Summer Scares Resources

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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

31 Days of Horror: Day 4-- Becky's October 2023 Library Journal Column

Yesterday and today, I have been posting access to my draft reviews in the October issues of Library Journal and Booklist. In all I have 12 reviews that are going live this week. Sorry not sorry about exploding your TBR. Today it is my October Library Journal column with 8 titles.

My Horror Review Column in the October 2023 issue of Library Journal is live. Here, in this post I have gathered the titles with my three words and links to my full draft reviews on Goodreads. Click through for more readalikes and more appeal information.

Since this is post is also part 31 Days of Horror as well, I will also note below which authors will have (or have already had) Why I Love Horror essays, who will has an interview in this issue, and upcoming giveaways. 

Speaking of giveaways, the first of the month is coming tomorrow, and it is actually 2 books, both which have been reviewed by me, and one is a finished copy. 

In the meantime, you have now been alerted to 12 tittles over the las 2 days that you need to get ordered for your collections. 

Now the 8 October 2023 reviews:

First this month's STARS:
And the other 6 excellent titles:
  • Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase [strong world building, compressed time frame, psychological horror]
  • Where the Dead Wait by Ally Wilkes [Historical Horror, oppressive dread, strong sense of place]
  • Your Shadow Half Remains by Sunny Moraine ["horrifyingly banal," multiple layers of discomfort, engaging narration]
    • Why I Love Horror essay coming from Moraine on 10/25
  • Midnight On Beacon Street by Emily Ruth Verona [Cinematic, Shifting Time Frame, Anxiety]
    • Why I Love Horror essay coming from Verona on 10/7
  • Edenville by Sam Rebelein [Cosmic Horror, Sardonic Tone, Folk Horror]
    • Why I Love Horror essay coming from Rebelein on 10/8
  • The House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden [Haunted House, family secrets, immersive world building]

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

31 Days of Horror: Day 3-- Becky's Booklist Horror Reviews in the October 1, 2023 Issue

Over the next two days, I will be posting access to my draft reviews in the October issues of Library Journal and Booklist. In all I have 12 reviews that are going live this week. Sorry not sorry about exploding your TBR. I begin today with Booklist and my draft reviews with bonus appeal information.


I will begin with the two stars. 

STAR
 
Edited by Ellen DatlowOct. 2023. 448p. illus. Titan, $27.99 (9781803363264). REVIEW. First published October 1, 2023 (Booklist).
Datlow, the most award winning editor in speculative fiction, comes through once again, with an anthology of 18, original stories by some of the biggest names in Horror today. The contributors were asked to add their voice to the human tradition of telling ghost stories during the darkest days of the year. The resulting range of scares is as wide as the topics considered. From a gory tale of Austrian folklore to open the book by Christopher Golden, to Cassandra Khaw’s defiant stand against the world, to the existential dread and wood demons of Josh Malerman’s Finnish solstice rituals, and even a few hot and bright, Australian set nightmares, there is something here for every reader. However, it is the gut punch of Tananarive Due and Stepen Graham Jones’ stories which tower above the rest and cannot be missed. The inclusion of a note by each author at the end of each story and the creepy illustrations at the start of each tale, both enhance the reading experience. Pair it with Hark! The Herald Angels Scream, edited by Golden to spice up your Winter Holiday themed displays for years to come.

Further appeal: This is a holiday anthology that completely embraces the spirit of the season without being Christmas focused. Most of the series's are set around Dec 20- early January. I really did love the multiple southern hemisphere set stories as a northerner. So cool to have hot holiday stories. 

The TOC is diverse in every way from identity of writers to how they write to what themes are explored. Every story was solicited by Datlow and they are ALL original to this anthology. It features some of the best and most popular Horror authors right now and will be in high demand by fans of hose authors and those looking for a different type of holiday season read.

I cannot get Due or Graham Jones' stories out of my head. Due's story in particular is set in the world of the story she wrote for Other Terrors and in her story notes, she hints that these characters need a novel (!!!). Graham Jones' story is perfect for fans of The Babysitter Lives

I am very tough on Datlow edited anthologies and do not give them all a star, but this one is worth all the stars. It will be a library holiday season and Halloween staple for years to come. 

Three Words That Describe This Book: Holidays, All Original Stories, Range of Scares

Readalikes: Every person in the TOC, you can suggest their books. Golden's Road of Bones specifically, is an excellent winter set story. The link above goes to my review of the other holiday anthology.

Also, see this post by me about the tradition of reading Horror during the Winter Solstice.


STAR
Edited by Lindy Ryan and Lee MurrayNov. 2023. 200p. Black Spot, paper, $14.95 (9781645481379); e-book (9781645481386). REVIEW. First published October 1, 2023 (Booklist).
Horror poetry is having a moment. Readers are discovering the format as their go-to place to elicit the dark emotions of the genre that they crave. With its brevity and free form style, poetry twists words in ways that viscerally amplify the terror. Award winning editors, Ryan and Murray, have taken the unease up another notch by inviting 112 poets, all women and nonbinary femmes, to contribute a poem focused on domestic violence, Horror in what should be the safest spaces. The individual poems are brutally honest and poignant. Ranging in length, style and topic, each gives readers more than they expect, over and over again. Three standouts are by Ali Jiang, EF Schrader, and Emily Ruth Verona, whose “Prime Real Estate Opportunity,” uses footnotes to chilling perfection. The volume benefits the Pixel Project, a global non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness for the cause to end violence against women. They have provided a list of resources in the back of the book which raises its stakes from merely providing a good read to offering a lifeline and hope to those suffering in silence. Consider shelving a copy in the 300s and one in your Horror collections. 
Further Appeal: This book is hard to read, but that is the point. It is shining a light on domestic abuse to make people pay attention. You also need to have this book In your collections because of the resources provided b y Pixel Project-- worldwide contacting. Having this book on your shelves could literally save someone's life. Get it with other resources for those suffering from domestic abuse. Don't hide it in poetry. And don't tell me you can't change where it is selves, that all poetry goes with poetry, because that is a self imposed rule, one that does a disservice to why someone would read this book, that says you don't care about helping someone save their own life. Yes, I am being overly dramatic, but it is to show you how dumb this argument is. You will not go to library jail if you make a cataloging choice that is not the automatic default. Trust me, I have been doing this for years at the school library and it has had amazing results-- and no one has been fired or sent to library jail, rather he opposite, the kids and teachers are finding books easier.

Three Words That Describe This Book: visceral, poignant, brutally honest

Readalikes: Tomorrow, I will have a review of Emily Ruth Verona's debut novel, so keep an eye out for that. The TOC will direct you to many women Horror writers who have stories and novels as well as poetry. This anthology can be used by you, the library worker, to help readers find more horror poetry as well.

But specifically, Into the Forest and All the Way Through, a collection of true crime poetry about missing women by Cynthia Pelayo is hard to read, but a perfect readlaikes.




By Christa Carmen
Oct. 2023. 332p. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, paper, $16.99 (9781662512988); e-book (9781662512971). REVIEW. First published October 1, 2023 (Booklist).

Blake heads to Block Island, 14 miles off Rhode Island, to confront her birth mother. Arriving in a winter rainstorm, she heads to a haunted mansion, now a Bed and Breakfast, where she sets out to untangle the complicated history of her family. Blake feels like the heroine in a Gothic novel, that is, until she is murdered, but not before she got a letter off to the sister she never knew. A few weeks later, Thalia returns to Block Island, the home she left behind ten years ago, to finish what the sister she never met started. However, whoever silenced Blake will stop at nothing to keep the secrets of the island and its generations of sisters quiet. Told in two parts, from Blake’s and Thalia’s perspectives, no one is safe in this compelling and atmospheric thriller that pays homage to classic Gothic novels while still adding something fresh to the beloved genre. An easy sell to fans of the Brontes but also, those who enjoy the creepy, psychological suspense of Simone St. James or Gwendolyn Kiste's LAMBDA award-winning Reluctant Immortals.

Further Appeal: This is a classic Gothic fiction fan's dream of a book. It is consciously a book about books and a book about storytelling itself. Everything Gothic is perfectly rendered. It is Rebecca dialed up to 10. 

Other themes explored, family secrets (so many both secrets and families interconnected in those secrets), addiction issues, lesbian MC. The setting is the biggest character: the island, the weather, the house, its place on a cliff, all the other buildings. Carmen double down on the atmosphere and it shows; it enhances the reading experience. 

The novel also has some modern psychological suspense twists that work very well with the Classic Gothic frame.

This book will have wide appeal to a huge swath of library patrons.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Gothic, Psychological Suspense, Atmospheric

Readalikes: Of course the dozens of books mentioned in the book-- the classic Gothic titles. Jennifer McMahon is another good option here. I would not suggest to every fan of Mexican Gothic or The Hacienda though, because those have supernatural monsters at the center of the story; this does not.

I would like to note, I called out Carmen's story in Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror edited by Mark Matthews as amazing. I said it would be on year end best lists, and I was correct. It was nominate for a Stoker this past year. This is Carmen's first novel, an it is with Amazon so it will have wide distribution. You need to be aware of it.

Speaking of her publisher, she is joining Zoje Stage who I would also list as a readalike, especially Mothered, which I reviewed here.


Root Rot & Other Grim Tales
By Sarah Read Oct. 2023. 300p. Bad Hand, paper, $15.99 (9798988128625). REVIEW. First published October 1, 2023 (Booklist). 
Bram Stoker Award winner Read returns with a collection that more than lives up to its promise of providing “grim tales,” 18 stories that use both fairy tale frames of yore like dark woods and wishes granted and familiar tropes from science fiction and fantasy such as parallel worlds or an uninhabitable NYC. Each story is original, terrifying, and compelling but when Read pits what readers think is coming against the extremely sinister tone at the heart of each tale, it is as if she is stabbing their tender spots* with a knife, twisting it, and leaving it to dangle long after the last page is turned. Two of the best examples are “Root Rot,” which presents the Tooth Fairy in her full body horror glory and “Terror Bay Resort '' set in the 26th Century, in a heated Arctic, at the Franklin Expedition museum. Suggest freely to those who enjoy dark, immersive, and character driven speculative fiction that firmly grabs its readers as written by Cynthia Pelayo, Cassandra Khaw, and Lauren Beukes.
Further Appeal: That asterisk above was a note to my editor which asked her to keep the phrase "tender spots" because the visceral image it invokes is a great reflection of the tone of many of the stories.

I really enjoyed how half the book is nostalgic, fairy tales of yore esque and then the second half is terrors of the world to come, grim tales for the future. But, I wish there was a break in the book to denote that, a way for the reader to know the switch is coming. 

The title story is A LOT in a very good way. "Wish Wash" was one of my favorites in the Shirley Jackson Award winning Anthology, The Hideous Book of Hidden Horrors.

Sinister is the key word here. In fact, you could describe this book in 1 word it is sinister. Even the settings are sinister, especially the future ones, such as an uninhabitable NYC overtaken by sky whales, or a melting arctic where the Franklin expedition's lost ship is now visible and a tourist site. The illustrations enhance the sinister tone. And that cover! It will draw readers to the book without you having to say a thing.

Some of the stories here are are among the best I have read this year. Read, a librarian as well as an award winning and talented writer, is someone you need to be aware of. Order this collection from the award winning small press.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Sinister, discomfort, immersive 

Readalikes: The three authors above have lots of options and all capture the tone and imagination of Read's work. The aforementioned anthologies, The Hideous Book of Hidden Horrors, edited by Doug Murano is a good readalike here. Actually all anthologies edited by Murano are a good choice here.

Also Read's debut, The Bone Weaver's Orchard, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel is a great read. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

31 Days of Horror: Day 2-- Sadie Hartmann and 101 Horror Books To Read Before You're Murdered and a FREE Library Webinar With Her This Week

I am on the record, many times, saying that Sadie Hartman is the yin to my yang. While I am the library world's Horror go-to person, Sadie is the quintessential Horror reader. She represents the reader and their interest across a variety of platforms.

Sadie and I have known each other for a while, and we frequently lean on each other for advice since our worlds are so similar to each other, yet so different from others in our Horror networks. 

This year, Sadie joined me in the book writing world, releasing 101 Horror Books to Read Before You're Murdered. This is a much purchase book for all of your libraries. Honestly, there is nothing in print (except maybe my book) that will help you help Horror readers right this minute more than her book. 

I reviewed 101 Horror Books to Read Before You're Murdered in the June 2023 issue of Library Journal:

Draft Review: Horror’s most well known fan, Hartmann presents a volume for readers and library workers to rejoice over whether they are established fear fiends or terror newbies. An excellent introduction lays out Hartmann’s mission, to take you on a tour through Horror as a reader, while also explaining her organizational process and demonstrating how to use the icons that serve as guideposts throughout. Most of the book is focused on specific titles, organized into five overarching categories each capped off with an original essay by the genre’s hottest authors. Within each section, Hartmann presents her conversational review of the titles, each on a single page with a sidebar summarizing the book’s appeal. Fun quizzes, illustrations that enhance the book’s atmosphere and tone, and more lengthy author overviews are also sprinkled throughout. The result: a gorgeously creepy book, told with an engaging and authoritative voice, diverse in every possible way. This book can be enjoyed from cover to cover or as a choose your own spooky adventure, but either way, it will entice all who encounter it to seek out more Horror.

Verdict: Horror’s popularity is on the rise and this book provides the widest possible view of the genre as it stands today and there are no repeat authors. Libraries should consider buying two copies, one for reference and another to circulate, and make extra copies of the reading checklist in the back to hand out, especially during spooky season. 

Three Words That Describe This Book: Genre overview, participatory, conversational tone

Since I already featured her in 2019 with this Why I Love Horror essay, this year, I asked Sadie instead to share why she wrote this book. Here are Sadie's words:

Just in time for the spooky season, 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered is here to help! I wrote this book as a resource to help readers navigate the current horror genre landscape. It covers horror books, both traditionally published, well-known titles from familiar authors and indie published books from lesser-known authors in the last twenty years. I shared my unique reading experience for each book and sorted the books into general genre categories such as Supernatural or Paranormal and sub-genre categories such as haunted house or demon possession. In the hopes of putting the right book in the right reader’s hands, I have even created a system of icons representing more ways to identify themes and tropes in each book. Readers can see, at a glance, if the book takes place in a small town, has a mystery to solve, or features strong female protagonists. Horror enthusiasts will find ten author spotlights showcasing authors writing a wide variety of horror books and carving out a unique niche in the genre for themselves. Peppered throughout are five essays from five horror authors each expressing an important topic from their unique point of view. Perfect for seasoned horror readers looking for some deep cuts who want to challenge themselves to check every book off the list to readers looking for a welcoming introduction to horror, this book can be your guide!

Thank you Sadie, both for explaining to library workers why you wrote this book and for everything you do for readers.

But wait... there's more. Sadie is also offering a FREE webinar as part of Wake County Public Library's Nightmare Not Included series of programs this October for anyone, anywhere. Click here for details on all of the programs, but here is the info about Sadie's appearance, this week.
Horror Fiction "Starter Kit" 
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 6:00 PM Eastern via Zoom
Register HERE! 
Join Sadie Hartmann, "Mother Horror" and half of the Night Worms Subscription Company, as she shares the horror genre's timeless classics and new modern trendsetters. Determine what sub-genres are best to start with and how to be mindful of boundaries and potential triggers. Whether you're a seasoned horror fiction fan or just cutting your teeth, Sadie has the "starter kit" for you!
Sign up for Wednesday's program and buy the book, 2 copies as I recommend above. Both will help you be more confident as you assist your Horror readers.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

31 Days of Horror: Day 1-- Let's Explore the Scariest Genre Together for the 12th Year in a Row

Each year 31 Days of Horror grows in readership. While some of you are here all year long, even when this blog is limited to my weekly #HorrorForLibraries giveaways, each year I get many new people joining in on the spooky blog-a-thon fun.

First things first, if you have never encountered 31 Days of Horror before well, I have been doing this event since 2011. That means we will top 400 posts that use the 31 Days of Horror tag this year. 

[Side note, it all began inauspiciously with this post. Nothing special, just a basic post about  the appeal of Horror, but 12 years of content started with that one post. Very humbling.]

The entire idea of 31 Days of Horror, began as a way to help library workers during the time of year when they need the most help with Horror. However, I did not want this series to become a list of lists either. 

