Showing posts from August, 2016

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Paranormal Young Adult
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.  Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.   In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. I'm giving it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars and this is why: Beautiful Creatures is a young adult fantasy novel about a sweet boy named Ethan who wants nothing more than to graduate high school and leave his small town life far behind.

But then a new girl n…

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

I know a secret. If you have too much stuff and it’s bugging you then get rid of it. All of it. Well, nearly all of it. Save a few things but only the things you absolutely love, the things that spark joy within your being (you’ll know it when you feel it, says the author) and don’t bring more things into the house unless you love and/or need them. Don’t think you can do that? Well, never mind then.

This author wants you to be absolutely ruthless with your possessions and do it in one fell swoop. Don’t dilly-dally and put certain unpleasant things off. Absolutely do not waste money buying “storage solutions”. Just get rid of your stuff and you won’t have to store it or dust it or leave it there to feel bad for itself. Now, none of this is a bad thing (though the last might be a wee bit kooky) and honestly I’m all for it. I had way too much crap lying about and it was driving me crazy. Broken crap, ugly crap, gifted crap, crap that had been there so long it was invisible to me. But th…

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

There's nothing more to say here really. I'm throwing in the towel. I am on disc 3 and have been so completely zoned out I feel like I may have to go all the way back to the beginning. I don't know if I'm just distracted, completely humorless or falling into another slump but this book could not entertain me and I have far too many others sitting here to force it upon myself. The angel is indeed stupid as promised but so are most of the other characters (and there are MANY of them) and it's all a little too wacky/zany for my current pissy mood. I probably won't pick it up again because that never seems to work out for me.

Have you ever DNF'd a book and picked it up again later and NOT regretted it?

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (audio book review)

I am feeling so incredibly unmotivated and since there are already a zillion reviews of this book here, there and everywhere, I shall be brief. Is there really a need for a zillion plot synopsis-ez, anyway? My lazy side says no, no, there’s definitely no need today.

I didn’t like the characters but I still liked the book. I don’t know why. I just did. I didn't like it quite as much as Gone Girl but it still kept me hooked. Please don’t ask me to explain. As I mentioned, I’m too lazy for all that today.

Libby, Ben, Melissa, Deandra, Runner and whoever else I’ve already forgotten? Yeah, they’re all jerks in their own little ways and are mostly horribly unlikable people, with all sorts of human failings. Only mom was sympathetic. That poor woman had terrible taste in men and a bad luck cloud hanging over her head but she did as best as she could to provide for her kidlets.

Libby is the main character and she’s a depressed, selfish, miserable mess of a woman who can’t seem to functio…

The Future of Sex by Lexi Maxxwell (erotica review)

This was a Kindle freebie until Amazon pulled it. Why, Amazon, why do you do these terrible things?!!

For an erotica freebie, this one was pretty good. It's only a novella and ends a little abruptly but the story about a futuristic society and a sex worker trying out for a better position was kind of interesting. Weird that she was so perfect at everything but maybe that's explained somewhere in the future . . . I don't like reading this "part 1" installment type nonsense, finish your book already and release it when it's done, I'm too lazy to chase down sequels, so a 3 1/2 it is.

And, yeah. I'm bothered because the other two books are not available anywhere apparently. WTH? Now I'll never know what delights the future of sex have in store for mortals. Damn it all.

View all my reviews

If any of you know why Amazon pulls all the good books, can you please let me know in the comments?!  It's driving me nuts.

The Loved Dead by C.M. Eddy Jr, revised by H.P. Lovecraft

Read for Audio Book Blast.

This is a tale about a young boy who isn’t like the rest. He can’t seem to find joy, emotional connection, or excitement in any of the pursuits that occupy his peers. That all changes once he attends his first funeral and finds an insatiable lust for the dead.

This story isn’t called “The Loved Dead” for nothing!

