Tag Archive | Book Series

Braxton’s Fall Festival: Day 25 – Playlist

Day 25 (1)

First, I loved this book and I love this series! Definitely check it out if you haven’t!

Haunted House Ghost Playlist:

See below what the author, James “Jay,” and his character, Kellan, have to say about the list!

#1  “Monster Mash” – Bobby Pickett

Jay: I definitely remember dancing to this as a kid at a middle school Halloween event. It kind of makes me think about doing the Thriller dance too. I used to bust some good moves, but those days are in the dust. I have enough energy to workout and chase the dog around. Dancing just ain’t possible these days.
Kellan: Emma has this on repeat all the time! My seven-year-old daughter loves Halloween and jumping out of closets to scare me. Last time she put this on, even Baxter went hiding under her bed. I think the chorus in the background gives him the willies!

#2 “Miracle” – Chvrches

Jay: This is a totally new song to me, but I really like it. Thanks for introducing me. The background sounds are a bit chilling.
Kellan: Oh, this was a crusher. When Francesca showed up on my doorstep last spring, I’d just heard this song for the first time. I couldn’t believe she was still alive after so many years. That was the miracle, but what’s happened to us in the last six months is even more incredible. My heart sometimes still skips a beat when I think about our painful past. But it’s beginning to heal, thanks to what’s occurring between… well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about that quite yet.

#3 “Alligator” – Of Monsters and Men

Jay: I’ve heard this one before but only a few times. It’s got a solid beat, but the throwback to my childhood and teenage years is pretty cool. I used to have a pet alligator.
Kellan: This was playing when we wrapped up the first season of Dark Reality, my television show. My former boss loved the music and played their tracks a lot. I wonder if Emma will like the same kind of music in the future…

#4 “Cloudbusting” – Kate Bush

Jay: Good artist. I haven’t listened enough but will play a few more this month to see if I connect.
Kellan: My sister Eleanor is a big fan. She’d torture with me all this new stuff while I was still living in LA, even leaving messages on my voice mail so when I’d get out of a taping session, I had more things to listen to. Don’t siblings drive you nuts?

#5 “Still Breathing” – Green Day

Jay: For some reason, Green Day has never clicked for me. I like them, but I didn’t actively purchase their albums or download their latest songs. Maybe I should give it a chance again now.
Kellan: Exactly how I feel every single time I find another dead body. “At least it wasn’t me this time” is what goes through my head, but then I feel sad and shock for the loss.

#6 “It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi

Jay: Loved him in the 90s… but after college, I strayed away for some reason. Still a good song, and I can’t deny the power behind the lyrics.
Kellan: Yep… I played it at home all the time to teach my brother a lesson. He’d start fights and when he wouldn’t leave me alone, I blasted the music to tone him out.

#7 “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – U2

Jay: Classic. Timeless. We all feel this way sometimes.
Kellan:  Classic. Timeless. We all feel this way sometimes. Is there any other response?

#8 “Kisses” – Pales Waves

Jay: You’ve challenged me – I hadn’t even heard of this one, so I just listened to it.The video is awesome, love the warehouse setting.
Kellan: Something about her hair does it for me every time. Maggie used to have hair like she did. I call it the zombie phase, but she was adorable. Her style is much simpler now.

#9 “I Want To Break Free” – Queen

Jay: Oh! I recently watched the Bohemian Rhapsody movie. I truly should’ve been born a generation earlier because I would have had the best time with their music. I still can’t believe it all ended, but the music lives on. Always.
Kellan: Brings back my days in the clubs when I first moved to LA. College kids do the strangest things when they have a few drinks. I was getting my Master’s but still found a little time to break free.

#10 “Werewolves Of London” – Warren Zevon

Jay: Perfect for the Fall Festival. I totally should’ve included a werewolf in the story, but I’d probably have to stretch the books into the fantasy genre, huh? Next time!
Kellan: Great intro with just the music and no words. Even the howling is cool. Now I have a craving for Chinese food too. Thanks!

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It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival.

Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing.

While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.

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Purchase on Amazon!

Connect with James J. Cudney

Now, head to James J. Cudney’s Fall Festival page for games and fun: HERE

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Did you head over to the Fall Festival page?

Review: Rebel

Title: Rebel

Author: Marie Lu

Date of Publication: October 1st, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

My Review:

This book was like a freaking gift! I loved how the Legend series ended, but I always wanted more, needed more, and I finally freaking got it!

This one has perspectives from my boy, Daniel AKA Day, and his little bro, Eden. Eden was so young in the last one and I loved his character, so it was awesome to see how he turned out. He isn’t like Daniel in a lot of ways, but he’s brave like him! And he’s so smart, too!

I will say that the highlights for me were when June and Daniel were together! Seriously, I needed those moments in my life! There was swoon, there was action-packed stuff, brotherly love. Also, the addition of Pressa was awesome! She and Eden made such a great team. Thank you, Marie Lu, for making my heart grow while reading this story!

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Have you read the Legend series?

Review: Reveal Me

Title: Reveal Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: October 8th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

This fourth companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series is narrated by fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto!

The explosive revelations in Defy Me have left readers reeling and desperate for answers. This fourth and final novella in the series will bring readers back to the world of the Shatter Me before the final novel installment hits shelves in winter 2020.

My Review:

This series has been my favorite since I first read the original three and still continues to be! I was excited to be back in Kenji’s head because he’s such an awesome character! He feels real, and his head is a mess with so many thoughts. And he’s funny! But also emotional, caring, and loyal.

I really liked the scenes between him and Nezeera because, like him, we never know whether to trust her or not. But from this one novella, we learn so much, about him, about her, about the others! Of course there is a freaking cliffhanger that makes me want the next book ASAP!!

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Have you read the Shatter Me series?

Review: Enshadowed

Title: Enshadowed

Author: Kelly Creagh

Publication Date: August 28th, 2012

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Goodreads Summary:

Varen Nethers is trapped in a perilous dreamworld—a treacherous and desolate realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel Lanley, plagued by strange visions and haunted by the nightmares of Varen’s creation, is the only one who can save him.
Isobel knows that her only hope lies within a Baltimore cemetery. There, in the early morning of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, a mysterious stranger known as the “Poe Toaster” will make his annual homage at the legendary poet’s grave.
Only the Poe Toaster holds the key to the way between worlds. But great dangers lie ahead for Isobel. An ancient evil, draped in veils of white, is watching, challenging her for Varen’s affections. When Isobel finally finds Varen, he is no longer the quiet and brooding boy who once captivated her, but a dark force, powerful and malevolent.
Could Isobel’s greatest love also be her greatest adversary?

My Review:

Oh man, book one had a doozy of a cliffhanger! And so of course I had to dive right into this one! A paranormal world inspired by Poe is just one of the coolest things ever! Give me raven wings!

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So we’re back in Isobel’s hometown. My boy, Varen, is missing in action … for a very long time, I might add. This is where things get tricky for me because as addicting and page turning as this was, I missed him! I kept saying to myself, “Find him already, shoot!” Except more cursing was involved in those sentences! I was really hoping to see more of Isobel’s and Varen’s relationship truly develop!

However, I loved seeing the side characters again like Gwen, who had a much larger role here. Even Brad made me want to give him a hug—even though I hated him in book one! And there is more weirdness, and the weirdness I do love with all my beating heart. And then my heart got crushed with the cliffhanger!!!! On to book three now!

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If you wander into any Poe story, which would it be?

Review: Nevermore

Title: Nevermore

Author: Kelly Creagh

Date of Publication: August 31st, 2010

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Goodreads Summary:

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

My Review:

At the words Edgar Allan Poe, this book had me extremely interested. Also, I haven’t read a good paranormal book in a while, and I’ve been very back and forth with all the new books lately. So I thought that this would do the trick to slip into the past! And do the trick it did!

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It took me a little bit to really get into this because I kept wanting Varen and Isobel to get together and have some real conversations! However when they were together, I loved it so much!!! What I loved best about this book was there was some great mystery and a whole lot of cool weirdness. I love weird!

The writing was so addictive, too! There were people I wanted to slap in the book like freaking Brad, and there were people I wanted to hug, like Gwen, Isobel, and Varen. Oh, especially Varen! I think I would have given this book ten start if I’d had his POV!! And seriously, that cliffhanger was so soul clenching! I’m starting book two right now!

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Are you an Edgar Allan Poe fan?

Review: Vow of Thieves

Title: Vow of Thieves

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Date of Publication: August 6th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

My Review:

I absolutely loved the Kiss of Deception novels and the first book in this duology spinoff was great too! So my question was, how would this second book end? And applause, applause! Because it was very well done!

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Reading the dual POVs from Jase and Kazi were both awesome! I loved and cared for them rather equally, which is usually a hard concept for me! I generally prefer one character over the other!

In this story, intense stuff goes down and it had my pulse racing! Without giving too much away, there was some fabulous twists and the writing was incredibly lush! This world is one I adore to get lost in and one I won’t soon forget!

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Have you started this series yet?

Review: Finale

Title: Finale

Author: Stephanie Garber

Date of Publication: May 7th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

My Review:

After the ending of Legendary, I was praying to the skies that there would be a third book because the way the second one ended was not enough! And the games, oh how I do love the games!

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This one is told from POVs from both Scarlett and Tella. Scarlett has always been my favorite but Tella was good too—even though she could be frustrating at times! There was too much back and forth going on with her, Legend, and Jacks! However, I think my heart called most to the devious little Jacks. It was a pure treat getting to see Scarlett and Julian again because I love them so much!!

There was fun, games, betrayal, reveals, swoon, magic, and a perfectly descriptive world! I don’t want to give too much away, but this was the perfect ending to a series that I’ll want to reread time and time again!

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Have you started this series yet?

Avalon Dreams Character Interview

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“It was impossible they had met before – of that she was certain. Yet his hold on her was undisputable, an irrational pull to the utmost recesses of her soul.”

Vivienne du Lac has everything she could wish for – a normal, peaceful life, a good job, cushy nest egg, and a semi-social nightlife. The only problem? She’s clueless to being the reincarnation of the Lady of the Lake, mythical sorceress from King Arthur’s time, and Merlin’s apprentice.

Sebastien Dubois is the guy you wouldn’t take home to mom and dad. He’s the one you jump off on a motorcycle with, to ride into the sunset. The sexual chemistry between them is sizzling from the start – but there’s more to the tall, dark and handsome stranger. When a magical past tumbles into her orderly reality, he is Vivienne’s only hope at survival.

Caught between darkness and light, a battle she has no intention to fight – let alone the knowledge to win – Vivienne quickly finds out not even closest allies can be trusted.

Can she look within and access powers from long past, become the enchantress Merlin meant her to be… Or will she lose it all over love, for Sebastien’s salvation? This is a battle between good and evil you don’t want to miss.

Character interview with Vivienne from Avalon Dreams

Vivienne, what do you remember about your past life?
My memories are still a bit fuzzy, but I’d say what really sticks is the freedom I was given. My father, King Adrien, was a firm believer in supporting me through choices not necessarily allowed women my age – or stature – back then.
I also remember my vast kingdom, Elsior. The beautiful mountains, the incredible sunsets, it was pure magic.
Then there were my trainings with Merlin, and those memories are bittersweet now.
But what really sticks with me, even through the memories I only remember vaguely, is definitely the freedom I was allowed.

Continue reading

Review: Defy Me

Title: Defy Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Date of Publication: April 2nd, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette Ferrars isn’t who she thinks she is.

Nothing in her world is what it seemed. She thought she’d finally defeated the Reestablishment. She thought she’d finally taken control of her life, her power, and her pain. But Juliette has only just begun to unravel a lifetime of lies, and she finds herself faced with a familiar choice:

Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

This time, she’s not alone. Stronger, braver, and more resilient than ever, Juliette will fight for life and love with her friends by her side—but first, she has to survive the war being waged against her mind:

She has to remember who she was.

My Review:

After the last book I was so scared to read this one, seriously! Juliette and Warner had gone through such a mess in the first three books, and then the last book was like, nooooooooooo! And then this, tear my freaking heart apart with the back flash scenes, already. I was balling like a baby!

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I loved Juliette in this, loved Warner in this, really loved Kenji in this! Those are my three little children! Nazeera was awesome too, and her character ARC really opened up and shined here!

There are a lot of twists here, a lot of shocking moments, a lot of me with heart eyes and teary eyes and all kinds of emotional eyes! And that freaking ending was perfect, which only makes me scared for this last book! But I need it now!!!!!

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Have you started this series yet?

 

Review: Untold

Title: Untold

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Date of Publication: August 29th, 2013

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Goodreads Summary:

It’s time to choose sides…. 

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.

My Review:

After that intense ending to book one, I had to dive right back into this world and see what the heck was going to happen! The sorcerer concept is really cool along with the Gothicky vibe which is my favorite!

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Oh my, I wanted to shake Kami and Jared so many times! But no matter how many shakes I wanted to give them, I loved them so much. Kami just has the coolest and quirkiest personality while Jared is a bit harder but when humorous things slip out of his mouth, I’m like, yes!

Rob is still a douchebag, trying to do douchey things. So Kami and her friends have to gather themselves to figure out how to stop this looney idiot! There was so much humor, magic, swoon, friendship, and emotion in this one! This author literally has the best witty dialogue I’ve ever read! Can’t wait to start the last book!

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What is your favorite Gothic novel?