Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

Published    April 21, 2023 by Amazon Digital Services Be true to yourself and stand up for what's right. Michael, Tim, Dominic, and Log...

Published  April 21, 2023 by Amazon Digital Services

Be true to yourself and stand up for what's right. Michael, Tim, Dominic, and Logan are four buddies in the suburban town of Fairmont, Texas. Their lives are turned upside down when a demonic entity begins to terrorize their families and all of Fairmont as a whole. Logan knows that he is gay, but has to deal with his family that go to a hate-fueled church led by Johnny Cumberland, otherwise known as Johnny Gospel. The four friends must band together through thick and thin to stand up in the face of evil and hatred. Days and years may come and go, but one thing remains the same. When you're at your lowest you shouldnt be afraid to admit you need help. And don't forget, that we can get by with a little help from our friends. Thanks, Joe Cocker.

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

So, I was never opposed to Horror, but I did not consume it very often for most of my life. That was mostly because it scared the crap out of me, and I was more of a comedy guy. Fast forward to when I checked out of rehab and started the long road to recovery. I think you can see where I'm going with this. I found my next fix and horror has been giving me chills and thrills ever since.

What part of writing do you consider a chore?

Formatting, omg. I love writing and I even love editing. But formatting books is a special kind of hell.

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

For Chasing Demons I was at work. The song, You Are My Sunshine, came into my head and I thought of some twisted things that could happen with that in a story. I thought of that and other experiences that I would love to relate in a long form story. That got me to put some words down on a page and the rest of the novel followed behind.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Yes, I started to take it more seriously, and developed different habits that help me to stay productive.

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

I'm not exactly lighting the world on fire with my number of reviews yet. I do have a 2 star review that I liked because while she says that the story wasn't for her, but she explained why others might like it.  Here is a small excerpt...

"I highly recommend that people read this one for themselves and not base their decision on my personal opinion."

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

It depends. I would say that I usually get the plot first and fill in the characters afterwards, but there have definitely been times that I had a character come to mind that I just had to base a story off of.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

I tend to want to drink out of the same coffee cup while writing. It wouldn't be the end of the world for me if I used another, but I will go out of my way to go get the same one even of there is another one closer.

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

I can't think of one specifically  but I do get stuck in patterns of using a word. When going back over and editing I will notice that there was a section where I used the same word numerous times and have to change a few to avoid sounding repetitive. 

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

I was in like the top .01% or something of listeners for Brandon Boone last year on Spotify. You know what, I think I just found something else for that superstition question, lol! His music never has any vocals which is a must for me while writing and none of the melodies are ever jarring which could also throw me out of a groove. Highly recommend!

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

One doesn't jump to mind but I do have a funny story about my opening line of The Bunker. I have had an obsessive love of bacon since I was a child. It was to the point that I would jokingly ask for bacon at Christmas time and actually end up getting the precooked bacon to eat while opening presents. My sister read the first line, "The smell of bacon roused me from my sleep," and brought it to my attention that my love of bacon had even made its way into my fiction. I never made the connection but thought that it was a funny coincidence.

What is something about the genre that annoys you?

Hmmm... that's a tough one. My mind first goes more to the perception of the genre than the genre itself. People hear Horror and recoil in disgust or blame it for tragedies. The sad part it is usually the same people who would not want to fund mental health initiatives or regulate guns in a responsible manner. Sadly, that's just the world we live in.

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

Set goals for rejections. This is some wisdom that I was lucky enough to catch from Hailey Piper on Twitter and it's done wonders for my acceptance rate. More rejections, more acceptances! It also takes a bit of the sting out of rejections at times because you can add that tally mark toward your rejection goal for the year. It helps you realize that even your failures are progress that are moving you in the right direction.

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

Wake up and do it early in a space that you can be alone. After reading On Writing by Stephen King I made my own writing space as he suggests. That and waking up before the kids are going and I'm not exhausted from work already have done wonders for my productivity.

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

I've been working on a lot of short stories lately to network and expand my publishing profile. My main WIP that I need to get back on is my next book that is about Los Hermanos trailer park and those dirty bloodsucking vampires that are skulking within.

Would you and your main character get along?

If I was the same age as him and his friends, then absolutely. If I were still my own age and was his father or uncle, then definitely not! At least he would have me worried sick if thay were the case. 

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?

I am currently wearing a shirt that I had custom made to taunt my wife. It has a typewriter in the center and says, "Killing all your favorite characters." I think that answers the question. Its definitely necessary in my opinion. If you can build such a close bond in your readers and then rip that away in a way that makes sense and hurts deeply. I think that's something really special.

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

Nancy starts off as the owner of a local horror-themed store called Nancy's Dream & Scream. Her character character development surprised me later in the book, but I will leave that as a surprise for the readers!

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

Johnny Gospel. He is a devious, hypocritical, sorry excuse of a pastor. I loved being able to get into that twisted mindset and just play around with ideas.

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

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. I actually watched it every night one summer in middle school. Its laid back, hilarious, and just the kind of comfort movie I needed at that time. Snootchie Boochies!

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

Capybaras. They are so chill that they let all sorts of other species just hitch a ride on their back. I can relate!

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

Haunted mansion, with tons of ghost hunting equipment.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?

I didn't even really tell anyone when I published my first book. I've always had trouble talking about myself, but the more I grow in confidence the more I feel comfortable sharing my work with friends and family.

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


You've just gone Trick or Treating.

What do you hope is in your bag? 

What do you pawn off on your kids/SO/random stranger?

Butterfinger for my bag, Whoppers for anyone elses.

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?

Where can someone get shot without killing them? How long can you live with a leg ripped off? What are the laws behind escaped mental patients?

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

If i actually wake up from it then probably falling. The falling ones always make me jump awake.

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?

Either a Michael Myers tattoo or a bass guitar in honor of his band The Forgotten Souls.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?

Scream. I remember watching it then trying to fall asleep in the living room. Suddenly the coats on the rack in the hallways looked eerily similar to Ghostface making his way over to me.

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

Nothing really stands out. Heres to many strange comments by fans and authors in the future!

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

Wasps. They're jerks.

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

Probably a chainsaw because he is a horror junkie and he knows that he has to be prepared for the stuff that is going down in Fairmont!

You're riding through the desert on a horse with no name. What are you going to call it?

If I name it then I can't keep singing the song! But if I had to, I would name it Mr. Ed, so that when I started hallucinating that he was talking to me I wouldn't freak out!

If you were bitten and changed, would you want it to be by a vampire or a werewolf?

Vampires are immortal, and I think it would be pretty epic to be one of The Lost Boys.

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

@cd_kester on Twitter and @cdkester on Instagram. Absolutely!

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?

My books just released on where there is a bunch of great indie horror to grab at low prices. You can get both of my books and my audiobook there for $2.50! They are all also available on Amazon.

C. D. Kester is an author of fiction who does most of his work in the horror genre. He lives in Kingwood, Texas with his wife and two children. Kester recently published his first full length novel, Chasing Demons. He also has published a novella titled The Bunker. He has had many stories published in anthologies, ezines, and read in podcasts and on YouTube videos. You can see his work at and follow on Twitter @cd_kester ( / Instagram @cdkester (

Published  January 17, 2023 by Berkley G rady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—an...

Published January 17, 2023 by Berkley

Grady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—and your family—can haunt you like nothing else.

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.

Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.

But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…

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Grady Hendrix twists childhood imagination in the most demented way possible in this hilarious but unnerving romp that has to be his best novel yet. It's campy. It's creepy. It's just plain delightful.

Louise and her younger brother Mark have so much emotional debris to shift through after the unexpected death of both their parents—to say nothing of the decades of accumulated stuff (like creepy puppets and dolls). Character growth was not shirked throughout the novel and the two main characters had a lot of developing to do. So much, at times, I couldn't stand either of the jerks.  Unlikeable character redemption arcs are always tricky, but Hendrix pulled it off. 

Hendrix takes a long time setting up his characters and the scene. The weirdness doesn't start immediately, and even when it does, it can be rationalized. Given what we know of the sibling's relationship, it's not surprising at all that Louise thinks her jackass brother is trying to freak her out. You have to be in this for the long haul as Hendrix spends a lot of time on the sibling's relationship.

Oh buddy, though, when it all starts happening, watch out. I did get this one as an audiobook, which was especially horrific since the narrators did the voices too. I had a hard time not looking like a crazy person listening to this at work. I laughed many times at the characters or just the insaneness of it all. In other scenes, I cringed, and I'm sure I made all kinds of faces during a few of the later scenes. In the middle of it all, there's still that weird humor that Hendrix is noted for and is my favorite kind: dark! Squirrel Baby Jesus was dear to my heart and had me giggling insanely to myself and yet still cringing!  If Christopher Moore decided to write horror, I think his brainchild would end up in the realm of How to Sell a Haunted House. 

