10 Cringe-worthy Reads That’ll Make you Scream (with delight)
Vampires, Witches, and Ghosts…oh my!! Are you looking forward to Halloween as much as I am? Beyond consuming copious amounts of fun-size chocolate (don’t judge me, it’s Halloween), I always love to get in the spirit by reading a creepy story. For the blog today, I’ve pulled together some of my new favorites as well as a few of my usual October re-reads. Enjoy.
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
A jaw-dropping mystery about a woman whose life is turned upside down when she finds out that her husband is a serial killer. She and her kids must go into hiding to protect themselves from the cyber trolls that think she knew about his sinister hobby all along.
Lots of creepy cyberspace stalking, an abundance of interesting characters/suspects, and a soccer mom turned survivalist (reminiscent of Terminator’s Sarah Connor), make me love this new series from one of my all-time favorite authors. The next book in the series, Killman Creek, comes out December 12, 2017.
Frenzy by Casey Bond
Vampires verses zombies in an unsettling dystopia where there are more secrets than you can shake a stake at. Frenzy is the first book in the completed series of the same name.
I listened to these on Audible and found myself shouting out loud at almost every chapter end. Relentless thrills, unforeseen twists (how does she dream up this stuff), and drama that makes you cry one moment and laugh the next make Frenzy a must read.
The Vampire Wish by Michelle Madow
Original twist on the usual vampire stories. The vampire kingdom is separated from our own in a magically protected valley. A girl is kidnapped and pulled into the vampire kingdom to spend the rest of her days as a human slave. A chance encounter, changes her circumstances and brings her closer to her only wish, to become a vampire so that she can escape. The Vampire Wish is the first book in the Dark World series. The fifth book, The Vampire War, is slated to release in December/January.
Reminded me so much of my own Midnight Guardian series with the idea of a world of baddies separated from our world by only a thin layer of magic. A great meshing of contemporary and old world. This fresh take on vampires is a new favorite.
Dark & Deadly Things by Kelly Martin
Things go really, really wrong on the Dark & Deadly Things reality ghosthunter TV show’s live episode. The lead ghosthunter’s daughter and the last remaining survivor of the doomed episode pair up to solve the mystery of what really happened that night. Dark & Deadly Things is the first book of the completed Dark Things series.
Fans of Supernatural and The Conjuring/Annabelle movies will love this ghosthunting series. Don’t read it when home alone (trust me). Seriously creepy and imaginative, Dark & Deadly Things is the perfect Halloween read.
Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert
A loveable witch in a cozy, small town meets a stranger looking for some rare trees in the woods (so they say). In the search, the young witch uncovers and rights the wrongs of the past. Halfway Dead is the first book in the Halfway Witchy series. Halfway Drowned is the recently released fourth book in the series.
Forget Glinda and Elphaba, Carlie is my favorite witch. Ever. There I said it. Girl is powerful and smart, while sometimes vulnerable, and she makes waffles. Amazing descriptions make you feel like you are really there with her. Carlie plus a perfect mix of spooky adventure, cozy mystery, and comedy makes this a well-loved book.
Witch Hearts by Liz Long
Before I met Carlie, I met Ruby. Ruby isn’t all-in when it comes to the creepiness, but she is always there for her friends. When her roommate is killed by something that is apparently hunting witches, Ruby sets off to unravel the mystery. Witch Hearts is a standalone novel, even though I’ve personally begged the author for a second one. Many times.
One of my all-time favorite creepy mysteries, Witch Hearts delivers. Ruby is a very realistic character, so well-developed that I felt like I knew her. I found myself forgetting to breath during the suspenseful parts, and the mystery wraps around your brain and has you thinking of it long after you’ve left the page. Always a favorite re-read for October.
Bait by Kasi Blake
It’s not Bay-Lee’s fault that she is classified as “bait”, the lowest cadet level, at the Van Helsing School. Everyone has to start at the bottom. Secrets abound in this great, paranormal coming-of-age story. Bait is the first book in the Order of Spirit Realm complete series.
Fast action, the Van Helsing connection, and Nick and Bay-Lee’s dramatic relationship had me from the start. A monster mash-up with a strong female lead makes Bait a Halloween tradition.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Haunting prose about a boy that grows up in a cemetery filled with ghosts. My recommendation, don’t read it. Well, no, read it, but then also listen to the audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman. Neil’s voice brings an all new dimension to the entrancing story. One of the most well-worn paperbacks in my personal library, The Graveyard Book is perhaps my favorite book of all time.
Grave Peril (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
I absolutely adore the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, which I first picked up on recommendation of another one of my favorite authors, Charlaine Harris. As part of my own Halloween tradition, every October, I make it a point to listen to a Dresden Files book narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This year, I chose the audiobook for Grave Peril, remembering its super creepy villain, the Nightmare, and its equally creepy spell that wrapped ghostly barbed wire around its victims. More Charlaine Harris Recommendations (always good)
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Coyote skinwalker Mercedes Thompson is tough. She had to be, being raised by werewolves. The Mercedes Thompson series is one of my most loved. Each book is an intense, action-packed mystery wrought with shifter testosterone, faerie magic, and snarky Mercedes. Moon Called is the first book in the ongoing series.
Those are my top 10 for this year. Have any more to add? Do it in the comments below. As for the creepiest one of my books, check out Shadows Rising.