The Die-Fi Experiment #BookReview

Title: The Die-Fi Experiment | Author: M.R. Tapia | Publisher: Hindered Souls Press | Pub. Date: 07/21/2017 | ASIN: B0737QZT2D | Genre: Horror/Thriller | Language: English | Triggers: Torture, suicide | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Received from the author for review consideration


“I would like to welcome the world to The Die-Fi Experiment. Please join us in the fun that is the deterioration of the world by means of social media.”

(Contains excerpt from M.R. Tapia forthcoming novel, ‘Sugar Skulls’. 

The Die-Fi Experiment Review

I’m a little torn on this book. The writing was decent and very professional. There were no typos and no weird formatting issues. I think that the author does have writing skill hence the two stars.

Maybe it’s an issue with this style not clicking with me but I didn’t really enjoy the story. The pacing was choppy and uneven. It would go back and forth between the narrator meeting his wife and their life up until they end up on “The Die-Fi Experiment”. Then it would jump to their current situation and the various ‘games’ they’re put through. Interspersed with these are chunks of commentary on social media.

I really enjoyed the parts that were about the narrator and his wife. The writer was very skilled at making me like them. Well, until it gets to the part on how they get lured into The Die-Fi Experiment. It was very unbelievable and makes them look really naive and trusting which they don’t seem to be so it really stretches the credibility.

The points on social media were thought out and laid out well but they’re not exactly unique and ground-breaking. Terror and torture as entertainment has been around for a very, very long time. Social media did not inspire the trend. It does make it more internationally accessible but so did Faces of Death.  I also found it just a wee ironic that after all of the things the author had to say about social media platforms at the end there’s a page of acknowledgements to the writer’s Twitter writing family, along with their handles.

Also, the ending seemed to be a little bizarre. I don’t want to give it away but it seemed a bit weird that he chose to do that instead of notifying the police. Also, I have to wonder why it’s set in Japan. For the isolation or some other reason? Because you could isolate a couple just about anywhere for the Die-Fi Experiment. So I have to wonder why Japan was chosen. There’s also an incident at the airport on their arrival that seemed out of place and I’m not sure what point they were trying to make. That every American who travels overseas is an ass? I’m not really sure.

So, to wrap-up, I’d hate to tank it to much because maybe I just didn’t click with it. 

Sunspot Review (Cli-Fi Thriller)

Title: Sunspot | Author: Rob Leininger | Pub. Date: 2014-12-13 | Pages: 281 | ASIN: B00QZKR93A | Genre: Apocalyptic Thriller | Language: English | Triggers: Sexual assault | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Sunspot

The sunspot was huge. Nothing like it had ever been seen before—a twenty-billion square mile blot on the surface of the sun, and growing. Dr. Morris Tyler at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff has a theory that might explain what’s happening, and the news isn’t good. Which is why he’s under surveillance after having been told to keep his theory to himself. Keeping his theory under wraps isn’t easy, not when a gorgeous reporter for Parsec magazine, Gail Dionne, has him in her sights, out to get a story. Tyler’s well-ordered world spins out of control when all these forces converge on him, and the world begins to grow colder as the sun . . . goes . . . out. – Goodreads

Sunspot.jpg

Continue reading “Sunspot Review (Cli-Fi Thriller)”

The Red Room #BookReview

Title: The Red Room | Author: Chris Thomas | Publisher: Sentinel Media UK Ltd. | Pub. Date: 02/28/2017 | Pages: 520 | ISBN13: 9780995714601 | Genre: Thriller | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Triggers: Sex slavery, child death (occurs offsides but it’s described later), domestic abuse, torture Source: Received from the author for review consideration


The Red Room

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Red Room.”

