Love you Dead by Peter James – Giveaway!!!

By Peter James

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-9-22-55-pm An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and to be rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy about money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city.

One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.


About the Author

Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series. Before writing full time, James lived in the U.S. for a number of years, producing films including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with James overseeing all aspects, including scriptwriting.

James’s novella ‘The Perfect Murder’, started its world stage premiere in 2014, and his first Roy Grace novel Dead Simple has now been adapted for stage, and will tour the UK in 2015. In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, James’s novel Host was published on two floppy discs and is now in the Science Museum as the world’s first electronic novel.

Famed for his in-depth research, in 2009 James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, and in 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Public Service Award by Sussex Police with whom he rides along regularly.  He has also been out many times with the NYPD and the LAPD in the US and with many other police forces around the world, as well as doing extensive research with offenders in prisons and psychiatric institutions. He has served as two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a board member of the US International Thriller Writers.

He has won numerous literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012. James’s novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films.

All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in–depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal.  A speed junkie, who in his teens was selected to train for the British Olympic Ski Team, he holds an international motor racing license and switches off from work by racing his classic 1965 BMW. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex.

Visit Peter James’s Website:

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Other novels in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series


The giveaway is for all 12 of Peter James’ books!

Stalking Jack the Ripper: Interview with Kerri Maniscalco

stalking jack blog tour

I was so excited when Ava from Bookishness and Tea informed me that I was going to be part of the Knights of Whitechapel Street Team for Stalking Jack the Ripper!!! Below are my thought about the book and an interview with the amazing and kind Kerri Maniscalco, but first a little more about the book.

About the book: Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…
SevStalkingJacktheRipperenteen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget

My Thoughts and the Interview!

You guys this book is so me it’s crazy! There’s forensics, mystery, snark, romance, Victorian London, and Jack the Ripper!!! When I first heard about this book I knew I HAD to have it. I entered every contest for an ARC and asked people going to BEA for a copy, to no avail. But then Kerri tweeted the most glorious thing! SJTR was going to be at BFest and it was going to be at the B&N near me!!! In case you didn’t know I live in DE and nothing is ever at my B&N. So needless to say, when BFest came around I was first in line to get SJTR. I tried waiting til August to read it so that I’d be closer to the release date, but I failed at that and read it in July. I loved everything about it and I am so happy that this is going to be part of a trilogy because I love the characters, especially Audrey Rose and Thomas.

Ok, so on with the interview that the wonderful Kerri Maniscalco was gracious enough to do. I emailed her these questions in July, before she got super busy. She was an all-star and got them back to me within a week!

  • Why did you choose to write about Jack the Ripper of all the unsolved cases?

When I first brainstormed ideas, I knew I wanted to write a book that was like a CSI for young adults. It was the book I would have gobbled up as a teen—and even now as an adult—and felt so passionate about it. Taking my love of forensics, I thought about what would immediately add tension and up the stakes. That’s when I knew my teen girl MC was going to be restricted by society. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like, being told that forensics were off the table simply because I’m a girl. Jack the Ripper was one of the first times forensics were used in an investigation, and it all fell into place from there. Plus, there was so much going on with the shift towards women’s rights in Britain then. The suffragettes had been rallying since the 1860s and it wasn’t hard to imagine Audrey being inspired by this notion of living authentically even when others don’t get you. Also, I say it all the time, but my grandma loved whodunits and this takes one of the biggest whodunits in history and gives it a new twist.

***Y’all it’s like Kerri and I are one, except she writes books and I sit in a lab. lol. I too LOVE forensics and hope to eventually work in that field.***

  •  Which character was the easiest or most fun to write?

Gosh. It took a while to really understand each layer of every character. Figuring out how they ticked, how they reacted, how they hid true feelings. I’d have to say my favorite character to write was Thomas. He’s brash and honest and his process was always an adventure—he definitely surprised me with some of the things he’d blurt out. I also really enjoyed Liza and can say we will be hearing from her again in book two.

  • You’ve mentioned that this book is part of a trilogy. Do you know where the story is going or do you just plan it one book at a time?

The really fun thing about this series is there are new mysteries and infamous killers in each book. I’ve always had an idea of where I’d like to take the characters and have had working proposals in mind for all three books from the beginning. Book two basically starts from the point we leave you in Stalking Jack the Ripper and continues into the next gothic adventure. So yeah. I’ve definitely always envisioned where to go next and am so excited I get to continue their story and see their character growth and meet new characters along the way.

*** If y’all have been following Kerri on twitter you might have seen some sneak peaks for book two!***

  • What do you hope people take away after reading your book?

