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Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.



I'm still reading:

This one has been sitting on my dusty bookshelf for so long, and Michelle at TuesBookTalk on Goodreads is hosting a read-a-long for October:

TITLE: 'Salem's Lot
AUTHOR: Stephen King
PUBLISHER: Signet
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 1976
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 427 pages
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9780451165886
Something strange is going on in Jerusalem's Lot ... but no one dares to talk about it. By day, 'Salem's Lot is a typical modest New England town; but when the sun goes down, evil roams the earth. The devilishly sweet insistent laughter of a child can be heard echoing through the fields, and the presence of silent looming spirits can be felt lurking right outside your window. Stephen King brings his gruesome imagination to life in this tale of spine tingling horror.




I'm listening to:

This classic has been on my TBR list forever!


AUTHOR: Anthony Burgess
NARRATOR: Tom Hollander
PUBLISHER: HarperAudio
PUBLICATION DATE: June 12, 2007 (first published 1962)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 42 mins
GENRE: Classics, Science Fiction/Dystopia
A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. And when the state undertakes to reform Alex to "redeem" him, the novel asks, "At what cost?"

This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."


I just finished:

This was a re-listen, and I think I loved it even more the second time around!

TITLE: The Exorcist
PUBLISHER: HarperAudio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 51 mins
GENRE: Horror
Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.



What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!



Sunday, October 30, 2016

The #StephenKing Challenge: Salem's Lot Read-Along - Discussions Two and Three #TuesBookTalk


This is the second/third discussion on the book so far, covering Sections 2 and 3, until Chapter 10 of Part 3 (to Page 317 in my book).


Don't worry, Michelle, I fell behind in the reading as well :)  I find that I tend to read King's books more slowly, because there is often so much detail that it's a lot to absorb. 

Death, death, and more death! A lot has happened since the First Check-in. The most disturbing scenes, for me, were the ones involving Randy McDougall. First, the abuse by the mother, Sandy. Then, Danny Glick feeding on poor Randy. Finally, Sandy in disbelief that Randy is really dead and trying to feed him while he is unresponsive. Ugh, those scenes just turned my stomach! Also the one where Danny Glick comes to his mother in her "dreams," and she reveals how she "nursed" him at her breast.

I really enjoyed everything that happened at Matt Burke's house with Susan. That was definitely creepy! 

Ben and Susan drive me a bit batty, with their "insta-love." How can they say "I love you" when they barely know each other?! I wasn't too broken up when Mark had to leave her behind at Marsten House.

My favourite character, by far, is Mark Petrie. Remember the scene where Danny Glick is outside Mark's window, and he scratches his dirty fingernails on the windowpane? It was that particular scene from the 1979 television mini-series that scarred me for life! I was just a kid myself when I watched it, only nine years old. My sister used to scratch on my door at night, just to terrorize me! 

I found the infamous window scene clip on YouTube:



So, I asked in my Discussion One post who the man and the boy in the Prologue are supposed to be. I'm betting that they are likely to be Ben Mears and Mark Petrie. I guess that I will have to wait and see!

I am looking forward to reading the last section of the book. I do wish that I could have listened to the audiobook. My library has the book on CD, but someone else has checked it out. Oh, well. Maybe this will be a re-read on audio for next Halloween! My library also has the 1979 mini-series on Blu-ray, so I will have to wait my turn on the Holds List.

Friday, October 28, 2016

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Oblivion by Kelly Creagh #AtheneumBooks

TITLE: Oblivion
SERIES: Nevermore, Book #3
AUTHOR: Kelly Creagh
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
PUBLICATION DATE: July 28, 2015
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 434 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? —Edgar Allan Poe

The fine line between life and death blurred long ago for Isobel Lanley. After a deadly confrontation with Varen in the dreamworld, she’s terrified to return to that desolate and dangerous place. But when her nightmares resume, bleeding into reality, she is left with no choice. Varen’s darkness is catching up to her. To everything. Threatening to devour it all.

Isobel fears for her world—for her sanity and Varen’s, especially after a fresh and devastating loss. To make matters worse, the ghostly demon Lilith wants Varen for her own, and she will do anything to keep him in her grasp—anything.

Can Isobel ever find her happy ending? Worlds collide and fates are sealed in this breathtaking finale to the Nevermore trilogy.

MY REVIEW:

This is the final book in the Nevermore trilogy, and there was so much going on that it seemed a bit overwhelming and also confusing at times!

Varen’s fate lies with Isobel. Because of the heroine that she is, she will not stop trying to rescue Varen even to her own detriment. It’s the ultimate battle of good versus evil, with Isobel going up against the demon Lilith. I truly loved the ending, and that part of it was very satisfying and did not disappoint.

I read the first two books in this series (Nevermore and Enshadowed) nearly back-to-back in 2012, and I really enjoyed both of them. I had high hopes for the conclusion of the series, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. There was something a bit off with this one. I was a huge fan of Creagh’s literary style in the first two books, and I found it so hard for me to tear myself away from the books! This one did not suck me in the way the others did. I think part of the issue was the long delay between books. This book was originally scheduled to be published in 2013, then it was postponed to 2014, and then finally was published in 2015. Perhaps another reason is that Varen was, once again, absent for a good chunk of the book! However, my favourite character is still Pinfeathers! I think the most special aspect of this series is how Creagh masterfully tied Edgar Allan Poe into it!

Overall, I still recommend the series as a whole to fans of darker YA fantasy. I think that I probably would have enjoyed this installment more if I had read the entire series back-to-back!

MY RATING:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel @liahabel @PRHAudio

TITLE: Dearly, Departed
SERIES: Gone With the Respiration, Book #1
AUTHOR: Lia Habel 
NARRATOR: Kim Mai Guest
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 18, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 16 hrs and 46 mins
GENRE: Science Fiction/Steampunk, Science Fiction/Dystopia
Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead - or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria - a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible -until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead - and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble... and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

MY REVIEW:

Steampunk isn’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed this!

The protagonist is Nora Dearly, and the year is 2195. About 150 years before then, global disaster struck. The winters became incredibly long and the North and South Poles disappeared under ice. As a result, people had to migrate to the warmer zones near the equator. Incoming refugees from Canada brought a deadly strain of influenza that killed 25% of people. Famine struck, and then there was the Second American Civil War which used nuclear weapons and destroyed the United States. What wasn’t destroyed by the war was decimated when a volcano erupted at Yellowstone. The survivors had to find a way to use bio-fuel and solar power in order to survive. As they reinvented themselves, they settled upon the Victorian era of dress which they felt modeled propriety and class.

Teenage Nora is an orphan. Her mother died when she was just nine years old, and she has just completed the one-year mourning period of her father’s death as the book begins. She is returning home from boarding school to live with her aunt, when she is approached by a man with strange cloudy eyes who tells her that she is in danger. The stranger tells her that he was in the Army with her father, Dr. Victor Dearly, and that her father saved his life. Dr. Dearly was an expert of infectious diseases, and he was head of the Department of Military Health. The stranger insists that Nora needs to come with him, but he is scared off by police constables.

Nora returns to her home, but she is soon attacked by a group of monsters. She is not your typical girly-girl but a force to be reckoned with. She used to watch war movies with her father, so she grabs a weapon and starts shooting. The monsters should be dropping like flies, but they keep coming at her. The soldier that previously gave her the warning returns to help her, and he brings her to safety. The stranger is Bram Griswold, who has been affected by the Lazarus Syndrome or “The Z” named by her father. The virus reanimates the body after death, and the only way that someone afflicted with The Z can be killed is with a hit to the brain. Bram is somewhat of a refined zombie, and he does not feed on flesh. Dr. Dearly discovered methods of feeding the body to keep it from decomposing. There are other zombies, like the Grays who attacked her, who are nothing more than monsters with rotting flesh and exposed muscles and bones. Nora has to learn to trust these undead friends if she wants to survive.

This book was a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed the world that Habel created, and I loved the different types of zombies. The only thing that I’m not really clear on is how the Lazarus Syndrome developed. Was it from the influenza strain brought by the Canadian refugees, or was it part of the fall-out resulting from the nuclear war? I am not really sure on that.

I honestly never thought that I’d be rooting for a human girl’s romance with a zombie, but Bram’s relationship with Nora was so sweet. I loved how he gained her trust, little by little. Nora is also a wonderful character, who is brave and determined and smart. I am very impressed with Habel’s debut novel, and I will definitely be continuing on in the series!

There were a number of narrators who brought this wonderful book to life! Kim Mai Guest narrated Nora’s parts, and she was new to me. I absolutely loved her. I do not know who narrated the male points of view, but he was fantastic as well.

MY RATING:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for As the Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton @mc_beaton @BlackstoneAudio @PeneKeith1

TITLE: As the Pig Turns
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #22
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 11, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 36 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
The picturesque Cotwsold village of Winter Parva has decided to warm the post-Christmas season by roasting a pig in the town square. Agatha, always one for a good roasting, organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. But as the rotary spit is placed over a bed of fiery charcoals and the pig is carried toward its final resting place, Agatha realizes that things are not as they seem...

"Stop!" she screams suddenly. The "pig," in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the good people of the village. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police, everything changes when Gary's ex-wife hires Agatha's detective agency to investigate - and then is murdered too. With that provocation, how could any sleuth as vain and competitive (and secretly insecure) as Agatha do anything other than solve the case herself?

MY REVIEW:

When Roy Silver heads to the Cotswolds to visit Agatha for the weekend, she decides to take him to a nearly village which is holding a winter festival complete with pig roast. Agatha invites Toni Gilmour and her new boyfriend, Paul Finlay who is twice her age, to come along with them. While the group is enjoying drinks at Agatha’s before leaving for the festival, Charles Fraith shows up and joins the crew. They make their way to Winter Parva for the festival and while they are watching the pig being basted on the spit, Agatha spots a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it on the pig’s leg and realizes that something is amiss. The pig turns out not to be the four-legged kind but the two-legged kind: A police officer named Gary Beech. Someone stitched the head of a pig onto Beech’s body. A pig’s legs and a man’s legs are quite different, so I’m not sure why it was only the tattoo that gave it away! Did the men basting the pig not realize the legs were awfully long? And what about the feet?? But I digress. With his penchant for liberally writing tickets to meet certain targets to receive a promotion, Beech has made a lot of enemies. Beech’s ex-wife, Amy, hires Agatha to find the murderer.

Elsewhere in the Cotswolds, Mrs. Bloxby is worried that her husband is cheating on her. It turns out the vicar is not stepping out on his wife but seeking his own spiritual guidance from a local priest because he is conflicted with the orders given to him by the bishop to change to more modern translations of both the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Version of the Bible. Agatha actually promises to help him, by getting the parishioners to sign a petition to keep things as they are, which very much pleases the vicar!

This wasn’t my favourite in the series, but I still enjoyed it. I haven’t tired yet of the love triangle between Charles, Agatha and James. Both men clearly have feelings for Agatha and vice versa, but Agatha never seems to be on the same page with either one of them! It was nice to see a bit of role-reversal, with Agatha comforting Mrs. Bloxby instead of the usual other way around! As much as Toni is annoyed that Agatha meddles too much in her love life, I do think that Agatha genuinely cares for the girl. I enjoy the series for what it is, which is a quick escape with a light-hearted mystery and some humour thrown in the mix.

One of the reasons why it’s such a pleasure to get back to Agatha Raisin is because of the narrator, Penelope Keith! When I hear her voice, it’s like sinking into a favourite chair: It’s so comforting and cozy!

MY RATING:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Favourite Horror/Scary Books #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is: Favourite Horror/Scary Books. I love nothing more than a good scary story that makes me jump out of my skin while reading!


Pet Sematary by Stephen King: I read this about 25 years ago, and I absolutely loved it! The whole idea of the dead coming back to life but not quite the same, especially when it involves a child, is terrifying! It was a great scary read, and it's on my re-read list!


BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker: This isn't a horror novel, but it is totally creepy because it involves a serial killer who preys on young girls and kills them by methodically breaking their bones without piercing their skin.


Shattered by Dean Koontz: This was my first read from Koontz, and then I was hooked. I find his books so terrifying because they could actually happen, since they are usually psychologically based! A man and his girlfriend's brother are driving on a road trip, and they are being followed by a psychopath. It really freaked me out!


The First Days by Rhiannon Frater: Frater made zombies terrifying for me again! From my review: "Frater had me biting my nails with anxiety! What was so scary about her zombies is that they were not slow like they are in the movies; they are fast, especially when they smell fresh meat. Furthermore, some of her zombies appear to be thinkers, who study the environment around them and try to solve the dilemma of how to gain access to buildings or escape confinement."


The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater: Yes, another Frater favourite! This one has a futuristic sci-fi element in addition to the zombies.


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters: This story is not gruesome or gory, but a very eerie story told in a subtle way. Definitely creepy! 


Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: If you are a fan of the television show "Supernatural," then you will enjoy this book! It wasn't as scary as I was hoping for, but I still enjoyed it.


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: It was good, but I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have the creep factor that The Little Stranger did.


The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty: I listened to this audiobook back in 2014, and I am actually re-reading it now. There is nothing more chilling than demonic possession!


'Salem's Lot by Stephen King: I'm reading this one right now, and this is shaping up to likely be another favourite horror story!


The Haunted by Bentley Little: I recently finished this one, and I really enjoyed it! As you can see, I have a thing for haunted houses!


Here are a some horror books that I have on my TBR mountain:



So, what are your favourite horror or scary books? I love getting book recommendations! Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm still reading:

This one has been sitting on my dusty bookshelf for so long, and Michelle at TuesBookTalk on Goodreads is hosting a read-a-long for October:

TITLE: 'Salem's Lot
AUTHOR: Stephen King
PUBLISHER: Signet
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 1976
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 427 pages
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9780451165886
Something strange is going on in Jerusalem's Lot ... but no one dares to talk about it. By day, 'Salem's Lot is a typical modest New England town; but when the sun goes down, evil roams the earth. The devilishly sweet insistent laughter of a child can be heard echoing through the fields, and the presence of silent looming spirits can be felt lurking right outside your window. Stephen King brings his gruesome imagination to life in this tale of spine tingling horror.



I'm listening to:

This is a re-read for me and a scary pick for October!

TITLE: The Exorcist
PUBLISHER: HarperAudio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 51 mins
GENRE: Horror
Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.



I just finished:

I was in the mood for a cozy mystery, so I downloaded this one from my library on Hoopla.

TITLE: Hiss and Hers
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #23
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
NARRATOR: Davina Porter
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: September 18, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 24 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever - armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on.

Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up.

Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike. Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime.




SERIES: The Hollows, Book #1
AUTHOR: Kim Harrison
NARRATOR: Marguerite Gavin
PUBLISHER: Tantor Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: June 27, 2007
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 14 mins
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending law-breakers throughout Cincinnati. She's also a witch, one of the many Inderlanders who revealed themselves after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 50 percent of humanity. Witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves: the creatures of dreams and nightmares have lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But now they've stopped hiding, and nothing will be the same.

On the run with a contract on her head, Rachel reluctantly teams up with Ivy, Inderland's best runner...and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crimelord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death...not to mention her own roommate!

Fun, sassy, filled with action, humor, and romance, Dead Witch Walking is the perfect summer listen for anyone who likes vampires, paranormal fantasy, romance, or just a great beach book.



What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Friday, October 21, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs @Mercys_Garage #BrillianceAudio

TITLE: Dead Heat
AUTHOR: Patricia Briggs 
NARRATOR: Holter Graham
PUBLISHER: Brilliance Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 3, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 11 hrs and 24 mins
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
The new Charles and Anna novel

Praised as "the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal" (Rex Robot Reviews), the Alpha and Omega novels transport listeners into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business....

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles' role as his father's enforcer. This time their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way....

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae's cold war with humanity is about to heat up - and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

MY REVIEW:

This is the fourth book in the Alpha & Omega series, and it wasn’t quite as dark as the last one, Fair Game. In Fair Game, we saw the relationship between Anna and Charles become strained. With his responsibility of having to mete out punishment to any problematic wolves, it took its toll on Charles and he withdrew from Anna and shut down his bond to her to protect her. Here, in Dead Heat, we see Anna’s insecurities and worries that Charles couldn’t love her if he realized that she still carried her scars on the inside. She is concerned about the broken parts of her that still exist, and how that would change Charles’ image of her if he knew. Personally, I think Charles does indeed know about Anna’s dark and broken parts and loves her even more for her ability to rise above it! Anna is also aching to have Charles’ baby, but she knows that he would never agree for her to carry the child herself since she has to change every full moon and he would never risk her safety. She tries to convince Charles that using a surrogate makes logical sense, however, that is also a complicated issue because no one knows the effect that a werewolf embryo could have on the human surrogate carrying it! Charles’ brother, Samuel, recommends that they find a human surrogate who wants to become a werewolf, just in case the Change occurs.

Joseph Sani, a very old and dear friend of Charles, surprises him with a phone call. The two were the best of friends in their youth, having first met when Charles was just 12 years old. Twenty years have gone by since Charles last saw him, and Joseph was 60 years old back then. It had been difficult for Charles to see his friend age, and now many more years have gone by. Joseph asked Charles if he would come by for a visit so that he could meet Anna, and that gives Charles a brilliant idea to buy a horse for Anna’s 26th birthday since Joseph owns a ranch and breeds horses.

Charles and Anna make the trek to Scottsdale, Arizona. Anna knows that her husband does not consider very many people as close friends, so she is very intrigued to learn more about Joseph. Charles tells Anna that Joseph is human, and he admits how tough it was on him to see his best friend become old while he still retained his youth despite being 200 years old. We learn later that Joseph’s father, Hosteen, is the Alpha of the Salt River Pack and holds a grudge against Charles for never Changing his son. However, the law states that someone cannot be Changed against their will, and Joseph never wanted or asked for that.

What was intended to be a vacation for Charles and Anna turns into an investigation. Not only do they discover some strange goings-on in the area involving dark fae magic with ties to a certain daycare, but the danger extends directly to Joseph’s family.

I loved seeing the softer side of Charles! We rarely see his affection for others, and his pride and admiration for Joseph is so heart-warming. We see how fiercely protective he is for those he loves. I love how Briggs ended the story, and the important role that Joseph played in resolving everything. But, oh, how my heart ached! My only complaint is that Bran was noticeably absent from the storyline, except for a few small mentions. I missed Bran’s banter with Anna!

Holter Graham, as always, is a fabulous narrator. He sucks me right into the story, and I had a hard time taking out my earbuds! It’s been so long since I listened to the previous book in the series, Fair Game in 2012, so I honestly cannot recall whether he stuck to his original vocalization for Charles because he had changed it up in the second book, Hunting Ground, and then reverted back to his original vocalization in the third one. Nonetheless, his narration held me in rapt attention.

The next book in this series is not expected to be released until 2018! It’s a good thing that I need to catch up on Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

MY RATING:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Haunted by Bentley Little @MonkeyPunchBaby @BlackstoneAudio

TITLE: The Haunted
AUTHOR: Bentley Little 
NARRATOR: Dan Butler
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: April 3, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 11 hrs and 54 mins
GENRE: Horror
The Perry family's new house is perfect - except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it's too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.

MY REVIEW:

The Haunted is a great spooky story!

Julian and his wife, Claire, have the perfect family with two kids, Megan and James. With the decline in the economy, the bank has foreclosed on a number of homes in their neighbourhood and turned them into rentals. As a result, the safety of the neighbourhood has deteriorated. Julian and Claire decide to make a move to a better area while they still are still in a good financial position to do so. Their new house is big and beautiful, but there is something unsettling about it. James is afraid of the basement, and he avoids it at all costs. Megan feels like someone is watching her, particularly when she is in the bathroom. Whatever malevolent evil is lurking in their house is finding its way into their dreams. The neighbours are not very welcoming, and they appear to not want anything to do with the Perry family.

Stories with haunted houses always tend to freak me out a bit, and this book was no exception. Little is a new-to-me author, and I really enjoyed the darkness he infused into the story. I tend to pick up scarier reads in the Fall, and this one was a great choice. The part with James and the dirt had me going “blech!” My eyes glazed over a bit in the middle, with all the local history. However, I definitely will be reading more of Little’s work, and I already picked up another one of his books at a used book sale.

Dan Butler is a new-to-me narrator, and I thought he was pretty good. He seemed a bit awkward during the sex scenes but, other than that, he was fine.

MY RATING:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Busy Body by M.C. Beaton @mc_beaton @BlackstoneAudio @PeneKeith1

TITLE: Busy Body
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #21
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 12, 2010
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 14 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Agatha Raisin has never been one for forced holiday cheer, but her friendly little village of Carsely has always prided itself on its traditional Christmas festivities. But this year the bells will not be ringing out, as Mr. John Sunday, an officer with the Cotswold Health and Safety Board, has chosen Christmas as the time to crack down on safety hazards all around the community. But he goes too far when he rules that there cannot be a Christmas tree atop the church tower this year.

Mr. Sunday is soon found face down in the petunias, very much dead. Agatha is instantly on the case, but with so many people having threatened the life of the victim, it's almost impossible to know where to start!

MY REVIEW:

A great mix of murder, mayhem, and humour makes this another enjoyable installment in the Agatha Raisin series!

The story starts off with Agatha in Corsica, determined to put thoughts of Christmas out of her head. It seems that she can’t escape Christmas, even there! With most of the local restaurants and shops closed for the holidays, Agatha does not have much to do and the local Christmas decorations only remind her of what she is missing in Carsely. She returns to the Cotswolds to find that John Sunday, the local Health and Safety Board Officer, is ruining Christmas! His determination to put the kibosh on all of the festivities that he deems “unsafe” has put a huge target on his back, and it is no surprise when he is murdered. Agatha is hired by the police’s prime suspect to find the real murderer, and Agatha’s involvement in the investigation causes some tension between her and Bill Wong. Roy Silver and Charles Fraith both lend a hand, but Roy is attacked by the villain as a warning to stay away.

I like Agatha’s new detective, Simon Black. I think he makes a good love interest for Toni Gilmour. I want to strangle Charles Fraith’s butler, Gustav! And that ending? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall to see the look on James Lacey’s face!

Penelope Keith just had me in stitches with this one. I absolutely love listening to her! Her narration is just perfect in every way.

MY RATING:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bookish Characters That I'd Name A Pet After #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is: Bookish Characters That I'd Name A Pet After.

 
Isobel and Varen from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh: Varen is such a unique and unusual name, and he's so dark and brooding. I can see these two as a pair of Labrador retrievers: Varen being a black one and Isobel being a yellow one! They would look so cute!




Beast from The Beast by J.R. Ward: Well, with a name like that, you know he's got to be big! The sexiest member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is also known as Hollywood for his good looks and has blond locks. I think this Long Coat White German Shepherd is both beautiful and beastly! And no one would mess with a dog named Beast!



Hermione from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling:
The girl with the big bushy hair needs a cat with big bushy fur, and who better than Crookshanks! If I had a Ginger Himalayan cat like this, I'd definitely name her Hermione! See the resemblance? They are like two peas in a pod, I say!


Rhys from The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook: That's another tough name for what has got to be a big dog. If I had a Caucasian Mountain Dog like this, that's what I'd name him!



Bram from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel: Bram is a soldier, who is also a zombie but does not eat flesh. So, he's more like a refined zombie :) This Great Dane is a beaut, and the grey colour would match the pallor of a zombie's skin!



Mercy from Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Mercy is a totally kick-ass heroine, and she can shift to a coyote. I picture her more looking like a wolf than a coyote, so I'd love to name a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog like this after her:



So, what booklish characters would you name a pet after? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!
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