Saturday, October 31, 2009

HBT - Win "The Hollow" Perfume! 3 winners

:( I'm so sad that today is the last day of my Haunted Blog Tour. It went by way too fast and I wish the month was longer so I could've posted even more. BUT I am excited for today's post. It's a contest, ya-hoo! What's the prize, you ask?

A 3-set perfume sampler, for 3 different winners! That's right - Jessica Verday, author of "The Hollow", has generously offered three lucky followers of my blog a special prize. Jessica told me that she's all out of the full size perfumes right now, but she has some sampler packs (Abbey, Caspian, and Kristen).

How to Enter:
-This contest is open to followers only. (If you aren't one, become one!)
-Just leave a comment letting me know, and be sure to include your email address!
-There are additional things you can do for extra entries. These are optional, but give you a better chance of winning.
-Please try to put all of your entries in ONE comment, it makes it easier to count them all up.

Contest Rules:
-Open to USA and Canada only!
-Leave an email address in your comment, please! No email = No entry. Sorry, but I have to have a way to contact the winner.

Extra Entries:
+3 Put on your sidebar - please leave link.
+6 Blog about this giveaway - must leave link!
+2 Add me to your blogroll.
+1 Comment on my interview with Jessica Verday.

The contest ends on November 20 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed on November 21.

Friday, October 30, 2009

HBT - Interview with author Thomas Fahy

Tomorrow is HALLOWEEN! WHOO! So for today's Haunted Blog Tour post, it's an interview with author Thomas Fahy, who has written the suspense novel "Sleepless".

How did you come up with the story in your book "Sleepless"?
I came up with the idea while working on my last book, The Unspoken, which is about a group of teens who are haunted by their childhood memories of growing up in a cult and now must face a horrifying prophecy—that they will die from their worst fear. The main character, Allison, is epileptic, and during her seizures, she has these visions of terrible crimes before they happen. Her visions made me think about nightmares and the power they can have over us—to make us scream, break out in a sweat, and, in some cases, sleepwalk. I thought it would be kind of cool to write something about sleepwalking—as if it were a disease that could infect people and make them do things.

What is the scariest book you've ever read?
Well, I find different books and films scary at different times in my life, but the first time I remember being really scared by a book was reading Stephen King's It. I was the same age as the characters when I read it, so I could identify with their fears and insecurities. I stayed up until 1 or 2 in the morning several nights in a row as I raced through it. Sometimes, a strange noise in the house at would freak me out as I was reading. And it certainly made me wary of clowns! I still think it's a terrifying book.

Do you have any Halloween traditions?
I really enjoying buying a pumpkin and having it around the house a few weeks before Halloween. Then, a few days before the 31st, I carve a different, creepy face into it. That has become a tradition for me in recent years.

Are you working on another book? If so, could you share a little bit about it?
Right now, I’m working on something a little different—a book called The Philosophy of Horror. It’s a collection of essays about horror books and films and television shows, about why people like to be scared. It’s coming out a few months. I’m also brainstorming some ideas for my next teen horror novel.

What's your favorite horror movie and why?
It's a tie between Seven and Silence of the Lambs. These films are so frightening psychologically. They leave so much of the horror up to the imagination. Showing less is such an effective way to send chills down the audience's spine--and to keep them thinking about it long after the movie is over.

Most haunting nightmare you've ever had?
I was drowning in this swamp. Thick, black muck was covering my body, and before I went under, I forced myself awake. I opened my eyes but couldn’t move. I tried to lift my arms and my legs. I got no response. I tried to turn my head. I couldn’t. I was absolutely paralyzed. It took a few moments before I could feel my body again. It was terrifying.

What's the most strange, funny, or unique Halloween costume you've ever seen or worn yourself?
Several years ago, I went to a party with someone who dressed as a "cereal killer"--wearing a breakfast cereal box with a knife in it. I thought that was pretty funny.

Thanks so much for the interview Thomas!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

HBT - Guest post with author Jessica Verday

October is wrapping up! I can't believe how fast it went by. Well today's Haunted Blog Tour post is a guest post with author Jessica Verday, who has written "The Hollow".

Must-See Hallowe'en Movies (That You Probably Haven't Seen):

Hallowe'en is a time I look forward to every year, and while most people would probably think it's because of the free candy or haunted houses, one of the things I love most are the scary movies that come on tv. Some channels do countdowns with a spooky movie shown each night, some channels do monster marathons on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Either way, I'm hooked when a Hallowe'en special comes on. Here are some of my must-see recommendations that you (probably) haven't seen.

Lady in White - From IMDB: Locked in a school closet during Halloween 1962, young Frank witnesses the ghost of a young girl and the man who murdered her years ago. Shortly afterward he finds himself stalked by the killer and is soon drawn to an old house where a mysterious Lady In White lives. As he discovers the secret of the woman he soon finds that the killer may be someone close to him.
Although this is an old one, in my opinion, it's one of the BEST ghost stories out there. Spooky and atmospheric, this isn't about gorey chills and slasher thrills. It's melancholy, sorrowful, and tugs at your heart strings. When the song "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?" plays, it's one of the most haunting parts of the whole movie.

The Good Son - From IMDB: After his mother's death, a young boy, Mark, is left with his aunt and uncle while his father makes an important trip. Cousin Henry is at first great fun, but isn't your average boy next door. Mark believes Henry is evil, but no one else can see this.
Featuring a young Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood, this eerie movie will have you questioning how well you really know that neighborhood kid. Evil comes in a cute package - but which one is The Good Son?

Jeepers Creepers - From IMDB: Bickering siblings Darry and Trish are driving home for college break when they make a horrific and bizarre discovery in an old church basement. Break may have to wait as Darry and Trish are relentlessly pursued by The Creeper, a creature who who is hell-bent on eating them.
With a creepy truck ("BEATNGU"), a creepy guy, and a long, lonesome road, this road trip from hell is a must see. Be careful though, after viewing this you might not want to drive by any corn fields late at night...

Thir13en Ghosts - From IMDB: Arthur and his two children, Kathy and Bobby, inherit his Uncle Cyrus's estate: a glass house that serves as a prison to 12 ghosts. When the family, accompanied by Bobby's Nanny and an attorney, enter the house they find themselves trapped inside an evil machine "designed by the devil and powered by the dead" to open the Eye of Hell. Aided by Dennis, a ghost hunter, and his rival Kalina, a ghost rights activist out to set the ghosts free, the group must do what they can to get out of the house alive.
Although this is a choppy, fast paced movie that leaves you breathless in between scenes as you spin from one room to the next, the beauty of this movie is in the ghosts themselves. Definitely one to get a DVD copy of for the special features alone where each ghost's story is explained in full detail.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - From IMDB: It's the weird and wonderful as newly wed couple Brad and Janet encounter a problem when they car halts in the rain. They both look for contact only to find themselves at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter a transvestite. A place to stay is offered, but will Brad and Janet want to remain there? Especially when a large group of Transylvanians dance to the 'Time Warp', Dr. Frank-N-Furter builds his own man and a whole host of participation for the audience to enjoy.
Ahhh, Hallowe'en isn't Hallowe'en without The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and of course you've probably seen this one. Bizarre outfits, a campy musical, and one sweet transvestite from Transylvania who is looking for love make up this odd yet loveable movie. This is the number one can't-miss-it Hallowe'en spooktacular movie of all time. You'll be singing Let's Do The Time Warp Again long after the movie is over!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday: The Seven Rays

This week's WoW book is The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger! It will be released on November 24, 2009.

Book Description:

"You are more than you think you are."

That is the anonymous message that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven't had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend's face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people's pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can't stop it. Everyone thinks she's crazy and she's pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn't explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here's the thing: What if she is?

I haven't heard any talk of this book yet, and I'm surprised! I think it sounds like an interesting novel and I can't wait to read it. RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 24, 2009!

HBT - Guest post with author Marley Gibson

Today's Haunted Blog Tour is a guest post with author Marley Gibson. She has written the Ghost Huntress series, along with her nonfiction book, "The Other Side".


Halloween has long been an...interesting holiday for me.

I remember my first costume and trick or treating outing was me in a white bedsheet with the eye holes cut out and me carrying a plastic pumpkin and tooling around town with my cousin, Ben, and my friend, Melissa. We gathered a plethora of candy that night, however, I couldn't eat any of it until it was inspected for razor was the scare back then.
At my school, we always had this kick @ss Halloween carnival. In second grade, I was up for Halloween festival queen. It was a fundraising thing. The girl who raised the most money won the crown. My brother, a senior, was working the admission gate for the Halloween carnival and he asked everyone entering if they'd give a donation for his sister to become the queen. With his help, I came in second place! I won a red velvet cake that year in the cake walk.

As I worked my way through school, my homerooms hosted different activities for the Halloween carnival. Second grade was the pick up ducks, fifth was the country store where we sold davinity, cookies, and other homemade items. Nineth was the go fish booth where you tossed a fishing pole over a sheet and pulled back a bag full of goodies. Junior year was the haunted house where we all slapped on fake blood and rubber masks and scared hell and four dollars out of all the younger kids. We also had the hay ride where we all piled into the back of a truck, steered through the woods behind the school where each load was attacked by water balloons by hidden seniors. Sadly, some little kid got upset by it and the school discontinued it. So, my senior year, we hosted a Monster Mash. Three tickets to dance with the senior of your choice in this semi-disco in our home room. Cheesy...yes, but a lot of fun.

My sophomore year, I was riding around town with some friends of mine when we came upon one of the city's cemeteries. Quicker than a flash, they attempted to leave me and my friend, Daphne, in the cemetery by ourselves. Being the smart girls that we were, we both tackled one of the football player guys who were trying to ditch us. We spent the next hour and a half huddling together for warmth around creepy gravestones. Daphne and I were the picture of bravery...the football players...not so much.

College brought less mischieviousness and more mayhem. Fraternity parties. My best costume in my college years was as a Navy Blue Crayola. Brilliant costume, if I must say so myself.
Nowadays, I find myself not at a party or dressed as something crazy-cool or hip...rather, I'm in my jeans, hoodie, and tennies and I'm walking around a haunted location with my K2 meter, my digital voice recorder, and my camera. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I have learned so much in my ghost hunting research. I have met so many wonderful people who aren't creepy or weird or anything like that...rather they are spiritually grounded, faithfully based, and eager to try and seek out what's on The Other Side.

Happy hauntings to you all!

P.S. Check back tomorrow for an awesome contest thanks to Marley! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HBT - Vampire Contest!


I'm excited to announce what today's Haunted Blog Tour post is...a SIGNED copy of "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" from the fantastic author Beth Fantaskey! Better yet - it's international! :)

Book Description:
The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

How to Enter:
-Just leave a comment with your email address and what you love about vampires!

Contest Rules:
-Open internationally to anyone on Earth! (Sorry, Martians.. )
-I'll use to pick the winner.
The contest ends on November 14 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed on November 15. Good luck! :)

Extra Entries:
+2 For being a follower of my blog, or becoming one.
+2 Put on your sidebar. Include link!
+4 Blog about this contest. Include link!
+1 Comment on this
awesome guest post with Beth Fantaskey.
+2 I picked 5 random people from my followers list and they get 2 additional entries...just because! See? Being a follower has its advantages. :) So if your name is on the list, just let me know in your comment.
-Ladystorm (Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh my!)
-Charlotte (The Book on the Hill)
-Brendiiz (Eternamente en Tiniebla)

-Dahlia (Book Shopaholic)
-Allison (Read Into This!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

HBT - Guest post with author Beth Fantaskey

The lovely young-adult author, Beth Fantaskey, agreed to write a guest post for today's Haunted Blog Tour! She has written the book "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side", and the soon-to-be-released book "Jekel Loves Hyde".

