Michaeldgriffiths's Blog
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Nov
19

By November 2018, a greater number of people are freeing themselves from the plagiarized bronze aged myths of the middle east than ever before. While turkey can be cooked in more different ways than you might imagine. Have you tried deep fried, damn, it’s fantastic? So, would you rather wrestle through a dozen stores while listening to endless carols and empty out your credit card online or sit with the people you love and enjoy a Bacchanalian repast? I’ll let you muddle over your own thoughts while I outline the…

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Top Ten Reasons Thanksgiving is Better than Christmas

 

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  1. It’s cheaper.
  2. There are no Thanksgiving carols.
  3. Giving thanks for the joys in life is a universal concept opposed to the sixth attempted to rewrite old Persian myths.
  4. You don’t have to wrap anything.
  5. For the US, it is our own holiday instead of the goat herders guide to the universe from 10,000 miles away.
  6. Jesus is so needy.
  7. Instead of exasperation and worry over presents, give people a slice of pie and they’re happy.
  8. There’s less to cleanup.
  9. Thanksgiving doesn’t need a mascot to be awesome.
  10. Turkey is better than bullshit.

 

 

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Oct
31

Whether it comes to movies, written fiction, or true events, some places are just scarier and more dangerous than others. This list is based on events both real and imagined, but in the end, when you are standing alone in a darkened house as a door creaks open on its own or reading about the Fungi from Yoggoth on a cold night in the words, the fear you feel is real and if it gets to bad enough, hell, you might need to move… if you can. But before you decide where to escape to, you should read the…

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The Top Seven Creepiest States in the USA

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  1. Massachusetts

Let’s face it, no state has raised the hair on the back of your neck like the state which hosted the pilgrims and began the Revolutionary War. You have real horrors such as the Salem Witch Trails and well Nantucket, seriously, have you been there? When it comes to fiction, it has Hawthorne’s classics like Sleepy Hallow and The House of Seven Gables, as well as the pride of American horror fiction, H.P. Lovecraft, who set the majority of his macabre tales in this state. Add to this numerous movies, plays, killing Red Coats, and we have to award this one our first place!

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  1. Maine

Let’s keep this simple. Stephen King has been on a life long mission to convince the world Maine is a place of mystery and terror where almost anything can occur. More of his stories take place here than not and he’s done a fantastic job making this isolated corner of the United States a place where many fear to trend.

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  1. Louisiana

Look, we have swamps, fog, and Voodoo, what more do you need? Alligators can’t hurt, neither can crazed rednecks, oh yeah and vampires also dig the place.

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  1. Arizona

Deserts and forests cover this state, which also has the highest population of Tribal Americans in the USA. From Skinwalkers to Chupacabra, this state in the heart of the southwest, is almost designed to be dangerous. Cactus, venomous animals, bears, jaguars, mountain lions, the list goes on. If the predators don’t get you the 117 degrees summers will be happy to finish of the job.

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  1. Alaska

More of the fears involved with this state are grounded in reality. Giant bears and wolves mix with frozen mountains and endless forests. To quote Ventura, “You lose it here and you’re in a world of hurt.”

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  1. California

Biker gangs, drug lords, street gangs, and cults are just the beginning of what this state throws at the unwary and prepared alike. We often think of California as a place of cities, but what about Death Valley and the Black Forest? California is a huge state full of forest fires, earthquakes, and mudslides, but like many places in the world, most of the worst threats comes from people.

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  1. Colorado

Ever been trapped in the mud during a blizzard or been stalked by a huge mountain lion at night? Both of these things, and several more, have happened to me while traveling through this state. Once you move off the roads, you quickly find yourself in a place where the balance of success versus failure rests in you alone.

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I hope you enjoyed these and I’m sure many would be happy to argue and disagree with my choices, but remember I have included fiction within my findings, so unless you’re a horror book and movie glutton, you are out of your league here. However, I’d still like to hear your nays and yays on the subject and oh yeah, Happy Halloween.

 

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Oct
22

By October 2018, Trump’s unbalanced behavior has soured the Vampires to the point where the Camarilla has issued a ban on giving Donny the Eternal Kiss and any vampire to do so will meet their Final Death. Why is this the case? After weeks of research, a very sore neck, and an unexplained craving for spider blood, I’ve been able to compile the…

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Top Ten Reasons Vampires Won’t Allow Trump to Become Undead

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  1. Because he wants them to.
  2. You need at least a 100 IQ to be turned.
  3. How could any creature want to listen to him talk for more than one term let alone multiple lifespans?
  4. Orange isn’t the new black.
  5. They only feed off warm-blooded creatures.
  6. Because he likes his steak well done.
  7. They are worried what he must look like without the solar tanning booth.
  8. Dracula is afraid he’ll call his wives, “A total five at best.”
  9. How could he continue without worshipping his reflection in the mirror?
  10. Vampires think he’d be a better witch, but Baba Yaga won’t return their calls.

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Oct
18

The Witching Well, by S.D. Hintz

 

Genre:  Young Adult Horror

Publisher:  Grinning Skull Press

Published: 2018

Reviewer Rating:  3 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

The Witching Well, by S.D. Hintz is a young adult horror novel. It centers around a fourteen-year-old boy named Murray.  Murray is not doing well. He has just lost his mother to a brutal murderer and has been forced to move into a creepy small town with his grandmother.

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Almost at once, eerie things begin to occur. Most of these revolved around the three older woman, who he quickly began to think of as witches. They meddled with him, threatened him, and gave him a bug which burst into flame and could have burnt down his grandmother’s house.

The tension builds when Murry discovers one of the women is keeping another young boy in her basements. When Murray tries and fails to rescue him, he plays his hand and the women move in to finish their fiendish plans.

As I mentioned, this is a book for young adults, where I would think we are shooting for a younger age, then say, ‘The Hunger Games.’ This novel would be closer to Goosebumps, with perhaps a stronger dose of evil thrown in.

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Weaker points of this novel include the slow build up to a short climax. I am not sure this would be a good book to get your young teen to read instead of finishing his video game. I am not saying it is right or good, but people are going to have to step up their game to keep the attentions of kids who have seen things like the Transformer movies and are playing Fall Out. I do not wish to be mean, but this is just a reality authors will need to face when writing for the cell phone/internet at my fingers’ generation. Murray is also passive during most of the climax.

This being said, this book would be great for young individuals who already enjoy reading and like a strong dash of mystery and horror in what they read. I also might have given this a higher grade if I was a younger reader, but as an adult, it did not move me enough. A good one to grab for the young readers you know to get then ready for Halloween.

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Oct
16

By October 2018, Trump’s evil behavior had caught the eye of many evil creatures, even he who slumbers in R’lyen and waits dreaming. But if you thought these two malign befoulments like and respect each other, you’d be as dead wrong as Charles Dexter Ward or Jamal Khashoggi. Nope, these horrors against humanity hate each other as much as they hate all life outside of themselves and a few choice lackeys. So here, after months of research and countless lost lives and minds, we bring you…

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The Top Ten Reasons Why Cthulhu Hates Trump .

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  1. Because Trump wants his approval.
  2. Cthulhu wants to be the Earth’s worst monster.
  3. He wants to be the one working with the Mad Arab.
  4. Because Cthulhu believes in Climate Change.
  5. Cthulhu wanted to be Putin’s favorite.
  6. Some Deep Ones are starting to invoke Trump instead of him.
  7. He heard Nyarlathotep is thinking about becoming Republican
  8. Cthulhu wanted to sleep another couple of centuries before the ‘End Of Days.’
  9. He wants to be the only undulating horror.
  10. No way does Cthulhu intend to stand being the second most dangerous thing on the planet.

