Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Two Coraline Journals for Snowy Winter Musings

If you're looking for a new journal to record your dreary thoughts or macabre life events, check out this Coraline pocket journal, new from Insight Editions. It has 192 lined pages, punctuated with occasional colorful illustrations from the stop-motion film. The front cover shows a box with Coraline's button eyes.

The pocket journal is available on Amazon.

Here's another option - a hardcover Coraline journal with a purple cover. It's also hardcover and has 192 lined pages.

This journal includes concept art, sketches and quotes from the film.

Both journals are also sold on eBay.

Note that Coraline is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year!

Edgar Allan Poe Stationery for Writing Deep Dark Thoughts to Cherished Friends

I'm currently snowbound, unable to drive out of my neighborhood or even my driveway. Finally I have time to pursue hobbies, catch up on my binge watching and reading, and settle in by the fire to write handwritten letters to distant friends.

Check out this cool Edgar Allan Poe stationery set that's tempting me - if the Amazon delivery person can actually make it through the snow to deliver this to me!

The stationery set includes an elegant keepsake box to keep everything together, a pocket journal, twenty blank note cards with Poe quotes on the front, and twenty blank envelopes.

The Edgar Allan Poe stationery set also comes with twenty stickers showing ravens and Mr. Poe's portrait.

Happy scribing!

Alice in Wonderland Search and Find Book for Candlelit Snowy Winter Evenings

Raise your hand if you can't wait for winter to be over? Or are you still enjoying wintertime weather and snowy pursuits? Let me know in the comments below. Meanwhile, I wanted to show you this adorable book I bought myself recently.

This Search and Find Alice in Wonderland book (via Amazon) is for kids, but who cares? I'm snowbound at home for days now. I've cooked, baked, cleaned, binge watched shows on Netflix and caught up with my reading pile. Now I'm pouring a gigantic glass of bourbon, settling in by the fire, and looking for a fun diversion for a half hour or so.

Sure, the pictures are cheerful and colorful, not dark and macabre like we all prefer. Still, I enjoy peering at the illustrations looking for the little things and hunting for hidden characters.

The Search and Find Alice book came out back in 2018. Here's hoping they make an Edgar Allan Poe themed book next!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Bendy and the Ink Machine Toys for Goths

I just happened across the Bendy and the Ink Machine Amazon shop during a late night caffeine-fueled web surfing session. I'd never heard of Bendy, an episodic survival horror game. The game is available on mobile, on consoles including Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. I love the vintage aesthetic, which sort of reminds me of Felix the Cat.

Here's a collection of three Bendy plush toys: Alice, Boris and Bendy.

Or you can buy the set of plush toys in sepia "yellow" colors. (Boy does Boris the Wolf remind me of Disney's Goofy character!)

The Bendy and the Ink Machine collectible figure pack includes Bendy, Boris the Wolf, Ink Bendy, and Alice Angel.

Should you need to snuggle up and cuddle after a particularly harrowing game episode, here's a Bendy plush pillow.

You can keep your head warm this winter with a Bendy beanie.

This "Allison Angel" action figure depicts an alternate form of Alice.

Here's a Bendy and the Ink Machine room playset with 265 pieces you can put together, similar to Lego. The set includes a Bendy figure, a Boris the Wolf, and an Ink figure.

Or for a slightly easier building project, here's a Boris the Wolf buildable figure with just 202 pieces.

You can also grab a set of three plush figures depicting The Butcher Gang.

There are many, many more Bendy and the Ink Machine items available on Amazon and on eBay.


Check out the Joey Drew Studios Youtube channel, the Joey Drew Studios Facebook page, the Twitter stream, the Instagram (though it sadly has only one post as of this writing), and Joey Drew Studios website for more info on Bendy and the Ink Machine.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Retro Telephone Purses from That Wacky Betsey Johnson

This is Betsey Johnson's "Hello?" bag, featuring a retro faux dial clasp gold-colored closure and "Princess phone" carrying handle. It has a shiny simulated patent leather look to it. And great news, vegan goths, it's 100% PVC!

The "Answer Me" bag is similar, but has a textured finish and uses silver colored ink for the faux dial clasp closure.

But wait, there's more! Take note, Britgoths, the "Answer Me" phone purse also comes in plaid!

And for glamgoths, here's Betsey Johnson's "Off the Hook" bag in silver.

Note that some versions of "Off the Hook" come with a retro plug to hook your smartphone in and use the crossbody bag as a functioning "landline" style handset. Whoah!

Which of these, if any, is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section below.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Most Anticipated Dark and Gothic Books for 2019

Winter is my favorite time to withdraw from the cold gray world outside and hunker down in front of the fireplace and read book after book after book. Here are some of the darker, drearier books coming out this winter that are tempting me to add to my groaning bookshelves.

Non-Fiction Dark and Gothic Books for 2019



HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft, by Erica Feldmann.

The owner of the stunningly beautiful HausWitch shop in Salem, Massachusetts debuted this book on using witchcraft to create a beautiful, positive, energy-field dwelling for yourself. This book isn't dark or gloomy, but I'm in the mood for some witchy home decorating advice right now.

A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcoming, by Kerri Rawson. 

I'm curious to read this autobiography by the daughter of the B.T.K. killer. I feel a little guilty for being so mentally intrusive into her life and what it must have been like after her father was captured, convicted and jailed. You can watch her book trailer here.


The Trial of Lizzie Borden, by Cara Robertson. 


I've read a couple books about Lizzie Borden and her parents' murders, and seen more TV shows, movies and miniseries than I needed to. I might be persuaded to check out this book though, as it's about the sensational trial itself and the surrounding hoopla and press frenzy.

"Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties."

Dark and Gothic Fiction for early 2019


The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders.


This sounds like a nice dystopian sci-fi read for a gloomy winter afternoon.

January is a dying planet--divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside.
This book will be released February 12.


Ghost Stories: Forgotten Classic Tales


I really can't own enough ghost story collections - I read through so many deliciously dark stories in fall and winter. This one features classic stories alongside some previously overlooked ones by Ambrose Bierce, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Olivia Howard Dunbar, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, M. R. James, Arthur Machen, Georgia Wood Pangborn, Mrs. J. H. Riddell, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Walter Scott, Frank Stockton, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton.




Ghost Wall, by Sarah Moss.


This book is getting quite a lot of interest from the press. The Guardian called it "a brief and brilliant novel."

I'm intrigued by the premise - a family volunteers to live like ancient Iron Age Britons for two weeks, for an anthropology class the father is eager to participate in. (This reminds me of PBS "Manor House" and "Frontier House" type television shows). The family builds a traditional "ghost wall" to ward away enemy invaders.. and I'm intrigued to find out what happens afterwards!


Inspection: A Novel, by Josh Malerman.


If you enjoyed Netflix's " Bird Box" so much that, like me, you rushed out to read the novel it was based on, you might be intrigued by the author's next book. The all-boys-school and all-girls-school premise has been done many times, but I'll grant Josh Malerman the chance to surprise me with new ideas.

The Migration, by Helen Marshall.


Call me morbid, but I really like reading apocalyptic disease-ravaged-planet books. In this book, the dead aren't staying dead. I'm looking forward to finding out what that means!


More Deadly than the Male: Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror, edited by Graeme Davis.


This will keep me happily and drearily occupied on a wintry Sunday afternoon, where I'll alternate reading a story with doing laundry or housekeeping tasks, bribing myself to finish each task with the promise of another dark story.

The "forgotten" authoresses include Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton. I'll look forward to reading darker tales by these literary greats.


The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie.


This upcoming fantasy book might be a little too high-fantasy, swords-and-sorcery for me personally, but I wanted to point it out to you. It features a kingdom protected by a Raven King, whose powers are suddenly weakening.


The Spirit Photographer, by JonMichael Varese.


I'm drawn to this compelling story of a Boston photographer in the late 1800s who unwittingly photographs the ghostly image of a mysterious beautiful young woman. This unusual plot is a relief after scrolling through page after page of cheesy upcoming vampire novels.


Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds, by Gwenda Bond.


This is the first official novel based on the hit Netflix show.

I generally enjoy novelizations, so this is coming with me on my next airplane ride.


While You Sleep, by Stephanie Merritt.


This one tempts me greatly - it's a modern ghost story set on a remote Scottish island. Better yet, it's set in a creepy old house on a remote Scottish island. Sold!


The Wicked Deep, by Shea Ernshaw.


This watery fantasy novel tells the story of three drowned witches, who return each summer to lure boys into the water to drown them as revenge. It sounds utterly indulgent! This book came out last year in hardcover, but now is available in paperback (less expensive!)


The Witches Kind, by Louisa Morgan, the author of "A Secret History of Witches."


It will be interesting to read a post World War II book set in the Pacific Northwest (I live here, near Seattle). The plot description of two sisters with powers almost reminds me of Practical Magic a bit.

Dark and Gothic YA Fiction for Early 2019

:

The Lonely Dead, by April Henry.


Here's a YA book due out in late January. It's a bit of a paranormal detective murder story:

"For Adele, the dead aren’t really dead. She can see them and even talk to them. But she’s spent years denying her gift. When she encounters her ex best friend Tori in a shallow grave in the woods and realizes that Tori is actually dead -- that gift turns into a curse. Without an alibi, Adele becomes the prime suspect in Tori’s murder. She must work with Tori’s ghost to find the real killer. But what if the killer finds Adele first?"
I don't read very many whodunnit type murder mystery stories, but might be tempted by this one due to the paranormal aspects.


Manufactured Witches, by Michelle Rene.


The cover of this YA book is a bit reminiscent of Dorothy Gale's Kansas house in "The Wizard of Oz." This book is set during the Dust Bowl era - that intrigues me as it's not a common genre setting. Check out the plot:

"In this crazy new place, there are wonders he's never imagined possible. People who can paint portraits of ghosts, walk through walls, and hide windmills in thin air. But in a time of starvation and fear, Camille's magical home comes under attack from people who fear and discriminate against her. It is up to Nat and the other children to rally behind Camille to save their oasis in the dust from utter ruin."

The Near Witch, by V.E. (Victoria) Schwab.


Not a new book - this is a reprint. I'm really intrigued by the premise:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.
Sounds like the perfect book to curl up with by the fireplace, dogs nearby and steaming hot mug of a bourbon hot toddy in hand! Unless, of course, you're an actual young adult, in which case skip the alcohol!


The Raven's Tale, by Cat Winters.


This is the book I'm most likely to dive into right away. It imagines what might happen if Edgar Allan Poe's muse, Lenore, came to life.


The Waking Forest, by Alyssa Wees. 


This book is described as "Pan's Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways." I'm eager to read any book set in a forest and inspired by fairy tales of old. Seems like there might be some surprises and a few twists along the way.


Watch Hollow, by Gregory Funaro.


This YA book comes out in mid-February. The story reminds me a bit of "The House With a Clock in Its Walls."

"Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows."


Happy reading!
-Carrie









Saturday, January 19, 2019

Darkly Elegant Nail Lacquers from Chanel

Chanel's Le Vernis nail lacquer (via Violet Grey.com) is my current favorite. It lasts a long time, takes a lot of abuse before chipping, and is extremely glossy (which I really like). I'm looking at the following colors for my winter evenings out, to go with the dark velvets I'm wearing to stay warm and look elegant.

"Bleu Trompeur" is for goths who aren't afraid to mix a little jewel tone into their winter look. I find it amusing that Trompeur means "misleading."

"Vamp" is your go-to gothic red, more blood red than the too-bright "Pirate" option from Chanel.

Here's the black we've been looking for - "Gris Obscur."

The deep blue/purple tones of "Roubachka," (currently sold out) are reminiscent of bruises.

Which hues tempt you the most?