Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stories are wild creatures

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
215 pages
Buy it @ book depository

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

Review: What can I say that probably hasn't already been said about this. It's so sad at times but also funny, Patrick Ness weaves such a beautiful story and the illustrations compliment it so well. I wasn't sure what to expect when a friend first showed me the book trailer. I just remembering feeling that this was going to be something truly special and it was.

Conor gets visited by an ancient monster at seven minutes past midnight, and the monster isn't who he was expecting. Conor isn't scared of this monster, he has seen worse in his nightmares. This monster wants to know the truth but first he has some tales to tell before Conor must tell the fourth.

As the story unfolds it felt very obvious to me what was happening but what we find out at the end is kind of unexpected but not in a way you think. This book is so hard to explain because nothing is really as it seems.

It honors stories and how they make the reader feel. I urge people to please read this! The only way you are going to truly know what I mean is by reading it. I've recommended this to so many people so far and convinced them to read it.

I'm am really looking forward to reading "The knife of never letting go" also by Patrick Ness as it has been on my radar of books to read for a long time now.

Check out the Book Smugglers review of this book, it's very inspiring!


On the cover: This cover is amazing! It helps give an image of the monster in your mind. What you can't see are the also amazing illustrations through-out the book. You see a few in the above book trailer.

What I'm reading next: Nevermore by James Patterson

Have you read a book that you can't seem to explain how it made you feel?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Publisher's Showcase

On Tuesday night (4th) I was lucky enough to go to the Publisher's Showcase at the State Library of Victoria. We heard from lots of publishers discussing a couple of their favorite books from 2012 and a couple of books to look forward to in 2013.

We got a fantastic goodie bag filled some books and lots of information from the publisher's upcoming titles.
Below are pictures of the four books we got.

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Things a map won't show you edited by Susan Lamarca & Pam MacIntyre
I made lattes for a love god by Wendy Harmer
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Some of my favorite books that I want to read from the night were:

The Shadow Girl by John Larkin
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Who could that be at this hour? by Lemony Snicket
The Farm by Emily McKay
Timmy Failure: Mistakes were made by Stephen Pastis
Earthfall by Mark Walden
Hidden by Marianne Curley
Girl Defective by Simmone Howell
Into that Forest by Louis Nowra

Have you got any books you're looking forward to?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Beauty or Beast

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
482 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches of Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.
When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.
Even if they stay together, can they stay alive?
A breathtaking ride that will make your heart race.

Review: My first thoughts of this book when I started reading were that the writing was so beautiful but I couldn't connect with the story.

I read "The Wolves of Mercy Falls" (also by Stiefvater) and was interested at the idea behind the story but I didn't really connect with the main characters. It was the same feeling I had when I was reading this, such a unique idea to write a story about sea horses that eat people but the people still go ahead and 'tame' them to ride them in the "Scorpio Races". It took me 300 pages before I started to love the book, it took an interesting turn and I started to feel for Puck & Sean.

We read the book from two characters points of view; Puck (aka Kate Connolly) & Sean. The book doesn't go backwards and forwards between characters, as in one chapter Puck the next Sean. At times you will read three consecutive chapters from Puck's point of view. This I found a little confusing at times when I didn't concentrate on which character I was reading, at times it was quite funny because I would think I'm reading Sean's part when in fact it was Puck. The times when I did this the most was at the end because I wanted to rush through to find out what happened next.

I have to mention Corr. Corr is Sean's waterhorse that he has ridden in the last 4 'Scorpio Races'. Sean has created a close bond with this beast and I couldn't help but fall for Corr by the end. I think it's because we see Corr through Sean's eyes and see the love that's there.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned in previous reviews before but I'm not a crier. I rarely cry in movies or books and if either of these achieve tears then they must be good! Well I didn't cry at the end but my eyes did well up. I don't want to give too much away but it felt like losing a pet and them finding their way back to you.

I have taken a star off mainly because I didn't have that connection to begin with but it got there in the end. On a side note, I liked how the book threw you in the deep end when it came to the story behind the waterhorses or 'capill usice', as you read you learn bits and pieces of background mythology.

Read my other Maggie Stiefvater reviews: 'Shiver', 'Linger', 'Forever'

On the cover: I LOVE this cover! It's so pretty and the swirls continue onto the back cover as well.

What I'm reading next: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Have you read a Maggie Stiefvater book before?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

90's cartoons were and are awesome!

This is my part two to my nostalgic post about kids TV shows I grew up watching and loving. This time I'm showing you some shows from the 90's, so enjoy!

Captain Planet and the planeteers

Captain Planet, what can I say? A blue guy with green hair helping some teens to save the planet, very cool!

Widget the World Watcher

That purple alien sent to save the earth from evil. Another cartoon based on saving the planet, looks like they were trying to tell us to care for our planet over 20 years ago!

The Ren & Stimpy Show

That crazy cat & dog pair who are crude and hilarious!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Those Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were awesome! I loved the Pink Ranger of course.


Gotta catch 'em all! I remember getting up early before school to watch Pokemon on tv, I still play it on my gameboy :)

What cartoons did you love to watch as a kid?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handle with care...because you'll be disappointed

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
477 Pages
Buy it @ book depository

Things break all the time.

Day breaks, waves break, voices break.

Promises break.

Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

Review: Firstly I need to say I didn't actually finish this book. My initial reason for not finishing this is because I was bored and one of the characters frustrated me. But that wasn't my final reason for not finishing.

I've read many Picoult books before so I know what to expect from them but this one felt like she simply used her formula of 'Mum', 'Dad', 'Child with issue', 'Sibling', 'Lawyer' & 'Extra' as her characters and picking something wrong with the child that is confronting and completely devastating.

You find out that Willow (the Child with issue) has Osteogenesis Imperfecta also known as OI or what I liked to call it, brittle bones. She is born with it and will have hundreds of breaks over a period of her life. I wanted to know what someone with OI would look like so I googled it and I was deeply disturbed. The pictures I found on the internet were so horrific I had to stop looking.

Basically, Willow's mother decides that she can sue her obstetrician (which happens to be her best friend) for not picking up Willow's disability in an early ultrasound.

There were 15 discs in this Audiobook and I had gotten to the 6th Disc and was so bored! Willow's sister really irritated me too. I was sick of her always complaining about living in 'the sticks', not being able to go to the mall and many other teenage selfishness because of her sister's disability. While Willow was the one not complaining even if she had a bad break! I just wished that for once Picoult had written about a sibling that was supportive of not only her disabled brother/sister but also her parents. I know a lot of teenagers think of only themselves but it would've made at least one character interesting in the story.

There was a side story with the lawyer being adopted and trying to find her birth mother. So I'm assuming Picoult put that in there to flesh out the story because there wasn't enough in the main story to keep people interested.

So because of these two things (boring & sister was annoying) I decided to skip to the 13th Disc to see how the story was going and found that it was up to the court case and was still boring! I then went onto Wikipedia to read the plot and found out what happens in the end and I was angry! I was so glad I didn't invest my time listening to this just to have THAT happen in the end, I would've felt like throwing the audiobook out the window of the car! People who have read this will know what I'm talking about.

That's when I made the decision to not continue listening, I could've put up with boring and the annoying sister but not that happening in the end. I have read other reviews about this book and some people think the same as me.

On the Cover: The little girl on this cover is really adorable and her eyelashes are awesome! I wish I had eyelashes like that.

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Have you read a book that you were glad you didn't finish?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

'Tis the Season to be jolly

Don't you just love Christmas? I know I do. Living in Australia we don't get a white Christmas which is disappointing because snow makes everything look magical. I also love buying & receiving gifts, I like to see the look on people's faces when they're opening up their present I chose for them. What I also like about Christmas is that you get a holiday to spend with your loved ones, and after a year of work it's nice to have some time off. Yesterday I put up my Christmas Tree and wrapped a whole lot of presents, phew took me most of the day! But there is more wrapping to be done (once I buy some extra gifts).

Above is a cute Christmas video I made using Animoto to showcase some of my Christmassy products available through my Love Sami Facebook page

Do you love or loath Christmas?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mary Quinn is on the job

The Traitor and the Tunnel (The Agency #3) by Y. S. Lee
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
373 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace - and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose.

Review: I love these books. Mary Quinn is an awesome character; she's witty, brave and independent which a big thing for a women living in the 19th century. 

Some time has passed since the previous book and Mary has finally graduated and become an official detective with The Agency. She has been given her first assignment since graduating to work as a maid in the Buckingham Palace to find out who has been stealing knick knacks from the Queen. These novels are light mystery stories with no horrible murders and light humor. Perfect for teenagers or anyone looking for something a little different but nothing too heavy. There's also some interesting history going on, after reading this it makes me want to research Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales to find out if they were really like they were portrayed in the book. 

Oh and James! At the end of the previous book Mary had told James something about her childhood which left him upset at her and not wanting to have anything to do with her. I was completely shattered! Their relationship up until then had been so fiery, what with their constant arguing with each other one moment and then passionately making up the next! So you can see why I got quite upset when I thought this will never happen again. Well, he doesn't get away so easily! He's back and oh so swoony *dreamy eyes* 

In the last book Mary found some information regarding her father and in this book we find out what really happened to him after all these years. I found this part of the story a little disappointing and that's why I took a star off. That's the only small thing I could fault with this otherwise I highly recommend this fantastic series!

To read my review of 'The Body at the Tower' click here
(My review seems a bit harsh, not sure why I didn't like it as much because I really liked this one...)

On the cover: So this cover is ok, but I would've prefered the other one on the goodreads page. This cover does depict a moment in the books though which is cool!

What I'm reading next: Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Do you like Historical novels?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poor Unfortunate Souls

Move over Disney Princess, the Disney Villains have taken over! 
The Disney Villains are becoming more and more popular.

I thought I would compile all the Disney Villain merchandise for all you lovers out there!
The link above takes you straight to the Disney store where you can search through all the evil you wish.

Threadless Tees has a new range of Disney Villain T-shirts, my favorite is below.

I have mentioned this very talented artist's designs before but here is Hungry Designs awesome Ursula (from The Little Mermaid) brooch, she's so beautiful.

In a previous post I spoke about the Disney Designer Princess Dolls, well there are now Designer Villain Dolls! I wished they had created some of the male Villains too, for example Jafar from 'Aladdin' & Dr. Facilier from 'The Princess & the Frog', that would've been cool.

Below is a picture of some of my favorite villain merchandise from the Disney store

Which Villain is your favorite?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book cover style ~ Clockwork Princess

I'm not sure if you've noticed but I love books, I also love a good looking cover. 
Another one of my favorite things is fashion like clothing and accessories.
So I thought it would be a perfect thing to mesh these together and start my 'Book Cover Style'.

In this post I will show you a favourite cover of mine and 
show you how you can re-create the look of this cover. I hope you like it!

The book I've chosen for my first Book Cover Style is 'Clockwork Princess' by Cassandra Clare.
This is a beautiful cover and the model is drop dead gorgeous, I bet she felt exactly like a princess wearing that dress! So below is the cover and underneath that is my re-creation.

Clockwork Prinncess

To re-create this book cover the total cost is $220, not exactly cheap but how can you resist that dress!

What book would you like me to re-create next time?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adorable viewing ahead!

I was born in the late 80's but growing up in the 90's introduced me to some awesome kids cartoons which I'm sure many people of my time can relate to. I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite shows I used to watch and love! In this post you will see the intro for each show and I bet that you won't be able to stop yourself from singing them :)
This is only part one of my nostalgic posts, there will be more to come. So for now, ENJOY!

My Little Pony
Who doesn't love My Little Pony, it's adorable!
They have even rebooted it and called it 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'

The Muppet Babies

The Muppets was such a popular program that they made a spin off cartoon called 'The Muppet Babies' where they make dreams come true...


Gummi Bears

The Gummi Bears fight evil and drink Gummiberry Juice. 

The Wuzzles

The Wuzzles are animals that are two animals blended together. 
They got up to all sorts of interesting adventures that were sometimes very funny.

Care Bears

Oh how we all love the Care bears. Such caring, friendly bears who taught us all so much!
Which cartoons did you love as a kid?

Friday, November 9, 2012

What's all the fuss about?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
465 pages
Buy it @ book depository

A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

Review: So I have finally got around to reading, well listening to this. Way before the hype, a staff member I work with at the library told me I have to read this book because it's so good! So of course I gave it a go, only to have read about 50 pages and not understood a single thing. I found that the names confused me and it wasn't easy to read so I gave up. So now, I decided to get the Audiobook version to see if it was any better than reading. The first disc was boring and it didn't really make much sense to me but now that I've finished the book I can understand why that was part of the story.  And I'm so glad I did get it on Audio because I didn't have to worry too much about name pronunciation. One thing that annoyed me was how characters weren't always called by the first names - Larsson would swap from calling them their first name, then their last name. For example one minute he is calling Henrik Vangar - Henkrik and then later he's called Vangar. It got very confusing because it happened with most of the characters and I feel it's even more confusing because the names are Swedish, I think it would be different if they were common English names. I  know that sounds really terrible of me to say but it's the truth! The only character I really liked was Henrik Vangar, I thought he seemed like a cool old dude - I didn't feel anything for the other characters.

There are 17 discs for this Audiobook and the tenth disc didn't work! So I had to skip about 30 pages of the story, this was so frustrating because the story was just starting to get interesting. (Just so you're aware that was the tenth disc, so that's more than halfway when the book JUST starts to get interesting)

I don't feel the need to read or listen to the other books, instead I read the plots on wikipedia and I'm quite satisfied with that. In the end this book was OK. I don't know why it got so much hype, the mystery was interesting enough but I've read better mystery novels. Oh and a little side note, the main character Mikael Blomkvist has too much coffee and too much sex, he is anybodies! I can totally see why they picked Daniel Craig to play him in the American version of the movie. I am looking forward to seeing the movie version so I can compare them.

A huge warning for people who haven't read this and are thinking of giving it a go - there is a very graphic scene in it which I didn't think was all that necessary to the story but it was explained at the beginning that a high amount of women in Sweden get sexually assaulted so maybe it's common to have that sort of things in Swedish books...

On the cover: Wow what an awesome tattoo! I thought the story was all about a girl with a tattoo but it was more about an excessive coffee drinking journalist who likes women a little bit too much. Oh and What's that about over 1.5 million copies sold? Don't know why?

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Handle with care by Jodi Picoult

Have you read this and did you continue reading the others?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Market Day Tips

Market Day is an exciting day, but it can also be a nervous day too. I've attended quite a few markets now and I thought I'd give you some tips on how to make the day successful.

Markets aren't always held inside where it's nice & warm and the weather has no effect on your stall. So when setting up a stall outside you have to be aware of wind! Wind was my first issue I came across, I wasn't prepared for it and didn't bring anything to hold my tablecloth down. Thinking back now I feel very naive in not allowing for this problem, so I tell you now bring clips or weights to hold down your tablecloth!

In case of rain it's good to invest in a really good marque/gazebo. If you think you may be attending a lot of markets and they are outside then I would highly recommend buying one, it's a great investment. I bought mine from boating, camping & fishing which you can see it online here. My gazebo is easy to put up by myself but I've found that other stall holders are more than happy to give you a hand if you ask. You may even need to buy some sides for your gazebo so it keeps out the rain and wind. You can buy tarps and lots of hand clamps or you could buy the proper sides for this gazebo which are so easy to put up as it's made perfectly for your specific gazebo. I purchased my sides from a local Bunnings Warehouse, just make you buy the correct ones!

Another tip for having a market stall outside is that you should always wear something comfortable and warm because you're at the mercy of mother nature. So if you're not warm and comfortable then you will be miserable all day!

Important things to take with you to a market are: a pair of scissors, sticky tape, pen, paper, bottle of water and some snacks.

I hope these tips have been helpful and I'd love to hear any tips you may have during your experiences being a stall holder

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Completely Spellbound

Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Rating: 4 out of 5
327 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Review: I'm sad that we're at the end of a fun & magical series. I can remember the feeling I had when I read 'Hex Hall' (the first in the series), it was amazement. I hadn't read anything like it, since then I have but you never forget your first. As always with a series there was a huge cliffhanger at the end of the second book and left you dying to find out what happened to everyone after the fire.

Sophie is back with lots of spunk and spunks in tow. As with SO many teenage series there's always a love triangle and this one is hard for me because I like both the guys involved. There's sweet Cal and funny boy Archer. Which one, which one?! I'll let you read to find out.

Some of my favourite characters are back and some new characters are introduced. The thing I love best about these books is the characters banter with each other. Sophie seems to make bad situations funny because of her comebacks and comments.

I was so upset at one stage towards the end but Hawkins seems to have made it all better in the end.
I decided to give this only 4 out of 5 stars because it wasn't as flawless as the previous two. I thought that it felt rushed and I hate to say it because I love this series, but after all this time wondering about why someone had created demons it was a tiny little let down to find out who was behind it all.

And finally I have to say thank you to Hawkins for writing this series, I have enjoyed reading about Sophie and the rest of the characters. *Sigh* there's no more, but I feel happy with the ending.

If you would like to read my review of Hex Hall click here and for my review of Demon Glass click here

On the cover: Is that Sophie on the front cover? I didn't even realise she looked like that. She's really pretty, no wonder she had two guys chasing her. I can't complain about this cover because I like it!

What I'm reading next: The traitor in the tunnel by Y.S. Lee

Do you have a favourite book series? 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yummy Lolly Nails ~ Whimsical by Revlon

I love Revlon nail Polish and I've been wanting this one for ages but have never been able to find it in the shops. So I went to trusty eBay and found a fairly cheap one for sale.

Whimsical #430 is a very light blue jelly like nail polish which it is extremely sheer. It would be perfect for layering over nail polishes to give them that something extra. It has baby blue and pink hex glitter as well as smaller pink hex glitter pieces and even tinier iridescent blue glitter spread throughout.

I decided to put three coats over a white nail polish & pink nailpolish as you can see in the above picture.
I think this would look really pretty over a baby blue nail polish which I might try another time.
The amount of glitter you get each coat is quite good and it's easy to move around the glitter with the brush.

I named these my Lolly nails because they look so edible and sweet don't they? Overall I do like this polish and I think it will be a favorite of mine.

Do you have a favorite Revlon color?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Books I'm pining for ~ Halloween style!

"Books I'm pining for" is a feature for new and old books that I want to read. But being so close to Halloween I thought I would share some spooky reads that I'm looking forward to. Enjoy! *Evil laugh*

Hemlock Grove: A Novel by Brian McGreevy
Released: March 2012
An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares.

The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

Spook's Blood (The Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles #10) 
by Joseph Delaney
Released: June 2012

Time is running out for Thomas Ward. His final battle against the Fiend is drawing near, and the Spook's apprentice has never felt more alone in his task. Isolated and afraid, the Fiend is set to send the greatest of his servants against him - Siscoi, a Vampire God more ferocious than anything he has yet faced. Tom must risk his life to prevent the evil beast from entering this world, even as he learns that the final destruction of the Fiend may involve a sacrifice more terrible than he can imagine...

Seed by Ania Ahlborn
Released: June 2011

Fans of Stephen King, Jack Kilborn, and Blake Crouch… prepare to meet the Devil.

In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth.

Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles.

But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: Daddy, I saw it too.

And then she begins to change.

Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before.

But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing.

Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along.

And it’s hungrier than ever.

A new breed of dark fiction: the subtlety of Seed will haunt you, and the end will wickedly satisfy.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Released: April 2011

Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries -- before it's too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Released: September 2012

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
Released: September 2012

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes by Many Authors
Released: October 2012

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

Dead River by Cyn Balog
Released: April 2013

My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River.

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong. 

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog.

What books are you pining for?

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