Bad Bloods: November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Rain by Shannon A. ThompsonNovember Rain (Bad Bloods, #1) by Shannon A. Thompson
Format: Audio
Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Series: Bad Bloods,
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on July 18th 2016
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.

Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

November Rain starts off with a bang, as Serena, our main female protagonist, is being marched to her own death. A stranger sets a plan in motion for Serena to escape and she becomes the first person to ever escape this particular “Bad Blood” camp. a Bad Blood is someone who has undergone a mutation that gives them superhuman abilities (similar to X-men). The society in which this is set does not recognize Bad Blood as being equal and therefore seeks to find and eradicate all of them. 

The story is full of action while still leaving room for character development and a steady story-line progression. November Rain is told from the POV of Serena and Daniel, another Bad Blood. The book is actually set over a period of only 8 -9 days, but the multiple POVs keep the story moving. 

If you are looking for a clean YA book that has lots of action, a great story, strong and loyal characters, and is a quick read – I recommend picking up November Rain. 

Review of the audio:

Johnathon Johns does a great job transitioning between Serena and Daniel’s POV without making it seem jumpy or disjointed. He has a smooth cadence that was truly enjoyable to listen to. 

Next Books in the series:


Giveaway!

November Rain Giveaway: Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box


Author Interview

 

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

My favorite (and first) part about turning Bad Bloods into an audiobook was discussing my book with the narrator, Jonathan Johns. I let him know some exclusive behind-the-scenes info that never made it into the book but was essential to understanding the characters. He was really receptive to it, and he truly understood what each person and scene represented. After he recorded, I listened to each scene and provided more notes. Then he recorded more, and now, we have an audiobook!

  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?

Yes, I think it’s absolutely possible—not to mention that there are readers who NEED audiobooks in order to access novels and other pieces of text, so audiobooks are extremely important.   

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?

Yes and no. I always loved the idea of an audiobook, but I didn’t let it change my writing style. However, I always read all of my books out loud in the last editing phase to check the sound and overall flow, so that’s very similar. Sound is important.

  • How did you select your narrator?

My publisher sent me a few auditions, but Jonathan Johns stuck out the moment I heard his voice. He captured both the dark essence of the story and the characters’ individual voices. From the beginning, I felt as if he understood it more than anyone else, and he truly brought it to life.

  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?

Yes! I provided pronounciation for any words or names that might be difficult, but I definitely gave him insight into each character. Bad Bloods is very character heavy (and a character-driven story), and it was important to me that they were distinguishable and matched what I pictured when writing. He learned facts that will never even make it into the series. Why? Because those details often shape characters, but they might also be unseen details. I needed to know those details to create the prose, so I thought Jonathan would need to know them in order to create the audio. He absolutely nailed it!

  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

I think there is truth in all types of writing, including fantasy. For me, I originally wrote this book shortly after my mother died very suddenly. I was eleven, so I had a lot of anger and depression and confusion about how terrible things can happen to very young people. Those feelings are scattered throughout Bad Bloods, and to this day, Bad Bloods still feels like the closest books to my heart—probably because writing these books saved me when I was young.  

  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

I get burnt out all the time! I try not to, but I work full time (and often overtime). Writing books while working full time is hard, especially when you’re on a deadline, so I absolutely get burnt out. But I never lose my enthusiasm. No matter how difficult life gets, I always love writing, and I try to keep that in mind when I’m feeling down.  

  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

Actually (eek), I’m not. I have a difficult time remembering anything when it’s in audio format. Even when I was a kid, I struggled to learn from lectures. I’ve always taught myself by reading materials. (Maybe my dad was right when he said I was a bad listener. Ha!) But I’m so glad it exists for those who need and love audiobooks.

  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

Jonathan Johns added some sound effects (wheezing, sighing, breathing) that helped bring the dialogue alive in very particular spots. I loved it!

  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?

YES. I would love to see the Amarna Period in Ancient Egypt, mainly because my soul is submerged in that time period for research right now. But there are lots of places I’d love to see. The future would be neat, too!


Tour Schedule

Nov. 19th:

The Audiobookworm

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Crazy Beautiful Reads

Nov. 20th:

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Books, Dreams, Life

What Is That Book About

Nov. 21st:

Chanda Reads

Hall Ways Blog

Nov. 22nd:

Buried Under Books

Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 23rd:

Lomeraniel

Lilly’s Book World

Nov. 24th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Loves Great Reads

Nov. 25th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

The Book Slayer

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four-stars

Haven by Mary Lindsey

Haven by Mary LindseyHaven by Mary Lindsey
Format: Kindle
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 7th 2017
Genres: YA
Pages: 371
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

(Former title: Hide from Me.)

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


 Review:

I was really surprised by Haven. I went into the book not knowing what it was really about, but that it involved werewolves. I wasn’t expecting the grittiness, romance, and suspense that Haven delivered though.

Aaron “Rain” Ryland comes from a life on the streets with his drug and alcohol addicted mother. When his mother fatally succumbs to her addiction he is sent to live with an Aunt he didn’t even know existed in a small town, very unlike the streets of Houston he is used to. A hard city kid is sure to be safe out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of country bumpkins, right? *insert maniacal laugh*

I won’t delve into the plot any more than that because I think the reason I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was because of the twists and reveals I experienced while reading.

What I can tell you: This book is full of strong and fully developed characters, lots of romance (and less “fade to black” sex scenes, but still YA appropriate), plot twists, suspense, and of course: werewolves and magic. 


four-half-stars

Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book Tour

Rimrider by L.A. Kelley Book TourRimrider by L.A. Kelley
Format: Audio
Narrator: Cassandra Richardson
Series: Rimrider Adventures,
on Aug. 22, 2017
Genres: YA, Science Fiction
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Orphan, pirate, spy.

Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company's murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father's last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew's fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father's code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha. Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it's too late?

Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose, or is death for high treason her fate?

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

Rimrider is about a young girl (Jane) and her little brother (Will) who have become orphans within the first chapter of the book and their fight for survival and what family means for them. Jane and Will escape their parent’s killers (the government) by boarding a space ship and getting involved with space pirates, rebels, and spies. 

This book was difficult for me to get in to until about 20%. I think part of the reason is because I couldn’t connect with Jane. She is very young, and quite immature for the YA genre of heroines. Now, I will say that sometimes I forget how young YA heroines are because so much seems to get piled on them and they are often thrown into very adult situations, but Jane was hard to like in general . Her disposition was a little whiny and she lacked emotion for things like her father’s death. She does seem to grow up quickly though and becomes decidedly more likable as the book progresses. 

With that being said, I did enjoy the book about 20% in and after. The world building was interesting, but not confusing and so big as to distract from the story. Secondary characters really held their own (Gem is the best) and the plot of the book was interesting and fun to read, albeit a little predictable at times. The book ends by setting up for the next book, but with no major cliffhangers. I would rate the story 3.5/5 stars. 

Review of the audio:

I’ve never listened to any of Cassandra Richardson’s narrations before, but I think she did a pretty good performance. Her characters were easy to distinguish from one another and her male voices were believable. I will say, sometimes her voice for Jane got a little whiny, but honestly that could have been intentional. I needed to keep reminding myself that Jane was a sheltered 15-16 year old who would likely have reason to be whiny sometimes, so it wasn’t really a mark against the actual narration. Overall the narration itself was 4/5 stars. 

Next Books in the series

four-stars

Top 10 Tuesday (13)

“Top Ten Tuesday” is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every week they pick a topic for us to do a top 10 list for and this week’s topic is…

Why this picture for the banner? Because it’s freaking adorable and silly, just like this week’s topic. I chose to go a different direction this week and showcase some of the craziest books that I have come across on Amazon.

some of them being recommended to me….Not quite sure how to feel about that 😂

As always, click on the book cover for a link to purchase the book.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


.1.

This might be one of my all time favorite suggestions I’ve ever gotten from Amazon. I chuckle every time I see it as a “suggested read” for me. 😹😹


.2.

Who doesn’t love a little bit of kitty lit? They are basically like the grumpy little philosophers of our time. 


.3.

Taking care of our bodies is really important, so it’s imperative to get daily exercise. What better way to achieve that than to dance the night away with your favorite little furry friend?


.4.

I don’t want to leave the dog loving crafters out, so I found this little treasure for you! #YouAreWelcome


.5. 

Need to unwind after all that dancing and crafting? I bring you this educational resource that has the added benefit of relaxing by coloring these jerks.


.6.

Well for anyone younger than me, this is probably just confusing since you probably have no idea who Coolio is, but for all the oldies out there like me: I bring you this gourmet cookbook.


.7.

As we continue with our domestic Goddess (or God) theme, I bring you: Extreme Ironing. My husband would argue that me ironing in any capacity is extreme, as it is a rare occasion in our house, but in case you really want to kick it up a notch there is a book just for you!


.8.


I’m not sure I can do much more justice about this book than this book synopsis can do:
“In this charming guide, “fairy hunter” Reginald Bakeley offers practical instructions to clear your home and garden of these unsettling inhabitants, and banish them from your chicken coop and kitchen cupboard forever!”


.9.


This one is for all the dicks who are too lazy to bring shopping carts back to the cart corral. #ImJudgingYou


.10.


To go along with the above, and also everyone could probably benefit from reading this one.


That’s it for this week’s list! Be sure to comment below with your link so I check yours out!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post!💓💓

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn SkyeThe Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Format: Audio
Narrator: Steve West
Published by HarperAudio on May 17th, 2016
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters - the only two in Russia - and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown's Game, an ancient duel of magical skill - the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar's most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter - even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown's Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with - beautiful, whip smart, imaginative - and he can't stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai's best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love...or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear...the Crown's Game is not one to lose.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


Review of the story:

This was a book I was pleasantly surprised by. I actually really hate when books are compared to best sellers like The Hunger Games or other popular books like Red Queen. I think it sets unfair expectations on what the book is about, which was the case for The Crown’s Game for me. Sometimes I feel like any book that has the word ‘game’ in it is going to be compared to The Hunger Games, but The Crown’s Game was nothing like THG, in my opinion. THG was raw, violent, and dark. The Crown’s Game has a few dark moments, but is a bit more light than THG. 

As for the competition, it was definitely not what I expected. I was expecting a deadly game of magic and sorcery, but the game in this book is slower paced, and more of a poetic show of talents. While the story did seem to creep along at some points, I was intrigued by the story-line and never felt bored. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat and nearly in tears, so I’m really looking forward to the next book!

 

Characters 

There is a love triangle, kind-of. I really hate love triangles, but I promise this one isn’t bad. The story is not consumed by the romance (which is actually my thing, lol, but if it’s not you’re in luck) and one part of the triangle is one-sided. I thought the theme was less about romance and more about friendship and platonic love than anything. The character development in this book was remarkable. Vika is a sassy and strong heroine that doesn’t need to depend on romance or supporting characters to shine, ad Nikolai and Pasha stand well on their own as well. I even found myself caring for (and despising) secondary characters as well and wasn’t annoyed when the POV switched to them because I genuinely cared what happened to them.

 

There is not a traditional “villain” in this book, but I think Skye did a wonderful job with the complexity of this character. I felt my heart breaking for her, even as she carried out terrible acts against some of the characters I loved. She will definitely be playing a more pivotal role in the next book so I am torn between understanding her motives, and wanting her dead before she can hurt anyone else. 

I’m including this fan art made by Charlie Bowater because she’s amazing and I’m obsessed with her art, especially her vision of Nikolai! Click here or on the picture below to be taken to Epic Reads, where this art was originally shared. 

 

Review of the audio:

Steve West was easy to listen to and did a beautiful job with voice distinctions and transitions. I would listen to another book he narrates based off this performance. 


four-stars

Top 5 Wednesday (15)

This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….

Okay, so the topic is actually : Books Featuring [paranormal creature of your choice]. I chose zombies. 


To say I was excited about this topic is an understatement. Zombies are my jam. I love everything about a good z-poc story: the demise of civilization, how people overcome and adapt (and how some don’t), the survivalism aspect, and the many different interpretations  zombies. Social psychology is fascinating to me (hence, the degree in it, lol) and what better social experiment than the end of the world! I think the best zombie books are the ones that focus less on the actual zombies, but more on the people scraping by to survive in spite of them. It was so hard to pick only 5, so I picked my 5 favorites and added some honorable mentions at the bottom 🙂

As always, click on the book cover for a link to purchase the book.

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


.1.

