Friday, May 5, 2017

REVIEW: Ashley's Tale

Ashley's Tale
By: Mike Duke

Genre: Horror
Publication date: 10.31.2015
Pages: 139

Ashley, a young college girl with a horrific past, is immediately thrust into a living hell when she is kidnapped one night.  In the lair of her captor she will be forced to choose between submission and defiance, between folding beneath his punishment or finding the strength to endure and seize an opportunity to kill the man and escape.  But Ashley will also have to face the horrors of her past in this twisted game he has prepared for her.  Can she prevail against the demons that have made her frail and weak as well as the sadist before her?  And if so, what may she become in the process?

I began this book awhile back and, through no fault of the book, picked it up and put it down and picked it up and put it down, never getting much past the first ten pages.  There are just days that I can't get into reading, or can't get into a specific genre, or can't focus enough to read more than one or two pages... and unfortunately this book suffered because of it, sitting on my Kindle staring at me, pleading for me to come back to it.

Yesterday was an especially lazy day (we all need those every once in a while), and I found myself snuggled on my couch with my cat, Kindle in hand, searching for something to read.  As I slid from page to page, I accidentally hit the cover of this book wrong, and it opened.  Seemed like a "meant to be" kind of moment to me, so I went back to the beginning and dived in once more...

Boy am I glad I did.  

I ended up reading it all without moving off that couch once, enjoying every bit of the crazy story, the twists and turns, the characters, and the outcome.

I was surprised by the characters, to be honest.  One of the characters, I wanted to love, but hated, then loved, then hated, then loved... then felt an indifference I've never felt before for a character that is so well written... and at the same time feeling a compassion, and a draw to, as she grew in her uncomfortable (for lack of a better word) surroundings.  The other I wanted to hate, but ended up liking, on some levels, never loving, becoming a character that had me very intrigued.

The end was something completely unexpected, as were several moments in the story, and I was left with a feeling of needing and wanting to know more.

Very well done, Mr. Duke.  Very well done.

Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Date read: 5.4.2017

About the author:
I'm 44, married 25 years, and have a son and daughter who are both grown and out of the house (pretty much).  I was a cop for 12 years (and even spent a few years on the SWAT team) before getting into the training industry.  I've been working full time the last 10 years teaching military, law enforcement, bodyguards and private citizens High Speed, Tactical and Off Road Driving and Hand to Hand Combatives.  I also did a few bodyguard gigs, one for three weeks in multiple South African countries, one in Jamaica, and three for the Ultra Music Festival owner - twice in Miami and once in Sao Paolo.  Had some incredible experiences, especially in Africa.
            I've self-published three works thus far.  Two short novellas - Ashley's Tale and Ashley's Tale: Making Jake.  One short story - The Awakening.  I recently was picked up by Stitched Smile Publications and they are going to be publishing my full length novel Low in the not too distant future.

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