Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review: The Art of Death by Becca Vincenza

(Curse Breakers, #1) Publication date: September 4th 2018 Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy



What if a single act of rebellion had the power to change your fate?

Rowan and Abel Hayes’ birth ended a centuries-old family curse, but being a curse breaker has its drawbacks. Now they live a life full of rules.
When Rowan breaks a rule, she sets a powerful chain of events into motion that she never could’ve imagined. Abel is kidnapped, and it’s up to Rowan to save her twin. Can she rely on the aid of an old friend who once betrayed her? Or will new enemies prove too strong for her to handle?
(New Adult, contains language and sexual content. 18+)




Monday, May 20, 2019

It's Monday. What Are You Reading? #21


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by The Book Date
This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.



 A seemingly black and white case resulting in red tape, secrets, and attempted murder …


And that was only yesterday. Now, Enforcer Field Agent Terra Vane and her partner Kaleb suddenly find themselves embroiled in a race against time to track down twelve malicious convicts who have escaped from Portiside prison. Their dangerous quest for answers leads Terra straight into Darkwood, a shady place entrenched in ruthless power struggles and secrets as dark as its name. And some vampire residents are guarding their own secrets. Terra knows this all too well when she is coerced into a daring plan that could save Portiside at the risk of jeopardizing her own complicated love life. With each secret she unearths, the stakes become higher than she could have ever imagined ... Perhaps some secrets are better left buried.



What does carrion taste like? Andi has to know. The vultures circling outside her home taunt and invite her to come understand the secrets hiding in their banquet of decay. Fascination morphs into an obsessive need to know what the vultures know. Andi turns to Dr. Fawning, but even the therapist cannot help her comprehend the secrets she’s buried beneath anger-induced blackouts.

Her girlfriend, Luna, tries to help Andi battle her inner darkness and infatuation with the vultures. However, the desire to taste dead flesh, to stitch together wings of her own and become one with the flock sends Andi down a twisted, unforgivable path. Once she understands the secrets the vultures conceal, she must decide between abandoning the birds of prey or risk turning her loved ones into nothing more than meals to be devoured.

Three friends, an empty fuel tank, a desolate dirt road, and a hike through the woods in the middle of a snow storm; what could go wrong?

A mysterious beast stalks Fred and his friends through the snow, forcing them to seek shelter with two strangers in a remote cabin.


And so begins a waiting game. Food dwindles, tempers flare, and survival of the fittest becomes more than just a saying as the beast closes in
.




For centuries, Phoebe Whelan’s family of witches and mages has guarded the Book of Sindal, a tome filled with spells so evil it could destroy the world. After their parents’ death six years ago, it’s up to Phoebe and her older and younger sisters—Rowan and Celeste—to guard the book with their magic and their supernaturally fortified land. But Celeste’s expression magic is wild and untamed, and without their mother’s calming influence, Celeste is slowly going mad.

When the book—and Celeste—go missing, the Valarian Small Council believes Celeste stole the deadly book of spells. When they assign Captain Brandon Cassidy, the head of the Magical Protective Force and Phoebe’s former high school crush, to look for book, and things get a whole lot more complicated.

Soon it becomes apparent a dark force has taken the book, which will only open with the blood of all three Whelans. The Dark Set has the strongest sister, now it needs the blood of the other two. Brandon’s mission quickly changes to include her protection, but Phoebe’s goal has remained the same—find the book and her sister, prove Celeste’s innocence, and let nothing get in her way, including her reawakened feelings for the man at her side.

Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night, unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends. 


But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.




If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shadows to see what's lurking there—murderer, or monster?



A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.



A masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction, Growing Things is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.

In “The Teacher,” a Bram Stoker Award nominee for best short story, a student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt and torment her and her classmates’ lives.

Four men rob a pawn shop at gunpoint only to vanish, one-by-one, as they speed away from the crime scene in “The Getaway.”

In “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks,” a meth addict kidnaps her daughter from her estranged mother as their town is terrorized by a giant monster... or not.

Joining these haunting works are stories linked to Tremblay’s previous novels. The tour de force metafictional novella “Notes from the Dog Walkers” deconstructs horror and publishing, possibly bringing in a character from A Head Full of Ghosts, all while serving as a prequel to Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. “The Thirteenth Temple” follows another character from A Head Full of Ghosts—Merry, who has published a tell-all memoir written years after the events of the novel. And the title story, “Growing Things,” a shivery tale loosely shared between the sisters in A Head Full of Ghosts, is told here in full.

From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.



They’re everywhere. 

If you go outside, they’ll kill you. 
If you try to run, they’ll kill you. 

Ice cream probably won't help. 

