Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Virtual Book Tour: Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies by Jayce Carter

 Good morning! Please welcome author Jayce Carter to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here today to tell us about her new release, Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies. Jayce will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


 


Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies

by Jayce Carter


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Erotic Romance

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB:

 

Abandoned at three—whose parents want a kid who sees ghosts?—I learned the world is quick to punish misfits. I try my best to be a normal, boring human, but the call of the supernatural just won’t be ignored.

 

When a stranger shows up on my doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s no sexy tryst. Instead, I’m off to the graveyard, digging up the corpse of a murder victim at the demand of the local vampire coven—and that small felony is just the start.

 

The spirit of the woman has gone missing, something that shouldn’t be possible, and everyone is looking to me for answers. There's Kase, a vampire who’s both terrifying and secretive. Grant, a mage with a bad attitude and a lot of power. Troy, the possessive werewolf-detective next door and Hunter, a mysterious bad boy who isn’t even close to human.

 

It’s a race not just against time but against everything to figure out where the spirits are going, who’s behind it and if I can trust the men who now share my bed.

 

And all because of a little grave robbing…

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT:

 


 

“You need to do something,” I said as Kase and Troy struck a wall and knocked off a painting. Sure, it was a cheap one I’d picked up at a chain store, some mass-produced image of cherry blossoms I’d always thought would make me a calmer person, but it was my stupid painting and they’d ruined it!

 

“You’re right.” Grant snapped his fingers, whispering a few words.

 

The two fighting seemed unaffected, however, as Troy flung Kase off him and Kase sailed back, almost faster than my vision could follow.

 

I was about to tell Grant it hadn’t worked when I realized he had a bowl of popcorn now.

 

Had he really used his magic to summon popcorn? Hunter reached over me to grab a handful.

 

“You said you couldn’t use magic for frivolous things,” I stammered.

 

“I can’t.”

 

“You used it to get popcorn!”

 

Grant lifted the popcorn as though to make a point. “This isn’t frivolous, Ava. There is a man-on-man fight here—that requires snacks to properly watch. Get your priorities straight.”

 

My mouth hung open. Every time I thought I had my feet under me with these men, they showed me how wrong I was.

 

“They could kill each other,” I finally said.

 

“Sure, but they won’t.” Hunter stole another handful of popcorn and tossed some in his mouth, a few pieces falling to the couch. “Troy hasn’t fully shifted and Kase isn’t biting. This is just one of those macho alpha dominance shows. Let’s all be glad they’re doing this instead of actually measuring dicks. Trust me, that just hurts feelings.”

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INTERVIEW

Do you have any tattoos?  Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

Let me take you back almost two decades, when I had just turned eighteen and was young enough to think I was unique. I had a few hundred dollars, the number of a tattoo artist, and no knowledge of what a tramp stamp was or why one might be a bad idea. Fast forward to today, and I have a big butterfly on my lower back, surrounded in black tribal, and a lot of regret.

 

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

I think like most of us, my life is very different than it was two years ago. There is of course the entire pandemic, my children distance learning, and lock downs. On the plus side, I have very pretty eyes, and I think the mask is a big improvement for my overall look. Beyond those things, however, two years ago I wasn’t a published author. I was just some girl writing horribly filthy fanfiction, dreaming about turning my passion into a career. It is strange for me to think about that, to realize just how much has changed over that time.

 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was a kid. I remember being called into the principal’s office when I was eight because a substitute teacher didn’t appreciate my horror story one time because of the graphic content and language. I may not have stayed with slasher stories, but it gave me an early taste of criticism and taught me that there will always be haters.

 

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Finish that story! Yes, I know that old standby is the most annoyingly simple piece of advice, but it’s true. There are times when the story isn’t fun anymore, when your once sexy plot puts its feet up on the table, its hand down its pants, and refuses to take the garbage out. It can be so tempting to trade it in for a new model, but the reality is that all stories will go through this. These growing pains are normal, and you won’t be able to get to that glorious happily-ever-after if you don’t hang in there and strong-arm that plot into submission.

