Wednesday, July 5, 2023

What We've Been Reading | July 5, 2023

We have three books today that come highly recommended. We hope you find something to add to your reading list!

Every Woman Knows This by Laurel Hightower

A never-ending storm rages, tossing a dark and bottomless sea. Tentacled beasts reach from every direction, a battle at every turn, but they've chosen the wrong target. Armed with teeth and sharp weapons of her own, she'll fight until there's nothing left, and then she'll pick herself up and fight again. For this is what we do.

Laurel Hightower, author of Below and Crossroads, delivers the blow that shatters the glass ceiling into twenty deadly shards-each reflecting horrors faced by women. Unwelcomed advances from dangerous men. The unbearable weight of motherhood. A goddess pushed to her limits. The inescapable responsibilities of being a caretaker, even beyond the grave.

Dive in for Hightower's most beloved short stories, all brought together in one collection which includes five brand new tales. Navigate the stormy waters of womanhood with caution as you are about to experience the horrors that every woman knows.

Teresa's Teaser Review

"Wow Wow Wow! What a collection. These stories contain a range of emotions, and Laurel makes you feel all of them, proving she has depth and talent."

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw

From USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Khaw comes The Salt Grows Heavy, a razor-sharp and bewitching fairytale of discovering the darkness in the world, and the darkness within oneself.

You may think you know how the fairytale goes: a mermaid comes to shore and weds the prince. But what the fables forget is that mermaids have teeth. And now, her daughters have devoured the kingdom and burned it to ashes.

On the run, the mermaid is joined by a mysterious plague doctor with a darkness of their own. Deep in the eerie, snow-crusted forest, the pair stumble upon a village of ageless children who thirst for blood, and the three 'saints' who control them.

The mermaid and her doctor must embrace the cruelest parts of their true nature if they hope to survive.

Goodreads | Amazon

Laurie's Teaser Review

"The writing is beautiful, even and especially the descriptions of the atrocities. It’s a gorgeous nightmare of a tale with an unforgettable relationship at its tortured heart."

Read Laurie's entire review at Goodreads.

Sister Seance by Aimee Parkinson

A historical feminist horror novel, Sister Séance takes place in Concord, Massachusetts, just after the Civil War. Spiritualism is sweeping the nation when Halloween calls for matchmaking in a traditional “dumb supper,” a dinner party where guests may not speak but must express their needs and desires through nonverbal communication. After the dumb supper, mysterious intruders shock the party guests into confronting their pasts through materializations. These materializations unite sisters of séance with abolitionists, freed people, former slaveholders, wounded Civil War veterans, and a photographer pregnant with the child of a former slave.

This project was supported by an American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Foundation Creative Artist Fellowship and a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship.

"This book brings to life the nineteenth century’s fascination with contacting the dead—and the traumatic memories and secret desires that these dead souls reveal about the living. Just as Viv Hayden’s photographs tell the stories of the lives of her sitters, Parkison’s novel provides an intimate exploration of the lives of women in post-Civil War America and how those lives were haunted by the atrocities of war and slavery. Sister Seance is a welcome addition to the tradition of women’s horror writing. "

—Melissa Edmundson, author of Women's Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Women's Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Review

"You’d better strap in because it is a roller coaster ride."

Read Teresa's 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

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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