Sinister Reads – January 2015

We have a blood-packed start to the year with the January edition of Sinister Reads! Wrap your mind around re-released publications from the supernaturally sublime Lynette McCleanaghan, sink your teeth into an apololyptic zombie feast with the deliciously deadly Russ Watts, and make friends with the dead with the freakishly fantastic James Doig. Don’t forget to check out our Sinister Shorts and praise our Sinister Superstars!

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Sinister Reads


In Jeopardy 

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-5-0 (Kindle); 978-0-9875408-4-3 (epub)

RRP: Aust$4.99

Re-release October, 2014

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Set in Melbourne, In Jeopardy is a dark, dirty-realist tale of psychological drama and betrayal depicting Christine’s crisis. Other characters pulled into her world reveal that their lives are also struck by disruption, drama and loss threatening their sense of self. How do they navigate the chaos and randomness of modern day life? How do they respond to uncomfortable truths about themselves?

As character’s lives converge and diverge their separation and connectedness is revealed. Uncanny synchronicities heighten the precarious nature of the situation Christine is forced to face when Richard throws her out of his life.

Betrayal is a key theme and source of disturbance. Romance serves as a complication, but softens the novel’s pervasive grim tone. In Jeopardy is a dark tale and mood piece depicting the world as a forbidding place and touches of the supernatural enhance the story’s sense of randomness.

Even acts of kindness are eerie and warn that an individual’s life is on a knife’s edge, courting disaster and tragedy. Stories within stories mirror Christine’s plight.


Christine, the main protagonist of In Jeopardy, is cruelly ejected from her husband Richard’s life as the serial womanizer decides to permanently replace her with a new, more glamorous partner. On one level Christine must cope with her changed circumstances and her struggle to gain a fair settlement. More significantly, this event precipitates a series of crises in her life. She must come to terms with the obliteration of her identity as Richard’s wife and struggle to create a new identity out of the wreckage of her marriage and her dislocation from almost everything, except her work as a nurse, that has sustained her. Christine’s life is further complicated by her renewed relationships with her brother, returned from England, and her sister, married and living in Perth. Christine often seems powerless, drifting from situation to situation, yet throughout the novel she retains an elusive but discernible strength, particularly to face up to the harsh realities and confusion of her life. Christine’s story is paralleled by that of her bother, Julian, who reveals that he, too, has undergone some recent challenging experiences. His story, and that of his friend Lucy, embody similar struggles to Christine’s; although their stories share some common elements, each character deals with these in different ways and to different ends. In Jeopardy is quite a mood piece. The atmosphere is bleak – here the world is chaotic and unpredictable, often hostile. What emerges from this world of dark, dirty realism is hope, and faith in the capacity of some people to be decent, humane and compassionate. The battle to bring about meaningful change in oneself is compellingly portrayed.



Drew’s Party

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-1-2 (Kindle); 978-0-9875408-0-5 (epub)

RRP: Aust$3.99

Release date: May 1, 2013. RE-RELEASED.

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE. Extract @

Drew is a self-obsessed socialite.

At her opulent twenty-fifth birthday party she is confronted by an unpleasant surprise. She learns that she has unwittingly become subject to an ancient family curse.

Can Drew escape the fate that awaits her?


Lynette McClenaghan is a wonderful writer! Her writing simply pulls you along. I had only planned to read ‘Drew’s Party’ for a short time, but I just couldn’t stop. I had to keep reading until the very end. And I loved the way ‘Drew’s Party’ stayed with me for days after. Such an intriguing story. I’m off to buy her next book now.



On the Wind’s Breath

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-3-6 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-2-9 (epub)

RRP: Aust$4.99

Release date: July 31, 2013. RE-RELEASED.

Available HERE.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Freak storms or is the weather out to get you?

Martin, a celebrity photographer, and his wife Vanessa, take a holiday in Black Mountain to reignite their relationship. When they become swept up in the death and destruction inflicted by violent weather, Vanessa is convinced that the storms are malevolent, and supernatural in origin. Martin dismisses her fears as fantasy and becomes increasingly more obsessed with photographing the events unfolding around them, placing both their lives at risk.


The weather may seem to be an unusual manifestation of supernatural horror, but Lynette McClenaghan’s dark tale of a young married couple facing malevolent storms and wild weather is a gothic tale with genuine scares. Vanessa and Martin have returned to Black Mountain, on holiday to reinvigorate their flagging relationship. They are confronted by a series of inexplicable and terrifying freakish weather events. Lynette McClenaghan does more than simply rely on frightening occurrences to propel her story, although you will find these in abundance. Her emphasis is on the ways in which the story’s events impact on the two main protagonists. We learn about their pasts, their fears, their vulnerability and their strengths, and the narrative focus of the novel is on how two flawed but fundamentally decent people must come to understand truths about themselves and their relationship. One of the novel’s features is that it also embodies a strong critique of rampart development and greed and supports the conservation of natural and man-made heritage. Lynette McClenaghan skilfully blends the supernatural and the mundane. An ordinary couple’s deteriorating relationship is played out in the context of inexplicable and terrifying forces that bring chaos and destruction. A complex and thought-provoking novel.


Hamsikker-ebook-cover (2)


Author: Russ Watts

Publisher: Severed Press

ISBN no.: 1925225526

RRP: GBP7.04 Paperback, GBP2.99 ebook

Release date: 02 Jan 2015

Available HERE.

The dead rose quickly, and were soon unstoppable. Kentucky’s five million inhabitants were swiftly decimated. Those killed only returned to join the ranks of the dead, to seek out and kill the remaining survivors. It was a scenario repeated across the country. Whatever caused them to return was so fast that no one really new how, or why, it happened.

Jonas Hamsikker left Kentucky for the west coast after his mother passed away, leaving

behind a cruel father and younger sister. Returning home for the first time in years, he is forced to confront his past whilst combating the walking dead, and protecting his wife. Hamsikker’s life is changed forever, and hard choices have to be made as he fights his way through deadly streets, desperately trying to find a way to survive. He has to fight for every living second to reach his stranded sister, dealing with zombies, revelations, self-doubt, and death, amidst the carnage of Kentucky.

From Russ Watts, author of ‘The Afflicted,’ and ‘The Ocean King,’ comes a new journey into darkness.



BlogPost from Sarob Press:
FRIENDS OF THE DEAD by JAMES DOIG has arrived from my book printer.
I’m currently busy checking, numbering and packing up pre-publication orders.
USA, Rest of World and European orders should (hopefully) ship early next week.
I’ll then be heading over to Wales next Wednesday (4 February) and will post UK and Book-Dealer orders as soon as I arrive.
Note … less than a dozen copies of a print run of 200 left … so, if you want this one and haven’t yet ordered ….”

SAVE1588 (1) (1)Friends of the Dead and Other Stories

Author: James Doig

Illustrator: Paul Lowe

Publisher: Sarob Press

ISBN no.: 972-2-9549017-1-8

RRP: £30 or US$60 postage paid

Release date: January 2015

Available here.

Sarob Press is delighted to present the first collection of supernatural stories by James Doig. Most of these stories involve archives and manuscripts (unsurprisingly James works for the National Archives of Australia) and some of the particularly Jamesian outings first saw publication in Ghosts & Scholars magazine and in Ash-Tree Press publications. In these ten spooky stories the author invites the reader into eerie ghostly worlds of darkness, long shadows and subtle chills.

Essential ghostly reading for those cold, dark winter nights ~ roaring log fire optional of course. The previously published stories have been extensively revised and re-written especially for this collection.

Stories: “Malware*” “Wolferton Hall” “The Kindness of Strangers” “Mathrafal” “Threads” “The Wild Hunt” “The Land Where Fairies Linger*” “Out of the West” “The Dead Heart” “Friends of the Dead” *previously unpublished. With an introduction by the author.

Bound in wibalin (fine linen style), Foil Blocked to spine, Full Colour Dust-Jacket, 16pp Section Sewn Binding, Head & Tailbands & Coloured Endpapers. Full colour wrap jacket art by Paul Lowe.

Sinister Shorts

issue-200-bannerCloser to God

by Martin Livings

Published in Antipodean SF Issue 200 



l Caballo Muerte

by Martin Livings

Published in Fat Zombie: Stories of Unlikely Survivors from the Apocalypse




by Greg Chapman

Published in That Hoodoo, Voodoo That You Do

Sinister Superstars

nuber 1

1st Place Equal Winner, with Jo Tomlinson, in the SpecFicNZ Spooky Story Contest 2014, as judged by Alan Baxter.

Bridge by Dan Rabarts

Free to read at the SpecFicNZ website.


logoLynette McClenaghan presented a workshop at the Annual State Conference for The Victorian Association for the Teaching of English (VATE). This is the second year she has presented at this conference. The subject of her workshop was Teachers as Writers Embracing Indi Self-Publishing. Lynette is an English teacher, who has also written for VATE professionally.

Lynette has recently re-released her previous novels and will soon be releasing two more hair-raising tales. A note from Lynette:

“I have finished the final draft of a novella, supernatural horror, The Lester which will be available sometime in 2015. I am close to finishing my next novel Who’s Watching Samantha? which will be available summer 2015. The cover brief is currently with the artist.”

Stay up to date with the latest news from Lynette McCleanaghan at


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