Thursday, 31 October 2019

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!



13 Reads of Horror! - Halloween II by Jack Martin

It should be no shock to anyone that I'm featuring the Halloween II novelization as my 13th and final review of 2019's 13 Reads of Horror! as my favorite movie of all-time is the original 1978 classic slasher John Carpenter's Halloween.

Halloween II, directed by Rick Rosenthal based on a screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, was released to theatres on October 30, 1981, which I was just short of being two-months-old at the time. I wouldn't go on to watch the movie until I was seven-years-old. Nice babysitting, Grandma!

Like many other films in the 1980s, Halloween II received a novelization written by Dennis Etchison under the pseudonym Jack Martin and published by Kensington Books, featuring several black & white pictures from the movie. Unlike 1979's novelization of 1978's Halloween written by Curtis Richard (which attempted to explain why Michael Myers kills), Halloween II stays pretty close to sequel's screenplay.

Halloween II has a short introduction to set up the"Halloween" atmosphere. Then first chapter shows shows Dr. Loomis scaring Lonnie and his pals near the Myers home (from the first movie), followed directly with Dr. Loomis running into Tommy Doyle and Lindsay Wallace (a.k.a. the two little kids from Halloween). Then Dr. Loomis saves Laurie Strode by shooting Michael Myers six times.

Laurie is sent to Haddionfield Memorial Hospitial. Dr. Loomis goes a bit nuts on his quest to hunt down and kill the Boogeyman. Meanwhile, Michael gets a new knife and heads to the hospital to continue his killing spree.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - Hell-O-Ween by David Robbins

Whenever I run across a book with a jack-o-lantern on the cover, there's a really good chance I will buy it. That pretty much sums up how I got my hands on the 1992 horror novel Hell-O-Ween by David Robbins.

When I write reviews, I typically do a little research on the authors if I'm not already familiar with their writings. To my shock, I learned David Robbins has written many westerns under several pen names, including Ralph Compton, David Thompson, and Jon Sharpe. More than likely I have probably read one or two of his westerns. David has always written several other horror novels, including Prank Night and The Wraith.

Hell-O-Ween centers around eight high school students going into the "Caverna del Diablo" (a.k.a. The Cavern of the Devil) late at night to play a cruel trick on the class nerd. However, things go horribly wrong and six of the eight teenagers are murdered by 7' tall nude demons.

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - The Bad Place by Dean R. Koontz

I have a bad habit of buying Dean Koontz thrillers each and every time I stumble across one at a thrift store, which has resulted in me accumulating many duplicates. Strangely, I have only read two or three Koontz novels over the years. That's why I wanted to read The Bad Place as one of the 13 Reads of Horror! because at least I'll have had read at least one book from my Koontz collection in 2019.

Originally published in 1990, The Bad Place centers around Frank Pollard, a man who's deeply afraid of falling asleep because if he does, he will wake up the next morning somewhere else with no clue of how he got there. And, there's a twist - he always finds something weird, such as blood on his hands. Could it get any weirder?

To solve his nighttime activities, Frank hires Bobby and Julie Dakota, a husband and wife security duo, to follow him around at night to unravel the mystery. Sounds simple enough. Right?

Final Thoughts

Blu-ray Review: The Lion King (2019)

 *This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

The big-budget "live-action" remake of the classic Disney animated film The Lion King landed on Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD +Digital) last wek and I was lucky to receive a copy to review right here on this very blog you're currently reading.

Directed by Jon Favreu (Iron Man 1 & 2, The Jungle Book), The Lion King (PG; 118 minutes) features the voice-cast of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and James Earl Jones.

Set in the Pride Lands of Africa, the movie tells the story of Simba, the son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, who runs away after blaming himself for his father's death. Being a cub alone in the jungle can be dangerous so it's good thing he found two friends to protect him - Timon (a meerkat) and Pumbaa (a warthog).

Unknowingly to Simba, his evil uncle Scar has taken over his father's kingdom. Only after he has entered adulthood does he learn about Scar's treachery, which leads him to return to his homeland to claim his father's thrown.

