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.

 

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

 

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You’re Not Jay…(Jay’s Journal – A Book Review)

Jay’s Journal
Author: Anonymous
Published: 1979
On Goodreads

Jay's Journal

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

14/25

 

On a cold January night, Jay put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger.

He was sixteen.

Jay didn’t understand the point of keeping a journal. As a teenager, he’s hormonal and troubled and just trying to find his way. Suddenly, he’s sucked into a group of friends and convinced by his girlfriend to join in on witchcraft, Ouija boards, and demon summoning. As life takes a dark turn, Jay feels isolated with no chance to escape. His only escape are within the pages of this journal.

 

This book marks 14 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve met people who’ve read from Anonymous and they really liked the books. I wanted to open up to new authors and this was one of them.

 

Okay, this book seemed pretty upfront and not all that out of the norm. From my own point of view, magic is neither good nor bad. It’s the believer and practitioner and their intentions that determines whether the magic goes good or bad. So, when I read this, I was real effing shocked by the gradual darkness that swallowed Jay.

Jay's Journal

The magic went from interesting and nifty to dark side. It was unnerving and actually pretty damn scary by the end of the book, and I don’t scare that easy, but this…this was chilling.

Set in the 70s, Jay had an ordinary life. He had normal parents that he felt like were smothering him. Had a sibling, Chad, that looked up to him. It was the typical, nuclear family. More so, the language really promoted the period with such words as neat and Judas. It pulled me into it even more.

It was from Jay’s personal POV that we came across this story. That alone left me a little unnerved. The thing about a POV such as this is that you aren’t looking through a person’s eyes. You’re looking from their personal emotions. The way he recalled everything that happened and how it felt was haunting and unnerving. From out of body experiences to ESP, he wrote it all down. Most of the time he wrote in prose, but from time to time he wrote poetry, which I really liked. The emotions reached great highs and scary lows.

Jay's Journal

What made this book so scary? It’s all true. These are Jay’s real words that his mother allowed to be read by everyone. It’s her hopes that it’ll warn and help others.

 

This book was just amazing, creepy, and all around a perfect read. It encompassed the time period and emotions. My best friend officially wants to read this book. I recommend to fans of both fiction and nonfiction. This was crazy.

 

Quotables:

“I WAS SURE I COULD HANDLE IT!” (Jay, p. 9)

“Night…endless is thy name” (Jay, p. 21)

“All evil lurks inside and hides it so I cannot see. But it sees me.” (Jay, p. 168)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Fleur Blanche by Orsten.

 

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Something Wicked Lurking in the Shadows (The Witching Hour – A Book Review)

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)
Author: Anne Rice
Published: 1990

On Goodreads

Witching Hour

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

10/25

 

They call him the man, but Aunt Carl says he’s really the devil.

The history of the Mayfair witches is a long one, but the man-creature- Lasher that has followed the women of that line is even older. After the death of her biological mother, Rowan Mayfair come to New Orleans, home of the Mayfairs. With falling in love with Michael Curry and getting to know her family, Rowan feels like she’s finally home. Well, that is until Lasher, the man, makes himself known and seduces Rowan. As she falls prey, she refuses to acknowledge this thing. As a doctor, she is a believer of science not religion, so she finds it difficult to believe in this creature, but she should and she should be afraid. Something wicked this way comes…back.

This book marks 10 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I’ve seen the movies, but never read the books. I’ve heard so many great things that I was excited to read Anne Rice.

When it comes to the supernatural genre, I’m a lush. I love my paranormal novels and Anne Rice is one of the most revolutionary authors of the genre. Right up alongside Bram Stoker himself. She brings the supernatural into the eighties while keeping it’s gothic framing. I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. It was beautiful, yet slightly on the scary side. She really combined the two elements well and left me feeling odd because I’ve never felt that way about writing. LOL.

Whoa, it’s big! I was stunned at what a whopper of a book this was. There was so much detail that my senses were in overload. So much of the book is back history though. That did bother me a little bit. All of that history, though very necessary, stalled the story for me. Pushing past all of it was so worth it! The ending totally blew my mind to a disturbed place! It was dark and grimy and I was wide eyed and freaked out.

ITBT

The characters blew me away. They’re rich and connected and I found myself holding my breath from time to time. There are no boundaries from the horrors and the romances that follow and surround them, especially for Michael and Rowan. I’ve never seen two people like these opposites before. Rowan is brash and her temper is easily flared while Michael-until he met her-is an introvert of sorts. I really liked how the characters came across. They have a long history that really is magical. My utmost favorite thing about them is whether you consider the Mayfairs good or bad.

The way that the Talamasca a is intertwined with this series and all of the history with the Mayfairs is astounding. They’re only known as those who watch. They don’t get involved with the supernatural, though of course you quickly learn that isn’t the case. They’re more involved and a part of the Mayfair witches than they’d like. I really like when a story can get so unexpectedly twisted like it did with these two branches.

Witching Hour

Anne Rice is mindblowing. She encompasses the magic of New Orleans, bringing its culture and lore out in a beautiful gothic style. I really love how upfront her writing was, too. There were no hidden meanings in my opinion. It was right there, up front.

I won’t lie, there were times I was ready to give up on this book, but there were so many parts that made it worth it. It was seductive, pushing and pulling. I swear she could compete with V.C. Andrews. While this book was incredibly steamy and I was totally engrossed, I was also highly disturbed. Rice really throws the shockers at you.

Quotables:

“We watch. And we are always here.” (p. 4)

“We are an old family, Father. We don’t even know how old. There is no one now who can identify some of the portraits you see around you.” (Carlotta to Father Mattingly, p. 81)

“You know, when I was in my twenties, falling in love with a person in one evening would have been damn near impossible. Least it never happened.  And when I was in my thirties? Well maybe, but again it didn’t happen, though now I’m in my late forties now, and I’m either more stupid than ever or I know enough finally that I can fall in love with a person in one day or one night.” (Michael to Aaron, p. 249)

“When I look into the future all I see is how weak most people are, and how little they do to fight fate or fortune.” (Mary Beth, p. 478)

“The dead are so close they can hear us.” (Rowan, p. 672)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Freak on a Leash by Korn.

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Summer Reads – Fiction Edition

summer reads

Happy summer, booknerds!

Hope you are all doing well and that the weather is beautiful. I told you I had a few extra lists this month. I’ve done the YA list already – which you can find here. This is the Summer Read Fiction Edition. I wanted to pick up a variety to attract a variety of you lovely readers as well as pique some new interests.

 

Circe
Author: Madeline Miller

Circe

This NY Times bestseller brings to life a new and more in depth tale about the daughter of the Titan, Helios: Circe, and how she became one of the most powerful witches in history. That she isn’t as evil as she’s made out to be and just wants to protect those she cares about. With the power to transform rivals into beasts and more, she’ll go against the gods and humans. I’m a big lover of Greek mythology, so this one is definitely on my to-read list. This also comes from the same author who wrote The Song of Achilles.

Amazon

 

The Outsider
Author: Stephen King

Outsider

If you’ve got horror in your bones and love a good paranormal-y twist then pick this up. On the NY Times Bestseller list, this story circles around the murder of a kid. While the authorities are sure they know who it is, the coach of the kid’s little league team, he has an alibi, and a good one, plus more people turn up dead. But, the killer looked like him? How? Get addicted to this brand new story by the King-man.

Amazon

 

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

On and off the bestseller’s list, this action packed ride will have you hanging on. This is currently up on my reading queue and I can’t wait to read it. For gamers and anybody that loves clinging on to an adventure with a BIG endgame, read this. Exciting and fulfilling…so I hear. Also, a movie that’s recently come out this year.

Amazon

 

Noir
Author: Christopher Moore

Noir

If you love noir, dicks (private dicks…damn it, detectives, people), and hella good comedy then this is for you. I love Christopher Moore and I was really excited to hear about this novel. Love at first sight, a UFO, a plane crash, and the kidnapping of Cheese after a scheme gone bad. Sammy Tiffin, the bartender of a hopping gin joint, has his work cut out for him.

Amazon

 

Sinless
Author: Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless

Calling all dystopian lovers! Those who are good are graced with beauty while those who are considered bad suffer from disfigurement or death. When important information is stumbled upon battle breaks out and it becomes hard to distinguish the good from the evil.

Amazon

 

 

These are only a couple spanning the many genres to choose from as well as a few of the most popular I’ve heard about.

 

More to come soon…

 

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Eyes of Fire (Summer of Fear – A Book Review)

Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1983

On Goodreads

Summer of Fear - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull bolt

 

Rachel’s not jealous of her beautiful cousin. But she is afraid.

Cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after a terrible car accident. Slowly, inch by inch, Julia is taking over Rachel’s life. She takes her bedroom, her boyfriend, and soon enough her family. Everybody thinks Rachel is jealous, but that’s not it at all. There’s something dark about Julia, and Rachel’s terrified.

 

This book was a quick read. It is. Rather short. I finished it in three hours. I really enjoyed it even though a page was missing. LOL. I will never know what happened on the first page of chapter five. Kidding. I can probably buy a new copy of the book. This one I got out at a library sale. Those things are freaking gold mines. Anyway…a fantastic read. Classic, cult, and edgy from the same author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

I know

Rachel is that ultimate final girl that—I hope I’m not the only one—you miss in horror movies these days. While everyone falls under Julia’s spell, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. There’s heartbreak and even that panic inducing feeling. It wasn’t strong, but this dark and mystical story was a great page turner. Duncan does so well at building up to her great reveal. She always gets you with that twist. When everybody turns on Rachel, she fights back. And let me tell you, that was intense. That feeling of isolation that she gets trapped in is nothing compared to what could possibly happen to her.

I really clung on to the additional element of witch lore and magic. From having read a more horror novel last time, this was fresh to me. Witches of late have appeared more as agents of good, but not in this story. This book really touches on the bit that witches can be evil, too. There are upsides and dark sides of the supernatural and it was pretty cool to see the dark side.

Evil Witch

The attention to detail was wonderful. Not too much, but enough that the imagery was perfect, reminding me that this is set before the era of cell phones and DVDs. For many these days I’m sure your’e saying, “WHAT!?”. Yup, those days existed folks. After all, this was done in the eighties. Duncan’s writing really captured that without seeming overboard. I really liked it.

A favorite summer read of mine, but I believe Lois Duncan is great at creating a story like that. It’s the deadly story that gets you wanting summer. What kidn of story does that!? LOL. This one did, for me. Utterly original and, like I said already, classic. I’d really like to have the rest of the collection. So, do you read it because you like paranormal stories and horror? Yes! Do you read this because I say so? Well, that’d be cool, but I haven’t mastered the ability of manipulation so you’ll have to decid that for yourself.

 

Quotables

“It’s crazy, isn’t it, thinking you’ll never have anything but two brothers and then finally, at your age, getting a sister.” (Mike to Julia, p. 18)

“When you lose touch with youth, you grow old fast.” (Professor Jarvis to Julia, p. 56)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Summer Sunshine by The Corrs.

 

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Mother of Dolls (Garden of Shadows – A Book Review)

Garden of Shadows (The Dollangangers #5)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Published: 1986

On Goodreads

GOS

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Olivia dreamed of a sun-filled love, a happy life. Then she entered Foxworth Hall…

Before The Dollangangers came to the doorstep of Foxworth Hall, Olivia Winfield, a spinsterish woman, hoped to find love one day. She seeks a love filled with passion and dreams. When all seems lost, she meets Malcolm Foxworth and believes she has finally found joy. He is smart, intense, and handsome, but the moment they marry and she comes to Foxworth Hall, it all changes.

Malcolm is disturbed by the ghost of his mother. Jealousy and obsession spread through the house and Olivia’s hopes dwindle until there is nothing left but the love for her two boys and very beautiful girl, but even that is threatened by Malcolm’s dark wishes for them. In this prequel to Flowers in the Attic, the dark, haunting secrets began.

 

Reviews to The Dolls here:

Flowers in the Attic

Petals on the Wind

If There Be Thorns

Seeds of Yesterday

 

This book really changed up my feelings about the Foxworths and the Dolls. This book changed everything about its predecessors. I. WAS. SHOOK. I know that while reading the last two books of this series, I felt like it had begun to decline, but this one definitely amped it all back up. I couldn’t put this down. I know people say that a lot, but seriously, this book had me hooked on every dark twist and disturbing reveal.

Olivia Winfield, the evil grandmother of Foxworth Hall that is partly responsible for imprisoning the four Dolls in the attic for years is our main character. This is her story and let me tell you, I was stunned. Discovering how she came to marry Malcolm Foxworth and became a mother was nothing like I imagined. I assumed she was naturally cold and cruel, but she wasn’t. Olivia wasn’t actually the devil at all in the beginning. Like most women, she wanted love and to raise a wonderful family. Inch by painful inch, Malcolm stripped that away from her. From cheating to assault, Olivia’s hopes withered. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Foxworths is here.

This view of Foxworth Hall was terrifying. This beautiful house is not just a house. It’s historical. Everything I ever had questions about was answered within its walls. How did Olivia become afraid of the attic? How did Corrine come into the world and why did Olivia feel such disdain for her? When did John Amos arrive at Foxworth Hall? One of the most important and vital bits that rocked me to the core was that The Dolls were not the first to be locked up in the attic.

shocked

There were a few characters that made an appearance that have only been mentioned before. Malcolm’s father, Garland and his beautiful wife Alicia came to Foxworth Hall. Both of them were nothing as I imagined. So in love, but quickly contaminated by Malcom. The kids: Malcolm, Joel, and Corrine. Their dreams were painfully taken away. Each of these characters’ stories were eye-opening and I mean that in the sense that it was eye-opening with fear. From everything that’s told in the previous books about them it’s all different. Olivia sheds so much light and shadow on everything about this family and how it became so dark, most importantly she gives the truth. And it was DARK. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough.

horrified

 

This was such a great novel and it really brought the Dolls’ story full circle. The questions that idled in my mind about The Dolls and Foxworths were answered. I still wish I knew a little bit more about certain parts because I did feel unfulfilled here and there. Overall, this really completes the series and is a must-read.

 

Quotables:

“Life is very much like a garden, Olivia. And people are like tiny seeds, nurtured by love and friendships and caring. And if enough time and care are spent, they bloom into gorgeous flowers. And sometimes, even an old neglected plant left in a yard gone to seed will unexpectedly burst into blossom. These are the most precious, the most cherished blossoms of all. You will be that sort of flower, Olivia. It may take time, but your flowering will come.” (Mr. Winfield to Olivia, p. 6)

“When you search the shadows to find that truth, often you find things more horrible, more painful than you would have imagined.” (Mr. Winfield to Olivia, p. 52)

“You can’t command nature, Malcolm. Nature is neither your servant, nor mine.” (Olivia to Malcolm, p. 85)

“Life makes you strong. If you don’t let it make you strong, it will kill you…” (Olivia to Alicia, p. 166)

“There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” (John Amos, p. 347)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Late Night Sessions Guest Starring a Cult (Bad to the Bone – Book Review)

Bad to the Bone (WVMP #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published: 2009

on Goodreads

Bad to the Bone

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Turn on. Tune in. Drop dead.

WVMP, The Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the station to listen to for all of your music needs. From the blues to hard rock to reggae, listen to the music, stay for the vampires. Yes, that’s right. The DJs are vampires (for real) and each of them gives their life story to the job. Tune in when the sun goes down and get obsessed with these hot, forever young, DJS as they take you for a spin all the way ‘til morning.

Life is going well for Ciara Griffin. She has a good job at a radio station, keeping rating up and her DJs in the spotlight. The show’s ratings are through the rood thanks to her/ She’s well on her way to her business degree in college. Only a year or two to go. She has an amazing boyfriend, that works one of the shows at WVMP, and who is also a vampire. So what could possibly go wrong when everything’s finally going right in this ex-con artist’s life?

During a promotional Halloween party for WVMP, a cult takes over the radio station. It grows worse as establishments are vandalized and people that Ciara holds dear to her heart are hurt. She’ll go deep under cover, deeper than she’s ever been, to help and protect her friends. After dealing with a psychopath vampire out for revenge, this should be a piece of cake, right? Hoping to make it through Christmas and on to New Year’s, she’ll have up her game, and maybe do it with the help of a few friends.

Rock ‘n’ roll will never die. Just like vampires.

 

Wicked Game (WVMP #1) review here.

 

The storytelling is still on point! Fast, passionate, and on the edge! How descriptive the book was really sucked me in, and I couldn’t put the book down. Ciara isn’t used to settling into a life, so it’s fresh to see how unsettled and nervous she is that it’s happening for her. It’s so very relatable as well.

The way that Smith-Ready writes is both blunt and enchanting. I was really taken with how something horrifying could be flipped into one of the most moving moments. It was amazing. So much development between Ciara and Shane, though I have to say. MVV: Most Valuable Vampire, went to baby-vamp Travis. He’s grown the most in my opinion, which is funny since vampires get frozen in the timezone they were turned in.

This cult really reminded me of True Blood with its crazy Light of Day Institute, and they were just as nasty as those people too. It was disturbing. Cringe-worthy from what these creeps did. Just Ick.

Bad to the Bone

There were new characters and the return of some old ones. Ned, a cultist from the previous book returns with a much bigger story, and I’d like to say he recovered and became a good guy, but he didn’t. Nope. And I wish I was surprised. What I was surprised at was the newest character additions. Most particularly, Dexter, the dog that Ciara rescues.  Dexter isn’t your ordinary pupper either. He’s, uhhh, special. A vampire dog. Crazy right?! I know throughout the whole book I’m thinking about that fluff ball from Blade III and Dexter the serial killer all rolled into one, and that’s not even what the dog is like. This doggo is a lazy lover, not a fighter, unless Ciara is threatened. Then it gets ugly.

Bad to the Bone

Plot twist time! And there were a few! I was rereading few parts because my eyes were ballooning out of my head and I was laughing hysterically. This book was a lot of fun. Smith-Ready was really breaking all of the boundaries and I LOVE IT! At some parts I was sad and others I was shocked.

 

This book was yet another fun read. Lots of blood, twists, and good music (the sex is good too). The story is non-stop crazy. Looking for good music and a steamy good time? Read this. Because sometimes, you just want to have fun.

 

Quotables:

“Dogs are a lot of things, but they’re not con artists.” (Ciara to David, p. 36)

“There’s nothing more basic to life than blood. Losing it, giving it—that’s a sacred act.” (Jeremy to Ciara, p. 138)

“I’ve stumbled into the Ku Klux Klan of vampirehood.” (Ciara, p. 179)

“They say there are no atheists in foxholes, that when desperate to save one’s own butt from death or dismemberment, each of us will call on a higher power to intervene. I tried, I really tried. But then, apparently, I fell asleep.” (Ciara, p. 299)

“Loyalty is such a quaint concept.” (Ciara’s Dad to Ciara, p. 371)

“I’ve always believed in now, and that’s always been good enough. But for the first time, tonight, I believe in what come after.” (Ciara, p. 402)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? American Idiot by Green Day.

 

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