OCTOBER!

My favorite month has finally arrived! The 1st of October signals the start of fall (despite Florida holding on to the 90s), the start of the holiday season, and an excuse to indulge in all things creepy! My Halloween decorations are up, my seasonal fall scents are out, and my corny Halloween movies are on!

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So what can you expect from History and Mystery this month? Reviews on gruesome murder mysteries, macabre paranormal historical fiction, and circus stories! I am so excited to be sharing my favorite month with y’all!

Go ahead and check out last year’s spooky reads:

What spooky books are on your TBR this month? Please feel free to share your favorite October reads, movies, TV shows…just know I fully plan on binging Stranger Things!

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Happy October!  Lindsay

 

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What to Expect – November

NOVEMBER

Hi everybody! Sorry I was missing in action the last few weeks. Halloween, family stuff, and a much needed vacation had me off-the-grid. 

But I’m back and I hope you had a wonderful Halloween full of creepy costumes and plenty of candy! I sure did, and I had a blast sharing a few witchy book reviews with you last month. I managed to get most of my reading list up, but we are going to have to wait a bit for a review of Jackie Smith’s After Death. Hopefully, you’ll be reading it this month!

Here’s what to expect for November: plenty of reviews on the many audio books I listen to during my work commute! They have been stacking up and need to be shared! 

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You can also expect to hear about my favorite holiday! Thanksgiving is on the way and I look forward to sharing my family traditions!

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November is also National Novel Writing Month! I plan to provide a weekly update on my attempt to write my own novel! So expect to hear ALL about NaNoWriMo. Let me know if you’re writing too!

It’s going to be a fun, busy month but I wouldn’t have my November any other way! Happy Reading!

Lindsay

Halloween Decorations

[originally posted on LBoitnott]

I love Halloween! The ghost stories, witches, and monsters spark my imagination. We are drawn to haunted houses and horror movies so we can revel in surviving the scary. Halloween is just fun and my decorations come out every October 1st.

My mom also loves Halloween and I grew up with some pretty epic Halloween decorations. We lived on a cattle ranch and one year my mom decided to make a hay-bale spider. She spray painted a round bale black, added long black legs, and gruesome teeth. From that horrible mouth dangled a pair of torn jeans and dusty old cowboy boots. IT WAS AWESOME! And it will always be a favorite.

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I share my mom’s love of Halloween decorations and went nuts when we moved in to our house a few years ago. I had plans to transform our house into something out of a horror movie but I was a broke college student. Most of my decor was homemade. Thankfully, Pinterest has spurred on the DIY movement and provided plenty of inspiration. My house is covered in these homemade pieces and have become personal favorites of mine, and many of my friends.

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My sweet family contributes to my stash and eventually my home will look haunted! For now I enjoy my spooky decor and the ghoulish homes emerging throughout the neighborhood.

Please share your favorite Halloween decorations! Do you have any fond childhood Halloween decor stories?

Happy Halloween!

Lindsay

Halloween Movies

(Originally posted on Lboitott)

Have I told you how much I love Halloween and October?! Oh, yeah. I may have mentioned something last week. ūüėÄ There will be a post each week outlining my favorite things about this month!

HALLOWEEN MOVIES

I definitely prefer TV shows over movies, but a substantial stack of of Halloweeny movies emerge from my shelves each October. I rarely watch anything gory and scary so most of the films lean towards family friendly. Of course so does most of my movie collections. Here are the four main styles:

DISNEY: I love me some Disney movies! I own every Halloweentown movie ever made and will be marathoning them next weekend. Also included in this list is a number of horribly corny Disney channel movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the Winnie the Pooh and Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween specials from my childhood.

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CLASSICS: These are the classic Halloween movies that Mike doesn’t really get excited about watching with me but still get watched anyways. Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Practical Magic, and Casper. (All 90s girls had a crush on Casper)

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OBSCURE: I bet few of you have actually seen these movies. Many are embarrassingly cheesy but I keep watching them just the same. They include The Initiation of Sarah, Nancy Drew, Ghost Ship and The Skeleton Key.

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MIKE APPROVED: Mike tolerates my¬†love of Halloween movies, but¬†he is not a fan of most. He does, however, approve of a few which include Beetlejuice, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and the¬†Ghost Busters movies. The good thing is that I love these movies too!

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So what movies are you binge watching this month? Do you only watch them during October? Or do you watch them all year long? Share your favorites. Happy Halloween!

Lindsay

Secondhand Spirits

Secondhand Spirits

by Juilet Blackwell

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Lily Ivory is not your average witch. Her spell-casting powers tend to draw mischievous spirits while keeping normal humans at a distance. But now her vintage clothing store could give her a chance to make friends in San Francisco….

Lily hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora’s Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion -she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry‚ÄĒher store becomes a big hit.

But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime. She tries to keep her identity a secret while investigating, but it’s not easy‚ÄĒespecially under the spells of sexy “mythbuster” Max Carmichael and powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily’s witchy ways be forced out of the closet?

I found Secondhand Spirits on audiobook in the local library a few years ago. It was October and I was in desperate need of a lighthearted paranormal mystery to get through my last fall semester. Secondhand Spirits fit the bill and I managed to read most of the series in the following months. I’ve been craving spooky cozy mysteries again and decided it was time to revisit and share Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries.

I’m going to start off with all the reasons I enjoy this story. I like Lily Ivory. I enjoy her sweet southern ways and how she is kind to everyone she meets despite being a social outcast for most of her life. I like that she has somehow stumbled on such great, even if somewhat odd, friends in Bronwyn and Maya. I wish I could check out Aunt Cora’s Closet and the Haight-Ashbury district because Blackwell’s descriptions are tantalizing and I have no problem visualizing Lily’s world. I even like Lily’s sarcastic goblin/potbelly pig familiar, Oscar.

But, the one point that keeps me coming back to the story is the spirit Lily must battle, La Llorona. La Llorona has been one of my favorite ghost stories since I first heard it in a high school Spanish class. Don’t ask me why, because it’s kinda a depressing ghost story. La Llorona is doomed to haunt the water searching for her lost children. The children she drowned upon learning of their father’s infidelity. (Watch the pilot episode of Supernatural if you want another great take of La Llorona!) Blackwell’s mix of La Llorona, voodoo, and Lily’s earthy brewing had me hooked!

Now for my eh thoughts. I am not of a fan of the two lead men introduced in to Lily’s life. The story opens with Aidan Rhodes, male witch, barging in to her store, placing a charm on the occupants, and gifting Lily with Oscar. We learn that Aidan is an associate of Lily’s dark magic wielding father and isn’t to be trusted. And yet, Lily still takes in Oscar despite suspecting that he is a spy for Aidan. Wait…what?!? Plus, Lily seems to find, and fall for, the one man in the Bay Area who despises everything about witchcraft. I get that Max Carmichael is one sexy hunk but…WHY?!? Both Max and Aidan have their good qualities but were demanding and controlling overall. I was not vested in her relationship with either man.

I still enjoy Secondhand Spirits despite my dislike ofMax and Aidan. I definitely recommend if you are looking for something light and witchy. Lily is more like a regular human than she knows. She routinely makes spur of the moment and somewhat bad decisions but she does everything with kind intentions. I like her. Has anyone else stumbled up this series?

Lindsay

What to Expect – OCTOBER

OCTOBER

My favorite month of the year has arrived and you should see all the reviews that await you! MWAHAHAHA! (cue the creepy music…)

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So what can you expect this month? Lots and lots of paranormal cozy mysteries. What can I say? I love mysteries involving ghosts and witches.

I plan on reviewing Juliet Blackwell’s entire Withcraft Mystery series, which follows the adventures of sweet witch, Lily Ivory and her potbelly pig/goblin, Oscar.

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The third installment of Jackie Smith’s Cemetery Tours series comes out this month and you will see a review! I’m looking forward to After Death. Ghost hunting and a circus….oooooo!

