Short Story Sunday: I Call Upon Thee (Ania Ahlborn) #novella #horror

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Anyone who frequents Clues and Reviews knows that I am completely obsessed with Ania Ahlborn.  Her novels always keep me glued to the pages, holding on to the edge of my seat and looking over my shoulder.  Really, what more does anyone want in a horror novel,  am I right?

I am especially pleased when Ahlborn publishes a novella.  It really helps to give me my fix until another one of her novels publishes. And, since Ania Ahlborn is an “auto-buy” author for me, I didn’t even pay attention to what her newest novella, I Call Upon Thee, was about until after I had already downloaded it to my Kindle.  Once I realized that it had an Ouija board at the core of the plot, I had to take some time to mentally prepare myself.  Ouija boards TERRIFY me. 

 At 246 pages, this novella packs a serious punch.  Using a back and forth narration between the present after our protagonist, Maggie heads home to help after the death of her sister and flashbacks to her childhood, Ahlborn weaves a terrifying tale.  Even small details (creepy niece, anyone?) had me on edge while I was reading.  That is one of my favourite things about her work; she is able to take regular, everyday occurrences and flip them into my worst nightmare.

 Now that I have finished, all  I have to say is YIKES!

If you like a little fright in your reading, then I would say pick this one up!  I loved it. 

Since #cjsreads enjoys all things creepy, we decided to do this one as a buddy read.  Want to see what Jessica and Chadra thought of this Ania Ahlborn novella?  Keep reading to find out!

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Book Review: Dis Mem Ber (Joyce Carol Oates) @JoyceCarolOates @MysteriousPress

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I have been increasing the number of short story collections I have been reading lately. I love that they are flexible and I can read them along with anything else I have on my nightstand. I can read a story at a time for a little break and be back to business. However, Dis Mem Ber, a series of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, did not provide the versatility I desired; I was unable to simply pick up this book and put it down again. Once I started, I was completely sucked into these dark and twisted narratives and had to greedily finish them all!!

Each story provided a look into completely different sets of characters and scenarios. Dis Mem Ber, the first story followed a girl who became attached to the family black sheep, The Crawl Space about a grieving widow, and The Drowned Girl about a woman who becomes obsessed with a homicide victim. Ominous and gritty, each story provided a snapshot that I desperately wanted more of!

I felt like these stories gave a Southern Gothic Fiction vibe (think Flannery O’Conner or Shirley Jackson), which I loved. I also loved that each of the stories was narrated by or featured a female protagonist.

For my first experience with this author, I would say it was a win. Obviously, some stories, like the ones I mentioned above, stood out more than others, but overall, I love this collection! 4/5 stars from me.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

This book was also a June #cjsreads pick!  Keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one.

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Short Story Sunday: Mini Review- The Wrath (Matt Gordon Perry)

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In the mid-1800’s, a family finds them in the isolated Canadian wilderness having lost their way. Taking refuge in an abandoned cabin and snowed in by a storm, a deep fever takes hold of them…one by one.

The Wrath, a short story by Matt Gordon Perry, was an incredibly quick read not only because of its short nature but also because it was completely consuming. This short story packs a serious punch.

The tone is dark and ominous and it reminded me a little bit of the Evil Dead meets Little House on the Prairie.

Didn’t think you would ever hear a comparison like that huh?

Mind you, there are no demons or zombies in this book, but the general tone was kind of the same.   Something is lurking, something is taking hold and a book is calling the shots and warning of danger.

I really enjoyed this one!

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author who provided me with a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Book Review: Things We Lost in the Fire (Mariana Enriquez) @CrownPublishing

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Things We Lost In The Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez is a collection of short stories that explore different facets of life in contemporary Argentina. Chilling and dark, these stories absolutely have a Shirley Jackson vibe. Gothic literature at its finest, these are filled with paranormal elements, dark and gloomy setting in the Argentinian slums and broken characters needing to be rescued.

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#cjsreads2017: The Whole Art of Detection (Lyndsay Faye) @MysteriousPress

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-6-18-39-pmBy Jove!  #cjs reads have chosen something completely different for our first March read.   We read The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye which is out TODAY!  Keep reading for a synopsis of the book and our thoughts…

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