Holiday Book Haul (PLUS Exploding Kittens!)

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No worries, my fuzzy little monster Bailey is not one of the titular “Exploding Kittens”, I just really wanted to show off her Christmas photo because I’m a crazy cat mom. 😛 We’ll get to the actual Exploding Kittens later on in this post, but for now let’s get into the excitement that is this year’s HOLIDAY BOOK HAUL!

The Hunger – A horror historical fiction book about the Donner Party that I’ve been very excited for. I’ve already started reading it!

Fire & Blood – The first volume of George RR Martin’s two-part history of the Targaryens.

Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works – Nonfiction about books and history, which just so happen to be two of my favorite things. 🙂 Already reading this one, too.

History of the World Map by Map – I already mentioned that I enjoy history, well, I also just so happen to enjoy maps. 🙂

Great Maps – a look at cartography throughout the ages!

Biology: An Illustrated History of Life Science – Woohoo! Science! 😀

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible – After watching (and loving) the new Netflix series, along with their holiday special, I’m quite pumped to read this!

Redlands, Vol. 1 – although I’m not very familiar with this comic, I know it has to do with “murder, magic and mayhem” so consider me intrigued. 😉

Witch Hammer – Ya know, I’m really beginning to notice a theme here . . .  😛

Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth – So excited to return to the horrific and magical world of Locke & Key!

Pandora’s Legacy – this one is a total wildcard for me, so I’m curious to check it out. It’s always interesting reading modern takes on mythology. 🙂

Unnatural, Vol. 1 – this series was nowhere on my radar but it was one that was recently highly recommended, so I’m interested to see what it’s all about.

Alisik – This one looks like spooky fun, and I was surprised to discover that the interior artwork is actually much more detailed than the cover, something that more often turns out to be the opposite.

Gotham City Sirens: Book One – Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn shenanigans galore in this collection of issues 1-13.

Gotham City Sirens: Book Two – Now that you can only get this series in these 2 books rather than the singular volumes like I had started collecting a while back, it’s good to finally have the full collection! For some reason I had stopped reading it with just the final volume to go and never got the chance to finish it. Looking forward to seeing how the series wraps up. 🙂

Soooo, that sums up my Holiday Book/Comic Haul. I’m so thankful for all the amazing reading material I’ve been gifted and I can’t wait to read it all! That said, let us finally talk about those Exploding Kittens, shall we??

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Image from The Oatmeal’s shop.

As the box says, Exploding Kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions. I was fortunate enough to get the NSFW version along with the expansion Imploding Kittens, complete with a “cone of shame” to make sure you feel appropriately terrible about yourself for losing. 😛 The game was a ton of fun and so easy to pick up on. Think Russian Roulette . . . but with exploding kittens!

I hope you guys have been enjoying your holiday season and have had a little time to unwind before the new year starts! ❤ Have you read or are interested in reading any of these titles? Get any awesome new books yourself?

 

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I’m Baaaack!! (November Wrap-Up)

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Hello!! ❤ Wow, it seems November zipped by before I could even blink! I was hoping to get to do this update yesterday but I spent the whole day doing holiday shopping and playing with baby hedgehogs. I’m so glad to be back from my month-long hiatus, though! 🙂 I’ve missed all you marvelous people and I’ve missed blogging. I think that, although November didn’t necessarily go according to plan, it was a good month for me, and I hope it was for each of you as well. ❤

So, first thing’s first, let’s talk NaNoWriMo! So, how did I do, you wonder?? Well . . .

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I didn’t end up making the goal of writing 50,000 words for the month, buuut I did keep at it, even when I knew I was too behind to accomplish the NaNoWriMo challenge successfully. I didn’t give up, and I made progress with the book I’m writing so I’m not completely heart-broken. Instead of the intended 50,000 words in 30 days, I wound up with 36,595. Not quite what I’d been hoping for, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. How about you guys? 🙂 Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, how did you do? I’d love to hear about it!

Even though the goal was to do nothing but write this month, I found myself constantly being pulled in different directions: hanging out with my loved ones, reading, work, playing games and watching movies . . . the list goes on. My willpower was weak, but my month was full of fun and good times so I regret nothing. 😛

BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS READ IN NOVEMBER:

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The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (I got side-tracked when I started this in October for Halloween but ended up finishing it in November.) 4/5 stars.

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Parasite, by Mira Grant (November’s book club pick for Sci-fi month, courtesy of my real-life BFF and blogging buddy Cupcakes & Machetes. You can read her review of the book here.) 😉 I’m hoping to do a review for it myself soon as well. 4/5 stars.

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Strange Candy, by Laurell K. Hamilton (a collection of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy short stories.) 3/5 stars.

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Rat Queens Special: Orc Dave #1, a standalone issue of the Rat Queens comic featuring the character Orc Dave. Definitely an enjoyable little read. 5/5 stars.