On an entirely normal summer day, the sky rips apart and aliens pour from the wound. Black, featureless pods, they are horrifying in their efficiency, killing anything that steps foot outside. Inexplicably, they don’t attack anyone indoors. 

No one knows where they came from, what they want and when—or if—they’ll go away. Matt Cutler wanted to spend Sunday with his family. Now, he’s trapped in a tree fort outside his house with his neighbor, Heather Keene, and his little sister Abby. 

They can’t go outside. 

They’re running out of water. 

If dehydration doesn’t kill them, the aliens will. 
But Matt thinks he’s figured out a way to save everyone… if the aliens don’t kill him first.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review: Always Gray in Winter by Mark J. Engels

werecat cartoon character on blue background

A distant daughter. A peculiar device. A family lineage full of secrets. When werecat Pawlina Katczynski finally resurfaces, her location previously unknown to anyone close to her, the reunion is short of welcomed. Instead, she finds herself thrust tooth and nail—tooth and claw—into a feud between opposing werecat clans as her family and their enemies reignite a battle that has raged for years. Always Gray in Winter invites the reader to join the feud and see if blood is truly thicker than water...

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Little Big Brother by Arsenio Franklin


Charlie is like most high school freshmen: prone to embarrassing moments and little experience with the opposite sex (okay, none). Thank God his older brother can guide him through it all. Well, sometimes. The dead can’t visit on a whim.

DeAndre’s visits are the only things keeping Charlie afloat as he navigates his teenage years. But this blessing is also a curse, straining Charlie’s friendships and threatening to derail his wishful romance with Samantha. Before Charlie can move on he needs to know if he’s really communicating with his dead brother or if it’s all in his mind as his mother and therapists believe.
The clock is ticking. DeAndre tells him he won’t be around forever and the grief is tearing at the seams of Charlie’s relationships. An encounter between DeAndre and Samantha may provide the answer, and how Charlie deals with it will be the difference between keeping those he loves and losing them forever.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Review: The Unicorn Anthology


An American reporter rides along with a British park ranger through a park filled with multidimensional unicorns. A princess and a poisoned zombie queen must find the queen’s murderer before the queen decomposes...or eats someone. The cutthroat world of competitive unicorn riding gets even more intense after a relationship might end the career of a rider. A man’s life is ruined after he is unjustly accused of defiling a noblewoman, but he is led to the lady by a magnificent beast. A brash bookseller must navigate demons, black market couriers, pretty girls, and gumshoes while searching out a most unusual artifact.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review: Sharp & Sugar Tooth


Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good is a horror anthology of dark fiction and darker appetites, edited by Octavia Cade. Containing 22 stories of “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet, it features 22 fearless writers who identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity. It’s the third in the Women Up To No Good series, which can be read in any order.

It includes original stories by Kathleen Alcalá, Betsy Aoki, Joyce Chng, Katharine Duckett, Anahita Eftekhari, Amelia Gorman, Jasmyne J. Harris, A. R. Henle, Erin Horáková, Kathryn McMahon, H. Pueyo, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, Rachael Sterling, Penny Stirling, Sabrina Vourvoulias, and Rem Wigmore, and reprints of stories from Apex, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Lightspeed, and Nightmare Magazines by Chikodili Emelumadu, Crystal Lynn Hilbert, Catherynne M. Valente, Damien Angelica Walters, Alyssa Wong, and Caroline M. Yoachim.

Contributors are based in or hailing from Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, the UK, and all over the United States. Between them, they have won the Andre Norton, Eugie Foster Memorial, Hugo, Lambda, Locus, Mythopoeic, Nebula, Prix Imaginales, Rhysling, Romantic Times’ Critics Choice, This Is Horror, James Tiptree Jr., and World Fantasy Awards, and been shortlisted for the Bram Stoker, John W. Campbell, and Shirley Jackson Awards!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Kathleen Alcalá, “The Doll’s Eye”
Betsy Aoki, “And When We Die They Will Consume Us”
Joyce Chng, “Dear Son”
Katharine Duckett, “Gimme Sugar”
Anahita Eftekhari, “The Fool’s Feast”
Chikodili Emelumadu, “Candy Girl”
Amelia Gorman, “She Makes the Deep Boil”
Jasmyne J. Harris, “What the Bees Know About Discarded Girlish Organs”
A. R. Henle, “Strong Meat”
Crystal Lynn Hilbert, “Soul of Soup Bones”
Erin Horáková, “A Year Without the Taste of Meat”
Kathryn McMahon, “The Honey Witch”
H. Pueyo, “I Eat”
D. A. Xiaolin Spires, “Bristling Skim”
Rachael Sterling, “Alice Underground”
Penny Stirling, “Red, From the Heartwood”
Catherynne M. Valente, “The Lily and the Horn”
Sabrina Vourvoulias, “A Fish Tale”
Damien Angelica Walters, “A Lie You Give, And Thus I Take”
Rem Wigmore, “Who Watches”
Alyssa Wong, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers”
Caroline M. Yoachim, “The Carnival Was Eaten, All Except the Clown”

