The beginning of fall and spooky season is right around the corner, and many readers may be feeling the soft, probing touch of a cold finger on their spine. As we wind on down the road toward Halloween, the Craven-Pamlico Regional Library has stocked their shelves with terrifying stories to scratch that spooky itch.

Recently, we were fortunate to acquire several spine-tingling selections from Flame Tree Press. An arm of the greater Flame Tree Publishing family, this trade imprint offers a bevy of dark tales ranging from more traditional horror to sci-fi/fantasy and crime-infused stories. Here are a few of the e-book titles currently available:

The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
Selected by Library Journal as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year

Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts.

"In his latest pulp horror gem, Janz channels early Stephen King to twist the story of a secluded writers' retreat into something unique and thought-provoking." Booklist

Also featured from Jonathan Janz:

The Siren and the Specter

The Sorrows

The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro


2018 - Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras - The Queen of The Cicadas.

In 1950s south Texas a farmworker- Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship.

Belinda and the new owner of the farmhouse - Hector, find themselves immersed in the legend and realize it is part of their fate as well.

"A riveting #ownvoices novel exploring Mexican folk tales and legends mingled with the history of Texas…Castro does not pull any punches. Readers seeking originality and a fresh take on well-worn horror tropes should pick up this novel by a dynamic and innovative voice in horror.” —Booklist Starred Review

Queen of the Cicadas is the best urban legend story since Candyman, layered and dark and hideously beautiful. If Castro’s not already on your radar, she should be.” —Christopher Golden, NYT bestselling author of Ararat and Red Hands

Also featured from V. Castro:

Mestiza Blood

Faithless by Hunter Shea

How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt's empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he's not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.

Also featured from Hunter Shea:


The Nirvana Effect by Brian Pinkerton

Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over. Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins…

"Fans of stories centered on the conflict between the virtual and the real will find plenty to enjoy." Publishers Weekly


Selected and reported by
Travis Green
Library Assistant I
New Bern-Craven County Public Library