Beth has decided to re-write a chapter in her novel from a different character's perspective. Even if you haven't read the book yet (like me), you should still read it. It's amazing! :) Check back tomorrow for a great contest.


Hey everyone! Happy Halloween!

This is one of my favorite holidays, and I couldn’t resist including a Halloween scene in my first novel, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. For the “Haunted Blog Tour,” I’ve rewritten that scene from the point of view of Jake Zinn, a character many readers root for, probably because Jake’s an average guy with a good heart who does his best to compete for the heroine’s affection against nothing less than a vampire prince.

Here’s a glimpse into Jake’s thoughts as he prepares to kiss Jess for the first time – even as he suspects that she has feelings for the charismatic, foreign boy who has suddenly shown up in their quiet, rural community.

Have a scary-fun holiday!


Jake Zinn – Halloween Night

I couldn’t think of anything to say to her. Not one stupid thing, even though we’d just spent two hours at the school’s fall carnival together.

Jess Packwood was sitting next to me in my truck, biting her fingernails and looking out the window at nothing, and my brain was about as blank as the view passing by.

I jammed the truck into fourth and almost laughed. What would old Mrs. Wilhelm call that? “As blank as the view?”

A simile? Metaphor? Analogy?

One of those things.

I stopped laughing, and my fingers got tight around the gearshift.

Vladescu would have known. That guy was all about reading and metaphors and Moby Dick and might as well’ve taught English lit., the way he was always piping up from the back of the room. Mrs. Wilhelm was so in love with him, it was kind of sick. She was practically as bad as the rest of the girls in school, who made faces like, “Oh, god, look at him,” every time Luc walked down the hall.

I looked over at Jess, who was still biting her fingernail, looking really pretty.

And what about her? Was she, like, in love with the guy who lived over her folks’ garage?

I kind of thought so, even though Jess swore they were hardly even friends.

“The carnival was fun, huh?” I asked, just to say something.

Jess yanked her hand away from her mouth and looked over at me, looking surprised, like she’d been daydreaming. “What?” She hugged the stuffed hot dog I’d won for her by throwing some softballs at a cardboard clown. “Oh, yeah… It was great.”

Now what? Why couldn’t I think of anything to talk about?

I thought about Jess all the time. I thought of stuff I wanted to tell her, and in my brain it came out great. And we’d talked a lot over the summer, when I’d go to the diner where she’d worked. I’d known Jess practically my whole life, but she’d just been this girl who lived on the weird farm where they didn’t seem to grow anything but stray cats. But sometime over the summer, without me even noticing, that changed. I must’ve eaten about 30 hot turkey sandwiches before I figured out why I didn’t really go anyplace else. I liked hanging out with Jess, watching her add up checks in her head, without a pen. She could even do the tax. I liked to tease her about that.

But tonight she seemed like a gazillion miles away. The whole time we’d been at the carnival, she’d kept watching the door, like she was expecting somebody to maybe show up. I didn’t want to know who.

“So… how about that reading list for lit.,” I tried again. “It’s like a book a week!”

“Yeah, it’s a pretty crazy schedule,” Jess agreed, still hanging on to the hot dog.

What a stupid prize. I wished I could have won her the bear, which was cooler. But I’d only been able to get two softballs through the clown’s mouth. I sucked at throwing. That’s why I’d gone out for wrestling. No pressure to throw anything.

And why’d I have to bring up lit.? I saw the way Jess turned around whenever Luc talked about “symbolism.”

I downshifted kind of rough and hauled on the steering wheel, turning onto the dirt road that went to the Packwood place.

Vladescu could throw. He was the big basketball star at Wilson.

I’d tried to like that guy, and give him a chance, but it was hard. And I wasn’t the only one who thought he was different. Frank Dormand was telling the whole school that Lucius was crazy. Maybe dangerous.

Sometimes I wondered if I should have slammed Dormand against a locker for teasing Jess, like Luc had done while I’d stood there like an idiot. But my parents would kill me for getting in a fight at school, and Dormand had just been joking around…

“Hey, we’re here,” I said, like Jess wouldn’t recognize her own house, which was right in front of our faces. I pulled over near the barn, where I usually parked to deliver hay, put the truck in neutral and turned to look at her, and all of a sudden I really couldn’t talk.

Wow, she was pretty in that dress. It was, like, more mature than what the other girls wore to the carnival – but Jess had a body, and that dress showed it off. Not, like, in a sleazy way, but just… wow.

I’d seen guys checking her out all night – the same guys who’d been busting on me for liking a math geek – and I’d felt like telling them, “Back off, because I saw her first. You snoozed, and you lost!”

“Thanks again for winning me the hot dog,” she said, twisting around so we were face to face in the dark cab. Over her shoulder, I could see a jack-o-lantern lit up on the porch. And something, or somebody, next to it. At first I thought her dad – talk about a weird guy – had made a scarecrow, but then I thought I saw it move…

“I had a great time at the carnival,” Jess added.

“Sorry I didn’t get the bear,” I told her.

She smiled and shrugged, so the top of her dress shifted a little, and it was really hard not to look down at her chest, even though my dad told me never to do that when you talked to a girl. “Well, a hot dog’s nice,” she said. “It’s different, you know?”

I licked my lip, getting nervous. I’d kissed girls before, sure, and I knew it was time to make a move, but Jess made me act like I was in junior high. She was different. Good different. I looked past her out the window again. And was her dad on the porch? Or was that…?

“Did I tell you that you look really great in that dress?” I asked, stalling.

“Thanks.” She smiled again and wrapped one of her curls around her fingers, and I just about lost it. What was it about this girl?

We said some more lame stuff – I didn’t even know what I was saying – and all the sudden she started getting out of the truck, so I quick killed the engine and hustled around to get her door. And the weird thing was, as I walked in front of my truck, I decided not to even try to kiss Jess.

Not that night, or ever.

I made up my mind, right then and there, that we were through before we even really got started.

That’s when she tried to hop down, tripped on her own feet, and fell right on to me.

I heard her say “crap,” which was pretty funny, and then she slammed into my chest.

Yeah, I had planned to tell Jess that I’d see her around, and not even promise to call her, because I wasn’t going to. But when I caught her, she smelled so nice, and she felt so good, and a part of me still wanted to kiss her, so I did. It was like I lost control of myself, and the next thing I knew, we were kind of making out. A little.

I’d never heard of Jess having a boyfriend, but she was a good kisser. Her lips were really soft, and she tasted like the cotton candy I’d bought us at the carnival. Sweet. I almost felt like maybe I wasn’t so hot at kissing.

Where’d she learn to kiss so good…?

I opened my eyes and saw that jack-o-lantern laughing at us. I stopped kissing her. “I gotta get going, or I’ll break curfew,” I said.

Then I promised to call her, and I knew I would do it.

I also knew I should offer to walk Jess to her door, but I didn’t. I got back into my truck, and she stood there while I drove away. I slowed at the curve just past the barn, but I didn’t check the rearview to watch her go into the house, because I didn’t want to see her not open the front door. I didn’t want to see the girl I liked so much sit down next to the guy I’d seen watching us when I’d come around the front of my truck.

I steered around the curve, still not looking back.


He was the reason I’d almost told Jess that I didn’t think we should keep hanging out. He was waiting for her next to that jack-o-lantern, looking scarier than anything else I’d seen that Halloween. Looking mad.

I didn’t really wanna be part of a pissing match with some foreign kid, even over Jess. Especially not with Luc, who looked like he’d been in a few fights, back in whatever country he came from. I didn’t check out guys in the locker room, but it was hard to miss that scar on his arm. I’d butchered stuff, and I knew the kind of marks knives left behind.

I drove down the Packwood’s dirt road, knowing I would call Jess, like I’d promised, because I was a nice guy – and for some reason, I couldn’t help wanting to be with her. Even though I had this feeling that it was all gonna turn out bad. That someday, it was gonna come down to me versus Vladescu. And remembering how Luc had practically strangled Dormand just for teasing Jess, let alone kissing her – I had this spooky feeling… Mrs. Wilhelm definitely would have called it “foreshadowing”… that one of us was gonna get hurt.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: August 2009 by Scholastic Press

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Werewolves | Series (Book One)
Includes: Violence, Brief Profanity, Sexuality

First Lines: I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in.

Ever since Grace was just a little girl, she's been fascinated by the wolves living in the woods behind her house. Especially one in particular - the yellow-eyed one that always watched her, too. After their silent obsession with each other for years, they finally meet. In person.
Sam, ever since he was bitten by a wolf as a boy, is a werewolf. During the hot temperature of summer he is human, but during the frigid cold of winter, he transforms into a wolf. But this year is Sam's last year of being human, and as the winter comes closer and closer, the young couple must fight to prevent him from turning back into a wolf. Even if it means risking their lives.

I didn't really know what to expect for this book. Besides the Twilight saga, this is the only other werewolf book I've ever read. Maggie Stiefvater's writing was beautifully written. She detailed every paragraph, easily letting me visualize the story in my head.

From Page 280
I closed my eyes, flared my nostrils, and let the scents flood in. Peppermint swirled into my mouth, sharp as glass, then raspberry, almost too sweet, like too-ripe fruit. Apple, crisp and pure. Nuts, buttery, warm, earthy, like Sam. The subtle, mild scent of white chocolate.

The novel is told through both Grace and Sam's perspective. But what I loved about the book was that both of their characters were so distinctive, that I was able to tell who was telling the story even without reading the chapter titles (which told which character's POV it was in.) It wasn't distracting at all, and included more incite into their character. Sam was an amazing character - he had such a kind, innocent, and friendly personality. But at times, I almost wanted to find a fault in him. I don't like it in books when there is the "perfect and flawless" boyfriend who every girl obsesses over and wants for themselves. Sure, that'd be great, but we must remember he's fictional! Only once in the book do Grace and Sam have an argument, and it only lasts one page - until Grace forgives him because of the sad look on his face. I mean, really?? Sorry, but that's not realistic at all. Especially since we're talking high-school teenager couples.

From Page 302
"I don't want to let you go like this." His eyes were pleading with me, their absolute saddest. I looked at the goose bumps raising on his arms, and the slight tremble of his shoulders in the cold draft. And he had me. He reached out and touched my cheek. "I'm sorry." I caught his hand and tangled his fingers in mine, fixing my gaze on his face.

I really liked Grace's strong and smart character. She stood up for herself and didn't take no for an answer. Sam and Grace complemented each other, and were made for each other. Their love was refreshing, and the author wrote it very descriptively. Each kiss they shared was written differently, and felt right, not awkward like some romance books do. They had great chemistry.

The ending was very abrupt. I actually kept reading even after the "acknowledgments" and "about the author" pages, looking to see if I had somehow missed a page. I kept going back and forth the last chapter, re-reading pages, to see if I had missed something. I wasn't satisfied with the ending and had MANY unanswered questions. This book begs for a sequel, and I'm pretty sure this is going to be a series. So that's a good thing - because this ending was very unsettling.

The cover? GORGEOUS. It's one of my most favorite covers, and I love the different shades of dark blues, not to mention the hidden wolf in the bottom corner! (I actually didn't even see it at first since it blended in so nicely.) And it wasn't until after I read the book that I understood why there was a drop of blood for the letter 'i' in the title. That was a nice touch.

Overall I enjoyed the novel. Maggie Stiefvater's flowing, almost poetic, style of writing was so descriptive and the characters were beautifully written. The plot dragged at times, and I was ready for something new to happen, but after awhile that wish came true. There were some great twists, and I'll definitely be picking up the sequel - Linger, which comes out in 2010, I believe?

Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders!

HBT - Ghost Story: Loseley House

Today's Haunted Blog Tour post is a ghost story about the Loseley House in Guildford. It's creepy how many ghost stories are originally from Surrey...

This beautiful house situated just outside Guildford in Surrey has been the home of the More-Molyneaux family since the sixteenth century. In the past its guests have included Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Queen Anne and Queen Mary. It is also home to several ghosts. The ghost of a smiling lady dressed in Victorian clothes has been seen outside one of the bathrooms in the house. The present owner who saw the woman later found a portrait of the ghost in the attic. She is thought to have once lived there herself.

Another ghost of a lady has been seen but this time she is dressed in brown and does not appear to be nearly as friendly. She has been seen standing at the bottom of the stairs, and when she appears, witnesses usually feel a coldness surround them... As the story goes, about 400 years ago the 'Brown Lady' murdered her step-son by chopping off one his legs so that her own son could inherit her husband's fortune. When her husband found out what she had done he locked her into a room and kept her there for the rest of her life. Every year, on a particular night, horrific screams are reputedly heard coming from the room where she was kept prisoner.

Another ghostly lady has been seen by one of the owner's daughters. This time the ghost was that of a little old lady dressed in gray. She appeared only to the young girls in their playroom, where she would sit and smile at them, as if she was taking care of them. As the girls grew up, they realized there was something 'odd' about their friend and told their parents. The family eventually became very nervous about the ghost and left the house.

The house is also thought to be haunted by the ghost of a man who can be seen in fancy dress walking through the Long Gallery.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

HBT - Mad Lib with author Allison Van Diepen

Today's Haunted Blog Tour post is a Mad Lib with author, Allison Van Diepen! She has written the young-adult novel "Raven".

How it works: I asked Allison to give me nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. and then placed them into an already-made story with blanks. It usually turns out pretty funny! *The words she gave me are bolded.

This Mad Lib is called: Prom Night

One of the first and finest major horror films of all time was called "Madonna," about a teenage caterpillar who was rocky. She went to school and got good grades, but she was always behaving too quietly and did not like her fellow computers. This was because they did not like her. They all thought she was dry and acted like a canoodle. So at the end of her senior year, this girl was not invited to the heinous prom. All of the other students had dates and new hats to wear. But they treated their classmate as if she were really horrific. And she behaved so carefully, it was horrifying. Madonna was so mad at all of the other bassethounds at her school that she decided to ruin their prom. You see, she had stunning magical powers and if she concentrated on her belly button, she could start fires or make salad tongs start indulging. So she went to the place where the dance was being held and walked into the kitchen, and her ear blazed out magical energy. All of the girl's protesters burst into people. Then aquamarine liquid nitrogen began dripping from the arena all over everyone. At this point, everyone began lurching and trying to get out, but there was only one door! The students were tugging on each other and screaming, "Booyah!" It really taught those students a lesson. The lesson was, "Don't forget to invite Madonna!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

HBT - Win a Cute Tote Bag!


Today's post for my Haunted Blog Tour is yet
another giveaway! :)

In yesterday's guest post with Katie Alender, author of "Bad Girls Don't Die", she mentioned some Halloween costumes she's worn in the past. One of them being a dalmatian outfit, to match her dog. (If you haven't read the post yet you must, I love it!)

Well, for the giveaway, Katie is offering up a tote bag she made out of fabric from her Dalmatian costume! Is that cute, or what? Read on to see how to win! :)

How to Enter:
-Just leave a comment with your email address and the funniest Halloween costume you've ever seen. Be sure to include an email address in your comment!

*Please answer the above question! Most of the time, people skip over that part. I like to read what you guys say!
+1 extra entry if it makes me laugh. :)

Contest Rules:
-Open to USA and Canada only.
-I'll use to pick the winner.
The contest ends on November 13 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed on November 14. Good luck! :)

Extra Entries:
+2 For being a follower of my blog, or becoming one.
+1 Comment on my guest post with Katie Alender.
+2 Each time you advertise the contest! Link it to your sidebar, put my "Haunted Blog Tour" button on your blog, blog about it, twitter, etc.
*Must include links!

Winner Winner!

Yay I'm so glad with how my "Just One Wish" giveaway turned out! It was a great success and thanks to everyone who entered. :)

Over 40 people entered, and there was a total of 332 entries!! Wow that's a new record, guys...keep it up. After writing out allllll the names on the winner is.....

Congrats, girl! I just emailed you so you have 3 days to get back to me. If not, I'll choose a new winner. Thanks everyone, hope you enter my many other giveaways on the site.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HBT - Guest post with author Katie Alender

Please read this post!! It's one of my most favorite author guest posts!

Today's Haunted Blog Tour is a guest post with author, Katie Alender! She is the author of the young-adult novel "Bad Girls Don't Die", which was published this year.

"Being the Character", by Katie Alender

Halloween always makes me feel guilty. This is probably tied to my somewhat questionable sense of personal style. You see, when you see Halloween costumes for women, they're usually tiny body suits with bunny tails or long, clingy Elvira dresses. When we go to Halloween parties, we're surrounded by women like this, showing off their assets in teensy-weensy leotards.

But not me. Oh, no, not me.

For example, last year? I was a nun (NOT a sexy nun--a convinving nun). Before that, I was a Dalmatian (to match my dog, Winston--he's not a Dalmatian, but he dressed like one, too.) And before that? I was a farmer.

So, yeah, I feel a pinch of guilt. Because while most men probably want a
hippity-hoppity leotard bunny at their sides, my husband is the one with the girl dressed as one-eyed Leela from "Futurama"--bumping into things, losing my cardboard eye, having major purple hairspray malfunctions...

Dressing up for Halloween is about playing a character. As a writer, I'm quite comfortable it. And I must say, the characters who are the most fun to "play" aren't the perfect bunnies in shiny leotards, or the "she'd never be allowed to wear a skirt that short in Kansas" sexy Dorothys.
They're the nuns, and the farmers, and the outcasts with one eye. They're the real people, who aren't necessarily cute and flirty, but have a story to tell. You know just by looking at them (or thinking about them, as an author).

But okay, that's not the only reason. I'm also not quite the bunny-suit type. The last time I wore any kind of leotard in public was probably 1989, to a gymnastics class where I most certainly got stuck trying to flip over the uneven parallel bars (my gymnastics career was quite short-lived).

I don't know what I'm going to be this year. I"m sort of looking forward to it and sort of not. My husband is lucky; he's always the same thing. He has a foam milk carton that he puts on his head, and his face is the 'missing person'. It's great, because it makes him about seven feet tall and I can spot him from across the party.

I don't have anything against the ladies who like to get out there work it in their sassy costumes. But I must say, when I'm hanging out in my nun garb (and--the best part!--sensible, comfortable shoes), and I see a Victorian zombie bride come in, covered in lace to her chin, wrists, and ankles, and so gory that she couldn't possible be considered tempting to anyone but her zombie groom, my heart does a happy little dance.

And I think, "Now there's someone with a story!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HBT - Win the "Wicked" series, signed!


It's time for another spectacular spooky contest in honor of my Haunted Blog Tour! Author, Nancy Holder, has generously offered a set of her Wicked series, which she wrote with Debbie Viguie, for one lucky winner! Oh and also - all three of the books are signed. :]

Description of the Wicked series:
Holly Cathers's world shatters when her parents are killed in a terrible accident. Wrenched from her home in San Francisco, she is sent to Seattle to live with her relatives, Aunt Marie-Claire and her twin cousins, Amanda and Nicole. In her new home, Holly's sorrow and grief soon give way to bewilderment at the strange incidents going on around her. Such as how any wish she whispers to her cat seems to come true. Or the way a friend is injured after a freak attack from a vicious falcon. And there's the undeniable, magnetic attraction to a boy Holly barely knows. Holly, Amanda, and Nicole are about to be launced into a dark legacy of witches, secrets, and alliances, where ancient magics yield dangerous results. The girls will assume their roles in an intergenerational feud beyond their wildest imaginations...and in doing so, will attempt to fulfill their shared destiny.

Does this series sound great or what?! I just got my own set, too, so be on the lookout for their reviews.

How to Enter:
-Just leave a comment with your email address and what you are going to be for Halloween! If you aren't dressing up this year, you can mention a costume you wore in the past. -Be sure to include an email address in your comment!

*Please answer the above question! Most of the time, people skip over that part. I like to read what you guys say!

Contest Rules:
-Open to USA only.
-I'll use to pick the winner.
The contest ends on November 6 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed on November 7. Good luck! :)

Extra Entries:
+2 For being a follower of my blog, or becoming one.
+2 Each time you advertise the contest! Link it to your sidebar, put my "Haunted Blog Tour" button on your blog, blog about it, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc.
*Must include links!
+2 I picked 10 random people from my followers list and they get 2 additional entries...just because! See? Being a follower has its advantages. :) So if your name is on the list, just let me know in your comment.
-Natalieranae (Mindful Musings)
-Briana (The Book Pixie)
-Misty (Book Rat)
-Kim (And Anything Bookish)
-Karen Barnett (Cannot Be Shaken)
-Eli (Tainted Poet)
-TruBlu93 (Starry Night)
-Sharonluvscats (Sharon Loves Books & Cats)
-The Bookologist
-Pixie (Page Turners)

Monday, October 19, 2009

We have our winners!

Well last night was your last chance to enter my "Birthday Girl" e-book giveaway with
10 winners! (I wish I could give it to everyone who entered, but sadly I can't. :/ )

I just want to say thank you to everyone who entered, and give a special thank you to the three people that followed all the directions and included in their comment what their favorite birthday gift was! I ended up giving an extra entry to you three!:

GMR: "Favorite birthday gift...well, besides spending time with family, I'd probably say my iPod!
ApachesPrincess: "My favorite birthday gift...that's a hard one! I think one of my favorites may have been the Western Horse Bridle that I got for my horse, Bailee!"
Paradox: "I'm not sure... but I think my favorite birthday gift was my digital camera."

Now onto our 10 winners.....

After putting the 61 entries (out of the 13 entrants) into, here's the list of the 10 people who just won a free e-book! :)

Shawna Lewis
The Bookologist

Congrats! I'll be emailing you all shortly.

*And don't forget! My contest to win "Just One Wish" ends on October 20th!!*

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Published: September 2009 by Scholastic Press

My Rating: 5 stars but I wish I could give it an even higher score!
Tags: YA | Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Series (Book Two)

Includes: Violence/Murder, Sensuality

First Lines: I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air. My muscles are clenched tight against the cold.

**This review contains spoilers if you haven't read the first book "The Hunger Games", yet!**

When I read a series, the first book is
always my favorite. However, Catching Fire - the sequel to The Hunger Games - just broke that trend. This book was an unbelievable, unpredictable novel that is on the top of the list for one of my favorite books. Ever.

The novel picks up from where The Hunger Games left off, with Katniss returning to her home in district 12 as victor. She is well-known worldwide, and pretty soon starts hearing rumors that she might be causing rebellions throughout Panem. One day, the intimidating President Snow visits Katniss and what he tells her leaves her frightened for her own life and the lives of all her loved ones. To add to the plot, the 75th Hunger Games are approaching and the Capital has decided to change a few rules...

The book is split into three parts: The victory tour through the 12 districts, preparing and training for the 75th Hunger Games, and inside the arena for the games themselves. My favorite part would have to be the latter because so many important, nail-biting events happened.

From Page 308
I've never seen any animal move so fast. They slide down the vines as if the things were greased. Leap impossible distances from tree to tree. Fangs bared, hackles raised, claws shooting out like switchblades. I may be unfamiliar with monkeys, but animals in nature don't act like this.

Even though I wish the story could've taken place actually inside the arena more, the action was non-stop and almost each chapter ended with a fantastic cliff hanger! The read was thrilling and exhilarating, very enjoyable.

