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  • Monique Snyman
  • August 13, 2019 08:54:57 AM
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The official website of Monique Snyman, author of Muti Nation, a horror novel set in South Africa, and the Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, The Night Weaver.

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Friday Favorites: Creepy Christmas Thrills

It’s time for some creepy Christmas thrills on this week’s Friday Favorites! Look, I’ll be honest, Christmas is my favorite time of year (yes, even more than Halloween), but the usual feel-good films get on my nerves after a while. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. Luckily, there are more than enough horror...

It’s time for some creepy Christmas thrills on this week’s Friday Favorites! Look, I’ll be honest, Christmas is my favorite time of year (yes, even more than Halloween), but the usual feel-good films get on my nerves after a while. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. Luckily, there are more than enough horror films set around the Christmas season that’ll give you those much-needed scares.

If you’re looking for something a little more book-oriented, do check out my Holiday Scares book list. You may just find the perfect gift in there for a special someone. 😉

Creepy Christmas Thrills

Krampus (2015)

Based on European folklore, Krampus—who is a horned beast that punishes naughty children—is filled with more than enough chills and some exceptional thrills to hold you over for a while. Add in a dysfunctional family that’s, no doubt, going on the naughty list, and you’ve got yourself a real winner. Be prepared for some jump scares in this one, and a satisfying ending. 🙂

Black Christmas (1974)

A pillar for Christmas horror films, Black Christmas is a classic film that has stood the test of time. A group of sorority sisters begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls, which, of course, leads one to egg the caller on. She stops, however, when he responds threateningly. Soon, one girl goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. The thing is, nobody realizes just how near the culprit is …

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night, Deadly Night is all about Santa turning homicidal. Billy Chapmen, who was orphaned at five after witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of a dude in a Santa suit on Christmas Eve, is all grown up and out of the brutal grip of orphanage nuns. Billy, however, is forced to confront his greatest fear, which sends him on a rampage that leaves a whole lot of bodies in his wake. If you’re looking for some ho-ho-horror, this might be the one for you.

Elves (1989)

Elves is probably not for everyone, but it’ll be right up the alley of those who’re looking for a bizarre seasonal horror film. The ridiculous plot concerns the efforts of a group of neo-Nazis, who wants to bring about the Fourth Reich by mating one of Santa Claus’ elves with a pretty teenaged waitress … Whoever said Christmas isn’t magical, don’t know what they’re talking about …

Gremlins (1984)

Ah, yes, now we’re getting to everyone’s favorite! In case you haven’t seen it, though, Gremlins is a cute, cuddly movie for the entire family, with some soft-horror elements thrown into boot. It’s an excellent flick for the kiddies, especially if you’re systematically trying to introduce them to the genre, and has become a contemporary Christmas classic. Definitely give it a watch if you want to dip your toe into some Christmas horror flicks, but don’t want to go completely AGHHHH!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Another family favorite, although I think most people watch The Nightmare Before Christmas during Halloween (we are not those people, though). This animated Tim Burton flick is visually wonderful, has The Gringe type of vibes, and is just plain old magical, even if there are some soft-horror elements in it. We watch it every year, because even though we love guts and gore, there’s still a childlike part of me that wants the magic of Christmas to last forever.


There are quite a few other Christmas horror films you may want to check out, including: Silent Night (2012), The Children (2008), and To All a Good Night (1980). Some are better than others, so be warned.

And that’s it from me. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas! Remember to be safe on the roads, too. 🙂

Season’s greetings,

Monique

P.S. If you’re a young adult, maybe just get your parents’ permission before you watch some of these movies.



What’s New Wednesday #17: We Thrive In Darkness

It’s time for another edition of What’s New Wednesday, and this week I’ll be talking all about how we thrive in darkness. The “we” in this case are none other than South Africans, who’re experiencing (once again) government sanctioned blackouts (we call it Load Shedding), due to incompetence. Yup. That so happens. But to...

It’s time for another edition of What’s New Wednesday, and this week I’ll be talking all about how we thrive in darkness. The “we” in this case are none other than South Africans, who’re experiencing (once again) government sanctioned blackouts (we call it Load Shedding), due to incompetence. Yup. That so happens. But to rub salt in the wound of having to prepare for a possible involuntary candlelit Christmas dinner and going into the New Year with darkness as your only friend, they (Eskom—the electricity provider in this so-called capable country of ours) are asking for a 15% price hike again. In other words, we’re paying for services we’re just not getting. Pretty awesome, right?

Ah, well … As the saying goes: “This is Africa.”

Still, darkness can be inspiring; darkness can be an obsession. I mean, take a look at horror authors and voila. They thrive in darkness (whether it’s an external or internal darkness), and basically live for the stuff. See?

So, sit back and enjoy this week’s What’s New Wednesday, where I delve into darkness.

We Thrive in Darkness

Books

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Last time you heard from me, I told you all about the books I plan to read for the rest of the year. Well, it’s going slower than I intended, because apparently shiny things grab my attention. *sigh* Still, I’m working through them systematically, while I continue to add to my TBR pile.

I’m currently in the midst of reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and it’s intriguing (imagine a film in book form—not a screenplay, an actual film—and there you have it). It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I already notice a type of genius in the writing of this book.

The Toll by Cherie Priest is another book I currently have on my reading list—I’m going in blind on this one, but I’ve heard some good things.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw caught my attention because of its tagline: “Be careful of the dark, dark wood …” Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that’s kinda my jam. I love a story about creepy woods. So, I’m looking forward to this one.

Last, but not least, The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring is on my TBR. I hear it’s a gothic tale, which screams dark, but that’s about all I know. So, here’s to hoping it’s as good as I hope it is.

TV Shows

There aren’t a lot of new shows on my watch list at the moment, but the 2 shows that are have both fully captured my attention. They kind of thrive in darkness, too, which is kind of perfect for this week’s theme …

Truth Be Told, an Apple TV show, is all kinds of perfect. Not only do most of my favorite actors star in this show (Octavia Spencer is a gem, Lizzie Caplan is becoming one of my favorite TV actresses, and everyone loves Aaron Paul), but it’s filling my little crime-show-lovin’ heart with its twisty plot. Definitely give that a watch when you have a moment.

Then there’s The Servant, which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Now, this one’s a bit heavier, revolves around loss, grief, and there’s a spin on it, but, I don’t know how to explain it, really. It’s a good show, don’t get me wrong. The cinematography may not be for everyone (it’s very “in your face”, which makes it feel kind of voyeuristic), and I’m interested to see where it goes, but again … it’s a bit heavy.

Dark Bits

The Night Weaver News

So, I actually kind of forgot to mention this piece of wonderful news (I tend to put this stuff out of my mind, because if I don’t, I set myself up for heartache), but what the hell. The Night Weaver was long-listed for the OZMA Book Awards, which recognize emerging talent and outstanding works in the genre of Fantasy Fiction. The OZMA Book Awards is a genre division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards (The #CIBAs).

It’s big news and I’m incredibly grateful to be on the long list with all those amazing authors, but I’m always so worried I’m not good enough … *sigh* Still, I thought you deserved to know. 🙂

The Horror Writer News

It looks like the final edits for The Horror Writer: A Study of Craft and Identity in the Horror Genre is almost complete! I’ve seen the TOC and phew, some great authors are in that bad boy … and my essay is in there, too! AHHHH! I can’t tell you anymore than that yet, but I will as soon as I get the go-ahead from Hellbound Books. In the meantime, I’m freaking out because it’s such a cool book and I can’t say anything. Grrrr.

Soul’s Day Boxed-Set Progress

*huffs* I wanted to be done with one of the two stories for this project already, but do you think I can find the time to just sit and write? Nope. I’m halfway done with the first story, and I’m freaking in love with it, but it’s taking way too long now. As for the second story … That’s brewing, too. And it’s simmering something wonderful in the back of my mind, but I can’t get to it until story #1 is done, and *grumbles incoherently*.

I seem to be a typical writer sometimes, which is so frustrating.

Don’t worry, I’ll be done in time. Like I’ve said, I thrive in darkness, so it’ll be finished before you know it. 🙂

In the Kitchen


Okay, so technically this doesn’t really count towards the “thrive in darkness” theme I’ve got going on this week, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I’ve been doing quite a lot of canning lately, which I always seem to do this time of year. Granted, you never know when the lights will go out around here, and I’m not in the mood to worry about making dinner, so that’s one of the reasons to keep my pantry filled up with preserves.

