Back Back Again (WITH PICS)

I apologize for not having posted much lately. For the last week, I’ve been on a mission trip to Haiti. It may take a while for me to get back up to speed, bogged down by schoolwork and such, but I will keep posting whenever I have time, and I will add some photos from the trip onto this document as I get them.

Until then, mi amigos !!! (Correct Spanish there? I don’t know.)

boat donkey housee

 

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There are times to be happy, and there are times to eat pumpkin pie. They go together.

Updates to As Trees Turned Away and She

(Want to know about more offers like this even sooner? Click here.)

My collection of short stories, As Trees Turned Away, and my first novel, She, have both undergone some additions this week.

Firstly, ATTA now has a particular chapter of She in the back of it, a sort of bonus and teaser to those who read it. Also, I wrote and included a letter to the reader from myself.

For She, I added the first part of Massacre Max (a story from ATTA) and an identical letter to the reader.

Note: it will take approximately two days for these updates to work, but if you buy the book you can “sync and check for updates” and then it will be like a refresh and you’ll be all set to go. Also, these updates are only available on Kindle. Sorry, you print people.

This next offer, however, is to both types of readers.

In that letter, there is another bonus. If you read and review any of my books or collections on Amazon, and then email me at davidkummer7@gmail.com, you will receive a free short story written by myself. Each book has its own unique story, and they will not be found anywhere else, unless you take advantage of this ongoing deal.

Until next time faithful readers.

Author’s note below

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Seen the new Star Wars movie yet? Do it.

Seen any Star Wars movies? If you haven’t, THEN DO!!! (You know who you are ūüėČ

Movie Review: Carrie

Well, Stephen King is a genius. This movie made me want to read the book.

chka chka carrie

Everything about it seemed so well thought-out, I have trouble believing the movie was much different. No Hollywood script-writer could plan such a complete, fulfilling plot.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Hurt¬†for Carrie/Hatred for Others

Hate everyone and how they treat her, and feel terrible for her. And her mom hits her with things and locks her in a closet and shows no remorse at all. And everyone makes fun and laughs at her. Then they post a video of her after her first period online and it just was really terrible to watch.

At times, it seemed like there was no escape for Carrie. Her house was a terrible place, and her school was torture, so when she finds her gift it is the only thing that makes her happy when she uses it. It’s a sort of escape.

  • The Drama Between The Bullies

Even when they’re picking on Carrie, the bullies -other teenage girls fro the most part- have trouble deciding whether it was wrong and if they deserve their punishment. Despite this, they continue to tease and mock her.

It was an interesting, rarely-seen dynamic of the bullies that frequent horror movies and books. I haven’t read the book yet, but I imagine that was part of Stephen King’s design, since it seems like something he would do. Genius, that man.

  • Carrie’s Friendship With The Gym Teacher

The gym teacher, Ms. Desjardin, does her best to care for and protect Carrie. I think watching her struggle through things and try to help Carrie is one of the best parts about the movie.

Slowly, Carrie begins to act more confident and pleased with her life, but her mother still hurts her and eventually all the pressure wears her down and tears her apart.

  • Carrie’s Struggle Vs Herself

Even as she is trying to be nice and to be sweet, she begins to lose control of herself. Great acting -as she stays composed, even while lots of insane things happen around her- makes the scenes haunting and unforgettable. Carrie keeps an innocent, confident face the entire time that terrible things are happening, which she causes.

Some of her responses in the movie are bone-chilling. The calmness in her voice and attitude just kills me. Watching her go from depressed and insecure to confident and then to a bit insane (like murderous insanity) is a terrifying sequence.

 

WHAT I DISLIKED

  • Oblivious People

People don’t realize that things are breaking randomly around them. Finally, Carrie sees that it is a power she has and begins to use it to her advantage, at first doing nothing but playing around and having fun with it.

Eventually, it turns to something more sinister. I just don’t see how nobody realized what was happening when mirrors cracked and lights broke.

  • Blood

Between the mom giving childbirth in the opening scene and Carrie having her first period in the next, there was a lot of blood. Like… I don’t have a weak stomach but I couldn’t even finish my Apple Jacks.

  • Sudden Change

One moment, everything was nice and easy. The whole world seemed to be calm and right. And then craziness set in. everybody in the movie went completely, freaking crazy. I don’t even know. It just happened so suddenly. I was completely shocked. This isn’t really a bad thing, but I don’t know. I’m still in shock.

MY RATING: 9/10

The movie had so many great parts. Everything meshed perfectly, and the actor for Carrie was phenomenal. Everything was paced wonderfully, and the final scenes when Carrie goes nuts are amazing filiming.

Maybe there was a bit of the devil in her?

(GO. WATCH. THIS. MOVIE.)

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Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Book Review: The Magpies

the magpies

Mark Edwards. My favorite horror author, at the moment. This was his first book that I’ve read, and now I’ve also finished¬†Because She Loves Me. That review will be up shortly.

All I can say is, reading this man’s books will not let you down. They are astounding, and full of great twists and surprises. Both books have had phenomenal twists all the way through and a growing sense of dread, of suspense. It’d be worth it to read it. Trust me. Either one.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Main Relationship

Yes, there are sex scenes in this book. They all serve a purpose, though, unlike the one in Stephen King’s It.¬†I mean, I guess it serves a purpose. But this is just different.

The main relationship between the two grows and strengthens, but you feel like it’s going towards the edge of a cliff, and very fast. Before long, you know exactly what’s going to happen, unless something changes. Does it change? I can’t tell you. All I can say is that this section of the book strengthened the story tremendously.

  • Descent Into Madness

The main guy in this, Jamie, starts out as likable, friendly. He’s the kind of guy you’d want to meet and hang out with. But he starts to change. Gradually, barely noticeable, everything wears him down. The bulk of the book is told from his point of view, so we can see this.

His descent is frightening. His descent is expected. There’s nothing to do but watch and wait as he falls into a place nobody can save him from. This seems to be a theme of Mark Edward’s books so far, at least in the two I’ve read.

  • British!!!

Mark Edwards is British. And he spells words in a better way than me. And that makes me happy.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Was It Even Real?

Jamie seems so crazy at parts of this that I have to wonder if it was even real. That’s the only thing that the Prolouge cleared up for me. It proved it was real. Beyond that, it didn’t do much, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I like to know that what I’m reading definitely was supposed to be real. This was not one of those books. I thought that it was a dream at times, or he was just paranoid.

  • Long Descriptions from P.O.V.

There were a few times where the characters just rambled on from their point of view for, like, half a page. Of course, that’s half a Kindle page, but still. That’s a lot!

Instead of revealing the character through dialogue or actions, all I saw was a lot of character thoughts. And it wasn’t even thoughts. It was just the way they viewed the whole situation. Every chapter, there was a recap of the entire book up to that point. I generally skimmed these sections after the first few times. They were very obvious¬†when I saw them.

  • Ending Chapter

The last chapter was fine. What I didn’t like so much was the prologue. It seemed pointless. Sure, it explained a few character’s lives after the events in the story, but mainly it just added word count. In the end, the main question left at the end was answered in¬†Because She Loves Me¬†about the bad guy (the main one). So it turned out alright.

MY RATING: 8.5/10

This book was very enjoyable and a great story. It was unique, and that’s something not a lot of novels can say. If I was you, I would read this. If I wasn’t you, I’d still read it.

 

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Book Review: Her Final Breath

As promised, I read Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni, simply because the first book was so great. At first, it appears there is no connection between the two, but that soon turns out not to be the case.

After reading, I was dissapointed to find that the third book in the series doesn’t come out until Spring, but until then I’ll have to fill my reading void with more traditional horror books, such as The Claiming¬†by Ike Hamill and The Magpies by Mark Edwards, two books on my list. I’ll have those reviews up shortly.

This book took less than a week to read, and I flew through it, devouring the plot line. Just like¬†the previous installment in the series,¬†My Sister’s Grave,¬†there was a key twist at the end and lots of tension in getting to that point. I would argue that this was even better than the first book.

Will I be able to find anything I disliked about it? Good question.

her final breath

WHAT I LIKED:

  • Enhanced Characters

This book took some of the background characters from the first and made them more prominent figures, most of them relating in how they relate to Tracy (the main character.) I enjoyed finding out about these characters. It was unique to already know their name and their basic description, but then this book kind of filled in the blanks as to who they were and how they were important.

Also, the characters from last time were enhanced even further, even Tracy herself. I wasn’t even sure that was possible.

  • Struggles Within The Department

In a big city like Seattle (or wherever they are; I forget) there are bound to be power struggles, and definitely within the police department. These had been hinted at in the previous book, but until now had not been shown so obviously.

It was fun and intriguing to see it play out, and to learn about some of the intricacies of police departments. Just like the last book with the judicial system and court rooms, this one seemed to be more focused on the police and law enforcement side of things, which was similarly enjoyable to learn about.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Killer’s Identity

This is for a different reason than the last book. In the previous book, I thought that it was random, and a bit sudden. But it was just a twist that shocked me a lot.

In this book, you hardly even get to know the killer. That bugged me. Like, in those mystery shows, it was one where you barely even see the guy for ten seconds before he’s getting arrested and you’re all like, “Who’s this random dude getting shoved into a cop car?” It was like that feeling. I don’t really like that feeling.

  • No Flashbacks *crying noises*

There was probably no real way to bring in the flashbacks, but they were so good! I miss them. I miss the italicized words. I miss the young Tracy. I miss that creepy dude on the road who kills people.

I mean… what.

But for real. Those flashbacks I do miss.

(Sorry. Yoda voice had to make one appearance. Have you seen the new movie yet? Yes, I mean¬†the¬†movie? Yeah it’s pretty swell. Go see it. And if you don’t like Star Wars, like it. Or else.)

  • Katie Pryor

She will probably become a major character in the next book if the pattern is continued, but Katie Pryor, or Officer Pryor, serves little to no purpose in this book. She makes an appearance in two chapters, and is part of the reason Tracy is at the shooting range when everything begins to happen in the very first.

She makes a final showing in the last chapter, where she is seen passing on lessons that Tracy taught her, although I wondered if one shooting practice with her could make that much of a difference.

MY RATING: 8.6/10

I added the .1 because it was better than the last book, but only by a slim margin. I apologize if this review seemed short or cramped, but I have to write like two more before I forget the other books I mentioned.

Go watch Star Wars.

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Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Not-Quite-25 Days of Christmas (Part 2/2)

bad santa

That title probably breaks about ten grammar rules, but oh well. Anyways, Christmas horror movies are… like… really hard to find. So this list won’t have 25, even with the two parts put together. Just warning you all.

It really is hard. Try for yourself sometime.

Why is it here?

Because it has snow, and it’s winter, and there wasn’t many movies that are acceptable to put on this article that are Christmas-y. Also, it has Danielle Radcliffe, okay? Don’t spite me or I might just recommend all the Harry Potter movies on this list, since those all have Christmas-time in them as well.

That’s actually a really good idea…

Why is it here?

Because it’s a musical, and oh boy can that skeleton sing. Also it has Panic! at the Disco and Fallout Boy in the mix.

The real reason it’s on a Christmas list is -(can you guess?)- because it happens at Christmas! I think the director actually said it was more of a Halloween-movie, but I don’t make Halloween lists, although that’d probably be an easier task.

Anyways, this is a cartoon and it’s on the list, and it’s probably creepier than the rest of these. Since I haven’t seen any of the ones from this point on, I can’t say.

First things, you should probably read reviews on these or something before you watch them, because they might be really inappropriate for younger audiences. I tried to pick the best I could find, but some were hard to tell without watching the actual thing.

So, in other words, view with discretion.

Why is it here?

So it happens on Christmas Eve, and it actually looks like a potentially good movie. I mean parking lots creep us all out, right? I think they do. Especially at night.

Why is it here?

British Horror Film?! Is that even a thing?

Apparently so.

Anyways, besides being British, the reviews seem to indicate a cliff hanger of sorts. I guess by 2008 most movies ended in cliffhangers.

This movie also looks potentially good. You’ll just have to click on that link up there to see the experts (if you call Rotten Tomatoes experts) opinions.

Why is it here?

There’s a group of teens being stalked by a lunatic killer in a Santa suit. That sounds like it might be alright. It’s from ’80, so I don’t know if that influences your opinion or not, but it seems to be fine.

Why is it here?

In both the original and the remake, there is a sorority house that was the childhood home of a killer. He escapes, goes back to the home, and starts taking them out one-by-one.

Looks pretty gruesome.

Why is it here?

This is a comedy-horror movie that my family loves. Well, not my older sister. It terrifies her. Don’t know why.

The movie is set in a Christmas-time theme, although I don’t think that is actually stated. Besides the first two, this is the only movie on this list I’ve actually seen.

25-ish Days Of Christmas (Part 1/2)

Or: A very long, incomplete lists of books and movies that may or may not be good, from yours truly as a gift for the holiday season. “25-ish days …” was easier.

So on this list, I’ll have the titles of both movies and books, as long as a few reasons why they’re on the list and how they relate to Christmas and the holiday celebrations.

scary christmmas

Without further ado, the Christmas Collection of Creepiness, Part 1 (which will focus mainly on novels. Part 2 will be more about movies.)

Why is it here?

Because it was the first thing I thought of, and it’s a Christmas movie, basically. This might turn out to be a pointless question.

The main villain is literally supposed to be the opposite of Santa. It happens literally on Christmas Day and the days surrounding it. And it’s literally the last movie I saw (at the time I’m writing this anyways.)

 

Why is it here?

I mean… it has snow. Lots of it. That’s enough to be Christmas-y, right?

Anyways, it’s a classic, not too expensive, and quite terrifying in its own way. For now, this is the only movie on Part 1 of this list. Just watch it.

 

Why is it here?

It seems to be a twist on the classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” story, with a husband (or in this case a divorced man) trying to make it home for the holidays.

Of course, the author throws in lots of sinister details and makes this a book that’s at least checking out, even if you don’t end up buying it.

 

  • “Christmas With The Dead”¬†by Joe R. Lansdale (Goodreads Reviews) SHORT STORY

Why is it here?

Although this is a short story, the reviews I saw of it seemed to be glowing with admiration, so I added it. Also, it has the word “Christmas” in the title. Also, it’s only .99 $ on Amazon.com¬†for Kindles.

And if that isn’t enough for you, they made a movie off of it. How about them apples?

 

Why is it here?

This is one book I’d heard of before, although I never knew it centered around the Christmas season.

Some child gets taken to “Christmasland” by a figure who abducts lots of children. Supposedly, this world is perfect. But this is a horror book, so it’s definitely not.

 

Why is it here?

This is a collection of stories that all center around the Christmas season. It includes authors like¬†Jack Ketchum, Joe R. Lansdale, Bentley Little, Wrath James Wright, and Nate Southard. If you’re going to get anything on this list, I’d recommend it be either this or¬†NOS4A2.

 

Why is it here?

I had to. I’m sorry. If you see the cover and still want to read it… I don’t know. Good luck, my friend.

It… it has a Santa. Kind of. It has snow. It has… other things. Just… just don’t read it. Just click away now.

 

Why is it here?

This author is really good. And although it doesn’t sound like it, this has to do with Christmas.

The premise is that Santa dies and a boy wants him to come back to life. He does, indeed, because of a wish to an angel, but the Santa that is brought back to life isn’t the same at all.

 

So, of all these books I’d recommend NOS4A2¬†or¬†A Hacked-Up Holiday.¬†The lone movie on here is pretty great, too, and if I write a review I’d add a link to this.

Until next time, audios!

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

 

Book Review: My Sister’s Grave

I started reading¬†My Sister’s Grave¬†by Robert Dugoni near the end of August, after I had finished writing the first manuscript of¬†She.¬†After letting off for a few weeks as I worked on another manuscript and edited¬†She,¬†I went back to the book slowly. There was tons to like about it, but a few things stuck out to me that made me hesitant to read. Up to that point, it hadn’t really grabbed my attention.

That changed.

Anyways, the book is¬†a good-sized one, about 400 pages, but it didn’t feel nearly as long when¬†I was reading it. Never before has a book flown by so fast in some parts and taken ages to crawl along in others. The pacing was sometimes frantic, sometimes as slow as pineapple juice mixed with glue (which is pretty darn slow).

book book book

 

Now to the actual review part, before I get really off topic.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • How It Dealt With Courtroom Drama

There were scenes in the book -and the whole premise of the story- that relied heavily upon a court setting. This included lawyers, judges, courtroom terms; the whole deal.

This can either be a great thing or a terrible problem, depending on how skilled the author is and how the story goes. Court can, ultimately, be boring. Or, it can be surprisingly exciting. Like I said, it depends on the characters and therefore the author. (I try my best to stay away from courts and such. I have no experience. It would be a disaster. Just like the sales on the book.)

Although I’ve only read a few books that had to confront this aspect, I’ve read two that were notably on opposite ends of the spectrum. One, a John Grisham book, did an excellent job. Nearly the entire book was set in a courtroom setting or a lawyer’s firm, and it worked wonderfully. The other, however, was the opposite. It flopped. Terribly. And made me scared to write a courtroom-drama, -mystery, -murder, -anything.

This book had a few chapters and a subplot that relied heavily on the courtroom scenes. Dugoni did a fantastic job, and made them not only exciting to read, but a part of the book that I couldn’t put down.

(The love story mixed in didn’t hurt at all, either.)

  • How It Was Hard To Put Down

As I’ve hinted at, this was originally going to be both a good and bad category in my opinion. Parts of the book kept me on the edge of my seat and reading late into the night, even when I told myself after every chapter that I needed to sleep. Because of this, I read over 100 pages in two days, even though I was only reading right before bed.

On the other side, there were parts of the book that I found quite difficult to follow or to keep reading. Sometimes, I wanted to go to sleep before the chapter was over. Or just play Scrabble. (That game is addicting.) Because of this, I didn’t read the book at all for nearly a week, even when I had ample time.

  • Flashbacks

Robert Dugoni -at least in this book- is a master of flashbacks. He uses them to enhance the stories, add depth to the characters, quicken the pace, and do everything that those online articles about flashbacks tell you to do. Of all the books I’ve read, this was a perfect example of how to use flashbacks, a technique that I have never been quite able to master myself.

This is one of those books I would go back and read again, taking notes on how to improve my own writing through it. Not only that, but it is completely entertaining as well and a great story.

(I’m trying to stick with three points but there is another I can’t help but mentioning. The characters. Everything is so life-like and understandable. Every character is like someone you might meet in real life. I would highly, highly recommend this book.)

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Meaningless Movements

There were a few instances where the author described characters doing everyday, casual details. A few times, I understood the purpose behind it, revealing something new or moving the story along. But a few times I was unsure what the purpose was.

Ultimately, this is not a big deal, but because I don’t have much to talk about, I had to mention it. Great books are so hard to review.

  • The Killer’s Identity

The jury’s still out on this one. (Get it? Courtroom drama? You know you got it.)

In some ways, the final identity of the murderer was brilliant. In some ways, it was cliched. In some ways, it just seemed lazy.

It was certainly a twist in the story, but there were plenty of those. This seemed unnecessary, and although the ending was brilliant, it could have been achieved a different way. There were some loose ends that might have been left hanging, but there are two more books in the series after all. (I’ll be reading those next.)

I can’t give much away on this without giving the whole book away, and that would be extremely rude of me. Instead, I’ll just encourage you to buy the book. (Or if you have Kindle Unlimited, read it for free. Trust me, you want to read it.)

  • Cliched Background Characters

There were some background characters which had no imagination put into them. I do the same thing all the time and I could absolutely tear one of my books apart in a review like this, but this isn’t about me. (Thank God.)

Anyways, the characters were just so obvious and predictable. There was an old woman crocheting, with photos and porcelain dolls everywhere. I understand that the characters should be familiar and this is only one example, but I saw the same kind of repetition over and over again in the book.

MY RATING: 8.5/10

This book was fantastic. I highly encourage you to buy and read it, especially if you’re a fan of mystery, suspense, thriller, or even courtroom drama. It even has a love story. This book has something familiar for everyone to love and something new for everyone to realize they love.

Now just go click a few buttons, but it, and start reading.

NEXT IN SERIES: Her Final Breath (The Tracy Crosswhite Series) by Robert Dugoni

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Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.