Wednesday, August 3, 2022

What We've Been Reading #135

Today our team members recommend Laurel Hightower's recent release, a "The Stepfather" inspired novel by Stephanie Sparks, and a backlist title by Catherine Cavendish.

Below by Laurel Hightower


While driving through the mountains of West Virginia during a late-night snowstorm, a recently divorced woman experiences bizarre electrical problems, leaving her with little choice but to place her trust with a charismatic truck driver. But when an unexplainable creature with haunting red eyes gets between them, she is forced to make one of the toughest decisions of her life. Will she abandon the stranger who kept her safe—or will she climb down below, where reality has shapeshifted into a living nightmare?

Amazon | Goodreads | Bookshop

Audra's Teaser Review

"A delightfully creepy creature feature, this novella is a one-sitting read that will keep you guessing."

Read Audra's entire review at Goodreads.

The Stepchildren by Stephanie Sparks

Jamie Riley had always suspected that something was wrong with her stepfather. Burt Valentine wasn’t just a man on the hunt for the perfect life — he was a fugitive family annihilator who murdered his own wife and children.

After Jamie escapes his violent attack, she learns years later that Burt had infiltrated and destroyed other families too, leaving a trail of physically and emotionally broken stepchildren.

As adults, Jamie and the other survivors come together in group therapy where they discover that Burt has died in prison. All too familiar with her stepfather’s M.O. of faking his death, Jamie refuses to believe he’s dead, and the only way to be sure is to break into a funeral home to see his corpse.

But as it turns out, even in death, stepdaddy dearest still has a few deadly surprises left for his wayward stepchildren.

Inspired by The Stepfather movie franchise, THE STEPCHILDREN is a psychological horror novel that explores what happens to the child survivors of a serial killer whose evil continues to haunt them.

Goodreads | Amazon  |  Bookshop

Alex's Teaser Review

"THE STEPCHILDREN by Stephanie Sparks is a quick read and fast-paced horror story in the vein of the beloved late 80s franchise, The Stepfather. The twist? It is from the perspective of multiple surviving stepchildren."

Read Alex's entire review at Goodreads.

Wrath of the Ancients by Catherine Cavendish

Egypt, 1908: Eminent archaeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands...

Vienna, 1913: Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.

Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy...

Goodreads | Amazon 

Laurie's Teaser Review

"It’s the perfect book to curl up with on a cold night next to a few candles or a fireplace (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or a cooperative beast and I think many readers will enjoy the story especially if you’re interested in ancient Gods and curses."

Read Laurie's entire 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.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Laurie is one of our Horror Spotlight Admins. Laurie creates our review posts and coordinates review requests.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.

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