Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares.
Children in Shadow Grove are going missing—spirited away into the forest by an unknown presence as if lured into the darkness by the Pied Piper himself. But that’s not the worst part. Nobody is looking for them—in fact, nobody seems to even acknowledge they’re missing at all. There’s no missing posters, no search parties, no frantic parents. This isn’t the first time something tragic has happened in Shadow Grove, either. The town's history is peppered with the strange and the horrific, from poisoned school lunches to devastating factory fires—all events that have been glossed over in the town’s history with startlingly bland recall. The only people who seem concerned about the newest calamity are the kids that have not yet been taken.
Rachel Cleary’s family, along with her neighbors the Crenchaws, harbor a clandestine, multigenerational obligation: to guard the perimeter of the forest at the edge of Shadow Grove, maintaining an uneasy peace with the magical beings who live in the forest. It’s not so much a matter about keeping things out of the forest but keeping other naughty nighttime beasties in. And for years, it’s worked—a delicate, if tenuous, balance has been more-or-less kept, even if the occasional shadow does slip through the bounds. But now it seems like something nastier than usual has made its--her-- way through the cracks: “There’s something wrong with the forest. It’s waking up.”
In addition to the recent slew of missing children, the adults of Shadow Grove are acting….very Stepford…but Rachel suspects there’s a deeper link to the strange events in Shadow Grove—and this new darkness is not only far from over, but it may be deep enough to swallow the town whole. With the help of her eccentric, elderly neighbor, a Scottish hottie, a childhood friend turned handsome socialite, and a super hot fae prince, Rachel discovers that the dark presence lurking around the edges of the forest of Shadow Grove belongs to the Night Weaver. Modeled off the Black Annis, a blue-faced, iron-clawed, child-gobbling bogeyman in English folklore, the Night Weaver doesn’t only prey upon the flesh of children, but on grief, fear, and pain—making her both the monster under the bed in a scared child’s bedroom and a fitting personification of the dark shadow that lives in the back of the mind of anyone who has experienced tragedy. If Rachel wants to save the missing children and the adults of her Shadow Grove, she’ll have accept that the small town she’s grown up in is anything other than normal, and that sometimes nothing is as it seems—and that the only way to find your way out of the darkness is to move toward the light.
Though at times the story moves perhaps a little too quickly and is not entirely free of YA tropes, The Night Weaver is nonetheless a well-laid dark fantasy and a clear entrance into a new series that will invite in a new generation of horror readers.
SHADOW GROVE IS A PERFECTLY PLEASANT TOWN...
Shadow Grove isn't a typical town. Bad things happen here. Children disappear, one after the other, and nobody is doing anything about it. Parents don't grieve, missing posters don't line the streets, and the sheriff seems unconcerned.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cleary lives on the outskirts of Shadow Grove, next to the creepy forest everyone pretends doesn't exist. Usually the forest is filled with an eerie calm, an unmistakable graveyard solemnity. But the trees have started whispering, forgotten creatures are stirring, and the nights feel darker than ever.
Something is stalking the residents of Shadow Grove, changing them into brain-dead caricatures of themselves. It's up to Rachel to stop the devouring of her hometown before all is destroyed and everyone she loves is forever lost.
Hell hath no fury like Amanda Grey.
In the second installment of Shades of Hell by Bronx-native Alcy Leyva, Amanda Grey is back and better than ever. Well, sort of. She’s dead now, having died in the apocalypse that she accidentally started, and trapped in Hell. Much to her simmering, rage-filled disappointment disgust, Grey discovers that none of the promises made to her by the angel-ish beings Ada and Bill were honored, no one knows what happened to Donaldson, and Petty has been kidnapped by the devil (?). And, all of this Pales in Comparison to the fact that she just woke up to find none other than Gaffrey Palls—yeah, the guy who tried to kill her and roped her into this whole waking nightmare to begin with—waiting for her on the Other Side.
Oh, and she’s wearing a dress. Being dead really sucks for Amanda Grey.
Luckily, Grey isn’t the sort to let this kind of thing get her down, and waking up in Hell isn’t going to stop her from finishing what she started, either. Asserting her characteristic snark and unyielding pessimism, in And Then There Were Dragons Grey will traverse the Nine Circles of Hell to rescue her sister. Along the way, she'll be joined by unsettling newcomers and many of the characters we love…or hate…or love to hate (whatever): Cain, the sexy, sadistic former-Angel of Death; Palls; even D, the ex-roommate literal-demon boyfriend you never knew you wanted so badly. Grey will take a horrifying trip down Memory Lane, be forced to eat at the underworld version of Olive Garden, read--er—see “tweets” in the most obnoxious way possible, and be stretched far, far outside of her comfort zone, not that she ever had a particularly large one to begin with.
It’s not all fire and brimstone, though, in And Then There Were Dragons. Leyva’s twisted fairytale—and that’s exactly what it is: the most horrible version of Alice in Wonderland you’ve ever read (sorry, Mr. Carroll) with a healthy dose of Dante for good measure—digs back to its roots, providing snapping social commentary on everything from consumerism, social media addiction, and—of course--fake news. After all, a good fairytale is one that doesn’t shy too far away from being a cautionary tale, and Alcy’s version Hell (demons and devils and all other weirdness aside) doesn’t look too much different from the world we are living in today. It’s more Idiocracy meets Zombieland than Orwell’s 1984 and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s accurate and frightening AF just the same. Still, its no match for Amanda Grey—a ballsy, socially-anxious chick from Queens who would love nothing more than to be left the hell alone.
The penultimate entry in the series, Dragons is markedly shorter than its predecessor, which is probably a good thing for those readers who might need to take this mixture of gore-and-hilarity in small doses. But, if you thought Leyva outdid himself in bizarro horror and nightmarish versions of reality in And Then There Were Crows, then buckle up, Dollface, because it’s only going to get weirder here on out. After all, the only thing worse than Hell for Grey is what comes next: Heaven.
For Amanda Grey, stopping the all-encompassing Apocalypse fated to plunge our entire existence into never-ending darkness ... just kind of sucked. Sure, she had managed to capture every demon set loose on New York City. And yes, she ended up thwarting an evil angel's plans to destroy humanity. But she also lost her sister, her apartment, and—oh yeah—Amanda Grey totally died and got her soul banished to hell as a result.Luckily, she's not the type to take that kind of thing lying down.AND THEN THERE WERE DRAGONS thrusts Amanda Grey into a whole new world of weird as she ventures out into the fiery wastelands, decrepit cities, and Olive Gardens of the afterlife in search of her sister and her own redemption. As the penultimate entry in the Shades of Hell Series, Amanda will be coming face-to-face with the truth behind the demon Shades, as well as a destiny she sure as hell didn't ask for.
In the new Audible audio academy production Heads Will Roll, Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters) lends her voice as Queen Mortuana, a “psychopathic tyrant with a kingdom on her shoulders” who, along with her delightfully ditzy minion—a former princess named JoJo (voiced by Emily Lynne) who was cursed to become a raven on her sixteenth birthday—must try to preserve her kingdom, and her rule, from the threat of a peasant uprising.
It starts in much the way that many fairytales do: with the issuance of a deliciously mundane and vague prophecy that promises Mortuana’s eventual overthrow. Peasants are planning a revolt, and the evil queen must find the mystical “Shard of Acquiescence” that will subvert their plans so she can get back to things like enjoying her —er— boyfriends and lopping off anyone’s head who offends her (“No, and fuck you for asking. Off with your head….and put her heart in a box as well”). Of course, its not a fairytale without a quest. Mortuana and JoJo must not only find the shard, but must do so navigating bad romances, weird fetishes, sexual tension with unlikely gods, strange creatures, calls from mothers, and even managing fake news and a political uprising led by Bernabus Fanders (ahem), a “120-year-old tub of whitefish salad.” Fanders has, unlikely as it seems, risen up to lead a rebellion against Queen Mortuana on a platform of equality and basic human rights (“Like he’s ever seen the business end of a bathtub—strop trying to convince us that you’ve bathed”)—an outrageous and yet shockingly accurate look through the magic looking glass at today’s often-zany political climate. Naturally, Bernabus (and any resemblance of reason) is quickly dispatched as the ongoing rebellion descends into the kind of shenanigans and celebrity endorsements we’ve come to expect in media coverage today.
A fairytale for adults that is ripe with both quintessential storybook elements but with enough tongue-in-cheek social critique and witty punning (There are medieval infomercials! Bards! Probably virgins! Support groups for the recently cursed!) to make it distinctly modern, Heads Will Roll is an auditory masterpiece fit for (an evil) queen. But be warned: this isn’t a fairytale you want your kids to hear. Featuring a sketch comedy-vibe and an ensemble cast that includes the voice talents of Meryl Streep, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, and Carol Kane, Heads Will Roll is an adult comedy. Not only is the subject matter itself mature, but the humor is also rather crude, running the gamut from what might be chuckle-worthy after a glass of wine to what will have you struggling to draw breath between guffaws around the bottom of the rum barrel. Still, above all else, this is a tale about sisterhood, about power and powerlessness, and about friendship—and, of course, with something of a happy ending.
Heads Will Roll is an Audible Original from Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon and her cocreator/costar (and real-life sister) Emily Lynne. Produced by Broadway Video, this is not an audiobook - it's a 10-episode, star-studded audio comedy that features performances from Meryl Streep, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, Queer Eye's Fab Five, and so many more.
Queen Mortuana of the Night Realm (McKinnon) and her ditsy raven minion JoJo (Lynne) receive a prophecy about a peasant uprising. Together, they must journey to find the "Shard of Acquiescence", which will put down the rebellion and save the throne. Will their friendship survive sensitive generals, chatty sex slaves, whiny behemoths, princes with bird fetishes, and the notion of democracy?
This raunchy satire also includes the wicked talents of Andrea Martin, Carol Kane, Audra McDonald, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Steve Higgins, Bob the Drag Queen, Esther Perel, and more. So, hold on to your head, and let the bad times roll.
Please note: This content is not for kids. It is for mature audiences only. This audio comedy features sexual content, adult language and themes, and violence against peasants and hobgoblins alike. Discretion is advised.
There's always something new happening in Havenwood Falls! This week the collective announced its newest edition: the Sun and Moon Academy, with the first installment--"Fall Semester" already on its way.
About the Sun & Moon Academy
For more than a hundred years, Sun & Moon Academy has taught the supernatural youth of Havenwood Falls, but it’s now expanding to the brand-new College of Supernatural Guardians—an elite training program for a covert army. After a series of difficult trials to test their worthiness, only the top tier of applicants are admitted to the hidden college under the mountain.
With a powerful mix of shifters, witches, vampires, fae, and others, this is no ordinary university, and with tough classes and combat training, it’s not the usual college life. Still, ten of SMA’s first students find a way to forge friendships, ignite rivalries, and discover that there’s always room for romance. After all, no other place in the world teems with such a sexy fusion of brains and badassery.
Sun & Moon Academy: Fall Semester
By Kristie Cook, Tish Thawer, Belinda Boring, Rose Garcia, Victoria Flynn, E.J. Fechenda, Amy Richie, Justine Winter, Victoria Escobar & Colleen Nye
Ten best-selling authors. Ten paranormal tales. One page-turning supernatural academy story in this spinoff from the award-winning Havenwood Falls universe.
But classes haven’t even begun when danger arises, spreading terror across campus. And the perils keep coming, challenging these students to their limits. A hacker who threatens to publicly expose their school, a string of vampire attacks, wild beasts with deadly bites, cursed classrooms that devour anyone who enters . . . and it doesn’t stop there. If the students don’t defeat the obstacles thrown at them—and ensure they all survive—this first semester of SMA just might be the last one ever.
In this unique anthology of over 750 pages, you not only get ten paranormal fantasy novellas, but one sweeping story that will have you flipping pages until the end.
Coming to Havenwood Falls October 29, 2019.
Now available on preorder for only $2.99 (reg. $4.99)
Apple Books http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-ab
Barnes & Noble http://havenwoodfalls.com/sma1-bn
Coming soon to Amazon