BLOG TOUR W/ GIVEAWAY: Damned by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor

Print Length: 427 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 3, 2017)
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Language: English
ASIN: B073QYW64Y



Praise for DAMNED


“… seamlessly blends mystery, magic and matters of the heart to create and enthralling read.” ―RT Book Reviews

“Damned is absolutely riveting, an absolute page turner. Just when you think the carnival ride is over you discover it’s barley begun… If you only read one book, this should be it.” ―Tracy Riva, Midwest Book Review

“Damned is full of intricate characters, voodoo, and a luxurious setting that will steal your breath away. You’ll want to follow Magnus and Lexie to Hell and back, and that’s stunningly likely.” ―Mercedes B. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Little Dead Red

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.

Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennett, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.

A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.

As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.

Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

 

MY REVIEW

I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Jean Book Nerd for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

Damned is the second book I’ve read from Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor. The first one is a YA thriller. Damned is a horror/thriller that centers on a couple and them moving to a house that has more than just a bit of faulty wiring.

I am a sucker for a ghost story. I love the ambiance of a haunted house and the twisted tales that are within the walls. The creepier and more interesting, the better. Damned has both of those qualities. Altmover Manor is a mansion on a cliff and begs to be in a ghost story. Add in the spirits of a previous owner and another person, you get a juicy start.

The book itself is well written and does keep you entertained as you are reading. However, I felt it may have been better separated into two separate entities. There is a lot of information and there is a change of tone in the mid-way mark. That said, the second half doesn’t pull away from the story. It just expands on the world. Like a sequel would.

The book can be a bit slow moving but I feel this was designed to add to the suspense. There is a lot of interesting detail and though I did dislike Will in the beginning, the characters were believable. No worries, by the way, Will gets better personality wise and there’s a reason why he was the way he was.

All in all, I did enjoy the book and wouldn’t say no to reading the second or even the prequel. I actually have a feeling that if I read the prequel first, this book would lose the slow-moving feel.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

You can purchase Damned at the following Retailers:
       
Photo Content from Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is a multi-award-winning author from New York. He has resided in Central America, the Middle East, and traveled throughout Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is a writer and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

 
Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

        

PART ONE

MARCH 11th MONDAY BookHounds EXCERPT
MARCH 12th TUESDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW
MARCH 12th TUESDAY Bookriot REVIEW
MARCH 13th WEDNESDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
MARCH 14th THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
MARCH 15th FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW 


PART TWO
MARCH 16th SATURDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
MARCH 16th SATURDAY FUONLYKNEW EXCERPT
MARCH 16th SATURDAY Kelly P’s Blog REVIEW
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Stephanie’s Life of Determination REVIEW
MARCH 17th SUNDAY Lisa-Queen of Random EXCERPT

 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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TRAILER BLAST: Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Hell has a new master

In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.

When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.

Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.

Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.  

 

Praise for BLACKWELL

“… seamlessly blends mystery, magic and matters of the heart to create an enthralling read.” ―RT Book Reviews

BLACKWELL
Gold (1st Place) Winner — Mystery
Silver (2nd Place) Winner — Adult Fiction 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards

FINALIST
2017 International Book Awards Honorable Mention
2017 Readers’ Favorite

FINALIST
Foreword Reviews 2017 INDIES
Book of the Year Awards in Horror

2018 GOLD AND SILVER MEDAL WINNER, FEATHERED QUILL BOOK AWARDS
“I love the storyline and period of time (turn of the century). The author throws fire on many pages through vibrant dialogue and fantastic scene writing. The end is far from predictable, and so satisfying and rewarding. The care and attention to detail with cover art and layout is near perfect.” ―Feathered Quill Book Awards Judges’ Comments 

AWARD-WINNING FINALIST INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, 
2017 READERS’ FAVORITE HONORABLE MENTION FOR SUPERNATURAL FICTION
2017 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS

AN EXCERPT

“My new book.” He held it out to Magnus. “I hope you like it.”

Magnus took the book and read the title in gold on the cover. “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” He glanced up at Oscar. “What is it about?”

“You.” Oscar pointed at him. “Or my interpretation of you. A man so obsessed with his greatness he thinks he is above sin. During our time together in New Orleans, I kept telling you that you would make a great character in one of my books. I based the main character, Dorian Gray, on you.”

“Me?” Magnus sounded genuinely surprised. “I don’t know what to say.”

Oscar took a seat on the corner of his desk. “The more I wrote him, the more he reminded me of you.”

Magnus put the book on the desk. “I shall treasure it along with your letters. If you ever become famous, I can sell them and make a fortune.”

 

Copyright © 2017 by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

 

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is a multi-award-winning author from New York. He has resided in Central America, the Middle East, and traveled throughout Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is a writer and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALEXANDREA WEIS AND LUCAS ASTOR

1 WINNER WILL RECEIVE A $20 PAYPAL/AMAZON GIFT CARD ~Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13+ to enter giveaway

!!TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CLICK HERE!!

Giveaway ends March 25, 2019

~CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR BY CLICKING HERE~

Book #15: Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz

Bad things come in small packages . . .
EPIC Award finalist Howard Odentz has penned twenty-six disturbingly fascinating horror stories about the youngest predators among us.
From Andy and Boris to Yuri and Zena, this eclectic anthology is filled, A to Z, with psychopaths, monsters, and murderers!
So turn on the lights and huddle under your blankets because murder isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Come meet our gallery of little killers.
After all, they’re dying to meet you!
Author and playwright Howard Odentz is a lifelong resident of the gray area between Western Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. His love of the region is evident in his writing as he often incorporates the foothills of the Berkshires and the small towns of the Bay and Nutmeg states into his work.
5 Stars “a relentless, thrilling ride” – Court Street Literary, on Bloody Bloody Apple.
“Howard Odentz takes this mis-mosh of dysfunctional characters and puts together a wonderful story that is equal parts horror and love.” – Scared Stiff Reviews, on Bloody Bloody Apple.
 

I received a copy of this book via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone.

From the first chapter, I was a bit hesitant about this book. The first chapter is a poem that hints at what each character’s story was about. It worried me for two reasons. I was a bit worried that every story would be in some kind of poem form. Which is a cool concept but I have some trouble reading things in poem form. The other reason was that I had just realized how many letters were in the alphabet and despite the Audible app saying that the book wasn’t very long, I was envisioning a long book.

These worries were silly.

Each story is well written, unique, and pulled you into their own world. I found myself trying to fit them all into my own headcanon universe, and, I still think it could work. There are some darker ones, some lighter ones, some that are supernatural, and others that make you question sanity.

Another thing I liked about the stories is the broad range of ages, racial identity, and sexualities. It made even the most unusual story that bit of possible.

As for the narrator and audiobook as a whole, it was well executed. The narrator’s voice didn’t sway me away from the story and the background music between stories only helped the experience along.

All in all, Odentz wrote a great collection of short stories each one able to hold on their own and be entertaining. I might reread this one in October. It is definitely an October read.

Final Rating: 4/5

BLOG TOUR: Jinxed by Thommy Hutson

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (March 13, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781944109127
ISBN-13: 978-1944109127
ASIN: 1944109129

Praise for JINXED[Hutson] creates a gore-filled throwback to the classic teen slasher flick genre … Graphically detailed descriptions make it clear that this work of horror isn’t for the faint of heart. ―Publishers Weekly

Thommy Hutson’s ‘Jinxed’ is a Must Read for Classic Horror Fans (linked to full iHorror review)
“Hutson … knocked it completely out of the park … with an expertly paced, cinematic slasher in a setting that would make Agatha Christie proud.” ―Waylon Jordan, iHorror.com

“…gory but captivating … a masked murderer starts picking off the teens, killing them all in theatrically grisly ways. … entertaining” ―School Library Journal

“Thommy Hutson is the ultimate authority in nostalgia-driven storytelling.” ―Clive Barker, Bestselling Author of Books of Blood and The Thief of Always

“Jinxed is the teen whodunit that Wes Craven and Lois Duncan never made. Hutson has created the best new slasher franchise since Scream.” ―Peter M. Bracke, Author of Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

“A dark, tension-filled thriller that’s wicked to the very end. Bad luck was never so much fun!” ―Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of Final Destination

High School Can Be a Real Killer

Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack

Innocent childhood superstitions …

But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.

Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.

Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?

You can purchase JINXED at the following Retailers:

  

MY REVIEW
I received a copy of Jinxed for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
I am a huge horror fan. I tend to lean on the psychological horror more than the physical horror, but there are days that I just need a bit more slash and a little less brain work. Jinxed is a young adult slasher fic. Not flick.
The writing is easy to get into and if you like a bit of gore to your slash, this book isn’t missing out on it. That said, I found the story pretty easy to figure out. At least, for this book. From the website, it looks like there are two others in the future. I can only imagine what will happen and I’m excited to see where Hutson plans on going with his prestigious school meets murder.
Despite that, there was one aspect in the storytelling that made the book a tad bit difficult for me. There are quite a few scene jumps in the chapters. It took me a bit to get used to it but once I did, I was having an enjoyable time with the narrative. The characters were interesting and I did find myself gravitating towards a few.
The story also played out like a slasher movie or tv show and I can’t help but wonder if this would make for something really interesting on screen. In fact, I would propose that it does happen. I’d watch it.
I could go into detail with the specific murders and the characters but to do that, I might give away certain details. Where’s the fun in that?
All in all, Jinxed had a level of nostalgia that is reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s slasher movies. I would say this is a good book for anyone just starting out the horror genre or even the seasoned veterans. For me, I’ll be waiting to see what’s in store for the next one.
Final Rating: 3/5
Photo Content from Vesuvian Books

Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy Hutson graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!

