Horror @ Booker T's Farm

Horror @ Booker T's Farm

The place where nothing is too scary!

Review
2 Stars
So Romantic Vampires May Not Be My Thing Anymore
Princesses of the Night: Royal Blood - Teresa Fuentez, Tich Brewster

I feel like I'm really in the minority here but overall, I didn't enjoy "Princesses of the Night." Tanya is a college student who lives with 3 other roommates and they all happen to be best friends. These four individuals own and operate a book store (I'd like to know how that came to be because yea, all college students can own their own business at such a young age). On the way back from a Halloween party, Tanya and her friends are walking home when they are beckoned into a dark alley but a mysterious stranger. For a brief second (and I mean brief), they think something is off but then they enter the alley and soon follow this stranger home. Once there, they are all bitten and turned into 4 vampires, who are destined to save the vampire world as we know it.

First of all I felt this book was super choppy. It was under 250 pages yet had something close to 50 chapters. The format just wasn't working for me. Secondly, the characters made stupid decision after stupid decision. But that's not to say there weren't a few things I enjoyed because I did. I liked how the author portrayed the whole "vampire family" thing. Tanya and her friends were able to meet up with another vampire couple sired by the same "father" and once they did, I enjoyed the book a tad bit more. Also, I liked the "bad" vampires who are trying to kill Tanya and her crew and truth be told, I'd have probably enjoyed a book from their point of view more.

Overall I'm kind of done with the romantic vampire thing which isn't really the author's fault. I like my vampires dark, gritty and vicious and not love struck and silly. I'm sure plenty of people will enjoy this book and if you love vampire romance, it might be a book for you. Me though, I won't be finishing with the series even though this one ended on a huge cliffhanger. In my head, they all die, end of series.

I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

 

I'm using this for the Vampire square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo

Review
5 Stars
A Very Satisfying Conclusion
Rituals: The Cainsville Series - Kelley Armstrong

So first of all, it's hard to give this book the review it deserves since it's the fifth and final one in the series and doing so would give all kinds of spoiler away. That being said, I looked back at all my ratings and each book has garnered at least 4/5 stars with the last two capturing a complete 5/5 from me. I think that shows what a strong series this has been for me and how much I have loved it. And while I am sad to see it over, man, what a ride.

I'm not going to mention the plot, but will go as far as saying that this installment introduces us to some pretty awful characters (some we thought were dead) some terribly horrible supernatural creatures (the sluagh) and tow Dryads who add comic relief in a book where you wouldn't expect it. In fact, Helia and Alexios are such a great addition to this tale and I truly enjoyed every scene they were in. Finally, I have to address the love triangle. There is a strong one in this book but because it has been woven so delicately into the Fae folklore and prophecy, it was not annoying or overwhelming. In fact, it is very well developed and there is absolutely no insta-love. And I waited 5 long books to find out how this element played out and can I say I'm thrilled with the conclusion. In fact, I'm so happy with Liv's decision, I may have jumped up and down. Also, I love that fact that Armstrong doesn't wait until the very end to disclose this wrap-up and that once its is disclosed, it continues to be worked into the plot.

So if you can't tell, I would highly recommend the Cainsville series. I've read the entire Women of the Underworld series (minus a few short story/novella collections) and while I loved it as well, Cainsville clearly outdid it. Plus, there's an adorable Fae Hound in this book who I dearly love.

A Halloween Bingo Update

 

RED SKULL (read and called)

HORROR: We Are Always Watching

CHILLING CHILDREN: Money Back Guarantee

DIVERSE VOICES: When I Am Through With You

TERRIFYING WOMEN: A Conspiracy in Belgravia

COZY MYSTERY: Dial Meow for Murder

WEREWOLVES: The October Faction Vol. 2

DEMONS: Dark Exodus

FREE: Saga Vol. 7

TERROR IN A SMALL TOWN: Black Bird of the Gallows

IN THE DARK DARK WOOD: Ultimate Sacrifice

CLASSIC HORROR: Rosemary's Baby

VAMPIRES: Princesses of the Night

WITCHES: The Witches of Auburn 

 

ORANGE HAUNTED HOUSE (read and not called)

 

THE DEAD WILL WALK: Archie Afterlife

MONSTER: The October Faction Volume 1

 

GREEN SPIDER (called and not read)

SERIAL KILLER
MURDER MOST FOUL

GHOST

HAUNTED HOUSE

 

And I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to get some reviews posted!!

Review
4 Stars
A Quick and Exciting Horror Read
Ultimate Sacrifice - S. E. Green

I loved this book and I totally agree with the Mindy McGinnis quote on the front. Vickie and her family live in a wooded area and her grandfather owns the farm next door. One day her twin exits the forest covered in blood and she learns that a young child named Michelle, whom she regularly babysits, was found dead and the crime scene resembled a ritualistic murder. An investigation ensues and we learn tons about Vickie's family and friends as well as the small town community.

I considered this book a short read at just about 175 pages. I usually like more to my books but I have to admit, it really worked in this case. It made the story seem that much more fast paced and made the situation more dire. I really liked Vickie but I will say she is either the bravest 17 year old (because she investigates the Satanic killing on her own because she is frustrated with the police) or the stupidest. There were times I was reading where I know I would shake my head because what she was doing could not end well at all. And the ending! I actually screamed and yelled. And since the hubby was at work, the dogs looked at me like I'd lost my ever-loving mind.

If you can't tell, this book was tons of fun so I seriously recommend picking it up.

I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

 

I am using this for In the Dark Dark Woods block on my 2017 Halloween Bingo Challenge.

Review
4 Stars
You Simply Must Meet Dante
October Faction Volume 2 - Steve Niles

I am loving this series so much that I almost hate to read the last volume I have. I know it will take forever for my library to get Volume 4. This installment continues the Allen family saga. The children are still trying to convince their parents to start ghost hunting again and Lucas, the werewolf family friend, seems to be hanging around waiting for a decision. Dante, the monster who was adopted in the first volume, remains my favorite. He is like a 10 year old in an adult body and he is enjoying having a family for probably the first time in his life. The only reason this got 4/5 instead of 5/5 like the first is because something happens to Mr. Allen in this volume which I think isn't explained very well and which is wrapped up too quickly. As always though, the artwork remains as some of my favorite amongst all of the graphic novels I read. If you love horror, you have to give this series a try. 

 

 

I am using this for my werewolf square for 2017 Halloween Bingo.

 

 

Review
5 Stars
An Awesome Accidental Discovery!
October Faction Volume 1 - Damien Worm, Steve Niles

I have accidentally found a new horror graphic novel to love on and the timing couldn't be better. I had to run into my library to pick up a hold the other day and an usual, caught myself in the "new" section. I saw the first three volumes of "The October Faction" and all I needed was to look at one of the covers and I knew all three were headed home with me! "The October Faction" tells the story of a family of misfit/orphan monster hunters. The books provides with witches, warlocks, werewolves and some other characters I am still learning about. The two children in the book want nothing more than to follow in their retired father's footsteps except he is now a renowned professor of monstrumology and wants nothing to do with his old business. Does that change? You betcha! However, you have to read to find out. 


The artwork in this book is dark, creepy and glorious. And the writing just strikes a cord with me. At one point, someone in the book is killed rather unexpected and the perp's comment was something to the effect of "I was going to have to kill him eventually so why drag it out?" An attitude I can understand - not that I'm a killer or anything :) 

So basically everyone - go get this book. NOW!!!!!

 

I am using this as the Monster square on my 2017 Halloween Bingo Challenge.  

A Tad Disappointed
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughan

I have to admit that Vol. 7 kind of fell flat for me. There were aspects I liked, such as the introduction of a new species/friends on one of the home planets which strongly resemble walking, talking merekats. I also enjoy seeing Hazel grow and mature. Marko and Alana are expecting a new baby, and the relationship between the two of them is stronger than ever. And I can't forget Lying Cat. He's still present and going strong. However, the entire time I was reading this I couldn't help but wonder if there is an ending planned for the series. I felt like some of the story lines are being drawn out too much and it just didn't hold my attention like some of the earlier volumes. I will continue on, especially since I'm able to grab these from my local library, but I look forward to some changes to shake things up.

 

I am using this for the "Free" slot on my 2017 Halloween Bingo because it has both aliens and monsters.

Review
4 Stars
A Great Continuation
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (The Lady Sherlock Series) - Sherry Thomas

After loving the first Lady Sherlock mystery so much, I knew I had to pick this one up sooner than later and I am thrilled to say it didn't disappoint. I do believe I rated "A Study in Scarlet Women" 5/5 but even at a slightly lower rating, "A Conspiracy in Belgravia" is still a solidly enjoyable installment.

Charlotte Holmes is still living with her new friend, Mrs. Watson and together they are still solving mysteries as "Sherlock Holmes." Charlotte is being courted by a familiar face, Lord Ingram's brother, and to prove that marriage to him won't be boring, he gifts her with some clues and mysteries to decipher. One of these clues leads her to a deceased young man who may or may not be Charlotte's illegitimate brother. In addition, she has been hired by Lady Ingram, the wife of Charlotte's one true love (if she ever has such a thing because Charlotte definitely does not NEED a man in her life and clearly realizes it) to find out what has happened to her first love. Can Charlotte investigate this disappearance and remain loyal to her friend, Lord Ingram, at the same time.

While I loved this book, it did take a while for it all to weave together. Initially there are quite a few mysteries afoot and while they did all eventually tie in together, it did cause some early confusion for me. However, Charlotte and Mrs. Watson are as interesting as ever and I loved Charlotte's independence and stubbornness and the fact that she doesn't feel the need to change in order to fit anyone's stereotype of how she should act. 

I am really loving Victorian and historical mysteries and it's a genre I didn't really see myself reading several years ago. The first book was superb and this one doesn't disappoint either. If you like Sherlock Holmes retellings, you really should give Sherry Thomas' series a try.

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

 

I will be using this for the Terrifying Women square on my 2017 Halloween Bingo.

Halloween Bingo Update #3

 

RED SKULL (read and called)

HORROR: We Are Always Watching

CHILLING CHILDREN: Money Back Guarantee

DIVERSE VOICES: When I Am Through With You

TERRIFYING WOMEN: A Conspiracy in Belgravia

COZY MYSTERY: Dial Meow for Murder

 

ORANGE HAUNTED HOUSE (read and not called)

DEMONS: Dark Exodus

THE DEAD WILL WALK: Archie Afterlife

TERROR IN A SMALL TOWN: Black Bird of the Gallows

 

GREEN SPIDER (called and not read)

SERIAL KILLER
WITCHES

MURDER MOST FOUL

IN THE DARK DARK WOODS

GHOST

HAUNTED HOUSE

Review
4 Stars
I Love Kids in Horror Novels!
We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea

Over the past year or so I've become a huge fan of Hunter Shea so when my friend and I were looking for a buddy read, this became the obvious choice. "We Are Always Watching" grabbed me right from the start and didn't let go until the end - and that ending! 14-year-old West and his parents have had to move to Pennsylvania to live with his Grandpa Abraham on a rundown, decrepit farm. West's father suffers from severe vertigo which makes him quite handicapped following a car accident and the family has fallen on hard times. West's father hates returning to his childhood home and his mother is busy working so the family can eventually move out.

Immediately from the start, West senses something is wrong. His Grandfather has hinted that the house is haunted and West and the family starts finding messages left on the inside and the outside of the home. Grandpa finally discloses that the house is being watched by The Guardians, who do not like change and disruption. Things start happening around the home such as messages left on mirrors and finding Grandpa passed out and bound outside, but the more people whom the family tells what is happening, the more that happens.

I loved this entire book! Grandpa is an old crotchety drunk and not an very likable character, but ultimately he is trying to keep his family safe, although he is also hiding a lot of secrets. West's parents are just struggling to get by and not lose hold of their family in the process. However, West if by far the best character. First of all, he loves everything horror, in fact, he is initially intrigued that the house might be haunted. West always has his nose stuck in a horror book and he has posters from famous movies plastered all over his bedroom walls. "We Are Always Watching" took a real turn about halfway through the novel and I have to admit, it wasn't what I expected. Without giving too much away, it's best to go into this book with limited knowledge so the reader feels the shock and terror right along with the family.

This was a fun book to buddy read and I feel like I read enough of Shea's work. He's definitely an auto-buy author for me and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

 

I will be using this novel for the HORROR square on my Halloween Bingo Card.

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.