Review: Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind The Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer

cover of Hitchcock's BlondesHitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind The Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession by Laurence Leamer
 G.P. Putnam’s Sons (October 2023)
335 pages; $21.10 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Alfred Hitchcock’s legacy has, until recent years, mostly been portrayed through the rosy lens of Hollywood. Many consider Hitchcock one of the fathers of horror and a worthy contender amongst the greatest directors of all time. He’s remembered for his brilliance and astute demeanor, evoked throughout the evolution of cinema-from silent films to “talkies” to color to the big screen.Continue Reading

Review: This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer

cover of This Wretched ValleyThis Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer
Quirk Books (January 2024)
309 pages; $18.99 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin


Some monsters live outside the shadows, beneath the sun, sitting beside you, watching and plotting.

Jenny Kiefer’s debut, This Wretched Valley, will appease horror readers who crave fright outside the typical haunted house or killer’s dimly lit basement. Many hair-raising, nail-biting scenes occur in broad daylight, and exploring an uncharted rock in the valley leaves the team isolated from surrounding campers or hikers. Not that many visit that wretched valley, anyway. Not after all the disappearances over the years. Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Clay McLeod Chapman

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photo of author Clay McLeod ChapmanClay McLeod Chapman writes books, comic books, children’s books, as well as for film and television. His most recent novel, What Kind of Mother and Ghost Eaters are grief horror stories. Chapman’s vibrant personality and energy are magnetizing, and seemingly contradictory to his writing material. Todd Keisling and I joked that the Whisper Down The Lane author is “like a cup of coffee” — rejuvenating.

It’s there, in that duality and range both on and off the page, where Chapman’s talent lies.

Chapman spoke to Cemetery Danceabout What Kind of MotherGhost Eaters, fellow horror authors, and his upcoming projects. Continue Reading

Review: The Maker’s Box by David Barclay

cover of The Maker's BoxThe Maker’s Box by David Barclay 
9 Swords (March 2022)
89 pages; $6.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Stephen King’s dreamscape fantasy Rose Madder meets the precise cleverness of Richard Chizmar’s Gwendy’s series in The Maker’s Box.

I’d never read anything from Barclay before The Maker’s Box, but now I’m blood-thirsty for more. Continue Reading

Review: The Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves

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cover of The Scarecrow ManThe Scarecrow Man by Miguel Goncalves
Dark Pine Publishing (September 2023)
40 pages; $4.75 paperback; $0.00 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Do you dare enter the Scarecrow Show? 

From the pages of Devil’s Reject (by Dark Pine Publishing) comes Miguel Goncalves’s short story, “The Scarecrow Man,” where the line between reality and nightmare blurs into a devilish dance of psychological horror and crime fiction. As I devoured this debut, I couldn’t shake the echoes of Robert Bloch’s Psycho and A24’s cinematic masterpiece Pearl. Continue Reading

Review: Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas

cover of Vampires of El NorteVampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas
Berkley (August 2023)
371 pages; $19.58 hardcover; $14.99 e-book; $20.25 audiobook 
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Some things are too precious to lose. 

Nena and Nestor were inseparable as children. They even shared their first kiss. To Nena, Nestor’s voice is like coming home, but her father wishes to marry her to a wealthy rancher’s son to acquire more land for the family.

She didn’t always dread the idea of marriage, not when she envisioned it with Nestor.Continue Reading

Review: Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Del Rey (July 18, 2023)
336 pages; $19.99 hardcover; $25.94 paperback; $22.05 audiobook; $13.99 e-book

Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Silvia Moreno-Garcia makes her much-anticipated return to horror (after Mexican Gothic) with her latest release, Silver Nitrate. It wasn’t just the Twilight Zone and Psycho-reminiscent imagery on the cover that pushed me to read Silver Nitrate; it was also because of its emphasis on oldies horror in the same vein as Hammer films and the rare chance to learn about Nazism in Mexico.

Continue Reading

Review: The Unhallowed Horseman by Jude S. Walko

cover of Unhallowed HorsemanThe Unhallowed Horseman by Jude S. Walko 
Blue Falcon Productions LLC (Oct. 2021) 
319 pages; $25.67 hardcover; $14.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

“Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue” – Washington Irving

Jude S. Walko’s The Unhallowed Horseman scrupulously reimagines the infamous tale of a silent secluded valley, a place laced with superstition and scandal, called Sleepy Hollow. Continue Reading

Review: Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

cover of Looking Glass SoundLooking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward
Tor Nightfire (August 8, 2023)
352 pages; $25.19 hardcover; $20.53 paperback; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Catriona Ward lures readers with charming coming-of-age humor and strife in her latest novel, Looking Glass Sound, reminiscent of Stephen King’s “The Body.”

Those who’ve read Ward’s previous work, Little Eve and The Last House on Needless Street (favorites of mine), know the loveable and exciting are a facade. And the truth, particularly a harsh one, leaves readers black with poison, bitten by the spider, trapped in her intricate web. Twitching with metaphysical dread, desperate for answers.Continue Reading

Review: Dead of Winter by Darcy Coates

cover of Dead of WinterDead of Winter by Darcy Coates
Poisoned Pen Press (July 11, 2023) 
352 pages; $14.39 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Darcy Coates upholds her reputation as a deft storyteller with a knack for conjuring atmospheric page-turners in her latest release, Dead of Winter, “an icy homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.” Continue Reading

Review: Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe

copy of Graveyard of Lost ChildrenGraveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe
Poisoned Pen Press (May 2023)
368 pages; $15.17 paperback; e-book $6.49
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Katrina Monroe has done it again.

Much like in her debut, They Drown Our Daughters, Monroe’s latest release, a modernized and stylish gothic grim, Graveyard of Lost Children doesn’t just scare. It lurks, prods, then manifests into a hellish dreamscape where reality bends and breaks. And it all starts with the skull-splitting cry of life of a baby.Continue Reading

Review: Mothered by Zoje Stage

cover of Mothered by Zoje StageMothered by Zoje Stage
Thomas & Mercer (March 2023)
318 pages; $19.15 hardcover; $12.78 paperback; e-book $2.49
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Zoje Stage’s latest release, Mothered, festers with feverish delirium.

Paper dolls can’t speak for themselves. They can’t escape the shears slicing through their limbs nor the violent grasp of their manipulator. That’s what life was like for Grace. Her chronically ill twin sister, Hope, was sickly pale with a delicate dust of warm freckles across her cheeks. Her smile fooled their mother, Jackie, and just about everyone else, but Grace knew that a glee-ridden Hope spelled trouble. Continue Reading

Review: Mouth Full of Ashes by Briana Morgan

cover of Mouthful of AshesMouth Full of Ashes by Briana Morgan 
Independently Published (October 2021)
158 pages; $9.99; $2.99 ebook; $14.95 audiobook
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

“Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count.” – Heathers

I’m not typically into vampire stories, except for Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and Bela Lugosi’s performance in Dracula.

However, Briana Morgan’s Mouth Full of Ashes dismembers supernatural horror and dark, campy teen film to conjure something scheming and bloody. Continue Reading

Review: Whatever Remains Of Us In The End by Brandon Baker

cover of Whatever Remains of Us in the EndWhatever Remains Of Us In The End by Brandon Baker
Independently Published (March 2023)
132 pages; $10.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

Power comes at a price in Brandon Baker’s Whatever Remains Of Us In The End, a supernatural thriller looming with feverish occult practices, the classic horror trope of “how far will you go to save those you love,” and lucid imagery reminiscent of the pulp horror era. Continue Reading

Review: All The Living And The Dead by Hayley Campbell

cover of All the Living and the DeadAll the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life’s Work by Hayley Campbell 
St. Martin’s Press (August 2022) 
288 pages; $21.49; $19.00 paperback; $14.99 e-book 
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

None of us are born with the knowledge of death. We have to stumble upon a fallen bird fluttering its wings, desperate to live. Or we lose a grandparent, a sibling, a classmate, and someone breaks the news: the deceased, those “in a better place,” won’t, can’t, ever come back.

The author of All the Living and the Dead, Hayley Campbell, couldn’t pinpoint the moment she learned of death. She tells readers she can’t recall a time before death, stating, “Death was just there, everywhere, always.”Continue Reading