Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Book Review | The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz

The Nightmare Girl is a horror novel by Jonathan Janz.


When Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler in a gas station parking lot, he doesn't know the little boy will end up in a foster home. He doesn't know that the young mother will soon burn herself alive in grief and rage, nor does he know that the dead woman belonged to an ancient and monstrous fire cult who will stop at nothing to get revenge. After the young mom's suicide, Joe and his family are plagued by inexplicable events. One night Joe smells ashes in his daughter's nursery. A kindly old couple whose house Joe renovated is found butchered ritualistically. Pushed to his limit, Joe becomes friends with the local police chief Daryl Copeland, who decides to accompany Joe to the cult's isolated compound, where the chief is murdered and Joe is taken hostage. Joe awakens in the huge three-story house he has been renovating for a beautiful client and her husband. His lovely client turns out to be the leader of the fire cult. Joe and the little boy he saved at the beginning of the novel are the planned sacrifices of the cult's midsummer ceremony. Joe's wife and some local policemen save Joe, but in a wild shootout the house is set ablaze and the little boy is taken hostage upstairs. Joe is left to do battle alone against the cult.

Wow. Oh my God.

I'm such a fan of Jonathan Janz. His books are over-the-top, unsettling, and so much fun. I thought I knew what to expect when picking up a Janz novel, but I'm realizing I was wrong. We will be blessed with quite a few releases from Janz this year, and I'm excited to see where each book will take me. There was more than one scene in The Nightmare Girl that left me gasping and horrified. For me, humans are often the scariest of creatures.

While reading The Nightmare Girl, I was reminded of Janz's The Siren and the Specter as well as Joe Lansdale's Cold in July. I was pleased to see Lansdale mentioned in the acknowledgments at the end of The Nightmare Girl. Lansdale's influence on Janz's work is apparent, and I highly recommend them both.

If you haven't read Janz before, The Nightmare Girl is the perfect place to start. It was originally published before Samhain Publishing went under and has now been re-released through Flame Tree Press. If you enjoyed Janz's The Siren and the Specter, I think you will really dig this one as well.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Review copy provided by publisher

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Book Review | Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series.



When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.)

If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do.

Warning: May contain nuts.

If you've been following my reviews so far this year, you know I've been making my way through Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. This series is about children who have gone to fantasy worlds (similar to Alice or Narnia) and returned home.

These books are so imaginative. I'm really enjoying making my way through this series. Book 1 (Every Heart a Doorway) was set at the school for kids who were having trouble coping with their return from a fantasy world. Book 2 (Down Among the Sticks and Bones) was set in one of the dark fantasy worlds. Beneath the Sugar Sky was set in a Nonsense world.

There's a quote in the book that pretty much sums it all up:

"'We're teenagers in a magical land following a dead girl and a disappearing girl into a field of organic, pesticide-free candy corn,' said Kade. 'I think weird is a totally reasonable response to the situation.'"

I think this world was my least favorite simply because it was hard for me to worry about the fate of people in a world where the ground was made of graham crackers.

That being said, I did enjoy Beneath the Sugar Sky, and I absolutely loved the ending. I'm looking forward to finding out what's in store for us in book 4.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Book Review | Collision by J.S. Breukelaar

Collision is a short story collection by J.S. Breukelaar.



A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar's darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella "Ripples on a Blank Shore."

Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of "Union Falls," the alien horror of "Rogues Bay 3013," the heartbreaking dystopia of "Glow," the weird mythos of "Ava Rune," and others.

This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.

Up next in my Women in Horror Month reviews is Collision by J.S. Breukelaar. Collision is a collection of short stories that extends past horror into all areas of speculative fiction.

This collection was my first encounter with J.S. Breukelaar's storytelling. I loved these strange and wonderful stories. I felt like I was taking a trip into Breukelaar's imagination.

These stories felt like they all had deeper meanings than what I was grasping on the page. I enjoyed each story, but I also felt like I was missing out on what Breukelaar was really sharing with each one. I was happy to find author notes for each tale at the end of the book. This was the perfect touch to conclude my journey through Collision.

I look forward to reading more of Breukelaar's work. I have a copy of Aletheia on my shelf that I can't wait to check out.

If you're a fan of strange and fantastic fiction (or you want to sample the work of J.S. Breukelaar), Collision is a great choice. The range of genres combined with the unexpected directions she takes in her stories make Collision a fun and interesting collection.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | February 17

I hope everyone had a great reading week this week. I had an excellent reading week with the exception of this huge mistake:



The next day I didn't have a chance to read at lunch so I forgot it again. I learned my lesson, and my current reads will continue to stay home from now on.

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐★★ review of Without Condition by Sonora Taylor.

Finished Reading



I finished reading Dead Moon by Peter Clines. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I also read The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Currently Reading



I'm back to reading the ladies!

The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is hosting a readalong of The Between by Tananarive Due. We are in the second week of the readalong, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm so glad I have a couple more Tananarive Due books on my shelf because I will need more of her writing after this one.

Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen is written in verse, and I'm enjoying it so far.

I also started reading Collision by J.S. Breukelaar. So far the stories are strange and wonderful.

Recent Acquisitions



The Invited by Jennifer McMahon - Many thanks to Doubleday for sending me a copy of The Invited by Jennifer McMahon. This is supposed to be a "chilling ghost story with a twist". I'm here for it!

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag - Historical fiction is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but The Wolf and the Watchman sounds amazing so I thank Atria Books for offering to send me a copy.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - I won a copy of The Woman in the Window from an Instagram giveaway. I need to finally see what the hype is about with this one.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Book Review | Without Condition by Sonora Taylor

Without Condition is a horror/dark romance novel by Sonora Taylor.


Cara Vineyard lives a quiet life in rural North Carolina. She works for an emerging brewery, drives her truck late at night, and lives with her mother on a former pumpkin farm. Her mother is proud of her and keeps a wall displaying all of Cara’s accomplishments.

Cara isn’t so much proud as she is bored. She’s revitalized when she meets Jackson Price, a pharmacist in Raleigh. Every day they spend together, she falls for him a little more — which in turn makes her life more complicated. When Cara goes on her late-night drives, she often picks up men. Those men tend to die. And when Cara comes back to the farm, she brings a memento for her mother to add to her wall of accomplishments.

Cara’s mother loves her no matter what. But she doesn’t know if Jackson will feel the same — and she doesn’t want to find out.

I'm continuing my Women in Horror Month reviews with Without Condition by Sonora Taylor.

This is a tough review for me only because I was the wrong audience for this one.

The character development in Without Condition was great. I read this as a group read with several of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team, and we had some really great discussions after reading about the main character's childhood and experiences with bullying.

Without Condition was also well written and a quick read.

The only reason this wasn't a huge hit with me was it was less "horror" and more "dark romance". I'm just not a romance reader.

If you enjoy dark romance and need a great read for Women in Horror Month, Without Condition might be an excellent choice for you. I am definitely open to reading more of Sonora Taylor's work in the future.

⭐⭐⭐★★

Review copy provided by author

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | February 10

This past week was kind of a blur. I spent half of it sick, and the other half trying to catch up on everything from being sick. Somehow I still managed to have a great reading week, though!

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard. I highly recommend you check out Kaaron Warren's work.

I posted a closer look at all of the February releases I'm excited about.

I also posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ review of American Primitive by Mary Oliver.

Finished Reading



I finished reading the third book in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series Beneath the Sugar Sky. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I also read Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun for Women in Horror Month and the LOHF Readathon. ⭐⭐★★★

Lastly, I also read The Suspect by Fiona Barton. ⭐⭐⭐★★

Stay tuned for reviews for all three of these.

Currently Reading



I'll be honest - I've been reading and sharing so many amazing books by women lately, it felt really weird to start two books by men this weekend. I'm currently reading The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz and Dead Moon by Peter Clines.

Recent Acquisitions



The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling - I'm really excited to read this scifi horror! Thank you to Harper Voyager for the review copy.

Collision: Stories by J.S. Breukelaar - Thank you to Meerkat Press for sending me a copy of Collision: Stories. I'm looking forward to checking out these stories by J.S. Breukelaar.

The Suspect (Kate Waters #3) by Fiona Barton - I really enjoy Fiona Barton's books (which is why I've already read it in the week I got it). Thank you to Berkley Books for the review copy.


Cold Spots by Cullen Bunn - Cold Spots was on my wishlist for this year. When I saw I had auto-approval on Edelweiss, I had to grab it up.

Dead Moon (Threshold #3) by Peter Clines - Many thanks to Audible for offering up a review copy of Dead Moon. I loved Peter Clines's 14, and now I'm enjoying Dead Moon.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Book Review | American Primitive by Mary Oliver

American Primitive is a poetry collection by Mary Oliver.


The fifty poems in "American Primitive" make up a body of luminous unity. Mary Oliver's visionary poems enunciate the renewals of nature and the renewals of humanity in love, in oneness with the natural, in union with the things of this world. Lyrical and elegiac, Mary Oliver celebrates the primitiave things of America - the wilderness that survives both within our bodies and outside - in ."..the cords/ of my body stretching/ and singing in the/ heaven of appetite."


When I got back into poetry last year, I turned to some of Mary Oliver's non-fiction books to learn more about poetry. In the process, I wound up learning about myself and reasons why I've always had a connection to poetry. The poems in Oliver's non-fiction books were written by other poets. I wanted to read some of Oliver's poetry so I purchased a copy of American Primitive.

I was saddened to learn of Mary Oliver passing a couple of weeks ago. As we tend to do when we lose an artist, I spent time getting to know her poetry in American Primitive.

I loved Oliver's take on the wilderness that exists in nature as well as within ourselves.

Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for American Primitive. This was a great choice for experiencing her work. I hope to hunt down many more of her collections in the future.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Upcoming February 2019 Book Releases in Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction

So far 2019 is shaping up to be an amazing year for speculative fiction. I'm looking forward to so many books! I can't possibly read them all, but I can certainly dream about it. Here's a closer look at the February releases I'm most excited to read.

The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read

The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read
Expected publication: February 1st 2019 by Trepidatio Publishing

He’s run away home. That’s what they say every time one of Charley Winslow’s friends vanishes from The Old Cross School for Boys.

It’s just a tall tale. That’s what they tell Charley when he sees the ragged grey figure stalking the abbey halls at night.

When Charley follows his pet insects to a pool of blood behind a false wall, he could run and let those stones bury their secrets. He could assimilate, focus on his studies, and wait for his father to send for him. Or he could walk the dark tunnels of the school’s heart, scour its abandoned passages, and pick at the scab of a family’s legacy of madness and murder.

With the help of Sam Forster, the school’s gardener, and Matron Grace, the staff nurse, Charley unravels Old Cross’ history and exposes a scandal stretching back to when the school was a home with a noble family and a dark secret—a secret that still haunts its halls with scraping steps, twisting its bones into a new generation of nightmares.



The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Tor Books

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn't what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family's power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

Uniting the worldbuilding of a Brandon Sanderson with the storytelling verve of a Patrick Rothfuss, debut author Jenn Lyons delivers an entirely new and captivating fantasy epic. Prepare to meet the genre’s next star.



Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James
Expected publication: February 5th 2019 by Riverhead Books

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy's scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?



The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
Expected publication: February 12th 2019 by Tor Books

Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace -- though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet--before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.



Without Condition by Sonora Taylor

Without Condition by Sonora Taylor
Expected publication: February 12th 2019

Cara Vineyard lives a quiet life in rural North Carolina. She works for an emerging brewery, drives her truck late at night, and lives with her mother on a former pumpkin farm. Her mother is proud of her and keeps a wall displaying all of Cara’s accomplishments.

Cara isn’t so much proud as she is bored. She’s revitalized when she meets Jackson Price, a pharmacist in Raleigh. Every day they spend together, she falls for him a little more — which in turn makes her life more complicated. When Cara goes on her late-night drives, she often picks up men. Those men tend to die. And when Cara comes back to the farm, she brings a memento for her mother to add to her wall of accomplishments.

Cara’s mother loves her no matter what. But she doesn’t know if Jackson will feel the same — and she doesn’t want to find out.



Black Wings by Megan Hart

Black Wings by Megan Hart
Expected publication: February 14th 2019 by Flame Tree Press

Briella Blake has always been wicked smart. When she's invited to attend a special school for gifted students, she finally has the chance to focus on a project that begins to consume her - the ability to recreate and save copies of a person's entire set of memories. Her friendship with a raven that's as smart as she is leads to conflict with her mother Marian, who is no longer able to deny that there's something wrong with her child.



The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz

The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz
Expected publication: February 14th 2019 by Flame Tree Press

When family man Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler, he has no idea of the chain reaction he's setting in motion. How could he suspect the young mother is part of an ancient fire cult, a sinister group of killers that will destroy anyone who threatens one of its members? When the little boy is placed in a foster home, the fanatics begin their mission of terror.

Soon the cult leaders will summon their deadliest hunters-and a ferocious supernatural evil-to make Joe pay for what he's done. They want Joe's blood and the blood of his family. And they want their child back.



Tarot by Marissa Kennerson

Tarot by Marissa Kennerson
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Razorbill

Anna was never supposed to exist. Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers—the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules—and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just decoration. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create—as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.



Collision: Stories by J.S. Breukelaar

Collision: Stories by J.S. Breukelaar
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Meerkat Press

A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar's darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella "Ripples on a Blank Shore." Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of "Union Falls," the alien horror of "Rogues Bay 3013," the heartbreaking dystopia of "Glow," the weird mythos of "Ava Rune," and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.



The Worst Is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski

The Worst Is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski
Expected publication: February 22nd 2019 by Trepidatio Publishing

For most of her fourteen years, Tasha Davis has languished in the rural-suburban town of Skillute, Washington. Her parents offer plenty of comfortable—if stifling—emotional support, but what she needs is a best friend.

In her final year at Clark Middle School, Tasha meets a strange, new classmate. Briar Kenny is the self-styled rebel Tasha wants to be, and the Davises are the kind of close-knit family Briar covets. A moment of unexpected violence spawns a secret between the two girls and awakens a mystery from the past.

Unknown to Tasha and Briar, their secret also attracts something monstrous from a forgotten corner of Skillute. The town is haunted by its history, scarred with the lingering spirit of broken and scattered families, abandoned real estate ventures, and old scores never settled between neighbors. But there’s more to the place than memory and legend. Beneath the landscape something malignant rages, and it will stop at nothing to find a route into the physical world.



The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.



The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper

The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Simon Schuster

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge Quinlan travel to a vast rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they meet up with their mother and troubled sister, Franny, and are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance they must remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. Despite their concerns, they agree.

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined—revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. Why does Bridge have faint memories of the estate? Why did their father want them to be sequestered there together? And what is out there they feel pulling them into the dark heart of the woods?

The Homecoming is at once a gripping mystery, a chilling exploration of how our memories can both define and betray us, and a riveting page-turner that will have you questioning your very existence.



Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Feiwel Friends

How do you kill a god?

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.



We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia

We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books

In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Latinx authors Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival.

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.

And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.

Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?



Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Putnam

A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Get in quick, get out quicker.

These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region:

Toria: the intellectual quarter that values education and ambition
Ludia: the pleasure quarter that values celebration, passion, and entertainment
Archia: the agricultural quarter that values simplicity and nature
Eonia: the futurist quarter that values technology, stoicism and harmonious community

When Keralie intercepts a comm disk coming from the House of Concord, what seems like a standard job goes horribly wrong. Upon watching the comm disks, Keralie sees all four queens murdered in four brutal ways. Hoping that discovering the intended recipient will reveal the culprit – information that is bound to be valuable bartering material with the palace – Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.



What February releases are you most looking forward to reading this year?

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review | A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard

Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard in an introduction to the work of Kaaron Warren.


Australian author Kaaron Warren is widely recognized as one of the leading writers today of speculative and dark short fiction. She’s published four novels, multiple novellas, and well over one hundred heart-rending tales of horror, science fiction, and beautiful fantasy, and is the first author ever to simultaneously win all three of Australia’s top speculative fiction writing awards (Ditmar, Shadows, and Aurealis awards for The Grief Hole).

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to her work, the second in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the distinct voice of Kaaron Warren, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Included within these pages are:

• Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book
• Author interview
• Complete bibliography
• Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University)
• … and more!

Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Kaaron Warren.

I'm starting my Women in Horror Month reviews with a highly recommended read.

A Primer to Kaaron Warren contains six short stories by Kaaron Warren, an essay on "Why Karron Warren Matters" by Micheal Arnzen, an interview with Kaaron Warren, and essay by Kaaron Warren titled "Tips for Finalizing Your Short Story", and more.

This was my first experience reading Kaaron Warren's work. I have a couple of her novels (one fantasy and one horror) on my shelves that I am really anxious to read.

Her stories in this Primer were unlike any stories I've read before. I loved her voice, her imagination, and the feminist slant to her horror.

Like the previous book in the Exploring Dark Fiction series (A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem), Michael Arnzen provides literary analysis/commentary after each story.

I love the setup of this series. They are also illustrated by Michelle Prebich. They truly are beautiful books inside and out.

If you are looking for a woman horror writer to celebrate during Women in Horror Month (or after!!) or short fiction to read this month for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Readathon, I highly recommend A Primer to Kaaron Warren. The stories in this collection made my dark heart happy.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | February 3

February is Women in Horror Month! If you are looking for ways to get involved, the Ladies of Horror Fiction team have several events going on through the month of February. (If you need help finding women horror authors, be sure to check out the extensive LOHF Directory!)

We are doing another #LadiesofHorrorFiction photo challenge on Instagram if you'd like to join in on the fun over there.

#LadiesofHorrorFiction photo challenge on Instagram

We are also hosting a month long #LOHFReadathon along with Alex (Hey Little Thrifter). You can watch Alex's booktube video about the readathon here:



Ladies of Horror Fiction Readathon #LOHFReadathon

We are also hosting community wide readalong of The Between by Tananarive Due. Be sure to check out the full readalong schedule.

community wide readalong of The Between by Tananarive Due

And be sure to hang out with me here all month as I review and share horror books written by women. If you post any #WiHM reviews this month, be sure to let me know so I can share those, too!

Posted Last Week


I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ review of Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire.

Finished Reading


Sonora Taylor's Without Condition Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard

My first Women in Horror read for the month was Sonora Taylor's Without Condition. ⭐⭐⭐★★

I also finished reading Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Stay tuned for full reviews of both this month.

Currently Reading


Black Wings by Megan Hart Beneath a Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

My current Women in Horror Month read is Black Wings by Megan Hart.

I'm also reading and enjoying the next Wayward Children book Beneath a Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire.

Recent Acquisitions


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen Bedfellow by Jeremy C. Shipp

Many thanks to Tor.com for sending out Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen, Bedfellow by Jeremy C. Shipp. Middlegame is Seanan McGuire's upcoming release due out on May 7, 2019. The Jane Yolen book is a Baba Yaga book written in verse! What a perfect book for me! I also excited to check out the "tense dark fantasy novel of psychological horror" Bedfellow.

Finder by Suzanne Palmer The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Thank you to DAW for the Kindle ARC of Finder by Suzanne Palmer. I'm looking forward to this action packed scifi novel.

I also grabbed a couple Audible deals this week that I'm excited about: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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