The Votes Are In: Poe’s Most Popular Work #ccintroductions @ourclassicsclub

 

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The other day I was asked, Which Author (Or Celebrity) Would You Contact in a Seance? for The Great Beyond Blog Hop created by TaraGwenRoland and Angela, to celebrate the Halloween Holiday with a Seance. I chose Edgar Alan Poe.

If you stopped by (thanks to those who did!) then you may also have voted for your favourite Edgar Allan Poe short story and poem. Well..

..the results were

(drum roll please)

 

 Most Popular Poe Short: 

Summary of Pit & The Peundulum

An unnamed narrator opens the story by revealing that he has been sentenced to death during the time of the Inquisition—an institution of the Catholic government in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Spain that persecuted all Protestants and heretical Catholics. Upon receiving his death sentence, the narrator swoons, losing consciousness. When he wakes, he faces complete darkness. He is confused because he knows that the usual fate of Inquisition victims is a public auto-da-fé, or “act of faith”—an execution normally taking the form of a hanging. He is afraid that he has been locked in a tomb, but he gets up and walks a few paces. This mobility then leads him to surmise that he is not in a tomb, but perhaps in one of the dungeons at Toledo, an infamous Inquisition prison. He decides to explore. Ripping off a piece of the hem from his robe, he places it against the wall so that he can count the number of steps required to walk the perimeter of the cell. However, he soon stumbles and collapses to the ground, where he falls asleep.

Upon waking, the narrator finds offerings of water and bread, which he eagerly consumes. He then resumes his exploration of the prison, determining it to be roughly one hundred paces around. He decides to walk across the room. As he crosses, though, the hem that he ripped earlier tangles around his feet and trips him. Hitting the floor, he realizes that, although most of his body has fallen on solid ground, his face dangles over an abyss. To his dismay, he concludes that in the center of the prison there exists a circular pit. To estimate its depth, the narrator breaks a stone off the wall of the pit and throws it in, timing its descent. The pit, he believes, is quite deep, with water at the bottom. Reflecting upon his proximity to the pit, the narrator explains its function as a punishment of surprise, infamously popular with the Inquisitors. The narrator falls asleep again and wakes up to more water and bread. After drinking, he immediately falls asleep again and imagines that the water must have been drugged. When he wakes up the next time, he finds the prison dimly lit. He remarks that he has overestimated its size, most likely having duplicated his steps during his explorations.

The narrator discovers that he is now bound to a wooden board by a long strap wrapped around his body. His captors offer him some flavorful meat in a dish, but no more water. When he looks up, he notices that the figure of Time has been painted on the ceiling. Time, however, has been made into a machine, specifically a pendulum, which appears to be swinging back and forth. The narrator looks away from the ceiling, though, when he notices rats coming out of the pit and swarming around his food. When he returns his focus to the ceiling, he discovers that the pendulum is constructed like a scythe and is making a razor-sharp crescent in its descent toward him. Its progress, however, is maddeningly slow and in a trajectory directly over his heart. Even though he recognizes how dire the situation is, the narrator remains hopeful. When the pendulum gets very close to him, he has a flash of insight. He rubs the food from his plate all over the strap that is restraining his mobility. Drawn by the food, the rats climb on top of the narrator and chew through the strap. As the pendulum nears his heart, the narrator breaks through the strap and escapes from the pendulum’s swing. When he gets up, the pendulum retracts to the ceiling, and he concludes that people must be watching his every move.

The walls of the prison then heat up and begin moving in toward the pit. The narrator realizes that the enclosing walls will force him into the pit, an escape that will also mean his death. When there remains not even an inch foothold for the narrator, the walls suddenly retract and cool down. In his fear, however, the narrator has begun to faint into the pit. To his great surprise, though, a mysterious person latches onto him and prevents his fall. The French general Lasalle and his army have successfully taken over the prison in their effort to terminate the Inquisition.

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 Most Popular Poe Poem:

Clear winner  – 

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The Raven: Read by Christopher Walken

.

Or go read it at Poets.org

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This post is also part of  The Classics Club:

  #ccintroductions @ourclassicsclub 

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Hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

Did you vote for the winners? Were you surprised by the winners?

What did you think of Christopher Walken’s spooky read of The Raven – Awesome!? 🙂

Which Author (Or Celebrity) Would You Contact in a Seance?

TaraGwenRoland and Angela are ready to celebrate the Halloween Holiday with a Seance. So I signed up.

You can sign up HERE. Or simply hop around the other participants and see who comes to call! *Spooky sound effects! 🙂

Heres what they said what we had to do (not in a Gestapo kind of way). 

Write a post about a famous deceased author or celebrity you’d like to contact in our seance! Why did you choose? And what would you like to say? We will haunt your blogs, reading about your choices, then the spirits will select winners to be announced on October 31. The prizes will be frightfully good, including copies of our books and more! We hope you will join us for a ghostly good time!

 

Check out THIS POST for inspirational ‘last words’ spoken from many famous authors. I chose to hold a séance to contact Edgar Allan Poe!  On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown. This is what he said before he died ‘apparently!’ Sounds about right to me though.

 

 

I wrote about Poe (because he rocks!) on my other blog a few months ago, and you can find that post here. It includes a short story I wrote (ages ago) for a challenge based upon The Raven.

You can find all the poems of Poe HERE. For a really great timeline of his life and accomplishments, go HERE. For a free audio book entitled 12 Creepy Tales of Poe go HERE.

Edgar Allan Poe

January 19, 1809-October 7, 1849

Nationality: American
Ethnicity: English
Birth Date: January 19, 1809
Death Date: October 7, 1849

Poe’s Genre(s): SHORT STORIES/HORROR FICTION/FICTION/MYSTERY/CRIME/SUSPENSE FICTION

Poe’s Legacy 

Poe’s work has earned him an enviable place in American literature. He is not only a pioneer of the short story, he’s America’s first major horror writer as well as the father of the detective story. His tales contain an almost timeless fairy tale-like quality; filled with grim dungeons, Gothic castles, dwarves and madmen, Poe’s fictional universe still exerts a hold on the imagination more than a century after his death. American International Pictures adapted eight of his stories into films beginning in 1960, and writers as disparate as H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King have cited Poe as a major influence on their work. 

     His poetry also exhibits an astounding popularity. “The Raven” is perhaps the most recognizable poem in the English language, its haunting sing-song rhythm and unforgettable imagery appealing not only to literary connoisseurs but also to school children and people who rarely read poetry. Everyone, it seems, knows the raven’s cry of “Nevermore.” 

     It is finally, then, his command of language that is his greatest bequest to posterity. From the classic opening line of “The Raven,” to the ornate description of the decaying House of Usher, Poe’s diction is often elevated and complex, but it could also be blunt and fragmented. Poe was a deliberate, precise wordsmith who labored over the placement of every dash and comma. Like Shakespeare, he could transcend the sordidness of his subject matter by the sheer force of his language. 

     Poe was not the first Gothic writer but he is undeniably one of the most potent. While other horror writers come and go, his place in horror literature will remain unchanged, for it is his work that has formed a lasting foundation upon which others continue to build.”

Written by Joseph Iorillo, first published in Dark Realms Magazine,
Issue #8, Fall 2002, 

Reasons to love Edgar Allan Poe!

  1. He’s intense. Anyone who’s read his short stories, or his dark poetry can testify to that. I’m not a small-talk kind of person, and intensity has always interested me.
  2. He was creative and neurotic. I can utterly empathise.
  3. He wrote one of my favourite poems – The Raven. It is haunting and reaches into the torture of a bereaved heart and the madness it inflicts upon the mind. That’s not easy, even for those who’ve experienced loss. And he did it using cool props, like the raven.
  4. He had a complicated personal life. He was burdened by addiction and blighted by his own flaws in character. All the very best characters are flawed.
  5. Because he was a trier. He carried on, no mater how crappy things seemed. Through the personal and professional loses, he got on with it.
  6. Because mystery surrounds him. Even his death is a mystery.

Please vote for your favourite Poe short and/or poem. You can make a few choices if you like. I did 🙂 Tell your friends, especially Poe fans. 🙂

   

May Monster Madness 6: Blood Family by Mark Knight: Excerpt / Info.

Welcome to my 6th May Monster Madness post.

May Monster Madness

May Monster Madness

LINK

Please see the previous posts (linked in Previous Posts on the side bar) for the psychology of fear, why I love vampires best of all, and many more. And please go click on your Favourite Vampires, and your Favourite Vampire Hunter polls, so I can gather up those votes and write a post about the chart toppers! I’ll be writing that post in the next few days, and it will be a bonus post for this meme, 21st May:  Yey!


 

Join me today, and discover a new YA paranormal novel written by Mark Knight. I provide an excerpt, a review and the book blurb, plus a little information about Mark and of course, those all important buy links. Pull up a chair, get comfy and grab a drink. You may have just found your next read! There will be monsters!

Blood Family

Blood Family

Blurb:

Life as part of a debt-free, middle-class family in the New England suburbs should have been heaven.

But when your father is a Man of God and you’re a vampire, it sure can be hell.

Until the age of seventeen, Daniel Dark had no idea of his true origins. Something was ulcerating deep inside him, striving to claw its way free. Pastor Nathan Dark and his wife, Annie, had adopted him and brought him up as their own. But Daniel always felt that there was a secret they feared tell him…

Everything changes the day a mysterious package arrives at his home. It contains blood – human blood. It is a message from his true father – a vampire named Dominus. Daniel’s vampire half awakens and takes its first step out of the shadows. Vampires, Daniel learns, are not like in the movies. They’re worse, much worse, and cannot be killed by sunlight or stakes.

The once lazy, goalless youth transforms into sharp-sensed killer. Now, there is no turning back. On his trail is Pastor Nathan Dark, obsessed with destroying the boy he’d adopted as his own…

Armed with ever-evolving powers, Daniel sets off to find and free his birth mother, imprisoned by Dominus since the day of his birth.

It is a journey that takes Daniel to Mexico and the mysterious Mayan shaman woman, Xochil, guardian of Vampire secrets. From there the trail leads to misty moors of southern England, where he joins forces with Logan DuPris, a vampire hunter as attractive as she is deadly. Together they piece together the weird clues that lead to…

The Vampire Key

Excerpt: CHAPTER 13

As evening painted the sky a deep purple, Daniel stepped through his front door and looked around. As his life had changed, so too had all that surrounded him. He was sensing something. Daniel had never been one for deep thinking, but now his perceptions stretched themselves out over the landscape, over time, feeling out new possibilities and new horizons. He exhaled a big, purging breath, scratching the back of his head. Was he really going to do it? Leave home?

The ‘incident’ with Daelin had left him confused. Part of him had wanted to take advantage of her in the most gruesome and bloodiest of ways. Part of him wanted to protect her forever. Would it be best for her—and for him—to stay, or to leave? This wasn’t exactly something he could talk over with the town’s youth counselor. For the first time in his life, he had no one to fall back on. Future decisions would be down to him and him alone.

No more of this soul-searching crap. I want my bed.

Entering, he kicked off his sneakers and thudded up the stairs. As he grabbed the door handle to his room he halted. Mom stood there, down the hall, looking…defenseless.

“Daniel…”

“Just a minute, Mom.” He wanted to change his shirt a.s.a.p.—his unbidden hallucination had made him very sweaty, not to mention the sex play with Daelin.

He entered his room.

That was his first mistake.

Dad was waiting for him—he and six other pastors. Not one appeared to be in a forgiving mood.

It was a shock to Daniel—he hadn’t even seen any cars parked out front, not even Dad’s.

He then made his second mistake. He didn’t move quickly enough.

Another pastor, who had been waiting next to the door, kicked it shut. Then, the tallest of the ministers facing him shot him with what looked to be a crossbow. The arrow tore into the boy’s left shoulder, pinning him to his bedroom door. He roared in pain. Before the roar was over, an arrow pierced his other shoulder.

“I know you hate me for this, Daniel,” said Nathan Dark. “But I’m doing this to help you.”

“Help me?” spat Daniel. “You want to kill me!”

“It’s taken me years to put together this Deliverance Team, Daniel,” Pastor Dark told him. “And unlike even my own church denomination, our newly founded division knows about the existence of creatures like you.”

“Creatures like me?”

“Yes,” said Nathan coldly. “Demons—like you.”

The pastors rushed at Daniel as he grasped the arrow shafts, trying to pull himself free. The seven men began shouting out religious passages at him, fear knocking their phrases out of unison. Five of them restrained Daniel while two others (including his father) performed the laying on of hands, placing palms on his head and chest. Enraged, Daniel bellowed back at them, irises turning blood red as his would-be deliverers watched in increasing terror.

And something else was happening: the arrows that impaled Daniel were dissolving, actually turning to ash and smoke before their eyes. Through the tears in his son’s shirt Nathan Dark could see the arrow wounds healing before his eyes—flesh growing and knitting, liberated blood retreating back inside the boy’s body before the holes closed.

Revivified, Daniel flung his arms outward in a mighty push, hurling the men to the floor. The deliverers howled in pain.

Nathan Dark regained his senses. His son was nowhere in sight. Then, hearing a sound like the panting of a wounded wolf, he looked up. Daniel clung there, defying gravity, hugging the ceiling like a bat.  Nathan barked through gritted teeth to the crossbow-wielder, who hastily reloaded his weapon of choice. He was good—very good—and had no trouble in unleashing another duo of deadly carbon shafts into the boy’s body—one in the leg, and the other in his shoulder. The idea was to get so many of them stuck in the youth that he would weaken long enough for the team to overpower him.  In this case, ‘overpower’ would mean one of two things—either to free him of his curse, or to free him of his life.

Detaching from the ceiling, Daniel landed in the center of the pastors, now on their feet in a rough circle. He spun, elongated nails gashing each face in rapid succession. Blood sprayed in all directions. The deliverers reeled back in pain. But Nathan avoided injury, stepping back just long enough to retrieve from his jacket the object that he had secreted there as a last resort.

There had been accounts of wooden stakes actually working against demonics and undead entities, but Nathan had never verified any of these accounts. Sure, maybe it was just movie nonsense. But this, right here, right now, was real. He was going to put right this terrible wrong—this boy’s abominable existence—in God’s name. He would succeed no matter what, even if –

Daniel had locked his gaze on to his father. The stake dropped from his hand. Pastor Nathan Dark grabbed his head as though trying to keep it from falling off. The look of sheer terror in his face was proof enough that the hypnotic assault was working.  The other members of the deliverance team watched, transfixed.

“No!” Nathan was screaming. “Don’t leave me in this place! Get me out! Take me out of here!” He was no longer in this world, not consciously. Daniel had succeeded in making this devout Christian man believe that he was in Hell.

It had not been difficult for Daniel to target his father’s greatest fear. But he didn’t know how long he could keep up the illusion. This ability was new to him, powered by raw instinct.

Sensing the approach of the other ministers, Daniel whirled to confront them.

“Keep back!” he warned. “Unless you want me to invade your little minds as well!” His own words frightened him. Never before had he spoken words like that, nor with such rage. What had he become?

Pastor Nathan Dark screamed even louder. Even Daniel had no idea as to what his Dad was seeing within his mind’s eye.

“Daniel! Stop it, now!”

Mom!

Daniel was shocked to see that she’d entered. He released his father.

Jerking his head toward the window across the room, he barked at it as though giving an order. The windowpane shot up with a bang.

Daniel’s exit was a blur—a dark streak that could have been the boy taking flight. No one in the room would ever know.

He was gone.

Book Review

(Not mine (I have yet to read it). This was provided by the publicist)

Blood Family: Quest for the Vampire Key is an awesome, awesome, awesome book. Did I say awesome? I read a lot and believe me, I’ve not read anything like this since I read Anne Rice novels back in the 90’s. I originally read just the sample of this story on the Author’s website. I was so intrigued that I bugged and bugged him for the full novel. It far exceeded my expectations and I had already had high hopes for it after the sample.

Young Daniel finds out from his family that he is a Dhampir and the blood package he received in the mail further confirmed what he feared. He was adopted from his ‘mom’s’ sister, Celeste and his father was Dominus, Lord of the Shadow World. Daniel leaves his home and everyone he knows in search of his biological mother. After visiting Xochil, a shaman, he learns much of what he’s going to need to know to battle to keep himself from succumbing to his fathers’ twisted world. He meets a young paranormal investigator whose father was killed by Dominus and takes her along on his journey reluctantly. Read the story to follow his journey. Will he find his mother? Will he keep himself from the snares of his father? There’s so much to this story that it will keep you guessing.

