Friday, August 27, 2021

TBR and Beyond Tours - Burden Falls


TITLE: Burden Falls
AUTHOR: Kat Ellis
PUBLISHING DATE: August 24, 2021
PAGES: 304

Riverdale meets Stephen King in the terrifying new thriller from the author of Harrow Lake. 
The town of Burden Falls drips with superstition, from rumors of its cursed waterfall to Dead-Eyed Sadie, the disturbing specter who haunts it. Ava Thorn grew up right beside the falls, and since a horrific accident killed her parents a year ago, she's been plagued by nightmares in which Sadie comes calling—nightmares so chilling, Ava feels as if she’ll never wake up. But when someone close to Ava is brutally murdered and she’s the primary suspect, she begins to wonder if the stories might be more than legends—and if the ghost haunting her dreams might be terrifyingly real. Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there's a killer on the loose . . . with a vendetta against the Thorns. 

When I saw the Riverdale comparison I just knew I had to read this book.  While there's no Jughead, there are plenty of other characters to keep things interesting.  So to shake things up, I'm just sharing with you 15 Reactions I Had While Reading This Book.  You'll just have to read it to see how they play into the plot!

  1. Is a year really long enough for a body to knit itself whole?
  2. I want to see a tree full of ghost apples - how pretty!
  3. Aha!  THAT explained the cover.
  4. Ava needs a new car, but its so funny she praises Lucifer whenever it starts on the first try.
  5. Pepperoni never did me wrong either.
  6. THE FLYS!!! I can't believe the author referenced The Flys (runs off singing "Got you where I want you."
  7. Because of COVID the town started holding outdoor celebrations of important events called Danse Macabres.  What a great idea.
  8. Much respect to Daphne's Dimple Theory - I agree.
  9. Dead-Eyed Sadie is one spooky urban legend.
  10. Every phone needs a claw-back function to retract texts.
  11. That dog better not die!
  13. I too have a thing for shark movies Ava :)
  14. Nerdy vampires - nice visual.
  15. What an intense ending!


Kat Ellis is the author of young adult novels Harrow Lake, PurgeBreaker, and Blackfin Sky, as well as a novella within the Three Strikes collection titled The Twins of Blackfin

Kat studied English with Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, then spent several years working in local government communications and IT. 

When she is not writing, Kat can usually be found exploring ruins and cemeteries with her camera. She is an active blogger, instagrammer and tweeter, and is represented by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency.

Author Links:








Thursday, August 26, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter


So basically Stormi and I started another series we've always been curious about.  And am I ever glad I stopped putting this book off.  This series has been blowing up Booktube lately and the good thing about it is that the trilogy is actually complete so we can dive right into the next one!  So read on to see my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Athena Club #1)
AUTHOR: Theodora Goss
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: June 20, 2017
PAGES: 402
SOURCE: Own library


Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes. 
But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. 
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

MY THOUGHTS: This was such a fun read and I can't wait to pick the next one up.  But you know what's funny?  Up until I wrote this review, I didn't know this was categorized as a Young Adult novel.  Not that it matters but if that is putting anyone off from reading it, it shouldn't because this could easily pass for an adult novel.

When the book opens, Mary Jekyll's mother has passed away.  Prior to her death, she suffered from an illness and madness which happened to start around the time Mary's father started some mysterious experiments.  This also coincided with the appearance of his strange assistant, Mr. Hyde.  Mary is left destitute but when she discovers her mother had been sending money each month for the care of someone named Hyde, Mary thinks this is the key to solving a cold case murder and earn a generous reward in the process.  But Mary stumbles onto an impulsive and opinionated young girl.  

This is the perfect "found family" novel.  Mary joins up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson to investigate the murders of some women in Whitechapel.  They also learn there is a secretive society of men who have been experimenting on young women who they feel obligated to rescue along the way. So by the end of the book, not only has the murder mystery fallen into place, but a group of women, each with varying backgrounds and talents, have teamed up to take down the secret society.

