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.
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
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!!