New Short Story: Someone Else’s Horror Story

Book cover for Someone Else's Horror Story by Rebecca Crunden | a fancy room made of wood with candles on the walls, smoke rising from the ground.

Jace Venable lives a quiet life in the house his father left him. He dreams of fixing up the barn out back so that he doesn’t have to return to the city he’s only too happy to leave behind. He likes to be left alone, thank you very much.

And then, one night, he finds a runaway in his barn. A boy with a horrifying story that’s about to upend Jace’s quiet life permanently.

  • 26 pages
  • No romance, just vibes

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Book Review: The Bridge Kingdom (2018)

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The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom, #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

All she had ever known was violence. It was nothing to her. And everything.

I heard so much about this book for years before I picked up a copy (not because I wasn’t interested, but because I’m slow and my TBR is insane). And I’m so glad I finally dove in because OH MY GOSH! Everything about this is just YES!

The whole cast of main characters were likeable and believable and even when they were frustrating, I understood why and supported both sides. Lara and Aren make sense, Ahnna and Jor make sense. All the soldiers, all the islanders and townsfolk. I loved all the focus on the dynamic between the nations/kingdoms. The setting was seriously cool and I want to learn more about Ithicana in the next book! Overall, TBK was very well written and thought-out without ever being boring or convoluted. The book moved along at a cracking pace and I loved seeing Lara and Aren’s relationship develop. I’m so, so excited for book two! Especially after that ending!

She would fight for him.
She would bleed for him.
She would die for him.



Thoughts as I read [SPOILERS]:

– I was not expecting the opening to be that bloody, what the heck.
– Liking Lara so far. Her father is actually so awful.
– Aren and Ahnna seem pretty cool so far!
– Pleasantly surprised by so much of this! Lara is likeable, Aren is likeable, the soldiers are likeable. The only one I haven’t liked so far is the grandmother. She’s just so mean? I mean, she obviously has reasons to be, but it seems like she goes out of her way to be unpleasant.
– The layout of The Bridge and Ithicana’s layout is very cool. A kingdom on the bridge between two kingdoms, each one trying to control the seas and trade. It’s honestly such a cool premise?? And like I haven’t seen it before, I don’t think.
– Love Lara/Aren by the end oh my goshhhhhh \o/

Book Review: The Great Hunt (1990)

a woman holding an open book, text says: book review

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2) by Robert Jordan

It was his name that caused the problem, and a similarity. Rand al’Thor. Al’Lan Mandragoran. For Lan, according to the custom of Malkier, the royal “al” named him King, though he never used it himself. For Rand, “al” was just a part of his name, though he had heard that once, long ago, before the Two Rivers was called the Two Rivers, it had meant “son of.” Some of the servants in Fal Dara keep, though, had taken it to mean he was a king, too, or at least a prince. All of his argument to the contrary had only managed to demote him to lord.

My review of The Eye of the World is here.

I finished book one recently and basically dove right into book two. I loved the journey of book one and the way all the character’s storylines developed and progressed. What I loved about the end of the book was everyone coming back together for the end. I was a bit sad, then, to see them all go off in different directions for book two, but I ended up loving it all the same!


There’s much, much less focus on Moiraine in this one – I think she only had a chapter or two? There’s much more focus on Rand’s travels with Mat, Perrin, Loial, Ingtar and Hurin as they try to track down the dagger that they need for the final battle and to cure Mat’s sickness. I felt so bad for Rand with how alone he felt and trying to protect his friends while they misinterpreted him. I couldn’t stand Selene from the first scene. She was just so power hungry and obnoxious (like, I know WHY, but it was still annoying lmao). I was so glad when they parted ways.

I loved seeing Nynaeve, Egwene and Elanye getting some bonding time. Their dynamic is super cute. I like Min, too, but her possessiveness of Rand towards the end struck me as a little strange. She sort of shouldered her way in while he was asleep? I know she can read auras or whatever, but it did seem a bit ‘uhhhh, wait, what??’ And it seemed rather dismissive of Rand’ s feelings, since his entire focus was on Egwene up to that point. I wanted more scenes from them! Their loyalty to each other was really lovely.

I’m really loving the unfolding storyline and I can’t wait to see where book three takes the Emond’s Fielders!

