Sundown Rundown – September 2018

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Hello, book clan!

September has come to an end, so I have the Sundown Rundown for you. Here, I’m wrapping up the month and giving you a chance to catch up on some reviews you might’ve missed.

Honestly, I didn’t get as much done in the reading department as I wanted to. It was a bit of an exhausting month with extra work at the bookstore. We actually just did a few book sales at a few schools. I enjoyed getting to be a part of it. It was a great experience to see kids so excited about books. I swear, seeing kids interested in books over texting and Snapchat is rare. Wish, I could count the times parents have told me, “I’m just glad he/she loves to read. Kids don’t do that much these days.”.

Now, at the end of the month and with Fall upon us, the leaves are changing colors and the temperature is dropping, it’s leggings, sweater, and boot weather. Those sunsets get sweeter, coming sooner and sooner. I’m just sad to say goodbye to the fireflies until next summer. Settle in and catch up because it’s nearly October, one of the best months of the year.

 

Down a Dark Hall

Down a Dark Hall

Author: Lois Duncan

There’s more going on in Blackwood School for Girls than just teaching. Kit is terrified and she should be. Lucid dreaming. Sleepwalking. Doors shutting on their own and shadows in the window. Something ghostly is happening and she doesn’t plan on sticking around.

 

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Reality sucks these days. Virtual reality is where the world prefers to be. Log into the OASIS. The great hunt for Halliday’s Easter Egg begins. Billions are on the line. Who will get to it first?

 

of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck

George and Lennie find work on a ranch in Salinas Valley. Though they want to get through this job so that they can have their own ranch. Struggles quickly find Lennie in the form of jealousy, bullying, and misunderstandings.

 

Over the Moon

Over the Moon

Author: Angela Knight, MaryJanice Johnson, Sunny, Virginia Kantra

Magic, lust, and romance under the full moon. Fae battling over a human’s soul. A royal werewolf seeking salvation from a rogue, and getting more than she bargained for. The moon can make crazy things happen.

 

Devoured

Devoured

Author: Amanda Marrone

It’s not easy getting haunted by your twin sister. Being Snow White isn’t that great either. With her help along with the help of the cute boy, Luke, Megan may solve the mystery of girls that have been going missing for years. But, she’ll have to hurry before another girl goes missing, which may be sooner than she thinks.

 

Nightlight

Nightlight

Author: The National Lampoon

Belle Goose is obsessed with vampires. Edwart Mullen is a computer game playing, storm chasing nerd. Are the two meant to be together forever? Probably not, but Belle can feel it in her gut that he’s a vampire and she is going to love him forever.

 

Double Eclipse - Goodreads

Double Eclipse

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Mardi and Malloy Overbrook are back in East End for the summer. Boys, drama, and magic abound. Even more shocking, their mother that’s been missing for years has come to find them to help them fulfill a prophecy.

 

daughter

Daughters

Author: Stuart Land

Young girls all over the world are getting pregnant, but their virgins. As this world epidemic grows, more strange things keep happening and humanity is put to the test as life as you know it changes. Evolves.

 

Shooting Scars

Shooting Scars

Author: Karina Hale

Ellie Watt: con artist, bad ass. Camden McQueen: tattoo artist, love of her life. Ellie must join her ex-boyfriend, a drug lord, on a mission in order to protect Camden. The past comes back to bite her in the ass.

 

Favorite Book of the Month: Easily Ready Player One. The imagery was so powerful and I was in love with the unique style that Ernest Cline writes in. I really felt like I was a part of the story. It was exciting and exhilarating. My brain was sparking off the charts.

 

Least Favorite Book of the Month: Nightlight was funny, but it wasn’t memorable nor did it have any real point. With no real plot or anything to pull me in, this was a one time, curious read.

