Month: October 2011

Check It Out Blog

Of Fog and Fear

Ghosts by Gaslight book coverIf changing leaves, creeping mist, and chill-laced evenings put you in the mood to be pricked with fright, we have the book for you.  Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense brings together masters of the sublimely eerie in an atmospheric assortment of Victorian-inspired horror tales.  Even the titles cast their spells:  “Why I Was Hanged” (Gene Wolfe), “The Iron Shroud” (James Morrow), “The Proving of Smollett Standforth (Margo Lanagan), “The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn’s Balloons” (John Langan), and Peter S. Beagle’s exquisite “Music, When Soft Voices Die”.  Dare to be scared with visitations by strange machines, seductive spirits, and grim obsession.  We won’t blame you for keeping extra candles nearby.

LISTS: Christian Hard Rock and Metal

With Roots Above and Branches Below album coverIf you think that all Christian music sounds soothing or mellow, like Amy Grant or old-school hymns, you’ve got another thing coming. Christian metal bands have all the thrashing and distortion you can take.

Want the hard-driving press of metal, but not the secular themes? Click here.

The Perfect Jennifer Crusie Halloween Read

Wild Ride cover imageDreamland is a crumbling amusement park that Mab has been hired to restore. What Mab doesn’t know is that Dreamland is more than an old fun park. It’s a demon keep. Four of the world’s most dangerous demons are held prisoner in various statues and rides. As Dreamland’s Halloween grand re-opening draws closer, someone starts releasing demons. Meanwhile, Mab thinks she’s in love, and Ethan, the park owner’s son, well, he’s not looking for love, but he is looking for a good time. Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, is a comedic, supernatural romance à la Joss Whedon. In fact, it’s even dedicated to him. If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you should give Wild Ride a try

John’s Pick: Hard Eight

John staff picks photoIn Hard Eight, Philip Baker Hall delivers a multi-layered performance as Sydney, an aging professional gambler who takes down-on-his-luck loser John (John C. Reilly) under his wing. John’s involvement with an equally wounded waitress (Gwyneth Paltrow) and a shady casino worker (Samuel L. Jackson) introduces a noir element into this compelling character study of a film.


Candor book coverRenee of Fiction/AV/Teen Service recommends Candor by Pam Bachorz:

Always be courteous.
Academics are the key to success.
Healthy breakfasts make for smart minds.

What if subliminal messages like these ran through your head all day? Then you’d be living in Candor. Through brainwashing, teenagers in Candor love to do chores, they get straight A’s and no one is ever an outsider. Oscar is handsome, smart, popular and…different. He’s learned to turn off the messages in his head and makes money helping other kids do the same, so they don’t walk around like programmed drones for the rest of their lives. Oscar’s latest target for business is Nia, except that Oscar finds himself completely smitten by her. Does he save Nia from the messages and never see her again or keep her close and risk exposing everything?