Blood Desert

Blood Desert

Reviewed by Demetrius Svette

*This book was provided for an honest review

When we first met the wonderful and comedic personality of Penny Miller, one of the strongest main female characters ever to exist in my opinion, it was in a book series titled The Hungry– an intriguing take on the zombie apocalypse. I was thrilled and excited to see what lies ahead for Penny, so I sat anxiously waiting for something new in Penny’s world to come out… I guess you could say that Penny is like a book girlfriend to me; her badass-ness and take charge but no bull attitude makes me eager to see what she has to endure next. Finally, Steven Booth and Harry Shannon gave us what we’re looking for- only, this time we get to experience events that happened before the zombies broke out. I have to say that the times that I went through with Penny in action, the humor and numerous insults and phrase with the zombie apocalypse, I had to question what else she could face that would be on par or even worse than that. Booth and Shannon answered that very question with Blood Desert, a prequel of sorts to The Hungry.

In Blood Desert, we meet Penny Miller in the not too distant past before the zombies ever turned into their undead status and we get to see more of Terrill Lee, the conspiracy freak- or otherwise known as Penny’s ex-husband. It all starts with the theory of a rancher dying suspiciously and the town is introduced to two newcomers, Dorinda McMaster and Cheryl Smith. McMaster and Smith open up shop in Miller’s town, drawing new business from different kinds of places and with that, bringing a completely new type of crowd. With drugs, motorcycle gangs, and an annoying Mayor who is always on her back, Penny is forced to have to trust in her crazed, conspiracy nut ex who is convinced that the mysterious death of the rancher was only the first to transpire amidst the chaos that has come to town.  His theory is that the ruckus is coming from vampires but can she really believe Terrill lee on what is happening in Flat Rock- even if there’s proof? Will it be too late for the residents of Flat Rock (and Penny’s loved ones) to be able to fight the undead bloodsuckers off? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

If you haven’t read The Hungry, you should check it out as I think it gives you more that you need to know to understand a bit more of Penny and Terrill Lee’s relationship. This one digs a bit deeper, than in the first book for The Hungry– although I have yet to read the others in the series (there’s six altogether). What Booth and Shannon bring us in Blood Desert is a new fear in Flat Rock that you will be frightened to come across. Their take on the vampire genre is kind of like The Lost Boys, which excites me more than ever because I thought those type of vampires were long dead- excuse the pun- and forgotten. Booth and Shannon risked it and they did not disappoint with bringing a new type of monster raging around in Blood Desert.

I have to applaud Steven Booth and Harry Shannon yet again for another fascinating novel featuring the kick-ass Ms. Miller. They brought us the same quirky attitude, comedic scenes that we will never forget and the foul mouths that we’ve come to love. They also brought us the inner workings of a new- or would it be old since it’s in the past? – development that will be the next great series of what happened before the flesh eating zombies that we have already been introduced to. Booth and Shannon are a talented writing duo that is a force to be reckoned with, we are never aware of who wrote what, which is exactly how it should be. They made a beautiful and attractive novel that will get the eyes of many readers that will hopefully get those film directors and producers to make the Penny Miller novels into epic films because to see Penny on the big screen would be every guys wet dream come true. Booth and Shannon are masters of their craft as they keep us hooked by reeling us in and shocking us until the end as we suddenly dive off a cliff, waiting for the next installment.

You can pick up more information on where you can get Blood Desert at Genius Book Publishing.

Advertisements

A Collection of Short Stories

Collection of Short Stories Steph C.

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

Collections of stories are great because usually, they have more than one author. If you haven’t heard of some of them before, it is a good way to get a little familiar with the author without committing to buying a full book that you may not get past the first few pages. A collection that features just one author is a greater find since you get a more in depth look into their style- or styles if there’s more than one genre. A Collection of Short Stories by Steph Christina gives you an eclectic mix of shorts that vary from romance and family to super and paranormal tales. In each story, the characters have their problems and situations that they must overcome. Can they overcome the obstacles in their way? Will the problems prove to be too much? Pick up a copy of A Collection of Short Stories today to find out how the environments affect the characters!

When I first started looking at Steph Christina’s books, it was impossible for me to figure out which one I wanted to read. Until I found A Collection of Short Stories, which features ten of her short stories all in one place, and with varying genres. The first half of the book is romance shorts and the last half feature her shorts in super/paranormal. I found it to be an interesting mix that suited my tastes perfectly and I was not disappointed; you have romance, family, witches, vampires and zombies. Her stories have concepts that everyone knows- being in a foreign place, escaping your current life for a better one, family dramas, and a zombie apocalypse just to name a few- and gives a unique perspective with each telling. I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters within these stories and I know that I am going to keep a look out for the next collection. In the meantime, I’m off to find another story of Steph Christina’s to enjoy!

Sin City Succubus

Sin City Succubus

 

Reviewed by: Demetrius Svette

*This book was provided for an honest review

Sin City Succubus had me intrigued from the title itself, if only I knew the magic this tale holds within. Magic has a purpose in the dark fantasy world and then you have the characters that make it whole, the scene immersing them completely.  I am glad to say that I had this opportunity to connect with the personalities that are created by Mr. Anderson; the detail and relationships are presented to develop the action, adventure and very realistic fantasy world that lives in Las Vegas.  In this world created by C.S Anderson, it is original with very little influence from anything else in my eyes of past imaginings; he combines humor, action, a little bit a violence, and a lot of magic with some mythical creatures, then mixes it all together as a cocktail to serve to the hungry world of dark fantasy and action/adventure fans.

Normally, I watch this type of genre on the television set or play these words in games, so regrettably I have not read more in this genre to compare this dark fantasy adventure to but as I opened the pages and read a little in I realized ‘Wow, this book is incredible.  I never in my life read anything like this.’  A dabbler named Robert Jones- a half human/ half warlock- finds himself submerged into a world filled with werewolves, vampires, warlocks, goblins, imps and more, with little protection from his untrained magic or the Grand Council.  He will be faced with challenges- going against other who are powerfully skilled in the art of magic on the mean streets of Vegas where you never quite know who- or what- you’ll meet.  The way that all the personalities interact with each other is perfect; be it friends, enemies or debts to be re-payed.  Experience the world yourself as it comes alive in C.S. Anderson’s story, Sin City Succubus.

C.S. Anderson is a master at building characters and a world filled with magic.  Action packed with a little bit of humor brings you a long way in this crazy world.  Anderson is creative and brings his writing skills to the world like he has done this for years.  I would love to see a world filled of mythical creatures done by him one day; we will wait and see what happens.  I will be keeping my eye real close on him, C.S. Anderson has given me a reason to start reading in this particular genre now.  Though Sin City Succubus may be the first, it certainly will not be the last that I read from Mr. Anderson- at the end of this fascinating read, it seems as if the story will continue on into a second, Sin City Angels.  Knowing there will be more action and adventure with the continuation of this series, excites me to the fullest as I can’t wait to see what level things are taken to next.

Josh Sheets, who is he and what can we learn from him?

 

Josh Sheets ImageAuthors come from all walks of life: maybe you’re a single mother trying to make ends meet, working on what would become one of the most universally known and highly recognized book/film series of generations to come; maybe you’re a person who enjoys writing as a hobby but may be afraid to take the next step.  Maybe you have a totally different background than writing but have secretly had a penchant for it and decide to make it more known.  The great thing about being a human being is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is what you share with the world- words can certainly do damage, but they can also connect us in some of our more basest forms.  This is why authors want to write, to be able to connect their stories with people who can relate to their characters.  We want to read about other people’s problems- real or fictional- to help give us perspective on whatever may be going on in our own lives so we can say things aren’t as bad as we thought.  Perhaps we want to read scary stories because we like to be entertained without actually being put in that situation ourselves, or so we can think about what we would do ourselves if we were in that situation.  Our guest today, Josh Sheets, shows us that it doesn’t matter what background you come from- if you’re passionate about things, life can be rewarding and your possibilities are only as limited as you make them.

 

DS&JM Reviews: For our first question, I see that you used to be a journalist and that it goes back to college days, what about journalism made you think that it could be a career?

Josh Sheets: I think that the back alley service entrance type of aspect was what appealed most to me in journalism. That you get a pass to places and events that most have to pay for, and that you’re there to do a job. There is also the rush and skullduggery of print journalism that I find impressive, the rush being “write good, write fast”, which was always our motto in college.

 

DSJM: You like to write screenplays from what I’ve come across, what is your favorite that you have worked on/are working on?

Josh: I love screenplays. Before I started in novels seriously, I began adapting Crichton’s State of Fear and Lumley’s Necroscope. I found a website called Daily Screenplay .com and still love browsing scripts on it today. My favorite original script might be Blood House, it is a twenty page sequel to Blood Night that I wrote in one afternoon for a script writing competition from Eat Crow Horror. I think it stopped at the fourth round of judging, but it was fun to write it and drink cup after cup of coffee to make the dead line. The script for Blood Night was written in a day, and it is eighty pages, I think. Also, lots and lots of coffee consumed during as well.

 

DSJM: Sounds like it’s a hell of a rush but very worth it, so you’ve always liked to write then?

Josh: I guess I could say that I love writing on nights when I can sit alone with beer and a pack of cigarettes and hammer away at the keyboard with cigarette smoke burning my eyes.

 

DSJM: Your books, Blood Night and The Follower has everything from zombies to aliens to creepy dolls, ghosts and more- did you have a personal experience that made you interested in the supernatural and legends worlds?

Josh: When I was very young, my parents bought all of us boys (myself and my five older brothers, plus two from my dad’s first marriage that visited on weekends and holidays) a Time Life book that covered things like mind over matter, aliens and crop circles, etc. It was fascinating and scary to me; and I was hooked. I would find and pour over any material I could read about: urban legends, ghosts, Bigfoot, et al, and still do today. As for personal experiences with things of that nature, I have indeed. Enough to fill a book.

 

DSJM: Hopefully, we will see that someday, I’m sure it would be fascinating.  What made you want to write your own stories and were any based off of legends?

Josh: I have always constructed my own stories, while either on long walks or at work while sweeping floors and shovel work, etc. There are always tall tales and local legends thrown in the mix of books or scripts that I write, but one in particular stands out: a short story titled The Devil’s Videotape that I wrote where a student filmmaker makes a documentary called With Earthed Feet about devil worshippers where he lives. The story became the films Chasing the Devil and is based loosely on a case out of Gilmer, Texas, where a teenage girl disappeared around 1991 and a cult of cannibal Satanists were exposed, only to be covered back over by paperwork and legal red tape; the case remains unsolved. While filming Chasing the Devil the first time, I stopped because of overwhelming paranoia, only picking the film up after moving to a different town years later.

 

DSJM: What would be your favorite legend and why?

Josh:  My hands down favorite is that of Spring Heeled Jack.  A turn of the century monster in England that could leap over buildings and had a fondness for tearing open the shirts or blouses of unsuspecting young women who walked the streets at night, and who also slapped a soldier on century duty on the face lightly back and forth several times before leaping away into the night, he was never found.  Other favorites are the Beast of Gévaudan and the boggy creek monster- especially so in the case of the latter because Fouke, Arkansas is only a couple of hours from where I grew up.

 

DSJM: I see you had some training to be a movie director and you have produced a couple of movies, what kind of experience was that?

Josh: My first film was a short called Vampire Rising, which I was the writer and director, and acted as the villain.  I bought gear, makeup, and casted the film myself. Next, was a feature length film called The Runaway Woods which I was AD and producer, and once again stepped in to fill the role as the villain.  Both films had difficulties, but Runaway Woods ended up costing thousands of dollars and was never released, so it was a lesson on what not to let directors do with their films. A few years later I made a film called Chasing the Devil, which was a Blair Witch sort of deal where I was writer, director, and starred in. The film was made with no script, only me keeping the running story in my head and directing my actors who constantly wanted to know “What the hell is happening in this movie?” so it was a lot of fun. Chasing the Devil may have distribution soon, but it’s not concrete.

 

DSJM: We’ll have to keep up with that one, sounds very interesting! I see that you have mainly done low budget horror movies, did you have any inspirations that made you decide to do low budget? If so, what were they?

Josh: I think that low budget movies, when created honestly according to ones love of filmmaking, are the best and most charming forms of filmmaking. I love in camera creature effects and gore makeup. A low budget horror film is its own art form. My films were NO budget horror films, but I think they still had the prototypical “scrappy charm” to them. I think that as time progresses, I will continue to make low budget films; I love the integrity having a low sum of money can force an artist to have.

 

DSJM: You also like to search for ‘treasures’ in your free time, have you found anything that had a profound effect on you?

Josh: When I was working in Houston as a contract scuba diver, I once found a sunken truck for the Dickinson Police Department. It’s a great story. I was once invited on an actual treasure hunt in Florida for a sunken ship, but declined on grounds of trust in the other hunters. I’m also a junker and amateur archeologist. Once while spending the day filming with some of my hippy mystic friends I was handed a leather cutting stone dug right up from the ground on an Indian burial mound, it had a profound effect on my heart and I have kept the stone for years. I recommend the book Dragon Teeth by Crichton for wanna be diggers.

 

DSJM: Lastly, but certainly not least, Night Shift Stories was your first published book- what have you learned since that was first published to when your two latest books came out (Blood Night: with hot sauce and The Follower) that you can tell our readers?

Josh: Stay sharp.

 

Josh’s newest books, Blood Night (with hot sauce) and The Follower are available on Amazon now, in both kindle and paperback editions; click the links below to get your copies today!  A special thank you goes out to Josh Sheets for participating in this week’s Who’s That feature, it is an inspiration to see that you can do anything that you set your mind to but still enjoy life to the fullest- because in the big scheme of things, life is way too short to spend wishing you were doing more of what you enjoy.  Take the time to find what you’re passionate about and do it!

 

Get Blood Night (with hot sauce) on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Night-sauce-Josh-Sheets-ebook/dp/B073DH35M1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503509065&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+night+josh+sheets

 

Get The Follower on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Follower-Josh-Sheets-ebook/dp/B073WNBRN7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503509159&sr=8-1&keywords=the+follower+josh+sheets