World's #1 Blog Platform designed for book bloggers, reviewers, writers - all Book Lovers. Your Reading Life. Redesigned.
A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy.
Edward P. Morgan
Finding the book you're looking for is THE thing in the book lovers' world, right? Now we make it easier on BookLikes.
Some updates were introduced to the search box on BookLikes. Now you can go to the author page from any place on BookLikes. You can also sort the books on the search page to find the titles with the highest rating or in the alphabetical order.
When searching books by a given author in the search box at the top, insert the author name and press enter to go to the search page where you'll view new sort options.
With the sorting hints you'll be able to find the most popular titles, books with the highest ratings and the book list in the alphabetical order.
All titles and author names are clickable, you're able to move to the author page any time from any place on BookLikes.
The author page also presents the book sorting options which will help you to scan the book list in the preferable order.
I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.
Welcome New Year, welcome new book goals! It's high time to pick your reading challenge for 2015 and share your reading plans. Now your Reading Challenge will be added to your blog on BookLikes.
To start your Reading Challenge go to Goodies / Reading Challenge tab and set your goal for this year. We've decided to go for 24 books in 2015, we start carefully but we can increase the number of books any time ;)
Once you start your reading challenge the link to your reading challenge page will be added to your blog's menu. Thanks to the new page your blog guest will find and look through your books read in 2015, view your rating and reviews. It's a great way to find new reads and recommendations, and for you it's another way to show your reading performance and share your reading lists.
Your reading challenge page presents your reading history for a given year with a full book list with links to your reviews on your blog.
You can personalize the title for your Reading Challenge link in Settings/Pages. Settings/Pages is the place where you can add your additional pages and/or links to your blog. You can add as many new pages as you wish, you can also decide which should go live and visible. You can add, edit and remove your additional pages any time in your Setting/Pages.
The option for new pages is perfect for About Me page, Contact page or links to your other webpages, and reading challenges of course.
For your running reading challenge you can also use a Reading Challenge widget (Goodies/Widgets) that can be added to your webpage on BookLikes or any other. To add the widget, please copy the code and paste it into the Widget Area in the customization tab (Settings/Blog->Customize).
Author edit / Book edit page
We've done two updates to the edit pages:
1. When adding a new book, please insert as many book details as you can find. When you insert a new book which has no ISBN or ASIN, please provide a link to a source; this will help the BookLikes Librarians to verify the book details and complete the missing data.
2. Now you can edit the author's name with one-word author name (e.g. Plato) or pseudonym. Please have in mind that this refers only to one-word names, if the author is listed under the name and surname both of them should be inserted in the appropriate fields.
Thank you all in participating in BookLikes' mystery book packages photo contest! It's time to announce the lucky winners!
The winners are:
Congratulations! We must say we've done a lot of reading by the cup of tea and at the kitchen table during the holiday season too :)
You can view all photos by inserting BookLikes Christmas in the search box and choosing Tags.
P.S. The mystery packages are nearly ready to go so get ready for the blind dates with new books :)
The only way you can truly get to know an author is through the trail of ink he leaves behind him.
Now you can discover which books are the most popular among BookLikes' book bloggers and which get the highest rating. The Author Page on BookLikes received new sorting options. Now you can look through the titles alphabetically, by popularity and by review ratings.
You can choose the new sorting option on the BookLikes' author page. Choose the book order to view titles:
The sorting is visible on main author page and all books page:
To view the reviews, click the book title. You can also sort the reviews by popularity, date of publication or view these added by your friends.
BookLikes Photo Contest - Post a Photo & Win Books
There are two days left to win the mystery boxes from the BookLikes team!
Each BookLikes member has a chance of winning a mysterious package filled up with books and gadgets from the BookLikes Team: we've prepared 2 book packages with Nice Books and Naught Books.
What to do to take part? Post a photo of you with your book/e-reader in a holiday / winter spirit on your BookLikes blog - make sure to add the BookLikes Christmas tag so we could find your photo set. Remember to write a note which book package would you like to get: Nice books or Naughty books. We'll pick 2 winners and the deadline is January 10, 2015. There's no much time left!
Share where are you reading and with whom?
In case you missed the best books lists we're reminding some of the Top Books Lists created by BookLikes book bloggers. Let's see which book were the most popular among BookLikes' book bloggers in 2014.
