Welcome to my series of gardens and their gardeners. Over the next few months I will be adding to my regular #SixOnSaturday posts with Sunday spots for fellow gardeners. I spoke to Fred about his garden in Normandy, France, You … Continue reading
📚’My second meeting with the charismatic James Burke.’ @LizanneLloyd Reviews #HistFic Burke And The Lines Of Torres Vedras by @TomCW99 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT
Today’s team review is from Liz. Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/ Liz has been reading Burke And The Lines Of Torres Vedras by Tom Williams This was my second meeting with the charismatic James Burke although the seventh of Tom Williams’ … Continue reading
📚’The author’s imagination knows no bounds’ @OlgaNM7 Reviews #Horror Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect by @PdallevaAuthor for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog
Today’s team review is from Olga.
Olga blogs here https://olganm.wordpress.com/
Olga has been reading Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect by P D Alleva
I discovered PD Alleva thanks to his novel Golem, which showed a peculiar world vision and writing style, and much of what I wrote about that novel could apply to this one: his ability for combining elements of a variety of myths, literary genres, horror subgenres, occultism, demonology, without relying on standard religious tenets. In this case, we also have elements of science-fiction, and galactic horror, and some of the scenes and events brought to my mind some of the classic 1950s sci-fi/horror movies, where aliens managed to infiltrate the Earth and humanity. But this is not the whole of the story, and the narrative is much more complex and with many more layers than those we can find in some of those beloved (and often revisited) stories. And I shouldn’t forget a nod at Lovecraft or two.
The description of the plot, although not too detailed, provides a good glimpse of what you might find, and it is difficult to elaborate much more on the story without spoiling it, so I will not be too detailed in my comments. One thing I have to say, though; do heed the author’s warning about the content. This is not a book for the faint-hearted, and even those who love extreme and hardcore horror might find it heavy going.
The novel is divided into 7 parts, told from multiple points of view (although always in the third person), and there is an extremely varied and large cast of characters, human, “other” (some of those, like Kera —a favourite of mine— more than human sometimes), and anywhere in between; and most of them are not particularly likeable, easy to engage with or root for. Having said that, readers are likely to re-evaluate their thoughts and opinions on most of the characters at some point or other, and good and evil, innocence and guilt are moveable feasts. This is a very ambitious book, with a complex narrative, served extremely well by the various point of view, some of them pretty uncomfortable to share, and readers are often left wondering if things are happening in our world, in a parallel universe, or in the mind of a character whose sanity is, at the very least, suspect. These narratives appear, at first, totally unconnected, and although readers might wonder about the chronology, we eventually realise that all the stories are taking place in the same place and time and in roughly chronological order, and there is a ticking-clock effect towards the end that ramps up the tension and accelerates the pace of the narrative into a frenzy.
From the warning, readers will surmise this is not a story for those who prefer gentle tales and loveable characters. Quite the opposite. Almost all types of depravity, crimes, and evil deeds one can think of —and some most of us would prefer not to contemplate— appear in this book. The characters “literally” got to Hell and back, and we have warlocks, clowns, gods, goddesses, demons, extraterrestrial beings, teenage murderers, aspiring actresses with few scruples, teachers, mothers, tough book reviewers, FBI and CIA agents, children, adults, and a very singular carnival with all its inhabitants. The author manages to combine all those elements and create complex imagery and mythos, a world where the characters might be pawns in someone else’s game, but things are not that straightforward either. The nature of good and evil is questioned, and there are many possible readings and interpretations of the events. The author’s imagination knows no bounds, and he manages to create a total more horrific than all of these seemingly disparate parts.
This is an ambitious and fairly long novel, but it does not feel slow, and readers need to pay close attention to all the details, as they might miss something that later on plays an important part, although thanks to the spiralling and multipronged shape of the narrative, it is not difficult to pick up the thread and get a full picture of the story. The ending makes us question everything we’ve read before and is perfect for a horror book. And, by the way, there is a link between this novel and Golem, but you’ll have to read both (if you dare) to find out what (or who) that is.
