It’s the most exciting time of the year – the run-up to Halloween! This month we celebrate with our third annual 31 Days of Horror – 31 Books, 31 Authors – bringing you the best in independent horror. Grab some books from the list, draw the curtains, and settle in for some spookily terrific reading.
The Volunteer by Sarah Northwood
It’s so hard trying to keep up with my studies and earn enough money to stay out of debt. At times like this, I wish Mum and Dad were still around, but no amount of wishing will change what’s happened. They are gone, and sooner or later I’m going to have to get used to that.
The advert for those volunteer studies looks promising though. They only test the drugs they already know are safe, don’t they? It’s loads of money too, just for a few days. It really could get me out of a hole and maybe it will give me time to think about things, get my head straight. Buy here
Four by P.J. Blakey-Novis
From the author of Embrace the Darkness, Tunnels, and The Artist comes Four. Four friends spend a night away camping in the English countryside, each taking a turn to tell a horror story that will terrify the others. But the group soon discover that there is more to be afraid of than just some campfire tales, and that no one is as innocent as they seem. Buy here
Lac Du Mort & Other Stories by Joanne Van Leerdam
From the macabre to the deeply disturbing, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories delivers eight chilling tales that will please lovers of horror and dark fiction. Buy here
Hag’s Breath: A Collection of Witchcraft and Wickedness by S.P. Oldham
‘She goes barefoot, preferring to feel how the grasses and rushes bend at her touch, the small creatures writhe and struggle at her weight. She relishes how the cool, damp earth gives way to her…
Sibilanta stands on a rock at the river’s edge. At her closeness the water line retreats, leaving a border of wet mud. She stares out across the night, the deep blue sky mirroring the shade of her cloak; except the sky is scattered with stars, glittering cold and silver. It is dimly lit by a low and wary moon, while Sibilanta’s cloak is unadorned and simple.’
Chilling; sinister; eerie; this work of fiction presents you with five compelling stories. If you thought a witch was a character from your childhood, something to scare children with, then think again. ..
Witches come in all shapes and sizes; all manner of bearing; grace of stature; deviance of thought. Wickedness of deed. In these imaginative, beautifully crafted stories you will indeed encounter witches of all kinds; be they protectors or hunters, ancient or modern, evil or cursed. Some are born to their calling, others need some persuading. In a variety of settings ranging from the snow covered forests of Norway to a medieval peasant village, you will be taken across time to bear witness as their stories unfold.
Elements of Horror Book One: Earth
Elements of Horror Book One: Earth, is the first in a series of four horror anthologies based on the Elements. Within these pages you will find a variety of stories from some of the best independent horror writers on the scene today, including Theresa Jacobs, R.C. Rumple, David F. Gray, and many more. Fall into sinkholes, brave the tales of witchcraft, grotesque creatures, and demons, and feel the terror of explorations gone wrong. Buy here
Train of Blood by R.C. Rumple
One of the last wagon trains heads west facing numerous dangers. The wagon master has dealt with most on previous trips … disgruntled travel companions, terrible weather, deadly reptiles, vicious wild animals … all common to him. Yet, there is a new beast stalking in the darkness. A creature created by the magic of the medicine men of numerous tribes, more savage and dangerous than he’s ever faced. Will any survive? Buy UK and US
Cheater, Cheater by Scott Donnelly
A mysterious serial killer has violently claimed the lives of five random residents in the sleepy town of Maple Oaks, Vermont. Then, all goes silent. Five years later, a former resident, Joseph Givens, returns after trying to better himself, and shake the demons that consumed his teen years. And almost like a trigger, his return sparks a new series of brutal crimes. Joseph is being stalked, and the people around him are being hunted. Who is the killer who hides under a tattered pumpkin mask, and carries a sharp hunting knife? And why has Joseph been targeted?
