As it's the end of the month, it's time for a monthly summary of the books I've read and my book haul. Here's the lists.
The Shining by Stephen King
Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson
Strikk votter, sokker og luer by Jenny Alderbrant
The Charm of Lost Chances by Lucia N. Davis
Okkupert - de fem lengste årene i Norges historie av Bjørn Are Godøy
Farmor si oppskrift - julemat og tradisjoner by Ingrid Sandvik
Christmas at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan
Thread the Hall by Lea Wait
Adventstid - med aktiviteter i kalenderen by Sonia Anita Jensen
Alligatorvannet av Lynne Bryant
En dag i desember by Josie Silver (press copy from the publisher)
Strikk votter, sokker og luer by Jenny Alderbrant (press copy from the publisher)
Okkupert - de fem lengste årene i Norges historie by Bjørn Are Godøy (press copy from the publisher)
Adventstid - med aktiviteter i kalenderen by Sonia Anita Jensen (press copy from the publisher)
Kompani Orheim by Tore Renberg (at the local library, through Hele Rogaland Leser)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (purchased)
Pulp by Charles Bukowski (purchased)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (purchased)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (purchased)
Farmor si oppskrift by Ingrid Sandvik (purchased)
Farmor si oppskrift - julemat og tradisjoner by Ingrid Sandvik (purchased)
Christmas Jars by Jason Wright (purchased)
Snowflakes on Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke (purchased)
Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
It's Tuesday, which means it's time for a new Top Ten Tuesday post, courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl. As it was a Halloween/creepy freebie this week, I decided to write a ten books to read for Halloween-list.
My list includes;
The Reading Buddy by Bryce Gibson
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Jack in the Green by Frazer Lee
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Shapeshifters by Stefan Spjut
Shadow on the Wall by Jonathan Aycliffe
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Monday, 29 October 2018
My Love Affair with Bats
I once rescued a bat in distress. It happened about five years ago when I was walking my dog and stepped over what I thought was a dark brown leaf. But then the leaf’s head moved.
It was August and very hot, and my heart just went out to the poor thing. I phoned a local bat rescue, and although the woman at the helm was willing to take the bat, she couldn’t come out because she had to keep a 24/7-eye on a batch of baby bats. I managed to move the injured bat into a shoebox and transport it about forty-five minutes away to this woman, who lived in a house full of bats and cats. Even her license plates on her car read BATRESQ. I learned the bat I’d rescued was approximately two, a female Big Brown with a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, after trying to save her for over a month, the rescue had to euthanize, as she wouldn’t leave the stitches alone and her survival hinged upon her rehabilitation.
Through this experience, I learned a lot about bats and began researching them. Bats are the only mammals with the ability to sustain flight (as their arms are really wings). Bats eat half their body weight in insects every night (lucky for us around here, since we’re swimming in mosquitoes). Also, it is a myth that bats readily carry disease. Only 1/10th of 1% of bats are rabid. Essentially, these guys are great for the environment. Bats hibernate in the winter months, and you can encourage them to hang out at your place by building bat houses on the eaves of the house that receive the most sun.
If you want to learn more about bats or bat rescues, batworld.org is a great site.
I now have a plethora of bat paraphernalia—earrings, purses, shirts, skirts, etc. It’s actually amazing just how much bat stuff is out there.
What are your feelings about bats?
Legacy of Darkness
Genre: Gothic suspense; supernatural thriller
Legacy of Darkness
Genre: Gothic suspense; supernatural thriller
Publisher: Carfax Abbey Publishing
Date of Publication: October 2018
Cover Artist: Stephen Lee Designs
Tagline: Bed, breakfast, and blood.
A decades-old murder. A strange, blood-thirsty cult. And a house full of spirits.
It was supposed to be a new beginning, a fresh start in the Shenandoah Valley, where Scarlett’s memories weren’t riddled with drug addiction and rehab. But after purchasing an abandoned house with a checkered past in the hopes of transforming it into a luxury bed and breakfast, strange things start to happen. Disturbing voices and noises interrupt her new life. Strangers appear to her, bearing cryptic warnings. A tunnel is discovered underneath the house—one historically used for a local cult’s rituals. After several of Scarlett’s guests are hospitalized after visiting the underground, she finds herself targeted by violent spirits.
Driven to the edge of despair, Scarlett vows to fight back—but she has no idea what she’s really battling. And her nightmare is just beginning…
The Meadows is a gripping supernatural thriller in which the monsters may be vampires, demons, or flesh and blood. It is a nightmare that will make you believe it could easily happen to you.
