Random Book Review- The Grunge Narratives: A Rare Horror Collection by Nick Younker

Recently, I had a chance to read Nick Younker’s, Grunge Narratives. A collection of horror short stories, it’s a great mix of scares, chills, and spills and goes great with Indie April! If you fancy horror, supernatural, creepy things, and everything that goes bump in the night, check it out! Posted below is my review which was shared on Amazon and Goodreads! Keep writing, keep reading, enjoy! 😀

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Rated 4 out of 5 stars!

Serving up horror in a collection of short-stories, Nick Younker’s work will delight fans of the macabre while satisfying readers who enjoy the supernatural and paranormal side of life without the splashes of gore. Nestled within its pages, there’s something for everyone regardless of taste.

At the start, Younker sets the foundation with a disclaimer regarding his writing style as “grunge narratives,” allowing readers a chance to understand the mechanics of his work and what they can expect throughout. In simple terms, each short story opens in the middle and follows through to the end. While some readers and genres would find this problematic, Younker flawlessly showcases this style within the horror framework by peppering his prose with just enough backstory to fill in any lingering questions. By cleverly and leisurely guiding readers on a fast-paced and panic-driven journey through his creative mind, Younker creates atmosphere by whispering and hinting at danger closing in from behind and creeping towards you just around the corner. Joining a chilling show already in progress, his masterful writing style gradually dims the lights on hope and safety before devilishly laughing at you in the dark.

At its heart, Younker’s work is a collection of fun short horror stories ranging from gruesome to creepy and all are wonderfully crafted to jump right into and enjoy either in smaller bites or as one large feast. Upon deeper inspection, readers will find that Younker understands what truly scares as he brings the fear with wild abandonment in as many forms as possible. As readers remove a layer of his collection with each finished short, they’ll soon discover a broader scope of the content appearing just below the surface. While each story could be considered stand-alone, together they blend perfectly creating a chilling tapestry of shared settings, people, and places that echo through space and time.

The brilliance behind Younker’s collection is not so much this it resonates so well for fans of horror, but from how well his work also invokes nostalgic feelings of the ‘80s and ‘90s and brings forth terror-soaked memories from our youth within its pages. Understanding that not all horror needs to be violently gruesome, Younker delivers psychological scares, dark comedy chills, and building supernatural tensions in addition to a healthy dose of bloodshed and heartfelt moments between all the running and screaming. Fans of classic television offerings such as “Creepshow,” “Tales from the Crypt,” and “Tales from the Darkside,” will instantly relate to Younker’s work as it truly feels and reads like a season from one of those beloved shows and could be considered a possible source of some of his overall inspiration.

If you’re a fan of quick horror reads that start in all the right spots without the long and drawn out back build and hunger for shorter works that add to an overall story with increasing depth, you’re in a for a treat. Offering something for everyone on a talented menu, Younker’s “Grunge Narratives” are sure to satisfy any appetite. Just be sure to leave the lights on when reading to chase away the darkness lest you end up the main course. Good horror fun, a creepy good time.

Random Image Day!-#41 (New steps)

Yesterday I did something I thought I would never do, I typed “The End” on my rough draft for Book 5 of The Keeper Chronicles. A series of five complete novels had finally wrapped up, had finally found their light at the end of the tunnel. The door was closed on that world, the chapters ended, all people in their rightful places and all dangling plots handled. I typed the words, I still don’t believe it. I watched the end play out, I watched my story finish and as my characters smiled and closed the door on their journey my biggest question was, what happens next?

It felt oddly comforting and fulfilling to have managed to accomplish not one, not just two, but five full novels in my short career and for that alone, I shed a tear and patted myself on the back. The end for me also felt saddening and confusing. I suddenly felt lost, set adrift in a sea of new stories, new characters, fantastic new adventures. I should have screamed at the top of my lungs overcome with grief, I should have attempted a cartwheel yet my mind simply stalled, everything turned to blah as soon as the panic and worry washed over me. Could I continue on a new path, did I even want to?

People, places, and conversations I’ve had the past few years with the invisible ones inside my head were now quiet, empty, gone. It was if rent came due and suddenly the entire apartment complex simply walked out in the middle of the night leaving nothing but memories of lives littering the floors. Days, weeks, years of slowly typing along, slowly writing out their adventures had shifted to nothing more than whispers in the wind. Is it normal to feel empty and proud at the same time, is it normal to congratulate and flagellate in equal measure?

It’s tough to jump for joy when you question your next steps. It’s tough to pat yourself on the back while craving a hug for your efforts as the tickling of sadness seeps in telling you that this part of your life is over. Maybe it is, maybe its only this specific chapter.

See, I want to keep writing, I want to continue and I will, sooner rather than later. I don’t want to feel sad that a series ends, I want to be overly thrilled to start a new one. Akin to driving into a new town and visiting with the locales, I want those experiences, again. So, I’ve decided to do all that, and more. It may feel sad at times, hell it may be hard to even start, but if we don’t, if I don’t aren’t we just denying our passions, dreams, and goals?

I promise to continue, I promise to support those just starting out, those further ahead. I may be in my own little boat paddling away in this giant ocean of writing, but I see you out there floating along at your own speed, I see you, I feel you, and I heart each and every one of you a thousand times over. As I scurry off for editing madness and formatting craziness, I think about the writing community and all the strength, creativity, and support they offer and it empowers me to carry on.

Whatever it takes, don’t give up, never give up. The sadness, the pain, the eye strain all worth it, the experiences too rich to deny. I’m going to give myself a hug, give each of you a smile, and step through the door toward new journies, discoveries, and experiences with a few thousand friends along for the ride.

Keep writing, keep sharing, keep loving!

-KJF

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Photo Credit: http://www.HDW7.com Website Link- http://hdw7.com/wallpapers-267/a-shiny-door-in-the-end-of-the-road-wallpaper.html

Random Book Review-Halloween Party by Rayne Duncan

I recently had a chance to read Rayne Duncan’s short story, “Halloween Party” and left a review. If you’re interested in shorter works with heart and some darker elements you’d be a fool not to check it out! Check out my review below and keep reading and writing!

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4 out of 5 stars!

In Duncan’s short story entry into the world of thrillers, suspense, and mystery her readers are taken for a casual stroll through a woman’s life and then just as easily left for dead within it. What starts as a crawl quickly escalates to a full on run through a world Duncan so cleverly disguises as heartfelt and emotionally comforting as dark twists rise up and strike mercilessly with sinister intent and sharpened blades.

Duncan’s introduction of Katie Sommers as the lead in this short fiction work showcases her ability to deliver a believable character. A person most readers will find relatable given certain circumstances. From the first paragraph, Duncan pulls her readers into the world of Sommers and easily lays the foundation for what she will later ruthlessly and unapologetically destroy. Supporting characters are perfectly utilized filling in any gaps that flesh out Sommers to be as real as the girl next door, the woman we’ve seen in class, known from a past job, or are still friends with.

Although fast-paced and short, Duncan packs as much punch into her work as a round of heavyweight boxers delivering quick jabs and glancing blows to her readers before delivering the final knockout. Masterfully weaving emotions with a hint of deeply rooted psychology and sliding door moments, Duncan’s exploration of the inner thought processes of a woman juggling life, decisions, and everything in between instantly pulls readers in as she leads them down a dimly lit hallway, spills some blood, and exacts her master plan.

Duncan doesn’t necessarily break new ground in this genre, but what she does produce is a seemingly flawless depiction of the struggles many women face daily and the subsequent damage that can rise up as a result, both physically and mentally. Readers are given enough information to care, to understand, and to be intrigued before Duncan effectively turns off the lights and leaves us all in the dark with a devilish smile. Quick and powerful, blissful and macabre, well worth it!

 

This review was also posted on Goodreads and Amazon. 🙂 Enjoy and keep sharing and creating!

Random Image Day!-#40 (Taking the walk)

As the month of Aquarius wraps up and slips away into Pisces, I noticed it’s been slightly busier than normal the entire month of February. After taking a couple weeks off to focus, adult, and manage the release of Book 4 it seemed it would never end and some days seemed destined to drive me insane. During those moments a couple of things happened that I just now came to terms with, so to speak, and how it affected me on every level.

During “my” month that I share with my fellow water-bearers it seems I grew up and took stock of my life. Pals I thought I’d have forever found themselves unfriended and people I viewed as enemies became besties. I heard people complain about indie authors promoting their work only to see those same people post about their own. It was a confusing few weeks and once the dust settled I realized some people are out there to help, others to hinder, and some, like myself and many others, just want to read, write, and enjoy snacks hidden away from society.

I say these things for a reason and that is, we’re all different and we’re all working on things behind the scenes. As an indie author, I support and owe a great deal of respect to others in this crazy self-publishing world. I wish I could read everything, I wish I could retweet every fellow writer I come across. Hands helping each other up the mountain, or at least onto the trail is how I see it, sadly some do not. For the future, I intend to help and support as much as possible and I hope many feel the same way. Whatever or where ever your journey of writing takes you know that for every bad apple there’s an orchard of positive vibes there right alongside you. Keep writing, head down, ignore the naysayers and create, love, share, and support.

For me, Book 5 is starting to transform before my eyes. It’s daunting to be at the beginning of yet another journey of the rough draft, editing, revising and all that happens behind the scenes. It’s also inspiring and magical for the path is lit for a fantastic journey and a marvelous end to my first book series. I may not see the end through the tough spots, but I know I’m not giving up, not stopping. Taking the walk with baby steps when needed, full on gas pedal slamming launch forward when it’s possible. Blazing forward!

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Photo Credit: Amazing World by Caras Ionut. Website at http://www.carasdesign.com 

Random Image Day!-#39 (Four out the door!)

It’s Friday, finally a weekend to enjoy instead of the usual running and screaming of adulting. It’s also the day of new book releases, namely mine! I don’t normally lay it all out there, but Book 4 of The Keeper Chronicles is done and uploading to retailers as we speak. I know, crazy right!? Who would have thought that we’d make it this far?

When I started this journey I spent a great deal of time writing Book 1 and thinking it would take forever and I was overwhelmed with the tasks of getting it all into place and the lengths indie authors go through to send their works out into the world. It took a long time of learning the ropes, getting in with knowledgeable people, and growing as an individual. It was hard, it was frustrating, it was awesome! After Books 2 and 3, it was a little easier, and I found my voice to carry on. Now, as I settle into bed tonight joyful and thoroughly satisfied at having completed Book 4 I can safely say, I kind of know what I’m doing now, sorta.

Personal thanks to Eeva at thebookkhaleesi.com for all her hard work in not only creating and designing Book 3 but for also battling my crazy ideas for Book 4. Her skill and dedication to her craft is nothing short of awesome and I highly recommend her for any author services you may be in the market for. We can’t do it all and, as an indie author herself, she knows a thing or two about the biz! Many thanks, many hugs!

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If you’re writing, keep it up! No matter where you are in the process, it will and can be your creation, your dream, your special weekend happy post. Enjoy your weekend and keep it up!