After what felt like the final showdown of the book, I was excited to see that I was only 2/3rds through. I thought "What could possibly come after this?"...and then I found out. Honestly, I was too busy enjoying the ride to bother trying to figure out where things were going. It's not often a book comes along that can completely immerse me in the world. Would I recommend this book? Hell, yeah. It's not going to be for everyone. If you like your horror fast and dirty, you're probably going to despise the amount of time waiting for something to happen. If you don't mind the build-up and back-story family drama, you're going to love it. 

It's starting to warm up outside, but you can find plenty of chills in this month's batch of new horror.   Get ready to pad your TBR...

It's starting to warm up outside, but you can find plenty of chills in this month's batch of new horror. 

 Get ready to pad your TBR, here are just a few of May's new releases! 

If you've missed the previous lists (January, February, March, April), 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!


Conjuring the Witch by Jessica Leonard

Expected publication: May 2, 2023 by Ghoulish Books

There are witches in the woods.

These are the words the reverend of the Lilin Assembly of Our Lord repeats to his parishioners each week. Steve and Nicole Warby think it’s just a metaphor, until Nicole takes a walk in those woods and comes back changed. Something came out of them with her, and the simple small-town life they’ve always known is forever altered when they discover the dark secrets buried deep and those intent on keeping them there. Fearing for his wife’s sanity, and his own comfortable status in the church, Steve is unsure if he wants to help or ignore the problems. The reverend believes there are witches in the woods, and he thinks Nicole is only the most recent.

Conjuring the Witch is a dark, haunted story about what those in power are willing to do to stay in power, and the sins we convince ourselves are forgivable.

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw

Expected publication: May 2, 2023 by Tor Nightfire

From USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Khaw comes The Salt Grows Heavy, a razor-sharp and bewitching fairytale of discovering the darkness in the world, and the darkness within oneself.

You may think you know how the fairytale goes: a mermaid comes to shore and weds the prince. But what the fables forget is that mermaids have teeth. And now, her daughters have devoured the kingdom and burned it to ashes.

On the run, the mermaid is joined by a mysterious plague doctor with a darkness of their own. Deep in the eerie, snow-crusted forest, the pair stumble upon a village of ageless children who thirst for blood, and the three 'saints' who control them.

The mermaid and her doctor must embrace the cruellest parts of their true nature if they hope to survive.

The Stradivarius by Rae Knowles

Expected Publication: May 3, 2023 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

When a surprise inheritance and whirlwind romance offer Mae a chance to escape her repressive aunt, she’s all too eager to elope and start life anew in her childhood home. But when she and her new husband arrive, the towering Victorian sits in disrepair, and Mae learns that her father’s decade-old, unsolved murder is still a source of rumor and speculation in town.

Leading the charge to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s death is Ollie, a vibrant genderqueer and an outsider in their hometown. Sure that solving the cold case will land them a coveted job in the police department, Ollie gains access to the Victorian by agreeing to do maintenance work on the property.

Inside, Mae is taunted by a feminine specter, soft voices from empty rooms, and distinct melodies of Lady Paola: the priceless, Stradivarius violin stolen the night of her father’s murder.

Forte, mezzo-forte, the measured, andante cadence.

Her hiss, her pull, her scream.

Mae fears the house is haunted by her father’s spirit, her husband believes she’s going the way of her mother–slipping into madness, but Ollie suspects something more sinister is at play. If Ollie and Mae can’t work together to uncover the Victorian’s secrets, Mae will join her mother in an institution or her father in the grave.

Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGill

Expected publication: May 4, 2023 by Doubleday

Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her great uncle disappeared in mysterious circumstances in the Arctic but she doesn't know why or how...

The 1850s is a time of discovery and London is ablaze with the latest scientific theories and debates, especially when a spectacular new exhibition of dinosaur sculptures opens at the Crystal Palace. Mary, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue, is keen to make her name in this world of science, alongside her geologist husband Henry, but without wealth and connections, their options are limited.

But when Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the shocking truth behind her great-uncle's past, she thinks she may have found the key to securing their future... Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland, to Henry's intriguing but reclusive sister Maisie, and to a deadly chase with a rival who is out to steal their secret...

Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe

Expected publication: May 9, 2023 by Poisoned Pen Press

Once she has her grip on you, she'll never let you go.

At four months old, Olivia Dahl was almost murdered. Driven by haunting visions, her mother became obsessed with the idea that Olivia was a changeling, and that the only way to get her real baby back was to make a trade with the "dead women" living at the bottom of the well. Now Olivia is ready to give birth to a daughter of her own...and for the first time, she hears the women whispering.

Everyone tells Olivia she should be happy. She should be glowing, but the birth of her daughter only fills Olivia with dread. As Olivia's body starts giving out, slowly deteriorating as the baby eats and eats and eats, she begins to fear that the baby isn't her daughter at all and, despite her best efforts, history is repeating itself.

Soon images of a black-haired woman plague Olivia's nightmares, drawing her back to the well that almost claimed her life―tying mother and daughter together in a desperate cycle of fear and violence that must be broken if Olivia has any hope of saving her child...or herself.

Baby Teeth meets The Invited in a haunting story of the sometimes-fragile connection between a woman's sense of self and what it means to be a "good" mother.

A Hunter Called Night by By Tim Waggoner

Expected publication: May 9, 2023 by Flame Tree Press

If you enjoyed Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix or Authority by Jeff Vandermeer, then you'll love this latest horror novel from the Bram Stoker award-winning author Tim Waggoner.

A sinister being called Night and her panther-like Harriers stalk their quarry, a man known only as Arron. Arron seeks refuge within an office building, a place Night cannot go, for it’s part of the civilized world, and she’s a creature of the Wild. To flush Arron out, she creates Blight, a reality-warping field that slowly transforms the building and its occupants in horrible and deadly ways. But unknown to Night, while she waits for the Blight to do its work, a group of survivors from a previous attempt to capture Arron are coming for her. The hunter is now the hunted.

All the Dead Lie Down by Kyrie McCauley

Expected publication: May 16, 2023 by Katherine Tegen Books

The Haunting of Bly Manor meets House of Salt and Sorrows in award-winning author Kyrie McCauley’s contemporary YA gothic romance about a dark family lineage, the ghosts of grief, and the lines we’ll cross for love.

The Sleeping House was very much awake . . .

Days after a tragedy leaves Marin Blythe alone in the world, she receives a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace—an acclaimed horror writer and childhood friend of Marin’s mother. Alice offers her a nanny position at Lovelace House, the family’s coastal Maine estate.

Marin accepts and soon finds herself minding Alice’s peculiar girls. Thea buries her dolls one by one, hosting a series of funerals, while Wren does everything in her power to drive Marin away. Then Alice’s eldest daughter returns home unexpectedly. Evie Hallowell is every bit as strange as her younger sisters, and yet Marin is quickly drawn in by Evie’s compelling behavior and ethereal grace.

But as Marin settles in, she can’t escape the anxiety that follows her like a shadow. Dead birds appear in Marin’s room. The children’s pranks escalate. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, leaving mutilated animals in its wake. All is not well at Lovelace House, and Marin must unravel its secrets before they consume her.

A Long Time Dead by Samara Breger

Expected publication: May 16, 2023 by Bywater Books

Samara Breger's A Long Time Dead is a lush, Victorian romance, drenched in blood and drama, about the lengths two women will go to secure a love that cannot die.

Somewhere foggy, 1837 . . .

Poppy had always loved the night, which is why it wasn’t too much of a bother to wake one evening in an unfamiliar home far from London, weak and confused and plagued with a terrible thirst for blood, to learn that she could no longer step out into the day. And while vampirism presented several disadvantages, it more than made up for those in its benefits: immortality, a body that could run at speed for hours without tiring, the thrill of becoming a predator, the thing that pulls rabbits from bushes and tears through their fur and flesh with the sharp point of a white fang.

And, of course, Roisin. The mysterious woman who has lived for centuries, who held Poppy through her painful transformation, and who, for some reason, is now teaching her how to adjust to her new, endless life. A tight, lonely, buttoned-up woman, with kindness and care, pressed up behind her teeth. The time they spend together is as transformative to Poppy as the changes in her body, and soon, she finds herself hopelessly, overwhelmingly attached. But Roisin has secrets of her own, and can’t make any promises; not when vengeance must be served.

Soon, their little world explodes. Together and apart, they encounter scores of vampires, shifty pirates, conniving opera singers, ancient nobles, glamorous French women, and a found family that throws a very particular sort of party. But overhead, threat looms—one woman who is capable of destroying everything Poppy and Roisin hold dear.

Hungers as Old as This Land by Zachary Rosenberg

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

The settlement of Grey's Bluffs is a prosperous town. An independent community dwelling in the shadows of the mountains known only as The Hungers.

Esther Foxman and Siobhan O'Clery have grown up in Grey's Bluffs, thriving out on the western territories in the aftermath of the Civil War. Devoted to one another and their home, the two set out to complete a regular pact at the Hungers to ensure that Grey's Bluffs continues to prosper.

