Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review: The Night Before Krampus

The Night Before Krampus The Night Before Krampus by Peter Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE NIGHT BEFORE KRAMPUS by Peter Johnson

THE NIGHT BEFORE KRAMPUS is glorious! A contemporary magical fable with overtones of the Brothers Grimm, Old World fables and legends, and even classical Greek and Cretan mythology, this novel is also a medieval-style morality play and cautionary tale. In a contemporary culture that praises youth and "beauty" and the celebration of celebrity while condoning greed and selfishness and closing its eyes to serial killing, genocide, and gun violence, we all need to be reminded of the Bigger Picture: of the true nature of good vs. evil, of the possibilities of the triumph of good, and simultaneously of the microcosm that composes each human life, and of the importance of each choice we each make in discerning good from evil. Wow--this is life-changing.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: The Christmas Card Murders

The Christmas Card Murders The Christmas Card Murders by Anthony Litton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE CHRISTMAS CARD MURDER by Anthony Litton

An engrossing British police procedural wrapped in a quaint village-cosy mystery! Utilizing a scary series of killings which may or may not link to an unsolved fatal accident three decades past, the author also manages contemporary social commentary. I found this mystery a quite intriguing page-turner, with a nearly unstoppable killer, gory murders, and that perfect English village background, with family heritage dating back to pre-Norman conquest, the communities, tiny as they are, a microcosm of human joys and failings.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: The Shuddering

The Shuddering The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: THE SHUDDERING by Ania Ahlborn

I enjoy this author's novels, but although I was reading apace during the middle section, this just isn't one of my favourites. Granted, the horror is implacable--a veritable Juggernaut of implacability, inescapability, and sheer stultifying terror. Granted, the setting is probably my absolute favourite: seriously snowbound in high impassable mountains. But I never warmed to the characters, and the creatures didn't interest me. {Hangs head} It may simply be me--my failure to achieve resonance with the characters or plot. For this reason, I gave it a 4.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: Dolly 3

Dolly 3 Dolly 3 by Jubilee Savage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: DOLLY 3 (DOLLY TRILOGY) by Jubilee Savage

If you thought DOLLY 1 and DOLLY 2 were extreme (they were!), you ain't seen nothing yet. DOLLY 3 zooms over the top and straight into Hades (in more senses than one). This one is definitely not for the faint of heart or the sensitive or easily offended. That aside, the intrigue maintains, and I could readily imagine the trilogy continuing on.

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Review: The Altar In The Hills and Other Weird Tales

The Altar In The Hills and Other Weird Tales The Altar In The Hills and Other Weird Tales by Brandon Barrows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


An author unafraid to reveal his roots, Brandon Burrows delivers tales purely Lovecraftian and intrinsically weird. In fact, while reading the eponymous tale "Altar in the Hills," I had to repeatedly check to remind myself I wasn't reading the Master himself {Smile}. That tale resonates for me with the thrill I experience when reading HPL' s "The Whisperer in Darkness." This collection is the first I've read of this author, but it certainly won't be the last.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2018_Bookish_Resolutions_My Challenge

Get my Netgalley percentage up to 76 %

• Read 250 Netgalley books this year

• Read 3 books by debut authors/authors that are new to me each month

• Complete 11 challenges this year

Participate in 7 + read-a-thons

Read 60 books with Winter themes: Winter, Snow, Ice, Snowbound, Icebound, Frost, Frostbite, ad infinitum; or Wintry Climates (Antarctica, Arctic, Iceland, Greenland, Finland, Scandinavia, etc.) {Includes Scandinavian crime fiction}

See my progress at 2018 Bookish Resolutions


2018_Let's Read Indie Challenge_My Challenge

I always read a lot of indie, both through specific authors and some indie publishers, so this challenge is a foregone conclusion. See how many Indie I read in 2018 at 2018 Let's Read Indie Challenge Shelf

Level 6: 51+ books in 2018 And SIGN UP here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Dolly 2

Dolly 2 Dolly 2 by Jubilee Savage
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: DOLLY 2 (DOLLY TRILOGY) by Jubilee Savage

This second installment lessens the gore just a bit (but animal lovers, beware!) and leavens with humour and philosophy. Surprisingly, our first-person narrator and protagonist, widow, mother, and killer April Madison, has developed a dry sense of humour and a philosophical bent, along with fresh and frightening new hallucinations. Her hard row to hoe worsens daily (sometimes hourly), but in a testament to the endurance of the human spirit, April keeps on keeping on. The same cannot be said for those around her.

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2018 Blogger Shame Review Challenge_My Challenge


In which Intrepid Reviewer endeavours to provide some closure to my incredibly, indelibly, "late reviews."

I've never counted the total, but I'd like to cover one Late Review per week. So: GOAL = 52.

Anything more is just frosting.

Review: Dolly

Dolly Dolly by Jubilee Savage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DOLLY by Jubilee Savage

This is the first in a trilogy entitled DOLLY. I read a recommendation of the trilogy in another author's newsletter, and decided to try it. Not only is this book full of character evolution {perhaps devolution}, but this reviewer's opinion evolved too: I started out planning to give it a 4, but by the time I had finished, I decided on 5. Yes, the first-person narrative and the characters' seeming incapacity to use verbal contractions (or prose contractions) is wearying; but that was overcome for me by the leaps our narrator takes in her evolution {devolution} and by her continued wry outlook and intermittent self-awareness. Also, the horror element was handled rather well, and I look forward to reading the two remaining installments. Caution: the gore factor gets really extreme, both from supernatural causation and from human acts. Sensitive spirits may find scenes offensive and disturbing, so be warned.

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Review: Goodnight Blackbird

Goodnight Blackbird Goodnight Blackbird by Joseph Iorillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: GOODNIGHT BLACKBIRD by Joseph Iorillo

This is Mr. Iorillo' s third novel. I read these 3 novels consecutively in 5 days. I am very enamoured of this author. But I must admit that by the third novel, the late-30's male finding himself emotionally attached to a 20-something female and putting her off because of the age difference grew a little weary. In GOODNIGHT BLA:)CKBIRD the trope takes a significant twist.

Darren and Jacqueline are both significantly haunted, on multiple levels. Darren bought a home at a quite reduced price, because of Ohio's "stigmatized properties" law. His home had been the site of a multiple domestic killing. Yes, his house is haunted.

Jacqueline' s young daughter died 6 years ago, so Jacqueline refuses to move because she experiences manifestations she believes to be Michelle.

Jacqueline and Darren meet very unexpectedly, and while life for each of them seems to collapse, the two try to form a friendship, possibly more.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

2018_Author-Love Challenge_Graham Masterton


In 2017, I read 9 titles by Graham Masterton (novels and short stories) for an author challenge at Bookbunny Goodreads Group. In 2018 I'm challenging myself to read 36 novels by Mr. Masterton, averaging 3/month.




https://roofbeamreader.com/2017/11/07/announcing-the-official-2018-tbr-pile-challenge/ HERE

12 TBR


BROKEN MONSTERS by Lauren Beukes

DEAD MAN RUNNING by Sharon Stevenson (Raised #1)

DEATH MAGIC RULES by Sharon Stevenson (Raised #2)

DIG TWO GRAVES by Edwin Alexander

GOTHIC REVIVAL by Carson Buckingham

NOT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT (Canton County Chronicles Mysteries #4) by C. M. Carleton

RED RISING by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #1)

GOLDEN SUN by Pierce Brown (Red Rising #2)




2 Alternate:

REVIVAL by Stephen King


Goodreads: 2018_official_tbr-pile

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: Psychomanteum

Psychomanteum Psychomanteum by Joseph Iorillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: PSYCHOMANTEUM by Joseph Iorillo