From that desire to give you something original and useful was born a concurrent series entitled Why I Love Horror. In this series, that runs mostly, but not only, during October, I reach out to people in the Horror world and invite them to contribute essays written for you-- the general library worker. These invited people are told to share why they love horror as a creator and fan in 1500 words or less. Once again,  I have quite an exciting lineup planned.

My goal with the "Why I Love Horror" series is to expose you to people you should know about AND give you even more context for appeal. I can give you all the examples in the world of why people enjoy feeling scared when they read, but until you hear from actual fans, fans who also create Horror, it is hard to understand, especially for the vast majority of you who don't enjoy Horror for yourselves. 

Over the years I have had many people contribute to the Why I Love Horror series from up and comers [some of whom have gone on to become big names] to firmly established authors to folks who love horror in the library world. 

You can click here to see them all. "Why I Love Horror" is also a searchable tag any time, just like 31 Days of Horror.

"Why I Love Horror" is an excellent resource to help you help readers, and it is a Horror RA resource you cannot find anywhere else. However, it is not the only way you can use this blog as a resource now and all year long.

In the past few years, I also started another new series within his 31 day series, and that was to feature a small Horror press. While, this year I do have a few posts by small press authors and one specific small press post coming on 10/11, I switched tactics this year and waned to offer something new. Instead of featuring a press, I am going to feature the clients of agent, Becky LeJeune, who I met over the last two StokerCons. She has many authors whose books I have reviewed and others you should know about. Eight of her clients and Becky herself, will be sharing "Why I Love Horror" with all of you. That feature will run from 10/15-22 and will feature 6 giveaways! 

However, let's not get too ahead of ourselves on Day 1. Remember, this blog is not just about my October content. It stands as a resource on Horror, both as a free update to my book, and as the most comprehensive resource for working with Horror readers in libraries all year long.

I have more than tags for you to use to access content. If you look in the right gutter of the blog, under the cover of my book, there is a list of pages you can find on here. That list is on EVERY page, so you don't have to worry about a huge link tree to find them. Access is easy, intuitive, and FREE

The pages with their direct links are:

In the spirit of being THE Horror for Libraries resource, I make sure each page lists the last time it was updated in the title. I curate all of this information and stand behind it.

So while this October you may be more focused on my 31 Days of Horror daily posts and Why I love Horror content, please know those pages with links are there all year long to help you find, display, and promote horror.

This blog should be the first place you go for all of your Horror RA, Collection Development, and Programming needs. I get no extra money from you visiting here. I keep this blog up for me as much as all of you. It is a record of all of the information I am using to stay up to date too. However, if you want to support my efforts to keep doing this work for a 13th year, please consider buying a copy of my book for your library and/or hiring me to train your library staff on a variety of topics

So poke around the site today, later this month, in a few months, whenever you need it. We will have a lot of fun for the rest of October, but  just remember, I am always here for all of your Horror for Libraries needs

And remember.... your Horror loving patrons are not monsters; they just like to read about them.

Let me hold your hand as we explore the scariest genre together.

Finally, thanks to everyone who makes this 31 day marathon worth it. From the invited contributors to those offering books for giveaway, yes, but most of all, to you, my readers, who are working hard to help all of your readers, day after day, despite the current climate of challenges and bomb threats. Truly, thank you.

Let's do this. 31 Days of Horror: 2023

Thursday, September 28, 2023

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway 141: DarkLit Press Spotlight-- 2 winners

As promised, I am ending September with one more giveaway featuring books by another small press I recommend. Details below, but first, here is how you 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 if you haven't won.
Click here to see giveaway #140. Our winner was from Cathy from Palm Harbor [FL] Library. Now on to today's giveaway.

As we have been leading up to October and my plethora of giveaways (I currently have 16 giveaways planned), I wanted to highlight a few smaller presses that I trust and recommend. 

Today it is DarkLit Press, who recently published Lacuna's Point by Tim Meyer, which I reviewed in Booklist here. DarkLit Press is committed to publishing quality Horror, that pushes boundaries and represents all voices.

Today I have 2 packages, going out to 2 winners courtesy of DarkLit Press. 

