Happy Pride!

It is fashionable to drape rainbows across businesses in June, but the real hope is that business supports LGBTQ+ causes and art all year round. We’re a work in progress, but Literary Underworld has always striven to be allies, co-founded by LGBTQ+ writers – and we have been banned in Utah because of it! (It’s a long story.)

Here are some of our works that featured LGBTQ+ themes and characters and/or are written by LGBTQ+ authors. Check them out – in June and the rest of the year.

Glad Hands by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks

Chuck Hummingbird has a nice, safe run, from Pacifica to the Tribal Lands. Even in the fragmented United States, freight still moves between the resulting countries. When he’s tapped for a perilous run down past Heartland, the last thing he needs is a pretty blue-eyed drifter, but he can’t get Seven out of his head or his bunk. When the Confederated States prove more dangerous than Chuck feared, they’re caught in a terrifying flight towards safety that will drive both of them and the love they’ve found to new limits.

 

West of Sunset by Dennis R. Upkins

For Brecken Everett, there’s never a dull moment. When he’s not dealing with a demanding course load and honing his magic as top student at Lightmage University, he’s working as a private investigator and using his skills to protect the innocent from the darkest forces. In two action-packed adventures, Breck demonstrates that outnumbered and outgunned is when he’s at his best.

In Keepers, Brecken is enlisted to aid Jacob and Joshua Phoenix; twins, the last Pyrians, the last of an ancient race. The Brothers Phoenix are on a quest to uncover clues to their past. When they find a lost relic, a pair of demons claim it. With Brecken’s aid, the twins are determined to not only stop the threat, but have some fun in the process.

West of Sunset takes place a year after Keepers. All Brecken wants to do is get out of Atlanta. Heading to Los Angeles with his best friend, he plans a vacation of surf, sun, partying and relaxation… until the boys stumble upon a museum heist connected to a biker gang of vampires with plans to raise a most dark power. Matters get even more complicated with the involvement of a mysterious and powerful witch. Witches, museum heists, arising malevolent forces, vampire biker gangs, even Brecken’s vacations are just another day at the office.

 

Anthony Reprobate by Angelia Sparrow and Gabriel Belthir

James Ligatos is a man with an unusual hobby. He turns promising young criminals into world leaders.

Anthony Hatcher is not a criminal. He’s a Reprobate, rescued from the depths of a Heartland mental hospital, tortured and forgotten for daring to break every moral code.

So begins the most unusual training the Ligatos group has encountered. A rule-breaking, nonlinear learner may be more than all of them together can handle. He may also be their last hope to stop a war, for a growing evangelical movement in the Heartland is calling for a crusade to re-unify the ten countries that were once the United States of America.

It is up to Anthony to become everything he hates, a teetotalling revival preacher, to save the land and the man he loves. Worth it.

 

Methuseleh’s Legacy by T.W. Fendley

Lilith Davidson has nothing to lose. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, her only hope for survival rests in an experimental longevity serum she herself helped to develop using an intuitive-based protocol known as remote viewing. She never dreamed the treatment could be so wildly effective… nor did she expect its unusual side effect.

Now, as Lilith and the other eleven Methuselah Pioneers struggle to embrace the serum’s gift, powerful forces condemn their miracle cure as a violation of life’s natural order and threaten their lives. Will the treatment help humanity or tear society apart?

 

Adventuresses by Angelia Sparrow

Take flight on an airship bound for ecstasy and California.

Fall in love with a waitress. Or Medusa.

Hold off the zombie invasion of Oklahoma or roll a rig through it in Kansas.

Treasure hunt to save a feline lover.

Enjoy a steampunk medical demonstration for curing nervous hysteria.

Ten tales of lesbian adventure take you to the far reaches of the galaxy, or the science fiction convention down the road, to Texas in our world or on a timeline when the Confederacy found a way to make radioactive bombs.

Find your hat. Adjust your goggles. It’s time for Adventuresses.

Deadlines! (We’re writers, we’re good at those)

Everyone knows that shipping delays and supply issues are haunting most retail these days. Fortunately, most of the Literary Underworld’s stock is present in our warehouse and ready to hit the mail as soon as you order! If we are out of stock on something, it can frequently be obtained by backorder, but the website will indicate if that’s the case.

We’ve been informed of the deadlines for shipping. In order to guarantee arrival by Dec. 25 (as much as guarantees work with the postal service), you should plan to place your order by Dec. 15 for media mail. If you want to pay a little extra, you can have it shipped first class if you order by Dec 17, or Dec. 18 for Priority Mail. International orders should be placed by Dec. 6.

Of course, we can always arrange custom shipping with private services like UPS at cost. Just message us and we will see what we can do for you! Happy holiday shopping!

Five recommendations for Halloween season

It’s spooooooky time, when crypt doors creak and the tombstones quake and spooks come out for a swinging wake… wait, that’s Disneyland. Here at Literary Underworld, we have some of the creepiest, crawliest horror around, so if you’re in the mood, check out these books!

John McFarland’s triumphant return to the horror genre has gotten strong reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and several others. Set in his fictional southern river down of Ste. Odile, he explores the darker side of the town’s history in The Dark Walk Forward.

The small town of Ste. Odile in America has experienced the Great War in ways that no one should ever have to endure. Doctors must tend to births and deaths that make their most difficult cases seem benign. An 1880s schoolteacher is faced with the worst blizzard of her time and must save the children under her charge. A young man searches for his father the abandoned orphanage the older man owns… and both know they will despair at what they find. A primitive woman experiences colonization and the stereotypes of men, yet finds her own method of retribution.

John S. McFarland has slogged through his characters’ woes and woven them into sweetly emotional yet acutely distressful tales. We as readers are forced to understand the pain, the despair, and sometimes the hope of his creations. We realize we are lucky to live in the era we do. We also realize anything can change to tear us apart. Is it fate? Destiny? Or do we bring about these changes on our own? McFarland will let us know.

 

There’s a monster coming to the small town of Pikeburn. In half an hour, it will begin feeding on the citizens, but no one will call the authorities for help. They are the ones who sent it to Pikeburn. They are the ones who are broadcasting the massacre live to the world. Every year, Red Diamond unleashes a new creation in a different town as a display of savage terror that is part warning and part celebration.
Only no one is celebrating in Pikeburn now. No one feels honored or patriotic. They feel like prey. Local Sheriff Yan Corban refuses to succumb to the fear, paranoia, and violence that suddenly grips his town. Stepping forward to battle this year’s lab-grown monster, Sheriff Corban must organize a defense against the impossible. His allies include an old art teacher, a shell-shocked mechanic, a hateful millionaire, a fearless sharpshooter, a local meth kingpin, and a monster groupie. Old grudges, distrust, and terror will be the monster’s allies in a game of wits and savagery, ambushes and treachery.
As the conflict escalates and the bodies pile up, it becomes clear this creature is unlike anything Red Diamond has unleashed before. No mercy will be asked for or given in this battle of man vs monster. It’s time to run, hide, or fight. It’s time for Red Diamond.

Horror isn’t just confined to the surface of the Earth. What we find out in space might be more terrifying than anything we’ve found in our own graveyards.
Commander Kate Daniels expected to find incompetency when sent to assess the terraforming progress on Primos. She didn’t expect a saboteur to force a crash landing, stranding them at the mercy of the hungry creatures roaming the planet.
If she and her crew can’t find a way off Primos, they will die there… and rise again.
Do you like a little western in your horror? Then Steven L. Shrewsbury’s Weird West novels are definitely for you.
Outside El Paso in 1899, Chief Blackthorn enlists the aide of aging Confederate Joel Stuart to retrieve a lost tome of evil. Sent into Juarez, the one-armed former guerrilla soon meets Adam Von Juntz, the nephew of the Black Bible’s author. The two search for the book stolen by notorious bad-man Jesus Bravo. But Bravo is just a puppet of the mysterious Preacherman and realizes he’s been duped and the promise of great riches was just a lie. Now he must join Stuart, and find The Preacherman.
The Preacherman is the conduit for a greater force seeking a return to the world, a female satyr called Shub-Niggurath. The Preacherman plots to bring an apocalyptic change to the world, ushering in a new era of the old gods. Surrounded by dire forces seeking a foot hold on this world, Joel and his companions battle walking nightmares and their own fears. Can Joel overcome the ruthless denizens of Juarez and foil the Preacherman and Shub-Niggurath’s horrifying plot which is already taking hold in the wombs of the Jaurez women?
A tale of action, courage and terror, LAST MAN SCREAMING will appeal of readers of Lovecraftian lore, tough westerns and horror. It teaches that survival isn’t always pretty.
Elizabeth Donald’s Twilight Zone-style brand of creepy horror led author and editor Michael Knost to call her “the George R.R. Martin of horror,” and at least one reviewer declared she had “a storytelling ability to rival that of Stephen King.”
In Moonlight Sonata, Donald returns to the creepy short stories that made Setting Suns an award-winning favorite. Imagine a haunted church, where the ground has turned sour and something walks in the shadows to the mournful hymns. A silent covered bridge that no one dares to cross. Angry spirits that cry out from beneath the ground of a cemetery that will not lie still. An ageless man bound in love to a mortal woman, forever moving, forever haunted.
A voice that can speak only through a radio, a voice from beyond death itself. A man haunted by an ageless face that brings tragedy to his life whenever it appears. A girl whose imagination carries her beyond the point of no return in a future where dreams become reality – and so do nightmares.
All these and many more are in stock and available now from the Literary Underworld! Click here to explore the scary titles as we wind onward… into the dark.

