Wednesday 27 February 2019

Your Mid-Week Update for 02/27/19

I've been on this dismemberment kick lately. Don't know why. Don't really want to get into the psychology of why, but there's something about being really hands on - or hands off, as it were - with my work that's made me feel more fulfilled and less restless.

So we're not going to talk about what's going on at home. We're going to talk about how much force is required to remove a man's actual knee cap.

With the right surgical tools: it takes barely any work at all.

Of course I don’t have the right surgical tools – is that something I can invest in? Since I didn’t have the right tools, we went to the hardware store and did our best. The key to proper dismemberment while your victim is alive is the keep them subdued but conscious as long as possible. If they pass out from pain or blood loss then so be but you want them conscious for a least a little while. Otherwise what’s the point?

So how you remove someone’s knee cap is actually quite simple. First you have to subdue your victim’s lower half. Rope is always good. Duct tape is stronger. Gaff tape is expensive. So once they’re bound with duct tape, and you’re reasonably certain they won’t move, all you have to do is start cutting.

Unlike surgeons, your goal is not to fix and heal, it is to torture and kill. You don’t have to sew the tissue together or even cut in a clean shape. It’s more interesting if you can open the knee and take as precisely a bone as you can but it’s not a necessity. And it is a simple as cutting a slice of really rough ham. Cut around the part you want and voila. The bone is gone. So now you’ve removed both knee caps and left the flesh open and bleeding.

I feel like a mad scientist doing sick experiments on unsuspecting patients in the Victorian Era. It gets the creative juices flowing.

Now you can go to work one other parts of the body. If you do it right, the police will find a body which has bled to death from a dozen open wounds; they’ll find the left ear in the river, the middle finger bone (just the bone) behind the grocery store. The larynx will be found hanging over a mailbox in the suburbs, the whole ankle will be found in the woods half-eaten by coyotes. The forth rib will be used to pry the back door of a Pizza Hut open – and two left over pizzas will be missing because murder makes you hungry. The sixth will be mailed to a random address that was made by looking up a series of random addresses on Google maps. The shoulder blade will unfortunately still be in the body but unattached from its normal perch because trying to pull it out broke the saw. The appendix will be removed and placed in a tray beside the body along with an unclaimed bill for what would have been a hospital trip. The third toe on the right foot will be placed in a stranger’s pocket who will discover it as they go to pay for their gas a few hours later. The bone of the forearm – with a little bit of flesh because it’s not like pulling chicken wing bones out – will be discovered in the park a little more battered and bruised as if someone had tried to use it like a golf club and realized how bad an idea that was. The left eye will also be found in the park, in a bush, having been briefly used as a gold club.

Several hours after the first discovery is made, what remains of the body will be found in a warehouse by the docks, with a trail of blood and other evidence leading police to believe the killer or killers escaped in a boat and are currently on the water.

It will become a priority case for the coroner and the police department to find all of the body parts, find the victim’s identity, and catch their killer.

And the town will be incomplete panic over one lousy murder.

It’s a good thing it happened in some other town several hours away. Otherwise I might really be in trouble. Everyone in the city would be on high alert. No one would suspect me, of course, but best not to take chances.

His kneecaps, however, will never be discovered. They are sitting beside the pickled eyeball I keep as a reminder of why I love doing what I do.

The look of terror as they realize that this is in fact one of their final moments. The flight or fight that doesn’t have time to kick in so all there is is freeze. It’s an incredibly satisfying look on a person. I highly recommend it.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Review of Looking for Dei by David A. Willson

I received a copy of Looking for Dei by David A. Willson as part of a blog tour promoting the book.

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life is filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her adoptive father refuses to say anything about her origins. And when Nara is invited to the town’s announcement ceremony, which tests youths for magical gifts, he forbids her from revealing her powers.

