Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tag Team Review - Little Heaven


Stormi and I did our first Tag Team Review together in September and joined in on another with the orginal creators, Laura from FUONLYKNEW and Sherry at Fundinmental in October, but this is the first one we have managed to accomplish since then.  This month Stormi and I buddy read "Little Heaven" by Nick Cutter.  I'd like to say stay tuned for our glorious praises of the book, but well....just read on.  And don't forget to check out Stormi's thoughts over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: Little Heaven
AUTHOR: Nick Cutter
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 10, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down...old-school horror at its best.”

From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers...and it wants them all.


MY THOUGHTS: I did a small happy dance when I finished this book (who am I kidding, I was thrilled) but not for the obvious reasons. I did the dance basically because I was done. This book had such promise. I own "The Troop" and "The Deep" and after hearing such good things about them, I probably should have started my Cutter experience there. "Little Heaven" reminded me of a lot of things. It was slightly reminiscent of Stephen King (in character development and in that the setting of the book was almost a character of its own), and caused flashbacks of The Twilight Zone. Let me explain. In the beginning, when it's talking about the formation of the Long Walker (A.K.A. the Big Bad - my name, not Cutter's) I kept thinking of my favorite Twilight Zone episode, "It's a Good Life," where little Anthony Fremont, a 6-year-old, wishes anything he doesn't like into a cornfield, even the horrible creatures he makes to play with (like a three-headed gopher). The Big Bad needed wished into that cornfield and the book could have been about 100 pages shorter. I don't mind long books, in fact, I love them, but not THIS long book.

"Little Heaven" has dual timelines. The reader is taken into the past, where we see how our team of bounty hunters comes together and where they first encounter the Big Bad. Then we are treated to Micah's current life where he wakes up one morning to find his daughter Petty has been kidnapped by a Long Walker and only he and his gang of misfit bounty hunters know what must be done to save her. For some reason, I had some trouble with the back and forth - perhaps because it took so long for things to develop. I spent the first hundred pages or so utterly confused.

There were some things I liked about "Little Heaven." I liked the team of bounty hunters, with Ebenezer being my favorite character. An African American British man, who in my opinion brought some much needed "snark" to the book at times. I also thought the end was pretty terrifying and if I hadn't been so thrilled to get to it and be done, I probably could have really enjoyed it. I also must admit that Cutter's mind scares me and it's a place I'd hate to visit alone. Now I think that's a good quality for a horror writer to possess and I'm sure I'll pick up both future and past works to see what else he creates.

I've seen mixed reviews of "Little Heaven" and not having read Cutter's other works, I can't honestly tell you if this is where to start with him. If you aren't turned off by horror novels, "Little Heaven" might be a good choice for you. I think I set myself up for failure with this book because I wanted to love it and I just didn't. Oh, and I almost forgot, there are some truly awesome illustrations in the novel so because Goodreads won't allow 1/2 stars, and because of the Cutter's imagination, and given the great pictures, I'm giving "Little Heaven" a weak 3/5.
 


I received this copy from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: 3 PAWS
 


READING CHALLENGES: Goodreads 2017, New Release Challenge, Horror Reading Challenge, 2016/2017 Winter COYER

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cover Reveal - Wolves & Roses




Wolves & Roses
Christina Bauer
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.
“Should” being the key word.
Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties wanther to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?
All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.
But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.




Author Bio:
Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90 s, she founded her ′own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

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Waiting on Wednesday (91)



"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.












FROM GOODREADS: A riveting supernatural, southern gothic tale from Kit Reed. Readers of Joyce Carol Oates and James M. Cain will enjoy this unnerving tale.

Dell Duval has been living on the street since his accident. He can't remember who he was or where he came from. All he has is a tattered note in his pocket with an address for the Ellis house, a sprawling, ancient residence in Jacksonville. He takes up residence under the house in the basement unknown to the residents upstairs. He just needs time to figure out why he's been sent here.

In the house, Lane and her son Theo have returned to the family home—their last resort after Lane's husband cleans out her bank account and leaves. The old house is ruled by an equally ancient trio of tyrannical aunts, who want to preserve everything. Nothing should leave the house, including Lane.

Something about the house isn't right. Things happen to the men and boys living there. There are forces at work one of which visits Theo each night—Mormama, one mama too many.


WHY I'M WAITING:  A supernatural gothic tale - yes please!  Sounds like something I'll be thrilled to get my hands on. 

What are you waiting for this week???? 
 

Corner Store Witch Book Tour Review





TITLE: The Corner Store Witch
AUTHOR: H.D. Lynn
PUBLISHER: Throw This Book At Me
PUBLISHING DATE: September 20, 2016

FROM GOODREADS:  The Chronicles of Narnia but with more swearing, more katanas, and less allegory. It's nerdy, anime inspired fun for the whole family.

Leone owns Pulp Magic (Comics, Books, Games, & More). Angry customers are her biggest concern-until a man from another world literally drops into her shop. And oni have followed him. Leone defends herself with a magical staff, which marks her with powerful runes. Her supernatural tattoo sleeves make her desperately thirsty, yet practically allergic to water-and oh, they foretell the fate of the realms of demons, gods, and men.

With her four friends and inter-dimensional guide, Leone travels to the realm of the gods, searching for magical cosmetic surgery. She doesn't want to carry the fate of the world literally on her arms. But the truth she finds-of a war raging between worlds-changes her, challenges her.

What's a nerd to do with the fate of all worlds at stake? Ah yes, kick some demon ass.


MY THOUGHTS: 
Corner Store Witch is a really quick, really fun urban fantasy read. Leone owns a nerdy comic book store and has a zany group of friends and one really uptight twin name Lakeisha. While at work one day, a man dressed on cosplay gear crashes through Leone's work ceiling. Considering there was no physical damage to the ceiling meaning he materialized out of nowhere, the reader knows the story is not going to get any simpler. Leone quickly discovers Abinar comes from another land, bearing a stolen staff, which eventually triggers powers Leone didn't know she possessed and creates mystic burning tattoos on both her arms.

As I mentioned, this book was a lot of fun. There is a lot of diversity, including an Asperger character, and the story really plays on Japanese culture. It also mentions a lot of pop culture such as Tamora Pierce, Dr. Who and Harry Dresden, which I feel always makes a book a lot of fun. There is lots of action in the book and no real romantic elements which I know appeals to many. My only real complaint is the book is really short. I don't feel the shortness harmed the story overall, but at times, it felt really rushed. Also, huge cliffhanger at the end. Well, not really a cliffhanger, it just basically stops, leaving the reader immediately wanting the rest of the tale.

If you like urban fantasy and diversity, then definitely consider "The Corner Store Witch." I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and as part of Xpresso Book Tours.


RATING: 4 Paws
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

TTT - Hidden Gem Books I've Read In the Past Year or So


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. This week I am featuring books which I consider hidden gems and feel more people should read.









Everyone knows I'm pretty much obsessed with Lizzie Borden and I LOVED this lesser known novel about her life.  Purdy also wrote "The Ripper's Wife" which was also great.


I know a lot of people have said they want to start this series,  but I still don't feel it is getting the love it deserves.  #5 comes out later this year.


A fairly new release but I feel more people need to give it a chance.  Plus...dog! (Why do I feel like a kid with ADHD whenever I see a dog on a cover???)


This is a great gothic mystery and I feel so many people would like it if they would just pick it up!


A historical mystery I probably would have never read if the publisher hadn't sent me a unsolicited copy but I REALLY enjoyed it and can't wait for the next one in this series later this year.


So many people enjoy Sherlock books so I'm surprised I haven't seen this one being talked about more.


This book was so much fun and I think anyone who likes dogs would appreciate it.


Another great and definitely lesser known mystery I read this past year.


This book was beautiful and haunting and creepy so I don't know why more people haven't read it.  Also, the author is really well liked so I can't recommend this one enough.


Definitely a lesser know gem.

So have you read any of these?  Are any on your TBR?  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with this week???

Cover Reveal - True North



I read True Born last year and am thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for its sequel.  I can't wait to see what happens in this exciting series from L.E. Sterling and Entangled Teen.


Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot.  But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her Turn Born bodyguard and maybe something more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price.  In Russia, there's been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chance of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears...and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters' blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it's not you....it's your DNA.



L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature - where she completed a thesis on magical representation.  She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit YA novel, The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed "the Cather in the Rye of a new generation" by one reviewed and the urban fantasy Pluto's Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario. L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers, and an occasional stray mutt.  She currently lives in Ontario, Canada.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (97)

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.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page. 

I had three books on reserve at the local library which came in this week.  I hope no one else wants them right away so I can renew them a time or two but only time will tell on that one.


I've heard great things about "The Unseen World" and "My Sister Rosa" and I recently read a review of "The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett" which piqued my interest so when I saw my library had ordered a copy, I went ahead and reserved it as well.  Of course, they all came in at once.

Then I received some books for review.  I didn't make a resolution to not request many books on Netgalley (it's more like a secret aspiration) because I knew I would break it.  Needless to say, I'm thrilled for all of these and fully admit to being a book addict.



"Gardenia" caught my attention early on, and "I'll Eat When I'm Dead" is a mystery which I'll admit, was a spur of the moment request.  "Silence Fallen" is by one of my favorite authors but I am SURE I requested it over 4-5 months ago and just NOW got approved.  "A Face Like Glass" sounds so interesting and "Death by Chocolate Lab" and "The Right Side" are the products of a new disorder I diagnosed myself with earlier this week, C-ADHD or Canine - ADHD.  I featured "The Right Side" a few weeks ago on a W.O.W. and am sure I did a mini-dance when I received the approval.

Lastly, I want to show you a few of the books I recently grabbed for Free or as Daily Deals for Amazon.  I don't remember which is which so check before you click.

I'm pretty sure "The Night Bird" was a Kindle First grab.  I checked out "The Burning Glass" twice from the library but never read it so when I saw it for $1.99 I went ahead and grabbed it.  I'm pretty sure "The Devil's Bed," "The Devil's Ark," and "Dead Man" were all free.

So what did you add to your shelves this week???