Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Post by Spencer Blohm - Movie: The Fault in our Stars


        For fans of John Green’s books, The Fault in Our Stars is often cited as a favorite, despite its relatively dark storyline. It tells the story of two teens who meet in a cancer support group; Hazel, whose thyroid cancer has spread to her lungs (causing her to constantly need the support of an oxygen tank) and Augustus, whose osteosarcoma is gone, but who lost his leg to the disease. The book follows the two teens as their friendship progresses into an emotionally charged romance.
        The film adaptation of TFIOS is set to debut in theaters on June 6th, and it’s already gathering some major buzz around it. The fact that it’s based on a best-selling YA book was enough to create a good amount of discussion, but the additional knowledge that it is also starring current Young Hollywood “It” girl Shailene Woodley in the lead role has only added fuel to the fire. Opposite Woodley is up and comer Ansel Elgort; the two previously worked alongside each other in another YA film adaptation, The Spectacular Now (which you should really catch streaming on Netflix or on demand through DirecTV because it’s a great, underrated, movie). Joining them in supporting roles are Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, and Nat Wolff.

        What is sure to set TFIOS apart from the pack of other YA film adaptations is the large role Green had in the film’s production. He was on set almost every day, working alongside the film’s stars, director, and producers to make sure his book was fully realized on screen. The reasoning behind his heavy involvement, as he told the Los Angeles Times was that, "I felt like most of the movie versions would be exactly what I didn't want it to be: sentimental and maudlin — everything the book was trying to speak against." He and Temple Hill Entertainment (who purchased the rights to the book) entrusted screenwriting duo Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter to adapt the book (the duo, unsurprisingly, were also the screenwriters for The Spectacular Now). Despite not having a hand in the screenplay, Green gave it his blessing, even saying, "When I saw their draft, I liked the ending better than I liked the ending of my book."
        This, of course, leads us to the content of the film itself, of which not much is known. Aside from a few fan screenings scattered here and there, any and all press reviews have been embargoed until the day the film is released. What we do know, is that the film will be scored with music from the indie band Bright Eyes and features a new track by Ed Sheeran, as well as songs by Tom Odell, Lykke Li, Charlie XCX, M83, & Jake Bugg to name a few (you can purchase the album now on Amazon).

Aside from the album, much of what we know about the film is from those lucky fans that were able to go to a fan screening. The Huffington Post’s Leigh Blickley was able to attend one of those screenings and wrote of her experience: “The hysteria that ensued in this theater was so soul-crushing that I wondered if someone should call an ambulance.” Echoing Blickley’s sentiments was Collider’s Steven Weintraub, who tweeted that “every person in the theater cried” and Novel Thought’s Jeremy West also tweeted following a special screening that the film “will break you and make you weep.”

         It looks like those calling this film the teen version of The Notebook might not be that far off after all...

Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment, culture, and lifestyle blogger. He lives and works in Chicago. When not working he can be found camped out in his apartment watching the latest films and newest television shows.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Guest Post by Jason Sizemore - Irredeemable and The Bible.

There’s a leading statement many horror writers like to use when confronted with the typical dismay and looks of distaste people put on offer when you tell them you’re a horror writer.

“The best-selling book of all time happens to be horror.”

“Oh? What’s that?”

“The Bible.”

Whether the Bible is straight non-fiction, creative non-fiction, or straight up horror fiction is a debate for the religious types to take up. What I can tell you is that the Bible scared me senseless during the formative years of my youth.

I grew up in a small Appalachian coal mining community. Like most mining towns, its residents held to strong Christian beliefs. Most people attended church, often 4 times a week (Sunday morning and afternoon, Wednesday night, and Friday night). My grandmother was a diehard believer and if the preacher was delivering a sermon you could count on her being there to listen. I was close to my grandmother, and therefore I attended nearly all the same services.

The church we attended was of the Southern Baptist denomination and was moderate in its…enthusiasm (meaning no snakes or drinking of poison), but the preacher was the type to get worked up into a yelling, Bible-thumping display of passion for the Lord. His favorite topics from the Bible? Any and all passages from the Book of Revelations. The story of Christ’s torture and crucifixion. The burning bush appearing to Moses. The drowning of the Egyptians after the parting of the Red Sea. The preacher wanted you to be saved in the eyes of the Lord. It didn’t matter if you honestly had faith, or if you pleaded for salvation out of fear of burning in a lake of fire for 1000 years, just as long as you accepted the Lord as your one and only savior.

Which I did. I got baptized, too.

I was scared to death.

Growing up, I would seek out the sky whenever a coal truck roared by on the highway, for I was certain it was the trumpet call of the angel Gabriel.  The Rapture was an especially scary concept for a child my age (pre-teen). The violence of the adults in the Bible scared me. They hung Jesus Christ on a wooden cross, what would they do to me.

Nowadays, all that fear seems silly. But I was a kid with a big imagination, and when I asked my grandmother and parents if all that stuff really happened (or could happen) they answered in the affirmative.

This childhood spent in church informs so much of my fiction. It fuels my imagination. It puts a warming flame to my fears, and I like to think this helps make my horror fiction just a little bit scarier, a little bit edgier.

One of my first professional sales was of the story “Caspar.” (As an aside, you can read “Caspar” here for free: The story is about a bad, bad man and the avenging angel he meets on Christmas day. The angel describes the story of the birth of Jesus and the three wise men before skewering the bad, bad man with a large silver cross. The creative genesis of “Caspar” derives from a desire to build a metaphor about the gentle, loving parts of the Bible with the harsh, horrific violence that also occurs in the Bible.

Most of the short fiction in Irredeemable functions as therapy for me, a way to filter the trauma of the church to the page. Am I healed? Not by a long shot! I have plenty of, shall we say, demons left to purge into my fiction before I’m done!

Jason Sizemore is a writer and editor who lives in Lexington, KY. He owns Apex Publications, an SF, fantasy, and horror small press, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award three times for his editing work on Apex Magazine. Stay current with his latest news and ramblings via his website and his Twitter feed handle @apexjason.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feature & Follow - Book Pushing (May 23, 2014).

Feature and Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Click on the links to visit their blogs and find out more about this great meme.

Have you ever convinced someone to read a book, a series, or a whole genre?  What book(s) and who was it?  Did they like it?

Many years ago, I recommended some books by Charles de Lint.  She loved them and kept on reading.

I also recommended the first Anita Blake to my sister, but she was so horrified by the first paragraph where Anita was discussing her scars, she put it down.  About a year ago, I lent her Mind Games by Carolyn Cross.  I figured she would like it better, because the main character, Justine, is more of a regular gal.  She loved the book and ran to the library to get the second one.  I was so happy!

How about you? What have you recommended to others?  Was it a flop or a hit?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My BEA Plan.

BEA is very exciting and overwhelming.  All those books, all those potential stories ready and waiting to suck you in, all those publishers and authors and meeting bloggers.  Did I mention all the books?

Overwhelming is the key word.  A few weeks ago before I went to RT in New Orleans, I decided to cull my (overwhelming) TBR book pile.  I have three boxes to give to the library and a few boxes I can use for giveaways.  I felt accomplished, organized and But then I attended RT and oops, not only did I fill up a small suitcase and a carry on with even *more* books, but my friend is actually shipping home a box to me.  (Ugh, what have I done?) 

So this year at BEA, I have a few strategies that I will keep in mind:
  • Be picky!   I have to be very interested in a book or it won't come home with me.   No matter how pretty the cover, no matter how many "extra" are on the table, no matter how many other bloggers are gushing over it.  
  • No sequels!  Let's face it, if I haven't read the first book, by the time I do, the second one will be out in finished form.  I have to be honest with myself and realize that I don't always read what's hot and popular at the time.  I sometimes wait so long that it could be months or even a year or two before I'll read a book I own.  

  • No repeats!  Yes, Jonathan Maberry is signing Rot and Ruin.  But I have a copy.  Okay maybe it is dogeared from excessive reading, and a nice pristine copy would be nice, but I don't need it! 
  • I will not get books for others!  I know, it's very thoughtful that I pick up a car book for my husband or a craft book for my sister, or how to do Yoga while walking your dog for my distant cousin Martha.  However, my husband only reads car magazines.  My sister is trying to clean our her house.  And the book that I got for my cousin, or co-worker, or friend?  I keep forgetting to give it to the person I got it for in the first place, it collects dust, takes up space and more than likely I end up donating it or using it for a giveaway.   
  • Save Space!  I went over the author list online (yes all 10 pages) and looked up their books on Amazon to see if I would be interested.  If it turned out to be something I liked, but is fairly inexpensive on Kindle, I didn't add it to my schedule.  Yes, I know part of the point is free books, but what good are they if I can't ever get around to reading them?  This way, they don't take up any valuable bookshelf space and I'm still supporting the author. 

  • Remember the library/bookstore!  Yes, I still go to the library and I love it.  I will tell myself (as I have done in the past) that I could get any book I want there once it's published.  And it's free!  If I have to own a copy I can always buy one.  

