Sinister Reads July 2015

Welcome, horror lovers! Mike Jones is going to be out and about – don’t miss your chance to meet with him during festival season (keep an eye on here for further updates). In the mean-time, why not pre-order his Transgressions Cycle series? While you are at it, check out the other great publications this month! It’s all in the July edition of Sinister Reads.

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Sinister Happenings

Mike Jones, author of the Transgressions Cycle (see below) will be appearing at Byron Bay, Brisbane and Melbourne Writers Festivals Aug-Sept (details for Melb and Bris are embargoed until the festival programs are released. Brisbane program is released 25th July, Melb 24th July).


6th-8th August. Mike Jones appearing with Marc Fennel speaking about ‘Narrative Futures’. PLUS panel session on ‘Screen Adaptations’ with screenwriter Andrew Knight.


30th August. Mike Jones appearing with Kelly Link speaking on the topic of ‘The New Gothic’. 11:30am ACMI Cube, Federation Square.


3rd-4th September. Mike Jones speaking at Story+ on writing across platforms. PLUS delivering master-class on ‘Supernatural, Gothic & Horror Storytelling: Writing high concept dark genre’.

Sinister Reminders

AHWA Members Critique Groups

Don’t forget about out short story critique group and the writer’s workshop that is open to all members of the AHWA.  That’s right – novels, novellas, short stories – all are invited to participate.  Membership to both groups is open to members of the AHWA by invitation only.

If you are interested in taking part in either of these two groups, you need to join the AHWA today, and check out all the other exciting opportunities, you as an author, are currently missing out on.  There are tips on writing, how to get published, competitions, group forums and so much more.

Check out the Australian Horror Writer’s Association web-site today and become a member.


 Horror Network Australia

Horror Network Australia seeks to keep you, the horror fan, informed about all that is going in Australia within the horror genre. Events, conventions, attractions, publishers, businesses, author tours and signings, film releases – you name it, we list it.
  • Film, magazine, and book releases will be posted in the main timeline, as will announcements about any other horror-based news item.
  • Businesses and other ongoing concerns will be under the static pages, as will horror events throughout Australia.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and blog posts for all the latest news.

Follow the Blog HERE and don’t forget to like our Facebook page HERE.

Geoff Brown Dip. PWE
Editor-in-Chief – Cohesion Press
Editor/Columnist/Reviewer – This is Horror (UK) 

Sinister Reads

unnamedMadman Across The Water

Author: Caroline Angel

Published by: Staccato Publishing

ISBN no.: 978-1512288544

RRP: $16.99 US

Release date: 12th May 2015

Available at AmazonBook Depository, and Good Reads.

Following a curse several generations ago, a monster now inhabits the woods near a local town. Simon watched his friends get taken when he was just a child, and has spent has whole life searching for a way to rid his family of the deadly legacy that haunts them.

Battling his crippling fears and mental instability he must race against time to stop the creature as it takes innocent people, one after the other, tearing them to pieces, or even worse, leaving them as walking, broken corpses.

A creepy, suspensful saga of family, horror, and mystery, this is one story sure to leave you frightened of the woods at night, fog, and all things tall and slender!


  •  What an awesome read! Had me from the prologue. This is a suspenseful, creepy tale of the Internet legend of the slenderman, her told in a new light and with new facets. I was shocked, frightened, intrigued and completely taken in, I could not stop reading this book until I was at the last page.
  • Like another reviewer on here I, too, would like a sequel (anyone know if the author is writing one?)
  • I used to say Stephen King was my favorite horror writer, I can’t say that anymore! Caroline Angel has taken that spot!
  • Worth every single one of my five stars. Now I just have to figure out how to sleep tonight without nightmares!
  • I absolutely adored this story. It definitely had me turning the pages. Never having heard of the Slenderman before reading this, had me dying to find out more. This was a great introduction in the urban legend!
  • Great plot, everything was pieced together quite well. It was detailed but not overly so. I felt the fear the children, the parents, and the townsfolk had. This book let you feel the emotions and the terror from within. This is a story you might not want to read late at night with the lights off.
  • For a debut novel by this author, it was a good choice. I am waiting for whatever she throws out next.


The Transgressions Cycle (3 Book Series)

Author: Mike Jones

Published by: Simon & Schuster

ISBN no.: 9781925030938

unnamed (1)The Mothers

RRP: AUD$3.99

Release dates: 31 August

Currently available for pre-order HERE.

1880. Rosanna is an impoverished woman fleeing debts she can’t pay in decrepit industrialised England. When she steals passage to Australia by deceiving a widowed mother and child out of their ticket, she finds herself incarcerated in quarantine on a rocky island off the coast of Tasmania. Here Rosanna uncovers the island’s dark secret – a possessed Warden deceiving migrant mothers and stealing the souls of their children with a demonic photograph camera. Unable to escape the island, Rosanna must make amends for her past transgressions and delve deep into the dark tunnels of the island’s catacombs, struggling to reconnect the ghosts of the mothers to their children before its too late.

unnamed (2)

Scrimshaw Marionette

RRP: AUD$5.99

Release dates: 31 September

Currently available for pre-order HERE.

1931. Blaming himself for the drowning death of his wife, William flees the hardship of depression-era Sydney with his young daughter, Rosa. Battling his addictions and his sanity, William travels far south and finds work on a remote island whaling station. But when Rosa finds a small scrimshaw marionette doll under the wharf, a restless spirit awakens to puppeteer the living and drag them into the sea. Grappling with his sanity and reason, William must confront the truth of the past, becoming lost in the island’s memories, and struggle to put the marionette ghost to rest to save his daughter and himself.

unnamedThe Reparation

RRP: AUD$5.99

Release dates: 31 October 2015

Currently available for pre-order HERE.

1952. When Christopher, an ambitious but troubled Anglican priest, takes over the inner city parish of St Agnes, he encounters the mysterious ghost of a girl named Amaranth whose soul lives beneath the cemetery ground.  As restoration is undertaken on the old church, the headstones removed to make way, a dark past is brought to the surface; a story of corruption and murder that Christopher’s predecessors had kept hidden. To unearth the truth of Amaranth and her terrible death, the priest will have to confront what he fears most.


Midnight Echo Issue 11

Editor: Kaaron Warren

Distributor: AHWA

RRP: $AUD 2.99 – Comes in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. You’ll receive all three when you buy through the website!

Release date: April 2015

Available HERE.

What’s that rap-tap-tapping on your chamber door? It’s not some mocking raven – it’s the seriously unsettling Midnight Echo 11!

Edited by Kaaron Warren, Issue 11 is dedicated to all things sinister. With more than 100 pages of fiction, art, interviews, book releases, comics, and more, you’re in for a disturbing ride.

The Table of Contents:


‘Gardening at Night’ by Vincent G McMackin
‘Uninvited Guests’ by Evan Purcell
‘Accident Report’ by Jarod K Anderson
‘By the Light Unseen’ by  Mark Farrugia
‘The Crying Room’ by Marija Elektra Rodriguez
‘Madeline’ by Claire Fitzpatrick
‘Perfect Little Stitches’ by Deborah Sheldon


‘November Wind’ by Sandy DeLuca
‘In Venice’ by John Grey
‘They’ by Michael Tugendhat
‘Dead Bodies Make Good Cellos’ by A J Huffman
‘The fruit of her hands’ by P S Cottier


From the Vault – ‘The Old Portrait’, written by Jason Franks, illustrated by Leigh Kuilboer, edited by Mark Farrugia

Non-fiction and regular features:

‘Why Sinister’ – Kaaron Warren on her early influences and favourite stories
Celluloid Nightmares – Mark Smith-Briggs talks to Wolf Creek 2 screenwriter Aaron Sterns
‘Writing With The Left Hand’ – P S Cottier discusses the sinister side of poetry
Sinister Reads (all the latest releases from AHWA members)

Special features:

AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition winners  –
‘Sundown’ by Keith Williams
‘What Came Through’ by Stuart Olver


518lDuFVQiL._SX392_BO1,204,203,200_Who’s Watching Samantha?

Author:  Lynette McClenaghan

Published by: Lynette McClenaghan

ISBN no.: 978-0-9875408-6-7 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-7-8 (epub)

RRP: AUD $4.99

Release date: March 31, 2015

Available HERE. Read an excerpt HERE.

How does clever and imaginative Samantha turn mean, wicked and dangerous? Horror sweeps in unleashing an entity that stirs hidden currents causing the Morrison family to implode, placing each member in danger. Samantha’s life is threatened from an unlikely source that wields an uncanny power over her and her family.

Soon the influence of this seemingly benign object and the power it wields over the child escalates conflict and mayhem which threatens Samantha and her family. And this is just the beginning of the horror that descends on them. Can the spell be broken?


  • The book is well paced, for a slow burning, slowly rising tension. Some revelations appear early,and some of the characters keep their experience secret longer than may have been expected, but these are minor issues, for which there are reasons. They are easily overlooked as the brisk pace sweeps you along and the pages keep turning. I was more than happy to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the ride, which is EXACTLY what a smart, interesting and most importantly nerve shredding horror, should deliver.  Above all though, when all the supernatural elements are stripped away, you are left with a far more chilling horror that will remain long after the lights are turned back on: The ease with which a child can find herself in danger, the ease with which trust can betrayed, and the consequences of a few seconds of distraction will echo around and make your nights sleepless long after you finish the book. Flaws do not get in the way of the story, or of the chills.

Sinister Slices

The Leucrotta

by Kyla Lee Ward

Published in Gods, Memes and Monsters: a 21st Century Bestiary, ed. Heather J. Woods, Stone Skin Press, 2015.


In the Company of Women

by Deborah Sheldon

Published in Pulp Modern #9 – theme of ‘Dangerous Women’

Sinister Superstars

Congratulations to J Ashley Smith!

AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition: Short Story category WINNER

J. Ashley Smith for On The Line


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