5 Horror Movies With A Christian Message

There’s something about horror movies that delivers an audience.  Teenagers, and young adults in particular, rush to see the latest “scary movie” meant to frighten and capture their imagination once the lights go dim.  This genre has become one of the most successful and lucrative in Hollywood, ensuring that these types of films will continue to be produced and released in theaters.

What may be surprising is that the horror genre is also vast, and diverse.  There are certainly films within this genre filled with senseless violence and gore, however there are also movies produced under this banner that portray spiritual warfare and the need for faith and prayer.

These films aren’t thought of as faith-based and yet, they pack a powerful and perhaps the strongest message of all – that evil is not only real, it will do anything to destroy us, but God will always be there to protect and redeem those who turn to him.

Here’s a list of 5 Horror Movies That Re-Affirms A Message Of Faith:

  

THE NUN is the latest film in the “Conjuring Universe,” one of the most successful horror franchises in recent history. 

Synopsis:  When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.  When they arrive, they discover the ancient abbey to be a battleground between the supernatural forces of good and evil.   Risking not only their lives, but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2.”

All films in the “Conjuring Universe” have a theme of battling evil, the need for faith, and the power of prayer, and it looks like THE NUN will continue to portray these themes onscreen.  The movie releases in theaters this Friday, September 7.

For a sneak peek, check out this recently released featurette from the film.

A QUIET PLACE was the surprise hit of this year.  Fan-favorite John Kransinski directed and co-starred in this film alongside his wife Emily Blunt.

Synopsis:  IF THEY HEAR YOU, THEY HUNT YOU.  In this thriller, a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (John Krasinski) are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back.

Critics hailed A QUIET PLACE when it released earlier this year.  For those looking for a horror film without supernatural elements, this is highly recommended, along with its themes of family values and sacrifice.

Written by Christian screenwriters, Chad and Carey Hayes, THE CONJURING was the movie that launched a successful franchise – with the latest previously mentioned, THE NUN releasing in theaters this Friday.

Synopsis:  Before there was Amityville, there was Harrisville. Based on a true story, The Conjuring tells the horrifying tale of how world renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful demonic entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives.

Critics also praised this film when it released in theaters.  The movie portrays a family plagued by evil.  It’s terrifying, but also pointed in its message that God is always more powerful than evil.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA directed by Francis Ford Coppola features an all-star cast that includes Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins.

Unlike other vampire movies depicting this famous monster, this 1992 film version begins with a heartbreaking backstory.  It portrays the devasting spiritual and physical consequence of anger, rebellion, renouncing one’s faith, and committing sacrilege against God.

The film which won three Academy Awards, weaves Christian symbolism throughout, and serves as a cautionary tale against giving in to evil.

The Exorcist (1973)

THE EXORCIST needs no introduction. To this day, the film, which won two Academy Awards, continues to terrorize audiences. Folks who haven’t seen the doorway of a church in many years find themselves sitting in a pew shortly after watching this movie.

Synopsis: Nominated for ten Academy Awards, including “Best Picture,” The Exorcist was controversial and extremely popular from the moment it opened in 1973.

This is the frightening and realistic tale of an innocent girl (Oscar-nominated Linda Blair) inhabited by a terrifying entity, her mother’s frantic resolve to save her (Ellen Burstyn in her own Oscar-nominated performance) and two priests—one doubt-ridden, the other a rock of faith—who come together in a battle of ultimate evil. To this day, The Exorcist leaves viewers breathless.

As with any film, it’s a good idea to research content and discern before you watch it, however if you or someone you know likes a good scare or horror movie, these options will not only fit the mold, it reinforces the importance of faith and prayer.

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BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett

Freefall Summer 

by Tracy Barrett

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Clancy Edwards has always been “the good girl.” Ever since her mother died in a skydiving accident when Clancy was young, Clancy’s father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad’s rules and her boyfriend’s protectiveness, she’s longing for an escape this summer. Then she meets Denny.

Denny is a new skydiving student and college freshman. Clancy lets Denny think they’re the same age–and that she’s old enough to make decisions for herself. But the lies snowball, relationships are damaged, and suddenly Clancy isn’t the person she wants to be. If only making choices were as simple as taking a leap out of a plane. Before Clancy can make things right, one last act of rebellion threatens her chance to do so–maybe forever.

Jumpers try to avoid reserve rides, even though every instructor reminds students, “When in doubt, whip it out.” It’s not only the expense of paying a rigger to repack the reserve. Reserves open fast, and the hard opening can give you whiplash, but it’s not the discomfort either. The main thing is that jumpers are superstitious. If you dump the reserve and it malfunctions too, you’re sunk. Nowhere to go. Reserves just about never malfunction, and the odds against both the main and the reserve malfunctioning are astronomical, but still. . . .
So my mom had tried everything to clear the main. She did exactly what you’re trained to do, exactly what I’d heard my dad and Leon and Noel and Randy and Louisa and Patsy tell their students: “If the pilot chute or the main canopy gets stuck, you have to break the burble.” So she flipped over. It didn’t work, so she flipped back to cut away, so the canopy would fly away cleanly. She had no way of knowing that the AAD would fire at precisely the wrong moment, making the two chutes—the main and the
reserve—snag each other, and that neither one would open.
I watched to the end, seeing the pink canopy and the white one wrap around each other, making a big nasty barber pole that didn’t slow my mom down enough to make a difference. Then, when Angie dropped the camera, the ground came up, up, up to the camera lens, and then—whomp. And the screen went black. Was that the last thing my mom saw? The ground coming up, and then nothing? What did she think about in those last seconds? Did she think of me? Of my dad?
After I went to sleep, I saw it over and over again, only sometimes she cut away sooner and sometimes she cut away later. But no matter what she did, it ended the same way, with the camera thumping on the ground and the sounds of screaming and crying.
I woke up when my dad got home, and I wanted to ask him to come sit by my bed until I fell asleep again. I wanted to tell him about how Theo was acting weird and how confused I was about Denny—about whether he was just a DZ friend or whether he was interested in me (and whether I was interested in him), and what I should do about it if he was. Or I was. I wanted to confess that I’d driven the car on Travis day and had done just fine.
I couldn’t. He’d ground me forever. Anyway, he wasn’t the sit-by-the-bed-until-you-fall-asleep kind of dad, and even if he were, once I got started, I’d tell him about watching the video. And seeing that we hadn’t talked about my mom’s death ever, not even once, I couldn’t do that.

Copyright © 2018 by Tracy Barrett

 

About the Author

Tracy Barrett has written more than twenty books for children and young adults. She’s much too interested in too many things to stick to one genre, and has published nonfiction as well as historical fiction, mysteries, fantasy, time travel, myth and fairy-tale retellings, and contemporary realistic novels. She knows more about ancient Greece and Rome and the European Middle Ages than anyone really needs to know, can read lots of dead languages, and used to jump out of airplanes.
A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her first novel, the award-winning Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte). Her most recent publications are a contemporary YA novel, Freefall Summer, which draws on her own skydiving adventures; a middle-grade fantasy entitled Marabel and the Book of FateThe Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard, a collection of little-known Greek myths; and the popular middle-grade series The Sherlock Files.From 1999 to 2009 Tracy Barrett was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (Tennessee and Kentucky) with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is now SCBWI’s Regional Advisor Coordinator.

Tracy grew up near New York City, and went to college in New England and graduate school in California. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers and won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant in 2005. She taught Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University for almost thirty years. She has two grown children and lives in Tennessee with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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 1 Winner will receive a Copy of FREEFALL SUMMER and Swags (signed bookplate and a silver skydiving pendant) by Tracy Barrett. 

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BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis

The Leading Edge of Now

by Marci Lyn Curtis

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find — and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

There’s a moment when I do not breathe, when my heart rate goes volcanic, when the distance to Rusty’s house seems so wide and so impassable that it will take me hours to scramble back.
Owen is staring at me, eyebrows crashed together like he’s trying to solve a particularly difficult crossword puzzle. It’s an expression I know well, seeing as how I’ve spent half a lifetime watching him stand in the garage, gazing at his projects as though he were unraveling the greatest mysteries of the universe.
I want to turn around and run.
I want to slap him.
I want to burst into tears.
What I do, though, is stare at him. He looks the same now, only different. While his dusty blond hair has been cut short, his eyes are the same — still clear emerald-green, big and serious, with lashes as long as palm fronds. He’s probably grown a full two inches since I last saw him, and he’s broader across the chest. On his right forearm is the small diagonal scar he got back in the third grade, when he tried to build a birdhouse for an endangered owl. I always considered that scar one of the things that made Owen Owen. But now it looks misplaced, inappropriate. I have to resist the urge to try to scratch it off. I close my eyes, like maybe I can erase his presence that easily. But he smells so familiar — like sawdust and coffee and soap — that this particular action only makes him more real.
I open my eyes again.
Owen plucks the headphones out of his ears. “Grace,” he says slowly, like he’s trying to remember how my name is pronounced.
Now would be the proper time to speak. But I’m pretty sure that my mouth has been blown apart and then reattached backwards and inside out, a couple of miles north of my vocal cords. So I just continue to look at him.
A few decades pass.
I clear my throat. It sounds like an old, brittle floorboard, creaking under bare feet. “You’re here,” I say, which is quite possibly the stupidest thing I could’ve said to him. Twenty-some-odd months of dreaming about getting even, and now all I can do is state the obvious.

 

About the Author

Marci Lyn Curtis is the author of young adult dramedies THE ONE THING and THE LEADING EDGE OF NOW. She lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband. You can find out more about Marci on her website (marcilyncurtis.com), on Twitter (@Marci_Curtis), on Instagram (@marcilyncurtis), or on Facebook (marcilyncurtis).

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First Time Visiting Singapore Hack

Are you visiting the City in the Garden anytime soon? Singapore is like Europe’s equivalent in South East Asia where ordinary English will help you find your way through the city-state. However, brace yourself for the culture shock. The country is home to close to four different ethnicities each with their distinctive traditions and cultures.

Acquiring a Singaporean tourist visa is easy especially if it is for a short stay. Nonetheless, if you are looking to extend your stay and seek employment,  job agent Singapore can help you secure the needed documents.

Dressing

Singapore has a tropical climate, meaning the weather is generally hot and humid for most parts of the year. Pack light cotton clothes that will help you stay cool during your visit. Additionally, carry a pair of sandals. Besides, if you are planning to go hiking a pair of sturdy trekking boots can come in handy.

To sum it up, don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Remember the Rules

First and foremost, it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore. Secondly, do not litter the streets otherwise you will get to clean the streets on Sundays.

Transport

Singapore offers a plethora of travel options. You can choose from the cable cars, hop on/off buses, or the tram. Hop on/off bus services provide a cheaper alternative for you to travel far and wide and explore more significant sights.

Fun Places You Should Know

Sentosa

The island should the first place you visit once you land in Singapore. The island is home to Universal Singapore Studios, the Dolphin Lagoon, the Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom alongside many other fascinating places which are fun to visit.

Trip Down Singapore River

This one sure and simple way to tour most of Singapore’s iconic landmarks, such as the Merlion statue at Marina Bay and see the site of Raffles’ landing at the historic Boat Quay. Tickets for a cruise down Singapore river can be purchased online.

You can choose the mode you want to travel from hop-on buses to the traditional bumboats. A trip down the Singapore river will give an opportunity to discover Singapore’s perfect blend of modern and traditional heritage.

The Famous Night Safari

Singapore’s night safari is one thing you should not miss out on. Here in you get to take a tour through a nocturnal only safari park. You will get to watch the endangered Asian elephant, Malayan tiger species alongside many others.

The friendlier animals, such as the deer roam freely through the park with the fierce such as the tiger in cages. Here you can choose between taking a tram ride or explore through on foot.

Visit the Botanic Gardens

Singapore’s botanic gardens open their gates as early as 5 in the morning. It offers a perfect opportunity to talk that morning walk enjoying different tree and plant species.

Shop till You Can’t Anymore

Take a stroll down Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street will leave you spoilt for choice. Here in you will get a whole range of traditional garments, foodstuffs, and spices, antiques alongside many others.

On the side, remember to carry your camera to capture the most exciting events to share with your friends and family when you go back home.

BOOK TRAILER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Hidden Pieces

by Paula Stokes

YA Thriller

Book Description

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move…is murder.

 

About the Author

Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

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Paula is running a pre-order incentive for HIDDEN PIECES from now until 11:59PM (PST) on August 28th. Paula will also honor any orders through this trailer blast until August 31st.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 1 Winner will receive a $25 gift card to Amazon, B&N, Etsy, or Society6.
– 1 Winner will receive a Choice of any Paula Stokes YA Novel.
– 3 Winners will receive a Hidden Pieces Swag Pack.

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BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: After Nightfall by AJ Banner

After Nightfall

by AJ Banner

Mystery

Book Description

Beware of friends with secrets…

Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.

Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.

MY THOUGHTS:

3.75 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

 
After Nightfall
by A.J. Banner

If you like a story where absolutely everybody is a suspect, then this is the novel for you. Even the narrator thinks she herself is to blame at some point.

The morning after Marissa and Nate’s dinner/engagement party, Marissa wakes up to find that her best frenemy and next door neighbor Lauren is dead. Did she fall or was she pushed from the cliff down to the rocks below? Marissa does her best to investigate who might have had a reason to want Lauren dead–and before ling she finds out there are plenty of potential killers.

Marissa is a likable enough main character, though she makes some decisions that left me scratching my head. There is a wide cast in this novel, and it seems all of them have something to hide, even down to Nate’s 9 year old daughter.

At times I might have felt the author was throwing in TOO many red herrings; it’s a bit tiring trying to keep up with every side character’s personal problems. Most questions do get answered by the end, but it felt more like tying up loose ends than integrating their plot lines into the story.

When the killer was revealed, I was definitely surprised, although the climax fell a little flat for me. I wish we would have gotten to see a bit more of the culprit throughout the whole of the book.

This is another good thriller offering, and you will devour it quickly just like I did.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Born in India and raised in North America, A. J. Banner received degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous novels of psychological suspense include The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife, a USA Today bestseller. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and six rescued cats.

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One commenter will win a copy of After Nightfall. US/CAN only.  Leave me a comment telling me your best friend’s name! Ends 9/7/18.

 

 

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY: The Missing by Dan Poblocki

The Missing

by Dan Poblocki

Shadow House, Book Four

Book Description

Shadow House never sleeps . . . Five children have been lured into Shadow House, all for different reasons. None of them knows the others. And none of them knows what do to when they can’t find a way back out.

But something is different inside the house. Someone – or something – there knows a little bit more than they should. Only how are the kids supposed to decide if that someone is trying to help them . . . or trap them there forever?

Enter Shadow House . . . if you dare. Don’t just read about Shadow House—step inside with the free SHADOW HOUSE app. Each image in the book reveals a haunting in the app, where the choices you make determine your fate. For tablet or phone: scholastic.com/shadowhouse.

About the Author

Dan Poblocki is an American author of mystery and horror novels for young people. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. During his pre-teen years, his family moved to Basking Ridge, New Jersey. His books have been translated into French, Greek, and Polish. Dan currently lives in Kingston, NY with two scaredy cats.

Dan graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in theater. Subsequently, he toured the United States playing ultra-challenging roles such as Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Shoemaker in The Shoemaker and the Elves to packed houses filled with literally thousands of screaming children. (He hopes they weren’t screaming in fear.)

Dan ended his promising acting career to focus on other endeavors. While exploring various artistic options, he held a number of jobs in New York City including: a floral groomer, an audience-wrangler for a popular game show, a computer analyst, a chemotherapy-unit assistant, and a traveling bathing suit sales-dude.

That’s right. A traveling bathing suit sales-dude.

Dan now writes full time. He’s probably working on something new this very minute!

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Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE MISSING (Shadow House #4) by Dan Poblocki. 

– 1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon/PayPal Gift Card.

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COMING SOON TO THEATERS: Operation Finale

 

Operation Finale, brings to life one of the most daring covert operations in modern history. Starring Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler’s List) and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, X-Men: Apocalypse), the film vividly captures the ingenious and brilliantly executed mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

Fifteen years after the end of World War II, acting on irrefutable evidence, a top-secret team of Israeli agents travel to Argentina where Eichmann (Kingsley) has been in hiding together with his family under an alias Ricardo Klement and execute an extremely dangerous abduction. In attempting to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel while being pursued by the country’s right-wing forces, agent Peter Malkin (Isaac) is forced to engage Eichmann in an intense and gripping game of cat-and-mouse with life-and-death stakes.

Operation Finale releases in theaters on August 29.

Trailer and more:  https://operationfinalefilm.com/

6 Ways to Keep a Clean House When You Have Kids

Kids. They can be a blessing and a total pain in the butt. While they’re cute and cuddly and everything in between, every parent knows they can wreak complete havoc on your house. What was once an organized and decorated space is now a mountain of crumbs, toys, and everything else that kids touch throughout the day. For some people, living in this chaos is normal. For others, though, this chaos makes your anxiety rise, and it’s important for you to get your house more welcoming. Check out these six ways to keep a clean house when you have kids.

1. Hire professionals.
Taking care of your kids is a full-time job, and whether you stay home to care for your kids or you’re a working parent, your job is tough. Because of this, it may be difficult to clean up after the kids and create a home you’re proud to show off. Instead of adding clean-up to your long list of things to do, it’s important for you to instead consider hiring professionals. According to a maid service in Littleton, CO, “Professional cleaning services are more affordable than people think, and cleaning service companies create a schedule that works for your specific home and your specific needs.” Maybe this means you have them come in once a week or once a month. Either way, it’s worth it.

2. Keep toys contained.
Children want to do everything all the time wherever they feel like it, but if you want to keep a clean house, you need to create a space for your child to play. For instance, you may keep your child and his/her toys limited to their bedroom, or maybe you have a playroom or one other room in the house where they can bring items to play. By keeping their toys contained to one area, you’ll have less space to clean when it’s time for bed. In addition, it will allow you to keep the rest of your house clean and only worry about that one room when it’s time to host friends or have play dates.

3. Be an expert organizer.
When it comes to buying furniture for your home, make sure they are versatile pieces. For instance, look for coffee tables that have hidden storage or bookshelves where you can add baskets. This versatile storage allows you to have places to hide your child’s toys and then create more of a comfortable adult space in rooms like the kitchen or living room. This way, your home will be neat and tidy the way you like it without having to sacrifice your child’s play area or get rid of their toys.

4. Clean up right away.
The day can get away from you, but cleaning up right away is one of the best methods for keeping a clean house. For instance, when your child is done with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, put the dishes in the sink/dishwasher and wipe down the table/counter. This will take you a whole two minutes to accomplish and it will make your home look much cleaner and create less extra work for you to do.

5. Get a small vacuum.
Whether you call it a handheld vacuum or a dust buster, these will be the saving grace to keeping your house clean. You know your child always manages to get the smallest crumbs, pieces of paper, or other messy items throughout the house, but who wants to break out the big clunky vacuum to clean a small mess? Instead, having a handheld vacuum will make it much easier for you to create a clean environment. Plus, your child may even want to use the smaller vacuum, which means they can clean up after themselves and make it much easier on you.

6. Create order.
While you may just want your child to play, sometimes having order to playtime can make your home not turn into a battlefield. For instance, teach your child that if they want to play with something, they have to put something else back first. This will ensure you don’t have 1,000 toys on your floor at once. In addition, maybe schedule some quiet time for your child during the day where they have to read or color, which creates less of a mess. Finally, be sure to teach your child to clean up after themselves at an early age, as this will make it less trying as they get older.

You can have a clean home even with littles running around—you just need to use these tips.

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Blood Will Out by Jo Treggiari

Blood Will Out

by Jo Treggiari

YA Thriller

Book Description

Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.

She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.

Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.

On being inside the mind of a killer

One of the major decisions I made when I started to plot this book was to write the killer’s chapters in the first person. I wanted to get inside their head as much as possible and I wanted the reader to as well. This achieves two things. One is that the reader is forced into close contact with the killer, their thoughts and motivations—a scary place to be—and the other is that the reader is therefore a step ahead of the main character, and that builds tension.

I did a lot of research into serial killers although there is much we do not know about them. I concentrated on Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. I noted some of the similarities between them- the way these killers stalked their prey, presented different faces to people, had sometimes suffered abuse as children, and were capable of kindness as well as horrific cruelty and violence. Ed Gein for instance, nursed his mother. Ted Bundy was a social activist and even authored an anti-rape pamphlet (!), John Wayne Gacy entertained children at birthday parties…as a clown! Dahmer had good friends in high school. I really tried to understand them although that was an almost impossible task. I have to say it was a nightmarish six months. I had a very hard time keeping my happy life separate from all the awful things I was discovering; the depths that people can fall to.

I absorbed that background material and then wove my own creation. I knew I couldn’t write from that character’s POV unless I found some spark of humanity, something that allowed me and the reader to latch onto them in some way; to care if at all possible. Beginning their story in childhood let me imagine a triggering event and an evolution in their life. We were all children once. It was a tightrope walk because I also did not want the reader to forget that this was a monster I was writing.

 

About the Author

Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Canada. She spent many years in Oakland, California and New York, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for a punk magazine, and owned a gangster rap/indie rock record label. Her novel Ashes, Ashes, a YA post-apocalyptic adventure published by Scholastic Press, was a multiple award nominee and bestseller. Her acclaimed novella Love You Like Suicide, appeared in the Fierce Ink Press anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL and as a limited edition of the long-running zine Cometbus. Her most recent YA is Blood Will Out, a psych-thriller, published by Penguin Teen (2018). She has a second yet-to-be-named thriller coming from Penguin in the summer of 2019.

 

PURCHASE THE BOOK:
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 2 winners will receive a Copy of BLOOD WILL OUT By Jo Treggiari.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!