Monthly Archives: December 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #94 – Stitches

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Stitches (Ross Noble) isn’t a particularly funny clown – he’s rude and he’s crude. Even the kids he’s paid to entertain don’t particularly find him amusing.  But something goes horribly wrong at Tom’s (Tommy Knight) birthday party, and Stitches ends up dead. Six years later, Stitches comes back, and this time he’s looking for vengeance!

Tommy and his friends are teens now. And some of the kids have grown up to be assholes. Tom still can’t forget the single kiss he shared way back when, in his treehouse, with Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux), but he hasn’t had the nerve to follow it up with her and now she’s dating a jock. He invited her to his party and hopes she’ll come.

Through a touch of bad Karma, Stitches receives the invitation and decides to crash the party…

This is an Irish film, made in Ireland, and it is definitely a dark film. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. Some might complain that too much attention is paid to the teens in between the first and second party, but I believe it set everything up for what was to come, including how certain people died. The death scenes are definitely creative and very gory, so know that going into it. Ross Noble as Stitches is great. I could have used more of him. All in all an enjoyable film to watch. I’ll give it 3.5 Stars.

Wednesday Briefs: December 28, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Bad Karma and the Family Plan #55 (11.5) by Julie Lynn Hayes

“That sounds like fun,” Maureen said. “We wouldn’t miss seeing our boys’ film debut for the world.”

My heart warmed when Ethan’s mother included me in such a way. And then I realized she’d actually spoken for her husband as well, at least as far as accepting Troy’s generous invitation. Maybe things had changed for the better here, at least as far as they were concerned. Certainly not their oldest son.

More small talk was made,

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Book Review: Chainsaw Man, Vol 1 by Tatsuki Fujimoto

Chainsaw Man, Vol 1   

Author: Tatsuki Fujimoto

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: October 6, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Denji’s life is a hard one. He’s begun selling body parts just to make ends meet… and to pay off the enormous debt his father accumulated before his death. Denji’s only friend is his dog Poochita, who happens to be a devil. Despite that, they’ve become close. A desperate Denji goes to the man he owes the debt to and requests he hire him as a devil hunter.

Through unfortunate circumstances, Poochita dies, but his last act is to give Denji his heart, so the boy can live, and now he is part devil himself. And that part makes him a living chainsaw man! Then he meets a girl named Makima and falls in love… and is offered the chance to make a new life for himself. Of course, that offer does have a few strings, but what the heck. Denji may actually get to achieve his lifelong dream of touching… well, you’ll see.

The first volume of this series was pretty cool, no lie, and a great supplement to watching the anime. As usual, the manga contains information that is either missing or easy to miss in the anime. Denji is an interesting character, and so are the people he gets to work with, such as Makima and Aki and Power. Looking forward to seeing where these characters’ journeys will take them!

Saturday is Horror Day #93 – Midsommar

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Following the tragic death of her family, Dani (Florence Pugh) has been clinging to her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) a bit more than usual, to the annoyance of his fellow students/friends. They’d been planning a trip to Sweden by one of the group to witness a mid-summer festival in his hometown. Christian feels compelled to tell them that he’s invited Dani, but she doesn’t really want to go. However, she does, so they grudgingly accept her presence among them.

There is something very beautiful and at the same time odd about the village where they end up. The people are indeed welcoming and loving. At the same time, some of their ways are… unusual, to say the least. One of the reasons Josh (William Jackson Harper) is there is to write about the festival for his thesis. When Christian suddenly decides to use that specific festival for his thesis is well, tensions begin to run high.


Still reeling from the death of her family, Dani is none too pleased when one of the village maidens 

seems to have set her cap for Christian. Another couple, Simon (Archie Madekwe) and Connie (Ellora Torchia) are there also, and Simon unwittingly does something completely unforgivable to the villagers. He inexplicably decides to leave without informing Connie, who is understandably distraught. The villagers assure here that the man who took Simon to the station will be back for her as well but she doesn’t wait and runs off.

