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Hallowreads 2017!! 🎃

Hey all. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks. My little girl and I went back to my home town to spend some quality time with family and friends and to also celebrate my mum’s birthday. We had such an amazing time, it was so great seeing everyone again. I even got to pop into my old work and have a catch up with some of my ex colleagues! Of course they all adored Willow who was chatty and cheeky and walked round like she owned the place. 😂

Anyway, onto today’s post…
October is nearly upon us which means… Halloween season! Wooo! In my house that means watching as many scary movies as possible and reading spooky books! This October’s Halloween reads will be… 

The Crow Man by Katie M. John

Book of Spells by Christina Benjamin, Katie M. John, Carlyle Labuschagne, Caroline Gill, Susan Burdorf, and Tia Silverthorne Bach

Sooo excited for the release of The Crow Man by the fabulous Katie M. John and Book of Spells a spooky anthology by amazing authors Christina Benjamin, Katie M. John, Carlyle Labuschagne, Caroline Gill, Susan Burdorf, and Tia Silverthorne Bach! Perfect for the season!
What will YOU be reading?? Do you have any spooky, scary reads to recommend?

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Book Mail!

I always love getting books in the post! Today Penguin have
sent me “A New Darkness” and “The Dark Army” by Joseph Delaney and also “The Creeping Shadow” by Jonathan Stroud. Have any of you read the Spooks or Lockwood & Co series? I’m so excited to read these! I shall be saving them for Halloween season!

#bookmail #books #reading #amreading #horror #halloween #spooks #lockwoodandco #bookblogger #bookblog #blog #blogging #halloween

Halloween Bookfest. Book #1!

With it being Halloween month I, of course, wanted to fill my TBR list with scary, spooky books perfect for the season. I actually kicked my spooky Bookfest off with a book that may not be scary to read but is filled with scary “vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness” and that book is Demons of the Hellmouth A Guide For Slayers by Rupert Giles (Nancy Holder). 

 

How gorgeous is that cover?! I couldn’t have envisaged anything more perfect!

 
I received this as a gift from my boyfriend for my birthday last week. I cannot begin to tell you how excited and happy I was when I received it! Out of everything, this is what I had been wishing for the most. I began reading it on Saturday (had to finish reading The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman first) and finished reading it this morning (Monday). I loved it! It’s a little similar to The Monster Book but is written as though it’s Giles’ journal and the book itself is even designed like one, complete with photos and drawings -some made to look like they’ve been stuck in with sticky tape! – and also cool little side notes from the Scooby gang which makes it a little less “stuffy” 😝 to read.

 

The moustache on Sunday made me chuckle. As did Xander’s “dollars in the waistband” comment!

 
 

“Party in my eye socket” oh lol!

 
Being a huge Buffy fan, I felt so nostalgic and emotional reading it! It brought back so many memories! Like oh page 112 when Giles writes, ‘…my dream seemed to center around Spike being my son, an attack from the First Slayer, and … cheese.’ I was instantly transported back to the episode of Restless and the Cheese Man! “I wear the cheese, it does not wear me”. I love the Cheese Man! He was my favourite thing about that episode lol!

It was such a fantastic read and now I want to go and watch Buffy from the very beginning!

So what’s next on my Halloween Bookfest?? Well, I have decided to read some classic Stephen King and go with Misery. I loved the film but have never read the book so it’s time I changed that. I think I might need to leave the main light on for this, rather than ready by torchlight under the covers. Eek!

Review: The Chair by R.R. Sechi

Title: The Chair

Author: R.R. Sechi

Published: 21st February 2014

Publisher: Independent

Format: Paperback

Pages: 145

Blurb:

“John Anderson goes to the site of an old dilapidated mental institution called, ‘Willow Brook’, in the hope of finding a special chair previously used for electro-shock therapy. His wife, Jess is a ‘white’ witch who believes the chair possesses supernatural power. With the correct spells and incantations, she thinks that she may be able to control and direct its spiritual energy to her own devices. Some might say, they should have left it where it was…”

When I discovered that this was about a chair in a mental institute, my initial thought was: “Ohhh crap! Stories about mental institutes never end well” and by “end well” I mean that it’ll be mega spooky and will more than likely scare the crap out of me! That was then …

Does anybody else find it hard to get into a book when there’s lots of bad punctuation that hasn’t been corrected? Well that was my problem. By the third page, I just wanted to give up and throw it across the room. There were commas in the wrong places and commas where there should have been full stops. In general, it just wasn’t reading right and therefore the story wasn’t flowing the way it should. As a proofreader, problems like this really irk me. The author also changes the character’s thoughts from italics to normal and are sometimes in speech marks and sometimes not which was a teeny bit annoying.

At one point in the story Sarah (John’s girlfriend’s best friend) and John sit on the chair and get transported back to the 50s. Sarah finds herself in the body of a woman called Liz but a couple of pages later, Liz’s friend, Sherrie, calls her “Sarah” instead of “Liz”. Oops! As you can see, I found the story to be inconsistent at times. Another example being: The author seems to go from implying that John hardly knows his girlfriend’s best friend, Sarah, to then saying she’s the couple’s best friend and then back to saying John hardly knows her and that she’s Jess’ friend, not his. Also, as you may have seen from the blurb, John’s other half is known as his wife, yet in the book she’s his girlfriend. These kinda things really shouldn’t have been over looked by the author.

The constant misuse of “feint” instead of “faint” became really annoying and made me wonder if the book had been proofread by anyone before the author published it. (He eventually did get it right). This can also be said for the misuse of “to”, “too” and “two” and also “their” and “there”.
I can’t say I really liked the protagonist. He was quite weak willed and was clearly governed by his penis. In the beginning he seemed so sickeningly in love with his girlfriend (I even wondered if he was under some spell) that he would never hurt her, yet further into the story it didn’t take much for him to give into sexual desire and fall into bed with her best friend!
Imagination was a little lacking at times. For example: Sarah’s husband, Rick, sits in the chair as joke, disbelieving their claims that it has magical powers. He then disappears but comes back several hours later engulfed in flames. Both Jess and Sarah faint and then, after trying to unsuccessfully douse out the flames, John faints too! And I thought, “Really? That’s all you could come up with?”. I know it’s a shocking thing to happen but I honestly thought the character would have the balls to stay conscious and at least phone the emergency services! Shortly after, there is a scene where after ringing the police, they are handcuffed and taken to the station to be questioned. The police are adamant they are all guilty of murder, yet they haven’t even investigated the scene to find out how exactly Rick caught on fire! The only reason the police eventually go back to the house is because they were at a “dead end” and so want to see if they can find evidence to actually put John, Jess and Sarah in jail. They also go in an unmarked car! I find it very hard to believe that investigating a crime scene would actually work this way. I mean, why go in an unmarked car? It just looks suspicious! And only going there as a last resort? That’s ridiculous. They should have had an investigation going on at the house anyway!
The author seems to forget what he calls his characters as at one point Detective Inspector Barnes gets referred to as “John” which is actually the main character’s name. Now, it could be possible that his name *is* John too, but giving characters the same names in stories is usually avoided so it’s highly unlikely that this is the case.
Over halfway through the book, Barnes tells John, Jess and Sarah that he’s no idea how he’ll tell his peers about what has happened regarding the chair and the mysterious deaths and that they’ll probably be re-arrested. He then says this again to them a little over a page later! It’s just not necessary and this wasn’t the first time that something was repeated in the book. Repetitiveness is a pet peev of mine I’m afraid.
Near to the end of the book, Jess and Sarah have decided to return the chair back to the mental institution. Sarah suggests they should just leave it near the entrance but Jess says, “John told me he took it from somewhere in the basement so maybe we need to leave it there as whatever we do, I don’t want to have to come back!” What? Plot-wise, this just doesn’t make sense! The institution was burned down and is now derelict so why would they even need to go back? To me, it looks as though the writer has got something planned to happen in the basement and needed a way to get to that point. – It didn’t quite happen that way which made Jess’ earlier statement even more pointless.
The writing comes across as very amateur. In fact, I was reminded of when I was in year 9 (age 14) and my English teacher had crossed sections of my story out due to it being unnecessary or irrelevant to the plot. That is what I wanted to do with this book!
I was so relieved when I got to the end. I stuck with it in the hopes things would improve but sadly they didn’t. There was also no explanation as to why the chair seemed to have magical powers and would transport a person back into someone else’s memories who had previously been in the chair.
As you can see, I seem to have a lot of negative feelings towards this book and not a lot of good things to say. The premise of it was a good idea. It wasn’t exactly spooky like I thought it’d be and to be honest it was quite a frustrating read, though you may have guessed that. It’s not really a book I would recommend unless you can overlook the things I can’t.

If you would like me to review something please feel free to get in touch. I’d be happy to help. You can find out more on the “Requesting a Review” page.

My Weekly Kindle Ebook Picks. #1

Ok, so I’ve decided to do a new feature where once a week I’ll pick 10 Ebooks to showcase that are all under a £1. Sound good?

Here be this week’s installment:

1. Airel: The Awakening (The Airel Saga Book One) – Aaron Patterson & Chris White £0.00

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B004Y72XFA/ref=mp_s_a_1_38?qid=1407856724&sr=1-38&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?”

2. Shadow of Time – Book One – Jen Minkman £0.00

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00AOL7W38/ref=mp_s_a_1_16?qid=1407856558&sr=1-16&pi=SY200_QL40

“All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship.

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams?

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.”

3. Sabriel (The Old Kingdom) – Garth Nix £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00KCJAV0I/ref=mp_s_a_1_114?qid=1407843284&sr=1-114&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.”

4. Dark Aemelia – Sally O’Reilly £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00I7JCZU4/ref=mp_s_a_1_239?qid=1407854522&sr=1-239&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“In the boldest imagining of the era since Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth, this spellbinding novel of witchcraft, poetry and passion, brings to life Aemilia Lanyer, the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – the playwright’s muse and his one true love.
The daughter of a Venetian musician but orphaned as a young girl, Aemilia Bassano grows up in the court of Elizabeth I, becoming the Queen’s favourite. She absorbs a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a striking young woman with a sharp mind and a quick tongue. Now brilliant, beautiful and highly educated, she becomes mistress of Lord Hunsdon, the Lord Chamberlain and Queen’s cousin. But her position is precarious; when she falls in love with court playwright William Shakespeare, her fortunes change irrevocably.
A must-read for fans of Tracy Chevalier (Girl With a Pearl Earring) and Sarah Dunant (The Birth of Venus), Sally O’Reilly’s richly atmospheric novel compellingly re-imagines the struggles for power, recognition and survival in the brutal world of Elizabethan London. She conjures the art of England’s first professional female poet, giving us a character for the ages – a woman who is ambitious and intelligent, true to herself and true to her heart.”

5. Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B005HPMB6Y/ref=mp_s_a_1_242?qid=1407854631&sr=1-242&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him, but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter, he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack. In summer, he has a few precious months to be human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet, they realize they can’t bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human – or risk losing himself, and Grace, for ever.”

6. Stilts (Tessa Dark Trilogy) Book One – Tim O’Rourke £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00H0GUA8E/ref=mp_s_a_1_270?qid=1407854770&sr=1-270&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“From Tim O’Rourke, the # 1 bestselling author of the Kiera Hudson series, comes ‘Stilts’, the first book in a new dystopian trilogy.

While eighteen-year-old, Tessa Dark was serving her prison sentence for murder, the world beyond her cell walls changed forever. The thunder came and destroyed the world she had once known. Trapped inside the prison and faced with no future, Tessa’s only glimmer of hope is her friendship with fellow inmate Joe McBride.

Despite Tessa’s fears, Joe decides to go beyond the prison walls to seek help. But when he fails to return, Tessa is determined to go and search for him. To gain her freedom, Tessa must first learn to walk, run, and fight on stilts if she is to survive the new and terrifying world on the other side of the prison walls.”

7. The Girl With Glass feet – Ali Shaw £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0038A852Y/ref=mp_s_a_1_432?qid=1407855150&sr=1-432&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“A mysterious metamorphosis has taken hold of Ida MacLaird – she is slowly turning into glass. Fragile and determined to find a cure, she returns to the strange, enchanted island where she believes the transformation began, in search of reclusive Henry Fuwa, the one man who might just be able to help…

Instead she meets Midas Crook, and another transformation begins: as Midas helps Ida come to terms with her condition, they fall in love. What they need most is time – and time is slipping away fast.”

