Monday, September 30, 2019

TTT - Book Titles With Numbers In Them

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 book titles with numbers in them. I don't really keep track of this so off to Goodreads we go!

Seven - Didn't really like it but I did read it.

 666 - Hmmm...maybe not the best number huh?

One - Wasn't thrilled with this one either.  Do I sense a trend?

Two - Aha!  One I gave 5/5.

Ten Thousand - Didn't think I'd find one that large.

Twelve - Sadly I don't think this series has another book anytime soon.

Six - Saved by the King!

One - I need to continue with this series.

One - Seems to be a popular number.

A Hundred - I ended on a good note - a favorite book and a cute dog!

So there are 10 books I've read with numbers and I only had to go back to 2015 to find enough.

Well, Another Hyped Book Put Out To Pasture...

TITLE: Bunny
AUTHOR: Mona Awad
PUBLISHING DATE: June 11, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and seem to move and speak as one. 

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the Bunnies' sinister yet saccharine world, beginning to take part in the ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur. Soon, her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies will be brought into deadly collision.

The spellbinding new novel from one of our most fearless chroniclers of the female experience, Bunny is a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination. 

MY THOUGHTS: Someday I'll learn.  Someday I'll stop picking up extremely hyped books  thinking "I'm gonna love this."  Because inevitably, there's always one here and there that just doesn't work for me despite so many of my fellow bloggers loving it which always makes me question what's wrong with me.  However, no more excuses or apologies.  We don't all love the same books - that's the beauty of reading because there's something for everyone.  So I'm going to embrace my differences and try to give you a somewhat coherent review of "Bunny."

This book has been described as a combination of "Mean Girls" and "Clueless."  Well there are definitely plenty of mean girls but I was the clueless one.  Samantha Mackey is part of a MFA program at the prestigious Warren University.  She is also part of a workshop with a group of rich girls who constantly refer to themselves and each other as "bunny."  Samantha has always been an outsider but during her last year, she is invited to become a bunny, leaving her best buddy Ava behind.  And in joining the group, she finds out what terrible things the bunnies really do behind closed doors.  Hint, it involves bunny sacrifices, guys who rival the kids from "Village of the Damned" and exploding heads.

There were so many things I didn't like about this book.  First of all, Samantha was a horrible MC.  She was insecure and lacked any kind of confidence and even though she hated the Bunnies, and ripped on them all the time with her friend Ada, she couldn't wait to be a part of them.  Also, she clearly questioned their practices but again, had no problem joining in.  Secondly, I found so many lose ends.  Something happened between Samantha and her thesis advisor which left her reeling and honestly, I either didn't understand it all (because I may have been skimming at that point) or else it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Also, Samantha's father was apparently on the run hiding out from shady business partners but other than that meaning she really didn't have a "home" to return to on holiday, why was it really included?  And finally, for a book with limited characters, why did it seem like there were so many?  So you have four Bunnies.  They each have a name, a nickname Samantha has given them when talking with her best friend and the name Bunny.  For a university, there seems to be limited other people on campus.  Yet I was confused a lot of the time - or maybe I reached the point where I didn't care.  And I almost forgot, there are many mentions of this being one of the most dangerous campuses because of missing people and murders and rapes, but it never ties in directly with the Bunnies?  And why are there so many actual bunnies all over campus who are apparently so easy to catch?  Are they dumb college bunnies?

So if you stayed with me this long, thanks and I'm sorry.  I really can't recommend this book to anyone which is okay because so many other people love it and they are recommending it which is how it made its way to me in the first place.  I really wanted to love "Bunny" and am kind of sad I didn't.  But I'm done apologizing.  There's plenty more books in the library swimming around...oops, maybe that's swans in the lake?  Fish in the sea?  Well one thing for sure, I don't remember there being any fish in the book.  Oh wait, there was a non-shark shark - damn!


Saturday, September 28, 2019

What's Happening...(09-28-19)

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 as far as week's go, no one (pet or human) passed away or feel apart so I'm taking it as a win. I have spent more time that I wanted to helping my Gpa look for a new car because he wanted to trade one of his in.  He didn't need one and after going back and forth he has yet to get one so I hope whatever wild hair he had went South.  

We have been enjoying the new television season.  "This is Us" and "Law & Order: SVU" are back and we enjoy both.  We are also liking the new season of "American Horror Story:1984."  I've recorded some other new ones and will get to them eventually.  I'm obsessed with "Masked Singer" which is REALLY stupid and I watch mainly because I can record it and fast-forward through all the annoying stuff.  I want Rottweiler to win - imagine that!    We will be watching "Creepshow" on Shudder this weekend.  We also watched the new "Shaft" movie the other night which we found pretty entertaining.

I'm still plugging away on my Monsterathon.  I am pleased to report I have completely terrorized the town I grew up in - take that!  It has a population of about 3,738 and I've now terrorized 4,686.  YAY! 

This weekend I hope to get some reading done as always.  That, watch tv, movies and football. I'll also be visiting Gpa and picking up a used dryer in said terrorized town (it didn't die this week - it's been slowly dying for months).  Here is the main book that needs finished and then for once, I don't know what I'll pick up next.  Let me just tell you I am finding this YA horror pretty chilling.  Rosa is a 10 year old not to be messed with.  She could give Damien a run for his money.

I picked up a few books from the library this week and man, did all the Overdrive holds come in at once.  Here's my rather huge and unmanageable library haul this week.  Now that I see them, I'll probably end up picking up "Bunny" or "No Judgments" next.

And finally, here's Cassius's 2nd Instagram modeling pose:

Bandana Collection #2:  Cassius is exploring in one of his faves - a yellow, black and white Snoopy and Woodstock one.

Hope you all had a great week.  What are you reading and watching???

Friday, September 27, 2019

This Childhood Favorite Might Explain Some Things...

TITLE: Bunnicula (40th Anniversary Edition)
AUTHOR: James Howe
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: March 21, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the fluffy and fearsome classic Bunnicula with this pocket-sized edition, perfect for accompanying readers on all their mischievous adventures. This special edition includes bonus content and a deluxe cover that looks and feels as eerily delightful as the story within! Beware the hare! Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household—a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits…and fangs! Could this innocent-seeming rabbit actually be a vampire? 

MY THOUGHTS: I actually bought this box set  a few years ago but haven't broke into it yet.  So when I saw a beautiful edition at my local library celebrating Bunnicula's anniversary, I knew I had to grab it.  This is a truly wonderful edition with extra artwork and the cover is velvety in nature and so cool. 

As a child, "Bunnicula" was one of my favorite tales. I  loved that little vampire bunny and enjoyed that the tale is narrated by Harold the dog.  In this installment we learn how Bunnicula enters the Monroe household and personally I think it's a tale any child (or adult - who am I kidding) would love.  Reading it definitely makes me want to seek out some of the cartoons that used to be on TV and relive my Bunnicula childhood in other ways.

Also, I might add that if the fact that I loved this book didn't clue my parents into my "unique" tastes in media, they must have been living under a rock.  I remember wanted a bunny for months after reading it.  But not just any bunny, this one had to have fangs so he could drain the vegetables.

If you love this tale or are a first time reader, you definitely need to look for this anniversary edition.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Time's Convert

So this month Stormi and I are finally finishing up the Deborah Harkness books with the All Soul's Trilogy companion book.  I think we both agree that we should have put some distance between the original series and this continuation.  Read on for my very opinionated thoughts and then make sure you go check out Stormi's @  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: Time's Convert (All Soul's Universe #1)
AUTHOR: Deborak Harkness
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
PUBLISHING DATE: September 18, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus's deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood. 

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor--the young employee at Sotheby's whom Marcus has fallen for--is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he'd escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both--forever. 

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time's Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries. 

MY THOUGHTS: So first things first.  Until I started this review, I didn't realize this "companion" series had a name - All Soul's Universe.  In all reality, it's just All Soul's Trilogy #4.  See the problem??? I think they pinned the author into a trilogy without knowing it would be so popular and they might need to continue.  That being said, what it means is that the reader does get somewhat of a continuation of Matthew and Diana's tale, even though they aren't the focus.

This book follows Marcus, Matthew's vampire son, and his girlfriend, Phoebe, who has decided she wants "turned" so she can spend eternity with Marcus.  Because the family does not believe in incest per se, Miriam, Matthew's tech assistance, takes on the task of transforming Phoebe which means she and Marcus must stay away from each other.  While Marcus is pining away for his true love, he stays with Diana and Matthew and through bits and pieces, we learn all about Marcus' history.

