Bark at the Moon

Stay chill, it's only a silly book review.

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. Mostly horror & romance of all kinds.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple

I listened to this book as an unabridged audio read by Kathleen Wilhoite. Her narration made the book for me and I highly recommend reading it this way, if you can.


Bernadette Day was once an award winning, up and coming architect but an event happened that pretty much destroyed her and now she’s a stay-at-home mom who does a whole of nothing. When her husband was hired on by Microsoft, they relocated to Seattle and bought an old crumbling building and called it home. Bernadette had dreams of fixing it up but never really got around to it. She’s miserable but very close to her young daughter Bee and now lives in a world surrounded by soccer moms who dislike her because she’s not really like them.



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And she doesn’t care. She calls them gnats and goes about her life trying her best to avoid them. She’ll gleefully run over their feet and go about her day as if nothing happened.  photo imabitchsong_zpsgzhtlnvl.gif


Or at least that’s the rumor that starts off a shitstorm of trouble for Bernadette and her family.


As my friend Tressa said in her review, this book is delightful. Bernadette and her daughter Bee are unique, interesting characters with great dialogue and they have a true connection. Bee is wise beyond her years and a bit of brat just like her mom and I loved her for it.


This book has funny moments but it’s also about depression and mental illness and what happens to a woman when she’s allowed her talent to lie dying and chooses to sleep-walk through her life. It’s also about neglected relationships and discovering that maybe someone isn’t quite as awful as one assumes when you get to know them a little bit. It only falters a bit for me towards the end when Bernadette’s POV is painfully absent from the story. I felt it dragged on a little too long or maybe I just missed Bernadette’s voice?


The format may be a struggle for some as it’s told in notes, instructions, emails, differing POV’s and memories but the narrator handled it all flawlessly.

Horror Film Review: The Forest

I've been having a hard time concentrating for long so here's a film review of a movie you can maybe skip ;)


3 out of 5

The Forest 2016, Horror-ish Thriller 

This movie wasn’t scary. It wasn’t sexy either. Gory, funny, suspenseful or enraging? No, no, no and nope. I felt nothing but boredom. There is nothing here for me to enthusiastically recommend it. It’s most definitely a wait for network tv kind of movie that you’ll want to watch while you’re folding laundry and just want something on in the background.

So, imagine you are an identical twin and you have the magical twin powers of connection or whatever they’re called. Your twin is the darker one (as in, she dyes her hair black and smokes out her eyeshadow). She’s also the more adventurous one. You are the more average of the two with your natural hair, makeup and wardrobe. One day you learn that sister has wandered into the Suicide Forest in Japan where people only go to, well, you know. . . You are certain she’s alive, twin powers and all, and you decide to trek out there on your own to find her because no one else cares enough to do it themselves. You are engaged (maybe?) to a decent guy but once you are near the forest, you allow a strange handsome guy you meet in a bar (I think? The memory, it is a fuzzy thing) to join you, along with a professional tour guide, because handsome fella says he knows the lay of the land. But night closes in and the actual tour guide leaves in a hurry, strongly advising you both to do the same. Handsome guy sticks around to keep you company during the night because he’s such a good guy and all.  Ummm hmmmm.

But, most sadly, it's not that kind of movie either.


Anyway, some quasi-spooky things happen, there’s lots of running about in the forest and flashbacks of a tragic childhood but alas nothing creepier than that happens.


If this scares you, you may like the movie more than I did and I wish I were you.



Creepy TV: True Nightmares



Need some creepy tv to brighten up your October?  Have I got the show for you.
True Nightmares is one of my favorite new guilty pleasures. It reminds me very much of Tales from the Crypt with its dark twists and do you want to know the creepiest (and best) part about this show?  It’s all true! 
Hosted by a cheeky man named Tom Robbins who dons a black umbrella and ends every episode with “May all your nightmares come true!” this show is pretty much catnip for me. I did a little google investigating and learned that the host has spent his life surrounded by the strange. He’s known for sword swallowing, eating light bulbs and performing magic in various side-show acts. When he says he’s been drawn to the strange, he’s not kidding! He is a terrific host. His facial expressions as he introduces and sums up each episode show his genuine glee with the material. He is fantastic.

