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Book Review: "The Haunting of Gospall" by Solomon Strange

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REVIEW BY ALLAN KRUMMENACKER
4 - STARS "An Eerie Blend To Satisfy Horror Enthusiasts..."
Mix one part voodoo, one part devil worship, three parts the darker side of human nature and you get "The Haunting of Gospall".
The author does a wondrous job of blending these three elements into a intricate yarn that transcends the high seas. He starts us off with a brilliant opening scene upon the SS Gospall in the 1800's, showing a keen insight of what sailors and captains faced on the open waters during one of the more contentious periods between England and France.  We're introduced to characters we come to admire and care deeply for, both in the 1800's and the present, as the tale unfolds and a mystery that links the two time periods slowly unfolds.
We meet Sean, who is blessed unwillingly with psychic talents that has led him down a dark path once before.  The author also introduces us to his beloved Sophie who not only listens to him when he starts telling …

Things I Learned Creating An Anthology - Part II

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And I'm back, sort of.



Okay, I'm still a bit unwell, but finally on the mend. In the meantime let's continue with that discussion about some of the things I learned putting together our first anthology.
First off it was somewhat easier than creating an entire novel. With a novel you have to keep track of so many things like character development, interactions, subplots, pace of the story, etc.  Now with an anthology, you still have a lot of stories to contend with but each one is self-contained and has its own beginning and end. You don't have to be worried about how they fit into the main tale. Plus you can have a greater variety of characters and give each tale a flavor all its own. Sounds pretty easy so far right? Well, here's where things started to get a little more complicated for me.

Like a novel, an anthology does need to have a certain feeling of cohesiveness to it. There must be some facet or factor that makes the reader feel like the stories all belong t…

Book Review: Ripley Patton's "Ghost Hand"

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Blogger’s Note: I know I promised the second entry about things I learned about putting together an anthology, but the bug we’ve been fighting turned into bronchitis, possibly bordering on pneumonia. So we’re both on heavy antibiotics which does not make for very sensible thinking or analyzing, much less writing. So please bear with us and hope you enjoy this latest book review. We hope to be back in the saddle very soon. Thank you.


"Ghost Hand" is a thrilling ride into a modern day reality, so like our everyday one, but with a twist... some people have 'Ghost Limbs'. It feels like the author took the concept of 'phantom limb syndrome', when someone suffers the loss of a limb yet still feels the missing appendage, and then made it into something more tangible in a unique way. The characters are born with what would have been a missing limb, except the limb IS there, only it's glowing and almost intangible at times. And sometimes, they seem to have a m…

Book Review: Cher'ley Grogg's "The Secret In Grandma's Trunk"

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*Blogger's Note: I know I promised to continue about our experiences with creating our first anthology, but massive colds have been kicking us around.  Hope to get back to that subject next week.  Until then, here's another book review.  Enjoy*

This was my first venture into the writing of Miss Grogg and I have to say I was quite pleased.  This tale took me down the winding passages of my own childhood memories involving friends, relatives, and grandparents (who I sorely miss).
The story begins with Brandon having to move into his little brother's room, because his elderly great-grandmother is coming to live with his family.  Brandon is not happy about this and even resentful.  But we quickly see the conflicting emotions within him early on when he first meets his great-grandmother who is full of spunk and not one to be pushed around in spite of her advanced age.  But in addition to that fiery spirit she brings an old fashioned trunk that captivates not only Brandon's …

Things I Learned Writing An Anthology - Part I

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Last night Helen and I finished the final story for our upcoming anthology!
     Thank you!  Thank you!  You're all being too kind.  But today's post is not to talk about the anthology itself, as much as what went into making it.  How did it differ from writing full-length novels?  Was it easier?  Was it harder? What was the process like?  Where did we get all the stories for it, etc.?
      Well, for starters, coming up with a decent number of stories was and wasn't hard really.  Helen had been writing stories long before e-books and well before I tried my hand at penning a tale.  I can easily say I learned so much from her earlier attempts at getting published, and let me tell you she got damn close to seeing some of her work in print.  But, that's a tale for another entry.
      What I want to say is that I learned a lot about what to expect when I decided to try  going the traditional published route.  Although in my case, I started shortly after the birth of e-pu…

Getting Set For a New Adventure

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First I'd like to thank all the guest bloggers, authors, and reviewers who were so kind to supply our blog with posts. It gave me some much needed time to get some rest and help family members who had suffered a terrible loss. It also allowed us to get back to work on our anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” which will be coming out in early October, a perfect time for creepy stories and tales of encounters with strange beings. With only two stories left to be completed and edited, we will soon be lining up Beta-Readers and then doing our final edits.      Work has also been progressing on “The Door” latest full-length novel in the Para-Earth Series, and “The Pass” the first installment in a brand new series co-written with Richard Caminiti.

     In the meantime, I have been studying and purchasing the necessary equipment to begin audio-readings. As you can see below I've been slowly setting up a “Recording Studio” in our office/guest room.

     Now some of you…

Book Review: Leonie Swann's "Three Bags Full"

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REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER
     Mystery stories have to work hard to set themselves apart from the crowd. Some do it with an underlying nonfiction theme, such as mystery novels/recipe books. Special settings can be useful. Most of all, characters are a way to be distinctive and memorable. There’s an entire bookshelf in our house of mysteries with animal detectives.

     Cats make up the majority of animal detectives, able to roam freely and unobtrusively. Three Bags Full takes a different, and possibly unique path. As the name suggests, the mystery is being worked on by… sheep.
    It begins with the discovery of the death of their shepherd. Even they can tell it is not natural causes, because he has had a spade stuck in his body. Whether it is the cause of death or not, it is a definite sign of violence and took place in their pasture, at night, while they were in a barn. They are disturbed; it is very like and yet unlike a wolf attack. The sheep vow that, as he protected them and ca…