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!

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!

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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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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.

This Week in Books 16.05.18 #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. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. I missed last week due to that b*****d REAL LIFE. I know, I sound like a stuck record, but reading time is teeny at the moment and it’s kind of like the less you work the less you want to work but in reading form, y’know.

Anyway, I did manage to finish one book. It was a Quick Read but STILL A BOOK 😉 …

Now

 

Final Draft ~ Riley Redgate

I’m enjoying this easy, contemporary read which has a big heart and diverse characters. Looking forward to finishing it (hopefully tonight), because I only have about 60 pages to go and I put it down just after something major happened!!

finaldraftThe only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
 
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

Then

 

Clean Break ~ Tammy Cohen

I think this has been my favourite of the 2018 QRs so far. I didn’t want to put it down!

 

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate.

Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years.

Kate knows it’s time for a divorce.

The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate.

Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

Next…?

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Maybe Leah on the Off Beat because I just bought it, but I might need something different from a YA Contemporary read…so who knows!

 

 

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look.

This Week in Books 02.05.18 #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. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Now

Clean Break ~ Tammy Cohen

I picked this up as a lunch-time read and I’m enjoying it so far. I was really sad the hear that the funding for Quick Reads has been withdrawn, they are a great way to entice reluctant adult readers. It’s a huge shame.

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Marriage is complicated, especially for Kate.

Her husband Jack has a temper on him, and has been an absent father for years.

Kate knows it’s time for a divorce.

The trouble is, Jack refuses. And now that he has found out Kate has met another man, his jealous rages escalate.

Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it’s too late?

Then

 

Mother of Eden ~ Chris Beckett

This was a great sequel to Dark Eden. It an imaginative, and scary version of a future ‘after earth’. Highly recommended!

mothereden“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power.”

Civilization has come to the alien, sunless planet its inhabitants call Eden.

Just a few generations ago, the planet’s five hundred inhabitants huddled together in the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees, afraid to venture out into the cold darkness around them.

Now, humanity has spread across Eden, and two kingdoms have emerged. Both are sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favored children of Gela, the woman who came to Eden long ago on a boat that could cross the stars, and became the mother of them all.
When young Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no inkling that she will become a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s fabled ring on her own finger—or that in this role, powerful and powerless all at once, she will try to change the course of Eden’s history.

 

Next…?

 

Definitely Final Draft by Riley Redgate.

I probably would have started this by the time this post publishes. I hope so, anyway. It sounds great!

finaldraftThe only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
 
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

 

 

What have you been reading this week? Leave a comment/link and I’ll do my best to take a look.

Reading Round-up: March/April 2018, part 2 #minibookreviews

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I’ve been pretty rubbish at posting reviews lately. I unfortunately don’t have the time (or the motivation) at the moment. I would, however, like to share a few thoughts on some of my recent reads…

 

Anything You Do Say ~ Gillian McAllister

I had heard nothing but good things about Gillian McAllister’s thrillers, and this one was my first. I was absolutely captivated from the very first page. It’s a simple concept which begs the question what you would do if you critically hurt someone by accident? Would you try to help them and turn yourself in? Or would you leave them for dead and hope it’s never traced back to you?

It’s such a tragic dilemma, and I couldn’t stop reading. What I loved the most about it was that there’s no easy answer, and no simple outcome. Both versions of the story are fraught with grief, loss and terror, but show that the human spirit can survive more than you may think.

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The Language of Thorns ~ Leigh Bardugo

This book is so beautiful, I almost didn’t care what was inside! But of course, I did a little. This is a collection of fairy tales from the Grisha world created by Bardugo in her Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology. To write a collection of fairy tales and myths that her characters may have heard as children like we’ve heard variations of Grimm’s and Andersen’s just shows how vast and complete Bardugo’s world building is, and for this alone I was impressed.

However, I wasn’t as impressed by the stories as I was the concept. A couple of them were fun, and compelling but the rest fell flat for me. Thankfully, the stunning illustrations, and beautiful cover (in hardback) more than made up for it. I think it’s a book you’ll want to keep on your shelves to look at, rather than reread.

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Have you read either of these? Let me know what you thought?