#HeartlessCountdown by Marissa Meyer


The countdown to Heartless is on!! I have to tell you, I read Heartless and I ADORED it. I loved everything about it and would have loved to spend even more time in Meyer’s version of Wonderland. Speaking of Wonderland, I am here today to talk about my favorite character: The Mad Hatter.

I obviously love Cheshire a lot as well, but I find that he just doesn’t get as much time on the page (or screen) as some of the others, so I am always left wanting more. So Hatter is my favorite because he is just so eccentric and fun…when he isn’t dark and terrifying.


The 1951 Disney version shows Hatter as rather juvenile. He is volatile and seems to be on the verge of throwing tantrums here and there but is easily pacified by compliments. He has a two second rebound rate before going back to his jovial nature. In truth, this is probably my least favorite adaptation of Hatter, but I never fell in love with this film as a child so perhaps I have a bit of a bias.


The 2010 Disney version is more my cup of tea (hehe) and yeah, it’s probably because I love Tim Burton and I love Johnny Depp…what can I say? He takes on a much bigger role in this film, acting as Alice’s true friend and puts himself on the line for her a few times. I saw a few Johnny Depp interviews and he mentioned that his character was a bit like a “mood ring” as his appearance changed due to very strong emotions. I enjoyed that they maintained the same character who has his emotions so close to the surface but brought it a step further with his appearance.


Probably my favorite adaptation of Hatter is in the horror novel Alice by Christina Henry. I absolutely devoured this novel. It was dark and enthralling and everything that I love. Hatter was a very twisted and sometimes scary character, though he backed Alice fiercely. Madness can go a lot of ways, you know, and not always in a happy go lucky manner. I loved that about this novel.


Then we have the Hatter character in Heartless…I don’t want to give too much away here but let’s just say that he is a good mix between all three of my favorite adaptations in that he is fiercely loyal, sometimes dark and rather mad through and through.

The countdown to Heartless is ON!! Join us all in counting down to one of the most anticipated books of the year. You aren’t going to want to miss this one, I absolutely adored this adaptation and cannot wait for you to see what Marissa has done with Wonderland and the Red Queen. Stay tuned for my full review and join in on the countdown by checking out Fierce Reads! They are giving away advance copies of Heartless every day!!

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer


Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publishing Information:  November 8rd 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 464pages

Source: Received an ARC from the publisher

Recommended For: Readers looking for a fun, whimsical and romantic origin story.


Heartless was a very fun read. It was whimsical and despite being a long novel it was a very quick read. I really loved Catherine and am completely on board with her origin story. While reading, I was very worried that Heartless would end in a way that would make me unhappy. I was worried that Cath’s reasoning for turning into the villain that we know in Alice in Wonderland would frustrate me. I don’t want to divulge many details but I was worried that it would go the same way as Maleficent in the most recent film, with a man behind the wheel of her emotions. I am so happy to say that this was not the case at all.

Throughout Heartless the reader grows to love Cath, and her beau, and I can say that I felt her fury and reasoning for who she becomes. I found myself seething as she seethed and feeling satisfied as she came into her own as the Queen. The secondary characters were lovely, I don’t think there will ever be an Alice in Wonderland story where I am not a little bit in love with the Hatter. I wish that Meyer showed us more of the land of Chess, as it sounds even more intriguing than the land of Hearts. Though I am thrilled that this was a standalone, and everything was tied up perfectly, I cannot help but wish that Meyer went further with a companion novel telling us of Alice and what happens when she meets the now villainous Queen of Hearts.

Shelf Talker: Heartless is a whimsical, tragically romantic and fun novel. Highly recommended for fans of origin stories, swoons and vibrantly atmospheric novels.

Fortnight of Fright: Mulled Wine Recipe by Shannon


Hi, friends! Today we have Shannon from The Champagne Was Excellent sharing an AMAZING mulled wine recipe…I cannot WAIT to make this! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!



Hey y’all!

This is my very first guest post on a blog… I am so excited AND nervous!

First, a pre-apology for the way I had to edit the photos. Guess what’s really hard to get good lighting for? Red wine.

I’m not great with the scary/thriller/horror parts of the October season, but I AM great with the cozy/delicious/witchy/mysterious parts, so for this post, I’m going to give you one of my favourite recipes and some of my favourite books that feel like cold noses and red leaves and that deep breath you take the first time it SMELLS like fall… which is to say, they feel like coming home.

Lets get to it, shall we?

So, London is part of my DNA. London is a sentient being to me and it is entwined with my heart and soul.

Longest story EVER, shortened- When I lived in Oxford for a semester, there was a pub that I went to almost daily and it’s where I had my first mulled wine.

After I got back to the States, I kept trying to recreate the mulled wine and never could. When we went back a few years ago, I visited the pub and the family and my first sentence to the lovely owner was “HI I MISSED YOU SO MUCH PLEASE FOR THE LOVE TELL ME HOW TO MAKE YOUR MULLED WINE.”

And then I cried for a while because that pub saved my life and NOSTALGIA.

Mulled wine is amazing for any fall or winter party, but I also like to make a batch just for myself, so I can curl up on a cold night with a warm cup of wine and a cozy book.

Alright. Let’s wine.

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Fortnight of Fright: Creepy Books by Abi

Today we have Abi from Rambling Writer talking about creepy but not TOO creepy books! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!
If  you’re like me then you like some amount of creepiness in stories. When I get in mood I like to have a bit of mystery, a bit of a chill down my back when I’m at the edge of my seat. But I can’t handle too much creepiness or I may have some anxiety problems that night. So if you’re like me then here are a few books I’ve found that have just the right amount of creepy.



Goodreads Synopsis: Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve read this book, and it’s actually one of the first soft horror books I’ve read. There are definitely parts of this book that are scary. I think it’s because the main character is so young an put through this nightmare. But it’s a wonderfully written story, and well worth the time. Coraline is actually the book that made me a fan of Neil Gaiman.


Wink Poppy Midnight


Goodreads Synopsis: Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee.Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

I was so not expecting this book to be creepy at all. I, mistakenly thought this was just another contemporary YA story with some mystery.  But even thought I was surprised I greatly enjoyed this book. The prose is absolutely gorgeous and I absolutely adored this book.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 


Goodreads Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Now this book is probably the least creepy book on the list but it’s still a good one. This book is full of magic and has some great and unusual characters. The whole series is fantastic.

The Road 


Goodreads Synopsis: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

And the last, and most creepy book on the list is one that I read just a few years ago. Honestly I don’t know if I’ll ever read this book again. The Road is intense and has some really brutal parts.  But it’s wonderfully written and shows a very realistic side to the world after the apocalypse.



Fortnight of Fright: Throwback Halloween Disney by Rachel


Hi, friends! Today we have Rachel from Go Read A Book talking about some awesome throwback Disney! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!

Best Throwback Disney Channel Halloween Themed Movies and Episodes

I don’t know about you guys, but I personally have fond memories of watching 90’s Disney Channel Original Movies and TV shows. Disney loved Halloween, and that meant a lot of memorable episodes and movies dedicated to the holiday. Not going to lie, some of these were even pretty lame as a child, and they would be even worse now, but they are still notable nonetheless. I’ve also attempted to find links so you can watch them on YouTube. Here are some of the creepiest, funniest, cutest, and just straight up weird DCOM’s and episodes.

Disney Channel Original Movies:

Image result for halloweentown

Is there any Halloween themed DCOM out there better than Halloweentown? I think not. I’ve decided not to include the sequels because nothing beats this one, in my opinion. This movie is mostly sweet and heartwarming, but some parts are ridiculously creepy. Let’s be real, I had nightmares over that one scene with evil Kalabar in that movie theater. Kalabar is a truly terrifying dude and I’m still not entirely over it.

Dont Look Under the Bed tv film.jpg

So this movie is so creepy that it received the first PG rating on Disney Channel. Don’t Look Under the Bed is scary because a boogeyman is created when a child stops believing in his or her’s imaginary friend. Yeah, this made me afraid that my old imaginary friends would become the boogeyman, lurk under my bed, and then kidnap me.

Image result

Honestly, I was never a big fan of Twitches and I doubt I even bothered with the sequels. Halloweenteen already delivered with witches, though I am a fan of both Tia and Tamera. I included this on my list because it’s pretty popular and definitely entertaining.

Image result for mom's got a date with a vampire

This movie is pretty freaking cheesy, but what else would you expect from Disney? I won’t lie, I really enjoyed watching this when I was a little kid. Like the title says, it’s about a mother who goes out with a guy, and it becomes a major nightmare when the kids discover that he is actually a vampire. I distinctly remember that even though I was young, I was still well aware that the acting was pretty terrible. Whatever though, this is still a creepy and fun movie.

Image result for under wraps

So it’s been FOREVER since I’ve seen this movie. A lot of the movies on this list are ones that I’ve watched multiple times, but I’m pretty sure that I only saw this one once like a million years ago. From what I can remember, it’s on the lighthearted side. I mean, what Disney movie about mummies coming to life can be legit scary? The good news is that I was actually able to find this one on YouTube so you can watch this one for yourself!

Image result for phantom of the megaplex

Yet another DCOM that I don’t totally remember very well at all. This one was extra silly and kind of ridiculous at times. Like it’s not all that creepy since the so called phantom committed mostly fairly weird pranks. There was a slight plot twist to it, well it was shocking when you were only a child anyway. Sidenote: how odd and random is it that Mickey Rooney makes an appearance?

Disney Channel episodes:

Even Stevens – A Very Scary Story

Despite the fact that everything turns out in the end, you can’t deny that this episode is extremely creepy. Even Stevens is easily one of my personal favorite Disney shows, and this is such an epic and memorable episode. It’s honestly caused me to think of eyeballs differently.

Lizzie McGuire – Day of the Dead

It doesn’t get more classic than Lizzie McGuire. This show never gets old to me, I could watch it all day. This is a great episode that revolves around a Halloween dance, a prank, Day of the Dead, and skeletons. Trust me though, those skeletons on the table are likely to give you nightmares for a night or two. This is an episode that you must watch or re-watch this Halloween!

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody – The Ghost in Suite 613

Note: the quality of this video isn’t so great, but it was sadly the best one that I could find. What’s scarier than a haunted hotel room? The whole Suite Life gang decides to camp out in the haunted room, and gets a major surprise. This show will always hold a special place in my heart.

That’s So Raven – Don’t Have a Cow

That’s So Raven was one of my favorites growing up, and still remains a classic today. I recently watched this episode again, and found it just as shocking as I did the first time I watched it. Seriously, I forgot what exactly was going on so the whole Chelsea and Raven turning into cows was very terrifying to me.

So there’s my list of favorite throwback Disney episodes/movies that focus on this awesome holiday. I know I left a lot of memorable ones out, but I didn’t want to include anything that I personally didn’t remember or watch at one point. I still would love to know what your favorites are!

Fortnight of Fright: Witchy Reads by Cassie


Hi, friends! Today we have my dear friend Cassie from Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile talking about her favorite witchy books! Take a look at what she has to offer and head over to Amy & Brittany’s blogs to see who they have featured today! Don’t forget, we are hosting wonderful bloggers & authors for two whole weeks with recipes, book recommendations and a lot more awesome!


As a fanatic of all things Fall and Halloween, one of my favorite parts of this season is curling up with a good book about the unknown, ghosts, doppelgangers, and more importantly, WITCHES. Witch lore and stories have always fascinated me, so it’s not surprising I wrote this post as a recommendation of the best witch-tastic books for you to read this month.

Best Witchy Book/Play in Classic Literature


Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Why should you read this play?: The Three Witches (or the Weird Sisters) are the most iconic witches in literature who create turmoil and conflict with their chants. Their ominous prophecies and contradictory appearance set up a plot full of misinterpretations and a deep pondering of freewill versus fate.

