We Who Burn is out NOW!

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Happy Sunday! Can you start to feel that crisp autumn breeze in the air?

Whether you’ve spent your morning lazily sleeping in or getting your chores done, one thing you need to do today is get your copy of We Who Burn, which is out right this very minute!

Petra Freyrsdótter can raise an entire village from the dead with her magic—so why can’t she bring her lover back to life?

Petra has spent the last two years trying to resurrect Orrus, the man she loves. And even though she’s a powerful necromancer, nothing works, and Orrus is perpetually stuck as a listless shade at her side while she searches all of Aelamor for a way to restore him. 
But when Petra gets caught by a priest for the God of Truth and Light—an order that burns necromancers at the stake—instead of killing her, he presents her with a strange gambit: If she can retrieve a blade that was stolen from his order, the priest will not only let her live, but will also reveal what he knows about how she can fully resurrect Orrus.
Although making a deal with a burned brother isn’t a good idea, Petra is desperate and out of options. Apart from saving her own life, she must do what she can to fulfill her promise to Orrus so they can be reunited in the world of the living.
When Petra finally tracks down Caspar, the thief who stole the blade, she can’t help but feel attracted to and intrigued by the handsome stranger whose hatred for the order is as strong as her own. 
Everything falls apart, however, when Petra and her companions are captured by the mad priests who serve the God of Truth and Light and they discover the secret of the blade and the vile ritual the order intends to use it for.
Now, Petra and Caspar must work together to keep the blade out of the priests’ clutches and bring the entire order to its knees before it’s too late. And she must be willing to risk everything—including her chance to be with Orrus again—if she wants to make sure the horrible future the order has planned can never come to light.

Get your copy of We Who Burn for only $4.99 today!

New releases, updates, and more!

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I hope everyone’s been doing well given the circumstances.

Last month in July, it was my distinct pleasure to have my short story, “Precipitation” published in The Sirens Call 50th issue! If you’d like to read it, along with many other wonderful short stories, you can download a free copy here.

In other news, my urban fantasy novel, The Witch & the Wolfwood is going to be getting a cover soon, and I am beyond excited! This will be my first book with publisher Filles Vertes (FVP), and I’m looking forward to doing a cover reveal soon. This title, featuring smart-aleck private eye Helena Birch, will be available in April 2021, hopefully in time for an in-person return to JordanCon here in Atlanta.

Last year I had an idea for a story pop into my head, and it was so in depth that I plotted the book in about an hour and wrote it in a month and a half. Now, that very same book is coming out in just a few days! 

We Who Burn is a dark/paranormal fantasy novel about a necromancer trying to resurrect her lost love while being hunted by a witch-burning order with a world-destroying scheme in their sights. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery, a kick-ass female protagonist, and a little bit of romance, then pre-order a copy of We Who Burn now! (You don’t even have to wait that long!)

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Until next time, stay safe!

The Witch & the Wolfwood

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Coming soon, in 2020!

Mercury in Retrograde Audiobook and other updates!

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Hello and Happy Halloween! I have a ton of updates with a little something for just about everyone.

Big news for the A Shot in the Dark series!

First of all, I am beyond pleased to announce that as of just a few days ago, the Mercury in Retrograde audiobook went LIVE on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!

I am so excited for everyone to hear it because my audiobook producer, Amanda Bell, did a fantastic job and really breathed life into her representation of my characters.

Secondly, as Halloween is right around the corner, and since it’s one of my favorite holidays out of the year (I mean really, we should always celebrate when mosquitos die amirite), I’m doing a mini-sale!
Both Mercury in Retrograde and book two in my “A Shot in the Dark” series, Grand Cross, will be discounted to just $2.99!
And even better news in that series is that I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year and getting to work on book three, Opposition! Soon, you’ll learn the truth of the orachal trade in Sol and discover how Aralyn and company are going to get out of their latest scrape without pissing off half the galaxy. (That last part is, admittedly, not Aralyn’s strong suit.)

A little something for the fantasy readers…

And, if you’re a fairy tale lover, then you’re going to adore some of the anthologies I’ve got coming out with one of my publishers! Right now, Beyond Neverland, a Peter Pan retelling featuring my short story, “Never Say Goodbye,” and Beyond the Woods, a Little Red Riding Hood retelling featuring my short story, “Wolf’s Bane,” are available for purchase and pre-order on Amazon, respectively.
You’ll be able to find out what happened after Wendy left Neverland and what happens when Red grows up and confronts Big Bad!
Seriously, you will not want to miss these anthologies!

Conventions

I recently attended the first ever year of MultiverseCon here in Atlanta, GA, and it was honestly amazing. You would never have known it was a first year convention seeing as things went so smoothly.
I got to meet one of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire, and get her autograph on some books, as well as get some amazing advice from her and Cat Rambo, the former two-term SFWA president (and prolific short story teller).
There were several big time indie publishers there, fantastic authors galore, and many, many more awesome things (like Strongbad, what?!). They also raised funds for RAICES.
I plan on going back next year and hope to see many of you there!

And for the romance lovers…

A friend of mine recently released her first ever romance novel, In Too Deep! It’s a sweet office romance guaranteed to make you swoon.
It just came out October 28, so make sure you grab your copy!

If you want to win a free copy of Mercury in Retrograde on audiobook, follow me on Twitter and Facebook (@MeretheWalther). The winner will be announced December 1, 2019!

That’s all the updates I have for now, but I will have excited news coming up soon!

Happy Halloween!

Cross Faded is out NOW!

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The last thing Ezra Ashford expected to see in his apartment is a woman in medieval armor hunting a scarab the size of a Great Dane. But being an addict can do terrible things to the brain, and while he’s no stranger to hallucinations, this seems a little too real to be just in his head.
Despite the woman’s warnings for him to forget everything he’s seen, Ezra’s once tepid existence is quickly overwhelmed by bizarre monsters. From the siren in his local bar to the fly-faced man packing fish at his day job, he can’t seem to stop seeing these creatures everywhere. Ezra can’t tell if he’s burned out or if he’s going crazy like his mother did years before.
And doing what comes naturally to him—getting high to forget it all—isn’t working either. Ezra soon finds himself in a turf war between two rival dealers that lands him directly in police crosshairs, wanted for arson and murder.
The harder Ezra tries to ignore his problems, the more abysmal things become. And the threat grows substantially graver once he finds out that an ancient monster, Bandon, has taken a sudden and irrevocable interest in him; and that all the others he’s taken a liking to have disappeared to parts unknown, never heard from again.
After a lifetime of running from his problems and chasing down his feelings with every new high, Ezra feels powerless to stop his downward spiral out of control. Lost in a world he feels rejected him and plagued by monsters that may or may not be in his head, Ezra must try to find out what’s happening before it’s too late and his personal demons end up consuming him completely.

Cross Faded is the first of one of my new urban fantasy series, and just came out on May 4! You can get your ebook copy at Amazon for only $2.99.

Earth Matters—Or At Least It Should

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This Earth Day, celebrate the release of Earth Matters, a coming CrazyInk anthology with a great cause!

I am stoked to have contributed to this anthology, which features stories by a bunch of talented, award-winning and best-selling authors telling their sweet, deep, and occasionally dark tales all about Mother Earth!

You’ll get to read my story, “The Gaia Hypothesis,” and travel alongside Isaiah Donager as he searches out work in exchange for oxygen in the dystopian deserts of a post-apocalyptic world.

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You can pre-order it for only $2.99!

This will be e-book only (because trees), and limited edition, so it won’t be around forever.

The best part of all is that ALL publisher royalties from these sales will go to non-profit conservancy groups that the authors have picked out, so you’ll be getting a great read and supporting an important cause: The Earth we all live on!

Happy Earth Day 2019!

Happy Valentine’s Day! (.99c Book Alert!)

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

I hope your day is filled with whatever you love, be it the people in your life or the cheap book discounts which, let’s face it, are what I’M really excited about.

I’m pretty pumped to announce a couple things that have been in the works, and since it’s been a hot minute since I posted on here, you’re definitely overdue for it.

The first good news is that today, Mercury in Retrograde is only .99c on the Kindle store. Whoo! Who doesn’t love cheap books?

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I’m really excited to also announce that I got in touch with a wonderful voice actress recently who will be doing the AUDIOBOOK for Mercury in Retrograde, which I am absolutely over the moon about. More details to come!

The second great—and dare I say even better news—is that the sequel to Mercury in Retrograde, Grand Cross, is now available for pre-order in the Kindle store as well.

In case you haven’t heard if you’re not following me on Facebook or Twitter (and really, why aren’t you?), this awesome book will be out April 2, 2019 for both paperback and ebooks alike.

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And, as a bonus, for the duration of time between now and the release date, Grand Cross will also be just .99c! After that, the price will return to $4.99 for the Kindle version, so I’d recommend grabbing it soon.

Lastly, I can’t believe it’s almost time for Cross Faded, my new urban fantasy novel, to get released by the awesome people over at Crazy Ink! This novel was a long time in the works, so I’m really eager to get this series rolled out because fantasy was always my first love in writing, and I adore creating magical universes.

I’ll be doing a cover reveal sometime in the next month so you can get a visual on just how rocking this story is gonna be.

In the meantime, enjoy your day of love, have fun, and buy some cheap books.

Stay weird!

 

 

Black Friday Freebie!

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I don’t know about you, but I love getting books for free! It’s pretty flippin’ magical.

So for Thanksgiving this year to celebrate the re-release of my first book, get yourself a free ebook copy of Mercury in Retrograde with its spiffy new cover.

Yes, this ebook is absolutely free from Thursday, November 22 – 23! 

Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy your gift!

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Self-Doubt Doesn’t Care Who Or How Successful You Are (So Just Do ‘The Thing’ & Write Your Novel)

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I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Mostly, I would just draw pictures and follow my mother around the house and tell her the stories I’d come up to go along with them and be ecstatic when they went on the fridge. I was also a voracious reader, but I was never content to only read; I always wanted to create. I didn’t know what writing was, really; I just knew I had stories to tell.

Writing wasn’t about plotting or world building when I was young; I just wanted to put all my ideas down.

I used to write stories for my friends and then leave them on cliffhangers for weeks while I figured out what came next.

In high school, I was the editor for the paper and wrote several articles. I created “Stickman! The Series!” which was an ongoing comic I passed out to various people in my classes. It was filled with dark humor and constantly skirted the safety of a PG-13 rating in every issue. By the end of my senior year, I was making a handful of photocopies in the library because people I’d never even met before had read it and wanted more.

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“Hello dear sailor, I’m a siren, here to kill you.”
“Kill me? Why?”
“It’s what I do. I gotta be me.”
(10th grade humor. You’re welcome.)

But through all of this, I never once had much doubt about my ability to write. It was just something I did.

Writing was as much a part of me as breathing. But without knowing why, I knew I wanted to get better. So I started researching how to write. And this is where I hit my first real hurdle and my lack of skills became self-evident. My talents were raw; they were unformed clay next to master sculptures. I saw the divide, and for the first time, it bothered me that I wasn’t a better writer. It was like seeing color when I never even knew I was colorblind to begin with. But I was still excited to dive in and learn, so I did. I started reading everything I could find on how to be a better writer.

But the more I learned about writing, the harder it became to write. As technical concepts starting taking root, it felt like my knowledge was actually ruining my ability.

Before, I wrote what I wanted, completely in the dark as to whether it was good or not. But the more I took in, the less the words seemed to flow.

No one ever tells you that self-doubt isn’t just a natural instinct you get handed the first time you put a pen to paper. It’s a creeping sensation that comes out of nowhere. Like walking into a classroom you’ve been in a hundred times before and realizing that something seems different. The desks have been rearranged. You’re not by the window anymore. You have a new seating chart and your buddy is this prick that constantly asks what you’re working on and then compares it to everyone else’s work to make you feel bad.

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And when you start to understand the technicalities of what you’re doing (or not doing, as the case may be), writing isn’t “easy” anymore. It’s not comfortable. It’s not fun. It’s a jerk that looms over you and keeps whispering, “Just quit already.”

So what happened? How did you get dejected from Paradise and sent crashing into this new world? Are you actually a bad writer?!

The moment you become self-aware, your brain is not going to take it easy on you. Suddenly, all those books you loved before aren’t just for you to enjoy. They’re also a model of everything that you aren’t, and that you may never be. And when you compare yourself to them, you’ll feel incredibly foolish for even trying.

By the time I graduated, I was exhausted from “creating” on demand. I shelved many of the books I’d started because I literally got sick of them. I was tired as hell of writing. I had more doubts about my abilities than when I’d started. I was scared of what would happen when I actually finished my novels. When I tried to publish. Would everyone hate it? Would they tell me that my efforts were incomprehensible garbage?

This fear compelled me to quit writing for a little while. I threw myself into work instead and got a position as an editor with several indie publishers. I doubted myself for choosing writing as a college major. I wrote only enough to keep the hinges oiled, and considered jobs outside of my field. But then I got a job with an online magazine as an editor and writer. Inside, I hoped the writing portion wouldn’t come, and for a few months, I got my wish. I was a writer who was afraid to write. The fear of how I would be received had crippled me.

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The first time I was assigned an article, I had a full-blown panic attack. I had to get up and walk away from the computer because I was petrifiedof writing again, especially for a widespread audience. My biggest writing credits at this point were publications in my college newspaper and some minor poetry anthologies.

But I knew, under the fear, that I wanted to do it. And that I wasn’t going to let anyone—least of all me—ruin it. I decided, pass or fail, it wouldn’t be because I gave up.

I wrote the article. It took hours. I hated every minute of it. I was convinced it was the worst drivel I’d ever produced. But when I was done, I realized that I’d written. I’d gotten through it, and I could breathe again. Sending it in to the editor was like a weight lifting off my chest. Then came the next assignment. And the next. And before I knew it, I was writing 4-5 articles a day on a variety of topics. And so I stopped focusing on the technical aspects of how to “craft” everything. I focused instead on the writing. I had a job to do; I had to produce. So even if it still terrified me, I did it.

Before I knew it, I had written over 200 articles.

And while this was going on, I discovered the drive to just sit and write. I stopped self-editing so much; stopped telling myself I couldn’t do it. I let the technical aspects I’d learned guide me, but I put down the story I wanted to tell (reminding myself every time that I could edit later), and suddenly, writing was happening again.

I think I repeated Terry Pratchett’s quote, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story,” like a mantra, whenever I felt like I couldn’t make it.

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In late 2015, two years after graduation, I finished writing my first soft sci-fi novel, Mercury in Retrograde. I edited it for months, waffled on my resolve, and then finally wrapped it up and researched query letters. And even though I felt that same doubt that said I wasn’t any good, or that no one would like it, I sent it out. I cried because I thought it was the dumbest thing I’d ever done.

Just over a year later, it was published. And just over a year after that, it got silver in a book awards contest. And even now, knowing what I know, the voice in my had still tells me that it’s not good enough. That I’m not good enough.

The hardest part of writing is the deceptive idea that it should be easy. That it should always feel fun, and that if you’re struggling, it’s because you’re a hack. But this simply isn’t true.

Writing is an exercise. A mental one, sure, but you’re working out muscles you may not even know you have yet. It’s going to hurt quite a bit before it gets better. And just like anything in life, you can either use it to make you stronger, or you can cave in and let it smother you.

Don’t focus on your fears. Focus on what you can control. Don’t wait for inspiration; make inspiration happen. Sit down, write that novel.

Don’t worry about what people will think of your book. Write the story that you want to tell; edit it later.

The voice in the back of your head is never going to be satisfied, even when you exceed what you thought was ever possible.

So don’t let it stop you.

 

 

 

October Horror Story & Movie Roundup

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Traditionally speaking, Halloween has long been celebrated as a time when the veil between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead is at its thinnest. In some cultures, it’s a time to celebrate those who’ve moved on, and in other cultures, it’s a time to be worried that spirits might be coming back to haunt you… Hence the need for masks.

What most people know of Halloween now is dressing up and eating and drinking a bunch of sugary, ridiculous foods and dancing to the Monster Mash. But there’s something so wonderfully delightful in being able to experience frights at this time of year; like you can feel the ghosts watching from over your shoulder.

And if you aren’t interested in going out to get frightened, then maybe staying in and watching some scary movies and reading some spine-tingling stories might just be the ticket you need to get into an appropriate mindset for the ghouls and monsters that come out to play around All Hallow’s Eve.

That crisp bite in the air is wonderful; I’m sure the ghosts will agree that the breeze is just perfect for floating as well.

Here are 15 movies and books that are perfect for getting you into the spirit for frights this Halloween–or all of October!

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1.
Practical Magic
There’s something to be said about a movie that incorporates magic, romance, and horror to make a truly wonderful story!
This is one of my personal favorites to watch in October if I’m looking for something a bit chilling and also a bit sweet. Added bonus? You can watch this while drinking Midnight Margaritas if you want, too!
You can also read the book the movie was adapted from!

 

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2. Hush:
A Short Ghost Story by Merethe Walther
Since I wrote this one, I’m a bit fond of it; plus you can get it for .99¢!
During Victorian times, it wasn’t uncommon to send your children out to a “baby farmer,” who would care for them with only a small weekly stipend while you slaved away in a pre-union era job.
But Nick and Amelia, siblings sent away to live with one of these “caregivers,” soon find that their matron might not be the only one who’s watching over them… and they’d better hope not to break any of her rules because the consequences could be rather dire.

 

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3. Sleepy Hollow (or any other Tim Burton movie)
I picked this movie in particular because it feels more “Halloween” to me than many others, probably because of the murder-y aspect, but I still love some Tim Burton around this time of year. (I’m firmly in the camp of The Nightmare Before Christmas being a Christmas movie, but that said, it’s still acceptable to watch on Halloween, too!)
There’s something so beautiful about the drab town of Sleepy Hollow that I never considered the Headless Horseman much of a deterrent to wanting to live there. I don’t know. Maybe it was the mist, the lack of sunlight, the grainy filter. The Johnny Depp. As someone with a sun allergy, it was like a dream come true.
Murder, magic, mystery, legendary tales of curses, and pools and pools of blood and frankly ridiculous amounts of arterial spray. What isn’t to love?

 

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4. The Bird Box by Josh Malerman
I read this book a couple months ago and was completely captivated. It’s the story of a woman struggling to raise her two children, Boy and Girl, alone (like, alone alone, not just as a single mother) in a world that’s been decimated by monsters that no one can look at without going completely mad. No one knows what they are, where they came from, or even what they look like. No one who’s seen one is still alive.
Most times fear makes you want to close your eyes, but there is literally nothing comforting about not seeing these beasties.
Brimming with moments that will make your skin crawl and tension where you can feel the claustrophobic crush of wading through a monster-riddled world with only a blindfold to protect you, it’s one that will definitely keep you up at night!

 

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5. Casper
This is another of the movies that I love to watch for the nostalgia. You can laugh at the bad guys while also still being terrified of the consequences of whatever hijinks are happening on screen.
Casper is a beautiful tale that will make you laugh, cry, and even clutch a pillow tight. Plus the soundtrack is so vivid and haunting, I still listen to it even when I’m not watching the film!

 

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6. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
“For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin.”
I read this when I was a kid, and I was obsessed with how hauntingly good it was. I loved many of Bradbury’s books, but this one is a treat to read in the Halloween season or any time you’re looking for a bit of a fright!

 

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7. The Addams Family
(I’m beginning to realize that Christina Ricci is basically in every one of my favorite childhood spooky movies, so she’s going to be on this list a lot.) That said, Halloween isn’t complete until you get a chance to sit down and watch The Addams Family being wonderfully weird and bizarre.
Plus, Gomez and Morticia are like, the best example of #relationshipgoals I can think of.

 

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8. Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Since this man practically invented the horror genre, it’s easy to say that he knows a thing or two about the creatures that go bump in the night. Whatever you’re reading by him, you know you’re in for a delightfully wicked time that will leave you will a quiet, unsettled feeling that you just can’t shake.
Any of his short stories will get your brain–and your heart–moving fast!

 

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9. The Conjuring
This movie has the distinction in my book, at least, of having legitimately terrified me when I saw it the first time, which doesn’t frequently happen with horror films for me. Dark, creepy, weirdly religious overtones that are based (very loosely) on a true story set the stage for a film that will literally have you hiding behind a pillow to finish watching it.
For some people, supernatural thrillers aren’t really their bag, but this movie definitely did it for me! A great way to scare yourself into some Halloween spirit!

 
10. The Specialist’s Hat by Kelly Link
Although this is a short story, it’s absolutely one of my favorite stories of all time. I can’t describe it. The atmosphere, the ambiguity, and the bizarre characters are just beautifully well-written.
It’s Halloween tradition in my house to read this haunting story once a year, and I think after you read it, it might become yours as well!

 

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11. Hocus Pocus
You know why you need to watch this movie. It’s a quintessential Halloween film about three kick-ass witches. Need I say more? Go watch it!

 

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12. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This book has been on my list forever because my friend swears it’s so terrifying and good, and since I’ve just bought it and plan to read it this month, I figured I’d share it with everyone else, too!
This book is practically legend. It only existed in obscure forums on the internet for a while, but apart from a truly weird and scary story is also the way it’s presented, which is more art than just novel.
If you’re afraid of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door and a book so genuinely creepy that you’ll have nightmares (according to the reviews!) then this is definitely up your alley.

 

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13. The Haunting of Hill House
As of October 12, Netflix is going to be releasing this series based on the original The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
As a story that I recall truly unnerved and unsettled me as a teen, I am so excited to get to watch this new show!
You can also read the book the show was adapted from!

 

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14. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach
This novel is unique in that it originally began as a series of “CreepyPasta” stories on the internet and then was collected, edited, and polished into a truly terrifying piece of horror writing.
It starts off simple enough–with a boy writing a letter to his penal, but the twists and turns these stories take will leave you biting your nails to the last page!

 

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15. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Stephen Gammell
If you try and say that these books didn’t genuinely terrify you as a child, then you’re either lying or you’ve been living under a rock your entire life. (Probably because these books scared you so bad.)
I would read these before bed and badly regret it, be forced to sleep with the light on, and still worry that there was a monster out to get me. Or listen to the audio cassettes in a dark room and be too scared to turn off the tape before it reached the end of the reel.
Some of these might be more funny than scary, but even as an adult, you’re sure to find these pretty disturbing.
This is a set of stories that you’ll remember for a long time; if not for the tales, then certainly for the disturbing artwork that came along with them, which was like, ten times more frightening than the stories on occasion.

Do you have any great stories or movies you love to enjoy around Halloween? Share them in the comments!