50 Books in a Year · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Short and Sweet

Young Adult, Zombies, Paranormal Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Release: September 25, 2012
Pages: 404 pages
Format: Paperback, own copy
Links: http://members.genashowalter.com/Good Reads Book PageGood Reads Author Page






My Rating:


About the Book:

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

If anyone had told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.”

This review is of my own choice.

If you are looking for a darker re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland, I’m sorry to disappoint but this is not the book. While this had hints of Alice in Wonderland; it isn’t Alice in Wonderland with Zombies. Sorry to disappoint.

As a zombie everything fan, this was a great and unique take on zombies. Not everyone can see these zombies but special people like Alice and Cole. They’re more like specter’s and the only way to defeat them is in spirit form. So in a way, Alice Bell did fall down the figurative rabbit hole.

This has some mushy romance in it between Ali and Cole. However I enjoyed the on and off refreshment Kat and Frosty. Their love for each other was totally relationship goals of laughter and being totally right for each other. I also loved Kat, she was a breath of fresh air in her quips. Reminded me a little of my own best friend and myself. That is what makes this book so great. Relatability.

I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a new and unique read. Stay tuned for the next book in the series.

Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

12:07 The Sleeping by L. Sydney Abel

glow in the dark

Hi Readers!
In the spirit of Halloween, author L. Sydney Abel and I bring you an interview about his horror novel 12:07 The Sleeping. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m married with 2 grown-up children and a young granddaughter. I was born in Kingston upon Hull but now live in Beverley, East Yorkshire.

What inspired you to write?
I’ve always written in some form or other. I used to make up stories for my children, but never wrote them down. Later, when I was in a rock group, I wrote the music and lyrics to songs. Then, after a spell of illness and with time on my hands, my wife encouraged me to put pen to paper.
Inspiration comes in many forms. It sounds spooky, but someone whispers into my ear! It’s not my thoughts, because the voice isn’t mine. It’s just a name or title, nothing more. A few words or even a full sentence is spoken loudly enough to wake me from my dreams. Sometimes I wake up with a start to what I call my ‘midnight creation’. Maybe I’m being channelled to write, I don’t know. It does sound far-fetched but I’m not making it up, honestly!

What inspired your novel 12:07 The Sleeping?
The idea came from something very real. I’ve been visited by something or someone since I was five. Whatever or whoever it was, climbed out of the wardrobe and walked towards me. Yes, I could have dreamt it, but I didn’t. I’ve since discovered this phenomenon is called Sleep Paralysis or better known as Hag’s Syndrome, where a creature comes into your room whilst you sleep, crawls upon the bed and then crawls on you and…

What is the genre?
Psychological horror.

What draws you to this genre?
I have always been fascinated by the unknown. Expect the unexpected!

How did you develop your plot and your characters?
I thought of occult worship where there’s a ritual. I then worked backwards from that initial idea. The number 666 has always been associated with the devil, so I choose 5 characters to stand on the points of the pentacle, whilst the 6th person performed the ritual. But the book is not just about a ritual, it is about James being visited by The Sleeping and his fight to stay alive.

What inspired your protagonist?
If I’m being honest, there’s a lot of myself in James!

What inspired your antagonist?
The Sleeping visit the ‘unwanted’ during sleep, but they need someone to contact this person when awake. So Mr Green is a go-between of sorts.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Bringing the devil into play and describing him, because everyone perceives him differently. I didn’t want him to be stereotypical.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?
Mr Green’s background and what makes him the person he’s become. Mr Green’s life could make a book in itself!

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I have recently become a full-time writer. There is so much more to being an author. I also illustrate my children’s books, so that can take up a lot of my time. Then there’s the marketing and publicity side of things, which my wife takes care of.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson at the moment.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Not in any particular order:
The Lord of the Rings
Oliver Twist
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
The Lost Symbol
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

What are your future projects, if any?
Currently, I’m working on a paranormal book called ‘The Soul Spook’. I also intend to write the next installment of my YA adventure novel, ‘Timothy Other: The Boy who climbed Marzipan Mountain’.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Via my website- http://theslider58.wixsite.com/lsydneyabel
Or my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/LSydneyAbel/
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6202926.L_Sydney_Abel

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 
Life’s too short, so set sight on your goals and go for them. You never know, you may even achieve your dreams!
After all, it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.

Where to Buy:

Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble

Thank you to L. Sydney Abel for the wonderful interview! I look forward to reading 12:07 The Sleeping one day! – Leticia

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 
page 12
“There must be some kind of problem with the marriage. A serious one. Either that, or the happy-go-lucky landlord had murdered his spouse and buried her in the sand dunes. Now that would be a story.”

Dale and Lucy are two students with a fascination in the supernatural. One weekend, they travel to Sker House, South Wales, a private residence with a macabre history which has recently been converted into a seaside inn. They plan to write an article for their university magazine about a supposed haunting, but when they arrive, they meet a landlord who seems to have a lot to hide. Soon, it becomes apparent that all is not well at Sker House. An air of oppression hangs over it, while misery, tragedy and ill-fortune are commonplace. Gradually, it becomes clear that the true depth of the mystery goes far beyond a mere historical haunting. This is a place where bad things happen, and evil lurks.

Little by little Dale and Lucy fall under Sker’s dark spell, and as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the past, they realize that nothing stays buried forever.

Welcome to Sker House, a place where past and present collide.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
page 27
“The pale man sighed. ‘I’m not going to hurt you.’
That’s what they always said right before shooting you in the face, but Rain looked up anyway.”

Oh. My. God.

Rain Johnson escaped the insanity of her radical environmentalist family, only to end up waitressing for a living. Her scale of success—with her at the bottom—only goes as high as that college degree she never got, until she gets one hell of an epiphany from a Trinity Corporation public-relations guy who calls himself Jude. He tells her she’s the Lamb of God, and it’s time for that whole Second Coming thing. But when her first minor miracle gets her arrested and an ecoterrorist using the name Messiah starts blowing up pesticide plants, Rain and Judas are in for way more apocalypse than either of them expected.

Jude scrambles to save his personal plan for salvation, but Lucy, the devil herself, has her own well-laid plans. It doesn’t matter that Rain’s a conflict-avoiding lesbian and Jude is history’s worst traitor. They’re all that stands between humanity and an end of the world that wasn’t supposed to happen.

Book Tour · Contests · Giveaway

Text: A Thriller by Bryan W. Alaspa Book Tour and Giveaway

Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Guffawing Dog Publishing
Date of Release: August 26, 2016
Pages: 240 pages
Links: GoodReadsAmazonAuthor WebsiteTwitterGoogle+Pinterest


Abe Yates is a successful true crime author. He makes a living writing about the crimes and deaths of others, but that living has allowed him to provide a great house and life for his wife and two kids. His latest novel is about a vicious hit-man and serial killer known as The Saint. It is already destined to become a runaway bestseller with a movie option at the ready. Life is good.

Until the morning he reaches for his cell phone and finds a mysterious video text. A text that shows something horrific. A video that appears to show something that hasn’t happened yet.

Now Abe and his family may only have days to figure out who created this video and who wants to do them harm. How far would you go to protect your family? For Abe, he may find that his own desire to protect his life and his home may take him to darker areas in his own heart than he ever thought possible.

A tight-knit supernatural thriller from the author of RIG, Gone, The Man From Taured, Sapphire and the Deklan Falls detective series comes an edge-of-your-seat look into terror and suspense – TEXT.

Sure enough, there were some texts from friends and people who knew Spencer and  whom Spencer had probably called about the party last night. Most of them Abe knew only  tangentially and he could not recall most of their faces and most of them expressed regret at not  being able to attend. He mused that they could have shown up or just not shown up and he  would never have known the difference. That was the thing that happened when you were a  reliable bestseller at the agency and publisher. People felt they had to bow down to you even if  you had no idea who they were.
Delete. Delete. Delete.
He came to a final message, near the bottom of the list, from a number that he did not  recognize. In fact, it was an impossible number to start with.
Abe remembered getting weird phone calls from a number like that years ago when he  had first gotten a cell phone. They had finally come down in price and the phone companies  were finally offering decent deals on them and he had bought one of those obsolete flip phones.
He would find that he had a voicemail from a number that was all zeroes and when he listened  to it, it was just a bunch of weird noises. He hadn’t gotten a call like that in ages.
Abe opened up the message and saw that there was a black box in the middle of a  white field. There was a white arrow, pointing to the right, in the middle of the black box.
He frowned.
Who the hell would send him a video text? No one he knew was the type to do that.
Abe was not a video taker himself and he rarely even texted over photos. If he had a good  photo, he was told that social media was the best place to put that.
It was probably just someone who was at the party last night. Perhaps someone who  stayed later and maybe things got crazier after he and Shari had left. Hell, it was probably a  video from Sam or Spence trying to show him the fun he missed out on.
Abe hit play.
At first he was not sure at all what he was a looking at.
It was a weird video, shot poorly, that kept pixelating. It was dark and it was shot with  some night vision setting on the camera or cell phone, so everything had a weird greenish/white  glow. The colors were all inverted, too, so the black pants looked white. He saw legs and arms  and torsos, but the camera was mostly pointed at the ground.
There was sound, too. Men’s voices, from the sound of it, but the sound was tinny and Abe couldn’t make out any words. Someone was yelling.
Then there was screaming.
The camera swung up and suddenly Abe was looking into a face that he knew all too  well. Whoever was holding the camera was wearing a Henry the CrossEyed  Lion mask. One of  the cheap plastic ones that came out every year and sold at the large discount store around the  corner. The eyes, hidden behind that mask, looked empty and dark. There was just the smiling  lion and the areas around the eye holes had been painted to look comically crosseyed.
It was surreal.
Abe sat up straighter on his chair, absently licking his lips. He was distantly aware of  the fact that his throat was dry.
The camera swung around and now he could see that they were in someone’s house.
He could make out a large staircase and a hardwood floor. It was familiar. He could see at least  five other men. They were wearing suits, but all of them were wearing animal masks. Plastic  animal masks based on the characters in Shari’s books.

 Bryan W. Alaspa is a Chicago born and bred author of both fiction and non-fiction works. He has been writing since he sat down at his mother’s electric typewriter back in the third grade and pounded out his first three-page short story. He spent time studying journalism and other forms of writing. He turned to writing as his full-time career in 2006 when he began writing freelance, online and began writing novels and books.
He is the author of over 30 books of both fiction and non-fiction and numerous short stories and articles.
Mr. Alaspa writes true crime, history, horror, thrillers, mysteries, detective stories and tales about the supernatural.


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Guest Post

Guest Post by Andrew Joyce

Hi Readers! 

Today we have our first ever Guest Post on Shh, I Am Reading with author Andrew Joyce about his newest novel Yellow Hair and the history that inspired the novel. Enjoy! 

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Leticia has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to talk about my latest, Yellow Hair.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage depicted actually took place—from the first to the last. The historical figures that play a role in my story were real people and I used their real names. I conjured up my protagonist only to weave together the various events conveyed in my fact-based tale of fiction. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. It is American history.

The inspiration for the book came to me when I was reading a short article and it made reference to the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. It also mentioned that the outcome involved the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. That piqued my interest.

When I started my research into the incident, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was documenting the entire history of the Sioux, who are also known as the Dakota, vis-à-vis the relationship between them and the United States.

Because the book exists only because I read the phrase, “the largest mass execution in the history of the United States,” I’ll tell you a little about that. What follows is an extremely abbreviated version of events.

The Dakota signed their first treaty with the United States in 1805 when they sold a small portion of their land to the Americans for the purpose of building forts. It was right after the Louisiana Purchase and President Jefferson wanted a presence in the West. At the time, “the West” was anything on the western side of the Mississippi River.

In the treaty of 1805, the Dakota sold 100,000 acres to the Americans. The agreed-upon price was $2.00 per acre. But when the treaty came up before the Senate for ratification, the amount was changed to two cents per acre. That was to be a precursor for all future treaties with the Americans. There were subsequent treaties in 1815, 1825, 1832, 1837, and 1851, and basically the same thing happened with all those treaties.

In 1837, the Americans wanted an additional five million acres of Dakota land. Knowing it would be a hard sell after the way they failed to live up to the letter or spirit of the previous treaties, the government brought twenty-six Dakota chiefs to Washington to show them the might and majesty that was The United States of America.

The government proposed paying one million dollars for the acreage in installments over a twenty-year period. Part of the payment was to be in the form of farm equipment, medicine, and livestock. Intimidated, the Indians signed the treaty and went home. The United States immediately laid claim to the lands—the first payment did not arrive for a year.

The significance of the 1837 treaty lies in the fact that it was the first time “traders” were allowed to lay claim to the Indians’ payments without any proof that money was owed . . . and without consulting the Indians. Monies were subtracted from the imbursements and paid directly to the traders.

By 1851, the Americans wanted to purchase all of the Dakota’s remaining lands—twenty-five million acres. The Sioux did not want to sell, but were forced to do so with threats that the army could be sent in to take the land from them at the point of a gun if they refused the American’s offer.

“If we sell our land, where will we live?” asked the Dakota chief.

“We will set aside land for the Dakota only. It is called a reservation and it will be along both banks of the Minnesota River, twenty miles wide, ten on each side and seventy miles long,” answered the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

The Dakota were offered six cents an acre for land that was worth at least a dollar an acre. The payment would be stretched out over a twenty year period and was to be made in the form of gold coins. One year later, in 1852, the Americans took half the reservation, the seventy miles on the north side of the river. The Dakota were now reduced from a nation of fierce, independent people to a people dependent on hand-outs from the ones who stole not only their land, but also their dignity.

The Dakota were forced to buy their food from the traders who ran trading posts at the Indian Agency the U.S. Government had set up on the reservation. All year long the Dakota would charge what they needed. When the yearly payment for their land arrived, the traders would take what they said was owed them. Subsequently, there was very little gold left for the Dakota.

By 1862, the Dakota were starving. That year’s payment was months late in arriving because of the Civil War. The traders were afraid that because of the war there would be no payment that year and cut off the Dakota’s credit. The Indian Agent had the power to force the traders to release some of the food stocks, but refused when asked to do so by the Dakota.

After they had eaten their ponies and dogs, and their babies cried out in the night from hunger, the Dakota went to war against the United States of America.

They attacked the agency first and liberated the food stock from the warehouse, killing many white people who lived there. Then bands of braves set out to loot the farms in the surrounding countryside.

Many whites were killed in the ensuing weeks. However, not all of the Dakota went to war. Many stayed on the reservation and did not pick up arms against their white neighbors. Some saved the lives of white settlers. Still, over 700 hundred whites lost their lives before the rebellion was put down.

When the dust settled, all of the Dakota—including women and children, and those people who had saved settlers’ lives—were made prisoners of war.

Three hundred and ninety-six men were singled out to stand trial before a military commission. They were each tried separately in trials that lasted only minutes. In the end, three hundred and three men were sentenced to death.

Even though he was occupied with the war, President Lincoln got involved. He reviewed all three hundred and three cases and pardoned all but thirty-eight of the prisoners.

On a gray and overcast December morning in 1862, the scaffold stood high. Thirty-eight nooses hung from its crossbeams. The mechanism for springing the thirty-eight trap doors had been tested and retested until it worked perfectly. At exactly noon, a signal was given, a lever pulled, and the largest mass execution to ever take place in the United States of America became part of our history.

About the Author:

 Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY. http://andrewjoyce76.com

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

Thank you to Andrew Joyce for providing such an informative guest post. Shocking what is in the world’s history. ~ Leticia