Happy Halloween 2014

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Happy Halloween. Enjoy your day and enjoy Vincent Price reading The Raven.

 

 

 

Here is An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe Starring Vincent Price:

 

 

Original Background Image: Night Tree by Anson Centeno from PublicDomainPictures.net 

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Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires

13497414Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires 

Book Summary: 

Do you like the traditional, blood-sucking, dangerous type of vampire? Then this story collection is for you.

Ten authors have created creepy, chilling, funny, thought-provoking and scary stories about dark suckers.

Are vampires to be pitied for their vulnerabilities, or envied for their powers? How do we know who is a vampire? How do we know what vampires want from us? What if they are expressions of our own forbidden desires?

What if the victims give their blood willingly, in return for a boon? What if they drain from their victims not blood, but something more precious – their courage, their faith, their ability to love?

Is what they offer a fair exchange for what they take? Do you yearn for thrills, for immortality, for everlasting youth? Would you be willing to pay for this with your blood, your life, your soul?

Ten authors probe these questions in their tales. Each story in this book explores a different concept of vampires, a different question, a different danger. To reflect the authors’ individual voices, you will find both American and British words and spellings in this book.

See which story resonates most with you. Enjoy the tales – but be warned: these vampires are dangerous.

1. TANGLED DREAMS by Liv Rancourt
Sometimes it’s safer to leave history’s secrets alone.
2. REALITY BITES! by Jim Bernheimer
Vampires have problems just like the rest of us.
3. NIGHT TRAIN by Rayne Hall
The train is about to enter a tunnel – and vampires are on board.
4. WINTER FLOWER by Jonathan Broughton
Dark desires unfurl where shadows thrive.
5. IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD by Pamela Turner
Be careful when accepting an invitation.
6. THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN by Debbie Christiana
When you help someone, it may come back to bite you.
7. THE FLEDGLING DOUBT by Lana Bange
What if you’re one moment too late to protect a victim?
8. THE DHAMPIR’S KISS by Carole Ann Moleti
Can any vow survive immortal life?
9. EXILE by April Grey
Death could be just the beginning.
10. WHY I WON’T READ SONG OF SOLOMON by Douglas Kolacki
A vampire may feed off a victim without leaving bite marks on the neck.

My Review: 

Who among us doesn’t love a Vampire story.  This anthology had everything you could ask for.  The Authors are each uniquely talented writers who spins vastly yet equally spooky tales.

One of my favorites was Night Train by Rayne Hall.  This tale was well written and suspenseful.   When Shelley bores the Night Train she never knew vampires hunted would be on the hunt.  As she settles in her cabin for the night with strangers she is fearful of who the vampires could be and if she will make it through the night.  This is a well written tale and finishes off with just the right amount of spooky.

I also enjoyed Tangled Dreams by Liv Rancourt.  This story captured me.  Allie was the good girl who liked to sing and dreamed of more.  Her Sister Renee was the bad girl and who couldn’t keep her nose out of anything to her sisters own demise.  What takes place is a bizarre dinner and Renee left hours later in a zombie like state that Allie must now take care of.  This is one of those short stories that after it’s over you crave more.

All ten stories in this anthology were captivating and unique.  The perfect Halloween Vampire anthology.  If you are looking for something to read tomorrow night while you are handing out candy this is a good one. Jessica signature

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal: Endless by Jaclyn Weist

Author Name: Jaclyn Weist
Book Title:  Endless
Book Genre:  YA fantasy
Release Date: November 28th, 2014
Publisher: Trifecta Books
Tour Host: Silverbow Promotions
 
 

Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid.

Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone.

But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage.

As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever lose her soul.

 
~ About the Author ~ 

Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve at BYU and they have six happy, crazy children that encourage her writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next.

Follow Jaclyn . . .
 

 

The Scriptlings by Sorin Suciu

The Scriptlings by Sorin Suciu

 

the scriptlingBook Description:   The Scriptlings is the unlikely, yet strangely charismatic lovechild you would expect if Magic and Science were to have one too many drinks during a stand-up comedy show in Vegas.
In short, it follows the story of Merkin and Buggeroff, two magician apprentices in a world where magicians are capitalists, computers are quasi-magical, and goats are sometimes invisible – all under the watchful eye of a wandering tribe of monosyllabic demigods.

 

*This book was sent to us to by the author/ publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

My Review: This book isn’t normally something that I would read.  It says it’s heavily influenced by Terry Pratchett right in the book description. It isn’t that I don’t like Terry Pratchett so save your hate mail. His books are just written for people far more intelligent than I am. I am always lost when I try to read his work. Each chapter feels like a whole new story. I decided to give Sorin Suciu’s book a try because the description said it was funny. It was funny but it still had that Terry Pratchett feel to it. So I am going to review this story on its technical merits because I don’t think it’s fair for me to review it otherwise. I say it right here. If you love Terry Pratchett you’ll love this book.

This book is very well written. Each chapter flows and it tells a great story. I read a lot of articles on how to improve my “blogging”. They always say to stick to the topic and for goodness sake keep it short. What I completely loved about this book was that the author didn’t keep it short. I guess that’s the point of writing a book right? The sentences are colorful and draw you in. They lent a bit of beauty to the crazy story and even crazier characters.

Merkin is a spunky apprentice with so much sarcasm that it practically leaked out of my e reader. Sorin Suciu has crafted some memorable characters that I will always think about when answering my front door. I’m not going to compromise any of the jokes but what would you do if you had magical powers and someone annoying showed up on your doorstep? I know what I would do. Exactly what Master Dung did. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

All in all this book had more to offer me than the books I’ve tried to read by Terry Pratchett. This book was funny all the way through and that kept me reading. If Pratchett’s books were like this one I wouldn’t feel like such a failure. I would finally finish a Pratchett novel and be able to cross it off my bucket list.

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Modest Musings

Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we tell you about the books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing us review.  We hope you enjoy what we found this week!

Jessica’s Musings

18229437First World (A Walker Saga) by Jaymin Eve – Abigail Swish might not love her life, living in gang-ridden New York in 2035 and training to fight and survive with Compound 23. But she is grateful for a few things, especially her no-filter-between-brain-and-mouth best friend Lucy and her escape each night into a dream world far different from her own.

In fact, sometimes she lives for the fleeting moments she spends at night with the man who fuels every romantic fantasy she’s ever had. But each morning reality returns. She could just cry. But she won’t. Tears don’t change a damn thing.

Then without any warning, a month before her eighteenth birthday, everything does change. A guardian finds her. He explains, in a strangely familiar accent, that she was stashed on Earth for safekeeping and has been lost to her family ever since. And it is time to return home. To First World; a land of unimagined beauty.

Abigail and Lucy find themselves thrust from New York and into another world. Day one: traversing through an unforgiving wilderness. Yeah, because that sort of thing just happens every day. Luckily an unexpected savior arrives; the man from her dream-world. Brace is six-and-a-half feet of gorgeous perfectness, wrapped in an arrogance like no other. Unable to trust his assistance, and unsure which of her instincts to follow – kiss him or punch him in the mouth – Abigail eventually accepts his help to find her family.

And what a family. Enter Josian, her father, larger than life and apparently not even human. He is Walker, a planet-less race revered as gods, causing mischief and mayhem through-out this star-system. Unfortunately, there is no time for a cozy reunion, since her return to First World is the unknown catalyst, setting forth a chain of events which could spell disaster for all worlds.

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Dog Days of Summer by L.M. Pfalz – In the small town of Moonridge, Theresa and her best friends, Beth and Donna, reminisce about their youth when David, Wil, and Paul—their old friends and childhood crushes—come back to town. The six friends share memories of the summer of 1983, when troubles with their families and three bullies strengthened their bond and changed their lives forever. Fifteen years later, in the midst of their happy reunion, they are reacquainted with their childhood bullies: the sadistic Jordan brothers. Theresa and her friends must pull together in order to survive the present, while facing their darkest memories of the past.

641737Long Time Coming by Edie Claire – Eighteen years have passed since Joy’s childhood best friend, Jenny, met her death in a tragic car accident just a few days after their senior prom. A broken Joy left their small Kentucky hometown shortly after – determined never to come back. But when her father’s illness forces her to return, she realizes that neither time nor distance have truly healed her troubled soul.

Plagued with nightmares of the accident and crippled by a vague fear whose source she can’t identify, Joy realizes that in order to move on she must face the truth behind several disturbing gaps in her memory of that fateful spring. But the only person who can help her is a man she despises – Jenny’s erstwhile boyfriend Jeff, now a respected doctor, whose carelessness as a teenager was the cause of Jenny’s horrendous death – and Joy’s own emotional destruction. Can she ever forgive? She may have no choice but to try. Because both the danger she sensed – and the childhood friendship she treasured – now suddenly seem very much alive…

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The Adventures of Jillian Spectre by Nic Tatano – Welcome to the Mystic Quarter…

Jillian Spectre knows what happens after you die because the seventeen-year-old mystic seer can see the future of her clients even after they’ve passed on. And that’s not even her coolest power… she can be in two places at once. Problem is, her heart can only be in one.

Supernatural abilities aside, she’s a typical high school senior torn between two guys. But that gets put on the back burner when she discovers the father she had long assumed was dead is actually alive, with unique powers of his own. He’s a technopath, with the ability to interface his mind with technology. And he’s got a plan to take down society.

Unless Jillian can stop him.

The Adventures of Jillian Spectre is the story of a very special girl who learns that the power of love is more important than supernatural powers.

Lynn’s Musings

8192755Heretic by Joseph Nassise – Boston SWAT officer Cade Williams didn’t believe in the supernatural until a chance meeting with a fallen angel left his wife dead and him hanging on to life by the thinnest of margins. When he was discharged from the hospital he discovered that not only was he scarred, body and soul, but that the encounter had left him with a few otherworldly talents of his own.

Now, several years later, Knight Commander Cade Williams runs the elite Templar combat unit known as the Echo Team, which puts him in the perfect position to search for the creature that so viciously attacked him and his family that night. His efforts yield little success, however, until a cabal of necromancers attempts to seize an ancient Templar artifact for their own nefarious purposes and gives him the first real lead he’s had in ages. Cade sets out to find the necromancers and, through them, the Adversary, only to encounter something much worse…

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These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer – Under the reign of Louis XV, corruption and intrigue have been allowed to blossom in France, and Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon and proud of his soubriquet ‘Satanas’, flourishes as well. Then, from a dark Parisian back alley, he plucks Leon, a redheaded urchin with strangely familiar looks, just in time for his long over-due schemes of revenge on the Comte de St. Vire. Among the splendours of Versailles and the dignified mansions of England, Justin begins to unfold his sinister plans — until, that is, Leon becomes the ravishing beauty Leonie…

Unanswered questions.

Lovely, titian-haired Leonie, ward of the dashing Duke of Avon, had all Paris at her feet. Yet her true origins remained shrouded in mystery. And neither the glittering soirees nor the young aristocrats who so ardently courted her could still the question that plagued her young heart.

What was her mysterious parentage?

Just one man held the secret, the one she feared most in the world–the iron-willed Comte de Saint-Vire, deadly enemy of the Duke. He would give her the answer–for a price. But could she betray the man she secretly, helplessly loved? And could this proud young beauty bear to face the truth when it came?

21976510Dark Hope by Monica McGurk – For years, Hope Carmichael, survivor of a shocking child abduction, has lived a sheltered existence under the protection of her fanatically religious father. Now, liberated by her mother, Hope prepares to start life over as a normal kid in an Atlanta, Georgia, high school.

Normal, that is, until Hope meets Michael, a gorgeous emancipated teen with a mysterious past and a strong interest in Hope. And soon, Hope’s life is filled with questions. What’s behind the angry looks Hope gets from Lucas, leader of a gang of students? Who’s responsible for sending Hope a strange valentine inscribed with Bible quotations? How does this relate to the sinister business of human trafficking that operates on the periphery of Hope’s suburban world? And is Michael really a protector, or something more sinister—and just why does he seem so familiar?

In an epic narrative that takes readers from the back streets of Atlanta to the height of Vegas penthouses and beyond, Dark Hope introduces readers to The Archangel Prophecies, a new young adult saga that blends the feeling of Twilight with a vast mythological scope and moral urgency, as well as to Hope Carmichael—a young woman instantly memorable for her endurance, heart, and determination—and Michael, Hope’s dangerous companion who’s fated either to save Hope—or to kill her.

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Ghosts of July: Shamans of the Divide by Megan Applegate – FIVE months until graduation frees her from Shades, Wyoming. Life is waiting for her in Denver.

FOUR varsity volleyball players who promise to make her senior year a nightmare.

THREE ghosts terrorizing her life—two are recently deceased, and one’s a geezer who randomly appears in the least convenient places.