The poor village of Dimmitt has not announced a gifted youth for decades. But when Nara discovers that the town priest has been keeping secrets of his own, she draws upon her hidden magic to correct the injustice. Her rash decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a quest for the divine. But will the truth she reveals set her people free? Or unlock a curse that could spell her doom?

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | B&N | TBD

With so much fantasy and magic elements woven into modern fiction, it can be difficult to find total originality. Telling a unique story from a brand new perspective is nearly impossible these days, so your best option is to take an amalgamation of your best or favourite elements to tell an interesting story. I think that’s what Looking for Dei attempted to do.

Though the title of the book might suggest a stronger religious or deity-driven story arc, I found that the search for Dei came in and out of focus throughout the story. By that, I mean the religious aspect of the plot was fairly absent for a portion of the journey. For a protagonist with a foreshadowed god-like prophecy, I found that Nara was a rather complacent heroine. Her actions don’t kickstart the plot, nor does she have a major hand in the main conflict of the story. She is established to have amazing abilities but with a few exceptions, we only see her use those abilities so that others can fight on her behalf. I would call her a Deus Ex Machina if she took more direct action in her own story.

If we were given more time inside his head, I would dare to call Mykel, the unwitting companion on Nara’s journey, the protagonist because he is more active in his own journey and is given a lot of hero markers: a destiny, a life-altering event, a training montage, a will-they-won’t-they romance, an enemy with multiple face-offs garnering a need for revenge. Mykel had some interesting moments that I wish were given more time and weight. Instead, we were treated to a sickening amount of exposition.

If I could sum up my frustration with this book in one sentence it’s that the balance between exposition/backstory and action was off. Admittedly, I had to go back and reread pages over again because I would get so bored reading about a character’s history that didn’t need to be laid out all at once. Say nothing of the information’s necessity, it felt like backstory was being dumped on the page for the sake of context for one conversation. It made the action scenes (whether physical or verbal sparring) feel short and cut off by comparison.

There were characters I would have loved to see explored more. Kayna, I felt had more to say or more of an impact – especially in the final moments. I was told of her ambitions and desires but I didn’t see it in practice or in thought as much as I could have.

I use my Random Notes While Reading to take you on a little thought journey of reading this book.
  • Well this is terrifyingly creepy
  • I like the use of an alternate time keeping acronym that isn’t so far from reality as to be confusing
  • Chronic pain depicted in fiction usually leads to destiny (edit: and is never brought up again)
  • Exposition fairy is paying a visit
  • Why wasn’t she tested earlier?
  • Wait. Did he tell her the truth? Amazing!
  • It seems so silly to lie so vehemently when you’ll be caught tomorrow
  • How has no one else figured it out?
  • Oh, lying priests is how
  • I feel disconnected from the author
  • There was a lot of information in the beginning and I clearly missed something
  • Please get to the point faster
  • You’re like the only teenage protagonist who didn’t do that
  • See what happens when you foster a child’s gifts: they become psychopaths. Wait…
  • So much backstory!
  • Oh so much as happened since then
  • I love a good psychopath
  • Symbolism!
  • Someone should tell him
  • Why are they stopping?!
  • Anne’s story has such a different energy from the previous exposition
  • The explanation is killing the tension
  • Damn, she has a conscience
  • Magical Montage
  • Aw, he’s HER guardian
  • I like the establishment of magical objects used to display the girls’ powers
  • Ooh good word
  • I didn’t see the shift but I know it happened
  • Not always
  • How cliché
  • Nice symbolism
  • Creepy. That’s just creepy
  • I kind of love it. I want more of him
  • Holy sh*t. Why didn’t we see THAT!
  • Am I just a sadist?
  • Oh boy!
  • Gods, now I get invested?
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the woman giving her power so the man can fight for her or because of her
  • Oh sh*t!
  • I’m not feeling the chaos battle
  • How useless
As the book progressed and backstory gave way to more action, I became more invested in the story and the characters but by then it was too late for me to really care about their victories and defeats. However, my desire to learn more about these characters and their journey leads me to believe that the story Looking for Dei is trying to tell is one worth reading. I was more disappointed in the execution than I was in the plot itself which is not meant as any consolation. Looking for Dei left me wanting more.

David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.

Much of his material is inspired by the "Great Land" of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction--not necessarily in that order.

Looking for Dei is Willson's debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Your Mid-Week Update for 02/20/19

This week's update is brought to you by siblings: they're...around.

I called a mandatory family dinner on Monday and it went surprisingly well. Except for my sister showing up. I wanted Casey, Jason, James, and I to have one sit down meal and start to get through all the uncomfortableness that has been festering since she first moved in. I can’t imagine she’s feeling overly settled, moving in to someone else’s bedroom after losing her family. We’re all very understanding of her quiet and closed off demeanor – especially since when she does open up, she is loud and curious and just speaks her mind. In a few months’ time, I think she’ll settle into her new environment really well. And I want to move that forward by instigating family social interactions.

I’m being a good guardian – I’m trying to be a good guardian. By talking to her and encouraging her to open up, at least she might not feel so alone here.

But again, I have no idea. She’ll talk to James – not a lot of personal stuff but he’s learning about her interests and school life – she’s kind of a multi-talented wizard who’s made friends within all of the cliques. She even talks to Jason who talks her though her math homework and has been encouraging her to keep as many strange hours as she wants because “we’re not a household that keeps tabs on each other’s comings and goings.”

It was not subtle but I think it means Jason has my back and will try and keep Casey from discovering my secret. Or maybe he doesn’t have my back as much as he doesn’t want this young girl to experience any more trauma. That’s more likely.

God, I wish I could tell what was going on in Jason’s mind. It was never like this with Sandra. The constant fear and worry. Worry about what my actions are doing to him and fear of his reaction. It’s a constant nightmare.

I have not been a good mother to that boy. My focus is always on the girls because they’re the ones who are acting out or need special attention. But he needs me too.

He’s a good brother. Younger or older, he protects them, helps them. I have to trust that they’ll both be okay if I can’t provide what they need. They’ll help each other.

And then my sister showed up at our family dinner – drunk – because it was her birthday this weekend and she found out about Casey and it sent her on a spiral about Sandra and she insisted on being there for dinner so she could get to know her new niece.

Typical; no matter how much emotional progress I make, my sister is always there to pull me back into petty and immature shit. That’s our system. I let her stay for dinner but I took her keys and made her walk home. She hasn’t been back for them since so lord knows what she’s been up to. I would care more but she is my sister.

She always lands on her feet, no matter how far she falls.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Your Mid-Week Update for 02/13/19

Casey, Jame's daughter that no one knew about until a few weeks ago, has officially moved into the house.

I wasn't expecting the drastic changes that would be involved.

We had to completely clear out Sandra's bedroom. It took a while after she died for me to go in there but I had packed up all of her non-essentials and donated or threw them out. But her memories - our memories - were all still in there. But if another girl is going to be living there, I couldn't leave her things out. So James, Jason, and I spent last week slowly packing her things in boxes (or taking them for ourselves) and emptied the room of any trace of my daughter.


Casey is only a little older than Sandra was when she first came to live with us, except I didn't raise her. I don't know her. I don't know how to deal with her. I don't know what kind of risk she poses to my way of life and my family. James has brought a wild card into this house and it's making me question every step I take. I'm killing as normal but I'm hyper-aware of my routines and timing when coming or going. I refuse to change my life but I also haven't had to cover my tracks at home in over a year. Since Jason discovered my secret, I've finally been able to relax and not take as much care when coming home late or sneaking a victim into the garage.

Side note: I might have dropped a victim's ear in the snow and I haven't been able to find it so that's going to potentially bite me in the ass at some point.

I don't even know what Jason thinks of all this. Sure, he'll be moving out soon - so he says - but this is still a huge change for him and I have no idea what having a new barely-relative in the house will do to him. What even is she to him? His aunt/adoptive mother's husband's daughter. Step-cousin/sister? Is that a thing?

It feels like an 80s sit-com when I talk about the family hi-jinks.

And then there is James who has been coping with the realization that he had a daughter and missed a lot of her major milestones. She turns 16 this year; there's a lot that's happened and he's reasonably upset that he didn't know he was missing it.

I cant imagine what my life would have been like if he'd known. He would have stayed with this other woman and raised his daughter and I love that I believe that completely. But if we hadn't met, I wouldn't be where I am today. I certainly couldn't have raised the kids without him, I wouldn't have made half the kills and gotten away with it.

This girl who has dropped into my life from out of fucking nowhere, is a reflection - a reminder - of the life we all could have led if things were different. And now she'll be with us for a while.

I haven't been sleeping well lately. I've just been thinking and stewing and wondering what my next move is. I've been spending a lot of late nights and early mornings wandering around looking for that missing ear.

And on top of all that, this teenage girl has lost her entire family and I cannot imagine what she's going through. At least the kids had me and - god forbid - my mother. She has strangers. Bound by name only. She hasn't really left her room except for the kitchen and the bathroom. She starts school next week - the same school she already attended (we weren't about to add a new school on top of all this) - so she'll at least get out of the house.

I don't know if I want to really get to know her. Is that bad? I don't know what she needs or who she needs me to be. She just lost her mother, I won't be a replacement but can I still be a part of her life in a maternal fashion?

Now isn't the time to make a decision like that. Now, we take it one day at a time. And search for ears.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Friday 8 February 2019

Blog Tour for Looking for Dei by David A. Wilson


Author: David A. Willson
Pub. Date: March 22, 2018
Publisher: Seeker Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 346
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NTBD
Read For Free With Kindle Unlimited!

Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.


Veniti Monastery
West of Fairmont
642 P.B.
Bylo had been sleeping in his cot when Phelan woke him with excited chattering.
"They have it wrong," Phelan said. "They misunderstand!" His unkempt white hair, deeply wrinkled skin, and body odor gave witness to both his age and recent lack of hygiene.
"I was trying to sleep," Bylo said as he struggled to rise. "What are you talking about?" he asked, eager for the reason he had been so rudely awakened.
"The runes have meaning, Bylo. Phyili. The twins." Phelan spoke quickly, his eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. "There is no longer any doubt."
Bylo scratched his own head, further mussing his tousled, greying hair. The sounds of boots in the hallway outside the room announced another patrol of soldiers. The queen's men had swarmed the monastery in recent days, with no explanation given by the abbot.
"Say something!" Phelan pleaded.
Bylo took a moment to focus on the frantic words, rubbing his eyes. "Hold on a minute," he said, climbing out of his cot. "The twins have power?"
"The twins aren't the twin peaks; they are actual human twins! Phyili is used in several places, and in the scriptures of First Light, it refers to the gods Dei and Kai as brothers."
Bylo nodded, following along.
"As you know, the runes in the margin modify the meaning of the nouns in the scripture text. In most of the scriptures, when we see the word phyili, we see the god rune in the margin, making it clear that the writer refers to the twin gods. But in Cataclysmos, where we read of the separation, we see another rune in the margin. It is not the god rune but instead the human one!"
"Phelan, the human rune in Cataclysmos is off. Higher in the margin. One would more likely associate it with a phrase above," Bylo said.
"That's what we always thought," Phelan said. "But if so, why no god rune near this passage, or even on this page, like all the others? If referring to a mountain, as many scholars guess, why no earth rune? Phyili is always accompanied by a god rune, but it is not here!"
"How do you account for it?"
"An error," said Phelan. "You should know. As a scribe, you've been trained to illustrate, like an artist. Embellishment, not replication."
"We couldn't anyway, Phelan. We aren't allowed access to the original manuscripts, so we couldn't be accurate if we wanted to."
"Exactly." A powerful pause built, and an impish grin crept across Phelan's face. "So, I stole one.”
"You're crazy!" Bylo said. "From the abbot?" Concern for both his comrade's safety and sanity washed over him. "They'll whip you—if you're lucky!"
"Probably," Phelan said, but the grin remained on his face. "After the abbot left on his latest trip, I made an excuse to return a codex to his quarters. Brother Alen fell for the ruse and allowed me access. I searched the abbot's room. There, I found the oldest manuscript I have ever seen, tucked away in a sealed compartment under his bed. I had no key, so I used a log poker to force the compartment open."
Bylo was horrified. Lying to get into the abbot's room and then destroying his furniture? Not to mention the theft!
"I waited until after you fell asleep before I took my first glance." Phelan continued, leaning in and resting a hand on Bylo's shoulder in a gesture of affection. "If I couldn't confirm my suspicions, I wanted no witnesses to my crime. Not even you."
Bylo was having difficulty with the implications of his friend's offense. "Where is it now?"
The remnants of a prideful smile still on his face, Phelan reached behind to grab something that rested at the foot of the cot. A musty odor tickled Bylo's nose, and his heart skipped a beat at the sight of the treasure. Scratches in the leather and yellowed pages gave witness to both its authenticity and fragility.
Phelan spoke in a slow-moving, reverent tone. "This manuscript contains the book of Cataclysmos in the original Breshi script, but the second half of the book is translated to Landian. Every reference to phyili has the god rune in the margin, centered to the right."
"Except one?"
Their eyes locked for a moment, and Phelan turned to one of the final pages. "Yes, except one. The last one, right here, in chapter eighteen of the Landian section. The human rune rests in the margin, not the god rune. Perfectly centered. There can be no mistake."
The implications were earth-shattering.
"Our understanding of Cataclysmos is wrong," Phelan said. "Phyili doesn't mean the twin peaks—we should be looking for an actual human being!”
"A person will become two, Bylo. Somewhere, a woman will give birth to a special child. This child will somehow become separated, like Dei and Kai. Twins, perhaps."
"So how would a child be separated into two?" Bylo asked. "It would die. That doesn't make any sense."
"I don't understand it either, but if we don't find this person, or these twins, someone else will. No good will come from allowing them to fall into wicked hands. Remember the scripture. 'Conflict, pain, and death to many.' Bylo, this child may bring the end of all things. Or perhaps a new beginning."
"You are brilliant, my friend, but there are other scholars in this world. Perhaps employed by the queen and the archbishop. They may have come to the same conclusion. Maybe that is why the soldiers are here, seeking this manuscript and those like it."
"I know," Phelan said.
A hard knock on the closed door sent a shiver down Bylo's spine.
Phelan re-wrapped the text, setting it under the cot. Bylo reached the door, opening it to reveal a man standing outside. Captain insignias were visible on his epaulets as he imposed himself into the room.
"I'm here for Phelan."
A heartbeat later, Phelan stepped forward.
"Come with me," the soldier said, his fingers playing upon the pommel of his sword.
"I'll see you later," Phelan said, then turned to put a hand on Bylo's shoulder.
Barely a whisper in his ear, Bylo heard the last word Phelan would ever say to him.
Then Phelan exited the room with the soldier.
Bylo stood still, contemplating the peril he now faced. His heart pounded against his rib cage, fear battling a rising sense of urgency. After a moment, the urgency won and he resolved to act. He snatched the book and dashed out of the room. If he could make it to the back of the building unseen, he might escape.
A well-timed scurry through several corridors brought him near the exit. As he walked down the final hallway, he heard the first of several bells ring from far within the structure, driving him to burst out of the monastery into the darkness beyond.
In the fields south of the building, he turned to deliver a final gaze at the place he had called home for nearly ten years. The place he thought he would always call home. An ache grew within his breast as he wondered what would become of his friend. Then he turned and ran. He had a special child to find but did not know where to look.


About David:

David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.

Much of his material is inspired by the "Great Land" of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction--not necessarily in that order.

Looking for Dei is Willson's debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at

Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive a one hoodie and one mug from the Looking for Dei Facebook shop., US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
1/28/2019- Mythical BooksExcerpt
1/29/2019- BookHounds YAInterview
1/30/2019- The Reading Corner for AllReview
1/31/2019- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
2/1/2019- Smada's Book SmackSpotlight

Week Two:
2/4/2019- Daily WaffleSpotlight
2/5/2019- Miss ElizabethReview
2/6/2019- Kelly P's BlogExcerpt
2/7/2019- Character Madness and MusingsInterview
2/8/2019- Writer of WrongsReview Excerpt

Week Three:
2/11/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureSpotlight
2/12/2019-Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
2/13/2019- A Bookish DreamReview
2/14/2019- Viviana MacKadeInterview
2/15/2019- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

Week Four:
2/18/2019- Finding Magic In BooksReview
2/19/2019- HauntedbybooksReview
2/20/2019- Christine's Book CornerSpotlight
2/21/2019- Stormy Vixen's Book ReviewsExcerpt
2/22/2019- Oh Hey! Books.- Interview

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Your Mid-Week Update for 02/06/19

Last week was a bit of a shock. For everyone involved. I want to give you a little more detail before we move on to this week’s kill. Spoiler alert: it involves acid and snow.

Okay now I want to talk about that because it was really cool. Kids: household products are amazing for my purposes but if a serial killer likes it, maybe you should be careful around it. Just saying. I’m looking out for you really.

Our city has really been hit by this polar vortex. The snow is not favorable but the freezing cold temperatures have been the real pain in the ass. And the fingers. And toes. And face. If you’re outside for more than a few minutes, it’s just shooting pain over everything. I can’t imagine how our homeless population are coping. I briefly thought about how easy it would be to lure a few away with the promise of shelter and then senselessly murder them but that felt cruel. So I brought coffee to the two guys who were huddled near the office and offered to buy them anything else they needed.

I’m not a monster, folks. Well…I am. But…a human monster.

So I needed to find someone else to target but I didn’t want to spend too much time outside hunting. This is not the time to be stalking someone through an alley or waiting outside their place of employment to lure them away from the cameras.

And then it landed in my lap and I just had to take advantage. I made the victim come to me. A pipe cracked in the basement. Any easy fix and only required one repairman for a few hours (which was stretched into two men over the course of two visits). The first time, the partners came to check out the situation and promised to come back the next day with the necessary parts. Typical. The next day, only one man showed up, prepared to spend some time working on the problem. I let him fix the problem and then I offered him a cup of tea before he left which he accepted. For flavor, I used drain cleaner (I thought he’d appreciate the irony. He did not) which went down and then I pushed him out the back door before it all came back up. While he was writhing in agony, I went out to his truck and sent a text from his work phone about leaving the residence and having to take care of something personal. I drove the truck around back, loaded up the still vomiting repair man and headed off to burry him before dropping the car off in long term parking at the airport. All in all, I very routine kill. Until I got home and had to clean up the astronomical mess he’d made all over the back porch. Thank god for snow and polar vortexes for freezing unnecessary waste and making disposal much easier. Can you imagine if I’d pulled this stunt in the summer? With the heat and the grass soaking everything up? Gross! I may go back and forth about getting my hands dirty with blood, but I hate handling any other bodily fluids.

It’s just gross.

And I spent so much time talking about this kill that I have to go to work before I can give you more details about Casey and the new development in our lives. Basic info: she’s 15, looks like James, and has the self-confidence of a girl who grew up with nothing but self-assured women. She is open and vocal and that could be a problem. Or it could be a lot of fun. We’ll see.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe