Of all the holidays, I think Halloween is my very favorite. I love the magical, fantastical element of it. I love ghost stories, spooky Gothic tales, and even the odd paranormal romance here and there. It's no surprise the first book I wrote begins in October, just before Halloween. I think I might have started writing it at that time of year too. Fall is an inspiring time to me. It's a time of change - the leaves on the trees change color, the nights grow cooler, and the sky becomes gloomy, foreshadowing the shorter days to come. The long winter's night is coming.
I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favorite spooky books with you. I'm not crazy about horror, but I do love me some creepy suspense. If you need any reading recommendations this Halloween, pull up a chair.
One of my all time favorites is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you aren't familiar with it, it's the story of a young woman who's hired as a governess and goes to live and work in an old mansion called Thornfield. Thornfield is creepy. Her boss, Mr. Rochester, is creepy. His secret in the attic is even creepier, but Jane is absolutely fearless. She's a fabulous character.
I recently read Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly about a girl who faces an Internet stalker. It gave me the creeps so bad I almost had to put it down. Stalkers are a special kind of awful. Yikes!
Another book I've read within the last year is Fingers in the Mist by O'dell Hutchison about a girl who goes to live with her dad and finds herself in a creepsville cult. Thanks a lot, Dad!! You could have warned her. Geesh!
Another author who seems to have a special brand of creepy is Neil Gaiman. Try The Graveyard Book about a boy raised by ghosts in a cemetery. It's a beautiful little story. That and The Ocean at the End of the Lane have a wonderful, fantastical element I love reading. Not terrifying, but weird, scary, and even touching in a fun way. Gaiman is simply enchanting.
For a creature feature, I recommend The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. These aren't your usual vampire/werewolf type monsters and they aren't out to kill everyone, but they are supernatural beings in trouble. I bet you never read a book about either, have you? Put two star-crossed, supernatural creatures together in turn of the century New York City, and what's not to like? It's a unique tale with a wonderful historical flavor.
So there's a few options for your spooky reading enjoyment. Grab a warm, fuzzy throw blanket, your favorite hot beverage, a great book, and enjoy your Halloween!