If you missed last week’s short stories prompt, be sure to check it out here!
I know people struggled with this one, because I think everyone automatically thinks of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. However, it didn’t have to be a literal road. It could be a journey of self-discovery. It could be on the ‘road’ home. It could have had a hit-and-run scene on a winding road that left teens eternally traumatized, etc.
Also, The Hunger by Alma Katsu popped up a LOT, but we’re trying to showcase a range of books so… bear with us!
Tarasbookaddiction shared the first installment of the Ghost Roads series: Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire. This book is also unique in that it is formatted as a series of short stories but still just one story. You have to check it out to fully get it!
“Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You can’t kill what’s already dead.”
Ntbooknerd gave us quite a cover montage of books that fit “The Road.”
Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
“Dovey learns that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of her mind in this southern gothic fantasy from the author of the Blud series.
A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and destruction—and taking the life of Dovey’s best friend, Carly. Since that night, Dovey has been in a medicated haze, numb to everything around her.
But recently she’s started to believe she’s seeing things that can’t be real…including Carly at their favorite café. Determined to learn the truth, Dovey stops taking her pills. And the world that opens up to her is unlike anything she could have imagined.
As Dovey slips deeper into the shadowy corners of Savannah—where the dark and horrifying secrets lurk—she learns that the storm that destroyed her city and stole her friend was much more than a force of nature. And now the sinister beings truly responsible are out to finish what they started.”
Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts is a apocalyptic sequel to Dark Inside focusing on four teens trying to survive in a world gone mad.
“Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population, and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move.
Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers, and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, even if he is still alive. Michael is still haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.
As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.”
The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts
“A deep and riveting psychological thriller inspired by true events of the Victorian era, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, what drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.
1885. Anne Stanbury wakes up in a strange bed, having been kidnapped from her home. As the panic settles in, she realizes she has been committed to a lunatic asylum, deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for an unspeakable crime. But all is not as it seems….
Edgar Stanbury, her husband as well as a grieving father, is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge for his ruined life. But Anne’s future rests wholly in the hands of Dr. George Savage, chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital.
The Medea Complex is the darkly compelling story of a lunatic, a lie, and a shocking revelation that elucidates the difference between madness and evil….”
To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough (the first in the Erin Blake series)
“Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.
Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother’s killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she’s secretly doing on her own.
Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it’s too late.”
Our own book.happy shared with us Cockblock by C.V. Hunt. This book has been described as extreme horror and very dark. Book.happy continues to say “it’s funny, heartbreaking, disturbing, gross, and even a little romantic and heartwarming.”
“After the daily grind at their jobs all Sonya and Callie want is to enjoy a quiet night out together at a new restaurant. But making it to their reservation is proving to be a challenge. A few men on the street near their destination verbally assault them. And the situation quickly escalates into a nightmare. Once within the safety of the restaurant the two women discover it’s not just the men outside who’ve lost their minds, men everywhere have gone insane. And they believe they’ve found the origin of the mayhem. A radio in the kitchen is playing a hate filled message against women and it’s being delivered by the President. There’s only one way to stop the men from attacking women and logic tells them they need to terminate the chaos at its source.”
Missbonnie13 shared with us Swerve by Vicki Pettersson. If you like being panicked and stressed while biting your nails and reading a book then this may be the next on you should pick up!
“It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.”
To conclude our wrap-up of “The Road,” gowsy33 gave us The Hunger by Alma Katsu. The Hunger is a paranormal twist on some historical fiction and explores terror and survival at its core.
“Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.
Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.
While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”
Make sure and check back next week as we highlight some of our favorite images from our “YA” prompt on the Instagram photo challenge!