Crumbling mansions, trees cloaked in Spanish moss, characters dripping with Southern charm and eccentricity . . . What do you think of when you think Southern Gothic?
The Southland Booth
Tessa Gratton, author of the fabulous Blood Journals series, including Blood Magic and its companion novel The Blood Keeper, was kind enough to do a guest post for us about what goes into creating this type of book. Check her post out here, but be sure to come back for the contest!
What to Do to Win
You'll find covers and book blurbs for some of our favorite Southern Gothic novels shown below. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the authors, we have signed copies of these to give away to the people who can provide the most answers to our Spot the Modern Gothic Element Game.
Here's how to play:
1) Find and describe as many of the following Southern Gothic elements in one or more of the books in our contest as you can:
- An atmospheric southern setting that becomes a character in the book
- A small southern town overflowing with tradition, folklore, and history
- A stranger coming into town and triggering conflict, drama, or violent events
- A character set apart by some unusual characteristic or unique world view
- A sense of literal or metaphorical imprisonment
- A southern belle, beautiful on the outside but ruthless and determined
- A deeply eccentric character or one skirting the edges of crazy
- A character mired by obligation
- An innocent who needs to bring redemption to someone or the town
- A crumbling antebellum mansion
- A ghost, witch, voodoo priestess, or other element of the supernatural
- A significant story element that involves the Civil War
- A story element of starcrossed lovers or lost love
- A character who sacrifices for someone else or the greater good
- A character who represents moral ambiguity
- A character on the outside of society who longs for connection
2) Got one or more of the above elements? Good. Fill out the form below, and for a bonus entry, leave a comment on this post saying how many you found and described. One is fine. That's all it takes to enter.
- Small southern town: Gatlin in Beautiful Creatures;
- Atmospheric Southern Setting: The cemetery in Blood Magic;
- Small southern town, etc: Claysville in Graveminder;
- A stranger, etc: Sylvie in The Splendor Falls;
We will enter you into the contest once for each correctly identified item, and then pick the winners at random. U.S. and Canadian entries only, please! You must be 13 or older to enter, and have parent/guardian permission if you're under 18.
What You Win
Our Favorite Southern Gothics signed by the authors!
GRAND PRIZE - The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
(paperbacks of Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, and Beautiful Chaos plus hardcover Beautiful Redemption), all with bookplates autographed and personalized by Kami Garcia
"There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
"Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations.
Mysterious, suspenseful, and romantic, "Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness," "Beautiful Chaos," and "Beautiful Redemption "introduce a secret world hidden in plain sight. A world where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending.
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Draw a circle... place a dead leaf in the center... sprinkle some salt... recite a little Latin... add a drop of blood...
Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.
The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick’s first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny their attraction. And they can’t ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene's death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Can love last beyond the grave?
Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.
Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.
Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?
Fallen by Lauren Kate
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
Although she was orphaned at birth, Eden Moore is never alone. Three dead women watch from the shadows, bound to protect her from harm. But in the woods a gunman waits, convinced that Eden is destined to follow her wicked great-grandfather--an African magician with the power to curse the living and raise the dead.
Now Eden must decipher the secret of the ghostly trio before a new enemy more dangerous than the fanatical assassin destroys what is left of her family. She will sift through lies in a Georgian ante-bellum mansion and climb through the haunted ruins of a 19th century hospital, desperately seeking the truth that will save her beloved aunt from the curse that threatens her life.
Be sure to visit the other booths at the Carnival!