Today's Author Spotlight is horror author Matthew R. Davis! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: February 29th 2021 Links...

Today's Author Spotlight is horror author Matthew R. Davis!
Read on for the full interview.

Publication date: February 29th 2021
Links: Amazon 


Jonny Trotter has spent the last fifteen years running from tragic memories of the country town where he grew up-but the black envelopes pushed under his door won't let him forget, and now that his father has died, he can run no more.


Returning to Waterwich for the funeral and wake with his partner Sloane, Jonny must confront old resentments, his estranged best friends Brendan and Coralie, a strange, veiled woman the locals call the White Widow...and the mystery surrounding the fate of his first lover, Jessica Grzelak.


A morbid and reckless city girl banished to the country to live with her aunt, Jessica loved to push the limits and explore the shadows-and no one has seen her since the night of her high school formal, the night she and Jonny went looking for the Chapel.


Rumoured to be found in the woods outside Waterwich, mentioned in playground rhymes about local lovebirds Billy and Poppy and their killing spree in 1964, the Chapel is said to be an ancient, sacred place that can only be entered by lovers-a test that can only be passed if their bond is pure and true.


Before he can move on to a future with Sloane, Jonny must first face the terrible truth of his past-and if he can't bring it out into the light at last, it might just pull him and everything he loves down into the dark, forever.

What's your latest release? 

MIDNIGHT IN THE CHAPEL OF LOVE, my first novel, published by JournalStone.

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 

I often describe it as a contemporary rural gothic mystery horror, which is a bit of a mouthful but covers most of the bases! The basic synopsis sounds fairly straightforward, even hackneyed - man returns to the country town he's been avoiding for years and must face up to his tragic past - but there's a lot more going on in this story, both above and below the surface. There's a cave out in the woods called the Chapel where lovers may test the strength and purity of their bond, which provides the narrative with a centre as well as a shot of cosmic awe. And it's a very Australian story, which may be of interest to international readers not used to such things. No spoilers, but I'll tell you this up front: there are no kangaroos.

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

A drive between town and city, a Something for Kate song called "The Fireball at the End of Everything", my own conflicted feelings about the place where I grew up, the mysterious and ineffable atmosphere of PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, the mistakes I'd made in relationships and the ones I was yet to make...

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?

The characters grew along with the story and changed to suit the narrative. For example, the main character's partner was initially a blonde white woman called Stephanie - a tip of the hat to Something for Kate and their bassist Stephanie Ashworth - but she didn't feel like an actual person so much as a conscious reference. I felt my way around in the darkness until I hit upon elements that I felt worked for the story: her name became Sloane, which felt right; she became a Chinese-Australian woman with a Polish-descended father, which fits neatly with some of the book's themes; she became an acquisitions manager for a local press, which allowed her an avid reader's perspective on the plot - she pushes Jonny to get closure on fifteen years of mystery and pain because she knows nothing else makes narrative sense! That last was something that found its way into the work as I wrote it, along with a number of other little details that add up to make Sloane Nowak a person I feel I really know and admire. Jonny Trotter, on the other hand, felt more like a cypher when I began writing as he didn't seem to have many distinctive characteristics, but he filled out and grew more real as I lived through him. I guess that makes sense as I have an intuitive understanding of the male experience, and indeed, the novel is in some ways an examination of Australian masculinity - the good, the bad, and the toxic. I find that interesting as I generally prefer to write female characters, and though there are strong and well-observed women at the heart of this tale, it is very much the story of a man.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?

Character focus is very important to me when writing a novel, and on that level, my work carries the same weight as literary fiction - but I'm often disappointed by lit-fic's apparent disdain for solid, interesting plots. I try to ensure that my plots are watertight before I sit down to write the manuscript, that they start, continue, and end somewhere meaningful. And while I have a good idea of the characters when I begin writing, they accrue layers and details as I go that make them feel more real. So both elements are paramount to me.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?

I think the most interesting thing I learned came after. I put all this effort into writing a man whose insecurity and dishonesty damages his relationships and has far-reaching consequences... and then, without understanding it, I went and became that man myself. That particular irony was hard to swallow.

What books or authors influenced your own writing?

There are so many! I am the net result of all my reading, so hopefully the influence of thousands of other authors, filtered through my own perspective and experience, becomes something entirely unique. That said, it's impossible to ignore the influence of Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell, though I sometimes spot lines or techniques that remind me of other favourites.

What attracted you to the genre you write in?

If we narrow my genre down to just horror, which is at the heart of everything I do: I think that horror, despite its outlandish trappings, trades in truths other genres won't touch - not just in spite of its irrationality, but BECAUSE of it. I believe that good, thoughtful horror comes closest to depicting and examining the many-faceted, complicated, and confusing nature of humanity. Also, I like blood, boobs, and spooky shit.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished AMERICAN HIPPO by Sarah Gailey and I've started THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones. I'm also working my way through the MONSTRESS graphic novels by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.

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

I don't write to music these days - too distracting - but I always, ALWAYS have songs looping in my head, and the ones playing as I wrote this novel were dictated by the chapter titles, which took their names from songs by acts mentioned in the story. I appended a playlist to the back of the book so readers can check out the songs and artists in question - The Cure and Joy Division, Deftones and Silverchair, Chelsea Wolfe and Diamanda Galas... Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Godflesh, Something for Kate. And there are plenty of artists namechecked in the book who don't get chapter titles, because music is how I relate to people and the world - it moves through literally everything I do.

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

"Keep going, kid. You're on the right track."

What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?

I've been leaning hard on RICK AND MORTY lately to unwind, and DOCTOR WHO is always close to my heart. I don't like to rewatch movies too much in case the shine wears off, but the Cornetto Trilogy - SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, and THE WORLD'S END - is something that repays repeat watches and is endlessly amusing whilst still delivering genuine pathos and great writing.

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

At the risk of jinxing myself, I'm preparing to write a creepy, heartfelt novel manuscript about derelict places, those who explore them, and the people who fall through the cracks. I've spent a lot of time wandering through abandoned ruins with my favourite photographer, and it's all going to pay off in grand style once I unpick the plot knots holding me back from starting on this one...

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?

My modest but informative blog is at and you can find me on Facebook. I don't have the time, inclination, or talent at creating pithy bites of information to bother with other social media right now!

I’m an author and musician (plus sometime editor, visual artist, scriptwriter, composer, and all-round Renaissance man) based in Adelaide, South Australia.

I write dark fiction, horror for the most part, though I take an eclectic angle to all things. My approach to writing is character-focused, broad-minded, and averse to standard tropes. I cut my fangs on authors such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, Richard Laymon, Anne Rice, Dan Simmons, Tanith Lee and Poppy Z. Brite, and these days I’m also drawn to folks like Alan Moore, Laird Barron, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Karl Edward Wagner, Joe Hill, China Miéville, Tom Piccirilli, Venero Armanno, Kaaron Warren, Joel Lane, Dennis Lehane, Livia Llewellyn, and Angela Slatter (to name just a few). So if you’re looking for a list of influences, there’s a place to start.

I’ve had around sixty short stories and poems published around the world thus far. The first story I recall writing came at the age of seven, a three-line opus about decapitating an invading horde of giant chickens; at thirteen, I won an all-ages writing contest and had my entry, a vaguely blasphemous sci-fi potboiler called 1″Time and the Bible”, published in Port Pirie newspaper The Recorder. I’ve always written, but for many years it came second to trying to establish a career in music; I didn’t begin submitting my work for publication until 2010, which is also when my first story appeared in print — the fittingly titled “Debutante”.

I won two categories in the 2019 Australian Shadows Awards: Best Short Story (“Steadfast Shadowsong”) and the Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction (“Supermassive Black Mass”). My work has been shortlisted two other times for the Paul Haines Award (“The Heart of the Mission”, 2016; “This Impossible Gift”, 2017), twice for Best Novella in the Aurealis Awards (“Andromeda Ascends”, 2018; “Supermassive Black Mass”, 2019), and once for Best Horror Short Story in the Aurealis Awards (“Pilgrimage”, 2019). I also served as a reader and judge for the Horror Novels and Novellas categories of the 2016 and 2017 Aurealis Awards — acting as Panel Convenor the second year — a Novels judge for the 2018 and 2019 Australian Shadows Awards, and an Edited Works judge for the 2019 Shadows.

My first collection of short stories, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, was released by Things in the Well on January 31, 2020. My first novel, Midnight in the Chapel of Love, will be released by JournalStone Publishing on January 29, 2021.

I’ve performed spoken word shows with punk poets Paroxysm Press, including three Adelaide Fringe gigs, and with the SA Writers Centre — the latter in the West Terrace Cemetery. I attended MAPS Film School in 2010 and since then I have been sporadically involved in short films and live videos as a scriptwriter, director, editor, producer, composer, grip, and (gasp!) actor. My most recent film work has been as an extra in a number of club scenes for Dick Dale’s forthcoming splatterpunk feature Ribspreader.

I play bass and other instruments, sing, write songs, edit videos, create album sleeves, and do all sorts of other things in the progressive/alternative rock/metal bands Blood Red Renaissance (on hiatus since 2013) and icecocoon. I’ve so far played on seven albums, three EPs, and seven singles. I’ve gigged extensively with numerous bands and one-offs, including two interstate tours with BRR and one with Priority Orange.

I currently live in Somerton Park.

Matthew, thank you so much for being a guest on Cats Luv Coffee Book Reviews!

Bring on the cakes, balloons, cakes, gifts, cakes, and…well…cakes. It’s time for Grier’s baby shower! Grier is ready to smile for the camer...

Bring on the cakes, balloons, cakes, gifts, cakes, and…well…cakes. It’s time for Grier’s baby shower!

Grier is ready to smile for the cameras, rip open the presents, and finally taste that lemon chiffon cake, but it’s just not meant to be. The Grande Dame is MIA, which turns the big event into an even bigger search party. And that delicious cake? It’s going right back in the fridge.

While Grier doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother-in-law, she’s determined her child will grow up with one living grandparent or else. Even if it means wiggling into maternity jeans, putting on actual shoes, and waddling over to Lawson Manor to investigate the potential kidnapping.

Just as the investigation turns a corner, Grier pays the price for her stress. The baby wants out ahead of schedule, and it has a unique way of making its desires known. Unique and terrifying. Now the race is on to find the Grande Dame before the baby makes his or her first appearance.

What do you get when you cross a goddess-touched necromancer with an Eidolon?

Linus and Grier are about to find out firsthand. Now they just have to survive parenthood.

Publication date: September 1st 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads C amille’s father just inherited the family manor from his estranged un...

Publication date: September 1st 2020

Camille’s father just inherited the family manor from his estranged uncle, forcing her to leave her friends and city life just before her senior year of high school for the small town of Woodville, England. After seeing a strange old woman lurking on the estate grounds, she embarks on a mission to uncover the history of her new home. 

What she finds is wilder than she could have imagined—the murder of her ancestor, Caleb LeRoux, on the same day his six-year-old daughter vanished without a trace. And an unforeseen connection to Camille herself, as the only female LeRoux born to the family in over two hundred years. With the help of her new school friends, Camille delves into the secrets of the manor, uncovering an all-encompassing truth that will change the entire course of her life—past, present, and future.

Read now

Why Horror?
By Liz Butcher

Horror is one of those genres that people seem to either or love or hate—and as
someone who’s enjoyed all things horror since I was a little girl (strange, I know) I’d never really questioned why I love the scare so much. When you think about it, fear sounds like a strange thing to enjoy! Yet, the way I see it, there is an escapism in reading horror novels and watching scary movies. It provides us with a controlled environment to experience that fear with the knowledge that we can turn it off or put it down at the end and walk away. Sure, the masked figure stalking us through the streets or the dead girl crawling out of the television are terrifying, but we know that we’re safe and out of harms way no matter how caught up we get in the story. So why do we do this to ourselves? Because the real world can be scary—and I don’t think we’ve seen any better example of that than this recent year. With so much ugly hatred and violence, sickness and uncertainty, to say the past twelve months or so have been horrific is an understatement. Even if you live in a country that hasn’t been as directly impacted by these events as others, there’s no escaping the ripples.
We all feel it. See it. Fear it. And so in fictional horror, we find an outlet to allow us to process those emotions with the knowledge that we’ll be okay once it’s over. Even if we need to go to sleep with the light on, we know that there isn’t really a boogeyman under the bed or an entity lurking in the shadows… Or is there?


