Tuesday, April 30

Book Review: The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbooks

Author: Kaytie Norman
Title: The Unofficial Harry Potter Spellbook
Genre: Fantasy
Format: hardcover
Pages: 143
Published: January 1, 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (bday gift)

A complete guide to the spells, charms, and hexes used throughout the Harry Potter Universe. Includes information about wands and other enchanted objects as well.

I was looking through my unread physical books and nothing was catching my eye. I spotted this little number and decided I needed an easy book to read. 

This is a guide to spells, charms, and hexes used throughout the HP Universe. It also includes information about enchanted objects as well like wands. 

This was quick and easy, but entertaining. I loved reading more of the lore behind some of the magic elements of the HP world. 

I especially loved the bits about the wands!

There are little ancedotes throughout the book about where a certain spell was used or the history behind it's creation. It was interesting and a nice chang of pace for me. I have been feeling a little...meh? This was a nice fresh read. 

Def an informational, but interesting especially if you love the HP world. I do wish we had more in the guide like digging into the different (known) patronous shapes and maybe some characters? Sure it would've made it longer, but I feel like we could've used more. 

4 stars for me though. It was nice


Monday, April 29

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Triangle at Rhodes by Agatha Christie

A Hercule Poirot Short Story

By: Agatha Christie

Narrated by: Hugh Fraser

Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries

Length: 49 mins

Release date: 10-14-21

Historical mystery/storytel.fi

I do prefer Marple, but always when I look for short stories Christie is the only thing that shows up, and I liked the cover for this Poirot one, oh well.

It was short. Well narrated. A voice a bit too soothing though, not so good when you are sleepy.

I wish my audio subscription site had an easier way too look for short stories, or had more! I always come back to these

This electric short story begins in October on the island of Rhodes, a veritable paradise of privacy, beauty and calm, or so Hercule Poirot has imagined.

The reality is quite startlingly different. The idyll is disturbed by the arrival of famed Chanel beauty Valentine Chantry, and a ripple of malice is felt across the island. Captivated by her wiles and immaculate good looks, one young married man falters, closely watched by Valentine’s brooding husband and the watchful eye of Poirot.

Amidst the heady pink gins and close quarters, Poirot senses that someone has murder in their heart, and he guesses right....

Thursday, April 25

Audiobook Review: Longbourn -Dragon Entail by Maria Grace

Author: Maria Grace
Narrator: Benjamin Fife
Title: Longbourn -Dragon Entail
Series: Jane Austen's Dragons #2
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings
Format: Audiobook
Published: April 21, 2017
Where I got It: Audible

Darcy thought his problems were over when Pemberley hatched and successfully imprinted on humans. But baby dragons prove far more difficult than any dragon lore prepared him for. Only Elizabeth Bennet's notes offer him any help. When his imperious Aunt Catherine takes matters into her own hands, things take a turn for the worse and Pemberley’s life hangs in the balance. He desperately needs more of Elizabeth’s help, but she ignores all of his requests.

Elizabeth, though, has problems of her own. After the Bennet family dragon sent Pemberley away, life at Longbourn was supposed to return to normal and Elizabeth get on with the all-important business of marrying the heir to her father’s estate. Except that he is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry—a bumbling, addle-pated dragon-hater who demands she gives up the dragons she lives for.

Can she, with the help of her dragon friends, find her way back to Pemberley before they both suffer their fate from the Dragon Entail?

Okieee I had to read book 2 right away. The last book left me needing more. I needed to see what was going to happen to our lovely cast. 

Darcy and Elizabeth thought everything was done and over with. Back to normal life. Darcy has his baby dragon and Elizabeth is going to (eventually) marry Mr Collins. However, life is never simple especially with dragons. 

I really enjoyed this one. I liked it more than book 1. I felt like I understood more about this world. Yes, we are still learning, but I felt like I had a grasp and there wasn't info-dumping here. Yayy!

Things between Darcy and Elizabeth FINALLY move forward. We get to see them go from enemies, to friends, and maybe JUST maybe more? Feelings, especially when the truth is all laid out, are blossoming. Yayy!

Mr Collins needs to be shipped away to some remote island where he can live alone. UGH. Unbearable man. Honestly...this version is top 5 of the worst Collins. 

Lady Catherine and Anne are unbearable too. Normally I pity Anne, but this version she is a little snot. Send these two with Collins so they can live together. 

I'm so glad to see Mary getting some love in this version. She is normally ignored and a super background character, but we get to see her more. Love that for her!!! I feel bad at a certain point at the end......but if she's happy......let it be. 

Now, I did switch up to the audiobook because I had an extra credit and I had no idea what to get and this popped up as a recommended so why not. The narrator was fine. The dragon voices grated on my nerves at first, BUT I did get used to them. Yes, I get why they had to use voice effects essentially but still.....it took a minute to warm up to them. Especially the higher up voices like April. *eye twitch*

THAT ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG OMG. Now I need to read book 3. Hahahaha. Damn these cliffhangers. 

All-in-all I did enjoy this one much more than book 1. However, I was 50/50 on the narration. I liked the people voices, but it took some time to get used to the dragon voices. I might switch back to the ebook/physical book. We'll see. 

I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


- Audiobook #20

Tuesday, April 23

Book Review: It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn

Author: Julia Quinn
Title: It's In His Kiss
Series: Bridgertons #7
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: paperback
Pages: 431
Published: June 28, 2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Used book store)



Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth's sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past... and the key to his future. The problem is—it's written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.


All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She's fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there's something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won't quite let go...


Or don't. But rest assured, he's spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth's every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other... and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

*sips tea* S3 of Bridgerton is around the corner so I am for sure in a Bridgerton mood. I wanted to save this one and the last one for a rainy day when I have a bad itch for the show. But alas....I couldn't stop myself. 

Here we follow Hyacinth who is the youngest of the Bridgertons and Gareth. Hyacinth is in her 2nd season and she is already over it. She is a younger version of Lady Danbury....outspoken and extremely smart. Enter in Gareth. Gareth has a diary from his grandmother and he wants to read it to try to find the truth about a family secret, but sadly....it's in Italian and he doesn't speak a lick of Italian. Low and behold, Hyacinth knows enough Italian to give it a go. What they will uncover could change everything. Oh and they might uncover what is in the diary as well that could change Gareth's life. 

Awwwww I liked Gareth and I loved how Hyacinth grew up to be a mini version of Lady Danbury. It's adorable. She was a kid for the majority of the other books (as she is the baby of the family) so it was fun to watch her muddling her way through her second season. It's adorable. 

Gareth was a sweetie and I felt so bad for him. His father is an ass who needs to be kicked in the teeth. 

I am a little bummed we really didn't get to see much of the Bridgertons here. I would've liked a wedding scene or something. We get to see Violet and a splash of Anthony. I think Daphne swung by? I honestly don't recall. If she was there it was so miniscule that I didn't really keep it retained in my head. Gregory also made a quick appearance to be an annoying brother. But the interactions were VERY slim. Hyacinth spent most of the book at Lady Danbury's or with Gareth. Or alone with the diary in her room. I honestly would've appreciated a wedding scene or SOMETHING where we get to see the other siblings interact with her all grown up. Maybe harassing, lovingly, Gareth. IDK I felt like we didn't get the full Bridgerton Family feels like we have in the others. 

Besides for that, I did enjoy that. The drama was not too over-the-top. The main drama was between Gareth and his father. And yes, the love birds do have a couple fights and a slight misunderstanding, but that was resolved easily enough after everyone calmed down to talk and listen. 

But yes, this was very sweet and I ADORED the epilogues. Both were so good. I loved seeing them as parents. 

All-in-all, this was good. It was very sweet and I loved watching these two fall in love while trying to uncover a mystery. I'll give this 4 stars. I missed seeing the big Bridgerton family together for at least ONE scene. 


Monday, April 22

Blodeuedd Reviews: The Backup Bride Proposal by Jaci Burton

Narrated by: Holly Chandler

Series: Boots and Bouquets Series, Book 4

Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins

Release date: 04-23-24

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Contemporary romance/to review

Mae works at a vineyard with weddings. Kane is a big movie star. She does not recognize him at first and his interest is peeked. The faith throws them together as he is a filming a movie there and she has to help out.

She is not interested in longterm...but he is darn handsome. While he likes the fact that she likes who he is and not the movie star.

Sparks fly at once, but it still takes time. I have not read the previous book, but they are there in the background and it seems like their books could be good too.

Sweet, some spice and some drama before they find their HEA

Good narration. A voice that could play with all emotions and voices. It felt right at home

Bellini Weddings has agreed to allow a production company to film a movie at Red Moss Vineyards. It will be great PR for both the vineyard and the wine and wedding businesses. Mae Wallace, who works for the Bellini family, is thrilled with the possibility of new business. What she isn’t thrilled with is actor Kane August, who she finds crashing one of the weddings. He tells her it’s research for the movie, but she finds him overconfident and annoying.

Kane August is rarely surprised by anything—until he meets Mae Wallace. She’s sharp, just a bit on the snarky side, and the most refreshing woman he’s had the pleasure of meeting. She constantly challenges him, and he can’t remember having this much fun on a movie set. He takes every opportunity to spend time with her, peeling back layers until he gets to the heart of who this amazing person really is. And, unexpectedly, he realizes that he’s letting her in, too, something he hasn’t done with anyone before. However, they live very different lives and he’ll need to be careful around Mae, because she’s someone he could see a future with. But can she see the same thing?

When Kane takes her to his family’s ranch in Texas, Mae discovers a whole new side to him, learning about the heart and soul of a kind and gentle man. And as they grow closer, her guard goes up. Once burned, she has no intention of falling in love ever again, despite this very hot and sexy guy who’s trying his best to turn her world upside down and work his way through the steely wall she’s built. Kane is determined to show her he’s the one man she can trust with her heart. If only Mae will allow herself to fall.

Wednesday, April 17

Book Review: A Storm to Remember by Cyan Skye

Author: Cyan Skye
Title: A Storm to Remember
Genre: Short Story, Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 35
Published: February 11, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Big, scary-looking tough guys don't name their cat Mr. Kitty. And they definitely don't spend hours in the freezing cold searching for their lost cat in the middle of the worst blizzard in memory.

When the pretty girl across the neighborhood finds an orange tabby named Mr. Kitty, the man who claims him is the last person she'd expect: James is huge and intimidating. But when he's gone, she can't stop thinking about him.

As the blizzard worsens, Ashley finds herself trapped at home with no power or heat. There's only one person who knows she’s in trouble.

Will James come to her rescue, and can the two of them warm each other's hearts in the midst of a storm?

Yayy for freebie shorts!

James and Ashley will find themselves falling in love after Ashley saves James' cat during a blizzard. They think that is that, until Ashley finds herself trapped at home with no power and no heat as the storm worsens. James comes to the rescue, only to pay her back, but they will discover maybe it is fate.

Very short and sweet and to the point. They bound during this terrible storm and it is love at pretty much right away. 

Kitty! I'm a sucker for cats and Mr. Kitty was adorable. 

This did feel a little too short. Mainly for the fact I would've liked to see more conversations between the two. So maybe a page or two longer to really feel that attraction and love. Yes, this is clean, but some more convos would've sealed the deal for me. 

All-in-all, a nice short romance for a rainy day like today. I'll give this 3 stars. 


Tuesday, April 16

Book Review: The Neighbor by Dean Koontz

Author: Dean Koontz
Title: The Neighbor
Series: The City #0.5
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Short story, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery
Format: ebook
Pages: 33
Published: January 1, 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

A prequel to The City

The year is 1967. Malcolm Pomerantz is twelve, geeky and socially awkward, while his seriously bright sister, Amalia, is spirited and beautiful. Each is the other’s best friend, united by a boundless interest in the world beyond their dysfunctional parents’ unhappy home. But even the troubled Pomerantz household will seem to be a haven compared to the house next door, after an enigmatic and very secretive new neighbor takes up residence in the darkest hours of the night.

Got a few little short stories from Amazon. Gotta love it! But I picked this one up because I have read a book by this author before and I have been interested in checking out 'The City' (book 1). So why not read the prequel? 

The year is 1967 and Malcolm is 12. He is awkward and geeky, while his sister is spirited and beautiful and talented. He swears she'll be famous someday. They are best friends and united by a boundless interest in the world outside of their dysfunctional home. However, there is something dark next door that makes them happy to be living in their home. 

This was short but filled to the brim with story. I was hooked to every single page. I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen or what was even going on. 

The ending was good. Now I'm extra excited for the first book. I believe Malcolm and his sister make appearances so that will be fun to see them in the aftermath of what they experienced. 

But yes, this was short, but good. A nice mini thriller and mystery with paranormal stuff attached. I'm so glad what happened happened to that house. A very good ending. 

Fun! Can't wait to read book 1. 

I'll give this 5 stars. 


Monday, April 15

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Only This Beautiful Moment by Abdi Nazemian

By: Abdi Nazemian

Narrated by: Vikas Adam, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Iman Nazemzadeh

Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins

Release date: 05-09-23

Publisher: HarperAudio

YA fiction / from storytel.fi

I liked the other one I listened to by Nazemian, so I decided to try another one. It was a good one, but I did feel at the ending that I wanted more. Like now what? What happened next? Is there hope?

This is a book about 3 generation. Bobby whose mother is trying to make him a star. He is gay in a time that that certainly is not accepted. Then we have Saaeed who has to flee Iran because he took part in demonstrations. You know when they thought they made it better and they made it even worse. He did not even know that he has a grandmother living in LA and that she is American. Then there is Moud. Who is gay in a time when it is certainly more accepted, but he is going to Iran, where is so is not accepted. He will visit his dying grandfather (whose secrets he does not know.)

I think I would have liked to see Bobby actually go to Iran. And maybe more about Saeed later on. And def what Moud does afterwards. The book ends when they are all still in Iran and I just want to know that everything works out. Nothing says it will not, but yes I could have listened to more. I was so invested in these lives.

There were 3 narrators, and yes I chose the book too partly cos one of the narrators. I just really like his voice.

Moud is an out gay teen living in Los Angeles with his distant father, Saeed. When Moud gets the news that his grandfather in Iran is dying, he accompanies his dad to Tehran, where the revelation of family secrets will force Moud into a new understanding of his history, his culture, and himself. 1978. Saeed is an engineering student with a promising future ahead of him in Tehran. But when his parents discover his involvement in the country's burgeoning revolution, they send him to safety in America, a country Saeed despises. And even worse--he's forced to live with the American grandmother he never knew existed. 1939. Bobby , the son of a calculating Hollywood stage mother, lands a coveted MGM studio contract. But the fairy-tale world of glamour he's thrust into has a dark side. Set against the backdrop of Tehran and Los Angeles, this tale of intergenerational trauma and love is an ode to the fragile bonds of family, the hidden secrets of history, and all the beautiful moments that make us who we are today.

Saturday, April 13

Movie Review: Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire (2024)

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Length: 1h 55 m
Released: 2024
Genre:  Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Comedy
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Movie theater

Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island's mysteries.

I am such a sucker for Godzilla. Love that beasty. I've never been a huge Kong fan (there's something about monkeys and gorillas that I'm meh about). I missed the Kong movie and the last time these two shared the screen. However, I was assured that you could watch this fine without watching those two movies. 

Here we follow a group of humans trying to keep the peace between all the titans and the humans. Things start to bubble up (literally) and it's time to take action. There is something dark heading to the surface. They will have to try and get Kong and Godzilla to join forces. Yikes. 

Oh Godzilla! Love you! But we did spend more time with Kong here...and suprisingly....I wasn't mad about it. Kong actually had a storyline. He feels so alone since he thinks he's the last of his kind, but low and behold...he learns more. His knowledge quest, though, will unlock some secrets that could destroy the fragile peace. He'll need help from the humans and enemy...Godzilla. 

The people were right and you can def watch this film without the knowledge of the past movies. They give you JUST enough info to be all, "Ah. Okay. Fair enough" and keep watching on. 

Yes, we get to see Godzilla, but he isn't doing much besides kicking ass of other titans (don't worry they are baddies) and getting ready for the battle. Godzilla doesn't know what's coming, but he can feel it and he hears a call in the air warning and asking for his help. Love it, but yes, not much story there so we only get to Godzilla for a little bit until the big battle. 

WHICH I had more hope for that big battle. It seemed the baddie wasn't THAT bad on his own. He just has a secret weapon, but without that weapon. Meh. Weakling. 

This was loads of fun even the human stories! Whaaaa?! I know crazy. I actually cared about this group of humans and their part in the story! 

OOOOO! That twist melted my wee little heart. I was so excited to see a certain character!!!! Didn't see that coming!!!

TBH...I'm now curious to backtrack and watch the Kong movie and the previous Kong/Zilla films. This Kong isn't too shabby. He has personality and I was intrigued. Wow.....is this creator making me LIKE Kong? Past Carole is shocked and shook. 

All-in-all....this was fun. I enjoyed it. Beautiful CGI and I loved all facets of the story. The humans, Zilla, and Kong. I'll always be a Godzilla Gal, but I can appreciate Kong a little more. Strange when a movie can change your opinion a bit ;) 5 stars from me. 


Friday, April 12

Audiobook Review: Southern Bred and Dead by Angie Fox

Author: Angie Fox
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Title: Southern Bred and Dead
Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #9
Genre: Paranormal, Cozy Mystery, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: August 28, 2020
Where I got It: Audible

A haunted church. A ghastly death. Can Verity clear up the case before she’s buried way over her head?

Verity Long would really like a day off. Between uncovering the culprit who capped her gangster ghost housemate and dodging the bomb her boyfriend just dropped on their relationship, her spiritual calling has gotten complicated. But when she steps out for a little fun at a church fundraiser, she has another mystery on her hands when a family friend plunges from the bell tower.

With her pet skunk and a spectral mobster buddy in tow, Verity charges back into the world of furious phantoms. But as she follows a shocking trail of clues through a dangerous speakeasy, a possessed movie theatre, and a spooky mob safehouse, she could end up sleeping with the ghostly fishes.

Can Verity lay everything to rest before a mysterious murderer reads her last rites?

Yayy! Been itching to start this one, but I don't want to gobble the whole series up BUT this series is just so good. 

Back at it again with Verity and her gang. They are now tackling the mystery on WHO killed Frankie, but things can never be easy. On top of that we have a scary Church, a ghastly death, and now her relationship is on rocky ground. Will Verity be able to stay alive and keep her love life alive? 

Honestly..........I think this was one of my favorites of the series! It was jam-packed with mystery, fun, ghosts, comedy, tense, and romance. 

Awww I'm glad we are finally starting to tackle Frankie's past. Poor guy has a lot of questions especially when he finds out who. Why? How? WHAT? All the questions. 

Ugh I feel so bad for Verity and for Ellis. I understand where each one is coming from so I can't pick sides on their fight! EEEEEEEEEEE! 

And is Beau slowly itching his way into my heart? That was a twist I didn't see coming.....

I did the narration again because how could I not? The narrator is fabulous! 100% recommend doing the series with her reading. She really gets into the tense moments. 

