October Fright: Thirteen Frightfully Fun Future Releases

AKernelOctober

I can’t believe the month is almost over! I’ve had a lot of fun picking up creepy reads this month and there are still a few I haven’t gotten to yet; hopefully, I’ll be able to pick them up soon. October isn’t the only month when you can read a horror novel and in this post I’ll be listing future releases that have caught my eye. Please note that a couple of these don’t have official covers just yet and there are also a few that don’t have official release dates either. So if the creepy tales you read in October aren’t enough, be sure to add these to your TBR. Covers linked to Goodreads.

1. The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert

Release Date: January 5, 2016

For fans of Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, and Edward Gorey, a beguiling and disarming debut novel from an award-winning British author about a mysterious group of children who appear to a disfigured recluse and his country doctor,and the startling revelations their behavior evokes.

In a sprawling estate, willfully secluded, lives Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins. Morgan spends his days in quiet study, avoiding his reflection in mirrors and the lake at the end of his garden. One day, two children, Moira and David, appear. Morgan takes them in, giving them free reign of the mansion he shares with his housekeeper Engel. Then more children begin to show up.

Dr. Crane, the town physician and Morgan’s lone tether to the outside world, is as taken with the children as Morgan, and begins to spend more time in Morgan’s library. But the children behave strangely. They show a prescient understanding of Morgan’s past, and their bizarre discoveries in the mansion attics grow increasingly disturbing. Every day the children seem to disappear into the hidden rooms of the estate, and perhaps, into the hidden corners of Morgan’s mind.

2. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Release Date: January 26, 2016

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

3. Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Release Date: January 26, 2016

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

4. After the Woods by Kim Savage

Release Date: February 23, 2016

An emotionally-charged debut novel about the deadly lies hidden beneath a destructive friendship.

One year ago, two best friends, Liv and Julia, were attacked in the woods by a paroled predator. In an attempt to save Liv, Julia was left behind while Liv escaped. After spending three days in the woods trying to escape her abductor, Julia was rescued. She only remembers what happened in the woods in terrifying flashbacks. Now, on the eve of the anniversary of the attack, a body is found in the woods. This discovery rips open fresh wounds between the two girls as the truth about Liv’s role in the kidnapping is revealed.

5. The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

Release Date: March 8, 2016

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

6. Relic by Gretchen McNeil

Release Date: March 8, 2016

For Annie Kramer, the summer before college is bittersweet—both a last hurrah of freedom and the last days she’ll spend with her boyfriend, Jack, before they head off to different colleges. So she and her friends plan one final adventure: a houseboating trip on Shasta Lake, complete with booze, romance . . . and an off-limits exploration of the notorious Bull Valley Mine.

The legends of mysterious lights and missing persons on Shasta Lake have been a staple of sleepovers and campouts since Annie was a kid. Full of decrepit bridges that lead to nowhere, railroad tunnels that disappear into the mountains, and terrifying stories of unexplained deaths and bodies that were never recovered, Bull Valley Mine is notorious and frightening—perfect for an epic conclusion to their high school lives.

The trip is fun and light—at first. But when a deranged stranger stumbles upon their campsite, spouting terrifying warnings and pleas for help, it’s clear that everyone is in danger. And when their exploration of the mine goes horribly wrong, Annie and her friends quickly discover that the menace of Bull Valley Mine doesn’t stay at Shasta Lake—it follows them home.

As one by one her friends fall victim to this mysterious and violent force, Annie must do whatever it takes to discover the ancient secrets of the mine and save her friends . . . if she’s not already too late.

7. A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

Release Date: March 15, 2016

Five gifted teenagers are selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace was sealed after the aristocrats fled there. No one has set foot in it for over two centuries.

Now, in the present day, the teenagers enter with cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art security, scientists and chaperones. And then a brutal accident occurs. No way out. Caught in the dark.

They will have to fight to survive. But are they really alone in the depths?

8. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Release Date: April 19, 2016

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the face of her demons–and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie haven’t talked about what they saw that summer night since it happened. After the trial Callie drifted and Tessa moved and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa’s had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette–to Wyatt Stokes sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the only other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer–and this time, it won’t be as easy to run away.

9. The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

10. Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Release Date: September 2016

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

11. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Release Date: October 2016

Bruja magic runs in her blood, but a curse to get rid of it may cost Alex more than her power…

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. So while most girls celebrate their Sweet 16s, Alex prepares for Death Day – the most important day in a bruja’s life, and her only opportunity to rid herself of magic.

But the curse she performs during the ceremony backfires and her family vanishes, forcing Alex to absorb all the magic of her family line. Left alone, Alex seeks help from Nova, a brujo who covets power for himself. To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

12. Black Birds of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Release Date: 2016

A debut novel about a teenage girl who discovers the new boy next door is a harbinger of death, and who must find a way to survive in a town destined for destruction.

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. Harbingers settle in places where tragedy is about to strike, then feed on the energy of the dying. Then, they leave. Off to the next doomed place. No one wants a family of harbingers of death as neighbors, but that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Angie Dovage gets when Reece Fernandez moves in next door.

Angie knows the mysterious boy is more than he appears, but can’t imagine that his presence heralds a tragedy that will devastate her small community. But her fears run deeper than Reece’s inevitable departure, because where harbingers of death go, grotesque, ruined creatures called Beekeepers follow. And where Beekeepers go, fear and chaos and death follows.

Angie wants to protect everyone she cares about, but stopping the Beekeepers involves a choice that will claim her life or Reece’s soul. She will learn the price of both.

13. How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Release Date: 2016

Pitched as The Ghost and Mrs. Muir meets The Craft, it follows Samantha Mather, who has moved to Salem with her stepmother 300 years after her family hanged witches there, to find she is ostracized by the witch descendants at school, as she unravels the lost secrets of the hangings and her family.

Are any of these books on your TBR? Do you have any future horror/paranormal books you’re looking forward to? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments!

October Fright: If You Like…Then Try

AKernelOctober

Typically I’d be posting a discussion feature today, but the week turned out to be really busy and I didn’t have enough to time to write one. Thankfully, I have another October Fright post up and ready. For those who enjoy horror movies and televisions shows, but don’t know where to start when it comes to books, here’s a little “If you like…then try” post with a few suggestions. Whether it be zombies, serial killers, or demonic entities, there’s something for everyone. And if you have your own suggestion based on a scary movies or T.V. shows, be sure to share in the comments!

If you like...

October Fright: Favorite Horror Recommendations

AKernelOctober

If you’re not sure where to get started this October, but you want to pick up some kind of horror, then this list is for you. Here’s some of my very favorite horror reads that are sure to put the tingling in spine-tingling. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Often thought of as the first science-fiction novel, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also quite frightening. After all, it isn’t every day you piece together body parts from a bunch of dead people and bring a living, breathing, quite grotesque creature to life.

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel…”

2. Anything by Edgar Allen Poe

Master Poe is the king of horror. Whenever I’m looking for a quick scare on Halloween, I always reach for a short story by him. My personal favorite is the Tall-Tale Heart.

“You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded–with what caution–with what foresight–with what dissimulation I went to work!

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.”

3. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

It’s no secret that I love zombies. Can you have a favorite scenario for the end of the world? Wait, that’s really weird, forget I said that. I don’t know if it’s the thrills or the idea of having to fight for your life (with preferably a katana), but I just love zombies. The Benny Imura series is my favorite zombie series to date.

“You see the fence as something keeping the zoms out. I don’t. I see it as the thing that pens us in. We’re trapped here. Trapped isn’t ‘alive.’ Trapped isn’t ‘safe.’ And it isn’t ‘free.'”

4. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

For those who are more into slasher movies than zombies or monsters, I’d reach for this thriller about a teen convinced the only way he can outrun the fate his serial killer father set out from him is to help the police hunt down murderers like his father. You can read my review of this one here.

“Fear can keep you alive. The trick is not to let it overwhelm you. Not to let it rule you. If you’re afraid, that’s the universe trying to tell you something. Get away. Don’t run; don’t panic. Just pick up and walk out, calm as you please. Panic makes you stupid.”

5. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Ghosts and witches. This book is perfect for those looking for essential Halloween elements, but would rather not have too many nightmares afterwards. Bonus: it has a really fun, contentious romance which I absolutely loved.

“If I was lying to anyone, it was to myself. I wanted nothing to do with ghost hunting or rumors of haunting, but the apparition, its reaching hand and gasping mouth, was never far from my thoughts.”

6. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon-Smith

This book is crazy. When Alex is convicted of murder, he’s sent to Furnace Penitentiary, but he soon discovers this is no ordinary prison. There are so many twists and turns and most terrifying of all are the creatures who roam the prison in gas masks who are not quite human.

“I’d been so set on an escape that was now impossible, and the only form of freedom left to me was death.”

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Another classic that’s perfect for Halloween. Oscar Wilde is one of the most brilliant writers to have ever lived. In this novel a man finds immortality and drowns himself in the pleasures of this world, but soon discovers he can’t outrun the corruption he’s reaped for himself.

“Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.”

8. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

This was a surprise favorite from last year’s October. It is filled with plenty of heebeegeebee (is that the right spelling?) moments that had me putting it down several times muttering “No, no, no, uh uh, no way, no, no.” It’s never a good idea to let kids send out letters by balloon where anyone can write back to them.

“We were running fast, but not fast enough; the sound was getting closer. We leapt over decaying trees and tor through thorn and bushes. The sound was just behind of now.”

Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite horror books to recommend for Halloween?

October Fright: Spooky TBR Books

AKernelOctober

I realize that I probably won’t get through all of these books this month because of time constraints and also because sometimes it takes forever for certain library holds to come in, but I’m going to do my very best to pick up as many of these titles as I can. A couple of these have been out for a while, but the majority were just recently released. There’s also one that I’m not actually sure is horror, but I’ve seen it on a couple of lists, so I assume it is. I guess I’ll find out. I’m also listing two books that won’t be released until later this month, but I’m still hoping I’ll get to pick them up. Blurbs are from Goodreads and covers are linked to Goodreads as well.

Books I’m Looking Forward to Picking Up This October:

1. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

“For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, the New Hampshire College Prep program is the chance of a lifetime. Except that when Dan arrives, he finds that the usual summer housing has been closed, forcing students to stay in the crumbling Brookline Dorm—formerly a psychiatric hospital. As Dan and his new friends Abby and Jordan start exploring Brookline’s twisty halls and hidden basement, they uncover disturbing secrets about what really went on here . . . secrets that link Dan and his friends to the asylum’s dark past. Because Brookline was no ordinary mental hospital, and there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.”

2. The Fall by Bethany Griffin

“She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.”

3. The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

“Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Stella came back. Jeanie never did.

Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush—until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.

Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.

She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore.”

4. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Various

“A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each story draws from a mix of literature, film, television, or even music to offer something new and fresh and unsettling. Even better? After you’ve teased out each tale’s references, satisfy your curiosity at the end, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here. These are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror, to the supernatural, to unnerving, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.”

5. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.

But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.

Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.

A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.

6. The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

7. The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

“Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…

…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.

But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist. Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?

The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.

The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.”

8. Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

“In an abandoned house, the ghosts gather. They argue, they laugh, and they tell their stories. Some tell their own stories, some tell stories they have heard elsewhere. Some of them are true, some are not. But each tale draws you closer.

One by one, the storytellers depart, until suddenly it’s just you and the narrator, alone in the dark…”

 

9. A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

“Pram Bellamy is special–she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.”

10. Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.

‘When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.’

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.”

11. Daughter Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

“When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.”

12. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

“Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.”

13. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

“Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.”

Intrigued by any of these titles? Have you read any of these? Do you have plans to pick up any horror books this October? Have any horror recommendations for me? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.