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 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 Damage in an Undead Age: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Adventure

The Undead Age Series: Book 1

By A. M. Geever

Damage in an Undead Age: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Adventure
Book 2 of 3: The Undead Age Series
by A.M. Geever
It’s what you don’t see coming...that kills you. 
Safely hidden from San Jose’s City Council, Miranda Tucci almost believes that life can be good again.

Reunited with Mario, and accompanied by her best friend Father Doug Michel, she has undertaken the hazardous journey to the Pacific Northwest. There, the trio of friends hope to recreate the vaccine for the zombie virus.
But danger still lurks in what used to be civilization…

...and hearts can still be broken.

If Miranda lowers her guard enough to nurture a small, soft dream, can she risk losing it without losing herself?

You’ll love this feast of undead horrors and broiling post-apocalyptic affairs of the heart.

Get it today.
This is the second book in A.M. Geever’s “The Undead Age” series. Boy did this book keep me on edge wondering what was going to happen next. This is a fast paced easy to read book but not your typical zombie apocalypse story. It is so much more than that, it has love in a time of uncertainty. The story has plenty of action, they are always dodging something, zombies, other survivors, and shady characters. There is betrayal in secrets that are unearthed. 
I enjoyed the writing style, the way that the characters grow, and interesting plot twists.
I highly recommend this book, “The Undead Age Series” and A.M. Geever’s other stories.
Love in an Undead Age: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Adventure                                          The Undead Age Series										 Book 1 of 3
Reckoning in an Undead Age: A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Adventure
(The Undead Age Series)
Book 3 of 3: The Undead Age Series

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.

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

Vancouver Vengeance

After Albertans defeat an overseas aggressor

Vancouver Vengeance The McKinley Chronicles 2

 by John Keillor

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Vancouver Vengeance: 
The McKinley Chronicles 2
by John Keillor

After a vicious series of battles, Alberta defeats an overseas aggressor. Abandoned combatants are to be repatriated, but who made their invasion possible?

Calgary's best young warrior's in charge of seeing them away. In seaside Vancouver, a Toronto agent assists him in searching for traitors. the two patriots discover a post-apocalyptic city, divided, where nothing is as it seems.

Zach McKinley, senior security operator and son to soon to be Mayor of Winnipeg, Abraham McKinley, is tasked with moving fifteen hundred unarmed Chinese soldier detainees, progressive nationalist, to Vancouver 12 hours away. Once there, the Vancouver City Council contracted “fishing magnate” Andre Keats to ferry the “progs” back to Vladivostok.

Seems like an easy mission but Zach walks into a political hot mess in Vancouver where there is a union war with businesses that are in support of the city council and want exclusivity on their trades. Progressive nationalists want to replace the current mayors of the four cities and create New Canada, with them in charge. So, there is little “friction fires” everywhere. Add in Rosemary Phillips, the mayor’s girl, is kidnapped by someone with Vancouver connections and Zach has his hands full.
Robin's Review:

Sometimes the dialogue was confusing to figure out who was speaking but it had a good plot. The main characters were thoroughly explained, and I enjoyed their storylines. I believe this is being called a western apocalyptic story and I would have to agree with its action, adventure, and gunslingers its sure to please.


"Hold My Beer" line

A young lady was walking a half dozen ferrets on leashes.

“Did you see him fight firsthand?” The agent nodded. “Characterize his performance.”
“Superhuman. He moved like John Wick.”
“He’s one of those guys the flash strengthened, isn’t he?”
“I’m right here,” said the cowboy. 
“He is, Mr. Star.”

“Council assistants waited at intersections in pairs, offering free advice or cannabis, telling smokers the VCC loved them. 

“The one beside the site had a working bubble machine, launching soap bubbles from its second-story window”

Albertan Apocalypse: The McKinley Chronicles 1
Book 1 of 2: The McKinley Chronicles

Science Fiction

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Life After: The Arising

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

Life After: The Arising

The first book in The Arising Series

 by Bryan Way

Life After: The Arising
by Bryan Way
In a scientific and spiritual sense, humanity has its world ordered

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Life After: The Arising
by Bryan Way

In a scientific and spiritual sense, humanity has its world ordered, but that order slowly descends into chaos when something defies the tenets of both, leaving the events of human history divided into life before and life after the bodies of the dead began to reanimate. College student Jeff Grey comes home to be confronted by something he'd only read about in fiction and seen in movies: Zombies. Despite lungs beset by asthma and a total lack of survival skills, his lifelong desire to endure an undead apocalypse sees him unite a small group of acquaintances, but with the town quarantined as emergency infrastructure breaks down, Jeff and the rest of the survivors will have to grow up fast if they want to see a life after the arising.

Robin's Review:

Jeff and his girlfriend, Julia are survivors of an apocalyptic event that creates zombies. They and others are left to find their way in this new and dangerous dystopian world. This story take place over a 10-day period with the survivors moving from the high school they were hiding in, to different locations that are supposed to be Rescue Centers.

The plot was interesting and entertaining. It had a lot of good survival ideas.

Favorite Lines:

Becoming undead, by definition, is the removal of that soul, and your survival largely depends on how you cope with that concept.”

Smart Lines:

“Okay, keep breathing slow… we have three options… go back out, run, or stay put…”

“Okay… think about it this way…” I start. “Outside, you have no control other than where you plan on going and how you plan to get there. There’s no safe, just safer.”

“Light bulbs? “Shatter them… if anyone comes up the steps, we’ll hear the glass break.”

“Alright… no one ever goes anywhere alone, no excuses. There’s a lot of us up here, so if you have to go anywhere… groups of three.”

“Why would they go slow, they’re human beings who are like, sick or something, right?” Melody asks. “Rigor mortis? That’s my best guess…”

“So, it affects the brain, right? What if that’s all that happens? If you don’t actually die, there’s no reason for rigor mortis to set in.”

Next book in this series:

Life After: The Void
Book 2 of 2: Life After is available now

With the following Short Stories

Life After: The Cemetery Plot
Life After: The Basement
Life After: The Phoenix  
Life After: The Maze
Life After: Zugzwang

Life After: The Line of Duty
This title will be released on December 21, 2021.

Science Fiction

Find Your Next Great Read Here!

The Ancient Ones Trilogy

Artistically Outstanding!

Liminality (Book 2)

 by Cassandra L. Thompson

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Liminality (The Ancient Ones Trilogy Book 2)
by Cassandra L. Thompson

Artistically Outstanding!

Picking up right where The Ancient Ones left off, David has just discovered the diabolical brother he left for dead in 15th century Romania has returned. Making matters even stranger, the news is delivered by his old friend, Danulf, the half-vampyre/half-lycanthrope he had also presumed dead. As Dan divulges his story to David and his newly reanimated lover, Morrigan, it becomes clear that the ancient pagan god’s history hoped to forget are back.

Another adventure throughout history, from the Carpathian Mountains to Pre-Revolutionary France, the story unfolds to reveal there is a much bigger problem than just the vainglorious Lucius. Even with the addition of a liminal witch named Cahira, the gods find themselves facing a threat that can erase their existence for good. Wrought with adventure, romance, tragedy, and heartache, the second book in The Ancient Ones Trilogy dives deeper into a tale as old as time itself... that bites.
Robin's Review:

I usually summarize the book in my reviews, but I can’t with this one because I do not want to ruin the experience for anyone. Because you know, you can never get that back. It’s what I like to call “love at first read”. You would give anything to read a book like it’s the first time. This book heck this series is like that. “Sigh”

Read the first book The Ancient Ones (The Ancient Ones Trilogy Book 1)
Immerse yourself in the second book
Liminality (The Ancient Ones Trilogy)
Pray for the third book

Cassandra L. Thompson is a strong, intelligent, and creative women and it shows in her writing. I highly recommend her series for readers of any genre.

I won a giveaway for a signed copy of this book. Thank you Cassandra L. Thompson

Find Your Next Great Read Here!


College Campus Crime Thriller

 by Erica Damon

Rating: 5 out of 5.
by Erica Damon

One pill starts a party; how many make a nightmare? Jon is just another dissertation student until the hypothetical drug that he and his partner Isaac are working on turns into a real pill. Except it doesn't do quite what they intended. When they realize that it has the potential to be the next great party drug they are split. Jon's girlfriend Kat is pushing him to take it to the streets, but his partner wants nothing to do with it. Isaac just wants to finish their thesis. But Jon can never say no to Kat and together they start showing the little pink pill off at parties. The drug spreads like wildfire through the college campus. It’s almost too easy; the demand keeps rising, the money flows in, and the parties are getting bigger. Can they keep it together or will chasing the high bring them crashing down?
Robin's Review:

This is an interesting and entertaining story about a drug called Excite, how and why it comes into being, and the science of it but also the consequences of it. It was fast paced and easy to read. The plot was well thought out and descriptive. The characters were flawed but relatable. All in all, a good read.

Find Your Next Great Read Here!


 by Theophilus Monroe

Algorithm is launching in two days! This is a slight departure from my other books. These are short, action-packed, dystopian technothrillers. It uses what I call "technomagic." If you're accustomed to reading other genres of fantasy, magic is almost always a part of the world. In this case, our hero develops what I call "technomagic." As a former war hero, suffering from PTSD, after the government mandates a universal injection of nanobots into the population (called Nanovax), which is supposed to eliminate all death and disease once and for all, Lieutenant Goff becomes the "face" of the innovation. He received the injection after suffering a traumatic brain injury in the war. It saved him.

But Nanovax has its limits. It can heal most injuries--but some devastating accidents are too much to overcome. The Day of the Fifteen--fifteen terrorist attacks in fifteen cities--require drastic measures. An algorithm is implemented to examine everyone's thoughts, their attitudes, combined with other biostatistics like heart rate, blood pressure, and sweat output to predict when someone is a threat.

Suffering from PTSD, however, the nanobots aren't interfacing with Brian's mind like it does for others. The algorithm targets Brian, seizing his nervous system, and prepares to deliver him to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. But the resistance intervenes, taking Brian before he arrives in custody.

Then, they discover that on account of his injury he can do more than "foil" the function of the nanobots. He can control them. He can engage the entire nanoverse. This gives Brian new abilities--technomagic! He can wield the power of the nanobots that dwell in everyone. And when the government takes his daughter, in an attempt to lure him back into custody, he has only one option. He has to use these mysterious technomagical abilities to rescue her.

But there's a member of the President's cabinet--Dr. Archimedes Flat--who has other designs. He has a vision to expand the nanonetwork, to upload all human consciousness into a digital world, a new sphere of existence. Can Brian save his daughter? Can he stop Dr. Flat before he changes humanity forever?

So, what is technomagic? Consider it a kind of magic rooted in human technology, a magic "invented," but utilized by our hero on account of a flaw in the system.

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Dead World

Book Release Day

 by Alex Apostle

Rating: 0 out of 5.
Dead World 
A Dead Soil Novel
by Alex Apostle 

The trilogy comes to its final conclusion in Dead World. Survivors have dwindled to almost nothing as the zombies spent the last year wiping out humanity. While many in the group hide out in the newfound underground bunker society, a select few have taken up the job of saving the world. They head to a laboratory in downtown Chicago rumored to be up and running and working on a vaccine for the zombie virus. Christine is sure Liam's journal holds the key to helping them create the saving cure. But life on the road in a zombie-ridden world has its own plans. When one of her own is turned it becomes a race against the clock to make sure the cure is discovered and distributed. Will they make it in time or will the world succumb to its dark fate of living death?

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