Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Fall 2023 Releases on Our TBR

Today we created a Top Ten Tuesday list to celebrate the most anticipated Fall 2023 releases on our TBRs!


Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead Swarm by Jennifer D. Lyle Heather

Midnight Is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead

Swarm by Jennifer D. Lyle


Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison The Reformatory by Tananarive Due Jen

Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due


Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine The September House by Carissa Orlando Laurie

Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine

The September House by Carissa Orlando


Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst Jr. Green Fuse Burning by Tiffany Morris Teresa

Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology edited by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.

Green Fuse Burning by Tiffany Morris


Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror by Jordan Peele The Ungodly Duology by S.H. Cooper Tracy

Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror edited by Jordan Peele

The Ungodly Duology by S.H. Cooper

Friday, September 15, 2023

Ghosts Ghosts Ghosts!

Ghost Hunter Day 

Did you know that the last Saturday in September is National (US) Ghost Hunter Day?  Here's a list of some ghost stories you can hunt down to celebrate! Don't forget to get your EMF Reader ready.

Awake in the Night by Shauna Mc Eleney
The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
The Spite House by Johnny Compton
Inheriting Her Ghosts by SH Cooper
Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfit
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
The Upstairs House by Julia Fine
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth
The Screaming Child by Scott Adlerberg
The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb
Exit Ghost by Jennifer R Donahue
Beautiful, Frightening and Silent by Jennifer Anne Gordon
Into Bones like Oil by Kaaron Warren
The Crying Forest by Venera Armante
You have Never Been Here by Mary Rickert
Beulah by Christi Nogle

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns
A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejide
The Good House by Tananarive Due
You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, Translated by Ross Benjamin
The Ruin of Delicate Things by Beverly Lee
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Midnight Lullaby by Cheryl Low
Roser Park by Wendy Dalrymple


Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
The Wild Dark by Katherine Silva
When the Reckoning Comes by Latanya McQueen
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
The Restoration by J.H. Moncrieff
The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste
Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly
The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish

Short Story Collections to Commune with the Spirits

Hotel World by Ali Smith
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda Translated by Polly Barton
Element of Doubt by A.L. Barker
The Ghost Sequences by AC Wise

Ghosties Are For All Ages

White Smoke by Tiffany D Jackson
City of Ghosts by VE Schwab
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are by Kathryn Foxfield
Camp Scare by Delilah S. Dawson
Seeing Things by Sonora Taylor

Sometimes Ghosts Are More Casper Than Poltergeist

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Before Your Memory Fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot
Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James
Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, Translated by Labodalih Sembiring
The Sentence by Louis Erditch
Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri, Translated by Morgan Giles
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters


Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts, creates bookish lists and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Horror Spotlight's Readalong October 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong October 2023

In October we will be reading A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher for the readalong in the Horror Spotlight discord. You can join the discord with this link.

A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.

"Mom seems off."

Goodreads | Bookshop

The readalong begins October 1, and discussions will take place throughout the month of October on the Horror Spotlight discord server. Everyone is welcome to join. So grab the book from your library or bookstore and we hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

What We've Been Reading | September 6, 2023

Today we're sharing two new releases and a backlist title you won't want to miss!

Wild Spaces by S.L. Coney

Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life meets H. P. Lovecraft in Wild Spaces, a foreboding, sensual coming-of-age debut in which the corrosive nature of family secrets and toxic relatives assume eldritch proportions.

An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy’s eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain.

The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing —physically—into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous.

Jen's Teaser Review

"I loved Wild Spaces. It's growing on me even more the longer it sits in my mind. In Wild Spaces, the main character is an 11 year old boy who I don't believe is ever named. His grandfather who has never been around shows up and things aren't right with the grandfather or at home.

The sea is one of my favorite elements in every single genre that I read. Wild Spaces incorporates the sea and it is disturbing! This novella hits hard at times."

Read Jen's entire review at her blog Book Den.

No Trouble At All edited by Alexis DuBon & Eric Raglin

Politeness is the glue that holds society together. We are all expected to do our part—a pressure ripe with horror. Rotten, even. Whether we adhere to this contract or defy it, there are consequences. These fifteen stories respond to promises made for us, promises of compliance that cost too much to keep.

Featuring Nadia Bulkin, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Ariel Marken Jack, Gwendolyn Kiste, Avra Margariti, J.A.W. McCarthy, R.L Meza, Marisca Pichette, J. Rohr, Simone le Roux, Angela Sylvaine, Nadine Aurora Tabing, Sara Tantlinger, D. Matthew Urban, and Gordon B. White.

Goodreads Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"Every story is a treasure. I know that sometimes it is nice if a reviewer picks a couple stories as their favorites, but I refuse. Read them all, love them all, devour them all, just make sure you do it with a smile on your face. "

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy whose family lives on the fringes of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.

