LaCreeperie Now Offers Book Review and Promotion Services

 After much contemplation, I have decided to formally offer up my book reviewing services to any and all out there who are looking for honest feedback and promotion. Now as a writer myself, I know that most of us cannot afford to pay for these kinds of services. However, I believe a truly honest review and promotion to an established audience is worth paying for. Not to mention the time it takes to read a manuscript and write up a review.

The fee for a book review is a flat $50.00. This includes a full written review posted on this blog, and promoted across all of my social media. I also offer proofreading and/or content editing for an additional $50.00 each. All you need to do is hit the Contact button at the top of this blog to get started. I can accept physical copies as well as digital files and ebooks.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions using the same Contact tab above. Let’s get your book out there!

A New Blog Series: Highlights of the Week

As is my way, I'm trying something new...a weekly highlight of what has hit the Etsy Shop in an effort to get some more exposure and awareness...not to mention the backlinks, full transparency here. So let's have a look at the coolest of the cool things that are newly available in my little corner of the internets.

 Kicking things off is a whopping batch of White Stripes 45s that bring the level of badassery up a few notches just by being in the shop. These beauties are all in near mint condition and have only been played once or twice. 

I am bound and determined to bring 45's back into the forefront of record collecting. There are just too damn many great titles out there that need to be given a lot more love. Listening to these little White Stripes gems only reminded me why I love collecting these little 7 inches of heaven, besides who can resist the artwork. You can snatch them up here!


Next up, is the novelization for the beautifully Gothic film Crimson Peak. Now I know novelizations get a bad rap, but let me tell ya, this is a really good book. So much so that I began looking up Nancy Holder and her other works. I'm a little reluctant to confess that I actually enjoyed the book much more than the film--but I may need to revisit it to fully decide. It was a little convoluted and a bit over stylized, but it was certainly beautiful to look at.

Anyway, this book is highly recommended whether you enjoyed the film or not. Find it here!

How about this beauty? Play Misty For Me is one of my very favorite Clint Eastwood films, and I am thrilled to have it in the shop. Another novelization, I know, but how can you deny this level of awesomeness?? This particular copy is a UK edition (if you have followed me for any length of time, you know I have a penchant for them and for all things British) and it's in excellent condition. 

Snap it up before I change my mind and hoard it! You will find it in the shop right here.


Heads up Fangoria heads! I have been trying to beef up the Vintage Horror Magazine category within the shop, and have managed to come across a few collections for you. 

Fangoria has recently resurrected the magazine, so I thought it would be a good idea to have some back issues available, focusing on the earliest issues I can find. 

But Fangoria ain't the only game in town, and the category will feature other great titles as well, so be sure to check back often and see what's been dug up!


Back to records for a few...book people will just have to be patient. In my effort to ramp up the vinyl inventory, I'm trying to list them at least 2-3 times a week. So with that, here's a few soundtracks that are pretty special, rare and desirable.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, need I say more? This is an "unofficial" release form Japan, not necessarily a bootleg, just not licensed from the studio. It's a gorgeously produced 2 LP set, with better sound than most records being pressed today. 

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
 
 It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Wendy Carlos' soundtracks. If you're not aware, she is the composer of such illustrious titles as The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and this here gem, the original Tron. Nostalgia runs high with this one for me, I remember when it came out and seeing it in the theater. It seemed so high tech and futuristic at the time. Snatch it up!
 Finally, it gives me great pleasure to have this Watership Down soundtrack in the shop. Another film I remember watching in the theater when it came out in 1978. A truly beautiful, and emotionally charged soundtrack--and film, for that matter--and rather hard to find. 

When I started selling records roughly 10 years ago, I never dreamed soundtracks would become as popular as they seem to be these days. And for good reason, because a film is nothing without its soundtrack, just try watching one without it.

                                       ***

This concludes this week's highlights, if you have enjoyed this piece, please let me know! It's easiest to contact me via Instagram @lacreeperie or email via the Contact button at the top of this blog. I've enjoyed promoting a few new things from the shop, and getting a little writing in at the same time. Stay tuned next Friday for another highlight!



Bringing Vinyl Back (Again) and A New Shop Category

You'd pretty much have to be living under a rock for the last two weeks to not know that I've (once again) brought vinyl records back to the Etsy Shop. And I'm not afraid to say that it was purely out of necessity, and no other reason. Desperate times, desperate measures my friends. The records I have been listing come straight from my personal collection, and will continue until I am out of the woods financially. It just may take near all of my collection, but you do what you gotta do...

As a micro business, it's important to change things up, take risks, try different tactics. And over the last 16 years, I think (for the most part) I've been pretty good about that. Some things work, others do not. It's all part of the deal. But I never thought that when I began selling records over 10 years ago, they would cling to me for dear life, despite my trying to stop selling them multiple times. Do not misunderstand, I love selling records and have gotten rather good at dealing in them. But there was a time when I got really burnt out. Proper shipping supplies are so damn expensive and despite my best efforts, there is always a chance of damage while in the all-too-often careless hands of the USPS. Also thanks to the USPS' ever-increasing shipping costs, it's now rare that I have an International sale, when it used to make up a solid 25% of my buyers. That is a HUGE loss. All of these things combined with the virtual over saturation of reissues, and everyone and their mother seemingly selling records, I'd just figured my time was up.

I know this will make a lot of my old JustCoolRecords customers very happy, if indeed there are any of you left out there who even read this here blog. And, I have to admit, it makes me happy to bring them back in full force too, for many reasons, but mainly because they look so damn good in the shop. I guess you could say I'm once again throwing caution to the wind by combining my love for books and records into one shop. Combining products are not always in the best interest of sellers with shops in a specific niche. Then again, I have never been one to always follow the rules, and to break them when it suits my needs.

So if you're a fellow vinyl junkie, be sure to bookmark the shop because I am currently listing new records roughly three times a week. If it's easier to keep up via social media, you can always follow me on Instagram @lacreeperie and/or on Twitter @lacreeperie2.

 In addition to records, I have also added a brand new shop category: Arts / Music / Photography Books. Things tend to get lost in the Pop Culture section, and I've been wanting to carry more music biographies and arty type books with big, glossy photos. This also makes me very happy to include in the shop, and another facet of what I would have had in my vinyl shop years ago. But as I say, rules be damned, I sell what I want.

I hope you'll have a peek at the newest incarnation of LaCreeperie, I promise it will never be boring. In fact, I have another idea or two for more new categories brewing in my crazy head at the moment, so stay tuned to see what materializes.

Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #7 - True Crime Edition: Sins of the Mother / Deadly Intentions / The Rideout Case

It seems we are in a true crime boom at the moment, and although I do not want to glorify the evil things humans do to each other, I recently watched a whole slew of made-for-TV movies all based on true crime stories, and wanted to share some of the these gems with you, as they all contain familiar faces and may have slipped under your radar. There are so many based-on-a-true-story films to be seen, it will take an eternity to see them all. Here we go...

 SINS OF THE MOTHER - 1991 

Based on the book Son by Jack Olsen, telling the true story of the well-to-do Coe family in Spokane, Washington whose son Kevin was convicted of a string of brutal rapes. What's most difficult is trying to decide who is worse; the son, played here by Dale Midkiff, or the mother played brilliantly and chillingly by Elizabeth Montgomery. Vicious, downright VICIOUS I tell you!

If there's even a grain of truth in how incompetently the police handled this case, my heart breaks for the victims and their families. The flippancy that is used in the film around the issue of rape is absolutely shocking--but not just from the police chief, from The Mother. A delicate subject, to be sure, but a valid point is made here about our history.

For those with sensitivity toward the visuals of rape, you need not worry. All violent scenes are very short and show only what is absolutely necessary to get the point across. In this case, it's all about what you don't see.

       DEADLY INTENTIONS - 1985

Twisted, insidious insanity HOLY CRAP! One thing I really appreciate about films from the past are their subtleties--every dramatic scene is not brutally slammed into our faces the way they are today. In some ways, what you might imagine is even more disturbing.

This is a story based on the book of the same name by William Randolph Stevens about a sometimes demented Doctor husband, played by the usually lovable Michael Biehn and his naive but well-meaning wife played by Madolyn Smith. The wonderful Cloris Leachman is the wicked mother, but we don't see the full extent of her evilness until over halfway through the film (which, by the way is a whopping 3 hours and 20 minutes in length).

The Doctor delights in taking photographs of his wife in her most terrified moments, only to watch them on slides while giggling maniacally to himself in the attic. This is probably his most benign act. And it doesn't stop there. Yep.

RAPE & MARRIAGE: THE RIDEOUT CASE - 1980

Ok, I'll admit I was reluctant to include a second film involving rape, but there are no brutal visuals shown here. I couldn't resist this obscure gem with both Linda Hamilton and Mickey Rourke. Even though it's a bit gritty and of its time, both play their parts so effectively, years before the height of either actor's stardom. There are several other familiar faces in this made for TV film, my favorite being fabulous character actress Conchata Ferrell.

Without getting too heavy, it's interesting to note that when the real case occurred in 1978, a man couldn't be arrested and convicted of raping his own wife. Also interesting is that as recent as 2016, the real John Rideout went back on trial for raping two more women. Old habits die hard.

In today's #metoo climate, this film is really important because the incident broke new ground at the time, and incited a new law, one that is now upheld in every state in the US. According to Mrs. Rideout, the film's depiction of her case was very accurate. One can only hope that someday we'll see these kinds of incidences as barbaric and unheard of in future times.



Book Review: Private Demons - The Life of Shirley Jackson by Judy Oppenheimer A Premier Biography

Premier: adj. first in rank or importance

Full disclosure: I was fully prepared to rip this author to shreds, purely based on a number of reviews I had read prior to reading the book. But from sentence one, I was engrossed, enthralled and enraptured at the unfolding of our beloved Shirley's life, warts and all. It is crystal clear to me now that the reason why the second biography of Shirley Jackson, 2016's A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin has received all the glowing reviews is because they didn't read this one first.

When I posted Private Demons on my social media channels, most people were not even aware that another biography existed. This is one of many reasons why I am on such a quest to bring awareness to vintage books. There is so much out there that will float into the abyss without due recognition, and that makes me very sad. Even within my specific niche, people are pretty much reading the same books, which also makes me very sad. 

As a writer myself (albeit not a professionally published one), I fully understand the scope of supporting new books by new authors, heck we all gotta eat. It's just that I believe people would expand their worlds and enrich their lives far more if they included even a few books from the past. I'm not talking about the classics, those are a given. I'm talking about titles basically unknown to the common man because they have been exiled to charity shops, Goodwill bins and the like. Thus is why I do what I do. But I digress...

Private Demons answers all the questions, and this is where Judy Oppenheimer's book shines; she gives us a very well-rounded view of Shirley and all aspects of her life, her works, her children, and especially the volatile marriage she couldn't live without (mayhap until very near the end) leaving the reader satisfied that they may well relate to our underappreciated heroine even more than they did before reading it. I personally will be on a crusade to acquire any copies I can for the shop, to help bring Private Demons back into the circulation of awareness for the die hard Shirley Jackson fans.

Introducing The International Paranormal Inquisitor Magazine

 It gives me great pleasure to finally announcement my involvement with a brand new magazine called The International Paranormal Inquisitor. When my friend Antonio asked me to join the contributing writing team, I felt like the clouds of my elusive writing career were beginning to lift.

The magazine covers all aspects of the paranormal, spiritual and metaphysical, leaving itself wide open to a cornucopia of related topics. For my part, I will most likely focus on these subjects in the form of book suggestions, and the passing on of valuable information from my own studies. Antonio has graciously given me creative control over my articles, which is a writer's dream come true!

Additionally, he has embraced my volunteering to act as proofreader, which thrills me to pieces, because it is something I have always wanted to do. I am far from an expert, but do seem to possess a keen eye for typos and grammatical errors, which usually doesn't make me very popular. However, Antonio encouraged me to be very forthcoming with my "red pencil", with the goal of making the magazine look its very best. Let's face it, it's difficult to expect readers to take you seriously when the text consists of more errors than facts.

 At this time, the magazine is issued quarterly, and the downloadable version of Issue #1 is available right now via the Paranormal Energy Norway website, with a print version coming shortly. Printed versions will be available in the Etsy Shop very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.

I especially love that this is an International undertaking, encompassing experience and information from all over the world instead of just here in the US. Anything that helps bring people together to educate and entertain, as well as celebrate cultural differences and lifestyles, is something I am proud to be a part of in any capacity.

You can follow IPI on Facebook and Instagram (@ipi_paranormal_magazine) feel free to follow and reach out. The magazine is very easy to access and read on all forms of devices, but for those who prefer a physical medium (like me!), we are working on the printed version as I write this. Please join us!


My 2018 Reading Challenge Results and Changes for the New Year


So long 2018, smell ya later! I know for a lot of people, this past year wasn't the best. For myself, it was just another rollercoaster year of extreme highs and extreme lows...with heavy emphasis on the lows,. But I'm not gonna talk about that here. Today I wanted to share with you my first ever Reading Challenge results, nothing to write home about, but it is rather interesting to look back on a year in books. Come along...


I wish there were an easy way to post the results as a page like this one (or mayhap there is but I am clueless as to how to do it) so I'll just go over the highlights:
  • My reading goal was to finish 30 books.
  • I completed 39 books by the end of the day on Dec. 31st, 2018, making a total of nearly 11,000 pages read!
  • My average rating was 3.6 (I don't give 4 & 5 stars lightly, these are reserved for books that I feel are uncommonly good.
  • 4 titles were by Shirley Jackson. Part of my goal-within-a-goal is to read ALL of her work. Technically I could call it 7 titles, as there was a 3-books-in-one omnibus included.
  • 5 titles were non-fiction. I'd like to up that a bit.
This year, I've upped my reading challenge to 50 books. A small feat by a lot of people's standards, but I'm a busy lady and a bit of slow reader. Hopefully I can continue to increase it as time goes on. Follow me on Goodreads if you want to keep up with my reading shenanigans, I'm trying to be diligent about writing reviews on each book as I finish it.


Next, I thought I'd go over a few changes that I'm making to the blog and Etsy Shop. As you may know by now, I've closed my website for good, and am operating solely out of the Etsy Shop. This is the first time since opening LaCreeperie in 2014 that I've only had one shop going. Sometimes business decisions are easy to make and hard to execute; or easy to execute and hard to maintain, depending on the nature of the business and the changes implemented.

As for the blog, I really enjoy the once a week schedule, however the holidays sure blew that method out of the water. My hope is to get back up on that horse (for the ga-zillionth time) and resume that schedule. The biggest problem I have with frequent blog posts isn't finding the time to write them, it's finding the content to write about. 

If you've followed me for any length of time, I'm sure you're aware that I have no interest in writing about the same old things everyone else and their mother writes about. Take the movie mini-reviews for example, I really, really enjoyed writing those, but no one cares. No one. OK, maybe one or two people. And I know the purpose of a blog is to put out the content YOU, as the writer, wants to put out. But when I put all this time and energy into something and no one pays any attention, well the wind falls promptly out of my sails, and I drop whatever it is and move on to the next thing.

With that, a recent snit over someone's assholish comment on their opinions on their own feed have turned me off to reviews of any kind. Opinions. Everybody's got 'em, and everyone feels only THEY are right and I'm just not that interested in adding to that endless pile of white noise. So alas, movie mini-reviews are no more. It's kind of a bummer, because I was planning on making a 'zine out of the reviews, with some added content to make a fun little publication. C'est la vie. I really need to focus on getting more of my other writing out there as another stream of income before I'm too old to even try.

I know a lot of this sounds negative, and it really isn't meant to be. It's actually just the way I've had to operate during the last 15 years of online retailing, and figuring out what works and what doesn't. This year, I am teaching myself Astrology and Numerology, and have already learned that the mission in this life, for me, is FREEDOM. That was an incredibly enlightening piece of information to learn, and makes so much sense looking back on my life's journey up to now.

So. What that tells me is not to give up and get some shitty job just to help pay the bills, I’ve come this far for this long, it ain't gonna change overnight. It actually fuels my fire to continue to sell books (and various other items), and to pursue my dream of supporting myself and my husband with the fruits of my writing. It's gotta happen sometime, right?

Happy New Year everyone, I hope all of your plans and dreams come to fruition. We sure need it after the shit-show that was 2018, but maybe it's what's gotten us to stir the pot and shake things up a bit. Kind of like the Punk movement in 1976-77. Oi!