2020 Book Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This novel written by Sylvia Plath is obviously a story inspired by her own life without being a direct autobiography the parallels are clear if you know of Plath’s life. There is a saying for a writer to write what they know, knowing what I do about Plath this is a true example. The story of a woman slowly losing grip with her sanity. It’s well known that Plath, herself, struggled with mental issues, spending at least one time in an institution, and was suicidal which she ultimately committed.

She struggles like her character, Esther Greenwood does in the tale. She’s beautiful and successful and she’s struggling at the same time in history that Plath herself did. I am not sure if this was all done purposefully or by accident, at least in the beginning. As a writer myself, I have noticed that sometimes my work can have hints of reflections of my life. Even one of the most popular interview questions they have asked me is if my characters are inspired by or based on myself or others I know. I usually respond, “to a point” and “writing what you know happens”.

It’s a very saddening tale when you realize it’s a reflection, at least it was for me. I went into this clean slate and believing that it was just a story until my knowledge about the poetess’ life took its toll. I believe it was done on purpose. She is known for doing this through her poetry, why wouldn’t she in her novel?

The entire story could’ve been very much a cry for help. I will never truly know, and this is all my opinion and just a theory, but my heart does go out those struggling. Even I struggle, not with the same issues, but my own. Because of this, the book spoke to me.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

2020 Book Review: Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings by Marcus Borg

I am drawn to religious books. I know this must surprise many, but those close to me aren’t surprised. I’ve been studying religious topics since I was young. I’ve spoken in the past about being allowed by my parents to find my own path spiritually. I’ve also thanked them for this. It allowed me to expand my horizons, become more compassionate and understanding to those different from myself, and educate myself in a way I wouldn’t have been able to. Because of this I come across books like Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings.
This is an interesting book, for someone like me. It shows that though these two men were separated by time and space, they held the same beliefs. It takes quotes from both and sets them side by side so the reader can see for themselves. It is also divided into sections to further organize the subject.
This is not a book trying to convert people to one religion over another. I found it a way to show that both men are similar and taught similarly.

To summarize, the best I can in my own words, the book itself:

  • We’re not so different.
  • Treating others as you would like to be treated is the same as considering others as yourself.
  • There are beneficial beliefs in other religions, in unexpected places, for some I’m sure.

This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

Little Lunacies Has Released!

In the immaterial depths lies a layer of darkness. In this absence of light, voices bellow. Crying out their stories and begging for acknowledgment of someone… anyone. For some, they have been given a breath of life over the years, for others they’re just now being released. For the first time, they have been gathered in an ensemble.

Written by Lynn Lesher under her penname L. Bachman, the award-winning author invites you to delight in tales of magic, macabre, and dreadfulness. Whether it is the story of a sorrowful lover reaching into the unknown toward their deceased loved one, or even the story of alien abductee experiencing trauma and Men in Black you should be able to find something in this multi-genre collection you enjoy.

Stories Included
Just Underneath
A Farmhouse Haunting
The Gaze of Destruction
The Owls
Human Ouija
The Painting of Martel
A Man Named Sowder
and more.

Grab your copy today!

2020 Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

From the reference of Dorian Grey in books, movies, and television show it’s hard to meet someone these days who doesn’t know about the character, but not many have read the actual story. I have, thankfully.

It is a dark tale, in my opinion. With the main character, Dorian, a beautiful, indulgent, and vain young man making a deal to remain young and beautiful forever he sells his soul. His reputation is that he’s known for ruining others. Dorian does have a friend named Henry to whom he’s attracted to for his lifestyle of living indulgently and to the fullest. It is his friend’s comment about youthfulness being fleeting that really sets up how Dorian’s story moves forward.

Henry’s words on the fleeting nature of youthfulness are a foreshadowing and a warning. Dorian, as the infamous story goes, makes his dark dealings. At first, there seems to be hope for the main character as he sees the portrait’s dark and twisted nature as an opportunity to be good, but over time he becomes obsessed with every choice he makes, how it’s changing the reflection of his soul in paint, and finds himself being drawn more and more towards evil.

I don’t want to spoil the actual story too much for those that haven’t read it. I wanted to read this originally out of curiosity. I had heard of title, knew a brief idea of the story, and of the main character, but wanted to know more. I dug in, found a copy, and read it. My final thoughts are that the main character is damned and stuck. He is beautiful, yes, but that’s only skin deep. What is on the inside is what matters, but for Mr. Grey his insides, his soul, are grotesque and what seems to be unchanging as he’s drawn to evil.

He has damned himself in his pursuit of remaining at a certain state of his life. He may be living, forever, but he’s not truly alive in my opinion. He is consumed.

Beyond the story, I came across an article that said this very story is what condemned Oscar Wilde in court for homosexuality. I will now quote Wilde as brilliantly saying, ““There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Book are well written, or badly written. That is all.”


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

On Writing: Little Lunacies (In-depth Story Reveals)

This collection, as previously mentioned in yesterday’s post, was a labor of love. This is the only way to read the short stories I wrote for the serial anthologies once published by Burning Willow Press called Crossroads in the Dark. Each of the books included in that series had a theme. This is where I was encouraged to try new things in my writing. From aliens to what lies underneath the bed all the stories from these books really stirred my thoughts in new directions.

A Farmhouse Haunting, The OWLS, Just Underneath, and A Man Named Sowder come from the Crossroads in the Dark series. They had invited me into another collection titled And the World Will Burn: A Dystopian Anthology. From that anthology you could find my short story A Gaze of Destruction, a tale of a vampire waking up to the world destroyed.

Alongside these works, The Painting of Martel, is included it came via the anthology Painted Mayhem. It was the first collection I had been invited to take part in and themed “killer clowns”. It wasn’t the theme that excited me, honestly, it was the charity it was and is still raising money for. Its goal was to raise money for those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and the families living with them.

Human Ouija is in this book. It is my bestselling and award-winning short story. The idea for this book and the beginning of its writing began before my first novel, Maxwell Demon, even had even been started. I tabled it for a few months as Maxwell Demon came to the front. The short story and this novella worked together for me in that I got ideas during the planning process for Maxwell Demon that I felt worked better for the short story. Human Ouija also became known as a “branch book” from The Blasphemer Series as in Harvest, the story hinted to. I don’t want to ruin Harvest and the secret, but readers of both the short story and the second installment of The Blasphemer Series know where the reference is!

There are two previously unpublished stories included in this collection. Both have been mentioned to those close to me. My family and friends knew of the raw ideas for The Clockwork Children and Mishnah: The Immortal Man for years, but never got to read the works. I finally found the time to polish them and here we are.

The Clockwork Children is the tragic tale of a couple that lost a child and have aged until they cannot have anymore children. Depressed, the wife is a shell of her former self and her husband is grieving the loss, still, of his child and wife that he’s watching slowly slip away. He is able to turn things around, thanks to magical blessing.

Mishnah: The Immortal Man is a story that began with the question “what did cavemen believe in?” From there the story grew. You’re introduced to Mishnah, a tribal boy, whose sister was an oral storyteller in their tribe. They expel her for teaching lies to the children. The tribe believes the only stories that should be told are survival based. If you cannot see it, it isn’t real. Living with his expelled sister, he entertains her with stories of his own. This eventually leads him to darkness; a dark evil has been listening to his stories from the shadows. A glimpse of the future of Mishnah and his sister leads him to take a deal that grants him immortality. A must read for those interested in new takes on subject matters like father time, immortality, and what life was like before modern man..

What did you think of the post? Like the insights? Let’s start a conversation!

2020 Book Review: The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis

I’ve never been able to finish the movie version of this book. I wanted to and knew about it before I knew it was a book, but for whatever reason I just couldn’t make it through. The book I’ve read several times and recommended it several times to people wanting to know about ‘real zombies’ or ‘voodoo’.

It reads like an adventure story, some action flick, but the pictures and the personal stories of those that had been made into zombie slaves and ‘came back’ were the most interesting to me. It stirred the researcher in me, and I investigated into the topic a great deal. It’s one of the first books that really set me off in wanting to know the ‘truths of the world’.

The scare factor lies in that with science it is possible to do something like this to another person. To make them ‘a zombie slave’. The idea, today, of zombies are undead corpses attacking the living and either changing them or killing them completely, but the true fear lies not in that for me, but the fact you’re moving through life aware of things, but so out of it you are losing your will to change it.

With that being said beyond the Haitian voodoo it’s sad on how many people day to day ‘zombie out’, even I’ve had my days of just going through the motions of everyday life because things just have to be done, but that still doesn’t compare truly to what the claims in the book have said. The man with the scar next to his mouth caused by a nail going into the lid of his coffin, unable to move or scream out, but aware what was happening. Heartbreaking.

A must-read!


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

Little Lunacies: Update, Paperback Reveal, Interior Format Reveal and Sneak Peeks

Update Information:

February 14th, 2020, this collection of short stories is releasing; in digital and paperback editions from Dark Books Press. Every story included was a labor of love. Many stories included have pushed me into genres I hadn’t written before and I’m proud that I have been able to stretch my legs on the individual projects that came together in this beautifully detailed anthology. 

This is a horror short-story collection. Meaning though not all stories will stir fear, but have horror elements. Stories cover many genre tropes such as dark fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic/dystopia, serial killers, ghost stories, demon possessions, urban fantasy, magic, and re-telling of myths/legends.

As my career moves forward, I know that not all publishers I work for or will are always going to grant me the ability to do the work for myself on my personal projects through them. This means that formatting or graphics may not be in my control in the same way they currently are. This project and this publisher have allowed me to. 

Reveals:

Full paperback

Interior Format Reveal: