Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

Published  December 30, 2022 by D&T Publishing Uninvited and unwelcomed, Dan’s estranged mother Margo shows up at his doorstep moments b...


Published December 30, 2022 by D&T Publishing

Uninvited and unwelcomed, Dan’s estranged mother Margo shows up at his doorstep moments before a freak snowstorm hits their small Texas town. The arctic storm comes fast and hard, trapping Dan and his wife, their teen daughter, and her boyfriend inside with the malicious old woman who seems hell-bent on destroying everything her son and daughter-in-law have built together. Long-buried family secrets are exhumed, causing tensions to flare and tempers to erupt. As things spiral out of control and anger consumes the household, inside is Hell. But outside in the snow, there’s something far more sinister. Something full of rage. Something violent. And that something has a taste for blood.

"A multi-layered thriller that'll chill your blood faster than a freak blizzard, Matt Micheli's The White proves there are scarier things than being trapped at home with family." - Jessica McHugh, Bram Stoker & Elgin Award nominated author of A Complex Accident of Life and Strange Nests

“Reading The White is like jumping naked into an ice-cold dunk tank filled with razor blades and smashed faces, Micheli’s writing is horrifically refreshing.” – Luke Kondor, co-founder and host of The Other Stories

“The White is a fun one-sitting romp dealing with high-tension family dynamics and the arrival of a freak snowstorm offering more than just a chill.” – Mark Towse, author of Nana and Crows

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Matt Micheli is a dark fiction and horror writer out of New Braunfels, TX, author of The White by D&T Publishing. He has several pieces featured in various magazines and anthologies. He is a loving husband and a girl and Husky dad who spends his days dabbling in domestication and his nights in Tequila, always searching for the next great story. Watch for his second novella Scratched in spring of 2023 and his 80's throwback horror novella Two Minutes with the Devil coming June of 2023 by D&T Publishing.

Published  July 12, 2022 by Tor Nightfire W hat Moves the Dead is Kingfisher's retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Fall...



Published July 12, 2022 by Tor Nightfire

What Moves the Dead is Kingfisher's retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Fall of the House of Usher.”

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

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T. Kingfisher could write an encyclopedia that I'd want to read, so when I saw that What Moves The Dead was a revamping of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", I was giddy with excitement. Yes, giddy. I said what I said. Instead of a regurgitated version, Kingfisher has added her own reconception to Poe's short story and it's a doozy.

As with Poe, Kingfisher begins her tale with a first-person narrative. However, unlike Poe and his exceptionally vague male protagonist, Lieutenant Alex Easton is a genderqueer retired soldier friend of the female Usher—a deviation from Poe's who is a friend of the male sibling. Kingfisher has also made the addition of a female mycologist, an American doctor, as well as various townspeople, to complete the cast. Though I have to admit Angus, the Scottish personal assistant of Lt. Easton, was a personal favorite. 

Kingfisher always crafts her stories with creeping dread and from the beginning pages, she molds (pun not intended but in this case, highly appropriate) this inspired tale with care. The Usher property is blooming with nasty, foul-smelling mushrooms, the manor house is crumbling and filled with mildew and decay,  and the Ushers themselves are pallid skeletal things. None of that is anything new.  Oh, but the hares. If nothing else will give you the heebie-jeebies in this story, the hares will. You know that feeling you get while watching horror movies, where a person skitters around on all fours or jerkily ambulates—familiar but thoroughly alien? Kingfisher must dream of that feeling because she excels at writing the wrongness of things. 

It's like Kingfisher took a look at Poe's narrative and decided to complete all of the gaps, mapping out the dark corners and watery lake depths. She scaffolded onto the original with a light touch, melding some gratifying humor and wit with the expected gothic conventions. However, if you were a fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic and Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, you'll be over the moon to know that this is also a fungal horror. Undeniably, Kingfisher gives us the answers to the questions that plagued us after finishing the original.  Poe's version left the reader with so many interpretations and very little solid evidence. Kingfisher doesn't wait for the House of Usher to break atwain; She lights it on fire and watches it burn. 

Exiled for a murder her father committed, Brigid Cleary has until midsummer to gather what she needs for readmission to her home in the fair...

Exiled for a murder her father committed, Brigid Cleary has until midsummer to gather what she needs for readmission to her home in the fairy mound: a chest of stolen gold and a chest full of her father’s blood. With nothing but her own wits and an ability to be mostly unseen, she takes a position as a scullery maid in a country manor house, where stealing gold is easy as dusting the candlesticks.

When discovery of her thieving becomes likely, she scarpers, embarking on a madcap season in London. With midsummer fast approaching, Brigid must recoup her stolen gold in any way she can, even if it means modeling for a lecherous pre Raphaelite artist, posing as a young debutante to spy on other debutantes, and forming a clandestine Pugilism Club for Young Ladies.

With gold filling her pockets and her father newly released from prison, the path back to the fairies should be clear. Or would be, were it not for her growing feelings for Edmund, the gentle young lord who hired her to spy on his sister; her burgeoning sense of loyalty and friendship to Adelaide, the sister upon whom she was meant to spy; and the unsettling question of whether she should--or even could--bloodily avenge her mother’s death.

Inspired by the actual 1895 murder of Bridget Cleary by her husband Michael, the struggle for Irish Home Rule, and events surrounding the late pre Raphaelite artistic movement, The Revenge of Bridget Cleary has been heralded by author Joanna Ruth Meyer as "equal parts haunting, compelling, and thoughtful."



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


I love fantasy and horror because they allow you to explore the meaningful by way of the impossible. 

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I like editing better, sometimes I like drafting better, and sometimes they're both a total slog. Getting shiny new ideas and throwing them all onto paper, however, is always fun.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


Yes. I learned so much about editing and different ways of looking at narrative. I'm really grateful to my writing friends and beta readers for making this story so much better. 

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


*knock on wood* I haven't gotten one yet! I've only had one three star review, and I couldn't even call that bad, as it was thoughtful and generous, and the reviewer also went on to recommend my book to forums on reddit that he thought would enjoy it more than him!

I'm still waiting for a truly scathing review. I feel like it is a rite of passage for authors. 

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


It really depends on the story. For The Revenge of Bridget Cleary, it was the plot. For the book I'm currently writing, it was the characters. For a book I'm hoping to write in the near future, it was actually the world building. 

Do you have any writing superstitions?


I don't know if it's so much a superstition as it is Pavlovian training, but I have the hardest time writing if I am anticipating getting interrupted by my children. I like to write a coffee shops while they're at school, or evenings in the library while husband is with them at home, because when I'm with them, even if they promise to give me 20 minutes, I'm constantly anticipating interruptions.

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


Modifiers. All the modifiers. 

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


For The Revenge of Bridget Cleary, I really got into "Tell Me Ma," especially the cover by Gaelic Storm.

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


"I love this. I love it all. The messiness, the uncertainty, the failure and the hunger. When you can live forever, time matters less. Triumph and failure all runs together like sunrises and sunsets—there are an endless supply of them. It doesn't work that way in the mortal world. You've only got so much time, and the press of what to do with that time. And then you die." 

Mortality is hard, and it's simultaneously comforting and terrifying that it's so temporary. 

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


In historical fiction, or historical fantasy, the assumption that "historical" must equate to "women in supporting roles only." Women have been shaping the course of history since the beginning of time, and I think it's important that we start challenging that assumption, centering their stories, and highlighting their remarkable achievements.

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


Please stop revising that one book over and over. Write new books, try new things. You can always come back to that project.

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


When you hear people talking about writing "rules" or writing advice, stick to the pirates' code. They're all just suggestions. One of your jobs as a writer is to weigh, measure, and experiment with other writer's input and figure out your own process. What helps you be more productive, what helps you love the process? Just because it works for Stephen King doesn't mean it's for everyone.

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


I do! I am nearly done drafting The Bee King, a 1920's Gothic Horror about a girl who accepts a marriage proposal from a mysterious beekeeper/ honey baron to save her family. 

Of course, things are not what they seem, and the strange Beekeeper's plans for her are not what she was expecting.

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


I like to write duos that are foils to each other--the serious and careful character thrown in with the chaotic, disorganized anarchist. 

Characters are the most fun when they play off each other.

