Chills and Creeps: Eight Scary Stories by Nick Clausen #bookreview #shortstories #RBRT

In this collection, you’ll meet …

Peter, who meets an upholsterer who really likes his skin. Mary, who gets a pet fish thatwill only eat human flesh. Daniel, who plays a game that becomes real in his dreams. Eagle, who has a disease that make birds attack him wherever he goes. Joseph, who plays tennis with a ghost. Nadia, who gets trapped in a house slowly filling up with water. Calvin, whose sister visits a hypnotist and becomes someone else. And Noah, who learns to control lights with his mind.

Eight stories spanning horror, dark fantasy and science fiction, all set in everyday life while exploring the dark, the evil and the supernatural. 

I haven’t read many short story collections, but for me, a horror/supernatural compilation is irresistable.

At the end of each tale, the author shares what sparked the idea – a nice personal touch.  I find story origins interesting.  All are eerie and enjoyable, but I have my favorites.

When I Snap My Fingers – The concept of reincarnation has always fascinated me, and the way it’s incorporated will give you chills down your spine.  And have you avoiding hypnotists.

Ghost Tennis – You might be lured into thinking this is a friendly ghost story – don’t be fooled.  The ending is wickedly perfect.

Drip-Drip-Drip – As someone who is slightly claustrophobic, I was uncomfortable reading this one.

Not all the stories worked for me.  Some had less plausible plots and character actions which I felt needed another tweak with a content edit.  Even though it’s fiction, it still needs to be believable.  Other reviewers have mentioned this book is suitable for children, but because of some language sprinkled throughout, I wouldn’t recommend it for readers under the age of thirteen.

Dark, evil, and supernatural tales may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for horror fans, this is creepy collection that can be read in a couple of hours.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Rosie’s Book Review Team.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

 

1920s Covers Revealed!

To get you over hump day, jump over to Teagan’s site – she has not one, but two cover reveals for new books!

Teagan's Books

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays and a double cover reveal!

That’s right not just one, but two covers — both for Roaring Twenties books.  

I’ve brought along a couple of 1920s musicians to liven up this celebration.

I love making book covers and promo images.  Today I’m double excited to reveal two of the designs I’ve created for my upcoming books.

First, and most importantly, the third book in my Roaring Twenties series will launch this autumn.  It continues the adventures about the flapper, Pip and her friends.  Here’s the cover for A Ghost in the Kitchen.  

A Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Ríordáin GenevieneA Ghost in the Kitchen by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Announcing my first non-fiction book!

During seven years of publishing stories with a Roaring Twenties setting here at my blog, in addition to the books about Pip, Granny Phanny, and their friends, I’ve done a lot of research.  That…

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The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

I’m a big fan of both comp titles – A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite reads this year.  And when the description mentioned Vlad the Impaler and a cursed ring – I didn’t care about the rest of the blurb.  I needed to read this book.

What a thrilling adventure!  Theo and Huck find themselves in one predicament after another while searching for her father across the Eastern European countryside.  They struggle to survive – and with people chasing them, wolves, the elements, and magic, it’s not an easy task.  That, combined with Theo solving ciphers and puzzles and the teasing dialogue gives this the feel of an Indiana Jones movie.

Theo is headstrong, intelligent, and determined not to remain on the sidelines while her father goes treasure-hunting.  Huck is a good match for her, being equally stubborn and adventurous.  His way of misquoting common sayings makes him even more adorable and appealing.

Folklore, hidden family secrets, romance, adventure, mystery, castles, cursed artifacts – this book is a wild romp.  It’s a little lighter on fantasy than I expected; instead, it ventures into historical fiction, and the setting descriptions are vivid and rich.  I’m not sure if the author plans a series, but if she does, I’ll be adding the next book to my list.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Gemini Connection #FREE Today Only! #freebooks #YA #scifi

So, I’m still on vacation, but this is going on today, and I’d really appreciate help in sharing on social media.  Thanks in advance!

If you haven’t read The Gemini Connection yet, here’s your opportunity to get it FREE!  This promotion is for today only, so don’t wait.  Click HERE for Amazon.

If anyone is planning on attending the Decatur Book Festival this weekend, I’ll be at the SCBWI booth on Sunday from 2pm to 4pm – stop by and say hi!

On Vacation #AmReading #BeachReads #FreeBook

Along with visiting family, this is where I’ll be spending a chunk of time over the next several days.  I have my beach reads chosen and packed (kind of ambitious with three books, but I dream big) – hopefully I’ll get through a couple of them.  That doesn’t count what’s on my Nook and Kindle.

Behold the chosen ones:

 

Next Friday, August 30th, The Gemini Connection will be free on Book Barbarian.  I’ll post something here on that day and would deeply appreciate any sharing – thanks in advance!

See you guys on September 3rd!

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings #bookreview #YA #dystopian

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

I’ve had this in my TBR for far too long, and after finishing it, I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner.

When another author friend recommended this book, I looked it up and loved the premise.  Having La Femme Nikita as a comp title was just icing on the cake.  Trained assassins, a government who tracks population numbers, a fierce female protagonist, and family secrets – what’s not to like?  Be warned – this is a dark storyline with violence and some graphic deaths, so it may not be to everyone’s taste; however, if you enjoy thrilling plot twists and outstanding action sequences, this could be for you.  I felt like the romance happened at the speed of lightning (literally love at first sight for one of the characters), but it didn’t really overshadow the plot.

Several reviewers have commented on the violence, but I felt it was comparable to The Hunger Games.  I’ve already downloaded the next book, and I guarantee it won’t take me so long to read this one.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones #bookreview #YA #fantasy#TuesdayBookBlog

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves. 

Besides the dazzling cover, this intriguing description caught my attention.  I’ve read numerous stories about risen corpses, but they were usually zombies.  Bone houses are a unique take, and I had to know more about them.

Characterization is strong in this novel.  From the main characters, supporting characters, and down to the loyal, territory-defending goat, I enjoyed all of them.  Ryn is a take-charge, driven main character and as a gravedigger possesses a strong sense of compassion and respect for the dead.  After losing her parents, providing for her brother and sister is her priority.  Ellis has a mysterious past, and it’s refreshing to see a male character who knows his strengths and limits and isn’t afraid to let a female take the lead.  Their relationship develops naturally with occasional sarcastic banter that gave me some laughs.

It’s difficult to put a new spin on zombies, but this author manages to do it.  Bone houses aren’t the typical risen dead – no spoilers – and they provide some nail-biting moments.

This isn’t really a fast-paced novel, and some parts are predictable, but the story pulls you in and makes it difficult to put down the book.

Because it features risen corpses, don’t think The Bone Houses is a horror novel – it’s far from it.  The overriding themes are the importance of family and learning to move on after a loss.  It’s an unusual story I’d recommend to fans of supernatural tales.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.