Monday, October 12, 2020

Horror Stories Master Post #SomethingWickedFall

This is the master post for horror books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. I think this will make for some hearty conversation!

There's a tab in the menu for easy access to this post.

If you're still reading Gothic stories in October, the Gothic stories master post is still a available in the menu.


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Friday, October 2, 2020

An update (of sorts) on The Woman in White and #SomethingWickedFall

Yeah, so this event has not been going as planned. As many of you know, I moved from Tennessee to Michigan in August. It was a big move and not a fun one. Also, my grandfather passed away in September. My sister, my nieces and I traveled to Tennessee last week for the funeral. Needless to say, it has been a hard couple of months. My reading is suffering, as I'm still trying to get this house in order. Those who have moved house know the difficulties of continuing to work while unpacking/arranging. It's hard enough without a death in the family, and then trying to unpack and shelve 3000+ books. 

Anyway, I have not made it very far into The Woman in White. I'm on page 157 which is WAY behind the read-along schedule. You know what though? I'm giving myself a pass and that means you get one too, if you're also behind. 

My thoughts so far...

This is a beautifully written book. Collins definitely had a way with words. It's also a bit slow though I am enjoying it to a certain extent. I'm intrigued by what the story of the woman in white is going to turn out to be. I know I don't trust Sir Percival because the dog didn't like him. That's always a true sign. lol Also, wondering what's going on with Mr. Hartright, in light of his disheveled and downtrodden appearance when encountered by Vincent Gilmore. 

I will keep plugging away and hopefully will finish by the end of the month. Let me know your thoughts, if you're still reading, and how far along you are in the comments.

Gothic Stories in September 

Unfortunately, I didn't get around to any Gothic short stories in September, but plan to try to read a few in October. The three books we are reading for my TrueBookTalk book group (on Goodreads) would be considered Gothic so I will probably share thoughts on those as I finish. I'll keep the Gothic stories master post tab open in the menu for continued thoughts through the end of the event.

Horror Stories in October

I will create a horror stories master post and put the link in the menu for any thoughts you would like to share on what you're reading. I'm hoping to get to at least some of the stories in Stephen King's 
Bazaar of Bad Dreams.


Our first of three movie watch-alongs is tonight. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at 9:00 pm ET. Visit the schedule post here for the Slack invite link. We discuss there while we're watching. The movie can be watched for free on Amazon Prime Video (if you're a Prime member) or on Pluto (which is completely free, but may have commercials). 

That's it for now. As always, thank you for bearing with me and Happy October!

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Saturday, September 19, 2020

#SomethingWickedFall Watch-Along Schedule

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - Friday, October 2 at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT/6:00pm PT
Sleepy Hollow - Friday, October 9 at 9:00pm ET/8:00 pm CT/6:00 pm PT
Sweeney Todd - Friday, October 30 at 9:00pm ET/8:00 pm CT/6:00 pm PT

I had to make an executive decision on the dates. My time is limited because of my recent move. My grandfather passed away so I will be out of town for his funeral the week of September 21. My birthday (10/15) weekend is October 16 and 17, and then Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon the weekend of October 24.

I hope these dates/times will work for everyone. The October 2 and the October 9 dates could be moved to Saturday, if that would work better, but the October 30 date will probably have to stick due to Halloween. Thanks for bearing with me. I hope you will join us!

Here's the invite link for Slack (it's free to sign up) where we chat while we're watching. This link expires in 30 days so I will post the new link in October.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Gothic Stories Master Post 2020 #SomethingWickedFall

This is the master post for Gothic books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. 

If you continue reading Gothic stories into October, please feel free to share in the comments. I'll keep the tab in the blog menu.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

#SomethingWickedFall featuring The Woman in White #ReadAlong

It's our third year of Something Wicked Fall! Woot! Keep reading for all the details.

Everything on the agenda is on the button above, but I'm going to share more details below. If you're on Facebook, we have a Seasons of Reading group and page, where we interact during readathons so I'll be sharing info there, and also on the Seasons of Reading Instagram, and in our Seasons of Reading Goodreads group. Castle Macabre also has a Facebook page.

💀 Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White read-along. We will be reading the book for the entire two months. I've been wanting to read this one for a long time. 

Discussions will be held on this blog. I will put a new post up each week on Sunday (with final discussion post up on Sunday, November 1...we will skip Sunday, October 25 since it's the day after Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and people will probably be recuperating) and we will read along according to the schedule below.

My edition is the Penguin Classics edition, published 2009. 672 pages, though we are only going to reading page 3-626 which includes the two prefaces and the full book text. We are going to have to wing it with page numbers only, as there are so many new chapters under each character's point of view, I couldn't figure out how to split them up. I hope this will work for us. Yikes!

Read-Along Schedule
  • Week One (start Sept 1): Preface (1860) - starting The First Epoch (pp 3 - 77)
  • Week Two (week of Sept 7): The First Epoch: XIII -  (pp 77 - 156)
  • Week Three (week of Sept 14): The First Epoch and into Second Epoch (pp 156 - 241)
  • Week Four (week of Sept 21): The Second Epoch (pp 241 - 316)
  • Week Five (week of Sept 28): The Second Epoch (pp 316 - 398) 
  • Week Six (week of Oct 5): The Second Epoch and into Third Epoch (pp 399 - 477)
  • Week Seven (week of Oct 12): The Third Epoch (pp 478 - 555)
  • Week Eight (week of Oct 26): The Third Epoch (pp 555 - 627/end)

👻 In September, we're focusing on Gothic stories (Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and others). There's a great list on Goodreads for reference, Best Gothic Books of All Time. I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this. I'll create a master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments.

