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Tuesday, October 22

Fall Reads: Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

I don't recall if I had previously mentioned that I'm a big fan of Netflix's Stranger Things, which is a science fiction horror series full of '80s nostalgia.

At the beginning of the year, Del Rey released the first fictional tie-in novel, Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds, which is a prequel set in between 1969 and 1970. I knew the title was being released but due to life issues, it had slipped my mind until I ran across the book at my local library.

The novel centers around Terry Ives (a.k.a. Eleven's birth mother), who agreed to be a test subject for a top secret government experiment (code-named MKULTRA) at the Hawkins National Laboratory, which is operated by Dr. Martin Brenner. To her, it seems like an easy to way to earn money. However, something is a fowl at Hawkins Lab that will jeopardize the life of her unborn child.

Final Thoughts

13 Read of Horror! - Psycho II by Robert Bloch

One of the greatest horror sequels happens to be 1983's Psycho II starring Anthony Perkins. What many people probably don't know is that there's another Psycho II! Yep, Robert Bloch (the author of the original Psycho novel) wrote a sequel that was released in 1982. He had finished writing the book before Universal Studios had finished the screenplay for their sequel film. The sequels have two completely different plots. Robert Bloch's sequel is more of a satire about Hollywood gory horror films. The 1983 film involved Norman Bates being released from a mental institution and reenters society. Universals Studios didn't like Robert Bloch's sequel and desperately attempted to stop him from publishing it. They feared it would hurt their movie. Bloch went ahead with his novel and Universal Studios refused to invite him to any Psycho II screenings.

Robert Bloch's Psycho II is set 20 years after the original novel and during this time Norman Bates has been in a mental hospital receiving treatment for his multiple personalities, which seems to have finally been cured. However, after two visiting nuns arrive at the hospital, Norman snaps. He kills one of the nuns, puts on her hammock, and escapes in a van. The authorities finds the charred remains of the van along with two bodies - one female and one male, which the latter being believed to be Norman Bates.

Later, somebody goes on a killing spree, starting with Sam and Lilia Loomis in Fairvale. Then the killer heads to Hollywood, where a movie studio is making a movie about Norman Bates.

Has "Mother" returned to protect Norman again?

Final Thoughts

Monday, October 21

13 Reads of Horror! - Psycho by Robert Bloch

I believe I was eight or nine-years-old when I first saw the classic Albert Hitchcock's Psycho. It aired on a local channel so it was edited a bit. Nevertheless, I became a huge fan of the Psycho movie series at an early age.

For those of you who aren't already aware of this, Psycho was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch, who would later go on to write two sequel novels, Psycho II and Psycho House. And, no, sequel books' plots were never used for the sequel films.

Psycho centers around an overweight 40-year-old Norman Bates who runs his mother's motel. On a late stormy night, a young beautiful woman, Mary Crane, arrives at the motel looking for a room for the night. Let's just say things to go to well for Mary as she's brutally murdered by what look likes Norman's mother, Norma.

Unknown to Norman, Mary had stolen $40,000 from her boss and now many people are searching for her, including her boyfriend - Sam Loomis, her little sister - Lila, and a private investigator - Milton Arbogast. All the evidences points Mary's whereabouts to Bates Motel!

Final Thoughts

Sunday, October 20

13 Reads of Horror! - The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

For the life of me, I cannot remember when I first read The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, which is the novella that inspired the classic horror film Hellraiser (and its many sequels). I'm going to take a wild guess that I'd purchased the book at Barnes & Noble during my teenage years (a.k.a. the mid-'90s). This was probably right after I first saw the edited versions of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II on cable.

The Hellbound Heart is a dark twisted fairy tale with lots gore. It begins with Frank Cotton, a pleasure seeker searching for the Lemarchand Configuration, which is a puzzle box that's supposed to open up a gate to another realm full of carnal pleasures. However, pleasure is the last thing Frank receives after solving the box. The Cenobites, former humans turned into disfigured creatures, are released from the box. A price must be paid for anyone who calls upon them and for Frank, that price is his soul.

Sometime later, Rory Cotton (Frank's brother) and his wife Julia move into his later mother's home (and the last place Frank was seen alive). Prior to the their marriage, Julia had an intense affair with Frank. She has no romantic feelings for Rory and only stays with him for his money.

After Rory cuts his thumb, a few drops of his blood drips on the attic floor where Frank was tortured and taken by the Cenobites. The blood mixes in with Frank's dead sperm that was left on the floor from his torment. This causes Frank to be reborn as a fleshly creature. With Julia's help, she lures unsuspecting men from bars to the attic so she can murder them and let Frank feed on their blood. The more Frank feeds, the faster his body heals.

The only person standing in their way is Kristy - a dear friend of Rory's who finds the Lemarchand Configuration and makes a deal with the Cenobite leader.

Final Thoughts

Sunday Post: 10/20/19

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

Good Morning, Everyone!

What Am I Currently Reading?

It's going to be a really busy week full of reading for me. My plans for last week was to stay a few days ahead of my reviews but, sadly, that didn't happen. So, my plan for this week is to a read a horror book in the early morning hours and post a review for it in the afternoon (if not sooner) per day for my 13 Reads of Horror event that started yesterday with Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin.