I really enjoyed all the characters but Diana, Mary's younger sister, is hilarious.  She's mouthy and snarky and has an opinion on everything.  She's uncultured and doesn't care.  And she drives Mary mad!  I also enjoyed the inclusion of Holmes and Watson and hope they are in the future installments as well.  I will say this book has a unique format which I believe is called "breaking the fourth wall."  So interspersed between the narrative are conversations between the characters about the novel being written.  It took some adjustment as first but soon I began to look forward to these often humorous comments.

The only real complaint I had was the pacing at times.  It was a book I was able to sit down and leave for a while, unlike others which I can barely put down.  However if you love classic monsters and are looking for a unique twist, look no further.  This book has adventure, snark, humor, all in a historical setting.  Bring on the next one!



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday (322) - I'm Back


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 island was just the beginning...

In H G Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Dr Moreau a shipwrecked traveller finds himself alone on an island ruled by a mad doctor and inhabited by creatures who are at once both beast and human. He escapes to civilisation only after the scientist is dead and the beast-men have taken absolute control. Yet this is not the end of the matter. The peoples of the island are not done with humanity. Now the conflict between the two has begun in earnest.

The City of Dr Moreau presents a sprawling history of the islanders, and an alternative vision of our own times. Spanning more than a century, criss-crossing across numerous places and many lives, we witness the growth of Moreau's legacy, from gothic experiments to an event which changes the world. From the wharves of Victorian London to a boarding house with an inhuman resident, to an assassin on a twentieth-century train ordered to kill the one man who knows the truth to a diplomat whose mission to parley with beast-men will surely be her last, we follow secret skirmishes and hidden plots which emerge, eventually and violently, into the open.

A tribute to the genius of H G Wells from the author of Dracula's ChildThe City of Dr Moreau is a visionary new horror novel in the style of Wells' creepiest and most enduring fictions. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I have always been fascinated by The Island of Dr Moreau so I'm really excited to see what this book brings!


FROM GOODREADS:  When Molly Madison, dog-wrangler extraordinaire, stumbles upon a murder in her new hometown, she must track down a killer to save the day.

Ex-police officer and former P.I. Molly Madison is starting over. After the death of her husband, she and her golden retriever, Harlow, move cross-country to California. But as charming and peaceful as the beachside town seems, she soon learns its tranquil tides hold dark secrets.

On her first day in the new house, a large, slobbering Saint Berdoodle wanders in. Molly winds up taking on the responsibility of training Noodle since his owner is too busy to do the job. On one of their daily beachside walks, Noodle digs up a severed hand. Once Molly alerts the police and they run a background check on her, she's an immediate suspect--after all, Noodle's testimony to clear her name won't hold much water in court.

To prove her innocence, Molly must rely on instincts keener than a canine's to sniff out the real killer. But when Molly's life is put in danger, will her two very loyal pups be able to rescue her? 

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  What in the name of Dog is a Saint Berdoodle?  I want Mom to read this book just so she can tell me.  I think that's the real mystery here.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Second Chance Pass


So Stormi and I decided to continue on with our read of the Virgin River series again this month.  Both of us seem to be enjoying them and they are nice, easy reads so I'm finding them a great way to get a finish under my belt pretty early in the month.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: Second Chance Pass (Virgin River #5)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHING DATE: January 2, 2009
PAGES: 410
SOURCE: Library/Hoopla


The community of Virgin River saw Vanessa Rutledge through her darkest days—now she's looking to a bright future. 
In the space of a few months Vanessa buried her husband, Matt, and gave birth to their son—breaking her heart while filling it with a whole new kind of love. But the one man she longs to share this love with now acts as if she doesn't exist. 
Paul Haggerty lives by the marine motto: Semper Fi. Ever faithful to his best friend, he's done right by Matt's widow as best he can…considering he's been secretly in love with her for years. Now, just as he's about to make his move, another woman has staked her claim on him—a claim that will be tough to escape. 
With courage, humility and not a little meddling from the good folks of Virgin River, Vanni and Paul might just get a second chance to have the love they both desire and deserve.