At the end of the day I just hope readers enjoy themselves and get lost in a story about a girl who loves science. My favorite books are the ones that live and breathe atmosphere and drop me into a new (or old, historically speaking) world where I can smell the coal burning in the air, and feel the hairs rising on the back of my neck as something stalks the night. I hope this satisfies that craving for a good, creepy mystery.

  • Are any of the characters based off anyone you know?

Oh, no. I try really hard to avoid writing about anyone in my personal life. I think it would be too weird to write about friends or family and have them read characterizations of themselves, and then be like wait…you think what of me? Though I do joke often enough that mean people will end up as victims in my next book… I definitely can relate to Audrey, though—I was really into forensics growing up and wanted to study it in college—and I think we’d be great friends.

  • Do you plan on writing more historical/gothic books or do you hope to branch out to other genres?

I typically go where my muse takes me and write whatever story is begging to be told. I’ve got a YA historical fantasy that I haven’t had time to finish but plan on revisiting one day soon. I also have a contemporary science fiction thriller that I’d love to revise and add historical elements to. But I definitely love the gritty atmosphere of gothic novels, and could easily see myself doing another in the SJTR series.

***I want to read all these books!***

  • Are you going on a book tour or going to any Cons for SJTR?

Oh, yes! Both blog tour and my fall tour are being finalized as we speak. I think I should have dates and cons confirmed and posted on my site in the next week. I can’t believe publication date is almost here! It feels like I received news of the deal only minutes ago.

*** UPDATE: I’m so excited that I’m going to her NYC stop!!! Will you be able to attend any of her stops?***
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  • So from talking with you, I know you’ve never been to London but are planning on going. What are the top five places you want to go to while there? (I highly recommend the Tower of London!)

That’s definitely on my list! I can’t wait to do a Jack the Ripper tour, first of all. I’d also love to visit the London Dungeon, The Globe Theater, Harrods, and the ride the London Eye. And then Hyde Park and a bunch of places that are in SJTR.

***I highly approve of all these places. The London Eye is spectacular (I actually have 2 pictures I took of it hanging in my living room) and Harrods is a dream world. Also I’ve done two different Jack the Ripper tours and they are amazing. Each one is different and so fun. I can’t wait to see all your pictures Kerri!***

  • When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Writing was always something I did for fun, but it took me a while to figure out that I could actually do it professionally. I started creating plays with my toys when I was little, and I’d make my dad video them so I could watch them and work on “my art.” But it wasn’t until 2009/2010 that I decided to really give it a shot and I’ve never looked back. It’s been hard. It’s taken a lot of work and rejection and tears and doubts, but I can’t ever imagine waking up and not having that need to write and create something new.

  • What is your favorite book overall and a new release that you love?

I absolutely love WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein—his poems were so visually appealing to me and I love re-reading it. And one of my favorite new releases is definitely CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber. The mystery and magic are exactly what I love to be swept away by when reading a good book.

*** I LOVE Where the Sidewalk Ends so much. I have two copies of it and the fact that Kerri loves this book too made me so giddy.***

Rapid Fire:

What is your favorite color?   Dark blue.

Would you rather be reading or writing?   Both! (My agent always says “Read 2,000, write 2,000.”)

What is your favorite food?   I’m obsessed with curry and pizza, but am a giant foodie and can’t choose.

What book are you currently reading?  GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow

What is your favorite thing to drink while writing? Reading?   Depends on the season! Winter/Fall I drink green chai tea for writing, and a vanilla-spiced tea for reading.

Spring/Summer I like making fresh limeade with agave for writing and a glass of chilled sangria (or an Old Fashioned) while reading. I’m also really into yerba mate, and drink that ALL the time.

Thank you so much Kerri! I hope y’all enjoyed the interview. Now go get SJTR on 9/20/16! 🙂

Buy links: Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   | Indiebound

AKerri Maniscalco Promo shotsbout the author: Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, her debut YA gothic horror, is coming September 20, 2016 from JIMMY Patterson/Little, Brown. It’s the first in a new series and incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.
Social media links: Twitter   | Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest

Photo credit: Kelli Maniscalco @ Dogwood Lane

The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards: Review


It was the job she had dreamed of since childhood. But on her very first day, when an unnerving encounter drags up memories Sophie Greenwood would rather forget, she wonders if she has made a mistake. A fatal mistake.

What is her ambitious young assistant really up to? And what exactly happened to Sophie’s predecessor? When her husband and daughter are pulled into the nightmare, Sophie is forced to confront the darkest secrets she has carried for years.

As her life begins to fall apart at work and at home, Sophie must race to uncover the truth about her new job…before it kills her.

