Review: Saltblood by T.C. Parker

cover of Saltblood by T.C. ParkerSaltblood by T.C. Parker
Independently Published (August 2020)
306 pages; $11.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Imagine a world where public opinion is measured by real units and offending people whose behavior results in accumulating a high amount of units, get shipped off to an isolated location to live out a predetermined sentence.

The concept of Saltblood by T.C. Parker is quite terrifying, actually. Public opinion is so fickle and subjective. I hate the thought of a majority of people who don’t really know you passing judgment with real consequences based on perceived reality; your reputation and not your character. No facts, just opinions. The power to strip you from your life and throw you away.
Utterly horrifying.Continue Reading

Origin Story: Dancing with Tombstones by Michael Aronovitz

College professor, rock critic and horror author Michael Aronovitz discusses the origin of his new Cemetery Dance short story collection, Dancing With Tombstones!

Dancing With Tombstones is available in paperback on Amazon and available as an ebook at the special preorder price of 99 cents.

Review: Pangaea: Prose and Poetry by Hinna Mian

cover of Pangaea: Prose and PoetryPangaea: Prose and Poetry by Hinnah Mian
Central Avenue Publishing (February 8, 2022)
128 pages; $16.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Hinnah Mian is a Pakistani American poet and author whose work has appeared in Harness Magazine, JUMP, Blue Minaret, and The Rising Phoenix Review. Her first book, To Build a Home, won silver in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. She spends her time journaling, exploring, and living out her days with the love of her life — her dog, Felix. Her newest collection, Pangaea: Prose and Poetry explores the horrors and traumas inflicted on one’s body in a striking and poignant collection.Continue Reading

Staffer Brian James Freeman’s Last Day At Cemetery Dance Publications!

Hi Folks!

Long-time staffer Brian James Freeman here. Today marks my final day working full-time for CD, the only workplace I’ve known since graduating college nearly 20 years ago. I’ve loved getting to know our amazing collectors, authors, artists, designers, booksellers, and vendors over the years. Working with Rich, Mindy, Norman, Dan, and everyone else has been an absolutely incredible experience.

My new job is something I honestly never thought would be possible: writing short stories for a living! If you know this business, you know that was a pretty insane dream to have. After all, when was the last time writers could earn enough from their short stories to pay their bills?

But thanks to some dedicated supporters of my Patreon, I have the opportunity to do just that, and I can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes me. (Of course, because creating small press special editions really is a ton of fun, I will continue publishing a few of my friends over at my own press, Lividian Publications.)

Here are a few links for anyone who wants to follow along with what comes next:

My Patreon

Brian James Freeman’s Website

Brian James Freeman’s Free Newsletter

Brian on Twitter

Brian on Facebook

Brian on Instagram

Lividian Publications website

Thank you again to everyone I’ve met along the way. And thank you, as always, for your continued support and enthusiasm!

Best,
Brian

Birth of a Cover: Dancing with Tombstones by Michael Aronovitz

In the first of a series of video interviews, college professor, rock critic and horror author Michael Aronovitz discusses the interesting genesis of Lynne Hansen’s cover for his Cemetery Dance short story collection, Dancing With Tombstones — including the story of how he and Hansen first “met”!

Dancing With Tombstones is available in paperback on Amazon and available as an ebook at the special preorder price of 99 cents on January 21st.

Review: Sister Funtime by Spencer Hamilton

cover of Sister Funtime by Spencer HamiltonSister Funtime by Spencer Hamilton 
Nerdy Wordsmith (November 2021)
140 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book 
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

There’s an old saying that water can wear away stone, but only over hundreds of years. In a classic Stephen King novel, Christine, a characterargues that people are not stone, but mortal.

Spencer Hamilton’s Sister Funtime untethers this phrase from such limitations and instead strangles it into a festering devout, sinister power — something inhuman and hungry for flesh. Continue Reading

Review: Coffin Honey by Todd Davis

cover of Coffin Honey by Todd DavisCoffin Honey by Todd Davis
Michigan State University Press (February 1, 2022)
147 pages; $19.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

In Coffin Honey, Todd Davis explores themes of violence and how people hurt each other. The book is broken into sections, each one reading like a short story told in narrative poems, which makes for some haunting connections between the poems. For example, the first section contains the poem “Taxidermy: Cathartes Aura” with lines like:

The bird’s spiraling descent
was unexpected, like when
his uncle touched him
in the cellar as he shoveled
coal for winter, telling him
he couldn’t have the fried
doughnuts sprinkled
with confectioner’s sugar
if he screamed
or told his mother.

Continue Reading

Review: Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder

cover of exposed nerves by lucy snyderExposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder
Raw Dog Screaming Press (September 2021)
114 pages; paperback $12.95; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Exposed Nerves is a collection of feminist horror poems, mostly in the narrative or lyric vein. Lucy A. Snyder excels at taking a known trope — the big bad wolf in “Wolf Waltz” or rapists in “My Neighbor Defends Her Champion” — and flipping the perspective. A lot of these poems use their subjects to make social commentary, which is one of the main purposes of horror. Snyder often takes the women in her poems and allows them to triumph over evil. In “turnt,” for example, a teenage girl is lured into a older boy’s automobile until she can’t help but turning into a ferocious beast:

pulse hammering inside the secluded car
skin splitting over hairy muscle, scarlet claws
and he’s screaming, wailing like he’s burning

Here the hunted becomes the hunter, and while the idea of a teenage werewolf is certainly nothing new, Snyder’s imagery and metaphorical language makes the redemptive story fresh and interesting for readers. 

There are times when Snyder’s poems, however, seem to teeter into weak craft decisions. “The Unforgiving King,” for example, has stanzas that seem based on a haiku “syllable count” (which is, of course, a linguistic misunderstanding that has been disputed and disproven by poetry scholars) but show no understanding of how the haiku form works. “The Invisible Woman,” a poem written with Gary A. Braunbeck, suffers from weak lines and poorly executed line breaks, but its strong imagery and overriding metaphor overwhelm its flawed structure. How much of this is Snyder’s fault or just poor curation or editing one can’t tell, but these flaws are few and far between, and the collection doesn’t suffer greatly because of them.

Overall, Exposed Nerves by Lucy A. Snyder is a relatively strong collection of feminist horror poems. While there are a few misses, most of the poems stand up to scrutiny and the overarching themes within the collection — angry defiance against a threatening patriarchy and a thirst for revenge and justice — are current and necessary. This is a solid collection of horror poetry which readers will very much enjoy.

New eBook Available Now! Gloria by Bentley Little

Gloria
by Bentley Little

Now Available As An eBook!

Hi Folks!

We’re pleased to announce that Bentley Little’s brand new novel Gloria is now available as an eBook, and this one is strange and wonderful in that perfectly Bentley Little way! Here are some quick links for ordering:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

About the Book:
Considering she had just attended her mother’s funeral, Gloria Jaymes never expected to see the woman again, but then her dead mom shows up at her house.

Gloria’s mom is… different. She’s younger than when she died, dressed in clothes from the 1980s. And nobody else in Gloria’s family seems to recognize her.

As Gloria tries to figure out the reason for her mother’s reappearance — and the odd behaviors the woman begins to exhibit — other bizarre events occur. The changes to Gloria’s world are small and subtle, at first… then they become much more startling.

The freaky situation might just be connected to a mysterious shed in a small California town. The strangers who gather around the shed seem to know Gloria’s name… and maybe they aren’t strangers after all.

With Gloria, Bentley Little presents one of his most complex and compelling novels — one that is certain to surprise readers on every page.

Cover

Read more and place your order for the hardcover while our supplies last!

Thank you, as always, for your continued support and enthusiasm!

Review: Mestiza Blood by V. Castro

cover of Mestiza Blood by V. CastroMestiza Blood by V. Castro
Flame Tree Press (January 25, 2022)
240 pages; $26.95 hardcover; $16.95 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

After a string of successful releases, Hairspray & Switchblades (Unnerving Press) Goddess of Filth (Creature Publishing) and Queen of the Cicadas (Flame Tree Press) V. Castro unleashes her first short story collection, Mestiza Blood.

A short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desires, & visions of the chicana experience

Continue Reading

NEW BOOK ANNOUNCED: A Face in the Crowd & The Longest December by Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan, and Richard Chizmar

A Face in the Crowd & The Longest December
by Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan, and Richard Chizmar

Brand New Cemetery Dance Publications Exclusive Hardcover!

Cemetery Dance Publications is pleased to report we have a brand new project with Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan, and Richard Chizmar in the works, and it’s going to be something special!

We’ll be publishing A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan (first time in hardcover) and The Longest December by Richard Chizmar (extended version) together as a hardcover in the style of the old Ace Doubles. Two novellas in one book! Read one story and when you’re done, just flip the book over and read the other. There are two “front covers” and a unique design, so it’s a really fun concept.

There will be cover artwork for BOTH sides by Ben Baldwin (the Gwendy series), interior artwork by Mark Edward Geyer (The Green Mile), and exclusive artwork for the special editions by François Vaillancourt (Revival).

In addition to a trade hardcover edition for the bookstores, there will also be an artist signed Artist Gift Edition, which is already selling very quickly! Please don’t wait if you want one because that edition will not last long!

Read more on our website and place your order now to lock-in your copy!

Cover

Thank you, as always, for your continued support and enthusiasm!

Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

posed bookstagram photo featuring The Last House on Needless Street
Photo: Haley Newlin

The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward 
Tor Night Fire (September 2021)
352 pages; $24.79 audiobook,  $19.29 paperback, $14.99 ebook
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Catriona Ward’s The Last House on Needless Street promises a serial killer, a kidnapped child, a religious cat, and falsities scattered in every direction — one misstep and the trap snaps.
The main character, Ted, carries childhood trauma, a strange attachment to his abusive mother, and a dangerous, twisted side that reminds me of the real-world serial killer, Ed Gein, who went on to inspire characters like Norman Bates and Thomas Harris’ Buffalo Bill.

Review: Burner by Robert Ford

cover of Burner by Robert FordBurner by Robert Ford
Blurred Images Press (November 2020)
230 pages; $12.99 paperback; $.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

In Burner by Robert Ford, readers are introduced to two characters, Iris and Audrey. We follow their story through “then” and “now” timelines told in short, bingeable chapters that switch back and forth between the two women.

If you read the preface, you will know that Burner deals with a heavy subject and has the potential to cause emotional trauma, so I recommend reading the preface. Bob Ford does a great job setting early expectations.Continue Reading

Review: Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

cover of Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-GarciaVelvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Del Rey (August 2021)
288 pages; hardcover $14; paperback $20.48; e-book $13.99
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

They were both angry at the world, that was why this was happening. It was a kiss of scorpions, both heavy with poison.

Once again, Silvia Moreno-Garcia exhibits the versatility of her eloquent storytelling in her noir/pulp fiction novel Velvet Was the Night.Continue Reading

Review: The Book of Maggor Thoom by James Turner

banner that reads The Comic Vault

cover of The Book of Maggor Thoom by James TurnerThe Book of Maggor Thoom by James Turner
SLG Publishing (September 2021)
164 pages; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Beware, Mortal! You hold the forbidden book of Maggor Thoom, a text from beyond sanity! Read further and your puny ape-brain will boil inside your skull and your eyeballs melt into a steaming ooze. For I am a being of impossible thoughts, who dwells on the surface of Azathoth, the living black hole, the cosmic chaos!

Continue Reading