It’s almost August, so yeah yeah yeah, it’s still summer. And here in Florida, it’s summer for most of the year, so therefore I can just decide to be in spooky season any time I choose, right? :D :D
I’m in the mood already because, well, I love ghost stories and haunted house things, and I have not only read a LOT of really enjoyable haunted house books this year, I just recently found two more…and then I start to see a few “fall preview” pages at various retailers’ websites…and I start thinking about some fav spooky movies I like to rewatch each year…and then ideas form for various spooky things I’d like to do this year…
I’m itching to do a full Victorian seance, for example. :D :D
(But I want to do it in full Victorian kit, so I need a few things before I can do that up the way I envision it.)
But as for the other stuff…
Orphaned by drink, drugs and rock n’ roll, Gwen Rowland is invited to spend Christmas at her boyfriend Alfie’s family home, Creake Hall – a ramshackle Tudor manor in Norfolk. Soon after she arrives, Gwen senses something isn’t quite right. Alfie acts strangely towards his family and is reluctant to talk about the past. His mother, a celebrated children’s author, keeps to her room, living in a twilight world, unable to distinguish between past and present, fact and fiction.
When Gwen discovers fragments of forgotten family letters sewn into an old patchwork quilt, she starts to piece together the jigsaw of the past and realises there’s more to the family history than she’s been told. It seems there are things people don’t want her to know. And one of those people is Alfie.
I bought this book on Kindle in 2014 but had forgotten most of it, so I re-read it…and enjoyed it enough that I started reading her other books.
I’d also bought this one years ago too:
When ghostwriter Jenny Ryan is summoned to the Scottish Highlands by Sholto MacNab – retired adventurer and Laird of Cauldstane Castle – she’s prepared for travellers’ tales, but not the MacNabs’ violent and tragic history.
Lust, betrayal and murder have blighted family fortunes for generations, together with an ancient curse. As members of the family confide their sins and their secrets, Jenny learns why Cauldstane’s uncertain future divides father and sons.
But someone resents Jenny’s presence. Someone thinks she’s getting too close to Alec MacNab – swordsmith, widower and heir to Cauldstane. Someone will stop at nothing until Jenny has been driven away. Or driven mad.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Especially a dead woman.
…and I’d forgotten pretty much all of it, too (I do that if I’m just not captivated by a book, and years ago I wasn’t quite in the mood for spookies so I didn’t get into it. This time? EYES. GLUED. TO. SCREEN!) I really enjoyed it this time around.
Then I came across this title…
Clare remembers the cold. She remembers abandoned cars and children’s toys littered across the road. She remembers dark shapes in the snow and a terror she can’t explain. And then…nothing.
When she wakes, aching and afraid in a stranger’s gothic home, he tells her she was in an accident. He claims he saved her. Clare wants to leave, but a vicious snowstorm has blanketed the world in white, trapping them together, and there’s nothing she can do but wait.
At least the stranger seems kind…but Clare doesn’t know if she can trust him. He promised they were alone here, but she sees and hears things that convince her something else is creeping about the surrounding woods, watching. Waiting. Between the claustrophobic storm and the inescapable sense of being hunted, Clare is on edge…and increasingly certain of one thing:
Her car crash wasn’t an accident. Something is waiting for her to step outside the fragile safety of the house… something monstrous, something unfeeling.
Something desperately hungry.
And I got so sucked into the story that I devoured the book in a couple of days! I’m going to do another post on it & the next ones in the series, and when I do I’ll link it here. I’m not usually a fan of monster-type stories (I prefer ghost stories/haunted houses), but this one just sucked me in.
After that one, I wanted to read more by Darcy Coates, and she’s got a LOT of spooky/haunted house books available, happily…I’ve read almost all of them by now (thank you, Kindle Unlimited).
Here are two others of hers:
Remy is a tour guide for the notoriously haunted Carrow House. The old place is a haunt for the superstitious, but Remy hasn’t seen any proof of the paranormal yet. So when she’s asked to host guests for a week-long stay in order to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.
At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly take a sinister turn. Doors open on their own. Séances go disastrously wrong. Their spirit medium wanders through the house at night, seemingly in a trance. But it isn’t until one of the guests dies under strange circumstances that Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner―a twisted serial killer―still walks the halls.
And by then it’s too late to escape…
Daniel is desperate for a job. When someone slides a note under his door offering him the groundskeeper’s position at an old estate, it seems too good to be true.
Alarm bells start ringing when he arrives at Craven Manor. The mansion’s front door hangs open, and leaves and cobwebs coat the marble foyer. It’s clear no one has lived there in a long time.
But an envelope waits for him inside the doorway. It contains money, and promises more.
Daniel is desperate. Against his better judgement, he moves into the groundskeeper’s cottage behind the crypt. He’s determined to ignore the strange occurrences that plague the estate.
But when a candle flickers to life in the abandoned tower window, Daniel realises Craven Manor is hiding a terrible secret… one that threatens to bury him with it.
(Note to self…do a separate post about Coates’ stories, lol! There are so many good ones, especially if you like haunted houses & spookiness without gratuitous gore or violence.)
So then in keeping with the spooky mood, I MUST also mention my favorite series from the past years, Lockwood & Co…I wrote more about it here & offered the printables…I think I heard that this might get turned into a tv show, and while I’d be interested, I’m not all THAT excited…because I’ve got my own ideas about the characters & Skull, and I don’t think I’ll care for someone else’s interpretation of them all. (Yes, I’m one of Those People, hahaha.)
In non-book spooky-mood-ness, I’m ready to start rewatching The Awakening and Crimson Peak…
The Awakening was filmed at the same great house that was used as Pemberley in the 1995 Pride & Prejudice. Just throwing that out there… ;)
Crimson Peak has possibly the most gorgeous costumes ever.
And the spooky old house is stunning too!
And from movies to Youtube…one of my now-favorite Youtubers, Christine McConnell, has incredible vintage style with a gothic twist. I became a patron of hers soon after I became one of my beloved chateaux (more on that soon), actually discovered her via chateaux things, and I’m so glad I did. Tonight she’s doing a live patron chat while we all make s’mores while she tells ghost stories. I mean…it’s so perfect…and it’s not just me in the spooky mood, lol!
If you like vintage things & spooky things, check out Christine’s channel…this is a fav video, where she does a house tour that made me basically just keel over from vintage interior design envy:
Ok so I’m going to wrap this up because NOW I MUST GO READ ALL THE BOOKS AND WATCH ALL THE MOVIES AND PREPARE FOR THE CHAT TONIGHT!
Oh…well, ok, I have to actually work, too.
Back soon with more book blathering & spooky things & chateau things…