Hanging Out at the Walgreens – (How to Hang a Witch – A Book Review)

How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)
Author: Adriana Mather
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

How to Hang A Witch

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Being the new girl is tough. Being the new girl in Salem could be deadly.

Sam Mather is moved to Salem, Massachusetts—the home of the infamous Witch Trials. Being the new girl sucks, and it sucks worse when weird things start happening, all of them coming back to Sam. The Descendants—ancestors to witches—mark Sam like a leper because of her descendant to one of the Witch Trials’ major persecutors. As if her own checkered past wasn’t enough.

Eventually, they all must work together to break a centuries-old curse or else history may repeat itself.

As many have said, this is like Mean Girls meets history class, and they aren’t wrong. Emotions were high. While this book started bumpy at first, I got into it pretty quickly. Sam is such a spunky character on the outside and in, but also deeply caring. Her concern for her dad was incredibly heartwarming. I really loved all the memories she looked back on involving him. Though he wasn’t physically in the book, he has such a strong presence.

The use of the actual history was awesome! The Salem Witch Trials is one of my favorite subjects aside from Stonehenge, the pyramids, and everything strange. The way that this was so interwoven with the Trials really made me geek out. I really liked the way the story unraveled as a curse. Made more dark. The Descendants were more emo than I expected and came off a little cliché, but it was funny. I really found them to be entertaining. I feel the same about Elijah, the ghost of this witchy story. Rules were for ghosts really shocked me. While they can go through solid surfaces, they can also be touched and teleport? Very odd, but completely refreshing. I loved the dynamic between him and Sam. Him being formal and her being her awkward self.

awkard

Now, I know this has a sequel attached to it, but I feel like it could be a full-blown series. I just feel like there are so many possibilities, especially after reading the mini-bio of Adriana at the back. I really do hope that Haunting in the Deep isn’t the only book in this series.

This started out a bit rough for me. It was super awkward! Buuuut, then I remembered, I’m really freaking awkward, so my many grimacing, and cringing, moments aren’t because the book is terrible, because I enjoyed it immensely, but because I get it. Granted there were some rather silly moments that were odd, but nothing I couldn’t skip past, though it is part of the reason I can’t give it a full 5 bolts. Great and quick read.

Quotables:

“They really love their witches here.” (Sam to Vivian, p. 2)

“You never know in life when something unpredictable will happen.” (Elijah to Sam, p. 208)

“I can’t make friends at school, but I can with the dead. So at least I’ve got that.” (Sam, p. 254)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

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Something Wicked Attempts to Multiply (Lasher – A Book Review)

Lasher (The Mayfair Chronicles #2)
Author: Anne Rice
Published: 1995

On Goodreads

Lasher

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

I am Lasher

Rowan Mayfair, now the head of the Mayfair coven, goes missing in the midst of fleeing from the demon reborn, Lasher. Michael Curry, love of her life, refuses to stop searching for her as does her family. He also won’t give up until the demon that made her flee and killed their unborn child is dead.

The search for Lasher hastens when women of the Mayfair line begin turning up dead from hemorrhaging miscarriages. Immune to Lasher’s seductive and spellbinding power, Michael follows his strange dreams and the stories of the Mayfairs of the past as they may be the key to stopping Lasher. He hopes that he finds

 

Months have passed. Rowan is held captive by the seductive and formidable Lasher. Michael is obsessed with getting her back. The Mayfair history is delved into and it’s discovered that their history with Lasher is much deeper than any of them realized.

Witching Hour

Review here

 

This one interested me more than its predecessor did. It moved fast and I couldn’t put it down. I know people have said that this book is steamy and erotic, but I was disturbed! LOL. The storytelling was beautiful and dark and I was completely sucked in, but I can honestly say that a thirteen-year-old seducing and screwing around with a married man in his fifties is rather messed up as is a demon coercing women into sleeping with him. It was all kinds of creepy! Anne Rice was successful in crawling under my skin, and I love creepy stories.

horrified

Split between multiple POVs, this story is wild, gut-wrenching, and utterly addictive even though there are some parts I probably should’ve looked away from. I was incredibly intrigued because of the different angles of the storytelling. The characters were so beautifully written. From terror and lust and rage; the emotions were . The imagery carried over, still strong and powerful.

The consistency from book 1 to book 2 was strong and not lacking whatsoever. I truly liked the intermixing of Victorian and modern times. Science plays a bigger role in trying to discover what Lasher is.

The use of history still plays a great role. This time it was more specific to Lasher and Julien Mayfair, which really captured my attention. It was much less than in The Witching Hour, but shed a lot of light on Lasher. I really liked getting to know more about the mysterious antagonist. The shocking revelations were shudder worthy.

 

With magic to the brim and deep and an intense and unbreakable love, I was hooked. I was whiplashed around so many times from the strong emotions and shocking twists. The twist at the end was the biggest. Truly beautiful and striking. There were no black and white areas, just grey.

 

Quotables:

“She knew Death as she knew up and down and all around, and water, and her own skin and her hair which she caught her fingers, and rubbed to her lips. Dead was not alive!” (Emaleth, p. 315)

“Be a witch, not a bitch, for the love of heaven.” (Mary Beth to Stella, p. 394)

“You realize when she dies…there won’t be a storm! For the first time, there won’t be a storm.” (p.460)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson.

 

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Something Wicked Lurking in the Shadows (The Witching Hour – A Book Review)

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
Author: Anne Rice
Published: 1990

On Goodreads

Witching Hour

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

10/25

 

They call him the man, but Aunt Carl says he’s really the devil.

The history of the Mayfair witches is a long one, but the man-creature- Lasher that has followed the women of that line is even older. After the death of her biological mother, Rowan Mayfair come to New Orleans, home of the Mayfairs. With falling in love with Michael Curry and getting to know her family, Rowan feels like she’s finally home. Well, that is until Lasher, the man, makes himself known and seduces Rowan. As she falls prey, she refuses to acknowledge this thing. As a doctor, she is a believer of science not religion, so she finds it difficult to believe in this creature, but she should and she should be afraid. Something wicked this way comes…back.

This book marks 10 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve seen the movies, but never read the books. I’ve heard so many great things that I was excited to read Anne Rice.

When it comes to the supernatural genre, I’m a lush. I love my paranormal novels and Anne Rice is one of the most revolutionary authors of the genre. Right up alongside Bram Stoker himself. She brings the supernatural into the eighties while keeping it’s gothic framing. I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was beautiful, yet slightly on the scary side. She really combined the two elements well and left me feeling odd because I’ve never felt that way about writing. LOL.

Whoa, it’s big! I was stunned at what a whopper of a book this was. There was so much detail that my senses were in overload. So much of the book is back history though. That did bother me a little bit. All of that history, though very necessary, stalled the story for me. Pushing past all of it was so worth it! The ending totally blew my mind to a disturbed place! It was dark and grimy and I was wide eyed and freaked out.

ITBT

The characters blew me away. They’re rich and connected and I found myself holding my breath from time to time. There are no boundaries from the horrors and the romances that follow and surround them, especially for Michael and Rowan. I’ve never seen two people like these opposites before. Rowan is brash and her temper is easily flared while Michael-until he met her-is an introvert of sorts. I really liked how the characters came across. They have a long history that really is magical. My utmost favorite thing about them is whether you consider the Mayfairs good or bad.

The way that the Talamasca a is intertwined with this series and all of the history with the Mayfairs is astounding. They’re only known as those who watch. They don’t get involved with the supernatural, though of course you quickly learn that isn’t the case. They’re more involved and a part of the Mayfair witches than they’d like. I really like when a story can get so unexpectedly twisted like it did with these two branches.

Witching Hour

Anne Rice is mindblowing. She encompasses the magic of New Orleans, bringing its culture and lore out in a beautiful gothic style. I really love how upfront her writing was, too. There were no hidden meanings in my opinion. It was right there, up front.

I won’t lie, there were times I was ready to give up on this book, but there were so many parts that made it worth it. It was seductive, pushing and pulling. I swear she could compete with V.C. Andrews. While this book was incredibly steamy and I was totally engrossed, I was also highly disturbed. Rice really throws the shockers at you.

Quotables:

“We watch. And we are always here.” (p. 4)

“We are an old family, Father. We don’t even know how old. There is no one now who can identify some of the portraits you see around you.” (Carlotta to Father Mattingly, p. 81)

“You know, when I was in my twenties, falling in love with a person in one evening would have been damn near impossible. Least it never happened.  And when I was in my thirties? Well maybe, but again it didn’t happen, though now I’m in my late forties now, and I’m either more stupid than ever or I know enough finally that I can fall in love with a person in one day or one night.” (Michael to Aaron, p. 249)

“When I look into the future all I see is how weak most people are, and how little they do to fight fate or fortune.” (Mary Beth, p. 478)

“The dead are so close they can hear us.” (Rowan, p. 672)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Freak on a Leash by Korn.

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Interview with the Author – James T. Logan

Hello, beautiful bookworms!

I hope you’re having a lovely summer. Lots of sun. Lots of fun. Lots of reading on the side.

I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to feature the author, T. James Logan here on The Scarlet Reader today. I’ve actually finished reading his novel recently, Night of the Hidden Fang, and you can find it here.

Night of the Hidden Fang

Goodreads

It was an interesting, action-packed, and very supernatural read. The witty and smart writing was really something for me.  Very original.


So, to start things off rather easy and fun, tell us a little about yourself. Any odd quirks?

TJL: I’ve been told I’m quirky, but really, I’m just me in my own skin. Later this year, I’m going to endeavor to become a ninja. I’ve joked about being one for years, as I find it fun to sneak up on people, but there are such things as real ninja schools, and I’m going to go for it and drag my family with it. We’re going to be a whole ninja family.

 

Q: What inspired you to want to write Night of the Hidden Fang?


TJL: A dream, actually. It started out as a dream about meeting three adolescent boys along a bike trail. The boys were naked and on the run from someone who was abusing them, their soccer coach, they said. That scene features prominently in the story.

Another inspiration is George Romero’s zombie films. I’ve always been a fan of those. They form a larger story of a world sliding inexorably into the zombie apocalypse, which has by now become somewhat of a trope. But then I got to thinking—what if the monsters of an apocalypse were not mindless, flesh-eating hordes of zombies, but cunning, calculating predators capable of hiding in plain sight? What if humans were driven off the apex of the food chain?

 

Q: Is there a special message that you hope your readers gather from your novel?

A: The central theme is human beings learning how to share this planet with not only each other but every other one of this Earth’s creatures. Some higher primates have been shown to have near human level intelligence. Dolphins give each other unique names, implying that they have some sort of culture. Neanderthals were likely as smart as humans, and they had culture which included art, personal adornment, and burial practices. Burial practices imply belief in an afterlife. We routinely kill each other over religion, resources, politics, and greed, and ignore the damage we do to the environment.  There have got to be better ways of doing things.

 

Q: I know for me, I write throughout the day, whenever I’m not at work. It’s pretty sporadic. How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?

TJL: When I’m in the groove, I try to make sure I get 2-4 hours a day. The last few months, I have not been able to manage that, thanks to starting to replace my bones with a terminator endoskeleton. I’ve got the start of a bionic leg now, and I’ve reached the point where I don’t have to be drugged to the gills with pain meds everyday. My brain has reawakened, and now I just have to get caught up after a few months of down time.

 

Q: Is there a special place you go to, to write?

TJL: My process seems to like variety. I have a rotating series of coffee shops where I like to sit and peck away. I’m mostly an introvert, but locking myself away in a dungeon for the length of time necessary to write a whole book tends to make me lonely. In a coffee shop, or sometimes a library, I can be alone, but with people around. Plus, I often find inspiration in the people around me. Humans are really wondrous creatures if you look closely enough.

