5 Books with Fall Vibes + Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Recipe!

Leaves falling leaves GIF on GIFER - by Malkree
Golden leaves falling from a tree

We’re knee-deep in fall here in the northern hemisphere, and the temperature is finally beginning to cool down here in San Diego. Which for me means more time curled up reading books and drinking fall beverages, which for me means pumpkin spice everything.

Today I’m sharing 5 books with fall vibes that you all should read, as well as my dupe recipe for Starbucks’ pumpkin cream cold brew. Get in your cozy spot and grab your favorite beverage!

5 Books With Perfect Fall Vibes

Cover for Cemetery Boys by Aiden ThomasA trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as “groundbreaking.”

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Goodreads  Read my ARC Review

Cemetery Boys is a delightful YA paranormal fantasy debut set during Día de Muertos that features a trans main character, a ghost love interest, gay romance, and brujeria that is bound to capture your heart!

Perfect for fans of soft romance, heartwarming found families, charming characters, and coming-of-age stories.


Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton coverOnce, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all? Find out in this lush, atmospheric fantasy novel that entwines love, lies, and sacrifice.

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.

Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.

Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.

Goodreads  Read my ARC Review

Strange Grace is an amazing atmospheric and poetically written story that celebrates the found family, the love people feel for one another, and the sacrifices they are willing to make for the people they love.

Perfect for fans of lyrical prose and mystical adventures. It’s a weird and beautiful book that feels like reading someone’s fever dream.


cover for House of Salt and SorrowsIn a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Goodreads  Read my ARC Review

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig is a masterfully crafted and hauntingly atmospheric debut Gothic fantasy retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Perfect for fans of books with sisterly bonds, magic, and dreamlike adventures.


cover for Truly DeviousEllingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

Goodreads  Read my Review

Truly Devious is captivatingly crafted and told in two storylines: 1936 and present. The omniscient narrator unravels the 1936 mystery slowly through various character perspectives, newspaper clippings, and police interviews; while the present-day narrative is told largely from Stevie’s point of view. Be warned that there is a giant cliffhanger, so be prepared to have the second book ready!

Perfect for fans of boarding school contemporaries, true crime adventures, and unsolved cold cases.


US cover for None Shall SleepThe Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.

In 1982, two teenagers—serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell—are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case—a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers—things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.

Captivating, harrowing, and chilling, None Shall Sleep is an all-too-timely exploration of not only the monsters that live among us, but also the monsters that live inside us.

Goodreads  Read my Review

None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney is a captivating thriller with fantastic characters and a compelling plot that will keep you gripped to the very end.

Perfect for fans of Mindhunters, true crime, and Criminal Minds.

Dupe Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Recipe

It’s no secret that I embrace my inner Basic Bitch every Fall because I love pumpkin spiced everything. #NoShame. Last year I mastered a dupe recipe for the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and wanted to share the love… because you can make 64 ounces worth for a fraction of the cost!

Pumkpin Cream Cold Brew ingredients
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew dupe

Equipment

64-ounce wide mouth mason jar (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Cold Brew infuser (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Metal Whisk

Mixing Bowl

Coffee Grinder (optional; you can grind in many grocery stores) (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Ingredients

2 cups of your favorite coffee (coarse grind)

64 ounces filtered water

2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie mix (if unavailable, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice to the pumpkin puree)

Heavy Whipping Cream


Instructions

The great thing about this recipe is you make a batch of both the cream and cold brew concentrate in advance. This will speed up your coffee needs in the morning and will also save your wallet!

Imporante Note: When brewing cold brew or using a French Press for coffee, you want to use coarsely ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee is fine and best used for espresso and drip coffee machines. I recommend buying whole coffee beans and grinding them yourself – many grocery stores have a free grinder in-store you can use so you don’t need to grind the beans yourself at home.

Cold Brew Concentrate

  1. Place the Cold Brew Infuser into the Mason Jar
  2. Fill the Cold Brew Infuser with 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee (pre-ground coffee is too fine and can seep into the coffee)
  3. Add 64 ounces of filtered water into the mason jar over the coffee slowly (so the grounds get wet and water doesn’t overflow)
  4. Put the lid on the mason jar and leave for 24 hours (you can leave on the counter or put in your refrigerator)
  5. Remove the cold brew infuser and fill the mason jar to the top with water; store in refrigerator

Pumpkin Cream

  1. Combine heavy whipping cream and canned pumpkin pie mix in a mixing bowl
  2. Whisk the ingredients for about 2 minutes or until it thickens to a light, airy consistency
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to one week

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Dupe

  1. In a glass, add some of the pre-made Cold Brew Concentrate and water (so the cold brew is to your preferred strength)
  2. Add ice, if desired
  3. Top the coffee with a spoonful or two of the pumpkin cream

What books and drinks scream Fall to you? Are you a fan of pumpkin spice everything? Will you try my recipe?

