Thursday, October 2, 2014

I just love this time of year: the turning of the leaves, the smells, the chill in the air, but most of all, the thrill of Halloween! The ladies over at The Midnight Garden must feel the same way because they're celebrating by hosting this awesome Halloween Thrills and Chills Event. This promotion features intriguing guest posts and interviews from three Disney-Hyperion authors releasing some very spooky tales this year: Hillary Monahan, author of Mary: The Summoning; Jonathan Stroud, author of the Lockwood & Co. series; and Laurie Stolarz, author of Welcome to the Dark House.

I just love all of the scary reads at our disposal these days. I don't enjoy being scared out of my mind as much as I used to, but there's just something so exhilarating about things that go bump in the night...something that keeps me reading into the wee hours of the night, with the blanket tucked up under my chin and all the lights on, lol. And in that vein, author Hillary Monahan is providing a deeper look into the setting of her eerie YA debut for us today. Check out a little about the book and then read further for the author's guest post and a giveaway featuring all four books from these authors!

By Hillary Monahan
In stores now!!! 

Add to Goodreads

Order Mary: The Summoning:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Here's the blurb:
There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?

Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of MARY: THE SUMMONING
By Hillary Monahan

Let's talk swamp. Hockomock Swamp to be exact, because that's where I put Bloody Mary Worth's hometown of Solomon's Folly. In Wampanoag, Hockomock means "where spirits dwell." It's appropriate considering how much ghost activity is attributed to these 17,000 acres of wetlands in Southeastern Massachusetts. Women in white, phantom fogs, unexplained lights—if you're from the area, you've heard a tale or two about the Hockomock.

Its lurid reputation makes it perfect story fodder.

The terrain is miserable—dense undergrowth, brambles galore, and lots and lots of bog land. This is no place for adventuring unless you're good with that pesky nature thing, especially considering one of the swamp's most charming features is quick sand. But no one around here calls it that. To the locals, it's Black Betty. People have drowned in it before. People will probably drown in it again. And, if you don't succumb to the pits of sinking mud, there's always the wild dogs to contend with. They roam in packs, more coyote than not, and are more than eager to meet anyone stupid enough to go into the swamp unprepared.

Putting Solomon's Folly in the Hockomock made sense, not only because of the oppressive nature of the flora, but because of the history. The Hockomock swamp was King Philip's primary base of operations during the earliest parts of King Philips War. The Wampanoags knew how to hunt and move through the swamp. As such, the raiding parties had a period of open season on ill-prepared colonists, staging attacks across a two hundred square mile area.

Though Providence, Rhode Island had burned to the ground and the Massachusetts colonists were driven back to their major settlements, the war all but ended a year later when King Philip—AKA King Metacomet—was shot and killed. His corpse was beheaded, his body drawn and quartered as per English tradition at the time. For twenty years his skull was displayed in Plymouth as a warning against any further Native American insurgence.

Thirty-six hundred people died during King Philip's War, a good bulk of them in or near the swamp. Legend was bound to pop up with that much concentrated death and destruction. Along with the aforementioned ghost claims, there are rumors of Native American curses involving Thunder Birds—eagle-like birds of vengeance that wreak havoc on any foolish enough to cross them. Messy deaths in spectral talons doesn't sound like a fun way to go.

Of course, there's also that whole bit about the marauding Sasquatch population living in the swamp, but I'm not going to go into that too much, if for no other reason than it evokes images of this, and that sort of ruins the mood:

About the author:

Hillary Monahan is Eva Darrows is also an international woman of mystery. Holed up in Massachusetts with three smelly basset hounds, she writes funny, creepy things for fun and profit.

Find Hillary:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Photographs are courtesy of the author. Review and giveaway copies courtesy of Disney-Hyperion.

Ooooooh, creepy! This is definitely one to read with the lights ON, folks. :) Thunder Birds and Sasquatches? As if the swamp wasn't scary enough on its own! And yet...I kind of want to visit it for myself.

Win a Thrills and Chills box of horror! Includes copies of the following new releases:

Mary: The Summoning
The Screaming Staircase
The Whispering Skull
Welcome to the Dark House

The box will be delivered just in time for spooky Halloween reading. Open to US and Canadian residents, see complete rules on entry form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour, featuring guest posts, interviews, giveaways, and more!

Thrills and Chills: Halloween Event Tour with Jonathan Stroud, Hillary Monahan, and Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 1   The Midnight Garden        5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud 
Thursday, October 2       The Starry-Eyed Revue    Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of Mary: The Summoning
Friday, October 3            Supernatural Snark           Rules for Surviving a House of Horrors (guest post by Laurie Stolarz)

Monday, October 6          Xpresso Reads                Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning
Tuesday, October 7         Love is Not a Triangle      5 Questions with Laurie Stolarz
Wednesday, October 8    For the Love of Words     10 Great Horror Films with Jonathan Stroud
Thursday, October 9        Winterhaven Books         How I Became a Horror Fan (guest post with Hillary Monahan) 
Friday, October 10           YA Romantics                  Quiz: What Dark House Character Are You? 

Monday, October 13         My Friends Are Fiction   Fashion Accessories for Ghosthunters (guest post by Jonathan Stroud)
Tuesday, October 14        The Flyleaf Review         5 Questions with Hillary Monahan 
Wednesday, October 15   Books with Bite               Top 10 Items to Survive The Dark House Amusement Park

Thursday, October 16       The Social Potato           A Tour of Jonathan Stroud's Writing Space

Thanks for checking out this spooky post from author Hillary Monahan! I hope your interest in Mary:The Summoning has been piqued and that you're ready to give all of these creepy tales a try!

