Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (221)

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: A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Seriously, I couldn't even read the synopsis without laughing which I think is  a very good sign.  I need to know more about a syndicate called The Fridge and Eva and her attitude sound right up my alley.  Also, psychic cats - look at their little helmeted heads on the cover!!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

TTT - Books I Wish I Could Read Again For the First Time

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 a freebie so I decided to share with you books that I wish I could read for the first time again.  I'm not a big re-reader and let's be real, reading a favorite again can be nice, but can't compare to the feelings you had when you first read it and fell in love.  So here we g

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

Menagerie (Menagerie #1) - Rachel Vincent

Written in Red (The Others #1) - Anne Bishop

The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden

The Shining - Stephen King

Lost Boy - Christina Henry

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

Pupcakes - Annie England Noblin

The Most Beautiful ) Mayte Garcia

The Entire Cainsville series - Kelley Armstrong

Certain Dark Things - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Gee, looks like you got eleven.  Oh well, what can I say, I was on a roll.  If you haven't guessed by now, I HIGHLY recommend all of these!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Blog Tour - The Last Stage

I'm thrilled today to share with you my thoughts on "The Last Stage" by Louise Voss.  It's my first time reading this author but definitely not my last.  Thanks to the publicist and the author for sending me a copy of this exciting new release.  Read on for my honest review!

TITLE: The Last Stage
AUTHOR: Louise Voss
PUBLISHER: Orenda Books
PUBLISHING DATE: July 11, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: A violent and horrific incident forces a young woman to go into hiding, at the peak of her career as lead singer of an indie pop band. Years later, strange things start to happen and it becomes clear that some know who she is… 

 At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now living a quiet existence in a cottage on the grounds of an old stately home, she has put her past behind her and come to terms with her new life. 

When a body is found in the manicured gardens of her home, and a series of inexplicable and unsettling events begins to occur, it becomes clear that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is … Someone who wants vengeance.  

And this is only the beginning… 

A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Last Stage is also a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences. 

MY THOUGHTS: I'll be the first to admit that on the whole, I find thrillers either hit or miss.  When approached about reading "The Last Stage" even though I had never heard of the book or the author, I was intrigued by the mention of a 1980's indie band.  I love music and am an 80's gal so I knew I had to give it a try.  I'm so glad I did.

Years ago Meredith was a famous indie singer until something happened that forced her into leading a very recluse life.  She now lives on an estate and runs the souvenir shop.  Her life is very closed-circle and consists mainly of a few coworkers and her brother, who lives nearby on a boat.  Suddenly Meredith's life is disturbed by incidents which make her wonder if she can no longer hide from her past.  She's also worried about who might get hurt strictly by association.

"The Last Stage" is a wonderful thriller which alternates timelines.  The author does a great job of weaving the past with the present and fully explaining to the reader both current and historical information.  The mystery element kept me on the edge of my seat and I was provided with a main character and supporting cast with whom I could really connect.  I am also thrilled to say that the ending did not disappoint and that Voss definitely doesn't pull any punches. 

I've not heard much buzz about this title and I'm hear to say if you like thrillers, then this is one you need to add to your TBR.  In fact, I would venture to say that I liked this one so much more than some of last year's extremely hyped suspense titles.  There is no doubt that my future reading will include more titles from Louise Voss. 


COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE: No magical or futuristic elements.


Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Her most recent book, The Old You, was a number one bestseller in eBook. Louise has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crimewriting collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Blog Tour - Castle of Sorrows

So I'm really excited to be part of a blog tour for another Janz novel.  Many thanks to Flame Tree Press, the author and the publicist for including me. 

TITLE: Castle of Sorrows (Sorrows #2)
AUTHOR: Jonathan Janz
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
PUBLISHING DATE: July 25, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: For nearly a century Castle Blackwood lay dormant on the Sorrows, a lonely island in the Pacific. Last summer, the evil that resided within its walls was awakened. Movie music composer Ben Shadeland was lucky to escape the island with his wife and young son, but he'll soon realize that the terror is far from over. Because a godlike beast named Gabriel and the ghosts who live on the Sorrows are hungry for revenge. They will stop at nothing to bring Ben back to Castle Blackwood, and they will strike at those closest to him to fulfill their sinister plans. Accompanied by three federal officers, an L.A. detective, the newly-widowed owner of the island, a professor specializing in the occult, and a voluptuous psychic, Ben must return to the Sorrows in order to save someone he loves. Ben thought he knew what true horror was. But the new visitors have brought with them their own personal ghosts. And the beast of Castle Blackwood won't be sated until it has feasted on the blood of Ben Shadeland and everyone dear to him.  

MY THOUGHTS: I first have to admit that when I committed to reading this book, I didn't realize it was a sequel.  I honestly wish I'd read the first one, partly because I'm anal about things like that and secondly so I could provide some sort of comparison.  However, that being said, I really felt like I was able to jump into "Castle of Sorrows" rather quickly and that in the beginning, enough backstory was slowly provided so that the book made sense and I didn't feel like I was missing anything.

Due to some incidents that happen early on, Ben heads back to Castle Blackwood. He travels under the direst of circumstances which is exactly what was needed to make him face the demons, both literally and figuratively, of his past.  Along for the ride are Widow Blackwood, a medium, a PI, several FBI agents and a gang of mobsters. 

Castle Blackwood has a life of its own and it feeds on people, their darkest secrets and their scariest emotions.  It makes people do unimaginable things and Janz has done an excellent job of making the setting an atmospheric character of its own.  Just this week I had mentioned how I needed more spooky castle settings in books and behold, "Castle of Sorrows" is just what I was talking about.

Janz's book is full of colorful characters and little by little, we learn more about them.  In the end, as a reader I was cheering some on to succeed, and yearning for the downfall and demise of others.  Any true horror lover needs to pick up a Janz novel, whether it's this one or some of his others, and give him a try.  He has quickly become an auto-read author for me so bring it on Jonathan!  I'm ready!


COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE:  Read a book with a castle on the cover.


Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. 

Follow Jonathan on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

What's Happening...(07-27-19)

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 thank heavens we finally got a cool down this week. Last weekend was miserable, as predicted, and poor Cass felt like he was on house arrest.  Since he lost Booker, he looks forward to walks all the time now and he just didn't understand the "It will fry your brains and feet Cass" comments I kept making.  I did buy him a few extra toys and snacks for evening surprises since he was home bound.  We watched the new "Hellboy" movie last weekend and while it was fine, in my opinion the others are better.  I finished this season of "Big Little Lies" and while I liked it, I think Season 1 was better and will not be disappointed if they decide not to renew.  

I have been reading and trying to figure out what's on the stack for August (at least in my head).  I do have a few good books lined up for the weekend.  "The Strange Case of the Moderate Extremists" is a novella and I'm almost done with it.  It made me realize I never reviewed the first book so look for that soon.  "The Flatshare" is a book I've heard a lot about and I never dreamed my Overdrive hold would come in this soon.  I've already started it and it's fun so far.  But can I say I'm not a bit impressed with the cover. 

Not a big haul this week but I did grab a few library books.  I'm sure I don't have to explain why I grabbed "Riverdish."   I hope to get to "The Wonder of Lost Causes" for Dog Days of Summer in August and I've heard good things about "Magic for Liars."

So basically that's it.  Short (or shorter) and sweet this week.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend and week ahead!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Blog Tour - They Kill by Tim Waggoner

When I was contacted regarding being part of this blog tour, I didn't hesitate.  I really enjoyed the first book I read by Tim Waggoner and really wanted to see how this one panned out.  Thanks to Flame Tree Press and the author as well as the publicist, Anne, who is always a joy.

TITLE: They Kill
AUTHOR: Tim Waggoner
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
PUBLISHING DATE: July 25, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love? 

On the one-year anniversary of his death in a terrible car accident, Sierra Sowell's brother Jeffrey is resurrected by a mysterious man known only as Corliss. Corliss also transforms several people in Sierra's life into inhuman monsters: her alcoholic neighbor Grace, her possessive ex-boyfriend Stuart, a creepy older man named Randall, and a sexually repressed colleague named Mandy. Each of these people harbor grudges against Sierra, sparks of anger and resentment which Corliss fans into murderous flames. Grace become a booze-fueled witch, Stuart a deadly cyborg, Randall a smiley faced serial killer, and Mandy an insatiable succubus. To matter worse, Jeffrey is only partially alive. He's a walking corpse possessing a devastating deathtouch.

 Sierra and Jeffrey's boyfriend Marc work to discover the reason for her brother's return to life while struggling to survive attacks by the monstrous quartet whose only desire it to see her dead. The monsters aren't willing to share Sierra, however, and they battle to determine which will be the one to kill her, leaving a pile of corpses in their wake. After the monsters carve a bloody swath through town - and each other - Corliss gives Sierra a chance to make Jeffrey's resurrection permanent: if she's willing to make a dreadful bargain. Can she do what it will take to save her brother, no matter how much blood is shed along the way? Or will she allow him to return to the land of the dead and perhaps join him there? 

MY THOUGHTS: My first comment on "They Kill" is that this book was blast to read.  After reading "The Mouth of the Dark" and meeting the infamous Pink Devil, I knew the potential for the "ew-factor" would be high.  I wasn't wrong and it didn't disappoint.  On the year anniversary of Jeffrey's death, he is suddenly reanimated.  He starts roaming his hometown which causes some alarm for those who know he's really dead.  Most effected are his sister Sierra and his boyfriend Marc, who team together, despite disliking each other, to figure out what is going on.

I can best describe "They Kill" as a B-movie in book format.  Which personally I think is great.  It's basically a slasher flick with some really unique characters who actually have some depth.  By that I mean that Waggoner has really put some thought into these individuals and created some truly scary human monsters - and I use the word human lightly.  Honestly, I would enjoy seeing "They Kill" adapted to a movie because it would be a heck of a ride.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be a much faster-paced read than "The Mouth of the Dark."  In Sierra I had a character I could cheer on and on a few occasions, I felt a quite a bit of sympathy for Jeffrey.  Except when he killed the dog - could have done without that scene but frequent visitors to my blog aren't surprised I'm mentioning it.  In addition, the ending caught me completely off-guard so kudos Mr. Waggoner!

If you like body horror and fast-paced death and destruction, then you definitely need to pick up "They Kill."


COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE: A woman running on the cover.

Tim Waggoner has published over forty novels and four short story collections, and his articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest and Writers’ Journal, among others. He's won the Bram Stoker Award and has been a finalist for both the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. He teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Visit him on the web at

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Shadow of Night (All Soul's Trilogy #2)

So this month Stormi and I have continued our buddy read of the All Soul's Trilogy.  We took a month-long break from Kate Daniels but don't fret, she'll be back in full force next month.  AND we've already made a decision on next year's series read.  So read on to see if I'm still loving this series and then hop over to Stormi's at  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and read her opinion.

WARNING:  May include some spoilers!

TITLE: Shadow of Night (All Soul's Trilogy #2)
AUTHOR: Deborah Harkness
PUBLISHER: Viking Adult
PUBLISHING DATE: July 10, 2012

FROM GOODREADS: Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey. 

MY THOUGHTS: I'm going to try to not give anything really important away but since this is part of a series, that might be hard so now you've been warned twice.  Diana and Matthew have transported back into the past for search for the complete Ashmole 782, hoping it might answer many questions that are on their minds.  Although she was warned, Diana quickly learns that the Matthew of the 1500's is not the same one she knows now.  In addition, Diana is looking for someone who can help her learn more about her magical powers, which just might drive Matthew crazy as well as she is willing to take risk after risk to do so.

For some reason, even though I think there was less actual "action" in this book, it was actually a quicker read for me.  I had fun with the historical setting and meeting people from Matthew's past who turned out to be famous people in the future.  I really do like character driven, atmospheric books and "Shadow of Night" definitely falls into that category.  Although I have to add that after seeing how this one ends, I think the final installment could be a hang onto your seat kind of ride. 

In the first book, I really liked Matthew more than Diana. Well, that kind of switched up during this one. But don't worry, by the end I was enjoying them both again.  I'm really excited to see what finally happens in the third book and I also am really glad Stormi convinced me to read these with her. 


COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE:  Read a trilogy (book 2/3).

Can't Wait Wednesday (220)

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 year is 1915 and Pin, the fifteen year-old daughter of an amusement park fortune teller, disguises herself as a boy to run with the teenage boys who thrive in the dregs of Chicago's street scene.

Unbeknownst to the well-heeled city-dwellers and visitors who come to enjoy its attractions, Riverview Park is also host to a brutal serial killer, a perfumed pedophile who uses the secrecy of a dark amusement park ride to conduct his crimes. When Pin sees a man enter the Hell Gate ride with a young girl, and leave without her, she knows that something deadly is afoot.

The crime will lead her to the iconic outsider artist Henry Darger, a brilliant but seemingly mad man obsessed with his illustrated novel about a group of young girls who triumph over adult oppressors. Together, the two navigate the seedy underbelly of a changing city to uncover a murderer few even know to look for. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I really enjoy historical fiction when it's mixed with mystery elements.  Add in an amusement park and a serial killer and you have my attention.  And I won't lie, Satan's head on the cover is what initially caught my attention. 


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

TTT - Settings I'd Like to See More Of

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 settings I'd like to see more of when reading.  I don't have many ideas for this one so let's see if we can come up with at least three.

Snowed in places - It's no secret I love snow in books (though not as much in real life).  I love it when the plots take place in isolated, snowy locales and honestly can't get enough of them.

Spooky castles - The locations can be so eerie and atmospheric and I'd love to see more books take place in these types of manors.

New Orleans - Though I've never been to New Orleans, I think it provides a perfect backdrop for a multitude of genres.  

So there you have it.  It's the best I can do.  I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with for this one!

Monday, July 22, 2019

So I Basically Read It Because of Jughead...(Riverdale 2 Review)

TITLE: Get Out of Town (Riverdale #2)
AUTHOR: Micol Ostow
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.

FROM GOODREADS: When Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead take a road trip, they discover that their small-town problems seem to follow them wherever they go. 

Archie's on trial for murder, and the evidence is stacked against him. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead all know that Archie is being framed by Hiram Lodge, but how can they prove it? 

The gang comes up with a last-ditch plan to prove Archie's innocence: They have to go back to the scene of the crime. They have to go back to Shadow Lake. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I've made it no secret that "Riverdale" is a guilty pleasure of mine.  So far I've watched all three seasons of the TV show and even though each one gets more and more ridiculous, I just keep on watching. And then there's the whole issue that I basically feel like a cougar because Jughead is absolutely my favorite character and the kind of guy I wished my high school boyfriend had been but that's probably a post of a different nature.

So "Get Out of Town" is set during the summer between seasons 2 and 3 of the TV show.  Archie is on trial for murder and even though everyone knows Veronica's dad is setting him up, knowing and proving are two different things.  So the gangs ends up heading back to the scene of the crime, the Lodge family cabin, to see if they can find some evidence to exonerate Archie.  But will they save their bestie or end up knee-deep in more trouble.

This book is pretty much a fun, quick read.  It has tons of pop culture references and because of watching the show, the characters are so real and lifelike.  I have to say that you need to have watched at least up through Season 2 in order for this book to make sense.  The Black Hood is referenced numerous times and reader can see the beginnings of Seasons 3 Gargoyles & Griffins game taking hold of the community.  Despite knowing how the trial plays out, I still enjoyed reading "Get Out of Town."  Also, it's told in epistolary format and includes texts, diary entries and articles which make it an even faster read.

So you won't find any life changing information in this novel but if you are looking for a fun, light read, AND you're a Riverdale junkie like me, then it's definitely one you're going to want to check out.


COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE: A book that takes place during the summer.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What's Happening...(07-20-19)

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.

Like a lot of you, we are having insufferable heat this weekend.  Besides visiting Grandpa and checking on him, I plan on staying inside in the AC and fans.  I don't like extreme temps - hot or cold.  So you could say I'm a middle-of-the-road gal.  Give me Spring and Fall please.

There's not been a lot of options with movies lately but we did watch "Shazam!" this week.  I kind of thought it would be stupid, and it was in some places, but on the whole, I did enjoy it and at over 2 hours, it killed some time.  I've also been reading some.  I finished up "Riverdale 2: Get Out of Town" which was a quick read.  I also made good progress on "Shadow of Night" and hope to finish it by Saturday.  Here's the books up on the stack right now.

I obtained a few review copies this week as well.   I grabbed "Hood Academy" because I couldn't resist the cover.  "The Equinox" sounded interesting and "Our Dogs, Ourselves" because...well do I even have to say?

And finally I grabbed a few books for Paul Anka - gotta keep that Kindle fed :) I'm not sure why but I was sent some promotional wishlist credit so I was able to grab "The Wanderers" for under $3.00 when it is normally $13.99.  I featured "The Good, the Bad and the Pugly" sometime early last year on Books to Bark & Crow about and then it was never released.  It FINALLY came out so I grabbed it while I could.  And I preordered "Six Merry Little Murders" because it has a Molly Fitz novella included. 

So there you have it?  Have you been reading or watching anything good.  Hope everyone in the path of this crazy weather stays safe and don't forget to hydrate the pets!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Face Off (6) - White Noise or Grainy Cover

So I'm back with another round of Friday Face Off, hosted by Books by Proxy.

Today's topic is white noise/grainy cover.

1. Random House Canada (2019)
2. Titan UK (2019)

Man, I had to struggle for a book this week and ended up finally choosing one on my TBR shelf.  I had perfect book but need it for next week's topic.  Sometimes this feature is a lot of work 😉

I have to say #1 is my favorite this week.  This is a horror book and #2 strikes me as some tropical contemporary tale - is it just me?

So not much to choose from but which is your fave???