Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #16: Snowblind by Christopher Golden

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event,  hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. This week I can't wait to get my hands on Snowblind by Christopher Golden. I just love a good ghost story. This one promises to be more than good. Probably will be "don't turn the lights off" good for a minimum and definitely "don't wander around in that blizzard" good. Snowblind is due out from St. Martin's Press January 21, 2014.

Stephen King: "It will bring a blizzard to your bones (and your heart) even in the middle of July.  Throw away all those old 'it was a dark and stormy night' novels; this one is the real deal."

From Goodreads: "In Christopher Golden’s first horror novel in more than a decade--a work reminiscent of early Stephen King--Snowblind updates the ghost story for the modern age.

The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as---tonight---another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last."

So, what book are you waiting on this week?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #15: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating. This week the title I am most eagerly waiting on is Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh. Expected release date is October 29, 2013 from Touchstone.

From Goodreads: "In a four-color, illustrated collection of stories and essays, Allie Brosh’s debut Hyperbole and a Half chronicles the many “learning experiences” Brosh has endured as a result of her own character flaws, and the horrible experiences that other people have had to endure because she was such a terrible child. Possibly the worst child. For example, one time she ate an entire cake just to spite her mother.

Brosh’s website receives millions of unique visitors a month and hundreds of thousands of visitors a day. This amalgamation of new material and reader favorites from Brosh's blog includes stories about her rambunctious childhood; the highs and mostly lows of owning a smart, neurotic dog and a mentally challenged one; and moving, honest, and darkly comic essays tackling her struggles with depression and anxiety, among other anecdotes from Brosh's life. Artful, poignant, and uproarious, Brosh’s self-reflections have already captured the hearts of countless readers and her book is one that fans and newcomers alike will treasure."

I love her sense of humor and her stories. I am so looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this book. So, what book are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: The Impersonator by Mary Miley

The Impersonator by Mary Miley is a 2012 Minotaur Books/ Mystery Writers of America First Novel competition winner. It was released September 17, 2013 by Minotaur Books. There is a two chapter sample available on the author's website.

Leah is working hard in vaudeville when she encounters Uncle Oliver. Oliver thinks she is the spitting image of his missing niece Jessie. When he finds out that she isn't his niece, the greedy little wheels turn in his mind and he proposes a con - pose as his niece and sign the papers to become the heir to the Carr fortune and split it with him.

At first Leah turns him down flat. Then she is fired from her act in vaudeville and has second thoughts. Leah becomes Jessie, the greatest role of her career. There's only one problem. Someone knows the truth about what happened to Jessie. Leah won't be able to fool him. Leah sets out to find out what happened to Jessie while she is staying with the family in Dexter where Jessie was last seen.

The characters are well written. Everything seems appropriate for the time - bobbed hair, the Charleston, Prohibition, speakeasies, bootlegging. The details about vaudeville are interesting - the different acts, what life was like for the actors, and especially the inclusion of Jack Benny as one of her co-workers. I liked too that she managed to work in a definition showing the difference between burlesque and vaudeville.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #14 - Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week the book I am waiting on is Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller. It's due out December 17, 2013 from Minotaur Books.

"All small towns have secrets—and plenty of them—as every small town waitress knows. Daisy is no different. A young, recently-separated waitress at H&P's Diner in sleepy southwestern Virginia, she hears more than her fair share of neighborhood gossip while serving plates of hash and peach cobbler. But when a reclusive old man, Dickerson, shows up at the diner one day, only to drop dead a few minutes later, Daisy quickly learns that some secrets are more dangerous to keep than others—especially when there’s money and moonshine involved.

Daisy finds herself caught between whiskey and guns; a handsome ATF agent and a moonshine-brewing sweet talker; and a painful past and a dangerous present. Not sure any longer who she can trust, Daisy must turn sleuth while also protecting her sick mother and keeping a handle on Aunt Emily, her goading, trigger-happy landlord. There's trouble brewing in her small town, and before it passes, many secrets will come to light.

Carol Miller makes a memorable and charming debut in Murder and Moonshine, the first of an intriguing new series."

