Sunday, October 30, 2011

Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 175 Projects and Year-Round Inspiration for Everybody's Favorite Celebrations


It's another round of Martha Stewart holiday magic! This time, the crafts masters at Martha Stewart Living Magazine have gathered a 352-page cornucopia of projects for any holiday or special occasion. Whether you're making home decorations for Christmas or Thanksgiving; party favors for birthdays or Halloween; or simply small "visiting gifts," Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts can make the occasion more festive. Family fun.

This book is exactly what it looks like... a Martha Stewart craft book. I admit that sometimes Martha's perfection often puts me off when it comes to crafts, but the ideas her people come up with are usually eye catching and interesting. This book is no exception. 

As with what you often expect with Martha, it is more a book of celebrating with others. You have all the major holidays which is geared mostly toward a US audience. So, you have the 4th and Thanksgiving included. And although I do enjoy looking at crafts for a formal(ish in some instances) setting, it wouldn't fit any of my family on either side. We just aren't a formal crowd. I would fear for the fate of most of those crafts when the kidlets get a hold of them. LOL

But there are some that really caught my eye. Like for the upcoming holiday, Halloween. I think this would be fun to do some time:
Just think of all the creatures you could invent!
So, there are lots of crafts for those of us that just don't do the adult formal thing. There are also a lot of Christmas/ Hanukkah which is approaching fast (hey, don't look at me like that, I'm just stating that it's true! *hides*)
So, if you enjoy the creativity that Martha Stewart brings, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this book.
I was given this book by NetGalley and the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dog Product Review

This time I'm reviewing another product from Kyjen is the Outward Hound Bottle and Bowl bag. I thought it would be perfect for me on those days I get my puppers out and I don't have to worry about lugging water for both of us. I can share without actually sharing. 
I did try it out on a very hot day but I would also use this during this time of year because it is so dry. I don't have to worry about getting home right away so they don't get dehydrated. Yes, I did worry about that before. 
As you see, I got a large Sigg bottle in the pack. On a hot day it was enough for me and my 2 large dogs. This is a great product and I recommend it to anyone that walks their dogs!
I received this product for my honest review and no compensation was given.

On My Wishlist... brraaiiinnn edition

Meme hosted by Book Chick City

Until I Die by Amy Plum
tbp: May 8th, 2012

Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. Although the experiment that Vincent attempts is progressively destroying him, he insists on seeing it through to the end. This prompts Kate to strike out on her own into the dangerous world of the revenants to find another way. But she unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk when she discovers a family of ancient healers who hold the key to a secret that could help the bardia—the good revenants—overthrow their murderous enemies, the numa, forever.

And while the lovers search for something they have little chance of finding, a new threat arises among the numa. Kate finds herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander...but as a target.

I enjoyed the first one and really want to read this one!

Revived by Cat Patrick
tbp: May 8, 2012

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

Now don't forget to go to the Bookish Brunette's blog to win some zombie goodies and also it's the last stop on the Trick or Treat for books giveaway!

This is what happened after the last vid...
(last vid can be found HERE if you missed it)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout


The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. 
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway.  
There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
 Hm... what can I say? This was a book I didn't want to put down. It was a world I did not want to leave. There was a man that I want to caress... uh, I mean lust over... wait... *argh!* FINE! Aiden is my love bunny and anyone else that says otherwise is a LIAR. *ahem* Back to the review...

I really loved this story. I bet you couldn't have guessed that. ;) It was also a bit of an emotional ride for me. The world is very segregated into the pures and the half-bloods. The half-bloods really have no rights and are treated as slaves. It was a world that really angered me. It, however, set up Alex's world with delicious tension and why she had the choices (and forced compliance) we read about.

The characters were well developed (especially Aiden... *giggles*). Not only did I love Alex's disregard for the rules, I also loved her best friend Caleb. He really was a true friend. Of course there is Aiden. But what can I say about him? He's horrible and you should all stay away from him. ;D Of course, I'm sure you know I'm lying. But, *sigh* yes, he makes the perfect almost boyfriend. And then their is Seth. Seth, the arrogant multitalented half. The one I'm curious as to how he is going to develop in the coming series.

I give this book 5 stars. Now this book is so much better than my disjointed review. It's only that way because I'm trying so hard to review it without revealing too much while telling you that you are a fool to not read it. FOOL! *ahem* As you see... still disjointed. *sigh*

You can get the prequel Daimon HERE at the publisher or HERE at Goodreads for free. You can also purchase it where you buy your ebooks . 

It will set up Half-Blood quite nicely. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I know that Halloween isn't over yet (so don't kill me about the holiday talk... you know which ones), but I do have a deal for you!
I received a deal last year for my Christmas cards and I really loved the quality. I was able to get exactly what I wanted and so at least that part was easily done. I'm going to get my cards again there this year.
I'm thinking this one. I love it! LOL I think I'll add some of my own touches in the photo rather than a simple photo.

That one may not appeal to you (especially if you don't have puppies), but there is a wide variety of Holiday Cards, Greeting Cards, and even Photo Gifts at Shutterfly. Really something for everyone.

Oh, but dear peeps, I have a couple of deals for you. If you would like to get into the same program as me, and you have a blog? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: At least then you won't have to worry about one thing this season.

So, what if you don't want to blog about it or you don't have a blog? Well, too bad... I guess you'll just have to fill out the rafflecopter giveaway form instead. ;D You will get 25 cards free at Shutterfly. It is international but remember you are responsible for shipping. The shipping prices they have listed are HERE. Oh and yea... there will be 3 winners. :D
Good Luck!

Destined Giveaway!


In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Want to win this book? Well, Zeitghost Media has given me the opportunity to give one book away to a US or Canada adress. All you have to do is fill out the form below. If you give me your snail mail addy, you don't have to do anything but wait for the book to arrive if you win (I will still notify you of winning). If not, you have 24 hours to get back to me or I have to chose another winner. The giveaway will end on the 4th of Nov.

Giveaway is over!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tyger Tyger International Giveaway!


This Halloween the streets and parties will be filled with costumes, masks, mummers and merry deceit. But are you sure that every mask this year will hide a human face? Are you sure?

When grandmothers told tales by firelight and even the smallest child knew that strange creatures moved in the leaping shadows on the walls, October 31st was called Samhain’s Eve—the day when the walls between life and death, between our world and the world of the Sídhe grew thin.

Those who had to walk home in the darkness held their lanterns high, praying that their candles wouldn’t go out. They could feel the Others in the darkness around them, pressing as close as the flickering candles would allow.

Now electric lights have frozen the shadows to the wall, and we laugh, and dress up and call the day Halloween and pretend the darkness isn’t there. The characters in The Goblin Wars live too close to the Others world to pretend:
“….It was the year after my own dear man had passed, and didn’t I have trouble sleeping on such a stormy night with lightning tearing the clouds and punishing the marsh?” She shook her head. “I was just thanking the good Lord that all of mine were safe at home when I heard it—the howling of terrible hounds. It was The Hunt, as sure as there’s mold on Pádraig’s bones. The sound of it can send grown men cowering under their beds. And those who know—” She shook her head and pressed her lips together. 
“Know what?” Aiden asked. 
“That evil is hunting some poor child through the night, a girl child stolen from her home with no one to help her, no place to run—the very thought can drive men mad.” 
Teagan shivered, remembering the blood–stained muzzles. 
“What did you do?” Aiden asked. 
“I’m a máthair, aren’t I?” Mamieo drew herself up. “I made sure my own were tucked safe in bed, put on my shawl, and went to see what could be done….” Tyger Tyger

If you hear something on the wind this Halloween, if you feel breath on the nape of your neck—remember Samhain and turn on the electric lights. Turn them on quickly, and pray that the shadows stay frozen to the walls. Because we’re not as safe as we think we are. We’ll never be safe as long as we ignore the Other.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Melissa!
Kersten Hamilton
Thanks Kersten! I think I'm going to lock the doors right now... Oh and clean under the bed so I have a place to sleep tonight. ;)

I loved this book (my review) and now for those that have yet to read this great series, Kersten is celebrating the release of the paperback with you! So....

This is a giveaway of the paperback of Tyger Tyger. Oh and just a small mention... it's international! Squee! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blood and Other Cravings: Anthology edited by Ellen Datlow

When we think of vampires, instantly the image arises: fangs sunk deep into the throat of the victim. But bloodsucking is merely one form of vampirism. For this brilliantly original anthology, Ellen Datlow has commissioned stories from many of the most powerfully dark voices in contemporary horror, who conjure tales of vampirism that will chill readers to the marrow. 
In addition to the traditional fanged vampires, Datlow presents stories about the leeching of emotion, the draining of the soul, and other dark deeds of predation and exploitation, infestation, and evisceration…tales of life essence, literal or metaphorical, stolen. 
Seventeen stories, by such award-winning authors as Elizabeth Bear, Richard Bowes, Kathe Koja, Margo Lanagan, Carol Emshwiller, and Lisa Tuttle will petrify readers. With dark tales by Laird Barron, Barry Malzberg and Bill Pronzini, Kaaron Warren, and other powerful voices, this anthology will redefine the terror of vampires and vampirism.
Tired of the HEA? Sick of things that just easily work out for the characters? Will one more story where everything is just fixed in the end wanting to make you scream? Well, if you are feeling this way and you are looking for a dark read that sometimes makes you think, "wait... what?" well, look no further. Here is your book!

Am I kidding? Heh. No. As some of you know... I enjoy my HEA. I crave it. However, not one of these stories has an HEA. Not really even and HEA of sorts. In fact the best you get is people resolved to what they know is going to happen to them. However, I did not end up hating the stories. They were creative and different that what I usually read. Darn it! ;) I enjoyed several of them. I really liked the way they explored the characters.

Yes, all you Addams family descendants will sigh with pleasure as all these macabre stories freak you out, make you look under the bed and have horrid endings. So, therefore I give this book 3 1/2 Uncle Fester lightbulbs! There were (as with all anthologies) some that really stand out and those that don't quite reach the full dark. However, in all, I admit I enjoyed it.

So, have I made you curious? Don't forget you can still go around the Trick or Treat for books blogs to enter for the grand prize. This book is one of them! Go HERE for the deets if you missed it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trick or Treat for Books

It's brain week. Uh oh... I hope I can still participate. Do zombies like fried brains? Well, I think this week might play out like this:

Ashley's partner played by her book boyfriend, Seth.

Hurry GO to the Bookish Brunette's site! Before the zombies take over!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my blog from this huge giveaway! I hope you are having tons of fun!
For my giveaway:

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Enter the world of the Dark Dynasties . . .

For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan MacGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer-a human woman with a special gift-who can secure victory for their clan. Ty's search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the Seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he's never known . . .

Lily Quinn has always been different. Since childhood, she's had vivid nightmares and an eerie sixth sense. When a sexy, silver-eyed stranger demands her help, Lily plunges into a new world of danger and sensuality. With Ty, she discovers sizzling passions she cannot deny and powers she cannot control. Soon, it is clear that Lily is much more than a Seer-she holds the key to ancient secrets and unthinkable destruction. But will a vampire's vow of eternal protection stop these evil forces . . . or unleash her dark destiny?

Down the Road by Bowie Ibarra

A bizarre plague of the walking dead.
A nation desperate for survival.
It could be the end of the world.

Around the globe, the dead are rising to devour the living. Hospitals are overrun, and martial law has been declared. The streets are in chaos. Society is disintegrating.

George Zaragosa is a young school teacher living in the shadow of his fiancée’s unsolved murder. Now he just wants to go home to his family. He has made the journey before, traveling from Austin to San Uvalde. It is usually a short drive. But he knows this time is going to be different.

Along the way, George must negotiate military roadblocks, FEMA camps, and street thugs, not to mention hordes of the living dead. He is determined to make it home, but only one thing is certain: his trip down the road will be a journey like no other.

One person wins both books! To enter, just fill out the form below.
Good Luck!
Check out the other giveaways while you are here!
Psst... international peeps... check out the international giveaways listed below the blog's header!
To get back to the hop list just click HERE!

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. 
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
This was a scary, creepy ghost story without at doubt! In fact, I felt this was scarier than some of the adult books I have been reading lately. Even so, it wasn't too scary that it would keep me up at night. I would still say it was for older YA crowds unless you know the younger kiddos can handle it (I knew a few... LOL).

Within this dark ghost story we have Cas. After his father's horrific death at the hands of a ghost, he becomes obsessed with continuing the family "job" by eliminating ghosts that harm the living. He is notified of Anna's haunting and becomes more than interested. There is something about this ghost... Now, if you think I'm going to reveal any more then you haven't been at my blog that long. So, those that know are prepared for the next two words: *evil laugh*. You will have to read the book to see what happens between Cas and Anna. It's too good to not reveal!

I will say that I really loved the characters in this book. Even what are usually one dimensional characters (nerd, head social princess) are fleshed out and you find yourself really liking them all. Even Anna. Yes, the ghost who harms the living is given great characterization. So much you feel sympathy for her. There was also a part in the book I hated. Can't say why, but it was toward the end and I shake my fist at Kendare for having it as a part of the story. I kept hoping that part wasn't true and will keep hoping when I read the next book. *sigh* Curious now? :)

I give this book 4 1/2 stars and really can't wait for 2012 until the next book comes out. I recommend it to those that really enjoy a dark horror book even if they are adults.

So, are you wanting to read this book? Then don't forget our Trick or Treat event. The more you trick or treat the better chance you have to win. All information is HERE.
Have fun and Good Luck!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

On My Wishlist... Boo edition...

Meme sponsored by Book Chick City

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
TBP in 2012

No description yet.

I know.. I know... 2012??!! But I had to add it as soon as I saw the cover. Plus I'll have the review of the first one up tomorrow. Curious about the first? Don't forget you can enter to win it as part of the grand prize HERE. Plus the more you trick or treat on the participating blogs the better chance you have to win. All info is HERE.

Between by Jessica Warman

Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out...

Indelible by Lani Woodland

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn t want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist s attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

Don't forget to enter for the contests!

So what is on your spirited wishlist this week?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Trick or Treat for Books: TEAM GHOST!!

It's the team with spirit!
The one so powerful that we walk through walls!
Wait... what's that? You think ghosts are scary?
Okay, I can see you may run from Beetlejuice but not before you were entertained. As far as pig pen? Who was with me and always wanted to share your treats with him because he always got rocks (I also wanted to let those people know how rude that was...)? Now really scary? Please!

I have to admit one thing... I don't like scary stories (especially movies). No, really... stop looking at the paranormal books, I'm serious. I think my dislike for scary stories came from my childhood. Ever hear a story about La Llorona, the weeping woman? I think that was one that stuck with me. Mostly because I lived by a nearby arroyo where she was said to weep and look for her children. Don't go out at night or she may catch you and make her one of her own. It was a few months before I'd want to be out at dusk in my own yard after that was told to me by those all knowing older kids (like 3rd-5th grade).

I do however, love true ghost stories. It is more about mystery than horror to me. Oh and I'll explain more at the end. First, some stories from fellow bloggers:
First up: StephanieD!

Just past midnight, I was fast succumbing to deep slumber when I felt some thing enter the room. With only the tiniest sliver of consciousness, I felt that thing pad across the floor and jump on my feet, then slowly travel on top of my prone, blanket-covered body with the sinuous, feline movement of a cat. But it was no living being. It was darkness shaped like a cat and it sat on top of my terrified heart with a malevolence even I could feel, almost-asleep.

My mind screamed inside my sleeping body, struggling to wake it up. The thing on top of me was ancient and hungry, with an inhuman, unliving maw of sharp teeth. It did not feed on meat and it had been waiting for that moment when its prey was most vulnerable. But it was too eager; it had come for me before I had fallen completely asleep. I knew all this without knowing how I knew.

I thought of my son sleeping in the other room. I knew that thing would come for him too once it was done with me. Suddenly my body jerked awake and I was able to say out loud, "I want you to leave. Stay away from me. Stay away from my son. Leave and never come back. Now!"

With my last word, the thing made out of the dark snarled in a sound not made for my human ears and jumped off of me and out of my room. I could feel it outside the door for the rest of the night, waiting, still hungry, but unable to come closer because of my command.

Knowing that it lurked somewhere near, I took the advice of a friend to prevent its return. Some nights later, I lit some dried sage leaves and wandered around the house with it, letting its smoke permeate each room, every entrance and shadowy corner, and especially my unaware son. "Potpourri," I said as he played his video games, barely paying attention to me.

That thing has not come back since, but I have my holy water, bundle of dried sage leaves and a match at the ready. And if that doesn't work, a wooden stake within arm's reach.


It is a true story; maybe not exactly about ghosts but certainly about the paranormal because I suppose it can’t be explained using scientific methods.

Some time ago I had a dog. A shi-tzu. It was my little sweetheart. I fell in love with him at first sight - literally. When I saw that little fluffy puppy barely alive, being exposed too long to scorching sun in the marketplace, I bought it without thinking twice just to end his sufferings. I had to borrow money but I bought it. You should never follow my example and buy a weakling – the smallest puppy in the litter – from an unknown seller (I doubt it was the actual breeder). My dog had health issues all his life. He was half blind for starters and his list of allergies was really long. I didn’t mind. I took care of him as well as I could, being helped by my parents and a friendly vet.

One day I was sitting with my friend having coffee and a nice chat when I felt cold without any reason. It was a nice, sunny spring day, rather warm and we were indoors so there was no reason whatsoever for such chills. Then I felt a wave of depression. Really I’ve never experienced anything like that before and I can’t call it otherwise – all of a sudden, like in one second top, I went from cheerful to sad as if somebody poured some icy water on me. Feeling very uneasy, I looked at my watch, excused myself and decided to go home, wondering all the way what was wrong with me and where this unexpected change of mood came from. I even had a fit of remorse that I shortened such a friendly meeting just because of being moody. When I got home I found out that there was a reason after all. My mum told me that my dog had died – exactly at the same time I had my depression attack. Call it what you want, I think there was a strong connection between me and that poor darling and, with his last breath, he let me know it was over. He said goodbye. Even now I have tears in my eyes, thinking about it. It was slightly spooky but also very, very sad.

Now for AimeeKay!

My boyfriend used to live across the street from me in this house that wasn't too old, it's only about 30 years old or so, but weird stuff was always happening in it. People were seeing stuff, etc. I used to get really weird feelings every once in a while, and I hated being left alone in the house, but generally it was okay. One night all the kids were laying down to go to bed and he was outside with his buddies, I'd had trouble finding the cough medicine for his son and was agitated with him. When he came in the house I was trying to stay calm and explain to him I couldn't find the medicine. I turned around and all of the cabinet doors started to rattle for no reason. We live inCalifornia so it could have been written off as an earthquake but nothing else was shaking, just the doors. Even when that happened though I really wasn't scared or didn't get one of the creepy feelings that I sometimes got. I even remember telling him that whatever was in the house agreed with me and was annoyed at him too. But that's not the part that made me never want to go to his house again. The weirder part was yet to come.
A few months later we were finishing packing up the house. It was being put on the market, and his brothers wanted to do some renovating before people came to start seeing it. We were in the kitchen and it had gotten dark quick. His buddies had just left and we were still looking around to make sure there was nothing else we could do for the night. All of the sudden I got a real bad feeling and told him we had to leave. Immediately! He kept telling me he had lived there forever and that I just needed to relax. All of the sudden the kitchen light flickered on and off. I grabbed him and basically pulled him out of the house. I finally told him that if he really wanted to go back in I would go. I wouldn't let him go in alone, but we weren't going back in there that night. Why you ask? Lights flicker all the time. Yeah, they do. But NOT when the electricity has been turned off, and it hadn't been on for at least 2 or 3 days. To this day I don't know if it was his house, or the ghosts, or whatever they were, trying to say good-bye or what. All I know is that the feeling I got was not a pleasant one, and I feel sorry for the new owners.

That's my story. I've had other weird stuff happen. But that was the most recent and the one that there was actually someone there with me to see it.


The high school I went to was an old Queen Anne mansion house (about 400 yearss old) which was coverted into a school in victorian times. However, there were continual rumours about the old building...Before it was a school, it was the local area major manor house - called Carshalton House. In those days the lord of the house had many servants who worked for him. One young impressionable maid fell in love with the butler. He was cruel and mean so he used her so when she found out she was pregnant, he was worried that he would loose his position in the house. Desperate to keep the status quo, he pushed her down the stairs hoping she would loose the baby. But she lost more that just her child. By the time she reached the bottom of the stairs her neck was broken in two. I don't know what happened to the butler but ever since the main stairs in the house has been haunted by a weeping woman in grey. They say she searches for her lost child. I never saw her, but every couple of years a school girl would swear she heard weeping at the bottom of the stairs, but there would never be anyone. Occasionally some one would see a grey shape falling down the stairs but never saw anything at the bottom...

No idea how true it is but I always liked the idea that my school was haunted!

Missie from The Unread Reader!

When I was in college, some new friends took me to The "Ghost Tracks" of San Antonio, Texas. The legend says that,

Back in the 1930s or 1940s, a school bus full of children was making its way down the road and toward the intersection when it stalled on the railroad tracks. A speeding train smashed into the bus, killing 10 of the children and the bus driver. Since that dreadful accident many years ago, any car stopped near the railroad tracks will be pushed by unseen hands across the tracks to safety. It is the spirits of the children, they say, who push the cars across the tracks to prevent a tragedy and fate like their own.

Well, we went to the tracks (at night) and sprinkled some baby powder on the truck and the back rim of the car. We parked over the tracks, which is on a flat road, and put the car in neutral, and...the car MOVED! It totally freaked me out! Afterwards, we checked for hand prints and I could swear I saw some, but it could have been that I was just so freaked out from the experience. LOL

I've been thinking on personal ghost stories that I've experienced, and not had any luck with coming up with a scary one. Oh, I'm sure there is one from when I was younger but I'm not remembering it. The only story I've come up with is one that happened on my wedding day... and I think was kind of happy.

One of my bridesmaids was already at my home with me and we where chatting at the table passing time until we would get ready. As she talked away to me I got up to get turn the curling iron on or do something in the bathroom. I was listening to her, but then all the sudden I couldn't make out what she was saying. Almost like she was drowned out by rushing water, but it sounded like someone was talking over her or using her sound to talk to me. At the same time my head instantly turned to the corner of the room. There was a fuzzy spot there for a moment then when the buzzing stopped the haze disappeared as well. As the buzzing was in my ear and the fuzzy spot was visible my mind raced to one person. I know who was there that day and he was there to give me blessings on the wedding. He told me so, but not in a way as we tell each other, he left the feeling strongly in me. Who was it? ....My Grandfather.

Love these stories! As to why I like stories like this? It's something I don't talk about, but it's no secret either. Well, I grew up in a haunted house. I knew there were 3 ghosts. There was a female that hung around me mostly. I wasn't afraid of her and I believed that she kept the other 2 away. All I knew was the other two were mean and I never encountered them in my room or the part of the house I mostly stayed. The other two did hang where my parents were in the back of the house. You'd NEVER catch me back there at night by myself. I guess that could be a good thing for parents. LOL

What was odd and might make you think it was something else than a child's overactive imagination is that my parents NEVER talked about the ghosts to me. I would sometimes mention the lady but they never commented on it. It was like they were just indulging me. I didn't talk about it much anyway. When we moved out of the house when I was a teen we all started to talk about the ghosts. Even my father (Mr. show me or I dont' believe it) had a couple of scary experiences. He said he didn't want to freak us out. Well, we were a bit freaked out because all of our stories were corroborated by the other. Even neighbors who had moved started talking about their experiences. It was funny in an eerie way. We had never discussed any of this while we lived there.

So, that brings me to why I like these stories. I think in a way it gives me comfort that I am not alone in experiencing something otherworldly. :)
So, any ghost stories of your own?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe Giveaway!

No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, yet when the first Europeans arrived, they were already there. Dark-haired, enigmatic, and suspicious of outsiders, the Tufa live quiet lives in the hills and valleys of Cloud County. While their origins may be lost to history, there are clues in their music—hints of their true nature buried in the songs they have passed down for generations. 
Private Bronwyn Hyatt returns from Iraq wounded in body and in spirit, only to face the very things that drove her away in the first place: her family, her obligations to the Tufa, and her dangerous ex-boyfriend. But more trouble lurks in the mountains and hollows of her childhood home. Cryptic omens warn of impending tragedy, and a restless “haint” lurks nearby, waiting to reveal Bronwyn’s darkest secrets. Worst of all, Bronwyn has lost touch with the music that was once a vital part of her identity. 
With death stalking her family, Bronwyn will need to summon the strength to take her place among the true Tufa and once again fly on the night winds. . . .
I recently reviewed this book HERE and so many of you know that I enjoyed this different type of tale. It did have ghosts known as haints that helped the living. So, therefore it fits for a giveaway this week! :) 
I'm still not solving the mystery that is this picture that plays a big part in the book:
*evil laugh* Nope, won't spoil it. However, I will have an international giveaway of the book. There, now, don't you feel better? ;) 
Oh and enjoy the vid below. The song was written for the book!

Tor books has allowed me to giveaway this book to one lucky international winner! Squee! Just enter via the rafflecopter form below!
Good luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise Review with Giveaway!

In an urban fantasy that charts daring new territory in the field, Jeremiah Hunt has been broken by a malevolent force that has taken his young daughter and everything else of value in his life: his marriage, his career, his reputation. Desperate to reclaim what he has lost, Hunt finally turns to the supernatural for justice. 
Abandoning all hope for a normal life, he enters the world of ghosts and even more dangerous entities from beyond the grave. Sacrificing his normal sight so that he can see the souls of the dead and the powers that stalk his worst nightmares, Hunt embarks upon a strange new career—a pariah among the living; a scourge among the dead; doomed to walk between the light of day and the deepest darkness beyond night. 
His love for his departed daughter sustains him when all is most hopeless, but Hunt is cursed by something more evil than he can possibly imagine. As he descends into the maelstrom of his terrifying quest, he discovers that even his deepest fears are but prelude to yet darker deeds by a powerful entity from beyond the grave…that will not let him go until it has used him for its own nefarious purposes.
First line in the book:
I gave up my eyes in order to see more clearly. 
 With the cover, blurb and that line, I expect you are thinking this is just a total horror fest with lots of gore. Actually you would be wrong. I mean, there is some horror (but not in a overwhelmingly keep you up at night kind), lots of ghosts, and a little gore, but really it is more about a man's obsession into what happened to his missing daughter. And what he is willing to do to get her back. It is actually at times an emotional read and you do get involved with his search and desperation despite the fact that at times he is a jerk to other people.

Within the main story, the plot shifts back and forth to what happened in his past and his present. The shift is to allow you to gain more insight as to what brought him here to the moment and why he makes his decisions. It is not abrupt as each chapter is labeled then and now. Sometimes the shift was frustrating for me only because I wanted to know more. However, I agree with the decision in the end and was glad that not too much information was provided because it would be overload at times. I also found the way he dealt with his blindness interesting. He was not totally blind as he was gifted with a form of sight in total darkness. He also had a way of sensing things so he could often manage being independent. He also saw ghosts and "others" as well as the gifted. Those that could also do otherworldly things but were human otherwise.

Hm... I don't want to say more as this book is a good puzzle. All information is given to you and you do figure things out before the characters. However, you know they have knowledge you lack and so you aren't sure how the ending will play out. Therefore, I give this ghost mystery 4 stars. I really enjoyed this read. Oh and for those wanting a bit of romance, let me say that you do get a hint of one. It is sweetly done and could continue if this book becomes a series.

Note from the author taken from the comments below:
Just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words and enthusiasm over EYES TO SEE. I enjoyed writing it and I hope fans enjoy reading it. I'd characterize it as dark urban fantasy before I'd say horror, but there are some chilling scenes and, as has been noted, a little bit of romance. (There's a bit more of the later in KING OF THE DEAD, the sequel that's due out next year...)
Tor books has allowed me to giveaway this book to one lucky international winner! Whee! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below! Good luck!
Oh, and PS... there is even a witch in the book for those on team witch! ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghost Trackers by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and Tim Waggoner

In this spine-tingling new series, the stars of TV’s GHOST HUNTERS introduce readers to a team of paranormal investigators who reunite to defeat a sinister force they unleashed long ago. . . . 
For fifteen years, Amber, Drew, and Trevor have barely been able to recall—let alone explain—what happened the terrifying night they decided to explore the old, abandoned Lowry House. According to local legend, the house was cursed by a dark past and inhabited by evil. It burst into flames on the night of their visit, leaving the friends traumatized and nearly dead with only vague memories of the frightening events they had witnessed inside. Now, on the eve of their high school reunion, they have gathered to reopen their investigation and figure out, once and for all, what took place that fateful night . . . before the supernatural entity they escaped threatens to overtake them again.
 This is a work of fiction brought to you by the same guys who investigate ghosts in Syfy's Ghost Hunters. In this book you have 3 teens who loved to investigate hauntings within their town. One night they went to the scariest house in town. Afterword, the house burned down and the three friends ended up in a comatose state for a short while. However, it resulted in all of them losing their memories of what happened that night and even some of their high school years.

In the years to come they all dealt or ran away from the holes in their memory. Traumatized, even by what they do not remember, it all affected them in some way. Then out of the blue a friend starts the ball rolling in getting the three back together for a high school reunion. What happens next is what will put you on the edge of your seat.

In this book you know who is messing with them and even some of the whys. However, you don't know how it is all going to play out in the end. That is what made this book fun. There are scary parts, but it wasn't what struck me about this book. It was the characterizations. You got to know many of the characters from their childhood in a complete way. You got to see their teenage black and white view of them (and of their world) and then you got to know how mistaken you were. It really made the book more emotional that way. Oh and those that miss these types of books because of the lack of romance won't be dissatisfied. There is a sweet budding romance that had be brewing for their whole lives. It was a sweet contrast to the darkness going on about them.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a great character book and it has it's on the edge of your seat moments. The ending is fulfilling and looks like there could possibly be more in a series. I would pick up the next one when it comes calling. :)
I have a book to giveaway from the publisher to one US resident (or snail mail addy). Just fill out the rafflecopter form below. International peeps, promise that there are international giveaways coming!
Don't forget to enter for their non-fiction book HERE (US only) and the GRAND prize giveaway (international) on the same post!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trick or Treat for Books Entry and Ghost Files by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

An omnibus edition of Ghost Hunting and Seeking Spirits, the real-life adventures of the paranormal investigators from Syfy's hit show Ghost Hunters.

As the tiny blurb states, this is two books within one! This is stories from the popular show, Ghost Hunters on the Syfy channel. For those that either do not get the show or are unfamiliar with it, this is a group of people headed by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who investigate the paranormal. They do it in a way to prove the paranormal not just say everything is paranormal like you usually get on shows like this. They try to debunk claims of activity as much as possible. This is why I enjoy the show so much. They even have episodes where nothing is going on and they debunk everything. Therefore you tend to pay attention when they are left scratching their heads unable to figure out what is going on.

This book entails expanded stories on some of their shows. Not only does it explain what was missing in the episode, but it brings to light what they were thinking at the time. Some of my favorite cases were in this book. Especially the one in CO at the Stanley Hotel where the Shining by Stephen King was written. Even Steven claims to have had a paranormal experience there.
They also checked to make sure that no one was above them and the area they were in there was no way to get into the area where they heard the voice.

There are also other stories that never made it to the show. Reasons usually were because people didn't want to be on camera. So all identity was hidden for these stories. What I also like about these guys is that they don't take money for it (even before the show started) and they do what they can to help out families just looking for answers. Even if the answers are mundane. In fact they even fixed a pipe for clients (they are Roto Rooter guys in their other life) to stop the banging they thought were ghosts. 

I give this book 4 stars. It is a great compilation of their two books into one! Great idea and also a great book for someone who is a fan of the show. Even if you aren't familiar with it, you get a sense of what they do and why. Plus, even if you don't believe in any of it, I think you can read it for the entertainment value. Maybe you'll find something to wonder about. Who knows? Only thing I have left to say is... guys... smile! You are on the cover of your own book!
Mini Giveaway!!
 I have 3 books of The Ghost Files to giveaway to US snail mail addys from the publisher. Comment below to enter and leave an e-mail addy so I can contact you. International people do not despair! There will be an international giveaway later this week. You will have 72 hours to get back to me (so check the spam filters) or I'll have to pick another winner. The contest will end on the 24th. Good luck!
Mini giveaway is over, but you can still enter for the grand prize through the rafflecopter form! 

Don't forget to sign up for the Mega giveaway in the rafflecopter form while you are here! This one is international!!!