March Book Reviews Part One and update! @PriscillaBettis @AnnalisaCrawf #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread

Vampire of the Midnight Sun

By Priscilla Bettis

“Vampire of the Midnight Sun” has two stories in this horror collection that I couldn’t put down. In “Vampire of the Midnight Sun,” Billy and Frasier are on a river rafting trip in Alaska when they end up in the icy waters. Now they need to hike back without food, matches, and in wet clothes. Billy handles this much better than Frasier. I could feel how cold Frasier was as he clung to a rock for warmth. The scenery descriptions made me feel like I was there with them. It’s not only a story of survival but a friendship and exploring inner strength. There is a surprising twist, as the unexpected might become a reality. “Fire Witch and the Cowboy” is set in the old west. There is a fire coming, and the town panics and goes to the one person they know they shouldn’t, the old widow. As it unfolds, her backstory and the towns come to life. There is a sideways justice in the past and still to be. I love when the train arrives as the brave go to fight the fire before it consumes the town. But there is a twist and a price to be paid. Both were quick reads with in-depth characters and a fast pace that kept me reading. I can easily recommend this to horror fans.

The Clock in My Mother’s House and other stories

By Annalisa Crawford

“The Clock in My Mother’s House” is a great assortment of short stories. Each piece pulled me in, and the characters were engaging. It was hard to pick, but here are a few of my favorites. “A Woman in the Van” was about an older woman living in her van, and it was clear she wasn’t wanted in the small town where she was parked. A teen had recently lost his mother and wasn’t getting along with his father. The two connect, even with his poor attitude. She has a gift and the need to help others. The problem is that no one listens to her. This was a page-turner to see what would happen next. “The Fear of Ghosts” had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what about those ghosts. With a mother dying and the blind son coming home to see her, he runs into what haunted him as a child. It was one of those stories where I kept hoping he’d leave but wanted to know what he was up against, too. The thought of trying to get away from something you can’t see in a place you are no longer familiar with was chilling. “Adventures in My Own Backyard” touched me on many levels. A young man ends up paralyzed and unable to speak after an accident. His mother takes over his care, and we see the world through his eyes in his minimal world. It was very touching that a neighbor became a part of his life—this one left me thinking when I was done. A fantastic collection that I can easily recommend.

Asunder, baby: A collection

By Steven Baird

“Asunder, Baby” is a unique assortment of short stories and poetry. The entire book has a poetic flare and presentation with a mixture of beautiful and dark images. I enjoyed many stories and poems and how some characters and storylines appeared more than once. Here are a few that caught my eye: “Where we go dancing,” “A gopherwood box,” “Appomattox,” “The middle of a very rainy afternoon,” “Louisiana baptism,” and “Pentimento.” This is for those who enjoy short stories and poetry that take them into a moment with vivid and insightful descriptions. It differs from other collections, and I appreciate that difference.

I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews here! If I don’t like the book, I won’t finish it. It wouldn’t be fair to leave a review for an unfinished story, and life is too short not to enjoy my reading journey!


I mentioned I’d be busy but that changed. I will still be around 🙂

But, we are in the middle of some epic snow storms. We were without power, landline, and internet for many days until late Saturday night. That meant no cell signal except for text messages. That’s why I’ve been silent.

Then I played catch up on Sunday finally getting our taxes done. Whew! Still snowing as of Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure what this storm is going to do. They predicted between 1-3 feet more of snow through this Wednesday. Since we already have around five feet of it, I’m hoping they are wrong this time.

A tree fell in driveway but thankfully didn’t hit anything. I’m declaring this the biggest set of storms in our 33 years at our house.

Here’s the tree. Glad it missed everything. Our cars are usually there but were in storm postion up top near the street. My husband counted the rings, it was only 57 years old. Very tall though.

Hopefully we won’t end up in the dark again, but if I’m quiet you’ll know why. On a bright note our area in Northern California is not in a drought anymore 🙂

The view out our front door…
The road we navigated to get food on Thursday. It was only plowed for a single lane.

Embrace your inner child, and read a good book! D. L. Finn

46 thoughts on “March Book Reviews Part One and update! @PriscillaBettis @AnnalisaCrawf #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread”

  1. Off to seek out The Clock in My Mother’s House. Thanks Denise. Hope the storm doesn’t worsen. We had weather like this in the North of England when I was a child, but here in Pembrokeshire, Wales, being so near the coast, very rarely do we see snow.

    1. So far the storm isn’t too bad, Judith. This is more snow than normal for us. Looking forward to spring. Happy reading 🙂

  2. Hmm, your post reminds me that I need to post my review of Asunder, baby! Congratuations to all three authors on the wonderful reviews. We got a big dump of snow as well–but not nearly as bad as yours. I hope your power stays on and your trees stay rooted in the ground.

    1. I have some reviews to catch up on too, Liz 🙂 It’s sure been crazy weather everywhere. So far power on and trees staying where they are supposed to.

  3. The photos are beautiful, but I’m sure you’ve had enough snow to last you several years. Praying you stay safe (and the power stays on).

    Excellent reviews. My best to all authors.

    1. Thank you, Staci. I agree it is beautiful but a little too much beauty for me. So far the power and phones are holding. xo

  4. Whew, that’s a lot of snow. My mother up in Alaska says it’s been a huge snowfall year for them, too, and she says that after living there for DECADES. There’s a saying in west Texas: “Drouths break hard.” (They sometimes spell “drought” that way, especially in older publications, but I don’t know why, a regional thing, I guess.)

    I loved Asunder, baby! The Clock in My Mother’s House sounds good; thanks for sharing your review.:-) And THANK YOU for reading and reviewing Vampire of the Midnight Sun!

    1. It us a lot of snow, at least for me! I can image how much they are getting in Alaska. It seems to be a very true saying, this drought was broken very hard.
      It was a great read and you have some good reading ahead. I loved your stories and glad I could share them here. Xo

    1. These storms are pretty crazy and so powerful. No, I’d prefer not to go into a glacial period, I’m not cut out for that much snow and ice!

  5. Ugh… even in a blizzard, taxes await. What a rough time, Denise. I’m sorry.
    Thanks for these great reviews. I need to catch up with Priscilla’s latest. Even though horror isn’t my thing, I know this one is not to be missed. And some new-to-me authors as well — excellent. Congrats to everyone. Hugs all around.

    1. Yes, taxes did await no matter what the weather. Does a number on my brain, especially since I’m not known for my skilled bookkeeping… lol. I have a feeling you will enjoy Priscilla’s tales. She has a great take on horror. Hugs right back xo

  6. Great reviews, Denise. I just finished Priscilla’s book this weekend. I do enjoy short stories and the other sound interesting. Congrats to the authors.

    Stay safe and warm!

    1. Thanks, Joan 🙂 I’m with you, I enjoy short stories too. I am staying safe and warm xo

    1. Thanks, John 🙂 Yes very lucky it did no damage or harm, as my husband was passing by it. He tried to run but fell. Fortunately he was far enough away, but decided it was time to stay inside.

  7. So much of snow! It’s nice to hear that you are safe and your cars were away from the tree shot. The weather has been freaky this year but its helped in pulling us out of drought. Stay warm Denise. Thanks for sharing some fabulous reviews.

    1. It is so much snow for us. I can’t wait to travel to the summit and see who much is up there. Yes, definitely been a crazy weather year, but very happy to get out of this drought! I am staying warm, hope you are too!

  8. Oh my word, Denise! That amount of snow is just insane! I hope you don’t get hit with any more. It sounds like you really had some rough going there. I’m glad the tree didn’t cause any damage. You stay safe!

    Thanks for sharing your reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed Priscilla’s book, and the others sound intriguing. I remember eying up Asunder Baby before.

    1. They are still xalling for more snow through Wednesday. But, it changes over to rain after that… yay! Thank you, Mae 🙂
      I have a feeling you will enjoy Asunder Baby. Xo

    1. Thanks, Yvette! Doing good, just watching it snow some more right now. Happy to share. xo

    1. I believe I found that collection from your review, Sandra 🙂 Can’t go wrong with any. Xo

  9. I’ve been reading some great reviews on a couple of these books, thanks for adding your recommendations, Denise. I’ve been watching coverage of your storm on the news and how people are running short of critical food and medical supplies. How are you holding Up? Scary stuff! Is there a safe way to take some of the weight off your roof?

    1. Happy to add them, Jacquie 🙂 Most of the issues is in Southern CA with food and medical supplies. Here, most are fine, and we have been able to get out and get supplies. We are also in a state of ER in our county, though in the Northern end. It is a huge worry right now with all the snow on our roofs and 6-7 inches of rain soaking into it. No, we have a steep roof and can’t get up there to do anything to relieve the weight. We did take snow off one add-on room that’s not as steep and our trailer. Fingers crossed that since the house was built in the 70s it can handle this. This much snow hasn’t happened in over 33 years and is never followed by a big rainstorm. Unfortunately, there will be flooding below us. And here I’ve been worrying about fires, and this happens…lol Are you getting any weather your way?

      1. Maybe it’s the beginning of the ice age? lol
        It’s been a drier year for us- less than half our normal moisture, which is worrisome.
        I was going through my photos the other day and found our cherry tree is at least a month behind blooming from last year. That’s quite the difference.

      2. That is a big difference a month off from blooming. Hopefully you can make up some rain this spring. Its worrisome when we don’t get enough, but here its overachieving…lol

  10. I’ve been watching that crazy ‘snowmaggedon’ on the news, Denise. I’m glad to see you are okay, and that he tree missed. Yikes! Great reviews, though! I bought Priscilla’s book. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. It has been crazy, Mark. We’ve been lucky so far. Next up a ton of rain. I know you’ll enjoy Priscilla stories 🙂

      1. I heard you had some rain coming. On a positive note, the water table in your area will be higher than it has been. I’m looking forward to reading her book, it will be a bit before I get to it, though, 🙂

      2. Yes, definitely filling up the water table! Theyvare warning of roofs collapsing with the feet of snow that will absorb the rain. Guess we will find out how strong ours is! Happy reading.

  11. I’m late to this post, Denise, but glad I caught up. Excellent reviews. I also enjoyed Priscilla’s and Steven’s books, and thanks for the intro to Crawford and her book. It sounds like a good read. And wow, California been having wild weather. You photos look like snowmageddon. I’m glad you’re all safe and have your power back on. Hang in there, spring is coming, eventually.

  12. Hi Denise hope the weather is improving. I could do with some sunshine too. Been staying in Edinburgh through the winter and looking forward to some Spring sunshine soon. Great bunch of reviews 👍 😀

    1. Thanks, Marje 🙂 Getting a nice sunny break right now. Getting more storms next week. Hope you see some soring sunshine too xo

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