Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rich Pickings For Ravens (The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy) By Tom Conrad

The banana flavour of his accidental conception, and the banana theme of his accidental death, now all seemed to conspire against him and rather suggest the universe, Mr Fate or whoever did have some sort of master plan after all. Despite all his earlier conjecturing, maybe the universe, Mr Fate or whoever was laughing its fat and meddling head at him. The outlandish evidence did seem to speak for itself, truly suggesting a mocking narrative devised by some mischievous author because quite simply a banana condom had brought Midnight into the world and a banana skin had seen him out. Putting those two seeming truths together, Midnight was once again forced to ask such confused and searching questions like:

What is this place, where am I heading? And what’s the deal with all the ruddy bananas?

Again, there were no answers forthcoming.

Poor Midnight Merlot. Midnight is dead. Slipped on a banana peel, but did not go for a slide. Bumped his head, and he most certainly did not wake up in the morning.

Wow! What a fantastic read. Certainly not your everyday ghost story. The humour in this novel is dark but brilliant. It’s like Sherlock Holmes and Watson meets Monty Python meets e. e. cummings. The dry humour is entertaining, and the wittiness of the author, and the poetic style he writes in, will leave you wanting more.

Midnight Merlot, named after the time of conception (and of course, the red merlot his parents so aptly drank too much of), meets his untimely demise in the middle of a strange street. Midnight “wakes” to find out that he’s actually dead, killed quite possibly, by a rogue brick and a banana peel.

The author takes you through Midnight’s emotions, the way he was feeling when he first finds out that he is indeed dead, to the way he feels when he witnesses his own funeral. Oh, and when he witnesses his father…ah…pleasuring himself.

Midnight might be ghostly, but he tries to figure out what the spirit world is all about in relation to the real world. He tries to figure out why some ghosts can move things and he can’t, why he can walk through doors and fall through ceilings, but land, otherwise, on the floor–why doesn’t he fall into the earth? These are the questions that I suppose any young ghost might ask themselves. What makes up his ghostly “atoms, molecules and whatevers”?

Midnight has forgotten the events up to his death, and quite frankly, doesn’t really know what happened to cause his death. That’s where the detectives come in, and also, his own attempts at playing sleuth.

Now, in somewhat desperation, the young ghost was even considering such things as hypnosis. Maybe that could offer the answer?

Hmm, the idea only raised three minor and immediate drawbacks:

One: No one alive could currently see him, which Midnight heavily suspected would limit his chances of being hypnotised or indeed of finding someone capable in the phone book.

Two: If he were to discover a phone book he would be completely unable to move the pages to H for hypnotists.

Three: Midnight didn’t much believe in hypnosis in the first place. It seemed to be the work of charlatans, trained actors, or probably just far more suggestive and thoroughly more impressionable minds than his sharp acutely honed grey matter. Then again, up until a fortnight ago his sharp acutely honed grey matter didn’t much believe in ghosts and more to the point his sharp acutely honed grey matter had not been half hanging out the back of his dented noggin. All in all, Midnight had to admit that what he’d once believed was all very much open to a hearty into the night debate.

This is the first book in The Afterlife Crisis Trilogy series, and I think everyone should read this book. It’s well written, with a quirky, entertaining dry humour and definitely different than most humour-style books that I’ve come across as of late.

The author admitted to me that it wasn’t necessarily a “laugh out loud” kind of book, but more of a “chuckle” type. Well, I did laugh out loud (and chuckled!) as I read this ghostly story. The book is original, taking the reader through the story in Midnight’s point of view, making you feel sorry for the young ghost as he tries to figure things out.

For something different, this is a must read. If I could, I’d give this book 10 stars…but alas, I can only give 5…so, 5 it is!

P.S. Looking forward to reading the second and third books in this series!!



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Fifty Shades Of Garbage (A Parody) By Allie Beck

Two steps closer to him and she had closed the space, her hand sliding along his waist, the other hand touching his neck, her soft, sweet breath making him warm and ready. “You are Christian. I am Ana. Do we have any rope? A–” She unbuckled his belt and slipped it out of the loops in one seemingly-practiced snap–“whip?”

“You want me to beat you with a belt?” he asked, trying hard to keep the incredulity out of his voice.

“I want you to tease my Inner Goddess,” she hissed.

“Right.” His mind was a mix of testosterone and beer. 50 Shades of Marcia trumped 50 Shades of Football Picks, so off he went.

“I have bungee cords in the back of my Prius–will that do?”

“Whatever you want,” she answered. He could get used to this.

And, he had an idea. They needed a dumpster, but not just any dumpster. He needed a special one if they were going to play out this fantasy just right.


Ok, let me just say, this was far better than Fifty Shades of Grey. You can find my review for that book here.

However, this book, although not perfect either, was much more palatable, and way funnier…oh, and waaaaaay shorter.

While Fifty Shades of Grey went on and on, sex scene after sex scene, and Ana having her “Inner Goddess” ruling her, Fifty Shades of Garbage was a short story that got the job done.

To make it easier, I will shorten each to 50SGrey and 50SGarbage….I’m getting 50 Shades of Tired of Writing That.

Marcia is reading 50SGrey and openly detests the book…but yet, she can’t put it down. Joe, a mild-mannered guy, who openly admits to being less than open in the sex department (Marcia usually is the initiator), actually downloaded a pirated audio copy of the book. He didn’t finish it, but he got the jist of it. He couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Even his very religious mother had read it, and recommended it to Marcia. What the hell was she thinking? (I’ve no idea…since I would never recommend it to anyone!)

But, when Marcia asks Joe to try something new, he goes along with it. However, the dumpster they normally have sex in just won’t do. He needs to find a special dumpster for this little romp. A red one. The Red Dumpster of Pain. (In the book, Ana called Christian’s play room, The Red Room of Pain).

“Off to the Red Dumpster of Pain with you!” he growled. Her Inner Goddess quivered and nearly exploded on the spot.

Both scrambled in quickly and Joe took one wrist, wrapped the bungee cord around it, and hooked it securely to the edge of the rusty metal wall. He was good at this–a little too, suspiciously good. In no time she was completely tied up, all four limbs connected to the metal, her skirt barely brushing against her knees, torn shirt limp and dangling around her ribs.



He slid off his gray necktie, the one with the tiny diamond pattern she had given him for his birthday a few years ago. She licked her lips as he slid it around her eyes, blindfolding her.

Now she was truly at his mercy.

Oh shit.

She’s laying on some bags of garbage, but since the dumpster is right beside the blood bank, there’s no food or grossness in the bags…I guess it was a less stinky alternative.

Of course, Joe, never having done this before, and quite frankly, is kind of opposed to the whole idea, keeps asking her if he’s doing it right. She berates him for not being man enough, that she shouldn’t have to tell him everything. So, he takes the tie from her eyes and puts it around her mouth, gagging her.

Well, then he feels bad and takes the tie off, putting it around her eyes again. It doesn’t matter though, because she’s all steamed up and ready to go.

“My Inner Goddess  is so ready for you,” she begged.

“What the hell is your Inner Goddess?” He had heard that a million times on the audio book and couldn’t figure it out.

Now, as you can imagine, yes, it happened. Not as spicily as in 50SGrey, but that’s besides the point. It happened. Maybe not the way Marcia dreamed, but still different and hot.

Of course, 50SGrey was based on Twilight fanfiction. Ok, so, this book has to have some vampires and werewolves in it. The vampires turn out to be teenagers who are trying to get into character for a play for school, and the werewolf turns out to be a psychiatrist who had a thing for Marcia.

In the end, Marcia and Joe leave the dumpster, with the bungee cords and tie, to go home. Marcia’s Inner Goddess still isn’t sated yet.

A fun read that didn’t take long and was a lot more enjoyable than 50SGrey. I got it for free, so I can’t complain. I give this book 5 stars…that’s three more than I gave that other piece of rubbish.


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Fifty Shades Of Grey By E L James

“So, you’ll get your kicks by exerting your will over me.”

“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy even, in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy–it’s a very simple equation.”

“Okay, and what do I get out of this?”

He shrugs and looks almost apologetic.

“Me,” he says simply.

Oh my.

I had to see what all the fuss was about this book.

To tell you the truth, it sucked.

This book is a fan fiction, reminiscent of Twilight fame. The characters vaguely resemble Bella and Edward, however, it is very vague. Why this book is getting the attention that it is, is beyond me.

I wasn’t sure what to think about this book, and while the story itself was great, turning from a premeditated sexual arrangement into something that kind of resembled the beginnings of love, the author had to go and ruin the story at the end. Quite disappointing. And, definitely not reminiscent of Twilight at all.

On the back cover of the book, it’s called an ‘Erotic Romance’. That it was…well, that is, up until the end. Excuse me, Miss James, but your ending sucked.

The story begins with Anastasia Steele going to the business office of a very young, handsome billionaire to interview him for the school newspaper. She’s only doing this because her friend, Kate, is ill. Ana is a twenty-one year old virgin who doesn’t have a computer or cellphone. When she meets Christian Grey, she is mesmerized by his looks, his demeanor and his power.

Christian is very over-powering to Ana, and she feels compelled to do whatever he wants. Add in here that she is a virgin…and one that doesn’t “play with herself” and has never touched herself “down there”. (Yeah, like that’s believable.) He is a Dominent. He wants her to be his Submissive. He gives her a contract to look over and sign, if she so wishes. She is unsure about signing the contract, as she has her own “rules” she wishes him to abide by as well.

He ‘gives’ into her want of something more than just sex, because he starts having feelings for her. He realizes that she is as mesmerizing and as amazing to him as he is to her. But, the secrets he holds bother Ana. He has difficulty opening up to her, to tell him why he needs to cause her pain, and she feels the need to know everything about him.

He lavishes gifts on her that are unwanted, and sexually, they have an amazing relationship. But, Ana wants more…she wants him to cuddle her, to sleep with her in the same bed instead of leaving her after he has had his way with her. When she gives him what he wants, allowing him to restrain her, and to use his many “toys” on her, he starts giving in and giving her the more that she wants.

When his secrets are revealed at the end, Ana understands that she can never be what he wants her to be, to do the things that he wants to do to her, so she leaves.

I can’t reveal what his secrets are. You’ll have to read the book for that. But know this, if you were expecting a fan fiction of the paranormal type, or anything even remotely close to Twilight, this is not it. I will also say that if you do not like erotic books, then don’t read this. If you don’t like bondage, restraining, anything involving pain (regardless of whether it’s used in a sexual way or to “punish” someone), then don’t get this book.

I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started reading this book…and while I’ve read my fair share of erotic stories/books, this one actually had some substance to it.

Ok, so the book wasn’t bad…it was the ending that sucked. How can this book be called a romance when the romance died emotionally, physically and everything inbetween, at the end? If this book is supposed to be “another Twilight”, the author got it all wrong. Edward would never hurt Bella intentionally, yet Christian was all about hurting Ana. With just a few pages to go, I thought Christian and Ana were going to declare their love for one another, that she had broken him of some of his wanting to ‘hurt’ her. By the last page, I wanted to dump the novel in the trash. It sucked. I’m truly pissed off about it because I wanted the proverbial happy ending. Does that make it a good book because I’m pissed off? Not in my books.

The writing was poor, Ana having internal arguments with her “inner goddess”, and the overuse of some words and phrases like, Oh my, murmured, jeez, etc. The story was truly unbelievable.

I have another reason for hating this book…the author must have gotten a new thesaurus for Christmas because there were so many words in the book that I had to look up in the dictionary. One or two words I found in the book, weren’t even in the dictionary. (I will be doing a blog on this very topic soon on my All Kidding Aside blog)

So, disappointment has found me because I really thought that I was going to love this book. I’m giving this book 2 stars. This book lost one star for being so hyped up that I wanted to buy it (and now regret doing so), one star for the lousy ending, and the third star for me having to spend so much time looking up stupid words like phelgmatically, which isn’t even a word according to the dictionary. If the writing had been of better quality, then I might have been able to overlook this. Even the sex scenes weren’t that hot.

This book sucks. Will I read the next one? Ah, I don’t think so. I’m just sorry I bought this one.

BTW, I can’t believe they are actually planning on making a movie out of this…I won’t be seeing, that’s for sure.

Just sayin’.


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