Book published by: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: September, 13, 2016


The Devil’s Work is a psychological thriller that takes place in England, which only made me want to read this book even more. I love the setting Mark Edwards chose and that the main character is a working mother. When the book first starts, Sophie is returning to the work force after taking four years off to be with her daughter. She has her dream job at a children’s publishing company and things seem to be looking good. As we soon find out, things are not as good as they seem. Her predecessor went missing, she loses one of her team members, and one of the other team members seems a little too overzealous. Sophie begins to grow suspicious of her assistant Cassie and things escalate from there.

While Sophie is dealing with all this in real time, the book has flashbacks to her days at University. We as readers find out that she used to be best friends with her employer’s (publishing company’s owner) granddaughter. This timeline too, has numerous twist and turns along with shady characters. I enjoyed the flashbacks because they added more depth to the story without seeming forced.

This book takes the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions and keeps you guessing. I was enthralled while reading it and couldn’t wait to see the outcome. I also loved the mystery that Sophie’s University years added. I highly recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers.

The wonderful people at Wunderkind provided me with this ARC for an honest review.


About Mark Edwards: Mark Edwards is the author of psychological thrillers, each of which concerns ordinary people who encounter terrifying events, and police procedurals with Louise Voss. Edwards lives in Wolverhampton, England.


Photo Mark Earthy

#TopTenTuesday: Favorite TV Shows Ever


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful Jamie over at The Broke & the Bookish.

I love TV. I’ll give almost any show a chance. I keep an excel spreadsheet of all the shows I currently watch & when they air, so I can see if anything overlaps. My DVR is currently at 85+ shows and I’v already binged about 6 shows this summer. I’ve watched way too much TV for a person that doesn’t get paid to do so (I need to find a job that will pay me!). That being said there are some shows that I just love above all others.

Shows That Are Over

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Veronica Mars – My LoVe for this show knows no bounds. I mention this show practically almost every day. I still read fanfic for it. I donated to the kickstarter and saw the movie on opening night. I will always LoVe this show and support it and the cast in anyway I can. It’s just a well written show with an amazing cast and it was part of my life when I was entering college, so I was going through crazy life changes and this show gave me a world to escape to. (Three Seasons + Movie! and 2 books!) GET ON IT PEOPLE!!!!


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.09.59 PMGlee – I know what most people think when this show is mentioned. Yeah it was cheesy at times and they sang a lot, but this show changed my life. It began durning my senior year of college and I was again going through a big life change. The Glee fandom (gLeeks) were an amazing group of people. I made so many friends and continue to talk to some of them to this day. (Six Seasons)


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Six Feet Under 
– This show is an amazing piece of work. From start to finish this show hit the nail on the head. It has an amazing cast and a wonderful network of storylines. The finale for this show will forever be the best finale ever. (Five Seasons)



Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.20.32 PMThe O.C. – Welcome to the OC Bitch! I think everyone that loved this show will forever remember that line. This show aired during my years at high school and gave us the heart throbs of Adam Brody & Ben McKenzie. I loved that the nerd got the hot girl, it gave me hope that I would find my hot guy. I also enjoyed how real this show was at times and that they tackled some very tough subjects like drugs, sexuality, death, etc. (Four Seasons)


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.21.50 PMOne Tree Hill – This show continued to fuel my infatuation with Chad Michael Murray (Tristan on GG). I love sports, so when I saw that Chad had a starring role in a new show that incorporated basketball, I was in. I love this cast and the dynamics between the characters. This show will forever have the best high school shooting episodes. It was real and gritty and I believe it rang true to what could happen. I didn’t watch the show after Chad and Hilarie left (Season 6), I tried but just couldn’t do it. (Nine Seasons)


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.24.00 PMWeeds – Yes this show is about Weed. Well not entirely, but it does play a major role. It revolves around a family whose matriarch gets into the drug business after her husband dies. They go on some crazy adventures and there are a lot of great guest stars. (Eight Seasons)


Shows Still on TV

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.26.13 PMGilmore Girls – I can’t recommend this show enough and with the upcoming Netflix continuation I suggest binging it. The characters are fabulous and witty. Growing up I looked up to Rory and dreamed of living in a town like Stars Hollow. I wished my charter school was Chilton (we even had a FB group pretending it was) and that there were boys like Tristan there. (Seven Seasons + Netflix Series on 11/25)


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Teen Wolf
– So I started this show a season late (I tried to avoid MTV after the late 90’s), but when I did finally watch it I loved it. The characters are diverse and the stories weave myths and legends with the supernatural. If you like things that go bump in the night, this show is for you. (Five Seasons + One season left airing 11/15


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.29.40 PMQuantico – I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! It’s only had one season so far, but it’s everything I’ve ever wanted and more. There’s action, romance, mystery and comedy (at times). My dream job is to work at Quantico in the labs, but this show focuses on field agents. It’s interesting to watch what new recruits have to go through. There’s a big mystery arc throughout the first season. I highly recommend this one. (Season 2 begins 9/25)


