Saturday, 31 October 2020

The Hallotober Tag

Okay, so, nobody tagged me in this. 
I saw it on Twitter and thought the questions were fun and, since blogging has been slow lately, I thought that it would make a good post... 

Therefore, I'll thank Jordanne at The Life of A Glasgow Girl for creating it and posting on Twitter!

The Rules
• Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post
• Put the rules at the beginning
• You can use the tag image somewhere in the post
• Answer the 13 questions
• Tag 13 people to do the tag
• Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own

1. What's your favourite thing about October? 
I love how the weather gets cooler and the nights get darker.
I can live in thick socks, chunky jumpers and jeans. I can wear my boots everyday and not have people look at me like I'm nuts (unlike in the summer).
I can drink hot chocolate with cinnamon until it's coming out my ears. 
With the darker nights, and cooler weather, I can huddle under blankets and read more.
The colours of the leaves are beautiful when going on walks... 
I love everything about October (and autumn).

2. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween? 
Yes and no... I mean, we have a few decorations that we put out. We carve pumpkins. We watch "Halloween" movies. We like trick-or-treating: both going trick-or-treating and answering the door to trick-or-treaters. Some years, there's Halloween parties (usually at friends houses) or special Halloween events we attend... I guess you could say we celebrate Halloween, and make some effort, but we don't go nuts.

3. What's your favourite horror movie?
I hate horror movies. 
I don't like being scared and I can't stand people who act too stupid to live (which seems to be a theme in horror movies). 

4. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
How about a cosy night in watching campy/cutesy Halloween movies? I'll take one of those.
Otherwise, I guess I'm going out? (Please don't make me go out! I like nights in...)

This is a list of my favourite Halloween movies.

5. Which has been your most favourite costume to date? 
Erm... I'm pretty boring with my Halloween costumes and I'm usually a witch. I rock a pointy hat...
The kid always has cool costumes though (except one year where he was ill). 
Skeleton, Pirate, Grim Reaper, Ghost, Anubis, Minecraft Character (DanTDM), Harry Potter... This year, he's going steam punk even though there's no trick-or-treating.

6. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch? 
Bobbing for apples! Although, I haven't done that in over ten years.

7. How do you celebrate Halloween? 
In a pre-covid world, we'd usually come home from work/school, have a snack, get dressed up and one of us would take the kid trick-or-treating while the other manned the door. Then, after the trick-or-treating died down, we'd have dinner and watch a Halloween movie until bed time.

Usually, the weekend closest to Halloween, we'd be at my friend's Halloween party as she had one (that was kid friendly) every year.

This year? 
Probably carve some pumpkins, bake some spooky nibbles, play games, have food and watch movies. No trick or treating, socialising or parties thanks to covid. 

8. What's your least favourite horror? 
All of them! Every single one. 

9. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory? 
I grew up in Scotland where trick-or-treating is called guising but despite it's ancient origins, guising wasn't really a thing when I was a kid. People in my village (and surrounding villages) had a major bug up their butt about kids knocking on doors and likened it to a form of begging... 👀
However, as my generation got older, and more insistent, it started taking off. 

The main difference between guising and trick-or-treating - that I can tell - is that to get given any kind of treat you needed to tell a joke, sing a song, perform a trick... Basically, you had to earn it. 
Black bin bags were a major feature of a lot of Halloween costumes... (Think shiny black bin bag with a hole cut in it for arms and head. *shudders*) and it sucked as it was nothing like it was in the movies/tv shows (probably because those that Halloween featured predominantly in were American). 
Frankly, I'm not sorry that Halloween in the UK has become "Americanised". 
It's more fun this way (and far less humiliating!)

10. What's your favourite thing about Halloween? 
The costumes and the whimsy. I love seeing people dressed up and having fun and Halloween is all about fun. It's cheerful, spooky and, oddly, celebratory. It doesn't take itself too seriously.

11. Scary costume or Silly costume? 
Both! I prefer silly as everybody can enjoy them but spooky/silly. I don't like dressing up as sweet cupcakes or ponies for Halloween. It's still got to be in keeping with spooky season, it just doesn't need to be gory or terrifying.

12. What's your favourite Halloween candy? 
I love pumpkin flavoured french fancies (little cakes with pumpkin icing and buttercream) but they're not really candy...

Candy-wise, probably somekind of taffy sweet like Chewits, Frutella or Maoams. But! I do like haribo.

13. Have you been on any Ghost Tours? If so, what was your most memorable?
I spent close to seven years living in Edinburgh. For four of those, I lived on one of the closes of the Royal Mile. I had Ghost Tour companies stop outside my building every night (about 4/5 times a night) as part of their tours...I love ghost tours! 
The Edinburgh ghost tours are my favourites but I'm heavily biased. If you ever get the chance to visit the city - go on a tour! Edinburgh has a fantastically spooky history and the tours bring it to life.


I'm not tagging anyone as it IS Halloween, but if any of you want to participate anyway, consider yourselves tagged!

Friday, 30 October 2020

Book Blogger Hop: The Halloween Edition!

The Book Blogger Hop questions this month have been fun!
They fit the month of pumpkin spice, candy and ghosties quite well and in anticipation of Halloween tomorrow, I decided to answer them all in a onesie!


What is your favourite candy to snack on while reading? 

I don't really snack while reading. 
More accurately, I don't feel the need to snack while reading any more or less than I'd usually do.
I'm more of a drinker when I read and my drink of choice is tea.

(We baked Halloween cookies!!)


If you go trick-or-treating with your favourite book character, who would it be? 

It'd have to be one of my UF heroines!
I'd quite like to go trick or treating with Tori from the Guild Codex series... She'd be a riot and the mages would probably come with her so it'd be even more fun.


Would you consider giving out books to trick-or-treaters instead of candy? 

Erm, no.
This year may be a mutated Halloween thanks to Covid but books wouldn't really be practical in any situation... Kids want candy on Halloween. Books, while completely awesome, are very subjective in that people like very different kinds of stories so there's no way to find something (or even a small selection of somethings) that would work for all the randoms who ring the doorbell.

I'd happily give my kid a book for Halloween though. I know what his reading preferences are!


Do you read paranormal romances? If so, what is your favourite thing about the genre? 

I'd say that I absolutely read paranormal romance but I do not read anywhere near as much paranormal romance nowadays as I used to. 
Paranormal romance was once my most beloved genre, my go-to, my first true bookish love but I burned myself out on it quite spectacularly quite a few years ago so switched to other genres. When my love for paranormal resurfaced, the need was filled by Urban Fantasy so it's still a rare(ish) occasion when I actually settle down to read paranormal romance.

My favourite thing about paranormal romances are the varied range of settings, the mixing of genres, the characters are more than regular people so it provides opportunities for very different plot lines than contemporary books and there is always a romance with a happy ever after!

(Some PNR books I've enjoyed!)


Do you read books that have an autumn theme? 

I don't know. I can't think of books that specifically have autumn themes... I tend more towards witches and paranormal beasties in the darker months so I guess they're my autumn reads but I also enjoy a good contemporary romance that's set around Halloween/Bonfire Night although I don't deliberately seek them out... Although, this year, I'm tempted to read Fawkes.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Spooky Scary Book Tag!

Halloween is fast approaching but it's not our usual Halloween this year...
(Thanks again, covid.)

I've been mostly off the blog this past couple of months as I just don't have any mojo at the moment... But it's Halloween! I love Halloween! I want to celebrate it in whatever small ways I can.
And so, I nab Lili's Spooky Scary Book Tag and I post!

1. What goes bump in the night?
Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.
Moon by James Herbert. 
I'd picked up his latest release at the time, Once, at the train station and enjoyed it even though it was a bit weird and creepy. So, when I saw one of his older titles - Moon - on sale in a budget book store, I grabbed it thinking it would be in a similar vein but it was not. It was an OMG I'm going to sleep with a light on for months, don't leave me alone at night time ever, kind of brain fuck and was, not coincidentally, the last book I ever read in this genre.

Moon was a good read though... Yes, it traumatised my fragile psyche but it doesn't mean it wasn't a good read, lol.

2. Jack O’ Lanterns and Classic Costumes:
A book you always reach for during Halloween time. 
I don't have one but I have a preference for witchy reads this time of year. 
Currently, I'm reading The Witches of East End and Practical Magic.

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors:
A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.
I'm going the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price.
This series is full of magic and the fae... I think it fits the bill quite nicely. 
(And the final book - Grave War - releases in November which is exciting!)

4. Witch’s Brew:
Favorite witch character in any book/series.
Rachel Morgan from The Hollows series!

5. Ghouls and Ghosts:
A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad).
I loved Lili's answer to this question (The Song of Achilles) but a book series that's haunted me for years is the Boudica series by Manda Scott. 
It's been fifteen years (more since I read the first one) and I'm still not okay... 

6. Haunted Graveyard:
You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?
A single book?! No! No, I refuse. I can't. My comfort reads are series... Like, all of them. 
I'm taking my kindle. 

7. The Undead:
Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc).

I don't think I have a favourite... I like mixed worlds where all the spooky creatures mingle.
Anything by Ilona Andrews is a favourite. 

8. In the dead of night: 
Pick a book with a black cover.
Erm... There are several listed throughout this post already! lol. However, I do like the "adult" versions of the Harry Potter books and they're black/dark covers...


If you want to participate in the tag, consider yourself tagged!

Shared to Top Ten Tuesday since it's Halloween freebie week!

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Review: Delivering Evil For Experts by Annette Marie (Guild Codex: Demonized #4)

*Warning! I've tried to keep this spoiler-free but it's the final book so beware!*

I promised to avenge my parents.

But their killer is still on the loose, and he's stolen more than my parents' lives. Now, as he draws closer to his mysterious goals, he's poised to destroy what little I have left.

I promised to translate an ancient grimoire.

But it holds the secrets of my family—and the secret history of demon summoning. I fear its answers as much as I need them. Who was the foremother of Demonica…and who am I?

I promised to send my demon home.

But the way he watches me, the way he protects me, the way he touches me⁠—how can I cast him away forever? I swore I would do this for him, but can I? Should I?

But I promised—and I will keep my promises even if they cost me my heart, my soul, and my life.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*


Absolutely, yes! It's the final book in the Demonized series!
Also, if you haven't read Guild Codex: Spellbound then there will be spoilers for that series in reading this one too... They're so intertwined. 

Hell to the heck YES!!!

I. Am. Speechless. 
I've tried to write my thoughts on this book for over three days and I've got nothing... Nothing can convey how much I loved this ending.
Annette Marie has delivered a fantastic finale to this series and I literally could not have asked for anything more... I feel like she gave the readers so much more than we expected, for how do you deliver a happy ever after for two characters from different worlds?
Read Delivering Evil For Experts and find out!
Seriously... I freaking cried. I cried because I was so emotional. I cried because I was so happy. I cried because it is the end of this series and I LOVE these characters and I don't want to say goodbye. 
(That's also why I didn't read the ARC for days after receiving it... I didn't want it to end!)

Robin and Zylas have come such a long way and have overcome so much... The book is a rollercoaster. I thought it would be impossible for anymore bombshell reveals to be dropped but Annette managed it.
There were some beautifully quiet and simple moments interspersed with the action. Everything that the series had been building towards came to a head, exploded, and was resolved in the best way... 
It was wonderful.

My absolute favourite Demonized cover!!! 
Look at those wings! Where did they come from?!
(PS read the book and that question is totally answered... I'm just not spoiling, lol)


My thoughts on Book One - Taming Demons...
My thoughts on Book Two - Slaying Monsters...
My thoughts on Book Three - Hunting Fiends...