An anonymous website, a few clicks, and Joe Henderson’s dull little life changed forever.
‘The Red Room’; an underground show streaming live from the depths of the dark web of the internet. The only place where the inadequacies of a weak justice system are still righted, where the line between good and evil becomes blurred. When the Host puts on his mask and the lights go up, viewers bid, criminals are punished, and the Brotherhood of the Righteous broadcasts a show like no other.
The room has remained hidden until now, when a video arrives in the inbox of the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit: the torture and killing of a notorious criminal. But outclassed, outplayed, and torn apart by corruption, is there anything Detective Pete Harris and his team can do except watch?
Their only lead may be the room’s latest bidder, dull Joe Henderson. Because when Joe found the Red Room, it found him too, and now the Brotherhood are watching through the wires, willing to do evil for a righteous cause, to become the men that even monsters are scared of.
As they pull Joe deeper into the dark web, will he find any mercy, any way out? Or will he be the Red Room’s next volunteer? 

First off, I love the cover of The Red Room (except for the clipboard). I was a bit intrigued by the synopsis but honestly? I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting maybe torture porn type writing and bland as hell characters. I was very wrong. I can see why it might look like it from my trigger warnings at the top but the acts are written well and with no apparent urge to lengthen them out for sensationalism. The Red Room acts are drawn out a bit more but in this book context really does matter. The characters were great and while I can’t say I loved the characters of Joe and Ellie they were average people and fit well into the plot perfectly.

There were a few parts that were a bit predictable. Two separate characters whose stories follow along with the main one but you know that eventually both roads will lead to The Brotherhood and when it does, it’s great. Thrillers are a bit hard to review because of potential plot spoilers, so I won’t go into as much detail as I’d like to.

I honestly can’t say I liked the characters of Joe and Ellie much. I think Joe was kind of an idiot. Ellie wasn’t in the picture much and when she was she was just annoying. Their characters were pretty realistic though. The dialogue flowed smoothly which was especially noticeable with The Brotherhood. A lot of times when you have a group of the uber-rich in a conspiracy setting they all talk like Bond villains, super fancy. There was a little bit of that but for the most part they were pretty casual with each other which was a nice change. As much as I do like The Brotherhood my favorite characters were Daisy and Grace. Daisy’s journey and character was a great one and I loved her ending. Grace, well, she doesn’t have a lot of page time but I like her for…reasons (beyond the obvious). You’ll just have to read the book, I guess.

The pacing flowed smoothly with no real lags or stops. the action builds nicely towards the finish. I was a bit bummed out near the end because a character dies that I liked. That’s all I’m saying about the end. The plot was laid out well with no missteps or illogical weirdness. Chris Thomas did a great job of laying it out in order.

The one thing The Red Room does well is raise questions about the concept of vigilante justice. I think the reasons books like this and Dexter and all of the cop shows is that people want to believe. People want to believe that there are cops out there who are unbiased. Who will go the extra mile to solve your case. And if the law fails, then maybe there are people willing to mete out the justice deserved. But the downside to it is that too often people make up their minds on little to no actual evidence. To me, it’s only justice if it’s 100% that that person did the crime they’re being accused of. And the average citizen does not have the resources for that.

The Red Room circumvents this by having The Brotherhood be conveniently rich so that they can hire people to mete out punishment. Which would be the only way to have the resources necessary to do what they do. It does also raise the question of the ‘innocence’ of the bidders. The Brotherhood says that the bidders would never turn them in because they’re just as guilty by watching and bidding. Now, maybe a lawyer could try to get a conspiracy charge on the bidders but good luck with that. They can always say they thought it was fake. It’s obviously not but in court it would make for a good defense. I’m probably getting off on a tangent here but bear with me. Even if they’re legally innocent what about morally? Even if they’re not taking part in the murders they are watching them with no attempt to stop it. And how does the guilt of the “victims” relate to the moral guilt of the viewers? To me they’re interesting questions with no easy answers.

As far as the ending goes I think it ends perfectly with a nice little twist that I didn’t see coming.

Update: The Red Rom has now been re-released as Enter the Dark by the author.

The Fourth Monkey #BookReview

Title: The Fourth Monkey | Author: J.D. Barker | Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Pub. Date: 06/27/17 | Pages: 416 | ISBN13: 9780544968844 | Genre: Thriller | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Triggers: Torture, death | Source: Received from the publisher for an honest review


The Fourth Monkey

For over five years, the Four Monkey Killer has terrorized the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realize he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive.

As the lead investigator on the 4MK task force, Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unraveling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.

