Book excerpt: Hex Marks the Spot, by Ani Gonzalez

I’ve occasionally mentioned that I don’t always know what, exactly, draws me into a book’s summary. That isn’t at all the case with Ani Gonzalez’s Hex Marks the Spot.

There were a few key phrases that locked me in as soon as I read them:

  • The main character’s hometown is the “Most Haunted in America”;
  • There’s a hellhound chihuahua; and
  • A necromancer has to save the world.

Those were, without a doubt, my favourite parts of this book’s summary. And we get a glimpse of each one of them in today’s excerpt.

Want to take a look?

Continue reading “Book excerpt: Hex Marks the Spot, by Ani Gonzalez”

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Updated book recommendation: The House of Small Shadows, by Adam Nevill

A copy of The House of Small Shadows, by Adam Nevill

(Note: This recommendation was first published in March of 2015. You can see the original version here.)

It’s getting close to Halloween, which means a lot of us are craving books, movies, and TV shows that fall into the creepier set of genres.

Then again, I can crave that sort of thing any time of the year. Sometimes I just need to read something that shakes me up a little bit.

Luckily, I can turn to books like The House of Small Shadows, by Adam Nevill, to achieve that effect. I’ve read this one twice now–and the reason I’ve only read it twice is because of how easily it gets under my skin. It’s that creepy, and it stuck with me for so long that I couldn’t pick it up again without remembering what happened in it, shuddering slightly, and putting it back down. I needed some time away from it before I could read it again.

Then, after time passed, I read it again this summer. And I’m happy to say I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read it.

Continue reading “Updated book recommendation: The House of Small Shadows, by Adam Nevill”

One little spider

A small brown house spider

I’ll say right up front that today’s picture didn’t come out quite as well as I wanted it to. It isn’t as in focus as I’d like it to be.

But, I don’t think it’s entirely terrible. Especially when you consider how much I hate spiders. I was on edge the whole time I was taking this little guy’s picture. Any time this spider moved, I jumped back.

Which is probably why I had so much trouble getting him in focus.

The only reason I was able to take this spider’s picture at all was because he was so little. Any bigger, and I would have been too nervous to even try. I managed it, though, and then I let him crawl onto a piece of cardboard and put him outside.

It was a short adventure, but at least I got some photo practice out of it.

 

Book excerpt: If She Were Blind, by Laney Wylde

There was something in the summary of Laney Wylde’s If She Were Blind that instantly caught my attention. Maybe it was the idea of someone unknowingly trying to hire an assassin to target herself. Maybe it was promise of a tense mix of suspense and romance.

Then again, maybe it was the comparison to Veronica Mars. I do love that show, after all.

Regardless, something drew me in, and I couldn’t wait to read at least a little of this promising book. Today, we’re all lucky enough to check out an excerpt. Before we do, though, take a moment to enter Laney’s rafflecopter, where she’s giving away a Justice Always t-shirt.

Alright, ready?

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Relax and practice

Pink bath salts

Practice makes perfect, right? That’s a total cliche, I know. It’s something I tend to tell myself fairly often, though, because I like to think that, while I may never reach “perfect”, practice can at least help me reach “fairly good.”

That’s what taking this picture was about–practicing. I wasn’t trying to tell a particular story with it, or capture something I wanted to remember, or anything else momentous. I just wanted to practice focusing on a particular area of an image. I figured the individual pieces of Epsom salt would make for a pretty good challenge in that regard.

I was right about that challenge; I had some trouble landing my focus in just the right spot to achieve the image I had in my head. In the end, though, I did a fairly decent job of it, and I’m happy with how this particular picture turned out.

So do you know what I did? I gave myself permission to take some of those bath salts and use them during some relaxation time. It was an absolutely wonderful reward.