Sunday, September 24, 2017

No More Massacres (Money Back Guarantee Review)

TITLE: Money Back Guarantee (Mail Order Massacres #3)
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
PUBLISHING DATE: October 3, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: YOUR MONEY BACK OR YOUR LIFE . . .
 
Protect America’s shores with your very own nuclear submarine! Constructed from durable fiberboard material, this submersible is large enough for two kids! Sail off into imaginative international intrigue for just $1.99! If this toy doesn’t float your boat, return it for a full refund!

With her son’s heart set on piloting his own nuclear submarine, Rosemary Lanchester orders the craft advertised on the back of a comic book. What arrives is more sub-standard than submarine, but her son loves the cheap piece of cardboard. Until he and a friend nearly drown when they take the sub for a deep sea dive in the swimming pool.

Enraged, Rosemary reports the toy’s manufacturer to the Better Business Bureau. The company’s customer service center retaliates with threatening phone calls. Then her son and husband mysteriously disappear.

To save her family, Rosemary tracks down the company’s headquarters with the help of her brother—a survivalist with enough toys of his own to wage an all-out war.

And she still wants her $1.99 refunded. 


MY THOUGHTS: 
"Money Back Guarantee" is the third and final installment on Shea's Mail Order Massacres series. In this novella, Rosemary, who has just received her first Tupperware commission check, orders a submarine for her son Dwight, which he saw in the back of his Spiderman comic. When the sub arrives, it is nothing but a large cardboard monstrosity, but Dwight loves it just the same. One day Dwight and his best friend are almost killed using the sub in the friend's pool which sends Rosemary on a rampage. Rosemary is determined to contact the maker of the sub, AdventureCo, to get her money back but at what cost?

I liked "Money Back Guarantee" more than "Optical Delusion," but "Just Add Water" remains my favorite. Almost all of the characters in this edition are likable, and I love that Shea made Rosemary a kick-ass lead. Dwight is a sometimes frustrating little kid, but I found his expectations of his new toy and his demand for a replacement when it sinks totally reasonable for a child his age. I even liked Rosemary's husband which is saying a lot after the perv introduced in "Optical Delusion."

Over the past few months, I've looked forward to this series. I honestly hope Shea eventually writes more novellas from this series because I'm sure there are more tales roaming about in that mind of his. Shea has solidified himself as a must-read writer in my book and I look forward to reading more of his books and novellas in the future.
 


I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

RATING: 4 PAWS


Friday, September 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (129) / Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book ReviewerI'm hoping to discover some new blogs to love.

First off I grabbed a physical book this week.  I had Stalking Jack the Ripper so I knew I had to have Hunting Prince Dracula in physical form as well.  Just so happens Walmart had it on release day.  Now to make time to read them both.


 
I grabbed three books for my Kindle.  One night I sat around and searched for horror book videos on BookTube and wouldn't you know, it led to some 1-clicking. I'm excited about these though.  Florence and Giles is a Gothic horror and Cinema of Shadows and Spook House sounded too good to pass up. 




And finally I received three books for review.  Mad Hatter and March Hares is a new anthology.  I don't like Alice in Wonderland but like the retelling #IAmOdd.  Mortal Likeness is the second book in a series so I need to hurry up and read The Ripper's Shadow. And you know I couldn't go a whole post without a dog somewhere so let me present to you Stay Calm and Collie On.  Which reminds me of my favorite line from American Horror this week - "Calm up!! Calm Up!"

What did you add this week???


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Weekly Reads (09/22/17) - My Favorite Time of Year!


So it's the first day of Fall!  I'm so excited as it's my favorite season.  Now if I could only find a way to omit Winter, I'd be doing okay.  So another week of natural disasters has taken its toll.  My thoughts go out to everyone effected by the latest hurricane and the earthquake in Mexico.  I swear, I don't know what's going on.

It's been a decent week at The Farm.  Basically the only downside is....COUSINS.  Enough said.  The pups are doing fine but they just got used to the cooler temps and getting out more and then it turned mid to upper 80's all week.  Mr. Barb works this weekend so Sunday I'm painting the living room.  There's not a lot of walls (french doors, windows, mantle) so I don't think it will take too long.  And oh, Booker T picked out the paint color.  Mr. Barb and I originally had different opinions but we finally narrowed it down to 2 we could both live with.  I asked him to make the final choice and he held them up and let Booker T pick.  I guess that way if I don't like the final finish, he can blame the pup. Who is he kidding???

Read quite a bit last weekend but then slowed down during the week.  The Strain finished up but I feel like the last season was just rushed.  The ending was decent though and overall it was a ver entertaining show.  American Horror Story gets weirder and weirder.  And for anyone who watched, all I have to say is "Poor Mr. Guinea!"  We watched a  horror movie called "Hatred" this week and for a movie that isn't really mainstream, it's not bad.  It combines ghosts and Nazi Germany.  


So here is what I plan on reading this upcoming week.  Hopefully by the time this posts I will have finished "A Conspiracy in Belgravia."  I'm really liking it.  Stormi convinced me to pick up "Dark Exodus" next because she wants someone to discuss it with.  I loved the first one so she didn't have to twist my arm too much.  Finally, I need to get to "Gift of Our Mothers" for a blog tour.  It involves witches so I'm excited.


Hope everyone has a safe and happy week.  Any good plans?

Two Bloggers One Book - We Are Always Watching

Once again, Stormi and I chose another Hunter Shea book for our feature this month - "We Are Always Watching."  I had so much fun reading this one and Stormi and I chatted up a bunch about so many aspects of this book.  I've grown to really look forward to our monthly buddy reads and I know I'm always in for a good time, whether we love or dislike the book.  I think this month we were both very pleased with our choice. Make sure you stop by her blog at Books Movies Reviews, Oh My! to see her thoughts as well.

 
TITLE: We Are Always Watching
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Sinister Grin Press
PUBLISHING DATE: March 1, 2017

FROM GOODREADS:

They’ve watched over the house for generations…

The move from New York to the decrepit Pennsylvania farmhouse is as bad as West Ridley thought it would be. His father’s crippling vertigo only seems to get worse, and even with his mother working herself to the bone, they’re out of money and options.

Grandpa Abraham is a drunk bastard and the living embodiment of the long neglected farmhouse. He claims the place is haunted. Ghosts roam the hall at night and their muffled cries fill the silence of warm, summer nights.

On the ceiling above West’s bed are the words WE SEE YOU. In a house plagued by death and mysterious visitations, West realizes something beyond the fiction of his favorite horror books has to be faced.

Dark secrets are buried deep, and there are Guardians who want to keep it that way. No matter where they go or what they do, West and his family know one thing… they are always watching.


MY THOUGHTS: Over the past year or so I've become a huge fan of Hunter Shea so when my friend and I were looking for a buddy read, this became the obvious choice. "We Are Always Watching" grabbed me right from the start and didn't let go until the end - and that ending! 14-year-old West and his parents have had to move to Pennsylvania to live with his Grandpa Abraham on a rundown, decrepit farm. West's father suffers from severe vertigo which makes him quite handicapped following a car accident and the family has fallen on hard times. West's father hates returning to his childhood home and his mother is busy working so the family can eventually move out.

Immediately from the start, West senses something is wrong. His Grandfather has hinted that the house is haunted and West and the family starts finding messages left on the inside and the outside of the home. Grandpa finally discloses that the house is being watched by The Guardians, who do not like change and disruption. Things start happening around the home such as messages left on mirrors and finding Grandpa passed out and bound outside, but the more people whom the family tells what is happening, the more that happens.

I loved this entire book! Grandpa is an old crotchety drunk and not an very likable character, but ultimately he is trying to keep his family safe, although he is also hiding a lot of secrets. West's parents are just struggling to get by and not lose hold of their family in the process. However, West if by far the best character. First of all, he loves everything horror, in fact, he is initially intrigued that the house might be haunted. West always has his nose stuck in a horror book and he has posters from famous movies plastered all over his bedroom walls. "We Are Always Watching" took a real turn about halfway through the novel and I have to admit, it wasn't what I expected. Without giving too much away, it's best to go into this book with limited knowledge so the reader feels the shock and terror right along with the family.

This was a fun book to buddy read and I feel like I read enough of Shea's work. He's definitely an auto-buy author for me and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!
 


RATING: 4 PAWS
 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (124)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.






FROM GOODREADS: If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.


WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I think initially the traveling psychic aspect of this book that got my attention  - right after that cover of course.  Plus, I'm curious how knowing the date of your death plays out.  I personally think that would be a horrible thing to know, but there are some good aspects to knowing it as well.  Either way, I'm interested in this one.

WHAT BOOK CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK??? 

Monday, September 18, 2017

TTT - Ten Books On My Fall TBR

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

I'm participating in a Halloween Bingo Challenge, as well as a few others so I'm sure I've shared some of these already.  However, I will share with you some that I am most excited about!












So you actually got 3 bonus picks because I'm OCD and had to have three rows of four books.  However, there are tons I'm sure I forgot.  In addition, topics like today's totally scares me because it has the potential to greatly add to my wishlist. 


Are any of these on your Fall TBR???

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Another Cozy Town I'd Like to Visit (Dial Meow for Murder Review)

TITLE: Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #2)
AUTHOR: Bethany Blake
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: September 26, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston's owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.

Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer--in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek's most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?

To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work--if it doesn't get her killed.

MY THOUGHTS: After enjoying "Death by Chocolate Lab" so much I knew I had to request this installment the minute I saw it offered on Netgalley. In "Dial Meow for Murder," the main character, Daphne, once again finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when she finds the body of a wealthy philanthropist during a Halloween gala at the woman's home. Despite the objections from Jonathan Black, the local detective, Daphne continues to look into the murder and gets into all kinds of predicaments along the way.

I felt this second installment was just as strong as the initial one. I enjoy the interaction between Daphne and her family, as well as her best friend. There is still some sexual tension going on between Daphne and Jonathan, but if the author is planning on hooking them up eventually, she is taking her time which makes me very happy as I am not a fan of insta-love. In addition, Jonathan's ex has shown up in town and it's unclear if there is a reconciliation in the future between the two. 

What I like best about this series is the connection with the pets. The entire town seems quite pet-centric and since it takes place in October, there are lots of pet-centered activities throughout. In addition, we get to see more of Daphne's dog Socrates than in the first book. This book does introduce some new cat characters, as probably deduced from the title, named Tinkleston and Himmelfarb. I mainly mention them because I would love to ask Blake how she came up with these names! 

"Dial Meow for Murder" is a wonderful cozy mystery and is a must read for anyone who enjoys the genre and likes animals to boot. The mystery takes a few twists and turns along the way and because Daphne is a far-from-perfect character, her day to day actions are a lot of fun to read about. This installment has left me anxiously awaiting book #3. 

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: 4 PAWS