Monsters of Chavez Ravine Cover
An International Latino Book Awards Gold Medal Winner!
The City Wants Them Gone.
The Demons Want Them Dead.

Before Dodger Stadium, dark forces terrorized the residents of Chavez Ravine.

Two hundred stubborn residents remain in the neighborhoods of Chavez Ravine, tucked in the hills above L.A in 1952. As the holdouts fight eviction by the city, Trini Duran, 22 and feisty, reluctantly returns home. When new and terrifying threats emerge, Trini leads a ragtag group to fight an elusive enemy in a battle for survival.

An urban fantasy novella, available now on

Paperback and Kindle formats available now.

The Night Lady cover
After dark, danger lurks in the ravine.

The bodies of handsome young men are discovered near an elaborate movie set in the northeast hills of Los Angeles. It’s summer, 1950. Each is a gruesome tableau of shocking violence.

Robert is a reporter new to the big city who needs to prove himself.

Catalina is a beautiful healer determined to keep her secrets.

A chance encounter connects them to the case that’s confounding police and commanding headlines. The results are as unexpected as they are horrific.
But when a ghost appears in the semi-rural neighborhoods where evictions loom, frightening the residents, the dark mystery deepens and threatens them all.

The truth is only one story away. If it’s not buried, first.

Available on Kindle

Content Warning: Sexual assault; violence; death; strong language; racism 

The Surviving Hillside Series

the box in the cuts
Following the clues is as deadly as ignoring them.

Teenage girls are dying in Hillside, and school newspaper editor Samantha Reyes must follow clues that dead-end at a creepy old mansion with a dark past.

“It grabbed hold and kept me turning the pages until I finished.”
“I totally devoured this….the Box in the Cuts was a total page-turner for me.”
– Goodreads reviews

Get the first book in the “Surviving Hillside” series in paperback or on Kindle now!

the fault in the cuts
Seven teenagers. An 8.1 earthquake. One angry ghost

Samantha Reyes just wants to finish her senior year in peace. But that’s not happening. Not with the return of an evil ghost, a massive earthquake that isolates her devastated hometown, and a torrential rainstorm that hits at the worst possible time.

Get the second book in the “Surviving Hillside” series in paperback or on Kindle now!

The Cave in Then Cuts cover
Surviving ‘til graduation just got scary.

The week between the last day of class and high school graduation just took a shocking turn for Samantha Reyes. Her great-aunt from Mexico shows up and makes a startling announcement: it’s time for Samantha to learn the long-forgotten history of the Reyes family in Hillside, and what it means to be the direct descendant of a Mexican witch, a bruja.

But Nilda’s appearance in town stirs up old supernatural forces. If Samantha wants to stay alive long enough to graduate, it’s going to take more than a crash course in the old ways of magic to rein in the reawakened spirit.

Her journey takes her to the deepest part of The Cuts, the woods she hoped to avoid. And this time, Samantha will be tested as never before.

Kindle edition available now.

The Dark Earth Rising Series

Get a taste of The Dark Earth Rising series with this short novelette. The series of full-length novels is coming in 2022.

The Root Witch by Debra Castaneda
An Urban Legend Caught on Tape.

It’s 1986. A mysterious figure is caught on tape in an ancient clone forest, and a news crew is missing.

“Thanks, now I’m scared of trees.”
“Creepy forests, missing people and reminiscent of the Blair witch. I give this five stars.”
-Amazon Reader Reviews

Read the Kindle edition of this horror novelette for only 99 cents!

About Debra Castaneda

Debra Castaneda grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California as an only child. Finding adult conversation boring, she found companionship in books. She wrote her first murder mystery in the fifth grade and turned it in as a homework assignment.

After college, she became a journalist working in television, radio, and online. Her work has been featured on Marketplace, This American Life, and National Public Radio (one story took her behind bars at San Quentin Prison to cover a baseball game). Most recently, she worked as a TV news director on the Central Coast of California.

Now, she devotes herself full-time to sitting in a windowless office and writing stories of supernatural suspense.

For much of her professional life, she has worked under her married name, Debra Monroe, but she writes fiction under her family name of Castaneda.

For inspiration, Debra draws from her experience as a journalist, as a third-generation Mexican American, and as someone who has lived in various parts of the country, including Dallas, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Debra lives in Capitola, California with her husband. She enjoys rediscovering the Mexican dishes of her childhood and texting her two daughters ibpa logoabout her latest binge-watch.