Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Review: The Haunting of Elmwood Manor

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor The Haunting of Elmwood Manor by Pamela McCord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE HAUNTING OF ELMWOOD MANOR is a truly delightful YA paranormal with elements of horror and mystery. It's also a well-thought out coming-of-age drama, even though the characters are 15 and 16 (usually it seems coming-of-age stories have younger characters, but in this novel the theme works so well as the three best friends are maturing toward adulthood and viewing each other and their peers in a different light). There is a strong emphasis on "doing the right thing" and on solidifying one's place in the world as well. Although the events in the early 20th century that resulted in the hauntings were horrendous, the author doesn't detail these but skirts around them so that the tragic emotional impact is intuited but the details of the horrifying crimes are not revealed.

I was so absorbed in the story that it was a one-sitting reading for me and I hope to read more from this author.

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: BOOMTOWN by James A. Moore

Release April 1 2019

I can't recall another author who can write of walking dead men, blasphemous sorceries, Native American legends come to life, immortal hunters, and neverending horror--and still elicit chuckles in the reader with subtly unannounced humor. Then, too, is Mr. Moore's complete obviation of the need for suspension of disbelief. As in others of his books, the reader is immediately absorbed and immediately believing.

BOOMTOWN is a "Weird Western". There's a lot of violence and grabby greediness and political incorrectness which we might expect from the culture of the day (the era of the American Civil War) but there's so much more. Skinwalkers and animated dead men; monsters which might even make Lovecraft quail; and an immortal Hunter, Jonathan Crowley, who is neutral in character, neither good nor bad nor in-between. In this era he is in effect a 19th century scientist like Darwin or Alfred North Whitehead, traveling the globe seeking out flora and fauna to study.

I can't imagine any reader not adoring BOOMTOWN, but I especially recommend it to aficionados of horror, grimdark fantasy, and Weird fiction.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


I review every day or almost so. But I never seem to finish. Like Sisyphus, my task is never complete.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Review: The Girls on the Hill

The Girls on the Hill The Girls on the Hill by Alison Claire Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An extraordinary psychological thriller that literally kept me guessing throughout, tossing twists and turns and convolutions, unreliable narrators (multiple), and denouements and conclusions totally unexpected, yet fittingly interwoven with the plot and characterizations, THE GIRLS ON THE HILL was a one-sitting read for me as I literally could not ignore it. I had to read it through to the end and loved every precious moment of it. On the surface, the novel focuses on five girls attending Martha Jefferson College in Staunton, Virginia (the college on the hill) between Fall 2000 and graduation 2003, but really it is a novel of character, of past, present, future, of good and evil and what happens when good people don't intervene to stop evil, of the depths of depravity to which some humans can sink and not falter. Each and every character is finely delineated (although they are unreliable narrators in that they don't tell all they know, and indeed they "don't know all" themselves in order to tell).

I cannot highly enough recommend this novel. If you love the novels of Robyn Harding, you certainly will love THE GIRLS ON THE HILL.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Review: Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll

Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll Curse of the Dead-Eyed Doll by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A delightfully entertaining reading experience, THE CURSE OF THE DEAD-EYED DOLL is aimed at middle-grade readers, but I found it quite enjoyable too. Based on an actual doll and actual events, the story focuses on an eighth grade class' trip to a Key West museum, and the odd doll kept there. Superstition floats around Robert the Doll, but 13-year-old Al refuses to believe--until a series of mishaps ranging from aggravating to scary make his life a misery.

I found empathising with the characters very easy, and the plot was tricky and intriguing. The contrast of belief in the superstitions and the skepticism of others was well-delineated and realistically balanced.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review: The Treasure of Westminster Abbey: A ghost story

The Treasure of Westminster Abbey: A ghost story The Treasure of Westminster Abbey: A ghost story by John Rae
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although this is not a "cozy mystery" in the contemporary accepted sense, this novel is a comfortable, heartwarming, coming-of-age mystery. I was so reminded of both John Bellairs and of Nancy Drew. There's just that easy 50's flavour.

