Category: Articles

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches

Pandemic Book Launches and Hot Off the Indie Press  29.05.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press. This one carries all sorts of posts from indie publishers to ‘promote sales, sales and opportunities for authors’ amongst other things, if you want to see what they’re up to and what’s available, check it out here.  

If you buy, please also consider leaving reviews for the authors and even dropping them a line on twitter or their websites to have a chat with them about the book.

Pandemic Book Launches 

 *** Charity Anthologies ***

     Diabolica Britannica, ed Keith Anthony Baird. Raising money for the NHS. More details soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

     The Stain by Ruschelle Dillon, pub. Black Bed Sheet Books, 16th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

          Crazy Times by Scott Cole, pub Grindhouse Press, 18th May 20202. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

     Dark Blood Comes from the Feet by Emma J. Gibbon, pub Journalstone, 22nd May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

   Strange Days: Midnight Street Anthology 4, ed Trevor Denyer, pub. Midnight Street Press, 20th May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

Son of Grendell: A Battle for the Wastelands novella by Matthew Quinn, pub. 25th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

      Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, pub. Crystal Lake Publishing, 26th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One (Nightmareland Chronicles Book 1) by [Daniel Barnett]

 

 

    Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One by Daniel Barnet, pub 31st May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Note: Daniel is donating all 2020 royalties to No Kid Hungry.

 

 

June

       The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales by Christopher Stanley, pub The Arcanist Press, 1st June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

A Stranger's Guide by [Charlotte Platt]

 

 

    A Stranger’s Guide by Charlotte Platt, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 2nd June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

What Hell May Come Cover

 

    What Hell May Come by Rex Hurst, pub Crystal Lake Publishing, 12th June, 2020.

 

Devil's Creek by [Todd Keisling]

 

    Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 16th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

   C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 2) pub Red Cape Publishing , 24th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Normal by Benjamin Langley, pub Bloodshot books, June 2020.

July

Slaves to Gravity by Wesley Southard and Somer Canon, pub. Silver Shamrock Publishing. Due July.

 

 

Curse of the Pigman by Asher Ellis, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 20th July, 2020.

August

Belle Vue by Cheryl Alleyne, pub Crystal Lake Publishing. 25th August, 2020.

 

 

 

Future Releases (note: dates not always available)

CF Final Front Cover

The Crying Forest by Venero Armanno, pub IFWG Publishing Australia.

 

 

Midnight in the Pentagram, ed Kenneth W, Cain, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing.

 

 

No photo description available.

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower, pub Off Limits Press, 10th August 2020.

 

 

 

 

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Epeolatry Book Review: Dark Divinations: A Horror Anthology

Disclosure:

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: Dark Divinations
Author: ed Naching T. Kassa
Genre: Gothic Horror
Publisher: HorrorAddicts
Release Date: 1st May, 2020

Synopsis: It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The séance has begun. Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination. Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse? From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better left unknown. Choose your fate.Choose your DARK DIVINATION.With stories by: Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe L. Murr, Emerian Rich, Naching T. Kassa, Michael Fassbender, Jon O’Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill, Rie Sheridan Rose, Daphne Strasert, Alan Fisher, and Jeremy Megargee

This anthology contains fourteen tales all set in Victorian times; each story begins with the location (UK or USA ) and the year it is set. The authors are a mix of Brits and Americans too. The theme of the anthology is hinted at in the title – all manner of divination methods are explored in these tales. We have scrying, (mirrors/bowls), entrail reading, fortune-telling penny slot automata machines, seances, tasseography (reading tea leaves), human seers, animals who can prophesy the future and voodoo spells. The choice of ways in which the characters try to foretell their future or discover hidden secrets is rich and dizzying. 

This sort of read is very much up my dark historical alleyway- loving, as I do, all things Victorian, supernatural and gas lit. 

The stories are very strong on conjuring the era – some capturing the ‘voice’ of the times more effectively than others; I did read the occasional jarring line of rather modern speech or phrasing but overall I could happily believe I was back in the era of crinolines, tea parties, arranged marriages, horses and carriages, or the American Civil War.

Two of the stories, (one by the editor Kassa) and the other by Jeremy Megargee reference two of the most famous myths of the Victorian era; one fact, the other fictional. I won’t say more due to spoilers. I wasn’t entirely sure about including these in the anthology, as though both were well written, I think the other stories with freer range in material, worked better.

There wasn’t a story I didn’t enjoy in the anthology- a couple did seem to end a little abruptly and didn’t feel fully finalised to this reader. However I do want to mention a few of my favourites, always a personal choice I realise.

Alan Fisher’s “The Moat House Cob” is set in the Tower of London for a start which piqued my interest and is possibly the most unusual and original take on the anthology’s theme and is memorable, especially as I have, (like the main character) intense arachnophobia! The Cob is not what you might think it is by the way.

Hannah Hulbert’s opening story, “Power and Shadow” (set in my home town of Norwich!) – for the depiction of the dominating Mother and the rather nice clever twist in its ending.

Jon O’Bergh’s “The Bell”- don’t want to give too much away here but if you suffer from claustrophobia and/or taphophobia- be warned – this story will not make you feel better.

Stephanie Ellis’ “Romany Rose”- a fully realised world within this story, a lovely depiction of the street urchins and the ending packs a punch.

Shout out to the cover artist, Kladyk, for the stunningly gorgeous image which I’d have as a poster in my study no problem

Quick word about – I did spot a few typos and editing errors; in some of the stories more than others.                                                                                                                  

I would like to thank the editor for sending me an E-ARC for the purposes of me writing a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Here Is How To Find A Book Without Knowing The Title Or Author

Ever have trouble finding a book that you’ve read before? You know what it is about but have no recollection of the title or author? It turns out, the ability to discover this is a little easier than you’d imagine. The above video really covers how to find a book from knowing an activity within it, what the cover looked like, and a variety of other features.

The list of resources explained in the video above are featured here:
Google Book Search: https://books.google.com/advanced_boo… BookFinder: https://www.bookfinder.com/ WorldCat: https://www.worldcat.org/ The Library of Congress, Ask a Librarian: https://catalog.loc.gov/ https://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-co… Amazon book search and Jungle Search: https://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Searc… https://www.jungle-search.com/ Ask for help on the internet: https://www.abebooks.com/docs/Communi… https://www.goodreads.com/ https://www.librarything.com/

On top of that, the details were fleshed out in an article over at Make Use Of which you can check out today!

There are a lot of useful tips here. Do you have any others which they didn’t featured you’d like to see us write about? Are any of these new resources you haven’t used before? Let us know in the comments below!

Epeolatry Book Review: Infected 2: Tales to Read Alone – Charity Anthology

Disclosure:

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: Infected 2: Tales to Read Alone
Author: ed. Steve Dillon
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Things in the Well
Release Date: 17th April, 2020

Synopsis: Our second collection of terrifying tales set in the very near future… or perhaps it’s already here? It’s an infected apocalypse and we’re all (alone) in it together! 100% of proceeds will go the Save the Children Response. Features short stories by: F. Paul Wilson | John Palisano | Mark Towse | R.J. Meldrum | Rebecca Fraser | Tabby Stirling | Pochassi | Patrick J. Gallagher | Paul Alex Gray | Claire Fitzpatrick | Tom Prince | Louise Zedda-Sampson | Brianna Courtney Bullen | T.C. Phillips | Edward Ahern | Calvin Demmer | Chris Mason | Catherine McCarthy | Brian Bowyer | Eugene Johnson | Shaun Taylor | Noel Osualdini | Irene Punti | Gerri Leen | Tracy Fahey | Eric J. Guignard | Yash Seyedbagheri | Steve Dillon

Infected 2:  Tales to Read Alone is an anthology of pandemic proportions. It’s a competitive collection with a focus on the fearful spread of contagion. The book is also a fundraiser for Save the Children’s Coronavirus Response, and I can assure donors that they will be treated to adventures of the mind with their generous contributions. There is something in these tales for every horror reader’s preference. Although the title is Tales to Read Alone, the lasting effect of the book is that we’re not alone in this unprecedented time of lockdown with no toilet paper. 

The stories dare to explore possible outcomes like cannibalism, military control, and body scanners. “The Obscenity Carrier Pigeon” by Brianna Courtney Bullen suggested mandatory execution of Terms and Conditions in order to be released from quarantine. I’ve already had to put my name to a disclaimer acknowledging that masks will be worn by all who enter my place of employment. Who’s to say that more intrusive demands won’t happen?  

I felt the helplessness and hopelessness and sometimes, the resolve to conquer the invisible antagonist. Intense migraine headaches, flesh-eating diseases, and maddening itchiness paved the road to insanity. Cloud contamination, deliberate infection of holy water – there were no boundaries in this anthology. The shock value wasn’t as powerful for me as it would have been during another time when I wasn’t smack in the middle of this incredible coronavirus crisis that’s begun to desensitize me.

There were a few stories that fell short of leaving an impact with me, but the majority were compelling, thought-provoking, and even educational. I was presented with the what-if of comets and tidal waves in “Numb” by John Palisano. Calvin Demmer took the phrase “seeing red” to another level in “Red.” The surgical procedure in “Head Womb” by Brian Bowyer fascinated me, partly because I’ve survived a decompressive craniotomy. I swear I heard the squishes and suctions during Dr. Singh’s operation.

I relished the historical aspect of “The Music from the Rue de l’Eglise” by Claire Fitzpatrick. There were other stories in the book meant to take place in a previous time period, but they missed the mark as far as creating setting, characters or dialogue that kept me there. “The Music from the Rue de l’Eglise” entrenched me in 1794 Paris.

“The Plague Doctor” by T. C. Phillips was one of my favorites in this collection. The main character, Doctor Sait accurately described the Apathy Virus, which reduced intense emotional reactions, as an enemy. Its threat manifested not in nuclear weapons, but in the house next door, and inside riders on the bus. The doctor found herself locked out of her own laboratory. Does she find a cure for the pestilence, or will she lose her ability to care?

My top pick in Infected 2 is “Lysing Toward Bethlehem” by F. Paul Wilson. The point of view was that of a contagion that the reader followed throughout a body.  I had flashbacks of an exhibit I once toured called “The Human Body” that amazed me with all of the inner workings under the skin. Wilson’s words roared through the pages, swirling and tumbling inside the human structure.

As my bibliophilic journey of Infected 2 came to an end, unexpected and insightful poetry escorted me quietly out of its uncontrolled chaos. The authors spoke their minds about pandemic captivity and the dark places it took them. I bonded with the honesty in the poems, which helped tip the 4 rating into a 4.5.

Available on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

For more information, go to Things in the Well.

Interview with Juliana Rew, Publisher and Editor of Third Flatiron Publishing

As we all strive to find inspiration and cope during this unprecedented world pandemic, Third Flatiron is releasing an anthology we can all appreciate. 

 

Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses takes tales from twenty authors about their visions of a brighter future. A mixture of fantasy and science-fiction, these stories explore how life might change with increasing use of social media, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, space exploration, and medical advances. 

 

Third Flatiron Publishing opened its doors in 2012 and has dual headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and Ayr, Scotland. I had the opportunity to connect with the Publisher and Editor Juliana Rew when she accepted one of my short stories for Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses -available for pre-order now on Smashwords and for purchase June 1.

 

Juliana Rew is no stranger to exploring the world of science with a background working for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Geological of America as a former science and technical writer. We explore the world of publishing in these tough times and what is exciting her in the future.

 

AF: What was your inspiration for this anthology?

 

JR: Although the idea pre-dates the current coronavirus pandemic, we felt it was time for a positive-themed anthology. Luckily, our authors rose to the occasion. It’s currently available for pre-order on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1023097, and readers can set their own price (even free!).

