Showing posts with label Fall Reads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall Reads. Show all posts

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Fall Reads: Canadian Dreadful: An Anthology

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.


I spent this afternoon reading the new horror anthology Canadian Dreadful, which is published by Dark Dragon Publishing and edited by David Tocher.

As you can probably guess by the title, all of the stories (14 total) are set in or near Canada. There are a wide range of horror tales in this collection featuring sacrifices, cannibalism, ghosts, and mystical forests.

The story titles and authors are:

  • Aranzazu Banks by Robin Rowland
  • Centre Ice by Cailtin Marceau
  • His Cold Coffin by Tyner Gillies
  • Memories Of Miss Mindy Tulane by Jen Frankel
  • Nowhere Time by Pat Fleweeling
  • Rebecca Raven by David Tocher
  • Relentless by Repo Kempt
  • Sins of the Father by Colleen Anderson
  • Snow Angel by Nancy Kilpatrick
  • The Delivery Boy by Judith Baron
  • The Mansion by Karen Dales
  • Two Trees by Vanessa C. Hawkins
  • Stag And Storm by Sara C. Walker
  • The Sound Of Passing Traffic by Joe Powers

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Fall Reads: Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Revenge of the Invisible Boy by R.L. Stine

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Barnes & Noble; Amazon
Hop into a time machine and travel back to the early 1990s, a time when I was in elementary school and was reading a R.L. Stine's Goosebumps book monthly. Yeah, believe it or not, between 1992 and 1997, R.L. Sine cranked out 62 Goosebumps installments and sold around 4 million copies monthly. After the 1998-2000 spinoff Goosebumps 2000 series ended, fans would have to wait until 2009 until the next series, Goosebumps Horrorland, was published. Every since then, R.L. Stine has been releasing a few new Goosebumps titles, with latest being Goosebumps Slappyworld: Revenge of the Invisible Boy ($3.99; Scholastic; 151 pages).

Like the previous 8 entries in the SlappyWorld spinoff series, this book is hosted by everyone's favorite Goosebumps villain - Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy. Sometimes, Slappy includes himself into the story but not this time. Instead, the story focuses on Frankie Miller, a twelve-year-old at Han Solo Middle School in Barberton, Ohio. Along with his friends Melody Richmond and Edurado Martinez, he's part of a Magic Club with his nemesis, Ari Goodwyn, who likes to play tricks on everyone.

The Magic Club gang are more than excited when they learn the legendary magician, Mystical Marvin, is going to preforming at the Town Center, and thanks to Frankie's dad being on the city council, they have tickets to the big event!

Shortly after the event, the gang goes backstage to meet Mystical Marvin, who shows them a secret formula he uses to disappear. To get back at Ari for all of his tricks, Frankie puts a few drops of the formula into his lemonade. However, Ari is smarter than he looks and switches Frankie's drink his own. Let just say the formula and lemonade don't mix well together and Frankie turns into the invisible boy!

Final Thoughts

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review - A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff

Early this morning, I had the privilege of reading the new thriller A Cross to Kill. And, no, it's not an "Alex Cross" novel by James Patterson! (FYI: I've read many Patterson books!) Written by Andrew Huff, A Cross to Kill is the first book in A Shepherd Suspense Novel trilogy from Kregel Publications.

The novel centers on John Cross, a small-town pastor who used to be a CIA assassin. He has mostly put his past behind him until terrorists attempt to murder news reporter Christine Lewis "live" on the air for millions of people to witness around the world. It forces John into the crossfire to rescue Christine and stop the bad guys.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Fall Reads: Summer's Promise

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Typically in the autumn months, I tend to read only horror or Halloween themed novels but here I am writing a review for the Amish romance "Summer's Promise" by Barbara Cameron, which was just released last month from Gilead Publishing. I've read a few other books by the author so I naturally wanted to read this one as well.

The novel centers around Summer Carson (Yep! That's a name!), a young woman who's trying to get her degree in agricultural science so she can follow in her late father's footsteps to help work with the local farmers. When Summer's not taking care of her mother, she's working part-time at the county agricultural office, a place where she occasionally has to socialize with Amish farmers. Her knowledge of Pennsylvania Deitsch is very limited.

This is a romance novel, so of course there is a suitor for Summer - Abram Yoder, a young Amish man who catches Summer's eye fairly quickly upon meeting. Despite being worlds apart, her being Englisch and him being Amish, sparks fly between the two but Summer's love for her Englisch lifestyle could be a bit of problem for them.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fall Reads: The Road Home by Beverly Lewis

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

I wasn't even aware there was such as thing as "Amish romances" or an "Amish genre" until I read The Covenant by Beverly Lewis (a.k.a. the first book in the Abram's Daughters series) in either 2002 or 2003. Since then, I've read many Amish stories by many authors but my favorite happens to be Beverly Lewis. That being said, I've fallen a bit behind with the author's recent releases. However, I was able to do a bit of  reading catch up in September, which is when I finally got around to reading the author's 2018 novel The Road Home (320 pages; Bethany House).

Set in 1977, the novel centers around Lena Rose Schwartz, a young Amish woman from Michigan who's forced to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to live with a new family after the death of her parents. Lena wanted to take care of her nine siblings but the bishop disagreed and sent all of them to different families. Adjusting to a new settlement has been a huge challenge, especially since she has been separated from her siblings and left behind her beau, Hans Bontrager.

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fall Reads: The Witch Port Video Game

This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine!

Book can be purchased at the author’s web site at

Does anyone remember going into a video rental store, running across a slew of low-budget supernatural movies, and getting goose bumps by just looking at the freaky VHS cover arts?

If you're old enough, then you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Well, I had that same feeling when I first laid eyes on the art cover art for the novella The Witch Port Video Game by writer-singer-actor Lenoard Bassed. Ironically, the author had originally intended to write a movie script instead of a book but eventually he decided to turn his idea into a YA novella.

“I was able to spend more time developing the characters and their world…the whole thing was just such an organic experience and extremely enjoyable, creative for me.” ~ Leonard Bassed

The plot centers around three school friend - Martin, Mackenzie, and Francesca - from a fictional town called Cradle Creek, who get introduced to a new video game called The Witch Port from a new acquaintance, Bianca Morris. At first glance, it looks like a simple sorcery game but they quickly realize it's actually real when the mysterious MacQuoid brothers arrive, as they are identical to characters in the game. Already freaked out enough, the teens start exhibiting supernatural abilities. Now they must literally play "The Witch Port" if they are to survive all this madness.

 Final Thoughts

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Fall Reads: Elevation by Stephen King

I was constantly reading Stephen King horror novels back when I was a teenager in the mid 1990s. While I still read his books from time to time, I haven't had the chance to read his last three or four books, though I do own them. However, I did find the time read Mr. King's newest title Elevation, which is a very short novella.

Set in Castle Rock, Maine, Elevation centers around an overweight middle-aged divorcee named Scott Carey, who finds himself in a strange situations. According to his Ozeri scale, he is losing two or three pounds per day, but he hasn't psychically lost any weight. Well, at least to the naked eye he he hasn't.

Scott's bizarre weight problem has baffled his longtime friend Bob Ellis, a retried doctor, who doesn't have any real answers to why he's losing weight.

The more pounds he drops on the scale, the lighter Scott becomes, which isn't a totally bad thing at first. He uses his newfound lightness to enter a 12k run, so he can "fix" the rocky relationship he has had with his new neighbors, Deirdre McComb and her wife Missy Donaldson, who own a local restaurant.

While Scott's lifestyle has improved since he started losing weight, he knows his happiness will be short lived, as his ability to stay grounded to Earth will not last forever.

Final Thoughts

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fall Reads: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one. 

Why do I have a fascination about Lizzie Borden?

Ever since I read a kid-friendly Lizzie Borden biography when I was in elementary school, I've been intrigued with what actually happened inside the Borden household on August 4, 1892. While you can easily conclude that Lizzie was the #1 suspect in the murders of her father and stepmother, there was no concrete proof that she was the murderer.

Over the years, there have been many fictionalized versions of Lizzie Borden, such as the LIFETIME movie Lizzie Borden Takes An Axe and the sequel miniseries The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, and this year's feature film, Lizzie. There have also been several fictionalized novels, such as "Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter" by C.A. Verstraete, who gave the Lizzie Borden tale a supernatural twist involving a zombie epidemic in Fall River, Massachusetts. You can read my review for the book here!

