Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooktoberfest Winner and Runner-ups

The day is here! The day our Spooktoberites have been waiting for... it's reveal day!

And let me just say... this was hard. Like any hop or fest that has a winner, it was challenging just to narrow it down far enough to where I could wrap my head around who would be given the grand prize.

There are so many really REALLY great entries. We had a little bit of everything; slashers, vampires, zombies, haunted houses, pranksters, horror, humor, poems, etc. It was a Halloween Lover's delight!

Enough with my yammering, here is who I've picked as my winner and runner-ups...

The WINNER by a "splinter" is
Perfect! I loved the character voices, their names, and the originality of the whole thing. I could sit and listen, er, read them talk all day. Thanks for the wonderful Spooktoberfest piece Samantha!
 Seriously, it was so close between WriterlySam and these next writers...
I couldn't get over the relationship the vampire and the attendent had. I really liked all of the different characters you had and feel of the story was spot on.
Stacie was so brave to stop and watch what happened to her friend. I'm dying to know what happens next. Does she make it?
This one made me LOL. Karma at it's finest! For a first-timer, you did really great Lily!

Jackie and I both loved what each other picked but we wanted to spread the wealth so we picked different ones. Why? We have another little surprise... the Runner-Up's will be receiving a little something special as well and we didn't want any duplicates.

Check out who Jackie chose here!

You guys will be receiving emails in the near future!

Hope everyone has an awesome Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LifeStraw® & Priority One Jets Haunted Places

Have you seen this before? It's called a LifeStraw®.

These little neat devices is a plastic tube 310 mm long and 30 mm in diameter. Water that is drawn up through the straw first passes through hollow fibres that filter water particles down to 0.2 ┬Ám across, using only physical filtration methods and no chemicals. The entire process is powered by suction, similar to using a conventional drinking straw, and filters up to 1000 litres of water. While the initial model of the filter did not remove Giardia lamblia, LifeStraw removes a minimum of 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites including giardia and cryptosporidium.

I will be stocking up on these bad boys in the near future. I find them quite ingenious and might come in handy. They also have a 50 year garantee and cost around $20. Can't beat that!

About a week ago I was contacted by a Content Coordinator from Priority One Jets asking me if I would like to post a link to an article they are doing about the scariest haunted attractions around the world. Now I get contacted a BUNCH from people asking me to post link to sites to help them promote movies or attractions all the time. But I usually pass on them because it has to be something I absolutely love. Well promoting some of the scariest palces is right up my alley so I'm giving it a go.

The link:

Now I'm supposed to tell of a spooky tale or place to visit. Where I live there are 2 different "haunted" attractions I have been to and loved. One is the Haunted Jail and the other is the Haunted Barn. One year I worked in the Haunted Jail for our choir community service and it was a blast. I worked the polka dot room. The room is blacked out with black-lighta and illuminated glowing dots. Myself and another girl dressed up in puffy black plastic suites with those dots on us so we blended into the walls. When someone would walk in we would emerge from the wall and reveal our faces and scare the crap out of them.

What "haunted" places have you visited?

One more day until our Spooktoberfest winners will be announced! Stay tuned.

Happy Hallows Eve!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spooktoberfest... Continued

Today is the last day to sign up and/or post your Spooktoberfest entries if you haven't already. Midnight is the cutoff point. Click here to find out more!

Then Jackie and I will read and re-read the submissions until we dwindle it down to the ones we like the best. Or we cry it out cause there are SO MANY really great entries this year.

It is going to be hard to decide but of course there has to be 2 winners, one who Jax has chosen and one I have chosen...

You all have made it so hard!

But this post is about something fun I wanted to do. Jackie posted her Spooktoberfest entry on Friday and it really got my creative juices flowing and I thought it was so good, why not extend her piece a little bit.

Hope you guys like it (however, I did not include the chosen words since this is not an official Spooktoberfest entry but I did keep it within the 500 word count and included the original picture so you could picture the scene). Don't forget to read Jackie's piece first if you haven't already - here.


“Sydney!”  Trish screams.
I fight hard to get Lance’s jaw to unclamp from my leg but it is set like a snake, unwilling to let go until its prey is dead. Or undead in this case.
Trish kicks at Lance’s face, peeling back his flesh with each blow. “Give me the knife!” She yells, standing over me.
I hand it to her and as soon as it leaves my hand, she thrusts it straight into his skull. His jaw goes slack and I’m able to pull my calf out. It’s worse than I thought. Each blow Trish rendered to his face tore my muscle away from my leg.
“I have to cut it off,” I hear her whisper.
“Wha-what?” She’s shitting me right. There is no way I heard her correctly.
“I’m gonna try to cut it off.” Her eyes bore into mine. I can’t tell if she’s trying to hypnotize me into agreeing with her, or sending me pleading mind-messages.
“The muscle. You just mean the muscle, right?” A small hiccupped laugh escapes between my lips.
“No,” she whimpers and shakes her head.
I nod. It’s all I can do at this point. Nod. I can feel death come over me. The pain in my leg is gone now. Maybe it’s not death at all and adrenaline or endorphins, or whatever happens when your body goes into shock or is it because my sister is about to saw off my leg. I just want to pass the eff out. Can’t death just come and rescue me already? It’s my fault this happened in the first place.
“Sydney… Sydney?” Trish snaps her fingers in front of my face. “You ready?”
I nod. Again.
She starts right below the knee. I can hear her talking, saying things like, “smaller part of your leg”, “smaller bones to break.” Oh shit that’s a lot of blood. I’m going to bleed out before she’s even done. 
We can hear the pounding grow louder outside. They must smell the fresh blood. Trish looks down to the bottom of the steps. Tears stream down her pale cheeks. She reaches up to wipe them away but ends up smearing blood and tears across her face and into her hair.
“I’m done with the skin Sydney. Now I need to break the bones so I can separate the whole thing. Ok?” Her face looks strong for someone who’s about to mutilate her sister.
She pulls me towards the stairs, laying my now mangled leg down so the part she wants to break is over the empty area between the steps. She hesitates. “Ohmigod! DO IT! DO IT ALREADY!” I spout.
Trish hauls her right knee up to her chest, braces her hands on the banister, takes a deep breath and stomps her foot down so hard all I can hear is a “SNAP” and then she vomits all over me.
Nice, was the last thing I remember thinking, or maybe I actually said it, before passing out.

Hope you guys have a great Monday! Halloween in 3 days!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Spooktoberfest Begins Today!

TODAY IS THE DAY! Spooktoberfest has arrived and will continue on through the weekend and until midnight, Monday the 28th.

Yes, that means you are not too late to sign up and enter. As long as you do it before midnight of the 28th.

To read more on Spooktoberfest and hopefully enter for fun and prizes, please click here!

Let's get on with it shall we...