First the authors that each had two books on my list:
The Cormorant and Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory. This was my favorite author discovery of the year and The Cormorant my favorite book. Mr. Gregory is an author of stunning prose and originality. I will faithfully purchase whatever books he puts out for the rest of my life. (A big thank you goes out to Valancourt Books for this discovery!)... read more & see all top books
Not everything on this list was published this year. Not everything on this list will be to your liking. I'm not doing a Worst Of List this year, because who needs all that negativity, really? You can click on the title of each book to read my review. If you would like a rundown of all the books... read more & see all top books
Here are my top 12 non-fiction reads of 2014, covering health, politics and feminism... read more & see all top books
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend , Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa. To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation... read more & see all top books
I adore Paranormal, Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance. I adore it so much I feel like a a plate spinner at a middle school talent show just trying to keep up with all my series and the new good stuff. I know I missed a lot of great reads from new to me authors and ones for which I have long standing love. I hope to catch up next year. Here are my best Paranormal Romance Reads of 2014... read more & see all top books
In the world of Jessica, five star ratings are not given lightly. I'm lucky if I find one or two books a month that really blow me away, and make my "I'm going to shout love for this to the ends of the Earth" list. This year I devoured 200 books and, of those, only 29 made the cut. Out of those, I've chosen a few to highlight. Let's take a look, shall we?... read more & see all top books
I stopped at 10 and I tried to stay away from series because well that would have created a whole other problem as in a really, really long list. I read a lot of books in 2014 that I really, really loved. I started out thinking that I could make myself pick just one and in my mind one quickly became 5 and 2 books into this list 5 became 10. So this is where I make myself stop... read more & see all top books
So, in total for this year, I've read 168 books (maybe slightly more because there were some I didn't mark, but I know it was less than 200), which is way, way less than my total from 2012 (which was 365 books), and far less than the goal I set for myself this year (450)... read more & see all top books
You should never judge a book by its cover, but it happens. This year I bought lots of books with beautiful covers, but unfortunately only read few with covers that I would label as doable... read more & see all top books
I've been enjoying everyone's end of year summings up (in various fun forms) and thinking on making one of my own - and I couldn't quite come up with a way to rank anything. Which is I suppose what happens when you end up reading a variety of random things. Anyway, there's no order to this - except I have a particular fondness for the first book mentioned. History wins out this year, which isn't always the case... read more & see all top books
As I was going through my read book list, I realized that this year kind of sucked for reading for me. The few that I loved, I really really loved though, so I guess that is something. I did kind of cheat because I added Geek Love even though I'm not quite done. When you know, you know though... read more & see all top book
As I near my 200 book goal I want to share with you my top books of this past year. I've read many not so great books but have also found some new favorites. I also started listening to audiobooks, several of my favorites are because I listened to them. These are in no particular order (except maybe the first one). Enjoy... read more & see all top books
As it stands, it isn't easy to narrow 150 books down to a Top Ten list. And so I chose to re-format my list just a little bit. I also needed to account for the fact that I like Young Adult novels differently than I like Adult and non-YA novels--Yes, there is a difference in how I perceive a book dependent on target audience. Without further ado, and in no particular order... read more & see all top books
Keep in mind that by “favorite”, I mean this list is very subjective. In looking back, these are the ones that I enjoyed the most even though I read a lot of very good books this year... read more & see all favorite books
I read about 50 books for 2014, which is a huge drop from my typical year (almost by half!). Pregnancy, and the resulting baby, are to blame, and while I'm a little disappointed, the aforementioned baby -- our Little Reader -- is so frickin' cute, I kind of can't care. I still walked away with some stellar reads for 2014, and once again, had a challenging time identifying the top ten of this year. In the end, I picked the books I still talk about obsessively, that I purchased (for myself and/or others), and that I want to reread or force others to read... read more & see all top books
Part 1: My 2014 reading year was much better than my 2013 reading year. Not in volume, because I read about the same number of books. But In quality. In 2013 I had a massive reading slump and was down 75% in my total reading for the year as compared to 2012. Nothing seemed to work for me past a few strong installments in long running series and couple of new-to-authors that came out strong. In contrast, 2014 started out strong... read more & see all top books
Part 2: So as I look over my reads this year and compare them to the physical books I've amassed over the last 30-ish years on my shelves, I am struck by the difference in page lengths. Which in a round-about way brings me to this segment of my Best of 2014.The Overachievers are the two authors whose works this year was so good that I had to include two of their books in my top ten. A rarity for me... read more & see all top books
You may also want to have a look at:
If we haven't included you top list, share it or add a link to your blog post in the comments box below.
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.
Favorite book authors become readers' best friends - we get back to them in happy and hard times, we appreciate their words and love their works. Now you can show your best authors with Author Widget on your blog.
New Author Widget is available in the Goodies tab. Select the author by inserting his/her name or author's ID, add widget's title and choose the number of books. Your author widget is ready.
If the author is a BookLikes Author, the widget will also reveal author's blog on BookLikes.
It's a great way of presenting your favorite writers and supporting authors whose works you love reading.
To add widget to your BookLikes blog copy the widget code and paste it in the personalization tab in the Widget Area. Remember to Save in the personalization tab.
The book pop up has just receive a new book information: a series name. Now when browsing the books on Dashboard or on other reader's shelves you'll get a note whether the book is a part of the series and which position in series it holds.
Where have you been reading this holiday? Where are you reading now?
Do you remember about BookLikes photo contest? Each BookLikes member has a chance of winning a mysterious package filled up with books and gadgets from the BookLikes Team: we've prepared 2 book packages with Nice Books and Naught Books.
What to do to take part? It's easy. Post a photo of you with your book/e-reader in a holiday / winter spirit on your BookLikes blog - make sure to add the BookLikes Christmas tag so we could find your photo set.
Remember to write a note which book package would you like to get: Nice books or Naughty books. We'll pick 2 winners and the deadline is January 10, 2015.
Ready, Set, Go! If you need some photo inspirations, here are BookLikes' shots.
Reading happens under the Christmas tree.
Reading happens by the tea.
Reading happens when the moon is rising.
Christmas is the most magical time of year. You can also feel the magic on BookLikes and switch on the winter mode on your Dashboard with the Snowman icon - click it to make it snow :-)
Due to Christmas time we're postponing Thursday release until the first day of January. But don't go far -- we do have a special holiday treat for you :-)
We've prepared two surprise packages filled up with books and gadgets: one is called Nice Books, and the other Naught Books -- this is a blind Christmas book date so you have to trust us and rely on our literary taste :-)
So, who wants them?
If you're nodding your head and saying loud "Yes!" you're in!
This is what you have to do: post a photo of you with your book/e-reader in a holiday spirit on your BookLikes blog - make sure to add the BookLikes Christmas tag so we could find your photo set.
And remember to write a note which book package would you like to get: Nice books or Naughty books. Be creative: dress up, climb the tree, build a cozy reading room igloo, make a ski reading slide... go crazy!
Can't wait to see your Christmas book inspired photos! We'll pick 2 winners and the deadline is January 10, 2015.
And this is a cozy one took by one of BookLikes' teammates :-)
May this holiday season sparkle and shine. Let’s share the magic with each other this entire season and in the new year. May all your wishes and dreams come true and may you feel this happiness all year round. Best wishes to all of you!
Finding a right reading lists couldn't be easier with the list search and tags. Warning: this can profoundly affect your Planning to read shelf. But who cares, the best bookshelf is the full bookshelf!
The list of Reading lists on BookLikes is growing and to help you find a perfect literary guide we've added possibility to tag a list and search a list with the book category, tag, the list name and the book title.
When you're creating a reading list, you can add a book genre or genres and tag it to help other book readers find it. If you've already created some reading lists don't worry - you can add categories and tags any time. Just edit your lists and add appropriate categories. Make sure that the category and tags correspond to the reading list character and books attached.
Tags and categories will be visible on the main Reading Lists page and when you enter a given list. Tags and categories are clickable.
The categories and tags will help you find a reading list within a genres you enjoy. You can search through the lists with the book category, tag name or the list name.
If you'd like to check which list your favorite book has been added to, search with the book title.
Now you can customize the new releases added by the BookLikes team. If you notice a new event on your Dashboard added by BookLikes, you can go to a release page and customize the book release page.
Check the book releases by day. You can check new books by day in the Book Release Calendar - go to a calendar view and click the day to see the new release list.
There isn't a better gift than a book. Oh wait, there is! A free book. Now the Giveaway section has received new sorting options: book categories, dates and number of copies which will help you successfully track your perfect book match.
How to choose the right book? Look through the Giveaways on BookLikes and use one or all of our new sort options: choose your favorite genre, check which Giveaways end soon and which book is the most accessible with the biggest number of copies.
Don't forget to choose a book format and check the availability for your country. To make the best fit select all sort options:
Search the author with the author's ID
If you've noticed that a book is missing an author or is assigned to a wrong author, and you know where the right author's page is, you can easily make the change. Now in the book edit mode you can search the author via author's ID. Author's ID is a number at the end of the address of the author's page, e.g.: http://booklikes.com/suzanne-collins/author,4193498 - author's ID is 4193498. Thanks to IDs you won't have a problem with duplicate author names.
