An introduction to the writers of the Grimdark group part 5

Part 5 so soon? Yeah man feeling slightly better and there are so many authors to introduce! I remember this all started as an idea for a pinned post in the group on Facebook and it somehow turned into a blog, not to mention the group grows bigger every month. I’m planning at least another 6 posts about the authors and after that it’s on to my fellow bloggers/reviewers and of course the team behind Grimdark Magazine.

 

Brian Barr has written short stories, comic books and novels. His writing is pretty unique considering he doesn’t steer clear of LGBTQ characters instead he embraces them. His short stories have been featured in anthologies and his most recent work The Head inspired by a dream he head came out just last month

A woman finds a head in her mother’s garden.

Things get weirder when the head talks to her…

The Head

http://www.brianbarrbooks.com/

 

Richard Writhen Originally from Rhode Island, Richard Writhen also lived in NYC for about ten years. He has been e-published on several notable sites such as the MightyThorJRS Blog, Techzwn.com, Grimdarkmagazine.com and Ragnarokpub.com and is the author of three novellas on Amazon KDP; A Kicked Cur, A Host of Ills and The Hiss Of The Blade. Richard also writes short form in the styles of Gothdark, Grimdark, GDSF and Psychological Horror, and will eventually be exploring the weird west.

Two petty mercenaries are falsely accused of switching sides in a feud between two rich and powerful magnates; an ex-miner on the run from a murder charge becomes a reaver and embroiled in a romance; an industrial lieutenant is recruited to help capture a serial killer and an entire city is in danger of being ensorcelled by an ancient monk.

The Hiss Of The Blade (The Celestial Ways Saga Book 1)

https://richardwrithen.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/wrychardwrycthen/

https://mightythorjrs.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/guest-blog-the-planet-the-gods-and-the-magic-by-richard-writhen/

 

Wade Garret author of Genesis is one of my favorite new authors on the block, he writes dark fantasy with a steam/dieselpunk twist. His first novel inspired by Dune and the Dark Tower is called Genesis (Kingdom Come Series) and was published in 2013

Jak Hartlen, 19, the son of William and Mary, will face many thresholds of flesh and mind on his road to reaping the Whirl Wind; seeds of grief and guilt only now coming to fruition.
If only they’d know what they were doing…
The Gan and their Areht who shape the world behind the scenes will hate him, because he’s a threat they’re not sure can be chained. The Pillars and their Faithful who spread the world’s leading religion will fear him, because his existence, once known, will challenge Ages of dogma and accepted history.
The Crimson King and its Servants who seek to return to power, destroying all that remains of The White, will hunt him, because even in death, they’re not sure he’ll ever bow to the Dark. They all Should. For as One of Five with the power to shake the world, they will hollow his heart and mind through countless sacrifice and vengeful selfishness.

 

Genesis (Kingdom Come Series, #1)

http://wjgarret.blogspot.com

 

Among the many authors of the Grimdark group there are also quite a few familiar faces like James A. Moore you know the guy from Bloodstained Oz and Buffy the Vampire Slayers novelization Chaos Bleeds. He’s been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for best novel for his book Serenity Falls. James has written so much in several genres his most recent novel is called The Last Sacrifice

Since time began, the Grakhul – immortal servants of the gods – have taken human sacrifices to keep the world in balance and the gods appeased. When they choose the family of warrior Brogan McTyre, everything changes.

Brogan begins the toughest battle of his life to free his family from their terrible fate. But when you challenge the gods, you challenge the very fabric of society. Declared an outcast, Brogan and his kin are hunted like criminals – but nothing will stand in his way.

The Last Sacrifice

http://www.jamesamoorebooks.com/

 

Last for today is Josiah Bancroft his writing is as beautiful as his art. He also writes poetry which has been featured in dozens of magazines luckily for us he also writes fantasy. His first novel is Senlin Ascends ( The Books of Babel ) and came out in 2013 it is part of a quadrilogy.

Senlin, a mild-mannered school teacher, is drawn to the Tower of Babel by the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The ancient and immense Tower seems the perfect destination for a honeymoon. But soon after arriving, Senlin loses his young wife, Marya, in the crowd.

Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through slums and theaters, prisons and ballrooms. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find Marya, Senlin will have to do more than survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1)

http://www.thebooksofbabel.com/

 

I’ll try to keep up this time around wouldn’t want y’all to get bored + you know we have to keep stacking up on our tbr piles. Something I didn’t mention before is that many of the authors featured also sell their books doodled through Facebook and their websites so feel free to poke them about it just don’t poke about release dates

https://www.facebook.com/groups/grimdarkfiction/

Here’s a picture of our Lord Dark Matheny in his younger years

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City of Lies review

I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love love this book! It’s paced perfectly so you don’t have to wait ages for the action to start. Kalina and Jovan are awesome characters! Jovan is an expert when it comes to poisons and he’s a proofer for the heir of Sjona Tain Caslavtash Iliri. (A proofer is someone who tastes food before it is consumed by others as a way to prevent poisonings). Jovan also has a serious case of OCD which made him very relatable to me. Kalina is Jovan’s sister and she’s somewhat of a spy. The cast resides in Silasta a city soon under siege by rebels. Soon Jovan and Kalina learn that they can’t trust anyone as betrayal is lurking around every corner.

I love the pacing of the story there’s no long wait for action and there’s never a dull moment.  Though we do have to wait a while before the spirits show themselves. The world building is also done really well. The story itself is a mix between the fantasy and mystery genre which makes it so unique. Honor down best debut of the year for me!

I also highly recommend the audiobook version the narration is excellent!

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Sam Hawke

Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photograpy review

I was given an ARC by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

I ended up buying this book since an E-reader just doesn’t cut it when it comes to books about photography and fashion. When it comes to books about fashion and photography I much prefer to own a physical copy, publishers often go all out even just for the cover, Icons of Style’s cover has this special feel almost like a soft fabric or one of those 3D optical illusion cards.

It’s difficult to write a review for such a beautiful book. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for Paul Martineau to select the photographs featured in this book. The photographs are so beautiful and some are a little risqué. I’m also glad that the photographs aren’t split in half as some publishers do it really ruins a perfect photograph. No matter how hard I try my review can’t do this book justice so you’ll just have to buy it!

We also get a history lesson when it comes to the editors for magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. For me it was a joy to see some of the dresses designed by Dior, Schiaparelli and Charles James. Everyone who worked on this book did an outstanding job!

This is the book to have on your shelf if you love fashion and photography!

The cover was shot by Sarah Moon who started out as a model and became a fashion photographer in the seventies. Sarah was the first woman who shot the famous Pirelli calendar in 1972.

Fashion photography wasn’t seen as a form of art in the early beginning but it produced so many iconic images that we do see it as a form of art these days. This book is a must have for anyone aspiring to become a fashion photographer and fashion lovers.

We start our journey in 1911 when Edward Steichen accepted a dare by Lucien Vogel publisher of Jardin des Modes to shoot artistic fashion photographs. Steichen’s work was soon featured in the magazine Art et Décoration in april of 1911.  Edward Steichen was a genius and for me he is the one who paved the way for other fashion photographers.

We travel through the century with more photographs by famous photographers such as Herb Ritts, Hiro, Melanie Pullen, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, Horst P. Horst, Lusha Nelson, Viviane Sassen and so many more.

Melvin Sokolsky for Harper’s Bazaar in 1963

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Herb Ritts portrait of David Bowie ca. 1987

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Melanie Pullen half Prada 2003

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Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography

https://www.amazon.com/Icons-Style-Century-Fashion-Photography/dp/1606065580/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

 

 

The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution review

I was given an ARC by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

This is my first time reviewing a cookbook.  It’s an excellent book with clear instructions on how to freeze your sauces and how to unfreeze them once you want to use them. The recipes are well written and easy to follow even for amateurs like myself. There also recipes to go with your sauce such as pasta or rice and tofu. Most sauces are also vegetarian friendly which is really awesome. The first chapter features sauces from across the Americas such as a delicious creamy Chipotle and a Creole red gravy.

I tried several recipes starting with the Chimichurri which is one of my favorite sauces it goes well with several meats but also with Italian food, it originates from Argentina and there are many variations but the recipe in this book has quickly become my favorite. The recipe is super easy it doesn’t require too much work and your kitchen won’t be too messy. All you need is a good knife, a cutting board, a bowl and  freezer bags. I followed the recipe but replaced the jalapeños with chiles and added a pinch of cumin. Even after a few weeks in the freezer the taste was still great.  Due to the chiles my sauce looks a tad bit different from the one in the book. Since I had quite a lot of sacue I put some in jars and gave them to friends and neighbours who enjoyed them just as much as I did.

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The next sauce I made was the Sambal from the Asian inspired chapter. Sambal is one of those sauces you’ll always find in Indonesian households. I usually only make sambal using my grandma’s recipe which has anchovies in it. The version in this book is a more mainstream sambal and a lot less spicy than my grandma’s which is a good thing because not everyone enjoys crying while eating. Again the recipe is so easy to follow you won’t mess it up. I used this sambal to make sajoer beans a traditional side dish in my kitchen whenever we eat beef rendang. Sadly at the time I didn’t have a camera so no pictures.

The next sauce I made was the mango salsa. I ended up with a bit more than the recipe suggests much to the delight of my neighbours and friends. The challenge was to find the perfect mangos and peaches I live in a very small town and exotic fruits are hard to come by. This sauce required a bit more work than the previous sauces and my blender wasn’t quite up to the task but it still came out really well. I served the salsa with minced meat tortilla’s and it was a huge succes! Even after a month in the freezer it was still to die for! My apologies for the quality of the pictures it’s fairly difficult to make good pictures of food. This sauce also goes great with manchego cheese which is a spanish cheese made of sheep milk

 

 

The next picture features some awful plating skills from a friend of mine who I use frequently as a test subject, he decided to put both the salsa and Chimichurri on the same plate…. He used the salsa for tortillas and the Chimichurri for a nice steak

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All in all this is a great cookbook for amateurs but also for the more advanced cook with too little time on their hands. The author really understands all the different cuisines and did an awesome job presentation wise. Often with cookbooks there are pages for just 1 recipe and some are so complicated or time-consuming that it takes the joy out of cooking altogether. I’ll be buying this book as soon as it comes out!

I’ll be making more sauces and will post pictures of my creations as soon as possible

http://www.elisabethtovabailey.net/

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson

The Fantasy Inn

War built the Kisian Empire and war will tear it down. And as an empire falls, three warriors rise.

Caught in a foreign war, Captain Rah e’Torin and his exiled warriors will have to fight or die. Their honour code is all they have left until orders from within stress them to breaking point, and the very bonds that hold them together will be ripped apart.

Cassandra wants the voice in her head to go away. Willing to do anything for peace, the ageing whore takes an assassination contract that promises answers, only the true price may be everyone and everything she knows.

A prisoner in her own castle, Princess Miko doesn’t dream of freedom but of the power to fight for her empire. As the daughter of a traitor the path to redemption could as easily tear it, and her family, asunder.

As an empire dies they will have…

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City of Shards book review

I was given an ARC by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

We are introduced to Larin a young boy living in the worst part of town with his uncle who has a severe drug addiction but yet manages to be one the most awesome fighters the world has ever seen. Larin suffers violent outburst in which he yells the same three words and this seems to be a great source of entertainment for the neighborhood’s thugs and bullies.  Larin has few friends and spends most his time reading in the temple’s library. Though his uncle Akul tries to protect him from the local thug Oarl and his gang Larin still ends up being the victim of many beatings. As the story progresses we get to meet more characters such as Larin’s friend Candro, his love interest Onie and an almost always drunk warrior priestess Trana.

We also get to meet the emperor of Tanbar, Maldovin and his council of dukes. Maldovin seems to be a royal pain in the ass but ends being a quite likeable character.

As the story develops we also get to meet the leader of the oncoming invasion Kemharak and his commanders who aren’t human at all or even likeable when we first meet them.

I love the fact that all characters are well written.

I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers.

The world Larin lives in is very interesting with all kinds of religions, creatures and magic. The author is an excellent worldbuilder so that’s a huge plus for me. The creatures are also quite interesting some seem to be more like insects and others more like lizzards.

There are some typical fantasy tropes when it comes to the grumpy uncle,orphan boy destined to save the world with a gang of friends but it didn’t bother me at all. The rich history and creatures made this book a very enjoyable read. And I was quite happy to see the second book is already out.

Review of Bullied to Death by Judith A. Yates

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Wildblue Press in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a particularly tough read for me I was also bullied for a very long time just like Sherokee, luckily for me this way before the digital age.

This story is about a girl who is a victim of a broken system. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The school system with the so-called zero tolerance for bullying policy did nothing to stop it neither did they do anything to help her out on an educational level. The kids at school were absolutely horrible to her and the teachers weren’t much better. It’s no wonder Sherokee hated school so much.

Having gone through highschool while being bullied on a daily basis is an absolute struggle. It sure as hell was for me nobody helped me in fact I even got kicked out of school because it’s easier to remove 1 kid from the equation than to kick out an entire group of bullies.

This book is a well written account about the daily struggle that’s life for Sherokee. Sherokee didn’t stand a chance almost from the day she was born, her family did what they could to help her to no avail. Sherokee had many issues and was often misunderstood by family and friends.  While I feel that the bullying added to Sherokee’s fragile mental state I don’t put the full blame on the kids who tormented her. Whenever a person commits suicide you can’t put the full blame just on one factor in the person’s life, often there are many issues that add to the situation. I totally understand her parents wanting to blame someone but you simply can’t all blame it on just the bullies. As you read this book you’ll understand why I have this opinion.

I can’t say much more since this a book you have to read yourself to fully understand the situation. This book is a must read for parents of kids that are being bullied and also for the bullies.

The author did some proper research for this book which I appreciate greatly. Judith is a gifted criminologist and true crime author. I’m looking forward to her next book!

http://www.judithayates.com/index.html

Below are some pictures of kids who shared a similar fate to Sherokee’s

Kelly Yeomans committed suicide at the age of 13

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Phoebe Prince committed suicide at the age of 15. After her death kids still left hateful messages on her Facebook memorial page. Some of the kids who bullied her were sentenced to community service

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Ty Smalley shot himself aged 11. His bully was suspended from school for 3 days but was allowed to return after 1 day. Ty’s dad is working with Stand for the Silent to help victims of bullying.

https://standforthesilent.org/

https://www.facebook.com/SFTSorg/

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Montana Lance was 9 when he hung himself at school.

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Bullying played a role in all these kids suicides and I wanted everyone to see their faces. There’s also a documentary about the subject that both parents and kids should watch

 

My review of Rockabilly/Psychobilly by Jamie Kendall

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Schiffer Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Music is a form of art and it’s great to see art related to some of your favorite music.I’m a huge rockabilly/psychobilly fan so I love this book! It contains art by some of the most talented artists out there. This book gives you a visual tour of the genre. A lot of the bands flyers are featured in this book as well as just art related to the genre. If you’re a fan like me this book is a must have. It’s an art anthology so there’s no stories about the bands but I’ll give you some background info about some of them.

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The Meteors are an English psychobilly band formed in the early eighties and are often described as the only truly pure psychobilly band in the genre. They have toured extensively over the years and their first tv appearance was on the tv show White Light on Thames tv in late 1980. They have a very large cult following known as the wrecking Crew or The Crazies. Today the only original member is P. Paul Fenech who’s also produced several succesful solo albums and writes music for horror films and TV shows.

 

The Reverend Horton Heat is considered to be the godfather of modern rockabilly and psychobilly. The band was formed in 1985 and Jim Heath is the only remaining original member. The band’s name is an ode to Johnny Horton who was one of the first rockabilly artists.

 

Demented Are Go is a Welsh psychobilly band that has been around since 1982. If you’re a fan of the genre you’ll most definitely know about Sparky’s (Mark Philips) antics, I’m pretty sure he’s still not allowed to enter the US. Their album The Day the Earth Spat Blood is somewhat of an underground classic and my first introduction to the genre. I have seen them live a couple of years ago in Amsterdam when they performed with Mad Sin and it was quite special. This one of their newer songs

 

Another band featured is a Dutch band formed in 1983 called Batmobile the leadsinger  Jeroen Haamers provides the foreword for this art anthology.  The band is still performing these days so be sure to check out one of their shows!

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This was their first time tv appearance in 1985

 

Be sure to follow the amazing artists featured on social media!

 

Dead Bad by Helen H. Durrant

 

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I saw the title of this book and it reminded me of some of Charlaine Harris’s book titles in the Sookie Stackhouse series so I just had to read it. Obviously this is a totally different genre but I love a good crime mystery. This is the eighth book in the Calladine & Bayliss series and I haven’t read the previous books luckily that wasn’t an issue at all, surely you’ll miss some character development but that didn’t matter at all. The book starts with a brutal murder and it immediately drew me in, there aren’t too many gruesome details of the killing but just enough to give you the idea this killer is a vicious bastard. It’s a fast paced story and apart from a few predictable events it’s interesting enough to keep on reading without a pause. The characters are well written and likeable even the villains. I’ll definitely pick up all the other books in this series as I’d love to know more about the main characters and the other crimes they solved

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