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