Also, I will be reviewing one non paranormal novel this month: Jones Lee’s A Time to Live. This amazing friend has been beyond patient while waiting for this review and I’m excited to talk about the crazy adventures of snarky Carter Gabel!

So grad a pumpkin spice latte and your favorite candy because it is going to be a fun month!

Lindsay

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays!¬† I love getting trick-or-treaters, watching corny Halloween movies, and reading spooky books.¬† But my favorite part, besides the decorations, is getting to dress up.¬† Each year I have these elaborate plans to dress up as some outlandish character but it never seems to work out.¬† Oh don’t get me wrong; I still dress up!¬†¬†I¬†just always go as a different version of me; the version¬†I would be if I lived in a different era.

Last year I was an air racer from the 1930s.  In real life I am a pilot who loves flying vintage aircraft and dreams of having a replica antique racer.  I KNOW I would have OWNED the races if I had been a pilot back in the 1930s.

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This year I am going as Rosie the Riveter.¬† I definitely would have been either a W.A.S.P. or a Rosie if I had been alive during World War II.¬† I work on vintage airplanes now and am quite¬†comfortable with a rivet gun!¬† I was totally responsible for dissembling the cockpit of a rare F4U Corsair and my guys always said “A woman put¬†her together and a woman can take her apart.”

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So, for me Halloween is about history; imaging who I would have been.¬† But it also¬†reminds me to be thankful of the unique talents that make me all me!¬† It’s no wonder I look forward to October 31st every year!¬† What are your favorite talents?¬† What are you going as this year!?¬† Kata is going as a Landshark!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! – Lindsay

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Between Worlds

Between Worlds

by Jacqueline E. Smith

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Someone always dies… Someone is always left behind…

Now that his secret is out, Michael Sinclair finally agrees to join paranormal superstar Luke Rainer and the Cemetery Tours crew on an investigation. Not just any investigation. The biggest investigation of their career.

Once home to the wealthy Sterling Hall and his beloved wife, Joanna, Stanton Hall Manor in Maine is famous for the love story that inspired it… and the ghosts who now inhabit it. For Luke and the crew, Stanton Hall is a dream come true.

Unfortunately, some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

I was starting to get a little burned out on the Halloween novels; I mean, look how many I have reviewed in the last month!¬†¬†But I told Jackie that I would read Between Worlds,¬†the¬†second novel in her Cemetery Tours series,¬†and provide a review this week.¬† Boy, am I glad¬†I made that promise because I couldn’t put it down yesterday!¬† Between Worlds was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my reading slump.

Between Worlds picks up just three months after the conclusion of Cemetery Tours.  Michael is struggling with his new life; a life where his carefully guarded secret is now national news.  He has the dead and not so dead begging for his assistance.  It is such a request that prompts him, Kate, Brink, and Gavin to join Luke and the Cemetery Tours team on a visit to the haunted Stanton Hall Manor.  Here they must uncover the truth behind an interesting love story and help a heart-broken ghost.

I LOVED IT!¬† Reading Between Worlds¬†felt like catching up with old friends¬†with each turn of the page and I have to say that Jackie’s writing has only improved with book two.¬† She discusses some pretty serious, and sometimes heartbreaking, issues but still maintained a light, and often humorous, atmosphere.¬† Brink kept me laughing, Luke¬†exhibited a surprisingly complex personality, and¬†I loved the developments between Michael and Kate.¬† I definitely did not have a problem connecting with Michael this time around! ¬† I even loved the haunting of Sterling Hall.

I do wish there had been more about Emily.¬† I¬†quickly¬†figured out her secret but I was hoping that Michael and Brink would do more to help her with her reality.¬† I know she was doing better when the group left but I personally wanted more closure for the poor teen.¬† And I really got frustrated with how Kate’s mom treats her like a rebellious and incapable teenager.¬† (This has nothing to do with Jackie’s writing ūüôā this is me being annoyed with the actual character)¬† I understand that the nearly loosing her daughter would make her so cautious, but I was just waiting for her to realize that¬†Kate is a strong woman and that her overbearing¬†behavior is only pushing Kate away.¬† Oh well, maybe she’ll have an epiphany in book 3 :).

Thank you for the excited story Jackie!¬† It was nice having a paranormal book that I didn’t want to put down and I can not wait for the next installment! ¬†What do y’all think of Between Worlds?

Lindsay

The Great Pumpkin Caper

The Great Pumpkin Caper
by Melanie Jackson

The Great Pumpkin Caper (A Chloe Boston Mystery #10)

It’s Halloween and this year Chloe is certain she’ll win the pumpkin carving contest, but the night before the competition someone uses Mr. Jackman’s giant pumpkin to squash an unpopular dentist. This is publicity the town doesn’t need. Can Chloe solve the pumpkin caper and save Halloween?

If you are a fan of Nancy Pickard or Susan Conant you are going to love the cozy hometown feel of Moving Violation.

The Great Pumpkin Caper is the 10th book in the Chloe Boston mystery series and the last Chloe Boston novel I will be reviewing this month.

This story starts less than a month after the events in Haunted, and Chloe is back at work part-time. She still does not know what she wants to do with her life but she has begun looking for other activities to occupy her time such as taking online classes to get her private investigator license and participating in her Lit-Wit group.  She has also taken to growing gigantic pumpkins and developing her own style of squash art.  Until, the local dentist is crushed under one of the massive pumpkins and Chloe is pulled in to another murder investigation.

This is my least favorite of the three Halloween themed Chloe Boston mysteries. ¬†Now, this doesn’t mean it is bad because in actuality the story is quite good. ¬†It is just the majority of the story-line is¬†dedicated to¬†Chloe¬†getting her life together instead of the actual murder mystery. ¬†Chloe felt lost during Haunted, and she is still somewhat frustrated about her future¬†during The Great Pumpkin Caper.¬† There are many sections dedicated to psycho-analyzing human violence and Chloe struggling to find the joy in small things.

It is still a nice October read and well worth it if you are interested in growing and carving pumpkins. Just expect to read more about ‘the questions of¬†life’ instead of a daring murder mystery. Let me know what you think!

Lindsay

Haunted

Haunted

by Melanie Jackson

Haunted (A Chloe Boston Mystery #9)

Initially suspended from the Hope Falls Police Department, Chloe takes on an urgent case for Alex and finds herself playing ghost buster. Haunted is an action packed, cliff hanger of a cozy. You’ve come this far, why not go all the way?

Haunted is the 9th book, and my favorite, of the Chloe Boston mystery series.  The story takes place a year after the events in The Pumpkin Thief, and Chloe is now happily married to Alex and still working as the town meter maid.  But Chloe is struggling.  She is happy but she fells like something is missing.  Should she do a different job?  Should she and Alex start a family?  Chloe needs answers and the chief gives her a month of medical leave to find her bearings and make a decision.

She utilizes her time off by working as a private investigator for Alex and her first assignment is more surprising than she ever expected.  No violence or gruesome murder like in The Pumpkin Thief.  Haunted is a proper ghost story that pushes Chloe to reexamine what makes her happy with her life.  Chloe must solve a long forgotten crime to put a ghostly soul to rest.  Throw in her arch-nemeses, Lardhead Gordon and Cousin Althea, having a baby; working with her snooty mother-in-law on a baby shower, and a soured relationship between two of her closest friends and you have a hectic Chloe!

Haunted is my favorite because I can connect with Chloe on all levels: happy with my job but not sure its where I’m supposed to be, happily married but wondering if I really want children, and surrounded by family who are way too pushy at times but always mean well.¬† It may not be the review you expected, but I consider Haunted a good read, especially for those dealing with similar points.

No, it does not contain a gory murder or ghosts that will give you nightmares, but it does have a good haunted mystery to solve and a cast of interesting, and loving, characters.  It is well worth the afternoon read.  Has anyone else have books speak to them?

Lindsay