Mini-Reviews: Nightmares, Extinction of All Children, America’s Most Haunted Hotels


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Nightmares

Author: Ellen Datlow (Editor)

Genre: Horror, Short Stories

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Unlucky thieves invade a house where Home Alone seems like a playground romp. An antique bookseller and a mob enforcer join forces to retrieve the Atlas of Hell. Postapocalyptic survivors cannot decide which is worse: demon women haunting the skies or maddened extremists patrolling the earth.

In this chilling twenty-first-century companion to the cult classic Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror, Ellen Datlow again proves herself the most masterful editor of the genre. She has mined the breadth and depth of ten years of terror, collecting superlative works of established masters and scene-stealing newcomers alike.

Review: This is a perfect collection for fall / winter, with some stories being creepy, some disgusting, and some bone-chilling! Some of stories were amazing, but some were lacking quality and were a little boring. Overall, not too bad of a collection but I would’ve preferred a better mix of strong and mediocre stories – now most of them seemed mediocre.

Extinction of All Children

Title: Extinction of All Children

Author: L.J. Epps

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A young adult, fantasy novel about a teenager who is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory. There will never be another child; every baby born after her has been taken away. Everyone wonders why she survived.

Emma Whisperer was born in 2080, in the small futuristic world of Craigluy. President Esther, in charge for the last twenty-two years, has divided their world into three territories, separated by classes—the rich, the working class, and the poor—because she believes the poor should not mingle with the others. And, the poor are no longer allowed to have children, since they do not have the means to take care of them.
Any babies born, accidentally or willfully, are killed. Emma is the last eighteen-year-old in her territory; every baby born after her has died. Somehow, she survived this fate.
During the president’s Monday night speech, she announces a party will be held to honor the last child in the territory, Emma Whisperer. Emma must read a speech, expressing how happy she is to be the last eighteen-year-old.
Emma doesn’t like the rules; she doesn’t believe in them. So, she feels she must rebel against them. Her family doesn’t agree with her rebellion, since they are hiding a big secret. If this secret gets out, it will be disastrous, and deadly, for her family.
During Emma’s journey, she meets—and becomes friends with—Eric. He is one of the guards for the president. She also befriends Samuel, another guard for the president, who is summoned to watch over her. As Emma meets new people, she doesn’t know who she can trust. Yet, she finds herself falling for a guy, something which has never happened before.
After doing what she feels is right, Emma finds herself in imminent danger. In the end, she must make one gut-wrenching decision, a decision that may be disastrous for them all.


Review: An interesting plot, definitely unique, and Emma makes an intriguing protagonist, the kind you can root for. However, sometimes the writing rambled on, and the book suffered from a few info-dumps, and repetitive scenes.

America’s Most Haunted Hotels

Title: America’s Most Haunted Hotels

Author: Jamie Davis Whitmer

Genre: Nonfiction, Paranormal, Ghosts

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Phantom footsteps pace the stairs at the Myrtles Plantation. A seductive spirit tugs on the sheets at the Copper Queen. Ghost children whisper and giggle at the Kehoe House. Journey into the mysterious world of haunted hotels, where uninvited guests roam the halls, supernatural sounds ring throughout the rooms, and chills run along the spines of those who dare to check in for the night.

Join Jamie Davis Whitmer, author of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, as she explores some of the most haunted hotels across the United States. From the Jerome Grand Hotel in Arizona to the Palmer House in Minnesota, each hotel is discussed in great detail, covering everything from the building’s history and legends to first-hand accounts of spooky sounds and smells, ghost sightings, EVP sessions, and more. You’ll also find photos, travel information, and everything else you need to plan your own visit to these iconic hotels.

Review: In this book, the author and her husband travel from one town to the next, to visit haunted hotels. Readers get the history of each hotel, info about the haunting, and then the author’s evidence (or lack of evidence, if they don’t get any during their investigation) for the haunting. I enjoyed that they included their own experience, and that they did research about the locations. A travelling guide for people who enjoy the paranormal.

Mini-Reviews: The Lonely Ones, City of Shadows, The Spirit Chaser


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Lonely Ones

Tite: The Lonely Ones

Author: Kelsey Sutton

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When your only friend is your own endless imagination, how do you escape your mind and connect to the world around you?

With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it’s no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond – and in spite of – the walls of her bedroom.

In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality. . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world?

Told in breathless and visual verse, THE LONELY ONES takes readers through the intricate inner workings of a girl who struggles to navigate isolation and finds friendship where she least expects it.

Review: Fain knows what loneliness looks like. What it feels like. But when a group of monsters befriends her, she is no longer lonely: now she has friends to go on adventures with. This is a beautiful story of a girl’s journey of self-discovery through her imagination.

City of Shadows

Title: City of Shadows

Author: Pippa DaCosta

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Alina knows she is not real – the fae queen spun an evil web to create her – but she wants more than to spend her days feeding off humans’ energy to survive. She isn’t content to lose herself in the dangerously attractive Reign. She wants a life of her own making.

Desperate to help the man who saved her life, Alina vows to find his missing sister. Alina is convinced that the general of the Fae Authority plays a part in her disappearance. She infiltrates the organisation and gets close to their strongest fighter. But while Samuel’s tormented soul and masterful touch stirs in Alina a feeling of being human again, her loyalty to Reign makes her Samuel’s enemy. Who should she trust?

This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.

Review: I absolutely loved this book. Alina is a construct, something made by the fae queen, and she only has limited time left. All the characters were amazing, especially Reign and Alina! This was the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first book, but I wanted to ever since I finished this one. An excellent read.

The Spirit Chaser

Title: The Spirit Chaser

Author: Kat Mayor

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.

Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show. When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.

Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?

He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.

Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.

Review: This book had everything I loved: ghosts, a paranormal show, romance. Unfortunately, it all felt rather bland, mostly due to the writing style, which was mechanical and boring. The first few spooky scenes were creepy, but it went downhill from there.

Mini-Reviews: Black Swan Rising, Rooms, Dance with the Dead


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Black Swan Rising

Tite: Black Swan Rising

Author: Lee Carroll

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . . .

That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?

On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.

Review: The book started out strong and atmospheric, but then lost some of its charm along the way, with the introduction of the elementals, and then some parts that didn’t make much sense. I did like the main character, Garet James, and the storytelling was all right for the most part. I loved the first half of the book, but only somewhat enjoyed the second part.


Title: Rooms

Author: James L. Rubart

Genre: Christian Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

Review: When I started reading this book, I didn’t realize it was Christian fiction, which isn’t my usual genre, but I did enjoy part of it nevertheless. I thought this would be more of a ghost story, so I went in expecting that (the hallways and doors appearing and disappearing had me thrown off) but it wasn’t that at all. Anyway, most people who read it, loved it, but for me it was over the top, and the characters didn’t act very realistic either.

Dance with the Dead

Title: Dance with the Dead

Author: James Nally

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district. Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district. Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.
PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth.
The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim. The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer. But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.

Review: I have to admit I picked up this book because the cover intrigued me – the synopsis didn’t convince me that much. But soon enough, I started getting sucked into the sotry and loved every minute of it. PC Donal is an amazing protagonist, with some hidden secrets, the case kept me on the edge of my seat, and the writing was excellent.

Mini-Reviews: Someone Must Die, Charnel House, Saga of Kings


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Someone Must Die

Tite: Someone Must Die

Author: Sharon Potts

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.
Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust. The abduction is clearly personal—but why would someone play a high-stakes game with the life of a child? The more she presses for answers, the more Aubrey is convinced that her mother is hiding something.
Desperate to save her young nephew, Aubrey must face harsh truths and choose between loyalty to her family and doing the right thing. And she’d better hurry, because vengeance sets its own schedule, and time is running out.

Review: What a nailbiting pageturner. Aubrye Lynd’s 6-year-old nephew goes missing while under the care of his grandmother. The grandmother receives a ransom note that she chooses not to share with the FBI, with a terrifying ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know who to believe, or who to trust, and the key to solving the mystery of who is behind the abduction is buried in the past – her parents’ past. A thrilling, suspenseful, well-written book.

