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Book Review: Whisper Down The Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman
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Whisper Down The Lane
Hardcover | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Clay McLeod Chapman
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 6, 2021

Richard is an art teacher at an upscale elementary school in Virginia, where his new wife, Tamara, also teaches, and her son, Elijah, attends. He’s got a great job, is lucky in love, and now his 5-year-old stepson wants Richard to adopt him. Things couldn’t be better for the beloved teacher, until disturbing reminders of his long-buried childhood trauma begin to surface, threatening to destroy his newfound happiness and possibly even his mind.

In Whisper Down The Lane, author Clay McLeod Chapman toggles between Richard’s current life and flashbacks of his life-altering experience as a 5-year-old at the center of the “Satanic Panic,” the 1980s conspiracy theory that children were being abused in satanic rituals which triggered widespread panic and wild accusations all over the United States. We see from Richard’s perspective what he was thinking as a child and how he overcame what happened, earnestly reinventing himself into a mild-mannered educator and father figure. But there’s also interview transcripts from the 1980s of the boy giving coerced and leading testimony to his psychotherapist, the result of which caused the downfall of many around him and the end to life as he knew it.

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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Candlekeep Mysteries
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Dungeons & Dragons: Candlekeep Mysteries
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: March 16, 2021

Just in time for the beginnings of the end of COVID-19 (I hope), Wizards Of The Coast is releasing an exciting new source book that is near and dear to my heart. As a bibliophile, the entire concept of this new guide is literally warming my heart. Dungeons & Dragons: Candlekeep Mysteries is more than a bit different from the normal releases in that it takes a wider view and focuses on less minutia, like other campaign books have in the past. In fact, it is a collection of adventures all tied together, much like a previous release, Ghosts Of Saltmarsh, that I reviewed a couple of years ago. Read on, dear reader, for more information!

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Book Review: Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida
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Siri, Who Am I?
Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Sam Tschida
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: January 12, 2021

When Mia wakes up alone in the hospital with amnesia, she has only her shattered-screen iPhone to help her piece together who she is, why no one is looking for her, and whether the blunt force trauma to the back of her head she sustained was by accident or inflicted on her by an enemy. Thankfully, her cellphone’s voice-activated Siri app is still accessible and is able to point her in the right direction. Geared up in the yellow Prada cocktail dress she was wearing when she was brought into the ER, a disheveled Mia heads out into the streets of LA to reconstruct her life using clues attained from her social media accounts and phone contacts. Is she rich and famous? Is she a philanthropist or a criminal? Is someone trying to kill her? The more she finds out about her life, the less sure she is that she wants to return to it.

The story of an amnesiac with a massive head wound and possibly the victim of attempted murder who’s roaming around Los Angeles in a designer dress and no money should be a frightening tale. But with a humorous title like Siri, Who Am I?, Sam Tschida sets up her debut novel as an entertaining, lighthearted mystery-adventure.

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Audiobook Review: From A Certain Point Of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars)
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From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View: Book 2 of 2
Multiple Authors and Narrators
Publisher: Del Rey | Random House Audio
Release date: November 11, 2020

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the greatest science fiction film ever made (sure, that’s arguable, but I’ll gladly argue it) and the greatest sequel ever made (again, arguable, but I’ll still argue it), The Empire Strikes Back, comes a collection of stories of those characters who either never saw any screen time, saw so little that few remember them, or, as you’ll see in this book and review, couldn’t communicate their stories in Earth-bound languages until now. That book? From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars), the companion book to that which was written with the same purpose for the previous film.

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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2020: Books, eBooks, and AudioBooks
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It’s truly been one helluva year. Our lives have been turned upside down because of a global pandemic and most things we felt were “normal” are not anymore. Thankfully, the act of gift-giving remains the same. And as I always say, a book is a fantastic gift to give and receive. Reading books and listening to audiobooks helped get a lot of people through some frightening times this year, and will continue to do so in the coming months. So why not gift some books to your friends and family to provide some comfort and entertainment while we wait for “normal” to return? This year saw a lot of great releases, including lots of attractive reissues of works from the great J.R.R. Tolkien; plenty of new adventures for Star Trek, Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and The Dresden Files; biographies from the world of heavy metal; some scary, yet fun Yuletide tales; and much much more.

Check out here below our Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2020 for Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks for our favorite holiday gift picks for the readers in your life.

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