Saturday, February 29, 2020

Retro Horror Vol. 1 - Wither

So as I mentioned earlier this year, Stormi and I have decided that once every two months, we will pick an older horror title that we've wanted to read and then share our thoughts with you.  We are aiming to read books published before 2000.  So read on to see what I chose for this month (which just happened to be a rare reread for me) and then hop over to Stormi's @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what title she picked.

TITLE: Wither (Wendy Ward #1)
AUTHOR: J.G. Passarella
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PUBLISHING DATE: February 1, 1999


The college town of Windale, Massachusetts is proud of its colonial heritage -- including the legend of a dark witches' coven dating back three hundred years. No one in Windale actually believes in witches, or imagines that the blood-chilling history of the Salem era could repeat itself. But three people, unknown to one another, are experiencing vivid nightmares of palpable horror. They alone can sense that a dreadful presence is working its way into their waking lives -- and is coming for them. 

On a crisp autumn night deep in the New England woods, a young woman's harmless channeling ritual unwittingly opens the floodgates to terrifying forces that have, until then, lived only in dreams: a breed of demonic creatures with the power to shatter an unsuspecting town. 

MY THOUGHTS: As I've mentioned, this was a reread for me but since I read it over 20 years ago, I only had a slight recollection of it.  I remembered really liking the MC, Wendy, and loving the fact that it was about witches - scary, terrifying witches!  I was curious to see if this book would stand up to my expectations and recollection of loving it so well and I'm glad to say it did.  I also recalled that Wendy used to ride an exercise bike all the time and would map out destinations on a map on her wall and keep track until she got there.  I thought that was such a cool concept back in 1999 and will even admit to copying it for a while.

So on to the story.  Wendy is the daughter of Windale College's presidence in Windale, Massachusetts.  The town is very old and colonial and has seemed to build its survival on a basis of three witches who were once hanged there during the time of the Salem Witch Trials.  Wendy herself has always went against the grain and is a practicing Wiccan.  Once night she holds a ceremony in the woods but following that, weird things start to happen.  Did Wendy unknowingly releases the wrath of these three witches, or is something even more complex at play?

There are several things I really enjoy about this book.  The setting is a small college town seeped in history.  It makes for a great setting for this ominous tale.  I also really like the characters.  The book centers on three main individuals.  There's Wendy, her pregnant college professor Karen, and then a neglect little 8 year old, Abby.  During the tale we get to see what's happening from all three perspectives.  The reader is also given flashbacks along the way of the prosecution of the three witches - Wither and the other two in her coven.  The whole book flows rather well and it's a near-perfect mix of atmosphere and action.  And finally, there are some truly gruesome and terrifying scenes in this novel.  Like people falling from the sky, stadium bleachers collapsing and mysterious injuries while sleeping.

I am so glad that I chose this as the first book for our feature.  Once again I feel in love with Wendy and the town of Windale.  I'm pleased to say there are two more books which were released following Wendy and her town and while reading this, I learned from the author that he is currently working on book 4.  You have no idea how thrilled I am.  Look for future reviews of the next two in the series because once again, I've become addicted to this witchy world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bram Stoker Award-Winning co-author of Wither (which has been moved to the J. G. Passarella profile. Also, I'm the author of Wither's Rain, Wither's Legacy, Kindred Spirit, Shimmer, Exit Strategy & Others (fiction collection), and the media tie-in novels: Supernatural: COLD FIRE (MAR 2016), Night Terror & Rite of Passage, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ghoul Trouble, Angel: Avatar & Monolith. Look for Grimm: The Chopping Block. 

My author website is but I am also owner & web designer at

Friday, February 28, 2020

Some Locke & Key Additions

TITLE: Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth
AUTHORS: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez
PUBLISHING DATE: August 15, 2017


Three never-before-collected additions to the series the A.V. Club called a “modern masterpiece,” showcasing the depths of depravity and the beautifully heart-breaking heights New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez have to offer. 

This special deluxe release finally reprints the oft-requested and long-denied Eisner-winning one-shot, “Open the Moon!” Plus the other long-sold-out one-shot, “Grindhouse!” PLUS, the even more hard-to-find IDW 10th anniversary Locke & Key tale, “In the Can!” And additional covers, behind-the-scenes photos and more. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I've read the first five volumes of the Locke & Key series. I don't know why I've not picked up the sixth and I really need to make some time for it.  It wasn't until I saw the Netflix trailer that I got to looking to see what else might be out there.  I stumbled across this edition and grabbed because I wanted to visit that world again.

There are three different tales in this edition which take us back to look at some original Locke family tales.  "In the Can!" was interesting enough but I really enjoyed "Open the Moon!"  It was quite sweet and very entertaining.  "Grindhouse!" wasn't bad but I will mention a trigger warning for rape and brutality.  However, this is a graphic novel and I can't say it really bothered me much. 

On one hand I'm glad I picked this up but on the other, I didn't find it overly spectacular.  The artwork was great as always and if you are a die-hard fan of the series, this is one you're definitely going to want to read, if nothing but to fill in some backstory.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Series - A Murderous Relation

So you may be thinking "Wait, this isn't a Longmire book."  To which I'd reply "Very observant."  However, the Veronica Speedwell series is one that Stormi and I have pretty much read together since book one.  So when we both were approved for an arc of #5, it was pretty much a given that it would be tagged for a buddy read.  So read on for my review and then don't forget to check out Stormi's review over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!  

TITLE: A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5)
AUTHOR: Deanna Raybourn
PUBLISHING DATE: March 5, 2020


Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l'Etoile, and the proprietess, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break. 

Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper--and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible. 

Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore's high class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family--and it's up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it's too late for all of them. 

MY THOUGHTS: So it's no real secret how I feel about this series.  Needless to say, whenever I hear a new one is being published, I count the hours until it pops up on Netgalley, and then count the hours to see if I'm approved.  I adore Veronica and Stoker and after the way A Dangerous Collaboration ended, I had really high hopes for this one.  That being said, I may have set myself up for some frustration and disappointment.  But don't get me wrong, A Murderous Relation is still a wonderful book, the series is still great and I'm already anxiously waiting to see what mess Veronica and Stoker find themselves in next.

So in this installment, Veronica and Stoker are asked to help investigate a potential royal scandal.  Yet the "players" are too close to home for Veronica to accept.  But when Lady Wellie falls ill, the two of them do some sleuthing and decide they must do as she originally asked.  This leads them right smack dab into another calamity and I'm wondering if they aren't secretly cats with nine lives.

Let's get this out of the way.  Initially I felt the book started kind of slow.  Because of the way the last book ended, I expected more "umph" out of this one in the beginning and probably set myself up to be let down.  However, once I hit about the 30% mark, things picked up and once again the book was back in the groove.  That really is the only complaint I have and as I said, I more than likely did it to myself.

So what did I like?  Everything else.  We get to see some familiar side characters and the book actually opens up with Stoker being expected to officiate a wedding of a giant tortoise.  Only Stoker and Veronica.  Per usual I really enjoyed Lady Wellie and I even ended up liking Eddy, a new character on the scene who has ties to Veronica.  Madame Aurore was also a fun addition.  Stoker's brother Tiberius  makes another appearance and although he rather annoyed me in the last book, I found him quite enjoyable in this one.

The mystery in A Murderous Relation was rather satisfying and I didn't see some of the surprise twists being carried out until they were right upon me.  And I can also say that in the end, I am very satisfied with where Veronica and Stoker stand.  I can see how this might seem like the end of an era with the series but I'm proud to report there are at least a few more installments on the way. 

Finally, there's a new dog on the scene.  Madame Aurore has a wolfhound named Vespertine and I feel in love with her.  I'm assuming that's her silhouette on the cover.  Such a fun addition to the canine brood.  She may or may not be in future installments (please Deanna include her in future installments).

If you love this series, don't hesitate to read this one.  And if you haven't started yet, WHY NOT!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (250) - Bonus Winter Edition...and Cass Of Course

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 this week you're getting an extra pick from me.  I found two new books which take place in winter.  Now winter is almost over here - thank the weather ponies (bonus points of you get the reference).  However, I'm still finding books set in winter - one of my faves!  

FROM GOODREADS: Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy about a rig driver’s journey to save her friend.
Twice-orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. Alone in her truck, she takes comfort in two things: the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, an icy spirit who has protected her since she was a child. But when her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, she finds herself making a haul too late in the season for a smuggler whom she wouldn’t normally work with, the infamous Mars Dresden. Alongside his team—Hyla, a giant warrior woman, and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone—Sylvi will do whatever it takes to save her friend. But when the time comes, she'll will have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter—or the future of the island that she calls home.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  First I fell in love with the cover.  Second I can just imagine Elsa on top of a Mad Max rig singing "Do you want to build a snowman" which makes me giggle.  And third, the synopsis seals the deal.


A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she's stuck in the car with don't actually know one another.

Soon, they're not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Blizzard and a car full of strangers?  Yes please!


FROM GOODREADS:  It's the classic girl detectives like you've never seen them before! Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley have a terrifying new mystery to solve -- and this time, the culprit is far more frightening than any man in a mask....

Popular Daphne Blake and über-nerd Velma Dinkley are not friends. They aren’t enemies either, but they don't have any reason to speak to each other, and that’s how they prefer it. The two girls grew up together—they’d been best friends since pre-K—but when they hit middle school, Daphne dropped Velma and never looked back.

These days, Daphne’s deep in the popular crowd, daughter of the richest family in town, while Velma’s an outsider, hiding from the world behind her thick glasses. When they run into each other in the halls of Crystal Cove High, they look the other way.

But then Daphne's best friend, Marcy—who happens to be Velma’s cousin—goes missing. A century ago, there was a wave of disappearances in Crystal Cove, and many local people believe that supernatural forces were behind it. Now the whole town believes those same forces are back . . . and up to no good.

Daphne and Velma may be the only ones who can solve the mystery and save Marcy—if they can trust each other enough to try. Especially since the truth might be stranger—and scarier—than either girl can imagine . . . 

WHY CASS CAN'T WAIT: So I've seen Scooby Doo movies and cartoons.  Everyone also seems to think that Daphne is such a hottie but personally, I'd prefer a belly rub from Velma any day.  I think Mom likes Velma best too and I love my Mom so take that Daphne.  I think this sounds fun and I'm only hoping as the series continues, Scooby manages to make an appearance.  But not Scrappy Doo - he was annoying.  Hey, maybe I should rename Apollo Scrappy!


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

TTT - Why Yes I'll Follow You On Social Media

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 we are looking at characters we'd follow on social media.  Well, this should be interesting!

Now my first two aren't book characters but you guys know how much I love Gilmore Girls.  I think Lorelei's social media would be hilarious and I bet Rory would be talking about her novel and her newest reads.

In this book, Jo is a food blogger as well as a budding author.  I loved her so much and in the original Little Women, of course I'd have to follow her.

Are you tired of seeing this book yet?  Well, brace yourself because I've made it my mission to recommend it as much as possible.  Anyone who has read it I'm sure will agree that S.T. would have a great social media presence!

I would follow both Manfred and Olivia on social media.  Manfred is a psychic and Olivia is an assassin - fun times!

Lindsey is director at the local library - who better to follow than a librarian!

I had fun getting to know Music City Salvage in this novel by Cherie Priest.  I think they'd have a fun social media presence.  And I would love to hear more about their ghostly experiences.

Another book I feature whenever I can.  I'd love to see what Atl could come up with on social media!

Elvis the Basset is hilarious and I think his tweets would be stellar!  Plus, you know I'd follow a dog on social media. In fact, I'm pretty sure I already follow several!

So how about you?  Do you agree with any of these?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Blog Tour - The Guest List

I am so happy today to be a part of Random Things Tours Blog Tour for the newest Lucy Foley book, The Guest List.  Trust me guys, if you like thrillers, this is one you're going to want to grab!

TITLE: The Guest List
AUTHOR: Lucy Foley
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins, UK
PUBLISHING DATE: February 20, 2020

FROM GOODREADS: A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the author of The Hunting Party. 

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. 

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. 

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed last year's The Hunting Party and when I was offered the opportunity to take part in a blog tour for her latest novel, I jumped.  And man, was I glad I did.

The Guest List is an an isolated closed mystery tale which takes place on a creepy, remote island.  Julie and Will have had a whirlwind romance and are getting married.  They have invited some of their closest friends and family.  Aoife, a wedding planner, and her husband Freddie, have purchased and renovated Folly, located on an island off of Ireland.  Throw is some irresponsible school friends of the groom, the sister of the bride who clearly has some issues of her own going on, the bride's best friend and his wife who is sure that the Julie and her husband were once more than friends and you have a recipe for mayhem and disaster.  Because clearly, everyone on the island seems to have their own agenda. 

The Guest List is told from five different perspectives.  I love alternating POVs but I admit, I was initially worried about so many.  I shouldn't have been.  It is also told in dual timelines.  I don't know how Foley took this combination and made it work so well, but let me tell you the tale was utterly engrossing.  I devoured this book and read it in little less than a day. The writing flowed so well and I couldn't wait to find out what torrid secret or reckless behavior would happen next. 

I have to admit by the end of the book, I had some ideas about what had happened and while some of my ideas came to fruition, Foley also threw in some surprises I didn't expect.  I loved every minute I spend reading this book and can't wait to see what she comes up with next!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

Blog Tour - Death Deserved

Today I'm thrilled to be sharing with you my thoughts on Death Deserved.  Read on to see what I thought of another great Orenda Books publication.

TITLE: Death Deserved
AUTHORS: Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger
PUBLISHER: Orenda Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 31, 2020

FROM GOODREADS: Police officer Alexander Blix and celebrity blogger Emma Ramm join forces to track down a serial killer with a thirst for attention and high-profile murders, in the first episode of a gripping new Nordic Noir series… 

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV. 

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missing-persons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing… 

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flare for the dramatic, and thirst for attention. Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it… 

MY THOUGHTS: Last year I discovered that I really enjoyed foreign thrillers so naturally I jumped at the chance to start something new and share that new find with others.  Death Deserved is the start of a new series and I now that I've read it, I'm anxiously awaiting the next one.

In this installment, the unlikely pair of Emma Ramm, celebrity blogger, and Alex Blix, police officer, team up to figure out what happened to a famous long-distance runner.  Ramm discovered her guest missing when she showed up at her house which put her right in the middle of the investigation.

I can honestly admit that serial killers have always interested me. I'm intrigued by how they function and what makes them tick.  Add that in with celebrity deaths and a blogger and I knew the likelihood was good that I would enjoy this novel.  I'm also always intrigued to see two authors working together and their styles really meshed on this police procedural.  I was really engaged with the characters and because they are working against time to find the killer, the book was extremely fast-paced.

I have had such great success reading Orenda  Books publications and after reading Violet last year, and Death Deserved at the beginning of 2020, they are definitely becoming a published to watch.  If you are ready to strap yourself in for one hell of a rider, then pick up Death Deserved.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian
police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense.

Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul
series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer.

Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

What's Happening (02-22-20)...Wow, What a Week!

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. 

First of all I want to apologize for not moderating or returning comments very quickly this past week.  My Gpa has been in the hospital since the 5th and is now in rehab preparing to return home.  Stupid Uncle is on a river in Louisiana (once again) so I've been handling most of the affairs.  Hopefully it will slow down once he gets back home.  I love my Gpa but he is the worst at saying he wants/needs to be at the hospital/rehab and then demanding to be sent home before he's actually ready to go.  I was cutting deals with him just to get him to stay sometimes.

Apollo and Cassius also had a vet appointment this week - and my vet is still out.  Cass has a sensitive stomach and I feel so badly when it acts up that I wanted him seen so we could get recommendation and ideas.  Worthless!  Basically I think we knew more than the vet did.  Apollo did well with his shots though and he is 14 weeks and now weighs 26 pounds.  Good news though!  Our vet is back on a limited basis.  Right now he is just seeing small dogs until he gets his prosthetic and is used to it, but they agreed to do puppy shots.  Apollo just needs to slow down his growth for the next three weeks - just kidding. 

We finally finished watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and although it was off to a rocky start, it finished pretty strongly.  Needless to say I'm not upset that Season 4 has already been filmed.  We also watched a horror movie (well, it was more of a thriller) called VFW.  It's about this elderly vets who end up taking on a drug gang. It was super enjoyable.  I'm still watching The Outsider on HBO and actually finding it pretty slow.  Mr. Barb is counting the weeks until it is off.  The Walking Dead starts back up this Sunday and I'm hoping they put that show out of its misery soon so I don't feel obligated to watch.

I need to finish three more books before the month is out.  Riverdale: The Maple Murders is about 40% done and A Murderous Relation is about 12% done.  I've not started Wither but hey, I'm optimistic - I can do it!

