Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary October: Villisca Axe Murder House

In celebration of my favorite month, October, I'm featuring a different scary story every Friday. I've saved the best for last. This creepy house will stay with you long after you've heard the story:

The title of the house gives away the ending to this disturbing story, but we'll start at the beginning, anyway. Located in Villisca, Iowa, this house was home to the Moore family, which included Josiah and Sarah Moore and their four children. They are pictured here with two of those children:

On the evening of June 9, 1912, the family attended church, bringing home two young friends who were spending the night. The group of eight walked home, arriving at approximately 10 p.m., and were never seen alive again.

The next morning, a neighbor noticed the family had not yet begun their chores. Since the doors to the home were locked, she got Josiah's brother to unlock the door. Overnight, someone had murdered all eight with an axe, covered every mirror in the house, and crept out without being noticed.

To this day, the case has never been solved. Visitors to the house, which is open to tours, report hearing children's voices and seeing objects move and fall over. Photos, videos, and audio recordings have supposedly captured volumes of evidence. There are so many, the Villisca Axe Murder House page simply links to a YouTube channel as evidence.

It has been a fun month! I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween. In case you missed any of my Scary October stories, here they are:

Scary October will be back in 2016! Do you have any places you'd like to see mentioned in next year's posts?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Best Books of October

It's the end of the month, which means it's time to share all of the great books I read this month.

Usually I do this on the last Friday of the month, but this month my Fridays are dedicated to "Scary October" posts. So we're doing this one a little early. But posting two days early didn't stop me from getting seven books read this month!

We're nearing Halloween, so I'll bet you're in the mood for something scary to read. I mentioned this book earlier this month, but now I get to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it!

In The Holler Witch, a six-year-old girl is called to the deathbed of a woman known as "Holler Witch." There's a reason she's been called there. This young girl has something special...and it's the same thing the Holler Witch has. But before she can leave, she must overcome her fears and accept the gift the dying woman has for her. This book feels both sweetly nostalgic and subtly spooky at the same time. This is the perfect horror story--dark and scary without being violent.

My next read for October is a boatload of books from Kristina Springer. I have to first say that my one of my life's goals is to read every book this awesome writer has written. I got a good start this month with this young adult box set:

You can also buy the books individually, starting with Just Your Average Princess. But with this box set, you get three super-awesome books in one! Every book is a standalone story about a group of teens living in a town called Average. The first story revolves around a pumpkin farm, while the second story is about a girl who signs up to allow the popular girls to date her boyfriend. The third story has students playing paparazzi and celebrities as part of a class project. All three books are way above average. You must read these books! You can get the whole box set for just $6.99.

My next book is by a blogger most of you know already. He's the one who brought most of us together! Alex J. Cavanaugh is not just a talented blogger and supportive friend, but he's a world-class writer, too. I read the first in his series, Cassastar.

I've never read a space opera before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. If I had to offer a comparison, I would compare CassaStar to Starship Troopers, a movie I really liked when it first came out. Now I'm wondering if I've missed out by not reading space opera before. CassaStar tells the story of a young space fighter who has extraordinary abilities and the struggles he faces in dealing with authority. While it may be set in space, I think its themes cross all genres. Alex is an amazing writer...if you haven't read this one, it's time to check it out!

The next book is a memoir by another favorite blogger of ours. You may know Anna Mullins from her blog about her life's adventures, but did you know there's a book, too?

After reading Confessions of a Crazy Fox, I officially know more about Anna Mullins than any other blogger. I know her entire life history! How can you beat that? This book--and books like it--are essential. They are the last memories of a very special time in our nation's history. Anna covers the tight family bonds that can sometimes lead to tensions. She takes us through the many ups and downs of her life in a way that only a talented storyteller can. I hope she'll move on to another book--perhaps a fictional tale about a girl growing up in the 50s? Maybe it's just that I love the 50s and can't read enough about that decade!

SK Anthony's Static is my next book. You probably know SK from her great blog, but I love her books just as much as her blog! Static is the sequel to Kinetic, a book I read earlier this year. But you don't have to read the first book to enjoy this one.

I love the way S.K. ended this book! I won't give anything away, but it promises an exciting Book Three, that's all I'll say. This book has it all: action, sci-fi, and romance--a love triangle, to be more exact. I was rooting for Kevin to get together with one of the two females...but then S.K. broke my heart! She redeemed it at the end, though, so all is good. This book will take you for a roller-coaster ride of emotions, which is what I call a great book!

That's it for October. What's the best book you read this month?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Introducing Snow on Cinders by Cathrina Constantine

I love Cathrina Constantine's writing, so I'm excited that she has a new book. This one has a cover that just makes me crave the magic of winter! The book is Snow on Cinders and it's brand new. Here's the beautiful cover:

And here's all you need to know about it before you click over and download your own copy!


How far would you go to protect your family?

A peculiar metamorphosis has taken shape since the final days. And the planet is in the throes of healing.

Fulvio McTullan leads his family and a band of misfits to form a new settlement, far from Tallas and it’s nefarious Elites. Their journey takes them into uncharted territories where strange creatures are lurking. It’s a battle of survival, not only from the creatures, but the mutated earth as well.

Meanwhile, Pomfrey Addler, an oppressive Elite squashes the insurrection in Tallas. Suddenly, citizens begin to vanish in the middle of the night and his daughter, Paniess is hell bent on revenge.

Fraught with mishaps, Fulvio finally locates the perfect place to settle. They begin to rebuild until they receive a call. A call which will lure them back into the clutches of Tallas.


Cathrina Constantine resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and two cats. Author @BlackOpalBooks & @CHBB_Vamptasy. Her current books: WICKEDLY THEY COME, WICKEDLY THEY DREAM, TALLAS, And her newest novel from @CHHB_Vamptasy DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE. 

When not with her family or stationed at the computer writing, you will find her walking in the backwoods with her dogs, conjuring up a new tale.

Contact info:

Monday, October 26, 2015

How Old Is Too Old to Trick or Treat?

Every year during the weeks leading up to Halloween, a question pops up on Facebook. It almost always leads to a heated discussion. The question? "How old is too old to trick or treat?"

The overwhelming majority of people believe there should be no age limit. They have two reasons for this: 1) we're all kids at heart and 2) they would rather people be trick or treating than playing pranks and causing trouble.

Some say as long as they have a costume (or at least some facsimile of a costume), they'll hand over candy. But all too often these too-old trick or treaters are easily identified by their complete lack of a costume.

Apparently, however, if you do trick or treat as a teen, you should be prepared to be confronted by an annoyed homeowner at some point. That may seem wrong, but it's actually against local ordinances in some states to trick or treat after a certain age.

The reason for the ban is the very same thing I've been arguing for about three years with these people. You see, I lived in a neighborhood that was in rapid decline. After the 2010 flood, you could buy a house there for $80K, so some shady elements were moving in. Those shady elements had no problem letting their teens roam the streets all day. On Halloween, those teens came out without a costume, grocery bag in hand, cell phone pressed to one ear as they held the bag toward you and waited for you to fill it with candy.

Age bans were passed because senior citizens and single moms expressed concerns that strange, lurking men were knocking on their doors and expecting them to open them. My personal fear, since the front door at my old house pretty much showed off the entire house, was that one of these un-costumed teens was scoping out my house. Crazy? Maybe...but you have to admit, Halloween is the one night a year that just about everyone will open the door to anyone who knocks.

Or will they? Over time, as more and more people accept uncostumed adults on Halloween night, more and more people will be doing this:

Which sucks because THIS is so much fun!

Does your city have age limits on trick or treating?