Halloween Reads 2012: 6 New Books We Like

Halloween, the holiday that keeps on giving. Scares, frights, giggles, gore and bloodshed abound. We thought we'd take a look at some of the new books that celebrate horror. Here are six new books we like.

6. Set in a haunted German village, Stefan Kiesbye's just released Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone hits a chord with horror fans -- that is, scary, powerful kids. (The pale blond girl on the book's cover could be a modern-day twisted Gretel from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale.) The village, located on Devil's Moor, is filled with secrets and the kids are in charge.

In interviews, Kiesbye has said, "We are always living in the aftermath of someone else's disasters. The narrators of Your House Is on Fire are caught in the debris of their parents' lives and can't disentangle themselves. They re-create the hell they were born into and learn how to navigate it. Hell is a very normal place for them."

Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, called Your House Is on Fire "a very elegant nightmare."

5. Our choice for the number five spot is Kim Harrison's collection of short works Into the Woods. Harrison is the author behind the Hallows novels, including Dead Witch Walking and Every Which Way But Dead. Just released earlier this month, Into the Woods is a mix of new short stories, a new full-length novella and a selection of previously published stories. Several stories feature The Hollows, the magically altered version of contemporary Cincinnati. Longtime Harrison fans will get a glimpse of familiar characters in stories that reveal what happened before or after the last book. Million Dollar Baby, the novella, for example, explains how elven entrepreneur Trent Kalamack came to the Hollows with his newborn (just in case you were wondering).

4. On sale October 30 is James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell's e-book original City of Screams. Rollins and Cantrell introduce a new character in this release, Sergeant Jordan Stone. Investigating the massacre of an archaeology team in the highlands of Afghanistan, Stone and his team discover a ten-year-old who survived the attack. But things aren't what they seem, as Stone and company soon find out when the worlds of the living and the dead begin to merge. Stone will be featured in Rollins and Cantrell's upcoming hardback The Blood Gospel.

3. Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom. We have to admit, we have a bit of a soft spot for Krampus, the devil at the center of Brom's new novel. He's out to destroy Santa Claus and reclaim the Yuletide holidays. The legend goes that Krampus was Santa's sidekick. The kids that didn't make Santa's nice list got punished by Krampus. Author Brom has taken that a step further. This time Krampus is in an all-out war with Santa, determined to overthrow the fat fraud and put an end to all his ho, ho, ho-ing.

2. So, let's see: "God has had a nervous breakdown. The Devil took a holiday. Sandman Slim is standing in for Lucifer." Sounds like another Monday to us. Richard Kadery's latest release, Devil Said Bang: A Sandman Slim Novel, is urban fantasy at its best. On the outskirts of Los Angeles, Sandman Slim is battling a spirit on a killing spree, handling the Devil's paperwork and trying to stay alive all at the same time.

1. Texas author Rachel Caine's new Bitter Blood takes the number one spot on our list. The vamp tale is set in Morganville, Texas, where humans are taking up arms against their undead neighbors. Claire, a human with strong ties to both vamps and the living, is trying to stay out of the fray, but it isn't easy. Sooner or later, she's going to have to choose a side. And this time it looks like it's going to be sooner.

It's easy to see why Claire appeals to readers: She's smart, she's sexy and she's very, very busy trying to stay alive in a town where being human isn't very good for your health. Her friends are an off-beat crew of misfits and hopefuls. Together they present a united front against the world...and manage to have a couple of love affairs along the way.

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