Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: Halloween Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Halloween themed freebie.  Since it is a Halloween freebie I have decided to put forth one of my favorite Halloween topics – WITCHES AND WITCHCRAFT!  I’ve always had a HUGE fascination with witches and witchcraft so this week I will be sharing some books and movies (and TV shows) involving witchcraft.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – Of course Harry Potter is all about witchcraft and wizardry so they go perfectly with this list whether you want to read the books or watch the movies.  Both are great choices for Halloween.

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All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness – I have only read the first book in the series but it was really good!  Not only are there witches but there are also vampires and other supernatural creatures.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller – Witchcraft and witch trials… What could be more appropriate?  If you don’t like reading plays, then check out the movie featuring Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis.

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The Witching Hour by Anne Rice – I haven’t finished this one but it has been getting good and eerie.  This is a long one though.

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – I’ve seen mixed reviews on this series but I really enjoyed the book series and the movie of the first book.  There is light and dark magic and rather than calling themselves witches, they prefer to be called casters.

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The Cousin’s O’Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts – Witches and Ireland?!  Yes please.  This is a good series about a family of witches who are fighting the same evil force their ancestors before them fought against.

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American Horror Story: Coven – A whole season of AHS devoted to witches and witchcraft.  This season isn’t as creepy as previous AHS seasons but still really good.

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Hocus Pocus – And of course any Halloween movie list would not be complete without this gem.  This is a movie that must be watched every year.  I’m saving it for Halloween day and am SO excited to watch it for the millionth time.

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The Craft – Another great witch movie.  This one is creepy at times and for me, a classic for Halloween.

set_the_craft_original_640Practical Magic – I absolutely LOVE this movie!  I have lost count of how many times I’ve watched it.  Every time I have tried to grow out my hair it was because I aspired to have the long, beautiful locks of the Owens sister’s hair.  I love the story, acting, setting… everything.  You could also read the book by Alice Hoffman but I personally didn’t care much for the book.

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Witches of East End – There were two seasons of this on Lifetime based on the book by Melissa de la Cruz.  I didn’t include the book though because I liked the show a lot better.  It is pretty cheesy, especially Ingrid, but it’s still an enjoyable witch series.

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What are some of your favorite Halloween themes/books/movies?

Book Review: Blood Magick

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I had been looking forward to reading this one ever since I finished the second book, Shadow Spell, this past April.  I really liked the first two books.

Here is a little background on the series for you if you haven’t read them.

In Dark Witch, Iona Sheehan travels from the US to Ireland in search of her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer.  They invite Iona to live with them and realize she is the third they have been waiting for.  They are the three descended from Sorcha, the Dark Witch of Mayo.  Branna and Connor teach Iona to hone her magical skills and together they search to bring an end to the dark force, Cabhan, who has been haunting their family since he murdered Sorcha centuries ago.  This book focuses more on Iona and her blossoming relationship with her boss, Boyle.

In Shadow Spell, the relationships between the three and their loved ones flourish.  Iona with Boyle, Connor with Meara and although they both fight it, Branna and Fin, who is a descendant of Cabhan and cursed by Sorcha to carry the mark of Cabhan.  The three meet Sorcha’s children, the original three – Brannagh, Eamon and Teagan.  They work together to find a way to end Cabhan for good.  This book focuses more on Connor and Meara.

In Blood Magick, the story continues with Iona, Branna, Connor, Fin, Meara and Boyle still trying to end Cabhan.  They feel they are closer than ever and have a new plan of action.  Rather than it just being the three, they have three sets of three.  Iona, Branna and Connor then Fin, Meara and Boyle and finally Brannagh, Eamon and Teagan.  With them all they have their horses, hawks and hounds, their companions to help in the final battle against Cabhan and the demon who lives inside of him.

I don’t want to give anything away so that is all I will say in the way of a summary.  I have really enjoyed reading this trilogy.  They were definitely entertaining and I would have loved if these stories continued farther than they did.  This book focused more on Branna (my favorite character) and Fin.  They believe their relationship is forbidden because Sorcha cursed any who descend from Cabhan to bear his mark.  But they decide they have given up enough and decide to take what they can while they still can.  Much is learned and new potions and spells are created in an effort to defeat Cabhan once and for all.  I definitely liked where the book was going.  The only part that really disappointed me was the ending.  I feel like it ended rather abruptly.  I would have liked more time with the characters after the battle was ended.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the first and second book.  For those who haven’t, I recommend the trilogy to anyone who has an interest in Ireland, magic and witchcraft, romance or if you have read Nora Roberts in the past.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Making A Bad Day, Good

So on my first day of vacation I had to bring my car in to the nearest dealership for a few recalls.  The nearest dealership is 30+ minutes away.  I had made my appointment for 7 am because I didn’t want to deviate too far from my regular sleep schedule for work.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 to give me plenty of time to get up, have some breakfast and make it to the dealership for my appointment.  Everything would have been okay, but instead of hitting the snooze button I hit the cancel button!  And of course fell back asleep.  I woke up with a start at 6:50 am and burst out of bed!  Threw some clothes on, fed the cats and then we hit the road.  Ethan was nice enough to come with me.  On the way up I had him call the service advisor to let him know we would be about 30 minutes late.  He said no problem.  Then we get there and are advised that there was one more additional recall that would take 2 hours.  They offered us a car to drive around but I brought a book to read and E brought some homework so we decided to just stay around.

Then the inevitable happened… He comes out to tell me that they tested my battery and that they highly recommend replacing it before winter arrives.  $140 with parts and labor.  I passed on it this time.  My car is not even 4 years old!  So we had arrived at the dealership almost exactly at 7:30 and we didn’t get to leave until after 12pm.  Much too long.  When we were waiting I had received a code for BOGO Leeann Chin.  I persuaded E that we should get that for lunch.  I will admit that I had ulterior motives for going there….  A few doors away is my favorite store in the world…. HALF PRICE BOOKS!!  I bet you were wondering if I was ever going to get to anything book related.  E wanted to get home but I promised him I would only look at the clearance section.

I wasn’t expecting to find much but I walked out with 5 books!

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  • Dark Witch by Nora Roberts: This one I already have on my Kindle but we all know that a physical copy is so much better.  I really liked this new trilogy of hers so I just had to have it.  I am super excited for the third book to come out which either already happened and I missed or should be happening soon.  Note to self… check Amazon.  Anyways… if you like Ireland, witches and magic, check this series out.  Name of the trilogy is The Cousins O’Dwyer.
  • Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory: One of my favorite authors.  I own almost all of her books and this one puts me one step closer.  It is the prequel to one of the books I already own, Earthly Joys.
  • Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: This is one I read a few times while growing up.  Written by the same author as the book Speak.
  • Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle: I am a big collector of books about Henry VIII and his wives.  So this one I saw and had to get!  This one is a novel about Henry’s last wife, Katherine Parr.  Not too many people write about the wives after Anne Boleyn.
  • The House At Riverton by Kate Morton: I just bought another of hers at the HPB clearance sale.  I’ve always wanted to read them.

So even after a bad morning, I got to do some book shopping so that made it much better!