Friday, October 22, 2021

Happy Halloween

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What's new with Ashleigh?

I can't believe that it is nearly Halloween. With it comes some annual traditions. The first is saying we are going to have a Halloween party, but never actually hosting one. Every year, my we get some great ideas, but the holiday seems to sneak up on us before we can get everything ready.

Our second tradition is saying we will start planning our Halloween party earlier next year. Again, never happens.

But, we do have a long-standing family tradition. I have owned one store-bought Halloween costume in my entire life. I was 25 years old that year. When I was a child, my mother made every Halloween costume until I was old enough to do it myself.

Now that I'm a parent, I maintain that tradition. Since there are six of us, I usually begin in September. This year, the children more or less assembled their costumes themselves. Mr. Stevens and I are working together to create a stickman character for one child. But, the other three have pieced together clothing and accessories to become felines. (One is a mercat, one is a unikitty, and the other is a regular old cat.) I'm excited to see that my tradition has extended into a second generation.

My children don't like to be scared, so we try to avoid haunted graveyards and scary displays in general. So another tradition is to decorate our house on Halloween or the day before.

We also don't carve pumpkins until the weekend before Halloween. The reason for that? Mr. Stevens vs. the Squirrel. I know, it sounds like a children's book. Maybe someday it will be. The short version is that we have squirrels that like to eat our pumpkins, carved or not. But, only ours. My neighbor has had a gorgeous display with over a dozen pumpkins on her front porch all month. (Yeah, I definitely smell a children's book in my future.)

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? Feel free to post them in the comments below.

Reviews from Ashleigh's Bookshelf

worth the effort
For Young Adults

Worth the Effort: Ella's Story

Kai Strand

When Ella encounters a homeless teen behind the coffee shop where she works, she struggles to overcome her fear of him. Curious about how he ended up on the streets, she learns more about herself than his story.
      a knit before dying
For Whodunits

A Knit Before Dying

Sadie Hartwell

NYC fashion designer Josie is settling into her new life in rural Connecticut as the owner of a yarn shop and landlord. Hopefully, her new tenant, an antiques dealer, will help bring some life to the sleepy downtown. However, when an unexpected death calls up memories of a unsolved missing persons case, yarn is the last thing on her mind.
check out my review
check out my review

Free Books

The Seeing Scroll

A mystery adventure with a little bit of magic

Stray too long where you don't belong and the world you're from could be forever gone.

A week after Gia’s grandfather died, he sent her a key. But her dad wouldn’t believe her.

With the help of her drama-king best friend, they set about finding what it opens and discover a curious riddle and an ancient scroll. It throws them momentarily back in time, luring them with visions — titbits of dangerous secrets, including dungeons, treasure and an Earl’s ship. Whose secrets are they? Why were they kept?

Meanwhile, police exhume her grandfather’s coffin; accuse him of theft, and there are people hunting for the scroll. Or are they searching for the treasure? But the allure of the Seeing Scroll is strong, and the kids soon decide that whatever Gia’s grandfather is involved in, is a secret too. It can surely help them. But is it wise to trust an enchanted parchment? Especially one that carries an ancient curse...

A page-turning action adventure for children. Not too scary for grownups, either.

The Ghost and the Librarian

A paranormal ghost romance

What would you do if a ghost appeared in your newly purchased home?

Kiyo "Kiki" Mori has been offered a job as a library manager in Custer, Washington. James "Micky" Michael Lyndell sells his grandfather's house to Kiki. When they meet, Micky instantly becomes smitten with her.

Unbeknownst to either of them, James Harrison Lyndell, still occupies the 1950s style home. After a week of settling into her new place, Kiki is thrown into life with a ghost when James appears in an upstairs bedroom. The two quickly become unlikely friends as they learn more about each other.

Will Micky be able to crack through Kiki's introverted walls? How will James help these two figure out they belong together? And what regret is tying James to this world?

Last Seed

The Last Seed

Book 0.5 of The Forbidden Series

Can one spy infiltrate a faction where people can see the future?

Orantine is the best spy in her faction, the one they go to for impossible missions. But her next target is like nothing she has faced before, a high ranking official in a faction whose members can see the future.

Orantine has never failed before, but this time, she isn’t sure success is possible.

Armed with her faction’s genetic mutation, and the latest technology the world has to offer. Orantine believes she has found the perfect plan.

Nothing comes without a price, however, and this mission will push her to the edge, and further.

How far will she go to ensure success? And how far is she willing to go to prove she is the greatest in her world?

Want more free books? Check out these giveaways!

fall into romance clean & wholesome fall in love

Other Books on Sale

The Unplugged Summer

The Unplugged Summer

An Englishman's Perspective of Life at an American Summer Camp

This memoir is written by an English twenty-three year old, who is in pursuit of working at an American summer camp. Join him in his journey to getting a working visa for America. When his journey proceeds at the chosen summer camp, it becomes a fascinating account, from George, with focus on certain characters and the antics from the campers. You will be taken through the multiple emotions that every member of a summer camp experiences each summer. This book will drive an interest in people that want to travel and work at an American summer camp. There is also emphasis on the positives and negatives of technology and social media, which is constantly developing and is used by the majority, everywhere in society, but has less of an existence at a summer camp.

Hang a Shining Star

Hang a Shining Star

A Sweet Small-Town Holiday Romance

She has been running in circles since she dropped out of law school…

Wren Keller has been working as a house-sitter in Manhattan ever since she left her Ivy League law school half-way through her second year. She knew she didn’t want to be a lawyer, but she doesn’t know what else she wants to be either, and she feels like she’s never going to find that perfect fit. When Wren gets offered a job house sitting at Christmas for a rich architect who lives in a small Vermont town, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Maybe a white Christmas will be just what she needs to clear her head.

His whole life revolves around his daughter and his job… Ross Slater and his daughter Mattie came back to his hometown of Wintervale after an incident in New York that he won’t discuss. Since they returned, Ross likes to keep his mind on his work as Wintervale’s Sheriff, and making sure that his little girl is happy. But now that Mattie is getting older, and needs him less, he’s starting to realize that maybe there is a part of life he’s missing out on… he just doesn’t know how to take that leap.

When a case of mistaken identity brings the Sheriff to Wren’s door one cold winter’s night, they will both discover that sometimes, love is the best Christmas gift you can give yourself!

Hang a Shining Star is a standalone sweet Christmas romance set in the small town of Wintervale, Vermont. It’s full of holiday surprises, a few unexpected visitors, and more than a little Christmas magic!

Murder and Grits

Murder and Grits

A Piper Sandstone Savory Mystery Series

Going undercover just got complicated....

She's a Chicago detective hiding in a Gulf Coast town. When a dognapping and murder shake up the local community, Piper Sandstone finds herself tangled in the mystery. Now, keeping a low profile is not an option anymore if she wants to survive.

After solving a case involving dirty cops, Piper is forced to hide out in Savory, Alabama until the corrupt officers land behind bars.

Savory, better known as Alligator Alley, is not your typical tourist attraction Gulf Coast town. Why? Because it's home to the three-time AKC champion poodle Victory Cup Valentino, but this year bad things are about to go down. Even before Piper can get unpacked, there is a murder, and the poodle goes missing right before the Westminster Dog Show.

Suspicions run high, especially with two other newcomers with very sketchy backstories showing up in town. But before Piper can get any answers, all hell breaks loose when a body turns up in the bayou and she's at the center of the crime scene.

Fortunately for Piper, a group of retired ladies known as the Dentures and Diamonds Crime Squad is on her side, and they are a force to be reckoned with. Now, they must work together to solve the crime and stop the murderer before they end up in a body bag.

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