Cyril Redstone is a man who knows death well. Becoming a mercenary after the Civil War, Cyril leads the marauding Blackhawks from one slaughter to the next. Hired to destroy Grey's Bluffs, Cyril cares little for morality, nor that he owes its founder his life.

Esther and Siobhan are left to defend the only home they have ever known from the Blackhawks, their confrontation driving them deep into the mountains.

Where the darkest secrets of the Hungers await them.

The Devil’s Pocketbook by Ross Jeffery

Expected publication: May 23, 2023 by DarkLit Press

Erik and Lara are in mourning for their daughter, who was born “incompatible with life”. To get away from their suffocating grief and the ever-present shadow their daughter has cast in their lives since passing, and desperately trying to recover their increasingly rocky relationship, they take a trip to the seaside town of Polperro, in Cornwall. But no sooner have they arrived, than they realise that their grief cannot be so easily eluded. Drawn to the waters, Erik and Lara discover a large Devil's Pocketbook, and inside: the miracle child they could never have. Scylla.

The Alchemy of Moonlight by David Ferraro

Expected publication: May 30, 2023 by Page Street Kids

When Emile’s aunt declares he must marry or be disowned for being gay—he runs away to hide as a servant in Count Montoni’s mansion. In their service, Emile tends to the family who all suffer a strange affliction on the full moon. And after overhearing suspicious family arguments, he finds a body on the estate, drawing the attention of a handsome doctor as well as the count’s charismatic nephew, Henri.

Before Emile can sort out his affections or unravel the growing Montoni family mystery, his identity is revealed and his aunt comes to collect him.

When she arrives, Count Montoni forces everyone to depart to the remote Udolpho Castle—where there are no witnesses and no chance for escape. There, Emile realizes that he will have to risk his life to find the love he deserves—and survive the Montoni family.


Published  September 5, 2023 by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. Souls shrouded in darkness… On her own in England, Vicki trains at a prestigious...

Published September 5, 2023 by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

Souls shrouded in darkness…

On her own in England, Vicki trains at a prestigious fencing school. Face marred by a birthmark, she’s suspicious of Nicholas’ attention. A dinner date reveals his genuine interest and they begin to connect. Nicholas is attractive and she wonders why he’s so shy and reclusive.

Then one evening she happens upon him changing into a lycan. Every werewolf legend is challenged by the gentle, fearful creature before her. Vickie accepts his secret, but Nicholas knows he’s an unpredictable beast. Can they trust love enough to overcome their physical challenges?

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A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Published  March 24, 2023 by Wicked House Publishing When Ryne Burdette inherits his family's old hunting cabin deep in the Yukon wilder...

Published March 24, 2023 by Wicked House Publishing

When Ryne Burdette inherits his family's old hunting cabin deep in the Yukon wilderness, he wants to say no. Nothing much is left in that place except for unpleasant memories and the smoke of old burns. But after a tragic year, he sees a weekend trip to the cabin with his best friends as a way to recuperate and begin again.

But there is something strange about these woods. As a winter storm moves in, the animals begin acting strangely, and the natural laws of the wilderness seem to fall apart. Then, the soft voices start whispering through the trees. Something is watching them.

As the storm gets worse and the woods get darker, the three friends must dive into the darkest waters of the Burdette family lineage. Because the horrible truth is deep, resting in the shadowed places no one wants to look.

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The setting: An old hunting lodge in the woods with a freak blizzard bearing down on the area. The characters: Best friends, all carrying some form of trauma. The takeaway: The Broken Places is isolation folk horror done right.

It begins with one of the three, Ryne, recalling an odd occurrence from his childhood when he, his father, and his uncle made a trip to the cabin. Then, adult Ryne and two of his childhood friends, Shawn and Noah, are on the road heading toward that same isolated cabin from Ryne's past. The trip is full of memories, both good and bad, family history, and the bond of brotherhood. Sounds great, right? While initially a slow-burn horror, once the scare wheel starts turning, it's all speed ahead. 

The Broken Places' main strength is its character development. The three friends all have some type of trauma that they are carrying with them into this place. While Ryne's is the main focus, Noah and Shawn have their own emotional backstories, but their tight bond of friendship is strong and has kept them together across the years. Rather than only getting one viewpoint throughout the occurrences, you get to step into the lives of each of them in turn. The varying perspective could confuse and delay the story but, in this case, only adds more poignancy to what's occurring.

This debut novel by Blaine Daigle couldn't get into my head fast enough. This is not just a horror story; It's a tale about loss, grief, and depression. A perfectly atmospheric folk terror to haunt you long after you've finished the last page. 

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

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

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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 ...

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.