Book Tour: Stuck (Stitch Trilogy #3) by Samantha Durante #YA #SciFi #giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

I read the first two books in this series when I began blogging over five years ago, and was immediately hooked.  But then the author took a break from writing, and I feared I’d never know what happened to these characters.  Last month, she contacted me about this new release, and I was thrilled to learn she’d completed the series – can’t wait to dive into this book!

(Stitch Trilogy #3)
By Samantha Durante
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 306 Pages
December 15, 2018

3, 2, 1… BOOM.

Things are finally looking up for the Resistance. Sure, Alessa is still processing the revelation that the best friend she’d presumed dead is miraculously alive, though far from well… And her boyfriend is being manipulated under threat of blackmail. But her quest for justice against those behind the systematic extermination of the world population is so close to victory she can taste it.

And then in a matter of seconds, everything Alessa believes in is shaken to the core. Months of preparation are obliterated. The people she cares for most are lost.

But Alessa is still standing. And Paragon must pay.

The odds are grim, but unexpected allies surface in the most unlikely of places: A new pair of citizens still under the colony’s rule who notice something amiss in the latest drama. An old adversary who realizes the error of her ways. And a veritable army of inhuman power and terrible strength, with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. The trustworthiness of each of these factions is yet to be proven, but without many other options, Alessa may have to take what she can get. Especially since the Engineers, never to be outdone, also have a few more tricks up their sleeves…

The long-awaited final installment in the riveting Stitch Trilogy, Stuck will have readers gripping their seats as Alessa and a handful of intrepid survivors usher their harrowing journey to a close, risking everything as they endeavor – once and for all – to set things right.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKobo

Other Books in the Series

Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?

Over the course of the Stitch Trilogy, we’ve gotten to know several different groups within the society of Paragon, from plucky rebels and manipulated citizens to mastermind Engineers and bloodthirsty Stuck.  Where do you fall amongst these ranks?  Take this quick quiz to find out!

Which of the following drives you most crazy?

A. Interruptions in your regularly scheduled TV programming
B. Injustice or exploitation of any kind
C. Finding a piece of cork in your wine
D. Insubordination
E. A craving you just can’t seem to satisfy

How are/were your grades in school?

A. Pretty average
B. Poor – I was too busy with extracurriculars to do homework
C. Excellent
D. School? Waste of time. I put my genius right to work raking in billions
E. Can’t seem to remember…

What’s your biggest vice?

A. I’m high all the time
B. An addiction to righteous indignation
C. Overindulgence (in food, alcohol, sex, all of it)
D. Lies, lies, and more lies
E. An insatiable thirst for violence

What’s your ultimate goal in life?

A. To follow the rules, live simply, and enjoy it
B. To make the world a better place, for everyone
C. To make the world a better place, for those who deserve it
D. To make the world a better place, for those who deserve it, especially me
E. To exact revenge on those who’ve hurt you

What’s your favorite food?

A. Anything heavy and cheesy, yum!
B. Really whatever I can get my hands on that’s not laced with drugs
C. A nice steak dinner
D. Who needs food when you have power?
E. The blood of my enemies (or whoever, really)

Mostly A’s – Citizen
You beat the odds and survived the apocalypse.  Now, you just want to relax: do whatever menial job you’re assigned each day, veg out in front of the latest drama episode at night, dig into some comforting hot entrees, and enjoy the resulting chemical cocktail of mild 24/7 euphoria.  Exploitation?  Abuses of power?  You don’t know nothin’ about any of that – and you’ve earned that ignorance.  Just keep floating along on your comfy little boat of naïveté, keep your head down, and ride out the rest of your years in security.

Mostly B’s – Rebel
Somehow you got wind of some nasty stuff going down behind the scenes in your supposedly peaceful compound, and you are not having it.  You’re not quite sure *who* is behind all the monkey business, but you refuse to sit by and be complicit.  Sure, you may be putting your life on the line by taking a stand, but who wants to live in a cesspool of lies and manipulation anyway?  Just remember, whatever you do, be careful what you eat!

Mostly C’s – Ruling Class
You’re one of Paragon’s best and brightest – and you know it.  Tasked with determining how things should operate in your newfound civilization, your brain is toiling all day, every day, for the benefit of all society.  So don’t you deserve a little break every now and then?  A bottle of wine, a lavish meal, a little, um, companionship (never mind if she’s willing – she wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t, right?).  You’ve earned it.  Without you, all those ingrate citizens would have torn each other to pieces by now.  Aren’t you owed a few perks of their labor?  Work hard, play hard – that’s your motto.