BookLikes Librarians has just received new tools.
The group of BookLikes Librarians has received tools to combine book editions and merge author pages. If you notice that some books and authors should be combined, let us know via the Report option on the book/author pages.
Book lovers have different personalities just like ordinary people. We find it hard to choose only one as it also depends on the book(s) we're reading. For the most of the time we'll go for a mix of Polygamist+Extrovert+Altruist. Some books, however, make us monogamist introverts. And a very very tiny percentage of titles change us into neurotic readers.
How about you? Share your personalities in the comment section below.
Sharing is caring and supporting. Now you can share the news, images, texts and reviews you enjoyed on your social media straight from your BookLikes Dashboard.
The posts on your Dashboard has just received a new icon on the left - Share. Now if you enjoyed the text, you can share it with your friends on your social media. All you have to do is to click the share icon and choose the social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, LinkedIn.
You can adjust the post/tweet/pin and add your comment.
You can use the standard social media or the extended. To be able to share you should be logged into your social media, no synchronization is required.
Discussion posts and notifications
We've updated the way of reaching the discussion post from your notification. Now when you receive a notification that a person added a new post/reply in the discussion thread, you'll be moved directly to this post/reply.
headline photo source
Your hands are shaking, your eyes are wide open, your voice is breaking, heart is beating like crazy. Your eyes have sparkles and body shivers. You just cant help it, you are bursting with excitement because of new book release! Oh yes, we know the feeling and we love it! Now we can live this moment every day thanks to book release calendar. Ladies and Gents, book events are open on BookLikes!
The Book Release Calendar
Book release calendar will not only let you keep track of new books, it's also a great opportunity to share a next book in a favorite series and the long awaited new titles. Book release calendar is a beginning, more book events types will be added soon.
The entrance to Book Events is via the upper menu. The main Book Events page presents the calendar where you can add and view recently added titles, the view can be also switched to the list view. The book releases presented in the calendar are adjusted to your language version.
If there's more than one event listed for a given day, you can view them all and visit the release pages one by one.
With the book release calendar you'll never miss a new book coming out. When you join a book even/book release, you'll get a book alert and a notification reminder about the release.
To add a new book event/book release select the release date and insert all necessary book data - if the book isn't in the book catalog, please add a new book entry and make a second search. You can also take care for the visual effect of the book release page.
The Book Release Page
The book release page is much more than just a book page of the upcoming title. Apart form the book information and reviews it is a custom made showcase -- each book release page can be personalized.
The personalization means you can design the book release page and make it look special by adding your own background image, changing the headline colors and fonts, adding the social media widgets, using your own domain, and creating a discussion.
Make sure that the book release page looks perfectly by using the preview mode.
Recommend A Book
Book events are the best when you can share them with others. Use the book release calendar to recommend book titles to your friends.
When you create a book release event you can send an invitation via an email (insert email addresses separated with commas), via BookLikes notifications (only your Followers & Followings) and via social media (Facebook invite).
You can also recommend a book and invite your friends to join the book release alert when browsing the book release calendar. Go to the releases list and click Invite to view all invite options.
We're thankful for meeting and working with so awesome people and book lovers as you guys! Thank you for being wish us. Enjoy your holiday :-)
We’ve received many questions about BookLikes mobile app and the answer to this request is always the same: Yes, of course, there will be a mobile app. Definitely. Since the question is still present in BookLikes community I’ve decided to present you several challenges we’re dealing with and what we’re working on right now to resolve your doubts and to assure you that it’s something really worth waiting for.
BookLikes is an unusual company, our development isn’t just based on my and my team’s concept, it is an ongoing process which is also based on BookLikes’ members requests and suggestions. We’re not only creating BookLikes for book lover but with book lovers, with all of you guys. Knowing your opinion is something extremely valuable for me and for the BookLikes team, it has showed us many new paths and introduced great solutions that we’ve implemented. You feedback, options and requests have also guided us in what direction we should be developing in the near future.
The notion near future is crucial here, our regular members know that we release a new feature -- a new functionality available for all BookLikes members every week -- on Thursdays. Those special Thursdays became our traditions and we definitely don’t want to give up on them, however, the weekly releases have a big impact on the process of development and maintenance of the mobile app.
What we care about the most is the quality and the functionality. Those two characteristics are our guidelines for building BookLikes and cannot be ignored when we refer to BookLikes mobile app. The thing is, we still have many awesome ideas to show, numerous exciting releases to launch -- I’m talking about unique, innovative and special releases, not seen on any other book-social sites -- but if we decide to introduce a mobile app now, at this very stage, it would mean we should stop or at best limit the Thursday releases.
For us the most important question isn’t Will BookLikes introduce the mobile app? (the answer is Yes) but rather What BookLikes mobile apps will include? The process of preparing apps for various systems (Android, Windows, IOS) is a necessity as well as including all BookLikes functionalities and this results in major changes for BookLikes.
With an active mobile app we won’t be able to launch new feature every Thursday and update the app on the weekly bases as it requires extra time and resources which we cannot spare at this very moment. We would have to freeze the process of BookLikes development in order to adjust all BookLikes functions to the mobile application because the maintenance of the functional, high quality app with weekly updates would be extremely difficult. This would result in holding back the development of new options and improvements on BookLikes, and in consequence this would also mean introducing the incomplete and not fully functional app. It’s definitely not something we want to set up.
The app should be like a gift with an exciting inside and a breathtaking wrapping. Both of these elements need to be complete in order to present a full package of options to make BookLikes mobile experience total, fun and enjoyable.
We’re super excited about the features we want to introduce during the upcoming Thursdays and I think you’ll be also thrilled about the things we’ve prepared. For this reason I was looking for the best solution for BookLikes that would allow us to develop BookLikes, launch new weekly releases and present the mobile friendly design, and I figured out that the best solution would be a responsive design.
This way, we’ll be able to give you the Thursday candies and provide a webpage perfectly adjusted to your mobile devices. The implementation of the responsive design won’t happen overnight but it will be executed much faster than an app, plus nor the BookLikes team, nor you - the BookLikes members - will have to resign from our weekly surprises and new options for BookLikes community. And they are really worth a wait.
The BookLikes mobile app will be of course introduced, and we promise that it will be much more than just a blogging/book-cataloguing app. Just wait and see :-)
What are two easy ways to keep on reading and reviewing? Keep a record of your reading progress and review after reading. These two solution will keep you in a bookish mood, motivate to finish up the book, think it over and express your opinion. Then you're ready for another literary round. The completion of these stages is easier with two new BookLikes' features.
One: Update your reading progress
Firstly, we've updated the +Shelf Advanced window with a new option, now when you add a book to your Currently reading shelf, the total number of pages will be filled up according to the book edition. To keep record of your progress, just fill up the page you're on and keep updated when reading. When the edition is an ebook, the total number is changed into 100%. We're working on the solution for audiobooks.
The total number of pages will be filled up when you use advanced +Shelf options and Update option on Dashboard.
Two: Review after reading
Secondly, when your click Finished! under your book in the Currently reading spot on your Dashboard, you'll see a new option Save and write a review which will save the rating and reading dates, and move you to a writing window. Plus, the finished reading date will be filled up.
The Author Page
The author page on BookLikes has just received a new option: Add a new book. Now when you won't find a book in the book catalog, you can add it directly on the author's page. The author will be selected automatically in the add a new book form.
Three: Synchronize and stay active
The BL->GR Sync
The BL->GR synchronization received an update. To synchronize your accounts, go to Settings/Import and click Connect. Remember to be logged into GR in the second tab and to authorize the app (unless it's already been authorized).
The synchronization includes the following actions: adding books, adding/editing ratings, adding/editing shelves, adding/editing reviews. Once you do one of those things on BookLikes, they will be published on your BookLikes webpage and on your Goodreads profile.
Remember that the synchronization is possible due to the ISBN numbers and that some delays may occur.
Four: Import and share
The GR Import
The import from Goodreads received an update - now the import process includes the private notes. To import your GR collection export your books on GR to a CSV file, go to your BookLikes Settings/Import, select the file and hit Import. We'll import your books, ratings, reviews, private notes, shelves and dates. The updated option works only for new imports.
In case you missed BookLikes bookmarks winners, we remind you the winning stories in their full length. Dear winners, one more time congratulations! Your gifts are on their way :-)
Dear BookLikers, should we make another contest?
Darkness consumes me.
I welcome the freedom now.
Silence in the night.
The Spirit of the Season I was driving back to the office after having dealt with a couple of would be Satanists up at the Hallowed Hollow boneyard and feeling pretty good about having locked them in the Hamperdamp family mausoleum. Old Man Hamperdamp had been a bastard when he was alive. Death hadn’t mellowed him and he hated being disturbed. If their hearts held out till morning, someone would be along to let them out eventually. And DeRigor Mortis, the funeral director, had paid in cash, no questions asked. Life was good.
I was cruising along, keeping an eye out for any sugar crazed costumed midgets who might dart out into the street and put a damper on my evening, and a costly dent in my grille when something in my peripheral vision caught my attention. I pulled over and slowly scanned the street. The house I had just passed was dark, the only undecorated one on the street. Nothing odd there. So, what was making the hair on the back of my neck do the wave? A group of kids passed by the dark house and moved on to the next. About 20 yards behind them, a lone boy in pirate gear, maybe 9 years old was fishing around in his bag of booty and dawdling along. Suddenly, the porchlight at the darkened house came on. The boy finished fiddling with candy and began angling towards the house. And a cold hand grabbed my guts. I pulled a fast u-turn, parked in front of the joint, and got out of the car to intercept the kid.
The boy saw me and stopped short. Smart boy. I pointed up at the house and shook my head.
“Forget that one, buddy. Light’s are on a timer, y’know?”
He glanced at the house, then back at me and nodded slowly.
I pulled a wad of cash out of my pocket, peeled off a couple of twenties, wadded them up and tossed them into his bag as I headed up the walk to the house.
“Happy Halloween, kid. Now go catch up with the others, okay?”
He took off like a shot, calling “Thanks, mister!” over his shoulder.
Quietly, I stepped up to the front door, rang the bell and sidestepped to the left. One beat too fast, the door opened.
“Ahoy, what a fine pir…” was all he got out before I had him by the throat.
I knew why this place set off my alarms the minute I got a good look at the home owner.
“Sonovavich…Bobby Lee Gagney! How’s tricks, you little freak?”
Bobby Lee was a child molestor and registered sex offender who had gotten out of prison about a month ago. The house had belonged to his mother.
He struggled to break my grip, squeaking something that sounded like “lawyer” and “sue”.
“Bobby, you know the damn rules! No lights. No decorations. And where is your warning sign?”
A quick dart of his eyes pointed out where the official “Sex Offender Warning” sign lay on the table next to the door.
I dragged his sorry butt out of the house and down to my car. A quick rap of his head against the roof put him down for the count and I tossed him into the backseat. I started the car and headed for the Boggman place. Every town has a haunted house, a place everyone avoids. Ours was the Boggman house. The place has been empty for over 75 years. Sort of. Bobby was just coming around when I parked in front of the old Gothic pile. I dragged him out by his collar and hauled him to the front door. Bobby babbled the whole way.
“This is kidnapping! I’m gonna have you arrested! I didn’t do nothing! I’m sick! I’m gonna sue!”
I gave him a good shake and pointed at the front door.
“Shut up and listen! Here’s the deal: I dare you to knock on that door. Do that and you’re outta here. You don’t and we go visit your parole officer. Choose!”
He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was used to it and let it go.
“Seriously? I just knock and I can split?”
“Three times, yes.”
A creepy little smile crept across his face as he turned to the door and rapped his knuckles three times. He started giggling and whispered “Trick or trea…..” when the door swung open in well oiled silence, the shadows yanked him in, and the door swung shut once more. I lit a smoke as I waited. I had only taken two drags when Bobby screamed. He stopped before I finished my third. I heard the door open behind me and turned to see a figure in the doorway, formed by writhing shadows. A pair of glowing orange eyes watched me from beneath the edge of a tattered hood as a wide, sharp toothed smile that would have made the Joker green with envy split it’s otherwise featureless black face.
“Good evening, Mr. Chase.”
“Same to you, Mr. Boggman.”
“Please, call me Bogart. It amuses me and is close enough to my given name.”
“No problem. I gotta tell you, I’m a bit surprised to find you doing this sort of thing.”
“Why, Mr. Chase? I deal in fear. Some say I am Fear itself. Frightening children to teach them caution is my reputation. Giving terror back to those who find pleasure in spreading it is a higher calling, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Works for me, Bogart.”
“Excellent! Now, since you have brought me such a thoughtful treat, tradition demands I give you one.”
He reached into his own substance and withdrew a jingling bag the size of a melon and handed it to me.
“I cross your palm with clean silver, Mr. Chase, for the gift of one black soul. Now I must bid you good night, for Mr. Gagney has a great deal more screaming to do. Happy Halloween, Mr. Chase.”
“Happy Halloween, Bogart.”
He shut the door as I headed for my car. I hefted Bogart’s gift and smiled. They say you should never make deals with the Devil, but no one ever said you couldn’t bargain with the Bogeyman.