Wednesday, April 26, 2023

What We've Been Reading | April 26, 2023

Today our team members recommend a little something for (almost) everyone! Let us know if you've read them in the comments.

Unmasked by Lorien Lawrence

The third book in the spine-chilling Fright Watch series follows the local monster mask maker—and a mask that comes to life on Halloween night

Having suffered from anxiety attacks since she was eight years old, creating monsters has become a sort of therapy for Marion Jones: When she sculpts and paints, her fingers don’t tingle, the heaviness lifts from her chest, and she can actually breathe. So instead of grabbing pizza and milkshakes after school like most other kids in South Haven, Marion holes up in her room, working away on her monsters. And it’s paid off, because she’s just finished her first full-face mask: a gruesome sea monster she’s named Winston. 

However, Halloween arrives with a Super Blue Blood Moon, and its powers somehow manage to bring Winston to life. To make matters worse, Marion’s crush, Tyler Dash, becomes the object of Winston’s possession as soon as he tries on the mask, turning him into a red-flannel and Converse high-top wearing Creature from Connecticut. Marion has no choice: She has to follow Tyler to the Halloween dance to try and stop him. Will she be able to figure out what’s happened to Tyler and stop the monster from wreaking further havoc on the school? Or has she made a real-life monster that’s here to stay?

Jen's Teaser Review

"This series is so much fun, and I'm so glad Marion has been added to the Fright Watch team. I think this series can last a long time, and I'm here for it."

Read Jen's entire review at Book Den.

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She's always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside - the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can't eat any of these things. Her body doesn't work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London--where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time - is much more difficult than she'd anticipated.

Then there are the humans--the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can't bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for--perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality--but, she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry--always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her--between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

Goodreads | Amazon

Laurie's Teaser Review

"Woman, Eating is a story that feels timeless and yet also modern. It's about loneliness, coming to terms with ingrained self-loathing, art and hunger, and terrible mothers."

Read Laurie's entire review at Goodreads.

Convulsive by Joe Koch

New museums birth atrocity in every flex: fifteen horror stories of religion, abuse, desire, and gender.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"Joe's way with words is transcendent."

Read Teresa'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.

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.

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.

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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

April 2023 New Horror Book Releases

Today we are celebrating April horror book releases!

Kill Radio by Lauren Bolger

Kill Radio by Lauren Bolger

When Rachelle unearths her ex’s handmade crystal radio, violence and terror reign in the form of hellhounds, shadow figures, and finally, possessions.

Enter smooth, dark-eyed James Carroway. He offers her protection she’s quick to accept despite her apprehensions. When James reveals he’s a warlock in search of the crystal radio that caused these supernatural events, Rachelle explains it belonged to her son’s estranged father, Chad. They realize it played a part in Chad’s possession.

Their only option is to find Chad and learn about the origins of the radio before more of her family are killed. Or worse, taken. Rachelle has to risk losing the people she loves yet again to make it stop.

Published April 1, 2023 by Malarkey Books | Goodreads | Amazon

The Insatiable Volt Sisters by Rachel Eve Moulton

The Insatiable Volt Sisters by Rachel Eve Moulton

From the author of Tinfoil Butterfly, a blazingly original novel about sisters who return to the remote island they grew up on to face the monsters lurking in their family history.

It's the summer of 1989 and Beatrice and Henrietta Volt are coming of age on remote Fowler Island in Lake Erie, their ancestral home and wild playground. Thicker than thieves, they plot their futures while their parents pick their marriage apart piece by piece. The girls have no idea that their parents are separating. Or that the plan is to separate them.

Ten years pass and Henrie gets a desperate call from her sister--their father has died suddenly and B.B. needs Henrie to come back to the island for the funeral. When Henrie arrives, the island seems even stranger than she remembers. But the truth is, she doesn't remember much about the island, and nothing at all about the night she left. She just feels a vague and perplexing sense of dread and a sharp fear of the quarry pond behind the house.

Told from the perspectives of four flawed, fascinating women, The Insatiable Volt Sisters is a lush, enthralling fable about monsters real and imagined and the sometimes painful bonds of sisterhood. From the unbounded imagination of Rachel Eve Moulton, the critically acclaimed author of Tinfoil Butterfly, comes another eerie, terrifying exploration of family and legacy: Will the Volt sisters inherit the horrors of their past or surpass them?

Published April 4, 2023 by MCD x FSG Originals | Goodreads | Amazon

The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown

The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown

Ness Brown's The Scourge Between Stars is a tense, claustrophobic sci-fi/horror blend set aboard a doomed generation ship harboring something terrible within its walls.

As acting captain of the starship Calypso, Jacklyn Albright is responsible for keeping the last of humanity alive as they limp back to Earth from their forebears’ failed colony on a distant planet.

Faced with constant threats of starvation and destruction in the treacherous minefield of interstellar space, Jacklyn's crew has reached their breaking point. As unrest begins to spread throughout the ship’s Wards, a new threat emerges, picking off crew members in grim, bloody fashion.

Jacklyn and her team must hunt down the ship’s unknown intruder if they have any hope of making it back to their solar system alive.

Published April 4, 2023 by Tor Trade | Goodreads | Amazon

Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang

Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang

Sly, surprising, and razor-sharp, Natural Beauty follows a young musician into an elite, beauty-obsessed world where perfection comes at a staggering cost.

Our narrator produces a sound from the piano no one else at the Conservatory can. She employs a technique she learned from her parents—also talented musicians—who fled China in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. But when an accident leaves her parents debilitated, she abandons her future for a job at a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City.

Holistik is known for its remarkable products and procedures—from remoras that suck out cheap Botox to eyelash extensions made of spider silk—and her new job affords her entry into a world of privilege and a long-awaited sense of belonging. She becomes transfixed by Helen, the niece of Holistik’s charismatic owner, and the two strike up a friendship that hazily veers into more. All the while, our narrator is plied with products that slim her thighs, smooth her skin, and lighten her hair. But beneath these creams and tinctures lies something sinister.

A piercing, darkly funny debut, Natural Beauty explores questions of consumerism, self-worth, race, and identity—and leaves readers with a shocking and unsettling truth.

Published April 4, 2023 by Dutton | Goodreads | Amazon

House of Cotton by Monica Brashears

House of Cotton by Monica Brashears

Nineteen years old, broke, and effectively an orphan, Magnolia doesn’t have much to look forward to. She feels stuck and haunted: by her overdrawn bank account, by her predatory landlord, by the ghost of her late grandmother Mama Brown.

One night while working at her dead-end gas station job, a mysterious, slick stranger named Cotton walks in and offers to turn Magnolia’s luck around. He offers her a lucrative “modeling” job at his family’s funeral home. Magnolia accepts. But despite things looking up, Magnolia’s problems fatten along with her wallet. When Cotton’s requests become increasingly weird, Magnolia discovers there’s a lot more at stake than just her rent.

Sharp as a belted knife, this sly social commentary cuts straight to the bone, revealing the aftermath of the American plantation and what it means to be poor, Black, and a woman in the God fearing south.

Published April 4, 2023 by Flatiron Books | Goodreads | Amazon

The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro

The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro

A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona as she unravels the dark secrets of her family history in this ravishing and provocative horror novel.

Alejandra no longer knows who she is. To her husband, she is a wife, and to her children, a mother. To her own adoptive mother, she is a daughter. But they cannot see who Alejandra has become: a woman struggling with a darkness that threatens to consume her.

Nor can they see what Alejandra sees. In times of despair, a ghostly vision appears to her, the apparition of a crying woman in a ragged white gown.

When Alejandra visits a therapist, she begins exploring her family’s history, starting with the biological mother she never knew. As she goes deeper into the lives of the women in her family, she learns that heartbreak and tragedy are not the only things she has in common with her ancestors.

Because the crying woman was with them, too. She is La Llorona, the vengeful and murderous mother of Mexican legend. And she will not leave until Alejandra follows her mother, her grandmother, and all the women who came before her into the darkness.

But Alejandra has inherited more than just pain. She has inherited the strength and the courage of her foremothers—and she will have to summon everything they have given her to banish La Llorona forever.

Expected publication April 18, 2023 by Del Rey | Goodreads | Amazon

Tell Me What Really Happened by Chelsea Sedoti

Tell Me What Really Happened by Chelsea Sedoti

There are stories about the woods around Salvation Creek, about the people who have gone missing. Now their friend is one of them. A riveting, fast-paced YA mystery told entirely through first person police interviews of four teens over the course of a few hours.

It was all her idea. They would get away from their parents and spend the weekend camping. Down by Salvation Creek, the five of them would make smores, steal kisses, share secrets.

But sometime around midnight, she vanished.

Now the four friends who came back are under suspicion―and they each have a very different story to tell about what happened in the woods.

The clock is ticking. What are they hiding? Who is lying? Dark truths must come to light if their friend is to be found...

Told entirely through first-person police interviews, this riveting mystery asks: what really happened that night?

Published April 4, 2023 by Sourcebooks Fire | Goodreads | Amazon

The Cherished by Patricia Ward

The Cherished by Patricia Ward

For fans of Claire Legrand, Rory Power, and Danielle Vega comes a visceral horror thriller in the vein of Midsommar, as one girl inherits a mysterious house from her estranged grandmother—and a letter with sinister instructions.

Jo never expected to be placed in her absent grandmother’s will—let alone be left her house, her land, and a letter with mysterious demands.

Upon arriving at the inherited property, things are even more strange.

The tenants mentioned in the letter are odd, just slightly…off. Jo feels something dark and decrepit in the old shack behind the house. And the things that her father used to talk about, his delusions… Why is Jo starting to believe they might be real?

But what Jo fears most is the letter from her grandmother. Because if it’s true, then Jo belongs here, in this strange place. And she has no choice but to stay.

With a deadly enemy that cannot be seen, a world that may only be unlocked by a chosen few, and a chilling past that must be unearthed at any cost, The Cherished is an original, hypnotizing contemporary horror—one that will thrill readers of White Smoke, Wilder Girls, and The Hazel Wood.

Expected publication April 18, 2023 by Harperteen | Goodreads | Amazon

Peachy by Camri Kohler

Peachy by Camri Kohler

When twenty-three-year-old surly, and slightly tipsy, Frankie finds her hag of a grandmother dead on the sofa, her best friend, playful Ben Bowen, introduces her to the magical underbelly of Aspen Ridge, Utah.

Ben is a witch, a seer to be exact, and he guides Frankie into her new identity as a healer, a restoration witch. With the help of Ben and his coven-mate Cleo, Frankie navigates the treacherous classes of witches: dragons, shifters, and the abhorred vampire—life-drinking witches. It was a vampire that killed Frankie’s grandmother, and she’s after Frankie. But, much to the chagrin of best friend Ben, it isn’t Frankie’s vitality that the vampire wants.

Frankie must work her newfound magic—despite her fear, her self-doubt, and her desire to have one more drink—with her friends to eliminate a common enemy. She’ll have to endure nightmares and commit horrors unspeakable, or risk losing them all.

It will take guts … whosever they may be.

Expected publication April 18, 2023 by Lake Country Press | Goodreads | Amazon

Neverest by T.L. Bodine

Neverest by T.L. Bodine

One year ago, Sean Miller—journalist and mountain climbing enthusiast—reached the summit of Mount Everest and was never seen again. Unable to move on without knowing the truth of what happened, his widow Carrie insists on an expedition to search for Sean’s body so it can be properly laid to rest. Tom, Sean's best friend and former climbing partner, agrees to serve as expedition guide and promises to keep Carrie safe on the mountain, despite their complicated relationship history.

Guided by a travel journal left behind by her husband, Carrie ventures into the frozen, open-air graveyard of the world's tallest peak. But as Sean’s diary and Carrie’s experiences reveal, climbing the mountain is more than a test of endurance; it’s a battle of wills with an ancient and hostile force protecting the mountain—and the dead do not rest easy at the summit.

NEVEREST is a survival thriller with a hint of the supernatural that will appeal to fans of Ally Wilkes’ All the White Spaces and Amy McCulloch’s Breathless.

Expected publication April 25, 2023 by Ghost Orchid Press | Goodreads | Amazon

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

Four best friends, one music festival, and a cooler filled with human organs: this summer is about to get gory. ​​​

Jennifer’s Body fans will clamor for this new sapphic horror standalone from New York Times bestselling author Kayla Cottingham.

Three years ago, the melting of arctic permafrost released a pathogen of unknown origin into the atmosphere, causing a small percentage of people to undergo a transformation that became known as the Hollowing. Those impacted slowly became intolerant to normal food and were only able to gain sustenance by consuming the flesh of other human beings. Those who went without flesh quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. However, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy the hunger of those impacted by the Hollowing. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal, albeit with lasting fear and distrust for the people they'd pejoratively dubbed ghouls.

Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine are all ghouls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before their graduation they decided to attend a musical festival in the desert. They have a cooler filled with hard seltzers and SynFlesh and are ready to party.

But on the first night of the festival Val goes feral, and ends up killing and eating a boy. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is drugging ghouls and making them feral. And if they can't figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is safe.

Expected publication April 25, 2023 by Sourcebooks Fire | Goodreads | Amazon

You Shouldn't Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose

You Shouldn't Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose

Grace Evans, an overworked New Yorker looking for a total escape from her busy life, books an Airbnb on a ranch in the middle of Wyoming. When she arrives, she's pleasantly surprised to find that the owner is a handsome man by the name of Calvin Wells. But there are things Grace discovers that she's not too pleased about: A lack of cell phone service. A missing woman. And a feeling that something isn't right with the town.

Despite her uneasiness and misgivings from Calvin's friends and family, the two grow close and start to fall for one another. However, as her departure date nears, things between them start to change for the worse. Grace grows wary of Calvin as his infatuation for her seems to turn into obsession. Calvin fears that Grace is hiding something from him.

Told from dual points of view, You Shouldn't Have Come Here is a thrill ride and a cautionary tale of what can go wrong when you open up your house and your heart to a total stranger.

Expected publication April 25, 2023 by Blackstone Publishing | Goodreads | Amazon

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.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Shelf Edition: Stephanie Parent

Horror Spotlight Shelf Edition: Stephanie Parent 

Do you have any recent favorite Horror Spotlight books?

Too many to list! A few of my favorites are The Saint of Witches by Avra Margariti, Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste, Marionette by Antonia Rachel Ward, and Lady of the House by Grace R. Reynolds.

Reluctant Immortals, Immmortelle, Elegies of Rotting Stars, Three Days in the Pink Tower

Which Horror Spotlight books do you currently have on your TBR?

Again, probably too many to list! A few I’m especially excited about are Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt, We Are Here to Hurt Each Other by Paula D. Ashe, Three Days in the Pink Tower by E.V. Knight, and Linghun by Ai Jiang.

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

I don’t even have to look for recommendations—just scrolling through Twitter a few times a day gives me more books to add to my TBR than I could ever finish! That said, I think every Horror Spotlight book I’ve read has been recommended to me in one way or another—if not to me personally, then I’ve read enough positive feedback about the book and author online to want to pick it up. One which I definitely got a ton of recommendations for before reading was Lady of the House by Grace R. Reynolds—everyone was talking about this unique, poetic portrayal of a woman pushed to her breaking point. They were spot-on about how great it is! 

The Wild Dark, Moonflowers, This is Where We Talk Things Out, House of Pungsu

Are there any upcoming Horror Spotlight releases you're excited about?

So many! Linghun by Ai Jiang which I mentioned above, as well as Beleth Station by Bryan Smith and Samantha Kolesnik (this one happens to be coming out the same day as my novel!) and Hungers as Old as This Land by Zachary Rosenberg.

Ashthorne, Into the Forest and All the Way Through, Marionette, Burials

Let’s get a little adventurous. Answer one or both: What Horror Spotlight book (or story, or movie, etc) would you like to see turned into a Muppet Movie? And/Or Who would play you in a horror movie based on your life?

What a fun question! I think Marionette by Antonia Rachel Ward would make a fun Muppet movie—Miss Piggy would be a natural as a French courtesan in the 1800s, and it would be a hoot to see all the Muppets dressed up like members and patrons of a Moulin Rouge-type establishment. For the horror movie based on my life, maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal. I’ve been told I look like her, and she has played a sex worker as well as a submissive in a BDSM relationship—both parts of my story.

In regards to your own work, tell our readers a little bit about what’s new and/or coming up for you. 

My debut horror novel THE BRIARS is forthcoming from Cemetery Gates Media on May 9, 2023. Based on my own experience working at a commercial dungeon in Los Angeles, it’s a gothic haunted house story transplanted to an S&M dungeon, in which two female sex workers battle an increasingly vengeful ghost, their own haunted pasts in a patriarchal society, and their growing attraction to each other. I really poured my heart into this book, and I’m so excited for people to finally read it!

Where can people find you on social media and/or find your work?

You can follow me on Twitter at @SC_Parent and Instagram at @stephanieparent30. I generally announce all my new publications on both sites, but you can also check my website

Author Bio:

Stephanie Parent is an author of dark fiction and poetry. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Stephanie spent much of her adult life in Los Angeles, where she worked at a commercial dungeon as a professional submissive and dominatrix—an experience that inspired her debut horror novel The Briars.

Stephanie’s debut poetry collection Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell was published by Querencia Press, and her short fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Cemetery Gates Media, Brigids Gate Press, Black Spot Books, and many other publications. Follow Stephanie on Twitter at @SC_Parent for the latest updates on her work.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

What We've Been Reading | April 19, 2023

Today our team members recommend two new horror novels and a horror adjacent mystery-thriller. We hope you find some time to read them and share your thoughts!

Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez

A woman’s mysterious death puts her husband and son on a collision course with her demonic family.

A young father and son set out on a road trip, devastated by the death of the wife and mother they both loved. United in grief, the pair travel to her ancestral home, where they must confront the terrifying legacy she has bequeathed: a family called the Order that commits unspeakable acts in search of immortality.

For Gaspar, the son, this maniacal cult is his destiny. As the Order tries to pull him into their evil, he and his father take flight, attempting to outrun a powerful clan that will do anything to ensure its own survival. But how far will Gaspar’s father go to protect his child? And can anyone escape their fate?

Moving back and forth in time, from London in the swinging 1960s to the brutal years of Argentina’s military dictatorship and its turbulent aftermath, Our Share of Night is a novel like no other: a family story, a ghost story, a story of the occult and the supernatural, a book about the complexities of love and longing with queer subplots and themes. This is the masterwork of one of Latin America’s most original novelists, “a mesmerizing writer,” says Dave Eggers, “who demands to be read.”

Teresa's Teaser Review

"There is literally nothing I can say about Our Share of Night that will be better than what others have said. This book left me unsettled for days after I finished it and I still think about it. "

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

he New York Times bestselling Queen of Twists returns…with a family reunion that leads to murder.

After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.

The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…

Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.

With a wicked wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Daisy Darker’s unforgettable twists will leave readers reeling.

Goodreads | Amazon

Jen's Teaser Review

"Daisy Darker is a thriller, but it's also horror–adjacent. I recommend it to readers like me who love horror and love thrillers and love reading those books that straddle the line as horror-adjacent."

Read Jen's entire review at Book Den.

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice

A daring post-apocalyptic thriller from a powerful rising literary voice

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.

The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.

Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.

Goodreads | Amazon

Laurie's Teaser Review

"The characterization is fantastic, there's a true sense of community created, it feels like it's happening in real time and you'll feel for these trusting people who have already been through far too much pain. There are even a few moments of humor to lighten the dark and ominous mood."

Read Laurie's entire review at Bark at the Ghouls.

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

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.

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.

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.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Horror Spotlight's Movie Night April

 Horror Spotlight Movie Night: Nope

We are doing another movie night on Thursday April 20, 2023! 4:30PT/5:30MT/6:30CT/7:30ET

Please join us to watch Nope on Amazon. Join the Horror Spotlight Discord for the link, instructions, and updates. Hope to see you there!  

  •  Director
    • Jordan Peele
  • Writers
    • Jordan Peele
  • Stars
    •   Daniel Kaluuya
    •   Keke Palmer
    •   Brandon Perea

About Nope: The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Horror Spotlight's Readalong May 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong May 2023

In May we will be reading Sign Here by Claudia Lux for the readalong in the Horror Spotlight discord. You can join the discord with this link.

A darkly humorous, surprisingly poignant, and utterly gripping debut novel about a guy who works in Hell (literally) and is on the cusp of a big promotion if only he can get one more member of the wealthy Harrison family to sell their soul.

Peyote Trip has a pretty good gig in the deals department on the fifth floor of Hell. Sure, none of the pens work, the coffee machine has been out of order for a century, and the only drink on offer is Jägermeister, but Pey has a plan—and all he needs is one last member of the Harrison family to sell their soul.

When the Harrisons retreat to the family lake house for the summer, with their daughter Mickey’s precocious new friend, Ruth, in tow, the opportunity Pey has waited a millennium for might finally be in his grasp. And with the help of his charismatic coworker Calamity, he sets a plan in motion.

But things aren’t always as they seem, on Earth or in Hell. And as old secrets and new dangers scrape away at the Harrisons’ shiny surface, revealing the darkness beneath, everyone must face the consequences of their choices.

Goodreads | Bookshop

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

What We've Been Reading | April 12, 2023

Today our team members recommend a horror novella, a novel filled with body horror and an anthology benefitting Trans Youth in Texas. We hope you check them out and share your thoughts!

It Doesn't Go Away by Wendy Dalrymple

A woman on the brink. A long, endless hike. Something waiting in the woods.

There’s something waiting for her along the Appalachian Trail. Watching. Following. She knows it. She can feel their eyes on her at every corner. It’s only a matter of time before they catch up…

In the aftermath of a horrible traumatic incident, a woman sets out on a solo long-distance hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail. Despite her insistence to push through, dark forces manifest in strangers' faces and terror sets in. With every turn through the dense, dark wood, she discovers that running away from her past is more difficult than it seems, and in the end, it just doesn’t go away.

Laurie's Teaser Review

"It Doesn’t Go Away is a tense little novella filled with danger that lurks around every corner while slowly revealing some painful trauma. It’s a very creepy read and the dread hits you fast and never lets up."

Read Laurie's entire review at Goodreads.

Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A. Snyder

Sister, Maiden, Monster is a visceral story set in the aftermath of our planet’s disastrous transformation and told through the eyes of three women trying to survive the nightmare, from Bram Stoker Award-winning author Lucy A. Snyder.

To survive they must evolve.

A virus tears across the globe, transforming its victims in nightmarish ways. As the world collapses, dark forces pull a small group of women together.

Erin, once quiet and closeted, acquires an appetite for a woman and her brain. Why does forbidden fruit taste so good?

Savannah, a professional BDSM switch, discovers a new turn-on: committing brutal murders for her eldritch masters.

Mareva, plagued with chronic tumors, is too horrified to acknowledge her divine role in the coming apocalypse, and as her growths multiply, so too does her desperation.

Inspired by her Bram Stoker Award-winning story “Magdala Amygdala,” Lucy A. Snyder delivers a cosmic tale about the planet’s disastrous transformation ... and what we become after.

Goodreads | Amazon

Heather's Teaser Review

"This book was gross but also kinda sexy. I'm not sure how that works, but it did."

Read Heather's entire review at Goodreads.

Laurie's Teaser Review

"This book is squirmy and gross and sexy too. If you’re a fan of body horror and like sex mixed in with your scares, you’re going to love that about it."

Read Laurie's entire review at Goodreads.

Your Body Is Not Your Body edited by Alex Woodroe & Matt Blairstone


Over thirty creators from the Trans/Gender Nonconforming communities come together to voice their rage, defiance and fearlessness in the New Weird Horror tradition that Tenebrous Press exemplifies.

A centaur seeks illicit surgery in an alien bodily modification club.

Two medieval monks react to their transformation and demonic pregnancy in very different ways.

A resourceful trans teen destroys sports bigots through the power of pluckiness...and gratuitious body horror.

A spacebound cathedral crosses galaxies to dump the corpse of God into a star; hopefully they won't be distracted from their mission by excessive psychedelic orgies.

A doxxed teen falls victim to violent assault...and dishes out some harrowing retribution of their own.

The rules of conventional Horror go out the f$%&ing window in this collection of stories featuring cosmic malice; technological killing machines; murderous pleasure-bots; acid-filled alien cops; Weird worm implants; witchcraft; mad science; proselytizing zombies; ghouls, sorcerers and cannibals...and that just begins to scratch the grave-dirt.

This anthology began in reaction to the attempted criminalization of trans/GNC youth and their families in the state of Texas. It has evolved into a rallying cry and Horror-drenched celebration of identity of every stripe. A portion of all proceeds go to Equality Texas.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"An exceptional anthology that gives voice to the chronically unseen in horror. Each story and poem contained within is an unapologetic declaration that Trans and Gender Nonconforming creators are here and they are bringing the horror, reminding us all that they know what real horror is and they are reclaiming their space in the genre. These stories are weird, and gross, and terrifying, and beautiful."

Read Teresa'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.

Our Reviewers

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.

Heather is a contributing reviewer and helps out with the Horror Spotlight Instagram account. Find her online at Goodreads, Twitter as @HSquared_13, and on Instagram as @h.hellion.

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, April 7, 2023

U.S. National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month (In the US)

And since it is National Poetry Month, we have assembled a list of some dark and horror poetry for your perusal. As ever, this is not a definitive list, but hopefully a good start!  Let us know your favorites or the ones you are looking forward to reading. Love live our TBRs!

New To Dark Poetry? Start Here with Some Titles We Recommend  

Dark Poetry Covers Collage

The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie M. Wytovich
A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng
Candle and Pins by Jacqueline West
If You Died Tomorrow I would Eat Your Corpse by Wrath James White
Choking Back the Devil by Donna Lynch
A Complex Accident of Life by Jessica McHugh
Cradleland of Parasites by Sara Tantlinger
Burials by Jessica Drake-Thomas
Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolf
Escaping the Body by Chloe N Clark
I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland
Severin: Poems by Lydian Faust
Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota by Amelia Gorman
The Smallest of Bones by Holly Lyn Walrath
Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder

Looking for More? Books on Our TBR List

Another Dark Poetry Cover Collage

The Lies We Weave by Grace R. Reynolds
Crime Scene by Cynthia Pelayo
Underworld Lit by Srikanth Reddy
Elegies of Rotting Stars by Tiffany Morris
Altars and Oubliettes by Angela Yuriko Smith
Almighty Hotel by Sarah J Sloat
The Withering by Ashley Dioses
In the Crocodile Gardens by Saba Syed Razvi
Basement Gemini by Chelsea Margaret Bondar
Every Poem a Potion Every Song a Spell by Stephanie Parent

More Dark Poetry Covers

The Troublesome Amputee by John Edward Lawson
The Nature of Night by Jennifer Gordon
The Cry of the Ravven by Ravven White
The Saint of Witches by Avra Margariti
Breathe. Breathe. by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Nightmares, Night Scares, Daydreams by Lori Jenessa Nelson
At Louche Ends by Maria Alexander
The Madness of Our Marrow by Amanda Crum
Creepy Little Death Poems by Tiffany Tang
How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda Addison

Even more dark poetry covers

When My Brother was an Aztec by Natalie Díaz
Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier
Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen
Obit by Victoria Chang
Nature Poem by Tommy Pico
The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
Brute: Poems by Emily Skaja

Collaborations and Anthologies

Covers of Collaborations and Anthologies

Victims by Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo
Tortured Willows by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn
The Place of Broken Things by Linda Addison & Alessandro Manzetti
Satan’s Sweetheart by Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo
Under Her Skin edited by Toni Miller, Lindy Ryan, Marge Simon
Final Girl by Lauren Milici and You Can’t Pick Your Genre by Emily O’Neill

Looking into Trying Your Hand At Writing Poetry?

Writing Poetry in the Dark

Writing Poetry in the Dark


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.