Into the Sounds by Lee Murray Review

Book cover for Into the Sounds

Into the Sounds

On leave, and out of his head with boredom, NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna joins biologist Jules Asher, on a Conservation Department deer culling expedition to New Zealand’s southernmost national park, where soaring peaks give way to valleys gouged from clay and rock, and icy rivers bleed into watery canyons too deep to fathom. Despite covering an area the size of the Serengeti, only eighteen people live in the isolated region, so it’s a surprise when the hunters stumble on the nation’s Tūrehu tribe, becoming some of only a handful to ever encounter the elusive ghost people. But a band of mercenaries saw them first, and, hell-bent on exploiting the tribes’ survivors, they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way. As a soldier, McKenna is duty-bound to protect all New Zealanders, but after centuries of persecution will the Tūrehu allow him to help them? Besides, there is something else lurking in the sounds, and it has its own agenda. When the waters clear, will anyone be allowed to leave?

Lilyn’s Into the Sounds LOHF Review

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration.

‘Into the Sounds’ was not planned, but it was apparently meant to be. So many people loved the characters and country we were introduced to in Lee Murray’s Into the Mist that we made a mighty noise and got the sequel we needed.

Murray knew what she was doing with ‘Into the Sounds’, and smartly avoided giving us a cookie cutter follow-up. Instead, we get a book that focuses on something a bit smaller, but equally important. Also, we get to experience a little bit more of New Zealand, which I loved. We all know it’s a gorgeous place, but she brings it to life for us in a way a shot of Hobbits walking along a mountain top cannot.

Never fear, though, there is a very large creature in this creature feature. One of the things I like most about Murray’s writing wasn’t something I particularly expected to care for one way or the other. I like that her creatures are actually possible. They’re not aliens. They’re not engineered mutations gone wild, etc. They’re actually semi-believable, and that adds a nice element to the story.

The characters are lovely as always. I felt for Trigger and the situation he was in. Too often our wounded warriors get forgotten about or written as though they had adjusted fine and everything was good to go. This felt much more realistic. Jules and Taine were present, of course, but the love story is still not the most important thing. There were others you’ll recognize as well, but I’ll leave those for you to discover.

I feel like the author’s greatest strengths lie in her characters, and her ability to show us all the land she loves.

‘Into the Sounds’ was a lovely read that I finished over a couple of days. The only area I really wasn’t in love with was the fights. Some of them worked well, but others – particularly involving the creature – I just couldn’t ‘see’ the way I can see the rest of her writing. The pacing, dialogue, and action are all lovely. The story is an intriguing one. The bad guy was a very believable evil and I spent most of the book – as appropriate – hoping he would die a truly horrible death.

If you liked ‘Into the Mist’, you will not be disappointed with ‘Into the Sounds’.

Get your copy at Severed Press | BetterWorldBooks | Amazon

 

About Lee Murray

Headshot of Lee MurrayLee Murray is a multi award-winning writer and editor of fantasy, science fiction, and horror (Australian Shadows, Sir Julius Vogel). Her titles for adults include the acclaimed Taine McKenna series of military thrillers (Severed Press) and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra co-authored with Dan Rabarts (Raw Dog Screaming Press). Among her titles for children are YA novel Misplaced, and best-loved middle grade adventure Battle of the Birds, listed in the Best Books of the Year 2011 by New Zealand’s Dominion Post. Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, the first book in a series of speculative middle grade antics, is forthcoming from IFWG Australia. An acquiring editor for US boutique press Omnium Gatherum, Lee is a regular speaker at workshops, conferences and schools. She lives with her family in New Zealand where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock.

 

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New Release Review: The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett

the bus on thrusday

The Bus on Thursday

Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in this wickedly funny, dark novel about one woman’s post-cancer retreat to a remote Australian town and the horrors awaiting her. It wasn’t just the bad breakup that turned Eleanor Mellett’s life upside down. It was the cancer. And all the demons that came with it.

One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. The next thing she knew, her breast was being dissected and removed by an inappropriately attractive doctor, and she was suddenly deluged with cupcakes, judgy support groups, and her mum knitting sweaters.

Luckily, Eleanor discovers Talbingo, a remote little town looking for a primary-school teacher. Their Miss Barker up and vanished in the night, despite being the most caring teacher ever, according to everyone. Unfortunately, Talbingo is a bit creepy. It’s not just the communion-wine-guzzling friar prone to mad rants about how cancer is caused by demons. Or the unstable, overly sensitive kids, always going on about Miss Barker and her amazing sticker system. It’s living alone in a remote cabin, with no cell or Internet service, wondering why there are so many locks on the front door and who is knocking on it late at night.

Emily’s LOHF Review

I want to say this up front – the back of The Bus on Thursday describes this book as Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist. Just know going in that it’s heavier on the Bridget Jones & lighter on The Exorcist (actually, I didn’t really see much of The Exorcist at all). At first, I didn’t really consider The Bus on Thursday to be a horror novel even though that’s what it’s being marketed as. After discussion with my review group, I noticed a few more things that I hadn’t really thought about before. This book is more layered than I realized upon first read, and although we were left with questions, I’ve had a lot of fun talking about this book with friends. I think overall it may be a humorous speculative fiction novel, but I’m really interested to see what other people think. I believe there’s quite a bit that’s open to interpretation.

