The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Kat and More

May 7, 2018 at 2:24 am (dark fantasy, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

I recently completed 6th Turn: Kat, my latest read in Ren Garcia’s League of Elder series. I’m a big fan of his writing, and I enjoyed this book because it was a particularly dark story line but followed the action with a consistent thread of hope (I felt the same way Mentralysis, my previous read.)

This was another world-building win from Ren, and was definitely a favourite so far. The story ventures into the realm of the Black Hats – we get to see their creation process with all of its cruelty and suffering, and then follow four shadowtech females sent out on their first mission where success will mean new status. One stands out amongst the others, and when things take a turn for the worse, she manages to overcome adversity with the help of her “angels”. Her quest takes its own turn and she abandons her original mission for a completely new goal.

I loved following her transformation, the budding romance that matures into something stronger and how she deals with all of the obstacles she must face while trying to achieve her higher purpose as the Covus. She’s no fragile flower, fighting, even killing when necessary to protect the ones she cares about.

I liked some of the scenes so much I went back and reread them after I finished the book. I especially enjoyed their startling trip to Vain (with its air of a post-apocalyptic dystopia) and their encounters at Xandarr that ventured into the surreal.

This one was a big thumbs up for me. More like this one please.

I was happy to hear that Ren has now released an Omnibus collection. This is a great way of getting three of his books in one: The Dead Held Hands, The Machine, and The Temple of the Exploding Head, books that follow the adventures of Lord Kabyl, the lovely Sam and their companions.

His space operas, with their mixture of sci-fi, steampunk and strange, dark magic, maintain the high adventure flavour of old cliffhangers.  When you read them, you can count on masterful world-building, diverse characters and moving story lines. I enjoyed these books immensely individually, so its a great opportunity to be able to get them as a set.


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Book Review: Calen Dark The Infernal Almanac

May 6, 2018 at 5:54 pm (writing)

CalenDark: The Infernal Almanac
Harvested by Stephanie Ellis and David Shakes

by Chantal Boudreau

Some anthologies are a mixed-bag with a few stand out stories, some are mindless entertainment without much depth, but I consider this creepy anthology an enjoyable learning experience where I can honestly say I at least liked every one of the stories within (and in some cases loved them).  The lessons learned?  It taught me a little about several obscure, dark holidays with strange rituals or ceremonies that I hadn’t heard of before reading this.  It also changed my opinion about expected quality from “for-the-love” anthologies.

Like them or lump them, calls for submissions where authors aren’t being paid won’t typically attract professional authors with a solid track record, and often the editing leaves a lot to be desired.  This is where CalenDark very much took me by surprise.  The stories and editing were high quality…

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Train to Busan (2016) – Just get on board and hang on tight!

May 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm (writing)

A zombie movie worth enduring subtitles. I have a strong love for Korean horror – this one, The Wailing and The Host have made me a real fan. Here’s Steve Vernon’s take (we don’t often agree on movies but we agree on this one.)


Train to Busan
Okay, so it was a long old week and I decided to take my wife out for supper.
We started out by walking over to Fries & Company on Chebucto, right across from The European Pantry where I bought myself and my wife a wonderful supper of fish and chips. She had a Coors and I had a Rickard’s Red and she ordered a bowl of curry dipping sauce, which is GREAT on french fries.
Then we went across the street to the European Pantry where she picked up fancy cookies and I grabbed a couple of steak and mushroom pies for my breakfast this morning.
Then, after a leisurely walk home, we sat down to watch a movie. A freaking no-holds barred zombie movie – from Korea. It’s called TRAIN TO BUSAN and it is available on Netflix and it blew our minds.
I know…

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Science Fiction and Fantasy Day

April 20, 2018 at 10:19 am (writing)

East Hants Writers

Join the Box of Delights Bookshop in an exploration that spans from a land far, far away, to a galaxy out of this world! We will be hosting local science fiction and fantasy authors for a reading, Q&A and signing.

Represent your sci fi/fantasy fandom and come meet some authors whose imaginations create the worlds you love!


  • Peter Foote
  • Steve Vernon
  • Michelle Bryan
  • Chantal Boudreau
  • A. F. Stewart

Date: Saturday April 21, 2018

Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: The Box of Delights Bookshop, 466 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

To learn more, visit the Facebook Event page.

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Book Review: Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon

March 31, 2018 at 7:38 pm (writing)

Review – Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon

By Chantal Boudreau

I jumped on the opportunity to review this horror short story collection because I love themed collections and anthologies.  The title and cover image also wowed me.  Perhaps as a result, I may have started in on this with unfair expectations.

While the first story had an interesting premise, I found it a little hard to follow.  Not that the descriptions were faulty, but not everything made sense and I had some difficulty figuring out why certain things were happening.  I was still scratching my head at the end.

I enjoyed the second story more.  The author has a plucky, abrupt tone that works with this tale because of the nature of the main character.  I didn’t exactly feel sorry for the self-centered and selfish woman, but I stll wouldn’t have wished her nasty fate upon her.  The stories varied from…

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Book Review: Red by D.J. Doyle

March 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm (writing)

Book Review: Red by D.J. Doyle

Review by Chantal Boudreau

I have to start this review by clarifying that I’m a horror fan, but I’m not normally inclined to extreme horror. I have read and written it in the past, but it’s not my preferred sub-genre, tending more towards less graphic, psychological horror. That being said, if you’re a reader who loves stories with intense shock value, you’ll probably love this novella. It has character depth, a multi-layer plotline and does not rely strictly on standard tropes (I appreciate the fact that the narrator’s latest target, Amanda, is not a doormat damsel in distress.) It also offers up plenty of graphic sex and violence.

You also might enjoy the intro to the story. For a hook, it gives the reader a taste of the kind of extreme horror you can expect through the rest of the novella, and a glimpse…

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March News – Chillers and More

March 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

February was a busy month, and I’ve been tackling some short story and editing deadlines.  Normally I try to offer up something for Women in Horror month, but it got away from me.  I’m hoping to make up for that a little in March – not that things look like they’ll be any less busy.

I’m happy to announce the upcoming release of my horror tale “Territory” in the Engen anthology Chillers from the Rock. The contributing authors hail from Atlantic Canada and the cover showcases some eerie artwork.  It is currently available for pre-order (links posted below) and actually made it to bestselling status in a few categories before release!

I’ll be back at prepping a couple of items for submission (and then I have to work on my taxes) and I have a couple of reviews to write up, but I hope to get at least one more post in before month’s end.

Here are those links:







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Staying Motivated

January 9, 2018 at 1:31 am (writing) (, , , , , , )

My January submission blitz is going exceptionally well and I’m meeting my monthly editing goals. Only a week into the month, I had already completed 17 submissions (now 18) out of 31 and completed 8 chapters of editing. The only thing I haven’t met yet are my writing goals for the month.  I can thank a genre writers group for getting this far already and they may have also offered up a writing challenge to serve as a motivator for my writing.

I’m going to try completing the Ray Bradbury 52 stories in 52 weeks challenge.  I’m a week behind because I just found out about it, but I fully intend to make that up at some point in the 52 weeks.  In any week that time might be an issue, I’ll shoot for some micro-fiction.  Since I’ve had successful sales with them in the past, they seem like a worthy endeavour.  If anyone wants to suggest themes, I will add writing the micro-fiction to those themes as part of the challenge.

I should have an anthology announcement for you soon as the editor e-mailed they will be sending along edits for review shortly.  I’m pretty excited about this one and look forward to the anthology’s release.  I’ll let you know more as soon as I can.

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Endorsement for ‘The Malaise’ from author Chantal Boudreau

January 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm (writing)

David Turton - Author

My post-apocalyptic novel The Malaise has received its first endorsement from a fellow horror author.

Chantal Boudreau, a Canadian author based in Nova Scotia, received a copy of the final manuscript and said:

The Malaise is a cautionary tale with all of the shocking and chilling moments you expect from a proper horror story.  Fiction with a futuristic bent, it provides a “what if” that is both fascinating and disturbing.  It will have you gripping your chair as you read and provides an ending that leaves you wanting more.”

headshotcb.jpg Chantal Boudreau

It’s a huge endorsement for a writer of Chantal’s stature to comment on this novel, particularly one who has been successful in a similar science fiction/dystopia genre.

Chantal and I shared a contents page in the Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology – her story Wrigglers is suitably disturbing and leaves you with a bit of…

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Getting a Good Start

January 2, 2018 at 3:00 am (Fervor, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

I gave my writing a bit of a rest last year – limited editing efforts, only a few short stories completed and a half-hearted commitment to submitting at least 100 times during the year.  I had some success, but my work life intruded upon my home life and I used that as an excuse to let things slide a little.

Thankfully, a Facebook writers group I belong to  has introduced a monthly writing goal thread that will help us all keep on track and I find it motivating.  I’m off to a good start, with some heavy duty editing and three short story submissions today to begin my January submission blitz.  Tomorrow I’ll get some more writing and editing in as well as more submissions.  I’ve also  come across a publisher looking to reprint or republish novels that offers some real potential for my now out-of-print series.  I’d love to see Fervor and Masters & Renegades in print again, and maybe I’ll get to publish the unpublished books in both series.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate my newest release.  “Fish Story” makes an appearance in Issue #6 of the Gathering Storm Magazine available online here, or in print here.  Once again, they have fabulous cover art, formatting and interior illustrations.  The are a top-notch publication specializing in dark, quirky fiction and poetry.  I’m working on another short for their next call for submissions.

I’ll try to follow-up on my progress over the next few weeks.  Wish me luck.

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