Tell us about YOUR All Hallow’s Read plans!

If you’ve been following along on our October journey this month you know we’ve been making daily All Hallow’s Read book suggestions for everyone in your life, so you can be prepared to terrify all your loved (or loathed!) ones during the week of Halloween.  (And if you need a specific suggestion, please feel free to ask away! Some of our staff are practically human scary-book encyclopedias.)

We’re dying to know what you horror-fiction folks have planned for our favorite new holiday tradition! Let us know in the comments what you’re doing or what books you’re gifting for All Hallow’s Read this year!

In the spirit of giving great literary scares and horror fare, we here at the DT offices want to extend our holiday book-giving to include our readers.  We’ve been excited to pick out books for our own family and friends, but it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t get to celebrate All Hallow’s Read with the folks who make this website such a fun venture!  We’ll select people at random from the comments on this post to receive some fantastic fiction, as our All Hallow’s Read gift to you.

One of our favorite authors around here is Bryan Smith. His work has always been a treat to those of us who like our horror bloody, fast paced, and well written. So we’re giving away two copies of his new e-book, Kayla and the Devil an urban fantasy novel we know you’ll enjoy.

If you’ve been paying close attention to our Facebook and Twitter feeds, you’ll know the amount of love and respect we have for Ronald Malfi. And as we’ve always intended to bring you only the best in horror, we’re going to give away two e-book copies of his new novella, Borealis – a haunting and beautiful read that shook us to the core.

When it comes to Paranormal Romance and Erotic Horror, Melissa Ecker’s Giving Up The Ghost delivers in spades. Her prose is tight, her characters are immediately memorable, and her love scenes mind-numbingly intense. Apart from her prowess in writing erotic fare, she’s also more than capable of scaring the pants off of her readers. We’re going to give this e-book to two of you, along with the chance to get scared stiff. (I had to say it…)

Earlier this year, Colum reviewed 3 fantastic new novellas from Thunderstorm books’ Elemental series. We’ve got 2 signed bundles of those little books to give away: Kelli Owen’s The Neightborhood, Bob Ford’s Samson and Denial, and Mary SanGiovanni’s For Emmy.  You’ll love them as much as we did!

Dreadful Tales is also going to give away a bundle consisting of 4 hardcover copies of Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Yep. You heard that right. One lucky person is going to receive a complete set of Volumes 1 – 4 (Welcome to Lovecraft, Headgames, Crown Of Shadows, and Keys to the Kingdom.) Why? Because we love our readers!

So let us know your plans in the comments! Or even just drop in to say hi.  We can’t wait to share so many awesome books with you folks!  The lucky giftees will be chosen at random from the commenters and announced next Saturday to kick off Halloween weekend…stay tuned!

All Hallow’s Read is a book-giving tradition thought up by author Neil Gaiman. We’re making book suggestions all month long in case you need ideas!

Giving Up The Ghost by Melissa Ecker

I don’t care what you’re thinking – Paranormal Romance has a place in the horror genre, and Melissa Ecker is here to prove that fact. Not only that, but she’s going to make you cry, laugh, scare the hell out of you, and hit you hard on every other emotion you could possibly think of. Sure, she titillates and teases, but I can assure you that this woman is here to show you a good time, as well as show you who’s boss. Giving Up The Ghost has made me an instant fan of this Ecker’s work, and will go down as my favorite piece of Paranormal Romance/Erotica ever.

Kylie McAllister has it all until her world is shattered by the death of her husband, Jackson, in a car accident. After a year of grieving, Kylie uses the proceeds from Jackson’s life insurance to purchase a plantation home on the outskirts of New Orleans to start over with her daughter, Abby. Confirmed bachelor, Ryan Lacroix, has to intentions of settling down with anyone, let alone his best friend’s widow, but somehow Kylie and Abby find their way into his heart. 

After discovering an old Ouija Board in the attic of her new home, Kylie unwittingly opens a cosmic door to an incubus who pretends to be the dead husband she is so desperately struggling to let go of. She falls deep under his spell of delicious sex and malevolent obsession while he gradually drains her life to fortify his own. By the time she realizes he’s an impostor, she is powerless to stop him. Together, with Jackson’s subliminal guidance and the help of a voodoo practitioner, Ryan and Kylie wage a fight for her life against the evil entity.

Picture this: I’m looking at this book, wondering if I should buy it. I think “Hell, what could it hurt?”, buy it, and let it sit there for a couple of weeks. If I had known right then and there that I would be getting a story that mixes the sexiness of paranormal romance and erotica with the absolute, spine-tingling terror that one can find in a novel such as The Amityville Horror (which is still one of the scariest damn books I’ve ever read), I would have picked this bad boy up and read it right then and there. Giving Up The Ghost took all of the trappings that I assumed the P/R genre was about, turned them on their head, and served up a dish that would confuse my emotions so perfectly that I became a slave to them.

Ecker writes beautifully. She follows the formula perfectly, but has such a dynamic flair to her style that she stands apart from others instantly. Her words seethe with unbridled, raw sexuality, but also hold the ability to tear everything down in one fell swoop. The first 4 chapters of this book are designed in such a way that Ecker brings the reader soaring to untold heights of happiness, only to have their wings clipped mid-flight, sending them rocketing down to the pits of despair along with the main character, Kylie. Through incredibly emotional, well chosen phrases and pacing, Ecker is able to craft a very effective introduction to the central theme, and thus starts what quickly becomes a very addictive journey.

I was prepared for some hot and heavy sex scenes going into this one. Ecker writes short fiction for the website Everything Erotic, and have read some of those steamy morsels of awesome. What I wasn’t prepared for though, was how cleanly and easily this author could slide from one extreme to the next. Popping from normal exposition to clearly defined spookiness obviously proves to be no daunting task for Ecker. But when it comes to sex, oh lordy does this woman write ever with passion. Gone are the clichés and ridiculous euphemisms that stereotype this sort of fiction, and present are some seriously hard, edgy, and heated descriptions that will melt the ice encrusted minds of the most ardent of prudes. Heartbeats amp up, squirming begins, and the incredible visions of lust swim in delightfully euphoric passion plays behind the reader’s eyelids. This is some incredible erotic fiction.

Wherever Ecker wants to take her reader, she will. Her prose is tight, her characters believable and light, and her scares are one-hundred percent there. I wouldn’t want to read anything less than that, and Ecker has delivered beautifully. Giving Up The Ghost is a truly terrifying, sexy little read that will leave you gasping for more, but still terrified of playing with the Occult.

Ecker can be found at her website and on Twitter. You can grab her novels at Turquoise Morning Press, Amazon and other retailers online.