Ten Holiday-Themed Horror Books

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This Top Ten Tuesday topic was “Ten Books We’re Thankful For”. As we were afraid this could easily turn into one of a “Our Favorites” list, we decided to twist it just a little bit. We present ten holiday-themed horror books you might be thankful for. (Thankful or incredibly disturbed by the perversion of the holiday. Really all depends on you.)

I give full credit for this one to Gracie. Her tastes in horror are more far-reaching than mine are, so this list is basically all hers. (My contribution was Krampus. That’s it.)

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

 

Ten Holiday-Themed Horror Books (You Might Be Thankful For)

I have to admit that I have not read all of these yet but there’s something irresistible to me about horror stories and holidays. Particularly holidays that are not readily associated with horror. So let’s start with the one at hand, shall we?


Thanksgiving

Gobble Gobble: A Tale of Thanksgiving Terror – Florin Nicoara

Synopsis: Gobble Gobble is a hilarious horror-comedy that will turn your thanksgiving delight into one hell of a day of fright. It is a terrible tale unlike any other you have ever been told before. Tread only if you dare because it will twist your mind and lay your soul bare; gobble-gobble!!!

A group of high school seniors embark on a field tip the day before Thanksgiving to visit a humane environmentally-green turkey farm for extra credit, but instead discover a sinister secret government lab where genetic engineering has run a mock and turned the human turkey relationship into a banquet of hilariously frightening insanity. If you thought Halloween was scary, wait until Thanksgiving!!!

 

 

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Christmas

Krampus: The Yule Lord – Brom

Synopsis: Acclaimed author and artist Brom raised eyebrows and pulse rates with The Child Thief, his grim, brilliantly audacious, gorgeously illustrated reimagining of the Peter Pan legend. So what does this innovative fantasist do for an encore? He tinkers darkly with the beloved mythology of Santa Claus. Set in Appalachia, Krampus the Yule Lord is a twisted fairytale about a failed West Virginia songwriter who gets ensnared on Christmas Eve in an eternal war between a not-so-saintly Saint Nick and his dark enemy Krampus, aka Black Peter, an ancient trickster demon. Krampus the Yule Lord is Gregory Maguire (Wicked) meets Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) in the realm of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, as Clive Barker (Mr. B. Gone) works his dark sorcery from the shadows. Once again featuring Brom’s chillingly beautiful artwork throughout, Krampus the Yule Lord is a feast of wonder straight from the kitchen of Sweeney Todd.

 

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New Year’s Eve

Bedtime Tales of Horror: Happy New Year – Bradley Poage

Synopsis: When Todd meets Lacy on New Year’s eve, he thinks his luck has finally changed. But looks can often be deceiving, and when you miss all the warning signs, you’re asking for trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day – C. Dennis Moore

Synopsis: Oscar has finally had it. The vermin have done enough damage to his yard, and it’s time to settle the score. But extermination isn’t enough. He wants revenge. So during the winter, while the creatures are sleeping, Oscar has come up with a plan to exact his revenge in the most satisfying way.

But some creatures aren’t so easily gotten rid of, and soon it will be more than just a few vegetables in his backyard garden that Oscar risks losing.

 

 

 

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Valentine’s Day

Shock Totem 8.5 – Holiday Tales of the Macabre and Twisted: Valentine’s Day 2014

Synopsis: Love is in the air. Can you feel it? The most wonderful and diabolical emotion of them all, and we’re going to celebrate it. Ostensibly as a Valentine’s Day issue, but really…it’s all about love.

And horror, of course.

In this special edition of Shock Totem you will find “Clocks,” a beautifully tragic tale told by master storyteller Darrell Schweitzer. “Silence,” by Robert J. Duperre, is a gut-wrenching tale of love, war, and death. You won’t soon forget this one. In “Broken Beneath the Paperweight of Your Ghosts,” Damien Walters Grintalis tells of a man and his tattered heart. Catherine Grant’s “Sauce” teaches us that sometimes things left behind are best left alone. Tim Waggoner examines the perfect lover in “The Man of Her Dreams.” “Hearts of Women, Hearts of Men,” by Zachary C. Parker, follows a battered woman struggling to free herself from an abusive relationship while a serial killer is on the loose. In total, nine tales await you…

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April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s – Richie Tankersley Cusick

Synopsis: Coming home from a forbidden April Fools party, Belinda and her friends witness a horrible accident. When no one appears to have survived, the three friends vow not to admit they were there. Then the sick pranks begin, and Belinda must discover the truth to save their lives!

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter

Collected Easter Horror Shorts – Edited by Brandy Yassa

Synopsis: From the darkest recesses of some of the horror world’s most chilling minds, Kevin J. Kennedy brings back together some of the authors that brought you Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, alongside several new authors, from upcoming indie stars to Amazon top sellers.

Whether you like Easter or not, you’ll certainly have a different view of it after you read the stories contained within these pages.

Grab an Easter egg, dim the lights, get cosy and get ready for some chilling tales by some of the horror world’s finest.

 

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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day – Renee Knight

Synopsis: Staying with her parents at Beauwater Manor, a luxury hotel in the English countryside, is the happiest memory of Laura’s young life so far. She’s excited at the prospect of returning to the hotel a few years later, but in this riveting short story by Renée Knight, author of Disclaimer—a remarkable debut novel of psychological suspense —Laura will discover that even though some things about Beauwater Manor are familiar, others are very, very different from what she remembers….

 

 

 

 

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Labor Day

Help! Wanted: Tales of On-the-Job Terror – Edited by Peter Giglio 

Synopsis: “HELP! WANTED is a rollicking, creepy, crazy, and thoroughly unnerving collection of work-related horror stories by the cream of today’s horror crop. Each story is as stingingly fresh as a razor cut!” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Bestselling author of Dust & Decay and Patient Zero.

 

 

 

 

 

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Halloween

October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween – Edited by Richard T. Chizmar and Robert Morrish

Synopsis: Classic novellas, never-before-published stories, essays on the history, literature, and films of Halloween, and real-life memories of October 31st-from today’s best practitioners of fear:Dean Koontz * Peter Straub * Poppy Z. Brite * Rick Hautala * Steve Rasnic Tem * Elizabeth Engstrom * Thomas Ligotti * Gary A. Braunbeck * Jack Ketchum * Thomas F. Monteleone * Hugh B. Cave * Simon Clark * Christopher Golden * Ray Bradbury * Jack Ketchum * Alan M. Clark * Gahan Wilson * Paula Guran * John Shirley * Tom Piccirilli * Jack Cady * David B. Silva * Robert Morrish * William F. Nolan * Michael Cadnum * Richard Laymon * Douglas Clegg * Douglas E. Winter * Stanley Wiater * Caitlín R. Kiernan * Lewis Shiner * Yvonne Navarro * Tim Lebbon * Kim Newman * F. Paul Wilson * Owl Goingback * Dennis Etchison * Stephen Mark Rainey * Charles L. Grant * Kelly Laymon * Dominick Cancilla * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Michael Marshall Smith * Wayne Allen Sallee * Ramsey Campbell * Ed Gorman * Stefan Dziemianowicz * Peter Crowther

 


I apologize for any holidays that we might have missed. We tried hard to make it a good mix of the silly and the scary. Have an excellent week and please let us know if you know of any holiday horror that we’ve missed!

