Upcoming Horror Dec. 13-Jan. 31st

A few more titles releasing at the end of 2022 and then we’re kicking it into high gear as we enter into January 2023 with some fresh, hot horror from some of the genre’s hottest stars, rising talent, and brand-new debuts. I’ve collected a few of them here and will provide a brief synopsis, a link to buy, and why the book appeals to me. – Sadie Hartmann “Mother Horror”

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 14 by Ellen Datlow– From Ellen Datlow (“the venerable queen of horror anthologies” (New York Times) comes a new entry in the series that has brought you stories from Stephen King and Neil Gaiman comes thrilling stories, the best horror stories available.

What’s appealing? This book has stories from tons of talented horror writers. Most names I recognize and the ones I don’t will be worth checking out because Ellen knows her shit. An important release every year.

All the Prospect Around Us by C. S. Humble– Book Two in the Black Wells series. A mysterious symbol seen on the sign of a homeless panhandler leads two young men down into the darkest secrets of Black Wells, Colorado, and toward a harrowing, supernatural event that will threaten the life of one and the soul of the other.

What’s appealing? The Black Wells series is my favorite horror series since The Dark Tower. Read, All These Subtle Deceits and then head into Book 2 for more “horror with heart”.

The Hands of Onan by Chris DiLeo– Michael Stiffe has an addiction. Not alcohol. Not drugs. Masturbation. It ruined his marriage and has made it impossible for him to write the follow-up to his literary debut. But his personal problem has also put his friend in terrible danger.

Elizabeth Delrose’s husband, Drew, has abandoned her and their child to join the Worshippers of Onan, a cult of self-pleasure. She believes Drew’s disappearance is Mike’s fault and is determined to make him find her husband and bring him back. This will not be easy—the cult is shrouded in secrecy.

Mike will have to risk his safety, sanity, and even his life, confronting his personal demons, the traumas behind his onanistic addiction, and the murderous threat of fanatical worshippers who will do anything for their god.

Your friend’s gone, Mike is warned. You go after him, you might be gone, too.

What’s appealing? I’ve read Chris DiLeo’s work before (Dead End) and I have been eager to read more.

Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt- Alison Rumfitt’s Tell Me I’m Worthless is a dark, unflinching haunted house story that confronts both supernatural and real-world horrors through the lens of the modern-day trans experience.

“A triumph of transgressive queer horror.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
“Easily one of the strongest horror debuts in recent memory.” –Booklist, STARRED review

What’s appealing? I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this book. It’s also a re-release so the buzz comes from readers who have already read and recommended this title. I saw someone tweet about it ages ago and I bookmarked it then–I’ve read the first few chapters of my ARC and I’m hooked.

The Bonny Swans by P. L. Watts When Anne O’Donnell arrives on a dock in France in 1789 with no memory of her past, she allows herself to be renamed Marguerite and taken in as governess for Mellian, the petulant daughter of the rich merchant, Donatien Marais. But the chateau holds many secrets, some of them deadly.
The Bonny Swans is a work of impressive talent. Beautifully written and morally complex, this dark historical fantasy comes blazing to life through P.L. Watts’s deep insight into the bruised hearts and yearning souls of the women at its center. A gripping mystery of trauma and desire, The Bonny Swans will carry readers away.” 
Gordon B. White, author of Rookfield 

What’s Appealing? This is the 5th book in the My Dark Library line that I curated for Cemetery Gates. P. L. Watts’s prose is absolutely beautiful. It’s absorbing and compelling. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

How to Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix- New York Times bestselling author 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.

Like his novels The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and The Final Girl Support GroupHow to Sell a Haunted House is classic Hendrix: equal parts heartfelt and terrifying–a gripping new read from “the horror master” (USA Today)

What’s Appealing? The cover and Grady Hendrix is one of my all-time favorite authors. An Insta-Buy

Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie- From the macabre mind of a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author, this heart-pounding novel of horror and psychological suspense takes a ghost hunting reality TV crew into a world they could never have imagined.

A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, and correspondence, this is the story of Episode Thirteen–and how everything went terribly, horribly wrong. “An epistolary descent into a living nightmare . . . well-written and genuinely unsettling. Fans of paranormal documentaries, ghost-hunting shows, and found-footage horror will lose their minds over this one.” –Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Kin “A beautiful Russian doll of a story… Episode Thirteen hooks you, creeps you out, and then it overwhelms you. It’s House of Leaves meets Haunting of Hill House, in all the best possible ways.”–Peter Clines, NYT bestselling author of The Broken Room

What’s Appealing? The synopsis, cover, and I have enjoyed everything I have read from Craig DiLouie

Head Cleaner by David James Keaton- HEAD CLEANER is a hugely original blend of thriller, science fiction, and horror that takes our love of nostalgia to task for its morbid obsessions with dead media and dead-end jobs: Clerks meets Black Mirror (with a little Groundhog Day and Russian Doll thrown in for good measure)

What’s Appealing? The synopsis and the author also wrote The Last Projector which has a similar “found media” vibe.

All Hallows by Christopher Golden– New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales…but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.

It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. 
There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road? 
All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask…

What’s Appealing? I’ll read anything by Christopher Golden. The cover is badass. And it’s horror on Halloween night! Check, check, check.

The Nightmare Man by J. H. Markert– T. Kingfisher meets Cassandra Khaw in a chilling horror novel that illustrates the fine line between humanity and monstrosity.

Blackwood mansion looms, surrounded by nightmare pines, atop the hill over the small town of New Haven. Ben Bookman, bestselling novelist and heir to the Blackwood estate, spent a weekend at the ancestral home to finish writing his latest horror novel, The Scarecrow. Now, on the eve of the book’s release, the terrible story within begins to unfold in real life.

Detective Mills arrives at the scene of a gruesome murder: a family butchered and bundled inside cocoons stitched from corn husks, and hung from the rafters of a barn, eerily mirroring the opening of Bookman’s latest novel. When another family is killed in a similar manner, Mills, along with his daughter, rookie detective Samantha Blue, is determined to find the link to the book—and the killer—before the story reaches its chilling climax.

As the series of “Scarecrow crimes” continues to mirror the book, Ben quickly becomes the prime suspect. He can’t remember much from the night he finished writing the novel, but he knows he wrote it in The Atrium, his grandfather’s forbidden room full of numbered books. Thousands of books. Books without words.

As Ben digs deep into Blackwood’s history he learns he may have triggered a release of something trapped long ago—and it won’t stop with the horrors buried within the pages of his book.

What’s Appealing? I love the synopsis–serial killer mystery stuff. The cover is great. I have the ARC and will be checking it out soon.

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns– In this gripping, horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.
When Mackenzie wakes up with a severed crow’s head in her hands, she panics. Only moments earlier she had been fending off masses of birds in a snow-covered forest. In bed, when she blinks, the head disappears. 
Night after night, Mackenzie’s dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina’s untimely death: a weekend at the family’s lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too–a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina–Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone. 
Traveling north to her rural hometown in Alberta, she finds her family still steeped in the same grief that she ran away to Vancouver to escape. They welcome her back, but their shaky reunion only seems to intensify her dreams–and make them more dangerous. 
What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina’s death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside?

What’s Appealing? Everything. I love a good mystery with horror elements. (If you’re a Night Worm, do not buy *wink*)

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen

“A love letter to the power of music, this thoughtful, humorous exploration of what constitutes living versus mere survival sees Chen (Light Years from Home) at the top of his game.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

Being a vampire is far from glamorous…but it can be pretty punk rock.

Everything you’ve heard about vampires is a lie. They can’t fly. No murders allowed (the community hates that). And turning into a bat? Completely ridiculous. In fact, vampire life is really just a lot of blood bags and night jobs. For Louise Chao, it’s also lonely, since she swore off family ages ago.

At least she’s gone to decades of punk rock shows. And if she can join a band of her own (while keeping her…situation under wraps), maybe she’ll finally feel like she belongs, too.

Then a long-lost teenage relative shows up at her door. Whether it’s Ian’s love of music or his bad attitude, for the first time in ages, Louise feels a connection.

But as Ian uncovers Louise’s true identity, things get dangerous–especially when he asks her for the ultimate favor. One that goes beyond just family…one that might just change everything vampires know about life and death forever.

What’s Appealing? I love the synopsis and that cover and vampires and books about music.

Check out my Bookshop.org list to buy these titles. If the books were not available on that website, the titles are direct links to where you can purchase them.

-Sadie Hartmann “Mother Horror”

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