Thrills & Chills Blog Tour- Jonathan Stroud

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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.


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:

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

My October TBR Pile


Hip, hip hooray for October! I’m always eager for this time of year and this year is no different-especially with Gilmore Girls on Netflix! Who’s not enjoying that? My plans for Tuesday when Brennan is in school? Watching a marathon! I’m super excited. This show broke my heart in so many ways but it’s also just so perfect.

I’ve gathered up the books that I hope to be able to read this month. I’m pretty excited about my pile since it includes some of my most anticipated books for this year *cough, Mortal Heart, Cough*

Would you like to see?


Pretty pile of books isn’t it? I’m more than half way into  Stitching Snow and enjoying it though it hasn’t blown me away. My expectations had been lowered significantly with all the poor reviews I’ve been seeing. It’s really not that bad but it hasn’t presented any new material I’ve not seen before. It’s worth the read. Last night I felt the urge to start This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It’s wonderful! I’ve actually finished it after staying up rather late to read it. Once I started I didn’t want to stop.

Other things that you can expect this month…

  • Blog Tour- Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Review and Giveaway October 8th
  • Thrills and Chill Tour- hosted by The Midnight Garden. Guest Post by Jonathan Stroud and Giveaway October 13th

And the big question…will I be able to FINALLY share the Heir of Fire Lego Cover Art? That is to be seen. I’ve been so busy in my RL I’ve had no time to even take the photographs yet. I meant to this last weekend but I forgot.

Stacking the Shelves

It’s OCTOBER!! I love the fall season…all the warm colors, cooler weather and pumpkin everything. I decorated some and generally started to try to get into the festive mood. The temperatures around here have lowered a bit but I’m eager for some chillier temps.

Since I took off a week from blogging this will be for what I’ve gotten in the last two weeks so it’s a bit more than normal. I’m very excited about them all. And look at that The Kiss of Deception map.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review:





Yay to getting Macmillan ARCs. Now if The Winner’s Crime could show up… I love these Harper hardcovers and can’t wait to read The Fall. I started it and I can already tell it’s going to creep me out. I’ve heard mixed things about Black Ice but I’m eager to see for myself. I was asked if I’d like to review The Lodger and couldn’t turn it down. It’s an adult historical fiction and it looks wonderful. And that cover is lovely.

Gift (for being on the blog tour):


Once Mary Pearson shared pictures of this map I was wanting it oh so badly. I was THRILLED when I got one in the mail for being on the tour. Such a beauty!


I’m on the Thrills and Chills tour that The Midnight Garden is hosting so I was gifted this beautiful book. I had The Screaming Staircase already but hadn’t read it yet. This gave me the push I needed and I ended up loving it. One of my faves of the year for sure. I can’t wait to read TWS.



I won Chaos on Goodreads so I had to catch up on the series. I’ve heard nothing but praise and already read Sanctum and really enjoyed it. I feel so lucky that I’m getting to read them all one after another. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the wait between novels.

Last Week’s Posts:

I didn’t post all that much last week since my blogging break went until October 1st. I’ve got to say, taking the little break was amazing for me. I feel a lot more motivated and I had time to read, catch up (some) on comments and draft a few posts.

What you might have missed prior to my blogging break:

How have you been these last two weeks? What new books have you added to your collection?