Sunday, September 30, 2018

New Releases 10/2/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

Priest of Bones by Peter McLean

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlaine

The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

The Spellbook of Katrina van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo

Devil's Day by Andrew Michael Hurley

The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

The Silver Scar by Betsy Dornbusch

Dracul by Dacre Stoker & J. D. Barker

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

The Truth About Martians by Melissa Savage

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Dry by Neil Shusterman & Jordan Shusterman

After the Fire by Will Hill

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

New on DVD:
The First Purge
The Catcher Was a Spy
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Leave No Trace

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Well there's definitely a fall bite to the air by now here in Colorado. I'm a true summer gal but fall does stand a very close second as my favorite season. In fact, I could do with just summer and fall year round - I hate winter and spring!

Fall makes me think of Halloween and high school football games - even though I'm not a fan of football, Friday nights spent in the stands with my bandmates and junk food concessions will probably forever hold a place in my heart. 

And while I love to read horror year round, fall demands it! And so I was super excited to find out that Katherine Arden, yes, The Bear and the Nightingale Katherine Arden, had written a middle grade ghost story!

Eleven-year-old Ollie is happiest spending her time between the pages of books. So when she stumbles upon a woman just about to toss a book into the river, Ollie decides she must save the tome. 

When she gets home, she dives in, discovering a story about two brothers who'd fallen in love with the same woman. One night, one of the brothers makes a deal with someone called the smiling man, a deal that would grant the brother's wish in exchange for a promise to be cashed in at a later date. 

In the middle of reading the book, Ollie and her school take a trip to a local farm that bears a marked resemblance to the one in Ollie's book. And when she finds a graveyard with tombstones matching the names of the people in her book, she begins to suspect the story might hold a little bit of truth. 

When the school bus breaks down leaving the farm, their teacher leaves to find help. The day grows darker and the bus driver issues an ominous warning that prompts Ollie and two others to leave the bus behind. But as they try to make their way back to the farm and possible help, the night and the things they've been warned against begin to close in...

Small Spaces is meant for middle grade readers, but that doesn't mean there wasn't enough for this adult to enjoy. I even got the occasional hair on end tingle as I was reading!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison + a Giveaway

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for J.T. Ellison's latest, Tear Me Apart.

Mindy Wright is at the top of her game. On the cusp of almost guaranteed placement on the Olympic team, though, an accident on the slopes leads to a broken leg and surgery. Which leads to a shocking discovery - Mindy has cancer. Aggressive treatment and a stem cell transplant are her best options, but her family aren't matches. Which isn't unusual. What is unusual is that Mindy and her parents have no matching DNA at all. 

Convinced there was a hospital screw up, Mindy's aunt, Juliet, has the test run again. There's no mistake. Biologically, Mindy isn't Juliet's niece. Determined to find out what's happening, Juliet insists on an investigation. Maybe Mindy the hospital made a terrible mistake. Maybe Mindy was switched at birth and maybe there are biological family members out there who can help. But Mindy's mother is insistent that Juliet stay out of it. And when she finally offers an explanation, it's one Juliet can't possibly believe is true. 

Now Juliet must decide, should she risk everything to try and find Mindy a match? Even when it might threaten her career and her family? Even when, as it starts to become clear, it might threaten her very life?

Any time I start a new J.T. Ellison title there's one thing I can be sure of: it's going to be great! And Tear Me Apart certainly maintains that winning streak. From page one, the reader is absolutely sucked into the story. Which is great because 4am insomnia calls for something that gripping!

Mindy is a seventeen-year-old wunderkind. A skier whose talent is without question. And after training hard her entire life, she's at the peak of fitness and her career. But an accident threatens all of that.

She and her parents are assured the break is clean - Mindy will ski again. But that's before they find cancer in her blood. Now her parents are worried she may not survive.

Which is why her aunt, a geneticist with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, is determined to do whatever she can to help. Mindy's only family outside of her parents, Juliet adores her niece and will do anything she can. And she's shocked when she finds out none of them is a DNA match, much less a donor match for the girl.

Juliet has the scientific know how and the resources to do something about it, but ethically her hands are tied when her sister refuses to give permission. Which is strange considering Juliet knows Mindy's mom would also do anything to save her daughter.

Interspersed throughout Mindy's story are chapters set right around Mindy's birth in 1993. Two girls - one voluntary and one not - in a psychiatric facility. How and why their story ties in becomes clearer as the book progresses, but Ellison holds her cards close, only truly revealing the big why, how, and who of the overall mystery until the very end.

