REVIEW OF MIDWINTER BY MARTIN PHILLIPS – “Chad Schimke's tale of an ancient Welsh royal bloodline reads seamlessly and flawlessy, from generation to generation over many hundreds of years. You feel as though you know these ancient people, understand their primitiveness, their relation to, understanding of and worship of nature, of Mother Earth, and their ethereal bond with the blue stone, which, surprisingly, the reader learns is Stonehenge. You feel part of the family, sense how the people actually lived, feel a kinship with the lone pine (I won't wreck it, don't worry) and the savageness of tribal warfare for not simply dominance, but survival. The reader weaves in and out of the consciousness and thoughts of individuals like a waft of smoke or a gentle breeze. It is a story I simply could not stop reading once I'd started. You will, too! (Or Should).”
REVIEW OF PIECES BY MARTYN STRATTEN – “Worlds collide in this colourful and gripping paranormal adventure. Mammon, in all its vulgarity and rampant materialism clash with dark spirits, witchcraft and metaphysics. A handsome playboy gambler, newly married to Monroe-style buxom blonde, transmogrifies throughout this roller-coaster of a tale. The author develops his characters skilfully as the action progresses. A plethora of supporting characters backlight an artist, an actor, a writer and a thief. Darkness pursues the protagonists and mayhem ensues. Scenic locations including Lake Tahoe, Wichita, Manhattan and Death Valley provide a panoramic backdrop to the helta skelta shenanigans. An excellent pace, great characterisation and a sense of the supernatural at play combine to produce this impressive page-turner.”
REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY CRISEL - “The story is kinda weird but interesting. Every character in the story has its own peculiarity that makes u more eager to find out how the story goes. It tackles the lives of people in the carnival, how they trasfer from one place to another. And who wouldn't love carnivals?? The appearance, the lights, the magical, the stars of every show and sometimes, the horrifying mystery. I love Irene and Henry's characters. Its a bit scary and shocking at the end, but its mind-boggling and real good book. And truly, an enjoyable to read!”
REVIEW OF PICKER BY LIZ WILKINS - "This is not a book I would normally pick up, but having seen some bits and pieces about it on Twitter I decided to take the leap and give it a go. I was not disappointed. The author's descriptive talents carried me along with the story. His sense of place is terrific - you can certainly "see" your surroundings while you are reading. There are plenty of twists and turns and I liked how the story was drawn out over past and present. If you like your crime gritty and intriguing then this is for you. I will certainly read some more from this author."
REVIEW OF HALLOWSEVE BY JAMES PHILLIPS - “A good collection of stories to be read around Halloween. Hallowseve was probably the best story in the book. A well thought out scary tale with a great ending. A highly recommended collection of scary tales.”
REVIEW OF PICKER BY DAVID RAMSEY - "I have been to New Mexico when I was younger and one thing I loved about this book was how descriptive it was. I felt like I was there seeing the colors and landscape. Chad Schimke did an awesome job of combining a story of crime with southwestern culture. Fernando is the main man in this nail biting story that takes you to the edge of your seat and back! ! Fernando's deceased father, Juan Carlos built a family career in crime ! From drugs to their brothel the "Casa Blanca". After Fernando's father died he took over as the new family crime boss. We read about his brother, uncle, mother and cousin who all play important roles in keeping the family business going. The story picks up with a longtime rival of Juan's, Chango who is looking to shut Fernando and the family business down. Chango is seeking revenge on the Carlos family and does not care who he takes down with him! The story jumps back and forth from past to present which is great in explaining situations. It was a great read and I will be looking for more this author!"
REVIEW OF PIECES BY LORI SHEMEK - “Chad Schimke's book 'Pieces' is a masterpiece of intrigue, suspense and magical spells...and walks you right into the everyday paranormal - and he shows how silently ubiquitous it can be at every turn. Based in the city I am from, San Francisco, reading this book took me back to this city rich in stories and history. The author knows San Francisco inside and out and so, combined with such well-developed characters, complete with a witch and much more, made for such compelling reading.. that I couldn't put this book down.”
REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY MELISSA BRYAN - "I really liked the book...it has a fresh new store line. I feel in love with the characters, especial the bearded lady...-What a Lady. I don't know how she could fall in love with Pinches, like I said...What a Lady. It was fun going to the "Carnival" and getting to be part of the troupe...going behind the curtains and being able to be part of the family. I could almost smell the cotton candy and popcorn. You showed us that it is true dedication and love that is needed to be a carnie. The only problem I had was it was too short...I wanted to be a carnie longer. I want to see how it turns out...hopefully there will be a Weirder 2...Weirdest. Thanks Chad, I had a ball."
REVIEW OF PICKER BY EMILY ZIMMERMAN - "I read "Picker" in one sitting, after I was drawn into a taut, compelling crime story -- first by a sharply detailed, culturally complex and authentic rendering of place (New Mexico) and then by a skillful interweaving of well-articulated characters, parallel main plot and subplots, and events spanning two generations in time. I especially appreciated how the consequences of crime in this story play out in invisible, complex, and delayed ways, wherein cause-and-effect defies conventional expectations."
REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY KRISTIN CHAPMAN - It's odd, it's weird, and it gets, you guessed it, even "Weirder." I loved this book; just like the title suggests, it is a bit weird to read, but the story is good, and off at times, but a wonderful addition to my slightly off collection. I would highly recommend it for teen boys - in that weird moment kind of read. Love it. Keep it up!
REVIEWS BY AMOS LASSEN
"Four by Chad Schimke
“Picker”, CreateSpace, 2012. A Character Driven Crime Novel
Chad Schimke is a new writer for me and he sent me two books and two novelettes recently. “Picker” is the first that I read and it is a character driven crime novel. Fernando Martinez is a crime boss of a gang that does trafficking. When on an afternoon there was a grab for power which caused consequences for many people. It is from this point that we find ourselves involved in what went on. Schimke has the ability to pull us in and we become, in a sense, characters in the story. We find ourselves in the criminal underworld and sit on the edge of our chairs as things are sorted out. While the story is about crime, I must see that we are not shortchanged on anything here. Schimke is an excellent writer who has a real knack for both character development and description. Set in New Mexico, Schimke brings in the Indian traditions and all of this together makes for a fascinating read. Since the author grew up in rural New Mexico, he has a feel for the area and the characters. We now have a new author to welcome to the group of LGBT writers although Schimke has told me that while he himself is gay, he likes to mix and match genres and therefore his content is not exclusively gay.
“Pieces”, CreateSpace, 2012. Inter-Connected Character Vignettes
“Pieces” is completely different than “Picker”. It is a paranormal mystery composed of inter-connected character vignettes and set in San Francisco and takes place from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. The character who stands at the center is Lyman Blackmore, a casino owner who is lucky enough to be quite wealthy. His world is one of eccentric characters and is filled with suspense, crime and the out-of-the-ordinary. This is a read that keeps you guessing as you navigate its twists and turns. The characters themselves are reflections of the diversity of San Francisco. While I am not much of a mystery reader, I had a lot of fun reading this.
“Weirder”, Amazon Digital Services, 2012. A Carnival Story
Chad Schmike’s other novelette is about a side show and what happens to Henry Hill, a young magician who joins it. The show is run by a bearded lady and as the story progresses, each act is tested. We move toward a conclusion that is shocking. Hill is a complex character and we grow with him. Carnival stories are always fun but when you add darkness to them, they become really fun. This is what Schimke has done here.
“Walker”, Amazon Digital Services, 2012. A Novelette
Still even more different than his other works is “Walker”, a novelette with its roots in science fiction and fantasy. Frank Apostolo is a regular at several New York City hot spots. Jane Mills is a young fashion model whose career is rising quickly. Both of them are in cahoots with a horrible monster that has relieved them of their human ties. The story takes us all over the place as we try to get to know the characters who as paranormals are thrust into the world of science fiction."