Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FOLLOW THE NIGHT for only .99 cents!

If you read in Michele Hauf's Beautiful Creatures world, you may have read the Bewitch the Dark mini-series, which features the books From The Dark, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Devil to Pay.  Did you know there is a prequel to From the Dark which features the parents of heroine Jane Renan?  That story is FOLLOW THE NIGHT and is set in 18th century Paris.  It's now on sale for a limited time for .99 cents!  So go grab it!
 Find at Amazon
Find at Barnes & Noble
Find at Smashwords

Steam Crow Kickstarter

Hey VampChix!

Just wanted to give you a quick heads up about a cool kickstarter campaign. Steam Crow is producing t-shirts of some of their coolest designs. They have Poe, Lovecraft, Tesla and Rasputin "altered ego" shirts.

Are those awesome or what? I have the silk screen print of the Lovecraft design on my living room wall. Now I need a Poe shirt for myself and a Tesla for my science nerd hubby.

The kickstarter runs just until the end of this month! So get on over there now before it's too late!

Here's the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/steamcrow/altered-egos

Not familiar with Steam Crow? Check them out at their website.
They are a family-owned small business that makes one-of-a-kind monster-themed art. They are regulars at Comicons here in Arizona and just super nice people in general.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A New Book From Stephen King Due in November

Revival, by Stephen King
Release Date November 2014

Book Description:

"A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.
In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.
Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of 13, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.
This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe."

Sounds exciting!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Remember that God-awful creepy doll from the movie, The Conjuring?
Well, she's getting her own movie. Annabelle will be in theaters in October 3rd!

The first trailer is out now. Take a look:

Gah. Creepy dolls are so....CREEPY!!

And let me just say...I'm having a hard time believing that anyone would have wanted this doll in the first place. NOT that it might end up haunted. That part seems plausible. LOL. Well, I loved The Conjuring, so I guess I will have to see this too. 
And then hide every doll in the house for the foreseeable future so I don't have nightmares.

Oh, and speaking of nightmares...read the story that inspired the "Annabelle" from the movie here.
I will never look at Raggedy Ann the same way.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Through the Woods

Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll

This book just came out on the 15th, and it is the first book for author, Emily Carroll. I have followed some of her work on her website, after reading one of the short stories included here- His Face All Red. So, when I heard that she was writing a book soon, I was anxious to get my hands on it. Luckily, the publisher was also interested in giving VampChix a copy to review! And I am so glad they did because this was just as gorgeous and creepy as I hoped it would be.

The book consists of 5 short stories, and an introduction and conclusion. Everything, from the table of contents, to the copyright page to the author's page is covered in beautiful artwork. The content is scary but suitable for audiences 14 and up. (Or at parent's discretion, of course)

And the stories are just deliciously disturbing. The settings range from the North American frontier to a Parisian mansion, to a horrifying home in the 1930s. The tales alone would be chilling enough, but the accompanying artwork is what makes these stories spectacular.

I love it. Every detail is perfectly macabre. The atmosphere builds; each story becoming just a bit more unsettling than the last. By the time I got to the final story, The Nesting Place, I was truly haunted. 5 stars!

Buy it on Amazon
Check it out on Goodreads

Friday, July 18, 2014

Doctor Who Update!

Hey, Whovians!

The first full trailer for the new series of Doctor Who is finally here!
Check it out:

What do you think? They said Capaldi's Doctor would be darker, and you definitely get that vibe from the preview. Also, I saw Madame Vastra! Yea! Oooh and dinosaurs? Heck yeah!
So excited. So excited. Happy dance. Happy dance.

Doctor Who returns August 23rd!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Hunter- Illustrated & in Hardcover

Parker: The Hunter, by Richard Stark, Illustrations by Darwyn Cooke

Book Description:

 "The Hunter is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind — to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!
For fans of gritty in-your face crime-fiction graphic novels, there is no comparison."

Angie's Review:

If you've never read any of the Parker novels, let me give you a bit of background. "Parker" is a character created by Richard Stark, who was himself just one of many pen names of Donald Westlake. The Parker novels came out in the 1960s, and The Hunter was the first of them. The Hunter may also be recognizable to some, even if they've never read the book, as it has been adapted into a screenplay twice- the 1967 movie, Point Blank and the 1999 movie, Payback.

It is a book about a cold, emotionless criminal who is back-stabbed by his ex-wife and one of his partners in crime. They leave him for dead, and very unfortunately for them, they didn't finish the job. So, Parker comes looking for them. It was a first of it's kind. That sort of dark crime novel with an anti-hero just wasn't a genre before Parker came along. They had done criminals as heroes before, but never a guy who really was a bad guy. Parker doesn't really have redeeming qualities. He is a sociopath whose sole motivation in this book is revenge and money. And Westlake's writing style in The Hunter is stark- just like the pen name he chose to write under. So, the book had that something that captured the imaginations of other writers and movie makers. It was gritty, and hard; cold and remorseless, and ground-breaking. And people ate it up.

So, this edition of The Hunter is a tribute to the original. It is the complete novel, accompanied by full color illustrations by Darwyn Cooke. Cooke has previously adapted the Parker novels into comic form, and so this illustrated edition is another way he has chosen to pay homage to the Westlake novels that he loves. And the illustrations here are very gorgeous. The style captures the 1960s feel perfectly and so it compliments the book in just the right way.

This makes a great gift for someone you know who is a fan of Westlake or the Parker books, or who is just a big fan of crime fiction. Or if you're someone who loves crime novels, this might be the time to start reading about Parker.

 More info at IDW
Buy it on Amazon

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy movie promo giveaway

The Purge: Anarchy Prize Pack Giveaway


On July 18th, prepare for Anarchy by checking out the “5 Things To Know Before You Watch The Purge: Anarchy” Interactive GIFs. Move your mouse across the GIFs to control the scene!
The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. The Purge: Anarchy follows an unlikely group of five citizens who, over the course of the night, are hunted across the city in a kill-or-be-killed series of survival scenarios during the annual Purge.
Take a look at these interactive GIFs

Contest time! After playing with the interactive GIFs leave a comment telling me how you would survive a Purge night (leave your email if it is not included in your profile) and you could win a prize pack that includes a cool T-shirt and flashlight!

If you are one of the brave moviegoers that isn't afraid to see this in theaters I would love to hear your opinion of the movie (looks completely horrifying to me) or if you saw the first movie we could chat about that too. 
Giveaway guidelines
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Purge Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I, Strahd

P. N. Elrod, author of the Vampire Files series, started her career writing game manuals for TSR, the company that created Dungeons and Dragons. If you’ve played D&D, you may remember the Ravenloft campaign setting, a realm of haunted castles, vampires, werewolves, and other vintage horror motifs. That setting originated with a game module called “Ravenloft,” in which player characters confront an awesomely powerful vampire lord, Count Strahd von Zarovich of Barovia, D&D’s Dracula figure. After publishing several of her Jack Fleming “Vampire Files” novels, Elrod was commissioned to write Strahd’s autobiography. In I, STRAHD: MEMOIRS OF A VAMPIRE (1993), the Count narrates his early life and transformation into a vampire. He does not start out evil, and Elrod skillfully portrays his descent into darkness.

In life, as a noble warrior, battle-hardened and sometimes harsh, but honorable, Strahd hasn’t had time for a family. At the beginning of the story, he welcomes his much younger brother, Sergei, to his castle. Never having had the chance to know his brother in the past, Strahd sincerely rejoices in this new relationship. At first, he doesn’t resent Sergei’s youth, attractiveness, and pleasure in life. But then both of them fall in love with the same woman, Tatyana. She becomes engaged to Sergei, while thinking of Strahd only as a cherished elder brother. Strahd’s love for Sergei transforms to bitter jealousy of the young man’s enjoyment of all the happiness the Count’s warrior life has barred him from. Making a pact with the powers of darkness, Strahd slays his brother and rises as a vampire nourished by Sergei’s blood. The Count’s declaration of love to Tatyana, naturally, has a tragic outcome. Horrified, she leaps from the castle balcony to her death. The vampire lord Strahd evolves into a bloodthirsty tyrant, while an enchanted mist springs up to wall off his realm from the other planes of the multiverse. For the rest of his undead existence, he seeks Tatyana’s reincarnation in one maiden after another, although every such relationship ends in disaster. This obsession and his craving for power become his sole passions.

