Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

Genre: Horror/Thriller
  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 10, 2019)

    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1643851632
    • ISBN-13: 978-1643851631


    Synopsis: A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic--and terrifying--consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

    Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face...

    In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real--and she could prove it.

    That belief got Becca killed.

    It's been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night--that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She's done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn't seen since the night Becca died.

    The night Heather killed her.

    Now, someone else knows what she did...and they're determined to make Heather pay. 

    Review:  This was a perfect story to read just before Halloween! It has alternating chapters of past and present so that we learn little bits and pieces of each story as we go along.  
    I remember as a young girl doing things with my friends to scare ourselves that seem silly now--saying Bloody Mary three times in the mirror, playing light as a feather stiff as a board, playing with an ouija board, etc. But thankfully we never took any of it as seriously as Becca took her Red Lady story.
    I didn't see the ending of this one coming at all, but it certainly made sense of Becca's obsession and made me feel even sadder for her. The same can't be said for Heather, however. As an adult, she is way too paranoid and too suspicious of nearly everyone in her life.
    I highly recommend this one. It's got creepy moments, a few laughs, and tons of head-shaking 'yikes, what's wrong with people' scenes. 

    Rating:  Four stars

    About the author
    Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Cry Your Way Home, Paper Tigers, and Sing Me Your Scars, winner of This is Horror's Short Story Collection of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year's Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including the Shirley Jackson Award Finalists Autumn Cthulhu and The Madness of Dr. Caligari, World Fantasy Award Finalist Cassilda's Song, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, and Apex Magazine. Until the magazine's closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescued pit bulls.

    Better Off Bald by Andrea Wilson Woods

    Genre: Biography/memoir
  • Paperback: 392 pages

    • Publisher: Build Your BLISSS (September 23, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1544504594
    • ISBN-13: 978-1544504599

    Synopsis: Adrienne Wilson is a depressed, suicidal teenager—until the day she receives a diagnosis of stage IV liver cancer. Facing the fight of her life, Adrienne discovered just how much she wants to live. In Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, Andrea Wilson Woods chronicles her sister's remarkable life, from the time she was born to the day she dies at age fifteen. Written like a journal, Andrea takes the reader inside her and Adrienne's journey explaining how she gained custody of Adrienne from their mother and how the sisters' relationship evolved over time. Adrienne's courageous spirit shines through as she squeezes more life into 147 days than most people do in a lifetime. From meeting Jay Leno to spending the day with Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction, Adrienne makes every moment count. As she lay dying, Adrienne teaches Andrea how to live.

    Review:  This is an amazing memoir about two amazing young women. They are sisters, but the older is acting as the parent to the younger. When Adrienne is diagnosed with cancer, both of their lives change in an instant.
    While you may expect this to be a sad story (and it does have its moments), there is a lot of happiness and positivity in the pages of this book. Even in the final days of Adrienne's life, she is an inspiration to everyone around her.
    The book is very honestly written and gives great insight into the lives of both sisters and the emotions they were feeling as they took this final journey together.

    Rating: Five stars

    About the author
    19508511ANDREA WILSON WOODS is a writer who loves to tell stories, and a patient advocate who founded the nonprofit Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association. Andrea is the CEO and co-founder of Cancer University, a for-profit, social-benefit, digital health company. With Cancer U, Andrea synergizes her talents of coaching, writing, teaching, and advocacy. For over ten years, Andrea worked in the education field as a teacher and professor for public and private schools as well as universities. Andrea obtained her master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California; her nonfiction writing has won national awards.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    BLOG TOUR: Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner

    Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner


    Speak No Evil

    by Liana Gardner

    on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2019


    Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner
    What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

    My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

    And it’s all my fault.

    Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

    I was wrong.

    But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago.

    Back when I would sing the snakes calm …

    Book Details:

    Genre: YA Mystery
    Published by: Vesuvian Books
    Publication Date: October 1st 2019
    Number of Pages: 285
    ISBN: 1944109366 (ISBN13: 9781944109363)
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Review: This is an unusual YA story, and I loved it. Melody Fisher has led a difficult and complicated life which we learn about in flashbacks. Now, at 16, she has stopped talking entirely and communicates through the music she plays. Unfortunately, she's been charged with stabbing a classmate, and her words may be the only thing that can save her from prison. Will her therapist and her caseworker be able to break down her walls and save her in time?

    The author draws us into not only Melody's story but also into her mind. I kept wanting to reach out and comfort the poor girl as she went through so many traumatic events in her short life.  There are possibly triggering scenes of abuse and rape, but they are an important part of the narrative and are presented in ways that show the author is mindful of her young audience's emotions.

    This story does a wonderful job of reminding readers that silence does not equate to consent in any situation, and that the truth should always be spoken even when it hurts...with truth comes freedom.

    Rating: Five stars

    Read an excerpt:

    Uncle Harlan slammed my bedroom door open. “You’re going to learn to show the Lord respect, girl.” He grabbed my neck and forced me to walk in front of him.
    My neck hurt where he dug his fingers in.
    He took me outside and shoved me toward the shed. He slipped the key in the lock and removed it from the hasp. The door creaked as it opened and then he thrust me through.
    “I’m not going to allow you to follow your mother’s footsteps. You’ll learn to make peace with snakes and not show them any fear. Or else.”
    He grabbed a snake case from the shelf, put it on the ground, and opened it. He stepped backward out of the shed and swung the door shut. The latch clicked. Uncle Harlan on one side of the door, and the snake and me locked inside.
    “I’ll come get you in time for school in the morning.”
    His footsteps receded.
    Light filtered through the cracks in the shed slats. In the dim light, the snake coiled in the corner, its tongue flicking out periodically. I slowly lowered to the ground and hugged Raksha Waya tight.
    The inside of the shed was slightly warmer than outside. Staying warm might be a bigger problem than keeping the snake calm. It ignored me and remained coiled, but the cold seeped into my bones. I scanned the shelves. There had to be something in here I could use to help keep warm.
    A tarp sat on a shelf on the opposite side of the shed from the snake. But I might not be tall enough to pull it down. Standing on tiptoes, I grabbed a corner and tugged. My fingers slipped. I set Rakkie on a lower shelf, then reached with both hands and tugged.
    The weight of the tarp almost knocked me over as I caught it.
    Making sure to keep my movements small so I didn’t threaten the snake, I unfolded the tarp and spread it out. Then I grabbed Rakkie and carefully crawled under a corner. Once settled with Rakkie on my lap, I pulled it over us and tucked it under my chin.
    The hours passed as the light changed and moved through the shed. My tailbone ached and my back hurt from sitting still for so long. Twilight came. Surely Uncle Harlan didn’t really mean to leave me here with the snake all night.
    When the darkness was complete and I could no longer see my hand in front of my face, I faced the hard truth—Uncle Harlan meant it. I’d spend the night locked in a small space with a pit viper.
    While my toes still felt frozen, the rest of me was warmer with the tarp. My eyes drooped and closed. Then I heard it.
    Hiss. Rattle. The whisper of something dragging across the floorboards.
    The snake was on the move. The slight rattle as it slithered through the shed made my heart pound. I froze.
    Excerpt from Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. Copyright © 2019 by Liana Gardner. Reproduced with permission from Liana Gardner. All rights reserved.

    Author Bio:

    Liana Gardner
    Liana Gardner is the multi-award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution (most recently the recipient of a 2018 Nautilus Book Award) and The Journal of Angela Ashby. The daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface.
    Liana volunteers with high school students through EXP ( EXP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, EXP helps young people EXPerience, EXPand, and EXPlore.
    Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but her imagination takes her wherever she wants to go.
    Liana is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

    Catch Up With Liana Gardner On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

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    Enter To Win!:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Vesuvian Books and Liana Gardner. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card and 2 winners of a signed print copy of Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2019 and runs through December 2, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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