Friday, 15 November 2019

The Frighteners by Peter Laws

The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & GoreThe Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore by Peter Laws
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 320

Publisher - Icon Books

Source - Bought at horrorcon

Blurb from Goodreads

The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse full of hanging bodies.

Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?

Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.


My Review

Peter Laws is a minister who just happens to love horror, that in itself perks your attention, it isn't something you hear every day to be fair. Laws delves into horror, the movies, themes, actual true events, his experiences and how he came to embrace the genre he loves despite his "day job".

I really want to go visit Transylvania after reading this, he went for a big birthday and describes what the place is actually like, the people and things to check out. Just from reading about it, the crosses everywhere, you could totally envision it, I really want to go and check it out, the place of so many movies/legends/stories.

He takes us on a journey of some of his favourite movies, what it was that allowed his to embrace his love of horror rather than give it up as he did with so much with his faith. He also chats about how folk react to him when they realise he is a man of the cloth. From hunting down legends of a werewolf, speaking to folk who genuinely believe they transform, examining true horror acts from humans, how kids and adults process some of the most atrocious acts, it is a really interesting read.

The book has a few places he has visited and at the back of the book he references things mentioned that you can check out for further reading. I think it is a book I will go back to as there are quite a few movies and things mentioned new to me that I won't remember off the top of my head. For fans of horror who want something a wee bit different I recommend picking up a copy of this, 4/5 for me this time!

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Monday, 11 November 2019

So Lucky by Dawn O'Porter Blog Tour

Today is my turn and the final stop on the blog tour for "So Lucky" by author Dawn O'Porter.







You can read more about Dawn on Fantastic Fiction (one of my fav go to sites) https://www.fantasticfiction.com/o/dawn-oporter/ or find her on Twitter @hotpatooties



So Lucky is out to buy NOW, treebook and ebook format, enjoy!


I have my review for my stop, enjoy!

So LuckySo Lucky by Dawn O'Porter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

IS ANYONE’S LIFE . . .


Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules.
And then there’s Lauren, living the dream.


AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year.
Ruby feels like she’s failing.
Lauren’s happiness is fake news.


And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…


Fearless, frank and for everyone who’s ever doubted themselves, So Lucky is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Times bestseller.

Actually, you’re pretty f****** lucky to be you.



My Review

Three main characters,, Lauren we only really hear/meet through her instagram posts and captions, Ruby, mum to a three and a half year old and struggling with so many aspects of her life, motherhood, body image and interactions with just about everyone. And Beth, attentive husband, job planning weddings to the stars, beautiful baby - she has it all or does she?

The story focuses mostly on Beth and Ruby, Lauren gets her time but as I said only from what she posts on Instagram, it isn't until a good bit in we get to hear or see any actual interactions behind the Instagram posts. Beth may look like she has everything going on but really her husband hasn't touched her since she got pregnant with the baby. His mother is overbearing and the more Beth tries to initiate any kind of sexual contact the more her husband reacts negatively. We saw the cause and effect of that. Ruby is a character that is really hard to warm to, we know she has body images, we know something happened to ruin her relationship with her husband. Her interactions with her child is hard to read at some points but as the story goes on we get a better understanding of who Ruby is and why she behaves as she does.

The book has quite a few dimensions to it, we have body image, relationship breakdowns, gas lighting so subtle that the person affected is completely oblivious. Looking at "the perfect life" the person living it and actually what the reality is underneath the superficial beautiful curtain presented to society. Sex has a huge chunk of the book so if you are easily offended this book will not be for you. Some graphic chat/scenes, some humour, awkwardness and even cringe scenes that will make you laugh out loud, blush or even a tad mortified.

This is my first time reading this author so not sure if this is the vein her other books take, if it is I need to read them. Funny, bold, mortifying and more than a few scenes that does make you sit and take stock. How much do we see, read, hear in our own lives that make us question or even act/behave or want certain things. How we behave, how we are manipulated, how hard we are on ourselves and really how we should be kinder to ourselves and enjoy what we have and embrace who we are. That actually makes the book sound really heavy and it isn't, I laughed more than a few times but it does have a mix of really serious topics/undertones linked in. Normally when chapters go from character to character you get a bit annoyed as you want to follow the thread but I actually enjoyed following all the characters and seeing what was coming next for them. 4/5 for me this time, I look forward to seeing what O'Porter brings next and need to see her previous stuff!

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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Slash by Hunter Shea Blog Tour




Today is my turn on the blog tour for Slash by Hunter Shea, perfect for a October read for sure!





About the author:

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. He’s the author of over25 books, including The Jersey Devil (Pinnacle)and We Are Always Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on displayat the International Cryptozoology Museum.

The Montauk Monster was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. He’s an avid pod caster and can be heard and seen on Monster Men and Final Guys every week. Living with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to pay New York rent. You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com.

About the book:




Five years after final girl Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort,a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners,and exciting, original voices.

Slash is out to buy NOW and a perfect read for October.

For my stop I have my review, thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours for having me on the tour, I really do need to check out this guys back catalog!

SlashSlash by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 256

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith.

With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.


My Review

Everything is fine in Todd's life, his fiance Ashley hasn't had the easiest time since escaping the claws of a maniac five years ago, the sole survivor. When Todd comes home to find Ashley has killed herself his world is turned upside down. Ashley leaves some hints to what happened five years back and Todd heads back to the abandoned resort to get some answers. What really happened that night, why did they never find the killer and why after five years was Ashley never free from it.

Oh guys! I LOVE an abandoned building and this one is a resort, a resort where five years ago a massacre took place with only Ashley surviving. Now Todd is heading back to the scene of the crime and we are going with him. The killer was never caught but that doesn't mean he has gone for good and Todd may just get exactly what he is looking for!

The killings are brutal, gruesome, sadistic, horrific and you can start to appreciate why Ashley could never sleep or get over it as details are teased out across the story. A build up of eerieness especially once we hit the resort and I LOVED the fact we have inclusive of "crime fans" or should I say fanatics, folks who became obsessed with what happened there and Ashley. It gave a more modern feel to this type of story, we have lots of murder, spooky, eerie type stories but they don't always include real life things ie podcasts, folk obsessed with serial killers, groupies` or unsolved murders. I think this is the second book I have read by this author and I really do need to check out his other stuff. If you like creepy, dark, tense and can cope with some shocking style murders, brutal in their cruelty then this is absolutely for you, 4.5/5 for me this time!


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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Happy November

The time of the year it is so cold it is all about hot drinks and even our cups need jackets (December is usually when this one starts to make an appearance).





I have a fab giveaway for this month. As you know I am very lucky to get review copies of books and I buy tons myself, finished copies and it is just nice to support authors as and when able. This book I am sure is the first I read by this author and never looked back. So I bought x1 paperback copy of "Born Evil" by author Kimberley Chambers, as pictured for this giveaway.





And to go with it a yellow silicon bookbandz, if you stop reading mid chapter the wee hand sits at the last sentence you read. I have a few of these, they are great and because they are silicon, if you are a bit of a germophob they are easy to keep clean. To be in with a chance of winning just fill in the Rafflecopter as usual, I will open this one up to worldwide.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, 3 November 2019

Stand Against Injustice by Michelle Diskin Blog Tour




Today is my turn and closing stop on the blog tour (Love Books Group Tours) for "Stand Against Injustice" by Michelle Diskin.







About the author (from Amazon)

Mother of three, campaigner for justice and Committed Christian.

Michelle campaigned for eight years for the release of her disabled brother, Barry George, after he was wrongly convicted in 2001, for the high profile murder of BBC television presenter, Jill Dando. Mr George was acquitted in 2007 and sent for re-trial in 2008. He was found not guilty, by unanimous jury verdict on 1st August 2008.

Born in Fulham, London in 1955, Michelle lived in West London until 1973. She then moved to Cork, Ireland, where she lived until 2012, with her three adult children. Michelle's first husband, Patrick, died unexpectedly in 2007 after a short illness, but, with God's grace, she is now married again, to Peter, who supports her in her Miscarriage of Justice (MOJ) activities. They are both committed Christians, who worship at a Baptist church in Northamptonshire, taking on many responsibilities within the fellowship.




About the book

On April 26, 1999, BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in London. Barry George was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Stand Against Injustice is the powerful memoir of the sister of Barry George. For the first time, Michelle Diskin Bates tells her story, the human side and truth behind one of recent history's most high profile and damaging miscarriages of justice whose life is inextricably interwoven in the drama, the trauma, the conspiracy and the fight for justice. A self-confessed 'ordinary housewife', Michelle's voice weaves the personal everyday struggles that bring depth, color, and passion into what is an extraordinary account. A troubled childhood weighted with overbearing responsibility, fear and insecurity, depression, and the challenges of marriage and adult relationships, Michelle's life has never been easy. However, the one constant in her life - her faith in God - underpins and provides the foundation upon which she now stands - against injustice.

Buy Link
https://amzn.to/2pc2i5o

Twitter Handles

@malcolmdown

@Michelle_Diskin

@LoveBooksGroup




For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Stand Against InjusticeStand Against Injustice by Michelle Diskin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 280

Publisher - Malcolm Down

Source - Review Book

Blurb from Goodreads

On April 26, 1999, BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in London. Barry George was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Stand Against Injustice is the powerful memoir of the sister of Barry George.

For the first time, Michelle Diskin tells her story, the human side and truth behind one of recent history's most high profile and damaging miscarriages of justice whose life is inextricably interwoven in the drama, the trauma, the conspiracy and the fight for justice. A self-confessed "ordinary housewife," Diskin's voice weaves the personal everyday struggles that bring depth, color, and passion into what is an extraordinary account.

A troubled childhood weighted with overbearing responsibility, fear and insecurity, depression, and the challenges of marriage and adult relationships, Diskin's life has never been easy. However, the one constant in her life - her faith in God - underpins and provides the foundation upon which she now stands - against injustice.

My Review

I don't think there is one person, of a certain age and above, who hadn't heard of the Jill Dando murder. She was a big tv personality on Crime Watch so we all knew of her and when it was announced she had been murdered everyone was shocked. That is about as much as I remember, I don't remember following anything in the news as I was younger and didn't really follow anything like that. So when the opportunity came to read this book I absolutely agreed, I like reading true crime and it would be interesting to read more about the case.

It is worth noting that this is not all about Barry George, the man accused of killing Dando although he does of course feature a lot in it. This is his sister Michelle's story, everything is through her, where she was when she heard, everything that transpired afterwords through her experiences. Background and family history of Barry and Michelle, their relations, upbringing and the journey they went through, experiences with the police, prison, media and how it affected them and their immediate family. As well as battling to prove her brothers innocence, Diskin also reveals the loss and heart break she experiences during this time and how she her faith got her through some of the hardest times during it all. There are also verses included from the bible and at the very end an inclusion of the organisations that helped Barry and Michelle during their ordeal. Michelle has spoken in many places and done interviews in relation to what they experienced and survived.

It is a book that spans across twenty years and we hear a little snippet from Diskin's grown children, how they felt, looking back on everything that happened. There are a few mentions of other people who were wrongly accused and a bit explaining what the organisations are and what they do with links added for readers to explore more if they so wish. Raw in places and an emotive book I imagine for her to write, her faith is evident through many of the passages. Absolutely worth a read and it makes you realise how quick many of us are to make judgments based upon things we read/see on the newspapers/tv and the toll that can take on others, 3.5/5 for me.



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Friday, 1 November 2019

Carved in Blood by E R Fallon

Carved In Blood (Evan Lane Mystery, #1)Carved In Blood by E.R. Fallon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 211

Publisher - Endeavour press

Source - bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads

That happens when your mother kills your best friend, then goes on to kill other young men.

Wanting a clean break, Evelyn joins the Navy and afterwards goes to college.

It is around that time that Evelyn becomes Evan Lane and fully embraces being a man.

Now, Evan lives in Seven Sisters, a big city a few states over from Freedom Village, where he grew up.

He has a lovely girlfriend Sammie, a dog named Paige and a job cleaning up crime sites.

No one knows he’s transgender, or that his mother was the serial killer Alice Lane.

And that’s just the way he wants it.

Until the bodies of young men start showing up and Evan learns they have a message for Evelyn carved in their flesh.

But Evan’s mother is in prison.

So who is killing young men in Seven Sisters?

One day Evan wakes to find that someone he thought he could trust has sold his story and also divulged information about the investigation.

When it goes viral, Chief Gilani is furious and he is suspended.

With time on his hands, Evan figures he can clear his name before things get any worse…

He travels to his hometown of Freedom Village seeking answers.

For the first time in twenty years, Evan sees his mother and learns she might be innocent after all.

And he might be in the killer’s sights.

Carved in Blood is the gripping first installment of the Evan Lane Mystery Series .


My review

Evan is no stranger to dead bodies, he has a team that goes in and cleans up crime scenes. He also happens to be the off spring of a serial killer. As an adult Evan has nothing to do with his mother and has long since left the town he grew up in. Evan is in a happy relationship with Sammie, has a wee dog and quite happy with his lot. When bodies of young men start appearing in his area and he finds out one has a message relating to his old life Evan has to consider is the killer speaking to him? Is he in danger and will he need to face his past to survive his future?

So, as this is in the blurb it isn't a spoiler, Evan is transgender and with bodies piling up he needs to confront his past. His estranged mother has no idea Evan is transgender, in fact she knows nothing of his life. Evan finds himself having to "come out" deal with issues from the past and consider was there more to his mothers crimes that he initially knew?

The book has a few layers, the crime, Evan's personal life, trans phobia, relationship issues, unresolved issues with his mother, his past and how it all impacts on his current life plus a killer who seems to have Evan in their eye!

This is the first book I have read, I think, with a transgender character, it really makes you think about the issues, ignorance, hate and general vileness the trans community face just for living their lives as their true identity. All of this in among a killer on the loose and trying to keep a semblance of a normal life with the past ripping its way into Evan's present. For the start of a series I think it is a good paving stone for book one, I look forward to what is next for the characters and where the author decides to take the series, 3.5/5 for me.

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Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank



You may have noticed a whole ton of us are sharing our review and love for this book today, enjoy my review.

The Lost OnesThe Lost Ones by Anita Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 4 days

Pages - 464

Publisher - H Q Stories

Source - Review copies

Blurb from Goodreads

Some houses are never at peace.

England, 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.

Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…


My Review

Stella is reeling from the loss of her fiance, mourning and still a bit lost when she is invited to go and stay at the mansion with her pregnant sister Madeleine. Not long after arriving she finds the house and people, bar her sister, to be unwelcoming. Strange happenings that are being dismissed and Madeleine is being more and more alienated when no one believes her. When Stella witnesses something she can no longer deny there is a presence in the house but what does it want and what secrets are the house hiding?

Ooooh I love a ghost story but even for those who aren't huge lovers of this type of stories this one has so much to offer. Tragedy, family, secrets, hostility between the servants and those they serve. Unexplained happenings and the ghost aspects are only small in relation to the whole story. There is so much emotion in this and I love love love Stella, for women of their time they are meant to be meek, serving and non opinionated, Stella doesn't fit into that box and she is a passionate live wire.

Some passages and scenes are so eerie you can't help but being drawn in, emotion is tangled throughout with some hints of unease/spookiness. It is the perfect read for someone who isn't into horror but wishes to dip their toe in. A dark tale intertwined with love, loss, relationships, family and secrets primarily based in a big old house. Perfect for an October read and ticks just about every box for most readers, check it out, something for everything 4.5/5 for me this time.

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