New from Shrews: Bedlam Unleashed!

One of the fun things about meeting up with the Underlords on the convention circuit is finding out about the nifty new projects they’ve got going on. Hanging out with Steven Shrewsbury at Imaginarium was a blast as always, and we were delighted to add Bedlam Unleashed to our offerings at the Literary Underworld.

 

Hulking Norse berserker Erik Bedlam lives and fights with a piece of steel lodged in his skull. Ever hallucinating the netherworld, his unpredictable behavior provides no end of challenges to his traveling companion, mercenary Alanis Johansson. After the battle of Clontarf in 1014 A.D., the two launch into a series of bizarre circumstances and horrors that tackle their courage, meddle, and strength.

Through these warriors, thrown into a series of horrific events in what seemed like pure chance, cruel fate starts to form into a design. Though hopefully guided by Odin, the All-Father, when contacted via the power of the one-eyed mage Kendrick Prescott a greater mystery awaits. The trio moves onward, facing dragons, neo-druids, cannibal Highlanders, vampire dwarves, and a Lovecraftian horror, to name but a few obstacles. Through it all, Kendrick proves to be not all he appears, but uses the mercenaries as his vehicle to cross the land.

Alanis, also a man of secrets, struggles under so many horrors, but the unpredictable, jovial and violent Bedlam staggers through it all, be it episodes of demonic possession, jousts, or hallucinatory substances.

Painted on a canvas of actual historical events, the body count rises as the travelers make their way down the coast of England, seeking passage off the island.

A story of heroism, malevolence, and ferocity; BEDLAM UNLEASHED shows how courage can propel individuals beyond the borders of the human spirit.

Buy it today from the Literary Underworld!

 

STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. More than 360 of his short stories have appeared in print or electronic media, along with more than 100 poems. Nine of his novels have been released, with more on the way. His books run from sword & sorcery (OverkillThrallBedlam Unleashed) to historical fantasy (Godforsaken) extreme horror (HawgTormentorStronger Than Death) to horror-westerns (Hell BillyBad Magick, and the forthcoming Last Man Screaming). He loves books, British TV, guns, movies, politics, sports and hanging out with his sons. He’s frequently outdoors, looking for brightness wherever it may hide.

 

Check out some of Shrews’ other works! These and other titles are available from Literary Underworld’s online store.

New release: Yanaguana by Elizabeth Donald

 

Elizabeth Donald has been writing the Blackfire series since the release of The Cold Ones in 2009. Sara Harvey is a former Marine and leader of a paramilitary team that intervenes in supernatural incidents, dealing with “critters” that most people think are only folklore. They can believe that, because Sara’s group keeps them safe. Most of the time.

Blackfire now spans several novels, novellas and short stories that have appeared on their own and as part of collections and anthologies. The most recent is Yanaguana, which was published in 2020 as part of a three-novella collection titled Foul Womb of Night, currently available in ebook only as part of Crone Girls Press‘s Midnight Bites series.

Recently, Elizabeth’s Patreon subscribers received a limited-edition print chapbook of Yanaguana as their annual bonus. But there were a few copies left over, and we’re happy to offer them in our shop up until the supply runs out!

 

One of their own is dead. 

Unfortunately for the Blackfire team, that usually isn’t the end of the fight. 

Something is prowling the Riverwalk of San Antonio, a hungry creature with powers beyond any being they’ve fought before. It can force them to face dark shadows of their past as well as the unquiet ghosts of the city, and with each step it grows stronger – and more hungry.

Follow the crew of Blackfire on their darkest journey yet, under the walkways and bridges of San Antonio in the shadow of the Alamo to face their deepest fears. 

 

Click here to snag this limited-edition chapbook for your own collection! And if you want to hear more about Elizabeth’s work (and get in line for the next awesome bonus), subscribe to her Patreon at the link below!

Featured Artist: Matthew Branson

The Literary Underworld includes more than books! We have artists and musicians too (okay, one musician). One of our long-time members has been Branson’s General Store, which offers custom leatherwork, soaps, honey… we think it’s time you learned a bit more about Branson’s.

Matthew Branson has been doing leatherwork since he was a boy. He even worked at a leather store for a while. While leatherwork is his main passion, he really takes on any project that catches his interest.

Over the years he has taken up soapmaking, blacksmithing, sewing, making chainmail, and all kinds of random little projects. The rest of the family are also amateur beekeepers, so they have honey and beeswax to play with.

In 2010, the whole Branson family came together and opened an Etsy store called Branson’s General Store. The store is named for Matt’s great-uncle Reuben Branson, who ran the general store and post office in Branson, Mo., and after whom the town is named. The profits are used for the beekeeping business, to reinvest in craft supplies, and to donate to local charities.

Last year Matt decided to start a YouTube channel to share some of his knowledge and ideas with the world. Over the last year he has done lots of interesting little projects, including leather carving, blacksmithing, knife-making, and some random projects like wrapping an ax handle and building a new forge.

Matt is always finding new projects to get into, so subscribe to the channel to find out more! You can also order a simple leather mask through Literary Underworld, or contact Branson’s directly for something more elaborate.

Women in Horror Month

The Literary Underworld is proud to carry the works of many amazing women writers, and more than a few of them write horror! In honor of Women in Horror Month, here are some of our favorite recommendations for scary stuff:

In tales that range from spine-tingling to heart-breaking, A CITY OF GHOSTS brings to life an alternative, haunted history of Nashville.
At least eight of the authors in this creepy anthology are women, including editor Rachel Brune and Elizabeth Donald, founder of the Literary Underworld.

 

Co-edited by J.L. Mulvihill, this southern horror collection includes several women authors exploring the haunted homes, landmarks and roads of the south.
A scary blend of science fiction and horror from T.K. Reilly.

 

And, of course, there’s the work of Elizabeth Donald, who has written at least a dozen novels, novellas and short stories in the horror genre. Check out these titles from Elizabeth:

 

Settle in for an evening of terror and suspense, from the trenches of World War I to the frozen Antarctic wastes to a creature that haunts the night streets of San Antonio… Elizabeth’s novel “Yanaguana” continues her Blackfire series!

 

Coppice & Brake is an anthology of dark fiction, featuring tales from the borderlands of horror, speculative fiction, and the nightmare fears that linger even after you turn on the lights. Authors include Literary Underworld director Elizabeth Donald.

 

These are the dark, ethereal songs of Moonlight Sonata, stories bound to disturb your sleep and chill your heart. A new collection from the award-winning author of Setting Suns and Nocturne Infernum, Elizabeth Donald has been called “a storytelling ability to rival that of Stephen King.”

 

In this alternate Memphis, vampires are a dark underclass whose bite offers pleasure and pain in one sweet kiss. Humans take advantage of the pleasures vampires can provide, but call them friends? Lovers? The strain between human and vampire grows as death rises in the streets…

 

In that space between evening and nightfall, between consciousness and sleep, the moment when the light fades and the shadows take over… These are the lands of the Setting Suns.

 

A tale of darkness and light, of twisted ritual and flickering faith. Enter the shadow of St. Augustine’s… and pray.
Some bridges shouldn’t be crossed. All that can kill you is what you carry with you, and what Dale and Ariane carry could destroy their dreams of forever.

NEW: Methuselah’s Legacy

We are delighted to announce a new title from one of our members, T.W. Fendley! Her new novel explores more of her rich and fascinating science fiction worlds. Read more about Methuselah’s Legacy, soon to be available at the Literary Underworld!

A conversation with T.W. Fendley

Q. Why did you start writing

A. Storytelling has always been a part of my life. As preschoolers, my older sister and I would create stories when we were supposed to be sleeping. We’d jump on our twin beds and take turns telling the next segments as quickly as we imagined them. Until our Mom returned with a stern warning to get to sleep… “and I mean now!” Later I wrote stories about the lives of my beloved model horses, inspired by Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books, and I wrote for the school paper staff instead of taking P.E. I majored in journalism in college, which over the years has allowed me to continue to learn, as well as pay my bills. When I needed more creativity in my life, I began writing fiction.  

Q. Why did you choose your particular genre? 

A. Putting together ideas in new and unusual ways is fun for me. I love to weave together science and spirituality, myth and history, fact and fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy are perfect genres for doing just that.

Q. What inspired the idea for your current novel/project? 

A. The concept of a longevity serum came to me twenty-three years ago while I was hunting for story ideas during the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. I imagined what truths about humanity are encoded in our genes, which eventually led me to write two short stories and now Methuselah’s Legacy. The novel’s longer format allowed me to share some of the possibilities with remote viewing–an intuitive-based protocol for precognitive predictions I’ve been practicing since 2009.

Q. What was the most useful advice you got as a  beginning writer? 

A. One of the Clarion instructors said it wasn’t always the best writers who got published, but those who persevered. While confident about my writing skills, I was even more sure of  my tenacity. Stubbornness can be a great attribute for a writer.  

Q. What are you doing next? 

A. Now that Methuselah’s Legacy and my young adult sci-fi novel Moonblood are published, I’m revisiting the Zero Time universe and Xmucane’s home planet, Omeyocan, where the expedition to Earth began. I’m also writing some short stories that have been on the back burner for a while. The trick for me is keeping the plot simple. Most of my stories want to become novels! 


Lilith Davidson has nothing to lose. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, her only hope for survival rests in an experimental longevity serum she herself helped to develop using an intuitive-based protocol known as remote viewing.

She never dreamed the treatment could be so wildly effective… nor did she expect its unusual side effect.

Now, as Lilith and the other eleven Methuselah Pioneers struggle to embrace the serum’s gift, powerful forces condemn their miracle cure as a violation of life’s natural order and threaten their lives. Will the treatment help humanity or tear society apart?

Preorder today! Releasing in February 2021

LiteraryUnderworld.com (print)

Amazon.com (ebook)


REVIEW:

Readers of sci-fi that revolves around genetic manipulation and human transformation will welcome a story that is vivid and fast-paced, containing many elements that will keep them engrossed to the end. It’s more than a cut above most science-oriented surveys because its inclusion of social norms, political responses, and revised visions of what it means to be an altered human are especially well detailed.” — D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Methuselah’s Legacy asks thought-provoking questions and challenges hard-felt beliefs about life and love, while being an exciting tale of treachery and fanaticism. T.W. Fendley’s latest novel has readers turning the page until the end, and asking: would you take the treatment for a second chance at life?”– Brad R. Cook, author of The Iron Chronicles


T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author whose published works include Zero Time, a historical fantasy novel for adults, and young adult speculative fiction novels, Moonblood and The Labyrinth of Time. Teresa’s short stories are available on Kindle and Audible. She fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, Teresa has trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru, and American Southwest. She began writing fiction in 2007 after working more than 25 years in journalism and corporate communication. When she’s not writing, Teresa explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives near St. Louis with her artist husband and his pet fish.

Learn more at https://twfendley.com and on her remote viewing website, http://www.arv4fun.com.

New: The Dark Walk Forward

A new dark-gothic collection from acclaimed horror writer John McFarland is out just in time for the holidays! McFarland is a long-time member of the Literary Underworld, with work ranging from dark fantasy like The Black Garden to offbeat children’s books like Annette: A Big Hairy Mom.

Now his new collection has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly! “McFarland tempers his frights with the mercy of familial love and sympathy for outsiders and victims. Horror readers will be riveted.”

Q: What was your first paid published work?

A: Actually my first paid published work were drawings, not writing so much. In the 1970’s surrealistic drawings by an artist called B. Kliban were all the rage. He published several books, which were the precursors of Gary Larsen’s Far Side, including several about cats. I did a parody of Kliban’s cat books called Kill A Cat and sent it to The National Lampoon. P. J. O’Rourke, the editor at that time, loved it and paid me the princely sum of $750. Scheduling mishaps at the magazine kept pushing the publication date back until the subject was no longer timely, and it never appeared. They never asked for their money back, though.

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

A: Like most boys who turn out like me, my favorite writers as a kid were Poe, Mary Shelley, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, but also the likes of Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Hitchens. In college I discovered James Joyce (of Dubliners), William Faulkner and especially Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor’s work was a revelation to me, small town country boy that I was. She seemed to know every one of my relatives and she has had a lifelong effect on my work. I visited her childhood home in Savannah, Ga. and Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville, where she did her mature work. I am fortunate enough to own a signed first edition of The Violent Bear It Away, and a series of watercolor concept are studies for covers for her books.

Q: What are you doing next?

A: Two novels are in the works. My current publisher, Dark Owl, has shown interest in re-issuing my 2010 book The Black Garden, and then its sequel, tentatively titled Azmiel’s Daughter. I am also working on a ghost story novel, called Phrygia House. Also, DOP has shown interest in publishing my Young Reader series Bigfoot stories, Annette: A Big, Hairy Mom.

Q: Was there anyone who inspired you as a beginning writer?

A: I actually touch on this in my acknowledgements section in The Dark Walk Forward. As a teen, I corresponded with both Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. I asked the usual young admirer dumb-ass questions, but they were both, especially Bradbury, very kind and generous with their responses.

A: Do you outline or fly by the seat of your pants?

A: Both, but mostly seat of my pants. I always have a general idea of where I want a narrative to go, but as the cliche goes, the story seems to take on a life of its own as you go along. I was amazed at this process when writing The Black Garden. Connections, plot points, twists and turns just popped into my head as I wrote. No one was more surprised at how it turned out than I.


JOHN MCFARLAND’S first novel, The Black Garden, was published in 2010. His work has appeared in The Twilight Zone Magazine, Eldritch Tales, National Lampoon, River Styx, Tornado Alley and the anthology A Treasury of American Horror Stories, which also included stories by Stephen King, Richard Matheson and H.P. Lovecraft. He is a lifelong Bigfoot enthusiast, and Annette: A Big Hairy Mom was his first novel for young readers and is in print in three languages. He has written extensively on historical and arts-related subjects and has been a guest lecturer in fiction at Washington University in St. Louis.


The small town of Ste. Odile in America has experienced the Great War in ways that no one should ever have to endure.

Doctors must tend to births and deaths that make their most difficult cases seem benign.

An 1880s schoolteacher is faced with the worst blizzard of her time and must save the children under her charge.

A young man searches for his father the abandoned orphanage the older man owns… and both know they will despair at what they find.

A primitive woman experiences colonization and the stereotypes of men, yet finds her own method of retribution.

John S. McFarland has slogged through his characters’ woes and woven them into sweetly emotional yet acutely distressful tales. We as readers are forced to understand the pain, the despair, and sometimes the hope of his creations.

We realize we are lucky to live in the era we do. We also realize anything can change to tear us apart. Is it fate? Destiny? Or do we bring about these changes on our own? McFarland will let us know.

Preorder your copy today from the Literary Underworld!

Reviews

McFarland’s writing is lush and sensual, filled with textures, sounds, smells, and primal terrors that have lurked beyond the firelight since prehistory. –Kenneth Anderson, editor of Charon II

“John McFarland has a talent for drawing horror from raw human emotion. The Dark Walk Forward is heartbreaking and sad as well as frightening, with characters that linger in the mind long after the pages have turned.” — Elizabeth Donald, author of Moonlight Sonata, Setting Suns, and Nocturne Infernum.

“McFarland tempers his frights with the mercy of familial love and sympathy for outsiders and victims. Horror readers will be riveted.” ~ Publishers Weekly

LitUnd Holiday Gift Guide!

What better way celebrate the holidays (and the impending end of 2020, thank Zod) than to support authors and artists through these times and introduce your friends and family to something new?

We have a few suggestions for your list. (You thought we might.) Remember that when you buy from Literary Underworld, you are buying from the authors and small presses directly, so they will get to keep much more of the sale price. Every little bit helps your favorite author keep creating those fascinating new worlds. 

For obvious reasons, this year we have to sadly suspend our pickup service for St. Louis residents. Instead we are offering $8 flat-rate shipping OR free shipping for orders of $49 or more!


For the romance fan…

The Carolina Wolf box set by Sela Carsen ($7) combines Carolina Wolf and Carolina Pearl, two tales of werewolves and true love in South Carolina. Whoever said there were no wolves in South Carolina lied. Put a little grrrrl power into your romp in the swamp this holiday season!

Heart of the Beast by Jim D. Gillentine ($20) tells the story of Andrew, a man with a beastly secret, and his horrifying journey with his love Angela from the dark streets of Memphis to the cold reaches of Alaska, from faraway places to deep within each other’s souls, seeking peace and freedom to love one another – if only the world would let them.

Princess by Mistake by Kit Tunstall ($7). What started out as the worst day ever just got worse. Incorrectly identified as her strange roommate, curvy Jory finds herself spirited away by an intergalactic bounty hunter intent on returning her to the prince she’s expected to marry. Except she’s no princess, and forget a prince when she could have the sexy, magenta-skinned alien instead – if he’ll accept that she’s a mistaken princess and give in to the desire simmering between them.


For the fantasy fan…

Throne of the Bastards by Steven L. Shrewsbury ($15). Learning that his family is in danger, Rogan returns to his former kingdom, now under siege from foreign invaders and supernatural forces led by his bastard son. With time running out, the aging barbarian must forge an alliance of new friends and old foes to retake the kingdom.

The Blood of Angels trilogy by Sara M. Harvey ($25) is, sadly, going out of print. Only a few are left! Snag your copies before they’re gone, and treat yourself (or your favorite steampunk fan) with the tales of Imogen and Portia, lovers and users of dark magic separated by intrigue and death. Includes Convent of the Pure, Labyrinth of the Dead and Tower of the Forgotten.

Wild Hunt by Nick Rowan ($10). When the Preternatural and Magical Squadron dumps an ugly batch of child serial murders into her lap, DJ Admire has a few weeks to find the killer before the next victims are found dead in their own little beds. On the Nightside of Memphis, few things are as they seem and even allies have their own agendas. And DJ has no magic, just a Desert Eagle and an ongoing romance with Captain Morgan and Admiral Nelson…


For the weird Western fan…

Mojo Hand by Steven L. Shrewsbury ($15) After a gun battle in an 1884 Peoria cathouse, one-armed ex-Confederate guerrilla Joel Stuart finds himself at odds with dire magical forces. He runs headfirst into an army of the undead, a demon guard, the persona of African god Damballah, and even finds himself beneath the lid of a coffin.

Last Man Screaming by Steven L. Shrewsbury ($15) is a tale of action, courage and terror. Last Man Screaming will appeal of readers of Lovecraftian lore, tough westerns and horror. It teaches that survival isn’t always pretty…

The Alamo and Zombies by Jean A. Stuntz ($5) is exactly what it says! Zombies at the Alamo, what else could you want?


For the horror fan…

Red Diamond by Michales Joy ($10). There’s a monster coming to the small town of Pikeburn. In half an hour, it will begin feeding on the citizens, but no one will call the authorities for help. They are the ones who sent it to Pikeburn. They are the ones who are broadcasting the massacre live to the world…

Nocturne Infernum by Elizabeth Donald ($20) compiles the three books of the Nocturnal Urges series into one volume filled with heat, horror and intrigue. In this alternate Memphis, vampires are a dark underclass whose bite offers pleasure and pain in one sweet kiss. Humans take advantage of the pleasures vampires can provide, but call them friends? Lovers? The strain between human and vampire grows as death rises in the streets…

Stories We Tell After Midnight ($10). Here, the shadows keep their secrets and the moon hides from deeds cast in her glow. In this collection, the Fae walk as human, the dead burn with their anger at the living, the creatures that live in the dark places of the wrong zip code creep out of the shadows and into the kitchen.

