Monday, September 28, 2015

ARC Review: The Lost Girl by R. L. Stine

The Lost Girl by R. L. Stine
Manuscript via Andye @
Amazon // Goodreads
Published: September 29 (2015) // St. Martin's Griffin

Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine's avid fan base of teen readers and adults. 

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael's friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.

When I was eleven, I read my first book by Stine. My favorite one by the author is How I Got My Shrunken Heads. However, Monster Blood, and Say Cheese and Die-Again! Both come it at close seconds and thirds. I mean, who does middle grade to young adult horror better? Who better to introduce a young reader to the genre? Who better to warn them about everything under your bed, in the closet and (OF COURSE!) hidden in your basement. I’ll be honest, I was freaked out by cameras for a month or so after reading Say Cheese. And after reading The Lost Girl, let’s just go with I’ll be standing clear of random ladies stealing from the grocery store and new students. They can find their own way to the art room. I have no desire to become barbeque. None what so ever. Nope.

In the typical creep-tastic R. L. Stine style, the story is based on the murder of a girl and her father in 1950, and the events in present day. A revenge seeking girl, a delusional boy who I couldn’t help but laugh at a few times, and bags of hair. Yup. Bags. Of. Hair. Isn’t that just peaches and cream? *shudders* Nobody is touching my hair. THE LOST GIRL follows the tale of a girl and a boy and lots of mutilations and possible dead bodies. Although I wasn’t shaking in my boots (my tolerance has built up a bit since I was an eleven-year-old) I was still wonderfully disturbed. And disgusted. I mean, y’all. Nasty. Nasty. BUT GOOD FOR YOU BECAUSE I LOVE THE DISTIRBING. Oh, my. That sounded odd. *chuckles* But, from me, can you really expect anything less?

Now, I actually can’t tell you much about the plot, because although it’s pretty predictable, it kind of defines the whole story. And that would mean spoilers. And I don’t want you to worry your little head about that. Just know it’s good. It’s a good plot and good writing. So I like it. I’ve been a fan of the author for the longest time, and THE LOST GIRL hasn’t changed that.

This is where I say you need to order yourself a copy. It wasn’t stunning and spell-binding, but it was very nostalgic. And for me, that’s a reason to order the copy. Stine has a permanent spot on my ever-growing book shelves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

DIY Bookish Snacks: Truffles

Hey, y'all! Since my last bookish DIY food snack thing post went so well, I thought I'd just keep on keeping on. To put it simply.

So this week, we're making truffles. Not the mushroom. The melt in your mouth covered in more chocolate with a bit of spice things. Oh yes. Oh, yes.

Did I mention these taste, like, really, super fantastic. They're chocolate-y and spicy and WONDERFUL. And, like the chocolate covered potato chips (can you tell I like chocolate?) are super easy. 

I like to think these are best eaten while re-watching Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Or MANSFEILD PARK. Those are both worthy of this recipe. 


So here, my lovely little readers, is what you need:

2 cups of medjool dates (these can be either with or without pits. Mine had pits in them, but I removed them before I tossed them in the processor. Whole foods usually has some in stock!)
3/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (try to get the smallest ones you can. They blend easier)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I personally don't like coconut oil, so I try to find one that isn't so coconut-y. Mostly this is for texture)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of chocolate powder, unsweetened (I use Dutch processed. Because I'm fancy like that)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (I think Penzey's Spices has the BEST variety) 
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (if you want it a little less spicy, use 1/8 teaspoon) 
1/8 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (we make our own at my house) 

What to do now? WEEELLLLL, put all of that good stuff into the food processor (I don't know, maybe a blender would work too? Haven't tried that one.) and plus it until everything looks pretty well chopped up and mixed together. 

When you think it looks like dough, get an small-medium ice cream scoop and make little balls out of the dough. Roll the balls into some chocolate powder and set on wax paper.

YAY! Now, they're pretty much ready to munch on. I put mine in the fridge to harden up, but it's really up to you at this point. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

ARC Review: Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson

Goodreads // Amazon
Published by Month9Books, September 29
ARC in exchange for honest review

“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra.And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.

Let me just begin with saying that my fascination with Greek mythology is borderline obsessive. So, obviously, when I saw this in my email box from the publisher, something inside of me begged to click the request button. And I did. Again, obviously. But instead of being trapped in the words I found myself needing to find reasons to read it, rather than ones not to. Not because it was bad, but rather because I just wasn’t into it. I didn’t feel the connection to the minotaur like I felt I should. And the odd stops in between are especially where I found my focus wavering. *le sigh* I just had such high hopes.

I guess y’all are wondering what exactly about it was good, or bad. Mostly it was all okay. WHICH IS NO BUENO. I WOULD PREFER SOME GREAT. Maybe I wanted more drama and romance and tales of bravery. And I guess I got those. It just all felt so. . .watered down. I don’t even know if that is a good way to put it. I wanted to be entertained, but it just felt like running.

He ran from this and that and the other. Yes, I understand his home life wasn’t the best with the rumors and all. But come on. Give me some blood shed. Or more. Wow, I’ve been asking for more a bunch lately. But, I want it. I want to feel something for the characters. I want to weep when they weep and laugh when they laugh and love when they love. I mean, why else am I reading if not to learn to walk in the shoes of someone other than myself? Why else am I reading if not to learn the struggles of other and gain the ability to sympathize. I mean, of course I want to enjoy the ride too. But I want tragedy and romance and bloodlust.

Yes, I know I have issues.

So, MINOTAUR was fine. But it was just fine.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mia Marlowe on her new book + superpowers

M I A  H A R L O W E
on superpowers and The Madness of Lord Westfall

Welcome all you lovely people! I hope you're having a delightful morning. Today we're going to listen to Mia talk about the top five superpowers she wish she would have. AND THEN we're going to look at her newest book that has a regency lord with powers other than human. *squeals*

It sounds so good.


If I could only…  by Mia Marlowe, author of THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL

Have you ever wanted to be able to do something beyond your normal abilities? Me, too. (Being able to twitch my nose like Samantha the Witch and have my house miraculously clean itself comes to mind!) But seriously Jackie has asked me to share what top five “abilities” I would choose if I could.

Empathy: I always envied Deanna Troy, the empathy from Star Trek, Next Gen. She always had a window into the souls around her and knew how to help them. I wish I could sense how people are feeling. It would make me a better friend and probably a better person. When we know what’s going on inside someone else, it builds a connection between us because we’ve likely felt that way some time, too.

Healing: Who hasn’t wished for the ability to touch someone and have disease leave their body? It would be such a blessing to be able to heal people miraculously. But since I’m not likely to be gifted with the healing touch any time soon, I’ll have to rely on prayer and our wonderful doctors, nurses and medical researchers.

Teleportation: Let me preface this by saying I love to travel. I’ve visited 49 states and ticked off a number of countries around the globe. But whoever said getting there is half the fun, never flew coach for 14 hours! If I could “think” myself someplace else, I surely would. Imagine being able to visit the Louvre and then zip home to sleep in my own bed that night!

Language: I would love to be fluent in multiple languages. I know just enough to get myself in trouble in French, German, Italian and Spanish, but not enough to have a real conversation. Some scientists claim we think in images at the most basic level, but I believe a person’s thoughts are framed by their words. Knowing someone’s language is the first step to knowing them.

The ability to breath underwater:  Yes, if I had the discipline and athletic ability, I could learn to scuba. My oldest daughter earned her certificate and recently celebrated a birthday by swimming with the whale sharks at the Atlanta Aquarium. But I’m talking about just being able to breathe like a fish. No tanks, no gauges, no limits. It would be as liberating as being able to fly without a plane and the closest thing to being weightless without leaving the planet.

Of course, some of the characters in my Order of the M.U.S.E series don’t have to wonder what extra ability they’d like to have. They already have it. For example, Pierce Langdon, Lord Westfall, the hero in THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL, is able to hear the thoughts of those around him. But it’s not as much of a blessing as you might think. “Hearing voices” landed him in Bedlam and he was only released on the Duke of Camden’s insistence. Now Westfall serves the duke’s Order, whose purpose is to protect the royal family. Unfortunately, the thoughts of the woman he loves sound a lot like treason.

Hope you enjoy my band of Regency Extraordinaires!  

B&N // Amazon //  

Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall is mad. Everyone knows it. He fell from a tree when he was a boy and woke to hear strange voices. When the voices grow stronger as he grows older, his family commits him to Bedlam. But what he hears are the thoughts of those around him—a gift to be used in service to the Order of the M.U.S.E. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman.

Lady Nora Claremont  hides her heartbreak behind the facade of a carefree courtesan. Viscount Westfall is the most confusing man she’s ever met. He seems to know exactly what she wants...and what she's thinking.

Which is a dangerous thing, because what Nora wants is Pierce.

And what she's thinking could expose her as a traitor to the crown...

A B O U T   M I A 
Website // Blog // Twitter // 

Mia’s work was featured in the Best of 2010 issue of PEOPLE magazine. One of her books was on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to Johnny Depp memorabilia. The RITA nominated author has over 25 books in print with more on the way! For more info, please visit her website!