With Halloween coming up this Friday, it felt only appropriate to have a give away of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, my very first Halloween book.

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In fact, it’s going to be Halloween week here on the website!

On Tuesday, we’ll have some fun facts about Halloween (or the lack of it) in the early nineteenth century.

On Wednesday, I’ll be reviving my favorite archived post about Halloween costumes.

On Thursday, we have another wonderful Pink Carnation Cookery installment from Christine. In honor of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: vampire cookies!

And on Friday, I’ll announce our winner!

Now, back to our contest! For the chance to win a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, here’s your question:

What’s your favorite Halloween reading?

One person will be chosen at random to receive a copy of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla. The winner will be announced on Halloween….

106 Comments

  1. Cate on October 27, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Mist Over Pendle by Robert Neill…..it’s about the Pendle witch trials, and manages to mix romance, humour, mystery & murder into one brilliantly satisfying read. I re read this every October.
    ,

    • Lauren on October 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Oooh, I’d never heard of it. Definitely adding it to my Halloween list.

  2. Jessica Claypole on October 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Paula Brackston’s “The Witch’s Daughter” and Katherine Howe’s “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” are two of my favorite Halloween reads. Anne Rice’s “The Mummy or Ramses the Damned” is an all-time favorite that I read anytime of the year, but try to time out to be around Halloween. Would love to win a copy of “Midnight Manzanilla” for this year’s spooky read!

  3. Shelby on October 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

    My favorite October reads are the books by Carrie Ryan, starting with “The Forest Of Hands and Teeth” The title is beyond creepy and the book is full of zombies, intrigue, zombies, trees, super strong zombies, survival, and more zombies! Excellent books!

  4. Liz on October 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

    it’s not romance, but Harry Potter (any of them) are favorite reads around Halloween. “There’s a troll in the dungeon!”

  5. Marianne Stevens on October 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

    The ending of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deb Harkness. It takes place at Samhain/Halloween and it’s one of my favorite books.

  6. Amber B on October 27, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I love reading some Edgar Allen Poe on Halloween – particularly The Tell Tale Heart or Masque of the Red Death!!

  7. Alise on October 27, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “An Inquiry Into Love and Death” by Simone St. James is perfect for Halloween! Currently reading Dracula for the first time and loving it!

  8. Angie Baugh on October 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I read Poe’s The Raven every year for Halloween. I usually read Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but this year I read Howe’s new book “Witches”. Both books are excellent!

  9. Kristy Motz on October 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Anything by Simone St. James is perfect for Halloween reading!

  10. Alexandra Mitchell on October 27, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Anything Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King. Can’t go wrong with a King horror story for Halloween! Sets the scary mood 🙂

  11. Ashley Pohlenz on October 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Dracula! I love this old story so much!

  12. Samantha on October 27, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I just finished a novel called the vanishing. It’s about a psychic, a haunted house, and the ghosts that live there.

  13. Rachel Smith on October 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

    “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness is a great Halloween read. I just finished re-reading it yesterday. I never can make a book last more than a couple days!

  14. Hannah on October 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I definitely love reading Harry Potter around Halloween, especially the Sorcerer’s Stone!

  15. Ashley on October 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a thrilling zombie series.

  16. Elysia on October 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I always read The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe or Robert Lewis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  17. Leila on October 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

    The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe – and b.c Northanger Abbey satirises it.

  18. Jocelyn Wang on October 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Dracula definetly the count himself. I’m already making a date with him on Friday night.

  19. Melanie Durrell on October 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

    The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons – good creepy fun =)

  20. Diane Stiles on October 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’ve always loved a good witch story…going back The Witch Of Blackbird Pond. I also try to read The Crucible every year or so, and Halloween is a good time to do it. For a creepy read in a different mode, try The High Flyer by Susan Howatch. Great paranormal from a different point of view.

  21. colleen w on October 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I don’t normally read scary stories now but I used to read goosebumps…. say cheese and die is pretty freaky!

  22. Sarah on October 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    The Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain. 😉 Would really appreciate a “grown-up” Halloween book… 😉

  23. Dara on October 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I always try to read Turn of the Screw by Henry James around Halloween. It took me three times to read it before I finally started to appreciate how frightening it is. I read somewhere that someone has written an “modern” version of it, so I’ll have to try to get my hands on that. Also love Stir of Echos by Matheson. For short stories- you can’t beat “The Two Sams” by Glen Hirshberg.

  24. Sarah on October 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I love to reread Dracula! This year I am reading Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy which I love!

  25. CelineB on October 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Anything by Simone St. James! Right now I’m reading The Vanishing by Wendy Webb. It’s set in a large, haunted manor on a remote island. So far, it’s good.

  26. Gwendolyn Smazal on October 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I have so many! Favorite fantasy fiction is Poison Study
    By Maria V. Snyder – Historical fiction Pink Carnation’s Blood Lily – YA Fantasy anything by Tamora Pierce or Rick Riordan
    – and countless others – all of my books are my favorite!

  27. Laura on October 27, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Oh anything by Simone St:James! 🙂

  28. Mary D. on October 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Anything by Edgar Allen Poe is great for Halloween. “The Raven” always gives me a chill!

  29. Brandy Droptiny on October 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I enjoy Stokers “Dracula” and Shellys “Frankenstein.”

  30. Denise Treacy on October 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Its not fiction but it reminds me of Halloween: The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of England by James Sharpe. An excellent read!

  31. Deanna Greene on October 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I have to admit, I’m not much of a “Halloween” reader. I have a very active “suggested” imagination… so basically, in my dreams, I am readily available to relive a book. The fricking Cask of Amontiado had me in nightmares for weeks!!

    Of course, I’m thinking yours wouldn’t do that to me…

  32. Amanda on October 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I just read and loved The Fall by Bethany Griffin which is a Poe retelling. Perfect creepy Halloween read. Though I agree with the poster above who suggested Harry Potter!

  33. Jessica Waytenick on October 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hallow

  34. Melanie Taormina on October 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

  35. Nancy Asmus on October 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic” by Emily Croy Barker. Not a “scary” book but very fun and imaginative. Filled with magic, witches, wizards, and a dark fairy tale-like world.

  36. Colleen Turner on October 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The Shining by Stephen King!

  37. Shannon Goewey on October 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Always Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s my favorite of the books and I always love rediscovering the world of magic with Harry.

  38. Tracy Lee White on October 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Oooh… so many! Top ones that come to mind in past years; poison study series by Maria V. Snyder, Witches trilogy by Deborah Harkness and any HP.

  39. Alexandra Schneider on October 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I enjoy a good Gothic thriller any time of year, but for Halloween I would go back to Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt. It’s the first one I ever read and it’s still my favorite!

  40. melanie on October 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Rebecca!

  41. Rosemary on October 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Since I live very, very near the little town, I make it a point to read the story about my local area every year 🙂

  42. Nikki B on October 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Can’t say I have a Halloween read. Maybe the Midnight Manzanilla will become it!

  43. Bekah on October 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite creepy read! I do plan to add Simone St. James to my TBR list thanks to this site! And Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla of course!!

  44. Jackie M. on October 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, so I have lots of favorite Halloween readings — top of the list, though, is The Witching Hour by Anne Rice :).

  45. Kristen Morris on October 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m with you on the The Witching Hour – such a good book!!! I actually made my old book club read it for Halloween one year and everyone throughly enjoyed it!

  46. Jacqueline on October 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I love Karina Halle, so I’m reading The Devils Metal. Her Experiment in Terror series is also good, which is about a ghost hunting crew

  47. Liz Merrill on October 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Poe (the black cat is my favorite) is usually my go-to for halloween but I just finished Rebecca by daphne de maurier & it was pretty spooky!

  48. HJ on October 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I’m not good at Haloween, because I really don’t like anything ghostly or scary. So I read an happy, daylight book such as a Mary Stewart: Madam, WillYou Talk? has lots of French hot sunshine!

  49. Whitney J. on October 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova…great novel and a different twist on Dracula.

  50. Lesia Chambliss on October 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    A dark and broody Duke who lives in a somewhat haunted house. Can’t remember the name or author, I think it was in Cornwall, though.

  51. Linnea Goebel on October 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    My favorite is “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes

  52. Robyn S on October 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Mrs. Poe By Lynn Cullen

  53. Lynn Fitzpatrick on October 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    The Discovery of Witches trlilogy or Harry Potter

  54. LynnS on October 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve never had a Halloween must read before. It occurred to me last week, though, that it would be fun to reread Midnight Manzanilla about this time. Sounds like the start of a new tradition!

  55. Luz Soto on October 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve never read scary books.

  56. Jessica Kales on October 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Creepy Stories to Tell in the Dark

  57. Rachel Adrianna on October 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I’m not fan of anything too scary, but I try and read a few new Poe stories every year.

  58. Jessica Baughman on October 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Deb Harkness books. “The Woman In Black”

  59. Angie on October 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Dracula and Harry Potter are at the top of my list for nostalgic and creepy Halloween reading!

  60. Morgan Manning on October 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    My favorites are:
    -Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough, one of the scariest, most atmospheric books I’ve ever read, and its sequel The Mark of Cain.
    -Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, the perfect modern Gothic English setting with amazing characters, magic, crumbling houses, and creepy goings on.
    -Harry Potter of course.

    I’m happy Manzanilla is a Halloween book! 🙂

  61. Harriiette on October 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

  62. bn100 on October 27, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Harry Potter

  63. Beth Signor on October 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

  64. Devon Hernandez on October 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    In adding another vote for Katherine Howe’s “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.” This was crazy good and creepy! I highly recommend it.

  65. Toni Snead on October 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    i like to read the Harry Potter books.

  66. Ana on October 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Any of the Harry Potter books or the legend of sleepy hollow

  67. Sarah H on October 27, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Harry Potter! Rebecca is excellent too

  68. Jackie b on October 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Harry potter series!!!!

  69. Brittany B on October 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Witches, vampires, demons, and ghosts…sounds like Halloween to me!

  70. Sandy S. on October 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Frankenstein, Harry Potter, or anything by Poe.

  71. Joan on October 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I recently read The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn and enjoyed it. Reminds me of the gothic stories I read in my teens and twenties!

  72. Beth on October 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Mine are The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie.

  73. Erin Gehringer on October 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Anne Rice’s The witching Hour or Lestat.

  74. Betty S. on October 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Last year I read Dracula and Deanna Raybourn’s The Dead Travel Fast – loved them both.

    This year due to recommendations here, I’ve read The Woman in Black, and two Simone St. James books – The Haunting of Maddy Clare and An Inquiry Into Love and Death – highly recommend all.

    Since I have an autographed copy of Manzanilla thar I ordered from Word, don’t include me in the drawing.

  75. Mika D. on October 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Every year I start Harry Potter before Halloween and finish it before Christmas. I do have to say that I really enjoyed both the Physik Book of Deliverance Dane and The Witch’s Daughter. I saw lots of votes for those.
    And I, too, started out with the Goosebumps series as a kid.

  76. Flora on October 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    “The Historian” and some Harry Potter!

  77. Rose Foster on October 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    The Shining

  78. SuzanneH on October 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    We don’t do Halloween in Australia, but this year I am trying to get into the spirit as much as possible from this far away. My favourite is Bram Stoker. I have read Dracula and The Lady Of The Shroud so many times I have lost count. Recently I got my hands on a reprint of his Best Ghost And Horror Stories from Amazon. It has my favourite of his short stories from when I was at school, The Judge’s House, and many I haven’t read before. So on Friday night I will be scaring the hell out of myself reading the story again for the first time in several decades and watching my favourite ghost movie, The Uninvited, on DVD. I am really looking forward to it and will be thinking of you all celebrating a proper Halloween. Happy Halloween to you all!

  79. Susan I on October 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Little Witch, by Anna Elizabeth Bennett. It’s a children’s book that my younger daughter fortunately loves as much as I do. And Too Many Pumpkins–a fabulous picture book for little ones.

  80. Jessica C on October 27, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Not many Halloween traditions in Australai – but if I want a spooky read I tend to reach for a Victoria Holt novel. My favourite is probably The Shivering Sands, for the way the suspense builds slowly by surely.

    • SuzanneH on October 28, 2014 at 5:12 am

      I love The Shivering Sands. Way back in the 70s it was one of the first “grown up” books I read and I saved my 50c a week pocket money for about a month to buy it. If only books were still $1-99!!

  81. Jennifer H. on October 27, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    I agree with the others who mentioned Harry Potter books. However, I haven’t read M.M. yet…it may be my new favorite around Halloween!

  82. Annette on October 28, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Any book by Stephen King or my new favorite scary author Wendy Webb!

  83. Cassidy on October 28, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I would have to say that my favorite Halloween book is Frankenstein, but it isn’t what I usually read around this time. Usually around October, I start reading any book that is in a long series with a Christmas installment, like the Pink Carnation series, or Julia Quinn’s books. Sometimes others as well.

    So I guess mine depends on what type of answer from the above you are looking for. This year, I am actually reading Dead Witch Walking, which thematically doesn’t fit with my Christmas oriented ones, but does fit Halloween.

  84. Carole Rae on October 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

    MMmmmmmm, a good question. I’ve read a few over the years and I’m really sure. Perhaps ‘Picture of Dorian Grey’ and ‘Interview with a Vampire’. I do highly enjoy ‘The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla’. 😉

  85. miriam kahn on October 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is my first response. After I think about it for a while, The Tell-Tale Heart is an even better read for the spooky night.

  86. Abby on October 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Two favorites from my childhood- The Little Leftover Witch by Florence Laughlin and Little Witch by Anna Bennett. I have a very vivid memory of refinding the Leftover Witch at a used bookstore in Amherst some years ago and reading it while walking down Main Street because I couldn’t wait to get home.

  87. Amanda on October 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Poe is a Halloween master, but I also enjoy Laurell Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series of faeries and things that go bump in the night.

  88. Rhonda on October 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is my favorite Halloween read.

  89. Liz L on October 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I love to read the Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie at Halloween time. Also, I recently read The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which was very creepy!

  90. Beth F on October 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I usually love to read either The Fall of the House of Usher or Rebecca at this time of year. Right now I’m reading The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn.

  91. Lindsay on October 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    As much as I love Halloween I’ve never been one for creepy stories but I always enjoy ones jammed packed with magic so the Harry Potter series or anything by Diane Wynn Jones are my picks!

  92. Susan Gorman on October 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Katharine Ashe’s Captive Bride!

  93. Liz on October 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie!

  94. Rhonda on October 28, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    It’s hard to pick one but I do love Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla

  95. Khadija on October 28, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    A Season of Passage by Christopher Pike, truly petrifying book!

  96. Cameran on October 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Read and listened to it for the first time this October and fell in love (it also helped that Tim Mison, who plays Ichabod on the FOX show of the same name, was the narrator. He’s wonderful.)

    Happy Halloween, Lauren!

  97. Kristie Hoskins on October 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. I also like to read The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher by Poe.

  98. Sherri on October 29, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Right now, my favorite Halloween read is “Biscuit’s Pet and Play Halloween.” 🙂

  99. Paige on October 30, 2014 at 12:48 am

    I’m always looking for something just right. Fall is my favorite season. There isn’t anything that I always read at Halloween, to be honest. For some reason, I do start thinking about reading A Christmas Carol around this time of year, but don’t actually get to it until later in the season.

    This year, I ordered a copy of The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson after reading about it here. I also picked up Dracula’s Guest (A collection of Victorian vampire stories),One Haunted Evening, and Pulse and Prejudice.

  100. Mary in Sunny Florida on October 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Old school…Irving’s Legend of Sleeoy Hollow and anything by Mr. Poe while watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and handing candy in shorts and flip flops!

  101. lois losh on October 31, 2014 at 11:06 am

    The Shining. Ghost Story. Fall of the House of Usher.

  102. Tarah Petersen on October 31, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Susan Hill – The Woman in Black

  103. Emma on October 31, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla is by far my favorite Halloween book! I absolutely loved it!

  104. Angie on October 31, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I just finished a favorite short story, The Monkey’s Paw, about a shriveled up relic that can grant the owner 3 wishes. But the wishes don’t come about as expected …

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