Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (211)

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:  When Zora Novak is framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she must track down the true culprit and clear her name before it’s too late. But in a small town obsessed with ghosts, getting people to believe the truth might prove to be impossible. Fans of Riverdale and Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious will devour this eerie murder mystery. Features spot art and a map by the author.

Zora Novak has been framed.

When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.

Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.

Acclaimed author Francesca Zappia has a perfectly pitched teen voice that shines in this inventive novel. With a compelling cast of memorable characters, a vivid small-town setting, and elements of a classic whodunit, Now Entering Addamvsille is perfect for fans of Brittany Cavallaro, Victoria Schwab, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Includes interior spot illustrations from the author.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  This book is being described as "Strange Things Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer."  How can I pass that up?  It also mentions Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.  Now that's a lot of comparisons but definitely some of my favorite shows so I'm definitely going to give this one a try.


Monday, May 20, 2019

TTT - 10 Things I Loved and Hated About Game of Thrones Season 8

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is "Books I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch."  Well, that really doesn't work for me because I rarely loan books and I don't have any truly expensive editions.  The ones I cherish are my dog books, King books, Pooh books and Prince books and you've all seen them before.  So since I have some things I just HAVE to say about the last season of Game of Thrones, I'm focusing on that.

Now I'm not one of the people lobbying for a redo of the entire season.  They have their right but it's just a show and HBO spent a fortune on it so that's not going to happen.  While not thrilled with it, I've seen worse season enders but I do wish things had gone another way.  That being said, on with the list!

Warning - Spoilers ahead!

LOVED:  I loved that Sansa struck out on her own and became Queen of the North and that Arya set out to explore like she always dreamed.  Such strong women.  That's saying a lot considering I still haven't quite forgiven Sansa for getting a direwolf killed in Season 1 while trying to impress Geoffrey.

HATED:  That neither Sansa or Arya had much to say when sitting on the council at the end.  Such strong female characters delegated to the background.

LOVED: That at the end, Ghost FINALLY got the much deserved attention from his master, Jon Snow.  

HATED: That he was slighted in Episode 4.  He deserved SOMETHING when Jon left.  You can CGI the heck out of dragons and fire but it's too much work to CGI a hug, pat on the head or ANYTHING!  Also, I'm not convinced HBO didn't throw that tidbit in toward the end because people were so upset.

LOVED: That Jon was the one to kill Dany.  Of course, I would have loved it had Arya killed Dany, or Sansa killed Dany, heck even Varys.  Better yet - Ghost should have killed Dany!

HATED: That Dany's death had to happen at all.  Yes, I get it that she became the Mad Queen and I understand that looking back, the path was always there. Heck, at the end even I wanted her dead.  But Dany had such a heart and wanted to free the oppressed.  She was such a brave woman with such fight who overcame so much.   AND she could command dragons (not to mention that she was briefly married to Aquaman).  I really wish it had taken a different turn that what it did.

LOVED: Drogon melting the Iron Throne.  I think that wise dragon realized that throne was the root of all evil and what really killed his mommy.  Probably why he let Jon live.  So basically, Drogon was the smartest one in the last episode.

HATED: Now Drogon is basically an orphan.  He lost his siblings AND his mother. I hope he finds peace and other dragons somewhere to play with.

HATED:  Bran being named King of the Six Kingdoms (Since the North bowed out).  I felt indifferent to Bran the entire show.  If he could in fact see the future, maybe he could have acted earlier and kept some of this stuff from happening.  So maybe he did want the Iron Throne.  

LOVED: That Bran name Tyrion his Hand.  Come on, we all know that Tyrion will really be running things. And I feel pretty good about that.

So do you agree or disagree with any of these (And no, I'm not looking for a fight:)  And what were your final thoughts.  Maybe George RR Martin will finally finish the series and give people and ending they are happy about.  Then again, maybe he'll never finish them at all. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

An Exciting Guest Post!

So most of you know Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! have declared this month "Hunter Shea May" on our blog.  We've already reviewed "Antarctic Ice Beasts" and look for our thoughts on Shea's newest release from Flame Tree Press, "Ghost Mine" later this month.  So I reached out to Hunter and he graciously provided us with a guest post so read on to find out why Hunter Shea is the writer he is today.

By Hunter Shea

It’s the kind of question that fills the couches of therapists all over the world. Nine times out of ten, unfairly or not, mom and dad get the blame. It only takes years of head shrinking and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to get there. Which begs the question, why don’t therapists just ask, “So, what the fuck did mommy and daddy do to you?” right from the jump.

Now, I’ve been to therapy, but for very different reasons. At least I thought at first. But it essentially boiled down to ‘why am I like this’? I was a rare case in that the root of my issue at the time didn’t come from the parentals.

However, when most people meet me and learn that not only am I obsessed with horror, but I also write ‘scary books’, they inevitably ask, “Why?” That’s shorthand for ‘what the hell went so wrong that you’ve dedicated your life to such trash’? Well, horror ain’t trash you uptight mother effer! But wait, let’s not go there.

Guess what? I can say with confidence and without paying a dime to Freud Jr. that my parents are to blame – I mean, thank. First, dad gets top billing for being a horror fan himself, though not to my geeky degree. The man took me to see a ton of horror and sci fi movies when I was just starting to walk. We sat side by side on the couch watching Chiller Theatre, Creature Feature, Kolchak The Night Stalker, Universal Monsters when they appeared on PBS and The Twilight Zone on our black and white console TV. When he came home from NYC, he’d pick me up comic books like Eerie and Conan the Barbarian, or the latest copy of Famous Monsters. We listened to reruns of horror radio plays and put together glow in the dark Aurora monster model kits. When I was big enough to read adult books, Stephen King’s Night Shift was placed before me. And then there were boxes of paperbacks of Lovecraft, Poe, Koontz and other lesser known and one-and-done horror authors. I especially loved his Doc Savage books, which is why I tend to add a lot of action and adventure in my monster novels.

So, aside from veal cutlet TV dinners and corn on the cob, that was my steady diet. I mean, did I even have a chance? As I got older, Fangoria was added to my reading list. Of the four walls in my room, two were dedicated to posters and cut outs of hot babes, and the other two to horrific, bloody stills carefully excised from the pages of Fangoria. My father used to sit on my bed and stare in wide wonder at Morgan Fairchild in her leopard bathing suit just inches away from the Nazi werewolves in An American Werewolf in London. Or Victoria Principle giving some side-eye to a blood-soaked Ash in Evil Dead. (On a side note, I had to give away a TON of comic books to Jimmy across the street in trade for three nude pics he’d gotten of Victoria. Nowadays, it’s all free and right there on the Internet. You horny kids don’t know how good you have it.)

My favorite double feature of all time was when we walked three blocks to the movie theater in our neighborhood to see The Kentucky Fried Movie and Dawn of the Dead. My ten-year old mind was blown and forever rewired. Comedy, sex and gore! I desperately wanted there to be a zombie invasion so I could take over a mall and live the life of Riley. That is, until the bikers came and ruined it all.

Mom is also at fault here – for being complicit! She allowed this sensory overload into an impressionable young mind. Never said no. Never asked if it was too much for me. And I love her for it. She saw how much I dug it all, and when you have a hyper boy in the house, you’ll grasp for anything that will keep him quiet for hours on end. When I started writing and publishing horror, mom and dad were my biggest fans. I’m sure they would occasionally look to one another and say, “Yep, we did this.” Dad has been gone six years now, but mom is still here, reading my madness, and proud as hell.

I’m glad as all get out that I’m like this. Thank you mom and dad. Who knew that loving parents could lead to this? Huh, I guess they did.


Friday, May 17, 2019

What's Happening...(05-18-19)

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out.

The weather continues to be up and down here at The Farm but nothing too drastic so all is good. I do wish it would dry out some so I could do some work in the backyard.  Cassius continues to do well. I can tell at times he's lonely and missing his brother, but we're still making all kinds of extra time for him.

I finished up "Dead to Me" on Netflix last week and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  And I can't wait for the next season - what a cliffhanger.  And I kept trying to figure out where I'd seen Christina Applegate's co-star who plays Judy and finally realized she played Daphne on the Scooby-Doo movies.  We wanted the finale of "Big Bang Theory" Thursday and it was rather bittersweet.  I think it ended well but will definitely miss the characters.  I also finally fell down the rabbit hole that is "Big Little Lies."  I have watched all but the final episode of Season 1 and am really excited for Season 2.  It's kind of like a train wreck in that once I started, I couldn't look away.  

Like everyone else, I'm thrilled yet anxious for the final "Game of Thrones" episode this weekend.  I'm sure HBO will continue to tick me off.  If they kill that last dragon I'm breaking up with the show entirely (easy to say since it's the last one right?).

I have been reading some but not as much as I would have liked (see above tv references for the reason perhaps).  I need to kick it in this weekend.  I am about 120 pages into "NOS4A2" and am enjoying it.  I've also read about the first 60 pages of "Ghost Mine" and the first 90 pages of "Dreaming Darkly."  I'm enjoying them all and it looks like I have some good reading ahead. 

I also grabbed a few books for my Kindle when I saw them on sale.  This has been over the past few weeks so I don't know the current status.  I've been wanting "Just Life" for a while and the author is an attorney/animal activist whose wife is a veterinarian so I think it'll be good.  "The River Man" sounded really creepy and "The Stranger Diaries" is one I've been interested in for a while.

So did you grab anything good this week?  I know I'm forgetting some but there's always next week.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

About Time!!! The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Review

TITLE: The Dark Decent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
AUTHOR: Kiersten White
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 25, 2018

FROM GOODREADS:  Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend. 

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable. 

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I read this book so long ago but I feel it deserves some kind of recognition other since I enjoyed it so much.  Even though technically what I remember most about it at this point is that I read it while my husband was having his gall bladder removed.

So Elizabeth is basically "adopted" by the Frankenstein family when she is young as a companion for their over-the-top, out-of-control son.  She grows up in the household where nothing is ever quite normal and her main role in managing Victor's behaviors and actions.  She and Victor in turn form this strange but strong bond.  Victor goes off to school and suddenly disappears so Elizabeth embarks on an adventure to find him.  She takes her friend and housemaid Justine along with her and they encounter a new friend Mary.  Along the way, they also discover what happened to long-time family friend Henry.

I've never really read Frankenstein.  Yes I know the tale and have seen some movies but I don't know all the intricacies of the novel.  That being said, I still really enjoyed this book.  White writes such a dark and twisted tales and I loved her character development.  She manages to make the monsters of humanities so real yet also make them somewhat endearing.  And Elizabeth shows quite a bit of character development during the novel and although I found her to be somewhat of a passive twit in the beginning, I found her to be a strong you lady with moral convictions at the end.

This book was dark and sad and wonderful.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will definitely be picking up more book by White.  If you love dark tales, retellings or Frankenstein, then give this one a chance.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Hunter Shea May Book #1 (Antarctic Ice Beasts)

Stormi and I both had several Hunter Shea books we wanted to get to so several months back we slated both of them for this month so look for another "2 Bloggers 1 Book" feature next Thursday as well.  First up is "Antarctic Ice Beasts."  After reading my thoughts, make sure you check out Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: Antarctic Ice Beasts
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Severed Press
PUBLISHING DATE: February 14, 2019
FROM GOODREADS: The South Pole in winter is one of the deadliest places on Earth. The seven person crew of the US Freedom Base lives alone in months of utter darkness with no hope of help or rescue. A freak storm batters the walls and threatens to expose them to the deadly cold. All they can do is wait…and pray. 

The ground quakes.  An alien screech rips through the night.  There's something, or someone, lurking outside.  Fists bang on the walls.  Each tiny crack in the base spells death by hypothermia.

Untold horrors have come to Freedom Base...and they want in!

MY THOUGHTS: I love Hunter Shea and I've read quite a few of his books.  Now I have to admit that "Antarctic Ice Beasts" isn't my favorite, but it's still a strong book with lots of positives. 

Shea has a wonderful way of making the settings of his plots characters themselves and it's not different here.  Not only are the crew battling some unknown forces/creatures, they are also battling the environment and living conditions and it's a tossup which is more dangerous. I've always loved wintry, cold settings in books, just not in real life, and "Antarctic Ice Beasts" really delivers.  I also liked a lot of the crew.  Yes, I had a few favorites but on the whole, they were all pretty tolerable.  At least I wasn't immediately cheering on any deaths.  And if you've read Shea's books before you know he isn't afraid to kill off characters but I couldn't help but feel that he intentionally made me love two in particular just to torment me later.

Finally, the "creatures" themselves. It took me a while to get the full picture of what was going on with them and I have to admit they were an interesting concepts.  And it's not just one type of creature, there are many.  Let's just say I'll never look at penguins the same way again.

Despite all of this, I felt things were a little disjointed between the first half of the book and the second.  If you love creature features and wintry settings, this book is worth a read.  And Shea will always be an auto-read author for me.  I just enjoy some of his other books better.


Can't Wait Wednesday (210)

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.

May 30, 2019

FROM GOODREADS:  Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins - as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft - Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be - or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Dark and otherworldly, this is an enthralling story about the bond between sisters and the sacrifices we make for those we care about the most. For fans of Frances Hardinge and Laure Eve. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  First of all I love the cover.  I think it's gorgeous.  I am also always in for topics of witches and this one seems to have a Gothic feel to it as well.