GOTH: The Game of Horror Trivia Video Review

Hello, Addicts! Kristin Battestella aka Kbatz here with a special Video Review of my awesome Thrift Find Goth: The Game of Horror Trivia!

 

In Addition to Goth: The Game of Horror Trivia, briefly I also mention some Lovecraftian and atmospheric games including Arkham Horror, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and The Grimm Forest.

Be sure to check out more of our Game Reviews at Horror Addicts.net, and don’t forget you can get interactive, answer trivia questions, and tell us what kinds of Horror Media you would like to see – by Horror Addicts for Horror Addicts! – on our Facebook Group.

 

 

David’s Haunted Library: Meddling Kids

 

Imagine what a story would be like if you had 4 kids and their dog who went around solving mysteries.  Each time they solved a mystery they discovered that the culprit was someone in a fake monster suit. Does this sound familiar? This book isn’t about that group of detectives, this story is about the Blyton Summer Detective Club. Back in 1977 they solved their last case throwing a man in jail for pretending to be a lake monster and life hasn’t been the same since.

Kerri went on to become a biologist but can’t seem to hold onto a job and she still lives with a dog who is the descendent of the club’s original dog. Andy is a tomboy wanted in two states who can’t get over the fact that they sent the wrong man to prison. Peter has died of a drug overdose and Nate has been in and out of mental asylums and still talks to Peter’s ghost. All of them are broken adults and the only way to put the past behind them is to return to the scene of their last case and confront the real life monsters at the bottom of the lake.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is what you get when you combine Scooby Doo with H.P. Lovecraft. Hearing the description of this book, I considered it a must read and despite some flaws, it doesn’t disappoint. What makes it stand out is how the story unfolds. In the beginning you hear about how the detective’s last adventure was an open and shut case. Then you see how all of them are damaged in their own way and you realize that there is more to it then meets the eye. You could say that the main idea of this book is about facing your fears. Each of the main characters tried to deny the truth about what happened and acted like they were fine but the truth ruined them and 13 years later they had to face their fears to be able to move on.

The thing I didn’t like about Meddling Kids was that it felt like it needed a good editor. Some parts felt dragged out. For instance, there was a scene in a mine shaft that was long and unnecessary, I couldn’t figure out why they had to go down there in the first place. Then there was a scene where Nate reads a passage from an ancient text to bring the lake creatures to life where I was wondering “why is he doing that and why aren’t the others stopping him.”  Also, Andy’s obsession with Kerri’s hair really got on my nerves after a while.

That being said, this book is worth your time if you like a good mix of horror and humor. The detail that goes into the characters lives shows that Edgar Cantero has a real passion for his creations. It’s like he sat down and said “I wonder what the Scooby gang would be like in real life” and came out with a very detailed description of all of them. What I liked most about this book is that the author gives a mythological explanation for what is going on and he also gets into a scientific explanation as well. There is one scene where Nate and Kerri are arguing about the reason for what’s happening with one talking science and one blaming everything on old gods and ancient texts that make this a must read.

 

David’s Haunted Library: Night Things: Undead And Kicking

David's Haunted Library

 

 

30190570What would our world be like if vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghouls, mermen and other creature walked the earth? They aren’t all trying to hurt humans, some of them just want to make an honest living and be accepted. People still fear what they don’t understand and even though some accept the Night Things, others aren’t so trusting. So the night things are given devices that track their every move.

Times are changing after the events of Z Day and Johnny Stucke, a Night thing himself is getting involved in politics. One of his first orders of business was getting Dr. Herbert West to work on a way to control zombies. Enter recently deceased professional MMA fighter Carol Haddon. Her DNA may hold the secret to changing the world’s zombies. Carol has also drawn the attention of Herbert West’s greatest enemy Jack The Ripper. Due to an accident Dr. West has made Jack more powerful than ever and if Dr. West can’t defeat him, it could bring on the apocalypse.

Night Things: Undead And Kicking by Terry M. West  is the second book in The Magic Now series and there is so much going on here that a 2 paragraph description hardly does it justice. The plot moves along at a brisk pace, it includes several sub plots and some great characters. There are also some great cameos from popular creatures and people known to classic horror fans. What makes this masterpiece of horror stand out over other works in the genre is how Terry M. West presents his characters.

For instance the main character is Carol Haddon. When she is introduced we see her as someone who feels compassion for the Night Things, she works in a shelter for them and we hear her comparing them to immigrants(love the metaphor). We also see her as a bad ass MMA fighter, but at the same time she is a vulnerable human being who goes to a therapist to deal with feelings she has for her mother. At this point Carol comes across as a complex person and things get harder for her as we find out that the two people helping her, Johnny Stucke and Herbert West have their own agenda and might not have her best interest at heart. That being said they are better than Jack The Ripper who would like nothing better than to rip the dna from her bone marrow. Carol is a hero you can relate to because she’s a compassionate person in a bad situation. Then we have Johhny Stuck and Herbert West who are shades of grey. They want to help Carol but at the same time they have an agenda that has already made major problems for Carol. You see the good and bad in both and it makes you like them that much more.

Undead And Kicking is the type of book that you can point to when people ask you why you like horror. Terry M. West is a horror fan writing books that he knows other horror fans will love. This story puts a fresh spin on classic horror mythology and also manages to add humor, great characters and plenty of blood and good scares to the mix.  I can’t say enough good things about this book and I hope there are several more books in The Magic Now series.

An Interview With Suzanne Madron

What is your story for episode 135 about?

28101675The story is a sample of a longer work titled For Sale or Rent, available on Amazon. It’s about a house that never seems to be lived in for very long and seems to go on the market every few months, but this time, nothing about the sale is normal, including the new owners. No sooner has the for sale sign come down and the neighborhood is thrown into a Lovecraftian nightmare and the only way out is to attend the house-warming party.

When did you start writing?

I began writing in grade school, initially just journaling with a few stories here and there. In high school, I wrote what would become the first draft of my first novel, NEMESIS.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Ultimately it depends on my mood, and which pseudonym I’m writing as that day. I enjoy writing vampire horror, Lovecraftian horror, and hard-boiled occult noir mysteries. Sometimes I even write how-to and training documentation. It would be hard to pin my favorite into one category.512hsuf4k7l

Who or what inspires you?

Everyday life inspires me quite often. In For Sale or Rent, it was our neighbor’s house across the street, which was on the market a lot over the years until they moved in and fixed the place up.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

The ever-present glimmer of hope – usually. In some more recent horror stories, I’ve noticed a trend of no hope and no end to the nightmares. In older horror stories, there was always hope at the end, and if not a happy ending, at least a temporary reprieve until the next battle between good and evil.

Could you tell us about the Immortal War series?

The Immortal War Series starts off in three books dealing with the events before, during, and after a war that would become known as the Immortal War. NEMESIS is the first book, and we meet the main characters. Somewhere in the blood and violence 51qvotf0wplis apparently a love story, or so I’m told. In the second book, LAMIA, we learn more about our main characters and what makes them tick. When the Immortal War begins, we discover how it began. By the third book, THE TOWER, twenty years have passed and the Immortal War has ended. To give more details would be to ruin the surprise.
The fourth book in the series is a break from the initial books in that SCYLLA is more young adult horror, the fear is very much based in human monsters rather than those of legend.

What are some of the other books you have available?

For Sale or Rent, The Cat with Cthulhu Eyes, Apocrypha of the Apocalypse, and Love Notes are all available on Amazon. Other books (written as James Glass) include The Murdered Metatron, The Dispossessed, and The Vampire of Plum Run.

Where can we find you online?

 

Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Best of 2015

 

 

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

crystalconnor

Once Upon A Scream Author Spotlight: DJ Tyrer

Horroraddicts.net Publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon a Scream. Remember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon a Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is DJ Tyrer and recently he talked to us about his writing:

What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?

OnceUponAScreamFrontMy story is “Gollewon Ellee” and recounts an encounter with the Fair Folk upon Harley’s Mount, which has been the location of several stories of mine. The title refers to the mysterious fairy lights seen upon the hill.

What inspired the idea?
The story draws upon elements of folklore for the Fair Folk, while the Mount was inspired by a real hill where my grandparents used to live. I didn’t see any fairies there, but it certainly wouldn’t have surprised me if there had been some!

When did you start writing? 

I’ve written since I was a small child (it’s something I’ve always done). I have been writing (semi-)professionally for the last two decades while editing the Atlantean Publishing small press.

What are your favorite topics to write about? 

I am most drawn to horror and folklore (which, naturally, intertwine nicely). Although my stories can take place anywhere around the world and are urban as often as they are rural, I have a special fondness for Harley’s Mount and its environment. Not only have I written several stories set there but also developed a lot of backgrounds (some of which was released in the booklet “A Breedon District Miscellany” through Atlantean Publishing).

What are some of your influences? 

Lovecraft, without a doubt. Writers such as MR James and Jenny Nimmo were very influential on the Harley’s Mount setting. RW Chambers has been a major influence on my other main body of work. Collectors and redactors of folklore and folk history, such as George Ewart Evans, are also a major source of inspiration.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?18375014

The infinite variety, because it is more a mood or way of looking at the world than a genre in the sense of the Western or Steampunk. Horror can be wed to any other genre and take place anywhere, at any time to any degree with ease. Allowing it to constantly mutate and explore the darker recesses of our humanity, always surprising and shocking us in new ways.

What are some of the works you have available?

I have stories a number of anthologies (which can be found on my site) and my novella “The Yellow House” is currently available from Amazon in paperback and on the Kindle. “A Breedon District Miscellany” and “Black & Red” (a collection of urban horror stories, also available in PDF) are available through Atlantean Publishing.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently co-editing a King In Yellow anthology called “A Terrible Thing”. Which should be available at the end of the year while I also have a couple more horror novellas in the works.

Where can we find you online?

You can find my website at DJ Tyrer

Master of Horror L.A. Banks and her contribution to Horror

Black Women in Horror:

 Master of Horror L.A. Banks and her contribution to Horror.

“If my soul got jacked, where is it?”L.A. Banks

Happy Black History Month! I want to start this out in saying, yes, this blog post will be long and peppered in fangirl moments. I will drone on about the awesomeness of author L.A. Banks and her extraordinary writing skills in horror/thrillers. I will gawk at the idea that she is not praised as much as she should be, and I will tear up at the reality that this author’s incredible gifts have been lost to us in the literary world. This is my respectful tribute to her…it is what it is. -smile-

banks6In the world of Horror, in link with black women, there are only two names that comes to mind for me that have been cultural innovators and pop icons in this area of literature. And today I’m choosing to speak on the one that I was lead to deeply admire, Leslie Esdaile Banks. Better known as L.A. Banks. When you think of horror, the greats who founded it, and those who followed in their footsteps, oftentimes many people don’t equate women in that class.

People always are quick to name the greats, Horace Walpole, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and contemporaries, Clive Barker and Stephen King as the masters of horror. I take nothing away from them. However, women were also at the forefront of horror. They were the literal foundation that inspired many past and current male horror authors that we so fondly idolize.

“Humans have been telling scary stories of great danger, defeat, and triumph since we built campfires outside the caves while the wolves were howling in the hills near us.” – L.A. Banks via Wild River Review 2011

Women of horror helped craft a culture within the medium that added character to how many male horror writers developed their own stories. A level of maturity, audaciousness, sensuality, and political/social commentary between the pages of great stories that scared us senseless. Who were the women that influenced horror? These founding women were: Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelly, and more. Later they would influence and shaped the pens of contemporary women horror writers such as Carrie Vaughn, Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Charlaine Harris. However, it is black women writers such as Tananarive Due and L.A. Banks who chose to elevate the medium and bring with them a fresh flair to the foundation that has sorely been missed, the reality of the black voice and everyday man/woman.

banks5L.A. Banks contribution to horror was shaped around where she came from and the no-holds bar realities of her life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“L.A. Banks’s career was born out of tragedy. Years ago, her six-month-old daughter was severely burned, she was going through a divorce, she lost her job when she took time off to be with her daughter, and she was broke. Yet somehow, in the midst of all the grief, she turned to writing – creating page after page of entertainment that kept her girlfriends so entranced they submitted the complete manuscript to publishers without telling her.” – Janice Gable Bashman via Wild River Review 2011

I’m very sure if you look at the lives of the founding women writers in horror, that they too began writing due to specifics in their lives that mandated them taking pen to paper. Culture shifts, frustrations with status, political views, a sense of advocacy in the world. Horror provided the appropriate medium for these women writers to showcase our most feared secret places in our psyche and spirit. L.A. Banks had a gift for doing the same thing. Before ‘Black Lives Matter’ was shouted, L.A. Banks characters in her well-loved and known horror/thriller/pararomance series, The Vampire Huntress Series and Crimson Moon Series, were actively in the streets kicking ass, and taking names later in the same branch of protest and demand for justice. Black Lives Mattered in all her works.

“Fear, hatred, oppression – that’s pure evil and it never lasts. Love endures.” – L.A. Banks via Wild River Review 2011

banks4         L.A. Banks was proud of being a woman writer in horror, paranormal fantasy and more. She was proud of her place as a black woman in the literary world as well. This is why she was ahead of her time. She created a culture where young and old could come together for a cause in saving ourselves from the pains of the streets and the political strife in our governments. Her characters bucked the system of global oppression without batting an eye.

Bloodshed, hearts being snatched out, fangs tearing into necks, demon possessions, werewolves and jaguars, naughty sensual sex. L.A. Banks world was intense and oh so good. What is masked as vampires and demons, monsters snatching people from their beds or in the streets, was a well-written allegory for issues such as police brutality, martial law, government cover-ups, drugs and poverty in our communities. Her works were even crafted as a way to speak about the disconnect between young and old in how we all viewed the lens of civil rights and social rights.

Again, L.A. Banks was ahead of her time.

“The vampire represents a lot of what we see in society. They’re scarier because of that; because the vampire can be anybody. He just blends in and looks perfectly normal. Like serial killers often look like normal people… the fear factor is that they’re among us.” – L.A. Banks via Wild River Review 2011

Her grasp of writing to reach those of us not only in the Black community but also in the Latino, and even white community was something that not many authors today can effectively balance. Listen, when you have a supernatural team of people tasked to save us from the apocalypse, and these characters come from every walk of life. Young, old, street kids, Jews, Latino priests, bikers gangs, southern folks, and more? You then have a mix for how we should be coming together to build ourselves up before we fall into destruction and also shows that on a human level, we all should be able to come together without issue. It makes reading her books immensely relatable. This is why L.A. Banks works resonated well with her fans.

“The more I know what is going on in the world, the more it effects my choices, how I vote, how I spend my money, how I relate to others. I am empowered by what I know, laid bare and ignorant by what I don’t know.” – L.A. Banks via Wild River Review 2011

banks3As a means to reach us all, L.A. Banks used her medium of scaring the hell out of you, while educating you without being preachy unless needed to be. Her style was deftly smooth and gripping, that in my opinion it influenced not only her readers but Hollywood as well. Case-in-point, before her passing L.A. Banks had been featured as a commentary for the behind-the-scenes look at HBO’s True Blood as it was premiered. Like many writers, we research our craft to create our worlds.

Not only did the writers do the same in shaping author Charlaine Harris popular book, but they also used the influences of many other writers to make it a richer environment. Once such influence was L.A. Banks slang and flair. “Dropping Fang” came from her works and found a way in the language of True Blood.

“…Vampires had taken the mantle as the perfectly dangerous lover – the forbidden, kinky, deep dark sensualist. Move over, vamps, somebody in pop culture let the dogs out. So we now have the phenomena where injustice, rage, plus the phase of the moon, means that the otherwise mild-mannered individual who is playing by the rules of society just gets fed up and rips your face off.”– L.A. Banks via Wild River Review 2011

banks2L.A. Banks had a powerful influential gift for writing. Had we not lost her, I believe that she and her works would have continued to not only help in our current climate today, but also changed the diversity of Hollywood.

As she stated back in 2011, “There is always a mentor, a Yoda, a Sensei, a learned master that helps the young initiate along their path of trials and tribulations until they emerge victorious.” Mama Banks you were our mentor, and master in the world of Horror, paranormal speculative fiction and more. August 2, 2011 is the day L.A. Banks parted from this world. It still saddens me that she is not celebrated more, because to me, she is right there in the ranks of Octavia Butler. Women in Horror have been overlooked and oftentimes ignored, especially with fellow women writers like myself. One day this will change.

We women are proud to take on the task of holding up the mantel of women horror writers like I’ve mentioned previously. It’s now up to the readers to turn a willing eye our way and step into our creepy, sinister, maliciously evil works and join us on our journey into greatness. Besides, we’ve been the inspiration for many male writers already. Why not continue the ride?

“Knowledge is Power.” – Carlos Rivera (VHL series)

L.A. Banks, also known as Mama Banks (to us fans), we miss you dearly. Thank you for being a beacon of light for myself as a writer and many others. I only hope that I become the same way as you were for me because when no one else will speak your name, I will. This is your right of honor as is your place at the Queen’s table for us black women writers. Thank you again and happy Black History Month!

 

***********

Born in Iowa, but later relocating and raised in Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO, Kai Leakes was an imaginative Midwestern child, who gained an addiction to books at an early age. The art of imagination was the very start of Kai’s path of writing which lead her to creating the Sin Eaters: Devotion Books Series and continuing works. Since a young childScreenshot_2016-01-31-15-02-55-1-1-1, her love for creating, vibrant romance and fantasy driven mystical tales, continues to be a major part of her very DNA. With the goal of sharing tales that entertain and add color to a gray literary world, Kai Leakes hopes to continue to reach out to those who love the same fantasy, paranormal, romantic, sci/fi, and soon, steampunk-driven worlds that shaped her unique multi-faceted and diverse vision. You can find Kai Leakes at: www.kwhp5f.wix.com/kai-leakes

l.a.banks
Read more of L.A. Banks interview with Wild River Review here: http://www.wildriverreview.com/Interview/L.A._Banks/From_Tragedy_to_triumph/bashman/October_09

 

David’s Haunted Library: Two from 01Publishing

Arkham_coverIt was the mid 1940’s and things weren’t going well for Private eye Hank Flynn. He just got out of the war and moved to the mean streets of Arkham. Or out of the frying pan and into the fryer.   Hank has seen terror in the war but that doesn’t compare to what he sees when he is hired by a wealthy socialite to find an artist named Pickman.  Hank’s search leads him into a world of witches, ghouls, black magic and straight into the hands of the Innsmouth  mafia. Hank is up against an evil that he has never experienced and he is the only one that can stop the darkness that threatens Arkham.

Casefile: Arkham is written by Josh Finney and Illustrated by Patrick McEvoy and is an original take on the works of H.P. Lovecraft with a nod to Raymond Chandler. While reading this I felt like I was watching an old 1940’s mystery movie. The dialogue, the way the characters acted and the fact that everyone smoked and wore a hat, made this book feel like an old movie.

Josh Finney’s writing style is excellent, and Patrick McEvoy’s art adds to the creepiness factor. When this book begins there is a sense of dread, The city of Arkham is a dark place and Hank’s knows this but he is hoping for a new start. Right there the reader is invested in the story because you instantly like Hank but wonder in a place where monsters dwell (and we see in the beginning that there are real monsters here)how can you find something to be happy about? 

I love the character of Hank Flynn. There is a scene where his client sends him to a fortune-teller and we hear a commentary of him questioning god. Hank is a catholic but after fighting in the war he is angry with god. He questions religion but he still wants to believe.  Before seeing the fortune-teller he has a great speech where he mentions whether it’s a crystal ball or a bible, the name of the game is to get rubes to part with their hard-earned cash. I love how Hank feels, he is a man looking for answers for his clients and for himself. Later we meet a woman named Glynda, a Wiccan who runs a book store and is one of the few people who Hank seems to trust. I loved how Hank has feelings for her but because he is  Catholic he feels that being with her would be blasphemy. Hank is a man at conflict with himself and Arkham is a place where evil dwels. I found myself rooting for him to get a happy ending despite the world being against him

I can’t say enough good things about this book. The story is good, the characters are deep and realistic and the art is beautiful. Casefile: Arkham is a work of art and a good example of how art and great storytelling can be combined to make the perfect graphic novel. You could tell this book was a labor of love. I hope this book gets enough support where 01 Publishing can turn it into a series because it made me want to seek out more horror comics to read.

1871264301 publishing has more than one book that is inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Whispers From The Abyss is an anthology edited by Kat Rocha that contains 33 stories that were influenced by Lovecraft. I have to admit that I haven’t read a lot of Lovecraft but being a horror fan I still enjoyed a lot of the stories in this book. What really surprised me was how different all the stories were.

Not all the stories here were gems but there was some good ones including Death Wore Greasepaint by Josh Finney. This one is about a down on his luck man named Charlie who runs a cable tv station and a clown named Wilbur who has found his life’s purpose.  I love how this story uses a kids show set in the  present and ties it into Lovecraft’s mythos. Who would have guessed a clown could start the apocalypse. I love how this story describes intestines coming out of a body and then a character says: “I’ll never eat pasta again.” The best thing about this story is that The Octopus King has shown me how to be happy. Read the book and you will understand.

Another good one in this collection is Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth: Richard Nixon’s Revenge by Jason Andrew. This one is set in the seventies and follows a man who is trying to find proof that Richard Nixon is evil. This is an original story that combines a little humor with a little bit of horror. I love the references to Easy Rider, Ron Jeremy and the two quotes that open the story. Anything goes in this one and it has a good twist at the end.

Also getting points for originality is My Friend Fishfinger by Daisy, Age 7 written by David Tallerman. I love that this is written from the perspective of a girl whose parents follow a god that’s different from the one she believes in. If you know Lovecraft’s work you probably know who the god is. I love how this story is told, its like seeing evil through the eyes of an innocent child who doesn’t know what she is in for. The title is deceptive and the story is short and creepy. If you like the works of Lovecraft and Weird Tales in general pick up Whispers From The Abyss and if you like this one Whispers From The Abyss 2 is also available.

Press Release: 01Publishing releases Whispers From The Abyss 2

WFTA2CoverArtThis October, 01Publishing is proud to announce the return of their
acclaimed WHISPERS FROM THE ABYSS anthology series. Edited by Kat
Rocha, the collection features 25 new Lovecraft-inspired tales created
spefically for readers on the go. Stories by Laird Barron (The Imago
Sequence), Cody Goodfellow (Spore), Greg Stolze (Delta Green), A.C.
Wise (Future Lovecraft), John Palisano (Dust of the Dead), John C.
Foster (Dead Men), Orrin Grey (Painted Monsters & Other Strange
Beasts), Dennis Detwiller (Delta Green), Chad Fifer (The H.P.
Lovecraft Literary Podcast), Konstantine Paradise (Coven), and many
more.

Praise for Whispers from the Abyss Vol. 1:

“…the authors within its pages are no slavish Elvis tribute acts.
Instead, they are his mutant bastard offspring, whose mission is to
misbehave dreadfully and have a wonderful time doing so. These
Children of the Night run amok, gleefully trashing the very idea of
florid prose and pseudo-intellectual claptrap of which the Great Old
One himself was sometimes guilty. Instead, they tear down the walls,
splinter the timbers, rip out the wiring and delight in sending to the
bottom of the ocean the HMS Lovecraft – and all who sail in
her.”-Amazing Stories Magazine

“…many fine moments!” -Black Static Magazine

“…a solid anthology front to back…”. -Innsmouth Free Press

“…the horror that follows are the most vivid and memorable from this
accomplished collection.” -SFFWorld.com

“A great, engrossing and varied anthology of Lovecraftian fiction…”
-Dark Discoveries Magazine

“All about that moment I love, the moment where something approaches.
The moment where you close your eyes and hope it goes away. It will.
But there’ll be another story right behind it. And another. And
another.” -Alasdair Stuart, host of the PSEUDOPOD podcast.

Table of Contents

Michele Brittany :: Foreward
A.C. Wise :: We Are Not These Bodies, Strung Between the Stars
John C. Foster :: His Carnivorous Regard
Orrin Grey :: The Labyrinth of Sleep
Nathan Wunner :: Death May Die
Dennis Detwiller :: Knot
Jonathan Sharp :: Skoptsy
Cody Goodfellow :: Red America
Ferrett Steinmet :: Shadow Transit
Deborah Walker :: Baby Rhyme Time
Tom Pinchuk :: Nyarlathotep’s Way
Laird Barron :: Strident Caller
John Palisano :: Lucky Chuck Takes the Sunshine Express
Michael Hudson :: Five Minutes or Less
Chad Fifer :: The Baby Downstairs
Robert Stahl :: Gifts
Joel Enos :: Now We are Nine
Samuel Poots :: The Great Old Thing in the Fridge
Marc E. Fitch :: God Does Damn the Mind
Greg Stolze :: In the Light
Richard Lee Byers :: Kickstarter
David Busboom :: The Vindication of Y’ha-Nthlei
Konstantine Paradise :: Echoes in Porcelain
Sarah Hans :: Shadows of the Darkest Jade
Hunter James Martin :: The Dreadful Machine
Kevin Wetmore :: Notebook Concerning the Class Struggle in Dunwich,
Found in the Ruins of a Construction Site

Now Available on Kindle

KIDNAPPED BLOG, Loren Rhoads: Where Horror Lies 2

halogokidnappednotdateThis time of year, when the veil is thin, is a great time to make a pilgrimage to thank our forefathers in horror.

New Jew Kafka002

Franz Kafka, the New Jewish Cemetery, Prague, the Czech Republic

The most famous of the New Jewish Cemetery’s denizens is easy to find, thanks to good signage. Franz Kafka’s monument is a top-heavy six-sided obelisk made of pink-and-gray granite. He died in 1924 of tuberculosis, in agony from his hemorrhaging lungs. All of his novels remained incomplete and unpublished at the time of his death, so only a few friends mourned him. Kafka shares his grave with his mother and hated father. In fact, he predeceased them both. He’s commemorated as Dr. Franz Kafka, in deference to his law degree. An inscription on a marble plaque at the base of the monument remembers his three sisters, who vanished into the Nazi death camps.

Jack London002

Jack London, Jack London State Historic Park, Glen Ellen, California

Jack London was among the most widely read authors of his time. His short story “To Build a Fire” has scarred schoolchildren for almost a century. Four days after his death on November 22, 1916, Charmian London placed her husband’s ashes on a small rise behind the ruin of the house they had been building together in Northern California. She marked the grave only with a large lava rock from the Wolf House ruin. The boulder is strangely shaped: a weird, worn, organic form for a rock. Moss covers it like velvet, softening its broken edges.

Swan Pt lovecraft002H.P. Lovecraft, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island

Lovely Swan Point’s most famous permanent resident is Howard Pillips Lovecraft. An obelisk labeled Phillips marks the plot belonging to Lovecraft’s grandparents. The back of it holds Lovecraft’s parents’ name and dates. At the bottom, he is remembered as Howard P. Lovecraft, “Their Son.” A smaller stone purchased by Dirk W. Mosig — the leading authority on Lovecraft in the Seventies — was unveiled during a small ceremony in 1977. The low granite marker spells out Howard Phillips Lovecraft, August 20, 1890 — March 15, 1938, with the epitaph, “I am Providence.” Those words came from a letter Lovecraft wrote to his Aunt Lillian, eventually published in 2000 in Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters, edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz.

Photo by Mason Jones

Photo by Mason Jones

Edgar Allan Poe, Westminster Hall Burying Ground, Baltimore, Maryland

Westminster Hall’s best-loved resident lies just inside the gates. A large monument marks the grave of Edgar Allan Poe, his wife Virginia, and her mother Maria Clemm. Poe was originally buried in 1849 the plot of his grandfather David Poe, elsewhere in the churchyard. His unkempt grave went unmarked for decades, despite several attempts to provide a suitable monument. Eventually, he was moved to this more prominent plot when his mother-in-law died in November 1875. It took 10 years before his wife was exhumed from her grave in New York and reburied in Baltimore beside him.

 

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CIMG0977-headshotLoren Rhoads is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, the In the Wake of the Templars trilogy published this year by Night Shade Books. She’s also the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. You can follow her morbid antics at http://lorenrhoads.com

An interview with Dario Ciriello

Our featured author for episode 122 of the horror addicts podcast is Dario Ciriello. Dario recently answered a few questions for us about his work:

When did you start writing?

18710085 When I was eight or so! I actually have my first short story, a one-page effort called “The Anti”, written on my Dad’s typewriter (he was a journalist, so I had a model right there).  It’s a fraught little piece, full of foreboding and strange events. Though the editor in me sees a few issues, I was clearly already channeling Poe and Conrad. But I only really became semi-serious about my writing in the early oughts and published my first book, Aegean Dream, in 2011.

What do you like to write about?

 Ordinary people faced with strange and challenging situations. I started off writing straight-up Science Fiction short stories, which I’ve always loved; but in recent years I’ve moved towards suspense novels. Still, I can’t do “straight” reality: my work is always going to have an element of the fantastic or supernatural, because that’s really how I see life—the known is always shadowed and underpinned by strangeness and the unknown.

Who are some of your influences?

I’ve always been a style and language junkie, so really terrific prose artists who also know how to keep a reader turning pages—authors like John LeCarre, Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny, PD James, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, Joseph Conrad, Robert Graves—have always been favourites; and though his excesses are many, Lovecraft does hold a special place in my heart. I’m also a terrific fan of Stephen King, whom I consider one of the all-round best authors of our time in every way. He really gets character, and is incredibly good at psychological depth and getting under the reader’s skin. There aren’t many authors who can hold my attention for 60 pages, never mind 600 or more.

Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction? 7085919

 Nonfiction is in many ways easier for me, as no invention is really required. My first book, Aegean Dream, a nonfiction travel memoir, is my longest work, yet it was the fastest to write—the first draft reeled itself off in just three months or so. But there’s a whole added dimension of satisfaction and achievement to crafting a long work of fiction in which you spin characters and sometimes entire worlds from whole cloth.

Can you tell us a little about Panverse publishing? 

 I founded Panverse in 2009 to edit and publish a series of original Science Fiction novella anthologies—novellas are my favourite story length for SF, and yet the one there are fewest markets for. In 2011, after publishing three annual anthologies (Panverse One, Two, and Three), I published my own first book, Aegean Dream, and it did very well. I expanded the company and in 2013-2014 began to publish novels by other authors, as well as my own thriller/suspense novel, Sutherland’s Rules. But the workload was horrifying and my own writing was suffering. So at the end of 2014 I returned the rights to our authors, and kept Panverse as an indie publisher/imprint solely for my own work.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

8492651 The exploration of the subconscious and the more shadowed, ancient parts of our psyche. I like psychological rather than graphic, in-your-face horror full of gore and shock images. Getting back to King’s work, I find the novels Gerald’s Game and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon infinitely more scary (and interesting) than, say, Carrie, Cell, or Salem’s Lot. I do find the idea of possession—and there’s a strong element of that in my forthcoming novel, Black Easter—genuinely terrifying. We’re an ancient race, and parts of our wiring go back to pre-rational days. We’re hardcoded for correspondences and symbolism, for instance, at a level we can’t easily access consciously…but we sense it. At some level we know that the everyday world is just a construct, an agreed model, a fiction of sorts, and that there’s an awful lot of what’s out there that goes unseen, and for very good reasons. The best horror fiction and film taps into those pre- and subconscious levels where we’re aware of the hidden and occult realms, and it scares the shit out of us. And I do believe that there is such a thing as real, true evil in the world.

What will you be reading for episode 122 of the podcast?

 I’ll be reading an excerpt from my new novel, Black Easter, which releases on December 5. What’s it about? Well, there’s black magic, human sacrifice, a severely traumatized Nazi colonel, love, sex, possession, an idyllic island in the sun-drenched head shot2014Aegean, and a whole new theory of Hell.  It’s Mamma Mia meets The Exorcist, with a side of Inglorious Basterds.

Where can you we find you online?

 Thanks for asking, and I do love to hear from readers. I’m in quite a few places, including:

My author blog:    www.dariospeaks.wordpress.com

My indie press:      www.panversepublishing.com

Facebook:              http://facebook.com/dario.ciriello

Twitter:                 @Dario_Ciriello

Amazon page:       http://viewauthor.at/DarioCiriello (no “www”)

You also can pre-order some of my books at:

www.panversepublishing.com/black-easter

And finally, I write a monthly Thursday guest post for the Indie Author Series over at Janice Hardy’s excellent Fiction University (blog.janicehardy.com)

 

HorrorAddicts.net 118, Mercedes Yardley

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Horror Addicts Episode# 118

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

mercedes yardley | dark matter noise | stephen king movies

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

83 days till halloween

83 days till halloween

la guns, crystal eyes, anne rice, queen akasha, vampires, glam metal, heat, sunburn, seaworld, scarela, mike bennett, h.p. lovecraft, addict on the street: jean batt, live baycon, haunters, drag king,  guillermo del toro, strain books, donny marisue, goth dj neshamah, loren rhoads, the dangerous type, kindle books, wait for books, lasher, anne rice, books, matthew weber, a dark and winding road, d.j. pitsiladis, david watson, serial killers, highwayman, ink, glenn benest, dale pitman, morbid meals, dan shaurette, chicken a la king, dawn wood, dark matter noise, hell’s frozen, grant me serenity, jesse orr, black jack, dan shuarette, stephen king movies, it, storm of the century, stand by me, pet cemetary, the green mile, the shining, salem’s lot, christine, shawshank redemption, the mist, creepshow, misery, graveyard shift, firestarter, maximum overdrive, room 237, langoliers, bag of bones, dead mail, angela, halloween costumes, penny dreadful, the stig, top gear, birthday suit, ursula, mimielle, dyed hair in the pool, swimming cap, ask marc vale, vlad, blood stains, mercedes yardley

 

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Horror Addicts Guide to Life Author Spotlight: Steven Rose Jr.

Steven Rose Jr. writes horror and dark fantasy, including an anthology called  The Fool’s Illusion.  For Horror Addicts Guide To Life  Steven wrote  two articles in the book entitled Horror And Dark Fantasy and Tomb Toons and Kid’s Horror. In his essays Steven gets into the differences between horror and dark fantasy and gives us a history of horror aimed at children. To read Steven’s work, along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To LifeRecently Steven was nice enough to tell us what he likes about horror:

What do you like about the horror genre?

18521949Ever since I was a little kid (4 or 5) I’ve loved that sense of mystery and the unusual that the darkness and grotesqueness of much horror conveys. Because I like the unusual, I like the supernatural monsters and alien/mutant creatures of horror; a lot of sci fi, especially in film, overlaps with the horror genre.

What are some of your favorite horror movies, books or TV shows?

One of my favorite all-time classic horror movies is The Shining, a movie that is so chilling that I was not able to watch it all the way through until several years into my 20s. I love the classic Universal monster movies, especially the Frankenstein and Wolfman films. When it comes to Dracula, however, I just can’t get into Bela Lugosi’s enactment of the vampire (although I’ve liked a lot of the other horror characters he’s played, especially the mad scientist ones). I like Christopher Lee’s enactment of Dracula in the British Hammer films much more. Lee portrays the vampire a lot more realistically, in my opinion. (Lugosi comes across as over-acting the part.) When it comes to contemporary horror films, I have not really seen a lot of newer horror films that I really like. A couple that I were really good and are post-2000 are Universal’s remake of the Wolfman and the Alien prequel, Prometheus. I thought they did a great job giving a gothic ambience to the Wolfman re-make and Prometheus gave interesting background to the earlier Alien movies without info-dumping (a term us fiction writers use that refers to background information in a story where it’s not needed).
Favorite books: I like Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, especially “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”; I like Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu; The Manitou by Graham Masterton; Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts; the list is nearly infinite especially since there’s so many horror short stories that I really like because I’m a big lover of the short story in general (that’s what I normally write, as far as fiction goes.) But my favorite classic novels of horror are Frankenstein and Dracula, not only because they star monster characters who have been most iconic in modern horror but also because it conveys so much meaning on a literary level.
Television: I haven’t really been a big fan of horror television, although I’ve liked many of the dark supernatural episodes of the original Twilight Zone, such as one about a living ventriloquist puppet that torments its owner and another about the ghosts of murdered Jews who come back to haunt their Nazi oppressor. I like television horror-hosted movie shows such as Elvira’s Movie Macbre of the ‘80s, Sven Goolie’s show and Mr. Lobo’s Cinema Insomnia of today and the 1970s’ Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins in which this last one I grew up with. Horror- hosted movie shows such as these often feature B-rated flicks that are so horrible they’re good which I like right up there with the, believe it or not, A-grade or big budget horror films. I like the pop culture of the eras many B movies grew out of and reflect, especially the 1950s through ‘70s.

Another television show that I’ve always liked, although it’s not supernatural horror, is the original Outer Limits. MV5BODk0Nzg3OTAwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDM0OTIzMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Many of the episodes were dark, featuring menacing monsters from other planets or from mad science experiments. And even though I’ve only seen a couple episodes since it debated about two years ago, I thought Sleepy Hollow was pretty good. Even though it’s way off course from Washington Irving’s short novel, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as a TV show and so within itself it’s been made really good and utilizes the Biblical apocalyptic theme well during this trending time of post-apocalyptic zombie themes (even though Sleepy Hollow isn’t a zombie series like Walking Dead is, in which this second one I was never able to get into by the way.)

In what way do you live the horror lifestyle?

I wear horror fandom tees, such as ones with Cthulhu prints, skull images, Universal Monster tees. I wear a ‘70s long-hair style and a full beard, which most people seem to be scared of the ‘70s. [laughs] I collect horror memorabilia, especially skull figurines, and use Halloween items I’ve bought on clearance for year-round interior decorating. For example, I have a “painting” of a figure that metamorphosizes from an 18th century naval captain to a dead pirate captain that was manufactured as a Halloween decoration but I hang it in my living room year-round. I don’t dust off the cobwebs in most places in my house. I’m fascinated with crows since they’re so much like ravens and so I’ll take extra effort to avoid hitting them while driving on the road no matter how much an angry driver in back of me is blaring his/her horn or yelling curses to me for “holding up” traffic. I call our local countryside coyotes “little wolves” or “mini wolves”, and I’ll stand several minutes outside at night admiring the full moon. For me, rain and thunder storms are beautiful weather (especially in fall and winter). Also Halloween is like an autumn version of Christmas to me, and so is my ancestral Day of the Dead which for me the two don’t contradict each other. Other words in my Lexington of horror that I use in everyday settings: I call my apartment maintenance man and the cemetery groundskeepers “caretakers”; I don’t call the underground level of a house a “basement”, I say “cellar”; I’ll say “coffin”, not “casket”; I’ll say “grave-“ or “tombstone”, not monument; and I never call a cemetery/graveyard a “monument park”.

My sense of humor tends to be pretty dark too. I listen to pop music by horror-inspired bands, especially the Groovy Ghoulies (who are no longer together) and the Phantom Jets, both who are local to my home area of Sacramento. But a few of my favorite horror rock songs by more notable artists are Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”, the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp” and, of course, Bobby Boris Pickett’s classic “Monster Mash” which was probably my very first rock song I really got into.

What are you currently working on?

I was working on a second book of short fiction which I originally planned to release in August of this year but it looks like it won’t happen that soon. That’s because I’m trying to submit some stories to some magazines and, because many literary magazines don’t want simultaneous submissions, I would have to write up some new stories for the book. I plan to title it The Hidden. However, if my short story submissions don’t follow through, then the book release may not be delayed for too long (hopefully no later than the fall, ideally in time for Halloween).

Where can we find you online?

My book of short fiction, The Fool’s Illusion, is available on Amazon in both print and e-format (Kindle) [http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Illusion-Steven-Rose-Jr/dp/1491092548/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431652461&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fools+illusion]. You can sometimes find sample stories of my book at my blog, A Far Out Fantastic Site (faroutfantastic.blogspot.com) as well as ones I have not yet compiled in a collection. Not all of my stories in Fool’s Illusion and on my blog are necessarily horror but most are dark to some degree. I also have a sci fi “column” at the news site, Examiner.com.  [http://www.examiner.com/scifi-in-sacramento/steven-rose-jr ] My Twitter page is @StaRosep2, The Fool’s Illusion Facebook page is [https://www.facebook.com/TheFoolsIllusion?ref=hl] (you may have to be logged into Facebook to see it), or you can email me at strosejr@gmail.com.

HorrorAddicts.net 108, Alexander Beresford

Horror Addicts Episode# 108

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Click to listen:

40 days till Halloween!

alexander beresford, post rapture party, whitechapel

coolest little monster, john zacherley, halloween prep, whitechapel tv series, jack the ripper, eden lake, wolf creek, dating a zombie, c.a. milson, zombie town, pet cemetery, crystal connor, devil, m. night shyamalan, cam2cam, post rapture party, cropsey, dark wave, music, venus de vilo, queen of the pumpkin patch, a taste of murder, chocolate coconut oblivion cake, end of the world radio, zombies, 809 jacob street, marty young, christine sutton, all the little children, suffer the children, craig dilouie, apocalypse, flash fiction friday, ken macgregor, horror addicts guide to life, events, count dracula and his daughter boocula, reanimator, h. p. lovecraft, the ring, japanese novel, 30 days of night, comic, movie, clive barker, oscar wilde, bela lugosi, dracula, alexander beresford, doll face, charla, www panel audio, emerian rich, heather roulo, laurel anne hill.

 

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Still Water

still water coverStill Water, West Virginia is a tough town to grow up in. It’s a small town and most of its residents work at the local coal mine. The mine may be a dark place but there is something beneath the mine that’s much darker. The tomb of an evil god has now been disturbed and its effecting the whole town.

It starts with a change in attitude, everyone in Still Water is angrier then before and fights are breaking out everywhere. As the ancient sinister force gets closer to awakening, the people in town are changing physically as well and soon the whole world will change and a new age of suffering and hopelessness will begin.

Taylor sees the changes happening in her town and makes a call to her brother Kyle. Kyle left Still Water after graduating high school and never looked back. Now the prodigal son is returning to a Still Water where chaos reigns. He’s not the only one coming into town, a paranormal investigator named Maya is coming to write a story on how strange deaths have been occurring in Still Water. She has no idea what’s really happening in the small mining community but she is about to discover that Kyle and herself maybe the only ones that can stop humanity from tumbling into an evil abyss.

Still Water by Justin Macumber has a feeling of dread that lasts throughout the book. I found myself thinking as I read it, how can these people stop an evil that is as old as the earth itself. Still Water is heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos old gods are awakened and the only thing they want is the destruction of human society. This is the idea behind Still Water. The story starts with a bang as miners are transformed into evil creatures and then builds slowly to an action packed conclusion.

There were a lot of things I liked in Still Water. The description of the small working class town really made it come to life and I liked how Kyle’s family is described. While his family is far from perfect it represents what families are like in working class towns. I enjoyed how the story got into how Taylor feels abandoned by her brother and the guilt that Kyle feels. I also liked the character of Maya, she is a black psychic and a stranger in a strange land. The town would have been against her even if it wasn’t under the influence of evil  but it doesn’t stop her from doing what she feels she needs to do.

Still Water is a book that preys upon our worst fears, which is the idea of being powerless in the face of evil. I loved Kyle’s revelation towards the end of the book and the ending was excellent. My only complaint about this book was that I felt the creatures in the mine could have been described a little better and some of the action scenes could have been more detailed. That being said the best part of Still Water is the atmosphere and it has plenty of it, plus a great story to boot. Still Water is a creepy novel that will have you sleeping with the lights on.

The Burning Time and Nightmare Ballad

16112450Things aren’t going well in Hastings Mills. The weather is unbearably hot, a man chased his wife through a street and beat her to death, women keep jumping off a bridge to their deaths and a husband who says he won’t go to church is killed by his wife. Things started to change when two strangers arrived in town. One man, Reverend Cyrus Christian is collecting blood sacrifices to offer the Old Ones in his attempt to release Hell on Earth. Whatever town  he goes to, evil reigns supreme and Hastings Mills may never be the same. The other stranger, John Root is the only one who can stop him but he has troubles of his own and it will not be easy keeping the elder gods from inheriting the Earth and bringing chaos in their wake.

The Burning Time by J.G. Faherty is a classic story of good versus evil in a small New England town. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will enjoy The Burning Time because it dives deep into the Cthulhu mythos and there is an atmosphere of despair and dread that hangs in the air throughout the book. What I really enjoyed about this book was the character of John Root. John isn’t your normal everyday hero. He isn’t confident in himself and he doesn’t really want to be who he is. He comes from a family who practiced magic and he feels his life purpose is to stop evil because that’s what his mother did.

John has fought many supernatural creatures in his time and he carries all the scars with him. When he sleeps he has constant nightmares and everyday he relieves his failures. Despite his feelings he does his duty and doesn’t complain about it, which is what makes him such an excellent character.

One of my favorite scenes was when John realizes that a boy he is helping looks at him as a hero. Instead of enjoying the fact that someone looks up to him, he wonders when he’s going to fail and disappoint the boy. There was also a good scene where three hell hounds attacked the house that John is staying in that was very well done.

The only bad thing in this book is while the atmosphere is great, it lacks suspense because things get so bad in Hastings Mills that it feels like evil has already won. I think the theme J.G. Faherty was going for though was that no matter how bad things get, there will still be some good. You can’t have good without evil and the battle will always rage on between the two. There were also two main characters that were introduced in the book that I would have liked to have seen become a bigger part of the story.

There are quite a few terrifying scenes in this book. Hastings Mills is  a town where everyone is loosing their minds and there are stories within the story that were disturbing. The Burning Time is a hard-core horror story that takes a close look at a whole town that is collectively loosing its mind and it will have you shaking in fear anytime you see a stranger enter a small town.

17303118Another book I recently read from Journalstone Publishing is Nightmare Ballad by Benjamin Kane Ethridge. Everyone has nightmares but for Luke Rhodes, his two wives  and Luke’s friend Johnny Cruz, they happen during the day when they’re wide awake.  Everytime they think of a certain song, reality twists into a nightmare and people start to die.

It all starts when Luke is teaching a swim class and hears a strange ballad, then a curtain drops and a group of frogmen appear and drown the swimmers. Luke manages to escape but the song is in his head and the effect is spreading to his loved ones. Luke must find the cause of the Nightmare Ballad and put a stop to it before the nightmares spread to the rest of the world.

Nightmare Ballad is a very original horror tale, I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything like it. There are some true moments of terror in this book like when a young girl tells Luke that she just gutted her teddy bear and now she wants to see what it would be like to gut Luke. This book really gets into what each character fears the most and the things that they fear is what most people fear, which makes all the characters relatable.  Nightmare Ballad doesn’t have a lot of violence or jump scares, its more of a psychological horror story that looks at what truly scares us, such as having no control over a situation or being abandoned.

One part of the book I really enjoyed was when Johnny goes to steal some copper from an abandoned building and end up being captured by some people who run a dog fighting ring. The scene was suspenseful without anything odd happening and then the Nightmare Ballad takes hold and takes it to the next level. The action just gets more intense from that point.

The downside for this novel was that the story was hard to follow at points. It got a little confusing on what was real or not real but I still loved Nightmare Ballad for its originality. Also I liked how the author gets into his character’s heads and makes you care for them. Nightmare Ballad is a surreal adventure that you won’t want to put down and you may need to read it again to figure out what it all means.

1930’s Books

The first Book I want to talk about is It Drinks Blood by J.F. Gonzalez from Delirium Books. Delirium books is a small independent publisher of horror literature that has been in business since 1999. Delirium distributes titles from some big name horror authors such as Douglas Clegg and also releases titles from new authors in the horror field. They’ve also won a Bram Stoker award for excellence  in specialty press publishing.

The story for It Drinks Blood begins in 1939 and follows a pulp fiction writer and ex-criminal named  Robert and his life in New Castle Pennsylvania. Living next door to Robert is an abused girl named Allison who is living with her mother Linda, her grandmother, and Linda’s boyfriend James. Allison lives a life of torture at the hands of Linda and James but Robert and his wife Ellen try to help Allison whenever they can.

In addition to the abuse Allison has also noticed something peculiar in the town of New Castle. A series of people have been killed around town over the last few years and Allison has her eyes on a strange man who walks the streets late at night.  She  believes that the man may be a vampire  who drinks the blood of his victims and leaves the bodies in a nearby swamp. Allison dreams of becoming a detective and hopes that by exposing the strange man walking the streets as a serial killer, she will become famous and be able to leave her abusive home.

Robert encourages Allison’s detective work because he also sees it as a way for her to escape her abusive home. Problem is, Robert believes that another person living in the town may actually be the killer.  Allison’s time may be running out though as the abuse in her home is getting worse and the bodies drained of blood keep piling up.

I enjoyed reading It Drinks Blood, it has a good story and I found myself rooting for Allison and Robert and hoping for a happy ending. If your looking for a straight forward horror novel though, this may not be for you. It’s more of a mystery with some horror elements. Also its written to resemble pulp fiction of the 1930’s, so it is a period piece and if you are not familiar with pulp fiction you may not enjoy it.

One other item that kind of bothered me was that there is a scene where Allison describes the torture that she suffers at the hands of her mother. I don’t like hearing about the torture of kids, but it is a short part and was necessary to show what motivates Allison.  I did like  how the the book wraps up with Allison and Robert in the present day in an old folks home talking about their lives after the murders and explaining how the mystery was solved.

It Drinks Blood is a good, quick read with a lot of action and a mystery that doesn’t get solved until the very end. The book  leaves you with the feeling that maybe serial killers have their good points as well. If you love old pulp fiction magazines such as Weird Tales or Black Book Detective then you should love this story. J.G. Gonzalez has really done his homework.

Another book  I found is by H.P. Lovecraft called The Shadow Over Innsmouth. This novel was written in 1931 and is about a town called Innsmouth which is inhabited by a race of people who are half human, half fish and worship the god Cuthulu. There is also a movie based on this book called Dagon which came out in 2001 and was directed by Stuart Gordon who also directed  Reanimator and From Beyond which were also based on works of H.P. Lovecraft.

The last book I found also includes H.P. Lovecraft but this time he is a character in the book and not the writer. The story takes place in 1934 and follows Lovecraft as he is hired to write a story for an underground magazine. In order to write it he has to take Trolley No. 1852 to a  bordello that hosts the most beautiful women and in the back room are monsters performing horrible tasks and opening doors to other dimensions. The name of the book is Trolley No. 1852 by Edward Lee. This book obviously pays homage to the works of Lovecraft by including characters and situations from his stories but it also includes Lee’s hard core writing style and plenty of sex and blood.