Thursday, November 28, 2019

YA/MG Horror Spotlight November 2019

The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is putting a spotlight on Young Adult and Middle Grade horror each month. Below we are featuring the books our team has been read and reviewed in November.

Young Adult Books Reviewed

Laurie read Wilder Girls by Rory Power this month with equal thanks to several of the LOHF team raving about it and the fact that Wilder Girls was our November readalong winner! You don’t want to miss Laurie’s review (“It is an incredible debut and I’ll definitely be reading this author again – sequel or no sequel!“)

Emily also read and loved Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall this month. Be sure to check out her review (“I got genuinely creeped out during this book, and that’s always a treat. “)

Middle Grade Books Reviewed

This month Toni read The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey. Don’t miss her 5⭐ review (“Fahey has the ability to weave folklore and horror seamlessly.“)

Emily also read Tunnel of Bones by V.E. Schwab. Tunnel of Bones is the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. Be sure to read her review (“They always offer some solid creepy moments, and I wish these books would have been around when I was younger.“)

Jen also read Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn this month. Be sure to check out her review (“If you are looking for a spooky story set on the lake, Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a quick (and younger) ghostly tale.“)

Upcoming Reviews

This month Toni also read An Eyeball in My Garden and Other Spine-Tingling Poems. Stay tuned for Toni upcoming thoughts. Emily read Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1: High School Is Hell, and also upcoming is Jen’s review of The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman!

Have you read any of the books we read or reviewed this month? Let us know what YA or MG books you have read recently!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What We're Reading #28

Looking for some good reads? Here’s a few of the Ladies of Horror Fiction recent picks.

Our Life In the Forest by Marie Darrieusseco, translated by Penny Hueston In the near future, a woman is writing in the depths of a forest. She’s cold. Her body is falling apart, as is the world around her. She’s lost the use of one eye; she’s down to one kidney, one lung. Before, in the city, she was a psychotherapist, treating patients who had suffered trauma, in particular a man, “the clicker”. Every two weeks, she travelled out to the Rest Centre, to visit her “half”, Marie, her spitting image, who lay in an induced coma, her body parts available whenever the woman needed them.

As a form of resistance against the terror in the city, the woman flees, along with other fugitives and their halves. But life in the forest is disturbing too—the reanimated halves are behaving like uninhibited adolescents. And when she sees a shocking image of herself on video, are her worst fears confirmed?

Our Life in the Forest, written in her inimitable concise, vivid prose recalls Darrieusecq’s brilliant debut, Pig Tales. A dystopian tale in the vein of Never Let Me Go, this is a clever novel of chilling suspense that challenges our ideas about the future, about organ-trafficking, about identity, clones, and the place of the individual in a surveillance state.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Toni’s Teaser Review

So I think my brain melted..just a little. I wasn’t expecting the ending at ALL. Darrieussecq was so skilled I had NO idea where the story was going to go. I mean literally my jaw dropped. 

Read Toni’s entire review at The Misadventures of a Reader.

NInth House by Leigh Bardugo Book Cover

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Emily’s Teaser Review

Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult debut. I love her YA books, and I was so excited to check this one out. She killed it, and this is definitely one that you need to add to your TBR if you haven’t already.

Read Emily’s entire review at Goodreads.

Salvaged by Madeleine Roux


In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.

Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she’s come to hate, and her messed-up life. She’s run all the way to outer space, where she’s taken a position as a “space janitor,” cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can’t escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she’s given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.

But the Brigantine’s crew are very much alive–if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won’t be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite’s onslaught…or it may take over the entire human race.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Lilyn’s Teaser Review

Salvaged is a solid read. 

Read Lilyn’s entire review at Sci-fi & Scary.

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Guest Post: The Intimacy of Monsters By Hailey Piper

The Intimacy of Monsters

By Hailey Piper

I adore cosmic horror, but it isn’t what I usually write.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve penned a couple, but I’m happier leaving that scale of world-ending dread to P.L. McMillan and Caitlin Kiernan.  I don’t connect the entropic, inevitable death of all things in a fearful way.  Cosmic horror delights me.

Personal horror gets under my skin.  The little, everyday injustices and horrors that are easy to miss.  They could be happening right next door.  And through those come the intimate monsters.

Personal ones.

When an intimate monster creeps into your life, sometimes you aren’t even aware of what you’ve met.  They might have been there all along.  And if they get you, the world keeps turning.  An intimate monster can shatter a life and if you’re lucky, at best someone might stop and look for a moment before carrying on with theirs.

Those are the monsters I write, because they reflect my experiences.  

I remember reading an article, I don’t know how long ago or where I found it, that talked about brainstorming monsters by mashing together human and animal parts, different aspects and sizes.  It reminded me of playing with the Creature Creator in the 2007 PC game Spore.

Staring in confusion at my computer screen, I said aloud, “What about the people who scare you?”

What about the boy at high school who tried to set my hair on fire?

What about the man who cornered me near the campus restrooms, his words praising me, his eyes and body language saying other, scarier things?

What about my mother?  When she finished shouting at me and my siblings once, she said that wasn’t her who’d been shouting, but another woman who looked like her, a woman who would come into our house.  In the daylight, I rolled my eyes—excuses.  But at night, I worried what would happen if that false mother came into our house while I slept.

The worst thing about intimate monsters is when no one takes them seriously.  When we’re little, the monster under the bed is dismissed as imagination.  “You’re just tired.”  When we’re older, scary people are dismissed just as easily.  The person you’re trying to tell might smile, make a distracting joke, but press the point and they’ll turn away.  They don’t want to know.  I think every horror fan identifies with the teenagers who try to warn parents or police about the Blob and Freddy Krueger, but if it goes beyond identifying, blossoms into outrage?  Then you’ve probably been there.

And if you insist, then congratulations.  Now you’re the ghost.  No one wants to see you if you only want to tell them that polite, friendly person they know is actually a monster.  It reminds them that there is horror happening everywhere.  Someone you look to as background characters in your life could be the monster of someone else’s.

I don’t find the unstoppable force that threatens our species a touchable monster.  Their carnage is too big.  I’ve seen weak monsters with ugly hearts, the ones that find someone vulnerable and make their life miserable.  Intimate monsters; the ones I’ve met.

With Pride Month, I’m reminded how listening and togetherness are the stakes and garlic and silver bullets against intimate monsters.  They can do what they do because they do it in secret and often to one isolated person.  When we’re open to each other, stand together, intimate monsters have nothing.

For a while, I wasn’t sure anyone wanted to hear about my intimate monsters.  I thought they would be seen as bothersome, the way bringing them up in real life can be seen.  I believed I was supposed to streamline what I wrote, and because I didn’t know how to do that, I spent years not writing.

“Write what you know.”  I’ve seen this misconstrued as, “Only write your areas of expertise” when really it means, “Write who you are.”  There is no one else to tell those stories.  I took a long time to understand that our every moment is a story, each memory a haunted house to be explored.

It’s our personal horror that brings authenticity to the stories we tell.  The box must be opened.  I let out my intimate monsters, the ones who aren’t in my life anymore, the ones who changed into better people, the ones who are fusions of various predators I’ve met.  There’s significance to baring your heart on the page.  It’s been said that no one else can write your weird; it’s all you.

I say the same of the intimate monsters.  If there is a monster who has only been a monster to one person, that is the person in the world who knows that story.  It’s one thing to face the dread that awaits us all, but it’s another to be personally haunted.  All the people in the world, but they spent their horror on you.  What could be more intimate than that?

Raised in the creepy woods of New York, Hailey Piper earned a BA in Literature and now writes horror and dark fantasy. She is the author of The Possession of Natalie Glasgow and An Invitation to Darkness from Demain Publishing. Her next novella, Benny Rose: The Cannibal King, will release from Unnerving in early 2020. She’s an avid reader, gatherer of much too many short fiction anthologies and single-author collections, and lives a stone’s throw from a library for emergency book grabs. Find her on Twitter via @HaileyPiperSays and on Instagram via @haileypiperfights.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Guest Post: The Inherent Power of Words to Describe Oneself by Alice Collins

Diversity is one of the most important things in a genre. With diverse voices come diverse stories, in order for the genre to grow we need other voices to tell stories. That is the only way it can grow and expand into something more beautiful then it already is.

