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review 2018-02-27 02:02
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners - Deborah Kellaway

This started out as a 5 star read for me, but as with any anthology, some of the writing bogged me down, made my eyes glaze, and skimming was taking place.  Especially those excepts that ran more like garden inventories; I loved reading about new plants, but there are only so many latin botanical names one can read in a row before it all starts looking like Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...


Most of it was great though, if you're a gardener.  It's a collection of excerpts, essays, diary entries, even a little poetry here and there, written by women known for their mad gardening skills and wickedly green thumbs throughout history.  It's all non-fiction, and the book bursts with suggestions for plants; mostly oriented to the UK, with a little USA thrown in.  I did a LOT of googling while I read, and most of the plants that caught my eye are available in some form or another here in Australia, the country with draconian import laws, so despite the bias in the book, there should be something for every gardener here.


Also, the cover is gorgeous.

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review 2018-02-23 18:45
Corpse Cold: New American Folklore by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan
Corpse Cold: New American Folklore - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan

 CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE is a nice volume of tales which also includes outstanding illustrations. Just look at that impressive cover to get an idea of the drawings within.


The stories, however, didn't entirely float my boat. While well written for the most part, they are lacking that certain punch that I enjoy in short tales. This is just my personal view and for someone that hasn't read the hundreds of horror stories that I have? This may seem like the best collection of stories EVER.


My favorite was IT THAT DECAYS. If you weren't afraid of the dentist before, you will be now!


AUTOPLAY ON: This was a fun little tale featuring a You Tube channel that was left on all night. (I guess it's best not to do that?)


MOSS LAKE ISLAND was a neat story that took a weird turn about a third of the way in. It gave me the creeps much like IT THAT DECAYS. I like the creeps.


FRIENDSHIP: BURIED AND DEAD. This tale had a cool concept for a theme park. I would like to go there!


A CASKET FOR MY MOTHER cracked me up, especially since this book was funded in much the same way as the main character wants to fund the purchase of a casket for his mom. (I'm not sure it was meant to be funny, but hey, I'm a sick person-just look at the stuff I read!


A quick word about the illustrations? (Okay, two words.) They're fabulous!

CORPSE COLD would be a perfect introduction into the world of dark fiction for an adult who is not that familiar with or well-read in the genre. Perhaps someone who has participated in a round of campfire storytelling and wants more? Seasoned horror readers, like myself, prefer that extra punch to the gut and a tad more blood/gore as well.


Recommended for those new(er) to horror fiction and dark tales!


*I received an e-copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-02-09 15:34
All the Names They Used For God by Anjali Sachdeva
All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva

ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD is a collection of short literary fiction stories, the last two of which were absolutely brilliant.


The tales in this book are all over the place, but I think it's all the different facets of humanity that link them all together. No two stories here are even remotely alike and I enjoyed that diversity.


Among my favorites were:


LOGGING LAKE which involved a strange happening at an ill advised campsite.


ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD which was a heartbreaking story of two young girls who were kidnapped and forever changed by it.


ROBERT GREENMAN AND THE MERMAID: Once we glimpse something fantastic,(in the true sense of the word), it is very difficult to let it go.


MANUS was probably my favorite story here. After so many tales involving ordinary life, here's one that is totally out of left field. Gripping, poignant, and so creative-I'll never look at a human hand in the same way again.


And finally, PLEIADES: I don't even know what to say about this story. It's powerful, beautifully written and well told. I doubt anyone could read it and remain unmoved.


I liked the tales in this collection, but until the last two I didn't feel that this volume was anything special. MANUS and PLEIADES elevated this book to something really special in my eyes, and I highly recommend this book to fans of literary and speculative fiction.


*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*


**Also, thanks to my fellow book blogger Cody for turning me on to this collection. You can find his excellent reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56352820-cody-codysbookshelf **

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review 2018-02-04 19:18
Gather The Gentlemen
Another Place in Time - KJ Charles, Jordan L. Hawk , Aleksandr Voinov, Kaje Harper,Tamara Allen,Joanna Chambers

Office Romance by Tamara Allen- 

" There has to be more to life than measurable benefits. What about values we can't calculate in hours or dollars? If this is all we fought for... " 
Tamara never fails to send me emotionally exactly where she wants me to be with her stories...I loved the way she portrayed the historical period with all its difficulties and struggles. The main characters are two men who seem so improbable to to fall for each other at first and i really liked their interactions and the way their relationship developed. 

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers-

My first encounter with the author. I found her story quite entertaining. So entertaining, that I got some of her other books, which I can't wait to read. 

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles-

What did I get into with that one...
I will not praise the style of writing, the story or the characters. I will only confess I finished the rest of the books in the series for less than a week after reading this short story. 

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper- 

It definitely made me feel differently from the way the other stories in the anthology did. For some reason it made me feel nostalgic and even sad in some moments. The characters seemed quite honest and real - I really liked that one.

Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk

I have read the Whyborne and Griffin, Books 1-3: Widdershins, Threshold, and Stormhaven, and Carousel was another entertaining episode of the two characters' adventures. I cannot say if the story would appeal to me the same way hadn't I read the rest of the books though...

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov - 

I have a special attitude towards Voinov's books, since he's one of the first MM novelists I encountered, and I always, always have great expectations from his works. I haven't read The Lion of Kent yet, and perhaps this is why I could not fully understand the characters' motives. I might get back to Deliverance again, having read William's story.

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review 2018-01-28 15:45
Dark Screams: Volume Nine
Dark Screams: Volume Nine - Kelley Armstrong,Richard Chizmar,Stewart O'Nan,Brian James Freeman,Peter Straub

DARK SCREAMS: VOLUME NINE was a ton of fun! I was most especially impressed with the last entry TORN by Lee Thomas.


I'm not even going to get into what TORN was about because I think it should be related exactly as the author intended. I will say that even though this is a longer story than I usually care for in an anthology, it kept me riveted, it was original and I LOVED it!


THE DEAD YEARS by Taylor Grant was another original entry and this one had a science fiction bent to it that I enjoyed. I would love to see this idea expanded to a full length novel.


SUMMER OF 07 by Stewart O'Nan. A super short story that reminded me of Ted Bundy.


THE BLACKOUT by Jonathan Moore was an unsettling tale mostly set at the morgue.


INVITATION TO THE GAME by Kelly Armstrong. This was another tale that had a science fiction bent to it, in my view. It's about a corporation that controls, (or attempts to control?) all aspects of its employees lives. When they send you an invitation, it is unwise to decline.


Lastly, there was a story from Peter Straub: VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD. I admit that the reason I requested an ARC of this book was due to Straub. I have such love for him and for Seinfeld, for that matter, but this story didn't do much for me.


Overall, I had fun with this volume, (most especially the story TORN!), and I recommend it to dark fiction and science fiction lovers everywhere!


*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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