Saturday, October 27, 2018

Something Wicked This Way Comes final discussion and join us for the watch-along tonight #SomethingWickedFall


I apologize for not posting the last two discussions according to the schedule. I had my sister in town for my birthday weekend two weeks ago and I've been sick on and off since that weekend. Ugh. It has not been the fun October I planned. Anyhoo, I somehow managed to finish the book and I'm here to discuss it as a whole before our watch-along of the movie tonight. More details on that at the end of the post.

Here are my thoughts on the book as a whole:

The idea of self acceptance is very present in the book. The carnival feeds on self-doubt. In the case of Charles Holloway (Will's dad), he feels old. Too old to be a father which in turn causes him to question his ability to be a proper father. It is acknowledged in the book that we are not born with self acceptance. It is something we develop over time. In this book, with self acceptance comes power. Only when Charles realizes this is he able to defeat the carnival which survives by exploiting people who are unhappy with who they are.

I liked how the book touched on common cause. Charles Holloway talks about people who have a common cause are more willing to do things they would not normally do. Our ultimate commonality as human beings is that we are all going to die. If we use that commonality to gain common ground, the world would be a better place. In the case of the carnival, its evil preys on isolation. Toward the end, when Charles is getting ready to do the rifle "trick" and shoot the Dust Witch, he gets the crowd involved. Although we know that Charles ultimately defeats her with his happiness and self acceptance, it can't hurt to have the crowd rallying behind him.

I enjoyed the book. I always like how Bradbury is able to spin a disconcerting tale while subtly adding in social commentary. That the beginning sparks of this story began with his fear of a carousel when he was four years old is proof that stories are very much a part of life, whether we realize it or not.

What are your final thoughts on the book?

Join us for a watch along of the movie tonight at 9:00 pm CDT/10:00 pm EDT. We will be discussing while we watch on the Facebook event page here.

I was unable to find the movie available on any of the streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), but I did find a free version on YouTube (although the quality is not the best). It's how I'll be watching. You can find it here.

Hope you can join us!

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Week One Discussion #SomethingWickedFall


We started our read-along this past week, reading section was...

Week One (week of Oct. 1st): Prologue - Ch. 17 (pp 1 - 72)

How did it go? What did you think?

Some observations...

At the first, there's the lightning rod salesman. He is a great minor character for foreshadowing. His warning of the coming storm actually seems to have many meanings. The literal storm that may be coming. The storm that comes as a boy hits puberty and all the changes that come with it, and finally, perhaps the hugely disruptive storm that comes in the shape of the carnival rolling into town, which does so in a very strange and uncommon way.

Already, my creep factor is on alert!

I also noticed a theme (trend?) of which some of the older adults seemed to cling to. Will's father, Charles, is described as old. When he looks at the boys, a longing is sensed...for youth and all that goes along with it. He enjoys discussing books with them because then they are on common ground, but that's where it stops. Charles yearns for the youth which has long passed him by.

The two shopkeepers who stand transfixed outside their stores, one listening, the other smelling the smells of carnival food (candy). One has a tear trickle down his face. More longing for the days of youth, when visiting the carnival was probably the most exciting thing all year.

The lighting rod salesman, gazing longingly at the woman in the ice block inside the abandoned hardware store..."The Most Beautiful Woman in the World." Is she a siren encased there in the ice? Does she remind him of youthful days when beautiful girls were perhaps all around him?

Miss Foley going into the mirror menagerie, getting lost, and seeing her younger self lost in the mirrors.

So, a theme...the longing for youth, but what is it that draws Jim? Jim already has youth so what does he long for?

We shall see as we continue to read.

What are your thoughts on my observations? Any observations of your own? Share in the comments below.

Next reading section: Week Two (week of Oct. 8th): Ch. 18 - 29 (pp 73 - 145)
Discussion post next Sunday.

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Something Wicked This Way Comes - October Read-Along/Watch-Along #SomethingWickedFall


In October, during the Something Wicked This Fall Comes event AND the FrightFall Readathon at Seasons of Reading, our read along will be the Ray Bradbury classic (for which this event gets its name), Something Wicked This Way Comes. We will also have a watch-along of the movie at the end of the month.

Discussions will be held on this blog. I will put a new post up each week on Sunday (with final discussion post up on Saturday, Oct. 27 before our watch along of the movie) and we will read along according to the schedule below.

Read-Along Schedule

  • Week One (week of Oct. 1st): Prologue - Ch. 17 (pp 1 - 72)
  • Week Two (week of Oct. 8th): Ch. 18 - 29 (pp 73 - 145)
  • Week Three (week of Oct. 15: Ch 30 - 42 (pp 146 - 218)
  • Week Four (week of Oct. 22): Ch 43 - Afterword (pp 219 - 293/end)


Our watch along of the film version (I saw it many, many years ago...it's a good one) will be on Saturday, October 27 at 9:00 pm CDT/10:00 pm EDT. I will host the watch-along via Twitter (hashtag #SomethingWickedFall) and Seasons of Reading (I'll create an event in the Seasons of Reading group on Facebook). Looks like you can watch it for free on YouTube here. The quality is not the greatest though. It's relatively cheap to buy, or you may be able to get it from your library. I couldn't find it on any streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. I didn't check Hulu. There's a chance it could be added in October because of Halloween. We'll see. 

If you have any questions, leave a comment or contact me from the link in the menu.

I hope you will join us!


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Saturday, September 15, 2018

#Hereditary Watch-Along - Saturday, September 22 #SomethingWickedFall


It's official! We will have our Hereditary watch-along on Saturday, September 22 at 9:00 pm CT/10:00 pm ET.

I will be hosting via the Seasons of Reading Facebook group (I will create an event so we can easily interact) and Twitter (we will use hashtags #Hereditary #SomethingWickedFall).

This post will be shared in the Facebook group (link above), and on Twitter, so comment on this post, or respond to one of the social media posts if you're in.

Can't wait! I actually saw this at the theater, but looking forward to watching again. It's that good.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Gothic Stories Master Post #SomethingWickedFall


This is the master post for Gothic books or short stories read during Something Wicked This Fall Comes. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. I think this will make for some hearty conversation!

Note: I've included a tab in the blog menu so you can find this page easily. 

UPDATE: I've extended Gothic stories through the end of October since I didn't get to finish reading any of them yet. 


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Monday, August 27, 2018

Something Wicked This Fall Comes #somethingwickedfall


So, yes...a new event! You might ask what happened to Gothic September and Season of the Witch. Well, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to create an all encompassing event that would include everything here and connect with my FrightFall Readathon in October at Seasons of Reading. I know fall doesn't officially start until September 22, but fall in my mind always starts on September 1st (or around there). I guess it's because being from up North, we always started school around September 1st (after Labor Day). Plus, Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P. 13) also starts on September 1st...how appropriate!

We are going to have some fun this year! Everything is included on the button above (pretty much), but I'm also going to outline here. If you're on Facebook, we have a Seasons of Reading group on there where we interact during readathons so I'll be sharing info there, and also on the Seasons of Reading Instagram.


πŸ’€ 48 Hour Kick-Off Readathon this weekend at Seasons of Reading (September 1 - 2). You do not absolutely have to read horror, unless you want to. I will be focusing mostly on horror/scary.

😈 In September, we're focusing on Gothic stories (Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and others). There's a great list on Goodreads for reference, Best Gothic Books of All Time. I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this. I'll create a master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments.


πŸ‘» We're going to have at least a couple of horror movie watch-alongs! I've been wanting to do this for years. I for sure want to watch Hereditary, which was in theaters this summer. It was SO good. One of the best horror movies I've ever seen. It comes out on DVD (and Amazon) on September 4th. So, I'm thinking September 8th or 15th (on a Saturday night) and we can either watch-along on Twitter (which would be cool with a hashtag and everything), or I can create an event in the Seasons of Reading Facebook group. I'll put a poll up in the group, or you can weigh-in here in the comments. I'm open to suggestions for another movie(s) to watch-along during the two months. I had thought about the original Suspiria since the remake comes out in early November, but I'm worried about availability.


πŸŽƒ In October, we will be having a read-along of the book which is our event's namesake...the Ray Bradbury classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes. There will be a separate post coming soon with complete details and a reading/discussion schedule. For the sake of simplicity, the read-along discussions will be held here on this blog.

πŸ’€ #FrightFall Readathon, October, all month long at Seasons of Reading. Sign ups for that will go up at the Seasons of Reading blog within the next couple of weeks. This year, I'm adding some additional readathon fun to the mix. A 48 Hour pre-FrightFall Readathon on September 29 - 30 and a 48 Hour post-FrightFall Readathon on October 31 - November 1. There is also the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon in October so it's going to be readathon heaven (or hell, to go along with the horror theme. lol).

😈 I'm hoping to get some of my horror author friends to contribute some guest posts. If anyone else would like to contribute a post or guest review, please let me know. You can send me a message via the contact form here on the site.

I think that's it! Hope I didn't leave anything out. No official sign-up for this. Just share that you're in by leaving a comment. You can join in as little or as much as you want. Let's do this!

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi's Breathe. Breathe. - #Review


My thoughts
This fantastic book is a collection of poems and tales of abuse and horror, told so brilliantly only by someone who has firsthand experience. Get ready to feel every range of emotion while reading. From fear to intense anxiety to shock, and even a bit of laughter. This book will touch your soul.

The author touches on the all to prevalent issue of domestic violence. Gut wrenching horror and sorrow to read such powerful narratives of these experiences. She also visits our most deeply seated fears, of what we create to cover up the horrors in our lives.

Certainly not my most favorite or the biggest standout, but definitely one that took me by surprise was Earl Grey Tea...not what I was expecting. This poem is the art of the quick change.

Those who love The Twilight Zone will enjoy Lunch Served at Noon. The one that really had my nerves on edge...The Madness of the Woodpecker.

So many standouts in this collection. Really too many to mention them all individually. Just read it, is all I can say. The experience will be unforgettable. I promise. If you like books that make you think, and that make you feel everything, then this is the one for you.

Breathe. Breathe. is on SALE for just .99 cents through today! Very soon the print version should go on sale as well from $14 to $9!

Find it on Amazon here!


About the book
Breathe. Breathe. is a collection of dark poetry and short fiction exploring the surreal depths of humanity. It’s a representation of how life breaks us apart and words put us back together. Purged onto the pages, dark emotions flow, urging readers into murky seas and grim forests, to the fine line between breathing and death.

In Act One, readers are presented with a serial killer in Victorian London, a lighthouse keeper with an eerie legacy, a murderous spouse that seems to have walked right out of a mystery novel, and a treacherous Japanese lady who wants to stay immortal. The heightened fears in the twilight of your minds will seep into the blackest of your nights, where you have to breathe in rhythm to stay alive.

In Act Two, the poetry turns more internal and pierces through the wall of denial and pain, bringing visceral emotions to the surface unleashing traumas such as domestic abuse, violence, and illness.

In the short stories, you’ll meet residents of Valhalla Lane whose lives are on a violent parallel track to collision, a man who is driven mad by the sound of a woodpecker, a teenage girl who wakes up on the beach and can’t find another soul in sight, a woman caught in a time shift pitting her against the Egyptian goddess Anuket, and a little girl whose whole world changes when her favorite dandelion yellow crayon is discontinued.

Amid these pages the haunting themes of oppression, isolation, revenge, and madness unfold through folklore, nightmares, and often times, raw, impulsive passion crafted to sear from the inside out.

With a touching foreword by the Bram Stoker nominated author Brian Kirk, Breathe. Breathe. will at times unsettle you, and at times embrace you. Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, a veteran writer and editor of the written word, offers up a mixed set of pieces, identifying her as a strong, new voice in dark fiction that will tear the heart from your chest, all the while reminding you to breathe.

PRAISE for BREATHE. BREATHE.
“Erin paints scenes and evokes emotions with precision and skill. These are the kinds of stories and poems that tighten your chest and leave you holding your breath.” – The Scary Reviews

“Breathe. Breathe. is as honest and raw as writing gets. Erin bares her soul with these poems, particularly during Act 2 in which the verses take on a much more personal and reflective nature.” -The Grim Reader

“Breathe. Breathe. is a great collection of poetry and short fiction. The poems are dark and vivid. They touch at the core of the human condition. The poems are gritty and chilling. You can feel the doom and dread in each of the poems. Breathe. Breathe. is an emotional rollercoaster. The characters are troubled, and the author gives them just enough depth.” – Cedar Hollow Reviews

“I am certain many readers {and not only female} will find themselves breathing shallower, or holding their breath, as the vividness of these scenes awakens memories. Other readers who may not have these particular types of painful memories, will nonetheless wince in empathy. I am equally certain very few will walk away untouched, and very few will forget.” -The Haunted Reading Room

“Raw, risky, and brave.” – Selcouth Station

“I feel the poems are at their best when folkloric in nature – I particularly like “Ningyo’s Misfortune”, “The Driftwood of Wishes”, and “Offerings to Nang Tani”. The short stories “Destination: Valhalla Lane Loveless, Ohio” and “Life-Giver of the Nile” are both clever and brutal, and the standout.” – Julie K. Rose, author of Oleanna and Dido’s Crown

“Wow. This collection really leaves bruises on the soul. I’m not a huge fan of poetry, yet, I found myself glued to the words and emotions pouring out of this author. The short stories were great too. My favorite was “Lunch Served at Noon”, as it had a Twilight Zone-ish quality to it. To fans of dark literary fiction and poetry, I recommend giving Breathe. Breathe. a try.” – Tim Meyer, author of Sharkwater Beach

“At times sinister, definitely dark, atmospheric and heavy with foreboding, this collection of poetry and short stories from Erin Al Mehairi touches our deepest fears. Murder, domestic violence and even an ancient Egyptian goddess all move within these pages where nothing is ever simple or straightforward.” – Catherine Cavendish, author of Wrath of the Ancients

It’s full of the unexpected – bits of lace cut through with the odd and the horrible and the beautiful. Through it all I sense the power of a survivor!! And I love that!” —Sue Harrison, internationally bestselling author of Mother Earth Father Sky (Ivory Carver Trilogy) “Breathe. Breathe. is at times haunting, visceral, bittersweet, and tender. Erin Al Mehairi bares her soul and invites readers to devour it whole.” —Hunter Shea, author of We Are Always Watching “Erin Al-Mehairi weaves a web of narrative and poetry both beautiful and nightmare-inducing in Breathe. Breathe., invoking heartache and the need to see through the shining masks life presents us to confront the darkness it truly holds.” —Michelle Garza, co-author of Bram Stoker nominated Mayan Blue

“I loved Dandelion Yellow. I was hyperventilating at the end, but it was such a beautiful, painful and artful tale. I’ll be saying that last line to myself for weeks at least. Just beautiful. I’m re-reading the rest. One read just isn’t enough because DAYUM. Beautiful.” – Somer Canon, author of Vicki Beautiful and The Killer Chronicles

“In Breathe. Breathe., Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi employs sharp, jagged words arranged in sparse, disturbingly visceral clusters to force readers to “breathe” through the fear and pain of abuse and personal terror. It’s a sense reinforced by the deceptively quiet but disquieting story, “Dandelion Yellow.” Filled with sharp sensory detail, the highlight is “Life-Giver of the Nile,” an evocative circular time-shift tale in which an Egyptologist’s soul is required by Anuket, ancient and modern goddess of the Nile, for a greater purpose. Whether in poetry or prose, dark kernels nestled within horror tropes indicate that Al-Mehairi writes from the gut and from the heart but with the fierceness of a survivor, the soul of a fearless champion. This mixed collection is a fine introduction to a strong, intriguing new voice in dark fiction.” -W.D. Gagliani, Bram Stoker Finalist, author of Wolf’sTrap (Nick Lupo Series)


About the author

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Journalism, and History. She has 20 years of experience in the communication and marketing fields and is currently a writer, a journalist, a publicist, and an editor among many other things.

She writes fiction, essays, stories, and poetry and is an avid reader of many genres. She has edited poetry anthologies, novels, fiction pieces, and other various non-fiction and journalistic pieces. As a journalist, she’s written, interviewed, and edited for various newspapers, magazines, media outlets, and online news sources at both ends of the spectrum in media and public relations.

As an entrepreneur, she owns two businesses: Addison’s Compass Public Relations and Hook of a Book Media, in which she acts as a PR/Marketing Consultant, publicist, and editor for authors, publishers, and others. She also handles marketing and PR for Sinister Grin Press, where she is also an editor. Her third pursuit is writing her own works for publication. She volunteers her time in the community and is the chairwoman on the board of directors for a local mental health center and rape crisis and domestic violence safe haven.

She is the mother of three school-aged children and a cat. She lives with her family in rural Ohio nestled in the forest—a place just ripe for nightmares. Her passions are reading, writing, book hunting, hiking, and entertainment such as movies/film, television, and music. Oh, and she bakes, because you can’t do any of that without cookies.

Erin is a co-host with her Marketing Morsels segment on Project Entertainment Network’s The Mando Method, an award-winning weekly podcast for new and veteran writers.

Breathe. Breathe., published by Unnerving, is her debut collection and a mix of dark poetry and short stories and has been an Amazon best-selling paid title, debuting at #2 in Women’s Poetry. She is also featured in the anthology from Unnerving called Hardened Hearts, which published in December 2017. Her story “Dandelion Yellow,” from Breathe. Breathe. is also featured in the My Favorite Story anthology of the Project Entertainment Network, which published also in December of 2017.

You can e-mail her at hookofabook (at) hotmail (dot) com and find her easily at http://www.hookofabook.wordpress.com. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest where she loves new friends.

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