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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fun Reads and Movies for October

One of the best things about fall, besides the cooler temperatures and leaf piles for the kids to play in, are the books and movies I set aside to read or watch in anticipation of Halloween.

Last year I started Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. I only got through the first three books before the Christmas season hit. So I have really been looking forward to finishing the series with Heartless and Timeless. If you like fantasy steampunk set during the Victorian era then you will love these stories about an indomitable character, Alexia Tarraboti, as she navigates adventure and politics within paranormal society. Werewolves, vampires, and ghosts abound in these fun stories along with actresses and other (gasp) suffragettes.

photo courtesy of Joseph-Beth booksellers
Another series I put on hold catching up with are the Iron Druid chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I started these this summer, but then had to give them a short break in favor of other reads. I am currently reading book six, Trapped, and hope to get completely caught up with the series by reading Hunted next. As the name suggests are also fantasies, urban ones. There is lots of adventure in these books along with humor and a loveable Irish wolf hound for those dog lovers out there. The series revolves around Atticus O' Sullivan the last living druid on earth, who looks 21 but is really more like 2100. Again, there are the usual fan favorites of this type of fanstasy, vampires. But there are also Norse gods, Celtic gods and goddesses, as well as, Navajo trickster gods and other mythological characters from several realms. You never know what is going to happen next with Atticus and his faithful companion and sidekick Oberon, his wolf hound, who he can communicate with telepathically. I'm not ashamed to admit that Oberon is my favorite character. Who couldn't love a character who believes bacon to be "the way and the truth."

Of course you can't anticipate Halloween without some stories about either ghosts or witches, not to mention a boy who finds out he's from a family of beastologists. In Annette Blair's Vintage Magic mystery series ghosts and fashion collide. Maddie Cutler a vintage clothing shop owner and former fashion designer has a rare gift. She can see images from the past when she touches a vintage piece of clothing. With the help from her resident shop ghost, and her sexy FBI agent boyfriend, Maddie is able to solve the mysteries from past crimes her vintage clothes pull her into.

If you love stories about witches you will enjoy Jessica Spotswood's Cahill Witch Chronicles geared for YA readers. I've been highly anticipating the second book in this series Star Cursed, to see what happens next with Cate Cahill. Cate gave up everything, her family, her fiancee, Finn to protect her younger sisters at the end of the first book Born Wicked. I can't wait to find out what happens next and how Cate will get along as a member of the Sisterhood.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I'm trying out the first book in a series for middle grade readers called Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers, about Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist. Nathaniel Fludd according to the jacket flap is a boy who does not enjoy adventure. But he gets pulled into one by his Aunt Phil after his parents are lost at sea. Aunt Phil it turns out is the world last remaining beastologist and she expects Nate to help her carry on this long running family business. It sounds really good and what better time of year to read about a beastologist.

As for movies, some of my favorites for Halloween are, I Married a Witch, an old movie starring Veronica Lake. There is also the romantic saga of unrequited love, the classic film, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Other old films my kids and I enjoy watching for the season are Abbott and Costello movies such as, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, or one of my faves which is a bit different from their other movies, Time of Their Lives. Another older film we enjoy that is actually in color is Disney's Blackbeard's Ghost. A hilarious ghost movie for younger kids. For those who enjoy movies that are a little more modern and maybe a little creepier The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser are perennial favorites my daughter insists on watching every year. For those who enjoy witches without too much of a scare factor, there is always Hocus Pocus. Spookier movies with a ghost I enjoy are Dragonfly with Kevin Costner, and of course who can forget The Sixth Sense. If you have older kids who can handle it, why not watch it and enjoy their reaction to the surprise ending.

To top it all off, if you have children or are just a kid at heart you can't let Halloween go by without watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

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