 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to get published?

TJL: Keep practicing. Accept the fact that mastering your craft is a lifelong pursuit. FINISH your book/story/script, polish it to mirror brightness, and send it to someone who will pay you money. Write the next thing. Lather, rinse, repeat. You probably won’t sell the first few things, but eventually, you will start selling.

 

And for a couple of fun questions…

Q: What is your favorite book from childhood?

TJL: The book from childhood that I have the fondest memories of is The Hobbit. I loved it so much that I convinced my sixth grade teacher to read it to the whole class for our daily story time. I was so lucky to read it to my stepdaughter when she was eight.

 

Q: Since you’ve written a paranormal novel with a bit of a sci-fi twist, if you could pick, which supernatural creature would you be?

TJL: That’s the toughest question yet! Almost nobody wants to become a monster. It kind of depends on whose version of the monster we’re talking about, because authors put their own stamp on the old mythologies. Anne Rice’s vampires, yes. 30 Days of Night vampires, ugh, no. Mindless, savage, werewolves like The Wolf Man or American Werewolf in London, no. The werewolves in my novels, maybe. All the different kinds of “monsters,” including other things like ghosts, faeries, come with some sort of dreadful price. Ghosts have to be dead, obviously. Faeries in the ancient stories are not anybody a human would do well to meet.

 

Any last tid-bits you’d like to share with readers?

TJL: I’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund publication of Book 2, Dawn of the Deadly Fang, in mid-July. The same cover designer and a fabulously skilled editor are going to help me out on the project. Your support would be a tremendous help. You can find me at www.tjameslogan.com.  If you’re in a Kickstarting mood, please go to kickstarter.com and look for Dawn of the Deadly Fang.

 

Thank you to Logan for this fantastic interview and for giving me a chance to read his book. He’s fantastic and quirky and down to earth, which has made it a pleasure to have him here.

 

 

James T. Logan

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Ninjas Not Included (Night of the Hidden Fang – A Book Review)

Night of the Hidden Fang
Author: T. James Logan
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Night of the Hidden Fang

 

My rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

One teenage girl. One oncoming apocalypse.

Mia doesn’t get close to people, not when she and her family move around so much for her father’s job. But, when one of her friends, Nate, turns up grisly murdered, she vows to figure out what really happened to him.

Three boys, each thirteen and extremely naked pop up from the bushed of her house not long after and she can’t help wondering if they’re connected to her friend’s death. More so, she has an urge to take care of them, protect them. Being tossed in the middle of an oncoming war, Mia must protect her family without being served up on a dinner plate to some feral beast.

What she doesn’t know? She may be the key to saving the human race…

 

Soooooo, I totally thought there’d be ninjas somewhere in here. Alas, there was not. LOL. There were werewolves though! Still a big plus in my book. But, no ninjas. Nope. So, I’ve got some here:

ninja

LOL. Okay, but seriously…

ninja

Mia is a spunky character. Quick and sarcastic and takes no BS, though very guarded. But, when you move around as much as her, it’s understandable. You get afraid of getting close to people. But, she is tough, too, which I love in a female character. I really liked that she was culturally diverse with her heritages as well. Though, I will say it felt a little forced from time to time, I really liked seeing how she noticed the differences in Japanese culture.

NATE! *sobs* A character I fell in love with so quickly and lost just as fast. Goofy and very Star Wars centric, I wish there would’ve been more for him! I mean that in that his time was too short, but also that I didn’t get enough of his character. I wish there’d been flashbacks or something to express how special he was. The impact of losing him wasn’t very strong because of that, but I really wanted it to be.

crying

The unique inclusion of werewolves was interesting. It wasn’t typical since it came across as a disease that could contracted. There are many lores on weres so it’s good to see a fresh take.

Werewolf

 

The book is quite wordy. It surprised me. And then there are times that it’s straight to the point, using the words we all know and can relate to. Because, when something sucks, it just sucks and there’s no better way to say than that and Mia says it perfectly when she encounters problem after problem that leaves her life altered forever.

There were times where I got lost in the action because I couldn’t read the emotions of the characters very well. It was just super tricky to track the characters from time to time. I just wished I could’ve gauged them more so that I could get totally immersed.

I also wish there was more on Sho, Mia’s brother. There are many mentions of him and the vagueness of what happened with him and how it affected everyone, but I felt unsatisfied. Here’s to hoping there’s more in the next book!

 

This book surprised by taking a classic lore and putting a scientific spin on it—werewolves are a disease. I liked that the setting took place in a unique place. It was just a small town in Nebraska, which really gave me a whole new world to imagine, especially since I’ve never been to Nebraska before. This was a book I enjoyed, though I did have a few hang-ups. Witty and gritty and a good one-two. A good, quick read.

 

Quotables:

“Desperate speed poured out of him. It was the first and the last time he ever ran for his life.” (Nate, p. 32)

“Some holes are so big, people can fall into them and never get out again.” (Mia to Sarah, p. 78)

“Relaxeth thee. Thou art looking at the King of Subtle.” (Dalton, p. 206)

“Never give all the heart.” (Mia, p. 306)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Haunted by Kelly Clarkson.

 

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So Much For Normal… (Paranormalcy – A Book Review)

Paranormacly
Author: Kiersten White
Published: 2010

On Goodreads

Paranormalcy

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

I see things you can’t see.

I find things that hunt you.

I am your protector.

But even I can’t protect you now.

Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) and her job is to bag and tag paranormals so that they don’t hurt humans. Easy enough. She’s been doing it since her time in the foster system. Her norm is being friends with a mermaid and having a faerie ex-boyfriend.

Life gets a little complicated after capturing an unknown shapeshifter named Lend while paranormals begin turning up dead. Thought told to ignore this case, she is determined to figure out what’s happening, especially since she’s having strange dreams. With Lend’s help she will find the one responsible for this, but what scares her is that she’s connected to it all.

 

So much diversity. YAY! There were so many different supernaturals across this book. Each of them were unique and incredible. There were even a couple I’d not heard of. One of my favorites things about this book was how the supernaturals didn’t feel like monsters, like they tend to in other supernatural novels. They were just like humans, trying to survive life. In some cases, it was really funny.

One thing I will say is, there is a decent amount of mention about the world’s elements that supernaturals belong to, but I wish I knew more about them. I wanted to know more about these elements and which supernaturals belonged to which.

Evie is whimsical and really reminds me of Elle Woods. Her and the trusty taser: Tasey were hard at work bringing in those feisty supernaturals. She really brings out the soap opera aspect of this book. She’s the butter of seeking the normal life. I was giggling at how ecstatic she was over the simple things, but only because there are a few simple things that get my eyes glittering, too.

Evie, Lend, and Reth—an unknown, shapeshifter, and a faerie. One intriguing and whimsical triangle. Evie’s romantic life is complicated and it shouldn’t be as a teenager. While getting stalked by her ex, Reth, she’s falling for Lend, one of her bag-and-tags. Lend is my favorite. I admire a sense of authority, like Reth has, that you can screw with, but Lend was a sweetheart unlike him. He’s manipulative and reckless with Evie. Freaking faeries…so damn mischievous! And granted, Lend’s guarded, but his heart is in the right place, caring for Evie. He’s the good guy and after all of the tough times that Evie’s been through, she deserves a good guy that treats her right, like this guy…

Paranormacly

or this guy…

Paranormalcy

 

This book wasn’t all that for me. It was fun, but in regard to the story itself, I just wasn’t that interested. While I enjoyed the strive Evie had for a normal life, I didn’t get a strong feel for her emotions. Teens are whiney boogers, but they do have feelings and I just wasn’t getting those. There were a lot of areas that just didn’t feel quite finished. Again, this was fun, so don’t count that out, and there was a bit of tension. The plot twist wasn’t much of a twist, but I did think it was pretty cool! It just didn’t move me.