Best Witchy Series in Middle Grade Literature/Young Adult Literature


Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Why should you read this series?: The Harry Potter series will always hold a special place in my witch-loving heart. This series is magical in every way. It’s a book that encompasses a fantastical world, memorable and lovable characters, and an epic showdown between good versus evil. The story, setting, lore, and characters are perfection. Continue reading

Fortnight of Fright (5)


Wow. We are back here for a FIFTH year for Fortnight of Fright and I can hardly believe it!! As many of you know, September – January is my very favorite time of year and Halloween is my one true love! Therefore, it is no question that Fortnight of Fright is something that I love hosting along with Brittany (The Book Addicts Guide) and Amy (Tripping Over Books)!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about (hello, and welcome!) Fortnight of Fright is a time in which we host and share different posts related to Autumn and Halloween! We work with you guys and some amazing authors to showcase some creepy books, interviews, movies, and SO MUCH MOAR! There is no limit on what you can post about! Do you have a signature Halloween or Autumn cocktail recipe? Pinterest board filled with DIY decorations? A book recommendation for those of us who love to be scared? We want it all!! JOIN US!!

Sign ups will be open from 9/12-9/25 and you will be notified the following week to confirm your post topic, and so on. We are going to ask that all posts get to us the week of 10/10 as we will be hosting you during the event which runs from 10/17-10/31! As always, the more the merrier, so scroll on down to our Google Doc and sign up to help us out!

Also don’t forget about All Hallow’s Read and the giving of books in lieu of candy!



Wondering what we had going on from years past? Check it out:

The Secret Sister Project (5)

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round FIVE of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We are going to have to put more strict standards in place this round and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” you sign up for. Only those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards. IN ADDITION to packages, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Last thing, sign-ups run from July 16 to midnight on July 30! Continue reading

The Secret Sister Project: FAQs

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and positivity shown during The Secret Sister Project! Thank you all so much for your kind words to those of us who host, and for being there to provide cheer for one another. It is really something to go through the hashtag and see you all lifting each other up despite only being matched to one “sister.” Your generosity shines through and it is heartwarming to be part of a group filled with strong, uplifting people!

Most of you can imagine how much work goes into a project like this. The three of us are expected to always be available to answer questions, keep on top of people who are not abiding by the standards we set, promote the project and so on. It’s tough and frustrating at times, and we are doing everything we can to make it easier on everyone for next round. That being said, this post is going to be LONG and DETAILED and should provide you with all of the information that you need if you want to sign up for the next round.

We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information needed, odds are that someone participating knows the answer to your inquiry!

The Basics:

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups will go live on July 16, 2016
  • This round will run from August 2016 through January 2017

The Who:

You guys! But there are some conditions that must be met prior to signing up, we are going to outline those below under “The Rules.”

The How:

On July 16 we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. The Google form is NEW this round, but it is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. 

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The One Where I Binged All of the Shows (and Read None of the Books)

Hello, beautiful friends! How is everyone? Things have been pretty quiet for a while around the blog, eh? I feel like every year I hit a point mid year where I am like whoa…haven’t posted in a while, maybe I should do a mid-year check-in so people know I’m alive and well! So here it is…it’s summer and things get crazy, work is busy with summer reading and life is busy with love and just all good things! So let’s catch up…

What I’ve been doing:

So much! January brought me to ALA in Boston with Amy and Brittany, and we were able to see our PEOPLE and it was glorious and wonderful. I got a pretty good haul, too!


Then of course we had BEA in Chicago this year and I got to hug Kiki again much to her dismay! I went to fun dinners and outings and got to spend time with some of my very favorite people in all the land and it was lovely.


I got a new tattoo that I am in love with, as you know I am very much into the idea that you make your own choices and are Queen (or King!) of your own life and that’s what the tattoo represents! Speaking of Queens, Alexa and Kelly came to see me and we spent the day at The Book Barn and walking around the town of Niantic. Always fantastic to spend time with people who just get you and offer no judgment on who you are on the inside❤


Hmmm what else…Oh! I am running a summer reading program that I created from scratch at work and it’s tons of work. Like…cue weekly panic attacks over it lots of work. So far we have done Cupcake Wars and Trivia Night and both have gone over very well so I am pleased but still have to hope that I come out on the other end unscathed.


Dr. Seuss FTW!

What I’ve been watching:

Ohh so I am currently obsessed with playing The Witcher! By obsessed I mean that I will play for HOURS for DAYS and then won’t pick it up for a month…but it is SO. GOOD. Also I am so behind on reading (as I’ll show you below) so I have been binging too many shows, such as:

  • Twin Peaks: OMG why did it take me so long to get into this?! Could. Not. Stop. Have made multiple people start watching so we can discuss WTF is even HAPPENING.
  • Preacher: I read a few of the comics and it doesn’t seem to follow the story TOO closely but hoo boy is our Preacher good lookin’ I am completely on board.
  • Lucifer: I tried to get into these comics and it just wasn’t working for me, but the show is fantastic. Also again with the handsome male lead.
  • Game of Thrones: This season has been SO. GOOD. I don’t want to spoil even though I hope people are caught up by now but oh man….I was on the edge of my seat every episode. It was a VERY different experience being that it was the first season that surpassed the books so I didn’t know what was coming but still saw some theories come to light and it was just amazing *sheds a little tear*
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Quick, fun and hilarious. Everyone recommended this to me because I love The Mindy Project and New Girl (though I am SO MANY episodes behind on both that it’s shameful) and they weren’t wrong. Loved it.
  • Downton Abbey: It’s over! I can’t believe it! I was honestly sad to see this one go, but will definitely be going back to re-watch. I thought the ending was superb, I loved how things were tied up.
  • Gilmore Girls: Ah! My re-watch before the miniseries comes out! I am on season 4 now and just had some MAJOR Jess feels! I will say it is so strange to watch this now and relate to Lorelei instead of Rory! It is a totally different experience but I love it so.


I am so so behind. I have lowered my Goodreads challenge TWICE and I am still two books behind. I am in a slump! Since I have only read 23 (ugh) books this year lemme share!

I finally read Alanna!

I binged the entire Mara Dyer series and loved it

The Smell of Other People’s Houses was surprisingly wonderful

Romancing the Duke was my first try at those so called “bodice rippers” and SIGN ME UP, I loved it so!

I finished The Lunar Chronicles, Winter took me ages but it was worth it and Stars Above gave us the very best epilogue ever *swoon*

Ghostly Echoes was possibly my favorite of the three Jackaby novels, I loved learning about Jenny!

I finally got the courage to read The Rose and the Dagger and finish the series and it was so beautiful. It took me so long because I just kept re-reading passages over and over.

Me Before You was not as good as the movie (GASP!) In fact, I had a hard time liking the novel on the whole

I read the BFG to prep myself to see the movie with my niece. Unfortunately, I hate read most of it and will be writing a post all about the why!

Currently I am reading The Gunslinger and I am really liking it which is great because I generally do not enjoy King’s writing. I am also reading and LOVING My Lady Jane and Lost Gods which was one of my most anticipated books of the year. Also! I was just approved on Edelweiss for an ARC of Yesternight by Cat Winters and I cannot WAIT to delve in!

What’s to come:

Hmm…Our next round of Secret Sister (omg round 5!!) starts in just a few weeks. Amy is coming to visit at the end of the month. Soon it will be FOOTBALL SEASON aka pumpkin flavored everything season aka scarf season aka holding hands while traipsing through a pumpkin patch season aka THE BEST SEASON! I’ll hopefully review some of those books I’ve been reading…or not cause I am very “I do what I want” and sometimes reviewing feels like a chore, what can I say? Oh and in November I will be heading back to Illinois for Friendsgiving with Amy and Britt which is basically the highlight of my year, every year. That’s pretty much it for me…As you all know I give too much away on Twitter and share too many pictures of my books and cats on Instagram!❤