Categories
The Fright Stuff

2021 Adult Horror Releases by Women

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Welcome to the last Fright Stuff of this year’s Women in Horror Month! But remember, just because WiHM is ending, doesn’t mean you have to give the boot to the women in your TBR. 2021 is shaping up to be a truly phenomenal year in horror publishing, and some of the most exciting titles on my pre-order list are by the remarkable women of the horror genre! So, as promised, here is a list of forthcoming adult horror titles by women to help you move your reading list out of February and have the joy of reading horror by women all year long.

Dead Space by Kali Wallace (March 2)

Hey so if we haven’t breached this subject yet in the Fright Stuff, I am obsessed with space horror. I don’t know if it’s the vast vacuum of space, or the fact that said vastness isolates and confines you to the strict boundaries of what is basically a haunted house in space, or the tantalizing possibility of the unknown, but I love space horror more than life. So I am beyond excited for Kali Wallace’s forthcoming novel, Dead Space. Sometimes when your big life plans go awry you end up working a dead-end job in an asteroid belt. Hester Marley is a security officer for a mining company, spending her days on petty crimes, when an old friend resurfaces. They’re both survivors of the terrorist attack that ruined Hester’s life, but before she can learn what her friend claims to have discovered about their shared tragedy, he’s murdered. Leaving Hester to search out both his killer, and his secrets.

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall (June 22nd)

This forthcoming dark fantasy novel sounds like it’s going to be 110% my thing. Shadowy cabals, espionage, power, deceptions, violence? Yum. Elfreda Raughn can handle the day-to-day duties of serving the Sisterhood of Aytrium, no matter how gruesome. But she will do whatever it takes to avoid becoming pregnant and fulfilling her part in preserving the Sisterhood’s magical bloodline. There are different kinds of sacrifices, and in order to avoid the fate she most despises, Elfreda will have to choose a path that leads her into the upper echelons of the Sisterhood, and a lavish world of parties and power struggles. This is definitely going to be one of those reads where I’m up all night because I couldn’t put it down.

The All Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw (June 22)

Oh look. More space horror. I told you how much I love space horror, right? A team of former criminals, disbanded in the wake of a mission-turned-disaster, must rejoin forces if they want to uncover what really happened on their last, fateful last job. And if they want to rescue their missing team member. These women, half-clone and half-machine, must return to Dimmuborgir, the site of their past failure, but they are not the only ones in search of the planet’s secret. In a world where the universe’s AI have evolved into an independent force with their own agency and will, the team must face down not only their own pasts but also a sentient force determined to see that humans never regain control.

I mean she had me at sentient ships, so someone just give her my money and I’ll be over here waiting for June.

Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn (September 7)

I admit that I haven’t been able to find much information yet about Flowers from the Sea for all that, according to the publisher’s site, it is due out in September. But that just makes me more curious! I’m willing to wait because this novella sounds fantastic. Survivors of a flooded land exist in isolation, fighting for their continued survival on an ark. Supplies are dwindling, hungry, terrifying sea monsters circle – in other words, circumstances are NOT ideal. Among the survivors is Iraxi, pregnant with a child that may not be entirely human. The future of the ark and its survivors is uncertain, and Iraxi’s own fate may be darker still.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Catilin Starling (October 19)

You might remember me shouting enthusiastically about the cover of this book earlier this month, and it’s definitely not just the cover that I’m excited about. This promises to be the very height of Gothic horror goodness and I’m so excited. Jane Shoringfield has a carefully calculated plan: husband, marriage of convenience, the ability to remain independent and pursue meaningful work. She sets her mind on Doctor Augustine Lawrence, and the reclusive physician agrees with one (suitably ominous) condition. His family are the Lawrences of Lindridge hall, a (suitably crumbling heap of a) manor outside of the town, and Jane must never, never go there. But, as these things tend to happen in any good Gothic novel, fateful weather sees Jane stranded at the door of Lindridge Hall on her wedding night, and the haunted, paranoid man within bears little resemblance to the man she thought she married.

Please, universe, just put this in my eyeballs. October is so far away.

Fresh from the Skeleton’s Mouth

Need more books to fill out your 2021 TBR? Don’t forget to bookmark Nightfire’s excellent list of all the horror they’re excited about in 2021!

Here’s your reminder that the Horror Writers Association’s second Females of Fright panel has been scheduled for next Friday, February 26th and will feature authors V. Castro, Larissa Glasser, Alma Katsu, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Cynthia Pelayo, Sarah Read, and Danielle Trussoni!

Looking ahead to the rest of your reading year? The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist, have announced their 2021 Summer Scares reading list so get those TBR’s prepped!


As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Getting Gothic for Women in Horror Month

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Gothic is, has been, and will always be the artform of my soul. In film, on the page, in music or dance – just give me that lush, dramatic, atmospheric Gothic goodness and I will be whole. I could (and often do – fair warning) talk about the Gothic year round with excessive enthusiasm, but there’s something about Women in Horror Month in particular that makes me want to shout my love of the Gothic from the rooftops. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because that, while there have been famous writers of the Gothic who were men, this genre has really always belonged to women. And I’m not just talking about Radcliffe, though I will forever lay candles at her altar as the Ur-mother of our genre, or her contemporaries. Or just the 19th century luminaries like Brontë, Gaskell, Perkins. It’s also the lauded authors of the 20th century like Toni Morrison and Shirley Jackson, and the largely unsung women authors who made up the serial Gothic boom of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s for lines like Dell and Ace, who have driven the subgenre forward. Gothic fiction may not be an exclusively female genre – no genre really is, not even romance – but there’s little denying that at its core it has been driven by women.

So with that in mind, in this third week of Women in Horror Month it is my great honor to celebrate some truly excellent, recent Gothic novels by women.

