Dracul by: Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

Dracul

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a riveting novel of gothic suspense that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s — and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen — a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen — and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.

 

My Review:

A few confessions:  1.  I have never read Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

2.  I have never seen any of the movies about Dracula.

3.  J.D. Baker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  (see his other books in early book posts)

I listened to Dracul in the week before Halloween and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was narrated by a full cast.  I love it when it sounds like I am listening to a play.  Dracul did not disappoint.  It was the perfect blend of historical fiction and creepiness.  Each character brought so much to the story.

Ellen was the tie between Dracula and Bram and the rest of Bram’s family played such an integral part to the story.  There were definitely times that I was a bit creeped out while driving to and from work, but I had a great time listening to this.

A few days ago, I came home to the finished book in the mail from the publisher and couldn’t be more grateful.  I love the way it looks on my shelf.  It also had PR info about the way in which this book was done.  Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker had an connection that worked so well for this story.  By being able to utilize Bram’s notes and diaries, they were able to create something that I had a hard time distinguishing if it was non-fiction or not.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

5_crowns

 

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Check out this new tool: Archivos Created by: David Robison Nerd Blast & GIVEAWAY

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Please visit all stops on this nerd blast tour: http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/09/nerd-blast-archivos-by-dave-robison.html

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With ARCHIVOS, storytellers are empowered to be the architects of their stories. Through an interactive visual representation of an entire story world, storytellers and fans can examine the interconnections between characters, places, and events. Produced by Wonderthing Studios, ARCHIVOS provides – at a glance – a deep appreciation and comprehension of the interaction between story elements composition, superior to any wiki or blog.
 

DESCRIPTION
ARCHIVOS is story mapping and presentation application developed by Wonderthing Studios, designed to support storytellers in the creation and promotion of their story worlds.

HISTORY
Wonderthing Studios LLC was founded in January 2015 by David Robison to celebrate and foster the storytelling community in all its forms and facets. The studio develops multiple channels of engagement – from podcasts to board games to software – in order to support storytellers and provide tangible opportunities for the creative community to interact and share wisdom and experience.

ARCHIVOS has been in development for over a decade, built upon the idea of a visual representation of the network of interaction between story elements. It’s creator, David Robison, conceived a framework of documentation and relationship that would articulate the dynamics of a story setting more effectively than any wiki or blog. The application serves as both a development tool for narratives as well as a presentation framework for sharing those narratives.

THE STORY WEB
Explore the associations and connections between story elements with The Story Web. This interactive display allows you to analyze the networks of association in your story setting and navigate its length and breadth with a few clicks of the mouse!

THE LIVING MAP
Highlight the significant events and locations of your story world in the Living Map. Geography, city maps, floor plans can be showcased in this interactive and searchable display.

THE TIMELINE
Chronicle the significant events of your story world – from deep history to current events – and then explore the entire continuum on the Timeline! Zoom in to see days or zoom out encompass decades, ensuring continuity and consistency across your story setting.

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Praise for ARCHIVOS

I am very excited by the potential of Archivos for authors and storytellers of all stripes. I am truly enjoying watching Archivos evolve! ―Mary Layton, Author

There’s no better way to get a visual recap of any story than there will be when ARCHIVOS hits the streets. Watch out. ―Jay Swanson, Author, Vlogger, and Chronic Transient

Archivos provides individuals and organizations with an extraordinary tool, one where the structure and breadth of a narrative can be deftly visualized, shared, and explored. My team of creators is delighted to be working with Archivos and making use of their fantastic system! ―A. David Lewis, Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective

Dave Robison

ABOUT THE CREATOR
 

Dave Robison is a storyteller who has been captivated by tales and legends his entire life.

He’s contributed vocal fabulousity to dozens of audio drama and fiction productions for EscapePod, Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, and Podcastle, as well as The Drabblecast, StarShipSofa, Tales to Terrify. He has narrated several audio books for Tantor Media, J. Daniel Sawyer, Scott Roche, and John Meirau and appeared in audio dramas by Jay Smith and Bryan Lincoln.

As a child, he wrote Curious George and Paddington Bear fan fiction to the indulgent delight of his family. He was drawn to the immersive storytelling of live theater at an early age, participating in community workshops and school productions, a passion that continued through high school and college. He was also drawn to role-playing games which led to a deep appreciation of speculative fiction, cutting his genre teeth on Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and JRR Tolkien.

He attended the University of Michigan, majoring in Theater and Dance but transferred to the University of Wyoming when tuition costs got too expensive. Securing his Theater degree, Dave pursued a degree in Graphic Design and, in the years that followed, worked at dinner theaters, design studios, and ran a used bookstore. When he was hired teach computer classes at New Horizons Computer Learning Center, it began a decade-long exploration of programming, education, and web development.

In 2012, Dave launched The Roundtable Podcast with friend and colleague Brion Humphrey. The podcast gave writers the opportunity to brainstorm their story ideas with established authors and editors like Lou Anders, Cat Rambo, Kameron Hurley, and Hugh Howey. The unique format combined with Dave’s over-the-top delivery and enthusiasm earned the podcast a small but dedicated following.

In 2015, Dave formed Wonderthing Studios, LLC and brought the Roundtable Podcast under its banner. The studio is the launching point for several creative endeavors including Vex Mosaic, a monthly review of essays inspired by speculative fiction media, and Manifest, a board game combining the positional strategy of chess with the fantastical diversity of Magic: The Gathering.

In 2016, Dave was honored to be invited to help lead The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG) as its Vice-President assisting in the initialization of the diverse processes required to execute a massive shared world collaborative storytelling publishing venture. Later that year, he was appointed Executive producer of Onder Media Group (OMG) overseeing the development of multiple media channels that celebrate speculative fiction culture in all its forms and facets.

In 2017, Dave released Archivos, a story mapping and presentation tool, through Wonderthing Studios.

 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM DAVE ROBISON

WEBSITE: https://archivos.digital/
TWITTER: 
@ArchivosStories  
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ArchivosStories/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/archivos.stories/

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GIVEAWAY:
Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive 1-year free of ARCHIVOS (at any level) service. 

 1 Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.
ENDS: NOVEMBER 12, 2018
This is an amazing tool for Authors and readers alike.  Check out the YouTube video:
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Under My Skin by: Lisa Unger

under my skin

Description from the Publisher

MY REVIEW:
This is the second book that I read from this author.  I read Ink and Bone and reviewed it on my blog.  I enjoyed this new thriller but thought it was a bit too long.  I had a hard time getting into the story but was compelled to finish it to see how it ended.  I wish there were more realistic, thrilling moments in this book and not just at the end.
I don’t want to say too much about this book as it is a thriller and the best way to go into them is blindly.
I gave this book 3 crowns.
3_crowns
I received this E-ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Death by the River by: Alexandria Weis & Lucas Astor Trailer Blast & Giveaway

Death by the River Trailer Blast Banner

Check out all the stops on this Nerd Blast Tour here:

 http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/09/trailer-blast-death-by-river-by.html

Death by the River

SYNOPSIS

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse which could be upsetting.

 
Praise for DEATH BY THE RIVER

“… a thrilling psychological work … Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel and 13 Reasons Why … a horrifically brilliant book … Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation … much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal.” ―K.C. Finn, Multi-Award-Winning Author

“Rare is the story that simmers and rises to a boil so naturally and constantly that the reader manages to be repeatedly shocked … a full-speed rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final page. Employing an evocative setting, powerfully defined characters, and taking along hard look at the darker side of human desire, this novel will catch your breath and hold it until the very end. RECOMMENDED” ―Michael Radon, US Review

“While the authors have written a chilling story here, there’s more to Death by the River than thrills. It’s actually a fascinating study into the effects of good and bad parenting on children. Do it badly and parents, children and society as a whole pay the consequences. This book is not just an exciting read; it’s a sobering one.” ―Viga Boland, Retired high school English teacher and Author of No Tears for my Father: Viga’s true story of incest 

“While the story follows compelling characters, it also plunges readers into an intriguing setting. It is ironical that the horrors are taking place along the river that runs so close to a seminary, an establishment that should evoke a powerful sense of God and reverence for life. The characters are sophisticated and readers will learn to honestly hate the villain of the story — he is well imagined and developed with skill. In a subtle way, the authors allow his crooked mind to reveal itself. Like most serial killers, he is a charmer and an intelligent young man, but beneath the cool surface is a cauldron of simmering evil. Weis and Astor have written a riveting crime tale with strong psychological underpinnings. Death by the River is ingeniously plotted, written in gorgeous prose, and featuring a strong conflict that propels the narrative forward. The suspense intensifies as the story moves on, with the reader always feeling as though something awful could happen at any moment, and this feeling grows in intensity until the explosive climax. A real thriller!” ―Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“A suspense-filled thriller steeped in equal parts atmosphere, insanity, and revenge.” ―Mary Ting, Award-Winning Author of ISAN: International Sensory Assassin Network

“Weis and Astor have created something so dark, edgy, and gritty, it will stay with you long after you close the book.” ―Julieanne Lynch, Dragon Award Finalist: Horror (2018)

“… a crime thriller that pulls readers into the twisted mind of the protagonist and holds them engaged till the exhilarating finish. The writing is flawless … Death by the River is psychologically engaging, emotionally rich, and utterly absorbing.” ―Christian Sia

EXCERPT

Beau froze, almost afraid to move when he spotted him. Gage Devereaux rested his hip against the black granite countertop. Except for their height and physical prowess, Beau felt he had nothing in common with his father.

He attempted to relax by shifting his book bag on his shoulder. “Didn’t expect to find you still home.”

Gage set his coffee mug on the kitchen counter. “I wanted to speak to you before you left for school.”

The hint of condescension in his father’s voice tightened his chest—it usually signaled a lecture.

“I got a call from Ms. Greenbriar yesterday afternoon. She said you visited her office after a run-in you had with Carol Foster’s boy.”

Beau’s fingers twitched, the way they did when his aggravation got the better of him. Great. The idiot woman had called his father. The last thing he needed was Gage Devereaux up his ass.

“Derek is dating Dawn’s sister, so I often see him at school.” He tempered the irritation in his voice, not wanting to annoy his father. “I was talking to Leslie when Derek walked up. I accidentally caught him with my elbow when I turned around. I apologized and everything is fine.”

He waited, analyzing every move his father made, searching his hard eyes for an inkling of his mindset.

“I’ve spoken to you before about this.” Gage came around the breakfast bar. “This family is in a precarious position with everyone in town. I don’t want your actions threatening our business or our good name.” He gripped Beau’s shoulder. “What have I always told you? What is our rule?”

Beau cringed as the words he’d spent a lifetime dreading screamed through his head. He faced his father, standing at attention. “Self-control in all things. Never let anyone see who you really are.”

Gage leaned closer. “No matter what anyone says, no matter what they do, you walk away. This includes your girlfriend. Do you understand?”

Beau stiffened at the low, menacing tone in his father’s voice. “Yes, sir.”

Gage lifted the left side of his mouth ever so slightly. “Go to school.”

Beau stood by the breakfast bar, not moving a muscle as his father headed to the garage. The door clicked shut and a trickle of sweat ran down his temple. His jaw muscles cramped from clenching, his heart rate slowed, and he glanced at his fists. His father’s warning spinning in his head, Beau slammed his hand down on the copper bar.

Anger like molten lead ran through him. Beau sucked in deep breaths to calm himself—something he remembered from a long-ago therapy session. Then he relaxed his hand on the bar, checking the indent he’d left in the copper. He wiped the smudge away, stepped back, and raised his head.

I am the master of control.

Copyright © 2018 by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
 

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of over twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

Lucas Astor, Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.

 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALEXANDREA WEIS AND LUCAS ASTOR

WEBSITE: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/
TWITTER: @alexandreaweis  
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/alexandreaweis/

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Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

–  1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of DEATH BY THE RIVER by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor    

–  1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.    
ENDS: OCTOBER 22, 2018

Lies by: TM Logan

Lies

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

 

My heart hurt for Joe and then when it dd, I didn’t really know if it should or not.  Was he an unreliable narrator?  Damn, this was a good story and I highly recommend it.

I gave it 5 crowns.

5_crowns

pro_reader_120 I received this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Sadie by: Courtney Summers

sadie

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

 

My Review:

I would recommend this book to younger readers who have not quite ventured into the Mystery, Thriller, Crime genres yet.  I enjoyed the plot line and really like the set up of the podcast transcriptions.  I thought that when were hearing from Sadie’s perspective, we were losing a bit of the story.  As an older reader who loves those genres, I found myself to be a bit disappointed in the story as a whole.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

3_crowns

The Other Woman by: Sandie Jones

The Other Woman Publication Date: August 21, 2018

Synopsis:

A deliciously disturbing, compulsively readable debut domestic suspense–prepare to meet The Other Woman: there’s nothing she won’t do to keep you away from her son …

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

My Review:

This was a fast-paced, well written thriller.  Everyone usually has horror stories to tell about their mother-in-law but Emily has the best story.  Her mother-in-law to-be, Pammie, is certifiable.  She does things to Pammie without anyone knowing and poor Emily is trying desperately to appease her fiance.  The hidden comments, the pictures of exes that appear in photo albums, the invite to Emily’s ex-best friend to her hen party; these are just a few of the things that Emily has to deal with.

How can Emily survive a relationship with her beloved fiance when his mother will do  everything she can to sabotage it?  This was an entertaining read and I had a hard time putting it down.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

4_crowns