Growing up, my best friend was a big fan of Halloween. Every year, she and her family hosted a big Halloween party, complete with costumes, games, and a trip to a nearby haunted house. I vividly remember standing outside of the haunted house entrance with my friend’s mom, crying as she tried to convince me to go inside. Everyone else was inside screaming and enjoying the fun of being scared.
Another crystal clear memory I have with the same friend includes us flipping through old copies of The National Enquirer, a gift from her Grandmother. One afternoon, we decided to use the photos from the periodical to write our own crazy stories. We set up in her dad’s office, typed our stories on some version of a word processor and printed our pieces on paper that had the perforated holes on the edges. We cut the photos from The Inquirer to enhance our writing and then put all of our work together to form our own magazine. We were writers.
My friend is Lorien Lawrence and last month her debut middle grade novel, The Stitchers, hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere. I included these memories to paint the picture of a little girl with passions that have come to fruition in a published novel…with more on the way! Needless to say, I am a very proud friend.
The Stitchers is the first book in the Fright Watch series. The story takes place in South Haven, Connecticut on Goodie Lane where Quinn Parker and Mike Warren are neighbors. Quinn and Mike have always noticed something a bit off with their neighbors who they refer to as “The Oldies.” Soon, Quinn and Mike are deep in their own investigation trying to understand why The Oldies never seem to age and then trying to stay safe once The Oldies catch onto their investigation.
Lorien creates a spooky setting in a town with a creepy history, influenced by the legends of Goody Bassett in her own hometown of Stratford, Connecticut. The Stitchers packs plenty of frights, but is more than just a scary story. The characters are complex, the relationships deep, and the mystery will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they gather and analyze clues and symbols masterfully woven into this ghostly story.
I’m a self proclaimed scaredy cat and I surprised myself by reading The Stitchers in one sitting, eager to find out what happened next. There is no doubt in my mind that this series will also capture middle grade readers who love scary and suspenseful stories.