Sunday, March 31, 2019

March 2019: Monthly Recap

We hope everyone had an amazing March! It was another busy month for the Ladies of Horror Fiction team.

We shared a lot on our site through the month of March. If you weren’t able to check in each day, here is a recap of the exciting things we shared each day!


The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between by Tananarive Due Review

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden Review

Geek Love

#BansheeReads: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

My Sister the Serial Killer

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite Review

The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories

The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories Review

The Worst is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski

The Worst Is Yet To Come by S.P. Miskowski Review

Book cover for Haunted Are These Houses

Haunted Are These Houses edited by Eddie Generous & Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi Review

The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn

The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn Review

Mourning Jewelry by Stephanie Wytovich

Mourning Jewelry by Stephanie M. Wytovich Review

Return to Dyatlov Pass

Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff

News and Announcements

#LOHFReadalong Announcement: The Winter People

March 2019 LOHF New Releases

Special Topics and Guest Posts

Choose Our Next Readalong + Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined in as we read The Between by Tananarive Due. Books are even better when read with friends!!

Guest Post: J. Lincoln Fenn talks Genetic Modification

J. Lincoln Fenn shared her thoughts on genetic modification.

LOHF Shelf Edition: Cassie

It’s time for another Ladies of Horror Fiction: Shelf Edition! This time we’re chatting with Cassie Daley, who has some of the most eye-catching shelves on social media.

Instagram Challenge Recap

The “Villain” Recap

Who is the first villain that pops to mind when you think of books? For a lot of us it could be Lord Voldemort, Sauron, Randall Flagg, Dracula, and so on.   But thanks to this prompt we were able to find out about so many others!

The “Weather” Recap

Check out some of our favorite LOHF books that encompass something weather-related.

The “Underrated” Recap

So many authors and books in this challenge are underrated which is one of the reasons we started Ladies of Horror Fiction.  There are sooooooo many amazing and talented ladies out there writing some incredible horror books that are underrated. Hopefully you’ve already been adding tons of new names to your TBR lists but here are some more that we want to highlight from the recap of our “Underrated” prompt.

The “Dark” Recap

We are finally here at the penultimate recap post from our first Instagram challenge!

More 2019 Monthly Recaps

January 2019 Monthly Recap
February 2019: Monthly Recap

Thank you so much for joining us and helping us promote all of the hard working ladies in horror this past month!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mourning Jewelry by Stephanie M. Wytovich Review

Mourning is the new black… 

The tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry began with Queen Victoria after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Without photography, mementos of personal remembrance were used to honor the dead so that their loved ones could commemorate their memory and keep their spirits close. Ashes were placed within rings, and necklaces were made out of hair, and the concept of death photography, small portraitures of the deceased, were often encased behind glass. Mourning jewelry became a fashion statement as much as a way to cope with grief, and as their pain evolved over the years, so did their jewelry. 

But what about the sadness and the memories that they kept close to them at all times? The death-day visions and the reoccurring nightmares? Wytovich explores the horror that breeds inside of the lockets, the quiet terror that hides in the center of the rings. Her collection shows that mourning isn’t a temporary state of being, but rather a permanent sickness, an encompassing disease. Her women are alive and dead, lovers and ghosts. They live in worlds that we cannot see, but that we can feel at midnight, that we can explore at three a.m. 

Wytovich shows us that there are hearts to shadows and pulses beneath the grave. To her, Mourning Jewelry isn’t something that you wear around your neck. It’s not fashion or a trend. It’s something that you carry inside of you, something that no matter how much it screams, that you can just can’t seem to let out.

Goodreads | Better World Books | Amazon

Emily’s Review

“No, it’s not love, but it is something / and that something is painful, and I wish it would stop.”

Mourning Jewelry is my third poetry collection from Stephanie Wytovich, and I loved it! Each of her collections has a theme, and it’s always fun to be in that world for a bit. This book focuses on the horror involved with mourning, and I loved the absolute grimness of Mourning Jewelry.

This is a collection of about 100 poems, and I rated everything between 3.5⭐ to 5⭐, and there were so many great stories within these poems. Some were sad, some were funny, some were haunting – there was an excellent variety. I was thrilled that there was a Sylvia Plath-related poem in Mourning Jewelry. It fit in so well with the rest of the collection, and Sylvia Plath is the best.

My top 5 poems in Mourning Jewelry are Corpse Flower, Free My Soul, Jade Keeps the Rot Away, Sylvia, and Yellow Makes Her Quiver. These were all so gorgeous, and many of them were fairly gruesome. There’s a lot of grief and pain here, and as always, I appreciate Stephanie’s honesty in her writing.

I really connected with this collection, and I highly recommend it for someone wanting to dig into poetry about darkness and death written in a beautiful way. I saw Sylvia Plath’s influence in this collection more so than the others, and it made me very happy. Sometimes it’s just the vibe I need, and it was provided here. I love Stephanie’s writing, and I highly recommend her collections. I know a lot more people have been wanting to get into horror poetry recently, and I think this could be a great one to start with. It’s dark, inviting, and easy to understand, which is something I love about horror poetry.

About Stephanie M. Wytovich

Stephanie Wytovich
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Point Park University, a lecturer at Southern New Hampshire University and Western Connecticut State University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press. 

Visit her website here:

Monday, March 25, 2019

The "Dark" Recap

Ladies of Horror Fiction Instagram Challenge Weekly Recap

We are finally here at the penultimate recap post from our first Instagram challenge!  This week we are sharing highlights from your “dark” posts and it was such an awesome week!  If you missed last week’s “underrated” post then you can go check it out here!

We are going to kick it off this week with this post from grumplstiltskin where we get to see this vintage looking cover of Women of Darkness by Kathryn Ptacek.

“Twenty original stories from the best of today’s women horror and dark fantasy writers cover every topic of terror. From voodoo and Navajo magic to cannibal cats and scary babies, these tales are perfect for Halloween.

risky_oak.s_book_den was ready to remind us of Beloved by Toni Morrison and just how amazing it is.

“Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Belovedis a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.”

There is something totally dark and eerie about the cover of The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan that teamsheltie chose for the “dark” prompt.  Her empty, blank face… just staring…

“There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?”

Last up for our “dark” recap is from tamsparks and we are shown Paper Tigers by Damien Angelica Waters.  I can confirm I am a lover of beautiful and dark horror, so I know this book is a must-read!

“In this haunting and hypnotizing novel, a young woman loses everything—half of her body, her fiancé, and possibly her unborn child—to a terrible apartment fire. While recovering from the trauma, she discovers a photo album inhabited by a predatory ghost who promises to make her whole again, all while slowly consuming her from the inside out.”

Make sure and check us out next week when we share highlights from the FINAL prompt of our first Instagram photo challenge!  It’s been quite a journey but we will end our recap tour with “The Past.”  Can’t wait!

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn Review

Ryan Adler and his twin sister, Jane, spent their happiest childhood days at their parents’ mountain Colorado cabin — until divorce tore their family apart. Now, with the house about to be sold, the Adler twins gather with their closest friends for one last snowboarding-filled holiday. While commitment-phobic Ryan gazes longingly at Lauren, wondering if his playboy days are over, Jane’s hopes of reconciling with her old boyfriend evaporate when he brings along his new fiancée. As drama builds among the friends, something lurks in the forest, watching the cabin, growing ever bolder as the snow falls — and hunger rises. After a blizzard leaves the group stranded, the true test of their love and loyalty begins as the hideous creatures outside close in, one bloody attack at a time. Now Ryan, Jane, and their friends must fight — tooth and nail, bullet and blade — for their lives. Or else surrender to unspeakable deaths in the darkened woods.

Goodreads | Better World Books | Amazon

Tracy’s Review

This was my third novel by Ania Ahlborn; I’ve previously read Brother and The Devil Crept In and I loved them both.

I loved the premise of The Shuddering. Remote cabin. People with tangled relationships. Characters to love. Other characters to hate. And spectacular monsters in the snow. It fed my need for a creature feature; it moves quickly and the ending was great. 

I did wish that there was a bit more character development and a bit more chomp and stomp, but overall it was an entertaining read perfect for a cold, dark night.

About Ania Ahlborn

Born in Ciechanow Poland, Ania has always been drawn to the darker, mysterious, and sometimes morbid sides of life. Her earliest childhood memory is of crawling through a hole in the chain link fence that separated her family home from the large wooded cemetery next door. She’d spend hours among the headstones, breaking up bouquets of silk flowers so that everyone had their equal share.

Author of nine novels, Ania’s books have been lauded by the likes of Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Daily News, and The New York Times. Some titles have been optioned for film.

Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ania currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Visit her website here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Haunted Are These Houses edited by Eddie Generous & Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi Review


Haunted are These Houses explores the gothic sub-genre through poetry and fiction: from castle and lighthouses to suburbia to laundromats. It features 22 poems and 12 short stories sure to rattle bones and send shadows dancing about the walls..

Emily’s Review

“A man is a fool to try to account for shadows.” – Mary Wilkins Freeman

Haunted Are These Houses is an anthology of 32 gothic poems and short stories edited by Eddie Generous & Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. I had read some of these authors before, but a lot of them were new to me. I was introduced to writers I would love to check out more from, such as Moira Gillen, Catherine Cavendish, Angela Zimmerman, and more. I was very happy to see so many women horror writers in this book, and it was very refreshing.

This book is a blend of current and classic stories and poems, and I struggled through some of the older ones. I’ve avoided a lot of classic authors since college, so it was jarring at times to have them mixed on with the newer stories at times. This is my personal problem, though, and not a fault of the book.

My top 5 stories and poems by women in this anthology were Our Room of Walking Coffins by Stephanie Wytovich, Landscape of a Haunting by Erika Hogan, The Brothers by Erin MacNair, The Call of the House of Usher by Annie Neugebauer, and Inheritance by Christina Sng. Annie Neugebauer was the only one of these writers I had read before, and I’m always happy to find new horror writers. I didn’t care for some of the other stories in the anthology, and it ended up being hit or miss for me. That being said, there were many strong stories & poems in Haunted Are These Houses.

Overall, I enjoyed this anthology, and Haunted Are These Houses is a good survey of gothic literature. If this is something you’re interested in exploring, this anthology is a great place to start. If you’re interested in hearing from some of the authors, Eddie Generous is currently doing mini-interviews with some of them on Unnerving Podcast. I recently heard the one with Annie Neugebauer discussing her story, and it was fun to get a closer look. I appreciate the concept of being interactive with the book through the podcast.

Unnerving Press | Better World Books | Amazon

Author Links

Eddie Generous – website

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi – website

Gemma Files – website

Catherine Cavendish – website

Christina Sng – website

John McIlveen – website

S.L. Edwards – website

Annie Neugebauer – website

Christi Nogle – website

David Busboom – website

Bruce Boston – website

Stephanie Wytovich – website

Sara Tantlinger – website

Hailey Spencer – website

Moira Gillen – website

John Kiste – website

Mary Wilkins Freeman – website

Megan Mary Moore- website

Benjamin Chirlin –  website

Brian James Lewis – website

Sheldon Woodbury – website

Joseph VanBuren – website

Erin MacNair – website

Erika Hogan – website

Tobias Radloff – website

Shannon Connor Winward – website

Angela Zimmerman – website

Chris McGinley – website

Ashley Dioses – website

J.T. Seate – website

W.P. Osborne – website

J. Martin – website

Monday, March 18, 2019

The "Underrated" Recap

Ladies of Horror Fiction Instagram Challenge Weekly Recap

We are winding down the Ladies of Horror Fiction Instagram recaps. Only a couple more left! If you missed last week’s prompt of “Weather” you can check it out here.

So many authors and books in this challenge are underrated which is one of the reasons we started Ladies of Horror Fiction.  There are sooooooo many amazing and talented ladies out there writing some incredible horror books that are underrated. Hopefully you’ve already been adding tons of new names to your TBR lists but here are some more that we want to highlight from the recap of our “Underrated” prompt.

Ec_booklover is summoning up some realness with this photo Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder.

“Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.”

dlgillis20 gave us this stunning shot of Out by Natsuo Kirino.

Natsuo Kirino’s novel tells a story of random violence in the staid Tokyo suburbs, as a young mother who works a night shift making boxed lunches brutally strangles her deadbeat husband and then seeks the help of her co-workers to dispose of the body and cover up her crime.

The ringleader of this cover-up, Masako Katori, emerges as the emotional heart of Out and as one of the shrewdest, most clear-eyed creations in recent fiction. Masako’s own search for a way out of the straitjacket of a dead-end life leads her, too, to take drastic action.

The complex yet riveting narrative seamlessly combines a convincing glimpse into the grimy world of Japan’s yakuza with a brilliant portrayal of the psychology of a violent crime and the ensuing game of cat-and-mouse between seasoned detectives and a group of determined but inexperienced criminals. Kirino has mastered a Thelma and Louise kind of graveyard humor that illuminates her stunning evocation of the pressures and prejudices that drive women to extreme deeds and the friendship that bolsters them in the aftermath.”

This cover of IBITSU by Haruto Ryo that we got from banzaireads is EVERYTHING!  Such a creepy and awesome illustration that has me super intrigued.  I never knew I was missing horror manga and Japanese urban legends until now!

“There’s an urban legend that says late at night, sometimes a young girl dressed in gothic lolita clothing will appear by garbage dumps to ask a question. Any who answer will, without fail, die a twisted death. And tonight, another young boy will find himself enveloped by this horror…”

I can’t stop staring at this cover of White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi.  There’s something hypnotic about it that has me looking deeply and turning my head to see if anything is different from other angles.  Anyone else??

“In a vast, mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the hole punched into its heart. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. All is not well with the house, either, which creaks and grumbles and malignly confuses visitors in its mazy rooms, forcing winter apples in the garden when the branches should be bare. Generations of women inhabit its walls. And Miranda, with her new appetite for chalk and her keen sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her brother and father. She is leaving them slowly –

Slipping away from them –

And when one dark night she vanishes entirely, the survivors are left to tell her story.”

Hopefully you were able to find some more underrated books from ladies of horror fiction that can be added to our ever-growing TBR!  I, for one, will never complain of having too much to read… I think of it as a journey that will require lots of tasty treats and delicious teas and coffees along the way!  Make sure and check back in next week when we recap some highlights from the “dark” prompt!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

#LOHFReadalong Announcement: The Winter People

Thank you to everyone who took part in our poll to choose the next community wide readalong book. The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is excited and looking forward to reading Jennifer McMahon’s The Winter People with you!

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

May 5 – June 2

The #LOHFReadalong of The Winter People will take place May 5 through June 2. We will post discussion questions (and share our answers!) here on the Ladies of Horror Fiction website each Sunday. Stay tuned for a full chapter break down and schedule!

Share the #LOHFReadalong

If you’d like to share the #LOHFReadalong on social media or on your blog, please feel free to use the readalong graphic (and our #LOHFReadalong hashtag!)

Community Wide Readalong hosted by #LadiesofHorrorFiction! The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon: May 5- June 2

Let us know in the comments if you will be joining us!