I listened to this story as an audiobook production complete with spooky sound effects that added to the already creepy as hell atmosphere. The narrator spoke in a sinister tone but at times got a little whispery and was sometimes drowned out by the sound effects. He also stumbled a little here and there over the words. I caught it which is rare but good because it means the story hooked me. I’d advise listening to this version with headphones and not in your car.

I bet it’s terribly difficult suffering from necrophilia in the civilized world. You get a job in the morgue and there’s bliss, oh-sweet- bliss, but then you’re fired and must become a m…

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (audio review)

This is a lovely little confection of a book about friendship and high school loves. It does have a little angst but the main character Paul is such an effervescent fellow that it goes down easy instead of dragging the book down.

When it starts, I have to admit I found it all a little strange. Like alternate universe level of strange. There were kids meeting up, playing instruments, singing and dancing in a bookstore. A bookstore. At first I thought I had misheard and rewound. Nope, it was a bookstore that they basically used as a club.

Also, Paul’s high school and town were basically in their own little bubble where everyone was exceptionally tolerant and accepting of everyone, be they gay, straight, bi, or a cross-dressing quarterback. I found this a sweet fantasy but terribly unrealistic. My kids just finished up high school and I’m sorry to be the one to break the sad news to you but kids are still mean. And so are adults, for that matter. But kitties, well, kitties are the mean…

The Fallen Boys by Aaron Dries

This book lulls you in with a quiet, insidious sort of horror then takes a turn down torture lane and I was absolutely not at all prepared (despite being warned).

Honestly, as I was reading I was wondering why so many reviews were making such a big deal out of the gore level. It wasn’t any worse than most horror novels I’ve read and most of the terror came from real life fears. Sure, what happens was heartbreaking and tragic but what wimps these other people must be, thought I, all smug and desensitized. But then, just as I was feeling like nothing would ever bother me again (and wondering if the problem might be me), I was hit with some truly disturbing images and a despair that doesn’t ever let you go. Yep, it’s gross, it’s horribly disturbing and it’s all up in your face. Everything they said about this one? Trust me, it’s true.

I’m not going to ruin the plot mainly because I’m just too lazy. I’ll just say it’s about love, family, grief and all of the ugly emotions that’ll tear yo…

Finders Keepers by Stephen King (audio)

Finders Keepers is about a long ago crime and a boy who unwittingly gets himself in trouble with a murderer when he uncovers buried treasure and doesn’t keep it a secret. Characters from Mr. Mercedes make an appearance but they’re not a huge part of this one.

I enjoyed Finders Keepers but not quite as much as Mr. Mercedes. The villain here didn’t interest me nearly as much as Brady. Brady was a weirdo who loved his mama a wee bit too much and I found him interesting. Morris here is just an entitled, spoiled, rich brat who messed up his life because he takes everything he wants even when it doesn’t belong to him. This did not interest me. It just made me disgusted with his sorry ass.

I feel like copying and pasting my words from my Mr. Mercedes review and, because I’m a lazy slug of a reader and would rather be reading right now, I think I shall plagiarize myself and change up a word here and there like all the best plagiarists do.

What we have here is a tense thriller, light on the …

Audio Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I have this strange love for books that feature people with ugly and terrible secrets, who have a tendency to sabotage their perfect little lives for no good reason at all besides the fact that they can’t help themselves. The Girl on the Train fits right in with some of my favorite novels featuring unlikable people doing shitty things to each other. Some of my favorites in this rubbernecking genre are The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons, The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky and, of course, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Such miserable people reside within those pages but the more harm they do each other the more I want to keep reading.

Perhaps but that’s beside the point and I know I’m not alone. Am I?

I’ll be brief because this one has been reviewed and synopsized to death and I’m still feeling lazy. Basically it’s the story of a drunkard named Rachel “The Girl on the Train” who spends her weekdays pretending she’s going to work and living vicariously through the lives of a …

What's Up Next

Sending out a big thank you to all of you who have submitted review requests to my new blog. Though this blog is new, I have been reviewing for a zillion years and I don't like to make promises I cannot keep, so I will not be responding to any of them until I make my way through my last Netgalley binge (ugh, that place is so dangerous!). It's nothing at all personal, I'm just a slow poke with a job and too many pets. Here's what's up in the queue. I should get through three of them in the next week. As I free myself up, I'll be going through your requests and responding to all that sound like books I'd love. Please don't be offended if you do not hear from me, I have little reading time and have peculiar taste. Thanks a bunch.

Devils in Dark Houses featured 4 connected novellas, each a case featuring a pair of old school cops in the Pacific Northwest. 
The new millennium is getting downright bizarre. From high tech games of sabotage to vigilante murder …

Erotica Review: Filthy Fairy Tales by Lexi Maxxwell

I got this free at Amazon a little while back but now, it seems, they've made it "unavailable". WTH is up with Amazon pulling all of the fun books?

Now that I've read a little of this I can honestly say that it's everything I hoped it would be ;) There are three stories in this book and the first is a pervy take on The Little Mermaid. After watching humans go at it, this mermaid wants in on the fun and wishes for some genuine lady parts so she will able to do some very unlady-like things. The writing is light-hearted and fun and doesn't take things seriously.

So far? Totally worth what I paid for it ;)

A little later: Hmmm, this was not bad at all for a freebie but it became very repetitive, very quickly. One can only take so much anonymous screwing before one's brain goes numb.

The Little Mermaid story was decent (3 1/2 stars). Picockio (2 stars) was meh and the most repetitive for me. I just didn't dig the storyline, I guess. It's about a woode…

FREEBIE! Pulling Her Trigger by Alexa Riley

Never read an Alexa Riley book? You don't know what you're missing, lol. Now's your chance to get this one FREE (at least for today 8/18/16) at Amazon US .  I saw it on my Amazon wishlist this morning and thought I'd share the love. You are oh-so-welcome.

"I thought I had all I needed: my gun, my chopper, and my brothers. Most women don't crave a life like mine, but after the things I've done and seen, I never thought I longed for more. 

The Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club is my family and I'll bleed for them. I'll do anything to keep them safe, even if it's from me. 

One look from him and everything I fought to hide was ripped wide open. Being an FBI agent gave him the power to flip my world upside down, and he did it in a way I never saw coming. 

What happens when an FBI agent becomes more obsessed with you than with his case? Do you let down your guard? Or pull the trigger? 

Warning: This book contains a heroine who doesn't submit, a hero who fi…

Horror Review: Bad Apples 2: Six Slices of Halloween Horror

This is gonna be short because I’m lazy.

Bad Apples 2 is another solid selection of little horror vignettes that every horror fan should read right about now.

Ed Lorn’s Halloweekend takes us to visit a haunted attraction whose owner has passed away. Now the attractions have no guidance and are left to fend for themselves and the results aren’t pretty, folks. Carnage ensues. Lots and lots of carnage. 4*

Candie Apple by Evans Light is a creepy and tragic tale about love and loss. I knew there was a reason I never had an urge to dip my face in a tub of apples (besides the left over spit and messed up makeup) . . . 4*

Jason Parent’s Dia De Los Muertos tells the tale of an AWOL soldier taking refuge in Mexico who is haunted by his memories. It’s surprising and brutal with a smothering atmosphere. Fantastic. 5*

Tommy Rotten by Adam Light should serve as a warning to stay away from haunted houses. It never ends well for the nosey parker’s. 4*

The One Night of the Year by Kealan Patrick Burke A…

Horror Review: Haunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan

Daryl has an obsession with long dead film star Marilyn Monroe (called Maxine Marie in this here fable). He’s a total geek but is fortunate to have Loretta, his real-life, flesh and blood girlfriend, who loves him and tolerates his fixation on Maxine. But when he decides to buy a spendy piece of Maxine memorabilia rather than buy her a birthday present, she stomps off in a huff. Well, wouldn’t you?

So Daryl heads home with his new present to himself and puts on a Maxine film to while away the time. Before long he gets a whole lot more than he paid for when Maxine comes to life and surprises him with some sexy time. Being a fool and all, Daryl cannot resist his fantasy woman, and finds himself in a world of trouble.

Now it’s up to a very pissed off Loretta to save his sorry butt. He’s lucky he had Loretta and not a girl like me because he’d likely be missing an appendage . . .

This was an entertaining little story but it wasn’t even a wee bit scary which was a bit disappointing. Ther…

Romance Review: Burn Down the Night by M.O'Keefe

*I received  this book as an ARC from Netgalley. 

Joan has hatched an incredibly dangerous scheme in order to rescue her sister from a dangerous, drug cooking, sister-wife cult leader who has ties with a motorcycle club (a mouthful, I know, sorry). She’s spent the last six months prepping for this moment but things go slightly awry, as things do. She ends up without her sister and sort-of kidnapping the injured leader of the motorcycle club.

In his gory face his lips twisted and it was almost breathlessly eerie. A terrible reminder that he might be laid low for the time being but he was still the devil.

Uh oh. But that’s not all . . .

He would tear me apart. The tremor I felt in my stomach was part fear and part desire. Which was exactly the mix I liked with men. It was why I had only slept with women lately. Because my compass, when it came to men, led me into dangerous places. With women—I was the dangerous place. The risk.

These two are now lying low, having made some very dangerou…

Review: On the Lips of Children

A simple run in an unfamiliar place takes a turn for the very worst when a young family is dropped into the pit of hell.

Or at least what I imagine might be happening in the pit of hell.

Macon decides to take a leisurely run the day before his first marathon but he’s on unfamiliar turf. Before long he’s bugged by a group of homeless folk but that’s nothing compared to the terror that’s about to hit him when his lover decides to take their child along the same unfamiliar path to catch up to him . . .

This story is quite scary because it all feels so real. Crazy but, you know, it could happen. It almost makes me grateful that I’m too lazy to ever run a marathon and prefer to run only as much as I have to in order to keep the cardio up for the zombie apocalypse. Zombies won't be catching me.

I’m not going to spoil this but there’s some creepy stuff that goes down and there are children in peril. The atmosphere is tense and claustrophobic and the characterization is pretty damn fine.…

Young Adult Review: Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ sounds like a sweet little nickname when one is five but no teen wants to be called a lump of dough by their mom in front of their cruel peers.

Willowdean has the unfortunate luck of having a clueless mom who does just that and can’t seem to figure out why her “Dumplin’” is so moody. Ah, the dramatic life of a teen.

Willow has bigger problems than her nickname though. Her beloved aunt Lucy has recently died (due in part to obesity), leaving her alone with only her grief and her former beauty queen mom who not so subtly urges Willow to lose weight. Constantly. Mom is worried Wilow will end up like Lucy. Mom’s world revolves around the pageant and Willow, a self-proclaimed fat girl, has no interest in such things. But as the story goes along, things happen that shake up her self-confidence (and if you guessed those “things” were a boy, I’m sad to say you are right). So between the flagging self-confidence and discovering something about her last aunt Lucy that saddens her, she…

Release Day for All the Ugly & Wonderful Things

It's release day for All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Brynn Greenwood. I gave this book a rare 5 star review. It's worth checking out if the subject matter doesn't turn you completely away.

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

You can buy it   

Horror Review: The Many by Nathan Field

Sometimes, quite a lot of the times actually, after reading a bunch of reviews of a book I’ve just read, I wonder if I’ve read a different version of the same book. A version that maybe wasn’t quite the same as the one everyone else had read because I didn’t have nearly as much fun as they sounded like they were having throughout the middle part of the book.

Or maybe it’s just me.

The Many started out so promising but like many a book that has come before it, something went awry in the middle and it began to lose me. It begins when a young lady goes on a blind date to have a little fun. Things start out great, he’s gorgeous and rich but she starts to get cold feet when he seems to know just a wee bit too much personal information about her. She asks him to take to her home but something else happens instead. That “something else” is the big secret of this book so I am not going to spill it. It’s also the reason she turns into a crazed, angry, super violent woman and does a very bad a…

Horror Review: In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Kenji is a young guy who makes his money by giving visitors of a certain umm, ilk, shall we say, tours of Tokyo’s sex industry. His latest client is a chubby American named Frank. Frank wants to see all the sights and have all the sex, all of which is nothing unusual, but Kenji quickly realizes there is something a bit “off” about dead-eyed Frank. And it’s probably not a coincidence that dead bodies start turning up as soon as Frank comes to visit . . .

Night one is slightly strange but when Kenji finds what he thinks is a piece of flesh (arggg!) on his property, he knows it came from that weirdo Frank. But he’s promised him three evenings and, hell, a buck is a buck, right?

Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it? I mean, how could you go wrong with seedy sex clubs and a serial killer on the loose? How could that story possibly bore even the most jaded of readers nearly to death? But for some reason things went wrong. The first half was deadly dull. I kept waiting for something intere…

Non-Fiction Review: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted. It’s a heartbreaking, painful read. It’s also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance. I’m very glad I gave it a listen. The narrator is terrific and emotive and has the ability to draw you into the time and place instead of taking you out of it!

Corrie ten Boom is a 40 something spinster at peace with her quiet life. She is a watchmaker in her father’s shop and lives with her older sister and their kind father. She never expected to become embroiled in an underground revolution but when German soldiers invade her homeland and friends and neighbors start to disappear because they are Jewish or lending Jewish families safe harbor, she can’t stand by and do nothing. As conditions become increasingly worse for the unfortunate people in her beloved town, she decides to put her life in danger in order to save those of others. Her family has a hidden room built and they take in the desperate. Eventual…

Erotica Review: Mechanic by Alexa Riley

So, a beauty walks into an auto repair shop, has work done, conveniently forgets her cash. The sexy, bearded mechanic is all, “Well, well, then! Show me your kitty-cat and we’ll call it even”. I suppose most normal people might be a little skeeved out by this.

But this little sheltered chickadee? Well, she’s all turned on by this bad boy and kind of flattered too.

So she shows him her goodies because this is an Alexa Riley story, after all, and then stuff happens and happens again and again.

If you were wondering, and I’m sure you were, yes, the heroine is a virgin and, yes, the hero is an over-protective alpha on steroids who falls into that sweet, sweet kind of insta-lust that he calls love. Alexa Riley never disappoints.

But wait! There’s more to this story. The heroine is a poor little rich girl who is being forced to marry a slimeball because her daddy says so. Daddy also threatens that she’ll never, ever be able to see her sick granny again if she refuses. Instead of telling g…

Horror Review: Skins of Youth by Charlee Jacob & Mehitobel Wilson

This is a small chapbook containing two tales filled with grue and gothy goodness.

Immortality by Charlee Jacob was my favorite of the two. It gets four stars. I thought it was genuinely creepy and it kept taking turns that I didn’t anticipate. That coupled with the fact that it was set in a travelling circus-like atmosphere and is about a family with deep dark secrets is a win/win for me.

Mihail was raised, along with his many siblings, to take his place in their acrobatic show and grew up listening to his grandmother’s dark tales which fascinated him. Because of her stories, he develops an insatiable lust to become immortal and as he grows becomes dangerously unhinged. I enjoy stories that feature unstable characters because you never quite know exactly what’s real and what’s imagined and this one worked for me. I’m going to have to look up more from this author because her writing style hooked me.

Growing Out of It by Mehitobel Wilson is about Ted who is the type of guy, though near…