New Short Story: The Center of Earth

Hey everyone!

I’ve been writing nearly every day for the past couple months, and though I’ve focused primarily on my full-length story, I’ve been keeping my creative flow going by writing a few short stories as well. This one was inspired heavily by my October Challenge, a monthly challenge that revolved around H.P. Lovecraft (you can find my book review here). It involves a scientist, an ominous darkness, and the center of the Earth. I hope you all enjoy, it’s a nice quick read for those of you who’d like a not-too-terrifying bedtime story 😉 Click Here for the story!
  
Until next time! 

Live,

Morgan Paige 

Monthly Challenge: Reflection and Popular Horror

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January Reading Challenge: Popular Horror from 2015

Hey all! This month’s reading challenge is going to be a bit of a reflection of last year, as the Goodreads Reader’s Choice 2015 list has just been released. It’s a very interesting contest where readers get to vote which books were the best in certain listed genres. I did vote for my favorite books, but none of them actually made it to the winning position (my heart just about broke when The Cuckoo’s Calling didn’t win in the thriller genre). For the sake of educating myself, this month I decided to read some of the books that won and discover why they were so popular.

For the horror section, Dean Koontz’ book Saint Odd was the winner… which is a bit of a problem, because apparently it’s the seventh book in the series. Cue me being overwhelmed by the amount of reading I would have to do to catch up…

There are some other amazing books on the horror genre list, like Alice by Christina Henry (a twisted take on Alice in Wonderland), Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates, and another story by Clive Barker’s expertise, The Scarlet Gospels (a new installment in the Pinhead stories, I believe). I decided to pick just one this month, as for 2016 I’m trying to break out of my norm and pick authors and/or genres that I wouldn’t normally choose.

So, since I’ve never read a Dean Koontz book before and he’s one of the most popular modern authors of the day, I will be picking the first book in the Odd Thomas series, aptly named Odd Thomas, and hopefully one day will work my way up to reading Saint Odd (maybe then I’ll understand this year’s hype!). I honestly don’t know anything about the series (I tried not to read Saint Odd’s synopsis for fear of spoilers), but I’ll be happy to share the story with you soon!

Is anyone in the process of reading any of the books that were featured on the Goodreads Book Choice Awards? Or have you read any and already formed opinions on them? I’d love to hear about any of the books, any genre, because this was my first year knowing about the awards and I’m not sure if the voting system is legitimate or not. Is it basically a popularity contest? Or is it more biased towards main stream books/authors? Let me hear what you think!

Until next time,

Live,

Morgan

PS. So, in doing a tiiiiny bit of research, I’ve found that this book was actually made into a movie. If I finish the book in time, I’ll also include a comparison review for those that are interested! Could be interesting, right? 😊

Book Review: HP Lovecraft, a Challenge Completed!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

While waiting out the hours till the sun sets and the trick or treaters come out, I thought it would be the perfect timing to talk to you all about our first monthly challenge together: October Challenge, complete!

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I read through HP Lovecraft’s anthology (granted, it’s not all of his shimage1 (4)ort stories that he had published) this past month, and I absolutely loved every bit of it. Lovecraft is known for his breathtaking, unique approach to telling ghost stories. It’s not about jump scares or gore or anything too twisted. He takes reality and bends it just so to play mind games with the reader and the characters. It seems like the main characters always go through some tortuous adventure where their sanity is questioned, and then in the last couple of pages in the story, the audience is gripped in this horrifying story that comes to terrible conclusions. Although he used this technique through out most of his stories, I feel like Lovecraft is truly a pioneer in the horror genre and made each story it’s own.

Most people know about the Cthulu mythos (and yes! That’s a Cthulu POP Vinyl <3), but a fair few of the stories that I read most intrigued me because of their paranormal influences. I think my favorite short stories wimage2 - Copyere The Thing on the Doorstep, Cool Air, In the Vault, and The Rats in the Walls. I know there are more of his short stories out there that are cult classics, but those are some that stuck with me the most.

Lovecraft was exceptionally forward thinking when it came to storytelling, but he was definitely stuck in cultural influence when it came to sexist and racist themes. It kind of bothered me that he was so bigoted in his writings (and so freely threw around some horrible lines in regards to women and other races), so that definitely got me while I was reading. If people are especially sensitive about these themes, I’d tell them to shy away from Lovecraft’s writings.

All in all, I’d give Lovecraft a solid 9/10 in terms of classic literature and influence. His prose was poetic, magnetic, and terrifying, but his bigoted views were almost as unsettling as the ghosts. Give him a shot if you want to read something classic and entertaining!

Until next time, and have a very safe and spooky Halloween 🙂

Live,

Morgan Paige

October Challenge: What’s so scary?

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HP Lovecraft…

I’ve been searching for a great October-themed novel for the past couple weeks. I wanted something dark and haunting, but not something too thickly layered or overdone. That quickly got rid of some of the contemporary authors that some might happily equate with sinister themes (Stephen King and Anne Rice came to mind for me). And although King and Rice have written some fanTAStic books (still can’t get my way through Pet Semetary… that novel just hits every cord in my body the wrong way and leaves me terrified), I wanted something classic… something that can poetically chill me to my bones whilst telling me a story.

Mary Shelley…
Edgar Allen Poe…
Bram Stoker…

In the end, I decided on the beautiful, haunting written word of H.P. Lovecraft. I haven’t read any of his short stories before, but I was gifted his anthology a couple of months ago. I figured now is as good a time as ever to indulge myself in the Cthulu Mythos and find out for myself just why his stories are so famously haunting.

My goal for this month is to read through the anthology and discover which of the bunch frightens me the most! Sounds tortuous, right? What can I say, I love a little jump-scare in the night 🙂 I will make a post closer to Halloween to talk to you all about it, and we can discuss which is the most chilling story of all! Maybe you can try this challenge with me if you haven’t read much of Lovecraft, yourself.

I hope you are all celebrating the spooky month of October and Halloween! There are so many awesome events going on in New England and plenty of reading you yourself can do to get in the horror-holiday spirit! Maybe this is why I’m so fascinated with horror… living so close to Salem, MA can definitely put a chill in the air!

Until next time.

Live,
Morgan

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

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Oh boy, do I love Libba Bray.

She’s a feminist, an activist, and a realist when it comes to writing. And I just can’t get enough! 

I’ve been a long time reader of hers, and this is the most recent book that she’s published. Most of her novels are period pieces, and this certainly isn’t an exception! It’s based in the roaring ’20s and is full to brimming with parties, glamour, civil rights, and the paranormal. The novel follows Evie, a girl with big dreams living in a small town, who showcases a rare ability one night while playing with an Ouija board. This begins a butterfly effect that takes Evie on the wildest ride of her life. To New York City where the Ziegfeld Girls grow strong and the prohibition falls by the wayside, all the way to the darkest depths of an upstate home that sits dilapidated and humming with disembodied voices. Evie is forced along a path that introduces her to her very own dark side where she must fight demons of all kinds.

The family and friends that find themselves along this same path bring so much to the novel as well. I love Bray’s writing style, because never is the book about one single character. She includes the lives and backstories of so many characters, which in turn creates very rich, detailed worlds that you can just fall into. 

Both on an educational level and an entertainment level, this novel is a 10/10. I used it as a primary source in one two essays for my masters degree (both very different essays, I assure you 😉 ) and scored atleast a 98/100. Bray created a beautiful written fantasy/paranormal/historical novel all wrapped into one, and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you!

Horror Story #1

I hope you all wanted a scary story before bedtime. Because…

New horror story posted!

It’s an action-based, non-dialogue story that explores the fear of unknown depths. Be it lakes or oceans or swimming pools. I hope this interests you 🙂 It was inspired by a lake my brother and I used to play in and the only time I ever used the tire swing. Dun dun dun! Any suggestions or comments would be welcome, have an awesome night, everyone! Click below for the link.

Bottom Feeder

Love,

Morgan