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Obsidian Black Plague

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

The Secret of the Old Clock: 80th Anniversary Limited Edition
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 100 %
Bride of Pendorric
Victoria Holt
Wyrd Sisters
Terry Pratchett
Progress: 1 %
Dragon Slippers
Jessica Day George
Progress: 100 %
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All Day Training Session Today

Please just keep noting your bingos in the thread and will update if not tonight then tomorrow.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Dragon Slippers - Jessica Day George

I loved everything about this story and now plan on reading the second book in the series. The main character was great, I loved the dragons and their collections.

 

Bingo Call: 10/21/18

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

Bingo Calls!

 

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Bingo Calls:

 

1. Murder by Death (1) (29) (37) (49)

2. Themis-Athena's Garden of Books (2) (3) (16) (21)

3. Spooky's Maze of Books (4) (26) (51) (52)

4. XOX (5) (20) (44) (64)

5. BrokenTune (6) (7) (32) (40)

6. Chris’ Fish Place (8) (30) (58)

7. The better to see you, my dear (9)

8. Moonlight Madness **** 

9. Darth Pony (10) (13) (38) (59)

10. Tannat (11)

11. Jennifer’s BOOooOOOks (12) (17) (33)

12. Portable Monsters (14) (28) (39) (45)

13. Leah’s Bookish Obsession (15) (34) (42) (48)

14. Obsidian Black Plague ****

15. Rachel's books (18) (43)

16. Emerjas (19) (55) (56) (57)

17. Char's Horror Corner (22)

18. Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality! (23)

19. Kaethe (24)

20. Mike Finn - Audio Book Junkie (25) (46) (47) (54)

21. Lilelara (27) (35) (53)

22. Wyvernfriend Reads (31)

23. Familiar Diversions (36)

24. Lora's Rants and Reviews (41)

25. Bookish Blerd (50)

26. isanythingopen (60) (61) (62) (63)

 

To win:

 

Each bingo gets the individual player one entry into the drawing, up to four. If you black out your card, you get another four entries, up to a total of eight!

 

Moonlight will draw winners using random.org on 11/10/18. Everyone can enter, including overseas players, although you might have to wait a bit longer for the prize, since she will send it by the cheapest means possible, possibly overland by camel . . .

 

 

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Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Secret of the Old Clock: 80th Anniversary Limited Edition - Carolyn Keene

Ehhhhhhhhhhh

 

Definitely doesn’t work as an adult reader. Was it just me who got real sick of Nancy?

 

 

Obsidian Black Plague's Bingo Card for 2018

ALL SQUARES READ!!

 

Bingo #4 on this card, but  5 bingos all together!

 

Will add sticker later

 

Squares Called:

09/01/18-"Classic Horror"

09/03/18-"Cryptozoologist" 

09/05/18-"Cozy Mystery"

09/07/18-"New Release"

09/09/18- "Southern Gothic"

09/11/18- "Terrifying Women" 

09/13/18- "A Grimm Tale"

09/15/18- "Modern Masters of Horror" 

09/17/18- "Creepy Carnivals"

09/19/18- “Relics and Curiousities”

09/21/18- “Diverse Voices”

09/23/18- "Murder Most Foul"

09/25/18-"Amateur Sleuth"

09/27/18-"Genre: Suspense"

09/29/18 -“Supernatural”

10/01/18-"Ghost Stories"

10/03/18-"Doomsday"

10/05/18- “Shifters”

10/07/18- “13”

10/09/13- "Terror in a Small Town"

10/11/18- "Darkest London"

10/13/18-"Gothic"

10/15/18-"Genre: Horror"

10/17/18-“Fear the Drowning Deep"

10/19/18-“Spellbound”

 

 

 

 Books Read

 

Terrifying Women: Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith, Read 8/30/18

 

Cryptozoologist: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Read 9/01/18

 

Creepy Carnivals: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, Read 9/02/18

 

13- Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie, Read 09/03/18

 

Raven- Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz, Read 09/05/18

 

Genre: Horror-'Salem's Lot by Stephen King, Read 09/07/18

 

New Release is Flight or Fight edited by Stephen King and Bev Vincent, Read 09/10/18

 

Southern Gothic is Tales From the Haunted South by Tiya Miles, Read 09/11/18 

 

Shiters is Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews, Read 09/11/18

 

Romantic Suspense is The Search by Nora Roberts, Read 9/13/18

 

Ghost Stories is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read 09/15/18

 

Slasher Stories is Thinner by Stephen King (Wild Card), Read 09/15/18

 

Fear the Drowning Deep is Cujo by Stephen King (Wild Card), Read 09/16/18

 

Modern Masters of Horror is One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards, Read 09/17/18

 

Spellbound is The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson, Read 09/18/18

 

A Grimm Tale is Hunted by Meagan Spooner, Read 09/21/18

 

Amateur Sleuth is A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie, Read 09/22/18

 

Darkest London is Dracula by Bram Stoker, Read 09/22/18

 

Diverse Voices is The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi, Read 09/23/18

 

Murder Most Foul is The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr, Read 09/24/18

 

Doomsday is I Am Legend by Robert Matheson, Read 09/24/18

 

Deadlands is Feed by Mira Grant, Read 09/27/18

 

Terror in a Small Town is Carrie by Stephen King, Read 09/28/18

 

Baker Street Irregulars is Lair of Dreams by Libby Bray, Read 09/29/18

Bingo Call: 10/19/18

 

 

Spellbound: books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerors and witchcraft.

Bingo Call: 10/17/18

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

My Least Favorite Books So Far This Year

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I have come for the airing of grievances. I have come to beg the Book Gods to give me a break and have me stop reading books that totally do my head in. I have asked for characters to stop being too stupid to leave. I am on my knees declaring an end to love triangles and information dumps via third parties.

 

1. Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught (Whitney My Love Review)

Hey you don't want to read a book where the hero is violent towards the heroine, but somehow it is always her fault? This book is pretty famous in Romance Land. 

 

2. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (How The Light Gets In Review)

Honestly, the continuing adventures of Armand Gamache in this one didn't work for me. You have so much mess going on with Jean Guy that this book did my head in. At this point I have no idea why Gamache continues to trust Jean Guy anymore. And I got really tired of constantly reading about the supposed corruption in the police force that only Gamache could root out. 

 

3. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (The Lying Game Review)

Do you want to read about rules to a lying game that never really gets shown throughout the book, instead the author just has chapter headings about it? Do you want to read about the lead character and her constantly dragging her infant daughter with her while she purposely seeks out dangerous situations? I also had a hard time with the lack of character development and the secret that this woman and her supposed friends (she hasn't seen in person in years) kept. 

 

4. The Burial Hour by Jeffrey Deaver (The Burial Hour Review)

I have 100 percent given on on reading about Rhymes anymore. It's just gotten to the point that the character has gotten to a really unbelievable stage and the plots don't make much sense to me anymore.

 

5. Not Ready for Mom Jeans by Maureen Lipinski (Not Ready for Mom Jeans Review)

I just got over this book after the constant bashing of working moms and women who are overweight.

 

6. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (Dune Messiah Review)

A thousand times no. I will never get the time back from trying to muddle through this book.

 

7. The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz (The Silent Corner)

I cannot get over newly published books by Dean Koontz. This one was really bad IMHO. Reading a book that is barely horror (though it's touted to be) with the main character as a Mary Sue. No thanks. 

 

8. Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan (Where the Past Begins Review)
This memoir rambled and skipped over a lot of things. 

 

9. A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery (A Million Little Things Review)

All three characters we follow in this one are very flat. One situation that arises in this book had me rolling my eyes and also not finding the ending very realistic. 

 

10. Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery (Sisters Like Us Review)

Doesn't really follow sisters, follows two sisters, and one sister's daughter. The one sister's romance was beyond frustrating and I hated the male hero for saying he wasn't ready for a relationship but trying to force himself into their lives anyway. You don't get to be half in. I kind of threw in the towel on the Mischief Bay series after this one.

 

11. Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham (Happiness Review)

This memoir tried too hard and just didn't work for me at all.

 

12. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (Burn Bright Review)

I have never had so many discussions around one book in my life. This put the nail in the Alpha and Omega series for me. I can't go back and read anymore. I am still feeling a bit uneasy about continuing with the Mercy Thompson series.

 

13. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (Bonfire Review)

Way too many plot elements going on and read like a Lifetime murder mystery.

 

14. The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder (The People We Hate at the Wedding Review)

Trees died for this book.

 

15. Perfect by Judith McNaught (Perfect Review)

The absurdity of this whole book was made worse by the alpha males in this one. 

 

16. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right Review)

The main character, writing, and flow were awful. Could not continue with this series.

 

17. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (The Long Way Home Review)

A filler book that was just written to kill off a main character. Nothing about this one makes any sense at all. I also ended up hating the character of Clara.

 

18. The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum (The Art of French Kissing Review)

Reading about two teens acting like jerks didn't do a thing for me. The main point of the book (the cooking competition) should have taken up more space than it did. Most of the book was just reading about how nasty Carter was being to Reid.

 

19. My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry (My Husband's Wife Review)

I don't know if I disliked this one more than The Girl Before or not. They both just suffer from could not happen unless heroine had a total brain transplant.

 

20. The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews (The High Tide Club Review)

Didn't know if it wanted to be a romance or a romantic suspense book. Neither one really works. The main plot of needing to hire someone to track down old friends doesn't work out really well and I loathed how the characters who were POC were portrayed. 

 

I will update this list again in December. 

Bingo Call: 10/15/18

 

 

Genre: Horror: anything that fits into the horror genre.

Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett

Well finally starting the buddy read. Can't wait to see everyone's comments/updates/and reviews.

 

Obsidian Black Plague's Second Bingo Card for 2018

Pumpkins represent called and read. I am too lazy to keep updating this to show calls :-)

 

BINGO on second card!

 

Squares Called:

09/01/18-"Classic Horror"

09/03/18-"Cryptozoologist" 

09/05/18-"Cozy Mystery"

09/07/18-"New Release"

09/09/18- "Southern Gothic"

09/11/18- "Terrifying Women" 

09/13/18- "A Grimm Tale"

09/15/18- "Modern Masters of Horror" 

09/17/18- "Creepy Carnivals"

09/19/18- “Relics and Curiousities”

09/21/18- “Diverse Voices”

09/23/18- "Murder Most Foul"

09/25/18-"Amateur Sleuth"

09/27/18-"Genre:Suspense"

09/29/18-"Supernatural" 

10/01/18-“Ghost Stories" 

10/03/18-"Doomsday"

10/05/18- “Shifters”

10/07/18- “13”

10/09/18- "Terror in a Small Town"

10/11/18- "Darkest London"

10/13/18-"Gothic"

 

 

Row #1

Amateur Sleuth: Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple #1) by Agatha Christie

Baker Street Irregulars: The Secret of the Old Clock, Book 1, by Carolyn Keene

Cryptozoologist: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Cozy Mystery: Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery #1) by Vivien Chien

Southern Gothic: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

 

Row#2

Murder Most Foul: The Witch Elm by Tana French

Supernatural: The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

Darkest London: The September Society by Charles Finch

Modern Noir: Dark Sacred Night (Bosch and Ballard Novel) by Michael Connelly

Doomsday: Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Illona Andrews


Row#3

Fear the Drowning Deep: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
Terror in a Small Town: The Witness by Nora Roberts

Free Space: Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chen

Gothic:  Bride of Pendorric by Victoria Holt

New Release: Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

 

Row #4

Terrifying Women: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Country House Mystery: They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer

13: Thirteen Guests (British Library Crime Classics) by J. Jefferson Farjeon

Romantic Suspense: Leverage in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel by J. D. Robb

Genre: Suspense: Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts

Row#5

Relics and Curiosities: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Spellbound: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett 

A Grimm Tale: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Dead Lands: Warm Bodies by Issac Marion

Ghost Stories: The Other Side by J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, etc. 

 

Read: 

New Release is Ghosted by Rosie Walsh, Read 10/1/18

A Grimm Tale is The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, Read 10/1/18

Cozy Mystery is Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien, Read 10/1/18

Free Space is Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien, Read 10/2/18

Southern Gothic is The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Read 10/8/18

Romantic Suspense is Leverage in Death by JD Robb, Read 10/8/18

Doomsday is Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews, Read 10/10/18

Amateur Sleuth is Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie, Read 10/10/18

Genre: Suspense is Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts, Read 10/11/18

Murder Most Foul is The Witch Elm by Tana French, Read 10/14/18

Ghost Stories is The Other Side by JD Robb, Mary Blayney, Read 10/14/18

Not Afraid of No Ghosts

The Other Side - J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan

Typical anthology, some stories were good, though most were meh. I would probably have put this aside after the JD Robb story, but kept plugging away.

 

Possession in Death (In Death #31.5) by JD Robb (3.5 stars)- This is a futuristic romance taking place in 2060. It was nice to read an In Death story showing all of Eve's coworkers and people important to her. We start off with everyone at a fun BBQ which is quickly overshadowed by murder. I do wish that the more recent works had everyone together in them and actually just hanging out. I had no idea how much I missed that until I read this story. We have Eve called away and finds herself holding an older Romany woman (Gizi) who was stabbed to death. Eve agrees to find Gizi's granddaughter Beata that has gone missing. Eve realizes slowly though that somehow she has been possessed by Gizi. She and Roarke work together to see if they figure out what happened to Beata in order for Eve to return back to normal. I liked the thought of Eve being able to see ghosts and help lay them to rest. Frankly it's not much different from her dreams which have seemed to gotten more prophetic at times during the series. In the end though, the entire story-line moved a little too fast (not surprising since this is a short story) and we don't get a chance to digest things.

 

The Other Side of the Coin by Mary Blayney (5 stars)- This is a historical romance taking place in 1810. The one story not about ghosts in any way was my favorite. I liked the idea of the Earl of Fellsborough (Harry) swapping bodies with his wife (Bettina). They have an argument and both throw a mysterious coin that is nearby and wish for things at the same time. Bettina wishes that Harry could be in her shoes and Harry wishes that his wife would trust him. It was pretty funny to read them trying to deal with the ins and outs of being men and women in this time period. We also got to see their views on a lot of things such as the slave trade too. The funniest scene though was when the Earl got a period (in his wife's body) and I maybe laughed so hard I hurt my ribs. The agony he was in and the countess just rolling her eyes was hilarious. 

“Does it feel like some monster from hell is working its way through your stomach and below and the only relief will be when it explodes out of you? But before that can happen the pain fades, but only for a few moments.”

“Yes.” He sounded amazed at her insight.

“It happens every month, my lady,” Bettina said with a sarcastic emphasis on the honorific. “Indeed, it will happen monthly right before your courses for the next twenty years.”

“God help me.” 

I also like how Blayney played with romance scenes in this one too. 

 

Dancing Ghost by Patricia Gaffney (3 stars)-This is a historical romance taking place in 1895. A young woman (Angie Darlington) hires a man (Henry Cleland) who claims to be a paranormal investigator. Angie doesn't really believe that Henry can find or sense ghosts. She is merely trying to use him to prove her grandparent's house is haunted in order to prevent her cousin from selling it. I just found myself bored while reading this. Neither characters interested me much. I was more interested in the literary sayings about love that were appearing on a mirror in a bedroom. 

 

Almost Heaven by Ruth Ryan Langan (2 stars)-This is a contemporary romance. Ted and Vanessa are an older and happily married couple. They leave a party celebrating their daughter's engagement and died when the brakes fail. They get to stay on this side as ghosts and are told they can hang around for a while, but not interfere. Things get dicey though when they realize that someone purposely murdered them. This and the next story are among my least favorite in this anthology. Probably because we don't get any character development from Christina and Jake. They are just props in the overall story and you don't really root for them. I also didn't like Ted that much when he admits he thought their young son Tyler (who suffers from autism) was not intelligent. I just hard cringed at that line. 

 

Never Too Late for Love by Mary Kay McComas (2 stars)-This is also a contemporary romance. MJ is hell-bent on selling her mother's home and then comes to find her ghost and the ghosts of her two aunts who have passed on. The story had too much going on, and McComas trying to throw a love story in there didn't help either. I just didn't think that the story-line was remotely interesting since it seemed like all MJ was talk. And I didn't buy her romance with the guy next door (Ryan) he was beige as hell. The ending just fell flat. I wish the anthology had wrapped on a stronger note. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.

The Other Side - J.D. Robb, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan

Yikes. If I wasn't reading this for a square I would totally DNF it.

 

So far only one story is really tied together with a ghost, Eve Dallas's "Possession in Death" (In Death #31.5). it initially is okay with Eve and Roarke having a BBQ at their home with Eve's fellow cops and friends. She is still feeling awful after closing the case on two thrill killers from the last book (FYI, I forgot how much I loathed that book). Eve gets a call and goes out and finds a woman dying after being stabbed, someone though Eve invites her into herself and is able to see the newly dead. It works mostly, and I did love that Roarke this time was very much about doing what he could to get Eve back to herself. 

 

"The Other Side of the Coin" by Mary Blayney has the Earl and Countess of Fellsborough switching bodies. I know that many people who have read these anthologies know that Blayney also has the whole magical coin thing going on. This was pretty interesting and I loved the resolution. No ghosts though.

 

I started "Dancing Ghost" by Patricia Gaffney and so far am not a fan. Reading two people sending letters back and forth to each other is boring me to tears. At least this one is about ghost hunters it seems operating in the 1800s. 

 

The Witch Elm

The Witch Elm - Tana French

Well first things first, don't go into this expecting the Dublin Murder Squad. This is a standalone by Tana French. We do get detectives in this one, but one wonders if the next book will follow the squad again and if this story will be discussed on the periphery. This not being a Dublin Murder squad book is not why I gave this three stars though. The story told her is disjointed (purposely due to Toby's injuries) but if it was just that it may have worked. I think the biggest issue I had was the way that Toby finds out the truth (during the world's most boring info-dump) and then the ending that made zero sense after a while.

 

 

"The Witch Elm" told in the first person, follows Toby who is a bright eyed and bushy tailed 28 year old guy in PR at a small art gallery. He is in a long-term happy relationship with his girlfriend Melissa and he has two best friends. Deciding to skip going to his girlfriend's house one night after being out with his two best friends causes Toby's life to twist into something new. Going home causes him to fall asleep and then wake to two men burglarizing his apartment. Toby decides to fight back and is beaten almost to death. When he wakes he finds out he is going to need time to recover. However, Toby post burglary is different. He can barely stand to be touched, he picks fights with his mother, he can barely even be around his girlfriend. When his cousin tells him that their Uncle Hugo is dying of an inoperable cancer she asks that Toby go stay with him and help him. Toby and Melissa go and stay with Hugo, and things at times seem to be getting better until a skull is found in Hugo's back garden in a witch elm tree. FYI, they spell witch wych throughout the book and it kept throwing me every time.  

 

Toby reminds me on the surface level of Rob from "Into the Woods." Two male characters who don't recollect huge pockets of their lives. Rob was left scarred by what happened to him in the woods. He never does recall what happened and French gives no hint what fate befell his two friends. Rob doesn't truly recover from his childhood and in the end because he didn't want to face things, he ruined his career and his friendship with his ex-partner Cassie. 


Toby is in PR for an art gallery and things are going okay for him, though he's quite lucky he wasn't fired from his job after his boss caught him in a lie about an artist. Going out drinking with his two friends, Sean and Dec he is giddy with relief about not being fired and getting away with what he has done. There at the beginning we are given glimpses into Toby. A 28 year old guy who doesn't seem to realize that his actions have true consequences. He sees his best friend Dec as being jealous of him and feeling terrible because of his background. He never sees that he should grow up and think about others around him. After the burglary we see Toby change, but often at times while reading this I wondered how much he truly changed. He had physical difficulties, but the same cluelessness that seemed to be in him from the time he was a kid was still there as an adult. I don't think that I liked him much in retrospect. When Toby starts playing detective it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me as a reader. And Toby doesn't find out things by investigating, he just gets people drunk or high and starts asking questions. I don't know, something was missing from this book that I get from the Dublin Murder Squad books.

 

The other characters don't really jibe that well in this one either. Melissa works better than most of the other secondary characters. I just thought Toby dismisses her throughout the story, though he's painted as being very in love with her. 

 

Toby's family felt a bit confusing to me at first. I honestly needed a chart after we do get to meet all of them. I wish that we had more details about Uncle Hugo. Considering what a huge role this character had to play due to Toby staying at this home, his parts that focused on genealogy felt a bit off at times. Susana and Leo are developed a bit more, but in the end what we know of them doesn't work the whole way when you think about the ending. 

 

As I said above we do get detectives in this one, actually two sets. The first we meet due to Toby's attack, and the next due to the police being called after the skull is found in the witch elm tree. The detectives don't work for me throughout this book. The ones investigating Toby's burglary and beating seemed like an after thought and joke The ones investigating the probable murder didn't seem very solid to me.

 

The writing was okay, I just though the story after a while started to get disjointed. Due to Toby's memory issue a lot of times things are just being told to him. I just wish that there was another way besides constant information dumps to have Toby find out something. And then in the end we do have him remember something and it absolutely didn't even make sense why he would remember this one incident after everything else was a black hole. 

 

The flow was up and down throughout the book. 

 

The setting of the book takes place at Toby's paternal family's home called "The Ivy House". Honestly I wonder why the book wasn't just called that. The home sounded very real and about 90 percent of the book takes place at this location.  

 

The ending as I already said doesn't work for me. Maybe if French had changed the ending (cannot get into it without spoilers) it would have worked for me. It just all felt a bit too far fetched to me. And as I said above, it doesn't help that Toby reminded me of Rob. 

 

 

Bingo Call: 10/13/18

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness: