Published  August 20, 2024 by HarperCollins Publishers T he Edgar Award–winning author of A Dreadful Splendor blends mystery and spooky thri...

Published August 20, 2024 by HarperCollins Publishers

The Edgar Award–winning author of A Dreadful Splendor blends mystery and spooky thrills with friendship and romance in this delicious love letter to Gothic fiction, featuring two brides who must band together to unravel the ghostly secrets at the heart of a crumbling island manor.

'Til death do us part...

November 1816: Restless but naïve Emeline Fitzpatrick is desperate to escape her stifling life in foggy Halifax. Her guardian is lining up repugnant suitors, but Emeline has her eyes set on a handsome lieutenant in the British navy. She just needs to persuade him to propose, or her one chance at happiness will be gone forever.

But when Emeline’s hopes end in scandal, she finds herself with only one suitor left: the wealthy and enigmatic Captain Graves. Having already lost two wives to tragic circumstances, the unfortunate widower is seeking a new companion in his cloistered seaside manor, Faraday House. Or at least that is what Emeline had been told, because when she arrives, she is horrified to discover that the second Mrs. Graves, Georgina, has not yet died.

Emeline is only certain of two things: something ghastly is afoot at Faraday House, and no one is going to save her. She will have to rely on her own courage, her burgeoning bond with the ill but strong-willed Georgina, and the aid of a handsome reverend with a mysterious past to unravel the secrets at the heart of the manor and forge her own destiny.

In classic gothic style, The Third Wife of Faraday House was a slow-burn. Sprinkled with mystery and spooky scenes, it was hard to put down once it got started. 

Emeline has recently discovered that her guardians are looking for "appropriate" suitors for her. They do have her best interests at heart for a well-cared-for life. Emeline, however, has something else in mind; the handsome naval officer Frederick Fletcher. If only he would follow through on his proposal and whisk her away to Bermuda as promised. Unfortunately, after being caught together, her only choice is to marry Captain Graves far away from the scandal. Emeline arrives at Faraday house to marry the Captain only to find out that the Captain's second wife, Georgina, isn't dead yet! 

The setting is perfect for a gothic novel. Big stone house on an island, whose ocean road is only accessible during low tide. There's a widow walk, a dusty tower room, secret rooms, ghostly music, and blood dripping from the ceiling. It's creepy without needing to be gory. There's a feeling of constant danger, starting from the moment Emeline arrives on the island to be dumped by a broken carriage and left by herself while the driver goes onward to Faraday House. That feeling continues with Emeline's UNwelcome experience when finally making it to the house and throughout the novel. There's suspicion built into every moment. 
If I have one complaint, Emeline is a difficult character to like. She's very naive and her constant pining for the lieutenant is annoying. If only he would sweep in and rescue her. If only she could get a letter to him telling him how awful it is and to hurry up already! In her mind, all she does is babble to look pretty and proper.  Of course, it's in Emeline's best interests to keep Georgina alive, delay the marriage, and give Frederick time to come save her. As time went on and the relationship between Emeline and Georgina developed, she did grow on me.

As with the best gothic mysteries, little hints are given to the reader throughout the story. While you think you know immediately what is happening, there's a lot of redirection. Who you thought was the villain two chapters ago, suddenly seems to not be. There's not a single character that your opinion of will stay the same throughout.  It's such a twisty little plotline!

The Third Wife of Faraday House is a mystery, ghost story, and romance all rolled into one that would appeal to readers of multiple genres. It's a bit light for most horror readers and Regency romance readers, but I think it contains enough elements of each to be discoverable for most mainstream readers. 

Published  November 28, 2023 by Starwatch Press T he faeries of Witchwood Manor have stolen its young lord. His governess intends to steal h...

Published November 28, 2023 by Starwatch Press

The faeries of Witchwood Manor have stolen its young lord. His governess intends to steal him back.

Victorian governess Winifred Hall knows a con when she sees one. When her bratty young charge transforms overnight into a perfectly behaved block of wood, she soon realises that the real boy has been abducted by the Fair Folk. Unfortunately, the lord of Witchwood Manor is the only man in England who doesn’t believe in faeries—which leaves Winnie in the unenviable position of rescuing the young lord-to-be all by herself.

Witchwood Manor is bigger than its inhabitants realise, however, and full of otherworldly dangers. As Winnie delves deeper into the other side of the house, she enlists the aid of its dark and dubious faerie butler, Mr Quincy, who hides several awful secrets behind his charming smile. Winnie hopes to make her way to the centre of the Witchwood Knot through wit and cleverness… but when all of her usual tricks fail, who will she dare to trust?

Add to Goodreads

The author states that The Witchwood Knot "started as a cross between the movie Labyrinth and the faerie tale known as the Twelve Dancing Princesses". She admits that what she ended up with wasn't exactly what she planned but that doesn't mean it's any less fantastic. Instead, it's difficult to put a distinct name on the end story.

Is it gothic? Yes. 
It is a fairytale? Yes. 
But is it romantic and whimsical at the same time? Also yes!

The world Atwater created is marvelous. It has everything good gothic fiction should. Isolated countryside mansion resplendent with stained glass windows surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. Pointed gables, white columns like skeletal fingers, screaming faces in the walls. All the finer things really.  Like any good worldbuilding, hers has its own rules that one must abide by but I won't give all the secrets away. 

The characters are what endeared The Witchwood Knot to me. Winnie is well suited to her position as a governess. She handles her charge quite well and when he is replaced by a fetch, doesn't hesitate to head into the fairy realm after him. Mr. Quincy, butler extraordinaire, and Winnie's interactions are frustrating (for Winnie) and yet endearing. He's very smooth but there are many secrets and he is unwilling to impart his knowledge just quite yet. Her charge is quite surly and you almost immediately dislike him as a spoiled child, but like Mr. Quincy, there is so much more than meets the eye. Oliver, the protector spirit cat that resides in his own skull, was destined to be my favorite as soon as he was introduced.

I was quite surprised by the romance. It didn't seem like the characters had anything in common to even find romance an option. Even once it started developing, it lingered for so long before actually becoming romance, that I had just about given up on it. After it was all said and done, this sweet and thoughtful romance made it seem like all the rest hadn't come before. How confounding and yet, I'm still completely on board despite certain anatomical protrusions. No, not that one.

Read it for yourself and you'll see. 

How is freaking January almost over!!  I can't believe it's the 21st already.  This month has pretty much been a wash too. I got sic...

How is freaking January almost over!!  I can't believe it's the 21st already. 
This month has pretty much been a wash too. I got sick right after Christmas with an upper respiratory, which turned into a sinus infection, which turned into two weeks of antibiotics and steroids. I can't say given the three weeks of ick that I'm sad to see all that behind me (finally). Stupid crappy sinuses. It did, however, give me time for reading when I was bonding with the couch.

So what did I read? I really didn't have the brain power to read any ARCs so I dug into Libby for some books from the library that had been on my TBR for a while. I read Blaine Dailgle's A Dark Roux, an atmospheric Southern Gothic set in the bayou with plenty of magic and mystery. I finished The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White, which I actually started in 2023. This Victorian horror with a trans protagonist was clever and surprisingly bloody. Most recently I finished Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle, featuring a religious-run gay conversion camp with a very disturbing "treatment". The ending was ferocious and satisfying.

Of course, being a bookworm, even before I finish my current read, I'm thinking about my next read. I've already picked a few releasing in February to go on my TBR list. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few but there's only so many books I can get through. 

See the whole list of 2024 releases here

Labyrinth meets folk horror in this darkly romantic tale of a girl who wishes her baby brother away to the Lord of the Wood.

Say less.  

As an 80s kid, Labyrinth is still one of my favorite movies. Add folk horror with a dash of romance?  I'm completely sold. 

And that cover? Gorgeous and creepy! 

I just got approved for this one through Netgalley. Can't wait to start it. 

T. Kingfisher is one of those that I will read anything by. Doesn't matter what the synopsis is, I'm in. That being said, this is book two after What Moves The Dead, a Fall of the House of Usher retelling, which was perfectly dark and eerie. Rabbits, am I right? *Shudders* 

What Feasts at Night is follows soldier Alex after the collapse of the Usher estate as they head onwards to a new adventure, this one involving a "breath-stealing monster". 

Another perfectly disturbing cover for book two as well. 

Inherited cabin in the woods is the setting for And Then There Was Silence

After the death of her husband, Sadie goes out to the cabin to grieve and reset but the woods are weird and she smells her husband. 

I'm not sure where this one is going to go. Is it ghosts or something else? The blurb is quite vague which I love. I like being intrigued but not having everything given away before I even start. 

The early reviews are all 5 stars on Goodreads!


I love dark fairytales, especially enchanted forest fairytales! 

In this tale by Premee Mohamed, Veris must enter the forest to rescue the two children of the local Tyrant (yes capital T). She's the only one who has ever succeeded in doing so. 

If she fails, she dies. If she stays in the forest for more than a day, she's trapped there. I love high stakes! 

Gorgeous cover art on this one as well. 

Violet's life is 

Her mother remarried, has a new baby, and now Violet has a new house. She's put in the attic bedroom with faded yellow wallpaper and shortly after, falls ill with no improvement.

 What's making her sick? And are the shadows moving in the corners just the light or something else? 

Middle grade horror can be so fun and surprisingly spooky!

If we are picking reads solely based on the cover, Your Shadow Half Remains is February's go-in blind pick for me. 

Kudos to the artist because this cover is unsettling and weird and I love it. 

Here's part of the blurb: 

One look can kill. 

Riley has not seen a single human face in longer than she can reckon. No faces, no eyes. Not if you want to survive. 

Published  October 31, 2023 by Tor Nightfire N at Cassidy is at his razor-sharp best again with his horror novel Nestlings, which harnesses ...

Published October 31, 2023 by Tor Nightfire

Nat Cassidy is at his razor-sharp best again with his horror novel Nestlings, which harnesses the creeping paranoia of Rosemary's Baby and the urban horror of 'Salem's Lot, set in an exclusive New York City residential building.

Ana and Reid need a break. The horrifically complicated birth of their first child has left Ana paralyzed, bitter, and struggling―with mobility, with her relationship with Reid, with resentment for her baby. Reid dismisses disturbing events and Ana’s deep unease and paranoia, but he can't explain the needle-like bite marks on their baby.

Add to Goodreads

The Deptford is known for celebrities, exquisite architecture, and views of Central Park. Despite its high profile, it remains somewhat of a mystery, as its residents are extremely protective of their privacy within its walls. However, for Reid and Ana, the Deptford represents a new start and presents a financial opportunity they can't possibly turn down. 

Cassidy sets the tone of the novel in the very first sentence of the novel. "We don't belong here." Ana feels that something is off while touring the apartment and that feeling only grows stronger as they are settling in. Oh, not for Ried though. Reid is completely charmed by the Deptford and its odd residents, leaving Ana alone with that creeping sense of unease.  The dread multiplies with each little oddity as Ana insists that something is wrong with the Deptford and something is wrong with Charlie. 

Cassidy has thoughtfully created characters with authenticity, and the worries and dilemmas they face are utterly relatable. Ana's paranoia parallels that of Polanski's Rosemary but what Cassidy has created here is its own being. Ana is not only haunted by the occurrences of the Deptford, but also by the trauma of Charlie's birth, the night she and Reid don't talk about, and by the changes in her own body. Ensnared by their circumstances, the atmospheric horror surges forward until Ana is caught up in uncertainty about the meaning and purpose of her life as well as the environmental apprehension. 

I can't really say anything else about the plot without giving things away but it definitely takes an even weirder turn than I initially expected. If you want a break for something unusual with relatable characters, creeping dread, and an epilogue that is the epitome of a sad smile, then Nestlings should be the next pick off your TBR.

Published September 10, 2021 by Omnium Gatherum The Scream Teens are hired to raise the dead as the necro-tainment for a zombie cruise, and ...

Published September 10, 2021 by Omnium Gatherum

The Scream Teens are hired to raise the dead as the necro-tainment for a zombie cruise, and the eighteen-year-old animator, Cozy Coleman, is bitten by a shapeshifting she-wolf. To Cozy’s surprise, she survives and with the aid of her friends, helps the government stop a human-extinction virus from spreading. Unfortunately, Cozy uncovers a secret so haunting, that her death is only the beginning of her problems.

accurately portraying mentally ill characters

by Nzondi

13 Reasons Why tackled issues like suicide and bullying head on, yet still presented it in a way that got popular culture talking about these issues, which was the most important asset to helping real-life youths open up a dialogue with teachers, parents, and health professionals. In writing this article, I learned many things to do and not to do when writing about mental health issues. I recommend that all authors research these dos and don’ts before writing about any characters that have mental health issues.

As a horror writer, however, you may feel like your story is not there to preach, teach, or raise awareness. However, given the fact that there have been documented accounts of novels causing an increase in the rate of contagion, wouldn’t you want your literary themes to reflect a more accurate perspective?

Look, I get it. I’ve worked as a stand-in on a show called “How To Get Away With Murder,” and I have had many conversations with attorneys who say that the show is too sensational, especially in the courtroom. I’m like, “Thank goodness the creator of the show doesn’t depend on you to write their episodes. We’d be bored out of our minds!” They are the same people who can’t suspend disbelief long enough to get past the fact that when Bruce Banner changes into the Hulk, he’s always in those purple short-pants, instead of being nude.

We are writing fiction, aren’t we? We create a way for the reader to escape reality and travel to worlds of fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, and horror. Still, when writing about characters and stories involving mental health, shouldn’t we ask questions that breathe life into the “who, what, when, and how” of the tropes we use?

So how do we get it right?

Here are some facts to know about mental illness by Kathleen S. Allen, an author who also has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (which is a clinical doctorate):

  • Having depression doesn’t mean your character can’t still have fun or laugh or be social.
  • A character who has bipolar disorder may have manic episodes or they may not. Bipolar disorder has a spectrum of symptoms from moderate depression to severe.
  • No one who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called split personality) would kill someone when they are in one of their alter personality states unless the core personality would also kill.
  • Your character would not have amnesia after killing someone. The disorder is rare, and some medical professionals don’t believe it exists at all, so be careful using it.
  • Talking about suicide does not mean your character will push the person into attempting suicide. It was already on their mind.
  • Your characters don’t stop hearing voices immediately after taking anti-psychotic medication.
  • Sometimes, they won’t stop at all. It may take weeks to months for the meds to work. If they are having a psychotic episode, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to function in their daily lives by going to school, work, maintaining a romantic relationship, or maintaining any relationship. Psychotic patients are not dangerous. Are there exceptions? Yes. But as a general rule, they aren’t.
  • In conclusion, one of my biggest takeaways from researching horror writing for Mental Health Awareness Month was some of the things we shouldn’t do.
  • For example, unless your character is politically incorrect, don’t describe suicide as an “epidemic”, “skyrocketing,” or other exaggerated terms.
  • Use words such as “higher rates” or “rising.” Don’t describe suicide as “without warning” or “inexplicable.”
  • Do convey that the character exhibited warning signs.
  • Don’t refer to suicide as “unsuccessful” or “failed attempt,” or report it as though it were a crime. Do say, “died by suicide,” “killed him/herself,” and instead of presenting the act like a crime, write about suicide in your story as a public health issue.
Hopefully, as horror authors, we can continue to scare the jeebies out of our readers, but at the same time, create a story which accurately exhibits archetypes of mentally ill characters, whether they are mad scientists, psychopathic serial killers, or characters with dissociative identity disorders that assume their mother’s personality.

Born Acemandese Nzondi Hall on the Fourth of July, Nzondi (Ace Antonio Hall) is an American science fiction/horror author, singer and songwriter. He is the first African-American to win a Bram
Stoker Award in a novel category for his young adult book, Oware Mosaic. A former English teacher and Director of Education for NYC schools and the Sylvan Learning Center, Nzondi earned a BFA from Long Island University. Crossroad Press reprinted his novel Oware Mosaic in 2023. His zombie novel, Lipstick Asylum, (Omnium  Gatherum Media, 2021) and his other works can be
found on his website: AAntonioHall (dot) com..

Published December 11, 2023 by Fractured Mirror Publishing No full moon. No silver bullets. No chance. A young man named Tom Daniels is kidn...

Published December 11, 2023 by Fractured Mirror Publishing

No full moon. No silver bullets. No chance.

A young man named Tom Daniels is kidnapped by a local family and is dropped on Loughby Island in an attempt to 'clean up their streets'.

When the family that dropped Tom off is slaughtered by a werewolf-like creature, he soon finds himself banding together with a small group of the island's residents in a fight for their lives against an otherworldly monster.

Add to Goodreads

Matt Doyle is a pansexual/non-binary speculative fiction author, voice actor, and pop culture blogger from the UK. Matt specializes in fiction with a horror or sci-fi grounding and diverse characters.

Published  August 21, 2023 by Def Pix Entertainment In a world where the cheesy nightmare of a zombie apocalypse has become a reality, Gabby...

Published August 21, 2023 by Def Pix Entertainment

In a world where the cheesy nightmare of a zombie apocalypse has become a reality, Gabby and Nadia, a lesbian couple, must face the dual challenge of impending separation and the absurdity of the undead. As their love is tested by an onslaught of mozzarella-ridden chaos, they join forces with an eccentric group of survivors in a desperate attempt to stay alive. With Gabby's dream of becoming a renowned chef in New York City at stake, the couple must fight to keep their love alive in a battle against the cheese-filled horror of the zombie apocalypse. Will they succeed or will their love succumb to the undead?

Add to Goodreads

Eric Williford grew up in Northern Virginia, where he spent his time playing sports and consuming late night b-movies that he was too young to be watching. This love of Roger Corman, Troma, and exploitation films transformed into an award winning career as an independent filmmaker. With his debut novella, The Dead Ate Cheese, he looks forward to bringing his playfully grim sensibilities to lovers of dark genre fiction.

Published  June 5, 2023 by AM Ink Publishing If you already know the Universal Monsters, deadites, cenobites, people under the stairs, silve...

Published June 5, 2023 by AM Ink Publishing

If you already know the Universal Monsters, deadites, cenobites, people under the stairs, silver shamrocks, maniacs with blades on their fingers and others with a love for machetes, then it’s time to take your fandom to the next level by diving deep into the DVD bins for some horrific hidden gems.

Horror Galore is the most comprehensive compendium of lesser-known films in the genre with 300 truly awesome titles that all share the common distinction of being underseen and underappreciated. Are you brave enough to watch them all? Check them off one by one as you make your way through the extensive list of vampires, zombies, sharks, sorcerers, animated spooks, haunted houses, evil coastal towns, rubber-suited monsters, theme park massacres, dinner party disasters, summer camp slashers, and so much more!

With its entertaining layout and wide variety of recommendations, Horror Galore will help you pick what horror flick to watch next, no matter what you’re currently craving.

Can Jarod break the curse for good, save the innocent from the homophobic Covenant Trustees, and vanquish what the screaming cicadas have awoken?

Add to Goodreads

Published November  14, 2023 by Berkley  A sharp-edged, supremely twisty thriller about three women who find themselves trapped inside stori...

Published November 14, 2023 by Berkley 

A sharp-edged, supremely twisty thriller about three women who find themselves trapped inside stories they know aren’t their own, from the author of Alice and Near the Bone.

Celia wakes up in a house that’s supposed to be hers. There’s a little girl who claims to be her daughter and a man who claims to be her husband, but Celia knows this family—and this life—is not hers…

     Allie is supposed to be on a fun weekend trip—but then her friend’s boyfriend unexpectedly invites the group to a remote cabin in the woods. No one else believes Allie, but she is sure that something about this trip is very, very wrong…

     Maggie just wants to be home with her daughter, but she’s in a dangerous situation and she doesn’t know who put her there or why. She’ll have to fight with everything she has to survive…

     Three women. Three stories. Only one way out. This captivating novel will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Allie realized she should never have agreed to this trip. Once Cam and Madison backed out on their deal and showed up with the Wonder Twins in tow, she should have said she felt sick, had to study for a test, anything to stay back in the dorm for the week- end. But she’d felt boxed in by Cam and Madison’s pleading faces, by the mocking way Brad had looked at her as she hesitated before picking up her backpack and climbing into the car.

He’d looked like he could read her mind, could see right through to her reluctance (and, if she was honest with herself, anger), like he was daring her to come anyway.
Allie knew it was stupid, knew it was childish, but she could never back down from a dare.

Besides, she was the reason for this weekend in the first place. If she had decided to stay back at school, she’d never hear the end of it.
They’d all shown up in Brad’s car—a BMW, of course, which Allie was sure his parents had bought for him. Cam and Madison had moved off campus that semester, and Cam was supposed to be driving her old Toyota. It was going to be Allie and Cam and Madison, the Three Musketeers back together again, off to a beach cottage that Cam’s parents’ friends owned and said they could use for the weekend.

Instead, there was Brad, driving his stupid rich boy car and watching her with those eyes that told Allie never to be caught alone with him. Cam and Madison had yelled from the backseat, and Allie had swallowed her annoyance and climbed in, crammed in the middle seat because “you’re the smallest and legroom doesn’t matter for you.”

Cam and Madison had whooped and shouted, slapping a paper “Birthday Girl” crown on her head and dropping a package of Hostess Cupcakes in her lap.

“Let’s get this twenty-first-birthday party started!” Cam had shouted, her arm around Allie’s shoulders.

Allie had smiled, the way she was supposed to, but she didn’t miss the look Brad had given her in the mirror. Something sneaky, something snakey, something that didn’t bode well at all for the weekend.

They’d driven away from the campus, and almost immediately Steve had handed a thermos to Madison, shaking it meaningfully.
“A little juice for the party,” he’d said.
Madison had immediately opened it and guzzled a bunch, and then passed it to Allie, who didn’t want to drink alcohol at ten in the morning, and especially did not want to drink some mystery cocktail prepared by Steve. But everyone had been watching her and waiting, so she’d taken a sip and made herself not wrinkle her nose, because whatever was in there tasted like gasoline. Cam had shouted, “Yeah, girl!” and grabbed the thermos, downing a fair amount herself.
They’d passed the bottle back and forth, Allie taking only small sips, but Cam and Madison hadn’t seemed to notice. Despite limiting her intake, Allie had still dropped off to sleep in the back- seat, only waking when they had pulled up in front of the cabin.

“Where the hell are we?” she’d asked, sitting up straight. Cam and Madison were out cold on either side of her. Whatever Steve had put in that bottle had packed a punch. “This is not the beach.” “‘This is not the beach,’” Brad had said, his voice high and mocking. “I see why your GPA is so high. Nothing gets by you,

Cam had stirred beside her, then sat up and looked out the window. “Are we there yet?”

“Well, we’re somewhere,” Allie had said, trying to draw on her patience. She’d had no idea where Brad had driven them, and since he was the only one in the vicinity with a car, she needed to convince him to stop fucking around and take them to the cottage.

“Is this the woods?” Cam had said. “A cabin in the woods?”

“Just like the movie!” Madison had squealed, jumping out and slamming the door behind her. Steve had followed, chasing her around the clearing in front of the cabin’s porch.

“Everyone died in that movie,” Allie had muttered. “Like, actually everyone.”

Excerpted from Good Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry Copyright © 2023 by Christina Henry. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Christina Henry is a horror and dark fantasy author whose works include Horseman, Near the Bone, The Ghost Tree, Looking Glass, The Girl in Red, The Mermaid, Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the seven-book urban fantasy Black Wings series.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on, and watching movies with samurai, zombies, and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. Learn more online at