We have officially entered 2023 and a new year means a new lineup of horrifying reads to dig our teeth into. So, let's try to ignore the consuming concept of an endless eternity by focusing on the wonderful horror stories we can look forward to this year.
I've also attached any preorder links so self-indulging is made all the easier.
Eric LaRocca - Everything the Darkness Eats (CLASH Books)
LaRocca has already proven himself to be a killer storyteller with previous works such as THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE and WE CAN NEVER LEACE THIS PLACE. So, his next supernatural thriller is bound to be a treat for new and old fans alike.
'After a recent string of disappearances in a small Connecticut town, a grieving widower with a grim secret is drawn into a dangerous ritual of dark magic by a powerful and mysterious older gentleman named Heart Crowley. Meanwhile, a member of local law enforcement tasked with uncovering the culprit responsible for the bizarre disappearances soon begins to learn of a current of unbridled hatred simmering beneath the guise of the town’s idyllic community—a hatred that will eventually burst and forever change the lives of those who once found peace in the quiet town of Henley’s Edge.'
From the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated author of the viral sensation, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, Everything the Darkness Eats is a haunting supernatural thriller from a new and exciting voice in genre fiction."
The Bonny Swans - P.L. Watts (Cemetery Gates)
P.L Watt's latest novella is also the fifth story to be featured as a part of the 'My Dark Library' series by Cemetary Gates.
This book has the building blocks of a great gothic tale, yet there appears to be some dark fantasy mixed in that really takes the cake.
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...
A Blackness Absolute - Caitlin Marceau (Ghost Orchid Press)
If you loved Caitlin Marceau's horror collection FEMINIA from last year, why not dive into her most recent horror short story collection?
A Blackness Absolute is a collection of short horror stories by up-and-coming Canadian author Caitlin Marceau. The collection takes in uncertainties of perception, feelings of vulnerability—to the weather, the natural world, the tenuousness of sanity—and mixes these elements with a strong sense of history and folklore. From the title piece, which evokes the pure claustrophobic terror of becoming lost and disoriented in a cave-system, to the final tale, Doireann, where a woman performs unusual funeral rites in a starving community, each story layers ambiguities to create an unnerving effect that will get under your skin.
If you love great storytelling, creepy atmospherics, and stories that instil a sense of dread that will return to you in the dead of night, then you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this masterful collection. These stories will linger long after you close the book.
Our Own Unique Affliction - Scott J. Moses (DarkLit Press)
I'm always ready for another vampire novel, especially when the trope is constantly being reinvented.
Our Own Unique Affliction is the story of Alice Ann, a dejected immortal who longs for her life in the sun. Navigating guilt, loss, family, meaning, murder, and all that comes with the curse of living forever. An existential bleak, quiet until it's not, hallucination on duality, rife with fangs, empathy, blood, and grief.
City of Snares - April Yates (Brigid's Gate Press)
The first instalment of Brigid's Gate Press' Sapphic Horror Series, April Yates, CITY OF SNARES centres around the world of Hollywood, and the dark and disturbing relationship between two women. After her debut novel ASHTHORN, I'm very excited to see more of Yate's work!
Hazel crosses an ocean, moving to the City of Dreams, not for stardom or the limelight that comes from rubbing elbows with celebrities, but for the chance to be her true self. So she’s stunned when fading star of the silver screen, Diana Blake, wanders into the diner where she works and declares her intention of turning Hazel into the next, hot ingénue.
While the idea of following in Diana’s footsteps is not the path Hazel would’ve chosen, the prospect of being close to Diana, of realising the impossible dream of winning the affection of her lifelong obsession, is too seductive to pass up.
Hazel agrees to let Diana mould her into her protege and is thrown headlong into the Hollywood star machine. Glimmers of sexual interest from Diana keep Hazel on the hook as she offers herself up, piece by piece to showbusiness. But Diana’s behaviour grows increasingly controlling, suspicious accidents on set begin to pile up, and Hazel will have to fight to maintain any shred of herself, lest Hollywood eat her alive
Merciless Waters - Rae Knowles (Brigid's Gate Press)
The second edition to the Sapphic Horror Series, Rae Knowles takes us on a wild journey of revenge, romance and fantasy.
Aboard the ship Scylla, Jaq lives in an endless present with her fickle partner, Lily, and an all female crew with no memory of a life before the sea. After they rescue Reginald, a man adrift, Lily jumps at the opportunity to exchange Jaq for a more novel lover. Enraged and heartbroken, Jaq plots Reginald’s murder until her machinations are disrupted by recovered memories of a time before Scylla. When knowledge of before infects the entire crew, and peace aboard the ship begins to shatter, Jaq must decide whether winning back Lily’s affection is worth joining her in a quest for revenge that could kill them both.
Lauren Milici - Sad Sexy Catholic (CLASH Books)
I'll admit this is a personal favourite that I'm looking forward to as I love a good poetry collection. Although this isn't necessarily horror, it definitely seems to have some dark, dramatic themes that will certainly allure those who are into dark poetry.
In this intimate collection of poetry, spells are cast, hearts are broken, and prayers go unanswered.
SAD SEXY CATHOLIC follows the journey of a young twenty-something as she navigates the already difficult task of existing made even harder by trauma, body dysmorphia, a personality disorder, and leftover guilt from a religious upbringing. The speaker in these poems strives to find softness, even in the darkest of moments.