Rumplstiltskin and the Baby

the Dark Forest

The night was chilled with the impeding storm. She sat by the fire, swaying and chanting. Even before he forced open the door, his arrival was known.
“You wretched girl! What have you done to me?” His belly gorged with life.
“Did you not say, Mr. Stiltskin, you wanted my first born?” A wicked smile burned across the face of the girl who spun straw into gold.
She sauntered over to the old tramp who now rested his hands upon his belly. “This is not what I meant!” He bellowed.
“I recently summoned a man-caller,” the burn of her smile grew, “and oh what a man.” She paused at his ear. “You get my meaning?”
Her breath sent shivers down his spine. “You have to help me get it out you witch! After all – I did do you a favor once.”
“A favor? Ha! You blackmailed me you silly little troll. Next time make sure you know which devil you’re making a deal with.”
Mr. Rumpelstiltskin felt the pang of her baby kick his womb. “Oh!” he moaned as he ran out in to the cold and in to the Dark Forest.
She laughed her way to the door watching him waddle as he loped. “Grimm!” She called.
Her large mastiff bounded to her side. “Grimm, follow.” She commanded.
Stiltskin ran as hard as he could, knowing he wouldn’t make it very far. The girl he once knew was not a little girl anymore.
Stupid him. He knew one day his trickery on others would be his undoing. He never thought it would be like this. He needed help. There was no way this baby could be delivered – naturally. Bile rose in his throat from the thought.
Another kick from the creature inside sent him to his knees.
He knew what he had to do.
His knife felt familiar yet alien in his hands. “I have to do this. I can do this,” he mumbled.
“No need,” the girl’s voice purred from the shadows.
His back stiffened with fear, the hair on his neck like needles.
“Grimm, lay him down please.” Grimm pulled Stiltskin to the ground by his collar, his bare belly praying to the sky.
“No please!” Rumple begged. Grimm slammed his paw down on the old man’s face, shutting him up for the last time.
He squirmed as only the meager troll could but the girl was determined to get that which she desired. He felt the tug of the knife and then the wail of a baby.
“There, there,” the girl crooned. “Why, Stiltskin, you’re the surrogate of a beautiful baby girl.”
The world was slipping from him now, but not before he heard –
“Grimm, eat.”
Finally the girl had her child as expected. Her daughter will grow up strong and wise and no man will take her from her mother like her own father did.
“I think I’ll call you Maleficent.”

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and and even better weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres Freaks Out Staffers & Thirty-One Loves of Oct

I had to share this amazingly hilarious video of Ellen D freaking out two of her staffers. I was crying with laughter!! It's a must watch!!

Ellen DeGeneres freaks out staffers by sending them to 'Walking Dead' haunted house via TODAY show.

YouTube Link as well

Thirty-One Loves of October: Day 24:
The new DRACULA show starts tomorrow night! Woot! So excited. It looks really good!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who's Your Hero Blogfest

J.L. Campbell is hosting a blogfest entitled, Who's Your Hero? Here is my Hero in less than 300 words.

SPC Anthony "Tony" W.
He used to come in my room at night and ask to sleep in my bed because he had a bad dream.
He would take my spot standing in the corner when I got punished so I could use the restroom.
When I was pregnant with my first child he would turn the bass up on his car stereo because he knew that was the only way he could feel my son kick. That smile every time he felt him move could melt the ice from any heart.
Every year my friends and I would go on a road trip the day after prom and I couldn’t go without him.
When I hit a deer late at night, he left work to help me out.
He let me in on a prank against his friends’ will because he knew I would be freaked out.
He tried to teach me how to drive a stick-shift even though I was older.
I would play cars with him to pay back the favor of me forcing him to play Barbie’s with me.
And now my favorite poem for him is…

Myself on left and Tony in the retro carrier.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Cause I know he is always with me…
For he is my brother.

Thirty-One Loves of October: Day 23:
Ouija Boards... *shutters*
Those things freak out. I used one once with a group of friends because I was such a sceptic... yeah, it was so dead on about someone that only I knew in my group (my grandma) that I will never touch one ever again!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thank You, Thirty-One Loves of Oct, Spooktoberfest

What's the Thank You for? It's for being a great community of support, encouragement, and emotions. Who would have thought I was going to grow up to be blogger. Definitely NOT ME! Who would have thought I was going to meet some of the most influential people through blogging? NOT I! But it happened. And I just want to say a big THANKS to all of you that stop by often (or when you can) and leave comments. Even if you know that I can be a crummy responder you still keep coming back. And I heart you for it.

I'm usually not so sentimental but when I go throughout my day and end up thinking about you guys during my day, something has to be said about your impact on my life. Strange, huh? Maybe this should have been an IWSG. Hmmm...

Thirty-One Love of October: Day 22:
Freddy vs Jason vs Michael ... which one is worse?

Spooktoberfest starts this Friday!
If you haven't signed up yet, get on it. You have until midnight on the 28th to join and submit your flash fiction entry to be eligable for some really fun and great prizes!

Go here to sign up and see what all the hub-bub is about! You will be happy you did!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Express Yourself Candy & Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Express Yourself is a weekly Meme in which Jackie and myself asks you questions every week and you give your answers. Seems easy enough, right? Right!

