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Tuesday 23 July 2024

MISTRESS OF ALL EVIL by Serena Valentino

Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy (Disney Villains 4) (Disney Villains)Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy (Disney Villains 4) by Serena Valentino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yesterday I tried to read the third book in this series and unfortunately DNFd it halfway through, but I still decided to give this one (the fourth) a go.

Maleficent is often called the Dark Fairy, the Mistress of All Evil. Yet, there's a lot more to her story. Starting with the reason why she cursed an innocent princess and is determined to destroy everything...

Well, this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed it! I liked the portrayal of Maleficent in this dark fairy tale, and actually didn't mind all of the other characters either. I liked the explanation for her actions, and how she's misunderstood by everyone because they refuse to see things through her perspective.

The daughter angle was an unexpected surprise that adds a whole new level of emotion and motivation to a character who's so often shown as a one-dimensional villainous caricature.

I'm intrigued by the Odd Sisters, and although it made sense, the ending annoyed me.

Also, this reminds me that I need to watch the movies.


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Friday 19 July 2024

THREADS OF ASH: SOUTH by S.H. Cooper

Threads of Ash: South (The Frayed Kingdom Book 1)Threads of Ash: South by S.H. Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've wanted to read this book for a while now, and picked it up last night because I couldn't wait any longer. ๐Ÿ˜

Yaveta has lost everyone and everything that mattered to her because of the weeping blight. So when a warrior called Wulfren saves her life, she decides to go with him on an adventure across a devastated world that provides more questions than answers...

Wow. What an awesome dark fantasy tale this turned out to be. It's got the right combination of fantasy and horror. Plus the worldbuilding is intriguing, and the writing is wonderful. It's set in a dangerous, but lovely, place that constantly surprised me and kept me glued to the page.

I really liked Yaveta, a young woman who's been through so much she doesn't realize she's strong at heart and might. Wulfren is a brooding big guy who hides behind his strength and isn't prepared to deal with someone like Yaveta. And together, they make an odd but great pair. Also, I love Svir! So cute.

Well, I enjoyed everything about this fast-paced, interesting book that has a bit of everything. Including some great body horror and plenty of gore.

Can't wait for the next book!


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Wednesday 17 July 2024

INSOMNIA by Sarah Pinborough

InsomniaInsomnia by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up because Sarah Pinborough never lets me down.

Emma Averell is a busy woman. She's got a career and two children. Luckily, her husband stays home to look after the kids and the house. But that all changes when her fortieth birthday draws near, and both her mother and sister return to her life. Now she's losing time and sleep...

Wow. What an awesome, twisty story!

As expected, this book hooked me from the very beginning. I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Especially since so much of Emma's POV is riddled with paranoia and disorientation.

This author has such an addictive way of sucking the reader into the seemingly average lives of people who slowly reveal that they aren't that normal at all. And instead, are riddled with complications, secrets and so many issues.

I knew there would be a twist, so when it hit: ๐Ÿ˜ณ! Absolutely loved it. Yikes.

And one last thing, this story is nerve-wracking pretty much all the way through, but the second half kept me on the edge of my seat.


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Friday 12 July 2024

RED by Daniel Lorn

Red: A Horror NovellaRed: A Horror Novella by Daniel Lorn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This week I've had a bit of a hard time engaging with every book that I started on my Paperwhite, so I was really excited when I started reading this and couldn't put it down.

It's the festive season but this guy doesn't have anything to celebrate. Especially when his marriage is going to shit and his job is pretty much done...

Yikes. This is an unsettling story about a man who doesn't feel very festive. Not when his life is falling apart, his troubled past is catching up with him, and his mind has decided to break.

My favourite part about this tale is how ambiguous everything is. At first, I was convinced I'd just met a creature of the night. But as the events moved along and I fell deeper into the character's head, I started to doubt that. Maybe I was spending time with a serial killer. Or a simple man desperate for revenge. By the time I got to the end of this violent but excellent story, I realised it could be all of those things. Or none of them.

Yes, that's the beauty of this story with such a cool cover.

But I'm certain about two things: the writing style was as lovely as it was brutal, and I felt a lot of sadness for what this man endured as a child.

Seriously great novella!!

Thursday 4 July 2024

VERITY by Colleen Hoover

VerityVerity by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read a Colleen Hoover book for ages, and decided to start with this one because it's supposed to be a suspenseful story.

Lowen is a writer who's been caring for her ill mother. The first day she decides to brave the streets of New York, she witnesses a horrible accident, meets a mysterious man, and is offered the deal of a lifetime. Or maybe it's the worst offer...

Well, okay. As soon as we're introduced to this character we figure out a few things. Lowen separated herself from everyone for quite a while. She hasn't written in ages. Her mother just died and left her with no money. Plus she's obviously hiding something. Or at least suffering from some kind of ailment.

All of the above is sure to get my interest. Throw in a nice-looking guy who also seems to be a nice man, a tragic family, a creepy house, and I'm definitely there.

I really liked the atmosphere of deception that's established early on. I didn't trust any of the characters, and as the story unfolds, my first instinct turned out to be right because all of these people are hiding something. Even the kid!

Seriously, lots of creepy vibes in that house. Not to mention that Lowen comes across as problematic as well. Actually, all the characters in this book are different levels of fucked up.

Oh, and when Lowen starts reading that biography. Yikes! What a trip that turned out to be.

I actually really enjoyed this story because the central theme is manipulation. Something the author does very well. And I liked the final twist, too.

Yeah, I really enjoyed this!


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Wednesday 3 July 2024

CHOPPING SPREE by Angela Sylvaine

Chopping SpreeChopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"An explosive, fast-paced slasher that stabs the cult of consumerism in the heart, and twists the blade until it bleeds."

I want to thank Angela for giving me the chance to read this awesome novella.

Penny lives in Eden Hills, a place where kids go missing all the time and the 80s-inspired mall rules supreme. But the night she stays for a late-night party with her workmates, all hell breaks loose when a killer storms into the mall...

Wow, this turned out to be one very unpredictable and intriguing story! I loved that there were so many different things happening beneath the surface of a killing spree at the local mall. There's a very cool culty angle and plenty of witty commentary about capitalism and consumerism. Not to mention an awesome, strong heroine that I was rooting for all the way.

Oh, and the ending doesn't disappoint.

COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION by Brian Bowyer

COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVIONCOUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION by Brian Bowyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this book is so good I read it in one sitting!

Chuck is a no-nonsense kinda guy with a drinking problem, but when the world is about to turn to shit, he finds himself in the middle of a rescue mission...

Yikes! This story might be short but it grabbed me by the throat and dragged me along until the shocking conclusion. The sense of dread hit me from the very beginning, and only got thicker and harder to ignore as I turned the pages.

