Waiting on Wednesday (14)

waiting_on_wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerley anticipating. These can be debut novels, sequels, eBooks,…as long as they aren’t released yet.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Waiting on Wednesday‘ posts.

These are the latest titles from InkSpell Publishing. I’m really looking forward to reading them, especially Want. I love YA, and Want is an upper YA contemporary romance, so I’m sure I’ll love it as well.

And want to hear the good news? You can now participate to win a copy of one of the above titles on Goodreads! InkSpell is giving out 3 copies of each title. The best news? It’s international!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shadow of The Witte Wieven by Debbie  Peterson

Shadow of The Witte Wieven

by Debbie Peterson

Giveaway ends April 21, 2012.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Familiar Ties by Naya Nikki

Familiar Ties

by Naya Nikki

Giveaway ends May 21, 2012.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Want by Stephanie Lawton

Want

by Stephanie Lawton

Giveaway ends June 08, 2012.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Book Excerpt and Giveaway Change of Address

change1

Today I’m hosting a book excerpt and giveaway for the Change of Address Book Tour on my blog.

13279060Title: Change of Address
Author: Natalie-Nicole Bates
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Publciation Date: December 15th 2011
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Publisher | Author Website

Saved from a traumatic past and successful in her present as a home care nurse, Josselyn Adler’s dream of home ownership in the idyllic town of Unity are dashed to pieces when Dr Ben Parnell, a cancer specialist, shows up on her doorstep claiming to be the rightful owner of the house—and Ben has a will to prove it! To Josselyn, the house represents a new start in her life. With a stable home, hopefully a much wanted family wouldn’t be far behind.
After a near career-ending allegation is made, Ben has returned home to lick his wounds. But now he must prove Josselyn’s claim to be a fake, that she used her position as a live-in nurse to his sick father to ingratiate herself into his good graces. But as he gets to know her, he can tell by her shy, often standoffish behavior, that Josselyn is a woman who has been deeply hurt in her past. Although he is attracted to the dark haired beauty that has invaded his life, he is still suspicious of her true motives and her past involvement with his father.

Book Excerpt

When she arrived at the foot of the stairs, the front door rattled. Fear, cold and stark, rose up in her throat and choked her as she heard the lock snap and watched, rooted to the floor, the creaky old door jiggle in its frame. The anticipation mingled with fright, produced a potent, sick feeling churning inside her like the bad horror movie she’d recently viewed on late-night cable television.

After what seemed an eternity, the door flung open. The first thought entering her brain was a ghost had entered her home. A younger, blonder visage of Morgan stood in the threshold. Before she could utter his name, a second, more coherent thought followed; a ghost wouldn’t use a key.

The man in the doorway took one step inside and stopped abruptly, clenched his jaw, and stared. The familiar stranger invading her new home could only be one person.

“My goodness, you’re Ben! You’re Morgan’s son!” she exclaimed.

“Well, we know who I am. Now who the hell are you, and why are you trespassing in my house?”

“Your house?” she asked with disbelief. “This is my home. Morgan gave it to me!”

“I don’t know who you are, lady, but I suggest you get a move on it. I’ll give you five minutes before I call the police.” He pointed to his platinum-cased wristwatch for emphasis.

“Don’t bother waiting.” She reached into her handbag and removed her cell phone. With shaking fingers, she punched in 911.

The line connected after the second ring. “911, what is your emergency?” asked the female dispatcher.

“My name is Josselyn Adler. I’m the new owner of 22 Little Pine Road. A man has let himself into my home and is now threatening me.” Although she was quaking on the inside, she strove to keep her voice and demeanor strong and confident.

“I have an officer on the way, Ms. Adler. Would you like to stay on the line with me until he arrives?” she offered.

“No, thank you. I’ll be fine,” she assured her.

As she disconnected her phone, Ben’s gaze burned into her. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of showing any fear. While growing up, she had dealt with her share of tormentors. One forty-year-old, blond-haired bully was not going to intimidate her or drive her from a home that was rightfully hers.

“Very nice performance,” he said snidely.

“Excuse me?” She furrowed her brow and made eye contact. Ben Parnell had his father’s glacial, blue eyes.

“Any moment one of Unity’s finest will be arriving to play knight in shining armor and save the poor maiden from the big, bad wolf.”

Before she could utter a word in reply, a black patrol car came to a screeching halt on the street. An officer threw open the car door and made long, quick strides to the house. His uniform and Unity Police Department baseball cap matched the color of his car.

A lump formed in her throat. As she was growing up, a police car in front of the house and an officer at the door meant her father was in some sort of trouble yet again.

“Good evening, Miss. I’m Officer Smith.” He looked to Ben. “It’s certainly been a long time since you’ve been around, Ben.” Not waiting for an answer from him, he turned his attention back to Josselyn. “What seems to be the problem tonight?”

He knew Ben by his first name. They looked to be about the same age, and in this small town, it was likely they knew each other growing up. Although Officer Smith seemed friendly enough, would he side with the hometown boy rather than with the stranger girl?

“This is my house. Morgan Parnell left it to me in his will. Now he…” She paused and pointed at Ben. “He thinks it’s his house.”

“I have a will, too,” Ben loudly interrupted. “And mine is legitimate!”

His deep voice vibrated through her, causing her head to ache. Flustered, she pulled an envelope from her handbag. Morgan’s attorney gave to her a copy of the will a few days earlier. She handed it to Officer Smith. To her dismay, Ben also produced a document from a briefcase.

This is very bad.

She hoped Ben had been bluffing.

Giveaway

One lucky winner will get a limited-edition perfume based on Change of Address, and a .pdf copy of the book. This contest is international. You can participate by filling in the Rafflecopter widget below.

The winner will be notified by email. If the winner doesn’t reply within 72 hours, another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teaser Tuesdays (16)

Teaser-Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. In this meme, we grab our current read, open it to a random page and share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page with our readers.

Click HERE to view all my ‘Teaser Tuesdays‘ posts.


“No, not the pout,” she joked. “Anything but that, Gracie you know I can’t resist that cute little pout of yours.”

Once Max finished setting the timer, he curled his fingers around Amy’s pale bangle covered wrist and pulled her towards the girls and the sofa. As they both sat down, on either side of the girls, he leaned over the girls’ heads to whisper, “I taught her that pout.”

Title: Familiar Ties
Author: Naya Nikki
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: InkSpell Publising
Publication Date: May 21st 2012

Max West is a widower raising Phoebe, his four-year-old daughter. Phoebe has to live with the fact that the day she was born is also the day of her mother’s death. As her fifth year without her mother approaches, Phoebe finds solace in her godmother, Amy Riley, and her daughter, Grace Crawford, another single parent family.

Amy Riley is a successful fashion designer who spends most of her days raising her four-year-old daughter, Grace, while her wayward boyfriend is travelling the world making the next best film. As the fifth year without her best friend looms she finds comfort in her ex-boyfriend, Max, and his daughter, Phoebe.

These two “broken” families have a tough week to face as the dreaded day approaches. However through their past, present and debatable future will their choices affect the outcome both parents clearly want and are simply denying? Or will Phoebe and Grace lose the only “whole” family they have ever known?

Book Review: Ghost Under Foot by Kenneth W. Harmon

12755471Title: Ghost Under Foot: The Spirit of Mary Bell
Author: Kenneth W. Harmon
Genre: True Haunting, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Publication Date: March 8th 2012
Rating: 3 stars
Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | B&N | Goodreads | Author Website
Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Just weeks after settling into their new home in Fort Collins, Colorado, retired police officer Kenneth W. Harmon and his family make a chilling discovery: they’re living with a ghost.
This true haunting story begins during a ghost tour at the famous Stanley Hotel, where the Harmons experienced headaches and paranormal phenomena. Once back at home, strange rapping noises, eerie whispers captured on film, and unidentified dark shapes in his photographs compel Ken to research the land’s history. What he learns shocks everyone: in the backyard sits the unmarked grave of Mary Bell Wilson, a young woman who died of typhoid fever in the late 1880s.
As his fixation grows, Ken uses a dowsing rod to communicate with Mary Bell’s spirit and investigate her brief life. The spirit’s surprising answers shed light on mysteries of the spirit world, crossing over, heaven and hell, and God.

I love ghosts, but prior to reading Ghost Under Foot: The Spirit of Mary Bell, I had no idea there were so many true hauntings books out there. To be honest, they’re my new passion. I’ve always been a believer when it comes to ghosts, for a long series of personal reasons, but it felt great to read a book based on true events by people who have seen and sometimes even lived with ghosts. The results? I’m addicted to true haunting stories now. Go figure.

After moving to a new house, the author and has family start to suffer from a series of strange, unexplainable events. Soon enough, the author grows convinced his house is haunted. He tries to communicate with the ghost using various methods, which vary over time as technology gets more and more advanced. He begins an investigation to discover the identity of the ghost troubling his house and finds out it’s the spirit of Mary Bell, a girl who used to live where his current house now stands. When he’s established that, he tries to find out more about Mary, her life, her thoughts and why she’s stuck here as a spirit, unable to cross over.

Kenneth W. Harmon, the author of Ghost Under Foot is a police officer, and it shows. He uses the same research techniques and scientific approach he probably used while working as a police officer to take on the ghost situation in his own home. He starts out thinking logically, and tries to connect with the ghost via seances in the living room. He also takes photographs, hoping to catch sight of some orbs, cameras and a whole listing of other methods. Unfortunately, he often disregards the opinion of his various other family members while doing so, which sometimes annoyed me. For instance, when he wants to set up a seance in his living room downstairs, his daughters, who are age 3, 5 and 7, admit that they’re scared. Instead of dropping the subject, or making them feel more comfortable, the author just tells them they have to be there. I really don’t understand why he does it. He seems like a very good father, and I wouldn’t argue that he isn’t, but in that moment, I felt like hitting him on the head with a frying pan. His daughters were scared. Even I would be scared if we were going to do a séance, and I’m an adult. It’s normal for those little kids to be terrified, and instead of protecting them and making them feel safe – as a father should do – he puts them in the middle of danger. Another issue happens when his oldest daughter tells him she doesn’t want him to leave a camera in her room. He goes ahead and does it anyway, violating her privacy. And for what? To capture a ghost on tape? I wonder if that’s worth it.

It seems to me that, although the author started out with all the best intentions, he quickly becomes obsessed with the ghost, putting not only himself but his entire family in danger. Ghosts aren’t meant to play with. They’re not toys, or imaginary friends. Mr. Harmon was very lucky that the ghost troubling his family was a friendly spirit, and not a malicious one. I may not be the greatest expert when it comes to ghosts, but even experts know that it’s risky business they’re getting into when contacting a ghost. You don’t know what you’re dealing with. These are forces we’ve only begun to grasp. If the spirit was evil, then Mr. Harmon could’ve been the victim of the next Paranormal Activity movie. And he willingly put his children in the middle of all that. That annoyed me, and I’m pretty sure you can see why.

On top of that, Mr. Harmon’s obsession leads him to believe his ghost is his new friend. Rather than helping Mary cross over, or find out why she’s stuck, he goes to ask her silly questions like who Jack The Ripper was, who murdered Kennedy, etc. Although some may find this fun and interesting, I didn’t, mainly because I don’t believe it. It looks like Mr. Harmon has his own views and beliefs, and put them in Mary’s mouth who, being a ghost and all, is in no position to defend herself. It also becomes very apparent towards the end of the book that Mr. Harmon is truly obsessed with the ghost inhabiting his house. Obsessions are never good, especially not when one’s obsessed with a ghost.

However, as for the writing style, I must say I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Harmon doesn’t use overly colorful prose. Instead he focuses on the story as it is, without trying to exaggerate anything by using grand descriptions. I really liked that about this book. It also adds a lot to the credibility of the story. Mr. Harmon’s ghostly guest does what we expect from ghosts – it doesn’t have any superpowers that would make this story unbelievable. That’s one of the main reasons why I believe this isn’t all in Mr. Harmon’s head. I do think his house is truly being haunted. If the ghost is truly Mary Bell, well, I’m not entirely convinced about that. It looks to me as if Mr. Harmon got to the point where he lost track of the big picture. In his mind, the ghost was the spirit of Mary Bell. No more questions asked. I hope he’s right though. I hope he’s right, and I really hope the ghost isn’t something evil that has been masqueing as good all this time.

That said, after a while all the orb photographing and positioning cameras and recurrent séances, began to feel repetitive. This book could’ve easily been made 50 pages shorter.

Ghost Under Foot: The Spirit of Mary Bell is an entertaining account of a house haunted by a ghost. Mr. Harmon has definitely done his research, and he provides the readers with some interesting scientific methods to communicate with the dead. I read some more true haunting books after devouring this one, and I must admit that this is one of the most genuine ghost encounter accounts I’ve read so far. If the spirit is truly Mary Bell remains to be seen, but I’m convinced Mr. Harmon’s house is truly haunted. If you’re looking for a true haunting story that isn’t exaggerated, but instead feels very real and something that could happen to everyone of us, then this book is an excellent choice.

In My Mailbox (33) / Mailbox Monday (42)

mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. The purpose of this meme is to share the books that came into our house last week with our readers. These can be ARCs, books we purchased ourselves, books requested for review by authors and publishers, eBooks, free reads we stumbled upon and audiobooks. The only thing that doesn’t count are library books.

Click HERE to view all my ‘In My Mailbox’ posts.

   

Thanks to Flux Books and Penguin Young Readers Group for the review copies.

   

Thanks to Random House for the review copies!
What’s in your mailbox this week?

In My Mailbox (32) Smashwords eBook Week Edition

mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. The purpose of this meme is to share the books that came into our house last week with our readers. These can be ARCs, books we purchased ourselves, books requested for review by authors and publishers, eBooks, free reads we stumbled upon and audiobooks. The only thing that doesn’t count are library books.

Click HERE to view all my ‘In My Mailbox’ posts.

   

   

   

   

   

   

Book Review: Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

11788444Title: Ripper
Author: Amy Carol Reeves
Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Thriller, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: April 8th 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Author Website
Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

A paranormal mystery involving London’s most notorious killer
In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there.
But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper’s next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother’s shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals—who’ll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its “humanitarian” aims.

It seldom happens that a book enthralls me in such a way as Ripper did. The story sucked me in from page one and kept me up until the wee hours of the night, wanting to learn more about the characters and to solve the mystery of the Ripper threatening London and especially Whitechapel Hospital and district. Ripper is Amy Carol Reeves’ debut novel, but by the way she seamlessly adds words together into sentences that seem to flow right off the pages, you wouldn’t think so. This novel is really a startling debut and all fans of the original Jack The Ripper story, paranormal mysteries in general, or just Victorian England should take up this book and read it.

The setting is extraordinary. The way Amy Carol Reeves portrays historical England in the nineteenth century is amazing. She makes the streets, the hospital, the houses over in Kensington, the carriages and the entire vibe of Victorian England come to life on these very page. I felt like I had stepped straight into a Sweeney Todd musical. Not only does the author describe the setting wonderfully, she also gives us vibrant, mysterious characters who seem to crawl right out of the pages. The main protagonist, Arabella Sharp, nicknamed Abbie, is a lady born too early for her era, a tad bit rebellious, a tad bit too smart and opinionated. Although in most cases these traits in a lady would be totally unbelievable – I have seen some horribly bad-executed examples in previous books set in this era that I’ve read – but luckily this is definitely not the case in Ripper. With her upbringing in Dublin, joining street fights and learning plenty of skills from her mother, it’s no wonder that Abbie has difficulty settling for the dull, mundane life led by the respectable ladies over at Kensington. But Abbie isn’t the only character who shines right off these pages. But more about those later.

The story starts with Abbie Sharp chasing down a pickpocket down the street and having a startling and mind-dazzling vision the moment she reaches the pickpocket. Although wary of what just happens, Abbie shrugs it off thinking she must have been hallucinating. The next day, her Grandmother reports to her that she has been offered a position as a nurse at Whitechapel Hospital by the most respectable Dr. Julian Bartlett. Although her Grandmother, Lady Westfield, isn’t convinced that this is a proper job for a young lady, she does agree because Dr. Bartlett has been a friend of the family for a long time. As Abbie begins working at Whitechapel Hospital, she actually begins to enjoy the job – anything is better than staying at home for yet another tea party, that’s a giving, but still, her particular fondness for the physician’s job is also noted by Dr. Bartlett and several other physicians. One of these other physicians is Simon, son of a wealthy family who lives in Kensington as well, and clearly a potential love interest for Abbie Sharp. The other potential love interest comes in the form of a more stubborn and more mysterious young man who goes by the name of William, and who is a relative of the notorious Ronsetti family, definitily not someone Abbie’s Grandmother would approve of.

As Abbie’s work in the Hospital continues, so do the murders. They are so gruesome and horrifying that they are soon dubbed the Ripper murders, based on the infamous Jack the Ripper case. Although the murderer targets prostitutes as well, he is especially inclined towards those who have been recently released from Whitechapel Hospital, making all the physicians there possible subjects, especially since the Ripper uses a surgical blade and performs procedures only a physician or butcher could do. But that’s not the end of it. Everytime the Ripper is about to commit a murder, Abbie gets a vision of it. Desperate to know the connection between the Ripper, her own visions and the Whitechapel Hospital she has grown to love, Abbie, Simon and William go on a search for the truth. A search that might very well cost them their lives.

Abbie Sharp is the protagonist of this story, and she makes an interesting one at that. She has a very complex personality. She’s one of those people who gives and takes back constantly. She is generous, kind and not afraid to work hard, but on the other hand she often appears as being cold and distant as well. The perfect kind of person for a physician’s job really – someone who can distance themselves from the terrible things happening around them. When she interacts with Simon and William she is like that as well: she gives information about herself, but immediately closes up afterwards. She is curious and wants to know all about them, but gives little in return. Additionally, she’s also very intelligent and clever enough to solve a mystery of this size, if only she puts her mind to it. On the other hand, she isn’t that good at rating and understanding people, especially when we deal with the more complex emotions of love, friendship and the borders between that. The only aspect of Abbie’s personality that made me cringe all throughout this novel is the fact that she gets over things too quickly. Oh hey, I have visions. Alright, I’m over. Oh hey, those visions show me the Ripper murders! Well, I’m over it. Oh look, people important to me die. I feel a pang of guilt…But oh wait, I’m over it already! You can imagine how that doesn’t make sense at all.

We have a love triangle in this book, or well at least partially, since one of the possible love affairs is only one-sided. Simon is the ‘appropriate’ choice for Abbie to make, because he’s someone her Grandmother would approve of. Additionally he’s also a nice, kind-hearted guy, who doesn’t have to work long hours and shifts at the Hospital but does so because he genuinely cares about the wellbeing of his patients. In fact, I probably fell in love with him from page one. It doesn’t happen often that you find this type of person: the person who is willing to put everything, including his own life, aside to help take care of others. Virtually, Simon is a saint. Unfortunately, saints are hardly as attractive as saint-like bad boy versions, which is where William comes in the picture. Although William is a devoted physician as well, he isn’t as eager to trust people as Simon is, nor is he as kind-hearted. He uses his wit and sarcasm to sometimes make a fool out of Abbie, to mock her and sometimes to tease her – and it’s working. It’s not surprising though, because if I were Abbie, I would have taken the bait a long time ago. William’s behavior, the so-called not-caring is exactly what draws Abbie to him in the first place. Typical yes, but that’s usually what happens in real life as well. You want what you can’t have. Why choose the easy path when the difficult one could be so much more fun? Of all the possible love interests I’ve read about during the last year or so, William is one of my favorites. He’s the kind of guy I could see myself dating. Also, the love triangle here isn’t as stereotypical as in most YA novels: good boy, bad boy. Both Simon and William are definitely the good guys – they’re saints actually, in my opinion – but William is the most bad boy like of the both of them. They’re just two very different people who both work hard for the good cause.

Next up, the mystery at hand. It kept me guessing for a while, but around halfway through the novel, the reader figures out who the Ripper actually is because he shows himself to Abbie. You would think that’s a bad move on the author’s behalf, but it isn’t. Because the mystery still isn’t solved. Sure, we now know who the Ripper is, but we still don’t know why he kills those women. And what’s up with the crawling on walls? The visions? There are still a ton of questions left to solve, and we only find answers to those in the last few chapters. Also, the Ripper…well, what can I say. He’s a complex character, that’s for sure. By the end of the book, we find him in a very strange relationship with his current number one prey, Abbie. It’s not unheard of, this kind of relationship between victim-killer (at least from the killer’s side), and if I have to admit, I find it beyond interesting, but it is weird for sure. See, it seems as if some part of him actually likes her. Not in a love-love sense, but more in the sense of “I want to rape you, or at least make you more than uncomfortable by ripping buttons of your dress” and something of the likes. It reminds me a bit of those relationships between a vampire and his victim in paranormal romance novels, and I can tell you, it’s hot. Weird, disgusting maybe considering he did kill a number of people whom Abbie loved, but hot. Of course these rather odd feelings are definitely not returned by Abbie, but that doesn’t matter. Think Buffy/Angel when Angel turned bad. Those were some of the most epic scenes in the history of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and the scenes between Abbie and the Ripper are some of the most epic scenes in this book as well.

I can’t possibly think of anything bad to say about this book apart from the fact that it ends on a major cliffhanger, and I want to read a book two. So please, Amy Carol Reeves, start writing book two and keep me sane. I need to know what happens next. In return, I will bake you a million cookies, do a weird monkey dance or even make a shrine dedicated to your books. Your choice. But please, write. Don’t eat, don’t sleep. Write. Write. WRITE!

Of course, I’m just joking, but this only proves how much I yearn for the second book in this series. Since you have probably realized by now that I’m slowly going insane anticipating the second book, let me recap why you should read Ripper. It’s truly an extraordinary book that keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one. The characters are intriguing, original and refreshing. The love triangle is totally believable and sheds off most of the clichés. The Ripper is one of the shining characters in this book, and he makes one of the most memorable murderers out there. The mix of paranormal and thriller make for an outstanding debut that I recommend to all fans of both genres. Trust me, you will have a killer time reading Ripper.

This book counts towards the Mystery and Suspense Challenge, the Debut Author Challenge, the TBR Reading Challenge and the YA Historical Fiction Challenge.

Get a Free Book: The Perfect Game

13500361For a limited time—April 7th – April 8th—The Perfect Game by John Hansen is FREE on Amazon US, Amazon UK, and all other Amazons! Be sure to spread the word and download your FREE copy today! Here’s more info:

Blurb:

Entertainment is changing forever. Comedies, dramas, and reality TV shows are out. Murder is in.

In a world where murder is being exploited on TV, viewers watch live assassinations for their own entertainment. A hit game show where the challenge is to kill arises, stirring up remarkable popularity. Millions of viewers all across the globe watch it, vicariously experiencing the thrill of murder without ever committing the crime. And they all love it. Murder is the world’s latest and most remarkable excitement turned entertainment. But what happens when it goes too far?

—————————

What People Are Saying:

“The Perfect Game foreshadows the talents of a new talent.” – Aldo T. Calcagno, Amazon.com

“This is a short story like no other.” – Jenn, Amazon.com

“A bargain at 99 cents. Watch out Stephen King. You have company.” – Debra Spellman, Amazon.com

“What an amazing story!! Wow!! Still can’t get over how John’s mind worked in this one!! This is a MUST READ!!” – Brenda Romine, Goodreads.com

“I am so glad I read this book!” – Ana, Goodreads.com

————————

Excerpt:

The Perfect Game was an epidemic, a poison, a drug and although he knew it was bad, it was so addictive, so entertaining, so thrilling that Jeff simply could not stop. He loved The Perfect Game, loved how it changed him, strengthened him, darkened his moral and ethical views. It gave him this feeling of power, omnipotence, and violence; murder was a game, and he could do it freely. And it felt so good.

————————

Learn more at:

Goodreads

John’s blog

Facebook

Twitter

Download for free for a limited time (only through April 7th and 8th!) here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Follow Friday (4)

FF_2012

Follow Friday is a weekly meme created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Every week one lucky blogger is featured, and the featured blogger is followed by all participants. On top of that, participants also follow each other. Win win for everyone!

Since this is NOT a blogger blog, I would like to be followed via RSS (which was recently updated to Feedburner), or by subscribing by email (insert your email at the top left sidebar).

Question: Have you ever bought a book because of a bad review?

I have to admit that I’ve never bought a book because of a bad review before. I did buy a book despite of a bad review a couple of times. For instance, even though I heard a lot of bad things about Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and Fallen by Lauren Kate, I did end up buying both books to see for myself. So maybe I did end up buying them because of bad reviews. I was, in any case, curious to find out if they were really as bad as some people thought they were.

What about you?

Book Review Hellbound and Giveaway

13554828Title: Hellbound
Author: Su Halfwerk
Genre: Horror, Short Story Collection
Publication Date: February 2012
Publisher: Double-Dragon Publishing
Rating: 4
Author’s Website | Book Trailer | Author’s Blog | Facebook
Buy from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N

One-way ticket to Hell.
Bart is a greedy morgue attendant with money on his mind. He gets more than what he bargains for when he chances upon a pain-letter, one he must pass on or bear the consequences of his inaction.
Stan is a chiseler, a fake medium, preying on his unsuspecting clients’ earnings through bogus channeling sessions. When he meets mysterious Joanna Stark, he believes her promises of powers beyond his comprehension, powers blessed by the Netherworld.
Jenna gives up her old life and career to settle down as Troy’s loving wife. He is a God-fearing man who will consent only to marriage. Except fate maps a different ending to their love story, a conclusion that takes them both down and never up again.
Bart, Stan, and Jenna are destined to go on a long and abominable journey that sinks them below their expectations and forces them to endure pain and anguish beyond their worst nightmares.
On the paths leading to the depths of Hell, their sins don’t matter!

Hellbound is in fact a collection of three short stories that deal with hell, in one way or form. In the first short story, Bart is about to enter his own personal hell after finding a Pain Letter on the corpse of a boy who allegedly commited suicide. According to his friend Moe, Pain Letters are the real deal. After some investigation, Bart begins to believe what Moe’s been telling him all along…But by then, it may be too late.

In the second story, Stan, a man posing as a medium, finds himself suddenly able to see ghosts. Unfortunately the ghosts he sees and now channels are completely different from the ghosts he has supposedly been speaking with for months. Some of them are vengeful whereas he portrayed them as forgiving, others are angry, but all of them are equally scary. When not only Stan’s business but also his own sanity begins to suffer from the ghostly apparitions, he decides he must confront the source of them: a strange woman named Jo. But Jo has a story of her own. She died, and now wants to be resurrected. Being a powerful necromancer, she has the power to do so. The only catch? If Stan wants to help her, he has to become a warlock. And that might not be half as pleasant as it sounds at first…

In the third and last story, Jenna sacrificed everything for Troy, the man of her dreams. However, after a loveless marriage lasting seven years, Troy doesn’t only hit her, he’s just about ready to leave her for another woman. In order to take revenge on Troy and get her old life back, Jenna decides to get in touch with her old employer: Lilith.

I was pleasantly surprised with all three stories. Not only are they interesting, they’re also very different from each other. In the first one, I immediately felt sympathetic towards the main character because he gets thrown into an awful situation and can’t do much about it. In the second story, I didn’t like the main character, Stan, that much because he makes a living cheating on people. However, by the end of the story I did begin to like him. Jenna was probably my favorite character though. Although she gave up everything for love, when it came back to bite her in the end, she didn’t hesitate to take revenge.

If you want to read a fun, quick, but scary and disturbing book, look no further. Hellbound is the ideal book to read at night, when the roads to hell are easier to find than during the daytime. For everyone who liked some twisted stories, this is definitely an excellent choice.

Giveaway

One lucky winner will get an eBook copy of Hellbound and another winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Participating is easy: just leave a comment on this post and fill in the Rafflecopter widget below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway