Member Publication News (November 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett participated in the Munich-based project ARCANA 2021 with her interpretation of “The Tower.” To read more about Carina’s inspiration and her mash-up of this card’s symbolism with the motif of Maidens in Towers, check out her blog post on the subject.

ABOUT THE PROJECT: One card from the Major Arcana is drawn randomly and given to the participant. How the artist or writer responds to their, will be revealed this October 20, 2021 at 3 pm (CET) This year’s show will be presented completely online. —Hazel Ang

Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola are thrilled to announce the release of Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas (November 30). This high-concept anthology includes fiction and poetry by Mario Acevedo, Colleen Anderson, Kay Chronister, Sara Cleto, David Davies, Sean Eads, Anastasia Garcia, Owl Goingback, Maxwell I. Gold, Warren Hammond, Angie Hodapp, Jimena Jurado, Starlene Justice, Gwendolyn Kiste, Gerri Leen, Josh Malerman, Juliana Spink Mills, Tiffany Morris, Lee Murray, Annie Neugebauer, Gerardo Horacio Porcayo, Cameron E. Quinn, Sarah Read, Kathryn Reilly, Julia Rios, Betty Rocksteady, Marge Simon, Angela Yuriko Smith, Christina Sng, Jeanne C. Stein, Tim Waggoner, Brittany Warman, Christa Wojciechowski, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Jane Yolen, E. Lily Yu, and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro. Illustrated by Aaron Lovett.

CSW’s horror fiction podcast Incarnation Read premiered its second season on Halloween. You can read more about his inspiration and the evolution of the podcast at “Podcasts and the Oral Horror Tradition” (HWA COS). Incarnation Read is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, YouTube, Deezer, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Overcast, Radio Public, TuneIn, Podcast Addict, and Castbox. Episodes are uploaded once every other Saturday.

Sam Knight is proud to announce the launch of Knight Writing Press. Submissions are now open for Particular Passages 2. The Particular Passages anthologies are for stories that really need a home, but maybe don’t quite fit in anywhere else. Submission deadline is 1/1/2022.

We understand the “theme” of this anthology is a bit vague. We’re looking for “trunk stories” that shouldn’t have ended up in the trunk. The theme is: you just don’t know what’s behind that door until you open it. Think of it as an author showcase. There are no genre restrictions on this anthology. (PG-13).

Shannon Lawrence is pleased to announce the publication of her story “Alligator in a Sweatsuit” in the anthology Crimeucopia – The I’s Have It. This anthology of mysteries from Murderous Ink Press features twists and tongue-in-cheek fun with sleuths of all kinds.

Shannon talks horror, short stories, and the importance of writing communities on Living the Dream with Curveball, a podcast about inspiration and aspiration. You can also find her on Stories Live, which features dark readings for the season. As a featured guest, Shannon reads a creepy tale of a child who wants to meet her mysterious night parents in “Following the Rules.”

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Sinners or Saints? (October 13 ); Sex, Drugs, & Bullseyes (October 20); Solved, but Not Forgotten (October 27), and Family Matters (November 3).

Angela Sylvaine is terrified to be included in the debut anthology from Night Terror Novels, This is Not a Horror Story (spoiler- the stories are actually really scary). “Obsidian” follows a woman whose internalized pain ricochets back at those who have harmed her.

Inspired by the iconic “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” found in surrealist René Magritte’s 1929 work, The Treachery of ImagesThis is Not a Horror Story offers a collection of original fiction both abstract and haunting from fifteen bold, exciting voices writing in the genre today. Take a trip with us into this gallery of the macabre, and allow our authors to transport you into realms fantastical and terrifying; stories of the bizarre and the surreal, from deities, demons, and dictators through to tales of the marginalised and of cursed media. All of these tales are transgressive, yes—they tell the stories of the outcasts, of characters rebelling against societal norms, of the taboo and the controversial—but suffice it to say that no two are alike.

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE by Angela Sylvaine

Copyright @ Angela Sylvaine. “The Beautiful People” was originally published in Dark Moon Digest (January 2021). This story may not be reproduced in any form without the author’s express written permission.

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

by Angela Sylvaine

Emmeline hitched the tote bag up her shoulder and raced across the morgue’s tile floor, past row upon row of contestants. Two to four children worked at each station preparing their entries. Forgetting the supplies in the transport had cost Em and her sister valuable time.

“Took you long enough.” Brigitte snatched the bag from Em and dumped the contents on a wheeled metal table.

Em pushed her sweat dampened curls from her forehead and cinched the ill-fitting pants of her scrubs tighter. “I ran as fast as I could.”

“Get started on her nails, then.” Brigitte plugged the air supply unit into an outlet set flush into the floor.

“Everyone else’s entries are so young,” Em said in a harsh whisper.

“Exactly. We’ll get extra points for difficulty.”

Em cast a glance over her shoulder at the contestants beside them. The three siblings seemed focused on their own corpse, a handsome young man in his early twenties. She hoped Brigitte’s idea to use an airbrush to decorate their entry would be enough to push them over the top. It had cost them each a full week’s worth of food in trade.

Em rolled her stool closer to the metal table where their elderly woman laid, hands crossed over her midsection. She looked so peaceful, like she could be asleep. Em had always wished for a grandmother, a kind older woman to comfort and protect her, and said, “I’m going to call her Oma.”

Brigitte shrugged and mixed brown colorant with water in a small glass jar and attached it to the airbrush.

Em wrinkled her nose. “That color is ugly.”

“It’s used to create shadows, like contouring. She’ll look more alive this way.” Brigitte raised an eye brow. “Nails?”

Em grabbed a bottle of glitter lacquer and pulled one of the old woman’s hands closer, cringing at the resistance of her stiff joints and the feel of her cold, papery skin. Em should be used to it by now, given her caste, but death still upset her.

“You’ve got this, Emmy.” Brigitte gave Em’s shoulder a squeeze. “You’re stronger than you think.”

Em straightened and gave a firm nod. She had to be tough now, like Brigitte. This was their only chance to get out of Lowtown. If they won, they would live in one of the glass towers and have beds to lie on instead of dirt floors. They’d be able to sleep the whole night through, never having to take turns or keep watch. Em wouldn’t even need her little homemade knife, the one she’d used to stab the boys who’d tried to hurt Brigitte. 

Em unscrewed the bottle of lacquer and leaned close to apply a layer to each nail.

A loud alarm sounded, silencing the children’s chatter, followed by a voice. “Sixty minutes remaining until judging.”

#

Em gripped Brigitte’s hand, too hard, but her big sister didn’t let go.

“I hope they appreciate our creativity,” Em said. “Maybe we should have done something more traditional.”

“She’s a tribute to the Matriarch. They’ll love it,” Brigitte said.

Still clothed in their scrubs, the sisters joined the rest of the contestants in the fiftieth-floor ballroom, where they filed onto a set of bleachers against the far wall. The room itself was spectacular, boasting a huge crystal chandelier, jeweled sconces on the walls, and three hundred and sixty degree windows offering a view of Uptown Em had never seen before.

Lowtown was a jumble of wood and corrugated metal shacks crowded along dirt roads isolated beyond the wall. Here, she was surrounded by shimmering glass and metal structures, skyscrapers Brigitte called them, rising up in every direction. Lights twinkled in the buildings and scattered across the ground far, far below like a blanket of stars. Em gazed out at the city scape, trying to commit it to memory. Just in case.

After all the children were seated, the double doors of the ballroom opened to let in men in brightly colored tuxedos, orange for the Clergy, green for the Financiers, blue for the Soothers, and so on, and women in gowns adorned with all manner of sequins, feathers, and beads, again in the colors that matched their station. Many carried glasses of Froth, a pinkish bubbly liquid Em had heard stories of but had never seen or tasted.

The crowd applauded as figures began to descend from the blackened cavity of the ceiling. There must have been cables suspending each entry, but they were so thin the bodies looked to be floating. They stopped their descent just a few feet from the floor, and were left to hover, like angels without wings.

A small group of men and women emerged from the larger crowd, each with a white orchid pinned to their collar. The judges.

“Where is she? Do you see her?” Brigitte asked.

Em craned her neck, trying to locate Oma. The other bodies were dressed in the finest clothes and made up to look as if they still lived and breathed, but there, at the center, Oma stood out among the rest, sparkling and reminiscent of royalty.

“How long do you think they’ll take?” Em asked, conversely wanting to get the judging over with and to drag out this night as long as possible.

“It’ll be okay, Emmy.” Bridgette put her arm around Em’s shoulders. “No matter what happens, we still have each other.”

Em blew out a breath, focused on the spectators. She’d never seen a single person who was so beautiful, much less an entire crowd.

A murmur ran through the bleachers as the hanging bodies began to move. One by one they were lifted up and away, disappearing into the ceiling, dwindling the selection from several dozen to just six.

Spot lights illuminated the remaining entries.

Em leapt to her feet. Oma still hovered near the center of the ballroom floor.

All around them, children began to cry. Their entries hadn’t made it. Em’s stomach twisted at the hopelessness in their cries, knew this was all they’d ever see of the city of light.

“Contestants 2, 7, 15, 22, 23, and 31, please take your places beside your entries.”

Em followed Brigitte down the bleacher stairs on legs so shaky it was a miracle she could even walk, but she managed it. They were so close now.

She huddled at her sister’s side as they reached Oma. Brigitte had been the one to suggest they choose the elderly woman to showcase their potential as Preservers, but it had been Em who came up with the designs, reminiscent of the ornate jewelry worn by the Matriarch. Em had pored over the pages of every newspaper she could find, each one sure to have at least one picture of their sublime ruler.

The lights played off the silver scrollwork they’d stenciled around Oma’s eyes, down her neck, across the backs of her hands. The jeweled barrettes they’d used to fasten back Oma’s snow-white hair sparkled under the lights, only outmatched by the silver snakeskin fabric of Oma’s wrap dress.

A man clad in the purple suit of a Decanter stopped to admire their work. “How old was the specimen?” He looked down at them with eyes the exact shade of his suit.

“Oma was eighty-three,” Em said, beaming. 

“Remarkable.” He sipped his Froth and moved on to the next corpse.

The sisters watched and waited as the judges inspected each entry, until they seemed to reach an agreement and called all the remaining contestants to the front. Em wiped her palms on her pants and tried to look as calm as Brigitte. They stood with the other children, twenty of them in all, waiting for the judge’s final decision.

The man in the purple suit touched a button on his collar, activating a hidden microphone. “We had some outstanding entries, but one stood out among the rest as a demonstration of the true beauty that can be achieved in death.” He paused and looed out over the crowd. “Entry 7.”

Em threw herself into her sister’s arms. They’d done it. Everything would be different now.

The remaining contestants were led, sobbing, from the room. Belonging to the Death caste, this had been a once in a lifetime chance to rise up, to become an Uptowner. A Preserver spot was only offered once per decade. Now, the children would return to Lowtown, to the violence and rot, where they’d become Diggers or Cutters. Em felt a flash of pity, then it was gone. She and Brigitte had earned this new life.

“Well done, children. Well done.” The man ushered them forward as the crowd clapped and cheered.

“Thank you, sir.” Em gripped her sister’s arm to stay standing.

The man raised his hand and the applause died. “There is one last challenge you must undertake so we may decide which of you will stay.” His eyes shone with excitement.

“What?” Em asked. “Our entry won, we earned this. Both of us.”

 A tittering wave of laughter rolled through the crowd. Em glared out at the beautiful people, whose faces had cracked and twisted into cruel smiles.

The man held out a vial filled with a vibrant blue liquid. “We must also test that you can preserve the young. One of you will die, and the other will preserve them.”

Em looked at Brigitte. She’d fix this. She’d know what to do.

Her big sister had gone completely still, completely white, as if she were one of the corpses.

“We’ll go back then. Just send us back,” Em said. They’d return to Lowtown, but at least they’d still be together, still have each other.

“I’m afraid that isn’t an option. If you refuse to choose, then both of you will be executed.”

Em began to tremble, all the muscles in her body protesting. She eyed the vial sitting in the evil man’s palm and willed herself to reach out and grab it. Her body was frozen, unable and unwilling to follow her commands, and before she could force herself to move Brigitte snatched the vial, pulled out the stopper, and tipped the blue liquid down her throat.

“No!” Em screamed, lunging for her sister, but one of the beautiful women wrapped an arm around Em’s chest and held her tight. 

Brigitte frowned, licking her lips. “It’s sweet.”

“The choice has been made.” The man in purple swung on his heel to stare at Em.

Em felt a sting in her shoulder and cried out. She looked back at the woman, who now held a syringe in her hand.

“What was that?” Em whispered.

“Just a little paralytic mixed with pain killers. Won’t hurt a bit, dear.”

Brigitte grabbed the man’s arm. “But I volunteered.”

The man in purple laughed, a booming sound that hurt Em’s ears. “We don’t want cowards.”

Em slumped to the floor. I’m going to die, she thought. Tears burned her eyes, scorched a path down her face.

