Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts

Friday, August 30, 2019

Introducing: The Scaredy Cat Bingo Reading Challenge!


know it's not really fall yet. We are still firmly in the dog days of summer here in the south. Shh, I'm dreaming.
You see, I'm one of those crazy people that hates everything to do with summer. I hate the heat. The beach. Sand. Bugs. It's just not my season. Oh, but fall... I love the sunsets and the cooler mornings. Sleeping with the windows open. The smell of wet leaves. Reading outside without having heatstroke. 
Oh, and did I mention Halloween? It's my absolute favorite holiday of the entire year!! Haunted houses! Scary movies! Costumes! We throw a Halloween party every year and I'm like a big kid. I can't wait to get my Halloween decorations out to start getting into the mood for the season. I love the that spooky goes mainstream! Of course, since I'm an urban fantasy and horror reviewer, well, that's just the icing on the cake. This has been a really good year for the horror genre and I have a lot of great fall reads waiting on me.
I decided to get a jump on it this year with a bookish bingo challenge. I think bingo challenges are a great way to knock some of those books off the TBR without the pressure of a lot of planning like other challenges. I'm very much a visual person and I like the feeling of accomplishment that Bingo challenges give me. 

While I've creeped on other challenges before, none of them really fit with my reads. Since there really aren't a whole lot of bingo challenges geared towards my genres, may I present: 

The Scaredy Cat Bingo Reading Challenge!!




  • Read a book that fits the category. 1 book=1 category. No doubling up!
  • Complete a row - up, down or diagonal!
  • For extra credit, go for a blackout. That means every square filled!
  • All books must be started/finished in September and/or October 2019.

That's it! Pretty easy huh? And don't worry if you don't really do the spooky stuff. Any of these categories could work for urban fantasy as well. You don't have to have a blog to play either. Anyone is welcome to jump in!



The Z Word
Walkers, Zeds, Deadheads, Biters. Whatever you call them, if it should be dead, and it's not, it counts. 

Strange Fiction
This is that category for the book that you say "Wow, what did I just read?"


Don't Sneeze
Ebola? The Plague? Kellis-Amberlee? Whatever ails you, this is the category for you. 

Under the Sea
It's a big, big ocean out there. And I doubt it's full of red-headed mermaids pining for princes named Eric.  

Short Story Collection
Variety is the slice of life. 

Let's Summon Demons
Don't do this. Gates of Hell should stay closed and your arms should remain in the circle at all times.
Any book with a demon or possession gets you a square.

Howl at the Moon
Shapeshifters. Werewolves. Were-rats. Yeah, they are a thing. Shifty people don't count.

Bite Me
Walk softly and carry a sharpened stake. Vampires aren't the only thing that suck.

Crazy Town
Straight jackets are surprisingly comfortable...or so I'm told. This square is for location - asylum, mental hospital, etc.  or just a book that's bat sh!t crazy.

Scooby Dooby Doo
Any book that has an investigator, or just some bumbling kids searching for clues while saying things like Zoinks. 

Afterlife Express
10:15 to Boo Town. Tickets please! Ghostly apparitions, haunted dolls and the house on haunted hill all count in this square.

Monster Mash
It was a graveyard smash. It caught on in a flash. Here's your catch all monster square. 

Up Close & Personal
Pick a book that scares you. 

Eye See You
This one can be literal. Either an eye on the cover, eye(s) or seeing in the title somehow, or body horror for you horror fans.

Witching Hour
Spells, Curses or good old fashioned witchcraft. 

End of the Line
Post-Apocalyptic, natural disaster, or dystopian get you this square.

Bloody Good
Either a red cover, blood on the cover, or splatterpunk

Killer Instincts
Is there a killer on the loose? Then, yes, check this square if you dare.

Cabin in the Woods
This one is for those great abandoned locations, like a cabin in the middle of the woods, or a bunker in the middle of the artic. Home sweet home.

Lost Highway
Count this one if your book has a road trip, hitchhiker, or songs by the Eagles.

I Come in Peace
The truth is out there. It doesn't matter if they are little gray men or plants from outer space. 
Stock up on tin foil and bandaids. You're gonna need then. 

Camp Crystal Lake
Any book with a campground or tent camping. Hockey mask optional. 

Oh, the Humanity
Sometimes the monster is more human than expected. This square is for when the monster is us.

Don't Fear the Reaper
Count this square for any book with Death incarnate or anyone with a scythe.

I had fun creating this challenge and I hope you'll join me! 

To enter the challenge, just comment below with your name and where you are going to be tracking your challenge! Make sure to tag me on twitter @cats_luv_coffee or #CLCBookBingo if you are keeping track there. 

Be sure to come back when you complete your bingo and enter the rafflecopter. Each horizontal or vertical bingos get you one entry and a blackout gets you five!

Everyone that plays along and gets BINGO, will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Starbucks card!

Pumpkin spice, FTW! (Just kidding. Pumpkin spice is gross, but hey, you do you.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: Aliens and Ice Cream by Michael James


Aliens.

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.



You might think given that cover that you are getting ready to read a sci-fi apocalyptic alien invasion story...and you are, except Aliens and Ice Cream is much more than that.  I wouldn't call this one heavy on the sci-fi either. More like sci-fi lite. Part horror, part thriller, with a good dose of domestic tragedy, the heart of this survival story is a coming of age tale. It's more about the interpersonal relationships than it is about aliens. 

Set in the midst of a neighborhood cookout, the story really begins like any day in any town, USA. Oh sure, there's some drama with certain neighbors, but who doesn't have that neighbor that they just don't care for? While we are all worried about who's having an affair with who, and whether that cute girl has figured out who is crushing on her, out of the blue comes...well, aliens. They quickly decimate the neighborhood, turning that cookout into a crispy critter human BBQ. Only there's a catch. Anyone "inside" is unnoticeable to the alien pods stationed outside.  The rules are pretty simple. Stay inside. Stay alive. But as we've frequently learned, there's always someone willing to overlook the rules. 

I'm not that big on alien sci-fi but Aliens and Ice Cream had enough gratuitous gelatinizing and vaporizing going on that it satisfied my horror-loving heart. The best scenes were tight, tense, and claustrophobic. You try being stuck in a treehouse for days, or a junction box, or even in your own house for days. In spite of this, I will admit I struggled in caring about a lot of the characters and really found myself wanted most of the adults to be zapped.  The dialogue was well-written so that's not the problem at all. The adults are the most jacked-up emotional messes seen this side of a soap opera. It's initially a very large cast of characters with a boatload of pageantry.  I couldn't even love to hate some of them. 

But the kids? Yeah, the kids are the gold star in this alien version of "As the World Turns." If you are looking for a character-driven narrative without a lot of science-y over-explanation, and love "this is how the world ends" novels, I think you'll find that Aliens and Ice Cream will pack a punch.



Sunday, July 28, 2019

Review: The Toll by Cherie Priest


State Road 177 runs along the Suwannee River, between Fargo, Georgia, and the Okefenokee Swamp. Drive that route from east to west, and you’ll cross six bridges. Take it from west to east, and you might find seven.

But you’d better hope not.

Titus and Davina Bell leave their hotel in Fargo for a second honeymoon canoeing the Okefenokee Swamp. But shortly before they reach their destination, they draw up to a halt at the edge of a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car . . .

When, much later, a tow-truck arrives, the driver finds Titus lying in the middle of the road, but Davina is nowhere to be found.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Guest Post: The Last Flag by Wren Cavanagh




What would you do to pay the bills; to survive, or to just get rich, would you compete against other teams in a quarantined town filthy with zombies wanting to bite out your throat?


Emma and Lewis sign up for the race, they need the money to save his life. But they won't just be racing the dead, the surprise blizzard or the other contestants.

Because anger and vengeance know no bounds and like everyone in the blighted town they become pawns in a game of retribution.

The contestants become nothing more than live entertainment to viewers who watch and judge their every move in the town of Prideful as they race each other to arrive alive to a final flag. The team that makes will get airlifted out alive and go back home richer for it, the others walk back to a pittance and if they are not careful. They won't get out at all. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Review: To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger


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.
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust by Pixie Britton





Welcome to the Bloodlust tour, book #2 in Pixie Britton's YA Science Fiction series, Kill or Cure. I have loads of fun stuff for you today! A FREE book, and a chance to win a signed copy of Bloodlust!
Wait, rewind...did I say FREE BOOK? I sure did! Read on!


He could save the world, or destroy it…


The virus that has swept the Earth hasn’t consumed Tommy, yet, but as his hunger for human flesh takes hold, his humanity vanishes behind the bloodlust of an infected. It’s up to seventeen year old Alyx and her friends to find answers. But saving her little brother isn’t their only problem. Lurking in the shadows of Alhena is the formidable General Sinter, hell-bent on capturing the boy with unrivalled superhuman strength for his own personal gains. With limited options, Alyx has no choice but to risk everything to protect him. A choice that she could live to regret


Kill or Cure: Bloodlust is the second book in the Kill or Cure series. Brimming with suspense, romance and heart pumping action!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Review: In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant


Nature abhors a straight line. The natural world is a place of curves and softened edges, of gentle mists and welcoming spirals. Nature remembers deviation; nature does not forgive.

For Harlowe Upton-Jones, life has never been a straight line. Shipped off to live with her paternal grandparents after a mysterious cult killed her mother and father, she has grown up chasing the question behind the curve, becoming part of a tight-knit teen detective agency. But “teen” is a limited time offer, and when her friends start looking for adult professions, it’s up to Harlowe to find them one last case so that they can go out in a blaze of glory.

Welcome to Spindrift House.

The stories and legends surrounding the decrepit property are countless and contradictory, but one thing is clear: there are people willing to pay a great deal to determine the legal ownership of the house. When Harlowe and her friends agree to investigate the mystery behind the manor, they do so on the assumption that they’ll be going down in history as the ones who determined who built Spindrift House—and why. The house has secrets. They have the skills. They have a plan. They have everything they need to solve the mystery.

Everything they need except for time. Because Spindrift House keeps its secrets for a reason, and it has no intention of letting them go.

Nature abhors a straight line.

Here’s where the story bends.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Cover Reveal: Hybrid by Rebecca Henry

close up of blue eye with Hybrid by Rebecca Henry cover in red
Publication date: August 2019
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction 


Agent Van of the CIA is sent to an Australian underground military surveillance base called Pine Gap. Agent Van finds himself thrown in a conspiracy cover-up of an ancient alien race known as species X. Agent Van falls in love with Annika, a mysterious and uncommon woman who displays unusual abilities, leading Van to question her own origin. 

Mystery and horror explode around Agent Van during a cave diving exhibition to search for a lost colleague referred to as Agent One. The only clue for Agent Van and his team is a cryptic message carved on a wall inside the bleak cave that reads “Agent One is gone. No more Agent One.” Terror arrives as the agents are trapped inside the ominous cave. Agent Van soon learns that there is more to Pine Gap than Species X.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review: Howl by Renee Miller

monstrous cartoon teeth covered in blood

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?

Only everything.


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.

Monday, June 17, 2019

It's Monday. What Are You Reading? #26


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.






Aliens. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Review: The Resurrectionists by Michael Patrick Hicks


Having won his emancipation after fighting on the side of the colonies during the American Revolution, Salem Hawley is a free man. Only a handful of years after the end of British rule, Hawley finds himself drawn into a new war unlike anything he has ever seen.

New York City is on the cusp of a new revolution as the science of medicine advances, but procuring bodies for study is still illegal. Bands of resurrectionists are stealing corpses from New York cemeteries, and women of the night are disappearing from the streets, only to meet grisly ends elsewhere.

After a friend’s family is robbed from their graves, Hawley is compelled to fight back against the wave of exhumations plaguing the Black cemetery. Little does he know, the theft of bodies is key to far darker arts being performed by the resurrectionists. If successful, the work of these occultists could spell the end of the fledgling American Experiment… and the world itself.

The Resurrectionists, the first book in the Salem Hawley series, is a novella of historical cosmic horror from the author of Broken Shells and Mass Hysteria.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Review: Grey Skies by William Becker


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.

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”

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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Review: Ferocious by Jeff Strand

Zombie bear with ribcage showing

Rusty Moss has raised his niece Mia since she was a baby. Now that she's almost eighteen, he's worried that the life he's given her—living off the grid in a cabin deep in the woods—is holding her back from her full potential. But that angst gets pushed aside when the undead forest animals arrive.

At first, it's just a squirrel—shockingly violent and almost impossible to kill. Followed by a grizzly bear, also aggressive and resilient, even when point-blank shotgun blasts to the face are involved. 

Now the cabin is surrounded by all manner of zombie creatures. They have no way to call for help. The truck that could take them to safety is three miles away, stuck in the mud. 

But Rusty and Mia have their courage. They have their wits. And, most importantly, they have an axe and a fully fueled chainsaw...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Review: The Tunnelers by Geoff Gander


When a traumatized mining foreman is placed under the psychiatric care of Dr. Vincent Armstrong, the doctor thinks he has started just another shift. But as the victim begins to remember what drove him temporarily insane, Armstrong’s interest becomes personal, and he makes a series of discoveries that threaten to tear apart his carefully constructed scientific view of the world, and show in horrifying clarity that his patient is anything but delusional. 

As Armstrong’s world falls apart, his recovering patient learns that he has not escaped the horrors he encountered underground, and that no place on earth is truly safe from the “Tunnelers.” 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Review: Reaper by Jonathan Pongratz


Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of. 

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster. 

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review: Spells, Salt, & Steel by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin



“When all else fails, the ass end of a carp makes a damn fine weapon.”

Your new favorite monster hunter has arrived! Bubba the Monster Hunter has some competition in this horror comedy collection from best-selling author duo Gail Z. & Larry N. Martin!

By day, Mark Wojcik can be found elbow-deep in engine grease, making cars and trucks safe for the highway. By night, he can be found traipsing through the wilds of Pennsylvania, making the world safe for humans. He’s more than just a mechanic, he’s a New Templar Knight. He travels the backroads and byways fighting weresquonks, ningen, selkies, ghosts, and…gnomes? Is that gnome…naked? (sigh).


Season One collects the first four novellas in the Spells, Salt, & Steel series –
Spells, Salt, & Steel
Open Season
Deep Trouble
Close Encounters


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Review: The Beast of Nightfall Lodge: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book II


A mysterious explorer hires a team of adventurers to join him in a hunt for a monstrous beast, in this rip-roaring sequel to Fury From the Tomb. 

When Egyptologist Rom Hardy receives a strange letter from his old friend, the bounty-hunting sniper Rex McTroy, he finds himself drawn into a chilling mystery. In the mountains of New Mexico, a bloodthirsty creature is on the loose, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. Now, a wealthy big game hunter has offered a staggering reward for its capture, and Rom's patron - the headstrong and brilliant Evangeline Waterston - has signed the team up for the challenge. Awaiting them are blizzards, cold-blooded trappers, remorseless hunters, a mad doctor, wild animals and a monster so fearsome and terrifying, it must be a legend come to life.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review: Second Lives by P.D. Cacek



When four patients spontaneously regain consciousness after being declared dead, their loved ones are ecstatic and words like "miracle" and "miraculous" begin to float around the hospital. But the jubilation is short-lived when the patients neither recognize their families nor answer to their names. Each one vehemently claims to be someone else, someone who lived, and died, in the past. When it's suggested that all four are suffering from fugue states, one of the doctors says that he recognizes a name and verifies he not only knew the girl but was there when she died in 1992. It soon becomes obvious that the bodies of the four patients are now inhabited by the souls of people long dead.  


FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.