I actually got a few library books this week so I'm going to share them instead of the two review books I received.  I'll just add them next week.  Remember, this is from two different library systems and I can keep them close to 12 weeks.  Will I get them all read?  Probably not, but hey, I'll have fun trying!

So I'll leave you with some more thoughts from Cassius on this episode of....


1.  Remember how he was eating dirt?  Well, he still does.  But I've also noticed he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth.  Bottle caps, grass, paper, people's trash when we're walking, and dare I say, one of Mom's books!  Seriously son, don't you know where some of that stuff has been?

2.  He does flip flops.  He will run so fast and he's in what Mom calls "the awkward stage."  I'm pretty sure I never went through that stage but man, he gets going so fast sometimes that he gets tripped, flip flops and then keeps right on going.  He looks like a darn slinky.

3.  He's losing his teeth!  Mom and Dad say they're baby teeth and he will get replacements.  Won't bother me a bit if he doesn't.

4.  He takes my balls.  I forgot to add those to the list of sacred toys he better leave alone.  I have close to 15 tennis balls of different colors (some even squeak which are my faves) and he needs to leave them ALL alone.

5.  He sleeps beside me...sometimes...when I allow it.  And sometimes it's okay.


1. The teethin' heathen
2. Puppyman (like he's some superhero or something)
3.  Pollo Pollo
4. Satan (that's Mom)
5. Nosferatu (Mom again)
6.  Skinny butt

Friday, February 21, 2020

Flame Tree Press Blog Tour - The Garden of Bewitchment

Today I'm thrilled to once again be sharing a new title from Flame Tree Press, Catherine Cavendish's The Garden of Bewitchment.  Read on to see what I thought and make sure you visit some of the other hosts as well.

TITLE: The Garden of Bewitchment
AUTHOR: Catherine Cavendish
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
PUBLISHING DATE: February 13, 2020

FROM GOODREADS: Don't play the game. 

In 1893, Evelyn and Claire leave their home in a Yorkshire town for life in a rural retreat on their beloved moors. But when a strange toy garden mysteriously appears, a chain of increasingly terrifying events is unleashed. 

Neighbour Matthew Dixon befriends Evelyn, but seems to have more than one secret to hide. Then the horror really begins. 

The Garden of Bewitchment is all too real and something is threatening the lives and sanity of the women. Evelyn no longer knows who - or what - to believe. And time is running out.  

MY THOUGHTS: Evelyn and Claire are twin sisters.  They feel they no longer belong in Yorkshire. Their parents are deceased and before dying, their father sold the family business which employed much of the town.  While this left Evelyn and Claire financially set, many lost their jobs.  Evelyn and Claire are looking for a new start and since they are budding writers who are obsessed to different degrees with all things Bronte, they move to a small cottage on the Moors.  Once their, Evelyn and Claire stumble upon a game, The Garden of Bewitchment, that shouldn't exist but does.  The neighbor, Matthew, also has had experiences with this game and even though they are leery of him, Evelyn and Claire end up seeking his help.

I really enjoyed this tale and to be honest, it would be a great read for a cold winter's night huddled in a blanket with a glass of bourbon (or coffee, but I'm in the mood for bourbon).  While not exactly action-packed, Cavendish does a great job with scenes and setting and at times I actually felt like I was on the Moors with Evelyn and Claire.  I enjoyed their sisterly bond to a point, but can't really elaborate any more for risk of spoiling things.  I also kind of figured out some of the twists early on, but that didn't damper my reading enjoyment.  My only real issue with it was that I wish it had been  a tad more scarier.  That being said, I'm not easy to scare so if you are looking for a mild horror read, this is definitely the ticket. 

While this book is classified as horror I think it might better be described as a slow-burn suspense novel.  However, it also very much feels like a Gothic horror tale.  So if any of these descriptors intrigue you, then you might want to pick this one up.  I will most certainly be on the lookout for more titles from this author.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Death Without Company

So welcome to 2020 and yep, Stormi and I are at it again.  This month we continued on with our series read of the Walt Longmire Mysteries and after a rather dismal start, I think we are both happy to say we are glad we didn't just chuck it in after the first one.  I guess persistence does pay! 

  So continue on for my thoughts on the first book and then check out Stormi's review over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!  I have to admit that I love the fact that this author is from my state and graduated from my alma mater, Marshall University.  

TITLE: Death Without Company (Walk Longmire #2)
AUTHOR: Craig Johnson
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
PUBLISHING DATE: March 16, 2006

FROM GOODREADS: When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman’s dramatic Basque past. Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them. 

MY THOUGHTS: I am so glad that Stormi and I decided to continue on and not decide to make a snap judgement based on our mediocre feelings about book one.  This book really paid off for me and I found it much more engrossing.

One evening an elderly lady is assisted living, Mari Baroja, passes away.  Walt's friend and previous sheriff, Lucien, calls Walt there and demands it be investigated as a murder.  Walt is initially skeptical but does his friend a favor and he actually does find some foul play.  Together, along with some assists from Lucien himself and Walt's best friend Henry Standing Bear, everyone works to find out what is really going on.

I think the mystery aspect of Death Without Company was pretty intense at times and it was exciting watching all of the pieces fall in place.  I had suspicions at time regarding what was happening but never quite figured it out so the ending was a great conclusion for me.  In addition to that, this book enabled the reader to get a better feel on the characters.  I love Vic and her foul mouth more now than I ever did and a new hire, Santiago, is a wonderful addition to the cast.  I must say that I sometimes feel that the author is desperate to match Walt up with someone as once again we have a woman who he seems to be interested in.  It just felt forced to me and perhaps I'm a tad biased but he just needs ot get with Vic and be done with it.

I also have to mention Dog.  In the last book, Walt ended up with a canine companion, not so much by choice but by circumstance.  I'm proud to say Dog is very prevalent in this installment and even though I thought there was a point where he might not make it, that wasn't the case.  Dog is a great addition and I hope to see more of him in book three.

So overall, Death Without Company was a much better reading experience than the first book.  It flowed better and I actually flew through it.  I'm excited to see what the next book brings which is always helpful when making a decision to tackle a huge series.  


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (249)

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:  The latest―and greatest―sci-fi thriler in the Zoey Ashe Series.

Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements. An all-seeing social network that tracks your every move. Mysterious, smooth-talking power players who lurk behind the scenes. A young woman suddenly in charge of the most decadent city in the world. And her very smelly cat.

Zoey Ashe is like a fish so far out of water that it has achieved orbit. She finds herself struggling to establish rule over a sprawling empire while Tabula Ra$a's rogue's gallery of larger-than-life crime bosses and corrupt plutocrats smell weakness. Tensions brew across the city.

A steamer trunk-sized box arrives at Zoey's door, and she and her bodyguard Wu are shocked to find that it contains a disemboweled corpse, and even more shocked when that corpse, controlled by an unknown party, rises from the box and goes on a rampage through the house. After being subdued, it speaks in an electronic voice, accusing Zoey of being its murderer. Soon, it makes the same claim to the public at large, along with the promise of a cash reward for proof that Zoey and the Suits are behind the crime.

Now Zoey is having doubts of her own: Is she 100% sure that someone on her team didn't do this? She also doesn't even have a complete list of what businesses she owns, or what exact laws her organization is still breaking. So what does she really know?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Yep, I know this is a sequel.  Nope, I haven't read the first one.  But let's be honest, that title, along with the cover, definitely has me rushing out to find it.  I need to know more about Zoey.  I need this in my life!


FROM GOODREADS:  They're only good at being bad.

Cora Saros is just trying her best to join the family business of theft and intergalactic smuggling. Unfortunately, she's a total disaster.

After landing herself in prison following an attempted heist gone very wrong, she strikes a bargain with the prison warden: He'll expunge her record if she brings back a long-lost treasure rumored to grant immortality.

Cora is skeptical, but with no other way out of prison (and back in her family's good graces), she has no choice but to assemble a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced warrior from an alien planet; a cocky pirate who claims to have the largest ship in the galaxy; and a glitch-prone robot with a penchant for baking—and take off after the fabled prize.

But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the too-good-to-be-true treasure very real, but they're also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it's definitely a prize worth killing for.

Whip-smart and utterly charming, this irreverent sci-fi adventure is perfect for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunar Chronicles, and Firefly. 

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT: Seriously. that tagline "They're only good at being bad" reminded me of Apollo.  But also, doesn't that critter on the bottom left corner look like a dog with sunglasses.  Mom says I'm wrong but I'm sticking with it.