Thoughts from while I was reading [SPOILERS!]:

– The opening was chilling. Black Ajah Aes Sedai? And the man who calls himself Bors.
– I loved Rand immediately worrying about Egwene and Mat and finding his way to them. Mat subsequently shutting Rand out is so sad. ;_; Jeez, let the lad apologise!
– Lan and Nynaeve are cute and need more scenes.
– Liandrin is horrible and I just know she’s only going to increase her horribleness. Ugh.
– Moiraine and Siuan have a great rapport.
– Fain freaks me out.
– The hunt is getting gruesome like whoa.
– The Aes Sedai are not very likeable as a group, lmao. Like, seriously, other than their magic, I can’t think of any reason anyone would want to join them. I’m not sure how I feel about Egwene and Nynaeve going to Tar Valon. I’m worried about them.
– Loial is adorable and I got so sad when Rand hurt his feelings.
– Poor Rand. He’s trying his best!!!
– Ingtar seems cool so far.
– I adore Hurin. I hope he’s at Rand’s side for the next twelve books!
– Selene is so fucking power hungry and it drives me mad that Rand, Hurin and Loial just went along with it. Yeah, I’m sure she’s using power against them, but STILL. If she talks about ‘GLORY! RAND! GLORY!’ one more time I’m going to climb into the book and kick her. So glad when she left. Ugh.
– Nynaeve’s third test with Lan :((((( MEAN!
– Why are so many ladies after Rand lmaoooo.
– So glad Rand, Mat and Perrin finally made up.
– I hate hate HATE Fain. Ugh, terrible excuse for a person.
– I adore the friendship between Nynaeve, Egwene, Elayne and Min. I just love their dynamic and I hope we get more of them!

Show Review: 1923 (2022)

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I really like Yellowstone, the modern Western show set in Montana that follows the lives of the Dutton family. It’s dark and action packed and political and romantic. Overall very enjoyable and one I definitely recommend! It’s since spawned two sequel series, 1883 and 1923. I haven’t seen 1883 yet – it’s on the list – but I started 1923 first because, you know, Harrison Ford! (And Helen Mirren! And Brandon Sklenar! And Julia Schlaepfer! And Aminah Nieves! So. Many. Amazing. Actors.) And I actually think I like it more than Yellowstone. I love the historical setting and I love the cinematography and I just love love love all the main characters. I love the storylines and the romances and the journeys. Just, yesssss. So good!

The first storyline of 1923 takes place both on the Dutton Ranch that we know from Yellowstone, only it’s just a house and fields at this point; a parallel storyline is set in a horrible boarding school where indigenous children are subjected to terrible abuse; and the third storyline starts in Kenya and travels all the way up to Italy. The Montana-based storyline centres around Jacob and Cara Dutton, the family leaders, and young Jack and Elizabeth Dutton, newly engaged; the school storyline follows young Teonna Rainwater, who is being held against her will and is desperately trying to escape and return to her family (her grandmother is likewise trying to get her out); and the third storyline follows Spencer Dutton and the woman he meets along the way, Alex, and their journey and love story.

All of the storylines are linked around the history of the land and the future of the Dutton Ranch and slowly converge in that direction. Obviously all the Duttons are ancestors of the Dutton family in Yellowstone; likewise, Teonna Rainwater is the ancestor of Chief Thomas Rainwater in that show. The scenes in this one set at the ranch largely concern Jacob, Cara and Jack’s issues with the surrounding ranches and farmers who are all in desperate need of grazing land (cattle versus sheep and how much and where they need to graze), as well as the ever looming encroachment of the city and modernity that threatens their way of life. There’s lots of scuffles and wild west ways and political debates and philosophical discussions. It’s very interesting and it’s intermingled with more domestic moments of love and family between Jacob and Cara, and Jack and Elizabeth.

Teonna’s storyline (at the beginning) deals with the abuse she suffers at the hands of two cruel nuns and a sadistic priest who torments not only the students, but the nuns. It’s just layers upon layers of darkness in the school and the storyline is very hard to watch, but Aminah Nieves is an absolutely phenomenal actress. It’s such a dark, horrible moment in US history and it needs to be told. [[SPOILER WARNING: Teonna isn’t in the school for long episode-wise – she fights her way out and makes her way to the ranch. Along the way she meets Hank, a shepherd who knows her father and helps her.]] The showrunners take a lot of care with the storyline and I can’t wait to see where Teonna goes next season!

Over in Kenya, Spencer Dutton is working as a hunter and dealing with the trauma he suffered fighting in WWI. His aunt Cara keeps sending him letters about the events in Montana and asking him to come home, but he doesn’t read them as he’s struggling too much with what happened in the war and the guilt he feels about everything. When he meets Alexandra (‘Alex’) things change for the better for him and they begin travelling together and embarking on a cross-country adventure that sees them thrown from one obstacle to another. I loved their romance. They’re just so utterly charming and endearing together. They’re pretty much committed from minute one and never stray from it for a second and I just *DRAMATIC SHIPPING SQUEALS*!! I seriously adore them. ROMANCE FANS, TRUST ME.

I’m so glad the show got renewed for a second season and I’m so excited to see next week’s season finale! LIKE ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT!!

Anyone else watched this one yet? Or plan to? (It’s on Paramount+!)

Review Roundup: The Orc Who Saved Christmas (2023), No Period (2020), She Was the Storm (2018), Super Gay (2022), Symphony of Secrets (2022)

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The Orc Who Saved Christmas by Michelle Franklin

He wasn’t frightening at all—in fact, he looked quite huggable, his muscles rounding his shoulders and arms in a way that made him seem comfortable and pleasant to sleep on.

Once again, Michelle Franklin has penned a lovely and wholesome and adorable holiday book for children! The illustrations are also top tier. I must say am utterly impressed by the artwork!

I absolutely adored Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkah – I honestly cannot recommend it enough – and I was delighted to learn that Michelle had another children’s book coming this year! SUCH LOVELY STORIES AND SUCH ADORABLE ART AND SUCH JOY OH MY GOSH! If you haven’t picked up your copy of Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkahdon’t walk, run to get it!

“And what if Father Christmas was an Orc?” Karla rejoined. “He saved our men and brought us our tree and firewood—isn’t that what Father Christmas ought to do? What’s the difference if he wears a costume or not?”

This is just such a wholesome little tale about an Orc who wants to belong and the little girl who helps him do it! It’s about broadening one’s mind and accepting others. Very sweet and kind and lovely!

I can’t wait what adorable little tale Franklin publishes next!

Thank you so much to the author for the eARC!

She Was The Storm by Cherie Avritt

the passion between us
burned hot and fast
it felt like a fairytale
that should’ve been my first
warning sign;

This is a quick read of uplifting, kind-hearted poems!

Super Gay by Jessi Hersey

Very cute! The art was super adorable and it had a lovely message. I do wish it had been a bit longer, though!

Symphony of Secrets by Mia Sanchez

I decided to replace you
With the moon

I’ve been meaning to check out Mia Sanchez’s debut poetry collection for a while now, but alas I’ve been so busy that I didn’t get to dive into it straight away. But I’m such a poetry fan and I love finding new poets so I’m glad I finally found some time recently to catch up on some of the collections I’ve picked up (also reading Roaring Twenties and Blushing Muse: Poems).

Also, I just want to say that the cover is gorgeous! I love the atmosphere and vibes and title.

What will it take for us to realize
The worth of all of this

This collection of poetry is filled with emotion and commentary on modern relationships and had some really great lines!

I will make the midnight mine

Definitely excited to see what Sanchez publishes next!

No Period by Harry Turtledove

and you come to the mournful and melancholy conclusion that, regardless of what you do to the world and its past, there is no period, no period at all, you can change that gives you any real chances of making a go of it with your ex, and that makes yet another Gedankenexperiment, this one dealing with altering the Cambrian Explosion, pretty pointless when you get right down to it,

A stream of consciousness story where a man imagines various different scenarios of how his relationships and life – and the direction of history and wars and evolution – could have gone. No full stops used! I definitely felt a little dizzy by the end, but thought it was a cool way to write a story.

Book Review: The Eye of the World (1990)

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time has intimidated me since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to read them, but I just never did. I’ve picked up The Eye of the World a couple of times since, but never properly immersed myself in Jordan’s world until now. It was the television series that finally drew me in, and I’m so glad to finally be able to label myself a fan, ha! And, after having gone into the book world now, I do think I prefer it (just a bit!) to the show. I really do enjoy the show, but I think I liked Jordan’s pacing a bit more. You get all the side stories, all the poems and songs, all the world-building. And I feel closer to the characters in the book as opposed to the show.