This week we'd like to know: Which Halloween candy were/are you most excited to see in you Trick-or-Treat bag? (Yes, your kids' bag counts if you no longer get your own candy)

I would have to say... hmmm... Twix or Almond Joy. Yumm, those are my faves in chocolate dept. If not chocolate then Skittles.

Don't forget, next week we will not be doing EYM do to our Spooktoberfest!

If you would like to join in on the weekly fun that is EYM, click here

If SPOOKTOBERFEST is more your speed, click here to join!

I want to give out a few shoutout today! Last I entered a couple of giveaways and won both so I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Cassie Mae for her...

I won Dizzy by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry! Super excited! I haven't read anything by either of these wonderful authors but have been dying too. So I'm thrilled I get an intro to something written by them both!

Up next Christine Rains was having a huge giveaway over at her place and I won 1st place which was a signed copy of her

We live about 2 hours away from each other (We might have to make plans to visit sometime) so I should be getting any day now! Over the moon to have won this. I've heard nothing but remarkable reviews!

I love winning books from fellow writers in my writerly community; people I have followed and commented thru each others blogs, twitter, facebook... and read each others struggles and to finally have their work in my hands is a great sign that if I keep working, it can be me. So thanks for more than just books girls, thanks for the inspiration.

Todays Thirty-One Loves of October: Day 21:
My Anniversary - I'm lucky to say that I've been happily married for 7 years today! I've been with him for almost 10 and it seems like we have accomplished so much together already!

Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

Friday means a lot of things; the end of my work week, the day I can where a casual shirt to work, the day when I can be more flippant (wait, that's everyday), and the day I get to share all the cool stuff I've done this week. Thanks Viklit for giving us an outlet!

  • I FINALLY had the chance to sit down and watch the 2 hr and 50 min movie THE HOBBIT: An Unexpected Journey. It started out a little rough to me. (I hope I don't get stoned for that) It's true though, I felt as though I was watching the 7 dwarves from Snow White in Bilbo's house but once all the silliness past I was able to fall in love again with the story. I understand Gimli was usually the comic relief from LOTR and we needed to be reminded of that but I thought it was slightly over the top with the singing. I guess I wanted more pissed off dwarves. Idk.

  • I caught up on some of my TV shows. I have so many that it's hard to keep up. Sleepy Hollow, AHS: Coven (I couldn't stay up to watch Wednesday nights), Revolution, and I still need to get caught up on Under the Dome. Ugh... with Grimm and Dracula starting I don't know what I'm going to do. Sheesh!

  • I have a pile of books I wanna read but you all just found out how far behind I am on my TV shows... but I am happy to announce that I started reading Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller!! Whoop! Let the Bermuda fun begin!

  • Here are some pictures from last Saturday's zombie party (our littlest one stayed with grandma, she would have hated the party)... she hated my Day of the Dead face makeup. I did all of our makeup, it was fun glue everyones zombie scars on and plastering on the fake blood in the gash wounds...

Thirty-One Loves of October: Days 17-20:
Haunted Houses/Castles/Jails/Forests
Candy Corn
Fake Spiders - cause real ones are gross

Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thirty-One Loves of October - Family Friendly Movies

Thirty-One Loves of October: Day 16

Family Friendly Halloween Movies:

Addams Family
Monster House
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Rise of the Guardians - it's slighty spooky
Pratical Magic
Hocus Pocus
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The Little Vampire
The Witches
Harry Potter
Halloweentown franchise
Hotel Transylvania
Monsters Inc & University
Monsters vs Aliens
Winnie the Pooh
          Boo to You too! Winnie the Pooh
          Pooh's Heffalump Halloween
Tom & Jerry Tricks and Treats
Wallace and Gromit the Curse of the Were Rabbit
Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktacular
Goosebumps (some of those can be super scary for little ones)
Corpse Bride
Scared Shrekless
Scooby Doo
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
Spooky Buddies

I have supplied you with enough movies to last everyday of the month... too bad we are 1/2 through already. Enjoy your family friendly movies!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Express Yourself - Halloween Costumes

Express Yourself is a weekly Meme for us to get to know you better. Jackie and I enjoy doing this every week and we hope you do too. To get more information about EYM, click here

This week is Halloween themed: What is your favorite Halloween costume ever (yes, you've had to have worn it)?

I've had many...

I was a Dark Angel a few years ago...

Alex the bee, Me the Dark Angel, Lani the Butterfly, Ky is Pikachu, Gabe from some video game I can't remember (bad mom, I know) and J the Skeleton Pirate. ARG!

I was a Mime last year...

Gabe the Zombie Slayer, Lani - Minnie Mouse (Scared of dad), Me the Mime, Alexis the Rock Chick, Justin the Scarecrow, and Kylar - Scream

And a Day of the Dead Zombie Head this year...

My family were all zombies but I put a twist to my own cause I wasn't about to put that gross fake blood on my face and all of the glue. I did all the faux slash marks, coloring, etc to the fam and my own facial art work. Lani is absent cause we knew she wouldn't like going to a zombie themed house warming Halloween party. But she is going a Ladybug this year.
 Thirty-One Loves of October:
Days 14 and 15:
SyFy's 31 Days of Halloween
and AMC's FearFest

Friday, October 11, 2013

Celebrate the Weekend

TGIF, TGIF! I could ask for anything more than it being a Friday! Too excited beyond words!! Thanks to VikLit for giving us this outlet to express our celebrations!

This weekend we have lots planned.

Zombie themed party tomorrow. The boys in the house are going as the classic zombie. The girls are going as Day of the Dead Spanish zombie heads.

Sunday Jackie and some other family members are coming over to make wreaths and then later that day my mother-in-law is taking the kids to some military families Halloween Haunted park.

I was not able to blog yesterday so I'm posting 4 things for my Thirty-One Loves of October.
Caramel Apple Suckers - YUM, these suckers are the best this time of year!
Orange - my second favorite color!
Hay rides - I love taking spooky hay rides through the woods or down a chilling road. Especially with a bunch of friends!
The Walking Dead - We have been waiting, what seems like FOREVER!, for this show to come back into our homes. My whole family gets all excited. We have watched all the trailers, the webisodes, the behind the scenes, etc. I have read the comics and the novel. We are huge fans!! Cannot wait for Sunday.

Hope everyone has a great Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thirty-One Loves of October: Witches & TV

(Credit: Wikipedia)

American Horror Story: Coven is the upcoming third season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It is set to premiere on October 9, 2013, and conclude in January 2014.

It's been around 300 years since the Salem witch trials. Those who remain are almost extinct and in danger again. A school has opened in New Orleans to teach protection to the young. The long-absent Supreme, Fiona, arrives to also protect the coven and their secrets. Fiona's daughter, Cordelia, teaches at the school. The themes include witches, witch hunts, incest, minorities, slavery, mothers and daughters, and witchcraft versus voodoo. This season will be set in modern day and the 1830s.

Main cast
Recurring cast
Are you going to stay up tonight to watch it?! I hope so, I would love to hear what you think on the matter.
Another new witchy show I started to watch: Witches of East End. I'm not too sure what I think of it so far. It sort of reminds me of Charmed but I'm not going to give it the axe just yet. I'll keep watching just because new-comer, Cillian (aka Daniel DiTomasso and in the books it was spelled with a K if I remember correctly), the mysterious bad boy, is the hottest thing that has hit television in the a while.
Witches! One reason I love October and the Witching season!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spooktoberfest Reminder and Thirty-One Loves of Oct

2013 Requirements:

1. Follow us - Dani and Jax, if you don’t already. We love meeting new bloggers, and we do follow back.
2. Your Flash Fiction piece should be between 300 - 500 words. It can be scary, funny, action-packed, romantic, or whatever you choose. Just let your creativity flow!
3. You must choose 3 of the 6  words listed below to include in your flash fiction piece…


4.  Highlight those 3 words in your story so we can find them.
5. Choose at least 1 of the 4 pictures below to BE THE SETTING for your flash fiction piece. Go here to find the pictures.
6. Post your piece any day from Friday Oct 25th thru Monday, Oct. 28th.
7. It’s a blog hop, so… hop around to other participating blogs and leave some awesome comments.
8. We'll announce the winners on Thurs Oct. 31, 2013 - Halloween! Jackie and I will each choose a winner. You read that right – two winners!
9. Have fun!!!

Side note - not required: If you have a twitter account and have the extra time - go ahead and send out a tweet letting us know you have posted your submission (this step is very helpful for us). Below is our @ accounts and the hashtag.

PRIZES: A grab bag (more like a box of stuff) and candy. The winners will get the biggest bags we can find of their favorite candy along with some spookified items.
Oh, and yes, this blogfest is international. So what are you ghouls waiting for? Sign up using the Linky Thing below and spread the word!

And share, share, share!

Thirty-One Loves of October
Day 8: Halloween Decorations

I just love all of the Halloween decor I see every where. It makes the season all that more special for me. I love Halloween and love the spirit about it. I love seeing the kids in the neighborhood look at the real looking mummy in my window and hear their murmurs when they ride their bikes by. It puts a smile on my face. Or hearing my own kids "ooh" and "aah" over other people's decorations when drive by. It means that the hard work of decorating paid off.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Opening One-liners and Scary Movies

Express Yourself is a weekly Meme co-hosted by Jackie @Bouquet of Books and yours truly. Each week we ask you to answer a question or list something.

This week is no different:

Share some first line book openers you adore.

*They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.* Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)

I hope my love for this opener doesn't offend anyone, especially since it's a great start to this amazing book. It told an amazing story. Doesn't that one line just make you wonder what the book is about. It could be about so many things and in so many different times. You have to read it to find out.

Thirty-One Loves of October:
Day 7: Scary Movies!

Must of you know I love scary movies. Now they all don't have to be a blockbuster, and lets face it, most aren't but they are my favorites. Scary, spooky, sci-fi, paranormal, gory, you name it, I love it. I want to be scared and grossed out.

Dawn of the Dead
28 Days Later
28 Weeks Later
The Collector
The Collection
The Fourth Kind
Paranormal Activit(ies)
30 Days of Night
Let Me In
Texas Chainsaw Mass(es)
Friday the 13th(s)
Nightmare on Elm Street
and the list could go on and on.

Any favorite opening one-liners in a book? What's your favorite scary movie?


Friday, October 4, 2013

Celebrating and Dancing - Ouch!

It's Friday, Jump on it, jump on it, *dance, dance, dance, dance, Jersey fist pump, hip bump, chest bump* - wait... ouch! That one hurt. Let me catch my breath...

Yeah I'm in that kind of a mood and have no freakin idea why! Just go with it.

As always VikLit is letting us celebrate our weeks little thrills, so lets begin...

  • I have Instagram and my son talked me in to doing the October challenge #octogram. So far, so good. Today's picture... #scarecrow  Now there are two #octograms going on right now. If you have Instagram and want to partake, do a search in Instagram for #octogram and look for the one with the jack-o-lantern face. That's the one I'm doing!! You can tag me @danibertrand
  • I'm also doing something October inspired this month on my blog: Thirty-One Loves of October. Today I'm going to share 3 since I don't blog on Saturdays and Sundays, and this is an everyday shoutout to my 31 things I love about October.
    • Beautiful Skies - October has some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the most wonderful color palettes painted in the sky.
    • Pumpkin carvings - I love seeing all of the creative carvings people come up with and how different they all are. Some people are just so talented!
    • Candles - This is my favorite time of year to buy candles. Some of the best fragrances are during the Autumn season. Pumpkin spice, vanilla spice, leaves, pumpkin pie, etc. I try to stock up for the whole year. Yankee Candle, Gold Canyon or Bath and Body have some of my favorites.
  • My little girl is turning 4 on Sunday!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!