Black & White – A Poem

Hey there everyone! I hope your week is going well. Here’s another poem for you. Enjoy 😊


Black & White

Ambiance of chaos encircles misery,
trapping agony in her fragile heart.
Memories regurgitated in cycles.
There is no escape.

Icy eyes grow distant and cold.
The pain coagulates in his soul.
A void of stillness grows stronger.
There is no escape.

Flamboyant skies turn black and white.
Disoriented silence grows deafening.
Both fall to the masquerade of joy.
There is no escape.


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All Hallows Write Tag

Hello! I hope you’re all having a great Monday (as great as a Monday can be).

I wanted to take quick second to say my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by these terrible tragedies (hurricanes, shootings, etc.).

I found this tag here. I love Fall and Halloween is my favorite. I am excited to do a Halloween themed tag, and you can be sure it won’t be my last this month.

All Hallows Write Tag

The Rules:
#1 – Provide a BRIEF description of your novel before starting.

#2 – Don’t use the same character for more than 3 answers.

Brief Description of Alter Reach: Twins, Marci and Alyson journey to a world they were forced to forget and fight a battle they didn’t know was coming.

The Questions:

1. It’s Halloween night! What is your protagonist dressed up as?

Marci would probably be dressed up as

2. Who in your cast refuses to dress up and shows up to the Halloween party without a costume?

Astrid. She would find the entire idea of dressing up absurd, and she would probably spend the entire night scowling in the corner.

3. Which character wears the most outrageous costume, and what would it be?

Faelyn would find a way to be a dragon. She’d light an arrow on fire and pretend breathe fire at Zeke.

4. On Halloween, werewolves, vampires, and zombies are on the prowl. Which one of your characters gets caught in their clutches and which creature do they subsequently turn into.

Alyson would most certainly fall for a vampire’s seduction and become one. She’s a gullible one.

5. Who wins the contest for best costume?

Braston. He could come as himself and everyone would vote for him because he’s that awesome.

6. Who hands out toothbrushes to trick and treaters?

Eloise. She would be muttering about how terrible candy is.

7. Which two of your characters decide to pair up and do an angel/devil costume?

Jade would force Zeke to wear the devil costume and parade around telling everyone how angelic she is.

8. Someone is too scared to even attend the Halloween party. Who is it?

Hmm. Good question. Maybe Al. Only because he wouldn’t want to be seen by Zeke.

9. Who overdoses on Halloween candy and ends up sick.

Pierce, because he is doing anything to avoid the annoyed chatter of Astrid.

10. Which character is most likely to place a curse on someone and who would they curse?

Astrid. She hates this party, and she’d definitely curse Marci.


I tag anyone who wants to do the tag. Just let me know in the comments below so I can read your answers.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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September TBR Wrap Up & October TBR

Happy October! September flew and I kind of failed…okay, failed miserably at my TBR challenge. 🙈 No excuses, it is what it is. I still wanted to do a wrap up and I plan to dominate October. So, let’s do this 😁

September TBR Wrap-Up

Days of Blood and Starlight – Read. You can read my review here.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Read, still need to review.

Passengers – Started.

Six of Crows – Not started.


October TBR goals:

The Call – Peadar O’Guilin

172 Hours on the Moon– Johan Harstad

Nightfall – Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Bonus:

Review Dreams of Gods & Monsters (this will definitely happen).

Finish Passengers & Six of Crows (This might happen 😂).


Hopefully this month will be more successful than last. If so, I will review each book upon completion and do a wrap up at the end of the month on my success. Let me know what your October reading plans are.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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47 Meters Down – Movie Review

Hi everyone. Happy Weekend. Last night, my husband and I decided to have a movie night. We are big fans of shark movies…all of them, including great ones like Jaws and laughable ones like Three-Headed Shark Attack. We just find them fun, whether they are trying to be a serious movie or B rated movie.

47 Meters Down has been one we’ve been waiting to see. It finally came available to rent, and that’s exactly what we did last night. Despite the reviews, we were prepared for an enjoyable shark movie.

We were wrong.

47 Meters Down Review:

Lisa (Mandy Moore) and her younger sister, Kate (Claire Holt) are on vacation in Mexico. Lisa has just been dumped by her boyfriend because she is “too boring,” and Kate takes her out partying to get her mind off it.

While out, they meet two local guys who convince them to come on an shark cage diving excursion. Kate is all for it, but it takes a lot of convincing to get Lisa to agree.

The boat is rickety and rusty, and the cage is even worse. We meet Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) who walks the girls through what they need to do and then lowers them into the ocean.

Everything is fine at first- the ocean is beautiful. Then, the cage drops a bit because the rusty piece of crap isn’t stable and Lisa requests to be brought up, much to Kate’s dismay. As the cage is being pulled up, the winch breaks, plummeting the cage and the girls 47 meters down to the ocean floor.

With limited air, and hungry sharks circling, the girls struggle to survive.

Considering just how scary the premise of this film is, you would think 47 Meters Down would have no trouble getting viewers to squirm. Well, it doesn’t. While there were a few jump scares, there really wasn’t a moment where I was scared, watching the film. It failed to create tension and claustrophobia, the way it should have easily been able to.

The acting was atrocious, which might be in part to a terrible script. The reasoning for the girls being in Mexico in the first place was a failed attempt at character development. It didn’t make me care about the characters. The lame party scene, which was used as the plot device to introduce the main characters to the two boys who would take them to the shark cage. Lame. Everything that happened to the girls once they were underwater was avoidable, and felt like a move to create suspense that wasnt there. The movie missed so many opportunities to create realistic, well developed characters.

The sharks were awful. The sharks in Sharknado were more realistic than these CGI pieces of junk. Their size differed depending on the camera angle. Sometimes, they looked like normal sized sharks and other times they looked like they could fit the boat in their mouth. When the thrill of a thriller is laughable, the movie has failed.

The end. I won’t spoil it, but it isn’t worth the wait. It’s a twist that, if the film didn’t put you asleep and you were actually able to pay attention, was so predictable.

Wrap Up:

There really isn’t anything I can say about this movie that is positive, and I enjoy the silliest if shark movies. But, this one pretends to be good and then fails at every attempt to be interesting. I don’t recommend this one. It’s so painfully obvious, with the marketing of this movie, that it wanted to be the next The Shallows, but it missed the mark.

Rating:

1/5 ☆


What did you think of 47 Meters Down?

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Artificial Intelligence – Movie Review

Hello there! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. It went by too quickly, per usual.

Tonight, I wanted to review a movie that I have claimed to be my second favorite movie of all time (coming in very close to The Wizard of Oz). Artificial Intelligence. I remember the first time I watched it, and fell in love with it. I’ve seen it more times than I can count and I never get tired of it.

I figured it was time to review it on my page. I bet you can guess the rating I will be giving it, but that’s okay.

As usual, I will try not to spoil, but watch the movie first. It’s so worth it.

Synopsis (Taken from IMDB):

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become “real” so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Review:

This movie is very similar to the story of Pinocchio. David (Haley Joel Osment) is an android who by all accounts looks human. Unlike other androids shown in the film, David is the most advanced “mecha” of the Cybertronics Corporation.

David has been programmed to love. Once activated with a code, he will love his activator infinitely. In David’s case, his activator is his Mommy, Monica (Frances O’Connor) who is grieving a sick child when her husband Henry (Sam Robards) brings him home to help fill the gap.

I can never go to sleep. But I can lay quietly and not make a peep.

Of course, this fairytale does not last long, because the sick boy, Martin (Jake Thomas) wakes and all goes downhill from here. While trying very hard to be like Martin, David makes mistakes that finally bring Monica and Henry to the decision of getting rid of David.

Instead of returning David to Cybertronics, where he would be stripped and rewired, Monica abandons David in the woods believing she is protecting him. In a way, her activating his love, activated hers as well.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the world.

This is just the first act of the film, but I want to pause to discuss it a bit. Haley Joel Osment is incredible. At such a young age, he was able to really take you on a rollercoaster. His mix of “real” and “artifical,” blend so seamlessly sometimes, you forget he is supposed to be robot. I’m very impressed by his performance, and it really pulls this entire film together.

The first act causes you to wonder what you would do if you were in Monica and Henry’s position. If your child was in a coma, would you bring an A.I. into your life to fill the void? Is that really the best way to grieve? Is it ethical?

The second act of the film is the more visually exciting part. We are shown an interesting world where free range mechas have no rights and are constantly in fear of being captured and put into a Flesh Fair (an event where humans cheer as mechas are grotesquely destroyed in various ways) or taken back to Cybertronics.

The city is very bright and clearly an exciting night life. It’s futuristic but also very familiar which keeps this movie realistic and relatable.

This is where we meet Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a mecha programmed to be an expert lover. Another fantastic performance. While David feels very real and human, Gigolo Joe does not. He is feels very mecha…from his dialogue to his mechanical facial features and unmoving hair. But, you still grow an attachment to his character and it’s interesting to see how he develops throughout the story.

We are the guiltless pleasures of the lonely human being.

It is also in this part of the film where David recruits Gigolo Joe to help him find the Blue Fairy who can make him a real boy so Mommy can love him. The rest of the film is dedicated to that mission.

How can the Blue Fairy… make… a robot… into a real live boy?

This film is a rollercoaster as I said earlier. There are some comical scenes, but for the most part, the mood is very somber. You, as a viewer are aware that the Blue Fairy probably can’t make David real, but you spend the entire movie hoping it will happen.

Human beings have created a million explanations of the meaning of life… in art, in poetry, and mathematical formulas. Certainly, human beings must be the key to the meaning of existence.

The film is long, 2.5 hours, and it is not an action movie. If you go in expecting car chases, you will be sorely disappointed. This is a slow burn of emotions and it’s a much more thought provoking movie than it is a high action movie. It presents a lot of questions about love, human nature, and morality and gives you a lot to digest after the first viewing. It’s definitely a worthwhile film to watch a few times.

Wrap Up:

As I said before, this ranks at number two for my favorite movie of all time. I could watch it, and have watched it over and over. The acting is phenomenal and I’m blown away by the thought provoking story that never dulls. I highly recomend this fim!

Rating:

5/5 ☆


Have you seen Artificial Intelligence? What did you think?

I hope you have a great week. I will talk to you soon.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Wreckage – A Poem

Hey everyone, Happy Wednesday. I’m behind on my September TBR, but I’m not giving up. I’m also not that upset because I’ve been working hard on Alter Reach (if you haven’t read chapter one yet, what are you waiting for? 😉)

I have a poem for you, written 9 years ago. Enjoy!


Wreckage

Buried in the wreckage,
of disconnected dreams,
I’m but a ghostly mirage,
wandering the streets,
trapped in the past,
until this dark cloud recedes,
and I can finally say,
I have found inner peace.


SOCIAL MEDIA

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Alter Reach – Chapter One (Re-Written)

Hey there everyone! I took today off with my husband, and I’ve been working on Alter Reach for most of the day. I posted an unedited version of chapter one quite some time ago, and I have touched it up and changed some things today. I thought it would be kind of cool to re-post the updated version. Please remember, this is unedited and subject to changes in the future.

*ALL CONTENT IS COPYRIGHTED*

Alter Reach
Chapter One
Jessica Rachow
Copyright 2017

BANG.

The noise reverberated off the walls—then, silence. For a moment, all she could hear was the cadence of her heart rapidly thudding against her chest.

BANG.

A mixture of crushing anxiety and curiosity washed over Marci like a thundering waterfall as her bare feet pounded down on the cold, wooden floor. She ripped open her bedroom door, nearly colliding with her twin sister Alyson, whose eyes were glazed over in terror. Marci quickly followed her sister, as they raced down the stairs toward the living room

Alyson arrived at their destination first and Marci could hear her sister choke out a feeble cry. Marci slowed her pace and approached the living room. Standing next to her sister, staring into the living room, she could feel the hair stand on the back of her neck and a shudder shoot down her spine. Her heart and lungs hung heavily in her chest, and she could feel the color draining from her face, seeping back to her body, taking all warmth and life with it.

The living room, a carefully ordered safe haven, had been haphazardly ransacked. The bookshelves lay barren, their previous contents in piles all over the hardwood floor. The family portraits were roughly smashed, their frames ripped apart, and the photos nowhere to be seen.

At first, Marci only gawked at the scene, but, as she lowered her gaze to the middle of the room, she staggered back at the sight; red splatters, painting the walls and trailing across the floor. Her glistening eyes followed the line of red on the floor, across the room until she noticed the glimmer of an object sitting on the window sill. Marci carefully navigated through the fragments of sharp glass, avoiding the blood. Drawing closer, she realized the object was a stone—a strange stone, unlike anything she had ever seen. She picked it up, rolling the smooth surface between her fingers. Multiple colors swirled inside—reds, blues, oranges, and blacks.

Marci felt her sister’s presence beside her and watched as Alyson reached out to touch the stone—as soon as Alyson’s fingers grazed the surface a familiar BANG echoed through the room, and a blinding, white light engulfed Marci and Alyson, sending them both flying backward. Marci landed, hard on the ground. As she attempted to sit up, she could feel a jolt of icy, hot fire scorching her insides, spreading from her feet up into her head, stealing her breath away. She tried to cry out, but couldn’t find her voice.

Seconds later, the blinding light was gone. The pain was gone too—except for a slight pounding in her head. She took a deep breath to regain her sense of balance.

“What was that?” Alyson asked, running her hand through her hair.

“I…” Panic consumed Marci, as she searched the room for anything familiar, “Where are we?”

Alyson looked around, wide-eyed, “I…I can’t remember anything.”

Marci’s eyes shot open and she sat, straight up. She clutched her throat gasping for air as her eyes darted around the room. Realizing she was safe, in her apartment, she leaned back, propping herself up against her pillow and sighed. The same nightmare had been repeating itself nightly for the last three years. Marci glanced at the clock—10:45p.m. She rarely slept at night, and this night was no exception. She grumbled and dragged herself out of bed.

She stumbled across her small studio apartment. One large room, with wooden floors and a throw rug, contained her bedroom, living room, and dining room. Off to the far side of the room was a small kitchen, with limited equipment. Marci parked herself in front of the mirror in her tiny bathroom. She was 21 years old with long, straight, brown hair that hung below her pale white shoulders. She had a small, oval face and deep brown eyes and she often wondered who she resembled more, her mother or father. She splashed some water on her face, brushed her teeth and threw her hair up into a messy bun. She picked up her phone and unlocked it. A small section of a text message from her twin sister Alyson flashed across the screen. She rolled her eyes and tossed the phone onto the couch.

Marci and Alyson grew up in the small town of Meadowbrook in Upstate New York. The twins were found huddled together on the floor of their home, two days after they touched the stone that shattered their memories. All the photos in the home were missing and there was no trace of evidence that their parents even existed. No relatives were found either. The investigators concocted a story that the twins murdered their parents, disposed of any photos of them in order to erase them from existence, and made up the amnesia to hide what they had done. After numerous psyche evaluations and lie detector tests, it was decided that the girls were not the killers and they had a peculiar case of amnesia, allowing them to recognize each other, but nothing from their past.

The one thing the people of Meadowbrook were well versed in was spreading rumors. Even though Marci and Alyson had been proven innocent, many still believed they were killers. Gossip spread like wildfire and the Edelman family tragedy became the town’s very own horror story. According to the people of Meadowbrook, the twins were involved in an ancient ritual, some kind of forgotten magic from days past, that ended up killing their parents. The mystery of the Edelman twins gained, outside attention for the town of Meadowbrook’s. Newspapers, documentary filmmakers, and curious travelers came from all in hopes of uncovering the truth. Of course, no one ever did.

Eventually, Marci and Alyson couldn’t walk down the streets without being recognized or hassled—accused of being murderers and devil worshipers. The truth was, the girls hadn’t received any tangible facts to explain the events. The case eventually went cold and not a single doctor, police officer or FBI investigator had been able to explain the disappearance of Marci and Alyson’s parents or their amnesia.

On graduation day, Marci skipped the ceremony, packed her bags and, much to Alyson’s dismay, moved to New York City—Three hours away from Meadowbrook. Here, in the bustling streets of the city that never slept, she wasn’t recognized for the tragedies of her past. Here, she could stay anonymous and start a new life for herself. Alyson stayed behind, pledging to find answers and recover their lost memories.

Tomorrow was the third anniversary of their parent’s disappearance, and like clockwork, Alyson was contacting her. They hadn’t spoken much since Marci moved away—mostly because every conversation turned into an argument. She was ready to move on from the past she couldn’t remember, but her sister was still itching to find the truth. Marci grew tired of leads that would get her hopes up only to break her heart all over again.

Marci’s phone buzzed, but she ignored it. She threw on some new clothes, grabbed her purse and headed out of her apartment which was located above one of the most popular bars on Broadway Street—Ale’s Well. The owner, Al, was one of the first people she met when she moved to the city. He quickly offered her the apartment for far less than any other apartments in the area, and a job without a resume. Al was the only one in her small circle of city friends that knew her story.

Marci pushed open the door at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to the apartment and was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of alcohol and the loud music pounding through the speaker system. Al and his staff were at the main bar, working hard to serve the rowdy Saturday night crowd. Several long and circular wooden tables were occupied by drunken patrons, clapping and carrying on. Almost every bar stool was occupied, but Marci eyed an empty one and quickened her pace to claim it. She sat down in between a half-dressed woman who had clearly had too many, and a man she had never seen before. She rummaged through her purse and found her phone. She unlocked the screen again. Three new text messages and a missed called. She rolled her eyes, shut the phone off and threw it back in her purse.

“Someone irritating you?” A vaguely familiar voice shook Marci to her core. It was deep and brooding, like a backdrop for a funeral.

Marci kept her gaze down, and responded, “just my sister.”

Something in the back of her mind was telling her not to meet his gaze, but she shook the thought away and looked up. His almond-shaped eyes, dark like a rolling storm, trailed over Marci’s form. She shifted uncomfortably, as a pang of recognition washed over her. His dark hair was gelled up and styled, and he wore a pair of dark jeans and a black, zip-up sweatshirt. There was something about his eyes…in his eyes, a look of sinister intentions. It reminded her of something that she couldn’t quite place. Something from her past? Not possible. She became aware that she had been staring at him too long to be socially acceptable when she noticed his brow furrow slightly.

“Sorry,” she looked away.

“I’m Zeke.”

That name. Who are you? She thought. Her stomach dropped when he smirked, almost as if he knew what she was thinking. Not possible.

She could feel the blood rushing to her cheeks as she tried to regain her composure, “Marci.”

“Marci!” Oh, thank you. She knew Al’s voice from anywhere. She smiled at him from across the bar, silently thanking him for a reprieve from her very uncomfortable encounter with the stranger.

“Hey Al,” Marci smiled.

Al had graying hair and a bit of stubble on his chin and upper lip. He was a gentleman, with a warm and welcoming smile. He was comfortable, and when he extended his offer for Marci to live and work at the bar, she was quick to accept. She knew she would always have someone looking out for her.

“You want a drink?” Al didn’t wait for an answer and poured her one. “Couldn’t sleep?”

Marci nodded. She knew he was concerned about her lack of sleep, but with the constant nightmares, she couldn’t get more than a few hours of rest a night. It was as if the past was always chasing her, and she was barely escaping it. Anytime she fell asleep, she felt like whatever horrors happened that night, would catch up to her while she was vulnerable and unguarded.

“I saw you fussing with your phone. Alyson after you again?”

“Whatever she wants can wait until after the anniversary tomorrow. I’m not in the mood to deal with her.”

Marci reached up to her neck, feeling the stone between her fingers. It had cracked into two identical pieces when it fell out of her hand the night of the incident. Marci and her sister felt compelled to each keep a piece of the stone—hoping that maybe one day, they would regain their memories because of it. Both girls turned their pieces of the stone into a necklace, which neither of them took off their necks. Many nights when she just couldn’t get to sleep, Marci thought of throwing the necklace away; but she could never bring herself too. As much as she wanted to forget, part of her had a hope of finding answers someday. That small part of her wasn’t ready to completely give up.

“Is tomorrow the anniversary of something special?” Marci jumped. She had let her mind wander and she had forgotten about Zeke and his foreboding voice until it almost knocked her off her seat.

“Uh, yeah,” Marci cleared her throat. “My parents died three years ago. My sister thinks something else happened, and she always tries to…” Marci realized, a little too late, that she was rambling about the one thing she didn’t want anyone knowing about. “Sorry… ignore me.”

“I’m sorry,” Zeke paused. She wasn’t sure if there was sincerity in his voice or if he was avoiding something. Almost like he knew something. No, not possible.

“Thanks,” she replied. She hoped the conversation would end at that. She was reading into everything he said, and she knew it. The feelings of recognition and fear were coming from her imagination. That wasn’t a chance this man knew anything more than she did. He was a stranger.

“Do you come here often?” That smirk flashed across his face again. It shook her every time.

“Oh, uh…” She took a sip of her drink to give herself a second to compose herself. She knew she was behaving erratically, and it was embarrassing. “I actually live in the apartment upstairs and work here most nights. Al basically took me in when I first came to the city.”

“He seems like a good man,” Zeke said and glanced up at the clock. “Ah, it seems it is time for me to take my leave. It was a pleasure meeting you, Marci.”

“You too,” Marci said. Relief washed over her as she watched him throw some money on the bar, grab his jacket and head out.

“He was hot!” Emma, Marci’s coworker and friend giggled, picking up the money. “Did you get his number?”

Marci chuckled, “Nah. He was…weird.”

“I hope he becomes a regular,” she smirked.

Marci shook her head, “if he does, you can serve him.”

“No complaints here,” Emma laughed. “Why are you here on your night off?”
“I couldn’t sleep.”

“I bet he could help with that problem!”

“You’re something else.”

“You love me,” Emma grinned. “I’ve gotta get back to work. Call me and we’ll chill sometime this week.”

Marci agreed and watched Emma head back down the bar, flirting with a customer. She sighed, took another sip of her drink and pulled her phone out of her purse. She stared at the black screen for a moment and reluctantly turning the phone back on.

“Hey M, what’s up?”
“Look, I really need to talk to you…”
“Marci, seriously?”

Marci rolled her eyes. She could feel her blood pressure rise as she imagined what plan her sister had concocted this time. She wasn’t curious enough to find out, and she had no intention of replying to her sister. Marci yelled “good night,” to Al and headed back upstairs to try to get a few more hours of sleep. She opened her apartment door, tossed her purse on the floor and flopped on the couch. She turned the TV on and pulled a blanket over her legs.

***

Bang, bang, bang.

Marci jumped up as the banging repeated.

What the hell?
She was cautious as she approached the door, and took her time as she unlocked it. Just as the deadbolt clicked into the unlocked position, the door swung open at lightning speed and almost hit Marci in the face. A girl stormed into the apartment.

Marci barely recognized her sister. Alyson’s newly dyed blonde, curly hair hung down to the middle of her back. Her small oval face was caked with foundations and blushes. Her deep brown, oval eyes were lined with black eyeliner and were burning with anger; and her thinly, plucked eyebrows, furrowed in frustration.

“What are you-”

“I really can’t handle you ignoring my texts and calls anymore,” Alyson interrupted. “It’s rude. What if there was an emergency?”

Marci paused for a moment and raised her eyebrow. “You dyed your hair.”

“Yeah, so?” Alyson flipped her hair over her shoulder.

“It’s just…different.”

“Seriously, Marci…not important. I need you to hear me out.”

Marci huffed and sat down.

Alyson tossed her purse onto the coffee table and began pacing the room, “I’ve been doing some research, and I think I know what happened-”

“I’m not playing this game anymore, Alyson,” Marci held her hand up to stop her sister from speaking.

“I have some solid proof this time!”

“No.”

“Oh come on,” Alyson begged.

“NO!” The only thing new about Alyson’s attempt to fix the situation that was deemed irreparable was she had the nerve to show up at Marci’s door instead of irritating her over the phone.

“My lead,” Alyson pulled out her phone and smiled, “is here.”

Marci paused. “Your lead…is a person?”

“Yup,” Alyson sent a text message and then looked up at Marci. “Please hear us out.”

I’m going to regret this. Marci groaned as Alyson sprinted into the bathroom, to check her hair and makeup.

“Is this a lead or a date?”

Alyson didn’t respond, she just kept fumbling with one piece of hair that wouldn’t lay flat.

“You look fine,” Marci said.

Knock, knock, knock.

Alyson hurried to the door, took a deep breath and opened it.

A man walked through the door and Marci felt the wind rush out of her as if she had been punched in the stomach.

“This is Zeke,” Alyson said with a lovesick smile smeared across her face.

“Hi, Marci,” Zeke smirked.

That smirk. Marci felt nauseous.

“Why do I get the feeling I’m missing something here?” Alyson’s eyes darted back and forth between Zeke and Marci.

“I met Zeke earlier,” Marci’s lip curled with disgust.

“What?” Alyson asked.

“I was at the bar,” Zeke shrugged. “I needed a drink.”

“And you didn’t think to mention your acquaintance with my sister?” Marci stood up from the couch.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t realize who you were until you mentioned your parents,” Zeke said. “After I realized who you were, I decided I’d let your sister carry out her plan of our meeting and not ruin the fun.”

Fun?” Marci was appalled. A fire roared inside her, and she could feel that warmth spreading through her body. He thinks this is fun? Marci’s hands shook as she imagined punching him square in that smirk he wore.

“I think he means the um…the excitement you will have when you hear the news we have for you,” Alyson interrupted, clearly trying to calm the storm that Zeke was creating in Marci.

“What news?” Marci snapped. She heard a quiet chuckle escape from Zeke’s lips. Before she could respond, Alyson touched her arm and guided her back to the couch. Marci was reluctant to sit, but she wanted to hear why Aly had brought this fool into her home.

“Alright, long story short, Zeke showed up on my doorstep yesterday,” Alyson said.

Marci furrowed her eyebrows, “Why?”

“I was actually looking for your family.” He stared directly into Marci’s eyes; for a moment, she was hypnotized, but she forced herself to peel her eyes from his. This only irritated her more.

“Why would you be looking for us?” She mumbled and picked at her fingernails to avoid eye contact.

“I was sent to Meadowbrook to find you, but wasn’t given a lot of information to go on.”

“Sent? By…who?”

“Your parents.”

