The 10 Best 2021 Thriller and Horror Novels You Haven’t Read (But Should IMMEDIATELY) Rebecca Webster Okay, you already devoured Verity and...

The 10 Best 2021 Thriller and Horror Novels You
Haven’t Read (But Should IMMEDIATELY)

Rebecca Webster

Okay, you already devoured Verity and The Silent Patient (and let’s be honest, every other mass-market thriller that’s hit the shelves). What’s going to prompt you to check the locks on the doors five times before bed now? (Especially with the spooky season right around the corner.)

I’ve got you. The following are the top hidden gems of 2021. You might not have heard of these firecrackers (because marketing budgets are comparatively TINY in the small-press and indie scene), but these new releases are the equivalent of the taco truck your foodie friend keeps raving about across town. There’s no flashy sign or ads on the radio. But you can look forward to eating some of the best darn tacos you’ve ever had.

Enjoy!

One Left Behind

Carla Kovach

Teaser: “In a patch of forest on the outskirts of a small town, five teenage school friends prepare to spend a night away from home. Carrying their tents and  sleeping bags, they laugh and joke as they make their way into the darkest part of the woods, away from prying eyes. But as the sun rises the following morning,  only four are left alive.”

The Bottom Line: I could NOT put this one down. It pulled me in fast and didn’t let go until the last page. I stayed up way too late with it and will think  bout it literally every time I go camping.



The Lies She Told

Denise Grover Swank

Teaser:
“It’s been a week since Carly Moore’s friend Jerry was run off the road and killed, and the sheriff’s department has already struck out on leads. She’s not about to sit back and let it go, but the last thing she wants is to endanger anyone else. Besides, as she learned long ago, problems come in threes. . . . But lies are told for a reason, and there are people around her who are willing to kill to keep the truth hidden.”

The Bottom Line: This one will give you a hangover--because you won’t be able to put it down to sleep! Carly is a fantastic protagonist, and the author keeps the tension at an 11/10 the whole way through the book. This is the fifth book in the best-selling Carly Moore series, and I plan to go back and read the other four STAT.


One Child Alive

Ellery Kane

Teaser:
“In the ashes of the Fox family’s seafront vacation home, Olivia Rockwell can barely hold back her tears as she wonders who in the close-knit town of Fog Harbor could destroy such a warm, loving family. Then she spots a little green toy soldier in the sand and follows a set of small footprints along
the beach to an abandoned lifeguard hut. Inside, she finds the youngest Fox child, Thomas. The only survivor…”

The Bottom Line: While technically part of a series, this book holds its own just fine as a standalone (but you’ll want to read the others as soon as you put it down. Don’t worry, no spoilers in the third book). I thought I had this one figured out, and I was dead wrong. It was so captivating I nearly missed
picking my kids up from camp the week I finished it.


The Thicket

Noelle W. Ihli

Teaser:
“Would you recognize a real scream on Halloween? That’s the question haunting Norah Lewis. She can’t shake the guilt that’s stalked her since the night her brother was murdered. She heard —and ignored—his last screams. Just like everyone else at the Thicket, a haunted attraction in tiny Declo, Idaho.”

The Bottom Line: I expected to be scared by this one (and I was). But it was WAY more than a slasher. I didn’t expect to fall so completely in love with Norah and her friends in this heart-pounding serial-killer thriller. (And yes, I did sleep with the lights on the night I finished reading!)



Cross My Heart

D.K. Hood

Teaser:
“When the body of a man is found in the dense forest surrounding Black Rock Falls, Sheriff Jenna Alton immediately sees disturbing similarities with a past case—the same murder weapon, the remote beauty spot, and the way the victim is perched against a tree with no sign of a struggle. But the killer in that case was jailed for life. Jenna suspects a copycat killer and her fears are confirmed when, during the town’s Halloween festival, the bodies of two tourists are found further down the remote trail.

The Bottom Line: This D.K. Hood novel is part of a series featuring Sheriff Jenna Alton. That said, it holds its own as a standalone and is a twisty, read-it-till-3 am ride. I’m a sucker for serial killers novels, and this one hit all the right notes.


The Evidence

K.L. Slater

Teaser:
“Everyone’s heard of Simone Fischer. The young mother accused of killing her husband in cold blood, one sunny afternoon, while their son played in the room next door. So when journalist Esme secures an exclusive interview with her it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime . . . But not everyone is pleased that Esme is telling Simone’s story. And when Esme’s beloved sister is left for dead in a nearby wood, Esme’s life begins to unravel. Forced to question what Simone has told her, she can’t help but wonder if murder was the only way out of Simone’s marriage.”

The Bottom Line: If you’re not reading K.L. Slater, you should be.  Especially this latest release. She’s ridiculously talented and a master of tension and twists. Her books just keep getting better, and I will recommend her every time to thrill-seekers looking for something new.


The Forever Home

Sue Watson

Teaser:
“Carly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so  much of a safe haven.”

The Bottom Line: Domestic thrillers like this one are right up my alley. You’ve got a perfect family, a perfect home, and some incredibly dark secrets that unravel everything. This one will draw you right in and stay with you long after you put it down!


A Good Mother

Sam Hepburn

Teaser:
“I see my son’s scooter lying in the undergrowth. Time stands still. Where is he? Deafened by my own heartbeat, I keep looking but I can’t see him. This is all my fault. My punishment for the things I did, and the things I should have done.”

The Bottom Line: As a parent, this one destroyed me in the best way possible. It’s an intense page-turner that I could not put down. And I find that I can’t stop thinking about this family, weeks after reading! Readers should know this one is INTENSE and may trigger some folks who have a history of
family trauma or abuse.


Widow’s Island

L.A. Larkin

Teaser:
It’s already dark when Stephanie Miller returns to her remote lakeside home on Whisper Island. It’s only been a few months since her husband died, and her bond with her daughter is stronger than ever. Calling Amy’s name, Stephanie hears her phone buzz inside her purse. She doesn’t have to look to know that it’s another anonymous threat, she’s had them all day. But now she sees that this one is different. Someone knows she’s just walked through the door. Someone iswatching her every move…

The Bottom Line: This crime thriller had it all: serial killers, murder, amazing characters, and hooks that kept me saying “Okay, ONE more chapter.” The killer was terrifying, and Stephanie and Amy were so real to me.


The Liar’s Daughter

Rona Halsall

Teaser:
“The call comes on an ordinary Sunday afternoon to say your sister has been admitted to hospital with a serious head injury. But you don’t have a sister… do you?”

The Bottom Line: That’s all I’m gonna reveal on that teaser, because this one will have you hooked from the first page. And I do NOT want to give away any of the incredible twists. Creepy, delightful, and fast-paced: I absolutely loved it.



Rebecca Webster

Rebecca is a freelance writer, mother, and true-crime lover. She’d rather be reading than doing almost anything else. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two children.

Publication date: June 3rd 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads The first letter seemed harmless enough. Possibly even just the result of a mis...


Publication date: June 3rd 2021


The first letter seemed harmless enough. Possibly even just the result of a mistaken delivery. The second one drew concern, and paired with the unexplained visions of something darkly unsettling, Sam Morris finally caves. The 'everyman', safe world he lives in is about to take a drastic and dark turn. He quickly falls into a world of insanity, the morbid and the macabre. He's drawn into a darkness that is just as deadly as it is mysterious. A darkness that dwells in a house that could ony be conjured up by a mad brain.

It is a house that calls you. A house that haunts you with its ghosts. They'll scratch and claw through your fragile hide, bringing madness bubbling to the surface.

Come see the ghosts for yourself...if you dare.

Read now






Scott Donnelly is an indie author based in Grove City, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, three children, and labradoodle, Maxwell. Scott writes in a variety of genres to keep his ideas fresh and different; they range from horror, to science fiction/adventures, and action thrillers. Scott is known for KILLER SCARECROW, THE WHOOL, THE MILK BOY & THESCOUT BROOKS SAGA.

Scott has also contributed a short story to "The Elements of Horror" series from Red Cape Publishing; his story "Scorched" is featured in "Book Three: Fire". He also has a horror story called "The Devil Stirred" in the anthology, "Tales of the Weird and Strange" (2020), and has debuted a science fiction-serial series in "Pulp Reality #2” entitled “Kings of the Crustaceous Period: Part 1: The Clamoring of the Crabs”.

Sequels to THE WHOOL & KILLER SCARECROW are in the works. As is the final entry of THE SCOUT BROOKS SAGA, and a new gothic/horror novella entitled OF A MAD BRAIN.

  

Publication date: November 10th, 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads Charlie Tate has just begun living his smashmouth, slightly deranged drea...



Publication date: November 10th, 2020


Charlie Tate has just begun living his smashmouth, slightly deranged dream as a cage fighter when he meets Vivienne Quick, the woman who will be both the love of his life and its utter destruction. She's harboring a secret, one her whole family shares, a history with a distant world called Pan Luminous, the crossroads of the cosmos. Upon that hallowed ground and no other, the different sentients of the universe mingle and come away forever changed. Once bound to Viv's clan by blood, Charlie will find himself facing opponents he never expected, including a ferocious monster the Quick children call Kissyface, a disturbingly well-endowed robot, and Viv's uncle Sid, a toy maker with his own reputation as a fighter, albeit under a very different name... Cosmic horror and human perversity collide in this epic tale of absurd adventure and inevitable heartbreak.

Read now
  

Here is August's roundup of anticipated horror releases!  ( If you plan on purchasing any of the books on this page, it would be awesome...



Here is August's roundup of anticipated horror releases! 


(If you plan on purchasing any of the books on this page, it would be awesome if you’d use the affiliate links. This helps to support the blog and doesn’t cost you a thing. Thanks!)


Today's Author Spotlight is author Peter W. Blaisdell! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: November 1st, 2020 Amazon |  G...


Today's Author Spotlight is author Peter W. Blaisdell!

Read on for the full interview.




Publication date: November 1st, 2020


What's your latest release? 

My latest release is THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON. It’s a modern/urban/dark fantasy set during San Francisco’s ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967. This was a time of real-life fantasy when the creative and musical scene was exploding and everything seemed limitless. Until it wasn’t.

(Content warning: I tried to capture some of the 'edginess' of this time and place, so there is vulgarity in certain scenes and dialogue. Also, even the supernatural and animal characters aren't the usual cuddly fantasy tropes; they can be a bit unhinged at times!)

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


In THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON, the main character, Bradan, is an almost immortal magician who grew up in Camelot and grew famous during San Francisco's 'Summer of Love' in 1967. Though he’s 1500 years old, he only looks about 30 years of age and intends to enjoy this period to its fullest, fronting an acid rock band and romancing a witch who’s also nearly immortal.

However, this era had a darker side, so there are scenes where creative forces run amok. The villains represent this – I’ve included some really vile villains. Even Bradan sometimes gets carried away and unleashes powers he really can’t control.
I was after contrasts, so some of the novel is painted in shades of psychedelic pastels while other scenes are done in dark grey.

As in all of my novels, I’ve included (I hope) cool supporting characters, including the aforementioned 6th century witch, tons of ghosts (including the one haunting his motorcycle), and Bradan’s eccentric band-mates. Bradan also has a pet wolf, Tintagel. ‘Pet’ is probably the wrong word. Tintagel represents atavistic, implacable nature and has a sardonic sense of humor often directed at Bradan.

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


Great question. The main character, Bradan, was in my previous fantasies and so was the wolf, Tintagel. The magician, Merlin, also shows up briefly in a flashback to Bradan’s youth in chapter 2. So I had a pretty good idea of who they were – though Bradan’s complicated to write since he’s lived so long. The challenge with him is trying to give him the wisdom of great age, but still let him do crazy, risky stuff. 

There are also two other main characters who I’d never written about before, the witch Morgana and a college professor, Taryn. I thought I knew who they were before I began writing, but they both took on a life of their own as the story progressed. They were a study in contrasts. Taryn is idealistic, rational, and sensible while Morgana is magical, age-old, but looks young and is always up for a good time. However, part of her definition of a ‘good time’ is hunting souls. It was great fun having these two collide with Bradan and each other. 

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


I write fantasy because it’s a genre that encourages – demands – that the author use their imagination. And also because you can mix interesting themes in with the magic, spell-craft and witches. My main goal is to entertain readers, but if I can also include cool ideas and motifs, that’s where the real magic happens.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


I use 'ironic' way too often.

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


I guess it would depend on just how sociable whatever haunts the mansion is and whether the fairytale creatures outside the cottage are friendly. This is a fun question to think about because my latest book, THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON, has both ghosts and fae folk, as well as a half-mad Welsh god. The main ghost in my story has friendly intentions towards Bradan, but she also haunts him by reminding him that he was partly responsible for her death. The fae folk are a different story. Bradan never knows where he stands with them and they can be lethal when provoked. However, he needs to become allies with them to defeat the story’s villains, so he serenades them with an impromptu set of songs in a park (hey, it’s the Summer of Love after all). 

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


I definitely like interacting with readers. I have a website (link: https://blaisdellliteraryenterprises.com/ ). The books are on Amazon (link for THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON: https://amzn.to/3zqKJNE )

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

“Radiance touches her face while she translates the Greek into Arabic, the most elegant of scripts. The kneeling woman’s features are partly in shadow, partly illuminated thanks to the muted light from outside filtering through the scrim. It is hot, but not maddeningly so as the palace’s big blocks of stone ward off the sun and preserve just a smidgeon of the previous night’s chill to leaven today’s furnace-like temperatures.

Bradan needs Lubna’s acquiescence to study in the Caliph’s libraries. He may need her help to survive.”

The lines above are from a flash-back scene in another of my fantasies, THE LORDS OF POWDER. I like them because they try to capture a setting and a mood. They also introduce the two characters and then show that one of the characters, Bradan, is in mortal danger.




Peter Blaisdell lives in the LA area. He has a PhD in Biochemistry and has conducted postdoctoral research in molecular biology as well as publishing peer-reviewed research papers in these fields. He has also published business articles on managing research in technology companies. None of this has much to do with the literary side of his life, where he is an active reviewer of fantasy, science fiction and magical realism as well as general literature. The Lords of Powder and The Lords of Oblivion are novels in a fantasy/thriller series. Each book can be read as stand-alone novels or together as part of a series.

Part of the fun of having a 1500 year old protagonist in this series is that the author can plunder history for exiting times and places to deploy in the story. To that end, most of The Lords of Powder and The Lords of Oblivion take place in modern times, respectively, Miami circa 1978 and San Francisco today. However, some chapters were set in tenth-century Spain, eight-century Lindisfarne, and fifth-century Tintagel. Future books in the series will use other cool settings.



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

Publication date: July 26th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads Publisher:  Inked in Gray Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own ...



Publication date: July 26th, 2021
Publisher: Inked in Gray


Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own life, the desire to survive transcends all rational thought.

What Remains brings together fifteen tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From sacrificing loved ones or oneself, to doing what it takes to keep them alive, these stories shake the soul, rip out its insecurities and flay them on the page.

Careful who you trust. Some quandaries have no right answer when we cannot save what we love most—or when isolation, desperation, and betrayal leave you no choice.

Take the journey with us to see What Remains when civility, decency, and sanity have all but fled.


Read now



Authors:

R.A. Busby

About the Author: An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45), “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), and “Cactusland” (34 Orchard, forthcoming).

“I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.” In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog.

She can be found on Twitter and at RABusbybooks.weebly.com


David-Christopher Harris

About the Author: David-Christopher Harris’ fantasy publications include “Olam Ha-Ba” in speculative fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika, “Last Call” in The Arcanist Magazine, “Falselight” on PageHabit, and “Children of Ozymandias” in 50WordStories, among others. He received his M.A. in Medieval Literature, which he uses exclusively to teach his cat Latin. He is currently querying.

He can be found on Twitter and at www.dcharriswriting.com


Andy Dibble

About the Author: Andy Dibble is a healthcare IT consultant who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has supported the electronic medical record of healthcare systems in six countries. His work appears or is forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Star*Line, Sci Phi Journal, and others. He is Articles Editor for Speculative North magazine.

He can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and andydibble.com.


LT Ward

About the Author: LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has short story publications with Dancing Lemur Press, Me First Magazine, Jazz House Press, and forthcoming with Black Hare Press and Cardigan Press. She currently volunteers with WriteHive, a nonprofit literary organization.

She can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and at ltwardwriter.com.


Ben Armstrong

About the Author: Ben is a young author who has been writing stories for over six years now. Recently he has been published in his town’s newspaper.


Maxwell I Gold

About the Author: Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling Award nominated prose poet, focusing on weird and cosmic fiction. He is a regular contributor to Spectral Realms, edited by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi and his work has also appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Baffling Magazine, and many others.

His debut prose poetry collection, Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose is forthcoming this August from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Maxwell can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and at www.thewellsoftheweird.com


Damir Salkovic

About the Author: Damir Salkovic is the author of novels Kill Zone and Always Beside You. His shorter work has been featured in the Lovecraft eZine, Dimension6 Annual Collection 2020, and in multiple horror, science and speculative fiction anthologies.

Find him on Goodreads and at his blog, Darker Realities.


Lawrence West

About the Author: Lawrence J West has been on his writing journey since he was fourteen years old and has always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror because of the way these genres allow for the exploration of human experience in unique ways. Since becoming a husband and father he has also found that his writing has a greater degree of empathy and insight.

Lawrence can be found on Twitter.


Sharon Frame Gay

About the Author: Sharon Frame Gay is an award winning author whose work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction, Saddlebag Dispatches, Crannog, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

A collection of her short stories, Song of the Highway, was released in August, 2020.

Sharon can be found on Twitter and Amazon.


Timothy Johnson

About the Author: Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living outside of Washington, D.C. His published work includes the novels The Pillars of Dawn and Carrier as well as short fiction appearing in various professional and semi-professional markets. He is an MFA candidate in George Mason University’s creative writing program and an affiliate member of the HWA.

Find Timothy on Twitter and at timothyjohnsonfiction.com.


DL Shirey

About the Author: DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably raining. Luckily, water is beer’s primary ingredient. His stories and non-fiction appear in 60 publications, including Confingo, Page & Spine, Zetetic and Wild Musette.

You can find more of DL Shirey on Twitter and at www.dlshirey.com.


Dan Eveloff

About the Author: Dan Eveloff is a lawyer and sports agent living in Chicago, Illinois with his dog, Reuben. He studied accounting at the University of Kansas, and subsequently earned his law degree from Northwestern University. His short fiction “The Price of Recompense” has appeared in AHF Magazine,Shakespearean Justice” in Aphelion Webzine, and “Prevenge” can be found in Close to the Bone Magazine.

His social media presence can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


Valerie Hunter

About the Author: Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications including Cicada, Storyteller, Edison Literary Review, Other Voices, Room, and Wizards in Space.

Find Valerie on Instagram.

Nicholas Barner

About the Author: Nicholas Barner has farmed, cooked, and written variously in Oakland, Chicago, Maine, and Los Angeles. He lives with his partner, Shelby, and their Dog, Nuni.

He can be found online at nicholasbarner.com.


Thomas Canfield

About the Author: Thomas Canfield lives in the mountains of North Carolina. His phobias run to politicians, lawyers and TV pitchmen. He is still trying to plumb the logic of the sales pitch; The more you buy, the more you save. It never quite seems to work out that way in the real world. Canfield occasionally reviews books on Goodreads.



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Blog Tour Schedule

July 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Sue’s Musings (Spotlight) https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

July 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Behind the Paged (Spotlight)  https://www.behindthepages.org/

July 28th

Lecari’s Live Journal (Spotlight) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Auto.Erraticism (Spotlight) https://www.autoerraticism.com/

Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffee.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

July 29th

Ashley Loves Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

@dreaminginpages (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

July 30th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

@mischiefmanaged_04 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mischiefmanaged_04/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/


Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

Today's Author Spotlight is author April A. Taylor! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: August 3rd, 2021 Amazon |  Goodre...


Today's Author Spotlight is author April A. Taylor!

Read on for the full interview.





Publication date: August 3rd, 2021


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


Evil Eye is a classic slasher with a modern twist. 


Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


Evil Eye was inspired by three things: I Call Upon Thee by Ania Ahlborn and the movies Halloween (1978) and Crawl (2019). 

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


For the most part, I knew who the characters were and would be. There were a few surprises, though.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?



My first published novel went through so many rewrites that I almost ruined it. Now, as long as the story works, I go with it. 

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?


I read professional reviews and the first 10 or so fan reviews. After that, I let it be whatever it's going to be. As far as good and bad reviews, I don't tend to look at them like that. As long as the person actually read the book, their feedback is valid, at least for them. 

What led you to start writing?


I've been writing since grade school. I don't remember there being any one thing that led me to writing. It simply felt natural, like breathing air. 

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


I've been a fan of the horror genre ever since I saw Michael Jackson's Thriller video at the age of six. I write in other genres sometimes, but I always end up putting in at least a hint of horror. 

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


My favorite word is blustery. Unfortunately, it hasn't fit into most of my books.
 

What are you currently reading?


Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth 

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


I love watching horror movies. Everything from Midsommar to Halloween (
1978) is fair game!

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


Haunted mansion! 

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



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


You don't have to write every single day to be a good author. In fact, taking time off is a critical part of the writing process. 

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


I do! Isnashi is a creature feature set in the Brazilian rainforest. 




April A. Taylor is an award-winning, multi-genre author. Her latest novel, Evil Eye: A Slasher Story, introduces readers to characters they'll love to root for, along with two they can hate. Her previous horror books include Sinkhole and The Haunting of Cabin Green. April has also written the Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Series, the thriller Corvo Hollows, and the Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales Series. She's a proud member of the Horror Writers Association. Visit her online at aprilataylor.net.  



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

   Publication date: February 25th, 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads The highwayman brought his hand up and ran his fingers through the bea...

  

Publication date: February 25th, 2020




The highwayman brought his hand up and ran his fingers through the beard. 'Where do we go from here?' he asked the Bundy-ish reflection. Sooner or later, the monster would have to be fed." 

Having abstained from killing for almost a year, the Highwayman is coming unglued. 

Unsure if the FBI is watching, Lance Belanger spends his days and nights in a paranoid malaise, longing to kill again. Meanwhile, in Bucharest, Romania, an Interpol raid leads to clues and a witness who can identify the Highwayman. Armed with new evidence, newly promoted SAC FBI Agent, Dave Maxwell heads for Bucharest, as his team of investigators redeploys their investigation on their original suspect, Lance Belanger. It would appear, the net is closing. 

But the Highwayman has other ideas. 

Just after dusk, outside of Pittsburgh, four strangers exit a service van and perpetrate the mass murder of four families in their suburban homes. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to connect the killings to Highwayman, and when they raid Belanger’s properties, they are left a parting gift. 

Another murder and a message for Maxwell from the Highwayman himself. 

Come and find me! 

The killing ramps up, Maxwell leads a posse of investigators across two states, north to Canada to try and thwart the Highwayman in his endgame, that involves kidnapping, mass murder, and betrayal. 

The predator is now the prey. 

But can they stop him before he disappears for good?



Read now





I always approach a piece like this with the same thought.

Wasn’t Stephen King available? 

Mr. King is too busy to tell you how to do it, so here I am, M.J. Preston, about to give you the goods on writing and what it means to be successful. Get ready for the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I am not a guru; nobody has beat down my door, offering me to teach a Masterclass. But along the way, I have learned a thing or two about the craft, so here are some essential survival tips.

To make a million dollars writing, the first thing you’ll need is four million dollars. That’s cover advertising, flights, book signing tours, giveaways, your agent, publicist, and of course, you’ll need a kick-ass book too.  But if you haven’t got four million bucks, here are a few tips.

Tip # 1

The truth is that there is no advice I can offer as a writer of either horror or crime-thriller that will make a new writer’s life any more or less successful. If there was, I’d be charging admission, commission, and royalties. 

Tip # 2 

Success doesn’t depend on tremendous advances from publishers and movie options. Nor is it being the darling of the writing world. True success can be found in the story you write and how readers react. You write a novel, hope it finds an audience, and there you have it. There is no magic formula, no technology, App, or Masterclass that will turn you into the next Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, or James Patterson’s ghostwriter.

Tip # 3

I recently corresponded with a successful author to wish him good luck on a newly launched book. He thanked me and stated that he believed we make our good luck. Tempted to ask him if he had a particular formula for luck-making, I did not. That is because my interpretation of this author’s luck was to follow the path of his career. His luck-making was to keep writing, keep moving, one story to story, novel to novel, because not only do you give an audience a buffet of different tales and characters from which to choose, you also get better with every word you write. If people dig your stuff, they’ll keep reading it, and that’s how you make your luck. But that isn’t all. Stay humble. Embrace your readership and appreciate them for taking the time out of their lives to read your work, whether your audience is one or twenty-five million. 

That is what this writer has done. That is his formula for good luck. 

Tip # 4

I believe to be a good writer, you must always be an observer of the human condition. Personally, I am a voyeur who doesn’t peek in your window. Instead, I catch glimpses, take mental notes, and store them in that battered filing cabinet in the back of my brain. If you are the target of this voyeurism, I may have a piece of you in that filing cabinet. Things in those files might include your mannerisms, accent, tempo, tone, and how your eyes light up with a smile or darken with a frown. You don’t know it, but I might be inside your head looking out through your eyes, putting myself in your place because I am always taking an inventory. Sometimes unconsciously. Maybe you have a limp? A limp? Hmmm. What could I do with that? 

His limp was a ruse, a wolf moving among the sheep. The street was a chaotic bloodbath. Bodies everywhere. Buildings in the rubble. The limping man moved briskly. And for a good reason. The second bomb hadn’t gone off yet.

Are you thinking about that second bomb? I know I am, and like you, I’m not even sure where and why the first bomb went off. But the muse brings gifts, and with that, I begin to build a world with characters and backdrops. And yes, I’m dropping little hints of upcoming work, but I’m also laying it out for you. That’s how this writing gig is. If you’re here for the movie options, accolades, and red-carpet treatment, you are here for the wrong reasons.

If you’re here to tell stories, show us what you got.

M.J. Preston


   To my neighbors, I am a quiet and assuming guy who works blue-collar. What they don't know is that I also write dark speculative fiction. My work has been printed all over the world. I have four novels on the market and a fifth and sixth in production. My short fiction is available with numerous pubs, including magazines and anthologies.

I have my own writing style but would say I was influenced by authors like Robert R. McCammon, Joe R. Lansdale, and John Sandford.