Friday 30 September 2022

FAIRY TALE by Stephen King

Legendary storyteller Stephen King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher - for their world or ours.

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself - and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.

I always look forward to getting stuck into a new Stephen King story, so when Hachette Australia sent me a copy of this book, I couldn't wait to get started.

Charlie's really young when his life changes forever. After losing his mother, his father tumbles down the rabbit hole of alcoholism. This leaves him alone for a lot of the time, but he learns to take care of himself as well as others. So, it's no surprise when at seventeen he ends up caring for an elderly neighbour and his dog. What is a surprise is where this unexpected friendship leads him...

Wow. This is fantastic! I was hooked instantly. Even though I found it hard to put down, I paced myself to savour every moment of this hefty novel.

King has an addictive way of drawing readers into a seemingly average situation involving an everyday-kinda person. Then, he tangles you up in these people's lives. And ultimately, you're so caught up in the intricate web of words he weaves, that you can't escape. 

These average lives might start out that way, but it doesn't take long for the extraordinary, horrifying and creepy stuff to appear. And by then, you care so much about the characters that you feel everything that happens. Very deeply. 😣

I didn't know if Charlie Reade's adventure was going to lead to a happily ever after, but I was determined to follow him to The End. 

Of course, the fact we end up going down a spiral staircase inside a shed, and venture into a dark fantastical world, only made everything that much more exciting. And dangerous. But I'm getting ahead of myself, because before we go there, we get to know Charlie and Howard, get to experience a true friendship that stems from a young man's personal promise to himself. As well as the gorgeous dog that ties everything together. I seriously loved Radar. She's the best.

Charlie's quest kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Or is that down? I found the Other as fascinating as the people who inhabit this world, and didn't lose interest at all. I loved Charlie for all his kindness and determination, as much as his flaws. He's no Disney prince, but I think he's something a lot better.

Fairy Tale is exactly what the title says. It's a modern fairy tale that somehow manages to stay original while referencing countless amounts of folklore, myth, movies, and more. This might start out as the story of a boy who loses a lot too young, but it's really about a helpful guy who ends up falling in love with an elderly dog and will do anything to save her. But it's also a love letter to stories. To every story. To all stories.  

It's heartwrenching, heartwarming, and tremendously entertaining. Not to mention highly imaginative.

I LOVE this Book of King Fairy Tales.

Fairy Tale, September 2022, ISBN 9781399705424, Hodder & Stoughton

Friday 23 September 2022

PERFECT BLUE by Yoshikazu Takeuchi


Perfect Blue: Complete MetamorphosisPerfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis by Yoshikazu Takeuchi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Several years ago, my daughter was going to get rid of this book because she didn't like it as much as the movie and she asked if I was interested in checking it out, I said 'yes'. I mean, I enjoyed the movie too. 🙂

Kirigoe Mima is a pop idol who embodies purity and innocence. But after years of doing the same thing, she's ready for a sexier change. Except, not all her fans are happy with this change, and one particular man is going to make sure she stays the same. Forever...

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but as soon as I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I literally read it in a few sittings because I really wanted to know how this was going to turn out. I know that sounds weird because I've seen the movie, but this is very different. It's pretty much a completely different story.

This turned out to be an excellent thriller with horror elements. As well as a good dose of gore, and features a delusional superfan. I mean, a monster. The guy is seriously demented. And so obsessed with Mima, he actually thinks he's helping her. 😳

Asides from the interesting commentary on the unrealistic expectations placed on these poor idols by the public—uh, I mean men—there's also the chilling reality of how women who are stalked (in this case via creepy calls and creepier letters) don't feel justified to go to the authorities because they won't be taken seriously. Until they're attacked. Or killed.

This is a sad fact.

I also really liked the characters. Mima was nice and easygoing, a kind woman who wants to change her image enough to grow with it. Rumi, her assistant, is another great character. A failed idol who dedicates her life to helping Mima's career. Her agent, Tadokoro, was a very likeable guy. Although Mima's his ticket, he still shows her respect and doesn't move forward unless she agrees, which I thought was awesome. Oh, and I can't forget about the photographer, Yuji. I liked his casual manner.

I loved all of their interactions, but especially enjoyed the last few scenes. Wow. That was quite the horror finale and it provided a satisfying conclusion!

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Wednesday 21 September 2022

BONESET & FEATHERS by Gwendolyn Kiste


Boneset & FeathersBoneset & Feathers by Gwendolyn Kiste
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This story turned out to be quite the dark fairy tale, and I was hooked from beginning to end.

Odette lives in a village full of people who don't want her there because they're scared she's a witch. Yet, all she's done for five years is stay away from everyone and bury her magic so deep within, she can barely cast a single spell. But when the birds fall from the sky, everything changes and it won't be long before the witchfinders return...

I absolutely loved everything about this lovely but sad story. It's amazing and wondrous, poetic and even devastating.

The persecution of witches always hits me deeply.

I also love characters who are pure and kind, even when so much hatred surrounds them. Odette might be an outsider and labelled as dangerous, but it was never because of something she did. And even though the village shuns her, she never hurts them. In fact, she hurts herself more than anything. And all she wants is to be able to live her life in peace after she's lost everything. 😣

While the awful and callous patriarchy is familiar enough to fill me with rage, I found the way this world portrayed witches, witchfinders and magic totally fascinating. It's mysterious and so consuming I lost myself within the words of this lyrical book instantly, and couldn't put it down.

I LOVED this. So much.

I've read several stories written by Gwendolyn Kiste and have enjoyed all of them immensely. I can't wait to read more.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

CRIME SCENE by Cynthia Pelayo

Cynthia Pelayo sings a song for the least of us, the victim we want to forget as soon as possible, the one who disappeared before ever really appearing. With a fairy tale gaze and a heart bigger than the world, her siren song insinuates itself past our defenses, past the hardened calluses and apathy we’ve erected to protect ourselves from the everyday horror of another missing girl.

Pelayo relates the familiar story, poem by poem; a body is found, a brutal crime investigated, clues take us in circles, and lead us nowhere. We are on an epic journey, the hero’s journey, and it must play out to the end in all its painful, ticking moments. Pelayo imbues her hero, Agent K, with the entirety of our dedication and that crumb of hope we’ve been hiding, saving for later. We will need to save for years, for decades, if we want to come out the other side. The job takes its toll, the answers are never complete and whys fracture, crack and spread. Still there is no turning away. We must bear witness, though it changes and contorts us.

I have to thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this sad and tormenting, but beautiful collection.

The cover prepares the reader for what is waiting within these troubled pages, as much as the title. Yet, I wasn't prepared for the interwoven poems that tell this bleak and heartbreaking tale in a very unique and immersive way.

Each poem is listed under a Report No. and follows what happens after two kids find a dead body. Agent K soon takes over as she investigates. But Agent K is a tortured soul. Not only is she haunted by the endless, callous nature of what human monsters are capable of doing, but her past is darkened by her own personal tragedy. An experience that chases her into slumber and doesn't fade while she's awake.

The way Cynthia Pelayo paints such detailed and gruesome murder scenes is only rivalled by the beauty of the dark imagery. I could see every location she describes so vividly, imagine all the ghosts, and smell the cloying scent of decay. 

Poetry, in the hands of a skilful poet, can dig it's claws deep into your soul until every word takes your breath away. And that happened to me many times, while reading this stunning collection. 

True crime is one of those things that horrify and intrigue us at the same time. I've been watching a lot of it lately and after every case featuring an innocent woman or girl—because it's mostly the female of the species who suffer these horrendous and unfair crimes—reaches it's horrible conclusion, I always feel the same way. Broken and sad, confused while asking the one question that never seems to be answered: Why take what isn't yours? Because, even when the selfish killer has a screwed-up motive for their despicable actions, it never justifies taking someone else's life.

And this brings me back to this brutal book. I loved how confronting every single poem is, and how well each lyrical word captures the macabre, uncomfortable subject matter.

This is definitely a keeper. The contents of this poetry collection might have torn me apart at every turn, but I loved it.