The horror titles I will be reading/ reviewing are: The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker; Psycho by Robert Bloch; Psycho II by Robert Bloch; Psycho House by Robert Bloch; The Other by Thomas Tryon; Ravensridge by Jennifer Hale; and The Place by T.M. Wright.

(FYI: I'm writing this post on Saturday night. I'll be reading The Hellbound Heart on Sunday morning, so there's a good chance I've already read the book by the time everyone is reading this post.)

Additionally, I'll be reading/reviewing A Cross To Kill by Andrew Huff sometime this week for a blog tour.

Recent Reviews

by Ira Levin
(13 Reads of Horror!)

by Barbara Cameron
(Fall Reads)

(Midnight Horror Review)

by Beverly Lewis
(Fall Reads)

What's In The Mail?

I received two new Blu-rays last week to review - 3 From Hell and The Lion King. 3 From Hell is the third installment in Rob Zombie's "Firefly" series. The Lion King is the CGI live-action remake of the classic animated movie. I haven't had time to watch the latter yet but I will be doing so sometime today as I need to have my review posted by Tuesday. 

What New on the Bookshelf?

In last week's Sunday Post, I had complained about my local Walmart not stocking books. Well, guess what? The book department was actually stocked this week with newer books, including Dog Diaries: Happy Howlidays! by James Patterson and Steven Butler. This is one Patterson title that slipped right by my radar as I had no clue it was being released until I accidentally came across it. I had went in the store on Tuesday night to quickly get a few things and I just happened to push the shopping cart by the end of the book section. Then I came to a complete stop because eyes got a glimpse of what looked like a "James Patterson" title. I backed up and Voilà, I was right! Since it's a Christmas-themed book, I'll either read it in November or December.

I stopped by the local thrift store today (Saturday) with little expectations of actually finding anything worth wild but lo and behold, I actually found several books. The first two paperbacks I grabbed were Carson of Venus and Escape of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (author Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars), which are 3 & 4 of The Venus Series. Then I moved over to the other side of the book area where there were three bookshelves full of titles. It was there I found the hardcover The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which is a 2011 YA dark mystery. I'm not familiar with the author but the cover art caught my attention. Next, I found two paperbacks: Planet Of Judgement by Joe Haldeman and The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. Planet Of Judgment is a 1977 Star Trek novel. The Puppet Masters was first published in 1951 and was adapted into a movie in 1994 starring Donald Sutherland. Before I left the store, I ended up browsing the bookshelf where I found the Venus books and I found book 2, Lost On Venus

Now I've never read the Venus books but I'm aware they're science fiction pulp novels that were written in the 1930s. I'm very interested in reading the books this winter, which lead me to buy the eBooks of Pirates of Venus (book 1) and The Wizard of Venus (book 5) for $.99 each. 

Speaking of eBooks, I recently received "Short Horror Stories: Vol. 1" from Team Scare Street, which I'm hoping to review as soon as I can. Maybe not this week but soon! Also, I just purchased two $1.99 titles on my Kindle - Raylan Goes To Detroit by Peter Leonard and The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

Saturday, October 19

13 Reads of Horror! - Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

I'm taking a wild guess that almost every horror fan has heard or seen the 1968 classic Rosemary's Baby starring Mia Farrow, which is one of the scariest films ever made. The movie is an adaptation of the 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin.

I had stumbled up on Rosemary's Baby while searching for a novel to read for a book report for an English class during my freshman year of high school in the mid-1990s. Originally, the book belonged to my grandmother, who had moved away after the death of my grandfather, and most of her books were being stored at my parent's house. It was a first-print hardback edition minus the original cover jacket. I still have this book as well as "The Stephen King Horror Library" edition.

Shortly after reading the book, the movie adaptation aired on TNT late at night. I recorded it on a VHS (Remember those?) and I later watched it. It's one of the best book-to-film adaptations ever produced as it goes exactly by Ira Levin's original story.

Rosemary's Baby is a psychological horror tale centered around Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse, a newly married Manhattan couple who move into a new apartment building, the Bramford, which has a deadly past involving witchcraft and murder. Usually, this would be a turn off for just about anybody else but Guy and Rosemary don't believe in superstitious. Shortly after moving into the apartment, they meet their odd elderly neighbors - Roman and Minnie Castevet.

While not planned, Rosemary becomes pregnant after having a bizarre nightmare involving a satanic ritual. Being young and naive, she takes advice from the Castevets and uses their doctor - Dr. Abraham Sapirstein, who insists she should drink homemade "health" drinks made by Minnie instead of taking prenatal vitamins. Let's just say the next few months aren't very good experiences for Rosemary. Instead of gaining pounds like all expecting mother's do, she quickly loses weight near to the point that she almost resembles a skeleton. Plus, she has a horrible pain coming from her womb. Over time, the pain magically disappears and she puts on baby weight.

With her due date just around the corner, Rosemary learns her neighbors are not who they say they are and that her unborn child is in danger.

Final Thoughts

Friday, October 18

Book Blogger Hop: October 18th - 24th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 

If you want to schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do

1. Post on your blog answering this question:
This week's question is submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer.

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few posts and possible become a new follower. The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.