WWW Wednesday: October 5th, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

  • Thursday was Miss R’s birthday. She turned 9 years old. We didn’t do anything big for her, just a few presents and a cake. Speaking of that, I forgot to order her birthday cake. So much was going on over these last couple of weeks; it slipped my mind. Thankfully, she was OK with a mini cake and a bunch of cupcakes.
  • Miss R’s horseback riding lesson moved to Wednesday afternoon because of Hurricane Ian. Noting too much to talk about there except she fell, hit the horse on the muzzle, the horse reared up, and then stepped on her foot. Thank God for pasture boots!! Her foot wasn’t even bruised.
  • They canceled school on Friday due to Ian. Of course, the kids were thrilled. Me, not so much…lol. And Ian didn’t hit us like they thought it would. We barely got rain and wind.
  • We went to our local Comic Con on Saturday. 2 out of 3 kids were happy that we went. The 3rd one was a grouch. We got some knick-knacks, and I got this awesome picture. One of the girls that go to school with Miss B drew it. I think she is very talented.
  • We finally got our insurance cards. Now I can breathe easy, and the kids can get sick…lol.
  • I haven’t been updating my old blog posts lately. I haven’t had the time, and honestly, at night, all I want to do is go to bed. But I do plan on starting it up again shortly.
  • Wednesday, I took Jesper to his yearly vet appointment. There, I got it confirmed that he is deaf. I think my vet was worried that I would relinquish ownership of him because she told me that she could put me in touch with a rescue if I wanted. I was like, “No, I just need to know to put it on his chip information and for you to have it at the office.” That sweet cat isn’t going anywhere.

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror–and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters–with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector–to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life–and soul–of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.


What I am currently reading:

Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.

She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government.

All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.

But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.

As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.

But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?


What books I think I’ll read next:

The debut short story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, featuring ten bone-chilling and mind-bending tales

Timeslips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.

In Final Course, the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In Runaway Blues, thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In Gloria, a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a cold-hearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in I’m Not Ted, a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen, fatal consequences.

Riveting and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.

An epic fantasy ode to martial arts and magic—the story of a spoiled hero, an exacting grandmaster, and an immortal god-king from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lives of Tao.

It has been foretold: A child will rise to defeat the Eternal Khan, a cruel immortal god-king, and save the kingdom.

The hero: Jian, who has been raised since birth in luxury and splendor, celebrated before he has won a single battle.

But the prophecy was wrong.

Because when Taishi, the greatest war artist of her generation, arrives to evaluate the prophesied hero, she finds a spoiled brat unprepared to face his destiny.

But the only force more powerful than fate is Taishi herself. Possessed of an iron will, a sharp tongue—and an unexpectedly soft heart—Taishi will find a way to forge Jian into the weapon and leader he needs to be in order to fulfill his legend.

What follows is a journey more wondrous than any prophecy can foresee: a story of master and student, assassin and revolutionary, of fallen gods and broken prophecies, and of a war between kingdoms, and love and friendship between deadly rivals.

Ohioana Book Award finalist Ruth Emmie Lang returns with a new cast of ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities.

Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.

Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…

When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.

Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?

But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.

Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this new epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Tordotcom, BookPage, LitHub

The people suffer under the centuries-long rule of the Moon Throne. The royal family—the despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, the Three Terrors—hold the countryside in their choking grip. They bleed the land and oppress the citizens with the frightful powers they inherited from the god locked under their palace.

But that god cannot be contained forever.

With the aid of Jun, a guard broken by his guilt-stricken past, and Keema, an outcast fighting for his future, the god escapes from her royal captivity and flees from her own children, the triplet Terrors who would drag her back to her unholy prison. And so it is that she embarks with her young companions on a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom—and a way to end the Moon Throne forever. The journey ahead will be more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Both a sweeping adventure story and an intimate exploration of identity, legacy, and belonging, The Spear Cuts Through Water is an ambitious and profound saga that will transport and transform you—and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re welcome to join her and create your list of top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.). Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


So, I am a little weird when it comes to bookstores. See, I don’t visit them or desire to visit one. So, I won’t be doing that. Instead, I will list the last 10 books I put on my TBR.

Please let me know if you have read any of these books.

Enjoy!!


1. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

2. Arresting Benjamin by Amber Daulton

3. Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King

4. House Without Lies by Rachel Branton

5. Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp

6. Mermaid of Venice by Jincey Lumpkin

7. Trouble on Main Street by Kirsten Fullmer

8. The Sweetest Betrayal by Natalie Mae

9. A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary

10. Torment by Angel Devlin and Tracy Lorraine

Goodreads Monday: First Do No Evil (Blood Secrets: Book 1) by Carey Baldwin

This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it This meme was formerly featured on LaurensPageTurners and was taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog.


Warning: Contents include: One heart-melting hero—good luck getting this delicious detective out of your head. One reluctant heroine—wielding a Glock was never on her to-do list. One crazed villain—an entire flock of baa baa black sheep won’t be enough to put you to sleep. And a lifesaving vaccine with one deadly side effect—murder.

There’s a killer lurking in Dr. Skylar Novak’s family tree: the gene for breast cancer. That’s why her brilliant brother invented the Bella vaccine. But even if the miracle drug protects her from the cancer that took her mother’s life, it can’t save Sky from the flesh and bone evil stalking her in secret.

When the killer strikes, detective Daniel Benson finds himself in the wrong place at the right time. The bold detective manages to save Sky’s life…just in time for her to return the favor. Survival leads to seduction, and Danny risks everything—his career, even his life, to keep Sky safe. But will the buried sins they uncover cost him her heart?

Danny’s strong arms may hold her close, but only Sky can stop the terror that’s coming next.

October 2022 TBR

September was a fast month, but it seemed to slow down with the kids being in school again. It was hot here, but the weather cooled down as September ended. It went from being in the ’90s to being in the ’60s within a week (or so it seems). I am enjoying it (not a fan of hot weather here).

This month’s list is rather short. I finished up September’s TBR early and got to work on October’s. Now, saying that I will have a bunch of requests….lol.

So, here’s this month’s TBR list. Let me know if you have read any of them!!


This was an author request. I figured that October would be a perfect month to read it. It certainly looks spooky!!
This was a pleasant surprise. I got it in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to see where this book is going to take me (location-wise and other)
I have been waiting on this book for a little bit. The publisher prefers to mail paperbacks, and I should get mine next week.
A book from my TBR. I will not be reviewing.
Another from my TBR. Will not be reviewing.
From my TBR. I will not be reviewing.
From my TBR. Will not be reviewing.

September 2022 Wrap Up

It has been a while since I have done a monthly wrap-up. Usually, I am pressed for time (between the kids, their activities, and other life issues), and I choose not to do one. But I am making a change starting with this month. I will do a monthly wrap-up (even if it is only a couple of things).

So, here is what I read/posted in the month of September.

As always, let me know if you have read any of these books and (if you did) what you thought of them.


Books I Read:


Books I got from NetGalley


Books I got from Authors/Indie Publishers


Books Reviewed

The Diseased by S.M. Thomas (review here)

Shadowed Spirits by Reily Garrett (review here)

First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts by Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Sylvia Nay, Katie Klein, Michael di Gesu, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, Sammi, Spizziri (review here)

Last Place Seen by Alessandra Harris (review here)

Love Secrets Lies by Teresa Vale (review here)

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith (review here)

Owl Manor: The Dawning by Zita Harrison (review here)

Owl Manor: Abigail by Zita Harrison (review here)

Owl Manor: The Final Stroke by Zita Harrison (review here)

Bookish Travels—September 2022 Destinations

I saw this meme on It’s All About Books and thought, I like this!! So, I decided to do it once a month also. Many thanks to Yvonne for originally posting this!!

This post is what it says: Places I travel to in books each month. Books are wonderful and take you to places you would never get a chance to go. That includes places of fantasy too!!

So….enjoy!! Please let me know if you have read these books or traveled to these areas (other than the fantasy….lol).