 

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

 

The main character of Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies is Ava, a woman who can talk to spirits. It doesn’t sound so bad, but what the blurb doesn’t mention is one horrible event from her past. See, ghosts look like they did when they died. That means she usually sees them mangled, bloodied and unhappy. One time, however, she woke to the naked, turned-on spirit of a man at the end of her bed. It seemed someone had passed away during auto-erotic asphyxiation, and she had to spend four weeks keeping her eyes above the equator. Since then, Ava has always made sure to be exceptionally careful when naked, afraid to spend her afterlife floating around with her girls out. It’s the sort of worry normal people don’t every have to worry about.



 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing.

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/JayceCarterAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/jaycecarterauthor/

https://www.jaycecarter.com/

 

Buy Links:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Grave-Robbing-Other-Hobbies-Paranormal-ebook/dp/B08X4QFG74



 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 




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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday is Horror Day #7 - The Woman in Black (1989), The Dentist

 The Woman in Black (1989) 


Grieving widower Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent on business to a remote region, leaving his son Joseph with the nanny. He promises Joseph they will be reunited in just a few days when the nanny brings him on the train to meet him. Arthur is a solicitor who has to go through all the papers left on an estate, which is a tall order indeed. On his arrival, Arthur gets the distinct impression that no one wants him there. His room reservations suddenly don't exist, and everyone seems determined to put him on the next train back to London. But Arthur isn't one to give up quite so easily.



On the train, he strikes up an acquaintance with a man from the village, Sam Daily (Ciaran Hinds). Hitting it off, Sam invites Arthur to dinner the following night and Arthur agrees. The estate where Arthur is to work is sadly neglected and very desolate. And yet Arthur spies a woman on the property, one dressed entirely in black. On his return to the village, he happens to be at the constable's office when two young boys bring in a girl who is in a bad way, having apparently drunk lye. Before Arthur can even think what to do, the girl dies in his arms. And now the villagers are more adamant than ever that he must go, that it's his fault the girl died.

When he goes to dinner at the house of his new friend, Sam warns Arthur not to talk about children, if at all possible. He and his wife (Janet McTeer) lost their son, Nathaniel, and he doesn't wish to distress her. But Arthur learns there is more to that story when, at the dinner table, Mrs. Daily talks of how her son liked to draw and still does and then proceeds to jab a knife into the wood table, gouging it severely before her husband calms her down.



Sam doesn't believe in the supernatural, but since his wife's death, Arthur isn't so sure. And now he's seeing and hearing things that make him wonder who is the woman in black, and what does she have to do with the deaths of the children?

I have to admit I wasn't sure what to expect of this film, or of Daniel Radcliffe. I was just beginning to think it a run of the mill gothic when suddenly it wasn't. And yes, I'll admit I jumped at least once. The premise has been used before. We saw it in Dracula with Jonathan Harker going to Dracula's estate in order to discuss legal matters with him. But this version sees Radcliffe as a grieving widower trying to deal with the loss of his wife while raising the son he loves more than anything.

This film has a definite Gothic atmosphere, and a rather creepy vibe as we watch Arthur become sidetracked from his duties by the mystery of the woman in black, whom he has seen more than once. And every time he sees her, another child dies. I really liked it, and definitely didn't see the ending coming. Definitely worth the watch, I give it a pretty solid 4 stars.

The Dentist




Dr. Alan Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen) is a successful dentist with more than just a cleanliness fetish - he absolutely abhors anything that is even a little dirty. Finding out that his young blonde wife is cheating on him, with no less than the pool man, who is filthy and dirty by the very nature of what he does, sends Alan careening over the edge, spiraling into madness... and revenge.







While spying on the pool man at his neighbor's house (she's also carrying on with the man), the good



doctor is attacked by her dog, whom he dispatches with cold efficiency. Long overdue at the office, his 

patients are growing impatient, and his loyal office staff is trying to placate them. When the doctor is finally in, he starts to keep his appointments, including that of a budding starlet, April Reign (Christa Sauls) who has been brought by her manager, Steve (Mark Ruffalo). Upset over the perfidy of his wife, the doctor hallucinates and begins to molest the poor woman while in the chair. He comes to himself to find her panty hose on the floor, her bra undone. He hastily tries to make repairs, but ends up shoving the panty hose under the table, and telling her manager to take her out for fresh air as she's had a bad reaction to something.

As if things weren't difficult enough, the doctor has been dodging calls from an IRS agent, until the agent shows up on his doorstep and can't be ignored any longer. How will he deal with him, with so much on his plate?