It sounds interesting to me. I wonder just what will come out in the course of the book. And I hope she will find someone she can trust before the end.

What book are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Day One by Nate Kenyon

Day One by Nate Kenyon is a sci/fi techno-thriller released from Thomas Dunne Books on October 1, 2013. Most of the action takes place in New York City with a smattering of action outside the city.
A generous sample of the book including the prologue and 2 chapters can be read on the author's website at

John Hawke is a former hacker turned hacker journalist. He has been investigating James Weller, the former CEO of a company named Eclipse, who has broken off and started his own company called Conn.ect. Weller has promised Hawke an interview. The day seems to start mostly normal, but once Hawke arrives at Conn.ect, things seem to go haywire. Anything with a computer chip in it begins to malfunction. And John gets a panicked call from his wife that things are in danger at home as well.

John and a small group find themselves trying to survive in a NYC where the bridges and tunnels have been bombed and find their ways back to their loved ones.. And John and some of the other members of the group have been declared enemies. There is a genius behind this, but to let you know who it is, would be too much of a spoiler at this point.

I liked the book, but I didn't love it. It's very slow in the beginning. Once the action starts, it really picks up and doesn't slow down again until right toward the end. I also had a little bit of an issue with how technical it got at times. For some people this will be fine, but for me it was a little much. I did enjoy the action part of the book a lot. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #13: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week the book I am eagerly anticipating is The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

From Goodreads:
"Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive. "

I've heard that it's like a combination of Criminal Minds and CSI, but I can't vouch for that until I read it myself. It does sound very interesting at any rate. It's due out November 5, 2013 through Disney-Hyperion Books.

What book are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review: Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre edited by Paula Guran

Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre edited by Paula Guran is an anthology of 18 tales ranging from the simply magical to the horrifying about my favorite holiday. There is an excellent selection of writers. Some of the authors included are Caitlin R. Kiernan, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem.

I really liked all of the stories, but I still had a few favorites. My favorite magical tale was "For the Removal of Unwanted Guests" by A.C. Wise. When a witch moves in unbidden, what would you do?

As for a mysterious story, perhaps you could call, "Long Way Home" by Jonathan Maberry a mystery. A soldier returns home after war on Halloween, but the town is not quite the same.

And for the macabre, Maria V. Snyder's tale, "The Halloween Men," takes place in a city where you must wear a mask every day of the year except Halloween. For an excerpt of this tale you can check out the author's page.

This book is perfect for the Halloween season. I would recommend it in particular for fans of dark fantasy because most of the tales do seem to have a darkness to them. All of the stories are well written.

I give this anthology 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

Top Ten things I encounter while I am reading and it totally turns me off. Top Ten Tuesday is  hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. Animal Cruelty - not only do I stop reading, but the book goes into the trash or is deleted.
  2. Cruelty to children/child abuse - if it's suddenly added in, chances are it's a plot contrivance to pull at your heart strings for some reason and totally unnecessary to the plot. I'd rather not read it.
  3. Super gory descriptions - Some things are better left to the imagination and are more effective that way.
  4. Deus ex Machina - When an author solves a plot point by saying or having something miraculous occur, it's a real turn off. 
  5. A controlling love interest - Like in Shades of Gray, it just doesn't seem fun or healthy to me.
  6. Too many changes of Point of View - especially if it's all within the same chapter. It just gets too confusing.
  7. Pages of description that don't further the plot or the action.- I ran into that in a classic when I was trying to read Roughing It by Mark Twain when I was younger.
  8. Politics - Suddenly there are tons of politics and perhaps on top of that the book is getting preachy about what sort of politics the author or main character or both subscribe to, it's too much.
  9. Too preachy in a religious sort of way - Suddenly, their god is the is the only god and their way is the only right way, but in more words.
  10. Book in a series that doesn't wrap up the plot to that particular plot, but marks it as to be continued in the next book. - Series books are fine. I read series. But, the book should wrap up the plot and give you some idea as to what to expect. When they leave the plot unresolved, it's a huge turn off. If they're going to do that with every book, it's just not really an enjoyable prospect. Yes, I want to know what happened, but it's not necessarily worth the frustration.
So, what makes you stop reading a book?