Welcome to Horror October 2018 #HO18

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Welcome to Horror October

If you’ve followed my blog for some time, you’ll know that I do a Horror themed month each October with lots of special posts and interviews, all culminating in a Flash Fiction battle between some great independent horror writers.

Sadly, due to other commitments I haven’t got time to do that this year, but I will of course still be celebrating everything I love about horror this month. I have a list of great-looking books to (try and) read.

Here’s what to expect… 

Kill Creek // Scott Thomas // Oct 2017 // Inkshares // Goodreads

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests.

When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror.

But what begins as a simple publicity stunt soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein // Various // Oct 16th 2018 // Abaddon // Goodreads

A new anthology bringing together five great new and established writers to explore the world of Mary Shelley’s all-time classic, Frankenstein

“My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.” 

Victor Frankenstein was the first to unlock the key to life, but he would not be the last. Through two centuries of scientific enquiry and relentless advancement, five more minds found the secret, and five more creatures were made. Five more stories ended in tragedy.

From the 1840s to the modern day, from the race to publish the first anatomy to the desperate search for weapons to win the Second World War, telling the stories of the creatures that never were.

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream // Various //  Oct 23rd 2018 // Anchor Books // Goodreads

Eighteen stories of Christmas horror from bestselling, acclaimed authors including Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Josh Malerman, Michael Koryta, Sarah Pinborough, and many more.

That there is darkness at the heart of the Yuletide season should not surprise. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is filled with scenes that are unsettling. Marley untying the bandage that holds his jaws together. The hideous children–Want and Ignorance–beneath the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The heavy ledgers Marley drags by his chains. In the finest versions of this story, the best parts are the terrifying parts.

Bestselling author and editor Christopher Golden shares his love for Christmas horror stories with this anthology of all-new short fiction from some of the most talented and original writers of horror today.

Painless // Marty Thornley //  Jan 2018 // CreateSpace // Goodreads

The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong. 

For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.

The Life We Bury // Allen Eskens // Oct 2014 // Seventh St Books // Goodreads

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valour in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his sceptical female neighbour, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Do you fancy any of these? Or maybe you’ve already read them, let me know in the comments!

Happy Horror October 2018! #HO18

It’s that time of the year again, Folks. I’ll be sure to let you know what I have planned for this year’s Horror October in the next few days or so, but for now I’ll leave you with this…

Credit to Goodreads.

My nightmare is Toxic Clown under your bed. It couldn’t be more accurate. EEK!

What’s yours?

 

This Week in Books 26.09.18 #TWIB

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

It’s that time of the week again. I’ve had a busy but good week so far; not too bad reading wise either. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

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NOW:  I’ve literally JUST finished  I Do Not Trust You (see below) so I’m technically not reading anything, but will be starting Kill Creek by Scott Thomas later today.

THEN: I Do Not Trust You was great! It’s a YA adventure/action/fantasy about a ridiculously smart archaeology enthusiast who has to team up with a worshipper of the god Horus to save her father and stop the god Set rising again. It’s not as far fetched as it sounds, and the detailed mythology in it really appealed to me. My review will be up soon. 

NEXT: After Kill Creek I actually don’t know but it will be another horror because it’s almost October already (howwwww)!!

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This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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The Disasters // M.K England //  December 18th 2018 // HarperCollins // Goodreads

 

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.

Recent Reads: Sept 18, Part 1 #BookReviews

 

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Here are some thoughts on my recently read books – yes, I’m very behind!

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Midwinterblood // Marcus Sedgwick // October 2011 // Indigo // Goodreads

I’m a huge fan of Marcus Sedgwick. He’s written some of my favourite books (My Swordhand is Singing; Blood Red, Snow White; She is Not Invisible), and I’ve been slowly working my way through his back-catalogue. Midwinterblood had been on my list for a while and I’m pleased I finally got round to it.

It’s an odd book, and I mean that in the best way. It’s one of those books that’s like reading a dream. It explores the theme of soulmates in that deliciously dark tone that you’d recognise in Sedgwick’s early novels if you’ve read any. It’s mysterious and tantalising, in that as you encounter the several versions of the protagonist, the truth feels like an unobtainable thing. I found that this forced me to keep reading, but in some ways made me want to give up too.

The setting helped too. I wonder if Sedgwick had Fair Isle in mind as that’s all I could think of as I was reading which made it all the more mesmerising. 

I can’t say Midwinterblood is gripping in the normal way a thriller or mystery book is, but its strangeness made it impossible for me to stop reading. 

unicorn rating 4

 

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My Name is Leon // Kit De Waal // April 2017 // Penguin Books // Goodreads

I heard Kit De Waal talk at an event long before I picked up this book. She is a truly inspiring woman, so it’s no surprise that this novel, her first, was nominated for various awards. 

My Name is Leon what I class as a quiet novel. It’s a small story making a big point, but it’s not throwing that point down your throat. I think it was a great idea to set Leon’s story in the 80s. It highlights the mindset of that decade and lets us contrast it with today. Are we backtracking to that time in terms of equality and race relations? Would mixed-race Leon have had the same opportunities as his white brother today? Maybe.

The whole of this novel is written from nine-year-old Leon’s POV which can’t be easy, but De Waal does an excellent job. Leon can’t quite make sense of what is happening and he often misinterprets things and lashes out. It must have been tempting for De Waal to explain or rationalise Leon’s behaviour at times, but she does it perfectly and sensitively through his actions alone.

I didn’t find this a mind-blowing novel by any means, but I definitely enjoyed its big heart.  

unicorn rating 4

 

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Ink and Bone // Rachel Caine // The Great Library #1 // July 2015 //  Allison & Busby // Goodreads

This series is a book-lovers dream. Rachel Caine is most well known for her Morganville Vampires series, so this is quite a departure for her.

