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Archive for January, 2018

Interview with the Boogeyman: A Monster for All Times

Interview with the Boogey Man: A Monster for All Times by Benjamin S. Jeffries

He is every nightmare you’ve ever had and every fright made flesh. He is the most feared villain in the history of the world, haunting us past childhood, lingering in the background of the darkest recesses of our souls. Now–for the first time ever–meet the infamous Boogeyman as he steps out of the darkness and into the limelight. Written in a clever interview style, this whimsical, funny, informative, and scary biographical history of the world’s greatest fiend takes the reader on an escapade into terror that began in the dank world of the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields in Iceland and culminates in the surreal landscape of today’s modern monsters. From folklore to contemporary horror, through a series of engaging questions, diary entries, and author research, the evolution of the Boogeyman continues to develop as he takes credit here for the most disturbing and bloodthirsty creatures ever to scare us silly.

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 Benjamin S. Jeffries

Author’s Bio

Benjamin S. Jeffries lives in Lafayette, Indiana. His books LOST IN THE DARKNESS and GRIM SHADOWS FALLING are available now. He is currently at work on his third and fourth books, due out in the Spring and Fall of 2016.

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My Review

5 stars

Benjamin is traveling around looking for information to write his book VILE: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers. He comes across a farm house that draws him in. When he goes inside he meets the Boogey Man. Although he is in terror, he has a conversation with Tenebris. He wakes and thinks it’s all a dream until he realizes he has the Tenebris’ journal.

Who is the Boogey Man? Where did he come from? He is known through all societies from the beginning of time. Although he looks differently to each culture and has different habits, he is still the one that goes bump in the night and punished people.

I really enjoyed following along and learning the different forms Tenebris has taken over the years. It was one of those things that I “knew” someone had been in the role but I never really thought about it. I loved reading about the different roles Tenebris has played over the years.

If you have always been curious about the Boogey Man or are looking for something different from your regular reads, you need to check this book out. I really enjoyed all the history that has gone into this book. Now I’m excited to check out Benjamin S. Jeffries other book VILE.

I received Interview with the Boogey man from Schiffer Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Trading Darkness

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Trading Darkness by Lisa Hofmann

Once upon a time, a demon from the depths of the earth decided to seek the light of love.

When human weakness destroys that love, a yearning for vengeance awakens within the ancient soul, and the fiefdom of Wildenburg becomes home to many kinds of men and monsters. A never-ending spiral of cruelty and sacrifice is set in motion. Over the centuries, wars, hunger, and witch trials cripple the little fiefdom, until one day, the reigning lord discovers that not even his own children are safe from the fiend his ancestors helped create.

There is truth at the heart of every fairytale, but a fairytale can quickly turn into a nightmare. Only one person has the power to break the curse that has befallen the land: a young woman who has lived all her life in darkness. Can she find enough beauty within the beast to put an end to the killing?

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 Lisa Hofmann

Author’s Bio

Lisa Hofmann was born in Siegen, Germany, in 1975. She attended schools in Germany and in Ireland.

During her time at the University of Siegen, she translated books and other writings for her professors of Educational Didactics and Anglistics, discovering her talent for working with words. She began writing medieval fantasy fiction in her late thirties while working as a teacher.

She still lives near her birthplace today with her husband, three children and a houseful of pets. She writes predominantly in English.

Website

My Review

5 stars

We start this story in Wildenburg in 1650. Agnes is being tortured for being a witch. She hopes and prays that her husband will take their children and run. A demon visits her and she learns that her husband took the children to the lord of the land to try and reason with him for Agnes. The demon offers her a favor to take her and agrees to save the children that are her husband and her own.

In 1670, we meet Gregory of Blackvale and the Century Demon. Once every 100 years, the head of the house has to sacrifice one of his children to keep the Century Demon happy and helping the family. Alton, Gregory’s brother is the head of house and refuses to give up one of his children. Things end badly for Alton and the choice falls to Gregory.

Years later, Gregory daughter Maria is having trouble with the loss of her sister Louisa. But Louisa has her own world that she has navigated. She is trying to find a way to escape the demon. But there is more to this demon than what everything thinks. He has his own past that he has to fight just like everyone else.

I love Lisa Hofmann’s stories and Trading Darkness is a great addition to her stories. I love how you are taken back in time. I have to say that I didn’t like Gregory. He was power hungry and selfish. I felt worse for Maria mourning the loss of her sister and wanting to know why she was not taken.

As for Louisa and the Wishmaster, I loved their story. Louisa has grown up in this world of darkness and magic and wants out. And the Wishmaster, is he really the demon that he seems to be? I loved his reveal.

This is a wonderful story filled with history, magic, loss, and love. You really need to check this book out.

I received Trading Darkness from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Oh Susanna

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Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag

From award-winning author Carole P. Roman comes a new chapter book featuring Susannah Logan, a young student having a very bad day.

It all begins with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to. Would you want to go to a sleepover in a creepy house? Rather than dealing with her problems, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack. But how much can a backpack take? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts? Or will she just continue to hide them away?
Join Susannah and her friends in this story sure to charm busy young readers everywhere.

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My Review

5 stars

Susannah is having a bad day. First, she didn’t finish her homework from the night before. When she went to ask her mom for help, her mother was in a rush, dumped the cereal on the floor, and gave Susannah oatmeal and a banana which she hates. Instead of speaking up she just dumps the homework and banana in her backpack. From there she gets an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to and puts that in her bag too. She has other things that she adds to the bag until it bursts open.

Poor Susannah is having a hard time dealing with her day and lets it all pile up until she is having nightmares. Although her mom and dad are really busy, they do see her problems and do help her organize and tackle them.

I love how this could be a typical family wrapped up in each person’s issues. Sometimes it is hard to step back and realize that there are people around you that can lend a hand to help if you just ask.

This is a great chapter book with a big message for kids and parents. It has some beautiful illustrations that add wonderfully to the story. If you are looking for a story for kids, look no further.

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Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump

Susannah Maya Logan is not having a good day. She doesn’t want to go to her best friend, Lola’s sleepover. Susannah thinks the house is big and spooky, not to mention the ghost that is said to live there. Lola’s big brother, Kai, loves to tease Susannah with scary stories.

Throughout her day, she sees people deal with things that scare them. Her sight-impaired friend, Macy, is terrified of unicorns, of all things. She sees a boy at a party who’s frightened of clowns. Her teacher is afraid of getting a cold. Susannah realizes everybody is scared of something. She wishes she was more like Lola, who is not afraid of anything, or so it seems.

Susannah discovers people have different ideas of what is scary and what is not, and only they can determine the difference.

Join Susannah as she learns to confront her fears and not let her imagination prevent her from having fun.

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My Review

5 stars

It’s the day after Susannah gets help with her backpack. It’s time to face her fears about sleeping over at Lola’s house. Lola’s big brother Kai once told Susannah about the ghost that lives in their house. Because it is an older house and makes a lot of noise so Susannah is very scared of meeting the ghost. But she feels bad admitting to this, especially since her parents and Lola are very excited for the sleep over. What is she to do?

I love the simple yet serious issues that Susannah faces. I can understand why she is so afraid and it doesn’t help that Kai tries to scare her every chance he gets. But what is she to do? She has already learned how things can quickly pile up and burst.

This is a great story and I love how it encourages kids to face their fears and ask for help. This would be a great addition to any kid’s library.

I received Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag and Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of these books.

Carole P. Roman

Author’s Bio

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born.”Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.
Her nonfiction series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca’s Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and Lived in …France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in…France for best in children’s non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year. There are now 22 books in the series and include a trip to Mars in 2054.
Carole was recently featured in a two part article on Forbes.com where her book, Navigating Indieworld was discussed along with her self-publishing success.
Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

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Escape Claws

Escape Claws
A Cat Lady Mystery
by Linda Reilly
Genre: Cozy Mystery
204 pages
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .
For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her
hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with
her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after
herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is
easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes
is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property,
and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.
Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the
reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the
feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of
Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off
the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in
search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve
a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?
Armed with a degree in Criminal Justice, Linda Reilly once contemplated a
career in law enforcement. But life took a twist, and instead she
found her niche in real estate closings and title examinations, where
the dusty tomes in the Registry of Deeds enticed her into solving
mysteries of a different sort. A dyed-in-the-wool New Englander,
Linda lives in New Hampshire with her husband, who affectionately
calls her “Nose-in-a-Book.” A member of Sisters in Crime
and Mystery Writers of America, she loves solving mysteries of the
cozy type. When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard, she can
usually be found prowling the shelves of a local bookstore or
library.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

 

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Birdplane

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Birdplane by Tonya Coffey

Tiny Tom is a little ant with a big dream. He wants to fly above the treetops like the birds. Tiny Tom tries hard to make his dream come true but each time he falls to the ground. Instead of quitting, he never gives up and proves dreams do come true.

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Tonya Coffey

Author’s Bio

Tonya grew up in a small town in southern Kentucky. She was always surrounded by nature whether it was on the farm or in the forest camping with her family. The older she got she realized that she had a vivid imagination and sharing her stories with others gave her hoy. With her husband and two teen sons motivating her, she continues to share her imagination with the world.

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My Review

5 stars

Tiny Tom is an ant that dreams of flying. He crawls up the tree and uses a leaf as a parachute. But soon enough he finds himself on the ground again. He watches the birds and realizes that he needs feathers to fly. But that was not enough. He thinks harder and comes up with a birdplane.

This is a wonderful story of one ant pursuing his dream to fly. He had a couple bumps on his journey but he never quits. What a wonderful story to inspire children to keep pursuing their dreams.

And I have to say that I love the beautifully illustrated story. The drawings really added to the story and helped draw me in. I can see any child loving them.

If you are looking for a quick story for your little one, I strongly recommend getting Birdplane.

I received Birdplane from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Black Painting

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The Black Painting by Neil Olson

An old-money East Coast family faces the suspicious death of its patriarch and the unsolved theft of a Goya painting rumored to be cursed.

There were four cousins in the Morse family: perfect Kenny, the preppy West Coast lawyer; James, the shy but brilliant medical student; his seductive, hard-drinking sister Audrey; and Teresa, youngest and most fragile, haunted by the fear that she has inherited the madness that possessed her father.

Their grandfather summons them to his mansion at Owl’s Point. None of them has visited the family estate since they were children, when a prized painting disappeared: a self-portrait by Goya, rumored to cause madness or death upon viewing. Afterward, the family split apart amid the accusations and suspicions that followed its theft.

Any hope that their grandfather planned to make amends evaporates when Teresa arrives to find the old man dead, his horrified gaze pinned upon the spot where the painting once hung. As the family gathers and suspicions mount, Teresa hopes to find the reasons behind her grandfather’s death and the painting’s loss. But to do so she must uncover ugly family secrets and confront those who would keep them hidden.

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Neil Olson 

Author’s Bio

Neil Olson is the author of THE ICON, a novel of art theft and family intrigue, and the play DEALERS. His second novel, THE BLACK PAINTING, concerning the unsolved theft of a haunted self-portrait by Goya, will be published in January 2018. He lives in New York City with his wife and cat, and works in the publishing industry.

My Review

3 stars

Fifteen years ago the Morse cousins left the family estate after the thief of a cursed Goya painting disappears. The cousins has been summoned back to Owl’s Point. But when Teresa arrives she finds her grandfather dead. It looks like a murder and out of the four cousins, Teresa is the one that is going to find out what happened to both her grandfather and the painting.

But this is one messed up family. Kenny, James, and Audrey have a load of issues and Teresa has a medical condition that she is worried that she has inherited. She seems to be the most honest out of the bunch but she can be unreliable. It seems money is the key factor in both the robbery and murder but the question is who did it and why.

This story reminds me of a gothic mystery. Its dark, dreary, you have money grubbers, mental illness, and a cursed family and painting. There were several characters to keep track of but I found that I didn’t really get to know enough of any of them to really care what was happening to them. But morbid curiosity did have me finishing to book to find out who was the killer/thief.

This is not a bad story, just one that didn’t really draw me in. I think it will be one that you will either like or not.

I received The Black Painting from Harper Collins for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Author Brent Jones is having a massive giveaway on his blog from now until January 31. He is giving away 100 copies of Fender, The Fifteenth of June, and The Matchbook.

If you would like to guarantee a free copy of The Matchbook subscribe to his newsletter here.

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Fender

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

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The Fifteenth of June

Can we lose a loved one without losing ourselves?

Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Thomson is haunted by a troubled past. After struggling for years with alcoholism and antisocial behavior, he ends a stable relationship with his girlfriend and finds himself without a home, job, or purpose.

Just as he learns that his father is terminally ill, he meets a stranger who offers him a flicker of hope for a better future. But is he ready to bury the past?

Rich with dark humor and a keen insight into the human condition, this debut fictional release from author Brent Jones delves into life’s most pressing trials—destructive relationships, love, loss, and pursuing happiness.

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The Matchbook

Corbyn Thurber, seventeen, meets the love of his life while passing through the small town of Wakefield—he just doesn’t know it at the time.

He returns years later in search of the woman he never forgot only to discover she has a dark secret. And tracking her down under the watch of judgmental locals is only half as antagonizing as his sense of self-doubt.

Told from the perspective of a man haunted by regret, this short story, from the author of Fender and The Fifteenth of June, masterfully considers the consequences of a life unexplored.

Make to to check here to signup for these amazing stories.

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