Fab Five Friday – Creepy Books

HAPPY HOLLOWEEN! To celebrate this spooky holiday, I’m sharing with you my five favorite creeptastic books! Have a gloriously ghoulish day!

 

 

the diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened

 

faelorehn

Faelorehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

I never heard him come after me and even as I climbed the slope and stumbled onto our shaded back lawn, I didn’t look back. It was like the day the gnomes chased me all over again, but this time I was not escaping some horrible little creatures, I was fleeing from an incredibly good-looking guy who could very well understand me completely. I was either saving myself from that serial killer I always imagined lived down in the swamp, or I had finally gone over the deep end . . . Meghan Elam has been strange her entire life: her eyes have this odd habit of changing color and she sees and hears things no one else does. When the visions and voices in her head start to get worse, she is convinced that her parents will want to drag her off to another psychiatrist. That is, until the mysterious Cade MacRoich shows up out of nowhere with an explanation of his own. Cade brings her news of another realm where goblins and gnomes are the norm, a place where whispering spirits exist in the very earth, and a world where Meghan just might find the answers she has always sought.

 

the name of the star

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Jack the Ripper is back, and he’s coming for Rory next….

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target…unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

 

 

a great and terrible beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.

 

beautiful creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . . There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes. There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it. In the end, there is a grave. Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

 

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Throwback Thursday – The Mandie Series

I remember discovering this battered children’s series in my church’s library when I was in elementary school. I quickly devoured every single one.

Reminiscent of the “back in the olden days” stories of Little House on the Prairie, these children’s books focus on Mandie Shaw, a youngster living in the North Carolina backwoods at the turn of the century.

Her father dies, her home life is awful, and all she has to cling to are her faith in God and her friendship with a Cherokee Indian.

Throughout the series, her life changes as she learns more about her family history and forges new friendships. She also embarks on many adventures and wraps up mysteries with the help of her kitten, Snowball.

I LOVED these books as a kid! Adventures and mysteries and history all wrapped up in one awesome package.

mandie

Mandie and the Secret Tunnel

Mandie Shaw, almost a teenager, is certain God no longer loves her as she watches her father being lowered into his grave. Mandie’s move into a neighbor family’s home, when her mother remarries, does not soften her grief. Her only comfort is the promise from her father’s faithful Cherokee friend, Uncle Ned, to watch out for her and be a friend. Will Mandie be able to escape her new and nearly intolerable home situation? Will she find her long-lost family? Will the mysterious key unlock the door to the secret tunnel and her own family’s history? For children 8-13, mystery adventures set in the North Carolina backwoods at the turn of the century.

 

Check it out! Amazon has a collection of the first five books!

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Waiting on Wednesday- Waistcoats and Weaponry

Waiting on Wednesday- Waistcoats and Weaponry

This is the third book in the Finishing School Series, “Waistcoats and Weaponry” by Gail Carringer comes out next week! Lindsey really enjoyed the first book, as evidenced by her review here. The third book comes out the week of November 3!

Class is back in session…

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Timesbestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.” (Description from Amazon.com)

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Happy Birthday Book 10/28/14

Happy Birthday Book 10/28/14

Happy Birthday to all the books coming out this week!

1. This book sounds funny!

2. The 15th novel in this detective series.

3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, a girl we all admire and laugh with, comes out this week. She’s such a funny lady who’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

4. Another Christmas novel! This one is about Alexis trying to make a happy Christmas for her family.

***The links above are from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Book Event – California Capital Book Festival!

We had an absolute blast at the first annual California Capital Book Festival on Saturday!

 

Lindsey and Brenda Novak at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Lindsey and Brenda Novak at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

The day started off with Brenda Novak, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense, romance, and historical author. I was incredibly excited because, as one of the first 200 people to enter the festival, I won a free copy of her latest book! The woman was SUPER impressive, and not just because she’s written 50 books since 2000! In addition to writing 3 books a year, she also hosts an annual online auction for Diabetes research, which brought in 2.4 MILLION dollars last year! Her talk gave tons of information on the industry- how she met her editor at a conference in Utah, how traditionally published authors make about 8-10% of sales of their books (after their advance is paid back), how e-readers have transformed readership, and how “reading is magical” for an author. I absolutely adored this woman, and if you live in the northern California area, you should definitely check out her latest book launch at Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights on Tuesday at 6:00 pm!

Lindsey, Talia Vance, Donna Cooner, and Elizabeth at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Lindsey, Talia Vance, Donna Cooner, and Elizabeth at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

Next up was a YA Discussion Group with Talia Vance and Donna Cooner. Since they’ve blogged at YA Muses, they were already super comfortable and fed off of each other. Their dynamic was great! The standouts for me from this breakout were the personal stories. While writing Spies and Prejudice, Talia decided that the main character had a pet St. Bernard. Of course, this required online research. Which necessitated a trip to a local breeder. Which finally resulted in the purchase of a drooly St. Bernard puppy! They had Huckleberry for 4 years before health issues took him to Doggie Heaven. I will admit to getting a tad bit tear-eyed listening to Talia talk about her fur child. Donna’s story was no less emotional. She, like the main character in her first book, underwent gastric bypass surgery. And like her main character, she’s had to battle the negative self-talk in her head, even as her body transformed. It was so interesting to hear where her inspiration came from. The idea for her latest book, Don’t Look Away, was taken from her experience with the scrutiny, notoriety, and buzz that came her way with the success of Skinny. Don’t tell my husband, but I totally bought both of these authors’ books, they looked THAT good!

