Two more reviews, and a coupon.

They seem to come in clusters!  🙂

Roughseasinthemed’s Reviews >

From My Cold, Undead Hand

From My Cold, Undead Hand by Marie Marshall
From My Cold, Undead Hand
byMarie Marshall


Roughseasinthemed‘s review

Aug 31, 2016
really liked it

I will confess, I was not impressed with the start of this book. Too busy, rushed, and my head was swirling with the action. What’s the classic advice? Slow down on the action, speed up the slow parts.

But, when our vampire-hunting heroine, Chevonne, starts to includes extracts from the chronicles of a nineteenth century vampire hunter, the story improves no end.

Chevonne’s character is well-drawn and so is the character of her predecessor, Anna Lund, the supposed author of the chronicles. While we don’t get so much insight into the other secondary characters, some of them play a pivotal and dramatic role in the plot, affecting Chevonne’s future in the vampire-hunting Resistance.

The setting is futuristic, ie some time further on in the 21st century than the present day, so vampire-hunting has moved on somewhat from just wooden stakes and garlic, and the Resistance members have fancy weapons. Even the vampires use guns too.

What makes the book interesting, the deeper you get into it, are the unexpected twists to the plot, and the build-up to the climax. I was totally taken by surprise. From a book that starts with a Buffy-type clone, kicking and killing vampires in high school, the story takes a totally different turn.

It was well worth sticking with past the first couple of chapters. And, a pretty rare occurrence, I started off thinking I’d struggle to give it three stars, and ended up thinking it easily merited four. It’s imaginative, unpredictable, well written, with some nice contrasts and similarities between the past and the present vampire hunters.

Chevonne isn’t perfect, and makes some prize mistakes. Through her perspective we come to realise that the whole vampire issue is much bigger, more organised and far more dangerous than it originally appeared to be.

The ending? Nicely contrived, and like Chevonne thought, the last significant kill (dock) seemed too easy. But at least it gives the author an opportunity for a sequel. It did however, tie the story up neatly without leaving the reader hanging over the cliff.

A vampire story with an interesting kick. It’s a short book, with few typos, and recommended to anyone who likes vampire tales.


The Family Pool

by Lyz Russo
Fiction – Short Story
29 Pages
Reviewed on 08/29/2016

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers’ Favorite

Mary Jenkinson’s marriage to John Adams was more than she bargained for. The Family Pool by Lyz Russo is an excellent short story of family drama, mystery, and intrigue. Mary found out that once you married into the Adams family, all that glittered was not gold. Even though John appeared to be the man of her dreams, his family legacy held a deep dark secret. On the outside the family possessed wealth, but on the inside there were rules and regulations that all family members obeyed in order to maintain their lifestyles. The family ruler and patriarch, Uncle Daniel, called all the shots in the family, from where the members would live to that of the in-laws. Mary reveals to the family, by mistake, that she’s pregnant and begins to wonder upon this announcement what all the whispers and disdain are about. What Mary did not realize is that by her being pregnant she was violating the family’s laws of order.

I enjoyed reading The Family Pool by Lyz Russo because not only was it a great story, but Lyz was able to deliver the story, plot, and ending all within this short read. If Alfred Hitchcock was alive, I believe that The Family Pool by Lyz Russo would be one of the stories that he would chose for his mini movie series collections. If you do not like the original ending, Lyz has offered an alternative ending that you may enjoy. I personally liked the original ending because it added an element of suspense to the story. However, the alternative ending can be used as a sequel. If you like family drama, mystery, and suspense tales, get a copy of The Family Pool by Lyz Russo. I am sure that you will enjoy it.



Enjoy!  🙂


9 thoughts on “Two more reviews, and a coupon.

    • By the way, the beginning of FMCUH was deliberately ‘in medias res’. It’s an old technique that I believe the genre called for. Considering that I knocked out the novel in about a month, after Lyz asked me whether I could ‘write a teen-vampire novel’, I’m quite proud of the result.

      I’m having a sabbatical from novel-writing this year, but I hope to be back working on a (serious) novel in 2017.

    • It reminded me of a comic, with captions like Ker Pow! I don’t have an issue with plunging the reader into action, I just struggled with the first three (?) chapters. At the other extreme I have read some absolutely dreadful first chapters where the authors take forever and a day to badly describe nothing in particular.

    • Me too. But, you know, you have hit the nail on the head with the ‘comic’ comment. Cover illustrator Millie Ho and I discussed the idea of producing it as a graphic novel, and she even produced some quickly-sketched frames for it, which I still have on file somewhere. In fact I always had comic-book ‘scenes’ in my head as I wrote it. Unfortunately it would have consumed too much time, and Millie was working on her own projects.

      Did you ever get to hear the excerpts from Di’s audio diaries, which were an extra given away with the first few copies of the book, by the way?

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