Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Little Halloween Party!

Happy Halloween! 

Hi guys! Today I thought I would show you some pictures from my little Halloween party. Here in Mauritius, we don't actually celebrate Halloween, which is a pity 'cause I do really love Halloween. So, I figured I would do my own little celebration by putting up some decorations and baking some cookies. I thought it would be also fun to make some DIY stuff and so, some of the decorations I'm about to show you are things I actually made myself throughout the month of October. 

We didn't have that many people over, so we celebrated by having a cozy little tea party. Since people don't dress up for Halloween here, I didn't go for an actual costume. I did want to wear something festive though, so I got this little hat from eBay. If we actually did costumed parties here, I would have probably gone as a gender-bent Mad Hatter. I'm holding on to that costume idea for when I'll be able to do a real Halloween costumed party ^^

You can't have a party, even a little one, without things to munch on, right? I'm actually bordering hopeless when it comes to the kitchen but I was able to find a super easy biscuit recipe and made a bunch of these cute Halloween cookies. Can you spot the little bats and pumpkins? 

We also had some cute cupcakes to go with our biscuits and tea. Nope, those I didn't make myself, haha. What I did make though were paper lollipops to decorate the table. They came out so cute I'm thinking I might make some for Christmas too. 

I made this cute little garland thing for my bed and used a mix of printables and picture cutouts for the TRICK OR TREAT decoration.

Next, there's my pumpkin paper lantern which I bought from a local shop. I thought it looked a bit simple so prior to wearing my little hat, I used it to dress up the lantern with it. The masquerade mask is something I had bought for my first Halloween party, back in 2014. Last year I had gone for a Gothic spooky theme, hence the mask. The BOO decoration was very easy to make. I just printed some large letters and tied them with some ribbon.

Here's my little witch corner, with my Witch Ball invitation poster and two vintage Halloween greeting cards I found online. I also wanted a wreath for my bedroom door and since I couldn't find any neither on eBay nor in the local store I mentioned above, I decided to make my own. Now, it was my first time putting together a wreath, hence the amateurish look, but I'm quite happy with the finish.

I bought a tiny broom from a shop that sells home and garden supplies. I then dressed it up with some ribbon and tulle and voila: a cutesy Halloween broom ^^ 

Follow me on Instagram for more Halloween pictures!

There are a bunch of pictures that I took but couldn't include here because I didn't want this post to be overly long. You can find these pictures on my Instagram by clicking here. If you've also taken some Halloween pictures, feel free to share links to your blog and Instagram down in the comments ^^

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you want links to the items I bought on eBay or the various printables I referred to, feel free to let me know in the comments. Happy Halloween everyone! 

Source here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Useful Info + Writing Buddies

Hi guys! As some of you may know, throughout the month of November, there'll be a writing event called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Since this year I've decided to participate, I thought I would write a quick post to share some info with you. 

Some NaNoWriMo Info

What's NaNoWriMo? 
Basically, you have one month to write the first draft of a novel at a minimum word count of 50,000 words. I'm actually sorta cheating and writing a short story collection instead, haha. I've graduated from uni a few days ago and until I begin my Masters course next year, I'll have loads of free time. So I thought to myself, why not seize the occasion to try my hand at NaNoWriMo?

Are there, like, prizes and stuff?
The event is more a personal motivation thing than an actual writing competition. The end game is the completion of a 50,000 + words draft of your project, for which the main reward is simply the satisfaction that you DID IT. So, nope, it's not like there's going to be a big prize or whatever. Also, no one will be judging the content of your project. Again, the whole point of NaNo is simply to get you to sit down and write. The reward is that 50,000th word you'll hopefully reach. 

How does it work?
Throughout the month of November, participants are going to be working on their writing projects, updating their word count as they proceed. Their NaNo dashboard, which they can access after signing up on the official NaNo website, will help them keep tract of their reached word count. Throughout the event there are also badges which you can win, much like in a game, upon reaching various goals. By the end of the month, if you managed to reach 50,000 or more words, you are a winner.