Has anyone found themself in a similar situation?  Do you have any tips to curb book hoarding?  Please share!

Copyright: lucian3d / 123RF Stock Photo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jess Haines Giveaway.

I'm clearing out some inventory.   These two books have never been read.  

Hunted by the Others and Taken by the Others by Jess Haines.  

~Leave your name (use what I can announce on the blog if you win) and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form. 
~That's it! No need to follow unless you want extra entries.

~Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~Sorry, this contest is US only!
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~This contest ends on May 26, 2014 at 12:05am.
~If winner does not contact me within 72 hours (3 days) of my first e-mail, unfortunately another winner will be chosen.

Good luck and thanks for visiting my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 19, 2014

Guest Post by L.F. Falconer - Twilight Zone?


”J” had shoes thrown down at her from the top of an empty staircase.

On separate occasions, “S” and “L”, neither one aware of the experience of the other, both heard a metal bucket hit the wooden floor in a room where there was neither bucket nor wooden floor.

Mysterious knocking upon the front door alerted “A” to a potentially dangerous fire.

And while driving one night, “P” and “G” ran right over a man who suddenly appeared in the middle of the road, yet when they stopped, no one was there.

All true stories!  These happened to real people that I know and trust. (You know the type— family and friends.)  All around the world, weird things are experienced by ordinary people every day.  Things that seemingly defy any rational or scientific explanations.

Who can dispute the reality of “W’s” photograph, taken long before the age of Photo Shop, that clearly shows a vague outline of an unknown figure that took its place within the group shot of a family photo?

And do you really know what causes the shadow movement caught from the corner of your eye?  I mean, really?

Or that gut feeling known as “intuition”?

Since the beginning of time there have been tales of spirits.  I think we’re drawn to stories of the strange and the supernatural because most of us have experienced some of these things ourselves.  Some of us more than others.

Having grown up in a haunted house, I’ve always been fascinated with (and sometimes totally frightened by) the unexplained.  Throughout my entire life I’ve had a number of ghostly encounters.  I managed to draw upon some of those in the composition of a few stories within my book, THROUGH A BROKEN WINDOW, Ten Dark Tales of the Strange and Deranged.

The title story, “Through a Broken Window,” contains variants of a few of my own actual experiences.  And “The Black Dog” was inspired by the night a strange dog trailed me on a five-mile walk along a lonely country road.  I couldn’t see the dog—it was too dark.  But I could hear its toenails clicking on the pavement and the panting of its breaths.  I didn’t know where it had come from but from its gait, I could only conclude it was probably a large animal.  It stayed right behind me until finally, a quarter-mile from my destination, it simply was gone!  Not an exceptionally exciting story, I know, but definitely an odd occurrence which I was able to transform into a fairly dramatic piece of fiction.

As far as horror stories go, we all have our favorite kinds.  I tend to shy away from those that use gore for the pure sake of gore, but I’m a sucker for a story that can send a chill up my spine and cause my skin to prickle.  Or one that makes me sit back and go . . . .hmmm.
How about you?  What makes you want to keep the lights on at night when you’re all alone?
  •        The squeak of a door hinge?
  •        Phantom footsteps?
  •        How about a cold tap on the shoulder?

Weird stories are fun—that’s why we like them so much!  And as long as strange and eerie events keep occurring in our world, people will hold them in fascination, which bodes well for the tellers of those tales.  You probably have a story or two to tell yourself!  So don’t be afraid to share them.

A maverick with a pen, Nevada author L.F. Falconer’s powerful, page-turning style of dark fantasy has consistently been praised as both “gripping,” and “captivating.”  Skillful, character-based artistry fuses magic and the supernatural with reality to bring her audience a unique reading experience.

Find her at:

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Title/Author: Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Narrator: Rebecca Lowman

Genre: General Fiction.

Publisher: Books on Tape.

Source: Library.

Synopsis: From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar "senses" -- innate psychoic abilities concerning future events and other people's secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths lave led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a pyschic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that a devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified.  More troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right.  As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister, and truths about herself she's long tried to deny.

Midnyte Musings:  I was very excited to read this book.  However, I was disappointed because although the sister's pyshic abilities are kind of the revolving factor in the book, it wasn't a main point.  There were one or two true paranormal scenes that I enjoyed, but because Kate is uncomfortable with her gifts and embarassed that her sister uses them to make a living, it is very much downplayed. 

