Published  May 23, 2023 by Creative James Media Submerged in a toxic relationship and disconnected from everyone, she turns to the sea to de...

Feature Fiction || When Oceans Rise by Robin Alvarez


Published May 23, 2023 by Creative James Media


Submerged in a toxic relationship and disconnected from everyone, she turns to the sea to decide her fate. Its decision? Toss her to the sea witch.

Seventeen-year-old Malaya is cursed. In her family, every girl's first love ends in death after falling for someone evil. Good thing Malaya's dream guy isn't monstrous.

Except the curse is real and preventing Malaya from noticing how much he has gaslit and isolated her until she can't be saved. With no other options, the sea witch is the only one to help her.

Bartering her voice for a new life where she and her abusive boyfriend never met, Malaya accidentally swaps places with an alternate timeline version of herself who never made her mistakes. As she tries to undo the switch, the sea witch uses Malaya's voice to unleash Filipino mythological creatures into the worlds.

Can a champion, an alternate timeline sister, and Malaya fight these beasts and stop the sea witch before she destroys both timelines?

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Robin Alvarez is a beach bum living in the desert with her husband and two kids. She has worked in news stations, made TV commercials, edited high-end wedding videos, crafted industrial animations, been a photographer, a painter, and an English teacher. After having kids, she switched to working from home by teaching Chinese students online and returned to school to get her masters in creative writing. Robin was co-editor of the literary magazine The Sage, in which her short stories have been published. She has written for The Bend Business and currently works at Sul Ross University as a Writing Center Coordinator.

In her free time, Robin enjoys watching K-dramas while doing face masks, singing karaoke poorly, making her kids costumes, and swimming with her family. You can connect with her on TikTok at: @robiiehood

Published   March 2, 2023 Droves of the rich and beautiful have invaded the small town of Brawlton, forcing out the many generations of good...

Author Spotlight || Matt Micheli, Author of Scratched


Published  March 2, 2023


Droves of the rich and beautiful have invaded the small town of Brawlton, forcing out the many generations of good-natured, wholesome townspeople. On the outside, these new inhabitants seem to have it all, but they soon learn that there is more to life than Botox, silicone, and spreading rumors while sipping on over-priced martinis.
There is something lurking in the woods, and it is hungry for blood.

"With an intriguing, nihilistic depiction of the upper class that few authors outside of Bret Easton Ellis are capable of, Matt Micheli weaves a haunting tale of extravagance, betrayal, and bloodshed." - Patrick C. Harrison III, author of Grandpappy and 100% Match

Read now



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


That's a tough question. I've always liked movies and books with edge, some dark or supernatural element. Maybe because I'm a fairly happy person in real life.

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


I enjoy all aspects of writing, creating, editing, polishing. My least favorite part of the whole process is waiting for potential acceptances/rejections. Writing: good. Waiting: bad.

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"


The idea for The White (my new novella) came about while taking time off to care for my wife who had just received a life-changing diagnosis. The diagnosis came by phone, after hours, since the doctor did not want to wait till the next day to deliver the news; there was no time to wait. The diagnosis came out of nowhere which I believe was the catalyst for the idea of the book which involves a freak, unexpected snowstorm, that alters the lives of everyone in this particular family. I'm happy to say that my wife is cancer-free and on the tail end of her treatments which is more than anyone could've asked for. Unfortunately for the characters in the book, there are no treatments for what they are about to encounter.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


My first book was an absolute trainwreck, published by a now-bankrupt publisher. I tried way too hard to sound like authors I liked and was arrogant and resistant to feedback or editing suggestions. The book still haunts me today. My processes haven't changed much, other than I now write with more humility and knowledge of the craft. 

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


I once received a review where the reviewer said they had never hated a character more in their life, and that the protagonist was the worst POS character to ever grace the pages of a book (I don't recall all the words, but they went on for a while). I could sense their utter anger and hatred while writing the review, I'm sure pounding on the keys as they typed... Not every character in fiction or real life is likeable. I'm just happy the book evoked such an emotional response. I prefer angry reviews over the "just-okay" reviews.

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


It depends. Sometimes I start with an opening line. Sometimes I start with a situation. Sometimes I start with a character and go in blindly. All depends on the story at hand.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


No. But now I'm wondering if I should...?

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


I find I use the word "looked" quite a bit, because I use a lot of action within dialogue. Nothing the editing process can't handle:)

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


My 2 go-to soundtracks on Pandora are: "This Will Destroy You" Radio & "Timecop 1983" Radio. These 2 stations seem to provide what I need for different moods/scenes. All instrumental, dark, non-distracting.

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


Right now, it's got to be: "Hell has finally frozen over." This is the first line of The White, and what spawned the idea for the entire novelette.

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


Kill the ego. You aren't a great writer right now, but you are capable of being a great writer if you allow yourself to improve.

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


Same as above. Kill the ego. You aren't great right now, but you are capable of becoming great if you allow yourself to improve.

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


I'm wrapping up my 2nd novella (titled SCRATCHED) as we speak, shooting for a March release. I don't want to give too much away, but it is basically "The Real Housewives of OC" getting brutalized by a goat-blood sucking cryptid. The story is full of vanity, Botox, silicone, scandal, sex, gentrification, blood, and gore.

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


I love all of them. Writing Margo's character (The White) was fun because she is so vile yet relatable, but also redeemable. Another character that really got to the emotions, is Michael (who you'll meet this Summer in Two Minutes with the Devil) who was loosely based on a childhood friend of mine. A little rough around the edges but a kid you can't help but pull for.

Would you and your main character get along?


Some, yes. Others, hell no.

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


I never think of it like that. I just do what is right by the story. I am a believer that some kind of emotional triggering is necessary for a story/book/movie to be worthwhile, but that usually comes naturally.

Did any of your characters surprise you while you were writing?


Yes. Margo--despite knowing her personality--just kept raising the bar.

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


I don't know if I have a spirit animal, but I would say I admire Husky dogs. We rescued one and he is the most stress and carefree, sweetest animal I've ever known. His name is Togo. We could all be a little more like Togo (besides the counter-surfing and gnawing and overall destructive behavior when left alone too long).

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


A cottage. Give me pine trees and fairies. You can have the bloody walls and ghosts.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


Don't think I have one. I'm way too cool to be quirky:)

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


Beaming beamed up through my ceiling by aliens. This has been a recurring nightmare that hits every couple of years. 


What cliched tattoo would your main character have?


Strangely enough, I have a lot of tattoos but haven't written any tatted characters.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


Gremlins still gets me. The pool scene. F that.

What's the strangest thing a fan (or other author)  has said to you?


I can't think of anything in particular, probably because besides my Mom, I don't have many fans. Kidding. I'm glabally adored.


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


Probably that damned possum that walks across my fence each night, stirring up my dogs.

Your main character is at the hardware store. What do they buy?


You wouldn't find Dan (protagonist of The White) at a hardware store which is part of the problem. 

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

Hell yes. Please do.




Matt Micheli is a horror and dark-fiction writer out of New Braunfels, TX, author of The White (D&T Publishing). He has several fiction and non-fiction pieces featured in various magazines and anthologies. A loving husband and father to a daughter and Husky dogs, he spends his days dabbling in domestication and his nights in Tequila, always searching for the next great story. The White will be followed by his second novella Scratched to be released in March of 2023 and his third titled Two Minutes with the Devil which is scheduled for release in June of 2023 by D&T Publishing.
Look for his interview series NEW BLOOD: The Rebirth of Indie Horror at The Horror Tree where he has candid conversations with folks making a splash in the indie horror writing world. Nothing is off limits.

Published  February 7, 2023 by Tor Nightfire E ric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his ...

Book Review || The Spite House by Johnny Compton



Published February 7, 2023 by Tor Nightfire

Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his wife, his house, his whole life behind in Maryland, he’s desperate for money–it’s not easy to find safe work when you can’t provide references, you can’t stay in one place for long, and you’re paranoid that your past is creeping back up on you.

When he comes across the strange ad for the Masson House in Degener, Texas, Eric thinks they may have finally caught a lucky break. The Masson property, notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, needs a caretaker of sorts. The owner is looking for proof of paranormal activity. All they need to do is stay in the house and keep a detailed record of everything that happens there. Provided the house’s horrors don’t drive them all mad, like the caretakers before them.

The job calls to Eric, not just because there’s a huge payout if they can make it through, but because he wants to explore the secrets of the spite house. If it is indeed haunted, maybe it’ll help him understand the uncanny power that clings to his family, driving them from town to town, making them afraid to stop running. A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief and death and the depths of a father’s love, Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is a stunning debut by a horror master in the making.


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Eric and his two daughters, eighteen-year-old Dess, and seven-year-old Stacy are on the run.  His youngest daughter has been counseled to run and to hide if he says so. What trouble could they possibly be in? Has he stolen away his kids without custody? Was it an unsafe home life? One thing is for sure, he is a father looking for a safe spot for them to land after the transient life they've been forced to endure. After seeing an opening for a position at Masson House in Degener, Texas advertising a tidy sum of money, Eric packs up his girls and drives to apply. The rules given to Eric by the very wealthy Eunice are simple; live in the house and report anything that happens. What trouble the trio is in is left as a mystery until close to the end. 

Spite houses, if you are unfamiliar with the term, are houses that are built in the way of something else, like a neighbor's view, or as part of a land disagreement. (My personal favorite is The Equality House in Topeka, Kansas built across the street from Westboro Baptist Church and painted in the pride flag colors.) The Masson House is weird, both in architecture and history and I applaud Compton for choosing such an unusual setting, diverting the typically dark and stormy haunted house tropes. 

While I loved that it held its secrets tight until almost the very end, I wanted more from The Spite House. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery of both their past and that of the spite house, but it felt like it was forgetting something. For a house billed as one of the most haunted in the state, there wasn't the gothic atmospheric dread and buildup that I expected. The characters themselves were excellent and I was invested in their story but the jumping timelines didn't do any favors to my drifting attention span. It often felt like an info dump with more tell than show. While the origin story of the house was crucial to the ending, the deviation from the characters I was already invested in stalled the read for me at times. When a book leaves so many questions unanswered in the beginning, I expected an ending showering all the information out in a downpour. However, there were still a lot of questions that didn't feel answered after the last page. 

I did experience this one via audiobook and must say Adam Lazarre-White was the perfect narrator for the job. Johnny Compton's writing could drift a bit on the tedious side with the multiple viewpoints and numerous timelines. The narration brought vibrancy to the characters that might not have been there otherwise. 
 

Published  February 13, 2023 With a past shrouded in mystery and a childhood spent constantly on the move, David Rose has lived a life witho...

Feature Fiction || Between Shadow and Flame by C.T. Bryce


Published February 13, 2023


With a past shrouded in mystery and a childhood spent constantly on the move, David Rose has lived a life without consequences or connections. The last thing he cared deeply about was his friendship with his barely-remembered brother he hasn't seen since he was seven.
When he discovers his mother burning a letter from the estranged family they've been running from, David ignores his mother's warnings to reclaim what he lost.
What awaits him is a fog-shrouded castle full of threatening strangers and dangerous secrets. Torn between the meaningful relationships he's always yearned for and his own sense of morality and self, his only hope lies in a power he never knew he possessed.

Full content warnings available on the website listed in the copyright page.

Can a champion, an alternate timeline sister, and Malaya fight these beasts and stop the sea witch before she destroys both timelines?

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C.T. Bryce is the pen name for the writing partnership of two authors who are also partners in life. They have been creating stories together for years and have decided to share them with the world. This is their debut novel and the first in the Guthanderkaz series. They currently reside in Santa Cruz, California.
They love cats, foggy days, the songs of corvids and all things gothic.

The Two-Dollar Hustle by Heather and S.D. Vassall Pirating an author’s manuscript is what I refer to as a two-dollar hustle. You steal someo...

Guest Post || The Two-Dollar Hustle by Heather and S.D. Vassall



The Two-Dollar Hustle by Heather and S.D. Vassall



Pirating an author’s manuscript is what I refer to as a two-dollar hustle. You steal someone’s work, sell it, collect your profits, and call it a day. Career pirates will sell their ‘booty’ through other sites quickly; that way they make money, not only from their first upload—that will most likely be taken down within sixty days—but through those secondary sources which might never be removed.

It’s not sexy or glamorous, and it doesn’t provide large sums of money like a big heist, but unlike a heist, it’s a low risk enterprise. And, best of all, it likely provides a steady stream of cash. One two-dollar hustle might not bring in big bucks, but a few hundred of them and the pirate has sustainable income flowing in. Most pirates are career criminals They’ll set up 100 two-dollar hustles over the course of a weekend. Even better for the pirate is the fact that their income is tax-free.

It’s hard to protect a manuscript from being pirated. What makes it worse is the large corporations make piracy easier. They tend to have loose policies and multiple departments that don’t communicate with each other. It’s common to get bounced back and forth between departments till you finally reach someone who can finally get the situation resolved. We spent the last week sending email after email, talking to reps from different departments, filling out forms, and the process is still ongoing.

It's disheartening that there’s so much piracy taking place in the book industry. The pirates aren’t going to quit. They’ve found their niche and they’re going to stay there. And the ones running their two-dollar hustles aren’t really worried about what might happen to them. They’re good at their business, and they tend to remain anonymous, even when their acts are discovered. The worst that generally happens to them is their pirated book gets taken down. They aren’t worried about legal actions or punishment; corporations and law enforcement agencies generally aren’t going to devote much energy, time or resources towards tracking down and punishing someone doing a two-dollar hustle.

We, as authors and publishers have to keep trudging forward. We have to keep writing and
publishing. We have to stay diligent in our best efforts to protect our work. It’s hard, and it can be disheartening, but we have to keep moving forward. The only way we’ll have any success against piracy is to keep striving. It takes patience. And tenacity—remember that word!

Our emotions have run the gamut this week from shock to fear to disbelief and finally to rage. How dare someone do this to one of our authors! How dare someone do it to us! We’ve spent twenty plus hours talking to four different departments at Amazon, filing copyright  infringement claims, searching for other pirated copies online, updating readers, and working with our publicist and lawyer. We’ve talked to other publishers and authors. We’ve agonized over how to protect our other authors and the next two upcoming book launches. It was exhausting. But we’re not giving up; we’ve got loads of tenacity (if you only remember one thing from this article, remember that word!).

We’ve put together a survival list for publishers, for if and when they get plundered by pirates. 

Many thanks to Andrew at Dark Lit Press for the tips he provided.

What you’ll need to survive piracy:
  • Coffee. Don’t skip this step.
  • Open communication with the author and/or artist. Remember that the theft effects you
  • both, but for them this is bigger than that. This is a violation.
  • Make sure your whole team knows, including your publicist, bookkeeper, and lawyer.
  • Continually update your team.
  • The contract between the author and publisher.
  • The contract between the cover artist and the publisher or author.
  • Screenshot of where you got the ISBN (be sure to get your own ISBN).
  • Screenshot of any other dashboards where you have the book published.
  • A cease-and-desist letter from your lawyer.
  • The tenacity (don’t forget this word) to keep calling and keep submitting forms over and over again.
  • A sense of humor.
  • A support group. Reach out to other publishers, editors, and authors you know. Gather as many tips as you can.
  • The tenacity (there it is again!) to keep calling and keep submitting forms over and over again.
  • Learn to channel your rage and frustration into perseverance.
  • Patience.
  • Sleep.
  • Exercise and/or meditation of some kind. Self-care is key if you’re going to keep fighting.
  • The tenacity to keep calling and keep submitting forms over and over again (we’re tenacious in our attempts to make sure you remember tenacity!).

We hope other writers and presses don’t have to deal with their work being pirated. Unfortunately, as common as piracy is, most of you will have to deal with it at some point. Just remember—if and when it happens—not to lose heart or give up. Be patient, be tenacious (we can’t stress that enough!), and keep moving forward. It’s all we can do.

Ad astra per aspera!




W elcome back to another round of the Scaredy Cat Reading Challenge.  If this is your first time here, be sure to look here  for the origina...

Scaredy Cat Horror Reading Challenge - My Picks 2023




Welcome back to another round of the Scaredy Cat Reading Challenge. 

If this is your first time here, be sure to look here for the original post. Rules are simple. One book, one square. Fill in the board by the end of 2023. That's only 2-ish books a month. 

This challenge is also on StoryGraph if you want to play along there. 



Are you ready for my picks? 


