Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mea...

Thank you for continuing to follow me, so far it's been 6 years 💗 I don't write as much as when I started, but that doesn't mean I'm not still passionate about cats and horror! Enter to win my 6 year prize pack, description and rules below...






Prizes include:

1. Vincent Price Art Print by Little Shop of Gore, framed.

2. Acrylic Bat Necklace by Murderous Jewels.

3. The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay, hardcover.

4. Bat Bag by GoreJess Laboratory.

5. Silver Cat Earrings.

6. Bookmark to go with all your books from Little Black Bats.

7. An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman.

8. 25th Anniversary Edition of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.


~ Like the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook Page.

~ Comment on the Giveaway post pinned to the top, why you follow Fluffy the Vampire Slayer.

~ Share the Fluffy the Vampire Slayer Facebook page.

Good luck, and I'll be picking a winner at random on 

Wednesday, February 15 and they'll be contacted via Facebook. *Sorry only US residents.

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying V...

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm a fan of Grady Hendrix's writing. I reviewed The Southern Book Club Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel and My Best Friends Exorcism (now a movie, that I heard was terrible, but I'll probably watch it anyway), now it's time to review The Final Girl Support Group: A Novel. Of the three novels, I liked this one the best!

***SPOILER WARNING...SORT OF***

The book tells the story of six "final girls", or women who live to tell the tale of confronting their slasher, that meet once a month in a support group. They've been together longer than ten years and each one has a different traumatizing experience. If you know horror movies, you'll relate their killers to 1970s and 1980s classic horror movies that we all know and love. The support group meets with a therapist, and in turn the therapist has used their sessions to author best-selling books. They each have processed their past differently, from one lady that has moved on and feels they are living in the past, to one that feels like the group is her only connection to people and the outside world. In any case, the final girls have a bond that no one else does, and without them realizing it, they have become a family.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I'm impressed at how Hendrix writes female characters. Their personalities greatly vary, but their interactions are wholly realistic and relatable.

The book is told from the voice of one of the final girls, Lynette. We see her living as a victim, paranoid and scared. One day, a member of the support group doesn't show up because she's been murdered. Now Lynette needs to find out who the killer is, and so does the reader! In gathering information, you peel away Lynette's story, and watch it slowly unravel. The heroines are flawed survivors, which makes the reader sympathetic to their experiences and eager to find out more. 

I won't tell you who did it, but it's a surprise, and just when you think you know, you don't! It's a thriller and as a reader you will feel like you have inside knowledge of a horror and gore slasher movie. Again, this book is also a reflection of society's obsession with serial killers and slasher movies and how much some people idolize them. That's a whole different kind of horror.

While I've never thought of myself as a “final girl”, there are days when I feel like it's me alone against the world, and I'm ready to do battle! The ladies in this book have a fighting spirit that makes them go on fighting when others would give up. They inspire me not to give up. They have battled, and won more than once. This book wraps up nicely, and I wanted to read it before next week, when Hendrix's next book How to Sell a Haunted House is released.





I went to a large book sale and came across a couple " The Cat Who... " mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun , and I just had t...

I went to a large book sale and came across a couple "The Cat Who..." mystery novels by Lillian Jackson Braun, and I just had to have them! (This may sound familiar because I mentioned them years ago in a blog Cat About Town: A Cat Cafe Mystery.) Right at that moment, a childhood memory had been unlocked! The books are mysteries about small town life, with characters you come to know and love. Yes, there are two reoccurring Siamese cats in them too ~ Koko and Yum Yum. There are 29 books in the series, but don't fret, they don't need to be read in order. Even though there's people dying and things blowing up, the books end on a happy, upbeat note. Honestly, they are always a feel-good read!

Andrew saw how much I was enjoying reading the few I picked up, so he went on a hunt for them. He gave me a bunch for Christmas to add to my ever-growing stash. "The Cat Who..." series have become my go-tos when I want "comfortable" books. They are like wearing a warm blanket with two cats purring on you. I highly recommend them.

Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish.  (Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all...

Me in front of gram's house. Halloween about 1986ish. 

(Note: Her melted wax scarecrow on the door. I'm happy to say I inherited all of her holiday melted wax decorations.)

My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old. At that point, my mom and I moved in with my gram. I lived with gram until my mom got remarried, but that didn't happen until I was 14. My gram's house played a big role in my life. I grew up living there. It was a small house in the city of Buffalo ~ the Kaisertown area ~ where a bunch of Polish people migrated, it was off a main street across from a park. The house had been added on to several times, and I think it was built at the turn of the century. I was told it originally had an outhouse. The bedrooms could only fit a bed and one dresser, there was no basement, and the attic was an attic, filled with boxes and mainly used for storage. The house was heated by a furnace in the center of the dining room. I grew up thinking anyone that had a finished attic or basement was rich. When I dream of a house, it's usually gram's. 


Attic stairs with trap door.


Attic, now mostly empty.

I loved her oven, and if I could have taken it with me, I would have.

My gram lived there until the end. She died 14 years ago and the house went to my mom. My mom didn't want it, but she also didn't sell it. She couldn't bring herself to clean it out. Everything about it had sentimental value. I tried to help her move things out, but she'd end up crying, and I'd end up getting mad because we didn't make any progress. 

This past year, the roof on my gram's vacant house started leaking. I reiterated to my mom, “You NEED to sell this house.” She sold it and closed on it last month. All through November and December I was helping her clean it out. That took up a ton of my time, but I'm glad the burden of the house is gone for her.

Thank you for sticking with me through my tough times and following along. In addition to My Life is Chaos Parts 1, 2, and 3, I was exhausted like never before, and went to the doctor to get a bunch of tests done. I tested positive for Sjogrens Syndrome in December. It makes sense because a couple years ago my elbow swelled up to the point I couldn't bend it. Remember that fun time?! I was given Rheumatoid Arthritis meds, and the swelling went away. Sjogrens is an autoimmune disease. The most famous person to have it is Venus Willams. Mainly my symptoms are severe dry eye, fatigue, and arthritis. I know what you're thinking, “Julie Ann, you're a young babe, how can this be?!” I'm really 86, don't I look good? But seriously, let me give you some advice....don't get old.


  I'll admit, I read The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay and was angry afterward. Let me explain. The book starts off with two compe...

 

I'll admit, I read The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay and was angry afterward. Let me explain. The book starts off with two compelling characters – Art and Mercy. They are drawn together outcasts that become good friends through their volunteer work at a funeral parlor. He's in high school, and she's in college. She shapes his life by introducing him to punk music and drugs. Meanwhile, he copes with health problems and later self-medicates with alcohol and pain meds.

After Art passes away, he leaves a manuscript of a memoir behind for Mercy to read that details their encounters over the years. He feels that she's a type of vampire that lives off of stealing one's health. He doesn't have solid proof, and the convoluted way the "vampire" is described is hard to picture. Is it a blue blob? Is it tentacles reaching for someone? Is it a jacket come to life? I don't know, even after finishing the book!

Mercy edits Art's manuscript, gaslighting the reader into believing that Art is a drugged up musician and unreliable storyteller. She makes sure to let the reader know it's not a "memoir" but a "novel" because the way he remembered things is wrong.

By the middle of the book, I was reading it just to figure out what was going on, who was telling the truth, but you don't get that satisfaction. While I enjoyed the way it was written, with gen X references, editing notes for the reader, and could relate it to some friendships I've had over the years, the story fell flat for me at the end. I still don't know who's story was true and if the ending was just written to give Art's book closure. The Pallbearers Club was ok and an easy read, but not what I had hoped.

This past fall has been challenging, and I've had a lot going on in just a couple of months. We remodeled our retro kitchen , went on a ...

This past fall has been challenging, and I've had a lot going on in just a couple of months. We remodeled our retro kitchen, went on a weeklong road trip across New York State to Sleepy Hollow, NY, and shortly after was followed by the passing of our cat Vicktor Frankenstein on Oct 21, 2022. Needless to say, Halloween time was hard with black cats everywhere. We knew it was coming, we just didn't know when would be the right time. We decided when he started having more bad days than good, it was time to make the hard decision.

Vicktor was very much Andrew's (the hubs) cat, and I was little Ginger's human, and she was my familiar. He was a chonky black Bombay cat with a moody personality, but when he loved, he loved strong. His purrs were loud like a motor, and he would follow you around for food. ANY kind of food. He was about 3 years old when we adopted him with Ginger, and in his file it said he was "abandoned". I always joked it's probably because he ate them out of house and home! He liked his food, especially olives


He slowed down in his old age, after Ginger passed you could tell he knew something was missing but wasn't sure what. (After all, they were together for about 17 years! During this time he became my buddy because he knew I was sad.) He didn't play as much and napped even more if that's possible. You knew his arthritis was acting up when he was having trouble going up and down the stairs. At one point before our road trip, he didn't come out of the basement and crawled into a corner. I went to work and thought ok, this is going to be the day he decides to leave us, but he bounced back like nothing was wrong. This went on for weeks. He'd have really great days playing and chasing me up the stairs, then other days he didn't move all day and sat in his box. 



I really think the kitchen remodel stimulated his curiosity. He stayed upstairs when they were working on it, but when he came down, would explore and find new places to nap. What we didn't realize until later was that he started peeing in one corner of the house. He never did that before. After we found that out, his days started getting worse. 

Because of his mood swings, and the poo nuggies he would leave around the house, I would call him "poop" kitty, but he was our poop kitty, and he's very missed. He liked sitting with his butt in my face when I would lay down. He worshiped the sun and would lay in the smallest sunbeam. He liked heat and would sit in front of heaters hogging the warm air. He liked to hide in plain sight on black carpets too. I can't tell you how many times I've tripped over him. His fur was shiny and soft as velvet. He was smooth, and sometimes I'd refer to him as my "boyfriend" especially when he would hold my hand watching movies.





I feel like with everything going on in my life I haven't properly grieved for Vicktor. I'm still devastated from Ginger being gone. So please don't ask me when we are getting new cats. Yes, I miss having cats in my life, but I'm not ready for new ones yet. Everyone grieves differently. It's been almost two years since Ginger's been gone, and I think about her everyday. I still walk around the house talking to her likes she's still there, and I'd like to think both kitties are watching over me. 











The last week in September Andrew (the hubs) and I took a road trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. On the ...

The last week in September Andrew (the hubs) and I took a road trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. On the way there and back, we stopped to check out some sights. I've been to Salem, MA a few times and was expecting something similar from Sleepy Hollow. They really don't cash in on their notoriety too much, and it felt like a suburb of New York City instead of a spooky town with history steeped in a headless horseman. Anyway, get ready ~ this is a long blog!

We started the trek across New York State and stopped at the Northeast Classic Car Museum thanks to a recommendation by Andrea (who you might remember from the Cat Video Fest) where even if you don't like cars, they have motorcycles, mannequins dressed in true vintage to match the cars, cars from the race of gentleman and fab art deco architecture! It was very impressive. I recommend.





Then we hit up Robot City Games & Arcade the largest arcade in NYS - I'm not a gamer but the blacklight arcade took me back! Andrew found some games he never played. He'll always get the high score at Galaga, but I kicked his butt at Tetris. We stayed over in Binghamton, NY the first night.



Day 2 we drove to Storm King Art Center. It's an outdoor sculpture park that I could have stayed in all day! It was so nice to be outside in the fresh air, and everywhere you looked there was a sculpture to walk to. It had rolling hills as far as thee eye could see, and a huge outdoor gazebo restaurant where we grabbed lunch. It's a lot of walking, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved it.










After Storm King we continued driving to Sleepy Hollow, and checked in at our hotel that left much to be desired. It was cold in our room, and we tried to turn up the heat, and it wasn't working. We called the front desk and they gave us a space heater. What the hell! I guess they want us to burn down their hotel. In another instance I asked where the nearest post office is, and they were unsure. You're a hotel! No one has ever asked that before?!!! At one point I asked for a fork, they told me they didn't have any. They have a restaurant in the lobby, so don't tell me you don't have any forks. Plus they were doing construction on the sidewalk surrounding the hotel, so it was loud, and the key card swipe to the outside door was left unlocked the whole time. The hotel was a mess. I'm guessing they were recently sold and under new ownership and trying to get it together, but in that case, close for a few weeks, so your customers don't have a bad experience. Of course this was the hotel we were staying at the longest too. I DO NOT recommend The Sleepy Hollow Hotel.

Onward and upward! Adventures for day 3 included fueling up with breakfast at the Eldorado Diner and walking from end to end in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and around it. The cemetery was the best part of Sleepy Hollow. It felt old with a lot of history. If you plan on going to walk around, there's a ton of steep hills, gravel, and signs that say no picnicking. You can take tours though. We weren't able to catch one because our timing was off, but I've heard good things about them. Again, wear comfortable shoes because it's lots of walking.

The Eldorado is kitschtastic for Sleepy Hollow. The outside of the building is covered in mirrors, and the inside looks like it stepped out of the 1950s with a 1970s and 2000s update to the interior. It still has a rotating cake case, but it's dark wood, throw in a life size wizard, and it was the perfect breakfast spot!





On to the cemetery! On the way there, you'll pass this sculpture in a teeny tiny park in the middle of the street.



Inside the cemetery there's very old tombstones, many of the family plots have wrought iron fences around them, and did I mention it's hilly? In some sections, there's stairs to climb built into the hills to get to the top.







Washington Irving's grave...


Me on the headless horseman bridge in the cemetery. This isn't the original location, but it's close.


I wore my Sleepy Hollow dress from Kitschy Witch Designs a nice family loved it so much they stopped and took my picture. ☺️
Earrings from TheLadyDisarray
Shoes are Doc Martens



We also stopped at this statue which is outside of the cemetery...



That evening we had our 20th anniversary dinner at Goosefeather. It's in a boutique hotel, and the setting was perfect. I will remember this ginger and thyme drink forever, the food and drinks were delicious.






On day 4 we shopped at Pretty Funny Vintage and checked out the local Main St. Of course, I ended up buying books from the cutest bookshop Transom Book Shop and YES that is a copy of Bunnicula in a red velvet cover! I chatted with the owner who was friendly and approved my selections.



We also went to the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze where there's over 7000 carved pumpkins set to themes and a soundtrack. It's on the grounds of an old plantation near water, so it's a vast setting. We sampled local pumpkin beer too. I liked the MOPA (Museum of Pumpkin Art) display best.







Day 5 we worked our way back to Western New York. We stopped in Syracuse, NY where we ALWAYS visit The Syracuse Antiques Exchange ~ it's huge! Then we ate at Dinosaur BBQ. I think I still like the Rochester, NY one best.


It was a nice getaway, but it wasn't as spooky as I had hoped, and of course it was a lot of driving, so I did need a little recovery time after our vacation. All in all, I enjoyed the stops to and from Sleepy Hollow better than actually going there. The cemetery was the highlight.