Cheater, Cheater was inspired by the whodunnit slasher films of the 90s, and beta-readers have said: “Twists and turns all over!” “I didn’t see the ending coming!” & “Every time I thought I knew who did it, I had to change my mind. Kept me guessing until the very end!” Buy UK and US
The Meyerstown Secret by Howard Carlyle
The Meyerstown Psychiatric Hospital will now become notorious for the horrific events which took place there. For years, the hospital’s history has been shrouded in a cloak of secrecy, until now. For those who worked there, it was a case of ‘whatever happens in Meyerstown, stays in Meyerstown… or face the consequences!’ For the first time ever, from first-hand accounts, diary entries and interviews, this book exposes the dark and disturbing events that occurred. The Meyerstown Secret is now finally revealed. Buy here
The Zombie Effect by Theresa Jacobs
The game they never should have played.
Caleb adores his friends even though he spends most of his time as a mediator to their bickering.
The one thing they all have in common is their love of zombies.
The choice to begin a zombie boy’s club is unanimous.
However, his friends take a simple game of scaring people too far.
When the fun changes to hurting innocent people, Caleb wants it to stop.
But they won’t listen, and the games grow darker still.
Caleb is afraid to tell anyone, and afraid to continue down the same path.
Gamble’s Run by David F. Gray
Reeling from the tragic loss of his infant daughter Molly and the disappearance of his wife Melody, Garrett Webb begins a journey that will ultimately bring him to Gamble’s Run, a long-abandoned canal hidden deep in central Florida.
If he has any hope of finding his wife, he must penetrate the mysteries surrounding the canal and confront the evil that has festered there for untold centuries.
Webb will make deadly enemies, but will also gain steadfast friends and allies, and together they will confront a power that exists beyond time and space.
Dark Thoughts: A Collection of Horror Stories by Kevin J. Kennedy
Kevin J. Kennedy has put together some of the horror world’s bestselling anthologies over recent years. Now, for the first time, he has collected some of his own short stories in one place. Dark Thoughts features a brand new, eight thousand word, tribute story to Richard Laymon’s Dark Mountain. Buy UK and US
Mr. Nice Guy: An Extreme Horror Tale by Allisha McAdoo
*Warning* This story contains graphic material, it may bring on nightmares, irrational fears, loss of appetite and finishing this story without getting a wink of sleep. Luke grew up in an abusive home to where his mom and stepdad hurt him in every way possible. Finally once all grown up he decides he isn’t going to take it anymore. As he lives his life the best that he can he runs into a bad situation after a bad situation, to the point where being abused when he was younger seemed like a vacation. Will he survive or end up in the electric chair? This story will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. This is nothing like you have ever experienced. Buy UK and US
The Babysitter by Ed Bar
Every young boy has had a crush on his babysitter, and Billy was no different. Feeling bitter that he even needed a babysitter at the age of twelve, and that Janet no longer saw him as a friend or treated him like an equal, Billy made plans to hedge in on her evening of hanging out with her friends.
Armed with a drone equipped with a spy camera and the contents of his dad’s liquor cabinet, he set out on a mission to find maturity. And if that mission let him stumble upon a little bare skin, so be it.
Things would take a drastic turn for Billy as one of Janet’s friends pulls out a Ouija board. Summoning make-believe spirits was one thing, but what this group of teens were about to summon would break the bonds of friendship and lay waste to a house full of the wasted.
The Babysitter is a twisted new take on demonic possession with a humorous undertone to offset the horrific events that Billy was about to witness first-hand. Buy here
Berserker: Green Hell by Lee Franklin
A terrifying debut novel set during the Vietnam War. Australian Lance Corporal Terence ‘Pinny’ Pinfold and his squad find themselves in the midst of the living hell of the Vietnam War. Known as Reapers, their job is to go in after the firefights, collect dog tags and any evidence of war crimes. As each soldier tries to make some sense out of a senseless war, there are more questions than answers as mutilated, butchered bodies are discovered the further to the North they venture. Pinny soon finds himself at the very core of the real war – in a secret underground facility amongst hybrid creatures which belong only in the very worse nightmares. With Pinny’s aboriginal bloodline, the enigmatic Doctor Jacinta Harding believes she has found the perfect specimen… Pinny might survive the war, but he might not save himself. Buy UK and US
Mad Whisperings: A Collection
You like stories told to you at night, just before the lights blink out. But tonight, things won’t be the same. A stranger bearing four candles makes himself at home and, shrouded by darkness, the last hope flickering within those tiny flames, tells you four insane tales. Each ending blows a candle out. Before it’s over, insomnia will have you wrapped around its finger forever.The question is, do you plow through to the end. . . or die screaming? Buy UK and US
Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster by Alathia Paris Morgan
Historians believe they know what happened aboard the Titanic on its doomed voyage that cold April night. However, something far more sinister than an iceberg came for all those aboard that White Star Line vessel. Buy here
The Devil’s Lieutenant by Suzi Albracht
A series of murders with no bodies… two cops out to save the world… the whisper of the devil’s name hangs in the air… a diabolical psychopath out to domineer the world and destroy those who oppose him.
Jake Holyfield has a beautiful wife, a precious daughter, and a new baby on the way. He is also a rookie Homicide Detective working his first assignment… a murder case with no bodies. There are murmurings about the occult being involved, but Jake doesn’t believe it… not yet.
More murders take place… still no bodies to be found. Then his best friend, Max, who doesn’t have a job or means to get money is suddenly flush with cash. When Jake confronts him, he dodges his questions. At the same Jake’s brother, Bobby is hiding a secret of his own. Concerned, Jake wants to figure out what is going on with the two of them, but he doesn’t have the time because another crime scene has been discovered. Meanwhile, an angel appears to Jake and proclaims that he will get help from an unexpected source, another detective. When Jake gets close to uncovering the source of the murders, someone breaks into his home and assaults his pregnant wife sending him a warning to back-off. Will Jake be forced to single-handedly rise up and wage war to save the souls of his loved ones? Or will the unexpected savior show up in time to help Jake?
If you enjoy characters with intense, personal relationships that intertwine in unexpected ways and exciting, heart-stomping scenes, The Devil’s Lieutenant is for you. It has a strong storyline that will keep you guessing. It is a stay-up-all-night-reading novel for those who love horror.
The Devil’s Lieutenant is Book 2 in The Devil’s Due Collection. Buy here
The Deal Maker by Lou Yardley
Everyone has a price. What’s yours?
“The Deal Maker” is the new demonic tale from the mind that brought you “Hellhound”, “When the Sun Sets” and “We All Scream for Ice Cream”.
Ted’s girlfriend has vanished from the face of the earth and conventional methods of finding her have failed miserably. So when a devilish entity that calls itself Jack appears and offers him a solution, Ted finds himself agreeing to its terms, no matter how bloody and painful they may be. How far will he go to find her?
Kelly lives for one thing and one thing only: Vengeance. The trouble is those who should be feeling her wrath are remarkably good at hiding. Is she prepared to lose everything to find them?
“The Deal Maker” looks at how far people are willing to go to chase their goals. How much are we prepared to lose until we cease to be human? What are we willing to give up?
If demons, gore and hellish creatures are your thing, dive right in! Buy here
Wolvz: Whispers of War by Toneye Eyenot
The war on humanity has begun… Wolfhaven – ground zero – none in this town will survive the wrath of the pack. The first slaughter sparks the beginning of the end for humanity as the Wolfhaven pack descends upon the unsuspecting townsfolk to exact revenge for the killing of one of our own – Pharo, the mother of the pack, once feared and respected by our kind throughout the region, is no more.
Claude’s plan is bold yet carefully thought out; to spread from Wolfhaven, town by town, village by village, city by city; to rid the world of the human plague and put an end to the desecration of this wondrous planet. It all begins here.
As the ranks swell, the surrounding packs forming alliances and consolidating, select humans are spared annihilation to be turned and assimilated as the moon casts her influence.