He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his Aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixedblood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.

For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and close calls—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast, now. Everything is about to change.

A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world. A smart and innovative story—funny, bloody, raw, and real—told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"A beautifully written coming-of-age story about a boy who doesn’t really fit in with the world around him, nor does he fit in with his family, but he is walking the tightrope of wanting to fit in while also being himself."

Read Teresa's complete review at Goodreads.

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

Our Reviewers

Jen is one of our Horror Spotlight admins. Jen manages the technical side of the Horror Spotlight website and keeps a spotlight on new horror releases each month.

You can also find Jen on her blog Book Den, Twitter as @bookden, Instagram as @bookdenjen, on Goodreads, and Letterboxd.

Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts, creates bookish lists and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong September 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong September 2023

In September we will be reading Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle for the readalong in the Horror Spotlight discord. You can join the discord with this link.

A searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community faces in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down.

They’ll scare you straight to hell.

Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold.

Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy.

Goodreads | Bookshop

The readalong begins September 1, and discussions will take place throughout the month of September on the Horror Spotlight discord server. Everyone is welcome to join. See you there!

September 2023 Buddy Read

We will also be hosting a Buddy Read of Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon. 

One of our most iconic childhood games receives a creepy twist as it becomes the gateway to a nightmare world.

I went up the hill, the hill was muddy, stomped my toe and made it bloody, should I wash it?

Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend. Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was . . . different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee's welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong.

One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker.

Goodreads | Bookshop

The Buddy read begins September 15!

Friday, August 25, 2023

First Half of the Year Favorites

Today we are sharing a (late) mid-year check-in with our favorite horror novels that we read in the first half of the year!


We Don't Swim Here by Vincent Tirado

She is the reason no one goes in the water. And she will make them pay. A chilling new novel for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson, Lamar Giles, and Ryan Douglass

From the author of BURN DOWN, RISE UP comes a chilling novel told through alternating voices that follows two cousins as they unravel their town’s sinister past, their family’s complicated history, and the terrifying spirit that holds their future captive.

Bronwyn is only supposed to be in rural Hillwoods for a year. Her grandmother is in hospice, and her father needs to get her affairs in order. And they're all meant to make some final memories together.

Except Bronwyn is miserable. Her grandmother is dying, everyone is standoffish, and she can't even go swimming. All she hears are warnings about going in the water, despite a gorgeous lake. And a pool at the abandoned rec center. And another in the high school basement.

Anais tries her hardest to protect Bronwyn from the shadows of Hillwoods. She follows her own rituals to avoid any unnecessary attention—and if she can just get Bronwyn to stop asking questions, she can protect her too. The less Bronwyn pays attention to Hillwoods, the less Hillwoods will pay attention to Bronwyn. She doesn't get that the lore is, well, truth. History. Pain. The living aren't the only ones who seek retribution when they're wronged. But when Bronwyn does more exploring than she should, they are both in for danger they couldn't expect.

We Don't Swim Here on Amazon | We Don't Swim Here on Goodreads


Chlorine by Jade Song

In the vein of The Pisces and The Vegetarian, Chlorine is a debut novel that blurs the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale, told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies... a powerful, relevant novel of immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming.

Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.

But these are human concerns. These are the concerns of those confined to land, those with legs. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Ones that called sailors to their doom. Ones that dragged them down and drowned them. Ones that feasted on their flesh. Ones of the creature that she's always longed to become: mermaid.

Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine--the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spill.

Chlorine on Amazon | Chlorine on Goodreads


A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.

"Mom seems off."

Her brother's words echo in Sam Montgomery's ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.

She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam's excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.

But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.

To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.

A House with Good Bones on Amazon | A House with Good Bones on Goodreads


This World Belongs to Us edited by Mike Phillips

This World Belongs to Us is an anthology of horror stories about bugs, writ large-we're not scientists, so spiders and slugs and scorpions (oh my!) are in here too. A child pays for a thoughtless action for the rest of her life. A lothario mistreats the wrong woman. A hunter tracks a horrifying monster to the edge of reality. Space larvae learn to be human. An influencer hawks this year's most popular accessory. A prisoner in solitary makes a new friend. And more, and more. This collection will terrify you with nineteen stories about the creepy-crawlies that were here before us and will be here long after we're gone.
Featuring stories by Bram Stoker Award winner Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award nominees Paula D. Ashe, Laurel Hightower, Cynthia Pelayo, and V. Castro, plus Octavia Cade, Felix I.D. Dimaro, Jaclyn Youhana Garver, Rowan Hill, C.B. Jones, Bitter Karella, Gwen Katz, R.M. Kidd, J.A. Prentice, Bert SG, David Simmons, Yvette Tan, and Kay Vaindal as well as a major rediscovery-John B.L. Goodwin's 1946 story "The Cocoon," one of the creepiest stories ever written but out of print for more than 40 years.

This World Belongs to Us on Amazon | This World Belongs to Us on Goodreads


House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

WANTED - Bloodmaid of exceptional taste. Must have a keen proclivity for life's finer pleasures. Girls of weak will need not apply.

A young woman is drawn into the upper echelons of a society where blood is power, in this dark and enthralling gothic novel from the author of The Year of the Witching.

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation is all she knows. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper, seeking a bloodmaid.

Though she knows little about the far north--where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service--Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery--and at the center of it all is her.

Countess Lisavet, who presides over this hedonistic court, is loved and feared in equal measure. She takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when her fellow bloodmaids begin to go missing in the night, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She'll need to learn the rules of her new home--and fast--or its halls will soon become her grave.

House of Hunger on Amazon | House of Hunger on Goodreads

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

What We've Been Reading | August 23, 2023

We have a creepy crawly recommendation and two unique stories that you'll want to add to your reading list!

Infested by Angel Luis Colon

The Taking of Jake Livingston meets Cemetery Boys in this YA ghost story about a Puerto Rican teen’s battle with a malevolent spirit targeting his apartment building and the all-too-real horrors of gentrification.

It’s the summer before senior year, and Manny has just moved from Texas to the Bronx in New York. So, instead of hanging with his friends and making some spending money, Manny is forced to do menial tasks in his new home, a luxury condo his stepdad is managing, while stressing about starting over.

Thankfully, he meets Sasha, who is protesting the building but turns out to be really cool. And he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mr. Mueller, the building’s exterminator. Maybe life in the Bronx won’t be so bad.

Then the nightmares begin. And Manny swears he has roaches crawling under his skin. When building contractors start to go missing, Manny and Sasha come to the terrifying realization that Mr. Mueller is not who he says he is. Or rather, he is, but he died decades ago in a fire exactly where Manny’s new building is located. A fire that Mueller set.

Now, in a race against time, Manny must rescue his family from a deranged specter determined to set the Bronx ablaze once again.

Tracy's Teaser Review

"Billed as YA horror, Infested is an excellent addition to any library or personal book collection. Different layers of entertainment, mature topics, and delicious, disgusting horror will fascinate a wide age range of readers. Recommended for fans of The Fly and The Troop."

Read Tracy's entire review at Goodreads.

The Merry Dredgers by Jeremy C. Shipp

Seraphina Ramon will stop at nothing to find out the truth about why her sister Eff is in a coma after a very suspicious "accident." Even if it means infiltrating the last place Seraphina knows Eff was alive: a once-abandoned amusement park now populated by a community of cultists.

Follow Seraphina through the mouth of the Goblin: To the left, a wolf-themed roller coaster rests on the blackened earth, curled up like a dead snake. To the right, an animatronic Humpty Dumpty falls off a concrete castle and shatters on the ground, only to reform itself moments later. Up ahead, cultists giggle as they meditate in a hall of mirrors. This is the last place in the world Seraphina wants to be, but the best way to investigate this bizarre cult, is to join them.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"Delightfully weird, yet endearing cast of characters and darkly whimsical story. "

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

Dehiscent by Ashley Deng

As the world’s climate swings rapidly between oppressively hot and freezing cold, the remnants of civilization huddle in small communities to scrape together what they can to survive.

All except the Zhu family.

Yi has lived in her ancestral house her entire life, sheltered and safe from the scarcity that plagues her community. Her family enjoys a secret life of running water, electricity, and an abundance of food.

But as Yi seeks a way to share their fortune, she learns the terrible secret of the Zhu house.

DEHISCENT is an Eco-Horror tale of a future that has practically arrived, and the humanity that lurks in the most inhuman of places.

Cover art and illustrations by Ivy Teas.

Goodreads Amazon

Laurie's Teaser Review

"Yi is a compassionate, sensitive soul growing up in a world filled with devastation and death. She fears death at every corner and her fear is justified. This sounds incredibly depressing but there are seeds of hope here too. The world needs more Yi’s in it and more weird little stories like this one."

Read Laurie's complete review at Goodreads.

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

Our Reviewers

Tracy is a contributing reviewer.  You can also find Tracy on twitter as @tracy_reads79, on Instagram as @tracy_reads79 and on Goodreads

Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts, creates bookish lists and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Laurie is one of our Horror Spotlight Admins. Laurie creates our review posts, coordinates review requests, helps out with our Instagram/Twitter accounts, and is a contributing reviewer. You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads where she never shuts up about the things she's reading.