My Writing Project For This Year

What will I be writing?
This year, for my first participation, I'll be writing a short story collection. I'm not certain if I'll be able to reach the 50,000 words goal in November but I'm going to try to give it my best shot. My collection will comprise of several fantasy and magical realism stories revolving around women and themes of freedom and escape. 

How did I prepare?
Some people like going into the event without planning ahead. If that works for you, then I would suggest you stick to this style and have fun creating your story as you go along. I do prefer planning ahead though, which is what I've been busy doing this past month. If you'd like more details about how I plan my writing, let me know and I'll gladly write a post about that ^^

Are you also participating? Let's be writing buddies!

If you'll also be participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as your writing buddy so that we can encourage each other and stuff :) You can add me by clicking here

My Writing Updates and Progress

I'll be doing some NaNo updates on my Facebook Page throughout the month. If you wish to stay informed about my writing progress, click here to go like my Facebook page and catch my latest update posts.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you guys. As usual, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments ^^

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Library of Souls is the third and final book in the Peculiar Children trilogy and was released this year in September. This trilogy is one that I deeply love and which I would absolutely re-read at some point. Library of Souls though, was unfortunately the installment I enjoyed least out of the three books. 

If you've read or plan to read it, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments. Also, since this is the final book in a trilogy, do bear in mind that this review might contain mild spoilers about the first two installments. I would suggest not reading the review unless you've completed Hollow City. 

The Positive Aspects

The development of Jacob's powers

Jacob's character growth has been constant throughout the trilogy, one of the elements of these books which I really enjoyed. It's not until quite late in the series though that we get a good look at his peculiar abilities. In fact, it's not until the end of book two that things get really moving. Library of Souls very nicely picked up that storyline and did a great job developing it. At no point did I feel like Jacob's abilities were overblown and out of place.

Jacob and Emma's relationship

The last chapters of Hollow City had a brief scene in which Emma suggested Jacob should leave her for his own good, which made me a little mad to be honest. It was lame when Edward pulled that stunt in New Moon and it has since become one of my bookish pet peeves. In this book though, their relationship recovered beautifully from that almost catastrophic decision, almost as if it never happened which is just the way I wanted it to be. In fact, these two's relationship only gets stronger in Library of Souls. Their relationship has, at this point, already been well established and now we get to see how strong their bond really is.

The ending... in parts

With regards to Emma and Jacob's relationship and future, I think the ending was nicely written. Without spoiling anything, I can say that most people would be happy with how this particular aspect of the series was concluded.

Art found here

The Negative Aspects

While overall the book wasn't anywhere close to bad, I did have a few issues with it.

The pacing

It took me FOREVER to get into the book. The book drags a bit more than the first two books. Not much happens in the first 40% of the book, during which the main focus is on world building. Now, I love me some good world building, but as compared to the faster paced books 1 and 2, it just made the book a bit slow. I finished Hollow City in two days but Library of Souls took me more than a week, most of which I spent on the first half of the book before powering through the second half, which was fortunately faster paced.

The world building

I was honestly not a fan of the setting. I won't say where exactly the story takes place cause that feels like a mild spoiler, but I will say that it bored me a bit. I tried to enjoy the world building, but honestly, I just didn't really care that much. It just was too dark and depressing, even for a trilogy renowned for being dark and spooky. The world building was something I had really enjoyed in Hollow City but here it was probably the element I enjoyed the least.

We don't get to spend much time with the peculiar children 

At the end of Hollow City, the peculiar children are taken away by the wights and unfortunately, for the better part of this book, we don't get to see them again. It takes forever for Jacob and Emma to reunite with their friends, which disappointed me a bit. The peculiar children's presence was what made Hollow City such a fun and satisfying sequel to book one and I guess I just got too used to seeing them in the main action.

Quote found here

The mythology was a bit loose

After completing the trilogy, I'm still unsure about certain aspects of the peculiar mythology. It's just that we're introduced to new magical laws and things as we come across them and with no precedent mention about them, which honestly felt like some stuff were just being made up along the way.

The ending... in parts

The ending was satisfying in most parts but it was the execution of the final chapter itself rather than the content that I didn't enjoy. To me personally, it felt a little sloppy.

Final Word

Overall, while I did feel like it was the weakest installment in the trilogy, I would still recommend Library of Souls to those of you who have already read the first two books. It wasn't a bad book. I just don't think it was the best out of the three.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween Giveaway 2: Win a Bundle of E.A. Poe Goodies!

If there's a time of the year that's perfect for some horror classics, then it's definitely October. To celebrate one of my favorite classic horror authors and also in anticipation of Halloween, today I'm hosting an Edgar Allan Poe themed giveaway! The winner gets to win not one product but a bundle of beautiful products offered by the Etsy store Novel Reveries.

Below you'll find the giveaway which you can enter to win these awesome products, followed by my interview with Denée, the owner of Novel Reveries. 

The Giveaway

The winner will get all four products featured in the picture including:
  • A pumpkin metal bookmark
  • A book charm necklace
  • A soap aptly called 'Eau de Poe'
  • A cuff bracelet with a quote from Poe that says 'All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream'.

Denée's giveaway note: "As sole owner and operator of and Etsy shop, I have always loved the power of books, and thought others would like to display their love as well. My shop began with book charms in 2013, and have since expanded to quote bracelets, book inspired fine jewelry, music boxes, upcycled book fashions, and much more!"

This giveaway is open to the US/Canada only and will end on the 31st of October. The winner will be announced in the first week of November. 

Interview with Denée

Here's an interview I had with Denée, the creator of all these awesome bookish products.

Tell us about your craft. 
I love books, so I gear towards making literature related items, whether it be jewelry, e-reader pillows or upcycling books into e-reader cases and purses.

How did you start?
I started off making book charms for authors and book lovers and expanded from there. Growing up I’ve always loved making things, so I guess my passion for crafting just grew into better looking, and more useful items.

What was the first thing you ever crafted? 
Book charm necklaces and bracelets, and yes they can still be found in my shop, although due to listing fees, I’ve decreased the variety of them and just added Custom Listings for books not found in the shop. The experience from my first year on Etsy was great, as I had a lot of interest from people who already followed me on Tumblr, and each purchase use to come with an original drawing (by me) of the authors.

Find this cool Jane Eyre purse here

What is the favorite craft you’ve ever made? Can it still be found in your store?
So far, anything that I can sew up, so my favs are my book purses and quilted bookshelf pillow. I also really love sculpting my literature themed music boxes, although they haven’t sold yet. Everything can still be found in my store, and I do custom work as well :)

What is your next art/craft project?
I’ve been pretty busy with my book purses, but I would love to create more Lit Soaps, sculptures, music boxes, and e-reader pillows before Christmas time :)

Do you have other interests/passions/hobbies?
I started off college as a music composition major (I play the French horn,) and I ended college majoring and graduating with a degree in Interior Design. I also enjoy writing, drawing and cooking. I LOVE books (obviously, lol!) and my favorite genres are Mystery, Thrillers/horror and Sci-Fi.

Find this Harry Potter book charm bracelet here

What would you say to an aspiring artist or crafter who wishes to commercialize his or her creations?  

Do it for the fun of it! That’s the most important thing :) Don’t let your passion become a stressful burden. Also don’t sell yourself short, you know how much you’ve spent on materials, shipping, and how much love and work you’ve put into your projects, so your prices should definitely reflect that.

Discover more about Denée and her fandom inspired products at her Etsy store by clicking here.

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E.A. Poe quote art found here 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

Today I have the super fun Fall Time Cozy Book Tag, created by Sam from Novels and Nonsense. You can watch her original video here. Even if we don't actually have Fall where I live, it's actually my favorite season. The fashion is cozy and awesome, the seasonal recipes are great and you get lots and lots of awesome new book releases. I mean, seriously, the Fall months are where many of the year's most anticipated books are released. So I thought I would do this tag anyway, just for the fun of it. 

So, let's get started ^^

Crunching Leaves

The world is full of color. Choose a book that has reds, oranges or yellows on the cover.