Planet of the Dead ($5) by T.K. Reilley. Commander Kate Daniels expected to find incompetency when sent to assess the terraforming progress on Primos. She didn’t expect a saboteur to force a crash landing, stranding them at the mercy of the hungry creatures roaming the planet.


For the sci-fi fan…

Dream of the Navigator by Stephen Zimmer. For most, virtual realms, substances, and entertainment provide escapes, but for Haven, Cayden, Jaelynn, and Salvador, growing up in Technate 6 is a restless existence. A hunger for something more gnaws inside each of them. Discoveries await that open the gates to transcend time and space, and even new planes of existence. Nothing in their universe, or others, is impossible to explore.

Paradise Earth by Anthony Mathenia ($12) is a deconstruction of faith at the end of the world and beyond. When blazing balls of fire fall from the sky, a religious sect interprets it as the fulfillment of long-held prophecies foretelling the end of the world. The members flee to their religious sanctuary, believing that this global cataclysm is the portent of a new paradise of eternal happiness. Inside, one cold and starving man struggles to hold onto his hope for the future as the torturous night drags on and he struggles to hold onto his hope for the future.

Ace’s Odds by Sela Carsen ($10). Mkhai is a former soldier in debt to the mob boss who runs a glitzy, glamorous space station casino hiding a dark underworld. The only hand he’s got left to play is getting the mob boss’s daughter off the station… but Silbe is no pampered princess, even if her father is one of the most feared men in the galaxy. Embroiled in a desperate scheme to keep her family safe, Silbe must team up with a roguish smuggler who makes her want to bet on him with everything she’s got.


For the comic reader…

Out of the Blue Vol. 2 ($15) offers both tricks and treats for horror fans, filled with 125 pages of comics and art from more than 50 creators.

Hunter’s Lore ($15) is a graphic novel set in a time of quiet peace, as a remnant from a Knightly order lingers on; not to protect the people of the world from injustice, but to simply maintain their old guard. The order of the Knights of the Black Star have buried themselves away from the common people, unaware of the dangers that lurk from beyond their gaze…


For the YA reader…

Katana by Cole Gibsen ($10). Rileigh Martin gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial-arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she’s harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior. Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana – a deadly Japanese sword that’s also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she’s always been and embracing the warrior inside her. (Splurge on the trilogy for $25!)

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill ($15) is the first book of the Steel Roots series. Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least, that is what Papa Steel always told AB’Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it’s up to AB’Gale to find him. (Or splurge on the whole series for $40!)

Redheart by Jackie Gamber ($10). Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit inside her village fence. Their unexpected friendship is risky in Leland Province, where Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, has inflamed tensions between dragons and humans to the brink of war. When Riza is threatened, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her.


For something shorter…

Between the Lines ($15). Stoker Award-winning editor and author Michael Knost gave his online writing students an opening sentence and a closing sentence and asked them to write a story. Every story opens with: “Kelvin pressed against the wound as blood seeped around his hands.” And ends with: “Watching the train disappear into the night, he brought the flower to his nose before tossing it to the tracks.” This anthology is the amazing result.

Moonlight Sonata by Elizabeth Donald ($15-30) is a collection of award-winning short stories of the Twilight-Zone-creepy design. Imagine a haunted church, where the ground has turned sour and something walks in the shadows to the mournful hymns. A silent covered bridge that no one dares to cross. Angry spirits that cry out from beneath the ground of a cemetery that will not lie still.

Support an important cause with When the Shadow Sees the Sun ($15), a collection of essays and short stories exploring the impact of depression on the creative life. All profits from sales of this anthology are donated to a local suicide prevention nonprofit.


For the cosplayer…

A handmade leather mask (no, not that kind of mask) is the perfect stocking stuffer for the cosplayer on your list! Branson’s General Store has a variety of colors in the simple $5 design, so be sure to indicate your preferred colors!


As always, we at Literary Underworld appreciate your continued support of the small press and our authors, especially in these trying times. We hope the very best for you and your family in this holiday season, and here’s to a better year in 2021. (It would almost have to be, wouldn’t it?)

Use the code BLACKFRIDAY2020 for 10 percent off your order! Exp. 11.30.20