The Inherent Power of Words to Describe Oneself

By Alice Collins

Words are a powerful thing. I’ve struggled with them a lot over the years. Especially with trying to find the right descriptors. There’s lots of continued learning involved, it’s a natural part of language evolving. It takes a while for a new word to catch on, and even longer to find one that is descriptive enough to describe the previously indescribable. It’s very tricky finding appropriate words. Even when you do, you may find it changing some years down the line and that’s ok! However there are many people that I’ve run into IRL and on the internet bemoaning the use of new words to refer to people. I’ve always been curious as to where the idea that language is somehow a static thing came from, rather than it being an ever growing thing. Take a look at slang, how often do you hear people saying, “That’s the bees knees,” when it comes to describing something cool now in 2019? When it comes down to it nothing ever stays the same, it continually changes. The most exciting part of this process is the finding of new adjectives to describe oneself.

I think the first word I had for myself was, “weird.” It’s what I was called by many people, my parents included. I chose to see it as a good thing. I called myself weird so often that my second grade school teacher called my parents in for a meeting to discuss why I called myself that. I figured it was much better than the boring trappings of normalcy. I labeled myself as a weird geek because it was more fun. Yet, that still didn’t encompass everything, it was just a portion of me. So I had to search out more words, and in a few cases wait for them to be created. It’s been a never ending process and I suspect I’ll always be on the search to find new words to describe me as well as running from certain words that I’d rather not have attributed to me. Especially those that have been used to name-call, bully, harass, and marginalize me in the past.

I got called names a lot as a kid, I found other weirdos like me, they were few and far between, those that truly understood. Mainly they were my solace at sci-fi and horror conventions. There wasn’t a whole lot that I was able to do socially except for go to cons. They became my safe space. Everyone there was just another weirdo on the fringes of society, people of all types. I found that this wasn’t a place where I would be called names. There were even panels discussing nomenclature and etymology of certain words, as well as gender, and sexuality. It was in these spaces that I felt most comfortable expressing myself, and learning how to be myself. I found other queerdos and talked with them. Some of the words I learned at these conventions scared me, especially when thinking about how I could use them to describe myself. My brain was not ready to accept a lot of them. I was scared and downright terrified. I’d seen how pretty much everyone on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum was treated. Those were SCARY words. Deep down I knew what I was but wasn’t ready to admit it to myself.

As I grew older I became more and more obsessed with the horror genre. I was brought into the world loving horror but it wasn’t until I was a pre-teen that I really got into it. I was quickly running out of good Sci-Fi to watch and it was around this time that I discovered a small show on TNT called “Monstervision.” I’d always been a fan of horror hosts, I loved what I’d seen of Elvira. “Mystery Science Theater 3000” during their original run started on my local cable access and stayed in production in MN throughout both the Comedy Central and Sci-Fi Channel eras. I watched it all the time. So moving on to Monstervision with Joe Bob Briggs was perfect for me growing up. He showed a bunch of horror movies as well as some deep dive sci-fi classics that I never would’ve found otherwise. It was my kind of show. To this day, he calls his die hard fans his “Drive-In Mutants.” Something inside my brain clicked. I have spent a lot of time at the Drive-In. Many of the other Mutants I met were just like me, going to cons, chilling and watching cheesy and fun movies. They were just all around freaky weirdos with an undying love of the genre, and they had their own quirks as I had mine. They were absolutely wonderful and accepting. I’ve never been attacked by a Mutant, only accepted. The only thing I’ve ever argued with a Mutant over was an opinion on a movie. I can’t say that about any other kind of person I’ve run into. On top of being a Drive-In disciple I read a lot of comics growing up, my favorite being the X-Men. They were cool, they had super-powers, AND they were mutants too. There’s no possible way it can be seen as anything but a positive for me.

So I LATCHED onto Mutant immediately. It felt pretty descriptive enough to refer to every bit of my weirdness, my quirks, my kinks, my sexuality, my gender, and other things. Even though it’s a different word to most people, for me it’s the perfect descriptor. Something that I can’t have used against me. The way I see the word Mutant as an all-encompassing word for myself is definitely not the norm. In polite company, I’d probably use some kind of combination of poly, kinky, queer, trans, lesbian, degenerate, and weird to describe myself. You can use any of these words to marginalize me, and be a general jerk. Yet with Mutant, you can’t do that. My brain finds it impossible to see it as anything but a positive. It’s as if the word was meant to be used to describe me.

To this day over 20 years later, there are still things within me that I’m struggling to find the words to describe. Things that don’t yet have a word, or that I have to figure out still. Finding oneself is a lifelong process. Some people know right away how to describe themselves, others don’t. There isn’t a linear, easy to describe Point A to Point B for me, I’m all over the place. Mutant is still there as the only one that I feel adequately describes my brain meats and it satisfies that innate human need to label things for me. I’d say that it says everything you need to know about me, but to the public at large it most certainly is not enough. There’s so much context behind the word that I am really only able to use it with a certain groups of people. So I’ll still keep learning new words, listening to what is being tried out, and maybe I’ll find something more that I can use around normal people to describe me. Until then, please call me a Mutant.

Alice is first and foremost a horror fanatic but overall a fan of the “lesser” genres. Please give her your trash, your b-movies, your low budet/nobudget weird/kung fu/sci-fi/fantasty stuff. She’s also a writer, musician, Your Horror Tran, and an all around general weirdo.

You can find Alice on twitter at @VampAly. She is a staff writer for Infinite Frontiers, a columnist for Bloody Disgusting and a contributing author for Films and Fishnets as well as The Collinsport Historical Society.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

What We're Reading #27

The Ladies of Horror Fiction have you covered if you’re looking for some good reads!

In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado Book Cover

A startling, moving, and innovative memoir from the National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit, as she uses a series of narrative tropes—including classic horror themes—to create an entirely unique piece of work which is destined to become an instant classic.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Tracy’s Teaser Review

Imagine your perfect house; your dream house. Where is it? What is the air like? Perhaps most importantly, who is there with you? What if this house isn’t an actual house, but a state of being? It is, after all, a dream. What if it decays, begins to crumble, and the only reason you notice is because it’s been set aflame, bulldozed, and returned to dust? What if?

Read Tracy’s entire review at Sci-fi & Scary.

The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter…

Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on.

Finally, after thirteen years and eleven states, their next hideaway seems perfect. An isolated, fortresslike place in the New Hampshire woods is the new home they share with its owner, a gentlemanly pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. She’s Lucy’s age and soon becomes Lucy’s first real friend.

But Gretchen and her father have secrets of their own—and an obsession with puzzles that draws Lucy into a terrifying new game of hide-and-seek. Lucy’s dark past is about to come calling. And this time, for her and her mother in the house on the hill, it might be too late to run.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Emily’s Teaser Review

Gretchen is kind of a blend of things (or a puzzle, which is a major theme in the book) – it’s gothic and psychological horror, and also a suspense novel. I really enjoyed this story, and putting all the pieces together to figure out what was going on. There are several different storylines happening in this book, but everything is woven together well.

Read Emily’s entire review at Goodreads.

Tragedy Queens edited by Leza Cantoral Book Cover

Archetypes are real. Muses are real. Writers are the channels of these spirits & if that sounds like witchcraft that’s because it is. These stories gave me chills. Sylvia Plath & Lana Del Rey course through the veins of these dark, sexy, mind-bending, fantastical, romantic, & haunting tales. Authors from different genres came together in their love & passion for these muses.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Audra’s Teaser Review

Most of these stories are dark, often dealing with themes of loss and death. They are visceral and cutting and range from realism to sci-fi.

I definitely recommend this book for fans of horror stories that are off the beaten path.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Shelf Edition: Sam

This month, our guest for Shelf Edition is Sam from The Literary Hooker! Sam is a bookstagrammer, blogger and reviewer for Sci-Fi & Scary. She also co-mods the Grim Readers Book Club on Goodreads. When she’s not reading, she’s probably cross stitching and/or watching trashy TV.

Do you have any recent favorite LOHF books? 

Two that I’ve read this year and absolutely loved were To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger and Soon by Lois Murphy. Both books packed an enormous emotional punch for me but were still intensely disturbing and scary. I love horror that can make me cry and then have me jumping out of my skin within a couple of pages, and both of these delivered on that.

What LOHF books do you have on your TBR?

Tons! I’ve definitely been adding them to my TBR faster than I could ever dream of reading them. But if we’re talking ones I plan to get to in the immediate future: Brother by Ania Ahlborn, Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower, and Infernal by Cheryl Low are all near the top of my up-next stack. I’m also really looking forward to reading the Gabriel Davenport books by Beverley Lee, A Shining in the Shadows. Vampires just scream fall to me, so I’m definitely going to be reading that one soon now that the weather is shifting!

Sam's Shelfie Beverly Lee's series

Where do you find recommendations? Are there any LOHF books that have been recommended to you that you loved? 

Social media is probably where I find most of my recommendations lately. Bookstagram has been very dangerous for my TBR! And of course LOHF is an awesome resource for finding new authors. I’ve been getting a bit more into Twitter recently and I’ve found quite a few recommendations there, especially since the author community is so active and supportive of each other on that platform! The rest of the Sci-Fi & Scary team are also a great source for recommendations, since we’ve all got pretty diverse tastes. I’ve found books through them that I likely wouldn’t have stumbled across otherwise. 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon was recommended to me on Bookstragram, and it ended up being probably my favorite read of 2018. I also found Bunny by Mona Awad through the LOHF team and loved it, that’s another one I probably wouldn’t have had on my radar without it being recommended!

Sam's Shelfie Bunny by Mona Awad

Where do you shop for books? 

I’m lucky that we’ve got a lot of really neat bookstores in Toronto. I always love browsing used bookstores and seeing what I stumble across. There’s also Bakka-Phoenix Books which specializes in genre and spec fic which I love! And then of course the obvious places like Amazon and Indigo.

Sam's Shelfie Soon by Lois Murphy

Are there any upcoming LOHF releases you’re excited about? 

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters, Out of Water by Sarah Read, and The Garden of Bewitchment by Catherine Cavendish are 3 of my most anticipated releases right now. 

Sam's Shelfie Future Reads

Where can people find you on social media? 




Thank you for joining us, Sam! Our tbr piles also thank you! If you would like to be featured on a future shelf edition please leave a note in the comments. We’d love to see your shelves!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What We're Reading #26

The Ladies of Horror Fiction have some recent reads to share with you today!

Monster She Wrote by Lisa Kroger & Melanie Anderson Book Cover

Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kroger & Melanie R. Anderson

Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Toni’s Teaser Review

I think that this is a really important book. Women have been a part of the horror genre since the beginning. Whether they were writing Gothic horror or are writing now. Women have been instrumental in shaping the horror genre. This is a very important work that lists the most influential women. If you support women in horror this is a book that you will want on your shelves.

Read Toni’s entire review at The Misadventures of a Reader.

The Last Seance by Agatha Christie book cover

The Last Seance by Agatha Christie

From the Queen of Suspense, an all-new collection of her spookiest and most sinister stories, including one never before published in the U.S.

“Reading a perfectly plotted Agatha Christie is like crunching into a perfect apple: that pure, crisp, absolute satisfaction.”—Tana French, New York Times Bestselling Author

For lovers of the supernatural and the macabre comes this collection of ghostly and chilling stories from legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie. Fantastic psychic visions, specters looming in the shadows, encounters with deities, a man who switches bodies with a cat—be sure to keep the light on whilst reading these tales.

The Last Séance gathers twenty stories, some featuring Christie’s beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, in one haunting compendium that explores all things occult and paranormal, and is an essential omnibus for Christie fans.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Audra’s Teaser Review

Though I’ve read many of her novels, I am a newcomer to Christie’s short stories. She is a consummate storyteller, whether in the long or short form! I so thoroughly enjoyed the spooky atmosphere as well as the variety of different settings, characters, and stories offered here.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.

Cenote City by Monique Quintana Book Cover

Cenote City by Monique Quintana

Lune’s mother cannot stop crying after all the hospitals shut down. She cries and cries and finally she is exiled to the cenote, where her tears endlessly fill the giant sinkhole. She becomes a big tourist attraction. People come from miles to see Marcrina cry into the cenote–part prisoner, part carnival attraction, part saint, Marcrina’s story is one of heartbreak, love, and endurance. This is the story of Lune, of Marcrina, of Lune’s son Nico, and of a strange place called Cenote City, where the world of magic and the dead entwines with daily life in enchanting and unsettling ways. Monique Quintana’s words will pull you under, down to the depths, where tears flow, hearts break, and dreams are reborn every day.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Emily’s Teaser Review

Cenote City is Monique Quintana’s gorgeous debut novella. Her writing is vivid and poetic, and this book was a great introduction to Quintana’s style. I would say this book is speculative fiction / bizarro with some magical realism, horror, and fantasy vibes. It’s a really unique story.

Read Emily’s entire review at Goodreads.

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

Friday, November 1, 2019

November 2019 LOHF New Releases

Each month the Ladies of Horror Fiction team posts all of the books we are aware of that will be releasing during that month. If you are involved in the process of publishing a horror book written by a female author, please reach out to us and let us know so we can help to spotlight the book’s release!

Out of Water by Sarah Read

Out of Water by Sarah Read


These are the stories of things out of water—of sea bed deserts choked with ghosts; of the lonely, roving children of the fen. Here your garden grows belowground. You will be born into a cradle of your own bones, shadows will burst from your eyes, and your mouth will fill with thorns. Storms will twist inside you, and the ghosts of your past will follow you and chart your future.

Here, things are out of place—ectopic and unviable—and you will mourn the unborn, those underwater things out of water.

Expected publication: November 1st 2019 by Trepidatio Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads

In the Dream House

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

A startling, moving, and innovative memoir from the National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.

For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit, as she uses a series of narrative tropes—including classic horror themes—to create an entirely unique piece of work which is destined to become an instant classic.

Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Graywolf Press | Amazon | Goodreads

Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren

Into Bones like Oil by Kaaron Warren

People come to The Angelsea, a rooming house near the beach, for many reasons. Some come to get some sleep, because here, you sleep like the dead. Dora arrives seeking solitude and escape from reality. Instead, she finds a place haunted by the drowned and desperate, who speak through the sleeping inhabitants. She fears sleep herself, terrified that the ghosts of her daughters will tell her “it’s all your fault we’re dead.” At the same time, she’d give anything to hear them one more time.

Expected publication: November 12th 2019 by Meerkat Shorts | Amazon | Goodreads


Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood

Leah Hamilton is looking for a new life following the tragic deaths of her husband and son. Determined to bury her grief in hard work, and desperate to escape Christmas and the pitying looks of her colleagues, she rushes through the purchase of a run-down Yorkshire farmhouse, arriving just as the snow shrouds her new home.

It may look like a Christmas card, but it’s soon clear it’s not just the house needing renovation; the land is in bad heart too. And Leah’s mind starts playing tricks on her: she hears a child playing in the snow, but although there are snowballs, there are no footprints. Is this the ghost of her son, returned to her? She starts having visions of the farm’s former occupants – the young widow and her son, the cousin who’s wooing her, the maid who shares her secrets and the handsome labourer who’s hanged for the murder of a child, a murder he didn’t commit.

Is Leah strong enough to lay the increasingly malevolent ghosts and find a way to move on? Or will her ashes end up scattered over the now-covered fields?

Published November 14th 2019 by Quercus | Amazon | Goodreads

The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste

The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste

From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line. One third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary.

It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography—you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.

A tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens.

Expected publication: November 26th 2019 | Goodreads

Have we missed any November 2019 LOHF titles you are excited about? Let us know in the comments!