Hello everyone and welcome back to booksnbites for another fun Blog Tour stop! Today I’m bringing you Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair, a 4 star read for me! I thoroughly enjoyed this books, and can definitely recommend it for fans of David Wong’s John Dies at the End series. Feel free to check out the other bloggers stops and give them some love, I’ll post the link below.
First and foremost I want to give a huge thanks to Storytellers on Tour and GM Nair for sending me a copy of Duckett & Dyer to read and review. I can definitely see this book becoming one of my new favorites! If you also follow me on Instagram (@booksnbites13) check out my review post that is going up later today and give it some love. Without further ado let me tell you more about this fun read! 🙂
Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire by G.M. Nair Published: March 30, 2019 Genre: Science Fiction / Mystery / Comedy Age Group: Adult
Michael Duckett is fed up with his life. His job is a drag, and his roommate and best friend of fifteen years, Stephanie Dyer, is only making him more anxious with her lazy irresponsibility. Things continue to escalate when they face the threat of imminent eviction from their palatial 5th floor walk-up and find that someone has been plastering ads all over the city for their Detective Agency.
The only problem is: He and Stephanie don’t have one of those.
Despite their baffling levels of incompetence, Stephanie eagerly pursues this crazy scheme and drags Michael, kicking and screaming, into the fray only to find that they are way out of their depth. They stumble upon a web of missing people that are curiously linked to a sexually audacious theoretical physicist and his experiments with the fabric of space-time. And unless Michael and Stephanie can put their personal issues aside and fix the multi-verse, the concept of existence itself may, ironically, no longer exist.
G.M. Nair is a crazy person who should never be taken seriously. Despite possessing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, he has written comedy for the stage and screen, and is the author of the highly unlucrative Duckett & Dyer: Dicks For Hire series.
G.M. Nair lives in New York City and in a constant state of delusion. ———
Overall I give this book a total of 4 stars. To me that means I really enjoyed it with no complaints and it checked off all of my boxes except the “THIS IS THE BEST BOOK IN THE UNIVERSE” box, which tbh isn’t all that common with me anymore.
I loved the main characters and the fact that they were childhood friends turned young-adult roommates, it added for great humor because of how different Michael and Stephanie are. The Noir, Scifi, Mystery vibe makes for a great setting that keeps the reader captivated. Then you add in what I like to call, your typical David Wong twists. Those are the mind bending, waaayyy outta left fields twists that leave you rolling on the floor laughing or with your head tilted going “Huh?!”. I absolutely am digging the whole portal to another dimension piece, and thought it was done well. The man eating hamburger might just be my favorite odd character/monster in the story.
I am definitely on board to read the next book in the series when it comes, and look forward to additional adventures with the ever comedic Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire. Heck, I might even hire them myself next time I disappear.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review for this tour! Please get yourself a copy of Duckett & Dyer: Dicks for Hire by G.M. Nair, you will love it!! Also, don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour and enter for your chance to win the tour wide giveaway!!
Hi friends, it’s me again! I’m a little late, but finally bringing my April reading wrap up to you. Let’s just say plans for April did not go how I intended them to. But hey, that’s totally fine! Life is good, I did read some books and started watching the Marvel movies. Yes, yes I know… how have I only just started watching Marvel movies. I’m really enjoying watching them in chronological order, and try to watch about a movie once a week. It provides for a nice break in activity between work and reading.
So I had every intention to make April my best reading month ever, only for it to be my slowest. Life! Am I right? I did really enjoy every book that I read, and I made a new connection with a blog tour group. All good things! I ended up reading a total of 9 books for the month of April, a far cry from my ridiculously high expectations of 26 books! Hah! I’m silly for thinking 26 was obtainable. A girl sure can dream, at least this one can.
Books read in the month of April!
And not pictured are
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
I had some great diversity in my reading, which is always fun! It’s nice to shake things up a bit so I’m not always reading the same genre book after book. I was disappointed that I didn’t finish my reread of the Hunger Games Trilogy, and didn’t get to Scythe by Neal Schusterman, but there is always another month. I just need to read Mockingjay to complete the trilogy before the new prequel releases later this month. I love, love, loved Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker, the long anticipated sequel to The Simple Wild. It was by far my favorite book of April, but Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski came in a very close 2nd place.
I also made some delicious food in April, and I quite often curled up with a plate while I read after work. Some of the dishes includes homemade garbage plates, sweet n sour shrimp stir fry, greek salmon w/dill cream sauce, gf banana bread, costa rican gallo pinto and other yummies. I guess you can say, this is where the “bites” portion comes into play with my blog name. Although, I do tend to devour books. Metaphorically speaking! LOL
Thank you all for stopping by and stay tuned for my May TBR post coming in the next couple days. I have blog tours coming up throughout the rest of the month as well. As always, let me know if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned by leaving me a comment.
Hello and welcome back to booksnbites for another fun stop on the 2020 Spring Reads Blog Tour for Harlequin. There were so many lovely books to pick from for this tour, so it was a difficult decision for me but I am so happy that I chose The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill. This beautiful tale of friendship and second chances at life was the perfect spring read. For me, Spring is always a beautiful season of renewal and new chances. I’m very excited to share some details and my review on The Summer Villa with you.
THE SUMMER VILLA
Author: Melissa Hill
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: MIRA Books
MELISSA HILL lives in south Dublin with her husband and daughter. A USA TODAY and international #1 bestseller, she is the author of 13 novels, including The Gift of a Charm and A Gift From Tiffany’s. The Gift of a Charm was a USA TODAY bestseller. Hailed “the queen of the big plot twist,” she combines all the warmth and humor of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page. Melissa also cowrites forensic thrillers with her husband, Kevin, under the pseudonym Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information, visit www.caseyhillbooks.com.
When a little white lie becomes the story of your life, what if the truth comes out?
For three woman, it’s a life-changing trip: one finds the man of her dreams, another discovers inspiration amidst Italian food and culture, while a chance encounter with a handsome local ushers in the ultimate life change for the third. But most importantly, it’s the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship between all three.
Now years later, Kim Weston – entrepreneur and owner of internationally successful Italian food and lifestyle business, The Sweet Life – has bought and restored the tumble-down villa to its former glory — and plans to reopen Villa Dolce Vita as a wellness/cultural retreat – a fitting honor to the root of her business inspiration.
To celebrate the villa’s grand opening, she and her Italian business partners are throwing a huge three-day party; flying a group of family, business and media contacts to the Amalfi Coast to join in the celebrations. And most importantly, the (still) close friends who started the journey with her: Annie and husband Nate, whose love story began at the villa, and single mum Eva, whose son was the result of an ill-advised Italian fling.
But in the run up to the planned weekend in Italy, it becomes clear that not everyone is happy about the party, nor are they on board with such ambitious plans for the location. And, as Villa Dolce Vita’s grand relaunch draws closer, old memories and past secrets come to light, and the three old friends are forced to question if anything that happened on that first fateful trip to the villa is at all what it seemed.
This was the perfect spring read, of friendship, second chances and fighting for what you truly desire in life. The beginning took me a while to settle into the rhythm and the swapping of characters and timelines, but once I did I couldn’t get enough of it. I just had to keep reading to see how the storylines converged. I absolutely loved the setting in Italy along the Amalfi coast. Definitely a dream destination for myself and others, it added an extra sparkle to the story.
The main characters are three young women from different backgrounds in life and different countries. You have sweet Collette from England, who took over the family bakery after college while her mum battled cancer, spunky Annie from Ireland who was adopted and had a rough life and just doesn’t give up, and Kim who comes from an affluent NY family and whose parent’s shadows loomed over her so much that she decided to escape and create her own life. It was hard to pick a favorite, as each of the girls had their own quirks and likable traits. I felt invested in each girl’s storyline, from then and now. I really liked how it all wrapped up at the end and felt the ending could not have been more perfect! I might be biased though, because I was team Luca the entire story.
This is definitely a perfect book for anyone who loves Susan Mallery’s books.
Thanks for tuning in to my review and blog tour post for Harlequin’s Spring 2020 Tour train. I hope you enjoyed my review, and make sure to stay tuned as I’ve prepared quite the summer full of fun reads for reviews! 🙂
Hi friends, I hope you’re all doing well and hanging in there. I’m so excited to be able to share my stop on the tour of Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski, a story of magical adventure following Princess Lilac of Brittany on a journey to do the right thing in order to be a queen to be fit to rule her kingdom. Thank you to Storytellers On Tour for inviting me to be a part of this tour, I absolutely love reading and supporting all books published by Parliament House. Please make sure to check out the other stops on the Tour, which is included below. https://storytellersontour.online/2020/04/08/tour-schedule-disenchanted-by- brianna-sugalski/
Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski Series: Disenchanted (#1) Published: March 10, 2020 Genre: Dark Fantasy/Historical Fantasy Age Group: Young Adult/New Adult
A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.
Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger— and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch that can save them both.
With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching—Brianna Sugalski is an author and blogger. Previously, she was a staff contributor for Lifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In- Chief at her school publications.
Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels the country every few years with her husband and children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.
Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.
Disenchanted is a magical blend of historical fiction and fantasy that takes the reader on quite a magical adventure. With a riotous discovery of a dark secret on the eve of her tenth birthday, Princess Lilac is forced into a life of isolation until the day of her coronation. Lilac refuses to stay sequestered in her castle tower, and embarks on a perilous and eventful journey to a witch who has sent her a message to meet her in the town of Paimpont, where she has promised to help Princess Lilac rid herself of her dark talent. During this journey we encounter all sorts of magical beings, and really get a feel for the type of ruler Lilac will become. Her spunk and determination kept me entranced the entire story. We also meet Grain, a vampire from the local coven and companion to Princess Lilac on her journey. The author’s blend of fantasy and historical fact from the 100 Years War made for a fun story that was unlike one I’ve ever read before! You’ll be on the edge of your seat for this adventure, and I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did. This will be a series I not so patiently wait for.
Thanks for passing by to check out my stop on the tour for Disenchanted by Brianna Sulgaski. Stay tuned for my upcoming tours and other fun posts.
Hi everyone, Happy Sunday! I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend, I’ve definitely been enjoying this lovely sunshine and 60 degree weather we’ve been having. I took my lounge chair outside and read in the sun for a few hours today. I’ve completed 3 books so far this weekend, so I’m excited to bring my review for one of them to you!
I had been dying for a spooky read, and House of Shadows by Darcy Coates definitely quenched my thirst. This is the truest form of Gothic Horror but without all the stuffy dry bits in it. I was on the edge of my seat, devouring each page until I got to the end. Just like hour the evil spirit devoured people in the book. LOL! I’m so excited to share this book and my review with you, so without further ado let’s get to it.
House of Shadows by Darcy Coates Published by Poisoned Pen Press Publication date May 05, 2020
Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage. Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation. Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.
Mr Argenton’s young cousin, Elise, draws terrifying images. Doors slam. Inhuman figures slink through the forest surrounding the house. A piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceilings. Sophie is inevitably pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted by the family’s long-dead ancestors. The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home.
Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself irrevocably drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding the truth about the house—and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.
Also By Darcy Coates: The Haunting of Ashburn House The Haunting of Blackwood House Craven Manor The House Next Door Voices in the Snow
My Review –
There is something to be said about the technique of writing a gothic horror novel. It is an art form within itself, devoid of the slasher/gore scenes that people normally associate with the general Horror genre. Gothic Horror brings a more subtle wave of terror, that draft of cold air or the exhalation that you might have just heard, but you aren’t sure because you might be imagining it. I am a firm lover of all things horror, but reading a well written Gothic Horror is one of my favorites. It leaves my skin crawling and has me jumping in my seat as the character thinks they heard, saw, felt something that isn’t real. Darcy Coates does an amazing job and truly embodies gothic horror in her writing!
The characters were strongly written, with development and personality. I grew to absolutely loathe Aunt Rose, and found myself growing fond of Joseph with Sophie as the story progressed. I love the idea of a family curse spanning the generations of a very old, wealthy family. This plot line just never gets old for me, as there are so many directions you can take it. The house and land took on a character of it’s own, and that is proof of some genius writing skill. Not many readers will take too much notice of the setting if the characters are strong enough, but Darcy writes the house to be it’s own character and it just sets your mind to wondering, and wandering. Which, I will strongly advise that you don’t wander blindly through the halls of this house.
I highly recommend House of Shadows to anyone who loves Gothic Horror, and who has read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell or The House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt. It’s a scary story, but not one that will leave you too terrified to go to sleep. I would encourage those who don’t normally read horror because you scare easily to give this a try if you’re willing!
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this book, or any others by Darcy Coates. As always, if you have recommendations for me based on the books I mention or review, please share them with me in a comment! I hope you enjoyed my review for The House of Shadows by Darcy Coates, and stay tuned for more reviews to come as I have a summer full of them.
Hi friends! I hope you’re doing well and finding ways to stay busy and are staying safe! *cough*read*cough* 😂 I’m so excited to bring you my next ARC review!!!
This review is for Hurry Home by Roz Nay. This book will be release by Crooked Lane Books on July 7, 2020 and is a must add to your summer TBR lists! It will definitely take you for a wild ride.
From the bestselling author of Our Little Secret comes a suspenseful new thriller featuring two estranged sisters desperate to keep their deepest and darkest secret where it belongs–in the past.
Close to my heart you’ll be, sisters forever you and me…
Alexandra Van Ness has the perfect life. She lives in an idyllic resort town tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, shares a designer loft with her handsome boyfriend, Chase, and has her dream job working in child protection. Every day, Alex goes above and beyond to save children at risk.
But when her long-lost sister, Ruth, unexpectedly shows up at her door, Alex’s perfect life is upended. Growing up, Ruth was always the troublemaker, pulling Alex into her messes, and this time will be no different. Still, Alex will help Ruth under one condition: we will never, ever, talk about the past. But when trouble befalls a local child, both women are forced to confront the secrets they’ve promised to keep buried.
Utterly engrossing and claustrophobic, Hurry Home is a tantalizing reflection of the chain-and-shackles relationship between sisters that asks: what lines wouldn’t you cross for your own?
There were two things that caught my eye when I requested a copy of Hurry Home, first was the cover and second was the premise. I love stories about sisters, as I’ve only ever had a big brother growing up and always imagined what it would be like to have a sister. So the story of Ruth and Alex really intrigued me. First impressions, Alex seems like she’s always had it together and easy always the golden child. It made sense that she’s have this picture perfect life in a quaint little town in the Rocky Mountains with famous hunk boyfriend. Ruth came of as typical addict, serial lier, who always guilts family into helping them when really they just want some quick cash for their next fix. Alex helps save children from horrible home situations, and here comes Ruth who is a recovering addict and pregnant. What is Alex supposed to do?
Well, not going to spoil that because where is the fun? What I will tell you is that I was on the edge of my seat the entire last quarter of the book. The beginning 30-40% of the book is extremely well done to set the stage and get you stuck in your first impressions. Then it really takes off from there and you better hold on to your seat! I could not put this book down and practically binged it in one day.
I hope this review is cause enough for you to grab a pre-order copy or put yourself on a waitlist at the library, because this really is a must read! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review of Hurry Home by Noz Ray!
Hey, hey guess what’s back!! I’m doing blog tours again! It was a nice little break between tours, but I sure did miss them. I kind of overwhelmed myself a little bit over the Fall/Winter with signing up for more tours than I realized, but I made it through them and am trying to limit myself to 2-3 a month now. I was super excited to get the chance to join the tour for Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa. I read the first book, Shadow of the Fox, in 2018 and instantly fell in love. I am about halfway through the 2nd book currently, Sould of the Sword, and am smitten. Stay tuned for my Review of Night of the Dragon in the next couple days (hoping to finish by the weekend). Until then, I’m so excited to share some more information with you and if you like Japanese culture and folklore such as kitsune (fox spirits) and samurai then this YA Fantasy series is PERFECT for you.
***SPOLIER ALERT*** If you have not read either of the first two books in this Trilogy then please read the rest of this post at your own risk as it may give spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!! 🙂
Night of the Dragon (Series: Shadow of the Fox)
by Julie Kagawa
On Sale: Mar 31, 2020
Young Adult Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Young Adult Fantasy
About the Book
All is lost. To save everyone she loves from imminent death, kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko gave up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must make one desperate final effort to stop the Master of Demons from using the scroll to call the Great Kami Dragon and make the wish that will plunge the empire into chaos.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko to stop a madman, and to separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.
About the author
Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, Talon, and Shadow of the Fox series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.
Julie now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two obnoxious cats, and a pair of Australian Shepherds that have more Instagram followers than she does.
In the long years of his existence, the number of times he had been summoned from Jigoku could be counted on one claw.
Other demon lords had been summoned before. Yaburama. Akumu. The oni lords were too powerful not to have some en-terprising blood mage attempt a contract with them, though such rituals often ended badly for the arrogant human who thought they could enslave an oni lord. The four of them were, admit-tedly, a proud bunch, and did not take kindly to an insignificant mortal attempting to bend them to their will. They humored the blood mage long enough to hear what the human was offering, and if it did not interest them, or if the mage foolishly tried to assert dominance, they would rip him apart and do what they pleased in the mortal realm until they were sent back to Jigoku.
It had always amused Hakaimono when a mortal tried to summon him. Especially that moment when they gazed upon him for the first time and fully realized what they had done.
Narrowing his eyes, he gazed around, peering through smoke and ignoring the brief feeling of vertigo that always accompanied being dragged from Jigoku into the mortal realm. A growl of murderous annoyance rumbled in his throat. Already, he was not in the best of moods. Akumu had been scheming again, trying to weaken Hakaimono’s forces behind his back, and he had been on his way to deal with the devious Third General when black fire had erupted over his skin, words of blood magic echoing in his head as he abruptly found himself in the mortal realm. Now he stood in the center of a ruin, broken walls and shattered pillars surrounding him, the scent of death thick on the air, and contemplated squeezing the head of the mage responsible until it popped like an egg in his claws.
The stones under his feet were sticky and had a sweet, coppery smell he recognized instantly. Lines of blood had been painted over the ground in a familiar circle, with words and sigils of power woven in a complex pattern. A summoning circle, and a powerful one at that. Whomever the blood mage was, they had done their research. Though it wouldn’t save them in the end.
The First Oni looked down. A woman stood at the edge of the blood circle, black robes and long hair seeming to blend into the shadows. She clutched a knife in slender fingers, her pale arm covered in red to the elbow.
A chuckle escaped him. “Well, don’t I feel important,” he said, crouching down to better see the woman. She gazed coolly back. “Summoned by the immortal shadow herself. I am curious, however.” He raised a talon, watching the human over curved black claws the length of her arm. “If you rip off an immortal’s head, do you think it will die?”
“You will not kill me, First Oni.” The woman’s voice was neither amused nor afraid, though the certainty in it made him smirk. “I am not so foolish as to attempt a binding, nor will I ask much of you. I have but a single request, and after that, you are free to do what you like.”
“Oh?” Hakaimono chuckled, but admittedly, he was curi-ous. Only the very desperate, foolish or powerful called on one of the four oni generals, and only for the most ambitious of re-quests. Like destroying a castle, or wiping out an entire gen-eration. The risk was too great for anything less. “Let’s hear it then, human,” he prompted. “What is this one task you would have me undertake?”
“I need you to bring me the Dragon scroll.”
Hakaimono sighed. Of course. He had forgotten it was that time again in the mortal world. When the great scaly one him-self would rise to grant a wish to an insignificant, short-lived human. “You disappoint me, mortal,” he growled. “I am not a hound that fetches upon command. You could have gotten the amanjaku to retrieve the scroll for you, or one of your own human warrior pets. I have been called on to slaughter armies and tear strongholds to dust. Fetching the Dragon’s Prayer is not worth my time.”
“This is different.” The woman’s voice was as unruffled as ever. If she knew she was in danger of being ripped apart and devoured by an annoyed First Oni, she did not show it. “I have already sent my strongest champion to retrieve the scroll, but I fear he has betrayed me. He wants the power of the Dragon scroll for himself, and I cannot let the Wish slip away now. You must find him and take back the scroll.”
“One human?” Hakaimono curled a lip. “Not much of a challenge.”
