What can you do when you’re reeling from trauma but you’ve tried it all? Counselling, yoga, pills, meditation, art, healthy living… none of it makes a dent. What’s left?
Magpie is out of ideas. She’s desperate enough to try anything. Just when she thinks her life can get no worse, she discovers herself, or rather her own dead body, partially buried in the mudbank of a river. A man stands by, a familiar stranger. What does he want? And why can’t she remember getting here? Why can’t she remember anything? Unbeknownst to her, two pairs of eyes watch from behind an observation screen, in a room filled with computers and sensors. An experiment is unfolding, but is Magpie the subject, or practitioner? Reality becomes a slippery concept. And beyond the glass is something worse still: a hint of an outline, shaped in darkness…Magpie realises all too soon that her journey has transformed from healing to survival. She must become the hunter rather than the hunted, with her missing memories the prey. In turn brutal, beautiful and absolutely terrifying, Full Immersion is the latest speculative horror from Gemma Amor.
WHY YOU NEED THIS:
Gemma Amor is well known in the indie-horror market. Her self-illustrated short story collections are extremely popular among horror fans and all of her novellas/novels are met with high praise. Gemma is an insta-buy author for me. I recommend keeping an eye on her career and buying literally anything she releases into the world.
A FIG FOR ALL THE DEVILS by C. S. Fritz-
An abused, grief-stricken, and impoverished Sonny has all but given up on life. That is, until he meets death, by way of the Grim Reaper. The Reaper, a junk food loving, poetry reading, cigarette-addicted entity, has no time to waste as he searches for a suitable successor who would become “Death” for the next millennium. By training the boy in the ways of death and dying, Reaper grooms his young apprentice and through suspenseful and horror-laced events, he unknowingly gives Sonny something he never intended: Something to live for. Author C.S. Fritz gives readers a true horror gem, brimming with terror and heart.
WHY YOU NEED IT:
That cover! And I keep hearing a lot of buzz surrounding this title.
MOTHERED by Zoje Stage-
From the USA Today bestselling author of the international sensation Baby Teeth comes a claustrophobic psychological thriller about one woman’s nightmarish spiral while quarantined with her mother.
Grace isn’t exactly thrilled when her newly widowed mother, Jackie, asks to move in with her. They’ve never had a great relationship, and Grace likes her space—especially now that she’s stuck at home during a pandemic. Then again, she needs help with the mortgage after losing her job. And maybe it’ll be a chance for them to bond—or at least give each other a hand.
But living with Mother isn’t for everyone. Good intentions turn bad soon after Jackie moves in. Old wounds fester; new ones open. Grace starts having nightmares about her disabled twin sister, who died when they were kids. And Jackie discovers that Grace secretly catfishes people online—a hobby Jackie thinks is unforgivable.
When Jackie makes an earth-shattering accusation against her, Grace sees it as an act of revenge, and it sends her spiraling into a sleep-deprived madness. As the walls close in, the ghosts of Grace’s past collide with a new but familiar threat: Mom.
WHY YOU NEED IT:
I absolutely loved BABY TEETH and will buy pretty much anything from this author.
GOTHIC by Philip Fracassi-
On his 59th birthday, Tyson Parks—a famous, but struggling, horror writer—receives an antique desk from his partner, Sarah, in the hopes it will rekindle his creative juices. Perhaps inspire him to write another best-selling novel and prove his best years aren’t behind him.
A continent away, a mysterious woman makes inquiries with her sources around the world, seeking the whereabouts of a certain artifact her family has been hunting for centuries. With the help of a New York City private detective, she finally finds what she’s been looking for.
It’s in the home of Tyson Parks.
Meanwhile, as Tyson begins to use his new desk, he begins acting… strange. Violent. His writing more disturbing than anything he’s done before. But publishers are paying top dollar, convinced his new work will be a hit, and Tyson will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound success. Even if it means the destruction of the ones he loves.
WHY YOU NEED IT:
I buy everything Fracassi puts out. His book, BOYS IN THE VALLEY blew my mind. He has short story collections, novels, and novellas, just look him up and buy it all. He recently signed with Orbit and Tor Nightfire for several books-a star on the rise.
THE HAUNTING OF ALEJANDRA by V. Castro-
ABOUT THE HAUNTING OF ALEJANDRA
A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona as she unravels the dark secrets of her family history in this ravishing and provocative horror novel.
Alejandra no longer knows who she is. To her husband, she is a wife, and to her children, a mother. To her own adoptive mother, she is a daughter. But they cannot see who Alejandra has become: a woman struggling with a darkness that threatens to consume her.
Nor can they see what Alejandra sees. In times of despair, a ghostly vision appears to her, the apparition of a crying woman in a ragged white gown.
When Alejandra visits a therapist, she begins exploring her family’s history, starting with the biological mother she never knew. As she goes deeper into the lives of the women in her family, she learns that heartbreak and tragedy are not the only things she has in common with her ancestors.
Because the crying woman was with them, too. She is La Llorona, the vengeful and murderous mother of Mexican legend. And she will not leave until Alejandra follows her mother, her grandmother, and all the women who came before her into the darkness.
But Alejandra has inherited more than just pain. She has inherited the strength and the courage of her foremothers—and she will have to summon everything they have given her to banish La Llorona forever.
WHY YOU NEED IT:
Another star on the rise. V. Castro is on fire right now. She quickly went from one of the hottest names in indie fiction to signing big pub deals in the last few years. I’ve read everything she releases and loved it all. Just buy them all. Read everything with her name on it.
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE And Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca-
Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones.
A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.
A couple isolates themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from their teenage son’s death when a mysterious young man knocks on their door during a storm…
And a man confronts his neighbor when he discovers a strange object in his backyard, only to be drawn into an ever-more dangerous game.
From Bram Stoker Award finalist Eric LaRocca, this is devastating, beautifully written horror from one of the genre’s most cutting-edge voices.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?
WHY YOU NEED IT:
Sorry not sorry but Eric LaRocca is another indie horror author who skyrocketed to big publishing overnight. Provocative, tantalizing, unique stories readers will never forget. Definitely, one to watch and insta-buy.
Sadie Hartmann “Mother Horror” July 29th, 2022