The characterizations are super and the history inclusions are fascinating. A worthwhile read all around.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review: Dead of Spring

Dead of Spring Dead of Spring by Sherry Knowlton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An electrifying reader's hook propels Attorney Alexa Williams into the center of action when she witnesses a Pennsylvania state senator fall to his death in the Capitol Rotunda, immediately after she and a Senate staffer overhear a multi-voice argument from upstairs. Alexa knows watching this death inadvertently was even worse than previously discovering a corpse. What's even worse is learning she was a witness to homicide.

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Review: Dead of Winter: An Alexa Williams Novel

Dead of Winter: An Alexa Williams Novel Dead of Winter: An Alexa Williams Novel by Sherry Knowlton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Attorney Alexa Williams is unfortunately no stranger to finding corpses, but with her love interest Reese returned from a Big Cat conservation project in Africa, she just wants quality time with him and her new friend, social worker Tyrell. Testing out a new drone yields camera footage of what is unmistakably a deceased human. It's not long before suspicion and then panic create hysteria over potential Islamic terrorism. Alexa, of course, finds herself smack in the center of trouble.

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Review: In the Blink of an Eye

In the Blink of an Eye In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A lyrically beautiful psychological examination of family, forgiveness, coming of age, trust, and hope, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE is set in rural New South Wales, Australia. A family that nearly broke up due to infidelity instead moves across country in an attempt to heal its fractures. But disaster waits for no one, and the family is soon poised to blow apart again. Beautifully imaged and imaginatively drawn, this novel is a comprehensive family portrait.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Review: Deep Zero

Deep Zero Deep Zero by V.S. Kemanis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found DEEP ZERO and exceptionally engrossing novel, one I couldn't stop reading, and I am eager to read the earlier novels in the Dana Hargrove series. The characters readily elicited my empathy, and the author diligently illustrates the different sides of the various situations, both criminal and not. The law is also carefully delineated, showing what a fine line both prosecution and defense must walk, and how the goal of Justice is sometimes elusive. Important contemporary issues are addressed: cyberbulling, honor killing, psychological issues. I highly recommend this novel.

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Thursday, March 14, 2019



Jacket Copy
What would you do if your whole life was a lie and learning the truth could cost you your life? 

New York Times bestselling author of the Shadow Falls series comes C. C. Hunter’s new YA thriller about a girl who learns that she may have been kidnapped as a child, and must race to uncover the truth about her past before she winds up a victim.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they're kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

Author Bio
C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She is lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel.

Christie's books include The Mortician's Daughter seriesShadow Fall Novels and This Heart of Mine.

"Hunter deftly delivers a complicated back-and-forth point of view between Chloe and Cash, building suspense along with a steamy sense of attraction between the two teens." -- Kirkus

Social Links:

Buy Link:

My Review:


IN ANOTHER LIFE is a heartwarming and emotionally powerful story about seventeen-year-old Chloe, who moves with her cancer-stricken mother from El Paso to Joyful, Texas, because of her parents' divorce. They move into her late grandmothers' home, and Chloe starts in a new school. Anxious over her mother and furious about her father's infidelities, Chloe encounters Cash Colton, also 17, foster child of wealthy physicians, who suspects Chloe is a con artist like his sociopathic late father. Chloe resembles the daughter of his foster parents, kidnapped at age three almost 15 years ago. Both Chloe and Cash suffer serious trust issues, but they must learn to trust each other if they are to discover the truth.

In Another Life Blogger Q&As

Q&A 1
  • What advice to you have for aspiring authors?

Two things.

  1. Writing is a tough business and only the determined make it, so be determined. Don’t give up. It took me ten years to sell my first book and another thirteen to sell my second, but I am now working on book 44 if you count my non-fiction books and novellas. It would’ve been easy to quit after the first year, or the second, but I’m so glad I didn’t.
2. Write as often as you can. Writing is like exercise, skip several days and it’s harder to get back into it.

  • Where do you get ideas for your books?

I used to say at Wal-Mart on the clearance rack. But honestly, they come from everywhere and sometimes I feel like they come from nowhere. A newspaper article sparks an idea or a conversation I eavesdropped on gets me plotting. A personal experience makes me ask, what if? An old memory is triggered and it leads me to a plot. Or an idea just falls from the sky and lands smack dab into the story-idea crevice in my brain.

  • What kind of people would be interested in reading your books?

Well, I have all kinds of people reading me. More females than males, but just this weekend at a book festival, I had numerous young men buying my books. I have gotten emails from readers as young at ten, and I would say that about half my readers are past their teen years. I think anyone who enjoys an emotional story with suspense is a targeted reader for my books.

Q&A 2
  • Cash seemed to have a very rough life, would you say that is important for the book?

Yes. I love creating characters that have lessons to learn and emotional hurdles to overcome. To me, this journey is what makes a story. It offers layers of emotion as we see a character struggle with their past and decide to break free of old beliefs and change their future. I also purposely created Cash’s past to both reflect and contrast Chloe’s past. It’s important that two people who are falling in love be able to empathize with each other.

  • When do you think Chloe realized that she was Emily?

I think there’s a fine line between knowing and accepting. Deep down Chloe knew it was true when she was at the library and saw and heard Mrs. Fuller on the video. The voice resonated with her and stirred feelings of deja vu. She went back to denying it, but in her heart she knew the truth. And isn’t that the way we are in real life? When something painful presents itself, it’s easy to bury our heads in the sand.

  • Did you plan on the adoption agency being the kidnappers all along? What gave you that idea?

The story of being adopted is one that I was intrigued with when I was really young. I am, and have always been, different from my family. Not so much in appearance, but in interests and outlooks. My two brothers and parents are people who like to work with their hands, who seldom slow down. They play sports, do crafts, and build houses. Me, I’m a thinker. Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a reader growing up, but I was writing books in my head by the time I was eleven. These stories, starring certain characters, would last months. Several of my stories included discovering that I was adopted, or that I had been mixed up with another infant at birth. And to this day, that theme still intrigues me.

As for deciding that the adoption agency would be the guilty party, I knew I didn’t want it to be either set of parents. And if Chloe’s parents thought it was legal then the deceit had to be on the part of the agency. When I was writing the book, I recalled the story about Britain’s Adoption Scandal where babies were taken from their mothers by the Catholic church. I don’t believe that sparked the idea, but it might have left footprints for the idea to follow.

Q&A 3
  • What inspired you to write In Another Life?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. A newspaper article, a personal experience, a word or two of dialogue you overhear from a stranger. The story of being adopted is one that I was intrigued with when I was really young. I am, and have always been, different from my family. Not so much in appearance, but in interests and preferences. My two brothers and parents are people who like to work with their hands, who seldom slow down. They play sports, do crafts, and build houses. Me, I would find a quiet spot and ponder. I always have been a lover of a good story. Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a reader growing up, but I was writing books in my head by the time I was eleven. These stories, starring certain characters, would last months. Several of my stories included discovering that I was adopted. And every book I write has a little of the theme, Who am I? or Who am I now? I love identity crisis books.

  • What lessons did you learn from writing This Heart of Mine, and how did you apply them to In Another Life?

That’s a great question. I believe I learn and grow as a writer with every book I write. This Heart of Mine was inspired by husband’s kidney transplant, so I really tapped into an emotional vein to write it. I wanted that same emotional feel in my novel In Another Life. So I worked at creating that heart-tugging essence. What’s crazy is that I sort of tapped into another vein and didn’t even realize it at first. My husband walked into my study when I was writing the scene where Chloe finally unloaded on her dad and expressed how she really felt about his infidelity and leaving her mom. I was crying as I was writing, and when I explained the scene to my husband, he said, “So you were actually telling your real dad how you felt.” I was shocked, and how right he was, because a very similar event happened in my family, but I hadn’t really put the two things together. So I think perhaps learning to tap into my own emotional veins might be the lesson I learned from writing This Heart of Mine.

  • What projects are you working on now?

Right now, I’m finishing the third book in my YA series, The Mortician’s Daughter: Three Heartbeats Away. It’s sort of Ghost Whisperer meets Veronica Marrs. Also, I just turned in a proposal for a speculative fiction YA. It’s about young girl who is a sole survivor and how she learns Fate sometimes get things wrong, and she might have the ability to change Fate and save hundreds of lives, including those of her own family.

Q&A 4
  • How did your love of writing/storytelling begin?

