Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Books to Bark (and Crow) About #5 - Mom's Life's a Mess!

So we kept telling Mom we were due a blog feature and she kept ignoring us (however, we can cut her a break because June has been kind of traumatic for her).  Finally, one day at lunch, it dawned on her and then she was all dog treats and apologies.  This week, Cass and I are each sharing a book we think Mom ought to purchase, as well as one which is already on her shelves.

There's a new dog next door which is driving me crazy.  Personally I could care less about him because I know firsthand if he keeps snapping at me, Cass will take care of him.  (yea Mom, I hear ya, it's not him, it's his OWNERS....blah  blah blah).  So in honor of Rodney, I'm featuring some Doggy-horror.  You know that is completely unlike me so you can only imagine the stress I'm under!  "Dog Days O'Summer" is what they call a coming of age story and I think it's about werewolves but the cover looks more like the "Shaggy DA."  Or at least Mom thinks it does.  "Rodney" oops I mean "Hell Hound" is a book Mom's had on her shelf for some time.

  So since brother went all dark and twisty, I'm going to share two mysteries books with you.  Dogs are popping up all over the place in mysteries and for good reason - we're darn smart.  Plus we can be both sneaky and cute - both which can be used to get what we want.  I think both of these would be good books to take our mind off of Rodney and unlike Booker T, I'm pretty sure Mom ALREADY owns both of them.

So there you have it guys.  Our very late 6th Edition of Books to Bark (and Crow) About.  Wish Rodney (oops, we mean us) luck!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (163)

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:  Cainsville, Illinois. A town founded by fae escaping the Old World. A town both part of the world and cut off from it. A town that a young woman will run to, fleeing her past, only to discover that her past extends further than she ever imagined, into the distant history of Cainville itself. Collected in this volume are the stories of the town’s past, of the people and the fae she will eventually meet. 
A child tormented by visions of fae castles and fierce dragons. 
A hobgoblin who strives to avoid his role in an ancient prophecy. 
A boy who wants the perfect Solstice gift for his aunt. 
A writer who discovers all publicity is not good publicity after all. 
A much-maligned orange cat who won't quite stay dead. 
Another cat with more than his nine lives, one continually reborn to right an ancient wrong. 
And, finally, a story of the young woman who ran to Cainsville, now running away, searching for answers she can’t quite find. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I love Armstrong and especially enjoyed her Cainsville series.  In fact, it has one of the most satisfying conclusions for me.  However, I never managed to read any of the short stories she shared through various means so I'm thrilled to see them here is one collection.  Plus it means new materials and spending time with some of my favorite characters again.


Monday, June 18, 2018

TTT - Review Books I WILL Read This Summer

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing 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 to read by the pool or at the beach.  I do neither.  I prefer "Porchville."  I nice shady place where the dogs can relax and Mr. Barb and I can share a drink or two.  In addition, if there is too much heat, Porchville has an electrical socket so I can always BYOF - Bring Your Own Fan.  So I'm going to share some review books I must make time for this summer - perhaps will relaxing in Porchville - not to be confused with Margaritaville, though they might be neighboring countries.

I love this cover and you guys know I love Hunter Shea so "Rattus New Yorkus" is a definite must-read.

Gotta have at least one dog book - although I'm sure they'll be more.  "In the Dog House" is the start of a new cozy series.

Described as a Gothic read, "Girl at the Grave" is a historical mystery I'm super excited for this summer.

I think summer is perfect for some middle grade and "Rules of the Ruff" fits that bill.  Plus, I never tired of seeing that adorable cover.

Since thrillers seem to be popping up around every corner, I might as well as "Sister of Mine" to the summer TBR.  It's about two sisters bound together by murder.

I'm hoping "The Mermaid" sits better with me than "To Kill a Kingdom."  I'd hate to give up on mermaids altogether.

Hailed as a combination of Sharp Objects and Stand By Me, "Big Woods" has some mighty big shoes to fill.

"You Lucky Dog" is on standby for when I need a lighter read.  Plus, the cover just reminds me of summer.

