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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Creepy Scottish Mystery Offers a Shivery Spring Thrill

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After her mother dies, London tv producer Ailsa Calder inherits an imposing home in the Scottish Highlands known as the Manse.  Although she lived in the house as a young child, the place gives Ailsa the creeps.  Big time.  Ailsa can feel it watching her, eyeing her every move with sinister intentions.  Even the local wildlife and neighborhood pets refuse to set foot on the property.  The townspeople whisper about the haunted Manse, saying it's a strange, in-between place where time moves differently.  Crazy as it sounds, Ailsa almost believes them.  If she had inherited the entire house, she would sell it without hesitation, but the other half belongs to her father—and he's been missing for 27 years.  Before she can unload her unsettling inheritance, Ailsa has to prove her dad is dead.

For convenience's sake, Ailsa decides to live in the Manse while preparing the paperwork necessary to sell the old pile.  Carrie, the half-sister Ailsa barely knows, becomes her erstwhile roommate.  As the two women get to know each other and the locals—some of whom are kind and welcoming, others of whom view the sisters with suspicion and distrust—it soon becomes apparent that the Manse isn't the only entity that wishes Ailsa harm ...

I'm sure it's more than evident by now that I love me a shivery mystery/thriller featuring an ominous, atmospheric backdrop; an eerie old house; and a dusty old skeleton (literal or otherwise) hiding in a closet, just waiting to be discovered.  The Missing Hours by Lexie Elliott has all this and more.  It's a compelling and engrossing page-turner that offers mystery, suspense, and a hint of the supernatural.  The plot is a teensy bit slow, but I didn't mind that a bit.  The Missing Hours held my attention, keeping me feeling slightly off-kilter (in a good way) throughout.  I didn't love Elliott's debut, The French Girl, but her sophomore attempt is much, much more to my liking.  I very much enjoyed this creepy, entertaining novel.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Carol Goodman, Jennifer McMahon, and Hester Fox)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, blood/gore, references to illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Missing Hours from the generous folks at Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

McMahon's Newest a Creepy Ghost Story With a Uniquely Compelling Twist

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Most people buy old homes, inheriting their ghosts without realizing it.  Not Nate and Helen Wetherell.  They're building a haunted house from scratch ...

Wanting to get out of the rat race in the city, Helen and Nate buy a picturesque property in small-town Vermont with the intention of building their dream house themselves.  Despite having to live in a tiny, dilapidated trailer during construction, they're thrilled about taking on the ultimate DIY project.  Rumors of their land being haunted gives the prospect a quaint, even humorous glow.  But when strange things start happening around the building site, Helen feels more than a little unnerved.  Could there be some truth behind the townspeople's whispers?  Have the Wetherells unintentionally disturbed haunted land?

A former history teacher, Helen's curiosity prompts her to start researching the land upon which she's building.  Turns out, it does have a chilling history, one that seems to be seeping into the present.  The more Helen looks into the subject, the more obsessed she becomes.  In an effort to communicate with the ghost she's sure is haunting her new home, Helen begins collecting relics to build into its structure.  Nate's sure Helen has gone completely mad, but then he's also having strange experiences.  Are they both crazy?  If the spirits are truly reaching out to Helen and Nate, what do they want?  And how far will they go to protect their haunting grounds?

Jennifer McMahon writes creepy books that tend to crawl right under my skin.  Her newest, The Invited, is no exception.  Its unique premise caught my attention right from the beginning and the plot twists and turns kept me reading, even though I saw a lot of them coming from a mile away.  Still, the novel's engrossing, compelling, and creepy—three things I love in a ghost story.  The Invited will make a perfect Halloween read, but why wait?  Pick it up now for a shivery, can't-put-it-down Spring thrill.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books by Jennifer McMahon as well as those by Carol Goodman)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Invited from the generous folks at Penguin Random House via those at NetGalley.  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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