Charnel House

Title: Charnel House

Author: Graham Masterton

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Edgar Award Finalist: A demon is intent on devouring the world—and it’s up to a small group of believers in San Francisco to stop it.
A desperate and terrified old man appears at the office of John Hyatt at the San Francisco Department of Sanitation with a chilling complaint. His house, Seymour Willis insists, is breathing. Hyatt suspects a rat infestation but the truth is worse. Much worse. An ancient demon out of darkest Native American folklore lives within the walls and floorboards of Willis’s home—an all-powerful malevolent being determined to break free and wreak havoc on the City by the Bay.
Soon a tiny cadre of believers in the impossible—including Hyatt, Willis, and a Native American shaman—hold the fate of all humanity in their hands. The monster’s hunger for blood and flesh is insatiable and it is determined to escape its prison and become whole. And once it does, the entire world will be its feeding ground.
A haunted house story like no other—a gory and terrifying tale of demonic possession—this award-winning supernatural thriller by the acclaimed author of The Manitou provides substantial chills on every page. A tale of unrelenting terror reminiscent of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Graham Masterton’s Charnel House will haunt your dreams long after you’ve turned the final page.

Review: John works at the sanitation department. He gets his fair share of strange clients, but what Seymour Willis tells him is the strangest thing he’s ever heard: the man claims his house is breathing. John goes anyway, bringing a buddy along. The book was written in the seventies and it shows (based on the stereotypes mentioned, and the attitudes toward women, minorities, etc) but the plot and storyline translate well, even in today’s era. Also, if you imagine it as a 70’s flick, it works surprisingly well.

The Immortal Crown

Title: The Immortal Crown

Author: Kieth Merrill

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A thousand years ago, the Navigator possessed thirteen stones touched by Oum’ilah, the God of gods. Over time, these power-ful stones of light were scattered and a prophecy arose declaring that a “child of no man” would gather them again, and he would be given immortality and reign forever as god and king of Kandelaar.
Now, in an age of chaos, the time has come for the prophecy to be fulfilled. Light and darkness have each chosen a champion to claim the legendary stones:
The sorceress of the cult of she-dragon has chosen Drakkor, a warrior and mercenary who travels with bandits and a corrupt stone of darkness.
The Oracle of Oum’ilah has placed his faith in Ashar, a young postulant who is unsure the stones of light even exist.
Meanwhile, miles away, a slave named Ereon Qhuin dreams of freedom. Abandoned at birth, his only possession is a strange stone that he believes is the key to his destiny and freedom.
A mercenary, a postulant, and a slave—which one is truly the child of prophecy? Who will wear the immortal crown?
Review: An okay read, but not as good as I had hoped. A lot of characters to keep track of, and I could barely keep them apart.

Mini-Reviews: Missing Pieces, The Visitor, The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Missing Pieces

Tite: Missing Pieces

Author: Heather Gudenkauf

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Review: The plot was decent, but I didn’t care that much about the characters. Not all of the characters were as developed as they could’ve been, the relationship between Sarah and Jack was weird, they didn’t act like a married couple at all, and Sarah’s behavior was often unrealistic. The ending was worth it, though, and it was a pleasant read nonetheless.

The Visitor (Gaveyard Queen #4)

Title: The Visitor

Author: Amanda Stevens

Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Ghosts

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

Review: I absolutely adore the Graveyard Queen series, so I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw the fourth installment on Netgalley, and I knew I had to read this. The author did an amazing job of describing Charleston, in particular the cemeteries Amelia worked on restoring. I also really enjoyed the riddles, and the romance between Amelia and John Devlin in this book.

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Title: The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

Author: David John Griffin

Genre: Horror, Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubb’s manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim. Theodore’s daughter-in-law Eleanor – returned from the sanatorium two months before – is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore. A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity – it is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing. Do you dare meet the Stubbs?
Review: A gripping gothic horror centered around the Stubb family, who reminded me of the Adams family. The writing is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century writing, and provides an atmospheric, eerie vibe to the book. The story was very intriguing and I loved the weirdness.

Mini-Reviews: The Inn Between, Love Me Never, The Girl I Used to Be


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Inn Between

Tite: The Inn Between

Author: Marina Cohen

Genre: Middle Grade, Horror

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The Shining meets “Hotel California” in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned

When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?

Review: Spooky rather than downright scary, but since it’s for middle graders, that works fine. A lot of mystery, excellent characters, definite chills, and so many amazing twists. Very unpredictable, and one of my favorite reads this year.

Love Me Never

Title: Love Me Never

Author: Sara Wolf

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Read the book that Kirkus Reviews called: “A complex, witty page-turner, ideal for YA fans of scandal and romance.”

Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.

Review: A traumatized girl with a dark past. A traumatized guy with a dark past, which made him cold and distant (yet he’s also incredibly hot). Roamnce happens, but there’s also a love triangle of sorts, and while the plot is okay but not that original, the writing was annoying. The story was filled with so many awkward situations, immature humour, and things that were so over the top they were impossible. Most of the characters were idiots.

The Girl I Used to Be

Title: The Girl I Used to Be

Author: April Henry

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Olivia’s mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large. It’s up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?
Review: An original, fast-paced novel about the past, the secrets of the past, and how they can come back to destroy everything else. Olivia is searching for answers, but those answers might put her life in danger. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re looking for a spine-chilling thriller, then I recommend this book.

Mini-Reviews: Supernatural Serial Killers, In The Company of Evil, The Writing Dead


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Supernatural Serial Killers

Tite: Supernatural Serial Killers

Author: Samantha Lyon, Daphne Tan

Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Albert Fish held the genuine belief that the murders he committed were upon instruction from God. Peter Stumpp, who started practising the “wicked arts from twelve years of age”, was convinced he was a werewolf. There are many more murderous individuals like them. Supernatural Serial Killers explores the association between serial killers and the supernatural. The crimes committed by these men and women usually involved sexual deviance, cannibalism and violence toward children. In sixteenth century Europe, the problem became so significant that ‘Werewolf Witch Trials’ were conducted – many have no idea that it was possible to be tried and convicted for the crime of being a Werewolf, but Lycanthropy was a serious and major social concern in the 1500s. In this book, approximately twenty supernatural serial killers are discussed, including their background, crimes, trials and defences.

Review: I really liked this book. As a firm believers in the supernatural, and a fan of true crime, I knew I had to read this one. And it was interesting, even for people who don’t believe in the supernatural at all. A lot of serial killers (in any case, at least the sixteen cases presented here) turned to the supernatural to explain their crimes, or cover them up. Some claimed to be vampires, others acted on behalf of the devil, or even on behalf of God. It’s an interesting study, and as a criminology student, I enjoyed it all the more.

In The Company of Evil

Title: In The Company of Evil

Author: Michael Thomas Barry

Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

California’s picturesque shores have always been a magnet for outcasts and criminals. Read about 64 of the most horrifying crimes ever committed in The Golden State, from the early 1950s into the 1980s. These accounts tell of mans inhumanity toward his fellow man and provide an inside look at infamous serial killers, assassins, sadistic rapists, bank robbers, kidnappers, Satan worshippers, and a plethora of other notorious criminals. Revisit The Sex Club Slaying, The Chowchilla School Bus Kidnapping, and the Real House on Haunted Hill. Be glad you’re not on the helpful list of “The Lonely Hearts Killer” or “Souls for Satan.” Written in an accessible, chronological sequence and enhanced by over 60 photographs, each entry provides an “introductory” overview of the crime, the parties involved, evidence gathered, and leading theories about solutions. This reference is indispensable for the first step study of modern crime in California.”

Review: A recounting of some of the infamous, and less well known murders haunting California in the last thirty years. Some of the cases were intriguing, but the information was short and not as extensive as I had hoped. It did lead me to find out more about the cases that intrigued me the most, and it’s a fairly decent guide. I would’ve preferred more details on the crimes, and less history of California, though.

The Writing Dead

Title: The Writing Dead

Author: Thomas Fahy

Genre: Nonfiction, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Conversations with the creators, executive producers, and writers of today’s top horror shows

The Writing Dead features interviews with the writers of today’s most frightening and fascinating shows. They include some of television’s biggest names—Carlton Cuse (Lost and Bates Motel), Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies), David Greenwalt (Angel and Grimm), Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, The Terminator series, Aliens, and The Abyss), Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica), Brian McGreevy (Hemlock Grove), Alexander Woo (True Blood), James Wong (The X-Files, Millennium, American Horror Story, and Final Destination), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files and Millennium), Richard Hatem (Supernatural, The Dead Zone, and The Mothman Prophecies), Scott Buck (Dexter), Anna Fricke (Being Human), and Jim Dunn (Haven).

