Andrea Speed, Dinner and a Book With Piper and Poppy, Jordan Castillo Price, Piper Vaughn, Poppy Dennison, RJ Scott

Dinner and a Book With Piper and Poppy: The Halloween Edition


Hello, lovely readers. Happy Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or Happy Samhain, if you celebrate! Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. I (Piper) love watching horror movies, seeing all the decorations, visiting haunted houses, taking my son trick-or-treating. Maybe this is in part because Fall is also my favorite season. Changing leaves, hoodie weather, an abundance of honeycrisp apples in stores. This is my happy time. :D

In addition to watching horror flicks to get in the mood, I also like to indulge in rereading my favorite horror or paranormal books this time of year, so Poppy and I thought it would be cool to share some of our favorite books in m/m featuring things that go bump in the night (aside from the heroes ;) ).

Poppy: Bumping heroes is always the most fun, but I have to agree that there’s something amazing about this time of year! I love sweater weather and there’s no better time to curl up with a great book with some great snacks!

Mummy Hot DogPiper: And speaking of snacks, before we get into sharing our book recs, Poppy and I wanted to discuss a few fun Halloween recipes we found and tried out, for anyone looking for Halloween party ideas or just to make dinner festive that night. :)

While wasting time on Pinterest (as I do), I found a recipe for Meatball Mummies. I thought they looked adorable, so I decided to make them and test them out on my family. My mummies didn’t come out as cute as the ones pictured in the actual recipe, but taste-wise, they were an absolute hit. Even my father-in-law demolished one, and he’s a fairly picky eater. I’d recommend them, although I did use my own meatball recipe as opposed to buying frozen ones.

Poppy: Since Piper and I were on a mummy kick (and my nephews begged me for hotdogs), I decided to try out these Mummy-Dogs. They were a big hit, although the 2-year-old thought having the bun attached was just too weird for him to handle. He ripped that sucker apart and devoured them separately. He also giggled about destroying the mummy-dog. They were really easy to make though and that’s a winning recipe for me!

Dreamspinner Press

Poppy: Now that we had our main courses settled, it was time to choose a spooky book (or two…or twelve) to go along with our Halloween feast. I went with an old favorite, Kim Fielding’s The Bones Series. Book three came out a couple weeks ago, and I couldn’t wait to get my greedy little claws on it! Kim puts a great (and a bit darker) twist on the usual romantic tale of werewolves. Don’t get me wrong, there’s romance, but the werewolf stuff isn’t all roses and “I’m your alpha hear me roar!”.

Piper: And I decided on a long-time favorite series of mine, Andrea Speed’s Infected series, which is being rereleased by DSP Publications. While us fans of the series are eagerly awaiting the release of the final book, “Epitaph,” I decide to reread some of the books that came before it, starting with “Infected: Prey,” which kicked off the entire series. Roan isn’t your ordinary shifter. In the “Infected” world, the shift is caused by a virus and people who are infected have to be locked away whenever their cycles hit–both for their safety and the safety of others. They don’t keep anything of themselves when they shift. They turn into mindless animals and do what animals do: hunt. But in addition to being a lion shifter, Roan is also a private detective and a total smart-ass. And that’s probably the biggest part of why he’s one of my favorite m/m heroes. :)

A DSP Publication: Available at Amazon

A DSP Publication: Available at Amazon

Poppy: Oh the angst in the Infected Series! But I have to agree that Roan is an amazing character! To tide us over in the midst of our series marathons, I made some candy corn pretzel hugs. Because if you don’t need a hug after reading Infected….

Gotta be honest, these were more of a pain to make than you’d think and made quite the mess. Now, I did use regular shaped pretzels instead of a fancy kind, so maybe that’s the difference. They sure were tasty though, and just the right combination of sweet and salty. The nephews gobbled them up as fast as I could make them!

Piper: While snacking on the Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs, another awesome series to dive into is Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series. Now, I make no qualms about admitting my love for this series. If you know me on FB at all, you’ll know I am a blatant JCP (and Vic) fangirl. How can I help it? Victor Bayne is one hell of a smart-ass too–and, even better, he sees dead people. ;) From the moment I first finished “Among the Living,” I was hooked. There was no going back. I’m now the proud owner of a Victor Bayne Kindle case, pins, T-shirts, mugs, you name it! This series features some pretty creepy stuff, in addition to great characters and stellar writing. There is an underlying romantic subplot, but mainly these books are mysteries. (Are we seeing a trend here with Piper’s favorites? I think so. :D) If you haven’t read this series, you’re missing out on some great stuff! I can’t wait for the final book, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep rereading them to satisfy my cravings.

candy corn hugs

Poppy: Piper and I clearly have the same taste in books, because PsyCop is one of my favorites as well. (Okay, I’m not quite as blatant as she is. He he he). I wanted to check out something I hadn’t read in a while that stepped away from shifters and vampires oh my, so I grabbed Oracle by R.J. Scott. Now some of you may know that I’m a giant mythology geek, and this book fed that love so, so well! You’ve gotta love the power of the ancient Greek gods in a book, and R.J. certainly delivers!

JCP Books

JCP Books

Love Lane Books: Available at Amazon

Love Lane Books: Available at Amazon

After all this reading and eating, Piper and I needed a little liquid refreshment. Since I was on a candy corn kick after the candy corn hugs, I decided to give these Candy Corn Martinis a try. And OMG am I glad I did. My sisters are glad too. We might have had a few before we realized it! I substituted cake vodka for the whipped cream vodka in the recipe, but I doubt it would change the flavor overly much. These drinks were delicious, fun to look at, and hit the spot for our more “grown-up” Halloween party!

FizzyPumpkinCandy Corn MartiniPiper: And I decided on a kid-friendly alternative, this Fizzy Pumpkin Drink, which doesn’t actually contain any pumpkin, so for those who aren’t a fan, no worries. ;).These are made with a couple of juices combined with orange sherbert and topped off with some lemon-lime soda. They’re sure to go over well with both adults and children alike. We all slurped them down, and I’m sure I’ll probably be making them again on Halloween. :)

Whew! We’re all filled up with Halloween Tricks and Treats! So how about you? What are your favorite Halloween reads and what treats do you like to pair with them?


Poppy DennisonA sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

Visit her on her website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Piper Vaughn AviPiper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Visit Piper at


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