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Review: Shrill Dusk by Helen Harper

woman with blue hair surrounded by magic and playing cards

Charley is a cleaner by day and a professional gambler by night. She might be haunted by her tragic past but she's never thought of herself as anything or anyone special. Until, that is, things start to go terribly wrong all across the city of Manchester. Between plagues of rats, firestorms and the gleaming blue eyes of a sexy Scottish werewolf, she might just have landed herself in the middle of a magical apocalypse. She might also be the only person who has the ability to bring order to an utterly chaotic new world. 

This is the first book in The City Of Magic series.



Monday, May 6, 2019

A Soul Reclaimed by Shayna Grissom

A Soul Reclaimed  Shayna Grissom
Publication date: April 1st 2019  Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Hell is divided into seven regions. The first region is designated for the purest of souls, the seventh is for the evilest. There was once a king of Hell, but the steward family has ruled for centuries.
Nora, the stepdaughter of the steward is undone when her mother and step-father take away her beloved tutor, Peter. When Nora confronts the steward and her mother, the discussion is heated and ends with the steward in inexplicable pain.
Shortly after, Nora finds herself in the Starry Wood. Peter told her of the perils within the forest, and it’s not long before the inhabitants of the wood find her.
A giant hunter named Aegis comes to Nora’s aid. He is drawn to Nora, compelled to protect her from the steward’s assassins, the giants, and the evil souls who escape the seventh region.
Together, they travel the seven layers of Hell to discover why the steward is so threatened by a teenage girl.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Review: Soul Scent by Reyna Favis

blue gravestone with underwater feel

Troubled psychic Fia leads a double life. As a ground pounder for Search And Rescue, she finds the lost and vulnerable living and brings them to safety. As a servant to an ancient and indifferent Psychopomp, her mission is no less crucial – to help the suffering dead cross over to the afterlife. Her worlds collide after a distraught woman with a gun disappears into the woods and the rescue becomes a body recovery. 

When a frantic hammering erupts from the empty SAR team trailer, Fia appeals for help to Cam, irascible Brit, mentor and Psychopomp aficionado. But nothing is what it seems and a straightforward case soon goes sideways. Will Fia and Cam be able to uncover the shocking truth behind the final act of a desperate woman and free her tortured earthbound spirit? 

The second novel of the ZACKIE STORIES.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Review: Terminal by Michaelbrent Collings

Terminal by Michaelbrent Collings cover

All passengers, please prepare for departure…

An employee, a cop, and five prisoners; a prisoner, a stowaway, and a madman.

These are the people waiting at the Lawton bus terminal. Mostly late-night travelers who want nothing more than to get to their destinations, and employees who want nothing more than to get through the graveyard shift.

But when a strange, otherworldly fog rolls in, the night changes to nightmare. Because something hides in the fog. Something powerful. Something strange. Something... inhuman.

Soon, those in the terminal have been cut off from the rest of the world. No phones, no computers. Just ten strangers in the terminal... and The Other.

The Other is the force in the mist. The Other is the thing that has captured them. And The Other wants to play a game. 

The rules are simple:

1) The people in the terminal must choose a single person from among them. That person will live. The rest will die.
2) Anyone who attempts to leave the terminal before the final vote will die.
3) The final vote... must be unanimous.

A nightmare. And getting worse, because the best way to make a vote unanimous... is to kill the other voters.

Welcome to the end of the line. Welcome to the Terminal.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Wicked Salem: Exploring Lingering Lore and Legends by Sam Baltrusis

Genre: Ghosts, Hauntings, Local History, Salem, Haunted History
Publisher: Globe Pequot Press Date of Publication: May 1, 2019


It’s no surprise that the historic Massachusetts seaport’s history is checkered with violence and heinous crimes. Originally called Naumkeag, Salem means “peace.” However, as its historical legacy dictates, the city was anything but peaceful during the late seventeenth century.

Did the reputed Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, strike in Salem? Evidence supports the possibility of a copy-cat murder. From the recently pinpointed gallows where innocents were hanged for witchcraft to the murder house on Essex Street where Capt. Joseph White was bludgeoned to death and then stabbed thirteen times in the heart, Sam Baltrusis explores the ghost lore and the people behind the tragic events that turned the “Witch City” into a hot spot that has become synonymous with witches, rakes, and rogues.

Amazon     BN    Globe Pequot Press