Jessica Inclan. Elizabeth Maxwell, and Cindy Sample at the Fiction Panel.
Jessica Inclan. Elizabeth Maxwell, and Cindy Sample at the Fiction Panel.

Next came a Fiction Panel with 3 lovely romance and mystery authors. Cindy Sample is a self-published, sassy sixty-something year old writer of romantic humorous mysteries, including her latest, Dying for a Dude. Then there was Elizabeth Maxwell, who’s latest book is about an erotic romance author who’s characters suddenly show up in real life. Finally, there was Jessica Inclan, who’s recently released novel includes over a dozen family recipes. This was an interesting bunch of ladies! I’m not entirely sure they should have been sharing the same stage, since they are so vastly different. The one thing that sticks out about their panel discussion was their frustration with being pigeonholed into a certain category or genre. Most traditional publishers want to know what shelf their book should be on, and each of the ladies’ books could be placed on multiple different shelves at the bookstore.

After this panel, we split up!

Hannah Jayne and Lindsey
Hannah Jayne and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Jenna Elizabeth Johnson and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

 

Jenny Lundquist and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Jenny Lundquist and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

Lindsey attended the YA BFF’s panel, featuring Jennifer Lundquist, Hannah Jayne, and Jenna Elizabeth Johnson. This was an awesome panel because each of the authors came from a slightly different genre within YA. Jenna writes paranormal fantasy stories deeply rooted in Celtic Mythology. Lindsey read and really enjoyed her Faelorehn series, so it was really neat to meet the author! Jennifer Lundquist was a super sweet, very intelligent writer of middle grade and young adult books, who’s latest book launches this week! (Speaking of which, you should totally check out her launch party at the Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights on Saturday the 1st at 1:00 pm!) She gets to immerse herself in sumptuous, sparkling masquerades while she writes… until reality hits and she realizes she’s late to pick up her kids. Then there was Hannah Jayne, a super bubbly, happy gal who writes suspense/thrillers about people dying horrible, gruesome deaths. Yeah. The lady sitting behind Lindsey totally wanted to give her a hug, haha! They were great, and a tremendous encouragement. Jenna works full time as a teacher’s aide, so she gets up early, works from 5-7 am at Starbucks, goes to work all day, and then goes back to Starbucks to finish up her writing for the day. Talk about dedication!

Cara Black and Elizabeth at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Cara Black and Elizabeth at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Elizabeth and Rhys Bowen at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Elizabeth and Rhys Bowen at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

Meanwhile, Elizabeth was at her Mystery Sisters’ Club Panel. This panel featured Rhys Bowen, Cara Black, and Terry Shames. All of these ladies are mystery authors whose location plays an important role in the book. Rhys Bowen talked about her Molly Murphy series which takes place in New York in 1901 and her Royal Spyness series which takes place in the 1930s in Upperclass Britain. Cara Black writes about Paris in the 1990s, but a Paris that is haunted by the past. Terry Shames writes about Texas, due to a writing teacher telling her to “write about something you are passionate about. Something you know that no one else knows.” She said she knows Texas! When asked how the ladies plan out their books, Bowen said there are “two kinds of writers- the planners and the pantsers- those who write by the seat of their pants. Cara [Black] and I are pantsers.” Black said the challenge in writing a series is to “keep it fresh, yet familiar” and Shames reassured the aspiring authors in the audience when she said that she remembers hearing that “the first draft is just to find out what the story is about.”

Elizabeth and Lindsey with Alexis Bass at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Elizabeth and Lindsey with Alexis Bass at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Kelly Loy Gilbert, Elizabeth, Stacey Lee, Lindsey, and Sabaa Tahir at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Kelly Loy Gilbert, Elizabeth, Stacey Lee, Lindsey, and Sabaa Tahir at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Elizabeth, Jessica Taylor, and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014
Elizabeth, Jessica Taylor, and Lindsey at the California Capital Book Festival 2014

The final break out session of the day was The Fifteeners Panel. We were curious about the name of the panel, since none of the authors looked to be younger than twenty or so. We discovered that the name comes from an entire group of authors from major publishing houses coming out with books in 2015. They all support and encourage one another throughout the craziness of the long process to publication. Alexis Bass, Kelly Loy Gilbert, Stacey Lee, Sabaa Tahir, and Jessica Taylor were warm, honest, and hysterical. We LOVED their advice for aspiring authors! Each of them seemed to have a long, torturous road to getting their deal, and the main theme seemed to be to not give up- not even on your worst day. Of the 5, 4 of them are full time writers (although two of those say it’s almost like part time because of their kiddos). Another standout piece of advice was their encouragement to network and to attend writers’ conferences. We are now following all of these fabulous ladies on Twitter, so we can continue to glean helpful words of wisdom from these experts!

Overall, we were extremely impressed with the quality of the California Capital Book Festival, especially considering this is their very first year of operation! We will definitely be there next year, since this was such a fantastically fun way to connect with other readers, writers, and fellow bloggers!

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