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Book Tag Saturday; Hocus Pocus Book Tag

I came across the Hocus Pocus Book Tag over at Scorpio Book Dreams (originally made by Never Not Reading) and I decided to play along.
The Sanderson Sisters - A great trilogy. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone - trilogy by Laini Taylor
Winifred Sanderson - A book with a truly evil female villain. How can I NOT answer the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling as there's so many evil female villains in it? Umbridge, LeStrange and the list goes on.
Sarah Sanderson - A book that uncannily attracts children. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
Mary Sanderson - A book that is just plain silly. The Twits by Roald Dahl.
Max - A book that is trying really hard to be cool, but doesn’t always succeed. Not quite sure what to answer on this one.
Dani - A book that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Binx - A book series that just won’t die. Am I the only one who's sick and tired of the GoT hype?
Ice - A book with a character that’s dumb as a rock. Matilda…

Book Blogger Hop; Spending the Night at a Haunted House and Bringing Books

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It's Friday yet again and time for a new Book Blogger Hop post, courtesy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The question of the week was "You're spending the night in a haunted house. What book would you bring with you?".
I would probably bring with me The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, just for the sake of it.

Review; Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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I was fortunate enough to recieve a press copy of Small Spaces by Katherine Arden through Netgalley earlier this year. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn't think--she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with "the smiling man," a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local f…

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge; Popular/Famous Books I Don't Plan To Read

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It's Wednesday and time for a new Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge post, courtesy of Long and Short Reviews. The theme of the week was popular/famous books I don't plan to read.
Some of the famous and/or popular books I have no plans on reading includes The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer and The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James. In my world, vampires don't sparkle and I've read and heard enough of both series/trilogies that there is the question of not-so-nice boyfriends (aka abusive ones in one way or another).

Review; The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop by Abigail Drake

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A few months ago I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the novel The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop by Abigail Drake through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
When chemist Grace O'Leary finds a book of magic spells hidden in her Aunt Lucy's run-down magic shop, the scientist in her itches to try them out. She mixes up a batch of love potions as a joke, and has to face the consequences when they actually seem to work.Her dream of becoming a professor is in peril, and time is running out to finish research for her dissertation. She can't handle any more distractions, but the magic shop is on the verge of closing, her aunt has become forgetful and confused, and a handsome reporter named Dario Fontana keeps sniffing around for a story. The last thing she needs is for him to find out about the love potions and expose her as fraud, but she begins to trust him, and the sizzling chemistry between them is soon too po…

Review; The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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As Netflix has made an adaption of the classic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, it was the push I needed to actually read the book. Today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting;' Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
My Thoughts on the Book I understand why The Haunting of …

Review; Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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As I've enjoyed other novels by Neil Gaiman, I ended up reading Coraline recently. Today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls beh…

Book Tag; Creatures of the Night Tag

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I came across the Creatures of the Night tag over at The Book Dutchesses and I decided to play along as it looked like a fun tag. Now, let's see who some of my favourite creatures of the night are.
Vampire My favourite vampire is obviously Dracula. Those who know me well enough is aware that Bram Stoker's Dracula is a favourite book of mine, so I doubt the answer is a shocker.


Werewolf Mia from Hood Academy by Shelley Wilson


Zombie Sheri, human turned zombie in The Kill Crew by Joseph D'Lacey


Ghost Mrs. Owens from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Witch/Magician Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.


Halfgod
Aru Shah from Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi


Fae Effie of Glen Coe from The Laird of Duncairn by Craig Comer.


Angel Akiva from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor


When it comes to aliens, demons and humans with superpowers, I can't say I've read enough to list any characters that I like.

Book Blogger Hop; A Book That Gets Me In The Mood For Halloween

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It's Friday, 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 "Name one book that gets you in the mood for Halloween".
As I have a weak spot for spooky books, I could probably mention a bucketload of books, but one book that gets me in the mood for Halloween is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

Review; The Myrtles Plantation by Frances Kermeen

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As it is October, I can't NOT write about spooky books. Today I'll review the non-fiction book The Myrtles Plantation by Frances Kermeen.
Description from Goodreads Broken clocks tick...beds rise in the air...paintings fly across the room...locked doors fling open...crystal chandeliers shake...heavy footsteps and eerie piano music sound in the dead of night-and that's just for starters. Welcome to the Myrtles Long recognized as America's most haunted house both by parapsychologists and the media, The Myrtles is a twenty-eight-room Louisiana bed-and-breakfast once owned by Frances Kermeen. In this spine-tingling chronicle, Frances tells the story of how she was drawn to this former plantation mansion, its bone-chilling history, and the incredible encounters of the ghostly kind she had that forever changed her beliefs about the supernatural-and just may change yours. Along with the sometimes terrifying, sometimes benevolent hauntings, her years at The Myrtles also brough…

Review; Carmilla by Kim Turrisi

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I recieved a press copy of the retelling Carmilla by Kim Turrisi on Netgalley I few months ago. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads An adaptation of Shaftesbury's award-winning, groundbreaking queer vampire web series of the same name, Carmilla mixes the camp of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the snark of Veronica Mars, and the mysterious atmosphere of Welcome to Nightvale. Newly escaped from the stifling boredom of a small town, college freshman Laura is ready to make the most of her first year at Silas University. But when her roommate, Betty, vanishes and a sarcastic, nocturnal philosophy student named Carmilla moves into Betty's side of the room, Laura decides to play detective. Turns out Betty isn't the first girl to go missing ? she's just the first girl not to come back. All over campus, girls have been vanishing, and they are completely changed when (or if) they return. Even more disturbing are the strange dream…

Review; His Final Girl by Brooklyn Ann

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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the horror novel His Final Girl by Brooklyn Ann through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS

Computer nerd, Wes Carpenter, dreads having to spend ten days at summer camp with the rest of his in-coming high school senior class. But when he meets strong-willed and confident farm girl, Linnea Langenkamp, everything about being away at camp improves immediately. When a malicious prank awakens an ancient evil, turning their summer romance into a bloodbath, Wes and Linnea pray they make it home alive while fighting for the survival of their classmates. With Wes’s ingenuity and Linnea’s knowledge of the forest, together they may be able to stop the killer, save the camp, and maybe even find their happily ever after on the way.

My Thoughts on the Book I really enjoyed reading His Final Girl, as it was a homeage to slashers from the 70's and 8…

Review; The Death Chute by Ambrose Stolliker

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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the novella The Death Chute by Ambrose Stolliker through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards, but I haven't published my review until now as I wanted to focus on horror and paranormal this month.

Description from Goodreads
When his mother, Sophia, is diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia, 44-year-old reality television producer Jake Porter is forced leave Hollywood and return to his native Vermont to look after her. His plan is to quickly set her up in a posh new retirement community in the Green Mountains and then head back to Los Angeles to revive his career, which is now in jeopardy after his last few projects bombed in spectacular fashion with TV audiences.

But when he learns that the retirement community was once a tuberculosis sanatorium where many patients died of the dreaded disease, Jake is uneasy at the prospect of leaving Sophia on her own. Only the assurances of the community's chief medical o…

Review; Magickal Mystery Lore by Sharon Pape

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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of Magickal Mystery Lore by Sharon Pape through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards, but I haven't published my review until now.

Description from Goodreads
This spells trouble . . .

The New Camel Day Fair is a fun-filled event for residents of this upstate New York town. Kailyn Wilde, a modern-day witch of ancient lineage, leaves her potion shop, Abracadabra—and her feline familiar, Sashkatu—to attend with her fortune-telling Aunt Tilly. Joining them is legendary wizard Merlin, who’s discovering new pleasures of time-traveling to the modern world, including curly fries and kettle corn—but the appeal of the Tilt-a-Wheel is beyond his mystical imagination.

The real wild ride begins later, when neighboring sweet shop owner Lolly rushes into Abracadabra with news about a dead body. The victim has one of Lolly’s fudge knives stuck in her back, but in spite of the sticky evidence, Lolly is only one of several suspects with a…

Review; Raven Dock by Sara Caldwell

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I was fortunate enough to recieve a press copy of the book Raven Dock by Sara Caldwell through Netgalley and today I'll post the review.

Description from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Harper Duncan never fit in anywhere her family moved…and they moved a lot. But after her parents and brother die in a tragic accident, she finds out she’s adopted, and her birth mother lives in a remote retreat called Raven Dock. Harper ventures north and discovers a dark family secret: her birth mother is a witch. And she’s one too. As Harper Learns about her own hidden powers, will she choose to embrace her chilling heritage, or return to the safety of the ordinary world?

My Thoughts On The Book As I'm into witches and everything paranormal, I found this an entertaining read. I was a bit annoyed over the ending, but hopefully things will change a little bit in the rest of the series.

Review; The Old Man's Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy by Joab Stieglitz

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A while ago I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of The Old Man's Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy by Joab Stieglitz through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards, but waited until now for posting the review as I wanted to focus on horror and spooky reads this month.

Description from Goodreads
Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.

Hampered by the old man's greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, Doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O'Malley gather the knowledge and resources needed to defeat the entity?

The Old Man's Request is a pulp adventure set in the 1920s, and the first part of the Utgarda Trilogy.

My Thoughts on the Book
This was a really fun read with an ex…

Review; The Shining by Stephen King

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Last year I read The Shining by Stephen King for the Fall Fright Readathon and today I'll post the review.

Description from Goodreads
Danny is only five years old but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grow frighteningly out of control.

My Thoughts on the Novel The Shining is certainly creepy, in the sense that one notices the Overlook Hotel influences the characters in one way or another. Stephen King knows a thing or two about writing horror novels and The Shining is a haunting read. Today, an isolated place in the woods/mountains might be an overused trope, but as the novel was originally published in 1977, I will not give the book any crap about it - the trope actually works in this particular storyline.
Even though the classic Kubrick movie adaption is a bit different from the novel, it is worth the watch - if only for Jack Nicholson's interpretation of J…

Review; The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd by Robert Davies

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A few months ago I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the novel The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd by Robert Davies through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
When Evan Morgan’s brother Damon dies suddenly, Evan is stunned to learn his inheritance, including property, has made him instantly wealthy. Traveling to North Wales seems to be a formality: pick up the valuables, sell the house quickly, and leave.

But everything changes when he arrives in Denbighshire and meets his neighbor, the alluring and mysterious Aline Lloyd. Evan feels an instant, powerful connection to not only her, but his new home in an ancient place.

As the details of Damon’s death become more bizarre, Evan is drawn deeper into the growing mystery surrounding Aline. Consumed by his feelings for her, Evan is determined to learn her secret.

Some things are better left unlearned.

Something is coming to their quiet valley. And it’s looking for Aline…

TBR Mix 'n' Mingle; What I'm Reading in October 2019

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As it's the first of October, it's time for a new TBR Mix 'n' Mingle post, courtesy of The Hungry Bookworm.

Here's a few of the books I'm planning to read this month.

Scent of Betrayal by Denise Carbo

Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash

The Teacher at Donegal Bay by Anne Doughty

The Vicarage Murder by Faith Martin

Vladimir's Diary by Martin M. McShane

Murder in the Corn Maze by G. A. McKevett

Review; Barnhill: A Novel by Norman Bissell

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A few months ago I recieved an ARC of the novel Barnhill by Norman Bissell through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads George Orwell left post-war London for Barnhill, a remote farmhouse on the Isle of Jura, to write what became Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was driven by a passionate desire to undermine the enemies of democracy and make plain the dangers of dictatorship, surveillance, doublethink and censorship.

Typing away in his damp bedroom overlooking the garden he created and the sea beyond, he invented Big Brother, Thought Police, Newspeak and Room 101 – and created a masterpiece.

Barnhill tells the dramatic story of this crucial period of Orwell's life. Deeply researched, it reveals the private man behind the celebrated public figure – his turbulent love life, his devotion to his baby son and his declining health as he struggled to deliver his dystopian warning to the world.
"He sometimes thought that the w…

Review; The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the historical novel The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage secures her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community. However, Naoko has fallen for an American sailor and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation. Setting out to learn the truth, Tori’s journey leads her to a remote seaside village in Japan where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

Inspired by true stories, The Woman in the White Kimo…

Book Tag Saturday; The Autumn Book Tag

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I came across The Autumn Book Tag over at The Book Dutchesses and I decided to play along as it looked like a fun tag.
What is your favorite thing about Autumn? Apart from colder weather and the excuse to wear knitted items, I love the colours and the possibility of snuggling up inside with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I can admit that autumn is my favourite season of them all, so I do love "everything autumn" really.
What book reminds you of your school days? Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
What cover reminds you of Autumn? A cover that certainly reminds me of autumn is The Charm of Lost Chances by Lucia N. Davis
What is your favorite horror or Halloween story? Dracula by Bram Stoker, what else? :-P
What is your favorite horror or Halloween movie? I'm going to say two; Beetlejuice and The Addams Family Values.
What autumn book release are you looking forward to? The Grave Digger by Rebecca Bischoff
What autumn movie release …

Book Blogger Hop; Wishing of an Official Government Bookish Holiday

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It's Friday and time for a new Book Blogger Hop post, courtesy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The question of the wek was "Have you ever wished that there were official government bookish holidays, and that, by law, employers HAD to give their workers a paid day off? If so, what kind of bookish holiday would you like to have?".
Book Blogger Hop Having an official government bookish holiday sounds nice. I might be accused of dreaming small on this one, but it would be nice to have a bookish holiday in the autumn, were we could curl up under a blanket all day, while drinking coffee/tea/hot chocolate, eat sweet treats such as cookies and chocolate while reading books. Of course where would be the added bonus if it was pouring rain that day and one is fortunate enough to have a fourlegged buddy to keep us with company.

Review; And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

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Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the cosy mystery novel And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
Zoe Zola is one of ten invitees to an Agatha Christie symposium. Tempers flare…and then there are nine. Can Jenny Weston save Zoe from murder on the Upper Peninsula?

Little Person author Zoe Zola believes that one of the unluckiest things in life is to receive an invitation—in the form of a letter edged in black—to an Agatha Christie symposium at an old Upper Peninsula hunting lodge. Her reluctance dissipates when she learns that the organizer is named Emily Brent—the name of a character poisoned by cyanide in Christie’s And Then There Were None.

As a dreary rain soaks the U.P., Zoe and nine other Christie scholars—each of whom bears a vague resemblance to one of the classic mystery novel’s characters—arrive at the lo…

Review; The Little Book of Forest Bathing: Discovering the Japanese Art of Self-Care by Andrews McMeel Publishing

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Earlier this year I recieved an ARC of the book The Little Book of Forest Bathing: Discovering the Japanese Art of Self-Care by Andrews McMeel Publishing through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
Discover the Japanese mindfulness practice of Shinrin-yoku—and the emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits of slowing down and taking in the natural world.

What’s an easy way to lower your blood pressure, combat anxiety and depression, and boost your immune system? Shinrin-yoku. The Little Book of Forest Bathing is all about finding strength, peace, and beauty in your surroundings. Drawing on recent research, Forest Bathing maps out the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of immersing yourself in natural surroundings. It then goes on to provide a how-to guide to forest bathing, with methods ranging from hiking to traditional meditation to literal tree hugging. Interspersed in these informational tidbits are brilliant …

Top Five Tuesday; Top Five Autumn Reading Recommendations

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I wanted to do a Top Five Tuesday today in addition to the Top Ten Tuesday. The topic of today in regards of the Top Five Tuesday, courtesy of Bionic Book Worm, is top five autumn reading recommendations.
Here's five suggestions from me.
Crypt Suzette by Maya Corrigan
The Legend of Decimus Croome: A CHalloween Carol by Kevin Purdy
The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd by Robert Davies
The Death Chute by Amrbose Stolliker
The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop by Abigail Drake

Top Ten Tuesday; Books On My Autumn TBR

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It's Tuesday and time for a new Top Ten Tuesday post, courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic of the week was easy enough, which was books on my autumn TBR.
Here's my picks;

Death by Café Mocha by Alex Erickson

Molded 4 Murder by J. C. Eaton

Vladimir's Diary by Martin M. McShane

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright & Cass Grafton

Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles edited by Rhoda Parrish

Cooper's Loot by Rick E. George

Searching for Black Confederates by Kevin M. Levin

Scent of Betrayal by Denise Carbo

Blues in the Dark by Raymond Benson

The Teacher at Donegal Bay by Anne Doughty