Friday, September 29, 2017

Spooky books for Halloween

I read three books this month that are good, spooky books for Halloween.

1. Leaving Birds by Virginia King.

About: "Leaving Birds is a collection of creepy folktales with adult themes. It contains a Russian folktale, a modern ghost story re-imagined from an Irish folktale, and the possibly true crime behind a traditional English murder ballad.

If you like to peek behind the scenes of books and how they're written, Leaving Birds is also a companion to Laying Ghosts, the prequel to the Selkie Moon Mystery Series, with insights into how the folktales inspired the prequel."

These short stories are reminiscent of the tales we all heard and told in the dark or around a campfire, as we grew up.

The Woman with Hair of Gold reads like a children's folk tale but it is not for children. Is Gilda a witch? Does she have magical powers? What fate befalls Gilda?

Peig's Place is a good old fashioned ghost story set in modern times. Read it at night, in the dark during a storm and you will be looking over your shoulder.

Polly's Folly - The Possibly True Events Behind the Murder Ballad 'Pretty Polly' is the third story. A tale that has been told since long ago about events that possible took place in the 1700's. Very interesting to read the research that has been done to validate this tale.

I really liked the author's notes after each story, that shows how they played into her book Laying Ghosts and Selkie Moon
You will have to read the stories to discover the meaning of "Leaving Birds."

I have read Virginia's other books that tie into this ; Laying Ghosts, The Selkie Moon series, and really liked them.

2. Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway series book 2)


About: "It’s been only a few months since archaeologist Ruth Galloway found herself entangled in a missing persons case, barely escaping with her life. But when construction workers demolishing a large old house in Norwich uncover the bones of a child beneath a doorway—minus its skull—Ruth is once again called upon to investigate. Is it a Roman-era ritual sacrifice, or is the killer closer at hand?

Ruth and Detective Harry Nelson would like to find out—and fast. When they realize the house was once a children’s home, they track down the Catholic priest who served as its operator. Father Hennessey reports that two children did go missing from the home forty years before—a boy and a girl. They were never found. When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is trying very hard to put her off the trail by frightening her, and her unborn child, half to death."

I had read the first in the Ruth Galloway series last year and liked it. (The Crossing Places)
This was a spooky book. Someone is trying to scare Ruth by writing her name in blood, leaving models of babies, hanging around her door in the dark and breathing and worse. The writing is so descriptive, that it is scary.

Besides all that, the books have the underlying story of Ruth, her work as a forensic anthropologist, her friends and all of the relationships that go with it. Ruth is very likeable; independent, not a size 2 or probably not even a size 12 and doesn't care what people think about that, lives alone and is fine with it, but yet has several men vying for her attention. And it looks like she has gotten herself into a predicament. I found myself very worried about her unborn child while she was getting scared, walking around at "digs" in the dark and more.

I really liked this book and wanted to jump right into the next in the series but went on to....

3. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


About: "West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself."

Creepy, creepy, creepy. We get to go back and forth from Sara's diary from 1908 to present time with Ruthie and Fawn. Lots of shadows slinking around, old creepy women that may or may not be witches, ghosts, a weird ring (that needs to be gotten rid of), other people looking for other people that disappeared, spells, snow, cold and dark. Even the end is creepy. I was surprised at the ending.

Sounds complicated? The story is so well written that it is easy to follow. Besides, you won't be able to put it down, so it's easy to keep up.

I do want to read more of this author's books.


Image result for picture of a jack o lantern

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stranger in a Strange World, On The Spooky Trail, Leaving Birds

Good grief! Where have I been?

August was not a good month for me. No, did not get a direct hit from either hurricane, so I shouldn't complain. We were within 180 miles or so from Harvey so did get some rain. But I knew people from work that were effected by Harvey and have friends and relatives effected by Irma. All o.k. But we were glued to the news.

What else..#1 Had a dental thing that was very bothersome for a couple of weeks. I believe it was directly a result of #2 Dragged unwillingly into an issue with a place I worked over a decade ago. Very stressful. If you know me, I don't like rocking boats. Both are behind me for now, but I keep looking over my shoulder.

I did read some things but haven't read as much as I would have liked. Anyway....

I read:

1.  Stranger in a Strange World: Asperger's: The Outsider (Brier Hospital) by Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.


I had read the first book in the Brier Hospital series last year and liked it and was offered a chance to read this newest book.

"An automobile accident shatters the near-perfect lives of David and Luke Hyatt, identical twins. David survives intact, but Luke nearly dies from his injuries. The residue of Luke’s head injury is an acquired form of Asperger’s. The twins had graduated from medical school and were about to enter an internship at Brier Hospital in Berkeley. Although Luke is gifted with savant-like intelligence, can he continue his career in medicine? Will health professionals, administrators, and patients themselves accept Luke as a physician or succumb to the petty fear of someone different, or is it time for the world to consider the value of an individual beyond his or her label?"

But there is more. It is a "House"/Crime Thriller. Despite Luke's Asperger's due to an accident, he has uncanny abilities to diagnose difficult cases. He is called in to help on the mysterious illness of Colonel Tay Carson. Col. Carson had been contacted by an anonymous caller with information about a government cover up. Now the Colonel is in a coma and no one can figure out why. Others in his circle have become sick or have died. The clock ticks for Luke to find the cause of the illness and the Colonel's best friend, Conrad (Connie) Silver to find out who is behind all of this. Medical drama, cyber hacking, whistleblowing, cover ups...this book has it all. I enjoyed it.
( I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it.)

2. On The Spooky Trail by Virginia King

I have read the 3 books in the Selkie Moon series by Virginia. This is a short story or novella that shows her love of "spooky tales".

On the Spooky Trail: Travels in Supernatural Wales

" A hag’s pool. A ruined abbey. A house with a skull. Join award-winning mystery author Virginia King on this tale of true travel, when her role as an accompanying delegate at a conference turns into an investigation of some of the spookiest places in Wales."

If you like folk lore and supernatural stories, you will love this. Great short story that will take you to the edge of one spooky tale and on to another.
Fun, quick read. Definitely recommend it especially if you are traveling...This is the kind of tour I would like.

3. Coming up:  Leaving Birds by Virginia King
This will be published 9/15/17 and will share the info then.

Currently reading: The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths.

More to come!