The family at the centre of this apocalyptic tale—with freaky SF elements guaranteed to give any reader nightmares—are a complicated and very dysfunctional bunch with a hell of a lot of problems. But that doesn't mean that I didn't feel for them, because I did.

Countdown to Oblivion packs quite the punch. It's violent and brutal. A total nightmare of apocalyptic proportions featuring characters I should've disliked but actually felt bad for, and enjoyed following until the very end. Except for Kyle. Kyle can fuck off.

Anyway, you should check it out.


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Friday 21 June 2024

EARTHLINGS by Sayaka Murata

EarthlingsEarthlings by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this on my Paperwhite for a while and decided it was time to check it out.

Natsuki's best friend is a hedgehog plushie called Piyyut, who happens to come from the planet Popinpobopia. She doesn't get along with her family and definitely doesn't fit in, but she's convinced they're always right. The only person she gets along with is her cousin, Yuu, who she sees every summer until an incident that changes everything...

O.M.F.G. Wow. Okay. Yikes.

I found the story concept very interesting and honestly didn't know what to expect. I mean, I did kinda know about some of the trigger warnings beforehand, but not much about what happens in the book.

A LOT of it is totally shocking. And the surprises just kept coming all the way to the end of the book. Seriously. Just when I was sure about where this was going... another shock is thrown in. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

So much of what happens to Natsuki is really screwed-up. And quite sad. I kept getting angry while reading because all she wanted to do was behave the way adults told her she should behave, and is instead abused by people that should be looking out for her. She's also constantly judged by adults. That's right, the asshole adults in this book keep judging kids. WTF?!

The bottom line is: I really enjoyed EARTHLINGS. A lot. The writing style is lovely. The story is SO OUT THERE. The eccentricities of this tale really grabbed me. As did the social commentary of how forced conformity warps impressionable minds, and how abuse (all kinds) can fragment a mind. Not to mention what dictating how every cog should live their life fucks with your brain.

Lastly, I need to include a list of CWs: childhood trauma, sexual, mental, emotional & physical abuse, incest, gaslighting, threats, murder, delusions... I could keep going but I'll stop there, and deliberately left out one big thing because it ventures into spoiler territory.

Thursday 20 June 2024

YOU LIKE IT DARKER by Stephen King

You Like It DarkerYou Like It Darker by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love getting my hands on the latest Stephen King, and got stuck into this collection as soon as I could.

Here are my thoughts...

TWO TALENTED BASTIDS: I really like how King can present such a seemingly mundane situation featuring two very average men, and then straight-up reveal that things aren't as they first appear. Fascinating story about the bonds of friendship and the loyalty of a son to his father.

THE FIFTH STEP: Wow. Okay. Now that's how you tell an absolutely terrifying story that you don't realise is even remotely horror until you reach the shocking conclusion. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

WILLIE THE WEIRDO: So, I have to admit that for most of the story I was thinking: Okay, what's this really about? What's the catch? Then I hit that last sentence, and... there it was! All the clues peppered throughout suddenly flooded my brain. Great story.

DANNY COUGHLIN'S BAD DREAM: What an awesome novella! I felt so bad for Danny and that Jalbert was... Ugh. This tale takes the No good deed goes unpunished thing to a whole new level of WTFuckery. It also proves that some people are just kind-hearted, no matter what. While others love to grab their torches and pitchforks without asking questions. Fantastic story. Loved this one!

FINN: A peculiar and violent little tale about a very unlucky young chap called Finn, and the awful crap that happens to him. Also really liked that ending.

ON SLIDE INN ROAD: I really enjoyed this story about a family who goes on a road trip with the old man they all resent. Only to find out there's a lot more to Granpop! Very cool take on bravery.

RED SCREEN: This is a very short and creepy short that builds mostly via conversations and leads the reader down a confused path that becomes very clear at the end. Another good one.

THE TURBULENCE EXPERT: A short tale that reminded me of recent events about the dangers of flying. It wasn't my favourite, but interesting enough.

LAURIE: I've actually read this before but it's a nice little story about a widower and an adorable puppy, so I enjoyed it all over again.

RATTLESNAKES: Okay, so I was initially going to skip this story because I haven't read CUJO... but then thought, WTH? And when my husband reminded me, I got stuck into it. Really glad I did because this is an amazing novella about Vic Trenton. Very sad and creepy ghost story. Total nightmare fodder that I REALLY enjoyed. I also don't think it ruined CUJO for me.

THE DREAMERS: I REALLY enjoyed this trippy, scary story. Features a very interesting main character (really liked William), some bizarre and creepy experiments, plus a bit of cosmic horror. This one's a dark one and I enjoyed it a lot.

THE ANSWER MAN: This might not make much sense, because I found this story to be very well written and the concept was fascinating, but for some reason this is the only story that I didn't completely lose myself in. Could be Phil. Could be the time period. Maybe it was even the Answer Man himself. Not sure.

The funny thing about this collection is that I initially wanted to read a few stories at a time, between other books, but once I reached a certain point... I just couldn't stop.

I REALLY enjoyed this book! Stephen King is such a brilliant storyteller. Love his work.


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Sunday 16 June 2024

SHORT SCARES: Two Sentence Horrors Anthology edited by Lauren Carter

Short Scares: Two Sentence Horrors AnthologyShort Scares: Two Sentence Horrors Anthology by Lauren Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start by saying that I actually have a short scare in this very clever anthology, so I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy.

This book contains 69 very cool tales written by some great authors! And I couldn't wait to read every single one.

It didn't take me long. I read the whole thing in one sitting and love the varied selection of horror stories. I had a blast reading every new and creepy story. The use of language and imagery in a two-sentence horror isn't the easiest thing to do, yet every single story captivated my attention from start to finish.

I can't pick a fave because I enjoyed all of them for different reasons. Freaky. Creepy. Scary. Clever. Sharp. And they all linger in your mind after you finish.

Also liked the illustrations by Sophie Ingley. And I want to thank Lauren for putting it all together.

You don't want to miss out on this collection of two sentence horror stories. And royalties will be donated to charity. So that's another awesome reason to grab a copy! ☺️

Friday 14 June 2024

THE FIRST HORROR by R.L. Stine

The First Horror (99 Fear Street: The House of Evil, #1)The First Horror by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've got a bunch of Fear Street books on my Paperwhite, and love to squeeze in a few between longer stories.

Cally & Kody are fraternal twins. Their family has just moved into a shoddy house on Fear Street. An ugly, dark house that creaks a lot and will take forever to repair. It's also got a dark history and might be haunted...

