Monday, November 20, 2023

November 2023 Horror Spotlight Shelf Edition: Cormack Baldwin

 Shelf Edition: Cormack Baldwin

Today we welcome Cormack Baldwin and his shelves!

Do you have any recent favorite Horror Spotlight books?

Too many! Not enough! I’ve been on a nonfiction kick recently for some reason, but most recently I finished Jamison Shea’s I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me (YA horror, body horror! Ballet! Everything you could want!) and Jackal by Erin E. Adams (psychological horror! Thriller! Mother-daughter relationships!). I really loved both of them, albeit in very different ways.

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

My library hold for Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau just came down, so that's first up! After that, Ashley Deng's Dehiscent and Tiffany Morris’s Green Fuse Burning.

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

My recommendation system is pure chaos. I read almost exclusively through my library, which means I have no qualms about picking things up at random and DNFing the moment I decide I could be reading something else. I’ll take recommendations from social media every so often. In general, though, I like to ask people for recommendations. If they know me, they generally have a sense of what I might like—which, to be fair, covers a lot of ground. I love getting weird, niche recommendations for books whose target audience appears to be me and two other people who’ve already read it.


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

I am so behind on figuring out what’s coming out. I listed four different titles here before realizing that a) they’d already been released, and b) I’d already read them. Time is a flat circle. However, I have now gone on an adventure to find what is coming out, and I discovered that E.M. Roy's Let the Woods Keep Our Bodies came out last month. I don't have it yet, so that makes it upcoming as far as I'm concerned.

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?

I think every book should have the opportunity to be a Muppet movie. I think the world would be a better place. But assuming the spirit of Jim Henson has vested unto me the power to pick ONE title for my magnum muppus, I'm choosing Victor LaValle's The Changeling. There are puppets in it already; it'll be meta. It'll be daring. People are going to walk away changed.

Note on the Archive of the Odd illustration: The author of the piece is Ellen Edwards, and the illustrator is Alina Gottbrecht.

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

Not a ton coming up immediately! Late summer/early fall was pretty big for me this year, with the release of Soul Jar (a speculative fiction anthology by disabled authors) on the author side of things, and publishing Cat Voleur’s Revenge Arc on the publisher side of things. I’m immensely proud of both releases, as well as Archive of the Odd issue 3 (from this summer) and Fish Gather to Listen from Horns & Rattles Press, which was the perfect home for an extremely bizarre co(s)mic horror cowritten with my partner EV. Right now I’m reading for issue 4 in terms of Archive of the Odd, and otherwise planning and scheming.

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

If you're going to find me anywhere, it's going to be @cormackbaldwin. Generally I just use social media for press stuff, though, which is @archiveoftheodd ( In either case, I welcome messages, tags, anything! Share a weird book you’ve read recently! Give me a fun fact about bugs! I do like talking with people, despite the warning signs.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Horror Spotlight's Readalong December 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong December 2023

In December we will be reading White Horse by Erika T. Wurth for the readalong in the Horror Spotlight discord. You can join the discord with this link.


White Horse is a gritty, vibrant debut from Erika T. Wurth about an Indigenous woman who must face her past when she discovers a bracelet haunted by her mother’s spirit.

Some people are haunted in more ways than one.

Heavy metal, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and the occasional beer at the White Horse have defined urban Indian Kari James’s life so far. But when her cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, it inadvertently calls up both her mother’s ghost and a monstrous entity, and her willful ignorance about her past is no longer sustainable…

Haunted by visions of her mother and hunted by this mysterious creature, Kari must search for what happened to her mother all those years ago. Her father, permanently disabled from a car crash, can’t help her. Her Auntie Squeaker seems to know something but isn’t eager to give it all up at once. Debby’s anxious to help, but her controlling husband keeps getting in the way. Kari’s journey toward a truth long denied by both her family and law enforcement forces her to confront her dysfunctional relationships, thoughts about a friend she lost in childhood, and her desire for the one thing she’s always wanted but could never have.

Goodreads | Bookshop

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

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Horror Spotlight's Readalong November 2023

Horror Spotlight’s Readalong November 2023

In November we will be reading Rouge by Mona Awad for the readalong in the Horror Spotlight discord. You can join the discord with this link.

From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny comes a horror-tinted, gothic fairy tale about a lonely dress shop clerk whose mother’s unexpected death sends her down a treacherous path in pursuit of youth and beauty. Can she escape her mother’s fate—and find a connection that is more than skin deep?

For as long as she can remember, Belle has been insidiously obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother’s considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de M├ęduse, the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror—and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.

Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in this surreal descent into the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters. With black humor and seductive horror, Rouge explores the cult-like nature of the beauty industry—as well as the danger of internalizing its pitiless gaze. Brimming with California sunshine and blood-red rose petals, Rouge holds up a warped mirror to our relationship with mortality, our collective fixation with the surface, and the wondrous, deep longing that might lie beneath.

Goodreads | Bookshop

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

Also in November, Join us for Nonfiction November!

Do you have a Nonfiction book that is horror or horror adjacent that you would like to have a reason to read? We are having a discussion over on the discord server about our Nonfiction picks in November. Grab a book and join us, we'd love to have you!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

What We've Been Reading | November 1, 2023

 Need a mid-week dose of horror? We're here for you.

Silent Key by Laurel Hightower

A detective, supernatural mystery with elements of Nick Cutter’s The Deep, Peter Benchley’s Jaws and Stephen King’s Firestarter.

After the loss of her husband under mysterious circumstances, former Detective Cam Ambrose learns how little she truly knew him. Reeling with the grief of her loss and the realization that the man she loved was a stranger, she must learn how to keep her young daughter safe from a world of the supernatural she never knew existed. With the help of her best friend Dimi and reclusive neighbor Eric Morgan, she sets out to solve a decades-old mystery entangling the machinations of an obsessed killer, her husband’s mistress, and a series of deadly hauntings.

Heather's Teaser Review

"This book had me dreaming about water. I think because I was thinking about it so much. It's a bit mystery meets ghost story. I didn't know who to trust until the last page. I was questioning everyone."

Read Heather's entire review at Goodreads.

Saint Grit by Kayli Scholz

One brooding summer, Nadine Boone pricks herself on a poisonous manchineel tree in the Florida backcountry. Upon self-orgasm, Nadine conjures a witch that she calls Saint Grit. Pitched as Gummo meets The Craft, Saint Grit grows inside of Nadine over three decades, wreaking repulsive havoc on a suspicious cast of characters in a small town known as Sugar Bends.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"This novella packs a punch in a small space. There are scary moments, filthy moments, off-putting moments, all delivered in a wry, fresh way."

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

The Shoemaker's Magician by Cynthia Pelayo

A fabled lost movie. An increasing body count. How much do you risk for art?

Paloma has been watching the Grand Vespertilio Show her entire life. Grand, America’s most beloved horror host showcases classic, low-budget and cult horror movies with a flourish, wearing his black tuxedo and hat, but Paloma has noticed something strange about Grand, stranger than his dark make-up and Gothic television set.

After Paloma’s husband, a homicide detective, discovers an obscure movie poster pinned on a mutilated corpse on stage at the Chicago Theater, she knows that the only person that can help solve this mystery is Grand. When another body appears at an abandoned historic movie palace the deaths prove to be connected to a silent film, lost to the ages, but somehow at the center of countless tragedies in Chicago.

The closer Paloma gets to Grand she discovers that his reach is far greater than her first love, horror movies, and even this film. And she soon becomes trapped between protecting a silent movie that’s contributed to so much death in her city and the life of her young son.

Goodreads | Amazon

Tracy's Teaser Review

"Wow. Just wow. This book me hooked me immediately and I followed Pelayo wherever she planned to lead me. A mash up of crime and horror and mythology and Chicago and film history; I was here for it all. It grabbed my horror heart and my mom heart and I loved every second of it."

Read Tracy'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

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.

Tracy is a contributing reviewer.  You can also find Tracy on twitter as @tracy_reads79, on Instagram as @tracy_reads79 and on Goodreads