#Badtime Stories – A brilliant book project for kids & adults

 

Bedtime is a bad time for Jacob and Jacob but nightmares are the least of their worries.

Badtime Stories contains 50 bite-sized tales of gothic fantasy, chillingly illustrated throughout by Carl Pugh. The stories feature twins called Jacob and Jacob as they do their best to stay awake or escape their room in a world where shadows have a life of their own and clowns live in the wardrobes. There are peculiar characters such as Nurse Mariam, a gardener called Cloister, a babysitter called Balthazar, an order of nuns known as the Also Sisters, and a father made entirely of ash who lives in an urn. Try as they might, the twins’ efforts are thwarted by some strange new terror and sleep always wins.

Dom Conlon and Carl Pugh have been working together for over 20 years as a creative team producing brand strategy for video games including Resident Evil, Dead Rising, and Devil May Cry. Their fertile imaginations have fed upon the world around them and grown to the point where Badtime Stories began to take on a life of its own. Though short, each story is packed with detail hinting at a wider, stranger world in which anything can happen – however surreal.

The book is for children and adults wanting something deliciously dark but never gruesome or disturbing and always with a wicked sense of humour. It is in the tradition of fairy tales from a time when children could go walking in forests, talk to woodcutters and even have their thumbs cut off. There are pledge levels ranging from the book to individual portraiture and special editions and your support is vital.

To support Badtime Stories click here.

#Halloween #BookReview Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers

Ghosts of Manor House

As many of you will already know, I’m a lover of grand ghost  stories in haunted houses, so I was delighted when Matt asked me to review Ghosts of Manor House. Even the name is delightfully creepy.

A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.

Best Read

Ghosts of Manor House is best read by flickering candlelight while drinking a steaming cup of tea.

 

My Thoughts on the Ghosts of Manor House

Edmund and Mary, along with their daughter Stephanie find their lives at a standstill after the loss of their son, Tommy. Mary receives an invitation to mysterious Manor House,  where Edmund will work on his novel and the family will repair their relationships. It’s clear from the beginning that the whole family, but especially Mary are desperately grieving, adding another dark dimension to the story.

Edmund goes to Manor House ahead of his family to work on his writing, but all is not as it seems. Manor House has a dark history, that slowly reveals itself to Edmund through his writing, which reminded me of The Shining.  Mr. Travers, the giant oak tree overshadowing the grand house and gardens is a firm part of the house’s disturbing history. I loved the way Mr. Travers was treated as a character and a key element of the story.

Along with the surreal, creepy going-ons in Manor House, the historical back story adds an extra layer of horror to the tale. The book reaches a shocking climax when Edmund finds out exactly what Manor House is hiding.

The only little negative is that it could have been a teeny,  bit creeper,  but then I am probably de-sensitised by the amount of horror I read and watch!  I really enjoyed this book and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of Matt’s work.

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If you’re looking for a creepy, surreal Halloween read, definitely check it out!

To purchase Ghosts of Manor House click here.

About the Author

Ghosts of Manor House
Matt is the author and creator of Ghosts of Manor House and Senior Producer at Zynga. Computers and video games have been a part of his life since he was young. As a child, he always played video games and when he was ten, his Dad told him that he should try making his own. And so he taught himself to program and create games on the computer. He majored in Computer Science and enjoys working with a team of creative people. Matt has a passion for books and finds writing to be a great way to release his inner creativity.

Matt lives and works in the busy and vibrant metropolis of San Francisco where he is surrounded by extraordinary views of the ocean. He loves how the city is filled with a variety of people and activities – there is always something to do and new to see. In addition to San Francisco, Matt spends a lot of time in Grass Valley with friends and family where he can escape the concrete jungle for the relative calm of this gold mining sierra town. This is where the characters and story of Ghosts came to life.

He loves to write because he can use his wacky and twisted imagination to create interesting characters that he brings to life on paper. Matt’s writing process with Ghosts started with a concept, “write a creepy haunted house story.” Ideas became scenes, which became characters that created a story. Matt made a deal with Manor House to tell its tale and so he did, but at what price?

