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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

Featured Spooky Woods Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

 

 

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Yay! It’s HUNTED Release Day!

Special guest post by novelist Liz Long

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I’m so excited to have you be a part of my release day for HUNTED, Book 3 of the Donovan Circus Series! Sometimes it feels like I just released the first book, GIFTED, a few days ago; other times, it feels like more years than it’s actually been! 🙂 Thank you to the amazing bloggers, authors, and readers who have helped make this such an awesome release day. Also a special thanks to my cover designer, Kate at Dwell Design & Press for her amazing cover work! I hope you all find the third adventure as exciting as the first two – and perhaps much darker, as there are many underlying things bubbling to the surface, secrets coming unveiled, and a death that will shake the troupe in a terrible way. Read More

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HUNTED Cover Reveal by Liz Long

HuntedFBCover

Hi everyone! Thanks so much to those special authors and bloggers helping me with today’s cover reveal. I’m so excited to show off the new cover. It always makes the upcoming release a little more real for me, you know? Anyway, I hope you love it as much as I do. HUNTED is Book 3 of the Donovan Circus Series, with more adventure, romance, and chaos that will lead to murder. In case you haven’t read it, you can run away to the supernatural circus and start with Gifted for just 99 cents on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks! You can visit this page to learn more about the 3rd book in the series and what to expect – or worry about!

HUNTED Donovan Circus Cover

Back Cover Synopsis

Lucy Sullivan finally belongs with the gifted Donovan Circus. Members are finding their rhythm, even the new folks from the Grayson Circus who joined after the last attack. Lucy feels like a trusted leader who can win the gifted battles and prevent humans from discovering their existence.

When tragedy strikes camp, a distraught Sheffield sends Lucy and her gifted team to hunt down the enemy – Alex, a Chameleon with a wicked ability for war. He’s out for blood and won’t stop until Lucy and her friends are dead.

This time, it won’t be Lucy’s gift that is tested – it will be her morality. To save her circus, the price will be greater than she ever expected. This time, she will lose someone she loves. And it will change everything.

About Liz:

Liz Long, indie author

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media strategist includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

All titles, including the Donovan Circus Series, A Reaper Made, and Witch Hearts, are available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

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My Fun Friday Top 10 for 10/10

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Happy October 10! For the tenth day of the tenth month, the authors of The Society of YA Storytellers are sharing Top 10 lists on just about everything. Part of the fun of Fun Friday is that we get to twist the topic and make it our own. And I plan to do just that.

For this Fun Friday on 10/10, may I present my Top 10 favorite Fun Friday Storytellers posts of all time. Click on the post titles to read them for yourself!

10: “Creepy & Lovin’ It” by Liz Long 10/4/13

This post includes an excerpt from Witch Hearts. THE BEST excerpt, with my very favorite line…”please be paint.”

9. “Cover Love…Envy…Lust?” by LM Preston 10/30/13

LM passes along some great advice for book covers and shares some beautiful examples.

8. “Be Mine” by Melissa Pearl 2/14/14

For Valentine’s Day, Melissa Pearl shared a steamy first kiss from True Colors.

7. “Salute to Our Soldiers” by Quinn Loftis 9/15/13

Quinn’s touching tribute to those who have and still do serve to protect our freedom.

6: “Couples I Want to See Married” by Kasi Blake 6/6/14

Great list of epic love affairs from books and the screen, all early in their romances. Thought it was interesting what she said about Vampire Diaries books vs. show.

5. “YA Storytellers: Stories of Inspiration” by Suzy Turner 12/9/14

Suzy shares with her audience some of the many things that inspire her. From movies to nature, I think you’ll find some of her muses inspire you too.

4. “Top YA Monsters, in my opinion” by Christy Sloat 10/18/13

If you missed this one, now is the perfect time to take a look with Halloween sneaking up. Christy’s list is awesome, and may I point out that she is absolutely on her game. One book she mentioned is just now starting to gain big buzz, but she listed it in this post a year ago. She really knows her stuff.

3. “Are You Ready for Some Football (insert Hank Williams Jr. Voice)” by Quinn Loftis 1/31/14

Just before Superbowl Sunday, Quinn created this very simple and perfect post where she names which of her Grey Wolves would be on a football team and what position they’d play. Hutt, Hutt, Howl!

2. “A Supernatural This or That with Heather Hildenbrand” by Liz Long 5/9/14

Liz’s questions are structured in a way that turns the typical interview on its ear. When a question begins with “Let’s say you’re thrown into the Hunger Games…” you know you’re in for an entertaining read. Heather’s responses are hilarious. Then again, what else would you expect from someone who speaks in hashtags. 😉 Love you, ladies!

1. “*Blushes* or Yeah, I D-id” by Laura Elliott 3/28/14

Laura shares an embarrassing moment from her own life, then one from one of her characters. We can all relate, but what puts this in the number one spot for me is that her post included some words I’ll never forget. These are some of the most beautiful and insightful words I’ve ever read, “A perfect stranger’s kindness is usually what meets my embarrassment every time. I guess fast friends are formed in the intimacy of being vulnerable, being human. And for every time I’ve wanted to disappear when I’ve been embarrassed, I’ve been given a measure of magic too.”

 

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Cover Reveal: A Reaper Made by Liz Long

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I am so excited to share the cover of A REAPER MADE with you today from my good friend and incredible author Liz Long! In case you haven’t read the synopsis, you can learn more about what to expect from the upcoming NA Paranormal title (see below). Disclaimer: Yes, readers, this one is a New Adult novel, and will contain mature content so my younger readers may want to skip this one.

The book will be released on October 30th (just in time for Halloween, yippee!) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and KOBO.

Want to join in on the online release party? You could win all kinds of ebooks, swag, and maybe even a gift card or two. JOIN HERE!

Without further ado, here is the cover for A REAPER MADE.

 

reapermade

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Synopsis:

Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

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And just in case you’d like to see the full wrap for paperback, I’m more than happy to share that too because I LOVE the back! All cover art done by Liz’s brilliant BFF, Erica Dickson.

ReaperSpreadsm

About the Author:

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series, where superpowers meets the circus. Burned is the second adventure. Her standalone book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. All titles are available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback, Barnes & Noble for Nook, and iBooks.

Find Liz

Website I Facebook I Twitter I Amazon Author Page

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Fun Friday: Best of “Host a Storyteller”

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It’s Fun Friday again for The Society of YA Storytellers. This week’s theme is “Host a Storyteller”. I had the privilege of matching up authors this week. Since I stepped out this week to facilitate the matches, I thought I’d showcase them all!

Here’s my Best of “Host a Storyteller”:

Heather Hildenbrand tells Liz Long that she’d pick Stefan over Damon because “…I reallly don’t want to have to worry about whether my boyfriend killed anybody today. Seems kind of exhausting.”   >Read full post here

Christy Sloat shares a look at the Visitors Series on K.C. Blake’s blog. >Read full post

K.C. Blake gives a sneak peek at Warrior, Order of the Spirit Realm #3 coming this summer >Read full post

Liz Long admits that given the choice of facing Mordor (Lord of the Rings) or Death Eaters (Harry Potter), she’d chose Death Eaters because “that means I’m not being chased by Orcs.”  >Read full post

Catch up on all the Fun Friday posts, even ones from weeks past at http://yastorytellers.com/fun-fridays/

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