“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m soo happy that I was approved for a pre-publication copy of THE ROANOKE GIRLS from NetGalley and Crown Publishing! (I think I HAVE to say that I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review, but I really hate seeing that as the first line of other reviews. I requested a copy, and was approved -(yay!)- they didn’t seek me out to give me free stuff.)
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran – fast and far away.
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.
I couldn’t put this book down!
I had a hard time at work because it was on my mind, and I needed to know what happened!
No, it’s not exactly the type of book that you normally see reviewed here – (full of blood, depravity, and ‘oh so wrong’ humor), but let that fact help convince you that this is an outstanding story. It’s listed as Mystery / Thriller / Suspense, and I think Psychological Thriller fits nicely.
I always say “I hate comparing books to other works…” blah blah blah, but then I usually go on to do it anyway. Since the author made this comparison herself to another reader I feel better about doing it now 🙂 Amy Engel said it’s a “dark novel along the lines of Gillian Flynn’s books” – (and I fell in love with those!).
Let me give you a slight nudge of a warning… this story goes to some pretty dark places, and might be uncomfortable for some readers. Those readers don’t usually follow The Bloody Book Blogger ::winks:: but… you know… just in case.
Even though I am mainly referring to ‘the devastating secret’ that is lurking there in those dark places – it’s not just the secret that may bug some readers. When Lane comes to grips with that secret, she has a distressing realization about herself as well. A lot of authors wouldn’t tread into this territory for fear of offending readers, but (IMO) it helps us truly understand the characters inner turmoil, and the story is better for it. So – applause to Amy Engel for taking us there, and not trying to be (for lack of a better term :p) ‘PC’ just for sales sake.
I enjoy a lot of the YA titles that I pick up once in a while, so I definitely think I am going to pick up THE BOOK OF IVY series.
AmyEngel is the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. The Roanoke Girls is her first novel for adults.
Find out more about the author here.
Amy’s first book, The Book of Ivy, has been nominated for the 2016-2017 Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers and the 2016-2017 Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Award.
A graphic novel that will change the way you
see the Cthulhu Mythos forever!
Beyond Lovecraft is a portmanteau horror story that draws directly on the works of H. P Lovecraft. Drawn by award winning artist Rob Moran and written by award winning writer Jasper Bark, it’s a 96 page graphic novel featuring four stand alone tales and one on going story that links them all together. This is a grim and cosmic love letter to the mythos that means so much to the creators.
The linking story is set in the apocalyptic aftermath of the return of the great god Cthulhu. The scattered band of humans that survive this catastrophe scratch a bare living, hiding in the shadows of what’s left of their civilisation.
A tiny group of scientist from Miskatonic university find a way to access the fabled Library of the Yith. This is an alien archive that contains the entire history of the universe and was first mentioned in Lovecraft’s novella: ‘The Shadow Out of Time’.
The scientists hope to find a way to stop humanity’s extinction and win back their planet from the Elder Gods. Instead they uncover four tales of cosmic terror, and personal loss, that will forever change the way you view the Cthulhu mythos.
In ‘Occupy the Mountains of Madness’ a band of eco warriors, protesting arctic oil drilling, uncovers an evil far greater than the 1% who own all our wealth.
A Fortean journalist travels to Arkham’s blasted heath to investigate the mysterious disappearance of legendary, underground cartoonist Victor Rodriguez and the rumours of an alien visitation. He discovers the unimaginable truth lies between the covers of a living comic book, a sentient being, made of ink and paper, that gets high when you read it.
Growing up gay in the poverty ridden town of Innsmouth leaves 16 year old Zeke desperate to escape. When he meets Jay on-line he doesn’t realise that the older man is grooming him, but the sinister currents of Innsmouth’s murky past are about to catch them both in it’s inescapable undertow.
In an alternate world, the Cthulhu Mythos has infected all literature like a virus. Few people can remember a time when every story ever told wasn’t about the dark Old Ones. A handful of readers must work with a tiny group of fictional characters to repel this invasion and keep their reality safe from the Elder Gods.
Beyond Lovecraft has already been picked up by top UK publishers Markosia, so the publishing and distribution are covered. Unfortunately, due to the current economic realities of comics publishing, Markosia can’t afford to pay us a page rate. Sadly this is an increasingly common state of affairs in the comics industry and that’s why campaigns like this are SO IMPORTANT.
Traditionally comic creators are paid a page rate for their work, like an advance against royalties. This page rate can be anything from $50 to $5000 depending on whether the creator is providing pencils, inks, colours, script or letters, and how big a name they are in the industry.
If we meet our campaign goal, you will have helped us raise just enough money to pay ourselves a third of the page rate that we usually make. That’s right, only a THIRD OF OUR USUAL PAGE RATE. We don’t mind about this though. This is a Dream Project for both of us and we are obsessed with making it a reality.
Even though we will be working for a third of our usual fee, we will still be able to pay most of our bills and that will mean we can devote all our time to this project without having to take on other work to feed our families.
You will be helping us pour our twisted hearts and dark souls into this project. And if you knew how dark our souls were, you’d realise what a service you’re doing the world by giving us a place to pour them.
We would love you to get involved with our campaign and share the passion and excitement we have for this project. If you are able to contribute we have some really unique perks on offer.
Every perk is designed to put you at the heart of this campaign and to share ownership of the whole project. We’re offering bespoke gifts and some completely unique experiences, because we believe this is a special project and we want you to be an integral part of it.
If you don’t feel you can contribute straight away we do hope you’ll come back and check us out over the course of the campaign. If you could share the campaign with your friends, maybe tweet about it or post on other social media, we will be just as grateful.
If you don’t get around to sharing our campaign, please do leave a message and let us know what you think. Every bit of feedback is important to us and we really welcome your thoughts.
Thank you for checking out our campaign and we hope you can join us for the ride, as we travel Beyond Lovecraft.
No gerbils were harmed during the writing of this book.
The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever is so bad, it could wake the dead…
What happens when three buddies decide to make an epic zombie movie with no money, no script, and a one month shooting deadline? Possibly THE WORST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER!
Imagine the Farrelly brothers while they were growing up, and making YouTube movies. That’s how I picture Justin and his friends – brainstorming, conflicting ideas, bickering, casting, cheese fries, and the kind of teasing you can only do with your best friends.
Struggling with location issues, actor demands, and sleep deprivation, everyone’s tempers shorten, and things escalate quickly. If the movie ever does get made, it might be at the cost of their friendship!
As usual, Jeff Strand had me audibly laughing from the beginning! No, not the beginning of the story… the beginning of the book. The preface. The ‘before you read this book WARNING’. Parts of the story reminded me of IF CHINS COULD KILL: CONFESSIONS OF A B MOVIE ACTOR by Bruce Campbell. A fond remembering of the grueling schedule, agonizing FX, and Murphy’s Laws of film making – but when you’re passionate, and with your friends… it’s worth every minute!
THE GREATEST ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER will be released by Sourcebooks Fire on March 1’st, 2016. I read an advanced copy through NetGalley. Like I’ve said to you many times before – don’t let the Teens & YA classification scare you off!