My Revision Plan is Finally Over...


Last year, while working on the edit for WALL OF DOLLS, I decided it was time to put a Revision Plan together...

It took me well over a year to complete this goal. I started in April 2021 and finished September 2022.

The plan was long and involved a lot of hard work, but I committed because I believed in the variety of novels I'd cared enough to write in the first place. The first draft word counts varied from 50k to 78k and were mostly written between 2017-2019. There were nine to tackle. Except, that number became ten after I took part in NaNoWriMo 2021 and added another draft to the list. 😳

Still, I pushed on.

I kept myself from drowning in fatigue, and pushed away any overwhelming thoughts, by taking a few weeks off between projects. Sometimes, when my brain needed a longer mental break, I took a month off here and there. It was important to stay on target but I also didn't want to burnout, and risk having to stop the process.

So, filling the creative well was a must.

In the end, I turned three of these first draft novels into novellas, while six remained novel-length, and one was shelved. I hate that my last project turned out to be an abandoned story, but when you consider the total amount of projects I finalised, losing one novel isn't so bad. 🙂

I mean, I did cut a total of 104,423 words!

So, what's the next step for these finished stories? Some I've already started subbing. While others might never find an audience because they're too strange. Or too short. Weird in ways that are hard to market. Like my novella about a young woman who descends into madness using a fairy tale narrative. Or the novella about a teenager who might have fallen in love with an alien... Yeah, there are some peculiar tales in the bunch but I'm excited to have given every one of these ten stories a chance to become complete.

Well, except for the urban legend novel that didn't turn out how I imagined it would. 😬

This is a big personal goal and sometimes, I have to remind myself what a huge achievement this actually is. Just like clutter around the house, story clutter can become a problem if I don't take care of it.

And now, it's all done. *sigh*

It's time for me to take a bit of a breather for the rest of this week, while catching up on some reading. After that, I'll start thinking about my next NaNoWriMo project, and will polish a short story I wrote on my phone. As well as write two other stories that I started earlier this year but never got around to finishing. Not sure if they'll turn out to be short or longer pieces, but I'd like to write them by the end of the year.

That's it for today. I just wanted to end my goal with one final reflection post. 😊

Thursday 15 September 2022

Revision Time!

Hey! Long time no blog, huh?

So, how are you? What's new? What have you been up to? 😁

After getting several revision drafts done in a row, I decided to take most of August off, and spent it with my awesome husband while he was between jobs. It was a lovely break and prepared me for the final Revision Project. Yay.

This time I tackled a YA horror novel that deals with urban legends/myths, but has a demonic twist. I really enjoyed writing the first draft of Urban back in 2017, so I was looking forward to finding out if I still felt that way. Five years away from this story put a lot of distance between the original concept/idea and, although I still liked a lot of what I read, I spotted too many problems.

Here's how my week turned out:

  • Monday: 37/182pgs (69,041w)
  • Tuesday: 74/178pgs (66,930w)
  • Wednesday: 104/169pgs (63,050w)
  • Thursday: 160pgs/60,398w

Well, the second draft is done.

As you can see, there was quite a bit of word-cutting done during this draft. Excess, things that didn't need to be there, and plenty of other probs that stood out.

Yeah, this revision didn't work out the same way as the others.

I mean, there's a lot to like about this tale because so much of it is essentially a series of stories within the main story. But for some reason, the thread that strings it all together wasn't as strong as I remember. 😧

Looks like I've reached the stage where I have to admit to myself that this novel isn't working.

I initially started thinking about this as early as Tuesday, which is a shame. This situation reminds me of something I said to my husband after watching the movie, Ouija. I told him that although there were quite a few cool ideas/concepts that I really liked, the overall story didn't work.

Well, that's exactly how I feel about Urban.

So, after reaching the end and thinking about it, I've decided not to continue the revision process for this novel. Instead, I'll probably cannibalize chunks from this draft and will turn them into shorter stories. Actually, there's one particular creepy scene that I think will work great as a short story. And other bits that can be added to some of my other future ideas.

So, it's not a total loss. 😊

Now that I've completed the Revision Project List, I can tally the total number of words I cut this year. Between this draft (-9,637w), June's novel (-17,056w), the novella I revised in May (-27,927w) and March (-24,600w), as well as February's (-25,203w), I've now cut a total of 104,423 words this year! Yikes!!

Although, since I'm scrapping this novel, one could easily consider the entire word count cut. 😬

Oh, and another great thing about completing this project is that I can update my Revision List for the last time:
  • April 2021: Full edit of Wall of Dolls
  • May 2021: Full revision of Destiny
  • June 2021: Full revision of Victoria
  • August 2021: Full revision of Possess
  • September 2021: Full revision of Monsters
  • February 2022: Full revision of Cosmic
  • March 2022: Full revision of Madness
  • May 2022: First edit of Possess
  • May 2022: Full revision of Summer
  • June 2022: Full revision of Neon
  • July 2022: Final edit of Possess
  • July/August 2022: Full revision of Stuck
  • September 2022: Second draft revision of Urban done before abandoning the novel.

Well, I might be finishing this Revision Quest on a bittersweet note, but I'm still super excited to have reached The End of a long task I set for myself last year. 😁🎉

All that's left to do is sorting my files. Then, I look forward to getting stuck into a bunch of new projects because the writing never ends.

But for now, I'm going to enjoy the next three days with hubby before he starts a new job. 

Have an awesome day!

Sunday 11 September 2022



The Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards: The Legendary 18th-Century OracleThe Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards: The Legendary 18th-Century Oracle by Harald Josten
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, this is another deck we picked up during pre-Covid sales in a bookstore. It's more Oracle deck than tarot, but I love the artwork. The writing on the actual cards isn't great. It's not a problem, but you know, it kinda pushes the focus of the illustrations to the bottom.

The guide book is cool, though.

I'm glad to have this in my collection. 😁

THE TAROT DECK by Marseilles Tarot Cards


Tarot DeckTarot Deck by Bounty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this tarot deck for quite a while and can't believe I haven't reviewed it yet. 👀

This deck isn't fancy, it's pretty much all the cards stuck inside a snug box that fits them perfectly. There's also no guide book, it's just a small sheet of paper with some very basic details, but it never bothered me because I have guide books in other decks.

My favourite thing about this deck is the simplicity. The artwork isn't outstanding, but it's still nice in its simplicity. Plus, it reminds me of playing cards, which I also collect. 😁

Unlike some of the other tarot cards in my collection, which are so beautiful I don't want to handle them, I appreciate this one because I enjoy using them.

Saturday 10 September 2022



The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook (Official Keepsake Box Set)The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook by Kim Krans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This happens to be a tarot deck that I forgot I had. 👀 I vaguely remember picking it up at a bookstore pre-Covid, but I'm not sure where. I think it might've been in the city, and it could've been on special... but I'm not sure.

Either way, I'm glad I have it because these cards are beautiful. I love these illustrations! They're lovely, and the guidebook is helpful enough. I also like the way the deck is packaged.

I love how many of these decks I'm adding to my collection (after temporarily forgetting I owned them). ☺️

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Friday 9 September 2022

THE LITERARY WITCHES ORACLE by Taisia Kitaiskaia & Katy Horan

The Literary Witches Oracle: A 70-Card Deck and GuidebookThe Literary Witches Oracle: A 70-Card Deck and Guidebook by Taisia Kitaiskaia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another beautiful deck to add to my collection!

This one features 30 creative women from literary history, including Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Sylvia Plath and Angela Carter. There are also symbol cards with lovely illustrations. Actually, every illustration is beautiful. And the guidebook is cool and helpful.

LOVE this witchy Oracle deck.


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Wednesday 7 September 2022



When The Ghost Dog Howls (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #13)When The Ghost Dog Howls by R.L. Stine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Late last week, I set myself a small reading challenge: read the 10 Goosebumps HorrorLand books we found in one of our local thrift stores earlier this year.