Here’s where I traveled in September:

United States:

Jackson County, somewhere in the Midwest or South/Portland, Oregon/Chicago, Illinois/ Louisiana/ Midwest
San Jose/Napa, California
Danville Heights/Sandry Lake, Unknown state
Denver, Colorado/Chicago, Illinois/Morganton, North Carolina
Denver, Colorado/NYC, New York
Denver, Colorado
Emerald Springs, Historical West (maybe Montana??)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Shadow Geirolf Pack Land, unknown state
Harleyville, unknown state
Seaton Falls, Michigan
Los Angeles, California
New York City, New York/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Greece

Greek Islands, Santorini

Mozambique

Lourenco Marques

Portugal

Libson, Madeira

South Africa

Johannesburg, Durban

United Kingdom

London, England
St. Pirran’s Island, Cornwall, England
London/Chelsea, England

France

Marseille
Paris

North Atlantic Ocean

The Bermuda Triangle

Zargothia

Little Zargothia

Russia


Persian Gulf/Pacific Ocean

USS Abraham Lincoln, aircraft carrier

Grattiara

City State of Grattiara

Sea

Durazzo Sea

Giva

Givan Islands

WWW Wednesday: September 28th, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

  • Miss R had a better week at school. Her teacher only called me once, and that was to let me know that she was begging to go home (which I said no to because she wasn’t sick). She wasn’t my biggest fan for a couple of days but got over it.
  • Wires were crossed last week. What do I mean by that? Well, I pick up a little boy from school and drop him off at his mother’s work Monday-Thursday. I don’t mind doing this because a) I have known her for over 6 years (Miss R and this boy played t-ball together), and b) I am not going out of my way to drop him off. On Thursday, she never texted me to let me know her husband was picking him up. So, I grabbed him and ignored the horn blaring behind me (people are very aggressive to others waiting in the pickup line. It’s an issue). The secretary, who was directing traffic, made me stop and told me that his dad was behind me. I told her that I would pull over at the first safe area, which was beside the school, in the bus lane. Thankfully his dad was super nice and kept apologizing to me. He also said I would hear from him if he picked up his son other than Friday. I was so embarrassed. BK told me I shouldn’t be and was doing what I was supposed to. That the boy’s mother was to blame for not telling me.
  • Miss R has gotten her groove back with riding. She finally cantered last week, and if you all could see the look on her face!! Her instructor was very excited and told me she hoped to keep this up. I told her that I do too.
  • I don’t know if I mentioned this, but Miss B is on her high school’s prom committee (along with several of her friends). She is very excited about prom (it is a combined junior/senior prom). They are also having a winter dance but no homecoming (this school isn’t included in that for some reason).
  • I am still ahead with reading. I have dipped into the first couple of books on my NetGalley list that I have mentioned. So far, I knocked two off (go me!!). I am hoping to get those reviews posted fairly soon.
  • Loki and Vinnie had their vet appointments on Monday. Loki weighs a lot less than I thought (10lbs). Both are in perfect health!!

So that’s the essential things for this past week. How was your week?

As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!


What I Recently Finished Reading:

The moment Navy SEAL sniper Finn sets foot on the USS Abraham Lincoln to hitch a ride home from the Persian Gulf, it’s clear something is deeply wrong. Leadership is weak. Morale is low. And when crew members start disappearing one by one, what at first seems like a random string of suicides soon reveals something far more sinister: There’s a serial killer on board.Suspicion falls on Finn, the newcomer to the ship. After all, he’s being sent home in disgrace, recalled from the field under the dark cloud of a mission gone horribly wrong. He’s also a lone wolf, haunted by gaps in his memory and the elusive sense that something he missed may have contributed to civilian deaths on his last assignment. Finding the killer offers a chance at redemption . . . if he can stay alive long enough to prove it isn’t him.

What I am currently reading:

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

What books I think I’ll read next:

A hair-obsessed serial killer…
A flesh-eating motorway pileup…
A grotesque holiday illness…

Forget what you think you know about the human body. In Rob Ulitski’s debut short story collection, get ready for a thrilling, gut-churning ride through death, disease and destruction.

Boasting thirteen unique stories and a whole host of brutal bodily afflictions, ‘Fleshed Out’ explores the fragility of flesh and blood, and the gruesome ways our bodies can twist, contort and transform into our worst nightmares.
Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror–and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters–with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector–to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life–and soul–of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.

The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.
Emma Makepeace is about to spend the longest night in her life.

She’s on her first operation with a shadowy organisation known only as ‘The Agency’, assigned to track down and save an innocent man wanted by the Russian government.

All Emma has to do is bring him in to MI6 before sunrise, and before an assassination team gets to him first.

But the Russians have hacked the city’s CCTV cameras. There are spies all over London searching for the two of them. And her target, Michael Primalov, doesn’t want to be rescued.

As London sleeps, a battle is taking place on its streets as Emma fights to keep Michael alive.

But what sort of reception await them if and when they get to MI6?

Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re welcome to join her and create your list of top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.). Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


When I saw today’s prompt, I knew I would have to play with it a little. There was no way that I had 10 books with just words on their covers. And I was right. It wasn’t until I got to the last book that I saw my first all title, no picture book. So, I decided to tweak it a little bit. I decided to go with books where the titles take up half the cover. And these are what I found. All of these books are from my Read list this week.

Please let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them!!

Enjoy.


1. Last Place Seen by Alessandra Harris

2. I Let You Fall by Sara Downing

3. Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

4. The Moments Between Dreams by Judith F. Brenner

5. My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer

6. Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

7. The Date from Hell by Gwenda Bond

8. The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

9. Daughter by Kate McLaughlin

10 Heir of Blood and Secrets by Linda Xia

Goodreads Monday: The Reader (Immortal: Book 1) by M.K. Harkins

This is a weekly meme where anyone can choose a random book from their Goodreads TBR and highlight it This meme was formerly featured on LaurensPageTurners and was taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog.


Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Owl Manor—The Final Stroke (Owl Manor: Book 3) by Zita Harrison

Publisher: Zealous Arts Publishing

Date of publication: August 10th, 2022

Genre: Gothic, Horror

Series: Owl Manor Trilogy

Owl Manor: The Dawning—Book 1 (review here)

Owl Manor: Abigail—Book 2 (review here)

Owl Manor: The Final Stroke—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

For a quarter of a century, the horrors at Owl Manor have been buried under dust and decay, forgotten and unheard.

Then Dolores hears the whispers.

Dolores, a young artist, feels the pain all around her. It is the subject of her paintings. Strangely, once the pain is on her canvas, it diminishes.

A fated encounter takes her and her two best friends to Owl Manor in the Rocky Mountains. Ignoring the rumors of a gruesome past and ghosts, they take up residence. What’s the worst that could happen?

But it is the past that has summoned Dolores.

The owls begin to circle the sky again. The whispers get louder, seeping into each of their souls. And Dolores, besieged by the pain of brutal murders in the manor’s history, has no choice but to paint.

For the lives of those close to her hang in the balance.

Inspired by authors like Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven), Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), and Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House), Owl Manor – the Final Stroke is the third and final book in the Owl Manor trilogy of Gothic Suspense novels. It follows Owl Manor – the Dawning and Owl Manor – Abigail.


First Line:

My worn books squelched through mud and grit as I trudged down the main thoroughfare of a town.

Owl Manor—The Final Stroke by Zita Harrison

I cannot stress this enough (and I have mentioned it a few times in the previous two reviews for this series), I cannot read Gothic/horror without my husband being home. After finishing this book, I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing several of Dolores’s paintings, Kitty’s theater, or even Rachel’s descent into madness. I was so unnerved by this book, and that was a good thing!!!

Owl Manor—The Final Stroke is the 3rd book in the Owl Manor trilogy. While you can read this as a standalone book, I recommend reading books 1 and 2 first. That way, you can learn about the events that lead up to this book and how they influenced the events that take place in this book.

The author did write a forward to the book explaining how it was written. This book is written in language that was common for the time. She explained that the language combines British English and frontier dialect but is moving towards an informal American dialect. She cited a website (etymobline.com) that she used in her research to make sure it was as authentic as possible.