Luring his unsuspecting cheating wife to his office under the pretext they are going out, he introduces her to a new chair he's had installed at his office, and to a rather unusual producedure. Later he takes her home and wreaks vengeance on the hapless pool man.



The doctor can't seem to catch a break, and people are catching on. So, like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps going and going and...

This was an interesting role to see Corbin Bernsen play, as I mostly known him from his stint as the sleazy divorce lawyer Arnie Becker on LA Law. I think he was already not too tightly wound from the beginning with his compulsions and his visions, but the discovery of his wife's adultery caused him to snap. I think the strength of this film lies in trying to figure out just how far this crazy dentist will go to get revenge, no matter who gets hurt. Not a great film, but I do intend to watch the sequel. I'll give it a solid 3 stars.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 34 by Tite Kubo

 

Bleach, Vol 34       


Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 1, 2011

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/216 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Nel’s transformation has taken Ichigo and everyone else by surprise as she goes from young child to voluptuous fighting woman in a heartbeat! Pesche and Dondochakka also turn out to be more than they seem. Indeed they are true friends and loyal followers and protectors of Nel. As Nel battles Nnoitora, in her Capricorn Knight form, you can almost feel the fear that radiates from him. Apparently he hasn’t missed her presence ever since she almost beat him down once before.

Pesche and Dondochakka attack Szayelaporro, who has vastly underestimated them, not knowing they have been training for years. After Nnoitora unexpectedly causes Nel to revert to her childlike state, he tells Tesla to do what he wants with all of them, he is done. Now Ichigo must face the Armored Tusk Warrior, and Ichigo is in bad shape already.

Szayelaporro deals with Nel’s two friends and is about to put an end to Ichigo when salvation unexpectedly arrives in the form of Kenpachi. A confused Ichigo asks how can he be there, since the captains have been forbidden to help him. Kenpachi explains that it has to do with Uruhara, who was working to stabilize a safe path to Hueco Mundo for the captains, but that Orihime being snatched forced them to speed up the timetable.

The other captains begin to arrive – Unohana, Byakuya, and Kurotsuchi. They are faced by Zommari Rureaux, the number seven Espada

Let the battles begin!

Another action-packed, battle-filled volume of Bleach. Watching Nel and her friends reveal their true selves is pretty awesome. Also, the fortuitous arrival of Kenpachi to save the day! Not exactly an altruistic fellow, I imagine he’s saving Ichigo so he will have the pleasure of battling him again. Look for a brief appearance by Yuchiro as well! Byakuya shows why he has the reputation he has with some pretty awesome moves against Rureaux, and also reveals he is not entirely cold-hearted. But, in my opinion, it is the under-utilized Kurotsuchi who steals the show. We don’t get to see him fight very often, but don’t underestimate him. He takes advantage of a bacteria he planted in the unknowing Uryu in order to gain advance information on the enemy, and that move certainly pays off. Not only does he display his devious skill set but he reaffirms what a cold being he is. His coup de grace against Szayelaporro is priceless!

Hopefully we’ll get to see more of the captains in the next volume, especially Shunsui! I enjoyed this volume of Bleach, look forward to the next one!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday Briefs: Super Trooper #64 (15.1)

 Good morning, Happy Hump Day and Happy St Patrick's Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Chan's birthday has arrived, and he is both excited and apprehensive. This is the first one since the death of his parents. He doesn't know what to expect from Evan and the kids. See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. And then visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Super Trooper #64 (15.1)

Chan wasn’t sure what to expect on this, his first birthday since the death of his parents. Normally his mother made a special meal and fussed over him to his heart’s content. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen. No amount of wishing would bring them back.  He wasn’t sure how much he wanted to celebrate. On the one hand, it was his birthday. On the other, he almost felt guilty celebrating the occasion without them.

When he woke that morning, he decided he would simply allow his family to present their well wishes and bask in their love and understand. Undoubtedly they had something planned for him. He just had no idea what that might, and looked forward to finding out.

He had half expected that Evan would take a day off from work for the occasion. The night before, as they lay in bed, when he’d suggested doing that himself, Evan had glanced up from the book in his lap and asked, “Why? Do you feel ill?”

A startled Chan stammered he felt fine and rolled over. And that was that.

Maybe they were waiting for morning to arrive first. Maybe Evan was just playing with him. He consoled himself with that thought before falling asleep.

His idea was quickly dispelled the next day when he woke to find Evan up and dressed. Laksha and Kamal had finished their breakfast, and Laksha had already fed and dressed Madhu. The children bade a hurried good-bye as they rushed out the door as if they were going to a fire. Chan frowned at their retreating backs. Really? Not even a single birthday wish? Didn’t he merit that much?

As they were leaving, they let Denise in.  “I thought I would take Madhu to the park, it’s so nice,” she explained at the sight of Chan still in his sleep clothes. “Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“No problem,” Chan assured her.

As he watched, Evan finished his cup of coffee, rinsed it and set it into the dishwasher. 

“Well, I’m outta here. I’ll see you later.” He kissed Chan on the cheek. “Your breakfast is on the table.” He flew out the door without another word, which only added to Chan’s growing perturbation.

Didn’t anyone care enough to remember his birthday?

Denise picked up Madhu and her wolf, and selected a few toys, which she threw into a bag. “See you later, Chan,” she said as she exited the house. Madhu waved at him over Denise’s shoulder. That was something, anyway.

Chan took a quick glance at the food on the table and decided he didn’t want to eat. He picked up the plate. Tempted to throw it away, his frugality overcame his anger, and he put it into the refrigerator. Someone would surely want it later. He’d get something at work. In fact, maybe they would bring in doughnuts or something, in honor of his birthday.

Assuming anyone knew it was his birthday.

Chan grumpily stalked into his bedroom and dressed. Catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror only caused him to frown more deeply.

Get over yourself. It’s just a birthday. You are a grown man.

If only it was that easy.

The sound of the front door opening drew Chan from his funk. Who the hell could that be? Maybe Evan came back because he remembered what today was? He hurried into the living to find Evan there. Chan’s heart beat faster at the sight of him.

“Sorry, I forgot…”

Yes, yes, yes….

“I have some dry cleaning that’s ready to pick up. Do you mind getting it on your way home?”

Chan nodded mutely.

“Love you,” Evan added with another kiss on the cheek. This time he really left. Chan watched his car pull up the street, out of sight.

Happy birthday to me.

 to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 1 by Yoshiki Nakamura

 

Skip Beat! Vol 1       


Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 5, 2006

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga/Supernatural/184 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

 

Kyoko and Sho have known each other since they were children, practically raised together. So when Sho, pursuing his dreams of stardom by moving to Tokyo, asks Kyoko to go with him, how can she say no? Forgoing high school, the sixteen-year-old gets a job and works hard to support them both, while Sho works at becoming a famous musician. Kyoko remains in the background as he grows in popularity, and has to endure hearing other girls talk about Sho and the things they wish they could do with him. But Kyoko knows that when he isn’t on tour, it’s her he comes home to.

Until one day she overhears Sho and his manager talking about her, and she learns that she is only a housemaid to Sho! Angry and hurt, she confronts him, but he doesn’t even seem to care. How could she have been so blind? He taunts her by saying that if she wants to get revenge on him, she should go into show business and become better than him.

Revenge is on!

Kyoko hasn’t got the faintest idea of how to become a celebrity, and has no particular talent. But that doesn’t stop her. Selling the Sho merchandise she has accumulated, she gets a complete makeover, turning from brunette to blonde. Then she goes to one of the two top talent agencies, the one that isn’t Sho’s but is home to his biggest rival, Ren Tsuruga. Ren is far above Sho, which has always griped the selfish singer to no end.

No talent? No problem! Kyoko is sure that sheer determination and spunk will get her where she wants to go! She is so focused, she is downright scary!

I am actually re-reading this series, and I totally love it! The only minor complaint I have about the artwork is that everyone has really weirdly pointy chins. But in the scheme of things I can forgive that as it’s a really good manga. Kyoko is a strong female character, but she is far from perfect, although she is rather naïve. At heart, she’s a very good girl, but Sho has hurt her, and there is a very thin line between love and hate. In this first volume, we meet some of the people who will become pivotal to Kyoko in the future, including the eccentric head of L.M.E. Talent Agency, Lorry. Also Ren Tsuruga and Kanae Kotonami.

Kyoko learns that guts will only get her so far. She has to develop whatever talents she possesses in order to succeed with her chosen revenge on Sho. In the process, she may just find who she truly is. On to the next volume!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Virtual Book Blast: Tiger Stripes by Hannah Renae

 Good morning! Please welcome author Hannah Renae to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here to tell us about her new release, Tiger Stripes. Hannah will be awarding a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!



 

Tiger Stripes

by Hannah Renae


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GENRE: Memoir

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB:

 

Four psychiatric wards

 

Three rehabs

 

Two jail cells

 

And a suicide attempt...

 

 

Hannah was told she would not make it to 25 with the way she was living. She had struggled with mental illness her entire life, but at 22 her demons came to a head at the grips of severe substance abuse, life-changing trauma, and two major deaths in her life.

 

Hannah's struggles land her places no one ever hopes to grace; jail and psych wards lead her to the brink of death. Running out of options she's left with two choices: live or die. This heart-wrenching memoir combines recovery with bittersweet romance told in a raw presentation that immerses the reader into the author's dark state-of-mind in every page.

 

Tiger Stripes is going to add a valuable voice to the conversation about women's mental health issues.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT:

 

THE LETTER H

 

October 7, 2019

           

 

“HENRY! HENRY! HENNN-RYYYY!!!!”

 

I am screaming at the top of my lungs and can feel my throat tearing, becoming raw. I don’t know how many times I have said his name now, but it is all I know how to do because nothing is making any sense.

 

I am in a locked room and flashes of images are going through my head, but there is only one thing, one thought that I can focus on, that is pounding through my brain throughout this confusion and that is pouring out of my lungs to the point that my chest feels like it is going to rip.

 

“HENRY!” I choke on his name and a sob.

 

He cannot hear me, and he is not coming. He doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know where I am, but I know I am not supposed to be here—and I have to get out.

 

I beat at the metal door that barricades me from something unknown and choke on words that begin with H.

 

“HENRY!” “

 

“HELP!”

 

“HENRY!”

 

“HELP!”

 

I repeat these words for what feels like a lifetime, until I forget how to speak and my begging turns to carnal screaming—shrieking.

 

No one comes. No one answers. I wait for footsteps, for the sound of the door unlocking, but all I can hear is the sound of my frantic breaths and the echoes of a lamentation that is anything but human.

 

I look down at my body. My feet are bare against the concrete floor; I cannot feel them. The jean shorts I am wearing show off my slender, scratched legs and remind me that I am small and feeble at this moment, but in an act of desperation, I put all of my faith in the power of momentum and I run. I fucking run as fast as I can from the three paces it takes to get from the wall to the ominous looming, locked door and attack it with my entire being, letting out my most vicious battle cry as I fumble towards it.

 

The door wins.

 

I try again.

 

And again.

 

And again.

 

And again.

 

And again.

 

I am degraded to a crumbling, bruised ball of flesh.

 

I can barely speak, my throat reduced to sandpaper.

 

Everything hurts and I can taste the bitterness of blood in my mouth. The floor is like ice against my bare legs. Through the tears in my eyes I see the moon shining through a window at the top of the room. It is full and brilliant and illuminates the white of the brick walls that surround me. I realize that there is writing on them. People have been here before me. People will be here after me. Why am I here though? I should not be.

 

I should be home, where I belong. In bed, with him. Safe. I feel anything but that word in this moment, as terror sweeps through every single one of my nerves. 

 

I whisper in one last futile attempt:

 

“Henry?”

 

But there is silence. Horrible, deafening, fatal silence.

 

And it seems to last forever, until I hear it, or think I do. A click, the door unlocking, and the small room is suddenly filled with light. Fluorescence suffocates me.

 

When I dare to open my eyes, they do not find Henry. Instead I find a police officer looking back at me. He wears broad, black framed glasses that are too big for his face and he looks eerily familiar. A sudden memory of lying in a hospital bed comes to me but does not fully resonate. His face is forlorn and almost disappointed, as if he expected more out of me.

 

“I thought you were going to hurt yourself,” he tells me. “Promise you’ll stay calm and you can come out for a bit. We’ve got to get you fingerprinted.”

 

It’s then that I have the shattering realization that I am drunk and in a holding cell at a police station. The reason why escapes me though, as I try to grab onto flashes of sober memories but drown in my current state-of-mind.

 

I try to breathe with intent as I remember every single arrest-cliché in the book, and I cling to the fact that I am going to get my phone call. They will probably let me go—they have to. If anything, they will make me stay the night at the most.

 

I remember the silent promise I had once made myself—that the moment I got a DUI that I would put down the bottle for good. Jail was the worst it could get. It had been my crowning achievement at my last three rehabs that I had never graced the inside of a jail cell and I never planned to.

 

“Continue down the path you have been,” one of the staff members at my second treatment center had told me after sharing her own story about prison, “and jail is a guarantee.”

 

And here I am. Her words have come to pass, as promised.

 

I then remember what else she told me as we talked over a pack of Marlboro Reds on a warm Orange County night.

 

“Finish the 90 days,” she had said, “Or you will not make it and there will come a day where you will no longer be able to cry out ‘I’m a good person!’. You will lie. You will steal. You will become someone and something else. You will hurt everyone you love. You will lose everything, and just when you think you have lost it all, you will lose something else.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

If there is anything Hannah believes in, it’s hope, but that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, chaos was comfortable for Hannah, but at just 22 she would have to make her hardest decision yet: was life really worth living? Since picking up a pen Hannah has had a love for writing, and as an adult it would become her greatest tool in healing from an almost decade-long battle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Her first book, Tiger Stripes, is a harrowing, raw telling of her year in and out of hospitals, treatment centers, and jail that finally led her on the road to recovery and freedom.

 

Hannah was born in Orange County, CA but has lived in the Los Angeles area for several years. She now lives in West L.A. with her boyfriend. When she is not writing she can be found reading, running, cooking, or finding the best vegan eats in L.A.!

 

Author Links: Website -http://hannahrenaeauthor.com/

 

Twitter - |https://twitter.com/byhannahrenae

 

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hannahrenae/

 

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/hurnpublications/tiger-stripes/

 

Book Landing Page - https://hurnpublications.com/tiger-stripes/

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WM2S9Y2/ref=as_li_tl

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tiger-stripes-hannah-renae/1138814034?ean=9781736450901

 

 Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tiger-stripes

 

Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/tiger-stripes/id1553383519?at=11lvdC&uo=4&mt=11&ls=1

 

TBD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Tiger-Stripes-Hannah-Renae/9781736450901

 

Indigo - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tiger-stripes-a-memoir/9781736450918-item.html?ref=isbn-search

 

 




 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday is Horror Day #6 - Absentia, The House of the Devil

 Absentia (2011)


Seven years have passed since Tricia's husband Daniel went missing. Seven long years of wondering what the hell happened, where did he go, and why. Finally, Tricia decides it's time to move on and have Daniel declared dead in absentia, since it's clear he isn't coming back, for whatever reason. Tricia's sister Callie joins her in order to help her move on. Callie is something of a wanderer, flitting about from place to place, setting down no permanent roots. And she was a junkie, but she's clean now and she's found religion. Also, Tricia is pregnant, but she is reticent about revealing the name of her baby daddy.





Strange things begin to happen. Tricia thinks she sees her missing husband and he terrifies her. Her


therapist assures her it's just the stress of finally declaring him dead that has triggered these sightings. While on a run, Callie encounters a strange man in a nearby tunnel. His first question to her is, "You can see me?" He creeps her out and she goes on her way, but returns later, with food for the man, as her Christian duty. But he isn't there.


And then the unexplainable occurs... Daniel returns. 

Tricia's world seems to be falling apart. Daniel doesn't seem to be the same man, and she is torn between her husband and the father of her baby. Something very odd is going on, to say the least, but what is she supposed to do?



Absentia is a very quiet kind of psychological horror film which revolves around the resolution of grief, never an easy task.  There are some creepy moments, but nothing overtly horrifying. And yet at the same time, the premise is horrifying as we try to suss out what happened to Daniel, and can it happen again? To him... or anyone? The mind sometimes finds certain facts or suppositions difficult to accept. But the easy answer is not always the right one.

This was a good film, worth watching. Decide for yourself what happened. And think twice about entering creepy tunnels. I give this film 3.5 stars.

House of the Devil (2009)


Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is a college sophomore who longs to move out of the dorm she shares with her friend Megan (Greta Gerwig) and into her own place, one where she won't have to worry about not getting into her own room because her roommate is entertaining. She finds a great apartment with a very understanding landlady (Dee Wallace) who only asks for $300 first month rent, no down payment. The trouble is Samantha needs the money by Monday and today is Wednesday. She has to do something fast!


An answer to her prayers arrives in the form of an advertisement on campus for a babysitter. One night only for $100. Seems too good to be true... and it is. When Megan drops Samantha off at the house in the middle of nowhere, she tries to persuade Samantha it's not a good idea, but Samantha is stubborn. They both go into the house and meet the man who placed the ad, Mr. Ulman (Tom Noonan, who played Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon). But here's the catch. Turns out there is no child, just an elderly woman. When Samantha balks, Mr. Ulman increases his offer. Finally, Samantha demands and receives $400. What the heck, it's just for a few hours. She'll watch TV and come home with the money she needs.

If only life were that simple....

This is one of those films where you wonder how anyone can ignore so many red flags. Seriously?


Granted, this takes place in the 1980s, so no cell phones, no Internet, only rotary phones and Walkman. Even so, Samantha ignores the signs that even her roommate catches on to, such as the way the guy stood her up initially. His willingness to pay so much for a few hours work (in the 80s, mind you).  If it seems too good to be true, then you can bet it is too good to be true and you should look that gift horse in the mouth.



By the way, look for Mary Woronov of Eating Raoul in the role of Mrs. Ulman, and also the aforementioned cameo by Dee Wallace (ET). I think I spent more time waiting for the other shoe to drop than anything else. Lots of suspense, that's for sure. The night this all occurs also just happens to be the night of a major lunar eclipse, which is the big thing on everyone's mind. So, of course, one's mind runs to what sorts of things occur during supernatural events. 


Certainly not the worst film ever, though hardly the best. Decent production values, and some good music, including The Fixx playing One Thing Leads to Another. I'll give it 3 stars. And I'll just add pay attention to the ending.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

 

Dread Nation ( Dread Nation #1)     


Authors: Justina Ireland

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

American release date: December 1, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Young Adult Zombie Fiction/464 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

Jane McKeene is her mama’s dirty little secret. Born to a white plantation owner, Jane is undoubtedly of African-American descent. Even so, she knows her mother loves her, and does the best that she can to raise her right. The course of Jane’s life is changed forever when the dead begin to rise on the battlefields of Gettysburg. Jefferson Davis’ Confederacy capitulates to the North due to the necessity of having to fight the growing numbers of undead, which they cannot do on their own. Even so, the battle is an arduous one, and some Southern States have been given up as long causes, simply referred to as the Lost States.

Under the auspices of the Negro and Native Reeducation Act, certain children are sent to schools to learn to combat the dead. Jane is one of these, having been sent to Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore. Jane is really good at what she does, and she can surely swing a mean scythe, but she misses her mama, and writes her often. But she hasn’t heard from her in a while, and Jane is concerned.

Jane is a very independent soul, and very strong-minded. Despite the fact that slavery is now illegal, blacks are still treated with a great degree of condescension. Definitely second-class citizens. The best Jane can hope for is to become an Attendant to some fine white lady (read paid but still a slave in all but name). She dreams of the time when she can leave the school and return to her home in Rose Hill, in Kentucky. Jane has friends at the school, but Katherine is not one of them. Katherine is so fair, she could easily pass, and she is beautiful, and she knows it. She and Jane are like oil and water.

Jane has a past relationship with a young man named Jackson. Their relationship didn’t exactly end well, and yet they maintain a tenuous sort of friendship, somewhat out of necessity. Jackson is easy on the eyes, and he operates outside of the law, and you know how women like their bad boys.  Jackson gets Jane and Katherine embroiled in a scenario which ends up with all of them being sent West to a place called Summerland. Supposedly this is a haven for people to be safe against the growing hordes of dead.

But Jane quickly discovers she has just been sent to a place that is more Hell than Heaven.

I found this book riveting from beginning to end. Jane McKeene is an amazingly awesome heroine, strong and gutsy and just plain likeable. The story is told in a compelling First Person present tense narrative that will pull you in. This alternate Civil Way history with zombies is imaginative and fascinating. I thought it very sad that although slavery was illegal, the entitled white people still found a way to keep the blacks down. I found it hard not to draw parallels between then and present day America, and maybe that was the point.

The relationship between Jane and Katherine is priceless, going from enemies to friends. And in Summerland, I think Jane may have found a potential lover. Only time will tell. There are some great characters, some you’ll love, and some you will equally loathe.

The really good news is there is a sequel, and I can’t wait to read it.  Although marked as High School, I think this is an enjoyable series for all ages.. Can’t wait to read the next book.