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review 2017-11-14 19:06
Halloween Carnival Vol. 1
Halloween Carnival Volume 1 - Lisa Morton,Kevin Lucia,John Little,Brian James Freeman,Robert R. McCammon

Halloween Carnival is a collection of 3 short stories and two novellas. It would’ve been perfect reading on Halloween night but I’m a slacker and watched movies instead.

 

Strange Candy by Robert McCammon

 

A man thoughtlessly and rather stupidity (if you ask me) eats a strange looking piece of unwrapped candy out of his child's Halloween bag. Seriously, who does that?! After ingesting the gross thing, he finds himself no longer in his living room and begins to meet strangers who give him final messages to pass along to their loved ones. He writes nothing down but manages to remember it all. Ah, to have such a brain, what must that be like? Anyway, it has a twisty-twist at the end. It’s sad and I really enjoyed it all. 4 Stars

 

The Rage of Achilles or When Mockingbirds Sing by Kevin Lucia

 

Father Ward wasn't expecting a visitor on Halloween but he got one anyway. A grief stricken father begs for absolution. This is another sad story about love, grief and regret and a dedicated priest who witnesses the supernatural. It’ll haunt you with its beautiful sorrow. 4.5 Stars

 

Demon Air by John R. little

 

This story? I don’t know what it was besides a great disappointment to me. A woman is on a flight to find herself and she does a lot of navel gazing for most of the story until things finally go strangely awry. When the pilot thanks everyone for flying “Demon Air” I was entranced. Gross things begin to happen, passengers are tormented and then it abruptly ends and the fun is over nearly before it’s begun. Such a tease! This story had quite a bit of promise but in the end was a total let down. It felt rushed and unfocused and as if two stories were smashed together and neither ended up satisfying in the end. 2 Stars

 

La Hacienda de los Muertos Lisa Morton

 

Trick is a washed up actor ready to film a horror flick in the most haunted town in Mexico. Before the film can get going, Trick must deal with the supernatural. I thought this was interesting but pretty standard stuff. It wasn’t sad, or horrible or particularly scary either. I’d give it a 3.

 

#MakeHalloweenScaryAgain Mark Allan Gunnells

 

A horror writer posts a hashtag on his Facebook page hoping to drum up a little interest in his novels but he attracts a weirdo who takes it way too seriously instead. Now he’s involved in a murder investigation and spends the days leading up to Halloween hunting down the madman terrorizing his town. This was a decent, if slightly predictable, tale of mystery, murder, and Halloween that kept me turning the pages to discover if I was right about the killer and I was! I feel so smart :) 3 Stars

 

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

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review 2017-10-31 16:19
Not what I thought it was going to be.
City of Lies (A Counterfeit Lady Novel) - Victoria Thompson

I am a huge fan of the Gaslight mysteries but I feel a bit like City of Lies lied to me as it's not a mystery at all but a historical romance.

 

Elizabeth Miles is  a grifter who was working a con with her brother when it goes horrible wrong. They conned the wrong man as Oscar Thornton is not a nice person, he is very ruthless. He has already caught her brother and his two goons are beating up on him and since there is no hope of her helping him she runs but Thornton sees her and sends his goons after her instead and she sees her only hope of escape in a group of women who are protesting for women's right to vote.

 

While in jail she meets a young woman named Anna and a older woman named Mrs. Bates who take to her rather quickly. Anna thinks Elizabeth is so bold and different and you can quickly see she wants to be like her and likes her more than Elizabeth realizes. Mrs. Bates son is a lawyer and when he finds out from David (Anna's brother) that things are not going well for the ladies he works with the ladies lawyer to try and figure things out.

 

The women were suppose to be sent to the jail in town but they didn't have room for them and they are sent to a workhouse where things are very nasty and it's very trying for them. Probably about half of the book has to do with Gabriel and the other lawyer trying to figure out where the ladies are and the ladies going on a hunger strike and making the government look bad if they don't get the ladies eating, so lots of women's movement stuff.

After they get out though Elizabeth finds out that she is not safe and has to come up with an elaborate plan to bring down Thorton that has to do with those she just met, mainly David. Gabriel is fascinated with Elizabeth and can't see why she wants to hang around with David and this is where the romance part falls in.

 

I liked Elizabeth and Mrs. Bates but I was not a fan of Anna. Elizabeth is a strong character and though she is a lot like her father there is a part of her that would like to be a real lady. I really liked Gabriel as he might not have been a huge fan of the movement but he never stood in the way of his mother or even made Elizabeth feel bad about anything. David is kind of wimpy but I think he was suppose to be. :)

 

It was all rather interested though I could do without some things as that is my preference in reading but I can't say that I was wowed by it and a bit disappointed as my expectation was higher and I wanted a mystery.

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review 2017-10-10 19:37
The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss & Brian James Freeman
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss

I’m giving The Halloween Children a solid four stars because it created a smothering sense of creepiness and managed to maintain it throughout the entire story and it held my attention from beginning to end. You know from the beginning that something terrible is coming but you’re never sure exactly what form that terribleness is going to take and when it’s finally revealed in all its gruesomeness it is quite terrible indeed!

 

But this isn’t a five star read for me because it is told by two very unreliable narrators and in the end many things were left unanswered. So many things! The authors could potentially write another short story just tying off all the dangly bits. I don’t need everything wrapped up in a bloody little bow but when I finished this story I felt like I needed to read it again in an attempt to learn more.

 

Basically it’s a story set in an apartment complex that may or may not be inhabited by insane occupants, murderous humans small and large, soul-stealing demons, or perhaps evil, whispering ghosts. Take your pick or choose them all, if you wish. Harris and Lynn are our main narrators and neither are very stable personalities, though usually entertaining to listen to. They have two children and they each favor a particular child and don’t work too hard at hiding their feelings. That’ll mess a kid up, just saying.

 

Harris is the building maintenance man and starts to notice some very strange and usually smelly events occurring when he’s out on late night calls. When the party pooping property manager cancels the Halloween party the events ramp up and this strangeness begins to infect his personal space and, well, I can’t tell you any more without spoiling too much.

 

This is a great little story to read on Halloween. It has some delightfully ghastly imagery, creeped me out and even made me laugh a few times. I am very glad that I no longer live in an apartment complex and that I always bought candy for the brats when I did! I received an ARC of this story from Netgalley, thanks Netgalley. I also read this book to participate in the Horror Aficionados October Group Read.

 

I'm going to use this for my Chilling Children square.

 

 

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review 2017-09-07 20:21
Review of The Bluebonnet Betrayal
The Bluebonnet Betrayal: A Potting Shed Mystery - Marty Wingate

This is one of my favorite series but this was not my favorite story. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood for it or if it was just to much gardening going on but I just couldn't get into this one as much as the others. :( 

 

Pru has been invited to help with the Chelsea Garden for some Texans who have actually got themselves a place among the Brits. One of the ladies knew her and asked if she would mind getting things started for them since they wouldn't be able to get there until a few days later. 

 

The President of the Austin Gardening club ends up later than planned and Pru isn't sure what she thinks about that but when she meets her they have an instant connection and Twyla starts talking about needing her help to fix things and really just sort of rambles about things but when she ends up dead, Pru can't help but keep thinking about what she said. Almost like she is haunting her Pru can hear her voice and she knows she has to figure out what happened so she can have peace of mind.

 

Christopher is now semi-retired police (work with the local police on occasion) and not an inspector anymore and the local Inspector doesn't want his help nor Pru's but that don't stop them from checking into things and there are a few things that come up to make her suspicious of a few people.

 

I love Pru and Christopher they are probably one of my favorite cozy couples. I liked the characters introduced in this one but I think I just missed the normal characters that are usually in it, but since they were in a different area Simon wasn't there and I missed him.

 

The mystery is pretty good though I did figure it out towards the end but it was nice to see that I was right. :) 

 

Overall, it's a good one but there was just something there that was missing but I am not sure what. Like I said could just be my mood. :) If you like cozies though you should give this series a try. 

 

 

Source: www.amazon.com/Bluebonnet-Betrayal-Potting-Shed-Mystery-ebook/dp/B017QLSIU4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504806964&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Bluebonnet+Betrayal
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review 2017-08-16 19:06
The Well by Marie Sexton
The Well - Marie Sexton

The Well is a perfectly creepy, atmospheric little read for those of you who don’t like their horror all up in your face. I’m not going to say it scared me, because books rarely do, but it did build up a dastardly little mystery that did make my skin crawl a time or two.

It’s told in two timelines.

 

Twelve years ago Haven is goaded into staying the night at a rumored haunted house by his cousin Elise. It didn’t take a lot of goading though because Haven’s crush, Pierce, was also attending. He knew nothing was likely to happen either ghostly-wise or with Pierce but off he goes with Elise, Pierce and a few other teens for a night of spooky fun. When Elise decides to throw a séance things take a sinister turn and later Elise disappears.

 

The other timeline is set in the present day. Since that fateful night, Haven has been haunted by the loss of his favorite cousin Elise and spent most of his youth believing one of the teens present that night committed murder and has distanced himself from them. He’s become a horror writer to excise those demons but hasn’t kept in touch with his old group of friends – until now. Pierce, now a tv ghost hunter, has returned to town to do a segment on the vacant house and he wants Haven to participate. Old lusts are reignited as well as old suspicions . . .

 

There is a little romance here so if you don’t like that sort of thing invading your horror fiction you have been warned. Mostly this book is a slow burning murder-mystery with a side helping of ghostliness. I enjoyed watching it all unfold and especially loved the ghost-busting segment where scary sh*t actually happened! It kept me guessing and had just the right mix of thrills, atmosphere and engaging characters.

 

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley courtesy of author Marie Sexton.

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