Monday, December 29, 2014

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee





Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.





My daughter's name is Ophelia, so when a family friend pointed out that she found a book with her name in the title I looked it up. I was pretty happy when I realized it was middle grade fiction, as my daughter is five, and looked really cute. I had read another book by this author a few months back called The Midnight Dress which was YA and really good, so I had high hopes for this book.

It took a while to finish the book since I was reading a chapter a day out loud with a little girl who has red curls and is forever in motion, this being our first chapter book to read together. The book was delightful.

The writing style is creative and whimsical the characters colorful and the plot interesting. The best part was that it all took place in a no named city where the Snow Queen has made it forever snow....

No one but the Marvelous Boy, whose name was taken by the wizards, knows that the Snow Queen is ruling the land with plans to destroy everything once the Wintertide Clock Chimes. He is locked in a room when Ophelia discovers him. It takes a while for him to convince Ophelia to help him because she is very scientific and doesn't believe in magic, plus her mother just died and she has asthma so she is a little timid and angry at first.

The whole back drop for this story is the most ridiculous museum that was just hilarious, rooms full of broken tea cups, paintings of sad girls, recreations of London Streets, wolves and elephants and snow leopard frozen in time, dinosaur bones, glamorous gowns and shoes Mainly just junk the Snow Queen collected for 300 years and put on display, including a wedding mosaic tiled floor and a mural of a sea monster.

This was a fun wonderful book that I enjoyed, possibly more than my daughter. I not only recommend it for children but for the adult who likes a simply and joyful fairy tale type read in the style of Roald Dahl.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Best Books I Read in 2014



The Best Books I Read in 2014



 
1) The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
My thoughts:
This was a beautifully written gothic romance with dark fairy tale ties.
Synopsis
Death hasn't visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders' bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan's village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan's door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.


2)Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell
For my thoughts and Synopsis see the Review I wrote

http://hauntedgravebooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/sweet-unrest-by-lisa-maxwell.html

3)Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My thoughts: This was a GREAT Young Adult Horror novel, that had very disturbing imagery, a little gore, a hint of a ghost and kept me wanting to read long into the afternoon.
Synopsis:
For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.



4)The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

Want to see what I thought and what it's about...Check out my Review

http://hauntedgravebooks.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-midnight-dress-karen-foxlee.html

5)The Fall by Bethany Griffin

http://hauntedgravebooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-fall-by-bethany-griffin.html

6)This House is Haunted by John Boyne
My Thoughts:
This was a great gothic horror novel, about two children who are haunted by their mother's ghost who kills or frightens away anyone who tries to care for or love her children. It had a great historical feel, with brilliant writing that made me shiver with hints of fear.
Synopsis:
1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her from behind into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.

When she finally arrives, shaken, at the hall she is greeted by the two children in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There are no parents, no adults at all, and no one to represent her mysterious employer. The children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, a second terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment she rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence which lives within Gaudlin’s walls. Eliza realises that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall’s long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past


7)The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

See my Review here

8)Sea of Shadows by Kelly Armstrong
My Thoughts: Plot and action driven YA with fantasy world building, strong female characters and good writing, while being a little dark and very creative.
Synopsis:
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.



9) The Savages by Matt Whyman


Check out my Review to see what its about cannibals and what I thought.

10)The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

My Thoughts:
The last book of this series and it ends perfectly, just a great series ending where pretty much everyone get their happily ever after.
Synopsis:
Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.

To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything






Monday, December 8, 2014

Stray by Elissa Sussman



















I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?





It took me a while to actually get into this book, there were so many things I didn't like...So I think I shall start out with what I did. This is getting 3 stars and that's because the writing was solid, the characters had depth and the plot was character driven. The world building was a little simple but good, descriptions interesting and while the plot was, again, simple fairy tale format it was entertaining...mostly.

