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text 2018-11-02 09:00
Wicked Reads 'Horror Movie Listicle' aka ‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’
There's Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins


When someone recently asked ‘Katherine, can I send you some candy and a book?’, what on earth do you think I possibly replied? 


There was a teeny catch - well, actually a few (and yes, luckily I knew the sender); there were some rules to this 'Wicked Reads' Halloween campaign...



2.    CHOOSE A PIECE OF CANDY AND A SPECIFIC DATE – Each piece of candy is tangled with a specific book. 
3.    WAIT FOR YOUR BOOK TO ARRIVE – I will mail your package to you. Optional: Brew potions, howl at the moon, do the monster mash, and practice your maniacal laughter.
4.    OPEN YOUR PACKAGE– Carefully open your package, explore the haunted contents, and dissect your Eerie-sistible read. 
5.    TIME’S UP– Make sure to grin like the Grim Reaper before posting your scheduled ghoulish content and send me a spooky link.


I won't tell you the books but I WILL tell you the candies: they were TWIZZLERS, SOUR PATCH KIDS, SNICKERS, JOLLY RANCHERS, & SWEDISH FISH.


Which would have you have chosen?


I was hoping for a gory, bloody read, and my guessing wasn't too bad (I nearly matched the book to the candy I wanted!). I did get one of the books I hoped for though - 'There's Someone Inside Your House', by Stephanie Perkins - because  I wanted to write a creative post about my favorite slasher/horror movies.


'There's Someone Inside Your House' is a YA thriller-horror of the slasher variety; someone is killing teens at the high school, so naturally the list is where my head went to...



I used to work in film production (I have a BA in film) and I had the devilish delight of working on a whole slew of 'highly-rated' and so-much-fun-to-make horror movies during my illustrious film-making career.

This is my favorite movie-watching season so this just had to be done!





*I do give some details about the movies away but not too much; you may know some of these, yes?! Click on the titles to take you to the movie links on IMDb after you have read my blurbs: 


HALLOWEEN (1978) - This really is the penultimate classic teen slasher movie, and it stars The Scream Queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. Michael Myers has escaped a mental institution and is on the loose in Haddonfield on Halloween night. Jamie Lee plays Laurie, and this movie made her a star. You won't forget that ominous soundtrack, and you won't get that masked face out of your mind.

*Subsequent 'Halloween' movies (not talking about the recent installment) weren't quite as good, but do watch the second one right after the first for full effect.



FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) - This started yet another horror movie franchise (and again didn't expect to), but this time the star wasn't even in the original/first installment. Everyone seems to know about Jason Voorhees terrorizing the campers who come to Camp Crystal Lake, but this 'campy' debut in the series is one to watch because of how it's a little different from the ones that follow. The deaths are gory, there's lots of blood, and you will probably recognize only Kevin Bacon as one of the actors who went on to anything after this.

*Again, the second installment is alright too, as is the third; the Jason character has a metamorphosis in the films, but after that, the killings get to the point where they are laughable or gratuitous. The actor who plays Jason believes he has the highest body count of any horror actor, and takes great pride in doing his role.



SCREAM (1996) - A movie that turned the entire horror genre on its head, coming from the horror-movie making legend Wes Craven (of 'A Nightmare of Elm Street' fame), 'Scream' has its costumed killer targeting a group of teens by using the 'rules' of horror movies as his 'code'. Like Hitchcock's 'Psycho', when its star is killed off very early on, Drew Barrymore is the first to go, which totally threw the audience through a loop. This movie really is genius, and because it comes from one of the horror masters, there are gems in here (humor, pacing, the script, references to other movies), that would otherwise fall flat with another filmmaker.

*Inspired one of the most recognizable Halloween costumes (the 'Scream' mask) I can think of.


PROM NIGHT (1980) - Hot off her 'Halloween' success, Jamie Lee Curtis decided to take on another horror, shedding the veneer of being the vulnerable screamer. This time she's prom queen, and one of a small group of teens who covered up the accidental death of a friend six years ago. Naturally it's the night of the high school senior prom and what better occasion than this for a masked killer to knock off these teenagers who need to pay for what they allowed to happen to their friend all those years ago.

*Features some excellent disco tracks, rad dance moves and fashion.


THE SHINING (1980) - This film upped the ante when it came to horror because of all the perfect ingredients. First of all, its A-list director, Stanley Kubrick, was a master filmmaker, and he employed a brilliant cast, including Jack Nicholson in one of his most unforgettable roles. Based on the haunting book by one of the most profilic horror writers of our time, Stephen King, ‘Jack Torrance’, his wife and child, head to the deserted Overlook Hotel (could there ever be a more memorable movie setting too?!) to be ‘caretakers’ in the off-season and so Jack can write. But his descent into madness, played so well by Nicholson, directed perfectly by Kubrick, is captured on film and it’s movie perfection. 


*Stephen King wasn’t too impressed with the adaptation, despite this being regarded as one of the best movies of all time, and one of the best of his book adaptations.

**Considered a ‘slasher’ movie because of the famous axe swinging (that axe lives here in Seattle at the ‘MoPop’ at the Horror Exhibit).



SHREDDER (2001) - Last but not least, I thought I’d include this straight-to-DVD slasher-horror movie that I worked on, quite a few moons ago now. It’s not great, it’s actually funny in parts, and it’s aimed at a teen audience, but I would have to say it was one of the craziest movie-making experiences I ever had. We filmed it up at Silver Mountain, Idaho, and the majority of it was filmed at night; standing in the snow for hours in the middle of the night making movies is a cold business (and we made a bloody mess wherever we went). I took the gig because I had friends working on it, and I wanted the challenge of working on a movie in the snow and on a mountain, and I was pretty stoked at myself. 

Movie-making is fun, but it’s HARD! I worked on movies for about 10+ years.

*There’s nothing quite as funny as taking breaks with actors with ice picks in their backs...


I hope you enjoyed my list; are any of these new to you? What’s your favorite?



I’ll be finishing off my book right now; thank you to Penguin and the Wicked Reads campaign for the goodies and my signed copy of the pretty book you see below! 


Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/15797848-there-s-someone-inside-your-house
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review 2018-09-01 13:27
Nightmare and Paranoia Fuel
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman,Elaine Hedges

*whines* It's still miserable, windy winter here!! How do I combat the chills this induced? *shudder*


Whenever I read stories like this, I remember that quote "novels win by points, short stories by knock outs". I know I was already whimpering one page in. I finished with a wiki-walk and... How come every interpretation is so... mild? compassionate? forgiving?... of the husband?


I get time and society marching on, and symbolism, but how come picking the barred, dreary, ex-nursery with mismatched furniture and a purposely for that visit nailed down bed makes any but malicious sense?


No monster, no gore, but hell, psychological mind-fucks will forever get me shivering


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review 2018-08-29 03:43
great book and great characters
Maybe For You - Nicole Perkins McLaughlin