Mostly D’s – Engineer
A former titan of industry, you’ve got brains – and ambition – for days.  You recognized that the figurative ship was sinking, and your self-preservation instincts kicked into overdrive, ensuring that *at least* those who were worthy made it onto a lifeboat (naturally, that included you!).  Of course, there were some sacrifices necessary along the way (usually someone else’s, ::shrug::), but that’s the cost of being true to your ideals.  Some may call you a genocidal maniac, but they’re only seeing half the story.  You’re a genocidal maniac with a heart of gold!

Mostly E’s – Stuck
You were human once, you think.  It’s hard to remember when you’re battling that constant thirst for blood and carnage.  At one time you had hobbies, loved ones, dreams; now you’re more muscle and fury than anything.  But you still have your pastimes: a rousing romp in the forest, munching on a freshly torn-off limb, giving the prison guards a good old fashioned fright.  And if there’s one thing that really gets you going, it’s vengeance!  The trouble is, you can’t seem to remember who to direct all that anger at… and goodness help any innocent soul who gets in your way!

So, where did you land??  Share in the comments!

About the Author
Samantha lives in Westchester County, New York with four of the five loves of her life – her husband, son, younger daughter, and cat – and carries her fifth love, her stillborn daughter, in her heart. An avid reader herself, Samantha’s dream is to bring the same delight to readers that other authors have brought to her life. In addition to penning novels and writing candidly about grief, she is also a sometimes freelance writer/consultant – though more often than not these days she’s on full-time mom duty! A former software engineer, Samantha said goodbye to the corporate world in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and lifelong love of writing. Learn more at
Tour Schedule
December 10th:
December 11th:
December 12th:
December 13th:
December 14th:
December 17th:
December 18th:
December 19th:
December 20th:
December 21st:
December 22nd:
Tour Giveaway

1 First Place Winner will receive: Signed Print Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy, a Limited-Edition Stitch Scarf, Bookmarks, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card
3 Second Place Winners will receive: eBook Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy for You *and* a Friend, plus a $5 Amazon Gift Card
– Open internationally
– Ends December 27th

Grab Our Button!



Tortured Soul by Staci Troilo #guestpost #newrelease #romance #paranormal

Today I’m excited to welcome Staci Troilo with her new release, Tortured Soul, the final book of her Medici Protectorate series.  I haven’t gotten to this series yet (I’m currently reading the last book in her Cathedral Lake series), but the excerpts I’ve seen this week are making me anxious to get started!

Hi, Teri. Thanks for inviting me here today to discuss Tortured Soul, the fourth and final book in the Medici Protectorate series.

With the Halloween season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discuss all things supernatural. This series is best classified as a steamy romantic thriller with paranormal elements.

The guys have magic powers. It’s not the most important part of the novel, but it is crucial. And how did these powers come about?


Alchemy always interested me because it’s part fiction and part fact (which is kind of how I write). It was actually a precursor to modern chemistry, but the practitioners were less concerned with converting moles to grams and more interested in converting lead to gold. The transmutation of metals was of paramount importance to alchemists, as was the pursuit of immortality. Some say there was something that could do both—the illusive philosopher’s stone. (Bet that sounds familiar to many of you.)

In my series, alchemical rituals were performed by Michelangelo, who both mastered metal transmutation and conquered death. He used his alchemical abilities (including vast knowledge of the properties of stone and the mystical properties of colors) in addition to his sculptural talents to create a collection of marble daggers. Wielders of these weapons were imbued with great powers that corresponded to the color of the stone.


This series took a great amount of research to lend an air of authenticity to the stones and colors and rituals. Not that I minded; it was fun.

Gianni wields the red dagger. His powers are summed up by the words passion, blood, vengeance.

Vinnie wields the white dagger. His powers are summed up by the words purity, clarity, beginnings.

Nico wields the green dagger. His powers are summed up by the words life, balance, transformation.

Coz wields the black dagger. His powers are summed up by the words resilience, protection, potential.

Then there was the dagger wielded by the leader of the group. It was a gold dagger. Michelangelo was the only one who ever knew the three governing words associated with it.

After all, words have power. And he wasn’t about to give anyone an edge over him (he was the first leader of the group).

I really enjoyed the research into stones, colors, elements, and powers. I hope that comes through in the work.

Can you imagine having in your possession something that could extend your life, provide you with unlimited riches, and summon and control the elements themselves? I don’t know many people who could be trusted with such power.

Thank God such a thing is fiction.

Or is it?


Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Universal Purchase Link

Author Bio and Links:

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Author Page | BookBub Author Page | Goodreads Author Page | Twitter | Other Social Media Links


Guest Post by Georgia Rose – Standalone or Series? #NewRelease #TuesdayBookBlog #mystery @GeorgiaRoseBook

Standalone or Series?  Haven’t all writers wondered this at some point?  Georgia Rose is here today to discuss her decision to make her new release, Parallel Lies, a standalone.  Welcome, Georgia!

Standalone or Series? Keeping Your Options Open – Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose @GeorgiaRoseBook

I have already written a series, and mighty hard it was too, so I had no intention of doing that again. Ever. Parallel Lies was definitely going to be a standalone I thought as I started out on writing it. Although it wasn’t a conscious decision I found at the end I’d made sure of this by killing off someone crucial to any future story line. Dead, done, finished and that is that I’d thought as I’d metaphorically walked away from the completed manuscript.

At least that was the case until my editor took his first look at it. Why have you done that! Was something along the lines of what he’d said, along with, there’s no future in that. You have no possibility of a sequel without him/her (no spoilers!)

I had never considered the possibility of a sequel. Still haven’t, if I’m being totally honest. I have no storyline for that, not as yet anyway.

But when I gave it some thought it did seem a sensible way forward, to leave my options open. I mean where would George R R Martin have been if he’d killed off the hero/heroine in his first book – oh, wait, no, he did that, scrap that, it’s a bad example.

Anyway I rewrote a major section which led onto something completely different (and potentially quite controversial) happening and consequently there’s a subtly different feel to the ending. I think I like it better too, which just goes to show how useful it is to have an editor on board.

I’d be interested to know what other writers who come this way think. Do you always plan for a sequel, or a series? Or, does that happen along the way and, I guess, become more pressing if the first one is a success?

My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…

Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.

Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.

Company… when she wants it.

It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.

Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.

But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets.

And they never stay buried for ever.

Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.

Or her past.

Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.

Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?

You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.


Pre-order Parallel Lies by Clicking Here

But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!

Georgia loves Spring for its display of daffodils and Autumn because her favourite fruit, the Victoria plum, is in abundance. She dislikes olives and can’t see the attraction of hummus.

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!


Thank you for inviting me on your blog, Teri, it has been a pleasure to visit you and get to chat to your readers.


New Release: The Enhanced League by C.S. Boyack #IndieAuthor #newrelease @Virgilante

Lisa Burton is in the house!

Today I have the honor of welcoming robot girl, Lisa Burton.  Lisa’s an extremely busy woman, and I’m thrilled she was able to stop by.

Gosh, thanks for inviting me over today. I love getting away from the writing cabin for a little while.

I’m Lisa Burton, the robot girl, and part of my job is to act as spokesmodel for Craig’s books. He has a new release called The Enhanced League, and I’m here to tell you about it.

It’s a loose collection of short stories that serve to tell an overarching story. It covers one year in the life of a professional baseball league. The Enhanced League does not test for performance enhancing drugs or supplements. They allow the players to make their own decisions. This leads to some superstar players, but also some hard falls along the way.

Craig wrote several women characters into the book too. Lara Toryanski is a high school girl. She pitches on the school softball team. I like Lara because she’s kind of an old mind on young shoulders. She dreams of bigger things, but understands the obstacles that stand in her way.

She winds up at the mid-season break called Enhanced Con. While her father and brothers are being true conventioneers, Lara wanders the floor. She winds up in a pickup game of softball with some of the professionals. One of them befriends her and gives her some good counseling.

This story speaks to how women fit into the professional sports world, but it has a neat human side to it too.

To honor Lara, I posed for this poster that represents her. I can’t stop being me, so I turned away a bit to let the Wildcats uniform take up more of the image.

If you’d like to learn more about Lara and the others, pick up a copy of The Enhanced League on Amazon. It’s a 99¢ book, and baseball makes for great summer reading.


The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB



I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.


