XPresso Book Tours Blog Blitz: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens

XPresso Book Tours Blog Blitz: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens

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Title: Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set
Author(s): J.A Armitage
R. Castro
Jennifer Ellision
Mira Crest
K.M Pyne
Laura Greenwood
Jacque Stevens
Scarlett Kol
Anne Stryker
Nikki Landis
Tracy Korn
Publication Date: March 5th, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads


ag- about the book

The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it…

Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.
Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.

Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!

One click now for your happily ever after.


ag- giveaway

Want to Win a Little Mermaid Prize Pack?

Enter Giveaway Here!

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & Sweepstakes: The Dysasters By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Blog Tour & Sweepstakes: The Dysasters By P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

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Title: The Dysasters
Author(s): P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Available: Amazon/Audible/B&N/Books-A-Million/Google Play/iBooks/IndieBound/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday books for the invitation to participate in this Tour and for providing me an ARC copy of the novel.*


 

ag- about the book

Adoptive daughter of a gifted scientist, Foster Stewart doesn’t live a “normal” life, (not that she’d want to). But controlling cloud formations and seeing airwaves aren’t things most eighteen year olds can do.

Small town star quarterback and quintessential dreamy boy next door, Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor has never thought much about his extra abilities. Sure, his night vision comes in handy during games, but who wouldn’t want that extra edge?

From the moment Foster and Tate collide, their worlds spiral and a deadly tornado forces them to work together, fully awakening their not-so-natural ability – the power to control air. As they each deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, they’re caught by another devastating blow – they are the first in a group of teens genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements, and worse… they’re being hunted.

Now, Foster and Tate must fight to control their abilities as they learn of their past, how they came to be, who’s following them, and what tomorrow will bring… more DYSASTERS?


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ag- about the author

P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and, after her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best, and many, many more. Ms. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker who lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.
Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves going on adventures with her friends, family, and significant other, playing with her dogs (Grace Kelly and Hobbs the Tiny Dragon), and is currently obsessed with her baby.


ag- my review

Ok, so this is one of those books where you either love it or you hate it. If you are middle ground, it’s hard to determine whether or not the pros outweigh the cons and vice versa. The premise is solid and the idea behind the story is brilliant; however, the execution, character development, descriptions, etc.. – all of that will make or break your vision.

Foster, Tate, Charlotte, and Bastien others were originally created by a mad scientist who tampered with their embryos post-fertilization. Upon which, they enhanced the character’s genetics and created teens who control the elements: mainly air and water. They were separated and spread out across the world and are being hunted by their creator and his other experiment children who are, surprisingly, named after Biblical characters (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Eve).

Foster and Tate meet right before a tornado strikes Tate’s football game and changes both their lives completely. It turned out with their powers accidentally combining, they created a round of tornadoes that killed Tate’s parents and Foster’s mentor Cora. From there, they go on the run in search for Charlotte and Bastien, their other experiment siblings.

I was a huge fan of the author’s works growing up with the Marked series, so maybe I was looking for the in-depth character development from that for this, but it was lacking. I understand that Foster is constantly on the run and never truly connected with other teens, but that is not an excuse for her to treat Tate terribly just because he was a jock. And Tate’s reaction to her isn’t much better. I’m all for the “friendemies-turned-lover” trope, but it doesn’t fit with Foster and Tate. Their first meeting seemed borderline flirtatious/hostile, but it grew more toward hostile in the beginning of the novel.

The periodic graphic novel addition to enhance the superhero/comic book feel meant well, but they needed a better artist. The art seemed a bit over-dramatic at times. For the future, I suggest they change the artist and pay more attention to detail.

This series has potential, it does. But in order to do so, character development is a must and a greater attention to continuity detail. I won’t go into that issue due to spoilers.Is it worth picking up and reading? I say keep an open mind. You’ll either love it or hate it.


SWEEPSTAKES

Enter Here for a chance to win 1 of 20 hardcover copies of The Dysasters!

Winners will be selected at random.

Abbreviated Rules: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 13 years of age or older. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, February 24, 2019 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit https://read.macmillan.com/promo/thedysastersblogtoursweepstakes.

Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press, 175 5th Ave 10010.

 

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Rating 5

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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ARC Review: Prince of Midnight By Ana Calin

ARC Review: Prince of Midnight By Ana Calin

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Title: Prince of Midnight
Series: Dracula’s Bloodline #1
Author: Ana Calin
Release Date: December 18th, 2018
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

*I received an ARC copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.*

ag- about the book

Let me tell you a secret – Dracula had a brother. This is true. They called him Radu the Handsome, but his beauty was deceiving, and it hid a deadly secret…

With high ambitions as a journalist, Juliet Jochs travels to the Carpathians to investigate a mysterious and unnaturally beautiful prince. She suspects that he’s a dangerous man, and that this mission may cost her life. But, as the prince’s masks begin to peel off, she fears she may lose her sanity.

Prince Radek’s dark powers suck Juliet into a whirl of hypnotic desire–no woman has ever resisted his lures. But something is different about her, special, and he’s growing dangerously addicted to her. She must keep her head above the water if she is to save herself, run away and not look back before he consumes her completely. But can she resist opening the last door to his most terrible secret?

 

ag- my review

We all know the story of Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula. The various adaptions from book to screen aside from the historical facts versus the legend – some of us readers and viewers cannot get enough of this character nor his offspring. Although, books do not mention any facts about his brother, Radu cel Frumos or Radu the Handsome.

The legend of Radu or rumor, if you will, is quite interesting to say the least. While Vlad received the craving of blood and curse of immortality, Radu is cursed with physical beauty until the cover of night where he must wear a mask to disclose his true facial form. If any mortal looks upon his true face, they are cursed with the black plague and die a slow, painful death.

Author Ana Calin builds upon the rarely spoken of brother of the Prince of Darkness and creates a character with his own immortal dark tale of romance and horror. Radu, or Radek Basarab is known as one of the most eligible millionaire bachelors in all of the world. With his background and business practices shrouded in mystery, journalist Juliet Jochs is aimed at solving it and practically sold to him by her company in order to discover then exploit her findings. However, Juliet quickly discovers she gets more than what she bargained for the moment she is transferred to Transylvania and takes up residence within the walls of Dracula’s castle.

The more time she spends at the castle, she notices disappearing hallways, strange noises, and the Prince acting very strange. Now, Juliet started off at being built up to be an independent woman with a mind of her own and sharp wit, but the more time she spends around the Prince, she notices time seems to slip away as well as her energy. Her relationship with him began flirtatious then transforms into something more addicting, and obsessively sexual pretty quickly. Very soon, they become overly attached to one another and the Prince’s dark secret is reveals, but something else is revealed.

He is like an Incubus, in a way, but he isn’t. He sucks out the life-force of the women he’s been with in order to sustain his immortality and beauty. Much like his brother only without the blood and he has to wear a mask at night. His attraction to Juliet is something he is not used too. Not because she is the only woman who has made him feel anything remote to “love”, but Juliet somehow has the ability to make him whole and reduces the impact of his dark power.

The story moves rather quickly with these two, a little too quickly for my personal taste. The legend of Radu is intriguing and I wanted to learn more about it before the romance kicked in. It was as if the legend was put on the back burner most of the time and the romance over-powered it. These two did not have enough conversations or even spent much time together before getting physical and falling for one another. Some readers may like that in their paranormal romance novels, but I like the gradual build up approach. And when it came to the turning point of the novel where the antagonists began to came out of the woodwork, it was close to the end of the novel.

Do I want to see what will happen between Juliet and Radek? Yes, but I’d like for the sequel to cut back on the rush of romance and give me more exposition between the characters and more action.

If you are a fan of Dracula, try his brother for a night!

Rating 6

Book Haul – December Edition!

Book Haul – December Edition!

Hi Everyone!

December, wow. This year has been a complete whirlwind. The struggle for keeping up with my ARCs and TBR was real, hands down. Over the last few weeks, though, I’ve come across great deals on books and received pretty amazing book gifts! Here is my haul (so far) of December 2018!

Have you read any of these?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Tour-Wide Giveaway: Shades of Wicked By Jeaniene Frost

Title: Shades of Wicked
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Rebel (BK. 1 – Part of the Night Huntress World)
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Available: Amazon/Avon Romance/B&N/Google Play/iBooks
Add to Goodreads


md- about the book

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker…
Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker…
Veritas’ normal role is police, judge, and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s carefully cultivated, devil-may-care roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences.


md- giveaway

To celebrate the release of SHADES OF WICKED by Jeaniene Frost, Pure Texuality is giving away a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, to one lucky winner!

Enter Giveaway Here!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Once Burned, the first book in the Night Prince series, by Jeaniene Frost. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Connie Suttle. Giveaway ends 11/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.


md- about the author

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JEANIENE FROST is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress and Night Prince series, as well as the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in Florida with her husband, Matthew, rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling — by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon


Excerpt

This had better be the right whorehouse.
It didn’t look like the seedier brothels I’d recently been to. This three-story structure could pass as the meeting place for an elite social club. Despite its unexpected prettiness, if I had to wade through another flesh-fest only to turn up empty-handed again, I wouldn’t be responsible for what I did to my quarry when I finally found him.
To vent my aggravation over weeks of fruitless searching, I kicked the door open. Politeness had been wasted at the last several establishments anyway. No smart proprietor willingly gave up a well-paying client, and I’ll say one thing for the bordello-loving vampire I was after: He obviously paid well.
To my surprise, I didn’t see anyone in the elegant foyer. Brothels usually had several prostitutes lingering around the entryway to welcome new customers. I was further surprised when I didn’t hear sounds of carnal activity coming from the upper floors of the house. I pulled out my mobile and checked the GPS pin. Yes, this was the right place. What’s more, it certainly smelled like sex, once you got past the choking scents of various perfumes and colognes.
But where was everyone?
Faint vibrations in the floor made me stride toward the hallway. Ah, so the party must be downstairs. I followed the strongest scents of perfume until I found a staircase that descended two floors. It ended at a locked door that I also kicked in. No point in being dainty now.
Noise blasted out. The basement must have been soundproofed for me to miss it before. Now, I wished I couldn’t hear what was going on. A boisterous chorus assaulted my ears, repeating over and over. Thunder and Blazes, the favorite opening song of the former Barnum and Bailey circus.
And I had walked into a circus, I saw now, although one without any real animals. About a dozen naked women and men frolicked on the ground, doing woefully inadequate impressions of the creatures their full body paint represented. No work ethic, I thought when three faux lions appeared more interested in petting each other than in more realistic fights for dominance, and don’t get me started on how they ignored the two faux gazelles that walked by them.
The dozen or so prostitutes dressed in clown suits showed more dedication for their roles. They emerged from a fake car in the far corner of the room, some falling forward in rolling somersaults once they exited, some tripping each other with comedic exaggeration, and some blowing up balloons into explicit body parts that they then graphically connected.
An eruption of fireworks yanked my attention to the other side of the room. They were going off around what looked like a throne, haloing its occupant in a blaze of sparks, fire and smoke. The mini pyrotechnic display was so bright, I couldn’t make out the enthroned person’s face, but when he called out, “Act Eight will now begin!” I heard a distinct English accent.
Then the smoke cleared enough to show a tall man wearing a blue circus-ringleader jacket. The smoke still concealed him from the waist down, but I didn’t need to see more to know I’d finally found my target. The vampire who’d blazed a trail through a dozen whorehouses in only two weeks had a face as beautiful as an angel’s, not to mention that his fire-and-umber hair was as distinctive as his looks. When he got off the throne, revealing he wore nothing beneath the ringleader jacket, I realized those weren’t Ian’s only notable attributes.
For a moment, I stared. What vampire in his right mind would pierce himself with silver there?
I was the only one shocked by the silver piercing through the tip of Ian’s cock. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and rushed toward him. Even the glitter-covered acrobats leapt from their swinging perches near the ceiling, gracefully landing near the pile of limbs that now formed around the red-headed vampire.
It wasn’t enough that I had to be burdened with a vampire so mentally deficient that he’d willingly given himself a case of perpetual cock burn. He also had to be depraved enough to indulge in carnival-themed orgies. I wasn’t about to find out what the rest of Act Eight entailed. I made my way to the growing flesh pile and began flinging people aside, taking care not to throw them too hard. Their heartbeats meant they were human, so they couldn’t heal the way my kind could.
“What’s this?” Ian asked in an annoyed manner when I reached the bottom of the bodies. Then he let out an appreciative noise when I yanked him up with none of the care I’d shown the other people.
“Why, hallo, my strong blonde sweeting.” Now he didn’t sound annoyed at all. “Are you the surprise I was promised?”
Why not let him believe that? “Sure,” I said. “Surprise.” And I grabbed him by the cock. I had one more thing to verify before I went any further.
Ian chuckled. “That’s the spirit, poppet.”
I dropped to my knees. I wasn’t about to do what he thought. Still, this act allowed me to zero in on my goal with the least amount of resistance from him. Once I got a good look at the smoke-colored brands near the base of Ian’s groin, I released him. Only one demon branded people with these particular markings, and it was the same demon I’d been after for thousands of years.
“Ian,” I said as I straightened. “Say good-bye. We’re leaving.”
He laughed outright. “I don’t think so. You might be lovely, but two’s lonely, while a dozen is a party.”
I gave a disparaging look around. “No great loss. The clowns were fine, but none of your faux animals fought each other or even attempted to jump through the fire rings.”
At that, he gave the animal-painted prostitutes an accusing look. “You didn’t, did you?” Then, his eyes suddenly narrowed as he looked back at me. “Wait a moment. I know you.”
We’d only officially met once before, so I hadn’t thought he’d remember me. Someone with his tendencies had to have crossed paths with vast numbers of blonde women.
“Veritas, Law Guardian for the vampire council,” I confirmed. Then my hands landed on his shoulders. “And as I said, you are coming with me.”


md- my review

Let me take a moment to release my excitement for the lonnnnng awaited release of this book:

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I previously wrote a review on the Night Huntress series not to long ago. Check it out here!

Ok, when Jeaniene decided to continue the Night Huntress, but jump straight to Vlad instead of Ian – I was a little frustrated. I lied, I was VERY frustrated. I mean, we have Spade and Menchares having their women in their lives. Yes, Ian is prude, rude, and has caused the majority problems Kat went through for two books, but hey, he was redeemed! Well, sort of….don’t fight me on this, you…will…lose!

