Now that October is over, it's time to pack up all the jack-o-lanterns, ghosties, and faux spiderwebs. The season of the spook is over! ...



Now that October is over, it's time to pack up all the jack-o-lanterns, ghosties, and faux spiderwebs. The season of the spook is over!

Kidding. We don't ship that shit seasonally over here.
The season of the spook is all year round!

Here's the roundup of anticipated horror releases for November when that turkey triphophan hits and you need to cuddle up cozy with a new read.

(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!)


Publication date: September 7th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads W hen the poison gas first leaked out of the ground, mankind thought the ...


Publication date: September 7th, 2021


When the poison gas first leaked out of the ground, mankind thought the horror would be over in no time.

When the lizard-men followed, swarming the land, slaughtering indiscriminately, those who survived scattered to the hills and the forests. Most did not last long.

But Cora, who found refuge and made a home in the mountains where she lives with the memory of her dead son, still fights. Tenacious, she lives wild and protects that home from the lizards who seek to kill her.

Until now.

Because man has arrived, and he is not friendly.

In this terrifying fight for survival, Zachary Ashford blends the thrills of the creature feature genre with the claustrophobic atmosphere of a home invasion.

Read now
 

 

Ashford wastes no time dunking the reader right into the fray and with one sentence commences initiating the tension that will ensue throughout the story. 
The cicadas had fallen silent.
Such a simple sentence and one that could be completely innocuous, but we know there's more at stake here. That sentence begins the contrast of the beauty of nature with the terrible monstrousness of the creatures and the ensuing battle for survival. There's no doubt of the ephemerality of everything human in this new world after the "ruin" as it's christened. 

I like that the story starts without really telling us how we got here. What are the lizard people? Where did they come from? Other than telling us that poisonous gas came first encircling the cities and then these saurian creatures came next, we don't really know much about them. They are pitiless killers, but you can't condemn them for surviving. They aren't the ones to hate here any more than we'd hate crocodiles or say any big cat in the African Safari. They were made to consume and in order to survive and thrive, they have to eat. It's not their fault that one of the easier things on the menu is human.

We only really have three characters, which makes the novella easier to follow versus Sole Survivor. Gone is the big cast with names you don't care about—fodder for the feast if you will. No, here Ashford gets intimate. There's Cora, who has carved out a space in the Australian bush, away from the cities and towns and then there are interlopers, Darren and Sarah. Well, we can't forget about the lizards, but as the methodical hunters and killers that they are, strangely they aren't the biggest threat here. 

Ashford has perfected his main character Cora. She could be me or you. She wasn't built to do this. She doesn't have years of military training or survivalist knowledge. She was, like the rest of the world, thrust into this miasma and it was either adapt or falter. This world has changed her. She's endured but she's not without fault. She's made mistakes that cost her the life of her son. In spite of that, Cora has managed to keep herself alive being resourceful with little bits of material appropriation and newfound awareness along the way. She's carving out an existence alone in the mountains and she likes it just fine that way. When Darren and Sarah show up, she offers them whatever she has just so they will move on and leave her little corner of the forest in relative peace. 

Darren is the kind of villain you love to hate. Ruthless and smart but still stupid somehow. There's a wrongness about him that goes much further than the pure meanness that people can have within their hearts. It's clear from the start that he has a sickness both in body and soul. He's despicable, a stain on humanity, and I want to see him get everything that karma has coming for him. Sarah, on the other hand, is a bit of an enigma. Is she with Darren simply for survival—riding his coattails for protection?  Does she truly care for him, in which case was he a better person before the shit hit the proverbial fan? It's hard to know exactly where she stands and Cora waffles on that one as well throughout. 

This isn't your typical end-of-the-world survivor slog. Ashford chose a completely weird post-apocalyptic lizard creature stance, sure, but by narrowing the viewfinder to these three characters, he's created something inherently more intimate and ultimately more unsettling.  He puts the horror genre in the spin cycle. What begins as a creature feature evolves into the "human is the real evil" trope and morphs yet again in the last pages. Thrilling and poignant, When The Cicadas Stop Singing is a completely different beast than Ashford's other works. It's unexpected, completely out there, and heartrending.


