Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

 Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of June's new releases!  If you've missed the previous lists ( January ,   February ...

 Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of June's new releases! 

If you've missed the previous lists (January, February, March, April, May, June), you can still check those out. And if you are looking for what's still to come, you can see the whole list for 2023 here.

If you have a book releasing this year and want to get on the list, click here and I'll get you added!


 At the End of Every Day by Arianna Reiche 

Expected publication: July 4, 2023 by Atria Books

In this haunting debut novel—perfect for fans of Iain Reid, Jeff VanderMeer, and Julia Armfield—a loyal employee at a collapsing theme park questions the recent death of a celebrity visitor, the arrival of strange new guests, her boyfriend’s erratic behavior, and ultimately her own sanity.

Delphi has spent years working at a vast and iconic theme park in California after fleeing her childhood trauma in her rural hometown. But after the disturbing death of a beloved Hollywood starlet on the park grounds, Delphi is tasked with shuttering The Park for good.

Meanwhile, two siblings with ties to The Park exchange letters, trying to understand why people who work there have been disappearing. Before long, they learn that there’s a reason no one is meant to see behind The Park’s curtain.

What happens when The Park empties out? And what happens when Delphi, who seems remarkably at one with The Park, is finally forced to leave?

At once a novel about the uncanny valley, death cults, optical illusions, and the enduring power of fantasy, Reiche’s debut is a mind-bending teacup ride through an eerily familiar landscape, where the key to it all is what happens At the End of Every Day.

A Good House for Children by Kate Collins 

Expected Publication: July 4, 2023 by Mariner Books

Once upon a time Orla a woman, a painter, a lover.

Now she is a mother and a wife, and when her husband Nick suggests that their city apartment has grown too small for their lives, she agrees, in part because she does agree, and in part because she is too tired to think about what she really does want. She agrees again when Nick announces with pride that he has found an antiquated Georgian house on the Dorset cliffs—a good house for children, he says, tons of space and gorgeous grounds.

But as the family settles into the mansion—Nick absent all week, commuting to the city for work—Orla finds herself unsettled. She hears voices when no one is around; doors open and close on their own; and her son Sam, who has not spoken in six months, seems to have made an imaginary friend whose motives Orla does not trust.

Four decades earlier, Lydia moves into the same house as a live-in nanny to a grieving family. Lydia, too, becomes aware of intangible presences in the large house, and she, like Orla four decades later, becomes increasingly fearful for the safety of the children in her care. But no one in either woman’s life believes the stories that seem fanciful, the stuff of magic and mayhem, sprung from the imaginations of hysterical women who spend too much time in the company of children.

Are both families careening towards tragedy? Are Orla and Lydia seeing things that aren’t there? What secrets is the house hiding?

A feminist gothic tale perfectly suited for the current moment, A Good House for Children combines an atmospheric mystery with resonant themes of motherhood, madness, and the value of a woman’s work.

Love the Sinner by Mo Moshaty

Expected publication: July 5, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

According to Dante, a sin is the misdirection of love - the human will, or essentially, the direction of our beings. Love the Sinner is an examination of just how those sins can kaleidoscope into horrific consequences creating a distorted and deadly landscape. These stories stand stark before you in full glaring misstep and macabre to show the human psyche in all its twisted reality.

From grief and its rage to medical meddling to ensure a new world order to bloody revenge within a quantum leap, these stories seek to solidify one absolute man is the scariest monster.

Whisperwood by Alex Woodroe

Expected publication: July 11, 2023 by Flame Tree Presss

A journey into the wild woods with a character who just needs a break—and the terrible things that stare back at her.

When curious nomad Anna hears about Whisperwood, a town that’s not on any maps, that nobody goes to, and nobody comes from, she sees an opportunity to hide from her violent witch-hunting ex.

But not everything is peaceful in the isolated community. A vanishing town, a gruesome funeral rite, an emergency field surgery—these surprises and more test Anna's resolve.

Prevented from leaving the frontier settlement by folk magic she doesn’t understand, Anna lends helping hands everywhere she can, but quickly finds that investigating the forest too closely could end up being the last thing she does.

Burn the Negative by Josh Winning

Expected publication: July 11, 2023 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

In this incendiary mash-up of horror and suspense, a notorious slasher film is remade…and the curse that haunted it is reawakened.

