Monday, April 23, 2018

TTT - 5 Commonly Used Themes in Horror Novels

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week's topic was frequently used words in a genre of your choice.  This seems both hard and too easy, so I modified this week's topic to 5 commonly used themes in horror novels.  Now that I think of it, this may be hard as well.  I think my brain just isn't working.


So basically you take a species of animals, which is scary in and of itself, and make it even scarier but mutating it or really pissing it off.  Said species usually then turns around and kills lots and lots of people!


Pretty self explanatory right?


Mentally deranged people doing mentally deranged things all the while proving my point that people are often the REAL horror in the world.


Supernatural entities (werewolves, vampires, fairies) doing mean and vicious things while being their mean and vicious selfs.  Not to be confused with paranormal romance where said supernatural entities are hot and sexy and want to go home with you.


They may be good but they are often more exciting when they are bad and out to rule the world. 



So something has happened to the world and humanity had hit dire straights.  Usually makes bad people do bad things (and sometimes good people too!)

So there you have it.  I look forward to seeing what everyone else listed this week!

Wolves of Winter Review

TITLE: The Wolves of Winter
AUTHOR: Tyrell Johnson
PUBLISHING DATE: January 2, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.

But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined.

MY THOUGHTS: "The Wolves of Winter" is a wonderful post-apocalyptic take by debut author Tyrell Johnson and one that definitely lands him on my radar. Lynn and her family live in the Canadian Yukon following the collapse of civilization after a brutal war brimming with chemical warfare and numerous deaths. She, her mother, brother, uncle and random family friend live alone in a small settlement with only one remote neighbor. Lynn, who has memories of the way things used to be, is growing bored with her life but has become adept at hunting and foraging to keep the family alive. One day, Lynn stumbles across a stranger named Jax and his dog Wolf. She is intrigued by him and as he is starving and injured, she invites him back to the camp. Little does she know Jax knows more about the future survival of mankind than he is letting on and Lynn is more involved in it than she thinks. 

I loved Lynn. Although it's sometimes hard to remember she is 23, she has lived a rather sheltered life in the Canadian wilderness. She lost her dad to the "flu" which claimed the lives of many, and clearly she had a special bond with him because she thinks of him and mentions him often. There is a small amount of romance in the book but VERY small. More like intrigue, because until Jax arrived, Lynn felt that pairing up with another person was something completely out of the question. I also liked seeing Lynn become attached to Wolf, because for the past 8-10 years, family pets were a luxury people just couldn't have.

This book is full of action and excitement. Johnson does a good job at portraying a somewhat bleak existence while also giving the characters, as well as the readers, a ray of hope. If you like spunky characters, dystopian tales and winter settings, this book is definitely one you should pick up.


CHALLENGE: Library Love, What An Animal

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April Blog All About It - Art

Blog All About It is a challenge being hosted by Anna@Herding Cats and Burning Soup.  Each month we are given a prompt and have free reign regarding what we chose to blog about pertaining to that prompt. Aprils prompt is........................


Anna must have read my mind when she picked this month's prompt because it ties in perfectly with my focus on Prince this month.  He was a wonderful musician and his music definitely is a work of art.  I almost featured some of my favorite album covers but instead decided to share some of the wonderful murals people have painted in his honor.

This one is currently in bloom.  The painting was done by Christine Stein on a rock formation and over the past two years, the blooms behind it have grown to this.  It's located in California.

This one is located in Minnesota and was painted by artist Joe Pagac a month after Prince passed.  I think it's probably my favorite because it's his iconic Purple Rain look.  

This one is in his hometown.

This one was painted by famous muralist, Rick Martinez and was shown in the Weisman Art Museum.

This is a street mural in New York.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorites and I want to thank the many talented people who have taken the time to honor Prince in their own ways.  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (158)

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

The first three books I have to show you I either won or bought with a gift card I won.  I won "Night Dahlia" in a giveaway over at Books Bones & Buffy and I'm really excited to read it.  I actually just ordered the first one for $2.00 from Book Outlet and should get it in a week or so.  Next, Renee George sent me a review copy of "The Pit List Murders" and you guys know how much I love Smooshie.  Finally, I won a gift card from Daniela at Nocturnal Devices and I ordered "Your Robot Dog Will Die" for my Kindle with it.  

So that's it this week - short and sweet. What did you add this week????

Weekly Reads (04/19/18)

Let me start out by saying "Oh Spring, where are you???" because we're still having cold temps and snow about every other day.  Then on the off days, we have anywhere for 50-80 degree weather.  I'm confused, my wardrobe is confused, the dogs are confused... However, Mr. Barb's health is not confused because he was mostly better, went back to work and then relapsed again so he's been off staying with the pups most of this week.  They are enjoying it though.  

It's been a bad week for movies - we haven't really found many worth watching.  We did end up watching some REALLY BAD b-movie called "Bus Party to Hell."  It was bad, yet entertaining.  I mean, it was so bad, you laughed and had to finish watching once you stated.  But please, don't rent it.  I couldn't recommend it to anyone.  It's hockey playoff time so we've been watching the Penguins some.  I'm also kind of hooked on "Good Girls" which is a newer series on NBC.  Definitely interested and yes, I would say check it out.  

I have gotten quite a bit of reading done this week and I'm looking forward to more this weekend.  As you might know, I'm doing a buddy read of "Dread Nation" with Maria and I just finished a book for a buddy read with Stormi - "Fiction Can Be Murder."  I hope to start "The Vampire Within" and finish up "Let Me Lie" this coming week.

So in Prince news, Minneapolis law enforcement came out with a decision yesterday that no one would be charged in the death of Prince.  It was a decision which was a long time coming and I am a little saddened.  However, the investigation did show that he was unaware he was taking a product laced with Fetanyl and believed he was taking Vicodin to manage chronic pain.  Yes, he became addicted to opioids to manage pain but it was nice to know he was not intentionally taking something which has been known to automatically kill someone with one use.  Tomorrow is the 2-year anniversary of his death so who knows, maybe I'll watch "Purple Rain" this weekend too!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An Exciting Buddy Read Announcement

So a few months ago, I featured "Dread Nation" on my Can't Wait Wednesday post.  It seems like I've been waiting for this book forever.  When I did, a regular follower, Maria from A Night's Dream of Books mentioned that she was interested in it too. Now this was somewhat surprising because Maria is not a fan of horror.  Even through she regularly visits my blog, I know horror has never been and will never be her thing.  So imagine how surprised I when she and I committed to doing a buddy read of "Dread Nation" upon it release.  For those who aren't familiar with the book (are there any?) here's the low down.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations. But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

So I had an opportunity to ask Maria a very important question prior to starting this book so make sure you hop over to A Night's Dreams of Books to see what she had to say.  In return, she posed this question to me:

"Barb, you and I have both kidded around about the fact that I don't like the horror genre.  In fact, I've even told you that I'm a 'huge chicken' when it comes to reading such books, which you frequently feature and review on your blog. So were you really and truly SHOCKED when I said I was willing to read "Dread Nation" right along with you?  Any guesses as to why I've decided to 'take the plunge' as you put it?"

Well Maria, yes, I was pretty shocked.  I mean, you've made it no secret that horror just isn't the genre for you.   In fact, not only is it horror, but it's zombies nonetheless.  However, I do believe I have a few ideas about why this book interested you.  Firstly, being a YA book, one could anticipate that the horror element will be pretty mild.  Also, I'm pretty sure you enjoy historical reads and it doesn't get much more historical than the Civil War.  Finally, I think you were drawn to the diverse characters in this book and that all of these reasons combined contributed to you wanting to give this book a chance.  Am I right?

So please everyone join with me and welcome Maria to the "Dark Side" and follow us along this journey.  I doubt I reform her to a true horror lover, but I am accepting the challenge!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (154)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: Beatrice Hartley has no plans for the summer—except a secret reunion with her five former best friends.

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, they were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—in the hopes that she will get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. She suspects that her friends knew much more than they ever let on.

But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, answers seem unlikely. Her friends are all so different now, so splintered and lost. It’s too late. Beatrice senses she’s going to live the rest of her life far away from them, never knowing what really happened.

Then night fades to morning. A thunderstorm rages, and a mysterious man knocks on the door. He looks like the exhausted ringmaster of a cheap traveling circus. Blithely, he announces the impossible.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake. The nightmare. The nothingness.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Besides the fact that this guy sounds like someone who might show up randomly in my neighborhood, I really want to know what is going on and what he announces.  I've never read "Night Film" but I do own it and this sounds like it could be a good followup.