Things get stranger and stranger… and then somewhat sinister…

This movie was beautiful to behold, set in a beautiful country. Everything looks wholesome and clean, but of course what you see isn’t always what you get. It all depends on how you look at it, as simply a horror story (from most people’s viewpoint) or a lovely fairy tale (from Dani’s POV). Although it’s about two and a half hours long, it doesn’t really feel long as you keep wondering what is going on and what’s going to happen. Pay close attention for clues, even though they won’t really prepare you for the ending. But there are hints. Might have to watch it again sometime to find more. I’ll give this film 4 Stars.

Wednesday Briefs: December 21, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Winter Haven’s Dyrpath: Chapter Two by Cia Nordwell

The clouds started to clear as soon as I came out, bringing more light to the lumpy terrain so I could easily avoid the pitfalls around the chopped off stumps and the baby trees. I went around the orchard and started my trek up the hill; it was the way toward the closest town. There, maybe the snowy owl with the black-flecked wings would go unnoticed.  

She flew on silent wings across my path, stopping on the stump of a fence ahead of me and to my right about two arm’s lengths away.  

“Go away, shoo!” I hissed. I waved

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Saturday is Horror Day #92 – The Descent

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Descent

Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is recovering from a devastating life event the previous year. She meets up with some of her friends for a vacation. But their idea of having fun is exploring caves! Juno (Natalie Mendoza) is the somewhat leader of the group. She’s the one who picks the cave and gets all the information they need to safely explore, making sure they all have the right gear as well.


This particular cave is actually in a hole, so they have to go down on ropes. The only way out is through the exit, as they won’t be able to ascend the same way. No problem, right? Except that Juno neglected to mention that this isn’t the cave she told them they’d be going to and they don’t have any guidebooks for it! She thought it would be fun for them to be the ones to explore it, and also maybe bring Sarah out of her funk. Maybe even name the cave for her late daughter!




But things start to go horribly wrong, and now they’re not even sure how to get back to the surface… and they are horrified to realize they are not alone.


This is one creepy scary movie! I will admit to jumping more than once. Imagine being underground and not knowing how to get back up? Assuming there is a way up? And then, on top of that, the creatures… *shudders* You may recognize MyAnna Buring as she was in Ripper Street and more recently The Witcher. This is a good horror movie. I’ll give it 4.5 Stars.

Wednesday Briefs: December 14, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Bad Karma and the Family Plan #53 (11.3) by Julie Lynn Hayes

I have to give Troy credit for never being at a loss for words in any given situation, even when faced with a rabid fan, such as Sarah Thorne. All right, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Sarah wasn’t quite that bad. Maybe not rabid but certainly adoring and most assuredly starstruck.

Ethan’s twin made it down the steps so fast, I was afraid she might have tripped.

“I am such a huge fan of yours,” she was saying. “I own every one of your

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Saturday is Horror Day #91 – Funny Games

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Funny Games

Imagine if you will an all-American family – mother, father, and son – going to visit their vacation home for some rest and relaxation. Spend some time boating, visiting with neighbors. This is the life of Ann (Naomi Watts) and George (Tim Roth) and their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart).  But the all-American dream becomes an all-American nightmare when two preppy-looking young men, Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbet) come into their lives.

It begins with a simple request for four eggs by one of the young men, who claims to need it for the next door neighbor, whom he is visiting. But this ordinary request quickly becomes a game, and the only people who are amused are Paul and Peter. They take the family hostage and announce the game – see who will live to see the following day.


This movie was well written and well executed, but I have to warn you, it is brutal and hard to watch. I found myself wondering why these adults didn’t just slap the shit out of those two punks and have done with them. Or why they ever let the situation escalate the way it did. But perhaps you had to be there. And I have honestly never been in such a situation, nor do I want to be. Great performances by Watts and Roth. I know this film will stick with me for some time. I’ll give it 4 Stars.

