5 Stars, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, K.Z. Snow, Reviewed by Lisa

A Man Rises From The Ashes Of His Own Life In K.Z. Snow’s “Resurrection Man”

“What form does the haint of a ruined life take?” — K.Z. Snow

Title: Resurrection Man

Author: K.Z. Snow

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Bad enough Elijah Colter’s life of comfort comes to an abrupt end when he’s 17 and his family discovers he’s gay. Bad enough he must live out of his car and turn tricks. But when his perfect boyfriend, Alonzo, becomes the victim of a drive-by shooting, Elijah plummets into suicidal depression. The concepts of trust and hope become more alien to him than ever.

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, K.Z. Snow, Reviewed by Lisa

K.Z. Snow Brings The Mongrel Trilogy To A Brilliant Close In “Machine”

“Wind’s in the East, mist comin’ in, like somethin’ is brewin’, about to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, but I feel what’s to ’appen all ’appened before.” – Mary Poppins

Title: Machine (Mongrel Trilogy: Book Three)

Author: K.Z. Snow

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 224 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Mongrel Trilogy: Book Three

The closing-day flea market at the Marvelous Mechanical Circus always draws a colorful crowd, but salesman Will Marchman doesn’t expect to see a large, elaborate gold wagon on the plaza—especially one called the Spiritorium. The wagon’s exotic looking owner claims he can perform “cleansings and siphonings” via a miracle-working machine housed within. He can supposedly flush the wickedness out of people and places.
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Dreamspinner Press, K.Z. Snow

K.Z. Snow’s “Merman” Gives Readers A Little Something To Chew On

“So he rolled on down and rolled on down where the mermaids sang while their lovers drowned…” – K.Z. Snow

If you can, picture a realm where steampunk meets a real-world industrial revolution, a place where those who wear the brand of Mongrel on their person are segregated in the village of Taintwell, a place so near yet so far from the purely human denizens of Purinton, a place that isn’t divided by the haves and have nots as much as it is by the ares and are nots, and you’ll have a rough idea of what you’re in for when you enter this world.

Things have changed a bit in Taintwell and Purinton since Fan, Will, Clancy Marrowbone and Simon Bentcross saved their world from the frightful things Mechanical Circus owner Alphonse Hunzinger and a few corrupt Purinton politicians had planned; though things for Clancy could be better. His departure from Taintwell at the end of Mongrel should have marked the beginning of his pattern of extended absence for the ever-wandering vampire, but less than two years later, he’s back, following an irresistible siren song that only his heart can hear.

Simon is the man Clancy can’t seem to stay away from in spite of the vampire’s history as the non-committal sort. He’s come back to Taintwell to satisfy an unnamed need, but ends up finding an ocean’s worth of trouble in the process when he discovers Jordy Hawkes washed up on the beach, barely alive amongst a tangle of fishermen’s nets.

Jordy and Clancy have a history, one that connects them closely enough that Clancy’s compassion for the man extends to wanting to help him escape from whomever it is that means to do him harm—though Jordy is most definitely not the same man Clancy had known when he visited him as a prisoner on Floating Brick Island so many years before. Time and circumstance and a clockwork inventor have all served to remake Jordy into something other, something no one has ever seen before, and someone dangerous to the human population, not to mention to Clancy himself.

It’s difficult to say whether I loved Merman every bit as much as I did Mongrel. The sequel was two years and some change in the making, so there’s some distance there. I admit to being pretty blown away by the world K.Z. Snow created when she first introduced the mongrel Dog King Fanule Perfidor and his human lover Will Marchman, and I also admit that I’m a fan of steampunk and Alt U and fantasy, so that, coupled with the fact that I’m also a fan of the author, is pretty much the perfect storm. I can say for certain that I really liked Merman for the way the author blended the mermaid/siren song/vampire legends together, then threw in the clockwork mechanics of a steampunk meets the industrialized world; not to mention the building of a romance between the vampire and his human, one that was nearly derailed by a bewitching spell that snared Clancy in a deceptive web. Add to that the opportunity to revisit a world and characters that had totally charmed me from the start, and I’d say it’s a very near thing.

K.Z. Snow is always a go-to author for me, and I’ve never been disappointed yet. This is a historically futuristic world, or maybe it’s a futuristically historical world, but whichever it is, it’s visionary and brimming with imagination and wonderment, as well as a cast of characters drawn with the all the colors in the box of creative crayons. There’s an HFN ending in this one that I can only hope means there will be more to come.

