As the kitchen slowly fills with acrid smoke, Hannah considers the details of last night’s dream. All her dreams are similar. They begin with the vultures from Disney’s movie The Jungle Book: Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy, and Dizzy, those adorable guys with their shaggy haircuts and Liverpudlian accents. Hannah suspects she giggles in her sleep as the dream gets underway and the feathered quartet exchange their famous banter: Whatcha wanna do? I dunno. Okay, but whatcha wanna do?

This is when Hitchcock enters belly first, and just like that the mock-Beatles birds have blood red eyes, growl like wolves, sprout dripping talons, and hideous, dagger beaks. Hannah shivers just thinking of them. In the dreams, she searches for and locates herself far below, standing in the middle of a cornfield row. She is shading her eyes, looking skyward toward the row of birds, her body no bigger than a black ant on a picnic table. When the birds screech and launch, spears sailing earthward, Hannah starts sprinting.

The vultures, protected black vultures, are the first creatures we meet in Virginia Watt’s wonderful collection of short stories, ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE. Like many of the creatures in Watt’s book, the vultures are not functioning correctly. Their settings have been turned up abnormally high. Why? No one seems to be able to fathom, and instead the focus is on how to adapt, how to live with things that are fundamentally unendurable.

Much like the middle of Penn’s woods, i.e. the state of Pennsylvania, many of Watt’s stories take place in a landscape that is beautiful, but challenging: mountains and trees and rocks and coal. Living to a ripe old age is the exception to the rule, but so is leaving home for easier horizons. These hill country folk love their wooded towns, their unusual neighbors, their God, their country, and their struggles.

echoes from the hocker house by virginia watts
echoes from the hocker house by virginia watts

Have you read the Kirkus review of ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE?

ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE is a National Book Award nominee, and it is out today in Kindle, with the paperback to release on 11/20/2023. And STILL available at the pre-order price from Devil’s Party Press!

Explore the Wonders of Your Inner Space

In the boundless universe of science fiction, certain books shine as brilliant stars. Anthony Doyle’s HIBERNACULUM is undeniably one such celestial gem that deserves a special spot in your literary galaxy.

🌟 “Gripping, revealing, and frightening.” – MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW 🌟Prepare for a Mind-Bending Journey: HIBERNACULUM is at its core a mind-bending odyssey that will challenge your grasp of time, space, and consciousness. Doyle’s narrative propels you through a world where dreams, reality, collide. Brace yourself to expand your perceptions and stretch your imagination beyond the known boundaries.Unforgettable Characters: Within HIBERNACULUM, Doyle introduces a diverse and unforgettable cast of characters. From the enigmatic Seth Macy to the haunted Yumi, each individual seeks purpose amidst the void of modern society. You’ll form deep emotional connections with these characters, feeling akin to old friends on an extraordinary voyage.An Unfolding Cosmic Mystery: Science fiction enthusiasts will revel in the intricate plot and unfolding mysteries of HIBERNACULUM. With each page turn, you’ll be drawn further into a suspenseful narrative meticulously crafted to keep you enthralled.🌟 “Doyle has hit on something rare: an original approach to climate fiction.” – BOOKLIFE REVIEWS 🌟Contemplative Themes: HIBERNACULUM delves into the repercussions of scientific discovery. These profound ideas will linger long after you’ve turned the final page, sparking captivating discussions and leaving you in awe of Doyle’s eloquent prose.An Odyssey for the Imagination: HIBERNACULUM invites you on an extraordinary journey, an exploration of the depths of the human psyche and the enigmas of inner space.Your Contribution Matters: By reading HIBERNACULUM, you’re supporting a talented author on his creative voyage. Your backing fosters the thriving realm of science fiction literature and encourages the growth of imaginative storytelling.HIBERNACULUM, by Anthony Doyle, is an exceptional addition to the tapestry of science fiction literature. If you’re ready for a cosmic adventure that will challenge your perceptions and broaden your horizons, HIBERNACULUM is the book you’ve been yearning for.📚 Purchase your copy of “Hibernaculum” here and unlock the cosmic mysteries within its pages. Your next thrilling sci-fi journey begins now!📱 Alternatively, embark on your exploration immediately with the Kindle Vella version for FREE and dive into a world of sci-fi wonders!🌠 “A futuristic exploration that examines sleepers of the world and the social and political truths and realities that underlie their motivations.” – DONOVAN’S BOOKSHELF 🌠If you relished classics like NEUROMANCER, by William Gibson, HYPERION, by Dan Simmons, and SNOW CRASH, by Neal Stephenson, you’ll adore HIBERNACULUM—a cyber-punk classic that’s sure to ignite your imagination! 🔥🚀 #Hibernaculum #SciFiAdventure #MindBendingReads #BookRecommendations #DiscoverNewWorlds.


🎃 Dive into the Darkest Depths of Horror with “THE PUMPKIN KING AND OTHER TALES OF TERROR”! 📚

Are you ready for heart-pounding suspense, and unforgettable nightmares? Gravelight is thrilled to introduce the first volume in a two-book series that will keep you awake at night: R. David Fulcher’s masterful collection of horror fiction.

👻 Immerse yourself in 20 blood-curdling tales, meticulously updated and revised by the author himself, ensuring you experience the definitive versions of these horrifying stories. From eerie gothic settings to bone-chilling encounters, these tales will haunt your dreams for years to come.

🕯️ What’s Inside:

  • Eulogy to E.A. Poe
  • Marienburg Castle
  • The Pumpkin King
  • Heavenly Strains
  • A Matter of Taste
  • My Days With Mahalia
  • A Night Out With Mr. Bones
  • Merry Are We of the Lake
  • The Night Flyer
  • Pumpkin Seed Spit
  • A Night for Animals
  • The Man Next Door
  • Extra! Extra!
  • The Flight Dummy
  • For the Children
  • The Watcher’s Web
  • Dreaming, The Copper City
  • The Huntress
  • The Faerie Lights
  • The October Man

🌕 This collection features a mesmerizing wrap-around cover and a contemporary design, making it the perfect companion for Halloween gatherings, or for those dark, rainy nights when you crave a bone-chilling story to send shivers down your spine.

📖 Don’t miss out on this opportunity to own a piece of horror history. Grab your copy of “THE PUMPKIN KING AND OTHER TALES OF TERROR” today and let the nightmares begin!

👉 Click the link below to order your copy now! [Link to Purchase]

👉 Share this post with fellow horror enthusiasts and spread the fear! 💀📚


Buy from DPP:

The Dunwich Horror and Horror Author Phil Giunta

This anthology of seven eerie, suspenseful tales by the legendary H.P. Lovecraft includes three that involve his famous mythology of the Ancient Ones—especially the monstrous entity, Yog-Sothoth—as well as the grimoire of black magic known as the Necronomicon

“In the Vault” – After finding himself locked in a tomb, a despicable, cantankerous undertaker successfully escapes by stacking six occupied coffins to create a platform, allowing him to reach a small opening above the door. However, just before crawling free, his leg punches through the lid of the top coffin, leaving him with wounds that were not merely inflicted by jagged wood.

“Pickman’s Model”  – An artist of the macabre develops a new and startlingly realistic style when he begins painting demonic figures too grotesque to be displayed in public, but where did he find this latest inspiration?

“The Rats in the Walls” – After restoring the cursed, ruined estate of his ancestors, a young man begins hearing rats scurrying in the walls. An exploration of the cellar reveals an opening to a large chamber, the contents of which divulge the true and terrible history of the property.

“The Music of Erich Zann” – Each night, on the top floor of an apartment building, an elderly violinist plays a haunting, otherworldly melody—and receives a response from somewhere beyond our dimension.

“The Haunter of the Dark” – Robert Blake takes an unhealthy interest in the ruins of a long-abandoned Gothic church whose distant spires are visible from his apartment window. After venturing across town, Blake learns that local residents fear the church and do not speak of it. Undaunted, Blake presses on and finds a way inside. While exploring, he encounters an artifact that conjures frightening visions of the Ancient Ones—one of which is soon unleashed.