The Writing Dead features thought-provoking, never-before-published interviews with these top writers and gives the creators an opportunity to delve more deeply into television horror than anything found online. In addition to revealing behind-the-scene glimpses, these writers discuss favorite characters and story lines and talk about what they find most frightening. They offer insights into the writing process reflecting on the scary works that influenced their careers. And they reveal their own personal fascinations with the genre.

The thirteen interviews in The Writing Dead also mirror the changing landscape of horror on TV—from the shows produced by major networks and cable channels to shows made exclusively for online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Studios. The Writing Dead will appeal to numerous fans of these shows, to horror fans, to aspiring writers and filmmakers, and to anyone who wants to learn more about why we like being scared.

Thomas Fahy, New York, New York, is associate professor of English and director of the American Studies Program at Long Island University, Post. He is the author of numerous books, including the young adult horror novels Sleepless and The Unspoken, and editor of The Philosophy of Horror and Alan Ball: Conversations (University Press of Mississippi).

Review: Some excellent insights into writnig horror, based on thirteen interviews from some of the best horror writers out there. Since I know most of the TV series the writers worked on, I was very intrigued to read more about their thoughts and insights. An enjoyable, engaging book that fans of those TV shows will no doubt love.

Mini-Reviews: Betrayed, Beware That Girl, The Haunted Stepsister


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Betrayed

Author: Lynn Carthage

Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Phoebe Irving moved from San Francisco to my English country village, we discovered how much we have in common. We also realized that her family’s home, the Arnaud Manor, has a twisted history that goes back centuries. Though the bloodthirsty Madame Arnaud is finally gone, a trip to the palace of Versailles in France proves that trouble still haunts us. With our friend Eleanor’s help, we’re trying to figure out the Arnaud legacy and our role in it . . . and whether the future holds the chance for Phoebe and me to make a real connection.

Boy meets girl. Obstacles arise. Love conquers all. You know the routine. But sometimes those you trust the most wind up betraying you. . . .

Review: After reviewing the first book in this series, I wanted to read the second book. I wasn’t dissapointed. This was a creepy ghost mystery, along with time travel, excellent settings (like Versailles!) and great characters. The author did a good job on the French history.

Beware That Girl

Title: Beware The Girl

Author: Teresa Toten

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

For fans of We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this powerful psychological thriller with multiple mysteries is set against the backdrop of the megawealthy elite of New York City. Toten delves into the mesmerizing yet dysfunctional world of those who manipulate but seem ever so charming. With its gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists, Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.

The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?

Review: Gossip Girl, if slightly darker. Private school girls, designer clothing, but also cringe-worthy dialogue and whiny monologues. Most of the characters are stereotypes come to life, and the “twist” and the end was actually very predictable.

The Haunted Stepsister

Title: The Haunted Stepsister

Author: Medeia Sharif

Genre: Horror, Middle Grade

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father’s recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy’s life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever.
The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon’s possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she’s around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets.
Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy’s reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family?
Review: An okay story. The writing style was clumsy at best, and the characters weren’t very likeable – they were rather bland, and didn’t always act in character either. I did like the story, and the addition of a blended family. It wasn’t that thrilling, but I did enjoy it.

Mini-Review: The Casquette Girls, No Love Allowed, These Vicious Masks


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Casquette Girls

Tite: The Casquette Girls

Author: Alys Arden

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.

Review: An excellent YA read, in which the author manages to transport us to New Orleans, setting the atmosphere sublimely. The story is refreshing, original, and boiling with suspense. Some unpredictable twists, and the diary entries from Adele’s ancestor added an extra layer of depth to the book.

Quiet Neighbors

Title: No Love Allowed

Author: Kate Evangelista

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

Review: Loveable characters, lavish parties, excellent writing, and an amazing plot line. The characters are damaged, flawed, certainly far from perfect, and that made them very interesting. While fake boyfriend/girlfriend turned into love affair is a plot often played out, I still enjoy it. Excellent summer read.

These Vicious Masks

Title: These Vicious Masks

Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

Review: An amazing, lush read with excellent characters and slow-burning romance. Think X-Men meets the Victorian era, and you’re somewhat on track, although the book is much more than that. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to just about anyone. Go read it. NOW.

Mini-Review: Dark Road Home, After The Fog Clears, Man Made Murder


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Dark Road Home

Tite: Dark Road Home

Author: Anna Carlisle

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The summer after she graduated from high school, Gin Sullivan’s little sister Lily went missing. Her family fell apart, not to mention her relationship with her high school sweetheart, Jake. Now, almost twenty years later, Gin is living in Chicago and working as a medical examiner when she gets the call: a body’s been found in the woods outside her small hometown. It could be her sister. After all these years, it’s time for Gin to go home and face the demons she tried to leave behind.

Confronting your past is never easy, but for Gin it also means confronting Jake, who was the prime suspect in Lily’s disappearance. To find an answer to the question of what happened to her sister that fateful summer, Gin makes the difficult decision to use her talents as a medical examiner to help the police investigation. But as Gin gets deeper into the case, she uncovers a shocking truth that could change everything–if it doesn’t destroy what’s left of her and her family first.

Buried secrets come to light in Dark Road Home, Anna Carlisle’s sharp and simmering debut mystery.

Review: Gin’s little sister went missing years ago. Now she’s called back home because Lily’s body was found. She’s confronted with the past, with secrets guarded for years, and with Jake, who was the prime suspect in Lily’s disappearance. Amazing writing, and I had no trouble understanding Gin and her thoughts and actions. While some twists were predictable, overall I really enjoyed the book.

After the Fog Clears

Title: After the Fog Clears

Author: Lee Thompson

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3,5stars

Purchase: Amazon

When a policeman accidentally runs over a young boy on a fog-shrouded street in Saginaw, Michigan, it thrusts three families into a head-on collision with grief, violence and chaos…

Officer Nathan Hazzard: for years now a dirty cop and on the brink of losing touch with reality, willingly releases himself from society’s shackles…

Luther Anderson: a young man whose only true concerns up to the day of the accident is to care for his crippled brother and their grandmother, becomes the target of intense hatred…

Raul Spencer: a disgruntled son working at his father’s funeral home; an adulterer, who fears his sins will find him out, blames everyone else for his problems even as his selfishness leads him ever more astray…

Geneva Spencer: the wounded mother who holds her dying son in her arms and finds that there is no one there to hold her as the life she knew takes a dark turn once Officer Hazzard starts pursuing her for reasons she can’t begin to understand…

In the fast-paced Suspense novel, After the Fog Clears, author Lee Thompson probes the fractured psyches of the lost, the abandoned, and the psychotic.

Review:  The author did a good job describing the characters, and making them feel realistic, even in such a difficult plot. All situations here ended up interconnecting, but often through an insane amount of coincidences. Despite that, the story was intriguing enough to keep me entertained. I would’ve given it a higher rating had some of the scenarios not seemed so unlikely.

Man Made Murder

Title: Man Made Murder

Author: Z. Rider

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When guitarist Dean Thibodeaux tries to score weed the night before his band goes on tour, the deal ends in a brutal attack he wasn’t supposed to survive. Stiff, bloody, sore—but alive—he boards the bus with his band, determined to keep the one thing that’s important in his life on track.
Carl Delacroix failed his sister. And in the dead of night, with a gun in his waistband and nothing left to lose, he fails her again: his hesitation lets her killer get away. Short on sleep, short on cash, and determined not to make a trifecta out of his failure, he takes off after her attacker. And finds himself following a tour bus.
Dean Thibodeaux is sick. He’s changing. And the thing that caused it is coming after him, intent on fixing its mistake.
One man is hunting evil. The other is becoming it. Salvation lies in the crossing of their paths.
Review: The story of a band mixed with the story of a man hunting for his sister’s murderer. You’d think it couldn’t be connected but Z. Rider crafts a masterful tale in which these two events become linked. The characters are believable, the writing style is compelling, and overall, it’s a suspenseful, chilling read.