5 Stars, Carter Quinn, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published

Review: Vanished 2 by Carter Quinn

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Title: Vanished 2

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 106 Pages

At a Glance: This is an amazing series that no one should miss.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: It’s only been three weeks since Henry woke up to discover his husband, Tom, had vanished. He’s still struggling to come to terms with his new reality when he receives a haunting phone call: “Henry. Help me.” It’s Tom’s voice, but Henry is afraid to believe. His world has already come crashing down around him twice in the last six months. Is Tom really alive, or is Henry losing his grip on reality again?

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Review: If you haven’t read Carter Quinn’s Vanished, stop right here, do not pass Go! and do not collect $200. Turn yourself back around and go read Vanished! You can’t read Book Two one unless you’ve read the first one. That’s just how it goes. The bigger question is, why haven’t you read Vanished yet? Go. Read. It. Now.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, OMG, this book. This is a gripping psychological thriller/mystery that takes a hold of you and doesn’t let go. An edge-of-your-seat read that makes you think you know what’s going on, then BAM, it takes another turn; a turn you never saw coming. A roller coaster ride that makes your stomach plummet, and, just as quickly, has your heart racing. Yes, it’s all that and more. As readers we have our own expectations of what we think should happen, and what we think will happen, but then at times the reality of what does happen is a letdown. With Vanished 2, it’s the total opposite. We never know what’s going to happen, so it exceeds any expectations we ever had.

I love the author’s writing, the smoothness of the storytelling. Each installment has included a beginning, middle, and end mystery, and I’m enjoying the overall story arc that ties them together. It’s brilliantly done. I’m not going to give spoilers away, but I will say this—poor Henry. I don’t know how he keeps it together… well, almost together. I felt as though he was moving underwater. Like he was in a fog with nowhere to go. I truly got the sense of his fear, sadness and frustration. I felt Henry’s emotions rolling off the page as if I were experiencing everything he was. I have to credit Mr. Quinn for letting me feel. Not many authors I read can actually do that, so kudos to you, dear sir.

I love how we are reacquainted with the same secondary characters who really play a big part in the story. I especially loved the revelation from Henry’s best friend Shaun. I didn’t see that coming. Henry’s assistant Trevor was also quite adorable, and I’m hoping we get to see more of him. I also loved the witty banter between the characters, which was put in at just the right moment, when things were getting a little too serious and heavy again. It was very much needed and appreciated.

On a final note, this is an amazing series that no one should miss. A highly recommended story.

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You can buy Vanished 2 here:

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3.5 Stars, Liam Livings, Literary Fiction, Manifold Press, Reviewed by Sadonna

Review: Escaping from Him by Liam Livings

Title: Escaping from Him

Author: Liam Livings

Publisher: Manifold Press

Pages/Word Count: 148 Pages

At a Glance: A story of liberation and transformation that had me cheering on Ford and his family of choice.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Darryl’s on the run – from controlling boyfriend Chris, an air-conditioner called Dave (deceased), an intolerable, claustrophobic situation and a person he just can’t be any more. The trouble is, he doesn’t have a plan – or any money – and all he knows is he needs to get away from everything. That’s where a lucky lift to Glasgow comes in, which turns out to be just the beginning of a whole new life …

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Review: This is a pretty new to me author, as I’ve only read one short story of his in an anthology prior to this book. I enjoyed that story so thought I’d give this longer volume a try.

Darryl has been living with Chris, a much older boyfriend, in London. Chris found Darryl when he was quite young and slightly desperately in need of some love. He’d grown up in foster care, and met Chris at age sixteen. When Chris asked Darryl to move in, he figured he’d hit the jackpot. But after four years of increasingly controlling behavior from Chris, Darryl is about to crack. Finally, he can’t take it anymore, after one more suggestion from Chris that he shouldn’t waste his time with art but should instead get a job a KFC. Darryl has had enough, and he goes a little bit crazy before he finally takes off.