Despite the terrible things that take place in the novel, there are moving and poignant moments and funny retorts and events (for those who love black humour, really funny at times). This is a book in which the horror reaches beyond the story and creates an uneasy feeling that will stay with the readers for a long time.
I recommend this book to hardcore readers of horror who enjoy mix-genre books, don’t shy away from extreme cruelty and gore, and especially those with a taste for complex narratives, conspiracy theories, and not looking for a reassuring ending. If you have a thing for clowns… beware, and if you don’t, well, that might have changed by the end of the book.
Although readers might want to check a sample of the book to see if it suits their taste, I thought I’d share a couple of quotes that can be easily understood without much context, as examples of the special sense of humour of the book, and also because… well, I like them.
Here, one of the characters notices that another one, a female character (Cassandra, she is quite something) is bleeding, and tells her so, and she replies:
“I don’t have time to bleed.”
Here, the main character, Jigglyspot, talks about some of the things he will not put up with.
“The first was idiocy. He loathed stupidity to his core, idiocy has no place in the world and if you were born without enough brain cells then you were better off dead, because one day you might become president and then that stupidity would run the nation and the world for that matter. And there’s too many of them already.” I’ll leave you to imagine the rest.
And during a particularly scary scene, one of the characters calls out to God and this is the reply she gets.
“God, my lady… is not allowed in this place.”
Carnivals, Cannibals, and Clowns. Oh My!
Wanna go for a ride?
Meet Jigglyspot, a five-foot tall half human half warlock carnival clown who spends his free time moonlighting as a drug dealing pimp and lackey for demonic entities who prey on the weak and vulnerable, casting their dark shadow across humanity through manipulation, and fear.
Jigglyspot was selected to serve as the event coordinator for 2019’s Summer Solstice Celebration at the prestigious Cannibal Café. A celebration that brings together both demon and human alike. But with less than two weeks before the celebration, Jigglyspot’s got so much to do and little time to do it. And the feds are hot on his tail. Between securing new recruits for demonic possession, choosing fresh bodies to slice and dice for dinner, and the fact that his girlfriend, Kera, is eating up most of his time, Jiggly’s at his wit’s end.
Hopefully, those demons appreciate all his sacrifices. Hopefully, but unlikely. Those demons can be hell to deal with. Jigglyspot knows; he’s been dealing with them for decades.
Will he rise above, or will tragedy and mayhem lead to dire discoveries poisoned with manipulation and betrayal that will ultimately destroy all Jigglyspot holds dear?
Discover Jigglyspot and his cast of clowns, killers, demons, and wretched fiends, in a novel like you’ve never experienced. Horror, mayhem, thrills, chills, fantasy, and spoils are waiting for your reading eyes with an escape into the underworld of mind control and human slavery.
Warning: This book contains scenes with profound psychological suffering, and graphically violent acts, behaviors, thoughts, deeds, and ridicule. No one has been spared, and no label is safe. Although we are proud to report, no animals were harmed during the writing of this novel, so that’s a good thing. Everyone else is fair game. After all, if you were a demon, what would you think of humanity?
Fans of Grady Hendrix, Catriona Ward, Clive Barker, and Stephen King will be captivated by this edge of your seat, eye-popping, wtf horror novel that is certain to be your next addictive read. As they say, you don’t just read Jigglyspot… You DEVOUR Jigglyspot!
Expected to be published on October 31st.
🌺Enchanting Gardens: Today We Visit @SarahRajkotwala’s Garden In South Australia #GardeningTwitter #LoveGardening
Welcome to my series of gardens and their gardeners. Over the next few months I’m adding to my regular gardening #SixOnSaturday posts with Sunday spots for fellow gardeners. I first met Sarah through the books that she writes. Sarah has … Continue reading
🌺Gardens To Visit: A Trip Around Beechenwood Farm Garden, Odiham, #Hampshire For #SixOnSaturday #GardeningTwitter #LoveGardening
For this week’s Six On Saturday, I am bringing you some photos from my recent outing to a local garden. Beechenwood Farm, is just a handful of miles from where I live. Mr & Mrs M Heber-Percy redesigned the house … Continue reading
📚Recommended for those who enjoy a slow burn, believable #romance’. @CathyRy reviews Dark Highland Skies by @lizzie_lamb for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT
Today’s team review is from Cathy.
