New Releases – October 19, 2021

When your birthday falls on a Tuesday (AKA, New Release Day) like mine (Aimee’s) does today, it’s like getting a ton of gifts from the book universe. Take a look at what special surprises came to The Haunted Book Shop this week!

Local Author Release!

We are so excited for local author Gabriella Saab’s debut novel The Last Checkmate! If you binged The Queen’s Gambit earlier this year, you will love this book! Maria, a young Polish resistance worker imprisoned in Auschwitz during World War II, plays chess matches to spare her life. In doing so, she fights to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice. Gabriella was so gracious to provide The Haunted Book Shop with signed copies of The Last Checkmate, so be sure to come by (or order) a copy!


When you work in a shop with a name like The Haunted Book Shop, it’s no surprise that people come in wanting spooky, haunting ghost stories. The Wrong Turning: Encounters with Ghosts is sure to fit that bill! Edited by Stephen Johnson, this collection includes stories of ghostly encounters spanning world literature, from Europe to Russia, from the United States to China. Enjoy old favorites and discover new scary stories in this collection!

Fans of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe will find familiar characters and questions in Patti Callahan’s Once Upon a Wardrobe. Megs Devonshire is driven to solve the great mysteries of physics, with her talents with numbers and equations taking her all the way to Oxford on a scholarship. But with her beloved younger brother George facing a terminal illness, Megs finds herself seeking answers for George that defy logic – namely, where Narnia, the land from George’s favorite book, came from. Follow along as Megs searches for answers and hope in this story about sibling bonds and family love.


A creepy story of a haunted house and steeped in Japanese folklore, Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw is a spine-tingling adventure that will stay with you long after the book ends. A bride-to-be has always dreamed of getting married in a haunted house and jumps at the chance to spend a weekend with friends in an abandoned Heian mansion rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a woman whose fiancé died before they could marry. The woman buried herself alive and forces a girl to be buried with her every year to keep her company. As the weekend devolves from fun and games into something more sinister, it seems that there might be more to the story than just rumors. Readers are sure to squirm at this lyrical, twisting story of grief, relationships, and the consequences of our actions.


Jen DeLuca’s Well Matched find soon-to-be empty nester (and single mom) April Parker looking to move on from her little town. She calls on old friend Mitch Malone to help her get the house ready to sell. Mitch agrees – as long as April will go with him to a family dinner and pretend to be his girlfriend. After dinner turns into a weekend, the plan goes off without a hitch and the two return to real life. But when April volunteers at the local Ren Faire (where Mitch is known for his kilt and toned abs) and runs into Mitch’s family, the game is on again. But could there actually be something here? You’ll have to pick up a copy and find out!

Science Fiction

Now available in paperback, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini finds main character Kira on a routine space mission to an uncolonized planet. When she discovers an alien relic she is initially excited, but excitement soon turns to fear as the ancient dust around her begins to move. Soon war breaks out among the stars and Kira must grapple with her own horrors as Earth and its colonies face annihilation.


It’s near impossible to defeat a mighty hero who won’t stay dead, as Monster Guild: The Dark Lord’s (No-Good) Comeback Vol. 1 shows us. The Dark Lord is stuck in a loop where he battles a good guy who won’t stay dead, and he finally loses the fight and meets his own end…or so it would seem. The Dark Lord actually saved himself by putting his soul into an empty vessel, and now he’s about to stage his own comeback. Weak but determined, he recruits his newfound fellowship of misfits—a slime, an orc, an ifrit, and a dark elf— to help him rebuild his evil empire, one bumbling step at a time.

Young Adult

I think I’ll let The Haunted Book Shop’s Candice introduce Lauren Blackwood’s Within These Wicked Walls: “I had immediate grabby hands for this debut when I learned it combined Jane Eyre gothic chills with Ethiopian Evil Eye folklore.” Andromeda was trained as as a debtera — an exorcist who cleanses houses of evil spirits — though her mentor refuses to license her officially. When the handsome young heir Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she jumps at the chance. But the house, and Magnus, are hiding secrets far beyond what Andromeda ever imagined. Beginning to fall in love with Magnus, Andromeda knows that staying means risking death. But leaving doesn’t feel like an option either. See what happens in this engrossing fantasy retelling of a classic story!


Caela Carter’s Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers is a young girl named – what else- Gwendolyn Rogers. Gwendolyn has a lot of problems but no one seems to be able to get to the bottom of them. But Gwendolyn knows there is not just one problem, but 54 problems, according to a confidential school report she found while snooping. If she wants to go to horse camp with her half-brother Tyler, Gwendolyn must figure out how get these 54 problems under control. Follow along as Gwendolyn finds her way in this personal story of patience, support, and determination in finding a diagnosis for developmental issues that oftentimes get ignored.

The latest entry in the popular Who Would Win? series, Ultimate Reptile Rumble pits sixteen different reptiles against each other in one epic fight! Readers will learn about each reptile’s anatomy, behavior and more through photos, illustrations, and facts. You’ll be excited to see who comes out on top!

Join Phoebe on her latest adventure in Unicorn Playlist: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure! Best friends Phoebe and Marigold march to their own beat, but it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns for the pair. With drama at school and the other problems of the world, Phoebe doesn’t understand why unicorns can’t be in charge of the world instead of people. But Marigold brings magic to every day, introducing Phoebe to unicorn magic, crashing a goblin party, and finding long-lost family members like Infernus, the (surprisingly adorable) Unicorn of Death. Come along with this dynamic duo as they play all the hits!


In 2013, film and culture critic Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter. As she says, it was “a way to carve out a space of celebration and freedom for Black women online.” In Carefree Black Girls: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture, Blay expands on this idea through a series of essays that examine “the work and lasting achievements of influential Black women in American culture–writers, artists, actresses, dancers, hip-hop stars–whose contributions often come in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and stereotypes.”


I don’t think I could introduce Megan Lynn Kott’s Pawmistry: Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe with Cats better than this: It is a “tongue-in-cheek guide to the feline oracle and the supernatural signs your cat may leave behind…this playful and informative book offers instruction in a number of types of divination to practice with your cat, where messages and portents may be delivered by scattered cat toys, particular tail positions, and sleeping on your face.” Intrigued? Wondering what messages your cat might be trying to tell you? Better pick up a copy today!

Fun & Games

Austen fans will enjoy playing their favorite card games with these Jane Austen Playing Cards! Featuring gorgeous illustrations of all your favorite characters, the traditional four suits are themed on character traits, with hearts for Heroes and Heroines (like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy) and spades for Fools and Bores. The pack also includes instructions for playing some of the card games featured in Austen’s novels!

Mind & Body

Discover how to use the moon as a cosmic timer with Moonology Manifestations, a magical 48-card oracle from bestselling Moonologer Yasmin Boland. Featuring beautiful cosmic collage imagery, each card explains what you’re bringing into your life, and how and when to supercharge your manifesting powers to achieve what you most desire. 

Visit our website for information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you, or you can visit our Bookshop page!

We hope to see you soon!

New Releases – October 12, 2021

Aimee here with your latest batch of new releases coming this week to The Haunted Book Shop!

Local Author Release!

Chompsey Chomps Books is the latest children’s book from The Haunted Book Shop’s own Candice Marley Connor! Chompsey is great at many things, like chomping and weaving flower crowns. But reading is hard for him – why do the words and letters not stay on the page? A discouraged Chompsey chomps at words as they fly away. How will he ever get the words to stay still and make sense? This book is Dyslexic inclusive; it is printed in a font that everyone can read, including people with dyslexia. For more info about the font, please visit And join Chompsey on his reading adventure!


Alice Hoffman concludes her Practical Magic series with The Book of Magic! The Owens family has been cursed when it comes to love for nearly 300 years, but it seems like that may be about to change. An attempt to save a man’s life brings together three generations of Owens women, and one long-lost brother, as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside to come together and break the curse. Revisit your favorite characters and enjoy this breathtaking conclusion to an amazing story!

Described as a “serio-comic semi-autobigraphical thriller,” former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Brent Spiner took his on-set experiences and turned them into Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir Inspired by True Events, a “zany…love letter to fandom.” Fans of Star Trek are sure to enjoy cameos from LeVar Burton, Patrick Stewart, and other well-known characters, while non-fans may just enjoy laughing along with Spiner’s adventures.


In Kat Rosenfield’s No One Will Miss Her, town pariah Lizzie Oullette is dead – and her husband, Dwayne, is nowhere to be found. As Detective Ian Bird investigates, Lizzie narrates from beyond the grave as an unexpected lead takes the detective to the big city to meet Adrienne Richards – social media influencer, wife of a disgraced billionaire, and renter of Lizzie’s lake house. Described as “a Gone Girl for the gig economy,” readers will enjoy seeing the twists, turns, and connections between Lizzie and Adrienne.

Silverview is the last completed spy novel by the late John le Carré. Julian Lawndsley has left the big city for a simple life running a small bookshop in the English countryside. But when Edward, a Polish émigré living in Silverview, appears on Julian’s doorstep, he seems to know a little too much about Julian’s life – and is a little too curious about his new venture. Things intensify when a mysterious letter outlining a dangerous leak brings a spy chief from London into the sleepy town.

State of Terror is an international thriller co-authored by the unique team of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and bestselling novelist Louise Penny. Secretary of State Ellen Adams was a surprising choice for the job, seeing as she was one of the harshest critics of the new president. When a baffling text message sets off a chain reaction of threats and terrorist attacks, the untested Ellen must convene an unusual team of state department experts, journalists, and a young FSO to take down this intricate and carefully constructed conspiracy.

True Crime

A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc. by Michael Cannell traces the history of the organization by recounting the story of Abe Reles. Reles had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc. and he was ready to talk, ratting out his murderous associates in exchange for police protection. But before he could stand trial, his shattered body was discovered on the rooftop outside his heavily-guarded hotel room. Did he try to escape…or was it punishment?


Wicked is back on the Broadway stage and Gregory Maguire goes back to Oz with The Brides of Maracoor, the first volume in Maguire’s Another Day series! When Elephaba’s granddaughter, Rain, washes ashore unconscious in a foreign land, with no memory of her past, she is cared for by the seven Brides of Maracoor, a group of women tasked with keeping time moving forward. As the brides debate what to do with Rain, they receive their yearly visit from the island’s civil servant overseer, who is perplexed both by Rain’s physical appearance and her presence on the island. The trilogy will follow Rain as she discovers who she is and how she will find her way back to Oz. Join in the adventure now!


The Haunted Book Shop’s own Alex is so excited for Star Wars Visions: Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon! Following a failed rebellion, a former Sith wanders on the edge of the Outer Rim accompanied by a faithful droid and a lightsaber. Not much is known about him, as he keeps quiet about his past. But as the galaxy’s cycle of violence imposes on his self-imposed exile, it becomes evident that he won’t be able to escape his enigmatic past.


Hidden Sins is the latest re-release from Selena Montgomery, the alter ego of bestselling author and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stacey Abrams. Mara Reed has been running scams and on the run since she was 18. Hiding out in her small Texas hometown following her latest skirmish, she is facing sure death when she is rescued by a mysterious stranger. Forensic anthropologist Ethan Stuart is investigating a gruesome discovery with links to the church headed by Mara’s father. With him needing help and Mara needing protection, the two team up to search for the truth…if they manage to survive.

Young Adult


The Keeper of the Night is the first book in a planned duology from Kylie Lee Baker. Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough yearns for acceptance that she never received from the Reapers who raised her. When she is forced to flee for her life, Ren and her younger brother travel to Japan and the dark underworld of Yomi, where Ren finally hopes to feel a sense of belonging. Instead, the Goddess of Death sends Ren on an impossible mission – succeed, and maybe she can earn a place in Death’s services. Come along as Ren learns whether belonging is worth the price.


The Christmas Pig is a holiday adventure from J.K. Rowling. Jack loves his childhood toy Dur Pig, or DP for short. When DP goes missing at Christmas, Jack teams up with his newest toy (and DP’s replacement) the Christmas Pig and embarks on an incredible journey to find what was lost and save the greatest friend Jack has ever known.

To welcome another person is to make new connections, new friendships, and new ways of viewing the world. A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan teaches readers how to “welcome!” in twelve different languages. With illustrations from Lian Cho, come along as we learn new ways to share this message of hope and acceptance! The book includes a pronunciation guide, a note from the artist, a note from the author, and information about the languages featured in the book.

Roxy and her friends are back for another adventure in Roxy the Unisaurus Rex Presents: Oh No! The Talent Show, written by Eva Chen with illustrations by Matthew Rivera! Everyone at Roxy and Dexter’s school is excited for the talent show – except Dexter, who feels like he doesn’t have any talent. But with a little help from Roxy, he learns he might just have the best talent of all – being a friend!

Fun & Games

Schitt’s Creek fans, we love this journey for you! Schitt Happens: An Unofficial Coloring Book for Fans of Schitt’s Creek features illustrations by Valentin Ramon of all your favorite scenes. From Moira Rose’s Wall of Wigs, to Cafe Tropical and Rose Apothecary, color along as you venture on your latest series rewatch!

Mind & Body

Also known as Book Four, or Liber ABA, Aleister Crowley’s Four Books of Magick bring together many rituals, received texts, theorems, unequalled insights into the practice of magick, culminating in The Book of the Law, the central, sacred text dictated to Crowley by a preternatural entity. This edition features an introduction from Stephen Skinner, one of the world’s leading experts on Western esoteric traditions and magic, sharing his insights into Crowley’s take on yoga, ceremonial magick and Thelema.

Visit our website for information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you, or you can visit our Bookshop page!

We hope to see you soon!

Local Author Book Review: A TIME TO SERVE

A TIME TO SERVE: NEVER LIE, NEVER SETTLE, NEVER QUIT is the debut novel of local author Jennifer Widemire Smith. The story has great pacing, lots of heart, a thoughtful way of looking at grief, and more importantly, how to be present for friends who are experiencing grief. Smith is very knowledgeable about SEALs though the military details don’t bog the story down for civilian-readers. Rather, the SEAL way of life becomes a lens in which the characters strive to be their best warrior selves.

While the romance between Jefferies and Evie makes the story come alive, just as equally in my opinion, is the book about Jefferies’ comradery and loyalty to his SEAL team brothers. It seems equal parts about brokenness, grief, hope, and about being there for your loved ones.

I’m very intrigued by Evie’s past which is alluded to but we don’t know much about as the story is solely in Jefferies’ point of view. The discrepancy with her stalker, the subject of her new manuscript (yes, she’s a well-known thriller writer and I adore reading books about writers), etc…

And the biggest unknown… That ending. Whoa, boy. It gave me all the feels. I was not ready for my time reading A Time to Serve to end.

A TIME TO SERVE is out now! Pick up your signed copy at our no-contact curb or have it delivered, either porch-side in select neighborhoods or shipped.

Need more books like this by local authors while you’re being socially responsible and staying home?

If you’re looking for military thriller/romance, Angela recommends Cynthia Eden’s Broken (Last Option Search Team) about an ex-SEAL, as well as Katie Reus’ former Marine in Dark Momento.

If military non-fiction is more your thing, be sure to check out E.B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed and Sid Phillips’ You’ll Be Sor-Ree! both of which inspired the HBO miniseries The Pacific.

Ghost in the Shelves: Get to Know our Local Author Program

Since its beginning in 1941, The Haunted Book Shop has been a literary hub for Mobile, bringing together writers, readers, and creatives of all kinds. We continue this tradition today of being a vital community-minded asset to Downtown by hosting local author signings during the LoDa Art Walk, story times, genre chats, workshops, book clubs and more.

We also created an Author’s Program which includes a Writer-in-Residence. The goal of the program is to provide support as well as foster a symbiotic relationship between local and regional authors and the bookstore. The Writer-in-Residence program not only gives writers a place to work, but also gives them casual, organic visibility to customers.

The back half of our Writer’s Room is dedicated to the Writer-in-Residence space, featuring a desk and reference books for a writer to have a place to write. Writers have access to free Wi-Fi and a Keurig. Also available is an area for the author to set out their books and swag. Books would be rung up on our register, with the store getting the usual 40% commission. Writers in our Author’s Program may use this space for free for a limited number of hours a week in exchange for us getting this percentage of book sales and also answering any questions customers might have.

Our Writer’s Room is located on the mezzanine level. Its walls are filled with books from crafting dialogue to writing science fiction to researching time periods, and everything in between. We have shelves for author biographies and literary criticism as well as a shelf of how-to books for our young authors and illustrators too!

Are you a writer interested in our program?

Here are some of our rules and parameters:

• The space is available for those who have purchased a membership to our Author Program. Memberships are $10/year. This includes:

  1. 10% Discount on writing books located in the Writer’s Room (Mezzanine level)
  2. Use of the Writer-in-Residence space in the Writer’s Room
  3. Stock up to five (5) copies of each title of the author’s works at the bookstore in our Consignment Program at a 70/30 split instead of the standard 60/40 (70% of sale price goes to author and 30% to the bookstore)
  4. 10% Discount on writing workshops unless otherwise marked
  5. Have a copy of your book on a designated shelf in the Writer’s Room as well as in the local section of each genre

• Members must reserve the space using the reservation link
• Two time slots a day are allotted (except on ArtWalk days and holidays) and members can reserve up to two slots a week
• We have a sign up that says to customers, “If earbuds in, do not disturb writer”
• No active selling. Meaning, you can’t come and stand in your area and approach customers, trying to sell your book. Or worse, tell a customer not to buy whatever they picked up elsewhere in the store, saying it’s awful, and then pimp yours. This has happened at our store, otherwise it never would have even occurred to me someone would do this. It’s meant to be more of a passive venue–a place like Starbucks where you can write and if someone approaches YOU, great.

This isn’t ideal for every writer. If you’re someone who doesn’t typically go to coffee shops to write, or, need complete silence, it may not work for you.  But there’s something magical about hanging your Writer-in-Residence shingle outside the door. It may be just the validation you need to let the words flow free. (Though while the bookstore is open by appointment only, it is actually pretty quiet.)

Ready to sign up? We’d love to help you achieve your literary goals!

The Ghost in the Shelves: Get to Know Us Series features posts highlighting aspects of our store that might not be obvious or well-known. 


Let me tell you, so much amazing happens in this middle grade novel by local author, Emily Blejwas. Reading the back blurb, I initially wondered if this book might be too sad for me with the death of a father (who suffered from PTSD) and the main character, seventh-grader Justin,who is trying to put his life back together. But Mrs. Blejwas is one of those glorious authors who finds the cracks of light in the darkness and opens it up for the rest of us.

This book is about the strength of community which is so important in our own lives right now. I was quickly absorbed into Justin’s world, interestingly set during the Gulf War era. The supporting characters are well-developed and fleshed out from his big brother, Murphy, who is refreshingly not a sulky teen but someone who is trying their best to be their own hero, Justin’s best friend Phuc (pronounced Fo) who has fabulous ideas on sunsets and string theory, to homeless-not-homeless Benny H and his stories of the Dakota, the Indigenous people who used to live in Wicapi, Minnesota—the small-town setting of this novel.

They all come together to create a beautiful story where amazing things happen when we look out for each other and not take the things around us at face value–to look deeper.

LIKE NOTHING AMAZING EVER HAPPENED releases today! Pick up your copy at our no-contact curb or have it delivered, either porch-side in select neighborhoods or shipped.

Need more books to tug on your community-love heartstrings while being socially responsible and staying home?

Other books of Mrs. Blejwas I highly recommend are ONCE YOU KNOW THIS, a middle grade story about going through hard times but having faith in your own strengths and dreams that things will get better by making a plan and sticking to it (even if it quickly goes to Plan B.)

And for adults, THE STORY OF ALABAMA IN FOURTEEN FOODS delves into the history and culture of Alabama by examining the foods, dishes, and beverages we love. It’s part travelogue, part cookbook, and part community and heritage celebration.