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When the Devil Climbs by Drake Vaughn

Devil ClimbsThe one thing we learn in life is that our choices can lead us down a multitude of directions. We can choose to take a specific talent and apply it and make a name for ourselves. We can also choose that it would be too hard and have life take us in a different direction. There are times that we may rush to judgment and the results could be disastrous. This would be the case of one Russ Grote who will see his life go in a direction he never expected. He will find himself with an ex-wife, going to prison, a son he never sees and worse stuck working with other ex-convicts.

This is the life he will be leading as someone opens “When the Devil Climbs” by Drake Vaughn. The book opens with Russ having a conversation with his ex-wife and how he is looking so forward with reconnecting with his son. Russ is even able to primarily ignore his coworker, Harley, as he adds some commentary to things going on as they wait for the boss Slake to arrive. Victor, another coworker shows up and the crew of three ex-cons gets their day started as they load up to go change out the billboard on a large road sign.

The reader will come to understand that this is one of the few jobs that are willing to hire ex-cons. As you get an introduction into each character you may be very thankful they don’t work with you. On the hand you may even know someone who acts like any of these “fine” gentlemen. Russ is at least working on some of his demons as he has gotten help and the others, well. To give you an idea on the others Slake is one quick to action and will find quick to anger as he is the boss of this crew. Harley he is an old timer with no sort of political correctness and enjoys tormenting the new guy on the team, Victor. As the new guy, Victor, will get razzed but he is also Hispanic and there are plenty of off color jokes directed his way by the ignorant Harley.  It will surely make for an interesting work crew and for an eye opening day.

The problem for these men is they have come to fight the law and there decision will haunt them for the remainder of their lives. As they come across a police cruiser and are told to turn they are given an option from life. They could listen or try some stupid stunt. The choice, you may have guessed it, is stupid stunt and they drive around the cruiser to head to their job.  It is not long after this when ominous dust clouds in the dry ground show in the distance and trouble is coming and these four men are going to find out man is not always the key of the food chain. They will learn that even they can become a great meal for something man feasts on around the world.

When the Devil Climbs will really jump into action at this point in the book. The men will see the dust storm and realize it is actually a large group of pigs running wild. Harvey, who stays on the ground to watch the trucks, even will try to play with one of the pigs as they get close. He will find out to late that this group has more on its mind then running free as they are hungry and man is now the “other white meat”.   It won’t be long from this point when the remaining three high on the billboard platform watch in horror as Harley is devoured by the creatures and they realize they are trapped.

The book will see the three remaining men struggle with each other at first. It will not be long before they run out of water, and food and this will lead to self struggles as the mind becomes their enemy as well. Author Drake Vaughn shows a great gift for delving into the mind and characters of each of these men. Their backgrounds and natures will be slowly revealed as they stay trapped up on that billboard platform hoping, and praying, for some help. What will make matters even worse is when help appears to becoming their arrival; well one must read the book.

The truth is that, When the Devil Climbs, does a great job of character development as well as setting the stage for a very psychological horror story. There are moments when we get to read how the pigs fast but in truth it felt to me much of the horror comes as these men realize the trouble they are in and must determine how to react in the face of this danger. This is why I opened the review by pointing out life choices as each man made a choice that somehow lead to them being there at that moment in time when their lives may end.

I must add that for a great book trailer head over to Drake Vaughn’s website and enjoy.

 

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Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Reviews

 

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Red Desert – Invisible Enemy by author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Invisible EnemyThe last time a reader had seen Anna Persson she had just made a shocking discovery on Mars. She had found the original mission site and what she found inside would make her forget all of the problems she was having back in her habitat. The deaths, a potential murder, and a potential dangerous crew mate where all gone at that moment. However, one discovery cannot change everything as she will find out in this book.

Red Desert – Invisible Enemy, is the third entry in author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli’s Red Desert series. The book will continue the tail of Anna and Hussan on Mars and reconnect the reader with Mission Control and Anna’s fiancé Jan. A connection that will be part of this series as intrigue will spill from the red planet back to those on Earth.

The book opens with those left in Alpha fighting among each other. Robert is attacking Hassan and he has no recourse but to strike back. The actions of the two men are brutal as Robert seems almost possessed by some unseen force. He blames Hassan for Anna leaving and the laboratory is Robert’s newest target for destruction and it is hear the two men will have a potential final battle. The outcome will not be shared for some time in the book but so much will happen between that point and the story.

This third installment will tell the reader what Anna has found on the planet is not just a living virus but more life. The life she finds will save her from certain death and shock those back on Earth into agreeing to launch a new mission to Mars. One would think that after all the calamity that has been happening with this second, cursed, mission they would not but things change.

Author Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli does it again as she inter winds high drama on Mars with drama back on Earth. Jan will accidentally uncover a dark secret that will shake him to his core. He is so shaken he is willing to make a deal with a reporter and tell this woman all what is happening on Mars. This is just some of the intrigue happening on Earth as Mission Control must deal with all the data they are getting from Mars.

The book is aptly titled with Invisible Enemy as you never know where the danger will come from. It can be from your fellow humans to the minds of those around you. Their thoughts could be hiding an evil intent or even something more serious can be behind everything. The book will take the reader into a great tale that will leave all wanting more and nervous on what could eventually happen on both planets.

If this review isn’t enough to get you interested check out the books trailer.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Ten + 1 Questions with Author Jane Dougherty

JaneThose who go over to Jane Dougherty’s blog will find something very interesting. This factoid is that The Dark Citadel is her FIRST published book.  This will explain why her answer to questions 5 and 6 are left with the N/R tag.  It’s hard to comment on those questions when this is your first book. Another factor is that her book was only published on 10/4/2013 and the review and the interview are within a week of that publishing.  So without further comment on this woman lets get on to the questions. Please be sure to go to the bottom as there is the book trailer for The Dark Citadel.

 

Question 1:

What inspired you to write The Dark Citadel?

I had been writing for a couple of years, novels and short stories, and decided I would like to write something for my children, the oldest being teenagers with very definite ideas about what they did and didn’t appreciate in a story. A scene came to me of a classroom full of girls all dressed in grey and having a miserable time. Not a very auspicious opening for a teen drama maybe, but one of the girls raised her head to stare out of the window, and I decided I wanted to write about that particular girl and how she got out of that awful grey world.

Question 2:

Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?

None whatsoever! The world of The Green Woman requires that everyone has a name drawn from religious or mythological texts so none of the names are inventions. The characters seemed to appear with names already attached! I didn’t have to agonize over any of them. I have tried not to let my personal likes and dislikes get in the way of the names that ‘appeared’. I don’t much like the characters in Greek myth, for example, but I’ve tried to sprinkle them fairly among the good and the bad characters.

Question 3:

During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

Only one memory, I think. I didn’t start school in September with all the other five-year-olds, but the following January. My mother had her fourth baby in September and with three under fours in the house and my dad working strange hours, there was nobody to take me to school and pick me up again in the afternoon. Needless to say we lived in a semi-rural area miles from the school and we didn’t have a car. The other kids had already settled in by the time I arrived and I remember deciding that what they were doing didn’t interest me and I was going to do my own thing in a corner. I remember repeated incidents where the teacher would come over to where I had pushed a table and a chair against the wall to get on with my own drawings and scribbling quietly on my own, eat my biscuits, talk to myself, or whatever, and ask me to turn around and join in with everybody else. Deborah in embryo maybe.

Question 4:

What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I was very slow learning to read. My mother was an artist and we were all encouraged to draw, so I drew. When I did decide I could read, I started on real books without going through the readers. The first book that I read over and over was a Patricia Lynch, The Bookshop on the Quay. I went on to read many more of her books and when I tried to get hold of them for my own children was shocked to find they are all now out of print. John Masefield’s The Box of Delights is a book I still read now and again. All of the Moomin stories enchanted me when I was young and still do. T.H. White’s Once and Future King stories about King Arthur, and Henry Treece’s stories set among the Vikings were also constant companions.

Question 5:

Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

N/R

Question 6:

What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

N/R

Question 7:

Do you continue to write?

I write all the time, from novels, through short stories to flash fiction and poetry. The Green Woman trilogy is finished with the second and third volumes waiting to be edited. I have a collection of in-world stories which I hope to release in the next couple of months, as well as stories based on Irish and Norse mythologies. My next full length novel project is a historical fantasy drawn from Celtic and Norse sources.

Question 8:

What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

I’m not sure I like the idea of a there being a message behind the story. However, one of the things that irks me in many fantasy novels is the total lack of moral values. The kind of behaviour associated with the armies of totalitarian regimes often appears to be condoned by the author because none of the characters takes a stand against it. I don’t want to come over as preachy, but if something is wrong, like murder, even if your protagonists are under twenty, they should still react against it, otherwise it should be made clear that their behaviour is reprehensible. My opinion only. I like real heroes, not just hulks with magic swords.

Question 9:

If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

I already have. In fact I’ve already written it, so you’ll have to wait for the books to come out to find out! I want Deborah to be happy. She isn’t a perfect character, but life didn’t deal her many aces. Love and affection were in short supply when she was a child and her own emotions except for anger are underdeveloped. She grows in the course of the series, learns to give as well as take, and she deserves to find what she’s looking for.

Question 10:
Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

The book is dedicated to my husband, enough said. There are several people who have been important to the writing of the book, however. I have had the good fortune to get to know a really tremendous writer, Harriet McWatters who first encouraged me to think The Dark Citadel had merit, then proceeded to show me how it could be improved. Once Harriet had knocked it into shape, my editor, Susan Sipal, who instantly empathized with the story and the writing style, rounded off the last edges and straightened out the last inconsistencies. Last, I have to send a posthumous thank you to my father, John William Dougherty and my grandfather, James Brennan, both writers and poets, from whom I inherited a love of words, and the ability to fit them together in an intelligible way.

The + 1 Question:

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

If ever I had the opportunity to go on a book tour with real paper copies of a book to set up like battlements in front of me on a bookshop table, it would probably be to Inishowen where my father’s people came from. As a place for a book tour it would be hardly more profitable than the Gobi Desert in terms of population, but there is a debt of gratitude to be repaid, and even if it is a lonely, wild corner of the world, I would love to be able to say this is where the story started.

 

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Interview

 

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