Ten Times We Toiled to Trudge Through the Type

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Isn’t it lovely when you open a book, and from the very first sentence, time seems to fly? Your fingers flip the pages so fast you’re surprised in retrospect that you didn’t get papercuts. You couldn’t stop reading the book. It was just that awesome. You couldn’t wait to finish it. You didn’t want to finish it! You found your little piece of bookworm heaven.

Yeah, this post isn’t about those books. Sorry.

This is about the books that forced us to focus. That taught us the true meaning of relativity.

To rip-off one of my favorite bad-good movies and turn the phrase into one more fitting:

“You open up a great book, and an hour can seem like a minute. You open up a bad book, and a minute can seem like an hour.”

However, it is worth nothing that some of these books we liked in the end. (Maybe didn’t love, obviously, but liked well enough.)

Top Ten Tuesday topics are provided courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Ten Times We Toiled to Trudge Through the Type

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

I like Alastair Reynolds’ work. I really do. Its just, well, the man has a propensity for turning on the verbal diarrhea and not knowing how to stop it. Revelation Space was truly a trudge for me, and oh dear sweet baby Cthulhu, I want to forget I ever read it. Actually, wait, it was so unmemorable that I’ve basically already forgotten it. Heh!

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

I read it ’cause I said I’d read it. I read it ’cause it was one of those books you’re supposed to read. And I hated it. Then I even watched the movie because everyone said it was so much better. I couldn’t like the movie either. For a relatively thin book, it sure feels like PKD was, er, dicking around a lot.

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Extracted by R.R. Haywood

It puttered around, it stalled in the middle. The dialogue made me giggle. There were flashes of brilliance that were drowned in lakes of mediocrity. It wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been.

Ultimate Verdict: Okay


Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Can I just insert a gigantic yawn here? This is a book that promised one thing (science fiction!) and delivered another (fantasy masquerading as science fiction). There was no payoff in the end, and I can barely remember anything about this book other than it tricked me and I don’t like it.

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

I’m not sure what was going on in Forty Signs of Rain, but it was KSR at the worst I’ve ever seen him. Dear Cthulhu, nothing happened in this book other than people being people until like the last 30 pages. It was literally a gigantic rant on how climate change is happening and politicians won’t pay attention. I like climate change fics. I agree that politicians need to pay attention! But you don’t need to dress up your rant as a book and then try to shove it down our throats. GAH!

Ultimate Verdict: Blah


Book of Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff 

I generally like Akexandra Sokoloff’s books. I don’t know what the heck happened in this book. The characters are insanely annoying. The detective goes back and forth between belief and disbelief he was like a human yo-yo. And he was a dick to everyone. The witch is pretentious and annoying and rather than hoping they would get together I was hoping they’d fall off a cliff.

Ultimate Verdict: Get. It. Away. From. Me


Just Plain Weird by Tom Upton

This was a book that I was so close to liking. Alas. There were way too many coincidental contrivances. Major plot points are either skimmed over or left totally unanswered. The main character is likable enough but the Love Interest? I think the author was going for Quirky, Unique and Cute but missed and landed on Annoying, Judgmental, and Psychotic.

Ultimate Verdict: Just Plain Contrived


House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This book is creepy and interesting but holy Cthulhu. The footnotes, all the footnotes, annotations along with the kitchen sink that I’m sure is hiding in there make this a pretty hefty book to slog through. I’d recommend the full color edition. I don’t know how much different the reading experience is but it’s prettier.

Ultimate Verdict: Worth the trek but you better carve out a good month or so.


Rage of Spirits by Noel Hynd

So, so boring. To give you an idea I’ll quote myself and my Goodreads notation: “This book is moving so slow. I think it fell asleep.” I know I sure did. A lot. It took me five months to finish this book and made me very disinterested in reading any others by Noel Hynd.

Ultimate Verdict: Yawn


Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas 

It can be a fascinating book at times and at others a bit pedantic. It also reads a bit more into some things that I can’t agree with. It also overrates the Paranormal Activity series more than it should. I’m sure my antipathy toward that series has long been known. however, it raises some interesting questions about the nature of the Found Footage sub-genre and the viewer’s reaction to it. It also lists quite a few that are not very well known.

Ultimate Verdict: Interesting but only if you’re deeply interested in the film industry and this sub-genre in particular.


So, dear readers, what books did you toil to trudge through? Everyone’s is different, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you loved one of the ones we whomped on with dismay.

Ten Horror Book Recommendations for Self-Professed Wimps

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.I recently talked one of my blogger friends into doing a buddy read with me. ( I have to say, she’s entirely too trusting because she said yes before I even showed her what book I had in mind! ) But even though I’m her ‘Sadistic Teacher’, I’m not truly sadistic, and had picked a book I thought would be the perfect type of read for her self-professed wimpy self. And – luckily! – it was a great book that we both loved!

So, of course, that got me thinking what other books I’d recommend to her, and that turned into a list for everyone when I saw what Broke and Bookish had up for their topic for August 15th.

 

 

Ten Horror Book Recommendations for Self-Professed Wimps

These books embrace the cheese. They give you gore, action, adventure, and giggles all mixed together. There might be strong language, maybe even a bit of sexual situations (though not too many as that’s not something I like to see a lot of), but in terms of ‘scare’, these horror books rate low on the scale. They gradually shift from modern horror to more of a classic feel. The stories there are more in the ‘creepy’ realm than gore-spattering arena (or the gore is balanced with giggles). They’re a safe bet for entertainment, and you can tell your friends you’re reading horror now!


The Haunted Forest Tour by Jeff Strand


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Haunted Forest Tour!

Sit back and enjoy a smooth ride in air-conditioned comfort as your heavily armored tram takes you through nature’s most astonishing creation. The forest is packed to capacity with dangerous and terrifying creatures of all shapes, sizes, and hunger levels, and you’ll get to observe these wonders in complete safety.

-This is the book that kicked the idea for this list off. Stupid funny, non-stop action, and characters you love to love or love to hate, you aren’t going to go wrong here. And oh, my god, the quotable lines.-

 

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The Last Colossus by Michael Hodges

Rugged adventure guide and “player” Ron Combs leads a group of thrill-seekers to an island off Washington’s coast. But when devastating lava flows destroy their boat and overtake the island, Ron and his clients are forced one-by-one into the sea, where a gigantic prehistoric predator awaits.

Trapped between the lava-covered island and the huge jaws of an ancient shark, Ron teams up with his client Rachel to devise a way to keep everyone safe…even if it means sacrificing himself in the process, and finally changing his ways.

 

 

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Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

GROW AMAZING LIVE SEA SERPENTS!

It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:

Just add water . . . and watch them grow!

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .

WAIT UNTIL FEEDING TIME.

It’s been years since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .

 

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Monstrum: Bella Monstrum by Ann Christopher

STAY OUT OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

Few places on earth engender as much primal fear as the mysterious and forbidding Bermuda Triangle. With good reason.

A bizarre plane crash at sea leaves Bria Hunter and her high school classmates trapped in a chilling race for survival.

Will Bria and her friends escape from the evil presence before it’s too late?

In the mood for a nerve-shredding tale of horror on the high seas that keeps you turning pages with the lights on all night? Then grab Monstrum today!

 

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Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan

When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.

When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.

Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

 

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The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings

Larry Correia. Kevin J. Anderson. D.J. Butler. Orson Scott Card. Mercedes Yardley.

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that…
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell books, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don’t have to guess.

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Property of a Lady by Sarah Rayne

A house with a sinister past – and a grisly power – When Michael Flint is asked by American friends to look over an old Shropshire house they have unexpectedly inherited, he is reluctant to leave the quiet of his Oxford study. But when he sees Charect House, its uncanny echoes from the past fascinate him – even though it has such a sinister reputation that no one has lived there for almost a century. But it’s not until Michael meets the young widow, Nell West, that the menace within the house wakes . . .

 

 

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But H

Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

 

 

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A Pleasing Terror: The Complete Supernatural Writings by M.R. James

The ghost stories of M. R. James need no introduction. They are widely considered the very best classical supernatural tales ever committed to paper, and a testimony to their quality and universal appeal is the fact that James’s Collected Ghost Storieshas remained in print since its first publication in 1931. James’s ghost stories are a towering achievement, and they continue to dominate the genre more than a century after they first began to appear.

Ash-Tree Press has published collections by many of the writers who followed James and sought to emulate him, and is now proud to have published A Pleasing Terror, which collects all of M. R. James’s writings on the supernatural. In addition to the thirty-three stories from Collected Ghost Stories, this volume includes a further three stories, seven story drafts left amongst his papers, all of his introductions and prefaces to his various collections, and his article ‘Stories I Have Tried to Write’. In addition, there are the texts of twelve medieval ghost stories discovered and published by James, all of his articles about the ghost story, and his writings on J. Sheridan Le Fanu.

 

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Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories by Ralph Adams Cram

This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them. This synopsis does the book no justice. It has some very creepy, gore-free stories in it.

 

 

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Thanks for checking out our Top Ten Horror Books for Self-Professed Wimps and let us know your favorites!

 

Top Ten Movies Set in Asylums

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Abandoned buildings are creepy. Abandoned hospitals and insane asylums are creepiest of them all. So journey with us through a top ten list of creepy movies set in asylums, abandoned or otherwise.

 

 

Broke and Bookish are taking a break until August 15th with their topics for Top Ten Tuesday, so we’re going to fill the slot with some movie related lists until they’re back at it!

 

 


Bedlam

Bedlam Cover - Top Ten Movies Set in Asylums Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary’s of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries to bring support to reforming Bedlam, but the cruel Master Sims who runs it has her committed there. The inmates, however, have the last say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsA new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out their crazy fantasies while combating his own long-suppressed insanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isola

Isola - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsWhen a woman, able to read the thoughts of others, comes to help survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, she encounters a girl with Multiple Personality Disorder whose dangerous 13th personality, Isola, must be stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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House on Haunted Hill

House on Haunted Hill - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsAn amusement park mogul offers a group of diverse people $1,000,000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Session 9

Session 9 - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsTensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gothika

Gothika - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsA repressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Jacket

The Jacket - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsA Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a Doctor’s experiments, and his life is completely affected by them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ward

The Ward - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsAn institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grave Encounters

Grave Encounters - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsFor their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that’s supposedly haunted – and it might prove to be all too true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stonehearst Asylum

Stonehearst Asylum - Top Ten Movies Set in AsylumsAn Oxford graduate takes up a job in a mental asylum, only to discover that the “revolutionary” new treatments are inhumane and that there is more going on than meets the eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are there any crazy-good movies that we’ve left out? Let us know! Want to talk about any of them? Catch us in the comments!

The Best Sci-Fi and Horror Books We’ve Read In 2017 So Far

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This is the big one, the one we’ve all been — Nah. It’s not that one. But what it is time for is our listing of the best books we’ve read so far far in 2017. Gracie and I both picked 5 to share with you. I have to say, counting just books with more than 150 pages, I’ve read 121 books this year, and only a handful of them even got considered for this list. It’s been mostly a ‘meh’ year thus far. I hope the second half is better or the Best Books of 2017 list is going to be seriously difficult to do! Our lists are ranked from least best to most awesome.

As usual, Broke and Bookish are responsible for the TTT prompt.

 

 

 

 


The Top Ten Science Fiction and Horror Books We’ve Read in 2017 So Far

Lilyn’s Picks:

Book cover for Killing Gravity

5. Killing Gravity by Corey J. White

Killing Gravity Synopsis: Mariam Xi can kill you with her mind. She escaped the MEPHISTO lab where she was raised as a psychic supersoldier, which left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.

Read my review here.

 

 

 

 

Book cover for When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie

4. When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

When Worlds Collide Synopsis: A runaway planet hurtles toward the earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America, a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escape the doomed earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans. A crackling plot and sizzling, cataclysmic vision have made When Worlds Collide one of the most popular and influential end-of-the-world novels of all time.

Read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

Book cover for Kill Switch3. Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

Kill Switch Synopsis: What do you do when the power goes off?

A terrorist group has acquired one hundred E-bombs. Each bomb’s electromagnetic pulse is powerful enough to blow out all power and all technology from a major city. The terrorists plan to hit one hundred American cities in a campaign of destruction. Word has gotten out about the coming blackout and gangs, criminals and terrorist strike teams are poised to attack when the lights go out.

Joe Ledger knows how to stop them. He has the names, locations, abort codes. But a targeted EMP weapon kills the electronics aboard his plane. Joe crashes in the deepest and most remote part of the vast rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Joe and his combat dog, Ghost, survive the crash -but they are lost in the wilderness with no weapons and no way to get the information to the authorities.

Time is running out. And Joe is being hunted by a terrifying new kind of assassin. A team of remote viewers have the ability to take over any person and turn ordinary citizens into killers.

Joe and Ghost may have to kill the innocent in order to save the entire country from falling during a night of darkness and mass murder.

Read my review here.

 

Book cover for Devil's Colony2. The Devil’s Colony by Bill Schweigart

The Devil’s Colony SynopsisThe greatest monster is man. From the author of The Beast of Barcroft and Northwoods comes a chilling descent into the depths of horror and human depravity.

Ben McKelvie had a good job, a nice house, a beautiful fiancée . . . until a bloodthirsty shapeshifter took everything away. Ever since, he’s been chasing supernatural phenomena all across the country, aided by dedicated zoologist Lindsay Clark and wealthy cryptozoologist Richard Severance.

Now they face their deadliest challenge yet. In the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a man named Henry Drexler operates a private compound called Välkommen, which is Swedish for “welcome.” Indeed, Drexler welcomes all visitors—so long as they’re racists, neo-Nazis, or otherwise in cahoots with the alt-right. But Drexler is no mere Hitler wannabe. Once he was Severance’s mentor, and his research may well have summoned a monster to the Pine Barrens.

To find out the truth, Ben and Lindsay must enter the camp incognito. There, under the watchful eyes of Drexler’s bodyguards and sociopathic son, they will learn that the most dangerous beasts lurk in the human heart.

Read my review here.

 

 

Book cover for Stone Cold Bastards1. Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

Stone Cold Bastards Synopsis: Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the Sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last Sanctuary is about to fall.

Read my review here.

 

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Gracie’s Picks:

5.  The Minstrel’s BargainRichard Ayre

The Minstrel’s Bargain Synopsis:   ‘A tale of horror, hell and heavy metal.’
Newcastle. 1988….
They say that music is the food of love. Reporter Phil Sturgess would disagree with this. He would argue that some music is the stuff of nightmares. Some music can literally tear out your soul and drag it, kicking and screaming, down to hell itself.
Sturgess loves rock music. He loves it so much he makes a living from it. But when he hears of a band called Minstrel’s Bargain, Sturgess’ life descends into horror. As the city he lives in succumbs to ever more violent and macabre episodes of grisly murders and barbarous acts of self-destruction, Sturgess begins to understand that there is something very wrong with Minstrel’s Bargain. Something very wrong indeed.
With time running out for humanity, Sturgess is threatened with an age old evil. And to stop that evil he is forced to confront the terrifying stranger who has been dogging his footsteps for months. The only question is; will Sturgess do what needs to be done? If not, the souls of millions will be destroyed.
Sturgess has to make a choice. Fight or flight? Heaven or Hell? Live or die? Whatever he chooses, it will be a Devil of a decision.

Read My Review Here

 

 

4. Crow Shine Alan Baxter

Crow Shine Synopsis: The dark fantasy collection features 19 stories, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning “Shadows of the Lonely Dead”; and original title story “Crow Shine” in addition to two other never before published stories.

Read My Review Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Rites of Azathoth Frank Cavallo

Rites of Azathoth Synopsis:  F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

Read My Review Here

 

 

 

2. The Longest Con Michaelbrent Collings

The Longest Con Synopsis:  Larry Correia. Kevin J. Anderson. D.J. Butler. Orson Scott Card. Mercedes Yardley. 

Would you like to know – I mean, REALLY know – what they’re doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain’t just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that…
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I’M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell book

s, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It’s not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you’d never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don’t have to guess.

JUST READ THIS BOOK.

And get ready to have . . . your . . . mind . . . BLOWN.*

* Disclaimer: your mind may or may not be blown.

Read My Review Here

 

1. Wicked Witchesedited by Scott T. Goudsward, David Price and Daniel G. Keohane

Wicked Witches Synopsis:  New England has a rich, dark history with the supernatural. From this region many writers of dark fiction have fueled their stories. One chapter in history has been the stuff of legends and nightmares: the Witch. Look to ancient mythology or your next door neighbor and you will find them, practicing arts both Dark and Light. The New England Horror Writers proudly present a new anthology which pays tribute to those whose ancestors were accused, hung, pressed, drowned, or burned at the stake. Enter these pages, wander the hard roads of Colonial America or modern corporate boardrooms, to face the Witch. Wicked Witches, fiction from New England’s most talented writers: G.D. Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter N. Dudar, Jeremy Flagg, Joshua Goudreau, Catherine Grant, Jan Kozlowski, Patrick Lacey, Izzy Lee, Nick Manzolillo, John McIlveen, Paul McMahon, James A. Moore, Errick A. Nunnally, Ogmios, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Doug Rinaldi, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, K.H. Vaughan, Morven Westfield and Trisha J. Wooldridge Introduction by Penny Dreadful; Cover art by Mikio Murakami

Read My Review Here

More 2017 Science Fiction & Horror Novels to Look For! (July-Dec)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Back in mid-December 2016, I did a very popular post called 2017 Science Fiction & Horror Novels to Look For. That was a fun list to put together, but it only covered January through June of 2017!  So here is the second edition of this post, put together just to cover upcoming science fiction  and horror releases for July through December of 2017. And of course this time the list isn’t just from me! (Covers lead to Goodreads.)

This post topic was brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Note from Gracie:There were quite a few on the yearly coming out list that are making me drool and making my wallet cringe. Because I wants them my precious…. I have to be upfront about this. There are quite a few from Crystal Lake Publishing in this but it’s not a paid for endorsement in any way. I love anthologies and, let’s be honest, they put out some great ones.

 

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More 2017 Science Fiction & Horror Novels to Look For

Book cover for an Oath of Dogs

An Oath of Dogs by Wendy N. Wagner – Published by Angry Robot | Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: July 4th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller

An Oath of Dogs Synopsis: Kate Standish has been on Huginn less than a week and she s already pretty sure her new company murdered her boss. But extractions corporations dominate the communities of the forest world, and few are willing to threaten their meal tickets to look too closely at corporate misbehaviour. The little town of mill workers and farmers is more worried about the threat of eco-terrorism and a series of attacks by the bizarre, sentient dogs of this planet, than a death most people would like to believe is an accident. When Standish connects a secret chemical test site to a nearly forgotten disaster in Huginn s history, she reveals a conspiracy that threatens Standish and everyone she s come to care about.”

 

 

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Book cover for Moon Beam

Moon Beam by Travis S. Taylor & Jody Lynn Nye – Published by Baen – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: July 4th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Sci-Fi

Of Interest: Middle Grade Novel

Moon Beam Synopsis: What happens when you get the one thing you wanted most in life? Lonely 16-year-old farm girl Barbara Winton has been following one reality show for years. Then in an instant she goes from fangirl to participant when the call comes from Dr. Keegan Bright: She’s been selected out of a horde of applicants to join him on the Moon.

She’ll be one of his Bright Sparks, six students with expertise in STEM and plenty of their own ingenuity chosen to work with Dr. Bright and given big responsibilities to undertake new projects important to the growth of the colony. Her first task? Build a radar telescope using an entire crater on the far side of the Moon.

But Barbara soon learns that life on a burgeoning frontier outpost like the Moon is a far cry from safe, civilized Earth. The loner from farm country must find a way to weld a functional team out of fiercely independent thinkers. Not only are they a bit trickier to work with than farm robots, not only is the working environment incredibly dangerous—she also has to perform this miracle in front of millions of fans….

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Book cover for Devil's Colony

The Devil’s Colony by Bill Schweigart – Published by Random House Hydra – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: July 11th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Horror

The Devil’s Colony Synopsis: Ben McKelvie had a good job, a nice house, a beautiful fiancée . . . until a bloodthirsty shapeshifter took everything away. Ever since, he’s been chasing supernatural phenomena all across the country, aided by dedicated zoologist Lindsay Clark and wealthy cryptozoologist Richard Severance.

Now they face their deadliest challenge yet. In the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a man named Henry Drexler operates a private compound called Välkommen, which is Swedish for “welcome.” Indeed, Drexler welcomes all visitors—so long as they’re racists, neo-Nazis, or otherwise in cahoots with the alt-right. But Drexler is no mere Hitler wannabe. Once he was Severance’s mentor, and his research may well have summoned a monster to the Pine Barrens.

To find out the truth, Ben and Lindsay must enter the camp incognito. There, under the watchful eyes of Drexler’s bodyguards and sociopathic son, they will learn that the most dangerous beasts lurk in the human heart.

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Dark Light: Dawn by Jon Land (Created by Fabrizio Baccardi) – Published by Forge Books – Picked by GK

Expected Release Date: July 24th, 2017 (Hardcover) – August 1st, 2017 (Kindle edition) | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Dark Light: Dawn Synopsis: With an uncanny ability to survive any combat situation, Max Younger has built a good life for himself as a Navy SEAL. That is, until a rogue rescue operation plunges him back into the past he thought he’d escaped forever.

Waiting for him back home in New York are terrible, long-hidden truths rooted in the tragic death of his father. But the origin of those truths lie further back than that, and Max finds himself ensnared in a sinister plot involving nothing less than the biblical apocalypse.

The explosive conflagration of events reunites him with the only woman he ever loved: Victoria Lewin, a brilliant expert in infectious disease who may be the only one who can stop the spread of a deadly pestilence threatening the planet. Max’s reunion with Vicky comes amid a firestorm being unleashed by forces that date back to the very origins of the universe.

Across the globe, the stage is being set for a final, epic confrontation between the forces of good and evil. Sides are chosen, a fearsome army rises, and the lines between science and superstition become increasingly blurred. Max desperately seeks to discover whether he is fated, under the shadow of the Medusa Strain, to help save the world . . . or destroy it.

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Book cover for Bone White

Bone White by Ronald Malfi – Published by Kensington – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: July 25th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Horror

Bone White Synopsis: A landscape of frozen darkness punctuated by grim, gray days.
The feeling like a buzz in your teeth.
The scrape of bone on bone. . .

Paul Gallo saw the report on the news: a mass murderer leading police to his victims graves, in remote Dread s Hand, Alaska.
It s not even a town; more like the bad memory of a town. The same bit of wilderness where his twin brother went missing a year ago. As the bodies are exhumed, Paul travels to Alaska to get closure and put his grief to rest.
But the mystery is only beginning. What Paul finds are superstitious locals who talk of the devil stealing souls, and a line of wooden crosses to keep what s in the woods from coming out. He finds no closure because no one can explain exactly what happened to Danny.
And the more he searches for answers, the more he finds himself becoming part of the mystery. . .

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Book cover for Noumenon

Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter – Published by Harper Voyager – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: August 1st, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Sci-Fi

Noumenon Synopsis: With nods to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series, the real science of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, a touch of Hugh Howey’s Wool, and told through echoes of Octavia Butler’s voice, this is a powerful tale of space travel, adventure, discovery, and humanity that unfolds through a series of generational vignettes

In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth’s solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go?

Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He’s discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics, and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon, or something manufactured.

The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind’s greatest ambition—to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy—is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated “Convoy Seven”) changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie’s mysterious star and explore its origins—and implications.

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Book cover for VOlkVolk: A Novel of Radiant Abomination by David Nickle – Published by ChiZine Publications – Picked by GK

Expected Release Date: August 27th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Horror

Volk Synopsis: At the dawn of the twentieth century in the Idaho logging town of Eliada, orphaned farm boy Jason Thistledown and black physician Andrew Waggoner came face to face with monsters: the human sort, in the form of American eugenicists seeking to perfect the human race through breeding and culls; and the inhuman, a parasitic species named Juke, that lived off the hopes, dreams, and faith of humanity, even as it consumed it from within.

The year is 1931 . . .

In a remote valley in the Bavarian Alps, the Germanic students of those eugenicists seek to uncover the secret of the Juke and the promise of the Übermensch. In Paris, Dr. Andrew Waggoner enters his third decade of unravelling the mystery of the elusive organism. Jason Thistledown, now a veteran pilot of World War I, gets ready to embark on a new career flying mail and passengers in North Africa and, he hopes, forget the profound horrors that have shaped him.

Soon, they will all have to reckon with one other: a terrible synthesis of those horrors, which moves among humanity with an inexorable and terrible purpose—obliterating and reshaping that humanity until there is only one thing left:

Die volks.

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Cover Coming SoonThe Ghost Club by William  Meikle – Published by Crystal Lake Publishing – Picked by GK

Expected Release Date: September of 2017

The Ghost Club Synopsis: A Victorian supernatural short story collection from Crystal Lake Publishing. As you can see, information on this title is a bit scanty at this time so I will be updating as more becomes available. It caught my eye because of the Victorian era angle on the supernatural short story stood out. Also, The Ghost Club is a story by John Kendrick Bangs in 1894. William Meikle is very good at pastiches of other books from the era (Carnacki: Heaven and Hell) so I’m interested to see what will come of this book.I promise to give a proper synopsis when it becomes available.

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Book cover for Barbary Station

Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns – Published by Saga Press – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: October 31st, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Sci-Fi

Of Interest: GLBT pairings

Barbary Station Synopsis: Adda and Iridian are newly-minted engineers, but in a solar system wracked by economic collapse after an interplanetary war, an engineering degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Desperate for gainful employment, they hijack a colony ship, planning to join a pirate crew at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

But when they arrive at Barbary Station, nothing is as they expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury — they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents. And it shoots down any ship that tries to leave, so there’s no way out.

Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the security system suffered explosive decapitation, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds. There’s a glorious future in piracy…if they can survive long enough.

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Book cover for Terminal AllianceTerminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines – Published by DAW – Picked by LG

Expected Release Date: Nov 7th, 2017 | Preorder on Amazon

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy

Terminal Alliance Synopsis: The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

 

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Bonus Time!

These books were included on the list because we couldn’t NOT mention them, but for various reasons they didn’t meet the criteria to be listed in the proper list above.

Twice Upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales – Various – Published by Crystal Lake Publishing

Expected Release Date: Today! (May 30th)  — This looks so awesome we had to include it, even though it doesn’t fall within the publishing range. Unfortunately, one of the problems when trying to find stuff from smaller presses is that they don’t have their ‘coming soon’ lists out as far in advance as the bigger publishers do. But we were happy to get this!

Genre: Lovecraftian Horror

Of Interest: Re-Imagined fairy tales, Lovecraftian Horror

Twice Upon an Apocalypse  Synopsis: These aren’t your mother’s fairy tales.

Throughout history parents have told their children stories to help them sleep, to keep them entertained. But we’re pretty sure none of those parents had this in mind. These are the fairy tales that will give you and your children nightmares. From the darkest depths of Grimm and Anderson come the immortal mash-ups with the creations of HP Lovecraft.

These stories will scare and delight ‘children’ of all ages!
• Introduction by Gary A Braunbeck
• “The Pied Piper of Providence” by William Meikle
• “The Three Billy Goats Sothoth” by Peter N Dudar
• “Little Maiden of the Sea” by David Bernard
• “The Great Old One and the Beanstalk” by Armand
Rosamilia
• “In the Shade of the Juniper Tree” by JP Hutsell
• “The Horror at Hatchet Point” by Zach Shephard
• “The Most Incredible Thing” by Bracken MacLeod
• “Let Me Come In!” by Simon Yee
• “The Fishman and His Wife” by Inanna Arthen
• “Little Match Mi-Go” by Michael Kamp
• “Follow the Yellow Glyph Road” by Scott T Goudsward
• “Gumdrop Apocalypse” by Pete Rawlik
• “Curiosity” by Winifred Burniston
• “The Ice Queen” by Mae Empson
• “Once Upon a Dream” by Matthew Baugh
• “Cinderella and Her Outer Godfather” by CT Phipps
• “Donkeyskin” by KH Vaughan
• “Sweet Dreams in the Witch-House” by Sean Logan
• “Fee Fi Old One” by Thom Brannan
• “The King on the Golden Mountain” by Morgan Sylvia
• “The Legend of Creepy Hollow” by Don D’Ammassa
So what makes this Lovecraftian Fairy Tales anthology special?
William Meikle: Lovecraft was working on stirring some base emotions in the reader, asking us to reflect on the depth and wonder of the Universe around us. Fairy tales, whether from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen or from the oral tradition are a similar means of tapping into something old and primal, and a fusion of both gives us added insight into how archetypes and myth might evolve in an age where the most frightening thing is ourselves.
Armand Rosamilia: The mashup of Lovecraft and fairy tales blended together way too easy. It makes you wonder… Reading through these stories you can see how the two parallel and fit nicely together, especially since the base for Cthulhu mythos and fairy tales are so dark and have that underlying gloom to them.

Why should readers give this horror anthology a try?
Armand Rosamilia: If you love fairy tales or Lovecraft or horror or reading or… There are so many levels to this anthology. So many stories you’ll read and then go back to read the original fairy tale to gain a new perspective on what you remember (or thought you remember) as a child. I went back and read all of the original tales and was a bit creeped out. Adding Lovecraft to the mix only makes it better!

 

 

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Whispered Echoes by Paul F. Olson – Published by Crystal Lake Publishing

Expected Release Date: June 23rd, 2017 (It was so close to the cut-off we had to include it.)

Genre: Horror Collection

Whispered Echoes Synopsis: An ancient voice speaks from the depths of a long-forgotten cave…

As a violent storm rages overhead, the scratching sounds begin in the cellar below…

A man inherits the family talent, but what price does that legacy demand…?

A return to the family homestead brings overwhelming memories, but the darkest memory of all still waits in the ravine out back…

An unassuming tourist quietly strolls through town, leaving devastation in his wake…

A late-night call from an abandoned camp brings a frightened cop face-to-face with his darkest fears…

A wild joyride ends with a surprise reunion and an encounter with the impossible…

A man searches for answers at an abandoned lighthouse and uncovers an unspeakable past…

Listen closely. You can hear them. The whispered echoes of your darkest fears. In this stunning new collection, Paul F. Olson delves into the quiet heart of terror. Featuring eleven long out-of-print tales from the ’80s and ’90s, and the debut of “Bloodybones,” a brand new novella of loss, longing, and chilling horror. With a foreword by Chet Williamson and an introduction by the author, Whispered Echoes abounds with subtle shivers that linger long after the last page is turned.

 

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Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Sub-genre edited by Michele Brittany

Expected Release Date: August 20th, 2017

Genre: Non-Fiction

Of Interest: Movie study and Analysis

Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Sub-genre Synopsis: In sharp contrast to 1960s cinema which created an idolized view of space exploration, Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) redefined filmic horror by terrifying audiences with the oppressive nature of space. The Alien films launched a new generation of horror films set in the great unknown, while also inspiring genre filmmakers to take Earth-bound franchises like Leprechaun and Friday the 13th to space. This unique collection of essays analyzes the space horror sub-genre and its rise as a cinematic phenomenon since the 1950s. With a focus on films including Paul W.S. Anderson’s Event Horizon, Duncan Jones’ Moon, Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires, John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars, and numerous others, these essays provide a historical retrospective of the genre’s cinematic journey and an in-depth examination of how genre filmmakers explored the concepts of the final girl/survivor, the uncanny valley, the isolationism of space travel, religion, and supernatural phenomenons to terrify audiences within the confines of space.

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Cover Coming SoonTales of the Lake: Volume 4 by Various – Published by Crystal Lake Publishing

Expected Release Date: October

Again, not much is known about this title yet and I will update as it comes. I wanted to bring it to your attention because I’ve read volumes 1 and 3 and they were both very solid, good anthologies so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of this volume.

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Book cover for The Rise and Fall of DODO

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland – Published by William Morrow

Expected Release Date: June 13th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy

The Rise and Fall of DODO Synopsis: When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.

Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world “jams” the “frequencies” used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.

And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

Well, there’s our list of books we’re looking forward to for the last half of the year. Where’s yours?! Go on, share!

 

Horror – Beauty of the Beast

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This isn’t exactly an official Top Ten Tuesday list. Lilyn had that covered with her sexy lemur and lizard people so there was very little for me to add. However, since I can’t help but throw in my two cents (or a severed limb or two) I thought I’d make a sort of companion piece to hers.  The horror genre needs a little eye candy itself from time to time, since said eyes are usually squished or melted or something equally gooey. So enjoy a bit of human (or otherwise) flesh that isn’t twisted or bent out of shape but instead dark and beautiful. Since the broody figures that grace the covers of horror tend to be all by their lonesome (I guess it’s hard to cuddle when your other half has been eaten by a werewolf)  I’ve separated them into three women, three men and three with…different tastes. Plus a bonus one just for me. Enjoy!

(Covers lead to Goodreads)

Gory’s the New Sexy –  The Lethal Ladies

        

Come to the Cemetery – I like the red against the crypt in the back. It might be a bit simple and the cloak a bit Red Riding Hood but it stands out nonetheless.

Children of Roen – I honestly couldn’t help myself. The wings and clothing are so fluid looking that they enhance the beauty of the sole figure on the cover. It looks a bit lonely and bleak.

The Dead House – The cover links to a different cover. The cover shown was for a preview version but the official cover is so plain I honestly don’t understand why they got rid of this beauty for the current cover.

 

Try to Understand, He’s a Magic Man

(Please someone get that reference so I don’t feel too old. Pretty please?)

         

Carnacki: Heaven and Hell – I’ll freely admit I have a bit of a crush on the character of Carnacki. While this isn’t exactly how I pictured him but it’s fairly close (if you’re curious I pictured him a bit more rugged and clean-shaven…where was I again? Oh yeah, ahem, back to the list).

Arson  Mr. Arson certainly has a ‘smoldering’ look to him but if he can’t control the fire at his fingertips, things might get a little…warm in certain areas.

Critique – I honestly put this in just so I could make this joke: Christian Gray called, he wants his mask back. Lame, I know but I’m so glad to have gotten it off my chest to inflict on all of you. You’re welcome. Could’ve been worse. I could have made a Yu-Gi-Oh! joke and totally revealed my complete nerdiness.

Creepy Characters Need Love Too

           

Aberrations – Even though almost all of these characters are alone, this guy can take care of himself. And that’s all I’m going to stay about that.

Beckon the Dark – Even though they have each other I’m sure her hair can take on whatever evil may befall them.

Beneath – Even though it’s a little hard to see what the guy actually looks like under the hood, the tongue brings up so many possibilities. I’ll let you guys figure them out.

 

Last but not least…

Oh c’mon, you knew I’d work him in somewhere. The Elder Gods need some lovin’ too. Although I’d rather not imagine the mechanics of that.

 

I’d love to see some horror covers that get your hearts racing (or at least elicit an appreciative whistle). Feel free to link to your posts or just drop a Goodreads link in the comments section if you want! 

Sci-Fi Romance: Sexy Alien Love Covers

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Several months back, I was talking with Donna from Chocolate’n’Waffles and she accused me of the main draw to my site being sexy aliens. That I was wantonly posting pictures of hot naked aliens to get everyone’s attention. Well, we had a good laugh about it and that was it. And then it came up again more recently. So… when I saw that Broke and Bookish had a Cover Theme Freebie for the prompt this week… Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. That’s right, folks, I spent hours scouring the web to find you the absolute best alien romance covers I could find. By the time I was done, I had a twitch in one eye that lasted about an hour and a strong urge to go scrub my brain out, but I did it!

Now, one might think I’m mocking this subgenre, but consider this… My favorite comfort read is an alien x human romance novel called Knight of a Trillion Stars . The only reason it’s not on this list is the cover was too ‘normal’.

And after hours spent looking at alien romance book covers, I’ve only got one thing to say:  What’s with all the blue aliens? Seriously? Some of y’all had crushes on the Smurfs growing up, didn’t you?!

(Covers lead to Goodreads)

Sexy Alien Love Covers

Book cover for Barbarian's Lady Book cover for The Last Hour of GannBook cover for Venmous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Barbarian’s Lady – Actually kind of sweet, all things considered. And the cracks she could make about him being “horny”. More sweet than sexy alien, but a good start to this list.

The Last Hour of Gann – I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this alien is supposed to be. I’m guessing some sort of lizard or snake alien? Whatever. With the way her hands drifting down, he’s going to be slithering all over her shortly.

Venomous – You gotta wonder what skin like that would feel like against yours. I mean, I like stroking snakes (shush!) but a massive body with that skin? And could you just..I mean..for one second think about the manly bits and ….yeah. That’d take ‘python’ to a whole new slang level.


Book cover for Alien MateBook cover for The Star KingBook cover for Hunted by Treaty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alien Mate – Hey, if hundreds of romance books starring normal humans can get away with just a pair of manly ripped abs on the cover, so can Alien Mate. Sexy alien abs are the same as sexy human abs. They’re just…blue. Look, we’re at 3 blue aliens and already in this list of covers. See why I made the crack about smurfs?!

The Star King – Well, freaky light eyes aside, this alien has a hell of a jawline and muscles so big he has to wrap string around them to keep them contained. Helllooo Nurse! King. Whatever.

Hunted by Treaty – Hey, the chick is the alien for once! I can dig that! And she’s sparkly. Imagine watching her dance? Sexy alien disco ball!


Book cover for Angel's LustBook cover for The Huntress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Angel’s Lust – Okay, truthfully the first thought that popped into my head when I saw this was wondering what happened when he got excited. Because if those wings started going when he got excited, then you’d want to initiate sexy time in a room with very high ceilings. ON the plus side, if it was really hot and your air conditioning went out, you could just give him Viagra and use him as your own personal ceiling fan.

The Huntress – I can’t say the fellow on this cover is particularly tempting. I mean, he looks truly reptilian and therefore cold-blooded, eh? I can’t imagine that making for good snuggles. And when it comes to tab A, slot B, probably a distinctly Popsicle feeling.

Renegade Orion – Sexy tattooed smurf! I wonder if he tastes like blue raspberry. Hey, I wonder if anyone has ever given their aliens a different ‘taste’. Could you imagine that? A planet filled with people of different candy-colors that tasted like candy?


Book cover for Imperfect Imperfect – This one gets points for the lemur-human hybrid on the cover. Nobody else had the balls to go full on half-prosimian! The black skin really is pretty, and he’d definitely age well, considering he’s already got gray hair! You takes what you can get, and if its half-lemur, well, you count your tail rings and consider yourself a lucky girl.

 

 

 

 

 


 

What about you? What are some of your favorite covers? Feel free to link to your own posts, or just give me the Goodreads links below!

Why We Won’t Read Your Book

Sci-Fi & Scary gets a lot of science fiction and horror review submissions. That’s awesome! We love supporting indie authors and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon. We even purchase indie author books independently on Amazon on a regular basis. Just because they look good. Hoooooowwwweeevvveeer, there are some things that make us seriously disinclined to accept your book for review (or get it on our own from Amazon). As this Top Ten Tuesday prompt was “Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book” we thought we’d take advantage of it to create a list of our reasons we reject (or consider rejecting) many of the books. This is not limited to indie authors, either! Some of these mistakes have been made by well-known authors and have us groaning.

We aren’t going to name names in this post, and any covers that we use will be quick mock-ups done by us to get the point across. As usual, Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

Why We Won’t Read Your Book


Misspellings on the cover or in the summary on the back
. We rarely see this happen on covers but it does happen. We understand not everyone can hire cover designers, so many choose to make their own covers. If you do – good for you. However, for the love of all things tentacled, please make sure you have someone spell check your cover.  And have at least two or three people read your summary! This one we see errors in all the time, and it’s a bit amazing, quite frankly. Especially on more well-known books.

 

 

 

Incorrect capitalization. Yes, it happens to the best of us. However, sometimes you only have one chance to catch someone’s attention. So you want to make sure that all aspects of your cover are on point, yes? If you can’t manage to keep with at least a consistent capitalization, we’re not going to waste our time reading the blurb/summary.

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords in the title section on Goodreads/Amazon. Right now we’re both at the point where if we see this when we’re looking at your book, we will flat out refuse to get it. This is a stupid practice that needs to stop immediately. Keyword tagging your title is tempting, but just don’t do it.

However, it’s not just in the title section, either. If you shove a bunch of keywords in a row right into where your blurb/summary goes instead of giving a proper summary, or any variation of that, it still doesn’t look good.

 

 

Breaking up a story into multiple parts to cash grab. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. Every single one of us can think of series that go past the trilogy stage. But every one of us can also think of cases where it was completely unnecessary, and this often happens with indie authors who will parcel out their story into bite-sized chunks (sometimes larger) and often end them on massive cliffhangers. Sometimes right in the middle of the natural arc of one plotline.

 

 

Listing your book under inappropriate genres to get people to read it. If we see this, especially if we see a decidedly adult book in the children’s section, we will report it. Not gonna lie. If it’s obviously mislisted, neither of us have any problem taking the 2 seconds required to let the appropriate people know.  It’s just shady marketing. It goes without saying that we’re also never going to pick up your book. That one, or any other one we ever see under your name.

 

 

 

Nothing but praise on the back. Look, we think it’s fantastic that other published authors are willing to sing your book’s praises. Really. It’s awesome. However, that doesn’t bloody tell us what your book is about, does it?! We’ve seen this one happening more and more, especially on some big name writer’s books, and it’s enough to make us facepalm. This trend towards including the summary on super tiny type on the inside of the dust jacket has got to stop. Gah.

A second part to this – praise for *another* book from the same author. We don’t care about the praise Sassy Serpents got if we’re trying to find a summary for Withering Witches. You get us?

 

 

 

The attractive woman in a seductive/sexy pose cover. You know the ones. Your book is about a kick-ass female *insert profession* and … well, sex sells, right? So you slap a picture of an attractive female on the cover, give it a title and all that, and call it done.

For me (LG), sex sells if I’m wanting to read romance or erotica. Then, show me the boobs or the ripply abs or whatever other cliche you want to show me. I’m still going to be more interested in the actual stories within, but at least I’m not going to roll my eyes so hard that they threaten to stick pointing straight up and walk straight by your book.

 

 

 

Not paying attention to the site’s notices for reviewing. Especially when they’re clearly listed on the top of the “Request a Review” form. Y’all… YOU ALL. Seriously. I can’t even… Look, I’m going to take a second to rant about this. When a site has it clearly posted that they’re only accepting certain formats, and people continue to send them requests to review alternate formats, it’s bloody infuriating. I’ve gotten to the point where if I’m feeling nice that day, I might respond denying to review your book. Otherwise, I just ignore it.

It’s clearly posted in the widget on the right sidebar that we’re only accepting audiobooks for the science fiction submissions right now. It’s also stated right at the very top (in bold) on the request a review form. The form that everyone has to fill out to submit their books for review. And yet y’all keep sending me requests to review your mobi copies. No. Nope. Not happening. Nu-uh. You blew it.  */end mini-rant from LG*


Okay, that’s not all the reasons why we won’t read your book, but it’s the major ones.

What about you, what stops you from reading certain books?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must-Have Wall Art for Classic Horror Fans

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we were asked to come up with something relating to fandoms. Unfortunately, neither of us really do that, so it felt nigh impossible. However, soon we realized there was something we both could talk about for hours. Horror; specifically old school horror. So (after a bit of time tossing ideas back and forth, we put together a partial list of jewelry for horror fans. Which somehow then morphed into decor for horror fans, which culminated in this list of must-have wall art for classic horror fans. Because sometimes the post wants what the post wants.

So you get 10 original works by 10 different artists from Etsy that deserve to be hanging on your horror-hound walls. Etsy has some surprisingly fierce horror art!

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of the Broke and Bookish.

It probably shouldn’t need to be said, just because I’ve referenced the creator of each piece in the caption, and linked each piece back to it’s individual Etsy page…but… None of these are mine. I didn’t create them. I had nothing to do with them. I’m not receiving anything for posting them on here.


Must Have Wall Art for Classic Horror Fans

Painting of Kurt Barlow 2
$23 – Etsy – Xenovibes
Painting of Creature From the Black Lagoon by Evil Nerd Studios
$30 – Etsy – EvilnerdStudios
Styled Hellraiser Poster
$48 – Etsy – The Geekerie
Painting of The Shining
$54.32 – Etsy – Borganic
Picture of a Wolfman Drawing
$64.57 – Etsy – GingerGuyDraws
Painting of Herman Munster
$80 – Etsy – SelphRoadStudios
Painting of The Mummy
$85 – Etsy – Artisdumb
Evil Dead Painting by Retrosprays
$175 – Etsy – Retrosprays
Canvas painting of Vincent Price
$200 – Etsy – Mark Redfield
Painting of Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates
$300 – Etsy – MusicandMonsters

 

Lilyn: My favorite is either the Wolfman or Jack from the Shining. With the Wolfman, I think I’m just in awe of the amount of time that had to have went into that particular print. With Jack, it just looks so menacing… in a postcard way. Wouldn’t that make a great postcard to send to your friend in Florida or somewhere warm where it’s dead of winter and freezing where you live and they’ve taunted you about the warmth one too many times?? And rip off a Liam Neeson quote while you’re at it. “I will find you, and I will kill you.”

Gracie: I love The Mummy and I like the particular art style on the print. I like the color tones behind the Mummy, it really brings it out and the bandages look very detailed. (In case you can’t tell, Lilyn’s the one inclined to ramble.)

*If you are the artist of one of these works, and are offended by me linking it here, just send me an email at contact @ scifiandscary.com, and I’ll sadly take it down.*