Saturday, February 18, 2017

Between Naps (9)

Between naps is a little recap of what we were up to last week which wasn't much! 

New Review:
Five Stories High edited by Jonathan Oliver

Retro Review:
Slave Girl by Lisa Cach
The Hospital by Keith Blackmore
The Collector by Nora Roberts

Tackling the TBR: And the winner is . . . 

Random Crap:  State of the Slump - a lame explanation for my lack of new reviews!

What We've Been Up To 

 The Blog: I've decided to cut down my blogging from 5-6 days per week to 3-4. This will give me more time to read, review, reply to comments and visit other bloggers as well as maybe blog ahead for once in my blogging life. I'll see how this goes. Trying to keep up with everything was eating up too much time. How do you all manage?!

 The Furries: have been snuggling and lounging about and enjoying this never ending winter. Me? Not so much. I'm tired of snow, slush and this dreary weather. We had another foot dumped on us last weekend. I'm seriously considering relocating to the south in a few years because I have had ENOUGH!

♥ I finally broke down and got a new phone that has enough memory so I am now able to take random shots without having to delete everything on my phone. Here are a few from this past week.

Mr. Kirbs

Patrick AKA Evil Kitty

Miss September

Link Ups

Netgalley Binge

I looked, I even updated a review but I did not request! I wish I had this kind of willpower over cupcakes.

Ebook Buys

I grabbed a few freebies/cheapies. Now if I could only buy some reading time! 

A Demon Bound (Imp Series Book 1) by [Dunbar, Debra]BUY ME - The Complete Series (Mistress Auctions Book 4) by [Riley, Alexa]Taboo For You (Friends to Lovers Book 1) by [Sunday, Anyta]The Given Garden (Parts 1 & 2 Combined) (The Eden Chronicles) by [Munt, S.K]Reunited by [Bene, Jennifer]

In the Mail

Audio in from Tantor! Might this be the book that breaks me?!

Now Reading


Reviews In Progress


Yikes, same as last week. My slacking is showing, how embarrassing . . . 

What have you all been up to?  And let me know if you've read any of these! I love to hear from you and will always visit back in return.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Hospital: The First Mountain Man Story by Keith C. Blackmore

Retro Review

The Hospital by Keith C. Blackmore
Narrated by R.C. Bray
Horror Fiction, 1 hours 37 minutes
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
"Mountain Man" Augustus Berry is a survivor in undead suburbia. He scavenges what he can from what's left over. He is very careful in what he does and where he goes, taking no chances, no unnecessary risks, and weighing every choice...until he decides to visit the hospital at the edge of town, and experiences terror the likes he's never encountered before. A short story of approximately 9,500 words. The first story of the "Mountain Man" series. Contains language and graphic violence. If you enjoy this, check out the rest of the series.

I downloaded this a million years ago but finally got around to listening to it today. It was terrifying, so disturbingly good and is still Free on Audible. It’s only an hour and ½ long so you’ll get through it in no time at all. Go get it.

Apparently this story is a prequel to a series of books set in this same zombie apocalypse stricken world. Or maybe it’s just set in the same world. I don’t really know. What I do know is that you don’t have to read the others before listening to The Hospital. It completely stands alone and is completely creepy.

Gus is the protagonist. He is just a regular guy trying to stay alive and avoid becoming dinner for the walking corpses. He was a big guy when things went bad and even now, half starved, he’s still got a good bit of meat on him. He’s bald, he spits, he drinks too much booze and he has stinky accidents in his pants like any normal scared-out-of his-wits person would in this situation. What’s not to like?

Anyway, this story follows Gus as he loots a hospital. He’s rather surprised by how much good stuff is just lying about but he doesn’t think too hard on it. He’s just thankful he’s found it. He’ll regret this later, of course, after he loses a little of his meat . . .

This story was short but it packed a gruesome punch. Gus ends up finding more than he bargained for and what happens next is extremely horrifying and kind of funny, if you're strange like me. I won’t forget this one anytime soon. The narrator was perfect for the part and did a fabulous job with Gus and the one other character. This is good gory stuff and I hope to revisit this author and Gus again.

And if’n you are one of those who must know the spoiler and decide to click below don’t be blaming me if you never sleep again.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Collector by Nora Roberts

Retro Review

Amazon ♦ Goodreads
The Collector 
by Nora Roberts
Narrated by Julia Whalen
Romantic Suspense
Audiobook 15+hours
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and that could tear them apart.…

As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down—not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend’s Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients’ extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.

Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn’t have killed his girlfriend—or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and a fiery passion.

Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession.… 

My Thoughts
Well, I had all kinds of things to say about this book but I was too lazy to take many notes and a week has passed and now there’s nothing much left that has stuck with me.

If I had to choose a book that defines a three star read for me this would be the one. It’s not awful, it flows nice and stuff, but it’s not earth-shatteringly fantastic either and that’s a shame. I wish all books were earth-shatteringly fantastic. I didn’t laugh and I didn’t cry and I was only vaguely entertained but that’s nothing new. If you’re stuck in a car, stuck picking up doggie doo in the yard or forced to cook dinner every night of the week, I’d say this audiobook is a good way to help keep your mind off of those mind-numbing tasks but if you’re anything like me you probably won’t remember any of it once you start the next book. Or maybe you’ll love it and I’m an idiot. Who knows.

Here’s the gist. The heroine is a writer of YA and also housesits and spends her time peeping into the homes of the neighbors with her binoculars. She says this is to get insight into personalities or some such but I’m not buying it. She’s just nosy and I’m just jealous because she gets paid for doing this. Hey, how do I get this gig? Anyway, her peeping backfires when she witnesses a murder and it puts her smack in the middle of some nefarious goings-on having to do with a Faberge egg and a psychotic killer. Don’t worry though she also meets the love of her life because of this so it’s all good.