I discovered this author through his debut novel, THIS HOUSE IS EMPTY NOW, and set out on a personal mission to read all he writes. PSYCHOMANTEUM is equally stunning. Based on the Greek concept of using a mirror to communicate with loved ones (similar but not identical to black mirror scrying), this novel is a story of two characters on parallel lines who occasionally converge, but not necessarily by design. Melissa Chambliss is a 23-year-old Starbucks barista who lost her father at a young age and seeks methods to communicate with him, including the Ouija and psychomanteum. Psychologist and addiction counselor Ben Ridgeway wishes he could contact his long missing sister. The universe puts them on a collision course, then makes both evolve. (This is a Joseph Iorillo novel, after all--there will be character evolution. {Smile}). It's not always pretty, but it is always twisty, and this novel kept me guessing right on through to the end.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Review: The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE GHOST CLUB By William Meilkle

Subtitled "Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror," this collection will delight fans of subtle horror, aficionados of literary horror, and readers who long for the days of the exceptional storytellers of the lost Victorian Era. Authors such as H. G. Wells, Kipling, and Twain held literary audiences spellbound. Round table storytelling also excelled, in which authors read or recited their own compositions. Similar gatherings constituted collections such as William Hope Hodgson' s excellent Carnacki tales (a character Mr. Meikle has also expanded). Here are fourteen "new" tales "newly" come to light, as by fourteen well-known, revered, authors of the Victorian period. Scare yourself silly, enjoy how each story suits itself to its author personage, and acclaim the gifted William Meikle, whose talents brought us these tales.

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Review: This House Is Empty Now

This House Is Empty Now This House Is Empty Now by Joseph Iorillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THIS HOUSE IS EMPTY NOW by Joseph Iorillo

Finally I find a protagonist I like! Despite his fecklessness (and yes, he has psychological reasons and yes, it's his responsibility to mature), I liked Ray as a character, empathized with him, cheered him on. I really appreciated the character evolution. This is an engrossing novel (a two-session read for me) which is as much about human psychology and maturity and personal evolution as it is about supernatural events and processes. So even skeptics can enjoy it, as well as every stripe of believer. 5 stars is just not enough!

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Snowed in with Death

Snowed in with Death Snowed in with Death by Ruby Loren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SNOWED IN by Ruby Loren

Ruby Loren' s cozy mysteries are both heartwarming and delightful. In this first of the Holly Winter Mysteries, aptly named pianist and amateur sleuth Holly Winter wins a contest, with the prize a stay at the annual get-together of seven outstanding private detectives. The current event is held at a very isolated Scottish manor house, where naturally, the guests, minus one who could not attend, and the event organizer are snowed in. These are purported to be top sleuths, yet all they do is boast and snipe. One by one, they are picked off [shades of Dame Agatha' s fictional house parties] in a fatal game of last man standing.

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Review: Harry Moon Harry's Christmas Carol Color Edition

Harry Moon Harry's Christmas Carol Color Edition Harry Moon Harry's Christmas Carol Color Edition by Mark Andrew Poe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When a small community succumbs to anxiety, despair, and economic fear, evil makes inroads, promising solutions (and fomenting greed and cruelty). And where evil makes inroads, the good get going. In the once peaceful community of Sleepy Hollow, Massachusetts (NOT the Sleepy Hollow of Washington Irving!) for the past 15 years, Mayor Kilgore has preyed on the economic fears of the townsfolk and turned the community into "every night is Halloween!" To feed his greed, he treats with darkness, and darkness responds.

Arrayed against darkness are 13-year-old eight-grader Harry Moon and 10-year-old sister Honey Moon, and their respective mentors, magic store owner Solomon Dupree, and the town's librarian. In this engaging series, good magic battles against the ever-encroaching spread of darkness, which sometimes seems irredeemable and indefensible. Harry and Honey will encourage middle-graders to "do the right thing," no matter how difficult, no matter the peer pressure.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Honey Moon Scary Little Christmas

Honey Moon Scary Little Christmas Honey Moon Scary Little Christmas by Sofi Benitez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Christmas is supposed to be joyful and loving, not scary and horrendous. It's not supposed to be another version of Halloween....unless you live in Sleepy Hollow, Massachusetts, a small community which is NOT the site of the Headless Horseman, but is run by a mayor who is both evil and greedy. Honey Moon is a force for good, ten years old, and a warrior on the side of the angels. Older brother Harry is a magician--with actual magic. When the Mayor tries to make Christmas Eve another Halloween, Honey and the town librarian decide to bring the real joy of the season.

The Honey Moon series, created by Mark Andrew Poe, is a delightful, engaging, and thought-provoking set aimed at middle-graders, but which can be enjoyed by any age, even adults. "Do the right thing" and "Be where you're needed" are Honey' s mottos, but we could all adopt them.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep: A Charity Anthology Benefitting the Jimmy Fund / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by P.D. Cacek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP Anthology (Charity) edited by P. C. Cacek and Laura J. Hickman

An outstanding collation, which benefits the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Institute. You can't go wrong being scared by these exceptional stories.

"Mother and Daughter" by Jack Ketchum: a well-written and intriguing story, but so depressing. Not just supernatural horror can be implacable; psychological horror can be too, as acclaimed author Jack Ketchum demonstrates the chains mind and spirit create. Sometimes one's only escape is the only permanent escape.

"Messages" by Errick A. Nunnally: a story of a man with a mission. It's also a story of an old-fashioned individual, one who admires duty, honor, and compassion, who is determined to uphold these old-fashioned virtues in this crass modern age.

"Sleepless" by Mark Steensland: Insomnia--we've all experienced it, some more than others. Stephen King wrote a horror novel about it. Likely few have experienced it in the intensity, persistence, or sudden determined onset, as has this narrator.

"The Vacant Lot" by Thomas Tessier: Oh my. I am very impressed. Wonderfully subtle, amazingly frightening, all the more so for the subtlety! Feckless protagonist, almost self-driven to it. I can see myself in this plot: unoccupied, alone, impelled to explore, to satisfy questions about the "oddness." Scary

"blood, cold like ice" by Doungai Jam: incredibly unnerving tale. I can read extreme horror day in and day out, face the cosmic horrors of Lovecraft...but domestic violence always unnerves me. This perceptive story proves no exception.

"A Life Unremembered" by G. Daniel Gunn: well-done psychological horror, so very sad. Kind of "the road not taken" story--with a major twist.

"Wired" by Elizabeth Massie: Real horror here, both factual and psychological, man's humanity, and the wheel of karma.

"Blue Stars" by Tony Tremblay: I am all over shivers from this one. That is horror: the backstory, the denouement, and oh my the ending. I want to scream from fright. I remember the shopkeeper in King' s NEEDFUL THINGS and I think, this story takes place in New England too. {Shiver}

"Are You Happy Now, Mother?" By John Buja: Tremendously sad, but also frightening. And that poor boy's mother! Herself a horror.

"Nina" by John L. McIlveen: So-totally-scary! Implacable, inescapable, horror. So glad it was still daylight when I read this.

"Housing the Hobblegobs" by Marianne Halbert: implacably scary! I'm so far from childhood, yet this story still quite scared me.

"Inertia Creeps" by Charles Colyott: this story gives a new level of meaning to implacable horror: you want to run, you want to hide, but you can't, your natural human compassion got you into this, and now something devoid of compassion is tracking you..

"Leave Here Alive" by Bracken McLeod: I think this is the first story I have read by this author. Let me tell you: THIS STORY SCARED THE LIVING BLAZES OUT OF ME!!!! Afraid to sleep now! This is far too plausible!

"Sleep Well" by Angie Shearstone: a delightfully scary illustrated version of hypnagogia, symptoms, possibilities, biological causation.

" The Fine Art of Madness " by Gary Frank: seriously Lovecraftian, from the non-Euclidean geometry to the dream intrusions to affecting an artist to the entity, in service to a monster god--this is finely-orchestrated implacable horror. Love it.

"The Beach" by Cara M. Colyott: and here you thought the only dangers at the beach were sunburn, high tides, drowning, and tsunamis. Think again.

