Sleep With The Light On. Sarah by Teri Polen

sarah    Pull the cover over your body, don’t hang any body parts over the edge of the bed and keep your eyes shut tight. If you do that, everything will be okay. I like the way the main character, Cain, in Sarah thinks because I still hold these rules to be unbreakable even in my adult years. Honestly, who knows who or what hides in our houses during the day and night? Do we truly know the histories and stories that have gone down in our personal places of residence? Cain Shannon was finding out and not in the way he wanted to.

    After his mom, sister and he moved into their new home, strange things start to occur in Cain’s upstairs bedroom. The attic access door, located in his room, kept coming open by happenstance. No wonder his realtor mom was able to get such a good deal on the house, what with faulting doors, cold, freezing drafts coming in during the heat of summer. Builder error, right?

    Cain, his best friend Finn and possible love interest, Lindsey find out that the Shannon house holds much more than bad structural mishaps, it contains a bad spirit of a female who claims she was violently murdered. Now, when I say bad spirit, I don’t mean some paranormal chick that throws things, scares them with tactics of scratching and such, I mean really bad things go down with this apparition. I guess I should use the word evil, but I don’t even know if that goes far enough to describe Sarah. She’s demented.

We learn about the passing of Sarah, how her spirit got into the house and what goes on from there is truly terrifying. Teri Polen reaches deep into the psyche of the horror fan and pulls out what we are all afraid of. Ya, we’re all scared of something. Sarah finds out what Cain is afraid of and uses it in a horrific way. I could see, smell and taste the death coming from the descriptions in the book. It was petrifying and painful to read at certain periods. I had to put the book away a multitude of times and vow to read it the next morning while the sun was out so I didn’t have to worry about the night time “cover and keep my hands, feet and body inside the confines of the bed at all times” rule. What, I had to keep reading! The storyline was amazing, just really morbid at points with Sarah and I loved it.

    I enjoy scary, psychological reads and this is for sure one of them that both young adults and not so young adults will both enjoy. The characters catch you by surprise as they develop throughout the plot into something totally unexpected. Sarah, oh Sarah. I did not see her becoming what she became. Not only that, but the twist at the very ending epilogue left me choked up and scared for the characters even more. What were you thinking Teri? It was brilliant and cruel all at the same time. The book was a rush and is one I will for sure be reading again.

     My first scary movie was the ET and Friday the 13th Part III double feature in 1982. I was way too young for scary movies, but I watched anyway and became hooked. After all, how bad could a movie be called Friday the 13th when I was born on a Friday the 13th, right? I then progressed on to other scary movies and then when I could finally read, I read as much Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Stories To Tell In the Dark as my little nine-year-old reading ability could comprehend.

 

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I was so glad I got to meet Teri at the Sothern Kentucky Book Festival this year. She and I have a lot in common as far as likes go. This is how I find some of my favorite authors, books, and friends. If you can find a book fest near you, go and meet up with these authors. It really gives one a sense of who they are and helps you know the book better too I believe.

    I’ll be doing a video interview with Teri next month so, be looking forward to that. If you have questions, feel free to post them below and I’ll ask her. Again, get Sarah. I will say to you what she signed in my book, “Sleep with the lights on.” Good advice!

 

 

About Teri:

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    Several years back, a friend told me I should read the Harry Potter series – I think the third one was out by then.  I laughed, saying they were for kids, but she convinced me to give them a try, and for that, I’ll always be thankful.  Reading YA opened up a whole new world for me, and I haven’t looked back.

    Some of my favorite things in life are books (no romance), music (preferably alt/rock and absolutely no country), movies (rarely chick flicks), red wine (no merlot) and dark chocolate (please don’t add any fruit to what is already perfection).   On the flip side of that, I strongly dislike the color pink and loathe shopping – unless it’s in a bookstore or someplace I can buy movies, music, wine, or chocolate.  That being said, it’s pretty evident why my female friends think I’m a  little strange.

Teri can be contacted at tpolen6@gmail.com, Goodreads, and on Facebook.

