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Review: Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

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Phew, this one has some rough content! Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid Released June 2022 Source: Library Borrow Goodreads   | Amazon From highly acclaimed bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente. A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites. Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the

Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth | Book Review

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Like horror movies?  Nightmare Fuel by Nina Nesmith Released February 2021 Source: Received for Review Consideration Goodreads   | Amazon Nightmare Fuel by Nina Nesseth is a pop-science look at fear, how and why horror films get under our skin, and why we keep coming back for more. Do you like scary movies? Have you ever wondered why? Nina Nesseth knows what scares you. She also knows why. In Nightmare Fuel, Nesseth explores the strange and often unexpected science of fear through the lenses of psychology and physiology. How do horror films get under our skin? What about them keeps us up at night, even days later? And why do we keep coming back for more? Horror films promise an experience: fear. From monsters that hide in plain sight to tension-building scores, every aspect of a horror film is crafted to make your skin crawl. But how exactly do filmmakers pull this off? The truth is, there’s more to it than just loud noises and creepy images. With the affection of a true horror fan and

Review: Beguiled by Darynda Jones

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Unfortunately, this third book was not for me but you can't love 'em all, right? Beguiled by Darynda Jones Released February 2021 Source: Library Borrow Goodreads   | Amazon Newly indoctrinated witch, Defiance Dayne discovers there’s more to life after forty than she'd ever imagined possible. Especially if one is a charmling, one of only three in the world, with enough magics to make her a target for every power-hungry warlock out there. When one of them sends a hunter to town, she knows it’s time to take her talents seriously before the hunter takes her life. She decides she has three things to do before she can die. Find out who killed her beloved grandmother, teach her BFF the finer points of spellcasting before she blows up the world, and figure out how serious her relationship with the Adonis living in her basement really is. If it’s heading in the direction she’s hoping for, she can die happy. Though, admittedly, she’d rather not. Die. Happy or otherwise. None of that

Review: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

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Horror Spotlight chose this as their read along book for January and I'm so glad! Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice Released October 2018 Source: Library Borrow Horror & Horrorish Fiction  |   Goodreads   | Amazon A daring post-apocalyptic thriller from a powerful rising literary voice With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hope

Books, Movies, TV & Updates • January 13, 2023

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    Recent Reads & Listens  Hello, everyone! I'm here working on my little review pile and reading a few things just for me. Mixing them up is keeping me motivated and reading lots so I think I'll stick with this plan. These are the books I'm working on this week. Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are is an ARC and it is very late 😔 The other two are just for me. I adore the Monstrous series  about monsters finding their soul mates SO  much. The Betwixt & Between books are amusing but the jokes sometimes don't land for me and feel a little forced. There's only one more until I'm caught up so I'll probably finish just to say I'm finally caught up with a series for once in my life. Additions to the TBR I haven't had a chance to share the books my family gifted me last month!  I love Sodergren's writing and am looking forward to catching up with his work. The Hell Hath Only Fury sounds amazing.  Hopefully I can squeeze them all in soonish. R

Review: The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

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This was fun to read with a group.  The Family Game by Catherine Steadman Released October 2022 Source: Audiobook Purchase Horror & Horrorish Fiction  |   Goodreads   | Amazon A rich, eccentric family. A time-honored tradition. Or a lethal game of survival? One woman finds out what it really takes to join the 1% in this riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water, Mr. Nobody, and The Disappearing Act. Harry is a novelist on the brink of stardom; Edward, her husband-to-be, is seemingly perfect. In love and freshly engaged, their bliss is interrupted by the reemergence of the Holbecks, Edward's eminent family and the embodiment of American old money. For years, they've dominated headlines and pulled society's strings, and Edward left them all behind to forge his own path. But there are eyes and ears everywhere. It was only a matter of time before they were pulled back in . . . After all, even though he's long s

Review: Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

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Hmmm . . . what to say about this one? Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier Released April 2020 Source: Library Borrow Dark Fiction  |   Goodreads  | Amazon Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken. A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. Permanently. All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret... Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman d

Review: From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

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This is a fun world to visit.  From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper Released May 2022 Source: Library Borrow Goodreads  | Amazon Opposites attract in this wickedly charming rom-com by Lana Harper, author of Payback’s a Witch. Wild child Isidora Avramov is a thrill chaser, adept demon summoner, and—despite the whole sexy-evil-sorceress vibe—also a cuddly animal lover. When she’s not designing costumes and new storylines for the Arcane Emporium’s haunted house, Issa's nursing a secret, conflicted dream of ditching her family’s witchy business to become an indie fashion designer in her own right. But when someone starts sabotaging the celebrations leading up to this year’s Beltane festival with dark, dangerous magic, a member of the rival Thorn family gets badly hurt—throwing immediate suspicion on the Avramovs. To clear the Avramov name and step up for her family when they need her the most, Issa agrees to serve as a co-investigator, helping none other than Rowan Thorn get to the botto

Review: Three Days in the Pink Tower by EV Knight

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This is such a painful and powerful read. Three Days In The Pink Tower Released July 2022 Source: Received for Review Consideration Dark Fiction  |   Goodreads   | Amazon Josey Claypool begins the summer before her senior year at a carnival, where a fortune teller with milky-white eyes gives her a foreboding tarot reading. She’s spooked, but nothing could prepare her for the following day when two strange men show up at her front door. Josey is kidnapped at gunpoint and brought to a pink cabin in the woods where she is held prisoner. In her darkest moment, the fortune teller appears and gives her a deck of tarot cards, which she must cast and interpret in a fight for her life. In this work of speculative autofiction, award-winning author EV Knight reclaims the narrative of her own past in an exploration of trauma, agency, and survival.  My 2 Cents for Free! Several reviewers have already said this book is not an easy one to read (or review) and they’re not exaggerating. The author has