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.30.54 PMThe Fosters – This is my guilty pleasure show. I fell in love with this show from the minute I watched it. It’s about a bi-racial lesbian couple who have one biological son, twins (hispanic) they adopted, and a brother/sister duo they became foster parents to. It’s a beautiful show that represents characters not usually found on TV. I love the diversity of this show and all the characters in it. (Four Seasons)


Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 10.56.35 PMBONUS: Supernatural – I couldn’t not include Supernatural in my top ten list. I’ve loved this show from the start and I’m so glad there’s no end in sight. I love the characters of Sam & Dean and all the adventures they go on. This show mixes the supernatural with religion, myths, and pop culture. My favorite episode will forever be the episode in which they make fun of a number of other TV shows with the help of the jokester himself, Loki. Since this show is filmed in Vancouver, BC it’s littered with a number of unknown actors who now have their own shows. It also has one of the best supporting casts in the history of TV. The character development of all the secondary characters are so well thought out. But the best part of this show are how kind Jared and Jensen are to their fans. They go to numerous fan conventions and have even started a campaign (Always Keep Fighting) to raise money for numerous charities. Also this show has an amazing soundtrack. I’m a sucker for shows with good music (The OC, OTH, VMars to name a few others). As a side note I’d like it to be known that the Devil arrived in DELAWARE!!! (Eleven Seasons + New Season Airing 10/13)

So what are some of your favorite shows of all time? Do we share any? Have you seen the shows I’ve mentioned?

Show Me How by Molly McAdams: Q&A + GIVEAWAY

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.16.14 PMABOUT SHOW ME HOW:

After her first love was ripped from her grasp four years earlier, Charlie Easton was sure she would never be able to trust anyone with the shattered pieces of her heart again. That is, until Deacon Carver forces himself into her life, and makes those pieces swirl in chaos. But Charlie doesn’t know how to let him in… until a stranger stumbles upon a notebook filled with her innermost secrets, and shows her how.

Deacon Carver is known for sleeping his way through the town of Thatch, as well as the surrounding cities—something he used to take pride in. But that persona has haunted Deacon ever since he decided to leave that life behind for the girl he wants more than anything: Charlie Easton.

But when another girl falls into Deacon’s life, allowing him to be himself without judgment for his past, will their conversations hinder his relationship with Charlie … even if he’s never seen her?

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Q&A With Molly McAdams:

You’ve written quite a few contemporary & romance books, which characters did you have the most fun writing?

Kash and Rachel from the Forgiving Lies series for sure! I made them after my husband and myself, so it was fun having our humor, our conversations, and our bickering in that story.

If you could write any other genre, what would it be?

FANTASY! I would love to write Fantasy! It’s what got me started reading, and it’s what I still prefer to read. 9/10 books I read are Fantasy, but I am awful at writing it.

Do you ever base your characters on people you know or on strangers around you?

Nearly all of my characters are based off of people I know! Most of my heroes are old boyfriends, or my husband! A few are close friends, and every now and then I’ll see strangers do something, and I’ll see an entire scene play out in my mind just from that one simple thing they did.

Who would your dream cast be for Charlie and Deacon?

Oh my word, what an amazing question! Charlie would have to be Olivia Holt and Deacon would definitely be Chris Woods!

 If you could co-author a book with anyone who would you choose?

A.L. Jackson, for sure! She’s one of my favorite authors, always has been. That would be a dream!

Rapid Fire:

Favorite Color? Purple!

Ice Cream or Pie? Shew, give me some chocolate toffee pie, and we’ll call it a day!

Favorite type of food? Comfort food.

Swim or fly? Whoa, what?! Is this like that crazy dream where you can fly? I WANT TO FLY!

Concert or Musical? Musical, hands down!

What book are you currently reading? Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews.


Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 10.12.28 PMABOUT MOLLY MCADAMS:
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

LINKS: Website | Twitter |Facebook |  Goodreads | Google+ | tumblr

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
Week 2:


for $25 (USD) gift card to the ebookseller of choice for 1 winner

All the Feels by Danika Stone: Mini Review

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Not going to lie, it took a bit for me to get into All the Feels, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because I wasn’t in the mood for reading at all when I started it. Even though I wasn’t in the right mood for reading when I started this book, as I read it I absolutely loved it. By far my favorite character was Xander. I loved that he stayed true to himself, was so supportive of Liv, and that he got Liv to go to Dragon Con! Now I’ve never been to Dragon Con, but I have been to NYCC and it’s intense. This book made me feel like I was right back at NYCC and I’m missing it so much and can’t wait for October to get here so I can go back! Danika was able to paint such a vivid picture because she’s a fangirl too and she’s been to Dragon Con (She’s currently there now!).