To learn more about Matt Powers and Ghosts of Manor House Visit:

Twitter and Instagram: @ghostsofmanorhouse

Website: www.ghostsofmanorhouse.com

The History of Halloween

Today in the spirit of Halloween ? ,  I have a special guest post from author Ashley Franz Holman.

The complete history of Halloween is a complicated one.

The modern, secular version is ironic, as the progression from superstition, Roman traditions, Celtic holiday, Christianity, and then finally to commercialism has given Halloween an interesting flavor.

 
Those familiar with Ovid may know of Feralia, which was a Roman holiday commemorating the dead and is often cited as an influence on what would become Halloween.
What is interesting about Feralia standing out as a primary influence is that most cultures have had similar traditions regarding death and the remembrance of ancestors.
Samhain, the Celtic and Pagan tradition is often considered to be the largest influence on the modern holiday.
It took place during the fall. There were monsters and demons that showed themselves only on that day. It was a magical time.
While the modern traditions for Halloween are mostly secular in nature, it was the Catholic church’s decision to create an alternative to Samhain with All Saints/Souls Day.
Over the centuries, bits of all of the world’s traditions found a place to mix in the melting pot that was America.
By the early 1900s, something resembling Trick or Treating started to catch steam. There was a lull during the sugar rationing of the Second World War, but once the Americans returned from fighting Halloween was one of the traditions that made the country feel normal again.

There’s something very human about the tradition of Halloween. Our obsessions with death, our desires to be remembered. Fear of monsters and the unknown.

Check out more of Ashley’s writing here on Ashley’s website.

Check out Vice and Virtues, a Horror anthology presented by Ashley on Amazon. The perfect ? Halloween read ?!

 

The Lodgers 2017 ? ?

Anyone who knows me, will know I have a fondness for a gothic tale, whether in book or movie form.

When I heard that there was a gothic ghost story being filmed in Loftus Hall, I was intrigued. Loftus Hall is a genuinely spooky spot and the perfect location for a ? ghost story.

The trailer looks deliciously creepy! I’m dying to see this movie filmed in Ireland’s most haunted house. The film will go on general release in early 2018.

What are your thoughts? Will you be going to see The Lodgers? ????

Purple Pumpkin Patch ? – Halloween & Fairytale Jewellery

When I received a package from The Purple Pumpkin Patch, I was absolutely thrilled! Thanks so much to Pumpkin Patch creator Elaine !

I received not only one, but two pairs of the cutest Halloween earrings I’ve ever seen! I love Halloween so much that I will wear these all year round! Also my main character in my book is a witch, so the little witch earrings will definitely come in handy!

The Purple Pumpkin Patch features Irish handmade jewellery inspired by nature and fairytales. There are also seasonal pieces made, particularly for Halloween and Christmas. Jewellery includes charm bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces. Custom orders can be facilitated.

As well as jewellery, handmade floral crowns and slides are also available. These can be custom made for festivals, weddings and other occasions. The owner can make matching sets for adults and children and the children’s bracelet  has the option of coming with a small bottle of fairy dust!!

To visit the Pumpkin Patch Etsy store click here.

Prices start at just €5 and all Halloween earrings are €5! I am a massive Halloween ? fan and a massive Disney fan, so I love all the pieces in the Purple Pumpkin Patch Etsy store.

Below are some of my favourite picks!

My first picks are the Beauty and the Beast inspired silver enchanted rose ring and the charm bracelet. Who  could resist?

Silver Rose Ring
Beauty and the Beast inspired charm bracelet

Up next is another Disney inspired piece. Tinkerbell has always been one of my favourite Disney character so this caught my eye immediately.

 

Tinkerbelle-inspired-necklace

For the ? unicorn fans, there is this gorgeous necklace.

? Unicorn necklace

The Pumpkin Patch can make lots of different custom charm bracelets, but my pick had to be the Halloween charm bracelet.

Halloween ? charm bracelet

To see more of the cute and reasonable pieces visit The Purple Pumpkin Patch Etsy store.