Robin’s Review of If Only A Heart and Other Tales of Terror

If Only A Heart and Other Tales of Terror

by Caleb Stephens

Rating: 5 out of 5.
If Only A Heart and Other Tales of Terror
by Caleb Stephens
An unlikely friendship is born in the red clay dirt of a trailer park. Two latchkey kids who will do anything to hold onto one other, despite the consequences.
If Only A Heart and Other Tales of Terror is a visceral collection of thirteen stories that explores what happens when we open ourselves to others and dare to let them in. There are monsters on these pages, yes, ones whose teeth cut deep, but never as deep as the teeth of the monsters in the mirror.
Robin's Review: This is a dark and intriguing collection of scary tales, each one different. They fill you with dread and anxiety about what will happen next in the twisty turns of each story. I recommend this book, but only if you read it with the lights on. I hope you enjoy them because I sure did.

It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book, but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this entertaining story.



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Robin’s Review of Fear Forge Anthology: Winter Quarter 2022

Fear Forge Anthology: Winter Quarter 2022

Horrorsmith Publishing

Fear Forge Anthology: 
Winter Quarter 2022
by Horrorsmith Publishing
A forged mask that communicates with the dead, a cable repairman called to investigate an empty field...
...or so he thinks, a father-son DIY project not quite working as intended, an excavation going horribly awry, and a blacksmith called to do the bidding of an old god. 
An unfortunate series of events, indeed...
These infernal souls, and many others, are all part of the Fear Forge—the first edition of Horrorsmith Publishing's debut anthology series. It features tales told of cursed smelters, haunted crafted objects, and the degradation of relationships forged within the fires of vengeance. For these authors, fear has forged with the mundane, turning simple rings, rockers, and candles into ravenous blacksmiths of destiny that have doomed us all.
Fear Forge is the first edition of this series, and Horrorsmith Publishing did an amazing job. This book is chock full of great stories. It starts with a lively written foreword from Joe X Young, which sets the tone for the rest of the book.  It concludes with a “meet” the author section.
I'll touch on a few of the stories, but I just want to say that each story was unique, twisted, and oh-so entertaining.
First up is Locke and Key’s Brian and his need for not dreaming. You feel such sympathy for him trying to stay awake, so he doesn’t dream, but then you find out why.
The Ozymandias Crucible has the emperor sending for special artist smiths Doigt Smith and Tryn Smiths. They are to make a Devine Creation for the Emperor but at what cost?
The Death Whisperer’s Gordon Norman is in a bind, so he hires Steve, a death whisper to help his mother, Gina to move on. But easy said than done.
The Trophy has Franklin Jones a raw what’s that saying out of the frying pan into the fire.
Forging a Partnership we have Matthew, a serial killer that gets a taste of his own medicine. Of course, he doesn’t like it.
The Chosen Sword’s Ronald bought a forge to make a little money with the leftover scraps he has from plumbing, but can it be that easy?
And finally, The Art of Fear’s Callie Williams gets a job offer at the perfect time, but is it?
This short story anthology is imaginatively written, exciting, and just fun to read. I loved it and can't wait for the next one.
Featured Authors:
Alex Reid - "Iron"
Alexa K. Moon - "Find a Penny, Pick It Up"
Andre H. Harewood - "Life Masks"
C. M. Forest - "Born of Death"
D. W. Hitz - "The Trophy"
D. W. Gillespie - "Mostly Alone"
Eddie Generous - "The Chosen Sword"
E. L. Giles - "A Eulogy of Love, Blood, and Iron"
Edmund Stone - "Emily"
Garrett Rowlan - "Death Whisperer"
J-F. Dubeau - "The Ozymandias Crucible"
Jennifer Claywood - "The Art of Fear"
John Kiste - "The Darwell Curse"
Justin Boote - "Forging a Partnership"
Michael H. Hanson - "The Forge"
Nat Whiston - "Lock and Key"
R. C. Hausen - "Nowa Kuznia"
Simon J. Plant - "Grandy's Rocker"
Theresa Jacobs - "The Sculpture"
Thomas K. S. Wake - "Vestiges of Humanity"
Tim Borella - "Serasthes"
George Jacobs - "The Pit of Heaven"

#action #adventure #dystopian #postapocalyptic #thriller #sciencefiction #fantasy #horror

Robin’s Review of The City Grew Monsters

The City Grew Monsters

by Hunter Adams

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The City Grew Monsters 
A Zombie Apocalypse Novel 
by Hunter Adams

Can a little girl survive a zombie apocalypse?
After her mother was killed by an intruder, six-year-old Magdalena “Maddy” Ruiz creates a rule for herself: avoid strangers. Always. But when the zombie apocalypse spreads through San Diego like wildfire, and reaches the Cielo Vista Towers where her father works the night shift as a doorman, she finds herself stuck in an empty 25th floor penthouse… and dangerously close to the new neighbors.
Robin's Review: This is a unique and fresh take on the zombie apocalypse genre. Why? Because it is being told and felt through a young girl’s eyes. Which is new for me at least. Maddy is only six and staying in an upstairs apartment while her father, Ernesto works downstairs.  When the crap hits the fan and it tuns into a zombie apocalypse and Ernesto doesn't come back for Maddie, she's left to fend for herself. Of course, there are others in the same boat, and you get to see it through their eyes too. This is a well-written, easy-to-read story. The characters are well-defined and relatable. I enjoyed this story and recommend it to others who want a little angst with their zombie apocalypse. I look forward to the continuation of Maddie’s story.



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Robin’s Review of Goddess of Everything

Goddess of Everything by Paul DeBlassie III  Goddess of Everything: A Blood-Curdling Tale of Truth, Freedom, and Love by Paul DeBlassie III A blood-curdling tale of a Mother’s affection for her son, and her son’s struggle for truth, freedom, and love. In the mystic land of Aztlan del Norte, a realm of supernatural happenings and … Continue reading “Robin’s Review of Goddess of Everything”

Goddess of Everything

by Paul DeBlassie III 

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Goddess of Everything: A Blood-Curdling Tale of Truth, Freedom, and Love
by Paul DeBlassie III  

A blood-curdling tale of a Mother's affection for her son, and her son's struggle for truth, freedom, and love.
In the mystic land of Aztlan del Norte, a realm of supernatural happenings and unexpected turns of fate, psychiatric healer Gabriél de LaTierra encounters evil within the Orphanage of the Holy Innocents. Children disappear for reasons kept secret by Mother Juana de la Cruz, Superior of the Nunnery and the Orphanage.
Robin's Review: This book is full of twisty turns that kept me guessing the whole way through. It's got a little bit of everything, including suspense, thriller, mystery, supernatural, horror, and maybe even folklore. The characters are well-written and stirred up a lot of emotion in me. I was rooting for some and swearing at others. The main character, Gabriele, sees many horrific acts at the Orphanage of Holy Saints, where children go missing. His mother happens to be Mother Superior and a zealot. So are the other nuns. This story is about good versus evil, with a theme that seems crazy but also plausible. I will let you decide.

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Robin’s Review of Northern Quartet

Northern Quartet by John Keillor Northern Quartet Book 4 of 4: The Shattered North by John Keillor Northern Quartet is set in 2030, after the world’s been a post-apocalyptic mess for eleven years. After The Fall This collection of short stories updates readers on the development of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, with many recurring … Continue reading “Robin’s Review of Northern Quartet”

Northern Quartet

by John Keillor

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Northern Quartet
Book 4 of 4: The Shattered North
by John Keillor

Northern Quartet is set in 2030, after the world's been a post-apocalyptic mess for eleven years.
After The Fall

This collection of short stories updates readers on the development of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, with many recurring characters from the Shattered North series.
This is five years after Four Cities.
In Vancouver, Henry returns to seek the mystery girl.
In Calgary, Abe flies out to confront American marauders.
In Toronto, Martin helps the Chevy Brothers deal with giant rodents.
In Montreal, Matilda arrives in a stolen plane to warn Alexi.
Robin's Review: This is a really great way to wrap up The Shattered North series. You get a satisfying conclusion to The Four Cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. And then this book sets up the author's next book series, The McKinley Chronicles, which has already been released. This series is so full of action and suspense that I'm going to have to read it again to see what I might have missed the first time. I would definitely recommend both of these book series by this author.

Reading Order for Book Series:

Assassin’s Secret
Book 1 of 4: The Shattered North

Stalin Gorilla
Book 2 of 4: The Shattered North

Four Cities
Book 3 of 4: The Shattered North

Northern Quartet
Book 4 of 4:  The Shattered North

It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book, but that does not affect my opinions in this review of this entertaining story.

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Robin’s Review of Four Cities

Four Cities by John Keillor Four Cities Book 3 of 4: The Shattered North by John Keillor Four Cities features Lucy in a new, post-apocalyptic reality after the flash resets the planet. Nations are gone as city states rise. Their mayors can be wild. Mad idealists plot to overthrow them as wisest human negotiates with … Continue reading “Robin’s Review of Four Cities”

Four Cities

by John Keillor

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Four Cities 
Book 3 of 4: The Shattered North
by John Keillor

Four Cities features Lucy in a new, post-apocalyptic reality after the flash resets the planet. Nations are gone as city states rise. Their mayors can be wild.
Mad idealists plot to overthrow them as wisest human negotiates with the extraterrestrials who caused this catastrophe for the survival of our species.

This is the third book in The Shattered North series with one more before this series closes out. 
Robin's Review: A dystopian action and adventure story with complex, likable characters (well, some of them are). This story is based on four cities and their government after an apocalyptic event called the flash. Add action and adventure, bad politics, and our favorite character, Lucy, and you've got a story worth reading. 

Reading Order for Book Series:

Assassin’s Secret
Book 1 of 4: The Shattered North

Stalin Gorilla
Book 2 of 4: The Shattered North

Four Cities
Book 3 of 4: The Shattered North

Coming next month
Northern Quartet
Book 4 of 4:  The Shattered North

It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book, but that does not affect my opinions in this review of this entertaining story.

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Robin’s Review of Citizen’s Nuclear War Survival Skills Handbook

Citizen’s Nuclear War Survival Skills Handbook: The Critical First 15 Day Nuclear Survival Guide to Prepping, Bugging-In, and Avoiding Fallout

 by  Outtadodge

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Citizen's Nuclear War Survival Skills Handbook: The Critical First 15 Day Nuclear Survival Guide to Prepping, Bugging-In, and Avoiding Fallout
Be prepared and ensure your family’s survival in case of a nuclear attack.
Let’s not deny facts – the question isn’t if a nuclear attack will happen, but when.

Are you prepared for it?

Do you have all the knowledge and skills needed to keep your family safe?

The ever-changing, volatile political landscape has the entire world on edge.

Radical power-hungry leaders are taking whatever they want, and they are not worried about the people, the ordinary citizens like you and me, who are destroyed in the process.

2022 has already seen threats of nuclear war – the danger is there, and it is real.

Don’t wait until it is too late.
Robin's Review: This is an easy to read educational and informative book. A must have for the future.
It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this book.

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Robin’s Review of Flower of Memory: An Amaranth Prequel

In a scientific and spiritual sense, humanity has its world ordered

Flower of Memory: An Amaranth Prequel Amaranth #0.5

 by David M. Snow

Flower of Memory: An Amaranth Prequel (Amaranth #0.5) Part of: Amaranth by David M. Snow

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Flower of Memory: An Amaranth Prequel

by David M. Snow

An underwater ark that shelters the last remaining survivors. A young doctor tormented by his past. A mysterious power that could drive them into madness.
A cataclysmic Flood has forced the survivors to retreat into an intergenerational ark, secluded from the world they have always known. But the wait is insufferable in the abyss of the Great Ocean. More than a century, heavy with silence, has passed.

The surface is but a timeworn dream. A forgotten memory.

But Skyler Goldberg is not ready to give up. Even if it means losing everything.

Can a single man show the Archeans the path to redemption in a world abandoned by its creator?
Flower of Memory is the prequel of the dystopian science-fiction series Amaranth. Fans of the TV series The 100 and the Snowpiercer will enjoy every page!
Robin's Review: This is such a freaking cool story. It's a refreshing change to the science fiction/post-apocalyptic genre. I loved every part of it, the plot, the world building, the characters, and the writing. It was a great read. I highly recommend this book.

It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this entertaining story.

Amaranth: Amaranth #1
Book 1 of 1: Amaranth
This title will be released on October 19, 2022.

#dystopian #sciencefiction #thriller #action #mystery #suspense

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Robin’s Review of Life After: The Line of Duty

In a scientific and spiritual sense, humanity has its world ordered

Life After: The Line of Duty

The Sixth Book in The Arising Series

 by Bryan Way

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Robin's Review of
Life After: The Line of Duty
by Bryan Way

In times of crisis, few bear a burden more demanding than local law enforcement, but even as a zombie apocalypse wreaks untold havoc, the undead are the least of their troubles.
Spread thin in the wake of a calamity, the remaining officers at the Broomall Police Department are faced with dwindling resources and manpower in a losing effort to contain the scourge. As state and government agencies fight to enforce a quarantine boundary prior to an impending evacuation, the station is mistakenly identified as a rescue center, forcing Lt. Arthur Gilchrist and a handful of cops to determine whether their new arrivals are trying to escape the mayhem or take advantage of it.Set during the events of Life After: The Arising, Life After: The Line of Duty examines the fortitude required to protect and serve the public in an unthinkable circumstance as well as what it means to maintain order when chaos becomes the status quo.
Robin's Review: I really liked this story. Bryan Way has come a long way no pun intended since I reviewed his first book in this series. His writing is tighter and more descriptive with deeper characters. He really nailed it with this one. Overall, this is a quick and satisfying read.

More is coming from this creative author with maybe another short story and a third novel sometime in the future. I can’t wait.

Books in this series:
Life After: The Arising (Book 1).
Life After: The Cemetery Plot (Short 1)
Life After: The Basement (Short 2).
Life After: The Phoenix (Short 3)
Life After: The Void (Book 2).
Life After: The Maze (Short 4)
Life After: Zugzwang (Short 5)
Life After: The Line of Duty (Short 6)

It was my pleasure to receive an advance free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of this entertaining story.

#horror #shortstory #postapocalyptic #thriller #action #adventure #zombie

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Robin’s Review of Crimson: The Red Plague

Crimson: The Red Plague

by R.W. Fisher

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Crimson: The Red Plague
by R.W. Fisher
Learning to survive this fallen world, avoiding the mutilated corpses inhabiting interstate 5 and its surrounding cities, is a lot like surfing. Some learn slowly, first mastering the shallow waves, while others are thrown into the depths and forced to tread water.
Content Warning: This book contains violence, language, sexual assault, and stalking.
Eighteen-year-old Bobby Stratton will never forget his first encounter. He was rubbing the thigh of his longtime girlfriend, scratching up and down her distressed denim. The final minutes of their 4th period biology class was drawing near when the piercing sirens ensued. The door hinges snapped, and without warning, they became submerged in the blood of their peers. They were…eating each other. Entrails splashed upon whiteboards and innards covered their wooden floors like fresh chum.
Bobby peered from beneath his desk, unaware of what led to such mutilation, and was met with the unforgettable sight of his former teacher. His once innocent, blue eyes, now blanketed with a crimson sheet.
Carnage hit their school in a wave. Only the quickest and most adept were able to escape the bloody riptide.
Robin's Review: This is a fast paced thrill ride. In California is 18 year old Bobby Stratton, who leads a group with the help of Sean Reynolds. The group consists of brother, Marcus, friend Dante, girlfriend Chloe Reynolds, and resident Paul Goldean, all trying to survive. The world building is rich and descriptive. The characters were real and relatable. The plot is action packed with lots of zombie gore. I look forward to more from this author.
Favorite Lines: “They had places to be, and the longer they waited to embark on whatever cross-country trip they hoped would get them to that last distant family member known to have a heartbeat, the harder it was to carry on.”
“Jeez, yes. I’m freaking starving. Seriously, it feels like my intestines are dirty dogging each other.”
Interesting Observation: “Their weapons became someone else’s, then someone else’s, then someone else’s, until the ammo went dry, and a hodgepodge of fresh blood stained the trigger.”
“In this world, survival is a never-ending combination of killing, grieving, traveling, and foraging.”
And the best line of someone turning:
“Lisa’s sight bleeds into darkened crimson and she’s gone, emancipated from her earthly shell.”
#horror #postapocalyptic #sciencefiction #fantasy #action #adventure

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