5 Interesting Articles from the Booksphere

It’s almost as enjoyable to read about books as it is to read books (almost). Here are some interesting articles I read during the month about the books and reading. The article from Goodreads about killing the ‘dead girl’ in crime is particularly interesting and Signature’s article on haunted houses in literature has some great books for Autumn.

Elaine Howlin Book Blog Review

Book Bloggers Are Real Readers

Bloggers do it for their love of books. No agendas, no bias and no pay. If  bestselling authors can see the benefit, why can some readers not?

“On Saturday, February 4th, Chocolat author Joanne Harris started a hashtag on Twitter: #tentweetsaboutbookbloggers highlighted some of the misconceptions that surround the world of book blogging and online reviews.” – Margaret Madden, The Irish Times

Killing the ‘Dead Girl’ Theme in Crime Fiction

dead girls

“It’s long been my observation that a lot of crime writing, even very good crime writing, can be summed up this way: a beautiful girl dies, and a man feels bad about it. Maybe he’s a mourning husband/father/brother/lover. Maybe he’s falsely accused. Maybe he did it, but he has, you know, REASONS. And now we’re seeing more and more female writers asserting for their ownership of crime fiction, and it’s very exciting. ” – Cybil, Goodreads

The Future Isn’t Female—It’s Feminine

women power

“How is feminine different? Because as with all labels, categorizations divide us. Evolving means being all-encompassing rather than exclusive. Men are just as capable of being feminine as females are. Therefore, this change isn’t solely to be championed by females. But championed by those in tune with and embracing all things feminine. A balanced approach to both masculine and feminine energy. Not one or the other. Remember from the Goddess Manifesto: Unity is a source of our power.” – Emma Mildon, Tips on Life & Love

Beyond Haunted House: Fictional Houses in Novels that Jump off the Page

“Whether English country houses, Gothic Manors, or simply the classic haunted houses, writers have long had a fascination with making homes the centerpiece of stories. Some are so memorable and integral to the narrative as to essentially become characters themselves. They stick with us, captivate and terrify us, and provide a level of metaphorical depth that lifts a novel to another level. From horror and suspense to literary fiction and everything in between, these are few of my favorite houses in literature.” – Keith Rice, Signature

Everything We Know About the ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ Movie

“With Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Witherspoon adds another female-authored debut novel to her list of book club picks. The book stars Eleanor, a lonely 30-year-old who spends her weekends nursing a bottle of vodka and a pop-star obsession. Throughout the novel we see Eleanor slowly widen her circle of interaction, both intentionally and unintentionally. However, Honeyman didn’t want Eleanor to be portrayed as a victim. The result is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story.” – Vicki Lindern, Bookbub


Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Advertisements

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Blog If I Want To – 32 Recommendations for 32 Years

It’s my birthday and I’m on my way to Venice for a few days with my mother. I’ll be much quieter than usual during this but while I’m away enjoy these 32 recommendations. One for each of my years 😉

open book in my hand elaine howlin literary blog

1. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbour is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian

To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history….Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of, a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself–to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

3. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes

Rachel's Holiday (Walsh Family, #2)

Meet Rachel Walsh. She has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters – Dublin’s answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s only agreed to her incarceration because she’s heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey – and it’s about time she had a holiday.

But what Rachel doesn’t count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll – and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of a new start in life is this?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

4. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

Asking For It

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

5. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer, #1)

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire-and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

6. Fables by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

7. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

8. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We Should All Be Feminists

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun.

With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike.

Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

9. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose. Uprooted is a hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales by Naomi Novik, the author of the Temeraire series. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

11. Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)

HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

12. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

13. Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

14. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)

October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas…

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

15. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)

Flirting with the Grave…

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

16. Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)

A man controlled by his desires . . .

Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .

A woman haunted by her past . . .

Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

17. My Life as White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest!

Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

Literally.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

18. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

19. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

20. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)

Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

Interview with The Vampire by Anne Rice Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

21. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires – a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

22. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele

Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

23. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1)

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

24. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

25. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

26. If You Dare by Kresley Cole

If You Dare (MacCarrick Brothers, #1)

Kresley Cole introduces a thrilling new romance trilogy featuring fierce Scottish brothers with dangerous lives, dark desires, and a deadly curse.

Can he exact revenge?

High in the Pyrenees, a band of mercenaries led by Courtland MacCarrick wages war for General Reynaldo Pascal. When Court turns on the evil general, Pascal orders him killed, but Court narrowly escapes and exacts revenge by kidnapping Pascal’s exquisite Castilian fiancée.

Can she deny her passions?

Lady Annalía Tristán Llorente despises her towering, barbaric captor almost as much as she does Pascal. Her inexplicable attraction to the Highlander only fuels her fury. But nothing will stop her from returning to Pascal—for if she doesn’t wed him, she signs her brother’s death warrant, as well as her own.

Can there be love between them?

From the moment Court discovers that Anna’s prim façade masks a fiery, brave lass, his heart’s ensnared, and he dares to defy the curse that has shadowed his life—to walk with death or walk alone. But Pascal vows that he’ll hunt the two, never stopping until he’s destroyed them both.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

27. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

28. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1)

There comes a time in a lady’s life…

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

When she must do the unthinkable…

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

And find employment.

When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his “manly” needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her “womanly” desires…with the earl as her unknowing lover.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

29. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

30. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Secret Scripture

Nearing her one-hundredth birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she’s spent the best part of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks often with her psychiatrist Dr Grene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates.

Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne’s story becomes an alternative, secret history of Ireland’s changing character and the story of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet marked still by love and passion and hope.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google 

31. The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark)

The Warlord

Nikolai Wroth, a ruthless Vampire general, will stop at nothing to find his Bride, the one woman who can “blood” him, making his heart beat and filling him with strength. Coldly interested only in the power his Bride will bring, he can hardly believe when Myst the Coveted awakens him body—and soul.

The Seductress

Famed throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, Myst has devoted her life to protecting a magical jewel and to fighting the vampires. Wroth provides her with the perfect opportunity to torment her sworn enemy—for with his new heartbeat comes a consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her. Denying him, she flees, struggling to forget his searing, possessive kiss.

The Hunt is on…

She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen her enchanted jewel, giving him absolute power over her. Now that she’s his for the taking, he intends to make her experience first-hand the agonizing, unending lust she subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Nikolai realizes he wants far more than vengeance from Myst and frees her, will she come back to him?

Get the book: Amazon | Google 

32. A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1)

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he’s hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract.

Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 


Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads.

Buy me a coffee on Ko-fi to support creation of future content. Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole Review

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)Title: Shadow’s Seduction

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Immortals After Dark #17 / The Dacians #2

Goodreads Rating: 3.91/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: In this scorching Immortals After Dark/Dacian novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings together a wicked vampire prince used to getting everything he desires and a demon warrior who always felt like an outcast.

A night of debauchery . . .
Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend, Caspion the Tracker, comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever . . .
Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence to exile in a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives . . . and the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?
Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the seductive vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer…

 

Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

 

What I thought about the book:  

This one was a bit different to previous books in the series. It’s Cole’s first M/M romance and it was just as swoon-worthy as all the others.

I’m not as into the Dacian’s as the other supernatural groups in the world. I miss the Valkyries and not even Nix showed up in this one which disappointed me but overall this is a great paranormal romance.

It’s typical Kresley Cole style with sexy banter and alpha males but with double the impact. Unusually for books in this series, there is a cliffhanger but we still get a HEA. I’m hoping the conclusion to this cliffhanger (which is due out in 2020) will tie into a previous one. Since she rarely writes cliffhangers I’m wondering if they’re connected.

“You’re under my skin, Mirceo. When we parted, you took my heart with you. Go easy with it, okay?”

“I’ll protect it forever, just as you’ll protect mine.”
― Kresley ColeShadow’s Seduction

My Rating: 4 star review

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Victober TBR

Victober is a month-long readathon in October focusing on Victorian literature. The Victorian era spanned June 20, 1837 – January 22, 1901, so any books published during this time in the UK and Ireland are welcome. The readathon is hosted by four YouTubers, Ange- Beyond the Pages, Kate Howe, Katie- Books and Things and Lucythereader.

Challenges:

  • Ange: Read a book by one of the hosts favourite Victorian authors (Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte)
  • Kate: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun in the title
  • Katie: Read a book that was published in the first ten years of the Victorian era and/or published in the last ten years of the Victorian era
  • Lucy: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or with a pseudonym
  • Group: Read a Victorian novel and watch a screen adaptation

Group Readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. ‘No nineteenth-century novel contains a more devastating rejection than this of the Victorian male assumption of moral authority’, writes Pam Morris in her introduction to this new edition, in which she explores the novel’s main themes – the role of women, Darwinism and the concept of Englishness – and its literary and social context.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg

Victober Goodreads group

Victorian Novels List

roses and an open book elaine howlin literary blog

My TBR

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Fiery love, shocking twists of fate, and tragic mysteries put a lonely governess in jeopardy in JANE EYRE

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens was not the first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public, an idea that has been termed as Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’ career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’ visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol. The forces that inspired Dickens to create a powerful, impressive and enduring tale were the profoundly humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, and Washington Irving’s essays on old English Christmas traditions published in his Sketch Book (1820); and fairy tales and nursery stories, as well as satirical essays and religious tracts.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Dracula by Bram Stoker Elaine Howlin Literary Blog Gothic Reads for Autumn
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Dracula Dracula by Bram Stoker

A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written. It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written — and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition.
Pocket Books Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Dracula was prepared by Joseph Valente, Professor of English at the University of Illinois and the author of Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood, who provides insight into the racial connotations of this enduring masterpiece.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

The Mayor of CasterbridgeThe Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Under the powerful influence of rum furmity, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wide Susan and their child Elizabeth-Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.

Years later, Susan, now a widow, arrives in Casterbridge with Elizabeth-Jane, to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge and, following the sale of his wide, took a twenty-one-year vow not to drink, out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and, as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newson’s daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.

In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again shows his astute psychological grasp and his deep-seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth-century Dorset.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ELaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

 

4 Literary Adaptations Out this Month

There have been a lot of amazing literary adaptations released recently but there seems to be a lot of focus on young adult titles. This month we’re treated to some great adult adaptations. Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women gets a modern twist, we have a vampire show free of teen drama with Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches and we get a very creepy thriller told from the perspective of a stalker in Caroline Kepnes’ You. (I’m making it sound like I have an issue with teenagers, I don’t. Except when they sit behind me in the cinema.)

Remote and Popcorn Literary Adaptations September 2018 Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Release date 14 September 2018 

This is the adaptation I am most excited for. Deborah is an executive producer for the show and will be writing several episodes as well which bodes very well for the series being loyal to the books. The show is being produced by Sky who were also involved with the production of the wonderfully gothic Penny Dreadful.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1)Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew – the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it’s an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she’s kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana’s discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels…

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


You by Caroline Kepnes

Release date 9 September 2018

This book is the embodiment of unease. The bad guy is the protagonist and none of the “good guys” are particularly likeable. Reading it gave me a sinking feeling in my tummy but I simply couldn’t stop.

You (You, #1)When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Release date 21 September 2018

This is Waters’ sixth screen adaptation including a South Korean movie from the director of Old Boy inspired by Fingersmith called The Handmaiden.  The Little Stranger is directed by Lenny Abrahamson who also directed the adaptation of Emma Donohue’s Room.

The Little StrangerOne postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Release date 28 September 2018

This is a modern retelling of the classic tale. It will be interesting to see how a modern setting affects the story. It’s being distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment who are known for Christian films.

Little Women (Little Women, #1)Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the free-thinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


What adaptations have you seen recently? What ones are you looking forward to seeing?

Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads. Movie info from Wikipedia.

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store