Tag Archives: Hailey Piper

New Releases: October 4, 2022

Moonflowers and Nightshade: an Anthology of Sapphic Horror ed. by Samantha Kolesnik (1st)

61152566. sy475 Moonflowers and Nightshade presents eighteen original sapphic horror stories, including works by: Alex Luceli Jiménez, Christina Ladd, G.B. Lindsey, Kat Siddle, G.E. Woods, Rae Knowles, Lowry Poletti, Cyrus Amelia Fisher, Jade Lancaster, Archita Mittra, Ali Seay, Hailey Piper, Anastasia Dziekan, E.F. Schraeder, Tiffany Morris, Nicoletta Giuseffi, Avra Margariti, and Annabeth Leong.

Buy it: Amazon

The Restless Dark by Erica Waters

60091386The Cloudkiss Killer is dead. Now a true-crime podcast is hosting a contest to find his bones.

Lucy was almost the serial killer’s final victim. Carolina is a true-crime fan who fears her own rage. Maggie is a psychology student with a little too much to hide.

All of them are looking for answers, for a new identity, for a place to bury their secrets.

But there are more than bones hiding in the shadows…sometimes the darkness inside is more frightening than anything the dead leave behind.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Anne of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki

60099223In this modern reimagining of Anne of Green Gables, Anne is an ABBA-loving singer/actor/writer of disco-operas, queer, Japanese-American who longs to be understood for her artistic genius. Recently relocated to middle-of-nowhere Greenville and starting at a new school, Anne has a tendency to A) fall in love quickly, deeply, and effervescently and B) fly off the handle in the face of jerks. Both personality quirks quickly come into play when the soccer team boos the premiere of her disco performance, which—in a roundabout way—introduces her to her new BFF, Berry, and she soon after meets the girl of her dreams, Gilly.

Falling quickly into that age-old trap of ignoring the best friend for the new crush, Anne soon becomes embroiled in a series of dramatic and unfortunate events, and quickly finds herself wrapped up in a love triangle she never expected. Is she MTB with Gilly? Or is Berry her true soul mate? Only time (or 304 pages) will tell.

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The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

59723790In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon They Both Die at the End, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.

It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?

Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.

Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.

Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Hollow by Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White (text), Berenice Nelle (art), and Kaitlyn Musto, Kieran Quigley, and Gonçalo Lopes (color)

60321105Isabel “Izzy” Crane and her family have just relocated to Sleepy Hollow, the town made famous by–and obsessed with–Washington Irving’s legend of the Headless Horseman. But city slicker-skeptic Izzy has no time for superstition as she navigates life at a new address, a new school, and, with any luck, with new friends. Ghost stories aren’t real, after all…. Then Izzy is pulled into the orbit of the town’s teen royalty, Vicky Van Tassel (yes, that Van Tassel) and loveable varsity-level prankster Croc Byun. Vicky’s weariness with her family connection to the legend turns to terror when the trio begins to be haunted by the Horseman himself, uncovering a curse set on destroying the Van Tassel line. Now, they have only until Halloween night to break it–meaning it’s a totally inconvenient time for Izzy to develop a massive crush on the enigmatic Vicky. Can Izzy’s practical nature help her face the unknown–or only trip her up? As the calendar runs down to the 31st, Izzy will have to use all of her wits and work with her new friends to save Vicky and uncover the mystery of the legendary Horseman of Sleepy Hollow–before it’s too late.

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The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco

60190095. sy475 An island oasis turns deadly when a terrifying legend threatens to kill off visitors one by one in this haunting novel from the highly acclaimed author of The Girl from the Well and the Bone Witch trilogy.

Pristine beaches, lush greenery, and perfect weather, the island of Kisapmata would be the vacation destination…if not for the curse. The Philippine locals speak of it in hushed voices and refuse to step foot on the island. They know the lives it has claimed. They won’t be next.

A Hollywood film crew won’t be dissuaded. Legend claims a Dreamer god sleeps, waiting to grant unimaginable powers in exchange for eight sacrifices. The producers are determined to document the evidence. And they convince Alon, a local teen, to be their guide.

Within minutes of their arrival, a giant sinkhole appears, revealing a giant balete tree with a mummified corpse entwined in its gnarled branches. And the crew start seeing strange visions. Alon knows they are falling victim to the island’s curse. If Alon can’t convince them to leave, there is no telling who will survive. Or how much the Dreamer god will destroy…

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Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry ed. by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli

The fiction and poetry of Queer Little Nightmares reimagines monsters old and new through a queer lens, subverting the horror gaze to celebrate ideas and identities canonically feared in monster lit. Throughout history, monsters have appeared in popular culture as stand-ins for the non-conforming, the marginalized of society. Pushed into the shadows as objects of fear, revulsion, and hostility, these characters have long conjured fascination and self-identification in the LGBTQ+ community, and over time, monsters have become queer icons.

In Queer Little Nightmares, creatures of myth and folklore seek belonging and intimate connection, cryptids challenge their outcast status, and classic movie monsters explore the experience of coming into queerness. The characters in these stories and poems—the Minotaur camouflaged in a crowd of cosplayers, a pubescent werewolf, a Hindu revenant waiting to reunite with her lover, a tender-hearted kaiju, a lagoon creature aching for the swimmers above him, a ghost of Pride past—relish their new sparkle in the spotlight. Pushing against tropes that have historically been used to demonize, the queer creators of this collection instead ask: What does it mean to be (and to love) a monster?

Contributors include Amber Dawn, David Demchuk, Hiromi Goto, jaye simpson, Eddy Boudel Tan, and Kai Cheng Thom.

Buy it: Amazon

You’re a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky

Bring a little joy to the world?

Not today, Santa.

Matthew Prince is young, rich, and thoroughly spoiled. So what if his parents barely remember he exists and the press is totally obsessed with him? He’s on top of the world. But one major PR misstep later, and Matthew is cut off and shipped away to spend the holidays in his grandparents’ charming small town hellscape. Population: who cares?

It’s bad enough he’s stuck in some festive winter wonderland—it’s even worse that he has to share space with Hector Martinez, an obnoxiously attractive local who’s unimpressed with anything and everything Matthew does.

Just when it looks like the holiday season is bringing nothing but heated squabbles, the charity gala loses its coordinator and Matthew steps in as a saintly act to get home early on good behavior…with Hector as his maddening plus-one. But even a Grinch can’t resist the unexpected joy of found family, and in the end, the forced proximity and infectious holiday cheer might be enough to make a lonely Prince’s heart grow three sizes this year.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo

59049157. sy475 Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friends–one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West.Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable–for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It’s the kind of summer that changes a life forever.

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A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

In Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel. He is adrift, caught between his childhood on the reservation and this new life of the urban intelligentsia. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s unnamed narrator chronicles a series of encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted adult from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Amid these conversations, the narrator is haunted by memories of Jack, a cousin caught in the cycle of police violence, drugs, and survival. Jack’s life parallels the narrator’s own; the possibilities of escape and imprisonment are left to chance with colonialism stacking the odds.

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Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist by Cecilia Gentilli

In these hilarious and heartbreaking letters, Cecilia Gentili reinvents the trans memoir, putting the confession squarely between the writer and her enemies, paramours and friends. Is she here for revenge, or forgiveness? Both! And more! A story of sex, theft, murder, motherhood, and outrageous fashion choices, FALTAS is a beautiful, messy meditation on what it takes to heal, and even grow.

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When They Tell You to Be Good by Prince Shakur

60528667After immigrating from Jamaica to the United States, Prince Shakur’s family is rocked by the murder of Prince’s biological father in 1995. Behind the murder is a sordid family truth, scripted in the lines of a diary by an outlawed uncle hell-bent on avenging the murder of Prince’s father. As Shakur begins to unravel his family’s secrets, he must navigate the strenuous terrain of conquering one’s inner self while confronting the steeped complexities of the Afro-diaspora.

When They Tell You to Be Good charts Prince Shakur’s political coming of age from closeted queer kid in a Jamaican family to radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America. Shakur journeys from France, the Philippines, South Korea, and more to discover the depths of the Black experience, and engages in deep political questions while participating in movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. By the end, Shakur reckons with his identity, his Jamaican family’s immigration to the US before his birth, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.

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The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern by Rita Zoey Chin

58408596Born in a carnival trailer, Leah Fern begins her life as the “The Youngest and Very Best Fortuneteller in the World,” taking strangers’ hands and feeling the depths of their emotions. Her mother Jeannie Starr is a captivating magician, but not always an attentive mother, and when Leah is six, Jeannie upends their carnival life with an unexpected exit. With little fanfare and no explanation, she leaves her daughter at the home of Edward Murphy, a kindly older man with whom Leah shares one fierce wish: that Jeannie Starr will return to them.

After fifteen years as a small-town outcast , Leah decides to end her life on the occasion of her twenty-first birthday. But the intricate death ritual she has devised is interrupted by a surprise knock on her door. Her mysterious neighbor, the curmudgeonly and reclusive art photographer Essie East, has died and left Leah a very strange inheritance. Through a series of letters, Essie will posthumously lead Leah on a journey to nine points on the map, spanning from South Carolina to Canada to the Arctic Circle—a journey that, the first note promises, will reveal the story of Leah’s mother.

Driven by a ferocious resurgence of hope, Leah embarks on this bizarre treasure hunt, Essie’s ashes in a jeweled urn in the passenger seat of her truck. Along her way, she visits islands, libraries, diners, and defunct ice cream parlors, meeting a charming cast of eccentric characters and immersing herself in wonders of the natural world.

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Ace of Hearts by Lucy Mason

59444727. sy475 Hesper Stallides and Felix Morlan have been best friends for as long as they can remember, bonding over their troubled home lives. When a horrible sports injury derails Felix’s promising career and results in the loss of his scholarship, Hesper offers a proposition: a year-long marriage of convenience so he can get free tuition at the college where she works.

It isn’t supposed to be complicated…until they fall in love for real. When Hesper reveals that she’s asexual, Felix must reassess everything he thinks about love, and ask himself what he’s willing to sacrifice for a future with Hesper—before the past she’s spent her life running from can take her away from him forever.

Buy it: Amazon

It Came From the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror ed. by Joe Vallese

60708721Through the lens of horror—from “Halloween” to “Hereditary”—queer and trans writers consider the films that deepened, amplified, and illuminated their own experiences.

Horror movies hold a complicated space in the hearts of the queer community: historically misogynist, and often homo- and transphobic, the genre has also been inadvertently feminist and open to subversive readings. Common tropes—such as the circumspect and resilient “final girl,” body possession, costumed villains, secret identities, and things that lurk in the closet—spark moments of eerie familiarity and affective connection. Still, viewers often remain tasked with reading themselves into beloved films, seeking out characters and set pieces that speak to, mirror, and parallel the unique ways queerness encounters the world.

“It Came from the Closet” features twenty-five original essays by writers speaking to this relationship, through connections both empowering and oppressive. From Carmen Maria Machado on “Jennifer’s Body”, Jude Ellison S. Doyle on “In My Skin”, Addie Tsai on “Dead Ringers”, and many more, these conversations convey the rich reciprocity between queerness and horror.

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The Family Outing by Jessi Hempel

Jessi Hempel was raised in a seemingly picture-perfect, middle-class American family. But the truth was far from perfect. Her father was constantly away from home, traveling for work, while her stay-at-home mother became increasingly lonely and erratic. Growing up, Jessi and her two siblings struggled to make sense of their family, their world, their changing bodies, and the emotional turmoil each was experiencing. And each, in their own way, was hiding their true self from the world.

By the time Jessi reached adulthood, everyone in her family had come out: Jessi as gay, her sister as bisexual, her father as gay, her brother as transgender, and her mother as a survivor of a traumatic experience with an alleged serial killer. Yet coming out was just the beginning, starting a chain reaction of other personal revelations and reckonings that caused each of them to question their place in the world in new and ultimately liberating ways.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Exclusive Cover Reveal: No Gods for Drowning by Hailey Piper

Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover for the Greek mythology-inspired PI noir fantasy (yes, all of those things!) No Gods for Drowning by Hailey Piper, releasing September 20th from Polis Books! Here’s the story:

IN THE BEGINNING, MAN WAS PREY.

WITHOUT THE GODS, THEY’LL BE PREY AGAIN.

The gods have fled. Monsters threaten to invade the city of Logos, hunting mankind as they did in the olden days. In the midst of it all, a serial killer has begun ritually sacrificing victims—to lure the gods back and stop the imminent destruction, or for a more sinister purpose?

Lilac Antonis wants to stop the impending destruction of her city by summoning her mother, a blood god—even if she has to slit a few throats to do it. But evading her lover Arcadia and her friends means sneaking, lying, and even spilling the blood of people she loves.

Alex and Cecil of Ace Investigations have been tasked with hunting down the killer, but as they close in—not knowing it is their close friend they’re hunting—the detectives realize the gods may not have left willingly, and must uncover the truth before Lilac summons the wrong god, who may have come back just to destroy them all.

Set in an alternate reality which updates mythology to near-modern day, NO GODS FOR DROWNING is part hunt for a serial killer, part noir detective story, and unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

Here’s the luminous cover, designed by Mimi Bark!

Preorder: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

And finally, here are some words on the cover from author Hailey Piper!

This might sound a little cliché, but my breath caught in my throat when I first saw the cover to No Gods for Drowning from my editor at Polis Books and Agora. We were only playing with ideas and possibilities before, batting around images for inspiration. And then came the cover, and it grabbed onto me the moment I opened that email, rich with mood and elegance.

And honestly, I cried a little. This novel has been growing inside me for the longest time. Its first seeds came when I was only a teenager, and they hadn’t connected into much of anything yet. Really, I hadn’t connected to myself yet. I had a lot of growing up to do, with struggles through depression that often suffocated the creativity out of me. Only after many years and really allowing myself to just be myself could I start writing my truths, and these seeds at last sprouted. They weren’t a garden, but pieces of one big tree that sort of developed into a genre stew of mystery, noir, horror, and dark fantasy.

No Gods for Drowning follows multiple lives across a noir-punk dark fantasy world of killers and detectives, sea monsters and blood-drinking gods. Those gods used to protect and feed off mankind, but they’ve been gone for ten years when the novel picks up, and one woman decides the only way to bring them back is to remind them what they’ve been missing—mortal sacrifice. Doing this means dodging the suspicions of the woman she loves and their friends, a pair of detectives on the hunt for whoever’s behind these ritual killings. But what seems like a simple give and take of blood and gods grows more complicated as the clues point to a grander plot involving which gods could even return, why they left, and who might really be pulling the strings behind all this bloodshed.

That’s a lot to consider when it comes to cover art! But the ultimate result arrives not in a roar of waves about to drown the city where No Gods for Drowning takes place, but instead in the beautiful texture of this deep blue sea, and the clamshell patterns to remind of its life, and the moon above that guides the cycles of a merciless tide. Central to it all is the nine-pointed star of Logoi the Many-Headed, goddess of reason, seen beneath the title. You’ll find this same star painted in blood within the book, same as our private detectives find it glaring at them from every crime scene. It’s also important to several characters personally, be it their shame, their loved ones, their sense of abandonment, their unresolved trauma, or their hope for a brighter future against the bloodshed and doom surrounding them all.

The combination of sea and star form a perfect distillation of the book’s sense of mystery, its visceral horrors, and its fantastical elements too. I’m so pleased to see it all come together this way, and I can’t wait for readers to discover the drowning city and all the people trying to save it, in the best and worst of ways, when No Gods for Drowning releases this September from Polis Books!

***

Two-time Stoker nominee Hailey Piper is the author of The Worm and His KingsQueen of TeethUnfortunate Elements of My Anatomy, and Benny Rose the Cannibal King. She is an active member of Horror Writers Association, with over sixty short stories appearing in publications such as Year’s Best Hardcore HorrorFlash Fiction OnlineDark Matter Magazine, and elsewhere. Hailing from the haunted woods of New York, she now lives with her wife in Maryland, where their paranormal investigations are top secret. Find Hailey at www.haileypiper.com or on Twitter via @HaileyPiperSays.

Fave Five: New Queer Horror

These titles were all published in 2020-21.

The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller

Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling

The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper

Red X by David Demchuk

Elegy for the Undead by Matthew Vesely

Bonus: Releasing on the 28th, Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt