Harry Potter Halloween Costumes! | A Month of Harry Potter

All October long I’ve been doing Harry Potter posts leading up to being Hermione for Halloween this year. The day finally came! Here are some pictures from the Halloween event at work:

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Professor Trelawney, Professor Sprout, Professor McGonagall, and Hermione!

We always go all out for costumes, but this year really took the cake. Trelawney had a teacup with a picture-perfect grim dotting the inside, Sprout had a DIY mandrake, burlap and flower adorned hat and cloak, and wand, McGonagall had a light up wand and Hogwarts brooch, and I had a time-turner and DIY wand! We never do anything halfway.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

This is a super popular tag right now, but the last place that I saw it was at Modern Witch’s Bookshelf!

Witch: a magical character or book

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The All Souls trilogy and Harry Potter series are both super magical and *bonus* they both feature witches!

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night

A Holiday by Gaslight

I do almost all of my reading at night lately, so any book would do. My favorite type of book to read at night is cozy historical fiction, especially if I’m reading by candle light. It makes it feel more authentic!

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you

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I’m pretty good at guessing what’s going to happen in books, but I remember being completely thrown off a few times in One Thousand White Women.

The Devil: A dark or evil character

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Am I allowed to say Hitler or is that cheating?

Grim Reaper: A character that never should have died

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I hate answering questions like this because I don’t want someone to get mad at me for spoiling, so I’m going to default to my classic pick-a-book-where-no-one-is-safe strategy.

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more

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I was halfway through this book when I paused to order the sequel. It was so good!

Gargoyle: A character that you would protect at all cost

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Soooooo I’m one of the 12 people left on the planet that hasn’t read Six of Crows, but I finally started it and I can already tell that Kaz Brekker is going to be one of my favorite characters ever. I’m only about 20% of the way in but I’m loving it (and him) so much!

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you

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Between Shades of Gray is one of the most impactful books I’ve read, but also incredibly draining.

Ghost: A book that still haunts you

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The way the story is told, the way the story ends, the twists and turns…. everything about Code Name Verity still haunts me.

Demon: A book that really scared you

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I don’t really read horror (excluding the stack of Stephen King books on my shelf I’ve yet to touch), and I don’t scare easy, so I don’t have great answer for this one. Daughters Unto Devils was pretty spooky but it didn’t necessarily scare me.

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with

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This was a 5 star read for me, but I still have a bone to pick with Will Traynor.

Mummy: A book you would preserve throughout time

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I’m going for the easy answer and saying Harry Potter.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at

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I always found this cover really jarring.

What’s your favorite halloween creature?

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Review: A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by GaslightTitle: A Holiday by Gaslight
Author: Mimi Matthews
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating:5 Stars


A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion—or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.


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Okay, before I even get into this review can we please talk about this cover? That dress, that lettering, the mistletoe rimming the sides, the snowy, gas-lit background…

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It’s only made better by the fact that every single detail on the cover plays a part in the story. I think I’m in love.

So, to be completely candid, Victorian Christmas stories are sort of my kryptonite. I work in a Victorian house that decorates to the hilt for a period-accurate Christmas, I wrote my final thesis for my bachelor’s degree on Victorian Christmas traditions… you get the idea. So when I saw this book on Netgalley I had it requested and loaded on my Kindle before I knew what was happening. I’m sooooo glad I broke my no ARC rule for October and snagged it because it was hands down one of my favorite reads of the year.

At risk of sounding like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Mimi Matthews did everything just right. The romance wasn’t too strong or too subtle and the side characters weren’t too involved or too obscure. Sophie, the main female character, was strong and confident without seeming to be from a different time period, but not so demure that she was boring and bland. I really, really enjoyed her personality and thought that it was a perfect fit for the time period and the situation she was in. Ned was just as likable, especially given the fact that the poor man was a fish out of water. I’m obviously a fan of dual perspectives, especially from romance, and I was thrilled when I hit chapter two and found myself reading from Ned’s perspective. It added so much depth to the story and made the dance the characters were doing around each other that much more enjoyable to read.

There was an interesting mix of Victorian Christmas traditions and current events happening in the background, and the author did a great job of using them to push the story along instead of info-dumping and then moving back to the story. Darwin, the spread of gaslighting, plumbing, and Prince Albert all make appearances, not including all the Christmas-y bits.

The thing I loved most about it was its length. Not because I was ready for it to end (I’m actually desperately hoping that Mimi Matthews writes more about these characters), but because it was just the right length for the story being told. It wasn’t stretched thin over 250 pages with a bunch of extra stuff bogging the story down. It was short, sweet, and perfectly innocent.

I’m planning on buying a few hard copies of this for my coworkers this Christmas. I know they’ll love it as much as I did!

5 Stars

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ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

 

The ABC Book Challenge – F

F

Read:

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Fallen Land by Taylor Brown is a harrowing story set at the end of the Civil War. It’s a dark, poignant read perfect for fans of realistic historical fiction.

Front Lines by Michael Grant is one of my favorite alternate histories ever. In 1942 legislation passes that makes women eligible for the draft and active service. Everything about this book is amazing!

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is a book that needs no introduction. The writing style wasn’t my cup of tea at all, but the story kept me hooked from page one.


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Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith / The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North / Follow the River by James Alexander Thom

This Makeup Quiz Will Sort You Into a Hogwarts House Buzzfeed Quiz | A Month of Harry Potter

Y’all, I fell into the Buzzfeed wormhole again. After taking pretty much every Harry Potter related quiz they had (plus about a bajillion others) I picked this one for today’s post just because it’s so darn weird. At the beginning of my month of Harry Potter posts I did a quiz that was pretty straightforward – and confirmed my Halloween costume choice – but tonight Buzzfeed is sorting me into a house based on my makeup preferences.

This Makeup Quiz Will Sort You Into a Hogwarts House

1

Which eyeshadow palette do you like the most?

I don’t really wear anything besides earth tones, especially browns and black, on my eyes, so this was the best fit.


2

Pick an era of makeup.

1920’s all the way! I love the heavy charcoal eyes and bright lips!


3

Which form of eyeliner do you prefer?

Liquid, even though I can’t get it to stay for the life of me.


4

Pick an avant-garde look.

The look I picked reminded me of the movie Avatar, which I love.


5

Dark lips look the best on me so I went with the darkest color they had.


And the result is…

Result

Apparently my makeup tastes are better suited for Hufflepuff! I think I’m going to have to stick with the house Pottermore put me in, but this was fun all the same.

What were your results?

5 Reasons I’m Participating in NaNoWriMo for the First Time

With just over a week left in October, the annual NaNoWriMo craze has begun – and this year I’m joining it! If you’re one of the few people who have never heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it’s a 30 day writing spree that starts November 1st and ends on November 30th. To ‘win’ you have to write 50,000 words, or around 1,666 words a day.

So why am I participating in NaNoWriMo?

1. I’m on a time crunch

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My first book, The Rancher’s Runaway Bride, was written at a slow and steady pace while I went to school full time and worked full time. The sequel needs to be written at a much faster pace and November is conveniently the easiest month for me to sit down and put my nose to the keyboard.

2. It makes me accountable

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Let’s be honest, there are days when you know you should be typing away at your computer but Netflix sucks you in. We’ve all been there, and NaNoWriMo is going to (hopefully) keep me from going there for a solid month. If I have a set number of words to reach in a set number of time I’ll be able to tell when I’m falling behind and need to put the remote down.

3. The community is amazing

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My first book was written in secret, so naturally I’ve decided to blog about the writing process for the second. Soooooo many people participate in NaNoWriMo and the atmosphere is amazing. Being a part of a group of people going through the same thing as you is inspiring a motivating, making it that much more likely you’ll actually finish your 50,000 words.

4. I’m competitive

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This goes hand in hand with reason #2. I’m a super competitive person, so if I can find a way to put pressure on my word count and make it a challenge I’ll push myself that much harder.

5. It’s fun!

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The last and most important reason! NaNoWriMo is just plain fun. I’ve always been jealous of those who participated, and now I’m finally going to do it!


Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?

Hogwarts Book Tag! | A Month of Harry Potter

I spotted this book tag over at Mortal Reader and thought it would be a great way to start winding down my month of Harry Potter related posts! I bought the last bit I needed for my Hermione Halloween costume today – I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October already!

Are you a Pure Blood or a Half-Blood?

According to this quiz, I’m a pure blood.

Which wand chose me?

Wand Results

Did you take a cat, owl or toad with you?

I love cats, but I feel like an owl would be much more practical since you could send mail. I’d probably go with a snowy owl or barn owl.

Where did the Sorting Hat put you?

Sorting Results

What House did you want to be placed in?

I made a whole post on this!

What lessons are your favourite and least favourite?

My favorite would probably be Defense against the Dark Arts or Charms, and I think my least favorite would be Divination or Herbology.

What is your Patronus?

Patronus Results

What does your Boggart look like?

Total darkness. I don’t know how the boggart would pull it off, but I can’t think of anything else I’m particularly scared of.

Do you partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?

I’d definitely be part of the dueling club and maybe on the Quidditch team too. I’d like to think I’d show enough promise that I’d be invited to the slugclub.

Where would you spend your spare time?

On nice days out on the grounds, lounging by the lake. I’d probably spend lots of time in the common rooms and library too.

What would you most likely get detention for?

Being out after hours!

What career do you want after graduating Hogwarts?

Definitely, definitely auror. Maybe healing after I’m too old to fight.


What would your favorite lesson be?