The first winner pulled will receive 2 books: a finished copy of Lacuna's Point by Tim Meyer. Click here to read my review and, if you win, add it to your collection. Even if you don't win, buy a copy for your collections. Also an ARC of Heavy Oceans by Tyler Jones which is releasing in December.

The second winner pulled will get 3 finished books all of which came out in 2023: 

Winners, please add the finished books to your collections. Everyone else, consider ordering all of these titles to your collections.

Enter now for this giveaway, and you are entered going forward for all giveaways in the future, until you win! I will have at least 16 unique winners in October. I have 80+ people in the giveaway spreadsheet and I am actively trying to clear as many people as possible. Some have been entered since 2020. I want more people to win and I have lots of books to giveaway. So your odds are beer than ever if you enter NOW!

Look for giveaways throughout October with drawings still happening on Fridays. 

Good luck all.

And see you back here on Sunday for he start of 31 Days of Horror 2023.



Thursday, September 21, 2023

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway 140: 2 Clash Books ARCs and 1 Finished Copy

As promised, I am featuring books by another small press I highly recommend. Details below, but first, here is how you 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 if you haven't won.
Click here to see giveaway #139.  Our winner was Lisa from Allegany County [MD] Library System. Now on to today's giveaway.

As we lead up to October and my plethora of giveaways which will be way more than 1 a week, I wanted to highlight a few smaller presses that I trust and eagerly recommend. Today it is a press that consistently puts out challenging and exceptional Horror-- Clash Books. Their stated goal is to publish awesome and engaging books that transcend labels & break boundaries.

Recently I have given STARS to two of their books: Anybody Home? by Michael Seidlinger and Everything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca.

Today I have 2 ARCs for you to consider for your collections and 1 finished copy that you can add immediately, just in time for the spooky season.


First that finished copy: The Black Tree Atop the Hill by Karla Yvette comes out next week, but I have a finished copy for you right now. From Goodreads
What came first in this Gothic Western, the ghosts or The Black Tree Atop the Hill ? Set in an alternate American old-west that is hauntingly familiar yet strangely off-putting, Marisol is the first to see the tree on the hill, but that’s only to be expected. As the witch of Jack Boyd’s ranch, her job is to notice threats, even amid a most disastrous calving season. It is up to Marisol and the ranch’s ghost to work together to stop mysteriously spreading trees from taking over their ranch, California, and the entirety of the country. But real magic requires sacrifice, and Marisol is not certain she is prepared to accept the consequences of what she must do to stop the trees’ advance. This is a story about believing in intuition against the rain, about the violence of nature and of those who inflict it. Gothic gardeners explore the question of nature’s home in a progressing world. Oozing with conflicting resolutions and twisty insides, this is a stunning debut by Portland artist Karla Yvette.

True to the publisher's mission, this book defies labels. This title is a Fantasy, Gothic, Western, Horror hybrid, but one that will appeal to fans of each of those genres. There is something for everyone here. Specifically, suggest to your current readers who are waiting for or just enjoyed Isabel CaƱas' Vampires of El Norte or Victor LaValle's Lone Women.

In the same giveaway today, I am also offering 2 ARCs. 

I Died Too, But They Haven't Buried Me Yet by Ross Jeffery. From Goodreads:

Henry was burying his again, but the thing is...she just won’t stay buried. Elsie, Henry’s daughter was fourteen when she went missing and he’s been burying pieces of her ever since, on the anniversary of her ‘death day.’ 
Each totem Henry places in the ground are memories of his daughter’s life he’s desperate to forget, attempting to do all he can to rid himself of his mistakes and his part in her disappearance and more than likely death. 
All is not lost though when a stranger appears at Henry’s grief counseling group with a dark and disturbing proposition for him. “Have you ever tried to make contact your daughter, to see if she’s passed?” What follows is a tale of deception and possession like no other. 
From the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of ‘Tome’ and ‘The Devil’s Pocketbook’ comes a new terrifying nightmare about the dangers and pitfalls of not seeing your child for the person they were born to be before it’s too late and how grief can climb inside us and make our heart its home.
And, Violent Faculties by Charlene Elsby. From Goodreads:

A philosophy professor tests the limits of the soul and body by performing dehumanizing experiments on unwilling subjects, after the department is closed due to budget cuts. Violent Faculties follows a philosophy professor influenced by Sade and Bataille. She is ejected by university administrators aiming to impose business strategies in the interest of profit over knowledge. She designs a series of experiments to demonstrate the value of philosophy as a discipline, not because of its potential for financial benefit, but because of its relevance to life and death. The corpses proliferate as her experiments yield theoretical results and ethical conundrums. She questions why it is wrong to kill humans, what is it about them that makes their lives sacred, and then attempts to find it in their bodies, their words, their thoughts, and their souls—seeking foundational truths with a knife in her home office.

Both Jeffrey and Elsby have written popular and critically acclaimed independent Horror. You probably don't have books by them on your shelves, but here is a good reason to take a closer look. Whether you win or not, take this post as reason to delve deeper into Clash's catalog and consider adding some titles.

I want to thank Christoph from Clash Books for the physical copies for me to pass on to one of you.

Next week I have so many books from the featured small press that I will have 2 winners! And then it's October where the giveaways will come at you fast and furious. The first one is going to be Hailey Piper's latest. And that's just to start the month! 

Enter now and you are entered going forward.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

#HorrorForLibraries Giveaway 139: Lethe Press 2-fer

Today I am featuring 2 books by another small press I highly recommend. Details below, but first, here is how you 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 #138.  Our winner was Lois from Son-Isle [WA] Libraries. Now on to today's giveaway.

As we lead up to October and my plethora of giveaways which will be way more than 1 a week, I wanted to highlight a few smaller presses that I trust and eagerly recommend. Today it is the press that I gave a week long feature to last week, Lethe Press. You can use this link to read all of the posts in the spotlight, but I would begin with this one, from founder Steve Berman.

Today though, I have 2 of their more recent titles. Finished copies that you can add to your collections immediately, courtesy of Berman. 

First up, Monstrous Alterations, a story collection by Shirley Jackson award winner Christopher Barzak that came out on September 8th.
 
In this new collection from Shirley Jackson Award winning author Christopher Barzak, discover stories where fairy tales, gothic narratives, and classic monster stories are transformed into new wonders. A princess who yearns only for freedom dances her nights away at clubs in defiance of tradition. A young man plots revenge on his murderer from the underworld. Two friends discover a goblin market where they are offered the fruit of forbidden love. On the streets of London, a man destroys the life of a little girl in an instant. The caretaker for a woman confined to her room frees her from the circumstances that have bound her. A maid at an inn discovers the powerlessness and power of invisibility. A teenager, locked into Kensington Gardens after closing time, is brought face to face with the reality of a childhood icon. A man is born, grows up, and dies, all within the span of a day. A bank clerk determines to save himself and his friend from the destinies their overbearing fathers have made for them. From the Brothers Grimm to Kafka, Barzak imaginatively traverses the history of the dark and the fantastic, and returns with new tales for an ever-changing world.

Next we have Weather and Beasts and Growing Things out October 1st by Charlotte Suttee. 
In 2079, Stevven Pane (they/them) operates an unsanctioned GreenRoof, an urban garden atop a condemned apartment on the coast of South Carolina. The city seeks to evict Stevven, along with nine-year-old Eli, “Earther” Gino, gossip magazine journalist Barbara, and BluBerry, a sentient plant. When this motley crew is forced to navigate a neoliberal cyberpunk urban landscape, miles of abandoned highways riddled with oil cults and cannibals, and swamps of uncanny critters in the hopes of reaching a new home, the last place Stevven ever trusted is the University grounds nestled in the foothills of Tennessee.

Both of these are absolutely perfect for a general public library collection. They are also well constructed paperbacks with great covers. If you do not win, think about heading over to the Lethe Press website and buying these titles and others as well. I love their tagline: "We're queer and weird, and you better be okay with that!" I have enjoyed every book of theirs I have read, and I have reviewed more than a few for Booklist and Library Journal in the past.

If you haven't noticed, the goal of these posts is to highlight trusted small presses. It is great if you win, but hopefully, you can use these posts as a "review" to justify your purchase of titles that are worthy of being added to your collections.

Good Luck. For the next 2 weeks,  I will be continuing this month long focus on prize packs from small presses and then October the giveaway will EXPLODE. So enter now because when you enter once, you are entered going forward.