This book is very different from the show. I’m glad, in a sense, that I saw the show first, because it helped me visualise parts of the book that were a bit dense, but on the other hand, I find myself wishing things had been kept from the book that didn’t make it into the show. Egwene comes with them because she’s stubborn, not because she might be a Dragon (which is implied in the show); Nynaeve is frustrating and stubborn in the book in a way she really isn’t in the show; we don’t have the wolves and Elyas in the show the way we do in the book; Mat and Perrin’s origins are different; Thom doesn’t leave the Two Rivers with them in the show, which I’m now sad about because I LOVED him as their grumpy sidekick and guide in the book; and I actually find Moiraine more likeable in the book than the show. I couldn’t tell you why, I just felt like I understood her more in the book. In the show she seems so cold. And where Rand and Egwene can barely stammer around each other in the book, they’re wholly involved in the show. All that said, I like both versions, but I do think I’m more swayed by the book now.

The journey of the characters feels very different, too. There’s less focus on the Children of the Light in the books than in the show. On the one hand, I get that they tried to show what was happening with all the characters, but I also just really loathe them, ha! There’s more focus on the dreams and the journey of each of the lads in the book, too.

As I mentioned, I loved the stories the characters were told on the journey. My favourite, though, was undoubtedly the tale of Manetheren.

‘But the price was high for Manetheren. Eldrene had drawn to herself more of the One Power than any human could ever hope to wield unaided. As the enemy generals died, so did she die, and the fires that consumed her consumed the empty city of Manetheren, even the stones of it, down to the living rock of the mountains. Yet the people had been saved.

Nothing was left of their farms, their villages, or their great city. Some would say there was nothing left for them, nothing but to flee to other lands, where they could begin anew. They did not say so. They had paid such a price in blood and hope for their land as had never been paid before , and now they were bound to that soil by ties stronger than steel. Other wars would wrack them in years to come, until at last their corner of the world was forgotten and at last they had forgotten wars and the ways of war. Never again did Manetheren rise. Its soaring spires and splashing fountains became as a dream that slowly faded from the minds of its people. But they, and their children, and their children’s children, held the land that was theirs. They held it when the long centuries had washed the why of it from their memories. They held it until, today, there is you. Weep for Manetheren. Weep for what is lost forever.’

The tale of Manetheren is where I fell in love with Jordan’s storytelling, I reckon. It made me tear up, it was so powerfully told and I think it’s here that I was like, okay I’m going to love this book series.

I loved the journey once all the characters got back together again in Caemlyn. I really wish we’d seen Caemlyn in the show, as opposed to jumping straight to Tar Valon. The journey through the Ways was fascinating and eerie and spooky. The Blight was horrifying, but I loved learning more about Lan’s history and the scene between Lan and Nynaeve was EVERYTHING. I can’t wait to see their relationship develop throughout the series because I already ship them. OTP feels! And I loved the journey to the Green Man. Wonderfully done! (Also, the book kinda made me ship Rand and Mat haha. I know this will never happen, but I loved their relationship and Rand/Egwene are cute and all, but in the book he and Mat definitely read as closer, at least to me.)

I’m really stoked to see where book two goes. I’ve got a vague idea from reading spoilers over the years, but honestly I think even a five hour conversation about the series probably couldn’t spoil everything because it’s just so richly detailed. Can’t wait for The Great Hunt!

Previous audiobook thoughts:

And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.

What an opening. Wowzers.

I like the focus on Rand and Mat at the start of the book. Everything is moving at a much slower pace than in the show, but also now that I’m getting through the book, I wish the show had gone a bit slower, ha! Moiraine also seems a bit less austere in the book, also less centric? The show is definitely an ensemble, but the book is much more Rand-centric so far. I really love the relationship between Egwene and Nynaeve, too.

Paused the audiobook because I was having trouble focusing. Switched to paperback.


I have been meaning to read these books since I was like twelve. BUT IT’S SO EPIC that I was always a bit daunted. Dunno why, I devoured A Game of Thrones and The Pillars of the Earth. But I’ve now started the show and I love Rand, Lan, Egwene and Mat, so I must start the books. I’ve heard they’re different from the show though, so I’m curious about the changes!

