Monthly Wrap Up: May 2016 Books & Movies Reviewed

May 2016 Wrap Up

Books I’ve Read This Month:

(Covers and Synopses from Goodreads)

Wannabes

Celebrities are mobbing London’s laser clinics as a deranged wannabe bumps off A-listers, believing he can absorb their powers and become famous by taping their tattoos to his body.

Washed-up pop star Jackie Thunder isn’t joining the stampede. Jackie figures that if he can get on the killer’s hit list, without the inconvenience of actually being murdered, he’ll gain the publicity needed to reignite his career.

But there’s more at stake than Jackie can possibly imagine. Guiding the killer is Murmur, a minor demon with his own agenda to make a name for himself, and Jackie becomes an unwitting pawn in a decades-old plot to destroy great music through murder, mayhem and manipulation.

With humanity’s collective soul at stake, how far will Jackie go to reach the top?

 


Dwelling

A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war…

A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls.

Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away…Bobby Weeks is a homeless veteran struggling with a lycanthropic curse… Minister Jake Williams lost his faith on the battlefield. The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?

 

 


The ExpressAre you ready for one hell of a bumpy ride?

A man’s daily commute becomes a hellish nightmare in this harrowing account of a bus crash that transforms a fateful ending into a painful beginning.

Based on an age-old premise with a fresh narrative that visits the undesirable side of life after death.

 

 

 


Mothers Boys

 

Natalie has strived to be different her whole life. She’s dedicated her attitude, fashion, and very being to standing out from the crowd. After witnessing a brutal attack, Natalie becomes entangled in an escalating battle between a violent street gang and a strange tribe of sewer dwellers. Now she’s about to learn just how much being different can mean.

 

 

 


The Mark of the Shadow GroveDaughters of the gathering dusk and students of blackest spellcraft, the women of the Schermerhorn clan are enigmas made flesh. Seers for time immemorial, they are keepers of primeval knowledge.

They are wise in the ways of the Old Religion. And they are destroyers of men.

Do the women of the Schermerhorn clan drive the men they encounter to their destruction? Or are their actions governed by specters on the periphery of human consciousness?

The Schermerhorn women will soon learn what dwells in the oldest books and what lurks in the flickering shadows beyond the candlelight.

 


The DemonistsThere is more to our world than meets the eye—darker things, crueler things. Exorcist John Fogg and his wife, psychic medium Theodora Knight, know what lurks in the shadows. But even they’re not prepared for the worst Hell has to offer…

It was supposed to be a simple exorcism, a publicity stunt to firmly establish John and Theodora’s thriving paranormal investigation empire in the public eye. But something went wrong, leading to an on-air massacre that unleashed a malicious host of demons and left Theodora catatonic, possessed by countless spirits.

John sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure for his wife, but his obsession brings him face-to-face with an even more terrifying problem: Theodora’s possession is only one piece of a deadly plot that is threatening the entire world. Because an ancient evil is about to make Earth its battlefield—and without John and Theodora’s intervention, there is no chance for salvation…


Deep DarkThe moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.

As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.

 


Giovanni Goes to Med SchoolEveryone knows zombies aren’t real, no matter how fun. You don’t have to be a med student to know the dead do not get up and walk around in real life. Anyone who’s buried a pet in the backyard knows the dead don’t walk. They don’t even lurch.

So Giovanni is stunned when his patient sits up in the morgue and starts scolding. The night-shift was supposed be a relief, a chance to study in quiet and off-set ridiculous student loans. Babysitting a huge dog and a dead voodoo mambo were not part of the plan. Now he’s got to convince an unbelieving medical community to take action, so he can get back to learning about the dead – not the undead!


Welcome to DeadlandA widespread disease has ravaged humanity—symptoms include: animalistic rage, violent outbursts, and a ravenous hunger for human flesh. Among the few people left are Asher, Wendy, and Rico, thrust together to fight for their lives and find sanctuary, before the world becomes overrun by the infected. Although fear of the infected is ever present, the group finds themselves facing some very human concerns, as well as new adversaries.

Asher is Wendy’s only friend, and she fears that she’ll lose him if he ever discovers the dark secret she’s been harboring. Reeling from heartbreak, Asher clings to Wendy as he struggles to heal. Rico is a teenaged delinquent used to ditching school and partying all night—but can he outgrow his debauched behavior in order to protect a six-year-old boy who has suddenly fallen under his care? These three will have to overcome their own demons in order to save not only themselves, but the last vestiges of humanity.


The Last OrphansOne horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.

In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.

Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.


Beyond Cloud Nine Ace star fighter pilot Brooke Davis lives for pushing hundreds of gees in orbital combat, but she’d give it all up in a moment to become the first human to fly faster than light. When Brooke stumbles upon a conspiracy involving terrorists, aliens, and the highest levels of government, she finds their goals seductive but their methods abhorrent. With the moral core of human civilization hanging in the balance, she must risk her shot at history, her family, and her life to prevent the schemers from forcing their nefarious brand of salvation upon the solar system.


Genesis GirlEighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.


Who You Work ForReclusive assassin Thomas Moore dreams of joining his love,Dearest, in his private world he calls “Detour.” Moore’s father, Partner, has left him for the past year which Moore believes is his toughest lesson on growing up to being a man. All seems in place when Moore is confronted by his boss who he has never met who offers him a deal to get three times his usual money to kill a small-town mayor. Moore has only killed men guilty of murder and while his boss tells him this man is guilty, he cannot be sure. He will have to choose between grabbing the life he wants and sparing the life of a good man. Suspenseful, darkly humorous with a deep look at a man who sees this world as a technological hell, Who You Work For will have you rooting for a man who could only be wrong in a world where all is lost.


ApophisA devastating asteroid is about to rain destruction and chaos down on our world. Scientists create two groups to save mankind, our culture, and our technology. One group goes into stasis while the other heads to Mars. Centuries later, those in stasis wake up to find the Martians have invaded!

Horribly scarred as a child from a Martian attack, Tedo is eventually thrown out of his clan to survive on his own. He stumbles across Alec, an artificial intelligence created by Cynthia Carter over two thousand years earlier, and he has a problem. Unable to wake the members of Group A, he asks Tedo for help.

The world Cyn wakes up to find is completely different from the one destroyed by Apophis. But that’s okay—it’s why she was made and she has prepared for it. What she didn’t expect was Tedo, the Martians, or to wake up to a world headed for war.


3 Gates of the DeadSometimes, the most evil things come from the most holy…

Conflicted with his faith in God and the hypocrisy of the church, Aidan Schaeffer, a young assistant pastor, is in a constant state of spiritual turmoil. When Aidan learns that his ex-fiancée is the first victim in a string of ritualistic killings, he finds himself in the middle of an even deeper fight. Tormented by demonic threats and haunted by spirits, Aidan throws himself into investigating Amanda’s death; all the while supernatural forces have begun to attack the people around him. The more questions he asks, the more he is drawn into the world of a mysterious Anglican priest, a paranormal investigation group and a rogue female detective investigating the murders. As the gruesome rituals escalate, ancient hidden secrets and an evil long buried threaten to rip Aidan’s world apart.


Devons BladeCommander Devon Ardel is sent to a remote base on a backwater world to take over a struggling starfighter squadron. She soon realizes that her pilot’s simply lack the will to fight an enemy that has dominated them for months. Inspiring her people to fight proves easy enough until the enemy retaliates with a new and deadly fighter. Now she must figure out new tactics and overcome an enemy ace who threatens to kill them all in single combat aerial duels.

A gripping story of fighter pilots at war, told in the spirit of classic air combat yarns.


Alien Contact for IdiotsWHAT’S A WOMAN GONNA DO …

When American Indians from the future move their entire island nation to our Earth, Ell Harmon makes the first alien contact. The take-charge Seattle biologist has yearned to find intelligent aliens, and her dream comes true when she meets Prince Tro Eaglesbrood.

Ell and Tro are quarantined together, while the fearful world wonders whether the newcomers are friends or foes, neighbors or conquerors. Ell knows Tro is honorable and Kwadrans are peaceful … but how to convince the world?

… WHEN SHE’S QUARANTINED WITH AN
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD ALIEN?

They broadcast a show, which she flippantly titles Alien Contact for Idiots. Every day, Ell interviews Tro and tries to humanize Kwadrans. The show is wildly popular, and the romance developing on-screen between Ell and Tro reassures the world. If a smart woman like her can fall for a Kwadran, they must not be monsters, right?

But Tro’s duty lies with his people, and soon that duty threatens not only the show but Ell’s heart — as well as the peace and survival of our world


The Last Day of Captain LincolnThis novella is the first in a diverse series of stories about an interstellar spaceship that takes thousands of years to travel from Earth to a new home.

Suffering through his own imminent demise, Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life. An old, onetime Captain of the Ship, he always knew this day would come. Just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. He’d lived a long beautiful life but must now confront the reality that all aboard must one day face: his final day. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not just a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity. Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.


puppetskinarccover On Friday, Hannah graduates middle school. That’s also the day she gets turned into a puppet. It’s a rite of passage, and a way to leave all your worries and fears behind. But Hannah’s not sure she wants that. As the day draws closer, she notices more and more weird things starting to happen.

 

 

 

 

 


Books that I’m Currently Reading

After Oil No One Gets Out Alive The Agony That RemainsFellside


Books (and movies) I reviewed in May 2016 – Title links take you to the reviews.

Movies: The Offering, The VVitch, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Captain America: Civil War

Adult Books: Deep Fathom, The Demonists, Beyond Cloud Nine, No Easy Hope, The Last Orphans, The Binding, Who You Work For, Apophis, Critical Failures, Welcome to Deadland, The Mark of the Shadow Grove, Habeas Corpse, Reaperlands, Nyctophobia, Deep Dark, Dwelling, Redshirts, Positive, Mother’s Boys, Rot and Ruin, The Express, Welcome to the Dark House, Wannabes, Titanborn, 172 Hours on the Moon.

Kids Books (full reviews only): The Highwayman Who Ran and Ran , Night of the Living Dummy, Prometheus Project: Trapped, Grade School Super Hero, March of the Mini Beasts, My Babysitter is a Monster


Guest Posts:

“Writing: A Marriage of Head-Monsters” by S.M. Freedman

“Writing is NOT a Solitary Sport” by Timothy Freriks

“How to Torture Zombies” by Nikki Hopeman

“Writing for the Double Audience” by Julie Barichello

Top Ten Tuesday:

The Test of Time, Blind Grabs, Websites Worth Checking Out, The Future of Book Characters

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