About the Author:
Obsessed with vampires and haunted houses from a young age, London grew up reading gothic tales featuring romantic and tragic heroes. Wuthering Heights and Dracula are her favorite novels, and although now happily married, she readily confesses that she is a recovering runaway, who once moved to England in search of a man who was the perfect amalgamation of Dracula, Hamlet, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester. London holds a B.A. in Music and M.F.A in Creative Writing. She’s had an eclectic array of jobs including receptionist, legal secretary, literary assistant, high school English teacher, and freelance editor.
London lives in a Washington, DC suburb with her husband and three greyhounds. She’s happiest when she’s writing novels, reading books, or binge watching her favorite programs like The Vampire Diaries or Being Human.
Sunday, 28 October 2018
Beskrivelse fra forlaget
Juli 1943. Det er høysommer i Trondheim da en tysk marineoffiser og hans unge NS-kjæreste blir funnet brutalt drept. Tyskerne er allerede hevntørste etter luftangrepet mot byen for to dager siden og nå skal noen få svi. Statspolitibetjent Gabriel Navarseth lever farlig der han sjonglere etterforskningen mellom norsk politi og Gestapo. Samtidig som han fortsetter sitt arbeid for motstandsbevegelsen, driver norske angivere sitt dødelige dobbeltspill. Hvem kan man stole på i slik en tid? Når så Gabriels tidligere flamme dukker opp i byen blir sommervarmen nesten uutholdelig.
Mine tanker om boka
Siden jeg har en viss interesse for krim, samt andre verdenskrig, var dette definitivt en bok for min del. Det er nok action til at boka er fengende, uten at det er overdrevet makabre mord og beskrivelser av disse.
Saturday, 27 October 2018
I'm a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--I hide in the bathroom with my laptop and lock the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. I was born in Utah but lived in Kansas until I was 13, in Texas until I was 18, and attended college in Hawaii—studying marine biology. I'm now back in Utah--"happy valley". I'm married to a wonderful husband, James, and we are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. My interests are reading, writing (of course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.
I signed with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013. My first published book Rising, quickly hit the best-seller lists and has maintained its status on those lists since it's release in September 2013. The sequel in The Rising Series titled, Descending, was released in late March 2014. It also hit best-seller status--reaching all the way to #1 in Mythology on Amazon.
It's 1792 and Hope is on the run. She finds shelter in a glen called Sleepy Hollow. Luck is with her as the town is unexpectedly looking for a new teacher and Hope is hired for the job.
Unfortunately, not everything is looking up for her. Not only is the mayor out to get her fired and the local witch determined to slice her up and brew her organs into potions, but hidden under the floorboards of her quaint little cabin, she finds a man. His name is Conall.
Conall is demanding, he's ornery, and though he has undeniably handsome features, he is missing something of vital importance...
“Hope,” he roared. “Come . . . back . . . inside! If you even so much as think of leaving me here, when I get my body back, I will whip you from now until Sunday.”
At those words, something in her snapped. The image of Eli assaulting her, driving her into hiding filled her mind—there was no way under heaven or earth she would allow another man to intimidate her again. If she were well and good crazed, she might as well do as she wished. With nothing else to lose, she stormed over to the door and threw it open, her fear turned to righteous anger. “No one lays a hand on me. Ever!”
“Brave words for a woman speaking to someone completely helpless,” he sneered. “But I warn you, with my body, I am a warrior the likes you’ve not seen. I have never been bested in battle, and I will darn well whip any woman I put my mind to whipping!”
“Whipping a woman is never a brave act,” Hope said. “A man who strikes a woman is a coward and a snake.”
“You use my own words against me,” he said. It looked like he remembered the day they met. He probably had a lot of time to think about it over the years. “I used those words for a man who would rape a woman. Whipping a woman who deserves it is a whole other affair. Sometimes a woman needs to be taught her place.”
“Taught her place?” Hope fairly screamed. “Did you say, ‘Taught her place?’”
“I did not stutter. You know exactly what I said.”
Hope stormed over to the box, took a fistful of hair, picked him up, and stomped over to the old chamber pot. Too bad it hadn’t been used lately. “I will teach you your place.” Without care, she chucked him inside. His roar and subsequent slew of profanity reverberated off the cabin walls. Hope ignored the vile man, draped an old cloth over the pot, and proceeded to get dressed. She could still hear him bellowing as she made her way down the path toward town.
I came across the Autumn Book Tag at Heather's Reading Hideaway and as it looked like a fun tag, I wanted to participate.
