CANDY SKULLS by McKenzie Maclaine (review and Q&A)

December 22, 2009 5 flames, McKenzie Maclaine 1

Author: McKenzie Maclaine
Source: Author Submission
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review*

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (September 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420857541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420857542


Nobody knew him. But everyone feared him. From asphyxiation to yellow fever, Death had been the chauffer of souls for much longer than he cared to remember. Whether they were destined to Heaven or Hell, the cynical reaper had been forever responsible for the delivery of the deceased spirits. After spending all of eternity doing the same thing day in and day out with archangel Michael as his partner, Death was growing rather weary of his monotonous job. But when a chance encounter with the gifted child, Anya Smith, stirred up trouble in his routine, Death would soon find himself wishing for that comfortable monotony . . . Condemned by God to live a mortal life in order to see why good people had to die, Death must quickly learn to adjust to his newly borrowed body, once belonging to a homeless man by the name of Noah Quinn. Having no experience with human emotion much less mankind’s general fragility, Death must adopt Noah’s alias and dodge the advances of threats both physical and supernatural, all the while trying to keep Anya safe under his care. Betrayal, insanity, and pain both physical and mental are just the start of Noah’s experiences with the living. Life among people surely holds many lessons, but Noah will soon learn more about the living than he bargained for: namely that it was a hell of a lot easier being dead than alive. Candy Skulls provides a unique look into the mechanics of human emotion. The casual blend of dark humor and suspense creates a compelling story about the successes and flaws of mankinds’ relationship with the world, and an individual’s relationship with himself.


What do you think death is like? Do you imagine the grim reaper? A light tunnel? Push everything you have thought aside and start reading this book. The author gives a unique look at how death looks, acts, and who he is friends with. Are they allowed to talk to people or are they just invisible by all? I loved authors witty humor and portrayal of Death and the characteristics of Jesus. Especially when Jesus talks to the newcomers in the updated language!

This book was a great read. It had the dark, suspense you would expect, with touches of humor to keep it balanced. A great new author find and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf
For Rereading!


1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Absolutely! I’m a tattoo artist in the fairly small town of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I bought my first home last year where I currently live in comfortable chaos with my roommates and dogs. I’ve always enjoyed writing as a distraction from the daily grind; utilizing creativity of any form is the most fascinating way a person can express their true self.

2. How did you come up with the idea for Candy Skulls?

Candy Skulls originally began as nothing more than an amusing anecdote to entertain whoever read it. But it slowly evolved into something a little more than that. I believe there are two things people take way too seriously in life: politics and religion. As an agnostic, I’ve always been able to stand aside and analyze different religions and belief systems without a biased opinion. I wanted to write a story that showed the readers both the serious side, as well as the cynical (and hilarious) side of religion through the eyes of a neutral party: Death. And if I’ve failed to do that, at least I can fall back on the initial plan of conceptualizing an entertaining story!

3. Can you give us any hints on what you are working on next?

I’ve grown rather attached to Death’s character from Candy Skulls, and I’ve been toying with the idea of another book involving the lovable reaper.. Although I can honestly say it hasn’t manifested into anything beyond mental thoughts.

4. Name three things you “must have” when you sit down to write.
1: A clean space. I can’t concentrate if there’s clutter in my writing area! 2: Background noise. I don’t ever pay attention to it, but I need to feel life going on around me in order to write about it. 3: A comfortable chair! When I get going, I can write for hours on end, and if I don’t pay attention I can wind up with some wicked back pain if my chair isn’t supportive enough.

5. Some quick favorites for us:

Color: A lovely shade of gray
Author: Neil Gaiman
Movie: V for Vendetta
TV Show: Family Guy
Perfume: Clinique’s Happy to Be

6. Do you have a website or blog where readers can keep up with your work?

Not yet, but I’m working diligently on that project and should have something up fairly soon!

7. Where can we purchase Candy Skulls?

You can purchase Candy Skulls at,,, or a wide variety of other online book stores. I recommend going through, however, since the soft cover is only $10.99 versus the $14.99 they’re selling it for on Amazon. It’s all about saving money!
Thanks again for this opportunity! I really appreciate it! You’re doing so many authors a huge favor by offering your time to read their books. Keep up the good work!


One Response to “CANDY SKULLS by McKenzie Maclaine (review and Q&A)”

  1. ninefly

    ohh, this sounds like a really interesting book, I love dark humor, and Death in the body of a homeless person makes for an interesting perspective
    interesting interview, I’m already hoping to read the sequel too if it comes out =)

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