So far, this month, I’ve made watermelon jam, watermelon rind preserves, pickled onions, and pickled cucumbers. I still plan on making strawberry jam, blueberry jam, there’s a whole lot of pineapples that needs preserving (jam? just plain ole canned pineapples? pickled pineapples? I dunno), and then I’m thinking of making mango chutney.

So, I’m a busy bee in there, these days.

If you’re looking for some recipes for your own canning adventures, I suggest checking out my Pinterest Board regarding Homemade Preserves. I usually pin the recipes I intend to make on there. 🙂

Other Dark Things

I bet you’re wondering what else you can expect from the website this year. Well, not much other than the usual What’s New Wednesday and Friday Favorites posts. That being said, my yearly wrap-up will be published near the end of the month, where I’ll be talking about how this year’s affected me (yes, the good, the bad, and the ugly will be discussed). It’s been one helluva ride, so be on the lookout for that one.


And there you have it, another What’s New Wednesday has come to an end. As you can see, I thrive in darkness, and so can you. Just keep busy, keep moving forward, try not to dwell on the negatives (I’ll get into that in the wrap-up), and maybe—if luck’s on your side—that’ll make things a little better.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to check in before long, but in case I don’t …

Happy holidays!

Monique



10 Scary Holiday Reads

With the holidays running up to meet us, I’m sure you’re already dreading the usual cheeriness … Well, I’ve got some scary holiday reads you absolutely have to put on your TBR list. They’re gory and fun and perfect for the discerning  holiday reader who’s already had their fill of soppy holiday movies and...

With the holidays running up to meet us, I’m sure you’re already dreading the usual cheeriness … Well, I’ve got some scary holiday reads you absolutely have to put on your TBR list. They’re gory and fun and perfect for the discerning  holiday reader who’s already had their fill of soppy holiday movies and Michael Bublé and just want to embrace the madness of winter.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

These scary holiday reads also make for great stocking fillers, especially if you have a reader you’d like to treat in the season of giving!

10 Scary Holiday Reads

Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom

Set in Appalachia, Krampus the Yule Lord is a twisted fairytale about a failed West Virginia songwriter who gets ensnared on Christmas Eve in an eternal war between a not-so-saintly Saint Nick and his dark enemy Krampus, aka Black Peter, an ancient trickster demon. Krampus the Yule Lord is Gregory Maguire (Wicked) meets Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) in the realm of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, as Clive Barker (Mr. B. Gone) works his dark sorcery from the shadows. Once again featuring Brom’s chillingly beautiful artwork throughout, Krampus the Yule Lord is a feast of wonder straight from the kitchen of Sweeney Todd.

A Midnight Clear

Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books. A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.

Where the Dead go to Die by Aaron Dries & Mark Allan Gunnells

There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it’s time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.

Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.

Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.

Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.

It won’t be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.

Santa Took Them by William Malmborg

Christmas Eve 2005. Eight year old Michelle Harper is the only survivor in a horrific massacre that has left her four siblings decapitated, and her mother slowly dying as her innards ooze out onto the second floor landing, the words SANTA TOOK THEM written in blood on the bedroom wall.

Ten years later, having been released from a psychiatric hospital for children, Michelle disappears, her uncle and his girlfriend found hacked to death with a knife before being decapitated, the words SANTA TOOK THEM once again written in blood on the wall.

Dr. Samantha Loomis had no plans for the holidays, and was hoping to spend the time simply relaxing in her home. That all changes when the police begin asking her questions about Michelle, questions that make it fairly clear that they believe her to be guilty of the recent slayings.

No one in Holly Brook, IL has forgotten the horror that unfolded on Christmas Eve all those years ago, and now, as a terrifying blizzard descends upon the small isolated town, and teens begin disappearing one by one, it looks as if that gruesome night was only the beginning.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?
 
In the sleepy town of Milburn, New York, four old men gather to tell each other stories—some true, some made-up, all of them frightening. A simple pastime to divert themselves from their quiet lives.

But one story is coming back to haunt them and their small town. A tale of something they did long ago. A wicked mistake. A horrifying accident. And they are about to learn that no one can bury the past forever…

Snowblind by Michael McBride

They come at night.

Forward.

A stranger staggers out of the wilderness under the cover of a blizzard and stumbles into a diner full of people. He collapses in the entryway, unzips his jacket, and allows the object hidden inside to fall out. Screaming commences.

Down.

Four old college buddies embark upon their annual elk hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains. This promises to be their last, for the passage of time is as merciless and unpredictable as the Colorado weather. And they’re not alone.

Help.

There are other hunters in the mountains, stalking game of a different breed. They know exactly what they’re doing, because they’ve been hunting in these woods for a long, long time. And no one ever survives to betray their existence.

I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas by Adam Roberts

Marley was dead. Again.

The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns!

Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town?

Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde?

Was Tiny Tim’s illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero?

It’s the Dickensian Zombie Apocalypse – God Bless us, one and all!

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness.

Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.

When the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape.

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads. It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice. They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination. One is well-documented – the other untested, but rumoured to be shorter.

Donner’s decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him. The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations. Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the natural elements, to something more primal and far more deadly.

Based on the true story of the Donner Party, The Hunger is an eerie, shiver-inducing exploration of human nature, pushed to its breaking point.

The Shining by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.


Want more bookish recommendations? Check out some of my other bookish lists:



Friday Favorites: Happy Thanks-Killing!

Happy Thanks-Killing! Yes, it’s my new holiday, inspired by the first film on this Friday Favorites‘ list. 🙂 Seeing as Thanksgiving is coming up for Americans, I thought it was only fair to create a holiday for myself. And what better way to celebrate a holiday than with some horror movies that’ll entertain you...

Happy Thanks-Killing! Yes, it’s my new holiday, inspired by the first film on this Friday Favorites‘ list. 🙂 Seeing as Thanksgiving is coming up for Americans, I thought it was only fair to create a holiday for myself. And what better way to celebrate a holiday than with some horror movies that’ll entertain you in all the right ways?

Of course, all my American pals are more than welcome to partake in this splendid feast for the eyes. 🙂 I’m not a monster, you know? Well, not always. 😉

Happy Thanks-Killing!

ThanksKilling (2008)

What is better than sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying the massive turkey that your hostess slaved over for hours upon hours? Well, a possessed turkey, of course, out for revenge! ThanksKilling is hilarious, dark, and probably one of the best movies ever created. It has its faults, sure, but take it for what it is—a film with entertainment value. Besides, one can never have too many puns stocked up for family get-togethers.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Not everyone likes turkey for Thanksgiving … I hear it’s dry (I’ve never eaten turkey before, so I wouldn’t know), and somewhat of an acquired taste. Don’t fret! I have you covered with Lloyd Kaufman’s Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, which is exactly what it sounds like—ghost chickens coming back for revenge. 🙂 And boy, oh, boy, what fun it is! Definitely check this one out if you’re in the mood for a laugh and a shudder.

Blood Freak (1972)

Yes, we all have family we don’t really like or understand, and those get-togethers are very stressful for some. But what if it was worse? What if the turkey you ate was an experimental lab-grown turkey? What if that transformed you into something …? Well, in Blood Freak, they explore some of those questions. It’s fun, perfect for the holidays everyone seems to dread. Why not give it a shot if you haven’t already seen it?

Feed (2005)

Afraid that you’ll over-indulge this Thanksgiving season? Good thing I have the perfect deterrent … Feed is a film that explores the over-feeding fetish. Though, it’s probably considered an exploitation film in some circles, I have to say it does make a person reconsider that second or third helping of mashed-potatoes and gravy. If, however, this didn’t help your insatiable hunger, I’ll advise you to get your hands on a good pair of sweats with a lot of stretch in them. You know, just in case you don’t want your button popping off and blinding one of those annoying family members.

Due to there being nudity in the trailer, I’m not going to post it. Use your imagination (or Google).

Intensity (1997)

A disturbed woman is just trying to enjoy a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner with her friends when the holiday is cut short by, you guessed it, a serial killer. Dum dum duuuuum. Being the lone survivor, she soon learns that the man has a young girl held hostage, and she becomes hell-bent on saving her life. Intensity is perfect if you like a bit more meat to your Thanks-Killing horror films.

Kristy (2014)

One of the newer films on the list, Kristy is a film about a college student who finds herself alone at school over Thanksgiving break, and soon becomes the target of a group of crazed outcasts. Yes, there are typical cliche elements of the genre found in the flick, but the movie is a modern, action-packed film that suits the season.


Some honorable mentions on this list includes: Blood Rage (1987), Motel Hell (1980), Thanksgiving (2007), and Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998).

And there you have it, my “Happy Thanks-Killing” list, for everyone who’s dreading the upcoming holiday season. Hopefully, I have more than satiated your hunger for a few horror films that’ll make it more bearable.

Happy Thanks-Killing, everyone!
Monique

P.S. If you’re a young adult, maybe just get your parents’ permission before you watch some of these movies.


What’s New Wednesday #16: It’s ALL About the Books!

This week it’s ALL about the books! I’m talking proper horror books, which have been on my TBR list for-freaking-ever, and they’re all going to be read before 2019 is over. I’ve already decided, so ha! Of course, there are also some other things I need to highlight, so let’s get to it then: Writing Stuff...

This week it’s ALL about the books! I’m talking proper horror books, which have been on my TBR list for-freaking-ever, and they’re all going to be read before 2019 is over. I’ve already decided, so ha! Of course, there are also some other things I need to highlight, so let’s get to it then:

Writing Stuff

So, I sent off a contract for a non-fiction essay last week (Whoohoo!), which means I’ll have some news on the writing front again. The Horror Writer is a non-fiction anthology, which will be published by Hellbound Books in a few months (I think). That’s all I know at this point, but I’ll definitely keep you updated when I hear something new about this super cool project. 🙂

TV Shows

I’m sure you’re looking at my current watch list and thinking I’ve had a brain aneurysm or something. Where’s the horror? Well, I’m a Libra, so I need balance. And with me delving into all the horror books, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up on some of my non-horror shows to balance things out. FYI I also love historical fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi—I just don’t always get as giddy about those genres in public. Don’t ask me why. LOL!

Anne with an “E” is probably one of my favorite shows EVER. I’ve been following the show like a religion, because not only is it quite wholesome (which, let’s face it, is in short supply when it comes to entertainment), but the writers tackle difficult subjects with such nuance! It’s truly inspiring for the writer within, and that type of layering is something to be studied for the craft. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful, and I love the acting. Honestly, if you haven’t watched this show yet, you should. It’s a breath of fresh air (even in season 3!).

The Crown kind of speaks to alternate-dimension-Monique, because I think she’s a historian. The complexities of the show just gives so much more credibility to these royals, making them seem more human, which I really like. It’s  a great show that’s worth watching if you’re fascinated by monarchies.

His Dark Materials is a book-to-screen adaptation of Philip Pullman’s series of the same name. Now, I watched the movie starring Nicole Kidman (everyone hated it, but I kinda enjoyed it), but I regret to say I never read the books. So, although I have a bit of an idea about what the show’s about, I’m still going in kind of blind. I am, however, super excited, because the chatter on social media has been great and the trailer definitely sold it. 🙂

Karoo Fundraiser

Just a quick update: I recently helped Jump! Charity Foundation get some funds together for their Karoo animal relief drive (don’t know if you remember), and I need to say thank you once again to everyone who donated a little something-something. THANK YOU! I have officially transferred all the funds you guys have sent for the Karoo to Jump! Charity Foundation. 🙂

That being said, I have learned they will be heading into the Karoo (I think to Victoria West) with five trucks within the next week! Five massive trucks full of bales for the animals. Isn’t that amazing?! 🙂 I already insisted on plenty of pictures, so I’ll share them as soon as I get them from the organizer.

Thank you again to everyone who donated for this cause, which is very near and dear to my heart. None of this would’ve been possible without your generosity and kindness. You’re all rock stars!

It’s ALL About the Books

On to what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for, the list of books I’m going to read before the end of 2019 … And like I said, it’s ALL about the books this week! These are not my entire TBR list, by the way, not by a long shot, but I have a plan. I need to read, at least, 14 more books to meet my Goodreads goal of 50 books this year, so I’m going to get that done ASAP. Some of these books have been on my Kindle for years and years, so luckily I’m fully stocked and ready to go.

If you see something you like and your finger gets itchy, click on the book’s image, because—

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

No, you don’t pay extra. I promise. Amazon just gives me a little kickback whenever you use on of my links, which—let’s be honest here—isn’t much. I just get a few cents from the company to help pay for my book-buying habit. *shrugs*

Anywho, in no particular order, here we go:

I’ve wanted to read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski for ages, because I hear it’s quite a bit of a mindf**k. I mean, it on all the “best horror books” lists I’ve ever taken the time to read, so it must be worth the time (please let it be as good as everyone says). And considering my current mood, I think now’s the right time to delve into it.

Will Haunt you by Brian Kirk is one of my more recent purchases. This one had the best marketing campaign, and I have been itching to read it since it was released. Alas, sometimes life gets in the way of one’s wants and needs … Good thing I’m pretty much off-call until January. 🙂 Whoohoo! Will Haunt You is about a haunted book, I think. I say “I think”, because I’ve been trying super hard to avoid spoilers, which—given the fact that everyone was talking about it when it first came out—was pretty freaking difficult.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt was released in … I want to say 2017, but it’s possibly earlier. I bought it on a whim when I saw it on the Bram Stokers’ reading list way back when and haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Hex is a witchy read, from what I gather, and I’m always up for witchy books.

On to some YA … Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is going to be my first taste of what the author has to offer. Now, I know a lot of young adult readers love her work and probably can’t imagine that I haven’t read any of her books yet, but life really gets in the way when you’re an adult. It sucks. Nevertheless, I loved the synopsis of Beauty Queens when Bray popped up onto my radar, circa 2013, so I think it’s time. I mean, c’mon, beauty queens stranded on an island? Sign me up!

 
I actually recently added My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix on one of my bookish list posts, but will admit to never having read the book. The synopsis sounded fun, and I’m in the mood for some possession-type of books, so why not read it now? Also, that cover just speaks to me on so many levels, it’s not even funny. Will keep you posted on this one, folks!

The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics is another book I’ve had for ages. I have been buying up some Amy Lukavics books over the years without even knowing what her writing was like (until recently, when I finally got around to reading Daughters onto Devils, which I absolutely LOVED). Yes, I have a book buying problem—I know I buy books and let them gather dust on my Kindle or on the shelf. Honestly, I can’t help it. But I have very rarely been disappointed in my purchases, and when I feel the ferocious hunger to read, like now … I devour books. The Women in the Walls sound like a fitting title to get lost in at the moment.

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon is one of my more recent purchases. Thanks to my withdrawals getting way too bad with The Haunting of Hill House not releasing a second season this year, I thought I’d indulge in some haunted house type of books. Now, usually it’s not my favorite topic for horror, but it’s about time I climbed out of my comfort-zone again. So, I’m looking forward to this one.

I actually started reading Ararat by Christopher Golden early last year and got about 5% into it, but immediately put it down when I realized I wasn’t in the right mindset for this book just yet. Sometimes that happens—sometimes a book just catches me off-guard and I need to put it down, mentally prepare myself, and try again. So, I thought now was a good time to attempt my reading of it again (especially since I enjoyed The Hunger by Alma Katsu so much).

Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner is a recent release that I’ve been itching to read, too. It’s got some Appalachian culture in it, revolves around a mute girl, and I’ve heard some great things via the grape vine. I’m pretty excited to delve into this YA horror novel, especially since I’m on a folk-horror binge (or so it seems). 🙂

Okay, so I decided that if I can get all these other books read before Christmas, I’m going to treat myself to a new book. It’s only fair, don’t you think? The thing is, Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky has gotten mixed reviews (most say the book is too long—720 pages sounds a little lengthy, but hey, I’m a Brandon Sanderson fan—and there isn’t enough pay-off), which stopped me from hitting that buy button.

I’m unfamiliar with the author’s work (I did watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower), mostly because that was “before my time”. I wasn’t a teen yet. Simple. Still, I’m curious. So, I have promised myself that if I can get all these other books on my Kindle read before Christmas, I’m going to buy Imaginary Friend without feeling guilty. NO PROMISES that I’ll read that mammoth this year, but I’ll buy it. LOL!


And there you have it, my What’s New Wednesday. Actually… well, this is mostly my reading list for the next month and a half in a nutshell. Good thing I’m a fast reader, eh? Sorry, I’ll try to be more interesting next week.

What are you up to? Do you have any reading plans you’re dying to share? Let me know, and who knows, maybe your recommendation will make it onto my Kindle.

Have a great week!
Monique


Wrong Answers Only Interview: Lex H. Jones

I recently got my hands on Lex H. Jones, author of Nick & Abe, The Other Side of the Mirror, and The Old One and the Sea. Now, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve rolled up my sleeves and got to work on a fellow author, making them lie for a Wrong Answers Only Interview … *sigh*...

I recently got my hands on Lex H. Jones, author of Nick & AbeThe Other Side of the Mirror, and The Old One and the Sea. Now, yes, it’s been a while since I’ve rolled up my sleeves and got to work on a fellow author, making them lie for a Wrong Answers Only Interview … *sigh* What can I say? Sometimes my hobbies need to take the backseat as I do all the writerly things. But I thought it was about time I treated you all a little something-something.

I have to warn you, things got a little nasty during this interview. At first, Mr. Jones, thought he could be all sweet and nice and honest. *gags* I showed him, though. I showed him good and proper. Muhahaha

So, please enjoy Lex H. Jones’ reluctant interview, which is not at all truthful, but it makes for perfect procrastination material.

Tick-Tock, Mr. Jones …

What inspired you to start writing?

The fact that it was an absolute, cast-iron guaranteed way to make me a millionaire.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Gravedigger. It’d just tie in nicely with some of my hobbies.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I just violently threaten the person who actually writes my books until they get over it and start writing again.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I watch people in public, find someone who looks interesting, then follow them home to film them secretly through their windows. Then I just write down what I saw to make them seem real.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

The fact that people can actually write just as fast with one hand chopped off if you properly motivate them.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Whatever is popular and selling well at the time.

Who is your favourite author and why?

Monique Snyman. She told me I had to say that or she’d beat me. Not in a good way either, I checked.

What is your favorite book?

The Hungry Caterpillar. I think it does the best job of detailing the existential angst of the twentieth century that I’ve ever read. It’s powerful stuff.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

Avoiding the police, hiding the bodies, finding new ‘volunteers’ at the shelter to ghost write for me. The usual boring writer stuff.

On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?

Not as long as I spent writing the answers to this.

About Lex H. Jones

Lex H Jones is a British author, horror fan and rock music enthusiast who lives in Sheffield, North England.

He has written articles for premier horror websites the ‘Gingernuts of Horror’ and the ‘Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog’ on various subjects covering books, films, videogames and music.

Lex’s noir crime novel “The Other Side of the Mirror” was published in 2019, with his first published novel “Nick and Abe”, a literary fantasy about God and the Devil spending a year on earth as mortal men, published in 2016. His latest release is “The Old One and The Sea”, released 1st November 2019, which is a children’s weird fiction book centred around the reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos. Lex also has a growing number of short horror stories published in collections alongside such authors as Graham Masterton, Clive Barker and Adam Neville. He is due to release his first solo collection of short ghost stories, titled “Whistling Past The Graveyard”.

When not working on his own writing Lex also contributes to the proofing and editing process for other authors.

You Can Find Him At:

The Old One And The Sea

Now Available

Sinister Horror Company presents a children’s book about the secret childhood of a young boy called Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Howard is a lonely, isolated boy who lives in the run-down seaside town of Innsmouth. Most of the town’s men left to fight the Great War and didn’t come back, and those that did, like Howard’s neighbour Mr Derleth, brought their own scars and strange stories with them. None quite so strange as what is about to happen to Howard, however.

An undersea earthquake brings a strange black reef to the surface just off the coast of Innsmouth, and with it something else. Something old, and forgotten, and every bit as lonely as the young boy who discovers it. What follows is a unique and secret friendship that will change the life of both Howard and his bizarre new friend forever.


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