Friday, July 3, 2020

A Horror Review and Author Guest Post

Earlier this month I reached out to a new author, Eric LaRocca, who was looking for people to possibly read and review his new novella release.  Well, he quickly responded back and has even submitted a guest post.  So welcome Eric to Booker T's Farm by reading my review and then seeing what Eric has to say.

TITLE: Starving Ghosts in Every Thread
AUTHOR: Eric LaRocca
PUBLISHING DATE: April 27, 2020

FROM GOODREADS: Teddy has a secret. 

She's so consumed with guilt that it compels her body to literally unravel unless she feeds off the emotions of others. Teddy’s parasitic condition is usually tempered easily and is invisible to most, unless she feeds from them. However, her insatiable hunger has already begun to threaten her safety. Trapped in her tiny Connecticut hometown thanks to a careless mistake which cost her a prestigious scholarship, Teddy grieves her father’s death and cares for her neurotic mother, Mercy, who is convinced scorpion venom is the only remedy for her own peculiar skin ailment linked to her daughter’s sadness. 

Once an aspiring songwriter, Teddy now merely alternates between shifts at the local market and visits to the house of her eccentric neighbor, Mr. Ridley, for fresh scorpions to bring to her mother. It’s during one of her routine visits to Mr. Ridley’s subterranean grotto of exotic animals that Teddy meets an unusual young girl named Kiiara. Immediately enamored with one another, Teddy soon discovers that Kiiara is hiding a gruesome secret, too – a secret that will threaten to undo everything Teddy has ever known and loved, and violently touch all those who cross their path with disaster.  

Coming in at only 92 pages, this tale is perfect to read it one setting.  And while it may be on the short side, don't worry because it sure packs a punch.

Teddy is our MC and she suffers from a condition where she must feed on emotions or risk of her skin unraveling from her body leaving her extremely vulnerable.  She lives with her mother is an odd individual herself who is in constant need of scorpion venom to wash a place on her arm.  Is it wrong that I felt badly for the little scorpions?  Anyway, one day Teddy meets Kiiara dn while she things she may have found a true soulmate, she soon discovers some individuals harbor secrets much worse than her's. 

I immediately liked Teddy.  I could feel her daily struggle to do what she knows is wrong, but what she has to do in order to survive.  Teddy truly has a haunted soul.  She misses her father, who died several years back, and misses the opportunities which she once had but which due to her condition and some other extenuating circumstances, also faded away. Despite Teddy's condition, in my opinion, Teddy has heart.  She feels a connection to Mr. Ridley's exotic pets and worries about their treatment.

I don't want to give too much away but I if you are a fan of body horror, then look no further.  I really enjoyed Starving Ghosts in Every Thread and I will be keeping an eye on this author in the future.

I received a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts were no influenced by that whatsoever.



Much of palpable horror is often rooted in the torment of human sorrow. Of course, that’s not a gratuitous generalization to say that all horror is founded in sadness or misery; however, it’s an assessment of the many films and works of literature I’ve gravitated to during my formative years as a writer. I recognize that most of the artistic works I’ve come to appreciate as pillars of exemplary storytelling share a foundation in the agony of trauma – the all-consuming and deeply humanizing vacuum of despair. If you’re familiar with iconic films such as Ari Aster’s Hereditary, Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, or Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, you’ll come to recognize that grief is a fundamental component fueling the misfortunes the characters endure throughout each narrative. Lately, as I’ve been promoting my new release of Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, I’ve come to reflect on why trauma and grief figure so greatly in the works I consume as well as the projects I write. I’m immediately reminded of a moment from my childhood when I first sensed an intense feeling of sorrow – a feeling I’ve yet to be able to shake.
To say that the town in which I grew up was rural would be a gross understatement. It was the kind of small, peaceful hamlet Norman Rockwell painstakingly etched into the zeitgeist of what now is considered “quintessential New England.” It was the kind of place where you were more likely to follow a tractor on the main drag of town than an actual car. It was the kind of place where nothing bad ever happened – neighbors looked out for one another; doors were customarily left unlocked after dark. My parents and I lived on top of one of the many mountains surrounding the quiet town – it was the place where I would first discover my love of reading and eventually my love of writing. We’d awake most mornings in the summertime and be greeted by a chestnut-colored doe with her newly born fawn huddled beneath our apple tree in the backyard. Though we had several woodland creatures that visited us over the many years we lived there, we were especially fond of the mother deer and her baby as they foraged for food in our backyard. However, like all precious things in life, this was to change.
One summer day, while my godmother was visiting, we returned home after a trip to our local swimming pond. While I heaved beach chairs and towels from the trunk of the car, my mother and godmother went ahead into the garage to go inside the house. We typically would leave the garage doors open while we were away merely out of habit. As I dragged the chairs into the nearby shed, I heard an ear-splitting howl – the sound of my godmother sobbing punctuated by confused, panicked shrieks. I darted into the garage and it was there I saw what she had seen – the newborn fawn lying on the small garage porch, its stomach slashed open and organs spilling out like the contents of a drawstring purse. The baby deer lay there in a puddle of its own blood, its palsied limbs twitching as if still frantically trying to run. My mother immediately steered me out of the garage and into the house. It wasn’t long until my father returned home, and he reasoned another animal – most likely a dog or a coyote – had attacked the little fawn and, in its frightened bewilderment, it returned to the place where its mother usually was – our home.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned my father and one of our neighbors took the half-dead fawn into the woods and shot it in the head to put it out of its misery. Regardless, I can recall so distinctly the blanket-like warmth of despair swaddling me whenever I thought of the baby deer. It was the first moment in my life when I felt unsafe – when I recognized horrible things can happen to you no matter how sheltered or insulated you are. I realized I was not only feeling sorrow for the poor, half-dying creature I had seen slumped on the garage porch, but I was grieving for the loss of my childhood as well – the moment when I realized nobody, not even me at the age of 9, was immune to misfortune. I’ve carried that trauma with me for much of my adult life – the thoughts of the wounded baby fawn, its entrails dragging on the ground as it tirelessly searches for its mother, as it tirelessly searches for a semblance of safety. I realize I’m searching for that very same sense of protection. After all, the world is a deeply frightening place. I find myself yearning for something I cannot have – sorrow for the fact I cannot have it. I truly believe that’s where true horror exists – in the exquisite agony of sadness.


  1. Ok the author's story about the fawn is so sad, and I can see how that event would stay with him🙁 But the book sounds weird and creepy!

    1. It is a rather odd read but after I finished it, it really worked. And yes, the deer story is very sad and I kind of felt bad adding it to the blog but I told him he could write about what he wanted and he does make some good points.

  2. It sounds like a lot going on in such a short novella! Might be a bit too much on the weird side for me personally but I'm glad you liked it. I avoided the fawn story as I don't need trauma this early on a Saturday!

    1. Good idea. It is not a Saturday morning read.

  3. I'm game to try anything less than 100 pages. I'll check it out! 👍✨