Each month the Ladies of Horror Fiction team posts all the books we are aware of that will be releasing during that month here and on our Bookshop.org page. You can also check out the releases for the whole year here. If you buy books through our Bookshop.org links below or from our page, we get a percentage of the sale, which helps our volunteer team continue our efforts to promote LOHF!
Please let us know if we missed any new releases so we can add them to our lists!
The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown
For fans of Small Spaces, Doll Bones, and Mary Downing Hahn, a truly chilling (and historically inspired) ghost story from the award-winning author of The Forgotten Girl.
Celeste knows she should be excited to spend two weeks at her grandparents’ lake house with her brother, Owen, and their cousins Capri and Daisy, but she’s not.
Bugs, bad cell reception, and the dark waters of the lake… no thanks. On top of that, she just failed her swim test and hates being in the water-it’s terrifying. But her grandparents are strong believers in their family knowing how to swim, especially having grown up during a time of segregation at public pools. Without the opportunity to learn, Grandma’s sister drowned when they were kids.
But soon strange things start happening, like Celeste’s cousins accusing her of waking them up in the middle of the night. But Celeste hasn’t been awake during the night-she knows she’s been fast asleep because she’s been having terrible nightmares about drowning!
Things at the old house only get spookier until one evening when Celeste looks in the steamy mirror after a shower and sees her face, but twisted, different…
Who is the girl in the mirror? And what does she want?
Past and present mingle in this spine-tingling ghost story by India Hill Brown.
In Every Generation by Kendare Blake
A new Slayer for a new generation…
Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.
But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.
Get ready for a whole new story within the world of Buffy!
The first in an all-new series by New York Times best-selling author Kendare Blake continues the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featuring the next generation of Scoobies and Slayers who must defeat a powerful new evil.
It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh
For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporary take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.
Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.
The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.
But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.
Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.
When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.
Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.
But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.
When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children #7) by Seanan McGuire
Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.
There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again.
It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
And it isn’t as safe.
When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.
She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming…
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
From debut author Stacy Willingham comes a masterfully done, lyrical thriller, certain to be the launch of an amazing career. A Flicker in the Dark is eerily compelling to the very last page.
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.
Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?
In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.
The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lillith Assadi
A story of secrets, loss, and the betrayals of memory: a lyrical novel of an aging woman confronting her romantic past under the mysterious skies of her island home
Off the coast of Georgia, near Savannah, generations have been tempted by strange blue lights in the sky near an island called Lyra. At the height of World War II, impressionable young Elle Ranier comes to the island when her new husband, Simon, is dispatched by his industrialist father to find the source of the mysterious lights. There they will live for decades, raising a family while employing much of the island’s population in a quixotic campaign to find and exploit the elusive minerals rumored to lurk offshore.
Fifty years later, as Simon’s business is shuttered in disarray, Elle looks back at her life on the mysterious island–and at a secret she herself has guarded for decades. As her memory recedes, her life seems a tangle of questions: How did the business survive so long without ever finding the legendary Lyra stones? How did her own life crumble under treatment for depression? And what became of the other man they brought to the island–handsome, raffish Gabriel, who risked everything to follow the light to its source?
With echoes of We Are Not Ourselves and even Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, The Stars Are Not Yet Bells is a darkly romantic story of the tantalizing, faithless relationship between ourselves and the lives and souls we leave behind.
Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan
A bold, haunting, and startlingly unique novel about the secrets we leave behind and the places that hold them long after we are gone, a “quintessential novel of Edinburgh at its darkest.” (Irvine Welsh)
There are stories tucked away on every floor of 10 Luckenbooth Close.
1910, Edinburgh. Jessie MacRae has been sent to a tenement building by her recently deceased father to bear a child for a wealthy man and his fiancée. The harrowing events that follow lead to a curse on the building and its residents—a curse that will last for the rest of the century.
Over nine decades, 10 Luckenbooth Close bears witness to emblems of a changing world outside its walls. An infamous madam, a spy, a famous Beat poet, a coal miner who fears daylight, a psychic: these are some of the residents whose lives are plagued by the building’s troubled history in disparate, sometimes chilling ways. The curse creeps up the nine floors as an enraged spirit world swells to the surface, desperate for the true horror of the building’s longest kept secret to be heard.
Luckenbooth is a bold, haunting, and dazzlingly unique novel about the stories and secrets we leave behind—and the places that hold them long after we are gone.
Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz
A gothic tale full of mystery and romance about a willful female surgeon, a resurrection man who sells bodies for a living, and the buried secrets they must uncover together.
Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.
Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.
When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.
Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.
But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.
Mestiza Blood by V. Castro
From the lauded author of The Queen of the Cicadas (which picked up starred reviews from PW, Kirkus, and Booklist, who called her “a dynamic and innovative voice”) comes a short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desire and visions focused on the Chicana experience.
V. Castro weaves urban legend, folklore, life experience and heartache in this personal journey beginning in south Texas: a bar where a devil dances the night away; a street fight in a neighborhood that may not have been a fight after all; a vengeful chola at the beginning of the apocalypse; mind swapping in the not so far future; satan who falls and finds herself in a brothel in Amsterdam; the keys to Mictlan given to a woman after she dies during a pandemic. The collection finishes with two longer tales: “The Final Porn Star” is a twist on the final girl trope and slasher, with a creature from Mexican folklore; and “Truck Stop” is an erotic horror romance with two hearts: a video store and a truck stop.
Sneaks by Catherine Egan
Men in Black meets middle school! A school project takes an alien turn when three kids uncover a secret society whose aim is to keep sneaks–mischievous interdimensional sprites–from slipping into our universe!
When Ben Harp sees his teacher’s watch crawling across the hallway, he things he must be dreaming.
But no, he’s just seen his first Sneak–an interdimensional mischief-maker that can borrow the form of any ordinary object.
He figured this school year would be bad–his best friend moved away, the class bully is circling, and he’s stuck doing a group project with two similarly friendless girls, Charlotte and Akemi. Still, he wasn’t expecting aliens!
And he certainly wasn’t expecting that the woman he and Charlotte and Akemi are assigned to interview for their “living local history” project would be a Sneak expert. Or that she’d foist an old book on them to keep safe . . . and then disappear.
Now Ben, Charlotte, and Akemi are trying to understand a book that seems to contain a coded map while being pursued by violent clothes hangers, fire-spitting squirrels, and more. The Sneaks want that book! And they want something else, too: to pull a vastly more dangerous creature into the world with them.
Can three misfit kids decode the book in time to stop an alien takeover? And if they do, will they get extra credit on their group project?
Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester
A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them.
There’s something out there that’s killing. Known only as The Cur, he leaves no traces, save for the torn bodies of girls, on the verge of becoming women, who are known as trouble-makers; those who refuse to conform, to know their place. Girls who don’t know when to shut up.
2019: Thirteen-year-old Lila Sawyer has secrets she can’t share with anyone. Not the school psychologist she’s seeing. Not her father, who has a new wife, and a new baby. And not her mother—the infamous Caroline Sawyer, a unique artist whose eerie sculptures, made from bent twigs and crimped leaves, have made her a local celebrity. But soon Lila feels haunted from within, terrorized by a delicious evil that shows her how to find her voice—until she is punished for using it.
2004: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs everywhere. Snarling, barking, teeth snapping that no one else seems to notice. At first, she blames the phantom sounds on her insomnia and her acute stress in caring for her ailing father. But then the delusions begin to take shape—both in her waking hours, and in the violent, visceral sculptures she creates while in a trance-like state. Her fiancé is convinced she needs help. Her new psychiatrist waves her “problem” away with pills. But Caroline’s past is a dark cellar, filled with repressed memories and a lurking horror that the men around her can’t understand.
As past demons become a present threat, both Caroline and Lila must chase the source of this unrelenting, oppressive power to its malignant core. Brilliantly paced, unsettling to the bone, and unapologetically fierce, Such a Pretty Smile is a powerful allegory for what it can mean to be a woman, and an untamed rallying cry for anyone ever told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty.
Beulah by Christi Nogle
Beulah is the story of Georgie, an eighteen-year-old with a talent (or affliction) for seeing ghosts. Georgie and her family have had a hard time since her father died, but she and her mother Gina and sisters Tommy and Stevie are making a new start in the small town of Beulah, Idaho where Gina’s wealthy friend Ellen has set them up to help renovate an old stone schoolhouse. Georgie experiences a variety of disturbances—the town is familiar from dreams and she seems to be experiencing her mother’s memory of the place, not to mention the creepy ghost in the schoolhouse basement—but she is able to maintain, in her own laconic way, until she notices that her little sister Stevie also has the gift. Stevie is in danger from a malevolent ghost, and Georgie tries to help, but soon Georgie is the one in danger.
Hold My Place by Cassondra Windwalker
When librarian Sigrun falls head-over-heels for the sophisticated and very married Edgar Leyward, she never expects to find herself in his bed—or his heart. Nevertheless, when his enigmatic wife Octavia dies from a sudden illness, Sigrun finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance worthy of the most lurid novels on her bookshelves.
Sigrun soon discovers Octavia wasn’t Edgar’s first lost love, or even his second. Three women Edgar has loved met early deaths. As she delves into her beloved’s past through a trove of discovered letters, the edges of Sigrun identity begin to disappear, fading into the women of the past. Sigrun tells herself it’s impossible for any dark magic to be at play—that the dead can’t possibly inhabit the bodies of the living—but something shadowy stalks the halls of the Leyward house and the lines between the love of the present and the obsessions of the past become increasingly blurred—and bloody.
Into the Midnight Void (Beyond the Ruby Veil #2) by Mara Fitzgerald
Emanuela has finally gotten what she wanted. Since escaping her catacomb prison, she’s started running things her way. Under her rule, citizens no longer give up their lives at the first, tiny appearance of their omens. As long as they aren’t caught bad-mouthing their queen, they can live out their days like everyone else.
But when cracks in her magic start to show, Emanuela begrudgingly allies herself with her enemies, including her frustratingly alluring archnemesis, Verene. Together, discover deeper truths about the mysterious blood magic Emanuela and Verene both wield. There is a higher, otherworldly authority outside the veils, and in order to save Occhia and the other realms, Emanuela may just have to rip another crown off someone’s head.
Generation X-ed edited by Rebecca Rowland
In a unique anthology of monster, folk, paranormal, and psychological horror as glimpsed through the lens of the latchkey generation, twenty-two voices shine a strobe light on the cultural demons that lurked in the background while they came of age in the heyday of Satanic panic and slasher flicks, milk carton missing and music television, video rentals and riot grrrls. These Gen-X storytellers once stayed out unsupervised until the streetlights came on, and what they brought home with them will terrify you.
Audra and her horror hound, Ouija, help manage the Ladies of Horror Fiction Instagram page. When not ghost hunting or rollerskating, she also contributes articles and helps maintain the website.