Wednesday, July 19, 2023

What We've Been Reading | July 19, 2023

We have two short story collections and a creeptasic modern gothic to recommend today. We hope you find something (or three things!) to add to your reading list.

They Come from the Water by Wendy Dalrymple

Family secrets, grief and a dark, foreboding mystery... Estranged sisters Summer and Joy are forced to reunite after the untimely and gruesome deaths of their mother and grandparents. The two sisters are tasked with cleaning out their grandparents' home on Palmetto Lake in the heart of Central Florida during the hottest, most brutal time of the year. But something seems amiss in the bucolic lakefront community. Something Summer can't seem to place her finger on. Despite decades of unspoken animosity, the two sisters attempt to come together to support each other as they uncover the terrors of their unknown past. Questions about the true nature of their grandparents and the strange lakefront neighborhood bubble to the surface as Summer struggles to stay focused on the task at hand. However, with every layer the sisters strip away, with every new bit of evidence about their grandparents that they stumble upon, it becomes more and more clear to Summer that they aren't just going dealing with grief and loss... but danger. When it comes to the past, sometimes the truth is better left unknown. They Come From the Water is a Florida Gothic meditation on inherited family trauma, destructive secrets and dark dangers that lurk just beneath the surface. *Content Addiction, adultery, murder, suicide, self-harm, animal death and gore.

Heather's Teaser Review

"Wendy has a way of writing weird things and making them believable and fun. I'm a big fan and really enjoy her collection!"

Read Heather's entire review at Goodreads.

A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

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

"Mom seems off."

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

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

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

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

Goodreads | Amazon

Laurie's Teaser Review

" I was fearing that I might never fall deeply in love with a book again but this one? Oh, this one. It pulled me in and didn’t let me go until I discovered every weird little thing there was left to discover."

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

Unbury Your Gays & Other Queer Tales by Clinton W. Waters

A new collection of short stories, compiling the novella (Un)Bury Your Gays and six other pieces of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. Reanimated best friends, monsters beneath the kitchen sink, desires made manifest, creek creatures, 80s cyberpunk, ghosts, and crashed alien ships all find homes between the pages of this anthology.

(UN)Bury Your Gays:

It's the late 2000's. Humphrey West and his best friend Danny are just trying to survive their senior year. Unfortunately, Danny falls short of that goal after a risky rendezvous. But Humphrey has just the thing: a concoction borne of magic and science that is able to bring the dead back to life (at least it's worked on a bee so far). Against all odds, Danny comes back from the clutches of death.

The Danny that returns is...different. And it's not just the missing memories. Soon, Humphrey is doing everything in his power to keep his friend alive, but none the wiser to what is happening.

A queering of the Lovecraft classic "Herbert West - Reanimator", (UN)Bury Your Gays is about blurring the boundaries between life and death, love and obsession, and secrets and lies.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"The stories are good and creepy and full of longing and heartbreak; coming-of-age and coming-to-terms with being labeled other."

Read Teresa's complete review at Goodreads.

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

Our Reviewers

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.

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.

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