Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Frayed Web by Jon Ripslinger


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

in twenty years by Allison Winn Scotch


Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

20 years ago they were the 6 pointed star, 6 best friends sharing a house, and their hopes and dreams for the future. When Bea passed away, the remaining 5 drifted apart. Now reunited for the first time in more than a decade they must come to grips with the fact that life is what you make it and perhaps come to grips with the fact that if you get the things you think you wanted in your 20s it may not the perfect reality you envisioned.
4 out of 5 stars from me for this engaging summer read.
I received a complimentary copy for review.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sleep Paralysis A Collection by Patrick Lacey


Sleep paralysis: A transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, accompanied by powerful hallucinations and muscle weakness, preventing one from moving.

A website that specializes in suffering. A basement filled with secrets and bones. An apartment housing much more than just ghosts. These are the places between reality and the unknown. These are the stories that stay with you long after you've read them. These are the things that visit your dreams. And nightmares.

240 pages
Expected publication: July 2016 by Great Old Ones Publishing

This is a collection of 18 dark tales that manage to horrify and delight at the same time. While poking sarcastic fun at everything from  reality TV to those annoying telemarketer calls, the author never loses his grip on the good old fashioned creep out factor.
I enjoyed every story and I don't want to spoil any of them for you. My absolute favorites were the following...
 "Pen Pals" in which letters written by a 3rd grader travel much further than any postman delivers.
"Drowning In Filth" A popular host of a hoarders type TV show gets more than she bargained for when she is called to Amanda Cunningham's house.
"Lost And Found" in which a boy with a speech impediment finds his voice.. sort of.
"Send Your End" Was creepy as hell! Perhaps a cautionary tale of internet addiction.
In "Lynnwood Vampires" a father is concerned about the influence his daughter's new boyfriend is having over her.
In "Norton" a newly separated single father regrets letting his daughter bring home a stuffed animal.
"Cold Call" is the story of a woman having a devil of a time with harassing phone calls.

"Bad Egg" is about Laura, a woman who is heartbroken over her inability to conceive a child.
"Last Words" After the death of his father a man discovers some long hidden secrets.
"Lost Things" Henry, a homeless man finds a new purpose in life.
"The Boss" will make you think twice about complaining next time the local fast food place screws up your order. If they offer to fix it just let them.
"Mrs. Alto's Garden"  Kristen meets her new neighbor and learns some gardening tips that they don't teach you in home and garden magazines.
5 out of 5 stars from me

I received an advance copy for review.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

"Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief. Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn’t come easy. Someone—or something—has other plans.
Like Aaron, Holbrook House is but a shell of what it once was, a target for vandals and ghost hunters who have nicknamed it “the devil’s den.” Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal—at least, not until a strange boy begins following him wherever he goes. Plagued by violent dreams and disturbing visions, Aaron begins to wonder if he’s losing his mind. But a festering darkness lurks at the heart of Holbrook House…a darkness that grins from within the shadows, delighting in Aaron’s sorrow, biding its time."

The beginning of this book was quite intense and had me hooked right away. Aaron never knew his parents. He was raised by his aunt until the horrible day he lost her. At that time he was whisked away from his friends, and his childhood girlfriend never to return or contact them again...until another tragedy sends him home to Holbrook house. Aaron is in a terrible state of mind, and the fact that his childhood home is now considered the local haunted house by the towns people doesn't help matters any. He really is not a believer in ghosts or hauntings, but something has been waiting a very long time for Aaron to come home. I enjoyed this book though I can't say it blew me away like the previous work I read by this author "Brother" 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ink And Bone by Lisa Unger


Ink and BoneInk and Bone by Lisa Unger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the beginning, and was sure this was going to be a real page turner, but the pace was too slow for my taste. Finley was the only character that I really liked, probably due to her "gifts." I enjoyed the supernatural/paranormal elements of the story but there weren't enough thrills for me to consider this a thriller.

I received a complimentary copy for review

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dead Ends: The Pursuit, Conviction, and Execution of Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos by Joseph Michael Reynolds


Friday, June 17, 2016

The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

They call it Wanderer's Folly--a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he's bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he's on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they're running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road.

The next time I hear an ice cream truck any running I do may be away from it and not towards it..
This was my first time reading anything by Ronald Malfi. I wasn't quite sure from the description whether The Night Parade would be a thriller, or a horror novel. It was both, and it was more. When the story begins, something horrible has already happened. We don't know the details yet, we know only that David is on the run, and trying to keep his daughter safe. Slowly, as they continue their journey to where David hopes to find a safe place to hide, we are told through flashbacks of the terrifying events that left him a widower. Grief stricken but with no time to mourn his loss David sets out to protect his daughter at all costs. Ronald Malfi's writing is crisp and clean, and crackles off the page and into your brain. 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I received an advance copy for review.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Flu by Wayne Simmons/ Michael Kramer (Narrator)

There's a nasty flu going round. An epidemic, they call it. The posters say to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and throw away the tissue. But such simple measures won't stop this flu. Because when you catch the flu, armed police come and lock you in your house to die alone. When you catch this flu, it kills you in days. And when you catch this flu, two hours after it's killed you, your eyelids snap open again . . . Flu is a pacey, terrifying, frighteningly real zombie horror story.

I'm a huge fan of all things zombie related so I was quite excited to get a copy of Flu.
I did like the premise of this deadly virus that zombifies you shortly after death. I listened to the audio version and while it was convenient to be able to listen to the story while I puttered around the house I think I may have enjoyed it better without the narration.

I received a complimentary audio file for review

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch