The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

Finished: Friday, December 14, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow authors over at Parliament Houes Press. Knowing how much I loved book 1, she was kind enough to offer me a review copy of book 2 as well in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

So if you saw my review for Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, then you’ll understand how quickly I sped through the first book in this series. (And if you’ve been taking notes on how often I review books, you’ll know that’s a rarity!) I don’t want to spoil anything, but book 1 had an amazing, unexpected ending, and book 2 picks up right where things left off.

I honestly wasn’t sure where Robinson could take it after book 1 based on where it ended. The whole situation was completely unexpected so when book 2 came along, I realized that I was along for one heck of a ride on this roller coaster and threw my expectations out the window. It did not disappoint!

One of the things that I loved with the first book was the wonderful mix of dark horror and old-school monsters. The array of creatures was just fantastic. Book 2 digs even more into these crazy monsters and I legit had to message Candace directly at one point because of one of the monsters that showed up. (Bonus points if you can figure out which one that was!) If you have so many wicked monsters, you have to choose how to handle the gore, and she did not skimp there! This isn’t a bland monster story, Robinson digs in with some visceral descriptions where you won’t be able to pull away.

I also love Perrie’s storyline. She’s the protagonist from book 1, and she carries the main storyline in book 2 as well. However she’s a very different person than she used to be. The events that occur change her in realistic ways and it was wonderful to see that portrayed. Maisie is still one of my favorite characters too, but I also grew an unexpected soft spot for Vale. I can’t say too much without dropping some major spoilers, but let me just say that by the end of it, I felt for all of them. It was quite an amazing read and a perfect end to this series.

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Definitely! I was grinning during some of the scenes because I just loved Robinson’s unique take on the characters or the unique monster that appeared.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but especially to anyone who loves old-school monster movies. Or even fans of current monster films. You’ll get a kick out of this more than the average reader because you’ll get the references.
  3. Does it stick with you? Yes! Vale’s character in particular and his interaction with Perrie is going to be a pairing I’m going to reflect on for a long time. I felt like one of the biggest strengths in this book is the characterization of these two and you feel like you’re right there with them through it all.

My overall rating? 5/5

Too Close to Home

Each October, horror authors converge on a site to share stories about one of the best holidays of the year: Halloween. We talk about spooky stories, some of them true, some of them not. We share information about our books, and maybe even do a giveaway.

Today I talk about growing up in a haunted town and in a haunted house. This post was more difficult to share than I expected it to be. I’ve been flighty about even admitting this to myself for a very long time, so getting it put up online is a big step.

Drop by and enjoy! Maybe even leave a comment. Halloween Haunts: Too Close to Home

After all, these only come once a year…

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia


Finished: October 3, 2018

R. J. is one of my fellow writers over at Parliament House Press, and when I heard about this book, I simply had to pick it up!

My review:

I didn’t expect this to be a roller coaster ride, folks. I didn’t expect this to be a book that was a compulsory read once I hit that halfway point. I had trouble putting it down and then looked forward to when I got the chance to pick it up again. When I recently had my Kindle stolen, I was devastated because I wanted to finish this book so bad!

This story starts out with Tommy moving to a new town and having to adjust. He makes new friends: Finn, Silence, and Annie. Things seem pretty normal, until they turn for the worst. I don’t want to say too much because this slow-burn thriller is too good to spoil, but let’s just say when things get real, they get real fast. As a debut novel, I’m super impressed and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from R.J. down the road! The suspense, the environment, the struggles of these four kids really hit home. You feel for these four and they’re all fighting their own battles. I’m happily giving this book five stars!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Did I mention I had trouble putting it down??
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If thrillers in the vein of Stranger Thing appeal to you, then this is definitely a book to pick up!
  3. Does it stick with you? These characters are fantastic, and I think they’ll stick with me for a long time. But ya’ll know how I am. I love characters dealing with dark turns.

My overall rating? 5/5

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson


Finished: July 19, 2018

Candace is one of my fellow writers over at Parliament House Press, and offered me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Let me tell you this book didn’t disappoint!

My review:

Wow… this book!

When I was given an ARC of this just before I went on a beach vacation, I thought I would crack it open and read a little bit of it. I didn’t realize that I would get 60% through it because the plot hooked me so well! The writing is so fluid and when they get to the scenes within the Glass Vault, it was just so difficult to put down. I kept wanting to see what happened next and find out where the characters would go. I can feel Candace’s strong love of old horror movies come through on the pages. Each one made me smile.

The cover and premise already had my interest piqued, but the book itself is just fabulous! Think Waxwork with a very big twist. That ending – oh my gosh, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series! It definitely threw me for a loop and now I’m checking on when the next one gets re-released. I screamed with Perrie, I loved Maisie’s creativity, I felt sorry for Neven, and I swooned for August. Definitely a book that will pull you in.

Perrie is a high school student who has recently had a difficult break up with Neven. It doesn’t help that her heart is being stolen away by August, a fellow band member. While she’s dealing with all these emotions, a strange Glass Vault appears. As more of Perrie’s friends go missing, and the police start eying her suspiciously, Perrie has no choice but to investigate. But Quincey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is nothing like she expects.

Let’s just say that as someone who loves classic monster movies, loves horror and fantasy, and totally will binge watch Vincent Price films, I am really digging this series!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  1. Is it a fun read? Absolutely! I can’t say too much without giving spoilers, but yes it is.
  2. Would you recommend it to others? If you love classic horror films or books that make you keep turning the pages, check this out!
  3. Does it stick with you? These scenes… oh my gosh, again no spoilers, but yeah. Some of these scenes will never leave me, and I love it.

My overall rating? 5/5

Creepy Corridors: Why We Love Them In Horror

One of the first films I saw that really brought attention to the dread of walking down hallways by yourself was in The Shining. Little Danny Torrence would pedal along on his toy bike and you would get accustomed to the drumming of the wheels as it moved from wood to carpet to wood again. At first in the film it seems like a cute way for the kid to pass the time. But then as the film progresses, and Danny starts to experience the supernatural activity of the Overlook, that’s when each turn in the hallway makes your heartrate speed up.

Danny Torrence from The Shining

This weekend while doing research on a cruise ship, my family would help to point out particularly disturbing corridors. That is of course one of the benefits of telling your fellow travelers that you are doing research for a horror book. “Oh, Lena, you’ve got to get a picture of that one!” I would hear as they point down a cramped two flights of stairs shoved into a corner of a hallway. Or “Okay, this place just feels like a horror movie,” when we went to find a restroom in a large concrete stairwell complete with exposed ceiling pipes and wiring. I loved it of course, and snapped pictures like crazy. It got me wondering though, what is it about these places that really puts us on edge? Why do we instantly think that these places are ideal for horror scenes?

The first obvious answer is that there’s limited sight. Stairwells are particularly bad about this, and you could easily have someone several floors up following or watching you if the middle of the stairwell is open. In The Shining, little Danny Torrence turns each corner, not sure what he’s going to encounter each time. The tension increases throughout the film even though it’s literally just a kid on his bike.

The second answer is how cramped they are. That tiny stairwell down to the next floor that almost looks like it was forgotten? There isn’t much space to move there, and if you got partway down the steps and saw someone wielding a chainsaw running toward you, there would be little time to get out of the way. When you’re on a ship as well, there’s a very real sense when you’re out on the ocean of how isolated you are. The only way to leave the ship in a hurry is with the lifeboats on board, which is both exciting and frightening.

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See? Very cramped stairwell

Finally, the longer the hallway, the fewer places to run. The first time I went on a cruise I was daunted by how long the halls were for rooms. Staring down the hallway and seeing the length of space you would have to walk just to get to the main section of the ship was surprising. I’d seen ship cabins in videos before, but rarely those long halls. You get a real sense that there’s very little space to run there. There’s either forwards or backwards because every door you pass is locked. Again not only are you isolated, but you’re also very visible.

“Cruise Ship Hallway” by Satanizmihomedog on DeviantArt

Writers and film directors have recognized the innate fear that these spaces carry and have been exploiting them for decades. That stairwell with the exposed pipes and wires that we found could have easily been a filming location for the Nostromo ship from Alien. On the ship it was built for utility, but in the world of writing, it’s a perfect place for an ambush. These hallways don’t have to apply to ships either. I’ve seen plenty of buildings with halls so narrow that turning that right corner could have you running into someone if you’re not careful. Danny Torrence found that out the hard way.

What kind of hallways or stairwells have you found particularly creepy? Do you have any pictures? I would love to see them!