Tag Archives: Halloween

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Apple Cake Recipe (Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Joannamarie from Wet Noses and Books is sharing a delicious apple cake recipe!


Fall is the perfect time for apples and pumpkins. This recipe doesn’t include any type of pumpkin ingredients in it, but it does have apples. And who doesn’t like apples? My mom makes this recipe every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its called “Jewish Apple Cake”. I’m not Jewish, but my mom found it somewhere and it’s delicious. Anyway, since the one my mom makes is a ‘special recipe’ I found something really similar to it and it seems to be just as good. Everything you need to know to make this delicious cake is below as well as the link I found it from, enjoy and have a great Halloween!

Jewish Apple Cake

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Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of real vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, unbeaten
  • ½ cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed (*my mom just uses our Tropicana Orange Juice (no pulp) we drink in the morning for this*)
  • 4 large apples, peeled, and sliced
  • 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar, separated (**keep from the other sugar**)

Directions:

1) Beat together until smooth—flour, 2 ½ cups of sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, oil, eggs, and juice. Then in a separate bowl, mix apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

2) Layer the batter and apples in a greased pan. *Make sure to pour some batter—then layer it with apples—then switch back and forth until it is all used up*

3) Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours – 1 ¾ hours.


A big thanks to Joannamarie for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! You can find the original recipe on the web here from Food.com.

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Halloween Book Recommendations (Nisha from Paper Cranes)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Nisha from Paper Cranes is sharing her Halloween reading recommendations! Check out her recs below!


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Hi! I’m Nisha from paperrcranes.blogspot.com, and I unapologetically love Halloween. There’s candy, dozens of corny horror movies, and there’s this irreplaceable feeling of something exciting about to happen as soon as its over.

But, I also love books. (Don’t we all?) And what’s better than Halloween themed reads? I’ve read dozens of books that gave me this creepy, Halloween-esque vibe, the ones that are perfect for this time of year. So, in the spirit of everything spooky, here are some of my favorite Halloween books recommendations!


station eleven
emily st. john mandel

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I thought I’d start this off with an eerie, yet dazzling tale of STATION ELEVEN, a post-apocalyptic story that was like nothing I’d ever read before. It’s a story that weaves its way through the past and future to meet in the middle and create this beautiful story that talks about the nature of people.

When I read this book, it kept me up for half the night because I just couldn’t stop reading. The story is a little bit creepy, but there’s also a lot of philosophy that makes you think about humans and the way our civilization works (though, that may be creepy, depending on your personality). I would recommend this to people who want that spine-tingling experience, but also something that gets you thinking.


this savage song
victoria schwab

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Let’s get on to monsters, shall we? THIS SAVAGE SONG is a Young Adult book that takes place in a city split by two major families, but, the city is overrun by different types of monsters, which creates this whole other twist to the book.

The two best things about this book were the monsters and the writing. I thought that the way the monsters were introduced and expressed throughout the book was a way that made them intriguing and easy to understand. As for the writing, I honestly expected it to be wonderful. Victoria Schwab has an amazing writing style, and because of that, all of her books are an insta-buy for me. All in all, this is creepy, yet oddly beautiful novel that I think is perfect for Halloween.


the end games
michael martin

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If you’re more The Walking Dead type, then maybe you should try this book out. This is a zombie-slash-video game themed novel, and if that doesn’t intrigue you, I’m not really sure what will. In this book, a boy named Michael is in the wilderness with his little brother Patrick, and the two of them are listening to somebody called the Game Master, who creates tasks for them, like in a video game. But, there’s a catch: they also have to stay away from the “Bellows”, which are the flesh-eating monsters that roam the woods.

