Fortnight of Fright: The Lost Boys by Lindsey

Hi, friends! Today we have Lindsey (aka Bangs) showcasing her feature Book People Talk Movies! She is chatting all about The Lost Boys, and has made me want to go home and watch this immediately! 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!

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For info on my feature over on Bring My Books, Book People Talk Movies, click here!


I’m so excited to be able to do a guest post about one of my favorite …”horror” movies (read the whole thing before you judge my use of the word horror, haha!)

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I can’t remember the first time I saw this movie, but I remember being immediately enraptured by every single scene. The whole thing is so quintessentially 80s I just can’t even (if you know me then you know how I LOVE the 80s!).

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I’ve never personally been into horror movies, considering The Craft one of the freakiest movies I’ve ever seen (seriously, nightmares for weeks). I will gladly take a rom-com or a period piece over a scary movie any day – so I always find it surprising when I end up liking (or in this case, loving) a movie that is billed as “scary” or “horror” in any way.

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Now I know some of you are thinking “Hey now, I’ve seen this movie …” (well, I hope some of you have seen this and are thinking this…) “…and this is seriously just not a horror flick.” And maybe, by today’s standards anyway, you’re right! BUT, I’m talking about this movie in the way it was intended to be talked about when it was released in the summer of 1987 (just a few months after I was born!), and at that time it was deemed a blend of humor and horror. It’s also relevant to note that it did win a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1987…. Continue reading

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On the Same Page: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Title: Sunshine

Author: Robin McKinley

Publishing Information:  November 30, 2004 by Jove

Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 389 pages

Source: Bought for my personal library

Recommended For: 

Related Reviews: Brittany’s Post and Amy’s Post

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don’t, when they’re vampires.
They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion – within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight. She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day…

Okay so this month the gals and I set out to read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski…it did not go well. That is to say, we didn’t last long before choosing to go down a different path by reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I had actually read this book a few years ago and all I could remember was CON ❤ and well, upon finishing I can sum it up in the same one word! I loved Sunshine and her feisty behavior and the fact that she felt so real, the reader can understand her fears and hesitations throughout the story. I thought for this month’s post I would share some pictures and quotes that I enjoyed while reading Sunshine!

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“The train is roaring toward you and the villain is twirling his mustache and you’re fussing that he’s tied you to the tracks with the wrong kind of rope.” Continue reading

Guest Post: Cat Winters on A Vampire Novel That Isn’t a Vampire Novel

Hello friends!! I am insanely excited to share a guest post with you by one of my favorite authors, Cat Winters!! I am sure that you all remember how much I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds. You will also be lucky enough to read my rave review of The Cure for Dreaming tomorrow! For now, take a glimpse at Cat’s musings on how The Cure for Dreaming came about, and what it was like for her to write a vampire novel that wasn’t really a vampire novel.

 

A Vampire Novel That Isn’t a Vampire Novel

by Cat Winters

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Back in 2007, I signed with my current literary agent because of a manuscript I wrote called The Vampire’s Wife, a suburban satire/love story for adult readers. Twilight was a brand-new book at the time, but I hadn’t yet heard of it. My kids were both under ten and a long way off from reading YA, and my attention was directed toward reading and writing adult fiction.

As most readers know, an epic vampire craze quickly took off around that same time, especially once the Twilight movie debuted in 2008. My vampire novel was making the rounds to publishers during all of the hubbub, but it was a book that fell somewhere in the middle of literary fiction and chick lit, so no one knew quite what to do with it. Despite the thirst for vampire entertainment, the novel, sadly, never found a publisher.

By the time I started writing my first YA novel (and ultimately my first published novel), In the Shadow of Blackbirds, the vampire fiction market was already becoming oversaturated. Readers tired of their fanged heroes and heroines, and I put the idea of ever writing another vampire novel aside. My focus became my shiny new WWI-era ghost story.

However, the Twilight craze, with all of its Team Edward/Team Jacob merchandise, the fan fiction, and even the astounding number of Twi-Rock bands, still intrigued me. I tucked an idea into the back of my head: Wouldn’t it be interesting to one day write a novel about Victorian teens who fall in love with Bram Stoker’s newly published novel, Dracula? How would young women at the turn of the twentieth century have reacted to that classic, sensuous tale of a seductive “gentleman” vampire? What would the boys think when reading about a man who overcomes women by biting into their bare necks and sucking the life straight out of them? Continue reading

Review: The Unwritten Series by Mike Carey

Title: The Unwritten Series

Author: Mike Carey

Publishing Information: Volume 1 published January 12th 2010 by Vertigo

Genre: Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Mystery, Horror

Series Information: 10 Volumes

Format: Paperback, 144 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Readers who enjoy the Fables series by Bill Willingham, or those of you looking to foray into reading graphic novels without being overwhelmed by back issues and superheroes.

Related Reviews: Fables by Bill Willingham

Tom Taylor’s life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom’s real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it’s even implied that the fictional Tommy will crossover into the real world, giving delusional fans more excuses to harass Tom.

When an enormous scandal reveals that Tom might really be a boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a very mysterious, very deadly group that’s secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his own life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, eventually finding himself at locations all featured on a very special map — one kept by the deadly group that charts places throughout world history where fictions have impacted and tangibly shaped reality, those stories ranging from famous literary works to folktales to pop culture. And in the process of figuring out what it all means, Tom will find himself having to figure out a huge conspiracy mystery that spans the entirety of the history of fiction.

The series starts off great, upon finishing volume one I immediately wanted to continue on in order to find out where the story was going. I loved Tommy as a character, he is incredibly flawed but perseveres through the continuous trials he is put through. Richie and Lizzie are secondary characters in the series but they are both given thorough story arcs that I loved. Lizzie is given a great backstory and Richie is provided an excellent story arc that really makes his character change and grow. Basically, no one is safe, which I love!

The best part about this series is that while telling a new story (that maybe has underlying aspects found in Harry Potter, just a little), Carey also brings in fantastic aspects from “classic” literature such as Moby Dick, Aesop’s Fables, and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Obviously, as an English major, this was right up my alley!

If I am being completely honest, it was volume 9, The Unwritten: Fables showing up on Netgalley that originally got me to start the entire Unwritten series. I had never heard of The Unwritten, but I am a lover of the Fables universe by Bill Willingham, so naturally when I saw that they were doing a crossover I had to jump on the chance to read it. I quickly ran to my library and checked out The Unwritten volumes 1-8 and read them in very short time. I am happy to say that I am now a lover of the series and I anticipate when volume 10 will be available.

For those of you who are debating trying out graphic novels, or for those of you looking for a unique and creative twist on some classic literature, you should definitely pick these up as soon as possible! Although they didn’t take the cake for my favorite graphic novel series, they’re certainly coming in at a close second.

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Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Title: The Hallowed Ones

Author: Laura Bickle

Publishing Information: September 25, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Dystopia

Series information: First in a series

Format: Paperback, 320 pages

Source: Borrowed from Amy (Tripping Over Books)

Recommended For: Fans of a very different kind of vampire tale.

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning (Via Goodreads).

When Amy first told me about this book I was skeptical. Amish…and vampires? I am over the vampire thing and…well, the Amish community doesn’t really do it for me. She ensured that I would love it and that it wasn’t THAT kind of vampire story so I gave it a go, and you guys, she was right. The Hallowed Ones was in a word, surprising. The plot was incredibly engaging and the atmosphere was just perfect. I didn’t really fall into the “horror” of the novel, but I have a very high threshold. I did enjoy seeing the vampires as monsters and not humanized characters, it was really different from the norm and kept me on my toes.

The characters in The Hallowed Ones were all fantastic. I really enjoyed Katie and her rebellious yet not too rebellious ways. I found her to be believable and engaging, she didn’t rebel against the restrictions of her society for anything less than what she believed was right. In other words, she wasn’t the typical teenager who rebelled against limitations because WHY NOT, but she rebelled because she knew that letting someone die for their differences wasn’t right, and following your heart is sometimes just as important as following your head. Katie’s parents were a tad infuriating to me but I especially enjoyed Ginger, the “outsider” who was forced to remain in the Amish community after the “attacks” started. Elijah annoyed me, he was a tool and I didn’t like how he treated Katie, he clearly knew little about her despite spending his entire life by her side. Then there is Alex…wooo boy did I love him. Alex is another “outsider” and boy does he turn Katie’s world upside down. Also, he has mythical tattoos that are yummy in my mind’s eye and also protect him from the bad things. Also, I can’t talk about characters without mentioning the Hexenmeister. That’s right, this book has it’s very own Hexenmeister. How awesome is that?! I loved this guy, I pictured him like an angry hermit who screams at kids to GIT OFF HIS LAWN but then also teaches them life lessons and how to shoot a shotgun. Kind of like Rafiki…but human and maybe kind of magical.

You guys I have to be honest, the blind faith thing? I can’t abide it. It really grinds my gears and makes me want to shake my fist and scream like an Amazonian woman. It is safe to say that I am not in the majority here but going into this book I was prepared to feel the rage over the limitations and blind following of the society presented. You know what though? I wasn’t rage filled (for the most part) and I really enjoyed the way Laura Bickle represented the Amish society. I grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania, and I have some experience with this sort of lifestyle so it was really fun to read about it and see the connections. The “Elders” pushed my buttons a little bit, but they were supposed to and I found my inner rebel (LOL she isn’t buried too deeply) screaming at them a time or two. The thing that really got to me about this novel though was the idea that hallowed ground is what kept certain people safe. All hallowed ground. That means that the Catholics in their church? SAFE. The Wiccans holed up in their sacred space? SAFE. The Amish in their community? ALSO SAFE. It really made me feel good to see this universal message of “What you believe, you become,” and support of faith and not just ONE FAITH.

The Hallowed Ones was a captivating read, I didn’t expect any of the big reveals, which is always a win for me. Laura Bickle has a knack for character and atmosphere development and I absolutely cannot wait to pick up the sequel;, The Outside, as soon as possible. For those of you looking for something that stands out in the young adult, paranormal genre, pick up The Hallowed Ones immediately. It had everything I needed, all of the best things, shock, mystery, and a delicious splash of romance.

Fortnight of Fright: Guest Review by Amy from Tripping Over Books

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Hello my friends! This morning we have one of my favorite people in the world participating in Fortnight of Fright, Amy from Tripping Over Books! Below you will find a piece of Amy’s review of The Outside by Laura Bickle, head on over to her post to read the rest of her thoughts on this awesome vampire/Amish mash up! Also be sure to head over to Brittany’s blog to see what she has featured for Fortnight of Fright today! Take it away, Ame!

Friends, I’m a little bit over the vampires. Just in general. Truthfully, I haven’t read that many vampire books, and I do watch shows on TV that center around vampires, but I’m not always eager to get on board with them. I had this feeling before I read the first book in this series, THE HALLOWED ONES, and that book basically disabused me of my meh-ness. Laura Bickle‘s story about the vampire apocalypse as seen through the eyes of the Amish was creepy and excellent. Reading THE OUTSIDE, the conclusion of Laura Bickle‘s story, became an instant priority, and it was worth the anticipation.

Read more of Amy’s review on her blog, Tripping Over Books

Title: The Outside

Author: Laura Bickle

Publishing Information: September 3, 2013 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Romance

Series information: Sequel to The Hallowed Ones

Format: Hardcover, 325 pages

Review: Find Amy’s full review here

I read The Hallowed Ones on Amy’s recommendation, and I LOVED it. I honestly cannot wait to read the sequel. I know it might sound weird when you hear Amish or Amish and vampires thrown together but I promise you that it works! Thanks for joining us today, Ame!

Fortnight of Fright (2)

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Hello my friends!

Two awesome things coming your way…

First, you may remember that last year Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide and I hosted a two week event called Fortnight of Fright, where we shared different posts on ALL OF THE HALLOWEEN THINGS. This year we are working together again to showcase different creepy books, movies, author interviews, and other excellent autumn and Halloween related goodies! The best part is that we get to work together with some awesome bloggers to make this happen, and the more the merrier, so if you think that you want to assist in ANY way, even if it is just telling us your favorite thing about Halloween, sign up via the Google Doc down at the end, below part two of this post!

Some fun posts from last year included:

The Scary-Funny Sweet Spot by Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks

Favorite Villains

Favorite Halloween Shows

…and so many more!!

All Hallow's Read

Second, you may also remember that I told you all about All Hallow’s Read, which is a lovely new tradition started by Neil Gaiman where people give each other BOOKS instead of CANDY. Doesn’t that sound AMAZING?! Brittany, Amy and I are all participating and we are gifting each other Halloween-y books for us to read and review during the month of October. I can’t tell you how excited we have all been to choose books for each other (and um we are obviously psyched to receive those books as well!!) and you have time before Halloween so I suggest that you get together with some friends, and give each other books, because WE ALL LOVE BOOKS. For more information on All Hallow’s Read, head on over to their website, and I will keep you all in the know as well because last year Neil Gaiman gave away a free short story via Audible and it was PHENOMENAL.

Happy reading, my friends!!

Review: Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

bloodspellTitle: Bloodspell

Author: Amalie Howard

Publishing Information: June 1st 2011 by Langdon Street Press

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Series information: Book 1 in a planned series

Format: Hardcover, 394 pages

Source: Obtained an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Recommended For: Readers looking for a swoony, paranormal romance with a strong and likable heroine

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds — much less one that reveals she’s a witch with unimaginable power.