Blu-ray and Digital Special Features include:

  • The Journey to “The Lion King”
    • The Music - Go inside the studio with the cast and crew as they work to honor and elevate The Lion King’s beloved music.
    • The Magic - Discover how the filmmakers blended the traditional filmmaking techniques with virtual reality technology to create amazing movie magic.
    • The Timeless Tale - Filmmakers and cast reflect on the story that has moved generations and share how this Lion King carries a proud legacy forward.
  • More to Be Scene - Recording studio and layer-by-layer progressions of some of most iconic moments in “The Lion King.”
    • “Circle of Life” – Peel back the layers of effects and go behind the scenes of this iconic musical moment from the film
    • “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” – See all the effects, talent and fun that went into creating this vibrant version of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” for the movie
    • “Hakuna Matata” – Join Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon) in the studio for the making of this memorable scene.
  • Music Videos 
    • “Never Too Late” (lyric video) by Elton John
    • “Spirit” performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • Filmmaker Introduction 
  • Audio Commentary by Director Jon Favreau.
  • Song Selection 
    • “Circle of Life”
    • “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” 
    • “Be Prepared”
    • “Hakuna Matata” 
    • “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
    • “Spirit”
    • “Never Too Late”
  • Protect the Pride –Director Jon Favreau, the Lion Recovery Fund and conservationists highlight efforts to protect the majestic lions and their home.
  •  (Digital Exclusive) - Pride Lands Pedia --Dung beetle shares the importance of his “roll” in the African Savanna in a fun, bug’s eye view of the land and its inhabitants.

Final Thoughts

Where's The Autumn Weather?

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

After living through the scorching summer, I was looking forward to the cool autumn weather but, unfortunately, that did not occur. It seems Jack Frost himself has taken over the weather from Mother Nature as temperatures are currently in the 30s and all the local meteorologist now have snow in their forecasts for Halloween!!!

From the looks at things, it's going to be an early, long winter and I, for one, need to get myself prepared for the cold weather by dragging my coats out of the closet and getting them cleaned. I did have a set of flannel sheets but they didn't make if through their final wash last winter and ended up being trashed. While flannel sheets are great way to stay warm during the cold nights, I'm not a big fan of them. The last set I owned gave my skin the willies. I don't know.. there's just something about the materials used that my skin doesn't like very much.

I believe my best option would be an electric mattress pad or blanket. I've been looking at a Micro Flannel Quilted Electric Blanket and the Micro Flannel Heated Mattress Pad on Cozy Winters, a web store that has tons of winter related items, such as heated pet beds, heated doghouse, heated vest, foot warmers, heated hoodie, electric glove, snow removal products, and winter sports equipment. And, of course, they have household items, such as heated blankets and mattress pads, like I already mentioned about.

I'm always a little skeptical when ordering bedding or clothing from online store as most of the time what I believe is the correct size happens to be wrong size for that particular item. Plus, ordering from a new website for the first time can be a little scary for any customer. The good news there's a page on this store's website just for Cozy Winters reviews, which are written by real customers and these reviews seem to be mostly positive. 😀

Is everyone else already prepared for the early winter weather?

Monday, 28 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - The Pet by Charles L. Grant

I don't have a clue how long I have owned an old paperback copy of The Pet by the late author Charles L. Grant but I have had it quite a long time, and I'm going to take a wild guess I'd probably bought it at a thrift store.

The Pet (pub. 1986) centers around Donald "Don" Boyd, a seventeen-year-old who would rather be spending his time with animals than doing typical teenage stuff, such as playing football. His father (Norm) is the principal at the local Ashford, New Jersey high school and he's always giving Don slack about not having a girlfriend and questing  his choice of wanting to attend a veterinarian school. To make matters even worse, Norm is frustrated with the teachers' contract negotiations and takes out all of his anger on Don. Add in some bulling from a few football jocks, I guess you can say Don's life isn't exactly perfect.

Late one autumn night, Don runs into the serial the killer "The Howler" and barely survives the encounter. The Howler is later found dead in a park. The authorities come to the conclusion that Don killed The Howler in self-defense, which leads to everyone calling the boy a hero. The truth is Don is not even close to being a hero.

It seems a black horse, which looks oddly similar to the horse in a poster on Don's bedroom wall, was the one that saved him that night. And this is no normal horse! The horse is supernatural and will attack anyone who threatens Don's well being.

Final Thoughts

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.

What Am I Currently Reading?

Starting early tomorrow morning, I'll be reading The Bad Place by Dean Koontz and I'll be posting the review for it sometime in the evening hours as the 11th book in my 13 Reads of Halloween! event, which involves me reading & reviewing 13 horror books in 13 days. The 12th and 13th titles are Hell-O-Ween by David Robins and Halloween II by Jack Martin.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - Strange Weather by Joe Hill

I've been starring at my computer screen for several minutes pondering whether or not I bought Joe Hill's Stranger Weather last year or early this year at my local library for $2. I guess the older I get the more my memory starts to disappear. Or I might just need some more sleep!

Stranger Weather contains four short novels by Joe Hill (a.k.a. Stephen King's son) - Snapshot, Loaded, Aloft, and Rain.

Set in 1988, Snapshot centers around Michael Figlione, a kid who finds himself crossing paths with the "The Phoenician" who uses a Polaroid Instant Camera to erase his victim's memories.

Loaded centers around a mall security guard named Kellaway, a racist who's down on his luck. Then one morning a shooting incident occurs at the mall that will change his life forever.

Aloft centers around a group of friends going skydiving. After something goes wrong with their plane, they have to jump out sooner than expected, which leads to a bizarre trip through the clouds.

Rain takes place in Boulder, Colorado and centers around a storm that rains splinters (or needles).

Final Thoughts

Finding the Perfect Match Before the Holidays!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

As October nears its end for 2019, I came to the revelation that many cable channels here in the United States will being playing countless marathons of cheesy Christmas themed romantic movies. I for one intend on ignoring these types of movies and it has nothing to due with the fact that most of them are cheaply made with bad acting. My reason for not wanting to watch warm and fuzzy flicks is because they're kind of depressing when you are single, like me. The last thing I want to do is watching a sappy movie about two strangers falling in love.

Personally, I have absolutely nothing against romance! Believe it or not, men actually like to have a little bit of romance in their lives, especially around the holidays when it's cold outside and you just want to snuggle up with a lovely woman in front of a warm fireplace. Or in layman's terms – you're wanting companionship.

There are only 32 days until Thanksgiving and 59 days until Christmas Day. So what are you waiting for? There's no time like the present to put yourself out there in the dating world. I know... I know... I know dating can be a scare experiencee as there are many odd ducks out there but there are also many single women in the world who are looking for the same companionship as you.

Between work, kids (if you have any), paying bills, walking the dog, running errands, and whatever else is in your life, you probably either don't have the time and/or energy to go out on Friday or Saturday nights to a bar or nightclub. The good news is that you now live in the internet age where you don't even have to leave your home or put on pants (I'm joking!) to find a potential date, companion, or love interest. Thanks to the internet you're just a swipe away from finding a date or soulmate just by using your cell phone, tablet, or notebook.

Don't act clueless as you're more than likely known what I'm talking about!

Sunday Post: 10/27/19

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

Good Afternoon, Everyone!

What Am I Currently Reading?

I barely survived my reading schedule last week but I did get all the horror books read. Starting today, I have five more reads scheduled for this week - Stranger Weather by Joe Hill, The Pet by Charles. L. Grant, The Bad Place by Dean R. Koontz, Hell-O-Ween by David Robinson, and Halloween II by Jack Martin. I'll finish reading Stranger Weather this afternoon and the review will be posted sometime tonight after I watch The Walking Dead.

Recent Reviews

by Clive Barker
(13 Reads of Horror!)

by Robert Bloch
(13 Reads of Horror!)

by Robert Bloch
(13 Reads of Horror!)

by Robert Bloch
(13 Reads of Horror!)

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds
by Gwenda Bond
(Fall Reads)

The Other
by Thomas Tyron
(13 Reads of Horror!)

A Cross to Kill
by Andrew Huff
(Fall Reads)

by Jennifer Hill
(13 Reads of Horror!)

The Place
by T.M.Wright
(13 Reads of Horror!)

What New on the Bookshelf?

Saturday, 26 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - The Place by T.M. Wright

I have many books in my library (a.k.a. - cheap bookshelves and closets) that I'd purchased at used book stores or thrift shops and I picked put these titles because I loved their covers. One of these titles happens to be "The Place" by T.M. Wright, a 1989 horror-fantasy that I've been meaning to read to read for quite a long time.

The Place centers around the Galway King, his wife Ella, and their children, Justin and Greta, coming across a "terrifying" event in the woods that leads a madman, Harlan DeVries, to hunt them down. To deal with the trauma, Greta goes to her imaginary world called The Place, where she believes she would be safe. However, The Place's bright blue sky has turned black-red and the magical felines there will no longer talk.

The evil of the real world has found its way into The Place and Greta must find a way to survive.

Final Thoughts

Friday, 25 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - Ravensridge by Jennifer Hale

Gothic horror-romances are my favorite books to collect. The genre is pretty much defunct but these types of books were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. I started collecting Gothic horror-romances because of their creepy covers, which always features a young woman wearing a dress or nightgown and running away from a mansion or castle. The cover arts reminds me of the "Hammer" horror movie posters.

I found Ravensridge by Jennifer Hale at a thrift store several years ago and today marks the very first time I have read it. Before writing this review I attempted to do a bit of research on the author and I learned Jennifer Hale one of the pseudonyms used by Frank E. Smith. All of his Gothic were published under that name.

The 189-page novella centers around a twenty-something photographer named Melissa Manion, who had left her life in Washington, D.C. to travel to the Virginia mountains for a photo gig at the Ravensridge mansion. The previous day, she had called her good friend Charles Courtney and he gave her a weird warning about Ravensridge, which is his ancestral home. The phone had gone dead before he could explain to her what was wrong.

Melissa's arrival at Ravensridge isn't a welcoming one by the Courtney family due to the fact Charles never mentioned she was going to take photos of the estate. She's shocked to learn that Charles has gone missing. There's something very strange occurring at Ravensridge.

Once upon a time, Ravensridge was dubbed "Hangman's Hill" because the mansion was owned by Jason Courtney, a powerful judge who sent many men to the gallows.

Melissa is determined to find the whereabouts of her friend and to do so she must deal with Ravensridge's haunted past. Many young woman have gong missing over the years and she might be its next victim.

Final Thoughts

Book Blogger Hop: October 25th - 31st

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.

The Friday 56: The Place by T.M. Wright


Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it).
Post it.
 Add your (url) post below in the Linky at:
Add the post url, not your blog url.

The cats resolved into kids, the trees into pancake eaters, the blue skin into acoustical tile.
page 56, The Place by T.M. Wright

  My Thoughts

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Review - A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff

Early this morning, I had the privilege of reading the new thriller A Cross to Kill. And, no, it's not an "Alex Cross" novel by James Patterson! (FYI: I've read many Patterson books!) Written by Andrew Huff, A Cross to Kill is the first book in A Shepherd Suspense Novel trilogy from Kregel Publications.

The novel centers on John Cross, a small-town pastor who used to be a CIA assassin. He has mostly put his past behind him until terrorists attempt to murder news reporter Christine Lewis "live" on the air for millions of people to witness around the world. It forces John into the crossfire to rescue Christine and stop the bad guys.

13 Reads of Horror! - The Other by Thomas Tryon

I found a paperback of the 1971's psychological horror novel "The Other" by Thomas Tryon 12 or 13 years ago at a Salvation Army Thrift Store for 10 cents. I was more than thrilled at the time as I had seen parts of the 1972 film adaptation several times on AMC late at night in the early 2000s. To this day, I have never seen all of the movie, which, to me, seemed to be edited so badly that the story was extremely confusing. Thus, I wanted to read the book, and like many other titles I own, I never took out the time to actually read it.

Well, that's until I read the entire novel yesterday afternoon.

Set in 1935, the film centers around identical 13-year-old twins Holland and Niles Perry. Their father had died in an accident in the apple cellar on their family's farm earlier in the spring, which sent their mother into a deep depression. Their Uncle George and his wife, Winnie, are now taking care of the farm. Additionally, their pregnant older sister, Torrie, lives nearby with her husband, Rider, as well as their grandmother.

Despite the recent tragedies, Holland and Niles have seemed to move on with their lives by playing on the farm. However, the apple cellar has been locked up and it's off limits for everyone. Holland doesn't like to obey by the rules and removes the lock so they can play in there. As the summer rolls on, many accidents and deaths occur around the farm and all the evidence points towards Niles, who had somehow gotten ahold of the Perry family ring, which was supposed to have been buried.

Remember, this is a horror novel and things, including the dead, never stay buried!

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

13 Reads of Horror! - Psycho House by Robert Bloch

Believe it or not there's a Psycho III that isn't titled Psycho III, and,no, I'm not referring to the 1986 horror sequel starring Anthony Perkins. Actually, I'm referring to Robert Bloch's third novel Psycho House.

Unlike the film franchise, which focused on the serial killer Norman Bates, author Robert Bloch killed off the character at the beginning of Psycho II (not the 1983 movie), so he pretty much ruined any chances of another sequel. However, that's not the case, as he published a third and final sequel, Psycho House, in 1990.

Psycho House centers around the fully-restored Bates Motel and "psycho" house being turned into a tourist attraction in Texas with animatronic copies of Norman Bates. Guess what happens shortly after the attraction opens?

Yep, a few murders occur that leads the public to believe either Norman Bates is alive or there's another copycat killer on the loose.

The story mostly focuses on Amy Haines, a nonfiction crime author who's researching her next novel, which is going to be about Norman Bates. Of course, as soon as she arrives at the Bate Motel attraction, the murders begin. With the help of Dr. Steiner (the psychiatrist from Psycho and Psycho II), Amy is determined to unmask the killer.

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Review - 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 Reads 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, 21 October 2019

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, 20 October 2019

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, 19 October 2019

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, 18 October 2019

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.

Fall Reads: Summer's Promise

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Typically in the autumn months, I tend to read only horror or Halloween themed novels but here I am writing a review for the Amish romance "Summer's Promise" by Barbara Cameron, which was just released last month from Gilead Publishing. I've read a few other books by the author so I naturally wanted to read this one as well.

The novel centers around Summer Carson (Yep! That's a name!), a young woman who's trying to get her degree in agricultural science so she can follow in her late father's footsteps to help work with the local farmers. When Summer's not taking care of her mother, she's working part-time at the county agricultural office, a place where she occasionally has to socialize with Amish farmers. Her knowledge of Pennsylvania Deitsch is very limited.

This is a romance novel, so of course there is a suitor for Summer - Abram Yoder, a young Amish man who catches Summer's eye fairly quickly upon meeting. Despite being worlds apart, her being Englisch and him being Amish, sparks fly between the two but Summer's love for her Englisch lifestyle could be a bit of problem for them.

Final Thoughts

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Holiday Gift Guide 2019 Signup

Yes, I know I'm probably late in the game to be planning a Holiday Gift Guide for 2019. As many of you know, it's been stressful year for me, so stressful that I almost decided not to do a gift guide this year. However, I do enjoy putting together the gift guide posts/reviews each and every year, and at the last minute, I decided to do a Holiday Gift Guide (Nov. 29th to Dec. 23rd) for 2019.

Now I can't put together a gift guide by myself as I will need a bit of help from sponsors. As always my Holiday Gift Guide will showcase different brands, products and services.

Before emailing me, please read over the details on how to participate in the Holiday Gift Guide.

Holiday Gift Guide Details

Review Only: 
  • Reviews are free.
  • Each review will contain a picture of the product.
  • Each review will contain a purchase link.
  • Each review link will be posted on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • A link will be featured on the Holiday Gift Guide 2019 landing page.

Midnight Horror Review - 3 From Hell

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Walmart; Target
The Rob Zombie directed horror film 3 From Hell (R; 115 minutes) was released to Blu-ray (+ DVD + Digital) this week by Lionsgate Home Entertainment & Saban Films, featuring both the rated & unrated versions. It's also available to own on 4K Ultra Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.

3 From Hell is the follow-up to Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil's Rejects (2005). In the opening minutes, we learn the serial killers Baby Firefly (played by Sheri Moon Zombie), her adopted brother Otis Driftwood (played by Bill Moseley, and Captain Spaulding (played by the late Sid Haig) miraculously survived being shot 20 times each by the police. They were tried and convicted for their crimes.

Spoiler Warning: Captain Spaulding is executed by lethal injection, while Otis and Baby are sentenced to life in prison. Well, that is until Otis' half-brother Winslow Foxworth "Foxy" Coltrane (played by Richard Brake) helps Otis escape. Then they come up with a plan to break Baby out of the slammer. The trio go on a killing spree as they head off to Mexico to escape the authorities.

Special Features
  • To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell
  • (Blu-ray Only - 4-Part Documentary)
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Rob Zombie

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Fall Reads: The Road Home by Beverly Lewis

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

I wasn't even aware there was such as thing as "Amish romances" or an "Amish genre" until I read The Covenant by Beverly Lewis (a.k.a. the first book in the Abram's Daughters series) in either 2002 or 2003. Since then, I've read many Amish stories by many authors but my favorite happens to be Beverly Lewis. That being said, I've fallen a bit behind with the author's recent releases. However, I was able to do a bit of  reading catch up in September, which is when I finally got around to reading the author's 2018 novel The Road Home (320 pages; Bethany House).

Set in 1977, the novel centers around Lena Rose Schwartz, a young Amish woman from Michigan who's forced to move to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to live with a new family after the death of her parents. Lena wanted to take care of her nine siblings but the bishop disagreed and sent all of them to different families. Adjusting to a new settlement has been a huge challenge, especially since she has been separated from her siblings and left behind her beau, Hans Bontrager.

Final Thoughts

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sunday Post: 10/13/19

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

Good Evening, Everyone!


What Am I Currently Reading?

I have a lot reading on my plate this week. I'm will be finishing up Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds tomorrow and then I'll either start reading Buckskin or Summer's Promise. The latter title is for a book tour that start's tomorrow. I'll planning on posting my review on Thursday. I have a Jude Deveraux book on my Kindle that needs to be read. Then I have 13 horror novels to read this month. I would like to begin reading a book per day starting on Thursday. I'll be posting reviews for the horror titles starting on Oct. 19th (next Saturday). 

Recent Reviews

by V.C. Andrews




In The Mail

The only thing review-related in the mail last week were the two Blu-ray Steelbooks - Ultra Q: The Complete Series and Ultraman: The Complete Series - from Mill Creek Entertainment. These are Japanese "kaiju" series from the 1960s. Ultra Q was shot in black & white and features many "redressings" of monsters from the early Godzilla films. Ultraman is sorta sequel/spinoff about an alien warrior who accidentally collides with a Jet piloted by Hayata while battling a monster. The two merge together to become Ultraman. I'm planning on posting reviews for these on Tuesday, which is the day they're being released.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Blu-ray Review - Fort Yuma Gold & Damned Hot Day of Fire (Western Double Feature)

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
I need to kick my own butt into gear as I have several books and DVDs/Blu-rays piled up on my desk that need to reviewed, such as the Western Double Feature Blu-ray which was sent to me by Mill Creek Entertainment way back in the spring. The two movies on the single-disc Blu-ray (Not Rated; 3 hrs 21 mins; $14.98) are Fort Yuma Gold and Damned Hot Day of Fire. These are films are two of Quentin Tarantino's favorite spaghetti westerns. There are no special features or bonus extras. 

Fort Yuma Gold (also known as For a Few Extra Dollars) was originally released in 1966. It's technically the second installment in a trilogy that started with One Silver Dollar and ended with Wanted. Directed by Calvin J. Padget, the film stars Montgomery Wood (a.k.a. Giuliano Gemma) as Gary Diamond, a captured Confederate solider who agrees to lead  Union soldiers against Major Sanders, a leader of Southern followers who want to attack Fort Yuma. The cast also includes Dan Vadis, Jacques Sernas, and Sophie Daumier. The film's score is by Ennio Morricone and Gianni Ferrio.

Damned Hot Day of Fire (also known as Machine Gun Killers and Gatling Gun) was originally released in 1968. Directed by Paolo Bianchini, the film stars Robert Woods as Chris Tanner, a Union Captain who must clear his name after bandits kidnap the Gatling gun inventor, Richard Gatling, for a million dollar ransom. To make things worse, the bandits also stole Gatling's new gun with the intention of selling it to the Confederates. The movie also stars John Ireland and Evelyn Stewart. The film's score is by Perio Piccioni.

Final Thoughts

Friday, 11 October 2019

Book Blogger Hop: October 11th - 17th

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.