It's time again for another box on the  Scaredy Cat Bingo Challenge , which consists of 25 reading prompts on a bingo board. Not playing...

Under The Sea || Dive Into These 18 Books Of Ocean Horror

The Deep by Alma Katsu

Weird shit happens on the Titanic and true to history, this version sinks too. A maid survives the sinking and after a brief stint in an asylum, decides to go on its sister ship turned medical hospital, The Britannic, with absolutely no medical training because why the hell not? Is Annie the maid crazy or is there something supernatural going on here?  At least we won't have to argue that Jack could have fit on that door with Rose.


tidepool by nicole willson

Sorrow's brother Henry disappears so off she goes to the small seaside town of Tidepool to find out what happened to him. First off, who names their kid Sorrow? That's just setting her up for failure and that's before the bodies start washing up looking like chew toys for giant ocean monsters. This is the kind of book where you constantly scream at the protagonist to get the hell outta dodge but they say "You're not my mom" and stay.


Flowers for the sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Stuck on a boat surrounded by air and sea monsters, survivors of a flooded kingdom are struggling to exist. One of them, a woman named Iraxi is extremely pregnant and like most pregnant women, doesn't really want to be pregnant anymore except for very different reasons. She resents everyone, including her unborn er, thing. The ship reeks, the people reek, and being pregnant also reeks. 
Read my review.



This anthology is part of Eerie River Publishing's It Call From series with "twenty brutal tales of horror from the deep blue sea." There's killer kelp, menacing mermaids, elder gods, family curses, and all things in between. 
Read my review


the kelping by Jan Stinchcomb 

The Kelping by Jan Stinchcomb is number nine in Unnerving's Rewind or Die series. Those of you expecting a horror-filled flesh-eating mermaid tale might find it a little tame. What's inside these 67 pages is a more insidious tale of mermaids infiltrating a sleepy little seaside town. 
Read my review.
Saltblood by t.c. parker

People are shipped off to an island with a Faraday cage prison to reflect on being trolls on social media. It's a peaceful place, except for—you knowthe whole evil monster bit.


The Devils shallows by Debra Castaneda

Salt marshes are weird places anyway but add an urban legend about the Slough Devil and it's extra weird. Adam doesn't believe in monsters, but that's okay, the monsters still believe in him. 


sea witch by Sarah Henning

Now we get to the Little Mermaid retellings. C'mon, I had to toss a few in. 

Set in 1860s Denmark, Evie (the witch) meets a mermaid with the face of her dead friend. They fall for a couple of princes and Evie has to help her new friend keep her legs. Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?


Drown by Esther Dalseno 
Sticking more closely to the original by Hans Christian Andersen, this one is dark as it should be. No singing or friends named Flounder. Matter of fact, a girl has no name...nor does anyone else. It's just The Little Mermaid or The Prince.  


Well, there you have it. 18 book choices to check off the Under The Sea box on your Scaredy Cat Bingo card. If you haven't started playing yet, check out the board and jump in at any time. 

Publication date: October 21st, 2021 Goodreads H ow do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Ra...

Review || Faithless by Hunter Shea



Publication date: October 21st, 2021


How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt's empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he's not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.

Shea has a knack for producing raw, emotionally driven horror with imperfect, broken characters. His novel Creature broke my heart with its flawed characters and poignant storytelling and Faithless is no different. 

Faithless starts with anxiety-fueled adrenaline as Father Raul Figeuroa drives home one rainy night only to hear his family cry out as they are attacked and killed. He makes it home minutes too late. The police have no leads and the loss sends Raul reeling. He retreats to his late aunt's farm where he spent time growing up, truly hoping to drink himself stupid. And he does. 

After the first few pages, Faithless loses its momentum but I wouldn't expect any novel to hold such a frenetic pace. It's a slow burn as we cycle through the anguish and heartbreak that Raul experiences, even as he tries to drown his sorrows. Shea has created this character that your heart can't help but bleed for as he mourns his family. The loss is so profound that his faith, which has carried him for so long, suddenly can't be maintained. It's a thought that any person grieving might think: Why does God let these things happen? Only Raul's loss has completely ripped away his faith and in turn, his sense of self. It's heartbreaking and raw and Shea leaves us drifting away completely with Raul, unsure of his faith and his sanity. 

Strange things start happening in the house. He hears the voice of his wife coming through the vents and the laughter and footsteps of his children overhead. Is it just the grief or is he truly haunted by the restless spirits of his family? The appearance of his old friend Felix can't even shock Raul out of his stupor, though Felix offers what the police can't—a possible unmasking and potential retribution. Felix at least breaths some life into the story during a long period of drinking, pill-popping, and wallowing. He leaves Raul to go find answers and it's a much-needed break from the stagnation at the farm. 

Then we truly go down the rabbit hole. This ending is so far-fetched I can't even. It's gory and action-packed but it's out there. Ghosts, cults, attack cats. The eschewing of predestination being more powerful than the battle of good vs. evil. I don't know where I expected Faithless to go, but this was not it. I loved the setup but not the follow-through. Oh, and Bruiser. Always have to love the cat. 

Publication date: February 2nd, 2022   Goodreads M avis Corvid can't remember. Not who she is, nor where she came from. It's been si...

Review || Second Nature by Amber Boudreau


Publication date: February 2nd, 2022


Mavis Corvid can't remember. Not who she is, nor where she came from. It's been six months and nothing. Zip. Zilch. Now she's settling into a new life. She's back on her feet, literally, and working at a garage in Eustace Park for a boss as grumpy as he is handsome. She has an apartment, friends, and an insatiable curiosity about werewolves.

No one knows why the wolves disclosed their existence to the world, but the one-year anniversary of their reveal is fast approaching. A fight brews between two alphas that could threaten the rest of humanity unless Mavis can remember who she was. She knows she's not a werewolf, but she is something else.

When pushed from a balcony Mavis' second nature reveals itself. She shifts into a magpie to save her skin. Now she'll have to harness her strange abilities and investigate her disappearance to find out what happened to the Aldwulf, the alpha of all alphas. However, the past is gone and Mavis isn't the same person. With the opportunity to be whoever she wants, what kind of person will she choose to be? 
Set in an alternate version world where werewolves not only exist but have revealed themselves to the public, this urban fantasy by Amber Boudreau is a great addition to the genre. The world-building is solid, the characters are relatable, and there is enough mystery here to keep the pages turning. (Who was Mavis before? What happened to the Alpha?)

After waking up six months ago without a clue, Mavis Corvid still can't remember who she is. She's gone on to choose a new name and quickly rebuilt a life for herself. She is a strong character who didn't spend time feeling sorry for herself when she couldn't remember the particulars of her former life. She just picked herself up and went on with some assistance from those around her. I thought it was unique that she wasn't stressed out that she couldn't remember and that she got to living as best she could. Boudreau also refrained from the typical shifter profile and constructed Mavis as a bird shifter or "two-natured". Deciding to have the main character transform into a magpie kept the shifter trope from feeling stagnant and overused.  

The relationship between Aitch the garage owner and Mavis' boss, was rather humorous. He's a cantankerous thing but Mavis is unfazed and is as cheery as he is cranky. This isn't a completely romance-free urban fantasy but it doesn't overwhelm the plot. It's more of a will they/won't they type of romance that may be developed in future books but it nonetheless made for entertaining banter and heightened tension. 

The ending certainly leaves the door open for a second novel or even the possibility of a series in this new world that I wouldn't be opposed to at all. I enjoyed Mavis coming into her own, learning about herself, and there was enough character growth to move on to a second novel. If you like your urban fantasy to be completely wrapped up at the end, this one may frustrate you a bit. There's a lot left unsaid and unanswered arranging it perfectly for a continuance. I'll definitely be keeping Boudreau on my radar for future releases. 

Today's mini-reviews are Boneset & Feathers by Gwendolyn Kiste, Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo, Certain Dark Things by Silvia...

Mini Reviews || Boneset & Feathers by Gwendolyn Kiste, Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo, Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Today's mini-reviews are Boneset & Feathers by Gwendolyn Kiste, Children of Chicago by Cynthia Pelayo, Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.



You don't know their fire is coming until it's too late. That's exactly the way the witchfinders like it. As an isolated enchantress, Odette knows this too well--she lost nearly her whole family to the last round of executions, barely escaping with her own life. All the magic she could conjure wasn't enough to protect her mother and sister, a burden that leaves a despondent Odette practically wishing she'd burned with the rest.

Now it's five years later, and as the last witch left from her village, Odette has exiled herself to the nearby woods where she's sworn off all magic, hoping instead for quiet and for safety. But no witch has ever been permitted a peaceful life.

It starts with crows tumbling out of the clouds and spectral voices on the wind that won't leave her alone. Then there are those midnight visits to the graveyard that she can't quite remember in the morning and the strange children following her everywhere she goes. Odette wants to forget magic, but her magic doesn't want to forget her. Meanwhile, the former friends she left behind in the village are cowering together, hiding from the ghostly birds they believe she's sent to torment them for abandoning her. But that's only the beginning of their problems, as Odette soon discovers their worst nightmare is about to come true--the witchfinders are returning. And this time, the decree is clear: to burn the witch that got away.

With the men drawing nearer to the village, Odette must face the whispers from the dead and confront her fear of her own growing power if she wants any chance of stopping the army of witchfinders determined to rid the countryside of magic once and for all. 

Publication date: November 23rd, 2020
Add to Goodreads

My Thoughts...

This is my first book of Gwendolyn Kiste's and it won't be my last. Beautifully written, her flowing style took a bit to get into the cadence but once I did, I adored it. While the novella is about a witch, it does more than live up to all the tired tropes about witches. More dark fairytale than horror, there are birds falling dead from the skies and returning changed, an enchanted forest that never spits you out where you came in, strange children, and of course, magic. 

Odette has a reputation as an outsider. The townspeople fear her and instead of blaming their loss on the witchfinders, they choose to blame her as the source of their troubles. Known as the witch who would not burn, Hunted by the witchfinders, Odette not only faced the flames, she somehow consumed them and carry them inside her skin. She's a great character, doubt-filled and living in isolation in the woods away from those who fear her. 

A coming of age story, yes, but this is also a powerful and moving fight for identity, sisterhood, and the right for women to exist without being cowered by men. 


This horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago is an edge of your seat, chills up the spine, thrill ride. ‪ When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister’s body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he’s looking for payment he’s owed from her. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.

Publication date: February 9th, 2021
Add to Goodreads

My Thoughts...


There is always a dark side to fairytales and Pelayo gives us a new ominous twist to the Pied Piper, melding fairytale roots, dark urban horror, and police procedural. Chicago's dark and mean streets are laid bare, but there's also beauty there and Pelayo's love of the city shines through. We're given a completely unlikeable female main character, but this is not without planning, as it's also a statement about police and their abusive power without repercussions—a highly controversial topic in today's media. There's a lot of information delivered throughout which at times made the story feel very laden. There's no denying the horror elements of the story, but it almost felt as it was trying to be too many things at once. 



Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized.

Atl needs to quickly escape the city, far from the rival narco-vampire clan relentlessly pursuing her. Her plan doesn't include Domingo, but little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his undeniable charm. As the trail of corpses stretches behind her, local cops and crime bosses both start closing in.

Vampires, humans, cops, and criminals collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive? Or will the city devour them all?

Publication date: September 7th, 2021
Add to Goodreads

My Thoughts...

 Sparkley vampires need not apply. Certain Dark Things bring back the cold, aloof vampires of days past. Set in Mexico City, Moreno-Garcia shies away from the busy, bright streets into the back alleys and subway tunnels. It's a very neo-noir take, with gangs, drug cartel wars, and multiple sub-species of vampires. The relationship and dialogue between Atl and Domingo seemed awkward and yet, was still amusing. The lore and legend of vampires were unique and interesting but the best part was the world-building. It's gritty and dark with complex morally grey characters. 

Publication date: June 22nd, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads The third and final installment in Sean's rip-roaring 'firefighters m...

Review || Flame Riders by Sean Grigsby


Publication date: June 22nd, 2021

The third and final installment in Sean's rip-roaring 'firefighters meet dragons' fantasy series

In the final installment of the Smoke Eaters series, the New United States Army has taken over and America has devolved into a full-on dragon apocalypse. Smoke eaters are banned and have gone into hiding to avoid being held prisoner by the soldiers.

Guiellermo Contreras is a private in the NUSA, and when he's accused of potentially being a smoke eater upon pain of death, he escapes and sets out to find the heroes who disappeared years before. But what he discovers is that the NUSA has been working on something unthinkable, and it's going to take more than a few smoke eaters to stop them.

Read now
 
After having read Ash Kickers, I couldn't wait to get back into this dragon-filled world. I was surprised that after the cliffhanger ending of Ash Kickers, we start all over with a brand new character but it didn't take long to get back into the flow. The world has progressed through finding out how to deal with the dragons to more of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The smoke eaters who were idolized years before have been banned. The New United States Army (NUSA) is not the organization that Guillermo Contreras believed it was. They aren't entrusted with keeping the world safe and are in fact, mercenaries who are bullying the civilians into providing resources for them. Contreras steals a tank with the intent of returning home, but things don't always turn out as expected. 

Guilly is a well-crafted character that you can't help but root for from the start. He's listening to his conscience and attempts to flee the NUSA by stealing one of their tanks all while wearing nothing but a bathrobe. You'd think this would be a fantastic idea and that he could escape easily, but the tanks only go so fast, making this more of a humorous would-be sluggish getaway. Upon finding out that he is a smoke-eater and part of a now underground group that he completely fanboyed over, it only gets better from there. 

Once again, Grigsby has continued his portrayal of this unique, but entertaining world. While the setting is much more dystopian than the previous book, it hasn't lost any of its high stakes. There's plenty of action, fire-spewing, and dragon fighting. Plenty of battles to be fought and danger to run towards. There's even the delightful appearance of some of his previous book's characters, tying all the books together. Flame Riders surprised me. Given the time jump and the incongruous new POV, I expected to not enjoy it as much as Ash Kickers but I devoured it in just a few hours. 





Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: September 17th, 2021 Goodreads In the d...

Author Spotlight || Tyler Bell, Author of The Eyes Beneath My Father's House

Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: September 17th, 2021


In the dusty agave fields of the Guadalajara countryside, a peasant girl cuts a deal with the insidious thing living beneath her father’s house. An industrial accident aboard a space station in humanity’s distant future forces an unappreciated laborer to survive an unpredictable alien menace. A young man recounts his last days as the caretaker of a reclusive elderly woman in her remote - and possibly haunted - mansion. Welcome to the Westside Fairytales, where nothing is as it seems and everything is connected. A universe of possibility, horror, and madness spanning humanity’s past, present, and future. If you think you’re brave enough, and clever enough, then we entreat you to discover the mysteries of The Eyes Beneath My Father’s House.




Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 


"The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" is a genre-spanning collection of ten horror and dark fiction short stories ranging from the coming-of-age tale of a young peasant girl who finds a demon living below her family home in the Guadalajara countryside, to a worker trying to survive an industrial accident aboard a space station in the distant future. It's available on Amazon and a few select stores in Appalachia!

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


From the blue collar work I've done my whole life and the people I've met in those jobs. I consider myself a sort of "working class" writer, and I want to represent folks not often seen in fiction.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


It's always a little of both, like knowing somebody's in a room but not really knowing them until you've met.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Abella, the main character of the title story. She has an extremely intense story and things were always going to be hard on her. Seeing her develop and show off how resilient and resourceful she could be was amazing for me. The feedback from my fans on that character and that story has been amazing.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


Character development, for sure. If you don't care about the characters then why would you care about what they're doing?

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?


Probably the shape and use of a tool called a "coa" that's used for harvesting agave. It's a really interesting tool (because of how spear-like it is) and it ended up becoming an important part of the story.

In your opinion what makes a good story?


Delivery of expectation. Stories usually come to people in two parts, an introduction that sets up the expectation and the payoff for that expectation. Usually people hunt for a story to feel some specific thing, and if they've felt that way by the end, had that experience, then I believe that was a good story.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


It didn't at all, really, I'm still a coffee-addled hermit crab clacking away in my room until 4 a.m.

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?


I read all my reviews, it's like mainlining dopamine. Adrenaline if the review is mean, which I like as well because I'm kind of fucked up that way. I consider a review "good" if it addresses my story according to the expectations I had when writing it. I got a mean review one time that said, basically "these are clearly stories for girls," which is the finest compliment I could have been paid. That was my intention but the person didn't much like that about the stories, which ultimately made my day.

What led you to start writing?


I've always loved reading and I couldn't read when I walked to school, so I would make up stories in my head to pass the time. Eventually I started scribbling those down and here we are.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Not really. I have a sort of ritual I always do before I start writing, which is to absolutely distract myself as much as I can from the story until I hit the "breaking point." Then I just drop everything and start typing. Usually for like four to six hours at a time.

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I write in so many genres its kind of hard to say, but I think I just like certain aesthetics of each one. Horror, specifically, mixes well with everything else (sci-fi, fantasy, western, romance) that it's like the salt I use making any dish. Mostly, I think I don't really write in a genre, but a "vibe," like the feeling of pulling a rough, warm jacket tighter over your shoulders while walking through the woods in a snowstorm. The comfort and the discomfort, perfectly juxtaposed and resonating in a perfect way.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


"Slipping, slipped." The concept of "slipping" is just so powerful to me. Not so much in the comical context, but in the way the sun slips beneath the horizon or you find time slipping through your hands and one day nobody recognizes the references you make. That powerful, intangible feeling is a wonderful pretense to set in any dark story.

What are you currently reading?


"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. Really good.

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Like, insane nightmare shit nobody should listen to. "Somewhere at the End of Time," by the Caretaker. Random crap from Modulgeek. "City Song" by Daughters usually gets me going, and I'll always listen to all of "Dummy" from Portishead when I get a chance. Special shout out to the soundtrack to Pathologic, as well.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


"Start now you fucking idiot."

What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?


"Jacobs Ladder" for sure. Absolutely a "try-hard" answer, lol, but that whole film just has a vibe to it that makes me feel very relaxed.

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal and why?


Bears. Sleepy, cuddly, and little grumpy is basically how I live my life.

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


Haunted mansion surrounded by fairytale creatures. I love home improvement and unicorns, what can I say?

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


Probably the lack of great criticism within the genre. There's a lot of support for traditionally published authors in the critic sphere, but honestly not a lot of honest criticism for bad work from subpar and mediocre authors. Especially those authors related to certain iconoclasts within the genre.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I have an EXTREME ocd when it comes to ending the final sentence of a paragraph at more than about 30 percent of the total paragraph length. This sounds insane, but basically my brain cannot accept ending a paragraph with just a single- or two-word sentence carrying into the last line. I'll rewrite entire paragraphs or work around entire concepts in order to get those goddam paragraphs squared to my liking. It's a sickness. 


Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


I'm on all the relevant socials and I talk to people all the time. I love interacting, answering questions, and even dropping hints at stuff I'm working on at the time. @WSFairytales on twitter, Westside Fairytales on Insta and Facebook, and WestsideTyler on TikTok.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


Probably, "He parted his lips and sang for the tiger, hoping it could hear," from my story "Within as Without" about a former soldier hunting a group of men through an abandoned city after the end of a long war. It's the final line in the story and really sums up the feeling of the whole thing. I don't know exactly why, but I still read it and feel a little emotional. 

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Create your own style guide, stick to it when you can, and constantly find ways to amend it and perfect it. Don't necessarily write it all out -- I didn't -- but make sure you have a set of rules that you write by in mind at all times. Know why you're doing things, why you're making the decisions you make, and you'll find yourself happier with your end product more often than not.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


I literally just finished writing a 210k word monster of a story called "Sin Carriers," about a motely crew of criminals and misfits on a train headed eastbound from the West Coast in the early 1900s. On the way they have to survive encounters with monstrous creatures, horrific locales, and each other as they head deeper into a truly American nightmare. It's going to serve as the sixth season of my podcast The Westside Fairytales, and will start airing hopefully sometime this spring. It's free wherever you listen to podcasts and you can learn more at westsidefairytales.com!

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?


Head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book, "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" in paperback and ebook, and go to westsidefairytales.com to learn more about me and my podcast! Thanks for reading and Stay Safe Out There!



Tyler Bell is a USMC combat veteran, the host, author, and creator of the award winning Westside Fairytales podcast, and a former crime and courts journalist with bylines throughout the United States. He released his first collection of short horror and dark fiction stories "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House," in September of 2021, which LEO Weekly said "… deserves to be considered by the editors of the horror genre’s best-of annuals.” He currently lives in Louisville with his wife, Sam, their two rabbits, Marcel and Rosie, and their dog, Buck. Visit westsidefairytales.com to learn more about Tyler, the Westside Fairytales podcast, and "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House."




I'm excited to be joining in another Bookish Blog Hop!  Each day, bloggers answer questions about themselves and the books they ar...

Bookish Blog Hop || A Book With A Body Positive Theme


I'm excited to be joining in another Bookish Blog Hop! 


Each day, bloggers answer questions about themselves and the books they are reading. 
Yesterday, we were over at the Upstream Writer Blog hosted by Leslie Conzatti where we talked about books we own but haven't read yet. 


Today's prompt is:

 A Book With A Body Positive Theme!



Horror is frequently misogynistic, filled with scantily clad women who are voted most likely to die first by the hands of the killer. These highly sexualized women tend to be blond and thin—shallow "bimbo" types—who are the epitome of what the male viewer is supposed to idolize.  Horror movies have long portrayed female characters as either the "whore", who is essentially punished for her sexuality, or the "virgin", the remarkably less-attractive modest female who often gets to be the "final girl", as if that behavior makes her the only one deserving of surviving.

For years, horror fiction followed that same formula, but we have recently seen a reversal of this line of thinking (and writing). Horror has become progressively more feminist. We have gotten much stronger female protagonists who are clever and much more than their physical appearance, catapulting us (and rightfully so) beyond the bimbos of horror. Even with this new found more progressive view, there's honestly not a whole lot of body positive horror novels out there with fat protagonists. By this I mean, stories where the characters are more than their size, where fat just happens to be what they are without affecting WHO they are. Because of this, I'm very excited about a new anthology releasing soon called Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology, edited by Nico Bell and Sonora Taylor.


From the submission site, the description reads:
It’s time to reclaim the “f” word. Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology is dedicated to empowering fat characters within the horror community. Give us your rage over weigh-ins, your detest over detox cleanses, your rebellion against diet culture. Give us bad-ass characters who own their size and never apologize for taking up space. This is a horror anthology, so be sure to have your character in some kind of horror story--but, we are open to what that story is! We welcome haunted houses, ghost stories, creature features, splatterpunk, serial killers, witches, monsters, you name it. Just make sure your story features at least one fat protagonist. Fat people are often degraded in literature, especially in horror. It’s disheartening to see someone’s natural body be portrayed as disgusting and inherently bad. Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology aims to give that trope the heartiest “fuck you” that our big selves can muster. So go on, send us what you’ve got!


Join the Facebook group to be part of future blog hops



Here's what the others had to say:


Leslie Conzatti -- www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com


I don’t really actively seek out body-positive books, but I do appreciate when the theme crops up in the narrative of any book I’m reading! 


However, one book in particular that I can think of to fit this theme is The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake. It’s important to me because it was given to me by a fifth-grade student who knew how much I love books and writing, and she loved the book herself because of how much she related to the main character. 

The theme of body positivity in this book pertains to the matters of race, and skin color. The main character, Maleeka, is taunted at school because she looks different… until a teacher arrives at the school who has a very obvious blemish on her face, but she doesn’t seem bothered by it. The teacher shows Maleeka how to love the skin she’s in, no matter what it looks like. It’s a very sweet and impactful little book!




Jo Linsdell -

 www.JoLinsdell.com

A book that fits this theme that I’ve been meaning to read since I watched the film adaptation of it is Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy.

About the book:

Now a popular Netflix feature film, starring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Dove Cameron, as well as a soundtrack from Dolly Parton!

The #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dixon, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.

With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Vidya Tiru -

LadyInReadWrites (Instagram | Twitter | Facebook )

While I don’t specifically go looking for books with any theme in mind, including today’s theme of body positivity, I am glad when I read books that address these tough issues. We need reads like this, for they help throw light on the issue itself while addressing how we can make things better.

I read quite a few books that dealt with the subject of body image in the past year. A couple of my favorite reads among those include Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. Both these YA reads tackle many issues along with the theme of body positivity; and each one does it beautifully without overplaying anything. I am sure you will love Charlie and Moon just as much as I did.

Another book I want to recommend here is a nonfiction read for younger readers, and aptly and simply titled Love Your Body.

Book description for each listed book (excerpted from Goodreads):

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega: A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe: A romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.

Love Your Body: This book introduces the language of self-love and self-care to help build resilience, while representing and celebrating diverse bodies, encouraging girls to appreciate their uniqueness




Be sure to check out the other days of the hop!!