My novels

Guest Post and Giveaway: Beyond Show – Don’t Tell: Fifteen Tips To Make Your Writing Shine by B. Lynn Goodwin

Today we welcome Lynn Goodwin to Books & Such as part of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour!  Lynn is here today to share some tips about how to make your writing stand out from the crowd.  Her coming-of-age novel, Talent: Real Life Doesn’t Have a Script, was released in November 2015.  Leave a comment below to be registered to win a copy!      

Beyond Show—Don’t Tell:

Fifteen Tips To Make Your Writing Shine

Here are some tips that will help your writing sparkle. One of my tips is “Less is more.” In keeping with that sentiment, I have kept these short and simple.

  1. Write about an idea worth sharing. Everybody has them, you know.
  2. Figure out what makes your idea unique. If you look at it from that angle, you’ll interest more people and they’ll want to read something new, fresh, and exciting.
  3. Hook your readers in the first paragraph. Contemporary readers have very short attention spans.
  4. Know your characters. Know what they want, what they can do to get it, and what is in their way. Explore these three elements for each character in your journal. Interview the characters. Give them plenty of chances to share with you. It will pay off, because sympathetic, well-rounded characters draw readers into any story.
  5. Let events happen naturally and logically. Actions have consequences. Let one event lead to another.
  6. Be wary of digressions. Instead of deleting them, save your digressions for a different story.
  7. When you finish a draft, read it over. Underline words and phrases that have energy—whatever that means for you. Those are places that you may want to dig deeper and explore further.
  8. Delete anything that doesn’t belong. If you want to use it sometime, put it with your digressions and use it later.
  9. Read your writing out loud. Listen for places where your writing trips you up. Rephrase. Dig deeper. Eliminate unnecessary words. If none of that works, go to your journal and ask yourself why the passage trips you up. One idea will lead to another and you will figure it out.
  10. After you read, ask yourself what you want to know more about and make a list of questions that address those issues. Answer them when you are ready to do so. Keep going back and adding. Trust your instincts as you weave your newest discoveries into the story.
  11. After the next draft, have a trusted friend read your work to you. What do you hear that works? What could be clearer? What could be smoother? Make notes.
  12. With every draft, journal about the issues that came up for the author as well as the characters. These journal entries will give you insights.
  13. Write to elicit an emotional impact in the reader.
  14. Less is more. Don’t over describe, but give us enough thought that we sink into the story. Don’t flaunt your vocabulary.
  15. Write with your heart at least as much as you write with your head. Be subjective. If you are telling a story, let us live it with you.

My last piece of advice can be easy to follow or extremely difficult, depending on how you are hard wired. Be open to the suggestions of others, but don’t be governed by them. If an idea appeals, use it. If it makes you bristle, ask yourself why. You can journal about it if you want to, but maybe you don’t need to. Consider the knowledge and sensitivity of the person commenting. If a suggestion confuses you, ask the person who gave it to you what he or she means.

Remember, you need your approval and maybe you need an agent, editor, or publisher’s approval. Maybe not. Tell the story that you want to tell, a story you will be proud to call your own. I’ve given you tips. Please use whatever will work for you as you continue on your writing journey.



Talent Cover

Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver’s license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.

Talent is a timely story about a girl who learns her brother is MIA in Afghanistan. What does she do? How does she cope while trying to be part of the drama department and attempting to live normally? Lynn Goodwin has captured the angst and the pathos of this situation and created a character who will appeal to many teens. All she wants to do is fit in and live her life, but events keep happening that don’t allow her to do this. I highly recommend this book as a way for young people to understand the effects of war on the people left behind and the kinds of problems teens face today.

TALENT is available on Amazon at

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be registered to win a copy of Talent!  This giveaway runs through March 16th.


BLynnGoodwinLynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing), and TALENT (Eternal Press). Her blog is at Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good and many other venues. She is currently working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62.


Guest Post: Catalysts by Charles E Yallowitz

readful things blog

CatalystsBig thank you to Ionia for letting me post about my debut Horror novella.  I promise to clean up after myself and lock the door when I’m done.


When trapped in an elevator together, Jeffrey and Darla learn that misery doesn’t always love company. With the screams of death and chaos echoing from outside, they find themselves slowly slipping into a world of fear and darkness they may never recover from. All the while, something is terrorizing the convention outside and turning the guests and celebrities into psychotic monsters.
The inspiration for Catalysts is that I wanted to try another genre.  I’ve spent most of my life playing in the fantasy genre, so I set out to prove to myself and one annoying friend that I could step out of that comfort zone.  Supernatural horror came to mind because…

View original post 299 more words

Guest Post by Stephanie Stamm, author of A Gift of Wings

I’m so excited to welcome Stephanie Stamm, author of A Gift of Wings (if you haven’t read it, you’re living a deprived life) to Books & Such.  I met Stephanie last spring at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest shortly after she’d published her book and in the early stages of getting her blog up and running at 8607664  When I asked her to write a guest post a few weeks ago, she graciously agreed, but said it would have to wait until she returned from Italy – awesome!  And if that’s not enough excitement, her short story Phantom Pains, has been accepted by Mystery and Horror, LLC, for their “Undead of Winter” anthology due to be released November 18th.  Thanks so much, Stephanie, for being a guest on Books & Such.

When Teri approached me about writing a guest post related to horror, I’d just heard Stephen King on  NPR promoting the release of his new novel Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. The interview had made me want to read The Shining, since (horror!) I had seen the movie but never actually read the book. So I told Teri I’d like to write something about The Shining.

I’m not going to waste your time with a review of a book you probably read long before I did. Instead, I want to talk about what makes The Shining so scary—in other words, about what makes good horror fiction work.

Let’s start with the characters. King writes characters we care about. We want to see Jack Torrance, with his troubled past, his history of alcoholism and violence, be redeemed—not consumed by the Overlook and its ghosts. We want Wendy Torrance to live without the fear of a controlling mother or an unpredictably violent spouse. We want Dick Hallorann to get back home where he can file that will he just had made away, since it won’t be needed until far into the future. And more than anything, we want Danny Torrance to survive, to have the opportunity to grow up and become a man. Much more so than Kubrick’s movie version, the novel focuses on Danny, the five-year-old boy whose psychic abilities give the book its title. We sympathize with the other characters, but it is little Danny we care about most. With his innocence, vulnerability, and power, he shines at the novel’s heart. He is the one the Overlook wants, and he is the one the Overlook must not get.

King hooks us by setting up a conflict between good and evil, innocent Danny and possessed hotel, images3but that conflict alone isn’t what gives the book its fear factor. What happens to the Torrance family (and Dick Hallorann) at the Overlook scares us, because King very skillfully plays on some basic deep-rooted human fears.

(1) Our sanity is fragile.

We know from early on in the book that Danny has psychic abilities, and we trust that those abilities are real. We know he’s being warned about the dangers at the hotel. We never doubt Danny’s sanity, though his parents and the doctors do. But we seriously doubt Jack’s. And when he begins slipping away, at first we don’t know for sure if there is an external evil (like the hotel and its ghosts) or if Jack is simply losing his mind. How much of what he’s experiencing is imposed by an external force, and how much is in his own head? We are creatures of perception, but our perceptions are fallible. How much can we trust about what we perceive? How much can we really know? Do we really have something to be afraid of, or are we jumping at shadows? With enough thoughts like these, paranoia sets in.

(2) Our power is dangerous.

Danny’s “shining” gives him a power most people don’t possess. There are others who have a bit of the shine, but Danny shines brighter than anyone else. He is powerful. But that ability is both blessing and curse. He sees things, but he passes out when the visions come, and his parents don’t believe him when he tells them what he sees. So he has learned to keep his knowledge to himself. Worst of all, his ability makes him a target for the Overlook. He’s the catalyst that sets the horrible events in motion. The Overlook possesses Jack in order to get to Danny, because it covets his power. Who among us hasn’t at some time felt afraid of our own gifts? Afraid that we may not use the gifts wisely or that using them will result in a bad end or cause someone to be hurt, or that the power will somehow go awry, despite our best intentions? We fear our weakness, but we fear our own power as well.

(3) We are monsters inside.

Part of the reason we fear our power is because, down deep, we sometimes wonder if we aren’t really monsters at heart. And this brings us back to Jack. The Overlook plays him because he’s vulnerable to its manipulation. The son of an abusive father, he has battled the demons of his memories, his alcoholism, and his own violent temper. He’s ridden by the guilt he feels over breaking Danny’s arm when the boy was just a toddler. He wants to get his life in order, to make good on the job at the Overlook, to be a good husband and father, but he fears those things will never happen, because he knows—knows—he’s really a monster who doesn’t deserve anything good. Since he knows he’s a monster, he has sabotaged himself at almost every opportunity. The Overlook preys on his fears and lets him have it both ways. It twists his mind, tricks him into believing he can rise in his position, make good, find the success he’s never had. All he has to do is give in to the monster he has never been able to shake. What could be scarier than that?

(4) All is chaos, madness, out of control.

Two words: hedge animals. The Overlook is a place where elevators run on their own, spilling out confetti from parties that took place decades ago. Where fire hoses shift position at will. Where the bloated corpse of a long-dead woman rises from a bathtub to strangle a small boy. And where hedge animals walk, run, and attack. Hedge animals. Plants cut into the shapes of animals. Nothing is obeying the laws of nature here. The world of The Shining is one where the fabric of reality is fluid, where boundaries that we take for granted don’t exist, where things that shouldn’t move move, and where things that shouldn’t have bodies do. It reminds me of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings of hell where human bodies, animals, plants, and machines combine in myriad torturous and disturbing ways. Bosch could have painted someone being devoured by a hedge lion—or better, a hedge rabbit. Creepy.

Stephen King knows how to scare us, because he understands our hearts and he knows our fears. He builds a foundation of emotional connection and then lets the fearful scenes unfold. We are hooked, and we read on, hearts racing.

Speaking of hooked, I have to find a copy of Doctor Sleep, so I can read the rest of Danny’s story.

Guest Post by Bradley Corbett a.k.a. Green Embers











I had a fantastic week off and was able to finish and start some wonderful books.  Despite the fact that it’s Monday and only having around four hours of sleep last night, I’m feeling surprisingly energetic.  But that’s a good thing because today I have the pleasure of welcoming Bradley Corbett a.k.a Green Embers to Books & Such!  This busy man has three blogs very worthy of your time and attention so stop by and enjoy!  Thanks so much, Bradley, for being on Books & Such!

The Fun of Horror in Films!

I am very humbled and honored that Teri asked me to write a guest post for her amazing blog. (Hopefully you all don’t go running and screaming away… although thinking about it I was asked for a horror theme… so feel free to run and scream at the mere sight of me.)

I am not a huge horror fan but some of my fondest memories come from watching horror movies. There was one place where my roommates and I decided to further my horror education. The ultimate goal was to watch Freddy vs. Jason. At the time I had seen very few movies that you could classify as horror.

My horror education began with watching all the Friday the 13th movies and then moving on to watching the entire Nightmare on Elm Street films. We did this over the course of about two weeks, which turned out to be an incredibly fun activity. We would start formulating the different rules of horror while watching the show. She showed her boobs, that mean she gonna die (yup almost every time). A character being a slut (guy or girl), you know he/she is gonna die. (At the time I hadn’t seen the Scream movies but that came soon after).

I also discovered something during this run of horror. These movies weren’t scary. They were gory, yes but not really scary. If anything they were more like comedies/thrillers to me. Now these Japanese horror films, I find them scary (The Ring kept me up for days and I never view static on the television the same again). After finishing this marathon, we did watch Freddy vs Jason and it was great! Makes me sad they never did get around to making Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash (this was going to be a real thing from my understanding).

After it was over we decided to go on with our horror marathon. We watched the Child’s Play movies which started out trying to be serious but by the time Bride of Chucky came around it had morphed into Dark Comedy. (I would imagine seeing these as a kid would be pretty scary). Then after that was over we watched the Scream trilogy (the fourth one had not been made at that time) which was fantastic. It was a horror movie spoofing horror movies but in a subtle way. It was the perfect way to cap off that horror marathon run.

Several years later my good friend and I decided to go catch the Friday the 13th reboot in theaters. I would have to say that was one of the most enjoyable times that I have ever spent in the theater. It was opening night and normally I get annoyed if the crowd talks during movies but something else happened. We would scream and laugh together. The sense of the group excitement was just all around fun and seemed almost magical. The movie might not have been the best but that was one of my most fun experiences in theater and all because of the crowd.

I look at what the horror genre has become though and it makes me kind of sad. The gore and torture porn has been increased significantly and the fun has vanished. We’ve also seen the rise of more intense, psychological suspense/horror films where they try to keep a lower rating (PG-13 <- a United States thing) so they decrease the gore but up the intensity. I’m fine with this as I think these movies are truly scary. The dynamic has changed and maybe it is nostalgia speaking but I miss those corny horror movies of yesteryear.

Thanks again Teri for having me as a guest blogger!