Friday Face Off : “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.”

FFO

I have wi-fi – finally.  I’ll be catching up with lots of posts and checking out all the posts I’ve missed!  Seriously – you don’t realise how much you love your wifi until you don’t have it.  Anyway, onto the FFO.

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme is:

“It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

Well, I thought this was going to be very easy – how wrong I was!!  Haha, there you go.  I hope you all found it a bit easier than I did.  This week I’ve chosen My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent – to be honest, this isn’t a series that worked for me at the time – perhaps I should have given it more of a chance, There were more covers than I expected so clearly it was popular:

Nothing really stands out for me this week for some reason and so I’m going with the cover that’s different and stands out from the othersMy Soul3

Which is your favourite?

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – any scary you you like 

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.

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Friday Face Off : “And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme is:

“And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn/Hotel

Firstly, apologies that I’ve not been blog visiting – I’m without internet at the moment and only managing to post by linking my phone to my laptop whilst things get sorted (it uses a lot of data though so I’ll be blog hopping again hopefully in another week).  In the meantime, how did you all get on with this theme.  I think I’ve used this one before – whoops!  Anyway, I went for The Way Inn by Will Wiles – this is a book that I own but haven’t yet read and whilst the covers seem to be more of the interior it’s still an Inn – is that cheating?

Anway, not many covers this week but here they are:

I think I would have to go with the first cover this week – I like the way the title draws you down the corridor:

WayInn1

As with previous I’ve added a Mr Linky if you want to use it:

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – a cover featuring a scream

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)

2019

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.

Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood #MistletoeBook

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour for Alison Littlewood’s Mistletoe.  I’ve posted below information about the other blogs taking part so try and take the opportunity to visit those and check out their thoughts on this latest gothic ghost story.

MistletoeMistletoe is my second book by Alison Littlewood, an author who excels at creating atmosphere and gothic creepiness.

This is a book set in the depth of winter, the countryside is cloaked in white and Christmas approaches.  It should be a time of cheer but for Leah Hamilton this is more an escape.  Leah has lost both her son and her husband and in a strange twist decides to buy the ‘fixer upper’ that her husband dreamed of acquiring.  Like she’s keeping a little piece of him alive by taking on a project that he was keen to undertake even though she wasn’t so enthusiastic at the time.  The farmhouse in question is very run down and no longer a going concern.  Parcels of land have been sold off over the years to neighbouring properties and the remaining house and buildings seem to be encumbered by a strange past that leaves the place not just neglected but also a little creepy.  Of course, a lot of the past history is unknown to Leah when she arrives and so she’s in for a number of surprises.

What I really enjoyed about this was the way the story was split.  Leah experiences a number of apparitions that gradually reveal the secrets of the house.  There is a dark history here and Leah is slowly sucked into events in a very scary way that threatens her own well-being.  She becomes so wrapped up in events that she shuns the neighbours, enclosing herself in a strange cocoon of mystery and darkness, almost becoming so involved that she begins to lose herself.

The writing is very evocative and this is truly the perfect time of year to read this book.  You can feel the cold and the weather, the looming clouds, the burgeoning snow and the short days all add to the atmosphere because they are particularly well written.  In fact, there are a few ghostly moments contained in these pages that I confess set my pulse racing and I couldn’t help admiring Leah for her steadfastness in the face of such scary goings-on.  If that was me, I would have been out of there in a New York minute but Leah felt a compulsion to see things though.

In terms of characters.  Well, Leah is the main pov but she shares time with her neighbours as well as inhabitants of the farm from a bygone era.  I really enjoyed the flashbacks and the little insights.  I think the inclusion of the neighbour’s son was a great addition to the story in fact with the flashbacks from the farm’s past, plus Leah’s memories of her son there are three young characters who help the story to progress in a strangely symmetrical way.

In terms of criticisms.  I think one of the characters was a little too easy to read which meant I second guessed what was going on from the storyline from the past – I wouldn’t say this spoiled the read for me but I think it could have been even more gripping with a little more ambiguity to keep me guessing.  I would also say that this was slightly different from what I was expecting.  It actually feels like a journey for the main character, one that she is maybe reluctantly pushed onto, but still a turning around of sorts.  I think going into this I was expecting an out and out ghost story but in fact I think the added element of Leah’s own personal tragedy coupled with the little rays of hope brought something additional to the read.

Overall, this was a very easy book to get along with.  It’s a good story and coupled with the excellent writing it makes for a real page turner.  Packed with angry ghosts and heartbreak it also manages to achieve a feeling of hope.  It gave me Bronte vibes in a way – the remote feeling of the farmhouse, the sweeping landscape, the loneliness of the central character and the brooding (Heathcliff like feel) of one of the ghosts from the past.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Blog tour.png

AuthorphotoAuthor Information:

Twitter : Ali__L
Genre : HorrorThriller
Alison Littlewood was raised in Penistone, South Yorkshire, and went on to attend the University of Northumbria at Newcastle (now Northumbria University). Originally she planned to study graphic design, but “missed the words too much” and switched to a joint English and History degree. She followed a career in marketing before developing her love of writing fiction.

