Published September 6, 2022 by Skyhorse A scientific discovery of witches in fiction—Chilled Adventures of Sabrina, Sleeping Beauty, Wicked ...

Guest Post || Meg Hafdahl, Author of The Science of Witchcraft


Published September 6, 2022 by Skyhorse

A scientific discovery of witches in fiction—Chilled Adventures of Sabrina, Sleeping Beauty, Wicked and so many more!
 
Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, authors of The Science of Women in Horror and co-hosts of the Horror Rewind podcast called “the best horror film podcast out there” by Film Daddy, present a guide to the history of witchcraft through the stories and characters we all know and love. Reveal the spellbinding science behind the legends and lore surrounding fiction’s most iconic witches, answering such questions as: 
What is the science behind divination and spellcraft?
When did witchcraft begin to show up in literature and media?
Has science made it possible to uncover the truth behind the powers of necromancy and employing familiars?
How has witchcraft been thought of throughout the world?
Through interviews, film and literary analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, join Kelly and Meg as they learn about the complicated and rich science of witchcraft throughout the centuries and discover why now is the season of the witch!




Winter Horror/Thrillers That Will Give You Chills

by meg hafdahl


As a horror author in both fiction and nonfiction, I consider it a vital piece of my job to
read within my genre. This is quite a clever way I’ve fashioned my favorite hobby into a
necessary part of my day. (If I do say so myself…) And while beach reading has its appeal, the
true season for bookworms like me is when the outdoors is less than hospitable. Winter. We can curl up under a comfy blanket, drink something hot, and if we’re feeling particularly drawn to aesthetic coziness; add in a furry pet or a crackling fire.

This is a list of some of my favorite wintery horror/thriller books that will make you even
more grateful to be inside, tucked away from the blizzard. Oh, and away from the creatures who lurk in the cold, darkened shadows, waiting for you to put down that book.

Snowblind (2014) by Christopher Golden

A recent read for me, Snowblind takes place in the idyllic town of Coventry, Vermont
where twelve years earlier a curious number of townspeople died in a brutal blizzard. Now, those who lost loved ones come to realize that the storm is coming back their way.

What I loved most about this novel is that there is a diverse array of characters, similar to
the Castle Rock novels of Stephen King. It also reminded me of one of my favorite small town, supernatural novels; The Missing by Sarah Langan. I am such a fan of the small town horror, I wrote a three-part novel series starting with Her Dark Inheritance (2018) that takes place in ALL the seasons!

In Snowblind, every person in Coventry is well drawn by Golden, making me care
whether they survive through this monstrous storm. Emphasis on monster. I also recommend the winter in Siberia folk-horror written by Golden, Road of Bones (2022), if you want to feel even colder!

Dead of Winter (2018) by Kealan Patrick Burke

Burke is one of my favorite contemporary horror authors. He has written some of my
recent favorites like the depraved though poignant novel, Kin (2012), and he’s taken on other seasons like in his short-story collection Dead Leaves (2018). Also a book of short stories, Dead of Winter is a great way to become accompanied with Burke’s work. His vivid prose makes you feel like you are in the snow with his doomed characters. With Christmas-themed stories you will surely feel the holiday spirit. (Though that spirit might be less jolly and more a manifestation of evil hiding beneath your twinkling tree!)

The Winter People (2013) by Jennifer McMahon

Okay, I have to admit it. I read this book at the height of summer, on a family trip to
Disney World no less! But, McMahon’s talent for creating that chilling, pervading sense of dread made for a thrilling experience, even when I was sweating from Florida’s humidity.

In The Winter People there is yet another small town in Vermont plagued with mysterious deaths. My favorite aspect of the novel is that we jump from 1908 to present day and back again, creating a fascinating world punctuated with violence, madness, and shocking twists.

I’m a big fan of historical horror, and even wrote a short story collection that focuses on
“antique” tales. All stories take place throughout history, before the 1950s. Check out my book Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre (2021) if you like your horror old and dusty!

Rock, Paper, Scissors (2021) by Alice Feeney

Set in rural Scotland in a snow storm, a troubled couple comes to realize that someone is
creeping into their cabin to leave clues from their past.

Popular on “BookTok” Rock, Paper, Scissors found its way to me after I watched dozens
of TikToks singing its praises. I knew before reading it that the novel had a shocking twist. So, from the first page I was already working my best Hercule Poirot skills, trying to basically ruin the experience for myself by figuring out the twist. The joke was on me, because try as I might, I didn’t figure it out, or any of the other twists, and had to admit Feeney did a masterful job of planning out a macabre story that, prolific reader that I am, bested me! I would recommend this book to readers who are less horror more domestic thriller fans. It’s a must read that will make you grab your snuggly blanket closer and wonder if you even know that person you’re married to…

There are so many more wintery horror and thriller books you can binge on this season.
And binge you must, as this nasty weather basically forces us to read. If you’re going to brave the cold outdoors (to a local independent bookstore, or a library) just make sure you keep an eye out for hazards. I’ve learned a lot from these books and others about what could be waiting for you in the snow.

And, no…I’m not talking about ice on the road.




Horror and suspense author Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of two popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the two novels; Daughters of Darkness and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King and upcoming The Science of Serial Killers, lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota.

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Published December 6, 2022 by Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC T he parents knew it had been a mistake to have a girl. At birth, the girl's...

Feature Fiction || The Girl by Victory Witherkeigh



Published December 6, 2022 by Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC

The parents knew it had been a mistake to have a girl. At birth, the girl's long, elegant fingers wriggled and grasped forward, motioning to strangle the very air from her mother's lungs. As she grew older, she grew more like her father, whose ancestors would dream of those soon to die. She walked and talked in her sleep, and her parents warded themselves, telling the girl that she was evil, unlovable, their burden to bear only until her eighteenth birthday released them.

The average person on the streets of Los Angeles would look at the girl and see a young woman with dark chocolate eyes, curly long hair, and tanned skin of her Filipina heritage. Her teachers praised her for her scholarly achievements and extracurricular activities, from academic decathlon to cheer.

The girl knew she was different, especially as she grew to accept that the other children's parents didn't despise them. Her parents whispered about their pact as odd and disturbing occurrences continued to happen around her. The girl thought being an evil demon should require the skies to bleed, the ground to tremble, an animal sacrifice to seal the bargain, or at least cause some general mayhem. Did other demons work so hard to find friends, do well on their homework, and protect their spoiled younger brother?

The demon was patient. It could afford to wait, to remind the girl when she was hurt that power was hers to take. She needed only embrace it. It could wait. The girl's parents were doing much of its work already.

Add to Goodreads


Victory Witherkeigh is a female Filipino/PI author originally from Los Angeles, CA, currently living in the Las Vegas area. Victory was a finalist for Wingless Dreamer’s 2020 Overcoming Fear Short Story award and a 2021 winner of the Two Sisters Writing and Publishing Short Story Contest. She has print publications in the horror anthologies Supernatural Drabbles of Dread through Macabre Ladies Publishing, Bodies Full of Burning through Sliced Up Press, and In Filth It Shall Be Found through OutCast Press. Written during NaNoWriMo, Victory’s first novel, set to debut in December 2022 with Cinnabar Moth Publishing, has been a finalist for Killer Nashville’s 2020 Claymore Award, a 2020 Cinnamon Press Literature Award Honoree, and long-listed in the 2021 Voyage YA Book Pitch Contest. Find out more about her at: https://teikitu.com/

Published O ctober 18, 2022 by Weird House Press A s the nights draw in and the temperature plummets, beware the witch's curse. And stay...

Author Spotlight || Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings



Published October 18, 2022 by Weird House Press

As the nights draw in and the temperature plummets, beware the witch's curse. And stay out of the shadows, for far more lurks there than you could ever imagine...

Two witches, burned for their evil centuries earlier, now hellbent on revenge. A woman who seems to step out of an old Hollywood movie, and a castle with a murderous past. A seer whose lost and deadly prediction was hidden away for a future generation. A mysterious portrait that is far more deadly than mere paint and canvas. An old woman only the foolish would ridicule, for she knows the secrets of the land and how to harness its power.

All these and more abound, and you would do well to remember…
When the seeds of revenge are sown, beware the harvest.



What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


As a child, I always enjoyed reading scary stories - starting with The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs. I love the tingling feeling of being watched from dark shadows, of knowing there is something strange and sinister in that old, Gothic house and of seeing something indeterminate flit past the corner of my eye... Atmosphere. I love it. The dark and more brooding the better. As a result, I am compelled to write about it.

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  


One person said they 'didn't order this book' and gave it one star! I found that rather amusing.

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?


It can be either but it's usually the plot. Sometimes the location takes precedence, as with The Malan Witch (in this collection) where I had this urge to write a story based in South West England. Given that there is a wonderful Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, it had to be a story about witches. Everything else fell into place after that.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

No.

Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?


The usual suspects I'm afraid - 'just', 'now' are two major culprits. Luckily these are generally edited out so they don't make the final cut

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there songs you had on repeat?


I rarely listen to music when I'm writing as I find it a distraction. I prefer to transport myself wherever I am in the story. I have made a couple of exceptions though - one for The Malan Witch where I played a soundtrack of waves crashing on the shore, while seabirds called overhead. Another exception was for a short story called 'Grandfather's Clock' where I played a track of a ticking longcase clock.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


One is from a short story in this collection, called The Oubliette of Elie Loyd: 'She came out of nowhere. Didn’t belong. Not to the time and place where I met her. Maybe that should have warned me.' 
I like it because, as the first line of the story, I feel compelled to read on. I believe first lines are a critical hook to any story. I am always reminded of the famous first line in Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca' - 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again'. Irresistible.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Don't listen to people who tell you that you can't be a writer, work hard and just do it.

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


We all know that in order to grow and improve their craft, writers need to pack in a lot of reading but don't simply read your own genre, read widely. Learn from writers in other fields. You'll be surprised at what you pick up once you take off your blinkers!

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


I have a new collection of original short fiction coming out from Weird House Press next spring and a new novel from Flame Tree Press in the summer. The short fiction collection (title to be announced) contains stories of a ghostly and sinister nature. The novel is called The After Death of Caroline Rand and takes place in the Sixties and the present day. It centres around a legendary folk-rock singer (Caroline Rand) and the strange, ghostly and scary events that surround her life...and death

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


In The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings, one of my favourites was Miss Constantine - the main character in Daft Old Bat. She seems like a frail old woman but she has hidden depths and some people are really scared of her. Another was the main character in Sour Grapes - Charlotte. I love her feistiness.

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?


Murder by Death - it's a hilarious parody of fictional crime detectives and I have watched it countless times.

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?


No doubt about it. A cat. Any cat really. There has almost always been a cat in my life since the day I was born.  I appreciate their independence, their loyalty and their air of superiority coupled with their compassion. My cats have always known when I most need a hug and they supply it in the form of purrs, licks and snuggles. I feel akin to them

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


Haunted mansion please, complete with interesting ghosts. I am not a pink unicorn-type person.

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?


Methods of poisoning people, perfect murders, dark arts rituals... the usual sort of thing - oh and 

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?


Being chased by some nameless, faceless, indeterminate creature. I immediately have to write about it, of course.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


Bambi. Enough said.

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?


Camels. They do their best anyhow. They spit at people.

Which of the Golden Girls is your personality most like?


Charlotte in Sour Grapes is probably most like Sophia Petrillo 

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 




Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. 

Her first fiction collection – The Crow Witch and Other Conjurings – is out now from Weird House Press, and a new collection will be coming out in 2023

Cat’s novels include Dark Observation, In Darkness, Shadows Breathe, The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine. 

Her novellas include The Darkest Veil, Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife 

She lives by the sea in Southport, England with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat called Serafina who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. 

December's a quiet month for horror releases but there are still some solid stories being released. Get ready to pad your TBR, here are ...

This Month In Horror || December 2022



December's a quiet month for horror releases but there are still some solid stories being released.
Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of December's releases!

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Mine: An Anthology of Body Autonomy Horror
Roxie Voorhees ed. Nico Bell ed.

Expected Publication: December 1, 2022 by Creature Publishing, LLC

Bodily transformation. Possession of the body. Forced disembodiment. A baby consumes its mother in utero. Unrealistic postpartum expectations turn deadly. A witch avenges the voiceless. These 16 original horror stories explore the ownership and control-or lack thereof-that we have over our bodies.



Bad Dolls by Rachel Harrison

Expected publication: December 6, 2022 by Berkley

In this stunning new collection of four horror stories, Bram Stoker Award nominee Rachel Harrison explores themes of body image, complicated female friendship, heartbreak and hauntings.



Holy Ghost Road by John Mantooth

Expected publication: December 6, 2022 by Cemetery Dance Publications


Some roads are haunted by the past. Some by ghosts. Some are even haunted by demons. The one Forest must travel is haunted by all three.

When she discovers Pastor Nesmith praying to a demonic entity in her family’s barn, Forest knows she must run. Enraged at the possibility of having his true allegiance exposed, Nesmith pursues Forest as she flees on foot, hoping to reach the one person who will believe her—her grandmother. Unfortunately, Granny is forty miles away, and Forest has no car, no phone, and no friends. To reach her, Forest will have to learn to see the world true, even as the demonic and the sacred wage war for her soul.



Out of Aztlan by V. Castro

Expected publication: December 6, 2022 by Creature Publishing, LLC


An ancient goddess rises up from an inverted temple in a lake of blood to purify the earth. Two pearl divers plot revenge against the Spanish merchants who enslave them. A mutant species of jellyfish fueled by garbage heaps wreaks havoc on beachgoers. Aided by mermaids, a pirate known as The Scorpion and her all-female crew challenge a corrupt king. And back on dry land, a mother avenges the daughters of her community with a very special batch of ancho chili salsa.

V. Castro's spirited characters come alive in her uniquely playful, fiery style, from a vengeful lobster to a mother willing to put her life on the line for justice. In these and other stories, the descendants of Aztlan-the mythical homeland of the Aztec people-work to overthrow their oppressors and usher in the dawn of a new world.