With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer’s identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the Four Monkey Killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller. – Goodreads

The Fourth Monkey Review

First off, I love the cover. It’s creepy and beautiful at the same time. Yes, i am one of those horrid readers that judges a book partly by it’s cover. It was one of the main reasons I wanted he Fire tablet. I like pretty pictures and some covers are pieces of art unto themselves.

Thrillers are quite hard to review as any misstep on the reviewers part can give the whole thing away. That being said, The Fourth Monkey is an awesome thriller. It has quite a few twists and turns that not only make sense within the book but also make good common sense.

The Fourth Monkey moves along at a nice clip. It doesn’t move so fast that you can’t tell who is doing what or what is going on. The Fourth Monkey is laid out neatly and compactly. No wasted descriptions that bog the plot down.

The characters of Porter, Nash, Clair and Kloz were very likable and interesting. They actually feel like a real team and real friends. Their dialogue is playful and serious and they fit together nicely. The dialogue also flows well together and is realistic. I honestly can’t tell you how relieved I am to come across a detective (Porter) who does have some things going on his life but he’a capable, intelligent, effective detective with a bit of a sense of humour. I partly stopped reading thrillers because all of the killers sounded the same, all of the detectives were either filled with self-loathing, drunk or on drugs, and barely keeping his job because he’s oh-so-cynical and insubordinate. I find it very refreshing that was not the case here. In fact, Porter’s troubles were very realistic in their execution and expression. A bit of a spoiler below. It’s nothing major and has nothing to do with who the killer is.

Spoiler!

As far as 4MK goes, he’s a decent enough serial killer. Character-wise, not human being-wise. His motivations are made clear through the diary and make sense. However, some things beggared belief a bit too much. That is really the only reason I can’t quite give it a five. The diary portions are interesting but the dialogue of the Four Monkey Killer as a child is far too grown-up. I have never heard a kid say, “This orange juice is delightful! It’s like sunshine in a glass.” I understand he’s not your typical kid but c’mon. Kids just don’t speak like that.


All in all The Fourth Monkey is a great, fast read with an excellent ending. As far as the technical aspects go there were no typos, no misused words. The type-face was clear and easy to read.

Blog Tour: Russell, the Author of Gavin on the Setting for His New Book

Gavin Banner

Why I Chose Chicago as a Setting

 

From the opening scene to the very end, my new book, GAVIN, transports the reader to the heart of Chicago. Because of this, Gavin’s apartment is situated amongst the towering cityscape and activity of life. Indeed, Chicago was a just a natural choice as a setting. Primarily, Chicago has a rich and somewhat dark history. Between its historic landmarks and buildings, the hauntings of yesteryear can whisper about the great Chicago Fire, the infamous gangsters, the 1893 World’s Fair, and the fated Chicago Stockyards and even more. One can only imagine the streets of the burgeoning city in the Industrial Era, changing landscapes as buildings rose to the heavens in midcentury and the modern expanse circumventing the city to spiral out in the neighborhoods. In addition, Chicago becomes a tertiary character in my book. Echoing New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago’s bustling city life does not cease. The fluidity of its people from the very center of the city to the far-reaches of the suburbs are on a constant move. Within the subtle shadows of GAVIN, Chicago can be seen as constant moving mechanism as it always stirs at any given point of the day. Even more, I attempt to encapsulate the very sounds and smells of Chicago as the story unfolds. Finally, and rather humbly, I lived in Chicago for nearly two decades. Having been born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, I did not know of anything larger but through books and pictures. When I was eleven, my older sister and I travelled to Chicago, which had such a profound effect on me. The grandeur and beauty of the city stole my imagination, and then, I was immediately smitten with the city. Fifteen years later, an opportunity rose up to relocate to Chicago. With much excitement and trepidation, I soon grew to love the city and became immersed by touring and visiting as many sites, locations, museums and neighborhoods throughout the area. Even though I currently live in Up State New York, I often go back to my pseudo-hometown and admire the beautiful glass and steel scenery. Thus, Chicago was only fitting for GAVIN to take place.