Cathy blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/
Cathy has been reading Dark Highland Skies by Lizzie Lamb
Halley Dunbar has returned to Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands from her home and job in Hawaii, after a long absence, to represent her family and organise her great uncle Tam’s funeral, as well taking on the emotional task of sorting out his belongings. She used to stay with Tam every summer when she was a teenager in his bothy by Loch Morar, which was part of Sir Montgomery Strachan’s estate. Tam had been the laird’s batman and he and Sir Monty had shared a special and long standing friendship. Sir Monty had gifted the bothy to Tam despite his wife’s strong objections.
Halley is devastated that she left it too late to see the great uncle she loved, and although they did keep in touch over the years, it wasn’t the same as in person. After her last visit and the resulting trauma, Halley found it impossible to return. Now she wished wholeheartedly she had tried to explain why she felt the need to stay away. There was nothing to keep here in Scotland now and she planned to leave straight after the funeral.
‘Luckily, the moment she set foot on the silver sands, the clouds parted, and the pale light of a gibbous moon showed the way to the old salmon bothy. Straightening, Halley looked across the loch towards the lights on the far shore and despite her earlier resolution, memories crowded in thick and fast. Voices. Laughter. The touch of a hand on her skin. A Judas kiss. Now she could finally admit that putting her uncle’s affairs in order wasn’t the only reason for making this trip.
She had ghosts to lay.’
Halley hoped she could avoid meeting any of the Strachan family but an unexpected encounter with the eldest of the laird’s children, Hector, put paid to that in a very unexpected way. Hector, or Tor as he is known, is trying to come to terms with his experiences and a severe injury in Afghanistan, also the resulting PTSD, by living alone in his converted Airstream. Halley and Tor both have issues to work through, and with questionable activity going on there’s never a dull moment.
Halley’s plans to steer clear of the Strachans took a further knock when she learned how devastated Sir Monty was by Tam’s death and that he wanted to do as much as he could with regard to the funeral. She found herself becoming involved with the family as her old friend Rowan, who had succeeded her father as undertaker, introduced her to Tor’s sister, Lexie. Her friendship with Tor blossomed and she couldn’t help but like Sir Monty. But her life and work were thousands of miles away and she wanted to get back to it.
I always enjoy Lizzie Lamb’s books for the beautiful settings and sense of place, also the wonderful, sometimes quirky, well developed characters and of course the writing. The characters are engaging, with a couple of exceptions, and realistic. I enjoyed the historical details also. Recommended for those who enjoy a slow burn, believable romance, great characters and stories set in Scotland.
Astrophysicist Halley Dunbar has spent her career peering into the space hoping to find the one-in-a-billion exoplanet outside our solar system capable of sustaining life. Such a find would be the climax of her scientific career and establish her as a force majeure in a male-dominated world. When her great-uncle dies, she travels to Lochaber in Scotland to arrange his funeral, reluctant to leave her research and her million-pound telescope behind in Hawaii. In Scotland, she encounters an assortment of characters who make her realise there’s more to life than searching for something that might not exist. The years are ticking by and Halley (35), starts to question the life she’s chosen. When the laird’s son, Tor Strachan, rocks up, he turns her world upside down and Halley discovers, not the new exoplanet she’s spent her academic life searching for, but the one-in-a-billion man who can make her happy. Forced to question her life choices, Halley wonders if she’ll be able to return to stargazing and leave behind a place and a man she’s come to love. However, Afghan veteran Tor has demons of his own to confront before he can be the man Halley deserves. And, as for Halley, she has secrets of her own; ones she can’t share with anyone, including Tor.
📚A Gothic Style Modern Thriller. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of The Misery House (The House On The Hill #1) by @DavidKummer7 #BookTwitter
The Misery House by David Duane Kummer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Misery House is book #1 in The House On The Hill series of Gothic style modern day thrillers.
Set in a small American town, this story touches on prejudices and small town traditions that often smother those who live there and that make new comers feel unwelcome. All this is set against the eerie empty House on The Hill. A place kept alive by stories and something else lurking in the shadows.
The story steps along at a good pace and is told from several points of view, as the tension and horror builds fueled by people’s fears.
It is quite rare for me to read any horror, but the gothic style house somewhat appealed and the storytelling kept me reading on. It is well-written with very good vivid descriptions of the place and the people. The finale is open-ended ready for the next book in the series and some readers may find the cliff-hanger annoying rather than satisfying.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
Sometimes the quietest little towns are haunted by the darkest secrets.
A psychological thriller and a family you’ll never forget.
New Haven: This rural town has never seen a string of tragedies like this. A local store burns to the ground with two bodies inside. A newlywed couple goes missing, and all signs point to the abandoned house. With no answers, the townsfolk grow more and more worried.
The Woods family has lived here forever. But when their friends and their own children are put in danger, the threat hits home. This close-knit family must risk everything to find answers, but time is running out.
New Haven has secrets. And a haunted house like you’ve never seen before.
The Misery House is a chilling, suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end and set the stage for an epic three-book haunting. With its twists and turns, a likable family thrust into danger, this page-turner will keep you up late into the night.
It’s up to the Woods family. Some fates are worse than death. Is it too late to save their town… and each other?
Expected publication July 7th 2023.
📚A Celtic Fantasy Set in Roman Britain. Rosie’s #BookReview Of Water And Dragons by Kelley Heckart @CelticChick #TuesdayBookBlog
Of Water and Dragons by Kelley Heckart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Of Water And Dragons is a tale of Celtic mythology set in Roman Britain.
An injured Roman soldier is rescued and healed by a water fairy. Nemu has spent many years alone in her forest; she hasn’t realised that she felt loneliness until patient is ready to return to his legion.
Ambiorix is both attracted to and horrified by Nemu; her wings frighten him, but he is also romantically drawn to her. When Ambiorix goes back to civilisation, Nemu wanders through some of Celtic Britain, then goes in search of Ambiorix’ home on the borders; his stories of it intrigued her.
This is a story of battles, druids, Romans and magical mysticism. I could easily picture the settings of the era and Nemu was a wonderful character. The Celtic and spiritual aspects drew me into this story, but I also enjoyed the touches of Roman Britain.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
Do you like enemies to lovers romances with magic, mythology, and Roman history?
Of Water and Dragons weaves the Roman history and Celtic lore of ancient Britain and Scotland to create an unforgettable story of love and sacrifice. They were destined to meet, but they will have to fight everything they believe in to stay together. Nemu, a half-human, half-water faery woman, lives in the untamed land the Romans call Caledonia. Soon after the devastating battle of Mons Graupius ends, she finds a wounded Roman soldier named Ambiorix. Despite her distrust of humans, she takes him in and heals his wounds. Ambiorix is a Roman soldier with a strong sense of duty. He’s been taught that the Celts are barbaric and need to be conquered, but when Nemu heals him after the Romans win a key battle over the Celtic armies, he questions everything he has been taught. Though they are from different worlds, they are mysteriously drawn to each other, but unforeseen forces keep them apart until their worlds collide in a fury of fire, blood, and darkness. ˃˃˃ This compelling story mixes Roman military history with Celtic mythology. Of Water and Dragons takes place on the mystical island of Britannia from the dark enchanted lochs of Scotland to the grand bathhouses of Roman Britain. The battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84 is one of the most profound battles in history when the Romans, though greatly outnumbered, defeated the Celtic tribes of ancient Scotland and furthered the expansion of the Roman Empire.
🌺Enchanting Gardens: This Week @frdvil’s Garden in Normandy, France. #GardeningTwitter #LoveGardening
Welcome to my series of gardens and their gardeners. Over the next few months I will be adding to my regular #SixOnSaturday posts with Sunday spots for fellow gardeners. I always look forward to Fred’s Saturday post as he grows … Continue reading
🌼Flowers Are Popping Open In My #Hampshire Garden For This Week’s #SixOnSaturday Post. #GardeningTwitter #GardeningAddict
This week we have seen high winds, cool nights and sunny spells. I am at that stage when I am eager to get everything out into the garden, but it’s all a bit of a risk. Is anyone else feeling … Continue reading