Who says you have to wait until October to read spooky books? Well, that’s where Summerween comes in. Have you heard of it? Have you participated in this annual readathon? Well, if you haven’t heard of it, I’m happy to share the details about it with you.
In a nutshell, Summerween was created by two Youtubers. OliviaReadsALatte and GabbyReads came up with this fabulous idea and I stumbled upon it last year through booktuber, AlexandraRoselyn. Now, it’s my understanding that Summerween happens during one week in July. I missed it last year and this year I just couldn’t participate for a few reasons. First, it’s rare that I can read one book in a week, much less two or more. Second, I had deadlines in July. I had revisions for HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES and then I got proof pages for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS. Honestly, after reading those two manuscripts, I had no energy or interest in reading a book. And, lastly, I just don’t feel the fall/Halloween vibe in July. Nope. But August? I’m all about pre-fall.
It’s in August that my thoughts start drifting towards the autumn season (it’s only about six weeks away!) and I start pulling out the fall decor. It’s when I’m itching to bake pumpkin bread and slip into a cozy sweater. It’s also when I’m over the heatwaves and humidity, so I need something to look forward to. So, I’ve decided it when I celebrate Summerween. Not just for one week. But for the whole, freakin’ month!
So, I decided that I would celebrate Summerween in August. The whole, freakin’ month! I selected one novella and two novels. Given that I got revisions back for HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES and proof pages for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, I may not finish my short TBR list this month, so I plan to carry over the books into September.
Here are the three books I plan on reading for Summerween. In the Haunted House anthology, I’m reading Death by Haunted House.
WITH A SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE BY LENA GREGORY
Psychic Cass Donovan must uncover the truth about long-buried secrets and recent murders to bring peace to a troubled spirit and bring justice to a flesh-and-blood killer . . .
When the spirit of Ophelia Wilson turned to clairvoyant Cass Donovan for help, Cass was able to prove Ophelia’s innocence in the century-old murders of her family members—and solve a contemporary murder in the process. But Ophelia’s spirit has returned, this time angrily demanding that Cass expose the identity of whoever did kill her family. And then eerily, two descendants from the Wilson family tree are murdered, suggesting that Ophelia has the power to meddle in modern-day events to satisfy her rage.
As Cass struggles to solve the two recent murders and unravel the sparse clues about murders from a hundred years ago, she and those around her begin to suffer Ophelia’s wrath—including an attempt on the life of one of Cass’s closest friends. Relying on all of her own psychic powers, Cass has to confront the spirit’s hunger for vengeance and track down a merciless killer before she becomes the next victim of both . . .
HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER BY LESLIE MEIER, LEE HOLLIS, BARBARA ROSS
Tricks and treats keep the Halloween spirit alive in coastal Maine. But this year the haunted house theme is getting carried a little too far . . .
HAUNTED HOUSE MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
Newcomers to Tinker’s Cove, Ty and Heather Moon have moved into a dilapidated house reputed to be a haven for ghosts. Now strange noises and flickering lights erupt from the house at all hours and neighborly relations are on edge. And when a local boy goes missing near the house, it’s up to Lucy Stone to unravel the mystery of the eccentric couple and their increasingly frightful behavior.
DEATH BY HAUNTED HOUSE by LEE HOLLIS
For the past two years, the house next door to Hayley Powell has sat abandoned after the owner died under mysterious circumstances. The Salinger family has recently taken possession of the property, but the realtor behind the deal has vanished—after a very public and angry argument with Damien Salinger. If Bar Harbor’s newest neighbors are murderers, Hayley will haunt them until they confess.
HALLOWED OUT by BARBARA ROSS
With its history of hauntings and ghost sightings, Busman’s Harbor is the perfect setting for Halloween festivities. But when a reenactment of a Prohibition-era gangster’s murder ends with a literal bang and a dead actor from New Jersey, Julia Snowden must identify a killer before she ends up sleeping with the fishes.
THE MOVING HOUSE BY DUNCAN RALSTON
The chilling prequel to GHOSTLAND.
Garrote House has seen its share of blood. Since Christopher’s ancestor Oliver Hedgewood built the house in the 1800s, many spirits have taken up residence in “the Moving House,” including horror author Rex Garrote, who’d burned to death in his private library. Christopher Hedgewood and Sara Jane Amblin, inventor of the Recurrence Field, return to Garrote House one final time before it’s relocated to Ghostland.
They’ve both witnessed its ghosts many times. But neither of them have come at night, when the Moving House’s most dangerous hauntings come alive.
If you’re looking for a Halloween-themed novella to read, I highly recommend my WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO A GRAVEYARD. Even if you haven’t read the Resale Boutique Mystery series, you can read this story as a standalone.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO A GRAVEYARD BY DEBRA SENNEFELDER
After trading her Manhattan digs for her upstate hometown, fashionista Kelly Quinn has big plans for her grandmother’s consignment shop. But this All Hallow’s Eve someone is already dressed to kill . . .
A socialite’s missing dog has made front page news in Lucky Cove—complete with a hefty reward. But between renovating the consignment shop, planning her costume for a 1970s themed Halloween party, and scouting a location for a fashion shoot, Kelly doesn’t have time to search. Yet a visit to the local colonial-era cemetery—ideal for the moody atmosphere she’s after—soon turns up the precious pooch. Kelly’s looking forward to collecting the check—until she makes a gruesome discovery in an abandoned farmhouse: The dog’s owner, stabbed through the heart.
Kelly can’t help wondering why Constance Lane was traipsing around the farmhouse in stilettos. But as Kelly gets decked out in a vintage disco caftan, that isn’t the only fashion misstatement spooking her. Hidden in the dead woman’s past is a secret that could be the motive for the murder. And as the Halloween party gets started, even a menacing clown and a threatening bearded lady can’t keep Kelly from trick or treating for the truth—even if it means her last dance . . .
What are you reading this month? Did you participate in Summerween last month? If so, what did you read? I’d love to know.