Book Review: Christmas By Accident #FestiveReads

christmasbyaccreview

Christmas By Accident // Camron Wright //  Sept 2018 // Shadow Mountain // Goodreads

Christmas By Accident is a quick, holiday read.

As you should know by now, I love a good light-hearted, festive read, the trashier, the better,  but this one almost lost me on so many occasions.

This is a classic boy meets girl at Christmas story. Abby loves Christmas and all the magic that it brings. Carter is your average Grinch and doesn’t see the point in any of it. When Abby gets in a car accident, Carter is the insurance assessor. He finds a picture of Abby in her written-off car and pockets it. Abby becomes the object of Carter’s affection and things trundle on from there.

I don’t know what it was about Carter, but he came across as a bit creepy and sad to me. I didn’t like the way he took Abby’s picture and kept secretly ogling her at work. I don’t know whether I was subconsciously picturing him as a slightly over-weight, sweaty, creepy guy because he worked in insurance (sorry, Insurance Guys!), but for some reason I was. Descriptions such as  “Carter squeezed from his chair” didn’t help.

I think it was mainly the descriptions that I had problems with, especially the way Carter described Abby as “slight of build” with a “princess chin”. I mean, 1. Cliché much, and 2. What the hell is a princess chin anyway? *rolls eyes*

It was really obvious to me that the author was male, and quite out-of-touch too. Don’t get me wrong, I think more men should write in the romance genre, but unfortunately this one wasn’t a shining example.

But all that being said, I stuck with it, and did eventually get invested in the story. In the end I’m kind of glad I didn’t give up; it actually ended up being quite sweet, if not slightly off in its tone.

unicorn rating 2

This Week in Books 28.11.18 #TWIB

TWIBHEADER

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next.

Happy Wednesday, Blog Friends! I hope you’re all having a good week so far.

Here’s what I’ve been reading…

twibbanner

 

NOW: This morning I started The Keeper of Lost Things  by Ruth Hogan for my work book group tomorrow. I’ve left it a bit late but hoping to get through at least half of it today. Luckily it’s started off well so shouldn’t be too much of a chore! 

THEN: Last night I finished Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright. It wasn’t the best Christmas book I’ve read and it almost lost me on so many occasions (which I’ll explain in my review), but in it the end it was just a bit better than OK.

 I also finished listening to the audio version of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, which I probably enjoyed more than reading the book (many years ago now). But I must say, I still prefer the film. Which I hardly ever say, HONEST!

NEXT: It’s still my intention to try How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen, but I’ve also downloaded another audiobook (they are perfect for my short journey into work). I’ve gone for Seven days of Us by Francesca Hornak. It’s another Christmassy one…soznotsoz.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and I’ll come take a look.

This Week in Books 21.11.2018 #TWIB

TWIBHEADER

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next.

Happy Wednesday, Blog Friends!

I missed last week for who knows what reason…life? Y’know.  But at least that means I have a good amount of books to share with you today. Hurrah!

As is tradition, the moment Halloween is over I start feeling festive, and I’ve started to pick up some trashy festive romance books. I use the word trashy in the best possible way! I love trash!

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

twibbanner

 

NOW:  I’ve just started Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright. Literally, just started, so nothing to report yet. 

I also started listening to the audio version of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I love the book, but it’s not a quick read, so I thought I’d give the audio a go. Enjoying it so far!

THEN: Last night I finished Starry Night by Debbie Macomber. According to Goodreads I’ve now read this book 3 times…really? I thought I’d only read it once, LOL. That does explain the lovely familiar feeling I got whilst reading it. It’s a quick, cute, romance set in Seattle and Alaska in which a journalist goes looking for a reclusive best-selling author. 

Before that, I finished The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. I loved reading about all the amazing indie bookshops throughout Britain and beyond. I now have a list of about a million places I need to visit though. 

NEXT:  I  might give How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen a go, although I have some reservations about it. I also need to read our book group book for work which is The Keeper of Lost Things  by Ruth Hogan.  Tough Job, innit! 😉

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and I’ll come take a look.

This Week in Books 07.11.18 #TWIB

TWIBHEADER

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

I got struck down with The Lurgh last week and had to have a day & 1/2 off work. Still feeling a bit ropey but on the mend. On the plus side, I got through quite a few books. Hurrah!

Here’s what I’ve been reading…

twibbanner

NOW:  So I’ve been on a bit of a books about books kick lately as you can see. They are all books that were mentioned in The Diary of a Bookseller, so I reserved them from the library. Obviously, they all came in at the same time.

The one I’m reading right now is The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. I’m about 60 pages in and already have a list of about 20 bookshops I need to visit before I die. Most of them are in Scotland. What a chore that will be…

THEN: The last one I finished was the culprit: The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. I loved it. It’s a great insight into running a bookshop, the trials and tribulations of working with the often strange general public, and all told with Bythell’s grumpy dark humour. I need to visit Wigtown right now!

The next one that came in was Jen Campbell’s Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops which is a super quick read of short anecdotes (I read it in about 20 mins). It was fun, and I can definitely relate from working in libraries (‘I’m looking for a book I saw the other day, but I can’t remember the title, or who it’s by. But it was green. Do you have it?). 

I need to stop reading these books because I’m becoming more and more obsessed with the idea of opening a bookshop. I have no money to open a bookshop. 

NEXT:  I really need to take a break from bookshop books. Maybe I’ll try Painless again which I didn’t really give a chance to last week

 

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and I’ll come take a look.

Top Films to Watch on Netflix UK This Halloween: Part 2. #HorrorOctober

HO18

If you missed part one of this post, you can check it out here

5. Malevolent (2018)

I watched this last night and was very pleasantly surprised. It was great! I didn’t expect it to be British either.

Florence Pugh in Malevolent (2018)Siblings Jackson and Angela run a profitable ghostbusting racket; swindling the bereaved with fake detection equipment and Angela’s paranormal ‘visions’. Hired to investigate a haunted old foster home, the team uncover its terrifying past: young girls brutally slaughtered, mouths stitched shut; silenced by a sadistic killer. And Angela’s on the edge – sleepless, strung out and losing her mind, no longer certain what’s actually real; convinced she hears the girls crying out to her from the darkness… But supernatural terrors are the least of their problems when they discover the very real evil lurking in the isolated house.

 

Director:  Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (as Olaf De Fleur)
Writers: Ben Ketai (screenplay by), Eva Konstantopoulos (screenplay by)
Stars: Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers

6. Family Blood (2018)

Family Blood is an interesting film as far as modern vampire movies go. They’ve sort of fallen out of fashion haven’t they!? I wouldn’t say this is an amazing film, but I enjoyed it. It’s a good one to watch if you’re not big on being scared but want to get in the Halloween mood.

Vinessa Shaw in Family Blood (2018)

Ellie, a recovering drug addict, has just moved to a new city with her two teenage children. She has struggled to stay sober in the past and is determined to make it work this time, finding a stable job and regularly attending her meetings. Unfortunately, new friends, a new job, and the chance of a new life, can’t keep Ellie from slipping once again. Her life changes when she meets Christopher – a different kind of addict – which forces her daughter and son to accept a new version of Ellie.

 

Director: Sonny Mallhi
Writers:
Nick Savvides, Sonny Mallhi
Stars:
Vinessa Shaw, James Ransone, Colin Ford

7. Cabin in the Woods (2012)

OK, so this probably featured on my list last year too, but it’s just so good!

The Cabin in the Woods Poster

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

 
Director: Drew Goddard

Writers: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard

Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison

8. From Beyond (1986)

80s movies are a guilty pleasure of mine. This is a bit of a cheat though because I don’t think I’ve actually seen it. It’s bound to be an all-out gore/laughter-fest though, right!?

From Beyond PosterA group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

 
Director: Stuart Gordon

Writers: H.P. Lovecraft (short story), Brian Yuzna (adaptation)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sore

9. Hostel (2005)

Hostel got quite a poor reception when it came out (at least here in the UK) but I loved it. Gore, organised crime, and lots and lots of torture. What’s not to like? I wouldn’t bother with the sequels though, if I were you. SAVE YOURSELVES.

Hostel PosterThree backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.

 
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth
Stars: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson

 

10. Carrie (1976)

An oldie but a goody! If you only watch one horror film this Halloween, then it may as well be a classic. I didn’t actually mind the remake either, but the original always wins out.

Carrie Poster

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

 

 
Director: Brian De Palma
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving

Happy Halloween Blog Friends!

This Week in Books- Horror October Edition #TWIB

TWIBHEADER

Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone, and perhaps more importantly, happy Halloween!

As you may have noticed, Horror October this year has been a tad sparse – soz. But I have read a few good books over the month.

Here’s what I got up to last week…

twibbanner

NOW: I’ve just started Painless by Marty Thornley so not much to report there. I’m also dipping in and out of a new collection of Frankenstein stories. Bit miss and miss so far. 

THEN: I finished Hark! the Herald Angels Screams a collection of Christmas themed, horror short stories, which I loved. 5 stars from me. My review is here. Before that I finished Kill Creek, and The Life we Bury, which wasn’t technically a horror, but certainly had dark elements. I’m yet to review that one. 

NEXT: After Painless, and the Frankenstein collection I’ll probably have a break and read something “nice”. 🙂

 

What have you been reading this week? Let me know in the comments below, or why not join in and publish a TWIB post of your own. Leave the link to your post and I’ll come take a look.

Horror October: Hark! The Herald Angels Scream #BookReview #ShortStoryAnthology

HO18

harkreview

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream // Christopher Golden (Editor) // October 23rd 2018 // Anchor Books // Goodreads

A collection of Christmas-themed horror stories!? What could be better! It’s like ordering two desserts. You know it’s in no way good for you, but you just want to do it anyway. 

You could be forgiven for dismissing this book based on the cover. It screams cheap and nasty, doesn’t it? But rest assured, the contents of this book are total class. There’s a mix of established horror/paranormal writers and some new names (well, to me anyway), and I was pleasantly surprised by every single one of them.

There’s a terrifying home invasion story to kick us off, a very, very, weird babysitter, a potty-mouthed robot dog and a haunted hotel room to name but a few story-lines, and they’re all fun and creepy in very different ways. 

The one that stood out the most to me was Love Me by Thomas E. Sniegoski – a writer that was new to me. It’s a creepy-ass tale about a desperate man who plans to rob an old pawn/antiques shop. When he breaks in, the lady who owns it and lives above, catches him in the act and invites him upstairs. Now, this isn’t quite the tale of revenge it seems to be. Without ruining it too much for you, it involves a stuffed toy, with teeth, who just wants to be loved. So wrong, but so good!

Usually when reading anthologies, I end up skipping some of the stories, and I fully expected to do that here too, but there honestly wasn’t a dud story amongst them, and each one made me want to finish it from the off. Golden has done a great job in selecting these. If you like horror, and you like (or hate, actually) Christmas, then this is the book for you!

I feel well and truly in the spirit now. I’m just not sure if it’s for Halloween or Christmas! Oh let’s face it, it’s both!!!

horroctrating-5