This is a very quiet story and although it kind of felt like nothing happened in Sisterland, I became very interested in the characters.  Maybe because their lives are mundane just like mine and the problems are relatable.  I still find myself  thinking of the characters even though I finished this book over a week ago.

The story follows Kate as she goes through life with a sister who is very different from her.  At times I liked each sister and at times I disliked them.  I could see their points of view.  Kate is at times, too worried about what people think and embarasses easily and Vi, doesn't seem to care at all and is often quite embarassing.  I think if perhaps if they weren't so entertwined with each other it wouldn't be such an issue.  But sometimes in life, you are very enmeshed with a sibling and these two are twins.  Their bond is everlasting and for all their differences they are close.  They fight, they make up in their own way, they support each other.  When they were young, they put a sign on their bedroom door with the word "Sisterland."  As Vi says to Kate, they will always live there.

The writing is descriptive but at times, a bit much.  I didn't need to know all the details that Kate thought at certain points of the day.  I didn't need to know the backstory of Kate's green sweatshirt vest, yet I can relate to it.  Little things in life may not have the most exciting details, but can take on a life of their own.  Also, I listened to the audio book, so maybe it would have been more clear on paper, but the story went back and forth to present day and at different times in Kate's past.  So, that was a bit confusing. 

I do have to say that the moments of expressing her love for her children, whether literally or just inferenced were quite lovely. 

Finally, when something does happen and Kate makes a very bad decision, I felt like yelling at her to not be so stupid.  I don't understand why she did what she did.  And if it were me that found myself having to face the consequences, I don't know if I would have been brave enough to make the same decisions she did.

Narration:  The narration was very good.  I liked Lowman's voice and her delivery.  I appreciated that the male voices were believable.

Starstruck Over: Although I didn't think this story was super exciting, I admit that it's one that still has me thinking about it. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Guest Post by Eric Jubb - My Near Death Experience.

From Eric Jubb, author of Dire Wolf (Book Baby, 2014)
ISBN 978-0-9897155-1-5

In Dire Wolf, author Eric Jubb writes about his own near death experience through the protagonist, John Johnston. Below, Jubb describes the strikingly real experience of reliving that trauma through a character in his writing.

As you might imagine talking about my near death experience is pretty hard for me. Perhaps the hardest part of having a near death experience is that most people do not believe you. Sure your wife believes because she was there, but mostly your friends and relatives simply do not know what to think. I had planned for many years to write a novel, started a couple of times but never really got going so gave up. When a plot finally coalesced in my mind I wanted my hero, John Johnston, to have to overcome personal tragedy and trauma in order to seem more like the rest of us. All of us have to overcome hardships and tragedy’s in our lives, it in part makes each of us who we are.

My personal odyssey with near death experience has transformed me in many ways. For me to tell the story of how it came to be in my novel, I must I think start at the beginning. I was forty-two, my father had just died and I was dealing with his estate which pretty much amounted to nothing. Like many guys I did not go to the doctor when I got sick a few weeks after his death. I ended up with an ear infection that hurt like hell, but I did not see a physician until the pain was pretty much unbearable. He gave me some antibiotics and some pain medication and I went home. I went to bed and woke some thirty days later from a coma. I had bacterial meningitis that had pretty well marked paid to my life. I don’t remember the pain or the life flight where my heart stopped beating. What I remember was the experience of being on the other side of the veil that separates us from death.

What I remember of this experience is in my novel, but goes something like this. The tunnel is deep. So deep that it appears to be without bottom. I suppose the dark doesn’t help. Luckily there’s a bright light at the top that I’m climbing towards, or I wouldn’t be able to see the hand holds. I don’t know how long I’ve been climbing, but I feel a deep dread every time I look down. It’s strange; my muscles should be screaming in protest. My fingers don’t even hurt. In fact, I feel stronger with each new foot that I climb. Finally, the lip of the tunnel; I grab a rock and lever myself over the edge. The sky is really weird, almost like mother of pearl, but really bright. It’s not clouds, but gives off an ethereal light. I can hear some voices off in the distance, laughing and conversation. There’s a bench of exquisite design under a simple trellis. The bench sits on a rail landing of raked gravel with patterns in it. The patterns seem to change as I sit and stare at them. I pick up a pebble and throw it into the pattern. The gravel seems to form eddies around the stone, like water in a stream. Unbelievably peaceful. The tracks seem to start here, but go off to my right far enough that there perspective changes to a point in the distance. Such a beautiful place, I’ve never felt so at peace in my life. I have a feeling, though, that I don’t belong. As I look around, I see a tunnel off to my left that seems to call for me. The voice is very quiet. I can barely hear it telling me that the path will take me to where I need to be.

A day or two after I woke in the hospital, nurses and doctors kept coming through my room to just say hi. I eventually asked my doctor why they were coming. The answer was pretty startling. They were trying to demonstrate to the docs and nurses working in the cancer ward that sometimes medicine wins. Survival rates for the meningitis type that I had after seizures and heart failure were less than ten percent, yet here I was alive. As the song says, dazed and confused, but nevertheless living.

As I started writing my novel it occurred to me that the most difficult things in life to overcome and to deal with were not the physical limitations of our bodies but rather the mental issues we all deal with. At first I did not include the near death experience in the description of John Johnston’s injuries. But as I reviewed the rough draft of the chapter, it seemed almost natural to me to include my experience. As I wrote the experience out I struggled with the description of the absolute peace that I felt. In the end I left it to the readers imagination as I really feel that it’s beyond my humble ability to describe.

Was it therapeutic? For me perhaps, as I have been pretty gun shy for the last eighteen years since the experience. I can tell you that for me it was more real than any experience that I have had thus far in my life. Death has no fear for me as I have experienced it and found that there is a place for all of us to go when we die.

Eric Jubb spent over fifteen years as a helicopter pilot in the military. When an illness, including a near-death experience, forced him to resign his commission, Jubb returned to the Montana wilderness he loved. Most recently, Jubb worked for a defense manufacturing company. He is an avid fly fisherman, lives in Polson, MT with his wife, and has six children and eight grandchildren.

To learn more, please visit
Dire Wolf is available at Amazon.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Garden Ramblings - Seeds and starts.

Garden Ramblings is a feature created by Karen from For What It's Worth Reviews.  I not only get blogging and book advice from Karen, but gardening too.  And because I want to be just like her, I decided to share what's "growing on" in and around my yard too.

Last summer I created a NOLA garden on my front porch.  I liked it so much that I decided to expand my gardening plans.

We have a garden on the side of our house and I was digging up Sassafras roots and little saplings that popped up.  Sassafras trees are very prolific.  

Then we mulched.  I'm about 3/4 done. 

Up here in the tri-state area of NY, the recommendation is not to plant outside until after Memorial Day.  I was getting antsy so I decided to try to grow some things from seeds.  To the right are tomatoes.  I cheated a bit and got a "kit" from Home Depot.  The little shoots pushing through in the clear container are Morning Glories. 

These are the tomatoes about a week later.  They grow up so fast (sniff/sniff). 



My friend told me about this method.  This way, I don't worry too much about animals chewing on them.  I'm sure they could if they really wanted to, but so far so good.  I'm leaving the broccoli outside now since I was advised they are a "cold weather" plant.  

More broccoli.  When they get big enough and I dig out my vegetable garden I'll replant them.  

I'm pretty new to gardening since I was never very good at it.  But I think now I understand that you really have to put time into your plants and I really do enjoy it.   If anyone has any advice for a novice gardener please let me know!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dark Magic.

Title/Author: Dark Magic (Peter Warlock #1) by James Swain.

Narration: Stephen R. Thorne.

Genre: Supernatural thriller.

Publisher: AudioGo.

Source: Library.

Synopsis: Peter Warlock is a magician with a dark secret. Every night, he amazes audiences at his private theater in New York, where he performs feats that boggle the imagination.

But his day job is just a cover for his otherworldly pursuits: Peter is a member of an undergrond group of psychics who gaze into the future to help prevent crimes. No one, not even his live-in girlfriend, knows the truth about Peter -- until the seance when he foresees an unspeakable act of violence that will devastate the city. As Peter and his friends rush to prevent tragedy, Peter discovers that a shadowy cult of evil psychics, the Order of Astrum, know all about his abilities.  They are hunting him and his fellow psychics down, one by one, determined to silence them forever.
Midnyte Musings:  Dark Magic had a good premise, but it didn't deliver for me.  It's about stage magician Peter Warlock, who is actually a psychic.  He and 6 other psychic friends have seances every friday night.  But when Peter has a vision of a terrorist attack in Times Square he has to get to the bottom of the mystery.   Sounds straightforward, but I found the plot confusing, the dialogue puzzling and the characters frustrating.

The story is told in a few omniscient different points of view, but mostly via main character Peter Warlock.  I wanted to like Peter.  I love magicians...I think psychics are cool!  But Peter didn't elicit sympathy from me and other than being a mostly nice guy, there wasn't really anything that made me want to know him.  His girlfriend Liza drove me crazy.  If my boyfriend had pyshic powers, I'd be, well psyched!  I wouldn't be mad at him for not telling me right away.  Some issues you have to get to know a person first and build trust before you divulge a secret.  Liza didn't see it that way.  Then she got mad at Peter because he had to keep government secrets and help stop a killer instead of talking about their relationship.  I don't know what he saw in her.  

And another thing, if someone asks you to call 911, what would you do?  Would you call or would you ask a bunch of questions and then call?  A lot of the book was like this.  One character would tell another something.  The other would ask a bunch of questions so that the first character would have to explain.  If someone told me that a bad guy was after me, I wouldn't argue about it.  If someone told me to stay inside for the day because the bad guy was outside, I probably would.  Every character did this.  Questioned and argued and I don't feel it moved the plot along or revealed anything the people.

Also, I felt an important plot point was kind of thrown in.  About two thirds of the way in the book, the people around Peter talk about his terrible temper.  It was not very believable.  He did snap at a few people once in a while, and then his temper got a bit worse, but I think it would have worked better if we were shown his temper earlier.  The reason for his temper was a cool twist however.  There are other twists in the book but the writing is so over simplified that the story unfolds almost like a police statement. Just facts and no richness.  

Narration:  The narration was not that fluid and I wonder if that hindered the book for me.  However, I think Thorne did a good job with all the different characters.  Everyone sounded distinct.    

Starstruck over:  I like the idea of a secret society of real psychics in NYC.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Through a Broken Window.

Title/Author: Through a Broken Window by L.F. Falconer.

Genre: Horror.

Publisher: Outskirts Press.

Source: Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Take a peek, if you dare, and step into a world that balances upon the fringes of sanity.

Meet seven-year-old Ronnie who develops and unhealthy appetite for cranberries--or Andre, a travler who wanders into the wrong neck of the woods. Meet the ghosts of Virginia City, Nevada, and pray you never cross paths with the Devil of Desatoya. Ten dark tales of the strange and deranged, this collection of short stories is sure to appeal to the darker side of even the squeamish, so don't be shy. Take a look.

See for yourself what lies behind the broken window.
Midnyte Musings:  This collection of short Horror stories are filled with the gruesome, the gory and the spooky.

L.F. Falconer, I felt, at times,  explores how far she is willing to go and push boundaries without crossing the line into gratiuitious exploitation.  The events lend themselves to the stories and give validity to the ensuing plot.

I also thought that the title of the book, Through a Broken Window, taken from one of the stories fits the collection as an entirety.  It made me feel as a reader, I'm doing something ordinary with a gruesome twist.  I'm gazing through a window into Ms. Falconer's mind, into these stories, but the window is broken and shattered and something is terribly wrong within these fictional landscapes. 

I think another important part of storytelling is irony.  A grifter getting scammed, a murderer getting murdered, a relatable hero dying after a long and arduous journey.  This works well in the Horror genre and Falconer knows how to utilize it

The most disturbing tale, for me, is the first one, Christmas Cranberries about a serial killer in development and I also loved Sylvan Rain, which I felt was quite prolific, eerie and totally surprised me.  The aforementioned Through a Broken Window was quite nice as well and I wish the main character had taken the plunge because I myself as a reader wanted to know more than I was shown.  Still a cool story though.  Although I feel that the writing could use some work and polish, this was an interesting collection that had me pondering the stories when I was done.

Starstruck Over: The originality of some of the pieces.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Feature & Follow - Hobbies! (May 2, 2014)

Feature and Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Click on the links to visit their blogs and find out more about this great meme.

SHARE!  Tell us about one of your hobbies that is NOT reading.

I have WAY too many hobbies.  Every time I show an interest in something additional, my husband says, "Oh can do that in your spare time."  Which makes me realize I tend to overextend myself.

My biggest hobby besides reading is making jewelry and I love to come up with bookish related pieces (and give them away on my blog).  Here are a few items I've made in the past.

Every October, I make a bunch of Halloween bracelets and earrings to give away for Halloween Hootenanny. 

This was my Black Heart Loa bracelet that was inspired by the book by Adrian Phoenix.  I gave it to the author when I met her at Authors After Dark in New Orleans. 

Speaking of New Orleans, can you guess see the inspiration for this bracelet?  One of my favs!

I made these Georgia Peach earrings to give away for Authors After Dark Savannah.  

Please check back because I hope to have some pieces made soon.

Tell me about your hobbies!

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