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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I share my best Halloween reads from indie authors so you can get spooked this season, while supporting a wonderful community of independent creatives at the same time!
Halloween is one of my favourite times of year. I love the change of the seasons into the cold, Autumnal weather, I love all things spooky and scary, and I love our family tradition of carving pumpkins while we watch A Nightmare Before Christmas. And, of course, I love a good scary story!
We all know the classic horrors, and there’s no shortage of options out there from big name writers. While these are fantastic to read, and I would highly recommend them, I want to take some time to share the Halloween reads from indie authors I think you should read this October.
Why Buy From Indie Authors
As an indie author myself, my books our published through our small business, Siren Stories, I am a massive supporter of the independent writing community. Whether it’s reading indie authors myself, or promoting their work through The Table Read Magazine, I believe in investing time and money in these fantastic voices.
Indie authors come from all walks of life and write a wide variety of genres. By buying books from indie authors, you are supporting diversity and new voices in the publishing industry and you are helping them to make a living doing what they love, which isn’t easy for anybody in a creative job.
Halloween Reads From Indie Authors
It’s 1987. John Crane is falling into depression, while his friend Jack Vain has spiraling O.C.D. and panic attacks. Their issues are driving them into a shared psychosis. When the body of a junkie is dumped outside the door of Jack’s New York apartment, they reach a tipping point. No longer able to distinguish between reality and the illusions of their fertile minds, they go searching for answers in the middle of the night, on the streets of the city. The creature that taunts them is here. It knows them. It wants them. As John and Jack hunt, psychologist Dr Brooke Ashley and FBI agent Thomas Thorne are also on the case.
As the beast of insanity takes hold, will John and Jack survive their own imaginations until Ashley & Thorne can track down the monster from their past?
Leyla Cardena is a writer, dancer and actress based in Switzerland. Her novels, though fiction, were written in part based on her own life experiences, inspired by dealing with severe OCD and anxiety during her 20’s which gave her a fascination for the mind’s capacity to play games with us. This sense of confusion between reality and illusion is more common than we know and leaves us swimming in a sea that seems never ending.
In the misty Lancashire town of Ecclesburn, kids go missing. But no one talks about it. Everyone knows why, but they don’t talk about it. The grown ups smear garlic and holy water over their necks and wrists while walking the dog after dark, but they never say the V word.
And when one of the local pubs is taken over by a group of undead monsters, and a trio of vampire hunters is called to clear them out, a terrible series of events begins to play out, which will change the way Ecclesburnians live forever.
Unholy Water is a dark and bloodthirsty novel about desire in wild excess, about whether you should defy your circumstances or adapt to them, and about the kind of inflexible determination that can save or destroy those that matter most.
Author, musician, and co-founder of Siren Stories, Jonathan McKinney write stories set in the SSU. Having developed a fascination with vampires at a young age, Unholy Water is his unique take on vampire culture.
“The boat hit shore at 09:27 EAT. We counted seven people on board, eight if you want to include the baby. Most of them didn’t survive more than ten minutes.”
Two sisters and a baby, shipwrecked refugees, wash up on a mysterious east African Island crawling with giant, blue-skinned savages.
They flee to an abandoned scientific facility where incredible and terrifying experiments have been taking place, experiments that could change the course of human history.
Meanwhile, the only person who can save them is a lowly monitoring station employee half a world away in Arizona – but the clock is ticking, and the universe is about to come calling.
Richard E. Rock
Frenzy Island came to author Richard E. Rock in a series of horrible dreams. Over successive nights, he dreamed of giant, blue-skinned savages, possessed babies, alien abductions and mysterious objects in the sky. It was as if all the ideas for a novel were being delivered to him raw and unfiltered, and all he had to do was put them all together.
When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.
But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.
Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.
Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren
Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren, a co-author duo, have a new young adult/teen book now out. Horror Hotel from Underlined (debuted at #1 on Amazon in the teen supernatural category).
This addictive YA horror novel about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.
Jane Waters lives a mundane life, working as a waitress, and with a boyfriend who doesn’t seem to care. Her sister, Cassie Waters, is a glamorous horror writer, traveling the world, and far too busy to listen to Jane’s woes. The two sisters live very different lives, disconnected from one another, and unaware of a family secret that’s about to come to light.
When their mother dies unexpectedly, Jane and Cassie are pushed back together. Their lives become intertwined as they explore the mysteries their childhood home holds, and remember their sister Susie who died tragically in childhood.
As Susie’s memory starts to dominate their lives, they don’t realise that a mysterious organisation is monitoring their every move, and powerful people are closing in on them.
What secrets did their mother have? How are their lives about to change? And what really happened to Susie?
While it my seem crass to add my own book to this list, I’m doing it anyway. I am incredibly proud of this book and I can’t wait for you to read it.
You probably already know more about me than you need to be, I am known to be a chronic over sharer, but if you need more please check out my About Page!
Children’s Halloween Reads
Billy is always brave – He’s not one to be scared.
But after a fun day at school and a spooky evening at home with his family, he hears noises coming from under his bed and it makes him scared…and suddenly he’s not so brave anymore.
What could it be under the bed? What could those scary noises be? Monsters? Aliens?
Join Billy and his family and friends as they have a spooktacular Halloween day.
Find out what exactly it is under his bed in this cute little story.
T.A. Rosewood writes relatable, emotional fiction with lovable characters and heartwarming storylines that stay with you for a long time afterwards.
She lives in the north of Essex, England, with her very patient and supportive husband, their children, and Robbie, the Westie dog.
Her dream of having my own book came true in 2020 when she self-published her debut novel, ‘Reasonable Lies’ which remains her best-selling book and became the first in a trilogy. She has also written 6 children’s books.
Colette Planchette talks to the dead using a supernatural sense of smell. This comes in handy, considering her best friend Lucian is a ghost. When the pair find themselves in a village of eerie shop-window dummies, the stench of danger becomes ever closer. Someone, or something, is watching…
Perfect for fans of the hilariously twisted humour found in: All The Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and The Beast and The Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips.
Liam Findlay is a writer from the South of England who began his career in the animation industry, working for the likes of Aardman Animations, before becaming a themed attraction designer. He now designs for theme parks and museums, as well as creating smells for AromaPrime, which supplies atmospheric pongs to the likes of Alton Towers and the Natural History Museum. Sometimes, he writes for AQUILA Children’s Magazine too.
All these jobs have included storytelling in different ways, which helped him with writing The Doom Town Dummies. As it happens, The Doom Town Dummies involves quite a few supernatural smells too!
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