy. It’s sort of a companion book, as it takes place in the same world as the trilogy, but the characters are a bit different. The whole concept was to “switch” sides, (hence the name) and see all of the events that unfolded in the trilogy from the eyes of the Quatre. It would include the things that you heard about through the books, but never actually got to witness due to the first person perspective. The Endlessly world is rough and cruel, but the Quatre are even worse.

The second book that I have started is a bit off of my regular path, and it doesn’t have a name yet. It’s my attempt a bizzaro fiction. If you haven’t heard of this genre before, Google it.

The third book is only a budding; actually it’s only a chapter. But that is how its predecessor started out – Danse Macabre. I originally was dead set that Danse Macabre would be a standalone novella, if you’ve read the story you can see why. But like everything else that I write, the story just keeps playing in my head when I’m done typing.

That’s where I stand, and will probably stay until after Phantom’s release. Until then, in between reviewing Phantom, I think I’ll pick up my paint brush and work on some projects that I have in mind. 

Oh yeah, there is still a Goodreads giveaway going on for Danse Macabre too:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Danse Macabre by C.V. Hunt

Danse Macabre

by C.V. Hunt

Giveaway ends February 29, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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For Valentine's Day...

Love shared, love in secret, celebrated, exploded. Unrequited longing and love that’s mellowed through the years. Love at long distance, across continents, so close there’s no space to breathe, or never quite close enough. Love lost and love found. Love from the inside out and love from the outside in. 

Love Notes has it all: a collection of poetry as diverse as the experience of falling in love itself. A shared candied apple, a farewell at Paddington Station, a name scribbled in a notebook, a face that leaves us breathless, a single word that changes our life forever. Love Notes is a rich tapestry of verse woven from fragments of life and those moments that make falling in love so irresistible. And so inevitable. 

Love is unique, love is universal. Love is everywhere.


Q: What's this? Love? Isn't this site and author dedicated to horror, paranormal, and all the things that go bump in the night?

A: Yes, I am dedicated to the darker side of fiction, but even monsters need love too. 

I submitted some poetry for a Love themed anthology through Vagabondage Press, and was accepted. The intent of the anthology was to give those who are unable to express their love in words, a unique gift to give for Valentine's Day. So here it is, the result of challenging myself to write something that wasn't drenched in blood, or covered in gore.

Available in paperback and eBook. The links where you can obtain it are below:

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Book Review: Hellwatch: Pilot Episode by Larime Taylor

A young disabled woman in a wheelchair protects an unaware world from demons and monsters.

Ester Vasquez, born with arthrogryposis, hunts the monsters and demons that hide from the unsuspecting masses along with her 6'8, 360lbs Samoan care provider, Sammy. In episode one - 'Pilot' - Ester and Sammy travel just over the Mexican border from their home in Arizona to help a little boy possessed by a demon, but what awaits them when they return home is far worse than anything they've ever faced. It will take all of Ester's brains and Sammy's brawn to repel an attack that threatens not just years of hard work, but their lives as well.

Hellwatch is planned to be an ongoing serial fiction series told in 9 monthly 'episode' novellas per 'season'. This is the pilot episode, and if well received, 8 more will follow each month starting in January 2012.


The opening of Hellwatch had me hooked:

Ester Vasquez was not a big fan of the Man Upstairs. As she saw things, He was a quitter, just like the father that she never knew. She eventually came to the conclusion that the deist belief in a clockmaker God that created the universe and simply walked away was pretty much on the money. He had long ago lost interest in His creation, or maybe He hand never been interested at all. Praying to an invisible man in the sky seemed, as the late George Carlin once said, just as effective as praying to Joe Pesci. She wasn’t an atheist, however – she knew He existed, at some point in time. He just didn’t care anymore. How did she know this?

Ester hunted demons and monsters.

Ester Vasquez has a straight forward character that peppers her conversations with sarcasm and humor. With a warmhearted Samuel as her care provider, she fights more than just her inner demons of doubt, life, and creation, but the real demons rising up from hell.

Jacob used to work for the Catholic Church as a priest, but he left after trying to convince the church that there are cracks in their foundation. He taught Ester how to exercise the possessed using faith, but she abandoned it for a more scientific approach.

Ester and Samuel work as a team using her method of demon removal. In this story they head to Mexico to help a boy that has been possessed, but once the incantation starts they find out that they may be in over the heads. Ester’s strong headedness keeps her from backing out of the ritual. She more than proves that being disabled by arthrogryposis is not going to stop her. Ester takes down the strong demon with little fight as the creature bellows about her darkest secrets.

It was easier than she had first feared… too easy.

Things just don’t sit right with Ester about the incident. The things that demon spoke about, the branch of hierarchy that the creature came from, and the ease of its removable have her worried. She plans on recuperating at home before they set out again, but other forces have different plans for her.

Larime Taylor has written an addictive pilot for Hellwatch. I flew through this episode, and was left with a feeling of wanting more. This is just the start of serial fiction series, which is getting harder and harder to find. I look forward to reading the rest of them. I would suggest this to anyone that likes to read about the battles between good and evil, or for someone that is looking for a strong-willed protagonist that can overcome anything that life throws at them.  

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