Book Review: Overlord, Vol 2 by Kugane Maruyama

Overlord, Vol 2     

Author: Kugane Maruyama

Publisher: Yen On

American release date:  September 27, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Fantasy Adventure /256 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Ainz is having issues he never dreamed of when he was playing Yggdrasil! Two beautiful women are at war with one another…over him! Whodathunkit? Two of his NPCs –  Albedo and Shalltear –  are ready to fight one another to win his love. What’s a man to do? Except, he isn’t a man, not anymore. He’s an undead lich king. Man, life is complicated.

He decides he needs more information about this new world he finds himself in, more than he has received so far. Actually, he really needs to see things for himself. He sets out with one of the Pleiades warriors, Naberal, and presents himself as an adventurer named Momon, and her name is Nabe. But it’s hard to get her to keep from calling him my lord. Guess he’ll have to work on that. Heading to the nearby city of E-Rantel, they first rent rooms at an inn, where Ainz has to deal with a troublemaker, but in doing so he accidentally breaks a young woman’s potion. She is less than thrilled with him and lets him know about it, so he gives her one of his Minor Healing potions to make them even. Little does he know….

Next they seek out the Adventurers Guild, from which they can find offers of employment and make some money as they explore the land. The trouble is that, while Ainz can speak the language, he cannot read it, never having acquired the skill to do so. In all fairness, he never thought he would need it. The jobs are posted on a board, according to skill level required. As a newbie, Ainz is at copper level, but he has no idea which jobs he would qualify for and he can’t let them see that he can’t read. So he grabs one job request and takes it to the receptionist, who disdainfully tells him that is mythril level while he is merely copper. He asks her for the highest job he can do, but before she can respond, he receives an offer from a group of adventurers who ask if he would like to join them. This doesn’t sound too bad, so Ainz agrees.

They are known as the Swords of Darkness, and their leader, who looks like a warrior, is Peter. The other members include ranger Lukrut Volve, Spell Master Ninya and Druid Dyne Woodwonder.  Lukrut seems inordinately curious about the relationship between Momon and Nabe, which mystifies him. But once he explains that they are friends, the truth is revealed when Lukrut makes a declaration of love for the girl! She shuts him down immediately, but he doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word no. Luckily, she has no problem with telling him how little she thinks of him.

Just when it seems things are settled with these adventurers, Momon receives a personal request for his services! A young man named Nfirea, a well-known apothecary in the village, wants him to accompany him while he gathers herbs in a dangerous area. But Ainz is reluctant to simply abandon his new companions, even though they say they understand. He finds a way to combine the two requests that is mutually beneficial to all. And off they go!

Meanwhile, there are sinister goings-on beneath the cemetery of E-Rantel. Something’s going to happen, and it isn’t going to be good!

I am totally loving this series! It’s like being inside an MMORPG except for real! I love Momonga/Ainz! He is coping with an unusual situation rather well, I think, and adjusting to being a skeleton instead of a man. The rivalry between Albedo and Shalltear is hilarious, but I admit to being Team Albedo. Nabe proves herself to be a good companion for this first adventure, and the apothecary Nfirea is cute! I’m looking forward to the next volume!


Wednesday Briefs: December 7, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Bad Karma and the Family Plan #52 (11.2) by Julie Lynn Hayes

Has a night ever been so long?

At least Ethan had the presence of mind to remember our purchases that were sitting in the trunk of our rental car. I’d been too put off by the unexpected appearance of our friends to remember them.  We put Benny on his leash for convenience sake and divided the lot among the four of us and proceeded to the house. Ethan carefully balanced everything on one arm so he could open the front door and admit the rest of us.

Maureen and Uncle Benny were still sitting in the living room as we entered the hallway. They immediately rose when they saw us. “Thank you so much,” Maureen said, “for getting everything. How much do I—”

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