The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

The end of the world finally happened like we all knew it would. Not because of zombies, or some strange virus, or even an alien attack from Planet Xymzko. Nope, it came when meteorites hit the Earth, demolishing the planet and killing millions and millions of people.

But Edgar Hill and his family somehow survived, not that Ed really paid much attention to the warnings that England was sending out. Nope, it was by pure luck that he was up and about in a semi drunken stupor that tragic sunny day when he saw the meteorites falling from the sky. He grabbed his wife, his little girl, and his infant son and basically threw them into the cellar where they lived until the army dug them out.

Living in the army camp with hundreds of other survivors wasn’t all that bad. They had food, water, and shelter, much more that what other survivors had. But some of these other survivors were not nice people. They tried to kill and steal and thought that this new Earth was theirs for the taking.

One day when Ed and a few others from the army camp were patrolling the area, helicopters came to the camp and took everyone to the other side of the country to get on boats that would take the survivors to another country. Edgar and the people he was with missed the helicopters but were told that more will come for them very shortly. The group might have been waiting for Godot because like Godot, the helicopters never showed up.

The only way the group could make it the hundreds of miles to where the boats were  was to run and they only had a few weeks to get there. Not easy when Edgar was out of shape, had to run broken ground, run around valleys that were created by the falling meteorites, and not to mention avoiding some very dangerous people living off the land.

“The End of the World Running Club” by Adrian J. Walker is a fairly decent novel considering it’s very similar to most dystopian books. You know, fending for yourself, looking for water, food, shelter, getting into conflicts with miserable people and dangerous communities.

It was different reading about a group of people who decided to run to get to their destination on time. If I had to run I’d kind of look up into the sky and decline. I have issues with just walking one mile, if I had to run hundreds … nah, not for me.

On their journey Ed and his running mates run into the usual problems that beset all characters in this type of novel. Nothing really special going on but I did enjoy reading the close to 500 pages and it was interesting and easy to get through.

If dystopian books are your cup of tea give this a try. Just don’t expect anything too special.

running club

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Eggnog Cream & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 12 By Susan Gillard

Eggnog Cream & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 12  By Susan Gillard

Christmas is swiftly approaching Oceanside, Florida and a secret Santa is giving out gifts to some members of the community. No one knows who he is but the gifts are wonderful except for the gift given to grouchy old Ben Grimes. Ben received a set of candlesticks but there was poison on them so when he cut his hand on the sticks’ sharper areas the poison got into his bloodstream and killed him.

Heather Shepherd and her best friend, Amy Givens, were asked to help solve the murder because of their P.I. status. The dynamic duo has a lot of suspects to deal with.

Ben Grimes was not a likable man. During this Holiday Season he was basically a Scrooge. No one cared him especially his neighbors. The house on one side of him couldn’t even be rented because he made life so miserable for anyone who dared to live there. The home on the other side of him was inhabited by Mrs. Kurtshed who did her level best to ignore her neighbor.

But someone offed Mr. Grimes so Heather and Amy go to the Key West Key News office to speak with reporter, Hope Penwell, who was writing articles about the Secret Santa. Hope agreed to let the P.I.s see all the information she gathered.

Things start to get scary when Santa gives a gift to Heather, a pair of slippers that she asked for in her donut shop. Who would be listening to her conversation about what she wanted for Christmas except for all the customers who were eating there?

After investigating some more Heather discovered that everyone who received a gift from Santa received the gift that they wished for. The card that came with the gift was lovely but had squiggly lines on them which was really a map leading to where they would be when they received their gift.

Okay, this was getting strange. Who killed Ben Grimes? Was it the Secret Santa; was it one of Mr. Grimes’ many haters; was it the woman who owned the dog that Ben Grimes bit when the the dog walked on his lawn; was it his next door neighbor; was it a reporter; was it one of Heather’s donut loving fans who visited her donut shop every day? No one knows at this point but the murder will soon be solved because Heater and Amy are on the case with a yummy donut in each hand,

“Eggnog Cream & Murder” is the 12th book in the Oceanside Cozy Mystery Series by Susan Gillard and it’s a good story with the Christmas/Holiday Season approaching.

This series is rated PG so the whole family can indulge in a good mystery. The characters are all likeable and friendly, except for the murderer of course, and reading the books will always make you yen for a donut.

So snuggle up in front of a fire with some hot chocolate and a donut and enjoy this new installment to this fantastic series.

To see more reviews of Susan Gillard’s books please go to Susan’s page.

 

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Don’t be afraid everyone, everything is under control … I hope. Zombies are in Trenton, New Jersey. I always knew the zombies were coming and they’re now on the East Coast. Battle down the hatches, folks, but have no fear, bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum is on the job.

Stephanie and her trusty sidekick, Lula, have their hands full. They’re trying to find two men who skipped on their bail and the duo also have to feed Ethel, a boa constrictor, owned by Simon Diggery, a professional grave robber. Simon also jumped on his bail and would only let Stephanie take him in if she promised to care for his snake. Simon felt safer in jail because zombies were roaming the woods where his trailer was parked and he wanted nothing to do with them.

Then headless bodies started appearing. And then with bodies were found with holes in their heads where the brains were sucked out. See, I told you there are zombies out there.

Now Stephanie has to find her two bail jumpers, feed and care for Ethel the snake, and avoid the zombies who are after her. Things are never easy for Stephanie.

“Hardcore Twenty-Four” by Janet Evanovich,  is the 24th installment of the popular Stephanie Plum series. I used to really like this series but each book is turning into the same ol’ same ol’ to me.

Stephanie is still fooling around with her long-time heartthrob detective Joe Morelli, trying avoid the bed of the hot Ranger, and now the mysterious Diesel is back in town trying to bed Stephanie as well. This is getting a little old to me. It was bad enough with Morelli and Ranger chasing after our hero but when Diesel was added to the list of men a few books back the whole thing became tiresome and boring.

I do like Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s mom and dad, and Lula. They add a lot of fun to the books but I am getting weary of the love/sex portions of it. It’s very soft porn and not offensive just over done.

There are still lots of laughs and it’s easy enough to get through this novel but I just wish Ms. Evanovich would do something different with all the men in Stephanie’s life. I really don’t think they’re all needed in the series.

Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11 by Susan Gillard

Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11  by Susan Gillard

Amy Givens is kind of tired of just helping Heather Shepherd in the donut shop and helping to solve murders. She’s a little restless and wants to do something for herself. Being a great best friend, Heather agree to help Amy find her true calling with the help of some yummy donuts.

Amy always liked art and drawing so she found an art studio where she could draw and do some sculpturing. The owner, Kendall Dakwa, seems like a nice woman and Amy hopes that Kendall can be her mentor.

A fight between two artists breaks out at the studio each accusing the other of stealing material they needed to make a sculpture. One of the artists, Tricia Mollins has to look for another item to use as s her sculpture so Kendall agrees to keep the studio open for her to continue working once she finds something she can use. But the next day Tricia is found murdered in the art studio. She was impaled on the top of a Christmas tree sculptor. Some was strong enough to throw her on to it and kill her but who? Could it be Ray, the man she was arguing with earlier in the day or possibly Kendall. Kendall was supposed to meet Amy the night of the murder and never showed up.

Now Heather and Amy are helping to investigate and readers of this series know that these two P.I.’s always find the bad guy.

“Spiced Maple & Murder” is the eleventh in author Susan Gillard’s Oceanside Cozy series. Like all the others it’s a fun, easy read filled with lots of action and love between all the characters. Another book not to be missed.

See other reviews of Susan’s book on her page.

The Massacre of Mankind (The War of the Worlds #2) by Stephen Baxter

The Massacre of Mankind (The War of the Worlds #2) by Stephen Baxter

Author Stephen Baxter has continued where H G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” ended. The Martians might have been defeated by Earthly germs 14 years earlier but they are a smart species and have figured out how to get around that so they came back to Earth to take over not just England but the rest of the world.

The new battle is worse than the first and it appears that the only person who could defeat the Martians is a journalist and sister-in-law to Walter Jenkins. Some kind of new germ was put into her bloodstream and all she has to do now is get near enough to the invaders to let the germs work its magic against them. But it won’t be easy getting close to them and she needs a lot of help from some British soldiers and other people she meets along her journey across occupied England. And now that the Martians have landed in the United States’ New York, things are looking gloomier every day.

The Massacre of Mankind” by Stephen Baxter is a good enough book even though it’s well over twice as long as Wells’ original novel. Stephen Baxter, who is an excellent science fiction writer, does tend to like descriptions and this book is filled with them bringing the page count to close to 500. I tend to scan descriptions preferring to read the story itself not really caring how green the grass is or isn’t. But Baxter did a nice job at describing what the Martians were doing to their human captives, the experiments that were being run on them, and how the humans were forced to live. I’m not sure if there was supposed to be a Nazi comparison but it kind of felt that way to me. Ah, what do I know?

I’d recommend reading this novel if it’s your cup of tea but be warned that is long and a bit drawn out at times. And if you’ve never read H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds,” Amazon’s Kindle edition is free as of this posting. The original is very good and with only 230 pages you can get through it in no time flat.

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The Sign in the Moonlight: And Other Stories (Digital Horror Fiction Author Collection Book 1) by David Tallerman

The Sign in the Moonlight: And Other Stories (Digital Horror Fiction Author Collection Book 1) by David Tallerman

I’ve always enjoyed short stories and I especially enjoy horror short stories. With “The Sign in the Moonlight: And Other Stories (Digital Horror Fiction Author Collection Book 1)” by David Tallerman horror lovers get a great mix of scary tales.

The mix includes ghosts that roam a hotel; An expedition onto a cold, snowy mountain where aliens want to take over the Earth; A hidden cave where a young girl gets lost while the boy who loves her attempts to save her from a life with some strange creatures; A man living in a seemingly jail cell, not knowing how he got there and discovers that the door isn’t locked and wonders what is going on outside; A strange beast who has to create scarecrows to protect his crops; A soldier during WWI stuck in a bunker where two groups of rats battle each other; A 7 year-old little girl who has a strange friend; and many other tales. All told there are about 23 thought provoking, chilling stories that are sure to keep you up at night reading them.

Author, David Tallerman knows how to tell a story suitable for scaring listeners by the campfire on a chilly night.

As with any anthology, some of the stories are a little better than others but all of them achieve the purpose of introducing readers to strange people, creatures, and places that only live in the depths of a horror writer’s mind. It looks like I’ll have to find the second book to of this set and see what else is living in Mr. Tallerman’s head.

I have no problem recommending this terrific horror book of short stories to anyone.

“I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, through Reading Deals, so I could give an honest review.”

the sign in the moonlight

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

Gwendy Peterson lives in the spooky town of Castle Rock, Maine. Strange things have been going on there for decades but the inhabitants take it all in stride.

Twelve-year old Gwendy is more or less an average teen. Maybe a little too chubby but she does love her chocolate. I can relate. But Gwendy is determined to try to get a little slimmer so every day she runs up the Suicide Stairs to get to Castle View where there’s a park where you can sit for a spell and a baseball field if you’re inclined to play ball but Gwendy just wants to run up the steps for the exercise.

One day she gets to the top of the stairs and sees a man sitting on a bench. He’s wearing black jeans, a black coat, and a black hat. He calls Gwendy over and gives her a box and tells her to hold on to it for him. The box has some buttons on it. If she presses one button a piece of chocolate will come out in the shape of an animal. The chocolate button is good but he tells her that the other buttons might have serious consequences if she presses them. She’s told she can press any button she wants whenever she wants but she’ll never know what will happen if she does.

Gwendy takes the box and every day presses the button for the chocolate and even though she comes close to pressing one of the other buttons she always stops herself.

Changes are happening to Gwendy in the course of the years she has the box. She’s lost a lot of weight, has become beautiful, has lots of friends, her grades in school are phenomenal but those other buttons are calling her name. Just to see what happens Gwendy presses one of the non chocolate buttons – just to see what happens – just to see.

“Gwendy’s Button Box” by Stephen King is a wonderful story. You can read the 180 pages in one day. You won’t be able to put it down because you want to know what happens.

Author Stephen King is an amazing storyteller. His short stories are much better than his longer novels because he cuts to the chase without long drawn out descriptions. Don’t get me wrong, I read his novels too but I think his short stories far surpass them.

The ending of “Gwendy’s Button Box” is unique and not really expected but let’s just say that Stephen King does his best writing when he talks about the innocence of children.

Pick up this short book, visit Castle Rock, Maine and find out what’s going on with Gwendy’s button box.

Gwendy