“You do not know Kage Hirotaka,” the woman said quietly. “He is the greatest warrior the Empire of Iwagoto has seen in a thousand years. He is kami-touched, but also trained in the way of the samurai. His talents with both blade and magic are so great, the emperor himself praised his achievements. He has killed men, yokai and demons in waves, and will be perhaps the single greatest opponent you have ever faced, Hakaimono.” “I very seriously doubt that.” The First Oni felt a smirk cross his face as he breathed in the blood-scented air. “But now, I’m intrigued. Let’s see if this champion of shadow is as good as you say. Where can I find this demonslaying human?” “Hirotaka’s estate lies outside a village called Koyama, ten miles from the eastern border of Kage territory,” the woman re-plied. “It’s not hard to find, but it is rather isolated. Aside from Hirotaka’s men and servants, you won’t be opposed. Find Hi-rotaka, kill him and bring the scroll to me. Oh, and one more thing.” She raised the knife, observing the bloody, glittering edge. “I cannot have anyone suspecting me of blood magic. Not now, when the night of the Wish is so close.” Her black eyes rose to his, narrowing sharply. “There can be no witnesses, Hakaimono. No survivors. Kill everyone there.”
“I can do that.” A slow grin spread across the oni’s face, and his eyes gleamed red with bloodlust. “This will be fun.”
He would come to regret those words more than any other in his existence.
I am so beyond excited to read the final book in the trilogy and give you a full review of all three books. It’s hard to review a book that is middle or last of a trilogy or series, because you don’t want to give away spoilers or plot points. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon!
5/5 The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill MIRA Books Tour
5/8 Disenchantment by Brianna Sugalski Parliament House Tour
5/27 Sister Dear by Hannah Mary MCKinnon MIRA Books Tour
6/18 That Summer in Maine by Brianna Wolfson MIRA Books Tour
6/23 Wire Wings by Wren Handman Parliament House Tour
7/2 She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway Graydon House Tour
7/14 The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs Parliament House Tour
7/28 The Hollow Gods by A.J. Vrana Parliament House Tour
Hey everyone! Welcome back and I hope you are doing well. I’m here with a review of a riveting memoir about the story of Mikel Jollett and how he spent time living in the Cult known as Synanon from 6 months of age to about 5 or 6 years. Thank you to Celadon Books for sending me an Advanced copy of Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollet. I love how the books I receive from Celadon always push me to read outside my normal boundaries and always pleasantly surprise me.
HOLLYWOOD PARK is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.
We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. …
So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.
In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.
Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.
My Review– I have to say that I never felt such a roller coaster of emotions with a book before I read Hollywood Park. Sure I’ve cried a few times or gotten angry or laughed with books, but not in the way that I was invested with this book. It was shocking to me that Mikel’s parents were ok with how he was raised, that they didn’t think it was wrong. My heart broke for him when it became clear that he though it was a little boy’s job to take care of his mother, when realistically it is supposed to be the other way around. Everything he went through, the deeply depressed mother and rough around the edges father, drugs, loss, coming of age…. all of it was expressed in such a poetic way that it made you feel. I felt like I experienced it all with Mikel, yet I was sitting on my couch in the safety of my own home in the year 2020. I had never heard of Synanon before, but that doesn’t surprise me as I was born in September of ‘89 and don’t know much of cults and other big events outside of what was taught in a classroom or that I’ve stumbled across in serial killer documentaries. This was truly an amazing work of art! In his interview with Celadon Mikel was asked “What do you want people to take away from Hollywood Park?”, and his response was “I guess there are some fancy things I could say about emotional resonance, landscapes of the mind, and the sob in the spine of the artist-reader (that’s how Nabokov put it), but any first-time author is lying who doesn’t simply say, I really hope people like my book.”. Well Mikel, I really liked your book! So congrats, you’ve achieved that with this reader.
Thanks for stopping by for my review. As always, please let me know if you’ve read Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett and how you liked it. If you have any suggestions for books I might like based on this one, please drop them in the comments. Stay happy and stay healthy my friends.
I can’t believe March is over, slow down 2020!!! Seriously though, this year is going way too fast already. I want it to slowly roll by so I can really enjoy it. Speaking of enjoying things, I hope you are all finding some enjoyment in your days whether it be reading, binging a Netflix show, spring cleaning or time with those you live with. I know it’s scary out there in the world right now, but just know this….. we will get through this, and we’ll do it together! 💕
So I had a lot going on in March, and didn’t read as much as I expected. I transitioned from working at the office to working from home. I’m really enjoying it and am finding myself to be even more productive, but it is a weird change. I am taking breaks and taking Baxter for walks, so snuggling on the couch to catch a quick 15 minutes of reading. All in all, considering the changes I still had a solid reading month.