Well, this is the last one. And I have to say it's one of my least favourite. Not because this is the start of the new HorrorLand arc, but because I just didn't like these kids. Especially Andy's cousin, Marnie. She was annoying as hell. Pretty much from the moment she appears trying to steal his popcorn. Ugh.

Anyway, the kids meet Jonathan Chiller, the shopkeeper who 'sells' a yellowed hound's tooth to Andy. It's supposed to belong to the Blue Kerlew Hound and can grant wishes.

As you can probably guess, many wishes are made and a lot of things go wrong for Andy. But nothing is shittier than what Marnie puts him through. I seriously couldn't stand that cousin of his. And because of her, I couldn't enjoy this story. 😐



Escape From Horrorland (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #11)Escape From Horrorland by R.L. Stine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While the previous Goosebumps HorrorLand books were novels with a shortie at the end, this entire installment takes place in HorrorLand. Well, actually, that's not right. It takes place in Panic Park.

That's right, Lizzie and her brother, Luke, along with some of the other regulars find themselves in this very bleak, black and white world full of shadowy people. And while here, they have to find the other kids before trying to return to the place they were trying to escape: HorrorLand. 👀

I enjoyed this a lot more than the last few books because Lizzie is a cool narrator and the mystery of what's going on kept me interested. I mean, I want to know where this is going next. Except, it ended in a cliffhanger. 😳

The biggest pet peeve I had with this tale is that many of the obstacles the characters faced in previous stories happened here again, which was a bit repetitive.

Anyway, this was cool.

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Help! We Have Strange Powers! (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #10)Help! We Have Strange Powers! by R.L. Stine
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Okay, so this book was SO meh, I had to skim a lot of it. The problem is that I didn't find Jillian and Jackson very interesting. Actually, their story was boring and quite ridiculous.

These two are twins who develop powers, are in constant turmoil with another set of twins, and then wind up catching the attention of a mad scientist. All things that really don't amount to much excitement. There was also nothing remotely scary or freaky about this book. Even the SF angle sucked.

Yeah, not a fan of this one.

But worst of all was the fact that this brother and sister hog most of the HorrorLand shortie, which made it almost unbearable. 😐

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Tuesday 6 September 2022



Say Cheese - And Die Screaming (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #8)Say Cheese - And Die Screaming by R.L. Stine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This happens to be the eighth book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series and I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the others.

I read another Say Cheese and Die! story a few years back, which I really enjoyed. But the use of the camera in this one wasn't as exciting. I never warmed to Julie because she's as dull as everyone around her. The adults in this one were particularly frustrating.

Except for a few creepy scenes, it wasn't remotely scary. Or interesting, if I'm honest. But what's even worse is that I didn't like the HorrorLand shortie. 😣

Oh well, they can't all be excellent, can they? I do love the cover, though.



My Friends Call Me Monster (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #7)My Friends Call Me Monster by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know, when I started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. I mean, it starts with three friends breaking into their teacher's house to dump a black cat, hoping to freak her out because she's superstitious.

BUT, the more I read, the better it got.

Michael and his two friends don't like their freaky teacher, Mrs Hardesty, because she likes monsters and keeps their classroom dark. Yet, they didn't expect to find a giant egg in her attic...

Yep, that's pretty much the gist of it. If you add a creepy mystery, eggs that should never be eaten, a seemingly friendly principal, and a bit of alien SF to the mix. Put all of these ingredients together, and it makes for a fun and gross story featuring a very interesting narrator.

I really liked Michael—the twelve-year-old with the nickname Monster because he's big and tall, plus has a bad temper. I didn't think I'd like him much, but he's great. And especially shines in the HorrorLand shortie featuring all the familiar faces and a new place called Panic Park. 😳

Monday 5 September 2022



Who's Your Mummy? (Goosebumps HorrorLand #6)Who's Your Mummy? by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm really enjoying this Goosebumps HorrorLand reading binge. Especially after finishing this AWESOME book.

Abby and her brother Peter go to stay with their Uncle Jonathan, who they don't know, because their grandmother needs to go to hospital for some tests. Their uncle is into Egyptian mythology and even has mummies, but the house is weird and soon they find themselves caught up in a very dangerous situation...

Wow. I really enjoyed this one! It was creepy, the tension kept building and building, until everything was revealed in the most wicked of ways. I loved the twists and turns. The secret plot they had no idea about until it was too late. The spooky isolated village. The house at the top of the hill. The violent bats. Did I mention the delicious secrets? I also thought that this was one of the creepiest Goosebumps I've read. In the best way possible.

Even the HorrorLand shortie was awesome!

This one is definitely one of my most favourite in this series. Ever. Loved it.

Sunday 4 September 2022



Dr. Maniac vs. Robby Schwartz (Goosebumps HorrorLand #5)Dr. Maniac vs. Robby Schwartz by R.L. Stine
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I know this is aimed at kids, but there's a reason why people don't like stories that end with 'and it was all a dream'.

Although this book didn't end on that note exactly, the same vibes are there, and it left me feeling hollow. And somewhat cheated. That's before considering how silly this storyline really is, or how much I dislike Robby because he even managed to bring down the HorrorLand shortie portion of this book. 😐

I'm not even a fan of the cover art. I'm afraid I didn't like much about this tale and even skimmed some bits without really missing a beat.

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The Scream of the Haunted Mask (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #4)The Scream of the Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this happens to be the fourth book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series. It's also technically the third book about the dreaded Haunted Mask, but because I've found most of these books in thrift stores, I don't always read them in sequence.

As it turns out, I've actually read the second book but not the first. But that didn't stop me from reading this one. 😁

Carly Beth had a horrible experience with the ugly Haunted Mask one Halloween. It was so bad that she hid the mask in the basement, but now it's calling out to her again. With another Halloween just around the corner, she's not sure she can ignore the mask's evil call...

I really enjoyed this installment. Carly Beth and her best friend, Sabrina were such a dynamic duo. Their friendship is strong and real, so the two do everything together. And that includes a shared babysitting job after school at Tumbledown Farms, which ends up hiding a secret of its own.

This turned out to be another spooky and fun story that intrigued me until I reached The End. And kept me interested after, because the HorrorLand shortie was also great. I love how all these kids are interacting in that creepy and very dangerous place.



Creep from the Deep (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #2)Creep from the Deep by R.L. Stine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series and although the cover is super cool, it doesn't match the story. At all.

When siblings, Billy and Sheena spend the summer on their uncle's boat, they're looking forward to a sea adventure. Especially Billy, who likes to pretend a lot. But then their uncle, Dr. Deep, goes missing during an expedition...

Well, I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. I found the story to be as meh as the characters. There was something about this story that bugged the hell out of me, which made no sense because I usually like pirates. So, zombie pirates should've been right up my alley.

Yet, I didn't feel this aquatic tale. I actually enjoyed the HorrorLand shortie a lot more. It was creepy, fun, and even included Britney and Molly from the first instalment!

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Revenge of the Living Dummy (Goosebumps HorrorLand, #1)Revenge of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This happens to be the first Goosebumps HorrorLand book, but it's not actually the first I've read in this series.

Britney Crosby doesn't like her annoying cousin, so when Ethan arrives with a creepy ventriloquist dummy, she's not happy. When she starts to realise that the creepy dummy might be talking and moving on his own, it's up to her to take care of him...

What a fun book this turned out to be! Britney's story is spooky and tense, full of mischief that she tries to unravel. Only to find that her parents don't believe her, so her cousin gets away with being a jerk. I was as frustrated as she was, but I also had a blast reading this book.

Although Slappy is always a displeasure to run into, I loved the two friends. Britney and Molly made this book amazing. Their friendship is cool, and Molly's father's obsession (well, profession) made everything better for someone who adores stories about scary dolls.

Oh, and the HorrorLand shortie was also fun. It's always freaky when a new group of kids has the misfortune of getting a special invitation. 😬

Awesome book!

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Saturday 3 September 2022

WAIT FOR NIGHT by Stephen Graham Jones


Wait for NightWait for Night by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the cover illustration for this story as much as the story. It's awesome, but also fits the narrative perfectly.

A laborer called Chessup works with a small crew hired to help clean up a flooded creek outside of Boulder. When their shift is over and his car battery dies, he tries to fix the problem. Instead, he winds up finding something that's been unearthed and learns a lot more about Burned Dan than he bargained for...

This is a fantastic story! I loved every second of it. As soon as Chessup's narration began, I was drawn into this creepy and weird tale and couldn't stop reading. I read it in one sitting and loved how everything turned out. I didn't expect things to go the way they did, but it was exciting to find out.

Awesome, riveting and a unique twist on a familiar trope.

Oh, and this little gem is available for free online: https://www.tor.com/2021/10/11/read-w...

I highly recommend you read it.

DISNEY VILLAINS TAROT DECK by Minerva Siegel & Ellie Goldwine


Disney Villains Tarot Deck and Guidebook | Movie Tarot Deck | Pop Culture TarotDisney Villains Tarot Deck and Guidebook | Movie Tarot Deck | Pop Culture Tarot by Minerva Siegel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My husband surprised me with this beautiful, but wicked Tarot deck the other day. Actually, I didn't know it was coming until it arrived. It was such a lovely surprise. 😊

The cards are seriously beautiful and feature a bunch of Disney villains, including some of my favourites: Ursula, Maleficent, the evil Queen. Even the Guidebook is lovely. Not just because it features several spreads, but the artwork within these pages is amazing. It's so nice I felt bad holding/reading it. LOL.

This deck by Minerva Siegel is complemented with the illustrations by Ellie Goldwine, and I love it.

I'm very excited about adding this to my growing collection.

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Friday 2 September 2022

YOURS CRUELLY, ELVIRA by Cassandra Peterson

The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story filled with intimate bombshells-told by the bombshell herself.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira is an unforgettably wild memoir. Cassandra doesn't shy away from revealing exactly who she is and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. Always original and sometimes outrageous, her story is loaded with twists, travails, revelry, and downright shocking experiences. It is the candid, often funny, and sometimes heart-breaking tale of a Midwest farm girl's long strange trip to become the world's sexiest, sassiest Halloween icon.

I've had my eye on this book for quite a while, so I want to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a beautiful hardback copy.

Wow. After reading the first sentence, I knew I was going to enjoy this incredible and very interesting ride because Cassandra's voice hooked me instantly. I love her storytelling style and how easily and naturally she introduced the concept of Elvira, before taking us back to her early childhood.

Cassandra's life is fascinating, so I'm glad she finally decided to pen this amazing book. She wasn't even out of her teens and she'd already crossed paths with Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix! 👀

It doesn't get cooler than that. Especially when you add becoming a Vegas Showgirl, meeting Elvis, and having the misfortune of crossing paths with Tom Jones to the mix. And that's without considering her long and adventurous career.

She's open and honest about everything she went through—the good and the bad—and certainly doesn't shy away from anything. No matter how funny or scary. But most of all, I found her to be genuine and down to earth. For someone who survived a life in the celebrity spotlight, she sure is cool, nice and reasonable.

Yep. All of this drips off every page of her memoir and I couldn't wait to get back to read more to find out what happened next. Or who she met before they were stars. Not to mention the established stars she encountered. As well as the many fascinating places she worked, the opportunities she found along the way, and the many relationships/friendships she made throughout.

There are several sad and/or low points in Cassandra's life that made me sad or angry, because the unfair treatment of women in any industry never fails to enrage me. But I love her tenacity and that no matter how hard things got, she managed to keep going. Pretty much refused to give up, and I admire the hell out of that.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira turned out to be even better than I imagined. Sometimes when you highly anticipate something it lets you down, but not this book. Cassandra is one amazing and super talented lady with a horror-loving heart that I enjoyed spending time with. 🖤

Actually, I enjoyed it so much that I read most of it out loud to my husband. It was a great way for both of us to experience this awesome book.

This is definitely a memoir worth reading!

Yours Cruelly, Elvira, June 2022, ISBN 9780306874352, Hachette Books

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