Elrod makes Strahd an interesting, rounded character whom we can sympathize with even though he eventually becomes a monster of supernatural evil. She infuses his voice with hints of dry humor and wry wit that help to individualize him. Despite his tragic fall, he retains a sense of responsibility for the domain he rules with stern justice. Strahd develops into a credible combination of the tormented Byronic anti-hero of Gothic vampire tradition, the romantic vampire perpetually seeking his lost love, and the Dracula-like undead lord dominating terrified subjects from his haunted castle.

As well as a short story about Strahd, “Caretaker,” in the anthology TALES OF RAVENLOFT (1994), Elrod also wrote I, STRAHD: THE WAR AGAINST AZALIN (1998). In this sequel, framed by a scene in which Dr. Rudolph Van Richten, Ravenloft’s Van Helsing figure, discovers Strahd’s memoirs, the vampire lord forms an unstable alliance with the powerful lich (undead wizard) Azalin. Their eventual shift to open hostilities, of course, doesn’t destroy either of them, since media tie-in fiction has to “return the toys to the box” intact. Even so, the book is an exciting horror-fantasy tale that reveals a bit more of Strahd’s character. Readers don’t need any acquaintance with D&D to enjoy these Ravenloft-based novels. All the information required to understand the stories is included in the texts, so they stand on their own as dark Gothic adventures.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review- The Butcher, by Jennifer Hillier

The Butcher, by Jennifer Hillier
Release Date: Tuesday, July 15th!

Book Description:

"From the author of the acclaimed suspense novels Creep and Freak and whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as a "top of the line thriller writer," The Butcher is a high-octane novel about lethal secrets that refuse to die—until they kill again.

A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous "Beacon Hill Butcher" was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise.

Settling back into his childhood home and doing some renovations in the backyard to make the house feel like his own, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him… Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.

Meanwhile Matt’s girlfriend, Sam, has always suspected that her mother was murdered by the Beacon Hill Butcher—two years after the supposed Butcher was gunned down. As she pursues leads that will prove her right, Sam heads right into the path of Matt’s terrible secret.

A thriller with taut, fast-paced suspense, and twists around every corner, The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end."

Angie's Review:

 Wow, this was exciting!

The book starts with a punch and they just keep coming. You are introduced to Edward Shank and right from the beginning the author tells you that he's "The Butcher." That is not the surprise here, so no spoilers. Edward is a bad, bad man. He was chief of police for years and basically he framed a guy- a bad guy in his own right, but not the serial killer Edward was- for his crimes. He retired, and he left his house to his grandson, Matt, who is a successful restauranteur, and he is moving himself into a retirement home. 

Matt is a rising star in the food community and he's getting his own show on the Fresh Network. But all of his success is creating a rift between him and his girlfriend, Sam. He is becoming more distant, and is having trouble controlling his anger issues, and he's basically being a lousy boyfriend.
Sam, is struggling with her frustration with Matt and her burgeoning feelings for a long-time friend named Jason. She's also researching the Butcher case, because she believes her mother was one of his victims- after the supposed "real killer" had already died. She knows that most people won't believe her, but she is finding evidence that suggests that maybe Seattle PD got the wrong guy all those years ago.

Obviously, when Matt learns who his grandfather is, he is faced with a huge dilemma- turn the guy in or not? And as Sam is getting closer and closer to the truth, she is in more and more danger. Both from Edward, as we might expect, but also from Matt. It isn't clear if Matt is going to go the way Edward has, or if he's going to save his soul before he lets darkness overtake him. 

There are twists and turns along the way, and moments that made me actually gasp, so it is a pretty suspenseful read. Do be aware though, that the content could be disturbing for some- we are talking about a man who killed, tortured and raped women for decades. There are no graphic depictions of these acts, but plenty of references to them.

But if you want a book that will shock you and keep you flipping pages right to the end, then this is a good one. Five stars from me.