The Author, Mark Knight, takes you on a twisting and turning journey with his main character. Just when you think you have things figured out and how much more could possibly happen, he adds another aspect to the story that sucks you in. He’s created a world where you really feel like you are going through this journey with Daniel yourself and envelopes you in a world of insane, cunning and manipulative characters. He is an excellent storyteller and paints the picture so well for you that you can actually see it in your mind. His attention to detail and creativity is leaps and bounds beyond anything I’ve ever read. The story is simply creative, well thought out and just crazy good! It is a must read for anyone who loves paranormal, mind blowing, dark fantasy. I just can’t say enough to give this book its proper justice. If this were a movie, which it would be awesome if taken on, it would break all the blockbuster records out there and win all the Oscars if the right people were cast. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, it is a 100! If there was a grade above an A+, it would be used for this book! You will not be disappointed with this book. It was worth every minute I spent reading it and I’m already looking forward to a sequel. “Behind every door, and down every alleyway, we will be watching.”

Author Bio:

Mark Knight grew up in Massachusetts, USA. Settling in the UK, Mark continued to write novels of differing genres, including horror and television scripts. Mark has worked on scripts for Hollywood’s Little Slices of Death production company and one for Illusion Studios, for which he has recently signed an Option Acquisition Agreement. He also won several short story competitions, and has had his work featured in published anthologies. Mark concentrates now on Young Adult urban fantasy novels.

Mark Knight

Mark Knight

Mark Knight: (website)

I fell in love with books and movies very early on. Roald Dahl, Planet of the Apes, Tolkien, Star Wars…they were all part of my journey. From age sixteen I was compelled to write my own.  I have always been fascinated by amazingly ‘out there’ type stories – be it fantasy, horror, or science fiction – that have an element of reality in them. You know, where you can say ‘Oh yeah, I can relate to that’ or ‘I know someone who has that problem’. To me, the more real your characters, their emotions, problems, etc, then the more thrilling it becomes when the fantastic comes knocking at their door.

For instance, Daniel Dark, the seventeen-year-old protagonist of Blood Family, has family problems that have led him to smoke weed and chug beer with his equally indolent friend. But then he discovers that he is a half-vampire with incredible powers. Finally, his dull going-nowhere life is supercharged.

Fifteen-year-old Solomon, hero of Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls, comes from a broken home and suffers from hypoglycaemic attacks his diabetes. It screws up his life—until a gypsy curse renders him undead. Diabetes is the least of his problems now.

Dealing with the death of a parent was bad enough for Gunner Robinson. He has a sixth-sense, the ability to know when evil is near. Other powers are manifesting themselves as well, and they are getting him into trouble, at home and at school. Which is why he wound up in therapy. Telling the doc that he is a warrior angel reborn would definitely make things worse…

BUY THE BOOK

AMAZON.COM & AMAZON.CO.UK

 

 So what do you think? Will you be reading this next? Have you read it already? What did you think of it? Do you like VAMPIRES! :-E

 

May Monster Madness 5: The Best Ever Vampires (and their hunters) – 2 Polls

Hi, this is my fifth post for this meme. These are the others:

May Monster Madness - May 11th -17th

Click this image for more information and for the linky of other participants. 🙂

Visit me between 11th and 17th May for interesting posts about monsters.

Today is all about…

‘The Best Ever Vampires (and their hunters).’

Obviously, for me to go on and on about my favourites, means you get pissed because they’re not yours, and it could get messy. So instead on my subjective ramblings – i.e.: strictly my opinion, I’d like to know yours. Then I’ll compile them and do a post on the two chart-toppers!

So, I’ve added two polls. Hurrah!

(Should have done this for my first post, but as I found the meme the day before it started, I didn’t have to time to think our the week ahead and I’ve kind of gone by the seat of my pants). So I need you all to click on your Favourite Vampires, and your Favourite Vampire Hunter polls, so I can gather up those votes and write a post about the chart toppers! I’ll be writing that post in the next few days, and it will be a bonus post for this meme, 21st May:  Yey!

Anywhoo… These polls are made up of the best of both camps, our there (according to research, so don’t shoot the messenger!), but like I said, this is all about you guys.

Who is YOUR number 1 ?

I imagine most of you will say Buffy tops the slayers, but which fanged devil will you chose as best vampire ever? If I’ve missed your favourite (how very dare I?) by all means add them to the list in the comments. There are so many, I had to scale it down to those who figured highest on my scale, but also on Google search. 🙂

Right, now go vote!


polls

 


online surveys

Don’t forget to elaborate your choices/or add them if I’ve missed them, in your comment 🙂