Attention Authors or anyone wanting a review: I am currently NOT taking on any more reviews at this time. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm overwhelmed at the moment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{Book Review} Amity by Micol Ostow

by Micol Ostow
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Released: August 26th 2014
Genre:Fiction- YA: Horror,
How I got it: NetGalley

For fans of Stephen King and American Horror Story, a gruesome thriller suggested by the events of the Amityville Horror.

Inspired by a true-crime story of supernatural happenings and gory murders, Amity spans two generations and beyond to weave an overlapping, interconnected tale of terror, insanity, danger, and death.

Review: My first impression of Amity was rip off, mostly Amityville Horror but also a bunch of random stories I've seen or heard. I could have forgiven how much was pulled from the other stories if it had been done well and not so obvious.  The thing with the axe, and how Luke was always cold are just two examples. I felt there was just to much, Amity was built on a Indian burial ground, as well as an underground railroad of sorts for witches, was an insane asylum and there was a brutal murder there. Oh and Gwen had psychic powers. See just to much, it made me have a hard time getting into the plot.
I found the pov jumping confusing and annoying. I had a hard time keeping things straight especially since the two plot lines were so alike. It was frustrating.
I was really looking forward to a good story like, as in similar to, the Amityville Horror, that scared the pants of me (the book not the thirty thousand movies). Yet it wasn't, it was just another rehashing of the same stuff. I guess I'll have to keep looking for that next scare me stupid book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{Book Review} The Ghost in the Coal Cellar: True Case Files from a Lone Investigator by Andrea Mesich

The Ghost in the Coal Cellar: True Case Files from a Lone Investigator
by Andrea Mesich
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Released: August 8th 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Paranormal Investigation, Ghosts, Paranormal
How I got it: NetGalley

This unique guide takes the reader along on real paranormal investigations into several haunted locations, including Mission Point Resort, the Paulding Lights, the First Ward School House, and individual homes. Author and paranormal investigator Andrea Mesich presents the details of each investigation from start to finish. She describes the ghosts or entities involved, offers colorful historical details about each haunted place or object, and shares both eyewitness accounts and her own personal insights into the paranormal occurrences. Readers will learn about different types of hauntings and how to identify them.

The author also addresses some of the paranormal world's most misunderstood topics and frequently asked questions, such as why hauntings seem to happen mostly at night, how to distinguish a true EVP from a natural sound, and whether or not using a Ouija Board is dangerous.

Review: This book is extremely informative. If you're interested in ghost hunting or the paranormal thing this is the book for you. Ms Mesich states up front this is not a book to give you chills, although I have to admit the stories from the First Ward School House were a bit freaky, this is about her experiences and facts. Looking at haunting scientifically and figuring out whats going on.
I only had three complaints about this book, one was the name dropping. I really didn't like that she pointed out that she had met the guys from Ghost Hunters or went on an investigation with the Ben Hansen from Fact or Faked. This didn't impress me, and felt like she picked these stories because of that not because they were the best ones. Two I would have liked there to be more investigations, there were only three real investigations focused on. Finally I wish Ms Mesich hadn't spent so much time on the Paulding Lights. I didn't find this interesting in the least, but this is a personal complaint not so much about the book itself. 
I really enjoyed the Mission Point Resort, and the First Ward School House investigations. I liked how they were broken down into background, investigation and findings. I really liked how Ms Mesich stated the facts not just her opinion of what was going on. She gave the reader all the findings and personal experiences so that we could come to our own decisions.
Over all the insight and factual aspects of this book are very well done. I did enjoy most of the reported investigations and feel if your into the paranormal this is a good book to check out.

Monday, July 28, 2014

{Book Review} How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

How To Date Dead Guys
by Ann M. Noser
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Released:July 15th 2014
Genre: Fiction- NA: paranormal
How I got it: received a copy from the publisher

Quiet college sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home.

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young father determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Review: Emma is a college kid who's a bit nerdy and spends more time with her nose in a books and studying.  Her roommate drags her to a party where she falls for a guy. Later at his 21st birthday party he does something stupid. Emma feels she's to blame and turns to magic to solve her problems, only it kinda backfires. She's forced to help a group o dead guys figure out what they need to do to move on.
I could empathize with Emma at the beginning of the book and liked watching her grow as the book progressed. I liked how with each guy, she grew a little more and was changed as she was drawn out of her shell and comfort zone. The characters are all enjoyable and real. I liked the different twists and turns the book took dropping surprises in our and Emma's laps.
The plot moved along well, keeping me enthralled and entertained. Over all a good book.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

{Book Review} New England's Scariest Stories and Urban Legends by Summer Paradis, Cathy McManus, Wayne Bud Ridsdel

New England's Scariest Stories and Urban Legends
by Summer Paradis, Cathy McManus, Wayne Bud Ridsdel (Illustrations)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Released: June 28th 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction - Adult: Paranormal
How I got it: NetGalley

Journey through New Englands darkest places and read 22 of its scariest stories and urban legends. Explore mysterious cryptids like the Dover Demon, Pigman, the Sea Serpent of Gloucester, the Dublin Lake Monster, and the Derry Fairy. Meet Champ, the legendary lake monster of Lake Champlain, and a fisherman who found himself thirty feet from the beast. See the grave of Midnight Mary and the Desert of Maine, and judge for yourself if their curses are real. Try to walk with the Leather Man and wonder why he chooses to walk alone. Visit The House of the Seven Gables and The Shunned House, both famous in literature, and learn of ghosts that still linger there. Cross Emilys Bridge in Vermont, creep over the alleged vampire Mercy Browns grave in Rhode Island, and more. New England promises to scare you!

Review: I found this book extremely fascinating mostly because of the tales I hadn't heard before. I mean The House of the Seven Gables has been done and even I've seen Chessie. Ok not the actual lake monster, but a statue of it someone placed in the lake. Anyway my point is that stories like the Pigman and etc that I hadn't heard before were much more interesting. Not all were super scary, but I will admit that a few gave me chills. Like how when you cross Emily's Bridge you can hear her feet scraping the top of your car, seriously kinda creepy. I also liked the authors notes at the end of each tale. They talked about their experiences and what the actual places are like. I was slightly bummed that the pictures didn't come through on my ereader, but not to much since they would have been in black and white and it wouldn't have done them justice anyway. Over all I thought this was a well researched and interesting book.

Friday, July 25, 2014

{Book Review} The Insanity Plea by Larry D. Thompson

The Insanity Plea
by Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Released: May 6th 2014
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Legal Thriller
How I got it: Received a copy from the author

A young nurse is savagely killed during a pre-dawn run on Galveston’s seawall. The murderer slices her running shorts from her body as his trophy and tosses the body over the wall to the rocks below. As dawn breaks, a bedraggled street person, wearing four layers of old, tattered clothes, emerges from the end of the jetty, waving his arms and talking to people only he hears. He trips over the body, checks for a pulse and, instead, finds a diamond bracelet which he puts in his pocket. He hurries across the street, heading for breakfast at the Salvation Army two blocks away, leaving his footprints in blood as he goes.

Wayne Little, former Galveston prosecutor and now Houston trial lawyer, learns that his older brother has been charged with capital murder for the killing. At first he refuses to be dragged back into his brother’s life. Once a brilliant lawyer, Dan’s paranoid schizophrenia had captured his mind, estranging everyone including Wayne. Finally giving in to pleas from his mother, Wayne enlists the help of his best friend, Duke Romack, former NBA star turned criminal lawyer. When Wayne and Duke review the evidence, they conclude that Dan’s chances are slim. They either find the killer or win a plea of insanity since the prosecution’s case is air tight. The former may be a mission impossible since the killer is the most brilliant, devious and cruel fictional murderer since Hannibal Lecter. The chances of winning an insanity plea are equally grim.

It will take the combined skills of the two lawyers along with those of Duke’s girlfriend, Claudia, a brilliant appellate lawyer, and Rita Contreras, Wayne’s next door neighbor and computer hacker extraordinaire, to attempt to unravel the mystery of the serial killer before the clock clicks down to a guilty verdict for Dan.
The Insanity Plea is a spell-binding tale of four amateur sleuths who must find, track and trap a serial killer as they prepare for and defend Wayne brother who is trapped in a mind like that of John Nash, Russell Crowe’s character in A Beautiful Mind.

Combining legal thriller with tracking a serial killer, Thompson once again takes the reader on a helluva ride, right up to the last page and sentence.

Review: In a way this book was more heartwrenching than thrilling. I found Dan's tale of combating mental illness much more riviting than stalking the serial killer.
Dan is a brilliant and troubled man, he rides the roll-a-coaster of mental illness dealing with his problems getting medicated only to spiral into his own private hell. He's the perfect scapegoat. With what they believe is an airtight case, all Wayne can thing to do to save his brother is beg for the insanity plea. Lets face it Dan is nutter that a peanut, but as the new meds kick in his brillance comes to the surface. Wayne is also a great attorney as is his friend Duke. The problem is they assume that Dan is guilty and just roll with it. Even though Wayne has his doubts he really doesn't seem to focus on proving his brother not guilty. Rita is really the one who comes through for him.
While I found the plot riveting it was more a courtroom drama than a serial killer thriller. Yes there are bits with the killer doing his thing, but it felt like side fodder. The ending was to neat for my tastes as well. Over all this was a good book but had little things that bugged me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{Book Review} Vanquishing Ghosts & Demons: A Medium's Harrowing Tales of Removing Evil Spirits by Sandrea Mosses

Vanquishing Ghosts & Demons: A Medium's Harrowing Tales of Removing Evil Spirits
by Sandrea Mosses
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Released: August 8th 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Ghosts, paranormal, hauntings
How I got it: NetGalley

The bizarre and terrifying true accounts in this book will have readers on the edge of their seats, aghast at what is "out there" and what can happen to those unlucky enough to cross pathways with deadly astral predators.

This book explores more than 30 case studies of spiritualist medium Sandrea Mosses and her colleagues as they battle ghosts, ghouls, and demons that have entered our world through portals or invitation. This is not a how-to book -- in fact, the author is quite clear that inexperienced individuals can actually cause astral onslaughts to escalate and unwittingly bring great danger into their own life. However with the proper people, training, and tools, dark entities can be beaten.

In her work, Sandrea Mosses has removed astral beings from people, places, and the land itself. She has encountered everything from eerie ghost hauntings to creepy other-dimensional beings to full-blown demonic infestations.

Review:  I thought this was going to be a really interesting and spooky book, but I was so wrong. It was like a bad Sy Fy channel show. From the beginning when Ms Mosses claimed she had spirit guides one called White Feather and he was a Native American I just couldn't take the book seriously. For me Ms Mosses lost her creditability right there. It just seemed to tv for me. I have actually met folks in tune with the spirit world and my aunt studies Reiki Healing. Which is why this read to much like fiction for me.
I also felt there was way to much focus on demons. Granted I did expect some tales of demons, but it seemed about ninety percent of the stories were about demons. Which is just cliche in my opinion. I found the stories anticlimax, all ending pretty much the same. I wasn't even all that impressed with the writing. Basically this just wasn't for me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

{Book Review} Under the Final Moon (Underworld Detection Agency #6) by Hannah Jayne

Under the Final Moon (Underworld Detection Agency #6)
by Hannah Jayne
Publisher: Kensington
Released: August 5th 2014
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance (light on the romance)
How I got it: NetGalley

It's not the end of the world--until it is. Sophie Lawson may be a mere human with no special abilities except a strong immunity to magic. But the havoc she's wreaked on the supernaturals who come up against the Underworld Detection Agency have earned her plenty of enemies. Still, a girl can't freak out every time a horribly barbecued corpse is found with her business card in its hand. Or see a sudden glut of earthquakes, wildfires and three-headed dogs as just another day in California. But Alex Grace, her favorite fallen angel, is concerned--or saying he is to see more of her. Getting Sophie to see all the signs of the Apocalypse is an interesting way to heat things up. Or maybe what's making everyone hot under the collar is the fact that all Hell is about to break loose. . .

Review: The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I mean check out the kick butt chick with the flames it just screams awesome. Problem is Sophie was getting her butt kicked more than kicking butt. She cried at a drop of the hat through out the entire book, seriously the whole thing. I haven't read any of the other books in this series so maybe that accounted for my being a bit confused by a few things, which I'll forgive. The thing I can't forgive is her back and forth over Will and Alex. It was super annoying, we all knew who was going to get her mainly because he had the most page time. Just for the record I was behind Will, sexy fireman with British accent vs fallen angel cop phhttt no contest. But I digress, Sophie's daddy issues grated on my nerves He's Satan but I still want him to love me, I good, but still want daddy's validation... oh my goodness get over it. He's the devil, either you join the dark side or your against him. Kind of a no-brainer.
All this vented the book did have some good points. The plot and writing were solid, Ms Jayne seemed to have a good grasp of the genre itself. Her world building was great, I actually really enjoyed the secondary characters and their interactions. I enjoyed Sophie's wit, and the few moments when she actually grew a back bone.