Monday Mini – Not So Sweet – Strawberries by Casey Bartsch @ecclectic22

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I love the fabulous cover of Strawberries by Casey Bartsch, that was done by Jennifer Chang. Great job. So simple, yet it says so much. Made me want it. Then I read…serial killers. Oh yeah!

Strawberries

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

Strawberry is a serial killer that loves coming up with new and creative ways to murder someone. He is a psycho, even doing himself harm, while murdering at random. His signature mark…a strawberry.

He dodges capture, leaving a trail of bodies in a zig zag path he travels, striking when the moment hits him.

The characters are…unusual. At times I felt sorry for them, other times I couldn’t help but smile.

Forces draw them together in a frenzied ending, bodies dropping, blood flowing and some people I like…well, you’ll need to read about it for yourself. I like authors who do the unexpected, regardless of how I might feel about it.

I had made a comment on fuonlyknew’s blog about how much I wanted to read this, and, voila, Casey Bartsch sent me a copy. Thanks so much, Casey.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Strawberries is the name he has been given.

When they let him out, they had no way of knowing what he was. A psychopath. A killer. The body count is at twenty already, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Agent Harry Bland can’t see one anyway. He doesn’t have a single clue to go on. It doesn’t help that his mind won’t focus. His heart just isn’t in it anymore. Half way across the country, Sylvia is in a different state of mind. When she isn’t selling sex to the rich, she is doing her best to disappear. She lives a life of assumed names, one night stands, and a constant stream of narcotics. Sylvia has heard of Strawberries. Of course she has. So has everyone who has turned on the television or surfed the net. Yet, she has no way of knowing just how much his life will affect hers.

Seedy hotels, cross country truckers looking for the meaning of life, homemade pie, a reporter with her own secret agenda, obscenely expensive champagne, and plenty of spilled blood await our cast. But make sure to read fast…..Strawberries has killed number 21

 
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Monday Mini Review – Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer @archer_jill

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I was surprised by the originality of Jill Archer’s A Fiery Edge of Steel and wonder why I have not read any of her work before. My loss…

If you are looking for a fantastic demons and angels series, look no further.

Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon Onyx, #2)

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

A wonderfully original magical adventure and I am loving this mismatched band of travelers that gave me a laugh here and there as Noon Onyx and her band of angels battle to save The Shallows, fighting fabulous demons with their magic. I love how Noon Onyx grows and develops while on their mission and there are plenty of surprises and second chances along the way that kept me reading til the early hours of the morning. I won this book and now I wonder why it took me so long to read it.

I won this book and have not read the first Noon Onyx story, Dark Light of Day, by Jill Archer. Even though this is the second book in the series, I felt it filled in enough blanks, that my reading enjoyment did not suffer because of it. The result of their mission is wrapped up, but there is more to come and, if you are like me, you will want to know what happens on their next adventure and to know…what about Ari?

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.

Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task which will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

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Monday Mini – Armageddon Has Arrived – Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith @DonFiresmith

Perfect for the Halloween season, Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith.

I love the cover (by Ellie Kay Bockert Augsburger) and horror, so I was super excited to get a free copy from Amazon, but be sure and check for the ‘0’.

What Lurks Below (Hell Holes, #1)

Goodreads Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith was everything I had hoped for and more.

They were asked by Exxon to come up and check out the Hell Holes that had become a threat to the pipeline. Stowaway photographer, Aileen O’Shannon, is quite a handful and so much more than she appears to be.

Have you ever thought about not just climate change, but all the holes we punch into the earth? Could we be destroying the planet we live on…or is there something else happening, something so monstrously evil we cannot imagine.

What had been a secret, which I love to have revealed to me, was on the verge of becoming Armageddon. Bloody, gory, slasher type horror. Demons rise from hell, hungry and I sure don’t want to meet them on a dark lonely highway…or anywhere else, for that matter.

Characters fall, so be careful who you become attached to. I love when an author does that, leaving me wondering who will be taken out, how they will be taken out, and who will be left standing. I also love when an author can surprise me and I did not see the direction the story would go when I began. Nice job, Donald.