“I’m so sorry, Emmy. I didn’t know.” Brigitte fell to her knees and clasped Em’s hand.

Em hugged her sister. She was the smart one, the pretty one, the brave one. Brigitte deserved to live. And now Em had to be strong.  “Promise you’ll make me look pretty?

“I promise.” Brigitte choked out the words before someone grabbed her, pulled her away.

She was one of the beautiful people now.

The muscles in Em’s body began to stiffen and she struggled to breathe. Fear spiked in her veins, then swam away on a stream of whatever drugs they’d given her. She felt weightless, carefree.

In the back, hovering above the crowd, Oma watched.

And Emmeline joined the angels without wings.

Angela is a self proclaimed cheerful goth who still believes in monsters. Her short fiction has appeared in many publications and anthologies, including Places We Fear to Tread and What One Wouldn’t Do. A North Dakota girl transplanted to Colorado, she lives with her sweetheart and three creepy cats on the front range of the Rockies. You can find her online angelasylvaine.com.

Angela Sylvaine’s debut novella, Chopping Spree, is available now. This fast-paced, fun tribute to slashers, the 1980’s, and mall culture is the perfect fall read. Pick up your copy now in paperback, kindle, or kindle unlimited at Amazon

SHORT STORY SHOWCASE

It is the favorite time of year for horror writers. To celebrate all things spooky, COS HWA writers have worked together to contribute a collection of short stories for your reading pleasure. Starting on Monday, you’ll have access to a story a day through the end of October. Mark your calendars, and sit back and ENJOY!

STAY SPOOKY!

Spooky Season Story Schedule

Monday (10/25) BONES OF CHANGE by Travis Heermann

Tuesday (10/26)  CEREMONY by Saytchyn Maddux-Creech

Wednesday (10/27) THE STAGES OF MONSTER GREIF by Carina Bissett

Thursday (10/28)  TED E. HAMSTER by Sam Knight

Friday (10/29)  SERPENT’S REST by J. A. Campbell

Saturday (10/30)  THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE by Angela Sylvaine

Sunday (10/31) DEAREST by Shannon Lawrence

Member Publication News (October 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Joshua Viola are pleased to announce that Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the America is available for pre-order (ebook). Hardcover copies will also be available. Hex PublishersShadow Atlas is scheduled for release November 30, 2021. Cover and interior art by Aaron Lovett.

With Fiction and Poetry by: Mario Acevedo • Colleen Anderson • Kay Chronister • Sara Cleto • David Davies • Sean Eads • Anastasia Garcia • Owl Goingback • Maxwell I. Gold • Warren Hammond • Angie Hodapp • Jimena Jurado • Starlene Justice • Gwendolyn Kiste • Gerri Leen • Josh Malerman • Juliana Spink Mills • Tiffany Morris • Lee Murray • Annie Neugebauer • Gerardo Horacio Porcayo • Cameron E. Quinn • Sarah Read • Kathryn Reilly • Julia Rios • Betty Rocksteady • Marge Simon • Angela Yuriko Smith • Christina Sng • Jeanne C. Stein • Tim Waggoner • Brittany Warman • Christa Wojciechowski • Stephanie M. Wytovich • Mercedes M. Yardley • Jane Yolen • E. Lily Yu • Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Dakota Brown recently released The Price of Magic: A Reverse Harem Tale (Book 3 in the Pizza Shop Exorcist series). This book is intended for mature audiences.

Demons aren’t supposed to be allies, let alone lovers, but here I am. Know that expression to hell and back? Been there, done that, just to save one of them. Sure, it was terrifying, but it beats meeting the in-laws. Aaron, my half-angel boyfriend, is just dying to take me home to dear old mom and dad, but I’m worried about walking into their home trailing brimstone.
Meanwhile, in the struggle to avert the apocalypse, Lucifer himself has taken an interest in me and graces my pizza parlor to give me a warning. I’m in danger from his rival, Mammon, who is trying to take over hell, but that’s old hat for me. Exorcism doesn’t make you the friend of demons, but I never expected to end up on the angelic hit list, too. Good times.
When my men find out, they’re never going to let me out of their sight. I’ll have to talk my way out of their protective bubble. With my hellhound and nightstallion to protect me, I should be safe, and the pizza parlor is warded against heaven and hell. Surely, I can go to work alone.
Or maybe not.

J.A. Campbell’s flash story “Bound at the Crossroads” was recently released in Dark Dispatch Issue #2: Deadly Love.  

This anthology features deadly romances that cross-examine the nature and meaning of love.

One story examines emotions through an extraterrestrial’s eyes as an alien meets humans for the first time. The darkest aspects of humanity are revealed when the fantasy of their love is threatened. In contrast, we witness a man haunted by the memory of his flame, yearning to connect with her—even if it’s only a delusion. We also discover a woman who is prepared to die over and over again for an immature infatuation, but is her lover devoted enough to follow?

Let your mind wander to the dark places and share your horror love stories about relationships gone wrong.

*Includes trigger warnings.

Sam Knight’s short story “The Darkest Thoughts” can now be read online in Love Letters to Poe. The story (Issue 1: A Toast to Edgar Allan Poe) is also available as a free podcast or in print form at Amazon.

Raise a glass in a toast to Edgar Allan Poe with this jam-packed gothic anthology, including 12 themed issues containing 48 short stories and 7 poems from 55 masterful weavers of gothic fiction.

Take a tour through Poe’s Baltimore home, experience “The Tell-Tale Heart” through the old man’s eyes, go corporate at Raven Corp., witness “The Fall of the House of Usher” from the perspective of a hidden Usher sibling, and much more.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Crazy is as Crazy Does with guest John H. Mudgett (September 29) and Mostly Mayhem (October 6).

Angela Sylvaine is pleased to announce the publication of her short story “Blood is Thicker,” about sisters who experiment with the occult to save their failing art gallery, in What One Wouldn’t Do:  An Anthology on the Lengths One Might Go To.

What One Wouldn’t Do for…what?

Power? Safety? Love? Revenge?

Here’s to the lengths one might go to for everything.

With dark fiction from J.A.W. McCarthy, Avra Margariti, Marisca Pichette, Stephanie Ellis, Christina Wilder, Donna Lynch, Katie Young, Scott J. Moses, Angela Sylvaine, tom reed, Cheri Kamei, Shane Douglas Keene, J.V. Gachs, Tim McGregor, Emma E. Murray, Nick Younker, Jennifer Crow, Joanna Koch, Lex Vranick, Laurel Hightower, Eric Raglin, Eric LaRocca, Daniel Barnett, Bob Johnson, Simone le Roux, Hailey Piper, Bryson Richard, Jena Brown, and Christi Nogle.

Member Publication News (July 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett is pleased to announce her return to poetry with the publication of “Radiant,” which came out in Nonbinary Review #24 Industrial Revolution. Carina’s research on the radium girls has been mostly cut from her novel-in-progress, so she’s especially pleased to share these women’s story in this issue published by Zoetic Press.

In other news, Carina’s story “A Seed Planted” was issued as a reprint in The Society of Misfit Stories published by Bards & Sages.

Dakota Brown has a new dark fantasy novella in her line-up in her Reverse Harem series. Rose Amongst the Sagebrush was originally published in the anthology Cupid in Love.

Austin, Cassidy, and John Nash are half brothers and mustang shifters working for Harris Abney as his ranch hands. With secrets to keep, and their heritage to protect, they try to keep to themselves. Despite that, they find themselves head over heels for the same woman. Will they be able to answer their hearts and keep their secrets safe?

Fleeing an unwanted and dangerous suitor, Rose Abney heads west from her comfortable city life to spend time on her uncle’s cattle ranch in the shadow of the southern Colorado mountains. What she finds is far more than she bargained for, but will love be enough to protect her when her past chases after her?

Claire L. Fishback is accepting pre-orders for The Gorging of Souls, the second novel in the Origin Codex series.  

 Eight and a half months after Detective Ann Logan and seven-year-old Maggie Hart prevented Yaldabaoth from unleashing terror upon the world, all is quiet in Harmony, Colorado. But when Teresa Hart escapes from Mountain View Mental Hospital, Maggie’s perpetual nightmares intensify, and the mysterious marks that link Maggie and Ann burn to life, signaling the presence of a new evil—or the return of an old one. The ancient war between the servants of darkness and the servants of light is far from over. Once again Maggie and Ann, bound together by destiny, hold the space between the delicate balance of life as we know it and eternal horror. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

On the filthy tattered sofa in the abandoned funeral home at the edge of Harmony, something evil has pushed its way into the world. And it is hungry.

Travis Heermann‘s story “Pagliacci’s Joke” can be read in Unmasked: Tales of Risk and Revelation, the newest anthology published by HWA member Kevin J. Anderson at WordFire Press.

Pull back the mask to reveal 21 tales from seasoned and award-winning authors, of magical masks, gas masks, death masks, superheroes, secret identities, disguised robots, alien symbionts, a Napoleonic thief, a swindling demon—even a hidden clown.
Who will take the risk?

Explore the masks we wear, the mysteries they conceal, and the price we pay when they’re stripped away. Join us in our unmasquerade as we revel in—revelation!

Sam Knight’s story “Whoever Writes Monsters” is one of the 23 tales included in the anthology Monsters, Movies, and Mayhem, which just won the 2021 Colorado Book Award. This anthology was published by HWA member Kevin J. Anderson at WordFire Press. Congratulations!

Sometimes you go to the movies. And sometimes, the movies–and their monsters–come to you. At any moment, without notice, monsters once relegated to the screen become a reality. Aliens and demons, dragons and ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and seemingly ordinary people who are just plain evil.

Join award-winning authors Jonathan Maberry, Fran Wilde, David Gerrold, Rick Wilber and others for 23 all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors. Each story takes you to the silver screen with monstrous results.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Witches & What Happened (June 2), Circling the Truth (June 9), Flies, Lies, & Sweet Scams (June 16), Alabama Slammers with guest Laura Hayden (June 23), and Shining a Light (June 30).

Angela Sylvaines story “Cyclone Sisters’ Traveling Circus” was included in Welcome to the Funhouse, an anthology of carnival horror released July 1st. This story is a reprint and originally appeared in Dark Moon Digest.

Welcome to the Funhouse is the fourth anthology from Blood Rites Horror and the first edited by Kelly Brocklehurst and Jamie Stewart. With twelve grisly stories of coming-of-age terror, carnival cruelty and fairground frights, this collection brings together the best and most exciting talents in the horror community.

Joshua Viola is pleased to announce the publication of “The Disciple of Many Faces” in Birdy, Colorado’s premiere arts, comedy, and culture magazine.

“Let there be darkness,” the disciple said. He pierced the wretch’s eyes, and it was good.

Marie Whittaker includes her take on Strong Female Leads with her story “TR.8C.” This story is part of a powerhouse line-up featured in the anthology We Dare: No Man’s Land, edited by Jamie Ibson and Chris Kennedy.

Whether it’s changing an engine on the outside of a spaceship’s hull or chasing SimNACs through the jungle, these heroines have only one goal in mind—to win at all costs! From defending asteroid bases to searching giant space stations, these women get the job done!

What makes female leads great? Does it matter—these women are incredible! Be warned though—they may be referred to as the “fairer” sex, but don’t cross these ladies, or you’re gonna get what you have coming!

Member Publication News (May 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Wild: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers edited by Rachel Delaney Craft and Natasha Watts (RMFW Press) is a finalist in the category of anthology for the Colorado Book Awards. This anthology includes stories by three members of the Colorado Springs Chapter of HWA: Carina Bissett, Rick Duffy, and Angela Sylvaine.

Read more about these authors’ creative process in the blog post Writing for a Themed Anthology. An excerpt of Rick Duffy‘s story “Castles in the Sky” can also be read at The Colorado Sun in the feature article “’Wild: Uncivilized Tales’ collected stories from more than a dozen Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.”

Travis Heermann’s story “The Avenger” was published in StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

A suburban man lives through endless millennia through his strange dream-connection to an eons-old horse deity, only to discover the deity is not what he thought it was. — “The Avenger” by Travis Heermann

Heermann is also on the lineup of authors reading at StokerCon 2021, and he is currently running a fundraiser for his debut film Demon for Hire. For more details, check out the blog post From Author to Screenwriter to Filmmaker.

Angie Hodapp’s story “Collateral Damage” was published at Birdy Magazine online in conjunction with the magazine’s interview with John Palisano and Joshua Viola about StokerCon 2021. “Collateral Damage” is also included StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

When drug dealer Marcy lands a real job—thanks to her probation officer—at a kiosk inside Denver International Airport, she discovers one particular souvenir has the power to kill. — “Collateral Damage” by Angie Hodapp

Hodapp will be accepting pitches by appointment at StokerCon 2021 for the Nelson Literary Agency.

Sam Knight’s story “World by the Horn” can be found in anthology Particular Passages. When a woman’s long life comes to an end, she finds herself reunited with a make-believe friend from her childhood who has never forgotten his promise to her. This anthology also features Marie Whittaker’s creative nonfiction essay “Folly,” a stream-of-consciousness reflection from the point-of-view of a child.

Knight is also on the reading line-up at StokerCon 2020, and his story “The Curse of the Dreamcatcher” is included in StokerCon 2021 Souvenir Anthology: The Phantom Denver Edition.

Standing watch over Denver International Airport, the giant Blue Mustang locally known as Blucifer acts as a dreamcatcher, helping people forget their troubles as they journey out into the world. But what happens to those captured dreams, those nightmare troubles? What if they were whispered back…into your ear? — “The Curse of the Dreamcatcher” by Sam Knight

Shannon Lawrence is pleased to announce the inclusion of her short story “Watched” in I Is for Internet (A to Z of Horror Book 9). I is for Internet, the ninth book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. In this book you will find a collection of thirteen unsettling tales from some of the most imaginative independent horror writers on the scene today. Each story takes a new look at the potential horrors of the online world, from stalkers to cyber-demons, artificial intelligence to predators. I is for Internet will plug you straight into the mainframe and have you desperate to pull the plug.

Over at the podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem, Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series: Death Finds us All  (Apr. 7), Murder & Maple Syrup (Apr. 14), Banana Sandwich: Chicken Coops & Vampires (Apr. 21), and Of Towers & Typhoid (Apr. 28).

We are also pleased to feature new releases and information for HWA’s Denver Chapter!

Maria Abrams is thrilled to announce the release of her first novella She Who Rules the Dead. Henry has received a message: he needs to sacrifice five people to the demon that’s been talking to him in his nightmares. He already has four, and number five, Claire, is currently bound in the back of his van. Too bad Claire isn’t exactly human.

Jeamus Wilkes discusses his work with The Horror Writers Association as Co-Chairperson/Denver, his writing, and the upcoming StokerCon in Denver (via ZOOM this year) at the podcast Burial Plot, Episode 1.

Member Publication News (April 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett‘s story “Serpents and Toads” is included in Gluttony: An inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires (Seven Deadly Sins Book 6), which was published by Black Hare Press.

This retelling of the fairy tale “Diamonds and Toads” was originally published at Enchanted Conversations.

“Sign here.” Painted a lurid scarlet, the dark-haired woman’s lips spread into a thick smile. She tapped a red fingernail on the paper she pushed in front of me.

“That’s it?” Now that the promise sat in front of me, I was hesitant to take the next step. What if this was like all of the other false miracles I’d tried? But then again, what if it actually worked? What if I could be as thin as the women I envied? “That’s all I have to do? Just sign this paper?”

M. H. Boroson recently completed the screenplay for his award-winning novel The Girl with the Ghost Eyes.

“A fun, fun read. Martial arts and Asian magic set in Old San Francisco make for a fresh take on urban fantasy, a wonderful story that kept me up late to finish.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

“An impressive first novel set in a beautifully realized world of Daoism and martial arts… One of those books you can’t wait to get back to.” —Lian Hearn, author of the international bestselling Tales of the Otori series

“A brilliant tale of magic, monsters, and kung fu in the San Francisco Chinatown of 1898… This fantastic tale smoothly mixes Hong Kong cinema with urban fantasy, and Li-lin is a splendid protagonist whose cleverness and bravura will leave readers eager for her future adventures.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Travis Heermann is pleased to announce the arrival of Tokyo Monster Mash, his newest novel. A yakuza warlock butchered his family, but that was just the beginning…

When Django Wong discovers the Black Lotus Clan murdered his family, he vows to destroy them, but the Council of Five Elders forbids it.

But then the Black Lotus starts a gang war in Tokyo, wielding terrifying new magical powers. Django must team up with three witches—and a snarky alley cat who’s not really a cat at all—to find the source of the Black Lotus Clan’s power. If they can prove the Black Lotus Clan is behind the plague of soul sucking vampires, the Council might just let him have what his honor demands.

Perfect for fans of Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist, Tokyo Monster Mash brings you mind-bending magic, femme fatales, savage monsters, martial arts action, and powerful cultivation.

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Murder & Mispronunciations Galore (Mar. 3), A Little Morphine & A Little Monster (Mar. 10), Harbingers & Hags (Mar. 17), Missing & Murdered Moms (Mar. 24), and Flying Under the Radar (Mar. 31).

Angela Sylvaine is excited to announce the release of her debut novella, CHOPPING SPREE, #27 in the Rewind or Die series from Unnerving Books.

Eden Hills, Minnesota is famous for one thing—its ’80s inspired Fashion Mall. When high school junior, Penny, lands a job at one of its trendy stores, she notices her teen coworkers all wear a strange symbol they won’t explain. Suspicious but wanting to belong, she agrees to stay after closing for a party in the closed store. Her fun turns to terror when Penny discovers a mortally wounded boy and learns there is a killer loose in the mall. Soon the teens are running for their lives. Will Penny discover the truth behind the mall cabal and survive to slay another day, or will she fall victim to the galleria of gore?

Member Publication News (Feb. 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Dakota Brown adds a new Audible book to her Magic Mountain series with the publication of Demon’s Touch: A Reverse Harem Tale.

“The only thing more dangerous than being a mage is other people knowing that you have supernatural abilities. And here I am, untrained, untried, and ripe for the picking…. Trapped between parents, powers, and passion, I’m doing my best to survive, keep my loved ones safe, oh, and I still have to pass exams.” (This book is intended for mature audiences.)

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow add a few new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Narcosatanicos & Sink Holes, Oh My! (Jan. 6), Terrorizing the Seas & Skies (Jan. 13), Modern Missteps & Moldering Mansions (Jan. 20), and This Episode Has a High Body Count (Jan. 27).

Angela Sylvaine’s story “The Beautiful People” is featured in Dark Moon Digest Issue #42.

A small town faces a peculiar seaside problem; two teens discover an unexpected connection; a woman attempts to understand people better; a person comes to terms with their true identity; an office worker finds his own face on a milk carton; a daughter confronts a strange woman haunting her father’s grave; rival embalmers go against each other in an unusual competition; a man fails to avoid late-night construction; and an island becomes isolated from the rest of civilization.

A Bloody Valentine Presents Angela Sylvaine

Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine.

Angela Sylvaine starts off our celebration of Women in Horror Month and the second annual Bloody Valentine with a reading from her forthcoming novella, Chopping Spree. This novella is an homage to 1980s slashers and mall culture, and it is scheduled to be released by Unnerving Books, as part of their Rewind or Die series, in early April 2021.

“I’ve always loved spooky things and describe myself as a cheerful goth,” says Sylvaine. “I remember remember reading ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson in about 5th gray and being blown away. From there, I voraciously read Christopher Pike before moving on to Stephen King. When I first began writing, I tried many genre’s, but my plots always took a dark turn. I ultimately realized horror was where I belonged as a writer, as well as a reader.”

Chopping Spree is only one of Sylvaine’s first publications of 2021. Readers can also look forward to reading short story “The Bride,” which will be coming out in a Women of Horror anthology from Kandisha Press (publication date TBD). On top of that, she’s hard at work on a post-apocalyptic death roller-derby novella and her first young adult horror novel.

Chopping Spree can be pre-ordered and purchased for Kindle and paperback through Amazon.com. There isn’t a preorder link yet but stay tuned for one to be available in the near future.

You can find more about Angela Sylvaine at her website: http://angelasylvaine.com/.

A few of her stories can also be found online including “Be Mine” and “The Beautiful People.”

Celebrate WIHM with a Bloody Valentine!

Last year, Colorado HWA members Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Shannon Lawrence threw a Valentine’s Day bash to celebrate Women in Horror Month (WIHM). A Bloody Valentine drew a great crowd, and we gave away more than thirty-five signed books by award-winning authors and editors nationwide as door prizes.

In addition to recorded readings by women authors nationwide, the event featured Colorado authors including J. A. Campbell, Hillary Dodge, Angie Hodapp, DeAnna Knippling, Shannon Lawrence, P. L. McMillan, and Angela Sylvaine. It was a smashing success!

This year is a little different. To adjust to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we decided to switch to a virtual celebration. Each week, we will be featuring a member of the Colorado Springs Chapter of the Horror Writers Association. We hope you’ll tune in and enjoy this month’s selections of readings for the second annual Bloody Valentine!

Schedule

February 3  Angela Sylvaine    

February 10 Shannon Lawrence

February 17  J. A. Campbell

February 24  Claire L. Fishback

The pre-recorded videos will be released on YouTube following the above schedule. Next year, we plan on returning to an in-person event. Until then, we hope you have A Bloody Valentine! –HWA COS co-coordinators Carina Bissett & Hillary Dodge