Review: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard
Titan Books (April 2018)
448 pages; $10.37 paperback; $7.49 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

There are psychological thrillers and then there are books that dive deep into the psychology of the characters; into trauma, and the deep pits that therapy and grief can dig.  Alice Blanchard drags the readers into the pit with A Breath After Drowning, a thriller that—while not terribly original—is as close to perfect as it can get in this genre.Continue Reading

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta Signed Limited Edition Almost Done at the Printer!

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta is nearly finished at the printer, so please place your order ASAP or you might miss out!

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Read more or place your order on our website while supplies last!

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

Revelations: Short Stories

When I first conceived of this column, my intent was to focus on authors and how their body of work influenced me during a specific period in my development. After several columns, I realized that while maybe an author’s entire body of work didn’t necessarily impact me, one or two of their novels had—hence my previous column about Don’t Take Away the Light, by J. N. Williamson, and The Reach by Nate Kenyon and The Pines, by Robert Dunbar (subjects of future columns). Continue Reading

Review: It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life edited by Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson

It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life edited by Eugene Johnson
Crystal Lake Publishing (December 14, 2018)
280 pages; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

There are books on writing that inspire, ones that feed the muse, ones that teach, but rarely has there been one that encompasses all three aspects that result in a must-read, must-have companion for the writer’s lair. Continue Reading

Review: The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison

The Crate: A Story of War, a Murder, and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison
WildBlue Press (June 2018)
358 pages; $12.99 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

There are true crime stories and then there are books that delve so much deeper that they embed themselves under the skin and burrow into the psyche. The Crate is the latter — and beyond.Continue Reading

Review: Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias

Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias
Broken River Books (October 2018)
212 pages; $15.99 paperback; $7.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Coyote Songs opens with a father-and-son fishing trip. Don Pedro and his son, Pedrito, have their lines in the water, and have entered that peculiar lull familiar to everyone who’s ever been fishing—that time when relaxation and anticipation are jockeying for attention. As author Gabino Iglesias writes:

When fishing, nothingness was full of possibility, quietness was a timeless inhalation before a scream, and inaction was just a fuse of indeterminate length before an explosion.

It doesn’t take long to get to the explosion, which arrives in the form of a devastating act of violence that is the novel’s true beginning. From there, Coyote Songs splinters into many stories. In this excellent Book Riot interview, Iglesias noted that he needed “a plethora of shoulders on which to place the weight of something as big as pain, migration, suffering, justice, bilingualism, multiculturalism, and syncretism.” So we follow Pedrito on his quest for revenge; a coyote who initially helps children cross the border, but is soon led to his true, sacred mission; a young man, fresh out of jail, who almost immediately finds himself back on the run; an artist looking for new, impactful ways to channel her vision; and a pregnant woman who lives in fear of the thing growing inside her.

Some of these stories come together while others follow separate paths, but they are all united by the author’s raw eloquence. There are moments of pure beauty here, punctuated with jarring scenes of uncomfortable violence. There are scenes that would be at home in any contemporary crime blockbuster, and there are moments that would highlight any midnight creature feature.

It’s entertainment, yes, but it’s far from mindless. Coyote Songs bristles with the anger, disappointment and frustration that so many feel in their day-to-day lives, and Iglesias does not hesitate to point fingers at the source of those emotions. This may put some people off, and that’s a shame. His is a voice among those that are shouting to be heard—a voice we cannot afford to ignore, even though the truths he tells are often ugly and uncomfortable to hear.

Review: Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent

Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent
Flame Tree Press (October 2018)
288 pages; $16.48 hardcover; $10.37 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

There was a time when I immersed myself in sci-fi, long before I discovered horror and it took over my reading experience. Every now and again, it’s nice to go back and visit those days, and that’s just what I did with this epic, hard sci-fi novel by Brian Trent.Continue Reading

Review: Kosmos by Adrian Laing

Kosmos by Adrian Laing
Flame Tree Press (December 2018)
288 pages; $16.48 hardcover; $10.37 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Kosmos is one of the most entertaining original works I’ve read in all of 2018.  Considering I’ve read seventy-seven books this year that’s saying a lot.Continue Reading

Review: The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco

The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco
MCD (November 2018)
400 pages; $17.70 hardcover; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Most years, come November, I’m looking to cleanse my palate after a month of Halloween-related horror book and movie bingeing. I usually turn to crime fiction (even though I find that horror and crime are closely intertwined — but that’s an essay for another day). Today, I’m looking at my first post-Halloween read, a story of Victorian-era opium dealing called The Best Bad Things.

Alma Rosales is a former member of the Pinkerton Agency, an early version of our nation’s F.B.I. Rosales has been dismissed from its ranks following a disastrous mission that left her partner dead. She’s made her way to Port Townsend, a Pacific Northwest hotbed of various illicit activities, particularly drugs and prostitution. She’s there to infiltrate and upend one of the area’s leading opium distribution networks, a move that could go a long way to restore her standing in the Agency.

Jack Camp is a roughhousing dockworker and member of that network — a member with aspirations of being much more than a footsoldier. He’s got a plan to find out who is stealing product from his boss, Nathaniel Wheeler, and to head off the authorities that are sniffing around Wheeler’s operation. If it works, his plan will greatly improve his standing in the organization.

Thing is, Alma Rosales and Jack Camp are the same person.

In Alma Rosales, author Katrina Carrasco has created an unforgettable lead, a walking powder keg of raw emotion whose every move is driven by her appetites for sex, for power, and for violence. Alma is playing two sides in just about every facet of her life, and her ability to maintain control while juggling dual identities and agendas is awe-inspiring.

Carrasco is juggling a lot here, too, and it’s sometimes a little difficult to keep up with the narrative. But hang with it — the tight, often beautiful prose will keep you invested even when the plot is hard to rein in, and Carrasco is eventually able to wrangle her runaway storylines into a satisfying conclusion.

The Best Bad Things is an intricately twisty, immensely enjoyable piece of crime fiction; a debut by a promising novelist worth watching.

Review: Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare by Stephanie M. Wytovich
Raw Dog Screaming Press (December 2017)

162 pages, $14.52 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and her newest collection, also nominated for the Stoker Award, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare.Continue Reading

FREE HARDCOVER GIFT With Qualifying Purchase Today!

We’ve published a lot of new books already this year, as anyone who visits the Recent Releases page has noticed, and we have even more books rolling at the printer right now!

We need to make room in the warehouse ASAP, so we’ve decided to give a FREE GIFT to everyone who spends $29 or more (after coupons and Gift Certificates are applied) and all you need to pay is shipping on the gift since it’ll ship right away!

We cannot say more about the exact gift, other than we will be using HARDCOVER BOOKS with a nice retail value as the gift — not trinkets or chapbooks or something small like that!

Free Gift!

Just be sure to add the “Free Gift” to your cart and then place your qualifying order while supplies last!

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

Review: Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter

Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter
Hydra Publications (August 2018)

180 pages; $11.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

After reading nothing but horror for over a year now, is it possible for me to still be scared? I’ve been asked that question quite a bit lately and the answer is: Absolutely. If horror fans are honest with themselves, we are showing up for horror because there is always the potential for something to crawl up under our skin and linger there. We like it.Continue Reading

Revelations: Whispers and Karl Edward Wagner’s The Year’s Best Horror Stories

My previous two columns focused on contemporary authors who have impacted me both as a writer and reader; Mary SanGiovanni and Ronald Malfi, respectively. We’re going to jump back in time, now… Continue Reading

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Save 50% Off Your Cemetery Dance Order!

We’re pleased to offer our collectors 50% off all orders placed via our website today and tomorow, and this coupon code is good for almost everything with the exception of Gift Certificates and a few special items, which are indicated with a note at the top of their pages.

Here are some of the categories you might want to browse because there is NO MAXIMUM AMOUNT you can save, which means you can order as much as you would like:

Zombie Turkey!* Cemetery Dance in-stock books including Limited Editions and Lettered Editions
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All you have to do is add qualifying items to your cart and then you can save 50% off your entire order — there is NO MAXIMUM amount you can save, so this is the time to order anything you’ve been waiting to order!

To save 50% off your order, just use this Coupon Code when you checkout via our online store:

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TO REDEEM THE CODE:
1) Just go to our website, add anything that qualifies to your cart, and checkout like normal.

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4) OR if you forget to redeem your coupon and have already placed your order, please REPLY to your order confirmation email and let Mindy know you meant to use the coupon. She can update your order manually and refund the difference.

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As always, thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm!

Review: Fantastic Tales of Terror: History’s Darkest Secrets edited by Eugene Johnson

Fantastic Tales of Terror: History’s Darkest Secrets edited by Eugene Johnson
Crystal Lake Publishing (October 2018)
570 pages; $18.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Sometimes an anthology accomplishes what it sets out to do and nails the concept perfectly. That doesn’t happen often in the glut of tired, generic tomes with the same old names rehashing the same old tropes and writing. But, what if someone suggested using those tropes in an alternate history, utilizing some of the most famous names, monsters, and personalities in the genre and creating fantastic tales that run the gamut from fun and entertaining to chilling and all-out weird? Continue Reading