Friday, October 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (38)

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.

This week I only purchased one physical book :

I managed to make a quick visit to our different branch of my library and snagged:

Dead but Not Forgotten Preminitions Slasher Girls

I also borrowed 2 books from my library's Overdrive system:

Carry On In the Name of the Star

And finally I received a few ARCs from Netgalley:

Curio Dragon Marked Blue Eel Santa 365

Once again, there are lots of plan for this weekend, but I hope to find some time to sneak in some reading. I am a good ways in to two different books and would like to finish at least one of them.

What did you add to your shelves this week?  Leave me a comment so I can make sure to visit your blog.

A Look Inside "The Ripper's Wife"

I was contacted last month by a wonderful author, Brandy Purdy, after featuring her upcoming Lizzie Borden novel on Waiting on Wednesday. She really seems like a wonderful person and she so graciously sent me an ARC of "The Secrets of Lizzie Borden" and a finished copy of "The Ripper's Wife" for review.  I started "The Ripper's Wife" a few days ago and while I had planned to have it finished by Halloween, I don't see that happening.  However, I am enjoying this book tremendously and in honor of the season, wanted to provide you with a small except so you can get an idea just how chilling this book is.  I often think "real" monsters are the scariest and the monster in this book is no exception.

EXCERPT:  "When you open the cover, that's when the horror begins. Your skin begins to crawl and you blood begins to chill, and you discover that this battered old diary is anything but ordinary.  No dreaded dentist appointments, tedious afternoon teas with a vicar avariciously fond of cucumber sandwiches and saving cannibals' souls, quarrels with the giddy young wife about her ludicrous, exorbitantly priced bonnets-silly things sprouting stuffed canaries and spinach!  However can she keep a straight face and wear them?- and her abominable, troublemaking mother or taking the children to see a Saturday matinee for an afternoon's flight of fantasy to see Peter Pan.  Oh no, nothing like that!  It's like walking into the parlor and seeing blood dripped across a cream-colored carpet in a trail lead straight to a torn and bloody corpse.  A most unexpected sight when all you're expecting is the calm and mundane, orderly ordinary.  You've come to have tea after all, not to scream and fall fainting over  corpse."

The book is told from Florence "Florie" Marbrick's point of view and tells her take of life with Jack the Ripper or James Maybrick.  Following a hasty marriage, Florie joins Jack at his family home, Battlecrease House, and she slowly begins to uncover James' secret life as her life starts to unravel.

Florence Maybrick

James Maybrick

The lavish Battlecrease House

If you love historical novels at all, and especially if you like a slice of horror thrown in, then you need to pick up a copy of this book.  Purdy immediately pulls the reader into Florie's world and elaborately describes life in Victorian England.  I am already 150 pages in and am wondering what Florie is going to discover next.  I can't wait to hand out candy Halloween night and then immerse myself back into this world!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Forget Tomorrow - How to Change Your Future

TITLE: Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow Series #1)
AUTHOR: Pintip Dunn
PUBLISHER: Entangled Teen
PUBLISHING DATE: November 3, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self.

It's Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie's case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

I hadn't read a lot about this book going into it and I actually think it was better because of it. I also didn't have high expectations, although I do think this book is getting some buzz. I was immediately drawn into the plot. The entire book has a sci-fi/dystopian vibe. Callie, her sister Jessa, and her mom live together in a society that is dictated by science. On everyone's 17 birthday, you march into something that I equated to a local DMV and receive a "future memory" which basically controls your future, but the bad thing is, if it determines you do something illegal, you can be arrested and imprisoned on the spot. Needless to say, Callie envisions killing her 6 year old sister and the chaos ensues from there (this is not a spoiler as it is mentioned in the synopsis and early on in the book). Callie's adventures are soon joined by a classmate, Logan, who hasn't spoken to her in 5 years, but suddenly wants to help.

I found this book to be a refreshing taste from a lot of dystopian books of late. The scientific elements were interesting and I felt an honest desire to know what happens to Callie, Logan and Jessa. I really only have two complaints, but neither kept me from enjoying the book. There is an element of insta-love between Callie and Logan. Now as the reader progresses, it seems it wasn't so "insta" and there is a backstory, but it was still enough for me to make note. Also, I wished some of the characters were more flushed out. While imprisoned Callie meets Sully, and I think the author really missed the boat with not providing more of a story with Sully or even working her into the adventure more. All that said, the ending was astounding. I had discovered a major twist toward the last 3rd of the of book, but I didn't see the ending coming. I am definitely interested in seeing what the next installment brings. I'm sure lovers of The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this book as well.