The Bus on Thursday is funny. The narrator gets into ridiculous situations, and handles them with a good sense of humor. It was easy to like her, and it was easy to become interested in the small town she moves to. A lot of things about her were relatable, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.

This book is told in a blogging format, and it’s like hearing from your friend. I liked the setup of the book, and I think that it worked really well with the story that was being told. Everything flowed, and it was easy to connect with.

I think the ending may have gone over my head a bit. As I said, after discussing with friends, I feel like I understand some things, but have questions on others. The Bus on Thursday is a book that will stick with you & you may find yourself thinking over parts of the plot later on. I would definitely read more from Shirley Barrett, and I’m interested to see what else she comes up with.

The Bus on Thursday releases today!

Get your copy at MCD Books | BetterWorldBooks | Amazon

About Shirley Barrett

Shirley Barrett

Photo & Bio courtesy of Goodreads

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley’s first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D’Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier’s Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier’s Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West AustralianPremier’s Prize 2010. ‘Rush Oh!’ is Shirley’s first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

The “Jewelry” Recap

If you missed Day 1 of our #LadiesofHorrorFiction Instagram challenge recaps, be sure to check it out. We kicked off the challenge with the “Lady Stack” prompt.  You can find day 2 “Haunted” by clicking here.

There were a lot of different books that came up for day three’s prompt of “Jewelry”.  Jewelry plays into a lot of horror stories. Whether it be a simple black velvet ribbon, a cursed gem, or an antique necklace or ring with a ghost attached, its presence is undeniable.

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#ladiesofhorrorfiction Day 3: jewelry This prompt was difficult. I don't own or wear a lot of jewelry. I don't own many novels about jewelry, especially in the horror genre. I thought of Merrin's necklace in Horns, but that was obviously penned by a man. So here we are. Blackwood Farm is set on an old Victorian farmhouse in Louisiana, of course, and author Anne Rice goes into wonderful detail about a character's cameo collection. You can see one on this gorgeous cover. She inspired my love of cameos, though the only one I actually wear is a tattoo that I have on my neck. So, thanks Lady Anne! You inspired that piece of art. Rice's vampire and witch tales are more romantic than frightful, but they all certainly have their dark moments and evil characters. Blackwood Farm actually had an entity called "Goblin" and I would say meets the mark for horror. _________________________________ Q O T D: What's your favorite piece of jewelry? _________________________________ Swipe to see the challenge and feel free to join in! #ladiesofhorrorfiction

A post shared by Frankie Brazelton (@booksandbloodletting) on

Frankie (booksandbloodletting) posted Anne Rice’s ‘Blackwood Farm’, which is book 9 in her well-known Vampire Chronicles series.

“Welcome to Blackwood Farm: soaring white columns, spacious drawing rooms, bright, sun-drenched gardens, and a dark strip of the dense Sugar Devil Swamp. This is the world of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant young man haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelganger, “Goblin,” a spirit from a dream world that Quinn can’t escape and that prevents him from belonging anywhere. When Quinn is made a Vampire, losing all that is rightfully his and gaining an unwanted immortality, his doppelganger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying than Quinn himself.”

Click here to check out Blackwood Farm on Goodreads.

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Day 3 of the #ladiesofhorrorfiction challenge is Jewelry. 💍 . . Earlier this year a couple of friends and I won a copy of Grimly Jane and the author included this gorgeous necklace as part of the giveaway! Thank you, @grimlyjane 🖤 . . I highly recommend this tale of an orphan who seeks revenge on all of the people who treated her terribly. The illustrations are fantastic! 🖤🥀🖤 This is a book with a strong female protagonist, and that’s what this month is all about! Girl Power. 💪🏻 . . #bookstagram #jewlery #grimlyjane #ellealexander #illustration #strongfemale #girlpower #giveawaywinner #fairytale #darkfairytale #revenge #femaleempowerment #booklove #booklover #bookworm #readersofinstagram

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Mindi (Gowsy33) showed off ‘Grimly Jane’, a book from Elle Alexander. (Gorgeous cover!) She received a sweet necklace as a gift along with the book.

“Jane Worthington is miserable indeed. Losing her parents at the tender age of eight, she is sent to live at the dreadful orphanage, The Rudorf Home For Foundlings, where she is forced to bed without supper, made to clean with little rest and, when she’s very naughty, locked away in the red room. One day, her fortune changes when she discovers a door to another world through which she escapes and starts down a journey that will grant her the chance for wicked revenge.”

Click here to check out Grimly Jane on Goodreads.

Christy Aldridge (christy_aldridge) ‘s recommendation wasn’t exactly about jewelry, but she made a very good point about inheritance and greedy people.

“It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.

Just for a little while.

But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work—children who—one by one—must be destroyed….

‘Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent struggling to stay alive….”

Click here to check out Flowers in the Attic on Goodreads.

Did I mention we saw a lot of Anne Rice for this day?

Shriekingviolets428 posted about Interview with a Vampire the book that started it all for generations of people who adored vampires before anyone ever thought to make them sparkle.

“This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.”

Click here to check out Interview with a Vampire on Goodreads. 

and finally..

Ashley (bookishmommy) showed us Karin Slaughter’s ‘Pretty Girls’. (Gotta love finding a good deal on a book you’ve heard lots of good things about!) Don’t know if the locket has anything to do with it, but I love the cover.

“Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.”

Click here to check out Pretty Girls now on Goodreads.


 

What is YOUR favorite book with jewelry featured in it?

Spotlight on Christa Wojciechowski

Have you ever come across a book that disturbed you so deeply you honestly didn’t know what to think of it? That was the case when I read Sick by Christa Wojciechowski. It was intense and disgusting. I gave it a 5* review because of how strongly it affected me, but I most assuredly did not like that book! I recommend it to everyone.

Christa Wojciechowski Ladies of Horror Fiction (1).jpg

Photo courtesy of Christa Wojciechowski

Bio

Christa (Wojo) Wojciechowski is the author of The Wrong DavidThe Sick Series, and is working on a series called The Sculptor of New Hope. Her characters explore existential turmoil, mental illness, and the complexity of romantic love. She uses her stories to compare the dark, carnal nature of humanity with its higher qualities of creative expression and intellectualism.

Christa currently resides in the mountains of Panama with her husband and a house full of pets. She works as a freelance digital marketer and helps thought leaders, podcasters, and fellow writers develop their marketing platforms. Christa enjoys foreign movies, yoga, wine, and rambling around in the cloud forests near her home. Most of all, she’s passionate about books and writers, and loves discussing them on social media.

Interview

LOHF: How old were you when you wrote your first story? What was it about?

The first complete story I remember writing was an illustrated book about Keinchee (a unicorn) and The Three Fast Rabbits. I don’t remember what they were up to, but I distinctly remember producing the pages and stapling it all together in book form.

I’ve always documented my inner and outer life (I didn’t have a thriving social life as a kid). Every summer, my parents would drive us from Florida up to New Jersey to visit our family. During the long road trip, I’d keep detailed travel journals. When nothing worth noting was taking place, I would invent bizarre creatures I saw along the way.

During high school, I scribbled a lot of transgressive short stories, but then real-life kicked in. It was only when I started doing digital marketing for a self-published author that I realized becoming a writer was possible.

LOHF: What got you hooked on horror?

Funnily enough, I never even set out to write horror. I just wrote. I had no idea what it was, and then readers labelled it horror.

My mom didn’t allow me and my two sisters to watch scary horror movies when I was a kid. I remember school kids talking about Freddy and Pinhead and I felt out of the loop there. We were allowed to watch stuff like Gremlins, The Twilight Zone movie, and Tales from the Crypt. I guess my parents thought it was too silly to give us nightmares. Predator and Aliens was okay for some reason. I remember I didn’t want to be Sigourney Weaver. I wanted to be the Alien!

Human beings frighten me the most. The most horrific thing I encountered as a child was Anne Frank’s diary. I was only in 5th grade and I couldn’t make sense of the holocaust. It still baffles me, like I can’t really process that it happened. This is why most of my work is not about monsters and other worlds, but the dark, clawing parts of our nature, about how we destroy ourselves and each other.

LOHF: What kind of writer are you? The type the plots everything out ahead of time, the type that lets the story go as it goes, or something else?

I don’t plot anything, and I don’t usually have an end in mind either. I’ve been running on dreams and little flashes of insight. When I begin writing, there is an avalanche of story that has been percolating in my subconscious. My stories are all character driven, so I let them take the wheel and then try to structure the mess once they’ve had their way.

You have written a few books now. Do you feel like your writing style is still changing, or do you feel like you have found your groove?

I’m still experimenting. I love writing in first person. I can completely inhabit my character and live through them. The problem is it’s very limiting, so my latest story Conviction (to be published in the upcoming issue of Project 13Dark) is written in third person-present tense. That was a weird feeling, but it totally worked for the story.

I’m also exploring genres. My work-in-progress is a dark sci-fi novella. I have some more ideas for an Asian drama something like a very dark Memoirs of a Geisha, more transgressive stories, and even some non-fiction.

LOHF: Recently there’s been a bit of stupid fussing in the horror community regarding what types of horror we should all like. But there are no prizes given for reading the most disgusting works, and not everyone likes the same type of horror. So, what are your favorite types of horror as a reader?

I love being grossed out as much as the next horror fan (growing up with Garbage Pail Kids maybe is to blame?), but I can’t read anything that doesn’t have a deeper meaning. I love psychological horror or horror that’s believable. What makes horror scary is if it could really happen on any given day to anybody. If it’s too far-fetched, it will lose me right away. And I will not usually pick up anything with vampires, zombies, or werewolves.

LOHF: Are there any horror tropes you refuse to write about in your work?

I’m probably guilty of a few. I love classic, Gothic fiction. Three out of four of my stories will involve a mansion or estate of some sort, lol. Basically, I write what I love to read. I don’t consciously avoid tropes, and even if I am guilty of some clichés, I think my characters and stories are unique enough to make up for them. I never write a story unless I think it’s going to blow people’s minds a little bit.

LOHF: On top of being a writer, you are also a social media manager and a freelance digital marketer. It sounds like you keep very busy! How do you keep all your plates spinning when you’re deep into a story?

I work five days a week and set aside Saturdays for writing and working on book promotions, etc. I hate sitting in front of a computer, so writing only happens if I can stand it after all my work is done. I’m working on restructuring my business to change that now. I’m offering courses on how to become a digital marketer and how to build an author platform. I think teaching will free up my schedule so I can finally work on some full-length novels.

LOHF: I was introduced to you via the first book in your novella series, Sick. I recommend it to everyone even though I freely admit it deeply disturbed me. When did you first get the idea for the series, and how long did it take you to actually get the first book written?

Thanks for your support of the book. Your review is my all -time favorite. I really took it as a compliment that you were that disturbed. The idea that spawned Sick came from a nightmare. It was the eeriest feeling. I was the woman who would become my character, Susan. My husband was sick, lying there in his soiled bed. He was smiling at me, but there was this sinister glare in his eyes. I pulled back the sheet and shuddered. He was broken and bruised all over. At some point, I put together the pieces. I knew that he had done it to himself. I couldn’t shake the chill of that dream. I did some research and discovered that this mental disorder is real.

LOHF: Tell us a bit about your WIP, please!

I mentioned Conviction, which I’ve been working on for a year. It will be published in an exclusive crowdfunding project created by Joseph Sale called †3Dark. I’ll be featured along Richard Thomas (Gamut Magazine), Anthony Self (Storgy Magazine), and Andy Cashmore.
I’m really proud of it, and I think Sick fans will love it.

Conviction is about Michael, a teen suicide risk who meets a wealthy, beautiful young man named Sebastian. Seb inherited a large farm from his mysteriously deceased parents and lives there with a group of young people who share some extreme ideas about the food chain, humans included. Michael runs away from home to be indoctrinated into Seb’s cult. It’s the first time he’s felt like part of something and he becomes infatuated with Seb, blocking out his instincts that tell him something isn’t kosher about the farm.

Conviction is an LGBT story about how we consume living beings, and how love consumes us. That’s all I’ll give away! The Indiegogo campaign will be closed by the time this interview comes out, but issues should be available after publication at christawojo.com/13dark.

I’m also working on a transgressive scifi novella about a junkie who wakes up in a sewer gnawing on a dead man’s head without any recollection of how he got there. I’ll be pitching that out within the next few months to scifi publishers. It is by far the weirdest thing I ever wrote.

LOHF: What is the best horror movie you’ve seen in the past couple of years?

Raw impressed me. It was very artfully done. A few scenes were so horrific, they really took my breath away. I love European film, so it was two of my loves in one movie.

The Neon Demon is another one that stands out. In our society, we’re so desperate for beauty, we go to gruesome lengths to keep it. The older you get, the more you can relate to that fear of youth slipping away. Then that scene with Jena Malone! I thought, “Oh no, they’re not going to go there. They wouldn’t do that.” And they did! And I was like, damn, they have huge balls—the writer, director, and especially Jena Malone. I respect that. I like to push the same boundaries in my writing.

LOHF: What book by a female horror author do you feel needs to be adapted immediately?

Angela Carter’s The Lady of the House of Love directed by Neil Jordan or The Erl-King directed by Guillermo del Toro. I dream of The Sick Series directed by Lars Von Trier.

LOHF: Who are some up-and-coming ladies of horror fiction that we should be on the lookout for?

I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve been stuck on the classics so long (Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Daphne du Maurier, Angela Carter, Mary Shelley) that I have little experience with up-and-coming ladies of horror.

I wonder if most of us female horror authors are lost to each other. I feel like many people think women cannot or should not write horror. “How could such a nice girl like you write something like that?” I get that all the time. So I’m eager for recommendations from your readers, and I can’t wait to see the other authors you will be featuring.

Thanks so much for having me and for putting the spotlight on Ladies of Horror Fiction! I invite my sisters in horror, scifi, speculative, and dark fiction to reach out to me. I would love to collaborate and support each other.

Synopsis

Sick: John Branch is a brilliant-minded aristocrat, bereft of his family’s wealth, ravaged by a terrible and as yet unidentified disease. Susan is a hard-working nurse at the end of her tether.

John’s illness has always baffled doctors, and there are times when she wishes that he would just slip away. But John’s mind is very much alive, and she can’t help but cling onto the dream he will recover.

