Horror October 2017: Week 1 Wrap-Up #HO17

HorrorOct2017

Well, that’s week 1 of my horror-themed month over and done with. It was a great week!
If you missed anything, do not fret, here is a handy summary.

Horror October Week 1

 

Welcome to Horror October 2017 (coming up)

Flash Fiction Battle:

ffb2017

Vote now!

Story Prompt Revealed

 

30 Days of Horror:

30daysofhorror

Day #1: The Last Days of Jack Sparks

Day #2: The Dark Net

Day #3: Under the Dome

Day #4: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

Day #5: A Head Full of Ghosts

Day #6: The Crow Girl

 

Revisiting Self-made Man by Poppy Z. Brite

selfmade

This Week in Books 04.10.17

icon-twibHO

Mother! Film Review

motherposter

Posts from around the blogosphere

Zombie Books Giveaway & Interview with Author: TD Ricketts – Dab of Darkness

Ghosts: A Short Story – Marie McWilliams.com

Blog Tour: Black Bird of the Gallows – Between the Pages

Halloween Read-A-Thon – Wonderless Reviews

October Fright: Seven Scary Fun TV Shows – A Kernel of nonsense

Advertisements

Horror October: Week 4 #WeeklyRoundUp #HorrorOctober

horroroctofficial2016

The last full week of Horror October has come to an end, and what a week it’s been! Here’s a handy summary in case you missed anything. Wouldn’t want that would we!? (Titles link to the posts)

Horror October Week 4 (22nd – 29th)

 

Poppy Z Brite Spotlight & Review

poppycov3

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Picture Books

hall10

This Week in Books 26.10.16

twib-37

Review: The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill

a2

10 Films on Netflix UK to Watch This Halloween Weekend

scarecrows

Flash Fiction Battle: I Now Crown You…(Results)

ho-ffb

Posts from around the blogosphere

 

Halloween Picks! – This Kid Reviews Books

Movie Review: The Ring – Vinnieh

Review: The Haunting of Hill House – SFF Book Reviews

Review: The Creeper Man – Wonderless Reviews

10 of the Best Gothic Poems for Halloween – Interesting Literature

Samhain, Feast of the Dead – Fabulous Realms

Still to come… Horror October: The Finale – The Top 5 of Everything Horror with Jason Arnopp

#HorrorOctober Week 3 Round-Up

horroroctofficial2016

It’s been another busy week of bloody blogging – only 1 week to go! – so here’s a handy summary in case you missed anything. Wouldn’t want that would we!? (Titles link to the posts)

Horror October Week 3 (15th – 21st)

 

Review: Reckless ~ Cornelia Funke

a3

Flash Fiction Battle:

Entry #1: The Secret of the Basement

Entry #2: Come in Here

Entry #3: The Quiet Life

Entry #4: Wake Up Mommy

ho-ffb

This Week in Books 19.10.16

twib-36

Spotlight: In the Service of the Boyar by Jason Graff

boyar

Posts from around the blogosphere

Short Story Review: Getting it Wrong by Ramsey Campbell – Bibliobeth

How to Survive a Horror Story – A Kernel of Nonsense

Halloween Book Recommendations – The Book Addicts Guide

Review: Goosebumps Series – Aussie Owned and Read

How Horror Fiction Can Make us Better Writers – Warrior Writers

Spooky Mint Mint Millionaires Shortbread Recipe – Claire Huston

Flash Fiction Battle: The Secret of the Basement by Lily Luchesi #HorrorOctober

ho-ffb

Welcome to to Horror October 2016’s main event: The Flash Fiction Battle

At the beginning of the month, you voted in your masses for your favourite horror story prompt, and the time has come for the participating horror writers (see above) to battle it out for the title of King or Queen of Horror (October)!  The winning prompt was ‘3 AM. Full Dark. One Sound’, and the only rule was a 1000 word limit.

You will be able to vote for your favourite story, but not until all the entries have been published (by the end of this week). 

The Secret Of The Basement

Author: Lily Luchesi
Word Count: 999
Blurb: A deep-seated fear of the basement might not be simple childish mind games one stormy Chicago night…

basement

When I was a kid, I hated my house’s basement. No matter how many times my father said I was being ridiculous, my mother said I was getting too old for such childishness, and my older brother called me an assortment of cruel names, I never ever went down there. I always said it would take a life or death situation to get me to go down there of my own accord.

Yes, it was a stupid thing for an adult with a high-class scholarship to one of the best schools in the US to think that the boogeyman was living in their basement, but there you have it. Some childhood fears stick with you forever.

I only returned to the house because my mother left it to me in her will, with very specific instructions that I had to stay there until it sold. With a few expletives in my mind, I did my very best to negotiate with her lawyer. I was pre-law, I knew the drill, and I knew there were always loopholes in every contract, even a will.

Not this time. If I didn’t do as she asked, it would go to the state. When I asked why the house wouldn’t go to my brother, the lawyer replied that he had refused it: he’d claimed a vow of poverty and couldn’t accept the house or the land. Sanctimonious bastard.

I sold it, losing out on a hundred grand. That’s how badly I didn’t want it. However, I still had to stay there and take care of everything inside. I figured I’d hold an estate sale and whatever didn’t sell, I’d toss.

Being back home brought back unpleasant memories of my workaholic dad, my alcoholic mom, and my abusive brother. I hated it.

It took me over a week to price everything–most of which was junk–and then I realized, I couldn’t give the city this house without seeing what was in the basement. What if there was something combustible down there? Or valuable?

My fear of the place was still there, buried deep down but there nonetheless. I felt like an imbecile. I went three times all day today, trying to open the doors and get it over with. Each time shaking limbs and a pained stomach stopped me.

I spent the rest of the day and evening berating myself as I watched the sky darken and the usual autumnal thunderstorm roll in, drinking what was left of my mom’s liquor cabinet. I passed out on the living room sofa, only to be woken by a loud crash of thunder. I flew off the couch, frightened, as the power flickered a few times and then went out just in time for me to see the clock read 3AM. I let my cell illuminate the room, not that it did a great job. Looking out the back doors, I saw that the lightning hit a tree in the neighbor’s yard that had fallen partly into my yard.

Sighing, I threw on my hoodie and went outside to be sure there was no damage to the house. Rounding the side, I was relieved when all I saw was a branch sticking into the doors to the basement. Shielding my eyes from the driving rain, I removed the branch, which came apart with a wet crack, taking with it the old, rusted padlock on the doors.

Despite the fear in my gut and the hangover pounding in my head, I figured the Hell with it and threw open the doors, smelling the wet, moldy stench all places like that have after being closed up for years. And there was something else, something cinnamony.

I began my descent, cell phone before me to cast some kind of light into the inky darkness that seemed to be seeping into my bones just like the cold rain was. The stench got worse, a thick wet smell that made me want to gag.

As I went further down, the doors slammed shut behind me and I jumped. Damn wind. Now it was not only pitch dark except for a foot of smartphone light, it was silent like the grave and I shivered.

Take a look around and get the Hell out, I thought as I finished my descent, breathing through my mouth. I fumbled my cell, trying to get the light to stay steady in my trembling hand. Shouldn’t I at least be able to hear the storm?

The silence and darkness combined was too much. I just wanted out. Finally I got my hand to steady and waved my phone from side to side to get a panorama. What I saw made me collapse on the steps behind me.

Corpses. At least a dozen. Men, women, and children, all in various stages of decay, many so old they were mummified, creating that cinnamon stench. Gaping, rotted mouths seemed to smile at me, and empty, rotted eye sockets stared at me, the intruder in the domain of the dead. Flesh was sloughing off the bones of the most recent ones, and I saw a family of maggots in one man’s eyehole.

I wondered how they all got here, many of them were so old they had to have died in the twenties at least. Fear holding me prisoner, I finally had the sense to turn around and scramble up the steps, only to slip on the rainwater.

I felt backwards and barely felt my leg break. Too much adrenaline in my veins. Grabbing my phone, I checked for a signal to dial 911. Nothing. The storm had hit the cell towers.

I tried calling 911 twenty minutes ago, and I’ve been writing this ever since in my Notes app. I’m never getting out of here, but maybe one day they’ll find my body with the others. Why do I say I’m never getting out? Because the heavy silence was broken by one thing just now: the subtle, papery sound of a body shifting.

About the Author

20160801_234212

Lily Luchesi is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Paranormal Detectives Series. She grew up in Chicago and now resides in Los Angeles, where she writes horror and erotica stories in between going to concerts and comic book signings.
She loves vampires, classic horror, metal and rock music, anime, the TV show Supernatural, and the color black.
She has also written short stories in the anthologies Naughty Bedtime Stories: In Three Words, Death Love Lust, and Lurking In The Shadows.

You can find her at the following links:

http://amazon.com/author/lilyluchesi
http://lilyluchesibooks.wix.com/lilyluchesi
http://twitter.com/LilyLuchesi
http://facebook.com/LilyLuchesi
http://instagram.com/lilyluchesi

[Basement Image credit: https://goo.gl/images/4xrvGQ]

 What did you think? Will Lily’s story win your vote?

Leave a comment and start the discussion! 

UP NEXT ON HORROR OCTOBER: This Week in Books followed by entry #2 of the #FlashFictionBattle

Flash Fiction Battle: The Countdown is on! #VoteNow #HorrorOctober

Hi guys, you have just 11 hours left to vote.

When I crawl back to into my coffin after work  the votes will be counted and we’ll have our horror prompt for these amazing participating authors. 

ho-ffb

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see my original post here, where you can place your vote. 

The prompts are:

  • Bad night for a storm
  • The Body
  • Guttural sounds of the 70s
  • Red Tape Road Trip
  • 3am. Full dark. One sound.
  • Monsters aren’t born…
  • Unspeakable crimes
  • Circus of Blood

The rules are simple: There are no rules! Muwahaha ha ha…Apart from the stories being under 1000 words and based on the winning prompt. OK, so there are a few rules. We’re not animals. 

 

What’s your favourite prompt and why? Let’s discuss! What would be your nightmare scary story…?

We Need to Talk About…backing up blogs! #blogging #discussion

icon-discussion

We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere (that’s you guys) for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’. 

Today, I’m interested to know if you have your blog backed up… 

OK, so… despite running this blog I’m not very good with computers. I’m good at certain programmes and know some basic HTML but on the security side of things I’m pretty lacking. 

I’m the kind of person that doesn’t think about things until it all goes wrong. I’m reckless with paperwork, passwords, saving things. I ignore signs of viruses. My computer is really unorganised and I don’t understand this whole iCloud business. 

The other day I logged into WordPress (actually, I didn’t have to log in because I have all my passwords saved – see, reckless) and when I went to view all posts, there were no posts. Zilch, nothing, nada. I was pretty panicked. But when I logged out and in again it was fine. Phewwwww. 

Obviously, this is made me wonder if I should be backing my blog up somewhere. I mean, it’s just a silly blog, but I’d be really sad if I lost three years of hard work. What if WordPress collapses? What if it’s just gone and you have to start all over again…? It’s possible, right? 

So I ask you, Blogosphere…do you back up your blog? If so, how/where/how much and is it easy? And no, I don’t have any kind of external hard-drive thingy if one needs such a thing….lend me your thoughts below!

 

We Need to Talk About… ARCs #Discussion #BookBloggers

icon-discussion

We Need to Talk About…is my new discussion post where I ask the blogosphere for opinions/advice/rants on anything from ‘how do some bloggers read so many books?’ to ‘how do you rate books?’. 

When I first started blogging -over three years ago( !)- I used to do a lot of discussion posts, and I never meant to stop, but somehow it just happened. Hopefully, with the introduction of this regular post I’ll get back into the habit. I have so many burning questions and ideas to get opinions on, so please get involved!

This time, I want to talk about ARCs

There are two very different things that have been bothering me about ARCs:

  1. Do You Count ARCs as books you own?
  2. Why are some ARCs formtted so badly?

1. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. In my monthly round-up posts I do a breakdown of the books I’ve read into books I own or have borrowed, as well as which format I read – paperback, hardback, or digital, and I never know whether to include ARCs as books I own or not.

What do you think? Do you count ARCs as books you own? 

I kind of feel like ARCs should only ever be ‘owned’ by the author & publisher, and that we as bloggers get a sneak peak before anyone else can own that book. So going on that theory I guess I should include them in the borrowed books bracket. But that would just confuse people, right?

2. Bad formatting of ARCs can seriously dampen the reader’s enjoyment of it, I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me. I always try my very best to not let it affect my opinion of the book, but sometimes ARCs are so bad they’re impossible to read…why are they released like that?

I mean, I understand spacing issues and typos and all of those things that might not have been picked up on on early edits, but for example, I recently read one where there were no capital letters at the start of sentences, or hardly any punctuation which made it really hard to read.

At first I wondered if maybe that was a style choice by the author because surely the original manuscript would have had capitals and full-stops? But it really wasn’t the kind of book that would do that on purpose.

So what I don’t get is what happens to manuscripts that alters them so much when converted into an e-book format? Insights, anyone?

What bothers you about ARCs? Let’s rant….

 

This Month in Books: July 2015

ICON5

July was a bit of a bitch to be honest. I got into a severe blogging and reading slump and came pretty close to throwing in the towel. I love blogging, but I started this when I had a boring office job, and I was able to manage most of my blog admin at work. But now I work in an environment that is really full on and has no internet access anyway, I’m really struggling to keep up.

I feel bad for not reading my favourite blogs, replying to emails and comments, as much as I used to, but it’s just not possible.

However, I had a good think about it and I’m not ready to give up, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I’m trying to go easy on myself. If I only post twice a week, so what. If it takes me a year to write that review I promised, so what! I officially declare this as a pressure-free zone!

In July, I caught up on a lot of reviews, but got very little reading done…I blame the summer. I’m really looking forward to Autumn and long nights indoors hibernating away. Summer is too busy for my liking. LOL.

Anyway, on to the stats!

July 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 16 (+2 from last month)

Books Read: 4 (- 3)
The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie
Horns ~ Joe Hill
Kiss Kiss ~ Roald Dahl
Dinner with a Vampire ~ Abigail Gibbs

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Horror (1/4); Romance (1/4); Short Stories (1/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (0/4); Digital (1/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (3/4); Owned (2/4); Borrowed (2/4)

Most Surprising: The Ring of Morgana
Most Disappointing: Kiss Kiss
Most Exciting: Horns
Most Swoon-worthy: Dinner with a Vampire
Most Beautifully Written: Horns

Reviews: 7 (+2)

  • There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff, 2/5 (View)
  • A Few That Got Away: The Testimony of a Hanged Man/ Kiss Kiss/ Badjelly the Witch – Various (View)
  • The Ring of Morgana by Donna Hoise, 4/5 (View)
  • Horns by Joe Hill, 4/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 22.07.15 (View Post)
  2. TTT: Top Ten Hyped Books (View Post)
  3. TTT: Celebrating Diversity (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights

  • Book Promo: The Water Travelers by Daniel Waltz (View Post)
  • An Over-Due Apology (& What’s Coming Up)! (View Post)
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Nerds (View Post)

Awards

botm-july15

cotm-july15

mlft-aug15

August Releases

Here’s my pick of the August releases:

augustreleases

What are you looking forward to this month?

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to say a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge Merry Christmas to you all!!

Thanks for reading, liking, commenting, sending free books, and inspiring me. I hope you all have a wonderful time, whether you celebrate or not, and I promise to be more organised in 2015.

One can dream.

I’ll be taking a short hiatus over the new year, but look forward to continuing this book madness thereafter. 🙂

xmas