‘Tis the month for some spooky reads, is it not? There are many great creepy stories and not-so-creepy stories out there. Here are a few favourites of mine.
Ghost of Lies by Alice Winters
This is in the non-creepy category… or there are ghosts and they’re trying to catch a killer, but it’s light-hearted and funny for the most part. Still fits the bill!
Though I was born with the ability to see the dead, I struggled with it until my brother was killed and his ghost was left behind. Now, I’m determined to figure out who is responsible for his death… the problem is that Detective Maddox Booker, the one working the case, is a grumpy and stubborn man who wants nothing to do with me and definitely doesn’t believe in ghosts. It doesn’t help that I keep finding myself looking ridiculous in front of the detective, thanks to interfering ghosts who enjoy laughing at my expense. Still, the more I’m around Maddox, the more I realize that beneath that surly exterior is a kind and caring man who will do anything to help.
When another man dies, I know we have a serial killer on our hands—the same murderer who has remained elusive for a year and a half. To add to my frustration, I keep running into Hiro at crime scenes only to hear him claim that he can talk to ghosts. The words of the dead could lead us to the serial killer and even tell us who is next, but ghosts? There’s no such thing as ghosts. Hiro is determined and charming, and no matter what I do, I can’t stop letting him get involved. He’s definitely snagged my attention, but when he nearly winds up dead, I know he’s getting closer to the truth—and if I don’t do something soon, he might be next.
Ghost of Lies is full of action, mystery, humor, and romance. Though more is planned for this couple, the mystery is solved and there is a happy ending.
Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding
This is on my list of books to reread. It’s been many years since I first read it, and I mostly remember the beginning. I do love the whole guy-who-died-in-the-1950s-turned-ghost-and-pop-up-in-your-car-thing.
In the mid-1950s, Jack Dayton flees his working-class prospects in Omaha and heads to Hollywood, convinced he’ll be the next James Dean. But sleazy casting couches don’t earn him stardom, and despair leads to a series of poor decisions that ultimately find him at a cheap motel off Route 66, lifeless at the bottom of the pool.
Sixty years later, Tag Manning, feeling hopeless and empty, flees his most recent relationship mistake and takes to the open road. On a roundabout route to Las Vegas, he pulls over to rest at an isolated spot on Route 66. There’s no longer a motel or pool, but when Tag resumes his journey to Vegas, he finds he’s transporting a hitchhiking ghost. Jack and Tag come to find much-needed friends in each other, but one man is a phantom and the other is strangely cursed. Time is running out for each of them, and they must face the fact that a future together may not only be a gamble… it may not be in the cards.
The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton
Allow me to fangirl for a moment. This and The Quiet house (Book 2 in the series) might have been my favourite reads of last year. Yes, I didn’t get around to reading them until last year. So good!
Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.
However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.
Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.
As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.
Amy Rae Durreson
I’ll throw in both Spindrift and A Frost of Cares here, because creepy ghosts! I need to read more stories by Durreson, she’s awesome.
When lonely artist Siôn Ruston retreats to the seaside village of Rosewick Bay, Yorkshire, to recover from a suicide attempt, he doesn’t expect to encounter any ghosts, let alone the one who appears in his bedroom every morning at dawn. He also doesn’t expect to meet his ghost’s gorgeous, flirty descendant working at the local museum… and the village pub, and as a lifeboat volunteer. But Mattie’s great-great-grandfather isn’t the only specter in Rosewick Bay, and as Siôn and Mattie investigate an ill-fated love affair from a bygone era, they begin a romance of their own, one that will hopefully escape the tragedy Mattie’s ancestor suffered.
But the ghosts aren’t the only ones with secrets, and the things Siôn and Mattie are keeping from each other threaten to tear them apart. And all the while, the dead are biding their time, because the curse of Rosewick Bay has never been broken. If the ghosts are seen on the streets, local tradition foretells a man will drown before the summer’s end.
A Winter Ghost Story
Looking for a fresh start, historian Luke Alcott takes on a job cataloguing the archives in an old army training centre. Eelmoor Hall is an old house on a lonely heath and the only other living soul on site is Sergeant Jay McBride, the surly caretaker. But Luke can’t escape the feeling he’s being watched, and as the halls echo with invisible footsteps and his sleep is haunted by nightmares, he realises that he and Jay aren’t alone in this house.
The Mistletoe Bride has been trapped here a very long time. She’s cold, angry, and desperate. And she has no intention of letting Luke leave until he’s found her—or joined her in death. As the snow begins to fall, Luke and Jay must risk all to save each other from this vengeful ghost.
Winter by Josh Lanyon
This is my favourite Lanyon story. I’ve read quite a few, though far from all, but when I don’t know what to read, I sometimes pick Lanyon since you know what you get. This is creepy for real, and I wasn’t really expecting that when I first read it, so pleasantly surprised.
Since Alan died, Flynn isn’t eating, isn’t sleeping, and isn’t spending a lot of time looking in mirrors. But maybe he should pay a little more attention — because something in that 18th Century mirror is looking at him…
Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle’s mysterious museum. But not all the items are that easy to catalog. Or get rid of…
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
If we’re looking for creepy, I’d say most of Jordan L. Hawk’s books would do. He has a knack for monsters. In this, we have creepy ghosts and necromancers.
A retired ghost hunter. A man seeking redemption. Can they stop an ancient evil from destroying the world?
Dan Miller once hunted the zombie-like revenants known as haints. He protected the living and quieted the dead. After his parents’ death, Dan gave up his own dreams to raise his young siblings. But when a necromancer’s dark magic leads to murder, Dan must once again take on the mantle of protector and put his life on the line
Leif Helsvin needs Dan’s help to hunt down the necromancer. But the desire to solve the murder and find justice isn’t the only emotion at play between Leif and Dan. As the two men grow closer, the passion between them threatens to ignite into a fire neither of them can control. Will Dan give into his desire for Leif, or will the necromancer’s evil destroy their love before it can even begin?
Hainted is an m/m paranormal romance novel. If you like suspense, romance, and a bit of magic, you’ll love Jordan L. Hawk’s supernatural adventure.
Dynasty of Ghosts by P.L. Nunn
Another one that is on my list of books to reread. It’s so long, and I’m often hovering over it with my thumb, about to click the cover in the ebook library, and then I pick something else because it’s intimidating. It is the right time of year to immerse oneself in a 700-pages-long ghost story, though. You’ll find this on the creepy side of the list.
Illya has always been different – fey, quiet, and cursed with the ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead. A younger son of a younger son from a backwater mountain province, he is a nobody in the king’s army until he comes to the notice of the Prince Knight himself, the spoiled, stubborn heir to the kingdom of Aldania.
Caught up in a war that has raged for generations between Aldania and a neighboring kingdom, captured and imprisoned by a mad king, Illya and Prince Ashe discover a history of lies, betrayal and assassination, and the ghostly truth beneath it all. Opposites in every way, they forge a common bond that pain, war and betrayal will test to the very limit of their strength.
To end a dynasty of madness and suffering, Illya must embrace the ability he has always hated, and look to the dead for answers.
Spirited Situation by Louisa Masters
More ghosts! This is more along the lines of Ghost of Lies by Alice Winters that I mentioned above. It has ghosts, there is something spooky in the house that the other ghosts are afraid of, but there are laughs to be had here LOL I’ve been meaning to read the second story in the series but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
When you can talk to ghosts, things are bound to get spirited.
The ghosts have been there since before I can remember. When I was a kid, they doted on me, but as I got older, they got more demanding. I’ve spent my whole life seeing and talking to dead people and trying to pretend I’m not, because the living just don’t understand. Nobody wants to be around the freak who claims to see ghosts.
Until I go to Mannix Estate.
Once a private country home, then a posh hotel, it was closed after a suspicious incident but is now an immersive historic experience. It’s also haunted AF, and everyone knows it. Finally, I’ve found a place to work and live where I can be useful. Where I’m actually wanted.
There are only two problems: I spent a hot, sweaty, satisfying night with Ewan the blacksmith before I knew we’d have to work together. Everyone knows sex with colleagues is a bad idea, right? Even if he’s the world’s most ripped cinnamon roll.
Plus, the ghosts are keeping secrets. There’s something going on that’s not normal, even for a haunted estate. And I suspect that when the truth comes out, I’m the one who’ll have to deal with it… and it won’t be good.
The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux
Ahh… Ash *swoon* This is great! If you haven’t read it, do!
When the past comes back to haunt you, order a double.
Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.
Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.
But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.
Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price
Do I need to include this one? I mean, it’s a given, right? Ghosts. I wouldn’t put this series in the creepy column of the list. It has its moments for sure, but what makes me freak out most of all is sneaking around old houses, creaking floors, and so on. Still awesome!
Victor Bayne, the psychic half of a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.
He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness’ idea of the world’s hottest guy.
Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind.
Thad and Sandy
If I should contribute to the list, I’d throw in Soul Eater and Ghost Dater. Both are about Thad and Sandy, and they both play out in October, and there are evil ghosts and not-so-evil ghosts… and growly ghosts LOL
Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?
When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can’t and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.
Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black – a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.
And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.
Thaddeus Esax has a grumpy werewolf problem. For a year, he’s been mated to Sandulf Hunter, a ghost werewolf he brought back from the dead without meaning to. It’s been great. Thad’s been happy, and he believed Sandy was too. But Sandy has been sulking for more than a week, and Thad fears their relationship isn’t going as well as he believed.
The problem with being mated to a ghost is that said ghost never can leave your side, and therefore it’s extremely hard to keep secrets. Thaddeus wants to surprise Sandy, to cheer him up, but to do that, he has to trick him into believing they’re doing something they’re not.
Telling Sandy they’re having a Halloween party doesn’t go over well, but how do you trick a ghost? By making him believe he’ll be dressed up as a pirate for an evening, of course.