Book Review Roundup

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A roundup post of some of the book reviews I’ve left recently. The genres range from a poetry book to an audiobook to a few children’s books to a short story and to a historical fiction! Check ’em out!

Rainbow’s Red Poetry Book by Lily Lawson:

When the first sign of light breaking
takes the darkness from my sight,
the dawn of early promise
shines in the blackened night.

I quite enjoyed this little book of poetry! This is my second read of Lawson’s poetry and I really enjoy their style! Looking forward to the next collection of poems!

Demon in the Wood (Grishaverse, #0) by Leigh Bardugo:

Really enjoyed this audiobook! Ben Barnes and the cast do a great job of voicing the characters. Can’t wait for season two of the show!

Blue Badger and the Beautiful Berry by Huw Lewis-Jones:

Hahah, aww, this little tale is just super cute and wholesome and berry-filled. The art is absolutely stunning and I adored the badgers being all awkward and sweet and uncertain with each other. Definitely worth checking out!

Are You a Monster? by Guilherme Karsten:

Awww, this little book is very cute with fun, colourful drawings and an adorable little monster protagonist trying to find everyone’s inner monster. A charming, interactive tale that kids will surely adore!

A Column of Fire (Kingsbridge, #3) by Ken Follett:

As ever, Follett is a masterful storyteller when it comes to blending history, romance and political intrigue. I didn’t love Column as much as I did Pillars and World Without End, but still found it a solid addition to the Kingsbridge series. I really enjoyed Ned, Sylvie and Margery’s stories in particular! Looking forward to the prequel and to book four!

How to Cook and Eat the Rich by Sunyi Dean

“Did you hear about the cannibal who was late for dinner? He got the cold shoulder!”

A dark dark dark little tale about greed and scarce resources in a polluted, destroyed future that has been ruined by those who take from those who have none to begin with, and still want more. Very well written and the twist was WHOA.

Book Review: Safe & Sound (2022)

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Safe and Sound by Rachel Bowdler

She was beginning to suspect that Shea was just the sort of woman you had to keep trying with if you wanted to really know her. A matryoshka doll with infinite figures hiding within, all different sizes and faces.

Safe & Sound is a suspenseful romance novella that follows Ruby Bright, a singer-songwriter for Gen Y, a popular singing duo who are struck by profound tragedy. When her singing partner and best friend Ezra is killed in an explosion on their tour bus, she finds herself being targeted by an unknown suspect and forced to disappear for a while until they find out who’s after her. Ruby is sent to a farm for her own protection and it’s there she meets Shea, a brooding, grumpy, acerbic former officer healing from her own trauma.

Where Ruby is nervous and broken by everything that’s happened to her, Shea’s gone the other way and become downright caustic and biting. She’s anything but kind to Ruby at the start, projecting her own stereotypes of privilege onto Ruby that, while understandable in light of Ruby’s successes, are anything but true. Ruby’s life and history are dark and full of turmoil and she honestly doesn’t remotely fit a stereotype. (I felt very protective of Ruby at the start, poor thing!!) For her part, Ruby tries to get along with everyone as she struggles to deal with her grief and the awful treatment of her band’s management group.

I really liked the farm setting and the novella’s themes and focus on healing and growth. Ruby and Shea are both jagged edges who slowly soften each other up as time passes on the farm and they work together gardening and looking after the animals. I do wish Shea had been a bit kinder to Ruby at the onset, but she grew on me once she started to let go of her preconceptions and realised that she was projecting a lot of unfair untruths onto Ruby. Bless Ruby, my heart just went out to her throughout the whole book and I’m really glad she finally had someone on her side in Shea once they passed those initial hurdles! And they made a very dynamic, capable, wholesome couple by the end! (Fans of bodyguard romances will surely enjoy the climax of the novella!)

Overall this is an emotionally grounded and fast-paced romantic suspense novella that romance readers should definitely check out!

Fire at Her Fingertips

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I’m so absolutely chuffed by this! An orange banner! Huzzah! I’m so genuinely thrilled! I really enjoyed writing this little short story and I’m so glad people are enjoying it, too! Thank you so much to everyone who’s given it a chance!