Let’s chat in the comments!

23 Comments

  1. HEIDI SLOWINSKI

    October 24, 2020 at 5:54 AM

    The coffee recipe sounds yummy; thanks for sharing!

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      It is super yummy, but of course I am biased! Honestly, I am just glad I can now have this all year long so long as I have canned pumpkin in the pantry.

  2. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    October 24, 2020 at 7:33 AM

    Ooh I must try your recipe, sounds yummy! I’m very curious about None Shall Sleep, its my favorite cover of the bunch😁

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:26 AM

      IT IS SO GOOD! Especially since you can make it all year long and live you best pumpkin spice life. None Shall Sleep’s cover is honestly eye catching, and the book itself is a gripping read!

  3. Laura @ Daydreaming Dragons

    October 24, 2020 at 10:59 AM

    I hadn’t heard of Strange Grace, but it sounds like a great Fall read! I might have to add that one to my TBR.

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:27 AM

      Strange Grace really flew under the radar when it came out in 2018, but it is truly a perfect fall read. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up!

  4. Arina

    October 24, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    I love how you styled the post, with the synopsis in the scroll box! Added 2 of the books in this rec post to my tbr, as they were the only ones not there yet. Now to channel my own inner basic bitch and summon that drink myself 👀

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:28 AM

      Ahh, thank you so much – I really love how the post turned out! I hope you enjoy the books you added when you do read them, and live your best pumpkin spice life Arina!

  5. Haley

    October 24, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    I’m so wanting to make this cold brew now! [I would say I’m so thirsty but that gives the wrong message lolol] Love your list!!

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:29 AM

      GIGGITY

      I hope you enjoy the cold brew, it’s yummy and saves $$$$

  6. Darina

    October 24, 2020 at 12:46 PM

    This post has made me really start to feel the autumn vibes! Thank you also for the recipe, looks delicious!

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:30 AM

      Yesss, embrace the fall vibes!!!

  7. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    October 25, 2020 at 2:45 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Since we’re back in lockdown in Wales, I’m gonna miss out on my pumpkin spice fix. So, this sounds like a perfect alternative to get my seasonal fix of the coziest drink haha. I feel like Cemetery Boys features in every autumnal recommendation list and I simply must get my hands on that book.

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:32 AM

      You’re welcome, and I hope the recipe helps with the pumpkin spice cravings! Honestly, I like it better than what I get at Starbucks as I am not a fan of the way they roast their coffee, AND I can make it all year long.

      And Cemetery Boys is perfectly autumnal and I hope you can read it soon, Lois!

  8. Kayla Brunson

    October 26, 2020 at 5:38 PM

    Definitely going to have to try this recipe!

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:33 AM

      Please do and tell me what you think!!!

  9. Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    October 27, 2020 at 4:12 AM

    I agree that Cemetery Boys gives off such fall and spooky vibes, especially with the ghosts and graveyard setting! I read it this October at exactly the right time 🥰 🎃 None Shall Sleep also sounds interesting but also a bit scary 😱

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:34 AM

      Cemetery Boys is perfect for this time of year, I wish I had the time to re-read it now since it’s finally crisp weather here in SoCal. None Shall Sleep is… it’s a lot. LOL. I loved it but it isn’t going to be for everyone.

  10. Paige

    October 27, 2020 at 7:01 AM

    Thank you for the recommendations, as well as the bonus recipe! Fall drinks pair really well with fall reads!

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:35 AM

      You’re welcome Paige, and thanks for stopping by!

  11. lauren

    October 27, 2020 at 11:48 AM

    i have never tried pumpkin flavoured anything! how wild.
    im currently reading cemetery boys though and i love it so much. thank you for putting it on my radar

    1. Kal

      October 28, 2020 at 11:36 AM

      I wonder if the pumpkin spice thing is a uniquely american thing? You should try it though, it’s delicious.

      OMG I am so pleased to hear you’re loving Cemetery Boys!!!

  12. Marie @ drizzle & hurricane books

    November 2, 2020 at 1:08 AM

    Ah I love this SO much Kal! Your recommendations are wonderful, I really need to read Cemetery Boys, I keep on hearing incredible things about this book. As for the pumpkin spiced things… well I’m ashamed to say I never really tried these out, so your recipe is a GREAT start! 😀 Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post <3

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