Another review!

mmmwmjMalevolent, Macabre, and Mysterious is a collection of short stories and poetry by the inimitable Will Macmillan Jones. The collection lives up to its name, though it’s not without a comedic twist here and there (the end of “Road Trip” amused me greatly).

I particularly liked the story “Truckers” – I even read it to the kids around the campfire this summer – as well as the poems “The Wedding” and “Death Holds a Rose.” “Dry Eyed” was good, too, but the first two reminded me a little of Edgar Allan Poe, which I didn’t even know I’d missed reading till I picked up this book. I seem to recall having read “Hachette” once before, and of course “The Showing” and “Portrait of a Girl” evolved into full-length novels (see my reviews here and here), but it was nice to revisit them for a moment, especially as I can’t wait to read the next in the Mister Jones series.

So, if you’re in the mood for a spooky story or a  atmospheric poem, pick up Malevolent, Macabre, and Mysterious today!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

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The House Next Door…

thnd…is a frightfully fun read. A spooky tale of demons and darkness, with a fabulous cover by Hazel Butler, this book had me afraid to turn off the light. Mister Jones’ luck is as bad as ever in the third installment of this series, thanks to his equally unlucky neighbor lady, and many of the same characters from the first two books have returned as well. The enigmatic Eric is rapidly becoming one of my favorite characters.

I haven’t enjoyed a series like this since I read the Goosebumps and Fear Street books as a kid. I do hope there will be many more to come. 😀

So, what’s Mister Jones gotten himself into this time? Behold, ze blurb:

Mister Jones thought he had finished with the supernatural world – but the supernatural hadn’t finished with him…

When Sheila Balsam finds herself compelled to buy a genuine antique in a strange little shop, she didn’t bargain for what came with the statuette – and Mister Jones finds himself once again drawn into the dangerous world of the paranormal : this time via the house next door.

An ancient evil has found a way to break from his enchanted prison and the only one who is going to stand in his way is the unfortunate Mister Jones, who seems destined to live in interesting times.

About the Author

Will Macmillan Jones lives in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A fifty-something lover of blues, rock, and jazz, he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases. When not writing, he is usually lost with the help of a satnav on top of a large hill in the middle of nowhere.

His major comic fantasy series, released by Red Kite Publishing, can be found at www.thebannedunderground.com, and information on his other work and stuff in general at www.willmacmillanjones.com. There’s a blog. There’s always a blog, isn’t there?

You can find The House Next Door wherever find e-books are sold.

Of course, if something a bit lighter is more your cup of tea, I’ve got the cure for that, too. Feeling froggy? Check out The Banned Underground books. And for the young (at heart or otherwise), there’s the Snort and Wobbles books as well. I recommend reading them all – you won’t regret it! 🙂

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Two down, sixteen to go!

PoaGIt’s been a while since I’ve kept track of the books I read in a year, but I signed up for a Goodreads challenge last week. My goal: read eighteen books this year. I figured one book a month wouldn’t be too terribly difficult, and I could maybe squeeze another six in around them. It feels like a cheat; in the old days, I could’ve read eighteen books in a matter of weeks. But now?

Such book binges are a pipe dream.

I’m well on my way to meeting my goal, though. In the past week, I’ve knocked out two books, and I have three more lined up and ready to go. Then there’s that plot book I’ve been meaning to read…

But today I want to tell you about Portrait of a Girl by Will Macmillan Jones. You may remember him from such reviews as The Showing and Snort and Wobbles and The Banned Underground books. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan, or at least it shouldn’t be, and I wasn’t disappointed with this latest book:

Does lightning ever strike twice? It would seem so for the unfortunate Mister Jones. After a harrowing encounter with the paranormal in The Showing, once again he again finds himself in mortal danger on the borders of that shadowed world.

An antique painting holds a strange fascination for him – and others. What does the girl in the portrait want from Mister Jones and from the others who become entranced by her beauty? And can she be stopped before she unleashes her ancient evil into our modern world in a lake of blood?

‘Portrait of a Girl’ is the second in the collection of Mister Jones paranormal mysteries.

This story engaged my attention at once; I sat down to read this story and finished it in a single sitting. The further I read, the more difficulty I had in putting it down for such trivial things as food and sleep. Like any good tale, the tension grew steadily right to the very end, and I’m fairly certain that the goosebumps on my arms throughout my read had as much to do with the story as they did with the cold breeze sneaking in around my window.

If you’ve read The Showing, you’ll be pleased to see some familiar faces in this tale, as well as some new ones. And if you’re like me, you’ll be keen to reread the pair of them until the next in the series comes out!

Check out Portrait of a Girl today – you won’t regret it!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

The Showing

I spent the first weekend of the new year enjoying a variety of fun things: movies with the family, sledding with the kids, and time spent curled up with a good book. I’ve spent far too little time the past few months curled up with good books, and I mean to make up for it.

tswmjThe book I lost myself in this time was called The Showing, by Will Macmillan Jones. It’s a fantastically spooky tale about a spooky old house. It took me right back to my childhood, when I read every spooky book I could lay my hands on. And like the best of those old stories, this one had me shivering in anticipation. I half-expected something to jump out at me, but nothing ever did.

To break up all the spooky tension, there were a few lighter moments. I couldn’t help smiling at Evie’s collection of books (Cheyenne, by L.L. Wiedmeier; Leah, by A. Baker; and The Binding, by S. Dogra), all of which are real books that you should also check out. And this part had me giggling loud enough to make my family further question my sanity:

Across town, other resources were being wasted, but at least they weren’t mine. Evans pulled a load of cash out of his pocket and it vanished, just like that, into the pocket of a somewhat blowsy middle-aged lady who called herself a medium.

I put her down as an extra-large.

It takes a lot of skill to write good comedy, and at least as much to write good horror. Will Macmillan Jones excels in both areas. If you haven’t read his Banned Underground series, I highly recommend it.

As for me? I’ll be settling down with the next book in the Mister Jones series, Portrait of a Girl. I can’t wait! 🙂

Have you read any good books lately?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Book promo round-up

rowlingbookI was trawling through Facebook Friday and ran across some excellent words of wisdom from Lucas Hargis:

BUY BOOKS TODAY FROM YOUR COUCH
1. Go through your “Friends” list
2. If any are published authors, click their links
3. Buy their books
4. Help authors on Black Friday, too

I spent last week promoting books in anticipation of Black Friday.  There are so many great books out there, and this is a great time to pick up a whole bunch of them to either keep for yourself or share with others as Christmas gifts.  It was seriously hard to limit myself to the books I did promote, and, as evidenced by my last post, I completely failed at the whole limit thing.

But with tomorrow being Cyber Monday, I thought this would be the perfect time to collect all those posts into one big one, a sort of one-stop book-shopping list, if you will.  So, without further ado, a list of all the books I’ve featured this month and where to find them:

One last recommendation!

Well, two more, actually.  First up, I’d like to recommend The Showing by Will Macmillan Jones.  In a departure from his usually comedic genius, he’s put together “a gripping, scary read” and, having read some of his flash fiction pieces in 416, I can vouch for his ability to scare. 🙂

So, what’s The Showing all about?  Well…

It was a house Mister Jones knew too well, his family’s house.
Here it was, again for sale and he could not resist being shown around.
But his visit has roused that which was sleeping – how many will die before it can be laid to rest?

If you knew how much of this story is true, would you want to sleep with your light on tonight?

Now if that doesn’t stir your interest, I don’t know what will.  Oh, maybe this excerpt from Will’s website will do the trick:

A belated stop on the Main Character Blog Hop!

I was tagged in this bit o’ fun by the awesome Justine Manzano, a fellow legal secretary/writer/geek/mom to whom Twitter was kind enough to introduce me.  (I seriously love making new friends.)  It was supposed to have gone up on Monday (the 15th).  Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Whoops.

Anyway, better late than never, right?

J Manzano Bio PictureJustine Manzano is a multi-genre writer living in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Things You Can CreateSliver of Stone Magazine, and The Greenwich Village Literary Review.  She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and a twitter account where she discusses her adventures in juggling aspects of her life such as motherhood, writing, and the very serious businesses of fangirling and multiple forms of geekery. She works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine and is currently searching for a publishing home for her YA Urban Fantasy series, Keys and Guardians.

The first book in Justine’s series is called The Order of the Key.  What’s it about?  So glad you asked!  Here’s the blurb:

Jacklyn Madison has a thing for heroes. She reads about them, watches them on TV, and would very much like to become one. When a monster makes an attempt on her life she discovers she is one – the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that protects humanity from creatures that come through interdimensional rifts. It’s all fun and games until training for her duties reveals the Order’s out of touch views – Keys, like Jacklyn, are protected while Guardians, like the rest of her family, are expendable. As she rails against their value system, she finds herself in the center of a power struggle between the group’s leader, Lavinia, and her idealistic son, Kyp – the boy Jacklyn likes. Worse, Kyp’s attempts to protect her only entangle her in a mire of deceit. Viewed as a target on one side and a weapon on the other, Jacklyn must find a way to protect the people she loves and decide what kind of hero she’s willing to become. Filled with action, romance, and paranoia, The Order of the Key is an edgy Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy novel that is currently searching for a home with an agent.

I love the name Lavinia.  It’s so pretty and old-fashioned. 🙂

And now it’s my turn!  Here to answer a few questions about himself is…

How did I spend my weekend?

Why, engrossed in the latest Banned Underground novel to hit my phone, naturally.  Suffering, as I was, from a complete lack of motivation and a nasty headache to boot, I settled down yesterday afternoon and read the whole of Have Frog, Will Travel in the space of an afternoon.

What’s it about?  Glad you asked!  From Goodreads:

Go Fridge-diving at Grizelda’s in Have Frog, Will Travel

A traditional witch’s cottage is a wondrous, if sometimes impractical, thing. But not in the eyes of the County Council Building Regulations Inspectorate. And when the Council Inspector condemns her home after a chance encounter with the Fridge, Grizelda (off-white witch and leading proponent of the people/frog spell) is forced into a quest for a competent builder to make the necessary alterations.

But such things are not always easy to find, and as for a suitable plumber, well, you could throw money down the drain. Or the frog pond, as it might be… Just who is going to turn out to be Another Brick In The Wall?

And because Amazon’s blurb differs slightly, here’s that one:

This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me!

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it up for Kay!

As a girl, I dreamed of being swept off my feet by my one true love. At the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let me forget it. A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, I battle the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few bad haiku thrown in for good measure.
I reside in the midst of an Iowa corn field with my hopelessly devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorable kitties, chicks, and bunnies.

Need a new book? Check these out!

The Summer Reads Blog Tour is here again, and this time the guest is the hilarious Will Macmillan Jones, Comedy Goon of the Alliance of Worldbuilders!  To see which books he recommends, scroll down.  And don’t forget to head over to host Lisa L. Wiedmeier’s blog, where you can enter to win a whole bunch of fantastic prizes!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Four
Welcome Will Macmillan Jones!

Well, week four of the Summer Reads Blog Tour brings us a dear friend and fellow author, Will Macmillan Jones. Will’s the comedic act in our group with his dry sense of humor, I can’t help but smile when I read his posts or chat away in a lively conversation.

Will Macmillan Jones live in Wales, a lovely green, verdant land with a rich cultural heritage. He does his best to support this heritage by drinking the local beer and shouting loud encouragement whenever International Rugby is on the TV. A fifty something lover of blues, rock and jazz he has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by filling an entire wall of his home office with (full) bookcases.

His major comic fantasy series, released by Safkhet Publishing, can be found at: www.thebannedunderground.com and information on his other work and stuff in general at…