The Devil Aspect

Only the brave seek out the Devil.

The bohemian setting of Czechoslovakia is the perfect stage for this rich and macabre tale of a young doctor taking a new assignment at Hrad Orlu asylum for the criminally insane, in order to prove his controversial Devil Aspect theory. Dr Viktor Kosarek believes that a ‘devil aspect’ exists in everyone (meaning the Devil himself is in us all) and it is this part of our psyche that assumes control, allowing actions and behaviors that the individual him or her self is unaware of (much like a multiple personality situation). The asylum, which holds the 6 most feared killers of the time (the Devil Six), used to be the castle of the abominable and feared Jan of the Black Heart (who himself was considered the Devil.) His heinous, deplorable actions, and the legends surrounding his entombment in the castle, are still feared by the villagers.

Tread carefully mortals

Adding to that fear is the rumors of tunnels leading from the asylum out to the town, lending for the Devil (or any of the Devils 6) to escape, claim his victims, and return unseen. Through the authors magic, you will feel the dampness of the castle walls and you will breathe the fetid air of its tunnels right along with the characters.

Meanwhile, police kapitan Lukas Smolak is hunting for a killer. Dubbed ‘Leather apron.’ The killer has been targeting people on the outskirts of society in Prague. The methods of butchering his victims are similar to those employed by Jack the Ripper, and the author expertly interweaves Jack’s exploits and methods of torture with his own killer’s reign of terror in Prague.

The interviews between Viktor and his patients, (interviews where each describes their slaughter of their victims in detail,) makes for a beguiling and gruesome new horror thriller that drags you into its dark world kicking and screaming, crawls under your skin slowly, and then sticks in deep, like the tip of a butcher knife, carving into you a psychological horror you will remember long after you’ve closed the cover.

This is a kaleidoscope of myth, history, politics, bigotry, psychology, romance, crime, mystery, and sublime horror with each aspect taking turns directing the action, fighting for the readers attention, toying with readers sanity as they struggle to anticipate the shattering conclusion of this astonishing, virtuoso piece of gothic horror writing. The story is utterly immersive, authentically complex and completely propulsive, which all leads to compulsive page turning late into the night, rushing you toward that final, blood curdling sentence. This is a must read for all fans of literary fiction, great crime and horror writing, and I highly recommend you join Viktor in his quest to find The Devil Aspect. Just enter knowing that sometimes when you seek the Devil, he just might find you. Enjoy the ride my friends!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review. I’d love for you to leave a comment, recommend a book for me, or just follow along my blogs wild ride!

I’d love to share the love of books with you!

A different kind of candle

When I think about all the books that get thrown away, all those words and thoughts from somebody’s dreams, it makes me feel like the world became just a little bit darker. Colder. Sad.

Oh no! But don’t worry…

This ability to recycle books into beautiful pieces of art allows for there to be a little more light and life brought to not only the written word, but to our homes, families, friends and co-workers.

This little light of mine…

It’s even better that each one can be customized just for you. Your favorite colors, hand made bows, handmade paper flowers, ribbons, buttons, Czech glass, crackle glass, aurora borealis crystals… so many awesome and beautiful things can be done that it’s mind boggling!

I’m gonna let it shine!

These are so much prettier in person. No matter how you photograph them, when you see it in real life… wow!! This candle has over 255 folds in it, as well as over 470 individual cuts, and comes from hours of painstaking care and work before its ever even decorated. Flowers are handcrafted from book pages, mulberry paper, card stock, origami paper, and even hand dyed book pages and papers. I think all that work yields a beautiful result. Topped with a tea light that gently flickers like a flame, this is the ultimate in show stoppers.

Just simply beautiful!

Feel free to come visit my Etsy shop as well as my blog. Leave a comment, recommend a book or just say hi. I hope that you have a great week this week. I’ll share more book art soon! Stay safe my friends!

http://etsy.com/shop/FallingInPaints

Out Cold

This is one fascinating read!

What do you get when you cross a neuroscientist and journalist? You get book that will knock you Out Cold with a fascinating, albeit weird, journey though the science behind hypothermia.

I might be a little chilly…

The author, and his writing style (as if he is checking in with you throughout the book, like a protective big brother while you’re being told scary campfire stories,) kept my interest and attention all the way through this frosty journey.

Are you okay in there?