The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

I have heard SUCH good things about this gloriously Gothic novel from Danielle Trussoni. So many that it’s possible just writing about The Ancestor for this newsletter may have resulted in a copy magically appearing on my kindle. How? Who knows. That’s the magic. It certainly felt like magic worthy of a fairy tale when Alberta “Bert” received a letter addressed to Countess Alberta Montebianco telling her that she inherited not only a title and a fortune, but also a castle in Italy. Talk about a Cinderella-style dream come true! Or not. Because what Bert has really inherited from her mysteriously ancestral line is a house full of history and dark secrets (and and expensive wine cellar so, I mean, worth it?) that threaten all she’s ever believed about herself and her family.

(Also, is anyone getting Castle Freak vibes? Maybe it’s just me. Horror Genre what have you done to me? I vaguely regret watching that movie. It was a LOT. A lot of what, I still don’t really know.)

catherine house

Catherine House by Elizabeth Thomas

Chances are, you’ve heard of Catherine House. Elizabeth Thomas’ gothic novel about a Pennsylvania boarding school gone wrong is delicious dark academia in its finest form. In the vein of all good dark academia novels, it is as much about the horrors of toxic competitiveness in education as it is about the desire for knowledge to a dangerous degree. For three years students are given one of the finest educations available for completely free – but the price is three years of their life completely cut off from the world they left behind. No family, no friends, no contact with the outside world. Ines is ready to trade in her old life for a new world of intense study and discipline, but what she finds instead is a gilded prison of luxury and permissiveness. When tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the truth of Catherine house is not at all what it seems.

The Companion by Katie Alender

The implications of this cover are SO upsetting. I honestly can’t even look at it. Maybe it’s because I have stabbed myself a bazillion times with those little dressmaking pins and can only imagine what a spoonful would do to your insides? I don’t know. Big yikes, though. There have been some fantastic Gothic YA titles in recent years. Really some of the best, most atmospheric on offer, and The Companion is a perfect example. Margot, orphaned when she lost her parents in a terrible accident (classic Gothic orphan trope anyone?), has finally been taken in. The Suttons are a prestigious family with a large estate, and the other orphans in the group home think Margot couldn’t be more lucky to have been chosen to be companion to the Suttons’ daughter Agatha. But life in the isolated manor soon leaves Margot wondering if she’s really all that fortunate after all.

the deep alma katsu

The Deep by Alma Katsu

Gothic on a boat? Well technically it’s Gothic on two boats with a whole lot of saltwater-ghost goodness in between. This book was so beautiful. If you’re looking for a tense, fast-paced read, The Deep is not the one you want. It’s excellence lies in it’s slow-building storytelling and creeping, dread-filled tone. What begins on the Titanic with a forbidden attachment and inevitable tragedy, finds its resolution on the equally ill-fated Britannic. Annie, on of the survivors of the Titanic, has brought her demons with her to her stint as a nurse on board the luxury liner turned hospital ship, the Britannic. The past has a way of clinging that even the sea can’t wash away, and when she comes across an unconscious soldier who she recognizes as young man who she believes could not have survived the disaster of the Titanic, Annie is forced to confront her past and question the very memories that haunt her.

Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth

First up! The Horror Writers Association’s second Females of Fright panel has been scheduled for Friday, February 26th! Featuring authors V. Castro (Hairspray and Switchblades), Larissa Glasser (F4), Alma Katsu, Nicole Givens Kurtz (whose short fiction has been included in a number of fantastic anthologies such as Sycorax’s Daughters), Cynthia Pelayo (Children of Chicago), Sarah Read (Out of Water), and Danielle Trussoni!

Apex Publications is holding a Women in Horror Month Sale! 30% off all horror titles written by women, print and digital, so say goodbye to your book budget!

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

2021 YA Horror Releases by Women

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

I love YA horror. Some of the most talented voices in the horror genre at the moment are emerging in the field of YA horror and building a whole new tradition of teen terrors. As someone who cut her horror eye teeth on the remnants of the ’80s-’90s horror boom that she managed to dig out of her school library’s teen section, it brings me so much joy to see a new generation of horror arising for a new generation of readers.

So for Women in Horror Month this February, with a big, bright new year of horror ahead of us, let me shine a light on some of theYA horror titles by women that are sitting at the top of my to-buy list.

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur (April 20)

From the author of last year’s chilling The Silence of the Bones comes a new book about families, secrets, and deception. Hwani’s family and life have fallen apart ever since she and her younger sister vanished and were found unconscious in the forest on the edge of a crime scene. Though the family fled their small village to escape the incident, some histories are not so easily banished. Years later Hwani’s father, Detective Min, is drawn back to their hometown by the unsolved cases of 13 other girls who recently vanished under similar circumstances as his own daughters. But when he returns to investigate, he too vanishes, leaving Hwani to follow in his footsteps in an attempt to find her father and finally put an end to the mystery that tore her family apart.

Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers (August 10)

So if you’ve ever seen the 2017 British psychological thriller Beast, you might know why the synopsis of Mark of the Wicked caught my eye: a young woman, infatuated with the mysterious new boy in her town, finds herself suddenly surrounded by death and violence on all sides. The guilty party seems obvious, but are things really as simple as they seem? Matilda has always been told that her magic is to be used only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t a good witch – she wants more from her life. She wants privilege and power. She wants vengeance, and conquest without consequences. When a spell gone wrong brings Oliver into her life, everything changes. As they grow closer, darkness piles up on either side and when a young girl dies all fingers point to Matilda. Matilda swears she isn’t responsible! At least… not that she can remember.

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig (July 27)

BEES. Erin Craig has been promising horror bees on her Twitter feed ever since this book was announced and I need it. The Blackspire Mountain range is comprised of five sharp peaks bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest. And nestled amidst the Blackspires is the little town of Amity Falls. Visitors are rare and the wood is full of devils. This is Ellerie Downing’s home, and the quiet life she’s always known. But a sudden disappearance raises fears that the monsters the villagers once fought for survival may have returned, bringing with them honeyed promises of desires fulfilled. Asking only the smallest favors in return. Which, by the way, makes the hair on my arms stand up because oh my god do NOT strike deals with unknown creatures in the woods. Every nerve I have is screaming that this is some fair folk level nonsense. Of course I am excited.

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (November 9)

Blackwood had me at “Jane Eyre retelling”, because there is no version of this reality in which I am not obsessed with that novel. Entirely. Which is why I am absolutely dying to get my hands on Within These Wicked Walls. A debtera is an exorcist who is hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. So Andromeda, as a debtera, is familiar with the shadowy corners of reality. Still, when Magnus Rochester hires her to cleanse his castle of the evil that haunts it, Andromeda soon realizes that she is up to her neck in horror far beyond what she has been trained for. But despite the risk to her life, Andromeda cannot leave Magnus to face down this evil alone.

All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter (March 9)

Here comes Jessica again with her obsession with sea-themed horror and dark fantasy, but in my defense I offer: highly suspect mer folk who want your children for unspecified reasons. Or at least unspecified in the synopsis – I’m curious to find out what the real reason ends up being that the Mer asked for one child of each generation in return for granting the O’Malley’s the guaranteed safety of their ships upon the sea. Of course that was many years ago, and by the time Miren O’Malley came along her family had been unable to keep their side of the bargain and their fortunes had long since fallen. But Miren’s grandmother will do anything it takes to regain the favor of Mer, even if it is Merin who may end up paying the price. Briefly I refer you back to my statement about making deals with unknown entities in forests and extend that to ocean dwelling somethings as well.

Fresh from the Skeleton’s Mouth

Sarah Langan has written an article for LitHub about the archetype of the mother in fiction, and challenging that archetype in her new book Good Neighbors (Atria Books, February 2)

The Horror Writers Association is celebrating Women in Horror Month by presenting Females of Fright, the Zoom edition! The first of the two evening panels with members of the HWA is scheduled for February 12th at 8PM EST and is free to attend! Panelists include, among others, authors Christa Carmen (Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked), Sara Tantlinger (Cradleland of Parasites), Jessica Guess (Cirque Berserk), and Zoje Stage (Baby Teeth).

Speaking of Sarah Tantlinger, she’s conjured up a list of Horrormance titles if you’d like to make your Valentine’s day a little bloodier!


As always, you can catch me on Twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Women in Horror Month: Terrifying Short Fiction Collections

Hey there horror fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Happy February, Ghouls and Ghasts! It is officially my favorite month of the Horror calendar short of October itself: It’s Women in Horror Month! If you’ve been following this newsletter you may have noticed that I try to feature dark fiction by women and nonbinary authors year round, because let’s face it: even in this year of our calamity 2021, when we should be past this, most of the “big names” being bandied about the horror genre are cis men.

The belief that women don’t write horror is, unfortunately, a pervasive one. Just when we think we’ve rooted it out it sprouts back up somewhere new. And it often goes hand in hand with the dismissive idea that even if some women do write horror, the horror they create will automatically fall into the “softer” corners of the genre. Which, if you’ve been reading horror by women, particularly from the last few years, you’ll realize is patently false. I have read amazing, spine chilling Gothic novels. I have read body horror that made my skin crawl, ghost stories that left me sleeping with the lights on, and short works of strange fiction that still live rent free in my mind months later. The range is vast, and the talent is immense!

So for the month of February each issue of The Fright Stuff will spotlight titles by women and nonbinary authors in horror as we join the horror community in celebrating their work! And this week we’re starting with collections. I have said more than once that, aside from anthologies, collections are my favorite way to get familiar with new authors. If you want to get a snapshot of an author’s range, their aesthetic, and their style, there’s nothing better than a short fiction collection.

Thin Places by Kay Chronister

I have to open with Kay Chronister’s debut collection, Thin Places, because it is the epitome of everything I love in the horror genre. Her work is such aesthetic catnip for me. When this gorgeous cover from Undertow Publications first popped up on my Twitter feed I was intrigued because it definitely looks like a me thing. So I read the titular story “Thin Places”, which was published in The Dark magazine and is still available on their site, and loved it so much that I turned right around and ordered her collection. Gothic, monstrous, emotional and strange – this collection is everything.

All the Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma

Oh look Jessica’s talking about All the Fabulous Beasts again. But listen: I love this collection. It is breathtakingly gorgeous and I want to just crawl inside it and disappear. Priya Sharma’s collection is a powerhouse of imagery and tone. All 16 stories are a glorious blend of the monstrous and the beautiful, full of nature and humanity, life, death, and transformation. But my personal favorite was “Pearls”, a continuation more than a retelling of a Medusa myth, and a lushly emotional one too. I also loved “Fish Skins” about a man whose wife came from the sea, and “The Sunflower Seed Man”, a harrowing look at the nature of grief and how we survive.

Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due

Due’s collection Ghost Summer is well known and beloved in the genre for a reason. It’s a captivating selection of 15 short stories and an award winning novella that really showcases Due’s impressive range, from emotional realism to chilling horror. There’s a section of viral/contagion/zombie horror stories in this collection that will for real turn you into a hypochondriac. Due’s writing in this collection is as vivid and unforgettable as ever, and this is one of those books you’ll want to add to your permanent library so that you can revisit it again and again.

The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Kiernan, though a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, is not really – or at least entirely – a horror author. While many of their stories are rife with horror elements, Kiernan’s short fiction covers a broad range of subjects and genres, from science fiction to fantasy to the cosmic horror that they’ve become so well known for with their novella Agents of Dreamland. Their stories are strange, beautiful, and full of emotion, possessing the sort of staying power that makes them linger with you for months. Kiernan is also one of my favorite Lovecraftian authors, giving me all that eerie, sea-themed weirdness I need in my life without having to resort to actual Lovecraft who is, of course, Not Great.

Everything That’s Underneath by Kristi Demeester

DeMeester’s work is another perfect example of my favorite horror aesthetic, steeped in powerful, unsettling nature imagery, with the horrors coming from deep below the earth. It’s the gritty, earthy feel of folk horror meets the vast, unknowableness of cosmic horror, and I could eat it with a spoon. In her debut short story collection Everything That’s Underneath DeMeester pens 18 terrifying stories that drag her readers into the dark corners of the world and the human soul.

Fresh from the Skeleton’s Mouth

How gorgeous is this cover reveal for Caitlin Starling’s forthcoming The Death of Jane Lawrence?! Starling describes it as lush, gross, gorgeous, and sinister and she is NOT wrong!

Ladies of Horror Fiction’s YA/MG horror spotlight for January has been posted!

To celebrate Women in Horror Month, Sadie Hartmann (AKA Mother Horror) is leading a group read of Kenzie Jennings’ Reception – a gruesome wedding from hell meets cannibalistic in-laws horror novel – starting quite appropriately on Valentine’s Day!


As always, you can catch me on Twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

The Recuperative Power of Nostalgia

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Life hasn’t been easy on any of us lately, and I don’t know about you but my usual coping methods have started to fail me one by one. When all this started last spring, I was devouring horror content non-stop, which proved a wonderfully cathartic way to deal with my anxiety and anger. But in the last few months I haven’t been able to read or watch horror. I was starting to worry it was going to be permanent, which – among other things – would have made writing this newsletter a little difficult.

Turns out what I needed wasn’t a break from horror, it was a healthy dose of nostalgia.

When I was younger I had a massive vampire obsession – in fact it was vampire fiction that originally made me into a horror reader! I don’t remember what age I was when I first read Interview with the Vampire, but my collection of Vampire Chronicles hardbacks still occupy valuable shelf space in my apartment. I found Mary Downing Hahn’s Look for Me By Moonlight in my school library and it blew my tiny fangophile mind. And I still love that book so much that I write about it every chance I get (thank you Book Riot for perpetually indulging my obsessions). I was born at the end of the ’90s vampire craze, was in my late teens when it came around again, and now it seems that finally – after a general vampire burn out following the Twilight explosion of the early 2000’s – vampires are making (yet another) come back. Last year gave us the amazing anthology Vampires Never Get Old, and 2021 will see the publication of the book that single-handedly freed me from my book slump: Mina and the Undead.*

(*I’m not sure it has a US release day yet, but Mina and the Undead will be out April 1st in the UK from Uclan Publishing. So remember: Book Depository is your international book friend, friends.)

Amy McCaw’s debut YA horror novel set in 1995 New Orleans, is a nostalgia-driven, retro trip through the vampire fervor of the ’90s. Twin sisters Mina and Libby find themselves embroiled in the nightmarish game of a serial killer who is draining his victims of blood and staging them in macabre scenes of violence across the city. In a city drunk on vampire mania, it’s hard to say if this killer is a pretender, or a true immortal.

Nostalgia is a common theme in the horror genre. Moreso, I think, than other genres. Sometimes you’ll see works in romance, fantasy, or sci-fi that allude to or play homage to their genre’s history, but there is something about horror that really seems to invite that perspective. Too much nostalgia can be counterproductive, of course. There have been times when the horror genre has shown a tendency to use nostalgia to gloss over a history of racism, homophobia, misogyny and more. As responsible readers we want to be aware of these tendencies, of our history, and our need to consider the horror genre critically.

But – particularly in the right hands – nostalgia can serve a genuine purpose in storytelling. It evokes feeling. We are nostalgic about things we enjoyed and loved. Indulging in doing or consuming things we love makes feel happy, and finding ways to make yourself happy is one of the best ways that you can take care of yourself. It can be hard to find joy when it seems like everything is figuratively, and sometimes literally, on fire around you. We’re all tired/sad/mad/scared/grieving right now. It’s ridiculous how much we’ve been through, and that – despite absolutely EVERYTHING going on – many of us are still called to go about our day to day lives as though everything were normal.

We need joy in our lives right now, more than ever. Mina and the Undead brought me joy! McCaw made me remember how much glee I used to get out of vampire fiction, something that I indulge in far too infrequently these days. At one point McCaw referenced Rasputina’s “Transylvanian Concubine” as the song in the background of one of the club scenes and I was just overwhelmed with all these happy, fuzzy nostalgia feelings and memories of watching Buffy re-runs on the tiny screen of the TV in my parent’s bedroom after school.

It was such a small thing, but it made me genuinely joyful. So many of the little nods to vampire classics in this book were so delightful, and McCaw’s love for the genre so clear. Mina and the Undead was all fake fangs, a few real ones, cheap velour, underground blood bars and black lace parasols, and I ate it up.

So here’s a little end of January reading challenge: in the midst of keeping up with what’s hot off the presses, and in between the horror that shocks you viscerally or rocks you emotionally, add a horror book that sets off your warm, fuzzy nostalgia feelings. Maybe it will be something drowning in 80’s neon like Grady Hendrix’s hilarious but so gross My Best Friend’s Exorcism, or something like Stephen Graham Smith’s amazing The Last Final Girl which is a loving homage to slash films everywhere. The Rewind or Die series by Unnerving Books is a whole line of short novels based on a love of retro-horror and creature features.

Just find something that makes you happy. Something that reminds you why you love horror, why you’ve always loved horror, how you got started loving horror. Find a little pocket of nostalgia and let it bring you some much needed joy.


As always, you can catch me on Twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Just Take My Money Nightfire.

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

If you are anything like me, you’ve been carefully monitoring Tor’s new horror imprint Nightfire for news about their upcoming titles. They’ve been dropping some really exciting announcements in recent months, both about new titles they’ve acquired and previously published titles that they have picked up for re-release. But just recently they announced their entire Fall 2021 line-up, and I couldn’t be more delighted to talk about some of these forthcoming TBR must haves.

Along with three new paperback editions of previously released titles (including the highly anticipated re-release of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s much beloved Certain Dark Things), Nightfire will be releasing five hardcover titles that are either new to print or, in the case of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s novel, making their English-language debuts. The line-up of new releases also includes an anthology collecting works form some of horror’s most exciting authors. Nightfire is clearly determined to hit the ground running and prove that they are everything their audience has been looking for in a mainstream horror imprint.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

Oops. Here I am talking about The Last House On Needless Street again. But this Nightfire release is definitely one of the most anticipated titles of 2021.The available synopsis is limited, but full of promise: a serial killer, a stolen child, death, revenge, a (suspiciously) ordinary house, and a dark forest hiding dark secrets. Add to that the tantalizing suggestion that whatever we’re expecting is not to be trusted, and honestly sign me right the heck up.

Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Along with releasing a new paperback edition of Heuvelt’s lauded witchcraft horror novel, Hex, Nightfire is also releasing a hardcover translation of his 2019 novel, Echo. Following a climbing trip in the Swiss Alps gone wrong, Nick Grevers wakes up to find that his climbing partner Augustin is dead and Nick’s face has been maimed and swathed in bandages. They had been scaling the ominously named Maudit, a little documented mountain, when in its valley they found something waiting for them in the mountain’s shadow. And though Nick has survived, he is haunted by what has transpired. More than even he knows. I’m not sure if this is going to end up being monsters? Ghosts? I’m always down for a little demonic possession? I mean the peak is called Maudit, which basically means damned (feel free to shout at me on Twitter if I’ve got that wrong). But whatever it is that’s haunting Nick is bound to be capital-T terrifying.

Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

That cover though. Definitely one of those books I’ll have to flip upside down when not reading it because talk about creepy! Dark tourism meets horror wedding culture when a group of friends choose an abandoned Heian-era mansion as a wedding venue. But this house has literal skeletons, not in its closets but in its walls and under its floor. Beneath the foundation lies the body of a bride, and the girls who were sacrificed to keep her company rest uneasily between the walls. What should have been a fun night of thrills in a creepy old house turns into a nightmare as the friends find themselves pursued by the lonely, hungry bride. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like total nightmare fuel. I embrace my imminent insomnia

Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom

So this sounds AMAZING. Maybe I’m biased by my love of historical horror, or my general dislike of Puritans whom I shall be glad to see get beat down by some gnarly black magic (fingers crossed), but I definitely need to add Slewfoot to my reading list. Abitha is already betrothed to a stranger when she arrives at the Puritan colony that is to become her home, only to find herself widowed almost as quickly as she became a bride. Now she stands alone, grasping at her sudden freedom in the midst of a pious and patriarchal society that would rather see her tucked neatly under the thumb of another man. Slewfoot is a newly woken spirit who like Abitha is searching for his place in the world. Suspicious deaths in the colony give rise to rumors of witchcraft, and Abitha and Slewfoot must decide who they will be and how to survive in a world determined to see them hang.

Dark Stars: New Tales of Darkest Horror edited by John. F.D. Taff

This anthology, a tribute to the classic 1980 Dark Forces anthology edited by Kirby McCauley, features 12 all-new stories from some of the modern horror genre’s most prominent voices, including Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, Priya Sharma, Caroline Kepnes, and more. With an introduction and a new short story by Josh Malerman of Bird Box fame, and an afterward and story by horror legend Ramsey Campbell. You all know how much I love anthologies as it is, and I’m super excited for a new piece by Priya Sharma! I devoured her collection All the Fabulous Beasts last year and it was so gorgeous.

Fresh from the Skeleton’s Mouth

Hailey Piper has a new short story collection coming out May 7, 2021! Pre-orders for Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy are open now at your preferred retailer.

Audiobook fans this one’s for you: The Women of Weird Tales, recently released by Valancourt Books as part of their Monster, She Wrote series, is now available in audio version narrated by Tanya Eby. The Women of Weird tales is an anthology of stories by women that were published in Weird Tales magazine between the 1920s and 1950s.

S.T. Gibson is holding a giveaway for an annotated copy of her forthcoming (and highly anticipated by this newsletter author) A Dowry of Blood. The giveaway ends on 1/31, so be sure to go enter before it’s too late!


As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Celebrating the New Year with Latinx Horror

Hey there Horror Fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Late last month the highly anticipated Latinx Screams anthology from Burial Day Press hit bookshelves across the horror community to rave reviews. Since it dropped so near to Christmas I missed out on the chance to give it the release day love it deserved, so I thought that in the new year we’d take a chance to celebrate this fantastic anthology and the many talented Latinx voices in the horror genre.

Latinx Screams ed V.Castro and Cina Pelayo

In this delightfully chilling anthology from Burial Day Press, editor Cina Pelayo and editor and contributor V.Castro have collected 12 tales of terror from some of the most talented Latinx voices in the horror genre, including Hector Acosta, E. Reyes, and Book Riot’s own Laura Diaz de Arce. You all know I love an anthology, but diversity in anthologies has not always (or often) been the horror genre’s strong suit, so celebrate a truly diverse anthology and add Latinx Screams to your 2021 TBR.

Into the Forest and all the Way Through by Cynthia Pelayo

Pelayo didn’t contribute a story to the Latinx Anthology, but believe me her work should be on your radar if it’s not already. She recently released a gorgeous but harrowing volume of horror poetry, Into the Forest and all the Way Through, which is a collection of true crime poetry exploring over 100 cases of missing and murdered women in the United States. I also really adore her collection Loteria, inspired by the 54 cards of the titular Mexican game of chance.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

A recent release published back in September (which in 2020 time is only a half a decade ago, so really it was practically yesterday), Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys is a stunning paranormal YA debut. Yadriel is determined to prove to his traditional family that he is a real brujo so that they will finally accept his true gender. But when he sets out to find and free the spirit of his murdered cousin, he accidentally summons the ghost of resident school bad boy, Julian Diaz, who now refuses to leave him alone. Until Yadriel helps Julian find out what happened to him, Julian is determined that he isn’t going anywhere.

Goddess of Filth by V. Castro

You might remember Goddess of Filth from my list of most anticipated reads of 2021. Well, thankfully, March is that much closer now, because I can’t wait to get my hands on this one! Friends Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla, and Pauline get together one hot summer night to drink and hold a séance. And it starts out all fun and games, until it’s not. “Not” being Fernanda Exorcist crawling towards her friends, chanting in the language of their Aztec ancestors. A possessed friend, a helpful professor, a “bruja Craft crew”, and one seriously creepy priest guarantee that this is definitely one book I don’t intend to miss.

mexican gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Definitely one of the must-read books of 2020, Mexican Gothic is beautiful and frightening, which a good horror should be if it possibly can. A frantic letter from a cousin brings Noemí Taboada to High Place, a house far off in the Mexican countryside. Her newly-wed cousin is terrified, the groom is cold but compelling, the patriarch is concerningly interested in her, and the house itself fills Noemí’s head with terrible dreams. In a house full of secrets her only ally is the family’s gentle second son, but even he is not above suspicion.

her body and other parties

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This is probably my favorite horror collection of all time. It is so absolutely beyond beautiful – as beautiful as it is horrific in some places. Some of the stories in this collection are more instantly recognizable as horror – like the infamous “The Husband Stitch” – and others are more sad or sentimental, underlaid by the knowledge that something has gone terribly wrong. “Inventory”, the first-person recounting of the narrator’s past lovers against the backdrop of an apocalyptic pandemic, has been living rent free in my brain for ages. Especially this year.

lobizona

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Manuela Azul, on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, has been living a closely protected life in Miami until the night her surrogate grandmother is the victim of a violent attack that upends Manu’s existence. Alone with no home, and surrounded by the ruins of a life built on lies, Manu goes in search of her real past and her real identity. What she finds is a secret world of magic where she hopes that she can finally belong, but the truth of her identity is more complicated than she knows.

Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth

Off Limits Press’s 2021 line-up is looking pretty amazing! Sign me the heck the up for that adventure horror anthology. Off Limits is still a really young press but let me tell you they are KILLING it with their selection and with the gorgeous product they are putting out. Call me shallow, but I love a pretty book.

Nightmare Magazine has a new short story from Stephen Graham Jones: “How to Break into a Hotel Room”! Scary heist gone wrong anyone?

Nightfire has released the 2021 edition of their “All the Horror Books We’re Excited About” list so… you know… apologize to your bank accounts in advance.


As always, you can catch me on Twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Happy Birthday, Frankenstein!

Gather around Gothic lovers, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

It seems fitting to me that Mary Shelley’s great promethean work should have first been published in what is – at least where I am – the darkest, most inhospitable time of the year. While snow in December is usually looked for, and welcomed as a precursor of a properly wintery holiday season, we always see the worst storms and coldest weather in January and February. On years when we aren’t pummeled with weather, it’s usually because we’re trapped in a polar vortex too cold and dry even to produce the moisture needed for snow. It’s so cold that it gets into your bones and even though the sun shines and the skies are clear, the world feels sharp and white. It’s a time of death, and also beginnings. A bit like Frankenstein.

Though the creation of the novel first began with that now famous stay in Geneva in 1816 – when Mary, Percy, and their young son traveled to the lake to stay with consummate dirtbag Lord Byron – it was two years later in January of 1818 that Shelley’s Frankenstein as published. Fitting – like I said – that a novel full of such stark and vast northern landscapes, as much about hubris and creation as it is about murder and monsters, would be released to the world in the dark days after the bright holiday season. A book that is both fascinating and beloved in its own right, and also the parent to so many favorites of modern pop culture.

So it is with great affection that I say: Happy 203rd Birthday, Frankenstein! Let’s celebrate!

The Best Frankenstein Editions for a Reread

Frankenstein, the Second Norton Critical Edition

This is my favorite edition of Frankenstein. I mean I’m unapologetically obsessed with Norton Critical Editions anyway because they’re like buying the special edition of a book and having it come with all the bonus features. There are actually more pages of critical and contemporary content in this edition than there are pages in Frankenstein itself! Norton editions tend to be more expensive, but are always worth it.

Penguin Horror Edition of Frankenstein

If you want something a little less academic, but still beautiful and possessing a little something extra, consider this hardcover edition of Frankenstein. It’s one of a collection of horror novels that Penguin curated and released as deluxe hardcovers back in 2013, each of them containing both the collection forward by horror film genius Guillermo Del Toro and a text introduction by a well-known literary personage. The intro for Frankenstein is written by Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian.

The New Annotated Frankenstein ed. by Leslie Klinger

This edition for Frankenstein is for if you really want to nerd out. I have the annotated Dracula from this series (also from Norton, this is now a W.W. Norton appreciation newsletter, apparently) and let me tell you these hefty, beautiful editions are chock full of marginalia to make sure that you get the most out of every possible detail of the novel.

Frankenstein Book Cover

Ethereal Visions’ Illuminated Frankenstein

This is the most expansive edition on the list, but also the most beautiful. For the art lover, or the Frankenstein devotee, Ethereal Visions’ Illuminated Frankenstein is breathtaking. Really. Do yourself a favor, click through to their product page, and feast your eyes on some of the devastatingly gorgeous illustrations that bring Shelley’s novel to vivid life.

Frankenstein Adaptations in Film and on the Page
frankenstein in baghdad by ahmed saadawi book cover

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

This modern retelling of Frankenstein, set in U.S.-occupied Baghdad, is about a man sewing together body parts to make a single corpse. A corpse that then disappears. Then a string of murders across the city is accompanied by rumors of a hideous, bullet-proof creature. Hadi, who was only stitching body parts together into corpses to force the government to recognize them as people and give them a decent burial, realizes that he has, in fact, created a person. A monster that feeds on human flesh.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

Hands down the best film adaptation of Frankenstein out there I swear on the grave fight me. Fight me. Okay don’t fight me. But listen. Every film adaptation of Frankenstein, much like any film adaptation of a novel, takes liberties with its source text. What Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manages to do, even though it’s excessively (sometimes absurdly) dramatic and at times guilty of questionable costuming choices, is capture the spirit of the novel.

A Complex Accident of Life by Elizabeth McHugh

Elizabeth McHugh’s collection of blackout poetry and visual art may be small, but it is powerful. Using the text of Frankenstein itself McHugh has crafted 52 pieces of stunning blackout poetry that stand as both a tribute to and a deconstruction of Mary Shelley’s original novel. If you’re a fan of poetry, Frankenstein, or both, I highly highly recommend this recent release. It’s a love letter to its source text.

The Royal Ballet’s Frankenstein

Really, Jessica. A Ballet? Yes. Because 1) It’s so beautiful that it actually causes me physical pain, and 2) in this newsletter we respect all the incredible ways that works of horror make their way into the world. Staring Royal Ballet principals Federico Bonelli, Laura Morera and Steven McRae, choreographer Liam Scarlett’s ballet adaptation of Frankenstein (which debuted as part of the company’s 2016/17 season) is a dark and breathtaking. Even if you’re not a ballet fan you should at least watch the clips that the Royal Ballet uploaded to their Youtube channel and see for yourself. Lowell Liebermann’s score is beyond gorgeous.


As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

It’s Not All Sugarplums and Marzipan

Hey there holiday horror fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff

We’re going to venture out of horror into more general dark fiction this week, because there is only one time of year when it is permissible for me to talk (obsessively) about one of my favorite stories (and certainly my favorite Christmas story) of all time: The Nutcracker.

I don’t need to tell you why, being a lover of dark fiction, The Nutcracker is my favorite. Even if, like myself, your first exposure to The Nutcracker was through a candy coated and family friendly ballet at your local theatre, a preliminary googling of The Nutcracker will turn up any number of articles from past years about the dark heart behind this perennial Christmas classic. Here’s one from NPR in 2012, talking about the dark Romantic roots of E.T.A. Hoffman’s much darker original tale “Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, which is particularly good as it features commentary on Hoffman’s story by renowned fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes.

The divide between the ballet, full of sugar dreams and marzipan divertissements, and Hoffman’s original with its seven headed Mouse King who “driveled bloodred, out of seven gaping maws” (“Nutcracker and the Mouse King“, Penguin Classics, 2007, p.45) is, of course, thanks to Alexandre Dumas’ 1845 reimagining of the story, “The Tale of the Nutcracker”, which in turn inspired the creation of the ballet. Dumas sweetened the story, turning Marie from a mercurial girl trapped by her own existence who escapes into her (at times nightmarish) dreamscape, into Marie the delighted dreamer who has a splendid time in the Land of Sweets before waking to continue with her own perfectly pleasant real life.

But even Dumas’ determination to gentle the darker, more subversive elements of Hoffman’s original text could not entirely erase the shadows from the margins. There are, after all, still the mice and their king. There’s still the looming, unknowable figure of Drosselmeier and the magic he weaves. It’s a nighttime story, existing in the candle lit hours between bedtime and waking. It’s full of warfare and strange happenings well suited to a dream state, and the darker parts of the story have a way of reasserting themselves in retellings.

The true adaptation of my heart, and the one which Zipes agrees is most true to the heart of Hoffman’s original story, is the one Maurice Sendak (of Where the Wild Things Are) designed for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in the 80’s. The company wanted to return to Hoffman’s original tale, even going so far as to resurrect the seven-headed Mouse King in all his terrible glory. Yes, there is still that classic scene where the tree unfolds to indicate that Clara is shrinking down to the size of her dear Nutcracker, but if you think that’s impressive, wait until you see the giant Mouse King towering over the stage. Yeah. Definitely fodder for the budding horror mind. Sendak also lent his designs for the ballet to a beautiful illustrated edition of Hoffman’s tale which is delightfully violent at times!

E.T.A. Hoffman’s “Nutcracker and Mouse King” is unforgettable. It’s the feverish, beautiful, nightmarish, dreamscape of a young girl who lives a waking life of convention and very little control and spends her nights dreaming of all the desires she will never realize and the choices she isn’t allowed to make. In the end of Hoffman’s original tale, Marie leaves the real world behind to marry her Nutcracker and live forever in a land of Marzipan Castles. And it is a happy ending if you choose to read it as such. But I have always been struck by the potential for a much darker interpretation of the ending – for a much darker interpretation of the entire story, too – lurking beneath the surface of the text.

Potential that a number of authors have already chosen to explore:

Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Claire Legrand (author of Sawkill Girls) is not stranger to dark fiction. Her retelling of The Nutcracker is set in 1899 New York, and follows the story of Clara Stole as she ventures deep into the war-scarred land of Cane to find her missing father. Together with Cane’s cursed and deposed prince Nicholas, Clara must face down the queen of the faeries if she hopes to recover her father and help Nicholas reclaim his throne.

The Nutcracker Bleeds by Lani Lenore

Set in London, 1905, The Nutcracker Bleeds is the terrifying tale of Anne, a young governess who becomes trapped in the nightmarish world of her unstable teenage pupil, Olivia. In this world where toys have come to life to horrible effect, Anne’s only ally is the mysterious Nutcracker doll. As the mice and their terrible Rat King wage war with the toys, Anne must try to get Olivia and herself back to the real world before they become trapped forever.

The Nutcracker King by Eustacia Tan

(His eyes on this cover are FREAKING me out.) In the eight years since the Mouse King’s defeat the Nutcracker has fought to break the curse that keeps him trapped in the form of a doll so that he can take his place as King and make Marie his queen. When a dark secret about his kingdom finally reveals the answer, the increasingly desperate Nutcracker makes the decision to use what he has discovered to break the curse. He will have his crown, and his bride, and his happily ever after. At any cost.

Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth

I’d like to give a shout out to probably the best collection of winter holiday horror you could ever hope to get your hands on. Cynthia Pelayo’s Burial Day Books has released the sixth volume of the Gothic Blue Book: A Krampus Carol, and the table of contents is stacked with a talented and diverse gathering of authors. This is definitely not one that you want to miss this holiday season!

Still need more seasonal scares to get you through the season? Cassie Gutman has you covered over at Book Riot with this list of “Ho-Ho-Holiday Horror”.

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.

Categories
The Fright Stuff

Here’s to Hoping All the Horror in 2021 is Fictional

Hey there holiday horror fans, I’m Jessica Avery and I’ll be delivering your weekly brief of all that’s ghastly and grim in the world of Horror. Whether you’re looking for a backlist book that will give you the willies, a terrifying new release, or the latest in horror community news, you’ll find it here in The Fright Stuff.

Most of the time we sort of loose the end of the year in the rush of the holidays, but since the holidays promise to be a bit… muted this year, all things considered, I’m trying to remember that there’s something else to celebrate about the changing of the year (aside from 2020 finally fucking ending): NEW RELEASES! After what has been a stellar year of horror releases I am so excited to see what 2021 has in store for the genre. And I have to tell you, the early picture looks promising! Check out some of these brilliant horror titles forthcoming in the new year:

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo (2/2)

Is it on this list because it’s set in Maine? Maybe. Is it on this list JUST because it’s set in Maine? Certainly not! There’s a lot about What Big Teeth to be excited about. Eleanor has been estranged from her family since they send her away to boarding school. All she has are a few memories from when she was young, and the knowledge that her strange family regarded her as the freak among them. But when she finally finds the courage to return to her home on the rainy coast of Maine she finds them waiting to welcome her home. Everything seems too good to be true – and a sudden death suggests it just might be.

Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap (2/9)

You know I love a short fiction collection. Collections are in fact probably my favorite form of horror, over even novels, because they give you in one go the best picture of an author’s range and talent. Plus horror, as a genre, really shines in short story form. Isabel Yap’s forthcoming debut combines urban legends, immigrant tales, spells, and stories, all into one irresistible collection that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward (3/18)

I’ve written a bit about The Last House On Needless Street on the Fright Stuff before when Nightfire first announced that they’d be handling the American release, and I am so on board with this book. The available synopsis is limited, but full of promise: a serial killer, a stolen child, death, revenge, a (suspiciously) ordinary house, and a dark forest hiding dark secrets. Add to that the tantalizing suggestion that whatever we’re expecting is not to be trusted and honestly sign me right the heck up.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten (3/21)

Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has put together a crew of friends to follow her to the site of a tragedy that has haunted her since she was a little girl: the vanishing of the residents of the old mining town known now as “The Lost Village”. Her grandmother’s entire family disappeared along with the rest of the village, leaving only two behind – a woman who had been stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned baby. Now Alice is determined to find out why. But no sooner do she and her team set up camp in town, things start to go very, very wrong.

Goddess of Filth by V. Castro (3/30)

Nothing could possibly go wrong at a séance. Definitely not. So when friends Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla, and Pauline get together one hot summer night to drink and summon some fun, it starts out all fun and games. Until it’s not. “Not” being Fernanda Exorcist crawling towards her friends, chanting in the language of their Aztec ancestors. Over the next few weeks Fernanda’s behavior just gets more unusual. The local priest, Father Moreno, is crying demonic possession but Lourdes has a suspicion that it’s something more powerful and much much older than that. She enlists the help of her “bruja Craft crew” and a professor to try and understand what is happening to Fernanda. Hopefully before Moreno’s obsession with her can lead to disaster

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (8/24)

Okay so, not technically a new release. But a very exciting reissue from Tor’s upcoming horror imprint Nightfire! Certain Dark Things has been out of print for a bit now and it’s beyond delightful to see it back in publication and available to new readers and old fans. In Mexico City, street kid Domingo is just trying to survive when he meets vampire-on-the-run Atl. Atl is the descendent of Aztec blood drinkers, on the run from a rival vampire clan. Their meeting happens by chance, but as time goes on the two find themselves working together to escape the dark streets with their lives (life and un-life?) intact. Certain Dark Things is praised for, among other aspects, its rich worldbuilding and fascinatingly varied vampire culture.

Fresh from the Skeleton’s Mouth

Burial Day has tweeted to announce that their Latinx Screams anthology is on it’s way! And speaking of Burial Day, their most recent anthology We Are Wolves is a number one new release in horror anthologies on Amazon! Have you ordered your copy yet?

Neon Hemlock Press has announced their 2021 Novella Series and it looks AMAZING. Go check it out!

Kiersten White has been a must-buy author of mine for years now, and I couldn’t be more excited to find out that she’s sold her adult debut novel! Can you say “hide-and-seek competition in an abandoned amusement park”? Because I can, and it sounds like “sleeping with the lights on for like a week”.

Off Limits Press is putting together an anthology of adventure horror, Far From Home, that I will probably commit murder to get my hands on… I mean only if necessary, but still.

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.