If you love fantasy and have read Mongrel, I’d say Merman is a don’t miss.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Merman here:

Dreamspinner Press, K.Z. Snow

Xylophone by K.Z. Snow

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly. – Mary Howitt

K.Z. Snow has done it again, written a beautiful and compelling book, of which there’ve been way more than a few that I’ve loved over the years, this one a story of the quiet strength born of the horror of lives darkened by the taint of men who preyed upon children, adults who abused their authority and seduced two impressionable young boys into their sickly webs, stealing their innocence and making them victims, only for Dare Boothe and Jonah Day to be left years later without the satisfaction of justice nor the ability to forget the Situations and Incidents that left them with capital I-Issues.

Both in their mid-twenties now, the two men have done their best to survive, has each gone his own way in trying to reconcile his past with the present; Dare by allowing his sexually fluid persona, Pepper Jack, to come to life on the stage at the Sugar Bowl; Jonah by recovering from alcoholism and the relentless promiscuity that covered for the fact the sexual abuse he’d suffered left him unsure of who he was. Until he met Dare and they each confessed their pain and shared their fears and anger, and eventually began a slow dance of absolution set to a music written only for them.

I love, love, loved this story of hope sprung from the depths of tragedy, of love grown in a common ground, of healing begun in a light that eclipses a dark past. In spite of the serious subject, K.Z. Snow never gets heavy handed in the telling of the story, never reduces the characters to the single dimension of their shared horrors, and manages not to take this story into what could very well have been an overwrought melodrama. Xylophone does its job perfectly—shows the feral and predatory nature of child sex offenders, demonstrates how easily the Spider tempts the Fly to its web by preying on weaknesses and feeding on needs, but, in the end, celebrates the triumph of love over that terrible evil.

Buy Xylophone here:

4.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, K.Z. Snow

A Hole in God’s Pocket by K.Z. Snow

Faron Weaver and Greg Aubuchon are on sabbatical from the lives they knew growing up, from the religion that taught them there was no place for them and those like them. They’re living in plain sight of their God, attempting to contain and translate and find purpose within His plan while, at the same time, trying to find a place in the grand scheme of a life that leaves them feeling as though they’ve fallen through a noose, which leaves them hanging somewhere in the limbo between sin and salvation. They are two men, each within the inner circle of a system that has insulated them from the secular world both in belief and in practice; both are living sparely alongside the fringes of an extravagant world. They’re two men who are living in the shadows while trying desperately to find their place in the sun.

Faron is the man who has mortgaged himself, body and soul, for a place to live in the English world while he decides if there’s a viable option for him outside the Amish culture in which he’d grown up. He’s not opposed to using the men he meets, not only to fulfill his physical desires but also to provide a roof over his head and put food in his belly in exchange for the sex he’s more than willing to use as collateral to buy himself more time away from his family.

Greg is the man who’s preserved himself, body and soul, for a place to live in the English world while he decides if there’s a viable option for him within the godly world in which the desires of the flesh have no place. He is the Good Samaritan who sees a man in a bar one night, broken and lost, and takes him in because his compassionate nature doesn’t leave room for him to do anything else.

A displaced Amish man and a displaced Catholic monk both struggle to find a new place in the world where the perceived stain of their desires can’t eclipse the belief that there’s a place for them within that faith and that they haven’t been misplaced but have merely found a new seat at God’s table.

A Hole in God’s Pocket is a story of divine intervention, if that divinity can be defined by the miracle of finding someone so like yet unalike you, then falling in love with that person in spite of all the doubts and indecision that seem bent upon keeping you apart. It’s a subtle and introspective story, a story of self-reflection for two young men who have so much to look forward to, if only they can move beyond the past and the ingrained belief that who they are works in direct opposition to that divine plan.

K.Z. Snow treats the subject matter in an understated way, never proselytizing but simply stating the belief that there is a perfect plan for love within an imperfect world, when it is driven by the belief there is a place for everyone in that plan.

The relationship between Faron and Greg builds slowly and sedately; there are no lightning quick burst of uncontained passion between them, but, rather, theirs is a slow discovery that they’re each who the other has been searching for and that what they’ve found is worth whatever sacrifice they have to make in order to hang on to it. They are the juxtaposition of the spiritual and physical relationship of love and what it means to belong somewhere and to someone despite what man’s self-imposed moral authority attempts to dictate.

If you’ve considered reading this book based solely upon the beauty of its title, know that what lies behind the title is every bit as beautiful.

Buy A Hole in God’s Pocket HERE.