8. Ash – James Herbert £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00844Y5UU/ref=mp_s_a_1_29?qid=1407855762&sr=1-29&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“David Ash – detective of the paranormal – is sent to the mysterious Comraich Castle, secluded deep in the Scottish countryside, to investigate a strange, high-profile case: a man has been found crucified – in a room that was locked. The reports suggest that the cliff-top castle is being haunted . . .

Who – or what – is the reclusive hooded figure that Ash has seen from the window walking across the courtyard in the dead of night?
What are the strange, animal-like sounds that come from the surrounding woods?
And why are the castle’s inhabitants so reluctant to talk about what they have seen?

. . . what Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking.”

9. We Were Liars – E Lockhart £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00JWOJ8LM/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1407842718&sr=1-2&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“We are the Liars.

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.

We are cracked and broken.

A story of love and romance.

A tale of tragedy.

Which are lies?

Which is truth?”

10. The Best Thing I Never Had – Erin Lawless £0.99

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00GLGZUS4/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?qid=1407842718&sr=1-12&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

“ ‘So much more than a love story, more of a life story.’

Five years ago at university they had been seven friends that laughed hard and loved harder.

Nicky and Miles were the couple that were always meant to be… Leigha and Adam, not so much…

So when Adam and Harriet grew close during endless days in the library, they did the one thing that changed everything – they kept a secret. And when it came out, it all fell apart.

When the day comes for bridesmaids to be chosen and best men to fulfil drunken promises, Nicky and Miles’ wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion – loaded with past hurts, past regrets, past loves…

The Best Thing I Never Had is in turns funny and sad, but always honest, about friendship in all its forms and the practicality of second chances.

If you fell in love with Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello and David Nicholls’ One Day, then this stunning debut book is for you.”

What do you think? Have you read any of these? I have We Were Liars on my kindle but have yet to read it. I’ve read Shiver and I loved it as well as the rest of the series, though I’ve yet to read the spin off “Sinner”. I haven’t read any of the other books on this list but I think they all sound interesting.

The Well Review by Dayna

The Well-Peter Labrow.

Trapped. Missing. Cursed. Fourteen-year-old Becca Richards and her stepbrother have fallen to the bottom of an ancient well. Their parents are away; they won’t be missed for days. The predatory man who had been stalking Becca now switches his attentions to her best friend. Two women who know where Becca is trapped are desperate that she should never escape. Over the course of a week, family, friends and strangers are drawn together by a terrible shared fate – from which not all will escape. ‘The Well’ is a darkly gripping tale about how we respond to the hand fate has dealt us – and the consequences of our choices. The Well deftly intertwines a story of supernatural horror with a tale of one of the greatest fears of modern life. As the book progresses, the two stories become one – driving relentlessly towards a single, thrilling finale. The Well is a fast-paced, riveting story that will grip you – and keep you guessing – until the very end.

Totally creeptastic! An incredibly chilling and disturbing read. When I saw the title I thought, “What on earth could happen in a well that takes 260 pages to explain?” as it happens, a lot! I really like the fact that the book is written from each character’s point of view. It makes a change to know what each character is thinking. The main focus of the story is on Becca and Matt who fall down a well after fooling around but you also get to know the lives of the other characters. Each characters paths then eventually cross and it’s a race against time to get Becca and Matt out but there is a much, much darker reason as to how they came to end up in the well which unravels as the story progresses.

Labrow doesn’t sugar coat stuff and is brutally honest about certain things that happen in the book which I found shocking at times yet refreshing; he really does get inside his characters heads and have them talk, think or do things that, when you think about it, would actually be quite realistic for a person to do or think but are usually too shocking for most authors to reveal in their books. I have to admit there were times when I found certain parts quite unsettling but I just couldn’t stop reading – It had gripped me by its’ claws and refused to let go. It had me scared witless at times and if this was a movie I’d be hiding behind that cushion throughout the whole film – seriously! It has been years since I have felt so scared and creeped out by a book that I was afraid to go to bed in case of nightmares. Stephen King, you have some serious competition there my friend!

If you love your horror and being scared silly, then this book is definitely for you!

I rate this book 5/5

Check out the trailer!

Visit Peter Labrow to find out more!

The Well can be purchased from Amazon as either an ebook or paperback .

Note: This was a review copy given to us by the author.

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