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Saturday, 28 November 2020

KINGDOM OF THE WICKED by Kerri Maniscalco

 

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe - witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family's renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin . . . desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister's killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that's been long forbidden. 

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia's side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women's murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems . . .


I've had my eye on this book for a while and as soon as I started reading, I was hooked.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are witches hiding what they really are from humans to avoid persecution. They're close and have been warned about the Wicked since they were little.

One twin loves to cook in her family's restaurant. The other loves to keep secrets. When Emilia finds her sister's mutilated body, she vows to get revenge on the killer. Even if it means teaming up with the demon Wrath, and everything that entails...

This book turned out to be well written, mysterious and contains some very intriguing worldbuiding. It also deals with the demonic, which happens to be one of my favourite subgenres.

The location and setting is lovely, lush and the descriptions so vivid I felt like I was transported to Italy. Every meal Emilia mentions is done in a way that is guaranteed to make the reader hungry. And the sense of strong family ties seem tight at first, but are soon revealed to be full of secrets that hurt the twins in the worst way possible.

I liked Emilia because she's stubborn and determined to find out what happened to her sister. I liked Wrath because he's mysterious and cheeky enough to entice any summoner. But I didn't like them together. Unfortunately, I didn't buy the romance between them, so I couldn't invest in their connection as a couple.

There are a lot of things I enjoyed about this book, but I also had some issues with the events leading to the end, and how Emilia conveniently stumbles into some of the more important answers.

Kingdom of the Wicked is an addictive story that captivated me from the start and most of the way through. This world of witches and demons is interesting and fully developed, but led to a disappointing conclusion.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy! 


Kingdom of the Wicked, November 2020, ISBN 9781529350456, Hodder & Stoughton

Friday, 27 November 2020

THE BONE FACTORY is now available!


That's right! It's the 27th, and that means that my Murder! Mystery! Mayhem! novella is now available from Demain Publishing.

Max Patella just wants to do her job, which includes dealing with cases the corrupt police don't want to dirty their hands with.

When she stumbles on a bunch of skeletons found in different warehouses, all wearing mysterious rings, Max finds herself in a dangerous and deadly situation that leads back to her...

You can grab a copy from:


You can also:

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


I REALLY love the cover Adrian Baldwin made for Max's novella because it's absolutely perfect for several reasons. You'll understand what I mean after reading it. 😁

THE BONE FACTORY is a thriller noir featuring a dark supernatural crime, a very wicked city, some shady characters and plenty of horror.

Max Patella is a mysterious detective who wants to help the forgotten victims in her corrupt city and ends up in the middle of something very dark. πŸ’€

I'm so excited about this story, and even more excited about being included in another awesome Demain Publishing series alongside some great authors.

Yay!

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

NaNoWriMo is (finally) officially over!


Today, I validated DESTINY

Like last year, there was no actual word count validation necessary. BUT, even after I reached 50k and finished my WIP, there was no clear way to access my WINNER badges. I had to mess around with the notifications, which fellow writer Crystal-Rain Love told me about, before finding where I could downloaded my certificate, etc. 

Yay, I suppose. 😁

Anyway, here's what my November progress looked like:


Quite a steady rise to the finish line, right? πŸ˜€πŸ‘

Well, that's NaNoWriMo for another year. Hope you all had as much fun writing your novel as I did! I got so caught up in Destiny's story that I've already started a Revision List and plan to expand on what I have, plus change a few things. 

Like every NaNo project, I wrote this story for me, because Destiny's adventure is something I wanted to read. Something this persistent character deserved. And also, because I hope she'll find an audience one day.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle

 

The Ballad of Black TomThe Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a novella I've had my eye on for a while because that cover is great. And today was the day I finally picked it up.

Charles Thomas Tester is a bit of a hustler and not much of a singer, though he carries a guitar case with him. He lives with his sick father in Harlem but often finds himself in other places across New York.

The day he delivers a strange book to a strange woman in Queens, Tom's life is never the same...

Okay, this is quite an interesting story and I enjoyed it for several reasons. It's well written, has some great characters, the sense of location is really cool, and the Lovecraftian angle is very interesting.

I thought Thomas Tester was such a fascinating character and I really enjoyed spending time with him. His story was a combination of sad and engaging, with a mix of mystery that kept me interested.

Unfortunately, the cop Malone wasn't any of these things. Actually, I was very disappointed when Part 2 started and it was in his POV. He was such a boring guy. I just didn't care about anything he had to say or do, so the second half of the novella failed the beginning.

I was glad it ended with Thomas and loved the last line. I just wish we'd gotten the chance to follow him from start to finish and experience some of the wonders that were skipped over.

It's an entertaining read.


View all my reviews

Monday, 16 November 2020

NaNoWriMo: Week Three

Hey! How are you today? Well, this week's NaNoWriMo post is quite close to the last one, right? I mean, I just posted last week's update yesterday. 😬

BUT, I finished my WIP today, so I thought I'd blog about it.

Yep. The first draft of DESTINY is finished, and I'm SO excited. Yay! πŸ˜πŸŽ‰

This is the 14th time I've won NaNoWriMo!

So, here's this week's word count:
  • Monday: 65,560 (added 2071w)

I actually reached the end of this first draft yesterday but because it was such a whirlwind of words and felt bare bones, I went back and re-read the last three chapters + epilogue.

Writing this story turned out to be a great and fun experience! It started out as a small horror idea featuring a character who's been renting space in my brain for several years now, and became something so much bigger. It features a love story I didn't expect, included a lot of supernatural goodness, and led to a very cool and unexpected adventure.

I'm really happy with Destiny's story. I just need to revise it and find a cool title. 😬

Well, there you have it. My NaNoWriMo 2020 WIP is done. I managed to write one more novel before the end of the year, and that's always awesome. 

I'm super excited right now and am looking forward to taking a mental break. And that includes some overdue reading time. 😁

Have an awesome week!

Sunday, 15 November 2020

NaNoWriMo: Week Two

Well, the second week of NaNoWriMo has come to an end, and I'm still very happy with my progress... because I reached the 50k-word target. Yay!! πŸ˜ƒπŸŽ‰

That's right. I got to 50k in 12 days, which really isn't a surprise because I write fast first drafts quite often. Actually, I did the same thing back in August when I was writing my slasher novel

Meeting 50k is really cool but the story isn't done, so of course I'll keep writing until I reach The End.

Here's how this week's word count turned out:
  • Monday: 37,418 (added 2929w) 
  • Tuesday: 41,702 (added (4284w)
  • Wednesday: 46,027 (added 4325w)
  • Thursday: 50,350 (added 4323w)
  • Friday: 54,691 (added 4341w)
  • Saturday: 59,036w (added 4345w)
  • Sunday: 63,489w (added 4453w)

I love taking part in NaNo, but even more than that, I love writing a story that's been living inside my brain for this long. Especially when so much of what I expected has actually hit the page, along with a LOT of unexpected things. There are so many surprises popping up all over the place and I'm really looking forward to finding out where Destiny's adventure ends.

Like last week, I didn't have enough time to do any actual reading but we did squeeze in some yoga workouts, daily walks and quite a bit of watching. Even bought a whole bunch of books because there are just too many deals--both in eBooks and print. Oh, and I even (somehow) wrote a short story.

I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into a book or two when I finish this draft. But for now, I'm going to keep following this story until there's no more to tell...

Hope your WIP is going well too. 😊

Have an awesome week!

Sunday, 8 November 2020

NaNoWriMo: Week One

Well, the first week of NaNoWriMo is over and I'm really happy with my progress.

Since the 1st of November--which was actually last Sunday--I've spent the week getting stuck into my story. I'm having a great time writing my latest WIP because this character has been waiting for her shot at adventure for AGES

Here's how this week's word count turned out:
  • Sunday: 5,124w
  • Monday: 10,101 (added 4977w) 
  • Tuesday: 14,163 (added 4062w)
  • Wednesday: 18,268 (added 4105w)
  • Thursday: 22,349 (added 4081w)
  • Friday: 26,376 (added 4027w)
  • Saturday: 30,889 (added 4513w) 
  • Sunday: 34,489 (added 3600w)

As you can see, writing every single day has resulted in a great word count total. I'm probably on track to reach 50k by the end of next week (yay!), but I'm not sure if that'll also be the end of the story. 😬 

I have a feeling it's going to be longer. How long? I'm not sure yet. It's not important because I'll keep going until it's done. LOL.

A lot about this WIP is turning out exactly how I imagined it would. But there's even more stuff I didn't expect. Like the importance of several characters, and how they're reacting and/or interacting with my MC. Not to mention the unexpected emotional entanglements... I'm having a great time with this adventurous horror story, of the demonic (and monstrous) kind. 😈

Like usual, I'm getting so caught up in my own story that I haven't been able to read anything. It's not about finding the time, because we've still managed to squeeze in yoga, walking and watching. It's just that I'm totally wrapped up in my own story.

Well, that's it. That's my update for now.

Have a great week!!

Sunday, 1 November 2020

NaNoWriMo is here!

 

That's right! It's that time of the year and I'm EXCITED!!

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo 2020 and I got stuck into my story first thing this morning. πŸ˜ƒ 

My plan for the first day was to get stuck into the first chapter and get a feel for the main character and where the story was going, so I didn't have a particular word count in mind. 

I've had a great time with NaNoPrep but I've been itching to get started... 

And this is how I did: 


I wasn't expecting or planning to write this many words but as soon as I sat down, my main character started talking and wouldn't stop. I forced myself to stop mid-Chapter Two because there was more to tell but it's great to stop in the middle of something so it's easier to get stuck into it tomorrow.

There you go, there's a first draft tip I always use.

Anyway, about the actual story. This is an idea I've been carrying around for a while and it's FINALLY time for Destiny to go on her road trip to solve a weird case and discover a bunch of other (shocking) stuff along the way. 

Yeah. It's another story featuring monsters. πŸ˜‰

If you're doing NaNo too and want to be buddies, my name is YolandaS

Well, good luck! Happy writing! And have a good one!

Saturday, 31 October 2020

HALLOWEEN: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella

 

Halloween: The Official Movie NovelizationHalloween: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We watched this movie when it came out in 2018. Also bought the paperback and Kindle versions shortly after, but I didn't want to read it until I got a bit of distance.

Fast forward to Halloween season 2020. The world is a very different place and a few years have passed since Michael returned to the big screen. So, here we are.

We all know the story. In 1978, Michael Myers stalked and tormented Laurie Strode, killing quite a few people along the way. But now, forty years later, he's in an institution and Laurie has become a hermit with the survival skills she lacked when she was a teenager.

This Halloween, The Shape is going to tear through Haddonfield once again...

What a fantastic book! I enjoyed this hell of a bloody and violent ride so much.

This is a great novelization because it was exactly like the movie, yet adds to it in the best way possible. I particularly enjoyed the extra bits and pieces because they added a lot more depth to each character. Revealing important info about their motivations, struggles and insights that weren't expressed with this much detail on screen.

Another thing this book does perfectly is tackle a bunch of POVs. Usually, when a story includes more than three/four POVs, I start to lose interest because I start to feel a distance building between myself and them. But this book kept me hooked all the way through because the different relationships are further explored, and each POV moved the story along at an awesome pace.

A LOT happens in this excellent story and the sense of dread and terror doesn't stop. It's a fantastic slasher that captured the essence of the Halloween movies better than I imagined.

The Shape's POV was especially cool because it confirms what any true Michael fan already knew about this silent menace. 😱

Anyway, this was great and I enjoyed everything about it. Including how well three generations of women, and the people in their lives, are portrated. Some terrific writing within these pages, that's for sure.

Happy Halloween! πŸŽƒ 

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

FORTUNE AND GLORY by Janet Evanovich

When Stephanie's beloved Grandma Mazur's new husband died on their wedding night, the only thing he left her was a beat-up old easy chair... and the keys to a life-changing fortune. 

But as Stephanie and Grandma Mazur search for Jimmy Rosolli's treasure, they discover that they're not the only ones on the hunt. Two dangerous enemies from the past stand in their way-along with a new adversary who's even more formidable: Gabriela Rose, a dark-eyed beauty from Little Havana with a taste for designer clothes. She's also a soldier of fortune, a gourmet cook, an expert in firearms and mixed martial arts-and someone who's about to give Stephanie a real run for her money. 

Stephanie may be in over her head, but she's got two things that Gabriela doesn't: an unbreakable bond with her family and a stubborn streak that will never let her quit. 

She'll need both to survive because this search for "fortune and glory" will turn into a desperate race against time with more on the line than ever before. Because even as she searches for the treasure and fights to protect her Grandma Mazur, her own deepest feelings will be tested-as Stephanie could finally be forced to choose between Joe Morelli and Ranger.


It's always awesome to step back into the very hilarious and dangerous world of Stephanie Plum & Co. I LOVE catching up with them every year and get hooked back in right away. So, of course, this one was no different.

Stephanie might have promised Grandma Mazur that she'll help her find her late husband's hidden treasure, but she didn't expect to be put in even more danger than usual. Or to meet even shadier people along the way or cause friction in her on-again, off-again relationship with Morelli.

At least she's got her job and Ranger...

Well, this was yet another awesome addition to a super fun series! 

No wonder it's one of my faves. The world of Plum is fast-paced and the unpredictable nature of the story is exciting.

Also, the mayhem never stops and a new cast of characters--both good, bad and terrifying--fill these pages with intensity and a mystery that isn't easily solved. Unfortunately, Steph's doubt in herself and the feeling that she's not good enough still bugs her. She still hasn't found her sense of direction, but at least she tries out a new hairstyle and clothes. LOL.

As for her love life... Yikes! This is even more complicated than everything else she's going through. In this installment, Morelli is out and Ranger is definitely in. πŸ˜‰ And this provided some pretty sexy interactions, which leads to more relationship confusion. But hey, it's understandable. Who could choose between Ranger and Morelli?

Fortune and Glory is another entertaining addition to this awesome series. Like usual, just when I think Stephanie's life can't get any worse, I finish reading the next book and the stakes never stop escalating. Yet, I still managed to laugh because so many funny things happen.  

Now that the treasure hunt has revealed so much, I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy! 


Fortune and Glory, November 2020, ISBN 9781472246196, Headline Review

Friday, 23 October 2020

THE TRENCH by Steve Alten

 

The Trench (Meg, #2)The Trench by Steve Alten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Meg, so when we found an old library copy of the second book in a nearby Street Library, of course we grabbed it.

And I was excited, even though the book smelled like fucking cigarette smoke and needed WEEKS of scented-candle-in-bag treatment before I could even consider reading it. Actually, even after picking it up I thought I might not be able to concentrate on the story because of the shitty condition... BUT! The story is SO good that it hooked me in right away.

Stinky book or not, I was HOOKED!

Jonas Taylor is a professor and paleo-biologist. He's former Navy and a deep-sea diver. But his days on the Mariana Trench are done because his PTSD is still severe. Even after four years and being married to Terry, he continues to suffer from nightmares and is still obsessed with the Carcharodon megalodon. Well, with one in particular...

Wow. Just like the first book, this one hooked me in right away.

It was so good to catch up with Jonas and Terry, but I was disappointed to find out that things between them weren't exactly rosy because Jonas is still distracted, refuses to get help and is in total denial. And I know a lot of his problems stem from the fact people are still not listening to him about the danger of having a 'pet' megalodon, but I was hoping he'd be in a different and better place by now.

Although, all of these problems and a whole new plate of stuff sure make a thrilling adventure. This story moves fast and doesn't waste time getting violent. Yet, at the same time manages to keep many shitty secrets hidden beneath the surface.

These books are just like movies because the imagery is so vivid everything played out very clearly inside my head. And I love that! Not to mention the tension. It's so thick and escalates so quickly that I was on the edge of my seat most of the way through.

Also, more than one ancient monster hiding in the depths of the ocean is always a cool thing. Although, as usual, the biggest and worst monsters are the fucking humans. πŸ˜’

During Meg, my only problem was how annoying I found it that every woman was introduced as being 'good looking'. It bugged the hell out of me. In this one, it's how the only two women in the story instantly hate each other. Um, nope. Women competing against each other might be a thing because after all, women are people (gasp!), but this silly assumption of instant hate needs to fucking stop. Unlike the first book, it wasn't as easy to ignore because it sucks up too much of the main storyline.

This monster series needs more monsters and less forced relationship drama! 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

NaNoWriMo is around the corner!

Hey! 

Since I signed up the other day, I thought I might write a little blog post about my National Novel Writing Month experience.

I've been taking part in NaNoWriMo for a long while now. My first time was way back in 2006. Can you believe that? 😯  

It's something I make room for every year.

Anyway, here's my history:
  • 2006: UF (Angie)
  • 2007: SFR (Shade of Grey)
  • 2008: SFR (Shade of Blue)
  • 2009: Horror (Sinful)
  • 2010: Futuristic (Embracing Sunlight)
  • 2011: N/A
  • 2012: UF (Torn from the Shadows)
  • 2013: SFR (Dash)
  • 2014: UF (Willow)
  • 2015: YA Historical (MixedTape)
  • 2016: YA Horror (Haunted) 
  • 2017: YA SF Thriller (Cosmic Girl) 
  • 2018: YA Horror (Madness)
  • 2019: SF Historical Horror (Neon)

Since I started taking part, I missed out on one year: 2011. That year, I was working on edits for my first Samhain Publishing novella. Ah, memories. πŸ˜‰

Another thing you'll notice is that I've written drafts in a variety of genres, which is something I lurve to do.

By the time November comes around, I like to squeeze in one last 50-70k first draft. I think it's a great way to end the writing year. And this year is definitely a time where unleashing my creative ideas as much as possible is a great thing!

This time, I've decided to work on a story that's been inside my head for quite a while. It's a horror idea about a pesky character who ends up in a creepy ghost town after she's hired to look for someone. And there's going to be a lot of danger, adventure and monsters.

I've already started a Word doc with a bunch of notes about the characters, jotted down the important story stuff, and have a folder full of inspirational pics. 

Let the NaNoPrep continue! 

Well, what's yours about?

Happy planning!


PS. If you wanna be buddies, I'm YolandaS. 😁


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

THE BUS ON THURSDAY by Shirley Barrett

 

The Bus on ThursdayThe Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book for a while and today, I decided to get stuck into it. Actually, I read it in a few sittings because I couldn't put it down.

Eleanor's life isn't going well. First, she broke up with her boyfriend and he moved on pretty quickly. Then, she's diagnosed with breast cancer and her friends aren't exactly supportive.

So, when she's offered a new job as the teacher in a remote mountain town, she decides to go. It's a fresh start in a nice place. Except, she finds herself in the middle of a lot of new stress...

Wow. This is one trippy, surreal and totally addictive book. I seriously fell right into this and couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.

I really enjoyed Eleanor's snarky voice because she's so entertaining and has such a cool dark sense of humour. Also, a lot of her snark was very Aussie and it made me laugh even more!

The story is told via blog posts in a way that reveals important events as she remembers them. And sometimes doesn't. She often throws the reader all over the place. She's also not very reliable, and I had a great time picking up all of her inconsistencies.

Another awesome thing about this book is how atmospheric the small town vibes are. Talbingo is both eerie and beautiful. Seems like a place full of weirdos and also an idyllic place to live. Yeah, there's a lot of contradictory things going on in this book and all of them tie this fantastic story together in the strangest way possible.

The cast of characters is also great! Gregory and Ryan are two very creepy brothers she can't shake. Friar Hernandez the Praying Mantis is a strange and freaky man spewing weird shit all over the place. Daphne the Little Sparrow is an enigmatic woman who (for me) provided the biggest answers about what was really going on. And Glenda was an annoying character hung up on the past. Not to mention those freaky weepy kids.

All of these factors put together make an awesome story with several ambiguous, haunting paths. The storytelling reminded me of The Turn of the Screw, because it works on several levels. On one hand it's a nightmarish horror story, and on the other it's also very sad because cancer is so awful.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. And that ending was totally cool. 😳

Also, personally, I would say that this is more Bridget Jones meets Twin Peaks, or even The Shining. Not so much The Exorcist.


View all my reviews

Monday, 19 October 2020

THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

 

The AlchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last month, hubby found a great deal for this beautiful paperback on Amazon and asked me if I knew anything about it. I didn't, but after reading the blurb and the beginning, I was instantly interested.

Santiago is a shepherd boy from Andalusia. He's happy doing his thing every day and has a nice routine with his sheep. Until a dream and several encounters with two interesting people spark his sense of adventure.

So, he leaves Spain to travel to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure. Upon his arrival in Africa, things don't go according to plan. But he takes everything in stride and continues his quest to find an unknown treasure near the Pyramids that might not turn out to be what he expected...

This is such a lyrical and beautiful story. It's lush and interesting and the writing style ensured I was never bored. It's also such a comforting and easy read.

As soon as I started, I got swept up in Santiago's life. He starts out simple enough, but he's smart and wants more from life than an endless routine. Following him on this very personal journey was an adventure in itself.

The poor guy suffers some awful hardships along the way, and although they affect him deeply, he's not afraid of hard work. Or of using his brain to figure out how to expand on what's right in front of him. He also doesn't give up. Santiago is a nice and kind character, so I really wanted him to find himself. And the treasure, of course.

This book touches on a lot of very interesting things, such as religion, faith, philosophy, love and alchemy. Sometimes, all these elements are very different from each other. Sometimes they're wound together so tightly they're just about the same thing. That's another great thing about this story, how well it digs into a person's personal quest. Is it necessary to travel outside the confines of your safety zone in order to do so? Or are all the answers found within?

It's also very much about facing your own fears, finding yourself as well as the truest place where you belong. Your Personal Legend.

Yeah, this is the kind of book that makes your mind go to unexpected places in a way that expands your thoughts without you even realising. It's also a book I'll think about often.

I'm really glad my husband found this because it's also a very pretty book with some lovely illustrations and a wonderful ending.

Maktub. 

Friday, 16 October 2020

I signed up!


That's right. It's that time of the year again! And that means I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2020

Yay!!

This year, there were two story possibilities for me to consider. But it didn't take long to pick the one that was most ready to be told. After all, this one has been on my Possible NaNo Project List for the past two years. 😏

Here's the description I posted on the website:

When she's hired to find a missing 'person', it leads her to a ghost town full of monsters. And a dangerous adventure of self-discovery. 

This is an idea I can't wait to get stuck into because I've carried this character and her creepy world around for a (long) while. There's a lot of creepy shit going down in this story and it features some of my most fave horror tropes. 😈

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I'm really excited about this new WIP. 

Now I've got a few weeks of NaNoPrep ahead of me, and that's definitely enough time to go through my inspirational pics, think, take notes and get lots of brainstorming done.

Are you taking part?

Have a great weekend!


BLOOD SUGAR by Daniel Kraus

 

Blood SugarBlood Sugar by Daniel Kraus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book last year but didn't read it then, so I thought Halloween 2020 would be a great time to get stuck into it.

Jody, Dag and Midge are three very different kids with their own set of problems, but they all hang out at Robbie's shitty house on Yellow Street.

Robbie is much older and has plenty of problems of his own. And this Halloween he wants to get some revenge on the town that hates him so much by doing something awful to the candy...

Yikes. This is one strange and dirty book! Trust me, you'll feel like taking a shower many times during this very unclean story.

The writing style is so unique that even though it shocked me at first, it didn't take long for me to get lost in Jody's narration. I was totally hooked on the problematic and downright awful lives of these kids and couldn't remember when/how it happened.

When that happens, you know the writing and story are totally working.

Although Jody is the primary storyteller, there are also letters written from the POV of some of the other characters. And together, these different angles quickly start to make sense of everything that's going on.

I thought this story was bizarre in the way that it managed to be both fun and disturbing. It's also sad in spots and features a group of characters that I couldn't help but feel sorry for. Even though a lot of what Jody says is quite wrong and often made me cringe because he doesn't have a PC filter, I was still intrigued and was utterly compelled to keep reading.

I think this is a very clever story wrapped up in the simplistic voice of a boy who's trying to find his way in the world. Not to mention the other characters. Dag was the one who surprised me the most. Yikes.

And that ending was really something!

Oh, and I LOVE this cover. So it was really cool when I found out exactly why there's a pretty witch featured front and centre. 😁 

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

It's Time to Finish This!

Hey! How are you today? What's new this week?

The world is still a hellhole suffering through a global pandemic too many morons are trying to convince themselves is over, so we're still staying away from people and protecting ourselves with masks and hygiene.

This week I completed the WIP read-thru on my Paperwhite, added all the changes to the Word doc, and this morning I made some last-minute alterations. 

So, the story is now done and the final word count is 40,335. πŸŽ‰

I'm SO excited about finishing this novella for several reasons. Firstly, this gothic horror story turned out a lot better than I expected and broke my heart in so many unexpected ways. πŸ˜­πŸ’” And secondly, it's the fourth novella I've written this year.

And why is that important to me? Well, writing a novella is something I've carried forward on my Goals List for several years. And each year, I failed. But 2020 turned out to be the year I finally met that goal. Who would've thought THIS year would be the one? LOL.

Anyway, I'm really excited about finishing another project and can now concentrate on other stuff. Like reading. Something I've barely done during the last few weeks. 😲 Not to mention that I can now sign up for NaNoWriMo and get stuck into NaNoPrep. πŸ˜ƒ 

Most importantly, I'm taking a bit of a mental break.

Have a great week!





FEVER DREAM by Samanta Schweblin

 

Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that was quite a trippy and very interesting ride!

This is a book I've had my eye on for several years. A few weeks ago, I actually found a copy in one of our local Street Libraries and was so excited.

Amanda isn't feeling well. She's suffering through a fever dream that has a young boy whispering in her ear while trying to remember what happened to her...

Wow. Okay. Very cool.

I grabbed this novella after our walk and read it in one sitting. Not because of the length, but because I couldn't put it down. It's so addictive, and I found myself falling head-first into this enigmatic dream.

On the surface, this story seems to be about a woman's quest to figure out what happened to her. But it's about SO much more! It's also about the kind of maternal love that grips a woman so tightly they're willing to do whatever it takes to help their child. Even if it's wrong and has really bad consequences. It's also a pretty serious ecological horror story that echoes some awful and terrifying things happening in this horrid world of ours.

But most of all, it's a well written, surreal story with a mystery you just can't wait to figure out. And what a hellish ride sorting through memories can turn out to be.

As much as this feels like a suffocating and toxic living nightmare able to pull you under so strongly until the reader gets confused, if you pay attention to the narrative, everything comes together in the end. And makes total sense.

Also enjoyed the very creepy vibes.

So glad I finally read this very clever novella! 

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

More Revision Time!


That's right.

It's third draft time. And that means I'm very close to wrapping up another 2020 novella project. Yay. 😁

So, how's life treating you? How's the shitty pandemic where you are? Here in NSW, we've had over 10 days without community transmission. Until today. That's what happens when people get complacent during a pandemic and convince themselves it's over. Ugh.

Anyway, like I said above, this week I got stuck into the third draft of my current novella WIP.

Here's how I did:
  • Monday: 52/109pgs (40,310w)
  • Tuesday: 110pgs / 40,444w

I'm really excited about this progress and can't wait to read the story one last time on my Paperwhite. But first, I need a bit of distance.

This novella turned out exactly how I hoped it would when the idea first hit me via a dream. πŸ˜ƒ

Asides from the revision, we've been hanging out, going for walks and enjoying lovely meals. I've also been buying up a book storm and haven't read much because my own stories keep hounding my brain. 

It's a good problem to have, really.

Well, that's it for this update.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 4 October 2020

THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Henry James

 

The Turn of the ScrewThe Turn of the Screw by Henry James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a novella I read back in high school, so it's been a while. Still, I remember really enjoying it and I've been meaning to re-read it for ages. Also, The Haunting of Bly Manor is coming to Netflix this week so this was the perfect time to get stuck into it.

The new governess instantly loves her adorable young pupil, Flora. She doesn't even mind when one becomes two and she has to add Miles to the mix. It's the strangers she sees on the manor's grounds that start to unravel her...

I'm very happy to say that I enjoyed the hell out of this story today, as much as I did decades ago. It totally grabbed me and although at times it feels like there are chunks of narrative missing, it only adds to the building mystery. And it's not hard to fill in the gaps.

I get that some people might find the writing a little flowery or even jarring, but I liked it because it's perfect for the setting and time. I also think it adds to the confusion and doubt. Besides, classic writing is often like this and I find it (most of the time) charming.

The Governess is a character I would describe as honest. She takes her job seriously, is committed to the children and doesn't appear crazed. The ghostly occurrences are spooky and mysterious, told in a way that could be true spirit manifestations or psychological delusions. Even her accusations about the children could be wrong. Unless you read into what happens and what they actually say, or how they act. Miles sure sounds like a manipulative little creep to me.

At the same time, you also can't help feel sorry for these kids. I mean, their parents died and their uncle sends them away to his country home in Essex to be with strangers, when what they really needed was the compassion of a relative. Yeah, I've got opinions about that man. 😐

Anyway, this was still a great example of storytelling in a style that when the story is over, it's easy to believe the tale is about ghosts and creepy children, but could just as easily be about someone going through a psychological delusion because of isolation and suspicion.

Either way works, but I'm sticking with the ghost story. And I can't wait to see how the Netflix show takes this and turns it into an even creepier experience...

View all my reviews

Saturday, 3 October 2020

WRITING IN THE DARK by Tim Waggoner

In this comprehensive textbook devoted to the craft of writing horror fiction, award-winning author Tim Waggoner draws on thirty years’ experience as a writer and teacher. Writing in the Dark offers advice, guidance, and insights on how to compose horror stories and novels that are original, frightening, entertaining, and well-written.

Waggoner covers a wide range of topics, among them why horror matters, building viable monsters, generating ideas and plotlines, how to stylize narratives in compelling ways, the physiology of fear, the art of suspense, avoiding clichΓ©s, marketing your horror writing, and much more. Each chapter includes tips from some of the best horror professionals working today, such as Joe Hill, Ellen Datlow, Joe R. Lansdale, Maurice Broaddus, Yvette Tan, Thomas Ligotti, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, and John Shirley. There are also appendices with critical reflections, pointers on the writing process, ideas for characters and story arcs, and material for further research.


Firstly, I want to thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this very cool book.

I don't go out of my way to read many books about the art of writing because with most, my mind starts to wander. I often start strong and eventually lose interest because I start to feel a distance between the instructions/suggestions and my brain. They're usually impersonal, too bland and even boring.  

There's a reason why my favourite book about the art of storytelling is Stephen King's On Writing. I loved that book because the author's approach was so personal and friendly. He revealed himself before he even started chatting shop. So, by the time he did, I was totally hooked and when he got serious about the craft, everything came across as straightforward.

Tim Waggoner does the same with this amazing book. Actually, he took it several steps further by adding helpful exercises at the end of each section. He discusses the different types of horror in a captivating way and packs this book full of stuff that will actually help hone your skills. He also invited fellow horror authors to add their own bits and pieces of advice, which was great because it peppered the experience with a variety of voices.

Not to mention the in-depth way he delves into the horror genre. His approach is raw and honest in a way that only a true fan of this wonderful genre can be. He really gets it, in a way only someone who understands the true meaning of horror can.

I enjoyed this book a LOT. It's interesting, packed full of great information and really makes you think. It's also written in a way that works for beginners, for those in the middle and even seasoned writers. No matter what your level of experience, or how many publishing credits you have to your name, you'll definitely get something useful out of this very crafty book.

Oh, and another thing I loved about it is the size. It's bigger than a standard trade paperback, and totally looks like a workbook/textbook.

I'm definitely adding this to my Keeper Shelf. And I'll be grabbing it (many) more times in the future because once is definitely not enough.

Do yourself a favour and grab a copy!


Writing in the Dark is available now from Raw Dog Screaming Press.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Revision Time!

 

Hey. How's it going? How's September treating you? I can't believe it's almost over.

Today, I'm going to start my post with this: I fucking hate the new Blogger posting interface. It totally sucks! It's not user friendly, clunky af and so hard to deal with. I will never understand why companies insist on 'fixing' things that WERE FINE TO BEGIN WITH. Ugh. Makes me want to scream. πŸ˜‘

Anyway, it's spring here. And while that's awesome because I love spring and summer, I'm a bit worried about how people are going to act during these warmer seasons. I mean, our Covid-19 numbers are low again and that probably means people will get complacent... We'll see what happens. 

We're still staying the hell away from everyone. Regardless.

Let's talk about what I've been doing writing wise. This week I got stuck into the second draft of the horror novella I wrote earlier this month.

Here's how I did:
  • Monday: 22/103pgs (38,666w)
  • Tuesday: 64/105pgs (39,440w) 
  • Wednesday: 108pgs / 40,573w

Well, I'm really happy with this progress. As well as how the story is shaping up. I love this novella because it's so melancholy and dark. A lot of creepy stuff happens and the ending is so bittersweet. Makes me sad every time.

I'll be taking the rest of the week off and will hopefully get stuck into the third draft next week. And you know what? I'm really excited about it because I love spending time with these characters. Hubby reckons I'm mean to them, and he's not wrong. 😧

Asides from working on this I've been hanging around with hubby, going for our daily long walks, and enjoying delish meals. No reading or watching so far this week. But I have been thinking a LOT about several of my other story ideas.

I mean, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, right?

That's it for now. Take it easy and have a great week!

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE by Tade Thompson

 

The Murders of Molly Southbourne (Molly Southbourne, #1)The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for a novella today and this was the perfect fit.

When Molly Southbourne bleeds, something really bad happens. Another molly is born, but this new version is violent and terrible, and has to be put down...

Yikes! This is one amazing and interesting concept. One that is handled so well, this novella is quite the gem.

Love how everything is revealed at just the right pace. Spending time with Molly and going through this ordeal with her was quite a gruesome ride. And I liked the relationship she had with her parents. There was just the right amount of respect, rebellion and understanding everything they did for her.

This story is very mysterious, in the best way possible.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

THE WITCHES by Roald Dahl

 

The WitchesThe Witches by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read this book FOREVER. So, when I woke up this morning I decided today was a good day to get stuck into it.

When the Grand High Witch of all the World meets with the other witches of England at the Hotel Magnificent, she doesn't expect a clever boy to hear all about the main topic on their annual meeting's agenda...

What a wickedly fun little story this turned out to be! It was nothing like I expected.

I mean, I've read enough Dahl to know he doesn't shy away from the macabre, but this story was packed with delicious morsels of unexpected creepiness. And I'm not even talking about the witches. Sure, they were evil, vile creatures hellbent on destroying children with a horrifying plan, but there was so much more.

Both Grandmother and Grandson were excellent characters. Sympathetic, smart, doers, and their relationship was beautiful. Their connection was deep and unconditional and so pure, but also edges into freaky territory. And I loved every minute of it. I thought that the bittersweet ending was glorious.

Also, like always, Quentin Blake's illustrations enhanced every step of the story and provided quite a few laughs. The mice are my favourites!

This was another awesome classic written by an amazing author who wasn't afraid to let his stories dip into very dark waters. He dared to go there because he knew kids could handle it.

A most excellent addition to my collection!

View all my reviews

Monday, 21 September 2020

MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book I've wanted to read for ages & decided to get stuck into today.

Korede's sister is everyone's favourite. She's beautiful, manipulative and a killer. Ayoola is also a sociopath and needs Korede to help clean up every bloody mess she keeps making.

And now, Ayoola's got her eye on the handsome doctor Korede is secretly in love with...

I really enjoyed this! I liked the writing style, Korede's voice and found the story very intriguing. It's also written in short, snappy chapters that not only show what's going on, but also what led to this point in their lives.

It's quite an interesting look into how far someone is willing to go for family. How much bullshit some people will put up with just because they feel they have to. And how toxic some families really are.

Korede was a great character and I often felt bad for her because everyone treated her like crap. No one respected her or listened to what she had to say, just because she wasn't as pretty as her stupid sister. That's why I was often frustrated when she covered up for someone who really didn't deserve her protection.

It's also why the ending, while it made total sense, frustrated me even more.

Still, this turned out to be a great book, and a different angle in the serial killer genre.



View all my reviews

Sunday, 20 September 2020

THE CASE OF THE MISSING MARQUESS by Nancy Springer

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes, #1)The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I found out about the Enola Holmes movie coming to Netflix, I was interested in checking it out. So, when I found out it's based on a book series I started looking into it.

Imagine my surprise when hubby showed me the cover of the first book and I realised I actually have a copy. I mean, how could I forget this lovely cover? And that it's one of the many books we found during our pre-pandemic thrifting adventures! πŸ‘€

I was so excited I read it right away.

Enola Holmes lives with her mother in Ferndell Hall and enjoys a relaxed life of learning, mischief and personal adventure. On her 14th birthday, her mother disappears and she becomes obsessed with finding her.

But when her much older brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes come to the estate to investigate, they're appalled by what they find and take over. Following their overreactions and threats, Enola heads out on a journey to London to search for her mother. Along the way she gets caught up in a kidnapping and so much more...

OMG. I loved this! It was SO much fun.

I love a good mystery set during any time period, but there's something that always grabs me about a good Victorian mystery. Maybe it's because girls and women weren't valued for their intelligence and these stories focus on that fact so well. 😊

Either way, this story is fast-paced, intriguing and packed full of interesting characters. Enola was such a great heroine! She didn't let her brothers stop her from following her instincts, and didn't care about their contempt for their mother. Actually, it pushes her to start her own investigation and along the way, finds her place in the world.

Enola is an awesome young lady. And no matter how silly or wild her brothers claim she is, it works to her advantage. Which is awesome because Mycroft and Sherlock are super annoying, so it's great to see her outsmart them.

The mystery of the missing Eudoria Holmes was enhanced by Enola's memories of everything her mother taught her. As well as the ciphers she taught her how to solve. I liked the ending because on the surface seems so simple, but made so much sense. And fit so well with the overall message in the narrative.

Now I can't wait to watch the movie and get my hands on the next book... 

Saturday, 19 September 2020

THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying VampiresThe Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to reading this book for AGES! I've enjoyed the hell out of every Grady Hendrix book I've read, so I was very excited about this one too.

Patricia is a busy housewife with kids who have no time for her and an arrogant husband who only cares about his job. They don't respect her or anything she does. At least she has her book club. Where she reads a bunch of interesting true-crime books and spends time with a group of fellow housewives.

When a new person moves into their quiet neighbourhood, she's determined to help him fit in. Yet, soon starts suspecting he's not what he seems...

WOW! I had such a blast with this book. It's amazing. LOVED IT!

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. The deeper I got into the story, the more I struggled to put it down.

Patricia is a great character. She tries so hard to be a good person and helps whenever she can, but everyone treats her like she's a crazy moron. No one cares about what she's going through or how much crap is piled on her. They don't know how strong she is, or how brave. So, before she knows what's going on, she finds her life spiralling out of control. I felt so bad when everyone turns on her because she didn't deserve that kind of treatment.

Now, let's talk about the husbands. They were such weak, pathetic fools and pissed me off so much I wanted to slap some sense into them. I hated the flippant way they treated their wives. And how they refused to listen because they were so consumed by their toxic masculinity they were easily being manipulated and didn't even realise it. πŸ˜’

I've mentioned this before about this author and I have to say it again: he really gets the many struggles of girls and women. He writes these characters so well, and treats women like the real people they are, that their plights are often very familiar.

Like all his other books, the combination of humour, nostalgia, tension and gore is outstanding. Grady Hendrix sure knows how to set a creepy scene to tell an intriguing and interesting story. That's also unpredictable. I couldn't wait to find out what other dark surprises were waiting within these very pretty pages and didn't expect any of the twists and turns along the way.

I loved the mounting tension, every page was SO intense. And enjoyed how the story went to some pretty terrifying places and didn't shy away from the disturbing. I seriously couldn't read fast enough.

Also, not only was this a great book to read, the actual physical copy is lovely.

This turned out to be such an original vampire story. Can't wait to see what monster Hendrix tackles next. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Finishing Time!

Hey! It's me again. How are ya? What's new? How's this week going for ya?

You know, every single time I ask that during 2020, I can't help feeling weird. I mean, how great can things be during a global pandemic that won't let up and greedy/selfish people keep pretending it's over? Yeah. I know.

Still, there are things we can do to stay positive. And safe. Like, staying away from other people. LOL.

Personally, hubby and I have spent a lot of this year doing stuff we love to do, like spending time with each other. As well as catching up on shows and movies. I've also been writing a lot, reading even more. Hubby's finally getting the chance to play a bunch of the games he's been meaning to get to for years.

And that leads into this week's writing progress:
  • Monday: 35,184 (added 5060w)
  • Tuesday: 37,681 (added 2497w)

Yep. That's right. I finished the first draft of what turned out to be a novella. I'm very excited about reaching The End of this WIP, and even happier about how this story turned out.

This is actually a story that came to me a few months ago in a dream. I remember waking up with such vivid imagery about a disturbing scene featuring a very wicked house that I had to write everything down right away. The dream was so sharp that I can still see it in my head very clearly.

Funny thing is that this inspirational imagery was actually the ending of the story. This is the second time this year that the ending was the first thing to spark my imagination. 

It might sound strange, but hey, every idea/story is different.

Now that this is done, I'm taking the rest of the week off and probably next week as well. Both to get some distance from it, and because writing this novella was a nine-day writing frenzy. πŸ˜¬πŸ’»

I'm hoping to squeeze in a bit of reading, too. Only problem is figuring out which of the many books I can't wait to read should be next...

Anyway, hope you all have a lovely week.

See ya!


Sunday, 13 September 2020

Writing time!

How are you? Hope you're all well and still surviving this never-ending ordeal known as a global pandemic.

I realise that some people like to pretend it's over and are very vocal about it, but it's not. And those of us who care about others and ourselves, are actually doing our bit to stay safe.

Yeah, after all these months I still sound like a broken record. πŸ˜’

Well, I haven't popped in for a few weeks because I took a nice break with hubby. We watched a LOT of movies and I read several long books. It was so much fun!

But this week, it was time to get stuck into the story that's been hounding my brain for quite a while. I just couldn't ignore it any longer.

Here's how my word count went:
  • Monday: 4,732 
  • Tuesday: 10,152 (added 5420w)
  • Wednesday: 13,449 (added 3297w)
  • Thursday: 19,537 (added (6088w)
  • Friday: 23,614 (added 4077w)
  • Saturday: 27,041w (added 3427)w)
  • Sunday: 30,124w (added 3083w)

I'm very excited about making this much progress during the week I decided to really get stuck into it. I guess that's what happens when an idea is this ready to be told.

You know, when I first started writing this story, I thought it might turn out to be a 15k-word novelette. But it's obviously going to end up being longer than that.

We're in novella territory now. But I don't mind. I'll keep writing until I reach the end of this draft.

I'm having a lot of fun with this gothic horror story featuring monsters from mythology. It's dark and creepy, is set in a nightmarish house and has several heartbreaking scenes that are hard to write. And will only get harder because I know how this is going to end, and it's not heading to a happy place.

Unfortunately, the side effects of getting SO caught up in my own story means I didn't read anything new during the week. But that's okay. At the moment, it's all about this story.

Oh, and one last thing: THIS very awesome thing happened! I'm so excited about my shortie making the cut at Crystal Lake Publishing flash fiction challenge.

Well, that's it for this week's update. Just wanted to post a little update. 😊

Have a great day!


Thursday, 10 September 2020

My story has been posted!


My short story, Into the Fire, is a finalist in Crystal Lake Publishing's latest Flash Fiction Contest:


Here's the tagline:

When the world falls apart, everything breaks... especially your heart. πŸ’”πŸ˜·πŸ”₯

Voting will open soon at Crystal Lake Publishing for their patreons. 

You can read my story HERE.

It's very exciting! 😁

Sunday, 6 September 2020

WHY I QUIT ZOMBIE SCHOOL by RL Stine

Why I Quit Zombie School (Goosebumps: Hall of Horrors, #4)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I decided to grab this book today. Mainly because the condition is so shitty and I want it out of the house. πŸ’©

Matt has just been enrolled in boarding school for the first time. But this isn't your average school, there are a lot of undead kids walking the halls...

Uh, for being a zombie book it wasn't remotely creepy. Sure, there were plenty of tropes and familiar undead stuff going on, but the story pacing was way tooooooo slow.

I don't know if it's because it's a Hall of Horrors or if it's just this book, but it wasn't as cool or as intriguing as the books in the original series. There seemed to be something missing. Something I can't put my finger on.

Anyway, at least the ending was funny.


Thursday, 3 September 2020

HALLOWEEN SEASON by Lucy A Snyder

Halloween is the most wonderful part of the year for many of us. For dedicated fans, the season begins when the leaves start turning autumn colors and doesn’t finish until Hallowtide ends in November. With it comes a whole lot of fun: scary movies and stories, haunted houses, seasonal sweets, spooky decorations, costume parties, and of course trick or treat. But Halloween is also a deeply spiritual time for some; it’s an opportunity to remember and honor loved ones who have passed on. 

Master storyteller Lucy A. Snyder has filled her cauldron with everything that Halloween means to her and distilled it into a spell-binding volume of stories. Within these pages you’ll find thrills and chills, hilarity and horrors, the sweet and the naughty.

One of the best things about Halloween is you don’t have to be yourself. So go ahead and try on a new mask or two … you may discover hidden talents as a witch, a pirate, a space voyager, a zombie fighter, or even an elf. This is the perfect collection to celebrate the season of the dead or to summon those heady autumn vibes whenever you like. You may even find a couple of tales that evoke a certain winter holiday that keeps trying to crowd in on the fun.

In the worlds within this book, every day is Halloween!


Thanks to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this gorgeous book from Raw Dog Screaming Press.

I seriously LOVE this cover, btw!

Here's what I thought of each story...

BEGGARS' NIGHT: 

This poem was a great way to start this book full of wicked tricks and treats. The stage is set for trick-or-treating and monsters.

HAZELNUTS AND YUMMY MUMMIES:

I really enjoyed Vicky's Halloween version of a A Christmas Carol. It was surreal, creative and so very sad because sometimes misplaced guilt can destroy your life.

COSMIC COLA:

Oh, I loved Millie's tale! She's a girl who loves Halloween and is excited that the town she moves into seems to celebrate it as much as she does. BUT, all is not what it seems and she soon stumbles on a dark conspiracy. This story totally gave me a Goosebumps vibe.

VISIONS OF THE DREAM WITCH:

This was a fun and gritty urban fantasy story about two cousins from New Orleans who get themselves caught up in a dark otherworldly situation only a witch can help them with.

WHAT DWELLS WITHIN:

Loved this dark urban fantasy story featuring the intriguing and devil kick-ass, Jessie Shimmer. Plus her ferret familiar, Pal. Lots of cool stuff happens in this story: possession, necromancy, magic, portals, pocket dimensions and a shady organisation. Yeah, this was definitely my kind of story!

THE PORCUPINE BOY:

This turned out to be a fascinating story about a nurse called Eddie. A guy with a past riddled with addiction problems, but is now a decent man willing to do just about anything to help his ailing clients. While learning a few unimaginable things along the way. Cosmic horror at its best, for sure.

IN THE FAMILY:

O.M.F.G. This is one wicked little story about twins who don't exactly have the best relationship. It drew me in with the simplistic concept of sibling rivalry and slowly unravelled to become a whole different monster. Wow!

THE KIND DETECTIVE:

Holy shit! This was a cosmic nightmare of grotesque proportions. I enjoyed watching McGill's confusion turn to curiosity, before getting warped into something completely monstrous.

A PREFERENCE FOR SILENCE:

What a clever little story about the magnified annoyances. The sounds and quirks a person makes are so much louder in space inside the confines of a ship. And that ending was sheer perfection. This one made me laugh, actually.

WAKE UP NAKED MONKEY YOU'RE GOING TO DIE:

This is a short, gross and humorous tale about the God Slime Santa and the apocalypse. Good stuff! Lots of slimy imagery featuring Christmas icons.

THE GREAT VΓΌDΓΌ TEEN LINUX ZOMBIE MASSACREE: 

I got a kick out of this zombie tale because it really hit a lot of highs. Especially in the original department. There are enough zombies to build tension and creep the reader out, with an added unexpected weapon. It's quite imaginative in the use of a badger and technology.

THE HOUSE THAT COULDN'T CLEAN ITSELF:

Great story about dirty boys who refuse to clean up after themselves, think they're clever enough to fix the problem without any actual effort, only to destroy instead of help. So typically male. πŸ˜‚ Fun tale.

AFTER HOURS:

Very clever warning! 😁

THE TOYMAKER'S JOY:

Oh sweet Hildrina, this was a funny little romp featuring the elves in the North Pole making toys. I mean, they obviously make ALL the toys, right? For children and adults alike. πŸ˜‰ 

THE TINGLING MADNESS: 

Another fun and Lovecraftian story featuring an interesting character's downward spiral leading to salvation. Sort off. Enjoyed the erotica slant, too.


Halloween Season is such an amazing, fun and creepy short story collection guaranteed to satisfy everyone who loves the spirit of Halloween. Every single tale included within the pages of this very entertaining and well-written book is awesome.

Usually, short story collections and anthologies contain some hit and misses, so I include a list of my favourites. BUT, I can't do that with this one because every single addition to this book is a hit.

Every page of this collection is full of as many treats as tricks, and all satisfy readers who like a cool and spooky variety of characters, situations and genres.

Loved this book so much it's going straight to my Keeper Shelf.






 
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