What’s more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own…

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood’s deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

If there is one thing that stands out in Bloodspell, it is the character development, and level of change in the characters and their relationships with one another. Though much of the novel focuses on Christian and Victoria and their FORBIDDEN romance, it also includes layered subplots that really have more to do with the history of the characters, the characters being witches and vampires, and the struggle with the powers within them as well as those who would seek to harm them because of what they are. The secondary characters in this novel don’t get as much page time as I would have liked, specifically Leto, Victoria’s familiar (yeah, he’s a cat so obviously, I love him), and some “friends” that play very integral parts in the overall story, but don’t have much detail provided to their characterization throughout the novel.

In terms of plot, Bloodspell isn’t extremely intricate. In fact, it follows some familiar tropes that readers might roll their eyes at. There is the familiar forbidden love, (teeny) love triangle issues, and there is even a vampire council of sorts who rule over all vampire matters, specifically the law that states witches and vampires can (NEVERRRR!!) unite in any sort of…union. When it is spelled out like that, this book seems like all the rest, it seems like a slightly altered version of twilight, something that can easily be moved aside for more unique novels, however, things aren’t exactly as they seem in Bloodspell. Ms. Howard goes beyond the typical tropes and adds vast layers of self discovery, intricately dark forces, and unbeatable relationships of multiple kinds.

Speaking of relationships, I’m not going to lie to you guys, one of the biggest reasons that I enjoyed this book was because of the swoons. There are a lot of them. Good ones. Ms. Howard has a knack for writing those kissy scenes, lemme tell ya. Though the relationship between Victoria and Christian is a driving force throughout the novel, there are also stellar friendships and some very moving familial relationships that sort of broke my heart a little.

To be honest, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Bloodspell. While reading, there were moments that I was worried that it was falling into a very typical paranormal romance, and as it concluded I was happy to see that that was not the case at all. I was surprised by parts at the conclusion of the novel, and extremely happy to see that the author left many things open without tying things up too neatly. As a reader I felt that things were conclusive enough that I was happy where it left off, but also intrigued to see where things can go if and when the author continues on with the series. Bloodspell held its own in a very overdone genre, I highly recommend it to those of you who enjoy paranormal romances, but are getting sick of reading the same tropes again and again.

Recommend A…(14)

“Recommend A…” is a weekly meme, posted every Monday, hosted over on Chick Loves Lit. It’s a quick, fun and unique way to recommend a book that you love!

Recommend A…Book You Read on a Vacation!

My choice this week is The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

These books are quick, entertaining and easy reads. I flew threw two of them on my flight to Texas last summer. They are really fun books that you don’t have to think too much about so they are perfect to read on vacation! Plus, Eric is a hottie.

Review: Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Title: Faery Tales & Nightmares

Author: Melissa Marr

Publishing Information:  February 2nd 2012 by Harper Collins Children’s Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Short Stories, Paranormal

Series information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 418 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For: Fans of Melissa Marr and readers looking or vibrant and dark short stories

Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.

I did not read the Wicked Lovely stories in this novel, I have never read the Wicked Lovely series so I didn’t want to ruin anything for myself!

“Where Nightmares Walk,” “Winter’s Kiss” and “Transition” were all beautiful stories. I was especially interested in “Winter’s Kiss” and found it to be truly fairy tale-esque with very sweet details. I thought Marr did a nice job with her vampire story, “Transition,” vampires with attitude have a special place in my heart, especially snarky female ones!

The story “Love Struck” is where I fell in love with Marr’s writing. Though I have been reading some mermaid books lately I was so interested in the way Marr twisted the traditional selchie tale into something different. I found myself wanting more and wishing that it was a full length novel and not just a short glimpse into the selchie world.

I also wanted more from “The Art of Waiting” and the messages of this and “Flesh for Comfort” were not lost on me. Both of these stories read like fairy tales but were also somewhat dark and twisted in a way that I really enjoyed.

Finally, “The Sleeping Girl and The Summer King” was the last story I read and I absolutely loved it. The descriptions of the winter world in contrast with the summer land were vibrant and gorgeous in my mind. This story has been described as a sort of sequel for Marr’s Wicked Lovely series and I can assure you that after reading this short story I will definitley be picking up the series very soon.

The only book by Melissa Marr that I had read before this novel was Graveminder (which I loved) but it is not really a “fairy tale” and therefore I was wary that I was missing something by not reading her Wicked Lovely series. Reading this short story really made me understand how Marr weaves different elements into her story, she sets up a vibrant setting that really draws the reader in and makes you long for more.