Arriving in L.A. to visit the set of a new streaming horror series, journalist Laura Warren witnesses a man jumping from a bridge, landing right behind her car. Here we go, she thinks. It’s started. Because the series she’s reporting on is a remake of a ’90s horror flick. A cursed ’90s horror flick, which she starred in as a child—and has been running from her whole life.

In The Guesthouse, Laura played the little girl with the terrifying gift to tell people how the Needle Man would kill them. When eight of the cast and crew died in ways that eerily mirrored the movie’s on-screen deaths, the film became a cult classic—and ruined her life. Leaving it behind, Laura changed her name and her accent, dyed her hair, and moved across the Atlantic. But some scripts don’t want to stay buried.

Now, as the body count rises again, Laura finds herself on the run with her aspiring actress sister and a jaded psychic, hoping to end the curse once and for all—and to stay out of the Needle Man’s lethal reach.

The Beast You Are by Paul Tremblay

Expected publication: July 11, 2023 by William Morrow

A haunting collection of short fiction from the bestselling author of  The Pallbearers Club ,  A Head Full of Ghosts , and  The Cabin at the End of the World. Paul Tremblay has won widespread acclaim for illuminating the dark horrors of the mind in novels and stories that push the boundaries of storytelling itself. The fifteen pieces in this brilliant collection,  The Beast You Are , are all monsters of a kind, ready to loudly (and lovingly) smash through your head and into your heart. In “The Dead Thing,” a middle-schooler struggles to deal with the aftermath of her parents’ substance addictions and split. One day, her little brother claims he found a shoebox with “the dead thing” inside. He won’t show it to her and he won’t let the box out of his sight. In “The Last Conversation,” a person wakes in a sterile, white room and begins to receive instructions via intercom from a woman named Anne. When they are finally allowed to leave the room to complete a task, what they find is as shocking as it is heartbreaking. The title novella, “The Beast You Are,” is a mini epic in which the destinies and secrets of a village, a dog, and a cat are intertwined with a giant monster that returns to wreak havoc every thirty years. A masterpiece of literary horror and psychological suspense,  The Beast You Are  is a fearlessly imagined collection from one of the most electrifying and innovative writers working today.

The After-death of Caroline Rand by Catherine Cavendish

Expected publication: July 11, 2023 by Flame Tree Press

A chilling, dark fantasy, in the slipstream of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.'

At a weekend house-party at ancient Canonbury Manor, Alli is caught between fantasy and reality, past and present, in the life of Caroline Rand, a famous singer from the late Sixties, who reportedly killed herself in that house. Alli soon learns that evil infests the once-holy building. A sinister cabal controls it, as it has for centuries. Before long, her fate will be sealed, and she will learn about her role in the after-death of Caroline Rand.

It begins with a chilling "Welcome to The Columbine, Miss Sinclair. You are expected."

Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

Expected publication: July 18, 2023 by Del Rey

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau and Mexican Gothic comes a fabulous meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism: a dark thriller about the curse that haunts a legendary lost film--and awakens one woman's hidden powers.

Montserrat has always been overlooked. She’s a talented sound editor, but she’s left out of the boys’ club running the film industry in ’90s Mexico City. And she’s all but invisible to her best friend, Tristán, a charming if faded soap opera star, though she’s been in love with him since childhood.

Then Tristán discovers his new neighbor is the cult horror director Abel Urueta, and the legendary auteur claims he can change their lives—even if his tale of a Nazi occultist imbuing magic into highly volatile silver nitrate stock sounds like sheer fantasy. The magic film was never finished, which is why, Urueta swears, his career vanished overnight. He is cursed.

Now the director wants Montserrat and Tristán to help him shoot the missing scene and lift the curse . . . but Montserrat soon notices a dark presence following her, and Tristán begins seeing the ghost of his ex-girlfriend.

As they work together to unravel the mystery of the film and the obscure occultist who once roamed their city, Montserrat and Tristán may find that sorcerers and magic are not only the stuff of movies.

A Guide to the Dark by Meriam Metoui

Expected publication: July 18, 2023 by Henry Holt

You can check out of Room 9, but you can never leave.

The Haunting of Hill House meets Nina LaCour in this paranormal mystery YA about the ghosts we carry with us.

Something is building, simmering just out of reach.

The room is watching. But Mira and Layla don't know this yet. When the two best friends are stranded on their spring break college tour road trip, they find themselves at the Wildwood Motel, located in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Mira can't shake the feeling that there is something wrong and rotten about their room. Inside, she's haunted by nightmares of her dead brother. When she wakes up, he's still there.

Layla doesn't see him. Or notice anything suspicious about Room 9. The place may be a little run down, but it has a certain charm she can’t wait to capture on camera. If Layla is being honest, she’s too preoccupied with confusing feelings for Mira to see much else. But when they learn eight people died in that same room, they realize there must be a connection between the deaths and the unexplainable things that keep happening inside it. They just have to find the connection before Mira becomes the ninth.

Readers won't be able to put down this tender thriller that includes over thirty interior black and white photos by the author!

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle

Expected publication: July 18, 2023 by Tor Nightfire

A searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community faces in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down.

They’ll scare you straight to hell.

Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold.

Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy.

They Lurk by Ronald Malfi

Expected publication: July 18, 2023 by Titan Books

This collection contains 4 novellas by one of dark fiction's finest writers.

Novellas include:


When three teenagers disappear in the redwood forest of the Pacific northwest, private detective John Jeffers is hired by the families to find out why the local police seem to be covering things up. Jeffers travels to the shore town of Coastal Green to investigate...and learns of a terrible secret in the process...

The Separation

In an effort to help an old friend through the breakup of his marriage, psychotherapist Marcus Llewellyn arrives in Germany to find up-and-coming prizefighter Charlie Pronovella in a state of such deep depression, he takes his old friend on as a client. But soon Marcus's faith in his own abilities to help Charlie comes into question when Charlie's behavior grows increasingly bizarre. Is Charlie suffering from a nervous breakdown, or are otherworldly forces at work?

The Stranger

It happened outside a motel in rural Florida…

A strange thing, a peculiar thing. At first, David thought it was simply a mistake—the stranger who sat behind the wheel of David’s own car in the parking lot of the roadside motel. Had the man gotten into the wrong car? Was he lost? Hurt? But when the doors are locked from the inside and a gun is set on the dashboard, David realizes this was no mistake.

And that was when the insanity started…

After the Fade

It was a typical evening at a local Annapolis tavern, until a girl walked in, collapsed and died.

The cause of her death was anything but natural. Something had latched itself to the base of her skull. Some type of creature unlike anything seen before.

And it didn't arrive alone.

Now, the patrons of The Fulcrum are trapped, held prisoner within the tavern's walls by monstrous things that flit across the night sky, trying to find their way in.

Her Little Flowers by Shannon Morgan

Expected publication: July 25, 2023 by Kensington

Francine Thwaite has lived all her fifty-five years in her family’s ancestral home, a rambling Elizabethan manor in England’s Lake District. No other living soul resides there, but Francine isn’t alone. There are ghosts in Thwaite Manor, harmless and familiar. Most beloved is Bree, the mischievous ghost girl who has been Francine’s companion since childhood.

When Francine’s estranged sister, Madeleine, returns to the manor after years away, she brings with her a story that threatens everything Francine has always believed. It is a tale of cruelty and desperation, of terror and unbearable heartache. And as Francine learns more about the darkness in her family’s past—and the role she may have played in it—she realizes that confronting the truth may mean losing what she holds most dear.

The Woman in the Castello by Kelsey James

Expected publication: July 25, 2023 by A John Scognamiglio Book

In this beguiling midcentury historical fiction novel set in 1960s Italy, an ambitious American actress and single mother snags the starring role in a mysterious horror movie shooting on location in a crumbling medieval castle outside Rome...

Readers who enjoy the moody gothic allure of Kate Morton and Silvia Moreno-Garcia or the immersive settings of Lucinda Riley and Fiona Davis will be enthralled by Kelsey James' spellbinding web of intriguing mystery, family secrets, forbidden love, and midcentury Italian flair.

Rome, 1965: Aspiring actress Silvia Whitford arrives at Rome's famed Cinecitta Studios from Los Angeles, ready for her big break and a taste of la dolce vita. Instead, she learns that the movie in which she was cast has been canceled. Desperate for money, Silvia has only one choice: seek out the Italian aunt she has never met.

Gabriella Conti lives in a crumbling castello on the edge of a volcanic lake. Silvia's mother refuses to explain the rift that drove the sisters apart, but Silvia is fascinated by Gabriella, a once-famous actress who still radiates charisma. And the eerie castle inspires Silvia's second chance when it becomes the location for a new horror movie, aptly named The Revenge of the Lake Witch--and she lands a starring role.

Silvia immerses herself in the part of an ingenue tormented by the ghost of her beautiful, seductive ancestor. But when Gabriella abruptly vanishes, the movie's make-believe terrors seep into reality. No one else on set seems to share Silvia's suspicions. Yet as she delves into Gabriella's disappearance, she triggers a chain of events that illuminate dark secrets in the past--and a growing menace in the present . . .

Cruel Angels Past Sundown by Hailey Piper

Expected publication: July 25, 2023 by Death's Head Press

TNew Mexico Territory, 1882: She comes to the Klein ranch at sunset, a strange naked pregnant woman dragging a cavalry saber. Annette Klein and her husband have built peace between their marriage and secret relations beyond, but their serenity dies in bloodshed tonight through a cannibalistic demon and a mad preacher.

Annette barely escapes the bloodbath to the nearby town of Low’ s Bend, where she might find safety with a shotgun-toting barkeep, two no-nonsense boarding room ladies, and the gunslinging bounty hunter who’ s captured Annette’ s heart.

But hell is at her heels. If she’ s going to survive until dawn, she’ ll have to forget everything she knows about peace and mercy, and face a hollow malevolence more ancient and ruthless than she’ s ever imagined.

I'm Having Regrets by Caitlin Marceau

Expected publication: July 28, 2023 *update coming September 2023*

I'm Having Regrets follows the story of Madeleine, a recently widowed mother of two, who's desperate to put her life back together in the wake of a tragic fire. Despite her sister's concerns, Madeleine finds herself seeking comfort at a local support group for the bereaved that's run by a religious group known as Our Lady of Porete. While she's hesitant to attend their week-long retreat with the rest of the congregation, her increasingly strained homelife convinces her to go. With her two children and sister in tow, Madeleine heads out into the middle of nowhere to discover who she really is and what the group's intentions with her and her family really are. I'm Having Regrets looks at the dark side of community and what happens when we're unable to make peace with the things we've done to survive.

Published    April 21, 2023 by Amazon Digital Services Be true to yourself and stand up for what's right. Michael, Tim, Dominic, and Log...

Published  April 21, 2023 by Amazon Digital Services

Be true to yourself and stand up for what's right. Michael, Tim, Dominic, and Logan are four buddies in the suburban town of Fairmont, Texas. Their lives are turned upside down when a demonic entity begins to terrorize their families and all of Fairmont as a whole. Logan knows that he is gay, but has to deal with his family that go to a hate-fueled church led by Johnny Cumberland, otherwise known as Johnny Gospel. The four friends must band together through thick and thin to stand up in the face of evil and hatred. Days and years may come and go, but one thing remains the same. When you're at your lowest you shouldnt be afraid to admit you need help. And don't forget, that we can get by with a little help from our friends. Thanks, Joe Cocker.

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

So, I was never opposed to Horror, but I did not consume it very often for most of my life. That was mostly because it scared the crap out of me, and I was more of a comedy guy. Fast forward to when I checked out of rehab and started the long road to recovery. I think you can see where I'm going with this. I found my next fix and horror has been giving me chills and thrills ever since.

What part of writing do you consider a chore?

Formatting, omg. I love writing and I even love editing. But formatting books is a special kind of hell.

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"

For Chasing Demons I was at work. The song, You Are My Sunshine, came into my head and I thought of some twisted things that could happen with that in a story. I thought of that and other experiences that I would love to relate in a long form story. That got me to put some words down on a page and the rest of the novel followed behind.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Yes, I started to take it more seriously, and developed different habits that help me to stay productive.

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  

I'm not exactly lighting the world on fire with my number of reviews yet. I do have a 2 star review that I liked because while she says that the story wasn't for her, but she explained why others might like it.  Here is a small excerpt...

"I highly recommend that people read this one for themselves and not base their decision on my personal opinion."

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?

It depends. I would say that I usually get the plot first and fill in the characters afterwards, but there have definitely been times that I had a character come to mind that I just had to base a story off of.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

I tend to want to drink out of the same coffee cup while writing. It wouldn't be the end of the world for me if I used another, but I will go out of my way to go get the same one even of there is another one closer.

Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?

I can't think of one specifically  but I do get stuck in patterns of using a word. When going back over and editing I will notice that there was a section where I used the same word numerous times and have to change a few to avoid sounding repetitive. 

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

I was in like the top .01% or something of listeners for Brandon Boone last year on Spotify. You know what, I think I just found something else for that superstition question, lol! His music never has any vocals which is a must for me while writing and none of the melodies are ever jarring which could also throw me out of a groove. Highly recommend!

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

One doesn't jump to mind but I do have a funny story about my opening line of The Bunker. I have had an obsessive love of bacon since I was a child. It was to the point that I would jokingly ask for bacon at Christmas time and actually end up getting the precooked bacon to eat while opening presents. My sister read the first line, "The smell of bacon roused me from my sleep," and brought it to my attention that my love of bacon had even made its way into my fiction. I never made the connection but thought that it was a funny coincidence.

What is something about the genre that annoys you?

Hmmm... that's a tough one. My mind first goes more to the perception of the genre than the genre itself. People hear Horror and recoil in disgust or blame it for tragedies. The sad part it is usually the same people who would not want to fund mental health initiatives or regulate guns in a responsible manner. Sadly, that's just the world we live in.

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

Set goals for rejections. This is some wisdom that I was lucky enough to catch from Hailey Piper on Twitter and it's done wonders for my acceptance rate. More rejections, more acceptances! It also takes a bit of the sting out of rejections at times because you can add that tally mark toward your rejection goal for the year. It helps you realize that even your failures are progress that are moving you in the right direction.

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

Wake up and do it early in a space that you can be alone. After reading On Writing by Stephen King I made my own writing space as he suggests. That and waking up before the kids are going and I'm not exhausted from work already have done wonders for my productivity.

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

I've been working on a lot of short stories lately to network and expand my publishing profile. My main WIP that I need to get back on is my next book that is about Los Hermanos trailer park and those dirty bloodsucking vampires that are skulking within.

Would you and your main character get along?

If I was the same age as him and his friends, then absolutely. If I were still my own age and was his father or uncle, then definitely not! At least he would have me worried sick if thay were the case. 

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?

I am currently wearing a shirt that I had custom made to taunt my wife. It has a typewriter in the center and says, "Killing all your favorite characters." I think that answers the question. Its definitely necessary in my opinion. If you can build such a close bond in your readers and then rip that away in a way that makes sense and hurts deeply. I think that's something really special.

Did any of your characters surprise you while you were writing?

Nancy starts off as the owner of a local horror-themed store called Nancy's Dream & Scream. Her character character development surprised me later in the book, but I will leave that as a surprise for the readers!

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

Johnny Gospel. He is a devious, hypocritical, sorry excuse of a pastor. I loved being able to get into that twisted mindset and just play around with ideas.

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. I actually watched it every night one summer in middle school. Its laid back, hilarious, and just the kind of comfort movie I needed at that time. Snootchie Boochies!

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?

Capybaras. They are so chill that they let all sorts of other species just hitch a ride on their back. I can relate!

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

Haunted mansion, with tons of ghost hunting equipment.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?

I didn't even really tell anyone when I published my first book. I've always had trouble talking about myself, but the more I grow in confidence the more I feel comfortable sharing my work with friends and family.

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


You've just gone Trick or Treating.

What do you hope is in your bag? 

What do you pawn off on your kids/SO/random stranger?

Butterfinger for my bag, Whoppers for anyone elses.

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?

Where can someone get shot without killing them? How long can you live with a leg ripped off? What are the laws behind escaped mental patients?

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?

If i actually wake up from it then probably falling. The falling ones always make me jump awake.

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?

Either a Michael Myers tattoo or a bass guitar in honor of his band The Forgotten Souls.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?

Scream. I remember watching it then trying to fall asleep in the living room. Suddenly the coats on the rack in the hallways looked eerily similar to Ghostface making his way over to me.

What's the strangest thing a fan (or other author)  has said to you?

Nothing really stands out. Heres to many strange comments by fans and authors in the future!

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?

Wasps. They're jerks.

Your main character is at the hardware store. What do they buy?

Probably a chainsaw because he is a horror junkie and he knows that he has to be prepared for the stuff that is going down in Fairmont!

You're riding through the desert on a horse with no name. What are you going to call it?

If I name it then I can't keep singing the song! But if I had to, I would name it Mr. Ed, so that when I started hallucinating that he was talking to me I wouldn't freak out!

If you were bitten and changed, would you want it to be by a vampire or a werewolf?

Vampires are immortal, and I think it would be pretty epic to be one of The Lost Boys.

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 

@cd_kester on Twitter and @cdkester on Instagram. Absolutely!

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

My books just released on where there is a bunch of great indie horror to grab at low prices. You can get both of my books and my audiobook there for $2.50! They are all also available on Amazon.

C. D. Kester is an author of fiction who does most of his work in the horror genre. He lives in Kingwood, Texas with his wife and two children. Kester recently published his first full length novel, Chasing Demons. He also has published a novella titled The Bunker. He has had many stories published in anthologies, ezines, and read in podcasts and on YouTube videos. You can see his work at and follow on Twitter @cd_kester ( / Instagram @cdkester (

Published  January 17, 2023 by Berkley G rady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—an...

Published January 17, 2023 by Berkley

Grady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—and your family—can haunt you like nothing else.

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.

Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

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Grady Hendrix twists childhood imagination in the most demented way possible in this hilarious but unnerving romp that has to be his best novel yet. It's campy. It's creepy. It's just plain delightful.

Louise and her younger brother Mark have so much emotional debris to shift through after the unexpected death of both their parents—to say nothing of the decades of accumulated stuff (like creepy puppets and dolls). Character growth was not shirked throughout the novel and the two main characters had a lot of developing to do. So much, at times, I couldn't stand either of the jerks.  Unlikeable character redemption arcs are always tricky, but Hendrix pulled it off. 

Hendrix takes a long time setting up his characters and the scene. The weirdness doesn't start immediately, and even when it does, it can be rationalized. Given what we know of the sibling's relationship, it's not surprising at all that Louise thinks her jackass brother is trying to freak her out. You have to be in this for the long haul as Hendrix spends a lot of time on the sibling's relationship.

Oh buddy, though, when it all starts happening, watch out. I did get this one as an audiobook, which was especially horrific since the narrators did the voices too. I had a hard time not looking like a crazy person listening to this at work. I laughed many times at the characters or just the insaneness of it all. In other scenes, I cringed, and I'm sure I made all kinds of faces during a few of the later scenes. In the middle of it all, there's still that weird humor that Hendrix is noted for and is my favorite kind: dark! Squirrel Baby Jesus was dear to my heart and had me giggling insanely to myself and yet still cringing!  If Christopher Moore decided to write horror, I think his brainchild would end up in the realm of How to Sell a Haunted House. 

After what felt like the final showdown of the book, I was excited to see that I was only 2/3rds through. I thought "What could possibly come after this?"...and then I found out. Honestly, I was too busy enjoying the ride to bother trying to figure out where things were going. It's not often a book comes along that can completely immerse me in the world. Would I recommend this book? Hell, yeah. It's not going to be for everyone. If you like your horror fast and dirty, you're probably going to despise the amount of time waiting for something to happen. If you don't mind the build-up and back-story family drama, you're going to love it. 

It's starting to warm up outside, but you can find plenty of chills in this month's batch of new horror.   Get ready to pad your TBR...

It's starting to warm up outside, but you can find plenty of chills in this month's batch of new horror. 

 Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of May's new releases! 

If you've missed the previous lists (January, February, March, April), you can still check those out. And if you are looking for what's still to come, you can see the whole list for 2023 here.

If you have a book releasing this year and want to get on the list, click here and I'll get you added!


Conjuring the Witch by Jessica Leonard

Expected publication: May 2, 2023 by Ghoulish Books

There are witches in the woods.

These are the words the reverend of the Lilin Assembly of Our Lord repeats to his parishioners each week. Steve and Nicole Warby think it’s just a metaphor, until Nicole takes a walk in those woods and comes back changed. Something came out of them with her, and the simple small-town life they’ve always known is forever altered when they discover the dark secrets buried deep and those intent on keeping them there. Fearing for his wife’s sanity, and his own comfortable status in the church, Steve is unsure if he wants to help or ignore the problems. The reverend believes there are witches in the woods, and he thinks Nicole is only the most recent.

Conjuring the Witch is a dark, haunted story about what those in power are willing to do to stay in power, and the sins we convince ourselves are forgivable.

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw

Expected publication: May 2, 2023 by Tor Nightfire

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

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

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

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

The Stradivarius by Rae Knowles

Expected Publication: May 3, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

When a surprise inheritance and whirlwind romance offer Mae a chance to escape her repressive aunt, she’s all too eager to elope and start life anew in her childhood home. But when she and her new husband arrive, the towering Victorian sits in disrepair, and Mae learns that her father’s decade-old, unsolved murder is still a source of rumor and speculation in town.

Leading the charge to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s death is Ollie, a vibrant genderqueer and an outsider in their hometown. Sure that solving the cold case will land them a coveted job in the police department, Ollie gains access to the Victorian by agreeing to do maintenance work on the property.

Inside, Mae is taunted by a feminine specter, soft voices from empty rooms, and distinct melodies of Lady Paola: the priceless, Stradivarius violin stolen the night of her father’s murder.

Forte, mezzo-forte, the measured, andante cadence.

Her hiss, her pull, her scream.

Mae fears the house is haunted by her father’s spirit, her husband believes she’s going the way of her mother–slipping into madness, but Ollie suspects something more sinister is at play. If Ollie and Mae can’t work together to uncover the Victorian’s secrets, Mae will join her mother in an institution or her father in the grave.

Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGill

Expected publication: May 4, 2023 by Doubleday

Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her great uncle disappeared in mysterious circumstances in the Arctic but she doesn't know why or how...

The 1850s is a time of discovery and London is ablaze with the latest scientific theories and debates, especially when a spectacular new exhibition of dinosaur sculptures opens at the Crystal Palace. Mary, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue, is keen to make her name in this world of science, alongside her geologist husband Henry, but without wealth and connections, their options are limited.

But when Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the shocking truth behind her great-uncle's past, she thinks she may have found the key to securing their future... Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland, to Henry's intriguing but reclusive sister Maisie, and to a deadly chase with a rival who is out to steal their secret...

Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe

Expected publication: May 9, 2023 by Poisoned Pen Press

Once she has her grip on you, she'll never let you go.

At four months old, Olivia Dahl was almost murdered. Driven by haunting visions, her mother became obsessed with the idea that Olivia was a changeling, and that the only way to get her real baby back was to make a trade with the "dead women" living at the bottom of the well. Now Olivia is ready to give birth to a daughter of her own...and for the first time, she hears the women whispering.

Everyone tells Olivia she should be happy. She should be glowing, but the birth of her daughter only fills Olivia with dread. As Olivia's body starts giving out, slowly deteriorating as the baby eats and eats and eats, she begins to fear that the baby isn't her daughter at all and, despite her best efforts, history is repeating itself.

Soon images of a black-haired woman plague Olivia's nightmares, drawing her back to the well that almost claimed her life―tying mother and daughter together in a desperate cycle of fear and violence that must be broken if Olivia has any hope of saving her child...or herself.

Baby Teeth meets The Invited in a haunting story of the sometimes-fragile connection between a woman's sense of self and what it means to be a "good" mother.

A Hunter Called Night by By Tim Waggoner

Expected publication: May 9, 2023 by Flame Tree Press

If you enjoyed Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix or Authority by Jeff Vandermeer, then you'll love this latest horror novel from the Bram Stoker award-winning author Tim Waggoner.

A sinister being called Night and her panther-like Harriers stalk their quarry, a man known only as Arron. Arron seeks refuge within an office building, a place Night cannot go, for it’s part of the civilized world, and she’s a creature of the Wild. To flush Arron out, she creates Blight, a reality-warping field that slowly transforms the building and its occupants in horrible and deadly ways. But unknown to Night, while she waits for the Blight to do its work, a group of survivors from a previous attempt to capture Arron are coming for her. The hunter is now the hunted.

All the Dead Lie Down by Kyrie McCauley

Expected publication: May 16, 2023 by Katherine Tegen Books

The Haunting of Bly Manor meets House of Salt and Sorrows in award-winning author Kyrie McCauley’s contemporary YA gothic romance about a dark family lineage, the ghosts of grief, and the lines we’ll cross for love.

The Sleeping House was very much awake . . .

Days after a tragedy leaves Marin Blythe alone in the world, she receives a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace—an acclaimed horror writer and childhood friend of Marin’s mother. Alice offers her a nanny position at Lovelace House, the family’s coastal Maine estate.

Marin accepts and soon finds herself minding Alice’s peculiar girls. Thea buries her dolls one by one, hosting a series of funerals, while Wren does everything in her power to drive Marin away. Then Alice’s eldest daughter returns home unexpectedly. Evie Hallowell is every bit as strange as her younger sisters, and yet Marin is quickly drawn in by Evie’s compelling behavior and ethereal grace.

But as Marin settles in, she can’t escape the anxiety that follows her like a shadow. Dead birds appear in Marin’s room. The children’s pranks escalate. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, leaving mutilated animals in its wake. All is not well at Lovelace House, and Marin must unravel its secrets before they consume her.

A Long Time Dead by Samara Breger

Expected publication: May 16, 2023 by Bywater Books

Samara Breger's A Long Time Dead is a lush, Victorian romance, drenched in blood and drama, about the lengths two women will go to secure a love that cannot die.

Somewhere foggy, 1837 . . .

Poppy had always loved the night, which is why it wasn’t too much of a bother to wake one evening in an unfamiliar home far from London, weak and confused and plagued with a terrible thirst for blood, to learn that she could no longer step out into the day. And while vampirism presented several disadvantages, it more than made up for those in its benefits: immortality, a body that could run at speed for hours without tiring, the thrill of becoming a predator, the thing that pulls rabbits from bushes and tears through their fur and flesh with the sharp point of a white fang.

And, of course, Roisin. The mysterious woman who has lived for centuries, who held Poppy through her painful transformation, and who, for some reason, is now teaching her how to adjust to her new, endless life. A tight, lonely, buttoned-up woman, with kindness and care, pressed up behind her teeth. The time they spend together is as transformative to Poppy as the changes in her body, and soon, she finds herself hopelessly, overwhelmingly attached. But Roisin has secrets of her own, and can’t make any promises; not when vengeance must be served.

Soon, their little world explodes. Together and apart, they encounter scores of vampires, shifty pirates, conniving opera singers, ancient nobles, glamorous French women, and a found family that throws a very particular sort of party. But overhead, threat looms—one woman who is capable of destroying everything Poppy and Roisin hold dear.

Hungers as Old as This Land by Zachary Rosenberg

Expected publication: May 23, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

The settlement of Grey's Bluffs is a prosperous town. An independent community dwelling in the shadows of the mountains known only as The Hungers.

Esther Foxman and Siobhan O'Clery have grown up in Grey's Bluffs, thriving out on the western territories in the aftermath of the Civil War. Devoted to one another and their home, the two set out to complete a regular pact at the Hungers to ensure that Grey's Bluffs continues to prosper.

Cyril Redstone is a man who knows death well. Becoming a mercenary after the Civil War, Cyril leads the marauding Blackhawks from one slaughter to the next. Hired to destroy Grey's Bluffs, Cyril cares little for morality, nor that he owes its founder his life.

Esther and Siobhan are left to defend the only home they have ever known from the Blackhawks, their confrontation driving them deep into the mountains.

Where the darkest secrets of the Hungers await them.

The Devil’s Pocketbook by Ross Jeffery

Expected publication: May 23, 2023 by DarkLit Press

Erik and Lara are in mourning for their daughter, who was born “incompatible with life”. To get away from their suffocating grief and the ever-present shadow their daughter has cast in their lives since passing, and desperately trying to recover their increasingly rocky relationship, they take a trip to the seaside town of Polperro, in Cornwall. But no sooner have they arrived, than they realise that their grief cannot be so easily eluded. Drawn to the waters, Erik and Lara discover a large Devil's Pocketbook, and inside: the miracle child they could never have. Scylla.

The Alchemy of Moonlight by David Ferraro

Expected publication: May 30, 2023 by Page Street Kids

When Emile’s aunt declares he must marry or be disowned for being gay—he runs away to hide as a servant in Count Montoni’s mansion. In their service, Emile tends to the family who all suffer a strange affliction on the full moon. And after overhearing suspicious family arguments, he finds a body on the estate, drawing the attention of a handsome doctor as well as the count’s charismatic nephew, Henri.

Before Emile can sort out his affections or unravel the growing Montoni family mystery, his identity is revealed and his aunt comes to collect him.

When she arrives, Count Montoni forces everyone to depart to the remote Udolpho Castle—where there are no witnesses and no chance for escape. There, Emile realizes that he will have to risk his life to find the love he deserves—and survive the Montoni family.