Alex was at Stag distillery when her brother Dean and his two partners TJ and Jake were having a party to celebrate opening up and bottling their first batch of bourbon they themselves had made. Just over a year ago this was supposed to have been where ALex and Nate would have had their wedding reception if he had not been killed in a helicopter accident just before they were due to marry. Alex was in the Army and Nate had been in the AIr Force.  The Stag hosted a lot of events and receptions. Dean,TJ, and Jake had gone into business to make small batch liquor, But fate had its own plan for this business and it also ended up becoming one of the most successful wedding and event venues in the Kansas City metro area. This was the first time Alex had ventured out into public since Nate’s funeral being dressed and makeup on and her hair done. Then Alex heard Jake call to her and he asked if he could get her a drink and she accepted. Jake stayed by Alex’s side until their barmaid Jen - who was seeing TJ cut herself at the bar and needed to go to the ER to get stitches and Jake took Jen's place behind the bar. Eventually out of nowhere a panic attack started to build Alex went into a room but Jake came in after her and held her as she cried until she got herself together. Alex and Nate had been brought together by the military and after so many years in the Middle East they had been excited to spend a year in Italy before coming back and settling down  into family life but that would never happen now. After much thought Alex decided to go ahead and deploy to Italy as she had been offered to be allowed to stay stateside. Jake and Alex became close friends while she was in Italy and she could tell him anything she wanted and feel whatever she was feeling and he was just there for her while she was in Italy. To surprise Dean she ahd Jake pick her up at the airport.Dean and Alex were extremely close as when she was thirteen when her parents and his mom died in a car accident- his now ex wife and Dean took Alex in and raised her until she became of age. Alex read maps- she was a geospatial engineer and had already accepted a job with the CIA in Arlington that would start in a couple of months. Alex was not prepared for how handsome Jake really was and she had noticed when she got off the plane. Jake as a friend over the last year had been a vital part to her healing process. Jake had been the playboy of the three men who owned the Stag and TJ and Jake had been bestfriends since Little League but he was now also very close to Dean. Jake was the marketing and publicity guy for Stag Distillery and went on the road doing tours and trying to find new people ei sign up to sell their alcohol. But some one had complained about Jake hooking up so much and it didn’t really look good for business and when TJ went to Jake all his old insecurities hit him again as TJ was very smart and rich and Jake had learning disabilities and had come  from a different type of environment even while growing up best friends with TJ. Jake had stormed out of the building and would not answer the texts, calls or even email from his partners he had been hurt with the way T J had said things.. Alec went to check on Jake and made him feel better then found out he was soon going out on tour for two weeks and asked if she could go as she loved to travel and he let her.

This was a great sweet, easy and emotional read and I love it. I loved Alex and Jake together and how they interacted with each other. I loved how close Dean and Alex were and how close Alex was with her friends and how she interacted with everyone such as Charlotte. I felt like I was there with Alex and Jake and everyone. I didn’t want to put this down it held my attention from beginning to end. I loved the plot and pace. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend.

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review 2018-08-28 14:14
Maybe This Time: A Whiskey and Weddings Novel - Nicole Perkins McLaughlin
Some may say that this past year has been really crappy for Alexis Parker. Not only did she lose her fiance to a horrific accident, it also happened two weeks before their wedding. Now out of the service, Alex heads to Italy for a year before starting her new life because this was the plan they had, their big dream. Just before leaving, Alex has a heartfelt talk with Jake Cooper, one of her brother Dean's best friends and co-owner of his whiskey business. It felt nice to just talk to someone who would listen and not judge. Throughout the past year Alex and Jake have continued this friendship unbeknownst to everyone else. They have shared secrets that no one else even knows about.

A year later, Alex is back in Kansas City, KS and Jake is excited to see her again. Dean offers her a job at Stag Distillery and she accepts for the time being. Alex is nervous seeing Jake. He tends to be the playboy of the group but she finds out she is pleasantly surprised by him. When the opportunity for Alex and Jake to go on a 2 week road tour for Stage Distillery arises, she jumps on the chance. What Alex was hoping for is that Jake could help her get "back in the saddle", after all, he is a playboy! What neither of them expected was for anything to lead to more than just a fling.

As these two come to grips with with who they are, and what they are together they take a long journey throughout their pasts to finally be able to find their happy ending.

I just adored this story. Both characters were wonderful. Alex was having a hard time with finding direction in her life while at the same time Jake felt like he was stuck in a rut. Together they really made each other complete.

I have never read a Nicole McLaughlin book before and I was deeply surprised. This story had such heart and wonderful characters and I am sure I will be reading her books again.
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review 2018-08-25 06:41
Maybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings, #3) by Nicole McLaughlin
Maybe For You - Nicole Perkins McLaughlin


When life doesn't turn out how you planned, maybe it's time to head in a new direction. Maybe For You is a tale of heartbreaking loss, surprising new beginnings and witty dialogue. McLaughlin stages the ultimate road trip for a brokenhearted almost bride and playboy on the mend. Alexis is learning how to live again after a tragic loss. Her second chance comes in the form of a dashing coworker with a reputation for playing the field. Jake and Alexis take a business trip that changes the course of their lives when their hearts become fair game for love. Maybe For You is a sentimental tale that brings out the laughter and perhaps a few tears.

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