Fortnight of Fright: Not As Creepy Halloween Recommendations by Lauren


Today we have my dear friend Lauren helping you all out with some not so creepy Halloween recommendations!! Though Halloween is indeed my favorite since I love being scared (and the Halloween decor is the type that I keep up all year round) I still know that a lot of you don’t love the whole horror vibe! So I am going to let Lauren take it away and help you guys out with some things to read, watch, and eat!!

I have to say, I think it’s kind of funny that I ended up here on Alyssa’s blog, with my post full of non-creepy Halloween things. Alyssa is probably the first person I think of when I think of scary things, skulls, and anything else along those lines (that I tend to avoid). Regardless, I’m happy to be here on her blog because Alyssa is one of my favorite people even though she’s like the Lucille Bluth-iest.

SO today, I’m here to share some Halloween fun from a person who usually doesn’t get into the scary, horror-filled books or movies of the season. I love fall more than most people (my birthday and football and pumpkin things!), but just… not the scary stuff. My mom is the complete opposite so it’s kind of weird that I turned out this way. Regardless, here are my picks for how to enjoy the Halloween vibes of October without getting scared.


I’m not opposed to being scared every once in a while, but horror or mystery books are usually not the first ones I reach for. Fall is a great time for getting a little creeped out by what you’re reading… but I usually prefer not to be looking over my shoulder thinking there’s a ghost. (Reading in the dark apartment while my boyfriend is asleep makes me too nervous sometimes.) I’ve curated a list of books that are FAIRLY creepy or have a cool mystery/thriller vibe to them, but probably won’t cause you to be afraid of the dark. I also included a TBR of some of the books I hope to read this season. In addition to all of the Halloween-y books, I included some movies and recipes to get you in the spirit!

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Fortnight of Fright: Daughters Unto Devils Review & Cupcake Recipe by Becky of Stories and Sweeties


Readers, you are the luckiest today! SUPER excited today to have Becky from Stories and Sweeties join me today because not only is she reviewing a book that I have been dying to read, but she is giving us an AMAZING cupcake recipe. Take it away, friend!

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release date: September 29th, 2015

Intended audience: Young adult


Source: from publisher for honest review

Rating: 4

Review: Daughters unto Devils is all the things I want for a perfect Halloween read.  Incredibly eerie atmosphere, a classic horror movie feel to it, a touch of gore, and plenty of spine-chilling scenes that make you hesitant to turn out the light at night—it’s all here.

Amanda Verner makes for a great unreliable narrator. The Verner family lives on a mountain side and their isolated family dynamic and extreme piety makes them feel like a bizarre and twisted Little House on the Prairie. They were trapped in their house during a bad winter, clinging to their lives and their sanity, while the flu-stricken mother gives birth to a deaf and blind baby.  Something happened to Amanda that winter, and it’s unclear if the isolation got to her head or if she truly saw something in the woods. Her bewildered family questions her goodness and her sanity nearly as much as she does herself. After a secret affair with a boy from town leaves her with child, she finds herself lost and at odds with her only ally, her sister Emma.

At the threat of another bad winters, the family fleas to the plains—and that’s where the creepy really sets in. Terrifying things start happening, you get a few of those classic horror moments where you find yourself yelling at the characters, “No! Why would you do that?!” The haunting past of the plains and their new house takes its toll on the whole family until things spin out of control and culminate in a wildly gut-churning end.

There are definitely no shortage of disturbing scenes in Daughters Unto Devilsnot for the faint-hearted, but absolutely perfect for readers looking for a truly horrifying Halloween read.

Devilishly Sweet Cupcakes

I’ve come up with a Halloween treat to perfectly accompany you while you dive into Daughters Unto Devils!  Rich devil’s food cake, fluffy cream cheese frosting, and a bloody good surprise inside! ;)


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Fortnight of Fright: Review of The Dead House from Jaime of The Best Books Ever


Hey monsters! Today we have Jaime bringing you a solid review of a creepy read, The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich! I have to tell you guys that this one was on my TBR for this month and I just don’t think that I am going to fit it into the schedule, which makes me so sad, especially after reading Jaime’s review! Take it away, Jaime!

The Dead House

Dawn Kurtagich

September 15th, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

I LOVE a good horror story, any time of the year, but especially around this time of the year. When it is starting to get cold outside, the leaves are changing and it gets dark earlier. Fantastic background for getting the crap scared out of you. Unfortunately, I didn’t get too scared reading The Dead House. Fortunately, I loved it anyway!

Dawn knows how to write a creepy story, no doubt about it. And the fact that she writes it in the form of diary entries, newspaper articles and police reports is truly impressive. Like I said, I never really got scared, but the creep factor was high. Kaitlyn Johnson is a very unique character. She is definitely the darker half of the Carly/Kaitlyn duo. Her descriptions of living the night are right on target with an angsty, scared and lonely teen girl. She wasn’t the most relatable or likeable character ever, but I loved her anyway. Being in her head was downright disturbing! The other characters in the story take a backseat to Kaitlyn, but they were very well written characters. There wasn’t a character involved in the story that didn’t have a place in it, or didn’t add something to it. Even the most minor ones. Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright: Dionaea House & Other Scary Stories by Lindsey of A Bookish Sinister Kid


Hello dears! Lindsey is here to chat all about Dionaea house and other creepy places! Lindsey always has the best stuff, she is the one who found me some of the ONLY stories that have ever scared me (thank you, Reddit) and I can always count on her to send me the creepiest and most perfect things that only a select few cool (okay, maybe weird) peeps would enjoy. Also, she is totally traveling to CT to see a LORE show (which she hooked me on) with me this month!! Anywho, take it away, Linz!

You can pretty much find anything on the Internet these days, which means there’s no shortage of creepy stories, websites dedicated to spreading the scariness around!

I religiously go to a livejournal that dishes the best celeb gossip called Oh No They Didn’t. Besides celeb gossip, they cover all sorts of entertainment news as well as current events once in a while. Every now and then there’s a tag that pops up with a post that’s called: “creepy post” usually associated with the horror genre releasing something. One of the reasons I love this livejournal so much is for the comments section! I live for their comment section–I’ve read new books because of them, looked up items mentioned, watched various films, and listened to great new artists because the comment section has a ripple effect.

During a creepy post a few years ago, close to Halloween, someone posted about this website called the Dionaea House. The comments I had been reading mentioned that it was “supposedly” an abandoned film project that created a website to hype up the movie before release. With it being like 1130pm and my parents downstairs I decide, eh, why not–I like being scared, let’s start reading…which was so foolish because OMG I WAS SO FREAKED and panicked to go to sleep. Continue reading

Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Title: Blood and Salt

Author: Kim Liggett

Publishing Information:  September 22, 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: Horror, fantasy, mystery, romance

Series Information: First in a duology

Format: Hardcover, 352 pages

Source: Was gifted a copy by Cassi of My Thoughts Literally

Recommended For: Fans of atmospheric novels that make you feel as if you are caught outside on an October evening. For fans of Kendare Blake, The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle and Gothic novels filled with beautiful writing and unforgettable characters. 

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

It is hard to say what I loved most about Blood and Salt. This might be silly to say, but the whole scary corn aspect really added to the atmosphere for me. You see, I grew up in a house right across from a farm, and they had a GIANT cornfield. A cornfield where we would often play hide and seek, or dare each other to go into at night. Honestly, very few things are scarier than being in the middle of a cornfield on a chilly, windy evening. That being said, the atmosphere of Blood and Salt was stellar. I loved the creepy cult vibe of the whole settlement, and I kept waiting for the veil to drop. Let me tell you, did that veil ever drop. I was equal parts sad for the inhabitants of the settlement, and horrified at their mentality. As little tidbits came to light I was shocked by some of the revelations and absolutely couldn’t put the book down.

Now, what about the romance, eh? The first thing that I am going to say is that there is no love triangle in this novel. To be quite honest, I am unsure what book other people were reading when they noted that there is a love triangle. It isn’t even like there were blurred lines here, there is no love triangle to speak of. At all. Second little thing to note about the romance is that the Romeo and Juliet aspect comes (not at all from a love triangle) but from the aspect that Ash & her beau come from different family lines who are forbidden to be together. You know, like Romeo and Juliet. Okay, so the thing that there is, however, is some serious instalove happening. As we read on the we come to understand that there are REASONS for this sort of thing, but there was a certain burning desire between these two characters upon seeing one another and at first glance it totally set me off. As I said, things become more clear throughout and things got a little achy and there were yearns and I enjoyed it, but in the beginning the romance wasn’t my favorite part of Blood and Salt. However, and I can’t say too much here, Ash’s reaction to the relationship near the end of the novel was stellar. It felt real, and it felt strong.

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

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Fortnight of Fright: Mini Book Reviews by Emily of Emily Reads Everything


Hi loves! Today we have my friend Emily sharing some creepy reads with you! Em is one of my favorites and as we both love horror, I am going to comment after her recommendations so you can hear my thoughts as well! Take it away, girl!

I’m so excited to have the chance to join you today and grateful for the opportunity to guest post! Alyssa is so fun to follow on twitter. She’s snarky, honest and hilarious. We share a love of Neil Gaiman, the fall season and Halloween. Obviously, since she loves Gaiman, she has great taste in authors and books. Obviously some of you are not as refined as we are and might not enjoy horror. That’s ok, we can work on it. Today I’d like to share with you some Halloween reads, in order from slightly creepy to scare your socks off. I tried to choose a mix of older stories and newer releases. These perfect for a dark night when you are home alone and need some company. (She’s right, I am snarky and honest. Okay, and hilarious ;D)

Odd Thomas

This is not your typical horror series. Odd is quick to point out that he’s just a simple fry cook at the local diner. He just happens to be able to see the dead. Dead people don’t talk but they do try to communicate with odd and send him messages. This series is different. There’s always something dark lurking around the corner. However, Odd is such a ray of light, it’s hard to be too concerned. (Okay so I have never read any Koontz…I don’t know why but I have never really been interested! I do like the whole “I see dead people thing” this has going on though..)

John Dies at the End

So weird. That’s the only way to describe this book. Without ruining anything, the basic premise is that when two burnouts take a new drug called soy sauce, it causes them to see a whole new layer of the world. Suddenly they can see all sorts of things that people weren’t meant to see. They can’t unsee it and now everything in this hidden layer of the world can also see them. (I have NEVER heard of this and it sounds so trippy!! Adding it to the TBR)

Through the Woods

I never would have thought a graphic novel could be so creepy before reading this one. It’s a series of short stories. Several of them are gruesome fairytale retellings that would be right at home in the original Brother’s Grimm. I think what really sets the tone is the art style. It’s dark with muted colors and then brilliant pops of red for emphasis. If you aren’t sure about this, I would highly recommend checking out this website His Face All Red is included in this book and it’s a great example of the style and tone of this collection. (I LOVE THIS BOOK WITH A FIERY PASSION!! IT WAS WRITTEN JUST FOR ME!! That is all.) Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright: Eastern State Penitentiary by Kathleen


Hi friends!! Today we have Kathleen chatting all about her trip to Eastern State Penitentiary!! This is a place dear to my heart, it is in Pennsylvania and I cannot tell you how many ghost tours I have read and watched that went to ESP (see below for basically every single one that they have shown, and that I have seen!) So jealous of your trip, Kathleen! Take it away, girl!

Hi my name is Kathleen, I live in Delaware, and I love all things scary, especially with a historical twist. I first visited Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) in Philadelphia when I was a freshman in college. We took a “class trip” there as part of our First Year Experience class. We went during the day and got a full tour of the first ever US penitentiary. We were shown Al Capone’s cell, death row, a regular prisoner’s cell, and everything in between.


Outside of ESP

First I wanted to give you some background and history about this amazing place. Some very important people supported it; Ben Franklin was one. In 1787, a group of men got together and said we need get rid of the overcrowding in prisons. So they came up with the idea of a penitentiary, a place designed to create penitence. The state didn’t want to fund the building of ESP and instead built small penitentiaries. However, they were not adequate for the growing population and in 1822, construction on ESP finally started. The layout of the penitentiary was unique in that it had a central hub and then seven cellblocks that branched off of it (this grew as the years went on). There was a recreational yard, running water, flush toilet, central heating and a skylight for each cell. This was more than the White House had at the time. When it first opened, solitary was taken very seriously and inmates wore masks over their head when being transported so they couldn’t see anything but their cell. Things change drastically with the growing population and the number of cells increased from 250 to 980 with two to three men in a cell. By the 20th century, the idea of a penitentiary was left in the dust and some of the most violent offenders and those sentenced to execution were housed at ESP. The last cellblock to be built in 1959, was number 15 and that was considered death row. Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright: “Beyond the Wall” by Danielle E. Shipley


As of October 10th my latest project with Xchyler Publishing has launched: “Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Tales of Love and Loss”. My short story, “Date Due”, has the honored grand finale spot at book’s end. In brief summary:

For an eccentric bibliophile, any and every book is magic. Even more so when the book’s home is a hidden library with an impossible secret: Every story on its shelves has yet to be written. And the library’s self-appointed guardian means to ensure they never are, no matter whether the future authors elect to do things the easy way … or the fatal one.

You read that aright – a library full of books unwritten! Say… I’ll bet that means even “Beyond the Wail” will have sat upon one of its shelves, once upon a time. What would its librarian have made of the anthology, I wonder?…


All right, my lovelies. Which new friend should I meet today? Someone from right here in the Red Fireplace Room, I think. I’m feeling a bit tired to go roaming through our Library’s unexplored spaces; I just want a nice new read today.

Hmm, what have we on this shelf? Beyond the Wail: 12 Grave Tales of Love and Loss. A paranormal anthology? Perfect! Let’s see what chills and thrills are in store.

Of Mice and Monsters by Tirzah Duncan. “There is a man who twists the necks of caged mice…” Oh, Benjamin, what a beastly creature you are. A fine conversationalist, though, I must give you that. But that phantom wind will do for you if Tina comes to harm – any harm that she’s not already inflicting on herself, the poor, sick thing. Some lovely writing, here. Passionate. Unflinching. Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright: A “Must” List for October by Morgan of Gone With the Words


Hello my dears!! Welcome to the first day of Fortnight of Fright!! Today I am lucky enough to have Morgan from Gone With the Words on the blog and she is chatting all about the awesomeness of Autumn, October, and Halloween!! As you guys know these are my favorite things too, so I can’t wait to hear what Morgan has to say! Take it away, girl!

My October MUST List


I am definitely a fall kind of girl. As much as I love summer (the beach! my birthday! bonfires and hot dogs!), fall has always been my favorite. I love how cozy it is, the rich colors, the cool weather (in theory. Oy.), and most of all Halloween! I’m not big on gore or being truly scared but I love all the cute/creepy aspects of the holiday. And the candy. Here is my must list for the month of October, in no particular order.
mini pumpkins: one of the first things I look for when October hits! They are so cute and I love putting them around my house and on my desk at work. I incorporated gold pumpkins into my October beach wedding decor too.
mini pumpkins
apple orchards/pumpkin patch: I have yet to find a good orchard close to me which is sad because I want to go apple picking!!! Yeah yeah, basic white girl, whatever. I LOVE APPLES. And it’s soooo fall. Plus fresh apple cider, hot or cold, is basically the best thing ever. Also apple pie. And apple cider donuts. So if you can find an orchard or farm or pumpkin patch near you, you should go!
colored leaves: I grew up in a really leafy, green part of New Jersey which meant that every fall it burst into a riot of beautiful fall colors. Luckily where I live now in California has a surprising amount of fall, which makes me happy! I love watching the trees turn red and gold and orange. I also spend way too much time looking at pictures of leaves and pumpkins and cups of cocoa and sweaters on tumblr. So there’s a way to get your fill whether you live somewhere with seasons or not.
fall tree
fall vines
football and tv: I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday night! And football season in general, I loooove football! This year I’m in a fantasy football league with 11 other bloggers so it’s been even more fun. And if you’re not a sports fan, there’s always new episodes of your favorite tv shows to look forward to! I’m behind on almost everything but back in the day I used to count down to the season premieres of my faves. Especially CW faves. I’ve heard Sleepy Hollow is getting better again so I want to hop back on that train- what could be more perfect for Halloween?!

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Review: The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Title: The Uninvited

Author: Cat Winters

Publishing Information:  August 11, 2015 by William Morrow

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 343 pages

Source: Obtained an ARC for review via the publisher

Recommended For: Fans of historical fiction with paranormal elements, strong heroines, and those of you looking for some swoony feels

Related Reviews: Review of In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days. But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

We follow Ivy as she leaves her childhood home behind. She does her best to move on from the violence and guilt that her family brings. As Ivy leaves home, she walks by the store in which her father and brother committed a horrible act of violence and finds Daniel Schendel down on the floor, doing his best to remove the blood from his floorboards. Ivy does her best to push into Daniel’s life and provide him with some sort of solace to replace the guilt that she feels from her family’s crime. Over time, the two are able to build something beautiful despite the horror that is right outside their door.

“I know he’s in mourning and a tragic figure, which I’m sure melts your poetry-loving heart.”

This novel broke my heart in the very best way. Like other novels by Cat Winters, Ivy is living in a rather difficult time for women. Therefore the growth of her character was truly amazing to watch. Her strength shone through the terror and ugliness of the time in which she is living, I especially liked her role in driving an ambulance for the Red Cross. Daniel grows in his own way as well, and learns to trust that not everyone is as hateful and close-minded as those he had come in contact with prior to meeting Ivy. The secondary characters have their own layered and interesting personalities and I found that I really cared about each one.
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