For this I have to go with City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. It has russet, red, orange, a little bit of yellow and even some brown, all of which reminds me of Fall leaves. 

Cozy Sweater

It's finally cold enough to don warm, cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

Winne the Pooh by A.A. Milne just has to be my pick for this one. I read it maybe two months earlier and the stories and characters just made me so happy. It's just one of those books which make you feel like a kid again, you know? Definitely one that gives you the warm fuzzies!

Fall Storm

The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favorite book or genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

For me, stormy or rainy days are perfect for reading classics, especially the mystery or adventure ones. Gothic ones work too. I feel like a Charles Dickens or even a Brontë book would be perfect, along with a cup of warm tea and a few biscuits. I'm actually saving my new copy of Jane Eyre for November because here in Mauritius, that's when we start getting storms and heavy downpours and I feel that's just the kind of weather that would be perfect for Jane Eyre.  

Cool Crisp Air

What's the coolest character you'd want to trade places with?

Okay this character is not one I would call the coolest but she's definitely one whose place I wouldn't mind taking and that's Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Yeah, her life is occasionally in peril, but she gets to hang out with Will and Jem!!! Also, if I could take her place, I would totally pick Jem and end the love triangle right there and then, haha. Team Jem forever <3

Hot Apple Cider

What under-hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

John Green and David Levithan are both popular YA writers, but there's one book they co-wrote that I feel isn't as hyped as their other books and that's Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Seriously guys, that's my favorite John Green book. I don't read lots of funny books but that one had me laughing aloud, and at work no less, 'cause I actually read it while I was doing an internship. 

Coat, Scarves and Mittens

The weather has turned cold and it's time to cover up. What's the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I would have my pick out of all the books I bought during my short lived paranormal romance phase back in my high school days. I mean, those covers are basically naked body parts and text XD 

Pumpkin Spice

What's your favorite Fall Time comfort food or drink?

Like I said, we don't have Fall here but when it gets cold, my comfort drink is tea. I just love a cup of warm tea when it's cold outside. Add some butter biscuits and you have the perfect afternoon break. I also should point out that tea time is my favorite time of the day ^^

Warm, Cozy Bonfire

Spread the cozy warmth! Who do you tag?

If you enjoyed this tag and want to do it, simply consider yourself tagged. I'm also going to tag a few specific people. Here are the lovely bloggers that I tag:
Ramona @ My Bookish Life
Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight 

If you've already done this tag (sorry for tagging you again XD) or plan to do it, leave me links to your posts down in the comments so that I can go read them ^^

Giveaway reminder

I hope you guys enjoyed this tag. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Also, I'd like to quickly remind you of the Halloween giveaway I'm currently hosting. It's open internationally and you get to win a cool set of pumpkin scented soap and lotion ^^ If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, you can do so by clicking here. Good luck!

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Photo Credits
Cover Art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo
Girl drinking tea art found here 
Book covers via Goodreads
Girl reading by window gif found here 
Apple cider image found here 
Guilt gif found here 
Tea gif found here 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire - Book Review

I've recently stumbled across Gregory Maguire, whose books I didn't know much about, and who has since become one of my favorite authors. Last month I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and absolutely loved it. I thought I would review it for those of you who might want to know more about this very unique book. 

The Plot

For years we’ve heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful girl banished to the ashes of the hearth, who rose to win a prince’s love and leave happily ever after. But what about her stepsisters? Who really were those sisters fated to forever be ‘ugly’ where Cinderella was beautiful and wretched where she was pure? This book, set in 17th century Holland, is told from the perspective of Iris, one of the famed ugly stepsisters. Cursed with unfortunate looks but sharp-minded, Iris narrates the story of Clara, the young beauty destined to be her famous stepsister, and the fate of all those who fell under her legendary shadow. 

My Review

The Story

This story is told as a piece of historical fiction, with only hints of the supernatural. There is no actual magic but the tone and setting are quick to remind you that this is indeed a fairy tale retelling. The pace is not overly fast, allowing for a very fairytale-esque impression as you read on. 

The Characters

The main characters are Iris and Clara. Iris is ugly and she knows it. She doesn't dwell on it much though, preferring to spend her time observing the world and painting imaginary drawings in her mind. She's also quite the daydreamer, imagining magic and fantastical creatures where there are none. She's very intelligent and quite observant about the world around her. Neither a beautiful princess nor some fearless chosen one, Iris is something even better. She's a character you can fully sympathize with. More even, than with any fairy tale princess you'll ever encounter. 

Ruth is her big and simple-minded sister, completing the 'ugly stepsister' duo. She's older than Iris but very childlike, being mentally stunted. Her character barely speaks but definitely adds a certain childlike innocence to the book. 

Then you have Clara, the book's unique Cinderella. Ever since she was a child, she's been guarded against the world by her over protective mother, to the point where she's grown to be scared of leaving her house. As such, since prior to meeting Iris and Ruth, Clara never left her house and barely spoke to other people, she's come to be very childlike and socially shy despite being in fact older than Iris. She's rather spoiled too, as all her life she was taught to expect having people fuss over her and protect her. She's definitely not a one-sided character though and despite not even coming anywhere close to stealing the show from our narrator, Iris, she remains a great addition to the cast of characters.

The Prose

The prose was very unique. Despite the historical setting, the descriptions and imagery are always there to remind you that you're reading a fairy tale retelling. Though being very down to earth, the prose does retain a melodious touch that evokes the whimsy and magic of fairy tales.

The Ending 

I think the book ended in the best way possible. I'm of course not going to spoil anything, but the ending was very conclusive and satisfying, leaving us with just enough information for us to have an idea about what happened to our characters following the last events of the book. Also, there's a nice little twist at the end that definitely caught me off-guard, but in a good way. 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I loved this book and will definitely be reading more of Gregory Maguire's books. In fact, I have plans to read Wicked, also by him and arguably his most popular book, later this month as part of my Halloween TBR. It really depends on when I'll be receiving the book though for although I've already ordered it, I haven't received it yet. Maguire's books do seem to get mix reviews, with some people really loving them and others strongly disliking them. I've not read enough of his books to comment on that but I know that I'll be reading a few more of his books in the upcoming months. Did you read anything by him? Let me know in the comments!

Giveaway reminder

I hope you guys enjoyed this review. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Also, I'd like to quickly remind you of the Halloween giveaway I'm currently hosting. It's open internationally and you get to win a cool set of pumpkin scented soap and lotion ^^ If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, you can do so by clicking here. Good luck!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Halloween Giveaway 1 (Open Internationally) + Last Month's Giveaway Winners

Hey guys! Halloween will soon be upon us and to celebrate with you guys, this month I'm hosting a couple of Halloween-themed giveaways for you. In today's giveaway, you have a chance to win pumpkin spice scented soap and body lotion inspired by Sleepy Hollow. Awesome, right? ^^

These products are being offered by Amber and Wendy, the lovely ladies from the Etsy store Elliott's Closet and its subsidiary store, Amber's Hallow. They sell a wide range of products including candles, bath products and perfume inspired from your favorite books and characters. I mean, they actually have a Herondale lotion

Below you'll find the giveaway which you can enter to win these awesome pumpkin scented products, followed by my interview with the Elliott sisters. 

At the end of the interview, you'll also find the winners of September's Magic & Wonder giveaways.

The Giveaway

Evade the Headless Horseman with his captivating fragrance! Both the soap and lotion are handmade with fragrance oils. Experience the sweet smell of Autumn with this rich scent, brought to you in a travel size lotion and a hard bar of soap! The spicy scent of pumpkin spice is woven into the warm scent of vanilla and layered into a base of sweet Myrrh.

This giveaway is open internationally and will end on the 31st of October. The winner will be announced in the first week of November. 

Both products are made in the U.S.A. and have never been tested on animals.

Interview with the Elliott sisters

Here's an interview I had with Amber and Wendy Elliot, in which they tell us more about the bookish inspirations behind their products.

Tell us about your craft. 
We make geek, historical, literary and pop culture bath, body and home items with themed scents. We make a wide variety of sundry and scented home products and strive for the highest quality for a reasonable price.

How did you start?
Amber: I started about ten years ago when I worked for a Native American woman's organization. One of the ladies we worked with taught me how to blend scents and got me started on that. Then two years ago, Wendy suggested we make a commercial line based on simple, lively scents themed around geek and literary ideas, and Amber's Hallow was born.

Peeta Mellark's Fresh Baked Cupcake bath salts

What was the first thing you ever crafted? How was the experience like?
We started with soap, our bar glycerin, after blending some starting scents. It wasn't too hard, the biggest stumbling block was figuring out the branding and how we wanted to market them. We found the pumpkin mold and the soap ended up so cute we called it a success!

What is the favorite craft you’ve ever made? Can it still be found in your store?
Wendy: My favorite craft is the Columbia Inn candle, because it reminds me of my favorite movie, and favorite time of year, Christmas! And yes, it can still be found in our shop.

Amber: It's hard to pin down what's my favorite. I love our perfume, I wear one of the scents every day, and my favorite scent is probably Percy, though I love Katniss and Clary and wear them a lot as well. All three scents can be found in our shop in both liquid and solid perfume.

Clary perfume inspired by The Mortal Instruments 

What is your next project? Are you working on something in particular at the moment?
Currently we're developing a line of natural hair care products ranging from Sea Salt Spray to Beard Oil for the gents. We're planning and hopefully launching that very soon!

Do you have other passions apart from crafting?
Amber: We actually have several other crafting businesses, so for the most part we pretty much do crafting all the time. I'm also an artist and graphic designer as well as a writer, so if I'm not making something for one of the shops I'm usually drawing or writing something.

Wendy: I enjoy photographing nature and architecture, which we also sell as prints in our other Etsy store.

Percy Jackson's Blue Candy & Sea inspired candle

What are your favorite artists?
Amber: Well my favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, and I am really inspired by his bold use of straight color and that tends to influence my artwork a lot. For my writing, there isn't just one author that inspires me, but I love Rick Riordan, JK Rowling, Alexandre Dumas and William Shakespeare.

Wendy: My favorite Photographer is Nigel Barker, the famous fashion photographer. I love his use of light when it comes to portraying the clothes. He focuses on the composition as a whole and really brings out the beauty in the fashion designs rather than focusing on the model.

What would you say to an aspiring artist or crafter who wishes to commercialize his or her creations?  

There is nothing more satisfying then selling a piece of your own artwork, but be prepared to put every single hour of the day into your business. It's a true commitment if you want to be success. Don't give up and always keep expanding your horizons to touch others with what you do.

Discover more about the Elliott sisters and their fandom inspired products at their Etsy store by clicking here.

Winners of September's Magic & Wonder Giveaways

The Steampunk Necklace 'Into the Mine' won by Mary Vantil
The Beautiful Mermaid Doll won by Petra Kos

Congrats to the winners! 

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Cover Art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My October & Halloween TBR

If you look at the sidebar to the right, you'll see that I put a little countdown to Halloween there. That way, we can count the days until Halloween together ^^ Since it'll be my first time celebrating Halloween on this blog with you guys, I thought I would do a few special Halloween posts for you. 

I don't normally do TBRs because I'm usually terrible when it comes to anything resembling required reading! However, since October is basically Halloween month, I thought it would be fun to select a few books to match the theme. 

So today I'm going to show you all the books I plan to read in the month of October. Since for me Halloween is more about spooky fun, whimsy and magic than actual gore and horror, I tried to come up with a book selection that more or less reflect that. If there's anything here you'd like me to review in particular, do let me know and I'll happily review it for you ^^

The Graphic Novels

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This graphic novel offers a collection of chilling tales spun from darkest and imagination, accompanied by equally dark and beautiful artwork. From what I saw when flipping through this, it seems to be very much on the spooky side and could easily be the scariest book in this TBR. Also, one person who’s read this novel said it was good but that you probably wouldn’t want to read it at night. Needless to say, that got me really interested in the book!

The October Faction by Steve Niles and Damien Worm
I'll just share the blurb the way it's written on Goodreads 'cause it's so well put: The October Faction details the adventures of retired monster-hunter Frederick Allan and his family... which include a thrill-killer, a witch, and a warlock. Because sometimes crazy is the glue that binds a family together. The artwork looks so cool and gritty and the story sounds exactly like the kind of thing you want to be reading in October. Can't wait to delve into this one!

The Short Story Collections

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue
Taking her inspiration from fairy tales, the author presents 13 short stories full of fantasy and whimsy, all of which are narrated by women. This collection sounds very fairy tale-esque and promises the same magical atmosphere I like to associate with Halloween time. 

Nocturnes: Volume 1 by John Connolly
This collection, presented as a dark, daring, utterly haunting anthology of lost lovers and missing children, predatory demons, and vengeful ghosts, is among the books I’m most excited to read this month. I’ve read one other book by this author before, The Book of Lost Things, which ended up becoming one of my favorite books of all time and I had just been waiting for the perfect occasion to grab another of his books. Also, Nocturnes Vol. 2, a second collection of short stories similar to this one, will soon be released and I really want to pick up that one too. If things go well reading-wise, I might even give it a go in October itself.

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
This one was actually recommended by Olivia from Olivia's Catastrophe and since I trust her choice in books, I thought I would read it this month. Trigger Warning includes both previously published and newly written short fiction, as well as an original American Gods story and a new Doctor Who story written specifically for this volume to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the series. With its mix of horror, fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction, this collection sounds like the perfect read for October. 

The Novels

Wicked by Gregory Maguire  
Many of you have probably already heard of Wicked, the famous musical about the green-skinned witch taken straight out of the pages of The Wizard of Oz and given a voice and story of her own. This is the book which inspired the musical and tells the story of how a little green-skinned girl named Elphaba grew up to become the Wicked Witch of the West. I’m really excited to be reading this one, especially since only last month I read and fell in love with another of this author’s books, Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister. Also, with both the book and the musical being so famous, not to mention a movie also being in the works, I figured it was about time I read this one!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diana Setterfied 
I don't know much about this book except that it's supposedly really creepy and equally good. I think they even made a BBC adaptation of it. Margaret is a biographer. One day, she’s contacted with a request to record the life story of a prolific but gravely ill novelist, Vida Winter. While still wondering whether or not to accept the job, Margaret starts to read her father’s copy of one of Miss Winter’s novel, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. Initially mesmerized by the book, she becomes confused when she realizes the book only has twelve of the promised thirteen tales. Intrigued by this, she agrees to write Miss Winter’s biography, hoping to uncover along the way the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale.

The Classics

If I still have some spare reading time I will try to read at least one horror classic. I'm not sure which one I'll be actually reading but here are the few that I'm considering as my classic pick. If you've read any of them, let me know which one you think I should read first. 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson
Dr Jekyll has discovered a chemical that gives him the ability to change into something else, allowing him to unleash his deepest cruelties in the form of his monstrous alter-ego. Transforming himself at will, he roams the streets London as the dreaded Mr Hyde.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Victor Frankenstein, a scientist obsessed with the discovery and artificial creation of life, one day accomplishes the impossible. In his laboratory, he assembles a human being from stolen body parts and manages to give him life. Shocked at his creature’s horrific appearance though, he turns his back on it. The once-innocent creature then turns evil, embarking on a journey of revenge against his creator.

The Zombie Stories of H.P. Lovecraft 
Lovecraft was the pioneer of the horror genre, coming up with unique monsters and stories which would later become the legends and tropes of horror. This newly published collection offers some of his zombie stories to a modern audience. Having read neither a Lovecraft nor a zombie story before, I thought it would be a nice little addition to my Halloween TBR.

So that's it for my October/Halloween TBR. What book will you be reading this Halloween? Let me know in the comments ^^

Pumpkin Pie anyone?

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Cover Art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo