Sounds Like Halloween: Day 26 with Jude Sierra

Jude Sierra joins Sounds Like Halloween with a reading from her paranormal romance, Hush.


About Hush: 

Wren is one of “the gifted”—a man with the power to compel others’ feelings and desires. He uses his power as a game of sexual consent until Cameron, a naive college student, enters his life. As Cameron begins to understand his sexuality and gain confidence under Wren’s tutelage, Wren grows to recognize new and unexpected things about himself. Can their game become a relationship as the power shifts from teacher to student?



About Jude Sierra:

Jude began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”.

As a sucker for happy endings and well written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room.

She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive, and many that have found a home in fanfiction communities.

She recently completed her Master of Arts in Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy (a title almost no one understands) and hoping everyone she knows will begin to acknowledge her as Master of the Universe. Jude is currently working toward her PhD in writing and Rhetoric and works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. In her non-existent free time, she attempts to manage a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press. What it Takes, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, is her second novel. Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus reviews and is now available.


Learn more about the Sounds Like Halloween audio series, including authors taking part & what you can expect, here.

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Sounds Like Halloween: Day 19 with Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran joins Sounds Like Halloween with a reading from her historical romance, Duke of Shadows.


About Duke of Shadows:

From exotic sandstone palaces…

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé’s betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London…

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous — and that a single decision can alter one’s life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned…and some passions never die.



About Meredith Duran: 

MEREDITH DURAN grew up enamored of British history. At thirteen years old, she made a list of life goals that included writing romance novels, trying sushi, and going to London to see Holbein’s portraits of the Tudor court. She is now happy to report that all three goals have become her favorite things to do. When not writing, she enjoys reading, teaching, knitting, weightlifting, baking, painting (alas, poorly), a full-fledged internet addiction, and the hunting and collecting of dusty travelogues written by nineteenth-century Englishwomen.

Connect with Meredith on her author site.


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Sounds Like Halloween: Day 2 with Jordan Castillo Price

Jordan Castillo Price joins Sounds Like Halloween with a reading from PsyCop Briefs, Volume 1.


About Psycop Briefs, Volume 1: 

Victor Bayne sees dead people for a living…and he sees them off the clock, too.  After all, ghosts don’t confine their appearances to a psychic medium’s work hours.

From the macabre to the mundane, from titillating to tender, these PsyCop shorts feature stolen moments between the novels. Get a glimpse of Vic’s life with Jacob between cases, from both men’s viewpoints. Gain new insight on their psychic talents by accompanying them on odd jobs, shopping runs and family visits, or simply enjoy some downtime in the cannery.

The twenty short works range in length from flash fiction to novelettes, woven together to create a novel-length narrative of Vic and Jacob’s relationship from a fresh perspective. The stories are gleaned from various sources: anthologies, newsletters, and web, with four all-new pieces to tie the collection together and delve deeper into your favorite PsyCops’ domestic life.



About Jordan Castillo Price: 

Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the Midwest, from inner city Chicago, to various cities across southern Wisconsin. She’s settled in a quirky old house near Lake Michigan with tons of character and a plethora of bizarre spiders. Any disembodied noises, she’s decided, will be blamed on the ice maker.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her fascinating psychological M/M thriller, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.

PsyCop Briefs ebook/paperback/audio can be purchased on Amazon.

Visit Jordan for lots of news, shorts, and goodies at http://jordancastilloprice.com


Learn more about the Sounds Like Halloween audio series, including authors taking part & what you can expect, here

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Sounds Like Halloween: 31 Days of Authors in Audio

What does Halloween sound like?

The wind blowing through the trees. A noise in the dark where no noise is supposed to be. The rev of a chainsaw, a lone meow, a scream calling out into the wilderness–and then cut off just as quickly. These are the sounds of horror and terror; of spooky nights and chilling days where you don’t want to sleep for fear of never waking up. Where you pray for the nights to be over. These are the sounds of Halloween.

Get ready to enter a literary world where these sounds come to life…

From October 1st through 31st, Binge on Books is hosting an audio series featuring authors from across books reading the spookiest, scariest, most terrifyingly horrible scenes they’ve ever written. Whether it’s Romance or Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Thrillers, scary stories abound and we are bringing them to you in audio. Sounds Like Halloween asks you to ask yourself…

…what really terrifies you?

Read More

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Countdown to Halloween: Hidden Gems in the Dark by Avon Gale

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Hello! My name is Avon Gale, and I’m here today to tell you about a few of my favorite horror movies. As a horror fan, my favorite films tend to be atmospheric, supernatural movies but I’m a sucker for found-footage films, anything having to do with demons, and a good twist-on-a-classic. I think I’ve probably watched the entirety of Netflix’s horror collection, and I’ve given more than a few Amazon Prime horror films (or, more appropriately, “films”) a chance. I’d say about 35% of what I watch is enjoyable, and of that, 10% is fantastic.

So, while I have a lot of well-known favorite horror movies – my favorite being The Haunting (the old version, that remake is dead to me :|) – including classics like The Shining, The Exorcist, etc, I wanted to share a few of the gems I’ve found that you might not have heard of. They range from sci-fi horror to supernatural horror to psychological horror, but each one spooked me and I’d recommend any movie here without reservation.

Here we go!


Let Us Prey

This is a Scottish horror movie about a mysterious prisoner who shows up in a police station, and causes…things…to happen, with the other prisoners *and* the police. It’s admittedly got a few problems, but I love this film mostly for the unconventional romance (seriously, the ending. OMG. /swoons). It’s a clever little movie but please be advised – it’s *very* graphic with some heavy bloodshed. This is part slasher film and part supernatural horror, and yes, part romance. I tweeted about how romantic the ending was, in fact, and the film’s director (!) tweeted back saying very few people appreciated the romance. Leave it to a romance fan, eh? Anyway, not for the faint of heart, this one, but the ending. Gah.

Spring

This is technically creature!horror with a bit of a supernatural twist…but it’s mostly a romance. It’s got amazing dialogue that will crack you up when you least expect it, and it’s so well-done. It’s about a guy who goes to Italy following some family woes, and meets a girl with whom he falls immediately in love. But she’s more than just a girl. Seriously, this is *delightful*, okay? Just watch it and then come squee with me about how amazing it is.

 

It Follows

This is, hands down, the best horror movie I’ve seen in probably a decade. You might have heard of this one, as it got a lot of attention a few years ago. But listen – I still think about a certain scene from this movie when I wake up at night and am in the kitchen or the bathroom. It makes me shiver and dash back into my bed, so. This movie is beautifully written, gorgeously shot (there’s an awesome time-dysphoria thing going on, which lends a dreamlike, timeless quality to the film) with a simple and chilling premise. I also want to talk forever about the various interpretations and meanings, and I love the characters so much.

 

White Bear episode of Black Mirror

I highly recommend the entire Black Mirror series, which you can find on Netflix. The series features chilling tales about the dark side of technology, and while I love all of them, “White Bear” remains one of the most unsettling and terrifying things I’ve ever seen. What’s so frightening about this is how it could happen, and…ugh. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to ruin it, but it’s only an hour and trust me, it’ll freak you out. It’s giving me the shivers just thinking about it.  

The Atticus Institute

It’s no secret that I love anything having to do with demons and demonic possession. No matter how bad it is, I will probably watch it (ditto with found-footage films). This film has one of the most interesting takes on demonic possession that I’ve come across, and it’s filmed as a faux-documentary, which is a conceit I absolutely love.  Rather than taking a religious angle, this film is about a woman who shows up at a paranormal research institute in the 70’s, and is kept for observation for several weeks. The mockumentary-style film is set in present-day with flashbacks to the 70’s, and deals with the idea of the military attempting to weaponize a demonic entity. This movie was actually the inspiration for my upcoming short story in the “All in Fear” anthology by Open Ink Press, thanks to a quick interview with an Air Force soldier that planted a seed in my demon-loving brain. Really unique take on a favorite horror trope.

The Invitation

This is a wonderful example of how horror doesn’t have to rely on ghosts or masked madmen to be effective. This one’s a psychological thriller in some ways, about a group of people at a dinner party who have intertwined – and complicated, uncomfortable — pasts. There’s a masterful build-up of tension in this movie, and you’re never quite sure what’s happening or if things are as sinister as they appear. This is not a movie that is going to appeal to everyone. If you’re not into the slow-build thing, you might want to skip this one – but if you give it a chance, trust me, the payoff is more than worth it. Thinking about the last scene of this movie gives me chills. 

The Witch

A very slow-burn horror set in Colonial America, this movie is incredible. It’s brilliantly written and acted, and deals with a family that’s been ostracized from their community. It’s another one that relies on tension and dread to be effective, and some people might hate the period-appropriate dialogue but I absolutely loved it. A perfect atmospheric horror film for a cold night. Unique and original and just all around a wonderful addition to the genre. 

Arq

This is a Netflix Original that just came out, and it’s about a machine that causes a time loop, an estranged couple, and a dystopian future. If I say any more than that, I’ll ruin it. Brilliantly acted film with an obvious low budget, this is horror sci-fi at its best – a great mix of tension and interpersonal drama that moves the plot along instead of stymying it. The action starts off right at the beginning and doesn’t let up, and I loved this movie for not forcing the audience to try and understand why the characters are in the situation they’re in. It just throws you in with them, and lets you figure out as they do. Really brilliant.

The Final Girls

So, I love horror but one thing I could do without? The “woman in peril” plotline. Not that I can’t appreciate it when it’s done well, and I know that most survivors in horror movies tend to *be* women, but I especially can’t stand it when the woman has to be pregnant just to “make it more horrible” that she’s in danger. Anyway, tangent aside, this movie is a highly-stylized production that reminded me a bit of a comic book. It’s beautifully filmed, with these deep bright colors and contrasting shadows, and it’s unclear what time period it’s set in. The premise is a girl who has been trained to take on a group of murderous, privileged young men who like to hunt and kill women. Watching the main character kick ass is so satisfying, I can’t even. This movie might not appeal to many *because* it’s so stylized, but it’s different and unique and I found it really enjoyable.

(note – there are two movies with this name, and honestly, I recommend both of them. This one is the shorter of the two, and was my favorite simply because it was so different from anything I’ve ever seen.)

 

Muirhouse

This movie has a terrible rating on IMDB, and it infuriates me because I thought it was awesome. It’s a slow-burn horror movie as well, about a paranormal investigator who spends some time – not even a night – in the haunted Muir House. Look, this isn’t the movie for you if you want jump scares galore or things explained and resolved. The majority of the movie is this one guy in the house, in which strange things keep happening and freaking him out. This is a supernatural movie that does amazing things with tension and dread, and one of the better found-footage films I’ve seen in the last few years.  

The Ceremony

I’m putting this movie on here because it is absolutely one of my favorites, and I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve searched and searched, and it’s like this damn thing no longer exists. It’s from 2008 and it’s about a guy trapped in his house while sinister things happen…and other than that, I can’t really explain it without giving anything away. All I can tell you is that I’m SO MAD I can’t find this, because I was only able to watch it twice and now it appears to have vanished (there are other films with this title, but this one is from 2008 and there’s a single trailer on YouTube that is terrible and not representative of this film at all). The film is about as low-budget as you get, featuring one actor in a perfectly normal college-ish duplex, stuck inside with the remnants of his absent-roommate’s class project. So good.

IF ANYONE FINDS ME THIS MOVIE I WILL SERIOUSLY SHOWER YOU WITH GRATITUDE, BOOKS, WHATEVER YOU WANT. I’m so enamored of it that I have a half-written story inspired by it, and I can’t work on the story because every time I try, I just get angry that I can’t find the movie >:( One day, ONE DAY, this will be available again and you’ll hear me yelling from Missouri.

A couple others to check out if you’re so inclined:

Housebound, They Look Like People, The Taking of Deborah Logan, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (the most brilliant take on a slasher film ever), The Dark, Grave Encounters, The Houses October Built, Ava’s Obsessions (hilarious horror-comedy), Rows,  Hush, You’re Next, and Lake Mungo.

Honestly, I can go on and on, so if you want to talk horror, please do! Hit me up on Twitter at @avongalewrites anytime!!

 

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Countdown to Halloween: This is Halloween by Piper Vaughn

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This is Halloween by Piper Vaughn

Hi, everyone! First, I wanted to thank Binge on Books for having me today! When asked if I liked horror and if I’d like to participate in their Halloween Roundup, I jumped at the chance. I’m a huge horror fan and have been for all of my life. October is my favorite month for several reasons, not in the least of which is Halloween. To celebrate, I always decorate the house. We take our son to a local farm and bring pumpkins home to carve, and of course, we dress up and take him trick-or-treating on the day.

There are other things I do to get into the spirit, too! Every October I have a horror flick marathon and I make it a point to watch a few scary (or just Halloween-themed) movies every week. Below are some of my favorites.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – I’m a longtime Tim Burton fan, and he was a producer of the film and created the characters. I love the painstaking stop animation that was used to create this film. It took them three years to finish! I also adore the score by Danny Elfman, and I LOVE Jack Skellington to the point that I have a ton of his merch – pens, a pillow, a scarf, a hoodie, socks, a mug, you name it. I’m a Jack fangirl, and I re-watch this movie both around Halloween and Christmas.

Hocus Pocus – I was about 12 when this movie came out and I had such a crush not only on Sarah Jessica Parker but also on Omri Katz, who played Max. It was just so much fun, and I can’t even think about it without getting “I Put a Spell on You” stuck in my head. I still thoroughly enjoy it, even watching it as an adult, and have passed my love of the film onto my son.

Beetlejuice – Again with the Tim Burton, yes. I’m a goth at heart, I guess, and his movies just work for me. Not only that, I was obsessed with Winona Ryder as a kid, and I also loved Geena Davis. I thought “Beetlejuice” was the unbeatable combination of funny/weird/creepy only Tim Burton can pull off. And I’ll never forget the dinner scene where they start singing “Banana Boat Song (Day O)” and dancing around the table.

Jeepers Creepers – This is hands down one of my favorite horror flicks. It starts off as a road trip gone horribly wrong when a couple of college siblings bound for home are nearly run off the road by a really aggressive driver in a truck bearing the license plate “BEATNGU.” Things only go downhill from there, and every second of it is creepy, fantastic, monster-movie fun. Where’d you get those peepers? Well, if you’re the Creeper, you ate them right out of someone’s head. 😛

28 Days Later – I love zombies. LOVE. (*fist bump to my fellow fans*) I know some zombie purists don’t like to consider the Rage virus victims zombies because of their speed, but who’s to  say what makes a zombie and what doesn’t? (Save for maybe George A. Romero, but eh. I like variety in my zombies!) I love the opening of this film – the horrified, frantic confusion lasts for a good long while, and my heart was racing the first time I watched it. I liked the sequel too, but nowhere near as much as the first. Plus, Cillian Murphy. I mean, damn, he’s a beautiful man, and I loved seeing him vulnerable and terrified.

The Strangers – This one leans toward the darker end of the horror movie spectrum. It takes a LOT to scare me, typically, but terrorizing home invasion stuff is guaranteed to do it every time. Why? Well, I have a bit of a phobia about people breaking into my home and torturing/killing my family. This is partly to do with the fact that there was a home invasion/hostage situation on my block when I lived in Alaska. So, the idea of being trapped in a house surrounded by people wanting to torment me purely for their own amusement? Yeah, that freaks me the hell out. And yet, I’ve re-watched the movie a couple of times and probably will again. What can I say? I do like to be scared.

The Grudge – I’m a fan of Japanese films, and I loved this remake of “Ju-On.” I thought it was deliciously creepy, but what really made it scary and memorable for me the first time I watched it was actually the reaction of my best friend. She clutched at my arm and covered her eyes and screamed, and her fear and tension fed mine and frightened me in a way I wouldn’t have been if I’d watched it alone. I’ll always remember it fondly because of that. Silver Bullet – I love werewolves. I love Stephen King. Combine them, and I am sold! I saw this movie for the first time as a young, impressionable eight year old. It scared the crap out of me at the time. I’ve re-watched it as an adult, and while it doesn’t scare me anymore, I still appreciate it as a classic, cheesy ’80s monster movie. Love it!

The Lost Boys – Speaking of cheesy ’80s horror movies, this is a vampire flick I’ve long adored. Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland were so hot in this movie. Beyond that, I loved the Coreys and the music and the clothes/style, not to mention the humorous moments. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this movie, and I know I’ll only add to that number.

stranger-thingsStranger Things – This is the most recent addition to my list, and it’s a show not a movie. It’s a Netflix original series set in the ’80s and reminiscent of so many films of that era. It came out in July of this year, and I’ve already watched it twice and plan to watch it again soon. It reminded me of movies like “Firestarter,” “E.T.” and “The Goonies.” It filled me with nostalgia, and I can’t wait for the second season. I hope it lives up to the first!

I could go on (and on), but that’s it from me for now! What are your favorite horror movies? I’m always looking for recommendations!

*haunted hugs and sinister smooches*

~Piper <3


Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Visit Piper at: Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Google+


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