Monthly Archives: February 2014

Where is Death?

Death and the Woman   by Gertrude Atherton  (1892)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 25, 2014    Women In Horror Month

220px-MortDeath as persona is a classic technique in horror stories. Today, I thought I’d try something different: instead of creating an introduction of the story, I’d string a few lines from the text to tempt you to read this author, Gertrude Atherton. She wrote some 40 novels and five volumes of short stories as well as nonfiction. Her fiction was quite modern for the American woman seeking emancipation at the turn of the century. A woman writing about women, their inner conflicts and struggles in society, politics, and sexuality, and in this story, Death and the Woman, a wife facing the terror of her husband’s death.

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If you’ve ever stood at the bedside of a dying relative or friend, this story will certainly punctuate that experience of awe and fear. If you’ve never witnessed death enter, well, this story will give you a foreboding peek into the final moments of life.

Where was Death?

She had heard of the power of the corpse to drive brave men to frenzy, and had wondered …

She knew that it was Death who was coming to her through the silent deserted house; knew that it was the sensitive ear of her intelligence that heard him, not the dull, coarse-grained ear of the body.

The dying man took no notice of her, and she opened his gown and put her cheek to his heart, calling him again.

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Read Death and the Woman at ReadBookOnline.net

Listen (by candlelight as flickering shadows will add a thrilling atmosphere to the fine prose) to the audio at Librivox 

Read more short stories by Gertrude Atherton at Short Story Archive

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nWomen In Horror Month (WiHM). One of the most prolific authors in gothic and dark literature in our modern day is without question Joyce Carol Oates. Who doesn’t know this author’s reputation for her visceral and surreal twisted stories and psychological horrors. Many know her work in this genre from Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque. You won’t find a ghost haunting a house so much as you’ll find the inner hauntings of the self and these are often times more horrific than any mere ghost.

Oates says in Reflections on the Grotesque … “…This is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo—that evil is not always repellent but frequently attractive; that it has the power to make of us not simply victims, as nature and accident do, but active accomplices.”

Where Are You going, Where Have You Been? (1996) is about a teenage girl and a sinister stalker. This is not a typical horror story, but a powerful and chilling tale with high tension writing. Do read it slowly and thoughtfully to get full potency. If you’ve ever felt yourself alone and vulnerable, this tale will get into your head and under your skin. Some find the ending powerful; others find it too subtle. You decide.

Read Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? at University of San Francisco

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Joyce Carol Oates

http://www.usfca.edu/jco/

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

WiHM Contemporary Horror Short Stories at Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer

Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


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Filed under fiction, haunted mind, Hauntings, horror, literary horror, short stories, tales of terror, Women In Horror

The First Scream

The Demon Lover by Elizabeth Bowen  (1941)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,  February 18, 2014    Women In Horror Month

‘Mrs. Drover’s mouth hung open for some seconds before she could issue her first scream.’

3302893Dark imagery with a foreboding mood, supernatural events, sinister moments, and what lies beneath the surface of a haunted mind are all elements in this atmospheric ghost story. Some readers might find this more of a psychological thriller, but how would you judge the situation when a letter, with no post except the current date, suddenly appears on a hall table inside your locked and unattended house?

Mrs. Kathleen Drover returns to her closed London house to gather a few things before returning to her husband and children in the countryside when she discovers this odd letter addressed to her. She soon realizes this letter is from a former lover of many years ago who has died. Impossible for such a letter to exist, but there it is in black and white with the current date. Is there some power from the beyond happening? Or is she going just a little mad? She reads the letter:

Dear Kathleen: You will not have forgotten that today is our anniversary, and the day we said. The years have gone by at once slowly and fast. In view of the fact that nothing has changed, I shall rely upon you to keep your promise. I was sorry to see you leave London, but was satisfied that you would be back in time. You may expect me, therefore, at the hour arranged. Until then .      K. 

THE-DEMON-LOVER

Promises made in the heat of the moment when young and full of desire have their own brutish powers, at least they do for Kathleen.

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Author Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) often wrote about secrets and betrayal in her fiction, and a character’s psychological balance played enormously in all her work. Her most famous novel is The Heat of the Day and several collections of short stories.

Read The Demon Lover here at NexusLearning.net

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For this week’s contemporary Women in Horror, take a read of Lucy Taylor’s Walled published at Nightmare Magazine. Do you like haunting and horrific cat stories?

‘She lay there, mesmerized by the sound, which wrenched at her guilt-filled heart with notes as keen and piercing as a shard of bone. “Forgive me,” she whispered, praying it might be Colleen who cried out to her in the darkness. But no, not a child at all. A cat . . .   inside the wall.’

Read Lucy Taylor’s Walled here at Nightmare Magazine.

Lucy Taylor’s stories have appeared in The Best of Cemetery Dance, Twentieth Century Gothic, Danse Macabre, Exotic Gothic 5, and many more magazines and anthologies. Taylor is author of seven novels and a short story collection Fatal Journeys due out in 2014. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Lucy-Taylor-Author

http://www.lucytaylor.us/

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Women In Horror Month at  Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

The Fussy Librarian

HorrorSociety.com 

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

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Filed under classic horror stories, demons, fiction, ghost stories, quiet horror, short stories, tales of terror, Women in Horror Month

WiHM at Sirens Call Publications

This is the second week of Women in Horror Month (WiHM). This movement has really taken off and Sirens Call Publications is getting lots of applause for their Issue 13. Lots of FREE short stories, flash fiction, poetry, editorials, and some amazing photography all by women artists.  From Australia to Oregon to California to Massachusetts to Holland to Singapore to England, if you want to discover some new and rising authors (over 50 to choose from, including a reprint of my own flash fiction Abasteron House), Sirens Call is the place to start looking.

Download the FREE PDF at the link below and enjoy this month’s exciting explosion of horror.

Sirens Call EZine: http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

On FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/SCPSirens

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Filed under fiction, horror, literary horror, Night Sea Journey, short stories, tales of terror, Women in Horror Month

Shapes That Haunt the Dusk

 Perdita  by Hildegarde Hawthorne  (1897)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror,  February 11, 2014     Women In Horror Month

9f6fe56daf585786370676941674331414f6744Hildegarde Hawthorne (1871-1952) probably isn’t a name that comes quickly to mind to most fiction readers. Even if you are an avid classic reader, this author has been long forgotten and overlooked. Of course, you might guess she was related to the most famous Hawthorne. Hildegarde was the granddaughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, daughter of Julian. She was a short story writer, poet, essayist, biographer, and reviewer—author of some 23 books.

Her short story featured here, Perdita, was originally published in Harper’s New Monthly and in the anthology Shapes That Haunt the Dusk in 1907. She is probably most famous for her biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Romantic Rebel in 1936.  If you enjoy Perdita, you might also like The Faded Garden, which is a collection of all her ghost stories.

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I can’t call Perdita a horror story. Even “quiet horror” is a stretch. This is a ghostly love story. Picture the beauty of the prairie, rolling alfalfa fields and big sky. You are sitting on a veranda with vines of roses and sweeping clean air.  But there is a morbid quietness. There is … a young married couple, fresh from their honeymoon. There is sweet Aunt Agnes … There is … the power from beyond.

Read Perdita at Gutenberg.org (scroll down to the title)

Contemporary Women In Horror1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_n

Have you experienced the award-winning work of Caitlin Kiernan? Kiernan is known more as a dark fantasy author than horror author, although that dividing line is pretty blurry to me. She’s written novels, comic books, novellas, and over 100 short stories. Here’s one from Subterranean Press, The Belated Burial. Yeah, you guessed it … a tale of being buried alive. But nothing is predictable in the dark realms of Caitlin Kiernan.

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Visit CaitlinKiernan Web site

The Belated Burial is short enough for a lunchtime read. I read it with a rare roast beef sandwich, tomato juice, and rich black Espresso coffee.  We are in vampire land, after all.

I would certainly be interested in seeing some comments on this story. Did you find Kiernan’s The Belated Burial kindred to Poe’s The Premature Burial? (read story here) What did you think of Kiernan’s ending? If you have any thoughts, please post.

Read The Belated Burial at Subterranean Press

Listen to the audio at PodCastle  Number 127

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under dark fantasy, fiction, ghost stories, Hawthorne, short stories, weird tales, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Women in Horror Month, 2014 (WiHM)

Would you like to participate in celebrating women authors in the horror genre?

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nThere is quite a lot of information that women are under-represented in this genre and have been for a long time.  Julie Crisp at TOR-UK has reported (Sexism in Genre Publishing)  that of the 503 submissions for last year only 17% were manuscripts from women authors.  So, it’s clear that women writers have got to get their boots on the ground and start flooding the markets with submissions if we are going to increase our presence.  And in a recent review by Cinriter this year, the percent of women authors published in small presses is at 9% (Women in the Horror Small Press).

So, having a month devoted to recognizing women authors in horror is really important for our visibility. We are encouraging readers to spend some time this month reading, purchasing, supporting women authors wherever you can. And let’s start here, today, at Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror.

I have a guest blog at HorrorSociety.com Dead Authors Can Still Thrill Readers. If you are following this blog and like to read classic horror stories, you’ll find my blog post at Horror Society to be very helpful in discovering lots of classic women writers in horror. And, this month all my posts here will be women authors.

There are plenty of sites celebrating women horror writers in February, so please stop by these sites, enjoy, make comments, and if you are of the mind, explore a new author.  We make our living selling our stories and novels and hope that this month of all months, readers will recognize and appreciate our creativity with comments, reviews, support, and book and short story purchases.

This is the official Women in Horror Month site:  http://womeninhorrormonth.com/

Some interesting sites featuring WiHM:

HellNotes.com

DarkGeisha.com

Thank you to everyone who is following my blog here and those who have bookmarked it and stop in regularly. And special thanks to those who have read my short stories and made comments and emails, and to those who have purchased my novels The Dazzling Darkness and  Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural (soon to be released in soft cover by Crispin Books). Every single sale is ever so meaningful!

Happy Reading …

Paula

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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, Night Sea Journey, Reading Fiction, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Necromantic Adventures in Genoa

Transformation  by Mary Shelley  (1831)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   February 4, 2014   Women in Horror Month (WiHM)

If any author could successfully mix romance with fiendish pride and the power of evil, it’s Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is not considered supernatural, but Transformation certainly is a necromantic adventure.

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For never was a story of more woe than Juliet and her Guido (if I may borrow the line from Shakespeare).  We are not in  Romeo and Juliet’s fair Verona; we are in Genoa. Juliet and Guido have been in love since childhood and have pledged to marry. She is angel-faced and loyal. He is rich, handsome, and worldly. Because Guido squanders his wealth, falls into the trap of vanity, and engages in violence, the authorities ban him from Genoa on pain of death.

Mad with loneliness, guilt, and struggling with regret, he wanders the seaside during the darkest of storms. Here he meets a mysterious dwarf  …

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‘The voice of the wretch was screeching and horrid, and his contortions as he spoke were frightful to behold. Yet he did gain a kind of influence over me, which I could not master, and I told him my tale. When it was ended, he laughed long and loud: the rocks echoed back the sound: hell seemed yelling around me. …

His supernatural powers made him an oracle in my eyes; yet a strange unearthly thrill quivered through my frame as I said, “Speak!–teach me–what act do you advise?”’

This hideous dwarf (a cousin of Lucifer?) makes our poor Guido an offer he cannot refuse.

Read Transformation at Columbia.Edu

Listen to the short story at Librivox (scroll down to Number 10)

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, February 2014

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nMany of you know February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM). Each Tuesday I will be featuring all women authors from the 19th century and posting a recommendation of a contemporary author as well. Women are under-represented in this genre and the goal of WiHM is to encourage reading, recognition, and support of women horror authors. So I encourage you to read women authors this month, buy their short stories, their novels, and recognize the talents of so many women writers that have been overlooked and underrated.

To that aim, I’d like to recommend award-winning author Susan Hill. Hill is a British author of novels and short stories. The Woman in Black is a dark atmospheric novel, a winner of a ghost story, historical, and a cunning mystery. You might also like these ghost stories: Printer’s Devil Court (short story), The Small Hand, The Man in the Picture, Dolly, Hunger (short story), Man in the Mist.

Visit Susan Hill’s Web site in the UK.   82px-93,370,0,276-Susanhill-007

Check out what Julienne Snow has to say about WiHM at Dark Media.

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

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Filed under fiction, horror, literary horror, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, Women in Horror Month