Monday, 28 October 2013

The Girl's Favourite Spooky Legends

Hi Everyone! Ok, so Emma and I were talking about all these awesome myths and legends.  I told her some stuff about how All Hallows Eve became Halloween.  She told me about the awesomeness of  the headless horseman.  I told her about cool faerie legends.  We both gushed to one another about brilliant vampire myths.  And so we thought: hey!  This could make an awesome edition to our All Hallows Halloween event!  And voila!  We hope you enjoy!!

Once upon a time, Halloween wasn’t about getting sweets, dressing up and watching spooky movies.  There are many rituals and beliefs that came before this.  Halloween – also known as All Hallows Eve or Samhain – was the time when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest.  You could summon spirits of your departed loved ones – but you had to be wary because demons, evil spirits and faeries were also more active and could cause you harm…  It was the day when evil was at its strongest and demons and ghosts ruled the night…   People lit bonfires to scare off evil spirits.  They would disguise themselves as demons by wearing masks.  Now, the masks are for fun but back in the day this was all serious.  People were more superstitious then and on this day, All Hallows Eve, they were more superstitious than ever. 

Of course, some of the traditions are probably better off in the past.  I don’t fancy the idea of sacrificing a first born child on Samhain (mainly because that would be me) or that there seemed to be lots of burning things down and violence and death…  The huge feast and barrels of alcohol don’t sound too bad, though!

Books that Megan recommends:


The Headless Horseman first become known to me through the Hollow series by Jessica Verday. I love this series and particular the history and background behind the Legend that is Sleepy Hollow and the character known as the Headless Horseman. 

The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind. His haunts are not confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great distance ... the body of the trooper having been buried in the churchyard, the ghost rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head, and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to get back to the churchyard before daybreak.

This particular piece is by the person who wrote The Legend of Sleep Hollow' Washington Irving. I for one wouldn't like to be in a graveyard at anytime of the night, neither knowing that their could be someone haunting my very footsteps...

Books that Emma recommends:

When I was a little girl, I loved fairies.  Who didn’t?  I had a book about all these different, cute and wild fairies – from summer to winter, good and bad.  They looked like goddesses – beautiful but untameable. 

As I got older, I moved on from cute little Tinkerbell-like fairies.  I got into Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream.  I just love the faeries in that – Titania, Oberon, Puck…  I loved how they were so powerful and so beautiful, but with a truly wicked side. 

Faeries, so the legends go, used to be everywhere.  They were very much something other, living outside our realm but not entirely separate.  Sometimes the term ‘faerie’ meant what we consider to be fey as well as creatures such as goblins, sometimes it simply meant faeries – the otherworldly, beautiful and sometimes terrible creatures we know today.  They were often superstitiously referred to as ‘wee folk’ or ‘fair folk’.  They always seem to have magical powers and look at least kind of human.  However, no one knows where they come from.  Some say they were demons.  Some say fallen angels.  Some say a mix of angel and human, or angel and demon.  And some say they were just other: not from this world, nor from heaven, nor from hell.  Other lore say that faeries were too good for hell but too wicked for heaven, leaving them trapped partly in the human realm.

Generally, lore goes that iron hurts faeries, as do certain plants and herbs.  The changeling myth comes from faeries: they’d sneak into your house at night, take your baby or child and replace it with a faerie child.  Why?  Maybe because the faerie was in need of a slave.  Maybe they just wanted a human child.  Or maybe they’re just that wicked. 

Of course, most faerie lore comes from before Christianity was big in Europe.  With the raise of Christianity, many of the superstitions were lost – as was the belief in faeries.  Before, though, they were sometimes worshipped as minor gods – nymphs and tree spirits.  I think, from what I know of faeries, they would have liked that.

Books that Megan recommends: 

For more awesome faerie books, check out this Goodreads Listopia!

Vampires are forever. They are the undead: immortals who walk the Earth undetected, seeking blood to sustain their unnatural existence. Their origins are lost in the mist of time. From the earliest civilizations they have been whispered about in myth and legend… I hear by produce to you my very favourite and more historical of legends that arisen the Blood Demons.

But one for more of a traditional audience of the Vampire Legends, I believe that another one of my favourites…that the case and rise of Vampires are secluded to one point and one place in time… Eastern Europe. This is where they became truly alive or in this case the undead.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the countries of Eastern Europe were rife with myths of blood drinking revenants. The horrific reanimated corpses later came to be known as vampires. IN Romania and Slovakia, belief in them was so strong that graves were desecrated and bodies staked in effort to root them out. In the rural communities of Romanaia and Slovkia, people held strong beliefs of the walking dead. When misfortune, disease, or food shortages struck, these were attributed to the deceased who, unable to rest in their graves, had risen up to inflict evil on their neighbours. Known variously as Strigoi and Moroi, these creatures were said prowl at night and feed on blood.

This particular element of a Vampire Legends relates closely to Dimitri and his background in the Vampire Academy Books. They are by far my favourite and I also think more realistic to their true nature. Other brilliant vampire books for me include The Ravenwood Mysteries by Mia James, The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine, Some of the House of Night books but not all. Vampires are the best paranormal species out their and I love how Vampires Past and Present still roam this Earth... I wonder what the future holds for them...

Books that Emma recommends:

Of course, for brilliant Halloween reading one can never go wrong with Dracula or Frankenstein or anything by Edgar Allen Poe.  For ghostly happenings, definitely read Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake or Jonathon Stroud’s The Screaming Staircase.  Oh, and for a brilliant selection of awesome short witchy stories, read Under My Hat, edited by Jonathan Strahan. 

I could probably go on, but the point is Halloween might not be what it was but we still have tons of spooky books to read to get in the mood!  Enjoy!! :D

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Girls' Paranormal Guys!

Hello Everyone,
It’s been a long time since starting this blog with our intro posts but we have been very busy, me, Emma with work and Megan with college. But why not start this blog with an event from our favourite holiday...Halloween.  Where the ghouls, goblins and all supernatural beings come alive in books! So over the next couple of weeks we will host this event with some of our features as well as posts and discussions on our favourite legends, books and boys, boys BOYS! 

So without further ado we would like to present The Girls' Paranormal Boys – where we have done creative musings of our favourite boys in their paranormal nature.

Emma’s Beautiful Boys are... ;)

Angel (David Boreanaz – Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
From the beginning of Buffy to the end of Angel I will ALWAYS be Team Angel, unlike my Megan… tut tut tut. ;)

Jace Wayland – (Jamie Campbell Bower – Twilight Saga and The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones)
Ever since I have read and seen the book I have been irrevocably in love with him and I thought he was just brilliant in the movie. They really did it justice. Can I be Clary please or Emma Wayland?

Damon Salvatore – (Ian Somerhalder – The Vampire Diaries)
I will always be a Delena fan even though it kills me to see Stefan Sad. But this graphic sums up Damon’s personality to a tee, don’t you think… And that’s why my favourite Paranormal Boys are…

The Vampire Diaries 
I’m a TVD Girl, through and through; Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis). These are my Paranormal Boys…

Now over to my lovely friend and co-blogger, Megan…

Oh and Megan…Don’t steal any my boys otherwise we would have to fight over them! ;)

Megan’s Gorgeous Guys...

Ok, I’m going to kick off by saying that my favourite holiday is actually Christmas, but I do love Halloween… Hey, but what Christmas-themed posts can we do, Em?! We need to get scheming again!!

And hey! You’ve already stolen one of mine! I say Jace first! And we’ve already fought over this, but I can’t remember who won…

Anyway, here are my favourite paranormal men…

The Men From Supernatural
Castiel (Misha Collins), Dean Wincester (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padelecki)  
I have loved this show since it came out and have only fallen more in love with each season.  I adore both of the Winchester boys but I think my new favourite just has to be to gorgeous Castiel  - he’s an angel and his rather hit-and-miss grasp of humanity is always very funny!  Emma, you have got to watch this show.  It's got hunters, demons, angels and the Winchesters.  But Sam, Dean and Castiel are mine.  Just saying.  ;)

Spike (James Marsters – Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Ok, Emma, I do love Angel.  I really really do.  He's amazing and I was Team Angel for ages.  But the second time I saw the series... Spike is the underdog.  He's the snarky badboy type.  He gets knocked down and he always manages to get back up. I mean, how can you not watch the 'you're the one' speech without falling for Spike?  And Angel, he had a soul forced onto him.  Spike chose to get his, because he loved Buffy.  Besides, I find snarky quips more amusing than brooding.  Also, this way we don't have to fight over someone. For once!
Oh, and have you watched Bones, Emma?  It isn’t paranormal but it has David Boreanaz in and he is amazing in it!!

Adrian Ivashkov (Vampire Academy and Bloodlines – Chace Crawford, although he isn’t ‘officially’ Adrian – yet…) 
Y’know, I think I might have a think for snarky guys.  All of my men are snarky.  Adrian in particular.  I started off Team Dimtiri.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Adrian to death but I always thought Dimitri would be the one I loved.  And then I read Bloodlines and god!  I fell head over heels for Adrian until I was like ‘Dimitri who?’  I love Adrian to pieces – and this slightly dreamy picture sums up his spirit side perfectly, me thinks.  Keep an eye on Twitter, though – I’ll be posting a few of Adrian’s funnier quotes! ;)

Daemon Black (Lux, Marlon Teixeira - again, not official but Lux is being made into a film!)
I just have to include Daemon Black.  Why?  Daemon is hot.  Freaking hot.  And, as he himself said, he really is perfect.  I mentioned I had a thing for snark – Daemon is snark personified in the hottest body on earth.  And beyond – yeah, Daemon is an alien.  A hot alien.  He's prickly and kind of a jerk, but he's also sweet, protective and just the best guy around.  I love him to pieces. 
Oh, and Emma, I will actually ignore you if you don't read the Lux series.  It's so good!!! Better than good!  Freaking amazing!   But Emma?  Try to steal my Daemon and I'm gonna have to kill you a bit.  Just saying... ;)

The TMI Boys
 Magnus Bane (Godfrey Gao), Simon Lewis (Robert Sheehan), Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower) and Alex Lightwood (Kevin Zegers)
Ok, I was only meant to do four pictures but I just had to fight back against Emma trying to steal my guys.  I SAW (well, read) THEM FIRST, EMMA!!!  And I love Jace more than you!!  I love them all!  So how could I leave them out?!  
Magnus is the funniest warlock I’ve ever come across – I love him to pieces!  I love Simon too, unlike Emma, and think his wry sense of humour is juts brilliant.  Alec is prickly at times but he cares about his family so so much and he has the sweetest moments.  And Jace… Jace is Jace.  Hot, funny, snarky, prickly, protective, amazing, perfect…  I love him to pieces and I always will.

With that said, thank you for stopping by today!!  I hope you enjoyed it!  Me and Emma definitely had fun fangirling and arguing about boys!! 

Who is your favourite paranormal boy (or girl!)?  And don’t forget to stop by soon for more Halloween-y fun!! :D

Thursday, 24 October 2013

All Hallows Halloween

Hi everyone! Emma and me have been getting into the Halloween spirit lately, reading loads of paranormal books and obsessing over paranormal shows and, of course, paranormal guys. And so we decided to launch our blog in the biggest and most awesomely Halloween-y way. Everyone, get ready for All Hallows' Halloween!
We're going to kick the event off with:
  • The Girls' Paranormal Guys!
  • The Girls’ Favourite Spooky Legends
  • She Says She Says – Joint Review of The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black
  • She Says She Says Halloween Edition – Our Favourite Paranormal Movies, Shows and More!
  • From Girl to Girl Halloween Edition - Our Best Shows recommended to each other.
Well, we’re definitely getting into the mood of the spookiest holiday out there! We hope you’ll all stop by and celebrate All Hallows Halloween with us!! :D

Monday, 2 September 2013

Welcome to the Girls of YA

Hi Everyone! This is Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and Megan from The Book Addicted Girl. Both of us obviously already blog and love doing it, but we thought it would be so much fun to start a joint blog: and so The Girls Of YA was born. Since both of us are addicted to YA fiction, blogging and photo editing, we think we're the perfect fit!

Emma has been blogging for about a year now, works as a library assistant and is an amazing creative designer.

Megan has been blogging since December 2010, loves to ramble and is an AS student addicted to YA fiction and crime shows.

So that's us. But onto the blog itself...

We're planning on doing a feature a week. So far, we have three:

She Says, She Says - A joint review of a new book 

From Girl To Girl - Where Emma suggests a book to Megan, and Megan suggests a book to Emma. (Megan is threatening to make her pick Obsidian by Jennfier L. Armentrout until Emma reads it. And she's serious, Emma!) 

From The Minds Of The Girls - this is where our shared love of photo editing comes in: we each do a picture of a book and see how we interpreted it differently! Should be interesting!!

We really hope all of our followers from our individual blogs stop by The Girls Of YA and love it as much as we already do! We promise everything we do will be fresh, unique and exciting! The blog goes live with our first 'proper' post ... Stop by to hear what The Girls Of YA have to say!! :D