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Oct
06

By October 2018, Trump’s uncouth behavior and Kavanaugh’s boorish entitlement have either caused the citizens of the United States to want to hang their heads in shame or shout, ‘give us more, we can’t get enough of this politics gone wild.’ But instead of focusing on the naysayers and people how follow logic or possess common sense, let’s focus on some of the creatures who support the Republicans this mid-term election, such as the Undead. After several nights of sleepless exploration and losing three pints of blood, I’ve finally able to bring you the…

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Top Ten Reasons Undead support the Republicans in the Mid-Term Election

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  1. Because Orcus asked them to.
  2. Parasites who feed off the working class have to stick together.
  3. Both need functioning brains.
  4. Vampires respect any being who uses his charm to induce humans to act against their own self-interest.
  5. Both fail to give up even though their time has passed.
  6. Why wouldn’t the undead favor things with a cold heart?
  7. Many Republicans are undead.
  8. Like ghosts, they are things which should have long since passed, but refuse to quit haunting the present.
  9. Mummies love climate change.
  10. Something about Trump’s base reminds them of zombies but they can’t quite put their rotting finger on it.

 

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Sep
28

Walking Through Fire by Sherri Cook Woosley

Genre:  Dark Fantasy

Publisher:  Talos Press

Published: 2018

Reviewer Rating:  4 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

 

 

Walking Through Fire by Sherri Cook Woosley covers a great deal of interesting ground and might be hard to tag a genre to, but I am going to go with Dark Fantasy, which, at least for me, means a fantasy novel which takes place within our current age.  The novel revolves around Raquel and her son Adam. Adam is fighting cancer, but even this takes a back seat when the modern world is decimated overnight by a supernatural firestorm which all but destroys civilization.

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Raquel and her son survive the beginnings of the aftermath by staying in the hospital, but once he gets better, they are forced to leave. Instead of remaining in the city, she decides to try for her mountain cabin. She encounters more things which are becoming increasingly difficult to explain but arrives there and manages to make a few allies.

Things get worse after meeting some soldiers who kill her friend and create a conflict which injuries Adam. Adam’s illness once again forces her to journey to where she has been told she can find a cure. However, this time the trek takes her through a land she barely knows. Evil men and women work for gods and goddesses and fight each other as well as devour human life energy.  Soon Raquel knows she will have to accept she is living within a supernatural war and will need to take a side if she is going to be able to see herself and Adam through the building conflicts.

I enjoyed how traditional gods and goddesses were used and also how they became real beings which needed to be dealt with. Making this happen without any reference to the more popular myths many follow today proved even more satisfying. The novel takes its time developing Raquel and her changing attitudes. She shows growth and the author does a great job making her hesitate and remain skeptical of the supernatural forces until she has little choice but believe.

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Downsides for some might be the main character’s lack of heroic action. There is little physical conflict in the first parts of the novel and Raquel does not fight back like a typical action hero. However, in most ways this makes her more realistic and believable. I was also a little uncertain how such intense new cultures would be created in just a couple months. I also wonder if the author should consider adding more character points of view in the upcoming novels. It was alright to keep the inner workings of others a mystery to her, but it could also make the series more epic.

I enjoyed this novel and read it fast, which is a good sign. I think the Misbegotten world is inventive and Raquel is not a typical fantasy hero. Also, although Raquel might be sheltered, she is exposed to real horrors and the novel does not pull punches in this respect. I also liked how Raquel’s magical powers helped her become an equal player in this dangerous world.

I think the work is well done. Lovers of Dark Fantasy should be sure to check this out. Mothers who love fantasy might get an extra kick out of this one too, but men will enjoy it as well. I certainly did.

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Sep
14

By September 2018 Trump’s behavior had upset most of the rational and intelligent people with a strong enough stomach to listen to his verbal litter, but what about the Vikings? Where do they weigh in on the matter? Some thought they might have favored Trump due to his might makes right modality. Others believe his lying, bitchy, and cowardly behavior would have them chewing on the edges of their battle axes. After an in-depth journey into legends, myths, and more than a few mead halls, I, Alex Bone, can finally bring you the real story.

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Top Ten Reasons Vikings Won’t Vote for Trump

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  1. Because he asked them to.

 

  1. He never uses an axe.

 

  1. Only a fool wears his tie so long, for it is far easier for an enemy to strangle you with it.

 

  1. Vikings never have a pay a woman for sex.

 

  1. Only girly men get bone spurs.

 

  1. Build big wall on river. Very stupid. Sad.

 

  1. Never trust an old man without a beard.

 

  1. Even Loki never lied so much.

 

  1. Someone with a body like his doesn’t deserve to be a narcissist.

 

  1. Viking don’t want to sleep with their own daughter when there are so many other people’s daughters to choose from.

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Sep
11

By September 10th, 2018 Trump’s behavior was more erratic as his allies fell one by one to Mueller, got fired, or fled on their own volition. The Republicans could be sacrificing their party on the long term, to get paid on the short term. Trump is both supporting and destroying the Republicans by getting the youth more involved with politics than ever before. Yet despite trying to destroy the country, the environment, and his political party, it looks like Trump, instead of grabbing a parachute, would rather go down in flames until there is nothing left but ash.

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Top Ten Reasons Trump Will Never Step Down

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  1. Because each time he watches Fox everything looks great!

 

  1. Every week he remains, he’ll be able to destroy more of the USA.

 

  1. No one is more bigly better than Trump

 

  1. If he steps down, how could he be sure the wealthiest 1% will be taken care of?

 

  1. No one else is willing to work as hard to bring about global warming, I mean, if it existed.

 

  1. Dysfunctionalism isn’t something you just walk away from.

 

  1. He would never abandon his loyal employees, now if he could just figure out who they are.

 

  1. It’s hard for someone of his girth to step down off anything.

 

  1. He’d never want to retire, he heard people who retire often start to read.

 

  1. Dictators never step down.

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Sep
10

Hush Sisters Hush by Donald KruegerGenre:  Science Fiction

Publisher:  Xlibris

Published: 2016

Reviewer Rating: 2 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

 

 

Hush Sisters Hush by Donald Krueger can be labeled a science fiction novel in theory, but the vast majority of the novel focuses on people living through normal midwestern lives without conflict or amazing results.

Let me back up a little first. I tend to get a little excited when I receive a strong looking novel from a major publishing house and I look forward to reviewing them. However, I also receive books from first time authors with less known publishers. I like to throw these other authors into the mix as much as possible. I have often been very surprised by these novels. Yet the results are not always so positive.

I was moving into a new place last month and with my books boxed up, I was hard pressed to find a new book to review. Opening a random box, I grabbed the first book I saw, which was Hush Sisters Hush and I wish I had dug a little deeper, but like a good guy (who had most of his books still boxed up) I finished the thing.

The book revolves around a female writer and her newest project who turns out to be a man who’s lived two hundred and fifty years. Geff ages roughly one year for each ten which pass. Sarah begins to investigate and discovers he had led a productive but mostly uneventful life. Soon her research indicates he might be one of six clones which aliens left on earth for no obvious reason. After meeting two more of these slow aging six, Geff begins to try to send a message into space to contact the planet they think they were sent from.

There are more than a few issues I have with this one. First off, there is no adversary, and we are a thousand miles from a protagonist. No one so much as causes the characters a single problem and is nothing but as helpful as they can be. None of the long-lived people suffered a mishap from their fellow man and lived remarkably boring lives. The pace is slow without much really occurring other than people assisting them in learning more about their outer space origin. Then, after a slight build in excitement, their message to their home planet goes unresolved, as is discovering more of the missing clones. Also, Geff gets Sarah pregnant by having sex with her once, but somehow none of the three of them has ever had a child in the last 250 years.

Not too many positives here other than you could read the book to children, although I doubt it would keep their attention. The sisters in the title are the nuns who looked after the clones and the book has a Christian feel, where we could all reach a heavenly nirvana by being polite, white, and rich. Sadly, it is a nice book set in a trouble-free utopian world where everyone is nice to each other, but like most super happy and sweet people, spending time with them tends to get boring quickly.

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