Archive for October, 2015

David Goes Home

David Goes Home is a mystery novel and a semiautobiographical memoir about growing up gay in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.

The wit, pathos and intellect of the young, gay minister, David Ward, in David Goes Home, is revealed in the mystery and nightmarish search for the murderer of his hometown sheriff in the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma which has haunted him in recurring dreams. David’s love for men, self-doubt, fear of being outed, and the struggle against the religious right of his upbringing are examined in this powerfully written book.

Returning home for his mother’s funeral, and during this spiritual quest and journey to self-acceptance, David stumbles across clues about the sheriff’s murder and discovers that many of the people he had so feared growing up had far more to hide than he did.

In this powerfully written book, one can almost hear the wind and taste the sandstorm grit.

About the author:
Grant Spradling, a retired United Church (formerly Congregational Church) minister, is also author of From High in The Mulberry Tree, a collection of short stories. The character of David Ward also appears in two previous mysteries — Maya Sacrifice and Palenque Murder, mysteries set in Mexico. Spradling is also co-creator of two volumes of Imaging the Word, collections of art and literature corresponding with the church lectionary. He lives with his recently married partner of forty-seven years in Amarillo, Texas and Merida, Mexico.

Read Full Post »

Hellscapes Vol II by Stephen Zimmer

Seventh Star Press

132 pages




Shiver….. Stephen Zimmer has released another chilling volume of his Hellscapes series just before Halloween. First let me say Stephen Zimmer is a master of modern horror. As I slipped into his, often grotesque, worlds, I saw grim and bloody scenes and humans behaving inhumanely. Even victims were not guiltless. Yet, each tale held a small flame of ….what? Certainly not hope, but perhaps insight or clarity. And in that there is a sense of justice and perhaps redemption, though there may not be hope.

These six stories may seem tales of shock and horror, but they are more and should have a wider readership. I could see them as animated shorts or a feature length animated anthology. I could also see Hellscapes Vol. II as a graphic novel, with mostly blacks, grays, and reds in the vein of Sin City. That may be just my reaction to the book since it gave me the feel of a project I worked on with a graphic illustrator once. (He provided the illustrations and the story line; I did the writing. Unfortunately, creative differences stalled the project. It happens in that business more often than you’d think.) But this is what I saw in Hellscapes Vol. II, especially in “The Cavern,” an interesting little allegory about the residents of hell.

“The Riot” poses a look inside the mind of a brutal police officer and his equally brutal mates. It presents the worst side of law enforcement, but a side that does happen to exist. Here, however, justice is meted in a most unusual measure.

The next story, “Above as Below,” opens like a “Lost” episode and soon reveals the terror that lies in wait in that landscape. But it is the reason for one of the character’s own terror that emboldens the story.

“Spots Do Not Change” deals with promiscuity and, again, justice or karma enters with deliciousness.

Finally, “Weaving Webs” and “The Club” provide other visions of hell, and certainly not within Dante’s realm. The former deals with politicians, a worthy group to have an appearance in hell. The latter exposes a very different sort of nightclub.

Stephen Zimmer’s Hellscapes, Volume II is a Rod Sterlingeque twist of hell, deftly written, quirkily conceived, and offered with a dash of insight into humanity’s dark side, six allegories about the roads to hell and what happens thter. Well done!

Hellscapes, Volume II is now available in eBook format. Here are some direct links to the Kindle, Kobo, and iTunes versions, Nook should be live shortly.

You can get Hellscapes, Volume II for $2.99 at the following links:

Amazon Kindle


Apple iTunes


About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky. His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.









NOTE: This eBook was provided for an honest review and no compensation was provided.

Read Full Post »

The Eight bookd cover
By Katherine Neville
Iconic EBooks from Open Road Media

Recently, I got turned on to a great new writer—new to me, that is. Her name is Katherine Neville. Remember it. Her writing is flawless and her story ideas are amazing!

Well before The Da Vinci Code was a thought in Dan Brown’s fertile brain, Katherine Neville was writing thrillers about historical quests. I’ve always LOVED any book that had a mystery that unfolded through clues that led the characters on grand adventures. Neville has done that with her #1 international bestseller that has been translated into 40 languages, The Eight, a puzzler that unfolds in two eras: 1790 and 1979. This exquisitely crafted thriller was first published in 1988 and continues to enliven readers today. This month, Open Road Media offers that book in digital format.

I will be writing a detailed review later this month and will direct you to my reviews blog to read it. But for now, here’s a bit about The Eight. (Also look for my reviews and posts about her other two books: A Calculated Risk and The Magic Circle.)

Empire building was not Charlemagne’s only legacy. Within his chess set is a terrible power, a devastating power, a power no one should have. To protect the world, nuns assigned to keep the set hidden away dig up Charlemagne’s bejeweled, mystical chess set and hide its pieces across the globe so that no one could ever use its powers for ill.

Now, someone is trying to unleash the terrible power held within that ancient chess set—and only three women, from two different eras, can stop them. In the 20th century, a young computer expert named Catherine Velis has been pulled into this power struggle that spans more than two centuries, leading her on a quest that will risk her life against diabolical forces more powerful than she could have ever imagined.

Katherine Neville

About Katherine Neville:  Her novels have been published in more than 80 countries, enriched by her 20 year career as an international computer executive and consultant, which took her to live in six countries on three continents and 26 of the United States.

Visit her at: http://www.katherineneville.com

Read Full Post »