Thanks to Wendy at The Midnight Garden for putting together this tour!


  1. I always love seeing photographs of places and things that inspire books, but this one was super creepy! I love it, even if I wouldn't want to be stuck in this swamp alone at night. Scratch that, even during the day, hah.

    I really enjoyed Hillary's posts for this event, and it's fun to see MARY over here at Starry-Eyed Revue. Thanks for being part of the tour, Jen!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Same here, Wendy...I love being able to put myself into the setting with these pictures...figuratively, of course. ;0)

      Thanks for having me on the tour, Wendy! I can't wait to check out the rest of the posts!

  2. I loved seeing the pictures that help inspire these books! I am really looking forward to reading these books. Thank you so much for sharing them!

    1. I love seeing the inspiration for the story, too, Heather! I hope you enjoy reading all of these spooky books!

  3. I have already read Mary the Summoning, and thought it was very spooky! The setting definitely helped with that.

    1. Oh, I'm glad to hear it was spooky, Lisa...but also a little more afraid of it now, lol. I won't even glance at a mirror in a dark room because just the *idea* of Bloody Mary freaks me out.

  4. That forest looks spooky and along with the local folklore it's perfect. Nope, I'd never want to go in there, not at all. 300 dead people, no thanks. The whole Bloody Mary story gives me the creeps, so combining the two is a recipe for a great book! And that book pack looks awesome, just in time for Halloween!

    1. Right? I think I'll stay out of those woods and swamp, thank you very much. But they do paint a great picture of the setting!

  5. WOW! The pictures don't look so scary but after reading about the history of the swamp--I would NEVER go there!

    1. It looks kind of tame until you know the story behind it, right? I'm not a fan of swamps, anyway, lol.

  6. I love the swamp setting! I lived in Louisiana for awhile and the swamplands always creeped me out. Reading this history, my thoughts are only reinforced!

  7. This swamp setting is wonderful. The tale of Bloody Mary has always creeped me out, so I'm looking forward to reading this. The added intrigue of searching through a murky, haunted swamp gives this even greater scariness. I love it!

  8. This is amazing! I am not much of Halloween person anymore, but I love the scary stories that start popping up! Mary: The Summoning, I have High Hopes for you!

  9. This is a great post and that swamp is so creepy! I love the author picture too. Just awesome. I've not read this one yet but I'm very eager too. Great post!!

  10. There has been so many folklore of Bloody Mary. I am intrigue and yet scare of Bloody Mary. I wouldn't want to summon her or meet her.

  11. Mary DeBorde
    Just seeing those settings and reading the history/folklore actually makes the stories even scarier - although the cover is already wonderfully creepy lol <3

  12. I LOVE the setting for this Bloody Mary story! I think it'll be much creepier/scarier than what Supernatural did in their 1st season:) It's been a while since I've heard of a Bloody Mary story this creepy. Thank you for this giveaway!

  13. I love reading scary stories around this time - well, honestly, around the year lol I've been wanting to pick up the Mary book and this pretty much convinced me to. The Bloody Mary story is one of my favorites!

  14. I love seeing the pictures that inspired the stories. I especially like how certain places can seem really pleasant but then when you know their history they can seem really spooky. Also I love horror/supernatural books and I've always really liked the Bloody Mary legend.

  15. Everything about this setting is perfect! The spooky paragraphs, history, stories and the fact that it still exists! It's pretty phenomenal, I'm excited about it!

  16. I've never seen the swamps in Mass. But I lived in Florida a big chunk of my life and the swamps there were certain terrifying to say the least. This is a PERFECT setting for a spooky book cuase I can just visualize creepy things gliding across an eerily quiet swamp land. Can't wait for this one!

  17. I absolutely love seeing photos that inspired the setting for a book because it helps me picture the book more clearly! That looks like it'd be super spooky at night. Also, I just watched the "Bloody Mary" episode of Supernatural and it was pretty awesome, and with all of the rave reviews I've been seeing of Mary: The Summoning, I can't wait to read this version of Mary!!!

  18. I live in Louisiana, and swamps are quite spooky to me. I hope to read this book soon! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  19. I have had Mary on my kindle wish list for a bit now. It's high up on books I need to buy and read. Those pictures are cool. I've never really lived close to a swamp and I always imagine them to be scary.

  20. Horror is one of my favorite genres because it's pretty much the only one that my boyfriend and I share. Mary sounds so good and creepy!

  21. Sounds very good and creepy, looking forward to reading !

  22. Swamps, no matter where they are, make for good horror stories and this swamp makes for an even scarier horror story than most. And that. Is. Awesome! Even more reasons for me to really want to read this book. Like, right this very minute!
    P.S. Yeti and Lochi, awww!!! Lochsquatch

  23. This book sounds very spooky. My friends and I from grade school would try to summon bloody mary. Of course, we did not know the real story behind bloody mary. We would go in the bathroom at school and turn all the lights off (and with no windows, the room got very dark), then 3 to 4 of us would say her name 3 times. We did not use salt, or a candle, and I'm not sure if we held hands, but it was very spooky. Often, we would run out of bathroom before all the bloody mary's were said, because we would get scared.
    I love the setting for your 66, the Hockomock Swamp. Boy does that place sound uninviting. It definately fits the bill for the setting of a spooky book. Spooky setting + spooky legend = super spooky read with the lights on under a bunch of blankets. I can't wait to read it.
    Thanks for the generous giveaway...fingers crossed...


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