Thursday, June 23, 2016

ARC Review: Last Call at the Night Shade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: Kindle
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: Sci Fi/ Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can only be hunted with the help of magically-mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and tequila lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all of these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons?


Quirky and interesting, this story twists the modern day bartender into a supernatural bounty hunter here to protect the humans.  Through their mixology they create different drinks in exactly the right combination to give them superpowers (don't we all think we have superpowers when we drink?) to fight off demons who prey on unsuspecting humans.  A lot of the mixology has been lost along the ages but through trial and error they have rebuilt an impressive dictionary of drinks.  The only one no one has perfected is the Long Island ice tea.  This drink will pretty much make you invincible but it also draws the demons.  As more and more demons flock into Chicago Bailey and her friends find themselves discovering old rivalries and trying to stop something that could destroy the city.

This is a fun read - great for the beach or light reading...more like mind candy.

Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Release Date: April 9, 2016
Publisher: Glass Apple Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 538 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
Buy: Kindle | 


A Girl’s Worst Nightmare is Her Mother ...
Priscilla Martin. She’s the diva of Morning Glory Circle and a driving force in the quaint California town of Snapdragon. Overseer of garage sales and neighborhood Christmas decorations, she is widely admired. But few people know the real woman behind the perfectly coiffed hair and Opium perfume.

Family is Forever. And Ever and Ever ...
No one escapes Prissy’s watchful eye. No one that is, except her son, who committed suicide many years ago, and her daughter, Claire, who left home more than a decade past and hasn’t spoken to her since. But now, Priscilla’s daughter and son-in-law have fallen on hard times. Expecting their first child, the couple is forced to move back … And Prissy is there to welcome them home with open arms … and to reclaim her broken family.

The Past Isn’t Always as Bad as You Remember.
Sometimes it’s Worse ...
Claire has terrible memories of her mother, but now it seems Priscilla has mended her ways. When a cache of vile family secrets is uncovered, Claire struggles to determine fact from fiction, and her husband, Jason, begins to wonder who the monster really is. Lives are in danger - and Claire and Jason must face a horrifying truth … a truth that may destroy them … and will forever change their definition of “Mother.” 


I have never loathed a character more than I did Prissy Martin.  She is creepy, invasive, mentally unstable and a bully.  The authors in their guest post wrote that the story has elements of Misery by Stephen King and I can totally see that.

I was on the edge of my seat through this book wanting to throttle Prissy Martin and wanting to scream at some of the other characters.  How one woman could wield so much control over so many is baffling but when you take a step back is actually very possible.

Mother is a fast paced thrill ride that makes you believe that Claire may be taking her mothers intentions in the wrong context but as the story progresses you see that it is much worse than you could possibly believe.  I caution those of you who are sensitive there are some graphic scenes of murder and child abuse but they fit the story and don't seem to just be thrown in there for shock value.

Great creepy read. You will want to call your mother afterwards and let her know you appreciate all she has done for you because very few are as bad as Prissy Martin and if they are they should be behind bars.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ARC Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 592 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio


On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

 With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.


I wasn't drawn in by the cover of this book but the description peaked my interest enough for me to request it from netgalley before it was published, boy am I glad I did.  This book was great.  With chapters that alternate between the present and the backstories of the passengers and crew members you are taken on a harrowing adventure.  I found myself immersed in the lives of the passengers learning more about what made each of the tick and ultimately what led to Scott and JJ surviving.

While the government is trying to figure out what happened, one of the most popular talk show hosts goes on the air turning the grief of families and the tragedy experience by a young boy into entertainment.  He says that he is trying to get to the truth but the reality is that he is just trying to stir higher ratings.  What a sad but true commentary on US television.

Scott is an interesting character, he doesn't own a cell phone and knows how to avoid the press, is he hiding something or does he just want to stay out of the limelight? As information and events unfold and we try to piece together for ourselves what happened you start to form different scenarios that could have happened but the reality rings shockingly sad and true.  Wonderfully written, complex characters, fabulous plot. I loved this book.

Disclaimer: Book was received from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Guest Post by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross Authors of Mother

10 MORE Things You Might Not Know About MOTHER
Mother is a psychological thriller with notes of Psycho, Gaslight, and Misery in its theme. It concerns a young couple, Claire and Jason Holbrooke, who are forced by circumstance to temporarily return to Claire’s estranged mother’s home. And what happens there is more terrifying than either can comprehend. We loved every minute of writing this novel, and here, we will reveal some more of the little-known facts within the story, as well as behind-the-scenes trivia.

#1 A small part of Mother takes place in modern-day Brimstone, Arizona, the fictional town in Tamara’s upcoming solo novel, code name ‘BB,’ a spooky coming-of-age novel set in 1968.

#2 We never explained who kept moving the little GI Joe figures around the house and are leaving it up to readers to decide whether their travels are a human-created conspiracy or a ghostly one.

#3 The existence of Timothy Martin’s secret hiding place was the first of Claire’s memories to return, and this set the stage for our idea that many of her repressed memories would come back to haunt her throughout the novel.

#4 As a child, Tamara knew someone who kept a shrine to her long-deceased baby daughter. The shrine included a lock of hair tied with a pink ribbon. Tamara found this spectacularly creepy. This played into Mother’s hair obsession.

#5 Stephanie Banks is the name of a character Alistair created in the early 2000s, long before his dream of becoming a writer came true.

#6 Dr. Hopper’s name is a play on the term doctor-hopping, usually used to describe someone who hops from doctor to doctor to obtain illegal amounts of prescription drugs.

#7 The sex of Claire and Jason’s baby was originally a girl. We changed this when Priscilla began revealing her motives to us.  

#8 The character Ace Etheridge appears, under a pseudonym, in several other Thorne & Cross novels, and in Mother, his hidden identity is exposed.

#9 Gladiola Gelding, a friend of Phyllis Stine’s, is a character in Alistair’s novel The Crimson Corset.

#10 DJ Coastal Eddie Fortune, who makes several appearances on the radio in Mother shows up in many of our books. He first appeared in Tamara’s vampire novel, Candle Bay.

#11 The character of Candy Sachs is a play on Sach’s candy. And Candy’s breathtaking breasts, of course.

#12 The initials “C.J.,” which Roddy Crocker spots on a handkerchief, are a nod to people who are very, very close to us...

#13 Mother is dedicated to our own mothers because they inspired us to write - however, they did not, in any way, inspire the character, Prissy Martin.

#14 We named Duane Pruitt’s dog, Waldo, just so we could have characters ask, “Where’s Waldo?”

#15 EZ Cheese, our fictional brand of aerosol cheese spray that Claire craves one night, has a starring role in our novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest.

#16 The fictional evangelical show The God Club with Reverend Bobby Felcher, which is referenced by Priscilla Martin, is also beloved by Belinda Moorland’s mother in The Ghosts of Ravencrest. The God Club appears in some of our other novels as well.

#17 The characters Johnnie V. and Tracey Weathers are named for people we know (and love) personally.

#18 We chose Opium Perfume as Mother’s signature fragrance because it gives us both migraines.

#19 Neither of us have ever tried LSD, so we relied on reports from our more adventurous friends.

#20 Mother was originally intended to be a short, hard-hitter of about 80,000 words, but when the neighbors of Morning Glory Circle introduced themselves to us and began telling us their secrets, the novel grew. And grew.

Disclaimer: This guest post was received by the author or publisher - the opinions expressed within this post are the authors and do not always match those of the blog owner.  This post is not an endorsement of the book or product but to provide others information. 

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