So here's the questions and my answers.
Q: Best autumnal themed book cover?
Q: Which fictional friend group would you trust with a Ouiji board?
Most likely Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson from Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman.
Q: Which book setting would you love to be celebrating in during Halloween night?
A: That answer is pretty easy - Hogwarts, or at the very least Hogsmeade.
Q: Best autumnal food description inside of a story?
The caramel apples in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
Q: Which fictional character would you dress as?
Bellatrix LeStrange or Morticia Addams.
Q: An antagonist you would pledge your allegiance to?
Not surprisingly I would say Dracula.
Q: The creepiest book you've ever read?
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.
Q: A book you've yet to read, but will read this October?
I finally kicked myself in the rear and read The Shining by Stephen King.
Q: Which fictional character would you put in charge of the decorations for a Halloween party?
That's an easy answer, either Molly Weasley or Morticia Addams.
Friday, 26 October 2018
Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology–all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out (Oct 2018).
Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn’t change her identity for nothing.
As it turns out, hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she’s claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there’s no mistaking the murder weapon.
Navigating the loss of her Poppa, her mother’s mistrust, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth--and they want Anora and her powers for themselves.
Glass breaks somewhere in the distance and something heavy knocks into me. I hit the ground hard, landing on my back with Natalie over me, hands holding down my arms, her legs clamped tight against mine. I recognize this control. She’s trying to incapacitate me.
“Get off me or I swear—”
“What? You’ll kill me, too?”
For a moment, I go completely still and glare at her, then I realize something’s off about her appearance—most notably, the large black wings sprouting from her back. That’s when I lose it.
“Get off of me! Get away from me!” I thrash, trying to loosen her hold on me. The thread ignites between us and Natalie springs away. I scramble to my feet and get a good look at her. She’s Natalie alright, but different. She’s leaner, but maybe I never noticed before because she doesn’t wear skin-tight black suits to school. Her hair is slick and straight, falling over her shoulders in a sheet. Then there are the wings—huge sweeping black-metallic things that surround her like a halo.
“Get her out of here!” I freeze—I’d know that voice anywhere.
I twist to find him, but he doesn’t look like the Shy I know—his blond hair is silver and falls to his shoulders and black wings spout from his back. He takes my place in front of the thing that looked like my poppa moments earlier, two long blades clasped in his hands.
What is going on?
“Go!” Natalie pushes me forward, and someone grabs my wrist. I try to pull away but recognize the voice.
“It’s me,” Thane says. “Do what they say!”
What the actual hell? Did he just tell me to do what they say? Shouldn’t he be freaking out?
Thane drags me toward the door, but the creature of shadow screams and tentacles explode from it, stretching out and knocking us to the ground. Something flies past me—another one of the bird-creatures. I scramble to my feet and find the three poised before the creature, blades exposed in the pale light filtering through the thin windows above.
They cut and stab at the creature, but their blades only make it angry, and the angrier it gets, the more damage it does, knocking into shelves and the concrete columns. Jars crash to the ground, choking the air with formaldehyde and dust.
“This isn’t working, Shy!” Natalie says and my stomach knots painfully, but I don’t have time to comprehend what’s happening here, because the creature’s tentacles flail, and I have to duck to keep from being flung across the room. Thane’s in front of me again, pulling my arm.
“We have to get out of here!”
“Look out!” I push him forward and fall with him, landing as one of the creature’s tentacles rush over us and crashes into a column. There’s a cracking sound as it comes loose from its place and falls toward us. Thane and I scramble to our feet and away, finding ourselves closer to the fight than we wanted to be.
“Jacobi!” Shy’s voice is harsh as Jacobi propels from his position on the floor, scythe in hand, he cuts a blow across the creature’s tooth-filled face. Its scream grows louder and one of its tentacles lifts, smacking into Jacobi and sending him flying against the wall. Shy twists, searching, until his eyes meet mine.
And something in my chest pulls so tight I lose my ability to breathe.
I know him.
And not in the way I’ve gotten to know him the last few weeks. This is different, deeper. It goes beyond his skin and blood and bones.
I know his soul.
The knowledge shivers through me and my mind strains to place him. Where have I seen him before? I chase tendrils of memories, but they slip from my grasp, teasing, playful, brutal—and they smell like smoke and jasmine.
What did that witch do to me?
Shy’s harsh voice brings me back to the present. “Get her out of here! She’s making it stronger!”