 

Until next time!!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

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Scars Are Forever (Shooting Scars – A Book Review)

Shooting Scars
Author: Karina Hale
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

Shooting Scars

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A dangerous kind of love…

Ellie Watt, con-artist and bad ass. Ellie Watt has also gotten herself into a tight situation. After messing up her latest con against Camden McQueen, and then falling in love with him, she now must save him. To do that, she is forced to team up with drug lord and ex-boyfriend, Javier. Now, she’s trapped with him and his gang of killers on a tirade.

Camden McQueen, tattoo artist and bad ass. Camden is in turmoil after Ellie is taken and he is left with his psycho ex-wife and young son, Ben. He’s in love with Ellie, but he must take care of his family as well. He won’t leave her to her fate. Will being chased down by the law for a crime he didn’t commit stop him? Definitely not.

But when he does find Ellie will he leave her to her new life or will the hunger of vengeance consume him entirely?

 

Ellie Watt has never lead the typical life. The massive scar on her leg is proof of that. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want it though. To have it, she must fight for it, which means doing a whole lot of bad things she doesn’t want to do, including going up against the man that gave her that nasty scar.

Remember I said that I was working on sequels this months? Well, here’s another one!!

 

S&N - Hachetter Book Group

Sins & Needleshere

 

I have mixed feelings about this sequel. IT was good, but it just didn’t hold up to Sins & Needles. It picks up right where it ended. Ellie leaves with Javier, the drug lord and ex-boyfriend, in order to save Camden and his family’s lives. It’s quite honorable of a con-artist to do such a thing, and rare, and not selfish. It was shocking.

The action is jammed packed in this exotic and dangerous book. Ellie is going to South America for her biggest con yet and the reward is Camden staying alive. She must kill the man who took her family and gave her her scar. Hale detail really painted the country in such a raw, yet luscious light. It wasn’t just the beautiful parts that she depicted, but also the gritty parts as well, both with the people and the landscape. I was getting a Queen of the South vibe from this book. Twists and turns everywhere and You better be careful of who you trust.

Shooting Scars-Freelance Magazine

Ellie is good at handling herself under pressure though, and I admire that. In a world of drugs, guns, and cons, she was strong and I really liked that. Even more, she proved that you can break and be strong. You can be afraid as long as you fight for what you want. She really pulled at my heartstrings with that.

Ellie has a type and her type is psycho. LOL. Camden is still on his tiny loco train, desperate to get Ellie back to point that he gets pretty stupid. Really, he’s not so bright and always flying off the cuff. Then there’s her ex, Javier, and he’s downright SCARY. He’s cruel and abusive.

The POV of both Ellie and Camden really added to the book. In Sin & Needles it was only Ellie, but I’m really glad to get a chance to look inside Camden’s noggin. It was enlightening, though I’m still wary of the man. These two are a fiery passion and that’s definitely something to be desired. They are meant for each other.

 

Overall

This didn’t live up to the hype of the first book for me. Javier was all over the place, flip-flopping. And I can’t deal with Ellie being into men that don’t come off as mentally stable. Camden isn’t so bad, but when he gets in a mood it was scary. And at times, the book got really corny and cliché, but that’s mass market romance for you. They’re built for the HEA (Happily Ever After).

 

Quotables:

“I was trapped with a man that would either love me or kill me.” (Ellie, p. 1)

“Tattoos were self-expression in its rawest and most permanent form. They weren’t for one set of people or another.” (Camden, p. 44)

“You sacrifice nothing and gained everything…” (Javier to Ellie, p. 155)

“He who casts doubt on himself is often as good as dead.” (Gus to Camden, p. 190)

“Lose your heart but don’t fucking lose your head. You don’t know if you’ll get that back.” (Gus to Camden, p. 276)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Devils Don’t Fly by Natalia Kills.

 

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Sundown Rundown – August, 2018

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Hello, my awesome booknerds!

It is the end of August and this is the Sundown Rundown. The sun is setting a little earlier each day with Fall’s arrival. Leaves are already changing. And I’m sure you’ve hear the brake release of those big yellow buses as a sign that school has begun again.

This is also the time for everything pumpkin!

Pumpkin

So, here’s where I tell about what I’ve read and you have a chance to catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read this month, though there were some pretty good ones. Life hit me with a little bit of extra stress. I’m hoping to get back in gear in September.

 

House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert Liparulo

The Kings move into a new house and there’s a very strong chance they aren’t getting out. Doors leading to different points in time. Creepy footprints. The house has a mind of its own. How logn will the King’s last?

 

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

Watcher in the Woods

Author: Robert Liparulo

Mom’s missing. An assassin tries to steal the Dreamhouse Kings’ house. The townspeople try evict them and they must hurry if they hope to solve this house and save mom.

 

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

The crazy and witty style with wisdom and enlightening storytelling of mythos that lead up to the end of the world. Ragnarok. From grand schemes to incredible origins, even the Norse Gods have life stories to tell.

 

Willow

Willow

Author: V. C. Andrews

Willow pretends to be a grad student as she searches for her mother and is suddenly thrown into the middle of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And secrets, which is currency for these people. Soon enough, she is getting sucked into the glitz and glam. Can she stay on course to get close to her mother, or will she become forever enamored by wealth and gossip.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Author: Stephen King

A collection of the strange, dark, and creepy. All the beautiful and morbid things the King is. From a story about a people-eating car to a bad kid that’s responsible for the death of people to the apocalypse to a kindle that’s somehow connected to the Dark Tower. Peruse carefully.

 

CD Secrets of Foxworth

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth

Author: V. C. Andrews

Decades after Flowers in the Attic, the diary of Christopher Dollanganger is discovered and becomes the obsession of a teenage girl. Soon, she finds herself relating to the eldest Dollanganger child more than she likes.

 

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger

Author: V. C. Andrews

After divulging the diary to her boyfriend, Kristin’s dark obsession becomes their obsession. The further they read the more disturbing they becomes, breaching the same lines as the Dollanganger children did.

 

Thebes

Thebes of the Hundred GatesThebes of the Hundred Gates

Author: Robert Silverberg

Time travel back to Ancient Egypt. Edward must find two missing teammates that got lost and must do so before the allure of the grand city of Thebes—a place he’s studied and always dreamt of seeing—traps him forever.

 

Favorite Book this Month: I’d read and heard many people say that Norse Mythology wasn’t their favorite novel by Gaiman. It wasn’t his typical style, like with American Gods and The Ocean at the end of the Lane, but it was still beautiful and fantastical. The stories were all independent but led up to an explosive end where everything came to together. I really enjoyed this book.

 

Least Favorite Book This Month: This one is a double doozy. I could not get down with Christopher’s Diary. I was majorly creeped out and disturbed. More so, there were aspects of the storyline that just wasn’t believable for me.

 

Until next month!!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Soon You’ll Be an Osiris (Thebes of the Hundred Gates – A Book Review)

Thebes of the Hundred Gates
Author: Robert Silverberg
Published: 1992

On Goodreads

Thebes

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

Lost in time…

Twenty-seven-year-old Edward Davis is a promising rookie in the Time Service. He’s passed all the tests, but it’s a completely different ballgame to actually jump back in time. Leaping back to 35C, Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt, he has to find and bring back two teammates that got lost in time. Surrounded on all sides by the bustling life of the bazaar with the hot sun beating down on him.

Suddenly, he’s taken in by a priestess and befriended by the slave girl assigned to help him get well. When he discovers the fate of his lost teammates any chance of getting home turns dangerous. Yet, with the allure of the grand city that he’s only dreamt of seeing in real life, Edward begins to wonder if he even wants to go back to his time.

 

The detail was just stunning. Truly. Vivid with wondrous color and way of life. When it comes to world history I was fascinated with both Greece and Egypt. It’s the construction of their amazing architecture and their religion system, society, the fashion, the way they handle death. It’s my favorite study. It’s almost like a fantasy, I guess. Granted, there were also a lot of tragic aspects as well: slavery, disease, sacrifices to the gods. Nonetheless, I found Ancient Egypt to be one of the eras that was pretty advanced for its time. The acute imagery was powerful. Such beautiful description down to the very crevices of life and death.

Thebes of the Hundred Gates

This was a speedy read at a mere 116 pages. It was still pretty interesting. Though the chapters were short, they left me excited for the next chapter.

TIME TRAVEL!!!! One of the funnest parts of the sci-fi genre. Who doesn’t have a time period they wish they could go to! I’ve already said Ancient Egypt is one of them, but just to reiterate—this was a cool place to go back in time to.

time travel

The characters were very interesting. Edward was no newbie, but he didn’t hide his boyish excitement, and who would!? It was like jumping into the middle of a TV series. You get a taste of these characters and their story in one of the best ways—by getting dropped right smack dab in the middle of it. I do think that there could’ve been more to their background. It felt very vague, especially regarding the Time Service.

The dangers and expectations of working as a time travel were well done. Very realistic. Edward took all the precautions, making sure to blend in as best as possible, so he wasn’t a total rookie, though he didn’t except to get tangles with a slave girl. It was enticing.

NEED

But…yes, I’m sorry. There’s a but. People hate them, but I have one. There were drop off points where I guess I was supposed to pick up on the situation, but was left with noise. I mean it. Just characters making noise. It was slightly off-putting. Now, I assumed there was some intense things happening, but I really wished there had been a little more depth to parts like this to better the imagery of these moments. What can I say? When you give such great imagery, then drop off as if it’s too awkward, then I’m going to complain.

 

Overall

My only issue with this book was that there wasn’t enough background on the Time Service and the characters. But the imagery was vivid and incredibly believable with its accuracy. A really interesting read, especially for fanatics of ancient Egypt. A lot happening, and a fantastic close-up in history, in this small novel.

 

Quotables:

“To die like a pig—that is not good, not good at all, my friend.” (p. 8)

“You will be an Osiris soon.” (p.9)

“Death was a big business in this country.” (p. 45)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? We Come Running by Youngblood Hawke.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

The Past Echoes in the Attic (Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger – A Book Review)

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

The discovery of Christopher Dollanganger’s diary in the ashes of Foxworth Hall, where and his siblings were kept prisoner decades ago, now captivates one young girl’s imagination—and sparks a dangerously forbidden passion.

Kristin Masterwood is hiding a great secret. She possesses the diary of Christopher Dollanganger, the only thing to contain the truth about what really happened while the Dollanganger children were up in the attic of Foxworth Hall. Now dating Kane, she feels like she can trust him with anything. After showing him the diary, he insists on reading it along with her and experiencing the tragedy of the Dollanganger children.

As they get closer to the end of the diary they’re sucked into the past, extremely fascinated. So much so that they go to great lengths to recreate it. Even become Christopher and Cathy Dollanganger.

 

Okay. OKAY. This was mother-effing disturbing. While Flowers in the Attic created an incest relationship, this book recreated it with a scary obsessiveness.  I was fucking creeped out to the nth power.

Kane was brought in as a main character in this book, which makes sense since he’s Kristin’s main squeeze. That boy is not right in the head. He became more obsessed about Chris’s diary than Kristin did and it was terrifying. He went as far as to have them act out scenes while hiding up in her attic! There were wigs involved. He’s psychologically INSANE. I got so scared for Kristin, wondering why the hell she was with him.

Get out

 

I was feeling so sketchy about how distant the two of them came. They were becoming their own messed up Flowers. Both became so distant from their families and friends and it was unnerving. Unnerving, and sadly, unbelievable. While trying to deny anything was different about them, they were keeping up poor disguises. Even their excuses were totally lame. I just couldn’t get behind this one aspect. It’s obvious that if you are trying to keep a secret, you do whatever it takes to keep up appearances, and these two sucked at it.

The writing was rather plain as well. It made for speedy reading, and not because I was super into it. It was repetitive and not all that engaging when transitioning. The lack of chapters made this seem never-ending though I wished it would end. I was just slightly disappointed by how dragging it was in a lot of places. Even the scenery is lacking. Keeping to only a couple of places can be really engaging, but here it wasn’t. In fact, it was like watching a terrible remake of a movie. Very sad.

 

Overall

This won on a creepy level, but kind of failed on the entertainment level. I was pretty glad when I was done reading this. Kane is the type of guy I can’t stand. He literally scares the hell out of me with how possessive he is over the diary and Kristin. It’s part of the reason I didn’t like this. That and the style. Just no thank you. However, the fact that this book is utterly mental is cool.

 

Quotables:

“Nothing makes anything more desirable than declaring it forbidden.” (Kristin, p. 7)

“All parents must fool themselves for a while into believing their children would remain young and innocent longer. Perhaps out of fear of what really lay in wait for their children, parents surely cling to the belief that the children’s world was somehow safer.” (Kristin, p. 169)

“Every place and every thing has a history. You judge it by what it is, not by who owned it. That’s just good business.” (Kristin’s dad, p. 182)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Absence of Fear by Jewel.

 

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The Past Never Stays Buried (Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth – A Book Review)

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 2014
On Goodreads

CD Secrets of Foxworth

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

Christopher Dollanganger was fourteen when he and his younger siblings—Cathy and the twins, Cory and Carrie—were locked away in the attic of Foxworth Hall, prisoners of their mother’s greedy inheritance scheme.

For three years he kept hope alive for the sake of the others. But the shocking truth about how their ordeal affected him was always kept hidden—until now.

Years after Foxworth fell Kristin Masterwood’s father gets a contract to take the remnants of the great mansion down so that a new house can be built on the property, one not permeated by the wretched stories and memories left behind by the Foxworth and Dollanganger name. While going through the rubble, Kristin and her father happen across a metal box. Inside, a diary written by Christopher Dollanganger—one of the children locked up in the attic so long ago. Though told that she shouldn’t read it by her father, Kristin can’t help it. If anyone truly knew what really happened all that time ago it would be the eldest of the Dollanganger children. The more she reads the more she recedes into a life of seclusion, becoming obsessed with the children in the attic.

 

Eerie and disturbing books are interesting. They evoke discomfort in the sense that you know you should probably put the book down after your eyes have nearly fallen out of their sockets because they’re so wide, but you’re too far into it to do that. That is V.C. Andrews. Granted, Christopher’s Diary was done after her death, the discomfort of Flowers in the Attic follows through to these books.

Most of the book was told from the coziness of Kristin’s bedroom and the pages of Christopher’s diary. Both POVs were strikingly similar. (Too similar which is what drew me away from this a little bit.) With Kristin having lost her mom years ago and Christopher his father. Both seek to please the parents that still live. It was freaky.

So many memories came flying back from the first book, which was both nostalgic but also fresh. This was a tale as old as time brought to the present. Christopher’s reappearance was phenomenal. I could hear his voice so clearly, but I couldn’t get into Kristin. The way she ditched her friends for this obsession wasn’t believable. In fact, it was pushed too far in my opinion.

Shrug II

Christopher’s POV has never been divulged until now. I’ve always wondered how he reflected on the time in the attic. I found him to be the most put together during the traumatic event of staying in that attic. The connection between him and Kristin was intense; a deep crevice she fell down that grew darker and darker.

 

Overall

This was a quick read since it was just a reliving of Flowers in the Attic. Nothing more really stuck out for me. It was intriguing to see it through Christopher’s eyes. He’s a very smart character. I just couldn’t get into the rest of the story. It was nothing more than a growing obsession, but I found the paranoia of the the main character to be annoying. This wasn’t all that for me, sadly.

 

Quotables:

“Problem with the world today is everything in people’s lives is temporary.” (Kristin, p. 14)

“Was I deliberately looking for these resemblances between us, or were they simply there and too obvious to deny?” (Kristin. P. 103)

“All teenagers wanted to rush our lives, become old enough to do more and be more independent.” (Kristin, p. 284)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Time After Time by Jessica Mauboy

 

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Peruse Carefully (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams – A Book Review)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2015

On Goodreads

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A master of horror, crazy, and supernatural, Stephen King brings another collection of short stories. A few you may know. Others come at you with a realistic and horrifying twist that will make you shiver. From a people-eating car to a little green god of agony possessing an elderly, rich and entitled asshole to a Kindle linked to the Dark Tower.

In this latest collection, the King still stirs that pot, mixing the dark and morbid side of reality with that of the fantasy side.

 

Personally, Nightmares & Dreamscapes is my favorite collection of the King’s stories: the hardcover, purple with the gravestone. Just beautiful. This one wasn’t as great, but their were a few stories that really perked my interest. Just something about the way they caught me by surprise.

Mile 81

The Bad Kid

Ur

The Little Green God of Agony

Obits

Summer Thunder

The ominous shadow that hangs over all of these stories really enticed me. It kept me curious.

I found the title of the book to be intriguing. A bazaar-a market that sells goods-was a unique choice for it, emphasizing that you can peruse these short stories instead of reading them in order. And, bad dreams? Yeah, the King isn’t kidding. Some of these stories are what nightmares are made of. And the cover, looking at a person and only seeing death, is beautiful and chilling.

Short stories are an art form. I agree with this. Very hard to conquer. Sometimes. With this book, I feel that. This was one that I had 50/50 feelings about. It was good, yet not really. The imagery was powerful with each one. Some of the stories I enjoyed immensely and others not so much. There were points where I just couldn’t get invested into the story. I felt like I was getting dragged.

However, each detailed intro to each story was poignant and beautiful. It’s getting a backstage pass to what I believe to be one of the funniest yet outspoken minds of fiction. He truly writes some beautiful words in a cloud of morbidity. I dig it.

Thumbs Up

Now, my favorite stories (above) are favorites because of one BIG element. Shouldn’t be that hard to guess if you’ve been keeping up with me this far in the blog. There’s that special supernatural touch. Though, if I had a specific favorite it would be Obits. The story centers on a journalist’s dark comedy obituary and his sudden ability to kill people with it. So much power and so dangerous!! This was the greatest page turner, and maybe that makes me a bit morbid, but I’ve read stories similar to this—where you could write someone’s death and then it actually happens. Its creepy and unnerving. Imagine having that kind of power. It’s mind-blowing!

mind blown

And I swear, when reading this, I can hear the King’s voice ring so clearly, and it sounds very close to a professor’s I had: cocky and condescendingly intelligent with a thrive for life. It made me smile. I liked that professor, because while he did sound like that, he was a cool guy. Made everyone feel included and nobody felt stupid. There was learning to be had and he did a great job of helping with that.

 

Overall

This book left me tied up on how I feel about it. There were some great stories. They really pulled me in. But…I wasn’t moved to love the entire book. That’s what’s interesting about short stories. Because you don’t like one, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the entire book.

Beautiful words, chilling stories, intense characters, but a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“If you saw a guy lying by the side of the road, it didn’t matter if he was a Samaritan or a Martian. You stopped to help.” (Mile 81, p. 23)

“Arr, reality’s a dirty place with no religion in it.

So buy me a drink, goddam you!

We’ll toast elephants that never were.” (The Bone Church, p. 162)

“I think the world is mostly populated by shitheads. You take it from there.” (UR, p. 210)

 

More to comes soon…

-K.

 

Find Me:

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P.S. Song today? Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson

 

Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.