Review: Of Men and Monsters by Tom Deady

cover of Of Men and Monsters by Tom DeadyOf Men and Monsters by Tom Deady
Crystal Lake Publishing (May 28th, 2021)
120 pages; $10.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Of Men and Monsters is the perfect summer read. It’s short, accessible, and capitalizes on all that wonderful coming-of-age nostalgia so many of us love and crave.Continue Reading

Review: Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

cover of Summer Sons by Lee MandeloSummer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Tor.com (July 20th, 2021)
384 pages; $22.99 paperback; $0.00 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Summer Sons takes a long, hot, minute before it reaches down to stir up all those horror vibes simmering just under the surface.

The story centers on the relationship between Andrew and Eddie. Their seemingly indestructible bond is threatened when Eddie decides to go away for school. Ultimately, Andrew feels like he needs to be with Eddie no matter the cost but before they can reunite, Eddie takes his own life.Continue Reading

Review: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

cover of Survive the Night by Riley SagerSurvive the Night by Riley Sager
Dutton (June 29th, 2021)
336 pages; $20.39 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Despite the fact that she is still emotionally recovering from the violent murder of her roommate and best friend by a suspected serial killer, Charlie Jordan accepts a rideshare request from a young man she’s never seen around campus before.

Readers will need to suspend copious amounts of disbelief in order to enjoy this ride, but it’s possible; for curiosity’s sake.Continue Reading

Review: Deathtripping by Andersen Prunty

cover of Deathtripping: Collected horror stories by Andersen PruntyDeathtripping by Andersen Prunty
Grindhouse Press (July 2020)
424 pages; $16.95 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film. -Lorrie Moore

I discovered Andersen Prunty during the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 when he kindly offered a few of his titles for free to quarantined/housebound readers. I read Creep House and We Don’t Talk About Her, becoming an instant fan. Prunty has an extremely unique voice and writing style, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.Continue Reading

Review: Goddess of Filth by V. Castro

cover of Goddess of Filth by V. CastroGoddess of Filth by V. Castro
Creature Publishing (March 2021)
156 pages; $14.64paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

This is a possession story with a twist. A few friends gather together to channel their inner witch vibes and unintentionally conjure up an ancient goddess. This sudden presence in the friend group causes some concern among the girls and their parents. A priest is summoned which only manages to make the situation worse and more dangerous.Continue Reading

Review: Your Turn to Suffer by Tim Waggoner

cover of your turn to suffer by tim waggonerYour Turn to Suffer by Tim Waggoner
Flame Tree Press (March 2021)
256 pages; $21.74 hardcover; $14.16 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Lori suffers from stress-induced migraines. She is enjoying a pain-free day shopping for groceries when she is approached by a woman crowding her personal space. Lori notices the woman has peculiar eyes… a slit instead of a round pupil.

“Confess and atone-or suffer.”Continue Reading

Review: Take Your Turn, Teddy by Haley Newlin

cover of Take Your Turn, Teddy by Haley NewlinTake Your Turn Teddy by Haley Newlin
New Degree Press (December 2020)
382 pages; $18.04 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Haley Newlin’s Take Your Turn, Teddy is a dark, psychological horror story exploring the manifestations of early childhood trauma. Newlin uses themes of domestic violence, anxiety, and isolation to create a provocative landscape, The Shadow, for her characters to encounter and battle. A disturbing glimpse of how a broken spirit can unleash powerful demons of the soul. Absolutely captivating, I couldn’t put it down.Continue Reading

Review: In Nightmares We’re Alone by Greg Sisco

In Nightmares We’re Alone by Greg Sisco
Off Limits Press (March 2021)
260 pages; $16 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

As far as introductions to an author’s work goes, I can’t think of a better offering than a collection of three, novellas differing in style and substance but sharing the same universe and characters.

All three tales in In Nightmares We’re Alone are told from a first person POV. Greg Sisco takes readers through a character’s own, personal nightmare as they are living it. . .alone. But they’re not really alone, are they? We are with them.Continue Reading

Mother Horror’s Top Twenty Horror Books Written by Women

banner reads women in horror

February is Women in Horror Month. Officially. But unofficially, genre buffs read horror fiction all year. It’s not even something to consider or be super intentional about, but of course the focused, extra attention women get during WiHM is important.

Eventually, the Women in Horror Month movement will take off in a more expansive direction allowing people to promote WiHM whenever and however they desire. But for now, it’s important to join together and amplify women who write horror loudly and proudly with a unified voice this month.Continue Reading

Review: Hearts Strange and Dreadful by Tim McGregor

cover of Hearts Strange and Dreadful by Tim McGregorHearts Strange and Dreadful by Tim McGregor
Off Limits Press (February 15, 2021)
276 pages; $16 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

My favorite book series for the longest time was “The Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These books were set in the American Midwest in the late 1800s.
Hearts Strange and Dreadful transports us to New England in 1821 and I, for one, could not have been more eager to make the trip back in time to this familiar era.Continue Reading

Review: The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell

The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell
Flame Tree Press (February 16th, 2021)
256 pages; hardcover $24.95; $14.95 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

“The Three Births of Daoloth” series is a trilogy that was previously released in hardcover, limited editions by PS Publishing. Now, the series is getting a reprint by Flame Tree Press and is poised to get a whole new fanbase for this epic, cosmic horror story.Continue Reading

Review: Eight Cylinders by Jason Parent

cover of Eight Cylinders by Jason ParentEight Cylinders by Jason Parent
Crystal Lake Publishing (November 2020)
124 pages; $10.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Fast cars are not my thing. That whole Fast and Furious movie franchise? Nope. Never saw those. The cover of this book with that muscle car tearing through a desert landscape and the title Eight Cylinders doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. What does appeal to me is this slim (just over one hundred pages) novella is written by Jason Parent and published by Crystal Lake Publishing. I’m a big fan of both. Crystal Lake consistently publishes quality horror and Parent has a unique storytelling style that I enjoy. Last year, I celebrated his short story, “Russian Dollhouse” from the Midnight in the Graveyard anthology.Continue Reading

Review: The Cipher by Kathe Koja

cover of The Cipher by Kathe KojaThe Cipher by Kathe Koja
Meerkat Press (September 15th, 2020)
236 pages; $17.48 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

There’s kind of this unofficial debate among readers concerning those who enjoy unlikable characters and those who need protagonists to be tolerable in order to invest in their story.

I like despicable, flawed people. I think protagonists should be as varied as the people we encounter in real life. I don’t need to like people in order to emotionally invest in their stories — sometimes, hating them is just as fun as loving them.Continue Reading

Review: The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper

cover of The Worm and His Kings by Hailey PiperThe Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
Off Limits Press (November 15th, 2020)
116 pages; $13.00 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Women in Indie Horror have a powerful voice and if that’s a surprise to you, take note of the popular Best Of Lists from horror reviewers as 2020 comes to a close. You will see these names: Laurel Hightower, Gemma Amor, Samantha Kolesnik, Sara Tantlinger, Gwendolyn Kiste, Cynthia Pelayo, V. Castro, Stephanie Ellis, Jessica Guess, Briana Morgan, and many, many more.

One name I saved for last and special mention. Hailey Piper. Hailey is one to watch. She has had a stellar year of releases starting with the breakout novella, The Possession of Natalie Glasgow. Then it was just one winner after the next: Benny Rose, The Cannibal King (Unnerving), An Invitation to Darkness (Demain Pub), and several short stories in various anthologies.Continue Reading

Interview: Catching Up with Ronald Malfi

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photo of author Ronald Malfi
Ronald Malfi

For me, an avid reader of horror who reads nothing but books in this genre day in and day out, Ronald Malfi is among the legends. He is the award-winning author of several novels, novellas, and two short story collections, and I feel like I have only scratched the surface of his work.

My introduction to his storytelling was the collection, We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone. The first story stood up and punched me square between the eyes, making me a fan for life! I highly recommend it. Later, I went on to read December Park (one of my favorite coming-of-age novels with an intense murder-mystery-thriller storyline) and Bone White (a creature-feature with heart, high-stakes, and themes of loneliness/isolation).

I’m excited that I have more Malfi books to look forward to both from his back catalog of fan-favorites and new releases. We talk about those books and more in this interview.
Continue Reading