Today's Author Spotlight is author Sara Barkat! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: December 1st, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  ...

Today's Author Spotlight is author Sara Barkat!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: December 1st, 2021


The Shivering Ground blends future and past, earth and otherworldliness, in a magnetic collection that shimmers with art, philosophy, dance, film, and music at its heart.

A haunting medieval song in the mouth of a guard, an 1800s greatcoat on the shoulders of a playwright experiencing a quantum love affair, alien worlds both elsewhere and in the ruined water at our feet: these stories startle us with the richness and emptiness of what we absolutely know and simultaneously cannot pin into place.

In the tender emotions, hidden ecological or relational choices, and the sheer weight of a compelling voice, readers “hear” each story, endlessly together and apart.


Read now



What's your latest release? 

'The Shivering Ground' &/or 'The Midnight Ball,' a kids' book illustrated with pen and ink. The latter is an autumn-themed fun little adventure about a girl who gets an invitation to a castle, but she has to get there before midnight—and she meets a lot of new animal friends along the way, who each join her and bring a special item to the party (one of my favorites is the wolf who brings a cupcake).

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


It's a collection called 'The Shivering Ground & other stories,'—soft science fiction, horror, eco-fiction, with a literary twist. It's basically a mashup of everything that interests me as far as genre (except for mystery—I've never tried writing that). And I always tend to get thinking about the environment. It's this unavoidable, huge, world- and life-changing thing but it's rarely talked about from an artistic or personal viewpoint, instead being the reported as facts or politics, when I think people's true experience of how it plays out in their lives is much more visceral. That's kind of what I wanted to touch on in the book. The fear, depression, grief, hopelessness you can sometimes feel because of it—but also the reasons to keep going, the reasons why action and belief matter.

That makes it sound like a really depressing volume, which I hope it's not. I had a lot of fun writing it, coming up with a group of sf/horror concepts to play out in a kind of "magical realist" style. There's a bit of humor, too, as well as a sense of mystery and exploration. It's got stories about: a totally normal town that just happens to live outside an encroaching wasteland; two travelers thrown together by circumstances at the end of the world, telling each other stories; a cross-dimensional meeting between a painter and a playwright; and a prison guard's encounter with a winged being. Just to pick out a few...

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


I wanted to see if I could write short stories, and I'd had a really entrancing dream about a disturbing garden, which became the seed of the idea for "The Door at the End of the Path." After that, it just followed that I'd try to turn it into a whole collection. Some of the stories—a lot of them, actually—were inspired by things I've read and watched. One's a fairytale retelling I've had in mind for years, but never quite had the framework for until I realized it could exist in the collection.

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


They all developed organically. My stories tend to start with a concept, maybe the beginning of a plot, and a very sketchy outline of a character that becomes fleshed out as I write and see how they react to incidents.

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


Shift, I think. Because of the concept of a kind of alien being—and the way they can offer an outside perspective on humanity. Also the fact that Shift is interested in birds. This allowed me to look up and discover a lot of intriguing things about birds.

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


The way I see it, if you can dis-entwine those two things, you haven't written the story tightly enough. The plot should support the character development, and the characters' development should forward the plot. If it comes down to it, though, I have to say: character. That's where the real emotional weight comes from, I usually find--if you've got a great plot but don't care about what's happening to the characters, there's no reread potential; once the twists and turns have been figured out, that's it. But if you have good characters, they bring a whole number of possibilities for reinterpretation.

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


I didn't expect that so many of the stories would end up "existing" in a kind of shared universe. But it makes sense, since I really wanted the pieces to feel like they were supposed to appear together and be read as a whole.
 

In your opinion what makes a good story?


Compelling characters. A plot that makes sense and well-paced writing doesn't hurt, either.

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


The first book I published was 'The Yellow Wall-paper: A Graphic Novel, written by someone else; I just illustrated the classic story and turned it into a graphic novel. It made me freeze up, a lot. The very fact that there was a book out there, just one, meant that everything else I did had to reflect on that, being either better or worse than the one other thing I’d ever published. I'm really excited to finally have two more books. It takes a lot of the pressure off.

Okay—on a more practical level, I pay more attention to gutter space now in the pictures. I didn't have quite enough space on some of my pages for TYW (whoops) and so the publisher had to slightly reduce the size of the illustrations.

What led you to start writing?


I've wanted to write ever since I was a kid. One of the earliest "books" I remember making was made of construction paper, only about 4 pages long, and written and illustrated myself. It was about two frogs who were in love and then one of them died tragically. I thought it was very dramatic.

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


The endless possibility of science fiction, and the hopefulness of it—as it very often projects a possible future, which goes on to assume that there is *indeed* a future, and that the right choices can be made. Here I'm talking about creations like Star Trek, though I also like creepier or less hopeful science fiction, for the way it explores the darker possibilities as a kind of warning. But it's really the hopefulness of science fiction—and just the weird vastness of it—that intrigues me most. Also, the fact that it's not pretentious. It's just there to entertain. And if it happens to create truly brilliant philosophical accounts while it's at it, so much the better!

The same with horror—it's a pulp genre. It's about the viscerality, the effect it has on the reader. It’s something that just hooks you and, hopefully, sticks with you afterward. I'm definitely not the scarier end of horror as far as my writing, but I like to have that undercurrent of unease, that "something terrible might happen at any moment" or even *be* happening. And I think it pairs well with the science fiction and eco-fiction focus, because here you're talking about extrapolating a possible future that is terrifying, in so many ways, and I think to admit that it is, is cathartic.

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


A favorite word? Defenestrate. It means to throw something or someone out the window. I think it's funny that you need a specific word for that action.

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


Have fun, and don't worry. You will finish stories, long ones, and you'll get published, and you won't stop being interested in writing. You’ll manage to write something you're happy with, occasionally :) You'll even be able to write out some of the ideas you were trying to work on over and over again in your notebook. (Like that one fairytale retelling: you'll keep nothing but the base concept as you rewrite, but you'll manage to convey what you want, while also being surprised at what it becomes as you do so.)

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


Mulan [the Disney animated version, not the remake]; Some Like it Hot; & (I know these aren’t movies, instead TV shows, but...) Star Trek The Original Series & Batman: The Animated Series.
 

What is something about the genre that annoys you?

I don't tend to get too annoyed by genres, except for the limits of them, which is why I like to smash together a whole bunch.
 

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


Unconventional sentence structure.
 

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

Yes, and yes. I'm on YouTube and Instagram.

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


—When they sat down in the small kitchen with its checkered grey and pink formica it was as if the memory of all those family dinners came and sat beside them. [Conditions]
—*Laugh like your life depends upon it!* it said. The people in the brochure had colorful shirts on and tans. They glowed with tourist-bound enthusiasm. [The Day Before Tomorrow]
—“Perhaps, under the sorbet sky and the soft sharp pinch of new shoes we are all, really, staring into space, seeing just what condenses best into our previous understanding, bisected occasionally by something resembling the truth, and which consequently scares us so much we turn around and thenceforth avoid it.” [A Universe Akilter]

I enjoy these lines because they just *sound* interesting; the second one is funny/ironic, the first ironic in a haunting sense, and the third is not only a reference to a poem (perhaps you can guess which one?) but also makes an interesting point about the world; plus, I love the variation in words.

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

It's not unconventional except in the sense that too many writers would like to skip this step, but... read. Read everything that interests you. Everything. Without concern for genre. Including nonfiction! It'll give you unusual and vivid ideas.