And I loved every single page!

If you're a fan of truly great thrillers, you need to be reading J.T. Ellison. And this is a perfect place to start!

Now for the giveaway. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, October 8. Open US only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on J.T. Ellison and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Hester Fox's debut, The Witch of Willow Hall.

Lydia is just a girl when the power she holds first rears its head. And though she can't remember exactly what happened, she knows she's never to lose control again. 

Years later, it's not Lydia but her older sister who causes a stir. As a result, the family leaves Boston to live in New Oldbury, a mill town where their father has built a summer home that will now become their permanent residence. The area around their new house is rumored to be home to ghosts and goblins, rumors that pique Lydia's youngest sister's imagination. But there's no way around the fact that they've run to Willow Hall to escape scandal.

As time passes, it becomes clear there might be something to the rumors that surround the estate. And Lydia begins to find it harder and harder to hide what she is. 

The Witch of Willow Hall is a rich and atmospheric historical read. It's also one bound up in quite a bit of unexpected plot twists.

Fox does an excellent job building up the mystery around Lydia and Willow Hall as well as the scandal that forces her family out of Boston. As the story progresses, a hint of ominous dread grows stronger with each page.

The Witch of Willow Hall doesn't officially hit shelves until next Tuesday, so be on the lookout! 

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Hester Fox and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, September 23, 2018

New Releases 9/25/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Hippie by Paulo Coelho

The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Red War by Vince Flynn

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

The Agony House by Cherie Priest

Nightingale by Amy Lukavics

A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

New on DVD:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pre Pub Book Buzz: The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Way back in 2013 I had the chance to review Yangsze Choo's debut, The Ghost Bride. It was a phenomenal read and one of my favorite books. And now she finally has a new book due out!

Here's a bit about The Night Tiger from Goodreads:

When 11-year-old Ren's master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master's soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.

Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother's Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.

As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren's lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order

I fully expect this will be equally as fantastic is Choo's first outing and can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

The Night Tiger is due out in February from Flatiron Books.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Short Fiction Friday: Eight Ghosts by Rowan Routh - Repost

Hi, all! Last Christmas I received a fantastic collection of ghost stories printed in the UK as a fund raiser for English Heritage. Well, this week the US got their own edition and I wanted to go ahead and plug the book again for Stateside audiences!

Eight authors, eight spooky historic sites...

Imagine being given free reign of an historic and possibly haunted location in the English countryside. It's a horror fanatic's dream! It's also the basis for Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories, a collection put together by English Heritage, the organization responsible for preserving and caring for historical sites throughout England. Eight authors were chosen and each given access to a site of their choosing as inspiration for an original short ghost story to be included in the collection.

Here's the full TOC:
"They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Seek" by Sarah Perry - Audley End
"Mr Lanyard's Last Case" by Andrew Michael Hurley - Carlisle Castle
"The Bunker" by Mark Haddon - York Cold War Bunker
"Foreboding" by Kamila Shamsie - Kenilworth Castle
"Never Departed More" by Stuart Evers - Dover Castle
"The Wall" by Kate Clanchy - Housesteads Roman Fort
"As Strong as Death" by Jeanette Winterson - Pendennis Castle
"Mrs Charbury at Eltham" by Max Porter - Eltham Palace

I thought this was a truly fantastic collection of creepy tales! It's not often that I really love every story in an anthology like this, but in this case I really did.

Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent, and Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, offered up two of my hands down favorites, though. In the first, an art conservator is hired for a job that has terrifying results and in Haddon's tale, people are plagued by memories of another time.

The other tales range from chilling - Max Porter's entry about a woman revisiting the site of her sister's disappearance - to the heart wrenching - Kate Clanchy's tale of a family visit to Housesteads Roman Fort - and everything in between. There's an actress who takes method acting a bit too far in Stuart Evers's tale, a wedding that's crashed by a departed soldier in Jeanette Winterson's delightful tale, a security guard who didn't believe in ghosts before his latest posting in Kamila Shamsie's story, and a lawyer faced with terrifying visions of death in Andrew Michael Hurley's entry.

Trust me, each and every one is fabulous and fabulously eerie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

Kris made a name for herself in the 90s as part of Dürt Würk, a heavy metal band whose cult following had pushed them to the brink of success. But rather than finding fame, the band fell apart and it was lead singer Terry Hunt who ended up with all the glory. 

Twenty years later, Kris is barely squeaking by with a job at a crappy motel, a care that barely runs, and a house she's about to lose. And that's when she sees it - a billboard announcing Terry's return to the stage and an all our rocktastic final tour. It's the push Kris needs to finally do something. To finally confront Terry about what happened all those years ago. 