I read a total of 15 books in March! I had a fair mix of ebooks, audiobooks and hardcopies. I do like to sprinkle in graphic novels and audiobooks to change it up and keep things fresh, otherwise I find that I get slumpy. Interested in what I read? See the list below with star ratings. 🙂
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Queen’s Assassin (Queen’s Secret #1) by Melissa de la Cruz ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Night World by LJ Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adobe Korram ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ audiobook
Child of Nod (The Balance #1) by CW Snyder ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ebook
Daughters of Darkness (Night World #2) by LJ Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy#1) by Laura Sebastian ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ audiobook
Dark Consort (Dark Dreamer#2) by Amber R Duell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ebook
Night Warden (Dark Dreamer#3) by Amber R Duell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ebook
Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ebook/comic
I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Owlcrate exclusive
The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 audiobook
The Simple Wild (Wild#1) by K.A. Tucker ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reread
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ audiobook
I Found You by Lisa Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 audiobook
So for Bingo I didn’t really get one, but I gave it my best! I was just glad that it pushed me to read and gave me that challenge. I was so close for 3 or 4 possible BINGOs. Oh well, I have a redemption round for April! We’re doing a Book BINGO in the Facebook group I help Admin, The Reading Corner Book Lounge. Here is the link if you want to check it out and join us, https://www.facebook.com/groups/645383289222144/?ref=share.
April is a new month, and that means new reading goals!! I’ve got some pretty high reading expectations but I might be overshooting by a bit (or a lot). Who knows, I might be able to pull it off! Stay tuned for my next post coming, April 2020 TBR!! 🥳 It’ll be going up in the next day or so.
First off, I just want to rave about how amazing this trilogy is as a whole. It’s been a really long time since I needed, not wanted but needed, to binge a series. I could not wait to devour these books while, but especially Night Warden. I didn’t think it was possible for each book to be better than the one before it but they are! Amber R Duell has blown me away with The Dark Dreamer series! Never did I ever think I’d fall in love with The Sandman as a character, and yet here I have! So many of my favorite tropes are in this series such as Dark vs Light and the balance, hate to love characters, and soulmate romance. I just want to hug these books so tight to my chest and never let them go!
“The Nightmare Lord has fallen.The usurper, beaten. Now darker forces rise.
Nora accepted her role as the Lady of Nightmares. With the Nightmare Kail at her side, she’s even managed to excel, but past mistakes refuse to stay quiet. Not only is the Weaver narrating Nora’s every move, but Mara—the Ancient that hitched a ride back to the Nightmare Realm—is intent on opening the Ever Safe. The Sandman is doing his best to plan Mara’s defeat, but secrets threaten to tear everything apart.
In the thrilling conclusion to the Dark Dreamer trilogy, Nora and the Sandman must face old friends, dead enemies, and new betrayal if they’re going to keep the Ever Safe shut. If they fail, both the Day and Night Worlds will descend into darkness. ”
My Review- This book swallowed me heart and soul right through to the end! I never imagined the end to a trilogy could be as amazing as this one, but it really happened! The emotion and heartache between Nora and Sandman in this one caught me holding my breath during certain scenes, realizing my own heart ached too. Kail was definitely a hate to love character, and always will be! Without him this book wouldn’t be the same. I really enjoyed the personal struggle within Nora, how to deal with coming to terms with the fact The Weaver is still alive and tied to her, deal with her family, deal with Mare aka Mara, and deal with her sister being stubborn and insisting on still being in her life. I am beyond words with how much I love this book, as it’s so beautifully written and dark and romantic. This entire trilogy is a huge 5 star rating from me!!! Pick it up right now and read it!!
Please let me know if you’ve read any of these books, Dark Dreamer/Dark Consort/Night Warden, and what you thought of then! If you haven’t and they peak your interest then I highly recommend!! These were all ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reads for me!
Thanks for stopping by for another of my reviews! I’ll have some more coming soon!