Also, don't be afraid to rework your stories a host of times. That's how you make them better. There's nothing wrong with having a whole stack of drafts or even changing your mind on where you're going when you're already halfway through.

Don't worry about finishing things. Think instead about getting [something] done. It can be working on description or scene setting. Or how to carry a plot. Or simply dialogue, or creating better pacing. Any time you try something new in your writing you've done something worthwhile.

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


I have an eco-poem anthology coming out in April next year, collecting all sorts of wonderful poems from a wide range of writers, including many works in translation. It’s called 'Earth Song' because the placement of the poems is supposed to feel like movements of an orchestral piece, where each flows into the next instead of being placed statically. It’s meant to draw attention to the connections between the poems, and showcases moments of encounter between humanity and nature, focusing on a variety of emotions. The collection is framed through poems by Sara Teasdale and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and includes both famous and emerging poets. Pablo Neruda, Jane Hirshfield, Major Jackson, W. S. Merwin, Gerald Vizenor, Louise Erdrich, Rabindranath Tagore, and many more.



Sara Barkat is an intaglio artist and writer with an educational background in philosophy and psychology, whose work has appeared in Every Day Poems, Tweetspeak Poetry, and Poetic Earth Month—as well as in the book How to Write a Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem “Introduction to Poetry.” Sara has served as an editor on a number of titles including the popular The Teacher Diaries: Romeo & Juliet, and is the illustrator of The Yellow Wall-Paper Graphic Novel, an adaptation of the classic story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.




Publication date: September 21st, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads S et in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is a tale of magic and mystery, o...



Publication date: September 21st, 2021


Set in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is a tale of magic and mystery, of triumph and terror as only dark fantasist Brom can tell it.

Connecticut, 1666.

An ancient spirit awakens in a dark wood. The wildfolk call him Father, slayer, protector.

The colonists call him Slewfoot, demon, devil.

To Abitha, a recently widowed outcast, alone and vulnerable in her pious village, he is the only one she can turn to for help.

Together, they ignite a battle between pagan and Puritan – one that threatens to destroy the entire village, leaving nothing but ashes and bloodshed in their wake.


"If it is a devil you seek, then it is a devil you shall have!"

There's been a lot of hype around Slewfoot and history has not often been nice to me where hyped books are concerned. I more often than not find that the books that others are raving about are just...okay. A lot of the time I even end up DNF'ing. That's why with trepidation, I started Slewfoot. Y'all. I could NOT put this one down. I was lucky enough to get it as an audiobook and I highly recommend that if you plan on reading it, that you experience the audiobook. Barrie Kreinik does a marvelous job bringing all the character voices to life. 

Abitha, having been sold for a paltry amount by her father, comes to the colonies to start a new life with her equally new husband. Her husband, Edward is a good man and though it's a hard life, Abitha does well. Unbeknownst to Edward, his brother who co-owns the farm has been gambling and has substantial debts. Even though Edward only has one more payment to his brother until he owns the land, they are at risk of losing the farm to pay his brother's debts while his own farm is safe from harm.  After chasing a lost goat into the woods, Abitha stumbles onto something that has been sleeping and now it's time for it to awake. 

I adored Abitha's character. She's headstrong and cusses like a sailor yet at the same time, tries her best to fit in with the Puritans even though she finds the lifestyle extremely restricting. She could have laid down and given up but she decided to make the best of a bad situation. She honestly cares for Edward, even if she doesn't think that he loves her in the way she yearns to be. I wanted so much for her to succeed in everything that is thrown at her. Even after meeting this goat-like entity, what does she do? Names it Samson and befriends it. 

Samson aka Slewfoot on the other hand was a mystery to me. Not a surprise considering Samson is a mystery to himself. Is he a demon? Devil? Is he slayer or protector...or perhaps a bit of both? I couldn't decide if I liked him or not in the beginning and was very suspicious of his motives. As the story progressed, I grew to admire him as well, though a big part of me ached for him in his tormented confusion and loss of self. 

Brom weaves this folktale masterfully around the reader. Of course, in every good tale, there's a villain and Brom gives us a despicable putrid piece of trash to loathe and despise. Oh and how! Edward's brother is self-serving and contemptible. You love to hate him and even when you think you can't possibly abhor him more, he manages another slimy and underhanded action. 

Slewfoot is a slow burn. Brom has to set the scene, transporting you back to 1666 Connecticut. We are given plenty of time to discover the characters and to empathize with their plights. The world surrounding them is hard and cruel enough when you know who and what you are but without this knowledge, even more so. Somewhere in the middle, the plot stalls to a mere plod, but stick with it. By the end of the novel, you are cheering Abitha and Samson on, which is the highest compliment of characterization. 

I don't want to give too many details away, but Slewfoot turns the typical good vs. evil trope on its head. If you are thinking, where's the horror? Where's the blood? Patience, friend. Brom is a virtuoso of revenge and equalization and will have you howling for blood and judgment in the final chapters. I promise you will relish every drop of retribution that rains down upon their heads. Slewfoot is spectacularly dark and ruminative and most delightfully witchy. This one tops my favorite reads list easily this year, making me wish I could read it for the very first time all over again. It's a spellbinding and captivating tale.




Publication date: October 19th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads F lowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Ro...


Publication date: October 19th, 2021


Flowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Rosemary's Baby by way of Octavia E. Butler.

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek. 

Read now
 
 

Iraxi has reason to be angry. She's stuck on a ship in a flooded world, surrounded on all sides by those who despise her, and monsters of air and sea who are waiting to end her. She's pregnant with a child she doesn't want in a new world where no one has yet to carry to term. She's not even sure the child is human. Her hatred burns her from within, leaving no room for anything else. Her anger is like the water that filled her world, rising swiftly and submerging everything in its path. 
I am insistence personified, and the spite I draw is my sustenance...

 This is a novella that will speak to all your senses. Not only is Iraxi's rage all-consuming, but the descriptions of the ship and its people will also engulf you. Seventeen hundred forty-three days at sea. She is locked in this place surrounded by rotting wood, the sea lapping at it from all sides, mildewing in the salty air. The stink of bodies and fluids and blood all around. Unable to even escape to fresh air due to the razorfangs from the sky and tentacles from the depths. This narrative will envelop you in its depictions like a dark, oily dream from which you can't awake. 

While the eldritch creatures encircling the ship would typically be the focus of a novella, Rocklyn beckons us to sit with Iraxi in her boiling resentment and fury. We experience her loathed pregnancy, the debilitating changes to her body, and eventually the horror of her labor and what comes after. If you are looking for a dark and disturbing visceral tale, Iraxi's account will whisper bleakly to you. Flowers For The Sea is ghastly and gloriously weird and well worth the read. 


green background with woman's silhouette wrapped in tentacles


Publication date: October 11th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads In a battle between two ancient evils, can one naïve young man become the ...


Publication date: October 11th, 2021


In a battle between two ancient evils, can one naïve young man become the last hope against powerful creatures of legend?

David Dolan thinks he’s already got the world figured out. But when a collapsed bridge plunges him into the icy Hudson, he’s pulled deep into the deadly realm that exists between life and death. And with his earthly form trapped in a coma, he’s vulnerable to the horde of demons hell-bent on his utter destruction.

Traversing the road to the afterlife, David seeks the wisdom and skills he needs to fight the demonic forces reigning havoc on his allies above ground. But as one hellish threat closes in on his defenseless body, David must defeat another terrifying fiend waiting in the shadows to use him…

Can David escape the world beneath the veil in time to stop the bloodshed?

Beneath the Veil is the gripping first book in The Valor of Valhalla dark urban fantasy series. If you like reluctant heroes, infernal myths, and bloody epic clashes, then you’ll love Martin Kearns’s formidable foray into the unknown.


Read now


An eerie feeling of solitude wrapped around Mark at the small campsite he had set up earlier in the week for some solace with his fiancé, Lindsay.

She hadn't come back to the campsite after full dark despite having them both done so  for the last week and a half camping in the Catskill mountains. Being back before dark was more an act of instinct, though there had been a few other outdoor adventurers, fewer and fewer dotted their days as the chill set in and the morning frost lingered well beyond its welcome.  
He called into the tree line for her, with no response. Lindsay had taken to heading down to a small waterfall around sunset each night after they'd chanced upon it during one of their exploratory hikes. She had said the lightly cascading water helped her to collect her thoughts as she watched daylight disappear behind the rocky outcrops of Sage's Ravine. However, tonight was first time she'd been this late to return.

Mark moved a pot of boiling water to a stone and pulled a jacket on over his windbreaker. The hike to the little falls, as they'd come to call them, was only a few minutes, but being without the right gear in the wilderness stretches time. Headlamp in pocket while the twilight still served as an ally, he set out on the path to find her. Mark found himself slowly descending a small, steep incline and his mind conjured a few horrible occurrences which may have befallen her. Eyes on his feet for most of the descent, he was then jarred by a peculiar sight as his eyelids flicked up. There were four or five headlamps of varying colors ahead, which wasn't unique in that his own lamp could emit three, but the movements seemed off. Too smooth in their fluidity. The lights appeared as a dance.

Mark walked a few more paces and made out Lindsay's outline. She moved along with the lights weaving her arms and twirling her body with abandon.

"Linds?" Mark asked. The lights halted their waltz and Lindsay's arms fell to her sides at the pace of deciduous leaves meeting the ground around them.

"Come. Come and hold me," Lindsay said.
 
Marks eyes were keen enough to see the headlamps did not hold human outlines of their own.

​"Let's get back to the site," he said, but found his feet moving him closer to her. Lindsay wasn't wearing her coat despite the autumn chill. Her feet and shoulders bare, she slowly swayed her hips and held her arms out to draw him.

Mark spied the arc of mushrooms between them and carefully stepped over the toadstool barrier to take her hands. The orbs of light sprang into motion and Mark's eyes followed. A hypnotic daze rose through his pragmatic defenses and soon his body swayed along with Lindsay's. The faeries of fall delighted about the young lovers as night's curtain fell on the day. Their bodies, naked and sapped, would not be found until the evanescence of spring revoked the snows of a coming winter.





I am an English and special education teacher and what draws me to the classroom year after year are the reactions my students give to the literature I present to them. Stories were my first love and during rare moments of quiet my mind turns toward those I've watched, read, and lived. They bring to mind possibilities, which are really where the seeds of a story begin. I truly hope to bring creative tales to readers who, like me, enjoy finding themselves lost somewhere in a world of endless possibilities.

Currently reading: Sabrine Elouali and Todd Keisling  

Publication date: October 31, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads J oey’s a mechanic. One night, she receives a call from her best friend, ask...

Raven with red bleeding eye on purple background


Publication date: October 31, 2021


Joey’s a mechanic. One night, she receives a call from her best friend, asking for his car to be picked up from the infamous body dumping grounds of Baltimore: Leakin Park. When she arrives, there’s little more around than a stalled-out car and a couple of ravens, so she leaves only with the car. Back at the body shop, it doesn’t take long for the smell of rot to permeate the trunk. Inside? A corpse. The cops say her friend did it. His absence is his guilt, but Joey knows better. She will find her missing friend and she will prove his innocence.

But something isn’t right in Baltimore. It’s not just the feeling that someone is always watching from the city’s abandoned buildings... Her search for her friend reveals something much worse hiding under the city. A ghost town, a reaper, regret. Suddenly, the city’s rage and the stink rising out of the dirt make much more sense. 

Read now  


Bleedmore, Bodymore is a YA fantasy horror with a very nice nod to Greek mythology. Our protagonist, Joey, is thrown immediately into the fray, showing up in the slums of Leakin Park after a call requesting a tow. Only there's a body in the trunk of the car of her friend and her friend is nowhere in sight. Who is the person in the trunk? Did her friend kill him? If he didn't, why has he disappeared? Down the rabbit hole goes Joey into a whole different world transposed on the city of Baltimore and Leakin Park.

I was all for the atmosphere of this read. It's dark and gritty showing the shadowed side of Baltimore. There's a dank and mealy vibe coating everything and you can conjure the wet asphalt and garbage smell in the air without even trying. That's where the novel excelled. The pacing worked well enough though there were some slowdowns and breakneck parts. 

Where it lost me was taking a hard right turn beyond the murder and mystery sticking us straight into mythology and the underworld. I was expecting paranormal. That wasn't the problem. Additionally, I love a good mythology/horror combination, but I was honestly confused enough to backtrack thinking I missed something. Once I reoriented myself, I loved the addition—this dark underworld filled with a ghost town, a river of regret to drown in, heart-devouring raven shifters, a reaper, and dead-but-not-dead abusive alcoholic fathers. (Tw - abuse, alcoholism, and suicide)

I didn't care so much for Joey aka Josephine. I wanted to like her and I wanted to care about her plight but it didn't happen. She never quite made it past a one-dimensional character for me. She comes across as being very immature and she makes some extremely stupid decisions for seemingly no other reason than "I'm tough and edgy". If I had to hear about her licking or sucking on her lip piercing ONE MORE TIME, I was going to lose it. As far as the secondary characters went, the most interesting ones were Charon and Val. I wanted to know more about them. This is a continued series though so surely the author will expand on that later.  

There's plenty here that worked well of though. There is loads of action and it moves the story along fairly quickly. Joey is actually pretty witty and some of the dialogue will give you a laugh. There's some great imagery as well and the atmosphere is top notch. I feel like this would be better promoted as urban fantasy versus horror, though it certainly contains horror elements. Hopefully, book two can address some of the weaknesses and give a stronger more cohesive read. 

Publication date: September 21st, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads ' H umans, as is there wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess ...

Gothic house surrounded by a white fence

Publication date: September 21st, 2021


'Humans, as is there wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess of everything.'

Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world.

But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren't necessarily the ones you can see.

A thought-provoking, chilling and beautifully written novel, Pádraig Kenny's The Monsters of Rookhhaven, stunningly illustrated by Edward Bettison, explores difference and empathy through the eyes of characters you won't want to let go.

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The Monsters of Rookhaven is a delightful middle-grade gothic tale of a little girl named Mirabelle and her family. For centuries, the Family has lived protected in their home away from the eyes of most humans. Until one day, the veil tears and two abandoned and abused human children find their way in. They are promptly and fiercely championed by seemingly normal Mirabelle to stay. While the rest of those living at the estate are unsure, the children are quickly settled in amongst the strange and usual characters.  The rift, however, leaves the family vulnerable to those that might wish them harm and it has been out there patiently waiting. 

The world that Kenny weaves is mysterious and enchanting. The estate that the family lives on is brooding and sprawling, replete with unnatural flowers guarding the paths. Each of the family has a unique "talent". There's Uncle Betram, who can transform into a huge bear. Aunt Eliza is made up of spiders. Gideon can transport via portals. The twins, well they are their own breed. Piglet is the literal monster in the basement. We have to learn much later what their talent is, but the family keeps them behind a tremendous locked door and whispers "Piglet is dangerous." 

There are themes of friendships and found family, and how the monsters aren't always the one to be feared. It's not all love and sweetness though—the last half takes a very dark turn. There is a defined evil under the the burgeoning friendship and comfort that the family supplies. Secrets often can cause harm and there is a big ominous secret waiting in the wings for Mirabelle. It will change everything.

I was lucky enough to get The Monsters of Rookhaven on audiobook narrated by Emma Noakes. She has a gift with voices and made the listen that much more enjoyable. Her volume ebbed and flowed through all the different voices, bringing each character to life in turn. I found myself smiling while listening. I couldn't wait to get my earbuds plugged back in to this unforgettable story with its captivating narrator. 

Fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will be charmed by this story. It's fantastical and magical. Perfect for middle-grade readers or for those wanting a little more enchantment in their lives. 





Publication date: October 5th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil. A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolati...


Publication date: October 5th, 2021


Detective. Angel. Victim. Devil.

A haunting tale of suspense, loss, isolation, contempt, and fear.

On November 1, 1951, war hero John Ashton was promoted to detective. His first assignment: find the district attorney’s missing daughter. But his only lead is Alena Francon, a high society sculptor and socialite committed to Bellevue’s psychiatric facility.

Alena has a story for the new detective. A story so outlandish John Ashton refuses to heed the warning. Alena admits to incarnating Golem, a demonic force, into her statue. A devil so profound he’s infiltrated every part of New York’s infrastructure. Even worse, he uses children to serve as bodily hosts for his demonic army, unleashing a horde of devils into our world.

When Alena’s confidant, Annette Flemming, confirms the existence of Golem, John is sent on a collision course where fate and destiny spiral into peril, and the future of the human race hangs in the balance.

The Devil Is In The Details!

Fans of The Silence of the Lambs, Clive Barker, John Connolly, old Stephen King, and Anne Rice will be fascinated by this edge of your seat psychological horror thriller with a story that tears out the heart of humanity and throws it on a slab to be feasted on.
 

Potential Trigger / Content Warnings


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Born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Westchester County, New York, living in South Florida since 1992. A child of the 90’s PD has coined a new genre, Alternative Fiction. Why? Because Multi-Genre Author sounds like you’ve got marbles between your cheeks. 

 Horror, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Supernatural, Dark Fiction, Thrillers and Mysteries, a little bit of sumpin sumpin for readers who enjoy intellectual and yet over the top lets blow our minds and rock out to amazing and extraordinary stories, heroes and villains. PD's latest release is The Rose Vol 1, a dystopian science fiction thriller, a series that features a sophisticated although primal and ravaging species of Alien Vampires living in hollow earth who have conspired with alien greys and elite humans in an attempt to subjugate the human population. Vol 1 was published on October 7, 2020 with Vol 2 slated for publication in early December 2021. PD will also publish his horror novel, Golem in early October 2021.

PD can best be described as a kind hearted, compassionate, hypnotizing, mesmerizing, do good save your life simpleton who would rather hang out all day with the characters in his books than venture too far away from home. A lover of isolation, meditating on the beach at sunrise, and howling at the moon after sunset, he’s either the life of the party or the oddball sitting alone in the corner with that really strange look in his eye as if he’s talking with people that are just not there, perhaps receiving a few concerned stares as he laughs at himself or maybe a funny joke one of those voices just told him. OH, All IS WELL ISN’T IT?

 PD loves the creative process that comes with writing. From the spawning of a new idea to jotting down notes or sending a hurried email to himself even during the most off time to do so (the book always come first), to the artful craft of editing all the way to publication, there is nothing better than producing an exceptional book. 

An avid reader who loves to talk books, PD will write short reaction reviews for the books he has finished and has not one issue answering questions from readers as they come.

So don’t miss a thing that PD has going on, check in often, like follow and share on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads and lets all have the time of our lives discussing what we all love best, BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS. 

O ctober is my absolute favorite month of the year!  There's the cooler weather, the smell of leaves, and of course, Halloween!  My birt...



October is my absolute favorite month of the year! 
There's the cooler weather, the smell of leaves, and of course, Halloween! 

My birthday is also on October 21st so it's a month-long celebration. It's the perfect month to settle in with a warm blanket and a scary book. 

If you are looking for a read for the season, here is October'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!)