Alexandra Grigorescu

Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar (ECW Press) tells the story of 20-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp after her adoptive mother and protector dies. Hannah seeks solace in Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician. After her mysterious birth mother, outcast as a witch and rumoured to commune with the dead, comes back into Hannah’s life, she must confront what she’s been hiding from — the deadly spirits that haunt the swamp, the dark secrets of her past, and the nascent gift she possesses.

Like the nightmares that plague Hannah, Cauchemar lingers and haunts.



Cauchemar is an Editors’ Pick for Best Books of March/Canadian Spotlight 2015



“An intense debut bolstered by a powerful sense of place.” — The Globe and Mail

“Grigorescu applies just the right tonal touch to her macabre subject matter, while exploring themes of illness and health, fatherhood and gender, and the limits of sanity.” — Quill and Quire

“Grigorescu grabs readers with a sense of foreboding at the start and builds intense tension as she leads them into a haunting place where the lines between dream and reality, living and dead, blur and hypnotize.” — Publishers Weekly

“…a stolen moment of pure fantasy, elevated by the author’s mesmerizing brand of descriptive, evocative language…Grigorescu casts a spell with her writing, humid and textural, sleepy and thrilling.” — Scene Magazine (London, Ontario).

“What makes Cauchemar so effective—so ominous and creepy—lies in Grigorescu’s skill in setting a scene. There’s a convincing aura of melancholy and malevolence haunting Hannah’s world, as though ‘something’s wrong. It’s in the air, in the floorboards, everywhere. Everything feels threatening.’ It all feels tangible, as if what’s imagined is made real by its persuasion over the human senses.” — Broken Pencil Magazine

“With a Skeleton Key feel to it, Cauchemar would make a good horror movie.” — Bookends Review, Justine Lewkowicz

“Alexandra Grigorescu’s debut is a straight-up old-school Southern Gothic. True Blood wishes it was this good.” — Jeff Parker, author of Where Bears Roam the Streets

“Alexandra Grigorescu works pure magic with the line, pulling proverbial rabbits from alligator hats and performing mind-bending enchantments upon every page. Like many of the spellbinding characters of Cauchemar, Grigorescu possesses a preternatural talent.” — Spencer Gordon, author of Cosmo

“…well-written with just the right amount of suspense to keep the reader guessing what will happen to the characters until the very last page.” — The Book Binder’s Daughter

“…this story hit me in the sweet spot of my amygdala, the one that makes the spooky stuff seem spookier and the romantic parts seem even more romantic. I finished the novel sitting up in bed in the middle of the night, because I HAD to finish the story before I could sleep.” — Bibliotica

“Cauchemar is a nightmare, a love story, a tribute to Southern cookery, a frightening bestiary, the grip of the moody bayou, a powerful conjuring of the dark magic that buoys the swamps of the Deep South. And Grigorescu is a literary sorceress—who has possibly hung out with the Louisiana witches, because she evoked them something strong in this book.” — Bella’s Bookshelves

“As quickly as Alexandra Grigorescu evokes the robust spices in deep south cooking, she sends shivers up your spine at the mention of something white and scaly sneaking through Hannah’s dreams…and into her reality.” — Editorial Eyes

“Moody, spicy, sexy, vivid, and creepy-as-hell.” — The Book Stylist

Cover design: Natalie Olsen

NOW AVAILABLE at these major retailers

Amazon (paperback or Kindle format)


Barnes and Noble

Powell’s Books

All Lit Up

ECW Press