#DealMeIn2019, Week 1 ~ “Dark Corners”

“Dark Corners” by Michael Arruda

Card Picked: Q♠️
From: New Traditions in Terror, edited by Bill Purcell

About the Story

Ann, a lawyer, is on her way to meet with Thomas Sullivan, an old, rich, mysterious client who lives in a rundown apartment building. As Ann is climbing to the sixth floor (the elevator is out), she is attacked by a vampire hiding out in a dark corner of the stairway. The assault is then interrupted by an argument that spills out of the fifth floor on to the stairway. Eric has asked Vicki to marry him, but has also in some way sorely offended her. Vicki storms down the stairs, not noticing the vampire and his potential victim, and bereft Eric goes back into his apartment, intent on killing himself. His actions inadvertently rescue Ann…at least for a little while.

One portion of this story’s climax was fairly surprising; the other not-so-much. In all, though, this story wasn’t very good. It had a EC horror feel to it, but the writing was a little cliched and some of the situations were totally unbelievable. New Traditions in Terror was a self-published anthology and I’m hoping the quality of other stories is better than this one.

Wrapping Up #20BooksOfSummer

20 15 Books of Summer, hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books

I started the “20” Book challenge with a list of 16 books and a goal of reading 15 between June 1st and September 3rd.* So… How did I do?

  1. The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick – READ & Reviewed!
  2. Fall of Man in Wilmslow: A Novel of Alan Turing by David Lagercrantz – READ & Reviewed!
  3. The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton And Other Singular Tales from the Victorian Press by Jeremy Clay – READ & Reviewed!
  4. The Floating Light Bulb by John Gaspard (Eli Marks #5) – READ & Reviewed!
  5. World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman #3) – READ & Reviewed!
  6. Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal by Jack Kelly – READ & Reviewed!
  7. The Science of Illusions by Jacques Ninio – READ & Reviewed!
  8. Thieves, Rascals and Sore Losers: The Unsettling History of the Dirty Deals that Helped Settle Nebraska by Marilyn Coffey – READ & Reviewed!
  9. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – READ & Reviewed!
  10. Lizzie: The Letters of Elizabeth Chester Fisk 1864-1893 by Rex C. Myers (Editor) – READ & Reviewed!
  11. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger – READ & Reviewed!
  12. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – READ!
  13. Memoirs and Confessions of a Stage Magician by Donald Brandon & Joyce Brandon – There is no reason I shouldn’t finish this by Friday. My review is scheduled for next week.

The rest of the list and other notes:

  • Lord of the Dead by Tom Holland – Didn’t get to this at all.
  • Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi – DNF
  • God’s War by Kameron Hurley – DNF
  • I also read four other book that weren’t on my list.

So, that’s like 17-ish books total for the summer! (Plus 40 short stories.)


The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3) The Floating Light Bulb (An Eli Marks Mystery Book 5)

* I’m posting this “wrap-up” a little early. Thanks to Cathy @ 746 Books, 20 Books of Summer has filled my least favorite season with great reading, but Sept 1st begins my *most* favorite season. There are several events I’m looking forward to diving into on the 1st.

Wrapping March 2018


March got off to a rough start. It took me a while get into a groove.

  • Books Finished: 5 (though two were novella length)
    • Highlights: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (review to come), though Frankenstein Dreams is a strong runner-up.
  • Books DNFed: 2
  • Short Stories Read: 37
    • Highlights: Rereads of “The Dancing Partner” by Jerome K. Jerome and “Moxon’s Master” by Ambrose Bierce
  • Challenge Updates:
    • FrankenSlam! – Oh, Hi! Plutarch. I didn’t see you there.
    • 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge – The Infamous Harry Hayward (ARC, review to come) wasn’t on my reading list, but it was this month’s nonfiction title. Still maintaining over 30% nonfiction for the year.
    • 2018 TBR Challenge – I ended up DNFing three books in a row from my from the TBR Challenge pile. In the end, I read one of the shorter titles Monster in the Mists by Andrew Mayne.
    • Wild West Reading Challenge – No progress. Still 1/6
    • Shelf Maintenance – I acquired a copy of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens for a read-a-long that is starting March 31st. It’s going to follow the pace of the novel’s original serialization. Interested? Join The Pickwick Club. I also nabbed Thirteen Chocolates, a cozy mystery by one Agatha Chocolats.