“The stories you’re about to see actually happened — they’re nightmares that have already come true.”

Each episode features three real life very weird stories brought to life by actors, usually involving some sort of delicious murder plot. Some of the tales are current, others go way back in time but all of them have a disturbing twist and usually a picture of the real people at the end (call me nosy but I love seeing those). The acting ranges from decent to downright cheesy and over-the-top but I think that adds to the charm of the show. It’s never too serious about its bizarre subject matter and I always walk away from it surprised and highly entertained. 
If you’ve seen it I’d love to know what you think!
Season 2 is currently airing on the Investigation Discovery channel and season 1 is available on DVD.  You can also check out most (if not all) of the episodes online and I highly recommend you do so by clicking HERE.
Do you have any creepy tv favorites to recommend?

 I'm about to bring the room down so please feel free to skip by this one.


My sweet Buddy has a brain tumor. He's been having seizures for the first time in his almost eleven years. The first happened about 8 weeks ago, the second last Monday and the third this Monday. Seizures are a scary thing. They make him blind and wobbly for a good 30 - 45 minutes and this last one kept him off his feet for almost an hour. He's had a long life of leisure and we have been truly fortunate to have had him with us for this long. He was originally my sister's dog but he landed with me when he was only 9 months old when she divorced her husband. He's always been the sweetest, goofiest dog, scared of his own shadow and will give his favorite bed up to any cat who wants it. I've always said he's a poor example of a golden retriever. He can't catch to save his life. He is one of those dogs you can toss a piece of chicken at and he'll manage to move his head the wrong direction so it beans him in the eye/ear/nose. Every time. He also never learned to swim. When he was younger, he'd walk across the shallow end of the pool on his two hind legs and do the doggy paddle with his two front paws and think he was swimming. But he's also the best example of the breed, he's sweet, loyal and is always there to comfort you when you're sad. Goldens his size typically don't make it past nine years, I'm told. I had a smaller retriever who lived until 16 so I was hoping . . . but it isn't meant to be. He probably only has a few months left so for now he's getting all of the treats he wants and I'll take him on the trails for short walks as long as he is able. Give your pets a hug and an extra treat. Their lives are so damn short.


Devils in Dark Houses by B.E. Scully

Devils In Dark Houses - B. E. Scully

Devils In Dark Houses is a book of short stories that are tied together because they feature the same two investigators on these mysterious cases of murder and general weirdness.


The Eye That Blinds tells the tale of three college friends who are completely messing up their lives. They once had bright futures but now they’ve immersed themselves so deeply in the unreality that invades our current lives; the internet, reality tv, spyware run amok, that they’ve lost touch with the outside world and quite possibly reality. An ugly love triangle brings out the worst in all of them.


Things start out fascinating but I never become completely involved in the outcome because every character in this story was pretty dastardly and far too self-involved. I suppose that was the point though. 3 Stars


Each Castle Its King After an event happens, a couple decides to relocate to the boonies to get a fresh start. They buy an old fixer upper they call “Blood House” because, well, why wouldn’t you? Their neighbor, Old Man Crampus, advises them never, EVER to walk behind his house. All of the neighbors know better but these two are rebels and do it anyway.


This is another that started off awesomely but ultimately left me feeling vaguely disappointed. Pages go by but not a lot happens and I felt it was too long and meandering. The atmosphere is creepy done right, though. 3 Stars


Nostri A bored teen decides to spend her summer dumpster diving for discarded treasure. Why not? I spent most of my summers in a cemetery. Kids are weird (or was it just me?). Anyway, I am not one to judge. One day she meets a fellow dumpster aficionado and they become bff’s. When they find a baby in a dumpster, they decide to test a social justice talking head to see if she’ll actually stand by her commentary and DO something. This sparks a fire in them that leads them to performing increasingly dangerous and potentially murderous “tests” on public figures in the name of “Nostri” based on some old philosopher’s ideals.