But Kris soon finds that some things are better left unknown. And some betrayals are far worse than you can ever imagine. 

Heavy metal and horror collide in this latest from Hendrix, a terrifying tale about how far one would go to make their dreams come true.

Grady Hendrix is not only an expert in analyzing the horror genre, he's proven himself an expert at writing it too. And yes, I do mean expert. Three books in and all three have hit my favorites list, that qualifies him in my mind.

I honestly wasn't sure when I dove into this one. Sure, Horrorstör was flat pack paradise of ghosts and My Best Friend's Exorcism thoroughly creeped me out while also appealing to my 80s obsessed nature, but heavy metal is most emphatically NOT my thing, so even I had some reservations in getting started with this latest. But given he hasn't let me down, I was excited none the less. And it was worth it!

Kris is in a dead end job, living in a house that's literally being sold out from under her. She really has no friends, no connections at all, and no direction. And part of that is thanks to the fact that she's been facing the fact that she had it all and was on the brink of a big music career, and lost everything. And the how of that particular storyline is part of the book but it's clear from the time that she sees Terry's billboard that she believes Terry is the cause of her downfall.

And thus begins her dark and horrific adventure!

This was a fabulous horror read, y'all. Super fun and super fast paced. Also, creepy as all get out! An instant favorite for any horror fan!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New Releases 9/18/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Guess Who by Chris McGeorge

I Know You Know by Gilly MacMillan

The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Eight Ghosts ed by Rowan Ruth

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hossein

Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Worldshaper by Edward Willett

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Legion by Brandon Sanderson\

What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Twice Dead by Caitlin Seal

New on DVD:
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Fahrenheit 451

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Stephen Giles's The Boy at the Keyhole.

It's been over sixteen weeks since Samuel's mother traveled to America to secure financing for the family business. Over 115 days since she left her nine-year-old son in the care of the family maid, Ruth. 

Samuel longs for his mother's return and lives for the infrequent postcards that make their way overseas and into his hands. And he tracks her travels with each new missive. But as the days continue to pass, the situation at home becomes stressed. Ruth's actions and attitude have become suspicious and Samuel begins to become convinced that maybe his mother isn't traveling at all. Maybe Ruth has done something. And maybe Samuel's mother is never coming home. 

The Boy at the Keyhole is a deliciously paced tale of psychological suspense.

The story plays out with an intentional slowness - as Samuel's suspicions begin and grow, the story becomes more ominous and the reader can't help but believe that Samuel may be onto something. May be. That doubt is always there considering the narrator is a nine year old and no adult perspective is given. But that what if drives the story in such a way that you just have to get to the end sooner rather than later to find out!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, September 9, 2018

New Releases 9/11/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Lies by T.M. Logan

The Devil's Wind by Steve Goble

#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar

State Tectonics by Malka Older

The Late Great Wizard by Sara Hanover

A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit by Amy Stewart

The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Rule by Ellen Goodlett

New on DVD:
Ocean's 8

Friday, September 7, 2018

When the Lights Go Out By Mary Kubica

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Mary Kubica's latest, When the Lights Go Out.

Jessie Sloan's mother has died. She'd been sick for years, so long that Jessie had spent the latter part of high school and all of her adult life so far helping to care for her, putting her own plans on hold. But now it's time to move on. Time to get a place of her own (she can't bear to be in her home without her mother) and time to start thinking about her future. 

But when the college she's applied to calls to tell her that there's a problem with her social security information, Jessie's plans come to a screeching halt. Her attempts to clear up the matter only result in more questions, leaving her in a position where she must question everything she knows about her mother and her own past. But as she tries to unravel the mystery behind her own identity, insomnia sets in. And Jessie knows that she can only go so long without sleep. 

I've long heard that Mary Kubica was an author I needed to add to my reading plans. Unfortunately I think maybe this wasn't the best book for me to start with.

The book begins with Jessie's mother dying in the hospital. And Jessie has refused to sleep in case she missed her mother's final moments. But even in the wake of her mother's death, she still fights against sleep or flat out can't sleep at all.

She moves into a new apartment where she swears she hears things in the middle of the night, leaving her on guard. And then there's the problem with her school registration. Jessie never had a bank account and her job pays her in cash under the table, so she's never faced any issue associated with her social security number. But without her mom there to ask, it's left to her to figure it out. Her first step is to request her own birth certificate but apparently that's not possible either because she has so little information about herself, including her own father's identity.

With no family left and no one to turn to, Jessie's task is already a difficult one. But the lack of sleep makes everything so much more complicated.

Jessie's story is intriguing. And the insomnia aspects in particular appealed to me considering I'm a long time sufferer myself and can empathize with what she's going through. And her chapters alternate with a second story, that of a woman so desperate to have a child that she'd do anything.

The parallels between the two women in the story and their desperation are the driving force of the story, but the ultimate twist at the end was, to be honest, a let down. It's one I've seen too many times and one I've complained about almost as many times as I've seen it. I won't say what it is because I realize it's a personal opinion and I definitely don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but I was rolling along just fine and enjoying When the Lights Go Out until it was revealed. Which is a shame because for 95% of the book I could see exactly why so many people are fans of Kubica's work.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Mary Kubica and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Sarah Pinborough's latest, Cross Her Heart.

Lisa worries about her daughter too much. She knows this, but it's something she can't really help. Ava is sixteen, almost done with school, and needs her independence. Lisa tries not to be too clingy, tries to let Ava be the almost adult she is, tries to trust her daughter. But Lisa has a secret. A reason she worries so very much about Ava and everything else. A reason she keeps to herself. Something she won't even tell her one and only friend. And one day, Lisa is sure that secret is going to come out. 

Ooh, each new Sarah Pinborough release is a treat! A dark and nasty little treat, to be sure, but a treat nonetheless.

Even after reading her for all these years, I'm never quite sure where she's going to take a story. This latest, is a perfect example. It begins innocuously enough - Lisa is a single mom trying her best to take care of her teenage daughter, Ava. Ava wants independence and is starting to get annoyed by her mother's clinginess. And Lisa's friend, Marilyn, wants Lisa to finally begin to live her life a little. Which is why she encourages Lisa when a client begins to show romantic interest.

Seems normal enough, right?

But shortly after the story begins, Lisa's facade reveals cracks the reader can't help but suspect are coming. She's worried about new cars on her street, she pays a little too much attention to the people and details around her.

I mean really, if you've read Pinborough at all then you know nothing is ever innocuous with her. The expectation that something is coming just around the corner is what I enjoy most about reading her books. And this one is dark - darker perhaps than any of the others I've read by her before.

Pinborough is a fabulous author and I'm so glad that she's finally getting the attention she's been due here in the US. Any fan of dark thrillers should be running to their local bookstore to get their hands on this one!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Sarah Pinborough and her work you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers

After her sister was murdered and the police didn't catch the killer, Sadie decided it was time for her to take charge. See, she knew who killed Mattie. She knew exactly who was responsible. And she knew the kind of monster he was too. But that didn't matter, because she was going to make him pay.

A year later, Sadie's all but official guardian has contacted West McCray, the host of a radio show that once featured Sadie's hometown as part of a feature on America's forgotten towns. She knows that something is wrong, that Sadie didn't just run away, and she want's West's help to find her. The investigation kicks off a new podcast called "The Girls," but West has his doubts from the start. Sadie's car was found with all of her possessions still inside and no trace of the girl has been found otherwise. Surely if Sadie wanted to be found, she would have been by now?

Sadie is a dark read - really dark, so if you're a reader who needs trigger warnings, this one comes with a whole slew!

The book takes place in two separate timelines. As mentioned, when West begins his podcast, Sadie has already been missing for quite some time. But Sadie's story begins when she sets off to track down her sister's murderer.

It was an interesting set up. Given that the podcast is set later and Sadie is still missing, the reader does start the book with a sense of dread that only grows as the story continues. What happened to Sadie? Even as her story moves forward, that question nags at the back of your mind!

Sadie is one of the most talked about books of the season and I can easily see why now. It's a book that really straddles the line between YA and adult, with plenty to appeal to both audiences. Plus, as mentioned, it's super dark!

This was one of my latest audio listens and I have to tell you, it was a whole production! Each character was a different voice actor, there were sound effects, there was music. I'm not kidding, a whole production!

Sadie is out today and if you're a fan of dark and twisted, you're going to want to pick this one up!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

New Releases 9/4/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

The Lost Queen by Singe Pike

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen

In Her Bones by Kate Moretti

The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride

Foe by Iain Reid

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

Worlds Seen In Passing: 10 Years of Tor.com Short Fiction ed by Irene Gallo

The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, & Kate White

Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

Sadie by Courtney Summers

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

24 Hours In Nowhere by Dusti Bowling

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter

New on DVD:
Won't You Be My Neighbor