I also loved the character of Liv because it was so easy to relate to her.  I’m a fangirl of so many shows, movies, celebrities, etc. I understand how Liv felt when her mom told her she had to leave the fandom. I’ve been there and it’s not easy. I also understand how nerve wracking meeting online friends can be. I’ve done it so many times and I have to say each experience has been good. Another thing I like about the character of Liv, was that she wasn’t your typical pretty girl. She had curves and wasn’t a size two.

I liked that Danika split the book into two sections. While some might think the book hops right into Dragon Con, it doesn’t. The first half is background and setting up the story for Liv and Xander. It allows you to connect with them. It makes reading the Dragon Con chapters all the more fun.

I definitely recommend this book and if you like mysteries, check out her other book Edge of Wild!

August Wrap-Up!


I’ve never done a monthly wrap up before but this month I participated in a few projects and I wanted to highlight them. I also read a few books, but that’s nothing new.

So the first project I was part of was Nori’s Book Blogger Creativity Project (BBCP2016). I was part of the Rose Team and had a wonderful set of ladies as fellow team members. Our team decided to host a bookstagram challenge (#EOSChallenge). We tried to mix up the prompts and come up with a few original ones. I think I was pretty successful at this. I believe I only missed 3 days, which for someone just beginning to bookstagram, is good. Here’s the link to the original post about Team Rose!

Next up my friend Marissa (Growing-Up Booknerd) and I posted the second edition for our monthly feature, Around the World: One Character at a Time. We’ve both had a lot of fun with this and are enjoying placing characters from books we love into places we think they’d fit best in. We hope to continue it every month. If you have any characters you’d like us to feature, let us know.

Just yesterday I was part of a blog tour for Scary Out There, a collection of stories and poems by some of the best horror writers! Jonathan Maberry, who edited the book, was nice enough to give me a top ten list of his favorite horror authors. I love horror stories & I can’t wait to read books from some of these authors and to get my hands on Scary Out There!

As for my personal life I booked a trips to Los Angeles, CA for October, as well as Rome, Italy & Newport, RI for November. I’m planning on seeing the wonderful Kerri Maniscalco in NYC for her book launch! (P.S. I’m on the blog tour for Stalking Jack the Ripper!!! It’s so good & look for that post on 9/14.) I had family from CA, CT, PA, & NJ over to my house for a cookout. Went to a corn hole tournament last weekend. Helped plan a work party for over 200 people (not part of my job description). Helped my friend find wedding invites & bridesmaid dresses (no I’m not in the wedding or going b/c it’s a destination wedding 😔). Oh and another round of #otspsecretsister started! It’s been a busy month for me.

To wrap up the wrap-up, here’s the books I read this month. Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 6.08.49 PM
The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding: Goodreads|B&N
Jerk bait by Mia Siegert: Goodreads|B&N
All the Feels by Danika Stone: Goodreads|B&N

August Wrap-up graphic by Catia & Freepik

Scary Out There: A Collection of Stories & Poems Edited by Jonathan Maberry


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Multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author Jonathan Maberry compiles more than twenty stories and poems—written by members of the Horror Writers Association—in this terrifying collection about worst fears.

What scares you? Things that go bump in the night? Being irreversibly different? A brutal early death? The unknown?

This collection contains stories and poetry by renowned writers such as R. L. Stine, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Ellen Hopkins—all members of the Horror Writers Association—about what they fear most. The stories include mermaids, ghosts, and personal demons, and are edited by Jonathan Maberry, multiple Bram Stoker award winner and author of the Rot & Ruin series.
LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this book. I’m a huge horror and scary story fan. I asked Jonathan Maberry what his top ten horror authors are, and I have to say I  really love his selection. There are a few authors that are new to me and I can’t wait to read their books. I hope you enjoy his choices as much as I did. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end for a chance at one of THREE copies of Scary Out There!

Top Ten Horror Authors
By Jonathan Maberry

New York Times bestselling author, five-time Bram Stoker Award Winner, and editor of Scary Out There, a brand new anthology of original horror stories and poems by some of today’s top writers.

  1. Bram Stoker is well-known as the author of Dracula, one of the most important and influential horror novels ever written, and one of the most important novels of all time. It was not the first vampire story written or even the best, but it sank its teeth into the public consciousness and has never quite released that hold. I first read it when I was eleven, and at first could not square the epistolary structure of a story told in letters and journal entries with what I saw in movie adaptations. However as I read the book I saw what Stoker was doing, how he was allowing the reader to get into the head of each of his characters so that they were fully human, which made it much easier to relate to them as people, and fear for their safety. I’ve since re-read the book many times, and have taught classes on it; and I gave a series of lectures at the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia, where all of Stoker’s research notes from that book are on display. However Stoker wrote other horror stories, and some of them are quite entertaining. Two of my favorites are The Jewel of Seven Stars and The Lair of the White Worm. Definitely worth reading. His grand nephew, Dacre Stoker, is a friend, and he wrote the introduction to the first volume of my vampire apocalypse shared-world anthologies, V-Wars.

  2. Richard Matheson was one of the most versatile writers of the 20th century and although he wrote horror (I Am Legend, Hell House, etc.) he also wrote across genre lines and turned out science fiction (The Shrinking Man), thrillers (Duel), metaphysical romance (Somewhere in Time), ghost stories (Stir of Echoes), and much more. He was also one of my mentors as a young teen, and he advised me to avoid becoming a one-note writer, and to always explore beyond what I thought I liked. I did that, and my career has been defined in part by its variety. And his 1954 classic I Am Legend is the template for all apocalyptic thrillers and pathogen outbreak stories.
  3. Ray Bradbury was another friend and mentor when I was a teen. He engendered within me a love of fantasy –something that had never interested me much before- and encouraged me to keep a childlike (but never childish) sense of fun and wonder. On a snowy Christmas Eve when I was thirteen, he gave me a signed copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes, one of the truly perfect novels ever written. Scary, thrilling, and altogether great fun. I read it every Halloween. Like Matheson, he wrote more than horror, and left his mark on science fiction with Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but also wrote fantasy, mystery, and much more.
  4. P. Lovecraft is a difficult man to like, though I love his writing. Lovecraft was very much a man of his time and carried both racist and misogynistic qualities that are impossible to admire. And yet he created a body of work that remains hugely influential to the fiction world as a whole and to me personally. His stories of ‘cosmic horror’ defined a genre that has since come to be know as the Cthulhu Mythos (a term coined by August Derleth, who was both a contemporary and a follower of Lovecraft). And Lovecraft openly invited anyone and everyone to write stories using his characters and set-ups, and more than once those other writers surpassed Lovecraft in storytelling ability. I know of very few writers who have not written Lovecraftian or Cthulhu Mythos stories, and some of the most notable works include those by Stephen King, Robert E. Howard, Mike Mignola, Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Ambrose Bierce, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, T.E.D. Klein, David Drake, William S. Burroughs, Poppy Z. Brite, Yvonne Navarro, Caitlin Kiernan, F. Paul Wilson, Thomas Ligotti, Harlan Ellison, Cherie Priest, China Miéville, and…well, the list goes on and on and on. I’ve written Cthuluhu short stories and even used cosmic horror elements in my mainstream action thriller novel Kill Switch. It is an endlessly malleable storytelling trope.
  5. Edgar Allen Poe is inarguably one of the greatest horror and mystery writers ever, and the inventor of the form of each of those stories. His impact on fiction cannot be overstated. And he’s readable, even after nearly 180 years. People are still reading his works, being frightened or amazed or enthralled. I envy anyone who is reading Poe for the first time. My connection with him is through a pair of anthologies in which I presumed to write stories featuring his pre-Sherlock Holmes consulting detective, C. Auguste Dupin, one for a Dupin anthology (Beyond Rue Morgue) and the other, oddly enough, for a Sherlock Holmes anthology (Echoes of Sherlock Holmes, which debuts this October).
  6. Shirley Jackson has, I believe, written at least one perfect novel (The Haunting of Hill House) and one perfect short story (The Lottery), but her genius was not spent on those two works. They’re simply the ones that get all the credit, and they both earn those praises and their places on lists of the most important works of horror of all time. I recommend looking farther, reading deeper. Her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle is delightfully creepy and tragic and twisted. However, if I were to pick a single thing to recommend that proves her absolute genius, it would be the opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House. Do yourself a favor and go find it. Read it. There are websites devoted to it. Classes have been taught on it. There is so very much to learn about horror in those few words.
  7. Stephen King is indeed the king of the horror genre. Everyone else, including his closest friends and all of the rest of us, are courtiers in that kingdom of the weird. What set King apart was not merely his ability to tell a corking good horror tale and in doing so scare the bejeezus out of people, but his ability to do it so well. He is a master of the craft, not merely the form of horror. He understands language the way a great pianist understands the structure and mechanics of the piano, the science of musical composition and the artistry of performance. King is our grand virtuoso of horror. He would disagree, and has on many occasions. In that thing, though, he is wrong. He’s also a writer who has never let himself be pigeonholed. Sure he writes horror (‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining), but he also writes a lot of science fiction (Tommyknockers, It, Dreamcatcher), epic dark fantasy (The Dark Tower series), young adult adventure (The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon), thrillers (Misery), apocalyptic fantasy (The Shining), nonfiction (On Writing, Danse Macabre), and so much more. He’s productive and it’s very clear he’s having a wicked amount of fun doing it.
  8. Robert Bloch wrote the novel Psycho, which Alfred Hitchcock turned into one of the scariest non-supernatural movies of all time. That novel and the movie defined a genre –the psychotic killer—and did so by drawing on real world murderer Ed Gein. But I knew Bloch as a teenager and what I read of his was mostly his short fiction, which ranged from horror and fantasy to science fiction and crime. And just as Matheson and Bradbury were mentors to me, HP Lovecraft was a mentor to Bloch, who was the youngest member of the legendary Lovecraft Circle.
  9. Robert McCammon is a more contemporary writer than most of these others. He broke onto the scene a few year after King with a book called Baal, but he came onto my personal radar with The Night Boat, released in 1980. It dealt with a derelict World War II submarine filled with murderous undead Nazis. Very scary. With McCammon, though, you could actually watch the process of his going from a solid tradesman in horror storytelling to a true master craftsman. Three books in particular continue to stun me every time I reread them. The first is Mystery Walk, which has a scene with a screaming logging saw that gets me every single time I encounter it. The second is Swan Song, which is a bit like The Stand in structure in that it’s an apocalyptic novel with spiritual overtones. It is not as nihilistic and sad as King’s book and is actually sentimental –or as sentimental as a book about the end of the world can be. The third is Boy’s Life, which touches on the nature of evil in all its many forms; and on the nature of inherent (or acquired) nobility in its many aspects.
  10. Joyce Carol Oates is a somewhat enigmatic choice here. She is not always regarded as a horror writer because many of her countless literary awards are not for writing horror. She has won the O’Henry Award, the L. Rosenthal Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the Norman Mailer Prize, and the National Book Award, and is a five time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. And, oh yeah, she also writes horror. Won a slew of awards for that, too. Her horror always has a literary quality to it, but it isn’t literary fiction. It’s much more alive and complex and…well…twisted than that. You never know where an Oates story will taken you, but the ride is always, always worth it.


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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

3 Finished copies of SCARY OUT THERE! (US Only)

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Tour Schedule:
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Around The World: One Character At A Time


Hi everyone! Marissa and I are back at it again with our feature, Around The World: One Character at a Time! Today we travel to New Jersey, NYC, New York, Paris & Greece!

As a refresher, in these monthly posts we plan to each choose 3 characters from books we love and write about where (cities, states, countries) we think they’d best fit in.We both hope you have fun reading where we think these characters would fit in best!


M: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowel: Cather Avery

In a perfect world Cath and Levi would end up in a big farmhouse somewhere in the middle of nowhere where he could ranch and she could become the famous author we all know she can be. But perfect worlds are no fun and stuff has to happen ~before~ the perfect part catches up. After college Cath needs to head off into the world to get inspiration for her novels and find a badass agent so she can get published. I imagine Cath traveling as much as she can and keeping in touch with Levi as he works on finding his own land to ranch on. So, long story short, I don’t know what city Cath would end up in. I don’t see her “ending up” anywhere because any city that Cath and Levi live in will never be just a city. It’ll be ~the~ city. 



K: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Peeta Mellark

I love the character of Peeta in The Hunger Games, before District One captures him. Afterwards he is a completely different person and just seems hollow inside. He has an honest and “home-grown” quality. He thinks of helping other above anything. He has a great sense of community. These reasons and others are why I think Peeta would fit best in Tuckahoe, NJ. Tuckahoe is a small town I pass on the way to the shore from my grandfather’s house in NJ. It’s quaint and full of mom and pop shops. Everyone seems to know everyone there and is full of great people who have honest values like Peeta. They even have an amazing cheesecake shop that I know Peeta could work at.

*Note from Marissa: I strongly disagree with this and believe Peeta belongs in Hoboken where he can work with Cake Boss Buddy V. 😉


 greece M: Percy Jackson and The Olympians/The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan: Annabeth Chase + Percy Jackson

NYThis is kind of cheating but you can’t have Annabeth without Percy and you can’t have Percy without Annabeth. They’re soulmates and obviously have to end up in the same city together. I feel like initially Annabeth would want to be somewhere in Greece to study the architecture and Percy would want to live close to his mom and Paul. They would probably settle for a home in New York to be close to Percy’s family and Camp Half-Blood as long as Percy promised to take her to Greece often.


K: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: Rose

Before I tell you what place I think fits Rose best, I have a confession to make. I saw the movie before I read the book, but I have since read the whole series. I also think I’m in the minority in liking the movie, but anyway on to Rose! I really enjoyed how Zoey portrayed Rose in the movie, but I love book Rose even more. She’s a take no prisoners, kick ass kind of girl who I’d love to be friends with. She’s a wild child, but can be composed if needed. She’s full of secrets and she protects the ones she loves. When I think of Rose I think of New York City, the city that never sleeps. New York City is loud, unpredictable, loyal, sophisticated and original. I think all these qualities fit Rose to a tee.


M: NYMagnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan: Samirah (Sam) al-Abbas

Can Rick Riordan write a character that isn’t just a true native of New York? Apparently not because when I actially think about it most if not all of his characters could end up there and by happy. Like Percy and Annabeth, Sam would probably be best suited to New York. It’s where her family is, and close to an entrance into Valhalla. I feel like once she “retires” (Does one ever retire from Valkyrie-ship??) she will want to settle down somewhere a little more normal and quiet with Amir to raise a family. If there’s one thing Sam wants, it’s to live a normal life. I can see her moving to Hoboken or maybe even to Long Beach to raise her family. Final answer: Long Beach

ParisK: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: Allie

I hope most people have read this book because I think it’s wonderful. I was called heartless after reading it though, because I didn’t cry at the end. What can I say; I have a black soul. Anyway, I believe that most people that read The Notebook view Allie as a proper, loving, spoiled, and refined young girl. However, she can be stubborn and driven when given the right circumstances. All these qualities make me think immediately of Paris. Paris is known for exquisite taste and being the home to well cultured people. They can be cutting edge and rebellious when it comes to their fashion houses. Parisian designers really resonate Allie. She’s elegant on the outside, but she loves excitement and can be rebellious on the inside.

*Side note: I highly recommend watching Paris Fashion Week (Spring and Fall) versus haute couture.


I hope y’all liked these match ups and if you haven’t read the book, did reading this make you want to? What else would you like to see? Are there any books or characters you’d like to see featured? Leave some feedback in the comments🙂

#TopTenTuesday: Books in Magical Worlds


Hi everyone. I’ve been in a bit of a writer’s block, so I thought I’d give this week’s Top Ten Tuesday a try. Thanks so much Jamie at The Broke & the Bookish for hosting this every Tuesday. The topic is Books in ______ Setting. I chose magical worlds, because I love getting transported to a new land when I read. So here it goes!

1: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling 

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How could I not choose these books. They have some of my favorite characters and my favorite magical world. Jo’s words have transported me to Hogwarts when I needed to get away from my own world. She’s inspired me and so many others and she’s also so sweet. I’m so glad I was able to meet her that warm Spring day in DC 6 years ago.

2: Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

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I loved these books as a kid. I used to wish I was part of the Pevensie family and that I could go to Narnia. Their adventures were so amazing and the creatures they encountered were fantastical.

3: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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While I’m not sure I wish to live in Westeros, the people there sure are interesting. I enjoy so many characters and creatures from this land. I would love to meet many of them, but not for too long because I’d be afraid to die. Jon Snow forever!!!

4: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan 

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Ok so this one is cheating a bit as I haven’t read the series yet. I do however love the first book and oh how I wish I could go to Camp Half-Blood and Mount Olympus. Seeing all those mythological creatures, gods, goddesses, and demigods I learned about in school would seriously blow my mind. I hope to finish reading the series soon.

5: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Some days I really wish I could fall down a rabbit hole like Alice did. Wonderland sounds so spectacular. The creatures and people there are unique. Also the adventures she goes on are amazing.

6: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum


Who wouldn’t want to meet the munchkins!? It’s been forever since I’ve read this book, but one can never forget the characters there. The adventure that Dorothy goes on just shows how strong a female can be. She defeated evil and met some amazing people along the way.

7: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


Ok so when I read this book I was highly confused and I really wasn’t a huge fan of it. I don’t know how this was ever considered a book for children. But the movies made me love Neverland in a way the book couldn’t. My favorite adaptations are Hook and the animated version from Disney. The lost boys from Hook were my favorite and I wished I could be one.

8: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


So Vampire Academy doesn’t really have a magical land, but it has vampires and other creatures that are “magical”. I loved this series so much. My friend kept telling me to read it, but I caved and watched the movie first (I loved that too). I think I loved the different places Rose traveled to and the different takes on vampires the most.

9: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


This is another land I’m not sure I’d want to go to. Middle-Earth can be a beautiful and scary place. Like GOT I think it would be fun to meet some of the people and creatures there, but I’d never be able to stay long.

10: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


So The Secret Garden doesn’t have a magical world in it per se, but I always thought of it as one. Like Mary, stepping through that garden door transported me to a new and different world. It was full of mystery and new life. I used to imagine that the house next to my grandfather’s had a door just like in the book. This door was hidden by ivy on the side of their yard. Inside was their expansive backyard full of greenery, a pond, and wildlife. It was my own secret garden and I loved it.

***Have you read any of these books? Did you like the list?