Tag Archives for " magic "

Oct 20

Halloween Trick or Treat!

By Melinda VanLone | Thoughts



Welcome Hoppers! If this is your first stop on the Addictive Reads Halloween Favorites Blog Hop, be sure to stop by them all and be sure to click the image and register to win one of three gift cards!

It’s time for kids in cute little costumes, apple cider by the fire, candy, costume parties, spooky mazes and haunted houses! I love this time of year. I love the crisp cool air in the mornings, the way the leaves crunch under my feet, the vivid colors in the landscape, and the chance to cuddle under warm blankets with hot chocolate. Or cold chocolate, I’m not picky.

Now that we live in an apartment, I miss the kids trick or treating. No kid wants to trick or treat in an apartment building…the odds of coming out with any loot at all is pretty slim. I do make sure I have candy on hand, just in case, but usually I end up eating it all which I swear wasn’t the goal. Sometimes, I spend that night with friends who have a house in a neighborhood filled with children just so I can participate. We sit on the porch, dressed up, and giggle, tease, and joke with them and their parents. Their faces are so excited and bright, and you can tell the ones that are thrilled to have one night when their make-believe is real. I remember dressing up as Fiona one year, and the looks of awe I got from every tiny face that came by. That must be the very cool part of being a character at Disneyland, that pure joy and belief of a child. They believed I was Fiona, and for a few magical hours I was.

That, my friends, is magic in our every day world.

Another thing I love? This commercial. Makes me giggle every single time.


This Halloween, if you don’t have kids stopping by, go volunteer at a carnival or sit out on the porch at a friend’s house. Have some cider, chat, relax, and enjoy the moment. It’s one night a year…grab the magic! Oh, and if you need to hide from monsters, definitely take the running car.


Check out some of the other Hop Stops on the tour, and be sure to register to win!


1. rhondahopkins.com/2015/10/20/my-favorite-part-of-halloween-bloghop-prizes/ Rhonda Hopkins: My Favorite Part of Halloween + Prizes
2. staceyjoynetzel.com/2015/10/happy-halloween-fun-prizes/ Author Stacey Joy Netzel
3. www.authortamaraward.blogspot.com/ Author Tamara Ward
4. kirutayewrites.blogspot.co.uk/ Kiru Taye Writes (INT)
5. www.ddlarsen.com/blog/ D.D. Larsen: Halloween–Taking a Stand for the Elderly
6. starrwords.blogspot.com/2015/10/what-are-lizzies-halloween-favorites.html What are *lizzie’s Halloween Favorites?
7. meredithbond.com/blog/myths-and-mysticism/ Meredith Bond
8. fabiobueno.com/2015/10/15/halloween-witch/ Fabio Bueno: Meet the Halloween Witch!
9. kristinecayne.blogspot.com Kristine Cayne
10. melindavan.com/halloween-trick-or-treat/ Melinda VanLone
Feb 12

What I’m Reading – Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher

By Melinda VanLone | Book Review

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 3.42.39 PM

This week I’m immersed in the Dresden Files, an urban fantasy series by Jim Butcher.

The series has been around forever, but somehow I missed it. Or perhaps the covers just don’t catch my eye when browsing, so I’ve never bothered to pick one up and find out if I’d like the story. I see on Butcher’s website that the covers have been revamped, though I’m not sure the new ones would have captured my interest either.

That said, while doing research for a new series I’m about to start writing (more details on that soon) I’ve been reading more detective-type urban fantasy, and realized I had to give Butcher’s Harry Dresden a try.

I’m really glad I did.

Harry is a professional wizard who hires himself out both to the police and to individuals for those needing wizardly help. No love potions, please! This is serious wizarding. He can do potions that would make Snape proud and make me long for the ability myself. Plus he has some sort of blasting rod that would come in handy when walking down dark streets or on the subway or in the grocery store.

First Line:

I never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon. So I didn’t know that it was one night shy of being full when a young woman sat down across from me in McAnally’s pub and asked me to tell her all about something that could get her killed.


Love that opening! It’s so full of questions I must know the answer to that I can’t stand it. I didn’t put this story down for hours after I read that.

This is the second book in the series, and both this and Storm Front have been entertaining, full of action, and steeped with enough magic and paranormal creatures to make my heart go pitter-pat. Harry is a good man, though he keeps hinting at dark deeds done in the past that makes him believe he isn’t one of the good guys. His actions say otherwise. I think he’s too hard on himself. There’s also hints of parents with secrets being dangled here and there, plus interfaces with demons and a secretive White Council whom I’ve yet to meet in person. It’s enough to keep me coming back for more, for sure.

I’m eager to start the next one.

If you like mysteries or police procedural/detective type books, and love a little supernatural thrown in, this is for you. Start at the beginning of the series, because the backstory is building through each one and it would probably be confusing if you didn’t.


Oct 21

Fantasy Friday: A Bit of Magic

By Melinda VanLone | Stories , Thoughts

Courtyard, PatioWelcome to Fantasy Friday! As I launch my blog makeover, I want to make a few promises to keep me honest: 1. I promise to post something new three times a week; 2. I promise that I will try to include a photo, which will continue my traditional photo blog; 3. I promise that I will fail miserably on all promises at least once or twice. Hey, nobody’s perfect! That said, I’d like to start by instituting Fantasy Friday: a day where I let my imagination run wild and ask you to do the same.

Today’s post was inspired by a courtyard where I live. A stone walkway meanders through it, and nestled amongst green, purple, and yellow growing things are iron lattice tables and chairs. I love patio furniture. I love how it always looks as if someone has just been there, or might still be there. Who sits there? What do they talk about? Did they find a bit of magic there hidden among the plants? Imagine, for a moment…


“Beautiful. You could feed a small country with that.” Beth took a long drag off her cigarette. She inhaled the smoke deeply, letting it penetrate every fiber of her being before turning her head to blow it out.

Sarah frowned, and pulled her hand back. She examined the ring on her left hand and giggled. “Well, if it doesn’t work out at least I’ll be well fed.”

“So I take it you said yes.”

“Of course! I’d be silly not to. I mean, look at this ring. Look at it!” Sarah held it out for inspection again. She turned it this way and that in the sun. It twinkled and split the sunlight into a kaleidoscope of colors.

“Does he see you?”

“What do you mean?”

Beth held the cigarette out to the side and leaned forward. “Does he SEE you.”

“We are going to have the most beautiful children. I’d like two, a boy and a girl.”


Sarah looked at her. The happy smile crumpled.

“Sarah, does he see you?”

Mary’s eyes filled with tears. “Not yet.”

“You have to show him, Sarah. It’s not right.”

“I will. When the timing is right.”

“I’d say the right time has long since past. You can’t marry him without telling him. You can’t marry him in a church at all. What’s he gonna say about that?”

“It’ll be fine. I’m sure it will.”

Beth took another long hit on the cigarette, then dropped it. Her heel crushed it into the stone under them.

“Sarah. You know I love you. I love you like my own sisters, all 12 of them. But you have to tell him. Before the month is out.”

“I know. I’ll…tell him. I will.”

Beth looked at her friend. It hurt to see the unhappiness scattered across her face. She felt like she’d kicked a puppy. She stood up.

“Give me a hug.”

Beth squeezed her friend tight, then whispered in her ear “see you tonight. It’s half-moon tonight, you know what that means.”

“Half Turn, I know. I’ll be there. I’ll…bring him with me. It’ll be easier to show him anyway, and I’d like you to be there when I do.”

“So he can’t run?” Beth grinned.

Sarah flashed a watery smile.

Beth took her friend’s hand. “It really is beautiful, Sarah. Can’t wait to meet him.”

She gave her friend a final hug, then stepped back. Her eyes flashed blue fire, then the rest of her lit up in a column of blue flame.

When the fire was gone, Sarah stood alone in the courtyard. She sat down at the table and looked at her ring again.

“Maybe I’ll bring him next month,” she whispered.


Now it’s your turn! What do you see when you look at this simple scene? What do you imagine happened there?