MY THOUGHTS: This is actually the first book in the series I've not given 5 stars but it came close.  When you're 5 books in, that's a pretty good stat.  So Second Chance Pass is the story of Vanessa and Paul, both of whom we met in book #3.  Vanessa's husband was killed in service without getting the chance to see his son being born.  Paul was his best friend and helped Vanessa deliver the baby because he promised his friend he would look out for them if something happened.  However, Paul has had deep feelings for Vanessa since he first met her years ago.  He doesn't want to ruin the memory of his best friend and he doesn't think Vanessa is ready to move on so he almost loses his chance at love.  

I really enjoyed Paul and Vanessa's tale although I didn't enjoy the time they spent with Vanessa's mother-in-law.  She was a piece of work.  And I must say, there were times I wanted to reach in the book and smack some sense into Paul.  I will also add that for fans of the Netfix series, there is a major plot point in Paul's story which the show took liberties with and dumped on Jack and Mel.  And I'm not a fan of it no matter who is involved!

This book also packs a lot of different stories into its pages.  We are following at four other relationships, the birth of two babies, two near death experiences and a ravaging fire.  At least Carr keeps it interesting.  The only reason I lowered my rating is because there is almost TOO much to follow.  That and one relationship took the concept of insta-love to a whole new level.  

Overall I am stillo enjoying this series and find myself looking forward to the month's where Stormi and I decide to continue them.  I can't wait to see what the next book brings and highly recommend them.

RATING: 4 Paws

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Characters That Need More Love


The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to That Artsy Reader Girl 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 characters who should have gotten more love or attention.  You know the ones - side characters that leave you wanting their own book.  Read on to see if I can come up with 10 this week.

I actually have two from this series - PRUDENCE who I think is just awesome, and Sabrina's cousin AMBROSE.

Is it too much to want a MG book featuring ULYSSES the moose???

I would love a prequel book with a story for Diana's Aunts, EM and SARAH.  I think I'd really enjoy more of their backstory.

I've always said JENKS needs his own series.

Okay, so I at least came up with six.  Maybe I'll get to ten one day soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Random Things Tours - Out of Your Head


TITLE: Out of Your Head
AUTHOR: Rose McClelland
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
PUBLISHING DATE: April 29, 2021
PAGES: 304


Fatal accidents do happen. 
 Or was there a plan? 
 A six-year-old dies in a car driven by her father. 
 He barely survives. 
 A simple hit and run? 
 Yet the police think its murder. 
 And who might be next? 
 The mother is out of her mind. 
 If losing her daughter is not enough, why is she being stalked? 

MY THOUGHTS:  If you're looking for a fast paced thriller, Out of Your Head just might be the book for you!  This book features both multiple POVs and dual timelines which personally always speeds up my reading time.  It is rather tragic in that a child so young dies but it's a fun ride seeing all the twists and turns in this novel.

I enjoyed the characters but must say Liam is quite a dog.  He definitely has the best of both worlds with both a wife and a mistress, but his world may be closing in fast.  McClelland takes a solid look at mental health and demonstrates to the reader that you can't always trust what you see because there's two sides to every story.  

I don't want to give too much away so I'll end it here by just saying, if you love thrillers, pick this one up.  There is something for everyone and I'm so glad to have picked this one up.



Out of your Head is Rose McClelland's fifth novel and her second psychological thriller.

Her previous novel Under Your Skin became an Amazon No. 1 Bestseller in the UK and USA/ Canada. It also won Best Books of 2020 in Belfast Telegraph and with several online book bloggers.

Rose has also written two short plays which were performed in the Black Box theatre in Belfast.


Find out more at:

 Twitter @RoseMcClelland1

 Instagram @rosiegirl2000