However there was so much in the plot I didn't like, so many times I wanted the smack the MC. Especially since the MC does not figure out her "Path" it utter and complete bull shit, even after she is basically tortured by a head mistress with a spindle, until about the last 50 pages of the 362 page book. In this word women are second class citizens who are "cursed" with magic and when it shows up they are sent to boarding school to learn sewing and etiquette etc... and how to rein in their magic...Unless they are commoners that is, then they are used as slave labor with custody spells and can use magic for chores. Fairy Godmother's can also use magic, and these are women who failed at boarding school or didn't get married within a year or so of turning 17. So they are Redirected and their loving heart is taken from them and they are basically the ladies-in-waiting (read keepers and tattle talers) of the wealthy upper class girls. Also did I mention based on your class you have to wear one specific color? Red for high royalty, blue for second (which is our MC), green for third and yellow for the last of the upper class, then you have the yucky! commoners.

The MC spends almost the whole book hating herself, trying to be good, feeling sorry for herself and just not getting a clue...She is actually pretty stupid...I know it's because of how she is raised, but MAN it took forever for her to realize how she was treated was crap. Starting with an older man (her advisor) trying to feel her up and ending with the fact she uses her magic to self harm because it's the only way she can get control over it...She is basically a magic cutter. At no point does the novel make it clear that self harm is WRONG and not a solution.

I made some notes about some of the things that bothered me the most...I will just list them here.

WARNING: Now I get I am supposed to think this place/world/school is horrible...but this story doesn't read like a satire and the MC never fully goes, "wow everything they taught me is bull shit." One day she just decides she doesn't like the path anymore, not that she doesn't believe the brain washing....she just wants to date the handsome servant boy and not get picked on...that's about as far as her thought process of "straying" goes. And btw this school she is in uses SEVERE and DISTURBING scare tactics and punishment.

1) It is made very clear the MC is not attractive (even though she is: MARY SUE) and that while she would like love she will be happy to simply get married because someone will get to be King if they marry her. She is OK with this, cause, "that's just the way it is." Barf

2) Page ten last line (The MC is talking about wanting to ask this girl to be her Lady-in Waiting, aka BFF) " young maidens were encouraged to find such a companion so they would refrain from annoying their husbands with the silly topics of conversation women preferred." At no point does the MC ever decide this is baloney. This line is just here in the story to stay...Cause you know us lady folk simply just talk about our period and hair dos.

3)Page 11, first line, "Occasionally there were rumors of friendships that had developed further than was appropriate, but advisers were quick to extinguish any such entanglements." This is mentioned a few times and honestly I felt the author was making a negative stance on lesbianism since the MC never actually says, "who cares?" There are hints of romance between two girls that I think would have made the book better had they explored it. Also as you are reading you understand that by extinguish the advisers usually get rid of one of the girls, not nicely.

4)Page 15, lines 11 and 12 "Aislynn reminded herself that she was the one to blame. She wouldn't be treated this way if she didn't deserve it." Ugh....is that abuse I just read?

5) Page 120 (There was a ton more...but I've stuck to only those things that REALLY bothered me) lines 15-19 , "The Book is where a maiden's magical occurrences are recorded," Brigid dried her hands and turned to Aislnn. "The headmistress maintains it, and it is passed on to the girl's husband once she marries. He keeps track of any continuing events after the wedding." What this passage doesn't reveal is if you are badly behaved afterwards he can have you Redirected to Fairy Godmother, and keep all your lands and wealth and re marry.



Lastly, you find out at the end that the MC's mother self harms with as well. When the MC expresses how she doesn't think she can have the life they want her parents tell her they don't care as long as she is SAFE and keep everything hidden, her mother shows her the bottom of her foot where she cuts herself and steps on it to remind herself not to use magic and to be good and follow the path. Her parents do eventually come to realize they just want their daughter alive and are pretty decent, but COME ON.

Ugh... I can't write anymore, most of this novel just made me furious. So Bright Blessings and read on...just maybe not this.













Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday- The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black





Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, were we show case a a book that is not yet released that we are looking forward to reading.


Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
Release Date: 01/13/2015

I am excited to read this, this author hasn't disappointed me yet!







Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they're destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she's found the thing she's been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does...

As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Kalona's Fall by PC Cast and Kristin Cast








In KALONA'S FALL, the shadows in Kalonas past will finally come to light We will learn about the winged immortal's secret history and discover how he went from being the Goddess's Warrior and Guardian to her enemy and betrayer. Did Darkness taint Kalona as it did Neferet, or has the powerful immortal always preferred power over honor, and control over faith? This novella will be crucial to fans' understanding of Kalona, before his role in the explosive final installment of the House of Night, REDEEMED


I have been reading the HoN novels since they first came out. They get a lot of flack and grief from my fellow bloggers, but they are a guilty pleasure of mine, I quiet enjoy them. I have read the first three several times. Though I must admit that the last novel was a disappointment and I have not yet purchased Redeemed because Zoey being arrested left a sour taste in my mouth.

I have also really liked the little novella's showing insight into the grown ups. However, this novel was horrible.The art work was juvenile and if this book took more than a week to finish writing I would be surprised. The plot line was simplistic, though the magic descriptions were cool, and the characters annoying if not flat out stupid. If you have read these books then you know why Kalona was cast out, we don't need a whole Princess and the Pea type set up (Erebus and Kalona have to endure three trials to decide who should be Nyx Companion.) I already know Kalona is full of jealousy and anger, this novel didn't give him or Erebus any DEPTH! And Nyx acts so much like Zoey and a giggling school girl that I had a hard time seeing the great Goddess she is in the series.

There was no need for this novella to be written aside from the money it made the authors. I rolled my eyes so often that it took way longer than it should have for me to finish it. The only good thing about this book were the magic descriptions, the cats and the fact it gave me another book to add to my good reads reading challenge.





Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sweet Unrest By Lisa Maxwell














Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish












When I got Sweet Unrest from the library I figured it would be another piece of YA garbage focusing on hoodoo/voodoo and reincarnation. But instead of garbage I got a book that did its research about voodoo, actually did a good job discussing why there would be insta-love via reincarnation and worked in planation deep south history, photography and added a hint of how race was viewed back in the day and gave us BAM Sweet Unrest, a reincarnation voodoo ghost story.

I thought the main character had spunk and was interesting and not too whiny. The love interest was mysterious and not unhealthy in the way YA normally is and the plot line had depth. I like novels that take the paranormal with the historical and make it work, conjuring images of sweaty southern afternoons and ladies dressed in too many layers fanning their faces.

The ending of this book was surprising and without giving anything away it doesn't end the way you think it would, which was a breath of fresh air! So hopefully you can pick this up and enjoy it as much as I did.






 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (Yes I am late) - Characters Who Should Get Their Own Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish  . This week we are show casing that top ten characters who should have their own books.

1) Morwen from the Dealing with Dragon Chronicles-
By Patricia C Wrede

She has a SECTION in one of the books told from her POV, but she should have a WHOLE book devoted just to her and her talking cats and magical house with the door to every where. She is an unconventional witch and if you have't read this series yes do so very fast.


2)Dracula-
Okay bare with me...This novel is told from everyone's POV but the title character!! He should have his own book all from his own perspective.


3)Delia Peabody from the In Death series- by JD Robb

This series is from Eve Dallas POV and they are super great, futuristic murder mystery....Some of my favorite books. But a book about Peabody all by herself fighting crime or her family and WHY she wanted to become a cop, maybe her time at the academy would be awesome

4)The House in The Fall- by Bethany Griffin

The book was great, but it's POV Madeline and she talks about the jealous killing house....I would love to see it all from the House perspective, why did the house drive members of the family crazy and want them to breed?

5)The Marauders from Harry Potter by JK Rowling-

Self Explanatory I think.

6)Simi- the demon girl from the Dark Hunter Series-

She lives on Ash's body...but what else? I think this would be a fun novella....What does she do when Ash banishes her while he humps Artemis?? Etc...

7)The Vord Queen from Jim Butchers Furies of Calderon Codex series-

She's like a scary giant bug woman who looks like Tavi's beloved, but how she was written makes me think there might have been more to her than straight evil bug queen.


8)Mr. Stab from Simon R Green's Secret Histories novels-

Immortal serial killer, Jack the Ripper? Hells yes please.

9)The Nightside (A users guide...or travel book) From the Nightside Novels by Simon R Green-

Unconventional I know, but I keep a list of all the people and places in a notebook and think that would be a fun companion novel to this series.


10) Elizabeth Bathory's victims in ANY book about her.-

I mean seriously we always hear from Elizabeth and her servants, why not her victims? Maybe one who got away.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Story About an Author Acting Badly....great

I hate the fact that I have to again address this.

As an author and a blogger I can say with all CERTAINTY. You do not argue with someone who has given you bad reviews (status updates) or who didn’t like your book.
Once you put something out there, it is out there, forever. You have given the population the right to judge your work how they see fit, whether they like it or not. You do not have the right to stalk or harass an author or reviewer.

There has been a giant bru ha ha on good reads….again. Kathleen Hale wrote an essay where she tries to paint a blogger, Blythe, in a really bad light, http://www.donotlink.com/framed?565100 but all she succeeds in doing is chronically the fact that she basically stalked this blogger for months, going as far to pay for a back ground check and lie to obtain her address. Also note that this author was told not to engage and did so any way.

This has caused many good bloggers that I have been friends with for years to place this author and her books of DNR lists and refuse to review. I am one of them. I try hard not to help out authors who attack reviewers; it is, in my opinion, in really bad taste. Possibly something Weird Al should have put in his song Tacky.
Kathleen Hale has gone into the black hole that STGRB has. A place where all I can have for her is pity and disgust.

Stalking is a crime and I think Kathleen Hale should be held accountable for spending months online and physically stalking this blogger. This is tacky behavior from any author. Think about it this way: the blogger spent maybe a few days reading this book and then moved on…the author wasted months of her life obsessing over something as trivial as one bad review.

Publishers need to really tell their authors to let this go and that they will not support any sort of contact between a reviewer and their author unless it is in a positive way (like giving away free book copies.) Maybe even teach a class on it.

My support for this particular blogger stands.

Wanna see other bloggers who wrote about this?
http://dearauthor.com/features/essays/on-the-importance-of-pseudonymous-activity/

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/the-choices-of-kathleen-hale


Friday, October 10, 2014

Horrostor by Grady Hendrix






Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour, dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

I picked up Horrostor because my husband bought it on a whim. It is written in the style of an Ikea catalog. It is about five employees at Orsk, a box furniture store, who wind up spending the night in the store not realizing it is haunted by mad inmates and a sadist warden from the prison that used to reside on the property that has been all but forgotten.

This book is an easy read, and I thought it would be a silly little book fun for near the Halloween holidays. I was wrong; this is a great haunted horror story! There is depravity, death, ghosts, torture and peril throughout this book, as well as some dry humor, great character building and decent story telling. The creep factor was high and I couldn’t put it down.

The chapters have pictures of furniture that steadily get more and more disturbing. Earlier chapters start out with items like the WANWEIRD a do it yourself kitchen counter that a stove and sink can be attached to. Later chapters are darker including items like INGALUTT which is essentially a chair that allows you to experience drowning.

Now it wasn’t the best book ever, the pace is fast because it’s not a long book, but for what it is, a story inside a catalog, it is successful.

This was a good book that I enjoyed reading and highly recommend, especially if you want an easy to read weird ghost story.


The Fall by Bethany Griffin







She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher
I didn’t like Bethany Griffin’s first book, Masque of the Red Death, the MC bugged the crap out of me, but because I like Poe so much I just HAD to read her new book, The Fall. I was pleasantly surprised.

This was a dark book, with great story telling and imagery. It is a retelling of the Fall of the House of Usher from Madeline’s POV, but at the same time it reverses Madeline and Roderick’s characters. Instead of Roderick going insane first and calling Madeline home from school it is opposite and this was very well done and set the tone for the story very well.

The house is the villain in this book, warping the family of Usher, twisting their emotions, wants, desires and talents all for the betterment of the house itself. This novel is a great Haunted House type story.

The novel opens with the end of the story and unless you have never read Fall of the House of Usher this shouldn’t be a spoiler, with Madeline buried alive. The next chapter throws you back into the past with Madeline and Roderick at nine years old. Each chapter starts with the title: Madeline age ____ and tells the story in a backwards frontwards sort of way that is ingenious and makes the plot twists even creepier.

There is no romance in this story, just depraved horror and madness. A great read for this time of year.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday- Books that were hard to read




This weeks TTT hosted by The Broke and Bookish is a list of the top ten books it was hard for me to read.

Now I liked most of these books, they were just difficult to read because of the subject matter. I will note it if it was difficult to read because it was simply crap or if I didn't like it.



1) .Lolita
 The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist & unreliable narrator, a 37–38-year-old literature professor, Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores (both the name & nickname are of Spanish origin).


2)the-fault-in-our-starsDespite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


3) The GirlIn this searing and surprising memoir, Samantha Geime, the girl,  at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five-year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions.


4) The 19th WifeSweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’sThe 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.
And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.

5) Fifty Shades of Grey  (BECAUSE IT WAS CRAP! Why does the synopsis make it sound good. Yuck!)
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

6) velveteen (BECAUSE IT WAS CRAP! I am surprised I finished it.)Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.
The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
Bonesaw.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days. 
It’ll be brutal... and awesome.
But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her

7) Created to be His Help Meet (Have only read some of this, the synopsis makes it sound good...It is oh so horrible)Somewhere over the passing years and changing culture, women have lost their way.  This book is written to lead them back home.  Regardless of how you began your marriage or how dark and lonely the path that has brought you to where you are now, I want you to know that it is possible today to have a marriage so good and so fulfilling that it can only be explained as a miracle.
Follow Debi Pearl as she takes the wisdom and experience of her own marriage and confirms it with the wisdom of scripture and learn how to be the “help meet” that God created you to be.   You will learn to appreciate God’s gift of a husband with a thankful heart that produces joy and wisdom in you and your home.  Gain a better understanding of who your husband is and how your response to him can make or break your marriage.  See the Bible’s perspective of obedience and authority and understand how you are joint heirs to the promises of God.

8) The_Witching_Hour  (Boring and there is weird sex stuff too)On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking. And the witching hour begins...
Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches - a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.


9) The Handmaid's TaleOffred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

10)vlad  (So gross!!! There is a scene where a guy sucks a little girl's nipples an squirrels run run a little girls pants into her crotch and she likes it...)Where, Carlos Fuentes asks, is a modern-day vampire to roost? Why not Mexico City, populated by ten million blood sausages (that is, people), and a police force who won't mind a few disappearances? "Vlad" is Vlad the Impaler, of course, whose mythic cruelty was an inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. In this sly sequel, Vlad really is undead: dispossessed after centuries of mayhem by Eastern European wars and rampant blood shortages. More than a postmodern riff on "the vampire craze," Vlad is also an anatomy of the Mexican bourgeoisie, as well as our culture's ways of dealing with death. For -- as in Dracula -- Vlad has need of both a lawyer and a real-estate agent in order to establish his new kingdom, and Yves Navarro and his wife AsunciĆ³n fit the bill nicely. Having recently lost a son, might they not welcome the chance to see their remaining child live forever? More importantly, are the pleasures of middle-class life enough to keep one from joining the legions of the damned?







Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday- TBR Fall reading list






Top Ten Tuesday is a great meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish  This week we are show casing our top ten TBR list for fall

1) The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison  (This is the last book!)
It’s Rachel Morgan’s ultimate adventure . . . and anything can happen in this final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series.
Rachel Morgan has come a long way from her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.
But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel has known that this day would come—and now it is here.
To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything. . . .

2)Kalona's Fall by PC and Kristen Cast (Yeah I know, glutton for punishment)
From the Sun and from the Moon, two winged brothers are born: golden Erebus, playmate and friend, and mysterious Kalona, Warrior and lover, companions of the Goddess Nyx.

From the first, Nyx loves them both deeply, but differently. With Erebus, she can talk and laugh and dance, and take joy in the games he plays among the humans of the Earth. With Kalona, the fire in her body burns bright, and she can rest in the solace of his strength and protection. But for Kalona, Nyx’s nights are not enough. Every second he is not with her he is filled with doubt and longing, and every time he fails to please her, he cannot forgive himself. Ruled by anger and jealousy of his brother, and consumed by his love for his Goddess, Kalona seeks the power to prove his worth, and to claim once and for all that Nyx eternally belongs to him.

And at the edges of the Earth, a Darkness is stirring, waiting for its chance, for the doorway in through a heart that it knows will welcome it…

3)Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini  (A crucible retelling? Yes please!)
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

4)Sanctum by Madeleine Roux (I read the first Asylum book and the pictures were creepy the book was meh....but I am willing to give the author another chance.)
Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they'd love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it's here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

5)Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunters # 23!!)
it’s not easy being life’s own personal joke, but Josette Landry has made an unstable peace with the beast. Completely down on her luck, Josette takes a job with a local paranormal group as a photographer and camerawoman. Yeah, they’re even crazier than she is. The only paranormal thing she believes in is the miracle that keeps her rusted-out hoopty running. But when something truly evil is released into the world, they are forced to call in reinforcements.

From the moment Josette meets Cadegan, she knows something about him isn’t quite right.  Mysterious and armed with lethal sarcasm, he seems a lot older than his age.

Centuries ago, Cadegan was viciously betrayed into an immortal prison by the only person he’d ever trusted and was cast into an immortal prison. Forced against his will to do good, he hates everything in life. All he wants is a way out. But for the damned there is only eternal suffering. And yet there is something about Josette that intrigues him. Something he can’t seem to fight and the last time he felt this way about a woman, it cost him everything.

He knows he has to stay away from her, but the unleashed demon is hell-bent on consuming her soul. If one more innocent is taken, he will be sent back to an unimaginable prison that makes his current hell look like paradise. But how can he keep her safe when his being with her is the greatest threat of all?

6)Prince Lestat by Anne Rice (I know she's been a big bitch on good reads of late...but I love Lestat!)
The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned…Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

7)The Fall by Bethany Griffin (Edgar Allen Poe retelling! Fall of the House of Usher)
Madeline awakes in a coffin. She was put there by her own twin brother. How did it come to this? In short non-chronological chapters, Bethany Griffin masterfully spins a haunting and powerful tale of a tragic heroine and the curse on the Usher family. The house itself is alive around Madeline, and it will never let her escape, driving her to the madness just as it has all of her ancestors. But she won't let it have her brother Roderick. She'll do everything in her power to save him—and try to save herself—even if it means bringing the house down around them.

8) Dangerous Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia  (Yeah the other books sucked, but I gotta finish the damn series now and Ridley is the BEST character in the books)
Ridley Duchannes is nobody's heroine. She's a Dark Caster, a Siren. She can make you do things. Anything. You can't trust her, or yourself when she's around. And she'll be the first to tell you to stay away--especially if you're going to do something as stupid as fall in love with her. 

9)Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (I hunt killers! Squeeee!)
Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz's serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's own home in tiny Lobo's Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son?" Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.

10)Insanity by Cameron Jace ( I don't normally do Alice in Wonderland, but this seemed really interesting!)
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.





















Thursday, September 11, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday- Dearest by Alethea Kontis





Yeah I know a day late lol
Waiting on Wednesday is a great meme hosted by:

http://breakingthespine.blogspot.ca/


Where we share information about a book we can't wait to be released!!

This week I am showcasing Dearest by Alethea Kontis thsi third novel in the WoodCutter Series.
I read the first two and really enjoyed the fairy tale fun feel of these books.

This particular story is about Sunday, the seamstress.


Title: Deareast
Author: Alethea KontisRelease Date: 02/03/2015
Pages:288
Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton



For as long as she can remember, Alexandra Tate has been able to see personified Emotions, and she's found a best friend in Revenge. He's her constant companion as she waits outside Nate Foster's house, clutching a gun. Every night since Nate's release from prison, Alex has tried to work up the courage to exact her own justice on him for the drunk driving accident that killed her family.

But there's one problem: Forgiveness. When he appears, Alex is faced with a choice—moving on or getting even. It's impossible to decide with Forgiveness whispering in one ear . . . and Revenge whispering in the other


I read Some Quiet Place when it came out, by accident, and it was one of the loveliest most interesting books. The companion novel; Where Silence Gathers lived up to my hopes and dreams.

It was dark, dealt with real life issues like loss and pain, boredom and sorrow while also dragging you through a magical world where some people can see emotions and elements as real people.

This book dealt with the MC, Alexandra’s, struggle between revenge and forgiveness. Revenge has been her constant companion since her parent’s death and she fancies herself in love with him. Then forgiveness appears and throws her world into chaos. Even though I mention that the MC thinks she loves Revenge I must admit this book had little to no romantic element in it.

The minor and major characters were very well flushed out, each with personality and back-story. The writing was dreary, imaginative, descriptive, heartbreaking and beautiful.

The author likes to write about characters that are somewhat hopeless and give them brief glimmers of hope (in a very literal sense.) I enjoy her ideal of the small quiet town where nothing lives but dust and everything tastes of sadness. I know it is not a great representation of small town life, but coming from a small town myself I know it can feel like you are living in a dead place where nothing happens and everyone is dull and colorless.

The mystery in this novel was pretty good as well, I enjoyed that there was more to the plot than Alex and her dismal life and rebellious attitude. The MC does tend to whine a bit and acts out against those that love her. However, if your family had all been killed in an accident and you couldn’t even grieve without being bothered a hundreds of emotions that could talk to you and touch you, you might be pissy at life too.


While I didn’t like this as much as Some Quiet Place, it was a great second novel from the author. I especially liked that this was a companion novel instead of a sequel, since a sequel was not needed. 



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Books for People Who Have Never (Or want to ) Read Creepy/Dark Ya





Top Ten Books for People Who Have Never Read Creepy/Dark Ya

Top Ten Tuesday is a great meme by the lovely http://www.brokeandbookish.com/. This week we are focusing on your top ten for people who have never (insert here). I have chosen people who do not read creepy YA.  I love a good scary story, but don’t always want the gore that goes into normal fiction. So it has become a goal to find creepy tales in YA. So this list is for those of you who tend to stay towards the light hearted YA novels but would like to read something darker.

1 I hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminals' point of view.

And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

In an effort to prove murder doesn't run in the family, Jazz joins the police in the hunt for this new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

2) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
In Mary's world there are simple truths. 
   The Sisterhood always knows best. 
   The Guardians will protect and serve. 
   The Unconsecrated will never relent.
   And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. 
   But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
   Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?


3) Insanity by Susan Vaught
Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing....When the dead husband of one of Forest's patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected. 

4) Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. There, the veil between the living world and the beyond is thinnest, and the girls pay respect to the spirits who have passed.
But this year, their trip goes dreadfully wrong.
5) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.
6) The Blood Confession by Alisa Libby
Born under the omen of a falling star, Erzebet Bizecka is a child of prophecy. The only heir of a powerful Hungarian count, she was predicted to die young or to live forever. Determined to survive despite the grim prophecy, Erzebet becomes obsessed with preserving her youth and beauty. Not even her closest friend, Marianna, can understand her crippling fear of growing older. Only the beautiful stranger, Sinestra, understands Erzebet's mania. He assures her that there are ways to determine her own destiny, pulling her into a dark world of blood rituals and promising eternal youth in return. Luring her victims to her tower room, Erzebet is determined to thwart God's plan for her life and create her own. How far will she be willing to go to protect herself?
7)Anna Dressed in Blood by  Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

8)The Space Between by  Brenna  Yovanoff
Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be
9) Bad Girls Don’t Die by  Katie  Alender
Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
10) The Crooked House by  John  A.  Longeway
A psychic reading gone awry. Dreams that hold terrifying glimpses of the future. A dark and foreboding house that defies description. Something terrible is coming to the gothic, southern Oregon town of Linkville. 

Psychic orphan Lilith St. John has recently left the foster system and is struggling to make it on her own. But now her dreams are filled with terror. And she feels something in the shadows, watching. 

When a psychic reading draws the attention of dark forces, Lilith finds herself stalked and terrorized by an otherworldly menace. With few resources and fewer friends, Lilith can do little to protect herself as supernatural terror spreads into her life, culminating in a brutal attack. 

Lilith awakens in The Crooked House, a ramshackle maze of shattered dreams and tortured souls ruled over by a hidden, malevolent force. Trapped in the mystifying labyrinth, Lilith is hunted by the terrible creatures that roam the night while hiding from the nameless monster upstairs. Can Lilith master her psychic powers and solve the mystery of The Crooked House or will she be trapped wandering its haunted corridors for eternity?