So many people are already raving about "The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle."  I can't wait to get started.

I can't believe I haven't read "Trail of Lightning" yet so I must remedy that this summer.  

So there you have it.  Of course, there will also be more mystery, horror and dog books as well as library books abound - looks like it's shaping up to be a good summer.

Don't Let the Dog on the Cover Fool You!

TITLE: The Wild Inside
AUTHOR: Jamey Bradbury
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
PUBLISHING DATE: March 20, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?

MY THOUGHTS:  I finished this book just last night and if I don't write the review soon, I fear I may never do so.  I like books that are strange and odd but even this one had me going at times.  First let's talk about the things I liked in the book.  I really enjoyed the family dynamics.  Tracy's mother died a few years back when she was tragically hit by a car (or I think she was, now I'm not sure) and it's interesting to see how Tracy, her brother Scott and her father pick up the pieces following the tragedy.  They don't always get along and the struggle to put everything back into its proper place is very believable.  I also enjoyed the dog aspect of the book, as I knew I would.  The whole family, minus Scott, is active in the "mushing" lifestyle.  They raise dogs and while it would be impossible for me to do so because I'd have the WHOLE TEAM inside with me, the dogs added a very enjoyable aspect to "The Wild Inside."  I also liked that Bradbury created a very diverse character and wove them into the plot without shouting "LOOK AT THE DIVERSE CHARACTER!" if that make sense.

Now for some things that didn't work for me.  And I'm going to be honest - there was a lot.  Having finished the book, I still don't know what the heck happened. The author makes no secret that Tracy possesses something others don't.  She is able to drink blood of animals, which she needs for strength, and experience what they have went through.  She is able to do the same thing with people, but her mother told her not to do so.  Does she listen - NO.  And it causes all kinds of problems, but not the ones you'd suspect.  Tracy becomes weak when she tries to stop this disturbing habit, so she is unable to do so for long.  But not once in the book is it explained why Tracy can do this.  I don't think she's a shifter, but is she a vamp?  Probably not because she doesn't shy away from sunlight.  Is she mentally ill - probably but it brings about the chicken and the egg controversy.  I didn't really care for many of the characters, especially Tracy and Jesse, but I didn't hate them either.  

Finally, I have to add this.  This book kind of grossed me out which is hard to do.  Tracy needs blood to stay strong.  But when it isn't available, she is at least able to remedy the problem once a month.  You see where I'm going right? Because I refuse to spell it out.  

I requested my library order "The Wild Inside" when it came out and they complied.  I really did want to read it and despite my rating, I never once considered DNF'ing it.  I mean, I wanted answers.  But I didn't get them.  And oh, there might be ghosts.

I won't say there is animal cruelty because the dogs are well cared for in the novel but there is a lot of hunting...and blood drinking...and oh, a cat dies which I found extremely sad and vicious.  So if any of that bothers you, stay away from this book.  But if anything sounds uniquely intriguing, then give this book a try.  The immediately afterwards hit me up on Goodreads and feel free to explain it to me.


Sci-Fi Summer Readathon Wrap Up

So I participated in the Sc-Fi Summer Readathon for the first time this year which was perfect because one of my resolutions was to read more science fiction.  I managed to read two books which count and although the reviews won't be up until later, I decided to give you a sneak peek.

First up was "To Kill a Kingdom" by Alexandra Christo.  This was a very dark book which is one reason I was excited to pick it up.  I liked it okay, but have to admit I never really felt too attached to the two main characters.  I liked the side characters much more. 

Then there was "Jurassic Florida" by Hunter Shea.  Shea is one of my favorite horror authors and I've read quite a few of his books.  This one was tons of fun and I loved it.  

Even though I didn't read it during the readathon, I finally got my review for "Outpost" up last week as well as featuring its sequel on Can't Wait Wednesday.  You can find the posts HERE and HERE.  Check them out because I think this sci-fi series needs more love and is a great place for newbies like me to start.

Thanks to Seasons of Reading for hosting!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (166)/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 Reviewer

So first up I got a preorder this week for my Kindle and I'm super excited.  I've been waiting for "Atticus" for over a month.  Now if the Dogs Days of Summer Challenge just hurries up and arrives, I'll be set (not like I wasn't set anyway).  Isn't that cover too cute???

The next three were free.  I couldn't resist "Destroyer of the Planets" because come on, tentacles!  I'm not going to lie, "Outcast" was a total cover grab and when I saw a free book from Crystal Lake Publishing, "Tales of the Lake Vol. 2" I had to make sure I got it.

And lastly a few review copies.  "'Twas the Knife Before Christmas" is the second installment of a Christmas cozy I fell in love with last year.  "A Tale of Two Murders" sounds like a good Victorian mystery and "The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker"  looks like an interesting thriller.

So what did you add this week and are you looking forward to reading any of these???

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Weekly Reads (06/15/18)

Another week in the books and boy am I glad!  So basically Grandpa got out of the hospital for two days and is now back in.  He is in ICU and has some internal bleeding...lots of internal bleeding. They don't know if they are going to figure out what is causing it and try to remedy that or... well, I don't know what else.  I'm hurt, confused and angry and I don't wanna see him go out like this.  He doesn't deserve to suffer so if God decides to take him, I hope he does it quickly.  Plus my Uncle spent 5 days on a barge in the middle of the Gulf before FINALLY deciding he should come home Thursday.  I'm pretty much spent and here is a wonderful picture of what I would choose to do if only I could!

We did watch some movies this week.  We watched "The Strangers: Prey at Night" and I loved it.  Mr. Barb did too.  I have to say Bailee Madison did an awesome job playing a punk, grunge teenager.  We also watched a Nicolas Cage movie called "211."  It had horrible reviews but for a movie that went straight to DVD/streaming, it was pretty good.  We plan on watching "Tomb Raider" this weekend.

I have been able to read some.  In fact, it's pretty much the only way I can keep my mind preoccupied.  Several of you have seen some of my comments on one of my current reads "The Wild Inside."  Strange doesn't even begin to cover this book.  I'm also a few chapters into "Intermission."  
Then I'll probably start another review book.

Oh and I forgot - Mr. Barb fell off a porch.  He and a neighbor were replacing the back porch steps and the bottom one wasn't nailed yet so he went flying and his head bounced off the fence and his body off the ground.  He's okay but me and the pups gave him special care for a few days.  So that give you a clue what kind of week I've had - I almost forgot all about it and it was just last Sunday.

So I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to visit my blog and comments when they can.  Sometimes I feel like I can't give it enough attention, but the friends I have made and the enjoyment I receive from it always keeps me coming back.  You guys rock!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

So I Guess I Do Like Science Fiction!

TITLE: Outpost (Donovan Trilogy #1)
AUTHOR: W. Michael Gear
PUBLISHING DATE: February 20, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Donovan: A world of remarkable wealth, habitable, with a breathable atmosphere, water, and a salubrious climate. Call it a dream come true. A dream? Or a nightmare? Donovan's wealth comes at a price. For Donovan lies thirty light years away--a two-year journey that few survive.

When Turalon arrives in orbit, Supervisor Kalico Aguila discovers a failing colony, it's government overthrown, and the few colonists left now gone wild. For Kalico, Donovan offers the chance of a lifetime: one desperate spin of the wheel that will leave her the most powerful woman in the solar system. Or dead.

Planetside, Talina Perez is one the three rulers of Port Authority--the only remnant of a town on Donovan. She's the only law left, and now a Corporate ship has appeared in orbit and is demaning answers about things she's done in the name of survival. Perez is about to lose everything, including her life, when Kalico lands with her Marines.

For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he can't wait to set foot on Port Authority. He will make one desperate play to grab a piece of the action. No matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy.

Captain Max Taggart has been The Corporation's "go to" guy when it comes to brutal enforcement. As the situation in Port Authority deteriorates, he'll be faced with committing mass murder in order to dominate the wild Donovanians. Only Talina Perez stands in his way. Or. God forbid, is he getting squeamish in his old age?