His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY (Bio Channel), NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY (Bio Channel), MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD (Chiller) and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th (Starz/Anchor Bay).

He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.

Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.

He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.

Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.

He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”

Thommy also wrote the screenplay for Syfy Channel’s supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE, which was a trending topic on social media the night of its release.

As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon & Schuster reached number one in Amazon.com’s Movie History & Criticism category. His latest novel, the teen thriller “Jinxed,” (Vesuvian Media) is the first book of a trilogy and has been called “A must-read for classic horror fans…Inevitable and shocking. Brutal and beautiful. Homage and originality…Hutson could easily take on the mantle as the next Lois Duncan.”

He is currently scripting a film for The Hallmark Channel as well as writing another book that definitively details the history, making, and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.

A member of the Producers Guild of America and Horror Writers Association, and an aficionado of horror and teen movies from the 80s and 90s, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling, and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.

 

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT JANUARY 28, 2019

     ***WINNER RECEIVES $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD***
  • Giveaway is open Internationally
  • Must be 13+ to enter

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

WEEK ONE
JANUARY 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
JANUARY 8th TUESDAY Insane About Books EXCERPT
JANUARY 9th WEDNESDAY Crossroad Reviews TENS LIST
JANUARY 10th THURSDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW
JANUARY 11th FRIDAY J.R.’s Book Reviews REVIEW


WEEK TWO
JANUARY 12th SATURDAY A Bella Fairy Tale REVIEW
JANUARY 13th SUNDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
JANUARY 14th MONDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
JANUARY 15th TUESDAY RhythmicBooktrovert REVIEW
JANUARY 16th WEDNESDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW 


WEEK THREE
JANUARY 17th THURSDAY Stephanie’s Life of Determination REVIEW & FILL IN THE
JANUARY 18th FRIDAY A Bronx Latina Reads REVIEW & EXCERPT
JANUARY 19th SATURDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW & EXCERPT
JANUARY 20th SUNDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
JANUARY 20th SUNDAY My Chaotic Ramblings REVIEW

 

Book #4: Releasing La Lechuza by A.K. Dickerson

Releasing La Lechuza
A.K. Dickerson

Are You Brave Enough To Explore Crystal Mountain?

Everyone in Escape had heard the legend of La Lechuza. The eerie cries at night, hikers that disappear with only bones found scattered along the base of the mountain. Tales of Spanish Conquistadors who chased the owl-witch into the cave systems of Crystal Mountain hundreds of years ago has been enough to keep citizens and visitors alike from setting foot on Crystal Mountain. No one has seen the owl-witch, but all have heard her terrifying cries at night. Theme park developer Cole Jackson is determined to put the legend of La Lechuza to rest once and for all by building an underground theme park inside of Crystal Mountain. When a team of university students is sent into Crystal Mountain Caves to determine suitability for the project, they encounter a beast their zoology classes never prepared them for. La Lechuza is real and she is angry, hungry, and ready to be released.

A.K. Dickerson’s Debut Horror Novella Releases in Just THREE DAYS!
Early Reviews Say This About Releasing La Lechuza:

” A fast paced horror story that doesn’t hold back on the gory details “

“The world building and flow of the plot worked seamlessly to create this story that pays out in the reader’s mind”

“This is a well written book. The characters and story drew me in and I had to continue reading. Although horror is not my normal choice for reading, this book handled all the elements well and I could not stop reading until I had finished the story.”

“Loved unique characters. It’s got everything good horror story needs evil witch blood, gore and murder. Great read”
#horror #fantasy #witches #gore #blood #murder #monsters #crazyink#urbanlegend #escapefromrealityseries

Preorder Now Available!
http://mybook.to/ReleasingLaLec

MY REVIEW

I received a copy from one of the authors for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I jumped at this story solely on the fact that it was a horror novella. It didn’t hurt that the monster of the book was La Lechuza.

For those who do not know the story, La Lechuza is an urban legend. The legend goes is that a witch gave her soul to the devil. According to legend, people will see a half owl- half woman creature. This is Lechuza.

If this is a disturbing image, A.K. Dickerson, an author duo, prove to make the image even more disturbing with the deaths of the characters.

The story is filled with an ensemble cast, each figure with their own motivations and struggles. The group come together to study the wildlife and plants of a mountainous cave. In the process, they get more than what they wanted.

As I was reading this novella, I felt a bit of a monster movie nostalgia. I am big on monster movies and the mix of gore horror with monster movie feel really grabbed me. Now, let me rephrase that, I don’t mean SyFy or Kaiju monster (though I love those), I mean there is a monster movie feel that is similar to the black and white movies. Not Dracula but not Them. Sort of in the middle. Whatever the case may be, I had that feel and it was great.

The story is gory but not enough to really deter you from the reading. If anything, it just enhances the feeling of fear. The story is simple but enjoyable and it doesn’t prevent you from forming a relationship with one of the characters. I personally liked Sofia and Roman the best.

All in all, I enjoyed the novella and will be reading more from the authors.

Final Rating: 3/5

Book #100: Exorcist Falls by Jonathan Janz

Chicago is gripped by terror. The Sweet Sixteen Killer is brutally murdering young women, and the authorities are baffled.

When the police are called to an affluent home in the middle of the night, they learn that a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his family. The boy exhibits signs of demonic possession, and even more troublingly, he knows too much about the Sweet Sixteen killings. Father Jason Crowder, a young priest assigned to the case, must marshal his courage in order to save the boy and the entire city from the forces of evil.

But this is a darkness mankind has never encountered before. It craves more than blood. And it won’t rest until it possesses Father Crowder’s soul.

This volume brings together the original novella that started it all—Exorcist Road—and an all-new full-length novel (Exorcist Falls) for a shattering experience in supernatural terror.

I received an audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. There was no compensation for this review and everything that follows is my opinion and mine alone.
Exorcist Falls is a double feature of sorts that center around possession and the main character Father Jason Crowder. It is divided in half with the novella, Exorcist Road setting the tone and backstory to Exorcist Falls. You don’t necessarily need to read one before the other, but if you do, the story becomes more.
If that made any sense… what I mean by more, I mean that the emotional response to the story is more impactful.
Anyways, the book does illicit quite a few emotions. I found myself yelling at the book as well as turning it off many times during my time of listening. That doesn’t happen often. But this did that.
I also suggested this read to two of my friends. It’s a book I would read again.
For the narration, the narrator really brings the story to life. I usually find male narrators a hit and miss. This is only because female voices tend to be difficult. That said, there wasn’t an issue determining who was female or male when the narration was without dialogue cues. The narrator also made Father Crowder more relatable and human.
All in all, the writing was awesome and the narrator was a good choice. I will definitely be cool with reading the book again (I’m not much of a rereading kind of gal). It is perfect for the Fall and Winter season.
Final Rating: 4/5

Book #95: The Remnant by Channing Whitaker

In this suspense-filled, neo-monster, horror novelette, a writer named Gene Winfield discovers an ominous, handwritten book among the belongings of his late, adventurer aunt. As Gene reads, he becomes captivated with the volume’s account of a savage, unearthly creature. In spite of the book’s warning, with his writing career failing, Gene can’t resist the inspiration. Near the roaring fire in his aunt’s otherwise cold, empty manor, Gene begins a story of his own, but will he unleash more than his imagination…

I received an audio code through Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made in exchange for this review.

Now that that’s out of the way, The Remnant is a short horror/suspense story. It starts off just before the death of Gene’s aunt and then follows Gene through his process of her estate and his failing writing career.

Since the story is short, it would be hard for me to make a long review that doesn’t spoil the rest of it to you. Suffice to say that for a pretty basic premise, the story lent itself to be suspenseful. The evil itself was just enough to keep you wanting more. There is also a twist ending that may or may not be easy to figure out.

I would read more from Channing Whitaker.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #73: Night Night Sleep Tight by Various Authors

Warning – These stories are not for the faint-hearted. This anthology is intended for readers aged 18+. 

‘When you wake up randomly in the night, there’s a good chance someone or something was watching you’ 
A bump in the night wakes you, the jolt just as you’re about to sleep could be something much more sinister than you thought, the sound outside your window is much more than a branch knocking in the wind, and no, you didn’t imagine that shadow in the corner of your eye… 
Night Night, Sleep Tight explores the horrific things that happen at night, from sleep paralysis to monsters hiding under the bed. 
So, Night Night, Sleep Tight, and don’t let them get you… 

Introduction by R. L. Weeks 
Under my Bed – Erin Lee 
Butcher’s Wife – K. L. Roth 
Embers and Ashes – Mary Duke 
Villisca Unraveled by A. Maslo 
The Pendant by Lorah Jaiyn 

I received an audiobook code from the publisher for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

What a way to grab my attention and spur the need for horror! Each story centered on the theme that there are things that happen should you sleep. Each one had their own twist, their own flavor, and I really liked most of them.

Out of the whole anthology, the last two were my least favorite. That said, I still enjoyed this book and it definitely put me in the mood for Fall.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #69: Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

This is a book that I decided to audio versus reading the physical copy. The reason for this is . . . well, I don’t care for the picture in text gimmick. I didn’t care for Miss Peregrine’s with that and Asylum has a similar deal (though not to the same extent). Don’t get me wrong, the pictures were creepy. I just don’t think the pictures are needed if the story itself is good.

And the story was decent. It had a beginning, middle, and end. It wasn’t an oh my god horrifying kind of horror, but it also wasn’t bad. It did make the gears turn and the shivers to go up the spine. The concept was good. Sure, I could handle more and wanted more in the horror factor, but for what it was, I liked it.

The ending did feel a bit off. It felt a bit like a Deus Ex Machina in style and a bit left field, but it wasn’t horrible. I did like the final conflict and was wanting more of it, though the book ended in a sort of cliffhanger.

I did recommend this to my sister and I would say to the person who likes Miss Peregrine’s because of the photographs, read this book. For the person who likes a little bit of creep to their reading time, read this book. It felt like a slightly older Goosebumps.

Final Rating: 3/5

Book #65: Undead Ultra (A Zombie Novel) by Camille Picott

Undead: a reanimated corpse with a craving for human flesh.

Ultramarathon: any footrace longer than a traditional marathon (26.2 miles).

For ultrarunners Kate and Frederico, a typical Saturday morning is spent pounding out a twenty- to thirty-mile “fun run.” It’s during one of their runs that an insidious illness descends upon northern California, turning humans into flesh-shredding zombies.

When Kate receives a desperate call from her son, Carter, she and Frederico flee their hometown and set out to help him. The only problem? Carter attends college over two hundred miles away and the freeways—clogged with car wrecks, zombies, and government blockades—are impassable. Running back roads and railroad tracks becomes their only means of travel, but neither of them has ever run so far before.

As pain, injuries, hunger, and fatigue plague them, getting to Carter and staying alive seem impossible. It’s either outrun the undead or become one of them, and for Kate, death is not an option.

So, this was supposed to be one of those awesome free copies without compensation for an honest review, but I accidentally deleted and emptied my trashcan before I could get the code and use it in Audible. That said, I was planning on buying it even if I didn’t get the code. So, I bought the book. And OMG.

I LOVE this book.

The narrator is well chosen. Her voice used for the MC’s son may be a bit nasally and sound like a kid despite him being past adolescence in some parts, but it wasn’t a big deal. Just something to note.

The first thing you think about when a zombie outbreak happens is by no means run. Yes, run away from the creatures, but you wouldn’t think to run over 200 miles to family. You’d choose a car. But Picott really sets into motion something I didn’t think about and yes, a car is probably a bad idea.

I am a horror buff. I love my classic horrors and new. I love the idea of twisting and changing the norms of horror and this book did that. I actually have the Zombies, Run app and I love it for the running and storyline. I got both in Undead Ultra.

I was disturbed, gasping, and there were some tears welling up in certain places. I never even knew there were running stores or ultraraces. Truly, I thought the serious long distance runner was more like a Hollywood gimmick to illustrate the character’s physical exertion in a life transition. But no, ultraracing is real. These people are badass. Even without the zombies!

I was not only in the story, but I was on the trail with Kate and Frederico. I was feeling the sweat. I was hearing the moans. And I loved every second of it.

So much so that I have found my hobby. I have always loved the treadmill, but I never really told myself it was cool to be a runner. I gotta tell ya, it’s fucking cool. I am a person who likes to have a direction. And I have decided to start running. Just three days a week.

I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is the sole reason for it, I’ve wanted to run and I did like it, but I didn’t have a goal with that running and this book presented me a goal. No, I don’t plan on running 200+ miles during a zombie apocalypse, but I have decided that I want to participate and not DNF in an ultrarace. It’s not going to happen over night. Hell, I can barely run all the way through a 5k. I need practice. But, I have a goal. And I’m excited for it.

So, Picott, you have made a beginning runner in me and I loved this book. Just one big question though . . . I know this can stay a standalone, but OMG I loved it so much that I would scarf down a sequel in a heartbeat, any chance you can make this fangirl’s dream come true? Just saying.

Final Rating: 5/5