As pressures mount, Susan resorts to one desperate act after another to keep John alive and manage his pain, all the while haunted by a creeping sense that something isn’t right with her world…

sick

Sick is the first Novella in the three part Sick series and is available by clicking on the picture which will magically transport you to Christa’s page where you can purchase the entire series.

Links

Christawojo.com

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

Fright into Flight Edited by Amber Fallon Review

What would happen if girls around the world started to float away? Can angels be captured? Fright into Flight asks these questions and more.

Fright Into Flight

Fright Into Flight

From the earliest depictions of winged goddesses to the delicate, paper-winged fairies of the Victorians, from valiant Valkyries to cliff-dwelling harpies, from record-setting pilots to fearless astronauts, women have long since claimed their place in the skies, among the clouds and beyond.

Word Horde presents Fright Into Flight, the debut anthology from Amber Fallon (The Terminal, The Warblers), in which women take wing. In these stories connected by the unifying thread of flight, authors include: Damien Angelica Walters, Izzy Lee, Letitia Trent, Christine Morgan, Desiring Boskovich, Nancy Baker, Kathryn Ptacek, Nancy Kilpatrick, Shannon Lawrence, Gemma Files, Leza Cantoral, Martel Sardina, Allyson Bird, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Pamela Jeffs and Nadia Bulkin, have spread their wings and created terrifying visions of real life angels, mystical journeys, and the demons that lurk inside us all. Whether you like your horror quiet and chilling or more in-your-face and terrifying, there’s something here for every horror fan to enjoy.

You’re in for a bumpy ride… So fasten your seatbelt, take note of the emergency exits, hold on to your airsick bag, and remember that this book may be used as a flotation device in the event of a crash landing.

Toni’s Review Teaser

The stories fit so well together that while I was reading them I was never outside of the story.

Click to see the full review on The Misadventures of a Reader

Emily’s Review Teaser

These stories are creative and unique, and I think there’s something for all horror readers in here.

Click to see the full review on Emily’s Good Reads

Contributing Authors

The Floating Girls: A Documentary — Damien Angelica Walters
I Did it for the Art – Izzy Lee
Wilderness – Letitia Trent
The Silk Angel – Christine Morgan
Cargo – Desirina Boskovich
Consent – Nancy Baker
Bruja – Kathryn Ptacek
I am No Longer – Nancy Kilpatrick
Faceless – Shannon Lawrence
Every Angel – Gemma Files
Cosmic Bruja – Leza Cantoral
With the Beating of Their Wings – Martel Sardina
Deathside – Allyson Bird
Thlush-a-lum – Rebecca Gomez Farrell
The Fallen – Pamela Jeffs
And When She Was Bad – Nadia Bulkin

 

Cover Reveal: Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

‘Teeth in the Mist’ by Dawn Kurtagich is scheduled for release June 2019. Isn’t that cover a beauty?!

teethmist

Teeth in the Mist Blurb

A genre-bending epic horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered—perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Ransom Riggs.

Seventeen-year-old Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember—so she and her best friend Poulton decide to explore the ruins. But are they really alone in the house?

In 1851, sixteen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward—one of three, all with their own secrets. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.

This haunting horror and captivating mystery redefines the horror and fantasy space.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR by clicking here.

Author Bio

dawnDawn Kurtagich is an award winning author of creepy, spooky, and psychologically sinister YA, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide.

Her debut novel, THE DEAD HOUSE, was a YALSA Top 10 Pick, An Audie Award Nominee and an Earphone Award Winner. It has been optioned for TV by Lime Productions. She is also the author of THE CREEPER MAN / AND THE TREES CREPT IN, NAIDA and the forthcoming TEETH IN THE MIST, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Orion Children’s Books. If you enjoy a creeping chill along your spine, mystery and little bit of terror, then you’re in the right place!

By the time she was eighteen, she had been to fifteen schools across two continents. The daughter of a British globe-trotter and single mother, she grew up all over the place, but her formative years were spent in Africa—on a mission, in the bush, in the city and in the desert.

She has been lucky enough to see an elephant stampede at close range, a giraffe tongue at very close range, and she once witnessed the stealing of her (and her friends’) underwear by very large, angry baboons. (This will most definitely end up in a book . . . ) While she has quite a few tales to tell about the jumping African baboon spider, she tends to save these for Halloween!

When she was sixteen, she thought she’d be an astronomer and writer at the same time, and did a month-long internship at Cambridge’s prestigious Cavendish Laboratories.

Dawn vlogs on her Youtube channel and can be found hanging around Twitter and Instagram.

 

The “Haunted” Recap

If you missed Day 1 of our #LadiesofHorrorFiction Instagram challenge recaps, be sure to check it out. We kicked off the challenge with the “Lady Stack” prompt. There are several gorgeous stacks of lady books to be seen.

Day 2 of our #LadiesofHorrorFiction challenge was the “Haunted” prompt. We had a lot of fantastic entries, and the discussions among the participants of the challenge picked up!

This day also served as a good reminder that we have authors in our community who no longer identify as female. The entire Ladies of Horror Fiction team is dedicated to not only promoting authors who identify as female, but also protecting anyone who does not identify as a lady of horror. Please reach out to us at any time if you have any questions or concerns.

It was no surprise on the day of our haunted prompt Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House popped up everywhere! We could have filled this recap with just photos of The Haunting of Hill House, and we still would have had way too many to post. So, we snagged just one (hard choice) to make room for everyone else!

Myclutterbookshelf posted How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather – a young adult book with a haunted main character who has ties to the Salem Witch Trials.

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QOTD: Does your bookstagram aesthetic match your personal aesthetic? Mine typically doesn't. I post very bright photos with white backgrounds and nice pretty flowers usually, and that is not my real life aesthetic AT ALL. In reality, I wear black and grey all the time, have a shelf filled with tarot cards and bones and crystals, and pretty much want to spend my life as the local village witch. . . . This photo is much more matched to my personal style, and I really like it! Once fall comes, I'll be at my full power and it'll show in my photos. I have so many fall/witchy items to use and I'm going to start incorporating them now because summer is taking too damn long to end. 😂 . . . #LadiesOfHorrorFiction – Haunted #BookReadHappyHour – Underrated Thursday #FangirlingInAugust – Book and Candle #OfTheBookAug18 – Best Character Introductions (The main character of this book immediate brings up her affinity for sarcasm and I was like yas girl, same) #WildAdventuresAugust – Favorite Book Settings (This book is set in Salem!! Love it!!) #MoonReadsAug18 – Candles #ClutteredPages – Books Set In School . . . #bibliophile #booktag #reader #bookish #bookfeature #bookstagram #booknerd #bookaddict #ireadya #yalit #instabooks #bookphotography #bookstagramtogether #booknerdigans #bookworm #howtohangawitch #Salem #witch

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The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons was another popular “haunted” choice and a popular selection through the course of the challenge.

Heylittlethrifter shared an awesome photo of Agatha Christie’s By the Pricking of My Thumbs.

Our final selection of favorites is a collection from Shirley Jackson (The Lottery and Other Stories).

Be sure to let us know if you have read or plan on reading any of the “haunted” books we featured today! Next week we will be featuring the prompt “jewelry”.

Spotlight on Kristi DeMeester

Kristi DeMeester is one of my favorite Ladies of Horror. Her writing is so pure and horrific. I feel very fortunate to have been able to interview one of my favorite writers.

 

Kristi

Photo Courtesy of Kristi DeMeester.com

Bio

Kristi DeMeester is the author of Beneath, a novel published by Word Horde, and the author of Everything That’s Underneath, a short fiction collection published by Apex Publications. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Ellen Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year Volume 9, Year’s Best Weird Fiction Volumes 1 and 3, Black Static, The Dark, Apex Magazine, and several others.

She is currently at work on her fourth novel and seeking representation.

Interview

LOHF: Kristi, thank you for taking the time to visit the Ladies of Horror Fiction today.  

 I’m thrilled to be here! I so deeply admire the awareness this movement has brought to the plethora of truly amazing female horror writers who are currently writing in the genre.

 LOHF: We loved your novel Beneath and your short story collection Everything that’s Underneath. In your work there is a strong motherhood theme that runs through both. Do you find that you are drawing on the fact that you are a mother in your writing?

 Thank you so much! Certainly becoming and now being a mother has much to do with that focus. Motherhood, for so many women, carries a mountain of fear and doubt and guilt, and when you compound that with also having a career, and your own separate ambitions, it’s difficult to separate yourself from the narrative of what motherhood is supposed to look like. So that when you don’t quite fit into that narrative, for whatever reason, you do feel monstrous. I like to take that idea and expand on it. Additionally, and I’ve talked about this frequently, when you didn’t have a great mother and then become a mother, those fears are amplified a hundred fold. And so even in exploring that predatory maternal nature, I can allay so many of the fears I have in my waking life.

 LOHF: In much of horror there seems to be a parallel with the urban legends or folk tales do you feel that is the case?

 I think that these stories fascinate us because they tend to be representative of the fears associated with an area or a cultural climate, and then we find ourselves cycling back to them as we try to work out whatever it was that spurned it in the first place. For instance, take one of my favorite films Pumpkinhead. There’s certainly a folk tale aspect and feeling to that film, and yet it deeply explores issues surrounding prejudice and oppression regarding socioeconomic issues. And so by masking that social problem with a folk tale and a monster, we can view it through a less aggressive lens and work to internally identify things that need resolving.

 LOHF: Do you feel there are any tropes in the horror genre that are overused? If so what are they?

 While I use body horror in much of my work, I’m exceedingly tired of seeing blood and guts spilled or bodily fluids mentioned strictly to create disgust. Disgust and horror, to me, are not related. Searching for the grossest image isn’t frightening to me, but it is good for bringing your lunch back up.

 LOHF: What was your first introduction to the horror genre?

In film, it was the first Fright Night. In literature, it was R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. I fell in love and never looked back.

