COUPON CODE!

Get $5 off your pre-order of THE READER'S ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR THIRD EDITION. Click here and enter RAGH21 at checkout. Works with your ALA Member Discount also.

Summer Scares 2019 Resources

Click here to immediately access the Summer Scares FAQ and Resource page so that you can add some professionally vetted horror titles into your reading suggestions and fiction collections for all age levels.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

#Horror For Libraries Giveaway #56: Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Today's giveaway is an upcoming fantasy-horror hybrid novella that I gave a STAR review to in the October issue of Library Journal. Since the review went up early, and is free to all because it is a star, I am giving it away today. But first, here is how to enter:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. Meaning you enter once, and you are entered until you win. I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that  week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

Click here to see giveaway #55. The winner was Sarah from Poudre River [CO] Public Library District. 

And now on to my latest giveaway.

I love the Tor.Com Publishing line of novellas. I have never read a bad one, especially those that are from the Dark Fantasy and Horror genres. So, when I saw the announcement of Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn I knew I wanted to review it. 

Please click here to read my STAR review in the October issue of Library Journal. Since it is a STAR, the review is free for all to view. I was very proud of the review. This is a book for which you cannot give away any of the plot both because it is so short and it is a joy to watch it unfold. But it is also a book that is all about how the story is told. I think I captured that in my limited word count. Again click here for the full review, but you can also see my Goodreads notes below:

Three Words That Describe This Book: captivating, disquieting, all senses engaged

Many reviews say how you can't say much about this book in a review beyond the set up in the plot summary, I didn't understand until I finished. This is correct.

There is so much here in 100 pages. All five senses are engaged when reading. It is both spare and lyrical, dense and easy to follow. Like the very best of stories it allows you to feel actual feelings but also leaves you desperately wanting more.

Dark fantasy that laps at the edges of horror-- tentacles from the sea and razorfangs from the sky

Readalikes: other novellas from Tor.com that walk the line between dark fantasy and horror and also leave you wanting so much more-- Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma and Black God's Drum by P. Djeil Clark

I cannot stress enough that the only thing wrong with this one-sitting read is that after you finish, you want more. But that's why it was so great. I want to be left wanting more and feeling real emotions; it did both.

Enter to win an ARC for yourself today. Thanks to the publisher for the copy.

And FYI, all of my October reviews are up on the LJ site but I am going to wait until October 1st to post them as a kick off for 31 Days of Horror.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway #55: 2 Horror Adjacent Titles

Today's giveaway includes a new collection of weird fiction by a trusted small press and a popular Horror adjacent SF that came out this week But first, here is how to enter:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. Meaning you enter once, and you are entered until you win. I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that  week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

 Click here to see giveaway #54. The winner was Corban from Maricopa [AZ] County Library District. 

And now on to my latest giveaway.

In the upcoming 9/15/21 issue of Booklist I will have a glowing review of Among the Lillies by Daniel Mills. I was unfamiliar with Mills but Undertow Publications sent me this book unsolicited. I have been very impressed by their collections up to this point, so I agreed to squeeze it in. 

In the meantime, I am not the only one to give this press accolades. As I reported here, Undertow Publication won the This is Horror Award for Publisher of the Year.

Back to this book specifically, I was impressed because one, the stories were very enjoyable and well constructed, and two, I knew they would have wide appeal. 

They are light on gore but high on anxiety, and while mostly falling within the Horror umbrella, the stories definitely play with the genre confines in a satisfying way. I suggest this collection for fans of Alma Katsu or Andy Davidson-- who have wide appeal as well.

My Three Words-- expertly controlled unease, strong narrative voice, unsettling format choices

Definitely worth a purchase. This is a finished copy, so the winner can add I to their collections immediately.

To sweeten the pot today, I also have my ARC of Dare to Know by James Kennedy, the YA author's adult debut. Click here for the Quirk Books page on this just released title and for a blurb by horror author Daniel Kraus. 

Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted–for a price.

Our narrator is the most talented salesman at Dare to Know, a prestigious and enigmatic company in the death-prediction business. While he has mastered the art of death, the rest of his life is an abject failure. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he's driven to violate the cardinal rule of his business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: apparently he died 23 minutes ago. 

The only person who can confirm his prediction is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, our narrator is forced to confront his past, the choices he's made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for--and his role there.

Highly ambitious and totally immersive, this adrenaline-fueled thriller explores the destructive power of knowledge and collapses the boundaries between reality, myth, and conspiracy as it races toward its stunning conclusion.

I am guessing you have this title already, but there are probably holds. In many ways it is more chilling than a traditional Horror title because the concept, while still 100% speculative, feels 100% possible. 

This will make an excellent giveaway for fans of Blake Crouch. 