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Rat Queens, vol. 2, so glad to finally be reading this series again. (Review for this and the Orc Dave special to come soon!) 😀 5/5 stars.

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Saga, vol. 9, the latest volume of the series and the last we’ll get for a good while as the series takes a hiatus. As per usual with this series I had ALL THE FEELS! (There’s a review for this one coming soon as well.) 5/5 stars.

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab (my first time reading anything by this author and I will definitely be checking out more of her books!) ❤ 4.5/5 stars

Spread, vol. 4 and vol. 5 (Woohoo! Finished the series.) I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I liked it. 🙂 3/5 stars.

I didn’t plan on reading much this month, but with the frigid early winter that has hit my home state, I was feeling the cozy-stay-in-and-read vibe and I just went with it. Michigan got ripped off when it came to autumn this year so I’m rebelling in the only way I know how: isolation under blankets with good books and comics. 😛

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Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs, but it might take me a bit, so feel free to tell me about or link me to any of your posts if you wanna share some of your own recent updates/news. ❤

 

Second Week of October/Inktober

Well, we’re halfway through the funnest month of the year, guys and ghouls. 😉 This week I managed to get 2 new drawings done for Inktober. Like I said, I’m going for a no-pressure approach to my first attempt at the art challenge and just trying to partake in the fun and get some practice in. 🙂 Next month is going to be crazy enough attempting NaNoWriMo again, so I’m taking things lightly with this and just enjoying myself.

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Horror/Halloween Movies and Shows Watched This Week:

Re-watched Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Re-watched Ginger Snaps (2001)

Re-watched The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)

The Purge (TV Series, 2018)

Horror Reading Throughout the Week:

I started reading The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. This one was a freebie find in a Free Books bin at a shop I enjoy going to. Seemed like the perfect time of year to snatch this title up. I have been enjoying this Gothic horror novel so far. 🙂

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I also just started reading Mira Grant’s Parasite, the first book in her Parasitology trilogy. This one is classified under Science Fiction/Horror. It’s actually the book club book for next month, but since I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo I figured I’d start it now to ensure I have time to complete it. 🙂 Especially seeing as it was none other than the spectacular Cupcakes and Machetes‘ pick for the month! As luck would have it, I’m also enjoying this one so far.

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In Other October News:

Mr. Moth surprised me by bringing me home a pumpkin! 😀 Can’t wait to carve this baby up and proudly display it on our front porch!

I got two interesting and tasty sounding seasonal bottles of soda I have yet to try, one being apple cinnamon, and the other being blood orange gingerbread.

Went to the local costume shop by my house to buy some makeup for our Halloween shenanigans this year. I was going to try to experiment with it this weekend but ran out of time. Our costumes are all set, though, and I just gotta practice doing some skeleton face paint to finish our looks. 🙂

Now that we’re halfway through October, what are you looking forward to doing to celebrate as Halloween grows ever nearer? Are you dressing up? Let’s talk October/Halloween! 😀

Book Review: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

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Death isn’t always the end. In fact, if you suddenly find yourself recently risen from the dead with an instinctual hunger for brains, it’s really only the beginning. Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series of novels follows underdog character Angel Crawford as she navigates life (or something vaguely similar to it) as a freshly-turned zombie.

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No, not this type of zombie.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues is a good follow-up to the debut book in the series, My Life as a White Trash Zombie. We see Angel getting more comfortable in her own skin (which only begins to rot if she doesn’t keep herself well-fed on brains, that she is able to obtain with a method far less chompy-chompy than most zombies.)

She may be getting the hang of being one of the undead, (it certainly has its perks in these books), but there are still hurdles aplenty for our struggling-but-determined heroine. A zombie mafia, corpse thieves, creepy experiments, and zombie hunters only seem to complicate things for Angel as she continues to deal with the struggles of work, love, family, and parole. The girl’s got a lot on her plate, and it isn’t all just brains. 😛

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Yum! Yum!

I really enjoyed this book and a lot of that has to do with how much I like the main character. Angel is flawed. Big time. But she’s working on it, and although things don’t come easily for her, she isn’t one to give up. Her narration feels honest and genuine, and it’s pretty damn entertaining to read given all of Angel’s sass and sarcasm that she wields with little or no apology.

The first part of the book does seem a bit slow at times, but the action and intrigue pick up nicely in the second part. I’d give this one a four out of five brain rating! 😉

Also, I know I always rave about the cover art for these books when I talk about them, but c’mon, you gotta give it up to artist Daniel Dos Santos, this artwork is awesome!

First Week of October

Woo! We’re officially one week into the bestest month around: OCTOBER! 😀 If you’re like me, October is basically a month-long celebration of Halloween and just fall in general. After seeing the lovely weekly update post Cupcakes & Machetes put together to sum up her adventures throughout each week of the month, I decided to be a copycat and join in on that fun. So here we have my first of four weekly updates for the month of October:

The first thing I decided to do once October hit was to bust out the sharpies and ink pens and finally participate in Inktober. (If you don’t know already, this is a month-long art challenge held each year where artists produce a new ink drawing each day of the month.) Anyone can participate and it’s a good way to brush up on your ink/art skills. 🙂 I know I have a very busy month ahead of me, so I’m going to do as many as I can each week, but I’m not putting pressure on myself to get all 31 done. I’m doing this strictly for fun and practice. 🙂 Here are my new ink drawings I was able to get done this week:

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This one is based off some cool vintage Halloween art I found.

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Other Halloween/Fall-related activities this week included:

Making delicious apple cider slushies.

Getting gifted (and trying) some delicious types of apples I’d never had before.

Watching a couple horror movies. I started off slow, only watching The Witch and Hell Fest, but it’s a start, and the month is still young! 🙂

Mr. Moth and I worked on putting together our costumes for a big, upcoming event we’re attending for Halloween. (More details on that at a later time!) 😉

I worked more on decorating my room at work for Halloween. One of my bulletin boards is decked out in The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and the other is a big tree I made with fall leaves filled with skeleton owls I had my group work on for Arts & Crafts day. 🙂 It turned out really cute.

I finally finished reading (and will soon be posting a review for) the book Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, by Diana Rowland.

Aaaand that about sums up my first week of October. What spooky and fall type fun have you been up to so far this month? 🙂

Spread, Vol. 1 (No Spoiler) Review

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“Ten years ago, we dug too deep and unleashed something we couldn’t control. Something that twisted and warped every living thing in its path. Something that remade the world in its own image. The Spread. One man has found a child who could save the world, but he has to fight monsters, raiders, cannibals, religious fanatics, and one cranky baby to do it.”

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Spread is an often over the top, yet entertaining post apocalyptic thrill ride. It’s like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Mad Max had a baby. The artwork is gritty, and most of the panels are practically dripping with blood and guts. I’ve gotta say, all the red does contrast quite nicely against the white frozen landscape the book takes place in. 😉

Characters include a silent loner named No who isn’t as good at being a loner as it would seem considering how he keeps accruing traveling companions, a baby who might just be the last shred of hope this bleak world has, an unhinged crazy lady with a heart of gold, and a big, burly cannibal.

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Although I enjoyed reading the first volume of Spread (and plan on reading the other volumes) I could certainly see this comic not being for everybody. If you have an aversion to body horror, gore, and some good ol’ fashioned violence, obviously Spread just isn’t going to be your cup of tea.

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I always have a hard time ranking things by the “5 Star Rating System”, buuuut I would give this introductory volume to Spread 3.5 out of 5 stars. It did a good job shoving readers straight into its dystopian world and left me intrigued enough to want to continue on with No and his motley crew of miscreants as they take on The Spread.

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Well, those were my thoughts on volume 1 of Spread. What are you guys currently reading?? 🙂 Any horror stuff for the month of October you’re looking forward to?

Hell Fest (2018) No-Spoiler Review

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It’s October, boys and ghouls, so that means things are about to get pretty spooky around here! Halloween is fast-approaching, so what better time to sink your teeth into a bunch of horror movies, new and old? My first horror movie review for the month is for a film that just hit theaters September 28th called Hell Fest.

I’d seen the trailers and felt pretty indifferent to going to see it or not, but Mr. Moth was just curious enough about it to want to check it out, so I agreed. ‘Tis the season, right? 😉 Plus, he’s going to see the new Halloween movie with me when it comes out, so I kind of had to be a good sport. 😛

Unfortunately, it didn’t take very long into the movie for even him to say, “I think this may be one of those bad horror movies that’s just actually bad.” Not to say that it was a total disaster of a movie, but it was pretty middle of the road in my opinion. I’ve seen worse, but I have definitely seen far better and more memorable. I will say, though, that Hell Fest does a good job of making you excited for Halloween and haunted attractions. If Hell Fest itself was a legit thing I would want to go and experience it for myself (minus the stabby stabby parts, of course!)

The movie also (briefly) has horror icon Tony Todd in it, so that was cool. 🙂

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Hell Fest is your basic sort of slasher film, set in a massive horror themed amusement park. If you’ve seen your fair share of slasher flicks, I think it’s safe to say you probably know the drill by now: masked killer picks group of young adults to terrorize, lots of stabbing, making out, and questionable decisions ensue. I think the main thing Hell Fest does have that sets it apart is the cool setting it takes place in. If you love Halloween and haunted attractions you’ll probably be able to appreciate how much effort must have gone into all the different sets, mazes, costumes, props, etc.

Aaaaand, in case you missed it, here’s the trailer:

So, that pretty much sums up my review for Hell Fest. I’m looking forward to feeding into my horror cravings more throughout the rest of October. How about you?? Watched any good horror movies recently? Planning on binge-watching a bunch before Halloween? Let’s talk about it! 😀