I really enjoy these books SO MUCH! They ooze 90s teen horror vibes. Seriously, everything about these stories screams: it's the 1990s!! And I love that!

Plus, this book is super creepy. It's one of those haunted house stories where awful shitty things happen from the moment the family gets there, but the parents keep making excuses to stay. Even though the father has to go to the ER. And the new puppy goes missing. Plus rats seem to live in the basement... Yeah, a lot is happening but there's an excuse for everything.

Until there isn't. And the only thing left to face is the awful truth. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Like I said, this is a really creepy, and even gory at times, horror tale that kept me glued to the page until the end. Can't wait to read the other two in this particular trilogy.


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Thursday 13 June 2024

MY ROOMMATE IS A VAMPIRE by Jenna Levine

My Roommate Is a VampireMy Roommate Is a Vampire by Jenna Levine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I've had my eye on this book for a while and then last week, after mentioning it to my husband, it arrived! ๐Ÿ˜ And because I've had vampires on my mind lately, I decided to get stuck into it right away.

Cassie Greenberg is an artist who desperately needs to find a new place to live. So when she stumbles on a super cheap apartment in a great neighbourhood, she can't believe her luck. That's if she can handle her eccentric new roommate, Frederick J. Fitzwilliam...

This story is SO freaking cute. It's also a super fun rom-com about a woman who falls for her vampire roommate. I mean, come on, who wouldn't?! ๐Ÿ˜…

Anyway, I really liked Cassie because she's an interesting character with as many flaws as she has potential. She might be a little lost and unsure of her future, but her tenacity to work hard on her art is awesome. I also liked Frederick because he might be an old vampire, but in so many ways, he's very vulnerable. His circumstances were unexpected and gave the story a pretty cool vampiric angle.

The cozy vibes in this book are off the charts. I enjoyed every minute I spent lost within these pages. It's an interesting story, has a great cast of characters, and it's quite sexy too.

Also, I love the cover!

Saturday 8 June 2024

Short Stories, Volume 2

Hey! How are you? What's new? This turned out to be quite a week! Yikes.

I spent all week proofreading my second short story collection. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

If you remember, last week I completed the first volume, so it was time to get stuck into the next one!

This actually took a bit longer to complete than the first one because it contains several longer (3k+) stories. Still, I managed to finish the Paperwhite read and made all the changes on the Word doc before the weekend. Cool.

That's 17 stories of varying lengths. All featuring a whole bunch of characters who get caught up in a lot of weird/dangerous/bizarre situations. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

This collection once again features a combination of brand new stories and pubbed ones. But every single tale has been revised, and in a lot of cases, totally rewritten.

This time, I especially wanted to make sure everything was finalised tonight because we've got a long weekend coming up and I want to take a nice break with my husband. Plus, I really need a mental break after spending two weeks with all those psychos and monsters. ๐Ÿ˜…

The final word count is: 50,965.

Now I have to find a home. For both...

Anyway, after putting them aside for a few months to get a bunch of editing done, I'm SO happy that I've finally finished both of them. Phew.

Have an awesome weekend! ๐Ÿ˜

Saturday 1 June 2024

Short Stories, Volume 1

Hey! How are you today? I can't believe it's the first day of June. Yikes. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

What have you been up to? I've been proofreading all week.

Back in March, I spoke about revising my two short story collections. I actually got as far as reaching the proofreading stage, but then got stuck into a bunch of editing and had to put them aside for a bit.

This week, I grabbed my Paperwhite and started reading. Made all the changes. Checked the changes. Made more changes to the Word doc. Until I got to the end on Friday night. Yay!

That's 17 stories of varying lengths. All creepy and bleak horror stories featuring different characters leading strange and dark lives. But all of them find themselves in weird/bizarre situations. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

I really enjoyed revisiting these tales. Some are new. A few are old stories that I completely rewrote. Several have been published. But every single one has been revised/rewritten! All of them.

The final word count is: 50,928.

Now I have to find a home for the collection...

I'm taking the next two days off. Then next week, I'll get stuck into the second volume.

Have an awesome weekend! ☺️


Friday 24 May 2024

THE WICKED UNSEEN by Gigi Griffis

The Wicked UnseenThe Wicked Unseen by Gigi Griffis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up last night to get a feel for it... and kept reading. ๐Ÿ˜…

Audre recently moved from the city to a rural town with her parents and little sister. So she's finding it hard to fit in with the churchy crowd. It's not just that she's different, but also that most of the town is obsessed with the concept of Satanic cults hiding in the woods. And when the preacher's daughter goes missing, the police is quick to suspect Audre's family...

I really enjoyed this! It's a YA horror story that is ambiguous in many ways, while also highlighting the real-life horror that is religious zealots. Dealing with the self-righteous, who honestly believe they're doing 'god's work', is terrifying. And fucking gross, tbh.

Anyway, I really liked Audre's voice. She was stubborn, determined, and believed in herself. Something that's hard to do for any teenager, let alone one who doesn't fit the forced narrative about how a girl is supposed to dress, behave, and have a crush on. Plus I loved her parents. They were cool and so supportive, about so many things.

The family dynamic really worked for me. As well as the setting and the fact the story was set in 1996. Very cool.

Also, the mystery at the core of the story turned out to have a good twist. I suspected some, but not all of it.

This is a great book!


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Tuesday 21 May 2024

THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee

The Idea of YouThe Idea of You by Robinne Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that until I watched the trailer for the movie adaptation, I didn't know anything about this book. But after that, it was everywhere... and suddenly, I HAD to read it.

Solรจne owns an art gallery in LA and certainly wasn't planning to take her daughter to see/meet her favourite boy band, August Moon. But then, during the meet and greet she feels an instant attraction to one of the guys. Before Solรจne knows what's happening, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance with Hayes Campbell. But will his age be a bigger problem than his celebrity status?

I REALLY enjoyed this! And was instantly drawn into the story because I found Solรจne's life interesting. I also thought Hayes came across quite charming and cheeky. Determined, and not afraid to make his intentions known. And his intentions with Solรจne were quite obvious from the beginning. Not that hers weren't. LOL.

This is one of those stories that could've become stale pretty early on, but stays fresh all the way through. I was hooked. Got swept away in the globe-trotting romance between a woman on the edge of 40 and the 20-year-old man who sweeps her off her feet. The mutual connection between these two sizzled off the page.

I also quite liked how this story deals with the invisibility that society tries to push on women over 40. And how every woman in this book refuses to fade into the background. They continued to excel at their jobs, raised children, or chose not to have kids at all, and refused to squash their sensuality. This is a facet that is often ignored, so it was great to see it in the forefront.

