Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two Bloggers One Book - Just Add Water (and a special guest to boot!)

This past month Stormi and I chose to buddy read the new book by Hunter Shea "Just Add Water."  It was pretty much a no-brainer since our very first buddy read was Shea's "The Jersey Devil."  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I'm pretty sure Stormi did as well.  So after you read my review, make sure to hop over to her blog Books Movies Reviews, Oh My! and check out her thoughts.  And as a special treat, we are both welcoming Hunter Shea to our blogs today so make sure you check out his fun-filled interview.

TITLE: Just Add Water (Mail Order Massacres #1)
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
PUBLISHING DATE: June 13, 2017


It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:

Just add water . . . and watch them grow!


Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .


It’s been years since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .

Hunter Shea is quickly becoming one of my "must read everything he writes" authors which is saying a lot because he is sharing space with some of my favorites such as Stephen King, Joe Hill and Stuart West. I feel "Just Add Water" is best compared to a B-movie horror-fest and I mean that in the best way possible. It's the kind of book you should grab up when you want to escape reality for a while and enjoy some blood, gore and a tad bit of humor all at the same time.

David and Patrick are two comic-obsessed kids who place an order out of an ad in the back of a "Wonder Woman" comic for some amazing sea monkeys. When they arrive, they secretly house them in a garage but when they don't start growing as expected and smell horrific to boot, they flush them down the commode. Flash forward a few years and pets are mysteriously turning up all over the city and in an attempt to help locate them, and maybe more importantly earn some reward money for more comic books, the two discover they may not have seen the last of the nasty smelling sea monkey goo.

The action in "Just Add Water" is pretty much non-stop and it's a book I devoured within the course of 24 hours. I hated to put it down and only did so because life got in the way. I loved the group of kids who work together to take down the sea monkeys and I even loved the gore Shea infused into the tale. And while not a children's book in any fashion, these kids actually have parents - although in some cases I use that term loosely. Oh and I can't forget - let's say I'll never look at wasabi the same way again. If you are a fan of Shea's or just looking for some new horror to try out, I can't stress enough that you should immediately seek out a copy of "Just Add Water" and settle in for some good old-fashioned, gory fun. The next in this series, "Optical Delusion" comes out in August and a wonderful glorious ARC is already waiting for me on my Kindle.

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




Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. He’s a bestselling author of over 13 (lucky number!) books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

STORMI: What made you decide to do a series based on the wall ads in comic books? And speaking of comic books, are you a big fan.  What is your favorite?

HUNTER: My editor came to me one day with this idea about killer sea monkeys.  I thought he was drunk or kidding or both.  Since we're both slightly insane, we kept talking about it until we had the arc for a full story.  I then suggested that we do at least three so we could cover a few of our favorite mail order ripoffs that we wanted as kids.  We were both huge comic book geeks...and still are, to some degree.  My favorite is Captain America.  So much so, that I have a tattoo of his shield on my arm.  I got it many years ago, before Cap was suddenly so damn cool.

BARB: Stormi and I both loved "Just Add Water" and know a second book is in the works.  What are your plans for this series and will there be more than two?

HUNTER: Oh, thank you so much.  Yes, there are three in the series.  The second is called "Optical Delusion" about a pair of X-ray specs gone horribly wrong.  The last, "Money Back Guarantee" is about those cardboard nuclear subs you could order from the comics.  This time around, mom isn't happy at all that she was ripped off.  Someone's gonna pay...big time!
STORMI: You tend to favor the horror genre.  What is that and who are some of your favorite authors and books in the genre?

HUNTER:  I grew up as a horror kid, thanks to my father.  He took me to every horror movie that came out in the 70s when I was just a wee tyke.  The reason he did it is because I wasn't scared.  I loved them all, even The Exorcist!  I started reading Stephen King and HP Lovecraft when I was about 9 and haven't stopped.  Robert McCammon is one of my favorite all time writers.  I worship Boy's Life and Swan Song.  There are so many authors I devour.  It would take all day to name them all.

BARB: What question have you always wanted someone to ask you and of course, please provide the answer.

HUNTER: Hmmm.  How about, do you think Shania Twain will ever fall in love with you? Now, I understand that we're both happily married, but given the chance, I could charm my way into her heart.  At least that's what I tell myself.  And yes, some horror writers like to rock out to Man, I Feel Like a Woman.

BARB: Booker T, my co-blogger, always likes to ask a question of visiting authors so here goes.

BOOKER T: There's a German Shepard in the book and all I'll say is that if it had been a boxer, totally different outcome.  Do you have any 4-legged friend that help (or hinder) your writing process?  Also, and here's a serious president - Cat or Dog?

HUNTER: I have two cats, Iris and Salem.  Iris is 9 and a typical lazy cat who will scratch your ankles every chance she gets.  Salem is a 3 year old black cat that is more like a big lovable dog.  He's my favorite and can be a hindrance to writing because he likes to walk on the keyboard until I rub his Buddha belly.  I hope the next president is a husky.  He'll settle the world's problems with a simple glance from those ice blue eyes.

Thanks for visiting with us Hunter and good luck on all your future endeavors!!!


  1. I think a Husky is a good choice for a President considering the way things are at the moment! I'm looking forward to reading this series of books and the pile of Hunter's books I've already got in paperback. LOVED Swamp Monster Massacre! Great interview!

    1. Thanks Chuckles. I was so glad Hunter agreed to spend some time with me and Stormi. I really want to read more of his stories now and I think it's cool your father is reading his stuff too!

  2. It's nice to have one that we both liked! :) I think I have some other Hunter books that I need to check out. :)

    1. I know we both need to get to "Optical Delusion" soon huh?

  3. I *love* the premise for this book. It sounds like a really fun read.

    1. It was such a fun read. I loved the sea monkey aspect and remember playing with those little monkeys whose arms joined as you pulled them out of the barrel. I probably sound totally crazy right now.

  4. What a great idea! Sea monkeys always creeped me out and I'm thrilled to know there is a story about them. And I have to agree, Swan Song and Boy's Life are two of my fave Robert McCammon books as well!

    1. I could never wrap my head around the concept of monkeys in the sea. Totally went against my animal knowledge and logical thinking as a child.

  5. I loved this book and have read almost every book Hunter has written. He's a must buy and I've already pre-ordered the next book in this series. It's been fun getting to know Hunter! Thanks for sharing:)

    1. Glad to hear you enjoy all of his books so much. I've definitely got quite a few to catch up on.

  6. I'm surprised no one ever thought about writing a SeaMonkey monster book before now! I need to read very, very soon! Great review and interview.