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October 24, 2022
By PW Staff

In this month’s thematic roundup of BookLife titles, we feature horror stories, spooky mysteries, and supernatural tales. Want to see your book featured? Check out the Indie Spotlight calendar at booklife.com/indiespotlight.


The Ash Gardeners

J. Ember Hintz

ISBN 978-1-958602-96-6

Author statement:The Ash Gardeners is a romantic supernatural suspense novel inspired by Sumerian and Hawai'ian afterlife mythology. I’ve always been drawn to gothic narratives about the darkness within—from The Picture of Dorian Gray to Frankenstein to Wuthering Heights to Rebecca. Those tales live rent-free in my brain, right next to my favorite bodice-ripper romances and my obsessions with ghost stories, supernatural, and speculative fiction.”


Beneath the Surface

Tara Marlow

ISBN 978-0-645-03906-1

Author statement: “She’s clinging to her mantra: ‘Finish high school. Turn eighteen. Freedom.’ Since landing in Sydney, her recurring nightmares are coming hard and fast. A red suitcase. Thorns. A phone number she can’t remember. And blood. Way too much blood. What does it all mean? Beneath the Surface is a suspense novel set in Sydney, Australia. Inspired by a dream, I was eager to write the dream down, thinking it would make for a great scene in a novel. Eighteen hours later, I was still writing. After 10 rewrites over five years, Grace’s heartbreaking yet inspiring story was published in 2021.”


The Black Hen

Ryan Kurr

ISBN 978-1-73472-457-8

Author statement: “After the success of the first two novels in the Esoteric Alchemy series, Sage, Smoke & Fire and Powdered Oak & Seven Metals, I closed out the series with the third and final installment, The Black Hen. As the future of both humans and witches becomes uncertain, the coven must use all they’ve learned to survive, while the one who is pure of heart must conjure the mystifying black hen—the key to finding the ‘rafkolite’ and satisfying their prophesied goal. What was haunted becomes strength, what was old becomes new, and a world comes full circle.”


Chasing Shadows: Genesis

Zachariah Jones

ASIN B0B6TQ5RLG

Author statement: “I have always been fascinated with the unexplained and the things that give us chills. I used some of my own life experiences to inspire the ghosts within Chasing Shadows: Genesis, the first title in a trilogy. The book transports readers 100 years into the past in hopes of solving a murder and delivers a few chills along the way. In 1924, Sarah O’Connell, a socialite and spiritualist, is brutally murdered. After receiving an anonymous letter, Jarek Videni, a young intuitive from New York City, travels to the American Midwest to help solve the case. He learns quickly that there is not a single suspect in the case because everyone in the house is a suspect—even the spirits.”


Co-Exist: Rise of the Zombies

Cyra King

ISBN 978-6299712718

Author statement: “What if zombies were sentient? What started out as a short story has blossomed into not only a novel but an epic journey of vivid characters that live in my head.”

 

In Defense of the Grim Reaper

Riya Aarini

ISBN 978-1-956496-21-5

Author statement: “This book is a collection of humorous essays told from the perspective of the grim reaper. The grim reaper has had a bad reputation all along. This book emerged when I toyed with the idea of giving death a humorous twist.”

 

The Flayed One

L.A. Detwiler

ASIN B08XW82XJC

Author statement: “This book started with my desire to write a terrifying creature horror that would make people afraid of the woods. At 17, Mia Rose Ellis is haunted by a tragic summer and painful secrets. Seeking refuge in the forest behind her house, however, she finds two things that change everything: a rotten corpse and an archaic journal filled with horrifying tales.”


Frightful Friday

Denise Jaden

ISBN 978-1-989218-14-3

Author statement: “I’m a big fan of autumn and Halloween, but to be honest, I’m a bit of a chicken, like my main character, Tabby. Every year, I drive by a haunted house at the end of my street, and my husband and son try to convince me to go through it. I wanted to write a story that was scary, but not too scary, for people like me to enjoy, and cozy mystery seemed like the perfect genre to do that! In this third standalone novel in the Tabitha Chase Days of the Week Mysteries, there’s an upset at the Harvest Festival, a Fright Night fundraiser with a deadly twist, and a realtor-turned-sleuth caught in a feud between the two groups.”


Healing House

Nicole Plumridge

ASIN B08X64LRL3

Author statement: “I used to live in a house where things went bump in the night. To this day I cannot tell if it was ‘haunted’ or if it was the overactive imagination of a 14-year-old with a head full of stories in a big, old American house. Either way, my love of the paranormal, my intrigue with ghosts, and my romanticism of life and spirituality culminated in the pages of this book, Healing House. The novel follows our heroine, Sophie, as she leaves her established life and stable career in London for a fresh start. She flees her old life in an attempt to shrug off painful memories and lingering sadness left by the death of her fiancé. A remote cottage by the sea seems the perfect place for her to lick her wounds. Tranquility is replaced with terror. And harmony? All she feels is mounting horror the moment she steps into her new humble abode.”

 

Hell Spring

Isaac Thorne

ISBN 978-1-938271-53-3

Author statement: “In the twilight of March 21, 1955, eight people take cover in their local general store while a thundering torrent and flash flooding threatens life and livelihood alike. The tiny band of survivors is forced to confront themselves and each other when a peculiar stranger with a famous face tries to pick them off one by one. This novel was partially inspired by my experiences with devastating flooding in middle Tennessee in 2010. In particular, I wanted to write something that featured the double threat of catastrophic weather and a killer antagonist who feeds on psychological trauma.”


Howl of the Ice

Christian Raymond

ASIN B09TRRRXLD

Author statement: "Atop a remote frozen lake, a young teen pursues his missing angler grandpa down through ice fishing hole portals leading to uncanny alternative dimensions. As a kid in Northern Michigan, I once stumbled upon a seemingly abandoned ice fishing shanty town on a frozen over lake. It was the most unusual of ghost towns, complete with the threat of eerie moans and groans from contracting lake ice at my feet. Such were the roots for Howl of Ice, combined with the eccentric ice fisher people who committed to such unique seasonal winter habitats."


Mistaken Legacy (Legends on the Rise Novel Series)

Leigh Rose

ISBN 978-1-79232-956-2

Author statement: “This is the first book in my Legends on the Rise series. Juliette Reiss-Marston’s life seems like a fairytale come true. Her college sweetheart, William Fourier, just announced their engagement. Even with the good news, Juliette’s suspicions mount about their future together when an overseas letter arrives from a mysterious cousin she hasn’t met. The origins of my story developed over time. I wanted to combine literary fiction with mystery and suspense, so I chose a series that could be read over time by many generations to come. The books in the series integrate sinister humor, trickery, love, and revenge. I hope they will keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats anticipating the unforeseeable.”



Scaredy Bat and the Frozen Vampires

Marina J. Bowman

ISBN 978-1-950341-31-3

Author Statement: "In this supernatural mystery series, a tween vampire detective and her loyal friends must overcome their fears to save the day. One of the main goals of the Scaredy Bat series is to show young readers that it’s okay to be afraid, and help them face their fears in a fun way."


Tales of Nightmares

Edited by Loren Rhoads

ISBN 978-1-73518-767-9

Author statement: “There’s something magical about that sense of terror that grips you in the middle of sleep. Your heart pounds, you can’t catch your breath, and you know the monster is seconds away from grabbing you. While this anthology occasionally records the odd hallucination or vision from beyond, you’ll find no dream sequences here. The Wily Writers is an international online collective of genre writers: horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance. In 2022, they are publishing a series of horror anthologies, each assembled by a different author. Tales of Nightmares is the second of six anthologies.”

 

Toothless

Theodore Thomas

ASIN B0B88DPJWK

Author statement: Toothless is a LitRPG horror novel about four individuals who must navigate through a glitched game system that reads their minds and knows their fears. It’s a hilarious attempt at horror that will keep you engaged and thrilled if you enjoy LitRPG, crunchy stats, crazy player stunts, and a glitched game system.”

 

Wine from the Emerald Tree

Louise Shelley

ISBN 978-1-911569-97-8

Author statement: “This book is based on an actual murder that took place in the South Wales Valleys in 1862. A young woman was found with her head practically severed from her body, and the verdict was suicide. The ghost of the victim contacts a young woman in the present day, who becomes embroiled in solving the case.”

 

The Woman Underwater

Penny Goetjen

ISBN 978-1-73314-394-3

Author statement: “Victoria’s husband never returned home at the end of a workday. And no one seems to know what happened to him. The few tenuous leads the police had are now ice-cold. He simply vanished on a field trip with the private boarding school where he taught behind stone walls—the same school their son now attends. But someone has to know what happened. The storylines in my novels are often the result of asking myself ‘what if’ in response to a breaking news story I twist to suit my purposes.”

 

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