 

AF: How is the present Pandemic affecting the production of Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses?

 

JR: It has slowed down our production process a bit, but nothing serious. We’ll probably only do three “issues” this year instead of our usual four.

 

AF: What do you do as a day job?

 

JR: I am a retired technical editor and software engineer, and have been publishing quarterly SFFH anthologies since 2012.

 

AF: Can you tell me more about your background and how you got interested in Speculative Fiction?

 

JR: I was formally trained as a staff editor at the Geological Society of America, which is where I learned the art of bookmaking. So, when electronic publishing became popular, it was easy for me to dive in. I also worked as a programmer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, so I heard about global warming, straight from the horses’ mouths. I’ve always loved science fiction, and I wanted to “give back” by publishing SF by other authors as well as trying my hand at writing fiction.

 

AF: What kind of writing do you do yourself and where have you been published?

 

JR: I’ve been published in around 20 short story anthologies, as well as in a YA SF novella series (Dragon Stead). More recently, I’ve published a historical fantasy set in 1880s Colorado Territory (“Mountain Ma’am”), and two high-concept space opera novels in the “Unwinding” series. My latest one comes out in August, entitled, “Extremophile: Violet Rain.” More info’s at my author page: www.julianarew.com

 

AF: How do you find time to write/do your own publishing?

 

JR: I belong to a local writers’ critique group, which helps keep me on track with my own writing. And of course, it’s always fun to see what other writers are doing when we open up Third Flatiron anthologies for submissions on various themes.

 

AF: Is there any profit margin in publishing anthologies?

 

JR: Heck, no. Why would you even ask that? I do try to market via social media, like Twitter, Facebook, and the website at www.thirdflatiron.com. We mostly publish on Amazon, although the upcoming book will be published on Smashwords, so that we can give it away for free. It’ll be our little way of thanking our readers and helping people on a tight budget these days.

 

AF: What sort of stories and/or writing are you looking for?

 

JR: I have a small cadre of First Readers in Colorado, who help out with the submissions and proofreading. We each have our personal tastes (I like Pratchett-style humor and dislike zombies), but in general I would characterize our books as offering fresh speculative takes. Mild horror is fine, but nothing too graphic (think PG-13).

 

AF: What is really exciting you in the speculative fiction field currently?

 

JR: I’m encouraged to see more women rising to the top of the science fiction/fantasy field, especially Nnedi Okorafor, Aliette de Bodard, Jo Walton, and Ada Palmer, to name a few. In my personal reading, I’ve been dipping into old classic horror/dark fantasy tales, such as by M. R. James, Manley Wade Wellman, and Lord Dunsany. They show there’s more than one way to deal with your surroundings.

 

AF: What are your plans for your press in the future?

 

JR: Since our press is partly a family enterprise, we hope to keep publishing by sharing the work with our “Scotland contingent.” My daughter does the artwork, while her husband does the audio engineering for our podcasts.

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches

Pandemic Book Launches and Hot Off the Indie Press  22.05.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press. This one carries all sorts of posts from indie publishers to ‘promote sales, sales and opportunities for authors’ amongst other things, if you want to see what they’re up to and what’s available, check it out here.  

If you buy, please also consider leaving reviews for the authors and even dropping them a line on twitter or their websites to have a chat with them about the book.

Pandemic Book Launches 

 *** Charity Anthologies ***

Black Dogs, Black Tales - Where the Dogs Don’t Die: A Charity Anthology for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand by [Tabatha Wood, Kaaron Warren, Alan Baxter, Matthew R. Davis, Hari Navarro, John Linwood Grant, P.J. Blakey-Novis, Steve Dillon, J.C. Hart, Melanie Harding-Shaw]

Black Dogs, Black Tales ed. Tabatha Wood, pub Things in the Well17th May, 2020. Raising money for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

April

    The Balance by Kev Harrison, pub LVP Publications, 28th April 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

May

 

    Dark Divinations, ed. Naching T. Kassa, pub HorrorAddicts, 1st May 2020. Purchase options given at HorrorAddicts here.

   Northern Lights, Southern Stars by C. S. Johnson, audiobook, 1st May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

Don’t Smell the Flowers! They Want to Steal Your Bones! by Duncan P. Bradshaw, pub EyeCue Productions, 1st May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

    HunHunger on the Chisholm Trail by [M. Ennenbach]ger on the Chisholm Trail by M. Ennenbach, pub Death’s Head Press, 2nd May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

    Pandemic: Horrors Written In Lockdown by Matt Shaw, pub 11th May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

    B is for Beasts (A to Z of Horror Book 2) pub Red Cape Publishing, 13th May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

          Crazy Times by Scott Cole, pub Grindhouse Press, 18th May 20202. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

     Dark Blood Comes from the Feet by Emma J. Gibbon, pub Journalstone, 22nd May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One (Nightmareland Chronicles Book 1) by [Daniel Barnett]

    Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One by Daniel Barnet, pub 31st May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Note: Daniel is donating all 2020 royalties to No Kid Hungry.

 

 

 

June

A Stranger's Guide by [Charlotte Platt]

 

 

    A Stranger’s Guide by Charlotte Platt, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 2nd June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

What Hell May Come Cover

 

    What Hell May Come by Rex Hurst, pub Crystal Lake Publishing, 12th June, 2020.

 

 

Devil's Creek by [Todd Keisling]

 

    Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 16th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

 

   C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 2) pub Red Cape Publishing , 24th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Normal by Benjamin Langley, pub Bloodshot books, June 2020.

July

Slaves to Gravity by Wesley Southard and Somer Canon, pub. Silver Shamrock Publishing. Due July.

 

 

 

August

Belle Vue by Cheryl Alleyne, pub Crystal Lake Publishing. 25th August, 2020.

 

 

 

 

Future Releases (note: dates not always available)

 

The Stain by Ruschelle Dillon, pub Black Bed Sheet Books.

 

 

 

CF Final Front Cover

The Crying Forest by Venero Armanno, pub IFWG Publishing Australia.

 

 

 

 

Midnight in the Pentagram, ed Kenneth W, Cain, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing.

 

 

 

 

No photo description available.Crossroads by Laurel Hightower, pub Off Limits Press, 10th August 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Epeolatry Book Review: Highland Cove

Disclosure:

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: Highland Cove
Author: Dylan J. Morgan
Genre: Horror
Publisher: DJM Entertainment
Release Date: 30th March, 2020

Synopsis: Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder. The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives. But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.

Think Overlook Hotel, “1408,” Rose Red.  I love haunted houses, buildings, rooms.  Anyone who craves the same will find this book well worth their reading time.

Codie Jackson leads a filming expedition for Webb Enterprises.  He and four others are going to produce a documentary on a desolate mental asylum only accessible by boat.  Captain O’Connell reluctantly sails them as close as he dares to the asylum.  And that was their first clue; the ghost tales of former residents – former inmates – who still haunt the building might have some truth to them.

This story had everything a novel about a desolate haunted establishment needs – fierce thunderstorms, broken windows, decades of debris scattered throughout.  I sensed the cold chill moving through my body, heard the whispers, and recoiled at the icy touches.  The night I finished the chapter where the wheelchair first moved on its own, I felt it best to sleep with the nightlight on.

The depraved history of the asylum and its deranged doctor is unfolded as secret documents are discovered. Five central characters each suffer through their own trauma, and Morgan keeps the obstacles coming.  Maybe they’ll survive.  Maybe the tormented souls that came before them will swallow them in the darkness.

“The hunt was sweeter than the kill – that’s why cats played with mice before slaughtering them.”  That statement proved all kinds of truth regarding an antagonist who is everything I love to hate – arrogant, condescending and merciless.

Each chapter of this book served a purpose and kept my trepidation from resting.  I didn’t expect the ending, least of all the character in it.  

A 5-star thriller!

Available on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

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