I wasn’t ready for the ending!!!!! but end it did. Does not stand alone and I am left hanging…BUT This is a two book series, and Book II is out and ready for reading.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

Hell Holes, Book I:  What Lurks Below was FREE at time of posting.

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Monday Mini – Ari by S M Boyce @thesmboyce

A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Novel, Ari by S M Boyce

I love the covers for this series and think Sarah Montee did a fabulous job on them.

Ari (To Each His Ghost, #1)

Amazon  US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

“…You won’t get help. Not from me, not from the white shirts, not from the docs. Demons don’t simply play with their food. They take prisoners of war…”

Ari is a virgin, young, innocent and head over heels for Marcus. He’s a dick, with a capital D. He only wants to get into her pants and place another notch on his belt.

For their date, they are heading to the Lodley farmhouse. Ari should have listened to her instincts and Marcus should have listened to Ari when she said it was a very bad idea.

Now, they are both being haunted, each in their own terrifying and deadly way and these ghosts do plenty more than go bump in the night.

The tension and anticipation I feel as I wait for whatever is coming on the next page and the next page, makes it hard to contain my excitement. I don’t know what’s coming but I am thinking it will get so much worse…

I am loving what S M Boyce has done with this ghostly story about haunting and redemption as it comes full circle.

Now, I have met Mel and Marcus and I can hardly wait to spend more time fighting demons and monsters with them.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Novel

A crumbling farmhouse lies on the outskirts of the sleepy borough of White Haven, Pennsylvania. No one lives there anymore, but it’s never been empty.

Ari Bowers is a nerdy high school junior with a crush on the Varsity wide receiver and a healthy fear of the paranormal. When her crush Marcus Wagner takes her on a date-gone-wrong to the local haunted farmhouse, her fear is tested. A dark entity latches onto them both in that house, and they pay for their mistake with blood.

Marcus won’t admit something followed him home from the farmhouse even though shadows lurk in his periphery. It’s a prank, all of it… until a local girl dies with similar wounds on her body. Now he’s convinced he’s gone insane. His life spirals out of control, and it all boils down to his stupid date with Ari. As he sinks into addiction and women to ease his pain, he’s left with a choice: lose everything, or acknowledge the darkness slowly taking over his soul. He’s running out of time, and if he doesn’t face this creature, it’s going to take him the same way it took Ari.

For Ari and Marcus, it’s not about whether or not monsters lurk in the dark—they just don’t know which one is after them.

My Review of Origins by S M Boyce

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Monday Mini – Watch The Shadows by Robin Winter @winterobin13

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

I won this beautiful first edition paperback from Robin Winter and Christy Mauer. Thanks so much for the wonderful giveaway.

Watch the Shadows

Amazon  US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Nicole is not your typical teenage girl. She is more interested in science than boys, and she has some very unique parents. They are both professors. She mom sounds like a hippie and her dad is working for NASA…strange bedfellows. Meg, their neighbor helped out with the homeless population. Brian, the postman knows them all.

The mystery surrounding the people of Isla Vista, California, kept me reading. I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck is going on. I felt the characters seemed almost real.

It’s funny…I was watching a Halloween NCIS episode on TV, when I read this Halloween story. If you’re a fan of B movies, you are going to want to read Watch The Shadows by Robin Winter. You may be looking out of the corner of your eye, or over your shoulder, wincing at the whispering sound of IT.

The great writing made even the homeless lovable and real, the peripheral characters becoming just as important as the main ones. It didn’t knock my socks off, but I do think it’s worth the read…And, who knows, you may like it more than I.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  3 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

In the college town of Isla Vista, California, small, odd things start happening. Science-geek Nicole notes the crows are leaving. Meg Burdigal can’t find her tabby cat, Schrand. Brian the postman feels uneasy at the rustlings, the shadows he’s seen at the edge of his vision on his delivery route in town. Now Nicole sees fewer and fewer homeless in the park. Using her knowledge of biology and forensics, Nicole searches for answers—but will anyone take the horror she finds seriously? In this unusual thriller, “Watch the Shadows,” author Robin Winter explores where the ordinary slams against the extraordinary.

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