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The Aberration by Bard Constantine

Review: From the opening scenes, it was clear the author of „The Aberration“ had a powerful vision and direction in which he wished the story to move, and he kept on pace throughout. The tension quickly builds as Guy Mann and a group of co-workers are trapped in the mill factory with the creatures described as “the Others” eagerly awaiting any opportunity to breach the locked security doors.  One moment’s weakness, and those creatures flow inside and the battle for survival begins.

For Guy, however, it is just another outbreak of the phenomenon called The Aberration, which he has been fighting throughout the ages of mankind. We are provided flashbacks into those past times when denizens from the “other side” have broken through to our world, and the type of bizarre, supernatural and/or bestial transformations they can take. Additionally, we are offered brief sketches of some of the people who fought alongside Guy, who were also mysteriously recruited to combat the shifting deadly creatures.

I found the writing quite stylish and distinct, though often I wished for less descriptive details for general things so such phrasing would be more outstanding for the dramatic, horrific parts of the story, of which there were plenty. The problems I had with the work overall were some editing issues, clarity in POV and conflicting or inaccurate descriptions. Sword-fighting and usage is a long-time interest of mine, for example, so naturally that caught my eye.

It’s often important for me to have empathy with or form some kind of connection to the main character, and admittedly I never developed that for Guy Mann, but that took nothing away from the story itself which is fast moving, packed with action and inspires you to imagine the terrible Others as well as what you might do if trapped in such a situation. I felt “The Aberration” could have used some revision in certain areas, but for the most part, I enjoyed this work of quite imaginative horror and feel the author will only continue to gain in ability and skill.

Update: The author has completed revisions to this work since my review was complete. I think its an excellent example of how writers, of which I am one (and have to make such revisions myself believe me), continue to add to the professionalism and growth of independently produced writing that as Mark Coker, the creator of Smashwords, states “can be as good or better than traditionally published book.”

Description: “When a freak storm engulfs a flourmill, the workers learn quickly that there is much more to fear than just heavy rain.

Something else arrives with the storm –macabre creatures that alter their shapes and features with every attack. In order to survive the night, the employees will have to rely on a man whose sanity is questionable. For he claims to have faced the same attacks before, over ages of time. He calls it an Aberration. A doorway that opens to a realm of nameless evils. What lies beyond wants to smother our world in darkness and perverse terror. It grows stronger with every passing moment, and all that stands between it and our world are the workers trapped in the building. Each person will be pushed to the very precipice of madness as reality distorts and the bizarre beings mount their attack. In the end, survival may not be enough to survive the Aberration…

The Aberration is a tale of mounting horror that will leave readers guessing until the very end. Author Bard Constantine blends creature feature horror with psychological terror, creating a story that both haunts and satisfies fans of both.

Prey that you survive the experience…”

  • Paperback, 157 pages, and in e-book
  • Published March 6th 2012 by Knightvision, Ltd (first published March 2nd 2012)
  • ISBN: 1470173913
  • Genre: Horror, Supernatural Fantasy, Dark Fiction
  • Availability: Smashwords, Amazon and other online distributors
  • Source: Author at The LL Book Reviews

Author Profile:

Bard Constantine writes far-flung fantasy, dystopian futures, and gritty YA among other things.

With his widening audience and steadily growing body of work, he is certainly a writer to look out for. Catch up with all his upcoming projects at his personal website: http://bardconstantine.com.

Bard Constantine
Non omnis moriar…

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Filed under Books, Dark Fiction, Horror, Reviews

Select Titles at 50% or Free at Smashwords Annual Summer/Winter Sale

It’s an annual events that gives readers a chance to find new authors they might never have considered, and take advantage of discounts and giveaways to add to their ebook collection titles they’ve been searching for: Smashwords Summer/Winter Book Sale, July 1-31stand Flying With Red Haircrow is offering three items this time around.

The House of Doom, Dreams and Desire” with its new cover and revisions is free, just enter the code SSWIN at check-out.

 

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Description: “John Jones believed himself the most enlightened of gay men. Professional, well read and boyishly handsome despite his age, he also believed himself open-minded, tolerant and devoid of vice.

Yet he cannot resist the temptation of “The House”, a computer generated environment where one can explore their own subconscious in a safe environment. Safe except for the darkness you bring with you.

Psychologically twisted with disturbing images and surreal scenes that might offend some readers, “The House” is a mind and gender bending fantasy of a John in hellish Wonderland!”

Rated NC-17 for sexually explicit descriptions, adult language and imagery some readers might find disturbing or offensive.

 

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At 50% off, excellent savings for books one and two in the Enigma series, by hot author on the gay suspense and erotic romance scene: Nephylim, whose website Nephy’s World always has some interesting to offer readers. Use code SSW50 at check-out.

Description: “Troubled residents come and go at the Care House where River Caulfield is a caregiver, working towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse. When Silver arrives, a patient found on a roadside near death after suffering terrible abuse, River finds his previous personal detachment is compromised. Seeking to help the mysterious and enigmatic young man locked inside his own mind and memories, River finds his professionalism slipping as Silver begins to open up and live again.

But as their relationship begins to blossom, the roots of Silver’s past abuse and the abuser who forced him into such a mental state sends forth new shoots of darkness enveloping them in dangers threatening not only Silver’s sanity, but their very lives. With River’s devotion and help, will Silver finally be able to break away from his past? The answer lies in the words of a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard harbouring the secrets of the enigma that is Silver.”

Published December 3, 2011 at Smashwords.

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Description: “Silver has been freed from sexual slavery and settled down with River, his lover and former patient, yet cracks begin to form when it becomes increasingly obvious that the stress of constantly having to care for Silver, begin to tell on River. When River’s parents die, leaving him to care for his 12 year old brother it, at first, seems that the introduction of the lively twelve year old into the mix was going to do them all the world of good. However, when spiteful relatives involve Social Services, the previous flaws nearly rip them all apart.

Faced with the dilemma of keeping either Ben or Silver at home and sending the other to stay with Sam, a personal friend, River chooses responsibility for his brother over his love and concern for Silver. Things come to a head when a series of misunderstandings lead Silver to believe River doesn’t love him anymore and that everyone is secretly ashamed of him because of his past. After running away, Silver reasons the only place he can fit in is with his own kind and he sets out to search of a new “home.”

At the Theatre de la vie he meets Tony, a club owner with big ideas, who ‘looks after’ a group of young men who dance and “entertain” patrons of the club. There, among others, Silver finds Ariel, an ephemeral little minx with a knack for getting into trouble, Alex, the big hearted mountain of muscle, and Asher. With Asher, a former sex slave like himself, Silver finds a kindred spirit and soon finds himself falling for the beautiful, broken boy.

Together, Ariel and Asher show Silver a whole new way of looking at the world, a transformation echoing the sleeping chrysalis of his soul, and soon his inner self emerges as the beautiful butterfly he was always meant to be. Yet as happy as he is with his new friends, Silver eventually realises he truly misses River and intends to return to his side, but a dark figure from his abusive past returns to threaten both a possible reunion and the very ones who would protect Silver.

River learns of the danger, and hurries to add his own support of Silver and reaffirm their love, but with so many doubts and unspoken regrets between them, is it too late for a chance at happiness together? At the emotional climax to this suspenseful story of love and loss, Silver and River reach conclusions that will either save them both or drive them apart forever.”

Published May 6, 2012 at Smashwords.

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The Dashing Mister R by M. Daniel Nickle

Review:  Honestly, at times the writing reminded me of my own in a way, and definitely reflected the kind of work I often enjoy.  There is a literary quality to the writing, for it contains many vivid descriptions of people, places and things some might find superfluous but I liked the vivacity and vision. Similarly also to some of my stories, Sebastian, the main character, is gay but this is not the central focus of the story. It’s part of it, true, just like it is a part of the character’s individuality. There is a poignant gay love story throughout the whole, but it is not limited to romance, and I particularly like that distinction as well.

The narrative voice unhesitatingly provides the character’s thoughts, which were often detail focused and reminded me of Rita Mae Brown’s work. Though some anecdotes and idioms used reference regions of the U.S. that many might certainly find amusing and relevant, they were notable but rather lost on a “semi-foreigner” like myself. To me, there were some issues with clarity of thought at times, and I thought more transitional phrases and changes to paragraph structure might have helped, but there was always a strong sense of direction.

Sometimes less is “more” when a story is so descriptive, but the lavishness of the writing was very hypnotic, almost seductive, as the mystery of the Mister R built to a climax that makes you say, “Ah ha!” A dark fantasy within a contemporary world, with a surprising twist at the end, The Dashing Mister R was a very satisfying read, a good debut effort by the author.

Description: What happens when someone realizes the story of his life isn’t the right story? What happens when he discovers the so-called point of no return is a fairytale? What if a person could find his way back and make things right?

The Dashing Mister R centers on award-winning journalist Sebastian Stephens who has fled his life and career in New York City and taken refuge in his boyhood home in the Garden District of New Orleans. He had had everything he ever wanted: a brilliant career, a nice Manhattan apartment, and he was in love, though not with the sort of person he expected. The stress of the forbidden affair along with a horrific murder case neither the police nor he could solve proved to be too much and he fled. Now, years later, he receives a mysterious stranger who portends life changes for Sebastian by means of a confession the stranger wants to make about the case. The information, however, comes at a price. Stephens is confronted with a choice. He can either reclaim his life, or lose it forever.

  • In print and electronic formats
  • Published May 26th 2011 by CreateSpace
  • ISBN 1461039487
  • ISBN13: 9781461039488
  • Available at Amazon, and other online distributors
  • Source: Author

Trailer for The Dashing Mister R:

Author Bio:

M. Daniel Nickle is a Kansas City native.  He graduated from Bishop Miege High.  Afterwards, he attended Avila College on a Theatre Arts scholarship before earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from William Jewell College in Liberty Missouri.During his tenure at William Jewell, Daniel was given the opportunity to study at the Harlaxton Study Centre, an extension campus in Lincolnshire, England.  There Daniel studied drama, literature and art.  His two favorite areas of his literature studies were the English romantic poets and American writers in exile.

Daniel lived in Dallas, Texas before his move to New York in 1993.  Business took him regularly to New Orleans.  Here he fell in love with the Garden District, the French Quarter and the muffulettas from Central Grocery he honors in his book. 

As an actor, Daniel has worked both on stage in his one-man shows of his own creation at the Duplex Cabaret Theater in New York as well as in television and films.  His comedic timing as well as his sense of the dramatic make his storytelling personal and captivating.

His first novel, THE DASHING MISTER R, comes from a background seasoned with his Catholic upbringing, his interest in the occult, and the interesting friends and life experiences he has enjoyed and which have made his life anything but bland.  For this, he is truly thankful.

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