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Bark's Book Nonsense

Reading the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance & M/M novel that comes my way but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

Currently reading

Head Over Heels
Susan Andersen, Anna Fields
Fresh Cut Tales: A Collection of Dark Fiction
Kenneth W. Cain, Nelson W. Pyles
Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook (Revised Edition): Over 100 Tail-Wagging Treats
The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company
A Gift of Ghosts
Sarah Wynde
Facial
Jeff Strand
Circus of the Damned
Cornelia Grey
Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great
Lindsay S. Nixon
The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Progress: 5 %
The Silver Chain
Primula Bond

Because it's FREE and there be tentacles

Taken by Tentacles - Jessie Snow

A love triangle unlike any other…

 

Captain Liam Conrad never expected to find a giant octopus in a rainstorm. But when he's thrown overboard and dragged into the sea, tentacles take him in unforgettable ways. To complicate matters, he’s falling for the handsome marine biologist aboard his boat. And the octopus doesn't like that.

 

Not one little bit.

 

Taken by Tentacles is Volume One of the Taken by Tentacles trilogy.
Length: 12,000 words (approximately 48 pages).
Please note: This written gay erotica short story contains explicit adult male/male content. It is intended for adults 18+ only.

The Playground by Ray Bradbury (audio)

The Playground - Ray Bradbury, Jonathan Davis

This is a super short FREE audio @ Audible that manages to create a familiar scenario with a dastardly twist. It reminded me of the best sort of Twilight Zone episode.  This is a creeptastic, atmospheric tale about a neurotic man doing his best to save his young son from the trauma that surely awaits him at the playground.

 

Though I could feel his pain, the father was a bit of a mess and I felt sorry for him and the kid. Let the kid be a kid, I wanted to scream, but damn if that man listened to me!

 

I mean, it's not like the playground had one of these:

 

Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook "Gingerbread Mailmen"

Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook (Revised Edition): Over 100 Tail-Wagging Treats - The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company

My sweet daughter bought me this for Christmas (with her own money too) and it was a far better choice than many a dog treat cookbook I've chosen in the past.

 

So far I've made the "Gingerbread Mailmen" but since I didn't have a mailmen cutter they turned out to be boring old gingerbread bones. Thankfully my dogs are not snobbish and ate them anyway. These called for an entire tsp of ground cloves and let me tell ya, they smelled heavily of cloves. I don't think I'd like to eat them but the dogs, as I said, have no standards (which is why I love them so). This book also doesn't use wheat flour but it's easy enough to make brown rice and oat flour by throwing them in a Ninja or other tough food processor and blending them up to a fine powder. Pretty cheap too. Don't waste your cash on those fancy flours when you can whip them up yourself. Anyway, the recipe was easy to follow, had only a small handful of ingredients and made my dogs happy.

 

So far, I'm liking this book a lot. The recipes seem to use normal ingredients, none stand out as troubling and I haven't run across any that seem too time consuming. I'll try to take pictures before most of them are devoured by this beast.

 

I'll update my review as I go.

 

Dark Horse by Tami Hoag

Dark Horse - Tami Hoag, Blair Brown

This is a thriller that, for me at least, wasn’t very thrilling. It involves a missing young woman, some lovely horses, some not at all pleasant animal and human cruelty and a slew of assholish suspects, all of whom are decidedly up to no good. That part of the plot was pretty lackluster. I guess I’ve become accustomed to more thrills in my thrillers and a little emotion – even if it is rage – but this one just left me feeling dead inside.

 

I guess my main problem was with the main character Elena. She’s a bitter, battle scarred ex-police officer who is as abrasive as they come and the narration only highlighted that character trait. She is persistent and stubborn (good traits in moderation) but something about her just grated on my last nerve. I didn’t “get” her and didn’t like her and there’s really nothing more I can say about that. Also, as an unneeded and unwanted bonus, we are subjected to an eye-rolling, chemistry-free romance between Elena and an officer that I didn’t buy into because I wasn’t feeling it – probably because they weren’t either. It felt like it was tacked in there to please . . . someone. Definitely not me.

 

 

I did love the passages that described the horses but they weren’t enough to carry the book for me. Dark Horse gets some great reviews so if you’re a Hoag fan don’t listen to me. If a copy lands in your lap give it a go and tell me how much of an idiot I am.

