Saturday, October 30, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (October 29-November 1, 2010)

Book Blogger Hop time again!  I hope everyone has a fun and spooky Halloween!

It's always so much fun discovering new blogs.  But it's also a curse since I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with with the blogs I know about!  There are just so many great book blogs out there.  Well I'm ready to discover a few more.  

This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.  Please check out her blog for complete rules.

This week's question is:  "What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"

Answer:  A cozy library with a comfortable chair, tons of bookshelves a table for tea and of course a fireplace!

Ghosts and Graves Tour Prize Pack Winners.

Congratulations to Fiction Kingdom and The Reading Date for winning the Ghosts and Graves Tour prize packs!  I hope you enjoy your prizes!

I've been lucky enough to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and several cemeteries in New Orleans.  However, I really loved the cemeteries and graveyards in Ireland.  There was something magical about them!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Contest #4

Happy October!

Here is a bracelet that you can wear all the way to Thanksgiving.  The silver beads are sterling, the orange ones are Cat's Eye and the orange crystals are Swarovski.  The little scarecrows are ceramic.  I beaded them on Stretch Magic.

To Enter:
No need to follow, link or tweet.  Just leave a comment and tell me something you've always wanted to do on Halloween.  (ie: Visit Transylvania, toilet paper your ex's house, go to Anne Rice's party in NOLA.)

Please read my contest policy.

This contest ends on Halloween, October 31, 2010 at midnight. 

I will ship the most economical way.

Please leave me a way to contact you.

If I can't get in touch with the winner within 5 days, another winner will be chosen.   

And yes!  I will ship internationally!

Good luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Dead Guy Interviews

Title/Author: The Dead Guy Interviews by MIchael A. Stusser.

Genre: History/Humor.

Publisher: Penguin Books.

Source: Borrowed.

Favorite character: Harry Houdini, Edgar Allen Poe, Mae West, William Shakespeare.

All in all: A fun, interesting and eye opening book.

If you could interview a famous person from history who would it be? Author Michael Stusser didn’t have to choose. He reached into his imagination and created what he thought a sit down with some of the world’s most famous and notorious people would be like. Each interview was only a few pages and they were easy to read, fun and humorous. I also learned quite a bit of interesting tidbits about these figures, not to mention history. The biggest surprise to me was Genghis Khan.  Although he was a fierce warrior he also outlawed kidnapping, torture and abolished the sale of women.  It is easy to see that Stusser researched these figures well yet also humanized them which brought them to life.  If history was taught this way instead of dry narrative text, I think I would have done much better in school.

I hope the author does more of these. My suggestion: Horror movie icons.

5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Title/Author: Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog.

Genre: YA/Fantasy.

Publisher: Delacorte Press.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Pip.

Favorite quote: "His smile...feels like sunlight after a long rain."

Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam’s cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what’s going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.

Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan’s no longer sure what’s best for everyone, or whether her and Cam’s love can weather an uncertain future. – From

All in all: A wonderful book about self sacrifice and self discovery.

What I didn’t like: **SPOILER ALERT: The only thing that I didn’t like was how fast one of the characters fell for another one. But honestly, it was still done well and I'm going to pretty much excuse it. I mean, it is a fairy tale after all.  :END SPOILER ALERT**

What I liked: Is our future sealed? What if everything you thought you knew was pulled out from under you? How far would you go to fight change?  To keep the person you loved?

Fairy Tale grabbed my attention from the first line and kept my interest all the way to the end. It flows easily and the writing is humorous and clever.  The dialogue is realistic and at times sweet. I felt a lot of sympathy for Morgan and rooted for her and Cam and wondered how they were going to be able to save him from being taken away thereby saving their relationship.

I had mixed feelings about Morgan and her relationship with Cam.  On the one hand, she is only interested in him and their relationship.  She would rather spend every minute of her free time with Cam than participate in anything for herself. While she does acknowledge that this may be pathetic, she rationalizes that she has the most fun with Cam, so why do anything else? The answer, as Morgan finds out, is because she has defined herself through him. She was always Morgan and Cam, never just Morgan. At least, that’s the way she saw it.   On the other hand, I did feel her anguish as she grappled with fears about losing Cam forever.  It is always heartbreaking and bittersweet to think of the end of one's first love.  Also, it's not just a breakup.  She is losing someone very close to her.  Cam will be taken away forever and they have known each other since they were babies.

I thought it was interesting how she compares herself to Pip. Pip lost his home in Otherworld. She is afraid to lose Cam who to her, is her world. Pip doesn’t fit in here and she’s afraid she won’t fit in either without Cam. Her whole existence has been built around him. However, this is the whole crux of the story. Morgan’s self discovery.   She wants Cam to be happy, but she also doesn't want to be without him.  "Does this make me selfish?"  She asks herself.  Well it does, but that is also a very human feeling.

Although Cam is nice and funny and clearly wants to make Morgan happy, it is Pip who I really like. He is the new, weird kid in school until he gets some help from Morgan. He has a huge amount of empathy because he had to endure the hardship of being a human among fairies. And now, because he grew up among the fairies, he has to endure being different among humans.  However, he never seems to let any cruelty bother him and he is as enchanted with the human realm as I would probably be in Fairyland.  He is the one who tells Morgan to not let her gift (of psychic ability) control her, but to instead control her gift.  He basically tells her not to give up.

Morgan ultimately has to make a choice and while the ultimate outcome may seem a little too convenient, I feel it occurs organically and it was still a bit of a surprise.  I love how the main characters are willing to sacrifice themselves in some way for Morgan but ultimately it is she who has to step up and make the right decision.

5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ghosts and Graves Book Tour.

Today was a beautiful day in Sleepy Hollow, New York, where authors Jessica Verday and Michelle Zink stopped at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as part of their Ghosts and Graves Book Tour

The signing was in the cemetery behind Washington Irving's resting place.  A very fitting location.

Jessica Verday (l) and Michelle Zink (r)
Jessica and Michelle were very kind, friendly and funny.  They posed for pictures, chatted about other books and gave away some great prizes.  A few fans drove several hours to attend, the farthest being 4 hours away!  

Ironically, I met another book blogger who works nearby, The Serpentine Library.  It was nice to meet another book blogger in my area.  Check out her site!

I'm helping to celebrate their tour by giving away two (2) prize packs.  For more information about the Ghosts and Graves Book Tour, visit Jessica Verday's blog.  

The Sister's prize pack includes:
  • A signed copy of Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate by author Michelle Zink.
  • Guardian of the Gate bookmark
  • Rose candle votive, suitable for lighting your way through a cemetery.

The Hollow and the Haunted prize pack includes:
  • A copy of The Hollow and The Haunted signed by author Jessica Verday.
  • A Haunted by the Hollow sticker
  • Small picture frame.

Contest Rules:
  • Please read my contest policy before you enter.
  • This contest will end Thursday, October 28, 2010, at midnight!
  • This contest is open internationally. 
  • Items will be shipped the most economical way.
  • Please leave me a way to contact you.  If I do not hear back from you within 7 days, a new winner will be chosen. 
  • First winner gets to choose which prize pack they would prefer.  The runner up will receive the remaining prize pack.  

To Enter:
+2 Leave a comment stating what famous cemetery you would like to visit.
+1 Tweet about contest.  (Please leave link).  Just one time only.
+1 Post about contest on Facebook. (Please leave link).
+1 Post about contest on your own blog.  (Please leave link).  
+1 Please add them all up.

Good luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop (October 22-25)

Book Blogger Hop time again!  It's always so much fun discovering new blogs.  But it's also a curse since I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with with the blogs I know about!  There are just so many great book blogs out there.  Well I'm ready to discover a few more.  

This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.  Please check out her blog for complete rules.

This week's question is:  "Where is your favorite place to read?  Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

Answer:  I like to read anywhere I can read.  But, my favorite place to read is in bed at night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Author Interview with Lesley Bannatyne


I’ve known Lesley for about 10 years and have enjoyed her books so much that I have asked her to be my very first guest author, just in time for Halloween. Lesley has appeared on TV specials for the History Channel (“The Haunted History of Halloween”) and Nickelodean. On October 26 of this month, she will appear in another special for the History Channel called “The Real Story of Halloween.” Check out her website at

Okay Les, let’s get right to it. Why Halloween?
I have never been shy about being a Halloween nerd. From day one, the freedom of running around in a cape after dark stuck the knife in it for me. As an adult I was drawn to Halloween because it’s interesting on so many levels from metaphysical (yes, the light/dark, all-this-will-pass underpinnings of Halloween) to completely physical (fear science!). And Halloween keeps changing; once it became associated with horror, Halloween opened up to all our modern monsters and trends, which means there’s always something new to think about.

What’s your favorite part about Halloween?
I should say the candy, but that would only be partly true. The pumpkin ale is a huge plus for me. Beyond those creature comforts I love the group glee that happens on Halloween. It’s rare to find a big, noisy gang of like-minded people out in the real world (aside from sports events and concerts), and that’s one of the things Halloween does best: create communities based on imagination and fantasy. I love that.

How do you decide on a topic for one of your books?
Each is different. The history book was one I proposed because I couldn’t find the whole history of Halloween detailed in any of the existing books. Part of the story was missing, and that inspired me to pursue Halloween history in this country. The How To came out of all the really wonderful people I met who were down in their cellars and out in their garages creating amazing things for their displays. The Anthology was the result of me spending a few years in the stacks of Widener Library and the NY Public Library looking for poems, stories, and plays that were less well-known, and the hardest part of that task was trying to keep only to Halloween and not get sidetracked into horror or vampire lit or any of a wealth of dark work. The new one (Halloween Nation) was me trying to figure out what it is about Halloween that excites us so—why now, and what is it really all about?

What is your writing process like?
I am a notorious mono-tasker. That means that if I’m writing on zombies, say, I start at the beginning with the research and continue until the section is written. Where I think other writers can collect all manner of research, sort it out, and come back to write it up later, I focus on one thing at a time. It helps me think more clearly, and hopefully, come up with better ideas. And I always write the introductions last: they are the hardest.

What kind of research goes into it?
Research is everything, almost. It’s the fun part, too. I love reading, scanning libraries and the internet, and talking with people. Writing can be fun, especially when I think I’ve got something good and can get it on paper, but it can also be like pulling teeth. I’d say I write each piece that goes into a book—and by piece I mean section, not chapter—at least ten times. If I compare the first draft and the last, the last is shorter by half. Once I’ve got the final draft it’s a matter of fact-checking, which is not my favorite part of the process, but so incredibly essential. The brain plays funny tricks on writers.

What is the wackiest place you’ve had to go to in order to find something out?
Well, I do enjoy wacky places, so picking my most memorable is tough. I’d say interviewing a woman in a Mortuary School morgue building was…interesting…as was lying in a fake coffin, dancing at a Samhain ceremony, hanging out with spandex-covered vampires, and riding in the Zombie Army bus.

What was your favorite Halloween experience? Can you pick just one?
Oh, Pam, I just couldn’t. I will describe one that’s memorable though. In 2001 there was a lot of contention around the Greenwich Village Halloween parade. There were thoughts about whether or not it should happen; some said no, it would make NY a target again, and others said of course, why wouldn’t there be a parade? They decided—I think it was even the morning of Halloween—to stage it, and the parade began with a baby phoenix puppet. The ashes were still smoldering in the background at Ground Zero, and as the phoenix puppet marched, the spectators started to clap and cheer. The parade director, Jeanne Fleming, said it was as if New York could finally breathe again.

You did a children’s book also. How did that come about?
The publisher, Pelican, has a series of “The Night Before…” books with lots of different takes on the Christmas poem (The Trucker’s Night Before Christmas, The Nurse’s Night Before Christmas). I proposed a “Witches Night Before Christmas” and wrote a poem that turned out to be deemed “too dark” for a Christmas book. (OK, I think they had a point: …Came a driver the likes of whom I’ve never seen / A towering skeletal red-hooded fiend /Dead-eyed and dusty and fearful of none /He’s come to do that which Claus never got done/) They suggested I lighten up and try to pair it with Halloween, and I actually had a ball writing Witches Night Before Halloween. The illustrator, Adrian Tans, did a beautiful job on the images, many of which are paintings. If you do have a little one, tell them there’s a frog to find on every page.

You have a new title coming out in April of 2011. Can you tell us about that book?
Usually writers like their most recent book best. Guilty! I mentioned why I wrote the book above, but how I wrote it was to travel around talking with Halloween fanatics about why they do what they do and what it means to them. It was probably the most fun I’ve had researching a book, and I loved going “backstage” at Halloween prop-making shops, zombie events, haunted attractions, everything. With very few exceptions, all the folks I spoke with were wonderful and generous. I learned how to make glass pumpkins and how to grow giants, what goes on behind the scenes at the Witches’ Ball and how to spot a ghost with an electromagnetic field meter or at a spirit stump. I can’t remember a bad time in the years I was working on this.

Okay, you also mentioned a women’s Brazilian drumming group. Do you want to share any information about that?
Ha! Serendipity lined me up with a group of adventurous ladies and the most patient Brazilian drum teacher on the planet. I play the surdo – it’s kind of like a bass drum. We practice once a week and occasionally play out at festivals or clubs. I can’t tell you how much fun it is. At this point, we’re kind of like a flying elephant. It really doesn’t matter how well the elephant flies, you’re just amazed it can.

And finally, what do you do on Halloween?
I like to be home giving out candy. My house is tricked out, and kids know where to find me. I put on some really great Halloween music, dress up in costume, and keep the fog machine running.

Happy Halloween Lesley and thank you so much for this informative and thought provoking interview!  Being from New York, the Greenwich Village Parade story really touched me. 

I love Lesley's books and highly recommend them, whether you are a "Halloween nerd" or not!

To celebrate Halloween I'm giving away your choice of one (1) of the following:  
               Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History. (1990).

               A Halloween How to.  Costumes, Parties, Decorations and Destinations. (2001).

               A Halloween Reader.  Poems, Stories, and Plays from Halloween Past. (2004).

               Witch's Night Before Halloween. (2007).

               Halloween Nation.  Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night.  (Coming in 2011).

Contest Rules:

Please read my contest policy before you enter.

This contest will end Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at midnight! 
Contest extended one more day!  This contest will now end Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at midnight!

It is open internationally.  (As long as vendor ships to your address). 
It will be shipped the most economical way. 
I will choose which vendor the book comes from.
If you would like a copy of her new book, Halloween Nation, I will pre-order it, but please note that it will not be released until 2011.
Please leave me a way to contact you.  If I do not hear back from you within 7 days.  A new winner will be chosen.   

If for any reason, the book the winner chooses cannot be obtained, the winner will have to choose another title from this contest. 

To Enter:
Since I would love to promote Lesley's books as much as possible you can get entries by Tweeting and re-posting.
+1 Leave a comment about anything in this interview you found interesting, didn't know or peaked your curiosity. 
+2 Tweet about contest (please leave link).
+2 Mention this contest on your blog (please leave link).
+1 Mention this contest on your Facebook account (please leave link).
+1 Please remember to add them all up! 

+5 Tune in Tuesday night 10/26/10 to the History Channel at 8:00 pm EST (check your local listings) and check out The Real Story of Halloween.  Leave a comment about something Lesley talked about.  Since Lesley pointed out that her interview may not make it into the program (which would be a darn shame), leave a comment about something from any part of the program.  But hopefully, we'll all be seeing her in the show!

Good luck!



Ta Da!

Here is is!  My new re-designed, re-vamped, re-configured blog.  Staci from Blogging Bella Designs was having a great special, so I signed right up.  She has been extremely helpful, accomodating and patient.   Oh, and she was really fast too!  She also has great brainstorming ideas and really listened to my ideas.  

Please let me know what you think.  Suggestions are always welcome as I want this blog to be user friendly and easy to read.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mama Fish

Title/Author: Mama Fish by Rio Youers (Novella 86 pages).

Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi.

Publisher: Shroud Publishing

Source: Purchased at Horrorfind Weekend.

Favorite character: Patrick Beauchamp.

Favorite quote: “The trees gossiped and trembled.” “…her smile will make flowers open.” “I could hear the apple trees rustling their naked branches in agitation.”

All in all: Not what I expected, yet more than I expected.

Synopsis:  Harlequin High, 1986. Kelvin Fish was the oddball, the weird kid that no one would talk to. Except for Patrick, who was determined to learn more about this strange child, and to befriend him. But Patrick would get more than he bargained for.  -From author's website

What I didn’t like: Nothing much quite honestly. If I have to pick something, there was a line or two that had to do with inappropriate sex that the main character conjured in his imagination.  But really it was just a passing daydream that I feel was simply a reflection of the mystery of Kelvin and his home life.  I acknowledge that sometimes bizarre thoughts just infiltrate your mind, so if you do try this book and are squeamish don’t let it put you off.

What I liked: “Isn’t it amazing how the smallest decisions can have such a massive impact on our lives?” Patrick says this in the story and to me, this is what Mama Fish is about. That and how friendship can be so strong it can span time.  The story is not what I thought it was going to be and therefore the twists and turns were more of a surprise. It was haunting, sad and nostalgic. While reading it, I felt dread, melancholy and pity.  However, it left me feeling very hopeful.

The story is relayed by Patrick and we see Kelvin through him. Although Kelvin appears to be a somewhat monstrous person, Patrick sympathizes with him and senses there is something more to his  frightening exterior.  He and Kelvin do not seem to have much in common but Patrick recognizes something of himself in this other outcast and wants to be his friend.

One day he decides to follow Kelvin home and the ensuing events change his life. Patrick says for many years he wishes he never followed him home that day. That was such a great line to build tension and made me feel Patrick’s regret.  Isn't there an event in everyone's life that they wish did not happen?  That they wish they had taken just one step sideways to avoid?

The story flipped from Patrick’s childhood to his adulthood with skill, increasing the suspense. What happened to him as a child? How have those events effected him? He is sympathetic both in his younger days and in the present. He is a simple guy, a normal guy. But he’s holding onto a memory that effected him profoundly.  The mystery of Kelvin is hinted at, then revealed.  At first it is horrifying and then it becomes wondrous.

The writing was powerful.  Unique similes and descriptions were used to illustrate thoughts and meanings. It’s exciting and inspiring to find prose that moves the story along like in Mama Fish. Youers uses lovely words to describe otherwise mundane events and objects. When relaying a horrifying incident he compared time with a jester. A bully had “rock like fists” and “…fear growled and snapped.”

If you really must put Mama Fish into a genre, you can say it's a little bit of Horror, with a lot of Sci-Fi, maybe a bit Steampunk and also a Coming of Age story.  It's just as hard to fit this story into one specific genre as it was for Patrick to fit in among his peers.  For such a short book, it took me a while to put my thoughts together to write this. Thought provoking and deeply layered, it is a poignant page turner.  I will definitely be reading more by Rio Youers.

5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Contest #3

Happy October!

Here is another bracelet for your Halloween pleasure.  The silver beads are sterling, the orange ones are Cat's Eye and the black crystals are Swarovski.  The little witches are ceramic.  I beaded them on Stretch Magic.

To Enter:
No need to follow, link or tweet.  Just leave a comment and tell me your 3 favorite movies you love to watch during this time of year.  And please leave me a way to get in touch with you so I can get your address if you win.

Please read my  contest policy.

This contest ends on Monday, October 18, 2010 at midnight (or should I say "Midnyte?")

If I can't get in touch with the winner within 3-5 days, another winner will be chosen.   

And yes!  I will ship internationally!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Intensity - Audio Book

Title/Author: Intensity by Dean Koontz. Read by Kate Burton.

Genre: Thriller.

Publisher: Random House Audio.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Chyna Shepard.

Favorite quote: (I couldn't write any down since I was driving when I was listening, but there are many beautiful descriptions.)

All in all: A lot of telling instead of showing, but a tense read filled with lovely language.

Synopsis:  Chyna Shepard, a psychology student, goes home with a friend for the weekend, but a killer breaks into the house.  Chyna manages to elude him, but then makes some tough choices as she follows him to try to save someone else's life. 

What I didn’t like: First I want to say that I am a huge fan of Dean Koontz. There are many books of his that I love (check out my Goodreads page). I didn’t like this one as much as his others, but I think it was because this was a thriller as opposed to a horror story or supernatural thriller.  There was also a large amount of telling and there were  a lot of details that were drawn out. I mean a LOT of details. Details about the set up of a room, details about incidents from the past, details about a herd of elk. I think if the details were cut, it would have shortened the story by 1/3. Endless pages were devoted to events that any other author would probably relay in a paragraph or a page or two.  So, there were some parts when I would zone out, but I came back to it quickly enough when the story returned to the present.   Also, there tended to be a lot of repetition of the killer's thoughts.  Okay, okay we get like pain as much as pleasure!  But maybe this was deliberate to make the reader uncomfortable with his diabolical mind.  I also think it could have ended sooner although I liked hearing about the aftermath.

What I liked:   The writing is beautiful.  The descriptions read like poetry. I also loved the narrator’s voice.  Even mundane words sounded like music coming from her lips. She really added to the lovely language. I also liked the way when reading from the bad guys’ viewpoint and Chyna’s, she would pitch her voice differently making it clear whose POV it was without being over the top.  I've listened to a few audio books since this one and I feel this narration is superior.

Although the minute details of the main character's movements were plentiful, it did help to add to the tension. Usually too much description puts me over the edge.  Maybe I gave Koontz more slack because I like him.  However, as I kept listening I also wondered if Koontz was trying to paint a picture of human nature and how actions and consequences effect your life.  The smallest movement Chyna makes can put her in peril or save her and she has to make decisions in the blink of an eye. 

Chyna, a psychology major with a traumatic childhood is also a very interesting character. I didn’t like her at first, but as I got to know her, I warmed up to her.  Not because of her heroic actions, but because of her motives.  She has been trying to understand her estranged mother’s state of mind her whole life. Her childhood clearly shaped her and her choices, but it also becomes clear that she is looking for something that she didn’t get in her childhood:  Love.  Instead of trying to find it in others, she gives it, and in this way achieves her goal.

While trying to dissect the murderer I wonder if she is also trying to dissect her mother and perhaps herself.  Also, as I listened it became clear that this was a study into the mind of a killer. Edgeler Vess considers himself a “Homicidal Adventurer” and is more frightening than any boogyman, vampire or creature of the night and would do very well making a guest appearance on Criminal Minds. We have read about people like him. Psychologists have studied people like him.  There is no way to understand him and yet he becomes more believable, more terrifying as he is brought to life through his deeds, speech and thoughts.

I finished listening to this book last week, but I found myself thinking about this story a lot.  Although this wasn't the best book I have read and certainly not the best Dean Koontz I have read, it really stayed with me.     

I’m going to split up this rating because it was such a dichotomy of elements for me. 
4 out of 5 for story, characters and most of the writing. 
2 out of 5 for the unnecessary writing and the telling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cool posts!

I found these two excellent posts today that stopped me in my tracks.

1) The first is from Book Chick City in Defence of Vampires by author Matt Haig.

2) This one is from Darkly Reading and it's a guest post and givewaway with author Clare Dunkle.  Her book House of Dead Maids, sounds amazing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Giveaway #2

Happy October!

Here is my second giveaway to celebrate my favorite month.  For your listening pleasure, I'm giving away a copy of Midnight Syndicate's The Dead Matter cd.  (Click on their link to listen to samples of their eerily beautiful music.)

No need to follow, link or tweet.  Just leave a comment and tell me 3 of your favorite Halloween themed or spooky songs.  I have an entire Halloween playlist, but some favorites off the top of my head are Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde, Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo and Possum Kingdom by the Toadies.   

Please leave me a way to get in touch with you so I can get your address if you win.

This contest is open to ages 13 and up.  

This contest ends on Monday, October 11, 2010 at midnight (or should I say "Midnyte"?)

If I can't get in touch with the winner within 3-5 days, another winner will be chosen.

And yes!  I will ship internationally!

Halloween Contest Winner...

And the winner is...

Bonnie from The Literary Gato!  Check out her blog!  It's got really good content, a friendly tone and cats!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Childhood Thrills - (October, 2010)

Childhood Thrills is a feature that recalls books I read in my childhood or adolescence that were special to me or "haunt" me in some way.  I don't intend to re-read & review them, just simply share my memories and the feelings they evoke.  

Ghosts I have Been by Richard Peck

I walked out of my elementary school classroom and saw a poster for this book on the library door. My heart leapt. Would you look at that image?  A girl in a white nightgown, lit by candleight.  The smoke from the flame morphing into ghostly images.

I couldn’t wait till “Library Time” so I could get my hands on this book, but when I got there they didn’t have it in yet! I was so disappointed. I think I must have asked every time I went in there and I’m sure the staff wanted to strangle me.

Finally it came in!

Blossom Culp is the main character in this story set in the early 1900s. She has a mother who is a fortune teller, lives in a poor section of town and always seems to get into trouble. She is fun, spunky, smart and brave. I so wanted to be friends with her and have some of her personality rub off on me. Unlike Blossom I was shy and kept my mouth shut.

One day she declares that she has the gift of Second Sight. If I remember correctly it was to avoid getting into trouble. But then something odd happens. She does develop this gift and is able to see ghosts and past events. She starts to use her ability to help people, but of course gets into a little trouble along the way. She also befriends a little boy ghost who drowned on the Titanic and uncovers the mystery behind his death. Blossom even thwarts some phony spiritualists looking to take advantage of the citizens of her town.

I think what struck me most at the time was the excitement I felt seeing this image, the anticipation of the story it hinted at and knowing I was going to be able to read it.  It was similar to seeing a really good movie trailer.  The best part though, was the actual story. The characters, time period and events came alive for me. It gave me the ghostly thrill I was looking for in a realistic setting. Maybe it wouldn’t seem as clever if I re-read it now, but as a young reader I loved it and also felt it was not too “babyish.”  I wanted to be thrilled and spooked!  I remember this book exceeded my expectations and I absolutely loved it.    

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Reading On The Dark Side

Hi Everyone!  I'm a guest poster at Reading on the Dark Side today!   Thank you Christine for inviting me!  Please click HERE to read my post.  Click on the button above to get to the home page of Reading on the Dark Side.

Book Blogger Hop (October 1 - October 4, 2010)

Book Blogger Hop

I love the Book Blogger Hop.  It's really amazing how many book blogs there are and each time I participate I always find a great new blog and have a few people stop by my blog as well.  This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.  Please check out her blog for complete rules.

This week's question is:  How do you spread the word about your blog?  (e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog directories, comments on other blogs...)"

Answer:  I have to admit I don't promote my site as much as other bloggers out there.  I admire the way my savvy co-bloggers handle Twitter and seem to be able to manage their time so well writing posts,   interviewing authors, participating in challenges, holding contests, having on-line chat parties...phew!  I'm tired just thinking about all of it! 

I try to post on Twitter and Facebook as much as I can, but I have to admit that while I think it would be great to have a large following, I'm more interested in the process and "journey" of my blog.  I want to write as well as I can and present unique, fun and interesting content. Although I don't have a large following  - which is okay, really, don't feel bad for me ; ) - there are several people who have given me great feedback and wonderful support.  The biggest and most pleasant surprise that came with blogging is the relationships I have built, and am still building, with people who love books and reading and the blogging experience as much as I do.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

Halloween Giveaway

Happy October!

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I made this bracelet to give away to one lucky winner.  The silver beads are sterling and the red crystals are Swarovski.  I beaded them on Stretch Magic.

No need to follow, link or tweet.  Just leave a comment and tell me 3 things you love about October.  And please leave me a way to get in touch with you so I can get your address if you win.

This contest ends on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at midnight (or should I say "Midnyte"?)  If I can't get in touch with the winner within 3-5 days, another winner will be chosen.   And yes!  I will ship internationally!
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