Her first book, A Cold Season (2011), was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club and described as ‘perfect reading for a dark winter’s night.’

Alison’s latest novel is The Crow Garden (2017), is a tale of obsession set amidst Victorian asylums and séance rooms.

You can find her living with her partner Fergus in deepest Yorkshire, England, in a house of creaking doors and crooked walls. She loves exploring the hills and dales with her two hugely enthusiastic Dalmatians and has a penchant for books on folklore and weird history, Earl Grey tea and semicolons.
She is on Twitter as @Ali__L

 

 

 

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Deep by Alma Katsu

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Deep by Alma Katsu.  I am so excited for this book – this is an author who has never let me down so I’m bouncing up and down with glee to see this.  Take a look and see why:

TheDeep.jpgSomeone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .
Brilliantly combining fact and fiction, the historical and the horrific, The Deep reveals a chilling truth in an unputdownable narrative full of unnerving moments and with a growing, inexorable sense of foreboding.

Due for publication: March 2020

#SPFBO Feedback on the Third Batch of Books

SPFBO1

So, a little later than planned, again, this is my feedback post for the final three books from Batch No.3.  I already gave feedback at the halfway mark which can be found here.  I have very little wifi at the moment which is why my blogging is a little behind schedule and so this post will be a little bit shorter as a result. I will be posting my fourth batch of books (hopefully) on Wednesday.

The final three books and my comments on each can be found below. Apologies to those authors/books cut at this stage:

Earthcore by Grace Bridges

EarthcoreAs Earthcore got underway we meet Anira who is taking a vacation with her mother and brother at Rotorua in New Zealand.   As soon as Anira arrives she starts to experience strange sensations and it soon becomes obvious to her that having drank the local spring?/mineral water she is having a transformation of sorts – or at least she seems to need virtually no sleep and is also experiencing quite amazing mental abilities. Obviously Anira is a little dubious and also wondering whether this is purely a temporary phenomena but she then witnesses a local who seems to also have some unusual capabilities and upon further investigation it seems that there are at least another three such individuals apart from Anira (who quickly decides that they need to meet).

I found the first third of this book very easy to read, I enjoyed the setting and clearly this is going to become a superhero type story or at least a meeting of individuals with special abilities.  In terms of criticisms.  Well, I’ve not during the 30% read had a real opportunity to become attached to the main character Anira, in a way she feels a little lacking in emotional depth in that she is incredibly accepting of everything, or she lacks surprise.  Overall though this was quite a good read and would probably appeal to a YA audience – I foresee maybe a romance between Anira and one of the other characters although it’s early days and I could be wrong on that score.

I thought this was quite good to the point at which I broke off but although the pacing is quite fast I’ve not really got a feel at this stage for exactly where this one is heading in terms of plot.

Author Info:

 

SirThomas.jpgSir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of the Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin

Sir Thomas the Hesitant is so far really quite a fun read about a young man called Thomas Farmer who has dreams of becoming a knight.  I’m quite enjoying this one at the moment so intend to read further therefore will keep feedback on this book to a minimum at the moment and return to it at a later date.

Conclusion: roll forward

Author Info:

 

Twitter: LiamPerrin

 

Strings of.jpgStrings of Chance by Jeff Pryor

I think Strings of Chance could be a book that develops well but at the point at which I broke off it really hadn’t had a chance to work it’s charm on me and I think this is in part due to the main protagonist.  Edson Pye is a bard who has great confidence in his own abilities, even if he doesn’t seem to be succeeding as the story sets out, that is until he meets a mysterious person who decides to help him reach his goals.  Of course, there is always a price for such magic as Edson soon finds out.

Okay, I have to be honest,  I really didn’t get on with Edson at all in fact I very nearly put this down much earlier than my 30% cut off point, but, I decided to press on.  To be even more honest, Edson was still annoying but the story had opened out a little and was become quite intriguing.

I’m rather hopeful that Edson goes on a voyage of discovery during the rest of this story but unfortunately this is the stage at which I have decided to cut off and at this point Edson hasn’t won me over.  Like I say, this could change as the story progresses but I have a cut off point in order to be fair so although I like that this is a small scale type fantasy as oppose to huge battles and epic quests I’m cutting it at this point.

***

To date from my SPFBO books I have one book chosen as a semi finalist and two books that I’ve decided to read further.

Semi finalist: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

Two books to read further :

From the Shadows of the Owl Queen’s Court (Yarnsworld #4) by Benedict Patrick

Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights (Less Valued Knights #1) by Liam Perrin

 

 

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