New Spooky MG: Hanging with Vampires by Insha Fitzpatrick

Happy Monday, Spooky MG friends! We have some good news for you readers: there’s a new spooky MG book for you to add to your collection: Hanging with Vampires by Insha Fitzpatrick…! It’s out on March 28th (Quirk Books).

We recently caught up with Insha to ask her three burning questions…

1. Tell us a little about the inspiration behind this book.

For many supernatural creatures, there’s always a question brewing inside your mind that makes you want to dive a little deeper into them. For Hanging With Vampires, we asked ourselves (and the little supernaturalists): Are vampires real? That’s the biggest inspiration behind the book. 

My spooktacular editor challenged me to dig a little deeper into vampires and ask myself questions beyond the everyday knowledge we know about vampires today. What real-life history put vampires on the map? What assembles Dracula into the figure that we see today? Where did vampire literature begin? How do you make the coolest vampire-hunting toolkit in the world? These questions make others interested in the weird world of the supernatural! We wanted to open the coffin and give everyone this fangtastic history and lore to enjoy.

2. What scares you most?

Oooh, that’s a good question. This goes into one of my favorite horror genres, but isolation scares me so much. I’m a super big introvert, so I love being by myself, but there’s something about isolation in some scenarios that scare me to bits! If you’ve ever seen Neil Marshall’s movie The Descent (2005) or John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), that’s my deepest fear. Can you imagine knowing that you’re isolated from the world, and no one can help you if you live in a vampire village or cryptid canyon? It gives me the shivers just thinking about it!

3. What’s your favorite snack when you’re writing?

I have three never fail go-to snacks! The first one is a vanilla chai latte! It’s my little pick-me-up for when the sluggish energy starts coming on. The next one is gummi worms. Whenever I know I have a writing slump I need to get through, they’re always fun to be silly. The last one is Andy Capp Hot Fries. They are some of the BEST chips I’ve ever had, but they are also a little messy on the fingers. I usually keep a paper towel near me before going back to typing.

Thank you, Insha!!

We can’t wait to read Hanging with VampiresGet your copy, Spooky MG friends!


Stop and drop everything, because you can now buy The Clackity by our Spooky MG friend Lora Senf…! This hot-off-the-press scary MG is now available at booksellers everywhere.

Here’s the story (and the amazing cover):

Reminiscent of Doll Bones, this deliciously eerie middle grade novel tells the story of a girl who must enter a world of ghosts, witches, and monsters to play a game with deadly consequences and rescue her aunt.

Evie Von Rathe lives in Blight Harbor—the seventh-most haunted town in America—with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. Des doesn’t have many rules except one: Stay out of the abandoned slaughterhouse at the edge of town. But when her aunt disappears into the building, Evie goes searching for her.

There she meets The Clackity, a creature who lives in the shadows and seams of the slaughterhouse. The Clackity makes a deal with Evie to help get Des back in exchange for the ghost of John Jeffrey Pope, a serial killer who stalked Blight Harbor a hundred years earlier. Evie must embark on a journey into a strange otherworld filled with hungry witches, penny-eyed ghosts, and a memory-thief, all while being pursued by a dead man whose only goal is to add Evie to his collection of lost souls.

Does this not sound dynamite?? Pass the cake for this book birthday, the Spooky MG authors are celebrating!!

#CoverReveal (!!) for WHISPERING PINES 3: RECKONING by Heidi Lang and Kati BartKowski

Is there anything better than a cover reveal for a new MG, especially when it’s a spooky series you LOVE?? We feel so honored to share with you the cover for Heidi Lang and Kato Bartowski’s next installment in the WHISPERING PINES series, this one entitled RECKONING. It is due out on September 6th, 2022.

But first! We at Spooky Middle Grade always have a few burning questions that must be answered…

1. Tell us about this new book! What spooky things can new readers and fans of the Whispering Pines series expect?

Up until now we’ve had almost two separate storylines: Rae knows there are extraterrestrials because she’s seen photographic proof. More, she’s sure that’s the reason her father was abducted. And she’s seen a spaceship hidden deep below Whispering Pines. Also in the town? A super creepy alternate dimension—the Other Place—full of a strange bruise-like glow and tentacled, flesh-eating monsters. Caden thinks he knows why the Other Place was created. But he doesn’t know the truth.

There’s a surprising connection between Rae’s extraterrestrials and Caden’s supernatural gifts. The truth is out there…and readers can expect to find it in this book. At least, some of it. 😉 We think a lot of fans will be happy to start getting some answers to the bigger questions, even if they might not be the answers they were expecting.

2. Where did you draw your inspiration from for this book? How is the collaboration process when you’re starting a new book?

Our whole series has really been inspired by The X-Files, and the idea behind their monster of the week mixed with the alien conspiracy episodes. We wanted to structure Whispering Pines in a similar way: there’s an overarching bigger story for the series, and then a monster to tackle in each book that’s somehow related to that overall thread.

This third book was a tricky one to write since we had so many storylines from the first two books to juggle, and we knew we needed to start showing how they all wove together. We did A Lot of phone calls where we just brainstormed, outlined, and got a little sick of talking to each other. But as things started to come together, we were really excited about where this series was heading.

3. Any fun facts or oddities that came up as you wrote? Were there moments where you were spooked?

While book one led to a treasure trove of supernatural information (we read all about Tarot readings, how to do a Seance, reading auras, etc.) and book two brought us to more terrifying bug facts than any one person should ever know, this book was more about building on those facts we’d already learned.

And we always try to scare each other when we write. We figure if we can do that, then we’ll hopefully scare our readers, too. There are a couple of deliciously creepy scenes in this book—monster chase scenes, a possession or two, the occasional jump scare—that did leave us with that chilled sensation. We’re excited to see what our readers think of them.


Drumroll please…

Here is the cover:

I think we can all agree this cover is amazing…! Credit goes to designer Tiara Landiorio, and artist is Xavier Collette.

Here is the book description:

Eyeless horrors. Giant, flesh-eating bugs. Despite everything Whispering Pines has thrown at
her, Rae has never given up searching for her missing father. But when she discovers a surprising
connection between his disappearance and Green On!, the shady alternative energy company that
runs her town, she’ll be forced to confront a monster more dangerous than anything she’s ever
faced before.

Meanwhile, now that Caden’s vindictive older brother is gone, it’s up to him to uphold the
family business and ensure that the evil in the Other Place never breaks free. But when a
mangled body is discovered in his backyard, he realizes that he can’t protect Whispering Pines
from the monstrous creatures of the Other Place—because they’re already here.

The only way for both Caden and Rae to save the people of Whispering Pines is to embark on a
mission deep into the heart of the Other Place. There, Caden will have to come to terms with the
truth of his family’s legacy and learn how to harness his full power.

If he fails, all the horrors of the Other Place will descend on Whispering Pines, and that’s a threat
that the town—and the world—cannot survive.

Doesn’t this sound amazing…? You can pre-order the book here.

If you’re new to the series, why not start at the beginning and read Whispering Pines 1 and 2 first…?

Happy spooky MG reading, Spookies!!

Daybreak on Raven Island Cover Reveal..!

It takes patience to be an author. You think up your concept, you outline, you write, you edit, and edit some more…

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this thing you made up actually becomes a book..!

And then the cover arrives, and it starts to feel real.

I’m so proud of my next spooky middle-grade, Daybreak on Raven Island. You can pre-order it at the links HERE!!

It’s out in August of 2022; here is the story:

From the critically acclaimed author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel comes a thrilling new middle grade mystery novel inspired by Alcatraz Prison.

Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh-grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori would rather be on the soccer field, but her bad grades have benched her until further notice; Marvin would rather be making his directorial debut with the horror movie that he’s writing; and Noah isn’t looking forward to having to make friends at this new school.

But when the three of them miss the one and only ferry of the day that would take them home, they’re forced to spend the night on Raven Island and need each other now more than ever.  With the help of a motley ghost hunting crew, they’ll have outrun a flock of ravens and a creepy caretaker, to uncover a killer and expose the age-old secrets of the island…all before daybreak.

Sounds cool, right? What’s even better is the cover:

I owe all thanks to the great people at Viking/Penguin Random House, particularly my editor Aneeka Kalia and cover artist Manuel Sumberac for making Raven Island look so good. I hope you pre-order Daybreak on Raven Island for August 2022..!