All-in-all, I adored this one. Probably one of my favorites! Great stories, characters amazing as always, lots of twists, and a cute skunk. What more can a Cozy mystery need? 

5 stars from me!


- Audiobook #19
- Cloak and Dagger - #9

Thursday, April 11

Book Review: Pemberley - Mr Darcy's Dragon by Maria Grace

Author: Maria Grace
Title: Pemberley - Mr Darcy's Dragon
Series: Jane Austen's Dragons #1
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Romance, Retelling. P&P Variation
Format: ebook
Pages: 319
Published: October 31, 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a dragon.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley has the good fortune to be in possession of the first English firedrake egg laid in a century. Or, at least, he was until some miscreant stole it.

Mr. Darcy tracks the thief to Hertfordshire. Catching the thief, however, proves to be an entirely different kettle of brimstone, especially when he encounters fellow Dragon Keeper, Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn.

Elizabeth Bennet’s deep connection to dragons and remarkable grasp of their lore make her the ideal companion for finding the egg. It’s too bad that from their introduction she finds Darcy arrogant, conceited, and selfishly disdainful of the feelings
of others.

Time is running out for Darcy to win Elizabeth’s trust and recover the precious egg before it hatches, and the fragile peace between humans and dragons is lost forever.

Dragons and P&P variation? Yes pleasseeee!

Here we follow Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. We know them. We love them. Here we have our duo in a world filled with dragons. Mr Darcy's dragon egg was stolen (5$ if you can guess who) and now he is on the hunt to find it. His search leads him to Hertfordshire. Enter in Elizabeth who is a fellow Dragon Keeper. She has a deep connection with dragons and has a great understanding of the lore, so this makes her a great companion for finding the gg. Too bad she finds Darcy arrogant, conceited, and selfishly disdainful of the feelings for others. Time is running out, so Darcy will have to do what he can to make Elizabeth and her dragon trust him. If the egg hatches without a human to imprint on, then the fragile peace between humans and dragons could be severed. 

Sooooooooooooooooooooooo the first half of the book was dreadfully long for me. Loads of info-dumping and it seemed to drag on and on. I get it. Lots of set up and etc. If I'm being frank here....I nearly called it quits. However, there was the mystery of the egg that kept me going. 

I'm glad I did. I started really enjoying the tale especially during the Ball. The scene at the Ball and thereafter made me extremely interested to read book 2! And yes, I already have it stored and ready to go when I have the time. 

Oooo that ending was sad and evil. BUT in a good way. I for sure need to read more now. Gah!!!!!!!!

I still have some questions about this world and about the roles some of the characters have in it. Like the Bingleys. Hopefully we'll learn more in book 2. 

I was also really, really annoyed with Mr Bennet and Elizabeth. They literally jumped on Darcy from the moment he entered the room. Like...calm down a touch guys. It's not his fault the egg was stolen. But, to be fair, Darcy should've explained it right away on who he believes the thief is (even though he doesn't have 100% proof). The prejudice is super high in this rendition. By the end we do see they relent a little bit, but now Elizabeth is bitter. I can't explain why, but you'll see. Curious to see how it all turns out in the next book, because Elizabeth and Darcy have a lot of things to weed through to find their HEA. 

All-in-all, I ended up enjoying this. It was rough waters for me in the first half. Once we hit halfway I was attached and had to finish. With THAT ending, I am forced to read book 2 because I HAVE to know what happens next. Eeeeee. But yes, this was an interesting world we find our characters. Very interesting indeed. 3 stars from me. 

ONE WORD SUMMARY: (mmmmmmm....IDK for this one.....) Interesting?

Tuesday, April 9

All I Wanted Was Your Time by Carole Rae

 All I wanted was your time. 

But you never had the time. 

You never could take a minute.

A second

A millisecond. 

There was never time for me…for us. 

I can’t speak for all, but I can speak for me. 

I loved you with my whole heart, 

But you couldn’t spare me a heartbeat. 

I called and I called and I called. 