Continue reading “Wrapping March 2018”

Wrapping February 2018



Pretty good month, progress-wise, though I feel like I haven’t read anything!

  • Books Finished: 5
  • Books DNFed: 1
  • Short Stories Read: 15
    • Highlights: “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Challenge Updates:
    • FrankenSlam! – Read a bit of Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch, but haven’t gotten very far.
    • 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge – Finished another book off my “research” list; currently at 36% nonfiction for the year.
    • 2018 TBR Challenge -Read one more book off the list and, sadly, DNFed one.
    • Wild West Reading Challenge – One book down!
    • Shelf Maintenance – I acquired two books, but…! One was a better version of Plutarch’s Lives and the other was my own copy of Tom Standage’s The Turk that I wanted for reference.

Continue reading “Wrapping February 2018”

Writing Update, 8/9

Current WIP

There are times when I make a narrative decision and I know it’s not quite the right decision. Yet, I barrel down the narrative path anyway. At these times, I really should get a second opinion from Eric. This week will be be going back up the path, cleaning up a few things, and going down a better path.

What is This?
Wicked Witch, Retired is my current writing project. It is the sort-of sequel to a flash story I wrote, “Wicked Witch for Hire,” which is currently available in the anthology Bounded in a Nutshell.

#TerraTues is a Twitter event hosted by @leighmlorien and @summerhwrites.  Every Tuesday writers share a line of their current work-in-progress based on a theme. Tuesday’s theme was “weather.”


I had fun doing #FlashFicHive last week. The pace though, man. Definitely a different set of muscles from what I’m used to. Kinda sorta following the prompts, I finished one story (below, or link) that I’m okay with and started a second which, if I finish it, will probably be longer than 1000 words. I included some process for “The Logical Sight” if you’re into seeing how the sausage is made.

Sadly, I realized on Monday of this week that I really have too much going on this month to really give #FlashFicHive enough attention.

  • I want to get a full draft of Wicked Witch, Retired done by the end of October.
  • We’re relaunching Eric’s PHYSIC series at the end of this month/beginnging of September and I need to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.
  • VOTS leagues. Set up and registration for two of them.

So, yeah, probably no more flash fiction for me this month…unless inspiration strikes. 😉

It’s Monday, What Are You… (7/10)


On Twitter, @bexthebookninja is hosting an informal #reReadathon this week. Above is my laughably large TRB stack for it, especially considering I want finish Club Deception by Sarah Skilton (an ARC) by its publication date next week.

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Listening To?

I haven’t seen Baby Driver, but I’d heard that the soundtrack is pretty great. So far, I agree. (Apparently in the movie, Baby suffers from tinnitus and uses his personal soundtrack to drown out the internal noise. I can relate.)


Writing, editing and formatting, reading. Should be a nice “quiet” week.

What WAS I Doing?

November Reading Wrap-Up



Uh… Well, the two books I *did* finish were #myOwnDamnBooks!

Finished in November

  1. “One Drink” by Max Florschutz
  2. Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

I didn’t review “One Drink,” but it was a solid bit of urban fantasy.

Additions to my Library

  1. In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle
  2. The Nikola Tesla Treasury
  3. “A Slight Miscalculation” by Deb Marlowe – Read
  4. Fantastic Creatures (Fellowship of Fantasy Book 1)
  5. The Psychology of Magic and the Magic of Psychology
  6. Exclusive Magical Secrets by Will Goldston
  7. Middlemarch by George Elliot
  8. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

There were quite a few public domain things I downloaded last month.


I read only 990 pages this month, which actually isn’t the worst month this year. 990 beats January, February, *and* March. November was just an oddly muddled month. Here’s to hoping that December is better!

‘Tis the season to plan which 2017 challenges to join. So far, I’m looking at: