Monday, September 20, 2021

Eat Like an Author: Trish McDonald

 When most people get bored, they eat. When I get bored, I brainstorm new series and features for the blog, and THEN eat. And not too long ago, as I was brainstorming and contemplating what I wanted to eat, I thought how cool it would be to have a mini-foodie series where authors share the things they like to eat. Photos and recipes and all. And so I asked them, and amazingly they responded, and I dubbed it EAT LIKE AN AUTHOR. 

Today, Trish McDonald joins us to talk about changing lifestyles...

How I got the “guts” to write a debut novel at the age of seventy-seven.


Dinner Omelet with Pickled Vegetables

In 2015, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol—the dreaded combination known as metabolic disease. On the plus side, I’m a nutritionist, so I know how important food is when you have to change your lifestyle.

The Probiotics: Kefir, Yogurt, Fermented Veggies, Flavored Kombucha 

 With that in mind, I lowered sugary carbs, increased fiber, and started a regular exercise routine. I also learned about “prebiotics”—onions, plant fiber, seeds, nuts—and “probiotics”—kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and fermented veggies which I started making in my kitchen. Every morning I drink 2-3 oz. of kefir with 2 tsp. hemp seeds & 1 tsp. ground flaxseed stirred in.

 The key to gut health is combining both the prebiotics and the probiotics in one meal or recipe. In six months, I lost weight, balanced my microbiome, and my doctor took me off all the meds. Now I needed to help the members in my community get healthy too. 

Kombucha Brewing 

 One morning, after I had been teaching The Gut Class for a few weeks, my beau came out to say good morning, and he commented, “I don’t know if you’re aware or not, but even your voice has changed since you’ve been running this course.”

I knew instinctively it was true, so I started to research what could be going on inside of me that would bring about these changes. When I found out about the connection between the gut and the brain, I knew I was on to something. Of course, I didn’t know then about the book, Paper Bags, I was destined to write, or the stamina and courage it would take to create a debut novel at the age of seventy-seven. When I queried an agent and the response was, “Everything has an expiration date”—I vowed my marketing brand would be—“No Expiration on Dreams!”


Trish McDonald, according to her DNA profile, is 86% Irish. For a storyteller, this “blarney” heritage comes in handy when writing about issues of childhood trauma. With a background in nutrition education, McDonald combines fiction and self-help in powerful scenes using science-based methods of body work: a yoga class, cranial sacral therapy session, reiki, music, and dancing. It is, however, the healing power of love and intimacy where her protagonist’s journey leads to self-discovery and acceptance. An education writer, McDonald’s credits include national publications, Family Circle President’s Award for nutrition programs, and various academic journal articles. An avid camper, McDonald lives in a RV park in Southwest Florida. Paper Bags is her first novel.


Tonight, she’s a stalker. In the dark woods, with the rain lashing the windshield and the ground fern crushed beneath the wheels of her car, she hides and waits and contemplates her options: The Boy? Me? Love? Sanity? How far will she have to go to find love and feel safe? As she slouches down behind the steering wheel, the back seat filled with her paper bags and her yellow Labrador Retriever, she questions this decision to chase after him. Little does she know that this deviant behavior will set off a stunning revelation rocking her to the core. Will she run away as fast as she can, or will her curiosity entice her to embark on a journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening?

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Page 69: Unbroken Bonds

  Disclaimer: The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....

In this installment of Page 69, 

We put Dawn Hogan’s UNBROKEN BONDS to the test. 

Set up page 69 for us. What are we about to read?

The year is 1956. The scene is a dorm room in a Catholic home for unwed mothers in Knoxville, Tennessee. Michelle, who has been miserably uncomfortable for weeks, has gone into labor. Knowing that the hospital wing is a scary place, run by an equally scary nun, Sister Eugenia, Michelle has convinced her roommates to help her stay with them as long as possible.

What is your book about?

UNBROKEN BONDS is the fictional tale of four teenage girls who develop a lifelong bond of friendship while they are incarcerated in the Frances Weston Home for Unwed mothers; a place where it is expected the girls surrender their newborns to sealed adoptions. The guilt, shame and secrecy of their shared history is the shaky foundation on which they rebuild their lives once they’re released from the home. As they navigate adulthood during the turbulent 1960s in the Deep South, the sisterhood between them is their strength, sanity and soft place to land. The four women support each other as they all, in their unique way, find the life she makes for herself. When tragedy strikes, they must decide to protect their buried secrets from the past or find the children they were forced to surrender.


Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what the book is about? Does it align itself with the book’s overall theme?

I think it does. Even though Michelle is not one of the characters who carries throughout the story, the shared experience of being ostracized for being a pregnant teenager, is the beginning of the bond for the four main characters. Michelle’s being in labor is something they will each go through on their own. It’s a frightening prospect. There is breaking of the rules in honor of friendship, a recurrent theme, forbidden as well, was divulging one’s true identity and remaining friends outside the home.






wing, I’ll be all alone. Please don’t get Sister Eugenia, I wanna stay here as long as I can,” she begged.

“It’s okay. No one’s gonna get her unless you tell us to.” Jessie stroked Michelle’s hair.

     “Do you want anythin’, some water, or a wet towel for your forehead? Gosh, I feel like we should boil water, like they do in the movies,” Rachel nervouslyrambled.

     Michelle laughingly chided, “Rachel, you’re such a ditz, but I love ya for it.” The other girls chuckled as Rachel blushed and shrugged.

     Timing the contractions, they determined they were ten minutes apart. AsMichelle writhed again, Joanna soothed her. “Don’t tighten up. Try torelax; it won’t hurt as bad. Here, look at me and breathe like this.” Joanna showedher slow, even breaths, stroking her arm. Michelle released the tension in her body and followed Joanna.

     When it ended, Michelle asked, amazed, “That helped. How’d ya know what to do?”

     “My mama told me,” Joanna answered. “All five of us were born at home on my granny’s farm. I was with her for the last three.”

     For the next few hours, Jessie, Joanna, and Rachel tried to make Michelle as comfortable as possible while Missy sat cross-legged on her bed, silently observing. When Michelle complained her back ached, Jessie massaged it for her and Joanna helped her breathe with each contraction. Rachel finally ran to the bathroom for a cold rag to dab the sweat from her forehead. They lost track of time, until Sister Bridget came in to announce lights-out. Immediately the nun started asking questions.

     “Her contractions are eight minutes apart,” Joanna answered. Michelle begged Bridget to let her stay in the dorm room awhile longer. Following a brief exam to gauge Michelle’s dilation, she reluctantly decided to let her remain with her friends for the present.

     “You’re only halfway,” Sister Bridget informed them. “We’ll have to turn off the lights or Mrs. Fitch will be in here to investigate. Missy, let me borrow your flashlight.”

     With the lights out, the girls focused their moral support on Michelle, each cognizant that a similar fate would find her. They passed the time with whispered stories about their families or boyfriends. Hours later, Missy lay sound asleep in


Dawn Hogan majored in English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She’s the mother of four grown children and grandmother to two. She is a full-time author and lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband. Dawn would be thrilled to join your book club for the discussion of her debut novel UNBROKEN BONDS. You can contact her at Check out for more information. You can follow her on Facebook D.W. Hogan author and on Instagram dawnhoganauthor.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Page 69: Winterset Hollow

  Disclaimer: The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....

In this installment of Page 69, 

We put Jonathan Edward Durham's Winterset Hollow to the test. 

What is Winterset Hollow about?

Winterset Hollow is a dark, contemporary fantasy with a few healthy twists and a slo-burn thriller rhythm.  It's about a young man and his two friends discovering something they thought they'd never find…and the consequences of that discovery, which turn out to be far more dire than initially expected.  It's a fantasy narrative with relatable, real-world themes, and is equal parts tender and terrifying…and I think it's a patently enjoyable read with a big heart.



Set up page 69 for us…

 Page 69 falls in the middle of our main character's initial discovery whereupon he finds himself inside the former home of his favorite author.  And he's being guided through the halls of the manor by a host he never thought he'd have the chance to meet, namely a rabbit named Runny who was featured in his favorite book…a book aptly named Winterset Hollow.  So, in this scene, Runny and Eamon come upon the kitchen where they find another character from the book, a frog named Flackwell, who's busying himself cooking them supper while singing an old folk song.



Do you think this page gives readers an accurate sense of the kind of story that you've explored in Winterset Hollow?

 I think so, yes.  I think it speaks to the sense of wonder that our main character, Eamon, is feeling as he's being allowed to glimpse things that he never thought he'd see and know secrets he never thought he'd know.  I also think it's a good example of the kind of emotional upswing that he's feeling at this point in the story…his heart is full and his head is spinning in the best possible way…little does he know, of course, that all of that is about to come crashing down in the most terrifying manner.


There's solid banter, which is a favorite thing of mine to write—I'm a total sucker for some well-slung dialogue—but there's also a good bit of intuitive narration, which is another big hammer in my toolbox.  I love when a narrator can really dig in and root around in a character's head and invite the reader in…and I think that it's necessary in a story like this to really hang a lantern on exactly where on the emotional spectrum everybody is before it all starts falling apart, which is pretty much right around the corner.






“He’s quite the hand in the cookhouse, but I’m sure you knew that,” said the rabbit as he sidled up to Eamon. “But truly, what would Barley Day be without a feast?” The frog’s voice was powerful and dynamic and unrestrained, and Eamon could only imagine the treat he was in for if his passion for performance carried over into his cooking.


“I know this song,” Eamon said wistfully. “I’ve read it a thousand times, but . . . but I’ve never heard it before. Not like this anyway.”


“It’s an old song. Our kind have sung it for generations. It was Edward’s favorite. I suppose that’s why he put it in his book. It seemed too personal a detail for him to borrow at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated having something of ours immortalized like that. Not that he would’ve cared, mind you. Always was stubborn as an ox, that one.”


Eamon was well aware that he had asked his share of questions in the short time he had been awake, but with every answer that fell from the Rabbit’s lips, he only found himself feeling like there was more he wanted to know. These histories—they felt like fire in the frozen tundra to him. They felt warm and nourishing and sublimely necessary, and he would gladly have surrendered his coat or his snowshoes or even the very pages of his favorite book to add fuel to its flame. Eamon would have given anything to know them all . . . to drink of their substance and lay about the manor’s grounds fat and happy and deliriously drunk on their charm. Without a moment’s debate, he would’ve traded the sum of his current knowledge for the promise of what was to come, but his host had thus far seemed happy to accommodate his curiosities, and so the possibility that he might be allowed both flashed ripe and ready through his mind.


Jonathan Edward Durham
was born near Philadelphia in one of many satellite rust-belt communities where he read voraciously throughout his youth. After attending William & Mary, where he received a degree in neuroscience, Jonathan waded into the professional world before deciding he was better suited for more artistic pursuits.  

He now lives with his partner in California where he writes to bring a unique voice to the space between the timeless wonder of his favorite childhood stories and the pop sensibilities of his adolescent literary indulgences.  His debut novel, Winterset Hollow, an elevated contemporary fantasy with a twist, follows in that same vein and is available everywhere late 2021.   

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Audio Series: The Body Joyful


Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen."  was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.

Today, Anne Poirier joins us and reads an excerpt from her book The Body Joyful, forthcoming October 5th. Anne is a Certified Intuitive Eating and Body Confidence Coach, Eating Disorder Specialist and Speaker. Having struggled and overcome her own eating, food, weight, and body image challenges she founded Shaping Perspectives a Woman’s Way to Joy, created the Body Joyful Solution, and is the leader of the Body Joyful Revolution Tribe. She can be found at, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. Magazines and on-line publications featuring her work include: Eating Well, Huffington Post, The Cut and others. Poirier resides in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Click the soundcloud link below to hear Anne reading an excerpt from her book. 

What it's about: 

Anne Poirier’s The Body Joyful is a game changer. It is an anti-diet book, a rejector of societies “thin ideal,” and a new perspective in a Covid world. It provides insights and strategies and is a roadmap to help you shift the way you think, act, and live. Inspiring and empowering, this relatable story offers the reader permission to find self-worth, hope, healing, and transformation, regardless of weight, size or shape.

In the words of author and speaker Brian Tracy “This inspiring, motivational book will help you unlock your self-confidence and feel wonderful about yourself. You’ll learn that you have no limits”

If you are ready to stop depriving yourself with diets and beating yourself up with self-criticism, this book is for you! Read it and join the Body Joyful Revolution Tribe now.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Where Gregory L Norris Writes

 Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!

Where Writers Write is a series in which authors showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen. 

This is Gregory L. Norris. 

Raised on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic Science Fiction TV, Gregory writes for national magazines, short story anthologies, novels, and the occasional episode for film and television. Norris writes The Day After Tomorrow series for Anderson Entertainment in the U.K. based on the Gerry Anderson NBC made-for-TV movie, which he watched and loved as a boy, and worked on Paramount’s Star Trek: Voyager series as a screenwriter. Norris lives at the Outer Limits of New Hampshire’s North Country in a century-old house called Xanadu with his giant rescue cat and emerald-eyed muse.

Where Gregory L Norris Writes

Often, I joke with friends that if my Writing Room had a sofa, coffee pot, and bathroom, I’d never leave it. I sit here in the heart of Xanadu, my century-old New Englander on a hill in New Hampshire’s North Country. My home office, much like writing, was a dream I envisioned long ago the summer after I turned fifteen and took my first step into the much larger universe to be explored by living a literary life.

 Xanadu—named after the 1980 roller disco musical about a place where dreams come true—had sat neglected and vacant for two years before my late husband, Bruce, and I toured it on a frigid December afternoon in 2012. Four months later, we closed on the house and moved in, and Bruce began a fierce renovation schedule, including the downstairs bedroom with the antique wide-pine floors. He took this room apart, restored everything, painted it in beachy blue (considered the most productive color for a creative space), and, on a Saturday in March that felt like the best Christmas of my life, we moved all of my furniture, boxes of manuscripts, artwork, and family treasures into my new and forever Writing Room. I plan to haunt the space long after I’m gone.

 My writing room—where I’ve penned more than 500 of the total 1564 works of fiction of my career, including my novel Ex Marks the Spot (Woodhall Press, September 2021)—is my favorite place on this planet. I have others on other planets and realms, but since we’re here to talk about writing spaces, I’ll stick to the big room with the tall ceiling that beckons to me every morning after I wake upstairs either to the feline alarm clock or the one operated by my muse.

The room boasts two enormous glass-front cases, both containing my archives of published clips—every novel, short story, magazine, DVD, or VHS tape containing my work. One entire wall is covered by autographed photographs of celebrities I’ve interviewed or gotten to rub elbows with over the course of my career—all of my childhood icons, in fact, from having grown up on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic Science Fiction TV. Two four-drawer lateral filing cabinets contain all of my longhand first drafts in designer file folders—early on, I realized I wasn’t manila. Another bookshelf is filled with old press passes, press kits, and swag from events I’ve attended. The wall above the filing cabinets is devoted to awards I’ve won, including the Spinetingler’s Best Book of the Year, the Small Press Writers’ and Artist’s Award for Year’s Best New Writer, and my Honorable Mention in 2016’s prestigious The Roswell Awards in Short Science Fiction Writing. A letter of recommendation from the creator of Star Trek:Voyager hangs on that wall. My favorite award is the hand-drawn certificate my mother presented to me in 1982 on the night of May 28th when she hosted a party for high school friends to celebrate the completion of my 100th work of fiction.

 At the center of the room is my desk, a sturdy though beat-up relic from childhood. My desk was our family’s old kitchen table. When I revealed to my mother that I wanted to be a writer, only a writer, and requested a desk for Christmas, I returned home from school one afternoon to discover that she’d transformed a corner of my old bedroom into a writer’s studio. There was our old table, brought up from the basement, along with a cup filled with pens and my first file cabinet, one of those made from sturdy cardboard. I’ve written at this desk now for 41 years. It still bears ink stains from my fountain pens, some of those marks four decades old.

 In January 2020, my husband died of Supranuclear Palsy, a cousin to Parkinson’s with a hunger like ALS that is always fatal. I pledged to him and myself that I would never sell this house, which he loved and which I do as well—I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. 2020 was also the year of the pandemic. I decided to treat “shelter-at-home” like “writer-in-residence” and, with the help of the muse and our rescue cat, Daisy, channeled my grief into one of my most productive years ever.  At home, I traveled to Antarctica, Moonbase Alpha, Atlantis, solved murder mysteries, fell in love, and was reunited with Bruce in the pages of Ex Marks the Spot.

Every morning, I enter my Writing Room with coffee and seriousness of purpose and, on most days, experience the pure, timeless joy of living my dream. Daisy normally loafs on the “Starry Night” rug at my side, a loyal companion who would perform light filing duties but for the absence of opposable thumbs. I love my muse, my Writing Room, and the writing life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Indie Ink Runs Deep: Seb Doubinsky


We're happy to help Meerkat Press support the release of their latest title Paperclip by participating in their blog tour. And if you're at all into winning free stuff, they're running a giveaway where you can potentially win a $50 book shopping spree.

Click here to enter!

Every now and then I manage to talk a small press author into showing us a little skin... tattooed skin, that is. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. Whether it's the influence for their book, influenced by their book, or completely unrelated to the book, we get to hear the story behind their indie ink....


Today's ink story comes from Seb Doubinsky, as he celebrates his latest release Paperclip, out now with Meerkat Press. 

To me literature has always been like writing on human skin, and a good writer is someone who works like a talented tattoo artist. The bad writer, well, same thing, but in reverse. What’s more, books, like tattoos, age. Some well, some less well. It’s the way of all things. This is the first tattoo I got, in 1996, in Aarhus, Denmark. I designed it myself, taking my inspiration in Aztec iconography. “Tristessa” is the title of one of my favorite books by Kerouac. It was then, it still is.

Tattoos, like good books, are for life.


The tattoo above signifies “Husband” in Japanese, or so I’ve been told. When we got married, my wife and I decided that we didn’t want wedding rings but tattoos. She’s got “Wife”. Or so she’s been told.

In any case, it’s the same language, and we’re still together.

The magick of ink.


Released August 17, 2021

Dystopian | Noir | Speculative Fiction


In New Babylon, leader of the Western alliance of the city-states, armament mogul Kurt Wagner has a secret dream: to build a space station to save mankind. Little does he know that he is the target of competing plots involving geopolitics and black magic. In the background, a film director with a political conscience, a bodyguard with a secret mission, a driver with an occult hobby and a talking bird are trying to make sense of their world, hoping to see their wishes come true—which they will, but not in the way they expected.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Dark Factory's Guide to Books & Booze

Time to grab a book and get tipsy!!!

Books & Booze challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 

BOOKS & BOOZE with Dark Factory’s Ari Regon (and Kathe Koja)



Dark Factory is a dance club: three floors of DJs, drinks, dancing, and state of the art customizable reality. And Dark Factory is Kathe Koja’s new novel, in collaboration with indie powerhouse Meerkat Press, bringing together Kathe’s award-winning writing and her experience in live immersive events. The book hits print (and ebook and audio) in 2022, but the story has already started at

Ari Regon is the club’s star floor manager and party guru. Come and join him for a tour of the club, and a drink! Or two.


Dark Factory’s a total nightlife experience, everything that you see and hear and feel, it’s all totally customizable. I’ve been working here, doesn’t feel like “work” but I’ve been here since the very beginning, and the party just keeps getting better. We have power users who come every weekend, some of them come every night, one of our lead dancers started out as a power user. And DJs from all over the world—You can leave your bag there, just click that Lock It tab, the red tab, right.


We’ll grab a tiara for you in a minute, you like Y? The techs are rocking those glitch flowers tonight, gold and dirty pink, touch one and it turns into fireworks. And we’ve got the onbody interactives too, you want to feel more, you can, just scroll the menu and turn it up. People put together some wild experiences, it can get pretty crazy sometimes, pretty sexy. Last night we had a threesome up in the graffiti room, and they—Anyway. First let’s get you a drink. On the house, to celebrate your first time at the Factory.


There are bars on every floor, so—The mix lab? No, wish I could but it’s actually hush-hush in there, the mixologists are always putting together some cool new beverage. Their newest thing, we’re taking it live this Friday—don’t tell yet, but they’re calling it the 24 Karat, tequila with real edible gold, gold shimmer dust on the rim with the salt, are you salty? Or how about a Shot of Heaven? That’s mainly gin and Creme Yvette—Creme Yvette, it’s a liqueur, it smells like violets, sweet but not too sweet. Flowers, more drinks should have flowers . . . My own favorite? Right now it’s the BPM, Irish whisky and espresso with a little chocolate, it smooths you out and wakes you up at the same time.


Do I love it here? Fuck yes, I—Why do I love it? Because it’s where I want to be, all the time, it’s—That beat, hear it? Third floor DJ’s starting up, let’s go. You ready for that tiara, now?


[Due to Dark Factory internal policy, the actual recipes for the 24 Karat, Shot of Heaven, and BPM are proprietary.]



Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Audio Series: The Only Living Girl in Chicago


Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen."  was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.

Today, Mallory Smart hangs with us, reading a couple excerpts from her forthcoming novel The Only Living Girl In Chicago, which releases August 24th from Trident Press. Mallory is a Chicago-based writer and is the Editor-in-Chief of the publishing house, Maudlin HouseShe also talks about music and literature on the podcast Textual Healing, and horror movies on the podcast, That Horrorcast.

                   Click the soundcloud bar below to hear Mallory Smart read two excerpts from her novel. 

What The Only Living Girl in Chicago is about:

Zoe Clark is back in Chicago, and she already wants to run. But she can never turn her back on her monstrous hometown again. Grief, technology, isolation, and emptiness keep her up at night. Or maybe it's the coffee. Her brain feels like a mosquito trapped in amber, ready to be found in 65 million years by an enterprising paleontologist. Full of anxiety, humor, philosophy, and grief, The Only Living Girl in Chicago is a stunning coming-of-age novel, a later bloomer's bible in constant, dizzying motion.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Blog Tour: Ariadne, I Love You


We're happy to help Meerkat Press support the release of their latest title Ariadne, I Love You by participating in their blog tour. And if you're at all into winning free stuff, they're running a giveaway where you can potentially win a $50 book shopping spree.

Click here to enter!


For today's stop, we're thrilled to introduce J. Ashley-Smith, who will be reading an excerpt from the book. He is a British–Australian writer of dark fiction and other materials. His short stories have twice won national competitions and been shortlisted seven times for Aurealis Awards, winning both Best Horror (Old Growth, 2017) and Best Fantasy (The Further Shore, 2018). His novella, The Attic Tragedy, was released by Meerkat Press in 2020 and has since been shortlisted for an Aurealis Award, an Australian Shadows Award, and a Shirley Jackson Award.

J. lives with his wife and two sons in the suburbs of North Canberra, gathering moth dust, tormented by the desolation of telegraph wires.

You can connect with J. at, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click on the soundcloud icon below to hear J. Ashley-Smith read from Ariadne, I Love You


Released July 20th, 2021
Dark Fantasy | Horror

About Ariadne, I Love You: 

Jude is dragged out of Alt Country obscurity, out of the dismal loop of booze and sadness baths and the boundless, insatiable loneliness, to scrub up and fly to Australia for a last, desperate comeback tour. Hardly worth getting out of bed for—and he wouldn’t, if it weren’t for Coreen.

But Coreen is dead. And, worse than that, she’s married. Jude’s swan-song tour becomes instead a terminal descent, into the sordid past, into the meaning hidden in forgotten songs, into Coreen’s madness diary, there to waken something far worse than her ghost.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, July 5, 2021

Audio Series: These Americans


Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen."  was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.

Today, Jyotsna Sreenivasan reads a story from her collection These Americans, which released this past May. She is also the author of And Laughter Fell From the Sky. Both are about Indian Americans. She was selected as a Fiction Fellow for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies.  She received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts. She was born and raised in Ohio. Her parents are immigrants from India. For information about Jyotsna as well as other writers who are children of immigrants, please see

Click the soundcloud bar below to hear Jyotsna reading from "Mirror", a story from her new collection.

About These Americans

Winner of the Rosemary Daniell Fiction Prize from the publisher, this debut collection of short fiction explores what it means to be an American, from the birth of a child to an immigrant couple to the death of a first-generation mother. The eight short stories and a novella examine mother-daughter relationships, immigrant parental expectations, fitting in, the concept of “home,” coming out as a lesbian, the process of becoming “American,” and the experiences of an Indian woman physician in the U.S. An earlier version of the novella in this collection was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Blog Tour: The Bridge


We're happy to help Meerkat Press support the release of their latest title The Bridge by participating in their blog tour. And if you're at all into winning free stuff, they're running a giveaway where you can potentially win a $50 book shopping spree.

Click here to enter!


For today's stop, author J.S. Bruekelaar is reading an excerpt from the novel. J.S. is the author of Collision: Stories, a 2019 Shirley Jackson Award finalist, and winner of the 2019 Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. Previous novels include Aletheia and American Monster. Her short fiction has appeared in the Dark Magazine, Tiny Nightmares, Black Static, Gamut, Unnerving, Lightspeed, Lamplight, Juked, in Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy 2019 and elsewhere. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, where she teaches writing and literature, and is at work on a new collection of short stories and a novella. You can find her at and on Twitter and elsewhere @jsbreukelaar.

Click on the soundcloud icon below to hear J.S. reading from The Bridge:


Releasing June 22, 2021
Speculative Fiction | Dark Fantasy

About The Bridge: 

Meera and her twin sister Kai are among thousands of hybrid women—called Mades—bred by the Father in his Blood Temple cult. Meera is rescued by a mysterious healer and storyteller, Narn, but her sister, Kai, does not survive the Father’s “unmaking.” Years later, when the cult is discovered and abolished, Meera, still racked with guilt and grief, enrolls in college to take advantage of a generous new Redress Program. When Narn’s conjure stories buy Meera a free ride to a notorious horror reading series, she is soon the darling of the lit set, feted by the other students, finally whole, finally free of the idea that she should have died instead of her sister. But college is not all it seems—Narn has lost a sister too, and Meera agrees to try and find her if Narn will keep feeding Meera the stories that are opening her up to memories she’s never acknowledged, secrets she’s never wanted to know, about Narn’s and the Father’s connection to a violent campus stalker.