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Monday, January 11, 2021

Best Collections, Anthologies, and Short Stories in 2020


Awhile back, I posted my Best Horror Books 2020 List. Not included were all the author collections and anthologies I read last year. These were my favorite (in no particular order)

Anthologies & Collections:

1. DEATHTRIPPING by Andersen Prunty


3. THE VALANCOURT BOOK OF WORLD HORROR STORIES edited by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle



6. DON'T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS edited by Jonathan Maberry

7. PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD edited by Brhel & Sullivan


9. CASCADE by Craig Davidson

10. FINAL CUTS edited by Ellen Datlow

11. GRAVEYARD SMASH edited by Jill Girardi

12. MISCREATIONS edited by Doug Murano & Michael Bailey

13. THESE EVIL THINGS WE DO by Mick Garris

14. SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire edited by Nicole Givens Kurtz

15. CHILDREN OF THE FANG and Other Genealogies by John Langan

Honorable mention: I feel weird choosing anything I had something to do with so WE ARE WOLVES, WORST LAID PLANS and DEAD AWAKE are all near and dear to my heart.


Short Stories:

"Deep in the Heart" by Waylon Jordan from WORST LAID PLANS

"Paper Doll Hyperplane" by R. B. Payne from MISCREATIONS

"Doodlebug" by John Boden from ARTERIAL BLOOM

"Attack of the 50ft Indian" by Stephen Graham Jones

"Ugly" by Mick Garris from THESE EVIL THINGS WE DO

"Into the Darkness Fearlessly" by John Langan from CHILDREN OF THE FANG

"Hyphae" by John Langan from CHILDREN OF THE FANG

"The One We Tell Bad Children" by Laird Barron from FINAL CUTS

"A Ben Evans Film" by Josh Malerman

"Holes" by R. A. Busby from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"Until There's Nothing Left" by J. A. W. McCarthy from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"Templo Mayor" by V. Castro from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"The Child" Carmen Baca from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"The Roll of the Dice" by Beverley Lee from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"Graveyard of the Lost" by Tracy Fahey from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"The Invitation" by Janine Pipe from GRAVEYARD SMASH

"Some Kind of Monster" Tim Waggoner

"The House on Dandy Lane" by Christy Aldridge from DEAD AWAKE

"To Burn the Black Church" by The Sisters of Slaughter from DEAD AWAKE

"Pretty Little Lanterns" by Ronald Kelly from THE HALLOWEEN STORE And Other Tales of All Hallows' Eve

"Cosmic Cola" by Lucy A. Snyder from HALLOWEEN SEASON

"Curfew" by Kev Harrison (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"An Invitation to Darkness" by Hailey Piper (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"The One That Knows No Fear" by Steve Stred (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"The Lost Girl & Spindleshanks" by Alyson Faye (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"Asylum of Shadows" by Stephanie Ellis (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"Bits"  by R. A. Busby (a Short, Sharp, Shocks!)

"Desiccant" by Craig Laurence Gidney from SLAY

"Love Hangover" by Sheree Renee Thomas from SLAY

"No God by Hunger" by Steve Van Samson from SLAY

"The Man with a Face Like a Bruise" Andersen Prunty

"Depravity Road" by Ronald Kelly from SEASONS CREEPINGS

"Backstairs" by Anders Fager from WORLD HORROR STORIES

"The Time Remaining" by Attila Veres from WORLD HORROR STORIES

"The Deer God" by Wendy Wagner from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Bare Bones" by Jude Reid from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Here in This Place is a Means to an End" by Chad Lutzke from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Cold-Blooded Old Times" by J. A. W. McCarthy from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Laughter in the Night" by Sonora Taylor from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Hopscotch for Keeps" by Hailey Piper from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"Devil's Elbow" by C. W. Briar from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

"The Bone Man of Sanatorium Lake" by Andy Cull from PLACES WE FEAR TO TREAD

Friday, January 8, 2021

Losing My Religion

 August 7th, 2020 I wrote this Facebook Post:

"Last night instead of counting sheep, I thought about all of the issues (and non-issues) that my husband and I have been verbally judged (called out) on from our faith-based community in my hometown.
- Celebrating Halloween
- Listening to "secular music"
- Sending our kids to public school/not homeschooling
- Watching R rated movies
- Getting tattoos
- Piercing my nose
- Cussing/Smoking/Drinking
- Dan "allowing" me to have a blog where I voiced my opinions on religious topics
- Not making our kids go to church
- Political views (I made it clear I would not vote to ban gay marriage in California-that was Prop 8 in 2008
- Voting to legalize pot in California (I made that clear too)
- Not voting for Trump in 2016 (I left Facebook during that election)
++After moving to the PNW++
- Reading, Promoting, Celebrating HORROR FICTION (how gross am I?)
- Going to a Bernie rally with our kids
- Liking "socialist" issues like universal healthcare and taxing the rich/Medicare for all
- Supporting Democratic candidates
- Supporting LBGTQ rights
- Supporting Black Lives Matter (I was told they were Marxist and dangerous)
- Looking for an LBGTQ affirming church
- Not believing Christian, Right Wing, White Supremecy Propaganda (if I told you what the propaganda was, you would fly into a rage)
The bottom line is this:
The way I see the practices of Jesus in the bible is that he radically disrupted the religious status quo of his time. He spent most of his time homeless and eating food with the marginalized communities that were despised by the religious majority. He defended the rights of sex workers, children, orphans, widows, the sick, the broken, the oppressed, and the weak. They killed him.
If I'm in "trouble" with the Christian majority most of my life, I'm OK with that. Let them judge. I'll err on the side of loving EVERYONE and let the chips fall where they may."

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 Capitol Hill was stormed by Trump supporters during the certification of the election. I saw a giant banner slung over the railing that read 'JESUS 2021" and I saw one of the terrorists carrying a flag with a Jesus fish on it.

This was the last straw for me. I tweeted this:

And now, a series of photos that need no explanation but are the reasons I will not identify as a Christian anymore. To clarify: I am not losing my faith, just my religion.


Proud Boys


Kayleigh McEnany (always with that cross)

Jenna Ellis

Joel Olsteen

Lastly, NO ON THESE:
  1. Defund Planned Parenthood (NO)
  2. Vote for any candidate that is Pro-Life (NO)
  3. Homosexuality is a sin (NO)
  4. Gay Marriage is wrong (NO)
  5. Kids should pray in school (NO)
  6. The death penalty (NO)
  7. Reverse Roe vs. Wade (NO)
  8. Vote Republican (NO)
  9. Hate socialist programs (NO)
  10. Support anti-vaxxers (NO)
  11. Going to church is a right during a pandemic (NO)
  12. The church is always persecuted (NO)
  13. Democrats are the enemy (NO)
  14. Wearing a mask is a choice (NO)
One more thing for White Supremacy Fundamental Christians:
Jesus was a POC. A Jew. He looked more like this:

Not this:

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Best Horror Books 2020



Is it okay if I don't feel like giving a commentary or summary of this past year? I barely survived. It's too soon to look back over the year like it's long gone--the wounds haven't even begun to heal. I lost two close family members to cancer on top of everything else that happened so...yeah. This blog post is about the Best Horror Books of 2020. It's important for me to say that Horror is always my safe place. My go-to escape but this was especially true in 2020. I started social distancing and locking it down March 15th. I read 30 books in March. I read HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson in one day of March and broke my eyeballs.


Out of damn near 200 books read, these are the best 25 published in 2020 (in my opinion). Collections, Poetry, Short Stories, and Anthologies will get their own post later. 

In no particular order:

  • THE LOOP by Jeremy R. Johnson
  • THE BOATMAN'S DAUGHTER by Andy Davidson
  • TOUCH THE NIGHT by Max Booth III
  • SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay
  • THE MAGPIE COFFIN by Wile E. Young
  • WHITE PINES by Gemma Amor
  • MEXICAN GOTHIC by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones
  • MALORIE by Josh Malerman
  • TOME by Ross Jeffery
  • ALONG THE PATH OF TORMENT by Chandler Morrison
  • THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Alexis Henderson
  • LABYRINTH OF THE DOLLS by Craig Wallwork
  • MAGGIE'S GRAVE David Sodergren
  • THE RAVEN by Jonathan Janz
  • TRUE CRIME by Samantha Kolesnik
  • GO DOWN HARD by Ali Seay
  • DEVIL'S CREEK by Todd Keisling
  • THE WORM AND HIS KINGS by Hailey Piper
  • CROSSROADS by Laurel Hightower
  • GONE TO SEE THE RIVER MAN by Kristopher Triana
  • THE GIRL IN THE VIDEO by Michael David Wilson
  • RING SHOUT P. Dejeli Clark