TV Binge: Detention (返校, 2020)

Detention (返校, 2020)

Director: I-Hsuan Su, Shiang-an Chuang, Yi Liu

Cast: Lingwei Li, Ning Han, Guanzhi Huang, Jack Yao, Teng-hung Hsia, David hao, Guanxu Luo, Kunda Wu, Serena Fang, Carol Cheng, Han Chang, Jui-hsueh Tsai, Chih-chien Lin

A tormented student uncovers unsettling secrets at her remote high school as betrayal and a paranormal encounter upend her life. – IMDB

Based on the 2017 point and click horror game of the same name developed by Taiwanese game developers as their debut game, Detention has gone on to a horror movie adaptation in 2019 (review) and followed last year with the release of their Netflix series based on the game but having a different story arc moving into the 90s and using the backdrop of the original source material to create a psychological horror drama.

Running at 8 episodes, Detention is an interesting blend as it starts off in the psychological horror territory and gradually retracts into a more drama-focused direction as the characters come into place while bringing in a sort of time loop element in its finale. Perhaps the best area that this could be considered is more of a gothic drama as nothing is going to really scare you a lot save for a few moments perhaps the opening episode having the most horror-esque scene. It does have a lot of themes revolving more touchy subjects with suicide and mental illness being a big one.

This adaptation, while taking its own liberation in the 90s, still manages to weave in the key plot points of the source material. That being said, the two girls whether its the ghost girl from the 70s, Rui Xin who wants some kind of revenge and is using her pendant to occupy a girl with her own unknown agenda and luring them in by fulfilling their wishes and then pushing them a certain extent versus this latest new to town girl, Yun Xiang with her mental illness and broken family actually draws a strong parallel between the two characters that gradually form the two characters and their dependency and connection as well. The two are probably the more intriguing characters as both the past and the present runs its own course. The focus on the present makes it interesting to see a lot of taboo situations happen whether with messing with spirits or the student-teacher relationship or even the warped values of Greenwood high School.

Other than the two female leads, there are some pretty good characters here and some situations that truly do make for some ethics and morals to come into play. The more villainous type of characters definitely do an impressive job. In reality, the story even has this weird focus of making these men into pretty much horrible people overall from the selfish principal to the controlling Inspector Bai down to the new teacher, Shen Hua. Even the neglectful father of Yun Xiang is pretty much a very unlikeable sort of character. They all do such a great job at making you mostly despise their actions overall. Putting the villains aside, there is one character of note and that is Yun Xiang’s schoolmate Wen Liang who may be pegged as a bad student in school but in reality is one of the more down to earth and genuine character in the whole scenario and truly looking out for Yun Xiang while also being a link to the spirit world and a character linked to the past scenario.

Playing with themes of revenge, school troubles, mental illness, student/teacher relationship, its brings in a lot of different elements that come into play through the 8 episodes. While the pacing isn’t exactly speedy, it still feels well-paced enough to keep things moving constantly and revealing the story gradually. The last 3 episodes add in a really good element that gives the series a nice twist that manages to pull the past and present situation together that definitely adds to the whole end game. Overall, an impressive little Taiwanese series that involves the supernatural but also shows the bad side of some people.

Blog Tour: The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel by K.T. Rose (Review)

We are thrilled to share this amazing new novel by K.T. Rose! The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel just proves that ghost stories are perfect any time of the year!

Read on for an exclusive peek and an amazing giveaway to enter!

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel
By: K.T. Rose

Publication Date: November 5th, 2020
Genre: Supernatural Horror/Paranormal

SYNOPSIS

Pride and greed infect the soul, anchoring the dead to Gallagher Hotel.

When Chris, a master thief, and Riley, a contract waitress, get mysterious invites to an exclusive party at the haunted Gallagher Hotel, they discover that there is more at play than simple celebrations.

Hidden truths are revealed, and all hell breaks loose. But the “party” has just begun.

Now, Chris and Riley face their demons as they fight to survive a hellish nightmare full of spoiled secrets, carnage, and vengeful spirits lost to the hotel dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Will they survive the night? Or will their souls be devoured by the most haunted building in Michigan?

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT

Chapter One

She’ll never forget the day she died.

Torches lit up the town square, illuminating scowling and shouting faces. The townspeople launched stones and spit, pegging Trudy’s arms and face as she trudged through the abhorrent mob. She cringed when a pebble struck her cheek. Pain erupted, shooting through her face like lightning striking the earth.

Deputy Hill yanked her arm, leading her through the narrow path the townspeople created. Fists balled, Trudy groaned as the rope around her wrists dug into her skin. Her bare feet picked up glass shards and debris from the cobblestone path as she shuffled along.

She glared around at the angry faces and recognized the men, women, and children of Holloway. She’d done more for them than any God before her. Many of those people owned the very businesses that lined the stone slab she marched across that night. Building and financing the rows of wooden businesses lining the town’s square accounted for half the things she’d done for Holloway. She fed the hungry, made clothes for cold children, and taught woman’s independence. The ever-growing list of the townspeople’s wants was endless. At one point, she didn’t mind the busy work. Fulfilling dreams of the once poor town kept her boisterous and distracted from her bitter reality. Trudy was Holloway’s personal shepherd, making the people her needy sheep.

Hands snagged at her lavender tea gown, adding dirty prints to the blood drops and grime from the beatings in that putrid cell. She glared at the bare-faced man towering over her. The brim of his deputy hat cast a thick shadow, hiding his dark eyes and pale face.

Deputy would miss her. She was sure of it. He got off on the assaults that bruised her face. His heavy fists pounded her bones and scraped her skin until she confessed. And even after her confession, he continued with his evening visits, slamming her body into cinder block walls and passing off open-handed blows to her nose, cheeks, and eyes.

Trudy sighed. A bath with lavender and Epsom salt sounded good for the swelling. She didn’t realize how bloated and purple her once beautiful, fairly smooth skin had become until she passed by the picture window in front of the town’s jail just before they began her walk of shame. Her dark hair matted to her forehead, washed by sweat and blood. Her plump lips were chapped and bloated with bruises.

Even then, her face pulsed with intense hurt. Pain shot through it whenever she winced.

The sea of convictions roared, growing louder as she drew closer to the opposite end of the square.

“Adulterer,” yelled a woman.

“Traitor,” screeched a boy.

“Murderer,” said a pot-bellied man.

Their accusations sent a sickening jolt through her bones. She watched the path underneath her slowing feet, fighting back the tears.

How could they turn on me like this?

REVIEW

The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel is a decent horror story packing in both elements of haunted house (well, in this case, its a hotel) and the ugly side of humans which is what gathers this “elite” group of invites for an overnight stay at Gallagher Hotel, a place not only known for being haunted but with a lot of history. The story itself follows some key characters, jumping between Riley, a woman specially requested to work there who has suffered quite a bit of loss; Chris, a young man who is part of a thief ring however wants to use this as his final job before leaving town and Trudy, the woman who haunts this hotel.

The story itself does pack a lot. There are a handful of characters which all have their own character build and past which determines why they were invited to the hotel. As each of their motives get revealed and perhaps their ugly side, its where the story is at its strongest especially since it reflects on how they essentially get ended. Those scenes are well-executed and in vivid description. However, the main characters do have these disjointed storylines jumping back and forth. It spends a lot of time with each of these characters separated from each other for most of the story however, its almost like a mystery as the group goes through their own visions that pop up to haunt them from their past. At the same time, Trudy’s storyline fills in the blanks with the history of what lead to her death and how she came to be haunting the hotel and how this world of evil works. The balance between executing the lore and the haunted house was where the pacing started to go off in the middle section.

With that said, the story itself blends bits and pieces from stories told mostly in movies and TV. The element of being invited in, a key book to the story, the hotel resembling that of The Shining, some haunted house elements that give off the vibe of that from the recent Haunting of Hill House. Its not a bad thing to pull certain elements and add their own twist. In fact, it has a certain level of creativity as all these elements and atmosphere do blend well together. Its more an observation than a criticism.

Overall, The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel is decent. Horror novels don’t normally scare me and this one wasn’t a pure horror novel. It has some horror elements from the death scenes and how that was described but it is mostly mild (of course, that differs to the reader but I do watch a lot of horror so my tolerance is fairly high). There are some pacing issues in the middle parts but if anything, this is a rather ambitious story as it does try to build its own lore and history to the hotel while adding in this group of characters and exploring their darker side.

Score: 3.5/5

Where to buy: Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

K.T. Rose is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a suspenseful short story series titled Trinity of Horror, an erotic thriller novel titled When We Swing, and A Dark Web Horror Series. She also writes supernatural and paranormal horror novels and short stories.

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Double Feature: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) & Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Years after watching the first movie of the Insidious franchise HERE, this year’s Halloween marathon is going to wrap up the rest of the movies. For starters, lets move on to the Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.

Let’s check it out!

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious: Chapter 2

Director (and co-writer): James Wan

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson

The Lamberts believe that they have defeated the spirits that have haunted their family, but they soon discover that evil is not beaten so easily. – IMDB

Continuing on from the first movie, the Lamberts are dealing with the aftermath from the first movie and realizing that things are quite over as the danger still looms in the distance. While Insidious was something of an atmospheric sort of movie with a little more tension build up and having some decent jump scare moments, it all fitted together really well to give some lasting fear. Insidious: Chapter 2 is more of a familiar horror story. It plays its a cards a little too early and a little too obvious. Sure, it still has some decent jump scare moments but none of it is very lasting in the horror department as its more of an anticipated move and an unexpected time being done. The tension build-up definitely doesn’t play as well.

The same cast of its first film and the characters are still here. To be fair, they all come back into their roles in a good way. The story gives it more backstory as well as drawing more details into The Further’s lore and how it all works (in a non-chronological way). The backstory focuses on the past of the father character Josh when he was a boy and had his encounter at one point which is where the movie’s story pivots most of the time and the key of how he gets caught up in The Further.

In reality, Insidious: Chapter 2 isn’t exactly a horrible movie just it falls frequently in the predictable bit. I’m just not sure whether its because its first film pulled out a lot of the scary tricks that it set up the world in such a complete way that its sequel just couldn’t match up. For myself, it was more of a disappointment than it was a bad movie overall.

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Director (and writer): Leigh Whannell

Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye, Tate Berney, Steve Coulter, Hayley Kiyoko, Corbett Tuck

A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. – IMDB

It feels like most franchises need to head backwards in time to give itself into a deeper sense of the lore that before those previous movies, this The Further business still exist. Usually, I’m not totally behind it as most of the time, its just an excuse for studios to bank on good movie ideas to drag it out. I can’t say that Insidious: Chapter 3 wasn’t doing that but I happen to also love Lin Shaye’s character of Elise and its a backstory of how she starts working with Specs and Tucker. Elise, Specs and Tucker really are a huge highlight of Insidious who brings a little of comedy to the whole thing plus the three characters seem to build up the best. It could be that Leigh Whannell does act in the role of Specs while this time around being both the director and the writer so really bringing to life something that he envisioned.

With that said, Insidious: Chapter 3 does have a lot of the same issues as the second one. Its essentially a collection of predictable jump scares. There are some eerie moments and figures/shadows in the background. Its just the story of teenagers wanting to bring dead parents back to life isn’t exactly an original concept and of course, summoning something worse. On the upside, the way the film is structured does work to build a little more tension than Chapter 2. It has to do with the story focusing around a teenage girl who ends up bedridden and unable to walk, making her incredibly vulnerable. Nothing like vulnerability to make things more intense, right?

Between Chapter 2 and 3, I fluctuate a lot about which one I think is better even if they both are far from being as memorable as the first one (even if you break down Insidious, it might not hold up as well as the first viewing, which is why I’ve never gone back for a second viewing). After this double feature, I definitely feel like Chapter 3 pulls ahead a little.

That’s it for this double feature!
What’s your thoughts on the Insidious franchise?

To Wake The Dead (The Dead Dreamer #2) by Sarah Lampkin

Review for To Dream is To Die, Book 1 of The Dead Dreamer Series HERE

To Wake The Dead
(Dead Dreamer #2)
By: Sarah Lampkin

to wake the dead

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

Brenna Whit teeters the line between the living and the dead. Now that she’s back for her sophomore year at Nephesburg College, she’s determined to focus on the waking world. But when her own soul is trying to kill her and a new Dead Dreamer is fighting for power, Brenna is dragged back into the world of the dead.

The Gatekeepers are doing everything they can to restore the power they once held over the town of Nephesburg. With a mysterious set of twins arriving in town to help them prepare, Brenna must decide what’s important: continuing to hide her secret or reveal herself and fight for what she believes is right. The decision could end up leading to a permanent death for Brenna so she must choose wisely. – Goodreads

To Wake The Dead is the second book in The Dead Dreamer Series. The story picks up a few months after the events of the first book as university resumes again for Brenna. As a sequel, the story itself fully utilizes the foundation of the first one and builds from those events. However, its more of a second level deal. In the first book, it showed more of the general world of how the alternate plane, Fade would work and the different roles of Dead Dreams, Watcher, the Gatekeepers and more. The story goes further this time as it picks up those pieces and drives it towards something with a deeper scheme with even more characters and other elements involved and some more mysteries. It all says a lot to the entire world building for the premise itself and its incredibly well thought out as more factors come into play.

The characters are mostly the same as before. To Wake The Dead is in first person narration by its star Dead Dreamer, Brenna who tries to navigate the situation. What really builds on her character is that its not only a “battle” with the outside dangers in the Fade and the Gatekeepers but at the same time, its a battle with herself, the whole soul and spirit fight makes for a lot of the intrigue as her inner person, Maura, speaks up once in a while and then also has its danger elements. These unknown moments creates for changes in her mood and unexpected results of different severity and show of abilities that were unseen before. There’s a constant changing element presented each time and it makes Brenna become an intriguing character to follow in her adventures. Of course, it helps that her friends, Aeria and Damon also have a great part as they also get pulled deeper into the equation. The three actually find a balance in their characters especially with the banter between Damon and Brenna (which started off in the first book) and these situations that come up in the story also create some tension as expected.

Overall, To Wake The Dead is a very decent sequel. There’s more depth in world building, plot development and character development. The story does start off a little slower than the first book therefore, pacing at the beginning dragged just a little bit to set up the new situation. Once things started moving again, it was an engaging read. Solid sequel and can’t wait for the next book!

Score: 4 out of 5

Double Feature: Hell House LLC II:The Abaddon Hotel (2018) & Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire (2019)

Wrapping up the Hell House LLC franchise from the first movie’s review HERE, its time to look at the remaining two movies. Let’s check it out!

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (2018)

hell house LLC II

Director (and writer): Stephen Cognetti

Cast:  Vasile Flutur, Jillian Geurts, Joy Shatz, Dustin Austen, Brian David Tracy, Kyle Inglemen, Amanda K. Morales, Laura Frenzer, Danny Bellini

It’s been eight years since the opening night tragedy of Hell House, LLC and still many unanswered questions remain. Thanks to an anonymous tip, investigative journalist Jessica Fox is convinced that key evidence is hidden inside the abandoned Abaddon Hotel-evidence that will shed light on the hotel’s mysteries. She assembles a team equally hungry for answers with one goal: break into the hotel and discover the truth. – IMDB

I’m going to be honest here and say that after watching Hell House LLC, it never seemed like it needed a sequel or that a sequel would be in the picture. Of course, it did leave some space to explore the whole Abaddon Hotel mystery a little further. Hell House LLC 2 is supposed to be just that. It takes up the same found footage concept. This time, its years later and this anonymous tip sets this new crew on a search to find some answers. Suffice to say that things get a little out of hand, or else there wouldn’t be a movie to watch.

Thing is, Hell House LLC 2 is about The Abaddon Hotel and yet, the story itself seems like it gets lost in its story a little and what it wants to tell. While the haunted house element pays a lot of tribute back to its original and it tries to dig a little deeper into the history of it again, the story is not quite as unique as its first one. A lot of elements are very predictable and it doesn’t have the same effect of making this work out quite the same way as this group goes in with something of a paranormal investigation mindset. There’s a little more paranormal and less of the atmosphere building that gives it what it originally shone in the first one.

Overall, Hell House LLC 2 felt a tad unnecessary. It does try to add more context to the Hell House LLC haunted house deal and who is behind the situation that went down in the first movie and does add to the story. Its execution, however, is where it falls short. The movie starts off relatively okay as the crew groups together and they break into Abaddon Hotel but the further it goes along, the movie loses a bit of steam up to this ending with a rather annoying monologue bit.

Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire (2019)

hell house llc 3

Director (and writer): Stephen Cognetti

Cast: Elizabeth Vermilyea, Sam Kazzi, Theodore Bouloukos, Brian David Tracy, Brigid Abrams, Leo Defriend, Jordan Kaplan, Danny Bellini, Gabriel Chytry

The Abaddon Hotel will once again be open to the public. Russell Wynn has taken his audience-interactive show, Insomnia, into the abandoned hotel that is rumored to be haunted. – IMDB

Right after we talk about how unnecessary Hell House LLC 2 was, this series ends on the third movie, Hell House LLC: Lake of Fire. Lake of Fire was talked about in the second movie and here we see something of a first movie rehash as they try to rebuild the haunted house. The movie itself tries to pull the first and second movie together and then propels itself to an ending that wraps up the whole ordeal. There’s a lot of cuts that go back to those previous films as they go through the haunted house parts and draws parallels to the original and first sequel.

Its hard to tell whether its the pacing or the constant flashbacks or parallels drawn that make this film feel slow and rather boring. As the movie progresses, despite its shortcomings, it does add to bring in the “lake of fire” idea to the whole story and what makes it work especially when the haunted house experience is open the public. Its not hard to imagine what will be the result but how it all happens is on one hand cool in certain areas especially in this one area with the white corridor and adding in those creepy elements that link all three movies together actually work really well but then there are some shots that are cool in execution like using the camera on a turn table or display case or something that works out really well but at the same time, the believability of that scene has some flaws.

One of the better elements of this movie is how it chooses to wrap up the series to makes it more grounded and has some kind of conclusion. The ending ending itself is pretty clever. It sounds bad to say that the ending is the best part but the ending itself is structured to give the whole Hell House LLC something of an answer to what happened and why this is happening and how it all finds some kind of ending. Horror movies nowadays refer on the cliffhanger ending so they can have the “what happens next?” but with this third movie, Hell House LLC feels like its wrapped up and done and while I think it would have ended at the first movie at its strongest leaving some questions unanswered, somehow the ending of the third movie was good to have those answers as well.

Overall of the franchise: While Hell House LLC is strongest at its first movie, the haunted house and the whole location and lore that it brings is pretty solid. The execution in the second and third leaves a lot to be desired for the most part but the base story and what it tries to tell is still there.

That’s it for this double feature!
We wrapped up another horror franchise!
Have you seen the Hell House LLC movies? Thoughts?

To Dream is to Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

To Dream is to Die (Dead Dreamer #1)
By: Sarah Lampkin

to dream is to die

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college. – Goodreads

Feeling a lot along the lines of young adult shows, To Dream is To Die is the first book in the Dead Dreamer series. As a first book, it does a lot of things right especially in setting up a foundation quickly. The author Sarah Lampkin quickly lets us know the situation and what is the new situation that our main protagonist Brenna is in with her new phase in life, moving into her dorm in college and then revealing that she essentially doesn’t sleep and wanders in her spirit form instead, an ability that she has because of her near death experience. A secret that she soon has to divulge to her new friends, Aeria and Damon who the latter actually is also learning about his own abilities.

First books of series are always a little tricky. The author needs to be able to show off these characters and their charm while giving them a situation that lets them learn about their dilemma. Here it is set up very well and paced in an intriguing way as everything links to each other but also having pieces of the puzzle that need to be figured out and revealed gradually and more characters coming into the mix. At the same time, what helps this all is using chapters that switch their different narratives. Its mostly in the narrative from the point of view of Brenna but when the situation temporarily changes, it switches over to her friend and it adds a unique touch.  These types of narratives is something I personally enjoy a lot in novels as they help execute storytelling elements so well and let the readers connect with the characters better as well.

Every character here from Brenna, Aeria and Damon all have their value in the story while adding in some more supporting characters that get involved in the situation and the supernatural/paranormal elements of demons, fairies, spirits and possession. All three are fairly strong characters. There’s a lot to discover about their spiritual plane called the Fade, whether its the history or the mysteries, it really only feels like the type of the iceberg has been discovered. Book one shows that there is so much more room for the story to grow and expand and it’ll be interesting to see where they take the sequel which is already available.

Overall, To Dream Is To Die is a well-paced page-turner. Its paranormal and fantasy elements are pretty creative and intriguing to discover in this new world that Sarah Lampkin has created. At the same time, she also brings to life some strong characters. Its definitely one to follow as well as for myself, catch up with the second book.

