Thursday, August 29, 2013

Baby Boozer

Ever have one of those days where you come home and you just want a drink? Well, I had a day like that, but, alas, no wine and no beer in the fridge. So I turn to my liquor cabinet, and I see that I have some vodka and St. Germain. Now normally I would mix those two with some sprite, but I am all out of sprite. So I looked to see what I did have in the fridge, and there is apple juice. I have apple juice thanks to my baby who can now start drinking the stuff. Bless that child and her plant made sugar water. Since I was going sweet with this cocktail (by default), I also added some orange liqueur, and the Baby Boozer was born. It came out quite tasty.

Baby Boozer:

2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Ste. Germain*
1 oz. Orange Liqueur (you can use Cointreau, but I buy the cheap stuff and it came out fine here.)  
2 oz. Apple Juice

Add to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour.

*If you don't keep St. Germain on hand, (I know not everyone does), you can just substitute an extra shot of vodka. This will make it less sweet and give you an excuse to serve it in a martini glass. Unless you have a nifty glass that is rounded on the bottom like me. Who wouldn't want to use a glass you can spin around without your drink spilling? I'm easily entertained.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Buried A Man I hated There

Buried A Man I Hated There is a story of loss and the kind of grief that can destroy lives if left unchecked. The novel focuses on three characters whose lives intertwine at various points and are all suffering from the loss of a loved one. 

Jack Maddox is alive but living like a ghost in a personal hell of his own creation. Heidi seems normal on the surface, but is hiding an obsession. Dr. Bernard avoids dealing with his grief by trying to reclaim his youth, and, in doing so, crosses a line.  Pepper presents three lives torn apart by loss and lays bare emotions that most people want to keep buried. He slowly peels away the layers of the characters until we can see what is real, not just the social mask that they put up for everyone to see.

 This is an emotional read; I cried several times. It forces the reader to examine their own lives and think about what it could be like to lose everything that matters. What is left? That answer is different for everyone, and as Pepper shows in this novel people fall apart in different ways and sometimes you can put the pieces back together. Highly recommended. 

I give it five cocktails.

You can purchase this book by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous

Fading Light is an anthology about fear; fear of the unknown monster. Monsters can take all shapes and forms; from what has become the  almost mundane zombie, to the overdone vampire that isn't really scary anymore. Nothing so common will be found between these pages. No, here the monsters run the gamut from animals from other dimensions to intelligent life forms that have been slowly plotting against us. I found myself sucked in to each of these nightmare worlds but some kept me up at night more than others.

Wrath, by Lee Mather was the story that had the greatest impact on me. I think that was in part due to the subject matter but also a testament to Mather's excellent skill as a writer. I don't want to go into too many details and possibly give away the ending, but this is a story of religious horror that packs quite an emotional wallop and had me questioning what I would do in a similar situation. 

Darktide by Mark Lawrence is a story that deals with the consequences of exploring too deep, of awakening something that has been dormant for a very long time. This one really scared me. Most stories I read don't, but this one explores the idea of an unknown coming for not only you, but your whole family and what you have to do to protect them. And how do you protect yourself and loved ones from something that you not only don't understand, but can't do anything about? 

Degenerates by D.L. Seymour is one I really enjoyed. It is set some years after H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, which is a story I would recommend reading first if you are not familiar with it. Seymour manages to pull off a suitably Lovecraftian tale with a twist ending that I didn't quite see coming.

Light Save Us by Ryan Lawler was one of my favorites due to the gore and action that kept this story moving at a fast clip. It had that horror movie feel that gets your heart pounding and makes you want to scream at the characters to look out for the monster that is sure to come at them, or yell at them to not go out alone where you know the danger lurks.  

There was one story in this anthology that stood out from the rest because it was actually quite humorous rather than dark and scary. Gef Fox just plain had fun with Where Coyotes Fear to Tread, and I think the reader has fun right along with him. There are two unwitting heroes stuck in Tennessee when the monsters come and then find themselves on a mission to save the world. 

This is a large anthology and I found that I liked almost every story in here. For anyone looking for something a bit different that will touch more on the reader's fear of the unknown, they have a winner with this one. I wouldn't read it right before bed or you may find yourself sleeping with the lights on. 

I give it five cocktails.

You can purchase this book by clicking the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble