This is the post where I say farewell and wrap everything into a neat and tidy bow but I won’t do that. I can’t do that.
In the beginning I said I would only be making three installments of this mini series but that was only because I wasn’t sure how far I could go or how much interest this would garner.
There is still so much I need to read, so many authors I need to uncover, so many words my eyes need to gaze upon. So right now this might be the end but not for long. Haha, this is too melodramatic even for me. Let’s insert a cute gif to lighten things up.
Okayyyy! Here we go 😀
If you missed my last two posts here they are:
thank you so much for the support! I’m so happy with how this has kicked off and I’m glad a lot of you got some great recommendations out of these posts! That makes my horror obsessed heart SING.
Now here we are at the end. But you know what they say.
The end is just the beginning
Whether weaving family life and history into dark fiction or writing speculative Afrofuturism, American Book Award winner and Essence bestselling author Tananarive Due’s work is both riveting and enlightening.
In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Featuring an award-winning novella and fifteen stories—one of which has never been published before—Ghost Summer: Stories is sure to both haunt and delight.
Tananarive Due has a way of weaving both familial strife and ghost stories together effortlessly and it’s both intoxicating and horrifying. My favorite stories are Ghost Summer and The Knowing. The Knowing hits hard, too hard and Ghost Summer is the story of a young black boy who visits his grandparents house in Graceland with his father and sister one summer. You can only see ghosts during the summer which is his greatest wish until he finally and fatefully does one night.
The Knowing? Well, one woman knows the exact date and how you’ll die. This morbid magic power of hers has made her more than a bit crazy and she and her son have lived in more places than they can count.
This short story collection is heavy on the prose and although it’s based around summer can be read year round.
This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.
I haven’t read Interview with the Vampire in a long time but when I did read it I remember asking myself why I hadn’t done so long ago. It wasn’t my first Anne Rice novel and for that I kicked myself, This truly is one of her best and is what has cemented her as the prolific writer that she is. She introduced us to the fun and madly beautiful vampire Lestat whose insanity runs deep. In my opinion Rice is the one who started the beautiful vampire movement and honestly, who can blame her? There’s something alluring about eternal youth and feasting on blood to stave off death. If you’re looking for a creepy vampire read and don’t know where to begin, here you are.
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
One of my favorite books of this year, a retelling of a Brothers Grimm story made even darker still, The sisters in the manor are dying. Strange deaths made to look like like accidents. Annaleigh is the only one who sees them for what they are and she has more on her mind than silly balls and seeking a man to marry, no, she wants to solve the deaths before more of her sisters die. They say her family is cursed but that’s silly, curses aren’t real. Murderers are real. And obviously somebody is out to destroy her and her sisters and she needs to stop it before it’s too late.
You can read my review for this book here:
It’s really amazing and I can’t wait to see what Erin A. Craig writes next.
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results
You’re a ghost just living your best ghost life naked and chilling and an annoying family moves in and disturbs your peace, What makes it even better is that they have the nerve to act all scared when they get a glimpse or two of you or hear a creak here or there. Then they want to get all Ghost Busters. Damn BITCH CAN I PARANORMAL ACTIVITY IN PEACE?
In all seriousness this isn’t so much as a scary story as it is a tale of grief of family. We learn about the dead women that resided within the house’s walls and the current family who has come back to say farewell to the dead patriarch Richard Walker. Familial ties are never easy. They’re made harder when the dead are involved.
Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis—rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts—has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide.
Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance—before she destroys them all?
Simone St. James is one of my favorite authors and I want to thank my friend Nicole for putting me onto her. She has a distinct formula and I adore all of her work. The Haunting of Maddy Clare is her first however and the one that stands out most in my mind but believe me when I say that they’re all good and they will all scare you in their own special way. She also always includes some nice sexy times in her books as well so if you’re into that that’s always a plus.
I’m also very much looking forward to her new book coming out next year called The Sun Down Motel! cough cough, please give me a free copy. I’ll treat it well.
We’re at the end but are we really? Here are some books that I couldn’t fully feature but would have loved to. There are also SOOO man books that I have yet to read but they are of course on my long TBR list.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
- Thin Air by Michelle Paver
- The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
- Experimental Film by Gemma Files
- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
- The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
- Out by Natsuo Kirino
This has been really fun and I want to hear from all of YOU. What books have you read and what books do you recommend?
Please please please let me know in the comments and thanks so much for joining me for this! It’s been so much fun.