Vampire

Female Author

Dark Fantasy

Body Horror

Gothic

#1 in Series

Paranormal - The Spite House by Johnny Compton
Brand New
Novella - Even Though I Knew the End by CL Polk









Indie Author

Witch

BIPOC Author

Eco-horror - The Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman 








Western

Werewolf

Holiday

Monster - Churn the Soil by Steve Stred









YA

Comedy


When Animals Attack - The Broken Places by Blaine Daigle








Dark Fairytale

Isolation

Aquatic

Anthology/Collection

LGBTQ+ Author

Demon
  

Published  November 1, 2022 by Windstorm Press Jane’s nightmares are back—and this time, they’ve unleashed a brutal killer. Jane Walker’s ni...

Guest Post || In Search of a Setting by JP McLean


Published November 1, 2022 by Windstorm Press


Jane’s nightmares are back—and this time, they’ve unleashed a brutal killer. Jane Walker’s nightmares aren’t imaginary—they’re glimpses into the traumatic past; and the past can be dangerous, especially now that Jane’s protective birthmarks are gone.

Worse, she’s no longer invisible within her dreams—and learns this the hard way while using her power to incriminate a ruthless killer. Inadvertently revealing her ghost form, she launches him on a relentless hunt to track her down.

Even more disturbing, Jane knows this man. She once tried to use her power to save him from injury, but instead set him on a path of violent crime. Now, he’s targeted the man she loves, and Jane must keep one step ahead of this cold-blooded assassin before he gets rid of Ethan permanently.

Jane has one last chance to fix the mistake that altered this man’s history, but that means taking her most dangerous dream journey yet—one from which she might never awaken.

Ghost Mark is the second installment of the Dark Dreams Series by JP McLean, an author whose writing the Ottawa Review of Books calls “relentless and original.”





in search of a setting

by jp mclean



No matter the genre, all works of fiction have a setting, and every setting requires research, even the fictional ones. But choosing a present-day setting, like New York, or Paris, requires a deeper dive. Why? Because even if you have never visited the location you choose, your readers may have. If the location details aren’t authentic, you’ll lose credibility with your readers.

Getting the details right is important

Setting is more than a location on a map. In order to pull your reader into the setting, and keep them there, you have to evoke the senses, create an immersive experience. When researching a location, consider the sounds (cars honking, frog song), the scents (exhaust, wood smoke), the sights (high rises, fields of corn), the textures (cool glass, weathered wood), and the local cuisine (fast food, fine dining).

Setting your story in a place you’re familiar with is one way to get the details right. Most of the settings I choose are cities I’ve lived in. I know the street layouts, the neighbourhoods, the feel of the places. Indoors or out, downtown or suburb, I know where to find a suitable place for each scene. But what do you do when the setting is unfamiliar?

Any excuse for a road trip

Location research is a writer’s best excuse for a road trip! I’ve driven across Canada and down the west coast of the United States many times to see and feel for myself the places I’m using. I take copious notes and every opportunity to talk to locals. Most places have visitor information centres that are useful resources. The knowledgeable people who work there are happy to talk about the location and its famous or infamous residents. Does your story call for a name drop? Often, brochures and pamphlets are available for useful tips on everything from local festivals and markets to tourist hot spots, hikes, beaches, and restaurants. You’ll find plenty of detail to add layers of richness to your settings.

Servers at local restaurants are also a tremendous resource, and if you catch them during a slow time, they’re usually happy to talk. A server in the Napa Valley, in California’s wine country, gave me a piece of writing gold when she asked if I was in town for the crush. I learned that was local lingo for the annual grape harvest.

One mistake I’ve made on past road trips is not having a list of questions and scene-specific
requirements. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re on a road trip, so I like to know what locations the book calls for. Do I need to find a city park? A high rise? A derelict warehouse? Having a list may be easier for writers who plot, but even those who don’t plot, can keep a daily travel diary, and include the five senses they encounter while they’re out and about.

But what to do when you don’t have the flexibility to travel?


Happily, there are many other resources writers can tap. To get an overview of the area, a roadmap or Google Maps are good places to start. Supplement the big picture with Google Earth to hone in on the types of buildings in the area (residential/industrial), the architecture (gothic/modern), the scenery (lush/barren). Use traffic cameras to gage how busy the streets are, what kind of trees, billboards, or buildings line the highways. These are the streets and conditions your characters will encounter.

Search the internet for the scents and sounds of the place (seriously, type in scents and sounds of X city and you’ll be surprised how much you can glean). Find the local restaurants and look at their on-line menus. These are the meals your characters will order.
Check the weather charts and sunrise/sunset times to be sure you’re true to the timeframe you’re using. Research the flora and fauna your characters will encounter. Interview people you know who have been to the location. I’ve also used local real estate listings to get a feel for neighbourhood homes and condos. Most real estate listings these days come with drone footage, 360-degree views of the interior, and sometimes the architectural plans. This information can help round out interior scenes or lend flavour to scenes staged in the general vicinity.

Not everything you find will make its way to the page

You’ll often end up with much more information than you can use in your story. But the research is never wasted, because even if you don’t use the crush, knowing about it helps you understand the setting and the people, and that knowledge will infuse itself 
itself into your writing, pull in the reader and hold them in the story.




JP (Jo-Anne) McLean is a bestselling author of urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers. She is a 2021 finalist for the Chanticleer Paranormal Award for Supernatural Fiction, and the Wishing Shelf Book award for Adult Fiction. Her work has won a Readers’ Favorite Award, a Gold Literary Titan medal, and honourable mentions from the Whistler Independent Book Awards and the Victoria Writers’ Society. Reviewers call her work addictive, smart, and fun.

JP holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, is a certified scuba diver, an avid gardener, and a voracious reader. She had a successful career in Human Resources before turning her attention to writing.

Raised in Toronto, Ontario, JP has lived in various parts of North America, from Mexico and Arizona to Alberta and Ontario. JP now lives with her husband on Denman Island, which is nestled between the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. You can reach her through her website at jpmcleanauthor.com.
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Holy crap, how is it March already? Spring is around the corner and I, for one, am ready for it. While it hasn't been a bad winter in Vi...

This Month in Horror || March 2023


Holy crap, how is it March already?

Spring is around the corner and I, for one, am ready for it. While it hasn't been a bad winter in Virginia, I'm ready for green trees, later sunsets, and hitting the trails. And the best part of those long days is more time to read! 

 Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of March's releases! 
If you've missed the previous lists for January and February, you can still check those out. And if you are looking for what's still to come, you can see the whole list for 2023 here.


If you have a book releasing this year and want to get on the list, click here and I'll get you added!

__________________________________________

My Dear Henry by Kalynn Bayron 

Expected publication: March 7, 2023 by Feiwel & Friends


In this gothic YA remix of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, a teen boy tries to discover the reason behind his best friend's disappearance—and the arrival of a mysterious and magnetic stranger—in misty Victorian London.


London, 1885. 
Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life— and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll—was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry's expuslion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry's relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.

But Gabriel doesn't want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what's become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.

In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can't help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.

But the secret behind Henry's apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog—and not all of them are out for blood.

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Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova

Expected Publication: March 7, 2023 by Zando


Grieving mother Magos cuts out a piece of her deceased eleven-year-old son Santiago’s lung. Acting on fierce maternal instinct and the dubious logic of an old folktale, she nurtures the lung until it gains sentience, growing into the carnivorous little Monstrilio she keeps hidden within the walls of her family’s decaying Mexico City estate. Eventually, Monstrilio begins to resemble the Santiago he once was, but his innate impulses—though curbed by his biological and chosen family’s communal care—threaten to destroy this fragile second chance at life.

A thought-provoking meditation on grief, acceptance, and the monstrous sides of love and loyalty, Gerardo Sámano Córdova blends bold imagination and evocative prose with deep emotional rigor. Told in four acts that span the globe from Brooklyn to Berlin, Monstrilio offers, with uncanny clarity, a cathartic and precise portrait of being human.

A Man Among Ghosts By Steven Hopstaken 

Expected publication: March 7, 2023 by Flame Tree Press

After surviving a near-death experience, David finds himself haunted by ghosts in the old Victorian house he is renovating. These tortured souls beg for his help and offer him protection from a demonic presence that wants David dead for a crime he doesn’t remember committing. Even more surprising, he soon learns these are spirits of people who are not yet dead. Is this real, is he hallucinating, or is someone trying to drive him insane? As his paranoia ramps up, he discovers the truth is even more bizarre. The haunting won’t stop until he kills a man named “Fitz.”


