Thursday, July 9, 2015

Blog Tour Review ~ Sandcastle and Other Stories by Justin Bog

Welcome to my tour stop for Sandcastle and Other Stories by Justin Bog! This is The Complete Edition of Justin Bog's first collection of Dark Psychological Suspense Tales. The tour runs from July 2-23rd and includes reviews, interviews and spotlights. Visit the tour page for the complete schedule!

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Justin Blog
Available Formats: ebook, Paperback
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: 05-29-15              Pages: 274
Purchase ~ Amazon                            Add ~ Goodreads
The Complete Edition of Justin Bog's First Collection of Dark Psychological Suspense Tales. 

An award-winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories reveals twisted secrets that are mined like plutonium. These twelve literary tales are nothing short of an adventure through a roiling sea of emotion. With authenticity and eloquence, author Justin Bog holds a provocative and compelling mirror on the human condition. 

"The stories are those of everyday people who might live next door or in the walk-up across the street . . . A man with a personal crisis takes a singles cruise –-- a woman leaves her toddler girl at the beach while having a romantic tryst –-- a B-list actor’s character is killed off –-- a girl is sucked below the sand into an underwater chamber . . . an old gardener who has dark secrets interacts with the bosses daughter in a most unforeseen way. The only commonality in these tight, little stories is they are unexpected. Having this book is like having a string of black pearls –-- each one slightly different, but each a perfect, dark, little gem . . . Bog paints pictures with words as Titian did with oil paints – startlingly detailed with deep perspective and rich complexity." ---Rosi Hollenbeck, San Francisco Book Review

My So-Called Review:

I don’t typically read a lot of short stories; I’ve always carried this misconception that unless you had at least 300 pages in a book then there was no true way to connect to a story or its characters no matter how talented an author is. Last year I re-read some of my favorite Stephen King books and at some point stumbled across a little book of his called Full Dark, No Stars, I decided to give it a try and was totally blown away and realized how wrong I’d been all these years in my refusal to read short stories. Since then I’ve read almost all of his collections but I still hadn’t ventured on to any others because let’s face it, King is the king of storytelling and I typically think anything he writes is gold :) When I was recently offered an opportunity to be part of the review tour for Sandcastle and Other Stories I took a look at the blurb that cited this as a “collection of dark psychological suspense tales” and knew this could be something I really liked so I jumped on board.

Justin Bog has written an incredible collection of short stories! These are stories that really force you to think, some will even cause you to re-read the ending just to make sure that what you think just happened, really did just happen. Each of these stories are not what they initially seem, they start out ordinary enough and center around everyday people, yet somehow along the way Bog twist and turns the characters or story into something far darker and more sinister. It’s brilliant when an author pulls this off flawlessly and here Bog hasn’t just done it once, but over and over again. I personally find this style more satisfying and far more frightening than anything in the horror genre! There’s a sense of everydayness that makes you feel like these situations could actually happen and Bog impressively writes each character in such a way that’s raw and completely organic. Whether he’s writing as a mother, an aging man, or a small child; the voice he gives to each is believable and true to human nature.

There wasn’t one story in this collection that I didn’t like but of course some of the stories I loved or connected more with than others. I few of the standouts for me were Mother of Twins, Sandcastle and On the Back Staircase. I honestly can’t say which one is my favorite but I know I definitely want to read more from this highly talented author! I would absolutely recommended Sandcastle and Other Stories to fans of short stories and psychological suspense and I look forward to seeing what Justin Bog has up his sleeve for us next!

About the author:

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style. He enjoys cooking, lawn mowing not so much, and spends time walking and handing out treats to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition  on Amazon:

*The author will be selling two new stories separately in one bundle under the title: Speak the Word! as an eBook only for $1.99

Justin’s creative writing blog is here
On Twitter @JustinBog
On Goodreads here

This event was brought to you by Sage's Blog Tours


  1. I've never been a fan of short series either, but I might give those a go! Also, I've nominated you for the Liebster Award, see this page for more information :) xx

    1. I hope you do give these a try, they're great!! And thank you for the nomination :)

  2. Love the site, MS-CBR! I'm reading through and marking down other books to read. And, I love that you decided to give my short story collection a chance. I hear from a lot of people, known to me or not, that they just don't enjoy reading short stories. Most prefer novels. In the past few years short fiction is undergoing a kind of rejuvenation, and stepping outside comfort zones. I'm taking baby steps in my writing career, beginning with short stories, and following this book of dark tales with a collection of four dark novellas, some more horror genre oriented. Your King reference is on target. He was an influence, along with Shirley Jackson, and they influence a ton of writers who write about darker situations. Then I'll head into novel territory and hope for the best. Take care, a new blog fan, Justin