Also, I didn't expect all the family drama. Yikes! But all the ingredients work so well together and deliver a very entertaining, heartfelt, sexy love story.

I have to admit that the ending broke my heart, but it was the only way it could end. It's such a fantastic story! So glad I gave it a go.

Now I have to watch the movie to see what they changed...


Thursday 16 May 2024

WOMAN, EATING by Claire Kohda

Woman, EatingWoman, Eating by Claire Kohda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this is the book I decided to get stuck into this afternoon... and finished by the end of the night. ๐Ÿ˜…

Lyd is ready to rent a studio in London and get stuck into an internship at a local gallery. It's time to get on with her own life and leave her mother behind. But she's always hungry and no matter how hard she tries, it's hard to erase a lifetime of her mother's toxic teachings and warnings...

Wow. I really enjoyed this unique take on vampires. Not only is it a quiet study about how a vampire might be forced to survive in the modern era, but it's also a testament to how hard it is for young people to spread their wings and figure out who they are and/or want to be. Especially if they've spent their lives under the shadow of a domineering mother.

The beauty of this story is how strong Lyd's voice is. How natural and unconventional her thoughts and ambitions are. How easily she allows her artistic self to get swept away by whimsy. Even her attraction to Ben raises a lot of red flags, but she's instantly drawn to him because he's the first person to show any real interest in her. Not what she is or who she can become.

Another interesting perspective is provided by the internship she finds herself in. OTA, a gallery that doesn't care about nourishing young artists and is run by a predator who hides behind his artistic interests. There are some creepy scenes in that place. Not in the horror sense, but in a real-world way.

All of these separate parts of Lyd's new and lonely life tangle together and tell a bleak and melancholy tale. Until that absolutely brilliant ending.

This is a fantastic book. Loved it!

Wednesday 15 May 2024

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & the SixDaisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read this for AGES! And I'm really glad that I finally decided to get stuck into it because I couldn't put it down.

Well, what can I say about this fantastic book that hasn't already been said? This is a fictional rock documentary that dragged me in from the very beginning and wouldn't let me go until I reached the end.

I can definitely see how Fleetwood Mac inspired this amazing rock story, but everything about what happens to this band and what they all go through together (and individually) is very much their own.

I feel like, in its own way, Daisy Jones & the Six fit perfectly into the 1970s music scene and their rise and fall survives on its own.

Yeah, I loved everything about this book! Including that little unexpected twist at the end.

Thursday 9 May 2024

BURY THE CHILD by L.C. Marino

Bury the ChildBury the Child by L.C. Marino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for a novella this evening, and decided to get stuck into this one.

When Lydia and Wade lose their young daughter, Adeline, the couple struggle to adapt to their life without her. Instead of getting closer, they seem to be drifting apart. Then Lydia starts to see and hear things inside their home that make her hope for the impossible...

Wow. What a sad and creepy little story this turned out to be. As soon as I started, I kept reading until I got to the chilling end. I couldn't stop. Didn't want to stop.

Lydia's story is packed with so much emotion, that at times, I felt dizzy from it. Her loss is deep and infects the reader with so much sorrow, before it takes on a surreal edge that really made this story shine. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read the next book in this intense series.


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Checking In!

Hey, it's been a while! How are you? Is everything okay in your part of the world? Over here, we're in the last month of autumn (which felt a lot like summer until a few weeks ago) and we're currently stuck in the middle of some very shitty weather.

If you've read my posts through the years, or follow me on social media, then you know how much I dislike the rain. A couple of days are fine, but when it stretches out for over a week... I get irritable. I even start getting headaches. Ugh.

Anyway, enough about that.

Can you believe it's May? Yikes.

I've been MIA from my own blog for quite some time because I fell down an editing rabbit hole. Seriously. I edited an 85k-word (supernatural murder mystery/thriller/horror/ghost story) novel in March/April, and a 55k-word (SF horror) novel during April/May. Actually, I just finished the latter last night.

When I say edit, I mean EDIT. Both books required plenty of work, but the 55k one pretty much involved a rewrite and even a new direction. Now I'm very happy about how they turned out. ☺️

I'm not squeamish about editing because I'm always willing to do whatever it takes to make the story better, deeper, and stronger. I'm dedicated to making each book as awesome as I possibly can, and I think a good editor definitely helps to turn a good story into an excellent one. 

These two books were edited by Austrian Spencer. And man, does he dig deep into the characters and story. If you're looking for someone to thoroughly edit your book with the sharpest eye and true commitment, you should definitely check him out. What he helped me achieve with these two stories is amazing. Seriously.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough. I also edited a 30k novella in April, which I almost forgot about because my brain is scrambled. LMAO.

As you can tell, I've been very busy editing the nights away during the last few months. I did manage to squeeze in a little reading here and there—plus read/blurbed an awesome ARCbut my main focus while my husband was at work was the editing. It's always a fantastic experience but I think my brain is going to leak out of my ears if I don't take a break.

For the rest of the month, I want to spend some quality time reading. And daydreaming about a bunch of ideas. I even have a vampire story creeping up on me. One that won't leave me alone and wants to beat all the others to become the frontrunner. ๐Ÿ˜…

We'll see how that goes, because I still haven't done the final proofread of my two short story collections. They got left behind during the maelstrom of edits. LMAO.

BTW, I also celebrated the release of my myth & monsters novel, THROUGH THE BLUR. Have you checked it out yet? If you like your horror with a bit of Greek mythology and a dysfunctional family, you might enjoy it. ๐Ÿ

Well, that's it for now. Hope you have an awesome week!
 

Friday 26 April 2024

BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE by Anna Biller

Bluebeard's CastleBluebeard's Castle by Anna Biller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I totally bought this book because the cover is stunning and the paperback version is lovely. There's nothing wrong with that. After all, I've always loved those old gothic romance covers from the past. ☺️

Judith is a successful gothic author with a terrible childhood and complicated family connections. Labelled an ugly duckling by her mother, she has issues. But the day she meets the handsome and alluring Gavin, she becomes a romance heroine with a haunted castle and a husband. But Gavin isn't what he seems and soon, Judith finds herself trapped in a gothic novel of her own making...

Wow. This book is something else. It's a bonkers gothic trip, and I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it.

I can understand this story won't be for everyone, but I totally got the undertones in the narrative. Understand how this novel doesn't just tell the obvious story about a woman who gets swept off her feet by a mysterious, sexy man who blinds her with sexual pleasures that melt away her every defence. There's a LOT more there, but I don't want to spoil anything, so this is all I'll say.

Judith, our hopeless romantic heroine is many things—delightful, hopeful, curious, interesting, and infuriating. I was often upset with her decisions and gullible nature, but also understood what she was up against. And the eerie, isolated vibes perfectly capture this genre and kept me glued to the pages.

I liked the writing style and the depth of this tale. A lot. It might not be for everyone, but I enjoyed the hell out of it!


PS. Yes, the overuse of the word gothic was intentional.

Sunday 7 April 2024

I have some awesome news!

Hey! How are you today?

Can you believe it's April? ๐Ÿ˜ณ

As you already know, last Friday I celebrated the release of my first Anuci Press book release. Yay! And today, I want to let you know about the next book that Anuci Press will release...

This story is my love letter to one of my favourite horror subgenres: demonic possession.

NUMB = THE EXORCIST MEETS SUPERNATURAL.

I'm really excited about this dark story, and can't wait for you all to meet Chester and Darwin.

I'll share more details as soon as I can. For now, here's the story synopsis:

SHE DOESN'T LIVE IN A HAUNTED HOUSE. THE MONSTER IS ALREADY INSIDE HER HEAD.

Chester is no stranger to hearing voices, but after her mother disappears without a trace, the demonic voice trying to consume her is getting stronger every day.

The threat of possession might be her biggest problem, but it's not her only one. Chester's confidence in the stepmother who is trying to keep her safe is now unstable. The safe and comfortable connection with her very supportive stepbrother is slowly becoming a tangled mess that threatens their strong bond.

When Chester stumbles on her mother's precious journal, she hopes to find some answers about what's happening to her. But what she really wants to uncover is how to find her missing mother. And the answer to that mystery might come from the most unexpected source. Herself.


Have a great day! ☺️


Friday 5 April 2024

THE PROM QUEEN by R.L. Stine

The Prom Queen (Fear Street, #15)The Prom Queen by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I just read another Fear Street book. I picked this one because I found out it's going to be the next Netflix movie! Oh, and because of that seriously cool and macabre cover.

It's time for prom, and that means a new Prom Queen will be picked. The five candidates—Lizzy, Dawn, Simone, Rachel and Elana—also happen to be friends. So there's a lot of excitement in the air, not to mention the drama club's spring production to look forward to as well. And there's that killer stalking girls, so when one of the candidates goes missing, everything changes...

This book is SO much fun. Loved it!

I really like how the air of dread and suspicion hangs over the story from beginning to end. Also enjoyed the many red herrings thrown our way. And that final confrontation scene is killer!

The story is told in the first-person POV of Lizzy, which I thought was a great idea. Lizzy is an interesting and easy character to follow. The poor girl goes through quite a lot. That the friendship between these five girls ranges from very close to petty to competitive to downright hateful, is also captured very well.

So far, in this series, I've read stories featuring cheerleaders and prom queens, and I think Stine has a knack for portraying teenage girls. I'm impressed. I mean, I read Goosebumps all the time so I know he can write girls very well, but these are teenagers. I can't wait to meet some of the other characters.

Anyway, I love the mysterious horror vibes in this one, and that all the boys (except Kevin) are somewhat creepy. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Awesome book!

Thursday 4 April 2024

THE FIRST EVIL by R.L. Stine

The First Evil (Fear Street Cheerleaders, #1)The First Evil by R.L. Stine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Goosebumps and really enjoyed the Fear Street Trilogy on Netflix, so when I noticed a bunch of the Fear Street titles on special, I picked some up for my Paperwhite.

Corky and Bobbi Corcoran are sisters who recently moved into a house on Fear Street. They also happen to be awesome cheerleaders. But when they join the Shadyside High squad, awful things start to happen...

I really enjoyed this! I'm glad I started here because it was a LOT of fun. Sure, there's also some freaky stuff, but it was all very entertaining and I had a great time. I also liked the drama and suspicion that creeps into the story.

Although, I have to admit that I was surprised by the terrible fate of one of the characters (๐Ÿ˜ซ) but hey, this is a horror story. It's got some creepy stuff and I enjoyed the mention of Sarah Fear because I remember her from the movies.

One thing that I always love about Stine's writing is how well he does the bare bones storytelling. He doesn't spend countless of pages on character descriptions, or even their feelings and backgrounds. Instead, he gives you just enough to get the perfect picture in your mind, which ends up being quite a bit.

I'm looking forward to reading more of these!

Tuesday 2 April 2024

GOBLIN MONDAY by R.L. Stine

Goblin Monday (Goosebumps House of Shivers, #2)Goblin Monday by R.L. Stine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up this afternoon and pretty much finished it in one sitting.

Mario is looking forward to seeing the snow, and now that he's tagging along with his best friends and their parents to Vermont, that's exactly what he'll be doing. Except, there's something really strange going on inside this house. And Todd and Jewel's grandparents are a little odd...

Well, that was a creepy and totally fun story! It's quite unsettling. From the very beginning, I could tell there was something lurking in the background, and those grandparents sure are weirdos. Not to mention the freaky creatures.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it. I also liked the twist followed by another twist. Very cool.

So far, I'm liking the House of Shivers series.

Friday 29 March 2024

It's Release Day!

That's right!

Today's the day! ☺️๐ŸŽ‰

My myth & monsters horror novel about a dysfunctional family with a lot of dark secrets, of mythological proportions, is now available:

 

Snakes and stones may break her spirit, but the truth can never hurt her.

Peg's twin sister vanished months ago and her mother has checked out. She's a mess and barely leaves her room. But Peg never gave up hope and expects Chrysa to return at any moment.

One night, after months of living a lonely life with only her cards and best friend to keep her company, Peg discovers a hidden room in their barn. An impossible place that shouldn't exist but leads her to an unfathomable discovery.

This revelation sets off a chain of events that will force Peg to confront the reality of who her mother really is, and what Peg will have to do to survive the ancient family legacy. But she can't do it alone. Not again...


If you're interested, you can purchase an eBook or print copy from these stores:



You can also...



I'd like to thank Tony Anuci for giving my book a wonderful home, Adrian Medina for the fantastic cover, and Katarina Yerger for editing.


SO EXCITING!

๐Ÿ˜


Monday 25 March 2024

Stories, Stories, Everywhere!

Hey! How are you today? Hope March is treating you well because it's almost over. One more week to go! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I'm looking forward to the four-day weekend. I always look forward to time off with my husband.

So, the last two weeks have been super busy for me. I've been working on edits, and they're pretty intense. Not to mention my short story collection. Yep, that's right. I'm finally putting together a short story collection.

Well, um, not exactly one...

Okay, let's start from the beginning.

Last year (in December) I started going through my short story files and made a list of the ones that I wanted to include in my first short story collection. I didn't put any pressure on myself, or set a date to have this done by, I just wanted to get an idea of how many I actually have... and ended up adding about twenty-three stories to a new Word doc. 

That's a lot, right? ๐Ÿ˜ณ 

Anyway, I didn't touch the doc until the beginning of this month, when I decided it was time to assess what I had. The only way to do that was to start revising these tales.

I spent that whole week revising, rewriting, and moving stories around. But there were still too many. The collection was just under 80k words, and I wanted it to be much shorter than that. So, what did I do? I decided to split it up into two volumes! 

Yep, that's right. Why not give myself more work? ๐Ÿ˜…

So, I transferred a bunch of these shorties to another new document, and added several more to even out the two volumes. Then spent another week revising the rest of the stories.

It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed the process. Revisiting these tales was also very cool. I got the chance to rewrite a bunch of them, and added new elements to enhance what was already there. Some of these stories were old, but I managed to revive quite a few, made them a lot better. Stronger than they were to begin with. I even renamed quite a few.

So, all of this means that I now have TWO SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS: 17 stories in each, just over 50k words. Yay!!

Last night, I finished revising the last story and added both volumes to my Paperwhite for one final proofread. I'll put them aside for a bit so I can get some distance, as well as put all my focus on the edit I'm currently working on.

Well, that's it for now. I'm all out of words, but wanted to post an update. I mean, it's been a bit quiet around here. I haven't even had time to read and post reviews for the last few weeks! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

Have an awesome week!!


Tuesday 12 March 2024

IN EXCESS OF DARK by Red Lagoe

In Excess of DarkIn Excess of Dark by Red Lagoe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to reading this novella for a while, and thanks to Red I got a chance to experience the darkness that is this brilliant story.

Karina is still dealing with the death of her father when she heads to the mountains for some family fun with her husband and teenage son. But life has a way of making her most dreaded thoughts a reality...

Wow. This is an intense story. It's also very sad and quite unsettling. The vivid, macabre imagery is as disturbing as the psychological situations Karina finds herself in. A lot of what happens is presented in a way that makes the reader question if everything she's seeing and experiencing is actually really happening. Or is everything just the delusions of a grieving woman who blames herself for all the awful things in her life?

I found this novella to be very emotional. A fever dream that you don't wake up from because things never stop coming. Karina deals with a lot, and that ending is... Yikes!

Yeah, this is an awesome and quite gruesome story. Loved it!

Sunday 10 March 2024

A Bit of an Update

Hey! How are you today? Long time no see. Well, I've been posting book reviews, but not much else. Why? After an extensive novel revision (Jan) followed by an extensive novel edit (Jan/Feb), my husband took a two-week break and we had an awesome time! ☺️

When he went back to work, I was initially planning to take another week off to catch up on some reading, and figure out what to work on next. Except, there were three ideas that wouldn't leave me alone. And no matter how much I tried, I just couldn't decide which one to work on next.

So, after some thinking and talking to my husband (who always helps me sort out my chaotic thoughts when they run riot) I decided to temporarily shift my focus away from these pesky ideas. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on revising my short story collection!

That's right. Late last year I went through my short stories and picked out the ones I'd like to include. So far, the collection is 76k words. This might be a bit long, or it might be perfect. I'll decide while/after completing the revision. I just need to come up with a name...

I'm actually very excited about finally tackling this. Plus, it will give me time to keep brainstorming the pesky novella ideas.

It feels great to have some direction again. And a new goal for March.

Oh, there's another thing that I wanted to mention. If you follow me on Twitter or IG then you know that one of my 'publishers' has decided to ghost me. Aesthetic Press hasn't contacted me in over eight months and has been ignoring my emails for two. It's a shitty situation, one that has given me quite a bit of stress because I feel like my Horrormance slasher is been held ransom.

But as far as I'm concerned this person has obviously walked away from their 'company' and has breached her own contract several times. No communication. No editing. No response. Disappeared from the face of the Earth. WTH is that about?! ๐Ÿ˜ก But you know what made me feel better? Picking a new name for my novel and updating all the relevant files. It's strange but doing something this simple helped me let go of some of the disappointment and anger I've been feeling about this shitty situation.

It's the little things that make a difference.

Anyway, that's about it. I just wanted to post a little something.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday 7 March 2024

THE CRANE HUSBAND by Kelly Barnhill

The Crane HusbandThe Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for another novella and decided to get stuck into this one because I love stories featuring birds in some way.

When the mother of a fifteen-year-old girl brings home a crane that's as tall as a man, their way of life changes instantly. Her mother starts neglecting both of her children, and looks more beaten down every day. But this teenager isn't about to give up or give in...

Well, this is one dark and very surreal story that deals with some pretty heavy stuff. Child neglect. Domestic violence. Corporations taking over the farming industry. Denial.

It's like a fever dream that pulls the reader deep into the depths of desperation.

We never find out the narrator's actual name, although she uses the name Bruce for business purposes. Her tenacity to keep the family together and protect her little brother drives most of her motivation to keep the house functioning even when her mother sabotages everything for her new 'man'.

This is a sombre and very bleak fairy tale with some disturbing imagery that leads to quite an unsettling conclusion.

Wednesday 6 March 2024

BARREN COVE by Ariel S. Winter

Barren CoveBarren Cove by Ariel S. Winter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember picking this up during one of our many thrift store adventures several years ago because it sounded very interesting. I mean, it's about robots and I LOVE robot stories. Always have.

Mr. Sapien is an old robot who wants to get away from the city for a while. He wants to figure things out, repair himself. So, he rents a cabana at Barren Cove, and instead of finding peace, he gets wrapped up in the bizarre lives of the Asimov 3000 family...

Wow. I REALLY enjoyed this story! A lot.

It's hard to believe but, at its core, this is a gothic tale. Everything about this family, location, weather, and circumstances is the epitome of this genre. But instead of people, it's robots who are living their isolated, messed-up lives inside a Victorian mansion full of secrets that sits on a cliff and overlooks the ocean.

And what a twisted bunch they are.

There's even a story within a story, in true Wuthering Heights fashion. As well as unethical Frankenstein-esque creations. Even a little of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And it all comes together beautifully.

One of my favourite things about this book is how all the characters are introduced as if we're supposed to already know them, and their individual stories all start to take shape as Dean, the house computer fills in the blanks for Sapien. Only for him to find out that things aren't as they seem and he might not discover what he wants to know from Mr. Beachstone.

Ah, Beachstone. The only human who grows from child to man in a home of robots. Asimov 3000 was obsessed with humans. His daughter Mary is kind but is suffering damsel syndrome. His son Kent is cruel and angry, curious. Then there's Clarke, a bit of a psycho with a small amount of empathy. And Philip. Poor sweet and innocent Phil. I can't forget about Sapien. The mysterious narrator who is damaged and lost, searching for something even though he's not sure what it is.

Yeah, this is a fantastic piece of SF fiction that puts robots in the shoes usually worn by humans. This family is full of drama, tragedy, and the familiar existential crisis of creation.

Loved it!

Monday 4 March 2024

PIRANESI by Susanna Clarke

PiranesiPiranesi by Susanna Clarke

Well, I didn't expect to be DNFing this book, so I'm really disappointed. ๐Ÿ˜ง

Piranesi sounded intriguing and the cover is lovely. Hell, I even bought the hardback. And tonight, I finally decided it was time to get stuck into it.

The story started off slow, but that's fine because I like a slow burn. Then the main character won't stop talking about the same thing over and over again. Still, I hung on until page 51. That's when I had to admit that it's not a slow burn, it's just downright boring. And SO repetitive.

Still, I skimmed ahead because I heard it's worth the payoff. Unfortunately, I don't agree. Even skimming, I was bored. Started getting a headache.

Anyway, I'm putting it down at 131 pages because I can't take it anymore. I don't even care about the ending. Ugh.

Friday 1 March 2024

BLEEDING INTO NEW WORLDS by Sarah Jane Huntington

Bleeding Into New WorldsBleeding Into New Worlds by Sarah Jane Huntington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Jane Huntington's work, so I love getting stuck into her stories.

Anna doesn't belong anywhere. She's all alone in the world and searching for a purpose, when she meets a group of people who welcome her into their lives and make astral travel sound easy. But nothing is easy in this world...

Yikes. This turned out to be quite an intriguing and totally fascinating trip down the darkest rabbit hole. The layers of reality are peeled back to reveal some wondrous and terrifying places that are so vivid, the imagery and gruesome worldbuilding will stay with me for a long while.

Anna's a lost soul whose vulnerability shines through every page. My sympathy for her never wavered. Not even through the most violent parts because her personal story is as horrifying as it is amazing.

There's a bit of Hellraiser within this very macabre cosmic tale about betrayal and self-discovery. About how important self-acceptance is in its many forms.

I loved this novella. It's another beautifully-written gem.

Thursday 29 February 2024

TRUE CRIME by Samantha Kolesnik

True CrimeTrue Crime by Samantha Kolesnik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, last night I picked out another novella that I've had on my Kindle for a while.

Suzy and Lim live with their abusive mother in a shitty house hiding too many despicable secrets. Until the day it's all too much and the siblings find themselves on the run...

O.M.F.G. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

This story is beyond fucked up. I mean, seriously. It's like watching a true crime documentary from the other side. From the side we don't want to see. Yet, that's what makes this book so damn addictive.

I seriously couldn't put it down because Suzy's voice is very strong and interesting. But also callous and quite gross. Suzy's attitude to life is so sad because the way she was raised deprived her of emotion and real human connection.

By the way, this novella needs all the trigger warnings because it touches on just about every awful thing that's sure to make a reader want to look away. Even though you can't. You might want to, but you won't.

As I said, Suzy's awful life and the disgusting people around her are sure to keep you glued to every ugly page. Even the few good people will make you uncomfortable.

This is such a well-written story. It's weird to say I enjoyed it, but I did. This story highlight how the horrid cycle of disgraceful abuse can twist the most innocent into a different kind of monster.

Utterly disturbing.


View all my reviews

Wednesday 28 February 2024

HELENA by Claire L. Smith

HelenaHelena by Claire L. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last night, while looking through the many books I have on my Kindle, I decided to get stuck into this one.

It's 1855 and Helena Morrigan is a mortician struggling to make ends meet. That's how she ends up living in an old house that's close to the graveyard. But it also means that she befriends the Tarter siblings and realises she's not the only one with secrets...

I loved the rich atmospheric gothic vibes that dripped from every page of this novella. The sense of Victorian times, as well as the location was very vivid and pulled me into the story. Once I started, I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. And it didn't disappoint.

This is a fast-paced story about a very strong young woman determined to live her life even though she's suffered a lot of loss. She excels at a job most find macabre and in her time, struggle to understand why a woman would go anywhere near dead bodies. But she's not the only cool character. I really liked Audrey and Valerie because they're also women who aren't afraid to be themselves.

The creepy side of this tale kept me guessing but there were enough breadcrumbs throughout to realise exactly what Helena's dark secret is. And I found the writing charming. It was snappy and lovely, but also threw a hint of confusion into the narrative that made everything that little bit darker.

Really enjoyed this one!

Friday 16 February 2024

I have some awesome news!


Hey! How are you today? I hope February is treating you well.

I thought I'd pop in to mention some great news!

Here's the first bit:


That's right!

I have a new book coming out next month from Anuci Press. I'm SO excited!

Check out that fantastic cover, which was made by the very talented Adrian from Fabled Beast Design. I love it because this cover fits the story perfectly!

I can't wait for this book to be out in the wild. And that happens to be March 29th. ☺️

The other very cool piece of news is this:


 This is also very exciting because this novella is actually a sequel/companion to

I don't have a release date for this one yet, but I can't wait to share more details when I have them. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Well, there you have it! 

Saturday 3 February 2024

Finally got some reading done!

 

Open HouseOpen House by Nico Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a super busy month, I wanted to start February with a bit of reading. And this novelette was the perfect choice because I read it in one sitting.

Caleb is an ambitious realtor in LA who's trying to sell a modern high-tech mansion to establish himself professionally and financially. But during an open house, he meets a mysterious woman who sends him down a twisted path he wasn't expecting...

Yikes. This is such an intense story! I was hooked from the start and loved that the twists and turns took me in directions I wasn't expecting. It's quite the roller-coaster ride that slowly unravels and doesn't let go until the very end.

I love stories that take a well-worn trope (which I can't mention because it's a spoiler) and turn it upside down. And that's exactly what happens here. Just when you think you know what's happening and where it's going, you run into a new surprise.

I REALLY enjoyed this fast-paced story!


----------------


MandyMandy by Stephanie Sparks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finishing a very disappointing story, I decided to get stuck into this one and I'm glad I did!

When strangers knock on Mandy Fisher's door in the middle of the night she doesn't want to answer, but they're persistent. And as soon as she lets these two guys into her life, everything gets turned upside down…

Wow. This story! I enjoyed the hell out of this ultra violent and totally wild novella. I mean, this story needs all the trigger warnings because so much of what happens is SO wrong. Not to mention how uncomfortable I was during most of it because a lot of the story deals with a raging sexist asshole who treats every woman with violence. But don't get me wrong, he's not limited to one gender because Robbie is such a despicable character. Ugh.

But you know what? As bizarre as the concept is, because Mandy's gift is quite disturbing, this was so well written I couldn't put it down. I was on the edge of my seat all the way through, and really liked Mandy. As wrong as a lot of what she's done turns out to be, I really liked her. I felt sorry for her because she had the worst luck and life wasn't kind to her.

This is such a great novella and I need to read more books written by this author.


Monday 29 January 2024

HER HEART BEATS FOR ANCIENT BEASTS by Calvin Demmer

Ancient beings, merciless monsters, unearthly creatures, and other beasts roam these pages.

A short story collection.


When the author of this short story collection reached out, I was excited about reading his latest selection of short stories because I've enjoyed the other ones Calvin has released.

Here are my thoughts on each story...

HIGHWAY HUNGER: I really enjoyed this one. There's some great imagery and Dudley Ellington is a flawed but likeable main character.

NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: Reginald Barton is a retired cop facing a freaky case all over again. It's also my favourite story in this collection. LOVED how the creepy sense of dread is strong all the way through. Fantastic.

ANOTHER WARRIOR IN PARADISE: Senghor's story is all about blind faith and how sometimes it's best not to prove yourself.

HER HEART BEATS FOR ANCIENT BEASTS: Officer Rupert finds himself in the middle of a very strange situation that takes the reader into a bizarre mystery set in a vivid location. This is a great example of why I enjoy small-time horror so much.

THE RIVER RAN RED: Asani's story about rituals serves a purpose but doesn't hold many surprises. The descriptions were lovely, though.

KARMA: This is a clever cautionary tale about what we're doing to our precious planet told from Doctor Charles Carrington's POV after he crosses paths with a heavily injured woman. Some stunning imagery in this narrative. 

SHAPES IN THE WATER: A story about two brothers, a wormhole, a strange place, and a very freaky ending. Really liked that ending!

THE THRONE OF SPACE AND TIME: The format in this one is a little different. The tale unravels via a very interesting letter written by a historian called Phillip Murdoch.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: All I'm going to say about Todd and Dan is that sometimes, you get what's coming to you. Lots of lovely imagery in this one too.

THE DESTROYER: A story of Egyptian mythology proportions.

Well, there you have it. This turned out to be quite an interesting collection of eclectic short stories and each tackles some kind of moral or commentary about our world and the way people relate, treat or act around their surroundings.

Every story featured many interesting characters. Some that I really liked, others not so much. I enjoyed some more than others, but every single story is well written.

You should definitely check out this short story collection with an awesome cover. Seriously, love that cover!




Friday 26 January 2024

This Novel is Done!

Hey, how are you today?

Well, this week I got stuck into the final read-thru of my current revision. That means I sat down with my Paperwhite and read the story from start to finish.

This is when any weird sentences or repeated words stand out. Also, awkward phrasing and any excess. During this part of the revision process, I focus on all the nitty-gritty details. I added some words, then cut a bunch more. I also made all the changes on the Word doc after finishing each chapter.

Technically, I reached The End yesterday, but had to tweak a few last-minute details before calling it done.

The final word count is: 70,264.

I'm really excited about finishing this feminine rage, unhinged horror novel. It's full of unlikeable characters, complicated situations, toxic friendships, and a lot of manipulation. This is a dark story about the strange things that happen in the woods. It's also nonlinear, so I had a lot of fun putting all the puzzle pieces together. And scrambling them. ๐Ÿ˜

Now that it's done, I'm mentally exhausted and need a few days off. Good thing it's a long weekend. Yay.

Have an awesome day!
 

Saturday 20 January 2024

More Revision & Some Editing!

Hey! How are you today? It's been a SUPER busy week, and it's left me feeling mentally exhausted. To be honest, the shitty weather didn't help. ๐Ÿ˜ซ

I'm SO glad the weekend is finally here!

Anyway, my goal for this week was to get through the third draft of the unhinged/wild novel I'm currently revising. So, I got stuck into it on Monday afternoon and ended up reaching the end by Wednesday night. Yay! It always feels good to reach this point because it means the story is almost done. There's only one more check left to do: to read the whole thing on my Paperwhite.

Actually, it's already sitting there waiting for me. LOL.

The word count is now: 70,932.

That's right, this story has made it past the 70k mark. I mean, I knew I was going to make some additions, but also deleted quite a bit. Not sure what the final-final word count will be, but that's next week's problem. ๐Ÿ˜…

After finishing such an extensive revision, I like to give myself a bit of a break. So the intention was to take Thursday, Friday and the weekend off to recharge my batteries. BUT!! Edits hit my Inbox on Thursday morning and there's no way I'm going to leave them there. Especially since I'm determined (obsessed) to get my WIP finalised next week...

So, I got stuck into the edit and managed to get it done. Sure, I kept working into the early hours of Saturday morning, but I was determined to get it done because I want to enjoy the weekend. I really need these two days off so I can be clear-headed when I start the final read-thru on Monday. Oh, and I have to decide on a title...

Well, that's it for now.

I'm going to enjoy the weekend with my awesome husband. And now that the weather has changed and the sun is back, I hope it sticks around for a while.

Have a great one!


Friday 12 January 2024

Revision Time!

Hey! How are you today? I hope you all had a lovely new year! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Although January always moves very slowly and my brain hasn't fully grasped that the lazy festive season is done, I decided to get stuck into my first writing project of 2024: the second draft of the novel I wrote back in November.

This is to kick-start my writing goals for this year, and to make sure that I continue to stick to my plan of staying on top of my finished first drafts. I did very well last year and revised the stories I wrote a month or two after finishing. So I want to keep that going.

Those eighteen months or so that I spent catching up on first drafts I pretty much abandoned to my hard drive motivates me enough to make sure I don't falter again. ๐Ÿ˜…

I started the revision on Monday and ended up reaching the end on Wednesday night. But last night I went back to add dates to the timeline. It was a lot trickier than I first thought but I've got everything figured out now. See, I wrote this story in a non-linear style. The events are happening in two different timelines but they're not in proper sequence. I know it sounds a bit weird, but totally fits this wild story.

Anyway, now it's done. So... yay.

This is the second draft word count: 69,152.

I'm very happy with this progress and can't wait to start the third draft next week. This is a strange little tale about unhinged women who aren't likeable, but sure as hell are interesting. They get up to some seriously crazy stuff and I'm looking forward to getting this finished and hopefully out into the world.

Well, asides from that, I've been having a nice week with my husband. Though there is one pesky thing that is causing me some anxiety. A publisher I signed a contract with last year has decided to stop communicating. I've tried to reach out with no success, but I have to keep trying.

That's it for today. Hope you all have an awesome weekend! ☺️

 

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