We are shown what happens during hypothermia, whether therapeutic, torture induced, accidental, or just plain scientifically; given the definition of the words “cold” and “temperature”; and are brought to witness the invention of the first thermometer and the discovery and recognition of our accepted scientific heat measurement of 37 degrees Celsius. Our chilling brush with the past also includes examples of ancient forms and uses of cold therapy.

The cold will help… promise!!

The author also discusses extremophiles (hey, if you can’t take the heat…), water torture, exploration of Antarctica, the use of cold for healing, as well as touching on the topic of cryogenics.

Yeah, Baby!!

Another interesting fact the author touches on is how the determination is made by medical professionals as to whether someone is truly dead post a hypothermic exposure (as some do return to life after being pronounced dead, lending to the expression that “you’re not truly dead until you are WARM and dead.”)

Get that CPR!

If you’re like me, with all these facts now swirling in your brain, you’re teetering you on the edge of brain freeze, and then the author adds another hard, cold fact to your ever expanding neural connections by exploring how Nazi water tortures, conducted on helpless and innocent people in concentration camps during WWII, still play a part in our science of today. Talk about a thorough walk in the valley of cold.

I couldn’t say it better!

This is a book you will return to to read and re-read. It definitely will appeal to science minded people, medical professionals, and people who just love obscure and ghoulish facts.

For me, it provided background and information on a therapy that was used on my father after he had a massive heart dysthymia, causing him an anoxic injury from ineffective CPR by a well meaning, yet under educated, bystander. While this therapy didn’t produce a desired outcome for my father, but rather prolonged a horrific journey for him and our family, the information provided and HOW it’s presented allowed this jaded daughter to see just how valuable cold therapy can be if and when used correctly. This is definitely a book that will inspire deep thought and hardy conversation material in an area of science and medicine that can cause great controversy. I highly recommend this book and suggest you grab your copy when it’s released on June 1, 2021. Grab a blanket, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and snuggle up against the chill of Out Cold. Happy reading my friends!

Please feel free to leave a comment, follow my blog, or send me your book reading recommendations. After all, sharing is caring and I love to get new reading suggestions and conversations going!

My sincere thank you to Perseus Books, PublicAffairs, NetGalley, and the author Phil Jaekl for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinions and review.

Falling In Paints

When all the words have been read, and the book is thrown down and forgotten, before the trash man has a chance to haul someones dreams away, there is a way to not just give a book a second chance, but also to breathe new life into it. This is but a few ways books can live on in your home and draw the attention of all your friends and neighbors. What a great way to talk about your favorite book again, impress your book loving sweetheart with something unique and made custom just for them. Check out the Etsy shop as well as my blog. Supporting small businesses and local artists is always a good thing. Let me know what you think! I always love to talk books… in ALL forms!

http://etsy.com/shop/FallingInPaints

Vicious

Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse. —Joseph Brodsky

This was such a fun sci-fi read from the absolutely talented author V. E. Schwab, the author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Since that book blew me away, I quickly researched and have started down the “read everything she’s written path” as there’s nothing I love more than an incredible story teller that allows you to experience the world and characters as they are, showing you the events without telling you what to think and experience, while providing fantastic entertainment.

This book didn’t disappoint. I did get a whiff of Flatliners vibe – you know, that awesome flick from the 90’s? But what a tale of what’s left when you come back, good versus evil, and who determines who is good and who is evil.

Be afraid of what comes back… and what doesn’t.

I generally became engaged with the characters (and thank her for Mitch and his chocolate milk drinking fetish and his role esp at the end!) Even better, this book has a follow up, Vengeful, which is the final book in this Villains series.

Oh Mitch, you and your chocolate milk!

Should you read it, I certainly think so, especially if you like magic, Near Death Experience, resurrections, dark humor, prison breaks, revenge, best friends turned enemies, likable characters, heroes, villains you love to hate, and of course villains you just can’t help but love. Definitely a 4.5 out of 5 read for me and one I encourage you to jump in and try as well.

4.5/5 star read. Well done start to a series!

Everyone needs a little hero and villain, sprinkled with a whiff of magic in their life. You just might find yours here.

We all just need a little magic.

Lastly, for me, when I look to a review I have already read the description and have my curiosity peaked and am looking to see whether I get that final push to spend my hard earned money and purchase the title or should I wait and get on the long list at the library to borrow it. This is definitely one I’d slap the card down for no problem. However, if you haven’t read what this novel is about, there’s no better person to turn to than the publishers themselves. So here is what they wrote:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates―brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find―aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge―but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.”

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review! I truly hope you will drop me a line, a follow, or share a book recommendation with me, after all, that’s what reading and sharing is all about. Happy reading my friends!

The Perfect Daughter

I know in this pandemic we all have had to find new ways to keep ourselves happy, entertained, and connected to something as we have endured an ever changing way of life, sometimes it’s felt like an everyday change. One thing that luckily hasn’t changed is the creativity and quality of novels being released this year.

Well, here’s one to add to your April 2021 reading list! Another brilliant thriller novel waiting to fracture you with its twists and turns.

Didn’t see that one did you?

We all have those little quirks, voices if you want to call it, that allows us to slip fluidly from one situation to another, being funny and outgoing, shy and demure, wild and crazy, or just calm and relaxed as the situation calls for, but stop and think for a minute what would happen if for each change in mood or affect, you ended up with “blank spots.” Each part of your personality taking on a life of its own, never to share its experiences with the other personalities, not in thoughts or in deeds. Now take that one personality is found with a dead body, covered in blood, holding a knife, and no clue how they got there. Oh boy, you now have The Perfect Daughter. Only this daughter has such a troubled back story that while reading the book, you alternate between sympathy for her and fear of her. Can any one person be that out of control?

Author D. J. Palmer has done an outstanding job incorporating both the mental disorder of dissociative identity disorder, (formerly multiple personality disorder,) with a tightly woven legal thriller.

This was a journey that was surprising, thrilling, and a blast to read! Not only did Palmer meet a thriller lovers expectations, he exceeded them. This is a great way to sit down and lose yourself in a wild mouse ride of lies, betrayals, and of course a gruesome murder. Get your copy preordered today for it’s APRIL 20, 2021 release now! You won’t be sorry you did, just be sure to bring some really good super glue to put yourself back together with… no one likes a missing or rogue personality out there. Enjoy my friends! 😁

I would like to offer my most sincere thank you to NetGalley, D. J. Palmer, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me an ARC in exchange for my unbiased and honest opinions.

Lastly, for me, when I look to a review I have already read the description and have my curiosity peaked and am looking to see whether I get that final push to spend my hard earned money and purchase the title or should I wait and get on the long list at the library to borrow it. This is definitely one I’d slap the card down for no problem. However, if you haven’t read what this novel is about, there’s no better person to turn to than the publishers themselves. So here is what they wrote:

“Meet Ruby, who speaks with a British accent.

Then there’s Chloe, a perfectionist who strives for straight A’s in school.

And along comes Eve, who is spiteful and vicious.

All of them live inside Penny…

Or do they?

Penny Francone, age sixteen, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: she was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give her the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?

Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn’t allow the death penalty.

As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all.

The perfect daughter. Is she fooling them all?”

The Hour of the Witch

This is one you don’t want to miss!


A little teaser for you for an amazing novel that is set to be released May 4, 2021. I would DEFINITELY go ahead and preorder this and quick! Cheating spouses, lies, and a good old witch trial… sign me up! 😁

Absolutely riveting historical fiction that carries the thick, atmospheric suspense used in most thrillers. This slow built drama is led by its compelling heroine Mary Deerfield, a young wife who finds the physical and moral courage to stand up for herself in a time when women could be hung as witches… Hour of the Witch is a woman’s story, a romance, a history lesson, and a legal thriller, while also illustrating
how rough justice can get when religion and institutional sexism meet and become bitterly entwined.

This is a book I will absolutely recommend.

This is another amazing display of talent by a fabulous story teller who excels when writing from the perspective of a woman.

Special thanks to NetGalley, Chris Bohjalian, and Doubleday Books for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.

Later

Well, once again Mr. King has proven that he is the master of the horror genre, and an overall brilliant story teller. This short novella once again is a coming of age story, an area in which his talents as an author truly shine, that is such an engrossing and fast paced tale that will suck you in and drag you along until returning you breathless back to your own home, a completed novel in your hand, and missing time that you feel like never happened.

Your engineer on this runaway mining train from hell is none other than James (or Jimmie), the son of a literary agent that has one hell of a tale to tell. You meet him at age 6, and will be whipped and spun through his childhood and young adult life, seeing and cringing from all that he does. This is a horror story after all. Though I could tell you so much about his haunts, to do so would lessen your experience with Later. So trust me, sit back, strap in, and kiss your loved ones as you climb aboard this crazy, rocket fueled ride that is the latest from the mind of a true horror legend. Be sure to run (don’t walk) and grab your copy of LATER now! Enjoy my friends!

See you, Later!

The Patient

An out of the way, unnamed, dark, bleak asylum contains a dangerous patient who is rumored to be able to ruin, haunt, or even snuff out the lives of the people try to cure him. A young idealist psychiatrist, still grappling with his own childhood trauma is driving to his first assignment after graduating from school. When these two things collide, you have a chillingly haunted tale that you should not pass over.

If that isn’t enough to grab you by the arm and pull you close, how about the combination of the plot’s beginning resembling A Silent Patient, the story’s intricately built world reminding you of Stephen King, mashed with Peter Straub’s creepy, eerie, blood freezing stories as a comparison for your horror addled brains. You will absolutely go mad when you jump in to read this novella and devour it in one sitting, biting your nails, holding on to your favorite stuffed animal, feeling like something is watching you yet trying to remain brave. You will want to stop reading, scared but not wanting to admit it, it’s okay- just leave the light on … in EVERY room in the house. Go on, pick up your book and let’s start at the beginning.

The story is told through Parker’s (full name redacted of course, for privacy sake) entries to an internet message board describing his time working at the asylum (which of course also has just a pseudonym – we wouldn’t want Parker to be sued now would we?) and meeting with patient named Joe who hasn’t been diagnosed properly in the THREE DECADES he has been housed there. Mysteriously, other patients crossing paths with him end up committing suicide or suffering from mental breakdowns. Parker has volunteered to take on Joe’s case (as he carries a deep remorse that he couldn’t save his schizophrenic mother from herself and her mistreatment in her asylum,) thinking he will be the one to solve the mystery of Joe. But of course this poor young man has no idea what he’s getting into!

Joe has been in the hospital since he was six. His parents brought him because of extreme night terrors and wild tales of monsters in his walls. Did he have a complex, thrilling imagination? Did someone abuse him? What was happening to that boy? Nobody found it including his dead cellmates.

When Parker finally meets and interviews him, Joe insists there is nothing wrong with him and he is being held at this place without his consent and nobody wants to believe him.

Who is telling the truth? Has Parker put himself and other people’s lives in danger with his obsession to treat this “untreatable” patient? This is where you’ll have to run and grab your copy of this amazing novella fo find out!

This was attention keeping, nail biting, fast past reading with a dark and intense ending to the story. Believe me, it’s worth the read. Definitely a 4/5 star read for me and I will be on the lookout for more books by the talented Jasper Dewitt!

Soar Adam Soar!

Adam Prashaw’s life was an adventure from the moment he was born. Assigned female at birth, he spent years living as “Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw” before coming to terms with being a transgender man and sharing that with the world openly. Adam captured hearts with his humor, compassion, zest for life. and his intensity for life itself. After a tragic accident while swimming cut his life short, he left a legacy of changed lives and a plethora of social media posts documenting his life, relationships, transition, and struggles with epilepsy, all with remarkable transparency, boldness, bravery, and directness. Your foray through Adam’s life also shows you that despite pure love for your child, the distance that “growing up” (never mind “growing up” with gender identity issues) creates between parent and child, and how hard it can be for parents to supress their protective urges when it comes to their children and allowing them the room to grow into their own person, whomever that may be. It spotlights a deeply emotional relationship between a father and son, and the oceans of support and unconditional love always present in Adam’s life. 

This is a powerful tale of not just strength, resilience, and hope, but also of acceptance, grace, and the ever present legacy we leave behind with family, friends, and the world as a whole. 

I extend my utmost gratitude to NetGalley, Tantor Audio, and the author Rick Prashaw for this audiobook ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. 

Initially I did find the narrator off putting, robotic, and sometimes inappropriate, however when I read the note from the publisher, that the narrator is the recipient of Adam’s heart, how can you find fault in what you hear. It’s coming from that deep place of love allowing part of Adam to continue on. Definitely worth the read (or listen if you don’t mind an audiobook narrated by someone with a few “quirks” to their speech patterns!) A 3.5 star audiobook for me.

%d bloggers like this: