Wednesday, 20 June 2018

ALONE by Cyn Balog

Alone My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I've had this book on the top of my Kindle TBR pile for a while. And since I bought a brand new Paperwhite the other day, I decided this was going to be my first read on this device. 😁

Seda lives in a rundown mansion in the middle of nowhere called Bismarck-Chisholm, with her mother and two sets of younger twin brothers and sisters.

When her mother inherited the house that used to be the scene of murder-mystery parties, Seda thought it would be fun to spend the summer in a haunted mansion. But when her mother decides to renovate the crumbling site, it means they're still there in winter.

As if it's not bad enough to be so isolated from her old life in Boston, but her father's gone, and she feels like she's losing her mind. Until a group of students have an accident and seek shelter with her family, and one of the guys catches her eye...

Ooooooh. This book was SO good that I didn't want to put it down. I read it in 24 hours because I just had to know how everything was going to turn out.

It's one of those stories that totally hooked me in. I found it very easy to follow Seda's simple life and big family, as well as her passionate mother. But I worked out pretty early on that Seda was going to be an unreliable narrator and was either leaving details out on purpose, had forgotten important stuff, or was just going nuts because of the isolation.

I thought this was written so well that it kept the creepy and eerie vibe alive all the way through. The snow made me so chilly. The imagery of the old mansion made it very easy to picture the house and its surroundings.

Of course I thought I'd figured out the mystery, because everything seemed to point to a possible revelation, but was pleasantly surprised when everything was turned upside down. I loved that ending!

What an excellent book. I loved how so many cool horror tropes are included and turned into a whole new narrative. Very cool.

I definitely got The Shining vibes throughout, and even a bit of April Fool's Day influence.

Plus I got a real kick out of all the other horror movie references. And since I've been watching horror since I was a kid, I got a kick out of all the kiddos loving them too. 😉

Monday, 18 June 2018

Jumbled Thoughts & Lotsa Clutter


I just realised that I skipped posting a little something last week. It wasn't intentional, I just wasn't in the mood because I felt a little meh last Friday. No big deal.

Then this week, when I started drafting a new post, the internet decided to stop working. We had no internet connection for OVER THREE DAYS because the NBN network had an 'outage' no one could explain. I swear this shitty internet network the government totally screwed up is the worst! We've had nothing but problems since connecting to it last year.

What I hate the most is the miscommunication, the no explanations and failure to warn customers about maintenance or problems in the area. It totally sucks. 

It randomly came back on Saturday night, but I don't trust it. I get paranoid and pissed off pretty quickly.

Anyway, enough about that. I've spent WAY too many hours being angry already.

So, what else have I been up to? Well, I've done quite a bit of reading during the last few weeks. I've got a huge TBR pile, so I wanted to get caught up on some of the books I have sitting around.

Last Sunday, we went to watch HEREDITARY and while it wasn't the scariest movie ever, I enjoyed the hell out of it. The story is so clever. Part family drama that ends in tragedy. Part ghost story, and all sorts of screwed up. Plus, I loved the ending. I love that it went THERE! 

My writing has been a little inconsistent at the moment because I'm concentrating on the biz side of things. And that's so time consuming, and slow and never-ending, but it's part of the process. And I refuse to give up.

This doesn't mean the ideas stopped coming. Actually, one of the problems I'm having is that I have too many ideas fighting for attention. I want to write all of them at the same time. And there are a few fun anthologies I wouldn't mind writing shorties for. Not to mention that my next revision project has started to whisper in my ear...

Yeah. Sometimes the clutter isn't physical. Sometimes it's totally inside my head. 😨

It's also been raining. A lot. Winter has really hit hard, which I don't like. I'm not a big winter fan, but we're trying to make the most out of it by keeping up with our two daily walks, and have even gotten back into yoga. So happy about that!

Our yoga hiatus went for too long. But now we're determined to keep up with two weekly yoga workouts whenever we can. It just feels so good to stretch out the body.

We're had a really awesome weekend and packed a thousand things into it, of course. I secretly wish it was another long one because we need an extra day to recover. LOL.

Oh, did I mention that hubby found a great Kindle Paperwhite deal and we picked it up on Saturday? Yeah, we went for a huge walk, and even found some great secondhand books in a nearby store. Bookish success!

I've got a to-do list ready for this week, so let's hope I actually cross/highlight everything off this week. There are a few things I've carried forward for over a month. 😰

Have a good one!

Friday, 15 June 2018

THE TALL MAN by Phoebe Locke

A senseless murder. 
A terrifying legend. 
A family haunted. 

 1990: In the darkest woods, three girls go looking for the Tall Man. 

 2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter. 

 2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world. 

 Three chilling events, connected by one shadowy figure. 

 THE TALL MAN is coming...

Just like The Outsider, this was one of my most anticipated books for this year. So as soon as Hachette Australia sent me a copy--thank you so much!--I got stuck into it. 

Sadie has been haunted by the Tall Man, and what happened in the woods when she was a kid, her whole life. So badly that when she gave birth to a daughter, she left her behind so the child wouldn't suffer her curse. 

Amber might be young but she's been through a lot, and doesn't exactly have a normal family. She's also reached celebrity status because she was accused of a terrible crime. 

Greta just wants to do what she loves the most: tell stories. That's how she ended up working on a documentary about the effects a childhood curse had on one family.

Their stories are different, but the answers will lead all three to the same haunting place... 

Wow. That was intense. 

I have to admit that I got a Slender Man vibe from this story from the very first time I read the blurb. And even while reading, I still did. But like all the best stories, the freakiest facets of that legend are taken and turned into a new scary myth. 

Told in the POV of several narrators, and spanning across several timeless, a dark legend gone terribly wrong weaves a crooked tale where even darker secrets are revealed in an unpredictable way. 

There are twists and turns, and at times the book feels like a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces slowly coming together in the most intricate method. One of my favourite things about this story is the way it was written. The tension gripped me from the beginning, and dragged me deeper with every new exciting page and shocking revelation. 

The pace is perfect. This book moves at its own pace, in a way that fits the narrative perfectly. It also makes every eerie thing (because there are many) weigh so much more in your mind. 

A lot of what happens is often disorienting, but never confusing. I LOVE getting stuck into a book and being positive I know exactly what's going on, but then the rug gets pulled out from under me and everything is even worse than I first thought.

I certainly got a kick out of this wicked tale. 

The Tall Man is a creepy, atmospheric psychological thriller that infects your mind so thoroughly, the shadows start playing tricks on you. I was totally invested in the lives of all these women. Enthralled by the urban legend keeping it all together, as everything gradually unravelled to reveal its chilling innards. 

I seriously enjoyed this unpredictable book and would recommend it to anyone who likes creepy psychological thrillers with a horror ambiguity that'll stay with me for a long time. 

This is another keeper.

The Tall Man, June 2018, ISBN 9781472249241, Wildfire

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


The World According to Wonder WomanThe World According to Wonder Woman by Matthew K. Manning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been a Wonder Woman fan since I was a kid. She's my fave, so I collect WW books and collectibles. So when hubby surprised me with this book, I couldn't wait to read it.

I picked it up today and read it in a few sittings. It's such an informative book! Told in the POV of Wonder Woman/Diana, it starts from the beginning. How hard it was growing up in Themyscira where the other Amazons never really accepted her. How she rescued Steve and then won the chance to go to the world of man. Being a member of the Justice League, becoming the God of War, how she felt finding out the truth her mother hid from her, and all the gods, monsters and superheroes she knows.

There's a LOT of awesome stuff in this hardback volume. The stories WW tells are interesting, and are accompanied by gorgeous artwork. There are even fold-out posters and a map, reports, clippings... so much excellent stuff to read and look at.

I loved every single page. The stories, even though I knew most of them, captivated me because there really was new info. Oh, and I got a kick out of her getting involved with Superman. Totally ship it. ;)

I'm so excited about adding this book to my ever-growing Wonder Woman collection.


Monday, 11 June 2018

UR by Stephen King

URUR by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book on my Kindle for ages. So long, that I actually bought it when I was still using the Kindle keyboard. LOL.

I really don't know why I haven't read it yet, but I think it was because UR kept getting pushed down the line with my MANY book purchases.

Anyway, last night I was in the mood for something shorter and as soon as I started, I was instantly hooked.

Wesley Smith is an English instructor at a not-so great college. He loves books, and recently broke up with his girlfriend because he was always caught up in a book when she needed him most.

When he buys a Kindle to spite her, he secretly hopes it also impresses her. But this Kindle isn't like the others. It's pink, for starters! And when he accesses the UR FUNCTIONS he finds himself in a bizarre situation. Stumbles on books he didn't know existed, as well as other more nightmarish things that could send him over the edge...

Wow. I loved this!

It's such a trippy, multi-dimensional story that takes an ordinary man to heights he never imagined. It also gives him some excitement, a purpose. And brings him closer to one of his students and a colleague.

The more Wesley delves into what this bright Kindle has to offer, the deeper he gets involved. Until he discovers something that will affect him personally, and could cause a ripple effect.

I love weird stories, and this one would certainly be an awesome fit for The Twilight Zone and/or The Outer Limits.

The King has done it again.

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