Cosy, Eerie, and Splendid, a writer’s blog

Smultronställe in St. Cross Churchyard, Oxford

In my previous post featuring the work of Eva Ibbotson, I enthused about a Swedish word found in one of her novels: smultronställe is a noun meaning that special place treasured or yet to be discovered. It could be an idyllic opening in the forest, a quiet beach, a...

read more

April Tea and a Book: Eva Ibbotson

I first encountered Eva Ibbotson in the YA section of our local Borders bookstore in the early 2000s -- back when I was teaching high school English (and Borders still existed). I began with A Countess Below Stairs and so enjoyed this story of a Russian countess...

read more

March Tea and a Book: Stella Gibbons

I am such a fan of Stella Gibbons, so it seems strange that I've only read four of her novels. You can see them above, except for The Woods in Winter, a strange yet endearing story I read on my kindle. Today I want to share Westwood, a story I struggled with and yet...

read more

February Tea and a Book: WWII Child Evacuee Stories

Recently I read When the War is Over, by Barbara Fox. This memoir of the author's mother, Gwenda Brady Gofton, focuses on her childhood years as a WWII evacuee in Cumbria. After a couple of false starts in other evacuation areas, Gwenda and her older brother Doug...

read more

January Tea and a Book: Elizabeth Goudge

January has been a good month, for I finally seem to have dragged myself out of the COVID reading slump. I started the year with Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here and devoured it in two days. I loved the Tennessee setting, the quirky characters, and the way this...

read more

December Tea and a Book: Calm Christmas

One of the few positive things about this terrible pandemic is that it's forced us all to spend more time with ourselves. In our own heads. Dreaming, reading, planning, growing. I'll confess that I love being alone. I inherited this trait from my mother, and many of...

read more

November Tea and a Book: Autumn by Ali Smith

I'd been looking for an "Autumnal" story for some time. I really just wanted a good yarn, maybe with a bit of romance and some charming scenery, organized with a beginning, middle, and end (as one might expect). Well! This "Post-Brexit" novel DID NOT fit the bill....

read more

What to watch for Halloween

I just wrapped up this year's Spooky Film Recommendations, but there's more I wish to share. In case some of you are planning a bit of horror viewing over the weekend, I wanted to list my favorites from 11 years of blogging horror -- and I'm going to put the films in...

read more

Welcome to my new webpage design!

Feel free to stay awhile and explore! I am so grateful for the genius, artistry, and patience of my designer, Madeira James, along with her team at xuni.com. This is the fourth iteration of my website in our 11 years of working together, and recently I confessed to...

read more

Spooky Film Recs, part IV

Here we are with the final chapter of 2020's Spooky Film Recommendations. I intended these to be "ghost-free" horror, but a few ghosts wormed their way in despite my best efforts. The films are listed in the order that I viewed them. As always, all synopses are from...

read more

2020 Spooky Film Recs, Part III

Ah, my very favorite category of horror -- Ghosts and Hauntings! Strangely enough, I struggled to find good options this year. Had several false starts before I decided to share these five films with you. (All synopses from imdb.com) Doctor Sleep (2019) -- Rated R...

read more

2020 Spooky Film Recommendations, Part II

Each of the following films has been featured on one or more "Feminist Horror Film" lists. What does "Feminist Horror" even mean? I'm using the term for films featuring female protagonists with agency who don't need a man to rescue them or explain anything. For...

read more

2020 Spooky Film Recommendations — Part I

As I've said before, if you crave 500 jump scares per film, you will be disappointed by my recommendations. For more context on this, check out Chris Stuckmann’s YouTube video, The Problem with Horror Movies Today. This year we begin with CLASSIC HORROR, and I...

read more

Spooky Reads 2020 and a GIVEAWAY

Hey! Don't forget to check out the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. When the Covid lockdown began, I craved comfort books. (See my recommendations here.) Lately, however, that old familiar yearning for Gothic horror has me in its grip. What a gluttony of horror...

read more

Follow By Email

Categories

Archives

My Blog List