👿 In October, we're focusing on horror stories. There are a couple of great lists on Goodreads for reference...Best Horror Anthologies and Horror Collections (Single Author). I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this either. I'll create another master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments.

👹 We're going to have one or two horror movie watch-alongs! I'm not sure which ones we will watch yet. I will mull some titles over and then create a poll so everyone can vote. Any suggestions? Leave me a comment. Since not everyone is on the same social media platforms these days, I have a Seasons of Reading Slack group (I use it for my online book group and it's so much better than Twitter chats) for our watch-alongs. Slack is free so you don't have to worry about that. Stay tuned!

🎃 #FrightFall Readathon, is running in both September and October this year at Seasons of Reading. Sign ups for the readathon are open and you can sign up here. There is also Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon on October 24. Yay!

😈 I'm hoping to get some of my horror author friends to contribute some guest posts. If anyone else would like to contribute a post or guest review, please let me know. You can send me a message via the contact form here on the site.

I think that's it! Hope I didn't leave anything out. No official sign-up for this. Just share that you're in by leaving a comment. You can join in as little or as much as you want. Let's do this!

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Brandon Ford's Open Wounds #Review

Brandon Ford is a horror author of scary stories I've enjoyed in the past. Open Wounds is different, but that doesn't make the story any less horrific. The book shines a spotlight on abuse: emotional, physical, sexual. It's a spotlight many of us would rather go dark, as the subject of abuse is so very hard for so many. However, it needs to shine brightly to bring awareness to something which still happens far too much in our society.

The story is set in 1981. I was thirteen that year and I am so thankful I did not have to endure what Kate did. Ford was smart setting the story in this era because these kinds of abuse were even less recognized back then. Often, if a girl told what was happening, no one would even believe her. We're seeing this come out in the present time...that abuses were going on back then and no one believed.

I'll be honest. This story is very dark. I sometimes found it hard to continue because it was so disturbing and distressing. Plus, I listened to the audio book which made it even more real. The young voice of the reader made it seem like Kate was really relating the story. I had to keep listening though. I had to know how it would all end.

I love stories that draw me in, while still teaching a lesson along the way. I warn's very dark, and those who are triggered by stories containing subjects of abuse and self-harm (though not suicide) should probably avoid. For others, read it. Learn why it's so important to believe when someone tells you something bad is happening to them. If they're lying, fine, but if they're not, you just might save a life.

About the book
The first cut brings a wave of calm that immediately washes over her. The second, an incomparable bliss. The third, euphoria in its purest, most absolute form.

A twisted and often unsettling glimpse into the mind of an unwitting victim, OPEN WOUNDS tells the story of a young girl’s battle to maintain her safety and sanity after she is preyed upon by a savage predator. She finds only the slightest comfort in scrawling the details of her horrific tale onto the pages of a leatherbound diary. But when her living nightmare becomes more than she can bear, the only comfort she finds is beneath the blade of a paring knife. Night after night, she slices into her own tender flesh, while praying for some escape from a world filled with anguish and torment.

Before long, those leatherbound pages are dripping with crimson and soon, open wounds become ripples of scar tissue.

About the author
Brandon Ford (b. August 28, 1981) grew up in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He started writing at the approximate age of 8 and spent a lot of time testing the waters with various genres. He wrote dramas, comedies, essays, plays, and, of course, thrillers. There were few things he took pleasure in crafting more than a good old-fashioned scary story. Throughout grade school, as well as high school, he continued to build his portfolio with various works (mostly short stories and novellas, but a few plays here and there). He’d pass around these manuscripts to friends and teachers for feedback. Knowing others enjoyed his work and craved more inspired him to keep going.
A few months shy of 23, he sat down to pen his first novel, which became Crystal Bay. Arctic Wolf Publishing, a small press based in Georgia, picked the book up a few years later. Shortly thereafter, he completed Splattered Beauty, an ode to his favorite Scream Queens. In 2009, he teamed up with Alan Draven and Jessica Lynne Gardner for Creeping Shadows (Pixie Dust Press), a collection of three short novels. Ford’s contribution, Merciless, was heavily inspired by a real-life kidnapping that took place in California in 2002. In March 2010, Arctic Wolf released his third novel, Pay Phone. Ford has also contributed works of short fiction to several anthologies, including Abaculus 2007 and Abaculus III (Leucrota Press), Sinister Landscapes (Pixie Dust Press), Raw: Brutality As Art (Snuff Books), and The Death Panel (Comet Press). Some of his biggest influences have been writers like Jack Ketchum and the late Richard Laymon. In his spare time he enjoys reading, watching bad TV, and all things horror. He still resides in South Philadelphia. (From Goodreads)

Read my review of Creeping Shadows (a collection by Brandon Ford, Alan Draven and Jessica Lynne Gardner).

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