Happy Halloween and Stacking My Shelves

MFAFHappyHalloween Princess Leia

Happy Halloween week! I can’t believe it’s this time again! This year is speeding by and in some ways I’m okay with that but in others I’m not ready for so much time to have passed.
This Halloween my family is going with a Star Wars theme. I get to be Princess Leia, husband is Obi Wan and the kiddo is Darth Vader. I’ll be sharing pictures after Halloween so you can see us in all our glory but for now I have the one above of me as Princess Leia.  I’ve wanted to do this costume for ages so I’m very excited. Tomorrow is scheduled to rain all day here so I’ve got my fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

MFAWSplash

This was a very exciting week for me because I announced my newest project, My Friends Are Writers. I talked some about it here and you can check out the splash page and sign up email updates if you’d like. This will be a project management tool designed for writers. I really can’t wait to share more info.

The Books

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Half of the above were surprises (and what fine surprises they were). I’d not heard of the Becca Fitzpatrick book before (!!!) but I’m really excited to dive in. All her books I’ve read are always very fast paced and I’m eager for that right now. And I must say–the texture on the book is amazing. I am reading Ten Thousand Skies Above You right now and am enjoying it! A Book of Spirits and Thieves is a gift and I’m so incredibly happy to own it (and complete my collection). It is sooo beautiful. Look for collection pictures coming soon to Instagram. I’ve not heard of Faking It nor have I read the first book in the series. Has anyone read it?

Last Week’s Posts

Giveaways

That’s it for me. Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what will you go as?

Top Ten Tuesday Halloween-ish Reads

Happy Tuesday! I can’t believe Halloween is THIS week. The time has gone too fast and I’m not feeling as Halloween-ish as I usually do. I love this time of year so I really need to amp it up and get in the mood for festive times.

Today I’m going to share my Top Ten Halloween-ish reads. These aren’t necessary scary books more creepy and atmospheric.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different question is posed and gives us bloggers an opportunity to share our top tens on all different types of bookish topics.

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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke, In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, Thin Space by Jody Casella, The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey, The Fall by Bethany Griffin, This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee, A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Each of these books are out right now so if you’re interested you can pick any of these up.

I’m curious what your favorite creepy reads are? I’ve actually not done a lot of creepy reading this season so that could be one reason I’m not feeling like it should be Halloween yet. I’m still stuck thinking school just started.

My October To Be Read Pile

Happy Halloween month! I can’t believe we are this far into 2015 already. I love October and am already excited about Halloween. My family is going to dress up in Star Wars costumes this year. Kiddo will be Darth Vader, hubby will be Obi Wan and I’m going to be Princess Leia. Last year we had a batman theme…

Halloween

I’m thinking up a fun thing for the blog for this month too…hopefully I can get it together in a timely manner. It has absolutely nothing to do with books but I think it’ll be fun regardless.

Now…to the books…

October TBR

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Looking at my TBR I’m realizing I don’t have a ton of creepy reads! I’m nearly done with A Madness So Discreet (it’s amazing!) and I think Flashes is creepy?

What do you have planned for this month?

Do you dress up for Halloween?

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop-International

Spooktacular Hop

Welcome to my stop on this year’s Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Halloween is such a fun time of the year so I’m going to let my winner choose one of the spooky reads below. This is an international giveaway! A lot of these are the first in a series. You can pick any of the series if you’ve read the first.

 In the Shadow of BlackbirdsThe FallAnna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

 The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)In the After (In the After, #1)

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Be sure to enter the other giveaway too:

Thrills & Chills Blog Tour- Jonathan Stroud

thrills & chills banner

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love the fall season, candy and the fun of dressing up. I also enjoy spooking myself with books and films so what better way to get in the festive mood than to highlight some of this year’s creepiest reads. I’m so excited to be part of the Halloween Thrills & Chills Blog Tour hosted by the incredible The Midnight Garden.

I am honored to have Jonathan Stroud here on the blog today talking about his spectacular series, Lockwood & Co. These books are stellar! I adore the mystery and spooky aura he so deftly incorporates into these books. His characters are well developed and impossible not to love. You must give them a try if you’ve not. First, let’s meet the man behind the books…

jonathanstroudhalloweenAbout Jonathan Stroud
Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Jonathan grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures,  and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill,  so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To  escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he  completed his studies of English literature at the University of York,  he worked in London as an editor for the Walker Books store. He worked  with different types of books there and this soon led to the writing of  his own books. During the 1990s, he started publishing his own works and quickly gained success.

Jonathan is the author of the bestselling Bartimaeus Trilogy as well as Lockwood & Co. from Disney-Hyperion. Visit him online on his website, blog, Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter.

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The Whispering Skull Synopsis
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and  his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest:  the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will  have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper. Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly  tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed  with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until  George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom. Back home at  Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless  mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps  is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was  raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished.  Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found. The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series  delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.

The Whispering Skull, the second book in the Lockwood & Co. series, was released on September 16th, 2014. Add it to your GoodReads, and find it in stores and online!


Guest Post: Jonathan Stroud on Fashion Accessories for Ghost-hunters
Traditional spooky stories, at least literary ones, tend to weigh the scales quite heavily in favour of the scary ghosts. These spectres are powerful and purposeful; they know they’ve got a job to do (usually involving vengeance, punishment or warning) and they knuckle down and get it done with maximum efficiency. The living protagonist of the tale, however, is usually a fairly wet specimen, being hapless, innocent and/or fatally curious, and (crucially) almost always vulnerable and alone. In other words, when something spectral comes calling, they’ve got precious few defences to offer. Usually the upshot is they die straight off, go mad with shock, or are otherwise enfeebled, wasting pathetically away or dying months later, never having spoken again. In other words, it’s an easy win for the ghost.

Not in my books, it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want my ghouls to be scary. I want them as sinister and horrible as I can make them. Cute dewy-eyed phantoms a la Caspar the Friendly Ghost need not apply. But I want it to be a fair fight between them and my child heroes, who (since the frankly rubbish adults can’t sense ghosts at all) are the ones who have to face them. It’s true the kids have strong psychic abilities, and are able to see, hear and otherwise sense supernatural things almost before they happen, but this isn’t itself a great defence. In some respects it actually makes them more vulnerable, since they see stuff (and hear stuff) that preys on their mind. No, they definitely need a bit of authorial assistance, going in.

What does this mean in practice? It means giving them nice clothes.

I intuited this right at the start, before I had a clue what the story was really about. The first scene of The Screaming Staircase sees Anthony Lockwood and Lucy Carlyle, two of our three heroes, arriving at a haunted house. They go to the door, ring the bell, stand there ready to be let in.

Lockwood’s nattily dressed in a suit and tie. He also goes in for a long coat that looks cool but has a tendency to get caught in things at moments of danger. He wears gloves against the spectral cold. (Under his shirt and trousers he’s probably got a set of thermals too, but we won’t go into this right now.) He’s also got ectoplasm-proof boots, made in London by a fashionable British footwear company. His outfit says: English, coolly assertive, upper-middle class. He’s not going to be overawed by any old scrubby phantom.

Lucy’s equally sartorially well-equipped for supernatural encounters. She goes for a neat parka, a warm jersey, a short and funky skirt, a set of (extra-warm) leggings, and another pair of swish boots. Unlike Lockwood, she has a woolly hat to hand; like him, she sports a long shiny rapier at her belt for dealing with spectres. Her look is rather more up-to-date and classless than Lockwood’s, but equally formidable.

The third hero, George Cubbins, is introduced later in the first book. He’s different again – generally appearing in a rather scruffy untucked T-shirt, jeans and massive trainers. More of a slacker-look, in other words (and the subject of much derision from Lucy), but it’s still a statement of youthful confidence.

So, like every set of professionals, Lockwood & Co. have a certain uniform. It helps give them power. What ghost wouldn’t be unnerved to face these three?

Giveaway Info:
ThrillsChillsGiveaway

Win a Thrills and Chills box of horror! Includes copies of the following new releases:
Mary: The Summoning
The Screaming Staircase The Whispering Skull
Welcome to the Dark House
The box will be delivered just in time for spooky Halloween reading. Open to US and Canadian residents, see complete rules on entry form.
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Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour

Thrills and Chills: Halloween Event Tour with Jonathan Stroud, Hillary Monahan, and Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 1
The Midnight Garden
5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud

Thursday, October 2
The Starry-Eyed Revue
Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of Mary: The Summoning

Friday, October 3
Supernatural Snark
Rules for Surviving a House of Horrors (guest post by Laurie Stolarz)

Monday, October 6
Xpresso Reads
Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning

Tuesday, October 7
Love is Not a Triangle
5 Questions with Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 8
For the Love of Words
10 Great Horror Films with Jonathan Stroud

Thursday, October 9
Winterhaven Books
How I Became a Horror Fan  (guest post with Hillary Monahan)

Friday,  October 10
YA Romantics
Quiz: What Dark House Character Are You?

Monday, October 13
My Friends Are Fiction
Fashion Accessories for Ghosthunters (guest post by Jonathan Stroud)

Tuesday, October 14
The Flyleaf Review
5 Questions with Hillary Monahan

Wednesday, October 15
Books with Bite
Top 10 Items to Survive The Dark House Amusement Park

Thursday, October 16
The Social Potato
A Tour of Jonathan Stroud’s Writing Space

TMG blog tours