Blog tour finishes with a flourish

Well, day 5 has finally rolled round, marking an end of the Game of Crones mini blog tour and I’m happy – and a little relieved – to report that the great reviews for my witchcraft themed collection of short stories have  continued to the finish line. Here’s a sample of what the book bloggers thought:

 

Trails of Tales:Jay Raven can certainly pack a punch. Yes sir! All the stories in Game of Crones, and I mean all are qualified to boast of endings that are anything but predictable. 

“Of course, as is the case with most anthologies, you might like some stories better that others but each of them will shock or surprise you. Jay Raven’s prowess as a writer is clearly evident in the manner he suddenly changes the direction and pace of a story, leading to an end that is completely capable of leaving you stunned.”

Terror Tree: “The stories are all set in a different time and place and due to the author’s fine detail gives you the feeling that you are there.  One thing I could not get over was how much was crammed into each story. There was comedy, intrigue, suspense, vengeance and so much more, that kept me hooked. Jay Raven is a new author to me and he has just gained another fan.”

KT Robson: Despite the dark nature of the book, it makes for a quick read, each story being gripping from the first page, drawing you in and giving you that ‘just one more..’ feeling as you begin the next one. I really hope this isn’t the last short story collection that Jay Raven publishes! I devoured this one and was quite sad when I reached the end and realised there were no more stories for me to read!”

The ayjaypagefarer book blog: “Raven has a real touch for the dark and macabre. In this work, he offers some short tales of witchcraft and devilry that seem strangely familiar to us – like a gut feeling that you may have seen the film you are watching before, even though you haven’t. As an introduction to Raven’s writing, and to malevolent magic stories in general, it certainly works; those familiar stories are told with a freshness and world-building that, together, show us old tropes in a new light – and which keep the reader turning the page.”

The Midnight Review: “Game of Crones is a series of short stories written by Jay. I love a good anthology but I have never read one where the stories are all written by the same author.

“So what are you in for? well, according to the cover, tales of witchcraft and wickedness. Do you get it? Oh yes! The thing I love about short stories is the intensity of them. The author has to get to the point straight away so they usually pack a punch and the story that kicks off this collection is 2-3 minutes long. It really sets the tone for what is coming.

“My favourite story of the lot was Changeling. The reason being it relies on your imagination to work out what the outcome is. I don’t want to go into details and spoil it. Let’s just say it sent shivers down my spine.”

 

It’s been a fabulous tour and I’m really grateful to all the wonderful reviewers who took part. Many thanks.

Day 4 of the blog tour and 4 cracking reviews!

Today’s crop of book blogger write-ups for Game of Crones have had me dancing with delight. They’ve showered the book with compliments.

 

Black Books Blog declared:“All of the stories are brilliantly written with lots of atmosphere and twisty endings which I never saw coming, even though I know from past experience how Jay writes.

Overall, this is  brilliant collection of stories, which you can dip in and out of when you have a spare ten minutes.” 

 

The Divine Write wrote: This is a great collection of short stories, which you know by now I love.  Firstly the title, I love a good pun and this one is clever.

“There are eight tales in total and although they all have a common thread, they are all very different in tone.I enjoyed them all but my favourite was Suggestion of Evil, which I thought was very captivating. In this story Pandora, has all but wiped out crime from every town she visits, simply by the method she uses to execute prisoners.  What is her secret?”

 

While ReviewsFeed said: “After briefly starting this before bed one night, I read 90% of this book in one sitting the following day. That’s how quick and enjoyable it is! 

“Each story is nice and short, easy to read and distinctly different from each other. We meet a variety of characters, but the one thing they all have in common is a woman able to wield supernatural powers over us mere mortals with terrifying consequences.

“As I started each new tale, I couldn’t wait to see how events unfolded! I couldn’t anticipate how each story was going to end. A few of the stories are almost fable-like, with a lesson in the morality of seeking out such power…or meddling with the wrong person!”

 

And Odd Socks and Lollipops revealed: “I am a big fan of dark fantasy, and I loved reading Crimson Siege by Jay Raven so I had high hopes for Game of Crones and I am happy to say I was not disappointed! These tales were every bit as dark as I had hoped. I couldn’t out Game of Crones down and ended up reading all of the stories in a single day.”

 

I can’t tell you guys how thrilled I am. Many, many thanks for taking the trouble to read the collection and share your kind thoughts with your readers.

 

Half way through the blog tour and still plenty of steam

Day 3 of the Game of Crones mini blog tour and I’m delighted to report that the compliments keep coming.

Five glowing reviews. Yeah!

Donnasbookblog commented: “I love the author’s ability to bring his stories to life and he creates some fantastic characters. I love being able to pick up the book between different tasks – and enjoy that he crams in such a lot in a short space and they are so well developed too!

“It is five stars from me for this one. It’s definitely one that I will highly recommending. Can’t wait to see what he releases next!”

Bookshine and Readbows wrote: “I particularly enjoyed the shivers I got from ‘Clutching at Straws’ and ‘Suggestion of Evil’ which cleverly channel the reader’s own imagination against them to highlight and magnify the horror presented.

“Fans of short, dark, frisson-inducing tales of haggard crones and sly sirens will enjoy this varied collection of wicked witchery and twisted folk stories.”

Jessica Belmont added her kind thoughts with: “I love short story compilations like this, particularly in the horror genre. Game of Crones is definitely a 5 star read for me.

“Jay Raven’s ability to world build, character build, pull the reader in and keep them invested such a short stories is a true testament to his writing abilities. I loved the twists and turns, the thrills and the fact that each story was unique.”

While Red’s Midnight Reviews added: “I was a little bit dubious as to whether or not I would enjoy this collection of short tales as I find short stories sometimes don’t have the same effect but Jay Raven proves with Game of Crones that you don’t need a full length novel to pack a punch.

“Each story has a different subject and weaves its own twists and turn and the end of each story is guaranteed to leave the reader speechless. I honestly could not get enough!!

“Jay Raven is a unique storyteller with an amazing talent that draws you into his fun, macabre stories.”

And Just Books ended with: “The stories are all dark and have a twist, but are all completely different. Unusually, for short stories, the author pulled me into each one with his writing style and the brilliant characters.

“A great book for dipping into with a cuppa… or for reading in one sitting, as I did!”

WOW! I can’t thank you guys enough. I’m blushing from ear to ear!

More marvellous plaudits

I’m thrilled to say that Day 2 of the Game of Crones blog tour has produced a crop of great feedback.

Radzy Writes and Reviews commented: “Every short story in this collection has that out of the box twist, and never once reaches a weird, unrealistic place. I found the stories satisfying and uplifting when I didn’t realise.

Fans of great endings will be very happy with this book, as will fans of fantasy, medieval, steampunk, and the like. It ticks all the boxes for me, and I’ll be checking out more of Raven’s work ASAP.”

Jazzy Book Reviews wrote: “I think my favorite story out of them all was the one involving the scarecrow. That one was pretty horrifying, but that might be because I have a thing with scarecrows. They’re ridiculously creepy.

All of the stories were entertaining and amusing, though. I enjoyed that most, if not all, had a revenge aspect to them. Never cross a witch, that’s for sure.

If you’re a fan of short stories, horror, witches, or all of the above, then you’ll want to grab a copy of Game of Crones. I’d recommend it. 4 stars!”

And Mai’s Musings reported: “Game of Crones is filled with vivid imagery, with the author painting such a clear image of the landscape surrounding each story that you could actually feel that you were there. Achieving this at the same time as creating characters that you really cared about in each story in so few words is a true talent, and one that I wished I possessed.

“Game of Crones is a book that I would definitely recommend both to people who wouldn’t normally read short stories, and also to those who normally avoid the creepier books. This book is a great introduction to both, and is a great showcase of the author’s writing skills.”

 

Wow – many sincere thanks to the reviewers who took the time to give their thoughts on the collection. I really appreciate it. More reviews tomorrow…

Blog tour off to a smashing start

Day one of the Game of Crones blog tour is proving a hit with the book bloggers and I couldn’t be more thrilled with their comments.

 

Jessica’s Reading Room wrote: “If you enjoy your ‘fairy tales’ with a macabre twist to them then Game of Crones is for you.

Each story is unique in its own way and has various twists at the end that you might not see coming!

My two personal favorites were Suggestion of Evil and Prince Charming. They were two very different stories and I especially liked the ending of Prince Charming.” story is unique in its own way and has varying twists at the end that you may not see coming!  My two personal favorites were Suggestion of Evil and Prince Charming. They were two very different stories and I especially loved the ending of Prince Charming.

And Bookwormforkids, blogspot.com wrote: “Short, dark and sweet, these tales take on all sorts of witchcraft and sorcery in a way which sometimes leaves chills, food for thought or simply a thrill. 

The tales are nicely written, each one drawing into its very own setting and characters. It was impossible to guess where each one would lead, thanks to the twists and turns.

I recommend this to fans of witchcraft, sinister twists, and spells which stay with you long after you close those pages.”

 

Thanks for such a fabulous verdict.

If you enjoy your ‘fairy tales’ with a macabre twist to them then Game of Crones is for you!

Crimson Siege blog tour – day 4 and cartoon capers.

Hi Everyone.

Normally I wouldn’t mention a “shout-out” – that’s where a book blogger doesn’t have the time to read a book and leave a review, so simply gives it a showcase instead. But yesterday, as part of the Crimson Siege tour,  the Beardy Book Blogger did such a marvellous spotlight – filled with cartoons, vampire jokes, bloodsucker photos and film references – that it had me in stitches. And I really recommend you check it out. You’ll love it.

Simply click on the cartoon banner.

He did say he didn’t like the novel’s cover, which I found a tad surprising as no-one else has expressed anything but delight with it. But it’s interesting to get the feedback, and is something to mull over.

MEANWHILE

On the review front, Sean at Seansbookreviews wrote:  “Having been a huge fan of vampire books I can say that I was getting tired of the same old style and that they just weren’t cutting it for me. This book was anything but the boring old routine of vampires. It’s set in Transylvania, which for a book with vampires is a bit cliche, but it worked.”

He adds: “This won’t be for everyone, especially if you are used to sparkly vampires who charm everyone they meet and are vegetarian. Sorry this isn’t that type of book and shows vampires for what they truly are. Soulless, merciless and completely devoid of the compassion towards anyone other than those they sired.”

To read Sean’s review in full click HERE.

Crimson Siege Blog tour Day 1

Hi everyone.

I promised I’d give you snippets of what the book bloggers who are taking part in the week-long Crimson Siege blog tour said. Thursday got the tour off to a great start with an amazing review from Jenni on the Odd Socks and Lollipops blog site. She wrote:

“I really loved Jay’s take on vampire lore and their psychic links to one another and I can’t wait to explore this in future books.

There were a lot of vivid and well developed characters, and I loved that there where enough twists and turns that you didn’t know who was going to be alive at the end of the book, nor what your favourite character might do next, each character was unique and flawed. I found Anton, Quintz, Kristina and Irina particularly interesting. I loved that Crimson Siege really makes is clear that it is not just vampires who have the capacity to be monstrous but humans as well.”

 

 

I was really pleased to read this as it’s exactly what I was trying to achieve – a story packed with individuals who were capable of great goodness but also amazing cruelty. My idea was to have no good guys and bad guys but just opposing forces, all willing to commit terrible atrocities in their struggle for dominance and survival.

And that’s a theme I intend to expand in the next instalment of the Blood Riders series.

To read the review in its entirety, click HERE to be taken to the Odd Socks and Lollipops website.

 

 

Tale of terror takes to the road

There’s a big seven days coming up for me and I’m inviting you to share in the excitement and the tension. Starting tomorrow (Thursday August 16) Crimson Siege – my Gothic horror novel of blood, vengeance and treachery – is being showcased on a 21-stop tour of top book blogging websites.

Every day for a week, three bloggers will be putting the first Blood Riders supernatural thriller under the microscope and sharing their opinions with their readers. And I’m hoping they’re going to love it.

And you’ll be able to find out what they think because each day I’ll be putting excerpts from the previous day’s reviews on this blog so you can get a flavour of what the bloggers are saying – and how kindly or cruelly! And I’ll include links to their websites so you can read the critiques in full.

The idea of the mass reviewing event is to give my work more visibility – bringing it to the attention of horror fans who might (surprising!) not have heard of me yet. So please feel free to share the reviews on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

The tour is being organised by Rachel’s Random Resources and I’m hugely grateful for all the work that’s gone into organising it – and for this special tour banner below.

Don’t forget, pop over here every day to see the latest verdicts. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it’s a 5-star triumph.