Dracula’s Cat (Monster Pets: Book 1)

Belfry has an afternoon appointment to see the vet and Dracula is, uhhh, busy.

Mina is a regular girl who pet-sits to save money for camp.  Mina’s father is an accountant who works with monsters and makes house calls to their secret neighborhood, Midnight Villas.  On a visit to the Villas, Mina has the sudden idea to offer her pet-sitting service to the monsters. When Dracula calls, she accepts the job even though she knows nothing about cats with wings.

When Belfry escapes, Mina learns that there are many monsters out there. Some are obvious, while others stay hidden. Some are good, but others are very, very bad, and one, in particular, is very unhappy about losing his cat.  Join Mina as she races against time and monsters to find Belfry and return Dracula’s Cat!- Goodreads

Book cover for Dracula's Cat

Monster Pets: Dracula’s Cat Review

Dracula’s Cat, the first book in the Monster Pets series by Gary Buettner, was a fun read. It’s solidly middle-graded, with a heroine who is just starting to realize boys aren’t entirely yucky. Mina is smart, brave, and desperately wants to go to Zoo Camp. If that means she has to babysit pets, so be it. However, babysitting Monster Pets, that might be a little more than she planned for and the hijinks that ensue definitely test her mettle.

At 116 pages long (with a bonus section from the next book), Dracula’s Cat the perfect size for your middle-grade reader to tackle alone. I read it with my eight-year-old over a stretch of four nights. The first night, she begged me for additional chapters after I had planned to stop reading. She was completely wrapped up in the story and thought that Dracula’s cat was just the coolest animal ever. There was appropriate wincing, hissing, and cheering from her as we made our way through the book.

The detail is simple and perfect. The author builds the Monster Villas area just enough to sketch out the area in young reader’s minds without losing them in info-dumps. The dialogue is believable. The pacing is solid, with every bit of the story propelling the plot forward.  Buettner’s Monster Pets series is imaginative, quirky, and interesting. He knows how to write a story that easily appeals to young readers.

Really, my only major complaint with Dracula’s Cat was the lack of proofreading. There were a lot of errors in this book. Given that I paid the full price for it at the Ohioana Book Festival, I can’t excuse it as a beta read or ARC copy. Even though it had a great cover and felt high-quality, the sheer amount of errors really ratcheted back my opinion of the book.  Anyone reading with an objective eye before this went to the printer should have been able to catch at least most of the errors. (To be fair, it’s not like there was one every page, but my threshold for errors in printed book is 1-3, and there was a lot more than that.)

Overall, though it needs a good go with a red pen, there is potential in Monster Pets: Dracula’s Cat. I can’t say that I’d pay full price for paperbacks for the rest of the series right now, but I’d probably get the kindle version without batting an eyelash.

3 Star Rated Dracula's Cat Review

Title: Dracula’s Cat | Series: Monster Pets #1 | Author: Gary Buettner | Pub. Date: 2014-10-7 | ISBN13: 9781940344164 | Genre: Kids Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Near-drowning | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased | Purchase on Amazon |

 

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #8

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

02/18/2017 – 02/24/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

 

 

 

 

Each day I’ll be reading one story per day with a weekly wrap-up on Fridays. If you missed the first post you can find it here.

The first one up is one of my favorites so let’s get started!


Christmas with the CountIan McDowell
(I’m going to caution you that I do spoil the ending a little bit. I couldn’t help myself.)

Synopsis:
After Anne Rice’s success with ‘The Interview with the Vampire’, the most famous of all vampires gives his own interview. The cost for the interview, however, is the interviewer’s own induction into the vampire club. They talk a bit about Stoker, Oscar Wilde and what the movies got right and wrong. At the end they go out to snack upon some carloers because, after all, “They are celebrating his birth”.

Review:
I loved, loved, loved this story. The twist at the end made me gape at it, then giggle.


Circles of PurgatorySandra Hutchinson

Synopsis:
A man sitting alone by the telephone, waiting for the call that comes every night. She calls every night, the night of her suicide. He finishes the cycle by making his nightly call.

Review:
It’s very well-written and very sad. Very good story.


Claws John B. Rosenman

Synopsis:
After impulsively murdering his boss, Jacobs receives a swift lesson in karma and reincarnation.

Review:
I don’t think reincarnation would work quite that fast but it was an entertaining read nonetheless.


Cold Comfort Lillian Csernica

Synopsis:
A recently separated man finds a mirror on the beach. While reminiscing on fairy tales and magic mirrors, the owner of the mirror comes to claim it. And only one type of woman would leave a smoky mirror on a beach.

Review:
An interesting story and I liked the fairy tale element to it. I think the curse was a little unfair. Technically she’s the one who broke the damn thing.


Cold MoonJudy L. Tucker

Synopsis:
A girl goes out for her vision quest with her Native American friend, Bear Claw. However, the woods at night can be a dangerous place.

Review:
Just ok. The plot was a little iffy but I do love a good were-bear story.


The CollectorLinda J. Dunn

Synopsis:
Karen is tired of living in a hoarder’s nightmare. She tries to leave her husband, Bob. But once a collector, always a collector.

Review:
Not too bad but it was pretty easy to see where it was going.


Collector of RugsJessica Amanda Salmonson

Synopsis:
A man who collects only the rarest of rugs is teased because there is one rug he cannot possess. He makes the mistake of desiring this rarest of rugs at the cost of all of his prized rugs. Be careful what you wish for.

Review:
Very good story with a nice twist ending. I saw part of it coming but not the rest.


Favorite of the Week:
Most definitely the Christmas with the Count. I loved the story and I loved the ending. Especially because it actually makes a bit of sense when you think about it.


That’s all for this week’s does of horror! I hope you’ll join me again next week for another weekly round of horror plus February’s tally for the repeat writers.

Night Things: Dracula Vs. Frankenstein Review

Night Things

Night Things: Dracula Vs. Frankenstein Synopsis: This novel spans several centuries, following the relationship of the two most iconic monsters in literary history. Once as close as brothers but now sworn enemies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein meet for a final showdown beneath the streets of New York City.

Night Things (Dracula versus Frankenstein) takes place in a world just like yours with one startling difference: every creature of legend has stepped forward from the shadow and they now exist shoulder to shoulder with humankind! New York City has become a macabre melting pot. Vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghouls are now the new immigrants and they are chasing the American dream. The Night Things have become part of the system. But many humans feel the creatures are dangerous ticking time bombs.

Dracula, considered the messiah of the Night Things, builds an unstoppable army as he plots to wipe humanity from the face of the earth. The mysterious New York crime boss, Johnny Stücke (the creation of Frankenstein) wants to keep the peace between the Night Things and humanity. Stücke fears total extermination of his kind, should Dracula unleash his forces on New York.

The fight for the night begins.

Critically-acclaimed horror author Terry M. West continues his Magic Now series with this standalone novel that presents a world only a slight shade darker than our own. – Goodreads


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