Top Ten Tuesday: Sweet Treats for Halloween

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating it! I love the assortment of sweets that are available at this time of year, so I’m going to be sharing some book covers that either feature candy on them or have references to treats in their titles.










1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl











2. Bubblegum by Sari Taurez











3. The Candy Cookbook: 40 Recipes for Sweet Success – to Celebrate National Candy Month by Christina Tosch











4. S is for Stranger by Louise Stone











5. Chocolat by Joanne Harris











6. The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joël Glenn Brenner











7. The Art Of Choosing: The Decisions We Make Everyday of our Lives, What They Say About Us and How We Can Improve Them by Sheena Lyengar











8. Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash











9. Candy Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch











10. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker




What’s your favorite type of Halloween candy?

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Films Based on Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Halloween from everyone at Long and Short Reviews!

Go pop some popcorn and grab some of your favorite Halloween candy, because today we’re talking about Halloween films based on books and other bookish things.

The first five entries on this list are family friendly. The last five are more appropriate for teens and adults.

Most of these films are not gory because I prefer psychological horror to other types of frights.

1. The Witches

Based on The Witches by Roald Dahl


2. A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Based on A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket


3. Coraline

Based on Coraline by by Neil Gaiman


4. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Based on the Charlie Brown comic strip by Charles Schultz


5. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Based on the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Tim Burton


6. Sleepy Hollow

Based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving


7. I Am Legend

Based on I Am Legend by Richard Matheson


8. Frankenstein

Based on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


9. It

Based on It by Stephen King


10. The Woman in Black

Based on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


What are your favorite Halloween films based on books? Which books do you think would make fantastic films for the spooky season in 2023 and beyond?

Lifestyle: 6 Tips to Have a Safe, Spooky Halloween This Year

This year Halloween won’t look quite the way it did before the Covid-19 pandemic began, but there are still many ways to enjoy this holiday while physical distancing, living in isolation, or even quarantining.

Whether you live in the city, the country, or even in a haunted mansion next to graveyard, here are some ways to keep the fun in Halloween in 2020.

Watch Your Favorite Scary Show

If I’m feeling brave, sometimes I’ll turn off all of the lights right before hitting play. Every sort of monster and spirit is more intimidating when their stories are told in the dark.

If you want a few suggestions of what to watch, I adored The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor.

Decorate Your Home

Depending on your budget, living situation, and what sort of decorations you enjoy, you could:

Paint or carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns,

Hang a white sheet from a coat tree to make it look like a ghost is hovering in your living room.

Temporarily turn your Christmas tree into a Halloween tree.

The possibilities are endless.

Visit the Hogwarts Digital Escape Room

Unlike many other digital escape rooms, this one is free! It was created by Sydney Krawiec who is the Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA.

Bake Sweet Treats

They can be inspired by Halloween, autumn, or whatever it is you like to eat in particular.

I think autumn is the perfect time to make pumpkin pie or soft ginger cookies.

They both fill a house with such delicious scents as they bake.

If you’re able to leave the house, you could also throw in some reverse trick-or-treating. That is to say, package up some of your goodies and drop them off at the doorsteps of friends, relatives, or neighbours.
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Maybe you could even organize a dessert exchange so everyone gets a few slices or pieces of many different types of sweets.

Decorate a Face Mask

I’ll admit it: most of my face masks are black and honestly a little boring.

This could easily change with a little paint, cloth, or other materials. Why not have a spider web or grinning pumpkin greet everyone who sees you when you leave home for necessary trips like grocery shopping, going to work, or attending classes?

There are some excellent ideas here.

Have a Halloween Treat Hunt at Home

Half of the fun of trick-or-treating is never knowing what you’ll find next and slowly seeing your bucket fill up with awesome festive candies and trinkets in my opinion.

Luckily, both of these things can be replicated at home!

All you need to do is a Halloween treat hunt like an Easter egg hunt.

That is to say, hide small bundles of candy, stickers, pencils, and other goodies around your home or backyard.

If more than one person lives in your home, have only one household member be in charge of this so it can be a surprise for everyone else.

Anyone who lives alone could order assorted packages or buy for a friend who could, in turn, pick out your treats.

Happy Halloween from Long and Short Reviews!

We hope you all have a wonderful time no matter how you choose to celebrate this holiday.

If you have other tips, do tell us about them in the comment section below.

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween in Nonfiction

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I adore Halloween. It’s by far my favorite holiday of the year for reasons ranging from my love of dressing up in costumes to the fact that candy corn finally becomes available again as we move closer to the end of October.

Today I wanted to share some books about the non-fiction side of this holiday and some of the things that have become so closely associated with it. I find the history and sociology of this stuff just as interesting as reading about spooky monsters, and I hope you will as well.

1. Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton. 

I live in a wonderfully diverse community that includes many people who have no cultural understanding of Halloween at all. It’s fascinating to see how they react to this holiday the first time they come across it. Things I think of as perfectly ordinary continue to surprise them for years to come. For example, the thought of knocking on a neighbour’s door and asking them for food is a common source of bewilderment for them.

2. Things in the Basement: A History of Halloween Horrors by John Lloyd Retzer.

Wow, this book covered a lot of ground. It’s something I’d recommend to anyone who is totally unfamiliar with this holiday and wants a basic overview of what it’s all about.

3. The Haunting of America: From Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini by Joel Martin. 

Believing in the paranormal sometimes can have unintended negative consequences for a community or nation. I liked the way this book framed this topic. It was full of compassion for everyone from the citizens of Salem to contemporary people whose beliefs in various supernatural things pushed them to do stuff they probably wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

4. Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite: The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan.

What a cool idea for a book! I’ve often wondered how certain legends were invented in the first place, especially when it comes to vampires. Knowing possible scientific explanations for what was really happening back then helps me understand why and how people misinterpreted what was going on with them so terribly.

5. The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present by Ronald Hutton.

This was such an eye-opening read. I’d known that there were women (and a few men) who died violent deaths in the past after being accused of being witches, but I had no idea how widespread this practice actually was or why it began.
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6. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror David J. Skal. 

If you’ve ever wondered by certain types of horror movies were wildly popular in certain eras, go read this book.

7. Ghosts: A Natural History: 500 Years of Searching for Proof by Roger Clarke.

With everything that’s changed for humans over the last century, it’s nice to see that this is one thing has remained constant for generations. Just about everyone enjoys a good ghost story now and again.

8. It Lives Again! : Horror Movies in the New Millennium by Axelle Carolyn. 

This book reminded me of just how far behind I am in watching modern horror films. I have a lot of catching up to do.

9. Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and Haunting by W. Scott Poole. 

I hope this author writes sequels about how monsters are viewed in other cultures. Every culture on Earth seems to have developed their own stories about various frightening creatures that are often based on the social mores at the time those tales were first created.

10. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night by Nicholas Rogers.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a history of Halloween that begins with its pagan origins and ends with how it is currently celebrated. This makes me wonder how the people who first came up with it would react to the ways it is observed today.

Happy Halloween from everyone at Long and Short Reviews!


Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween!

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time again!  This week is all about Halloween.  When choosing spooky stories to read at this time of year, I tend to gravitate toward the classics.  Something creepy enough to give me goosebumps and get my imagination going, but not graphic enough to give me nightmares.  Sometimes, as you’ll see in my list, I just want to read something fun with my children.  Here are ten stories put me in a Halloween mood.

1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz-This is a classic Halloween story.  I read the book and watch the tv special every year.


2. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (Garfield in Disguise) by Jim Davis-Another classic!  I get this out every year and it never gets old.


3. Anything by Edgar Allan Poe-Nobody does horror and mystery like Edgar Allan Poe!  I recommend The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and Ligeia.


4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson-This story isn’t exactly scary, but it is horrifying in its own way, and certainly thought provoking.


5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice-This is the first book I ever read about vampires, and it is still a favorite.


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7. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde-A thoroughly entertaining ghost story.


8. Dracula by Bram Stoker-This classic vampire story should be read at least once in a lifetime.


9. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving-This eerie short story deserves a read around Halloween.


10. A Bottomless Grave and Other Victorian Tales of Terror edited by Hugh Lamb-I haven’t read this book yet, but it was recently given to me and now seems like the perfect time to check it out.


How about you?  What do you enjoy reading at Halloween?  Have you read any of these?  If so, what did you think?


Biting Love and Halloween Fun with @MeganSlayer

I love writing vampire stories and the season of Halloween. I’m not fond of gore and blood. I faint at the sight of my own blood. I know…it’s not fun. And I love to write vampires?

By Book Illustrator Charles F. Lester (The Project Gutenberg Etext.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Don’t they drink blood and aren’t they a tad gory? They can be. I love the mean, scary vampires. Nosferatu and Dracula are favorites. I’m not wild about pretty vampires. Now let me clarify this. I want vampires that are alluring. The kind that draw you in only to bite the crap out of you. The ones who look sexy, but are scary as heck and will kill you. Those are my kind.

One thing I’ve struggled with when writing my vampires is the alluring factor. You might ask why or you may see the conundrum. I write romance. How can a vampire be romantic and still want to rip out your throat? Isn’t that an odd pairing? It is. Here’s the thing: vampires have to be alluring. They’re the undead. If you saw someone strolling up to you who has half of his face falling off and smells like death…you might not want to offer your blood up to him. He’s essentially a zombie. The walking dead. This is one of the genesis stories for vampires – they’re really zombies who don’t eat brains, but rather drink the life blood from living beings. Okay, so zombies on the whole might not be terribly sexy. So what’s a vampire to do to be alluring? Be sexy. That’s why vampires got the Dracula, handsome, but deranged count overlay. He’s handsome. His minions are pretty. Or her minions. One might be more attracted to a guy with money, nice clothes and something that draws you to him.

So that’s how I want to write my vampires. They can kill you, but they’re still handsome and sexy. They’re still something attractive, but they can turn on a dime.

By Joergsam (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

When I wrote Biting Love, I wanted Anson, my vampire, to be attractive. He’s got to win the trust of Parker. How can he do that if he opens with the line, I can and will kill you? Um, probably won’t work. Grin. So  he has to be charming. Has to be protective. I loved writing Anson and Parker because they’re very opposite, too. Anson is dark, kind of scary and sexy. Parker is a geeky kind of guy. They might not have run in the same circles to begin with, but once they find each other…it’s a whole new thing.

Part of the fun of writing Biting Love has been my getting to work with my dear friend, Madison Sevier, again. We wrote in her Rosie Peaks series earlier in the year when we wrote Faeries After Dark together. Biting Love is the next in the crossover world. Her book, Out Foxxe’d features her characters after Faeries. She went with a shifter and I have vampires. Hehe. And there will be more books in the crossover world. Vampires are like potato chips. I can’t have just one.

Want to know more about Biting Love? Then keep reading!!

Biting Love By Megan Slayer

A Rosie Peaks Crossover Novella

Megan Slayer Publications

M/M, Anal Sex


Contemporary, Paranormal


Mix one vampire with one human who doesn’t believe in the paranormal and add some sizzle.

Anson wasn’t looking for a partner when he spotted the handsome human, but he’s not about to argue when the mood strikes. He’s got to bring a date to the Halloween bash and Parker fits his bill exactly. Now all he needs to do is convince Parker that vampires truly exist.

Parker is practical, intelligent and a little on the geeky side. He can’t believe his eyes—a handsome man has not only hit on him, but asked him out…to a masquerade ball. He doesn’t believe in vampires, but Anson wears his Dracula costume a bit too well.

Can these two find love and trust after all or will the sparks only last until the dawn?


Universal Link:


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Now for an excerpt:
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©2017 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“Okay, then where’s your boyfriend?”

“Don’t have one.” Not since Seth dumped him a year ago. Seth wanted to sleep around and Parker wanted monogamy. According to Seth, gay men couldn’t be monogamous. The asshole. Parker tried to get him back, but Seth never called him again.

“You should.” Anson grasped Parker’s hand. “But it makes this so much easier.”

“Me? I? What?” Oh Jesus, he had to stop talking. He made no sense and he could’ve sworn Anson wanted to kiss him.

“It’s rather difficult to ask someone out if they’ve already got a date or boyfriend.” Anson scooted he chair around the table until he sat next to Parker. “Right?”

“You’re asking me out?” He must’ve heard Anson wrong and understood the wrong vibes. “Really?”

“Of course…unless you don’t want to.” Anson trailed his fingers down the back of Parker’s neck. His eyes shimmered. “Not interested?”

“I…yes.” Christ. Start going for what you want, Parker. “I’d like a date. Yes. But I need some time. I mean—not tonight.” Shit. He was fucking up the plan. “I mean…”

“I’m pretty free. What works for you?”

“Uh…I need to get this paper down. But I’ve got time around lunch tomorrow. If I can get this turned in before tomorrow night, I’ll be free for Halloween. Would lunch work? Then if you don’t like me, we’re not committed to a night date?” He’d just talked himself out of a date. Shit.

“No good. I’m…in a class at lunch.” Anson draped his arm across the back of Parker’s chair. “I’m better at night.”

“Oh.” Anson didn’t strike him as a college student. “Which class? I could meet you at your building afterward.”

“Uh…it’s off campus at the sculpture building at the old farm.” Anson nodded. “You know, all of those power tools and bending machines. They can’t have it too close to campus in case one of the artists does something crazy.”

“I doubt that.” He turned in his seat to face Anson. “The worst you could do is burn down the building, but why? Performance art? Nah. You’re all careful. It’s a reason to be out there.” He wanted to touch Anson and prove to himself the man was real. He rested his forearms on his thighs instead. “I’ve never been to the arts building out there, so I wouldn’t know too much about it.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“No wheels.” Embarrassment washed over him. If his dorky personality wasn’t enough to push Anson away, his lack of a car would be the topper. “I had to sell my car to make my tuition payment. My job at the front desk at the student housing complex was cut.”

“That’s awful.” Anson didn’t pull away. He kept caressing Parker’s biceps.

“Unless I can find a sugar daddy or get some cash flowing from my writing, I’ll have to get a part time job over at the burger joint across from the student center. It’s not a bad job, but I’d rather be writing.” He smiled to hide how he felt—embarrassed, dejected, screwed over. He had to get more positivity into his life, but damn it. Life kept throwing him curveballs.

“You never told me what you write.” Anson wriggled his eyebrows. “Anything juicy?”

“No.” Here he wanted to be a writer and he hadn’t self-promoted. Bad Parker. “Science fiction with a little paranormal mixed in. It really depends on the day and my mood. I’ve got one about aliens invading the earth and this one is more paranormal.”

“Really?” Anson smiled.

Parker couldn’t read his expression. “You don’t like it? Too out there for you?”

“No, I’m fascinated.”

“You are?”

~ ~ ~ ~

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: Sign up for the newsletter here:

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