Friday, July 31, 2015

BLOG TOUR: "Pretty Dark Sacrifice" by Heather L. Reid


When I think of horror, there are few more impressive than Stephen King, right? What makes him so appealing to other horror writers though? Heather L. Reid, a scream queen herself, had some insight on him and what attracts her to certain horror creatives and what she thinks makes horror scary. I mean if you want to try to understand the madness of the genius, it's best to go straight to the source, right?! Heather will be the first to tell you about how very personal her fears are and how they've definitely spurred her into telling some scary tales. Check out my interview with her at Fangirlish for that scoop.

What horror maven scared you as a child - how and why?
I’ve always been a Wes Craven fan. I remember sneaking into the living while my parents were asleep and watching A Nightmare On Elm Street over and over again. The idea of Freddy killing you in your dreams is a truly scary concept. Adults didn’t believe in him and the kids had to keep themselves from falling asleep in order to stay alive. None of them know what’s really going on or how to stop him. The scene in the boiler room where he scrapes his finger knives on the metal boiler sends chills down my spine. I also love, love, love Hitchcock who is a master of suspense and his work is visually stunning as well. Then there’s Guillermo Del Toro. Pan’s Labyrinth is a stunning and creepy film where the fear is coming from both the real world and a fantasy world.
What makes a horror film truly frightening for you - how and why?
A good horror film has to balance characters I care about with a plot that will surprise and keep me guessing. I want my horror films to unfold with a lot of tension without using convenient plot devices or cheap scares. I prefer suspenseful psychological horror such as Psycho, The Woman In Black, The Haunting, The Conjuring, Rosemary’s Baby, or the Omen to straight up slasher films, though one exception to that would be The Evil Dead . I love those movies! The Exorcist might be the movie that disturbed me the most. Maybe because it’s said to be based on a true story or maybe because it’s frightening to watch a little girl say and do such vile things. I went to see it in the theatre when the director’s cut was re-released a few years ago and decided I would never be able to watch it again. I also love zombie movies, but I tend to think of them as a sub-genre. The Walking Dead, though not a movie, has some truly terrifying moments, and if you haven’t seen the crazy fast zombies of 28 Day’s Later, you’re missing out!
If you could be compared to one horror master, who would it be and why?
Steven King. He is the horror master. His characters are raw and real and always a little bit off. The situations he puts them in are strange and original, but somehow he makes them work. A crazy demon clown that lives in the sewers and torments children? Yes, please. Or how about the epic battle between good and evil in The Stand.  Nobody can forget the torment Carrie endures from her mother or her classmates, and when she unleashes her anger on the unsuspecting teens at prom? What a moment! And The Shining, Jack Torrance is manipulated by a variety of unseen forces. The tension in the book mimics the boiler that Jack forgets to dump in the end. Each scene is a little hotter, a little tenser, and then, bam! Who wouldn’t want to be compared to King?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

heatherHeather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing new tales of fantasy and horror.


ABOUT PRETTY DARK SACRIFICE:

Title: Pretty Dark Sacrifice (Pretty Dark Nothing #2)
Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Heather L. Reid
It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.
Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron's memorial, convincing her he’s still alive. When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophesy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife. 
If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment. 
All it will cost is her blood.
BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

BLOG TOUR DETAILS:

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

'Waiting On' Wednesday #17: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

When I think of horror novels, such a pretty image doesn't come to mind. However, The May Queen Murders is a beauty! Its cover is imbued with a romanticized backwoods feel and is ever so YA -- a heady combination that is going to attract its readers from the moment they first lay eyes on it. The May Queen Murders focuses on friendships, what happens when you grow apart, while bringing in May Queen mythology and the folksy superstitions of the Ozarks all wrapped up in first love, betrayal of friendship and mystery which is why I couldn't resist picking Sarah's brain about the cover and what readers could expect on the inside.




DETAILS:
  • Title: The May Queen Murders
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
  • Publishing date: May 3, 2016
  • Author(s): Sarah Jude
  • Series: Name of Trilogy unknown at this time


What is the favorite part of your book cover? Does anything stand out as particularly metaphoric for the story inside? 
The overall tone and creepiness of the image is my favorite part--it's haunting and has a strange cast to it, like it looks as if it's a much older photo when in actuality, the image is fairly recent. Marcin Nagraba is a very talented Polish artist, and I'm thrilled that his work fit so seamlessly with my book.
As to whether it's metaphorical...it is in that sense of rising up from the depths and feeling isolated and bare. While I won't give away much of the story, I'll say there are woods, a river, and girls wearing floral head wreaths.

Friendships are hard. What do you think makes maintaining friendships difficult in this day and age when technology allows us to keep in touch so much easier?
People's attention spans are short, and it's easy to misinterpret tone in a text message or email. Technology is in itself isolating. You don't have to leave the house or speak with anyone to have pretty much anything you want. Pizza delivery, groceries delivery, tons of e-books...it's all right at your fingertips. And it's fine up to a point--I'm an introvert!--but humans also need some vocal and visual cues to know that what they put out there is properly received. I prefer phone calls to texts because I like hearing people's voices and I have several friends still that I've known since I was a small child, so it is possible to maintain friendships for 20, 30 years, but it takes effort from both people.
The characters in Rowan's Glen have pretty much sworn off technology. They don't think it's bad or anything--but they choose to live simply and sustainably. Such a tight-knit community where you have to talk to your neighbors lends itself to physically present friendships and face-to-face interaction.

What inspired your interest in the May Day celebrations? How did that myth play into Missouri folklore?
I was young when I saw the original version of the film The Wicker Man, which is delightfully trippy and creepy. It features a May Queen and a missing girl and is completely chilling. And of course, I'm a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, and there's a reference to the May Queen in "Stairway to Heaven," which I was determined to master playing on guitar as a teen. May is my second favorite month after October because it is when nature seems to fully wake up from winter's slumber. May Day itself is an interesting holiday born of a pagan rite of spring but, in some places, also took on Christian influences during the religion's spread to the British Isles. They kept the old ways to connect with people. A good many of the old Ozarks backwoods settlements were formed by people coming out of Appalachia, who in turn can trace their ancestry back to England and Scotland. The Ozarks breeds curious customs and superstitions. People looked hard at their natural environment for explanations, deciding what might be coincidence is fact. So why not write about those backwoods and people who not only believe those old wives' tales but actually live them? It's an area ripe with story and mystery.
What a blend of American history, music and religious studies, yeah? It is amazing how much research goes into a novels. Such intriguing topics to bring together a YA murder mystery, I think.

JACKET COPY:

Two girls: one with a secret, one with a promise that she’d uncover it. Welcome to Rowan’s Glen—a place full of old fashioned superstition and secrets. Twenty-five years back, a teenage girl was murdered after being crowned queen at the Glen’s May Day celebration, and outsiders have regarded the isolated farming community with suspicion ever since. But that was before Ivy Templeton was even born. She’s lived in Rowan’s Glen for all of her sixteen years, and feels safe there with the company of her free-spirited cousin Heather, and their friend, Rook, son of the sheriff. Until . . . animals start showing up dead, clearly from unnatural means. Dark omens seem to appear everywhere Ivy goes. And Heather, who used to tell Ivy everything, is sneaking off after dark with a mysterious lover. Ivy worries her cousin could be in danger—especially after Heather is elected queen of the May Day celebration. When Heather goes missing, Ivy must come to terms with the fact that she never knew her beloved cousin—or Rowan’s Glen—as well as she thought she did. Readers looking for horror, romance, and suspense will find it all in this chilling tale that resonates with dark beauty.

AUTHOR LINKS & CREDITS:


Marcin Nagraba: photographer credit

As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.
cross-posted from Fangirlish

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Fellow Book Nerds From Favorite Books


Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.


Oh the bookish characters usually are my favorite of all time! Some come from classics, others of course from more modern times. Either way, I tend to gravitate to bookish people in books just like I do in real life. What about you all?

Also, I would recommend every single one of these books and their titles are links that take you to the Goodreads page so you can read their synopsis and possibly order them. Yeah? Help an author out this week if you can. 


His library... omigosh... his library is so awesome. So is his house by the way. Also, Jackaby takes offense at his books being used as weapons even though Abigail Rook seems to only have them on hand when in desperate situations.




Okay so these two baby darlings are comic nerds, but comics count as book nerdish items. They read other things other than comics and yeah... they totally grow up to read all kinds of books.




This girlie grows up to write her own stories but before she ever could deal with life on her own, she escaped into books. She and I would've been bosom friends if she were a real person.



Omigosh... Charlie is adorably nerdy. He is a precious, precious boy who finds security and safety in the blanketing joy of reading good books. I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower!



Of course, this little young adult genius who grows up is never without books, looking for books, searching for books because that's where he finds the knowledge he needs to deal with the supernatural world that no one else sees.



Oh she is so much more than a lover of books. The keeper, guardian of the most important secrets of the Old Kingdom. However, she does not know her place or how much power she holds within herself. 




Oh, the angel who defies his maker because he is set in his ways and loves books. A creature of comfort who convinces a demon to join him. In their efforts to stay comfortable, they inadvertently save the world.




These two magicians have the hardest times getting along with each other. How crazy two men who have completely different perspectives on magic, what makes a good book magical and how do go about introducing magic back into the real world. 



Girl knows her books, how to research and basically boss everyone like the know-it-all she is. Don't you dare doubt her ability to solve any magical mystery, come up with an answer or find the right passage in a book that will save the day. 




Friday, July 24, 2015

BLOG TOUR: "Love Lies Beneath" by Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins writes about some serious issues - mental - drug usage - rehab - but in her new adult novel, it's more an emotional level and the reality and risk of falling in love. As usual, her prose is spot on and bruises while it sucks you into the struggle of its characters. With these books, she moves into another arena, tackles adult topics with adult characters and she has no plans of leaving behind YA either. She's just broadening her horizons and pushing herself in ways that she finds quite cathartic. Afterall that's what writing is for her -- catharsis.

ellen
"After eight highly successful young adult novels-in-verse, I decided to explore more mature subject matters and wrote my first two novels for adults utilizing my signature verse-style formatting. I changed directions with my third, Love Lies Beneath, choosing to write in prose to better connect with an older audience, some of whom might be resistant to the fiction/verse merger. I will continue to write YA, of course. (My twelfth YA novel publishes Fall 2015.) Teen characters are hugely appealing to me. But some topics I want to write about demand adults as main characters. My first adult novel, Triangles, explores midlife directional changes, and my second, Collateral, follows a Marine couple through four deployments, with the inevitable consequences."

GET YOUR OWN COPY:

Love Lies Beneath is sexy, chilling noir fiction about a woman who has it all—wealth, beauty, possessions; everything, except love, which she finally discovers at forty, after three failed marriages. While everything is perfect at first, things change when the doctor’s teenage son moves in. It’s then the lies begin to appear. But who, in fact, is the liar? Expect the sequel to Love Lies Beneath in 2016 and more books for mature audiences in the future. Read the prequel to Love Lies Beneath on Wattpad now.





Now things get heavy in Ellen's books, but today I wanted to see if we could lighten up the conversation with her. Find out about her fun side. You know... what does she do to get out of her head, get away and relax. She humored me and answered. Check out this quick Q&A and see if you and Ellen take a break the same way.

QUICK Q&A:

Dream vacation? The British Isles
Favorite Summer Song? California Girls (Van Halen version)
Beach or Pool? Beach
Atlantic or Pacific? Pacific
Sunbathing or Sightseeing? Sightseeing
Coffee & Biscotti or Scones & Tea: Scones & Tea
Burger and Fries? Burger & Fries
Favorite Summer Read? anything Stephen King

GIVEAWAY:


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

'Waiting On' Wednesday #16: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro


There are so many Sherlock Holmes pastiches coming out. Every which way you like him -- seriously dramatic , YA, comedy, homage and mystery. A Study in Charlotte goes the YA route and it is probably the second most wanted ARC in this house behind only Beastly Bones (which I have yet to get approval for from Netgalley)!



DETAILS:
  • Title: A Study in Charlotte
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
  • Publishing date: March 1, 2016
  • Author(s): Brittany Cavallaro
  • Series: Name of Trilogy unknown at this time

SUMMARY:

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.




As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Recently Acquired Books


Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.


These are in no particular order, unless you count how I could remember them... Ha! This week's been super busy and I'm gearing up for the Percy Jackson party on Thursday. I cannot wait to show off what I have planned.

Also, I would recommend every single one of these books and their titles are links that take you to the Goodreads page so you can read their synopsis and possibly order them. Yeah? Help an author out this week if you can. 

#1 --> Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway



#2 --> Jackaby by William Ritter



#3 --> Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell 







#5, #6, #7 --> Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy by Susan Dennard



#8 --> The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1) by Cynthia Voigt



#9 --> Trixter by Alethea Kontis



#10 --> Locked by Eva Morgan



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #15: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Have you seen this cover yet?! It was just revealed yesterday. And oh yeah, I'm not ecstatic to hear that Elizabeth Banks is thinking about directing the first book in movie form. The Red Queen could turn out to be an all women-ensemble for production - director, producer and screenwriter.

Also, how is that tagline?! I love it. KNEEL OR BLEED




DETAILS:
  • Title: Glass Sword
  • Publisher: Harper Teen
  • Publishing date: February 9, 2016
  • Author(s): Victoria Aveyard
  • Series: The Red Queen #2

SUMMARY:

If there's one thing Mare Barrow knows, it's that she's different.Mare Barrow's blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: She is not the only one of her kind.Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Ohhhhh... this list could probably start wars. I know it is a bone of contention for people especially when they feel strongly about books and why they should be read before you make your critique. However, sometimes, I really... REALLY do not need to read a book to know all the reasons I would not like it.

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.



#1 --> Grey by E. L. James

Nope. No. I attempted reading this series, the Fifty Shades of What the Heck am I reading because everyone swears it is soooooo good; but only made it halfway through the second book. Yes, I am one of those persons who are appalled by this series and the Twilight series for the reasons that I do not like my heroes in romances to be stalkers nor the females to be weak-willed and dependent upon the men for every breath they take. [Pun intended.]

#2 --> Matched by Ally Condie

For some reason when I started this book, it just didn't work for me. I might've read the first chapter but that's it and I have a signed copy of it and think Ally Condie is a darling person in a real life. A perfect example of real life and fictional work not being compatible for me. My daughter though owns the whole series and loves it.

#3 --> The Cuckoo's Calling by J. K. Rowling (Can I just put her instead?! I'm doing it. Sorry.)

I think that this series will get read. Only I read Casual Vacancy and it burned. So my hesitancy stems not from thinking I will not like these books, but just that Rowling can write and write hateful characters. So yeah... I needed a break from her adult style.

#4 --> Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is my favorite. The only person on this planet that I've completely lost my mind over... No. For real. I literally could not spin a sentence past "You're Neil Gaiman" when I met him in person. It ranks as one of my all time embarrassing moments. However, as much as I love him as an author, I could not get past my feeling that he somehow appropriated that title from its more important intent and so I have not read this one.

#5 --> The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

There's nothing about this book that should keep me from reading it, and yet I just don't know. Every time I read the synopsis, I'm like Uhm... do I really want to read it? So weird and it really bothers me because Emma Watson totally loves it, optioned it and is starring in it if the rumors are to be believed. Why can't I love this book?! I feel like a Just Read It slogan would be appropriate for me and this book.

#6 --> Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In this instance, so many stinking people told me when I was a part of RWA and wrote reviews for them, that I should read this book. I wasn't really keen on it then and after reading about how Diana felt about transformative works... well, even though I understand how authors can feel threatened by fanfiction, in no way do I think it is comparable to rape. Such an ugly, irrational comparison that diminishes the horror of that act. So nope... I refuse to read this book or watch the show because of her words.

#7 --> The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

How I have never read this book is beyond me?! Every time I see it... the guilt wells up and I'm like why have I not read this book yet?! It was on my amazon prime to review list way back before it came out and I meant to read it then! Now book 5 & 6 are in the works and I still haven't read this one... book numero uno.

#8 --> The Martian by Andy Weir

Someone explain to me why this book is considered so amazing?! For the life of me, I cannot find an ounce of interest in it or in the movie. Sorry... but not? I have so many books to read that if I don't connect with the plot right away, I cannot waste time forcing myself to read something.

#9 --> Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This one I tried to read. Really, I got through maybe three chapters and gave up. I will watch the film and probably like it but while my daughter loved it, I am not a fan of such crass talk that goes on in this book. I know kids speak that way nowadays, but that doesn't mean I'm always up for reading it. Plus I thought this book was so slow moving.

#10 --> The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

You know, Meg Cabot is adorable in person and has a wonderful story about how these books came into existence. But before I knew these stories were books, I had already fallen in love with the movies. And so, yeah... I never went back to read these even though I had the whole set at one time signed by Meg. Eventually they ended up in the bookstore I worked at for sale. It's all good though because those movies are like a dream come true when I'm in a bad mood.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Books On Television... Will You Watch?!

Oh the joys of seeing your favorite books come to life... or the fear of having your fictional favorites re-imagined in way that doesn't meet your approval. Today, I'm focused on three shows. One is out already and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Two have not arrived and I'm wary of one but delighted by the other teaser.

First up --> Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell



Gorgeous imagery. Excellent mood and lighting. Rather unsettling and brilliant writing. The production  accurately pulled everything quirky and weird of the book into its essence. I'm rather in awe of it. So very steady paced but ever so pretty and Victorian in all the ways that matter. Also, if you felt the book was a bit overwrought and prosaic, all of that's evened out by the limitations of a televised mini-series.


Secondly --> The Magicians

I am quite the fan of the first two books in The Magicians series by Lev Grossman. This trailer definitely strikes an intriguing balance between the modern and magical. However, it feels a bit mundane too. A Vampire Diaries or Supernatural rift, an episodic peek into the vastly mercurial world of Grossman's. We will see how liked it becomes in 2016 and if it will live up to its original content


Lastly --> A Series of Unfortunate Events

The movie wasn't too horrible in my personal opinion and I absolutely adored the artwork of the end credits. However, this teaser for the Netflix show coming this 2016, is stunning! Don't you think?! Nice touch on the musical accompaniment.


So tell me... what books are you watching?!