‘Autumncrow’ is a collection of stories set in the spookiest town in America, telling of its past and some of its quite varied and interesting residents.
The town of Autumncrow resembles any other small town in many ways, and the people who live there are completely normal people — except, perhaps, for the fact that they acknowledge their monsters and accept their fears more openly than most of us are willing to do.
The stories are loosely interwoven, ranging from the deeply unsettling to the macabre and horrifying. Each tale is a well-written narrative characterized by a dark undercurrent that creates shadows and nuances that become bigger and bolder at night. Some of the imagery is regular Halloween fare, while other elements are more sinister.
‘Autumncrow’ is a most enjoyable work of macabre storytelling, suitable for young adults and older readers.
‘All The Children On The Porch’ is a mysterious and creepy dark read about secrets, lies and the ghosts of Halloweens past.
The story is beautifully constructed and suspenseful, achieving a sense of foreboding that builds slowly and steadily as the story progresses. Fox’s imagery evokes flashes of memory and glimpses of the macabre truth, keeping the reader guessing right to the end.
This is an excellent short story for Halloween reading.
‘Iago Wick and the Vampire Queen’ by Jennifer Rainey: Deliciously dark and twisted.
This book’s brilliant opening was just a taste of the vivid imagery and dark, ironic humour that characterises the writing. Before I had finished the first page, I knew I had found an author whose work I would truly appreciate.
This story is deliciously dark and twisted, full of varied and creatively crafted characters who each have their own motivations and desires that bring some surprising twists to the tale. The story moves at a very good pace, with lots of interesting plot and character developments.
The other aspect of this story that I really enjoy is that it delivers a wonderfully unique combination of steampunk, science fiction, historical fiction and paranormal elements.
There is absolutely zero chance of boredom while reading this book, and it is perfect for my subversive sense of humour. I definitely intend to read this entire series.
‘Iago Wick and the Vampire Queen’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
A delightfully gory and subversive parody of the classic Wizard of Oz story.
A delightfully gory and subversive parody of the classic Wizard of Oz story, ‘Necrozmancy’ is a short read that can be enjoyed in less than an hour.
The characters are darker and more sinister than in the original tale, and yet I prefer them this way. I always enjoy the opportunity to see how things end up differently when characters take an alternative path, and Stanhope’s reinvention of Dorothy and Toto in particular is magnificent.
This story is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but lovers of the macabre and horrific will certainly enjoy it.
Because it tickled both my funny bone and my dark side, I have awarded it a Gold Acorn.
A very enjoyable short read, complete with a couple of very effective chills for good measure
This story is set on the windswept coast at Black’s Bay, where Sally and Alex plan to spend their first weekend away together. The isolation of the lighthouse lends a bleak and forlorn air to the setting, and compounds the darkness and the unfamiliar when the sun goes down.
The reader is positioned to empathise with Sally through exposure to her thoughts, feelings and responses to the events of the weekend, which makes them in turn vulnerable to the eerie twists in the story.
This is a very enjoyable story, complete with a couple of very effective chills for good measure. It’s an easy read in under 30 minutes, which makes it ideal for a lunch break or a short escape into a story to break up a busy day.
Book Squirrel has awarded ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’ a Silver Acorn.
Not since C.S. Lewis’ brilliant book ‘The Screwtape Letters’ have I read such a fascinating exploration of a truly evil, devilish mind, where even his demon followers are the victims of Darkness.
‘Reaper’s Folly’ delivers a powerful and emotionally charged story that brings the reader face to face with evil in its darkest forms. Landis’ writing and story craft is magnificent, with some profound moments of macabre terror. The greatest horror, however, is the realisation that it may, in fact, be true.
This terrific book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.
On offer are some chilling poems and a series of stories about Friday, a black cat with a penchant for curious events.
Friday’s stories will be available to read for free until November 3rd.
Van Leerdam is also the author of The Silver Feather, a haunting, macabre tale which was featured here as a new release earlier this month. It’s on sale until November 1st for 99c in your favourite digital store. and is also available as a paperback via Amazon.
LILY LUCHESI and fifteen other authors have just released Damsels of Distress, an anthology featuring strong female leads that should never be underestimated.
It’s on sale right now for just 99c, and is incredibly good value.
PETER BLAKEY-NOVIS has been sharing 31 Days of Horror on his blog at Embrace The Darkness. He has featured a number of excellent novels, novellas, and blogs in his listing.
So, plenty of spooky and horrific treats for Halloween. Who needs candy? Go nuts!
A deliciously creepy story, ‘The Celtic Curse: Banshee” tells the story of the origins and then the conclusion of one family’s experience of a banshee’s curse.
Perfect for lovers of the Gothic and the macabre, this tale is permeated by plenty of classic horror, superstition and dark supernatural power, which are in part balanced by the normality of the central characters who unwittingly fall under the curse.
I found this novelette to be perfect reading for a stormy late September afternoon, given that both Friday 13th and Halloween are approaching.
The Celtic Curse: Banshee is available via Amazon for kindle or in paperback.