Owl Manor—The Final Stroke takes place around 30 years after the events of Abigail and around 50ish years after The Dawning. Dolores, Kitty, and Rachel are three friends looking for a place to open a combination restaurant/theater/art gallery. Dolores finds a carved owl at a local fair, and the seller, a young boy, tells her it is from a mansion in the mountains outside of Denver. After seeing the estate, they decide to buy it and renovate it back to its former glory. But, once living there, Dolores (an empath) starts painting pictures of murdered women, the victims of Rafe Bradstone. Her dreams reach a fever pitch as women are being murdered in Denver, and she is compelled to paint them. With Kitty going down a path that includes opium use and promiscuity and Rachel spiraling down into madness, Dolores needs to get to the heart of the mystery, Owl Manor. But can she do it in time to save herself and her friends? Or will they end up being more victims of Owl Manor?

I loved Dolores’s character. She was your typical turn-of-the-century artsy girl who dreamed of doing nothing but her art. She was also an empath who used her art to channel the pain of what she was feeling to canvas. So, when she started having nightmares and was compelled to paint them, it wasn’t new to her. But what was new was how graphic and terrifying the paintings were. The author could take Dolores’s initial feelings and expand on them. Dolores became alarmed at what she was doing. She did try to stop (the scene where she tried to burn the painting will be forever etched in my head) but couldn’t. I was terrified for her when she started painting murders that had just happened. I am going to stop there because of spoilers.

I liked Kitty’s character, but I was not too fond of the turn she took. She had a great vision for her theater, and I thought her first two shows were great. But then, she listened to Cecil, and everything turned. She went from this bright, vibrant girl to someone I didn’t even recognize. It saddened me and made her suspect when prostitutes were being killed in Denver.

I was not too fond of Rachel. She rubbed me the wrong way the entire book. I wasn’t surprised when she started hearing (and eventually seeing) Rafe. I wasn’t surprised by her attitude towards Kitty or how she refused to listen to Dolores. I did, however, think it was interesting that she was the one who looked up Owl Manor’s past, and she was the one who found Rafe’s letters to his father. I did feel bad for her in the end, mainly because she ended up being a pawn in something much bigger than her.

I enjoyed reading the storyline with Dolores, the girls, and their business. I was fascinated to see how it would do. Despite what was going on and how everything turned out, I was still rooting for them to succeed.

The storyline with Dolores and her paintings was frightening. I didn’t blame her for being as scared or fighting it as she was. I knew her paintings connected to Rafe, but I wasn’t sure what the connection was. I thought she might have been Abigail’s daughter, but that was dashed relatively early in the book.

Kitty’s storyline was a little frightening. It showcased how someone like Cecil could easily lead someone as naive as Kitty down the wrong path. Her 180 change of morals and attitude didn’t help with that conception either. I admit that I thought it was Kitty doing the killing until almost the end.

Rachel’s storyline was sad to read. While I didn’t like her, I did think that she had a valid point about being so angry early on in the book. But, as Rafe’s spirit drew her in, I could see her falling down that rabbit hole. I was verbally yelling “No” as she started acting more erratic.

The storyline with Rafe, Eva, and the ghosts was terrifying. I felt terrible for Rafe and the fact that, even in death, he was lost without Eva. So, having that part of the storyline wrapped up the way it did make sense. But the other part of the storyline, the one with the ghosts of the women he murdered, was chilling. I understood that they wanted their stories told, but possession was a little too far in my eyes.

The storyline with the killer was interesting. There were quite a few characters to pick from, and I felt that any of them (except Dolores) could have been the killer. Heck, I even had Gabriel on the shortlist!!

I felt that the author wrote the horror angle of Owl Manor—The Final Stroke amazingly. I was creeped out by what was happening in the manor. I was also creeped out by what was happening mentally and physically to the girls.

There was a slight romance angle to the book that I wasn’t too fond of. But, it didn’t get in the way of the main storylines, and it did add some extra depth to Dolores’s character arc.

The end of Owl Manor—The Final Stroke was interesting. I had chills reading it!! I loved how the author wrapped up the storyline of Rafe and Eva. I also liked how she wrapped up Dolores, Kitty, and Rachel’s storylines. As for the killer, I was shocked at who it ended up being. That person didn’t even make my “who is the killer” list or was even on my radar.

I would recommend Owl Manor—The Final Stroke to anyone over 21. There are sexual situations, mild language, and violence. There is also drug use (Kitty taking opiates) and forced sexual encounters (again, Kitty during the last of her theater dates).


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