Monthly Archives: July 2012

Scarlet Letters: The Tale Of The Vampire Mailman By Allison M. Dickson

Louis  felt as if the world was spinning too fast. The news of finding out he was a vampire was incredible enough, but to find out that his doctor had intentionally injected him like a lab rat was more gut wrenching than the prospect of his next bowel movement. “Do you even hear yourself? You injected people without their consent! Don’t you see how wrong that is? What about the Hypocritical Oath or whatever it is? You’re a doctor for!”

Marx laughed. “Yes, I am a doctor. But more importantly, I am a vampire. I may have a conscience about killing innocent people, and a soft spot for the ever so quaint Hippocratic Oath, but I do have an instinct to propagate my own species. I feared that if I opened up the floor to the willing, I would get all the wrong candidates.”

This was a book I picked up for free and may I say, the title doe not disappoint. This book is a quirky, humorous take on the vampires and even a little dark at times, even making fun of the Twilight books…everyone makes fun of the Twilight books! (Even though I secretly like them.)  ;o) Well, that’s until you get to the ending…then it just sort of fell off the mark.

Louis lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. He is a postman there with his buddy Stan. When Louis begins to not feel very well, it’s at about this time that his skin is starting to get sores on it when he goes outside in the sunlight, and his appetite has gotten…well…a little on the weird side. He starts craving steak and meat, but would rather eat it raw then cooked. And, to make matters worse, people around the town are betting what his disease is. Even his friend Stan and a girl that works the main counter at the post office, Sera, have a bet going.

When the mail at the houses he delivers to starts piling up in the mailboxes and mail slots, Louis thinks something more is going on.

Louis pays a visit to Dr. Marx, who just happens to be Sera’s uncle. Sera guessed he was a vampire, but she didn’t know anything about the injections her uncle was giving the townspeople. He was telling everyone that they were getting the flu shot, when in reality, they were getting a strain of the vampiric virus. It’s certainly more preferable than the “traditional” route of passing it on…you’ll have to read for that one…and, it’s not a bite that will do it.

He gives Louis a book called “Dexter Bloodgood’s Survival Guide For Modern Vampires, 19th edition. Louis has no other choice but to accept his vampire fate but he gives the book to Stan to read. He and Sera get closer, but something about the townpeople isn’t sitting well with him. Where is everyone? It’s wintertime, but it’s like everyone has just…disappeared…as if they were hibernating.

So, what’s happening to the townspeople? Is someone killing them off, or is it the “flu” shot that is making everyone disappear? Is Sera and Louis going to be next? Stan?

You’ll have to read this one to find out. As I said, it starts out funny, quirky and very discriptive at times, but then around the middle of the book it gets a bit darker. I was terribly disappointed in the ending and would have liked something different…it was just lacking…something. Yes, there’s a hero and yes, all ends well…but, it just…well, was a little stupid at the end.

For the most part, I enjoyed the book, but with the ending lacking, and the spelling mistakes/missing words, it wasn’t all it could have been. It was as if the author/editor got half way through the book and the author couldn’t stand her own writing any longer, and the editor just gave up. It could have been so much better.

I give this one 3 stars!



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A Gift Of Ghosts By Sarah Wynde

But then one reckless paragraph about spirit energy in an article for the prestigious Energy Research Quarterly, and suddenly all her plans were in jeopardy. The committee hadn’t denied her tenure yet, but her department head had made it clear that it was only a matter of time. With no hope of a university job, she’d have to teach in a high school. She’d rather work in the fifth circle of hell.

The phone call from General Directions, Inc. had been out of the blue, but it felt like a potential lifesaver. The company wanted to meet with her. They were willing to fly her to Florida–Florida, of all places!–rent her a car, and put her up in a hotel room for a day or two, while they interviewed her for some undefined position. Despite the vagueness of the details, Akira hadn’t hesitated.

I loved this book! So much so, I might read it again. There was so much going on and even a few surprises, especially for a ghost story, and I had a really hard time putting it down.

Akira Malone is a physics professor at Santa Marita College. When she submitted an article for the Energy Research Quarterly, it ended up jeopardizing her job, and her reputation. When General Directions, Inc called her, she jumped on the next plane to meet with the company.

Except, Zane Latimer has interviewed three others and none of them were right for the position the company was offering. He’s not sure about Akira either and quite frankly, he’s not even sure what position he’s interviewing her for. But during the interview, his sister Grace, the CEO of the company, interrupts, handing Zane a folder. Inside is a sticky note telling Zane to give her whatever she wants as long as she signs a contract with the company to stay with them for two years. After some convincing and pleading, even though Zane doesn’t know why he’s got to hire her, she accepts.

The company pays for a realtor to show her some houses to live in, and one thing that she requests is the rental car she took from the airport. She wants to buy the car, but Zane has no idea why.

Oh….right, I didn’t tell you…Akira can see and talk to ghosts. There’s a teenage boy in the car she rented, and she likes him. He’s one of the friendlier ghosts she encounters. Zane accepts, especially when he realizes who had owned that car before, and that there’s a ghost in it of someone he once knew.

Akira lives in a house with two friendly ghosts, and drives a car with a ghost in it. She has always had trouble accepting her ability, and now that she’s in a new town, she thinks everyone is going to think she is weird…however, the town of Tassamara has its own little quirks. Pretty much the whole town is filled with people with abilities–for example, there’s no menus at the diner because the cook already knows what you want even if you don’t.

Zane and Akira start getting closer. He knows about her ability and he has one too. He can find things and people as long as he’s touching the other person.  Akira feels strange letting him in and telling him about the ghosts, but she opens up to him, in more ways than just telling him about the ghosts. Their relationship blooms, and he wants her to meet the rest of his family.

But, when they pull up into the driveway of his family’s house, Akira can’t go in. There’s bad ghosts in there, ghost that would hurt her and maybe even kill her.

I can’t give anymore away, but what happens next surprised me. Will she ever be able to go into the Latimer family house, and why are the ghosts so evil? And, what does the teenage boy and the two ghosts she lives with have to do with all of this?

Ah, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

As I said, I loved this book. I’ll be reading it again. Five stars for this one!


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Angels At Midnight By Norma Beishir

“Francesca, we have two sons,” Quentin Deverell responded, weary from fighting what had been apparent almost from the start. “It is only right that they should share in the responsibility for the company as well as in their inheritance.”

“But Collin isn’t cut out to be an executive, darling,” his wife told him. “Don’t try to make him into something he’s not. Let Justin run the company. Perhaps Collin could have an equal amount of stock, a seat on the board of directors–“

“And allow my son to throw away his future dashing around the world playing Errol Flynn?” Deverell asked incredulously. “No–I won’t hear of it!”

“But, if it’s what he wants–“

His look silenced her. “I don’t believe even Collin knows what he wants at this point,” he said stiffly. “But I do think it’s time he began to accept responsibility.”

This is a story of love, intrigue, family and a little revengeful adventure thrown in. You’ll be captivated by the storyline right from the beginning as the two main characters, Ashley and Collin, pull you into their respective lives.

Abby Giannini is the Italian daughter of a father who works in the grape fields in the Napa Valley. She’s nobody special there, but she wants to be special. She wants money and prestige. She wants the fancy ball gowns and the social recognition. She wouldn’t be able to get that where she comes from. Abby decides that her paintings are good enough, and that they can bring her the recognition she desires, but she’s not sure that her name alone will bring her that. She decides to change her name to Ashley Gordon, a more American sounding name, and heads to San Francisco to make a name for herself.

Collin Deverell comes from a rich oil family, something that he’s not sure he wants to be a part of. His twin brother on the other hand, wants this company more than anything. He’d do anything for the oil company. Anything. Collin makes a deal with his brother after the tragic deaths of their parents, and they finally agree on something…that Justin (his twin) will run the company as long as Collin gets the family’s collection of artwork and jewels.

Ashley meets Brandon Hollister, a man who comes from wealth and prestige and have very high expectations for their son. Brandon and his parents don’t exactly see eye-to-eye, so when he brings Ashley to meet his parents, the hostility is apparent. They try to talk him out of marrying Ashley, but he won’t hear anything of it. In fact, as soon as they get home they are married and they find out that she is pregnant.

When a plane crash takes the life of Brandon away from her and their son, the true colours of Brandon’s parents shines through. When her world with Brandon collapses, they do the unthinkable and fight Ashley for the custody of their grandchild using information the Hollisters come up with from their many connections.

I don’t want to give away everything, but when Ashley and Collin meet, Collin has been learning the tricks-of-the-trade when it comes to theiving, trying to get back what rightfully belongs to him. And, Ashley is still trying to get back her son, and between the two, a love grows.

This book will leave you wanting–no, needing–to cheer on the two thieves as they recover what belongs to both of them.

This book deserves more stars, but I can only give out five. So, five it is!


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Risk Of Infection~A Novella By Tom Conrad

I told them I’d go it alone, give me a crash course in driving the ambulance and I’d be tickety-boo, but when Roxy saw the hurt and desperation in my eyes she was resolved to help. Jack is still glaring at me. He sees it as a clear and simple manipulation. He sees it as an act of sodding self-indulgence, an action beyond the sodding pale, of me risking the life of his woman to save Hilary, a slip of a materialistic girl who I’m neither with or who is truly interested in me. A vain, self-important femme fatale, shacked up with a slime ball git in a suit. Jack definitely thinks he has a point, but–but I can’t think about that now. I gotta get to Hilary. I gotta find her again. I gotta save her, save us. Fight against all these super creeps and the scary monsters trying to keep me from Hilary.

This novella is classic Tom Conrad. Quirky, dark, fun humour at its best. The kind of humour that only a funny guy from England can deliver. And, deliver he does.

Risk Of Infection takes place around the time of the London Olympics (taking place shortly this summer, 2012 for any of you living under a rock). The country of Britain is being taken over by flesh eating zombies and, of course, there’s the love-struck Frank Drake who feels the need to make sure his ex-girlfriend (who dumped him a year ago and he’s never gotten over her) is alright. Why? Well, that’s the quirky, dark and fun part.

He’s stuck in his father’s house with his father and older brother, Jack. It’s stifling in the house with the three of them, but it beats going outside and risking getting their brains eaten out of their heads by a rogue neighbour with the dreaded infection.

While trying desperately to get in touch with Hilary (who keeps ignoring his text messages), she ends up getting in touch with him. But her message is weird. She mentions to Frank that her boyfriend has a fever. Frank thinks she should leave her place, since that could be the beginning of the infection in the boyfriend. She refuses, but then her next message to Frank is just a jumble of letters that don’t make any sense. Frank is worried and decides that he’s going to risk his own life to go out to find Hilary.

Jack won’t let him go out by himself, and neither will his father. The three Drakes set out on a wild ride full of mayhem, adventure and zombies.

The games were supposed to be an advert for Britain. It was supposed to say something like:

‘Look the days of Empire may be behind us, but we’re not completely useless. Okay our trains don’t work, we don’t manufacture or produce very much, our society is pretty unequal, frustrated and miserable and it rains and awful lot, but one thing we do know how to do is throw a jolly good bash.’

But three billion people were no longer seeing a glimpse of a cool Britannia facade, of Union Jack clad cheerleaders leaping from open top red buses, of athletes using traditional pork sausages for skipping ropes and a William Shakespeare impersonator doing the long jump. Three billion people were now concentrating on infection. Britain was INFECTED!

They run into zombies from every direction, olympic athletes and the crowd alike eating limbs, noses and brains of those that are too stupid to be inside. Frank, his brother Jack, their father and Jack’s girlfriend, Roxy, are amongst those that are too stupid to be inside. But, infactuation can lead you to do crazy things. Crazy things like risking your life and those of your family, to rescue a girl that doesn’t love you anymore.

Risk of Infection is a coming of age story, a story of love, lost love and becoming a man when all he’s been before was a boy. He’s relied on his brother and father to get him out of situations before, but now Frank does what he can to help his ex-girlfriend. He would risk everything for her.

Does he make it to her in time? Will he become a zombie in the process? What about his family? He’s risked everything for them, and they’re along for the ride, never leaving his side.

I enjoyed this story and the humour, therefore I give this novella 5 stars.

For 99 cents, you can’t beat the quirky humour of Tom Conrad. He writes in an unique style that only he can, which makes his humour come to life. You can get Risk Of Infection here:

If you want more of this author’s humour, check out his first book in his trilogy, Rich Pickings For Ravens. You can see my review of this book here:


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