The Joker by Deborah Stansil: Book Review


My second book review, The Joker, comes courtesy of one of my favorite bloggers and one many of you know, Debbie Stansil. Any of you who don’t know her yet, she’s fabulous and is such a great writer! You may remember the last book review I wrote was on her collection of short stories. If you haven’t read that yet, feel free to check it out, HERE

A little backstory – The Joker is a supernatural thriller about a demon who possesses and ruins the lives of those possessed. He does what demons do best. The prologue starts in Ireland in 1973 and I highly recommend you read that to get a better understanding of the main story.

The main story centers around Kayleigh and her friends who decide to play with a Ouija board one night while drinking. Yep, you have probably already guessed where this is going. It opens a door and allows the Joker to wreak havoc on Kayleigh and her friends.

joker_rockinrandommomThere is so much more to the story though than just a demon possessing people. This is what I love about Debbie’s writing. You think you know what’s going to happen, then bam! A new twist is just right around the corner. The overall theme isn’t about the demon but about the darkness the main character is forced to face within herself. How does that play out? Well, you will have to read it to find out. If any of you have read her blog or her short stories book, Twisted Tales, then you know what I’m talking about.

Now, having read her last book, as well as being a regular reader of her blog, I didn’t expect her novel to add a little something extra in her storytelling. SEX! Yes, there are pretty explicit sex scenes in the book. Not too many but enough to want to make sure your kids are no where to be seen. I was caught off guard but pleasantly surprised by how the joker uses sex to push Kayleigh into questioning the darkness that she didn’t know she had. Debbie did a great job of telling the sex bits as part of the story and not just an added benefit for the reader.

That’s all I’m going to tell you about her book because I really want you all to read it. Especially if the supernatural is your thing as it is mine. If you want to read her book, it’s available on Amazon both in physical copy and for the kindle. I will be posting the American link below. If you are from another country, Debbie will have that one on her blog.


My Random Musings

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoy the book!!




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Book Review: Twisted Tales


So when my good friend Deborah over at My Random Musings announced on her blog that she was publishing her first book, I was so happy for her. When she announced that it was a book about the dark side of human nature, I was elated and immediately offered to write a review for her. She was happy to let me read it for this review of her first book, Twisted Tales.

It is a book that contains 27 short stories about the dark side of human nature. From a battered person who still loves her partner, to a failed suicide attempt, to a stalker; each story explores the darkness that is within each of us… Whether we choose to admit it or not.

From short, one or two paragraph stories that get straight to the point, to longer stories containing a few short chapters, each story captures the imagination and makes one think. One of the first twisted tales that I really liked was Darkness. I love when the character writes that darkness is like armor. I immediately connected to that from my childhood when darkness, though terrifying, was a shield for me when I needed to hide. Darkness can sometimes be our friend.

Blurb from the book

Date Night was another I loved because I love the surprise twist at the end. I love thinking I know who gets it only to be surprised by a sudden twist in the story. I thought I knew how the story was going to go. Even when I sort of got the feeling the original killer was someone else. At the very end there was yet another surprise.

Done Deal is another mystery that I didn’t think was such a mystery until the very end. As a mother I really connected with the character because she was put in a situation by the devil that made me sympathize with her. She did what she did for her child. No, I’m not going to tell you. You have to read it for yourself but oh boy, does it twist you up by the end!!

One of the last two of the twisted tales that I’m going to talk about is Gaze. This is the stalker tale that I like. I love how Deborah really takes us into the mind of the stalker. Some of what she thinks actually makes a little bit of sense. In this character’s own twisted mind, she actually believes what she is doing is right.

And last but certainly not least, the twisted tale that I connected to the most was Unloved. How many years went by in my childhood where I didn’t feel loved. This story actually hit very close to home for me but it’s my favorite. Without going into too much detail, it’s about a boy who killed his parents. Wait, though because that’s not the main part of the story. At least, not for me. It’s WHY he killed them. And I will leave it there.