Until the End of the World series and The City Series by Sarah Lyons Fleming

I put these two together because they are in the same universe. My reviews are linked below for both. Oh, and Until the End of the World is FREE on Amazon right now! Mordacious is free if you have KindleUnlimited (which I highly recommend. For more info on Kindle Unlimited click here: Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial).

My Reviews:

Until the End of the World

Mordacious 


.2.

The movie was great, but it just couldn’t due this book justice because of the format. If you enjoyed the movie, definitely pick this one up. It’s a collection of “interviews” done after the zombie apocalypse strikes the world which allows for the telling of stories from multiple people all over the world. 


.3.

This is a very “adult” series due to language (the main protagonist is a prior Marine and speaks like it). It was actually one the first zombie series I read, and there are 10 books in the series so you will be entertained and occupied for a while reading these. Keep in mind that Tufo is an independent author who cranks out several books a year so there are some minor errors sometimes. 


.4.

I actually haven’t done my review for this series yet, but it’s another I highly recommend. Strong characters, great world building, and a plot that keeps moving make this one of my favorites. 


.5.

This is another series I haven’t reviewed yet, but is really good. There are a bunch of books because they were all released as novellas, but two books if you buy the volumes (volume one is above). Both volumes are also part of the Kindle Unlimited program!


More Zombie Books


Happy reading! Link your lists below so I can check them out!

Top 10 Tuesday (12)

“Top Ten Tuesday” is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every week they pick a topic for us to do a top 10 list for and this week’s topic is…

I took this as books that just remind me of fall, whether because of the theme or just the nostalgic feeling I get when I think of the book. Brace yourselves for lots of books about witch trials, as they have always fascinated me! Some of the books I’m sure almost everyone will be familiar with, but for the ones maybe not as familiar I included a synopsis underneath.

As always, click on the book cover for a link to purchase the book. 

“Chanda Reads Books” is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is at no cost to the readers of this blog.


.1.

Title: A Storm of Witchcraft
Author: Emerson W. Baker
Genre:  Non-Fiction, History

Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers–mainly young women–suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history.

Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria–but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was “a perfect storm”: a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since.

Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak–the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them–and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy.

Salem in 1692 was a critical moment for the fading Puritan government of Massachusetts Bay, whose attempts to suppress the story of the trials and erase them from memory only fueled the popular imagination. Baker argues that the trials marked a turning point in colonial history from Puritan communalism to Yankee independence, from faith in collective conscience to skepticism toward moral governance. A brilliantly told tale, A Storm of Witchcraft also puts Salem’s storm into its broader context as a part of the ongoing narrative of American history and the history of the Atlantic World.


.2.

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Genre:  YA, Fiction, Fantasy

Salem, Massachusetts, is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves the Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.


.3.

Title: The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege
Author:Marilynne K. Roach
Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Based on over twenty years of original archival research, this history unfolds a nearly day-by-day narrative of the Salem Witch Trials as the citizens of Salem experienced the outbreak of hysteria.


.4.

Title: ‘Salem’s Lot
Author:  Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Suspense

Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem’s Lot in hopes that exploring the history of the Marsten House, an old mansion long the subject of rumor and speculation, will help him cast out his personal devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, Mears begins to realize that something sinister is at work—in fact, his hometown is under siege from forces of darkness far beyond his imagination. And only he, with a small group of allies, can hope to contain the evil that is growing within the borders of this small New England town.


.5.

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated
Author:  J.K Rowling (Illustrations by Jim Kay)
Genre:   Fantasy

This is one of the times where the book just makes me nostalgic for fall. I want to be in the Great Hall having a feast  with the rest of the Hogwarts students. 


.6.

Title: Whispers in Autumn (The Last Year Book 1)
Author:  Trisha Leigh
Genre:   YA, Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi

In 2015, a race of alien Others conquered Earth. They enslaved humanity not by force, but through an aggressive mind control that turned people into contented, unquestioning robots.

Except sixteen-year-old Althea isn’t content at all, and she doesn’t need the mysterious note inside her locket to tell her she’s Something Else. It also warns her to trust no one, so she hides the pieces that make her different, even though it means being alone.

The autumn she meets Lucas, everything changes.

Althea and Lucas are immune to the alien mind control, and together they search for the reason why. What they uncover is a stunning truth the Others never anticipated, one with the potential to free the brainwashed human race.

It’s not who they are that makes them special, but what.

And what they are is a threat. One the Others are determined to eliminate for good.


.7.

Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Genre:  Horror, Fantasy

A junior solicitor travels to Transylvania to meet with an important client, the mysterious Count Dracula. Ignoring the dire warnings of local townsfolk, he allows himself to be seduced by the count’s courtly manners and erudite charm. Too late, the solicitor realizes that he is a prisoner of Castle Dracula, his guards a trio of voluptuous young women with sharp white teeth and a taste for blood.

Soon thereafter, the solicitor’s fiancée, Mina, visits a friend on the English coast. The town is full of speculation over a Russian ship run aground nearby, its crew missing, the dead body of its captain, crucifix in hand, lashed to the wheel. A giant dog was seen leaping from the deck before disappearing into the countryside. The ship’s cargo: fifty boxes of Transylvanian dirt. As the beautiful Mina will soon learn, Count Dracula has arrived.


.8.

Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Washington Irving
Genre:   Fantasy, Horror

North of New York City lies Sleepy Hollow, a secluded glen rumored to be the home of countless phantoms and specters. Chief among them is the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a Hessian soldier whose head was removed by a stray cannonball in the Revolutionary War. He rides across the glen each night and disappears in a flash of fire and brimstone at the bridge near the Old Dutch Burial Ground.

Ichabod Crane, a superstitious schoolteacher who recently arrived from Connecticut, wants to marry Katrina Van Tassel, the only child of a wealthy farmer. The locals spook him with story after story about the ghosts of Sleepy Hollow. Late one night, he spies a menacing figure at a crossroads. Worse yet, the man’s head appears to be on his saddle. Crane has only one chance to survive—he has to make it to the bridge before it’s too late.

I still think of the Sleepy Hollow animated movie and the above Ichabod every time I hear the story 😂


.9.

Title: Edgar Allen Poe The Complete Collection Tales and Poems
Author: Edgar Allen Poe


.10.

Title: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Genre:   Children’s

Folklorist Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.

I’m an adult and still think of these stories around Halloween time!


Bonus:

Title: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Author: Charles M. Schulz (illustrated by Scott Jeralds)
Genre:  Children’s


See other people’s lists here!

Thanks for reading, tell me what was on your list or link it below so I can check it out!

When to Put the Book Down

I used to be the person that never put books down. I would trudge through a book and wallow in despair about how much time I wasted, but about 2 years ago I started to “DNF” books. I still give every book a valiant effort and don’t put an arbitrary number (100 pages, 25%, etc.) on it, but if I find myself dreading the book or trying to avoid reading I know it’s time to give up.

 

^^ – That is usually what happens, but every once in a while I find a book where the characters annoy me so much (looking at you After the Ending) or is about a subject matter that I just can’t continue to read. The latter is what sparked this post today.

***TRIGGER WARNING*** – Rape, Kidnapping, Violence


Last week I started reading Twist Me, a dark romance. 

Spoilers for the book ahead. Proceed at your own risk of being spoiled.

 

“Will you ever let me go?” 
“No, Nora,” he replies, and I can feel his smile in the darkness. “Never.” 

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Nora Leston meets Julian Esguerra, and her life changes forever. Stolen away to a private island, she finds herself at the mercy of a powerful, dangerous man whose touch makes her burn.

A man whose obsession with her knows no bounds.

Her enigmatic captor is as cruel as he is beautiful, yet it’s his tenderness that devastates her most. Drawn into his violent world, Nora must find a way to adapt and survive—and find light within the darkness.”


Shortly into the first book Nora is kidnapped by Julian Esguerra and whisked away to a private island. Julian is NOT a good guy. He is not your misunderstood redeemable villain. He rapes Nora the day after she brings her to the island and inflicts pain she does not ask for. This is not a healthy BDSM sexual relationship in which a safe word and trust is established, and often Nora is unaware how much Julian will do to her or what is happening. There is scene after scene of Nora crying into the pillow or the mattress as Julian hits her with a belt and penetrates her (in various places) without her permission. Despite her reluctance, Nora feels pleasure and often climaxes during the sexual encounters. Nora knows this “relationship” with her captor is unhealthy, and maybe for some readers that acknowledgement is enough, but I couldn’t get past it.

I have been a victim of sexual abuse and rape, but am not usually bothered more than the average person by scenes in movies or books depicting rape (thank you years of therapy). I just can’t continue to read this book though. I finished the first book in the series and got through about half of the second. I’m not sure why I continued for so long; maybe I was hoping Julian would develop into something other than an abusive asshole? IDK. One scene finally put me over the edge though and I had to stop reading. The scene that did it was

SPOILER…………….

when Nora made Julian mad by flinching at someone calling her Mrs. Esguerra (oh, did I mention he forced her to marry him by threatening her friend’s life?). He “punishes” her by making her perform oral sex on him an then bending her over and (WITHOUT HER CONSENT or any more lubrication than her own saliva) thrusts into her anus. This is followed by him choking her until she almost passes out – again, without her consent – and being filled with the fear that he will kill her. 

Page 264: Twist Me Trilogy by Anna Zaires

I can’t. While BDSM isn’t something I personally partake in, I don’t mind reading about it. I cannot read about what I interpret is an abusive relationship masked as a romance. I can’t read about a character who is raped repeatedly, belittled and demeaned, and comes out of each encounter as “I know it’s wrong but I liked it”. After each violent episode Nora exhibits prototypical behavior of  an abused person – she makes excuses and says things like (paraphrasing here) I separate the good from the bad, I know he cares for me, etc. If this was a story about how Nora eventually gets away from her abuser I could handle it, but instead it is sensationalized and re-branded as “love”, in my opinion. I’m done. 


I want to add: I am not trying to shame someone who does love this book. I have read other dark romances and enjoyed them (Impossible Series), but Twist me just really bothered me. The controlling behavior of Julian and continued raping of Nora was too much, and maybe because of my past I am a little triggered by him. *shrugs*


Now, on to more enjoyable books 🙂 Thanks for reading!

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (11)

This is a weekly feature hosted over at Book Date.

As always, click on the book cover to be taken to Amazon for more details and to purchase. 


I won’t do a finished reading because it’s actually been since April since I last did one of these (see this post for an explanation why). 

Twist Me Trilogy by Anna Zaires: Dark Romance; not usually my genre, but I seem to be branching out a bit lately. It’s okay. Some of the subjects make me a little uncomfortable, but I keep reading. Not really sure why to be honest. 
Dwellers of Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown: NA, Paranormal Romance; The third book in her Darkness series. 
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher: Suspense, Romance, Psychological thriller; again, not my usual cup of tea, but enjoying it.



And I’m still waiting on the Audible release of Peripeteia by my absolute favorite author Sarah Lyons Fleming. The book was released this summer, but I have a weird thing about keeping it to one format (audio, physical book, ebook, etc. ) and since I have listened to all her other books (and actually own them all in paperback as well, lol) I am waiting for the audio. I will stop whatever book I am currently listening to once Peripeteia comes out because I am so excited!


Favorite Book Quotes

Hey everyone!

I was going to participate in top 10 Tuesday today, but I wasn’t really connecting with the topic so I decided to just share some of my favorite book quotes with you. 🙂

The quotes were compiled and set to background images by me; the background images were taken from Pexels.com (a source for free stock photos). 


I know I have raved about this author and her books so much already, but I can’t get enough of her writing. This particular scene was when a character was being attacked. As a survivor myself, I feel like this quote perfectly captures the hopelessness that someone can feel in the midst of this situation. This quote still brings tears to my eyes. For my review on this series (I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH!) click here. The first book in the series is FREE right now on Amazon!

 



I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology so reading books that focus on how characters develop in apocalyptic situations has always fascinated me. I love Zombie Apocalypse books, and Until the End of the World (mentioned in the first quote) and Fleming’s second series (Mordacious) are great ones in that genre. My review for Mordacious is here


I’m not going to get political (I need at least one area of my life to be a politics free zone), but this message is one that I really try to live by and raise my children to live by as well.

One of my favorite non-book quotes is “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” by Martin Luther King, Jr. I feel like these two quotes are related. 


While this wasn’t my favorite book, I love this quote. 


And lastly, who doesn’t love a little knowledge bomb from Dr. Seuss?


Books mentioned above are available for purchase from Amazon.