Author: Kirsten Barger

Epeolatry Book Review: Momma Durtt by Michael Shea

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Title: Momma Durtt: A Novel
Author: Michael Shea
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Hippocampus Press
Release Date: July, 2024

Synopsis: Something strange is going on at the Quicksilver Mine in central California. Dead bodies are being dumped there; strange sounds and smells are emanating from its black depths. As increasingly bizarre phenomena occur in the area around the mine, people begin to wonder if Nature itself has turned against humanity and is rebelling at the violation of its pristine beauty. And are some of those who work in the mine actively conspiring to bring about a cataclysm that will overwhelm the region and the Earth?

Michael Shea began writing Momma Durtt in 1986. A few years later, he entered the University of San Francisco, to secure a master’s degree in its writing program, and he completed this novel as his thesis. But Momma Durtt has lain unpublished ever since. Hippocampus Press is proud to present this novel of cosmic eco-horror from the pen of one of the masters of contemporary weird fiction. With vibrant characters, racy language, and a spectacular denouement, Momma Durtt is uniquely suited to our own times, when climate change is alerting us to the dangers of tampering with Nature.

As a bonus, “Momma Durtt” (novelette version) is included as an appendix.

Michael Shea (1946–2014) is the author of the Nifft the Lean series of fantasy novels, as well as many other novels and tales of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The Autopsy: Best Weird Stories of Michael Shea was released by Hippocampus Press in 2022.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations by Carina Bissett

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Title: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations​
Author: Carina Bissett
Genre:  horror
Publisher: Trepidatio Publishing
Release Date: 9th March, 2024

Synopsis: In this powerful debut, Carina Bissett explores the liminal spaces between the magical and the mundane, horror and humor, fairy tales and fabulism. A young woman discovers apotheosis at the intersection of her cross-cultural heritage. A simulacrum rebels against her coding to create a new universe of her own making. A poison assassin tears the world apart in the relentless pursuit of her true love-the one person alive who can destroy her. Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations erases expectations, forging new trails on the map of contemporary fiction.


Includes an introduction by Julie C. Day, author of Uncommon Miracles and The Rampant.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Waterlore by Teika Marija Smits

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Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Waterlore
Author: Teika Marija Smits
Genre:Anthology; Collections; Horror; Speculative Fiction
Publisher: Black Shuck Shadows
Release Date: 30th November, 2023

Synopsis: A series of micro-collections featuring a selection of peculiar tales from the best in horror and speculative fiction.

From Black Shuck Books and Teika Marija Smits comes Waterlore, the thirty-fourth in the Black Shuck SHADOWS series.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Remedial Magic by Melissa Marr

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Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Remedial Magic
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: Romantic Fantasy; Paranormal
Publisher: Bramble Romance
Release Date: 20th February, 2024

Synopsis: The Magicians meets One Last Stop in this brand-new fantasy romance Remedial Magic, about an unassuming librarian who 1) has fallen in love with a powerful witch; 2) has discovered that she is a witch; and 3) must attend magical community college to learn how to save her new world from complete destruction by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr!

Ellie loves working in her local library in the small town of Ligonier. She loves baking scones and investigating the mysterious and captivating in her spare time. And there is nothing more mysterious and captivating than the intriguingly beautiful, too properly dressed woman sipping tea in her library who has appeared as if out of nowhere. The pull between them is undeniable, and Ellie is not sure that she wants to resist.

Prospero, a powerful witch from the magical land of Crenshaw, is often accused of being… ruthless in her goals and ambitions. But she is driven to save her dying homeland, and a prophecy tells her that Ellie is the key. Unbeknownst to Ellie, her powers have not yet awakened. But all of that is about to change.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Razor Country by Nicholas Wagner

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Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Razor Country
Author: Nicholas Wagner
Genre: Western Horror
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: 9th April, 2024

Synopsis: On the eve of World War I, a private detective investigates a series of violent crimes across the British Empire.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Twenty-Four-Hour Shift: Dark Tales from on and off the Clock by Cecilia Kennedy

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Title: Twenty-Four-Hour Shift: Dark Tales from on and off the Clock
Author: Cecilia Kennedy
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Psychological Thriller/Supernatural Mysteries
Publisher: Dark Winter Press
Release Date: 27th September, 2023

Synopsis:Punch in your time card to begin the shift. The twenty-four dark tales of short fiction in this collection explore the unsettling things that might linger on and off the clock. Here, you’ll find short stories of work-related haunts and happenings, from the truly sinister (a human-vending machine restaurant), to horror-comedy (a photo shoot with possessed bunnies). But in the hours in between, it can’t be forgotten that the roles played as parents, co-workers, and friends are no ordinary side hustle. That work never ends. And the work shift? Well, that’s the thing that makes you peek over your shoulder and ask, “What just moved?” But you have to clock in to find out.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Downpour by Christopher Hawkins

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Title: Downpour
Author: Christopher Hawkins
Publisher: Coronis Publishing
Genre:
American Horror, Supernatural Thrillers, American Literature
Release date: 15th September, 2023

Synopsis: A sudden storm appears above an isolated farmhouse in rural Illinois, bringing with it a relentless and unnatural rain. A rain that eats away at everything it touches. A rain that turns people into monsters.

Trapped inside his crumbling home, a father must do everything he can to keep his family from falling apart. But the rain calls to them, and not everyone wants to stay inside.

Haunted by memories of loss, he must put aside his painful past and find a way to keep them all safe. But the rain shows no signs of stopping, and time is running out.

From the award-winning author of Suburban Monsters comes a heartbreaking tale of survival and terror.

 

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Epeolatry Book Review: Down the Well by Joseph Blackhurst

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Title: Down the Well
Author: Joseph Blackhurst
Publisher: Independent
Genre:
American Horror, Occult Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Release date: 11th June, 2023

Synopsis: When hunters stumble upon a genocide deep in rural Kentucky, investigators unearth a mysterious cache of canvases at the scene that seem to contain the secret to solving the case – but they’re written in an unintelligible script that has the uncanny ability to drive people insane.

Immune to the sinister power of the canvases due to his color blindness, lawyer Joe Blackhurst is tasked with translating the messages and unravelling the truth behind the carnage. Joe begins to unmask the perplexing story behind the canvases creator: Richie Maltessouri, a down-on-his-luck young lawyer struggling under a mountain of debt.

Drawn deeper into an unsettling mystery, Joe finds his fate tangled with a cast of strange characters – including a handicapped painter with seemingly supernatural skills, a rude barista, and a camgirl. As he peels away the layers of Richie’s enigmatic story, he finds himself flirting closer and closer with madness.

And when the trail of canvases leads him to an old, dark well, Joe knows that the answers that have been tormenting him lie deep at the bottom – if he can bring himself to face them…

Step into a gripping paranormal thriller that artfully weaves together edge-of-your-seat suspense, stunning prose, and a dash of disturbing horror. Down The Well is an unforgettable read that’s perfect for fans of experimental novels from authors like Mark Z. Danielewski.

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