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Book Reviews Horror New Release

IF IT BLEEDS by Stephen King

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone has a lot to it for a short story.
It’s told to us by Craig, beginning when he was nine years old, ending when he’s in his college years, and is focused on the big events that revolved around his elderly neighbor, and friend, Mr. Harrigan.
Read this with a box of tissues handy, just in case.

‘The waiting is the hardest part’
The Life of Chuck is told in reverse – but don’t worry…this isn’t Memento – it’s a great story that shines light on the good parts of being alive.
I feel in love with Chuck during his midlife years. You might fall in his beginning, or end, but let me assure you – you will trip.
And, man…that cat can dance!

‘No one provokes me with impunity.’
If It Bleeds is a sister story to The Outsider, (and the Bill Hodges trilogy).
Holly has come into her own, and has become quite the little bad ass. This is her first ‘solo outing’, and she sure took care of this story! I hope there is more of her in the future.
I also think I need to re-read The Outsider.

Rat centers on a writer who needs to prove to himself that he can get the novel that’s inside of him – out. (It’s something that hasn’t worked too good for him in the past).
With a little help from some southern NyQuil, a half-dead snarky rat, and a fever dream, the words pour out of his soul. Those words aren’t free though… is the cost worth it?

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Shadow Girl‘s review Apr 24, 2020  · 

Categories
Anthologies book discussions Book Reviews Horror YA

Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance

 ‘It does not necessarily take a fist to create a punch in the gut.’

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‘This fourteen-story YA fiction anthology delves into the experience of being bullied—socially, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and sexually. The school hallways, walks home, and house walls are no longer the boundaries for intimidation and harassment. With the rapid-fire response time of social media and smartphones, bullying has lost all limits, and the lines among truth, lies, and real accountability have become blurred.’

Cornered includes works from

Rhoda Belleza, Kirsten Miller, Mayra Lazara Dole, Matthue Roth, Sheba Karim, Kate Ellison, Jennifer Brown,Brendan Halpin, Jamie Adoff, Elizabeth Miles, David Yoo, James Lecesne, Josh Berk, Lish McBride, Zetta Elliott

I originally had this shelved on Goodreads as ‘ya-general’, but I had to add it to my ‘ya-horror’ shelf as well. ‘Cornered’ is pretty far out of my genre comfort zone, but it horrified me on a different level.

I’ve read a lot of (IMHO) outstanding fictional books about bullying –
THE 8th by Matt Shaw, JEREMY by Matt Hickman, MY BEAUTIFUL SUICIDE by Atty Eve,  RAGE by Stephen King, and most recently RAGE by Kimberly A. Bettes. (just to name a few). I think ‘Cornered’ hurt a little deeper because the stories lacked the gratifyingly bloody revenge from the victim(s).

I have the outline prepared, so BOLO for full review & author info. 

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I came across an article I posted in 2013 when I searched for keyword word ‘bully’, and I want to share it again now. Please check it out when you have the time.

stop-bullying-source

Categories
Horror Quiz

Can You Guess The Horror Story From Just One Quote?

You can take this fun Halloween-ish book quiz by  on Buzzfeed Books, and check back here to share your score in the comments!

 

  1. What horror novel is this line from?
    1. Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
    2. The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe
    3. The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
  2. Which short story is this horrifying description from?
    1. “Click-clack the Rattlebag,” by Neil Gaiman
    2. “The Colour out of Space,” by H.P. Lovecraft
    3. “I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream,” by Harlan Ellison
  3. Whence this troubling thought?
    1. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    2. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
    3. Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  4. What chilling work gave us this line?
    1. American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
    2. The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris
    3. Carrion Comfort, by Dan Simmons
  5. What book is this unsettling line from?
    1. The Ritual, by Adam Nevill
    2. The Cipher, by Kathe Koja
    3. The Ruins, by Scott Smith
  6. What short story produced this moment of horror?
    1. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    2. “The Infamous Bengal Ming,” by Rajesh Parameswaran
    3. “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner
  7. Which Edgar Allan Poe story gave us this classic line?
    1. “Morella”
    2. “The Tell-Tale Heart”
    3. “The Black Cat”
  8. Which short story has this as its opening?
    1. “The Dunwich Horror,” by H.P. Lovecraft
    2. “Snow, Glass, Apples,” by Neil Gaiman
    3. “Out of Skin,” by Emily Carroll
  9. Which novel includes this beautiful, frightening statement?
    1. Anno Dracula, by Kim Newman
    2. The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice
    3. The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill

 

 

 

As for my score…

Shadow Girl is a Master of Fright
You got 7 out of 9 right!

‘When it comes to all that is gruesome, horrific, and frightening, no one holds the candle to you. Or a crucifix, for that matter.’

Categories
Book Reviews Horror

REVIVAL by Stephen King

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A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

RevivalRevival by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a lifelong fan of Stephen King I should be used to the author following a certain trend. Revival is another good story with a slightly disappointing [to me] ending. It follows the life of Jamie Morton, and his connection to Reverend Charles Jacobs, over a period of about fifty years. We’re back in Harlow again, too – that makes me happy!!
Reverend Jacobs has been performing miracles. But, as Jamie learns, these miracles don’t come without a price.

Join more discussions…

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Horror PicArt / PicEdit Quoted

Uniquely Portable Magic(k)

MagicSK

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Book Reviews Horror Horror Short Story

Stephen King by Christine Dougherty

STEPHEN KING A Short Story by Christine Dougherty
★★★★☆
‘STEPHEN KING A Short Story’ can be downloaded on Amazon for 99¢, and is part of the collection – Evil Eight, Eight Tales of Horror.

My copy says WRITTEN BY CHRISTINE DOUGHERTY, all of her books on Amazon [dot com] now say ‘Chris Dougherty’.

Harold promised his wife, Michelle, that he’d be home early tonight. I know I’m not the only person who’s husband is constantly saying the same thing – just like I know that I’m not the only one who is let down by that promise every single time! Michelle is in our group tonight, because it’s 1:15 am, and Harold is still sitting at his desk in the office! He thinks since she probably went to bed hours ago – he’ll go ahead and work through his email.
He runs ‘GravenWords‘, a website (formed from a blog), dedicated to his love of books (and sometimes movies) in the horror realm. This generates a truck-load of email – trust me on this! Fans comment on their favorite books & movies, post about long awaited releases, and in the horror community – a ‘bond’ is formed between fans. It can be awesome! But, if fans don’t agree with your opinion, they let you know that, too!
Harold also receives numerous requests from writers who want him to review their work. – (There’s a bit where he’s bitching to himself about people writing nothing but ‘shitty little horror novellas’ these days, and I actually laughed out loud when I read “Who the fuck reads novellas?”) And, that’s exactly what this last email is! As he reads it, he thinks it’s a nice change to receive a polite and professional request from someone, until he gets to the end – where the guy compares his writing to Stephen King’s.
Tired and irritated, Harold fires off a quick, and nasty reply.
He regrets his harsh reaction immediately, and that’s the only reason he accepted the chat request. He comes to realize that accepting this chat may turn out to be the biggest regret of his life!
‘YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE KING!’

✩✩✩✩✩ ☆ ✩✩✩✩✩

JUST FOR FUN

The website that Harold runs, GravenWords, is a real blogspot address, and it’s ran by Christine 🙂 Check it out –
http://gravenwords.blogspot.com/

This is just the beginning.

I’ll go first and you keep a hold of my shirt; don’t lose me in the dark!

I think there’s worse to come.

Don’t be scared, though.

I know the way.

Yeah, I’m that kind of person. I check fictional posts, sites, and sometimes phone numbers. I just like to see how far people are willing to take a joke! (More than once… I’ve been very pleasantly surprised!) Don’t judge me! Ask ANY child of the 80’s who’s phone number this is, and if they’ve ever called her! 867-5309

The book is dedicated to Christine’s hero, The King of Horror
I love that, and I really hope that SK is the kind of guy that would pick up, and read, a book titled with his name.

Visit Christine, browse titles, and catch important updates –
http://christinedoughertybooks.com/

Watch for my review of Evil Eight – coming soon on BBB

$2.99 @ Amazon
$2.99 @ Amazon

Evil Eight, Eight Tales of Horror by Christine Dougherty
Zombies and vampires, ghosts and monsters in human form populate the pages of this book, ready to haunt your nights and follow you down into the inevitable nightmares they will bring. Secure Will walls bring safety or doom? Soul Mates Til death do us part. Or not. Stephen King You don’t mess with the King. junker A father’s love knows no bounds. Hit, Based on Actual Events A chilling look at one possible outcome to a devastating series of events. The Must Have Christmas can be a real bitch. Kids Today George Hart really likes kids. One Night Only in the Haunted Woods Halloween never felt so bad.

Categories
Horror

The Stephen King Universe

The Stephen King Universe

Categories
Book Reviews Coffin Hop Holiday Horror Horror Short Story Zombies

SPOOKY STACKS by Keene, Maberry, Nicholson, & Smith

Spooky Stacks Four Horror TalesSpooky Stacks Four Horror Tales by Scott Nicholson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SPOOKY STACKS is Halloween book with SS from authors I already know & love, and it was free to download (>.<) FREE makes everything better, but SPOOKY STACKS earned the 5 star rating for it’s content, not it’s price.

“Fast Zombies Suck”Brian Keene
I wholeheartedly agree with this, fast zombies do suck! These things with the RAGE virus… they may be bitey, but they’re not real zombies.
Ken thinks this way, too. He wants his zombies traditional, shambling and moaning. He’s been ready for them to come, he’s seen all the movies. He knows what to do when TSHTF, and, it sure looks like today is that day…

“Pizza Face”Bryan Smith
Will Hopkins delivers pizza for a living, but he dreams of getting away, and of a bigger & better life. With one ring of a doorbell, his life is about to change forever – let’s hope he can survive what’s waiting for him on the other side. I think this was my favorite story in this collection. There were a couple points when I made audible sounds, earning me that ‘youre crazy’ look from my husband.

“A Farewell to Arms”Scott Nicholson
Casey & Maleah have holed up in an old barn at the edge of town. They met when the zombies came, and just kind of went in the same direction. They didn’t consciously decide to pair up. Now, though, they must decide if they want to team up, or is it better if they just go their separate ways.

“Cooked”Jonathan Maberry
Billy & Cooter had caused a bit of a ruckus the other day, kidnapping a few flamingos and garden gnomes from someone’s lawn. They thought it was the funniest thing in the world at the time. It’s not so funny anymore.

View Shadow Girl’s recent reviews

See this title on SMASHWORDS

Categories
Book Reviews Book Trailer Fiction Horror Horror Movies New Release

DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King

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36 years ago, one of Colorado’s great resort hotels, The Overlook, burned to the ground. Jack Torrance could not escape the hotel’s grasp, but his wife and son, Wendy and Danny, survived everything that The Overlook tried to throw at them, and emerged from the wreckage. The only other survivor was the hotel’s chef, Dick Hallorann, who’d come up from Florida when he got a ‘hunch’, and a mental call from Danny.
Wendy and Dick received multiple injuries from what happened to them inside The Overlook, but Danny came out physically unharmed. Wendy received a small settlement from the hotel, enough to help her and Danny get by while she recuperated. They ended up moving to Florida, not too far from where Dick Hallorann lived. The bond that was formed between Dick and Danny was strong, and they all kept in touch throughout the years.
Although Danny was physically OK, the poor kid was a mess mentally. He was too young to control his gift, or his curse. There’s no reason to pretend here, we all know what it is! Danny could not control the shining at this young age, so he couldn’t stop the ghosts from The Overlook from coming to him. In March of 1981, when Danny was eight years old, and in the third grade, he had a visitor from The Overlook. He woke his mom up, told her not to go in the bathroom, and after that he refused to speak. Wendy called Dick and asked him to come. He didn’t hesitate, and was there the next day. This is when Dick sat down with Danny and explained as much as he could about The Shining, as much as an eight year old would understand anyway. Dick also told Danny about his childhood, his shine at that age, and what his grandmother had done to help him.
He taught Danny how to lock these ghosts away, in a sealed box, on a high shelf in the far back his mind. This is a trick you can do IRL (in real life), too. Psychologists would call it repressing, but I say – “Whatever it takes to get by!!”

REDRUM RESURFACES
REDRUM RESURFACES

We flash forward in time, to a present day Danny. The child who had been abused by an alcoholic father, and who swore would never take a drink, is waking up in Hangover Hell and trying to recall the previous nights events. We learn about what kind of man Dan Torrance has grown into, and where he is at this point in his life.
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Meanwhile, we are getting to know Andrea Steiner. Andrea is a 32 year old ‘wanderer’, doing what she needs to do to get by. She’s been ‘Dating for Dinner’, and while other girls are happy being picked-up with a quick drink and trip to the closest motel, that’s not her gig. Not a huge fan of men anyway, due to a father who spent eight years treating her like anything BUT his daughter, she preferred being taken to a movie instead of straight to the sheets.
Andrea doesn’t have to earn her money the way the others do. She has a unique talent. While watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with her date, his hand starts to creep into her lap and he’s not wanting any of the popcorn she has there. She whispers in his ear, and he falls into a deep sleep. So deep, in fact, that he doesn’t mind when she reaches into his pants, for his wallet instead of his willie, and liberates him from his cash.
This isn’t the first man who has fallen asleep in the theater with Andrea, and there is someone in the back row that has seen them all.
Rose The Hat
Rose The Hat

Rose O’Hare, known simply as Rose The Hat, is the leader of a tribe of people called the True Knot who travel across the country in search of sustenance. They are ‘family’ – what is tied can never be untied. They have been without a member who has a true ‘sleeper’ talent for quite some time, and Andrea is perfect.

The sustenance that the True Knot seeks comes from the ‘steam’ that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. The more pain these children endure, the more potent their steam becomes, so…they do not die a quick death.
doctorsleep4STEAM
Elsewhere, there is Abra Stone. Abra Is a very special and unique twelve year old girl who has unknowingly predicted numerous tragedies ever since she was an infant.
Born with a caul, and blessed with second-sight, she knows that her abilities scare her parents – so she hides them, pretending that they no longer exist. Her ‘Momo’, Concetta, has always known she is two-minded, and is supportive. The True Knot is aware of Abra’s existence, and her power. Abra has seen visions of Rose The Hat, and is aware of the danger.
When Abra really needs someone to confide in…there’s always been Tony. Lately though, Tony hasn’t been around.
When Abra recalls a vision, a forgotten memory so strong she cannot handle it alone, she reaches out with everything she has and asks Tony’ s dad for help.
Abra911predction sample03 AbraStone
It looks like I’ve said a lot, but I’ve only scratched the surface. I wasn’t super excited to read this, thinking a sequel to The Shining couldn’t possibly be done. But, knowing that the rest of the world was reading it, I couldn’t possibly put it off. My friends were super excited to read it, so I wanted to be able to discuss it when they were ready.
I went in with mediocre expectations, and have to admit that I was drawn back in to the Overlook from the very beginning. By the time I finished, I knew it wasn’t just the hotel that held such an evil power, but the land itself.
The first part of the story, with a young Danny, was great. I loved being back with Dick Halloran and reading about his childhood with the shining. Wendy tried, but Danny wouldn’t have made it without Dick. I’ve always been grateful that he made it out of the hotel alive.
I barely touched on the adult Dan Torrance. During his travels, and short stays from town to town, when he does end up finding work – he’s always been drawn to working in a hospice (hot-spice), being hired anywhere from janitorial staff to an orderly. His shining helps comfort the dying patients in their final moments.:

Dan sees the early death flies, will they catch it in time?
Dan sees the early death flies, will they catch it in time?
This guy's got one foot in the grave
This guy’s got one foot in the grave
When he settles in New Hampshire, it’s this gift that earns him the moniker Doctor Sleep.

His battle with drinking was a big part of the story, and at first, I wasn’t really keen on all the meetings and slogans. But, after I thought about it, I realize that it’s an important part of the story. He grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and the path that Jack Torrance went down is the same path that led them to the Overlook.

Everything came full circle.

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In the authors notes, when Stephen King talks about Stanly Kubrick’s movie version of The Shining, he says “…the movie, which many seem to remember – for reasons I have never quite understood – as one of the scariest films they’ve ever seen.”
Now, that sure sounds to me like he isn’t pleased with Kubrick’s interpretation. That surprises me!

The Stanly Hotel in Colorado. In the Top 10 Most Haunted.
The Stanly Hotel in Colorado. In the Top 10 Most Haunted.

The 1997 The Shining, also known as Stephen King’s The Shining, is a more accurate adaptation of Stephen King’s vision. This movie was filmed at The Stanly Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. THIS is the hotel King visualized while writing the story, having stayed there prior. I only wish I had my photos of our trip there! It is a gorgeous place, I met many workers who were hired as extras in the movie, and spent an hour playing with chipmunks in the parking lot!
This was taken right before we left for The Stanly Hotel... hey it's a good picture! This is a good enough reason to shape it. hahahahaha
This was taken right before we left for The Stanly Hotel… hey it’s a good picture! This is a good enough reason to share it. hahahahaha

Rocky Wood: King said Rock knows SK’s work better than SK, and is his go-to guy for all things Shining while working on this book. He also said ‘look him up sometime’. So, I did.
Art, THIS is the guy you will probably want to get in touch with about ‘the incident at the boiler’.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Wood

Links from the ebook:

The Simon & Schuster Stephen King page –
authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-King
Normally, I wouldn’t even visit the page for more than just being sure that the link works. But, when I did, I ended up checking some things out. The main neat thing… Become a fan of Stephen King on the S & S page to find out about new releases by SK, recommendations, special offers, and more. Plus, get a FREE eBook when you join their mailing list – See more at:
http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-King/1666839#sthash.F6TXk9FT.dpuf

http://www.doctorsleepbook.com/
~ has a little description of the book with a picture of the cover. A link which reads ” WHERE IS DANNY TORRANCE?
Click to find out”. The click is a maddening circle, ending at the beginning. I think it’s a little piece of SK’s sick humor…

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King reads from Doctor Sleep

Need a refresher?
The Shining

REDRUM1

Categories
Horror

REDRUM: Stephen King’s ‘Doctor Sleep’

Scribner has posted a new 30 second advertisement for Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which really gives you a good feel for the darkness and tension that permeates this novel: