Blogtober Day 9: Vampires and Werewolves

Blogtober Day 9

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

I could not do a post about my favourite vampires and werewolves without mentioning someone very special to me, someone who looks after and takes care of me and yes, is ensuring I actually get to spend my 30th birthday at Disneyland Paris. For those of you unaware, my lovely boyfriend is Jedi Werewolf, and yes he can be found on Twitter under that name so maybe go check out his twitter and follow, if you’re so inclined.

Okay! Favourite FICTIONAL vampires & werewolves! Though I must admit, most of these are from TV, rather than books – a lot from TV adapted from books – so this is less of a bookish post and more just an…excuse to include lots of pics. Enjoy!

The Hybrids

Yeah, I kind of love this messed up family. Klaus is a vampire/werewolf hybrid, who starts off as somewhat of a monster but like so many vampires out there, turns slowly klausinto an almost good guy, mainly because of the birth of his daughter, Hope. He tries so hard to do right by her, and to protect her, and it never works out well for him. By the end of The Originals, I was really sad to say goodbye to him most of all, despite loving the vast majority of the cast, including the other hybrid, Hayley, mother of Hope. I never got the whole Klaus/Caroline love, probably because I watched Originals then went back and watched Vampire Diaries, so maybe I did in the wrong order. THEN I read the books. And, after that, Legacies came out, and honestly, I freaking love that show. The continuation of hopeHope’s story is handled really well, and I love the exploration of the other characters around her, as well as the inclusion of others from both Vampire Diaries and Originals. Hope is a fantastic character, and though she’s technically a tribrid – vampire/werewolf/witch, I’m including her here along with her father. There is one vampire, however, I am so upset we don’t get to see more of in the show…

Vampires

Damon freaking Salvatore. Look, I don’t like the direction his character arc ended up damongoing, but he was always fun to watch on screen. He starts off complete bad guy, similar to Klaus, and only through Elena blah blah blah. Early seasons Damon was my favourite, he was like an antidote to his moody, brooding brother (don’t get me wrong – I love him too)  and I’ve loved Ian Somerhalder since I first watched Lost, so of course I was going to love Damon. How can you not? He’s tortured, and angry, and takes that out on the people he loves AND the mortals around him, not to mention he’s a big reason why a lot of events in Vampire Diaries went the way they did.

You could probably guess my next choice, but what’s not to love about a blond vampire viking in a Southern American town? Eric, like Damon, starts off as sort of a bad guy, but his arc makes more sense to ericme – he has a huge soft spot for Sookie, but his actions, no matter what he does, always make sense, and him and Pam are absolutely fantastic to watch on screen. Like Damon, some of his best moments come when he’s at his most vulnerable, and both actors deserve praise, IM-very-HO, for the way the characters are portrayed. Out of all the True Blood vampires, he’s by far my favourite, again adding something extra alongside the whiny, brooding Bill.

He’s not the only one in the family to play a vampire, either. Bill Skarsgård, before becoming the terrifying version romanof Pennywise, played Roman in Hemlock Grove, a series I have only recently actually started watching. And again, deeply tortured vampire, but Roman isn’t evil like some of the others. He’s a rich, entitled prick to start with, but he’s confused and lost and doesn’t know what he’s going half the time. Once more, his most vulnerable moments are his best ones, even if the character goes in some seriously questionable directions. Not my VERY favourite vampire (see previous entries) but definitely one I thoroughly enjoy watching.

More literary versions of vampires I adore are of course, both Lestat and Louis (yeah, there’s a film version, and I love it, but I still prefer the books) and Julian, in GRRM’s Fevre Dream. Another tortured, uncertain vampire, though he – more like Louis and Roman than the others – does his damndest to remain good and refrain from drinking human blood. Julian is convinced he has been sent to help the rest of his kind, and he tries so hard to do that. If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s definitely worth checking out. Hmm, tortured-possible-bad-boy definitely seems to be my type here, doesn’t it? I could mention Spike, but it’s just more of the same really…

Werewolves

Returning to Hemlock Grove and we have the absolutely fantastic wolf, Peter. Peter befriends Roman, and reveals his true nature to him, in what is possibly one of the best, petermost gory, most amazing werewolf transformation I have ever seen on screen. Once more, Peter is just a joy to watch, as he agonises over his nature and tries to prevent others discovering what he really is. If you’ve never seen it but want to check out the transformation, have a look on YouTube. Just make sure you’re not eating at the time.

And staying with TV, and returning to True Blood, I really do have to mention Alcide. The alcideatypical alpha male, he will do anything to protect his loved ones and his pack, and I was actually upset when the romance between him and Sookie didn’t continue in the series. But Alcide is amazing and yes I actually really struggled to find a picture of him with his top on.

From the book world, Richard, in the Anita Blake series. I loved Richard from the moment we met him – in some ways, he is a lot like Alcide, and though I haven’t read the books in years, he’s definitely a character that really sticks with me.

And who can forget, another tortured boy, though like the other wolves on this list he’s firmly in the ‘good guy’ category. My top favourite werewolf of all time, because I just freaking adored the character when reading the books – Remus Lupin. The legend that is, the wonderful, kind hearted DADA teacher who is forced out by the prejudice of the wizarding community, and a character who deserved way more time than we got in either the books or films. Remus, without a doubt, will always have a special place in my heart.

I am always looking for more vampire and werewolf book recs, so if you have any, please do let me know! And who are some of your favourites? Do you agree with these choices, or any of them make you think, “Ah, no, nope, not at all”?

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Blogtober Day 8: Five Autumn Reads

Blogtober Day 8

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

I love Autumn. I love the nights drawing in, the heating going on, the actually being able to get comfy because it’s not stupidly hot anymore feeling. Halloween approaches, followed by Bonfire Night, my birthday a week later and Christmas is just around the corner. In short, Autumn is amazing, and here are 5 books I think are great for this most wonderful season.

Under My Hat

under my hatOkay so I haven’t actually finished this yet, but so far this witchy anthology is proving to be a great start to the autumn season. It covers various kinds of witches, with each story presenting a unique and different view, and the authors involved are fantastic. Definitely well worth a read.

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

hppoaThis book makes me think of Halloween more than any of the others, maybe because so much of it is about revealing Harry’s past, and it’s when the books start to take a darker  turn. Perfect for longer nights. FUN FACT: The second or third time I was reading this, I was in bed, curled up, when I got to the part where the dementors came onto the train and all the lights went out. And…all the lights went out. In my house. As they appeared. I legged it downstairs so fast to find my parents. Just a normal power-cut, but yeah, it was kind of freaky.

The Near Witch

the near witchMy Review

This atmospheric novel feels like a fantastic autumn read, with descriptions that will make you glad to be huddled down in your blanket. Schwab has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and if you haven’t read it already, now seems like the perfect time to pick up The Near Witch, full of creepy imagery, a compelling cast, and haunting prose.

The Cruel Prince

the cruel prince.jpg

I really loved this book, and something about fae and the world they inhabit makes me think of autumn, or at least the tail-end of summer, the in-between time as one season changes to the next. It’s another book with fantastic imagery and absolutely compelling characters, and a story to keep you riveted. And the last of the trilogy is out next month, so this seems like a perfect time to read The Cruel Prince and book 2, The Wicked King.

‘Salem’s Lot

salems lotI couldn’t do an autumn books list without including at least one Stephen King. King was the author who first got me into horror, and along with JK Rowling and Anne Rice, inspired me to start writing. Almost any SK book could be included on this list, but I went for ‘Salem’s Lot partly because it was one of the first King books I ever read, and I read it before I ever read Dracula. Which means I read it a long time ago, but I do remember it being eerie, sparking a lifelong search for books that would scare me. And it was one of my first exposures to vampires AS EVIL. I was a vampire obsessed teen, but until ‘Salem’s Lot, I’d only really read Buffy and a couple of Anne Rice books, both of which had vampires with the potential to be good, not just villains. And I remember staring out of my bedroom window at night, after putting the book down, and paying particular attention to the shadows outside.

Any books you think are perfect for autumn? Any recommendations for me to check out? Let me know in the comments!

Blogtober Day Seven: Reading Snacks

Blogtober_ Day Seven

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

I don’t tend to really snack when reading, probably because I usually read when I’m in bed, or in work while I’m eating lunch. I also don’t really snack at home. I snack at work, and it’s usually just a packet of crisps or some chocolate, and I snack at lot at the BF’s when I’m playing video games, but not usually outside of that. But I can think of what sort of snacks I’d enjoy if I was settling in and planning on reading for a good few hours.

For reading, I think a hot drink is best, especially on a cold, crisp night. Hot chocolate, or perhaps my favourite – a flavoured latte. (Not even kidding, Greggs do an amazing caramel latte and McDonalds do a good toffee one – I prefer them over Costa and Starbucks!)

Some biscuits as well of course – I love chocolate covered biscuits, but some custard creams would also go nicely, just make sure you don’t get any crumbs on the pages!

And chocolate. My favourite chocolate is Galaxy, though honestly I love trying different kinds, as long as they don’t have nuts in! I also often tend to go through phases with different chocolates. My recent one was Dark Milk, which tastes amazing.

Cake! Of course. Cake is always good, whether it’s a simple Victoria Sponge, or a trifle cake which one of my colleagues makes (any cake she makes is just really, really good). Can’t beat a good slice of cake or a delicious cupcake.

Now, excuse me while I go raid the kitchen for some biscuits!

Do you snack while reading? What  are your favourite snacks?

Blogtober Day Six: The Strong Woman Horror Trope

Blogtober Day Six (1).pngDay One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

The challenge list has today as ‘Spooky Middlegrade’, but I don’t read much Middlegrade, so I thought I’d go for something a bit different instead, and talk briefly about a particular trope in horror.

This trope is tricky. It’s great to see women out there kicking ass, but at some point they sort of all blended into the same person – paranormal/urban fantasy, to me, feels particularly guilty of this. Women who have all the vampires and werewolves fawning over them, or in less fantasy-based horror, all the men, anyway, but who push them away, and push them away, and push them away until at some point they succumb to the seduction. Which is fine, but all too often these women have no families, either parents, partners or dependants, and the sense is the men around them make them who they are.

This sometimes comes with a ‘Gifted’ element. Sookie Stackhouse doesn’t fall into the ‘strong woman’ trope (honestly, it made her kind of refreshing) but she is ‘Gifted’ in that she can read minds. But take Anita Blake – works for the police, constantly competing against men to prove herself, can raise the dead and, in later novels, uses the power of sex to save the day. I loved the first Anita Blake novels, but somewhere close to the 20th I started to lose interest.

There are a few elements that can be combined for the ‘strong woman’ trope. Usually has a ‘masculine’ job, retains their femininity mostly in their looks, has to prove themselves to the men around them – it’s like the Final Girl, all grown up. Adding in the Gifted element can sometimes work, though it really depends.

The trope definitely feels like it came about to try and give women more agency in genres where they didn’t always have it before. It is a good thing, and it’s always great to see women really kicking ass, but sometimes the whole tough-chick-no-emotions thing can make these women feel unrealistic, and it can fall flat, making it feel like cookie cutter Lara Croft, Ellen Ripley, or Buffy.

However, there are two recent books that present strong women in a different way, taking the trope and really adding to it, ensuring the characters don’t feel like ones we’ve read before. They are also two books I will not shut up about so yes this is a chance for me to rave about them some more.

Faith York – The Festering Ones, S.H. Cooper

the festering onesFaith York is a really interesting character, one who witnessed something awful in her childhood and revisits it, years later. The novella focuses on Faith, but as she unravels the mystery surrounding the strange monsters who killed her father, she sort of collects other women, who journey with her to rescue their own loved ones. Faith might not be a police officer, or military, or be involved in a masculine job like other women of this trope, but there’s no doubt she’s strong. And she really connects with the other women, rather than pushing them away, sympathising with them. All too often, with ‘strong women’ characters, we see them set against other women, showing how they’re totally different and other women – who perhaps enjoy dresses and makeup, shock horror – are all catty and out to get one another. The Festering Ones doesn’t have any of this, just a group of women uniting to tackle an evil they barely comprehend.

Rose McFarland – Whispers in the Dark, Laurel Hightower

whispersOn the surface, Rose fits nicely into this trope. She’s a S.W.A.T sniper, used to taking people’s lives, and can come across as cold and unemotional. She has a tragic backstory, and is Gifted. But where Rose differs from most others is in her attitude and the way she treats people around her. Rose is scarred, deeply, from the fire in her home as a teenager. But when the men in her life call her beautiful, she doesn’t spend a page mentally pondering this – she accepts it. And she doesn’t push these men away, either. She’s happy to operate on her own, but she accepts help when offered too, and the men don’t constantly insist on trying to help her, but realise Rose is better equipped to protect herself and her family than anyone else. She’s strong and confident, and, something I personally hasn’t seen before, has two kids as well. She has a good relationship with her ex-husband, mourns her second husband, and is sleeping with her partner, and all of these things are handled well and realistically. Rose feels more real than a lot of other women found within horror and paranormal/urban fantasy, and it makes the book so much better for it.

In short, both Faith and Rose are fantastic characters, both strong in their own, different ways, and though both might seem to fit into the ‘strong women’ trope, they’re so much more than many other similar characters I’ve seen before.

More characters like them, please!

Are there any particular books you think handle similar tropes in different ways? Any really strong female characters you absolutely love? Let me know!

Blogtober Day 5: Top 5 Disney Villains

Blogtober Day 5.pngDay One: Spooky TBR

Day Two: October Releases

Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List

Day Four: Cosy Reading Nook

Anniek’s Library: Challenge List

Anyone who has spent any time following me on Twitter probably knows by now that I love Disney. Disney films bring a lot of comfort to me, I was lucky enough to spend my fifth birthday in Walt Disney World, and I’ll be spending my 30th at Disneyland Paris, because I am, indeed, a very lucky woman. And, let’s face it, Disney villains are freaking awesome, otherwise we wouldn’t have had a whole spin off dedicated to Maleficent.

But how to sort them into a top 5? It feels like there are so many different directions this could go. Top most stylish? Top 5 best songs? Top deserve-their-own-live-action-film?

I’ve pondered this, and I’ve come to a conclusion.

This list will be my top 5 most frightening villains – from an adult’s perspective. The darkest villains. Sure, Maleficent can turn into a dragon, and the Evil Queen is terrifying when she transforms into an old hag, but have you ever stopped to think about the villains who are actually abusive? Or sing about, well, rape?

Top 5 Terrifying Disney Villains

1. Lotso

lotso
Ain’t he just an adorable, fluffy bear of evil

Lotso, the pink cuddly bear from Toy Story 3, is evil. He twists the minds of those around him, convinces them they’re unwanted, unloved, and only he can give their lives purpose. And he tries to destroy anyone who tries to escape, or who doesn’t fall in line. Lotso is a cult leader; one intent on clinging to power, anyway he can.

2. Lady Tremaine

lady tremaine
Can we have a nice step-mother for once, please, Disney?

Ahh, Lady Tremaine, the widow with two daughters who remarries and then, after the death of her second husband, enforces a strict life of servitude on Cinderella. I’ve seen the argument that Tremaine is a grieving widow, but plenty of people grieve without inflicting child abuse on those under their care. And that’s not to mention the way she treats her daughters – yep, they don’t get out lightly either. She forces them to dress a certain way, to act a certain way, all with the aim of finding a rich husband. She uses her daughters, step- and bio, just to try and better her own life, rather than ensuring her daughters are able to live full, happy lives. She’s selfish and abusive, and if Cinderella was set now, social workers would be knocking down their door before the Fairy Godmother could say bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.

3. Judge Claude Frollo

judge claude frollo
Who is the monster and who is the man?

Frollo is a villain who, as I get older, gets worse and worse. There’s so much more to him than I thought as a kid, because quite frankly, so much of his character went straight over my head. For starters, he’s a religious fanatic – he doesn’t follow Christ’s teachings, but uses God and Christianity as a shield for his own actions, positioning himself as a champion of good and using religion as an excuse to enact his own evil, cruel policies. He threatens people. He’s the reason Quasimodo’s mother dies in the first place, as he chases her down and onto the steps of the cathedral (though seriously, where was the archdeacon when she was banging on the doors asking to be let in?) and he almost DROWNS A DAMN BABY. He convinces Quasimodo he cares for him, keeps him locked up and warns him against going outside. Like Mother Gothel, Frollo’s power over our hero is only there because the hero loves them back, because Quasimodo and Rapunzel love the people who claim to be their parents. And on top of that, HE FULL ON WANTS TO RAPE ESMERALDA. Hellfire is one of the most underrated, terrifying Disney songs, where Frollo basically states that if he cannot have her, no one can. Manipulative and abusive, Frollo feels sometimes way too realistic, with the kind of attitude, belief and power that combined, make him a very dangerous man indeed.

4. Hans

hans.jpg
Hans is the guy who posts on AITA; “I convinced a girl I loved her after knowing her for 5 minutes so I can take over her kingdom, but I was left with no choice…AITA? I really don’t think I am. Her and her sister should just give me the kingdom I can rule it better”

Seriously, this guy. He targets the sisters, and only goes for Anna because he can instantly see how vulnerable she is, how easy it would be to win her over. He manipulates her, and right at the crucial moment, breaks her poor heart (and probably half the audience’s, too!). And yes, there are fantastic parallels between Hans in Frozen and Littlefinger in Game of Thrones, and not just because THAT moment feels so eerily similar. But Hans is the kind of guy who lures you with his looks, who acts like a nice guy while he’s drip feeding abuse into your ear. Let’s face it, if he and Anna HAD married, it wouldn’t take long before her self-esteem was at all time low and she had no one to turn to but him. He’s more than willing to kill Elsa, not because he thinks she poses a threat, but simply because he wants the kingdom all for himself. What an arsehole.

5. Zira

zira.jpg
‘My Lullaby’ is a massively underrated Disney song.

Okay, here me out.

Zira is the antagonist for the sequel to Lion King, aka the big bad of Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. She’s a devoted follower of Scar, and as such, sets up her son, Kovu, raising him with the goal of Kovu killing Simba, then taking the pride for himself. Though of course he’d be little more than a puppet king, with Zira as the main power. Zira makes the list because not only is she hellbent on revenge, she is more than willing to use her children to achieve her goal. In some respects, she does care for them – she is honestly upset when one dies – but like Lady Tremaine, there are elements of abuse in the way she treats them, and she is happy to manipulate them in order to achieve her goals. Again, she doesn’t want to see Kovu as alpha male so he can have a better life, she wants it so she can have the power.

And ‘My Lullaby’ is an absolutely awesome song, and a brilliant follow up to Scar’s ‘Be Prepared’.

So there we have it, 5 Disney villains. What are your thoughts? Are there any particular Disney villains you love to hate, or ones you think are downright evil?

 

 

 

Rose – Rami Ungar – Book Tour

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Welcome to my stop for the Rose book tour, the horror fantasy novel by Rami Ungar, and thanks so much for the invite from Blackthorn Book Tours. See my review below for this gripping novel.

About the Book

Rose wakes in a strange greenhouse, with no idea how she got there, her memories missing, and her body transformed. As she struggles to discover what happened to her, she finds she now has buds sprouting from her, her skin is green, and she has somehow gained roots, requiring her to settle in soil every so often to feed off the nutrients.

Enter Paris, claiming to be her boyfriend, who explains Rose was involved in an accident the night before, and he found a way to bring her back. She’s in his greenhouse, and Paris tells her how completely in love they are, and how he’s going to protect her – she has nothing to worry about.

My Review

The reader is drawn into the situation, gripped by the events happening to Rose, and Ungar does an excellent job of ensuring the reader never quite knows what to think, leading them through twisted corridors and constantly second-guessing everything.

The majority of the novel is set in just Paris’ apartment and his greenhouse, but Ungar does great things with the space, making the reader feel as penned in as Rose, but never losing them with the containment. And when the novel moves, it really moves, dragging the reader along with the characters, increasing the pace and tension with every step.

It’s hard not to feel for Rose, trapped as she is and unable to interact with anyone, as her memories slowly start to come back. And it’s hard to get a handle on Paris, the impression being that perhaps in their previous life together, he wasn’t that great of a boyfriend.

The twists and turns in the novel feel natural rather than jarring, and the tension is kept high throughout, without feeling like its all just too much. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and definitely recommend it to any horror/fantasy fans.

The Author

author photo 1-7-19-1

Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer.

Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, will be released June 21st, 2019.

When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.

Don’t Forget
You can read my previous reviews about Rose on Goodreads and on Dead Head Reviews
Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour, too.
Copy of Blackthorn Book Tours resetnts (1)

Blogtober Day 4: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook

Blogtober Day FourDay One: Spooky TBR

Day Two: October Releases

Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library

I’ve always wanted a proper reading nook. It was one of those things I dreamed of as a kid, imagining a large landing in a big house, a huge bay window with a cushioned seat instead of a windowsill. Where I could look out on a large garden, and of course the seat would open, and it would be hollow so I would have somewhere to store the books I hadn’t yet read.

My dreams have changed a little as I’ve got older, but I still like to imagine the nice cosy reading spot I can one day call my own!

My perfect reading nook would be a corner, of course, with bookshelves either side, and a seat in the middle. Preferably something I can stretch out on. I’m very much used to reading laying down now, legs stretched out, so I would either need something like that or a big, comfy armchair and a footrest. A little table where I can put a reading lamp, and a dog-bed at my feet, for my future dog, of course! And maybe a curtain I can pull around the area, something that clearly says to everyone else DO NOT DISTURB.

A little extra wall space would be good too, so I could put up, maybe, full prints of my favourite book covers, or maybe some of my own book covers – or would that be too egotistical? Perhaps the covers of books I’ve edited would be best.

In all reality, one day I’ll probably end up with just a sofa to read on, or just keep reading in my bed. Though the amount of bookshelves I have is likely to grow!

What’s your perfect reading area?

blogtober

Blogtober Day 3: Bookish Autumn Bucket List

Blogtober Day ThreeDay One: My Spooky TBR

Day Two: October Releases

Anniek’s Library: Challenge List

I don’t usually do bucket lists, mainly because if there is something I want to do, I don’t like setting a time limit on it. It makes me feel awful if it’s not completed, and I have been really busy lately.

But, okay. I’m going to make this a sort of writing & bookish list.

Read creepy/spooky stuff. As you can tell from my Day One list, I have a lot of good horror to read. I’ve just finished Whisper’s In The Dark, and there’s plenty more for me to dig into next. I’m currently reading Under My Hat, and hopefully will get that finished soonish.

Edit, edit, edit. Not my own work, but things have been picking up for my Fiverr beta reading gig, and I’m honing my skills as an editor. I’m not far off levelling up!

Birthday! Yep, my birthday falls sort of autumn, right on the cusp of autumn and winter (November 12th). This year, I’ll be spending it in Disney Paris with my amazing boyfriend, and it’ll definitely feel more like winter there with all the Christmas decs up. And hopefully, the coach to the airport + flight will include lots of reading! I’ve got the Frozen Twisted Tales lined up ready for it.

Write! I’ve recently been working on a couple of horror short stories, one that I hope to submit to an amazing horror podcast I absolutely love, one where the idea dug in and wouldn’t let go, and another I hope will be the start of a horror story collection. So we’ll see how that goes.

Unfortunately I don’t have any annual leave from work this month, so I’m relying on evening and weekends to get stuff done. We’ll see how it goes, but you can probably guess (especially if you follow me on Twitter) what I’m most excited for!

blogtober

Blogtober Day 2: October Releases

Blogtober Day Two

Day One: Spooky TBR

Anniek’s Library – Blogtober Challenge List

Confession: I am not great at keeping up with what’s coming out at any given time. This is mainly because I can’t afford to buy new books, and I have such a big TBR I try to add to it as little as possible. I do keep an eye out for anticipated releases, but often don’t know about them until right before release date. I very rarely pre-order books (though I have started doing so more recently, and trying to keep up with authors doing events in the local area, so I am getting better).

So in this post, I’m going to talk about three books I’ve already had the privilege of reading, that are either out (but released earlier this month) or are due out soon. And they’re all horror, so definitely consider these if you’re looking for some great Halloween reads.

Midnight In The Graveyard

Edited By: Kenneth W. Cain

Release Date: October 1st

midnight in the graveyard

Read The Full Review

An anthology of ghost stories, with some of the strongest emerging names in horror. Some of these stories will leave you feeling creeped out and looking over your shoulder, others will fill you with warmth on cold autumn afternoons. Highly recommended from me.

The Festering Ones

S.H. Cooper

Release Date: October 4th

the festering ones

Read My Release Date Post

Check out that epic cover and tell me you don’t want to read this novella, about a woman who goes searching for the truth behind her father’s death. Gripping, eerie, tense, featuring monsters, cults, and otherworldly gods, this is definitely one horror fans should check out.

Grind Your Bones To Dust

Nicholas Day

Release Date: October 10th

grind your bones

Read The Full Review

This book is eerie as anything, with twisted monsters and even more twisted people contained in its pages. The writing is beautiful and almost lyrical, contrasted with the actual events of the novel and the characters explored. Throughout, Day doesn’t let up, tugging the reader along on a journey that will leave them breathless.

Three October releases, three perfect reads for spooky season. Definitely check them out, though maybe don’t read them too late at night in a house all by yourself.

blogtober

 

Blogtober Day 1: My Spooky TBR

spooky tbr

I saw this Blogtober list over on Anniek’s Library, and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I was a little caught up the last few days trying to make sure I got some other stuff written, so I am a little behind, but hopefully I can get a few of these up and try to keep up with it for the rest of the month!

The full list is at the bottom of this post, and definitely pop over to Anniek’s Library to check out the blog there!

Spooky TBR

My horror TBR has increased a fair bit recently, mainly because I’ve started reviewing for Dead Head Reviews, which is awesome as it means I’ve recently read some absolutely fantastic horror.

At the moment, I’m reading two books. One for the website, and one anthology. The anthology isn’t ‘horror’ as such, but it is all themed around witches. Perfect for October. under my hatThe anthology is Under My Hat, which includes authors such as Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Tanith Lee and Garth Nix. I’ve only read a few stories from it so far, but they have been really good.

I’m also reading Laurel Hightower’s Whisper’s In The Dark which, if you are any kind of horror fan, you really should pick up. Strong female MC, creepy but adorable kids, and scenes where I’ve literally had to put my Kindle down and take a moment. Which doesn’t happen to me a lot. I’m just under whispershalfway through the book, and I already absolutely, without a doubt love it.

For the TBR, there’s a few spooky books I’d like to get to this month, if I can.

The Sea Was A Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

Danse Macabre – Stephen King

dear lauraWorld Of Horror Anthology

Dear Laura – Gemma Amor

It’s doubtful I’ll get to read much more than that, but I will try! And of course, you can look out for my reviews of the books I’ve read on this blog, Dead Head, and on Goodreads.blogtober.png