Horror Films That Still Scare Me #1 #HorrorOctober

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I’ve been a fan of horror films since I can remember, from a way-too-early age, so I’ve seen more than my fair share.

The only problem with that, is that I’ve become desensitised to them, or maybe horror films just aren’t as scary as they used to be, because I can probably count on one hand the number of horror films that have scared me in the past 10 years. To be fair, it’s probably a bit of both!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my favourite horror films. The ones that scared me when I first saw them, and still scare me today…

Child’s Play (1988) & Child’s Play 2 (1990)

Director: Tom Holland/John Lafia
Writers: Don Mancini (story & screenplay)
Cast: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Jenny Agutter

“A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer.”

I was only four years old when the first film came out. I obviously didn’t watch it as soon as it was released, but I think it was probably only a few years after that.

Unfortunately, around that time, I had begged and begged for a Cricket doll, which was mega expensive at the time, and my parents had finally given in. I loved that doll for about a week. Until I watched Child’s Play, and then cried until my furious parents hid Cricket in the attic.

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To this day I’m still wary of that attic (although they assure me the doll is long gone), and have remained creeped out by dolls.

So, when I feel like a good scare, Child’s Play (and Child’s Play 2) is a safe bet.

UP NEXT: IT!

Friday Feature: 16 Library Bars in London (Buzzfeed find)

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I know this is a bit of a cheat as far as my usual Friday Features go, but I wanted to post something today despite having no time to write one.

I saw this great post on Buzzfeed and…oh my! How have I not been to any of these bars (probs because they’re too posh, but still)!?

I’m going to make it my mission to visit at least one of these places this year! You can click on the image to view the post.

Have you been to any of these, or have a favourite?

[Image courtesy of Buzzfeed]

Friday Feature: It’s all about the Trees…

I’m a fan of trees. Is that a weird thing to say? But you know, some trees are just really cool, like these ones…

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I don’t know if it’s just because it’s finally Spring, but I swear I’ve been seeing trees all over book covers lately, so I thought I’d investigate and choose my favourites.

New/Recent Releases

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(Click image to enlarge)

Best of the Rest

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I love the way different types of trees are used to convey completely different things. In this selection alone there’s mystery, magic, beauty, and they’re all pretty ominous.

What’s your favourite tree cover?

Friday Feature: RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, Sir Terry Pratchett, fantasy author and all-round amazing person died yesterday at the age of 66, following a battle with Alzheimer’s.

I’m not going to sit here and talk about how amazing his work was, because to be honest, I never got into his books. I was given The Colour of Magic when I was quite young, and I gave it a go but I think I was too young to appreciate it. I’ve been meaning to give it another try ever since.

I tried reading Good Omens last year too, but I really could not get into that either, despite having friends who LOVE it. I guess it just wasn’t my thing.

But, what I do know about Terry Pratchett, is from his documentaries and interviews, and he was such a funny, clever, ridiculously brilliant man with the most amazing take on life. He was my favourite Atheist!

If you haven’t watched Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die, you must! Although it wasn’t an easy watch the first time around, so I imagine it would be pretty heart-breaking now.

Anyway, let’s not dwell on what has ended, but enjoy what he shared with us.

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Friday Feature: Spell your name out with fictional characters!

I was trying to think of a fun post for today and I came up with this!

Seeing as I missed this week’s TTT which was all about your favourite heroines, I thought I’d share some of my favourite characters with you today.

Why not join in and do your own name (link me if you do)!

LIPSY

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Laureth Peak (She is Not Invisible ~ Marcus Sedgwick): Laureth Peak thinks her father’s on the verge of a breakdown. He’s supposed to be doing research in Austria, so when his notebook shows up in New York, Laureth knows something is wrong. On impulse she steals her mother’s credit card and heads for the States, taking her strange little brother Benjamin with her. Reunited with the notebook, they begin to follow clues inside, trying to find their wayward father. Ahead lie challenges and threats, all of which are that much tougher for Laureth than they would be for any other 16-year old. Because Laureth Peak is blind.

Iseult (Tristan & Iseult ~ Various): Isuelt is the name of several characters in the Arthurian story of Tristan and Iseult. The most prominent is Iseult of Ireland, wife of Mark of Cornwall and adulterous lover of Sir Tristan. Her mother, the Queen of Ireland, is also named Iseult. The third is Iseult of the White Hands, the daughter of Hoel of Brittany, sister of Sir Kahedin, and eventual wife of Tristan.

Peter Pan (J.M Barrie): A mischievous boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Native Americans, fairies, pirates, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.

Sarah Williams (Labyrinth ~ A.C.H Smith): 15 year old Sarah is on a quest to reach the castle at center of an enormous otherworldly maze, beyond the goblin city, to rescue her infant brother Toby, who has been kidnapped by Jareth, the Goblin King.

Yvaine (Stardust ~ Neil Gaiman): The fallen star. In Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, stars are living creatures. Yvaine appears to be immortal, but not invulnerable. She is pursued by the Lilim and the surviving sons of the Lord of Stormhold, who want her for their own reasons. When Tristran realises his love for her, he abandons his courtship of Victoria Forester, and Yvaine marries him despite their inability to interbreed.

Friday Feature: Alice, Alice, Who the **** is Alice?

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland I thought I’d take a look at some Wonderland-inspired reads.

The Looking Glass Wars ~ Frank Beddor

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Alyss of Wonderland?
When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape the murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.Published September 26th 2006 by Dial Books

Splintered ~ A.G Howard

splinteredThis stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. Published January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books

Alice in Zombieland ~ Gena Showalter

alice2She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…. Published September 25th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Hatter ~ Daniel Coleman

alice3“There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness” – Cheshire Cat

Someday Hatta will save the kingdom. In his mind, at least. But his talents of uncharacteristic kindness and a passion for colors hardly qualify him for such a destiny. In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes.

Along the way, the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, White Queen, and other familiar characters emerge to fill their eminent roles as well.

Witness literature’s most lovable lunatic’s tangled ascent into madness. Published June 10th 2011 by CreateSpace

Gears of Wonderland ~ Jason G. Anderson

alice4James Riggs lives a normal life with a mind-numbing job, an overbearing boss, and a demanding fiancee. Then he witnesses the murder of his best friend. Saved from the murderer by a strange man in a white suit, James is cast down a hole and into a world he always believed was a kid’s story. Wonderland. But things have changed since Alice’s visit. The Knave of Hearts has seized the Heart throne, conquered all of Wonderland with his steam-powered technological marvels, and rules the land with an iron fist. Aided by the Mad Hatter’s daughter, James journeys to discover why he has been brought to Wonderland and how the tattoo on his arm could be the key to Wonderland’s salvation-or its destruction.
Published October 27th 2011 by CreateSpace

Queen of Hearts ~ Colleen Oakes

alice5As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Published February 14th 2014 by SparkPress

One Pill Makes you Smaller ~ Lisa Dierbeck

alice6Eleven-year-old Alice Duncan has a problem her body is, literally, growing up too fast. Gawky, innocent, and tongue-tied, Alice is taller than her teachers, with long, long legs and a voluptuous chest she refers to it as “The Breasts.”

One Pill Makes You Smaller brings to life the surreal experience of being a girl–stuck in a woman’s body. Dierbeck shoots down the rabbit hole of 1970s misbehavior, combining her modern tale with the fantastic universe of Alice in Wonderland, set in the black-lit, drug-infested art world of Andy Warhol’s Manhattan. When Alice is shipped off to a freethinking art camp in North Carolina, she encounters J.D., a sweet-talking adult man who engages her in a dangerous flirtation. This deliciously pop, self-assured debut is an inspired paean to lost innocence. Published September 1st 2004 by Picador

Have you read any of these? Leave a comment and let me know!

Related Posts:

Friday Feature: It’s all about the Bass Thrones & Thorns!

Do you ever get the feeling you’ve heard that title before, seen that cover a million times, or get déjá vu when reading a synopsis? It seems like we see a different book trend every month lately, whether it’s a hot new sub-genre, a cover style or even a title trend.

I thought it would be fun to explore book trends in more detail, and for this first post on the subject I’m going to look at two words that have been continuously cropping up in book titles for what seems like forever, and they just keep on coming.

It’s impossible to know were it all really began, but for me these two trends began with George R.R Martin’s A Game of Thrones, and Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns. Since then it’s been pretty hard to look at any physical or virtual bookshelf in the fantasy section without being bombarded with both thrones and thorns.

Let’s take a look…

Thrones

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Overview: Tales of claims to the throne and everything that comes with it – war, murder, romance –  have always been popular in both Historical Fiction and Fantasy. But A Game of Thrones definitely seems to have been the game changer here. The ever popular series and accompanying TV show seems to have set in motion a whole new wave of old-world-new-world fantasy.

  • The Throne of Bones  by Brian McNaughton – 1997: I had to include this one just for the hilarious title. It’s not quite on trend with the rest as this is an anthology of Horror shorts.

    “Imagine earthy Tolkienesque characters in a setting full of cemeteries, graverobbers, necromancers, corpse-eaters–even a huge labyrinthine necropolis”.

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  • The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan – 2008: Now this is more like it. The synopsis sounds like a million other throne books that emerged between 2008 and now – but y’ know…still good.
  • The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski – 2008: Slight reprieve here as we head more into The Da Vinci Code territory (by the sounds of it). There isn’t even mention of a throne in the synopsis. Band wagon much!
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass – 2012: And we have lift off. As much as I love this title and the series in general, I did always wonder why she called it that. The throne in question plays a very little part in the book which makes me wonder if the choice of title was marketing genius over anything else.
  • Assassin’s Gambit (Hearts & Thrones #1) by Amy Raby – 2013: You could be forgiven for thinking this is the exact same plot of ToG from the synopsis. A beautiful assassin, a powerful emperor…that damned déjá vu again!

Thorns

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Overview: I always associate the use of thorns in literature with the Grimm’s fairy tale Little Briar Rose, and many of these books appear to have been inspired by that too. These are stories of broken princes, powerful sorcerers and abandoned castles. We’ve seen a steady resurgence of fairy-tale retellings in the past twenty years, but only recently have so many focused on the thorns element.

  • The Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead – 2008: Richelle Mead is always pretty ahead of her game. She brought us Vampire Academy before the whole Twilight thing went mental, and here she’s at it again.
  • Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence – 2011: This was when I first noticed the emerging trend of thorns and it seems to have paved the way for the anti-hero too.
  • Thorn by Intisar Khanani – 2012
  • The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge – 2011: Not to be confused with the iron throne in Game of Thrones…are you getting confused yet?
  • Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman – 2013: This is another one that has been popular in the YA world of fantasy.
  • Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay – 2014: Woah. Double whammy or what. This book is actually described as:

    Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.’

    Why have one trend when you can have two? Mind blown. I also really want to read it now!

Final Thoughts: So there we have it. This is just a snap-shot of the books out there that seem to be following these trends. If this were a battle though, I’d say that the thrones trend may be coming to an end, and the thorns are taking over.

It’s also interesting how much fire, ice and bones are mentioned in both trends. The two themes seem pretty incestuous actually – nearly all of the thorn books also mention thrones, however the same can not be said the other way around. But whether you’re in to Iron Thrones or Iron Thorns, you’re not going to run out of reading material any time soon!

What do you think about these two trends…do you have a favourite??

Friday Feature: Book Deals For Christmas!

Hi Guys,

As a member of the Waterstones affiliate program I’m thrilled to offer some extra deals as part of their Black Friday offers. I don’t like the idea of this whole Black Friday thing, nor do I like trying to convince people to spend money, but we all love a book deal, right!?

And sometimes these things are necessary. Without wanting you all to get the violins out, I was made redundant last month so every little helps at the moment. If any of my posts have inspired you buy a book, or buy one as a gift I’d really appreciate it if you’d consider buying from Waterstones via one of the banners on my blog. I get a teeny bit of commission and you get to buy a book at a good price, from an actual bookshop rather than Amazon!

Waterstones deliver worldwide, but offer free delivery to the UK.

And so to the deals (click on the banners to view to full ranges) :

Half Price Bestsellers

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For a limited time only

30% Off Paperbacks

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On-going Waterstones deal

PLUS An Extra 10% Off At Checkout

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Until December 2nd!

Terms:
Discount code is valid until 12pm, Tuesday 2nd December 2014.
Discount code can only be used on Waterstones.com and not in Waterstones bookshops.
Discount code cannot be used with Click & Collect.
Discount codes do not apply to Kindle, Kindle accessories, eBooks, eBook Reader accessories, audio downloads or gift cards.

Thanks in advance, happy reading/giving!!

Friday Feature: Ghostly Guest Posts & Slimy Submissions Wanted!

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Brush the cobwebs off your costumes, because Horror October is fast approaching!

After the success of last year’s horror-themed month I’ve already started planning to make this year’s bigger and better. There will be reviews, features, guest posts, and all the blood you can stomach.

If you’d like to get involved, (anything goes – well, almost anything!) leave a comment or email me on:

lipsyylostnfound[at]gmail[dot]com.

Friday Feature: Book Event Envy

If you thought book festivals were just for the summer, think again!

Here are some upcoming events that I wish I could go to, but for one reason or another, I can not. (Why am I doing this to myself!?)

York Book Fair, York, UK

September 19 & 20

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From modest beginning with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian & out-of-print book fair in the U.K.

You will find books over 500 years old, to review copies of recently published works, and everything in between. The venue is very easy to reach, there is unlimited free parking, and also a free shuttle bus from the Railway Station to the Fair every 20 minutes.

Why I Wish I Was Going: York is a beautiful city. Beautiful city + antique and review books = uifyasklfioe

For more info, visit the website here.

IcelandNoir, Reykjavik, Iceland

November 20th – 23rd

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Iceland Noir is Iceland’s first festival of crime fiction and was recently listed by UK’s The Guardian newspaper as one of the “best crime-writing festivals around the world.” There’s a great line-up of authors, workshops and a crime walk through the city.

Why I Wish I Was Going: It’s Iceland, obviously. And not only do they do a CRIME WALK, they are do a Northern Lights tour. I am all over this next year!

For more info, visit the website here.

The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival, Cheltenham, UK


October 3rd – 12th

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For ten days every Autumn Cheltenham is transformed into a literary lover’s dream as we welcome over 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians, poets and leading opinion formers to help us celebrate the joy of the written word. Alongside a programme of nearly 500 debates, interviews and workshops, we also host Book It! our festival within a festival for families and young readers. Where else could you see the Gruffalo rub shoulders with an award-winning novelist, or a Hollywood legend exchange views with political leaders?

Why I Wish I Was Going: I’ve never been to Cheltenham, and I love the sound of Book It, their Young Adult/Family Festival…not sure I can pass as an ACTUAL young adult though 😦

For more info, visit the website here.

Theatre of Shadows, Dublin, Ireland

September 27th

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From the genius behind Skulduggery Pleasant, Theatre of Shadows is going to be an immersive fan-event like no other! On 27th September 2014 fans lucky enough to get a ticket will be taken on an adventure inside the much-loved world of Derek Landy’s bestselling series. The event is tailor-made by Derek and a crack team of LARP (Live Action Role Playing) specialists. There’ll be role-playing, problem solving and an amazing quest to tackle around the streets of Derek Landy’s magical Dublin. There’ll be an online mystery for the ‘Remote Operatives’ who can’t be in Dublin on the day, and as the story unfolds, Derek Landy will finish his latest Skulduggery short story: The Theatre of Shadows!
This means that your actions in the event and your online activities have a chance of making it into a brand new Skulduggery short story.

Why I Wish I Was Going: Woah. ALL OF IT.

Sign up to the mailing list for Derek Landy & Skulduggery News such as this.

Words & Images taken from Websites provided

At least I made it to YALC UK this year, which was amazing. But next year I will do better. Who’s with me!?

Best get saving now.