Thursday, May 30, 2019

In Memory

So over Memorial Day weekend we were able to finish the little garden in our back year.  We do this every year in memory of all our wonderful pets.  This is their final resting place and we always want to do something special for him this year.  Some of you have asked so I wanted to finally share some pictures.

Here are a couple of the headstones.  Cicero, Cooper, Barkley and Booker T each have one.  I bought T purple flowers for the garden as they always seemed to be his favorite.

We are always adding decorations each year as some inevitable end up breaking down from wear and tear.  The little doggy with the tepee was an add last year.  The lattice work has little LED solar butterfly lights weaving through it which burn brightly at night.

Here's some more flowers.  I used to plant them in the ground but the dogs LOVED to water them for me.  They survive better this way and hanging.  There is also a bird feeder at one end for Cass so he can bird watch.

And here is Booker's memorial.  The place that made the others went out of business so this one is thinner but it's still engraved nicely.  It says "Daddy's Boy Forever - Always In Our Hearts."

We miss them all every day.  There really are family members.

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Magic Slays

So this month Stormi and I actually did three buddy reads simply because neither of us could bear to skip a month of Kate Daniels.  We are both enjoying this series so much.  In fact, next month, look for us to review Andrea's spin-off novel because we both want to find out what happens to her and I was told it really should be read after Magic Slays.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's at  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see her opinion.

TITLE: Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5)
AUTHOR: Ilona Andrews
PUBLISHER: Penguin Group USA
PUBLISHING DATE: April 25, 2011

FROM GOODREADS: Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I'm finding it harder and harder to review this series without giving something important away.  I know a lot of people following our series buddy read have already read the books but not everyone has so I can't spoil it.  Let's give it a try.

Kate has finally started her own investigative business with the help of The Pack.  She is having trouble getting business due to past shenanigans and when her friend Andrea appears after being gone for several months, she hires her to assist.  But assist with what?  Soon afterward, a case lands on Kate's doorstep which involves some very important people and a questionable experiment.  Not known to back down, Kate and Andrea accept the case and the action goes on from there.

Once again I got to visit with some of my favorite characters.  Julie, Kate's ward, plays a bigger part in this novel and I anticipate more from her in future installments.  Of course Curren is present and the banter between him and Kate continues and only seems to improve.  We also see some of her favorite shifters and vamps.  That's not to say there aren't new individuals introduced and I think the authors do a great job of keeping things fresh.  Finally, Grendel the giant attack poodle is featured again and it has to come as no surprise that he is my favorite!

"Magic Slays" is full of action and it's easy to get caught up in all the mystery and excitement.  I was pleased with the ending and look forward to reading on.  This one also gets a high rating from me, not only because of the content but because of Grendel.  I'm warning you, if something ever happens to that dog, look for a riot!

RATING:  5 PAWS (fluffy poodle paws in fact)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (212)

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:  From legendary Butthole Surfers front-man Gibby Haynes comes a darkly humorous speculative YA debut about a lost Texas teen and his supernatural dog, and the power of found family.

For the past five years seventeen-year-old Oscar Lester has never been without his dog, Mr. Cigar. The two have made a pretty good life for themselves in North Texas. Oscar spends most of his time organizing drug-fueled dance parties with his best friend, Lytle Taylor. And all three benefit from the care of Carla Marks, the genius behind the mysterious IBC corporation. Oscar's deceased CEO father "discovered" Carla, though Oscar's mother spends all her time with her new boyfriend. As for Oscar's older sister, Rachel . . . she fled Texas after Mr. Cigar bit off her left hand. Oscar was twelve. But he alone knows now as he knew then: his beloved pet is no menace. Mr. Cigar is a supernatural companion.

After years of silence, Rachel—now a twenty-two-year-old artist living in New York—phones Oscar out of the blue. She's being held hostage and will only be released if she pays a debt she owes. At the same time, Carla Marks warns Oscar to get out of town. Nefarious forces are after his dog. Suddenly Oscar, Lytle, and Mr. Cigar find themselves on the run to New York, to save Rachel and to save themselves. And in the end, the truth of Rachel's circumstances ultimately uncovers the truth of Oscar's own . . . and the truth about Mr. Cigar.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  First of all I love the dog on the cover.  Second, I love that he has a severed hand in his mouth.  I want to know if Mr. Cigar actually bit off someone's hand or if it was all a drug-induced hallucination.  Also, is Mr. Cigar really a supernatural companion or a figment of Oscar's mind?  This book sounds all kinds of crazy but boy did it rope me in!


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

TTT - 10 Memorable Books From the Last 10 Years

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 about our favorite book published in each of the past ten years.  I'm switching it up just a bit and just sharing one of the most memorable books I've read in each of the past 10 years.  I mean come on, how could I narrow it down to one?


"Heroic Measures" was a hidden gem of a library find.  I picked it up on impulse and really loved this tale of an couple trying to get their ill dachshund 60 blocks to an emergency vet in the aftermath of 9/11.


"Married with Zombies" is the first in an urban fantasy trilogy.  I read a lot of urban fantasy at one time and this one was downright hilarious.  Book two was just as great and I don't know why I've never gotten around to book three.


I love Cherie Priest and "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" was the first book I read by her.  It's about a woman who can see spirits and this book has stuck with me over the years.  In fact, I keep meaning to do a reread so I can read the last two in the trilogy one day.


So I'm drastically behind on the Lunar Chronicles.  However, I remember my Dad visiting us one Saturday afternoon and seeing "Cinder" sitting on my table.  He commented that it looked just like something I would enjoy.  Dad knew me well.


So 2013 started my love affair with Lucy Dillon books. I read four that year and if you like women's fiction featuring awesome characters and even more awesome dogs, then don't hesitate to give one a try.  In fact, I think I would like to reread all of these companion novels one day.


One of my all-time favorite urban fantasy trilogies and it all started in 2014 with "Midnight Crossroad."


I read a lot of good books in 2015 but I absolutely loved "A Criminal Magic" and it just doesn't get enough love.  Read it guys!


Well, it's still technically Hunter Shea May so it shouldn't be surprising that this one showed up.  "The Jersey Devil" was the first Shea book I ever read.


I waited months for this book and my expectations were low. Glad I was wrong as "The Most Beautiful" turned out to be a wonderful book as well as a great tribute to my favorite artist.


"The Outpost" holds a dear place in my heart because it was one of my first science fiction reads - and I loved it!

So there you have it.  Some pretty memorable books if I do say so myself.  I wonder what the rest of 2019 will hold!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

What's Happening...(05-25-19)

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.

So I hope you all had a wonderful week and if you're celebrating Memorial Day, have fun.  Things at The Farm are well.  I'm hoping we don't get all the rain they are forecasting for this weekend because I want to finish up the flower bed.

I managed to finish watching "Big Little Lies" last week and loved it.  However I've not read the book so is a 2nd season really necessary?  I'm just afraid if it isn't, they will ruin it.  We watched "See You Yesterday" on Netflix which was good...until the end.  It was a sudden ending and resolved NOTHING!  If you've watched it, let me know how you interpreted it.  In AWESOME news, the trailer for "The Art of Racing in the Rain" finally dropped.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED that book and have been waiting on the movie forever.  And Kevin Costner voices Enzo.  It's close to perfect.  


 I did get some reading done and am progressing on "NOS4A2."  I'm really enjoying it and am almost at the 300 page mark. However, I have to get some other reading done so it  might sit for a few days.  "Biloxi" came in on Overdrive so I had to start this new release.  It's about an elderly retiree who goes out to get his medication one day and instead adopts a dog named Layla.  And he's never owned a dog before.  Only about 20% in but I am liking it so far. However, my main complaint is see that dog on the cover?  That is clearly not Layla.  Do people even bother to read the book when they are doing the covers?   I also need to dive into "Magic Slays" because it's for the series buddy read Stormi and I are doing this month.  I find them to be quick reads once I start.  

I've also received some great review books lately so it's about time I show them off.  I was thrilled to get "Imaginary Friend" and even more curious to see how the author transitions from "Perks of Being a Wallflower" to a horror novel.  But brace yourself, this puppy is over 700 pages.  "The Nobody People" is getting a lot of buzz and comes out in September.  "One by One" is an upcoming horror release from Flame Tree Press.

"The Dog I Loved" is one I've been anticipating.  The author does a good job of working dogs into her tales and I've read some of her other works and really enjoyed them (and you knew there'd be dogs here somewhere right)?  I've been in the mood to read a few romance titles this summer so I grabbed "Don't You Forget About Me" and let's be honest, how many of you are now singing that song?  And finally "Marley" looks like something I might pick up at Christmas.

So I hope you all had a great week.  Did you watch anything good and did you add any books I should know about?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Happy Birthday My Sweet Angel

So today would have been Booker T's 9th Birthday.  I'm finding this one really rough because at the time of his passing, we had already made plans.  We were going to take him and Cass to the local pet store to shop (like every year) and then have steak and "pupcakes" for him at home.  Lastly, he would have visited his favorite playground - the fields in front of the high school down the block.

I appreciate all the kind words from you all when he passed.  It means the world to me that Booker T has touched so many he has never met.  So Mr. Barb, Cass and I will be celebrating the memory of our wonderful T.  In honor of him, I wanted to share some lesser known facts about our beautiful boy.

1.  Booker T had numerous nicknames including Book-Book, T, Puggy, T-Dogg, Tank and Teddy Ruxpin.  

2.  His favorite food was boiled chicken breast and after having gastritis a few years ago, it was all he would eat for several months (can you say spoiled?)

3.  When he would watch football with us, every time the Steelers would win a game he would do a wiggle-butt celebration dance with us. I swear, he knew when the end of the game was nearing and would starting getting excited the last few minutes.

4.  He had two girlfriends - a boxer named Scout that lived down the street that passed away a few years back.  He would always stop and visit her when we walked and she was outside.  And the vet tech, Peggy, who he would send cards and pictures to at Christmas and who often threatened to "steal" him away from us.

5.  He didn't have a mean bone in his body.  As he got older, he did start to growl a little more when strangers might knock on the door and he started to bark at Rodney, the dog that moved in next door, but other than that, he was a giant, lovable pooch.  

2 Bloggers 1 Books - Hunter Shea May #2 (Ghost Mine)

So as we've said, this month Stormi and I decided to buddy read two books by Hunter Shea since he has already had a couple of new releases this month.  This week we are looking at his newest "Ghost Mine."  So read on to see what I thought and then make sure to visit Stormi's blog  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: Ghost Mine
AUTHOR: Hunter Shea
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press

FROM GOODREADS: Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits. Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can't refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem-those who go seeking their fortune never return. Roosevelt's own troops are among the missing, and the President wants to know their fate - and find the gold. Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I wasn't quite sure what to expect with "Ghost Mine" and I went into it fairly blind, which I think is a good thing.  Also, the Goodreads synopsis is much longer that what I featured but I think it gave too much away so I shortened it.  So if you want to know more, don't hop over and read the rest.

As mentioned above, "Ghost Mine" opens with President Roosevelt sending two of his previous trusted soldiers to Wyoming to find out what happened to a troop sent to examine a gold mine and see how beneficial it will be the the US.  We are introduced to Nat and Teta and I have to admit, I really loved them both.  Although both characters are somewhat different, they have a wonderful camaraderie and play off of each other well.  Plus Teta is a reader and never goes anywhere without something to read and during the trip out West, was fascinated by martian tales which I just found awesome.

So when the two arrive to to Hecla, weird things start to happen.  And by weird, I mean really freakin' weird.  The two run into all kinds of obstacles and strange entities as well as a few individuals who they can't decide if they are friend or foe.  I have to admit, at first I was overwhelmed by all the "things" Shea introduces the reader too and I was quite confused about what was going on.  However, all I could say is he did a great job of pulling everything together in the end and I couldn't have asked for a better explanation and conclusion.

"Ghost Mine" is a wonderfully horrific Wild West tale.  I will definitely book looking for more western horror in the future.  It is full of action as well as great characters and I think any fan of the horror genre will enjoy reading this one. 

I received an arc of "Ghost Mine" from Flame Tree Press in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, May 22, 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.


Tuesday, May 21, 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.


Saturday, May 18, 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.

Friday, May 17, 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.


Thursday, May 16, 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.