Just as matters spiral out of control, a ghost ship, the Freelander,appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that forewarns any ship from making the return journey to Solar System.

Does anyone dare space back on Turlon with her wealth of ore, ceramic, gems, and gold? Or do they take their chances on a deadly planet that kills three out of four colonists?

And in the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all of them, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game. One whose secrets are hidden in Talia Perez's very blood. A game which will change everything, forever.

MY THOUGHTS:  So I pretty much think the Goodreads synopsis does a great job of introducing the players in this novel and summing up what is gone so I will spare you a lot of repetitiveness.  Basically, a group of people have been stuck on Donovan for years, no one has arrived to help them, and when people finally do arrive, they threaten everything the community has built. 

Gear does a wonderful job world building this planet.  There are so many cool plants and "animals" on Donovan that the descriptions alone kept me intrigued.  Then there are the characters.  The ones you love, you really love and those you don't, well there so much fun to hate.  I loved that the community who has lived on the planet for years created their own infrastructure and feel then owe nothing to The Corporation.  And I love their leaders, especially Talina.  She is smart, stubborn and kick-ass!  She takes no prisoners and isn't afraid to do what has to be done.

This book kept me engrossed from page one.  Whenever I thought I'd put it down, I always ended up reading more.  There was one scene where I personally wanted to contact Gear and tell him what a mess he made of my emotions but I held back - although I'm still considering this. If you saw yesterday's post, you know that Tammy from Books, Bones & Buffy urged me to read this series and I'm forever grateful.  I can't wait to see where it heads next!

If you love science fiction, then consider this book.  I seriously don't think it's getting enough attention.  And if you are new to the genre, so was I and look at how much I loved it!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (162)

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:  The second book in a thrilling sci-fi action adventure, set on Donovan, a treacherous alien planet where corporate threats and dangerous creatures imperil the lives of the planet's colonists.

New York Times bestselling author W. Michael Gear returns us to the world he laid out with such sure purpose in Outpost. The struggle for survival sharpens as resources dwindle, technology fails, and the grim reality of life on Donovan unfolds.

Supervisor Kalico Aguila has bet everything on a fragile settlement far south of Port Authority. There, she has carved a farm and mine out of wilderness. But Donovan is closing in. When conditions couldn't get worse, a murderous peril descends out of Donovan's sky--one that will leave Kalico bleeding and shattered.

Talina Perez gambles her life and reputation in a bid to atone for ruthlessly murdering a woman's husband years ago. Ironically, saving Dya Simonov may save them all.

Lieutenant Deb Spiro is losing it, and by killing a little girl's pet alien, she may have precipitated disaster for all. In the end, the only hope will lie with a "lost" colony, and the alien-infested reflexes possessed by Security Officer Talina Perez.

On Donovan, only human beings are more terrifying than the wildlife.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I know my review for the first book in this series, "Outpost" hasn't posted yet but needless to say, I feel in love with this science fiction series and can't wait until the next installment releases. I have Tammy@Books, Bones & Buffy to thank for convincing me to give this series a try and I believe it was on her blog that I first discovered this beautiful sequel.  This series definitely deserves more book love!

Monday, June 11, 2018

TTT - Leave Me Alone So I Can Read!

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing 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 That Awaken the Travel Bug in Me."  Now I don't particularly care about traveling.  I honestly rather be home with Mr. Barb and the pups.  There are a few places I'd like to visit one day but if I don't get to, hey I'm content.  But sometimes I feel like I spread myself too thin, especially during the summer, which then cuts into my reading time.  So this week I'm sharing with you "Books I Could Read If People Left Me Alone!"  This could be on my back porch or on a deserted island (well, with pups).  It really doesn't matter.

Game of Thrones

The Stand

Swan Song

Prince and the Purple Rain Studio Era

Demon King

So basically these are books that are longer than 500 pages.  I am not afraid of big books but when I am busy, I feel like it takes me forever to read them.  So if people would leave me alone, I might be able to get these read.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (165)/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 Reviewer

So I bought an e-book this week because it was just one of those days. I'd been seeing "Demon King" around and figured it was about time I grabbed it.  "Of Vengeance and Werewolves" was a complete freebie cover grab as was "Dinosaur Valley."