I was deeply absorbed in Katniss's character, and the way she was beautifully written. Just like in the first book, I felt like I was with her throughout the entire novel - specifically in the arena. I could literally feel her pain, even more so than during the first book, since I knew her character so well and everything she had been through. While Katniss was torn between her love for Gale or Peeta, it made my heart ache, too.

From Page 174
I'm cold and wet and winded, but my escape attempt has done nothing to subdue the hysteria rising up inside me. It will drown me unless it's released. I ball up the front of my shirt, stuff it into my mouth, and begin to scream. How long this continues, I don't know. But when I stop, my voice is almost gone.

Another thing I really liked about Katniss's character was the way she was so realistic! Even though the novel is set in the future, Katniss was just like any other female teenager. She had her fair share of random mood swings, like most adolescent girls do. But another thing that got brought to my attention was her human instinct while trying to survive in the Hunger Games arena. Even though she continuously was determined to put Peeta's life before her own, there were split seconds when her human instinct would slip through and she'd want to save herself instead. At first, I was thinking that it was kind of selfish, but then I realized - hey, even the most humble people probably have times like these. You can't really help it, you're only human!

I loved how Katniss's mockingjay was the symbol for the rebellions. The mockingjay played a tremendous role in the story, and showed up during many parts. Hence the cover - which I love by the way. The subtle message of politics and symbolism was a nice touch in the novel and I liked how it wasn't "in your face", like some books are.

I found myself actually talking outloud during some chapters, or yelling at the idiotic President Snow. That's just how much this terrific story will suck you in. You will seriously feel like you are in the book. It made me want to pick up a weapon and join the fight!

I am on the edge of my seat, very anxious for the third book in the series to be published. I've never been so excited for a book to come out, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to wait until fall 2010 when it's released! Suzanne Collins is now on my list for favorite authors. :)

Book Supplied by: My lovely grandparents gave it to me for my birthday. (:

HBT - Win signed Nancy Holder books!


How would you like to win TWO, SIGNED books by young-adult author Nancy Holder!? :)

Description of "Possessions":

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn’t help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago. What Lindsay doesn’t yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead... And that someone is Lindsay.

Description of "Pretty Little Devils":
Some girls would KILL to be part of the in crowd. POPULARITY is the one thing Hazel wants....High school junior Hazel Stone is sick of being stuck with the c-listers. She'll do anything to be one of the Pretty Little Devils, her school's most coveted clique. The PLDS are famous for their secret soirees, held in the oversized suburban homes of the people they babysit for. So when Sylvia invites her to one of the PLD parties, Hazel couldn't be more thrilled! Little does she know... Hazel's new social status comes with a price. Sure, it's fun skinny-dipping in infinity pools and drinking the contents of the well-stocked rec rooms...after the kids are in bed. But when the lights go out, this babysitter has to deal with more than monsters in the closet. Nasty things start happening. Frightening prank calls. A cat gone missing. Mysterious threats. It seems that someone's jealous of newly popular Hazel... DEADLY JEALOUS. When other babysitters start turning up dead, Hazel has to figure out who to trust, before someone turns their backstabbing ways on her.

Sounds like your kind of books? Well read on to see how you could be the lucky person to win both signed novels! Please read all the rules and how to enter thoroughly!

How to Enter:
-Leave a comment, and be sure to
include your email address!
-There are lots of additional things you can do for extra entries. These are optional, but give you a higher chance of winning.
-Please try to put all of your entries in ONE comment, it makes it easier to count them all up.

Contest Rules:
-Open to USA residents only! Unless international readers, you have someone in the U.S. who can mail it to you. (Sorry! I'm just a poor high-school student.)
-I'll use to pick the winner.
-Leave an email address in your comment, please! No email = No entry. I have to have a way to contact the winner!

Extra Entries:
+4 If you follow my blog.
+3 Put on your sidebar - please leave link.
+1 Twitter about this giveaway - leave link.
+5 Blog about this giveaway - leave link.
+3 Comment on my guest post with Nancy Holder.
+2 Go to Nancy's site and tell me one thing you learned from her bio.
+1 Vote in my Nancy Holder poll (in the top right sidebar).

Total number of entries you can have: 20!

The contest ends on November 3 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed on November 4. Good luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I just wanted to remind everyone that my "Birthday Girl" e-book giveaway ends on October 18th at midnight! Winners will be posted the following day - the 19th. If you haven't entered, you still can! CLICK HERE to enter.

-There will be 10 winners! (And so far, only 12 people you have a very good chance of winning!) Plus there are lots of additional things you can do for more entries.
-It's also open to anyone on Earth! It doesn't matter where you live, you can still win the e-book. I'll email the winners the link. From there, just open it as a document and ta-da! It's there on your computer screen to put on your iTouch, blackberry, Kindle, etc.
-Even if you don't have an electronic thing (like me!) to put the e-book on, you can just read it from your computer.

Soooo GO ENTER and spread the word, please!

HBT - Guest Post with author Nancy Holder

For the Haunted Blog Tour post today, it will be a guest post with author Nancy Holder! She has chosen to write about her inspiration: Edgar Allan Poe.


Poe-sessed by Possessions

It was a cold, gray day last March when I flew to Washington, D.C., to spend four days of spring vacation seeing the sights. Just four days to tour the nation’s capital, Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown. So why did I spend an entire day driving in the opposite direction, getting lost numerous times in the rain, winding up in a very bad neighborhood? And why did I leave the safety of my car to make my way to a graveyard, bearing three red roses? And why, when I saw the name on the monument, did I start to cry?

Because it was the grave of my hero, Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe was the first American author to attempt to live solely off the money he made from writing. Although adopted by a very wealthy man, Poe turned his back on an easy life as a Virginia planter, left West Point Military Academy, and wrote. He and his beloved wife, Virginia, nearly starved. His great enemy, Rufus Griswold, is responsible for the image we have today of Poe as a tortured lunatic addled by drugs. Yet he was possessed by a demon—or an angel, depending on your outlook—which was his muse. Something pushed him to write through poverty, the early death of Virginia, and lack of solid publishing success. He was only forty when he died, and his grave was originally unmarked. Today he is buried in a monument with his mother-in-law and his Virginia, which is why I brought three red roses.