GAVIN
By Russell
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, LGBT

Book cover for GavinThe Chicago summer is heating up…
In a luxurious hotel off Michigan Avenue, Detective Gavin Nolan arrives on a grisly scene. Two men have been brutally murdered, and one of the victims has a familiar face. The twisted display is like nothing Gavin has ever seen, but it’s the message scrawled in blood on the bathroom mirror that leaves him reeling: Gavin, you could have saved me.
Other men have been viciously slain as well over the last few weeks. As he dives further into the victims’ lives, Gavin and his partner, Derrick, discover that each of the men have a common thread—one that Gavin shares. It’s a reality he has suppressed for years.
On top of Gavin’s personal chaos, the killer is displaying the bodies in a series of specific designs to depict a long ago memory. Recognizing the pattern, Gavin soon is forced to recall the dark event. In order to catch the killer, Gavin must reconcile his past.
Before he becomes the final victim himself.
GAVIN is a sexual thriller that will leave you breathless…

 

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent, sexual situations.


About the Author
For nearly two decades, Russell was an executive chef in the restaurant industry, in which he created succulent entrees and managed various types of kitchen operations. In the last seven years, he began to teach future culinarians how to achieve their professional goals in hands-on classroom and lecture settings. With his recent graduate work in the field of sociology, his interests center on organizational behaviorism, social theory, and food insecurity.
Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Last year, he published a second edition of his freshman novel, The Tale of Old Man Fischer. Slipping into alternative universes allows Russell to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Most importantly, inspiration is a continuous piece of his work and results from the world around him. Currently, he lives in Up State New York with his wife, two children, and several cats.
Please visit Russell on these social media platforms:
Facebook: Russell (The Author)

Twitter: @Russell_Writer
Instagram: @Russell_Writer

Interested in purchasing Gavin? You can find it at the links below.

Barnes and Noble

GoodReads

Kindle

Paperback

The author is hosting a HUGE giveaway!

Horrors – A Full Year of Horror #5

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror    

01/28/17 – 02/03/17

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

I will be reading one story each day and a weekly wrap-up review of the seven stories that I’ve read over the week.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.

Let’s see what is around the next page. You never know what may be lurking between the covers…of a book or your bed…


Birches and MurkLois H. Gresh

Synopsis:
Miranda has had a pen pal/lover for the last six years. Finally, aging and needing to see him they agree to meet. But things don’t always go as planned and she’s left with a choice: To keep to the comforts of his letters or join him.

Review:
Actually quite sweet and a little sad. Charles was not what I was expecting him to be. I was expecting him to be a zombie or something equally creepy.


Blood MoneyPaula Guran

Synopsis:
JohnBoy finds out the hard way that Blood Money can never come clean and all it will buy is your death.

Review:
The story isn’t too bad but the writing is a tad clunky in it. It tries just a bit too hard to sound street tough.


The Blue JarLisa S. Silverthorne

Synopsis:
A grand-daughter’s inheritance could be her fortune. Or her damnation.

Review:
I didn’t like the character of Lisa, the grand-daughter very much. She strikes me as a bit ungrateful and a shade less than intelligent. That being said, however, I did like the story itself. I thought the concept of bathing in salts from Sodom and Gomorrah was pretty cool.


Board ActionWilliam Marden

Synopsis:
Bad things happen when a shady businessman buys up a controlling percent in a company and wants to be Chairman of the Board

Review:
This story was a bit meh. Not very creative. It was obviously very heavily inspired by Capone’s business meeting with a bat.


BogieboxMichael Mardis

Synopsis:
Robert Jensen finds an old music box in the attic of his former home. The box brings up bad memories of the Bogieman that his abusive Aunt Rose said would always get him.

Review:
I’ve always thought music boxes were very creepy. This one seems to be a combination of music box and a Jack-in-the-Box, which doubles the creepy fun.


The Bone GardenDon Webb

Synopsis:
A retired man has a most unusual garden. When the garden begins to sing to his weary bones what choice do they have but to follow?

Review:
Oddly beautiful and haunting. It’s vividly written which creates an interesting visual.


The BooksellerAdam Niswander 

Synopsis:
A man gets more than he bargains for when he requests a bookseller to show him the rarest item in the store. It comes cheaply in currency but with a much steeper price tag.

