Tag Archives: book review

Dealey Plaza Review

Dealey Plaza by John Russo☆☆☆☆☆ A definitive masterpiece… arguably Mr. Russo’s best work yet!

John Russo is a living legend in the horror genre, with his penning of the screenplay NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with George Romero and novel by the same name. He has a written over twenty books, several screenplays, and is an accomplished actor and director. Though many attribute him as being the father of the zombie genre which we all have come to know and love, DEALEY PLAZA is a departure from Mr. Russo’s standard modus operandi.

In DEALEY PLAZA, you won’t find any brain eating zombies or undead ghouls coming for you in the shadows, but what you will find is a piece of cleverly crafted historical fiction that has its roots interwoven in true historical facts/events that defined the later part of the twentieth century.

DEALEY PLAZA is centered on a group of young adults who must grow up during some of the most turbulent times in recent history. It is a story that begins in the year following the John F. Kennedy assassination, in which some college friends and army buddies – all conspiracy buffs – decide to go to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas and film a documentary about the JFK event during a college break.  After the filming concludes, there are still a few days left of the break before the crew has to head home.  With this extra time, two of the friends decide to go to Mexico to party and the other members of the group decide to go to Mississippi to attend a civil rights rally that is happening around the same time.

The group that went to Mississippi is ambushed because part of the party is black and we get a firsthand glimpse at what it was like to be black and live in the 60’s in the south, during a time that segregation still existed and animosities were high. Two blacks and two whites were killed, and a young mother named Lori McCoy barely survives with her small child. The woman and child escape by hiding in the back seat of the car while the ambush takes place and then making a getaway as the attackers are preoccupied with the others.

This event triggers a chain reaction that starts a ‘cat and mouse’-type thriller where Lori is pursued by the radicals at different points in her life when they find out where she lives. One of the friends who went to Mexico – Frank Williams – begins a career in law enforcement and becomes an FBI agent who dedicates his life to hunting down the killers and protecting his friends.

DEALEY PLAZA is a coming of age story and one of the most intensely violent books I have ever read.  That being said, I think that every person should read it just to ground themselves on what hate really is and the effects of hate crime and violence on those whose lives it touches. It also provides the reader with a unique psychological insight into guns and violence, and the consequences of radicalism.

DEALEY PLAZA is, I believe, a definitive literary masterpiece. Much as Charles Dickens defined the pulse of what it was like living in the time of the French Revolution with his book, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, Mr. Russo skillfully captures the turbulence of America in the years following the Kennedy assassination.  DEALEY PLAZA teaches history in such an entertaining way, that a scholar (student) might get a better education reading this book than some of the American history textbooks that are out there… at least it wouldn’t be as boring.

Although Mr. Russo will undoubtedly always be known for fathering zombie fiction with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DEALEY PLAZA is arguably Mr. Russo’s best work yet. This one will make you think – and remember when – the world changed starting around what happened at Dealey Plaza.

Watch the trailer:


The Female Flasher Review

The Female Flasher by Phebe Bodelle

☆☆☆☆☆ Exhibitionism was never so much fun!

The Female Flasher is an erotic novel about a nineteen-year-old girl from Britain who is living with her parents in Spain. One day, when out with her friends, she has an accident while waiting in a crowded line to use the bathroom and this starts her journey into becoming a flasher, as she had to ride the train home without any knickers (panties) and notices a middle aged man watching her, awakening a new awareness within her.

American English and the way it is used is a bit different than traditional UK English and reading The Female Flasher’s diary of exploits was quite fun, especially experiencing the “First Person” point of view told by a British gal.

I found the story to be sexually charged at every turn and an exciting read watching the girl go from just a “normal” person to a sexually liberated person.

I think it is great when one can read a book and really relate to one of its characters. I found myself relating to a forty-five-year-old character named “Dick” (no seriously, that was his name in the story) almost to a tee, both physically and in how he treated his woman.  One can get a true education from this and it is nice to see couples in love and how to love others and treat them well.

This was my first ‘exposure’ to Phebe Bodelle’s writing and was quite pleased. I look forward to reading other works by this author.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Co-Editor of The Big Book of Bizarro Erotica Collection

Pieces of Black Part One Review

Pieces of Black Part One by Ava Bellamy

☆☆☆☆☆ Sultry and seductive!

I discovered Ava Bellamy one day while perusing Twitter.  Thus it can be said that this discovery was by sheer coincidence and the fact that I have been thoroughly entertained by her work, I felt it proper to recognize it with a review of what I found – her Pieces of Black Part One eBook.  

I have heard it said that a person’s mind cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality when you are dreaming. The same can be said that the correct use of language can take the reader into a dream-like state, thus making the fantasy real to them. 

Ava Bellamy’s use of language is superb in this piece of erotica. It is paced very well and seductively, carrying the reader along on a titillating journey of taboo and forbidden pleasures yet to be discovered.  

In Pieces of Black Part One, we discover Serena, a romance author who is looking to experience darker sides of sexuality (such as BDSM) so that she can write more explicitly. She comes from a very vanilla background, but has been exploring her wishes with a pen pal named Jason, who lives out of town.   

The book builds on the premise of forbidden pleasures because Serena is married, whereas Jason is a free spirit.  The mere fact that the two are going to meet out of town and spend a week together is a premise that things are going to heat up. 

The story drips of seduction and a woman’s lust slowly building and she tries to maintain control over her emotions and physical needs, while at the same time, her sultry new friend is expanding her horizons and playing out her hidden desires right before her very eyes.

The story provides an incredible sense of adventure that makes the reader feel as if he/she were living the experience of the characters set forth on the page.  It is paced very well and quite enjoyable.

With Part One down, I think I have just became a fan of Ms. Bellamy’s work.

 –  Gary Lee Vincent, Co-editor of The Big Book of Bizarro Erotica Collection

Tuesday Apocalypse Review

Tuesday Apocalypse by Vicy Cross

☆☆☆☆☆ Paranormal romance, gothic horror, and era-based fantasy, what more could you ask for?

I discovered Vicy Cross through recommendations from author friends of mine Rich Bottles Jr. (Lumberjacked) and Wol-vriey (Vegan Zombie Apocalypse) who made glowing reviews about the book and sparked my curiosity.

Tuesday Apocalypse was my first exposure to Vicy Cross and I can say that I really enjoyed her writing style.  It was written much the way a diary reads and one could draw similarities to Lovecraft, Poe, and Stoker – speculative fiction and dark fantasy. 

The key difference in Ms. Cross’ work is that her erotic scenes are fantastic and panted in a highly visual way, especially when told from the first person standpoint of a nun.

There is an interesting thread throughout the story of taboo, social norms, and crossing them.

Tuesday Apocalypse takes risks and I greatly look forward to future works put out by this author.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Author of Darkened Hills

Five Little Deaths Review

Five Little Deaths by Clare de Lune

☆☆☆☆☆Dark, erotic and fast paced!

I first discovered Clare de Lune’s work via her short story – CITY OF THE DEAD – which was featured in the horror section of The Big Book of Bizarro. Clare has a gift for depicting mysterious landscapes in a dark and fascinating way, thus when I saw this collection offered up on amazon, I went ahead and purchased a copy.

The trick to writing short story fiction is to get in, tell the story, and get out. The problem is that many writers have difficulty telling the tale in a smooth, enjoyable manner that is most importantly, memorable.

Short stories can be easily spoiled with in-depth reviews, so I will not go into an thorough analysis of each work, but rather talk about my impressions of the first story and hopefully, you can decide whether this collection is right for you.

The first story is called BLOODY KISSES and focuses on a primary character, Charlotte, a blonde-haired widow who lives in an old house by the sea.  Charlotte is plagued with memories of her dead husband, Bryan, who apparently drowned, but whose body was never discovered.

We get a glimpse of Charlotte’s emotional problems, possibly depression or insomnia, when she is described as taking Percocet before settling into bed with a book to read.

The interesting piece here is what happens next.  We learn of an affection that Charlotte had with her husband’s friend Vic and after her husband died, she was troubled.  Shortly after Bryan’s disappearance, Vic also disappeared, thus adding a layer of mystery to the overall story.

It is at this point that Charlotte is revisited by Bryan (is he a ghost, vampire, or figment of her imagination) and he leads her on a journey down by the sea, where they engage in highly-charged passion along with Vic. Bad things happen here and you will just have to read to find out what they are.

In the end, the reader is left to wonder if Charlotte became a vampire, was murdered, or was having a drug-influenced dream at bed.

Mysterious and good.

– Gary Lee Vincent, Co-editor of The Big Book of Bizarro

Boston Posh Review

Boston Posh by Wol-vriey

☆☆☆☆☆ Superbly executed, brilliantly written!

Very rarely does a book engage my imagination to the point where I enjoyed it so much that I want to experience it again. However, when reading Boston Posh, I can honestly say, it was a blast! Not only did I read it twice, I read it thrice – and back-to-back! It was just honestly so entertaining that I absolutely loved it.

Sometimes you can catch a great movie in the theaters and want to see it again just to catch the parts that you missed. Boston Posh is like that. It is sensory overload and an imagination trip, all wrapped up into one.

Boston Posh has the feel of a pulp fiction/detective novel, only bizarro style. The story takes place in a dystopian future that is overrun by dinosaurs and dragons. Set in Boston, it centers around two primary characters: a private detective named Bud Malone and a high class prostitute named Posh.

Early on, before the two meet, Malone is hired by a rich widow to locate the widow’s missing daughter and must brave the dangers of the monster-overrun town and the evil abductor “Frank” to put together the missing clues of the daughter’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, Posh is trying to escape from her pimp, a guy by the name “Herbie” and his thug-enforcer brother “Bulldog”. As Herbie arranges some very perverse sexual encounters that Posh must endure, she eventually gets fed up, and well, you’ll just have to read the book to see how this all goes down.

Let’s just say that as all hell is breaking loose, Posh and Malone finally get together and what takes place is something only the cleverest wordsmith can pull off, and well, Wol-vriey does it splendidly.

I give Boston Posh an enthusiastic two thumbs up. It is wonderful dark humor, horror, erotica, and transgressive fiction at its best. For adults only, this might be the best novel I have read all year!

– Gary Lee Vincent, author Darkened Hills

BOOK REVIEW: Hellhole West Virgina, by Rich Bottles Jr.

Hellhole CoverYou’re on a highway to hell(hole)!

Get ready for an over-the-top thrill ride that perverts history in a way that only Rich Bottles Jr. can!  Do you like the Mothman?  Yeah, he’s in there and the reader will learn what really happened back in the 1960’s over in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

From zombies waving pick axes at the WV Book Festival to quadriplegic midget prostitutes, the King of Bizarro mayhem will either have you rolling on the floor peeing yourself laughing or getting really offended, depending on your sense of humor (or lack thereof).

Hellhole West Virginia is a comedy that draws its plot from several historical events: the Mothman Incident (Point Pleasant, WV), the Manson Murders (Charley is from WV), Hellhole Cave Environmental Issues (Riverton, WV), and others.  Plus, there is even a cameo appearance by the author himself in Chapter 4!

Hellhole is not your typical read, but would we want it any other way?  Enjoy!  I give this read five stars! ★★★★★