Yeah, I know, it seems really odd to review Halloween stuff in at the beginning of the year, right? But Halloween Forevermore is a website that celebrates Halloween and horror the whole year through! And they wanted to send us a couple of these awesome monster wax warmers to review! They’re going to make an awesome addition to our horror collection. ^_^
Monstrous 5 for 5 TAG!
I timed this one to be shared on Halloween, because it’s MONSTROUS! 😀 We were tagged by fellow YouTubers “Geeky Couple Carnage” to answer some spooky, Halloween-esque questions. ^_^
“Nowhere to Hide” E-book on Sale!
We’re getting ever closer to the witching hour, my dear friends, and I thought that perhaps some of you might be looking for something creepy to read as we approach the spookiest of holidays. Until Halloween has passed us by, the “Nowhere to Hide” e-book is on sale for $0.99! You can’t beat a novel for a buck, right? Right. So be sure to pick it up before October ends!
Pick Up “Nowhere to Hide” on Amazon and Kindle!
It’s been just over a year since I self-published my zombie novel, “Nowhere to Hide”. I don’t do a whole lot of self-promotion around this novel, being that self-promotion is just another time-intensive thing to add to a long list of time-intensive things that need doing. However, you may have noticed that it’s almost Halloween, so I thought I’d remind you all that my creepy tale of the walking dead does, in fact, exist. ^_~
The only thing that Nancy King has worried about since her grandmother passed away is figuring out what to do with the rest of her life. That decision is forcibly made for her the day one of the residents of her apartment building dies…and immediately rises to tear open the flesh of anyone within reach of her cold, dead fingers. Now Nancy has found herself in a deadly game of survival against an army of zombies. She may have the will to keep running for a little while…but how long can she push forward when there is simply nowhere to hide?
“Nowhere to Hide” is available on all Amazon platforms as a paperback for $9.99, as well as a Kindle e-book for $2.99, and don’t forget that you don’t need a Kindle device to read it…you can download the FREE Kindle app on any iOS or Android device. If you’re a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited you can even get the e-book completely free, so why wouldn’t you give it a try?
“Nowhere to Hide” currently has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon.com, 5 stars on Amazon.ca, 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk (albeit with only one review), and 4 stars on Goodreads.com. Check it out today and enjoy Halloween with an extra serving of zombies!
Movies, television shows, and video games are all awesome, but for me there’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book, and that goes double for a good horror book. I love a book that can give me the chills, which is how I got into writing about monsters myself. Some of my favorites, which may have even influenced my writing style and preferences? So glad you asked.
When I was a kid I loved spooky stories, especially the ones about ghosts. I had a number of scary books for kids, but as many kids from my generation would tell you, it was all about Goosebumps. If you never read a Goosebumps book as a child, you’ve definitely missed out. The series by R.L. Stine featured short novels about every kind of ghoul, goblin, monster, and creature a kid could imagine. Some of my favorites included the killer ventriloquist dummy, and the Halloween masks that came to life and took over kids’ bodies. And then there were always the “choose your story” editions in which you got to choose how the story progressed by jumping back and forth between the pages (I usually died four or five times before finding the correct path). Those were the bomb.
But if you want to get a little bit creepier – while still maintaining the illusion of reading a “kid” book – you should take a look at Coraline. The short Neil Gaiman book appears, for all intents and purposes, to be a book for tween-aged kids, but it’s a lot creepier than you might imagine. Maybe it’s just the subject matter of a young girl traveling to an “Other” world and being essentially kidnapped by a creature with her mother’s face. Or maybe it’s the creep-factor of all the “Other” people having buttons for eyes. Or maybe it has something to do with that childhood pain of having something awful happen and no one believes you. Either way, the story is actually a lot deeper, darker, and more disturbing than you would ever assume by simply looking at the book cover. Trust me; it’s worth giving it a try.
Of course, you knew that eventually I was going to bring up Stephen King, since you can’t really talk about horror books without mentioning him. Well, the whole and honest truth is that yes, I do think King is an amazing writer, and some of his books have seriously scared the pants off of me. But the thing is, how do you pick just one? King currently has published something like 55 novels, plus nearly 200 short stories (which are compiled into book collections). Of those some-255 stories, over 20 of them have been made into horror movies. So yeah, clearly he’s got something going on, right? Well I haven’t read all of his books by a long shot, but if I’ve got to pick one today I think I’ll go with Cell. I know that it’s not a lot of people’s favorites, and I’m definitely not saying that it’s King’s best book or anything, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a different take on zombies, and I really liked the not-quite-concluded ending of the story. In fact, Cell is what I was reading when it suddenly occurred to me that, “Hey…I could totally write a zombie novel!”
And, of course, you know where I’m going with this. (I’m the master of the segue, admit it.) Maybe it makes me sound a little full of myself, but how can I honestly not talk about my own horror novel in a post specifically talking about horror novels? There were times when I wanted to throw the manuscript for Nowhere to Hide out the window, but I can honestly say that I do love the story and I’m very proud of it. I tried to work in as many creepy, gross, and disturbing moments as I could while still focusing on the whole point of the piece…survival. And because I love the book so much, and because I love all of you so much, for Halloween day only the digital copy of Nowhere to Hide is going to be free! So even if you aren’t sure you’d like it, why not try it out anyway? It’s free! So click the link and check it out quick, because by the time all the trick-or-treaters are in bed tonight the promotion may be over!
Do you enjoy scary books? Why or why not? What’s your favorite horror book? Favorite horror author? Have you ever had a book genuinely scare you? Please share!
It doesn’t always work out so well (especially when I’m working out West), but my husband and I have a bit of a Halloween tradition. We try – to the best of our ability – to watch a horror movie every night for the entire month of October. Sometimes it can be very difficult to work one in at the end of a busy day, but it’s never difficult to find a movie to watch, because we own well over 400 of them.
Yes, we’ve seen our share of scary movies, so today I’m going to share a few of my favorites.
Depending on your personal disposition you might not think of the original Evil Dead as being a particularly scary movie, especially since it’s a little older and doesn’t exactly scream “realism!” But it’s one of my favorites because once you know the story behind it’s production you realize that the cost and crew did an amazing job with very limited resources. Evil Dead tells the story of a group of young people who drive out into an old cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release an ancient evil that will never let them go. All of the special effects are done the old fashioned (*cough*fun*cough*) way, and the way that the “evil” is portrayed is both extremely simplistic and totally creepy. It may not scare you half to death, but if you’re a fan of horror movies and you haven’t seen this one, you really should.
I’m a big believer that Americans should pretty much stay away from the impulse to redo Asian horror films, and the reason is that Asians are way better at the genre (when they’re actually, genuinely trying to be scary). An excellent example of this is a spine-tingling ghost story called Shutter. It’s the tale of a photographer and his girlfriend who get into a car accident and thereafter begin seeing strange shadows and faces in all their photographs. But of course, it doesn’t end there. It is creepy as hell, and there were more than a few moments that made me literally yelp out loud. It’s the kind of movie that, once it’s over, you’re scared to get out of bed because you’re imagining all the things that are going to reach out and grab your feet. But if you’re going to watch, make sure you’re looking for the 2004 original, because the 2008 American remake does not do justice to the ghostly eerieness.
Okay, I have to admit right off the bat that this one isn’t exactly scary, but I have to mention it in this post because it’s been one of my favorites since I was about ten years old. Hocus Pocus tells the story of three evil witches who are accidentally brought back to life by an idiotic teenage boy in an attempt to impress a girl. The witches have been brought into the future by the spell and must drink the life from a child before sunrise in order to stay alive and young. Honestly, it’s more of a comedy than a horror, but it has crazy evil witches, a zombie, and a talking cat, and that is plenty enough for me. I watched this movie dozens of times as a kid and continue to watch it every Halloween as an adult. It’s a great one to share as a family!
Now if you want something that’s Halloween-y and can give you a couple of chills, I definitely suggest Trick ‘r Treat. This film is a kind of anthology that moves from story to story as it reveals the Halloween hyjinx of a variety of characters. Each of the stories is delightfully creepy, and the movie has one of the straight-up freakiest little characters of all time. ‘Sam’ looks like a trick-or-treater with a dirty sac over his head as a mask…but oh, he is so much more. I’m not that easily frightened these days, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d never had a creepy dream or two about Sam. Want to experience the wiggins (or, alternatively, let me know that I’m a total wuss)? Check it out! It’s a great Halloween flick to watch during the holiday.
Do you enjoy super-scary movies, or do you prefer the tamer ones? What are your favorite horror movies? Have you ever had a horror scare you so badly that you couldn’t sleep afterward, and how old were you when that happened? 😉 Please share!
Accountability Wednesdays: Week 43
My friends, my friends, it has been a busy week. I don’t know how I always do this to myself, but it seems like I spend every two weeks at home doing even more work than I do during my two weeks at work. >.>
So, in honor of the fact that I’ve still got a ton of stuff to do, let’s make this a quick one, okay?
Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.
Okay, so about the weight-loss thing. Technically, I’ve lost about 6 pounds. But more technically, I gained 10 pounds before I lost those 6. So, in a very real sense, I’m 4 pounds in the hole. On the plus-side of things, I don’t really understand how it works, but I’ve been significantly more confident in my appearance lately. Despite actually weighing more than when I started this goal, I’ve been finding that I look thinner. Hey…whatever works right?
On the health side of things, I’ve been a little frustrated. I mentioned last week that I was going to see my doctor again because my guts have been on a rampage. Well, as it turns out my general practitioner completely agrees with the assessment the gastroenterologist made, which is basically that this is just the way my guts are and I’m going to have to learn to deal with it. He sent me out of his office with an order to start using psyllium fiber daily (basically, Metamucil), to avoid coffee at all costs, and he was “kind” enough to give me a prescription for something that is basically meant to stop stomach spasms, but has to be taken an hour before you expect the spasms to start, and causes drowsiness, so it can’t be taken all the time. Yay. I feel so much better now.
Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my author platform.
I have to admit that I’ve been slacking on this one lately, but there are a few things to report. For one thing, I’ve joined up with the Self-Publisher’s Showcase, an awesome service to help self-published authors promote themselves. They help to promote self-published books, the authors themselves, and also do fun things like interviews and book reviews and the like. So far we have my author page, but there will be more upcoming in the future, so keep your eyes out!
In addition to that, I’ve been focusing some of my energy on my current BzzAgent campaign, for which there will be a YouTube video posted in the near future. I want to do well on this campaign because BzzAgent is an awesome site that sends you free stuff in return for talking about the product on social media, and who doesn’t love free stuff?
Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.
I never get sick of letting you guys know that this goal is complete! I’m so happy with myself, you have no idea. lol
Also, for those of you who are kind enough to be reading this post, this is an advanced notice: on Halloween Day, all day, the e-book version of Nowhere to Hide will be FREE. Yeah, you heard it right…FREE! So check it out on Amazon or Kindle…even if you already have the physical book it can’t hurt to grab a FREE e-copy as well! And a reminder too: if you download the book (or if you already have it), please return to Amazon and write a review! It really helps a ton! ❤
Goal #4: Write 500,000 words.
This goal slowed down again this week as I’ve been sewing my daughter’s Halloween costume, preparing for her birthday party, taking her skating/to school/to playgroup/etc, doing random chores and the like, trying to get my house clean, and so on and so on. But I did still manage to work in 1655 words, so that’s something at least. The good news is that come this weekend it will be officially NaNoWriMo time, so I expect to have something much more significant to report next week.
Now, if you don’t mind, I have one more of Raven’s boots to sew up before my daughter can wear her costume to playgroup tomorrow. Ciao!
Visceral Video Games
You all know that I’m a bit of a gamer, but depending on your own personal experience with them you might be surprised to see me bring up video games in relation to Halloween. After all, the Mario Bros. aren’t exactly terrifying. Well I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of spine-tingling video games out there to give you a rush. Some of my favs? So glad you asked!
The franchise has gone downhill in recent years, but when I was a kid it was all about Resident Evil. This classic originally took place in a zombie-wracked Racoon City, and employed a strategic system of gameplay that involved a lot of sneaking around, conserving limited ammo and items, and, of course, shooting undead monsters in the head. By today’s standards the graphics are quite less realistic, but back in the day they were plenty good enough to scare the pants off me. I can still remember the night my best friend and I were playing the second game in the series and a Licker jumped through a window at us. The game controller went flying across the room as two squealing little wusses went scrambling for safety. There were a few nervous, embarrassed chuckles that night, let me tell you.
Time went on, games came and went, and the next game to genuinely scare the bejeezus out of me was a gem called Fatal Frame. This interesting little series had a very different kind of gameplay wherein your character’s only “weapon” was a mysterious camera that could view and photograph ghosts. Your only means of fighting back against violent ghosts was to take pictures of them – the better the picture (according the game’s criteria), the more damage you did to the ghost. This could make for some tense moments as you struggled to get the perfect shot while ghosts swooped down on top of you with dead eyes and shrieking mouths. I have to admit that I never actually played this one myself. Instead I used to snuggle up beside my husband (boyfriend at the time) and watch him play. And that was enough. Every time a ghost popped out I nearly jumped through the ceiling, so goodness knows what would have happened if I’d actually been the one in control.
Several years past the days of Fatal Frame, my husband put together a funny ‘Zombie Box’ present for me for Christmas, and part of that present was a game called Dead Nation. It’s a post-apocalyptic world in which your character traverses the zombie-infested landscape while searching for the ‘safe zone’. It’s a top-down-view shooter, which isn’t usually the scariest of views to play a game in, but let me tell you…this game can be tense. There are lots of moments during the game in which you are absolutely surrounded by zombies on all sides, with no way out, and it really gets the blood pumping. Humorously, I actually found this game to be even more tense when I eventually downloaded it on my Vita. You wouldn’t think that you could get too jumpy playing on a handheld device, but if you’ve got a good pair of headphones on and are holding the screen right up to your face? Yeah…things can get pretty real.
But the game that gave me the most jump-scares and straight-up wiggins in the past decade or so? Well that honor goes to a game that isn’t even really, technically, a game. It’s a free download on the Playstation Store that is simply called “P.T.” and it came very close to giving me a heart attack more than once. I don’t want to say too much because it’s a hell of a lot creepier if you don’t understand what’s happening when you’re going in, but believe me when I say that if you want to have a creepy evening, download this game, draw the shades, and crank the volume.
Do you enjoy spooky and scary video games? What is your favorite? What’s your most memorable video game scare? Please share!
The time of spooks and specters is almost upon us. Halloween was always a favorite of mine, not only because I always loved dressing up and going Trick-or-Treating, but because even during the time of my life when I was a godawful wuss, it was always a little bit fun to be scared.
In honor of our favorite frightful holiday, this week I’m going to be talking about my favorite moments of horror…in the form of various kinds of media.
To start off, today I’m going to talk about TV shows of the spooky variety.
Let’s start off with some shows of the past. When I was a kid I was a lot easier to frighten, but even considering that, some of the shows I used to watch late on Friday nights were pretty creepy, in my opinion. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of my very favorites, something I watched every weekend without fail. It’s pretty damn tame by today’s standards, and the special effects leave something to be desired when compared with what television can do these days, but at the time it was an amazing show that gave me no end of shivers.
The show centered around a group of youngsters who called themselves the “Midnight Society” and would take turns telling each other scary stories around a campfire. Each episode was one scary story brought to life. Most of the stories were based on common folk tales and urban legends, with the majority of them designed specifically to be frightening to children. I recall the episode that freaked me out the most was one in which a girl gets sucked into a mystical dollhouse and begins to turn into a doll herself. There was just something about watching the girl’s limbs become porcelain that creeped me right the hell out!
As I got a little older, I began to get into the “reality” ghost shows. I couldn’t name one in particular, but you know the type: a group of people with cameras and really crappy flashlights venture into a haunted house, or an old asylum, or a creepy abandoned graveyard, and records the results. The funny thing is that I never really believed in ghosts myself, but when one of these shows was actually done well…yeah, it could really give me a spook! Even to this day, if the show is well-done (which is asking a little much, apparently) I can still get a chill from the antics that are experienced in the world’s creepiest places.
These days I don’t find there are a lot of TV shows out there that are able to genuinely frighten me. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many TV shows that have the budgets of big Hollywood horrors, or maybe there’s just not a lot of genuinely scary stuff out there on TV right now. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But that doesn’t stop me from loving shows that are meant to be scary. Supernatural has been one of my favorite shows for ages (even though recent seasons haven’t been that great) because I love all the different monsters, creatures, and beings that regularly popped up on the show. It was never really all that scary of a show, because that’s just not the kind of show it is, but all the paranormal stuff, monsters eating people, and super-strange occurrences gave me that good tingly feeling; the kind you get when snuggled up in bed with a good ghost story.
American Horror Story (the first season) raised the bar a bit, throwing all manner of weird, crazy, and creepy at you all at once. The show about a family living in a(n extremely) haunted house focused mostly on the mental insanity and anguish, but there were definitely moments when I got the shivers because of a creepy side-plot or two.
But I can’t finish this post off without giving a shout-out to some of the classics. Not your weekly kind of TV show, but the TV specials that are made specifically for Halloween. Some are old, some are newer, and lots of them are tons of fun. Every year my family and I are sure to watch Garfield’s Halloween special, and my daughter is a big fan of the spooky Spongebob episodes. Want to bump up your enjoyment of the holiday? You should totally go on the hunt for some Halloween specials. They’re fun for the whole family and a great way to get into the Halloween-y mood. ^_~