About Kylie Conner

Kylie’s favorite reads are usually horror/thrillers, which matches her taste in films as well. When she’s not cracking bad jokes she can often be found curled up with a cup of coffee and her cat, Gideon.

Season of the Witch: Old School vs. New Age Witches

When it comes to what’s playing in my headphones, you can usually bet on it being a horror audiobook or at least something with a dark and chilling vibe. As my current audiobook comes to an end (Ninth House) and I queue up my next listen (The Remaking), I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little obsessed with witches.

Can you really blame me? There’s been a total uptick in the witch’s presence in pop culture as a whole. From TV series like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, A Discovery of Witches, and the Charmed reboot to the remake of the 1977 film, Suspiria, and countless audiobooks focusing on these magical beings (The Furies, Toil & Trouble, Gideon the Ninth…etc) – witches are having a serious moment.

This got us thinking…what are the major differences between old school witches in classics like Macbeth and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and new age witches in audiobooks today?

We’ve compared old school vs. new age vampires before, but we thought culturally, we had to pay our respects to the powerful witch – she’s been around forever, you know? Let’s compare…

Old School vs.

New Age

Physical looks
We all know those classic depictions of hag-like witches with hooked noses, warts, moles, and even beards (a la The Weird Sisters in Macbeth). And let’s not forget the most infamous characteristic of all – green skin, which was most famously depicted in the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Now-a-days the witches that are leading the charge for this resurgence of witchy content just look like regular, everyday people! They’re teenagers who just learned that they come from a long line of witches or they’re 11-year-olds whojust got their letter to Hogwarts!
Evil Motives
Double, double, toil, and trouble…witches are often associated with classic depictions of covens surrounding cauldrons and putting curses on unsuspecting townsfolk – usually curses that last through many generations. New age witches are real people and no person is 100% evil or 100% good, but most of the witches of today are fighting for what they think is right and using their magic to protect others.
All Black Garb & Pointy Hats
Every year around Halloween the image of the witch pops up and what is she wearing? A black cloak and a big pointy hat. The history of the witch’s hat seems to be a murky one, but I think it’s safe to say that we can attribute its popularity to The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz as well. The “witchy aesthetic,” as some call it, can be seen in the covers of audiobooks that center around witches. Audiobooks like Basic Witches and The Babysitters Coven feature astrological symbols, plants, dreamy pastel colors, and even pentagrams.
Outsiders
For as long as there have been witches, there have been people who have been afraid of their powers. This would put them on the fringe of society. With hashtags like #witchesofinstagram amassing over three million posts, and countless brands marketing to millenials seeking that witchy aesthetic, I think it’s safe to say that witches have totally gone mainstream.
Flying on Broomsticks
This one has always been my favorite characteristic when it comes to witches because if I could just grab any old broom and get from point A to point B, that would be fantastic! For our #witchesofinstagram, broomsticks are a thing of the past. While they sometimes may levitate (shout out, A Discovery of Witches) I think new age witches will probably just take the bus.

In conclusion, the witch is an elusive character and always has been, but with their new age counterparts and their move to the mainstream I think that we will continue to see the morphing of what it means to be a witch as time goes on. They’ve already got me under their spell, what about you?


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Worth the Wait — Most Anticipated Upcoming Listens!

Getting way too excited for an upcoming audiobook release is something we are all too familiar with here at Audiobooks.com. Now, you can join in on our excitement with the all-new “Most Anticipated” feature!

With this new feature you can add any of these titles to your Wishlist or, if you don’t have an account with us, simply select “Let me know when available” and enter your email address. You will then be notified when this title is available for your listening pleasure!

We’ve rounded up some highly anticipated listens that are due to be released in the coming months, from sequels to thrillers to heartfelt memoirs that you’ll definitely want to be notified about. Click here to view our full ‘Most Anticipated Upcoming Books’ book list.

Me by Elton John, narrated by Elton John, Taron Egerton
Expected release: October 2019

This highly anticipated first and only official autobiography from pop sensation, Elton John, is getting major buzz. In Me, John dives into his past, his rise to fame, and how he got to where he is today. The audiobook is narrated by John himself as well as Taron Egerton who portrays John in the recently released biopic, Rocketman.

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Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout, narrated by Kimberly Farr
Expected release: October 2019

Advance praise for Olive, Again has landed this upcoming audiobook on the radar of some major publications where it has been named as one of the most anticipated books this fall. Following Elizabeth Strouts Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, Olive, Again, gives us more from the character that captured the attention of millions. Follow Olive as she tries to not just figure out her own life, but the lives of others in her town of Crosby, Maine.

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, narrated by Dominic Hoffman
Expected release: November 2019

If you are one of the lucky ones who got lost in Erin Morgensterns fantastical bestseller The Night Circus and loved every minute of it, then hold on to your hats because she’s back with another immersive listen, The Starless Sea. In this upcoming release, we follow Zachary Ezra Rawlins as he discovers a magical realm beneath the world. As he uncovers more about this mysterious world, he also begins to unravel the mysteries of his own life.

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The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson, Ph.D, Michael Crichton, narrated by Julia Whelan
Expected release: November 2019

Fifty years ago, Michael Crichton released The Andromeda Strain, which not only made him a household name, but also spawned the creation of a new genre, the technothriller. Now, Daniel H. Wilson helps to keep this relevant and resonant story going with the follow-up, The Andromeda Evolution. You’ll definitely want to be among the first to know when this audiobook is out.

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, narrated by TBD
Expected release: May 2020

After almost a decade since Mockingjay, the final of the Hunger Games series, was released, Suzanne Collins has announced that she will be releasing a prequel titled The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. This new addition to the series will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the tenth Hunger Games.

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If It Bleeds by Stephen King, narrated by TBD
Expected release: May 2020

How does he do it? Stephen King just released The Institute in September of 2019 and he has already announced his next release! If It Bleeds will be a collection of novellas: Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds. Dubbed as master of short fiction and the king of horror, this one is bound to be a chilling listen.

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Audiobooks.com Interview with Tim Carroll, Audiobook Narrator

In 2007, Melbourne gangland kingpin Carl Williams was convicted of three murders and was sentenced to 35 years’ jail time. While he served his sentence he spent most of his time in his small cell, but was given access to a laptop computer. In 2010, Williams was murdered by a fellow inmate. Following this, his laptop was confiscated and they found countless letters addressed to his friends and family spanning the last eighteen months of his life.

Life Sentence, Williams memoir, allows you to hear Williams’ inner thoughts by listening to the intimate letters he had written daily to his loved ones.

Taking on the job of narrating personal letters like the ones in Life Sentence can’t be an easy feat. We had the chance to chat with Tim Carroll, the narrator for Life Sentence, and pick his brain on how narrating this memoir differs from his other projects.

Audiobooks.com: How did you prepare before sitting down to begin narrating Life Sentence?

Tim: Well actually, there was particularly a lot of preparation required before recording this book as many of the transcribed letters contained typos or missing words. On paper this is easier for the reader to decipher but in audio it would make for a very confusing listen if I included the typos or didn’t attempt to fill in the missing words. So we had to adapt the text slightly so it made sense to the listener. As the person embodying Carl Williams’ character and voicing his flow of thought, I was asked to make the initial suggested adaptations, working of course with the audio publisher and the print publisher, and had to make sure to stay as true to Carl’s words as possible. The process was of enormous value in discovering an empathy for Carl’s characters, and understanding of his circumstances and what I very strongly felt was his motivation and purpose for the letters he had written.

Audiobooks.com: What was the most challenging part of narrating Life Sentence 

Tim: The most challenging part was perhaps…capturing Carl’s humanity, his sense of humor, his fear, his anxiety, and of course, his bravado….in a way that I hope he would be happy with. 

Audiobooks.com: What was your biggest take-away from narrating Carl’s letters?

Tim: Good question…regardless of the crimes Carl had been charged with, Carl was also just an every day knock about bloke who was likable in many ways. With the intimacy of reading his letters…I felt a genuine responsibility to convey his love for his daughter and step-children, for his parents, and of course for Roberta. I have tried my best to capture what I believe to be the truth and intention of his words.

Audiobooks.com: What vocal techniques did you have to develop and hone while narrating this book?

Tim: It was a little tricky switching between the essence of the character of Carl, and then the more neutral tone required for the factual and informative pieces of narration, which are interspersed throughout the performance.

Audiobooks.com: How did narrating Life Sentence differ from other narrations you’ve done in the past?

Tim: Well, the fact that Carl is (was) a real person…and that these are his actual words, which were more than likely never intended to be read by anyone other than their original recipients, kind of presented me with… a very serious responsibility to be truthful and real, in my performance but also respectfully dignified to Carl…and especially to his loved ones. I took that obligation extremely seriously, and believe it or not, I felt almost a sense of his presence, in regard to portraying and presenting his intimate thoughts and private words, in such a public fashion.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

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8 Stephen King Audiobooks That’ll Scare Your Pants Off

Tomorrow is Stephen King’s birthday, so why not celebrate the King of Horror by highlighting some of his most terrifying audiobooks. These are just eight of his freakiest tales, but you can find over 100 audiobooks on Audiobooks.com by King or featuring King.

From the staple King classics to some of his newer releases, pick up one of these if you’re in the mood for a good scare.


Pet Sematary by Stephen King, narrated by Michael C. Hall

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

When Stephen King himself considers a novel he has written as taking things too far, then you know it’s going to be real freaky. Pet Sematary is a classic from King, and the audiobook is a gripping listen with Michael C. Hall putting on a very convincing Maine accent if you ask me, ayuh!

In Pet Sematary, Dr. Louis Creed gets a new job and moves his family to Ludlow, Maine – a seemingly normal little town. It’s only when he feels a pull to venture to a burial ground that lay just beyond a children’s pet cemetery that he sees why sometimes dead is better.

Read more and sample the audio →


It by Stephen King, narrated by Steven Weber

It by Stephen King

This beast of an audiobook is not for the faint of heart. Emphasis on beast… The reason that It has held up all these years and now has three motion pictures and even a mini series to its name is because the monster in this listen isn’t just Pennywise the Clown, it’s fear itself. This one has a major creep-factor, so buckle in and prepare to immerse yourself in the world of Derry, Maine and become a member of The Losers’ Club.

Seven kids get caught up in an evil that resides in their hometown of Derry, Maine. Now, they’ve grown up, moved away, and found success, but they feel that pull back to their hometown to finish what they started.

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The Shining by Stephen King, narrated by Campbell Scott

The Shining by Stephen King

I’m sure you’re all familiar with The Shining. Whether you’ve listened to the audiobook, you’ve caught the 1980 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson, or maybe you’ve just heard people quoting, “Here’s Johnny!” for the past 40 years (give or take) – The Shining is one of King’s most popular and most frightening releases.

If, for some reason, you don’t know what The Shining is about, it follows Jack Torrance and his family as they move to the remote and idyllic Overlook Hotel. It seems like just the getaway that the family needs until winter creeps in and weird things start happening that only Danny Torrance seems to notice.

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Misery by Stephen King, narrated by Lindsay Crouse

Misery by Stephen King

We’ve all been there…when our favorite character or series plays out in a way that we don’t agree with. It can certainly be frustrating, but my first thought isn’t to go out, kidnap the creators, and force them to right their wrongs like Annie Wilkes does in Misery. This listen will give you a glimpse into how fandom can take a seriously dark turn.

In Misery, Paul Sheldon takes a risk in his writing career and kills off the main character of his romance series, so that he can move on to something new. He later ends up injured in a car crash and who should rescue him, but his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She is not happy with what Paul has done to her favorite series, so she demands that he resurrect both the character and the series. He has no excuse…as Annie’s prisoner, he has all the time in the world.

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Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, narrated by Ron McLarty

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

King blessed us with ‘Salem’s Lot back when vampires were actually vicious and terrifying monsters as opposed to sparkling in the sun, and using their super speed to play baseball. Being the second release from King after Carrie, it’s been quite a while, but this suspenseful audiobook will still keep you on the edge of your seat after all this time.

In this spooky tale from King, we follow fiction writer Ben Mears as he moves into this big mansion in Jerusalem’s Lot to gather inspiration for his new novel. After two boys enter the woods near his house and only one returns he gets the feeling that something dark and sinister is lurking in his small town.

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The Mist by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton

The Mist by Stephen King

If you’ve seen the film adaptation of King’s The Mist, then you know what it’s like to be filled with hopelessness and to ugly cry at the TV screen. Don’t let that deter you from giving the audiobook a listen. The story definitely plays out a little differently, but still gives you the same claustrophobic feeling.

In The Mist, David Drayton, his son Billy, and their neighbor head over to the local grocery store following a storm. While there, a mysterious mist overtakes the whole town. Holed up in the grocery store with an array of characters, they have to decide whether it’s better to deal with people they may not trust or face the unknown.

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The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton

The Outsider by Stephen King

Take a look at that cover. Need I say more? The Outsider is part mystery, part horror, and it definitely has that “give-you-the-chills” factor. Plus, if you frequent Stephen King’s audiobooks, then you’ll recognize the narrator, Will Patton, who has lent his voice to many of King’s novels.

The Outsider opens with the corpse of a little boy being found in town. It seems all evidence points to the local Little League coach as the main suspect. The detectives believe that they have this case in the bag, but as the coach reveals his alibi and they unearth more about the crime the story gets kicked into high gear. Did they get the right guy?

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The Institute by Stephen King, narrated by Santino Fontana

The Institute by Stephen King

The Institute is Stephen King’s latest release and even though there are supernatural elements to the story, the monsters in this listen are real people, which make it that much scarier. After listening to this audiobook you’ll surely wonder what terrible things people are truly capable of.

In The Institute Luke’s parents are killed and he is kidnapped and taken to The Institute. He and other gifted children are being used for their extranormal talents and if they cooperate all is fine, but if they refuse the punishment is severe. The really bad kids get sent to the “Back Half,” which the other children want to avoid at all costs. Their only hope is to escape and get help, but no one has ever escaped The Institute.

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

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STAFF PICK: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

Title: Theme Music
Author: T. Marie Vandelly
Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen

Dixie, when I let you go
Thought you’d realize that I would know
I would show
The special love I have for you
My baby blue

Upon first reading the synopsis for Theme Music I immediately thought of The Amityville Horror and it definitely had a similar feeling to it with a mysterious family murder and a ghostly presence in the place where it all began. What set Theme Music apart for me was the unique twists and turns that the story took. From horror to psychological thriller to family drama – this fast-paced listen kept me hooked all the way through.

When Dixie Wheeler was just a baby her father murdered her entire family on Thanksgiving day. A neighbor found her, the only survivor, in her high chair while Baby Blue by Badfinger echoed through the empty house. Thus, Dixie’s nickname Baby Blue was born and the Wheeler murders became something of a local legend.

After being raised by her aunt and uncle, 25 years later Dixie wants answers about what happened that day. Dixie moves into her family home where her life was forever changed and now, she must come face to face with the ghosts of her past…which seem a little too real. Once people start to turn up dead around her, she wonders how real those ghosts actually are.

I must warn you, if you do plan to embark on this twisty tale, there is a fair bit of gore – especially right off the bat. But the way that T. Marie Vandelly describes the macabre really sets the scene and allows you to immerse yourself in the story. Since Dixie was only a baby when the murders took place, she can only recount that day from what she’s read in newspapers and heard from rumors and gossip from people around town. In a way, the reader is in the same position as Dixie – we see everything through Dixie’s eyes and we learn everything she learns about what happened that day. This makes every twist that much more suspenseful! I’m telling you, I couldn’t listen to this audiobook fast enough – I had to know what would happen next!

Theme Music was narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen, an Audie-nominated narrator who has lent her voice to over 70 audiobooks on Audiobooks.com. Sarah’s portrayal of Dixie expertly mixed Dixie’s dark humor and uneasiness, which allowed me to connect with her character that much more.

Ghost story? Check. Psychological thriller? Check. Crime fiction? Check. If you’re looking for a new listen that’s packed with all of the goodness listed above, then you’ll definitely want to give T. Marie Vandelly‘s debut novel, Theme Music a listen.

Publisher Summary:

She didn’t run from her dark past. She moved in. 

For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it; but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was spared, becoming infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.
 

Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember. So when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the house that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father or a demon of her own making. 

In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre to save her few loved ones that are still alive—and whatever scrap of sanity she has left...

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

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6 Perfect Cocktail + Audiobook Pairings

Take a load off, kick your feet up, press play on a new audiobook… but wait, something’s missing! I don’t know about you, but total relaxation for me usually includes a glass of wine or a simple (yet classy) cocktail.

So, if you’re like me, then worry not because we’ve rounded up six classic cocktails and audiobooks that pair perfectly together to make your sippin’ that much better! Grab a glass, some ice, and get ready to wet your whistle!


The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, narrated by James Cameron Stewart
Pairs with: Martini

What pairs better with a murder mystery/detective story than a martini? I’m just picturing a detective fresh off a case, decked out in their trench coat and fedora hat, sitting in the darkest corner of the bar, and sipping on a gin martini (one olive, please).

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a twist on the ‘whodunit’ story where Aiden Bishop must find out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. The catch? Every day he wakes up in a different body of one of the eight guests. With only eight days and eight bodies to get to the bottom of this mystery, Aiden only has one chance to escape once he has the name of the killer.

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The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill, narrated by Penelope Rawlins
Pairs with: Bellini

Picture yourself perched above the Gulf of Naples, surrounded by lemon groves, and under the Italian sun. That’s where The Summer Villa takes place. Sounds like the perfect backdrop to have a nice, refreshing Bellini in hand.

Kim, Colette, and Annie form an unlikely friendship when they each travel to the Amalfi Coast in need of an escape. Years later, Kim has renovated the same villa into a idyllic retreat and has invited her friends back. As long-buried secrets are revealed will these three friends be able to overcome them?

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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, narrated by Scott Brick
Pairs with: Screwdriver

The way that Truman Capote tactfully tackles true crime in In Cold Blood shows why this book has remained so poignant since its original release in 1965. In the same way that In Cold Blood has become a tried and true fixture in the literary world, the quintessential screwdriver has the same lasting power in the world of cocktails.

Another reason to pair the screwdriver, consisting of simply vodka and orange juice, with In Cold Blood is because it turns out that this was Capote‘s cocktail of choice. How fitting!

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, narrated by Douglas Hodge
Pairs with: Shirley Temple

When I was little I always wanted to be like the grown ups. Whenever we would be out at a restaurant and the adults would have their alcoholic beverages they would always be sure to make me feel included by ordering me a Shirley Temple. We couldn’t do a cocktail round-up without including this sweet sip.

When I think of sweets my mind goes right to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, a classic. A bunch of kids get to take a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and eat all the candy? Sign me up. Press play on this nostalgic listen and grab your Shirley Temple, extra snozberries.

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Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein, narrated by Jennifer O’Donnell
Pairs with: Cosmopolitan

Let’s face it, cosmopolitans are *still* exclusively linked with Sex and the City. That would be too easy of a connection to draw here, so I thought why not sip on this socialite specialty while listening to Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein.

This novel takes place in New York City (obviously) and follows Sasha, who finds herself working as a matchmaker for the dating service, Bliss. As she throws herself into her work, her personal life crumbles around her. Sure to make you laugh, Playing with Matches is about the dating world in our modern, technology-heavy world and how Sasha will find her place and her purpose.

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The Haunted by Danielle Vega, narrated by Holly Linneman
Pairs with: Dark ‘N’ Stormy

Everyone knows this cliché opening to those classic ghost stories, “It was a dark and stormy night…” With that in mind, this cocktail and audiobook combination might be a little on-the-nose. Let’s pair a Dark ‘N’ Stormy with The Haunted by Danielle Vega.

Hendricks just moved into Steele House in Drearfield, New York. While she’s busy trying to forget about her own dark past, it turns out the house that her and her family moved into has a dark past of its own. The Haunted is perfect if you’re looking for something spooky and it’s sure to make the hair on your neck stand on end.

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

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