Review:
A good one to wrap the week up on, don’t you think? A good story and one I wish was just a bit longer. I’d love to know the story behind the Overseer. I’m also dying to know what exactly the imprisoned are tasked to dig for.

Favorite of the Week:
Hands down it has to be The Bookseller by Adam Niswander. Adam Niswander is also the author of Billy, another favorite of mine that has been covered here. Adam Niswander does seem to have a knack for putting a lot of story into just a couple of pages. While I would love some more of The Bookseller to be told it also doesn’t really need to. The information is there in the story and it leaves your imagination to conjure up what it may. Which is usually more disturbing than what’s spelled out for you.


As an end of the month wrap I’d like to share my favorites from the previous weeks. Titles will link to which week they can be found on.

After The End Of It AllAndrew Sands

And Then the Music Stopped Greg McElhatton

Autumn in the Clockwork ForestMichael Scott Bricker

BillyAdam Niswander


That wraps up this week’s dose of horror goodness. Join me again next Friday for another week of horror goodies.

 

Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine

Barbara Jean Trenton – Ida Lupino
Danny Weiss – Martin Balsam
Jerry Hearndan – Jerome Cowan
Marty Sall – Ted de Corsia
Sally – Alice Frost
Narrator – Rod Serling


We pan down from the intro stars to what seems to be a romance set in a combination of World War 1 and…Robin Hood? It’s definitely a war but the hat screams Robin Hood.

Surprise! It’s a movie and the actress is siting in a chair, watching herself on the screen. Which seems a little vain to me. Vainception.

SERLING:
Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie great of another time. A once brilliant star in a firmament, no longer part of the sky. Eclipsed by the movement of Earth and Time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose entire world is a projection world, whose dreams are made of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit-and-run years. Lying on the unhappy pavement and trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame.


Barbara is sitting in her projection room. A maid brings her some coffee. It looks like Barbara has done alright for herself, the place looks pretty swanky. Sally the maid has interrupted Barbara acting out the part on the screen. That would be pretty embarrassing to me but Barbara takes it in stride. Methinks she has pretend time with her movies a lot.

The doorbell rings and it’s Barbara’s old friend, Danny Weiss. He knows all about Barbara’s predilection for watching herself on-screen. Sally is worried that Barbara seems more interested in her movies than real life. I can’t really blame her for being worried. The woman shuts herself in a dark room chain-smoking, drinking and role-playing her own movies. It does seem a trifle unhealthy.

Danny invites himself into The Shrine. It’s only eleven in the morning and the first thing she offers him is a drink. Danny gives a rundown of the L.A. weather (nice, no smog and sunny, thanks Danny!)

He asks what movie she was watching and she gets a trifle annoyed when he says each year they came out. Barbara does not like to be reminded of how long ago they were and the insinuation that she’s *gasp!* aging. Apparently she pours herself into the room and watches her own movies all day, every day. Gee, can’t imagine why he’d be worried about her. It seems like he’s a bit in love with her but it’s a little hard to tell why. She’s pretty snippy to him.

She perks up when he says that he’s arranged an audition for her at a (sort of) made up studio called International. There was an American International Pictures (A.I.P. for short) back in the day but I’m guessing they were going for a more generic title. My only problem with this episode is it makes such a big deal that she’s aging but they really should have done a bit better on the age make-up. She really doesn’t look that much older than she does in the movies that are supposed to have been filmed twenty years ago.

She’s also weirdly proud that Marty Sall, the head of the studio, called her “the most difficult star he’d ever worked with”. Um, that isn’t a compliment, lady.

She calls Danny a dear, sweet boy and that she’s in love with him, “in her own, selfish, devious way”. At least she’s honest, I guess.

She’s getting all excited about the part, hoping for a musical or a love story. Danny has the “how can I tell her they want her to play a mother” look on his face. It’s a little wussy of him to not tell her but he knows how touchy she is about her age. It’s also pretty clear he’s hoping she’ll take the part. He does risk incurring her wrath by implying that she’s aged but quickly tells her to get herself prettied up for the audition. She’s still a little pissy but agrees.

At the studio they’re greeted by the head of the studio, Marty Sall. Danny weasels out of telling her about the part, again, leaving it to Marty. So you just know they want her to play a mother or grandmother or something equally sinister. Knowing her as well as he does Danny still thinks this is a good idea.

They dance around a bit about the part but finally Marty drops the dreaded “M” word. He describes the part as a mother but “forty-ish, vibrant and alive”. She zings back, “As opposed to what? A corpse?!”

She gets her panties in a twist about being asked to play a mother. And she doesn’t take bit parts. Considering it’s been at least twenty years since she last acted you’d think she’d be a little less picky. Danny tries to get her to at least look at the part but she’s having none of it. If she isn’t the lead then she wants nothing to do with it. She calls Marty Sall crude and tasteless. Sall fires back at her that she’s older now, no longer at the top and any parts she gets from then on will be strictly charity. Ouch.

Danny bitches Sall out for kicking her when she’s down but, um, Danny? You could have prevented this whole thing by telling her the truth back at the house. Did you really think she’d be open to playing a mother? In fact, you specifically avoided telling her because you knew she wouldn’t even look at it if she knew what kind of part it was.

Weirdly, I think we’re supposed to feel more sympathetic towards her. To a certain extent, I do. I think Serling was trying to say something about how, in Hollywood, once a woman gets to a certain age she’s no longer ‘desirable’ for certain parts. That a woman over thirty is reduced to playing only mothers, aunts and grandmothers. My problem with it is that she’s so vain, self-centered and just generally unappealing. It makes her unattractive to me, no matter her age. I think Serling was going for something like that because typically he skewers vanity. And seems to take great pleasure in doing so.

Back at The Shrine. Danny tries to soothe Barbara’s ego by agreeing that Marty Sall is a jerk. Barbara has decided to close the drapes and say to hell with the world and it’s crappy movies (i.e. movies where she’s not the star and they play *eek!* rock ‘n’ roll). She has decided to remain in her own little bubble where she’s always young and always the star. She declares it’s 1930 in her house from now on and wants to give a party for her friends. All three of them. Except, one has been dead for five years, one has moved away and the other hasn’t been heard of in a long time. Finally, even Danny has had enough and huffs out.

After the Not-Commercial Break, Barbara is happily downing whiskey and watching (surprise) her movies.  It’s been quite a while since Barbara has left her Shrine to Barbara and Sally is worried. She tells Danny that she swears she sees Barbara up on the screen sometimes. Which would be natural if all Barbara watches are her own movies. But I’m guessing she means Barbara the person, not the character Barbara is playing. Either way it’s a weirdly written line.

Danny must be a masochist or sadist (I’m not sure which). He can’t help but be concerned about her being depressed (and a tad delusional) but also constantly reminds her about her age.

He’s brought Barbara a special treat: Jerry Hearndan, her former leading man and wearer of the Robin Hood hat. I’m thinking this is a bad idea all around. This Jerry is not the Jerry she wants. She wants Robin Hood Jerry.

Danny goes to get Barbara and they mean-banter a bit. Well, mean on her side, concerned on his. She gets all excited when he tells her that Jerry Hearndan is coming and rushes off to (hopefully) shower and pretty up.

She comes down all smiles but DRAMATIC MUSIC! He’s old. She was expecting young, movie Jerry. Danny, because he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, hasn’t mentioned Barbara’s aging issues because the first words out of Jerry’s mouth are, “Been a long time, Barbara Ann, lot of water over the dam”. Which isn’t really cruel or anything but since Barbara likes playing pretend it’s a slap in the face to her.

She at least does try to be gracious and admits that she expected him to be younger. She also confesses to the crazy notion of doing another movie together. I actually do like her here. She’s very vulnerable looking and trying to keep up the gracious hostess charade. Jerry tells her that he’s not acting anymore, that he left that behind in his youth. She wants to know what he does now and, horror of horrors, he runs a chain of supermarkets.

Barbara looks pretty flummoxed with that news. Yet another blow to her carefully built up world. And the pang of sympathy I had for her is now gone because she tells him that she didn’t want Jerry Hearndan the person to come and see her. She wanted the characters he’s played. She kicks them out because they’re yet another reminder of the glory days she can’t let go of.

To give Jerry credit he tries to gently tell her goodbye and touch her shoulder but she pulls away from him like he’s got cooties or something. She might catch ‘Old’ from him. Danny is disappointed but all I can do is stare at the weird pineapple on the back of her dress. And the front. Were they really such a fashionable fruit?

After they leave she figures she’s all dressed up, why not do something fun! Like watch her movies some more. Because those are the only people that matter to her. She’s trying to wish it all away and you just know some Twilight Zone is going down because the screen gets a bit blurry.

Sally brings her some coffee but does not see Barbara anywhere. She does, however, see something that makes her scream. Sally calls Danny and he comes rushing over. After a thorough house search they realize that Barbara is nowhere to be found.

Danny turns on the projector and there’s a party going on in Barbara’s foyer, on-screen. All the characters from her movies are there, waiting breathlessly for the enchanting Barbara. I’m actually a little surprised that she’s letting other women into her fantasy domain. Of course, what fun is being the Queen if you have no one to lord it over.

She’s about to go outside  on Robin Hood/Jerry Hearndan’s arm but Danny is begging her to come back. She blows him a kiss, throws him her scarf and goes to hang out with her real/fake friends. Poor Danny.

Danny leaves the room, looking a bit heart-broken. He finds the scarf in the foyer where Movie Barbara dropped it. He’s happy her wish came true.

 

SERLING:
To wishes that come true. To the strange, mystic strength of the human animal who can take a wish and give it a dimension of it’s own. To Barbara Jean Trenton, movie queen of another era, who has changed the blank, empty tomb of a projection screen into a private world. It can happen, in the Twilight Zone.


As you can probably tell I didn’t like this one much. I think Barbara was vain and self-centered and I’m a little miffed she gets what she wants in the end. Oh well, Serling’s happy about it, I guess.

Join me for next week’s  Twilight Zone Tuesday – Walking Distance

A Review of Hell Holes by Donald Firesmith

What’s it about?

Book Cover for Hell Holes: What lurks belowA geologist, his climatologist wife, two graduate students, a local newspaper reporter, an oil company representative, and a field biologist travel to one of dozens of huge holes that have mysteriously appeared in the tundra of the North Slope of Alaska. Their mission is to research these strange craters that threaten financial and environmental catastrophe should they open up under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline or any of the many oil wells and smaller pipe lines that feed it. Unfortunately, a far worse danger lurks below, one that threatens to destroy all of humanity when it finally emerges. Some will live and some will die on Hell Day and the day after as the team flees south towards Fairbanks.

-Goodreads Synopsis

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A Review of Larvae by Robert Forrester

What’s it about?

A short story of creature horror ….

A group of scientists searching for new species in the Brazilian rain forest are delighted when they find an erstwhile undiscovered larva. But their delight soon turns to terror when they realise the deadly potential of their new find.

The larvae have a secret weapon …Us.

-Goodreads Synopsis

My Review of Larvae

 Larvae was an interesting, fast-paced horror/thriller that caught my attention right away. Its the perfect dash of creepy that you want in a short story, and even though it was satisfying, you could definitely see the story being easily expanded a bit.

Now, I’m normally a bit grouchy about finding lots of spelling and punctuation mistakes in the stories that I read, but especially so when I’m reading short stories. If what is written is less than 50 pages long, especially, there is no excuse whatsoever for multiple mistakes.  Larvae needs another round of editing.

Overall, its worth the read, especially considering its completely free on Amazon right now (or at least it was at the time of this posting.

3 Star Rating

Click here to find Larvae now on Amazon.com

Title: Larvae | Author: Robert Forrester (site) | Publisher: Best of Both Worlds (Hybrid Publishing) | Pub. Date: 2013-6-7 | Pages: 23 | ASIN: B00D9V3AMC | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2015-12-27 | Source: Kindle Unlimited

Looking for something with a similar feel, but maybe a tad bit longer? Try:

A Review of Cliche by Aaron Patterson & Nora Robb

Book Cover and Synopsis for Cliche by Aaron Patterson & Nora Robb

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