The First One You Expect by Adam Cesare

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Pages:
Genre: Horror, Novella, Noir

Format: E-book

Published by Broken River Books

Towards the end of Halloween, I wanted to read something that would fit the mood. I have a bunch of unread Anderson Prunty novels and there was a new C.V. Hunt novel out. I sighed to myself and instead tapped on this novella. I was somehow burned out on Anderson Prunty after reading Creep House and I just didn’t want to add a brand new book to my ever growing TBR, despite that I love Hunt’s work. And the truest thing that J. David Osborne, who runs Broken River Books, has ever said in a blog post or some other social media post I don’t remember where I read it, was that when people obtain or download a book for free, most likely they’re not going to read it right away or they might not read it at all. But I managed to get into this one though and for its length and content, in the spirit of Halloween, it’s totally worth $2.99.

Cesare is known for his horror genre novels, well, I think that’s what he mainly writes. I looked through his repertoire on Goodreads and found a exploitation genre novel much in the spirit of those cannibal exploitation films from the Italians to the recent Eli Roth. And well this one, is kind of sort of the same thing, but on a low budget scale. It’s more like a snuff film actually.

The narrator, who’s name escapes me, is an indie film maker who makes smutty and gore filled internet films that the weirdos out there enjoy. Then he meets a girl who verges onto a sort of manic pixie dream girl. she’s the girl he’s always dreamed of, beautiful, fame hungry and she’s got the sadistic streak he does. So what happens is that together they make a film with a longtime friend named Burt and his horror dream girl gets a little bit too into character. So no more Burt and the narrator is slowly getting famous off his snuff video.

It’s about ambition and being careful for what you wish for. Ever since the main dude’s manic pixie girl committed her atrocity, they begin to feel on edge and their relationships dwindles, but most people didn’t seem to separate the real blood from the watery ketchup at first. And then you question, who’s the real actual sadistic killer in this novella?

The First One You Expect is interesting because you get to read about the underlings of horror films. The ones who can’t afford the high tech supplies but yet still have the brains to make a decent horror out of home made scratch. It’s a tribute to the underground peasants of art. But it’s also a satire in a way, the novella’s got a cheap, campy feel to it. Much like what the main dude directs. It’s got the noir elements, but there isn’t much suspense since you know just from the title and the first chapter. But this would make a great indie film for the festivals. I kind of also got a “failed artist” feel from this novella. The novella is a crime novel, a noir, and a self-deprecating literary novel about a loser artist. It’s kind of like a cut-throat drama and a satirical prod to the underground artists who are just frothing at the corners of their lips to be recognized.

Rating: 4/5

Hello WordPress, Again

So I imported my book blog to WordPress. This brings back weird high school memories. WordPress has changed a lot though. There’s literally Tumblresque features, like reblogging posts. What the hell? Why does my blog post keep appearing as pages? (I had to delete and publish this post several times.)

So….. 2

So I heard that Google+ is going to be shut down and I know that some people follow my blog using Google+. I don’t really care about follower counts, but I think it would be inconvenient for those that do follow my blog. But then most people seem to find and follow me mostly through Goodreads. So I don’t know if I should shrug my shoulders or panic and find a button for people to get my blog posts.

Interview with Jennifer Stevenson

Well, hello there everyone! The writer interviews are back with Jennifer Stevenson, who wrote the book of poetry, The Journey to Peace. If you want to read some nice, heartfelt poetry, then say hello to this book. (I decided to leave out the numbers and the overabundance of pictures I did in the previous interviews because I’m pretty sure it created a lot of clutter.)

What do you think is the best in the process of writing? Just going through with it, slamming keys, getting everything down, or reading and editing?

To be completely honest with you, I have done multiple variations of all of the above.  I only say that because it is a process of elimination to see what works best for you.  I get a thought an idea in my head then I figure out what type I am trying to work and then I just write.  This is a free flowing process.  I tend to do this on a daily or weekly basis.  Sometimes actually most times the body of work isn’t finished but later I go back and edit.  I add or finish and fine tune my work.
Who is your writer crush?

I have several writer crushes.  Poets: Louise Gluck, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou and Pablo Neruda.  Fiction Writers: John Green, Jhumpta Lahiri and Stacy Hawkins Adams.
Do you have a soundtrack when you write? if so, what albums or artists? If silence, where’s your comfy writing spot?

I don’t have a soundtrack when I write.  I like silence…not necessarily silence, but I like nature sounds or natural sounds.  I hear kids playing outside, birds chirping, someone cutting their grass etc.  Those sounds just are feel good sounds to me.  I like to write upstairs in my house.  I’m not really sure why because I write in my journal then type it up later so I could write just about anywhere.
What is that one book you read over and over, or read portions of? That one book you will save from a fire?

I read Loving Donovan by Bernice McFadden almost every year either in its entirety or just Chapter one.  It is about a lost love.  I think it is so important to nurture and appreciate what we have when we have it so we don’t have to create situations in our lives that make us feel like this.
Who’s that one writer(s) you wish everyone would shut up about?

E L James.  I read 50 Shades of Grey.  I actually read both parts for a book club.  I wasn’t impressed…it wasn’t shocking or anything.  I definitely don’t see the feminist ties some people were trying to allude to.  I didn’t see the movie and don’t plan on watching it either.
What book to movie adaptation disappointed you greatly?

Harry Potter.  I love love the books, but I guess so much was left out in the movie version and the imagery was just not what I pictured.
What book(s) is on your current reading list? (It could be on or in your Goodreads, on your night table, book bag, purse, etc.)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah at work, Pretty Girls in The VIP by Daaimah S. Poole in the car on CD and at home Aimless Love by Billy Collins.
What was the worst thing you have ever written?

I’m my own worst critic so that is a hard question.  For me a body of work is bad when the message I’m trying to convey isn’t received in the manner in which I intended or hoped it would be.  I have several pieces of work that meet that criteria.  My challenge is to go back and to re-work them to the point where I can share them and be happy with the feedback.
When working on whatever writing project you’re on, do you focus on a schedule of words counts, pages, or just finishing that one chapter? For example, I’ve read that most writers would just write 1,000 words a day.

I give myself concise deadlines.  I work best that way.  I need a rough draft by such and such a time.  I need to do a first edit by this time and then I need final revisions by this date.  I make a timeline.  My first book took me about 8 years to put together off and on of course.  The next book will be released much sooner.
What’s that one book you wish you wrote? There was a guy, I don’t remember his name, but I heard somebody talking about him, who rewrote F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, every word. Just so he could feel what it is to write a hit novel.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
How long have you been writing?

 I have been writing for a little over 20 years.  I got a poetry assignment in the 4th grade and I have loved to write ever since.
What do you prefer in reading and writing? A character driven or plot driven story?

I identify most with characters.  I like to read stories where characters drive the plot.
Do you write during the day or night?

I write mostly during the day.  I am no night owl by any stretch of the imagination.
Have you self-published or traditionally published a book (small press or Big Four publishers) or are you in the process of doing that? If so what’s it about? If you haven’t published anything, but was published in a literary magazine or anthology, talk about that.

I decided to self-publish through CreateSpace because it gave me the most freedom, it was simple and it had very good reviews.  For my first book I wanted to be involved in each fact of putting the book together.  I wanted to choose the cover, pick the arrangement of poetry as well as to edit my work. The process of marketing has been an undertaking but I’m so excited.  I have had so much support from my followers on Google and Twitter it has been amazing!  I also had a very successful Book Launch Party where I sold a good number of books.  The word is getting out there now as a result of my physical event and I also have a feature event coming up in June and in July I will be selling my book at the Harlem Book Fair.  I want to start working on my next book in June.  I plan to self-publish all my books.  I’m not sure how many I will write but I am off to an excellent start.

                                               

Liebster Award

                               

I decided to do this. It’s a little too late though. I don’t think I’m going to have any new book reviews anytime soon, so I will just post a little post here and there to keep it alive. I’ve been pretty darn busy and reading at a very slow pace. I don’t even think I will complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Yeah, I know, quality over quantity, but I would like to finish unread books that I currently own. Now here’s the real point of this post, Julianne from Outlandishlit nominated me for this award. Thank you! Sorry for doing this so late. (I’m so lazy I copied and pasted everything, so this will all look weird when I post this.) EDIT: Never mind, I fixed it.

The Rules
  1. Make sure you thank and link back the person who nominated you.
  2. List 11 facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions put forward by whoever nominated you.
  4. Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers. (They must have less than 200 followers on Bloglovin’ or their preferred method. You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.)
  5. Go to their blog and inform them that they have been nominated!

11 Facts About Me

1. I’m going to be a Sociology major. I’m not very interesting. I might do Library Science/Information Science as a Masters. (I heard people do Biology and then do their Masters in Library Science.) If not I will end up doing something else.

2. I’ve learned Spanish throughout most of my life. I’ve forgotten and wish to learn again. I learned Basic I and II Mandarin. I’m now learning American Sign Language.

3. I’m 5’2 or 5’3. I don’t know my own height. That’s how wonderful I am.

4. I’ve written two reviews that were published online. This one and This one. I’ve also had my reviews blurbed on CCLaP. (The second one I did under a pen name because family members don’t know I do this book reviewing thing.)

5. I’m going to publish a zine very soon. I hope to make lots of zines. And I have a crazy dream, I want to start a small press one day.

6. I yap a lot online but outside I’m pretty quiet and stick to myself.

7. I get allergies very easy. It hasn’t happened much recently, but I used to wake up blowing my nose with tears coming out of my eyes every morning.

8. I’m a New Yorker. Born in Brooklyn, but like a lot of them, I ended up moving and living in suburbia as a Sophomore in high school. 

9. I’m trying to gain back my graphic design skills, but I still stink at it.

10. I’m very fond of folk, neo-classical, and ambient music. One day I’m listening to Grindcore, the next day I’m listening to piano.

11. I never read Harry Potter and I don’t feel like finishing Game of Thrones. 

Questions she asked me

1. Do you write in books?
No, but I recently started underlining sentences I like and bending the pages. Yep, I got over my obsession with not dog earing my pages.

2. What two genres would you say represent your life?
Magical realism or surrealism, the dreams I get are wild. Literary fiction or Coming of Age, because I’m still growing and discovering myself.

3. How do you feel about ARCs?
I don’t mind them, it’s cool to read and review books before everyone else does.  But the only thing I don’t like, this mostly has to do with electronic ARCs, is that they are riddled in typos and the formatting is bad. 

4. Would you take your ex back if they asked really really nicely? Can I call them and tell you what you said? JK: What’s your least favorite animal?
My least favorite animal is this crap or any creepy crawler of the ocean.

5. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
Oh my god, I can’t remember. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks? Maybe, The Vines by Christopher Rice?

6. What song was most recently stuck in your head?
uuuh, this weird song. Gyroscope by Boards of Canada.

7. Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones?
I used to listen to Other People and I heard one episode of read poetry and eventually die. 

8. Do you feel a heavy sense of regret settling across all of your life and the choices you’ve made? KIDDING, who’s your ~*~celebrity crush~*~? 
Hmmmm, Hmmmmm, HMMMM, Ezra Miller and honestly I really don’t know. Jordan Gavaris and Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black.

9. What was the best part of your day today?
When I got a package of books I ordered. MW by Osamu Tezuka, Mira Corpora by Jeff Jackson, TwERK by Latasha N. Nevada Diggs. (That last book’s title is actually typed like that. I just realized I’ve typed it wrong in other places.)

10. What’s your favorite thing to do when it’s warm out?
I like to take walks.

11. Since it’s pseudo-St. Patrick’s Day today, what’s your favorite drink? (alcoholic or non-acoholic if you don’t live that wasted college student life)


My favorite is Snapple and Ice teas. I also like Coffee and sometimes drink decaffeinated coffee in the late afternoon.


And well this was a lot more fun than expect. But I have no idea who to tag with this. So I think I will just leave it like the evil human being I am. 

Book Tour: Book Review: Somewhere In-Between by Donna Milner

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Pages: 256
Genre: Contemporary
Format: Paperback

Here is a novel that I received for review by Caitlin Press. This review will also be on the blog tour for this novel, so welcome aboard! I will put the synopsis here, then I will talk about it because this is what this is for:

Following tragic events, from which Julie ODale believes she and her husband, Ian, will never recover, Julie buys into Ians dream to give up their comfortable city lives and retreat to the Chilcotin area of British Columbia. Along with a team of draft horses, four cow ponies, and the range cattle, which are included in the purchase of the remote six-hundred-acre ranch, they reluctantly inherit the reclusive tenant who lives in an old trappers cabin on the property. As both Julie and Ian wrestle with their deteriorating marriage, and the individual guilt and sorrow that drove them to try to run away from reality, they have to contend with the wilderness at their doorstepand the mysterious tenant, Virgil Blue. Against his will and theirs, he slowly becomes drawn into their lives and has an impact in ways that none of them could have foreseen

I don’t always read novels like this, when I do it is very rare. Lately all I have read was surrealism and satire. This novel kind of falls in between paranormal/ supernatural and contemporary. It’s a very sweet and touching novel. Nature is a big thing, a theme. There is a whole feast of description of the beautiful land that the three main characters Julie, Ian, and Virgil Blue inhabit. The book cover is also beautiful, and I’m assuming that it is portraying the land in the book.


The novel is very character driven, the whole plot centers around Julie moving on and her daughter, Darla, encouraging her to move. Virgil Blue is the mysterious dude who silently leads her to the path of forgiveness, who has had a tragic past.

Somewhere In-Between is the novel of forgiveness, it doesn’t matter if you’re dead or alive, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, it doesn’t matter whether or not it was his fault or not. It’s a novel where you just have to accept the reality, let the truth come to you, death isn’t something that a person can escape or forget. You can’t let it suck you away. That’s what happens for most of the book to Julie. She develops such a depression to the point where she shuts everyone away from her and her husband, Ian, does exactly the same. Levi Johnny, the friend of Darla, who was present during the death of Darla, gets blamed by her mother, even though it was the mistake of a young teen doing dumb things. She even starts to develop a slight prejudice to people who even look slightly like Levi Johnny. She throws all of her anger at Levi and refuses to listen to Levi Johnny, who knows exactly what happened. It only takes her daughter from purgatory to come to her and tell her the truth. Julie is a frustrating character, because she is angry and stubborn and never listens to anyone to the point where you start to think that  Julie is really is so distraught that she will never be able to heal or maybe she is just self centered. Her husband deals with it worse, by burying himself in work and ignoring everything. Their way of coping is real and human, they are flawed and undeniably human. Darla and Levi Johnny are your typical teenagers, in love with life and foolish, until the accident breaks everything apart. 

Donna Milner does a great job with bringing this whole novel to life, the nature, the people, it’s like watching those movies on TV that make you feel sad and then the ending is happy and you feel so touched. You feel like eating a tub of ice cream, then you cry into to it, then the happy ending happens and you feel all warm inside, like you got hugged. I love books like that.

                                                                       Rating: 4/5

Coming Soon

There will not be too much activity on this blog for a while. I am trying to catch up on reading but I’m also focusing on my writing and I keep getting distracted by video games and Twitter. This blog isn’t dead though, there will be a burst of activity in a week or so if I finish any of the books I’m reading. There will probably be a review coming very soon. There will also be a blog tour coming on the 15th that will feature CCLap Center author, Maureen Foley. So do look forward to a giant explosion soon, or maybe a tiny explosion depending on what happens. 


By the way, A Game of Thrones is probably the slowest book I’ve ever read. Not in a bad way, what I mean is that I take forever to read the book, I’ve had this book for almost a year and a half, maybe longer than that. The copy I have isn’t the small mass market paperback, it’s the insanely large TV show poster one. The pages are wide and the text is somewhat small, but it feels like a chore and it’s hard to concentrate on. I enjoy some it, but it’s really slow. I feel like my future review of this book might be 3 stars. I hope it isn’t because I was really hyped to read this when I first got it. Am I forcing myself to like it? I do remember liking fantasy when I was younger, what happened?