Will our beloved Alpha’s grand plan come to fruition? Or, will pettiness, arrogance, and territorial pissing end this war before it begins? I am Shona, first daughter of Pharo, and here my story begins… Buy here
Crashed by S.K. Gregory
When Crystal crashes into Jax, she is worried that she will go to jail for drunk driving, but she has bigger things to worry about. Jax may seem like a normal teen, but he is hiding a secret. Injured in the crash, his wolf side is unleashed. Crystal is in danger, will she survive the night? Buy UK and US
Starblood: The Graphic Novel by Carmilla Voiez and Anna Prashkovich
Satori is desperate to win back his ex girlfriend, Star. He tries to summon a demon to command its help, but manages to bring Lilith, queen of the demons, into his bedroom, unleashing her on Earth. Lilith seduces Star and takes her on a wild murder spree that culminates in Scotland. Can Satori save Star and himself or will Lilith destroy them both? With stunning art by Anna Prashkovich, this graphic novel adaptation of Carmilla Voiez’s novel Starblood is a treat for mature audiences. 18+. Includes some nudity. Buy UK and US
Rise of the River Man by L.S. O’Dea
If you like short, disturbing stories similar to the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt, then you’ll love this series.
Welcome to the Conguise’s Laboratory Level Five….
In a world filled with human-animal hybrids, Guards are bred to serve the Almightys until they’re no longer wanted.
Mutter waits for his execution. It’s inevitable. He was a fighter and he lost. No one wants an ex-fighter. He’s too big, mean and ugly. Death will be the only way he gets out of this cell, but then the unthinkable happens. An Almighty visits in the dead of night and offers him a chance to leave. A chance to live.
All he has to do is obey and Guards were bred to obey.
When Mutter is taken to his new home, something isn’t right. There’s food and a bed but there are sounds and smells from the other cages. Things that move like nothing he’s ever encountered.
For the first time in his life, he’s afraid. Afraid of the creatures that lurk nearby. Afraid of the shots his new master is giving him.
He knows he’s supposed to obey, to always follow their rules but if he doesn’t escape, he’ll become food for one of those things in the other cages. Or worse… turn into one of them. Buy here
Husker by Marc W. Johnson
As a young teenager, running away after her mother died and never returning home, Jennifer Rollins’ fear of forfeiting her mind to the schizophrenia that took her mother has followed Jennifer throughout her life. Jennifer got some lucky breaks. She became a popular model, but her fears, and lifestyle in the fast lane finally take their toll. While Jennifer is recovering she receives news of her father’s brutal murder and comes home. Jennifer’s true nightmare begins. As she reconnects with old friends and her beau from high school, Jennifer sees horrific images, hears terrifying things and is sure her worst fears are now manifesting. While grappling with her sanity, Jennifer is convinced the killer is coming for her after, hidden away in the attic of her childhood home, she discovers a connection to the murders from the distant past. When she takes it to the police, knowing her much publicized history they dismiss her. As the police believe they are closing in on the maniac, and Jennifer wrestles with her demons, neither have a clue of the true horror about to descend. Buy UK and US
Dog Soldiers by K. A. Denver
A military man, taken by brute force, wakes up in a strange place where there is no honor amongst men. It’s survival of the fittest and to be the leader of the pack, he must claw his way to the top. Literally! Buy UK and US
The Burqa Cave by Dean Petersen
A teacher is still haunted by what he did in Iraq.
A macabre ritual traumatizes a high school student.
Still haunted by Iraq, Tim Ross finds solace teaching high school in Wyoming. His quiet is shattered by a freshman who reveals a macabre initiation held at the gun range by the football team. When Tim asks about the strange ritual involving an old crime and phantom sightings of a murdered girl, the frightened teen’s only response is, “Do you believe in ghosts?”
“He hit her in the chest with the rifle’s muzzle once more as she screamed and thrust what had been her baby at him.”
Tim does his best to write off the strange incident until that same student leads him to the remains of a girl the entire county had been looking for. Still trying to believe there is a logical explanation; Tim scours the dark forests and lonely homesteads of The Uinta Mountains to find the killer who has stalked their community for decades.
Closing in on his target, Tim’s suspect strikes back forcing him to confront the horror of what he did to an Iraqi civilian or lose the only chance he has at overcoming his past and saving the life of the strange boy who has helped him realize there is life after death and hope after war.
Mersey Dark by Michael Whitehead
Liverpool – 1856
When Detective Nelson Tanner is sent to investigate a horrific double murder, he quickly realises that the important question is not who is responsible, the true puzzle may be what is responsible for the killings.
Tanner is drawn into a conspiracy of dark magic and revenge. In order to save the people of Liverpool from annihilation, he must first survive his own destruction. Tanner is forced to wage war against a powerful enemy, and his only chance of victory lies with his new partner, a man named Templeton.
Mersey Dark is a tale of magic, horror, and revenge, in which the deeds of the past may bring ruin to all.
“Power, Detective. True power. Magic, if you like that term, although I don’t tend to think it covers the subject sufficiently. They spend their time collecting items and people of potential.” Buy UK and US
Guilty Pleasures and Other Dark Delights
Available to pre-order ahead of release on October 12th
An international anthology of dark erotic drabbles (100 words) and double drabbles (200 words). Includes the novella ‘Dolls’ by the UK’s Ramsey Campbell and other ‘extras’ including a couple of longer stories and some inter-related drabbles, plus some dark erotic illustrations! Definitely adult themed, not suitable for children! With illustrations and other extras including an article ‘On Sex and Horror’ and includes 10 drabbles/doubles by Steve Dillon, ex-President of the Australian Horror Writers Association and series editor of the Things in the Well series of anthologies, as well as stories from other award-winning writers! Buy UK and US
Eternal Youth by Alexander Williams
Caroline Owen is in recovery after a mental breakdown. Confined to a hostel, she has to avoid the addicts and strange, oppressive characters lurking in crannies and wandering the hallways. Getting her life back on track proves difficult as more than past ghosts are coming out of the woodwork. Bad dreams torment her of girls disappearing, girls like her, taken by some ancient evil that will do anything to stay young and beautiful. Caroline begins to learn that there are far worse things than ghosts lurking in the darkness of the world. Buy UK and US
An Angel Fallen by Andy Graham
When a vengeful angel falls from the heavens, what price will two teenage bullies pay for their past?
On a night when biblical plagues are ravaging the land, two boys find something impossible. Something that can’t exist. But it’s there, lying amongst shattered feathers, begging for help. The older boy pulls out his hammer. He wants to hurt this thing, to break it like the animals he catches. The other boy hesitates. What they do is wrong. Mike knows that. He’s not sure why he runs with Raph. Bored, probably. Scared, too. But Mike always does what Raph wants. Now, though? The angel is damaged and weak. It’s whispering to him, pleading for mercy, dying.
Mike makes his choice. And as reality crumbles around them, the boys are faced with the consequences of their horrific actions, and a sacrifice that rips Mike’s family apart from the inside out.
Elements of Horror Book Two: Air
Elements of Horror Book Two: Air, is the second in a series of four horror anthologies based on the Elements. Within these pages you will find a variety of stories from some of the best independent horror writers on the scene today. Breathe deeply, as you experience the horrors of twisted serial killers, apocalyptic outbreaks, evil spirits, and much more. Buy here
Red: An Extreme Horror Novelette by D.J. Doyle
*****WARNING: Content may disturb and offend. There are scenes of a sexual nature*****
A depraved past has shaped a man into the twisted serial killer he is today. His obsession with the color Red, and his lust for blood, leads to inventive ways to kill his captives. Who is his next victim, and can she be his salvation? Buy here
And that concludes our list of 31 recommended horror reads. Enjoy!
Keep an eye out for our future monthly spotlights;
November 2019 – Fantasy Books
December 2019 – Children’s Books
January 2020 – New Releases (Books out within the last 30 days)
February 2020 – Women in Horror Month
March 2020 – 99p/c e-books
April 2020 – Novellas
May 2020 – Poetry Collections
June 2020 – Anthologies
July 2020 – Audio Books
August 2020 – Books in a Series
September 2020 – Standalone Short Stories