“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).

“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.

Editing begins for The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology

We have finished acquiring stories for our first publication, The Lost Librarian’s Grave, and have begun the editing process. Our debut anthology of horror and weird fiction promises to be a somewhat weighty tome, so Don and I have a fair amount of work ahead of us.

I am also considering whether or not we should do a Patreon page and/or a Kickstarter for The Lost Librarian’s Grave. I’ve looked into those a little—most of my experience with those two platforms has been from the contributor end of things—but for now I’m going to stay focused on the editing process. Like I said, our first anthology is going to be a lot of book.

I’ll leave you with a section from a piece of black & white interior art we are considering using in the book. There is a lot more to this image than what you are seeing here. I clipped out the top right-hand bit with the two moons and the gargoyle-dragon-winged monstrosity-whatever-the-heck-it-is doing its thing.

This weekend we’ll be back again with another featured story about an odd person who has some disturbing ideas about suicide prevention. As it happens this is the very story we are currently working on editing.

Until then, keep reading.*

— Ann


* I’m curious to know what was the last book you read and what is one of the books you are currently reading now. Let us know in the comments and we’ll start it off ourselves.

Writing Prompt #4: Book you are reading paired with random text

Today’s writing prompt comes from your own reading, because what you read can fuel your own writing, either deep within the opaque corners of one’s mind and-or self-consciously, welling up to the surface of things.

First, consider the cover of whatever book you are currently reading as general inspiration. See where the artwork takes you in the quest to create something new. You can also work in the text too if that proves useful.

I’m currently reading Under Twin Suns, an anthology inspired by Robert W. Chambers work, edited by James Chambers and published by Hippocampus Press. Pretty nice cover!

Second, pick a book of any sort, go to a random page and pick one sentence, again at random. Work that sentence as an ingredient into the soup that is your new creation.

I picked a random book from my collection, closed my eyes, opened the volume and plunked my finger down on the page. I opened my eyes and read, “Behind these apocryphal tales is the visionary technique of rising in the Planes.”

You can simply work the sentence into your work in progress—with proper attribution of course—or unlike Mr. Nero the Cat, you can try and think out of the box.

Some ideas that quickly come to mind as I type this are:

  • Sprinkle all of the words in your sentence throughout your text. This is what I did for a bit of microfiction I wrote back in 2019 called “I Want My Blanket,” that appeared in Sloth, published by the good folks at Black Hare Press.
  • Write down each word on a separate scrap of paper. You can then manipulate the words in various ways for your project. For example, you can pick one piece at random, use the word in your project, pick another word, and so on. Another possibility is to allow the scraps to fall and only use the ones that are face up or are face down, etc. William S. Burroughs liked to perform various manipulations with words using methods like these as well as many others.
  • Instead of using the words from the sentence you picked, try and find synonyms, antonyms, or (if possible) homonyms for some of the words.

If you came up with something using prompt, please let me know in the comments. I’d like to read your masterpiece!

“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.

Ancient Shark Attack Victim and Helen’s Nifty Graphic!

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

Things are moving along nicely with The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology. As of today we’ve signed contracts for twenty-nine short stories and four poems, and have another contract in progress, which hopefully will make an even thirty!

In the meantime, I saw this nifty promotional graphic on Twitter created by the talented Helen Power, whose work we’ll be announcing soon in this blog. I love the typewriter and many of the other details in the picture too. Thanks, Helen!

Brandon Barrows, author of the fine short story, “Among Stones and Stars,” shared this interesting article on Twitter from the Ancient Origins website entitled, “Oldest Shark Attack Victim Ever, Found in an Ancient Japanese Mound.” Pretty interesting stuff, though one feels sorry for the poor fellow so long ago.

We’ll be back in a day or two with our next short story announcement. Until then, keep reading!

“The Little People,” by Kurt Newton, journeys from a secret place into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

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

Kurt Newton’s short story, “The Little People,” drops us into the middle of a dangerous situation with a young woman named Becca as she flees into a twilight wood of mystery, magic and misdirection. (From the proverbial frying pan into the fire?) The episode turns out to be the journey of Becca’s life in more ways than one.

Kurt has authored two novels, The Wishnik and Powerlines, as well as over 400 poems and 250 short stories, published all over North America, Europe, and Australia. His work is usually set in the rural landscapes of New England, which isn’t surprising since he lives in the northeast corner of Connecticut.

Newton has received sixteen honorable mentions from the editors of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and has been nominated four times for the Rhysling Award for his poetry.

Look for his third collection of short stories, Bruises, which will appear later in 2021 from Lycan Valley Press, as well as, The Music of Murder, a collection of crime fiction from Unnerving Books.

A busy fellow indeed! You can find much of Kurt’s work on his Amazon author page, and of course, this October, ensconced in the profane pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave.

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.

“The Savage Night,” a short story by Pedro Iniguez, unearthed for The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology!

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

We continue to brave ancient curses and wards of blood and bone in our ongoing quest to scratch up another nugget of literary gold from The Lost Librarian’s Grave. Much hidden treasure remains: the latest being the imaginative Pedro Iniguez’s short story, “The Savage Night”a tale of hot blood, gnashing teeth, loyalty, and a craving for death beyond Death itself!

Pedro is a speculative fiction writer, who also enjoys painting. He has built up quite a nice bibliography of short fiction since 2013 and is on quite a creative roll so far for 2021.

His cyberpunk novel, Control Theory, and his collected stories, Synthetic Dawns & Crimson Dusks, are both available on Amazon.

Pedro is originally from Los Angeles, California and now resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he is currently working on his second novel. He can be found online at Pedroiniguezauthor.com and in October 2021—The Lost Librarian’s Grave!