It’s Halloween time in the land of Harmony, and the Bobos Babes are ready for some fun!
When Angel Scarlett, Fairy Cora, and Princess Daphne visit Lily the Ladybug’s Boutique to look for Halloween costumes, they find Lily has left aside three special masks for them. The ladybug informs the sisters that they must wait until noon on Halloween to try on the mysterious masks but assures them they will have the best costumes in all of the land of Harmony.
The sisters can hardly wait, counting down the minutes on Halloween until they can don their curious masks. When the time comes, they learn their secret masks are enchanted, and the girls are magically transformed into the costumes of their dreams.
After a fun outing Trick-or-Treating, the little monster, witch, and ghost — or sisters — agree that this was the best Halloween of all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Children love Halloween. They adore selecting a costume, the excitement of getting candy, the decorations, and watching their loot grow with each knock on a door.
While most kids can’t wait to dig into their stash, first, they must select what to wear on the spookiest night of the year. If your child is like mine, they start planning months in advance and change their mind about a thousand times.
However, when the big night comes, they wake up and immediately dress up. Halloween allows their imagination to flourish, and it’s a magical day and night.
Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos made Halloween an even more magical event by allowing the sisters to transform into whatever mask they chose for the evening.
Imagine if a kid put on a Hulk mask and then became the Hulk. I can already see my daughter transforming into a little Loki. 😀
If you’re like me and love reading holiday stories with your child, then I highly recommend picking up Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween. The story is cute, and so are the illustrations. We especially liked the blue monster covered in pink dimples.
Great job, Karen M. Bobos (author) and Jazinel Libranda (illustrator)!
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Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story. The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.
Creating a Harmonious World During a Life of Chaos
My family lives downtown Chicago. You can literally see the John Hancock out of our dining room window. During the beginning of the pandemic, we spent months in our condo without a balcony. I was definitely feeling cabin fever once we hit week three of not leaving the house.
fIn May 2020, Chicago became a city of unrest. With the protests and riots directly out our front door, my husband and I packed up the family and escaped to my mother’s home in Northwest Indiana. We had one goal in mind: keep our daughters in a magical, beautiful world when the real world was in a state of chaos.
Once we arrived at my mother’s home, I worked night and day to clean her unfinished basement. Then I covered her walls with white rolling paper and put pink plush throw rugs on the floor. Living in a condo, we don’t have a basement or separate play area, so I wanted this to be incredibly special for them. I bought my daughters a pretend store, a little play coffee shop, and a cute kid’s pop-up ice cream shop. I designed signs that said Daphne’s Dynamite Deals, Scarlett’s Sweets, and Cora’s Coffee Shop. I put a Disney Barbie house in the corner and bought princess wall applications to stick to my white paper walls. I made a little lounge area and put tons of books for them relax and read. In the center, there was a little pink and white table. In the back of the basement, I created a little art studio for the girls to be as creative as they liked. At the entrance of it all, I put a sign that said “Bobos Babes’ World,” and we surprised the girls with this fun world to play in when the rest of the word was at a standstill.
My wellness company was barely operating. While I probably secretly cried most nights living in fear of the unknown, this was my outlet. Not only was this a project of making “Bobos Babes World” for the girls, but it a huge distraction for me as I wondered what was to come of our life and my career.
About a month later, I wrote “The Case of the Giggles” as a night time story to entertain my girls. They were the main characters with magical powers. My dad, who passed in 2016 was a main character and so was my mother. I made our Bernese Mountain dog, Luke, who is abnormally large for the breed, even bigger in my story. The girls rode him all over their magical land. The magical land was called Harmony because I desperately needed to have this land be somewhere where everyone co-existed and got along. We craved a land filled with love especially with what was going on in the world. Scarlett suggested that I write a new story every Friday. Her deadline was just the motivation that I needed to get my Bobos Babes Adventures on their way.
So that’s how the Bobos Babes Adventures started. But the best part is, if you ask my daughters about the pandemic and all the chaos that happened in 2020, they just remember our entire family at Gigi’s house, playing in her backyard, running through sprinklers, playing in this magical world their mom created for them in the basement and getting a new story every night starring them. Mission accomplished.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going up stairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Angie wouldn’t last five minutes in one of her books.
Angie is best known for her SOUTHERN SPIRITS™ mysteries, and for her ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER books.
I love Halloween because I enjoy seeing the various costumes. Whether I am astounded by a person’s creativity or left smiling over a trick or treater’s cuteness, I never end the night with a sad face. Below, I have shared a few photos that I thought were memorable from past Halloweens. Enjoy and remember be safe out there.
TONIGHT, SHE PLANS TO LET GO. Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?
Gear Blackstone’s cheating ex and scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does—with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he’s ever met.
After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?
The music’s tempo jolted the partyers to new heights of enthusiasm.
“Great DJ,” Devil said, his foot tapping to the beat.
She found herself doing the same. “No kidding.” She eyed the tiny corn dogs on his plate. He had half a dozen. She wondered if he’d miss one… “Hey, is that B-Man over there?” she asked.
When he turned his head, she stole an appetizer off his plate and shoved it in her mouth. Oh yeah, Elliot would be thrilled to see her display her “house manners” in public.
The devil turned back to her. “Not him.” He frowned at his plate, then at her full mouth. “Did you just steal my food?”
“Nope,” she answered around a mouthful.
He stared at her for a moment, then burst into laughter. It was a full-bodied laugh, holding nothing back. Charming and real. She put Devil at the top of her list.
She swallowed, wishing she had something more to drink. As he finished off his plate, he glanced at her clean one, then at her. When he sighed and handed her his beer, she took it gratefully.
“No backwash, I promise.” She opened her mouth to show him hers was clean, then downed half the bottle. “Damn, that was good.”
He blinked. “Ah, you want more?”
“No, no. You drink that. I’ll go get some.”
She moved to go, but he grabbed her arm. They both paused. Together, they glanced down at his large hand on her wrist, and he dropped her arm. “Ah, that’s okay. You stay here. I’ll get you something. Beer? More chow?”
She nodded. “Um, both, thanks. I’ll save your place.”
He left, and she watched his progress as he cut a swath through the crowd. Yes, the devil made his own path. This time, no one bothered him as he returned posthaste. To her surprise, she was glad. The guy smelled good, a hint of subtle cologne that went straight to her head. He had a kickin’ body and a great smile. But that air of Don’t fuck with me really turned her on—ah, made her amenable to his presence.
Talk about a wordy mouthful. At the thought, she found herself glancing down his body to see what else might be a mouthful.
Jesus, Sadie. Get your head out of the gutter, girl.
“You okay?” Temptation leaned closer. “You look a little flushed.”
“You can tell in this lighting?” she teased, trying to get it together.
“Good point.” He handed her a beer, placed his own down on the table, and then put a plate overloaded with goodies on top of their empties. “This is to share. To share,” he said slowly.
“Yeah, yeah. Man, I’m starved.” She fell on the plate as if the Russians were coming.
To her amusement, he fought with her for the cheese curls as much as for the mini egg rolls, and they devoured the snacks in good company.
They talked with their mouths full, making fun of the drunken genie as well as several unsuccessful hookups on the dance floor.
“Oh, now that had to hurt,” the devil said. “Rejected by a zombie and her warty witch friend.”
“Yeah, but he’s not taking it personally.” Sadie took another sip of beer, loving the fact he hadn’t gotten her a sissy glass to drink from. “See? He’s turning from the undead to slutty doctor chick.”
“Slutty? Isn’t that non-PC?” he sneered, and she thought he sounded familiar, but the loud music made it difficult to tell. “Because I say the wrong thing about a woman, not a ‘chick,’ and I’m a caveman asshole setting women’s rights back twenty years.”
“Well, I can say slutty. You have to say sexually adventurous.” Sadie grinned. “Kind of like telling a gay guy he’s a raging homo. Now I can say that, because my brother earned the title. But you try telling him that, and he’ll knock your head off. And call him anything else, and I’ll knock your head off.” She hefted her fake sword before leaning it against the wall. “Don’t try me.”
He shrugged. “You have a sword. I have a pitchfork…somewhere. I think I left it by the bar.” He glanced across the room. “But hey, I have no plans to tangle with your brother. I’m here to sin until this thing is over. Nothing else, and no fights.” He paused, and she swore he added something else under his breath.
At that moment, her brother appeared in the crowd, his gaze searching.
She took Devil by the waist and turned him, noticing how he tensed but ignoring it. “Sorry. I’m having fun not mingling, and my brother is right over there looking for me.”
He relaxed and glanced over his shoulder. “Which one?”
“See the Phantom? He’s a pain in my ass, much as I love him. I didn’t want to come to this tonight, you know.”
“Yeah? Me neither.” He stayed where he was, still watching the dance floor. “Uh-oh. He’s looking over here.”
“Crap, crap, crap. This is a primo spot!” She did what any smart woman in her situation would do. She turned Devil so he completely blocked her from Elliot. “I need to blend in. Work with me, would you?”
She wrapped her arms around his thick neck and dragged him down for a kiss.
At the taste of his lips against hers, she shuddered, not having expected he’d taste better than his beer, or that up close and personal he’d smell like man and sex and chocolate. Chocolate?
Jesus, she must have had too much to drink.
Then he dragged her closer and deepened the angle of their kiss.
Sadie forgot about her brother, about the last crab cake on the plate, about how much she didn’t want to be at the party.
And fell into the arms of a man who kissed like the devil himself.
Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She’s both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and Harte. ♥
She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Entangled. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense. Basically, everything romance with a touch of spice.
Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.
Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There’s nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.
One kiss can change everything. Dulcie has had a secret crush on her co-worker Rowan for ages, but she’s too shy to let him know, and preoccupied with raising her rebellious teenage sister. When she bumps into him in the darkness of a haunted barn, she can’t resist stealing just one kiss.
That kiss enchants Rowan. If only he could figure out the identity of the woman whose kiss haunts him. While running from a troubled past, he may find that the woman he least suspects could lead him out of the dark forever.
The first kiss happened in the dark. It couldn’t have happened otherwise. Though Dulcie had longed to kiss Rowan for ages, ever since he first ambled by her cubicle at the office and tossed her one of his affable smiles, she wouldn’t have dared to let him know. How could she? Rowan Pearce was beautiful. Self-assured. Magnetic. Everything Dulcie Brooks wasn’t.
Of course she hadn’t planned the kiss. Kisses were the furthest thing from her mind as she strode toward the haunted barn at Sumner’s Farm. The ramshackle building stood on a small rise overlooking the farm’s expansive cornfields on one side and forest on the other. Above the craggy black outline of the treetops, a half-moon gleamed against a swath of inky sky.
Stepping around the slanted, weathered-looking gravestones that flanked the path leading to the barn’s entrance, Dulcie merged with the lineup of visitors waiting for the dour Frankenstein’s monster guarding the door to usher them inside. Red lights glowed in windows laced with cobwebs, where shadowy faces peered out and ominous moans and creaks emanated from within the wood-plank walls. Cheesy as heck, but just creepy enough to rouse goose bumps on her arms.
When a pair of hands gripped her shoulders from behind, Dulcie jerked and let out a startled squeak.
The hands pawed her hair. “Brains! I must find brains to eat. Where can I find brains?”
She spun to face her coworker, Nora, who flashed a wicked grin.
Dulcie folded her arms over her chest. “So very droll.”
“Scared?” Nora waggled menacing eyebrows. In the evening dark, the shadows crossing her face deepened the hollows of her eyes, lending her normally elfin features a ghoulish aspect.
“Only afraid that you’ll flay the skin off my arms like you did on that haunted hayride.” Dulcie plucked a sprig of straw from Nora’s pale blond curls. Huddled in the tractor-drawn wagon that had brought them to the barn, Nora had screamed like a six-year-old as zombies and masked men with chainsaws emerged from the woods and shambled behind in chase. Dulcie could still feel the fingernail gouges in the delicate flesh above her elbow.
Nora laughed. “This place is a blast. Why didn’t you bring your sister?”
Dulcie rubbed her hands along the sleeves of her cardigan, where the October chill seeped through to her skin. “Allie didn’t want to come and hang out with my stuffy old coworkers at some lame team-building thing.”
“Stuffy? Well, she may have a point. We’re not exactly the most with-it crowd–evidenced by the fact that the only term I can come up with is ‘with-it’.”
Dulcie slid off her glasses and used the edge of her cardigan to wipe a fine coating of dust from the lenses. “She had plans to go out with some friends tonight. Lord knows where, or what shady business they’re up to.”
The lineup inched forward, and Dulcie glanced at her coworkers, a mixture of staff from several departments at the head office of River’s Edge Adventure Gear. Alan McCarthy, the company’s vice president who had arranged the outing, waited at the front of the line.
Directly behind Alan, she spotted Rowan, his hands resting casually in the pockets of his fleece jacket while he chatted with copywriter Andy Newman. Normally she tried not to let her gaze linger on Rowan for too long, but she couldn’t resist the occasional glimpse at the strong lines of his profile and soft sweep of his blond hair.
Glancing away, she gave herself a silent scolding. At twenty-six, she was far too old to be caught in the throes of a secret crush. Especially when she’d barely spoken to the man in question in the nine months they’d worked two floors apart in the same building.
“My kids wouldn’t come, either,” Nora commiserated. “It’s for the best that they aren’t here to witness my embarrassing cowardice. It might scar them for life.”
Dulcie glanced back at her. “At least they’re at home with your husband, not roving the streets with their hoodlum friends.”
One edge of Nora’s mouth lifted. “You sound like a mom.”
“I’m the closest thing to a mom that Allie has right now. Someone has to worry about her.”
Nora’s hands settled on Dulcie’s shoulders again, but with a reassuring squeeze this time. “She’s seventeen. Rebellion is natural at that age. And, as her guardian, you have the pleasure of reining in that rebellion. But don’t fret so much. This isn’t big bad Toronto, it’s Donnington, Ontario’s most innocuous city. There’s nothing scarier here than this ridiculous haunted barn.”
“The shambling, grungy-haired, tobacco-reeking boy she hangs out with scares me more than anything lurking about here.” Dulcie heaved a sigh. “At her age, I was home every evening, usually studying or curled up in front of the TV. No parties or boyfriends. I never gave our mother a moment’s anxiety.”
“You don’t say,” Nora replied dryly.
Dulcie shot her a withering glance.
“It’s just that you’re a cautious, by-the-book sort of person. In a good way. Everyone appreciates how reliable you are.”
Boring and predictable, you mean. Dulcie opened her mouth to offer a rebuttal, but couldn’t think of one before the line ahead began to move and Nora nudged her forward.
Within a couple of minutes, Frankenstein’s monster lifted his moldy hand to direct them through the doorway into the barn. Dulcie entered ahead of Nora, her stomach tightening a little as she passed the threshold and headed into a darkened corridor. She felt Nora close behind, breathing raggedly, the toes of her shoes bumping Dulcie’s heels.
“Stay close to me,” Nora whispered, dread lacing her voice.
Dulcie folded her arms tight over her chest to avoid Nora’s clutching hands. She shuffled toward a corner dimly illuminated by blinking lights. Eerie moans echoed through the walls.
A figure leaned out from an alcove–a vampire baring his fangs–and Dulcie jolted. Nora gasped, while the teenaged girl behind them let out a startled shriek.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Dulcie muttered, walking onward while the vampire retreated behind a curtain.
Rounding the corner, with Nora still at her heels, she passed a series of mutilated corpses and skeletons suspended from hooks, and then entered a corridor lined with formal portraits of ghoulish half-decomposed subjects.
Nora bent close to a portrait of a woman wearing a black Victorian dress and hat. “Look at this one,” she said. “The eyes seem to follow you.”
Just then, the woman in the painting opened her mouth wide and screamed. Nora yelped and jumped back, splaying her hands over her face.
“Oh my God, Dulcie. This place is gonna give me a freakin’ heart attack.”
Dulcie gripped her elbow. “Come on. We’re halfway through.”
In the next room, in order to pass they had to push through a cluster of decapitated heads dangling from ropes, eerily aglow in sickly green light. Dulcie wrinkled her nose and shoved through the rubber props.
Emerging on the other side, she realized she’d lost track of her companion. She spun to look back, but a crush of teenagers in the narrow doorway blocked her view. “Nora?”
No response came, and to avoid being trampled she had to move forward into a pitch-black passage. Staring blindly, Dulcie pressed her hand to the rough planked wall. Whispers and nervous laughter echoed around her. It was all cheesy special effects and cheap scares, but she couldn’t help the frisson of nervous tension that ran down her spine as she stumbled through the dark, not knowing what might leap out at her at the next turn.
She took a step away from the wall and collided with a warm body. Hands closed around her upper arms and she jolted.
“Sorry. Are you all right?”
Dulcie froze, and then wavered on her feet. Rowan’s voice. Her pounding heart tripped over itself while his hands remained on her arms, steadying her. She could read in his tentative tone that he didn’t know who she was.
She couldn’t find her voice. Rowan Pearce stood inches from her, touching her. Heat flared from her skin under his fingers and rippled through her body. With her heart throbbing in her throat and her insides quaking, something came over her–an impulse too powerful to resist, a long-repressed compulsion unleashed in the cover of darkness.
Finding his elbow, in a single swift motion she slid her hand up the soft sleeve of his jacket and over the collar, touched his neck, and then traced the line of his jaw with her fingertips. Skimming her thumb across his lips to fix their location, she leaned in and pressed her mouth to his.
Excitement exploded inside her. His supple, warm lips tasted of the salty-sweet caramel popcorn she’d seen him eating during the wagon ride.
To her surprise and pleasure, Rowan didn’t pull away. His grip on her arms tightened a fraction as his mouth molded to hers and glided against her lips.
Though blind in the dark, Dulcie let her eyes flutter closed. The kiss lasted only a few seconds, but filled her senses with heat and longing.
Excited voices and giggles erupted from around the corner, just before a crush of bodies jostled Dulcie and Rowan apart. Shrieks filled the darkness. She stumbled sideways, dazed and disoriented, her hands flailing. The fingers of one hand scraped the wall while the other brushed against the people shuffling past. Rowan was gone.
She found her bearings when a sliver of light pierced the dark as a nearby door cracked open. The door opened further and she stumbled toward it, following a woman ahead of her onto the grass outside.
While the evening chill cooled her heated cheeks, Dulcie blinked and glanced around at the people scattered behind the barn. She didn’t see Rowan among them.
A hand closed over her shoulder and she whirled around.
Nora stared at her with reproach. “Where were you? I thought you were right in front of me.”
Dulcie cleared her dry, tight throat. “Lost my way for a bit.”
Shuddering, Nora hugged herself. “I didn’t like it in there. Too crowded. What did you think?”
“It was … fun. Kind of a rush,” Dulcie said. She still felt slightly dazed, as though she’d just woken from an intense and titillating dream.
“But would you do it again?”
She bit her lip to keep a grin from spreading over her face. Yeah, in a heartbeat.
I’m a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. Nothing gets my heart pumping like a good love story with absorbing emotion, plenty of passion, and an old-fashioned happy ending. That’s why I write romance, and I’m thrilled to share these stories with you. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, with my husband and three children.