As luck would have it, he manages to get a ride to Glasgow with Douggie, a truck driver on his way home. Douggie seems a genuine sort, and keeps Ford (as Darryl has now decided to call himself so that Chris can’t find him) entertained on the trip. Once in Glasgow, a serendipitous encounter with Douggie’s wife leads to a potential job as a photographer’s assistant, which is exactly what Ford has been looking for. It turns out that Ewan is a good guy and a good boss.

Finally Ford, with the encouragement of Lena, the one friend from London he is in touch with, decides he can’t stand one more Saturday night in his rented room alone. He goes out to a club and meets Charlie. Charlie is older and he would like to be with Ford, but Ford’s having none of it. He’s taking a break from relationships, or anything else. Charlie seems to accept that and introduces Ford to his band of friends. They are quite the eclectic crew – a drag queen, a florist and his boyfriend (both called Gavin), and other assorted hangers on. They become Ford’s Glasgow family.

Eventually, Ford meets Callum, an aspiring actor, when he comes into the photography studio for some new headshots. They begin dating and things get pretty serious. Neither is making a lot of money, but they are getting by, and their lives are going well on the jobs front. Lena comes to visit from London, and she’s satisfied that Ford is doing okay. There are some tense moments with Charlie, who isn’t necessarily happy to give up on Ford. Lena also gets tired of travelling to Glasgow, but Ford is unwilling to go back to London.

I don’t what to spoil the rest of the story, but eventually Ford has to face going to London, and possibly face his past as well. Callum and Lena are wonderfully supportive friends. The Glasgow family has Ford’s back as well, and it seems that Ford has finally come into this own.

I enjoyed this story quite a bit – from Ford’s meltdown, to his naïve rushing off to Glasgow, to his finally standing up for himself with Charlie. He really learns a lot about life and himself in the course of this story. He learns what love really means and what it doesn’t. I liked that he figures out that self-reliance and taking control of his own destiny still leaves room for someone else in his life, even if it isn’t always easy. Yes, things work out surprisingly easy for him, in that he lands pretty softly in Glasgow after a very shaky start, but some people are just lucky ;) I liked Ford’s voice in this story and look forward to reading more from this author.






You can buy Escaping from Him here:

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5 Stars, Drama, Eric Arvin, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa, Wilde City Press

Review: Wave Goodbye to Charlie by Eric Arvin

Title: Wave Goodbye to Charlie

Author: Eric Arvin

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 196 Pages (.pdf)

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: My name’s Charlie. I’m many things, though none of them having to do with any real talent. I’m a runaway, a hustler when I need to be, a ghost when I have to scare hoodlums away from my home, and a loner who maybe reads too much. But most of all, I’m the keeper of the carnival. That’s how I see myself. I look after the place ’cause even dying things need to be cared for. Maybe it’s illegal. Maybe that rusty metal fence around the carnival is supposed to keep me out too. Or maybe me and this place were meant to find each other. Truth is, I never felt at home anywhere but here, not even in all the foster families and orphanages I was placed in as a young shit. They don’t look for me no more, those places. I suspect I ran away so much they finally just said, “Fuck! Let him go.” I am a hangnail on society’s manicured middle finger. I’m older. One year past the age anyone gives a shit.

And this is my adventure…
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Edmond Manning, Self-Published

Guest Post: Butterfly King by Edmond Manning

I (Thunderstorm) New York.

IMG_4404I know, I know. You’re supposed to <3 New York.

Screw that.

New York has never been my favorite city. It’s crowded and busy and people coming at you in every direction and, yes, I’m the guy standing still blinking while four hundred New Yorkers stream around me trying to get to work, thinking to themselves that the city would be so much better if the tourists were assigned their own sidewalks.

Deep breath.

I’d been to New York on any number of business trips. I stayed in Midtown, the Upper West Side, and Times Square. Ate some nice dinners, endured a few crazy cab rides, and took the subway. I went to New York City Gay Pride one year, so it’s not like I had never seen the city alive and full of joyful play. I get it. It’s an amazing playground. I’ve been to the New York Eagle on a crowded Saturday night. Enough said about that night. Continue reading

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