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

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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Quiet afternoons with Emily

My last blog post (written THREE MONTHS ago, yikes) was about Emily Dickinson, and today--once again--it is Miss Emily who inspires me. A NEW BOOK: From the publisher: An engaging, intimate portrait of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest and most-mythologized...

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Tea with Miss Emily & a GIVEAWAY

There's a new picture book about Emily Dickinson and it is marvelous. (Thank you, Best of Books in Edmond, OK, for shipping it so quickly!) This book written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander is beautiful, inspirational, and quite poignant--I...

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April Tea and Three Cosy Books

Happy Wednesday! If you've been yearning for a comfort read, I have three recommendations. And TEA. The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and...

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Cozy distractions in the time of Corona

Even if you're healthy and safe at home, you may be losing your mind right about now. I've put together a list of things (in no particular order) that might brighten your mood during this surreal quarantine from the rest of humanity. -- First of all, complete your...

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March Tea and a Book: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

After a long drought, I finally found a book that captivated me, kept me glued to the pages until the end, and only took two days to read because I could hardly bear to put it down. Goodreads synopsis: In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts...

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A Horror Interlude for February

This past week I visited Dallas for the Highland Park Literary Festival. The festival volunteers always put on a great event, and the highlight for me was spending time with the HPHS students who signed up for my presentation, "How to Build a Horror Hero" (a companion...

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Valentine’s Tea and a Book

ALERT: there's a GIVEAWAY at the end of this post! The other day I was making a mental list of the most romantic novels I've ever read. "This needs to be a blog post!" I thought. Interestingly enough, on this blog I only have ONE previous post related to Valentine's...

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