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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

CREEPY CRATE Review & Unboxing from THE LINEUP @lineupweekly

Hello fellow horror and true crime lovers!  Been looking for a box to reach that black heart of yours? Take a look at CREEPY CRATE by THE LINEUP!  I'm so happy to be a reviewer for their October Box... because after all, it IS the creepiest season of the year.  Keep on reading to see what exciting items were in this box.  💀

Who doesn't love a t-shirt added to your wardrobe?  Check out this awesome OUINA BOARD T-SHIRT.  "Some spirits should stay on the other side of the veil.  This Creepy Crate exclusive t-shirt serves as your scary and stylish reminder.

This is probably one of my favorite things in the box - WHO KILLED RICHARD CARTER?  Creepy Crate gives you the opportunity to solve a case! How awesome is that?!  "Reuben Collier's uncle was brutally murdered in 1967 - and he needs your help in revealing the killer.  Enclosed is a confidential envelope with all the clues you'll need to crack the case.  Can you solve this mystery?"  As a person who loves puzzles and crime in general, this couldn't hit me right in the solar plexus more!

All these little trinkets included were nice accessories to the bigger items.  "CRIME ALL THE TIME" PEN: "True crime TV network Oxygen wants you to have a killer writing instrument for jotting down your eeriest thoughts."  Oh but do they really? 😈
"WELCOME TO MY MURDER HOUSE: COASTER SET:  Offer your guests a place to put their beverage... and wait for the look of horror with these serial killer coasters. " Oh Creepy Crate, H.H. Holmes?  Why, how did you know?!
GUMMY BODY PARTS CANDY - it would be Halloween without it!  "Ghoulish gourmands will love snacking on chewy, fruit-flavored brains, feet, fingers, ears and eyeballs."  Gimme candy - ALWAYS!

TWILIGHT HOTEL HORROR COMIC BOOK "Enjoy this original horror comic - the first installment in a four-volume set - about the deadly Twilight Hotel.  The 100-year-old establishment is possessed by an ancient evil that manipulates its visitors into committing unspeakable acts." LOVING the graphics in this one!

"SOMETIMES DEAD IS BETTER" PRINT "Ponder Stephen King's words of wisdom from his classic Pet Sematary with this on-of-a-kind art print hanging on your wall. It's King, enough said.

You also get TWO, not one, but TWO ebooks!  I'm SO thrilled with these choices - not only do we get inside the mind of John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer I used to do lots of research on, but we also get a horror novel about killer kids! EEP!  One of the scariest things I (love) to read about!

BURIED DREAMS by TIME CAHILL "Peer into the dark life of John Wayne Gacy - from his abusive childhood to his serial murder spree - in Tim Cahill's chilling study, based on four years of investigative reporting.

THE SOPATHS by PIERS ANTHONY "Born without souls, sopaths are children who lie, cheat, and murder to get what they want.  Author Piers Anthony conjures a terrifying vision of "man's inhumanity to man" in this tale, inspired by real-life events." 

For more information, go to their WEBSITE
Subscription information can be found HERE

Honestly, I'm thrilled with this box - a wide variety of things that I absolutely LOVE.  They offer a bimonthly box so you get one every couple of months instead of every month, giving you plenty of time to enjoy each box you get.

Get $5 off your order with promo code HALLOWEEN5 if you purchase by 11/8!

Happy subscribing my friends!

REVIEW: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt @torbooks @thomas_novelist

by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Tor Books


Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.


I usually write my review as soon as I turn that last page, but with this book I had to sit on it for the night and stew on it for a bit.  I love the concept of the book.  People trapped in a town with a witch doing her thing... popping up wherever she wants to.. on a set course most of the time.  No one should bother her and definitely do NOT take the stitches off her mouth or eyes.  Get a group of teens and we all know what's going to happen... right?

The beginning of the book was great - a little eerie and what-the-hell-ish for a few chapters.  It almost read like a reality show, which is something different and I'm not sure if I liked that or not.  Then the middle got muddy.  It took me a while to trudge through it as it felt a bit repetitive and some of the characters were just plain annoying.  Hell, I suppose it would be repetitive and annoying to be stuck in a town where you basically were monitored all the time, had little to no outside contact and lived under the tyranny of a witch who just won't go away.  And then the last third of the book came and I was really happy that I had stuck with it.  It definitely was NOT what I was expecting.   I was a bit confused and was really happy to have a fellow Bookstagrammer who was also reading it to discuss with.   We agree that with all the build up, the last part of the story seemed rushed.  From what I understand the ending is different in the translation and now I'm extremely curious as to how it originally ended.  If you know, please tell me!

I do love a book that surprises me and this one definitely did that.  I certainly walked away with a WTF feeling.  I'm still torn.  I wanted to love it... but I just ended up being ok with it.

★★★ 1/2

SPOTLIGHT & AUTHOR Q&A: The Light Over Broken Tide by Holly Ducarte @hollyducarte

The Light Over Broken Tide
by Holly Ducarte
Blackladder Publishing


Have you heard of Holly Ducarte yet?  No?!  Well here's your chance - she's an extremely talented poet and is coming out with her debut novel, The Light Over Broken Tide - a YA paranormal story that, if it's anything like her poetry, will be a must read in the spring. 

Continue down for the synopsis, watch the trailer, learn about Holly through my Q&A with her and then see a listing of her other work that you can start reading while waiting for this one to arrive. 😉


Out of the blue, Rebecca Stafford’s Father arrives to parent her after years of absence, and then extracts her last bit of normalcy by moving them to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The shocking news plunges Rebecca into a despair that brings about an otherworldly encounter; she begins to have visions of her deceased Mom.

Uncertain whether what she sees is reality or the product of a troubled mind, Rebecca searches for an anchor to keep her from drifting in the new coastal town. She clings to Shawn, the eccentric, spritely boy-next-door promising adventures…with surprises of his own, involving an Irish legend and a hidden lighthouse. This brings on a whole new dimension to Rebecca’s visions, and sparks feverish romance between her and Shawn. A bond eventually threatened by forces beyond her control, sending her spiralling into dark, stormy places, leaving her to wonder how broken a mind can get.


Holly is a creative writer and award-winning poet from Canada. The Light Over Broken Tide is her debut novel, to be released Spring 2018. 

Her writing has been showcased in magazines, newspapers, various online sites. Browse some of her acclaimed and featured works on Wattpad. 

Holly completed a commercial novel writing course through Author Salon and is a member of The Underground Writing Cohorts. 

Aside from writing, Holly spends time outside, gets lost in the magic of music, and collects books, antiques, and Funko pops. 

Currently resides in a modest lake town with her husband, daughter, and two cats.


What is the most difficult part of your writing process?  Your writing kryptonite?
My biggest writing kryptonite is, and always will be, procrastination.  Sometimes I want to simply enjoy life, the simple things, maybe throw in some mindless television and chocolate for good measure.  I don't always wish to stare at a computer screen for days on end.

Do you have any strange writing habits?
I don't know if it's strange, but I leave sticky notes everywhere.  Even when I have a perfectly good notebook lying around.  Also, it's not rare for me to jump out of bed all hours of the night with a good idea I must jot down.

What is your favorite part of the writing/puglishing process?
One of my favorite parts is the planning beforehand.  I like feeling geared up when ideas are flowing.  Plots are being planned.  And then from there, I want to skip to it being done.  Because that's the top of the top.  Nothing beats that sense of accomplishment.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Big ego hurts anyone, in my opinion.  For me, it's all about enjoying the ride, giving thanks where it's due, and seeing the blessing in having your work out there.  Some people don't even get that far.  You should have humility.  Those who don't, I think, tend to get jaded.  you shouldn't go into anything thinking success is sure, or money is about to fall from the sky.  Do it because you love it.  Plain and simple.

What was an early experience where you learned language had power?
As soon as I knew how to write, I knew language had power. But more so, after reading some of the classic books, Shakespeare, and other poets like Frost and Poe in high-school…I was enamored by words and wanted to be part of that world.

What are you working on now?  What is your next project?
I am currently working on promoting The Light Over Broken Tide and sending out the ARCs. As well,  plugging away at a dark suspense piece, set in a small, superstitious little Victorian town.

What's the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Like any character, you have to be able to get in their head. Think like them. Writing for the opposite sex is no different. As a writer, you should set aside who you are, when necessary, to get down to the bottom of who the character is. If you can’t do that…it complicates things big time. I enjoy writing my male characters. They are tons of fun.

What literary character is most like you?
Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. I feel a connection with him because he has this propensity for the comforts of home, but somewhere deep inside is also the urge to go out and explore the great unknown. Be spontaneous with adventure. He and I share this same battle within. Once you get me out the door, there’s no telling what lies ahead.

What author have inspired you?
A lot. But predominately, the authors of classics (even if it happened to be through just one book of theirs). JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Bram Stoker, JM Barrie, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Gaston Leroux, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and that’s just naming a few. I love how they weaved words back then. They were thoughtful with prose, deep, and creative. Their writing withstands the test of time for a reason.

Obviously you love all your charaters, but if you could choose a favorite character(s), who would they be?
I’ll keep the focus on my upcoming novel, The Light Over Broken Tide. I really enjoyed writing Shawn Barringer. He just had an appeal to the inner-child in me. Bold, young-at-heart, devil-may-care. Fun. If I could choose another character, it would be one that doesn’t show up often, but who impacted me with his enigmatic, deeper story…Jack O’Sullivan.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes, I hide secrets. I’d like to call them subtleties I hope are caught somewhere along the reading journey. Whether it’s a reread and the person goes, “Ah ha. That makes total sense now.” I love moments like those.

Have you edited out anything in your novel that you wish you have kept?
Nothing. I’m more like, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” I’ve poured over the words many times and for many years. If it wasn’t kept…it was probably for a good reason.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
The life of Christ. It would be remarkable to walk alongside that man and witness his miracles, baptism, hear his stories. Ask him questions. You can’t get more profound than that.

Which celebrity do people say you resemble?
Oh, it varies from person to person. I’ve been said to look like a young Priscilla Presley, Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, and Marie Avgeropoulos. My real doppelganger though…is my twin sister. 😉

What songs are included on the soundtrack of your life?
At random: Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, Zombie by The Cranberries, Heart of Gold by Neil Young, Red Flag by Billy Talent, Bei Mir Bist Du Scheon by The Hot Sardines, Sea of Love-Cat Power, Blue Jeans by Lana Del Ray…all different, all for their own reasons, all tied to a story.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Playing outside all day, doing daring things without a second thought or worry.

If you could live in a different era, what would you choose and why?

I’d like to try living in the 50s. Men and women dressed classy. The lingo was awesome. The swing music was bumping. And most everyone knew how to dance.


Holly Ducarte's debut poetry collection plunges readers into her world of bohemian dreams, macabre musings, and romantic rendezvous, mirroring the classic styles of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost. Each poem reads as a short story, written in Holly's late teens and twenties, while she learned and practiced her voice poetically. It's a bit of nostalgia for her to have them in book form and she hopes you enjoy the read.

An anthology of micro-poetry on subjects of the heart, life, and nature. Each one a thoughtful and richly meditative journey that speaks to truths not only observed from the eye, but from the deepest and most relatable parts of the soul.

Hiding Bones is a compilation of Holly Ducarte's best poetry from her retired chapbooks Hiding Skeletons and Literary Bones. One of which, she won an indie award for. It's a storytelling blend of light and dark themes with classic and contemporary styles.

Holly Ducarte's second poetry chapbook won the Excellence in Indie Literature Award! This book is an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary poems meant to dig deep, right down to our bones. Meant to plunge us into life's dark mysteries, nature, romance, woes, and triumphs. Much like her first collection, each poem stands alone and was written in Holly's late teens and twenties, while she learned and practiced her voice poetically. She hopes you enjoy it as much as you did Hiding Skeletons.