All posts by Nancy Ferris

Nancy Ferrer is not a professional writer, though she believes it would probably be a lot more fun than the job she is doing now. She has always loved reading and enjoys a wide variety of books, particularly fantasy, horror, mysteries and young-adult fiction. She lives with her husband in a small house in a quiet little town with a great library.

Welcome Back to the Night by Elizabeth Massie

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Welcome Back to the Night
Author: Elizabeth Massie
Genre: Horror
Publisher URL: Leisure Books
Price: out of print
Other Information/warnings: graphic descriptions of torture and murder
Summary [from the publisher]:
A family reunion should be a happy event, a time to see familiar faces, meet new relatives, and reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while. But the Lynch family reunion isn’t a happy event at all. It is the beginning of a terrifying connection between three cousins and a deranged woman who, for a brief time, had been a part of the family. When these four people are reunited, a bond is formed, a bond that fuses their souls and reveals dark, chilling visions of a tortured past, a tormented present, and a deadly future-not only for them, but for their entire hometown. But will these warnings be enough to enable them to change the horrible fate they have glimpsed?
My review: Continue reading Welcome Back to the Night by Elizabeth Massie

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Katrdeshtr’s Redemption (The Night Cat, #1) by Red Haircrow

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Katrdeshtr’s Redemption (The Night Cat, #1)
Author: Red Haircrow
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher URL: Smashwords
Price: US$ 1.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Ancient, brutal beauty, Katrdeshtr the Night Cat, Russian vampire and incorrigible mischief maker turns to old pleasures to relieve his eternal boredom, yet when his sometimes partner finds a new love, satisfaction takes on new meaning. This change of events can only end in someone’s eternal death and Kat doesn’t intend for it to be him!
My review: Continue reading Katrdeshtr’s Redemption (The Night Cat, #1) by Red Haircrow

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When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: When Gravity Fails
Author: George Alec Effinger
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher URL: Orb Books
Price: US$ 14.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
In a decadent world of cheap pleasures and easy death, Marid Audrian has kept his independence the hardway. Still, like everything else in the Budayeen, he’s available…for a price.

For a new kind of killer roams the streets of the Arab ghetto, a madman whose bootlegged personality cartridges range from a sinister James Bond to a sadistic disemboweler named Khan. And Marid Audrian has been made an offer he can’t refuse.

The 200-year-old “godfather” of the Budayeen’s underworld has enlisted Marid as his instrument of vengeance. But first Marid must undergo the most sophisticated of surgical implants before he dares to confront a killer who carries the power of every psychopath since the beginning of time.

Wry, savage, and unignorable, When Gravity Fails was hailed as a classic by Effinger’s fellow SF writers on its original publication in 1987, and the sequence of “Marid Audrian” novels it begins were the culmination of his career.


My review: Continue reading When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

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Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Lola Dances
Author: Victor J. Banis
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: MLR Press
Price: US$ 15.99
Other Information/warnings: incest, rape, some violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and often bawdy, Lola Dances ranges from the 1850 slums of the Bowery to the mining camps of California and Montana, to the Barbary Coast of San Francisco.

Little Terry Murphy, pretty and effeminate, dreams of becoming a dancer. Raped by a drunken profligate and threatened with prison, Terry flees the Bowery and finds himself in the rugged settlement of Alder Gulch, where he stands out like a sore thumb among the camp’s macho inhabitants–until the day he puts on a dress and dances for the unsuspecting miners as beautiful Lola Valdez–and wins fame, fortune and, ultimately, love.
My review: Continue reading Lola Dances by Victor J. Banis

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Naked in the Rain by Eowyn Wood

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Naked in the Rain
Author: Eowyn Wood
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
URL: Crooked Hills Publishing
Price: US$ 13.95
Summary:
LOVE. SEX. POWER.

They seem like opposites: River’s a troubled teen who loves to fight; Brian is a piano prodigy who attempted suicide. But together they forge a bond beyond anything they imagined.

River and Brian run away with dreams of escaping their abusive homes and exploring the world. But reality hits as they wander the streets of Los Angeles: no money, no food, nowhere to go. Until they meet a stranger who will change their lives forever . . . .

Lured into a world of drugs, sex and power; a world of seductive beauty and terrible secrets. Can they escape? Do they want to?

My review: Continue reading Naked in the Rain by Eowyn Wood

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The Hired Man by Jan Irving

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: The Hired Man
Author: Jan Irving
Genre: Historical Romance
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US$ 6.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Reverend Ian Kenyon knows the harsh sting of life and how a man can suffer a loss of faith. The death of his wife and newborn son shook him to his foundations, and he’s been drifting ever since. Bryn Morgan has returned home from prison to the only family he has—an abusive father who abandoned him to the law when Bryn was unjustly accused of rape. Still poor, lost, and shunned, Bryn searches for work, any work that will allow him to survive.

Reluctantly moved by Bryn’s plight, Ian hires the young man to work on his farm despite Bryn’s prickly, defensive nature. Soon Ian fears his growing feelings of grace and compassion might be something else, something more… heated. Whatever the cause, he knows they are impossible to pursue, because Heaven only knows what would happen if a man of God began to have forbidden feelings for his hired man.
My review: Continue reading The Hired Man by Jan Irving

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Night Shift by Red Haircrow

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Night Shift
Author: Red Haircrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
URL: JMS Books
Price: US$ 3.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
To escape a troubled home, Jamie works the night shift at a department store with a rag-tag group of punks, war veterans, and bickering couples. He’s unsure what direction he wants to take in life until a mysterious new co-worker arrives.

With his long ponytail, faint accent, and quiet manner, Derrick manages to disturb or fascinate everyone, not just one pint-sized Southern boy who wants to escape from his boring life.

Jamie finds himself falling for Derrick, but the older man harbors a secret that threatens to come between them.
My review: Continue reading Night Shift by Red Haircrow

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Rating: 5/10 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
URL: Candlewick Press
Price: US$ 18.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
My review: Continue reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Target
Author: Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Roaring Brook Press
Price: Out of print
Summary:
Why had the men chosen him? Savagely violated by two strangers, sixteen-year-old Grady West retreats into silence. Some hells just can’t be shared. Searing and powerful, Target shows that people can go through unspeakable things and emerge whole— and sometimes your friends can save you.
My review: Continue reading Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

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Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

Rating: 5/10 ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Black Girl in Paris
Author: Shay Youngblood
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Price: Out of print
Summary:
Shay Youngblood’s debut novel, Soul Kiss, received accolades from reviewers and writers alike. The Washington Post hailed it as “intelligent and erotic … immensely engrossing and satisfying,” while The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it “exquisite.” Tina McElroy Ansa described it as “extraordinary … lyrical, intimate, funny, unsettling, enthralling.” Now, in her second novel, Youngblood explores the endeavor of a creative coming-of-age, and infuses her story with the same mesmerizing, lush language and impressionistic style that won her so many fans the first time around.

Black Girl in Paris wends its way around the mythology of Paris as a city that has called out to African-American artists. Like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Josephine Baker before her, Youngblood’s heroine leaves her home, in the American South, nurturing a dream of finding artistic emancipation in the City of Light. She experiments freely, inhabiting different incarnations–artist’s model, poet’s helper, au pair, teacher, thief, and lover–to keep body and soul together, to stay afloat, heal the wounds of her broken heart, discover her sexual self, and, finally, to wrestle her dreams of becoming a writer into reality.

Youngblood’s lyricism, as effortless as an inspired improvisation, and her respect for the tradition she depicts create a natural tension between old and new, reverence and innovation, and tell a story at once timeless and immediate.
My review: Continue reading Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

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