TWO ancient Shoshone demons on the loose through a rip in the Continental Divide.

ONE mysterious guy with amazing eyes and stunning commitment issues—and the only one who doesn’t think she’s descending into insanity.

July Henry’s always assumed shamans were the loincloth-wearing green trolls in the latest game techies rave about.

But suddenly she’s on a crash course to becoming one when the newly dead begin wandering through the desolate town of Shades, WY in search of answers.

Only Renn Hollingsworth, half-Shoshone and all-confusing to July, believes her and holds what may be the key to saving not only themselves, but Shades as well.

It’s an ancient society that guards the length of the Continental Divide, the source of all creation in the myths of many Native American tribes. An old-boys’ club that doesn’t welcome outsiders, July’s about to show them what a little girl from Denver can do when it comes to protecting the ones she loves.

18640815The Immortal Collection by Eva Garcia Sanez – When Adriana, a brilliant young archaeologist, accepts a position at the Museum of Archaeology in her hometown of Santander, Spain, she never imagines that her new boss has lived through the history she can only study. Iago, the charismatic technical director of the museum, is more than ten thousand years old but appears to be only thirty-five. Iago and his family are longevos?people who never seem to age after reaching adulthood. The ancient family is divided: Iago’s brother and sister seek the source of their longevity in hopes of creating more like themselves, while Iago and his father fear the repercussions of the true Fountain of Youth. A dangerous game of power and knowledge that has played out over eons becomes even more complicated when Adriana attracts both brothers? attention?and learns their secret. Filled with science, history, and passion, The Immortal Collection transports the reader through time and space, from the days of cavemen, through the Roaring Twenties, to the charming plazas of contemporary Spain. Ancient history meets cutting-edge research in this modern love story and sweeping historical saga.

 

Red Of The Woods by Lana Axe

Red Of The Woods by Lana Axe

Red-of-the-Woods

 

Book Description: An evil heart thirsts for vengeance in this dark version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Accused of witchcraft, Erthel and her granddaughter, Red, are forced into exile. Taking refuge in the woods, the old woman plots her revenge. Calling on the dark magic she abandoned years ago, she places a curse on the young girl—one that will punish the townspeople for sending her away.

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My Review: This is a very clever tale that reinvents Little Red Riding Hood. It also makes granny a real character with a dark past. I’ve never thought granny ever got her due in the story we have all come to know and love. Lana Axe fixed that for me.

It raises some interesting questions about the evil witches in fairy tales. What if an evil witch chose to have a family instead of spreading evil and decided to put her dark past behind her? What if she successfully integrated herself into society?

Red is a great character. She is strong and completely devoted to her grandmother who is old and can’t do the things she used to do. Red has it tough in this tale. Oh, and Red isn’t named Red in this story for the popular reason. In this tale the cloak starts out white. You won’t believe how the cloak becomes red.

If you enjoyed The Woodcutter by Kate Danley then you will love this story as well. It isn’t quite as on the nose as the The Woodcutter, after all they knew they were in a fairy tale, but it has the same grace and ease of story telling.

nature2halloween14It would be fun at any time of year but this story is to good not to read right now. It’s perfect for Halloween. So go and get it, there is even a direct link to Amazon on the author’s site. While you’re at her site take a moment to look at all of her book covers that are displayed. She has amazing covers. They are beautiful and elegant- and almost everyone has a weapon in their hand. What’s better than that especially at this time of year?

 

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Not a story for small children. Violence

 

 

Try these:

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Original Background Image: Path Into Woods by David Wagner from PublicDomainPictures.net

 

 

Nightfall Midnight and Nightmare by Stephen Leather

Nightfall, Midnight, and Nightmare by Stephen Leather

Narrator: Ralph Lister

Audiobook_Review

Book Description:

NightfallNightfall: 11 hrs 51 min Unabridged

“You’re going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”

These are the words that ended Jack Nightingale’s career as a police negotiator. Now a struggling private detective, the chilling words return with a vengeance when Jack inherits a mansion with a priceless library—and a terrifying warning from a man who claims to be his father.

Nightingale quickly learns his soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday, which is just three short weeks away. It’s a hard pill to swallow. He doesn’t believe in Hell and probably doesn’t believe in Heaven either. But when people close to him start to die horribly, he is led to the inescapable conclusion that real evil may be at work. And if he doesn’t find a way out, he’ll be damned for eternity.

Dripping with brooding intensity, unrelenting suspense, and surprising wit, United Kingdom thriller master Stephen Leather’s first book in the Nightingale series is a riveting, heart-stopping mystery with extraordinary range and power.

 

MidnightMidnight: 12 hrs 36 min Unabridged

“Your sister is going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”

Somehow, variations of that line keep former police negotiator Nightingale’s life careening in wild, unforeseen directions. This time, it is uttered by a dead woman hanging over a staircase, her neck broken by the laundry cord she tied around it before tossing herself over the banister. But Jack and his sister have been separated since birth…How can he save someone he’s never met?

Nightingale goes on the hunt for the sister he never knew, but everyone he talks to about her dies horribly. It’s as if someone—or something—is determined to keep them apart. If he’s going to save her, he’s going to have to do what he does best: negotiate. But any negotiation with the forces of darkness comes at a terrible price, and first Jack must ask himself a question: is every soul worth saving?

Sharp and intense, UK master Stephen Leather’s second book in The Nightingale Trilogy is a taut, relentlessly paced thriller as terrifying and dark as midnight itself.

 

NightmareNightmare: 12 hrs 26 min

The last case of police negotiator Jack Nightingale’s career ended in the death of nine-year-old Sophie Underwood. Since then he’s saved his own soul from the devil…but now he’s haunted by Sophie’s cries for help. And when a gangbanger lying in a hospital bed with no brain activity repeatedly drops Jack’s name, Nightingale realizes Sophie may desperately need him. But why?

Police superintendent Ronald Chalmers is determined to pin the gangbanger’s almost-murder on Jack, but he is preoccupied with Sophie and whether or not she’s in eternal torment—or if demons are torturing and deceiving him in order to gain the ultimate prize. With time running out, he’ll have to face down Chalmers and the police, south London gangs, and Hell itself in order to find the answer…

A riveting climax to The Nightingale Trilogy, Nightmare is a freight train of action, intensity, and suspense that delivers the force of eternal damnation and the power of the human soul.

 

My Review: This is such a great series. I couldn’t help it. I had to listen to these in a row. I couldn’t help it I tell you! I love Stephen Leather’s books and Ralph Lister is beyond perfect reading them.

Jack Nightingale is a truly great character. He is everything you want in a tragic hero. He thinks he fine. We love that in a hero. He doesn’t think he’s alone in the world because he has his friends that are more like family. Yet he is alone. Nightingale was forever changed by the terrible death of little Sophie and it haunts him. He has been carrying her around with him for two years when the story starts. I don’t think Jack realizes how much more he has to lose.

These books also have some lite moments. Jack is a smoker. He is a heavy duty smoker and he is constantly defending himself to everyone. It’s sort of the running joke in this series.

If that isn’t enough to get you to listen to this series then listen for the mystery. Sophie’s father, who was abusing her, takes a flying leap from his office window. Jack was there when it happened and everyone thinks he did it. He was interrogated by the police and fired from his job over it. That’s how he becomes a private investigator. Did he or didn’t he do it that is the question. It isn’t an open ended question either. We get an answer.

This series has everything the world has come to expect from Stephen Leather. Lots of guns and bodies to go with a cleverly crafted story. You have to pay attention because everything is important.

These books have a high body count. High probably isn’t the right word. Huge, maybe enormous, or even gigantic covers it better. People are dropping like flies. It’s creepy and proves that Stephen Leather is one creative author. I’m not sure that two people die in the same way. That’s saying something. Just when you think he’s covered all the bases he comes up with something just as terrible as the thing that you would have sworn twenty minutes ago was the most terrible way to die that you had ever read.

In these books Jack asks the questions about God and the devil that people tend to ask at some point after something changes their lives forever. Things like if God exists why does he allow absolutely horrible atrocities to be committed. Remember that Jack is carrying around Sophie’s death. Nightmare is totally about Sophie and what Jack is willing to do to make things right for her and the other innocents that died because of what happened with Sophie.

I have one word of caution. When you get to the end of book three and you start to feel short changed by the turn of events consider something. Everything that goes bump in the night knows who Jack Nightingale is. They know the things he’s capable of and the things he’s done.  They’ve been watching him closely from hell and something tells me they have long memories. I am really excited to read the final two books in the series: Nightshade and Lastnight. They sound just as amazing as the first three.

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I don’t think this is for anyone under sixteen. Mature content: Violence- I believe I mentioned a gigantic body count.

 

 

Try these other books:

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The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

22020894The Harvesting 

by Melanie Karsak

Book Summary:

“The world, it seemed, had gone silent. It was something we knew but did not talk about. We were alone.”

While Layla Petrovich returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she never could have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla’s cool head, fast blade and itchy trigger finger to survive the undead apocalypse that’s upon them. But even that may not be enough. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead!

My Review:

I was browsing for books to read this month when I came across a recommendation for The Harvesting.  I hadn’t heard of it, so I decided to look into it.  The summary and reviews looked pretty good so I decided why not. WOW!!! I was not disappointed.

Layla is one of the strongest female characters I have ever read about. She is living in Washington DC living the life that she has always wanted when her Grandmother calls her and says she needs to come home.  Layla cuts her fencing class short and heads home to find Grandma in a frenzy and preparing for the worst.  Grandma is from the old country and has had a vision of the future.  What transpires is the most prepared house EVER.  Trust me if there was a zombie apocalypse I would want to be at Layla’s Grandmother’s compound.  Know Layla can fight and fight she does.  She helps to save some of the people in her town and establish a safe perimeter. Know here is the point in the book where the typical Zombie things happen,  there are some deaths, a few packs, but for the most part they are doing pretty good surviving.  Until some mysterious things start to happen.

This is the part where I tell you the story takes an unexpected turn and I can’t tell you in what direction because that would give away some of the best parts.  Lets just say this book has everything and everything blends well.  I am looking forward to what comes next.

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Modest Musings

Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we tell you about the books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing us review.  We hope you enjoy what we found this week!

Jessica’s Musings

2940014386487_p0_v4_s260x420Craft by Lynnie Purcell – 15-year-old Ellie Bumbalow had only ever known three things: magic, chores, and bullying from her sisters. Crafting magic came as easy to her as breathing. She could not imagine a world where it did not exist. She also could not imagine a world outside of her house and her chores. That is until she saves the life of a Cooper. Ellie knew better than to help a Cooper. It was not only because the Coopers and Bumbalows were in a blood feud. It was because Ellie’s sister would kill her for ignoring the one rule that kept Bumbalows safe: never help a Cooper – they’ll just stab you in the back. With a single act of kindness, Ellie embarks on an adventure that will change her life forever.

Cold weather

Kissing Santa by Aithne Jarretta – Lily Johnson comes home for the Christmas holidays. There’s also the potential reunion with an old flame. The storm of the century hits the little community where Lily grew up.
Christopher Crin is well known for his holiday gift giving. He even bears the nickname Cringle. This year he has a special gift to give.
Will Lily accept?

8887319Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup! Five Mystery Stories by Camille LaGuire – Five previously published and award nominated mystery short stories by novelist Camille LaGuire.

In the title story, “Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup!” two police detectives sort out a poisoning case over lunch at the deli, with a little help from a foodie in the corner. (This story was nominated for a Derringer award in 2003.)

“The Hoosegow Strangler” was the first story featuring Mick and Casey, a pair of young gunslingers turned detective. In this locked room story, a witness they were guarding is murdered, and they have to solve the crime to preserve their reputation.

“Trail of the Lonesome Stickpin” finds Mick drugged by a pair of pretty femmes fatales, and he has to figure out what happened before Casey shoots him. (This story was put forward for an Edgar by its publisher.)

In the fourth story, a killer believes that all he needs is a strong “Alibi” to pull off the perfect crime, but he finds that works against him.

In the final story, “The Promise,” a teenaged girl has to keep her brutal father from turning her brother into a killer. (This story was also nominated for a Derringer in 2007.)

(This collection is 16,000 words long, or equivalent to about 60 pages of a mass market paperback.)

Lynn’s Modest Musings

21000786Miss Mabel’s School for Girls (The Network Series book 1) by Katie Cross – Never underestimate the power of a determined witch.

Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.

Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

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The Rubber Band/ The Red Box by Rex Stout – A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in Stout’s third and fourth complete Wolfe mysteries, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most baffling cases.

The Rubber Band

What do a Wild West lynching and a respected English nobleman have in common? On the surface, absolutely nothing. But when a young woman hires his services, it becomes Nero Wolfe’s job to look deeper and find the connection. A forty-year-old pact, a five-thousand-mile search, and a million-dollar murder are all linked to an international scandal that could rebound on the great detective and his partner, Archie, with fatal abruptness.

The Red Box
Murder by chocolate? That’s the premise Nero Wolfe must operate from when a beautiful woman is poisoned after indulging in a box of candy. It’s a case that the great detective—no stranger himself to overindulgence—is loath to take for a variety of reasons, including that it may require that he leave his comfortable brownstone. But he and Archie are compelled by a mystery that mixes high fashion and low motives…and a killer who may have made the deadliest mistake.

w549055A Crime Collection – Five first-in-a-series mystery novels by up-and-coming authors Betta Ferrendelli, R.S. Guthrie, Simon Jenner, Emily Kimelman and Renée Pawlish. These spellbinding stories, filled with twists and turns, murder, intrigue and suspense with captivating and unforgettable characters, have been reviewed more than 1,600 times and have earned more than 750 five-star reviews.

*** MORE THAN 750 COMBINED FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ***

THE FRIDAY EDITION – Betta Ferrendelli

A beautiful Assistant District Attorney falls from her balcony to her demise on Christmas Eve. Police suspect suicide, but the DA’s sister, newspaper reporter Samantha Church, doesn’t buy it. Can she find the killer and write the biggest story of her career before it’s too late and she becomes the killer’s next target?
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BLOOD LAND – R.S. Guthrie

Crime is an ugly constant in the big city. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Dark Prairies is a gritty, emotional saga set in the Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.

When billions of dollars in natural gas rights hang in the balance and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own blood, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.
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ETHAN JUSTICE: ORIGINS – Simon Jenner

John and Savannah are plunged into a dangerous world where wits and adrenaline are their only weapons and trust in each other their only certainty. Danger lurks around every corner as the race to recover a terrifying invention pits the unlikely pairing against a psychotic soldier who will stop at nothing to wreak his revenge. Ethan Justice: Origins is a fast-paced, action-packed, character-driven thriller guaranteed to make you laugh, cringe, cry and cheer.

NOTE: contains a few violent scenes, a dash of sex and the odd bit of bad language, so please don’t buy it if you are easily offended.
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UNLEASHED – Emily Kimelman

When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller’s dog-walking business on Manhattan’s exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim–and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.

When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit–cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan’s elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.

NOTE: recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language and are up for a dash of sex.
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THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES – Renée Pawlish

A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction.
A rich, attractive femme fatale.
A missing husband.
A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending.

Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Reed’s computer geek friend, This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies is detective noir at its best. Follow Reed as he solves crime akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart.
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Monster Mash: A short story (Halloween Street) by L.M. Pfalz

 

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HalloweenStreet06Monster Mash: A Short Story (Halloween Street book 6)

by L.M. Pfalz

Book Summary: 

A Halloween party turns frighteningly real as the party guests transform into monsters.

A short story, approximately 4000 words/15 pages long.

About The Halloween Street Series:
Halloween Street is a series of 31 short stories taking place during the same Halloween night in the fictional town of Hollowell. Although the stories stand alone and may be read in any order, there are subtle ways they intertwine which you will notice if you read the series in order.

A new short story will be released everyday in October (2014) as part of the L.M. Pfalz’s 31 Days of Halloween project

My Review:

The Monster Mash is one of my favorite Halloween songs, so how could I not read this short story. As our hosts prepare for their Halloween party they discover their new radio isn’t working.  Suddenly there is a knock at the door and a mysterious DJ has appeared. But who hired him and are his intentions honorable?

What unfolds is a Halloween party like no other. Cassandra is our main Character and host for the evening. She throws this Halloween party every year and it’s know for it’s music and fun.  Because of the few snags she has hit in the set up of the party when her guests start to arrive she hasn’t finished her costume.

As the party begins the atmosphere is anything but fun.  Our DJ has chosen slow classical music and the guests seem board.  I mean lets face it we go to parties to dance, drink and have fun. When Cassandra asks the DJ to please play something that everyone can dance to our fun begins.  This is a quirky cute tale that is perfect for Halloween.Jessica signature

Don’t forget to watch our Monster Mash Video at the bottom!

 

 

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Cute classic Halloween Tale