LOHF: What was the last movie or book that scared the pants off of you?

Last movie was Hereditary. So beautiful and unsettling. The last book was a re-read but Beloved by Toni Morrison. My word. So lovely and claustrophobic and horrifying.

 LOHF: There seem to be two types of writers: the writer who has a full outline of the story prior to writing or do you just write and see where the story takes you; which are you?

 A mix of both. For short stories, I don’t tend to plan, but for novels, I’ve come to the realization that I need to have some kind of outline; otherwise, the story goes completely off the rails and starts to circle back in on itself.

LOHF: Are there any up and coming Ladies of Horror Fiction that we should keep an eye out for?

Not sure if these could be classified as up and coming, but I can give you some of my favorites: Julia Elliott, Carina Bissett, Helen Marshall, Gwendolyn Kiste, Damien Angelica Walters, Sarah Langan, Gemma Files, Sarah Pinborough, Nalo Hopkinson, Lisa Tuttle, Gillian Flynn, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Ania Ahlborn, Ottessa Moshfegh, Carolina Sanin, Lauren Beukes, S.P. Miskowski, Rachel Autumn Deering, Carmen Maria Machado, Karen Russell. This list could go on forever, and I know I’m forgetting several not because I intend to omit, but because my brain swims with amazing Ladies of Horror Fiction!

 LOHF: Do you have a WIP in progress? If so are there any tidbits you can share?

 From “FiGen: A Love Story”

 “I filled out the card with your name, your birthdate, and scrawled my signature across the bottom to indicate FiGen held no liability for the results I would receive or for any corresponding life events. They were held free and clear, and I could do with the information what I chose. When I walked the envelope out to the mailbox, you still weren’t home, and the air pressed in around me with a heaviness that indicated rain. I lingered on the front steps, waiting for the sound of your car, for the ghostly glare of your headlights. I wondered if you saw me, saw how I stood waiting for you, if there would be a twinge in your heart, and you would remember how you’d clasped my hand the night you told me you loved me and said you wanted to always see me at the end of your days. But you did not come home, and I went inside and finished the wine.”

 LOHF: As we are all book bloggers and we love to know what is on your nightstand at the moment?

 Currently, I am reading The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdich.

 

Synopses

Beneath: When reporter Cora Mayburn is assigned to cover a story about a snake-handling cult in rural Appalachia, she is dismayed, for the world of cruel fundamentalist stricture, repression, glossolalia, and abuse is something she has long since put behind her in favor of a more tolerant urban existence. But she accepts the assignment, dredging up long-buried memories as she seeks the truth.

As Cora begins to uncover the secrets concealed by a veneer of faith and tradition, something ancient and long concealed begins to awaken. What secrets do the townsfolk know? What might the handsome young pastor be hiding? What will happen when occulted horrors writhe to the surface, when pallid and forgotten things rise to reclaim the Earth?

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Everything that’s Underneath: Crawl across the earth and dig in the dirt. Feel it. Tearing at your nails, gritty between your teeth, filling your nostrils. Consume it until it has consumed you. For there you will find the voices that have called from the shadows, the ones that promise to cherish you only to rip your body to shreds.Crawl across the earth and dig in the dirt. Feel it. Tearing at your nails, gritty between your teeth, filling your nostrils. Consume it until it has consumed you. For there you will find the voices that have called from the shadows, the ones that promise to cherish you only to rip your body to shreds.

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Kristi’s books are available via Better World Books or if you click on the picture of the book you are interested in you will be transported to the publisher website.

Candle and Pins by Jacqueline West Review

This is the first review to appear on Ladies of Horror Fiction, so we thought we’d take a moment to remind you that things are going to be a little bit different with these.

There are two things to take note of: 1. You will not see star ratings on the site. (But please remember we will not be posting reviews that we would consider less than three stars.) 2. We may sometimes post full reviews that we have reserved exclusively for the site; however,  in most cases you are going to see a format like the following, that includes links that redirect you to the reviewer’s site.

Candle and Pins by Jacqueline West

Candle and Pins

The poems of “Candle and Pins” are inspired by familiar—and some unfamiliar—superstitions, ranging from love charms to burial practices, parsley seeds to the evil eye. Like superstitions themselves, these poems explore the terrain where magic and everyday life intertwine, and where beauty, horror, fear, and belief combine in ways both new and ageless.

Toni’s Review Teaser

This little tome hit all the high notes for me. It is a collection that you will want to digest slowly and languidly.

Click here to see the full review on The Misadventures of a Reader

Jen’s Review Teaser

Imaginative horror poetry is a trifecta I am not going to pass up. If you love dark poetry, Candle and Pins is a lovely collection to check out.

Click here to see the full review on Book Den

About Jacqueline West

Jacqueline West

Photo and Bio Courtesy of http://www.jacquelinewest.com/

Jacqueline West is the author of the award-winning middle grade series The Books of Elsewhere. The Books of Elsewhere, Volume One: The Shadows (2010) garnered starred reviews, state award nominations, and a spot on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

Her first YA novel, Dreamers Often Lie (2016), is a dark and twisty romance that braids Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a modern-day teen’s life.

Jacqueline’s poetry has appeared in a variety of print and online publications and has garnered several awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize and two Pushcart nominations. Cherma, her series of poems about Wisconsin’s Bohemian immigrants, is published by the University of Wisconsin’s Parallel Press chapbook series.

Learn more and read interviews in Jacqueline’s bio or read her answers to frequently asked questions.

The “Ladystack” Recap

During the month of August, the Ladies of Horror Fiction team hosted a #ladiesofhorrorfiction challenge on Instagram. The challenge was to post a photo of a horror book(s) written by a woman author corresponding to the prompt of the day for each day of August. We don’t think any of us knew how rewarding (or hard!) this challenge was going to be! (There was also a not-inconsiderable drain on a few of our checking accounts as we discovered all these books we didn’t know existed that we simply had to have. )

Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in or share the challenge. The response and the support we received was incredible. We finished the challenge with over 1300 photos of books by women horror authors being shared using the #ladiesofhorrorfiction hashtag. It was such great fun to see women horror writers positively promoted every day! The discussion the prompts and QOTD’s brought were amazing as well.

Over the next 30 weeks we will be sharing highlights from each day of the challenge. We discovered a lot of really amazing books and women authors over the course of the challenge. Our TBRs are toppling over. We hope you will check out our recaps each week and please let us know if you discover anything new to add to your stack.

The first challenge prompt was to show us a book stack made up entirely of horror books by women. We realized from day one how hard it was going to be to only select a few photos to highlight each week. The participants in the challenge rocked!!

Be sure to check out more from each instagrammer who participated in the challenge.

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Today is Day 1 of #ladiesofhorrorfiction challenge. This is the first challenge I ever do on Instagram …I figured it would be interesting to see how many of my horror books are written by women. Today's prompt was "lady stack". My stack is made up of both read and unread books (probably a 1:1 ratio) and both horror and thriller books. I've featured one book per author only. Everything I"ve read out of the stack I've enjoyed and everything else I'm really looking forward to. #instabook #bookstagram #ladiesofhorror #japanesehorror #horrorbooks #psychologicalthriller #creepywriting #asanonami #marikokoike #yokoogawa #tanafrench #marissapessl #anniezaidi #jacjemc #kanaeminato #alexmarwood #laurenbeukes #jennifermcmahon # rhianellis #gillianflynn #natsuokirino #kristidemeester #shirleyjackson #booktube

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When the #ladiesofhorrorfiction challenge was announced I was super excited to participate, and then thought “oh crap, I don’t think I own any horror written by ladies” and then I thought “it’s ok girl, just buy you a stack from Amazon.” 🤦🏽‍♀️ well days went by and I forgot….and so the day has arrived and look what I was able to pull from my shelves!!! Woohoo! I guess book hoarding does come in handy 😜 I’ve only read one book from this stack 😩 . Day 1 – Lady stack . . . #Bookcommunity #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #books #booklover #bibliophile #reading #bookaholic #igreads #bookish #reader #goodreads #instabook #bookaddict #read #horror #womenauthors #bookhoarder

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Who run the world? That’s right—girls. Thank you, Beyoncé, I’ll take it from here. 😉 Welcome to a new month and I’m so excited to be participating in the #ladiesofhorrorfiction challenge! I feel really strongly about balancing my reading between men and women authors, especially as a fiend for horror, which tends to underrepresent the ladies. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. I’m not only hoping to highlight some amazing horror authors who are women this month, but I am dedicating this month to reading books solely by the ladies (minus 2 review books, I think!) Here’s to a great August! What do you have on your tbr? • Day 1: lady stack . . . . . #bookstack #booktower #booksbywomen #horrorfan #horrorbooks #horrorstack #womenwhowrite #womenwhowritehorror #womenofhorrorwednesday #womenofhorror #annerice #joycecaroloates #vcandrews #susanhill #shirleyjackson #tananarivedue #aniaahlborn #helenoyeyemi #agathachristie #daphnedumaurier #maryshelley

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New book challenge for the new month and it's all about my favorite fiction: horror! My birthday is in a week and I'm excited to check out everyone's #ladiesofhorrorfiction stacks to get some new books on my birthday to-buy booklist! 💀🔪♀🖤Here's my Lady Stack.🖤♀🔪💀 I also have a ton of Kindle horror books by rad women authors, but alas they don't photograph as pretty🤷 #womenofhorror #horrorstories #horrorfiction #reader #readhorror #booknerd #bookish #bookstack #womenauthors #scarybooks #igreads #alwaysreading #booklove #creepyreads #frightnight #womenlikegoretoo #ladyhorror #booksandskulls #bookstagram #booksbywomen #horrorstack #womenwhowritehorror

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Did you spot any of your favorite Ladies of Horror in these book stacks? Be sure to let us know!

Next week we will be sharing our favorite selections from the “Haunted” prompt.