Would you and your main character get along?


Probably!

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


Necessary.

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


Yes. All the time.

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


Knives Out

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


Platypus. Nonsensical, harder to categorize, but totally here and  living my best life. 

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


Cottage. I love mansions but don't want the upkeep.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


I mutter dialogue when I'm planning it. 

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?

I want: Almond Joys I pawn off: Jolly Ranchers

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?

How much blood do you have to lose before dying?

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

I'm back in contact with some people that, in real life, I've gone no contact with. If ever there was a sign that no contact is good, maybe it's that one!

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?

Her mother's name on her arm.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?

Silence of the Lambs. I saw it when I was 12, and it was...a lot

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

Someone on Goodreads called The Revenge of Bridget Cleary a masterpiece. I mean, I worked very hard on that book and I am proud of it, but that one still definitely took me by surprise!

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

Cats.

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

A shovel.

Which of the Golden Girls is your personality most like?

I've actually never seen the show!

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

Werewolf!

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

Fletcher. He's a chubby palomino and I love him.

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

Yes!

Mathilda Zeller has inhabited 2 continents, 3 countries, 11 of the United States, and 18 towns. Don't ask her where she's from; it's complicated.

She endeavors to make you lose sleep with fantasy and horror stories and currently makes her home in the Midwest with her husband, six children, and two cats.

Published  September 27, 2022 by Tordotcom I n an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s re...

Black rectangle with the words Book Review and the cover of Leech by Hiron Ennes

Published September 27, 2022 by Tordotcom

In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies.

For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to cure and to cut, to cradle and protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed.

In the frozen north, the Institute's body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder. A parasite is spreading through the baron's castle, already a dark pit of secrets, lies, violence, and fear. The two will make war on the battlefield of the body. Whichever wins, humanity will lose again.


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  Words my thoughts with a coffee cup
Leech is a baffling gothic body-horror-filled affair and one in which, I was not totally sold...at first. Intrigued? You should be. It's most likely the most inscrutable read of my entire year (2022 that is). I started Leech initially thinking I was getting a drafty cold chateau set in a bleak snowy landscape with a parasite on the loose—and it delivered that but also much more. So much, in fact, that I initially gave up on it completely at a loss of what was occurring and resigned it to the DNF pile, but when I saw the audiobook, I decided to give it another shot. The narration was exactly what I needed to wade through the details and pique my interest again. 

When we first meet the doctor, they are arriving by train through a wintry desolate landscape to the frozen grounds of the Château de Verdira. It's the perfect gothic setting. The doctor has come after the death of the previous doctor to uncover exactly what caused the death. From there it only gets stranger. The doctor is part of the "The Institute" and has only just arrived, but seems to know all the inhabitants of the Château already. How is this? Well, that's part of Leech's charm. 

This book is dense. The language is stilted and the narrative constantly jumps; past, future, person to person, sometimes it's many voices at once in a strange mind share. The pacing is constantly speeding up and then slowing down. The setting seems primitive and yet the baron is kept alive by an innumerable amount of machinery, tubing, levers, and dials. There are talks of vestigial tails and a vendigeaux side by side with plastiophages and old nuclear plants. You get some answers, and more questions until it culminates in a fantastical ending. The trick of Leech is reading without the expectation to comprehend. It truly is dropping you in the middle of a myriad of things and tromping along until it makes sense in a very ah-ha manner. 

It's a curious beast of medical horror, sci-fi, and old-school gothic. It's body horror all wrapped up in existential dread and dubious bodily autonomy. It's vivid, disgusting things of mucous and fluids, of black tendrils and blood. It's a difficult read, but one where you get to the end, sit back and ruminate before deciding whether or not you truly enjoyed the read.  

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


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.

Website | Twitter | Instagram Amazon

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...



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 ...



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!

__________________________________________

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.



 Published June 5th 2022 by Birchwood Press A ll Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad f...



 Published June 5th 2022 by Birchwood Press

All Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad for her no one else wanted to be there. By the time the turkey is carved, old grievances, bad behavior, and crass remarks have transformed her dinner party into a disaster. And then a werewolf shows up to do some carving of its own.

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Wolf at the Door has all the delightful family drama of the Thanksgiving table in a nutshell. Disapproving inlaws, a divorce on the horizon, jealousy, envy, oh it has all of it. That's certainly enough for one day but then it gets hairy. Like really hairy. No one invited the werewolf for turkey and gravy but he's there huffing and puffing and blowing the little house down. Okay, enough puns. I love werewolf stories. As far as tropes go, it's at least in my top ten. A werewolf ripping and tearing its way through the entire Days of Our Lives dysfunction should have been a blast but the novella didn't deliver on some aspects for me. 

This is not a book where you pick that one character to enthusiastically want to see them escape the clutches of evil. I didn't like any of the characters. Head ripped off? Cool. Survived the night? Whatever. I didn't have any strong feelings for or against any of them meeting their ghastly end at the hands, er...paws of the wolf. That also means there is no underdog to root for to make it out alive. Now obviously that's on purpose as all the characters are constructed with all their faults at the forefront. Liking a character doesn't automatically equate to a great read. However, I expected to be more invested in the characters and it didn't happen.

Still, there's an abundance of innards becoming out-ards and all kinds of squelchy goodness.  If you want a quick read where the walls run red, McKay certainly delivers the splatter. I'd say that people who don't typically read horror would have fun with this novella but most seasoned horror readers are going to want more developed characters and a more nuanced plot. 



Published  October 15, 2022 by Grinning Skull Press M artin "Wags" Wagner, an aging catcher relegated to a minor-league affiliate ...


Published October 15, 2022 by Grinning Skull Press

Martin "Wags" Wagner, an aging catcher relegated to a minor-league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, is offered a new assignment—take a promising young pitcher under his wing and show him the ropes. Martin's manager is cagey about the new player, giving only his name, Andrei Dinescu, and his country of origin, Moldova. Despite the mysterious circumstances, Martin accepts the assignment, hoping to earn a return to the big leagues.

After his first bullpen session with the new pitcher, Martin is stunned by Andrei’s lack of physical ability and his unfamiliarity with baseball. However, with each passing week, Andrei’s strength and skill grow exponentially, and his miraculous leaps in both ability and pitch velocity frighten Martin. His fear is compounded by the organization’s obvious attempts to keep Andrei separated from the rest of the team.

When Martin discovers the shocking truth about Andrei Dinescu, he realizes his path back to the big leagues is one stained with horror and blood.


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Know a catcher by his knees, Martin Wagner thought as he taped bags of ice to his. He'd become an expert in the application of cold to torn ligaments and inflamed joints. As he ministered to his aching knees, he watched young men in their prime strut around in perfect injury-free bodies, laughing and joking, utterly confident in their indestructability. Martin tried not to hate them. Not easy for a thirty-seven-year-old catcher at the ass-end of his career who had to pop two Percocet to even get on the field, let alone play at something resembling a professional level. The aging athlete is a resentful creature.
 
Martin leaned against his locker. It was too small and too close to the others. Not like the cavernous, walk-in closet-sized joints in the big leagues. But he was not in the big leagues anymore. He'd been relegated to the minors last season, and in the minors, you made do with less. His head brushed the black-and-gray Sacramento Stars uniform hung above his locker. The Stars were a minor-league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Not so long ago, he'd worn the black and orange of the big team. Not so long ago, a big-league salary helped alleviate the pain in his knees, back, and neck. League minimum, sure, but that six-hundred grand let him pay his alimony and hang on to enough to live comfortably. Now, exiled to Triple-A, he made a fraction of that. He was two payments behind on his alimony, living in a one-room shit box—he couldn't bring himself to share a place with one of his embryonic teammates—his big-league career a swiftly fading memory. Veronica, his ex, was sympathetic to his predicament and let him slide on the alimony. Her magnanimity somehow made him feel worse about himself. The aging athlete is also a dumping ground for toxic male hang-ups





Aeryn Rudel is a writer from Tacoma, Washington. He is the author of the baseball horror novella Effectively Wild published by Grinning Skull Press and the Acts of War novels published by Privateer Press. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Matter Magazine, On Spec, and Pseudopod, among others. Aeryn is a heavy metal nerd, a baseball geek, and knows far more about dinosaurs than is healthy or socially acceptable. Learn more about his work at www.rejectomancy.com or on Twitter @Aeryn_Rudel.  

This book's title comes from the reality that - like a moth to the flame - we're all just one event, mishap, or decision away from t...



This book's title comes from the reality that - like a moth to the flame - we're all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.

What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?
If you dare, why not find out?

Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book - but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares...



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


Loved horror comics as a child

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


Reading my own hand scribbled notes and typing the min

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


At work. Day dreaming.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


Oh yeah. I'm not the same person.

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


Someone was very angry with me because my story gave them nightmares. Well, it was a horror story, but I felt bad...

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


Plot first. It's better for me if I have a story line before I insert characters.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Don't write about things that are too real. We all deal with sad things in our lives. I'd like for people to escape from that, even if it's only for a little while.

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


Said. But I minimize its use whenever I can (not by substituting alternatives if I can - using too many of those can be a distraction to reading, he quipped).  

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


Two Steps From Hell by Epic World - quite uplifting and mysterious

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


'For the new NASA spokesperson, Mr. Argyle Goldtoe, is a sock puppet.' A comedy story about how NASA is taking a new approach to PR. Irreverent yet relevant. 

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


How some people perceive it to only be about gruesome subjects, not real life happening to take an unusual turn. 

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

Write like no one is reading. :)

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


You have value. Never forget that. Write your story. Not someone elses.

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


New sci-fi/ horror novel. I'm thinking about the bigger plot now. When I get better structure, I'll frame out the chapters.

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


I wrote a story about a submariner. He led a simple basic life in a horrible war, only wishing to go home and be with his loved one.

Would you and your main character get along?


I think so. We're both very easy going.

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


Without a purpose - nope, throw the book across the room time. For a noble cause or sacrifice, it could work, but it must be relatable to the reader.

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


They're often quite bossy, telling me what to do.

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


Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was a movie theatre usher. Saw it 4 times a day when I worked for over a year.

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


No idea. Probably a common dog because I'm very simple minded at times when it comes to relationships.   


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


My parent's house in Maine seemed to have haunted aspects. I don't know what to think about that, but it was scary at times. Let's go with fairy tale creatures as long as they're the nice ones.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


I look at regular life and see stories waiting to be written. 

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


:)

You've just gone Trick or Treating. What do you hope is in your bag? 

Zero bars. I love them - white fudge and crunchy stuff. 

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?


Can't say - the police will read your blog. Okay, yesterday I looked up Grey Aliens. 

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


Showing up to school naked. Yeah, it's been awhile...

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?


mom

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


I'm ancient, so it's the Wizard of Oz.

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


Nuke em til they glow, then shoot em in the dark.

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


Cats. They can be quite sarcastic.

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


A survival knife.

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


Werewolf. You get to keep your day job. 

Which of the Golden Girls is your personality most like?


Dorothy. IRL, she was once a marine. I wasn't, but I relate.

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


I'm not sure what Sado Masochism links are available but you can find me on Facebook.


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


GoogleMaps please.

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

I can only aspire to write better. My inspiration, from the 1987 Bulwer-Lytton Contest: “The notes blatted skyward as the sun rose over the Canada geese, feathered rumps mooning the day, webbed appendages frantically pedaling unseen bicycles in their search for sustenance, driven by cruel Nature’s maxim, ‘Ya wanna eat, ya gotta work,’ and at last I knew Pittsburgh.”


Jeff has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. In addition to his two short story books, The Captivating Flames of Madness and Algorithm of Nightmares, he is published in The Horror Zine, The Best of The Horror Zine: The Middle Years, The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolves, The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories, Aphelion Webzine, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 4, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, Dystopia Utopia Short Stories, Wax & Wane: A Coven of Witch Tales, Thinking Through Our Fingers, The Moving Finger Writes, Golden Prose & Poetry, Our Dance With Words, The Voices Within, Fireburst: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group, Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2018, SNM Horror Magazine, and Bonded by Blood IV/ V. He is currently seeking a publisher for his first novel titled Tomorrow Will End, a sci-fi/ horror adventure. For more propaganda, visit his Facebook Author Page [https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffParsons/].