A sequel, titled Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, was released earlier this year. It picks up shortly after the ending events of the the first book. After being acquitted of her parent's murders, Lizzie doesn't get a chance to move on with her life, as she must team-up with her self-defense instructor, Pierre, to stop a zombie outbreak from destroying Fall River. In order to permanently put an end to the threat, Lizzie and Pierre must first find the original source to the outbreak, which does have a connection to her later father's business.

However, finding out what started the outbreak might be Lizzie's undoing!

Final Thoughts

Friday, November 2, 2018

Fall Reads: The Mark Of The Raven

Bethany House; 348 pages; Amazon
Considering the fact I am a big Game of Thrones fan, I have only read a handful of fantasy novels. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the genre. It's just there aren't too many standalone fantasies and most of them are part of a series, which is just something I just don't have time for these days.

As you can probably guess, I wasn't planning on reading a new fantasy novel, but that's exactly what I've been up to for the last two days - reading the soon-to-be-released "Mark Of The Raven" by Morgan L. Busse.

Mark Of The Raven is the first book in the all-new Ravenwood Saga series. It centers Lady Selene, a young woman who is the heir to the House of Ravenwood. Just like her mother, Lady Ragna, she is a dreamwalker, which is someone who has the ability to enter a person's dream and use their fears & desires to manipulate them. While her mother considers dreamwalking a gift, Selene considers it somewhat of a curse.

In the dreamworld, Selene turns herself into a raven, so her unexpected victims won't recognize her. The more time she spends there, the more she learns about Ravenwood's dark secrets. Secrets that could destroy her family's legacy forever.

After being assigned to assassinate Damien, a man who could possibly bring peace to the nations, Selene must make the decision to stay loyal to her family or rebel against them. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fall Reads: Blood Communion: A Tale Of Prince Lestat

KNOPF: 275 pages; $27.95; Amazon

The Gothic-horor author Anne Rice didn't hit my radar until I was teenager in the mid-90s after I had watched the edited version of Interview with the Vampire on network television. Shortly later, I bought the film on VHS. Well, my parents bought the movie since I was underage at the time and the movie was rated R. That lead me to seek out Anne Rice's novels, which I believe I got the first three books in the The Vampire Chronicles at Barnes & Noble. To make a long story short, I was obsessed with reading anything written by the author throughout my high school years. While my tastes for books have changed as I have gotten older, I still read every new novel in the series.

The 13th novel in The Vampire Chronicles, titled Blood Communion, was released this month from KNOPF. It's under 300 pages, making it the shortest entry in the series.

Blood Communion takes place after the events Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, where the Prince is telling his life story to the Blood Communion (aka Vampires). The first few chapters is basically a recap of all the previous books; telling us readers (or vampires) about Prince Lestat's past. Then the novel shifts towards the main plot involving the death of the ancient vampire Maharet by the hands of Rhoshamandes, the Child of the Millennia, a demon spirit who refuses to live by the laws set by Prince Lestat.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fall Reads: A Willing Murder: A Medlar Mystery

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mira Books; 336; $26.99; Amazon
Now available from Mira Books is the murder mystery novel A Willing Murder: A Medlar Mystery by Jude Deveraux, an author who has written dozens of historical romances, such as A Knight in Shining Armor.

A Willing Murder is the first book in a brand-new mystery series. It centers around Kate Medlar, a young realtor who packs her bags and moves to Lachlan, Florida to be closer to her estranged Aunt Sara, who happens to be a bestselling author.Kate had everything planned out: she has a new job at a local real estate business and Aunt Sara has a room already set up for her. However, there is one thing Kate didn't have planned - meeting Jackson "Jack" Wyatt.

Jack is almost like a grandson to Sara, who was good friends with his late grandfather and she's a partner in his construction business. When a freak accident injured Jack and killed his half-brother, he moved in with Sara while he healed his wounds.

After two female skeletons are found buried under a tree on one of Jack's properties, his past comes back to haunt him. He knows who the victims are, a mother and daughter who have been missing for twenty years. Jack has a heartfelt connection to the daughter and he makes it his personal mission to find the murder, with a little help from Kate and Sara.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fall Reads: The Promise Of Breeze Hill

Tyndale Fiction; 408 pages; $14.99; Amazon
I believe The Promise Of Breeze Hill has been sitting on a shelf for nearly year before I finally got around to reading it. It's was published by Tyndale and written by Pam Hillman. I'm not for sure it's book one in a series or not, but the "A Natchez Trace Novel" on the cover makes me believe that it's part of a series.

Set in Natchez near the Mississippi River in 1791, the novel centers around Isabella Bartholomew, a young woman who has taken the responsibility of rebuilding her family's home, Breeze Hill Plantation. A fire had destroyed their crops, damaged their home, and killed loved ones. With her father not in good health, Isabella is given the task of recruiting a carpenter to help rebuild their home and their lives.

That carpenter happens to be Connor O'Shea, a man who had came to America to work as a carpenter for Master Benson for seven years without wages in exchange for his four brothers passage from Ireland. The work was hard, but the thought of being reunited with his family kept him going. However, things don't go as planned when Master Benson dies and Connor is put up on the auction block. This is when he meets Isabella, who buys him at the auction. In exchange for rebuilding the Breeze Hill Plantation, Isabella promises him her family will pay for his brothers' passage to America.

Thanks to the fire that almost destroyed the plantation, the Bartholomew family is in dire need of money. They are barely scrapping by as it is when Connor takes it upon himself to hire a man, his pregnant wife, and their many many children. Despite not being able to give them anything but a roof over the heads and a little food, Isabella's father approves of the decision, as the man and his children can help in the fields.

Isabella must find a way to save Breeze Hill Plantation, but it's a little difficult to do when someone is threatening them. And this someone might be responsible for starting the fire that took her brother's life.

Final Thoughts

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fall Reads: Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket

Book Boss Publishing; 334 pages; Amazon
When any book has "coffee" in the title, it automatically gets my full attention, which would explains why I spent my last weekend reading Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket by K.C. Hilton. It's the second book in the Julia Karr series, with the first book being Cars, Coffee, And A Badass Ninja Toilet. (You can read my review for the first book here!)

The book series centers around Julia Karr, a middle-age woman who owns a used car lot. Well, technically she co-owns the business with her husband, Romeo. She's the one who runs the business while her husband is busy at his day job, so she has to deal with all the crazy customers. And, yes, I mean CRAZY!!!!

Similar to the first installment, the sequel showcases the weird and too-realistic customers who enter Julia Karr's chaotic life. (Yes, I really mean realistic! I think I've seen some of the people shopping at Walmart!) It seems her customers believe they still own their cars even though they quit paying their monthly payments months ago. This results in Julia ordering the repossession of fifteen vehicles.

Running a used car lot can be extremely stressful, and Julia really needs a vacation. And that what's she's planning on doing - well, sorta. She made a deal with her husband that if she can add ten fifteen new customers in two weeks, he would take her on a vacation of her choosing - AKA - Disney World!

Of course the next two weeks is going to be hell for Julia. It seems like one thing after another goes wrong, which includes getting stuck with a twenty-something juvenile delinquent who got himself stuck in the office window in the attempt to rob it. Being the nice person that Julia is, she agrees to let Slick (that's her nickname for the boy) do his community service at the car lot, which mostly involves him washing cars.

While Julia's not repossessing cars and hunting down a chocolate chip cookie recipe in a cemetery, she's on a personal quest to find the cheapest casket! When your customers are literally trying to kill you, you should probably have your funeral already planned!

Final Thoughts

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fall Reads: Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Waterbrook; 340 pages; $14.99

Now available on paperback from Waterbrook is the Mennonite drama Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Based on the cover art alone, my first impression was that the Ours for a Season would be a standard Mennonite romance novel, where a young woman falls in love with an outsider. Well, that's not the case with this story, as the main characters, Anthony and Marty Hirschler, are already married! However, there marriage isn't exactly perfect, as the couple has had their share of problems. They were hoping to start a family after marring, but were told by the doctors that they can't have children. To hide his emotional pain, Anthony spends most of his time on his construction business. Marty is very depressed and slowly loses her faith.

Their lives take an unexpected twist when they receive a letter from an old friend, Brooke Spalding, who wants Anthony to be the head contractor of a big construction project, which involves restoring a Kansas ghost town. Of course, they jump on this opportunity, but later receive several shocking revelations that will challenge their faith and marriage.

Enter to win a handmade quilt by Kim Vogel Sawyer and four of her books.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fall Reads: Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Bethany House; 318 pages; Blog Tour; Buy Link

Now available from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, is the legal thriller Deadly Proof, book one in the Atlantic Justice series, by Rachel Dylan.

The novel centers on Kate Sullivan, a lawyer who finds herself as the lead council for a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical. Yes, this is a big case for her, but she wants to get justice of the victims whose lives were ruined the company's new drug. The case seemed to be going fine, well, until things become deadly. A "whistleblower" for the case turns up dead, and Kate could be the next victim.

This brings in Landon James into the story. He's a former Army Ranger turned private investigator who joins the case to handle security for Kate. His goal is to keep Kate safe, so the case can go trial. The last thing he wanted to do was to fall in love with her.

Dylan pin2

Final Thoughts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fall Reads: Lady Jayne Disappears

Revell; 416 pages; $14.99; Amazon

Now available from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, is the historical mystery novel Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano.

Set in Victorian England in 1861, the novel centers on Aurelie Harcourt, a young woman who inherits very little from her late father, except for his pen name, Nathaniel Droll, as well as his wealthy relatives that she has never met before the funeral. 

Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, which she would publish under his pen name. The story is about her mother's mysterious disappearance from their family's home years ago. To finish the story, she will have to unravel the mystery of what happened to her mother, which involves extracting clues from her relatives. 

Final Thoughts 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fall Reads: The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray

Avon Inspire; 272 pages; $12.99; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Avon Inspire (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) is the third book in The Amish Of Hart County, titled The Gift by New York Bestselling Author Shelley Shepard Gray.

The novel centers on Susanna Schwartz, a young woman who's excited to be spending Christmas with her family on their new farm in Hart County. Well, that is until a series of accidents occur. Sounds of gunshots causes her buggy to overturn, and her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into a creek. Are these accidents just 'accidents'? Or is someone trying to harm them?

The other main character is Neil Vance (aka- Susanna's possible love interest). His family loss their farm and his father blames the Schwartzs, though they're not at fault.

Neil believes the accidents that are happening to the Schwartzs are just accidents, but Susanna's father thinks otherwise, as he believes the Vance family is involved.

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fall Reads: Murder in Disguise by Donn Taylor

Lamplighter Mysteries; 302 pages; Buy Link; Blog Tour

Now available from Lamplighter Mysteries is the mystery thriller Murder in Disguise: A Preston Barclay Mystery by Donn Taylor.

The novel centers on Preston Barclay, a visiting professor who's working at a state university for the summer. Out of nowhere, he finds himself investigating the strange death of a department chairman. While the local authorities have ruled the man's death as a suicide, Dr. Barclay believes foul play is at hand.

With the help from Mara Thorn, Dr. Barclay seeks out to find the truth behind the mystery, while at the same time trying to dodge a sexy assistant, campus radicals, and criminals.

Taylor pin1

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fall Reads: The Beautiful Word For Christmas

Zondervan; 210 pages; $14.99; Buy Link: Amazon

Yes, I'm well aware that it isn't even Halloween yet, but here I am writing a review for a Christmas-themed book.

Recently released from Zondervan is the 31-day devotional, titled The Beautiful Word For Christmas. The book includes 23 Bible passages that are all illustrated in full color, 31 timely devotions written especially for the Christmas season, and a few activities to bring the heart of the season into your home.

The interior hand-lettering and illustrations were done by Kristi Smith of Juicebox Design (she also did the artwork on the cover) and Kerri Charlton.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Reads: Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

Waterbrook; 392 pages; $15.99; Buy Link; Blog Tour
Now available from Waterbrook, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, is the historical-drama Many Sparrows by Lori Benton.

Set in 1774, the novel centers on Phillip Inglesby, his pregnant wife, Clare, and their four-year-old, son, Jacob, who are traveling from the Ohio-Kentucky frontier to the west. After an accident occurs, Phillip is forced to leave his family behind in the covered wagon, while he journeys back to Redstone Fort for help.

Meanwhile, shortly after Phillip leaves, Jacob is kidanpped by the Shawnee Indians during the night. Now all alone, Clare goes into labor and somehow she must find a way to save her son before giving birth to her second child.

Woodsmall pin1