Tag Archives: Mystery

Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

I can’t tell you how long I waited to read this sequel to Caraval! Okay, I waited as long as everyone else had to, but after enjoying the first book in the series, I wanted more right then! And needless to say, Stephanie Garber did not disappoint with this mesmerizing tale filled with magic. Another game of Caraval must be played, avoiding a murderous heir to the throne. And there are people trapped in playing cards! Freaky! But do you finally find out who Legend really is? Well, I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to read Legendary for yourself!

The Dead Key by [Pulley, D. M.]

The Dead Key BY D. M. Pulley was a BookBub deal I decided to buy. I don’t normally read thrillers like this, but I was hoping I’d run into a ghost. (I’m not gonna tell if I did.) The author wove an interesting tale with flashbacks from 1998 to present day. Here are parts of the Blub that got me interested with the story of Iris, whom was doing a renovation study of the Cleveland Bank:

Amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost. And then later in the blurb: With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.

The Witch's Boy by [Barnhill, Kelly]

The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill had healing witches, talking stones, bandits, and a boy carrying around the soul of his dead twin brother. I couldn’t wait to read the story of Ned to see how he got on with his life as he helps protect magic that bandits want to steal. A fantastic read!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by [Black, Holly]
I have been a fan of author Holly Black for a while, so it’s no surprise I finally picked up her book The Coldest Girl In Cold TownJust look at that cover, it intrigued me from the start! The blurb sums it best: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. So, if you LOVE stories about vampires, this is for you!

The False Prince (Ascendance Trilogy Book 1) by [Nielsen, Jennifer A.]

What would you do if someone forced you to fake being the Prince? What fun that’d be, you say? Well, what if that person said you’d die if you didn’t, so now you can’t flub anything up! Too much pressure, right? The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilsen is full of tension, adventure, lies, and deadly truths that will keep you turning the page! I definitely recommend!

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn was made into a movie a few years ago (which I haven’t watched yet), so I decided I’d give it a whirl. Here is the blurb:

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she’s made Molly and Michael’s life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that’s not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can’t get any worse.

But they do—when Helen comes. (Oooo, that sealed the deal for me!)

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Is it no wonder I decided to try another Mary Downing Hahn story, Deep and Dark and Dangerous? After all, If I’m going to write ghost stories, I need to read ghost stories! I’ve decided that the author has a thing with bullies, which at times made this story unlikeable. But I had to know about the girl, the one missing from the photo. “Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who’s the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture? ” Could she possibly be the girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances, and her body was never found? You’ll have to read to find out.

The Apprentice Witch by [Nicol, James]

As Library Journal put it, there are shades of J.K. Rowling in this story! The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol begins with Arianwyn failing her witch’s assessment and is thrust to a town called Lull to work as an apprentice for six months, then retake her assessment. Of course, she’s worried she’ll fail again, but has more troubles than the test to worry about as she encounters a dangerous infestation of hexes, banished spirits, forest creatures, and her arched-rival showing up.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel by [Bradley, Alan]

When I read The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley, I didn’t realize I was reading the 6th book of a nine book series. The story read as a standalone, so if you haven’t read the others, no worries! Though most of the narration felt old school, it was fitting considering the setting was 1951 and during the time of Winston Churchill. Flavia de Luce’s mother had been missing for ten years, but her body had recently been found in a glacier and returned home for burial. And I got delighted when Flavia gets a wild idea to resurrect her mother through some brilliant science research she reads about. (I love that she’s a science geek!) But the story is mostly about her following a trail of clues to discover who murdered her mother. An interesting tale, with some big words. LoL. Totally loved it!

What? You want to know if she resurrected her mother? Puh-lease! You know I’m not gonna tell!

See the source image

And there you have my current list of books. Hope you find one to put on your TBR. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

 

Advertisements

WORLDCON 76 SAN JOSE 2018

WorldCon76

San Jose, California was selected to host the 76th Worldcon on August 16th through 20th 2018. Worldcon is an annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, scientists, and other creators.

GUESTS OF HONOR

  • Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo Award- and Nebula Award-winning science fiction author.
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is an American author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and thriller novels, and winner of Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.
  • John Picacio is an American artist specializing in science fiction, fantasy and horror illustration. He has won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist twice!

There are over 300 authors, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, and scientists attending. You’ll find David D. Levine, Peter S Beagle, and many more as featured participants! So, you never know who you’ll be having coffee with in the morning. Check out the complete list here.

If you want to go, rooms are filling up fast at nearby hotels. So, hurry if you plan on attending. As always, have fun and happy mingling and learning.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Secret Agent Contest via Authoress is Coming!

Authoress

Authoress (aka Jillian Boehme) is hosting a round of Secret Agent on her popular Miss Snark’s First Victim site. If you’ve followed Authoress for several years, then you know that she only unveiled herself because she finally got her first book deal! (And this was her one condition she had promised herself before unveiling her true identity.) And many of us are so excited for her because she has given back to the community for so-so-so long! (Thank you Jillian!)

Now, for a few basic details of the contest:

  • Submissions open between Noon & 11:59 pm EDT, March 5th, 2018
  • This is a lottery. The BOT will draw 50 random names.
  • Only the First 250 words will be submitted.
  • Only completed and polished manuscripts may be entered.
  • Only ONE entry per person!

As always, there is no fee to enter the contest. This month’s contest will include the following genres only:

  • Mystery
  • Thriller
  • Literary Fiction (family saga, immigrant stories, etc.)
  • Upmarket Women’s Fiction
  • YA (literary and commercial)

For complete guidelines and entry form, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Contest 2018

pnwa

The deadline for Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest is approaching. All unpublished entries must be received by March 23, 2018. This is also a chance to get feedback on your work. There are twelve categories:

  1. mainstream
  2. historical
  3. romance/women’s fiction
  4. mystery/thriller
  5. sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal
  6. young adult
  7. middle grade
  8. nonfiction/memoir
  9. poetry
  10. short story
  11. children’s picture/chapter book
  12. adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)

There are three monetary prizes:

  • FIRST PLACE: $600
  • SECOND PLACE: $300
  • THIRD PLACE: $100

Eight finalist will receive two critiques on their submissions. The agents and editors participating in the PNWA‘s summer conference will pick winners out of the finalists. Go here for complete details. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Books I’ve Recently Read And Enjoyed

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. And although Halloween has passed, I’m still in the mood for a good MG or YA ghost story, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

LOCKWOOD & CO. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: (Jonathan Stroud) I listened to the audio book of this, which had an older voice than the age of the character. This distracted me a little. And while I felt the story moved a little slow due to the writer being heavy with backstory, it was full of ghosts and young kids trying to get rid of them as their daily paid jobs, which made me think of Ghostbusters! In the end, I quite enjoyed the tale.

THE AWKWARD PATH TO GETTING LUCKY: A NOVEL: (Summer Heacock) What can I say? Sometimes I read more than MG and YA. Okay? Okay. So, this story is very adult and hysterically funny about a woman’s lady-parts gone wonky and in need of mending. She gets guidance from her friends and coworkers at a bakery! Yes, there are plenty of sweets in this story:-) But no, this isn’t an erotic novel with explicit sex. That’s for porn people. Geesh!

JACK AND THE GENIUSES: AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: (Bill Nye) Yep, I’ve always been a science nerd. Whether it’s an invention or research for cures, I’m in! And when you throw brainiac kids in the mix doing the inventions and solving a missing case mystery, doubly better!

WONDER: (R.J. Palacio) It’s no wonder the book has been on NYT Bestselling list for two years and is being made into a movie. It has ALL THE FEELS! While this may be a story about a boy with a deformed face and will make you cry, it also makes you laugh OUT LOUD so many times! The main character seems to find the good in people most of the time and is more generous with his understanding of them than they deserve! This will tug at your heart, but you’ll be happy you read the story. I PROMISE!

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES: (Wade Albert White)  The author is great at making the reader laugh, which is always a win. Orphans going on a dangerous quest, constant roadblocks, and unreliable characters make this story a fantastic read in a world of science and magic. Oh, and there is a cool dragon!

SAVAGE: DRAGONRIDER LEGACY 1: (Nicole Conway) While this suggests the first book of a new tale, it is really an extention of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES and is another great story of Maldobar and Luntharda. I thought I’d miss the character of Jaevid who had been in the previous books (Okay, I kind of did!) but Reigh is introduced and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his magic, which he has to adapt to practically in the same manner as Jaevid had to with his. And for those that loved THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES as much as I did, there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. As you can see, my heart may be black in my writing, but I enjoy a range of genres and age groups when reading. Don’t forget to leave suggestions in the comments for some spooky reads for middle grade and young adult stories. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Ya fiction.

2018 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition 

Minotaur Books (Macmillan) and Mystery Writers of America are sponsoring the First Crime Novel Competition. This contest is open to writer’s age 18 and older, who has never been published or under contract to be published with a novel. The submitted manuscript must involve murder or another serious crime or crimes at the heart of the story. The winner will be offered a standard form author’s agreement and a $10,000 advance against future royalties. Submissions must be received by 11:59pm EST on January 12, 2018. For complete rules, go here.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction

Witness Impulse Open Submissions

23898

How exciting is it to know that one of the big five publishers has imprints that allow authors to submit without having an agent? Of course, I feel the need to stress that I’m a firm believer…

Source: Witness Impulse Open Submissions

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest

pnwa

The deadline for Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest is approaching. All unpublished entries must be received by February 17, 2017. This is also a chance to get feedback on your work. There are twelve categories:

  1. mainstream
  2. historical
  3. romance/women’s fiction
  4. mystery/thriller
  5. sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal
  6. young adult
  7. middle grade
  8. nonfiction/memoir
  9. poetry
  10. short story
  11. children’s picture/chapter book
  12. adult short topics (articles/essays/memoir)

There are three monetary prizes:

  • FIRST PLACE: $600
  • SECOND PLACE: $300
  • THIRD PLACE: $100

Eight finalist will receive two critiques on their submissions. The agents and editors participating in the PNWA‘s summer conference will pick winners out of the finalists. Go here for complete details. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Witness Impulse Open Submissions

23898

How exciting is it to know that one of the big five publishers has imprints that allow authors to submit without having an agent? Of course, I feel the need to stress that I’m a firm believer in agents first, but sometimes there is a need to do submissions in reverse. So who am I to judge!

This digital imprint from HarperCollins called Witness Impulse is for mystery, suspense, and thriller lines. The imprint launched in 2013 and is already the publisher of bestselling authors like Agatha Christie, Stephen Booth, Susan McBride, and more. Go here to learn more and to submit your completed and polished manuscript.

As always, good luck.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.