This is a good short story for October and Halloween reading. What starts as a sinister and tense story develops into a tale of fear and flight before growing darker and more horrific.
The tension and sense of dread grow steadily, making both the main character and the reader increasingly uncomfortable before the true horror of the forest is revealed. The author combines elements of foreboding, macabre, revulsion and fear to influence the reader’s feelings and reactions.
Even though the title gives away the fact that there’s something lurking in the woods, this story is quite original and well written.
There is some adult content, so it’s not recommended for kids.
A dark and horrifying tale of lives scarred by grief, pain, and abuse, this is not a story for the faint of heart.
Scenes of horror merge with images that arouse both deep pity and righteous anger in the individual narratives of Crystal and Dee. Having positioned the reader to feel deep empathy and sadness for the two very different central characters, the author then before weaves the different strands of the story together into an even darker, bleaker tapestry.
The writing is strong and the story is well crafted. As the tale progresses, the author evokes a sense of dread that grows proportionally to the building suspense, yet the reader is still completely blindsided by the twists when they come.
This is a compelling and unsettling work of dark short fiction.
If someone breaks, can they ever truly be put back together?
Book Two in the Perennials Trilogy, Chaining Daisy continues the story begun in Becoming Lili. Now adults coping with relationships, marriage and parenthood, Lili and her friends have no idea of the dark days to come.
Desperate for a baby, Daisy feels the chains of expectation tighten as her failure to conceive places an unbearable strain on her marriage, threatening to stretch her husband’s patience to breaking point.
Kevin also has problems as his feelings grow for his mysterious Ukrainian cleaner. But Kateryna is a woman with a tragic past and a secret – a secret which will change everything.
Chaining Daisy is a magnificent, sweeping story of life in all its harsh, beautiful wonder, and is a tale that will wrench at your heart and hold you spellbound until the very last page.
‘The Pursuit of Trust’ is Book 2 in the author’s Discovering Kia paranormal/urban fantasy series.
Following on directly from where ‘In Pursuit Of Light’ left off, this book continues to explore questions about not only Kia, but also the individual pasts and stories of the men who have become her protectors, Once again, these men share the role of narrator, but it is also significant that Kia has more agency in this book and communicates her thoughts and feelings through more than gesture and action.
Kia is still a mysterious character, although the reader definitely feels as though they grow to know her better throughout the second book. Answers to the questions about her nature and abilities remain elusive, however, which is also true of her companions.
It is interesting that this book is titled ’The Pursuit of Trust’ because the lack of trust, and the inability of the central characters to have absolute confidence in one another, are central drivers of the storyline. In fact, the only character who has any implicit trust in anyone is Kia herself, thanks to her innate ability to know the truth and integrity of one’s character. The different characters’ insights through their narration of parts of the story is a key means of exploring notions of trust and distrust, and the associated experiences of loyalty, jealousy and resentment that either nourish or poison the feelings of each character toward the others.
This is an intriguing story that moves at a good pace, with a satisfying balance between action, suspense and development.
While the book finishes with the very strong sense that there is more of the story to come, it also provides a brief glimpse into one of the characters’ former lives, of which he has no memory, and which raises as many questions as it provides insights. This adds further mystery and complexity to the story, and increases the reader’s desire to read on and discover the truths that underpin the nature and personality of each of the central characters.
Balls and parties are not all fun and frivolity…
Finding a husband on the marriage mart is a serious business. Lady Anne sets out with an unromantic heart, appreciating how narrow her field of choice is – dukes are not in abundance.
However, her heart is won over by charm and flattery. Can Lord Felsenworth prove himself worthy despite his lower rank of earl? Her papa, the Duke of Hesford, will take much persuasion.
During the course of the Season, other beaux step forwards. Some more agreeable than others. Lady Anne struggles between head and heart as she tries her best to obey family duty.
Choice is but an illusion. This is Regency England, where fortunes are won and lost with alarming regularity. Who amongst the nobility has kept and who has squandered the family fortune?
Gossip and intrigue are rife amongst The Ton. Not all are honourable. And not all marriages are equal.
Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer fans will love the authenticity, Christi Caldwell ones will enjoy the naughty bits.
Step into Regency London and hear what Lady Anne truly thought of her situation.The drawing room doors are opening for you.
It should be noted that this book contains an attempted seduction and arousing scenes of marital duties. It may therefore not be suitable for gently bred ladies.
This book is a standalone Regency romance novel.
‘Wild Rose’ continues the story of Pastor Ian MacCraig and the community of St Conan’s in Lochawe, Scotland, that began with Thistle Down.
This is a lighthearted, often humorous and sometimes very poignant story of an unlikely meeting that unleashes an unpredictable series of events full of twists and turns.
While it is a romantic story, it’s also a story of human nature in which judgement and forgiveness feature prominently. It challenges the reader to think about their own perceptions of others, especially those who stand out from the crowd in one way or another.
There is some subtle adult content, so it’s not a book for young readers. That being said, that content is written with sensitivity, and is unlikely to offend adult readers.
‘Wild Rose’ is a most enjoyable read, and has been awarded a Silver Acorn.
Historically, very little is known of the early life of Gruoch, later known as Lady Macbeth. Immortalised by Shakespeare as a conniving, power -hungry shrew, audiences have been fascinated by her for centuries.
Karsak weaves a kinder tale of the young Gruoch in this excellent work of historical fantasy. History, magic and fantasy combine to tell a story of a young woman searching to discover her destiny and calling in life, while still learning who she is and the power she holds over men.
This story is so powerfully and beautifully written that it is easy to forget that this is fiction, and to believe that this really is Gruoch’s story. We see Gruoch’s strengths and vulnerability, her loyalty and hatred, her past and glimpses of her future. As readers, we love those she loves and despise those she hates, and we become deeply invested in her hopes and dreams.
The author has also incorporated some lovely nods to Shakespeare’s play, littering quotes and references to the text throughout the narrative. This very cleverly lends credibility and legitimacy to Karsak’s story, reinforcing that sense of reality and closeness to Gruoch that the reader feels from almost the first page onwards.
The story delivers a fascinating blend of mystery, fantasy, romance, and adventure in an expertly crafted package that is almost impossible to put down once started.
‘Highland Raven’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.