Can anybody see where I went wrong?

I didn't curse, I didn't link. I can't figure it out and they are NOT helpful in their canned responses. But yet they post THIS ONE:
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, January 16, 2015
By 
 (East Concord, Vermont) - See all my reviews
 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MILK-BLOOD (Kindle Edition)
Good
 
 
EFFING GOOD?! That's an acceptable review now?!  Anyway, here's the canned email: 
 
thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:
We encourage you to revise your review and submit it again. A few common issues to keep in mind:
 
Product Image
~Mark Matthews
4.0 out of 5 stars (84)
  • Your review should focus on specific features of the product and your experience with it. Feedback on the seller or your shipment experience should be provided at www.amazon.com/feedback.
  • We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too.
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We welcome your honest opinion about products - positive or negative. We do not remove reviews because they are critical. We believe all helpful information can inform our customers’ buying decisions. If you have questions about the product or opinions that do not fit the review format, please feel free to use the Customer Discussions feature on the product page.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and incredibly disturbing., January 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Milk-Blood (Audible Audio Edition)
Milk blood is a bleak, unflinching look at people in desperation situations. When I say bleak, I am not exaggerating. These people are more than down on their luck, they have hit rock bottom. It’s a gripping mix of the horror show that is drug addiction and otherworldly horror that feels so natural your skin may crawl. It’s descriptive and gut- wrenching and some truly terrible things happen to an innocent young girl. You might want to have something upbeat nearby because some of these scenes may wreck you. Unless I’m just getting wimpier as the years go by. Nah. I don't think that's it.

I listened to this story in its unabridged audiobook format which immerses you in the desolation of the story. The narrator is deadly serious (as he needs to be) and, to be honest, though it’s only 3 hours or so, I had to take breaks and listen to some silly horror podcasts in between. This story is intense and bothered me on a level that most horror can’t reach. It’s similar to Lynda Barry’s Cruddy in that way. Only without the humor. There's nothing humorous here.

Don’t do drugs people. Just don’t.

*I received a copy of the audio from the author.

Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews (audio review)

MILK-BLOOD - Mark  Matthews

Milk blood is a bleak, unflinching look at people in desperate situations. When I say bleak, I am not exaggerating. These people are more than down on their luck, they have hit rock bottom. It’s a gripping mix of the horror show that is drug addiction and otherworldly horror that feels so natural your skin may crawl. It’s descriptive and gut- wrenching and some truly terrible things happen to an innocent young girl. You might want to have something upbeat nearby because some of these scenes may wreck you. Unless I’m just getting wimpier as the years go by. Nah. I don't think that's it.

 

I listened to this story in its unabridged audiobook format which immerses you in the desolation of the story. The narrator is deadly serious (as he needs to be) and, to be honest, though it’s only 3 hours or so, I had to take breaks and listen to some silly horror podcasts in between. This story is intense and bothered me on a level that most horror can’t reach. It’s similar to Lynda Barry’s Cruddy in that way. Only without the humor. There's nothing humorous here.

 

Don’t do drugs people. Just don’t.

 

*I received a copy of the audio from the author.

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely Fine - Daryl Gregory

We were a team of professional insomniacs. Once you know there are monsters under the bed, closing your eyes becomes a foolhardy act. So, we paced. We stared into the dark. We listened for the creak of the opening door.

This is a story about a group of strangers, all from different walks of life, who have been brought together for a group therapy session. They are all trauma survivors but each of them carries scars caused by the stuff that haunts dreams and fuels horror films. None of them are fine. Not even close.

 

  

 

 

The horrors unravel very slowly and the reader is forced to piece together each reveal and attempt to make sense of it. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on with each character because there is no big info. dump spew. Not that I’m complaining. Things unravel just as I assume they would in a real life therapy group. Because of the trauma (or simply because they are human) only one guy jumps in and spills his entire history but not in a coherent manner.  The rest are wary of each other. And for good reasons.

 

This was an intriguing novella filled with frightening ideas but I truly wish it had been a wee bit longer and that I could’ve learned more about the characters than I did. Their backstories were fascinating and horrifying but there was much left unsaid. Perhaps a sequel is on the horizon?

 

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review.

I caved. Requested Doll Face. It's all YOUR fault and you know who you are :)

 

Make me feel better here. Three painfully overdue in the queue isn't too bad, is it? One I've read but am procrastinating on the review.Does anyone know if leaving feedback on archived items counts towards your Feedback to Approval Ratio?  Mine has always been pretty good but it's dipped to 78% due to my slowpockeyness.

My Book Is Not My Baby Though Sometimes It Does Reek of Poo

When I write a story, there’s definitely a big stage where the thing is unformed, but it’s not an infant I’m teaching to walk or hold its head upright. I’m trying to find eyeballs and get rid of that weird third ear on top of its head. It’s clay, not flesh. Absolutely I talk to it and nurture it, but I also rip it apart, and kick it, and yell at it—if my books were my babies, they’d all be taken away by child protective services.

 

Heehee

Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been: A Novel (Audio) - Melanie Benjamin, Samantha Eggar

4 1/2 stars. This was a heartbreaking read but it was one of those books that I found myself drawn into and found it difficult to break myself away from when it was time to take the headphones off and return to reality. I have to admit, it has thrown me into a bit of a funk. Despite Alice's well to do lifestyle, her life was filled with disappointment, sadness , missed opportunities and loss. Most of it due to an event in her early childhood. The story of the real Alice who inspired Alice In Wonderland was fascinating though and a great listen on audio but I need to find something frivolous and upbeat before I drown in a pit of despair over here.

 

My only caveat has to do with the lack of including the author notes in the audio version, now I'll have to track down the book at the library to learn what she had to say and what she might've "embellished" for the book.

Damn, what a week! I am finally starting to feel almost human again. Insomnia, migraines, constant nausea. Just kill me now.

Revival by Stephen King

Revival: A Novel (Audio) - Stephen King

Book #1 Sock Poppet's 2015 Read by the Month Challenge

 

This book is not read by Will Patton but I will not hold that against it. Will Patton should read ALL the books but no one asked me. Revival is read by David Morse, recently seen in Joe Hill’s film version of Horns (which you all should see), and he does a fine job with the material. His voice is slightly grizzled and comforting and very emotive. He managed to keep me listening throughout the 13+ hour story. If you enjoy King and audiobooks you’ll want to give this a listen.

 

So, it’s not really horror and it’s not really spooky or scary until the very end when it gives you a final ending punch to the gut but trust me the trip is one worth taking. This is the not-so-usual (this is King, after all) coming of age story of a young boy named Jamie whose life becomes entwined with a young pastor and mad scientist type named Charlie Jacobs. At first, I have to admit, I was thinking Charlie might fall into the pervy for kiddies mold what with his cozying up to Jamie straight away, but I was glad things didn’t go there and their friendship (at least early on) was genuine. As were all of the relationships in this book which is why I enjoyed it so much. This man knows how to create characters and set a scene.

 

When King is busy telling tales of first love and delighting in “sweater nubbins” (oh, King), tightly knit families, friendship, hope and the joy and rush of music, there’s always a dark undercurrent running alongside the mundane. Grief, drug addiction, regret, aging and loss of faith. It’s all here and it will probably crush you. You won’t want to give thisa listen if you have to do the driving. I think King revels in leaving his readers broken and bleary eyed.

 

Even so, I’ll put myself back together and read whatever he chooses to dish up next because this was a beautifully done novel.

 

*I received a copy of this audiobook courtesy of AudioJukebox.com.

Have a good weekend all and try to stay out of trouble!  I think I may have to unplug at some point and do Christmas-y things I've been putting off.

The Naughty List by Edward Lorn

The Naughty List - Edward Lorn

A gleefully fun, slightly rough and nasty, little tale that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit and make you think twice about messing with Santa and his reindeer. Not that any of you would ever do such a thing! 

 

Thanks for the free story E!

Slush Ebook Giveaway @ Horror After Dark

Slush - Jason Lynch, Glenn Rolfe, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

His widdle face after the vacuum sucks up his chin. He is so mad! And the beating he gives that vacuum hose just makes me laugh. Take that sucka, smack, smack, smack!