My Absolute Favorite Creature Features

I LOVE creature features! They’re somewhere perfectly between an action/survival movie and a horror.

By “creature feature” I mean known animals in the roles of monsters. No Big Foot or Predator or Alien on this list. This is where lions and tigers and bears come into play–but mostly sharks!

I will confess, I watch pretty much all the creature features I can find but this list is exclusively for the ones I would actually recommend to others.

I’m going to try to be as unspoilery as possible and keep things brief!

 

Jaws

My husband and I watch this movie at least once a year–not exaggerating. When everyone else gets the urge to go to the beach in the summer, we get the urge to watch shark movies and the first one is always Jaws. It is a masterpiece of funny, exciting, scary shark terror! Just don’t read the book. Seriously, it’s terrible. Don’t do it.

 

 


 

Rogue aka Territory

CROCODILE! I am a complete crocodile dork and pretty much think they are the coolest animal ever. There aren’t enough crocodile creature features in the world and of the handful in existence, this one is my favorite. A boat full of tourists are attacked by a big angry crocodile and then stranded on a little island!

 

 

 

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Anacondas. Not even the first one.

This movie is AMAZING! It’s fun and exciting and there’s a big snake!

 

 

47 Meters Down

This is one of my personal nightmares! Two sisters go cage diving with some sketchy guys to view sharks while on vacation. The chains snap and the cage sinks to the bottom! This was intense. I turned to my husband while watching this and told him to straight-up knock me out if we were ever in this situation because there’s a good chance I’ll lose my mind and rip off both our masks within five minutes. Better to get it over with.

 

 

Into the Grizzly Maze

Bears!

Beautiful country, lots of egos at conflict, and a big ass bear. Similar to Jaws but with a bear. This was a really fun movie and if you’re into forests, thrillers, and survival stories, you should give this one a try.

 

 

 

 

The Shallows

This movie is beautifully filmed and super intense. I admit, I was skeptical. How were they going to make a whole movie out of one woman being stranded on a reef? Well, they did! And every time the camera slides under the water I was holding my breath expecting to see a shark.

 

 

 

Did I forget any? What’s your favorite Creature Feature?

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INFERNAL ~ Cover Reveal

Shrouded in Mystery

According to the legends, those who venture onto the shores of this cursed island never return.

Abandoned

Valerie DeNola and her sister Julie have chosen to ignore the legends and the warnings. They have been selected to lead a team of explorers to the island to discover the mystery surrounding it. But once ashore, they become cut off from the outside world, and what they discover is something they could never have prepared for.

Inhabited by Death

Now they must fight against an unknown presence that is picking them off one by one. No one can be trusted, and when even nature rises up against them, all seems lost. Their one hope is the extraction team they know is coming. But will any of them survive to see it arrive?

 

Grinning Skull Press has released the cover for my horror novel, Infernal!

I love it and I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.

Coming soon!

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My Top 10 Ghost Movies

With Halloween around the corner, I thought I’d list some of my favorite horror movies! As soon as I started, I realized the list was getting way too long. So, I’m going to break it down into horror groups starting with ghosts.

I love a good ghost story! I crave a solid back story or some good explanation for a haunting and can’t stand when a ghost seems boundlessly powerful. Example, a ghost haunting a house that then somehow follows a person across the ocean while simultaneous still haunting their origin house. No. Just no. Stop it.

Autopsy of Jane Doe

This is a cozy, shoe-box horror. Almost the entire story takes place in a morgue and it is fantastically creepy! A mysterious body brought in for an autopsy turns out to be worse than anything they could imagine.

 

 

The Conjuring

The Conjuring is the classic haunted house movie with all the creepy twists and turns and that clapping thing. Oh, god, the clapping!

 

The Conjuring 2 

The Conjuring 2 takes it up a notch and feels like a ghost movie made for those of us that have seen all the ghost movies. They use all the classic tricks but break them up so we’re not ready for the scare. It doesn’t keep you waiting or play those games where no one else sees the ghost. It’s in your face and nonstop and has spurred other horror flicks–though none of them manage to be as good as The Conjuring movies.

 

Shutter

This is a remake and such a good story! A couple on their honeymoon in Japan find themselves haunted by a woman and a dark secret.

I can’t tell you much more than that without the risk of ruining the twists, but you should see it!

 

 

 

Crimson Peak 

Crimson Peak is one of those movies that’s so beautiful and romantic, I forget it’s a horror flick. But it is. It’s creepy as can be and absolutely gorgeous. Ghosts have never been more Gothic.

 

 

Lights Out

It’s a simple concept that makes for one of my all time favorite scary movies! The ghost can only take form in the dark, so, as long as you can keep the lights on, you’ll be okay. Right? Good luck.

 

The Other Side of the Door

A mother overcome by grief and guilt unleashes something terrible.

This is one of those ghost stories that had a really simple rule that always gets broken. Don’t open the door. Just don’t. But they always do.

I really enjoyed this one. The acting was great and the grief alone was so intense.

 

Ghost Ship

I’ve been watching this movie since I was a kid. It has likable characters, a ship full of ghosts, and a twist. It even has montages! I’m a sucker for a good montage.

 

 

The Pact

A woman goes back to her childhood home after her sister vanishes. This movie was so intense! It really kept me guessing and the pay off was great. I can’t even tell you that much without risking spoilers. The story is solid and twisted.

 

 

The Apparition

A group tries to prove that phenomena is a product of belief by creating their own supernatural entity. Yeah, it’s a terrible idea! But it makes for a really good horror flick.

 

Have you seen all of these? Anything you would have added to your list of favorite ghost movies?

 

Next list will probably be Creature Features or Monsters… And no, they’re not the same thing!

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2018

I’ve never  been particularly sentimental about New Years but I do love the opportunity to make lists and organize. It’s like each year is a drawer full of the things we did, thought, read, and experienced.

In 2017,

  • I published my first novel, Vanity in Dust
  • Did a bunch of writing and editing on other projects
  • Read piles of books
  • Wrote a scifi
  • Put together half a dozen Ikea things
  • Visited my family in California
  • Dyed my hair pink (admittedly, I did very little of the work, but I did sit still for a long time)
  • Visited New York for the first time ever
  • Went blonde
  • Turned 30

And what do I hope to put into the drawer of 2018?

  • Publish the second book in the Crowns & Ash series, Detox in Letters
  • Read all the books piled in my Amazon cart plus all the ones I run into this year
  • Figure out how to put screws in that concrete wall in my kitchen
  • Find an agent for my scifi series
  • Do a bunch of book giveaways!
  • Get pastel mermaid hair
  • Publish a horror
  • Write at least one more book

Wish me luck! And I hope all of your years get better and better.

The beautiful picture at the top is another amazing photo by Linn Arvidsson of Books and Knitting. Check out her webpage or add her on instagram if you like pretty book pictures in your feed.

/Cheryl

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Author Goals

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My firsts goals in writing were to finish my books and be published. I’ll never be done finishing books, because there’s always another one waiting to be written, but this year my first book was published.

So, what do the rest of my author goals look like at the moment?

See my book on a store shelf. I get excited whenever I see Vanity in Dust anywhere. I’m sure I’ll have a full on giggle fit when I see it on a store shelf.

Finish the Crowns & Ash series. I can’t wait to get to that ending! I have the second and third written and the fourth and fifth outlined.

Science Fiction! I want to publish a scifi series. Space ships, high tech adventure, pirates, maddening viruses and androids! I have the roughest rough draft of the first book waiting in line to be revised and I am so excited that I dream about it.

Fanfiction! It would be a real “achievement unlocked” moment for me if anyone was ever so interested and invested in one of my worlds that they would write a fanfic for it. And the stranger the better.

Write enough books that I can start doing hilarious dedications. I love funny dedications! But I have a list of people I want to sincerely dedicate books to that I should probably get through first.

Publish horror novels. I like writing scary books and would love to see some of those published too.

I’m sure there’s more but maybe that’s enough for right now. We’ll see how many more I come up with in another year.

-Cheryl

 

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