“Excuse me?” Marci stood up. Alyson stood and positioned herself between Marci and Zeke.

Zeke relaxed back into his chair and put his feet up on the table. He lazily explained, “your parents were not killed the day they disappeared and they want me to bring you back to reunite with them. They can explain more once you are with them.”

“And I am supposed to just believe you?”

“Why would he make this up?” Alyson asked.

“Have you been listening to the way this…fool speaks?” Marci glared at her sister. “He’s enjoying this too much. And I don’t think it’s because he’s excited to reunite us with our parents.”

“Zeke is the first real lead I’ve had.”

“What if he is the killer?”

“I did not kill your parents,” Zeke laughed.

“That’s funny to you?” Marci clenched her fists. “Get out.”

“I’m the only chance you have of finding your parents.”

“Get. Out.” Marci pointed at the door.

Zeke chuckled and glanced back at Alyson for a second, before leaving the apartment.

Once the door shut, Marci could feel her sister’s anger pulsating through the room like a bomb exploding. “I drop a real lead in your lap and you throw him out like a piece of burnt toast.”

“Alyson, he was so arrogant,” Marci flung her hands in the air. “What planet are you living on? He could have been a killer!”

“I needed you to believe me.” Alyson stormed out of the apartment.

Marci jumped a little when the door slammed and guilt washed over her. She had a tendency to not allow her sister a chance to explain, but this…this was too much. Zeke could have been the monster that caused all of this, with his creepy smirk and cocky attitude. Her sister was just eating up his story and throwing caution to the wind.

By now, the bar was closed, but Marci knew Al would still be cleaning. He was the only person she trusted with this, and she knew he could give her the advice she desperately needed. Marci trotted down the stairs in a hurry. As she rounded the corner, she could hear Al’s voice echoing in the hallway. Al was standing behind the counter, yelling at someone. Marci crouched low and moved closer to get a better view.

“…Why was he here?”

“I don’t know, but I will find out.” Marci didn’t recognize the voice. She crept closer to see who Al was arguing with. He had shaggy red hair and a pale complexion. His thin eyebrows lined his deep blue eyes that were lit up with fear.

“You were supposed to keep them out of this,” Al spat.

“I know!” The stranger slammed his fist on the bar. “I tried. He started suspecting me, so I had to back off. When I saw him with Marci in the bar, I couldn’t just approach. I would have blown my cover.”

When he spoke her name a chill ran down her spine. What the hell is happening?

Determined to find out what was going on, Marci stood up and walked out from behind the door frame into the light.

Al and the stranger quieted in an instant.

“Marci? What are you doing down here?”

Marci let the floodgate of questions open. “Who is this? Who is Zeke? What do they want? What is going on?”

Al approached her and Marci backed away.

“Marci, I need you to listen to-”

“No,” Marci shook her head. “I’m not going to stand here and be lied to you. Tell me the truth.”

“Marci, there are things that you don’t understand,” the stranger spoke. His soft, gentle voice was calming…almost.

“Who are you?” Marci turned her attention to the stranger.

“I’m Wren,” he said. Marci noticed Al shoot a glare at him. “I’m a friend, and I’m here to help, but you need to trust Al.”

“No. What I need are answers,” Marci said.

“We can’t give you any,” Al barked. Marci winced. She had never heard Al raise his voice. Al lowered his tone and sighed, “Marci, I’m sorry…you’re not safe.”

Marci didn’t want to hear anymore. It was clear she wasn’t going to get answers from Al or the stranger named Wren. She turned on her heel and ran back up the stairs and into her apartment. Once the door was shut, she slid down and sat on the floor against it. She closed her eyes and breathed. When she opened her eyes again, she noticed a folded piece of paper on the coffee table.

M –
I’m sorry we argued. I need to know where our parents went and I really believe Zeke knows. He says the stories of the tunnels under the old Wilson Farm are true. I’ll call if I find anything.

Please don’t worry.
A

Marci re-read the note three times and threw it on the ground. Shit!

She knew she couldn’t trust Al to give her answers. Her only option was to do what she had been avoiding for three years. Go home.

 

Thanks for reading! I have some work ahead of me, but I’m really excited about my progress and I can’t wait for you to read the entire novel. 🙂

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PicsArt_09-04-09.08.45

Bookish Scenarios Tag

Hi everyone! I’m super excited because my hubby and I decided to make this weekend a long weekend. I plan to spend lots of time with him but also get a lot of stuff done (like reading the books on my TBR for this month!). I wanted to do a quick tag tonight before diving back into reading. I found this tag on Katytastic’s YouTube channel.

Bookish Scenarios

1. You have to get rid of all your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres – contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Contemporary: I don’t read a ton of contemporary, so I am going to go with The Fault in Our Stars because it’s one of the only ones on my shelf.

Fantasy: Hmm. Tough one, but I will go wit The Lord of the Rings. Can we pretend the entire series is one book?

Non-Fiction: Six Days of Creation. Cool Christian science book.

Sci-fi (genre of my choice): Illuminae. Hands down. It might be my favorite book.

2. You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

Hmm. Good question. Maybe Harry Potter? It’s a fun read and I don’t think it’s too challenging.

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci. It’s such a kick-butt book. I love it.

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?

Twilight. Yeah, I was one of those.

5. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

I’m bringing Passengers, because I just started reading it and I can’t wait to finish it.

6. Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

Eve: The Awakening because it’s a signed copy and I don’t want to loose it. (Yes, I used this book for multiple answers).

7. Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs

I’d say something, and ask for them to repurchase. If you’re borrowing my books, you best be nice to them.

 

That’s all I have for you tonight. As always, I tag you if you want to participate. Let me know in the comments if you do, I’d love to read your responses.

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No Turning Back.- A Poem

Hello! Happy Monday. This weekend didn’t quite go as planned. I didn’t get chapter one of Alter Reach revamped enough to post, and I didn’t finish Dreams of Gods and Monsters (but I still am on track with my September TBR challenge), but that’s okay. Not every day will be perfect and I had a great weekend.

I wanted to do a quick post today, so I thought I would share another poem. Enjoy ☺

No Turning Back

Like a fallen star,
on a cold winter’s day,
wandering, waiting,
I have lost my way.

Like a broken tree,
covered in thick ice,
I have learned my lesson,
and paid the price.

Like a winter wonderland,
suddnely turned black,
I have reached my fate,
there’s no turning back.

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It – Movie Review

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Saturday. I saw IT tonight, and couldn’t wait to get home and write a review.

As always, I will try not to spoil, but you should see the movie first if you want to go in without knowing anything.

Enjoy 😊

Summary

IT follows a group of bullied kids, dubbed as “The Losers Club,” living the town of Derry, Maine, in the summer of 1989. After recent cases of disappearing local kids, including Georgie, main character Bill’s little brother, the group discovers a terrifying, shape-shifting, demonic clown, Pennywise, who feeds on fear.

Review:

You’ll float too!

I love Stephen King’s work. His writing is brilliant, and his novels, manage to give me nightmares with just words on a page. The same cannot be said for most of the movie adaptations of his work. Until now. In my opinion, IT ranks among the best King movie adaptions so far.

The first chapter of IT is set during the main characters’ early years and is led by some super talented young actors. Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), Finn Wolfhard (Richie), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben), Sophia Lillis (Beverly), Wyatt Oleff (Stanley), and Chosen Jacobs (Mike).

These kids are FANTASTIC. The chemistry among the group felt authentic. It very much reminded me of the kids in Stranger Things. The character development was strong and each character stood on their own as an important member of the group. I enjoyed how the film gave us just enough back story to give us an understanding, but never spent too much time focusing on one specific character. We were able to love and know each individual, which made watching their experiences that much more terrifying.

Speaking of terrifying. Let’s talk a little about Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, the demonic clown who feeds on fear. Holy crap. He delivers an intense and frightening character who never ceases to scare. A clown could easily fall pray to cheesy and funny, but not Pennywise. There isn’t a single moment where you feel like this is a friendly clown. His facial expressions, voice and lines are all equally scary. Skarsgard definitely did his job in this movie.

I give this film a lot of credit. The special effects never felt forced. A little weird sometimes, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. The movie didn’t rely on gore for scares, which I love. Hack and slash doesn’t scare me, it just makes me nauseous. I enjoyed that this film didn’t need to hack up someone to make me afraid of IT.

Going back to the kids for a second, I have to give some credit to the script. I loved how the film would get super intense or gloomy, and then one of the kids would say something hysterical to give you a little breather before jumping right back into scary mode. I also loved how there were minimal fake jump scares. For the most part, if the music got intense, the movie delivered a scare.

The movie was on the long side, but that didn’t bother me at all. We were able to get a well rounded and well paced movie. I enjoyed that the ending, while leaving the story open, didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger.

As I said in the beginning, this is one of the best Stephen King adaptations I have ever seen. I’m really looking forward to the second chapter of IT.

Rating:

5/5 ☆

What did you think of IT? Let me know in the comments below.

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