Monday, December 31, 2018

The Window by Glenn Rolfe



What kind of demons await you tonight?


For Richie, life's constant cheap shots are adding up. When he finds something is watching him, he never dreamed that it would show him everything that he ever wanted.


When his son, James, comes to stay for the last month of summer, the changes in his father's behavior come to the forefront. What is his father doing staring into the window in the middle of the night?
Was the fiery spark in the dark real? Or is James' imagination getting the best of him?

Summer's almost over.
And life is about to change.
Will the son be able to save the father? Or is it already too late?

The Window holds the answers...and the key.

The new and terrifying novel from Glenn Rolfe, author of LAND OF BONES and BECOMING

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Ink by Jobie Baldwin

Ink by Jobie Baldwin cover


'Gaining their ink was just the first step. Now they have to earn it.'



Christian Blake, an unruly English teenager, finds himself in a mysterious tattoo parlour in Connaught Square where he is possessed by a Rune God, Hagalaz, and given the power to harness the forces of nature. Only problem? Hagalaz doesn't like to play nice. He is the God of Disruption, and he is intent on making Christian's life a living hell.



Christian’s mentor, The Raven, pulls him from his relative comfort in London and takes him across the world to join his Tribe, a group of four unlikely teenagers with their own newly-gifted magical powers. They are tasked with taking on the forces of evil brewing across the globe: The Settlers, a growing group of aliens that have slowly integrated themselves into the mainstream of Planet Earth's politics and positions of power.

They have a dark secret, and it the Tribe's mission to discover what that is and to put a stop to it. But nothing is what it seems, for it will take much more than the powers of a few long-forgotten gods to put an end to the impending global catastrophe that threatens to destroy everything and anyone in its path. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Best Reads of 2018


There's something about tracking your reading on Goodreads that is so satisfying to me. It's so much fun at the end of the year to look back over all the titles I've read. And I'm a bit competitive in that I like to try and beat my goal from the year before. (Okay, okay, a LOT competitive.) 

I've read 130 books in 2018. Out of those, only seventeen were five star reads for me so it was actually rather easy to pick my top ten of the year. For me, five-star reads are books that 1) stay with me long after I've finished them and 2) books that I would have no problem picking up and rereading. Using those two qualifiers helps me to not get too star happy! It's actually pretty challenging for me to rate a book five stars. While I might really enjoy a book, most books are not something that I'd tuck away and reread on a rainy day.  

Here are the top ten that made the cut:


Sometimes urban fantasy feels like if you've read one, you've read them all. These four really stood out from the pack.

Blood Ghast Blues was such an uproariously fun read. Even though this is actually the second book in the series, the front blurb totes it as a "standalone ass whompin'". If that doesn't tell you a bit about what's inside the cover, I don't know what else will. Filled to the brim with great characters, constant action, unique world-building, and plenty of snark, this one was an easy pick. 
Read my full review here.

Death Be Blue is a police procedural urban fantasy. When you take out the massive world building that comes with most fantasy, and create your character on the mean city streets, you'd better have both a great MC and plot to help fill the holes. Death Be Blue does that and more. Terra Vane fights tooth and nail to establish herself as an Enforcer Field Agent; a human among paranormals. She's tough and yet vulnerable. With plenty of humor, action, and a wee bit of romantic tension, Katie Epstein is a UF author to follow. 
Read my review full here.

Hostile Takeover: I adore the PI trope of urban fantasy.  There's so much to love about it: the jaded, and edgier version of the detective, the film noir style narration, the blend of urban fantasy and the grit of noir. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is one of my favorites. Hostile Takeover is another excellent example. This adventurous romp is fast-paced, complex, and just a lot of fun!
Read my full review here.

The Night Crossing is a historical fantasy set in Victorian London. While multiple P.O.V's are not usually my thing, I highly enjoyed this gothic tale. Following Bram Stoker, theater manager, Mina Harcourt, archeologist, and match girl, Lucinda,  The Night Crossing interweaves history and the magic of fantasy. Truly a story of the triumph over evil, this imagined backstory is the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. 
Read my review full here.



When it comes to horror reads, I want stories that will make me check under the bed and behind the shower curtain. I want the kind of stories that make me question what was that noise I just heard. I love horror that creeps me out. I'm also incredibly hard to spook which creates quite the conundrum. These three stayed with me long after I turned out the lights:

Creature: If I had to narrow down my top three out of 2018, this would definitely make the cut. Man, this book tore my heart out.  Hunter Shea usually does great creature features, but they are more like cheesy 80's horror. He unquestionably wrote from the heart on this one and it shows. Creature was unique for me in how immediately and completely I was invested in the characters. You don't expect a monster book to break your heart, but that's exactly what Creature does. 
Read my full review here. 

Into the Drowning Deep: I've always been a fan of Mira Grant and Into the Drowning Deep just solidifies that for me. She combines science and horror in such a way that you think maybe, just maybe, there's some truth to this. I know I've always had a respectful fear of deep water and whatever lies below. It's beautiful and terrifying all in the same breath. Only Mira Grant can write a book about killer mermaids and make it so horrifically fun. This is the only one on my list that I haven't done a review on. Maybe I need to reread it so I can write one. Oh darn. 
Add to Goodreads

The Haunting of Natalie Glasgow is actually a short story so for it to make it into the list is pretty amazing. Hailey Piper does such a marvelous job at conveying fear that I found the hairs on my arms standing upright while reading this one. The tension in this novella grips you tightly from the very first pages and doesn't let go. This one is truly a gem and I can't wait to read more by her. 
Read my full review here.

The last three on my list were complete surprises to me. Outside of my typical genres of fantasy and horror, I didn't expect to enjoy them as much as I did!

The Silver Ninja: A Bitter Winter was my sleeper read of the year! I didn't expect much going into it, but, wow! It's easily one of my top three as well. This book is filled with well thought out technology and plenty of action. So much, in fact, that within the first 20 pages, I didn't want to put it down. Wilmar Luna pens an incredible story and MC that would appeal to fans not only of sci-fi— but of multiple other genres as well. 
Read my full review here.

Killing Adam is the only "true" sci-fi to make the list. While The Silver Ninja falls on the side of a superhero/crime fighter, Killing Adam takes a stark look at advanced technology and how our society might be using it in the future. The world building is superb and the technology isn't so far-fetched that it feels unbelievable. It's a dystopian look at the future of AI. 
Read my full review here.

The Frighteners is the only non-fiction to make the list. I love to learn, but I typically find most non-fiction boring and dry. Not so with The Frighteners. Written by Reverend Peter Law, it's an observant look into what draws us to the morbid and macabre. My own love of things that go bump in the night precipitated this read and I didn't once regret it. 
Read my full review here.


Well, that's it! 
My top 10 list of 2018!


I hope there might be one or two on the list that you might want to include in your own to-read pile for 2019! 

Happy Reading!



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Library of Absolution Book Blitz

(Legacy of the Book Mesmer, #1) Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: December 17th 2018 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Alarick Brandon is the powerful wizard who operates The Keep, a refuge for magical people fleeing the persecution of the Ministry. A bitter realist, Alarick knows it’s only a matter of time until the Ministry succeeds in eradicating magic from the world—and exterminating all magical beings—so he has been careful to avoid any personal involvement with the people who pass through his sanctuary.
But when Elissa Stone arrives at The Keep, her village a smoldering ruin, and only her magical talent and a forbidden library left to her name, Alarick’s ordered world descends into chaos. Elissa is a Book Mesmer, a magical talent long believed extinct. She can enchant books, making them indestructible, unreadable…even deadly to unauthorized readers.
But while her magic can secure a legacy for future magical generations, it’s not a skill that’s good in a fight, and certainly not one that Alarick sees any real use for. But there’s something compelling about a woman who defies the Ministry’s edicts against female literacy, and she seems determined to prove that knowledge is a weapon in its own right…

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Cover Reveal

Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set Publication date: TBA Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it… 


Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. 

A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.

Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.

Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!

One click now for your happily ever after.


Authors include:


J.A Armitage
R. Castro
Jennifer Ellision
Mira Crest
K.M Pyne
Laura Greenwood
Jacque Stevens
Scarlett Kol
Anne Stryker
Nikki Landis


XBTBanner1

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon


Song of Sacrifice
Janell Rhiannon
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.

Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…

…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.
Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.
In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.
Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…
Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

They Came With The Snow by Christopher Coleman



The fight for survival started with a blast.



Then it started snowing in May and the grid failed.



Then they came.

Who are they? And what do they want?

Find out in this addicting post-apocalyptic survival horror thriller that will leave you wanting more. 


When a mysterious blast goes off in a small college town, triggering a blizzard, the few survivors must decide whether to stay or leave and face the monsters who came with the snow.

Goodreads/Amazon



I picked this one up on Amazon a little while back. I need more horror in my life and lately, it's been lacking. I figured I could fit this one in between other obligations without too much trouble. At only 37 pages, it's a super quick read.

The short story follows a professor and his student with whom he was having an affair.  Trapped in a college building, surrounded by black-eyed creatures hiding in the snow, Dominic and Naia are questioning when the time to make a break for it will be. They do, chaos ensues. Other survivors show up. They make a break for it. More chaos. You get the picture.

Those questions above in the blurb? Yeaaaa, you still don't really know. They don't explain much about the creatures, which adds to the mystery. They do call them "crabs". Er, what? They are naked, genderless, humanoid entities that move like primates and the best this idiot (and by idiot, I mean the professor) can come up with is "crabs"?

In the end, it's really not a bad read for such a short one. There's a lot of action that happens. The plot could use some more padding, IMO, since it didn't really answer too many of its own questions. Essentially, snow zombies = bad, duh. However, there is something very satisfying in watching people you don't like getting taken out by the creatures. Couldn't happen to better people. Karma. *snickers*


3.5 Paws Up!

DIVIDER

About the Author



Christopher Coleman lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in English Literature. A fan of classic and modern horror and thriller movies, his favorite movies are Rosemary's Baby and The Ring. When he's not writing fiction, you can find him reading, taking his kids to and from various sporting activities or watching horror movies with his wife who shares his affinity for the horror genre. His books will creep you out and leave you scared to turn off the lights and go to sleep.

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey


In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.


Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Killing Adam by Earik Beann



The world runs on ARCs. Altered Reality Chips. Small implants behind the left ear that allow people to experience anything they could ever imagine. The network controls everything, from traffic, to food production, to law enforcement. Some proclaim it a Golden Age of humanity. Others have begun to see the cracks. Few realize that behind it all, living within every brain and able to control all aspects of society, there exists a being with an agenda all his own: the singularity called Adam, who believes he is God.


Jimmy Mahoney’s brain can’t accept an ARC. Not since his football injury from the days when the league was still offline. “ARC-incompatible” is what the doctors told him. Worse than being blind and deaf, he is a man struggling to cling to what’s left of a society that he is no longer a part of. His wife spends twenty-three hours a day online, only coming off when her chip forcibly disconnects her so she can eat. Others are worse. Many have died, unwilling or unable to log off to take care of even their most basic needs.



After being unwittingly recruited by a rogue singularity to play a role in a war that he doesn’t understand, Jimmy learns the truth about Adam and is thrown into a life-and-death struggle against the most powerful mathematical mind the world has ever known. But what can one man do against a being that exists everywhere and holds limitless power? How can one man, unable to even get online, find a way to save his wife, and the entire human race, from destruction?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Out of Body by Christopher John Chater

Out of Body

Harley Baker's obsession with the afterlife leads him to experiment with astral projection, but when he doesn't take the necessary precautions before an OBE, he comes back to find that a demon has taken over his body. While in spirit form, Harley watches the impostor romance the girl he's crushing on, ace his college exams, and impress his best friend with opportunities for wealth beyond his wildest dreams. 

Not only does Harley have to figure out how to get his body back before he's trapped in the astral plane forever, but he has to stop the demon from a plan that will veil the world in darkness and enslave the human race.