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Sunday 31 December 2023

Books Read in 2023

IN AN ABSENT DREAM
(Wayward Children #4):
Seanan McGuire

JUICE LIKE WOUNDS
(Wayward Children #4.5):
Sean McGuire

THE TOLL HOUSE:
Carly Reagon

THE LITTLE WITCH:
M. Rickert

THE COLOUR OF EVIL:
Sarah Jane Huntington

BAD DOLLS:
Rachel Harrison

ALL THE LIVING AND THE DEAD:
Hayley Campbell

EMILY WILDE'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FARIES: (DNF)
Heather Fawcett

WASPS IN THE ICE CREAM:
Tim McGregor

SAGA #61:
Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

SUFFER THE DARKNESS:
Yolanda Sfetsos

LOVE, PAMELA:
Pamela Anderson

THE GOONIES:
James Kahn

THIS IS WHERE WE TALK THINGS OUT:
Caitlin Marceau

DEAD EYES
(Rewind or Die #18):
E.V. Knight

ALONE WITH MYSELF:
Kev Harrison

THE GROWTH
(The Growth #1):
Adam Hulse

THE BLACK CABIN:
Wayne Fenlon

HEARTBURN:
Damien Casey

THE GROWTH LIVES!
(The Growth #2):
Adam Hulse

IT DOESN'T GO AWAY:
Wendy Dalrymple

WAIF: 
Samantha Kolesnik

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER:
Edgar Allan Poe

INHERITING HER GHOSTS:
S.H. Cooper

HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE:
Grady Hendrix

BRAD, UNWOUND
(A Puppet Scorned Yarn):
Jamie Kort

LINGHUN:
Ai Jiang

SQUISHMALLOWS OFFICIAL COLLECTORS' GUIDE:
Squishmallows 

Mark Waid & Terry Dodson

SAGA #62:
Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

SAGA #63:
Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

SQUAD:
Maggie Tokuda-Hall & Lisa Sterle

UNTAMED SHORE:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

THE LONGEST THIRST:
Roxie Voorhees

OUR OWN UNIQUE AFFLICTION:
Scott J. Moses

MOTHERTHING:
Ainslie Hogarth

Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

SPELL ON WHEELS
(Spell on Wheels Volume 1):
Kate Leth, Megan Levens & Marissa Louise

THE GHOST IN YOU:
Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Ben Blacker, Mirka Andolfo & Marissa Louise

Alexis Quasarano, Max Sarin & Marissa Louise

WYTCHES
(Volume One):
Scott Snyder & Jock

SPELL ON WHEELS: Just to Get to You
(Spell on Wheels Volume 2):
Kate Leth, Megan Levens & Marissa Louise

IMMORTALITY: A Love Story
(The Anatomy Duology #2):
Dana Schwartz

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH
(Sabrina, Volume 1):
Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, Andy Fish & Jack Morelli

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH
Something Wicked
(Sabrina, Volume 2):
Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, Andy Fish & Jack Morelli

THIS ONE'S GONNA HURT:
Cody J. Thompson

WUTHERING HEIGHTS:
Emily BrontΓ«

SUFFER THE DARKNESS:
Yolanda Sfetsos

EXPECTATIONS:
B.T. Hayes

HUNGERS AS OLD AS THIS LAND:
Zachary Rosenberg

28 DAYS SASSIER:
Damien Casey

BELOW ECONOMIC THRESHOLDS:
Adam Hulse

THE HIBISCUS AND THE GRAVE:
Wendy Dalrymple 

EERIELLA: SUPER-FIEND:
Sophie Ingley

THE DISMEMBERED:
Jonathan Janz

ALIVE UNDEAD:
Brian Bowyer

I AM AI:
Ai Jiang

SILVER NITRATE:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

E.T. 
The Extra-Terrestrial:
Arie Kaplan & Chris Fennell

JAWS
Big Shark. Little Boat:
Geof Smith & Kaysi Smith

BACK TO THE FUTURE:
Arie Kaplan & Meg Dunn

D&D DUNGEON CLUB
ROLL CALL:
Molly Knox Ostertag 

REAL LIFE SUCKS LOSERS DRY:
Cassandra Daucus

SCARLETT:
Brian Bowyer

KINDRED:
Octavia E. Butler

MY FIRST BOOK OF GIRL POWER:
Julie Merberg 

BEAST OF BURDEN:
Yolanda Sfetsos

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE TONIGHT:
Kalynn Bayron

HIDE:
Kiersten White

FUNNYBONES:
Allan Ahlberg

TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS COLOURING BOOK:
Disney

PARASOCIAL:
Wendy Dalrymple

PRE-APPROVED FOR HAUNTING AND OTHER STORIES:
Patrick Barb

THE FOLLY:
Gemma Armor

ANKLE SNATCHER
(Creature Feature collection:
Grady Hendrix 

SAGA # 65:
Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

SAGA # 66:
Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

THE PRAM
(Creature Feature collection:
Joe Hill

HOLLY:
Stephen King

MY HALLOWEEN ROMANCE:
Wendy Dalrymple 

THE SOXORCIST:
Jamie Kort

TAMPA:
Alissa Nutting

MAEVE FLY:
C.J. Leede

WHAT HIDES IN THE CUPBOARDS:
Cassondra Windwalker

WINGS OF SORROW:
Yolanda Sfetsos

DIRTY THIRTY:
Janet Evanovich

SCARIEST. BOOK. EVER:
(Goosebumps House of Shivers #1)
R.L. Stine

Hinkler Books

REGRESSION, Way Down Deep
Volume 1:
Cullen Bunn

REGRESSION, Disciples
Volume 2:
Cullen Bunn

REGRESSION, Sacrifice
Volume 3:
Cullen Bunn

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND:
Rumaan Alam

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #2
Can You Fear Me Now?
Various

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #3
Zombielicious
Various 

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #4
Keeping It Real:
Various

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #5
Yabba Dabba Voodoo:
Various

SEINFELD
The Day of Nothing:
Micol Ostow & Brittany Baugus

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT:
Wendy Dalrymple

YOUR DARLING DEATH:
Lauren Carter

THE VISITOR:
Sergio Gomez

KOSA:
John Durgin




Books Read in 2023: 103/100


(DNF books: 1)

________________________


Number of series/duology/trilogy books read: 27
  • IN AN ABSENT DREAM (Wayward Children #4)
  • JUICE LIKE WOUNDS (Wayward Children #4.5)
  • SAGA #61
  • DEAD EYES (Rewind or Die #18)
  • THE GROWTH (The Growth #1)
  • THE GROWTH LIVES! (The Growth #2)
  • BRAD, UNWOUND (A Puppet Scorned Yarn)
  • SAGA #62
  • SAGA #63
  • SAGA #64
  • SPELL ON WHEELS (Spell on Wheels Vol 1)
  • SPELL ON WHEELS: Just to Get to You (Spell on Wheels Volume 2)
  • IMMORTALITY: A Love Story (The Anatomy Duology #2)
  • SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH (Sabrina, Volume 1)
  • SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: Something Wicked (Sabrina, Volume 2)
  • ANKLE SNATCHER (Creature Feature collection)
  • SAGA #65
  • SAGA #66
  • THE PRAM (Creature Feature collection)
  • SCARIEST. BOOK. EVER (Goosebumps House of Shivers #1)
  • REGRESSION, Way Down Deep (Volume 1)
  • REGRESSION, Disciples (Volume 2)
  • REGRESSION, Sacrifice (Volume 3)
  • TALES FROM THE CRYPT: Can You Fear Me Now? (Volume 2)
  • TALES FROM THE CRYPT: Zombielicious (Volume 3)
  • TALES FROM THE CRYPT: Keeping It Real (Volume 4)
  • TALES FROM THE CRYPT: Yabba Dabba Voodoo (Volume 5)


Saturday 30 December 2023

Cover Reveal & Pre-order!

That's right!

The cover for my upcoming gothic horror novella was revealed today by DarkLit Press.

Check it out:


Isn't it beautiful?
It was made by SaberCore Art Studio, who is an amazing artist.
Also, this cover fits the story perfectly. I absolutely LOVE it.

So, what's the story about?

Here's the synopsis:

When Thera inherits a house on the cliff from her estranged aunt, her husband suggests they spend a week on the coast to sort through her family's belongings. But Hector has ulterior motives and hopes she'll fall in love with this gothic location.

Instead, these newlyweds find themselves trapped inside a house concealing an ancient family secret that might tear them apart before they get the chance to start their lives together.

Thera is slowly changing into someone—or something—else, but is willing to do whatever it takes to stop the curse.

Drawing upon the atmospheric backdrop of a cliffside house, Sfetsos intricately weaves a tale where the line between passion and peril is razor-thin. The story captivates with its raw portrayal of transformation and the lengths one goes to save love amidst looming darkness.

And here are some amazing blurbs from three fantastic authors:

"These characters will dig their talons through muscle and bone to nest in your battered heart, tormenting you long after the story is done." Angela Sylvaine, author of Frost Bite

"For fans of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and THE CRANE HUSBAND, Sfetsos's book of sacrifice and torment will sure to haunt your mind." Ai Jiang, Nebula finalist and author of LINGHUN and I AM AI

"Inherited trauma, dark family secrets, and terrifying psychological themes blend beautifully together to leave you with an ending that satisfies and terrifies. Wendy Dalrymple, author of WHITE IBIS and ROSER PARK


YOU CAN PRE-ORDER WINGS OF SORROW RIGHT NOW!!

And don't forget that you can read the prequel short story right now HERE.


This is such exciting news! πŸ˜ƒπŸŽ‰


Wednesday 27 December 2023

2023 Goals

Well, we've almost reached the end of 2023, so I suppose it's time to chat about my goals.

This year turned out to be packed full of stuff. My husband became a bus driver, which flipped our routine. I managed to get my writing back on track after spending so much of the last few years revising, which is fantastic. And sadly, we lost our beloved 16-year-old Loki, which broke our hearts. It's been nine months, but we still miss him every single day.

Loki was more than a cat. He was family. He was the embodiment of our apartment. And without him, it feels like something is missing.

Anyway, I don't want to get off track and get sad all over again. I'm here to talk about the personal goals I set in January.

Here's how they turned out:
  • Go for two daily walks: LIKE I SAID ABOVE, OUR SCHEDULE CHANGED THIS YEAR, SO MOST DAYS I END UP GOING FOR ONE VERY LONG WALK (JUST UNDER TWO HOURS).
  • Get back into yoga and schedule more workouts: ALTHOUGH WE DID YOGA, IT WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE. STILL HAVEN'T FOUND THE RIGHT BALANCE. 🫀
  • Write between 100-200k words: I WROTE 190.934 WORDS.
  • Read 100 books: I READ 102 BOOKS.
  • Revise/finalise my NaNoWriMo 2022 first draft: YES! I ACTUALLY DID THIS IN MARCH.
  • Write a novel or two: I WROTE ONE 65K NOVEL.
  • Write a novella or two: I WROTE TWO NOVELLAS (45K & 30K).
  • Keep writing short stories & subbing Try not to self-reject & submit stories no matter how much of a longshot it is: I WROTE THREE SHORT STORIES BUT DIDN'T REALLY SUB TO MANY OPEN CALLS BECAUSE I WAS WORKING ON LONGER STUFF.
  • Continue playing Animal Crossing and get into some other cozy, cute puzzle games: I'M STILL PLAYING ANIMAL CROSSING EVERY DAY & PLAYED COZY GROVE REGULARLY AS WELL. I ALSO FINISHED UNPACKING, CONTINUED TO PLAY THE TETRIS 99 CHALLENGES & RECENTLY STARTED SUIKA GAME. ACCORDING TO MY NINTENDO SWITCH STATS, I PLAYED A TOTAL OF 681 HOURS THIS YEAR! WHICH IS AWESOME.
Well, that's how I did with my personal goals list! Not bad. I'm very happy with what I achieved.

Now, here are some other very cool writing highlights:
  • I now have TV/Film representation! I'm represented by Alec Frankel from IAG. This is SO EXCITING!! ☺️πŸŽ‰
  • I signed eight contracts this year.
  • Writer Firsts: I got some amazing blurbs from a bunch of awesome authors, had my first hardcover and audio book releases & my most reviewed story ever!
  • I edited four novellas and two are already published.
  • I wrote, revised & subbed two prequel short stories that are now available for free at DarkLit.
  • The two novellas I wrote this year, I also revised & finalised. Which is a big deal because I promised myself that I would keep up with first draft revision.
  • I made two covers for my own books. I made the BEAST OF BURDEN cover, and with the help of Andrew Robert, I made the cover for CHANGE OF HEART.
  • I finally updated my website! This was something I wanted to do all year but didn't get to it until this month. And now that I've done it, I want to make changes when needed.
  • I got the rights back for two books.
These are the novellas that were released this year:


These are the short stories available for free:


I have a Creepypasta shortie in this Cemetery Gates Media anthology:


As I mentioned above, now that I've updated everything here, I've decided to concentrate on my website/blog more. After what happened with Twitter, NaNoWriMo and Substack, I'm starting to get sick and tired of closing down accounts and starting over.

My website is my personal space, and I want to highlight it a lot more.

Also, I'm not going to bother with a newsletter for now, I setup my blog so that you can subscribe and get updates sent directly to your Inbox whenever I post here. It just makes sense, and serves the same purpose as a newsletter.

Well, this is how my 2023 goals turned out! I'm very happy with everything that I managed to accomplish. And I'm very excited because SUFFER THE DARKNESS happens to be one of the projects I worked on last year. It means that those eighteen months I spent rewriting/revising all of those forgotten tales on my hard drive was definitely worth it.

I better write up some 2024 goals soon. ☺️


Sunday 24 December 2023

A little festive treat!

Well, it's Christmas Eve and I thought it would be nice to post a free short story on my website.

Curse to the World is a freaky 2k shortie about an elf tasked with a shitty job. 

I hope you enjoy Bow's Christmas tale.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & I hope you all have a good one! πŸŽ„πŸ–€πŸ¦Œ


READ THE FREEBIE HERE...

 

Saturday 23 December 2023

Bye, bye Substack

 

Last month, after finding out some gross things that were happening behind-the-scenes, I deleted my NaNoWriMo profile. After sixteen years of taking part, I thought it would be a hard decision to make... but it wasn't. It was the right thing to do. The only thing to do.

So, I dropped out of the challenge but kept writing. Decided to move on. And will never take part again.

What I didn't expect was to be facing another similar choice this month. 🫀

Yet, that's exactly what happened when I found out that Substack has welcomed/allowed Nazis to spread crap on their platform. And not just that, when people started complaining and demanding they do something, they made a pathetic statement that pretty much condones these disgusting creatures. I think this is an awful stance. Unacceptable. It makes me sick that companies are so greedy they're willing to allow such horrible people to spew hate and misinformation as long as they're making money.

Disgraceful.

I find it so gross that I deleted my account.

That's right, I no longer have a newsletter at Substack.

Before deleting my newsletter, I actually transferred most of my posts to this blog under the appropriate dates. I didn't want to lose all those thoughts, words and celebrations.

Ugh. Like I said, I can't believe it happened so close to the other incident.

Now I have a decision to make. Do I research other newsletter places and pick one? Do I even bother? Well, ideally I would prefer to stay away from all of that. I'm tired of setting up and having to move on because people can't be decent human beings.

I'd like to invest time in my own blog right here. I mean, I've had this blog for a long time and even after the rise of social media, I kept posting updates. I think that figuring out a way of blending blogging with subscribing to updates would be ideal.

I actually looked into it and spent a while reading about my options...

So, if you're interested in keeping up with my writing, you can now subscribe and an email will be sent your way with my latest post:

It's just like subscribing to my newsletter. You'll find out when I post news, post reviews, and everything else in between. I'll probably end up posting more often too.

Well, this is my choice for now. It could change in the future, or maybe it won't. But if you'd like to keep up with my upcoming projects, thoughts and writing stats, feel free to sign up! ☺️

Wednesday 20 December 2023

KOSA by John Durgin

KosaKosa by John Durgin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this upcoming DarkLit Press title, and I'm so glad I did because it's a darkly addictive read.

Kosa lives with Mother in a secluded house in the middle of the forest. She doesn't know anything about the outside world and is forced to follow the rigid rules Mother sets out for her. Rules the cats enforce. But as she gets older and her curiosity about what's really going on intensifies, her troubled life becomes a lot more complicated...

Wow. As soon as I started reading this book, I knew it was a story that was bound to keep me interested from start to finish. And I wasn't wrong. I couldn't put it down.

The story starts with the unfortunate fool who sets everything in motion, takes you on a freaky dark ride, and doesn't stop until the very last word.

I absolutely loved this twisted fairy tale horror novel. It's what nightmares are made of. A terrific mix of familiar childhood stories with a wicked violent slant that rips your heart out over and over again.

It's wondrous and imaginative. Terrifying and gruesome. A supernatural ride in the middle of our mundane world.

Kosa packs an emotional punch because all the characters you meet are interesting and doomed. Sympathetic and intriguing. Except for the evil at the root of everything. That particular character is bound to torment you.

You should definitely read it! 😈


P.S. Kristina did it again because this cover isn't just horrifying, it also perfectly matches the story.

Saturday 16 December 2023

THE VISITOR by Sergio Gomez

The VisitorThe Visitor by Sergio Gomez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this afternoon it was time to finish the festive novella I started reading late last night. 🌲😁❄️

It's Christmas, there's a really bad snowstorm, and a small group of strangers get stranded in a roadside diner. They're hoping to ride out the storm, and instead find themselves fighting for their lives...

Yikes! This novella doesn't waste any time. The protagonists are all introduced in a way that you can't help but like (most) of them, which only makes everything worse later on.

I could feel the cold and the fear, how deep the confusion is when the characters realise what's really going on. After the first person cops it, the action doesn't stop. It's a bloodbath, but also interesting enough that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

I really enjoyed this horror sci-fi novella set during Christmas. It's a lot of gruesome fun!


Thursday 14 December 2023

YOUR DARLING DEATH by Lauren Carter

Your Darling DeathYour Darling Death by Lauren Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is actually the first story I read on my new Denim Kindle! And it's an awesome one, with a lovely cover.

Lilith has just become a widow, and now has to (unfortunately) put up with her late husband's family one last time. But things don't go very well...

OMG! This novelette turned out to be utterly fantastic. It's a macabre little tale featuring Lilith, who wants to lay her husband to rest but his horrid family won't let her. It's gothic horror at its finest. A creepy story about awful, greedy people with evil intent and the poor woman who is forced to put up with them. Luckily, our plucky heroine knows how to deal with their antics.

I absolutely loved this! And the fact that the whole book is so expertly narrated in the second person only adds to the sinister, mysterious vibes. The clever twists and turns that lead to a remarkable conclusion kept me on the edge of my seat.

I can't wait to read more Lauren Carter stories, that's for sure.

Wednesday 13 December 2023

GIRLS' NIGHT OUT by Wendy Dalrymple

Girls’ Night OutGirls’ Night Out by Wendy Dalrymple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Today, I decided that I was going to read this novella. And I'm glad I did.

Kris is a mother and wife who doesn't get out much. Her young twins keep her busy and her marriage isn't going too well. So, joining her friends for a fun night out sounds like a nice idea. Except, it doesn't go according to plan and she finds herself stuck in a terrible situation...

Well, this is yet another awesome Wendy Dalrymple story!

I had an absolute blast reading this novella. I love stories that start out very normal before turning everything upside down. And this book introduces us to a mother who's stuck in an unhappy rut even though she loves her family. A woman who wants more out of life and when she gets it, doesn't know how to deal with everything.

Of course, what happens to her is terrible and she blames herself, but I love how determined Kris is to understand what's going on and deal with it.

There's also plenty of gruesome body horror, and several familiar faces that I wasn't expecting.

Like every other story I've read written by this fantastic author, I loved it!

Monday 11 December 2023

SEINFELD: The Day of Nothing by Nicole Ostow & Brittany Baugus

Seinfeld: The Day of NothingSeinfeld: The Day of Nothing by Micol Ostow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We found out about this book after our daughter picked up a copy for work, and since we're huge Seinfeld fans, we had to grab a copy for our collection.

This book about nothing sure is packed with a lot. πŸ˜…

I had heaps of fun reading it. Not only is it funny, but the drawings are super cute. And there are Easter eggs everywhere. Not just in the dialogue and story itself, but in the background.

It really is a very cool book and I loved it!

Saturday 9 December 2023

Overdue Website Update!

Can you believe it's the last month of the year? Yep. 2023 is almost over. Yikes!

By the time December hits, my creative brain is usually a little exhausted so I don’t like to get stuck into any new writing projects. Well, nothing too long, because I am (kinda) brainstorming a new short story. LOL.

Instead, I like to spend some time reading and sorting through stuff. You know, to clear out the clutter? I’ve got a bunch of spring cleaning projects I want to take care of.

One of the first things on that list was my website.

I spent the first two days of this week updating every page. I even designed a new banner! I have to admit that some of the process was a pain, which is something I find myself saying every single time I have to deal with html code. And this time, there were a few extra obstacles. Code that I accidentally deleted and made my sidebar disappear, until I was able to find a way to restore it. I also (somehow) managed to change the way my blog looks so that all the posts are now visible on the page, instead of showing the Read More option.

It’s a detail that initially bugged me. A lot. But now, I’m not too fussed because it doesn’t look too bad.

So, in spite of all of the probs I faced along the way, I’m very happy with how everything turned out. Now that everything has been updated, it will make it easier for me to keep tabs on everything.

Can you believe I hadn’t changed my About Me page for over ten years? O_o

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in to let you know that when you visit my website now, all the information is up to date.

Also, what do you think of my new banner?


Friday 8 December 2023

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #5 by Various

Tales from the Crypt, #5: Yabba Dabba VoodooTales from the Crypt, #5: Yabba Dabba Voodoo by Various
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the last Tales from the Crypt volume I have, and I'm really pleased to say that it's the best one. I enjoyed all four stories, quite a bit

Here are my thoughts:

IGNOBLE ROT by Fred Van Lente introduces a man who isn't having a good night. After all, he's falling apart, but he knows where he has to go to break the curse...

What an intriguing story! Not only is there a mystery while this guy is trying to find his way back to where he believes the curse started, but every step of his zombification is also coupled with the scientific breakdown of decomposition. And that ending was perfect! πŸ˜…

VIRTUAL HOODOO by Joe R. Lansdale and John L. Lansdale features Sidney, a quiet man who works in the mail room. When his boss steals his game idea, he decides to get revenge...

Oh! This is a clever little story that starts out with sympathy towards Sidney, but slowly morphs into something else. I mean, victims can become the monsters they fear if they have access to power. And this was a great example.

SHE WHO WOULD RULE THE WORLD by Christian Zanier is about two gifted doctors who want to save the life of a dying woman using an experimental procedure that works too well and unleashes Apep Nephthys into the world...

Wow. EVERYTHING about this story is stunning. Starting with the artwork, which is absolutely beautiful. The story is so interesting and bizarre, with echoes of Frankenstein's failures. It's also sad.

GLASS HEADS by Fred Van Lente features Chandler, a guy who doesn't need to work and is always trying to get the attention of his friends. But when he starts having visions, he finds a different purpose...

Yikes! I started to have a bad feeling about this one pretty early on, and was genuinely concerned for Chandler. But what happens to him is a lot worse than I expected... 😳


I'm SO glad that every single one of these stories was great. In their own way. I mean, they definitely intersect in the experimentation, dealing with death and having to face hard facts, but each one has its own set of intriguing problems and a mystery I couldn't wait to unravel.

Best volume I've read today!


View all my reviews

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #4 by Various

Tales from the Crypt #4: Crypt-Keeping It Real (Tales from the Crypt Graphic Novels, 4)Tales from the Crypt #4: Crypt-Keeping It Real by Stefan Petrucha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this volume contained seven stories, but I only enjoyed two of them. And both were written by Joe R. Landsdale and John L. Lansdale!

Moonlight Sonata is a cool spin on werewolves. And A Ripping Good Time is a time travel tale. Both have twist endings.

Too bad about the others. 🫀

View all my reviews

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #3 by Various

Tales from the Crypt, No. 3: ZombieliciousTales from the Crypt, No. 3: Zombielicious by Mort Todd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, this is another Tales from the Crypt volume, and here's what I thought of each story:

EXTRA LIFE by Neil Kleid features a very bored and confused guy called Andy, or Evenblade. When his real and online world collide, things don't turn out well...

This story is a short and seemingly straightforward tale introduced by the Crypt-Keeper. I say seemingly because nothing about Andy's life is as it seems. Or as he thinks.

THE QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES by Marc Bilgrey features Tanith and Sybil, two close friends whose friendship deteriorates after one wins a contest to meet their favourite author...

This story is introduced by the Old Witch, because the Crypt-Keeper is playing an Ogre game. As much as I like vampires and stories about creepy writers, I found this one totally ridiculous. 🫀

GRAVEYARD SHIFT AT THE TWILIGHT GARDENS by Rob Vollmar is introduced by the Vault-Keeper, and is SO BAD that I won't even bother saying much about it. Except for this: it's an incoherent, boring mess that supposedly ties into the previous story. πŸ™„

KID TESTED, MOTHER APPROVED by Jared Gniewek features Jimmy, a kid who doesn't eat his cereal and this decision has a monstrous effect on him...

This story is once again introduced by the Crypt-Keeper and isn't too bad. Not great, either.


These stories were all different, but I didn't really enjoy any of them.


View all my reviews

TALES FROM THE CRYPT #2 by Various

Tales from the Crypt #2: Can You Fear Me Now?: Can You Fear Me Now? (Tales from the Crypt Graphic Novels, 2)Tales from the Crypt #2: Can You Fear Me Now?: Can You Fear Me Now? by Neil Kleid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My husband found a bunch of these at our local thrift store last week, so I thought I'd give them a go.

Here's what I thought of each story:

A MURDERIN' IDOL by Mort Todd features a talentless hack called Jaysan, who enters Popstar Idol in hopes of winning. Though he needs a little demonic help along the way and finds himself in a very hellish situation...

This story is short, simple, and is introduced by the Crypt-Keeper. It showcases the crap people are willing to do to get what they want, and how it's never what it seems.

CRYSTAL CLEAR by Don McGregor features Stony, a drug dealer with a very special phone and a lot of violence in mind. But he meets his match at a funeral...

This story is introduced by the Old Witch, because the Crypt-Keeper is busy on the 'world-wide web of horror'. πŸ˜… It showcases how assholes who think they're better than everyone else can find themselves in a lot of trouble.

SLABBED! by Stefan Petrucha features Derrick, a terrible boy who steals his half-brother's valuable comic book and finds himself in a very strange situation...

This story is introduced by the Old Witch, and showcases a little asshole who tries to pay off a debt by stealing from another. Loved the ending!

THE GARDEN by Fred Van Lente features Richard, a man who seems to have inherited a beautiful new house and a lovely garden, but is actually something much more sinister...

This story is once again introduced by the Crypt-Keeper. It showcases a horrible, shitty man who did something atrocious and is now going to pay for it. Forever.


Although every story is very different, the running theme seems to be: assholes who do terrible things, get what they deserve. Hey, I'm down with that! As for the art, it definitely fit the mood of these stories.


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Thursday 7 December 2023

LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND by Rumaan Alam

Leave the World BehindLeave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last month we watched a trailer for an upcoming Netflix movie, and when I found out it was based on a book, I was instantly interested in getting my hands on it.

Amanda and Clay have rented a beautiful house faraway from their city life, where they hope to relax for a week and spend some quality time with their kids. But their tranquillity is disrupted when an older couple turn up at their doorstep in the middle of the night, claiming to be the owners of the house...

Well, this is such a tense and interesting story. One I was instantly drawn into and couldn't stop reading.

The most disturbing thing about this book is how the awful things sneak up on the characters and the reader. Everything starts so normal. Beautiful clear days full of fun and wayward thoughts soon turn into manic assumptions and suspicion. The confusion and helplessness that arises when the characters aren't able to connect to the rest of the world is too real.

A power outage. Animals acting strangely. Not knowing what's going on. Strange signs that make no sense. A world without clear instructions. THIS is the real nightmare, and what made this harrowing book such an amazing and awful experience at the same time.

The interactions between the two couples—Amanda and Clay, Ruth and GH—were some of my favourite scenes. How four adults who seem so different and know nothing about each other, wind up becoming so close and dependent on each other. While still trying to maintain a safe distance.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this story is the random thoughts. How each character finds their thoughts running in unexpected directions. This made everyone feel so real.

Loved it! And now I'm looking forward to checking out the movie.
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