Spooktober TBR

I usually try to post an Autumn/Fall TBR but given how ridiculously late I am this year and how weirdly excited I am about Halloween I’ve decided to dedicate this month to all things creepy. I love all things horror (mostly books and films though) so I’m hoping to post lots of reviews, reading rec’s and ummmm… other stuff with a bit of spooky theme. Welcome to Spooktober.

Today I’m kicking things off with my Spooktober TBR. These are a mix of books that I’ve been looking forward to reading or have recently picked up on NetGalley that I’ve forced to fit the theme are perfect for the season.

So without further ado…

tim burton halloween GIF



The Secret of Cold Hill (House on Cold Hill, #2)The Lost Ones

  • The Secret of Cold Hill by Peter James – I’m already half way through this classic haunted house story so including this in the list is either a bit of a cheat or an easy win 🙂 but I do love a creepy ghost story with strange noises and mysterious figures who may be corporeally challenged. It’s actually a sequel to The House on Cold Hill which I read and enjoyed but can be read as a standalone.
  • The Lost Ones by Anita Frank – I picked this ARC up from NetGalley based largely on the cover and the comparisons to The Woman in Black. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but I’m more than happy to make an exception for something that sounds like a creepy gothic horror.

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)The Wych Elm

  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – I don’t tend to read a lot of middle grade books but given it’s written by the wonderful Victoria Schwab (who can seemingly do no wrong) and is set in Edinburgh I couldn’t resist. This is the first book in a series though so there is a risk that if I enjoy it I’ll have to read sequel Tunnel of Bones.
  • The Wych Elm by Tana French – I don’t think this is technically a spooky read but I’m justifying it on the basis of the wych in the title. I also got this from NetGalley ages ago and have yet to read so I could do with the push. I do love Tana French but have a horrible habit of putting them off.

The LingeringA House of Ghosts

  • The Lingering by SJI Holliday – As well as being Spooktober this is also #Orentober so I couldn’t resist including the Lingering on my list. I have sooo many Orenda books on my TBR (they’re unfailingly brilliant) and this is one I bought when it first came out and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to read.
  • House of Ghosts by WC Ryan – I mean the title pretty much explains why I couldn’t resist this when I spied it on NetGalley. Yet again it’s one that’s already out and I have yet to get around to reading but it sounds suitably creepy and is set in the past so I should be safe… well maybe.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth FrankensteinWayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)

  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – Confession time I tried to listen to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein on audio and gave up half way through. It was possibly the narrator (sorry Dan Stevens) but as soon as it got to the monster’s story I completely lost focus. I am however very excited about this reworking of the story. White is one of my fave authors and I’ve been loving her twists on classic stories.
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell – Not sure this is technically a creepy or spooky read but it’s just out, I have a copy and there’s ummm… vampires so it totally counts. I loved Carry On and I love Rowell’s writing so have been anxiously awaiting this. And, as a mood reader there’s no way I’ll be able to stick to a list that’s solely creepy ghost stories (also if I did I may never sleep again).

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10)

  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs – This is probably more urban fantasy/paranormal romance but with vampires, werewolves and probably some other beasties I think it fits the bill, plus I need a little bit of romance in my reading life. This is actually the second in the Mercy Thompson series so I’ve been meaning to read it ever since I finished the first book.
  • The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones – This is also more urban fantasy/paranormal romance following as it does a private investigator who can see dead people but it’s been far too long since I read a Charley Davidson. I have an ARC of the thirteenth and final book so there’s also that for added motivation.

The Silent CompanionsMonstrous Heart

  • Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna – This is described as a “gothic, epic, romantic fantasy at it’s very best; a tale of magic, intrigue on dangerous waters and a love story for the ages” so yep hopes are high for this despite some decidedly not so great early reviews. Fingers crossed I fall into the loved it camp.
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – I bought this a while back based on a number of rave reviews (many of which used variations of the phrase genuinely creepy gothic mystery to describe it) but yet again have had it lurking on my kindle unread. I think it’s time I rectified that… even if I can never sleep again 😮

So that’s my reading list. I am a little concerned it may be a tad too creepy (reading The Secret of Cold Hill before bed has already got me spooked) but there are hopefully a few less terrifying reads on the list. Are there any you’ve read? Any not on my list I should be checking out? Let me know below.

freddy krueger vampire GIF

Happy reading and see you on the spooky side.

Ali x

My Ten Top Reads for Halloween

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is a Halloween freebie. I have to admit I went into a bit of a panic when I heard this as there are just so many things you can do. I have however realized that I’ve never actually done a post on some of my favorite Halloween reads so, while it’s probably not the most original take on the prompt, that’s what I’ve decided to do.

These are probably favorite recent reads rather than all time faves but I’ve tried to include a good mix and some lesser known books so there’s something for everyone.

Young Adult

Frozen CharlotteThe Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)MonsterThere's Someone Inside Your House

  • Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – Remote and isolated location, weird goings on in the middle of the night, mysterious deaths and some very creepy little dolls, what more do you need for a very spooky story that will have you jumping at every strange noise.
  • The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker – I see dead people. Yeah, thankfully I don’t but Mattie Hathaway does. She’s been doing her damnedest to ignore them but when something happens to a friend she has no choice but to open the lines of communication. I do love a ghost story and this has plenty of shocks and twists.
  • Monster by C.J. Skuse – Another remote and isolated location (a girl’s boarding school in the middle of nowhere), a group of girls left alone during a blizzard and the legend of the Beast of Bathory, a big cat rumored to roam outside the school. This is a little slow to get going but once the blizzard starts it’s truly gripping and keeps you guessing till the very end.
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins – There’s someone inside your house and for some reason they feel the need to move around your furniture and then bump you off in a violent and gruesome way. Not exactly the scariest of reads (not scary at all in fact) but it’s an easy read with plenty of diversity and a cutesy romance.


The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Girl with All the GiftsThe Beast of Barcroft (The Fatal Folklore Trilogy Book 1)

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Not sure why but there was a lot in this that creeped me the hell out. I mistakenly thought it was YA when I started it but it’s really not. Beautifully written and absolutely horrifying at times.
  • The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey – This was not at all what I was expecting when I first picked it up. I personally wouldn’t say it’s a particularly scary read but it does have the odd moment where you kinda want to cover your eyes. Absolutely brilliant, as is the film.
  • The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart –  Something is terrorizing the neighborhood killing the local wildlife, pets and a few of the neighbors. Could it be some mythical beast, or has someone’s dog gone rabid (hint: it’s not the latter)? This is the book that taught me the meaning of cryptozoology and also had me looking into the Beast of West Lothian (totally a real thing just like apparently the Beast of Barcroft was).

Paranormal Romance

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)The Skeletons of Scarborough House (The Chapelwick Mysteries #1)Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned, #1)

  • Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost – If you’re going to get involved with a vampire might as well make it Dracula, wait woops not supposed to call him that. He might get angry and torch the place. Jeaniene Frost books are definitely my fave guilty pleasure read and Vlad Tepesh is by far my favorite alpha male. Hot, hot, hot and hilariously funny at times.
  • The Skeletons of Scarborough House by Kitty French – I see dead people, sorry already done that. This time it’s Melody Bittersweet who sees dead people and decides to use her talent by starting the Girl’s Ghostbusting Agency. Unfortunately being the local nut doesn’t leave much potential for love and the only options seem to be scumbag ex and competition and the local reporter determined to prove you a fraud. This is a funny read but also more emotional than you would expect. Also Kitty French is the master at creating chemistry in the most unexpected of places.
  • Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman – Vampyres with a Y this time (is there a difference?). Anyway, girl goes to get hypnotized to stop smoking and winds up a vampyre, it could happen to anyone. I love Robyn Peterman books, they’re very crude but extremely fun reads.

So that’s my top ten Halloween reads. Have you read any of these or have I tempted you to pick them up? What are your favorite Halloween reads?

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.

Saturday Night at the Movies: 5 Great British Horror Films

I  know, book blog but Halloween is fast approaching and I am a BIG fan of horror movies so I couldn’t resist doing a post on some of my favorites. This, the first of two posts (I couldn’t limit myself to one), is all about British horror films.

I’m very possibly biased but I truly think that Britain has produced some of the best ever horror films. They do tend to be a little low budget but they definitely make up for it with good story lines and brilliant dialogue. There are a lot of great films but I think these are my favorites.

5. Dog Soldiers (2002)

Image result

What’s it about – A group of soldiers versus a pack of werewolves in the Scottish wilderness.

Why I love it – There don’t seem to be many werewolf movies so that’s a big plus and this one while being pretty low budget is really well made. There are a few twists that I didn’t expect, great acting, a decent script and I really liked the military aspects. The werewolves themselves are kind of funny looking, it is low budget after all, but still very watchable.

Fear Factor – It has it’s moments but it’s difficult to take the werewolves seriously when they are so comical looking.

4. The Descent

Image result for the descent

What’s it about – A group of friends decide to go and explore some caves, but they’re not the only ones down there.

Why I love it – It’s dark, it’s claustrophobic, the things in the cave are properly scary and it’s very, very violent. The best thing though is that it’s really a survival story and it is brilliant to watch how each of them react to the situation, firstly when they realize they’re stuck in the caves and then when they realize they’re not alone. Some are all about the team work and others mean to survive by any means possible.

Fear Factor – Pretty high although that could be just me as I’m a little bit claustrophobic and you would never catch me down in those caves in the first place. There’s a lot of shocks, sudden violence and will definitely have you watching from between your fingers.

3. 28 Days Later (2002)

Image result for 28 days later

What’s it about – Zombies!!!! Kind of like the Walking Dead, bloke wakes up in hospital in London to discover most of the population has been infected with a virus.

Why I love it – Zombies!!!! I love a zombie film, they are the absolute best movie monster because they have literally no feelings, no conscience and no sense of self preservation. Also the scene where he initially wakes and is literally the only person on the streets of London is stunning.

Fear Factor – There are quite a few shocks and scares but it’s probably more gory than terrifying.

2. Severence (2006)

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Severance (#6 of 7)

What’s it about – A group of sales executives on a corporate retreat in Eastern Europe somehow end up at the wrong cabin, the very wrong cabin.

Why I love it – There is a lot of bad language, nudity, sexual references, drug use and over the top violence but it’s hilarious. The humor is definitely dark but it just makes me giggle. Danny Dyer is fantastic in the lead but the other characters are also perfectly cast. There are quite a few who remind me of aspects of my co workers and I love all of the little resentments between them.

Fear Factor – Yeah, there are a few bits that will make you jump and it’s a little bit creepy in places but this is much more about the humor and the violence.

1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Image result for shaun of the dead poster

What’s it about – A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Why I love it – Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Do I need to say anything else? OK, I love the humor and just how long it takes the pair of them to realize the world is being taken over by zombies. It definitely makes a very valid point about how we kind of sleepwalk through life not paying attention to the things going on around us. Although I would hope I would notice the end of the world. I also love just how crap their plan is. I’m fairly positive that should there ever be a zombie apocalypse I will probably be the first to go.

Fear Factor – It describes itself as a RomZomCom so pretty low. There is the odd creepy moment and quite a bit of blood and gore but it’s more funny than scary.

So that’s my five favorite British horror movies. Have you watched any of them? What did you think? Are there any you think should be included in this list or that you would recommend?


8 Books with Seriously Scary Covers

The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is ten books with fall/autumn covers but having had a futile search through my books and feeling all Halloweeny I’ve decided to do spooky covers instead. Whether they’re just a little bit creepy, kinda gross or down right terrifying, these are the covers that either draw you in or send you running for the hills.

Read on if you dare.

1 The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker

The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)The Ghost Files 2 (The Ghost Files, #2)The Ghost Files 3 (The Ghost Files, #3)

I think every cover in this series has been creepier than the last, I mean look at them. I know a few people who out and out refuse to even attempt this series about a girl who sees dead people purely because of the covers but they are totally missing out. Yes, it’s kinda creepy with ghosts popping up all over the place but it’s pretty good. I’ve just discovered book 4 is out so I’ve already downloaded.

2 Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell

Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston, #1)

This is a serial killer thriller rather than a horror but definitely wins an award for one of the creepiest, most horrible covers I’ve come across. The story is a bit less scary than the cover but still pretty disturbing.

3 The Beast of Barcroft by Bill Schweigart

The Beast of Barcroft

This series has been one of my recent favorite horror reads. You have to love a good monster in the woods story and this is a good (or really evil) monster in the woods story.

4 The Rats by James Herbert

The Rats

As the owner of a cat who is an expert hunter and someone who spends a lot of the time in barns and stables, I am for the most part ok with mice but rats…. Sorry, I know some people keep them as pets but no, no, no. I read this book a long time ago and despite being horrified for most of it really enjoyed it. I’ve been very tempted to do a re read but those beady little eyes are putting me off.

5 The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The HatchingSkitter (The Hatching #2)

Bleugh!!! I hate spiders, I don’t mind the odd little tiny one but when there’s as many as there are on these covers (or in my shed) expect much running and screaming. I haven’t read either of these books because of the covers which suggest there might be more than the odd spider in the story.

6 Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Another book I haven’t read but based on that cover I really, really want to. Creepy mist, creepy house, creepy sky, lots of blood, looks good to me.

7 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1)

The word that springs to mind with this one is yuck. Again haven’t read but I’ve seen the film. I didn’t really like it and that actually put me off picking up the book despite liking the sound of it. Maybe at some point.

8 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend and Other Stories

I think this cover pretty much speaks for itself. This has been on my TBR forever and I really should read it soon. I loved the film although I only managed to watch it once because it’s just too sad.

So that’s my top eight (or should that be eleven) books with seriously scary covers. I’m pretty sure I’m missing a few good ones.  Have you read any of these or want to read any? Do you know a book with an even creepier cover? I’m always on the hunt for a good creepy story so any recommendations gratefully received.

Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.