Ink and Bone introduces us to a world where owning physical books is illegal. All books,  are contained by The Great Library, and therefore knowledge within those books is strictly governed. Protagonist Jess is a book runner – buying and selling books on the black market, but when he gets the opportunity to try-out as an apprentice for the Great Library, he learns just how corrupt the whole system is. 

Books, magic, adventure, danger, a dash of romance…whats not to like!?

I enjoyed this book. Sometimes I felt that Caine had maybe bitten off more than she could chew as the world and plot got a bit lost to me at times, but she always managed to pull it back into a believable world. I liked the mix of characters, especially the professors who were ruthless, but their humanity shone though when it need to. A fun, YA read. 

unicorn rating 4

 

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Cinderella Boy // Kristina Meister // July 2018 //  Triton // Goodreads

I knew I’d enjoy Cinderella Boy but I didn’t expect to not be able to put it down. I read it in one sitting on a lazy Sunday afternoon – I’ve not done that for a long, long time!

Cinderella Boy is a true coming-of-age tale. We follow Declan on his journey of self-discovery. From angst and torment to confidence and peace, it’s the story of a shy geeky kid exploring his gender-fluidity and becoming free from his anxieties.

I absolutely adored Declan. He had that great mix of vulnerability and strength, and I loved that although he was scared of being different and how people would react if they knew he was living as Layla as well as Declan, he knew that being both genders is who he is, and only by being himself would he be happy. It helped that he managed to bag a hot guy as both Layla and Declan.

This book wasn’t perfect, of course. I found it quite hard to believe that no one could tell that Layla was Declan…I mean just how good was that make up? It was also a little predictable at times, but it didn’t matter. It’s a wonderful, diverse story, a great romance, and the pages just seemed to turn themselves!

 

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Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!

This Week in Books 19.09.18 #TWIB

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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 hope you’re all having a good week so far. Mine is going well, I had Monday off work to go to Brighton for the day, which was fun but I got sunburn. 😦 I’m well and truly ready to say goodbye to Summer. Do one, Summer! My vampire complexion can’t take it anymore!

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NOW:  I just started  I Do Not Trust You by Burns & Metz. Not much to report yet but I’m hoping it’ll be good. I’m also listening to Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell, which is holding my interest but seems unnecessarily long. 8 hours and counting!

THEN: I finished the amazing Circe by Madeline Miller. Ahh so good. I’m really pleased it wasn’t a letdown.

NEXT: Probably Kill Creek by Scott Thomas. This will be my first read for Horror October, my annual blog celebration of horror and Halloween. I won’t be doing as many events as in previous years, but I have some great books lined up to feature throughout the month so watch this space. 

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This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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How to Fracture a Fairy Tale // Jane Yolen//  November 5th 2018 // Tachyon Publication//  Goodreads

I find modern twists on fairy tales very hit and miss but this one has caught my eye. I’m looking forward to giving it a try. 

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 12.09.18 #TWIB

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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 hope you’re all having a good week so far. I’ve struggled for reading time again, but I have some great books to share with you regardless.

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NOW:  I finally started long-anticipated Circe, by Madeline Miller. It’s her follow-up release from the stunning debut that was The Song of Achilles. I’m about a half way through and it’s certainly not disappointing so far. 

THEN: The last book I completely finished was Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister, which I loved and read in one sitting, but still haven’t reviewed. I will soon! I also gave up on The Raven Boys audio-book. Soz, it was just too much for me!

NEXT: Probably I Do Not Trust You by Burns & Metz. The synopsis didn’t grab me but I adored their last collaboration Sanctuary Bay so I’m hoping it’ll be better than it sounds. 

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This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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A House of Ghosts // W.C Ryan //  October 4th 2018 // Zaffre //  Goodreads

Is it Autumn yet? When can I start hibernating and reading creepy books in the dark? WHEN!?

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.

Other posts you may like to check out:

Sanctuary Bay Review

The Song of Achilles Review

This Week in Books 05.09.18 #TWIB

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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 skipped last week’s post so I’ve got lots of books to share with you today!

Last week I dipped in and out of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, which was a fascinating and powerful read, but not one that I could read a lot of at a time, so it took me a while to get through. I made up for that at the weekend though by reading a book (Cinderella Boy) in one day because IJUSTCOULDN’TPUTITDOWN. I also continued my journey into audiobook land, with mixed results!

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NOW:  I’ve been listening to The Raven Boys all week, which is a book that’s been on my TBR list for a long time. It started off OK, but I’m not sure if I’ll finish it. The narrator is fine, if not a little over the top sometimes, but every time I listen to it I seem to drift off and not pay attention. I’ll give it one last go when I’m out walking today; seems a shame to stop at the 60% mark.

I’m also reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie for my library’s book group tomorrow. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet (oops!). Home Fire won the Women’s Fiction Prize this year and is Longlisted for the Man Booker so I’m interested to see what the group make of it.

THEN: The last book I finished was Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister, which I loved and read in one sitting! It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an addictive YA read!

Before that, I finished Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and the audio-book of Ginny Moon, which were both great. 

NEXT: Definitely Circe, the long awaited second historical novel by Madeline Miller. Gah can’t wait. Hoping to start it later today. Her debut The Song of Achilles blew me away!

WoW

This meme was originally started by Breaking the Spine. It’s where we choose one upcoming release that we just can’t wait for!

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Archenemies // Marissa Meyer // Renegades #2 // November 6th 2018 // Feiwel & Friends //  Goodreads

The first book was great, so looking forward to this one.

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.