Treats for All Hallows Read(ers)!

As promised, I’m giving away a couple of scary books for Halloween as part of the All Hallows Read deal, kicked off by my friend (in the online, never met, but I feel like I know him way), Neil Gaiman.

So I asked The Beneficent Mr. Hall to pick THREE names from this year’s puking pumpkin, and he stuck his hand right down in that mush without complaining at all. (Okay, that’s a lie. He 1. claimed that his precious hand wouldn’t fit in the puking pumpkin, 2. wanted to know why he had to stick his hand in the puking pumpkin, anyway, and 3. thought Boogerface McGee 8 should have won. Hence the finger sticking out of the nose.)
Anyway, on to the lucky All Hallows winning readers…
Debra Mayhew won Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Donna (also known as Irishoma) won Bodies of the Dead and Other Great American Ghost Stories.
Lisa Ricard Claro won Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones.
Those are some pretty scary reads, people. Happy Halloween and…Boo, y’all!

A This ‘n That Thursday on Reading

So I came across Neil Gaiman’s bloody brilliant idea the other day on Twitter: All Hallow’s Read.
It’s pretty simple. Just give someone a scary book to read on Halloween. It doesn’t have to be brand-spanking new. It doesn’t have to be just for kids. It doesn’t have to be written by Neil Gaiman, even.
Just go watch the short video and hear what Neil has to say. But you’ll probably be distracted by the zombies in the background and not really listen. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I love this idea. In fact, I love it so much that I’ll give some lucky blog reader a scary book. Maybe I’ll give away a couple of scary books. I guess that depends on how many scary books I can round up. In the meantime, leave a comment with the word “BOOk” in it and you might get one from my personal stash of creepy favorites!
Also, whilst piddling…um, make that business networking, on Twitter, I came across a very funny site about the value of our libraries. If you’re familiar with the book, Go The F*** To Sleep, and have a wondrous imagination, you’ll know where I’m going with this site. And why I can’t actually mention it in a G-rated blog. You’ll just go and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Or again, maybe that’s just me.

Finding Something Friday: October Things and a Giveaway!

October Things (Sung to the tune of My Favorite Things)

Pumpkins on porches and black cats on ladders,
Mummies and werewolves and spiders and adders,
Chocolate, presents and World Series rings,
These are a few of my October things!

When the muse leaves, when the NO! stings,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my October things,
And then I don’t feeeeeeeel so bad!

Yay, October! How can you not celebrate candy and creepy stuff, baseball and birthdays? Well, you simply can’t. Which is why for each of my October things, I’m having a giveaway!

First up, we’ll celebrate all things spooky and speculative! I love to write twisted, macabre tales and if I could write them like Neil Gaiman, I’d be rich, rich, rich! Alas, I cannot. But I can learn from a master storyteller, which is why I read his books. Fortunately for you, I have a copy of Mr. Gaiman’s, M is for Magic, a collection of tales to chill and amuse the young reader.

Unfortunately, it is not autographed. I purchased it so Neil (as his friends call him) could sign it when he was here last year for a visit. But I had to leave. Which, now that I think of it, may be fortunate for you. I probably wouldn’t give away an autographed copy of M is for Magic.

Just keeping it real, folks. Anyway, I am giving away his lovely, albeit unautographed book during the October Things Giveaway! And I’ll throw in a delicious chocolate bar, too! All you have to do to win is leave a comment! Tell me who your favorite mystery or horror writer is, and oh! I’d love a reading recommendation. I’m always looking for a good, creepy story during October!

And if you spread the word, on Twitter or Facebook or your very own blog, let me know, and I’ll give you an extra entry for each shout out. Oh, oh! And if you’re not a follower and sign up, I’ll give you an extra entry for that, too.

So, off you go! Fly, my little pretties, and bring me back a good book to read! (But do so by the 8th. I’ll be drawing the winner on Finding Something Friday next week!)

P.S. Is it just me or does there seem to be a totally inordinate number of exclamation points in this post? I’m just so freakin’ excited!!!! October! Yay!

I Saw Neil Gaiman Autographing Books

(Sung to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw Gaiman autographing books,
Way up from the balcony so high.

He didn’t see me creep,
Up to the rail to peek.

I took this picture even though my butt was fast asleep!

‘Cause I saw Gaiman autographing books,
And knew I wouldn’t make it till the end.

What a treat it would have been
If Neil had only seen
Me and autographed my book last night!

(P.S. I bought an already-autographed book.)

(P.P.S. If you ever get the chance to see and actually hear Mr. Gaiman, you should go. He is quite the entertaining chap. But get there early. ‘Cause those young twenty-somethings are happy to stand in line for hours and wait for hours for his autograph. I mean, I really like Neil Gaiman. But I was in the midnight-signing crowd, and a world-famous author may not have been in a “What have we here? Cathy-on-a-Stick?” jolly mood at 12:08 in the morning.)

(P.P.S.S. Thanks to Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia, for winning the competition so I could see the entertaining Neil Gaiman. Support your local indie bookstore!)

(P.P.P.S.S. Yes, I know it’s dark and kinda blurry and that could be anybody. But it’s neilhimself. I was in the balcony, fer cryin’ out loud.)

I’m a Sucker for Neil Gaiman (Or How I Ended Up with a Twitter Account)


Apparently I have the willpower of a gnat.

Come to think of it, gnats are pretty willful critters. I’ve had gnats annoy me for hours. So maybe gnat is not the best comparison for use in this instance. But in the sense that a gnat is a teeny-tiny little bit of a thing, that’s exactly how much willpower I have.

‘Cause when I saw that Neil Gaiman was going to start a story on Twitter (he’s a fan of tweeting, don’t you know), and that his fan/followers can continue the story with their own little 140 character tweets, well.

Eventually, after 1,000 tweets or so, somebody will bundle it all up and make it an audiobook, to be read by some dashing narrator. Then, I guess folks can buy it. But I’m not buying a book just because I’d be a co-author with Neil Gaiman himself.

Well. I’m not spending any more than 25 bucks on it. Thirty, tops.