It wasn’t until I started teaching creative writing that I really, seriously sat down and read Poe’s work. I was completely mesmerized. I felt so close to him while reading his words that it was as if he sat beside me and turned the pages of his work with a phantom hand.

I have tried to use my own writing to connect at that same deep level with my own readers. My way to duplicate the effect Poe had on me is to try to make the world I’m writing about so real to me, and to feel the deepest emotions of my characters so completely, that my pages are soaked with those sensations and images.

When I co-wrote the Wicked series with Debbie Viguie, I read tons of books on the Wiccan traditions, witchcraft, the Middle Ages, and I went to France. I immersed myself in the witchy world as thoroughly as I could. I visited a chapel dedicated to Joan of Arc, with fresh roses at her feet, and thought of our characters doing the same. I remembered how brave she was to lead armies against the English, and to die at the stake when she was only nineteen. She reminded me of the single-mindedness and courage of Poe. (If you’d like to see a video of Debbie Viguie and me, please go to and type in “Wicked”.)

To write Possessions, I scared myself. Constantly. Every morning I got up, made coffee and watched a horror movie. The ones that scared me most, I watched over and over. Some of them are: El Orfanato (The Orphanage); the American and Japanese versions of The Grudge and The Ring; The Changeling (with George C. Scott); The Skeleton Key; The Others; The Innocents, and many, many more. I also listened to scary movie soundtracks (The Possession of Emily Rose, for example) while I wote. I worked myself into a state of fear and then I huddled in a small bedroom on the first floor of my house—which also happens to be the coldest room in the house. And I put the intense fear that I was feeling on the page.

But to connect with others as Poe connected with me, I needed to make readers care about the people in Possessions. And so I had to care about them. And I did care…and still do. Lindsay Cavanaugh, the main character, has lost her mother to cancer and had a very public breakdown at school after she becomes possessed by the popularity demon. She seeks refuge at Marlwood Academy for Young Women, a super-exclusive boarding school high in the mountains of Northern California, and she quickly learns the dead haunt the school…and want payback for terrible wrongs committed against them.

Lindsay is so brave, and so kind, that she is very real to me, and I care deeply about what happens to her. Every morning, I could sense Lindsay waking up inside my head, trapped in the nightmare world I put her in. I knew I had to get to work so that at least she would have me for company…until the readers of Possessions joined her, pulling for her, I hope, all the way.

This seems to me to be a slightly mad way to live, and so I understand Poe, who was equally possessed by other lives in other worlds. Poe was a man of strong emotions and passions, who couldn’t stop writing. I can’t stop writing about Lindsay, and so I’m lucky that Possessions is the first book in the Possessions series. Possessions: the Evil Within, will come out in June, and I’m beginning work on the third book. Lindsay is the star, but I can’t forget handsome, adorable Troy Minear; and wicked mad and sexy Miles Winters, the twin brother of the ringleader of the evil girls, the beautiful and spoiled Mandy Winters. Each in his or her tormented way tries to find the light. But some will walk in darkness…forever.

My hero, Edgar Allan Poe, found his light in the darkness. He wrote about people whose obsessions occasionally unbalanced them; who dared to hope and dream past the point of reason. He was a writer possessed, as am I. And that is why I spent my vacation visiting his memorial.

I’m hard at work on the third book in the series, bunkered in my room, scaring myself half to death all over again! And now that Halloween is here, and the nights are cold and filled with ghosts, I hope that you will let Possessions give you a few spooky chills , and that Lindsay and her story will possess you, as I have been possessed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

HBT - Mad Lib with author Nancy Holder

Today's Haunted Blog Tour post is a Mad Lib with young adult author, Nancy Holder! She has written the novels Possessions, Pretty Little Devils, and the Wicked series.

How it works: I asked Nancy to give me nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. and then placed them into an already-made story with blanks. It usually turns out pretty funny! *The words she gave me are bolded.

The Mad Lib is called: "The Gleaming"

One of Kiefer Sutherland's first big acting roles was playing the part of the cape in the horror classic called "The Gleaming Cauldron." This haunted movie tells the story of a writer who needs a quiet place to work, so he rents a fun house in Colorado in the middle of winter. He takes his wife and small stepmother with him. Then it snows evilly for 13 days, and the couple discovers the cursed place is haunted by the ghost of a putrid pumpkin. Well, this horrible ghost is the evil spirit of a former exorcist in the Revoluntionary Army. It takes possession of his heart and forces him to act wickedly towards his own stepmother! At this point, there is a lot of shrieking, but before he can harm anyone he is killed by a stray bat!

Haha that sure would make an interesting movie.. :) Check back tomorrow for a guest post with Nancy and over the weekend there will be two contests for her books! Don't miss out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I have a problem... :(

...I MUST read the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy! I can't wait until next year, when it's published...ahhhh!

So basically just a few hours ago I finished reading Catching Fire - the sequel to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (If you've never read it, you haven't experienced life yet.) It's a must-read.

But oh my goodness, I must read the third book NOW, NOW, NOWWWW! Ugh that cliff hanger ending was just horrible (even though I loved it!), because I'm desperate to know what will happen next. I can't stand the long wait. Am I alone here? Because I get the feeling I'm not!

I haven't been obsessed with a book/series since Twlight (*shudders* I've moved on from that stage last year...), so I don't know what to do. Haha, I'm literally stressed out because the wait is killing me and just think - it hasn't even been a day yet.

Grrrr, I'm hungry for some Hunger Games. (Bad pun intended :] )

I'll post my review for it this weekend, but just so you know, no matter how much flattery I give it, the book will still be ten times better than I make it seem!