30 August 2019

Introducing: The Scaredy Cat Bingo Reading Challenge!


know it's not really fall yet. We are still firmly in the dog days of summer here in the south. Shh, I'm dreaming.
You see, I'm one of those crazy people that hates everything to do with summer. I hate the heat. The beach. Sand. Bugs. It's just not my season. Oh, but fall... I love the sunsets and the cooler mornings. Sleeping with the windows open. The smell of wet leaves. Reading outside without having heatstroke. 
Oh, and did I mention Halloween? It's my absolute favorite holiday of the entire year!! Haunted houses! Scary movies! Costumes! We throw a Halloween party every year and I'm like a big kid. I can't wait to get my Halloween decorations out to start getting into the mood for the season. I love the that spooky goes mainstream! Of course, since I'm an urban fantasy and horror reviewer, well, that's just the icing on the cake. This has been a really good year for the horror genre and I have a lot of great fall reads waiting on me.
I decided to get a jump on it this year with a bookish bingo challenge. I think bingo challenges are a great way to knock some of those books off the TBR without the pressure of a lot of planning like other challenges. I'm very much a visual person and I like the feeling of accomplishment that Bingo challenges give me. 

While I've creeped on other challenges before, none of them really fit with my reads. Since there really aren't a whole lot of bingo challenges geared towards my genres, may I present: 

The Scaredy Cat Bingo Reading Challenge!!




  • Read a book that fits the category. 1 book=1 category. No doubling up!
  • Complete a row - up, down or diagonal!
  • For extra credit, go for a blackout. That means every square filled!
  • All books must be started/finished in September and/or October 2019.

That's it! Pretty easy huh? And don't worry if you don't really do the spooky stuff. Any of these categories could work for urban fantasy as well. You don't have to have a blog to play either. Anyone is welcome to jump in!



The Z Word
Walkers, Zeds, Deadheads, Biters. Whatever you call them, if it should be dead, and it's not, it counts. 

Strange Fiction
This is that category for the book that you say "Wow, what did I just read?"


Don't Sneeze
Ebola? The Plague? Kellis-Amberlee? Whatever ails you, this is the category for you. 

Under the Sea
It's a big, big ocean out there. And I doubt it's full of red-headed mermaids pining for princes named Eric.  

Short Story Collection
Variety is the slice of life. 

Let's Summon Demons
Don't do this. Gates of Hell should stay closed and your arms should remain in the circle at all times.
Any book with a demon or possession gets you a square.

Howl at the Moon
Shapeshifters. Werewolves. Were-rats. Yeah, they are a thing. Shifty people don't count.

Bite Me
Walk softly and carry a sharpened stake. Vampires aren't the only thing that suck.

Crazy Town
Straight jackets are surprisingly comfortable...or so I'm told. This square is for location - asylum, mental hospital, etc.  or just a book that's bat sh!t crazy.

Scooby Dooby Doo
Any book that has an investigator, or just some bumbling kids searching for clues while saying things like Zoinks. 

Afterlife Express
10:15 to Boo Town. Tickets please! Ghostly apparitions, haunted dolls and the house on haunted hill all count in this square.

Monster Mash
It was a graveyard smash. It caught on in a flash. Here's your catch all monster square. 

Up Close & Personal
Pick a book that scares you. 

Eye See You
This one can be literal. Either an eye on the cover, eye(s) or seeing in the title somehow, or body horror for you horror fans.

Witching Hour
Spells, Curses or good old fashioned witchcraft. 

End of the Line
Post-Apocalyptic, natural disaster, or dystopian get you this square.

Bloody Good
Either a red cover, blood on the cover, or splatterpunk

Killer Instincts
Is there a killer on the loose? Then, yes, check this square if you dare.

Cabin in the Woods
This one is for those great abandoned locations, like a cabin in the middle of the woods, or a bunker in the middle of the artic. Home sweet home.

Lost Highway
Count this one if your book has a road trip, hitchhiker, or songs by the Eagles.

I Come in Peace
The truth is out there. It doesn't matter if they are little gray men or plants from outer space. 
Stock up on tin foil and bandaids. You're gonna need then. 

Camp Crystal Lake
Any book with a campground or tent camping. Hockey mask optional. 

Oh, the Humanity
Sometimes the monster is more human than expected. This square is for when the monster is us.

Don't Fear the Reaper
Count this square for any book with Death incarnate or anyone with a scythe.

I had fun creating this challenge and I hope you'll join me! See my books here.

To enter the challenge, just comment below with your name and where you are going to be tracking your challenge! Make sure to tag me on twitter @cats_luv_coffee or #CLCBookBingo if you are keeping track there. 

Be sure to come back when you complete your bingo and enter the rafflecopter. Each horizontal or vertical bingos get you one entry and a blackout gets you five!

Everyone that plays along and gets BINGO, will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 Starbucks card!

Pumpkin spice, FTW! (Just kidding. Pumpkin spice is gross, but hey, you do you.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway



28 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Blood King by Amber K. Bryant






Blood King
Amber K. Bryant
(Spirit Seeker, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

While the Blood King lives, no one is safe.
Sybille Esmond never wanted to inherit her family’s weird business: summoning spirits of the undead and guiding them to the afterlife. While it pays the bills, dealing with supernatural monsters comes with colossal risks, including becoming undead herself.
When tall, dark, and undead Elis Tanner, a reformed member of the soulless ever-after, invades Sybille’s life, bringing with him a possessive, disembodied ex-wife, those risks get complicated, and those complications become dangerous.
Sybille must aid Elis in confronting his jealous ex while also investigating the Blood King, a beast who refuses to die—by stake or by poison.
After a harrowing possession leaves her burned and bruised, Sybille finds herself drawing closer to the tempting Elis, who may be the only one capable of helping her kill the unkillable. With the Blood King and his legions of undead closing in, she discovers her own life is far from the only thing in jeopardy.

24 August 2019

{Review} The Red Death by Birgitte Margen

AN ANCIENT DISEASE re-emerges in the heart of New York City—a deadly bacteria that gave rise to the Black Death. Maggie De Luca, an epidemiologist who is fighting her own demons, works to uncover clues to contain the disease, but is always one step behind—her fate determined by the flip of a coin. Microbiologist Michael Harbinger believes he can make a vaccine that can stop the disease, but to do so would require an elusive plant that only grows in a remote region of the Amazon. 

With the help of J.D. Stallings, a paleoanthropologist, and Samantha Boutroux, a bacteriologist, they set out to find the plant that holds the key before the Red Death pandemic grips the world—or has the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, Plague, already opened the gates to our final annihilation? 

The mother of all plagues is back . . .
Let the death toll begin . . . 



“RING AROUND THE ROSIE,
POCKETS FULL OF POSIES,
ASHES . . . ASHES . . .
WE ALL FALL DOWN.”
 

23 August 2019

{Review} The Devil's Apprentice by Kenneth B. Anderson


I'm very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil's Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.


There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?


Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen

{Book Blitz} Dark Consort (Dark Dreamer Trilogy #2) by Amber Duell

Dark Consort (Dark Dreamer Trilogy #2)
by Amber Duell

Publisher: The Parliament House

Nora has faced the horrors of the Nightmare Realm and put a stop to the Weaver. But the girl that went in isn’t the same one who has come out. Now, as the Lady of Nightmares, Nora’s next passage to the Night World will be permanent. Months in the Day World have already taken their toll on her new identity. Her body aches from the strain of magic and her mind is tormented by a powerful darkness. The only thing holding her together is the thought of returning to the place that beckons her as much as it terrifies her.

The Sandman knows Nora needs to return to her realm, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it. Especially when he sees firsthand what happened in the Nightmare Realm since she left. Not only have the nightmares become restless, but Rowan stole the Weaver’s Keep and is gathering an army strong enough to rip the magic from Nora so she can dominate the realm. If the Sandman can put off the inevitable for a few more days, he will.

When Nora finds her own way back to the Nightmare Realm, her relationship with the Sandman stretches thin, but there isn’t time to dwell on hurt feelings. Not when she’s delivered straight to Kail, the masked nightmare that got her into this mess. Unfortunately, her allies are too few and Kail’s desire for Rowan’s death seems to burn as brightly as her own. Nora must decide whom to trust if she wants to survive the Nightmare Realm. And, if she wants to reclaim what’s hers, she must embrace the darkness within.

21 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Shock Me: A Limited Edition Collection of the Novels Shock Me, Sparks, and Collide Ashley C. Harris



If the heroes catch her, they’ll kill her! 
When a car came crashing into Donna, she thought she was going to die. Instead, she discovered she could transform into something terrifying and inhuman. Not knowing who to trust, she’s tempted to turn to Ryan—a guy from her past who haunts her dreams. He knows of an electrifying intruder that has entered their town. 
But Ryan has other big secrets too…
Before Donna can learn the truth about who the real villains are, her friend is kidnapped. Donna knows whoever is taking people will be coming for her next. 
Fans of Captain Marvel, Percy Jackson, and Stranger Things will love this series, written by USA Today bestselling author Ashley C. Harris.

{Book Blitz} Tides of Time by Luna Joya

A “good girl” witch hiding secrets from her family…

Cami wants a normal life. Or at least as normal as a life in a family of witches can be. She can’t tell her sisters about her violent ex. Or that she broke the first rule of magic to “harm none.” When her youngest sister asks for help unraveling the death of a 1930’s star abused by those she loved, Cami can’t say no.