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Have questions for Teri?  Have questions for me?  Post below and we’ll answer them.  Thanks for stopping by Booth Talks Books.

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2018 Southern Kentucky Festival of Books

I love interviewing authors, LIVE! Seriously, Sherry Harris is super sweet and she gives a great on-the-spot interview.

There is nothing better than hanging out with authors.  If you haven’t ever been to a book festival, go.  A book person can’t go and not enjoy themselves.  You walk away with more than books.  You walk away with new friends.

Watch for cameos of authors Wendy Tyson,  Joe Wos, Naomi Miller, Aileen Stewart and Debbie Dadey! Please watch, share and comment.  

 

Click on Sherry’s book below and enjoy the video!bid

Til Death Do Us Party by Vicki Fee-A BTB Review

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Vicki Fee has taken us on a long distance trip with Liv to her Mama and Earl‘s wedding in Las Vegas, Nevada. One thing after the other happens as the newlyweds try to make their way to the altar of an Elvis-led wedding ceremony.

Plans to come to a screeching halt at the Burning Love Wedding Chapel when their minister and Elvis impersonator is found dead during what fans know as Elvis Week in mid-August. How convenient, yes? Who could possibly have knocked off Elvis?

TDDUPWas the killer the nephew, the photographer, the lady who runs the chapel, another event planner or Di’s ex-husband that has mysteriously appeared back in her life.  There are so many people to choose from!

 

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there unless you’re the one who dies. The action, tragedy, and suspense are wrapped around comedic interactions between the characters I, and I hope readers of the Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries, have come to love in Liv, Di, Mama, Earl and the whole gang.

I love that Vicki took us out of our usual town of Dixie Tennessee and flew us right in the middle of the crazy confusion of Sin City. It’s nice to get out of town every once in a while, and this is also true for book settings. I love the new venue, I love meeting the new relatives and I love getting a look at the characters when they are out of their element. Just wait till you see Di’s new side, whew boy!

So, who killed Elvis? Vicki has wrapped this new mystery up in a hugely successful way and I can truly say this is the best book out of the series. Who knew I would actually like something with Elvis in it? It’s yet another thing that I did not see coming. Thanks, Vicki!

About Vicki Fee:

VickieFee_Stairwell_IMG_4343Vickie Fee grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, daydreams and sweet iced tea. Like most people born and raised in Memphis, she didn’t tour Graceland until she was in her 30s – and then only as a host to out-of-town guests. She now lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband, John. If she cranes her neck slightly, she can see Lake Superior from her office/guestroom window.

After earning a journalism degree from the University of Memphis, she spent many years as a reporter covering small Southern towns populated with colorful characters, much like those in her books’ fictional town of Dixie, Tennessee. She’s a past president of the Malice in Memphis chapter of Sisters in Crime and current member of the Wisconsin Sisters in Crime and the Guppies chapter. When not writing, Vickie enjoys reading mysteries and watching B movies from the 1930s and ‘40s.

She’s currently working on the next book in the Liv and Di in Dixie mystery series, published by Kensington.

Don’t forget to comment and let me know if you’ll be reading this amazing new release

 

The Blue Eyed Doll (Book 3 in The Dead-End Drive-In Series) by Carolyn Q Hunter

 

“You don’t find it odd that the topic of dolls keeps coming up?”

 

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My  very own “blue eyed doll”, “Alice.” She’s a 1916 German  C. M. Bergmann bisque head doll. 

Dolls, they make my world spin in a happy manor where most people step away and call them creepy, scary or just say no to them all together. Not me, bring them on!

 

Carolyn Q. Hunter has made my doll restringing heart happy with her newest release, The Blue Eyed Doll. It starts out amazingly creepy and ends with the same feel. It’s a fantastic, fast-paced story that feeds all my needs for entertainment in the doll realm…haunted and unknown.

We join the sisters, Anna and Belle of Sunken Grove after a wonderful opening prologue that introduces us to the town strange lady and hoarder, Coraline Danvers and the doll in question.

Everyone seems to be searching for this elusive doll, one that is priced above and beyond, a collector’s items we are to guess. She’s old for sure. But as we start meeting the characters in play, something seems…off. Why all of a sudden is everyone looking for this doll and why do they think Ms. Danvers has it.

We have an antiques dealer, a pushy doll restorer/collector (love her!), and an estranged daughter. All of them seem to be hyper focused on this doll. Themes of voodoo and a past kidnapping run through this story. Paranormal happenings and so much else that I can’t talk about without revealing the gooey center that is the plot of this amazing doll-centered book keeps the reader engaged.

As a restorer of dolls and collector as well, I know all too well what people can and do for antique dolls; paying thousands for them just to say they own them. I also know many who collect haunted dolls and what lengths they would go through to acquire such dolls. Yes, it’s a real thing. The doll world is a strange one and The Blue Eyed Doll throws the sisters right in the middle and the reader gets an inside look into the para-doll side of collecting.

Okay, I’m done…not going to say anything else. Yes, read this book. No, you don’t need to have read the other two to understand the characters or setting. Carolyn sets that up so nicely without overdoing it or being too repetitive.

When I asked Ms. Hunter her inspiration, she had this to say:

It was heavily inspired by the real Annabelle doll story. It also takes inspirations from southern Gothic literature and movies. I also was strongly influenced by author R.L. Stine for this one in how I executed the story arc. He’s been my favorite author for many years and his young adult fiction often uses cursed objects and places.

If you don’t like dolls, do not read this book. It will freak you out. And that is why I love it. Nah, go ahead and read it. The doll needs someone to play with…..

About The Author:

Carolyn Q. Hunter is a professional writer, publicist, and editor. She is the author of paranormal and culinary cozy mysteries–including The Diner of the Dead Series, published under Summer Prescott Books. Carolyn has previously worked as a content creator and social media writer for online information websites and publishing agencies. She received her BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and publishing from BYU-Idaho.

In her free time Carolyn enjoys cooking, baking, drawing, painting, and watching old mystery and horror films on Turner Classic Movies. Her love of old movies helps to inspire her writing. She also enjoys listening to old time radio shows such as The Shadow, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, and Suspense!

Carolyn is a Colorado native, having grown up in the Denver Metro Area. She currently resides in Breckenridge, Colorado a ski and resort town in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. She works from home as a full time writer. She lives in a small New England style home with her husband and her two black cats Mittens and Thor.

Buy The Blue Eyed Doll

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The Strong; Silent Type

History is not always pretty. The book I am happy to bring to the blog today is one that takes a serious note. It is one that really not only makes me look at the world of yesteryear, but also at the world of today. Yet, it’s a work of fiction. The Silent Woman takes place in the 1930’s during the build up to World War II. I have had the pleasure of flying to the WWII memorial with several veterans and hearing their stories of the war, the things that transpired up to the war and the unimaginable things that not only affected them, but also their home and family. I can’t imagine.

In The Silent Woman, Terry Lynn Thomas introduces us to a woman, strong in nature, and going through a rough home life. Stuck. Scared. Thank you Terry for bringing Catherine to Booth Talks Books today and introducing her to us and also introducing us to the world of the 1930’s in a way that most don’t know. Let the murderous history lesson begin…

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Citations:  Some information from Ms. Thomas’ research was retrieved from the following website: http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/ as well as the British Newspaper Archive, : https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

London, 1937:

Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.

Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.The Silent Woman_FINAL

Can she clear her name before it’s too late?

Cat’s Backstory:

Cat Paxton lost both her parents in an automobile accident in 1917 on her seventeenth birthday. She left her small village in the north of England to live with her Aunt Lydia in London. Aunt Lydia is a successful artist who lives in Bloomsbury. Lydia is open-minded and encourages Cat to grow and be whatever she wants. She tried to expose Cat to the arts and culture. In 1922, Cat and Lydia were at an art exhibition when the black Rolls Royce pulled to the kerb and Benton—movie star handsome—and a gaggle of friends came to the exhibition. Cat was captivated at first sight. Handsome Benton who looked like a movie star, was always in the society columns, and had women throwing themselves at him, was a renowned bachelor. Cat was surprised when he went up to the waiter, took a fresh chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses, and asked Cat to join him on the roof. They spent a delightful evening. After they finished the champagne, they went to a jazz club and then out to breakfast. Cat arrived; back at Lydia’s just as the sun was coming up. Walking on air, drunk on love. Ben proposed two weeks later. Cat said yes.

Fast-forward seventeen years. Cat is thirty-seven years old, childless, with no passion in life. Her marriage had started to die after a series of miscarriages ten years ago. Benton withdrew when Cat lost child after child. Despite his privileged upbringing, Benton Carlisle worked hard. He was a brilliant engineer, the protégé of his firm, where he was working on a scheme to allow airplanes to fly at night. To hide his grief, Benton threw himself into his work. Rather than face his wife, Benton took a mistress and didn’t even bother to hide it. Humiliated, and doing her level best not to show it, Cat puts her best face forward and tries to cope with life in the Carlisle house.

She’s miserable there. Her sister-in-law Isobel takes advantage of Cat’s grief and manages to commandeer the household management duties—which should be rights belong to Cat. While Cat doesn’t hesitate to stand up to Isobel, she finds the tension exhausting. Although Benton’s family is wealthy, and Cat is able to waltz into the finest shops, drop the Carlisle name and get anything she desires, her husband keeps her on a short leash by not giving her any money of her own and forbidding her to get a job. He won’t divorce her—no Carlisle has ever been divorced, so Cat is forced to stay at the Carlisle house, with a husband who doesn’t love her a social climbing sister-in-law who makes Cat’s life miserable at every turn. The Silent Woman finds Cat backed into a corner, desperate to change her life, but not sure how to do so. On a whim, she asks for a sign…and so the story begins.

Meanwhile, Hitler is in power in Germany. He’s violating all the agreements set out in the Treaty of Versailles and is amassing an army, building planes, and stripping rights away from German Jews, while the powers that be in Britain turn a blind eye. The politicians in power—who hold sway over the newspapers—are not acknowledging the threat in Germany. But Cat’s friend tells her the truth about the status of the world. He asks Cat if she’s interested in serving her country and earning enough money to secure her freedom. All she has to do is switch her husband’s documents. Desperate for a way out, Cat doesn’t hesitate to say yes, catapulting herself into the thick of murderous deception.

Buy The Silent Woman

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Why this time and place?:

When I sent out to write a book, I know I am going to spending hundreds of hours hanging out with the characters and the settings I have created. All the books I’ve written so far (The Sarah Bennett Series, which takes places in 1940s California) and The Silent Woman (Book 1 of the Cat Carlisle Mysteries), take place during the 1930s through the World War II because I am drawn to the socioeconomic and political events of that time. I also want to pay a silent homage to all the brave men and woman who fought in those wars. We are losing the last generation of the WWII veterans, and we must never forget their sacrifice.

1930s Fashion.1

Enter 1930s fashion — for those who could afford to buy clothes. The economy in the UK was still in a shambles.

It’s also very refreshing to hang out in an era that is not so technologically advanced. Think about it, no cell phones, in some cases no house phones, no computers, no Internet. People wrote letters to their friends. The personal column (especially in British newspapers) provides keen insight to the way of thinking of the day, and was the media equivalent of Facebook, Twitter, etc. During my research, I’ve seen ads like this: “To the woman who left her magazine on the bench in Hyde Park: Please come to the same bench tomorrow at noon. I must speak to you!” Doesn’t that make you wonder if they met? What happened? And why was he so anxious to connect with this woman? When I was scouring The London Times before the Lusitania sailed on its fateful journey, I came across an ad in the personals admonishing people to not take that voyage. I still wonder about that.

 

It’s interesting to look back at the events between the two world wars with the Olympian vantage point of hindsight. I am amazed at the way media controlled the people, and Page 1can’t help but juxtapose that situation over what’s going on in the world politically right now. The powers that be knew that Hitler was building airplanes and conscripting an army, yet they were committed to appeasement because the British economy and the citizens were still recovering from the devastation of World War I. I read newspapers from mid-1936 through June of 1937 and found absolutely no mention of Hitler’s activities in the newspapers. Although there was evidence that the Germans were behind the bombing in Guernica, in April of 1937, it did not make front-page news. Appeasement was the word of the day. We owe a lot to Winston Churchill, of that I am certain. While all of this was happening, he was lambasting Parliament for their complacency. I believe it if weren’t for him, we’d all be speaking German now.

The German Danger.Jewish Virtual Library

Historians are committed to the accurate documentation and preservation of the past, so Headshotwe don’t forgot those lessons. I believe that historical novelists are interested in understanding and sharing how it FEELS to live in the past, and allowing people to experience that feeling through stories.

Please stop by my Facebook page and say hello. I have an author page, but am more active on my personal page.

 

 

 

 

Dyeing with Kath and Geneva…

Dyeing Wishes

A murder of a young couple in a sheep field leaves a group of fabric and fiber loving friends in a tizzy as they race to solve who committed the awful crime with the aide of Kath and her unlikely companion, Geneva…a ghost!

61Q-TnhypOL._AA300_.jpgOh, Molly MacRae, you have written a fantastic story that I absolutely adore.  Sheep, ghosts, murder and friendship!  This story is fun, lighthearted and I couldn’t help but to laugh at Kath and Geneva’s back and fourth conversations. Hysterical! I will never look at people talking on the phone the same again.  I also loved how Molly highlighted the friendships of the TGIF (Thank Goodness it’s Fiber) group through the solving of the mystery. There were lots of players but it all worked together for a really great story.

This is series but having not read the first one, I followed along just fine without feeling lost. I am interested in reading the first one now, however and continuing the series.  Even if you don’t like knitting, fibers or sheep, this book is still fantastic.  I personally don’t knit, crochet or anything.  I do own the most splendid knit wool Aran hooded sweater  from Ireland and it is heavenly.  I am also the biggest fan of sheep there is without actually owning one.  If I see one, I totally fan girl.  Sheep! 

Oh ya…back to the story.  It’s just the setting and not the main crux that deal with the yarn and wool. I loved the mystery from beginning to end.  The paranormal twist was my favorite part however.  I would call this one a paracozy for sure. From the out of town mysterious people to the in town busy-body know- it-alls, this book covered it all in a well paced and entertaining manner.  I can’t wait to learn more about Kath and Geneva’s next adventure.

If you want to know, I listened to this on via CDs via audiobooks.  I really enjoyed the reader Emily Durante.  She is always enjoyable to listen to and helped bring this book to life. 

Buy Dyeing Wishes

81h4pN7oOHL._UX250_About Molly:

Molly MacRae spent twenty years in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Upper East Tennessee, where she managed The Book Place, an independent bookstore; may it rest in peace. Before the lure of books hooked her, she was curator of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.

MacRae lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois, where she connects children with books at the public library.

Let’s Talk

Do you love one of Molly’s books?  She has several series out already.  Which is your favorite?  Can’t pick one?  Well, tell me about it!  I love to hear from you all and I love to hear book suggestions on which books I should read next in the series or from the authors I review.  So, let’s talk!  Leave a comment below. 

How Do You Read?

So, I was sitting in the car-rider line today and decided to do a video because…well, because I could.  I was reading Death at the Midnight Dragonfly (STILL because I have mentioned before how slow of a reader I am) and noticed that I read aloud.  This might have something to do with the reason I read so slow.  I have to get the character’s accents right.  It’s a thing of mine.  If I can’t get into them, I can’t get into the books.  I think that’s why I love audio books so much.  The person has already done all the work for me.  HA!

So, sitting in car rider’s, reading out loud to myself…yep.  I do the same once a week with kids in my daughter’s class.  I sometimes get WAY too loud when I read  It can’t be helped though.  I really get into it.  How do you read?  Do you go lightning fast in your head or do you read aloud in different voices as the people in your life stare at you strangely?

You should buy Death At the Midnight Dragonfly and read it to me too!  Just click on the book and go buy you a copy.  Then, tell me what you think.Death at the Midnight Dragonfly