The bones of this story are good and quite horrible in the best of ways but there is so much useless stuff jammed in here that I kept losing interest. The little side-stories didn’t add to the plot, they only sucked all of the tension from the story for me. 2 ½ Stars


Devil’s In Dark Houses I had to DNF this story. It has the same issues that kept me from enjoying Nostri. Side stories and flashbacks kept creeping in and boring me. I finally quit and called it a day. My tbr pile is too big for this. 



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I can’t deny this collection held promise but I truly struggled with it. I’m thinking this one comes down to a matter of taste and I have been told mine is atrocious. Many of my friends enjoyed it for its complexity and many layered points of views/side stories but nope, it didn’t work for me.

My Favorite Horror Film

I wrote this guest post/review for Scifi and Scary.


Near Dark, Released 1987
The word "vampire" is never mentioned in Near Dark, but that doesn't stop this 1987 cult favorite from being one of the best modern-era vampire films. It put then-unknown director Kathryn Bigelow on Hollywood's radar and gave choice roles to Aliens costars favored by Bigelow's ex-husband James Cameron: Lance Henriksen is the leader of a makeshift family of renegade bloodsuckers, nocturnally seeking victims in rural Oklahoma; his immortal gal pal is Aliens and Terminator 2 alumnus Jenette Goldstein; and Bill Paxton is the group's deadliest leather-clad ass kicker. Fellow traveler Jenny Wright lures Okie farm boy Adrian Pasdar into the group with a love bite, and he's soon turning toward vampirism with a combination of frightened revulsion and relentless desire. With Joshua Miller (River's Edge) as the youngest vampire, Near Dark is Bigelow's masterpiece of low-budget ingenuity--a truck-stop thriller that begins well, gets better and better (aided by a fine Tangerine Dream score), and goes out in a blaze of glory. --Jeff Shannon
5 out of 5 
When Scifi and Scary mentioned she was looking for book bloggers to share a bit about their favorite horror movie, I knew instantly what I was going to write about because only one movie has stuck with me from my childhood. I grew up in a time of some amazing and amazingly terrible horror films. We spent our summers haunting our local video rental store for every horror flick we could find and they were easy to find back then. We grabbed everything from The Exorcist, Halloween, Pumpkinhead, Puppetmaster, Pet Semetary, The Stuff, The Hitcher, to Last House on the Left and Bloodsucking Freaks (anyone remember that one?!). It was a beautiful time to be a horror fan and though we were possibly too young for most of it, we watched it anyway.
But then I found Near Dark and that was it. I had found my film. I was in love. This movie was a unique mix of brutality, familial ties, insane road trip and, of course, a story of sweet romantic love. My young, messed up heart could barely take it all in. Now, many moons later, its allure hasn’t faded for me. This film is something special.
It starts when a farm boy named Caleb, played by a very young Adrian Pasdar, sets out for a night of fun with his buddies. They spy a sweet faced beauty just hanging out, licking an ice cream cone and Caleb is the only one brave enough to walk up to her and ask if he can have a lick of her cone and tells her how she’s just about the prettiest girl he ever did see. He’s not exactly smooth with the words but he’s cute and this awkward seduction surprisingly works. Before you know it, Mae is in his truck and talking about how enraptured she is by the night but he’s more interested in her lips to really take in her words. He gets his steamy kiss and a little more in the form of a love nip that leaves him bloody and a little stunned. She then runs off into the night she so adores.
As Caleb is walking home (his truck has broken down), dawn arrives and he starts to feel extremely sick. His dad and little sister start heading towards him to help him out but a strange RV speeds by and swoops him up. This is how he meets Mae’s “family” which consists of Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein as the leaders/parents/what-have-you, a wild-eyed and wicked Bill Paxton and a boy named Homer who is possibly the most chilling member of the group. Caleb soon learns that he must kill in order to become an official member of their murderous little family.

Damn. All he wanted was a little kiss.


Caleb quickly realizes that they are not kidding about the killing bit when they visit a bar for some refreshments and all hell breaks loose. Intense violence and fright ensues as well as a few classic one-liners. “I hate ‘em when they ain’t been shaved.” Make of that what you will . . . Anyway, the odds are upped when Caleb’s family, who has been trailing the RV, catches up with them.
This movie is violent, sexy, ruthless, sweet, gory, scary and romantic and it gets all of the beats right. Some people complain about the end but I’m a romantic, I suppose, and it made me happy. The pace is steady, it has an emotional heart and the entire film feels grimy which perfectly fits a murderous life on the road.  If you’ve never seen it, you need to get going on that.

What's your favorite scary film?

I won a prize :)

I entered a contest during a Facebook Party and won a prize! I love the 1-click convenience of ebooks (probably far too much) but there is nothing like holding a genuine book in your hands, am I right?


Where Wolves Run by Jason Parent, Horror Fiction

The dense Bavarian forest outside the town of Rattenberg has long been rumored to harbor something sinister, something wild -- mythical beasts that vanish into the shadowy woods after each attack, leaving carnage as the only evidence of their existence. Many villagers turn a blind eye to what is happening, but those who believe tremble at the mere whisper of the word: werewolf.

There are those who stand and fight, however. Konrad is one such boy. Too poor to live in the village, he and his mother fend for themselves in their forest hovel alone for months at a time, his father preoccupied with mysterious business abroad.

After a vicious assault on their homestead, Konrad finds himself buried beneath his mother's mutilated body, escaping death only due to his father's chance return. Alive, but taking no comfort in the presence of the man who had left him and his mother to face death on their own, Konrad soon discovers that his father's work has followed him home...

...and it's hungry.
Behold the beauty!

And bookmarks too!


And lookie, it's signed! To me! I cannot wait to get started. Thank you Jason Parent for the perfect surprise.


Demon Kitty was thrilled too. He's just too cool to show it.
Goodnight, Booklikes!
Goodnight, Booklikes!

Horror Villain Halloween Post


Lilyn from Sci-Fi & Scary wrote a great blog piece about her Scariest Horror Villains and so kindly asked me to share mine.  Because I am a lazy blogger, I am going to borrow her format. 

I started watching horror movies like The Prophecy & The Exorcist at the drive-in when I was frightfully young so there isn't a lot that scares me nowadays but occasionally a villain has managed to wriggle their way under my skin.  

Scariest Horror Villains

What’s your pick for scariest horror villain?

This one is easy. The Cenobites from Hellraiser. They skin you alive and torture you and play a part in resurrecting your dead flesh. Could there be anything worse? That is something that made my 17 year old self shudder in fear. I'll never forget the first time I watched it. My boyfriend at the time was ghost white when we left the theater and I later learned that Hellraiser was his first horror movie. Ever. I had no idea. Can you guess who picked the movie? This was our first date too. I spilled steaming hot coffee in his lap during our second. Amazingly, that poor foolish innocent boy wasn't scared off and ended up marrying me a few years later.

Which horror villain used to scare you, but no longer does?

Hmmm, this one is tough. All villains, if done well, can still manage to creep me out but I have to agree with Lilyn here and go with vampires.They have just been done to death and romanticized to death and need to be given a rest from their life after death. 

Bring back these kinds of vampires though and I'll change my tune real quick!

Bill Paxton & Adrian Pasdar in Near Dark

Has a horror movie villain ever affected your actions in real life?

Not that I can recall. I do remember being terrified that I was going to become possessed for years after watching The Exorcist and I always went to church like a good little girl because I was afraid of what might happen if I played hooky. This fear stuck with me well into my teens too. I was also very afraid to drape my legs over my bed, fearing monsters would get me, after viewing Don't Be Afraid of the Dark one too many times. I remember it being a creepy little tale of locked rooms and monsters who attack an unsuspecting couple who couldn't leave well enough alone. Now the trailer kind of makes me laugh.


What’s the scariest movie you saw in theatres?

I can't even remember. I thought it was The Exorcist but I was only 3 when that first came out so it's doubtful. My best guess is The Prophecy from 1979, followed closely by The Amityville Horror
I remember being at the drive-in and being terrified those mutated things were lurking around every dark corner and were going to get me.  Ah, such great times. 
Zombie, Vampire, or Werewolf – Which one would you rather fight?
I'd like to think I could easily tame the werewolf with a little raw meat along with some kind, loving quiet talk. They're just overgrown puppies, right? And they're warm and alive and kind of cute.

