Horror @ Booker T's Farm

Horror @ Booker T's Farm

The place where nothing is too scary!

Review
4 Stars
No More Massacres!
Money Back Guarantee - Hunter Shea

"Money Back Guarantee" is the third and final installment on Shea's Mail Order Massacres series. In this novella, Rosemary, who has just received her first Tupperware commission check, orders a submarine for her son Dwight, which he saw in the back of his Spiderman comic. When the sub arrives, it is nothing but a large cardboard monstrosity, but Dwight loves it just the same. One day Dwight and his best friend are almost killed using the sub in the friend's pool which sends Rosemary on a rampage. Rosemary is determined to contact the maker of the sub, AdventureCo, to get her money back but at what cost?

I liked "Money Back Guarantee" more than "Optical Delusion," but "Just Add Water" remains my favorite. Almost all of the characters in this edition are likable, and I love that Shea made Rosemary a kick-ass lead. Dwight is a sometimes frustrating little kid, but I found his expectations of his new toy and his demand for a replacement when it sinks totally reasonable for a child his age. I even liked Rosemary's husband which is saying a lot after the perv introduced in "Optical Delusion."

Over the past few months, I've looked forward to this series. I honestly hope Shea eventually writes more novellas from this series because I'm sure there are more tales roaming about in that mind of his. Shea has solidified himself as a must-read writer in my book and I look forward to reading more of his books and novellas in the future.

Weekly Halloween Bingo Update

 

Well, the card is starting to take shape. I just need to get some reviews posted.  Maybe I'll make time for that tonight.  I'm also thrilled that Terrifying Women was called because my current book "A Conspiracy in Belgravia" will count for that one.  It will be my 7th read this month - I'm pretty happy about that!

Review
4 Stars
Where Did Those Names Come From???
Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) - Bethany Blake
After enjoying "Death by Chocolate Lab" so much I knew I had to request this installment the minute I saw it offered on Netgalley. In "Dial Meow for Murder," the main character, Daphne, once again finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when she finds the body of a wealthy philanthropist during a Halloween gala at the woman's home. Despite the objections from Jonathan Black, the local detective, Daphne continues to look into the murder and gets into all kinds of predicaments along the way.

I felt this second installment was just as strong as the initial one. I enjoy the interaction between Daphne and her family, as well as her best friend. There is still some sexual tension going on between Daphne and Jonathan, but if the author is planning on hooking them up eventually, she is taking her time which makes me very happy as I am not a fan of insta-love. In addition, Jonathan's ex has shown up in town and it's unclear if there is a reconciliation in the future between the two. 

What I like best about this series is the connection with the pets. The entire town seems quite pet-centric and since it takes place in October, there are lots of pet-centered activities throughout. In addition, we get to see more of Daphne's dog Socrates than in the first book. This book does introduce some new cat characters, as probably deduced from the title, named Tinkleston and Himmelfarb. I mainly mention them because I would love to ask Blake how she came up with these names! 

"Dial Meow for Murder" is a wonderful cozy mystery and is a must read for anyone who enjoys the genre and likes animals to boot. The mystery takes a few twists and turns along the way and because Daphne is a far-from-perfect character, her day to day actions are a lot of fun to read about. This installment has left me anxiously awaiting book #3. 

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
This book will be used for my cozy mystery square on my 2017 Halloween Bingo Challenge.

 

Halloween Bingo Update (#2)

 

So I did an update yesterday and as you can see, we have a new marker.  The little read skull and cross bones means I've completed the book AND the square has been called.  I'm really thinking I will aim to finish up that first diagonal line because I'm currently reading a cozy mystery, and I'll have no trouble finding and completing a vampire book.  However, we'll see.  I've been such a mood reader lately!

Review
4 Stars
I'll Never Look at Bees the Same Again!
Black Bird of the Gallows - Meg Kassel

This book has been on my radar since I first saw that gorgeous cover and you have to admit, it is a pretty well done cover. I believe this is Kassel's debut book and I can firmly say that I am interested in seeing what she writes in the future and will make sure to give any new books by her a chance.

"Black Bird of the Gallows" tells the story of Angie Dovage, a high school senior living with her father and their lovable and trusty dog in a town called Cadence. Reece Fernandez, a new boy, moves in next door and while Angie is immediately aware of how gorgeous he is, she is also aware that something isn't quite right. In addition, Angie and her friends, Lacey and Deno, are not part of the "in" crowd so she finds it to think that Reece is interested in her whatsoever. Anyone thinking this is just a "typical" YA love story, stop because it's so much more and it's the "more" that made this book totally readable for me. 

Reece is a harbinger of death who morphs into a crow and feeds upon death energy. He and the other harbingers have flocked to Cadence in preparation for a huge disaster that is forecast. This disaster has also brought forth a "Beekeeper." This individual brings death and destruction wherever he arrives by stinging people with the bees that reside within his mouth. Once stung, the individual loses their mind and starts becoming more and more violent until they eventually are killed or die on their own. Reece knows what's in store and he wants nothing more than to keep Angie safe.

This was a very quick and engaging read. Although there were some elements of paranormal romance, the book also contained elements of bullying, drug abuse and non-traditional families (I loved that Angie's father is actually present in the book and not your typical absent YA parent). Their is tons of action in the later half of the book and overall, there is a very dark tone to the entire plot. The beekeepers are rather scary individuals and although I had flashbacks to the "Candyman" movie, they are a pretty original concept.

My main concern with the book is that the ending seemed rushed and wasn't quite what I wanted. I don't want to give anything away, but I feel like everything was wrapped up in a nice and neat package at the end and I didn't think it was necessarily called for. As far as I know this is a stand-alone novel so the ending works, but it could have went in a different direction and still not called for a sequel. 

If you love dark tales and don't mind some YA angst thrown in amidst some good horror and great writing, then I would suggest you pick up "Black Bird of the Gallows." 

I received this book from the author and Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book is being used for the Terror in a Small Town square for the 2017 Halloween Bingo.

Review
4 Stars
A Somewhat Thrilling Thriller
When I Am Through with You - Stephanie Kuehn

This is the second Kuehn book I've read. When I first became interested in it, I didn't realize it was the same author who did "A Smaller Evil" and I really wasn't a fan of that book when I read it last year. In fact, if I had made the connection, I might have not picked up "When I Am Through With You." However, while I am starting to believe she has a "definite type" when it comes to plots and their characters, I did like this book considerably more. 

The story is told from the MC Ben's POV and pretty early on the reader discovers Ben in sitting in jail and that some people have ended up dead. The tale then backtracks and we find out what exactly happened to Ben. Ben has not had the easiest childhood. His mother will not win any parent of the year awards and his father is absent. Ben ends up dating Rose, a fellow high school student and right away, it seems Rose is in charge of the relationship. In fact, they end up dating because Rose tells him he's going to be her boyfriend. Ben ends up joining a hiking club at school, despite the fact that he has numerous health problems, and one weekend, his teacher and a ragtag group of students leave their home county to hike up some California mountain. Trouble ensues and death soon follows.

I actually thought I would hate Ben throughout the entire book but actually ended up disliking Rose and her twin brother much more. There were times I really felt for Ben and wished like hell that he would stop putting himself in horrible situations. Even when Ben tries to take charge, he pretty much fails. This book was somewhat thrilling in that there are several twists and turns along the way and as a reader, I was constantly guessing about what was happening and I'm sure I had a "WTF" look on my face during the last 100 pages or so. I had the look a lot longer when reading "A Smaller Evil.:

I am glad I read this book and my opinion on Kuehn has changed somewhat. I know a lot of bloggers who love her work so I'm glad I'm no longer basing my not-so-glowing previous opinion on just one book. If you like YA, thrillers and unreliable characters, you will find it all in "When I Am Through With You."

 

I received this book from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.  


This book will count as my "Diverse Voice" block for my Halloween Bingo due to the author's heritage as well as the ethnicity of several of the primary characters in the book.

Review
4 Stars
A Creepy Good Time
Afterlife With Archie #1 - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli

So I sought this book after reading "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" and loving it so much. While it doesn't quite live up to that book, it is a strong read and I very much enjoyed many things about this graphic novel. The book starts with the death of Jughead's pet, Hot Dog, and Jughead begging Sabrina, the resident witch, to help. Well, without much thought, Sabrina brings Hot Dog back to life, but she should have left well enough alone. Not only do her actions lead to her year-long banishment, but Hot Dog comes back to wreck havoc and spread a zombie virus.

The artwork in this graphic novel is dark and moody, just how I like it. It totally fits the plot and provides the reader with plenty of atmosphere. All of the favorite Archie characters are present and as I turned the pages, I was on pins and needles about who would die next. 

I will end this review asking for a moment of silence for my dead Juggie. He's my favorite character and although his legacy will forever be remember in Afterlife with Archie, he just didn't last long enough!

 

This book covers The Dead Will Walk square on my Halloween Bingo card since there are pretty much people turning into zombies (dogs too) left and right!

Halloween Bingo Update

 

So I thought an update was in order - especially since I'm behind on reviews.  Right now the haunted houses represent squares I've read and the spiders are squares that have been called - so far none overlap which is a real bummer.  However, I'm almost through with my third book so as it progresses, chances get better and better something will coincide right?  Hoping to get some reviews posted later!

 

Currently Reading: 10%
When I Am Through with You - Stephanie Kuehn

So I managed to get this one started last night and left off as a pretty good part.  Just found out the narrator is sitting in jail...now to learn why?

2017 Halloween Bingo

 

So I finally took some time and figured out what I would be reading.  I will save the book pics and will share it on my other blog but at least wanted to put the list up here as well. I had fun and also went a little nuts while trying to figure the books out - let's see if they stick or I totally play it off the cuff!

 

VAMPIRES: Princesses of the Night - Teresa Fuentez

MAGICAL REALISM: Whispers of Warning - Jessica Estevao

SERIAL/SPREE KILLER: Slice of Cherry- Dia Reeves

GOTHIC: Dracula's America - Jonathan Haythornthwaite

WITCHES: The Gifts of Our Mothers - Hazel Black

COZY MYSTERY: Dial Meow for Murder - Bethany Blake

MURDER MOST FOUL: Hollywood Homicide - Kellye Garrett

CLASSIC HORROR: Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

80's HORROR: Dog Kill - Al Demspey

IN THE DARK, DARK WOODS: Ultimate Sacrifice - S.E. Green

DEMONS: Dawn in Damnation - Clark Casey

GHOST: Whispers Beyond the Veil - Jessica Estavao

FREE: Money Back Guarantee - Hunter Shea

TERROR IN A SMALL TOWN: Black Bird of the Gallows - Meg Kassel

DARKEST LONDON: Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw

THE DEAD WILL WALK: Archie Afterlife - Robert Aquirre-Sacasa

HAUNTED HOUSES: Forest of Shadows - Hunter Shea

SUPERNATURAL: Damned - Alexandria Weis

TERRIFYING WOMEN: A Conspiracy in Belgravia - Sherry Thomas

MONSTERS: Odd & Tru - Cat Winters

HORROR: Strange Weather - Joe Hill

CHILLING CHILDREN: House of Ash - Hope Cook

WEREWOLVES: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - Emil Ferris

DIVERSE VOICES: When I Am Through With You - Stephanie Kuehn

COUNTY HOUSE MYSTERIES: In a Dark, Dark Wood - Ruth Ware

 

I doubt I will be able to black out my card because I have a few review books I couldn't fit in, but I plan on having fun trying and at least hope to get BINGO three different ways.

Review
5 Stars
A New Favorite
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1: The Crucible Chapter One: Something Wicked - Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, Jack Morelli

I almost feel like I can't gush about this book enough. In fact, I know I've already recommended it several times. This is definitely not the Sabrina the Teenage Witch I remember. This Sabrina is dark and twisted and bloody and gory and... you get the point right.

Sabrina's father was a strong and powerful warlock who defied the Witch Council and married a mortal. Together, they produced Sabrina. But when he wanted to hand his baby daughter over to the witches, his wife protested and thus she was rendered permanently insane. Something then happens to her father leaving Sabrina to be raised by her two aunts. In addition, her father's ex, now "The Mistress of Hell" returns and desires nothing more than to seek revenge on Sabrina and further ruin her life.

The story line is dark and intriguing, which really matches the artwork. This graphic novel is not for the faint of heart as there is blood and nudity throughout. One bright spot is Sabrina's familiar, Salem, who is the only voice of reason I found in the entire book. There is even a crossover story line with Betty and Veronica from Riverdale - of course they are witches though. 

Anyone who loves horror simply must grab a copy of this novel any way they can. The next compilation isn't released until mid-December which is WAY too long to wait. Counting the days...

Review
3 Stars
The Massacres Continue
Optical Delusion - Hunter Shea

"Optical Delusion" is the second installment in Shea's Mail Order Massacres novella trilogy and while "Just Add Water" remains my favorite so far, this one was still very enjoyable and a strong addition to the series. Martin Blackstone is a hardworking blue-collar worker who enjoys his time at home, especially if he has a good beer in his hand. His son is given a pair of cheap x-ray glasses by a friend and when he casually tosses them aside, Martin gives them a try just for fun. Before long, Martin is addicted to the glasses. He is initially shocked when he's able to use them as a voyeur on unsuspecting town women, but soon the x-ray abilities deepen and the glasses become harder and harder to remove.

This book is definitely full of blood, gore and is a lot of fun. The main problem I had is that I despised Martin. However, I'm sure Shea intended it to be that way because he is in no way some poor misunderstood character. Throughout the book, I often felt sorry for the people Martin encountered and although I think he had a decent enough relationship with both his wife and his son, I think they deserved better.

"Optical Delusion" is a book which is hard to review without giving too much away. It's a fast read and any horror lover would be missing out if they at least didn't give this series a try. There's one more novella coming up and I already have my copy and am just waiting for the perfect night to curl up and read it.