I read this book a couple of years ago, and every time somebody wants Halloween recommendations, this is always on my list to them. There’s something about this book that makes it equal parts heartfelt and creepy. There’s a wonderful sibling friendship that made my heart happy, and there are also zombies. What’s not to love?


stalking jack the ripper
kerri maniscalco

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This is a recent release, one that will definitely be on my top books of 2016 list, and it’s a book that I found a little bit creepy and definitely very entertaining. This book takes place in the 1800s, and our badass main character is Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who hides a career of work in her uncle laboratory behind frilled skirts and silk shoes. When her work reveals a series of gruesome corpses, she searches for her answers by herself.

If you’re someone who loves reading about conspiracy theories and unsolved murders, I highly recommend this for you. It gives a YA twist on a famous story, along with spine-chilling photographs and epic characters. I also love how badass the main character was and how she continually breaks the stereotypes of a women in that era.

So, did you find any books you like?

-nisha

FIND NISHA AT:

bloglovin’ // twitter // instagram // tumblr


Thanks so much, Nisha! These are excellent recommendations and I LOVE Stalking Jack the Ripper and Kerri Maniscalco!!! 

Fortnight of Fright 2016: Fall Wreath Craft (Amy from Read A Latte)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Amy from Read A Latte is sharing a super fun fall craft and how she makes her own fall wreaths!


When the chilly weather hits, I am either reading under a blanket somewhere, or wielding a hot glue gun as I craft my way through the fall and winter. Since October is one of my favorite months, I wanted to start my craft making as soon as I could.

Luckily, AC Moore and I operate on the same schedule. As soon as that leaf decor comes out, I’m there for it. Today I put together a quick guide to DIY-ing your own fall-themed wreath — bringing that fall foliage feel right to your front door!

The Foliage Wreath

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This is super simple, because the bulk of it is the base, which comes pre-made! I got all my supplies at AC Moore, but let’s be real, any craft store this time of year has the same things:

You’ll Need:

  • A Grapevine Wreath
  • Fall Foliage Garland
  • Large Bow
  • Assorted Pumpkins and Gourds
  • Hot Glue Gun

First, I pulled apart the wreath, just a little, to give it a slightly messier, fall look. Then, just take the garland and wrap it evenly around the grapevine wreath, tucking it into the branches as you go. I hot glued the edges of the garland onto the wreath, as well.

If there are gaps, no problem! That’s where the pumpkins and gourds come in! I grouped mine together, but you can arrange them however you like. Then, top it all off with a large festive bow at the bottom, and VOILA! That’s that!


A big thanks to Amy for today’s Fortnight of Fright post! I totally need to make one of these for my house now. This is so cute!!!

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Halloween Book Recommendations (Anna from A Literary Potion)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fourth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FOURTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Anna from A Literary Potion is sharing a Halloween reading recommendation! Check out her rec below!


Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Published in September 2011 by Orion Books
Paperback, 288 pages
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4.5/5]

Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid. My skin pickled. My heart thudded in my throat. My body knew before I did that I was not alone…
London, 1937. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life, so when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway and at last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year.
But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. Soon Jack will see the last of the sun, the sea will freeze and escape will be impossible.
And Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…
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This book is more than a ghost story; it is a perfectly executed tale of the descent into madness.

The story centres around Jack, who wants to escape his lonely life in London. He signs up to be part of an expedition to the High Arctic, to Spitsbergen. Originally setting out with four companions, one by one they are all forced to abandon the expedition, leaving Jack to overwinter alone. As the nights close in, Jack’s mind begins to turn on him.

Michelle Paver has created a truly gripping tale, one that reveals a little bit more of itself each time I read it. The setting, a remote bay called Gruhuken in Spitsbergen, is stunning. She evokes the raw beauty of the Arctic wilderness and follows it as it steadily begins to threaten rather than entice. The stark difference between the constant summer and the polar night are wonderfully written. At first, Jack is happy to be so far away from civilisation. He wants to feel like a true explorer, coming to a place that has not been inhabited before. The isolation Jack finds himself in stops being a relief and starts being a danger when he is left alone.

