I laughed, I scratched my head, then laughed some more.

Posted in Blogs, Great Writers, science fiction, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2018 by Cat

Review of Improbables: a satire about very large numbers by Steve Marshall

Improbables by Steve M

Here’s a great science fiction novel

from an excellent writer. He kept the suspense building throughout the book; made the settings and activities complex, but familiar; and made the central characters likable and funny. The technology and social structures were futuristic, but entirely believable.

I loved it. Get it and read it, at once!

Thanks to Federico Rizzarelli for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

🛑⚠️🛑⚠️🛑⚠️🛑

Warning: a bit of a spoiler ahead.

Have you ever known anyone

who always has incredibly good luck? They may be an Improbable. Of course, without doing the math, you could never know for sure. But, the fact that their toast, when dropped, always falls butter side up means that they could be a valuable tool for winning an intergalactic war.

Thanks to Jesse Echevarria for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁

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I Was Shocked, Scared, Angry…and Then I Cried

Posted in Autobiography, Blogs, Education, Great Writers, Horror, Journaling, Spirit Food, Uncategorized, WriteLife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2018 by Cat

There’s a great evil growing

in the small town of Belford.

Hometown by Matthew Keville

suspect that the sudden

uptick of strange

disappearances, sudden

deaths, and savage murders

are more than coincidence.

But, they’re outsiders: bullied

and looked down on by other

kids and singled out unfairly

by teachers. The authority

figures they turn to dismiss

their concerns, if they’ll even

listen. They are on their own.

Before Dawn by Tao Yuan

Before Dawn by Tao Yuan

I loved this book, and I

usually don’t care for novels

where teens are the central

characters (high school is

about 45 years in my

rearview). But, who can’t

relate to kids who try to fight

a supernatural enemy alone

while all the adults are either

hostile or going crazy?

Photo by Rob Potter

Photo by Rob Potter

Michael Keville has great

insight into the issues that

young people ordinarily deal

with in high school,

especially if they have

differences that set them

apart. I haven’t cared so

much about an ensemble cast

of characters since Stephen

King’s The Stand. It

astonished me to learn that

it’s the author’s first novel.

Photo by Stefano Pollio

Photo by Stefano Pollio

There’s violence, sexual

violence, swearing, and stuff

out of nightmares. There’s

also frank discussion of

disturbing real-life themes.

This horror fan recommends
Hometown for mature teens

and adults of all ages.

“When we talk about evil, we tend to turn our attention to Hitler.”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2018 by Cat

This catchy first sentence begins Dr. Julia Shaw’s excellent, up-to-date analysis: Evil: the Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side.

Evil: the Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side

Expected publication date February 27, 2019 Abrams Press, New York.

She points out that, on the internet, it seems as if “…every comment thread will eventually lead to a Hitler comparison.”

But, as ‘Hitler’ has become a synonym for ‘evil,’ the sheer volume of people and actions compared to the WWII dictator results in the weakening of the epithet as a description. Even though there are points on which most would agree, there’s no standard measure of ‘evil.’ The judgment of humans and institutions is filtered through the perspective of what is normal for each particular culture.

Some of the dark humor topics found in internet memes. (Picture origin is unknown, not from the book.)

The book discusses this weighty subject in a way that would be useful in an educational or professional setting. However, without dumbing down her language, she’s made the book easily understood and fascinating for ordinary readers.

Though it isn’t a religious book, religion is discussed, as well as other controversial but pertinent topics.

I thoroughly enjoyed it — as a parent, a concerned citizen, a writer, a crime fiction fan, and an imperfect human being. I still feel guilty, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not evil.

The Garden of Earthly Delights

The Garden of Earthly Delights, the modern title given to a tryptich painted by Hieronymus Bosch circa 1490-1510. The Garden of Earthly Delights at Wikipedia

Sick, Scary Fun!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2018 by Cat

Review of The House by the Cemetery

By John Everson

(Preorder)
Flame Tree Press, 2018

This is not a book for the squeamish. But, if you’re a real horror fan, this is the perfect read, especially for the weeks leading up to Halloween. You’ll never feel safe in a Haunted House attraction again.

I loved all the references to the more obscure horror movies. I now know what films to look for to fill in the gaps in my horror movie education! The movie references also seemed to play a part in how easily I could visualize the action.

The author vividly brought the different characters to life. None of them were very deep people, but I felt empathy enough to care about them and each played a pivotal role in moving the story to its conclusion.

The House by the Cemetery could easily make a creepy, gory, bloody addition to the world’s repertoire of horror films. In the meantime those of us with active imaginations have the book!

Some People Are Scarier Than Witches and Ghosts

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6, 2018 by Cat

Review of Ezrah’s Plateau: Legend of the Cemetery Witch by Jacqueline Mahan
AuthorHouse, Bloomington IN, 2011

Although the plot of Ezrah’s Plateau is centered on a spooky cemetery where a witch is buried, it’s really about the secrets, corruption, and injustice of men. It’s sure to appeal to readers who admire heroic women.

Angela Horne has displayed inquisitiveness and inspiring strength of will since a young age. After high school, she left town and went to college. This ordinary rite of passage was viewed as an act of defiance against the town’s peculiar church doctrine, The Path, and transformed her into a pariah, shunned by all but a few.

A confrontation is coming when she returns at her grandmother’s request for the annual town festival which honors her ancestor for ridding the town of evil by hanging a witch. That act solidified the power held by the church in Ezrah’s Plateau; power that is maintained at all costs.

There’s paranormal activity coupled with conspiracy and crime, and a touch of romance. The book’s scares are more from human violence and crime than from the spectral witch, so I wouldn’t call it a horror story. That was a little disappointing to an avid horror fan like myself, but it’s still a good mystery and a satisfying escape.

Not Your Average Haunted House

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3, 2018 by Cat

The Mansion is a complex story that has melded the old-fashioned haunting with 21st century smart-house technology. It’s got supernatural elements, but there’s also some very creepy artificial intelligence. I’ve never read a book that combines things in this way and the result was excellent. I was plenty scared.

The author’s handling of both the computer tech and parapsychological scenarios is accurate and believable. The story simmers with dread from the start. It progresses from a college-aged friendship broken by a love triangle, building into a sustained crescendo of all kinds of horror, terror, and murder, with twists the reader won’t expect. It’s a great read!

5 Stars

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone

Emily Bestler Books/Atria

Expected publication date: December 4, 2018

Check out this book on Goodreads: The Mansion http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38355263-the-mansion

You may not become famous, but you will be remembered. Be kind and make them good memories.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2018 by Cat

You may not have a choice over the steps you take or the load you carry, you may encounter detours or roadblocks, you may never even reach your intended destination.

But, as long as you’re on life’s journey, you can choose to avoid trampling on the flowers. Let others know that you care, share your hopes, and savor the pleasure of each moment.

Be thankful.

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