*Book received in exchange for honest review via R&R Book Tours*

Blog Tour: Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun

Fountain Dead Blog Tour

Fountain Dead
By: Theresa Braun

Fountain Dead

Expected Publication: November 20th, 2018
Genre: Mature YA Horror/Paranormal
Publisher: Unnerving Press

Synopsis

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Available on Amazon

Review

Fountain Dead is two stories intertwined together. The first is set in the 1800s and the second is set in the 1980s. Both of which have a different genre for each of the story. The one set in the past being the origin and foundation story that takes a gruesome horrific turn of events while the one set in the current state of things is more of paranormal haunted house sort of story with teens as the main character.

The biggest challenge of stories structured like this is its flow between the two stories especially when they are a different genres and feature a different set of characters. However, the trick is in the details and Fountain Dead manages to incorporate the connections as it transitions from one to the next in a rather clever way. With that said, the pacing of the novel works because it keeps us intrigued through this swap to constantly keep wanting to know what happens next with each mystery that happens in the present and how it links to the past. While the story does have a lot of horror elements to it, its definitely falls more in a paranormal fantasy sort of a story. The horror descriptions work well but somehow didn’t seem to be as creepy as needed which works for say the YA audience or in general a younger teen audience perhaps. On the other hand, the story set in 1800s doesn’t quite have the horror turn in events until much later when it gets slightly more psychological and twisted. Particularly in the last few chapters, the description there is incredibly vivid as its draws out some of the more horrific details and those fit to the genre really well. For the most part, I’d call this one more of a thriller.

Overall, Fountain Dead works well as a well-paced thriller. While some of the horror elements don’t quite land as much as some of the later moments when the story takes a turn of events, there are some engaging characters in both the past and present storyline. In terms of both the main characters of the two timelines, Emma in the 1800s story and Mark in the 1980s story both have a lot of depth and character development which makes the story even more intriguing to read. The clever connection between the two stories also show a lot of thought and detail in planning out the story. For the most part, the 1980s story does carry a more consistent paranormal element than the 1800s one. My only criticism is the imbalance of the two stories but at the same time, it never felt like it didn’t work. My biggest gripe might be that I didn’t find it quite as scary as it should be. Although, Fountain Dead does also comes with a well-written setting like the Victorian house which always makes it come to life because of these paranormal events. Pretty much, Fountain Dead might fall short a little but it has enough other well thought out elements that makes up for those small shortcomings.

Goodreads rating: 4/5

About the Author

Theresa Braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

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Book Trailer Reveal: The Scented Bones by Angelina Kerner

The Scented Bones
(The Svabodina Case Files Book 1)

The Scented Bones

Genre: Paranormal/Mafia

Expected Publication Date: September 28, 2018

Publisher: KDP Select

Synopsis

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

A magical mystery in more than one sense of the word, this beautifully woven tale will charm you more than an ethereal fae.” – Liliyana Shadowlyn, The Faerie Review

This book is what happens when you mix crime stories with the supernatural. And, the result is spectacular.” -Dylon Crone, beta reader

This story combines the paranormal, the mafia, and good old detective work – a fun read!” – Sycamore, beta reader

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Available for Pre-order: Amazon

About the AuthorAngelina Kerner

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

Visit her website at www.kernerangelina.live

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The Scented Bones

Giveaway (August 10th-13th)

Custome Made Necklace Featuring “Tarotia” Family Tattoo

“Every family in the book has a family tattoo. Tarotia family is the main family that will appear in every book. The necklace is of the tattoo – two snakes wrapped around a T! Thank you for being part of the book trailer reveal for The Scented Bones!” – Angelina Kerner

Rafflecopter Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f42/?

Book Trailer Reveal Organized by:

r&r book tours

 

Mermen (The Mermen Trilogy #1) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Coming off reading The King Trilogy by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, I decided to just go ahead and wrap up any other books from her in my Kindle. I believe I had gotten this one in a deal on Amazon or free offer or something. I can’t remember anymore but its how I came up on it.

Let’s check it out!

Mermen (The Mermen Trilogy #1)
by: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Mermen

SOLE SHIPWRECK SURVIVOR LIV STRATTON had been adrift at sea for ten grueling days when salvation miraculously appeared: an uncharted island. Only, the deceivingly beautiful men who live there aren’t interested in saving her. No, not at all. Because they somehow believe she is their property, a gift from the ocean to do with as they please. This is not good.  Her only hope? Billionaire Roen Doran, of all people. A man who’s said to care for nothing and no one. But if he’s so heartless, then why is he about to risk everything to help her? – Goodreads

There are days I start off this genre of books and I get worried. I only read on trilogy from Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and honestly, I enjoyed it fairly well. If you didn’t see the reviews, it was something of a slippery slope as it fell into some aspects I didn’t like but what I enjoyed about this author was her dedication to making her characters (all of them) not feel disposable. I’ve never read anything about mermen so I don’t know what is expected about it. My vision of it is still from movies like The Mermaid and The Little Mermaid, so when her plot is about these men without tails on this hidden island, well, it sets up quite an intriguing premise.

If I’m being completely honest, the world-building and lore behind the mermen was much more fascinating than any other part of the book. It sounds harsh but its really not cup of tea. The characters here were pretty generic. The rich billionaire Roen was quite one dimensional. The only reason he seemed more than that was because of the effect of the mermen lore and that doesn’t contribute back to who he is. Then we have Liv who turns into this exactly what you’d expect sort of damsel in distress. She tries to keep herself up for a while but essentially just breaks down into the ladies in this genre that I really don’t like, like falling for the man..but then maybe it had to do with the lore a little.

Either way, I don’t have an incredibly huge amount of things to say about Mermen. It was pretty disappointing see as King trilogy had some really strong aspects to it. You probably can guess that I’m not going to continue this book series. I’m just not really a fan even if the potential for the mermen back story could have had a lot of potential if it wasn’t in this genre. I’ve been watching a lot of cool movies lately and in a fairly decent mood from all the sunny weather and loving the summer, so I don’t feel like ranting more about this one. If I was you, I’d stay away from it. The only reason I gave it 2 stars out of 5 was because I saw some potential in building the mythology of this tribe of Mermen and having some interesting creations on the island itself. Everything else, I honestly could care less about.

King of Me (King’s Trilogy #3) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Check out the review of the second book, King For a Day, here.

King of Me (King’s Trilogy #3)
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

King Of Me

What if you were asked to love a dangerous man who betrayed you at every turn, who terrified you even in your sleep? Could you do it to save the people you hold dear?

Mia Turner is ready to give it all—her body, her heart, her soul—to the mysterious, ruthless billionaire who holds the cards to saving her family. But when this sinfully sexy man, simply known as King, demands something more, something horrifying, Mia will be forced to face the impossible truth about their lives.

Sometimes the truth brings salvation. And sometimes the truth breaks you. – Goodreads

In the final book of the King’s Trilogy, King of Me is a pretty decent read. It has a lot to thank for the first two books doing a great build-up to this point. Of course, this third book also has to bring an end to all the teasing and seducing and arousal from before so we finally get some sexual action here. However, the core of the story is Mia embracing who she is as in the time of danger she escapes to the past before King was cursed. However, history is set in a certain way and even Mia’s Seer abilities aren’t almighty so there is some mystery behind what she does and how things turn out. Its journey to the past that feela destined and changes Mia’s mind about King and his demons and also drawing comparisons to the other people linked to King as well. Its a big unveiling and does a decent job. Everything makes sense and the erotic scenes play out well. It adds even more depth and development for all our characters, King and Mia but also Mack and the Spiros as well as the truth behind the story from the last book while seeing why Mia falling in love with King is the key to changing everything one way or another, at least for a better outcome.

With that said, King of Me did suffer some of the erotic novel pet peeves that I have. I have some odd ones and it comes from a little similarity of finding redemption for King drawing some comparisons to Christian Grey in the last book of Fifty Shades trilogy. Its this way out where they feel compelled to make love center to just giving in to abusive behavior. However, King of Me does give it a reasonable route afterwards to somehow shed the light a little on why there was this drastic change in that point in King’s history that Mia had stepped into.

Overall, King of Me was decent as the supposed final book of the series. It answered all the questions and sorted all the emotions out. It was fast paced and added depth to the characters.

Of course, reading it after the initial release means I also know that the trilogy turned into more so this isn’t actually the end. There currently two more books, #4 Mack and #5 10 Club. I was hoping to wrap up the series and move into something else. I will try to catch up to the final two books later this year. With that said, I wonder how they will be seeing  as the original idea was a trilogy but these two has now turned it into a series. Hopefully it will work out well.