I’m not exactly sure how we’ve come to the end of October already—I feel like I’ve barely blinked since the first of August! And yet here we are, facing down Halloween, which means the other holidays are barely a frosty breath away.
Despite the gazillions of dollars we Americans spend on Halloween candy and decorations these days, the book market doesn’t seem to have caught on quite so quickly to this fun holiday. I did a quick search on some of the major book sites, and it definitely seems to be a bigger category in e-published books, so perhaps we’ll begin to see more Halloween books overall in the next couple of years.
For romance novels, it makes perfect sense to me. I mean, isn’t this holiday pure sweet opportunity for romantic interludes? Between the fantasy potential of costumes and masks, and the combination of cool weather, dark nights and other spook factors, Halloween can be a great reason to snuggle up to the one you love, and offers glorious potential for getting closer to someone you think you could love. ;o)
However, finding romance novels set during Halloween hasn’t been quite as easy as convincing a cute boy (these days, that would be my husband, of course...) to hold my hand in a haunted house. So please let me know in the comments if you can recommend any, besides these:
Two books I’ve already recommended in this blog are good candidates. Jayne Castle’s The Hot Zone has a thread of a Halloween story in it, and the description of two dust bunnies dressing up in costume to go trick-or-treating with Rainshadow kids is adorable and a must-read for dust bunny fans.
I mentioned Lauren Willig’s The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla and its fun vampire theme, which sounds delightfully suspenseful and gothic. I’ll be picking that one up when I have the chance. Even the title sounds gothic and Halloween-ish, but with a hint of the sly humor Willig is famous for.
Best-selling author Alyssa Day recently e-published the first book in a Witch series, Alejandro’s Sorceress, and has a Halloween novella, Halloween in Atlantis, from her popular Warriors of Poseidon series that should be out in the next day or two. (Want to win a copy? You can find details at my Read-A-Romance site.)
I did a little research and asked around, and if you’re looking for a spooky romance that has a bit more bite in the fright department, check out Simone St. James' The Haunting of Maddy Clare, a post–World War I ghost story with an actual ghost. From the cover description: “Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason.” Doesn’t that sound intriguing?
Charlaine Harris’ Midnight Crossroad is an intriguing start to a new series revolving around an online psychic who settles in a mysterious small Texas town. There is a vampire in this book, but he’s different than any you’ve met through Harris before.
Finally, I’ll give a quick nod to two Halloween anthologies I have on my radar, mostly since they contain at least one story by authors I love.
First is Hallowe’en Husbands, a Harlequin Historical anthology released in print in 2008, but still available for the Kindle. It contains stories from different time periods, one of which is by Christine Merrill, an HH author I love, and all of them have a Halloween thread.
And while I haven’t read these stories, most of the authors in the e-published Entranced: A Halloween Box Set are fellow Wisconsin writers, including Lori Handeland, a New York Times best-selling author. (Her acclaimed January release, The Lone Warrior—released under her Lori Austin pen name— was on Library Journal’s Best Romances of 2014). They look fun, and with nine stories for $0.99, one by Lori Handeland and others by Internet best-sellers like Edie Ramer, how can you go wrong?
As an aside, I was amused to see the ASIN numbers (the electronic equivalent to the ISBN) on the Halloween books all begin with B00. BOO! Maybe in those mysterious places where things like this are decided, someone has a sense of humor.
Happy Halloween, and Happy Reading!