The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Horror

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Indigenous woman Kari James loves heavy metal, Stephan King novels, and her local bar. When her cousin unearths a bracelet that belonged to Kari’s mother, Kari is suddenly haunted by both her mother and a horrible entity. In order to rid herself of both spirits, Kari will have to face her past and unearth secrets about her family. This engrossing debut blends horror with mystery with a deft hand, and I look forward to what Wurth does next.

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth (List Price: $27.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250847652, November 2022)

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Spotlight on: Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman

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I love to be scared. And I love telling spooky stories. It’s a book that kind of explores all of these somber topics like addiction, like grief, exploring the kind of outer parameters of death and loss. I love ghost stories, the oral tradition that you find down South. I feel like there’s just this great value to spinning yarns and kind of immersing your, your listener, your reader, your audience in this notion that they are kind of being pulled into a story around the campfire.” ―Clay Chapman, Interview, Virginia Living

 

The Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman

What booksellers are saying about The Ghost Eaters

  • This creeping horror novel will down right terrify you. A southern ghost story that won’t let you go even after you’ve turned that last page. All while dealing with the anxiety of love, grief, and addiction. I’ve never read anything like it
      ―Rayna Nielsen from Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, LA | Buy from Blue Cypress Books

  • Reminiscent of Boy Parts and Ninth House, this novel is exceptionally dark, anxiety-inducing, relatable, and oh so very addicting. Ghost Eaters is by far my favorite horror read of 2022!  ―Kassie Weeks from Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL | Buy from Oxford Exchange

  • “Do you want to get Haunted?” Ghost is a drug that haunts a person instead of a place. Lost a loved one? Take Ghost and you can see them again. The problem is that you can’t take just one. This is a story of addiction, revenants, and imagery so grotesque that your skin crawls. This book is INTENSE and I recommend it to all horror fans!  ―Suzanne Carnes from Underground Books in Carrollton, GA | Buy from Underground Books

About Clay McLeod Chapman

Clay McLeod Chapman writes novels, comic books, and children’s books, as well as for film and TV. He is the author of the horror novels The Remaking and Whisper Down the Lane. Visit him at claymcleodchapman.com.

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Spirit Week by Ira Marcks

A charmingly illustrated and just-spooky-enough graphic novel, Spirit Week is sure to delight readers looking for an inventive mystery to unravel. A clever homage to the works of Stephen King and The Shining, Marck’s middle grade graphic novel follows a group of intrepid kids as they attempt to uncover the secrets of The Underlook Hotel and its reclusive author Jack Axworth. A whole lot of fun!

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks, (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316278065, October 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Leech by Hiron Ennes

The narrator of this scalpel-sharp and intoxicatingly gross debut is a parasite who is about to meet its match in the battle for control over the human heart, mind, and body. Fans of gothic lit, haunted mansions in ill repair, and biological or medical horror, eat your optic nerve—I mean, your heart—out! I generally don’t consider myself a fan of the above actually, but the incredibly unique narrator, the excellent and atmospheric world-building, and the both chillingly creepy and chillingly cold setting really hooked me. Highly recommended for fans of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic and T. Kingfisher’s What Moves the Dead!

Leech by Hiron Ennes, (List Price: $27.99, Tordotcom, 9781250811189, September 2022)

Reviewed by Megan Bell, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Someone once told me that laughter is the human response to what makes them uncomfortable. This story is like Shirley Jackson and Christopher Moore had a book baby and Motherthing was the result. Ralph and Abby Lamb move in with his mentally ill mother as caretakers. Abby thinks this is her chance to win over her mother in law. She’s wrong. Dead wrong. The story telling in this book is brilliantly funny at times and deeply disturbing at others. Mark Abrams cover art drew me in but Ainslie Hogarth’s ability to make me cringe and laugh at the same time kept me reading.

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth, (List Price: $17, Vintage, 9780593467022, September 2022)

Reviewed by Suzanne Carnes, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson

You want to read this one. Scary, creepy, a page-turner. Very well written. A family curse. Something in the woods. And something in the house. Read it for Halloween. Read it at the beach. Read this anytime, it is so good. And keep the lights on. Two thumbs up.

The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson, (List Price: $28, MCD, 9780374538569, October 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert

Rickert packs a lot of horror in just over 100 pages! Four friends meet up in a diner on Thanksgiving and start a tradition of getting together for Christmas dinner and telling scary stories. Ro, an aspiring writer, learns that sometimes the scariest stories are so terrifying because they stem from fact – and no one is safe!

Lucky Girl by M. Rickert, (List Price: $15.99, Tordotcom, 9781250817334, September 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Getaway by Lamar Giles

What an incredible book! Giles rachets up the tension immediately in this story of paradise gone wrong. The staff and families living at Karloff County’s most famous resort are living happily in harmony until people start to vanish without a trace. As the world outside starts to crumble, young Jay and his friends try to find a way to get themselves and their loved ones to safety – whatever that may mean.

The Getaway by Lamar Giles, (List Price: $19.99, Scholastic Press, 9781338752014, September 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

It Came from the Closet by Joe Vallese

It’s human nature to look for validation of oneself in the art we consume, and It Came From the Closet is a collection of essays by queer and trans authors on their interpretations and interactions with horror films. Edited by Joe Vallese, these essays are tender and funny, vulnerable and courageous. It Came From the Closet will make you see movies you’ve watched numerous times in a different light and that is a spectacular point of view.

It Came from the Closet by Joe Vallese, (List Price: $25.95, The Feminist Press at CUNY, 9781952177798, October 2022)

Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

It Took Luke by Mark Bouchard

If this is going to be a single volume story, then what a ride it was. The art style is great! I love how the only color on the pages are that of blood and gore. Gives the work a bit of uniqueness. Nothing I love more than a main character with a dark past and a giant sword (Berserk Inspiration 100%)

It Took Luke by Mark Bouchard, (List Price: $19.99, Oni Press, 9781637150849, October 2022)

Reviewed by Ethan Davis, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Spotlight on: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

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Sunyi Dean Photo Credit: Richard Wilson of Richard Wilson Photography

I’ve never (yet!) set fire to a large Scottish mansion as Devon does, nor numbered my body count in the dozens as Devon has. (Though hope springs eternal, as they say.) But I did grow up reading fairy tales and believing in false happy endings, as she did, and my life has been irrevocably altered by parenting, single or otherwise, as hers was.

Out of personal apocalypse and a total collapse of hope, good things eventually came about—for me, and for Devon.

The Book Eaters is both a love letter to fairy tales, and a critical examination of their flaws. Above all, it is a story about family love in the midst of ruination: how we define it and defend it, how we find it and fight for it.” –Sunyi Dean, Letter to readers

 

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

What booksellers are saying about The Book Eaters

  • This has definitely become one of the books that I wish I had written! Sunyi Dean manages to perfectly capture the feeling of wanting to devour a good book, in all of its fantastical glory. Between the morally grey characters, English moor setting, and enviable prose, Dean has written a modern fairy tale for the ages, where the girl saves herself and monsters are not the ones you would expect. A truly stunning debut novel! ―Hallie Smith from Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • This dark and at times disturbing debut novel is an exploration of the depths that a mother will go to in order to protect her son. Devon Fairweather is a book eater – a secret race that literally consumes the written word – and has a privileged but strictly controlled life. All that changes when her son is born a mind eater, and she’s forced to rebel against her upbringing to ensure his survival. Perfect for anyone in need of a Gothic fantasy fix.
      ―Jude Burke-Lewis from Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi
    Buy from Square Books

  • A truly dark and fantastical read that is rich with an assortment of literary references and gothic elements. The Book Eaters is a deliciously unique take on vampirism that you’ll really want to sink your teeth into.  ―Kassie Weeks from Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida
    Buy from Oxford Exchange

  • A wonderfully fantastic story about a secret line of people who do indeed eat books, and their unfortunate brethren who are doomed to consume minds. I quickly found myself rooting for the main character Devon, who is a book eater princess and mother fighting to help her mind eater son. There are some creepy bits, but not too bad for this non-horror reader. Inventive worldbuilding and compelling read!  ―Serena Wyckoff from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida
    Buy from Copperfish Books

About Sunyi Dean

Sunyi Dean is an autistic SFF writer, and mother of two. Originally born in the States and raised in Hong Kong, she now lives in Yorkshire. When not reading, running, falling over in yoga, or rolling d20s, she sometimes escapes the city to wildswim in lonely dales. The Book Eaters is her debut, and you can find her online @Blind_Nycteris.

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Berserk Deluxe Volume 11 by Kentaro Miura

This is the best series of all time, hands down. Absolutely gorgeous artwork, incredible world-building, and intense developments. Berserk is about trauma and how you can overcome that trauma. There will always be hardships and the only thing you can do is keep moving forward. I will always recommend this series to everyone. Character development is unmatched. Berserk has inspired so many other creative works of art, and it fully deserves recognition. 11 out of 10

Berserk Deluxe Volume 11 by Kentaro Miura, (List Price: $49.99, Dark Horse Manga, 9781506727554, July 2022)

Reviewed by Ethan Davis, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Spotlight on: Hide by Kiersten White

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Kiersten White

Anxiety is actually why I write. It’s why I started telling stories to myself as a child, because I found if I could feed my anxiety a story then it wouldn’t rip me apart, and so I always had a story going on in the back of my head to tell myself instead of going through worst case scenarios of my own life. Part of what makes a lot of people with high anxiety good storytellers is your brain is constantly coming up with the worst case scenarios and playing through things and replaying them and replaying them and replaying them, and that lends itself well to writing and storytelling. ”Kiersten White, interview, BookPeople

 

 

Hide by Kiersten White

What booksellers are saying about Hide

  • Hide is an absolute funhouse of a book about a not-so-harmless game of hide and seek in an eerily abandoned amusement park with an unexpected (but very much appreciated) dash of Greek mythology. White’s adult debut is sure to amuse and haunt. ―Kassie Weeks from Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
    Buy from Oxford Exchange

  • Get ready for one horrifying game of hide-and-seek… White’s vivid, razor-sharp, and terrifying story will sink its claws into you, and hold on tight. This book is shocking, heart wrenching, and beautiful, and I am now utterly obsessed with it!   ―Lucile Perkins-Wagel from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL
    Buy from Copperfish Books

  • Hide is a rollercoaster ride (pun intended) of a story that brings a few delightfully dark twists to the usual aspects of a horror novel. Mack, a young heroine with a terrifying past, is put in the position of fulfilling her destiny in a game of hide-and-seek where the stakes are life & death. White presents a diverse cast of characters and several are irredeemable… but there a few “rough-around-the-edges” outcasts that had me cheering for them the entire time. This is a great October-ish read that’s perfect for any season of the year.   ―Stuart McCommon from Novel in Memphis, TN
    Buy from Novel

  • Kiersten White is incredible, capable of capturing the fantasy of the contemporary world, and how you can build mythology into anything. Including a hide and seek competition at an abandoned theme park in the middle of nowhere. This entire book is the creeping feeling that you’re being watched, and you know who is watching you, and you know they’re going to stab you in the back, the question is just when and where. Hide has the perfect eerie, horrific atmosphere with a good helping of social commentary that fans of Until Dawn and Us will absolutely love.   ―Caitlyn Vanorder from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

About Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning, and critically acclaimed author of many books, including the And I Darken trilogy, the Sinister Summer series, the Camelot Rising trilogy, and her adult debut, Hide. Her books have been published in over twenty territories, and her novel The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is currently in development with Sony Pictures Television.

Kiersten lives with her family in San Diego, where she can regularly be found pressing her hands against the glass of her back door, furtively whispering I love you to her deeply ambivalent tortoise, Kimberly.

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These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall

I absolutely adore beautifully written horror. There’s something amazing about taking something that should be absolutely terrifying and finding a way to write it so beautifully that it could be poetry. Yet despite the beautiful prose, I was still chilled to my bones. These Fleeting Shadows was dripping with beautiful pain and chills. This is the perfect release to snuggle up with on a dark and foggy night, but only if you’re sure your house is safe from everything that might go bump in the shadows. Helen and her family are well written as well as intriguing.

These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall, (List Price: $18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593405116, August 2022)

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel

OMG this book a WILD ride! It is practically a guarantee that I will thoroughly enjoy just about any book that involves cults… but a cult centered out reproduction and motherhood? Holy moly count me in. What really stood out to me about Just Like Mother (and what I believe sets it apart from other reproductive-themed thrillers) was how it features a child-free protagonist and explores the many layers of being a woman who decides to not have children. To a cult of women who deify motherhood as the pinnacle of being, who is a woman that rejects motherhood? A radical, a traitor, and a threat to their entire identity and ethos. The sense of dread and tension that permeates and persists throughout the entire story really is fantastic. Every moment that I was listening to the audiobook, my stomach was turning with the feeling that some horrible, terrible, ever-worsening doom was just around the corner. I definitely recommend this one to fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Joanne Ramos’s The Farm, and to anyone who has been searching for a child-free perspective in the reproductive thriller genre!

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel, (List Price: $26.99, Tor Nightfire, 9781250787514, May 2022)

Reviewed by Caroline Barbee, Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi

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