Big thanks to Undertow Publications and Quirk Books for providing these books to me so that I can give them away to you.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway #54: Ramsey Campbell Novel and a Steve Berman Collection

Today's giveaway includes the second book in Ramsey Campbell's epic and critically acclaimed  second book in his Three Births of Daoloth Trilogy and a new collection of queer horror by a well known small press owner.  And both have reviews to help you hand-sell these titles. But first, here is how to enter:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. Meaning you enter once, and you are entered until you win.I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that  week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

Click here to see giveaway #52. The winner was late to respond due to vacation, but it was Aaron from Altadena Library District [CA]. Click here to see giveaway #53. The winner was Miranda from Joliet Public Library [IL]. 

And now on to my latest giveaway.

Ramsey Campbell is Britain's great living horror author and also a genuinely nice human. [One of my fondest StokerCon memories is spending the dinner preceding the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony in Providence sandwiched between him and his wife and Caitlin Kiernan and their wife.] And of all the books he has written, published, and won awards for, his Three Births of Daoloth Trilogy is his most personal [and has won a bunch of awards]. The trilogy has already been published in England, and it is now being released by Flame Tree Press here in America. 

Last year I reviewed the first book in the series in Library Journal. Here is a snippet of that review:
The Searching Dead, a finalist in the Horror category for the British Fantasy Award, is a slow burn with a fantastic pay off, this intense and menacing story framed by superior world building is a good suggestion for fans of It by King or the African Immortals series by Due.

Born to the Dark is book two and as the reviews and as critics have proclaimed across the pond, this is a title worth your time. The Flame Tree Press paperback American releases of this seminal, coming of age, Horror series are an excellent addition to all public libraries. Thanks to the publisher for this ARC. 

And don't forget, Flame Tree Press is one of my top Horror independent presses for libraries. They are distributed by S&S and you can stay on top of their catalog and read e-ARCs via Edelweiss. In general, I suggest adding all of their titles. They are well edited, easy to procure through your normal methods, hold up to multiple checkouts, and represent the breadth of scares and frames that today's Horror offers readers. 

Now on to a smaller press title, but one that is worth your effort to obtain. Fit for Consumption: Stories Both Queer and Horrifying is a story collection by Steve Berman who is also the owner of Lethe Press whose tag line is, "we're queer and you better be okay with that."

My colleague Cody Daigle-Orians reviewed this collection in the current issue of Library Journal. Here is a snippet from that glowing review:
Appetite is everything in Berman’s (Lambda Literary Award winner for His Seed) lush collection of dark queer tales that map the territory between a body that craves and the one it hungers for. It’s a wide-ranging offering of stories, from flamboyant tales that bring to mind Poe and Lovecraft, to quieter, introspective ones that feel piercingly autobiographical.

VERDICT Readers hungry for something dark and queer will find much to chew on in Berman’s bold collection.
Thank you to Lethe Press for a copy of this book to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Enter today and you can win both of these excellent titles. And whether you win or not, I suggest adding them to your collections. Both are out this month!

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

This Is Horror Award Winners

This week This Is Horror [one of my top resources for the genre] released their awards. Click here for the winners. And here for my Horror Awards index page which links to all nominees and winners past and present.

I have also re-posted the winners announcement below. But seriously consider visiting the Horror Awards page for a fuller picture of the horror landscape. Also, a final note, I have reviews of all of the winning books and a few collections by the winning publisher all here. Or just search the general blog by title or publisher.



Novel of the Year

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones - cover

Winner: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Runner-up: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“Couldn’t be more thrilled, more honored, for The Only Good Indians to somehow be lucking into a This is Horror Award. Elk is the international language, maybe? No, no. Maybe terror is. Dread. Horror. But also redemption and hope, and all the good things. Because horror’s never just about the bad. Thanks to all the readers, the voters, for this, and thanks to my agent, BJ Robbins, and my editor at Saga, Joe Monti. None of this without y’all.”

—Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians
THIS IS HORROR NOVEL OF THE YEAR

Novella of the Year

Crossroads

Winner: Crossroads by Laurel Hightower
Runner-up: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Short Story Collection of the Year

children of the fang and other genealogies by john langan

Winner: Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies by John Langan
Runner-up: Velocities by Kathe Koja

Anthology of the Year

Miscreations Doug Murano and Michael Bailey

Winner: Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors, edited by Doug Murano and Michael Bailey
Runner-up: Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror, edited by Samantha Kolesnik

Fiction Magazine of the Year

Nightmare Magazine November 2020

Winner: Nightmare Magazine
Runner-up: The Dark

“It is such an honor to be recognized by the This Is Horror community! There are so many terrific magazines doing fantastic work in horror right now—it’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in the genre, and we just love doing it. We feel so grateful to all our wonderful readers, our talented creators, our amazing staff, and of course to Bob and Michael and the entire This Is Horror team. Thanks everyone!”

—Wendy N. Wagner, Nightmare Magazine Editor-in-Chief
THIS IS HORROR FICTION MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

Publisher of the Year

Undertow Publications

Winner: Undertow Publications
Runner-up: Death’s Head Press

“Wow! We’re absolutely thrilled to be named “Publisher of the Year” in the This is Horror Awards. A bit stunned, as well. Truly a great and humbling honour. Thank you to Michael David Wilson, Bob Pastorella, and the This is Horror team, and all the readers. Thanks to everyone who voted for us. This is especially gratifying considering the strength of this category. Congratulations to all my fellow nominees. Publishing is a truly collaborative endeavour, with a bunch of moving parts, so thank you to the writers, the readers, the librarians, the designers, the artists, the editors, the proofreaders, the booksellers, and the reviewers who help keep the wheel turning.”

—Michael Kelly, Undertow Publications publisher
THIS IS HORROR PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR

Fiction Podcast of the Year

the other stories by hawk and cleaver

Winner: The Other Stories (Hawk & Cleaver)
Runner-up: NIGHTLIGHT: A Horror Fiction Podcast

Nonfiction Podcast of the Year

Winner: Ink Heist
Runner-up: Post Mortem with Mick Garris

Cover Art of the Year

Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley, cover by Todd Keisling

Winner: Todd Keisling for Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley
Runner-up: Mike Davis for grotesquerie by Richard Gavin

Thursday, September 2, 2021

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway #53: Two Books-- A New Cult Horror and a Bonus Buzz Worthy SF

Today's giveaway is a doozy. The second novel by this year's Bram Stoker Winner for Best First Novel and a bonus "defiantly joyful speculative adventure" for fans of John Scalzi. Here is how to enter:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that  week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

Click here to see giveaway #52. A winner was picked but they have yet to respond, so I may pick 2 winners tomorrow. 

I have a huge stack of physical ARCs to giveaway as the Spooky Season begins in earnest so let's get to it with a 2-fer to kick off the speculative fun.

First up, is Children of Demeter by E.K. Knight. Knight won the the 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel for The Fourth Whore. Both titles are put out by Raw Dog Screaming Press who are one of my favorite independent presses [see the full list here]. Their books are well made, of excellent writing quality, and easy to get though our normal ordering channels. Please check out their other titles.

Summary of Children of Demeter via Goodreads: 

In 1973, a commune of almost twenty-five people—mostly women and children—disappeared overnight from the small town of West Burma, WI. What happened to the hippie Children of Demeter has remained a mystery until this day, which is what draws Sarah Bisset, a sociologist on sabbatical, to the place.

With her personal life in ruins Sarah is more than happy to lose herself in the secrets of the isolated farmhouse, but soon those revelations have her questioning her own identity, and even her sanity. Is she prepared to navigate the labyrinth of lies and cover ups to expose the truth concealed inside Demeter House despite the consequences?
Children of Demeter is an excellent, female fueled, cult horror story. Cult horror is very popular right now. I mean it always has been, but it is getting a marketed bump in readership right now. Check out this recent list from Book Riot of great cult horror and add this new title to the list. Side note, I have read just about every title on that Book Riot list and can confirm they are excellent and should be in your collections.

This is also a great example of a frame that would make a great display because it crosses many genres. There are a lot of readers who love cult stories and not all of them read horror. Not all cult stories are horror, but for people who really love the cult frame, genre doesn't matter, so these horror novels may be perfect. By the way, to this list I would also add a title I enjoyed very much and gave away here on the blog over a year ago [giveaway 14], The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie

You can combine the Book Riot list with this Goodreads user generated list of books tagged "cults" to get a broader list of "cult" titles for all readers. Novelist also has "cults" as a searchable subject meaning you can also extend this list to your YA and Children's' display areas too. I do love when a display subject can be highlighted across a building. You can even have the AV department do movies and TV shows. I promise this will be very popular displays.

As a bonus, I have a copy of one of the buzziest speculative books coming this month. It is not scary but I am in a good mood and wanted to spread some of that joy. Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki is from Tor [who sent me the ARC] to give away to all of you. Here is the publisher summary via Goodreads:

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.
This book comes out on 9/28 and it is going to be popular. I am happy to provide it as a bonus for those who enter.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway 52: Brand New Bentley Little

After a few weeks off, the #HorrorForLibraries giveaway is back and we have many amazing titles coming between now and Halloween. Hold on to your hats and get your self entered. Here is how:

  1. You need to be affiliated with an American public library. My rationale behind that is that I will be encouraging you to read these books and share them with patrons. While many of them are advanced reader copies that you cannot add to your collections, if you get the chance to read them, my hope is that you will consider ordering a copy for your library and give away the ARC away as a prize or pass it on to a fellow staff member.
  2. If you are interested in being included in any giveaway at any time, you must email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "#HorrorForLibraries." In the body of the email all you have to say is that you want to be entered and the name of your library.
  3. Each entry will be considered for EVERY giveaway. I will randomly draw a winner on Fridays sometime after 5pm central. But only entries received by 5pm each week will be considered for that  week. I use Random.org and have a member of my family witness the "draw"based off your number in the Google Sheet.
  4. If you win, you are ineligible to win again for 4 weeks; you will have to re-enter after that time to be considered [I have a list of who has won, when, and what title]. However, if you do not win, you carry over into the next week. There is NO NEED to reenter.

Click here to see giveaway #51. Our winner was Melissa from Niles-Maine District Library [IL].


This week I have an ARC of the brand new Bentley Little novel, Gloria, courtesy of the publisher, Cemetery Dance and coming 10/21/21!

Stephen King says: "When it comes to horror, nobody does what Bentley Little does.... Scary, funny, weird, satiric, fucking surreal."

Gloria: A New Novel

by Bentley Little

Also to be published as an eBook!

About the Book:
Considering she had just attended her mother's funeral, Gloria Jaymes never expected to see the woman again, but then her dead mom shows up at her house.

Gloria's mom is... different. She's younger than when she died, dressed in clothes from the 1980s. And nobody else in Gloria's family seems to recognize her.

As Gloria tries to figure out the reason for her mother's reappearance — and the odd behaviors the woman begins to exhibit — other bizarre events occur. The changes to Gloria's world are small and subtle, at first... then they become much more startling.

The freaky situation might just be connected to a mysterious shed in a small California town. The strangers who gather around the shed seem to know Gloria's name... and maybe they aren't strangers after all.

With Gloria, Bentley Little presents one of his most complex and compelling novels — one that is certain to surprise readers on every page. 

Published as a trade hardcover:
• Printed on acid-free paper
• Bound in cloth with colored head and tail bands
• Featuring hot foil stamping on the front boards and spine
• Wrapped in a full-color dust jacket
• Retail price just $25

Get this one on order now! Every Little novel is a must add to all public library collections:

Good luck! 

Monday, August 23, 2021

2021 Splatter Punk Awards Announced

On Saturday KillerCon happened, virtually. At this event the Splatterpunk awards are given out. Click here for all of the nominees and here for backlist nominees and winners. Below is the full press release with this year's winners.

These winners are titles you need to add. One, True Crime, I featured in my October 2020 Readers' Shelf column in Library Journal here, but all are excellent choices for general public library collections. Yes they are technically, "Extreme" Horror, but if you have a single erotica title [and I know every single one of you has 50 Shades of Grey so the answer is, yes you do], you can have these titles.

Show your Horror readers that you are thinking of them by having award winning titles available for them to check out.

Also, don't forget, I have a page on this blog which archives all of the major Horror Awards.


Founders Wrath James White and Brian Keene announced the winners of the 4th annual Splatterpunk Awards — honoring honoring superior achievement in horror fictions’ Splatterpunk and Extreme Horror categories published in 2020 — on Saturday, August 21, 2021.

The Splatterpunk Award nominations are suggested by readers and fans. The final ballot is made up of the top seven nominations for each category. Then, a rotating jury of critics and academics read the works on the ballot and vote on the winners.

The winners for this year are:

Best Novel: The Magpie Coffin - Wile E. Young (Deaths Head Press)
Best Novella: True Crime - Samantha Kolesnik (Grindhouse Press)
Best Short Story: “My Body” - Wesley Southard (from Midnight In The Pentagram, Silver Shamrock Publishing)
Best Collection: The Essential Sick Stuff - Ronald Kelly (Silver Shamrock Publishing)
Best Anthology: Worst Laid Plans - Samantha Kolesnik (Grindhouse Press)

In addition, John Skipp was presented with the J.F. Gonzalez Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous LAA recipients are David J. Schow, David G. Barnett, and Edward Lee.

White and Keene also announced the formation of the Splatterpunk Awards Hall of Fame - a physical, traveling memorial and showcase honoring those who have left their mark on the fields of Splatterpunk and Extreme Horror. The initial Splatterpunk Award Hall of Fame Inductees will be: David J. Schow, David Barnett, Edward Lee, John Skipp. Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Charlee Jacob, John Pelan, and J.F. Gonzalez. The Hall of Fame will debut in Austin, Texas next August.