I'd have no problem picking off a vampire or a zombie but I'd have to get to working on my cardio again. I'd likely end up as dinner for either of them so I won't be picking any fights any time soon. 

Which horror BOOK left a lasting impression on you?

Book? As in one? I can't possibly pick one. Horror novels shaped my childhood and helped me cope with a lot of truly terrible real life horror that was flung my way. So I'm picking five.

The Witches Buttons by Ruth Chew I remember picking this off of a RIF table (remember those?) when I was in first or second grade and reading it until the pages fell out. I cannot describe the complete devastation that overcame me when I returned home from school one day to discover my mother had thrown it away. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the reason I hoard books now. This book also set off my lifelong love of reading.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews was about children who had it worse off than I did! And then there was the incest. So taboo, so over the top, so perfect for any tortured pre-teen.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King was the first horror novel that made me cry and also ruined many a cheesy horror novel for me when I realized that I loved the characterization nearly as much as the monsters,

Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite helped me feel not so quite alone when a main character shared the same traumatic life event that I experienced as a young teen.

I first read Geek Love by Katherine Dunn when I was in my early 20's and I reread it every few years or so. It never fails to amaze me and it is the book that I judge all carnie and dysfunctional family novels by. So far, I haven't found one nearly as good. If you find one, let me know, eh?

That's it. Please share your favorites in the comments. If you decide to write up your own post please leave me the link so I can check it out. And don't forget to check out Sci-fi and Scary who gave me the command inspiration to create this post!  I hope you all enjoy it.


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Read by candlelight or flashlight: 

Magical Realism:

Witches: The Witch's Daughter

Genre: Horror:

Black Cat:

Diverse Authors can be Spooky Fun: 

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses:

Young Adult Horror:  The Sin Eaters Daughter

Scary Women (Authors): Borrrasca

Reads with (Booklikes) Friends: The Vampire Maid

Grave or Graveyard

Genre: Mystery: Braineater Jones

Free Square:  The Jersey Devil

Gothic: Rebecca

Creepy Crawlies:

'Fall' into a good book: 

Locked Room Mystery:

It was a dark and stormy night: Chills

Set in New England:

Full Moon:

Vampires vs. Werewolves


Classic Horror


Set on Halloween:



The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury

I picked this for my Young Adult horror square for the Booklikes Halloween Bingo.


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Young adult typically aggravates me but the blurb of this one sounded like it had potential. It promised, “A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy” and it was already on my Ipod thanks to the Sync program. It was supposedly about a girl who can kill people with the lightest of touches. Now that is a terrifying super power! Wish I had it.


Those deceptive blurb spin-masters had me at deliciously dark, truly that’s all it takes, but they lost me at love triangle, stupidly TSTL selfish heroine, inconsistent characterization and cliffhanger. Funny how they never put those things in their blurbs, isn’t it? Most sadly, this book was not any of those other things it promised. I was not startled, seduced or shattered by its delicious darkness. In the end, I was bored, vaguely annoyed and finally completely hissed off. 


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Sorry, had to do it.


Twylla is a sixteen year old executioner of treasonous folks in some fairytale land of yore. Oh, btw, if you’re expecting accuracy with this review you might want to stop reading now because it’s not going to happen. I listened to this on audio and I didn’t take notes so this is all coming straight from my crappy memory. Anyhow, Twylla is something called Daunen Embodied. Basically she’s a tool of the Queen (a very Evil Queen, of course) and is the human embodiment of the child of some god and goddess and she has the touch of the death. Only the royal family is immune. Thusly, she belongs to them and is betrothed to the Prince. Like an obedient little tool, she goes along with this even when she’s made to do something unforgivable because they supposedly send money and food to her little sister that she loves so very much (sooo very much she never once attempts to see her in four years). Oh, and the Prince is a rather comely lad so things could be worse.


Into her solitary, lonely life enters a new guard. A young guard. A cute guard. His name is Leif. Oh yes it is. Twylla and Leif. I wouldn’t make that up. They should be running barefoot in the mystical forest whilst holding hands, hair flying in the wind, with names like those. Leif doesn’t act like other guards. He is not terrified of coming too close to her body. You might be able to guess what starts to happen here so I won’t bore you with the predictable details of that turn of events.