Then I received "Rattus New Yorkus" and "Rules of the Ruff" which looks like a cute MG, for review.  Now those are two contrasting covers!

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

Wow, That's a Mouthful - COYER Challenge Sign Up

It's that time of year again.  Time for the Summer COYER Challenge.  And this year it's celebrating a 5 year birthday. So here are the basics that everyone needs to know:

  • The challenge begins June 9th (which happens to Berls’s Birthday!!) at 12am EST and ends August 31st at 11:59pm EST. The review linky and giveaway widgets will remain open until September 1st, 11:59 PM EST.
  • You must create a sign-up post anytime between now and July 9th on blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, etc indicating your clean up goal (see below for details). Link your sign-up to the linky below.
  • It’s Summer and you know what that means! Anything you read goes! It can be any format, any price, obtained from any LEGAL location. Library? Yep! Borrowed? Yep! KU? Yep? $500? Yep (but are you crazy?)!
  • Link your reviews to the linky that will be provided on the Kick-off Post.
  • There will be two grand prize winners – $10 gift card – one for the linky review list and one for Birthday Bash Goodies.

So that's pretty much all you HAVE to do to participate.  However, there are some extras which will give you extra entries and which might make challenge more fun.  Rather than add it all, here's a LINK.

So basically my cleaning goal is DEEP CLEAN - Clean out more than 20 books.  

I also think I'll participate in 2 of the readathons:

  1. Scary Stories by the Campfire!:Read about ghosts, goblins, and any other horror/thriller that would make for a scary campfire tale!Read-a-thon runs Sunday August 5th 12am EST to Saturday August 11th 11:59pm EST
  2. Christmas in July!: Read Holiday themed books. Read-a-thon runs Sunday July 15th 12am EST to Saturday July 21st 11:59pm EST
And lastly, I'll participate on the Facebook page and discussions as much as possible.

  • Monday: What are you reading?
  • Tuesday: Cora COYER
  • Wednesday: Let’s tell a story…
  • Thursday: Tell Me with a GIF
  • Friday: Grant a Wish
  • Saturday: Let’s Get Nostalgic… COYER Trivia
  • Sunday: COYER Update – we’ll update you and you tell us how you did last week!

So are you worn out yet?  I know I am :)

Weekly Reads (06/08/18)

So the first week of June has been interesting to say the least.  Those of you who remember "SC" - stupid cousin - he and his wife were in full force this week and ended up bullying Gpa into giving them some money. He is now in the hospital and while they didn't actually hurt him and he was feeling poorly this week anyway, I do blame them for adding more stress on him.  IDIOTS.  Needless to say, I've been telling quite a few people off this week and I'm afraid I might not be done yet.

On a more positive note, I was asked to be on the Board for a new Veteran's homeless shelter that is being built in our town.  I am so honored and it's actually going to be the first in the States that welcomes Veterans AND their pets.  I'm hoping it may eventually lead to a job for either me or my husband because it's a population we'd both love to work with.

The pups are fine.  My reading, not so much.  Not slumpy just no time.  And at the end of the day, I've ended up vegging with movies and Mr. Barb rather than reading.  We watched "Death Wish."  It's a remake with Bruce Willis and I really liked it.  I tend to like Willis although I can't quite pinpoint why.  We watched a B-horror movie called "Code Red" which is several years old but it involved Bulgaria, war troops and zombies so it was entertaining.  Finally, last night we watched "Hurricane Heist" which is from the same people who make the "Fast and Furious" movies.  It was fun and starts the guy who plays Jason Stackhouse on True Blood (who I really like).  A lot of it was unbelievable but hey, see the above "at least it was entertaining" comment.

Finally here are the books I'm either currently reading or looking at longingly.  It may rain a lot here this weekend which will at least give me an excuse to stay inside and read.  

What are your weekend plans?  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Death I Wouldn't Mind Meeting

TITLE: The Coffin Maker (The Coffin Series #1)
AUTHOR: Breeann Allison
PUBLISHER: Curiosity Quills

FROM GOODREADS: Twenty-three-year-old Jesse Burns lives a tranquil life as the coffin maker in the enthusiastically eerie town of Gregor’s Hollow. Here, the By the Pricking of My Crumbs Bakery sells deep-fried candy corn year round, and manmade mist swirls through the streets every afternoon at three-thirty. As for the graveyard bells that chime at midnight, and the Victorian portrait that materializes in the hotel guest rooms? Well, no one can account for those but they still look impressive in the brochure.

Few in the town are admired more than the trustworthy, if reclusive, coffin maker. Praised for his intricate carvings and flamboyant artistry, Jesse creates his masterpieces in the workshop that belonged to his father, the previous coffin maker who vanished nine years ago.

Jesse’s isolated routine is disturbed when Death appears on his doorstep one October evening. Wearing a sharply pressed suit and a condescending smile, Death demands eight coffins by Halloween. Jesse is horrified to learn that the coffins are intended for Death’s next eight victims—all of them citizens of Gregor’s Hollow. In exchange for the eight coffins, Death will tell Jesse what happened to his father.

Despite striking the bargain and starting work on the coffins, Jesse vows to save the Eight. But investigating a mystery is challenging in Gregor’s Hollow, the third most-famous Halloween tourist town in America. Home to horror enthusiasts and gothic fanatics alike, the town boasts a daily carnival of macabre spectacles, complete with ghostly sound effects in the streets, slasher chase scenes in the alleys, and a John Carpenter Orchestra in the park. Distinguishing staged horror theatrics from genuinely suspicious activity is impossible enough on an average day. But with the holiday approaching, the tourist season has just begun, forcing Jesse to conduct his detective work amidst the increased chaos of Hitchcock festivals, Edgar Allan Poe pageants, and monster movie reenactments.

Together with an alluring and untrustworthy stranger, he seeks the answer he needs to thwart Death’s plan.


So if I could recommend one book I've read so far this year, I'd have to say it would be "The Coffin Maker." I had such a great time reading this book and I think it will forever be on my "hidden gems" list. The book takes place in the small town of Gregor's Hollow and let me tell you, despite all the quirkiness, this is a town I could probably visit and never leave. Gregor's Hollow is obsessed with all things horror. They advertise their haunted locations and even if some areas aren't really haunted, the residents do their part to make sure it appears so. The library houses only horror, mysteries and thrillers, there are people who sneak out and run fog machines at night to add to the ambiance, and all the shops have names from taken from scary plays. They also have a Poe festival each fall around Halloween and show horror movies on a screen in the park and year-round, plus their regular theater shows horror all year round. One of my favorite locations is The Underlook Hotel (nods to The Shining's Overlook). The owner has twin daughters and every evening they have guests, she makes them reenact the twin scene from the book/movie - blood and all.

So Jesse, our main character is 23. Several years ago, his father, the town coffin maker, suddenly left town and Jesse has always wondered what happened to him. After his absence, Jesse took over making the town coffins and is so talented, people request their special-made coffins years before their deaths because each one is a custom piece. One night, Death knocks on Jesse's door and tells him he needs 8 coffins by October 31st - two weeks away. Jesse isn't particularly fond of Death and only agrees to do so because Death promises if he delivers, he will tell him what happened to his father. Jesse vows to stop the deaths of his friends and fellow residents which might be hard because Death will not disclose the victims. In fact, he says he has nothing to do with the deaths, and that a Bringer will be coming to town to take care of that.

"The Coffin Maker" strikes me as a cozy mystery wrapped up in a horror story. I loved the plot, the town and the characters. It was a fun read and several times I caught myself laughing out loud. I think Gregor's Hollow would make an awesome TV series and it could be like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, except darker, scarier and bloodier.

If any of this sounds even remotely interesting, then go pick up this book. There are some hints at romance, but no insta-love and no mush, and honestly, I can't really pin down anything that really bothered me. And as much as I loved Jesse as a character, I loved Death even more!

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