Monday, January 21, 2019

Recommendations for Women in Horror Month!

Women in Horror Month is February! You can prepare now by visiting some of these dedicated websites, blogs, podcasts:
Ladies of the Fright Podcast
Ladies of Horror Fiction

Here are some of my recommendations for those of you building an "All Ladies" TBR for next month (this is what I'll be doing as well!)

1. THE CARROW HAUNT by Darcy Coates- this is on my TBR and it was nominated in the Best Horror Category for Goodreads last year. "The dead are restless here..."
 2. CRUEL WORKS OF NATURE by Gemma Amor- I'll be reading this one with the Night Worms crew next month! Join us!

"Curiosity may have killed the cat, but supernatural curiosities brought it back."

 3. THE HUNGER by Alma Katsu- I read this one last year and I feel like it has so much going for it in terms of great character development and engaging drama.
"An NPR Best Horror Novel"
 4. MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS by Emil Ferris- a powerfully gripping, beautifully illustrated graphic novel. "the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography."
 5. FOUNTAIN DEAD by Theresa Braun- Another Night Worms read! We're all very excited to read it next month. "Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house's dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history."
 6. THE RUST MAIDENS by Gwendolyn Kiste- Also on my TBR I've heard nothing but excellent reviews for this book. It is on the preliminary ballot to win a Bram Stoker!
"Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street."
 7. HAG by Kathleen Kaufman- One of the best stories about witches I have ever read. Read my Cemetery Dance review HERE
 8. THE GABRIEL DAVENPORT SERIES by Beverley Lee- a 5 star series! Each book is excellent. Literally the best vampire fiction on the market right now.
"Blood calls to blood"
 9. EVERYTHING THAT'S UNDERNEATH by Kristi DeMeester- I will never stop singing the praises of this short story collection. Visceral, raw and uniquely feminine. Creepy as hell.
"Crawl across the earth and dig in the dirt. Feel it. Tearing at your nails, gritty between your teeth, filling your nostrils."

 10. BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough- This was a page turner for me. I didn't want to stop until it was done and when it was, OH HOLY HELL, what an ending. LOVE!
"“You should read Behind Her Eyes…It’s bloody brilliant.” Stephen King"
 11. SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLOOD SOAKED by Christa Carmen- One of my favorite author collections last year. Every story was something different and I loved them all.
"a compelling exploration of horrors both supernatural and psychological, and an undeniable affirmation of Carmen’s flair for short fiction."

 12. BENEATH by Kristi DeMeester- another from Kristi but this time a novel but she can do short stories and novel length stories like a horror pro. I love her!
"What will happen when occulted horrors writhe to the surface, when pallid and forgotten things rise to reclaim the Earth?"

 13. PRETTY LITTLE DEAD THINGS by Mercedes M. Yardley- This was such an interesting combination of a lyrical style fairytale and dark fantasy/horror. I loved it.
"Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered..."
 14. CRY YOUR WAY HOME- Damien Angelica Walters- I haven't finished this collection but I have read like half of the stories and Damien's storytelling ability is brilliant. Highly recommend!
"Once upon a time there was a monster. This is how they tell you the story starts. This is a lie."


Seriously. Read them all. Start with BROTHER.

 16. I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK by Michelle McNamara- One of the scariest books I ever started and I didn't finish it because it was too scary for me. So, if you want to be horrified by true crime--this is your jam.
 17. THE GRIP OF IT by Jack Jemc- I love quiet, subtle horror and this one was written with beautiful imagery and atmosphere.
"Jac Jemc's The Grip of It is a chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home."
 18. YOU & HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes- If Joe Goldberg's sociopathic love for Beck isn't horror, I don't know what is--addicting and compelling this book won't leave you alone until it's over!
“Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

Friday, December 28, 2018

Mother Horror's Anticipated Reads in 2019

2019 is going to be a stellar year for horror. I can feel it in my old lady witch bones. Here is a list of books I'm excited to read in the coming year. I've already started this one...

I have two stories left. Stay tuned for my review coming on Cemetery Dance! Spoiler Alert: I LOVED IT. (no surprise) preorder HERE

I have this book in my hot little hands as well. Trust me when I say I want to crawl inside this book right now and live inside of it until all the words are gobbled up. Preorder HERE

The 6th and FINAL book in the Miriam Black Series! SAY IT AINT SO!!! But Chuck made this jagged little pill a bit easier to swallow since we have THIS riding on its heels... (PREORDER VULTURES)

An epic apocalyptic tale for summer reading?? YAAAAAAAS PLEASE!!! (preorder)

In 2018, Andrew Cull blew us away with his debut collection, BONES and in 2019, we will get a novel called REMAINS. I'm so stinking eager for this!!! Click HERE

I was lucky enough to beta read a short story that Ania Ahlborn was contributing to this collection with a witch theme and told by an all female guest list. WANT NOW! (have to wait for October-not even available for preorder)

I can't wait for this book!! And I'm stoked that Ashley and I are working with Kealan Patrick Burke on a very special book club package for Night Worms including this new release, a previously released anthology with a KPB story in it and some original artwork by this multitalented horror author and book cover designer. And it doesn't stop here because this announcement was made earlier this week...(visit KPB's BLOG)

WARD is a prequel to SOUR CANDY so my recommendation is that if you haven't read SOUR CANDY, now is your chance! Click HERE

I'm so excited that Flame Tree Press is releasing the entire back catalog of Jonathan Janz! Click HERE to see all the upcoming books! But here are the ones I'm most excited about:

Oh, it's all of them actually. Tricked you.

Andrew Pyper is an amazing storyteller and I'm SO EXCITED to read this book THE HOMECOMING--taking place where I currently live in the PNW! I will show up for anything he writes. Preorder!

Speaking of authors that I will show up to read every, single, time...THE SAME DEEP WATER AS YOU by Chad Lutzke is coming in January! I can't wait. Follow Chad on Amazon for release

New Robert McCammon?
Me: Okay.
*stands in line*
Click here

WILL HAUNT YOU by Brian Kirk will be my first Brian Kirk book and I'm SO EXCITED because I've heard such high praise! PREORDER

I read a short story by Sarah Lotz in 2018 and my curiosity is locked in! This book comes out in April and I WANT IT. Click HERE

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Of Dark Origins

When I was a little girl, my favorite reward for a job well done was when my parents would take me to our local bookstore and let me pick out a new book. The children's section was a down a narrow staircase and at the back of the store.
The owners had a whole bookcase full of chapter books under the heading, "Mysteries". It was my goal to own all the spooky titles. My favorite author was John Bellairs. His books had the best covers illustrated by Edward Gorey who also illustrated some pictures inside too! At some point, I had exhausted the Mystery section downstairs in the kid's library and I needed something to fill the void. I remember my mom researching some appropriate titles and making some suggestions  that we then checked out at the library. One of those books is still a favorite, it's called The Witch at Blackbird Pond and I've been on the search for the same edition I read as a child, I'd love to read it again. Around this time, I also started reading Agatha Christie novels. I lived for the scenes of murder and mayhem.

At the same time I was discovering a passion for "dark fiction" my mother's collection of horror was growing. My dad bought her a bookcase for her new addiction. One of my favorite things to do was to pull an "adult scary book" off the shelf and read the tantalizing synopsis on the back. Sometimes the books even had a scary cover I could stare at.
One fateful day, I grabbed Salem's Lot off the shelf and instead of putting back, I took it into my room.
I remember thinking that this book would be a good selection because the cover wasn't that scary, that little town locked inside the "O" looked pretty quaint, actually. I was ten years old. At night, in secret, I read Salem's Lot and to be perfectly honest, I was terrified. I regretted my decision to read such an adult story. It felt so wrong and I was scandalized by all the grown up subject material but I couldn't stop reading it. It felt wrong, yes but it also was everything I ever wanted. I devoured it.
A Constant Reader was born.
When I finished, I slid the book back into its spot on my mom's shelf and I vowed to stick to my own "child appropriate" spooky stories.
After a few attempts, those books weren't cutting it anymore. I read Firestarter and Carrie shortly after Salem's Lot.
But the book that called out to me the most was also the biggest and had the most intriguing cover. I avoided it as long as I could but after having read three Stephen King titles and jonesing for more, I finally relented and pulled IT off the shelf. I was thirteen.

Stephen King's IT scared the shit out of me. I think I finally confessed to my mom that I had been stealing her King books and reading them in secret after I finished defiling my young brain with tales of shapeshifting, demonic clowns. The amusing thing is that she wasn't mad. At all. She encouraged it, actually! I didn't take her up on her offer right away. IT scared me off of horror books for a pretty long season. I did read The Eyes of the Dragon and The Talisman, because she told me those weren't scary and I fell in love with both of those stories.
In high school, I started the Dark Tower series and I also started venturing out into the works of Peter Straub and Anne Rice. Horror found its way back into my good graces. It wasn't long before I consumed Stephen King's entire back catalog and also started buying his new releases for my own collection.
I became a horror junkie but it's interesting how it wasn't my genre of choice for a long, long time. I went through a whole phase of murder mysteries where I read everything I could get my hands on by Patricia Cornwell and John Sanford. The grislier the details of the crimes, the better.
Eventually, I found my way back into horror and now, in this season of life, it's the only thing I want to read. I feel like horror, as a genre, as really arrived. It's a new animal. There are so many sub genres and so much diversity, I don't feel the need to satisfy a lacking need in my heart with anything else. I'm still a Constant Reader but I'm also Mother Horror and I'm loving it. I'm enjoying my non stop parade of chills & thrills and reviewing it, professionally. This isn't a hobby or a pastime anymore. It's a lifestyle.