Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Fortune Box Stories by Madeleine Swann

It sounds shallow but what first drew to this delightful little book was the cover. Look at it, it's so gorgeous I simply had to know what was inside! A book cover so cute my three year old daughter kept making off with it.

But eventually I found it hidden amongst her dollies and was able to finish, but since finishing it it has suspiciously disappeared again. Published by Eraserhead Press this is a little book containing 9 short stories of bizarro fiction. The characters all have one thing in common, they each receive a surprise package from Tower Ltd Surprise Packages which contain a very odd assortment of items that will change their lives.

It gets off to a really good start with Meera's tale, (This was one of my favourites.) who is a dissatisfied young woman who desperately wants to find her perfect date and is not the patient type. After a terrible first date she comes back to her flat to find a package has arrived, containing seeds and a tiny watering can.

For me this tale was my favourite as told from another perspective these stories would be seen as terrifyingly dark, but Madeleine Swann tells them with such charm that on the surface they appear charming and witty. I think if Madeleine chose to write straight up horror her stories would be deemed too scary to publish!

There's some great comic moments in this book which will really have you chuckling, especially the fifth story which feature the strangest love story I have ever come across. The ninth tale, another favourite, centred around Craig who has no luck when it comes to people, was really fun and shows off Madeleine's hilarious sense of humour and contains my favourite passage of the whole book, (page 96 in case you're wondering.You'll know it when you see it.) I've not shared it here as I would hate to spoil the moment for you.

I had so much fun reading this, its's such a great book.  I've had a sneak peak on her Goodreads page and there are some amazing sounding titles she has already released such as Rainbows Suck, The Filing Cabinet of Doom and my favourite, Taken Hard at the Magical Time Travel Sex Resort. I need to read all of these!

About the Author

Madeleine describes herself as a psychedelic flapper, weird fiction writer, creepy stuff lover and a hideous face puller. She has been published in numerous anthologies and has many other books out there including The Filing Cabinet of Doom, a collection of short stories from Burning Bulb Publishing.

You can find out more on her website here and also on twitter @MadeleineSwann

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Interview with Kendall Reviews

I've recently done an interview with Kendall Reviews,  this is an amazing site that reviews all the latest amazing  horror books coming out as well as featuring loads of fascinating interviews with odd and quirky writers like myself!

In this interview I talk  a little about me, what my fave books are, the authors who inspire me and who I'd most like to be trapped on a deserted island with.

You can read it here 

The Kraken Sea by E.Katherine Tobler

It's not often I come across a story this strange but I'm very glad I did. The Kraken Sea is a novella about a young orphan boy,Jackson, who is taken in by a affluent and mysterious woman, Cressida aka The Widow. She gives him a home in an exclusive area of San Francisco and is put to work serving her.

But Jackson is no ordinary boy, as this is no ordinary tale. When he grows angry he mutates into a monster with slithering tentacles for hands and feet. He keeps this side of him hidden as he longs to be normal and human.

People keep clear of him, all apart from Mae, a young girl from a rival family just north of The Widow's sphere of influence and control. Like him, she also seems to have dark powers lurking just beneath the skin.

Mae and Jackson are rivals who should be tearing each other apart but they are hopelessly drawn to one another. Mae exerts a curiosity on Jackson that nothing else can in this strange alien world he finds himself in.

E.Katherine Tobler has a really beautiful way of writing which is really captivating in showing us the strange world in which Jackson finds himself. It is a world like no other. (It would make an amazing film!)  This is a tale of mystery and mythology that I really enjoyed. It's one of those books that are very hard to describe because it has a real dreamlike quality to it where nothing is what it seems and fate can change very quickly. I loved the relationship between Mae and Jackson and how it progressed both very sweet and dark. I would have liked to have seen more of Cressida, I felt very drawn to her and would have liked to have seen more of her. I'm not quite sure she reached her potential, but despite that this is a very enjoyable book that I would recommend to others.

About the Author

E. Catherine Tobler has written an awful lot of things. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Sturgeon Award. She is the senior fiction editor at Shimmer Magazine.

You can find out more here