Treachery and betrayal and foul plans are afoot. I will not reveal any of the big secrets because I am not a despoiler of books, even when they leave me feeling very sorry that I’ve read them. The narrator is decent. She gives the characters a lovely little lilt that adds to the fantasyland feel but she couldn’t save the WTFery of the last few acts of this story. Oh my. That last third was a doozy that caused me to lose sympathy for nearly every character in the book and then it ended on a cliffhanger.



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Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski

Braineater Jones - Stephen Kozeniewski

I listened to a copy of the audiobook provided by the author for the Horror Aficionados Sponsored Group Listen. Please feel free to join us! I'm also going to use this book for my "mystery" square because this book is full of them!


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It’s the 1930’s and a man wakes up in a pool with a big hole in his chest and no memory of what transpired the night before. But he’s not exactly a man anymore . . .

He manages to track down more of his “kind” and learns that he needs booze to keep his brain from turning to complete mush. But booze costs money and his money is dwindling fast. He becomes known as “Braineater Jones”, PI for the dead who are still walking around. Surprisingly enough, he finds tons of work and has little time left to crack his own case. Who plugged him and why? He seems like a nice enough guy, he thinks, but he doesn’t really remember.


This book is a mashup of a noir, hard-boiled detective type of story set in a world where the dead don’t die. I’ll be honest and tell you I’m not a big fan of the noir but this story is a riot and would make a fun movie that I’d pay to watch. It is seriously funny and has some kooky ideas about body parts that actually made me laugh. I never do that. The narrator reads the story with such with such joy and enthusiasm that it’s infectious and his voices are hilarious.


It’s sometimes gross but a zany kind of gross. “He made a noise like a big wad of oatmeal getting sucked up a puckered anus.” If you need a laugh and like something just a little off kilter, I’m pretty certain this one will do the trick.



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See you later in the week, maybe?

I love you people but I'm going to be spending more time @ Goodreads & my blog Bark's Book Nonsense this week. Please feel free to visit and friend me and if you visit my personal blog, please leave a link to your blog so we can keep in touch that way in case this place fizzles out and dies :(  


And please let me know if the site owner's bless us with an update of the site after months of silence or if things permanently improve around here.  I LOVE this community but I need to prioritize my free time so I can do more reading and lately this sluggishness here is making it impossible for me to contribute. The feed is stuck after the first few posts, takes an eternity to load, and my comments aren't posting. I have to walk away for now for my own sanity. But it won't take much to bring me back :) photo time_zpsnhqyv3af.jpg

Chills by Mary Sangiovanni (and soooo close to a Bingo!)

Chills - Mary SanGiovanni

*I received an ARC from Netgalley with an unspoken promise to pen a review. Here it is.


Investigators are attempting to figure out who left a dead body with a strange occult marking lying around just as an unseasonable snow storm starts moving in. This isn’t just any old winter storm either. This storm brings with it man-eating monsters!


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The writer had me at flesh eating monsters but I have to admit that she lost me a bit somewhere along the way and this book started to drag. It could simply be me and my aversion to books that feature all action at the expense of character building. In my opinion, only Kathy, the occult specialist, was fleshed out well in this story. Her back story and her brother’s past were interesting but the rest of the people were nothing more than fodder for the monsters or an interchangeable mix of men trying to figure out the cultish case. That made sticking to this material a very hard thing for me to do.


I’m not going to lie though. The whole scenario she sets up here is quite terrifying. The monsters don’t pick and choose their prey. They eat every living human in their path and some of the scenes are riveting early on. You’ve been warned!





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(show spoiler)


This is a well written action-packed, gory monster tale and now that I’ve finished, I completely understand the mixed reviews. It’s going to come down to a matter of what you like and what you don’t. If action is your thing you are going to love this a lot more than I did.


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I read this for my dark & stormy square.



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Horror Film Review: Don't Breathe


Product Details

A trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong.
4 1/2 out of 5, here's why:

Today, to change things up, I am reviewing a movie I actually enjoyed.
In Don’t Breathe, we have a trio of down on their luck teens stuck in a desolate, hopeless land where anyone with the means has already hightailed it out of there. These kids are too inexperienced and young to get real jobs, if there were any, and too desperate to leave town without cash so their solution is thievery. I know, I know but I kind of feel for two of them (one of them is just a dick but there always has to be one, right?). Their plan seems to be working out for them until they set their sights on a retired veteran who, they learn, is sitting on a big pile of cash he received in a settlement when his daughter was killed in a car accident. They think it’ll be an easy score, he’s old and he’s blind, they have a key and a remote that allows them to disable the security system. They figure it’ll be a breeze.
Whatever could go wrong here? Well, just about everything you can imagine and then some nightmare making things that you might not want to think too long and hard about.
This movie was excellent. It was tense and violent and surprising and I never spent a moment rolling my eyes or feeling bored. The sense of desperation is set up beautifully from the start with brief but painful looks into the bleak lives of some of these characters. Rocky, the main girl, had my sympathy the entire way. Her family life was dreadful, stuck with a mean-spirited mother; she only wanted a better life for herself and her younger sister. Everything in this movie looks dirty and worn out and the deliciously revolting twist, as nutty as it was, seemed to fit just fine into this world.
If you only go to one film in the theater a month, like I do, I’d say this one is definitely a worthy choice but please people don’t bring your kids. I beg of you. This is not a movie for the kiddies. My theater was filled with more kids under ten than adults. There was a three year old sitting next to me whose parent told her not to cry or they’d have to leave. WTF is wrong with people? And then there was the stupid mother who asked her preteen boy what part he liked best as they were leaving the theater.  And he says the
turkey baster
(show spoiler)
 scene, naturally, and then went on and on about it as mom pats him on the shoulder and says that was her favorite scene too. I tell you, I have never been more creeped out or worried for humanity than I was at that moment. 

Anyway, this was an excellent movie filled with suspense and resilient characters and a beautiful Rottweiler. Your sympathies and loyalties will change as the movie goes on and I loved that. 

Buddy Read: The Vampire Maid by Hume Nisbet

The Vampire Maid - Hume Nisbet

Thank you, my lovely friend Rane, for helping me discover this little, lost gem from yesteryear. It was a joy to read during phone calls today and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :) 

“It was the exact kind of abode that I had been looking after for weeks, for I was in that condition of mind when absolute renunciation of society was a necessity. I had become diffident of myself, and wearied of my kind. A strange unrest was in my blood; a barren dearth in my brains. Familiar objects and faces had grown distasteful to me. I wanted to be alone.”


Wow, I guess some things never change. This was written in the 1900’s and I feel like this guy has peered into my head and pulled out some of my most secret thoughts . . .


The narrator of this little tale goes on to say that this is a sign that a retreat has become needful and he packs it up, hops a train and searches out solitude, bracing air and romantic surroundings.


He finds all of the above straight-away, way out in nowhere land.


“My city-dried brains were becoming juicy.” 


Looking for a place to camp, he comes across a solitary cottage at the edge of lofty cliffs and decides this is where he will rest his weary head. A widow greats him at the door and offers him lodging. The place is perfect for his needs but that night he has strange dreams that keep him tossing and turning. Hmmm, an omen, perhaps? The next morn, he meets the lady’s daughter who was sick the previous day and is still very pale. He is smitten and thinks, 

“I succumbed instantly before the weird charms of my landlady’s daughter, Ariadne Burnnell.” 


Who says romance is dead?


I won’t say much else because this story is so short and you may guess, seeing as the title sort of gives things away, what fate has in store for our weary traveler.


This was a lush little read busting at the seams with atmosphere and purple prose. 

“The loneliness of the moor, with the singing of the ocean, had gripped my heart with wistful longing.”


I haven’t read prose like this in a very long time and it was so much fun. Sure it’s predictable, especially for someone jaded like myself, but it was also vert atmospheric and amusing in its overly dramatic prose and foolish, love-sick hero. I love a silly fool, am a sucker for them really, and this guy ranks right up there with the best of them.


My card is finally filling out a little!


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