So... I liked the Diana and Matthew parts.  I enjoyed meeting Apollo the griffin and I think any fans will too.  I learned that at times, Marcus was truly despicable, but as he matured, he changed - for the better.  Also Phoebe is a bratty vampire.  Think terrible twos manifested in an adult fledgling vampire.  In my opinion, the book did a good job of making Phoebe unlikable.

So overall, this book did have some content I was glad I encountered, and I am sure I will continue on with the next book.  However, I think I should have put some space between it and the first three books.  And also, if you can finish "Book of Life" and are not overly curious about what might happen next, you could always chose to let it end there.  I kind of wish I did.  But then Apollo - he gets a full paw rating for himself.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (229)

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.

So the public has spoken - Cass is now a full-time contributor to Can't Wait Wednesday.  That means each week you'll see two books here. Of course Cass is already lobbying for an increase in salary (at least he works for treats - and bandanas).

FROM GOODREADS:  Something evil has swept into the small western Maine town of Castle Rock on the heels of the latest winter storm. Sheriff Norris Ridgewick and his team are desperately searching for two missing girls, but time is running out to bring them home alive.

In Washington D.C., thirty-seven-year-old Gwendy Peterson couldn't be more different from the self-conscious teenaged girl who once spent a summer running up Castle Rock's Suicide Stairs. That same summer, she was entrusted - or some might say cursed - with the extraordinary button box by Richard Farris, the mysterious stranger in the black suit. The seductive and powerful box offered Gwendy small gifts in exchange for its care and feeding until Farris eventually returned, promising Gwendy she'd never see the box again.

One day, though, the button box shows up without warning - and without Richard Farris to explain why, or what she's supposed to do with it. The mysterious reappearance of the box, along with the troubling disappearances in Castle Rock, leads Gwendy home again... where she just might be able to help rescue the missing girls and stop a madman before he does something ghastly.

From New York Times bestseller Richard Chizmar comes Gwendy's Magic Feather, a breathtaking novel that asks whether our lives are controlled by fate or the choices we make - and what price we might have to pay for those choices when we reach for the things we most desire. Prepare to return again to Stephen King's Castle Rock, the sleepy little town built on a bedrock of deep, dark secrets, which is about to awaken from its quiet slumber once more. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  When I read "Gwendy's Button Box" my biggest complaint was that I wanted more because it was just a novella.  Glad to see sometimes you CAN get what you want!


FROM GOODREADS:  The circus is in town, and on the planet Boon, that’s big, potentially riotous news. The delicate, decaying political balance maintained by the cloned human grands at the expense of the uplifted dog and cat populations is in danger of toppling under the influence of mysterious forces both outer and inner. When Gio Barbaro—clone descendant of one of Boon’s ancient leaders, junior Senator, known friend to dogs and secret iconoclast—is recruited by the ringmaster cat, Scratch, he’s knowingly going against everything his family and class believes in. The question, though, is what Gio believes in. 

WHY CASS CAN'T WAIT:  Hey Mom!  Can I join the circus????
(NO Cass, our lives are circus enough - just read your book).


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TTT - Books On My Fall TBR

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 on my Fall TBR.  I basically do TBR's every month and I don't want to be redundant.  I am really trying to read some older books on my shelves (and Kindle) so I'm going to share with you 5 older titles I'd like to work in this fall (and technically I'm looking at October, November and December so don't be shocked if you see some Christmas books here) as well as 5 newer ones I'm definitely going to try to knock off.


The Beautiful Ones - Prince.  Are you tired of seeing this one here already?  Sorry, not sorry!

The Beautiful - Renee Ahdieh.  So I have a hold placed on this one on Overdrive and it looks like it will come in pretty soon after release.  I've seen mixed reviews and I'm nervous but vampires and New Orleans mean I have to give it a chance.

The Soul Collector - Laura Daleo.  Laura was kind enough to think of me and send this my way so I really want to make time for her new book.

White Elephant - Trish Harnetiaux.  I technically haven't even hauled this one yet but a murderous Christmas party set in a snowstorm.  Sounds like a great combo to me1

Slash - Hunter Shea.  If you visit here frequently, you know I don't have to say anything more.


Pit & Miss Murder - Renee George.  I need to read it because #5 comes out tomorrow - yep, tomorrow!

The Stand - Stephen King.  Stormi and I are tackling this one together.  It's a reread for her but my first time.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - JK Rowling.  I want to do my very first reread of this first book from my beautiful illustrated edition this coming holiday season.

Abandoned - W. Michael Gear.  I must start catching up on this series!

Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews.  Of course I can't forget the next Kate Daniels.  And I think this has to be one of my favorite series covers yet.

So what books made your list this week???

Monday, September 23, 2019

#Monsterathon - Read Your Fears Challenge

 So it's time for a Monsterathon Challenge and you know me, I gotta terrify as many villagers as possible so I couldn't pass this one by. 

This challenge involves reading your fears.  I may not have read all of these but I might be doing so in the near future.

So my biggest fear, and I don't really have a lot of them, is snakes.  I am terrified.  I've always joked that I didn't need one to bite me to die, I would probably have a heart attack if I just saw one.  If I even see one on the highway moving around it gives me chills - even though I'm well protected in my vehicle.  And recently there has been a trend with popular artists and series placing them on covers!  

If I do decide to read these, it will have to be on my Kindle so I don't have to look at them!

And for a bonus, I will share that Mr. Barb has a fear of spiders that rivals my fear of snakes.  He's been known to hairspray one to death so he didn't have to get near it (back when you could find hairspray in my house but that's a tale for another day).  I have read part of a trilogy featuring spiders and really loved it so I want to mention it here. I need to read the last two but isn't that what we all say???

So there you have it.  What are your fears and do you often read about them or do you avoid them at all costs???

Saturday, September 21, 2019

What's Happening...(09-21-19)

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 it's been kind of a sadder week here at The Farm.  My mother lost her 12 year old Boston Terrier/French Bulldog mix on Wednesday.  He had been sick a few days and nothing the vet gave him was helping.  She went back Wednesday and basically learned there was nothing left to try so she made the hard but humane decision to help Dakota pass.  It's been hard on her because it was the last dog Dad gave her before he passed.  Hopefully Dakota is up there playing with Booker T, Barkley and all our other pups.  On top of that our hot water tank died but it's been replaced and in the whole scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal I guess.

Other than that it's been fine.  A lot of TV shows are starting back up and next week is PACKED with premiers.  Looks like the DVR will be getting a workout.  We watched "AHS:1984."  Definitely interesting and as a child of the 80's, the music was great.  We also watched a movie called "Haunt."  One of the better horror movies we've seen in a while and I'd definitely recommend it.

So as I mentioned, Cass has finally started his Instagram bandana campaign.  I know not everyone is active there so I'm including his premier pic here. I plan on doing one on Instagram each week so I'll just feature it here as well.  Cass is seen here modeling a black bandana with hearts, hydrants and bones in white and primary colors.  He is anxiously awaiting his Dad's arrival home.

So on to the books.  I received a few arcs this week through Netgalley and the publishers.  I am super excited to read "Life and Limb" and featured it some time ago on Can't Wait Wednesday.  Berkley sent me "Meg & Jo" which I can't wait to dive into during the Christmas season.  It's a retelling/reimagining of "Little Women," my favorite classic, and I think it screams to be read during Christmas.  And finally, I'm also pleased to have "Oona Out of Order." 

Also, I had $5.00 in Kindle credits and also won a $10.00 gift certificate through the COYER Treasure Hunt Challenge so some book shopping was in order. I've been anxious for "The Deathless Girls" to release and grabbed "Puppy Love" when it was on sale because Stormi loved it so much.  I also bought "When Darkness Loves Us."  

So I'm still going strong on #Monsterathon.  I'm planning on finishing "The Imaginary Corpse" and "Time's Convert" this weekend.  So far I've terrorized 3,459 villagers.  My old home town has a population of 3,738 so I about have them wiped out completely!!!!

So how was your week???

Friday, September 20, 2019

Apex Back Catalog Tour Author Interview - Elizabeth Massie

During the month-long celebration of Apex's back catalog titles, I had the opportunity to read both a short story by Elizabeth Massie as well as a full length novel, both set in the same Appalachian town and both focused on the Mustard family.  So I'm thrilled today to bring you my interview with an author I'll definitely be checking out more from in the future!

So the short story about Granny Mustard appeared in "Appalachian Undead" before "Desper Hollow" was released.  Did you always plan it this way or did Granny and Jenkie just take on a life of their own and demand more?

I hadn't planned on writing a full-fledged novel based on Granny Mustard but once I completed the short story, I realized that Granny and Jenkie did, indeed, need to have their lives fleshed out and their stories told. And oh! They evolved into even wilder characters than I'd first imagined!

I live in WV so personally it's been fun to read "Desper Hollow" and "Appalachian Undead."  I kind of think the area is ideal for zombie tales.  How did this setting become so prominent in your tales?

I live in western Virginia, not too far from the West Virginia border. The Appalachians/the Alleghenies are right there, visible from our home. My family has been in the region since 1746, so the land and the people are a huge part of who I am. Lots of bright, cheery things. And lots of dark, spooky things. I mean, the caves and the hollows and the thickly-forested patches on the mountains can be breeding grounds for all sorts of bizarre people and creatures. The shadows are especially dark there...and we all know what can grow in the shadows. 

I love horror - movies, TV, books.  Is horror something you always enjoyed and if so, how did your love come about (mine came from my father)? Also, what are some of your favorite movies, books and authors?

As a kid I was easily scared, and yet fascinated by scary books, movies, and television. We'd watch Shock Theater on Saturday afternoons. Shock Theater featured the great old Universal Monster films such as Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and more. I watched with a pillow in my lap so I could cover my eyes when I got too frightened. On Friday nights, my family would watch The Twilight Zone (first run). That show could be really scary but also could make me feel great sympathy for many of the characters. I guess, that's the key right there. I came to enjoy horror because it was thrilling but also had the potential to reveal the human condition and help me develop a sense of empathy for others. Neither of my parents liked horror but didn't mind the kids watching Shock Theater, The Twilight Zone, or Outer Limits. They never found out that at ten, I checked out a copy of Psycho from our local library (which was one block from our house) and read it at night. That, I'm sure, they wouldn't have approved of! 

As to favorite movies, books, and authors of mine today... 
Movies: All the old Universal Monster classics (with the exception of Creature From the Black Lagoon...I always found that one to be a snooze.) Also, The Exorcist, Freaks (1932), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wicker Man (1973), Get Out, and A Quiet Place are top of my list. 
Books: Psycho (Bloch), Innocence (Koontz), The Stand (King), Johnny Got His Gun (Trumbo...not often considered horror, but oh, it is), Death Watch (Mannetti), Rosemary's Baby (Levin), The Stepford Wives (Levin), Harvest Home (Tryon), and more.
Authors: Honestly, there are so many I hesitate to try to make a list!

Do you have any future works coming out you'd like to share?  And when you're not writing, what else keep you busy. 

Right now I'm focusing a lot of time and energy on my Ameri-Scares series of novels for middle grade readers. There are 9 books out so far, and I'm working on number 10 (Montana). Each novel is set in a different state in the Union and is based on an actual folktale, legend, or historic event from that state. Author Mark Rainey has joined me in this venture, with the goal of getting novels written for all 50 states. What's particularly exciting is that Warner Horizon (Warner Brothers) has teamed up with Margot Robbie and her production company, LuckyChap, to develop Ameri-Scares into a television series. I don't know the time frame on these things, but as soon as I know more, I'll be making an announcement  As to fiction for adults, I have horror stories coming out this fall in several anthologies. They include "Terror From the Briny Depths," in Dark Tides (a charity anthology edited by John Questore), "Those Who Would Be Terrified" in Midnight in the Graveyard (Silver Shamrock Publishing, edited by Kenneth Cain), and "It's In the Cards" in Porcupine Boy and Other Stories (Crossroad Press, edited by Christopher Jones.) I hope to get back on my new adult historical horror novel as well - The House at Wyndham Strand and get it finished by early 2020. Thanks for asking!

Finally, my pup Cassius is my co-blogger (well, it used to be him and Booker T but we tragically lost Booker T in early summer).  He would kill me if I didn't ask you if you have any 4-legged family members who assist you with your writing process.

Alas, no. My sweet black kitty, Pammy, died a while back and I've yet to introduce a new cat to our family. I will, though, when the time is right.

I want to thank Elizabeth for taking the time to join us at Booker T's Farm!

Also as a side note, I feel in love with the cover of "Desper Hollow" and have since discovered that Elizabeth's husband, Cortney Skinner, is the illustrator.