I received this book from Entangled Teen and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.  Since Halloween is rapidly approaching, I have been searching for some more horror to add to my TBR and look what I found!

The Fireman - Joe Hill/May 2016 
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman's secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

WHY I'M WAITING: A new Joe Hill book. I am thrilled and even though it's going to be a long wait, it will give me time to get to NOS4A2.  It sounds so good!

What are you waiting for this week?


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday - 10 Scary Books I WANTED to Read for Halloween

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's topic is a Halloween freebie so I thought I would show you 10 books I wanted to read during the month of October, but didn't get to.  Needless to say, I may be continuing my horror binge into November.

Already borrowed it from Scribd...just need to read it! even made the October TBR pile - that's as far as it got.
No excuses.....
I read the first 5 pages.
Bought the day it was released...still sitting unopened on Kindle.
Want to read but still haven't purchased so maybe I won't feel too guilty.
Decided I needed to re-read the first one and I am horrible at re-reads! So technically this is 2 books!
Why??? Why???
Have wanted to read this since it was released
What's Halloween without some Stephen King?- guess I am gonna find out.
I do plan on moving After Alice, Night Music and Subterranean Season to the Nov/Dec piles but I honestly don't know when I will get to the rest.  Man, why do I have to work????  Can't wait to see everyone's lists this week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monsterland and a surprise guest!

I am thrilled today to share with you a wonderful new book which arrived on my doorstep two weeks ago and which I can't wait to tell you about.  In addition, I had the great opportunity to connect with the author,  Michael Phillip Cash, and ask him a few questions.  With Halloween quickly approaching, hope you enjoy!

TITLE: Monsterland
AUTHOR: Michael Phillip Cash
PUBLISHER: Create Space/Red Feather Publishing

FROM GOODREADS: Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

This book showed up on my doorstep last week which was great for two reasons. One, it was unsolicited and I had no clue it was coming so "Surprise!" and two, because I had seen it on several blogs and had just added it to my wishlist. I immediately couldn't wait to get to it and picked it up several days later, totally unplanned. In the course of two days, I had finished this book and not only was it perfect for the Halloween season, it has found its way to one of my top 10, perhaps even 5, reads of the year.

Mosterland tells the story of a new theme park that is showing up all over the world. They are all debuting on the same day, and the owner and creator, Vincent Conrad, is being touted as a new world savior. Basically werewolves, vampires and zombies have all been "outed" and instead of keeping them in containment camps, he has created a theme park so they have a safe place to stay, and so society can interact with them in some manner.

I really liked Monsterland's story. A group of kids, including the main character Wyatt, get tickets to the grand opening and all sorts of action and chaos ensue. Wyatt and his friends are a wonderful additional to the story. They could be called the misfits of their high school, but they basically kind of reminded me of the gang of kids from King's Stand By Me except older. And instead of "Do you wanna see a dead body?" it's more like "Wanna see a real monster?"

I can't urge anyone who likes action, thrillers or horror novels enough to pick this book up and give it a chance. I will definitely be seeking out more books by Cash and can only imagine what awaits me between the pages.


Introducing Michael Phillip Cash!

Born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

1.  Monsterland features all of the major monsters and even some the reader doesn't suspect at first.  I was wondering, what is your favorite monster and why?

That is the question I pose in Monsterland - who will win, werewolves, vampires or zombies.  I love all different types of monsters, I must say werewolves are my favorite.  The raw power of a werewolf is undeniable.  But in the end, you will have to find out who wins.

2.  Since Halloween is quickly approaching, do you have any favorite scary/horror stories to recommend?

I love the idea that a monster can be real.  That's how I write my books, with a sense of  'can this really happen?'  I'm a sucker for classic monster stories but if I had one (or two) to choose it would be the original 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.'  That film is absolutely brilliant.  Same with 'Dawn of the Dead.'  Take the scariest monster possible.  Lock the protagonist in their dreams of a mall, and watch the destruction occur.  Great storytelling. 

3.  When I was reading Monsterland, I felt like there was a hidden commentary on who/what the world really considers as monsters and how society has a history of treating things they don't understand badly. Was this intentional or am I reading too much into it?

You nailed it!  That's exactly what I was trying to convey.  There was a great schism in the book, people wanting the monsters locked up and others who wanted to be politically correct about them.  I actually make a joke in the book when someone calls the zombies "vitality challenged.'  Vincent Conrad calls them zombies.  Turns out, both parties are wrong.  You have to read to find out what the political motives were really all about.

4.  While I enjoyed many of your characters in Monsterland, and felt an immediate connection with Wyatt, I really loved Keisha.  She was so full of attitude and you have to like a girl who falls for a nerd.  Did you have a favorite character to write?

I couldn't agree with you more.  Wyatt and Keisha were both very strong protagonists who have to learn to fend for themselves.  I LOVED writing about Vincent Conrad.  This may sound strange but he was telling me what to say as I was writing.  He's like PT Barnum and Donald Trump's love child.  He has the public eating out of the palm of his hand, but something is deeper than meets the eye.  He's a showman, a politician who desires one thing and one thing only.  This was so much fun to create.

5.  As you can see, my blog often features Booker T the Boxer, my review partner and sidekick so this question is Booker T's:  Do you have any pets now or did you have any growing up?  Do they help with your writing process?  Are they spoiled like me and my brother Cassius?

LOL.  I love(d) pets.  I had three amazing dogs growing up.  Alvin, but he was hit by a car.  Tessie, she passed away at 8 years old.  And Sophie, who passed away at 6 years old.  You know, growing up I had crippling asthma.  I just couldn't catch my breath, day in and day out.  The day Sophie (my last dog) passed away, I haven't taken my asthma spray since.  Took an allergy test years ago to find out I am highly allergic to all animals.  So no, at this point in my life I do not have any pets.  I have kids.  Who act like pets.  They eat all day, want to play with me all the time, and live riding in my truck with the windows down.  I'm not allergic to my kids.

Thanks for stopping by Michael and everyone else, go pick up Monsterland!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (37) - I hit one-click way too often

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.

I found a link that featured some great Kindle additions which were on sale this week and needless to say, I went a tad one-click happy.  On the positive side, I did manage to pay less than $20.00 for all of these which I think is pretty good and I have been wanting several of them for quite some time.

Southern Gods Red Rain Envy of Angels The Hunt
A Twisted Ladder The Bargaining Queen of the Tearling Invasion of the Tearling

Some of these may still be on sale. I think each one was $2.99 or less so you might want to check Amazon if you are interested. If you want more info about any of them, click the pic and it should take you to the Goodreads description. At least I hope so.

I also received 2 physical review copies in the mail this week. 

Put A Ring on It The Good Neighbor

I can't wait to read these and hope to have reviews up in November. Put A Ring On It is part of the Girls Best Friend blog tour.

I have a busy weekend ahead but hope to get some pumpkins carved and some reading done.  What did you haul this week?  Leave a comment so I can be sure to check out your blog!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Addam's Family Book Tag!

Saw this on a Booktube video and the original creator is Gina@InColdLit. Since it is near Halloween, I thought it would be fun to do.  I remember being a kid and watching the old Addams Family series with my Dad.  I  grew to love the show partly because it was something we could do together, and partly because my mom hated it (hey, I was a kid).  Dad has been gone almost 3 years now so I guess this one is for him!

1.  Morticia Addams is a mother and a witch. What is your favorite witch book?

2.  Gomez Addams is a loving father.  Who is your favorite fictional dad? Carter, the step dad in....
3.  Uncle Fester Addams can generate electricity.  What book makes you light up so much you can't stop talking about it?
4.  Wednesday Addams is obsessed with death.  If you could have killed off a character in any book, who would it have been?  Bella...early in Book 1.
5.  Pugsley Addams has a vicious nature and plays nasty pranks on everyone.  Who is your favorite villain?
Father from...
6.  Lurch is based on Frankenstein and a zombie.  What is your favorite adaptation of a story?
7.  Grandmama is an old classic witch.  What is your favorite old classic horror book?
8.  Show us some of your horror books...too many to even try!

9.  What are you going as this year?  A Boxer mommy of course!

10.  Favorite Halloween films....Day of the Dead, Sleepy Hollow, The Shining, Salem's Lot, Pumpkinhead and the list goes on and on!

I'm not going to tag anyone but if you feel like doing this, leave me a comment so I can check out your post!