Sunday Sum-Up

sunday-sum-up-2%2f19%2f17The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

This was a very absentee week for myself here in the blogosphere. I found by Tuesday morning I was not well. Looking back and a call in with the nurse now says it was probably flu or a severe case of bronchitis (maybe both). The nonhusband was away and honestly, I laid in bed too tired to do much of anything aside from feeling sorry for myself. Fever has subsided and I appear to now be on the mend, but I still have a lot of fatigue and chest pain. The doctor will follow-up as needed this week at my appointment. So I may be slow to get back into the swing of it all. Luckily, I have actually had a small amount of pre-scheduled posts (something that rarely happens). So I get to pretend like I am sort of here 😉

With that said, let’s look at how my stealthy hiatus went!

Mini Review


The Lost Children: A Dark Short Story Collection
By Amber Bierce
Pages: 98
Genre: Short Story/Dark Speculative Fiction

Blurb: Get ready to settle in with some unsettling fiction!
The Lost Children is a collection of mostly speculative tales in which, one way or another, someone loses a child.
The ‘lost’ is sometimes literal and sometimes figurative, while the ‘children’ range from toddlers to adults.
This collection features ten stories from flash fiction to short story length (500 – 4000 words), and the stories run the gamut of dark fiction, from fantasy and sci-fi to quiet horror, with a few ‘realistic’ tales. Several have appeared in various magazines, a few under another name.

My Thoughts:

This week I chose  a small collection of short stories all centered around one common theme, missing children. While I would easily classify 3/4 of this collection as horror, there were a few stories that didn’t quite meet the qualifications for myself. So I have opted to label this as dark, speculative fiction.

The recurring theme alone is enough to make this one a difficult read for some. It definitely emits a more foreboding air with a collection of stories spanning from commonly eerie and imaginative tales to those that dive deeper into a more horrific setting.

I applaud the author for choosing to approach the subject of ‘lost’ children in such a brazen manner.  And she has successfully done so in a variety of approaches. This was maybe not an outstanding read, but certainly worth the time it passed if you enjoy tales that favor the dismal or grim side of matters.


Black Hole


The Man Who Fell To Earth


darkmatterDark Matter
By Blake Crouch
Jon Lindstrom (narrator)


Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.

It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.

When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”

Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.

And someone is hunting him.

Is the life Jason remembers just some crazed dream? And can he survive long enough to discover the answers he needs?

By Dathan Auerbach


Penpal began as a series of short and interconnected stories posted on an online horror forum. Before long, it was adapted into illustrations, audio recordings, and short films; and that was before it was revised and expanded into a novel!

How much do you remember about your childhood?

In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, tragic, and horrific occurrences of his childhood in an attempt to finally understand them. Beginning with only fragments of his earliest years, you’ll follow the narrator as he discovers that these strange and horrible events are actually part of a single terrifying story that has shaped the entirety of his life and the lives of those around him. If you’ve ever stayed in the woods just a little too long after dark, if you’ve ever had the feeling that someone or something was trying to hurt you, if you remember the first friend you ever made and how strong that bond was, then Penpal is a story that you won’t soon forget, despite how you might try.

I do not think it will be necessary to mention each week that I am still currently reading Stephen King’s It. I feel this goes without saying 😉 I did branch out this week by adding the audio-book to the mix. Just in time to find myself in bed and helpless. Good call on that one!


This week on Books, Vertigo and Tea:

  • Goodreads Monday featured The Day of the Triffids.
  • Tuesday’s A Nice Brew & Something New was a wonderful interview with author Dennis Macaraeg.
  • Saturday was the announcement of the Winners of The Bone Angel Series Drawing! Thank you to all who participated & congratulations again to Annie, Claire and Icky!
  • I am also currently working on a new monthly feature that I am pretty jazzed for. However, I am holding off on ‘unveiling’ until I have all details narrowed down. Shall we say “Coming Soon”?

Looking elsewhere for a great discussion or food for thought? Check these out! 

Worthy of noting is the gorgeous new header @ Cover 2 Cover Mom. Check it out if you have not!


I will be spending the majority of this holiday weekend in bed, but hoping each of you are enjoying your own plans and time! Take care and always remember sometimes it is okay (even best) to slow down..waaaayyyy down and forget about taking it all so seriously 😉

“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”
-Douglas Adams,The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

Sunday Sum-Up

sunday-sum-up-2%2f19%2f17The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

The week seems to be flying by of late. My daughter just acquired her first paying job (telling my age again)  and the school year will be wrapping up over the next two months. I am not quite sure if I am ready for Summer. Between my son’s visit with his father, the nonhusband’s traveling and a working teenager, the warmer days usually equate into a mix of rest and solitude. It has its ups and downs.

This past week was very productive not only on the blog, but in real life. I managed to stay semi caught up in the blogosphere and reach all posting goals. I am really starting to enjoy the decision to do away with star ratings as well. I also accomplished two appointments and a week on the new meds while sacrificing minimal hours with work.  Winning!

Mini Review


The Horror at Red Hook
by H.P. Lovecraft
Pages: 45
Genre: Short Story/Horror

Blurb: A shabby recluse is seen around town looking younger and more radiant.

My Thoughts:

This might actually be the end of my time with Lovecraft. I found this short story to be a prime example of xenophobia presented in a fluffy packing. A mundane word fest that was attempting to be something much more than it was. I was unable to move beyond the blatantly racist theme. There was nothing of appreciation or value for myself within this dull story.


love, and you


love, and you by Gretchen Gomez was the huge winner for me this week! I am highly recommending that you visit her @ Chicnerdreads if you enjoy poetry.


By Stephen King


Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

Readers of Stephen King know that Derry, Maine, is a place with a deep, dark hold on the author. It reappears in many of his books, including Bag of Bones, Hearts in Atlantis, and 11/22/63. But it all starts with It.

*Skip this trailer if you do not enjoy horror!

I have finally decided to tackle this monstrosity in honor of the remake! Which looks surprisingly amazing! I am also finishing up my recent title and trying to decide which requested title I will tackle next.  I am contemplating adding an audio-book to the mix each week since the fluid still seems to be affecting my eyes. So we will see how it all pans out.


Goodreads Monday featured Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

A Nice Brew & Something New featured Liza Perrat and a giveaway! There is still time to enter for a free eBook from The Bone Angel Series. This is international so make sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Pairing Teas & Reads returned featuring several wonderful blends.

As a side note: I actually DNF‘d two titles this week. The first I will not be mentioning as I feel I did not make enough progress to provide any insightful feedback and will follow-up with the requester per my policy. The second was actually a very popular title, All the Light We Cannot See. I was unable to connect. However, I have actually re-shelved this and plan on revisiting it at a later time. I feel that maybe I am just not in the correct mindset at the moment.

It is shaping up to be a busy week with several reviews and a spotlight in the backlog. Today we rest before the nonhusband leaves for another longer trip. May each of you enter into this next week with hearts full of happiness and kindness.

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
-Mark Twain


Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

Sunday Sum-Up


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

It is that time again! The end of the week and the conclusion of another month. Time seems to be flying. And while I feel like very little has happened here on the blog, I have made some very important leaps in real life. I am tempted to call March a big success. I hope that each of you can say the same.

I will be wrapping up with my usually weekly summary and short story mini review as well as discussing a decision I have made regarding my review process. And as always, I will provide my typically lazy monthly recap 😉

Mini Review

monkey's paw
The Monkey’s Paw
By W.W. Jacobs
First published September 1902
Now part of the Gutenberg Project
Pages: 32
Genre: Short Story/Horror


Writer W. W. Jacobs haunting tale of how a mans cavalier wishes are tragically granted by an exotic but cursed talisman, wreaking havoc on what was previously a content family.

My Thoughts:

The Monkey’s Paw is your standard “be careful of what you wish for” tale, that manages to incorporate enough subtle yet key elements of the supernatural. This is an atmospheric read that manages to provide the reader with a valuable lesson in a small amount of time. Reading through the pages, it was easy to see that more current author’s may have drawn inspiration from this classic tale. This one is impossible to dissect to any real depth without revealing the story in its entirety. I will sum it up as an eerily fun read that delivers that timeless lesson, greed and desire can certainly undo even the best of man.


butterflygardenThe Butterfly Garden

Injection, Volume 1


This week I am still continuing with Let the Right One In. New med and few hurdles have slowed me down, but I am really enjoying this one! I even picked up a copy of the original film this week and look forward to doing a comparison. I also started a new GN:

Black Hole

By Charles Burns


Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the out-set that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.

And then the murders start.

As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Hole transcends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasn’t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird.

To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skin…

new-other-happeningsI had the pleasure of being featured on K.L. Kranes wonderful blog!
Goodreads Monday
Drew @TattooedBookGeek Won Recent Giveaway!

I also want to make note that after following the fantastic Lorraine @TheBookReviewCafe and her recent decision to throw out the star ratings that a lot of us use, it began to make so much sense. I have touched with her briefly on how well I enjoy her lack of star ratings and how it has worked out for her. I am deciding to follow suit. I will not be altering previous reviews (therefore you can still reference my old system), but going forward, on the blog there will be no stars. Don’t fret, should you actually want them, they will still be present on Goodreads and Amazon for ranking purposes. But my hope is that you will take enough away from my reviews without the need for stars. I want you to walk away with an opinion influenced only by the insight provided and not numbers or stars 😉

March Lazy Recap!

Books Read: 9

Top Read: Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames – Review here!

Graphic Novels Read: 3

Top Read: Low, Volume 1 – Review here!

Sadly, I did not accomplish my Pairing Teas & Reads as I had wished. Long story short: I was unable to get out and explore new teas this past month due to my health and the nonhusbands travel. I will make a concerted effort going forward!

Notable Posts on a Very Relevant Topic:

I am currently in the middle of a mental overhaul and hope to go forward with a less stressful and more realistic approach to this blog and the community I love. There has been a lot of talk circulating regarding “blogger guilt” because it is a real problem for many. This has also brought to light another valuable topic, expectations. I do not normally feature other posts as my monthly wrap up, but here are a few of my favorite posts for this past month that I hope you can take something of valuable from if you every find yourself struggling between the guilt and your own standards as I do:

Jaded by Blogging @ The Tattooed Book Geek

Blogger Guilt @ Novel Gossip

Blogger/Follower Expectations @ Cover 2 Cover Mom

May your bookshelf always be full and your cup over flowing!


Danielle ❤

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