Hell on High by Michael Clark

Expected publication: March 15, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

Prepare for adventure as Juliana, a nineteen-year-old Brazilian, finds herself forced to run from an occult overlord, leaving her sister in peril. Temporarily safe, Juliana works to save money for Vilma’s rescue—and along the way, meets Patrick, a rich-boy mountain climber with friends in high places.

Angus Addison wants to see his corporate flag on the summit of Mount Everest—carried there by the first woman in history—but the Himalayas are no joke. Failure could cost both sisters their lives.

Juliana weighs the risks and rewards—for even if she raises the cash, she still must figure a way to free Vilma from the same man she ran from—a man known to his disciples as The Farmer.




Piñata by Leopoldo Gout 

Expected publication: March 14, 2023 by Tor Nightfire



A Head Full of Ghosts meets Hereditary in Piñata, a terrifying possession tale by author and artist Leopoldo Gout.

Carmen Sanchez is back in her home country of Mexico, overseeing the renovation of an ancient cathedral into a boutique hotel. Her teen daughters, Izel and Luna, are with her for the summer, and left to fill their afternoons unsupervised in a foreign city.

The locals treat the Sanchez women like outsiders, while Carmen's contractors openly defy and sabotage her work. After a disastrous accident at the construction site nearly injures Luna, Carmen's had enough. They're leaving.

Back in New York, Luna begins acting strange, and only Izel notices the chilling changes happening to her younger sister. But it might be too late for the Sanchez family to escape what's been awakened...

Piñata is a bone-chilling story about how the sinister repercussions of our past can return to haunt us.







The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney

Expected publication: March 14, 2023 by Razorbill


A teenage girl must save her town from a memory-devouring monster in this piercing exploration of grief, trauma, and memory, from the author of The Valley and the Flood.
For generations, a monster called the Memory Eater has lived in the caves of Whistler Beach, Maine, surviving off the unhappy memories of those who want to forget. And for generations, the Harlows have been in charge of keeping her locked up—and keeping her fed.
After her grandmother dies, seventeen-year-old Alana Harlow inherits the family business. But there’s something Alana doesn’t know: the strange gaps in her memory aren’t from an accident. Her memories have been taken—eaten. And with them, she’s lost the knowledge of how to keep the monster contained.

Now the Memory Eater is loose. Alana’s mistake could cost Whistler Beach everything—unless she can figure out how to retrieve her own memories and recapture the monster. But as Alana delves deeper into her family’s magic and the history of her town, she discovers a shocking secret at the center of the Harlow family business and learns that tampering with memories never comes without a price.



Suburban Monsters by Christopher Hawkins

Expected publication: March 15, 2023 by Coronis Publishing


The house at the end of the block with the overgrown lawn. The darkened store window in a forgotten corner of the shopping mall. The colorful characters of a children's TV show. What dark secrets do they hide?

From award-winning author Christopher Hawkins come thirteen tales of the horrors lurking right next door.

* A shut-in sets out to make a new life for himself by losing weight at the point of a scalpel.
* A store clerk with a mannequin obsession hides a macabre and tragic secret.
* A master thief tries for one last score in a house that doesn't want him to leave.
* Two friends learn the hard way that having superpowers doesn't always make you a hero. It might just make you a monster.
* A lonely painter finds freedom with the help of something lurking beneath the ocean waves.

At turns whimsical and somber but always unsettling, this debut collection of short horror stories is essential reading from a rising voice in dark literary fiction.







Muckross Abbey and Other Stories by Sabina Murray

Expected publication: March 21, 2023 by Grove Press


Sabina Murray has long been celebrated for her mastery of the gothic. Now in Muckross Abbey and Other Stories, she returns to the genre, bringing readers to haunted sites from a West Australian convent school to the moors of England to the shores of Cape Cod in ten strange tales that are layered, meta, and unforgettable. From a twisted recasting of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, to an actor who dies for his art only to haunt his mother's house, to the titular "Muckross Abbey," an Irish chieftain burial site cursed by the specter of a flesh-eating groom--in this collection Murray gives us painters, writers, historians, and nuns all confronting the otherworldly in fantastically creepy ways. With notes of Wharton and James, Stoker and Shelley, now drawn into the present, these macabre stories are sure to captivate and chill.






Lone Women by Victor LaValle 

Expected publication: March 28, 2023 by One World


Blue skies, empty land—and enough room to hide away a horrifying secret. Or is there? Discover a haunting new vision of the American West from the award-winning author of The Changeling.

Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk is opened, people around her start to disappear...

The year is 1914, and Adelaide is in trouble. Her secret sin killed her parents, and forced her to flee her hometown of Redondo, California, in a hellfire rush, ready to make her way to Montana as a homesteader. Dragging the trunk with her at every stop, she will be one of the "lone women" taking advantage of the government's offer of free land for those who can cultivate it—except that Adelaide isn't alone. And the secret she's tried so desperately to lock away might be the only thing keeping her alive.

Told in Victor LaValle's signature style, blending historical fiction, shimmering prose, and inventive horror, Lone Women is the gripping story of a woman desperate to bury her past—and a portrait of early twentieth-century America like you've never seen.



  




The Seething by Ben Monroe 

Expected publication: March 23, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC


A family's relocation looked like a chance to relax and regroup—but as they settle into their new home,
teenage Kimmie Barnes’ special senses make her the target of something primordial,
evil, and utterly malign.

Darkness…

Golden Oaks, California is a sleepy town on the shores of Oro Lake,
and the residents have no idea what horrors lurk below the glittering waters.

Beneath the waves…

One by one, as people begin to disappear,
the once quiet town is soon in the grips of a waking nightmare.
An unimaginable horror consuming everything before it.

Hungry…

All while echoes of an ancient evil spread out like malignant spider webs,
like dead hands reaching, grasping…

SEETHING…


A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

Expected publication: March 28, 2023 by Tor Nightfire



A haunting Southern Gothic from an award-winning master of suspense, A House With Good Bones explores the dark, twisted roots lurking just beneath the veneer of a perfect home and family.

"Mom seems off."

Her brother's words echo in Sam Montgomery's ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.

She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam's excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.

But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.

To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.







Greymist Fair by Francesca Zappia

Expected publication: March 28, 2023 by Harper Collins



The people of Greymist Fair know that the woods are a dangerous and magical place, and that they should never set foot off the road. But when a young tailor discovers a body on the road, her search for the culprit reveals even more strange and dark happenings around her town. From acclaimed author Francesca Zappia, Greymist Fair is a suspenseful and inventive murder-mystery inspired by the lesser-known fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. Greymist Fair will bewitch readers of Rachel Vincent’s Red Wolf, Liz Braswell’s A Twisted Tale series, and fans of Into the Woods.

Features chapter decorations by the author throughout, as well as a map.

Two roads lead into a dark forest. They meet at Greymist Fair, the village hidden in the trees, a place kept alive by the families that never leave. The people of Greymist Fair know the woods are a dangerous and magical place, and to set foot off the road is to invite trouble.

When Heike, the village’s young tailor, discovers a body on the road, she goes looking for who is responsible. But her quest only leads to more strange happenings around Greymist Fair.

Inspired by the original, bloody, lesser-known fairytales of the Brothers Grimm, acclaimed author Francesca Zappia crafts an enthralling murder-mystery that will keep readers turning the pages. Told from multiple points of view, with each narrative building on the crime discovered by Heike, Greymist Fair examines the themes of childhood fears, growing into adult responsibilities, and finding a place to call home amid the trials of life and death.

In Nightfall by Suzanne Young 

Expected publication: March 28, 2023 by Delacorte Press



In the quaint town of Nightfall, Oregon, it isn't the dark you should be afraid of—it's the girls. The Lost Boys meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this propulsive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Treatment.

Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon—population 846 souls.

The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house rule: always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can't resist.

But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear.
And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave.


White Cat, Black Dog: Stories By Kelly Link

Expected publication: March 28, 2023 by Random House



Seven ingeniously reinvented fairy tales that play out with astonishing consequences in the modern world, from one of today's finest short story writers--MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble

Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers--characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.

In "The White Cat's Divorce," an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which will become his heir. In "The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear," a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In "Skinder's Veil," a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers--or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.

Twisting and winding in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable--these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the art of short fiction.