THE CARREFOUR CURSE by Dianne K. Salerni #CoverReveal

Psst . . .

Come closer. Yeah, you.

Take a peek at this.

Tell me what you see?

Are you sure?

Look closer . . . what do you think is in the girl’s hands? Or in the pictures behind her?

Nice answers! Well, I don’t see specific things, but I do sense a bit of shock and some awe. Maybe a sliver of curiosity, too. And a cat. But I guess a cat is specific. #shrugs Any hoot, before I share the rest of this amazing book cover, here’s a bit about this spooky tale which is set for release in January 2023 by Holiday House.

BOOK SUMMARYđź“™

The Addams Family meets The Westing Game in this exhilarating mystery about a modern magical dynasty trapped in the ruins of their once-grand, now-crumbling ancestral home.

Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.

But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden. 

Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?

Written with loads of creepy atmosphere and an edge-of-your-seat magical mystery, this thrilling story reads like The Haunting of Hill House for preteens. Perfect for late-night reading under the covers.


So, fellow readers who love some spook and creep in their books, what comparison got you first? The Addams Family reference or The Haunting of Hill House?

Haha! I know! They both got me, too. Well, enough with all that. Here’s The Carrefour Curse cover in all it’s spookiness!

BOOK CHARM

Whoa . . . check out the kiddos in the framed photos. Super creepy . . .

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BOOK🌟

When I was very young, I fell in love with the supernatural soap opera, Dark Shadows. (My mom was a fan.) The show centered on an old house and a family with a menacing family patriarch. There was magic and mystery and the nearby ruins of an older, larger house. When the main character went traveling into the past century, the “Old House” was restored to its former glory, blowing my childhood mind. Many of these elements made it into The Carrefour Curse, mashed together with a haunting Ambrose Bierce vignette about two men who found a room full of dead people that later disappeared, taking one of the men with it.

THE AUTHOR🪧

DIANNE K. SALERNI is the author of middle grade and YA novels, including Eleanor, Alice, & the Roosevelt Ghosts and Jadie in Five Dimensions, both Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections, and The Eighth Day series, nominated for seven state award lists. Her eighth book, The Carrefour Curse, is a spine-chilling mystery inspired by Dianne’s love of all things gothic, but especially the supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows. Dianne was a Pennsylvania public school teacher for 25 years before leaving the profession to spend time hanging around creepy cemeteries, attending ghost hunting classes, and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research. In her spare time, she volunteers at her local animal rescue shelter, walking dogs and serving the needs of the feline overlords. 

Thank you so much for sharing in Dianne’s exciting cover reveal! Make sure to come back in a few months, when we release more about this eerie story with a full interview with Dianne.

Spooky Books in the Spring

Here at Spooky Middle Grade, we’re always saying that spooky books aren’t just for Halloween—they’re good all year round. And to prove it, here’s a list of some spooky books coming out this spring and summer that we can’t wait to read:

THE BEAST AND THE BETHANY BOOK 2: REVENGE OF THE BEAST written by Jack Meggit-Phillips and illustrated by Isabelle Follath
In this second book in the series that’s described as Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl, prankster Bethany tries to turn over a new leaf, but gets thwarted in the funniest and most spooky ways at every turn.
Out MARCH 22 from Aladdin

STORM written by Nicola Skinner
Doll Bones meets Lemony Snicket in this middle-grade adventure about a girl who, after she dies in a freak natural disaster that wipes out her whole town, must navigate her temper even when she’s a ghost.
Out MARCH 29 from HarperCollins

WITCHLINGS written by Claribel A. Ortega
This new book from the New York Times best-selling author features 12-year-old Seven Salazar, who, after being put in a coven for witches with little power, must fulfill an impossible task to gain her full power and become the witch she always knew she could be… or be turned into a toad, forever.
Out APRIL 5 from Scholastic

FREDDIE VS. THE FAMILY CURSE written by Tracy Badua
In this fun and spooky middle-grade adventure, Filipino-American Freddie Ruiz finds a family heirloom that he thinks will break his family’s curse, until he discovers that his cranky great-granduncle Ramon is trapped in the heirloom and the evil spirits responsible for his death have returned with a vengeance. Now Freddie and his cousin Sharkey have 13 days to break the curse, or join Ramon in an untimely afterlife.
Out MAY 3 from Clarion Books

WILDSEED WITCH written by Marti Dumas
This MG contemporary fantasy tells the story of how social-media-loving tween Hasani’s summer plans of building a makeup YouTube channel are drastically changed when she’s sent to Les Belles Demoiselles, a literal charm school that teaches generations of old-money witch families to harness their magic.
Out MAY 10 from Amulet Books

LET THE MONSTER OUT written by Chad Lucas
A mix of Stranger Things and The Parker Inheritance, this story is about Bones Malone, who feels like an outsider as one of the only Black kids in his new small town. But when things in his town start getting weird, Bones and his friend Kyle Specks find a mysterious scientist’s journal and have to push through their fear to find some answers.
Out MAY 17 from Amulet Books

THE CLACKITY written by Lora Senf
This eerie spooky MG is reminiscent of Doll Bones and about a girl who must enter a world of ghosts, witches and monsters to play a deadly game if she’s going to rescue her aunt.
Out JUNE 28 from Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Plus these spooky MG books are coming out on paperback:

ROOT MAGIC written by Eden Royce
Out APRIL 5 from Walden Pond Press

HIDE AND DON’T SEEK: AND OTHER VERY SCARY STORIES written by Anica Mrose Rissi
Out May 10 from Quill Tree Books

LONG LOST written by Jacqueline West
Out MAY 10 from Greenwillow Books

Are there any spooky books you’re looking forward to?