“Shy!” Natalie warns, but it’s too late. He goes flying, his body flipping unnaturally as he lands in a pile of his own feathers. I don’t go to him and I don’t run away. I stand, rooted to the spot. Anger, white and hot, washes over me, burning my eyes and skin. I want to smash this thing to pieces for giving me hope, for lifting me from darkness just to crush me.
I want to kill it.
And the thread responds, rising to fit my palm like the hilt of a blade. I don’t know what it does to soulless creatures, but I unleash it anyway. It twirls through the air, lancing the creature, looping throughout its limbs. It writhes, jerking and hissing, it’s body splitting so that light pours through cracks in its shadow-skin.
I see it all in slow motion: how the thread twists and tightens, moving methodically through each arm and then diving down into a mouth of teeth, only to burst from its stomach, spewing black oil, but it happens in an instant. The creature groans and falls into a puddle and my thread reels back in coating my hand in sticky, black tar.
As I stand there, catching my breath, the anger melts, replaced with something far more urgent.
Oh God. What have I done?
It's Friday again, which means it's time for a new Book Blogger Hop post, courtesy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The question of the week was "Recommend one horror novel for non-horror readers".
Personally, I would recommend "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill. It has gothic elements, it's a bit moody, it has great descriptions and it does give you the chills from time to time.
Thursday, 25 October 2018
Denise is a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but who also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit.
She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She's been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.
Desperate to begin a new life, Jerilyn Bowman changes her name and goes off the grid. Sparks fly when Det. Nick Moreau confronts her about her identity and then seems to follow her wherever she goes. When a stranger dies while gripping her chin in his hand, passing to her the gift of prescience, she begins to witness awful crimes before they happen.
Jerilyn’s claim that she’s able to see the future both frustrates and fascinates Nick to the point he can’t get her out of his mind. Are Jerilyn’s claims of second sight a cover for her own crimes? Will Nick discover the truth before Jerilyn becomes the killer’s next victim?
New Orleans, Louisiana
Blue streaks and long spikes protruded every direction out of the ponytail elastic on top of Jerilyn Bowman’s head. Black lips and nails added to the dark, don’t-you-dare-mess-with-me look. Jeri had adopted the carefully crafted image on the day she decided to stay in New Orleans.
The persona she projected wasn’t her. Not at all. It was a disguise. In high school, she was a brainiac. Sensible clothes. Responsible habits. Excellent grades. Jeri knew herself well enough to know her true nature was somewhere between good little girl and badass bitch.
Her parents wouldn’t understand her choices, and she wasn’t going to try to explain. Not when the secrets they had kept from her for years were the main reason she wanted to keep them out of her life. So when she dropped out of medical school to bartend, she hadn’t told them about her decision. As far as she knew, they still believed she was studying anatomy and medical ethics at Tulane Medical School.
She slid a glass across the bar toward a regular customer. “Here ya go.”
Among all the tourists who ordered nothing but Hurricanes and Sazeracs, the local guy was a bit of a challenge. He always had a new drink for her to mix. Today’s choice was a concoction he called Royal Blood. She’d mixed his drink, adding a sticky red liquid that resembled strawberry syrup from a glass tube he’d brought with him. The mess smelled horrible and looked practically toxic.
Without looking at her, he grunted, lifting his drink and letting it hover near his lips for a long moment before taking the first sip. When he lowered his glass, a line of gooey red outlined his upper lip.
“Is that the way you like it?” She didn’t expect him to respond. The weirdo rarely spoke more than a few words.
He dropped a ten on the counter. Despite his homeless appearance, he was always a good tipper. Jeri’s shift ended at six in the morning, and the weirdo was always her last customer. The man stopped for a moment to gaze out the front window. No telling at what he was staring. He stood so still Jeri thought he might have died standing up. Then, he jerked, dropped something in the trash bin near the door, and exited the bar, leaving the place empty of customers once again.
The weirdo’s empty glass went into the soapy water behind the bar, discoloring the bubbles with a tinge of pink. She grabbed a damp towel and began wiping down the counter for the last time just as the night bouncer Herb turned over the closed sign in the window.
Until recently the bar had never closed, open 24/7, but ever since a brawl on the sidewalk outside had migrated into the bar at six in the morning and someone had taken a bullet right inside the door, the owner had closed it from six a.m. until ten a.m. every day. Darwin had grumbled that he didn’t want to spend his mornings watching his business and that no one should be up that time of day making trouble. If he didn’t take care of his business, it didn’t get taken care of, so he said. Hell, it wasn’t like Darwin stuck around much after midnight. He usually missed all the late night/early morning excitement that the bouncer handled without the boss ever knowing about it.
Jeri’s bare wrist slid across a few drops of the red slimy substance she’d put into the weirdo’s drink. Her head jerked up, her gaze darting across the empty bar toward the other side of the room. For a split second, she saw a woman lying on the floor. Her glassy eyes stared straight into Jerilyn’s soul. Jeri dropped the wet towel and rubbed her fists over her eyes. When she opened them again, the woman had disappeared.
The bouncer turned toward her. “Huh?”
She pointed to the spot where she’d seen the woman. “Is there someone lying on the floor over there?”
It wouldn’t be the first time someone had passed out and woke up the next morning sprawled out on the floor right where they had fallen. That was another early morning joy that Darwin usually missed out on.
Herb squinted in the direction of the darkened corner of the room. “I don’t see nobody.”
The front door popped open, pushing Herb back a few steps, and a man entered. Herb groaned. Jeri had distracted him, and he hadn’t locked up fast enough.
She nodded toward the sign on the door. “We’re closed until ten.”
When the man’s gaze met hers, Jeri’s breath completely left her. His brilliant blue eyes held her stare. It was too bad he was so hot. He smelled like a cop.
Jeri remembered those gorgeous eyes. She’d seen him once before. He’d come into the bar one night with another cop. The two of them had tried so hard to appear as if they were just two guys getting a drink together and had ordered a beer on tap while they had scanned the crowded bar. They hadn’t found whoever they were looking for and had left their drinks behind practically untouched. She would have been glad to give them a go cup. There was no sense in wasting a perfectly good mug of beer.
She forced a smile and dumped the day-old cherries and orange slices into the trashcan beneath the bar. “What can I get for you, officer?”
Herb made a noise of disgust and locked the door with an angry twist of his wrist. Since he’d done time, first in the Orleans Parish jail and then at Angola, Herb had not been a big fan of law enforcement. He stood near the door with his beefy arms crossed over his broad chest. Herb had pumped so much iron during his incarceration that no one dared mess with him, not even cops.
The cop blinked and then grinned as if he had been caught in a criminal act. Before he spoke, he pulled a stool back from the bar and took his sweet time depositing his butt opposite her. One flick of his wrist gave her a quick peek at his ID. He tucked the badge back into his pocket and shoved a picture across the still damp bar.
“Have you seen her hanging around the Quarter?”
Jeri glanced at the picture and then raised her gaze to meet the cop’s eyes. Believable lies were all about projecting confidence. “Nope.”
So her parents had figured out that she had dropped out of Tulane. It had taken them long enough. She lifted the weirdo’s glass out of the soapy water and began cleaning it, trying to keep doing her job and appearing as casual a possible, while her heart pounded at a furious pace.
The cop sighed and pointed at the photo. “Jerilyn’s parents are worried about her. I would like to tell them she isn’t dead.”
It was a strange time of day for the cop to be following up on a missing person case. Didn’t he have more serious crimes to investigate at six in the morning?
As if on cue, the high-pitched wail of sirens caught her attention. She turned her head toward the street for a second and then returned her attention to the cop. “Sorry, I can’t help you with that.”
He leaned across the bar and whispered. “What do I tell them, Jerilyn?”
Jeri drew her brows together and crinkled her nose as if he had confused her. “You think I’m that girl?” She glanced at the picture again. “Maybe I look a little like her, but that’s not me.” Not anymore. “My name is Olivia.” She had paid a guy a nice fat sum of money to become Olivia.
He pushed his stool away from the bar. When he stood, she calculated he must be at least six feet tall. She dared look straight into his blue, blue eyes. He smiled again, and she almost smiled back.
“Well, Olivia…if you ever want to pass any news along to Jerilyn’s parents, here’s my card. Give me a call anytime.”
He was gone before she could shove the card back at him. She nudged it to the end of the bar with a long, black-painted fingernail and then watched it float into the trash bin.
Give me a call anytime. She snorted with contempt.
If he weren’t a cop…if he wasn’t looking for her, she might think the man had just hit on her. But he was a detective, and cops were pros at deception. He could easily fake interest to fool her into talking to him. She knew how they were because her father was a high-ranking officer with the Nashville police. No doubt, that was why the local PD was giving her particular missing person case personalized attention.
She glanced at the name on the card as it lay face up on top of the fruit. Det. Nicholas Moreau. Just her luck the hottest guy she’d ever met was a cop. She snatched the card from the trash and slipped it into the pocket of her jeans…just in case.