Our reading the holidays series wouldn't be complete without including some ghost, goblins and of course vampires for Halloween.
Looking for a ghostly tale or two? Glen Hirshberg's The Two Sams ($23 Signed) is filled with them.
In the title story of this unique collection, a husband struggles with the grief and confusion of losing two children, and forms an odd bond with the infant spectrals that visit him in the night. "Dancing Men" depicts one of the creepiest rites of passage in recent memory, when a boy visits his deranged grandfather in the New Mexico desert. In "Mr. Dark's Carnival," a college professor confronts his own dark places in the form of a mysterious haunted house steeped in the folklore of grisly badlands justice. "Struwwelpeter" introduces us to a brilliant, treacherous adolescent whose violent tendencies and reckless mischief reach a sinister pinnacle as Halloween descends on a rundown, Pacific Northwest fishing village. Tormented by his guilty conscience, a young man plumbs the depths of atonement as he and his favorite cousin commune with the almighty Hawaiian surf in "Shipwreck Beach."
We have signed books from spooky writers:
Alexandra Sokoloff: The Unseen (St Martins $25 Signed)
Sokoloff presents a new supernatural thriller.
Two Duke University psychology professors, Laurel MacDonald and Brendan Cody, stumble on suppressed findings of an inquiry into poltergeist activity conducted under the auspices of Duke's Rhine parapsychology lab nearly half a century earlier. All the participants appear to have died, disappeared or, in the case of Laurel's enfeebled uncle, gone mad. Laurel and Brendan corral two students and camp out at spooky Folger House....also The Price ($7) and The Harrowing ($7)
Sarah Langan: Audrey's Door (Harper $8 Signed)
Built on the Upper West Side, the elegant Breviary claims a regal history. But despite 14B's astonishingly low rental price, the recent tragedy within its walls has frightened away all potential tenants . . . except for Audrey Lucas.
No stranger to tragedy at thirty-two-a survivor of a fatherless childhood and a mother's hopeless dementia- Audrey is obsessively determined to make her own way in a city that often strangles the weak. But is it something otherworldly or Audrey's own increasing instability that's to blame for the dark visions that haunt her . . . and for the voice that demands that she build a door? A door it would be true madness to open . . . also the Keeper ($7) and The Missing ($7)
Rhodi Hawk: A Twisted Ladder ($15 Signed) This is a debut Southern gothic thriller, introducing Dr. Madeleine LeBlanc, a staff psychologist at New Orleans's Tulane University with a special interest in cognitive schizophrenia. Maddy's father, "Daddy Blank," suffers from the disease, as does her brother, Marc, whose suicide leads Maddy, who fears she may also be schizophrenic after psychic visits from a "devil-child," to probe her family's past. Tulane neurologist Ethan Manderleigh provides support as terrible secrets surface about the family sugarcane plantation.
Sarah Pinborough: Torchwood: Into The Silence ($12 Signed)
The body in the church hall is very definitely dead. It has been sliced open with surgical precision, its organs exposed, and its vocal cords are gone. It is as if they were never there or they've been dissolved! With the Welsh amateur Operatic Contest getting under way, music is filling the churches and concert halls of Cardiff. The competition has attracted the finest Welsh talent to the city, but it has also drawn something else - there are stories of a metallic creature hiding in the shadows. Torchwood is on its tail, but it's moving too fast for them to track it down! This new threat requires a new tactic, so Ianto Jones is joining a male voice choir... Featuring Captain Jack Harkness as played by John Barrowman, with Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones as played by Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd, in the hit series created by Russell T. Davies for BBC Television.
Feeding Ground (Leisure $7.99 Signed) is Pinborough's sequel to her 2007 British Fantasy Award-nominated novel Breeding Ground. Set in post-apocalyptic London, Feeding Ground combines chilling science fiction narrative with visceral horror in a way that is simultaneously unflinching yet emotionally satisfying. Publishers Weekly has compared Pinborough to Bentley Little and Dean Koontz.
"This is one of those rare horror novels that hits the ground running on page one and doesn't break stride once all the way through.... Breeding Ground is a wonderfully entertaining and shriek-inspiring novel beautifully wrought by an author with an unflinching eye and a steady hand." ---Creature Feature
Or if you'd like a mystery:
Jennie Bentley's Spackled and Spooked ($7)
A mystery surfaces behind the walls in the new Do-It-Yourself series.
Avery Baker and her boyfriend, Derek Ellis, are flipping a seriously stigmatized house rumored to have ghosts. Soon they'll have even bigger problems-and this renovation project might haunt them forever.
Laura Childs' Tragic Magic ($25)
Carmela, owner of Memory Mine scrapbook shop, and her best friend, owner of Juju Voodoo, have a big project. Melody Mayfeldt is converting an old mansion in the Faubourg-Marigny district into an unforgettable haunted house for those who flock to New Orleans for a creepy fix. She needs Carmela's crafty touch to make the Medusa Manor come to life in time for the upcoming horror convention.
But Melody takes her house haunting too seriously-especially when her flaming body comes crashing through a tower window to 'welcome' them to the job. Sure there's been an increased trend in murder lately, but someone specifically wanted Carmela's client very dead. Carmela's in some deep gumbo again and needs to crop out a killer from the throngs of people flocking to New Orleans. Then maybe it won't be so hard living in the Big Easy.
John Connolly's The Gates ($24 Signed)
Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween, which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe, a gap through which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out....
Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?
Bursting with imagination and impossible to put down, The Gates is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It is about a quirky and eccentric boy, who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.In this wonderfully strange and brilliant novel, John Connolly manages to re-create the magical and scary world of childhood that we've all left behind but so love to visit. And for those of you who thought you knew everything you could about particle physics and the universe, think again. This novel makes anything seem possible.
Isis Crawford's Catered Halloween ($7)
A fun well-plotted fifth culinary cozy to feature Bernadette and Libby Simmons (after 2007's A Catered Valentine's Day), the sisters cater a fundraiser for the Longely, N.Y., volunteer firemen that includes a high-tech haunted house, formerly the Peabody School. In a room evoking the setting of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum, the severed head that rolls down some stairs and lands at Libby's feet proves to be real. The victim, Amethyst Applegate, had been a student years earlier at the Peabody School, where another student at the time, Bessie Osgood, died under suspicious circumstances. Is Bessie's ghost still haunting the place? Aided by their father, Sean, the town's retired police chief, Bernie and Libby discover that Amethyst, a notorious home wrecker, had no lack of enemies. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume.
Kerry greenwood's Trick or Treat ($15)
When a cut-price franchise bakery opens its doors just down the street from Earthly Delights and crowds flock to purchase the bread, Corinna Chapman is understandably nervous. Meanwhile, the gorgeous Daniel's old friend Georgiana Hope has temporarily set up residence in his house, and it doesn't take Corinna long to work out that she's tall, blonde, gorgeous and up to something. Daniel is making excuses and Corinna is worried about his absences and also the strange outbreak of madness which seems to be centered on Lonsdale Street.
Carolyn Hart's new series Ghost at Work ($8)
First in a new series. Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at solving mysteries. Why should a little thing like her death change anything? In fact, being dead gives her more of an opportunity to be on top of events. Bailey Ruth is delighted that her unique position as a ghost makes it possible for her to lend a helping hand, sometimes seen and sometimes not. And if anybody needs a little help, it's Kathleen, the pastor's wife. There's a dead man on her porch, and once the body is discovered, the pastor is sure to become a suspect.
Uncharitable people might call it meddling, but Bailey Ruth knows Kathleen needs her help! As a member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth goes back to earth to extricate Kathleen from a dire situation. If Bailey Ruth has to bend a few rules to help Kathleen save her family, Wiggins, her fussbudget supervisor, will make sure it all turns out right in the end. Don't miss Merry, Merry Ghost ($16 signed on Nov 5)
Leslie Meier's Trick or Treat Murder ($7)
Haunted-house parties and ghostly galas...grinning pumpkins, mayhem and murder. It's going to be one heck of a Halloween for Lucy Stone and Tinker's Cove...It's October in Maine, and everyone in Tinker's Cove is preparing for the annual Halloween festival. While Lucy Stone is whipping up orange-frosted cupcakes, recycling tutus for her daughters' Halloween costumes, helping her son with his pre-teen rebellion, and breast-feeding her brand-new baby, an arsonist is loose in Tinker's Cove. When the latest fire claims the life of the owner of the town's oldest house, arson turns into murder...While the townsfolk work to transform a dilapidated mansion into a haunted house for the All-Ghouls festival, the hunt for the culprit heats up. Trick-or-treat turns deadly as a little digging in all the wrong places puts Lucy too close to a shocking discovery that could send all her best-laid plans up in smoke...
Terri Thayer's Inked Up ($7)
Halloween is scarier than ever in Aldenville, Pennsylvania, when professional rubber stamper April Buchert discovers a dead body in a "haunted" corn maze. The police suspect the victim's husband murdered her, but April knew the couple, and she and the Stamping Sisters are determined to find the real killer before he catches another in his murderous motif.
So curl up with a spooky read this evening and enjoy!