“The Dunwich Horror” – In the isolated, backwoods village of Dunwich, Massachusetts, the primitive Whateley family welcomes a grandson named Wilbur, born of Lavinia and an unnamed father who  is believed to be the ancient creature known as Yog-Sototh. Other villagers become fearful of Wilbur’s rapid physical development and inhuman countenance—not to mention the strange growling and rumbling from the surrounding hills that began after his birth. Following Lavinia’s unexplained death, Wilbur and his grandfather begin boarding up the windows of their home as if to imprison something inside. After the deaths of Old Man Whateley, then of Wilbur, the invisible creature bursts from its confinement to wreak havoc on the village. Three professors from nearby Miskatonic University undertake a mission to destroy the creature using the Necronomicon, the grimoire of black magic that initially spawned the beast.“The Thing on the Doorstep” – Edward Derby, an intelligent, but weak-willed young man with an interest in the macabre, marries a homely, eccentric woman named Asenath who is reputed to have a beguiling effect on others. It is claimed by some that once captured by her stare, they found themselves gazing upon their own bodies through Asenath’s eyes. It isn’t long before Derby undergoes a bizarre and dangerous change of demeanor.

Phil Giunta’s novels include the paranormal mysteries Testing the PrisonerBy Your Side, and Like Mother, Like Daughters. His short stories appear in such anthologies as Love on the EdgeBeach Pulp, Space Opera Digest 2022A Plague of Shadows, the Middle of Eternity series, Hard-Boiled and Loaded with Sin, and more. He is a Pushcart Prize-nominated author and member of the Horror Writers Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group.

We are always glad to feature stories from Phil in our Devil’s Party Press anthologies. You will love Phil’s writing! Phil is currently working on his fourth paranormal mystery novel while plotting his triumphant escape from the pressures of corporate America where he has been imprisoned for thirty years. Visit Phil’s website at  

Find him on Facebook: @writerphilgiunta, Instagram: @phil_giunta71, and BlueSky:


Looking for a terrifying horror read to get you through the weekend?

Check out the DRUMMING FOR THE DEAD series by Gabby Gilliam!


Just like vampires cannot live without blood and a place to lay-low during the day, authors cannot live without reviews on Amazon. So read the books and give Gabby those five stars you know she deserves!

You can get both books in the series right now for less than the price of a Starbucks, or a McDonald’s anything, and have great horror for your whole weekend. It’s too freaking hot to go out anyway. Stay inside and read something scary!

Leave Gabby a review, and I’ll send you a PDF of the Gravelight book of your choice!

A hot weekend full of zombies. In the words of Walter Sobchak, “If you will it, it is no dream.”

Get your copy today!

And make sure to follow Gabby for more books!


Screenshot of the cover of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury..Shows a small boy against a yellow background.

Ray Bradbury was a talented author, and, in many ways, my introduction into a genre called sci fi. In the 1970s sci fi felt like a new thing, but I think it has always been with humans, even from the time when stories were scratched into cave walls.

DANDELION WINE was one of my favorites. I remember how much I wanted to try to make wine from dandelions, which I had a long-standing love for, and still do. I remember how hot it was in this book, and in the 1970s, people with blue-collar parents, like me, didn’t have air conditioning. We had one huge window unit in the dining room of our twin brick house in Ridley Park, and my brother and I used to rush to sit directly in front of it, even though it meant being smushed up against the wall, and, really, too cold, as the air came out with frosty blasts, but in the summer heat in a tiny twin brick house, on a tiny nowhere street, icy was better than hot.

In DANDELION WINE it is the summer the main character, a young pre-teen fellow named Douglas, comes to realize that he is mortal, and that the time will come when summer won’t mean long days with nothing to do. It’s a book that is bittersweet, as Douglas learns that a time of year, a glorious season like summer, can be both lovely and sad, and real danger can be hiding around the corner, and that life is truly unpredictable, but also always ends the same way.

This would be on my summer sci fi reading list. What’s on yours?

Are you an author?

Would you like to do a guest post to tell us what’s on your summer reading list?

Pick a book and wax rhapsodic in 500 words or less, and, if selected, we’ll publish your piece, with links to your website, and your book(s). Let’s promote other indie authors and great books together!

Send your piece to:


I had the absolute pleasure this past week to mail off several packages:

And they were BREAK IN THE FIELD and ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE heading out to five different judges each, to be contestants in the National Book Awards.

Ellis Elliott is a founding member of our new poetry cooperative: OLD SCRATCH PRESS. But I met Ellis when she was working on her cosy mystery, which will be on its way to print next year. For this year, Ellis’ poetry collection: BREAK IN THE FIELD is the first collection of poetry to be published by the collective, and In this wonderful collection Ellis reflects on parenting, blending families, and becoming a parent to a child with a disability. The book releases in a few weeks! Ellis is a gifted poet, and her website, if you are at all involved in your own writing, is one you want to check out (click the image to visit):

Virginia Watts (Ginny to all of us) is also a founding member of OLD SCRATCH PRESS, and a poet. But when I met her, I didn’t know that. I fell in love with her prose, and her book, ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE is collection of moody, atmospheric, stories from deep in the woods of Pennsylvania, where things aren’t quite as they seem, as the shadows come down through the dense trees. We consider this a literary collection, because it’s not horror, but that doesn’t mean that literature won’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The writing has shades of Flannery O’Connor at her best. Ginny’s website gives you a peak of what lies in wait in her collection (click to visit her website and get a taste of her writing):

and Ginny’s book also releases in 2023, when the Pennsylvania trees are at their most spectacular: fall.

Both authors make writing that I find I can’t put down.

I began my working life in the field of disabilities, and I so identify with the challenges Ellis describes in her poetry collection, and the love she feels for her stepson, her own sons, and her family on both sides of her second marriage. BREAK IN THE FIELD does just what it promises to do, disrupt that perception of our lives we have gotten so used to, and it does it both with insights into the demands of blending families, and the strong undertow of love, that won’t let us loose.

Dave and I both come from the wilds of Pennsylvania. My father’s people are coal people, and Dave’s father’s people are steel people, and being from those people comes with a certain something, the vein of precious ore in the rock, the granite the does not yield. Ginny’s stories in ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE have that grit running through them, and people will keep going, even when the way forward is knee-deep in coal dust, and the hands you use to pull yourself through the day are calloused and permanently stained.

Two authors, two founding members of our new poetry collective, two collections: one poetry, one prose. One releases soon, and when you finish venturing into two families with BREAK IN THE FIELD, you can venture into the woods with ECHOES FROM THE HOCKER HOUSE. Your reading pile has never been more enticing.

PLUS! Pre-order and get a discount, and a special little something extra that is not available in stores or on Amazon, and that is signed by the author!



Or you can pick her up on Amazon! And, if you have KNDLE UNLIMITED, read her for free!



The character of Charlotte is based on my older sister. She’s no longer with us, but I hope I did her proud, and I am so grateful to all of you who like her fiesty, independent personality!

Love Stan~


Dave and I agree, our lives would not be as loving, interesting, or rich without the LGBTQ+ people we have been fortunate enough to have in our lives. And certainly not as colorful!

Pride Month! We love you. We hope we do a good job of valuing Pride all year!

For this year’s Pride I was thinking about probably the first time I ever knew there were people who were gay, when I read Rita Mae Brown’s classic, RUBYFRUIT JUNGLE.

I read it when I was about 11 or 12. It was also when I was reading ANNE FRANK: DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL, and MY DARLING MY HAMBURGER, and RUMBLEFISH: you get the idea (it’s why teens of my age loved Pink Floyd: we were depressed). I don’t remember the book well, I must admit, but I do remember that I liked it. I see now, when I read reviews, it is either 5* or 0*. Some folks say the main character was strong and struggled against the tides, some say she was a poor excuse for a lesbian, and into incest, which I don’t remember about the book. I do remember that she had a horrible mother, and I “felt” her on that. They say it’s a classic at the same time as it is banned today. I don’t have much stake in whether or not one particular reader likes one particular book, but I don’t think we should be banning any of them.

Have you read RUBYFRUIT JUNGLE? Do you give it a 5 or a 0?

One more book I want to point out is by my new favorite TIK TOK or YouTube video person, Mercury Stardust, AKA The Trans Handy Ma’am.

Mercury, may I call her Mercury? Hell yes, we’re old friends! She is one of the most enjoyable people I feel like I’ve met. I love her videos, and I want her to teach me how to do eye makeup, and home repair. She’s great, and I’m gonna buy a copy of this book as soon as I finish typing.

Do you know Mercury?

Here’s a video:

Happy Pride World! You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to love someone LGBTQ+, and I love a bunch! Love is love, and can’t be stopped, but it can be stomped, so be an ally, during pride and all life long!

Thank you to all our LGBTQ+ friends for making our lives warmer and happier!


Dianne & Dave too