Thursday, April 19, 2018

Come Back To The Swamp by Laura Morrison (ARC) - Review

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I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Bernice is doing invasive species research in Cleary Swamp for her graduate degree in ecology when she is confronted by a strange woman who claims to be the swamp. When Bernice uncovers that the old woman is a missing person named Rebecca Hallet who disappeared ages ago, she tries to get her some help. However, Rebecca has a supernatural connection to the swamp itself. The swamp knows that Rebecca's body isn't going to last much longer and it needs a new caretaker host, and it doesn't want to let Bernice go.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Laura Morrison's novella, but I'm glad I took the opportunity to try Come Back To The Swamp. Ecology isn't really my subject, but what we get of the science is quite readable either way. My favorite aspect of this story is easily Bernice herself. She's a fan of classic sci-fi, Lord of the Rings, and bluegrass music. I don't know about you, but she sounds like someone I'd want to make friends with. She's also very level-headed and isn't not willing to take whatever Rebecca/ the swamp says at face value. I appreciated that she does her best to put together the pieces behind what's going on with Rebecca and the swamp. Tonally, I also liked how this story comes across - it's very creepy and disconcerting - and how the tension builds up as the story is reaching the conclusion. Finally, I only have one complaint - the story is too short. I wish we got to see more of these characters and the swamp. There's so much more I want to see that we just get a taste of here.

Overall, Come Back To The Swamp by Laura Morrison comes with high praise from me. There are so many great things about this story from intriguing characters, great writing, and supernatural elements that leave you wanting more. If only this story was longer so we could stay with everyone for longer. I am definitely interested in trying more from this author in the future.

I read this ARC from April 8 - 9, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsCome Back To The Swamp by Laura Morrison will be released on August 7, 2018.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: TV Shows I Want To Start

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is a freebie - I've decided to try list some tv shows I plan on starting in on soon.  Here we go, in order by series title:

Altered Carbon - I don't know about you, but I think this looks like a pretty awesome cyberpunk series!

Big Little Lies - I just recently finished the novel and I'm definitely interested in what they do with the adaptation - This one actually came in much sooner than expected so I just finished watching it actually.

Damien - Bradley James in a horror series that expands on The Omen? I'll have to give it a try!

Hemlock Grove - I've been told that I need to start in on this werewolf series so many times.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - I have no clue why I haven't already started this one honestly!

The Librarians - I loved the tv movie series and I've been meaning to watch the tv show. I've heard lots of good things about it!

The Man in the High Castle - This alternate history series has been recommended to me too many times to count...

Orphan Black - I've been meaning to start this for ages, but for some reason I keep pushing it further down my watchlist. I need to just start it once and for all.

Westworld - I love the movie 1973 movie and I'm actually about halfway through season one as you read this.

Wynona Earp - One of my friends watches this show and she has nothing but good things to say about it, so I'd better try it out.

Have you watched any of these shows?  Which should I start in on first?  What are you watching now?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Music Monday: Music From The Bahubali Series

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.


Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm spotlighting some of my favorite songs from the Bahubali two-part movie series.  I just recently watched the final part and I absolutely loved every minute of the series!  It's an epic action fantasy set in ancient India - it has something in it for everyone, including great musical numbers, stunning fight scenes, and breathtaking cinematography.  Seriously, this series was everything I never knew I needed in my life and I highly recommend it!  Below, I'm sharing my five favorite songs from the series - the first three are from the first movie and the last two are from the final movie.  Unfortunately the videos below don't have English subtitles, so you won't know exactly what's going on unless you know Hindi or have already seen these movies, but either way these will totally give you a taste of just how awesome this series is.  By the way, the movies were originally made in both Telugu and Tamil, but it was also dubbed in Hindi (which is what the DVD editions I watched were in).  Check out the trailer for Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) here and Bahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) here.  I think I'm going to have to be on the look out for more movies featuring Prabhas, the actor playing both Bahubali and Shivudu, even though before this series he was mostly known for his work in romantic comedies because he's just that good.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Boy of Blood Blog Tour

Happy Sunday everyone and welcome to my stop on the Boy of Blood Blog Tour from Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC.  Read on to learn more about this book, the author, and see an excerpt from the story!  On to the tour:

Boy of Blood

By Megan O'Russell

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Series: Girl of Glass
Genre: YA Dystopia
Release Date: April 10, 2018

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.
Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.
Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

Excerpt from Chapter 7:

The sounds coming from the lower level were different from those of the medical area. There were no screams of pain or panic. The Outer Guard were groomed to stay calm no matter what, but the lack of sound was more terrifying than the screams had been. Nola ran down the stairs, but before she was three steps into the hall, a hand reached out and grabbed her. “Nola, what are you doing here?” Blood streaked Gentry’s face and matted her blonde hair.

“Jeremy,” Nola panted. “Where is he? Is he okay?”

Gentry’s eyes flicked to the door behind Nola for a split second. “Nola, he’ll be fine. They’re taking care of him.”

“Is he hurt?” Panic surged in her chest. “What happened?”

“Nola, you have to get out of here.”

Another stretcher was being carried down the stairs. The guard at the front pushed Gentry and Nola aside, not seeming to care if he knocked them over. Gentry’s grip on Nola’s arm slackened for only a moment, but it was enough. Nola yanked her arm away and ran toward the door that Gentry’s eyes had flicked to, hoping that it would be the right one.

Nola pushed open the swinging door and froze.

It was Jeremy, lying on a table, covered in blood. His own blood. Doctors moved around the table, one of them shouting orders to the others. One ripped away the tattered shreds of uniform that covered Jeremy’s stomach.

“No!” Nola screamed without realizing the word had left her mouth, but the doctors didn’t notice the noise.

Ragged gashes cut deep into the flesh of Jeremy’s stomach. Blood poured from a bullet-shaped hole in the center of his chest.

Jeremy’s face was untouched; his helmet had protected him. His eyes were closed, he could have been sleeping.

“What the hell are you doing in here?” A doctor shoved Nola aside, a needle filled with black liquid held in her hand. “Someone get her the hell out of here!”



About the Author:

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

Social Media:

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson + 50/50 Friday

On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads that will fulfill the true crime task for Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder ChallengeThe Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson.  This nonfiction book has been recommended so many times, both by friends and on the job.  It easily one of the most popular nonfiction books (that isn't about WWII) that we can't keep on our shelves at the library, so I'm excited to try it for myself!  By the way, the gif below is from the Supernatural season two episode called "No Exit" which featured H.H. Holmes - it seemed appropriate!


The date was April 14, 1912, a sinister day in maritime history, but of course the man in suite 63-55, shelter deck C, did not yet know it.


The delay was maddening, absurd, the hourglass long ago upended.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Short Story

Favorite - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman - Gaiman is one of my favorite author's and I love his short stories.  This collection was one of my favorite reads of 2017.

Least Favorite - Futura by Jordan Phillips - Technically, this is a novella but I'm still counting it here.  I liked the concept, but I think I would have preferred the story as a dystopian from the perspective of the Basics and the Holdouts rather than from Ruby's utopian view.

Have you ever read any of these stories before?  What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read.  Here we go, in no particular order:

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1) by Jeff Lindsay - I really liked this mystery thriller (and what I've seen of the tv adaptation), but I doubt I'll go back and reread this though I may someday continue the series.

The Last Orphans (The Last Orphans #1) by N.W. Harris - I read this YA dystopia for review a few years ago and it was pretty great, especially if you're a fan of The Walking Dead or Revolution.  The sequel was also pretty cool.  One of these days I'd still like to read book three.

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga - This was an excellent YA mystery thriller.  While I probably won't reread book one, I'd still like to attempt the rest of the series.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - This was absolutely fantastic, but the odds of me doing a reread are pretty low actually.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan - This was my first experience with Levithan and I'd still like to try Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story.

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown - This is my favorite book in the series, but odds are pretty low that I'll be return to this story.

Faceless Killers (Kurt Wallander #1) by Henning Mankell - I've read five books in this series and I need to continue it, but I doubt I'll start again from the beginning of the series.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - I should probably reread this classic, but I honestly I doubt I will.

Dhampir (The Noble Dead: Series 1 #1) by Barb and J.C. Hendee - I love the first series in this world, but I think I'd rather move on to series two rather than reread the first.

A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak #1) by Darren Shan - Shan's take on vampires is so cool and this twelve book saga is well worth jumping into, but there are other books by Darren Shan I'd prefer to pick up for the first time.

Have you read any of the books I've featured this week?  What books have you loved, but have no plans to reread?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Windsworn (Gryphon Riders Trilogy #1) by Derek Alan Siddoway - Review

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I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Eva lived the quiet life with her foster-father, working with him in the forge. Everything changes when she finds a thief in the shed with a stolen gryphon egg. After the egg hatches in her hands and the baby gryphon begins to bond with her, she discovers that she'll have to train and join the ranks of the Windsworn, elite warriors who fly gryphons into battle. While she struggles to get caught up on the years worth of training that she's missed, she finds herself in the middle of a plot to take down the Windsworn and start a war - a plot that somehow involves her deceased parents.

Windsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway is a fantastic series opener and I'm thrilled that I have had the opportunity to jump into Eva's story. I have to admit that I was hooked on Siddoway's storytelling from the first page. His world building is excellent and he does a good job of developing and fleshing out Eva throughout the novel. It's a pleasure seeing how Eva starts this novel versus where she ends up. He also creates a mystery that I enjoyed trying to unravel - and the payoff for it at the end is top notch. I haven't read much about gryphons before, but I definitely could have done with more of them as they're just as important as the human cast, and just as fascinating.

Overall, the Gryphon Riders Trilogy starts off well with Windsworn. It's an addicting read that I expect anyone who loves How to Train Your Dragon will particularly enjoy Siddoway's series. There are so many great things going for this YA adventure fantasy and I can't wait to revisit this world in book two, Windswept.

I read this book from March 29 - April 1, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.