Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

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Welcome to Freaking Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

I’ve got a couple of good ones to share today.

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They Came With The Snow

by Christopher Coleman

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Genre: Horror

My Review

This is a short one. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to like.

When an explosion cuts off the residents of a small town and plunges them into an apocalyptic winter, they have no one to call for help and must rely on their own ingenuity. Do they stay where they are? Or do they brave trying to go for help and risk coming up against the strange things that wait in the snow?

I love stories set in wintry landscapes. There’s something about having to battle the elements as well as the horrors prowling in it that makes for an edgy read.

The creepy, crab things that hide in the snow, only detectable by their cold black eyes peering out of the drifts, were this horror lovers delight. Always looking for new, creative monsters to scare the crap out of me.  I think they stole the show from the characters, who didn’t really win me over. Good thing, as there’s no guarantees any will survive.

While this didn’t terrify me, it sure got the endorphins pumping. I’ll gladly read more by this author.

4  Stars

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Synopsis


When a mysterious blast goes off in a small college town, triggering a blizzard, the few survivors must decide whether to stay or leave and face the monsters who came with the snow.

Amazon

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Eerie

by Blake & Jordan Crouch

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Genre: Horror

My Review

I’ve read a bunch of Blake’s books so I was curious to read Eerie, since it’s a joint venture written with his brother Jordan.

A man reconnects with his sister and finds her trapped in her own house. An evil entity hiding under her bed won’t let her leave. And now he’s also trapped. It’s only a matter of time before they both meet a gristly end.

I was immediately sucked into this story. The characters caught my interest and for the most part I liked them. The suspense was nail biting as the scenarios got more and more precarious. What fell flat for me was the ending. It just didn’t work for me. It was a stretch for my imagination, but maybe it was just me wanting one thing and getting another.

Don’t let that deter you. You still get Blake’s quality writing and when Jordan ventures out to write on his own, I’ll be waiting.

4  Stars

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Synopsis

TRAPPED INSIDE A HOUSE

On a crisp autumn evening in 1980, seven-year-old Grant Moreton and his five-year-old sister Paige were nearly killed in a mysterious accident in the Cascade Mountains that left them orphans.

WITH A FRIGHTENING POWER

It’s been thirty years since that night. Grant is now a detective with the Seattle Police Department and long estranged from his sister. But his investigation into the bloody past of a high-class prostitute has led right to Paige’s door, and what awaits inside is beyond his wildest imagining.

OVER ANYONE WHO ENTERS

His only hope of survival and saving his sister will be to confront the terror that inhabits its walls, but he is completely unprepared to face the truth of what haunts his sister’s brownstone.

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Thanks for dropping by my stop on the tour for Dumpster Dying and Grilled, Chilled and Killed by Lesley A. Diehl.

I do love my cozy mysteries and these will have you in stitches.

Check out the books. Enjoy my reviews.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Dumpster Dying: Book 1 in the Big Lake Murder Mysteries

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 248 Pages E-Book 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234923
E-Book ASIN: B01MRWGBC8

My Review

The beautiful state of Florida. People are either born there, die there, retire there, or enjoy a lovely visit. For Emily Rhodes, it’s one of those, and maybe two, since she’s stuck her nose in a murder investigation.

When a prominent rancher is murdered and Emily’s friend is accused of the murder, she pulls out all the stops to prove her innocence, although there’s the risk of painting a target on her own back.

I can’t help but fall for Emily. She’s like me, no longer a spring chicken but still able to jig with the best of them. She’s salty, sassy, and no fool. Friends are very important to her, but don’t get on her bad side. She’s double tough. As Detective Lewis finds out when they tangle up in the case.

This was one laugh after another. There’s an eclectic cast of character’s and more shenanigans and manipulating going on than you can shake a stick at. And have you taken a gander at the cover art?. What a hoot! I’m a southern gal and if you put cowboy boots and a flamingo on the cover, you betcha I’m going to read that book!

Whether you love mysteries or cozy mysteries, there’s plenty to like here. And some fun moments to soften the story plot so it isn’t too dark.

And did someone ask whether there’s romance in this book? I detected some sparks flying and they weren’t from no fire.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster. Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They’re more like pot metal to Emily, who discovers the body of the county’s wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner’s death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer.

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Grilled, Chilled and Killed: Big Lake Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages E-Book 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234930
E-Book ASIN: B01N9GUUKU

My Review

If it ain’t one dead body it’s another, as once again Emily stumbles over one. This time it’s a contestant in the local barbecue contest. It seems someone is taking things a bit too seriously.

Detective Lewis and Emily tangle up once again as she practices her snooping skills and he sniffs around her skirt. Yep, the romantic sparks from the first book have produced a small fire. There’s no denying they’re attracted to each other, whether they like it or not.

Half the fun was reading about Lewis and Emily. I kept thinking they’d hook up. Then the author threw in a red herring named Donald. He just might upset their apple cart.

There’s plenty of distractions as Emily tries to solve the case. She straightened out one thing that was looming over her from her past. Then, another huge one came knocking on her door. Not to mention hungry gators and giant pigs.

So much in this book reminds me of me. I live in a small southern town. Tended bar at a local pub, as does Emily. And had friends from all walks of life. I felt right at home in the pages of this book and had a grand time.

I’m not going to say you can’t read this without having read the first book. The author fills you in on previous events without slowing down the plot. But I’d recommend you hit the ground running and start at the beginning. You don’t want to miss out on the fun.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbecue cook-off dead and covered in barbecue sauce in a beer cooler. She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills. As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbecue and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.

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About Author Lesley A. Diehl



Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

Author Links

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Facebook

Purchase Links

Dumpster Dying – Amazon 

Grilled, Chilled and Killed – Amazon

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Participants

May 15 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW – Book 1, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 15 – My Journey Back –My Reading Journeys – REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW*

May 16 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW – Both Books

May 16 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

May 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW

May 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 18 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

May 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW – Both Books

May 19 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

May 19 – Bookworm Café –  GUEST POST

May 20 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW – Book 1

May 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW – Both Books *

May 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

May 21 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW – Both Books, CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 22 –StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 1

May 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW – Both Books*

May 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 2

May 24 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW – Book 1

May 25 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW – Both Books

May 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 26 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW –  Both Books*

May 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW – Book 2

May 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 1, GUEST POST*

May 28 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 2*

May 28 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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Welcome to My Monday Minis where I share short reviews about books I’ve read.

These are some good ones for fans of dark mysteries and thrillers. Enjoy!

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 One

Count To Ten #1

  by Jane Blythe

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Genre: Mystery / Thriller

My Review

Annabelle awakens to find her family brutally murdered and herself as the prime suspect in Detective Xavier Montague’s investigation. But all is not as it appears and the detective soon finds himself falling for her as a crazed killer remains at large.

The author takes you to the dark side in this macabre murder mystery. Her main character’s, Annabelle and Xavier are genuine, flaws and all. And the killer is not easily identified and has a motive you won’t see coming.

From the beginning, I was sucked right in. Annabelle is the obvious suspect for her families brutal murder. How could she sleep through the events? But it isn’t long before the detective investigating the case has doubts. It seems Annabelle might have been drugged. And his hunch may be right as more fall victim to a sadistic killer.

The investigation kept me burning the midnight oil. Anxious to see who the killer was and what his twisted motive was in leaving one victim alive as he killed more families.

As I came to know Annabelle and Xavier my curiosity about them grew. Why did Annabelle feel unlovable and what haunted Xavier from his past?

Fans of reality based crime shows and fictional ones like Criminal Minds will love this pulse pounding thriller.

  4 Stars

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Synopsis

Did she murder her family or is she being set up?

A couple, their two teenage sons, and seven year old daughter are all slaughtered in their beds. The only survivor is oldest daughter, Annabelle.

Detective Xavier Montague is intrigued by Annabelle even though he knows he shouldn’t be. His attraction to her will force him to make the ultimate choice, a life and death decision, that could let a psychotic murderer walk free.

** All my books contain issues of sexual assault **

Amazon

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 Two

Count To Ten #2

  by Jane Blythe

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Genre: Mystery / Thriller

 My  Review

Sofia Everette may be physically week, as she’s bound to a wheelchair because of an unknown illness, but she’s mentally strong and capable. This causes her domineering father to disown her. After a woman’s body is found on the families estate and someone starts picking off members of the Everette family, Sofia must dig deep to figure out the killer’s motive before more die.

This is a dark one, indeed. And the list of suspects is large, as most of them could be from the Everette family itself. A tribe of entitled sycophants, not one of them is worthy of the title, human. They’re all capable of murder and have motives. Talk about a perverted, dysfunctional family.

Sofia is intriguing. She’s not physically strong, but she has a sharp intellect and a fierce determination to be independent. But will that be enough to save her as the killer gets closer?

Used to seeing the darkest sides that humanity has to offer, seasoned Detective Xavier Montague is tested as he races to catch the killer while the bodies pile up.

Brace yourselves for impact as the author deftly drops you down the rabbit hole, has you stumbling in the dark, and finally releases you back into the light with a thrilling finale.

4 Stars

Synopsis

Before the sun rises, another will die.

A woman is found murdered on the grounds of the powerful Everette family’s estate. Then someone begins methodically killing off members of the Everette family one by one.

Detective Ryan Xander’s only inroad to the secretive family is Sofia Everette. Shunned by her father for her refusals to obey him, and battling a mysterious illness, Sofia’s childhood dreams may be the key to saving her life and stopping the killer from exterminating the entire Everette clan.

** All my books contain issues of sexual assault **

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to My Monday Minis where I share short reviews about books I’ve read.

It appears the devil is running loose on fuonlyknew. I just read two books that pertain to Satan. They both have similar and then not so similar plots and both scared me but good.

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 Ararat

  by Christopher Golden

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Genre: Horror / Thriller

My Review

So the story goes….An avalanche on Mount Ararat opens a fissure, revealing what could be Noah’s Ark. People go in the fissure. Inside the ancient ship is a sarcophagus. Inside it is something not human. A grotesque withered figure with horns.  People start experiencing hallucinations and nightmares. Could the thing be a demon? Could it’s evil be tainting the cavern and everyone in it? Once people start disappearing and dying, one thing is certain. Whatever it is, it doesn’t want them to leave.

Best thing about this one was how quickly you get thrown into the intrigue. The character’s are well fleshed out and the atmosphere builds. I found myself thinking about this scenario. What if it did happen. What would I do.

I’m also always drawn to frozen settings. It isn’t bad enough that something is trying to kill you. Throw in the frozen tundra and things get much worse.

A quick start and nonstop intrigue and action made this a very fast read. I finished it in one sitting.

  4 Stars

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Synopsis

When a newly engaged couple climbs Mount Ararat in Turkey, an avalanche forces them to seek shelter inside a massive cave uncovered by the snow fall. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah’s Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark for the first time, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. The artifact tempts their professional curiosity; so they break it open. Inside, they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver—not the holy man that they expected, a hideous creature with horns. A massive blizzard blows in, trapping them in that cave thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain…but they are not alone.

Amazon

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 Origin

  by J.A. Konrath

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Genre: Horror / Techno Thriller

 My  Review

So, back in the early 1900s something is discovered. The powers that be decide we shouldn’t know about it and the secret is passed on from President to President.

Finally, after over 100 years of studying their discovery, it recently woke up.  New people are drawn into the big secret and things quickly get out of control.

I found myself very intrigued by the plot. It would be awful to be trapped underground with something ancient and evil through and through. As the characters fall for it’s trickery, they meet some bloody ends.

I’d love to see this as a movie. The action is relentless and the author pulls no punches when throwing horrific things in your path. Watch out for ceiling vents and corners. You never know what’s waiting to jump out at you.

Chilling reading served up just the way I like it.

4 Stars

Synopsis

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath, author of the Lt. Jack Daniels series, digs into the vaults and unearths a technohorror tale from the depths of hell…

1906 – Something is discovered by workers digging the Panama Canal. Something dormant. Sinister. Very much alive.

2009 – Project Samhain. A secret underground government installation begun 103 years ago in New Mexico. The best minds in the world have been recruited to study the most amazing discovery in the history of mankind. But the century of peaceful research is about to end.

Because it just woke up.

Book Description

When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert , he has no idea he’s been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon.

He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan.

But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn’t just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth…

ORIGIN by J.A. Konrath
All hell is about to break loose. For real.

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

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Welcome to my Saturday Screams.

I love horror and got some good ones for ya today!

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 Razorbacks

by George S. Mahaffey, Jr.

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Genre: Horror

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My Review

A long time ago I watched a movie called Razorback. It was about a killer wild boar. If you’ve never seen one, I can tell you from experience, having been treed by one, that they can get up to 500 lbs or larger, with huge tusks, the better to gore you with.

A man and his son risk driving through a dust storm and wind up in the middle of a huge pileup. Dead and injured people are strewn around and blood is all over the place.  As the storm worsens, it brings something with it. A pack of wild boars, with an uncommonly large leader. They smell the blood and close in for the easy pickings. There’s no place to hide, so the survivors must get creative. As if they really stand a chance against these killing machines.

The author wastes no time, putting you right in the middle of a bloody hunt. From there you go on to meet a father and his son. They have quite a twisted story of their own. Once things got bad, the boy really stepped up but I had doubts about the father. Soon it doesn’t matter, as they can’t find these things off by themselves.

One plan after another goes wrong. It gets pretty gory, I’m telling you. Sad that some characters I thought a lot of were killed off quickly. Others took a while to meet their bloody ends.

And the wild boar. Whoa…were they soemething else. Ever seen the movie Hannibal? That scene with the man eating pigs gives you a good picture of what they can do. No cute little piggies in these pages.

Great start, genuine characters, and some mean ass animals. It’s all good. And I liked the ending. Kind of a nod to into the sunset.

   4 Stars

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Synopsis

A terrible pile-up on a deserted West Texas highway. A massive dust-storm cutting off communications and obscuring visibility. A father, his estranged son, and a small band of survivors marooned, waiting for help, unaware of the things that are out in the dust, waiting, watching, drawn by the scent of blood.

Amazon

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 What Lurks Below

Hell Holes #1

by Donald Firesmith

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Genre: Horror

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My Review

I love unexplained acts of nature. Makes for such a chilling plot. When holes start appearing in the Arctic Circle , a team of experts is sent to investigate. Once they arrive, things get worse as more holes appear. And then something straight out of Hell crawls out. A horde of otherworldly creatures that have only one thing in mind. Killing mankind. With nowhere to run, the team seeks shelter in an old station. But the horde won’t be denied, and like an octopus with a sealed bottle full of yummy bait, they will find a way in.

I was almost rubbing my hands together in twisted anticipation before I started this one. Mysterious holes appearing. Something beyond imagining crawls out. The fate of mankind hangs in the balance. Oh yeah. I knew I had to read this book.

There’s a mixed bag of character’s. Ones you come to like and respect and some not so much. The author doesn’t seem to mind killing off either one. Keeps you on edge when things get down and dirty. Which doesn’t take long at all.

The story is strong and there’s a sub plot that makes things even more interesting. Also, the blend of science fiction and horror leaves the story wide open for the author to go in many different directions.

The ending. Well, it’s an end, but also a cliff hanger. That’s because this is really the beginning of something much bigger. I’ll be grabbing the next one immediately. Got a good feeling about this series.

   4  Stars

This book is free on Amazon right now. Click on the cover if you want to grab a copy.

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Synopsis

When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, they threaten financial and environmental catastrophe should any more open up under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or any of the many oil wells and smaller pipelines that feed it. An oil company sends a scientific team to investigate. But when the geologist, his climatologist wife, two of their graduate students, a local newspaper reporter, an oil company representative, and a field biologist arrive at one of the holes, they discover a far worse danger lurks below, one that threatens to destroy all of humanity when it emerges, forcing the survivors to flee south towards Fairbanks.

Free On Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

 

Welcome to The Kid’s Korner.

I decided to do this feature as I have so many great children’s books to share. From picture books, to books for beginning readers, to middle graders, I have plenty of fun ones.

Today’s books are a couple of fun children’s rhyming books.

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My Fingerpaint Masterpiece

by Sherrill S. Cannon

Illustrations by Kalpart

Age Range: 6 – 8  years

Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Art / Rhyming

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My Review

This is such a delightful book.

A young girl does a fingerpainting and doesn’t get it done. On the way home from school, the wind tears it from her hands and it ends up mixed in with some other paintings at am art dealer’s store.  She’s quite surprised when she sees her painting on display at the mall. People gather around it, each with a different idea of what it portrays.

I have some watercolor pictures that my son did as a little guy. They hang on the wall in my living room and many people see something different. There are even a couple where I see some different each time I look at them.

When the girl tries to explain to people that it’s not a real painting, just somethings he did in art class at school, they don’t believe her. No one wanted to look silly.

The book is told from the child’s perspective and it’s never explained whether it’s a boy or a girl. I guessed a girl and wrote my review as such. I like this clever idea. Boys and girls will connect with the character in their own way.

A cute little story with a sweet, funny ending. The illustrations are colorful and fun. And I bet your little ones will want to dip their fingers in paint and create their own masterpiece after reading this book.

5  Stars

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Synopsis

Synopsis:
Have you ever seen a “work of art” worth millions, which looks like something your child just brought home from school?

The dual perspective of “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” and just a little bit of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is evident in this clever artwork story of a child who paints a fingerpaint print in class and then loses it in the wind on the way home.

Illustrated from the point of view of a child, whose identity is left to the imagination of the reader since all of the illustrations are what the child sees, the fingerpaint print is interpreted by official “judges” as well as by bystanders. Should people be influenced by what others see, or use their own self-esteem to make their own judgments?

This is the sixth rhyming children’s book by this award-winning author, whose other bestselling books include Manner-Man, Gimme-Jimmy, The Magic Word, Peter and the Whimper-Whineys, and Santa’s Birthday Gift.

Amazon

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Goodnight Moon

by Margaret Wise Brown

Pictures by Clement Hurd

Grade Level: P-P  / Age Range: 0 – 4 years

Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Rhyming

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My Review

I bet most households have a copy of this book. My mother read it to me when I was very young. The pictures are so vivid and the rhyming is such fun.

I don’t have my original copy but I do have two that I picked up when I came across them in book stores. And I still smile as I look at the pictures and read the rhymes aloud.

Such a lovely bedtime story. A classic that never gets old and all ages will enjoy.

5  Stars

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Synopsis

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room — to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one — the little bunny says goodnight.

In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Amazon

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Welcome to Freakin Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

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My Review

The story picks up about a month after John killed the demon that stalked their town. He’s having a tough go of it.

You see, John has unnatural urges. Urges to torture and kill.  He has a set of rules that he follows to stop himself from acting on them. After killing the deem, those urges are building. He’s tasted death and fights to stick to his rules.

So he burns. He burns things to feed Mr. Monster, the thing inside him. It works, kind of. At least after he burns something he can go home. Go to bed. But then the nightmares start. “When he wasn’t using his mind, Mr. Monster was.” And the monster had him killing.

Now, something is killing again. And it’s not John. Perhaps John can let Mr. Monster out to play. Hunt and kill again.

Oh boy. I was only five chapters in and the suspense was really revving up. A school bully pushes John’s buttons and he pushes back. His mother hovers, reminding him to keep his rules. Questioning him constantly about how he feels. The FBI agent from before calls him in repeatedly to repeat his story about the killings from the winter before. An unassuming man with lots of questions.  And Brook. The beautiful neighborhood girl his mom insists he drive to school. She strains his ability to keep his rules.

When John’s sister, Lauren, who never comes to visit, shows up for dinner on Mother’s Day with a boyfriend in tow, things get very interesting. He’s a bully, loud and abrasive in his comments. Downgrading Lauren all the time. It was chilling to listen to John’s thoughts on what he’d to to the guy. After listening to the idiot go on and on, I agreed with some of those ideas myself.

It caught my attention when it became apparent that John’s mother was fighting some thoughts of her own. She clearly was upset by the guys treatment of her daughter. There’s one scene where she used one of John’s rules for herself, and made me laugh…and wonder about her.

And there’s the cat. It wouldn’t leave a warehouse John had targeted to burn down. Rule One kept him from it. Don’t harm animals. Every time he went to burn the building, the cat was there. It didn’t leave, no matter how long he waited. What’s up with that cat?

There is so much suspense. I wondered if John would give in to Mr. Monster. And if one of the people that was causing him so much grief would be a victim. They say many kids that show sociopathic tendencies never act on them. Will John be able to resist. He’s already killed once. And listening to his thoughts, I  can’t see him fighting the urges for much longer.

Chilling, in parts very disturbing, yet also fascinating, I loved being inside Johns’ head again. I couldn’t wait to find out what he’d do and to who. The fact that the author took this story into such a dark place without using profanity or sex earned my high regard.

  5  Stars

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

This second story about John Cleaver has a new narrator. I was impressed by Kirby. He did an excellent job portraying all of these characters, sounding convincing as a woman or a man, and adjusting for their ages. He drew me in, and it felt like I was watching a movie without looking at the screen. I watched the movie for I Am Not A Serial Killer: John Cleaver Book One, and that gave me lots to draw upon. Well done, Kirby.

Thanks so much to Tantor Audio for a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.

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Synopsis

I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.

Well, it stopped for a while.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, John Wayne Cleaver saved his town from a murderer even more appalling than the serial killers he obsessively studies.

But it turns out even demons have friends, and the disappearance of one has brought another to Clayton County. Soon there are new victims for John to work on at the mortuary and a new mystery to solve. But John has tasted death, and the dark nature he used as a weapon—the terrifying persona he calls “Mr. Monster”—might now be using him.

No one in Clayton is safe unless John can vanquish two nightmarish adversaries: the unknown demon he must hunt and the inner demon he can never escape.

Amazon / Tantor

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I’ve listened to and reviewed I Am Not A Serial Killer, the first in the John Cleaver series.

Click HERE to read my review.

Amazon / Tantor

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Author Dan Wells

Dan Wells is an American horror fiction writer and the author of the John Cleaver series. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, earning his bachelor’s degree in English with a writing and editing emphasis. He currently resides in Orem, Utah, with his wife and four children.

Narrator Kirby Heyborne

Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian who has received a number of Audiofile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations. He has had starring roles in over a dozen features and many short films. Kirby is also a cofounder and director of the Los Angeles-based improv comedy group The Society.

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