Something Wicked Comes rolls on! The final two weeks are going to be jammed packed with giveaways! You won't want to miss a day! Here are the spooking stops for today:
Christy@Love of Books: Jeyn Roberts
Melissa@Writer Grrl Reads: Michelle Hodkin: The Unbecoming of Myra Dyer
Please head over and enter these great giveaways! And do me a favor and be sure to visit Melissa this is her first big giveaway and she is excited and it is International!
Today, I am bringing you something different! The Old West meets zombies and an undead outlaw: The Hanged Man. I have author Rob DeBorde here today with a fun guest post as well as a giveaway of his book Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes which released today! First here is a bit more on Rob:
Rob DeBorde is the author of Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes, a supernatural horror adventure published in 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin (Go Fightin’ Griffins! ). If you’re into scary stories about nineteenth century booksellers, undead outlaws, and zombies in the rain, Portlandtown is definitely the book for you. Rob first book, Fish on a First-Name Basis (2006, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press), reads suspiciously like an indispensible guide to all things wet and edible with nary a zombie in sight. Rob’s inexplicable foray into food writing also includes scripting 55 episodes of Alton Brown’s Good Eats extravaganza and being the creative force behind the award-winning online animated cooking show Deep Fried, Live! with Tako the Octopus. In his spare time he designs sports logos, collects beer labels, and cooks mussels . . . alive! Rob lives downriver from Portland, Oregon. He likes pugs, local brew, and the color orange. And zombies. Find out more on his website.
Here is Rob with an entertaining post on how to be the perfect ghost for Halloween:
Ghostly Boos and Don’ts
I’ve always wanted to be a ghost. For Halloween, I mean. Seriously, is there a better way to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve than by joining the other side for the night? Nope. And when I say “ghost” I don’t mean some crazy-eyed albino wraith covered in ectoplasmic drool. I’m talkin’ vintage trick-or-treat ghost—white sheet, eyes, and nothing more. A good spook leaves something to the imagination. This is why so many horror movies go south after the big bad is revealed. Scary is what we don’t see.
Not that a sheet is particularly scary, but it is a classic. It’s got style. It’s Halloween haute couture! Best of all nobody will ask: “What are you supposed to be?” I hate that. One year I hit the streets as Tyler Durden. No, I don’t look like Brad Pitt. (Maybe a little.) Still, bloody lip, black eye, slacker suit, red sunglasses—I was Jack’s Halloween doppelganger. Or so I thought. Three hours of: “Tyler who?” and “Fight Club? Didn’t see it,” convinced me otherwise. It probably didn’t help that my wife went as Ed Norton’s unnamed hero. To this day I’m not sure why she didn’t go as Marla. Hmmm...maybe next year.
The point is that a white sheet won’t confuse anyone. Unless you’re from the South, in which case the point is to make sure you don’t have a point—at least not on the top of your head. No point and you’re just a ghost. Right. As a public service to ghost-loving folks and fiends everywhere, here are a few more rules to making an awesome and authentic vintage ghost costume:
The first rule of Ghost Club is that you must use a white sheet—not tan, not blue, not off-white—white. Also no Spider-Man sheets. Scooby-Doo is okay, but only for little kids and hipsters who think they’re being ironic. (Makes ’em easy to avoid at parties.)
The second rule is that the sheet must cover your body from head to toe. Short the sheet and everyone will see your dirty old loafers. Nobody wants to see your dirty old loafers.
Ruler number three is only two holes per sheet. Ghosts don’t need to drink or eat so they don’t need a mouth hole. Yes, this means getting sloshed at the office party will be more of a challenge, but you’ll thank me in the morning. (Obviously, you could go for the full Charlie Brown and cut 18 holes into your sheet. Blame the scissors.)
Rule four: no props. This includes masks, belts, canes, jewelry, fringe, lace, superhero insignia, suspenders, clown shoes, weapons of any kind, beards, wigs, sequins, and funny hats. There are two exceptions: 1) Clark Kent glasses are okay if you’re attempting the Michael Meyers “Bob ghost” variation, and 2) steel chains. (NOTE: steel chains get heavier as the evening progresses. If you’re into that whole method acting thing, go for it.)
Rule five applies only to those young enough (or short enough) to go trick-or-treating: ignore the second rule. Tripping over your costume all night long is not cool. Also diving out of the way of oncoming traffic is more difficult wearing a California king. Safe and sane, my little ghosties!
Finally, the last rule, also known as the most important rule: make the eyeholes big. Peripheral vision is important whether you’re trying to watch out for that rotten, candy-apple-chucking Tommy Vickers, or Bill from payroll who keeps asking if he can get between your sheets. I hate those guys.
Anyway, I hope that helps. As for me, I’m definitely dressing up as a ghost this year. Cool, simple, classic—I can hardly wait. Or maybe a looper, I don’t know.
Thanks for all the helpful tips, Rob. A bed sheet ghost is a good relatively cheap costume! For all of you who are not getting the Fight Club references you should watch the film... it has Brad Pitt! Enough said! Now for the best part! The giveaway! Rob is offering up a signed copy of his new book: Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes to one lucky winner. Please entertain yourself by reading the Contest Policies and then fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. This is open to U.S. residents only. Please visit Rob on his website, Facebook and twitter! Thank you Rob!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Portlandtown: A Tale of the Oregon Wyldes by Rob DeBorde
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud. Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond. Rob DeBorde's Portlandtown is a supernatural western, a fantastic blend of horror, magic, and zombies sure to excite even the most demanding genre fan. Paperback, 384 pagesPublished October 16th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin.
The rain is pouring down as the old graveyard caretaker makes his way through the mud to investigate the light shining in the cemetery. He finds the retired marshal digging up a grave, searching furiously for something he can't remember.....A few days later, the Wyldes arrive to take their Grandfather back to Portland. Joseph, blinded in an accident eleven years ago doesn't let his impairment bother him. He has learned to see with his other senses. Accompanied by his two eleven year old twins, Maddie and Kick, they pack up the Marshal and take him back to Portland. Unknowingly, once the Marshal leaves Astoria a fearsome spirit is awakened and the Wyldes soon find that sometimes the dead don't stay buried and old evils can come back to haunt.
What I Liked:
- The main reason I picked up this book was because it is set in Portland where I currently reside. I still feel like a bit of newbie after living here for five years. I was fascinated to learn so many interesting details of Portland's history. This book takes place at the end of the 19th century so there are many intriguing historic details such as the people in Portland during the rainy season utilized boats and canoes to navigate the downtown streets, since they were typically flooded during the Spring. I loved learning about Portland's past and I thought Mr. DeBorde did an excellent job in bringing Old Portlandtown to life in his book.
- I thoroughly enjoyed the Wylde family. Led by Joseph, though blind, doesn't miss even the smallest details, the family is unique in that each member has a special talent. The twins have a exceptional bond and a uncanny sense that allows them to foresee impending danger, while their mother Kate has the ability to seamlessly blend into the background and at times appear to be invisible. I loved how each member has an unusual talent and I liked watching how they used their gifts. I look forward to seeing how they progress in the next book.
- I liked that this book has an Old West theme that utilizes zombies, necromancers, voodoo, an undead outlaw and a cursed gun, Native American lore and more. If you enjoy books that blend genres, you will enjoy all the different elements in this book.
- I enjoyed the mystery in this one and it kept me engaged and turning the pages until the exciting climax and thrilling end!
- I appreciated that this book was not packed with tons of gore and violence. I was not sure what to expect when I headed into this one and I was pleased to find the majority of the story focuses on the Wylde family and their uncanny abilities. For all you zombie fans, there are plenty of scenes with zombies and the scary Hanged Man, but nothing is over the top gruesome in this one.
And The Not So Much:
- This book lacked a bit of detail. For instance the Hanged Man and Joseph had some type of past and I never got the whole picture, how they came together and what was the final straw that led to conflict and revenge. I wished that I had more insight on this part of the story. I also longed to know a bit more about the mysterious Andre, such as how he learned to wield his power and how his book of black magic feel into the wrong hands.
- I didn't like the utilizations of the flashbacks in this one. At times, they were a bit jarring and confusing and they didn't provide all the necessary information for the reader to get a complete picture of the Hangman's past. Perhaps, it would have been better to do one or two flashbacks instead of splitting it up into several installments and sprinkling it throughout.
- I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get a full explanation on the totem pole. Where did it come from and who made it? I was intrigued by this magical totem pole and wanted to know more.
Portlandtown was an interesting read that takes the reader back to the days of the Wild West with a supernatural flair. Take a trip back to Portland and see how the citizens endured the endless rain. I enjoyed learning more about historic Portland as I raced through this exciting and creepy adventure. With zombies and a raised corpse this book has plenty of supernatural elements for all you who like the unexpected!
"Oh, it's great fun," said the mayor. "Folks come from miles around just to stand out in the Oregon rain."
"The life he'd seen in the store was even more eager to live now that it had tasted the fear of death."
"You wear your fear well," she said. "Always have."
"A plague born of man a long time ago in a place very far from here. Born of words, foul deeds, and dark intentions. Spread through contact with the infected."
"Every man, even a cursed one has a choice."
I received an ARC copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions expressed are my own.