I emailed and messaged…but you left me unread. 

What did I do to deserve your cold shoulder?

What could I have done for you to see me? 

I lived my life the best I could. 

I did things that made others proud. 

I was loud 

With these accomplishments

Just so you could see. 

But you still didn’t love me. 

What did I do? 

What did we do?

You found a new family before I was even born

So was your love for me doomed from the start?

I spent my whole life wanting your time. 

I just wanted a minute

A second.

A millisecond.

I just wanted your love. 

I wanted to be adored. 

That is all, I swear. 

But here we are. 

I stand upon this Earth with nothing

But your clock that ran out of time. 

You had nothing to give me but two little gifts….

One, the knowledge that sometimes blood isn’t enough. 

And two, sometimes no matter what I do, I will never be enough.

Monday, April 8

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Christmas and Other Horrors

By: Ellen Datlow - editor

Narrated by: Carrie Coello, Andrew J. Andersen

Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins

Release date: 03-19-24

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Horror/short stories/to review

A lot of short stories. All about different things too. We have Xmas, we have solstice, Hannukah. Lots of winter holidays, and lots of different monsters that show up. I still think those Austrian ones were the creepiest.

Some were better, some were meh, but that is the thing with an anthology. Some were not scary at all, some had some horror in them. Though none made me look at the window in fear.

But I do like short stories in audio. I really do. They work so well, a fast listen and on to the next one.

It was the same narrator, but I was so immersed in the stories that I didn´t really think about it. So she did well there. Same with the man.

"The Importance of a Tidy Home" by Christopher Golden:

A creepy tale about what happens if you have not cleaned your house before xmas.

"The Ones He Takes" by Benjamin Percy:

A sad xmas turns into a happy ones and then horror

"His Castle" by Alma Katsu:

I liked this one. A little twist to what happens in Wales on xmas

"The Mawkin Field" by Terry Dowling:

I am not really syre if I understood this one fully, I think, but, what? Not scary either

"The Blessing of the Waters" by Nick Mamatas

Another not scary one about a runaway inmate and blessed waters

"Dry and Ready" by Glen Hirshberg:

It took me a while to get it, but yes no eerie feels here before the boom at the end

"Last Drinks at Bondi Beach" by Garth Nix:

I liked this one. I wondered about a few things. It could have been longer. Never scary though

"Return to Bear Creek Lodge" by Tananarive Due:

I wondered about things here too. Like wtf was that thing? I want to know

"The Ghost of Christmases Past" by Richard Kadrey:

I had no idea where this was going, and it went dark

"Our Recent Unpleasantness" by Stephen Graham Jones:

This just had me confused what was happening.

"All the Pretty People" by Nadia Bulkin:

Kind of wanted more blood

"Löyly Sow-na" by Josh Malerman:

A story set in Finland, and all in the sauna. No xmas feels here. Just some wood demons I know nothing about

"Cold" by Cassandra Khaw:

I managed to fall asleep to it twice

"Gravé of Small Birds" by Kaaron Warren:

Same with this one, I feel asleep twice. Dunno why

"The Visitation" by Jeffrey Ford:

Interesting one. Creepy ending

"The Lord of Misrule" by M. Rickety:

A slow start, then it turned creepier

"No Light, No Light" by Gemma Files:

Could have been better

"After Words" by John Langan:

Confusing, but meant to be so

The winter solstice is celebrated as a time of joy around the world—yet the long nights also conjure a darker tradition of ghouls, hauntings, and visitations. This anthology of all-new stories invites you to huddle around the fire and revel in the unholy, the dangerous, the horrific aspects of a time when families and friends come together—for better and for worse.

From the eerie Austrian Schnabelperchten to the skeletal Welsh Mari Lwyd, by way of ravenous golems, uncanny neighbors, and unwelcome visitors, Christmas and Other Horrors captures the heart and horror of the festive season.

Because the weather outside is frightful, but the fire inside is hungry . . .