Friday 27 October 2023

MAEVE FLY by C.J. Leede

 

Maeve FlyMaeve Fly by C.J. Leede
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had my eye on this for quite a while, so I got stuck into it as soon as the book hit my Paperwhite.

Maeve Fly lives in LA and loves the city. She's an Ice Princess during the day and lives with her ailing grandmother in a lovely house. She reads a lot and spends plenty of time on the Sunset Strip. She has secrets, and when she meets Gideon, everything changes...

Wow! Yikes! Damn! πŸ‘€

Yeah, I really enjoyed this book and read it pretty quickly because I was hooked. Maeve's voice is strong and totally wild. I liked reading her bizarre thoughts and unexpected observations. Her life is like a fucked-up Disney fairy tale full of sex, violence and a lot of strangeness.

The twists and turns, combined with the depravity and the Halloween vibes, keeps everything interesting. I also liked how she was close to her starlet grandmother, and where that situation ends up. The way the location is so vivid that it pretty much becomes a character is very cool.

The ending sealed the awesomeness of this story for me.


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Thursday 26 October 2023

NaNoWriMo is almost here...

 

Since I finally signed up the other day and have been thinking about the story non-stop, I thought I'd post a little something about the upcoming National Novel Writing Month. πŸ˜… 

NaNoWriMo is something I've been doing since way back in 2006. Since then, it's become an annual tradition for me. I actually only skipped it once (because of editing).

Here's my history with this writing event:

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)
2020: Horror UF (Destiny)
2021: Horror Ghost Story (Stuck)
2022: Horror/True Crime (Tuesday)

This year, I'll be working on yet another horror story (what a surprise) that has lived inside my head for quite a while. It's an idea that took time to take shape because when it struck, I wasn't sure how to handle the concept. Now, I like the direction I'm taking. It's about a group of friends with a very dangerous secret, the place they all want to forget, and an old mystery that bubbles to the surface.

Looking forward to starting next week.

Have a great day! ☺️


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

Monday 23 October 2023

TAMPA by Alissa Nutting

 

TampaTampa by Alissa Nutting
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that you see readers mention every now and then. So, when I found a discounted copy in a bookstore, I picked it up. And finally decided to read it.

I'm not going to summarise the plot because I think we all know what this is about. 😳

Well, I wish I could say good things about this book... but I can't. This is just not a memorable story. Actually, the best thing about Tampa is the writing style. I quite like this author's voice, but the subject matter is so gross that I never warmed to the characters and the shitty things that were going on. Which I personally think is a good thing.

Celeste is despicable. She's a disgusting predator who spends most of her days and nights fantasising about how to seduce 14-year-old boys. She doesn't care about anyone but herself. She doesn't care about anyone but herself and her putrid excuse for a libido. She's a teacher, someone entrusted to enhance the lives of her teenage students, not to see them as targets. Or to take advantage to the point of violence. She's also one of those people who tries to cover shit up by making everything so much worse.

She thinks her looks and sex will get her out of anything. And unfortunately, she's not wrong. Ugh.

Not to mention how she screws up the lives of these boys and doesn't give a crap about the aftermath. Especially Jack. I felt gross throughout this whole book and found myself skipping past the horrid sex scenes because they were just SO fucking wrong. 🀒

Celeste is so unapologetically despicable that every selfish thought centres around lustful fantasies featuring young flesh.

I felt so dirty every time I picked this up, but thought the story would be interesting enough to keep me glued to the page. I was wrong. Also, I didn't see the humour in any of this. At all. This woman is a predator and there's nothing humorous about that.

Anyway, even the ending disappointed me.



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Wednesday 18 October 2023

THE SOXORCIST by Jamie Kort

 

The SoxorcistThe Soxorcist by Jamie Kort
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third sock puppet story I've read, and I certainly hope it won't be the last.

The Soxorcist has come to a dark attic in the dead of night to save the soul of an innocent sock. And he's willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done...

Yikes! OMFG. This is a short tale but it packs quite the punch. It's depraved. It's gross. It's violent. It's also weird as fuck. The imagery alone is guaranteed to fill your brain with filth, and not even bleach will get that stain out.

Yet, I couldn't stop reading. Didn't want to stop because I needed to find out how this brutal ordeal was going to end. And it didn't disappoint. 😳

The writing is engaging. The subject matter delves deep into such bizarre places, that you end up getting dragged into the very depths of hell inside this dusty attic that holds more than one innocent victim. And so many terrible secrets.

If you want to be grossed out, check this out. If you want to read something so original you can't look away, check this out. Hell, if you enjoy odd, but unique stories from unexpected perspectives, then definitely read this!

No one tells bizarro erotic sock tales like Jamie Kort. He created this subgenre and rules supreme. 🧦πŸͺ‘


PS. I love Sophie Ingley's cover, and it was cool to check out the other entries.


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I finally signed up!

Hey! How are you today?

Well, it's that time of the year again. But this time it took me a little longer to pick a story idea because I couldn't decide on a story. Until yesterday. 😧

So tonight, I officially signed up for NaNoWriMo 2023. Yay!!

Here's the very brief description I posted on the website:

Heathers meets IT, with a touch of The Craft & a little pinch of The Exorcist.

That's a lot, right? πŸ˜…

This particular idea came to me several years ago but didn't amount to much at the beginning because something was missing. It wasn't until it took a different turn that the spark eventually ignited and the story started to take shape. This is a story about friendship, lies, violence, and secrets dark enough to consume. 

Anyway, now that I've finally settled on a story it's time for me to NaNoPrep.

Are you taking part? If you are, and you want to be buddies, this is me:

Well, have an awesome day!

Tuesday 17 October 2023

MY HALLOWEEN ROMANCE by Wendy Dalrymple

 

My Halloween RomanceMy Halloween Romance by Wendy Dalrymple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the absolute perfect time to read this cozy romance.

After years of travelling from place to place, Tabby has decided to return to her hometown and restart her life. After all, she's in her thirties now and wants to accept responsibility. But when she applies for a job at Ty Treadwell's Haunted Hike, she reconnects with an old high school classmate and her life takes an unexpected turn...

This is a charming romantic tale packed with Halloween cheer, lovely characters, and horror movie references. Also, the romance between Tabby and Donnie is adorable and super sweet. In the best way possible, because I loved them together.

I had a blast reading this story! And I'm glad I read it this month too, because the Halloween vibes are strong with this one. πŸŽƒ

Wednesday 11 October 2023

HOLLY by Stephen King


When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl's desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.

Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harbouring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie's disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.

Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmanoeuvre the shockingly twisted professors.


When a new Stephen King book comes out, I get really excited because I know I'm going to lose myself for days. 

Holly Gibney has seen a lot. Now, in the middle of the pandemic, she's suffered a loss that awakens a bunch of complicated emotions, memories, and revelations. So, when a woman reaches out about her missing daughter, she decides to take the case. And as soon as she begins her investigation, she realises this disappearance might lead her down a very dark and twisted path...

Wow. This is definitely another King hit! I seriously couldn't stop reading, and pretty much read the last half in one night.

There's something intoxicating about King's writing. His characters—whether pure and kind, or rotten to the core—drag me into the story every single time. And don't let go until I race to the end.

The mystery always grabs me enough to keep reading. The story intrigues me so much I can't stop thinking about it, even when I'm not reading. And his writing style is smooth and crisp, full of enough horror to satisfy my infatuation with dark fiction. But what gets me the most is the humanity contained within the pages of every tale.

So much of the gory and terrifying horror he writes about is always grounded in real life situations we recognise all too well. He just has a tendency to push past the threshold and shoves his Constant Readers down the darkest road possible. And this story is no exception.

Plus, Holly has become one of my favourite characters. As well as Jerome and Barbara Robinson. These three make an awesome team and I can't wait to read more of their adventures.

Holly is a thrilling novel that grabbed a hold of me from the first sentence and refused to let go. The barbaric acts at the centre of these despicable crimes are straight out of a true-crime show, and will teach you to never judge someone by their age. Also, the way he deals with the pandemic is so true to life, it's chilling.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this awesome book.


Holly, September 2023, ISBN 9781399712927, Hodder & Stoughton

Tuesday 3 October 2023

THE PRAM by Joe Hill

 

The Pram (Creature Feature collection)The Pram by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second Creature Feature collection short story and it didn't disappoint.

After Willy and Marianne suffer a devastating miscarriage that changes the way they see and feel about everything, they decide to move into a farmhouse in Maine. But the day Willy walks to the local store and borrows a pram so he doesn't have to carry the groceries home, he falls into a dark and all-consuming obsession...

Yikes, what a fantastic story! Not just because the folk horror and imagery is so horrific and creepy, but also because of how well it deals with the unresolved grief the husband in the marriage has put aside and didn't deal with, so his wife could heal. But what starts as a very selfless act of love in a happy marriage, soon warps into something awful when Willy allows himself to fall down the rabbit hole.

I liked the twist at the end too, though I did suspect something fishy about some of these characters.

Really enjoyed it!


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SAGA # 65 & 66 by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

 

Saga #65Saga #65 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This was such an amazing issue!

We have three different stories happening at the same time. Alana is looking for her children to get the hell out of that place. Petrichor surprises The Will. Squire and Hazel find themselves in a bit of trouble. And the action never stops. Not until the very end.

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

----------

Saga #66Saga #66 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another solid issue that kept me on my toes because I feared the worst would happen. 😫 I mean, Ghüs is back and I didn't want anything to happen to him.

The plot thickens, and this one has a nice twist ending.

Monday 2 October 2023

ANKLE SNATCHER by Grady Hendrix

 

Ankle Snatcher (Creature Feature collection)Ankle Snatcher by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose this short story as my first spooky October read, and I'm glad I did because it was a lot of creepy fun.

Marcus is enjoying a nice second date with a girl he really likes when he shares the unfortunate story about how his father killed his mother when he was six, and blamed the boogeyman under the bed. Except, after Tess spends the night with him, things take a terrible turn...

Yikes. There's a reason why Grady Hendrix is one of my favourite authors, and this story is yet another awesome example.

I particularly liked how there's a nightmarish, delusional vibe through the whole story. It's so well written that the ambiguity works on two levels. The supernatural angle, that Marcus finally accepts he's inherited a monster under his bed from his father. As well as the reality, that what he's really inherited is of the murderous kind. So, which one is it? That ending really makes you think.

This is like a twisted bedtime story meets true crime.

I REALLY enjoyed it!
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