Sunday, July 18, 2021

Ahoy Matey, Pirates Be Looking to Read! #fantasy

 

Who doesn't love pirates - and check out this cover! New YA Epic Fantasy!


 Pirates of Serpent Sea, (Book One) - D. Fischer and Amanda K. Mann

Remini Draven loved being a pirate.

She enjoyed plundering villages and discovering legendary treasures just as much as the next guy on the Black Moon ship. But, when a deal was struck between the Captain of the Black Moon and a sniveling merchant, she walked away from life on the Black Moon.

The deal that was made was unforgivable. Genocide. The merchant wanted the Black Moon crew to steal an amulet that will destroy the sirens. Remi refused to be part of it.

And now . . . now she has to find a way to save the sirens before the Black Moon reaches them, and the amulet.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Read with the Lights On... #thriller #mystery

 Who doesn't like to read a book that makes you check that the door is locked?


Witness Protection: Secrets and Lies Book 1
- Paris Morgan

(Releases July 18)  - Nothing is as it seems.

When people say to kill them with kindness, I don't think they mean literally...

Witness to one murder in New York, I'd been relocated to Texas of all places. As I try to settle into a routine, I'm confronted with danger yet again when my friend is assaulted and her daughter needs be protected. The cops aren't on our side and running away isn't an option.

How can we stay alive when all of the secrets and lies threaten to overwhelm us?

Sunday, July 4, 2021

July Reading List #mystery #zombie #thriller #paranormal

 

Happy July! Plenty of good reading to celebrate this month, so dig in!

  * See previous reading lists on the top tab. Lots of great reads!

Halloween

It's never too early!!

Halloween Kills - Official Movie Novelization, Tim Waggoner - (Releases Oct. 19) Official tie-in novel of sequel to 2018's Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis!

Past the Glad and Sunlit Season: Poems for Halloween, K.A. Opperman -  Tricks and a few poetic spooky treats for the season!

** Bonus! Nine Best Halloween Horror Stories to Read Free Online! **

Horror - Anthologies and Collections

After Sundown, (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Twenty original horror stories from authors including Tim Lebbon in a non-themed collection. Also a  Shirley Jackson Award nominee for best anthology.

Lullabies for Suffering, Tales of Addiction Horror - Six authors including Mercedes M. Yardley present stories of addiction from a horror angle. Shirley Jackson Award nominee for best anthology. Includes Bram Stoker Award finalist story, "Beyond the Reef" by Gabino Iglesias.


Night Terrors and Other Tale
s, Lisa Morton - Twenty tales chosen by the author from three decades of exploring the dark side.... Tales of one of the wealthiest men searching for his fate as he rots within, to a near-future Halloween party, and a classic artist's engravings revealed to be a horrific instruction manual, and more... 

The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, Volume 1 - Horror is indeed world-wide, judging from this collection from authors from 19 continents. Includes 20 stories published in English for the first time. A translated novelette from the collection is a recent Shirley Jackson Award nominee. 

Horror  - History - Crime 


The Hypno Ripper, 2 Victorian Era Tales of Jack the Ripper and Hypnotism, Donald K. Hartman -  Reprints of two little-known stories once published in major newspapers in the late 1800s. Includes an interesting biography of one of the authors, Dr. NT Oliver, a pseudonym of Edward Oliver Tilburn, a Victorian con-man and once editor of Rand McNally and a secretary at the Chicago's World's Fair. 

Mystery


Cutthroat Cupcakes, Cursed Candy Mysteries Book 1
, Cate Lawley - (Free at time of posting.) 
A wizard detective arrests Lina for witchy crimes. She has to prove her innocence and learn to control her magic. Killer cupcakes seem improbable to Lina, but when an attractive detective snaps cuffs on her and accuses her of witchy crimes she's forced to reconsider.

Haunted Hibiscus, Tea Shop Mystery #22, Laura Childs - The week before Halloween, Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, and owners of the mansion is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers. Then Willow is found dead and Theodosia's boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow's apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.

Paranormal


Fighters of Fear: Occult Detective Stories
- Collection of the best of classic and new stories from the gaslit era mixing detective tales and supernatural fiction. 748 pages. 

Pirates of Serpent Sea, D. Fischer and Amanda K. Mann- Remini Draven loved being a pirate. She enjoyed plundering villages and discovering legendary treasures just as much as the next guy on the Black Moon ship. But, when a deal was struck between the Captain of the Black Moon and a sniveling merchant, she walked away from life on the Black Moon. The merchant wanted the Black Moon crew to steal an amulet that will destroy the sirens. Remi refused to be part of it. And now . . . now she has to find a way to save the sirens before the Black Moon reaches them, and the amulet.


The Love-Haight Case Files, Book 1: Seeking Supernatural, Jean Rabe & Donald J. Bingle - (Releases Aug. 23) - A new cover and new release! Where do the OTs (Other-Than-Humans) go to seek justice in Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco? 

Magic has returned to the world and with it a host of supernatural creatures—not just vampires and ghosts, but sentient gargoyles, ghouls, sprites, faeries, and more. The frightened citizenry, holier-than-thou bigots, headline-seeking reporters, and harried police refer to them as OTs (Other-Than-Humans), but Thomas Brock and Evelyn Love believe even supernatural creatures have legal rights. 

The Love-Haight Case Files, Book 2: Fighting for Other-Than-Human Rights, Jean Rabe & Donald J. Bingle - (Releases Sept. 20) The sequel!!  Things got even stranger in San Fran's Haight-Ashbury district when the monsters moved in! 

Thriller


Witness Protection: Secrets and Lies, Book 1
, Paris Morgan - (Releases July 18) 
When people say to kill them with kindness, I don't think they mean literally...Witness to one murder in New York, I'd been relocated to Texas of all places. As I try to settle into a routine, I'm confronted with danger yet again when my friend is assaulted and her daughter needs be protected. The cops aren't on our side and running away isn't an option. How can we stay alive when all of the secrets and lies threaten to overwhelm us?

Zombie


Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter
, C.A. Verstraet
e - Think you know the Lizzie Borden story? You know... Lizzie Borden took an axe.... She was acquitted but... what if she did kill her father and stepmother for a good reason? Because they'd turned into.... zombies! Follows the real-life events of the trial with some twists!

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, C.A. Verstraete - The story continues past the trial. Now Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers. When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost? NOTE: There are spoilers if you haven't read book 1.


The  Adrian's Undead Diary Omnibus, Vol. 1, Chris Philbrook - First four books of the eight-book series. The world crashed to pieces in 2010 and Adrian Ring wasn't anywhere near ready. This is the story of how he survived.



 Get in on it! 40 days to go! 

Zombie Date Night, A horror-comedy comic by Steve Urena - See Kickstarter page.Coming this summer, feast your eyes on Zombie Date Night. A 32-page comic book that tells the story of: Boy matches with girl.  Girl meets up with boy for a first date.  Boy and girl face a ZOMBIE INVASION!


Zombie Fallout, Mark Tufo - Book 1 of 17 book series - The H1N1 virus is running rampant and suddenly people are coming down with strange effects, die, and then are reborn with a taste for brains and human flesh after being vaccinated. 

 


Monday, June 21, 2021

Lizzie Borden Acquitted! New #zombies story coming...

 

Yesterday, June 20 was also notable as on this day in 1893, accused axe murderess Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the brutal murders of her father, Andrew Borden, and stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden.

To the dismay of some, she resumed life, even moving into a bigger, fancier house, which she called Maplecroft, up on the fancier section of town, "the Hill." Many think it was her way of thumbing her nose at them.


An anthology call I saw got me thinking again of what my version of Lizzie was doing after the trial as in my series, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. So, I'm working on a new short story that has her returning to a place she thought she'd left behind forever--her late father's business, the Borden Building in downtown Fall River, Mass. Got a unique idea for the zombies in this one. Can't wait to write that part!! There'll even be a bit of "horror humor" in that for those who get the analogy. Can't resist! Ha!