 

Quotables:

“Eyes like streams of melting snow…Cold with the things she doesn’t know.” (Evie to Lend, p. 109)

“What a lovely balance. Lend shows whatever he was the world to see and you see through whatever the world wants to show you.” (Cresseda to Evie, p. 215)

 

more to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Hot Mess by Cobra Starship.

 

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Shamanism and Undying Love (Bound to You – A Book Review)

Bound to You
Author: Christopher Pike
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Bound to You

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

In this book comes two stories of magical suspense.

Spellbound

Cindy is getting used to being Jason’s new girlfriend after his previous one was found horribly mutilated up in the mountains just weeks ago. She’s sure that he wasn’t involved, but there’s something off about him. She can’t put her finger on it. When another classmate is found dead in a similar way, she and foreign exchange student, Bala, are determined to figure out what is happening. When they discover what horrific thing could do something so grizzly, they wish they hadn’t.

See You Later

Mark is in love with Becky. Becky has a boyfriend that isn’t Mark. Kara is determined to get Mark and Becky together. Very determined. But why? This drives Mark to not give up on how he feels for Becky. How far will he go for the girl he loves?

 

Before I get started with this review I’d like to say I’m sorry for my lateness. Work has been really taking over. Also, one of my sisters have swung by for Spring Break. I do have a couple books up for review, so yay!

 

How to begin…Just get it out there. This book was not for me. Nope. Not even a little.

The setting was beautiful and so was the story plot. That goes for both stories. They seemed so great at first and I was really intrigued. I didn’t get past that feeling. There were just parts that didn’t make sense to me. Some parts were extremely abrupt, coming out of nowhere, jarring me and others that made no sense at all.

However, there were some really great moments, much like a shooting star. Brief, but amazing and beautiful. I just wish it had been continuous.

Spellbound: About shamanism and crazy animal spirit

See You Later: Time Travel

Out of the two, See You Later was my favorite. It was sweet and I liked the direction it was going. But that was about it. It was very meh. However, the twists in each of these books was pretty good. They weren’t the kind that made your eyeballs bulge from their sockets. They were smirk worthy because they sly plot twists. I dug’em.

Shrug II

What I couldn’t really handle was the way the story was being told. It felt very bland and I just couldn’t get interested. In some instances, what went on felt incredibly ridiculous to me and unrealistic, like it didn’t happen naturally. Because of that I couldn’t believe this book which led me to be unable to be sucked into it.

The characters didn’t even keep me interested. In fact, they made me annoyed. They were very bland without any really development. Completely one track. I get that these stories stack between middle school and high school, but still. I just felt like what was important wasn’t being focused on and vice versa. There just wasn’t any real feeling there. You know what I mean. I wasn’t moved by them. I like being swayed like branches in a breeze.

 

 

I can’t say that these did very much in the way of entertaining me. That could be different for other people. Many readers on Goodreads really enjoyed them, but I’m not one of them sadly. It just wasn’t for me. I needed more.

 

Quotables:

“Seven weeks ago today, on August 2nd, seventeen-year-old Karen Holly died. The circumstance surrounding her death as reported by Jason Whitfield, her boyfriend at the time, are as follows…” (Spellbound, p. 6)

“My tribe is sunk in superstition. I have rebelled against it my entire life.” (Spellbound, Bala to Cindy, p. 44)

“You should be the hunter, not the hunted.” (Spellbound, Joni to Alex, p. 67)

“On my eight birthday, I asked my grandfather how big the world was. When you are small, he said, it is huge. But when you are a master of nature, it is like a ball you can hold in your hand.” (Spellbound, Bala to Cindy, p. 248)

“I’m such a liar. I lie to myself constantly. The truth is I didn’t know what I wanted beck then, But when I saw her, I began to get an inkling.” (See You Later, Mark, p. 257)

“It seemed the most important decisions I made were the ones where I decided to do nothing.” (See You Later, Mark, p. 320)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Undefeated by Daughtry.

 

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