C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

C.H.B. ARC Review: “The Rattled Bones” By S.M. Parker

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Title: The Rattled Bones
Author: S.M. Parker
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse


Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley and Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way.

 

Goodreads Description

“Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.

Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.

Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.

As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.”

My Review

This story is one filled with self-discovery, mystery, ghosts, and beautiful imagery. This is a for sure read to add to your October reads or even start reading it now. S.M. Parker has presented us with a tale unlike once you’d see under the YA Thriller category, but it makes it’s mark within your mind and in the genre.

Rilla Brae newly inherited her father’s lobster fishing business after his untimely death, and its seeking to discover what her purpose truly is in this life. Being raised on the sea, she was told never to trust it when it appears quiet. It proves true as she is led astray to the mysterious Malaga Island by an abandoned wooden boat and an eerie song floating across the sea to her. The Island is shrouded in the old tale where it’s inhabitants mysteriously disappeared. what happened to the inhabitants and why is Rilla drawn to it?

Highly recommend this read! Grab a blanket, cup of tea, and lock your doors – it’ll leave you with chills and grasping the pages for more.

 

Rating 10

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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5 Halloween/Scary Audio Tales Friday!

5 Halloween/Scary Audio Tales Friday!

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Hi Everyone!

 

I wanted to try something new this Friday and try to do it on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been delving deep down a rabbit hole of old/classic spooky tales and old suspense radio shows via YouTube. Since October is coming and I consider September the “Warm-up” month to Halloween, I thought I may share some of my findings that you may enjoy and add to your Watchlist or Halloween Tales Playlists!

 

Tale #1: “Nupital Doom – The Bride in the Attic (The Haunted Mansion Tale)” As Told By Kat Cressida

 

 

For those who love the HAUNTED MANSION at the world-wide Disney parks, there was an official tale spawned by the original Haunted Mansion in Disney World that was finally recorded. I came across this last month and I bookmarked it to add it to a series of Halloween stories to re-listen too come October. The story is hauntingly beautiful and gives the ride a more dark view. My only negative is narrator Kat Cressida’s constant pauses and loud intakes of breath. Otherwise it is a perfect Halloween audio story to sink your teeth into!

 

Tale #2: “Tales of Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins (1972)” As Told By Vincent Price

 

 

If you are familiar with the legendary Vincent Price, I need to go further. If you do not, he was one of the most memorable actors in horror films in the 60s/70s. He was not only a film actor, however, but famous in his portrayals in Shakespearean theater, masterful storyteller, and art collector.  His voice is one you cannot forget nor run away from when you hear his tales of betrayal, spooks, and mayhem. Have a listen and explore the other tales Vincent Price brings to life!

Tale #3: “Till Death Do Us Part” Portrayed by the classic radio show – The Sealed Book

 

 

I originally found this episode when I was in high school. The radio actors transport you back to a time where you didn’t need horror movies to send chills up your back. The Sealed Book is a brilliantly crafted Suspense radio show that not even The Twilight Zone episodes can touch!

 

Tale #4: “Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula (1981)” Broadcasted on BBC radio

 

 

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like if Sherlock Holmes and Dracula went head-to-head? Move over, fanfiction, here is the story of a lifetime!

Tale #5: “Tower of Terror Last Ride” Performed by CZsWorld – Al Dente Creepypasta

 

 

Last tale to wrap up the week….back to Disney. I stumbled across this two days ago and I have to say it is amazing and gave me the chills! If you never rode the Tower of Terror in Disney World before it closed, listen to this, it will give you a different perspective on the ride. For those who had the honor and pleasure – enjoy!

 

Let me know if you enjoy any of these and don’t forget to share them!

Do you have any classic horror audio tales you enjoy listening to?

Also let me know in the comments below and I will share them next week!

 

Happy Reading (Listening)!

~C.C.

C.H.B. Reviews: Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Book #1 – “The Mummy” Review

C.H.B. Reviews: Anne Rice Read-a-Thon Book #1 – “The Mummy” Review

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Title: The Mummy or Ramses of the Damned
Author: Anne Rice
Release Date: May 6, 1989
Total of Pages: 398
Publisher: Bellatine Books

*****

Goodreads Description

“Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.”

My Review

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For those who missed last week’s post, you can check it out here. Last week I announced that I would be conducting a Anne Rice book Read-a-Thon in honor of the long-awaited sequel to her novel The Mummywhich is to be released this November. I was contacted with the opportunity to read this before the release, but decided to first re-read The Mummy to refresh along with reading the first books of her other well-acclaimed series including The Vampire ChroniclesThe Mayfair Witches, and The Wolf Gift.

If you haven’t added me on Goodreads to follow me on my Read-a-Thon journey, you can send me a request here! You can never have too many friends on Goodreads and I love seeing what you all are also reading and your reviews.

The Mummy transports us back to what is called the “Edwardian London” period which is loosely the years among 1901 to 1910. If you’ve seen the original Universal “Mummy” films, they are mostly based during that time due to the archaeological digs that took place in Egypt around that time. The mysteries behind Egypt were on their way to be unlocked and released to the “modern” world.

Lawrence Stratford, renowned archeologist, embarks on an expedition that leaves him murdered, a daughter grieving, his company left to his brother and gambler nephew, and known for finding the mysterious tomb of Ramses the Great. How was he murdered? The papers say it was the mummy. But, in reality, he was poisoned by his nephew, Henry, after Lawrence denied to sign papers for more money to go to Henry.

tumblr_oodilhnNWa1utox96o1_500.gifThinking he could escape his sin, Henry feels the eyes of the mummy watching him. The story begins to pick up the pace from there as Henry begins to sink into his own madness. The moment Ramses fully awakes and stops Henry from attempting to murder his cousin Julie, Henry runs away in fear, screaming about the mummy almost killing him.

I admire Anne Rice for how much work she put into the novel and her research on the background of Cleopatra and Ramses. Ramses character is one of sadness for the loss of time due to him putting himself to sleep after the death of his love Cleopatra. But Ramses is also a character filled with revenge for Lawrence’s daughter, Julie. He set his sights on making it right and begins his plot for revenge….

For those who love the classic Mummy tale, take a look at this book! I’m completely ready to read the sequel and can’t wait to share it with you the Passion of Cleopatra!

 

Rating 9

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Quick Review: “A Court of Thorns and Roses” By Sara J. Maas

Quick Review: “A Court of Thorns and Roses” By Sara J. Maas

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**Disclaimer – This is a large fan base, we each have an opinion. I respect everyone for their opinion and I apologize in advance for any hurt feelings. Remember, this is only my opinion.**

 

Hi Everyone!

Long time, no see! Been on vacation and working non-stop while trying to read as many books as possible toward my Summer Reading Goals this year. One of which, was diving into the world of fairy tale re-tellings. I first read Spelled by Betsy Schow which you can check out my review here. Next on the list was the popular Beauty and the Beast retelling by Sarah J. Maas entitled “A Court of Thorns and Roses“.

I’m not going to go extremely deep in detail since this series is very well-known and the latest installment had recently been released. I will admit some of the material lived up to it’s hype, but I have issues with this book. First of all, many readers are under the misconception that this is a Young Adult book as well as it is labeled that way in the library system. However after doing a little digging, I discovered this series is in fact not Young Adult but New Adult. It is shelved that way due to Sarah J. Maas’s past experience with the genre. So if you read this and thought the sex scenes were out of line for a YA novel, rest assured it was not intended for it.

Another issue I had was the pacing. It moved extremely slow for about 1/3 of the books, making it close to being a DNF for me. Then there was the main character, Feyre. And the ending with the main character Feyre not understanding the obvious answer to the villain’s riddle made me throw the book across the room. And the fact the villain gave the answer away before “the great reveal” and it went over Feyre’s head! Her guilt at the end of the book was only to create an plot point for the next book to attempt to fix that was really unnecessary.

To be honest, I do not like Feyre. Seriously, Feyre is a complete dolt 55% of the time throughout this book, it made me want to shake her! I’m getting tired of main characters like her for not listening and putting themselves in danger just because they wish to discover what secrets lie beyond the “forest” in this case. I’m reading the second installment right now and her attitude problem from the first book has escalated to a new height. There are times where she shows a personality and kindness, but it’s barely there.

I pray the rest of the second will improve, if not, I will unfortunately put another series to rest on my shelf.

Rating 6

What did you think about this book/series?

What drew you to it and why?

Let me know in the comments down below!

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

Book Tag: New Years Resolution

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New Years Resolution Tag

 

I discovered this book tag from Bella @ Bella Blogs Because Books. Definitely check her out and her answers for this tag! Now onto my resolutions!

1. An Author I’d Like to Read (that I’ve Never Read Before)

Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas, author of the Throne of Glass and A Court of Throne and Roses series. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series. Yes, I want to read it but I have to clear my ARC shelf before I even think of touching the series. *Sighs* Soon, Throne of Glass, Soon.

2. A Book I’d Like to Read

Have you seen my “To Read” List on Goodreads? Here’s a picture:

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Scary part is, it keeps growing every day and I’m always looking for more books to add. But there is one recently released book I’d love to get my hands on and that would be Roseblood   by A.G. Howard. It’s a re-telling of the Phantom of the Opera and the cover of the book is absolutely breathtaking! If I had to narrow it down to one book right now, hands down, this would be it.

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3. A Classic I’d Like to Read

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This story has intrigued me since I witnessed Dorian Gray’s portrayal by both Ben Barnes and Reeve Carney. I consider it a cautionary tale for those who wish to stay young forever. Yes, there are other tales like this with Dracula and Frankenstein but Dorian is a whole other entity. The fact his soul is contained by a painting while his outer shell in the world reeks havoc proves how high a cost eternal youth can be regardless of being outwardly “young” but dying on the inside. I can’t wait to finally read the tale this year!

4. A Book I’d Like to Re-Read

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I actually want to re-read a series instead of a book. If you read one of the Chronicles of Narnia books, it is necessary you read the rest. I first read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when I was in sixth grade and my teacher suggested I get a head start on it.

Due to the strict household I lived in, I would read it in secret until my father stumbled upon it in my backpack. Surprisingly instead of getting angry, he brought me his personal set of the series he had since he was a kid. After three months, I had read the whole series and fell in love with the mythological world of Narnia. Now twenty-three, there are days where I still miss it so why not re-read the series this year?

5. A Book I’ve Had for Ages and Want to Read

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I have had this book along with it’s sequel on my bookshelf for what it seems like forever. I’m always distracted with another book or series and have not had time to get back to it. One of my other goals is to finally read it from front to back and hopefully see the musical adaption as well.

6. A Big Book I’d Like to Read

 

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7. An Author I’ve Previously Read and Want to Read More Of

Stephen King

Stephen King.  The “King of Horror” so to speak, but he’s written Fantasy and Mystery pieces as well. I have read The Stand, The Shining, Carrie, The Dark Half, and Salem’s Lot. Each of his stories are witty, ingenious, and tap into the parts of our brain containing fears we didn’t even know existed. I have his books Christine and IT set aside to read this year to dive into when the time comes.

8. A Book I Got For Christmas and Would Like to Read

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My aunt gave this to me for Christmas and I have yet to read it. I’ve read all the hype but skipped the movie. I’ve slotted to read this in March and can’t wait to see what it brings!

9. A Series I Want to Read (Start to Finish)

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10. A Series I Want to Finish (That You’ve Already Started)

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11. Do I Set Reading Goals? If So, How Many Books Do I Want to Read in 2017?

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12. Any Other Reading Goals?

Aside from reading the books I mentioned and meeting my 77 book goal, I’d like to read more ARC’s and other Independent authors’ works. There are talented independent authors who deserve to have their books read by readers. They many not reach the bestseller list because they do not belong to a big publishing house, but their stories deserve to be read all the same.

~

I tag all of you readers to do this tag! Don’t forget to tag me in your post so I can see your answers!

What did you think of my answers? What do you think of the books and authors I mentioned? Have you read any of these works?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Alice In Wonderland Tag!!!

Alice In Wonderland Tag!!!

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the publication of one of the most memorable pieces of literature known to man. On November 28, 1865, author Lewis Carroll welcomed readers everywhere to a place filled with opposites, celebration of unbirthdays aside a mad hatter and scruffy hare, talking flowers, an anxiety-ridden white rabbit, a blood thirsty queen, and a curious blonde haired child who fell down a rabbit hole into a world not her own. I fell in love with the story as a child even more now as an adult with my closet filled with Alice costumes, Mad Hatter Hats, and Cheshire cat plush toys to prove it.

I discovered this tag on Shori’s World blog and instantly wanted to take a crack at it! There are 12 books for each of the 12 chapters in the novel. Each question represents something that is relevant to the theme addressed in the chapter. Some of the original questions asked for Anime instead of books so I switched them for this blog. Here we go!

Chapter 1: Down The Rabbit Hole

PICK THE FIRST NOVEL YOU’VE READ / REMEMBER READING

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I listened to books on tape when I was little and as I began to read, I remember Charlotte’s Web being one of the first books I actually fully read.

 

Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE BATTLE BETWEEN REASON AND EMOTION

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To sum it up in the words of author Max Brooks, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Chapter 3: The Caucus Race and a Long Tale

PICK A BOOK WITH A LACK OF CLEAR PURPOSE OR A BOOK THAT COMMENTS ON MEANINGLESSNESS

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When your life is an endless circle of work, work work with nothing to show for it, you sometimes ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” This book makes you wonder if that is all life is until the main character has two choices, but each choice has her meeting a special person only at different moments in time. It makes you question whether this meaningless feeling is nearly temporary or leads you to your true purpose in life.

 

Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill

PICK BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE DISCOMFORT OF GROWING UP.

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Enough said, it’s Peter Pan!

 

Chapter 5: Advice From a Caterpillar 

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH IDENTITY CRISIS.

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I personally call this an identity crisis novel. Why? You have a man go from nothing to something then try to regain his love from his past and instead of having the “happy ending”, his whole magnificent present begins to unravel at the seems and he ends up as he was at the beginning of his personal journey, nothing.

 

Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper

PICK A BOOK THAT CHALLENGES TRADITIONAL SOCIAL NORMS.

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This whole series challenges their world. Every dystopian novel can fit into this category.

Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-Party

PICK A BOOK THAT CHALLENGES PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIVERSE.

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This book is the complete opposite of The Chronicles of Narnia, more like a darkness to the light of that series. I remember people, especially religious individuals, freak out over the metaphors contained within this series. It definitely challenged the principles of the universe in terms of fiction.

Chapter 8: The Queen’s Croquet Ground

PICK A BOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL BEAUTY.

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This series encompasses this. The Lunars make you see what you want them to see while our characters are the “misfits” and seek to disprove the lies. All of these girls have flaws while the Lunar Queen wishes her subjects to see perfection. This is truly a test of natural beauty vs. artificial beauty.

 

Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle’s Story 

PICK A BOOK THAT QUESTIONS MORALITY.

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In WWII, Jews were persecuted by the German Nazis. For the families who harbored Jewish families or runaways, they were considered to be enemies to the German government. For Annemarie Johansen, her family questions the morality set by the government. Instead they do the true good and rescued a young girl and kept her safe.

 

Chapter 10: Lobster Quadrille 

PICK A BOOK WHERE A CHARACTER IS ISOLATED, WITH NO ONE BEING ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THEM.

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This story is centered around a character who after she loses everything she knows, she isolates herself within herself. Throughout the book, she discovers who she is through falling in love and the choices she must make in order to survive.

 

Chapter 11: Who Stole the Tarts 

PICK A BOOK THAT QUESTION JUSTICE OR LEGAL SYSTEM.

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I first read this book back when I was a freshman in high school. The mysterious figure known as “The Scarlet Pimpernel” saves the innocent lives of the French elite from the guillotine. His moves against the French judicial system is not only a mere question against their legal system but a rebellion unto itself. I highly recommend this book!

Chapter 12: Alice’s Evidence

PICK A BOOK WHERE A CHARACTER HAS AN EPIPHANY.

This one, I had a hard time coming up with a book for because there are so many. I’m personally keeping it blank due to the fact any main character or multiple characters can have an epiphany about an event, mystery, or circumstance. This, in part, can make or break the series or the novel. I can think of several in the Mortal Instruments series, specifically. Then there are some in the Harry Potter series. But narrowing it down is too hard.

 

Think you can take this challenge? Fill out the questions yourself and don’t forget to tag me so I can see your answers!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

 

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “At the Cemetery Gates, Year One” By John Brhel and J. Sullivan 

C.H.B. ARC Reviews: “At the Cemetery Gates, Year One” By John Brhel and J. Sullivan 

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**DISCLAIMER-I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. This, however, does NOT AFFECT my views or rating of book.**

Available: Amazon; Goodreads

 

It may not be October anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a set of spooky stories to send shivers down your spine. I personally got lost in my own stack of books with this one in the midst of it all. I chose to read one short story each night before I went to sleep. Ok, ok, I may have sneaked in another one as well.

Each book has a good setting, middle, and twistful ending. Some of these stories included ghosts, others monsters hidden in the most unlikeliest of places, and stories leaving you wondering if there will be a part two to the story. There were a few you could tell came from urban legends with their own modern twist to them, but the terror remained in the tale all the same. They each are the perfect length to read if you’re reading on a trip and in need of a quick, creepy read before bed, for campfire tales, or even for your own personal enjoyment.

 

My Top Favorite 3 Short Stories

(With Ratings)

1. Pictures of a Perpetual Subject (9 out of 10 Book Charms)

This short story dealt with a young girl, bullied at school, who chose to do with a photography project featuring an overgrown field bordering the town cemetery. After gathering her pictures over the course of a period of time and placing them into a video, she notices a ghostly figure attempting to make it’s way toward her house. I personally loved this one due to the fact I thought she was going to get revenge on her classmates in some way by using this ghost. Only, the author clearly had other plans with this jaw-dropping explanation of the figure.

2. Delaying Decay (10 out of 10 Book Charms)

Twin boys, Sean and Zack Grady, are looking to discover the secrets hidden at the local mortuary. Of course, one antagonizes the other over witnessing the various dead bodies stored in the basement of the institution. They are in for a rude awakening when they are caught in a broom closet when the owner appears with a new, dead specimen. Or is the specimen truly dead? This one, above all, gave me the most chills. I need a follow-up to this one!

3. The Burial Vault (9 out of 10 Book Charms)

Holy crap! This one is a total mind warp! These high-school/college kids decide to throw a party at this sealed up crypt with a dark history. A tradition they always hold is for their leader, Tom, to tell ghost stories at the closing of the night. Turns out, this family crypt holds the body of only one family member. One to be rumored to be a possible monster who was sealed up by the locals to keep him from his murderous hunger. After the party, people end up missing….could this monster still be alive…after all this time?

 

My Rating (Per Story) 

A Dark and Desolate Recurrence 

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

A Casket For My Mother

7 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Time’s Harbinger

10 out of 10 Book Charms

 *

A Tale of Palpable Violence

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Passion’s Paroxysm

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Hermit of Russian Lake

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

A Late Blight

9 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Girl With The Crooked Tooth

7 out of 10 Book Charms

*

New Year’s Eve, What a Gas!

8 out of 10 Book Charms

*

The Call Is Coming From Inside The House

10 out of 10 Book Charms

*

An Epistle From The Dead

10 out of 10 Book Charms

*

Like I said, each story is it’s own entity. Those three are my top favorites, but it you all get a chance to read it, what are your favorites out of this collection? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Reading,

~C.C.