Burlap – Lucy Laird

Burlap (l)

Kate ‘The Great’ Thornton, an aerial artiste of extraordinary skill at the Jensen Three Ring Circus, lives and breathes for the tightropes, trapezes and aerial hoops. In the air she’s a free spirit of boundless joy and adventure. But at night, when the crowds are gone and the glitz and glory is but a memory, her life on the ground is one of unspeakable brutality. After a one night dance with the devil, Kate finds herself in the Rosenton Home for the Criminally Insane, where her life becomes much worse.

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Lucy Laird has crafted a tale of horror and suspense that will keep you reading well into the wee hours of the morning . . . as long as the doors are locked and all the lights are on.

The author [Laird] has done a lot of research on both her characters and the setting (a 1950s era sanitarium). Drawing on the horror stories (both real and imagined) of early era treatment for mental conditions, she has created a believable setting for her heroine [Kate Thornton] and the rest of her Ward F mates and the doctor [Shilling] who is treating (mistreating) them.

She [Laird] takes us through the lives of each of Kate’s ward-mates and the surprising reasons for their being there (especially Kate’s). The characters are well-drawn and described in detail, as are the scenes that lead to progressively more horrible conditions and situations, culminating in a wild and slightly surprising end.

All-in-all, a satisfyingly horrible look at the bad old days of the treatment of mentally ill patients.

Sadly, this book has not yet found a publisher, but the story can be found here  on Wattpad.

 

RSL

 

Voodootown – Bruce Elgin

Voodootown

Tagged as paranormal at Wattpad, Voodootown, by: Bruce Elgin, is also an action packed thrill ride populated by a kick-ass group of magically talented rag dolls—familiars who secretly watch, aid (and sometimes abet) and otherwise protect their human charges.

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Voodoo Town is a magical place located below street level and accessible only to the dolls that are humanity’s protector-familiars. Its where they mingle, socialize and sometimes resolve their differences in The Ring, but . . . WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE RING!

When certain dolls mysteriously vanish, a quiet search for the missing begins. They soon find the cause of the disappearances when they’re attacked by an adult human (Doctor Midnight), who has not only discovered their existence but has learned how to harness their powers. Regardless of his motives, the means of attaining these powers is not beneficial to either the dolls or their associated humans, who become listless and easily controlled/manipulated.

Dr. Midnight co-opts the powers of the most useful dolls by creating magic objects (gloves and such) out of their cloth (skin), and making thralls of the rest by collaring them. Our small heroes find themselves in a battle for their humans’ lives and their own existence when Dr. Midnight gains control of important adult humans through their doll familiars.

Now they must do the unthinkable: reveal themselves to their teen-aged charges and take the fight to the to the man who started it.

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Aside from the touches of paranormal, the magic of the author’s [Elgin] story is in it’s ability to draw us [readers] into Voodoo Town and not let us leave until the end. Sporting names such as Twister, Ju Ju, Root, Squat, Blink and so on, their particular talents are related (sometimes very loosely) to their names, and part of the fun at the beginning of the story is trying to guess what that power is based on their names.

The doll’s personalities are as various and different as their human charges and he [Elgin] takes us into those lives and their personal conflicts even as they they find themselves having to work together to combat and attempt to defeat the threat of enslavement facing them.

This tale combines the action and adventure of Die Hard (albeit with fewer guns and explosions) with the fun of Toy Story and enough suspense and drama to satisfy fans of those genres as well. About the only thing the tale leaves me wanting is more detail about, and scenes inside, Voodoo Town itself.

It is a highly entertaining read to which I would happily give 4.5 out of 5 stars if my site had them to give. 😀

 

Voodootown can be found in a seven part serialized version here at Amazon.com.

RSL

 

 

 

 

Mr. 8

Mr. 8

Mr. 8 – David J. Thirteen

Mr. 8, the initial offering by author David J. Thirteen, is a mystery, couched in a horror, wrapped in a paranormal thriller.

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When Professor Denton Reed is drawn into a police investigation by friend, neighbor and detective, Bill Stahl, he had no idea what kind of wild ride he would be taking. After all, what would a psychology professor whose claim to fame was his doctoral thesis Object Transference and Diagnostic Observations know about murder, even if said thesis was later, and more famously republished under the title What Your Stuff says about You?

Quite a lot, it turns out, when there are multiple victims and the only thing they all have in common is that they began drawing or otherwise creating 8s all over their homes and apartments shortly before they were murdered. Things rapidly deteriorate for Professor Reed, though, when he becomes as obsessed with the investigation as the victims were with the number eight.

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As much as the story’s plot entertains, and it does, it’s the character development that stands out. The author [Thirteen] delves quite deeply into the professor’s motivations behind his chosen field and his own reflections on why the case becomes such an obsession for him. There are also numerous and touching scenes between Professor Reed and his wife, Linda. And the story is filled with mundane details that stand out all the more for being in the midst of such horrible events.

The details stand out elsewhere in the story as well . . . in the plot line, in the descriptions of the small town college where Professor Reed teaches, and in the secondary characters peppered throughout the tale.

While this review is for the beta version I had the privilege of reading at Wattpad, I have no doubt the more polished and extended version will be just as compelling, and I look forward to adding it to my collection. 4 out of 5 stars, did I have them to give. 😀

The full version is available here.

RSL