“Vampire Night Bus Pounds My Butt” by Chuck Tingle

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I read this as part of the MacHalo group’s little Halloween buddy smut challenge.

Some buses are sentient in the Tinglerverse. Vlad is one of these buses and is technically Bus 13.

“These living vehicles are rare but not unheard of, and my scoffing at one could be seen by some as racially insensitive.”

But there is something a little extra-different about Bus 13. Not only is it a “living bus,” but… dun dun dunnnn!!!!

It’s a vampire bus.

Our hero, Rick, of course ends up on Vlad (in more ways than one!) and he is your typical vampire bus: Eastern European accent, “incredibly handsome in a dark and brooding kind of way,” with a “muscular chest” and abs.

Vlad “takes the long route” and they go for a scenic drive, where Rick gets a woody because he can’t resist “the strange charisma of this handsome city vehicle.”

Vlad takes him back to his castle where he proceeds to make all of his “darkest fantasies come true.”

Guess what Vlad drinks instead of blood? Guess…

So, Vlad’s peen is inside the bus. Of course, this is another “gay for you” story with Rick never having been with another man before Vlad.

Can’t you imagine the accent as Vlad says: “How do you like that vampire bus c**k?”

“Oh my dark lord of the night!” Rick says. LOL

The ending is great! Rick is afraid Vlad is going to make him a bat, and he doesn’t. He makes him a living bus instead! hahaha

That wraps up this short little Freaky Friday edition. I never get tired of Tingle’s “living object” stories. hehe. Until next time, stay freaky.

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Books to Read During Spooktober

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We thought we would compile a list of books to read during the month of October. These aren’t Halloween-themed books, but are perfect for anyone looking to be spooked, scared, thrilled, grossed out… you get the idea.

Shelly’s Picks

1. Dead Souls

I loved this book. It’s violent at times, but wildly entertaining, and is about selling your soul to the devil and the chaos that happens afterward. There are some truly WTF moments happening in these pages toward the end.

Here is my review at Goodreads.

2. Bird Box

This is more of a creepy thriller, but another book I gave five stars to at Goodreads. It’s got a dystopian/post-apocalyptic vibe, girl power, and will leave you thinking when you are finished.

3. The Red Mohawk

This book was a hoot! It’s offensive, irrevent, and violent at times, but it was like a Quentin Tarantino movie, in my view. Over the top crazy shenanigans going on. Not really scary, but definitely a good book to read for Halloween. My review at Goodreads.

4. Brother

This book kept me up until 2 a.m. reading. It’s got a backwoods hillbilly serial killer theme and was just so addicting. It can be pretty brutal, but is more than a slasher tale.

5. It

What horror list could be complete without the classic of all time, It? Pennywise the clown. Traumatizing kids and adults alike for decades. That’s pretty much enough said. A door stopper of a book, but one of King’s best, in my view.

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Sam’s Picks

So, it has recently been brought to my attention (at the moment I agreed to contribute to this list!) that I don’t read many scary or spooky books anymore. Why?! As a young reader, thrillers with an undertone of horror were a book staple for me. I really need to work on balancing my reading selections by adding more creepy goodness to my repertoire. However, I do have a few recs that I think pass muster. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Bird Box by Josh Malerman (yes, I’m totally stealing Shelly’s rec!)

Like Shelly said, this is more thriller/suspense, but there is a vein of uneasiness that runs throughout the entirety of the book. The unknown can be terrifying, and this book makes great use of that premise.

2.  Cold Fire by Dean Koontz

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This was one of my first Koontz books and one of the reasons I fell in love with the horror/suspense genre as a teen. There are many, many books of his that I could add to this list, but I’m sticking to just this one. I haven’t read it in years, but thinking about it still gives me the creeps, and windmills, in particular, will always seems ominous and surreal.

3. Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn (which, incidentally, does take place during Halloween)

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Don’t let the title mislead you, this book is not about Edgar Allan Poe…at least not directly. At its heart, it’s a good, ole-fashioned ghost story that I really enjoyed. This was the author’s first published work, for which she won the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror category I might add. Shelly included another work by the same author in her list, so my advice is check both titles out!

4. Seed by Ania Ahlborn

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I’ll admit, part of what drew me to this book was the cover art. While it wasn’t technically a favorite of mine, the pages in between contain a story that had some genuinely disturbing moments with an ending I was not expecting (for some reason). Again, Shelly beat me to the punch with this author. To quote Cartman, “Whatever, I do what I want” so I’m adding it….plus it’s one of the few horror books I’ve read fairly recently. With this author recommended by both of us, I think she’s worth looking into!

5. Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror Book #3) by Karina Halle

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Y’all, I was such a fangirl of this series when I first discovered it. I literally had all of my IRL reader friends reading these books. The books were fun and quirky and more than a little spooky. Unfortunately, the series took a dive for me around Book #6, so I never finished it out (maybe one day). With that little disclaimer out of the way, this book still stays in my head for its creep factor. They spend the night on an island where shit gets crazy. I recommend Books #1-5 (plus the novellas), but after that you’re on your own.

BONUS (since I did technically repeat one of Shelly’s suggestions)

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk 

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Chuck never fails to elicit some type of emotional response with his works, though it’s usually more like revulsion or disgust with his macabre style and sense of humor (which I totally love by the way!) This one is no different. If you like books that leave you unsettled and twisted, you should totally check him (and this) out.

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Abby’s Picks

If you couldn’t tell by my movie selections, I don’t really do scary. But for some reason, I do really enjoy scary audiobooks. Don’t ask me to explain why, I’m not really sure. But it does remind me of sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories. So here are 5 spooky/creepy audiobooks that I highly recommend. I’m not sure if these will hold up reading them, so give them a listen.

1. The Haunting of Blackwood House 

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By Darcy Coates, this is the most recent scary story that I’ve listened to. I highly recommend listening to it. The narrator does a fantastic job. I listened to it at work and half expected an ax man to jump out at me.

2. Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales

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I firmly believe any lover of horror should read the classics at some point in their life. For me, the audiobooks was the perfect way to do it. It took me a few months to get through the whole thing, but I was only listening to 1 or 2 stories at a time.

3. Forsaken (Shadow Cove Saga,  #1)

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You absolutely must listen to this story. It’s been over a year since I have. But I still get chills thinking about the narrator saying… Tap……Tap……Tap. 

4. Haunted 

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I’d rather not discuss how much this book scared me. So just go enjoy it if you want to be creeped out.

5. The Stand

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Believe it or not, I actually read everything Stephen King had written when I was in 6th grade. This may or may not be the reason I’m so chicken now, but I don’t think so. This one continues to be the most terrifying to me. It randomly pops up in my mind at very inappropriate times, like using the restroom. Every few years I go crazy and think I should re-read this. I’m clearly nuts.

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Kira’s Picks

Scary or spooky books are generally not something I gravitate towards. I’m not easy to scare, so maybe that has something to do with it. I second Sam’s recommendation for Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series. I was obsessed with it. Anyway my picks are a bit unorthodox, but these are the few spooky or horror books that I genuinely loved.

1. Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

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This is one of my favorite books ever! Not only was it dark and demented but gory as hell. Lots of murder and blood wrapped up in an Alice in Wonderland retelling. You can read my review here.

2. The Visitor (Graveyard Queen #4) by Amanda Stevens

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All around great series that gets quite spooky at times. This book in particular was the best, but they have to be read in order for what’s going on in this to make any sense. It has a strong paranormal romance element, so you may want to avoid this if that’s not your thing.

3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Technically this a kid’s book, which really surprised me when I read it. It’s quite dark. I would have at least classified this as young adult although I read this to my kids when they were young and they loved it. After having his family slaughtered, a young boy wandered into a cemetery where the ghosts decided to protect him. It’s highly original. I’d recommend this for anyone of any age to read.

4. Horrorscape (Horrorscape #2) by Nenia Campbell

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The Horrorscape trilogy was my introduction to dark and demented books. Everything that happened in these was wrong on so many levels, and I couldn’t put them down. They were absolutely addicting. You’ve got to have some dark depths to your soul to find these appealing. I picked this book in particular because it more closely resembles traditional horror than the others in the series although the last one is definitely the most horrific.

5. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

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I love Gillian Flynn’s books because they’re always dark. The Grownup is a horror short story. It had a nice twist at the end that I hadn’t seen coming. It’s a quick read, so pick it up if you’ve got an hour or less to spare.

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Author Q&A: Craig Schaefer (of the Daniel Faust series)

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We are super-honored to have an author Q&A with Craig Schaefer, who writes the Daniel Faust, Revanche Cycle, and Harmony Black series (links below in author bio section). Mr. Schaefer is one of our FAVORITE authors at the MacHalo group and blog, so we couldn’t be more delighted that he said YES to our request. We HIGHLY recommend all of his books.

The Daniel Faust series is gritty urban fantasy about the seedy paranormal underworld.

The Revanche Cycle is epic fantasy with tons of betrayal and intrigue, witches and corrupt politicians.

Harmony Black is secret government groups fighting paranormal crime with a heavy dash of conspiracy and magic thrown in.

So let’s get down to it.

Q: Which of your series would you recommend new readers start with?

A: I’d love for everyone to start with the Revanche Cycle, because that’s my personal favorite, but I’ve learned (the hard way) that a lot of urban fantasy readers have no interest in epic fantasy — which is the main reason the Faust/Harmony books are my bread and butter while the Revanche books…aren’t.

For UF readers, I’d suggest starting with the Faust series, specifically with The White Gold Score. While it’s technically book 1.5, beyond a couple of references it pretty much stands alone, and it was written much more recently. Every writer evolves (or should evolve) and I’d like to think I’m a much better writer today than I was when The Long Way Down came out, so it makes for a better introduction to my work.

Also, it’s a novella, so if you hate it, at least you didn’t waste much time on it.

Q: What is your favorite series and/or character you have written?

Favorite series? The Revanche Cycle, hands down. Favorite character? Ooh, that’s a lot tougher. That definitely changes with my mood. If I had to narrow it down to a core few, though? Renata Nicchi, the “ordinary barmaid” who shows the world what “ordinary” people are capable of, has to top the list. Jessie Temple, constantly at war with the forces of darkness both outside and within herself, and mostly winning. Nessa Fieri – gleefully and unrepentantly wicked, capable of immense cruelty and ferocious love – rounds out the top three.

Also, honorable mention for cannibal fashion designer Fredrika Vinter. Freddie’s scenes (along with her long-suffering BFF Halima) are always so much fun to write. (“Naturally, dahling.”)

Q: ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) wants to declare her undying love for Daniel Faust and is a huge fan. She wants to know if there will be a Jessie spinoff and if Harmony Black and Daniel Faust will ever have a crossover with both characters being featured in a book?

No current plans for a Jessie spinoff. Jessie is a really tricky character in some regards; I’ve never shared this before, but one of the earliest very-partial drafts for the first Harmony Black novel (it ran out of steam around five chapters in) had her as the POV character instead of Harmony. The problem can be summed up by the scene in HB where she and Harmony endure a psychic parasite’s nightmare vision and she says, “That’s what it’s like in my head all the time.”

She’s funny and fierce, but that’s partially a shield to keep her friends from seeing the stuff she has to fight to keep a lid on, every waking moment of the day. This is a woman who was raised by a serial killer and forced to participate in her father’s crimes, without any kind of a moral compass until she was rescued in her early teens. Throw in the occult contagion from the King of Wolves and, well, it’s a lot easier to write about her from a slightly removed perspective; going first-person could take things from “just dark enough” to “way too dark” in a hurry.

Yes, there will absolutely be a Harmony/Faust crossover at some point. There’s already sort of one coming up in next year’s Wisdom’s Grave trilogy, where both characters make important appearances, but in a supporting-cast role. I really want to do a crossover that’s all about the two of them, I just haven’t figured out the best way to write it yet. Considering some people only read one of the two series, and I try to keep them as stand-alone as possible for that reason, I have to really think about what I can do with it plot-wise and which story elements I can resolve in a crossover that some readers might not be interested in picking up.)

(I will say, whether Harmony and Daniel make peace at last or not, you know we’re gonna see their respective teams square off and go a few rounds. I’m not a big fan of superhero tropes in general, but sometimes you just have to see who would win in a fight…)

Q: Several of us have noticed you write amazing female characters. They are strong, independent, no “damsels in distress.” Is this a conscious effort on your part or do you just naturally have an affinity for bad-ass females? 😊

Thank you so much! Yes, it’s a very conscious effort. As a writer and a feminist, positive representation is really important to me. Note that “positive” doesn’t mean “only positive character traits.” I don’t set out to create flawless, all-powerful Mary Sues, because that’s just as bad as wilting damsels in distress; both reduce female characters down to playing pieces and plot coupons. God save us from “kick-ass heroines” whose entire personality is 1) spunky/snarky and 2) they know kung fu, which is often exactly what Hollywood foists off on us.

My aim (I don’t always get it right, but I try) is to write female characters with authentic voices, inner lives, strengths and flaws. Which is really the standard we should all expect of any character of any gender, in all of our media, so the simple fact that it’s notable proves why it’s so important. It shouldn’t be extraordinary, it should be the baseline.

Ultimately, I write about the women in my life. No, I don’t hang out with murderous witches or mob bosses (as far as I’m willing to admit in public), but the heroines and villainesses of my fantasy novels draw their roots from the real women around me – from their struggles, their triumphs, their hopes, fears and joys. They’re my inspiration.

Q: Do you have any plans for a new series or book you can share with us?

This coming January will bring the first book of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy, a special event crossover between all of my existing series. Fresh from the pages of the Revanche Cycle, Nessa and Mari – reborn as college professor Vanessa Roth and police detective Marie Reinholt – find each other once again in modern-day New York. Just like hundreds of times before, they’re cursed to meet, fall in love, and die, reenacting an ancient and forgotten fairy tale. But things are a little different now: someone’s spoiled the plot.

Forewarned of their fate, Nessa and Marie have one chance to break free, find the source of their curse, and demand justice. This time, they’re writing their own ending.

My initial outline notes described the trilogy as “a rock and roll road trip to the edge of the multiverse, with black magic and bullets.” The first book is with my editor as we speak; it’s arguably the darkest thing I’ve ever written, and absolutely isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but the trilogy is a passion project of mine so it had to get written.

Q: How long do you see your current two series running?

The Faust series will probably run twenty books or so, but the series outline has a lot of wriggle room so it can grow or contract based on what the fans want and how its momentum feels. (Yes, I know how it all ends. The final scene of the final book is already written – I wanted to have a goal-post of sorts to keep me focused – though it’s doubtlessly going to get a full rewrite by the time we actually get there.)

The Harmony series is more open-ended. I’ve got three possible ways to wrap the series up, and I haven’t decided which one I like best yet. I’d say we’ll see at least five more books, and we’re nowhere near properly setting up any of the three endings. My readers know I’m a big fan of playing the long game…

Q: Are we going to get more from the Revanche world – and anytime soon? Any little spoilers you can share?

I don’t know if we’ll ever go back for a book set exclusively in the Revanche setting, but I can tell you (and you heard it here first) that book two or three of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy will definitely see our antiheroines taking a jaunt back “home.”

Maybe I can share two tiny spoilers. One: Hedy will be back. The Mouse is her mother’s daughter, and when the Owl needs her most, she’ll be there. Two: two particular characters from the final chapter of Queen of the Night will not be in it. They earned their ending, and they really did live happily ever after, or at least as happy as a contented life with the person you love can be. They are the only two characters I consider officially out of my keyboard’s reach. They won.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite books and authors?

If I had to pick an all-time favorite author, I’d have to go with Elmore Leonard. An absolute master of his craft, in the vein of two of my other favorites, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Amazing dialogue, lean and stripped-down prose, all three wrote purring and sleek engines of fiction. I’m nowhere near that good, but if I keep working hard, someday I might get close.

I also have to give a shout-out to an author I’ve only recently discovered and I’m eagerly plowing my way through her back-catalog. Mo Hayder is a top-notch crime/suspense writer, and her book “The Devil of Nanking” is amazing. It gave me the same goosebumps I got from reading “Silence of the Lambs” for the first time. Dark, sinister, depraved…you know, all the stuff I like.

Cold Spectrum, book four in the Harmony Black series, is released on October 31, 2017.

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Craig Schaefer’s books have taken readers to the seamy edge of a criminal underworld drenched in shadow (the Daniel Faust series), to a world torn by war, poison and witchcraft (the Revanche Cycle), and across a modern America mired in occult mysteries and a conspiracy of lies (the Harmony Black series).

Despite this, people say he’s strangely normal. Suspiciously normal, in fact.

Schaefer lives in Illinois with a small retinue of cats, all of whom try to interrupt his writing schedule and/or kill him on a regular basis. He practices sleight of hand in his spare time, though he’s not very good at it. His home on the Web is www.craigschaeferbooks.com.

Craig Schaefer on Amazon.

Guest Blogger: Author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown!

We have our very first guest blogger, Jessica, who scored an author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown. Jessica is a member at the MacHalo group at Goodreads and she is awesome. So, without further ado, here we go!

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Stacey Marie Brown is an independent writer of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, but to me she is The Abolisher of Mundane Chores (cause that’s a thing!). She’s the reason I’ve ignored dishes, laundry, and sometimes sleep. Tying three series (Lightness Series, The Collector Series, and Darkness Series) together into an even larger story, she has introduced readers to strong female leads, lovable friends and sidekicks, hot men, magic, and lots of fast paced adventure. Her latest book (that will keep me awake – again) is Fall of the King, She carved out some time to answer a few questions and let me geek out and pick her brain. The fabulously badass ladies of Dust Off Your MacHalo gave me a place to share what I’ve learned. Here’s what Stacey had to say.

Jessica: I’m just going to dive in here and say the release of Fall of the King is right around the corner (like, days away! I’m a little excited for this! Questions. Right.). What are you able to share about this installment? How will it fit into the rest of the series? Will we see some old friends?

Stacey: Oooh, I don’t want to spoil the story, but Lars has finally met his match. And it will be a dual POV. You will see a different side to him…a more vulnerable side. I think some who may have not liked him before are going to see the man underneath. The true Lars.

We will definitely be seeing old friends! With every book in the Lightness Saga, I am tying in the Darkness and Collector series for one final bang! Lars is book 3, the next book is the FINAL one in all three series!!

Jessica: The world you’ve created and woven into 3 different series is vast and layered, with intersecting characters, all affecting each other. Did you know ahead of time which characters would be connected and that they would all be part of a bigger story?

Stacey: No! I was dead set against combining the series at first (why you can read Collector Series or the Darkness Series first), but as the story progressed, they decided for me. And it made sense that their paths would all eventually cross.

Jessica: Once you’ve come up with one of your badass story ideas, what’s your writing process like?

Stacey: I really wish I could say I have one. I get my butt in a chair and write. I do a very basic outline and mostly write as I go, so it takes me longer than some other authors. I have an acting/directing background and they play in my head like a movie. I’m just there to tell their story.

Jessica: There is mythology and lore themes in your books. Do you have to do a lot research? What inspires your mythology?

Stacey: I do enough research for me to understand and know the story, but then put my own twist on it…. or, I make it up completely. That’s what’s so awesome about fantasy. You can play with myths and legends.

The Fall of the King (Lightness Saga #3) is released on October 12, 2017.

It’s a steal of a deal for only $0.99 to pre-order now at Amazon.

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From Goodreads:

Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for more from Jessica.

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Godsgrave ARC and Bookish Goodies Giveaway

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Bear with us as we attempt our very first giveaway! If we do it wrong, hey, we’re on a learning curve. But, it’s a good one!

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The main prize is an ARC of Godsgrave, (the book was released on September 5, just over a month ago, along with a cool engraved HEA stone and “book nerd” pin). Here is our review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff.

Since we have never done one of these before, we are going to keep it simple! To enter, follow the link below and fill it out!

I’m sure you’ve seen these before, so enough said and get to entering!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bede23821/?

Disclaimers and Legalese Stuff:

* Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 and older and a resident of the United States. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. The value of the three items is approximately $15 (that is for the bookish baubles; the ARC has no monetary value).

* You must log on to the Rafflecopter widget (at link) in order to enter an email address so we can contact you when you win!

* The giveaway starts midnight Eastern time on Sunday, October 8, 2017 and ends at midnight Eastern time on October 31, 2017 with the winner being announced in a later blog.

** Dust Off Your MacHalo is not responsible for any errors, technical issues, and entry to the sweepstakes waives and releases us from any liability whatsoever. By entering the giveaway, you agree to be bound by the decisions of Dust Off Your MacHalo and these official rules.

Ok, hopefully we covered everything.

The link one more time:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bede23821/?

 

Visiting the Salt Lake City Library

I visited the Salt Lake City library the other day and thought I would blog about it. The library has a collection of over 500,000 books, has an area of 240,000 square feet, as well as 176,368 square feet of glass.

It has fireplaces inside, an art gallery, a coffee shop, a store, a children’s library, three glass elevators, and has arguably one of the largest selection of graphic novels in a library.

 

Probably due to it being an easy access to elevated heights (it is five stories tall), there have been several suicides and attempted suicides here.

They have a whole floor with kid books and cool areas to sit and play in. The library also treats visitors to recurring free events, such as art workshops, family yoga, game nights, lectures, and even a Bob Ross Paint-Along.

 

The view from outside is gorgeous.

 

The library also is home to bees and harvests honey each year. In 2014, they turned out 50 pounds of honey!

The library has an art gallery.

Just the first front row of the library’s graphic novel section!

Interestingly, the City Library recently did away with charging late fees. It also organizes Project Uplift to help the homeless.

The Salt Lake City Library’s Facebook page.

I had a blast and the building is architecturally gorgeous and you could spend hours here exploring. I will definitely be returning soon!

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Mission: Improper (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy) ★★★★☆

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Y’all, this book was the perfect palate cleanser! Mission:Improper was my first Bec McMaster’s book, but it certainly won’t be my last. I have a feeling I’m going to be a big fan.

There’s mystery, there’s mayhem, there’s blood, and (of course) there’s a romance featuring a blue-blood (think vampire-lite) and a verwulfen (think werewolf-lite). Apparently, these two met a year before (in the original series-this is a spin-off) and have had it in for each other ever since.  Like bad. And I don’t necessarily mean in the I-hate-you-I-wish-you-would-die-a-million-deaths-each-more-horrible-than-the-last kind of way either. More like I-hate-you-and-I-want-you-naked-in-my-bed-so-you-can-pleasure-me-in-a-million-different-ways-each-more-orgasmic-than-the-last. You know what I’m talking about.

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Yeah, I love the whole “enemies to lovers” trope. When it’s done right, it gets me right in the feels. This situation makes a play at that angle, but it never quite got the whole “enemy” part down. We’re told a bunch of times that the MC blue-blood Caleb “Byrnes” is cold, aloof, and lacking a heart, but it doesn’t really come across on page that way to me. He always seems pretty damn passionate about everything, especially when it comes to Ingrid, our female verwulfen lead. 

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(Yes, I know Klaus and Caroline are both technically vampires, but their chemistry is undeniable. Klaroline forever.)

And speaking of Ingrid, I really liked her. That doesn’t happen often for me with female leads, but Ingrid pulls it off. She was pretty fierce and was never one to back away from a fight. Of course, because she never backed away from a confrontation she had to be rescued by our main guy quite a few times. Insert mild eye roll here.

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I know I’ve played up the romance part, but McMaster’s does a great job balancing romance with all the other delicious action and intrigue. And there’s a surprising amount to be found here, folks. On top of that, there’s a whole slew of characters that we get to meet. Many are from the main series, I’m sure, as they feel like old friends, but there are others whose stories have yet to be told. Like right now, I’m super interested in Gemma and Obsidian. I need to know what’s going on there. Need. To. Know. I guess I’m hooked. Well played. 

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So here’s the main drawback: even though the description says it’s the first in a series, you basically get dropped into the middle of a lot of shit going on with a lot of people you have no idea about. Even with that going against it, by the end of the book I was able to get a good feel for the backstories of the previous players and get kinda sorta caught up on the current political atmosphere. I’m not saying you can’t start with this book, because I totally did, but I think it’s probably beneficial to start with her London Steampunk series first.

I know this is a really vague review. In fact, it’s less of a review and more of a statement of feels than anything else, but that’s pretty much how I related to it. It was just a lot of fun to read and it made me happy to do it.

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There’s a lot out to choose from in this genre, or at least a lot in a variation of HR/PNR/Steampunk, but I think this series is totally worth the time. I was never bored and was genuinely interested in all of the characters and their stories. I’m 100% on-board with reading the next book, and, in the meantime, plan to catch up on the original series, too. It was just that good.

Sam Says (1)

Stay-tuned for more reviews from this series!