Your Name, In Blood: It Will Suck You In

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Paranormal Suspense / Urban Fantasy

Ever since reading Kera Emory’s debut novel, Your Name, In Fire, I have been anxiously awaiting the follow-up. Well, it’s finally here, and it doesn’t disappoint.

The year isn’t over yet, but I’m already certain this will remain one of my favorite reads of 2017. Your Name, In Blood has more story, more characterization, and more charisma in a single chapter than most books have in their entirety.

Just like the first book in the series, Your Name, In Blood sucked me right in (vampire pun intended) and never let go. I read it all in three or four sittings, and I probably would have finished it in one if I didn’t have work obligations nagging at me for the duration.

Emory’s writing has a way of casting a spell over the reader, making you desperate to read on to the next sentence, next paragraph, next page. Because you absolutely must know what’s going to happen next, damn it!

The characters are genuine in a way that I can’t help but think as I’m reading, “This must be based on a real person, it’s too detailed and feels too real to just be made up.” And on the other hand, I know as a writer that’s almost never the case. You might borrow little things from real people, but most real people aren’t half as interesting as the best-written characters in books.

So let’s talk characters for a moment.

First there’s John, living his ignorance-is-bliss lifestyle of expensive clothes, fancy cars, and one-night stands. When we meet him, his existence is pretty shallow and superficial. And yet you can empathize with his hesitation to start asking questions. If he starts picking at one thread, there’s no telling what else might start to unravel.

And then there’s Kelly, who might as well be the polar opposite of John: she’s ferociously curious about everything, and she won’t stop until she gets a satisfying answer. It’s a little scary how smart, clever, and analytical she is. She has a way of examining things that makes you wonder if she ever sleeps at night, or if she only sort of closes her eyes while her brain continues to whir along, worrying at the unanswered questions in her life.

A good writer might manage to create a main character that fits that feels-more-real-than-real-life criteria. Where Emory shines is that every. single. one. of her characters feels that way, from the returning protagonists from book one, Connor and Wendy, to the aging waitress at the local diner. On top of all that, they are the kind of characters I wish I could know in real life.

Lastly, I have to mention Emory’s knack for storytelling and structure. Both books had me looking toward the end, wondering how things would wrap up, coming up with my own theories… and both books had a final twist I hadn’t seen coming, but one that felt like the perfect, just-as-it-was-meant-to-be resolution to the story.

Check out Your Name, In Blood now for $0.99 on Amazon. And if you haven’t read Your Name, In Fire yet, you can grab it now for free!

Posted in Books, Reviews Tagged with: ,

Giveaway Winners

The winners for this round of paperback giveaways are: T More, Lisa F, C Runner, Betty Jo H, August B, healergirl, V Davis, Don T, VampyreLady, and R Dietman. Congrats!

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

And in this case, the chicken dinner comes in the form of books!

The winner of the signed, limited edition hardcover of The Scattered and the Dead (Book 1) is Jennifer T!

And the four winners of the signed paperbacks of The Scattered and the Dead (Book 0.5) are Eva W., Dana F., Rick T., and Jenny F.!

If you’re sitting over there like, “Hey, how do I win free books?” then you, my friend, need to sign up for our mailing list! You’re really missing out.

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It’s a Halloween miracle!

We couldn’t let Halloween come and go without delivering the horror goods, so we’ve done it. We’ve written the horror nastiness that might just make Halloween 2016 a night to dismember. Let me tell you a little about our new novel, The Clowns.

This book is our love letter to the very direct horror of the 70’s and 80’s, the kind that wore its heart (and lungs and intestines) on its sleeve.

Some books play coy with their horror elements. This book leaps straight for the goddamn jugular. Every October, I binge like crazy on this kind of stuff, books and movies alike. Hopefully you do, too.

We’ve wanted to write one like this for a long time, but a weird thing happened on the way to the meatgrinder. We outdid ourselves. I really love the characters in this book, and I think they give the novel great depth. It’s horror featuring people worth caring about, and I’m so excited to unleash it upon the world.

I know what you’re thinking: Finally, an old school, creepy clown novel for the rest of us! Indeed.

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As usual, it’s $0.99 for a limited time, so grab it quick!
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Preoccupation: A quick and haunting read

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Paranormal Suspense / Literary Mystery

I don’t read a lot of short stories, because best case scenario, they leave me wanting more. (Worst case scenario, there’s not enough time for anything to really happen, so they seem kind of pointless.)

BUT… I’m a sucker for a ghost story. And I am so glad I read this one.

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A grief-stricken girl answers a house-sitting ad. Something about the house on the beach is off, or is it all in her head? The writing style is frenetic, almost disorienting at times, which absolutely adds to the atmosphere of the story.

I don’t want to say much more for fear of giving anything away, but if you’re at all a fan of paranormal suspense, give Preoccupation a read. And then rejoice because the story continues in The Devastation Agency, which I am downloading to my Kindle. Right. Now.

Posted in Books, Reviews