Early Review--Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

Thanks to being an Amazon Prime member I finally found a book I wanted to read one month early and that naturally was Rachel Caine’s debut thriller, Stillhouse Lake! I never even found out what the other book choices were, simply that Rachel’s was among them and I quickly downloaded it. Never even got the email either, but this one was on my list anyway so I was happy to dive in early! I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s since the Weather Warden days and I’ve always enjoyed a good thriller, so it was pretty much meant to be!

This was one intriguing read if I do say so myself. What do you do when you find out the man you married is a closet serial killer? Gina Royal’s life was turned upside down the day she discovered her husband’s dirty little secret by accident. And after a few rough years of trials and her own trial of being an accomplice, she and her children have settled down at Stillhouse Lake with their new identities. They’ve have to move around a lot over the years because of all the hate mail and tormentors. Apparently there is no witness protection program for the serial killer’s family who had no idea there was a murderer in their home. It really makes you feel for Gina, now named Gwen. She truly knew nothing about her husband’s secrets, and yet, her life and her children’s lives have always been in a constant state of unease.

It’s a tricky thing, I’ve been trying to think if I was a family member of a murdered victim, how would I feel towards the murderer’s family? When it’s clear they do not support him anymore, they don’t visit him in prison or feel like he was just misunderstood or any of that defensiveness. I can understand some hatred, I guess, but some of the hate mail and scenarios Gwen endured were way harsh.

Gwen and her kids think they finally might have found a nice place to live at Stillhouse. And it’s during this time when you start to wonder when the thrills and chills will start. And then it happens. A body is found in the lake, one that has been desecrated in the same manner as Melvin Royal’s, Gwen’s ex-husband, victims. And Gwen is suddenly the new person of interest in the case.

I’ll admit, there were some slow parts to this one. The first body is found before the 100 page mark, but it’s after a few rounds of questioning that things start to move at a slower pace. Life moves on for Gwen and she tries to fall back into a normal life routine. Then in walks the mystery Sam. Gwen can’t help but be suspicious, it’s become a natural habit for her. But then after a time, it seems something might be growing between the two of them. But thankfully, romance isn’t a part of this story!

As I said, this was a most intriguing read! It seems that poor Gwen can never escape what her husband did. The internet trolls, as she calls them, are always posting terrible things about what they want to do to her and her children. They blame her for the crimes as well, thinking that she got away with murder since her trial ended up with her being let go, obviously since she’s our heroine in this story.

There was quite an array of suspects in this one and I admit, I never pegged our bad guy down. Though I was right in a sense about one of my suspects. I never fully trusted him, and I was right to do so. But that’s what I always love about mysteries, the guessing of the whodunit! I say I have a decent 50/50 streak going on and I’m never really bothered by it. I guess it’s just a good thing I’m not an actual detective! Lol!

The ending was naturally, the most intense part of the story. And just as things are wrapping up, I start to wonder where the series will go, for I know there’s at least one more book to come and then it happens! The little piece of the puzzle that comes to light and you think, oh sheet. Needless to say I cannot wait to see what the next book will bring!

Stillhouse Lake was a spine-tingling kind of thriller! There was definitely a darkness to the crimes that were committed in this one. While it wasn’t as fast paced or on-the-edge-of-your-seat as I would’ve liked, it was still a decent read and I am definitely sticking around for the sequel! It’s got just enough edge to it that it will have you hooked into Gwen’s battle!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

Stillhouse Lake releases July 1, 2017

Random Thursday

What Disney secrets will be revealed today?! Let's check Disney Facts Revealed: Answers to Fans' Curious Questions by Dave Smith!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Apparently in the book, 101 Dalmatians, Cruella's hair was two-toned, so Disney decided to keep it!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Saludos Amigos was Disney's first film that was an original idea. i.e. it wasn't a fairy tale we were already familiar with!

(image borrowed from Villains Wiki)
Apparently there was a rumor that Scar's name before he was scarred was Taka. Dave says this name is not recognized as Scar's true name. 

As to what all these nameless characters are truly named will forever remain a mystery. The Beast is NOT Adam, and Snow White's Prince is NOT Ferdinand.

(image borrowed from Disney Movies)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs apparently wasn't Walt's first option. He had considered Bambi and Alice in Wonderland. Alice was even going to be part animated and part live action with Mary Pickford playing her role, she was most anxious to do so. But Walt decided on going forward with Snow instead.

(image borrowed from Frozen Wiki)
Apparently Frozen had a whole list of songs that were cut. You can hear (some of?) them on the 2 disc DVD. 

Wonder how catchy they could've been...

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.

How gorgeous is this cover?! I swear Melissa was blessed by the cover gods! In both the US and UK!! 

AUTHOR: Melissa Grey
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE: Paranormal/Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2017 


Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"'Call the hellhound?' Tia repeated. 'We can try.' She closed our eyes and shouted, 'Come to us, He Who Voids His Bladder in the Wind!' Air rushed around us and we heard a whine preceded by a growl." p20*

*Quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its page number are not final. 

TITLE: Reunited
AUTHOR: Colleen Houck
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE: Paranormal-Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start, But Haven't*

*i.e. more than half of my TBR pile! Lol!
**in no particular order

10. NIKKI STYX SERIES by Terri Garey--I bought this entire series during the first few sales of the Borders closing sales. Let's take a moment in silence in remembrance of our dearly departed Borders......I remember reading a review of it in the early days of blogging and I wanted to give it a try. And yet it remains unread.
9. PRECIOUS STONE TRILOGY by Kerstin Gier--this was one of the first wins I won in a contest in the blogosphere. Can't remember where sadly, and though this series has gotten mixed reviews over the years it's still one I want to give a try one day!
8. ALIENATED TRILOGY by Melissa Landers--another one I remember hearing good things about that I decided to give a try! I mean I ADORED the Lux series after some initial hesitation, so I owe it to me curiosity to give this series a try too!

7. MYTHOS ACADEMY SERIES by Jennifer Estep--I obtained nearly all these books back in the day when I attended RT. Really need to get back to that. Hoping for 2019 in a less crazy city! Still need to read this first installment too!
6. ASHES DUOLOGY by Melissa Walker--one that's been there for awhile as well! And it's a ghosty story! What is taking me so long?!
5. SILVER SERIES by Rhiannon Held--a werewolf story that caught my eye...and still remains unread, though I did pick up the next two? books in the series in a Book Outlet sale some years ago!

4. NIL TRILOGY by Lynne Matson--this one sounded creepy weird and just my style! Part of my reasoning for not reading some of these series was waiting for all the books to be out to do a binge! Now I just gotta start scheduling binges!
3. THE COLLECTORS' SOCIETY SERIES by Heather Lyons--a grown-up Alice in Wonderland with a scarier Wonderland?! Totally in!! Just need to read the book already! LOL!
2. VAMPIRE CHEF DUOLOGY by Sarah Zettel--another book I acquired at my first RT conference! It has vampires and mystery so I was all over it! I have both books of the series that were obtained and I STILL haven't read book 1!

Please don't hate me for this!

1. TITAN SERIES by Jennifer L. Armentrout--I am shameful! I don't know why it's taken me so long to start this series. I have all the books to date. I guess in theory I could say I was planning a binge read...but I just kept getting caught up in review books and then wanting to finish other series that I hadn't gotten around to starting a new series!


It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (4 stars)
A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Reignited by Colleen Houck (4 stars)

Currently Reading:

Reignited by Colleen Houck (ARC)

What I Hope to Read this Week:

Lost Boy by Christina Henry (Early Copy)

Other Posts of Interest:

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

This was a really spectacular week! I mean I got quite a few preorders in, then a Book Depository order, then some review books...it was incredible!!

Here's what I bought:

 Roar by Cora Carmack--keeper copy!
Thief's Cunning by Sarah Ahiers--keeper copy!
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
Scooby Apocalypse #14 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Ill. by Howard Porter, Jan Duursema, Andy Owens, & Ron Wagner

Then I also bought myself this beauty! I regulated myself to just one copy...for now! ;)

 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling--20th Anniversary Bloomsbury Gryffindor Edition

Then for review I received:

 Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry (Early Copy)
Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price (Early Copy)

THANK YOU Penguin Random House!!

And then this beauty came!! I won't share pictures yet. What do we think next week? Two weeks? Don't want to picture it too early for others just yet!

And that was my week! What did you all get?


Time to announce the winner of my The Crown's Game Duology giveaway! And the winner is... 


Congrats Jackie!! 

The winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond to the email or else a new winner will have to be chosen! Thanks again to all who entered!

Mini Review--Reignited by Colleen Houck

A sibling rivalry.
A forbidden romance.
A spell that changes everything.

In Heliopolis secrets abound and passions ignite as chaos rises.

From the  New York Times  bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series and Reawakened comes a novella full of celestial marvel, passion, betrayal, and evil that will grow to reign over humanity forever.

Before Lily and Amon met, before the cosmos was in chaos and needed three brave brothers to fight off evil, there were four siblings who helped rule the earth.

Each sibling had a special gift. Osiris, the god of agriculture, helped mortals to grow and thrive in their natural environment. Isis, the goddess of creation, fostered health and wellness. Nephthys, the seer, was able to keep the balance between all living beings and the universe. But Seth, the youngest sibling, was left without any special powers. The Waters of Chaos, which granted each god’s talent, were running dry, and Seth was paying the price.

As time passed, however, Seth’s determination and willfulness resulted in a very special gift, one that should have granted him the ability to enact wondrous change. But Seth’s competitive childhood gave him a heart so cold and vacant that instead, his gift brought about great evil.

Seth was now the god of unmaking, the creator of disorder and destruction. And he was ready to seek his revenge, dominating all who got in his way.

Reignited is Colleen Houck’s prequel to the Reawakened series that features a teenage girl trying to help a mummy with a curse! It’s as amazing as it sounds, but this story, isn’t their story. This is the story that happens long before Lily and Amon meet. This one is rich in Egyptian mythology, though I will admit it’s been wayyy too long since I studied that, so I can’t say how much of this story is accurate to the myths. But that’s always the fun about books, anything is possible!

What we have here is basically a story of forbidden romance. For Isis is in love with Osiris, but the gods and goddesses aren’t allowed to have romantic relationships with each other. Add to the mix that Seth, the low man on the totem pole is also in love with Isis, you have quite the pickle. Though Seth is a greedy and selfish sort, it’s clear that his love for her is really more one of possession and wanting more power. For the once powerless god finally comes into some powers, he has the ability to unmake anything. And he’s more than willing to use his newly attained powers to get everything he desires.

This was a rather lengthy novella at 200 pages, but you’ll hear no complaints from me! I decided to read this before diving back into this world with Reunited. I had the foolish hopes of reacquainting myself with characters and whatnot, but since this is a prequel that doesn’t feature our heroes, it was a misguided wish! But no matter, for it was still a fascinating read! Amon and his brothers even make a brief little cameo! Blink and you’ll miss it!

I’ve always loved what Colleen does with mythologies! I admire her for going with the less familiar ones too! Greek and Roman mythology stories would be the familiar route, and I am happy to read more about new cultures within her words. Reignited was a delightful little read that shine a little more light onto the cast of gods and goddesses who have a role in the world of Reawakened.

Overall Rating 4/5 stars