These Twisted Tales actually started out as a writing challenge for Deborah. They are told in alphabetical order from A to Z. Despite a few minor typos here and there, the writing is detailed and imaginative. The characters are riveting and easy to connect with. The stories are easy to read while the content in some of the stories are vague enough to keep you guessing.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I hope you do too! You can purchase the book on Amazon FYI: If the link doesn’t work, you will have to copy and paste it. I have tried several times to allow you to just click on it but it isn’t working for some reason.

If you want to read Deborah’s blog, I have posted the link above. If you want to follow her you can do so below:





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TV Review: The Shannara Chronicles


Disclaimer: These review is my own. I was not contacted by MTV or producers of the show. These words are my own.

This new TV show on MTV (I know what you’re thinking: MTV? Really? Actually, yes and keep reading because you’ll be surprised), The Shannara Chronicles, has been adapted from a series of books that began back in 1977 (yep, the year I was born), written by Terry Brooks. Look them up on Good Reads if you want to check them out.

The Gist of The Story:

The show is adapted from The Sword of Shannara Trilogy and takes place 300 years after the war of the races, which, so far I have gathered are The elves, humans, Druids, gnomes, dwarves, faeries, demons, trolls and several others. Anyway, the war was believed to have ended magic and trapped the demons in an ancient tree called the Ellcrys, which is guarded by a group called the Chosen in the Elvin Kingdom of Aborlon. After one of the main characters, Amberle runs a race that chooses who is to become the Chosen, she touches the tree and gets a vision of death and destruction, the tree starts dying and one by one, the demons come back.
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Amberle  (played by Poppy Drayton) is the first main character we see in the pilot episode. She is the Elvin Princess and the first female to run the race and become apart of the Chosen. After her vision, she thinks the tree is dying  because she broke the rules by winning the race and runs away in hopes of keeping everyone she loves safe.

Wil Ohmsford (played by Austin Butler) is a half-human, half-elf who is told by his dying mother that his father wasn’t crazy. She gives him three elf stones and tells him to find the druid. She dies before he can make sense of her words. When he does find the druid later on, he finds out that he is the last remaining member of the legendary Shannara family. He has magic in his blood but it’s going to take some convincing for him to believe in magic.

Then we run into Eretria (played by Ivana Baqueno), a human who is a part of a band of thieves called rovers. She first drugs and robs Wil, stealing his elf stones, then she attempts to rob Amberle but fails. By the end of the second episode, she reluctantly becomes a part of Wil and Amberle’s quest to save the Ellcrys.

And last of the main characters for the show is Allanon (played by Manu Bennett), a human and the last druid more than 300 years old. His purpose is to unite the three young people and guide them on their quest to protect the Ellcrys and stop the demons from coming back and destroying the four lands.

My thoughts so far:

There are many other fascinating characters but these are the four main people. I love this kind of story. I love books and shows about elves and dragons and ancient quests but I was hesitant because of the network releasing the show. However, because one of my other favorite TV shows, Teen Wolf, has been so successful and so well made, I decided to give it a shot. It also didn’t hurt that the previews showered my TV screen with Manu Bennett, who I have seen in Spartacus, and Arrow, both great shows. He is a great actor!wildemon-1452541809

The show is filmed in New Zealand and the demons they bring to life are phenomenal. I hope they bring in dragons. I can’t wait to see what they do with those! There is plenty of action, magic, love, and lore all chocked up in this little show. It’s an epic adventure that really welcomes the viewer into it’s world. I’m only two episodes in but the first episode was two hours long so I feel like I’ve gotten a good feel for this world. There is even already a love triangle going on between Wil, Eretria, and Amberle!

You don’t just have one reluctant hero, you have three! You have a princess who knows how to handle herself in a fight. You have a naive young man who is just finding out who he really is and you have the thief who wants to change her destiny but doesn’t know how. There is something for everyone in this show! It airs on Tuesday nights at 10pm/9c, following Teen Wolf.

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