Jack is a wonderful narrator. The story is told in journal form and the writing begins to change as Jack’s fears manifest themselves, you can trace the insanity as it grips Jack and forces him to hide from his own mind. I loved Jack’s stubbornness and his mental strength despite everything, his ability to find the small bits of respite wherever he can. The other characters are given a clear bias through Jack’s eyes, and the later addition of one or two other characters (one of which is a dog) show the full contrast between Jack’s behaviour when he is alone to when he has company of some sort.

The power in this story is not in dramatic scares, but in the lingering fears in the back of your mind, the fear of the dark, and what lies in the darkness, waiting. The way your mind slowly turns on itself the longer you stay in the place of fear, until you start doubting everything you see or hear. How acknowledging that fear can sometimes invite it in.

This book is incredibly well-written. I am not a huge fan of ghost stories but this will always be my favourite for how blurred the lines are between fiction and reality, and how it portrays the heavy toll the constant darkness takes on the human mind. Just hearing the word ‘Gruhuken’ makes me shudder and not want to turn my back to the room.


Thanks so much, Anna! This sounds like such a great recommendation — so spooky!!! I can’t do ghost stories (way too scary haha!) and it sounds like it’s positively creepy… Perfect for Halloween!!  

FIND ANNA AT:

Anna {A Literary Potion}
Blog: aliterarypotion
Instagram: aliterarypotion
Twitter: aliterarypotion
Booktube: aliterarypotion

A Fortnight of Fright 2016: Intro & Sign-Ups!

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October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Wow. We are back here for a FIFTH year for Fortnight of Fright and I can hardly believe it!! As many of you know, September – January is my very favorite time of year and Halloween is my one true love! Therefore, it is no question that Fortnight of Fright is something that I love hosting along with Ayssa (Books Take You Places) and Amy (Tripping Over Books)!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about (hello, and welcome!) Fortnight of Fright is a time in which we host and share different posts related to Autumn and Halloween! We work with you guys and some amazing authors to showcase some creepy books, interviews, movies, and SO MUCH MOAR! There is no limit on what you can post about! Do you have a signature Halloween or Autumn cocktail recipe? Pinterest board filled with DIY decorations? A book recommendation for those of us who love to be scared? We want it all!! JOIN US!!

Sign ups will be open from 9/12 – 9/25 and you will be notified the following week to confirm your post topic, and so on. We are going to ask that all posts get to us the week of 10/10 as we will be hosting you during the event which runs from 10/17 – 10/31! As always, the more the merrier, so scroll on down to our Google Doc and sign up to help us out!

Also don’t forget about All Hallow’s Read and the giving of books in lieu of candy!

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Here’s a bit more about the event:

  • A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT runs from 10/17 – 10/31
  • Alyssa, Amy, and I are your hosts for this event so your FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT post would be posted on one of our blogs as a guest post (this goes for all topics — so even if you did a book review, it would still be a “guest post” on one of our blogs)
  • Once we have enough people sign up, we’ll put together the schedule and let you know on whose blog your post will appear and on what date!
  • We’re open to pretty much anything Halloween-related! Favorite TV shows, movies, books, candy, facts, celebrations… Book recommendations, book reviews, highlighting a specific movie or TV show… Recipes, Pinterest boards, crafts, how-tos, costume contests, Halloween costumes for book characters… Really, the sky is the limit! NOTE: Your post should be original content, not something previously posted.
  • Sign ups will be open from 9/12 – 9/25 and you will be notified the following week to confirm your post topic, and so on. We are going to ask that all posts get to us the week of 10/10 as we will be hosting you during the event which runs from 10/17 – 10/31! As always, the more the merrier, so scroll on down to our Google Doc and sign up to help us out!

Wondering what we had going on from years past? Check it out:

PREVIOUS FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT POSTS

SIGN-UPS FOR A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT 2016

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | A Novel Halloween (Christy & Erica from Novel Ink)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Christy & Erica from Novel Ink have prepared an awesomely fun Halloween Party post! Check it out below!


fortnight of fright

Do you dare pass through the doors? *wicked cackle* We welcome you to our Halloween Party. Come prepared. Wear a costume to scare us to death, bring an appetite to munch on fingers and be prepared to sip some blood. Now come along and join us for A Novel Halloween.

haunted

As you all come along and walk up the steps
You’ll feel a little weary and scared to death
You open the door and look inside
A doll and Zombie Alice will say “Hi”

COSTUME - PIC 1costume 2

We want to scare you but not too much
We have a table waiting and a fire hutch
Books and mini houses are awaiting you
Look out for the skeletons who scream out, “boo!”

decorations 3  decorations 1
decorations 4

We finally sit down as dinner is ready
Your fingers may be served so keep them steady
Dripping with blood and brains to be sipped
Don’t leave just yet, it’s just the start of our trip

SNACKS 1      SNACKS 2
DRINK

After we eat our devilish snacks
We will watch TV and our backs
No Michael, Jason or Freddy can stop us now
As we’re just about ready to take our bow

MOVIE 1 MOVIE 2 MOVIE 3

Books are a final part of A Novel Halloween
Surely each one of these will make you scream
Always beware as they’ll give you a fright
Now drive safe and have a good night

the dead house2 say her name creed

Thanks, Christy & Erica! This is fantastic!!! I love your spooky and bookish Halloween. Thanks so much for sharing! This whole post has an amazing atmosphere to it — I feel like I went to a haunted house 😉 

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Book Review: Dark Carnival (Abi from Rambling Writer)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Abi from Rambling Writer is reviewing THE DARK CARNIVAL – An Anthology of Horror! Check out her review below!


Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Book Review: Dark Carnival (Abi from Rambling Writer)Title: Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror by Jolene Haley
Publishing Info: October 31, 2014 by Independent
Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Horror
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 11, 2015

In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It's The Dark Carnival.
And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there's no promise that anyone can leave...alive.
Contributors include: Kristen Strassel, Meghan Schuler, Claire C. Riley, J. Elizabeth Hill, Jessi Esparza, Debra Kristi, Ryan Bartlett, Michelle Ceasar Davis, Brian LeTendre, Ken Mooney, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, Lucas Hargus, Kat Daemon, T.A. Brock, Calyn Morgan, Emily McKeon, Gregory Carrico, Kristin Hanson, Nicole R. Taylor, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Brian W. Taylor, Kate Michael, Ezekiel Conrad, Jamie Adams, Bobby Solomons, Mark Matthews, Jamie Corrigan, Kristin Rivers, Kristen Jett, Sheila Hall, Suzy G, Kim Culpepper, Ruth Shedwick, J.C. Michael, Wulf Francu Godgluck, Ashly Nagrant, Amy Trueblood, Vanessa Henderson, Tawney Bland, Julie Hutchings and Stevan Knapp.

I heard about this anthology from watching some YouTube videos by the WordNerds. Horror isn’t something I usually read, unless Neil Gaiman writes it. But there was something about an anthology that interested me. I am a scaredy-cat,  movies with zombies or paranormal activity are hard for me to watch. But there was something about a collection of short stories that beguiled me. I guess I thought that horror in small doses would be okay.  I was both right and wrong.

THE DARK CARNIVAL was an amazing entry into the genre of creepy stories. I mean this collection has everything, people gone crazy, demons, aliens, and every story was completely different.  Each was unique in its own way.  I feel like the collection starts off with some of their less creepy stories.  I found myself thinking: “Oh this isn’t so bad.” HA! The stories definitely get darker further into the anthology. No spoilers but not everything you eat in the Dark Carnival is at it seems. 😉  I liked this anthology because it didn’t overwhelm in the way a novel would. There wasn’t too much creepiness that would give me nightmares, but just enough for me to put it down at the end of a story and peek out from my blankets to make sure I wasn’t going to die. 😀

I ended up giving THE DARK CARNIVAL four stars on Goodreads. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially in this month of October. I promise, you won’t see carnivals the same way again.

ABOUT ABI

My name is Abi.  I’m 20 years old.  I’ve been telling stories since I was around 10 and haven’t been able to stop. I’m a reader, a writer of novels and poetry, tea drinker, and lover of food. Happily married and mother to two Viking cats.


Thanks, Abi! I agree — I’m not much into horror either — but I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! Sounds perfect for Halloween time! 

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | 5 Under-Appreciated Paranormal Types (Cristina from Girl in the Pages)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Cristina from Girl in the Pages is sharing some underappreciated character-types in YA Lit. Check ou  her awesome post below!


5 Under-Appreciated Paranormal Character Types in YA Literature

I’ll be the first one to admit I jumped on the Young Adult literature paranormal train in the early 2000s. I was the first one in my school library to check out Twilight and I’ve owned Harry Potter books since before Goblet of Fire was released. Most of my young creative writing endeavors included a witch protagonist that was not-so-subtly based upon my likeness and a sassy pet cat that was extremely relevant to the plot (kudos if you also are old enough to remember the television staple that was Sabrina the Teenage Witch). Paranormal plot lines, especially those featuring romance, exploded within the YA genre and arguably were a huge factor in driving it forward to its success today and into the hands of millions of readers who may have been previously unaware that there was a middle ground between children’s and adult literature.

Despite its initial raging success, YA paranormal literature has suffered genre-burnout, which I’d argue is largely due to those initial popularized tropes being recycled in too many plot lines. Most notable among such tropes include vampires, werewolves, and angels, and more recently the tropes of mermaids and even aliens have become more and more common, used as a instant catalyst for success due to their paranormal popularity rather than plot substance, originality, and quality writing. However, I don’t think the paranormal sub-genre of YA is past its prime. Rather, I think seeing the inclusion of less widely known paranormal creatures, or even the revival of some common yet overlooked paranormal tropes, could revive a sub genre that is crumbling under the weight of an over-saturated market. Here are five lesser used and/or commonly overlooked paranormal creatures that would catch my eye in a book blurb or stop me in a book store aisle:

Necromancers

What they are: Necromancy is a form of magic that involves communication with the deceased, either through spirit apparitions or raising them bodily. Necromancers thus have magic limited to communicating with the dead, but necromancy can be practiced by characters who communicated with the deceased as part of their powers (such as in divination or wizardry).

Why they’re intriguing: Focusing on characters who can only perform as very specific type of magic is often more interesting than broad-spectrum magical characters, as it provides a canvas for the author to dive more specifically into the rituals and rules behind the magic. Yet while specific, necromancy can be used in so many ways and lend itself to so many different types of plots, even within the same book (think in Harry Potter: The Resurrection Stone allows Harry to practice necromancy by meeting with spirit-versions of his parents, while Voldemort practices necromancy through Inferi by raising corpses to provide a physical army). Necromancers also make intriguing protagonists as their powers and abilities are so firmly rooted in the past, and what information and clues they can glean from those that lived before them. Necromancers would make for  great historical fiction paranormal novels!

Recommended Reading: The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong.

Ghosts

What they are: The opposite participant in the practice of necromancy, as ghost, shade, spirit, phantom, etc.) is the soul, spirit, or imprint of a deceased person that appears within the realm of the living. Apparitions in literature often range from visual to auditory and are often linked to “haunting” certain locations, objects, or people that had significant meaning to them while they were alive.

Why they’re intriguing: Ghosts may seem like an overly “obvious” trope, but I can count on less than one hand the amount of quality YA paranormal ghost stories I’ve read. Sure, it’s a broad topic, but the beauty of that is there is SO much that can be done with them, and the rules are really endless. Many cultures view ghosts as multi-dimensional, with certain spirits being malevolent and others being benevolent and even beneficial to those still alive, such as guardians/ancestor worship. Thus a novel or series focusing on ghosts could have a multitude of characters with a myriad of motivations. I’d love to read about ghosts that were perhaps guardian spirits rather than the typical spooky kind. On a more critical level, a focus on ghosts in a paranormal novel can dig deeper into more psychological themes via ghost and human interaction, such as why humans so fear the idea of the return of someone to the material world in a non-material form.

Recommended Reading: The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

Doppelgängers

What they are: A look alike or double of a living person, they almost always signify bad luck or evil intent.

Why they’re intriguing: A theme that’s quite common in classic literature (Jekyll and Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc), the idea of a doppelgänger is one that I find significantly eerie. It’s one thing to be confronted by a paranormal phenomenon, but to be confronted by one that’s essentially oneself…that brings a whole separate layer of disturbing to a plot. Yet this is why the convention of a doppelgänger in literature is so compelling. A doppelgänger could be the ultimate foil or compliment to a protagonist, or reveal deep truths about characters more subconscious motivations as they’re forced to
confront their “shadow selves.” While I’ve hardly seen doppelgängers as plot elements in YA literature, I believe they could bring about paranormal stories that also delve into a more psychological aspect. It’s a trope that could lend itself outside of the paranormal genre as well, such as magical realism or even contemporary.

Recommended Reading: The Vampire Diaries series by L. J. Smith or The Lying Game by Sarah Shepard

Sirens

What they are: Often confused with mermaids, traditional sirens were dangerous and beautiful creatures who lived on an island, luring sailors to shipwreck on their coasts with their singing. They were often believed to be bird-women hybrids who used their musical powers to lead men to their deaths (somewhat reminiscent of the veela in Harry Potter).

Why They’re Intriguing: There’s no ambiguity where sirens are concerned in mythology: they’re dangerous. Whether their primal natures are manifested through a mermaid or land creature-based storyline, a true siren’s intentions would be the antithesis to a typical YA protagonist. A siren story would be the perfect opportunity for a YA novel to have an antagonist as a character. Plus, a siren-centered story would also set the stage for the power of music to be highlighted in all of its forms, from its use as a seductive force to a scary one (does anyone else get chills thinking about the siren song from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides?) Sirens are also a gender-specific paranormal creature (all being female) and thus could be used to explore a matriarchal structure in both character development and the way the story is developed. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to hear of any YA interpretations of sirens that fall outside of the mermaid realm.

Recommended Reading: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown. (I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet myself, but it looks as though it stays true to sirens’ more sinister mythological origins).

Chimera

What they are: Popular in Greek mythology, a chimera is a monstrous creature composed of the parts of multiple animals.


Why They’re Intriguing:
When mixed with human traits, chimera make fascinating characters. They’re practically limitless when it comes to creating them, and thus could function as antagonist or protagonist, evil or good (or both). Chimera appear in fairytales as well (such as Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast) and can transition a paranormal story into a rich fantasy world. Chimera are perhaps the most creatively challenging paranormal creatures to write, as there are less traditional “rules” in how society typically expects them to be portrayed. Authors like Laini Taylor have run wonderfully wild with chimera as both main and secondary characters in their stories.

Recommended Reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


The amount of paranormal creatures to be featured in literature is undoubtably plentiful, yet the same stories seem to get recycled over and over once they’re deemed “on-trend” and the YA market develops a taste for them. Has this caused you to burn out on the paranormal genre? Did any of these lesser-used options surprise you or peak your interest? Do you have recommendations for novels featuring any of these tropes? My Halloween TBR is ready and waiting for your thoughts and suggestions!

CONNECT WITH CRISTINA
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Thanks, Cristina! This was such a fun post. I absolutely loved it and totally agree with you!! I love the different paranormal creatures/characters and I’m a bit burned out on vampires, werewolves, and zombies myself! I really enjoyed Lies Beneath and the narrator for the audio is one of my favorites! <3

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Book Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Meri Kate from Hydrangeas and Sass)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Meri Kate from Hydrangeas and Sass is sharing a book review for WELCOME TO THE DARK HOUSE!


Hello! I am here today to tell you about a fun Halloween read, Welcome to the Dark House. I love all things to do with Halloween. I love the costumes, horror movies and books, and the candy. So I am really excited to be here today with a quick little review.

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Book Review: Welcome to the Dark House (Meri Kate from Hydrangeas and Sass)Title: Welcome to the Dark House (Dark House #1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Publishing Info: July 22, 2014 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Library
Genres: Young Adult, Horror
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 14, 2014

What’s your worst nightmare?
For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.
And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.
Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.
Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.
By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

 

The book revolves around our heroine Ivy Jensen and six others who enter an essay contest to meet a famous horror director, Justin Blake, and go behind the scenes of his latest project. For the essay, they are asked to write about their worst nightmare. Ivy along with the other six contestants are all whisked away to stay in a spooky-looking house together where they’re promised the behind the scenes look. Their hostess resembles one of the serial killers from Blake’s movies and there is a night elf lurking about. By the time Ivy realizes she needs to really worry, it’s far too late.

This book takes you through different points-of-view as you progress through the story. We experience the house and events unwinding in it through the eyes of six different characters. While sometimes this got a little irritating, usually when they switched to a character I wasn’t all that fond of, it never got in the way of my experiencing the story like some books in this same style can. I did like our heroine. She really grew on me as I read the book. I enjoyed her potential love interest, Parker, as well. This book does read like a lot of horror movies do and we don’t really get to know or care for most of the characters. We get a little bit of back story, basically to explain their nightmares, but we don’t get much. Thanks to this, when some of the characters died/disappeared, I didn’t care too much. The introduction to the characters and the whole Justin Blake premise does take up half the book. The other half though is filled with horror movie-like kills. Overall I found the book to be enjoyable and gave it 3 out of 5 night elves.


Thanks, Meri Kate! I thought this book sounded SO interesting… but maybe a bit too scary for me haha! 

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Apple Bundt Cake Recipe (Lena from I Love Books Club)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Lena from I Love Books Club is sharing a fun recipe with us for her favorite apple bundt cake!


Lena’s Apple Bundt Cake Recipe

Hi Everyone!  I’m Lena from I Love Books ClubI am super-excited to share my favorite fall recipe, (Philadelphia-Style) Apple Bundt Cake, with you guys.  I found this recipe a long time ago in the Relish magazine in Frederick News Post (or Washington Post), and decided to try it. It was so tasty, and relatively easy to make.

First, you need a bundt pan. Make sure you grease the pan with butter and flour. Preheat your oven to 350F.

apple bundt cake 1 Second, the Apples! You will need about 3 to 4 apples, thinly sliced.  Use whatever kind of apples that you like best. I used Honeycrisp in this cake.  Mix in 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon with the sliced apples, then put aside. 

2

Third, combine all of the following in one bowl: 

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fourth, you layer batter, apples, batter, apples, and batter in the bundt pan.

  • First layer: about 1/3 of the batter.
  • Second Layer: Apples

3     4

Do those steps (above) two more times. Make sure the apples are covered when you do this last layer of batter. Right now, your cake should look something like this

5

Put the cake in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes. Make sure the cake is cooked all the way through. The cake will be pretty moist because of apple slices. In the original recipe, it tells you to wait ten minutes before flipping the bundt cake over.  I would wait about 15 to 20 minutes instead. I waited ten minutes, and my cake broke a little as I flipped it over. 

Also, when you flip the cake over, use a plate. Just put the plate on top of the bundt pan, and flipped it over. Plus, now you don’t have to worry about transferring it over to a new dish, because it’s already on one (yay). 

6

I give you my famous Apple Bundt Cake!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can eat this cake for breakfast ☺ and it has fruit in it, so it’s mostly healthy. You can check out the original recipe, here.

Have a wonderful rest of the fall season!


Thanks, Lena! That looks absolutely delicious! I definitely want to try out your recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing with us!