Unmemory by Kristi DeMeester

Unmemory Published: 2018

Publisher: Tallhat Press

Format: Chapbook, Paperback

Pages: 40

Genre: Christmas Horror

Buy: Yves Tourigny

Rating: 4/5

An original, 9,000-word short story by Kristi DeMeester, with 10 illustrations by Yves Tourigny. A university student attempts to track down the briefly-glimpsed Christmas film which traumatized her as a child.


I received this short chapbook in my December Nightworms box which is a new horror subscription box that you can check out here.  

Since this is such a short book, my review is short and sweet but worthy of a mention here on the blog, and it’s Christmas Horror…who doesn’t love holiday themed horror to get you in the spirit!?

This was my first introduction to Kristi DeMeester and now I’m dying to read more of her work.

A young college student tries to track down a film that traumatized her as a child. What follows is a bizzare and creepy reminder that it’s not always ghosts and demons that haunt us.

The artwork is by Yves Tourigny and was absolutely phenomenal, it really added to the overall vibe of the story. There’s an image towards the end that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get out of my mind.

Do you enjoy reading themed books during the holidays? I’ve got two other books on my TBR this month that are full of Christmas horror goodness!

Happy Reading!

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My TOME TOPPLE TBR | November 2018

Happy Monday everyone! As promised, I’m coming at you with my TBR plans for the Tome Topple Readathon hosted by the gorgeous Sam of Thoughts on Tomes.

This readathon starts at midnight on Friday, November 16th and ends at midnight on Thursday, November 29th. I don’t like a lot of rules so fortunately this one only has one: to read something over 500 pages. We can work with that.

There are a few challenges that are just for fun however:

  1. Read more than one tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel

Now, I have about five days off during this time and usually we go up to Maine and hang out with my family for the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s generally a pretty quiet weekend so I suspect I will be able to get a decent amount of reading done.

I’m going to share with you five books that I’ve put on my TBR for this but realistically I’ll only get to two…and maybe finish one. I’m sharing five just because I want options to pick from depending on my mood during those two weeks.

Here are the pile of books I plan to pull from:

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon(928p.) – This one is a big maybe for me. I read Outlander a couple of years ago at the urging of a friend. I ended up really enjoying that book so I, of course, went out and picked up the next four books in the series. I’ve read the second and third book and thoroughly disliked both. Snoozeville. I really hate starting a series and not seeing it through but I’m just not totally sold that it’s worth continuing. This would complete the challenge of reading a tome in a series.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King (513p.) – I’ve actually already started this as a buddy read but am really struggling to get into it. It’s a slow burn and I think I may be in a Stephen King hangover after reading the monster that is “It”. I just set this one aside to pick up something different so I was thinking I could easily finish this for this readathon.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (544p.) – I just posted about this book on my list of top ten books I want to get to so clearly this book needs to be read! More than likely this will be the main novel I pick up but if I can get through this one and Lisey’s story then that would be winning.

I added two graphic novels to my pile as well, both copies are from the library and not something I own:

Blankets by Craig Thompson (592p.) – This is sort of a ‘coming of age’ story based on the authors childhood. It deals with young love, the emotional highs and lows of being young, dysfunctional families, losing your religion…and your innocence. It’s not something I would pick at first glance but with great reviews, and limited choices of LARGE graphic novels, here it sits on the list.

From Hell by Alan Moore (576p.) – Now this one is more up my alley, although I’m not sure yet how I feel about the black and white artwork and small confined blurbs of text, but I do love just about anything involving the Ripper killings. If you haven’t seen the movie which features Johnny Depp then let me tell you that this book is about Alan Moore’s take on the Ripper killings. His version makes the killings the epicenter of a conspiracy involving the British Establishment which includes the Freemasons and The Royal Family.

And there you have it! Most of the challenges I’ll be able to complete with the exception of the buddy read (unless any of you want to buddy read one of these with me).

I am so pumped for this readathon and looking forward to some down time to settle in and read. If you’re looking for more details including a list of the co-hosts, make sure you check out Sam’s announcement video linked up above or visit the Goodreads group page.

Are you planning on joining the Tome Topple? What’s the largest book you’ve ever read?

Happy Reading!

 

Hangman by Daniel Cole

Hangman (Fawkes and Baxter #2) Published: July 24th, 2018

Publisher: Ecco

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 373

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Buy: Amazon 

Rating: 4/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?

Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.

DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.

As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.

As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.


 

Note: So this has been sitting in my draft folder since I finished the book in September. Nice job Stephanie, nice job. 

Hangman by Daniel Cole is the follow-up to Ragdoll and takes place 18 months after the bizarre series of murders. I like to keep my reviews simple and without to many details as to avoid spoilers. However, to be safe, if you have not read the first book then skip ahead or better yet, just put off reading this review until you have.

This book takes place in London and New York as a pattern begins to emerge between gruesome murders happening in both cities.

Baxter is asked to travel to NYC to help the FBI and NYPD track down the person responsible for the murders which leave behind bodies scarred with the words “PUPPET” and “BAIT”. She is teamed up with Rouche and Curtis from the FBI and they struggle to work together as a team and to get any closer to answers. After a catastrophic failure to prevent an attack that makes the body count jump to a staggering amount, Baxter returns to London to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen there.

The pacing of this book was much slower than the first and gave off less ‘Seven’ vibes that I had loved so much, but I still enjoyed it. It’s another compelling read for those of us who enjoy things more twisted and don’t mind bodies piling up. I still don’t love Baxter but I really love her friendship with Edmunds! Edmunds is my favorite character and would love to see book three follow him as a lead detective, if he ever gets the balls to quit Fraud and return to homicide…he’s brilliant and fascinating.

Speaking of book three, I was quite pleased to find out that Daniel Cole is working on a third book! I’m really looking forward to see where Cole takes the characters next. Who brings back, who he doesn’t…I can’t wait!

Thank you again to Ecco books for sending me a copy of this book! I truly appreciate it and can’t wait to see what Cole delivers next.

Happy Reading!

WWW Wednesday – 10/24/18

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Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted by Taking On A World of Words.

To participate you just answer three simple questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 


 

 

Dead Leaves: 9 Tales from the Witching SeasonI am currently reading Dead Leaves by Kealan Patrick Burke and it is an anthology of eight short seasonal stories. Perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit.

I’ve really come to enjoy short stories, especially between some of my longer novels and after reading Blanky by Burke, I knew he was going to be an author that I would follow and continue to read

I started this over the weekend and just have a couple of stories left which I’ll probably finish on the train home tonight.

I’m also STILL currently reading IT by Stephen King. I’m finally on Part 4 and I do believe that once I finish this book it just might be my biggest reading accomplishment ever! This thing is a beast! I started to follow along with the audio as well so that I can listen at work or when I’m walking from the train to the office. I do enjoy the book but I’m just starting to get that feeling of wanting to be done so I can move onto the next great book.

I’ll write reviews here on both when I’m done.

 recently finished reading Hark! the Herald Angels Scream: An Anthology by Christopher Golden and Stench by AB Morgan.

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream ARC I received from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I’m working on a seperate post for so be on the lookout. It’s a collection of short stories of Christmas themed horror and it was just released yesterday! Just in time to get you into the holiday mood!

Stench by AB Morgan was another ARC from NetGalley that I finally had to the pull the plug on. I don’t DNF books very often, I really hate to do that, especially when I was given the opportunity to read in exchange for a review. However I had been trying to read that book for months and I kept putting it down to read other things. Life is to short to read books that you don’t enjoy and even though it wasn’t for me, it’s definitely the right pick for someone else. The book starts off interesting: a man finds a dead woman under the floorboards of his house. However it quickly shifts to a woman named Anna who speaks to her dead husband. She thinks she’s working as an investigative reporter to take down some local baddies with her ‘husband’ following close behind, whispering over her shoulder. I find it important to also mention that ghost husband is a dick.

The Elementals As for what I’ll be reading next, I’m going to squeeze in one more for October and read The Elementals by Michael McDowell because it’s been on my kindle for forever and I was supposed to read it with a group and fell behind.

This is a story of an old family house, filling with sand, that is left empty…except for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dark, fetid air.

After the family matriarch dies, family comes back to visit their old summer homes. From here the story gets haunted and weird and I’m looking forward to something spooky for Halloween!

 

What are you currently reading? Have you ever not finished a book? Let’s chat below in the comments!

WWW Wednesday – 10/17/18

img_1384-0Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted by Taking On A World of Words and I discovered it through Jenna’s blog at Jenna Bookish.

To participate you just answer three simple questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

 


An Anonymous GirlI am currently reading An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen which is an  ARC that I was given by the publisher through BookishFirst.com.

It’s a gripping novel of psychological suspense and obsession. I’m really loving it!

Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

A young woman blindly shows up for a psychological study conducted by a mysterious Dr. Shields. She thinks all she has to do is answer some questions, collect her money and leave…but nothing is ever that simple.

I’m also currently reading IT by Stephen King as a buddy read on Instagram. This book needs no summary as we all know what this one is about. Creepy clown, deep routed fears, and a  little town called Derry. Follow #ITbuddyread on Instagram for all the awesome posts and discussions!

I’ll write reviews here on both when I’m done.

 recently finished reading Wytches, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder, The Lies We Told by Camilla Way (review here) and The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (review here).

Wytches is a graphic novel that has been on my shelf for some time. It’s a much darker and much more horrifying take on the witches that we have come to know. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place and I enjoyed it a lot! This was published in 2014 and so far I haven’t seen anything about a second volume but I am all for it if there is!

As for what I’ll be reading next, I’m still whittling away at my NetGalley list so that has yet to be determined. I think I’ll read Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard which is scheduled to be released on December 18th and I’ve already seen some awesome reviews flying around for it!

The Witch ElmMy pre-order for Tana French’s new book, Witch Elm is also here so that is a pretty strong contender!

It’s about a man name Toby who is out celebrating with some friends when he happens upon two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead.

While struggling to recover from his injuries and accepting the fact that he may never be the same, he escapes to his family’s old home to care for a dying uncle.

A skull is found in the trunk of an old tree in the garden which opens up Toby’s family to investigation, and soon means his past comes back to haunt him along with the realization that it may not be what he always believed it to be.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books that I’ve mentioned? Let’s chat below in the comments!

The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

The Lies We ToldPublished: October 9, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Genre: Thriller

Buy: Amazon

Rating: 3/5

I received a copy from the Publisher through a Goodreads Giveaway that I had won. 

When Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he’s left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he’s been kidnapped. Then Luke’s older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.

Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened — even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke’s mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected. 


I love dark, psychological thrillers so I was pretty excited when I received a copy of this in the mail. Camilla Way is a ‘new-to-me’ author so I wasn’t sure what to expect having not read her previous novel, Watching Edie. 

I was pleasantly surprised with the kind of fast read that’s impossible to put down.

Clara is hanging out at the flat she shares with her boyfriend Luke Lawson, waiting for him to return home from work, but he isn’t responding to her texts. When she notices that he’s left his phone at home, she checks to see if he’s contacted her through email. She notices that he has emailed her, telling her he’d be home at his normal time.

As the time passes and a heavy feeling grows, Clara contacts Luke’s family, friends, and the police. Upon some digging of her own she discovers that Luke had a stalker, and a darker past that Luke had never mentioned. Luke’s sister Emily disappeared when he was just a kid, and the family completely erased her from their life. As if she never existed at all. Soon the police investigation gains nationwide appeal and Luke’s sister, Emily, reaches out to Clara eager to assist with the search but unwilling to see her family.

The only reason why I didn’t give this four or five stars is because the plot itself is nothing new or unique to the world of thrillers, however, it’s cleverly written and very entertaining. The cast of characters are all really unlikable as well and there’s so much deceit flying about it makes your head spin! Nonetheless, this novel is worthy of adding to your TBR pile for a quiet night on the couch and a cocktail.

Have you read Watching Edie or The Lies We Told? What’s the best thriller you’ve read recently? Tell me in the comments!

Happy Reading!

 

 

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

The CraftsmanExpected Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Format: Kindle

Pages: 352

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Pre-Order: Amazon

Rating: 5/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Catching him will make her career – and change her forever.

August, 1999

On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity. 

June, 1969

13-year-old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave. 

August, 1999

As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks’ old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy – one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?


I’ve read quite a few of Sharon Bolton’s books and all of them have been four or five star reads for me. I love the way she writes: the character development is always masterful and the atmospheric details pull you in to her world in a way that has you both wishing to stay and dying to get out. Her latest book, The Craftsman, far surpasses that and is deserving of more than just five stars. It has earned it’s spot as my favorite read this year.

I read a lot of Mystery and Crime novels and one thing that I find irritating is the way that a lot  of authors feel the need to write every female lead detective as damaged but bossy, arrogant and just like ‘one of the guys’. I get the strong female thing, but it’s overdone and borderline cliche.

In The Craftsman, Sharon Bolton introduces you to Florence Lovelady, who as a young detective in her twenties during the notorious Glassman case in 1969, struggles with sexism in the office. Her peers don’t take her serious because she’s a woman and would rather have her serve them tea then give input on a case. It’s real and it’s refreshing, so for that I gave two huge thumbs up. However, don’t be fooled, our lead detective is still full of spunk and does not easily take no for an answer.

But let’s get to the gist of the story which, in all seriousness, still has me in a book hangover. It begins in 1999 at the funeral of serial killer Larry Glassbrook, who killed three local teenagers back in 1969. Florence Lovelady, the investigator responsible for putting Larry away, returns to the town of Sabden to attend the funeral. While there, strange things begin to happen that seem eerily similar to Larry Glassbrooks MO, and they seem to be directed at Florence.

From here the story alternates between 1999 and 1969 and is perfectly executed. In the past we learn of Florence’s involvement in the case, as well as other drama in the town. Just when you think you know what’s happening, your blindsided with something even more shocking. We also get a taste of witchcraft but in a way that adds nothing but eerie charm to the environment and to the story. It’s authentic and real. It takes this book from ‘just another mystery’ and makes it next level. Florence is in danger but Larry is dead, so who is the person coming after her?

I urge you to not wait to buy this book: witchcraft, children being buried alive, and serial killers. If you’ve never read anything by Sharon Bolton, then make this your first; and if you have – well then what are you waiting for? The Craftsman will be released on October 16th, just in time for Halloween! Pre-order your copy now and then come back and tell me how much you loved it once your done!

Happy Reading!