And... I'm revamping an earlier short novelette I wrote that has Lizzie, her sister, Emma, and instructor Pierre fighting off zombies in another area. This one has another family twist to it. I'm thinking of turning it into a story serial... Stay tuned for updates!! 


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Spring '21 Reading List #mystery #apocalypse #zombie

 It's Spring - time for new buds, new growth, and new books! 


I've been seeing some really interesting books out so figured it was time for a new reading list. Enjoy!!

(**See more great books in the Feb. Reading List. All lists are posted in the bar at the top of this blog. All posts may include some affiliate links.)

Anthologies

 
 

After Dinner Conversation,  Season One Short Story Series - Something different, short stories in various genres, sci-fi, dystopian, thriller, horror, and more, that  also include a moral or ethical question for discussion.  

The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories - Collection of 15  new stories bring Holmes, Watson and other known characters back to life in new short adventures. 

The Great Filling Station Hold-Up: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffet - Sixteen short stories by various authors, including Elaine Viets, Robert Randisi, Michael Bracken and others, based on Buffet songs. 

FYI: If you like short stories, get some great, free reads here:

* King's River Life - book reviews, short stories and  the Mystery Rat's Maze podcast

* Mystery Weekly  - monthly magazine, online and print; get a free story, sign up via email

* Mysterical-e - short stories, books and columns; quarterly

* The Infinite Bard - Free sci-fi, fantasy and some horror-tinged tales by assorted authors

Historical

 Strongheart: The Lost Journals of May Dodd and Molly McGill (One Thousand White Women Book 3), Jim Fergus - (Pre-Order, Releases May 4) - After the battle of Little Big Horn, some female survivors decide to take up arms against the United States, which has stolen from the Native Americans their lands, their way of life, their culture and their history. This ghost tribe of rebellious women will soon go underground to wage an implacable battle, which will continue from generation to generation.

 (I discovered book 1, One Thousand White Women a while ago and was mesmerized with the realistic but fictional story of women who go West to intermarry with the Cheyenne. I didn't know the series continued with The Vengeance of Mothers (book 2) and now the sequel.)

Horror

 

Lost in the Never Woods, Aiden Thomas - It’s been five years since Wendy Darling and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into the light. Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, asks for Wendy’s help to rescue the missing kids. But, in order to find them, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods. (Young Adult)

The Horror on the Links: The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin, Seabury Quinn - Collection of 93 stories involving monsters, the supernatural and more investigated by the French detective created by Quinn, a prolific contributor to the early Weird Tales magazines. 

The Nightmare Before Dinner Cookbook: Recipes to Die For - Sixty-plus recipes from the Beetlejuice-inspired restaurant in New York City and Los Angeles. Cool idea! How about some Beetle's Juice with your dinner?

Mystery

** Some of these mysteries and short chats with the authors will be in my upcoming Author Snapshot column at Mysterical-e. Stay tuned for when it goes online! 


Death Grip (Angela Richman Death Investigator Mystery Book 4), Elaine Viets -  The ultra-rich know how to avoid a scandal, but Death Investigator Angela Richman is determined to see a killer brought to justice. 

Don't Lie to Me (Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 1), Willow Rose - The town is outraged when a 12-year-old camper is found murdered. As FBI Profiler Eva Rae Thomas delves  into the case, she and her old police flame find the case hits too close to home...  

Haunted  Hibiscus (Tea Shop Mystery #22), Laura Childs - What's better than Halloween a little early? The Tea Shop and the town are in full swing as shop owner Theodosia Browing sets off to the grand opening of a literary and historical themed haunted house. Then the Heritage Society's grand-niece is tossed out a window and left dangling by a rope and Theo's police detective  boyfriend is shot by a shadowy intruder. Lots of creepy goings on for the eve of Halloween... 

 

Later, Stephen King - SOMETIMES GROWING UP MEANS FACING YOUR DEMONS - A child born with an unnatural ability his mother urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine when a NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who's threatened to strike from beyond the grave. 

Murder in Miniature (The Miniature Mysteries Book 1), Camille Minichino -  The dollhouse mysteries are being re-released with new covers. Retiree Geraldine Porter finds herself doing more than manning tables at the local show when her friend and a miniature desk go missing, and murders soon follow... 

 

Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond (Jessica Fletcher Mystery 53 (Pre-order, Releases June 8), Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit an old college friend. But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers her friend's third husband, a cut-throat businessman, facedown in the koi pond. Despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. 

 (Book 2, Debonair in Death, which is set in Cabot Cove, is on pre-order and releases in Nov.) 

 
Murphy's Slaw, An Alaska Diner Mystery 3, Elizabeth Logan  - (Pre-Order, releasesMay 25) In the latest of author Camille Minichino's fun diner mystery series, when a local prize-winning farmer is murdered at the state fair, Charlie Cook gets called in to help investigate, but she’s shocked to learn the victim is a friend.  (Can be read independently or follow the series: Mousse and Murder (1); Book 2, Fishing for Trouble.)

Valentino Will Die (Bianca Dangereuse Hollywood Mystery Book 2), Donis Casey -  Now the greatest silent film star and friend to Hollywood legend Rudolph Valentino, Bianca promises her dying friend she'll find out who's responsible for what looks like a poisoning as Rudy falls deathly ill. (The series, stars with book 1, The Wrong Girl.) * Also, read Casey's interesting take on Hollywood, crime and Capone at CrimeReads.

Zombie

 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete - Think you know the Lizzie Borden story? You know... Lizzie Borden took an axe.... She was acquitted but... what if she did kill her father and stepmother for a good reason? They'd turned into.... zombies! Follows the real-life events of the trial with some twists!

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, C.A. Verstraete - The story continues past the trial. Now Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers. When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost? NOTE: There are spoilers if you haven't read book 1.

Since the Sirens  (7 book post-apocalyptic set), E.E. Isherwood - Grandmas are the key to survival in this world where the elderly are the ones who can save everyone else from the increasing numbers of zombies... Or start with book 1 alone,  Since the Sirens.

Monday, February 1, 2021

2021 Feb Reading List


 Some interesting new books coming up that I know you'll want to read, so dive right in!

Anthologies

 
 

The 13: Tales of Macabre, Stephanie Ayers - (Book 2 of 4) Who can resist weird, scary short stories with creatures of myth/legend and killer... watermelons? (Free at time of writing.)

Turning the Tied, as in Tied-In fiction  - (Pre-Order, releases March 13) Presented by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, discover favorite characters in new settings in tales that'll will take you through the centuries and from the depths of the ocean to the stars. Includes stories by Tim Waggoner, Jonathan Maberry, Max Allan Collins, Stephen D. Sullivan, and others, edited by Jean Rabe. (* Paperback now available at B&N.)

Fantasy 

Black Heart of the Dragon God, Jean Rabe and Craig Martelle - USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe returns to her fantasy roots! Capturing dragons isn’t a hero’s work, or is it?  The Barber is a reformed pirate. He’s built a town but wants more. Enter Goranth the Mighty, a hero from a different age, a Northman, and a warrior like no other. With nothing less than a dragon as their goal, the adventurers head into the wild. Hope springs when they find a small one, until they realize the challenge is greater than expected. But there’s more: raiders seek to steal what the Barber has fought for. An ancient creature rises from within the earth, and a beautiful enchantress fights to stop her.

Horror 


 Children of Chicago, Cynthia Pelayo - A horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago. When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister’s body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he’s looking for payment he’s owed from her. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.

Dreadful Dark Tales of Horror Book 1, Dean Rasmussen -Three supernatural suspense tales. A delusional, self-righteous serial killer takes care of the “trash” in town, but discovers it’s not so easy to keep it buried. A charismatic stranger entices three down-on-their-luck men to a party only to later reveal his true intentions. After moving into a new house, a brother and sister discover an aging tree in the backyard has a mind of its own. (65 pgs.)

Lilith: Hollywood Monsters, Dana Fredsti - (Pre-order, releases Jan. 11, 2022)  Third in the Lilith series -  Lee Striga is an actress, movie stuntwoman, and demon hunter returning to Los Angeles. Back at the Katz Family stunt ranch she finds animals of all kinds taking refuge on the grounds, and the supernatural creatures who populate Hollywood on edge to the point of violence. People are vanishing without a trace, and clues lead to a legendary mansion famous for its horrible deaths--the location for Lee's next film job. (Start with Book 1,  The Spawn of Lilith.)

Cozy & PI Mystery

 

Lavender Blue Murder, (A Tea Shop Mystery Book 21) , Laura Childs - Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond (Jessica Fletcher Mystery 53 (Pre-order, Releases June 8), Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis facedown in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. 

Murphy's Slaw, An Alaska Diner Mystery 3, Elizabeth Logan  - (Pre-Order, releasesMay 25) In the latest of author Camille Minichino's fun diner mystery series, when a local prize-winning farmer is murdered at the state fair, Charlie Cook gets called in to help investigate, but she’s shocked to learn the victim is a friend.  (Can be read independently or follow the series: Mousse and Murder (1); Book 2, Fishing for Trouble.)

The Last Straw, (The Jigsaw Files Book 4) Sharon Sala - (Pre-order, Releases Feb. 23)  Still reeling after a series of earth-shattering events, a desperate woman hires PI Charlie Dodge of Dodge Investigations to find her missing sister. The head-scratcher of a case is exactly the distraction Charlie and his steadfast partner, Wyrick, need .Charlie knows his partner can handle herself, but when she uncovers a past connection that paints a target on her back, the threat of losing her hits Charlie hard. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep Wyrick safe, but with the clock ticking on a victim they’ve yet to find, it’s only a matter of time before the cold-blooded killer leads them to a deadly end. (See Book 1, The Missing Piece.)

Short Stories

* Grab some scary reads on The Dark Side of Kindle Unlimited through March 2.

 ********

Thriller

Flash Drive, (A Dick Thornby Thriller Book 3), Donald J. Bingle -  (* Get in on the Kickstarter through Feb. 20.) Dick Thornby is not Hollywood's idea of a spy. He's a new kind of spy for a new kind of world. Of course, it's complicated when you're an international spy with a wife, a kid, and a mortgage, but everyone thinks you're really a waste water treatment consultant. And, it's bad when your family finds out about your clandestine life, your wife wants to keep tabs on where you are, and your kid tries to emulate your espionage activities. But, it's downright dangerous for your career, your family, your colleagues, and your prospects of living until retirement when the powers-that-be at the Subsidiary discover you haven't been keeping the secrets you should have.  (Start with Book 1, Net Impact.)

Zombie

 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, C.A. Verstraete - Think you know the Lizzie Borden story? You know... Lizzie Borden took an axe.... She was acquitted but... what if she did kill her father and stepmother for a good reason? They'd turned into.... zombies! Follows the real-life events of the trial with some twists!

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, C.A. Verstraete - The story continues past the trial. Now Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers. When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost? NOTE: There are spoilers if you haven't read book 1.

Tell Me When I'm Dead, Steven Ramirez - Dave, a recovering alcoholic, wakes up to find his town overrun by zombies. Dave Pulaski wasted his youth getting drunk. When he met Holly, a beautiful, strong-willed woman, he decided to get his life together. Now a plague is decimating the town of Tres Marias. And it turns the victims into shrieking flesh-eaters who hunt. To survive, Dave, Holly, and a small band of soldiers must kill the living as well as the dead. But Dave is this close to drinking again. The vengeful woman he cheated with is after him–and she’s no longer human. The ravening hordes are swelling. And the beleaguered military forces are outnumbered. How can anyone live through this?