She and he supposedly have some sparks a-flying between them but I never see it. They have some sex but that's also boring to me. They declare themselves falling in love but I’m not feeling it and now I can’t even remember any of it.

There are a lot of amazing books out there and there are a lot of crappy ones. This one falls right in the middle.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

State of the Slump

I clearly haven't made the wisest of choices in the new year.  

Yes, that there is three collections of pretty much back to back short horror fiction. Some of it good but most of it meh. That was not a good idea. Now I find myself in somewhat of a reading slump. Instead of reading in my free time, I'm watching the news just like this.

My angry scarf is growing and growing.

I know this is not helping my sanity and I don't know if I want to wear a scarf created in anger! Would you want to wear a scarf knowing it was created by grumpy hands?! Perhaps I'll pawn it off on someone who is entirely too happy. The news is scary. It is infuriating. I feel helpless. But I cannot turn it off! 

So, if you're wondering why I'm quieter lately this is likely the reason. Feel free to send help. Or chocolate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories edited by Jonathan Oliver

Five Stories High edited by Jonathan Oliver
Short Horror Story Collection 
Released: December 2016, 320 Pages
Amazon ♦ Goodreads

One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.

Five Stories High is a collection of five novellas each set in the same house – Irongrove Lodge. This five story Georgian mansion, once a grand detached property, has now been split into five apartments.  This is a building with history, the very bricks and grounds imbued with the pasts of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms.

Five extraordinary writers open the doors, revealing ghosts both past and present in a collection that promises to be as intriguing as it is terrifying.

My Thoughts
I received the ARC from Netgalley. Thanks, Netgalley!

One house, five hauntings, five chilling stories.

Oh the Blurbs. Why do they lie? I promised myself this would be the year of the DNF and I am failing quite spectacularly at that promise. The problem is story collections. I may never read another one again. Story collections are the bane of my reading life this month. I can’t DNF them because I fear that if I do so, I’ll miss out something mind-blowing. This one has two good stories that are chilling and set in a haunted house. The other three? I haven’t a clue how they found their way into this collection.

Maggots by Nina Allan

Maggots started out interesting enough but it soon went off the rails for me. A young college student suspects something is off with his beloved aunt after she goes missing for a brief moment while on vacation. He begins to obsess over thoughts that her body has been inhabited by another. . . Sounds good right? And it was at first but then it got terribly dull. It devolved into his search for the truth. That search leads him to Irongrove Lodge, which isn't haunted in the typical way, ugh, and then he discovers some cosmic weirdness. This kind of story just wasn’t what I was expecting from the blurbage. I didn’t find it chilling or haunting. 3 Stars

Priest’s Hole by K.J. Parker

After my disappointment with story #1, I will admit to skimming Priest’s Hole almost immediately once I realized it too was not about a haunted house but about a shape-shifter instead. If I wanted to read the daily goings-on and meanderings of a day in the life of a shape-shifter I would’ve picked up another book. A sexier book, if truth be told. What on earth is going on here?! I cannot rate this one because I only read enough of it to realize it wasn’t the story I was looking for and I moved on to the next. DNF

It was here that I nearly DNF’d the entire book but figured I’d give it one more shot and I’m glad I did.

Yep, that was not a typo. I’m glad I did!

Gnaw by Tade Thompson

The perfect little family moves into Irongrove Lodge and the husband begins to renovate. Uh oh! You know that is never a good idea! His wife has reservations about the whole thing but the husband does what he wants. This story is a slow, slow burn but boy does it ever start to pay off in the final act. The son starts acting strangely and then the wife starts seeing extremely unsettling visions. I absolutely adored this story. The atmosphere, the creeping dread, the horrific images it has burned into my brain? It’s all awesome and it is the reason I am so glad I did not DNF this book! This was the kind of story I was hoping for when I requested this ARC from Netgalley. It’s a shame they weren’t all written in this vein. 4.5 Stars

The Best Story I can Manage Under the Circumstances Robert Shearman

This is story would fit right in if this were a bizarro collection but this was not marketed as a bizarro collection. So, what we have here is a baby born with only a head. It has no legs, no arms, no torso, no nothing besides the head but it’s alive. Alright. But don’t you worry, soon after another baby is born with just a torso and a little peepee and the two baby parts find each other, hook up and match perfectly. Now what are the odds? Then things switch over to a boy and a strange little door that appears only on his birthday. Was it the same baby boy now fully whole? Don’t ask me because I was skimming at this point. I honestly couldn’t comprehend what was going on here and found it all just a strange jumble of words. Eventually I threw in the towel and DNF’d it. This was not at all what I wanted when I picked up this book.

Skin Deep Sarah Lotz

The collection ends on a good note, at least. Skin Deep is about an older woman who purchases Irongrove Lodge for her boy toy. It's clear a terrible thing happened when the story begins and it is slowly revealed how she earned the nickname “The Butcher”.

This was told from many POV’s which kept things lively and kept me guessing. It was dark with slowly creeping dread and as a bonus I got to watch a slow descent into madness. Great stuff and another 4.5 star story that’s worth a read.

It’s a shame 3 out of these 5 stories felt like they belonged in another collection.

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Bark's Book Nonsense usually buys the books reviewed on the blog but occasionally receives ARC's in for review. Reviews are written out of the goodness of our dried up little hearts. We do not accept any other money, gifts or favors in exchange for our sweet, sweet words.