Being from the Deep South, storytelling was infused in my blood. As far back as I can remember, my grandfather would get all of us grandchildren around in a circle and he’d tell his childhood stories.
Storytelling was part of my immediate family as well. Our dinner table conversations were supposed to be interesting. If our day was boring, we had to find some deeper meaning to the mundane events or elaborate to make the conversation more interesting. Sometimes someone would ask, “Did that really happen?” And the person talking would say, “Almost.” I now call it “creative faction.”
Because I was dyslexic, I never allowed myself to dream of being a writer. However, from the time I was about eleven, I would run off by myself into the woods, find a tree to lean on, and I would create stories in my head. Stories of young love and adventure. It wasn’t until I was twenty-three, when my husband asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, that I admitted I wrote stories in my head and I wondered if I could learn to put them on paper. I started writing that same week. It took me ten years to sell my first book. Then another thirteen to sell book two, but the day I sold book two, I actually sold four books. And In Another Life is my forty-third book if you count my novellas and my non-fiction books.

  • You have a lot of awesome books under your belt! Tell me a little bit about how you keep yourself organized when writing!

I’m not really organized, but the fact that I have you fooled means a lot. LOL. Honestly, this career involves a lot of juggling. You have to write your novels, market, plan events and signings and do blogs and interviews. I often feel like I drop a lot of balls. That said, years ago, I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. To this day, I try to remember to prioritize my to-do list and figure out what matters the most. And as a writer, it’s always to write the next book. Because I write three or more books a year, I have hired an assistant to help me keep up with the business side of it.

  • What is your favorite thing about being an author? And the hardest thing?

I wear my pajamas to work every day. LOL. Seriously, I do love that, but it’s not my favorite thing. My favorite thing is sharing my stories and learning that they touched, helped, or got someone through a difficult time in their own life. I’ll admit I started writing to entertain and that’s still my main objective, but when I get those emails that tell me my book touched them in a personal way, I get all warm and glowy inside.

And the hardest? I think it’s balancing and juggling. I remember there was a day when all a writer did was write. Now, with social media, blogs, and all the on-line opportunities and book festivals, it’s hard to keep up. But whenever I start to get stressed, I tell myself that I’m lucky I have these problems. This career beats any other career out there. This is what I’m supposed to do.

Q&A 5
  • What's the story behind In Another Life? Where did you take inspiration from to write Chloe's story?

The story of being adopted is one that I was intrigued with when I was young. I am, and have always been, different from my family. Not so much in appearance, but in interests and outlook. My two brothers and parents are people who like to work with their hands, who seldom slow down. They play sports, do crafts, and build houses. Me, I’m a thinker. Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a reader growing up, but I was writing books in my head by the time I was eleven. Because of those differences in myself and my family, several of my stories included discovering that I was adopted. Every book I write has a little of the theme, Who am I? or Who am I now? I love identity crisis books. Also, my parents went through a bitter divorce when I was sixteen. That pain Chloe felt was part of my teenage years.

  • How do you think the relationship between Cash and Chloe affect her search for the truth about her origins?

I like this question. I think the relationship affects the search in many ways. 1. There are times that falling in love became so consuming that I think the search became less consuming. I wanted to show how great falling in love feels and how the wonderment of it can help soothe the bad things that come our way. 2. While their relationship brought them close. I wanted to showcase their different past experiences and how it affected how they each thought the search should proceed. Cash felt more loyalty to the Fullers, and naturally, Chloe felt more toward the mom and dad who raised her. 3. I also wanted show that while the bond Chloe and Cash formed was solid, it was tested because of their different backgrounds. Cash was willing to steal the information from the adoption agency, Chloe wanted no part of it.

  • I ask each author I interview to do this (so I hope you don't find it weird) but can you summarize In Another Life using 3-5 emojis?
  • I would say the emojis would be, chew on your lip suspenseful, love, and either happiness or family.

Q&A 6
  • I loved this story like all others but your usual snark and laugh out loud moments where sparse. What was your frame of mind when you wrote it? Was it a conscious choice right from the start or something forced on you by the story and the characters?

It was characters and the story. I didn’t set out to cut back on the snark. I love snark. However, I did feel the absence of it when I was writing the book. I even tried to add it to a few scenes, but if felt forced and off. So instead, I let the characters take over.

  • What made you choose this topic? Was it something you’ve read in the newspaper? Something else?

The bitter divorce theme In Another LIfe is one I lived. My parents got a divorce when I was sixteen. The story of being adopted is one that I was intrigued with when I was really young. I am and have always been different from my family. My two brothers and parents are people who like to work with their hands, who seldom slow down. They play sports, do crafts, and build houses. Me, I’m a thinker. I can sit and muse for hours. Being dyslexic, I wasn’t a reader growing up, but I was writing books in my head by the time I was eleven. Several of my stories included discovering that I was adopted. Also, if you think about it, almost every book I write has a little of the Who am I? or Who am I now? theme. I love an identity crisis in books.

  • Chloe is the new girl in a new school. How often have you been the new girl? And how did you adapt?

We only moved once. But to be honest, I felt it at the start of every school year. You see, being dyslexic sort of made me a wall flower. I was a loner. So every year when I started, I felt like everyone had a tribe but me. I think I adapted by creating more stories. There was hardly a day that I didn’t go inside my head, where I lived an exciting life. I had a hot guy who loved me. Sometimes even two. LOL. I had best friends who would go to the end of the world for me and keep my secrets safe. It’s funny how creating stories got me through the teen years and how writing has brought me out of my shell. I’m no longer a wall flower or a loner. I love meeting new people. I guess you could say writing helped me survive and it helped me become the person I was meant to be.

Chapter 1 Excerpt:


“What are you doing? I ask when Dad pulls over at a con­ venience store only a mile from where Mom and I are now living. My voice sounds rusty after not talking during the five­hour ride. But I was afraid that if I said anything, it would all spill out: My anger. My hurt. My disappointment in the man who used to be my superhero.
“I need gas and a bathroom,” he says.
Bathroom? So you cant even come in to see Mom when you drop me off? My heart crinkles up like a used piece of aluminum foil.
He meets my eyes, ignores my questions, and says, You want anything?
“Yeah. My freaking life back!” I jump out of the car and slam the door so hard, the sound of the metal hitting metal cracks in the hot Texas air. I haul ass across the parking lot, watching my white sandals eat up the pavement, hiding the sheen of tears in my eyes.
“Chloe, Dad calls out. I move faster.

Review: Reaper: A Horror Novella

Reaper: A Horror Novella Reaper: A Horror Novella by Jonathan Pongratz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

REAPER is a really twisted horror novella, twisted in a good way, convoluted with some highly unexpected twists and revelations. Gregory is a good brother, and now at 13, his parents (foolishly) decide he can babysit his sister Imogen, 7--on Halloween! Foolish not because Gregory isn't capable (he's a lot more patient with his little sister than would be a lot of adolescents), but because circumstances he can't control will intervene. I mustn't say more because I never want to reveal this twisty path. A fairly quick read, I don't recommend it for late at night if you're living alone. (Smile)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Review: After the Green Withered

After the Green Withered After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've read Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic speculative fiction (and nonfiction) since childhood, so I am well aware that there are a multitude of potential causes of Apocalypse, each with their own consequences and terrors. I don't wish to start a competition of "my Apocalypse is worse than your Apocalypse!" but I do think that the type illustrated here is both possible, and horrendous. Rather than a flash-bang split second death, here are months and years of fighting for the one life essential (for humans, animals, and plants): Water. Yes I know water is important also for cleanliness, but imagine what life would be like if so little was available for life that nations and even communities started wars to gain or to preserve supplies. Thinking of it boggles the mind...and it could happen.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I was born an aficionado of Historical Fiction. Certainly I don't remember a time before.
Just before A GENTLEMAN FROM MOSCOW was announced as our first read for this quarter, I had discovered, and determined to read THE WITCHES OF ST. PETERSBURG, a novel whose setting is almost immediately prior to the time period of A GENTLEMAN FROM MOSCOW. Unfortunately for me, at the moment I only have access to the audio versions of either, so I hope to "re-read" both soon in text.

I had not yet read author Amor Towles' debut novel, RULES OF CIVILITY, so of course that is now on my "I need to read this" list. I entered the Goodreads Giveaway for the upcoming paperback version.