"Angel Tears" by Jill Bauman: heartwrenching but uplifting poem..

"Darkness at the Edge of Town" by James A. Moore: this cogent tale has incredible twists, I caught my breath a couple of times, and a powerful impact.

"Would You, Could You, In the Dark?" By Craig Wolf: Still digesting this story, which repeatedly blew me away. Saddening, disheartening, grieving--one wants to shake sense into the protagonist, shout "Go with what you've got, not what you lost!"--and the overtones are beautifully and terrifyingly Lovecraftian. Bravo!

"Wishing Won't" by Richard Dansky: You may now color me officially TERRIFIED. I'll have nightmares!

"The Phobia Where You're Afraid of Words" by Paul McMahon. Empathy came easy for both characters in this story, which made the content and outcome sadder.

"Nightly Ritual" by William D. Carl: I particularly love winter scary stories; when Nature herself is rendered implacable, and no escape is possible because the world is blanketed with snow and ice. Death is always close at hand, from freezing temperatures, no heat source, black ice, snow drifts. This is a beautiful and ultimately terrifying tale of an overwhelming love that turns to terror--whenever there's a terrible snowstorm.

"White Wings" by Mark Morris: Another winter horror. An unhappily married man has finally reached his limit with his philandering wife. He's going to end the marriage, but she and her lover have a more permanent solution in mind.

"The Other Side" by Paul McNally: short but so.poignant. Sometimes we wonder if the grass really is greener, and sometimes love and grief impels us to find out.

"Truth or Dare?" By Bev Vincent: Truth or Dare US usually a simple, sometimes embarrassing, occasionally humiliating game. Usually it isn't injurious, seldom fatal. But when one of the players has a nasty agenda and the ability to back it up, the consequences can be horrifying. A really scary tale.

""Unexpected Attraction" by Matthew Costello: ahh, poetic justice. It's so satisfying. In this story, which is multiply twisty, it's more like poetic injustice.

"The Ritual Remains" by Jonathan Lee's: a marvelously fabled tale of a Mother and a daughter and a Birthday Ritual.

"The End of All Stories" by Trevor Firetog: Ever wonder why you don't remember the end of a bedtime story? It's not because you fell asleep...

"Duality" by Brian Keene: short, sad, extremely twisty and surprising.

"The Lake Children" by Izzy Lee: omg make it stop I am way way too scared. Oh this story is stuck my mind, I'll wake up terrified and alone.

"The Circus Under the Bed" by T. J. Wooldridge: still really, really afraid to sleep.

"1-2-3 Red Light" by Gregory L. Norris: Evil takes the oddest forms, but it's still implacable.

"The Old Men Know" by Charles L. Grant: Classic. No one does it like the Master.

"The Oldest Fear" by Skikhar Dixit: What do we fear from earliest childhood? (Illustration)

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Whole Latte Xmas Reading Challenge Nov. 20-Jan. 7


I've been reading Christmas and Winter books for the Christmas Spirit and Scary Readathon and Christmas Spirit Readathon.

Winter is my favourite season, and I long to live in a locale with actual winter. Meanwhile, I read Winter.

Proposed Reading List:




DEATHLEHEM REVISITED Holiday Horror Anthology

RETURN TO DEATHLEHEM Holiday Horror Anthology


THE SHUDDERING by Ania Ahlborn

BLIZZARD by Ross Lynch

BLIZZARD by H. W. Buzz Bernard





"Icebound" by Morris Kenyon

RAPTURE by Thomas Tessier (not fully winter, but frequently)

NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP Anthology [several Winter Horrors]

Ice Storm (children's picture and text)

"Polaris" by H. P. Lovecraft




"The White Ship" by HPL SNOWED IN by Ruby Loren


"The Souls of the Ships" by Brian Freeman


THE GHOST CLUB By William Meikle

PSYCHOMANTEUM by Joseph Iorillo


DOLLY by Jubilee Savage DOLLY 2 by Jubilee Savage DOLLY 3 by Jubilee Savage THE SHUDDERING by Ania Ahlborn