Book Review/Spotlight: Grad Night

Book: Grad Night
Links to purchase: Universal
Author: Carver Pike
Genre: Horror
Pages: 194
Synopsis (from Amazon):
“School should never be synonymous with danger, but that’s exactly what it has become. Students are violent, with each other and with the staff. Teachers and administrators have been attacked. This is nothing like the school shootings occurring on other campuses. No, this is personal. It doesn’t revolve around one child wanting revenge on the rest of the student body. It involves most of the students wanting payback against everyone.

Something far worse than teenage rage lurks in the Darrius Sawyer High corridors. Everyone can sense it. Teachers hint about it. They speak in hushed tones, tell stories about odd occurrences in their classrooms, and travel by numbers as they make their way to their cars after school.

Evil walks the hallways and the teachers know its name: James Bender.

At DS High, the seniors are planning the ultimate Grad Night bash, and all the teachers are invited. James Bender will be there. You will be too.

Carver Pike takes ordinary circumstances, cinches them tight with razor wire, and then saws back and forth. Gasp for air, holler for help, and pray for an end to the madness.” (description got off Amazon)
This book was gifted to me to read

This is definitely not for children to read.

This book had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Some of the main characters are a bit profane and some descriptions are graphic, so if graphic descriptions aren’t up your alley, you may want to skip it but if you’re not squeamish, this is a really good book. If you love gory and brutal scenes, this is a great book for you.

Unlike many books that flip from one point of view to another, each chapter is labeled with which character is talking and their point of view, I appreciated that the most.

The story follows two of the teachers directly. The main good students are lovable and the bad students had me wanting to jump in the story and shoot them myself.


The concept of the Graduation night party had me thinking- I have had teachers I didn’t get along with, who gave me failing grades and even had one embarass me because I had undiagnosed Asthma and couldn’t run- I was called lazy and forced to run (luckily, my asthma was never bad enough and I learned to regulate my breathing but I was later diagnosed as an adult)

Even the ones who failed me and berated me for not running, I could never conceive doing what the demonic psychopaths in the book did.

I was sitting at my computer, reading and getting madder and madder. I had times I almost started crying and other times, laughing. This is one of the books you can lose yourself in.

If you like gore, horror, aren’t easily offended and love losing yourself in a book written from the view point of two of the most lovable characters in the whole book, you should definately check this one out.




Book Review: The Looking Glass Wars

Written by Frank Beddor,  “The Looking Glass Wars” is about young Alyss Hart- you may know her by Alice from “Alice in Wonderland.”

This book is very similar to the movie that came out back in 2010  starring Johnny Depp.

It’s action packed with lovable characters. The Mad Hatter is not the insane tea party fanatic he is in the children’s acid trip. He is Hatter Maddigan- one of the fiercest members of Queen Hart’s militia.

He is also Alyss’s mentor and the guard chosen to keep her safe from her aunt Redd Hart who is determined to kill her after killing her mom in order to take the throne.

I started reading some comics years ago, found the graphic novel and now I own the novel. It has kept me on the edge of my seat, no matter how many times I have read it and gave me a major appreciation for Alyss’s adventures in Wonderland.

Best Things About Writing Fantasy

Writing is a lot of fun in any genre. It gives you the chance to create your dream version of yourself. You can live through your characters, make up your own worlds, languages and anything else- it’s the ultimate way to exercise your imagination.

When writing fantasy, things are slightly different. If you don’t want to write factually, you just make the details up. World building is a lot of fun. I started one time during Nano in 2012 and got addicted from the start. That project has been tabled, because I’m working beyond just a novel and I’m trying to build a whole universe around the characters.

I call it my “baby” and will be publishing it- once it turns out as detailed and a perfect as I imagine it when I’m writing (the name of the series is “The Cursed One,” the second book was my first ever novel attempted and I have the rough draft finished)

Here are my top reasons for why fantasy is my favorite genre to write.

1. World building is fun. You can create your ideal world, a dream world or the world of your nightmares. You can put any items you want and name all the parts of the world

2. It’s a clean slate- the whole genre is made up- creatures that never existed, humans with superpowers, no laws, authoritarian government- nothing needs to be based in anyway in reality. It’s a total clean slate and you are the one in total control of what happens and how it happens.

3. Either reading someone else’s work or writing your own is a total escape from the mundane or stress-filled aspects of life. If you’re in a stressful situation in real life or you’re bored with the mundane, writing a good fantasy world is a way of escaping and throwing yourself into the magic of your own making. You can design characters around yourself and others, and have them be the version of yourself that you want to be. Most of my main female characters in most of my works look the same- they are all based on how I wish I was- careers, bodies, features, personality traits and everything else.

There are so many other reasons fantasy is one of the most fun genres but those are my top 3.

If you’re a fantasy writer, what are yours?

I’d love to hear others beyond the creative outlet and escaping the mundane reality of life.

Book Review: Nightmares

Nightmares is a collection of short stories written by Lindsay Crist.

The stories aren’t a series so you don’t have to read the whole book at once- it gives plenty of time for reading short amounts on a busy schedule, but from the time I picked the book up I had trouble putting it down.

She wrote most of the stories in ways that kept me turning the pages.

The second story was my personal favorite, the first kept me on the edge of my chair from the second I started reading it.

As with all books with multiple stories, you won’t always keep attention on every story but that’s all personal preference, I still give this book a 5 star and would recommend it to horror fans and I’m looking forward to seeing the next book she publishes.

Book Series Recommendation: Fablehaven

Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series is a cute and fun series aimed at kids. I started reading it as a late 20s adult, and couldn’t put it down. I’m planning on getting my kids reading it as they get older.

Fablehaven is a fantasy, nothing evil nor adult content. It’s pure fun and the style he writes can put you right in the story. I got lost for hours and read through the whole series in just a few days.

Without giving things away, it’s about 2 siblings visiting their grandfather in Fablehaven- a magical world where fantasy creatures live peacefully together. The big sister keeps trying to control her little brother- who always gets them into trouble. Each book is a new adventure Seth and Kendra have to battle, stop and fight but Mull still keeps the action clean and safe for younger readers.

The end of each book has some life lesson type discussion questions to talk over with your kids as they finish- so it’s obviously written for the pre-teen age range.

I would recommend this book to parents of older elementary school kids, teens or even adults themselves. I read it a few years ago and still have all the books on my shelves ready for my kids to pick up.



Who else is doing Blogtober this year?

I am always up for a good challenge and am needing to get back into the swing of blogging.

To do Blogtober, you simply have to blog daily- the “rules” say you can blog about anything at all- every day of October.

Anyone else doing Blogtober? My other website, I believe, failed last year but this year I should have enough drafts to help push me along.. but I’m doing it with 4 different niche sites so it will be a bit tricky. While it’s also coinsiding with a 14 day major promotional sale I’m doing for my shop and Nano prep for Nano next month (is November REALLY only one month away??), I’m sure I’ll be able to hit this challenge as well.

Anyone else doing it, I’d love to see some links in the comments.

Book Review: Quiet Waters by Cynthia Cain

Title: Quiet Waters
Written by: Cynthia Cain
Published on April 12, 2019
Published by: Clear Fork Publishing
ISBN 195016909X

You can find the book on Goodreads here.
You can also find the book on Amazon here.

I would like to thank Cynthia Cain personally for gifting me the book in exchange for doing a review.

Quiet Waters is about Brie Birlow, a just-turned 18 year old high school senior who’s mother just died. Immediately after the funeral, she starts living a real life horror story that threatens her friends, family and her whole life. She has to work fast to piece things together before a darkness from her past takes her over and takes her away from everything she loves.

Here is another book I could hardly put down. Due to the way it was written, I kept losing myself in it. Now, I wouldn’t list this as a fantasy book, I consider it a horror- it had me afraid of going to bed one night until I remembered it was just a book and I was NOT living it myself.

The main character is easy to grow to love and it doesn’t give anything away too fast but even the slower parts of the book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. As I got closer to the end, I had to take breaks because it had me so nervous it almost gave me a few anxiety attacks.

I love any book that will legitimate scare me and this one had me feeling the same danger and excitement she felt in the book. I definitely would recommend any supernatural or horror fans to read this book, you won’t be disappointed.