A reformed bad boy who doesn’t know his own family’s secrets…

Sam lives for his restaurant and coveted screenplay expertise of Hollywood history. He avoids the entanglements of relationships since even his own parents didn’t want him. But when the enchanting Cami needs his help to crack an unsolved mystery, he can’t resist. The closer they come to finding a killer, the more they crave each other. But someone is determined to stop them.

Can they solve the mystery before history repeats itself?

16 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Blood Truth, The Black Dagger Legacy series by J. R. Ward


The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Savior brings you the next sizzling and passionate paranormal romance in the Black Dagger Legacy series.






As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and he finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: Someone is targeting females of the species at a live action role play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female...who changes his life forever.

Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helaine has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him or not—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work to together to solve the mystery...before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?

{Book Blitz}A Drop of Magic by L.R. Braden


A Drop of Magic 
The Magicsmith Book 1
by L.R. Braden
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance 


The war isn’t over . . .
With the world clinging to a fragile peace forced on the Fae by humanity after the Faerie Wars, metalsmith Alex Blackwood is plunged into the world of the half-fae who traffick in illegal magical artifacts. Her best friend’s murder and his cryptic last message place her in the crosshairs of a scheme to reignite the decade-old war between humans and fae.
Worse, violent attacks against her and the arrival of a fae knight on a mission force Alex to face a devastating revelation of who and what she is. To catch a killer, retrieve a dangerous artifact, and stop a war, Alex will have to accept that she’s an unregistered fae “halfer” with a unique magical talent—a talent that would change everything she believes about her past, her art, and her future.
Her world is crumbling around her, and Alex will have to decide who to trust if she and the world are going to survive.
A Drop of Magic is a damned fun and original read, with sass, action, hot men, and a whole lot of magic.” —Diana Pharaoh Francis, author of the Diamond City Magic, Magicfall, and Horngate Witches series

13 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Re-Vamping Las Vegas by Jen Pretty



Publication date: July 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Nia hates people.

She also hates vampires.


Too bad she is one.
An innocent bit of fun finds Nia tangled with a dangerous man and the powers that be send her to live with the vampire lord of Las Vegas.

Their efforts to get Nia back on the straight and narrow are almost as ridiculous as her fathers attempt to make her this heir in his bid for world domination.

It’s Las Vegas, what trouble could she possibly find?
Her life takes a sharp turn when someone tries to use her in a power struggle against her father, and her past sneaks up on her.
The past never stays where you left it, and sometimes the beginning is just the start of the end.

09 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds by Carissa Andrews





Awakening: Rise as the Fall Unfolds 

Carissa Andrews 
Publication date: November 12th 2019
Genres: Supernatural Thriller/Urban Fantasy

The multiverse is in shambles without all its pieces in place and the darkness is coming for them. Five angels have to pull a course correction—but they have to all agree first.
Morgan’s been a psychic, tasked with awakening angels in her dimension for the past twenty years. Finding this purpose and calling was a blessing… and a curse. She never expected it would lead her to a single supernatural suicide mission to save all of creation, with the final five angels at her side.
All they have to do is figure out the missing piece and how their individual angelic gifts fit together. Too bad their humanity is clouding their judgment and none of them can get on the same page long enough to make a coordinated plan.
When they finally realize the missing piece and how they fit into the puzzle, it means leaving behind everything they’ve ever known in the hopes of changing fate. The decision isn’t taken lightly. But if they don’t accept their roles and come together, none of it will matter.
If they fail, existence ceases.

07 August 2019

{Book Blitz} Dorothy in the Land of Monsters by Garten Gevedon



Dorothy In the Land of Monsters
Garten Gevedon

(Oz ReVamped, #1)
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!


My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.

When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.

They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory and escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds.

With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures (who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen)—Toto and I have a chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monsters to send us out of this radiant nightmare and back to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence. But I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.

05 August 2019

Dark One’s Bride by Aldrea Alien


Dark One’s Bride
Aldrea Alien
(Dark One’s Trilogy #2)
Publication date: October 31st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, New Adult

A royal wedding. A fiery heroine. And a brazen act of sabotage that could topple a kingdom. 
It has been five months since Clarabelle Weaver saved the life of the infamous Great Lord and happily accepted his unexpected marriage proposal. With their wedding less than a week away, she is finally stepping into the unfamiliar world beyond her village to face nobility she never knew existed. 
But it’s not only them who are interested in her presence. 
The enemy is also stirring for this historic occasion. Their focus not on the man they see as their reviled “Dark Lord”, but on her as the young woman who supposedly carries his heir.
Clara must weave a path through attempted assassinations and poisonings whilst also proving to the court that she’s suitable to become their ruler’s Great Lady… all before taking their vows. But has her training prepared her for an attack that could send the kingdom into war?

04 August 2019

{Review} Aliens and Ice Cream by Michael James


Aliens.

They’re everywhere.

If you go outside, they’ll kill you.
If you try to run, they’ll kill you.

Ice cream probably won't help.

On an entirely normal summer day, the sky rips apart and aliens pour from the wound. Black, featureless pods, they are horrifying in their efficiency, killing anything that steps foot outside. Inexplicably, they don’t attack anyone indoors.

No one knows where they came from, what they want and when—or if—they’ll go away. Matt Cutler wanted to spend Sunday with his family. Now, he’s trapped in a tree fort outside his house with his neighbor, Heather Keene, and his little sister Abby.

They can’t go outside.

They’re running out of water.

If dehydration doesn’t kill them, the aliens will.

But Matt thinks he’s figured out a way to save everyone… if the aliens don’t kill him first.



You might think given that cover that you are getting ready to read a sci-fi apocalyptic alien invasion story...and you are, except Aliens and Ice Cream is much more than that.  I wouldn't call this one heavy on the sci-fi either. More like sci-fi lite. Part horror, part thriller, with a good dose of domestic tragedy, the heart of this survival story is a coming of age tale. It's more about the interpersonal relationships than it is about aliens. 

Set in the midst of a neighborhood cookout, the story really begins like any day in any town, USA. Oh sure, there's some drama with certain neighbors, but who doesn't have that neighbor that they just don't care for? While we are all worried about who's having an affair with who, and whether that cute girl has figured out who is crushing on her, out of the blue comes...well, aliens. They quickly decimate the neighborhood, turning that cookout into a crispy critter human BBQ. Only there's a catch. Anyone "inside" is unnoticeable to the alien pods stationed outside.  The rules are pretty simple. Stay inside. Stay alive. But as we've frequently learned, there's always someone willing to overlook the rules. 

I'm not that big on alien sci-fi but Aliens and Ice Cream had enough gratuitous gelatinizing and vaporizing going on that it satisfied my horror-loving heart. The best scenes were tight, tense, and claustrophobic. You try being stuck in a treehouse for days, or a junction box, or even in your own house for days. In spite of this, I will admit I struggled in caring about a lot of the characters and really found myself wanted most of the adults to be zapped.  The dialogue was well-written so that's not the problem at all. The adults are the most jacked-up emotional messes seen this side of a soap opera. It's initially a very large cast of characters with a boatload of pageantry.  I couldn't even love to hate some of them. 

But the kids? Yeah, the kids are the gold star in this alien version of "As the World Turns." If you are looking for a character-driven narrative without a lot of science-y over-explanation, and love "this is how the world ends" novels, I think you'll find that Aliens and Ice Cream will pack a punch.



03 August 2019

{Review} Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton



We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in. 

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on... until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power. 

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

02 August 2019

Kingdom of Mirrors and Roses: A Limited Edition of Beauty and the Beast Retellings



Kingdom of Mirrors & Roses: A Limited Edition of Beauty and the Beast Retellings
Publication date: August 1st 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult
Beauty and the Beast, but not how you remember it
Deep in the forest, a castle hides. No one knows who lives there, but rumors of a beast keep people away.
Cloaked in shadows, hidden from view, a prince destroyed by a curse shuts himself away from the world, ashamed of the beast he’s become.
And in the village, a beautiful girl with her nose in a book, yearns for something more.
True love is the only thing that can break his curse. True love is the one thing she’s looking for, but how can they find true love when neither knows the other exists?
Find out if love really can defy all odds in this set of thirteen captivating retellings of the classic fairytale, filled with love, hope and the strength of two people willing to do whatever it takes…

01 August 2019

{Book Blitz} The Prince’s Prisoner by Klarissa King


A dark fae prince. A stolen human girl.
And an unwanted marriage.

Not all beasts can be redeemed…

Callie doesn’t believe in fairy tales. Too bad they believe in her.

The fae whisk Callie and her friend off to be prisoners of an eternal dance. But Callie is stolen again.

Maybe the eternal dance wasn’t so bad after all…

A lethal fae has taken her as his unwilling bride, and she has to balance between life and death in his castle, while finding a way out of the dangerous fae realm. Only, she’s playing games with the Prince of War.

The Prince learns just how far Callie will go to save her friend from a lifetime of torture—and just what she will do to save herself from his clutches.

Callie must escape the wicked prince before she turns from prisoner to prey. But as the prince himself tells her, ‘Sacrifice is no noble thing in the fae realm.

Everything in the fae realm comes at a price…

The Prince’s Prisoner is a Dark Fae Retelling of the original Beauty and the Beast, and is the second book in the anthology series, Feared Fables. Can be read as a stand-alone. Please be aware of themes.