The last thing Jonah Sands expected on his thirtieth birthday was to have his life thrust into the hands of a dangerous, red-haired woman—or to be the only person in the world to survive an encounter with her.

As the death toll skyrockets, Jonah and his two best friends, the siblings Tristan and Ava Carter, find themselves at the epicentre of inexplicable phenomena—a stranded ferry transforms into a barge headed for the Underworld; young girls levitate to whisper ancient riddles; technology across the globe is controlled by some unseen hand. And it all seems to lead back to the woman with red hair. When a stranger finds them in the midst of a thunderstorm and offers his otherworldly assistance, Jonah finally unravels the truth about who he really is. And what it means for the rest of humanity.


“What really sticks out from the very first chapter is just how fast the author takes  readers into the action and mystery of this story.” Anthony Avina, Top Book Reviewer  Book Sirens 

“Readers will love the larger-than-life characters, mayhem, and magic. I heartily recommend this book and urge you all to grab yourselves a copy if this is your type of story. Or even if it’s not!” Reads and Reels 

“This is one impressive debut from an obviously gifted artist who knows how to blend human drama with metaphysical fantasy and mythology to create a splendidly unique novel with visceral force. Very highly recommended.” Grady Harp, Top 100 Book  Reviewer Amazon 

Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. Liz was previously the former Executive Assistant at the Horror Tree, which is a mainstream resource for authors and has published a number of short stories in anthologies including her own collection, After Dark, in 2018. Fates Fury was her debut novel and LeRoux Manor, her stunning new novel set for release, September,  2020.  
More information can be found about Liz at her website:  

When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R...

When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded...

Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded their most legendary weapon in battle. But the demonic forces invading Otherworld now are worse than anything she’s ever fought: powerful, cruel, and cannibalistic.

Leigh would return to the human world and leave the arrogant Others to rot except for one reason: Prince Dredarion Rath, the sly, sorcerous man who stole her heart. She’ll fight at his side to save his people even if it means joining forces with her former enemies. But when the worst happens and Leigh ends up cut off from Dredarion, injured and imprisoned, she’ll have to find a way to save the kingdom and the prince alone…or die trying.

I have never been happier to see a year end. 2020 was just TOUGH, ya'll. Life in the pandemic hasn't been fun. It definitely threw a...

I have never been happier to see a year end. 2020 was just TOUGH, ya'll. Life in the pandemic hasn't been fun. It definitely threw a lot of challenges my way and I know I'm not alone in that. I'm hoping 2021 is a gentler year for everyone. One great thing about being a reader is being able to escape into a new book but I'll tell you—even that has been a challenge this year! I did NOT complete my Goodreads challenge goal of 130 this year though my final total of 124 was close. Last year I completed 131 so at least it wasn't a huge change. *shrugs* I still read 24,500 pages and there were some incredible books along the way.

A monstrous fate will turn a girl into a legend. On an island in Lake Obersee, where The Sisters of St. Gertrude abide, a destitute Moor nam...

A monstrous fate will turn a girl into a legend.

On an island in Lake Obersee, where The Sisters of St. Gertrude abide, a destitute Moor named Durra arrives. Sold for taxes, she and her two companions tend to the nuns and their collection of cats. At night, she combs the library for details on the order, the remote island, and the beasts howling outside her window.

But when a prank reveals the sisters’ gruesome secret, Durra is forced to accept a new fate. Bestowed an unearthly power, she must choose between life as a nun or living among the monsters beyond the convent walls.

Her path is about to change the tide in the ultimate war. The war between good and evil.

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerri...

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.

A horror tale about the Witch Bride, second wife of a King, and the discord between her and her young stepson.

A horror tale about the Witch Bride, second wife of a King, and the discord between her and her young stepson.