“Little Paranoias” horror anthology by Sonora Taylor free on Amazon through July 30th

Sonora Taylor is making Little Paranoias, her 2019 collection of short horror fiction available for free on Amazon until midnight (Pacific Time) on July 30th. I downloaded the e-book myself yesterday and have added it to my ever-growing reading list.

Click here to download Little Paranoias for free through July 30th.

About Little Paranoias:

Is it a knock on the door, or a gust of wind? A trick of the light, or someone who’ll see what you’ve done?

“Little Paranoias: Stories” features twenty tales of the little things that drive our deepest fears. It tells the stories of terror and sorrow, lust at the end of the world and death as an unwanted second chance. It dives into the darkest corners of the minds of men, women, and children. It wanders into the forest and touches every corner of the capital. Everyone has something to fear — but after all, it’s those little paranoias that drive our day-to-day.

I run across these free offers quite often and I think they are a good way for readers to gain an introduction to an author they’ve never read before, and thus good for the author too.* I know that I am much more likely to buy an author’s offerings if I’ve enjoyed some of their work in the past. Plus, for those on a budget, deals like this are a nice way to grow an electronic library.

If you end up downloading and reading Little Paranoias, let me know how you liked it in the comments.


* I will post more of these free offers when I run across them.

Winner of the Ladies of Horror Fiction Award for Best Collection (2019).

“Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone,” by Amanda Cecelia Lang comes to life in The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

One thing that I am enjoying about editing our debut horror and weird fiction anthology is the chance it gives me to revisit some of the stories we accepted a couple of months ago.

This brings me to Amanda Cecelia Lang’s interesting and unique short story, “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone.” Although I’m only getting to “Snake” just now, this was the first story we accepted for the anthology back in May so it holds a special place in The Lost Librarian’s Grave.*

As befits a tale like this one, Lang begins with her protagonist, Lilias Proctor, waking up from being long dead—she’s roused by the sounds of her sisters digging her up. We learn of the varied and harrowing torments Lilias endured before she was killed, and apparently coming back to life is no picnic either.

There are a number of interesting themes and ideas explored in “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone,” including the cycle of life, death and rebirth and the idea of taking sins and evils into oneself as a scapegoat.** I also enjoyed how the author played with time in her story structure as well as the lyric quality of her prose—each time I re-read Lang’s tale I unearthed another nugget of poetry.

All of this is well and good and fun, but Lang succeeds in what I think is the most important element in a story: “Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” was a fun read.

Amanda Cecelia Lang’s horror stories have appeared on The Other Stories podcast, Thirteen podcast, Creepy podcast, and in the anthologies Night Terrors, Mix Tape: 1986 and The Year’s Best Hardcore Horror.

Besides writing horror fiction, Amanda also has the worthy aspiration to become a recluse.*** She lives with her life partner and two ancient cats in Denver, Colorado (USA). You can follow Lang’s literary efforts by visiting her website at amandacecelialang.com, and in October you can check out her story in The Lost Librarian’s Grave.


* This is the first story, but the first piece of writing we accepted was Rhonda Parrish’s poem, “The Grotesque.”

** In the ritualistic or religious sense, and in lexical sense of the term.

*** I know the feeling sometimes.

“The Jump,” by Pauline Yates dives into the pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Pauline Yates gives us a peek into the mind of a disturbed* individual, who has a pretty unique perspective on suicide prevention, with her fast-moving horror story, “The Jump.” I don’t want to give away too much, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Yates’ narrator is very much an “ends justify the means,” sort of person with an interesting set of useful skills. You know what they say—knowledge is power!

Yates enjoys exploring the complexities of human nature through horror and speculative fiction, and I found “The Jump” to be an interesting psychological piece where it is fun to consider the narrator’s thinking through the lens of what the author doesn’t tell us about her main character.** I also enjoyed the ending; she got me with that last line. When you read “The Jump,” don’t spoil it by skipping to the end!

Pauline is an Australian writer whose short stories have appeared in many venues, including Metaphorosis, Abyss & Apex, Aurealis, and in various publications through Black Hare Press.

Her short story, “The Best Medicine,” won best in category in the 2020 Australia Horror Writers Association Flash Fiction and Short Story Competition.

You can learn more about Pauline on her website, see what she is reading on Goodreads, and find some of her work through her Amazon Author Page. She can also be found on Twitter@midnightmuser1.


* By “disturbed” I mean insane.

** I enjoy monsters, supernatural terrors, etc. and there is a lot of that in The Lost Librarian’s Grave,” but I also very much dig stories where the dangers come from human beings with no special powers beyond what their intelligence, resources, skills, and circumstances can bring to bear.

“The Binding of Chrysanthoula,” by Angeliki Radou, hexes The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology with a sweet, moonlit smile

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Angeliki Radou graces our anthology with her satisfying, short horror story, “The Binding of Chrysanthoula.” Our tale opens with Katerina watching her beloved daughter—the eponymous Chrysanthoula—whither way.* She is losing weight fast, her hair is falling out, and no seems able to help her. Not even a string of big city doctors.

Katerina is not a woman to give up, certainly not on her daughter as she hovers on the brink of death. Will she solve the mystery of Chrysanthoula’s illness? Will the girl live? All will be revealed this October in the thrice-damned pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave!

Angeliki was born in Greece. She studied Journalism and has published six books in Greek, including a young adult series, The Dark Stories of Young Poe.

She is a member of the nyctophili.gr writing team, and her latest book is entitled Ghost in the Snow: Spirits, Legends and Burial Customs in Japan, from Editions Momentum.

She currently resides in Athens with her husband and two children.

We are proud that “The Binding of Chrysanthoula” is Angeliki’s first published story to appear in English. A fine thing indeed to grace the blasted grave of our lost librarian!


* Angeliki’s Goodreads page defaults to Greek. If you are like me and it is all Greek to you, there are a couple of ways to switch the language. An easy way is to right-click, which will bring up a “translate” option.

Michelle Ann King’s short story, “The Glorious Protection of Angels,” wings its way into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Michelle Ann King begins her story, “The Glorious Protection of Angels,” on a poignant note with the funeral of a man whose partner and son quietly mourn his death. The boy, Drew, is very young and doesn’t quite understand and asks if his father is at work. Shaylie comforts him by saying that his father has “gone to Heaven,” and is going to be their guardian angel:

Drew’s eyes widen. "Has he gone to be an angel? Is that his job now?"

Shaylie squats beside him and pulls him close. "That’s right, honey. He’s gone to be an angel so that he can look after us from Heaven. And Daddy’s always been good at his job, hasn’t he? So you can bet he’s going to be the best angel there is."

I found Drew’s innocence in this scene quite touching, but this being The Lost Librarian’s Grave, I mentally buckled up the first time I read King’s story in the expectation of going into not just a sad but also a bizarre and possibly macabre place. I was not disappointed.

Michelle is a short story writer from Essex, England. She writes in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, crime and horror. Her work has appeared in over a hundred different publications, including Strange Horizons, Interzone, Black Static, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.

You can learn more about Michelle and her work on her website and also on her Amazon author page, where her collected stories are available in both e-book and paperback.

Rhonda Parrish publishes urban fantasy novel, “One in the Hand.”

Many congratulations to Rhonda Parrish, whose urban fantasy novel, One in the Hand, is now available on Amazon, courtesy of Poise and Pen Publishing.

When a sword manifests in an old folk’s home it opens Autumn’s eyes to a whole world of magic, gods and giants. But before she has a chance to come to grips with her new reality, Autumn’s grandmother is attacked and put in the hospital. Autumn needs to discover what the deal is with the sword and how to protect herself and the people she loves.

And, of course, there’s also the matter of the wings that have sprouted from her back.

Can she learn about this new reality and the shadowy forces working within it in time to diffuse the situation before someone gets killed?

Rhonda is a prolific authorher Amazon Author page boasts many of her other works as an author and editor. She also holds an honored position at Redwood Press in that her poem, “The Grotesque,” is the first piece of writing Don and I accepted for our first anthology, The Lost Librarian’s Grave.

Congratulations again, Rhonda!

— Ann Wycoff

“Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson haunts The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology like a spectre of cruelty

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Mary Leoson’s fine short story, “Devil’s Oak,” is a tale of loss, return and hope for Marguerite, a young woman whose family was “southern royalty” but is nowsome years after the American Civil Warruined after their patriarch died of tuberculosis. The ancestral plantation is now in the hands of the wealthy Haber family.

Marguerite’s mother dreams her daughter will marry the eldest Haber boy and restore both their prominence and family fortune. The young woman is certainly amendable to the idea with the eponymous oak as a “sigil” of hope “burning in her mind”:

"It was a tree for stories, for late lunches on hot summer days, for secrets and first kisses. It held all these memories for her family—at least that’s what her Mama said. She’d see for herself one day, maybe take her own beau there. Walk in the footsteps of their long-gone matriarch, Grandmére Marie, lady of the plantation."

Yet this is The Lost Librarian’s Grave, so I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that events don’t unfold in quite the way Marguerite or her mama had planned. “Devil’s Oak” is a story of hope but it is also a story of fear, the phantoms of a cruel legacy, and certain vanitiesin more than one sense of the word.

Mary teaches teaches English composition, literature, film, creative writing, and psychology in the Cleveland, Ohio area and online. She holds an MFA in Fiction, an MA in English, and an MS in Psychology.

She wrote “Devil’s Oak” after being “inspired by an emotional visit to the Whitney Planation in Louisiana, where the lives of enslaved people are honored and remembered.”

You can learn more about Mary, including links to some of her previous published work, by visiting her website at www.maryleoson.com.

Kathy Kingston’s “Three Bad Things” will buzz and wriggle into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

That’s one of the problems with the ‘Three bad things,’ theory. Exactly where does it start and where does it stop?

— Kathy Kingston

Don and I are pleased to announce that Kathy’s Kingston’s classic short story, “Three Bad Things,” will appear in The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology.

A late bloomer, Kathy Kingston became a published writer at the age of 66 in a Sisters in Crime LA anthology.

She has always been an avid reader and her experience as a grocery store cashier, bank teller, wholesale plant salesman and a New York fashion model gave her lots of raw material to work with.

She now resides in Venice, California and is an award winning landscape contractor specializing in drought tolerant landscapes. Short stories are her first love, but she is currently working on a novel.

Kingston’s tale opens with her narrator in a tough spot:

"I lift my head up from the rock and let it drop with a resounding thump. I close my eyes and savor the pain as I would a piece of expensive Peruvian dark chocolate melting slowly in my mouth. I lift my head a little higher, and drop it again. The pain emanates in waves and I am grateful."

Our protagonist is a woman with a vivid imagination, a theory, and perhaps just a touch of entomophobia.*

Kingston takes us down a twisted road where we learn, and have the pleasure of reliving with our narrator, the odd chain of events that led to the opening lines above. Buckle up and enjoy a wild ride along the borders of fate and chance circumstance fueled by dreams, a touch of madness, culminating in a final, mind-shattering horror!

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.


* Well, maybe more than a touch.

Writing Prompt #3: Doggo

Today’s prompt comes courtesy of Storybot on Twitter, where I follow them. Their app is also available in the Google Play store.

“Write the first line that’s inspired by this photo.”

When this prompt come up in my Twitter feed, I wrote, “The first thing I noticed after the wizard turned me into a dog was that he smelled like food,” for my first line.

What is the first line that comes to mind when you see this image of a piebald doggo? Write it below in the comments. (I’m particularly burning to know what John of Varnish comes up with!)

Paul L. Bates’ short story, “Medusa’s Mirror,” casts its evil reflection from The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Paul L. Bates weaves a unique, mystic tale of magic, addiction, mystery, and death in “Medusa’s Mirror.” The narrator recounts his adventures when Enoch, an old college acquaintance who is one part magician and one part “facilitator of forbidden desires,” slithers back into his life, seemingly out of nowhere. Enoch seems to have a strange hold over our narrator, despite past abominations and the promise of future horrors to come:

"Have you ever felt as if your skin were about to erupt into an independent crawling horde? That your body was inhabited by—or composed of—countless squirming maggots or mites scrambling about on tiny legs, living just below the surface, busily transmogrifying all that was not them into more of them? Such was the sensation I experienced every time Enoch insisted I accompany him on one of his outings, as he called them—excursions into the darkness within and without."

“Medusa’s Mirror” is a wild ride and Bates certainly delivers “the darkness within and without,” giving us both physical and psychological horror, a nice taste of allegory, and a satisfying ending. Don and I are proud to offer this fine story in the pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave.

Paul is the author of the novels Imprint and Dreamer. He has a degree in Architectural Design, and is happily retired from a career in construction management. He lives on the shore of a small private lake with his lady love, swims for distance, and writes when the muse comes to call, which is good for us when she does!

Check out some of Paul’s other writings on his Amazon author page.