#redeyereadalong

Happy Halloween!!!!!!

 

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Happy Halloween!!!

To celebrate I’d thought I’d share with you some of the challenges and my favourite blogging activities I have done this October highlighting my Halloween Themed posts in case you’ve missed them:

So let’s start off with some photography challenges. I’ve recently joined Instagram https://instagram.com/kyrosmagica/ as has my friend and fellow blogger Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News.

Hugh wanted to see what lurks in the shadows: http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/10/24/hughs-photo-challenge-week-3-what-lurks-in-the-shadows/

Here’s my contribution for Hugh’s What Lurks in The Shadow’s Photo Challenge:

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/hughs-photo-challenge-week-3-what-lurks-in-the-shadows/

I also had a go at Ed Mooney’s Capturing History Spooktacular Challenge: https://edmooneyphoto.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/spooktacular-2015/

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/spooktacular-2015-the-gallows-at-the-caxton-gibbett-inn/

Shadows even managed to sneak there way into my submission for Julia’s Camera Lucinda Photography Challenge, I kind of stretched my interpretation of the challenge, it was meant to be metal and rust so I cheated a bit! The guitar strings were a bit old and rusty! The shadows weren’t too spooky but I wanted to include this in this post to do a shout out for Julia’s challenge. It’s fun to join in.

Here’s the link to Julia’s challenge: https://myredpage.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/camera-lucida-metal/

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/camera-lucida-metal/

Some writing contests, and challenges captured my interest:

The 5th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest, this one sounded cute so how could I say no? I found it on Susannahill’s blog: http://susannahill.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-5th-annual-halloweensie-writing.html

 

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Here’s my entry: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/the-5th-annual-halloweensie-writing-contest-aahhhrrrooooooooo/

 

The 79 Word Story challenge from Chris at The Story Reading Ape:

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2015/10/18/more-new-79-words-story-challenge-entrants/

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I went for a jog and wrote about a Halloween brooch. My mind works in mysterious ways!  https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/79-words-story-the-halloween-brooch/

 

Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle Writing Challenge, a weekly fun place to hang out and do blog battle : http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Here’s a couple of my Blog Battle stories:

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A paranormal lakeside story about a hidden scar:  https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/blogbattle-the-scar/

 

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A paranormal/fantasy story inspired by the blood moon: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/blog-battle-blood-moon-a-rip-of-a-ride/

 

I love to join in Ronovan Writes Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

The prompt words that Ron came up with in that particular week were Tide and Flesh and they just seemed to fit the bill so well!

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/ronovan-writes-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-64-tide-and-flesh/

I’ve been taking part in the #redeyereadalong of horror YA books by Stripes publishing. This wonderful event has been run by two book bloggers,  Chelle at Tales of Yesterday Blog and Heather at Heather reviews:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/  https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/redeyereadalong-qa-with-tom-becker/

Here are my #redeyereadalong posts:

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/redeyereadalong-dark-room-by-tom-becker/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-dark-room-by-tom-becker/

bad bones graham marks

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-bad-bones-by-graham-marks/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/redeyereadalong-bad-bones-by-graham-marks/

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-flesh-and-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/redeye-readalong-flesh-and-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-sleepless-by-lou-morgan/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-sleepless-by-lou-morgan/

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https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/read-eye-readalong-frozen-charlotte/

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-frozen-charlotte-by-alex-bell/

 

Do check out Colleen’s wonderful blog, Silver Threading, and her open invitation to join writer’s Quote Wednesday: http://silverthreading.com/2015/10/28/writers-quote-wednesday-a-silver-quote-2/

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For Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday I had a go at some Halloween Quotations: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/writers-quote-wednesday-halloween/

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My Halloween stuff and Autumn nonsense post, amongst other things celebrated some of the wonderful blogs who enjoy Halloween:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/halloween-stuff-and-autumn-nonsense/

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Also I just finished reading Caroline Peckham’s Creeping Shadow, a pre-release ARC and have just done a quick review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1417107616

Phew!! I have been busy. Don’t expect me to keep this up, or I may just turn into a shadow of my former self!

Oh and with all this blogging I had my best day for likes on October 27th, thank you all so much for liking and commenting on my posts. :))))

Newsflash: I’m having a well earned blogging break soon in early November, probably starting in the first week, and extending for all of November to do some much neglected writing, and I will be making some decisions about the publication of my manuscript Krystallos. More about that to come….

So bye for now.

I hope you have a very happy fun filled Halloween!

 

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From your magical good witch Marje @ Kyrosmagica !! xx

 

 

 

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Dark Room by Tom Becker

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

I’ve been participating in the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads, and this is the last book in the series,  read during the week 26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015.

I joined in the readalong with mixed feelings as I am a bit of a novice horror reader – I tend to be a trifle  scared of reading frightening stories – but astonishingly I have found it really fun and totally enthralling throughout. I whipped through those pages reading five books in super quick, heartbeat time! There have been moments when certain passages I’ve read have turned my stomach, or left me hugging my duvet for comfort but it has been such a positive experience overall. So thank you so much to Chelley who blogs at Tales of Yesterday and Heather from Heather Reviews for including me in this readalong.

My overall favourites are without a doubt, Frozen Charlotte from week 1 and this final book Dark Room from Week 5! So the best were first and last as far as I was concerned!

My review:

Dark Room certainly started off  dark and sinister and that’s a fact. The Prologue tells the tale of Walter West, a rich young chap, but don’t be fooled this, he is no sweet boy next door! If you are friends with Walter West and you’re young and pretty, don’t pop over to visit, well not unless you want to be viciously murdered.

In Chapter 1 we are introduced to the main protagonist a sixteen year old girl called Darla whose life has been hard, with a capital H, she certainly hasn’t had a fairy-tale existence. Her dad hopper is a drunken, hopeless fellow who runs from one unhappy experience to another. Her mother Sidney killed herself. Darla runs away from yet another bout of trouble with her dad Hopper to Saffron Hills. She finds that Saffron Hills has its fair share of  beautiful people, is obsessed with looking good, and is home to the Miss Saffron beauty pageant. Not exactly a place to make Darla feel at home as she is a fairly plain looking girl.

There are a bunch of mysteries to solve in this book so at times it came across more like a murder mystery than a horror story. Though there are elements of horror in Dark Room, the visions that Darla experiences are certainly horrible,  and this sense of terror is amplified by Darla having no control over these frightening and disturbing visions. As the story unfolds she starts to try to take control of these visions, but more about that later…

Darla meets with her artistic neighbour Annie, who befriends Darla and Hopper. Annie is a fascinating character too with a hidden aspect to her personality that is revealed later in the novel.

When more beautiful kids are killed Darla’s personality changes, she becomes this courageous kid investigating, trying to stop another murder from being committed. That’s when I really started to love Darla, undoubtedly she is the best character in the book, the one that you can’t help but root for.

Photography is used in a creative way as a device in this book, to reveal the next murder, but is also used to suggest the nastiness of the beautiful crowd. In one particular scene TJ takes a selfie with Darla to ridicule her and other plain girls like her.  Natalie, Gabrielle, Ryan, TJ, Carmen are beautiful on the outside, but inside they are mean, unlikable, thoughtless bullies. That is not a criticism of the book, the beautiful kids are meant to be portrayed this way, a message is intended to come across. Beauty is more than outward appearance it is what you hold in your heart. The cruel message finally gets through to one of the beautiful kids, who eventually turns over a new leaf.

Darla’s friend Sasha is an interesting but flawed character. She is pretty but in a non-conformist, punk style of way. She is also quite unlikable, and comes across as pretty uncaring, and glib, until one of the kids who she is secretly fond of in the beautiful clique gets murdered. Frank  appears to be Sasha’s errand boy, but even Frank has a side of him that is kept a mystery.

So a very intriguing story, full of mysteries, secrets, it kept me wondering, guessing… I guessed the murderer then I changed my mind, then I guessed again… Lots of excitement.

The ending was good but perhaps a bit far fetched so instead of a 5 star read I’ve reduced it by half a star!

Would I recommend reading this?

Absolutely, if you can stomach it!  The murders are visually gruesome, made me flinch in parts but nevertheless I found Dark Room very absorbing. So go out and get a copy… Just don’t do any selfies for a while…

Warning: Not For Younger Readers.

My rating:

4.5 stars

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK Kindle: http://amzn.to/2xfFm5r

Amazon UK Paperback: http://amzn.to/2w5vRUV

 

Links:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-qa-with-tom-becker/

http://www.welcometodarkside.co.uk/index.tao?PageId=Biography

Bye for now.

Do comment I’d love to hear your opinions. Have you read Dark Room or any of the other books in the #redeye series?

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Redeyereadalong: Dark Room by Tom Becker

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Bad Bones, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong:  The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween!

Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

Dark Room is the next scary book I’ll be reading for the #RedEye readalong  from:

26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015

Wait a minute – 26th October, that’s today. Can it really be the final week? How time flies when you’re having fun.

It is the final book in the readalong!!!! Dark Room by Tom Becker.

It’s been a blast such eerie, scary excitement all the way, there’s never been a dull moment.

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis of Dark Room:

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Have you read Dark Room? Do you dare to? Let me know if you have!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Bad Bones by Graham Marks

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Goodreads Synopsis:

 

Some things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.

This is the fourth book I’ve read in the #redeyereadalong, from Stripes Publishing. I have to say they have all been different, and quite engaging in their own way. So what’s my take on them wicked old Bad Bones?

My review:

Bad Bones starts off with Gabe getting himself in deep water by finding a grave and raiding the skeleton taking a very expensive looking gold bracelet. This seems like an answer to his prayers, a way for him to be able to help his family who are in financial difficulty, but instead he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a nightmare scenario of growing proportions.  He starts getting followed around by owls, cayotes and a creepy guy. Soon he realises that his actions have led him and unsuspecting bystanders and friends into grave danger. Excuse the pun!  To add to his troubles he tries hard to avoid getting involved with low life Benny, and his dodgy money making schemes, but doesn’t manage to succeed. The only silver lining in this hellish scenario is his developing relationship with Stella, and his pal Anton who obviously cares for him and literally does have his back. I enjoyed his little sister Remy too. The scene in which his sister inadvertently gets involved and Gabe goes into big brother panic mode is one of my favourite parts of the book.

The humour is a bit of a double edged sword in Bad Bones because at times this distracts from the potential scary/creepiness of the storyline. This is particularly true with the character of Rafael who comes across as being a bit over the top,  an almost stereotypical baddy. Somehow I just couldn’t take Rafael seriously, at times he just seemed to be verging on ridiculousness.

Of all the characters the main protagonist Gabe is the most well defined, a regular kid who wants to make things better for his family. He tries his best to do what’s right. Stella, the love interest in the novel  seems a bit too goodie goodie to be true. What girl would hang around under such circumstances? Does she love to live dangerously or perhaps have some kind of a death wish? As far as Stella is concerned I kept on expecting some kind of plot twist but that never happened. I was really hoping that she was the baddy’s sidekick but no such luck! She’s a bit too good to be true. Anton, Gabe’s best friend appears in various cameo roles predominantly at the beginning of the novel and then at the end. He seems very noble, and worthy of the title best friend, but his part in the story possibly could have been developed more. The other character that deserves a mention is Father Simon, Father Simon is pretty cool, he reminded me of the cool dude that married me!! Kind of has hidden aspects to his character does Father Simon, he even possesses a firearm, now that’s all I’m going to say about him!

So mixed feelings about Bad Bones. Had me giggling, enjoying the M & M moments, imagining tucking into those chocolate peanuts before fighting off evil. But, if you enjoy being scared out of your skin and bones then this one is not that scary compared with the other #redeye books that I’ve read up to now. There are moments of scariness but it is more like a sort of Scooby Doo of the Horror book world, which suited me quite well as I’m a bit of a wimp but probably wouldn’t be as popular with the die hard horror fans. So a good choice for novice horror readers who perhaps want a laugh, some fun, likeable characters and a touch of horror thrown in for good measure.

My rating:

3 stars.

If Rafael had been portrayed as a more scary character this book would have climbed the star levels, but as it is, it stays at around the 3 star level.

Have you read Bad Bones or any of the other books in the #redeye series from Stripes Publishing? If so, please do comment and let me know what you think.

Links:

http://grahammarks.net/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/05/qa-with-graham-marks/

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Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

#RedEyeReadalong: Bad Bones by Graham Marks

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Flesh and Blood, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong: The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween! Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

The next scary book I’m reading for the #RedEye readalong this week  from 19th October 2015 – 25th October 2015 is Bad Bones by Graham Marks.

Sounds fascinating, wonder what kind of bad bones we’re going to be in store for!

Here’s the Synopsis to tell you more:

Some things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Author link:

http://grahammarks.net/

 

Have you read Bad Bones? Do let me know I’d love to hear if you have read Bad Bones or any of the other books in this readalong.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam’s determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined – is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing …escaping is another. A chilling new story in the Red Eye series

My Review:

I’ve been reading several horror novels in the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads, this is the third book in the series from Stripes Publishing that I have read, enjoyed, (if that is the right word!) and reviewed. During this week’s  #RedEyeReadAlong – 12/10/2015 – 18/10/2015, I’ve been immersed in Flesh and Blood. Oops that doesn’t sound right, let’s hastily change that to I’ve been reading Flesh and Blood!

Flesh and Blood kind of lives up to expectations in terms of its title – this is a pretty gruesome horror read. The central theme of Flesh and Blood is not ghosts, scary dolls, vampires, witches or demons,  it focusses on warped people,  doing some disgustingly deplorable actions. In my opinion this makes it a harder to take read,  we can’t blame it on a fantasy element, it’s the human race that’s well and truly screwed up! So this is a horror read for those who like their horror choc-a-bloc full of gore.

The beginning starts of fairly slow, fooling the reader into thinking that perhaps nothing too horrible can possibly happen in the apparent heavenly suburbia of Hadlington. But even then there are huge hints that horrendous things are about to happen. A dead guy is found in the park on Sam’s first day at his new school and the state he is in isn’t exactly picnic viewing. Put it this way a lot of the kids from school who see his dead body are offered counselling afterwards.  Nearby in an area known as Elton Gardens there is gang activity, giving the snobby kids and their parents a ready scapegoat for the murdered guy. This is a fast paced read which explores class differences, snobbery, reminding me of the kind of cruelty perpetrated in the Second World War. It manages to do this all in a neatly packaged horror format. I have to admit to turning pages in a desperate need to find out what happened in the end, (the ending is no picnic either.) Somehow, the ending left me feeling rather depressed!! Though in its defence the ending rocked, it was undoubtedly the strongest conclusion but don’t expect a cheerful read !! Hey this is horror!!

Overall, I would say that Flesh and Blood is a well crafted story but I have a slight personal preference for Frozen Charlotte and Sleepless in the books I have read up to now in the #redeyereadalong.

The main reason why?

Due to Sam’s interest in journalism, and his narrating the story,  the reader can expect a fair amount of telling in this novel. At times this narrative device just annoyed and distanced me from the story. At a particularly pivotal point in Flesh and Blood Sam told the reader exactly what was going to happen next, and I was just staring at the page and wondering why, why, why? I found it difficult to identify with the main character Sam Hunter possibly due to this and some of his actions though understandable under the circumstances nevertheless came across as pretty heartless. So if Sam ended up in deep water I didn’t really care as much as I should have done if he’d been more likeable. In fact I think I identified more strongly with his nerdy friends, Liam and Jo, who he leads into trouble, and I ended up feeling very sorry for them. Of all the characters Emma Greenhill, Sam’s neighbour, and the Greenhill’s in general captured the full focus of my attention with Emma’s sweet perfection at the beginning evolving into something else entirely.

Apart from the above points Simon Cheshire wove a clever story, and kept me entertained all the way through, though it was pretty gruesome in parts, and definitely not for the younger reader or those who don’t like gore!

There is a warning on the back of the book about it not being suitable for younger readers which is undoubtedly justified.

A bit mixed feelings about Flesh and Blood, a highly compulsive read, with an ending that doesn’t hold back, bringing Sam’s narrating to a conclusion which leaves you with a sick feeling lodged in the pit of your stomach, so BEWARE it might not be for everyone.. Possibly I’m too much of a horror novice to cope!!!  EEK!

Links:

The following links are for author Simon Cheshire, and Chelley Toy’s Blog, and to Heather’s review blog on WordPress, (both Chelley and Heather are organisers of the readalong.)

http://simoncheshire.co.uk/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/10/spotlight-red-eye-read-along-flesh-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/03/flesh-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/redeyereadalong-qa-with-simon-cheshire/

 

My rating:

So difficult to rate, probably just a tad under 4 stars, I’d say, 3.75 stars.

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK – Kindle – http://amzn.to/2xmxvmA

Amazon UK – Paperback – http://amzn.to/2xkZPWw

Do comment if you’re read Flesh and Blood or any of the other books in the #redeye series. I’d love to hear your opinions.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Sleepless by Lou Morgan

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My blog theme this month is spooky, scary, creepy stuff and nonsense in the lead up to Halloween, so with this in mind I joined the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads. I’ve already acquainted you with Frozen Charlotte, and now from 5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015,  I’ve read the second book in the #redeyereadalong, Sleepless by Lou Morgan, finishing a couple of days early!!!!

I finished this in super quick time, it was such a faced paced, exciting, adrenalin filled read.  Highly entertaining.

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.

What did I like about Sleepless?

Well first point I’d like to make is the excellent premise. A bunch of kids from a high achieving school, Clerkenwell, are about to sit their final exams and the pressure is well and truly on to get those perfect results, so they are tempted to take a little innocuous looking pill to make sure they get top marks.  The drug looks harmless but smells foul, that’s the first clue to the outcome. Clever use of this premise by Lou Morgan, she illustrates in vivid detail the nasty side of internet supplied drugs, in crazy, manic, horror fashion, and highlights the temptations that teenagers face in a modern world that is becoming more and more pressurised.

One the whole the characters are well crafted, but I would say that my two favourites are Izzy, and Grey. When these two team up later in the book, the story really starts to buzz with energy.  The beginning of the book builds up the story line slowly introducing the reader to this close knit group of friends. It gives you a view of the different personalities of the characters, not all of which came across as that appealing! Tigs, the instigator tempting the others to take the pills seems pretty brattish, and not particularly likeable. But often it is the characters that seem friendly and approachable that turn out to be not so nice. Lou Morgan explores this concept well by bringing  the worst aspects of the different personalities to the forefront in vivid detail after they have foolishly gulped down these study drugs. Result: Chaos, Fear, Dread, Mania, Sleep Deprivation, Hallucinations.

The book’s title Sleepless is a bit of a hint to one of the possible aspects of the drug. But it does not tell the reader the full story, even though sleeping is crucially important to the story line, believe me when I say there is so much more to come. What price will these youngsters have to pay to get those results?  The reality is shocking beyond the mere word Sleepless. Can you imagine what it would be like to suffer the most dreadful spate of insomnia, then add horrendous hallucinations, murderous intent and then you might be halfway there! I’ve suffered from difficulties sleeping from time to time so this really struck a chord with me, as I know just how wretched this can be. Then add into the horror scenario mix this foul smelling and foul behaving drug. Result: Shocking story.

The story tackles friendships well, and looks below the surface of relationships to question how much do friends know about each other?  Even in sibling relationships in which closeness is paramount, (the twin brother and sister, Mia and Dom,) startling truths are revealed. Just how well do we really know those we love? Again, I felt Sleepless handled this topic so well. The effects of the drug are far reaching, turning friends against each other. So faced with that kind of scenario who do you dare to trust?

The ending is great, but I had to read it twice to really understand what the author was trying to say!! Perhaps it was a bit ambiguous on first reading. So read the ending and the build up to the conclusion more than once to savour its startling implications!!

Warning: Sleepless is shocking in parts, one particular scene really turned my stomach, so this is not for younger readers, or those who don’t like reading anything too gruesome.

My rating:

4 stars.

Highly recommended to readers of YA, Horror, Mystery, Contemporary. Go out and read this now!!

Have you read Sleepless? Or any other good creepy books recently? Do comment and let me know.

Bye for now,

file

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

#Redeyereadalong Sleepless by Lou Morgan

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My blog theme this month is spooky, scary, creepy stuff and nonsense in the lead up to Halloween, so with this in mind I joined the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads. I’ve already acquainted you with Frozen Charlotte, and now from 5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015,  I’m reading the second book in the #redeyereadalong, Sleepless by Lou Morgan.

I’ve started it and believe me it is compelling reading…. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.
Here are links to the two bloggers organising the Goodreads readalong:

Chelle at Tales of Yesterday:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/10/spotlight-red-eye-read-along-sleepless-by-lou-morgan/

and Heather who also blogs about you guessed it, books….. :

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-qa-with-lou-morgan/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/redeyereadalong-qa-with-alex-bell/

What are you reading, have you read any scary stories of late?

Bye for now,

file

Marje @Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Frozen-Charlotte-book-cover

 

This Monday I thought I’d do a review of Frozen Charlotte for #MondayBlogs. Why not start the week with a bit of scary bookish fun…..

Goodreads Synopsis:

We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.

My review:

This month I joined the Stripes publishing #redeyereadalong and I’m so glad I did! Just finished reading Frozen Charlotte. This novel is very good, definitely one to devour, that’s the right word. A fast paced, exciting, and at times gruesome read.

Warning: if you have a fear of needles, dolls, knives, ghosts, freezing, drowning, burning to death, or falling of cliffs, I wouldn’t pick this up!

I don’t normally read horror, but this month I’m doing a Halloween type theme on my blog, with spooky books, poems, short stories, etc.

Sometimes it’s good to try new things!! I snatched whatever time I could find to read Frozen Charlotte during the day, this wasn’t bedtime reading for me…. That way I kept the nightmares at bay.

What did I like about it?

Lots and lots of things.

The little creepy poems in italics at the beginning of each chapter are awesome.

Such a clever idea to have a Ouija-board app, and to introduce the ghost of Rebecca that way.

The prologue sets the tone for sinister goings on engaging the reader right from the very start.

Then you have the Frozen Charlotte dolls themselves, there is nothing nice about these dolls and it makes me wonder why anyone in their right mind would have them in their house! Or wear them as a necklace! That’s asking for trouble! That’s the Scots for you, I’m not slating the Scots, I’m half Scottish, we may be a bit dour at times but we like to live dangerously!!

The characters all so well crafted.

The main protagonist, Sophie, I definitely have a soft spot for her. She’s so brave, it is almost suicidal! With one scary thing happening after another, she turns out to be quite the heroine. Respect! If it was me I’d be out of there lightning quick! But Sophie thinks of others before herself. Sophie feels particularly protective towards her youngest cousin Lilias, who has a horrendous fear of bones, knives have to be hidden, so she doesn’t cut herself, and when I say cut I really mean cut.

Jay sounds such a cute guy, a best friend who could possibly have been a love interest if his young life hadn’t been cut down right at the start.

Piper’s another favourite of mine! She starts off all sweetness, preparing food and seeming to be the perfect hostess welcoming her cousin to Scotland. But is Piper as sweet as she seems or is this all an act? You’ll have to read Frozen Charlotte to find out!

And Cameron appears to be a bit distant, and unwelcoming to Sophie when she arrives, intriguing the reader some more.

In my opinion Frozen Charlotte starts of well but becomes even more and more engaging, spooky and gruesome with each passing page…

The book ends with an epilogue, a final tease. This is one of the main strengths of this novel it teases and plays with the reader’s emotions offering apparent sweetness on one hand, and dire creepiness on the other.

My rating:

4.5 stars

My recommendation: Go read this!!! Highly recommended for readers of Horror, YA, Paranormal, Dark, Thriller, Mystery.

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK – Kindle – http://amzn.to/2jHL50F

Amazon UK – Paperback – http://amzn.to/2w5v2eN

Amazon Uk – Hardback – http://amzn.to/2w4TI7i

Amazon UK – red eye series 5 books collection set (Dark Room, Flesh and Blood, Sleepless, Frozen Charlotte, The Hunting –  http://amzn.to/2w505az

Have you read Frozen Charlotte? Do leave a comment I’d love to hear from you.

Bye for now,

file

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Halloween Stuff and Autumn Nonsense

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This October I’m doing a lead up to Halloween theme with lots of spooky, scary, and fun posts. As well as this I will be doing some reblogs (which don’t necessarily need to be autumn/Halloween themed but are helpful advice to authors/bloggers, writers.)

Here are some of my Halloween themed posts that you might have missed:

Frozen-Charlotte-book-cover

I’ve just finished reading Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – part of the #redeyereadealong on Goodreads. Highly recommended 4.5 stars. Keep an eye out for my review. After this I’ll be reading the rest of the red eye titles too! So plenty to keep me occupied…

Details of the readalong below:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/read-eye-readalong-frozen-charlotte/

blood-moon-521892__180

My short story entry for #BlogBattle:

Blood Moon A Rip of  A Ride. Link below if you’d like to read my entry.

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/blog-battle-blood-moon-a-rip-of-a-ride/

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and I’ve written some haiku Halloween poetry for Ronovan Writes Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/ronovan-writes-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-64-tide-and-flesh/

Other Bloggers Posts

As well as this I’ve been nosy checking out other bloggers posts about Halloween/Autumn and thought it would be nice to share them with you, here are a few gems:

First up is this wonderfully spooky cat café in Japan, this really caught my eye:

http://katzenworld.co.uk/2015/03/09/cat-travel-tenmaruochi-cat-cafe-part-1/

Fellow #Blog Battler author Rawls E. has a welcome to autumn post, celebrating autumn, October, pumpkins, spooky Haunted houses, hayrides, and cemeteries:

https://rawlse.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/welcome-to-autumn-celebrate/comment-page-1/#comment-1991

Then we’re off to find some scary books to read, Ramona Wray has some great suggestions:

http://www.mybookishlife.com/scary-stories-yes-please/

As does Lipsy, check out these Horror October posts:

https://lipsyy.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/horror-october-revisiting-wakening-the-crow-by-stephen-gregory-horroroctober/

https://lipsyy.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/welcome-to-horror-october-2015/

And Paranormal, Sci Fi and Fantasy suggestions from Nonnie Jones at Rave Reviews.:

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/book-club-selections-for-review/sci-fy-fantasy/

What about a party? That’s always fun, paranormal author Kirsten Weiss is holding a witch’s tea party on 31st October:

https://parayournormal.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/witchs-teablog-party/

Fancy visiting some literary horror houses? Look no further, Flavorwire, opens up its doors to Stephen King, (spider webbed gated front with bats!!) Edgar Allen Poe’s red brick house with eerie basement, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman (with a phenomenal library!)  Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice, Clive Barker,  Shirley Jackson.

http://flavorwire.com/540894/visit-these-real-life-literary-horror-houses/

These were posted quite a while ago but are excellent Halloween posts by Donna Parker the lady with the strange sounding blog name that I can’t spell:

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/30/jerry-seinfeld-Halloween/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/29/welcome-to-my-nightmare/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/28/bewitched-bothered-and-bewildered/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/20/hide-and-shriek-with-the-addams-family/

Let’s end this on a cute note. What about some Halloween fun spooky lunch notes?

http://nerdinthebrain.com/2015/09/29/halloween-fun-spooky-lunch-notes/comment-page-1/#comment-13541

and Colleen from Silver Threading’s wonderful post about autumn:

http://silverthreading.com/2015/09/23/go-ahead-fall-into-autumn-bewow/

Annika Perry featured one of my favourite poems about autumn, John Keats Ode to autumn, and has had some wonderful posts just recently, so do check out her blog:

https://annikaperry.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/ode-to-autumn/

Sarah Vernon from First night Design has some Halloween playing cards, greeting cards, ipad covers, and more items for sale : https://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/so-i-have-a-number-of-faults-said-the-skeleton/

Irene from Irene Design does a wonderful range of jewellery, this caught my eye for Halloween.

http://irenedesign2011.com/2015/09/27/skull-key-leather/

Hope you enjoyed all these Autumnal and Halloween inspired posts, I may be doing more of these so if you’d like to feature, and share the Halloween love do get in contact.

Thanks.

Bye for now,

file

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

The Artful Author

-musings of a wild book dragon-

Read, Sav, Read.

| B.A. in English. | Writer. | Lover of books. | 2017 Book Count: 61. | Currently Reading: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. |

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