What struck me most is the author's depth of research. Not only did he take up an era nearly a century removed; but with the upheavals of that nation--from royal rule to Bolshevik to World War II to Stalin's Fascism to Communist oligarchy and Soviet dissolution to capitalism [I'm out of breath], factual records must be few and far between.

The other memorable aspect is the Count's humility and integrity of character. Here is an individual who was raised as nobility, lived under the Tsar's rule, was wealthy, an estate owner--and then he loses everything but his life. Talk about the Crucible of Affliction. But he never gives up: he survives, then perseveres, and finally, in a different, even mutated, fashion, he thrives. Incredibly remarkable.

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Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon April 6 2019


Spring Into Horror April 2019

Spring Into Horror

APRIL 1-30.

Dewey's 24

Here's my initial TBR for Spring Into Horror:

Here's my planned aka Tentative TBR--(everything I listed before April except books offered this month at NetGalley):

The Oath. Michael Lewis. NG
Fungi Anthology. Silvia Moreno Garcia. Scribd.
Till Sudden Death Do Us Part. Simon R. Green NG
The Resurrectionists, Michael Patrick Hicks. NG
Before I Wake, David Morrell. NG
DARK STUFF, Paul Seiple
TEN MILE CREEK, Cain Macbeth
THEY TOOK BILLY, Miguel Lopez deLeon. --Scribd
Elevation. Stephen King.

The Loon. Michaelbrent Collings.
Superstitious. Stine.
In Darkness Delight. Review ARC.
Blood Men. Cleave.
Tomb. Wilson.
Book of the Dead. John Tigges.
Angel Souls and Devil Hearts. Golden.
Under A Watchful Eye. Nevill.

I may be adding more King: just bought several in print.:)

Books I've Read:

I Like to Eat Children--children's book about monsters and rescue parents
Is a Worry Worrying You?--children's book about overcoming anxieties
Till Sudden Death Do Us Part-contemporary horror/sci fi: Ishmael Jones Series (England)
The Year of Blue Water-contemporary prose poetry (National Poetry Month)
The Resurrectionists

Trifles and Folly 2: A Deadly Curiosities Collection
Strong and Courageous
Cat's Cradle
Before I Wake
Temple of Modern Savages
Mother's Day Mayhem
The Night Janitor
Secret Coven: Dark Journals Book 2
Grim Nora and the Secret of the Skull
Rivers of the Sky: An Epic Fantasy Misadventure
The Curse of Sara Douroux
Mexico: People, Places and Events that Shaped the History of Mexico-review
Owl Manor: The Dawning
The Defenseless-mystery/horror
Tracing The Trails: A Constant Reader's Reflections on the Work of Stephen King
The Owl: Justice Never Sleeps
The Owl: Scarlet Serenade
The Marsh King's Daughter
The Silent Patient
Elder Shepherd

Burnt Offerings
Book of the Dead
At First, You Hear The Silence
Hide Not Seek: cozy mystery with stalker, blog tour review
Blood Sacrifice

Rookwood Asylum: Supernatural Suspense with Scary & Horrifying Monsters
Connect the Dots--cozy mystery
Bodies in a Bookshop--1946 London booksellers mystery
Sword and Fury--Gail Z. Martin, Larry Martin, alternate history/steampunkUnholy Dying
The Coldwater Haunting
One Last Prayer for the Rays
Zone 12.
Monster Girl.
The Mother-in-law.
Thorns In A Realm of Roses.
The Afterlife of James IV.
Keeping Her Keys (Hekate)
The Tragic Daughters of Charles I
The Pandora Room
They Kill
The Plot to Cool the Planet
The People in the Woods
The Haunting
The Gordon Place
The Invited

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Review: Spells, Salt, & Steel

Spells, Salt, & Steel Spells, Salt, & Steel by Gail Z. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm always excited to read any titles by Gail Z. Martin and Larry Martin. Their creative imaginations are wide-ranging and their writing is gifted. SPELLS, SALT, AND STEEL (isn't the title itself intriguing?) is one entry in a new series called "NEW TEMPLARS." Mark Wojcik lost most of his family to a Wendigo; now he owns his own mechanic's business and hunts the paranormal and supernatural entities that trouble and endanger humankind. He's not really a feckless hero, but he does have his comic moments, which lighten the burden for the reader if not for Mark himself, and the authors have the real scares locked down for us. I love their imaginations, as they come up with entities and dangers that try men's souls (and sometimes plan to eat souls). A fast-paced, always intriguing collection, SPELLS, SALT, AND STEEL SEASON ONE contains the first four novellas.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: Three Truths and Other Unsettling Tales

Three Truths and Other Unsettling Tales Three Truths and Other Unsettling Tales by Thomas O.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Never trust a demon! That's a truth I learned from this collection. Seven enterprisingly imagined yet divergent tales showcase the imagination of author Thomas O. Fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror noir are here offered up for the delectation of readers and the inspiration of nightmares. Long after the book is finished, readers will wonder "Now just how did he come up with--"

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Review: Will Haunt You

Will Haunt You Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WILL HAUNT YOU is griity horror noir about a band which proves impossible to leave. Or maybe it's not the band, so much as it's the other members. Though not obvious on the surface, the lives and destinies of these musicians are inextricably twined, more so than they are with their spouses, girlfriends, or children. When one proffers a book--"the book that should not be read"--the consequences (and ugly they are) spread faster than pond ripples from a skipped stone.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Review: Lucifer Sam

Lucifer Sam Lucifer Sam by Leo Darke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I raced through LUCIFER SAM in one session. Like a passenger on a runaway bullet train hearing a soundtrack of Death Metal, I could not pause and I certainly could not stop. LUCIFER SAM stole my breath, and once the novel truly started, there was no slowing down. Author Leo Darke went to the extremes of imagination (and metal) to bring this story home, and a powerfully impacting story it is.

Totally steeped in heavy metal and punk, LUCIFER SAM postulates behind-the-scenes scenarios of two bands, Cat of Nine Tails and Lucifer Sam. Cat recorded a popular first album, developed a fan base, then put their scrappy Cockney lead vocalist out to pasture. Unfortunately for Ray Starling, whose gritty rage powered that first album, Cat's leader and the other two members had different directions in mind. They went to a sort of middle-of-the-road cozy metal and reached "biggest band on the planet" status, while Ray spiraled into alcohol, depression, promiscuity, desperation, and frequent pub fights.

Lucifer Sam is another four-person metal band, led by Kirk. They're not making it big, scarcely even making it, and a lot of cracks in the surface hardly conceal the tensions and guilt underneath. Leader Kirk's girlfriend Rose is a long-time aficionado of Cat of Nine Tails, and ecstatic along with their enormous fan base when the band, missing over the Indian Ocean for six months, inexplicably returns. "Inexplicably" is the key word here, as is "impossible." But if this is a miracle, it came from the Devil himself. Cat of Nine Tails is NOT who or what they were before they disappeared. They went looking for a new musical direction, and they found it: or rather, Something found them. Now they are the portal to inescapable evil and apocalypse.

Rated 18+ for extreme violence, language, sexual scenes.

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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Review: The Worship of Mystery

The Worship of Mystery The Worship of Mystery by J.R. Mabry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exciting, heartwarming, spiritually and philosophically expansive novel. I want a sequel! Chaplain Jun of the Temple of All Worlds is ready to retire, but instead is sent to a position on another planet, teaching the Chaplaincy Service. With little time to spare, he and Belle, a replacement social worker, are thrust into the midst of uproar: portions of a mine have collapsed and lives are lost, with many not yet accounted for. Jun and four brand-new students and Belle must exemplify compassion in the face of such grief. Then Jun discovers that there is also an indigenous species--aliens.

This first book in THE TEMPLE OF ALL WORLDS Series is a vivid exploration of the nature of humanity--and of aliens.

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Review: Surviving the Swamp

Surviving the Swamp Surviving the Swamp by Grace Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Grace Hamilton's AFTER THE SHIFT series and am excited about her new series, SURVIVALIST REALITY SHOW. In SURVIVING THE SWAMP, a group of reality show contestants vie for a big payoff by "surviving" 4 weeks in the Florida Everglades. It's all fun, games, and stress--until communication is lost and the camera crew fails to return. Nothing electrical or battery-powered works. It's true not just inside the swamp.

SURVIVING THE SWAMP will rivet the attention of prepper readers and of lovers of attention too.

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