We were introduced to Veritas, a Law Guardian of the Vampires, back in Destined for an Early Grave and she returned for the original Night Huntress finale in Up from the Grave. I’m a little confused by her description in the new series. I could be wrong, but I remember her being described as tiny and small due to being turned at a young age. In this first book, she’s actually more physically developed and completely the opposite of how she used to be. Um, need answers on this!

Anyways, she tracks down Ian in order to join forces to trap Dagon, a demon who has a contract on Ian’s soul. We meet up with cameos of familiar characters *inserts fangirl scream*. I will not say who but the moment they showed up, I needed to take a second and let myself bask in their fictional presence. I adore this world too much, I’m telling you.

We go into Veritas’ origins threw me in for a loop. I did not expect for her story to go in that direction. We also see a whole other side to Ian besides his humor and promiscuous ways. Underneath, both of these characters have more than meets the eye and their growth with one another is as organic and raw as it was for Kat and Bones. I will not compare the two couples because they are not comparable. Each pairing is unique and I have always admired Frost’s way to make them that way. She does not have cookie-cutter characters. They all have their own voice and you learn to love each of them in their own way.

I will say, though, that ending….Jeaniene, I read your Night Huntress outtakes book, and I’m onto you!

Rating 9


If you haven’t read this series – why not? Pick it up and catch up!

I cannot wait for the sequel and already have a feeling this series will earn it’s stars in the best way along with the others.

Have you read this series?

Let me know in the comments below!


Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

Blog Tour & ARC Book Review: Carols and Chaos By Cindy Anstey

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Title: Carols and Chaos
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Google Play
Add to Goodreads

hs- about the book

A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue.

 

hs- about the author

Cindy

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and…a chocolate Labrador called Chester. 

 

hs- my review

Halloween is over and now the holidays are upon us! I read Cindy’s novel Suitors and Sabotage earlier this year and at the time, I heard that she was coming out with a spin-off for it. The moment I found out I was approved for this book, I was excited to dive in and see what she had to offer.

We focus on one of the ladies maid’s Kate and Matt, Ben Steeple’s valet, from the previous novel. There were hints of their attraction from the novel and they are further explored in this one. Due to the holiday hustle and bustle in Shackleford Park, the Steeple and Chively families come together to feed the flame between these two.

Now, I enjoyed Suitors and Sabotage, but it needed to be fleshed out more. There was more talk than show pertaining to scene development and even pertaining to Kate and Matt’s relationship. I mean, there weren’t that many scenes where they were paired together for us to fully understand or watch their relationship grow to what we could have perceived.

I was great to be back into this world and the atmosphere of the 1800s. However, the lack of action made the experience lacking. The mystery aspect didn’t even show up till halfway through the book. It was a good read, yes, but when you tell more than show – it robs you of the experience.

If you need a quick, holiday-themed mystery, try this out. But do not expect everything you wish for wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

‘Halloween Creatures’ Tag!

Shout out to Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano for posting about this tag and the original creator Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward! I’m a huge horror fan and am excited to take part in this wonderful tag. Alex, I absolutely loved your answers! I hope you and fellow readers enjoy mine and take part in this! Happy Halloween, Charmers & Beyond!

 

Witch: A Magical Character/Book

 

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What if you discovered a literary world you’ve fallen in love with is real? Oh, and you have magical powers and are needed to help save it? Even though this is now an amazing show on Syfy, I still love the magical world Lev Grossman has created. Take a look!

Werewolf: A Perfect Book to Read at Night

 

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An oldie but goodie. It’s full of tropes and yet, it’s been keeping me up at night. Karou, Zuzana, Kaz – ah, I love everyone and this world!

 

Frankenstein: A Book that Truly Shocked You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book is was transformed into the classic film that the horror community enjoys and treasures today. The original book it came from, is just as terrifying and shocking.

The Devil: A Dark, Evil Character

 

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Do I really need to state the true obvious villain in this book in the series? *Coughs* Umbridge *Coughs*

Grim Reaper: A Character that Never Should Have Died

 

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Mercutio, Mercutio, MERCUTIO! He is literally my everything. For years, I have been working on a modern day Romeo and Juliet apocalyptic novel and believe me, Mercutio will be avenged! Or at least his new incarnation. He is one of those characters were never should have died, period.

 

Zombie: A Book that Made You “Hunger” For More

 

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Those who are new to my blog, I am not a huge Jane Austen fan. I don’t know what it is about her books. They just never entertained me. Now, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though, I could not get enough of it! It put me down a path classic crossovers with various monsters (i.e. werewolves, vampires, etc.). Some are well-written, some are not. Much like fairy tale re-tellings, these type of books breathe a whole new life into old novels.

Gargoyle: A Character You Would Protect at All Costs

 

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I would definitely protect Louis, no doubt about it.

Vampire: A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You

 

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This book drained me to the point where I thought I would never cry again. Gage, poor little Gage. This book is extremely dark, but is a reminder that some things should remain buried.

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Ghost: A Book that Still Haunts You

 

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Check Out My Full Review!

This book still haunts me due to the fact that you never know what may happen if you purchase a haunted “collectors” item from the internet. It could be your past coming back to haunt you and cost you your life….It’s a story that will never escape my mind.

Demon: A Book that Really Scared You

 

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The book that inspired the current hit The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix as well as two films, this story is extremely chilling. Shirley Jackson’s entrancing writing drags you into this world, causing you to question what you see, hear, and experience. In the end, you wonder whether or not you are going mad or the main character, Eleanor, is truly the mad one. That, in a nutshell, personally scared me.

 

Skeleton: A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

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Actually, fast-forward to Mockingjay, shall we? Gale abandoning Katniss? Yeah, boy, please.

Mummy: A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

 

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I will forever want to preserve this book! I have four copies and even one of the horror spins of this novel, making Jane Eyre a vampire slayer. It’s truly a classic you must read at least once!

 

Creepy Doll: A Cover Too Scary to Look At

 

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I have seen others, but this is the least unnerving of all of the others and thought would fly here.

 

Monster Mash: It’s Fun to Be Friends on Halloween! Tag Your Friends!

Instead of picking specific people, I choose all of you! Don’t forget to tag Alex @ Thepaperbackpiano and also me. I am curious to see your answers for this Spooky Tag.

 

What did you think of my answers?

Have you read any of these books and if so, what were your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Book VS. Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby By Ira Levin

Tis’ the Season, Charmers!

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I haven’t been around much except for blog tours, but behind-the-scenes I’ve been delving into some wicked Halloween reads. Witches, Vampires, Horror Anthologies, Man-made creatures brought back from death’s grasp, and more. Halloween is basically my Christmas and for the next few days, I’ll be delivering my offerings of frightful reads, podcasts, and other spooky themed goodness.

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Rosemary’s Baby is a notorious famous horror film directed by Roman Polanski back in the 60s. For years, this tale has inspired generations of horror filmmakers and writers all across the globe. People seem to forget this apocalyptic masterpiece actually derived from a novel, however. A novel created from the unique mind of author Ira Levin and, in my opinion, ahead of it’s time.

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse appear to be the perfect couple. Rosemary, a stay at home wife dead set on starting a family, while her husband Guy, struggling actor, are searching for their perfect apartment home in New York. They choose to move into the Bramford, a prestigious building with a slight, um, dark reputation for attracting not-so-pleasant guests who meet violent ends. Despite warnings about it’s past from Rosemary’s father figure Hutch (adore this man), Guy and Rosemary move in anyway. Soon, strange things begin to occur that will shake not only Rosemary’s personal life, but the future of the world itself.

Rosemary befriends a woman named Terry at the beginning of the novel right when her and her husband move into the Bramford. Terry tells Rosemary of her past dealings with alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, she ended up on the streets until the Castevets, an elderly couple who live at the Bramford as well, “rescued” her.

We don’t get to spend much with Terry in the novel even though I would have loved to have more scenes written with her in them. Why? Well, Terry’s life is cut short because of her apparent suicide outside the Bramford. Enter in the Castevets, who never suspected why she would have done such a thing, but due to Terry’s death – this ushers them into entering the Woodhouse’s lives. When I say enter, I mean basically take over.

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Dinners with the couple, digging them into their current lives, wondering how many children they may have, religious backgrounds, their stances with their families, suddenly “appearing” with desert at their door on baby making night, etc.. Ok, I don’t care, but there were red flags about this couple from the get-go that any intelligent person would have picked up on. The couple is obviously up to no good and they turn the Woodhouse’s lives turn upside down.

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I’m not going to spoil anymore than I already have. If you’ve seen the movie, I have to give props to Polanski for sticking close to the book (even though he is a creep, look him up). He stuck extremely close to the book while adding onto the incredible foreshadowing author Ira Levin wrote in the novel. You have to read the novel at least twice or even more to pick up on all of the pieces. Polanski also became insanely creative with the metaphors in the book by making them even more relatable, both politically and religiously to the times, in the transfer to film. These aspects enhanced the true darkness of it all and that is what truly makes the film a classic. For the book lover side, he practically used the dialogue word-for-word straight from the book-it’s incredible! When it comes to transferring content from book to screen and directing the actors that you can’t see anyone else play those characters, this film and book are a perfect representation of how it should be handled.

This book was written during a time of female oppression during the 60s. The overall transformation of Rosemary, in book and in the movie, is astonishing to watch unfold. Her cutting her hair, her rebellion against the Castevettes and her husband’s control, the rights to her baby and her choice to be a mother or not, and her own push to find out what is really going on behind the walls of her home and beyond – all signs of women’s fight for rights. This book can be looked at under many lights, both horror and political.

Regardless of your preference, though, this is the perfect Halloween read for this year or any year!

Rating 10

Have you read “Rosemary’s Baby” or have watched the movie?

What are your thoughts on them?

Do you have any Halloween Recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Spooky Reading!

~C.C.

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Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Book Blitz & Excerpts: Dark Falls By Lori Ryan & Savannah Kade

Titles: Dark Falls; Dark Secrets
Author(s): Lori Ryan and Savannah Kade
Series: Dark Falls series
Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Available:
Dark Falls
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Dark Secrets
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inn - about the book

Dark Falls

A cop hunting a violent thrill seeker. A woman from his past. Will their history and heated attraction put his case on ice?

Detective John Sevier never wanted to be anything but a cop. When a string of jewelry store heists threatens the woman he let get away years before, he’ll stop at nothing to bring the adrenaline junkie gang leader to justice.

Ava McNair never looked at her life as a sacrifice. She loves taking care of her dad and running her family’s jewelry store with her special needs sister. So what if that meant dropping out of college and leaving behind a man who just might have been the one? When fate gives her and the detective who got away a second shot at love, will she step up and take it or will life tear them apart again?

With Ava in the path of a killer, will John be able to move fast enough to take down a violent man set on wreaking as much damage as he can before he goes down?

Dark Secrets

When Grace Lee storms into the Dark Falls Police Department, heads turn. But she only has eyes for Detective Nate Ryder—the officer who closed her brother Jimmy’s case too quickly, declaring his death a suicide rather than a murder. As a forensic scientist, Grace thinks the signs are obvious, the trick is convincing Nate.

Nate has to admit Grace’s argument makes a lot of sense, and he feels obligated to revisit the case. The problem is, while he’s following the old evidence, she’s collecting new samples—and putting herself in danger from the same organization that killed her brother. Jimmy was definitely onto something before he was murdered. Now, Nate has another worry: some of the new evidence Grace has found points back to members of the Dark Falls PD. 

As strange coincidences turn deadly, Nate has to become Grace’s protector. They don’t know who they can trust and who they can’t. Will Grace and Nate be the next victims in a massive cover-up? Or can they figure out which cops are dirty fast enough to stay alive? 

inn- about the author
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Savannah Kade grew up in East Tennessee and started writing when she was only 8 years old. It was a romance for the ages, but it will never see the light of day. She’s been writing ever since and fighting for heroines who are quirky but not dumb, heroes who are real men, and for love stories that are more than just a cute trope. She now lives outside of Nashville with her amazing husband and 2 kids. She can usually be found working on her next novel.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter

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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance with steamy love scenes and characters you won’t want to leave in the pages when the story is over.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and ​has fallen in love with writing. ​She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series; the Heroes of Evers, Texas; and the Triple Play Curse Novellas, a set of novellas with sexy baseball players at their core as part of Bella Andre’s Game For Love Kindle World. She has also published in Melanie Shawn’s Hope Falls Kindle World and in Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Kindle World.

She lives with an extremely understanding husband, three wonderful children, and two mostly well-behaved dogs in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

 

gb- excerpt

Dark Falls

Ava McNair smiled as she watched the couple leave her store. She loved seeing couples find the perfect engagement ring to start their lives together. These two were young, but she could see the devotion in the way they looked at each other.

He’d come in ahead of time to choose a ring, then told his girlfriend he needed to swing by and pick up a watch his mom left to be repaired. The look on her face was priceless when he dropped to one knee after Ava passed him the ring box.

“Nice,” Kirsten James said, winking at Ava from her spot by the door. The woman might look harsh in her guard uniform, but she was as much of a softy when it came to that kind of thing as Ava was.

Ava grinned and turned to go to the back to check on her sister, but the door chimed again. What she saw when she looked back was anything but expected.

The man entering her familys jewelry store had filled out. His face was different, worn in a way, but in a good way. At least, she thought it looked good on him. His eyes were the same, though.

John Seviers eyes trapped and held her, his light brown gaze doing things to her just like they had years before when shed been stupid enough to walk away from him.

To say he was the one who got away was an understatement. Shed been so naïve and focused on all the wrong things at that time in her life. She never realized what she was losing until it was far too late for her to do anything about it.

Not that she would have been able to hold on to him anyway. Halfway through college, her life had changed drastically, and she’d had to drop out to help her dad and sister. She would have lost John then, anyway. Still, an eighties rock ballad was playing in the back of her head somewhere as she thought about not knowing what you had ’til it was gone.

Kirsten stiffened and looked ready to move into action if Ava didn’t say anything. It was no wonder. A six-foot-one man who looked like he could eat glass for breakfast if he got the craving, was standing frozen in their showroom. And Ava probably looked like a deer in headlights.

“John.” Ava breathed the word out, then shook herself to clear the fog. She waved a hand at Kirsten. Its all right. Johns an old friend.

She thought she saw something flicker in his eyes at the words, but if it had been anything more than her imagination, it was gone.

Um…” Ava looked around the showroom. One of her salespeople was on the other side of the store helping an older gentleman pick out a bracelet for his granddaughter. Kirsten was still staring at her and John.

Ava swung a hand in the direction of the workshop and offices at the back of the store. We could, um…”

Thankfully, John nodded, seemingly unconcerned at the fact she couldn’t seem to get a sentence out that didn’t include “um.” Scratch that, she hadn’t actually gotten a complete sentence out, period.

She went to the back, hoping to pass right through the workshop where her sister, Janna, designed most of the jewelry they carried. They had other artisans who worked for them, repairing jewelry and watches and such, but Janna was their only bench jeweler. Anything in their cases that her sister didn’t make was ordered from jewelry wholesalers or outside artisans.

Janna stood at her bench, the spotlights that surrounded her all aimed at a four-inch square space in front of her as her hands worked with small samplings of metals and gems. Janna had a habit of getting lost in her work, but today when Ava hoped she might do just that, her sister looked up.

Janna’s eyes went from Ava to John and back to Ava in a comic demonstration of her surprise at seeing a man with Ava.

Yeah, it was somewhat of a shock to Ava, too.

John, this is my sister, Janna. Janna, John and I were friends in college.Ava watched as Jannas eyes went wide.

John smiled and nodded. Whether he remembered Ava mentioning Jannas issues with anxiety when they dated, or he just read people really well, she didn’t know. But for whatever reason, he didn’t offer his hand to Janna to shake. That was good. It was what Janna was more comfortable with.

Janna looked to Ava. Big John?

Oh Lord.

Ava’s cheeks flamed hot, and she knew they must be red. She and Janna shared everything, which meant Janna knew all about the John Ava had dated in college. She just hadn’t expected Janna to put the man standing before her together with their conversations about John in college. And yes, Janna had truly nicknamed him Big Johnin college, but it wasn’t for the reasons one might think.

Not that he couldn’t have earned the nickname that way. Back in the day, one of Ava’s friends had described John’s body as “call him if you need your house moved over a few inches” kind of big. She wasn’t wrong.

Ava put her hands to her cheeks, and a small semblance of a laugh slipped from her lips. She dodged Johns smiling eyes and Jannas impish grin without answering and led the way back to her office.

She could try to explain to John that Janna had given him the nickname because that was how hed seemed to her at the time. Ava had talked about John so much when they were dating that Janna had labeled him big” in Ava’s world.

She didn’t know how to say all that without making the whole situation worse, though, so she clamped down on her lips, imprisoning them between her teeth as she shut the door behind them.

The look he gave her told her he was enjoying this far too much.

For your information,she said, crossing her arms, Big John is another John. Not you. It’s…” she didn’t have any ideas… “someone else.

Uhhuh.” He matched her crossed arms and let a smile cross his face.

 

Dark Secrets

Grace didn’t usually spray luminol and pull out her black light when she entered a motel room. But today she held the light up and frowned at the blood revealed by the generously applied chemiluminescent.

Old blood was everywhere. Small spots peeked out from under the edge of the bed where the old polyester blanket touched the carpeting. It looked to Grace as though something had happened in that spot and the bed had simply been moved.

In one corner, another streak of luminol glowed cautiously, the remnant of a merely passable scrubbing. Some of the luminescent spots revealed that her suspicions had been correct about the old carpeting, about this motel room, and about the stains.

Crap. This was the last thing she needed. She’d requested this room specifically. She didn’t always spray Luminol and pull out her black light when she rented a room. Then again, she couldn’t recall ever renting a room this awful in her life. She could imagine Jimmy here, though. If he was on one of his serious benders this would be nothing. Unfortunately, that meant there was nothing obvious here that supported her theory about her brother. She’d have to wait for lab results.

“Oh, Jimmy,” she lamented out loud to the dark room. “What did you get yourself into?”

The way her heart clenched couldn’t be stopped. No matter what the room looked like, no matter what she might be able to prove, none of it would change the facts. Jimmy was dead. Gone, after a life that had been a struggle from the beginning and continued to be one well into adulthood. Grace blinked back the tears that threatened.

Many people didn’t know what it was like having an addict in their lives. They were lucky. Addicts stole, they lied, they betrayed. And they often left you with only one option—completely cutting yourself off. She hadn’t been able to do it. Neither had her parents. So they’d all suffered alongside her little brother.

But, dammit, she’d really thought these last five years had seen a turnaround. He’d been clean and four months shy of his five-year chip. But the Dark Falls Police Department had written of Jimmy’s death as just another junkie overdose. Case closed.

Grace wasn’t buying it. Jimmy wasn’t using again. She knew it. She’d spoken to him just a few days before he died.

No one would believe her. No one did. Even her parents were skeptical, but she believed. She’d lived with Jimmy, and watched him turn to alcohol at age ten, then cocaine at thirteen, she’d gotten good at spotting the signs. Lots of siblings did. Sometimes parents tried to deny it. They turned their kids away, or they made up excuses and always believed the best. But siblings of addicts had a radar for it. Their investment was entirely different from a parental bond.

Grace knew. She’d talked about it in Al-Anon meetings. She’d gone steadily for almost two years, then off and on for another handful. The siblings of addicts all had similar stories. They knew. They could tell when their brothers or sisters were using again. Grace couldn’t count the number of times someone had showed up at a meeting with a suspicion, then even several months later said, “I was right.”

She’d had that feeling about Jimmy before. It happened the first time he’d gotten clean. He’d stayed clean for six months before relapsing. The second time—after their parents had paid to put him through an expensive rehab program—he’d stayed clean a year and a half. But Grace knew that his eighteen-month chip was an excuse to celebrate, to think he’d been cured only to have him slide back. But she didn’t have that feeling. Not this time. The third time seemed to have stuck.

Jimmy had moved to Dark Falls, something their mother had protested with every fiber of her being. He should be close to home. Part Vietnamese, part Chinese, and gay as the day was long, Jimmy wanted to get out of the South. Grace understood. She’d supported him. They texted daily, and she talked to him just a few days before he died. She did not believe he was using again.

She’d even demanded a full autopsy. She checked off her mental list as she looked around the room at the various splotches her quick test had revealed. She’d want samples of them all. Jimmy’s death was listed as an overdose. Had there been fresh blood, the police wouldn’t have been able to write it off so easily.

Grace had only pulled out the Luminol on a whim when she’d seen the dark patches in the carpeting. It could have been wine or cheap beer, but her senses told her to test it. Shit. She looked around behind her, holding the light up. A lot of it was faint, old, but she needed to know what it was.

She had her work cut out for her.

After gathering samples from at least five spots around the room—samples that she highly suspected would be all different—she turned off her black light and clicked the regular light back on.

Surveying the horrible room she didn’t want to be in, she pulled out her phone and called her oftentimes partner, Brad, back home. “Brad, I was right.”

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

Blog Tour, ARC Review, Giveaway: Ravaging the Duke By J.R. Salisbury

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Title: Ravaging the Duke
Author: J.R. Salisbury
Series: Mayfair Bk. 2
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kobo
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Inheriting the title from his murdered father, Alec finds just how dire things really are. His father’s gambling obsession left the family with nothing but the entailed properties. The ton views him as a disgraced duke. Alec, now The Duke of Wexwood, finds himself in need of a bride. One with a substantial dowry. It needn’t be a love match as Alec doesn’t believe love exists, except in rare cases. He needs a woman who can help him rebuild the dukedom.

Margaret Douglas is an American recently arrived back in England. She has fulfilled her late father’s wishes by returning with her mother. Now she needs to find a husband. One who won’t squander her dowry, someone who’ll see her as an equal.

Introduced by her cousin, the Earl of Norwood, Margaret and Alec come to an agreement which quickly turns into a passionate romance. 

Lurking in the background are secrets—ones Margaret can’t hide from the duke. Secrets she brought from America. What will happen when Alec finds out what she’s hiding?

 

r- about the author

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Amazon bestselling author J.R. Salisbury divides her time between the U.S. and U.K. with her aging Yorkie, Rocco. When in the U.K. she finds herself shrouded in history, making an author’s imagination come alive.

J.R. writes novels surrounding the Victorian era and Scottish historical romance with perfectly imperfect heroes and strong, sassy heroines.

Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

r- my review

It has been awhile since I’ve picked up an historical romance novel. I remember back in high school when I used to fly right through them not for the romance, but the historical aspect of it. This one, I felt was a great start back into the genre.

We travel back to the times when arranged marriages were pertained to be fruitful due to titles, dowry obtained by one or both parties, or alliances. I assumed this was between the late 1800s. This case came into play greatly pertaining to the two characters: Alec and Margaret.

Alec’s legacy is in great peril due to his father’s gambling addiction. He has been currently seeking a wealthy female to wed in order to settle debts and re-establish his families’ title. He’s gone through plenty of potentials, but none of them has stuck. Then there is Margaret Douglas.

Margaret is independent and a good head on her shoulders. She will not accept proposals for anyone who she does not deem worthy of her. Alec is introduced and they begin to both realize they may be trouble for each other due to their own secrets. As Love begins to bloom and grow, Margaret realizes she wants to “save” Alec and help him to restore his title. However, it may be too much for both of them to bare.

This is a well-crafted novel to be sure. The past came to life and jumped through the pages. Women were not known to raise their voice due to their stance in society. Margaret is not on of those dainty characters I’ve read in other historical novels who will slightly help their love interests and in the end it was more of the man who did the work, not the women. Margaret is constantly fighting for her voice to be heard and she breaks through!

Rating 8

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Want a Chance to Win a $25 Amazon gift card, Swag, & two of J.R.’s ebooks (winner’s choice)? Enter Here!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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