Indie Halloween Reads | SELF-esteem

A good Halloween read can mean many things. Some readers are looking for scares that will keep them up at night, while others want to feel the coziness of autumn in a more lighthearted romp. Evil can come in the form of zombies and monsters, or you can root for well-meaning witches and ghosts. LJ’s SELF-e Select runs the gamut for a well-rounded literary experience this October.

At Hell’s Gates. Laughing Crow. 2016. 273p. ed. by James Crawford & Monique Happy. ebk. ISBN N/A. HORROR
Showcasing the talents of various horror writers, this collection has a strong bent toward zombie fiction. Fans of the genre are given more insight into their favorite books as indie authors Shana Festa (“Time of Death” series), Stephen Kozeniewski (Braineater Jones), and Stevie Kopas (“Breadwinner” trilogy), among others, expand on the frights of their already established universes.

Barker, J.D. Forsaken. Hampton Creek. (Shadow Cove Saga, Bk. 1). 2014. 390p. ebk. ISBN N/A. HORROR
Novelist Thad McAlister is in for a terrifying awakening when he realizes that his stories aren’t fictional at all. The diary that inspired him and a secret deal made by his wife culminate into an unbridled evil that puts the McAlisters in jeopardy.

Chase, Annabel. Curse the Day. CreateSpace: Amazon. (Spellbound Paranormal, Bk.1). Jan. 2017. 290p. ebk. ISBN N/A. Mys
This first book in a series of six mysteries introduces Emma Hart, a lawyer-turned-witch who lands in the town of Spellbound, where the supernatural has been forced to remain for centuries. To say that Emma has a lot of adjustments to make is an understatement, what with her new powers, a recent murder, and a cute vampire who’s caught her eye.

Crawford, C.N. The Witching Elm. CreateSpace: Amazon. (Memento Mori, Bk. 1). 2014. 332p. ebk. ISBN N/A. FANTASY
The fantastical realm of Maremount and real-life Boston collide when a group of magic-obsessed teenagers perform a séance and bring a spectral army to the gates of their boarding school. With the help of a young sorcerer thrown through the divide and a deep dive into their city’s history, they must put an end to the chaos and save both worlds from destruction.

Cross, Katie. Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. Antebellum. (Network, Bk. 1). 2014. 314p. ebk. ISBN 9780991531912. FANTASY
Bianca Monroe is out for vengeance against the witch who placed a deadly curse upon her: the headmistress of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. With time running out, she enrolls in the school to face her adversary head-on, leading to dark spells, sinister plots, and Bianca developing an impressive will to survive. The nearly all-female cast makes for a refreshing change to the fantasy genre.

Finn, K.C. The Book of Shade. CreateSpace: Amazon. (Shadeborn, Bk. 1). 2014. 522p. ebk. ISBN N/A. FANTASY
Determined to have a successful first year at college, Lily Coltrane joins the campus’s Illustrious Minds Literary Society, which includes monthly visits to the mystifying Theatre Imaginique. Lily is quickly drawn into the carnival-like atmosphere, determined to unravel the troupe’s mysteries and figure out why owner Lemarick Novel shows such an interest in her.

Fox, Angie. Southern Spirits. Angie Fox. (Southern Ghost Hunter, Bk. 1). 2015. 256p. ebk ISBN 9781939661203. Mys
Verity Long is suddenly able to see ghosts after upturning the seemingly innocuous contents of an antique vase. The first in an expansive series, this cozy mystery follows Verity as she puts her ability to use at a haunted estate full of restless spirits—a home that just happens to be owned by Ellis Wydell, brother to her ex and no fan of Verity’s.

Waldram, Matthew. Monsters of Elsewhere. CreateSpace: Amazon. 2014. 598p. ebk ISBN N/A. FANTASY
Henry Whistler has long forgotten his childhood adventure involving the land of Elsewhere—that is until his fiancée goes missing. He’s then pulled back into the world where surreal creatures roam and a monster king is set on invasion in a narrative reminiscent of Neil Gaiman.

Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.

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