Special Feature: The House on Prytania (Royal Street #2) by Karen White

Over the years I have read some of Karen White’s collaborations and standalone novels. I have also jumped around a bit in her other mystery series and always find her writing well thought out and enjoyable. I enjoy smartly written novels and White’s books have that as well as a little bit of a paranormal element. It’s not so much that it takes the book to a full on paranormal or horror story but it’s enough to make the books memorable and fun.

This latest series by White will have many of the things that her Tradd Street books had, mystery, ghosts, charming houses, and great characters. I haven’t started this series yet but it is on my TBR if for nothing else beside the fact that I have loved a lot of her books, not to mention I love the old houses on the cover! This book promises atmosphere, mystery and all the Southern hospitality that White is known for! I cannot wait to dive into this book as well as the first in the series!

If you love old houses, ghosts, mystery, and a charming story then this book is going to need to get on our TBR list. I have seen some of the early reviews and everyone is raving about this book! I am thrilled to bring a bit about this book to you guys today and I encourage you to check it out. Most of the reviews are saying that while reading the first book is helpful, White does a good job orientating readers who might be picking up book two first. I don’t know about you guys but I plan on reading this one later on this summer or early fall and I will be sharing a review when I do but until then check this one out!

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Review: The Haunting of Alejandra by V Castro

I had never heard of La Llorna until I got married. My husband who is Hispanic of course knew all about La Llorna and I absolutely fell in love with the Mexican ghost story. If you aren’t Hispanic you will likely be unfamiliar with the legend but you might be more familiar with the song La Llorna from the movie Coco! I am a big fan of horror and ghost stories and the folklore story really intrigued me so when this book came up for review, I had little hesitation before I screamed YES.

The horror or paranormal genre might not be for everyone and that’s ok. I know that I love a good ghost story and for me personally, I would rather read it in the fall when it’s the ‘spooky’ time of year, but I am usually up for a good ghost story any time truth be told! I read The Hacienda last year and absolutely loved it, after reading that book, the legend go La Llorna was the first thing on my mind. La Llorna isn’t a well known tale but it sure is creepy and I thought it would make for a great mainstream-ish story if executed properly.

Author V Castro has written other horror stories seeped in Mexican history and culture. If there was anyone who could make this story come alive, it’s Castro. I haven’t read any other books by her but I have seen Queen of the Cicadas around the blog-o-sphere and know that she has an established fan base. Needless to say I was thrilled to be asked to review this one and check out Castro’s storytelling style for myself!

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Review: Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Bardugo

When this book came out, it promoted me to go back and read Ninth House so I could be ready to read this one. I had this whole drama around why I didn’t read Ninth House until now and you can read all about it in my review of Ninth House here. Bottom line, I suspected that I wouldn’t be able to read this latest Leigh Bardugo book before reading the first book in the series and that is absolutely correct. Do not read this book without first reading Ninth House. This book is basically an extension of the first book and it will leave readers disorientated within this book if you read it out of order.

I burned through Ninth House and was eager to start this one immediately following since Ninth House ended on such a cliff hanger. So I cleared my reading schedule and hunkered in with this book, while I didn’t read it as fast as I anticipated, I still read it fairly quickly and found a lot of the things that I loved about Ninth House, still held true in this book. This book also ended on a cliff hanger and I hope we get the next Alex Stern’s book soon! It sounds like this book series is going to be a trilogy but I really hope it’s more than that. I think there is a rich world to mine here and I would be sad if it ended after only three books when there is so much more to unpack and learn about.

If you are thinking about diving into this world of strange dark academia but aren’t sure yet—-I would say go for it. While I had some issues with Alex as a main character in the first book, overall the rich world and strong storytelling made up for the fact that Alex was at times an unlikeable character—while at other times you could cheer for her. Bardugo is an incredibly talented writer so in that you can’t go wrong. I would recommend Ninth House and then immediately follow up with this latest novel to get the full experience!

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Review: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo

When this book came out, I jumped at it! I have read the Grisha books, specifically the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and while I didn’t love every book, I remember feeling like they had a lot of imagination with ambitious characters and for a YA series, there was a lot to enjoy. But I never really read anything else from Leigh Bardugo after that trilogy. But naturally her books are quite popular and can be found on many shelves around the blog-o-sphere.

When I saw this one was coming out, I wasn’t exactly ready to buy it or even put it on my TBR—-until I started seeing all these posts and reviews about how good it was—-THEN I was jumping to get my hands on it. I even got an autographed copy that’s how excited I was for this one. Then it came and I read the opening prologue and decided it wasn’t for ‘right now’. Keep in mind it came out Oct 2019, so it SHOULD have been a ‘right now’ book for me based on the creepy content, but I had finished reading some other heavy horror books at the time and I just wasn’t up for it. So I put it on my bookshelf. Then COVID hit and I just wanted to read something happy. So there it sat for the next few years.

Until, Hell Bent was released a few weeks ago. I had a renewed interest in The Ninth House, since I ordered Hell Bent. I had no idea this was even meant to be a series, but evidently it is. And it’s an adult series, not YA—though the characters are more ‘new adult’ it’s definitely not YA, it’s geared toward the older reader. So I decided it was time to dust off my copy of The Ninth House and read it so I could read Hell Bent!

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Review: How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

When I first started reviewing books, I really shied away from the horror genre. I always thought to horror as ‘slicer dicer’ or ‘zombie’ books and it just wasn’t my thing. But I quickly came to discover that the horror genre has really grown in popularity and variety over the years and I have branded out into more and more horror as time has gone one. I especially love ghost stories so naturally the title of this book grabbed my interest. Plus I have read Grady Hendrix in the past and know that his books always seem to stick a good balance between horror and something for the more mainstream readers who maybe want to try something in the horror genre.

The horror genre isn’t for everyone. It’s truly a niche genre and either it’s your thing or it isn’t. For me, I acquired a love for the horror genre though with that said, I don’t love all the traditional horror authors. For example, I have tried to love Stephen King, but I simply do not. I personally prefer my horror novels to have some cross over in other sub genres—for example, Simone St James is a favorite of mine. She writes paranormal horror but also factors in things like a murder mystery.

I am always on the lookout for horror authors who make the genre more accessible for new readers or fans. For me Stephen King is just not my thing and his books are often lengthy and daunting. His books were my only exposure to the horror genre for a long time and I honestly never wanted to read horror books because I feared they were all like that. But after finding some other horror authors that blended other genres really made me love the genre as a whole. That’s why I was so excited for this book!

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