Review: Dark Things – Joe Zito

Hey gang!  Check out my 4.5/5 review for Dark Things by Joe Zito.  This is a grimy collection of short stories and vignettes!


Prologue Teaser

Ok friends!  So this will be a little bit of a longer post today!  Yesterday over on Twitter and my Facebook Author Page I ran a poll asking what you would like to see as a teaser today, for the my upcoming release The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.  This coming-of-age, urban legend tale is already garnering a bit of buzz from the pre-release reviews and I am over the moon with delight!

So today (after counting the votes!) I’m sharing the Prologue as a thank you.  In two weeks, on Friday January 18th, I will share the first bonus short story Abraham, Look to the Sky.  That story is a gritty, cosmic-horror, flash fiction piece and I think you’ll all like it!

So please keep reading, and enjoy the Prologue!



August 5, 1884

“Abigail, don’t stray too far, ok?”

Abigail heard her mom but ignored her.  After all, she was now seven years old, and could take care of herself.

She walked through the deep grass beside McConnell’s Forest, plucking petals from the daisy she had picked.

“He loves me, he loves me not.  He loves me, he loves me not,” she sung as she casually strolled away from their camp site.

It wasn’t until she had plucked all the petals off the flower and discarded it over her shoulder that she realized she had wandered down the path into the woods.  She turned around and around, scared, finding she was lost and unable see her mom.

“Mom?” She called out feebly.

“Mom?  Please mom?”

She heard a noise close by.


Abigail took a few steps towards the sound, and spotted yellowed eyes watching her from behind a bush.

“Who’s there?”

She watched with awe as a girl close to her age danced out from behind the foliage and smiled at her.  Her teeth matched the color of her eyes, yellow and dark.  Her dress was caked in filth and mud.  But the girl smiled and waved.

“Hello, who are you?  Can you help me find my mom?” Abigail asked.

The girl giggled and turned, walking down the path away from Abigail, the morning sun cascading a bright aura around her.

“Please, please help me,” she cried out, rushing towards the girl.

Then she was gone.  Disappeared.

“What?  No, where did you go?  Please help me?”  She called out.

From behind her the voice sang out.

Help you?  But no one helped me.  Now we count, one, two, three.”

Abigail didn’t feel any pain as the girl ripped her spine from her body.

The girl left Abigail there in the path and disappeared into the trees as though she’d never even been there.


The Girl Who Hid in the Trees will be unleashed on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 and will be available in both ebook and paperback format.  This fast paced novella will feature a foreword by Gavin Kendall from the horror site Kendall Reviews, as well as three bonus tales; Abraham, Look to the Sky, The Tooth Collector and The Navajo Nightmare.

The cover artwork has been done by Mason McDonald once again, who has previously created the covers for Wagon Buddy, YURI, Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, Dim the Sun, and the new cover of Invisible.

I’m working to get pre-orders up asap!

For more information, including a full synopsis and pre-release reviews, check out the Goodreads link below!


The Girl Who Hid in the Trees


Upcoming Release: The Girl Who Hid in the Trees by Steve Stred.

Check out this great run-through of my forth coming release ‘The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.’


Thanks to Steve Stred for sending me an e-copy of his soon-to-be-released short story, The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. It will release in ebook and paperback formats on February 28. It will also feature three bonus short stories from Steve.

I hope you enjoy your stay in McConnell’s Forest as much as I did.


The children who live near McConnell’s Forest know better than to risk going into the woods, or at least they should. Years ago, when Jason was a little boy, he lost his older brother when he entered the forest to deflate an ages old urban legend.

Now that Jason is a teenager himself, he wants to learn what happened to his brother and what is really going on in the forest first-hand.

He persuades his group of friends to camp in the forest overnight so they can figure out this legend and try to…

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The Girl Who Hid in the Trees Announcement!

Hey friends and book fans!  Today is an exciting day!

Today I officially announce my first release of 2019!  You’ve seen me tease it a little bit on my various social media platforms, but here it is!

My first release is titled The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.

This is an urban legend, coming-of-age tale that is novella length.  This is a brutal, bleak, dark and fast horror read.  This is my darkest offering yet, which if you’ve read any of my stuff, is saying something!

The Girl Who Hid in the Trees will be officially released on February 28, 2019 as an ebook and a physical book.  It will also feature three bonus short stories that have been festering in a cave, deep in the mountains of my grim mind.

Attached is the cover art and the synopsis.  The cover was once again done by my buddy Mason McDonald (author of Mona, The Last Line That Shall Be Crossed, Masks and This Life).  He has previously done the covers for Left Hand Path: 13 more tales of black magick, Wagon Buddy, YURI, the new Invisible cover, and Dim the Sun, my recent release of dark poetry.

The tale will once again be edited by David Sodergren (author of The Forgotten Island) who has previously edited Wagon Buddy, YURI, and re-edited Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 more tales of black magick.

As of this time I am hoping to once again get J.Z Foster (author of Witch Hunter: Into the Outside, The Wicked Ones and Mind Wreck) to format it for release.  He has previously formatted Frostbitten, Left Hand Path, Wagon Buddy and YURI for me!

Lastly, this novella will feature a fantastic foreword by Gavin Kendall, who runs the amazing Kendall Reviews Horror blog!

Once we get closer to release date, I will update you all with pricing and ordering links!




The Girl Who Hid in the Trees Synopsis

Something lurks just beyond.

Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.

Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.

Jason lost his brother when he was young.  He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.

Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.

But something is waiting for them.  She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.

She’s out there.  And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.

Goodreads link;


The Girl Who Hid in the Trees


Left Hand Path Free this week!

Hey friends and fans!

As you know, Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick has recently been re-edited, re-formatted and re-released!  As a thanks, the kindle version is free all week!  That’s right!

December 17th to 21st, you can snag a copy for free!

Thank you all!

US link here, CAN link in the main menu under collections!


Well it took some time friends, but I’m pleased to announce officially that Left Hand Path: 13 more tales of black magick has been resurrected and is back from the poorly edited grave!

MASSIVE, MASSIVE, MASSIVE thanks to Mr. David Sodergren (author of The Forgotten Island, seriously read it!) for taking the time to edit all of the stories, and MASSIVE, MASSIVE, MASSIVE thanks to J.Z. Foster (author of Wicked Ones, Witch Hunter and Mind Wreck, seriously read them all!) for re-formatting it for me!

Now if you’ve purchased the book and want the updated edited version, please email me and I can send you the pdf or kindle copy.  Sorry I’m really not financially able to replace everyone’s books!  If you’re a reviewer and have a physical copy, let me know and I can also send you the pdf or mobi/epub version!  I will be running a free promo of this asap, once Amazon allows me to, as a thank you!

I believe I have emailed everyone whom I have previously spoken with regarding an updated copy, but please if I’ve missed you, message me!

Finally, if you were waiting to buy, I have dropped the kindle copy by $1 and the physical copy by $2 as a thanks as well!

Cheers, and thank you all for your patience!


Horror Book Buyer’s Guide!

Horror Book Buyer’s Guide

The Christmas season is quickly approaching and now is the perfect time to pick up some amazing reads for that horror book lover in your family!

I have been reading A LOT this year, and the number of fantastic books released is staggering!

So, to help you choose – here are my top reads and who you should buy them for!

I have broken them into three categories; Novels, Collections and My Own Releases (did you really think I wouldn’t try and plug my own stuff here!)

As you can see, the majority of the books listed here are all indie authors, self-published or released via small press publishing!  How fantastic is that!  All of these books can be found through Amazon, as well many are available through your local bookstore or library!

*Side note – I know there have been some really amazing releases this year.  Currently this is all I have been able to get too.  I still have so much on my TBR pile that they will end up being added to next year’s must haves.  BUT just so I don’t pass anything over, at the very end, I have included a short list of books I must read this year, that have been receiving massive buzz and praise, so they may catch your fancy as well!



Tamer Animals – Justin M. Woodward

Goodread Rating 4.42/5

My Review

Who will like this? – This is for fans of coming-of-age tales, creepy camping and gory endings!


The Wicked Ones – JZ Foster

Goodread Rating 4.32/5

My Review

Who will like this? – This is for fans who enjoy creepy, dark elements and demons!


The Only Child – Andrew Pyper

Goodread Rating 3.13/5

My Review

Who will like this? – Don’t let that Goodread rating fool you, this is my favourite book of all time.  This is for fans of gothic tales, alternative history and blood and guts.


The Forgotten Island – David Sodergren

Goodread rating 4.62/5

My Review

Who will like this? – This is the best horror movie ever written.  A creature feature on an abandoned island.


The Nightmare Room – Chris Sorenson

Goodread Rating 3.89/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of ghost stories, haunted house tales and tortured internal battles.


The Faithful – Matt Hayward

Goodread Rating 4.47/5

My Review

Who will like this? – This gem is for fans of cosmic horror, red neck revenge and people coming together to fight evil!

The Window – Glenn Rolfe

Goodread Rating 4.23/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of coming-of-age tales, being possessed, and gory action!


Zombie Bigfoot – Nick Sullivan

Goodread Rating 4.29/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of cryptozoology, creature features and fast and furious action!


Devouring Dark – Alan Baxter

Goodread rating 4.31/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of gangster noir, urban fantasy and street battles.


Now Comes the Darkness – Joe Zito

Goodread rating 4/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of overcoming hardships, dark, gothic bleakness and religious struggles.


Children of the Dark – Jonathan Janz

Goodread Rating 3.96/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of coming-of-age, creature feature, blood and gore!


Return to Dyatlov Pass – J.H. Moncrieff

Goodread Rating 4.07/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of mysterious history, creature feature and horrific conditions


Gilchrist – Christian Galacar

Goodread Rating 4.14/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of ghostly mysteries, haunting occurrences, and strange locations.


The Hellbound Heart – Clive Barker

Goodread Rating 4.03/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of Hellraiser, other worlds and gore.


Kill Hill Carnage – Tim Meyer

Goodread Rating 4.01/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of creature features, mysterious circumstances and overcoming harsh odds.


The Switch House – Tim Meyer

Goodread Rating 3.99/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of haunted houses, overcoming horrific events and creepy characters.


Kind Nepenthe – Matthew V. Brockmeyer

Goodread Rating 3.86/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of haunted occurrences, drug dealers gone bad and redneck occurrences.




Breathe.  Breathe. – Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Goodread Rating 4.38/5

My Review

Who will like this? – Contains dark poetry and horrific short stories.  For fans of overcoming violence, odd occurrences and deep ponderings.


Bones – Andrew Cull

Goodread Rating 4.54/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of dark happenings, haunted houses and bleak occurrences.


Greener Pastures – Michael Wehunt

Goodread Rating 4.07/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of found footage films, creepy settings and dark happenings.


Dreaming at the Top of My Lungs – Israel Finn

Goodread Rating 4.51/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of extreme situations, uncertain environments and crazy happenings.


Let There Be Dark – Tim McWhorter

Goodread Rating 4.86/5

My Review

Who will like this? – For fans of haunted happenings, extreme bleakness and creepy experiences.


My releases

I would be remiss to not suggest any of my stuff!  If you are looking to support yours truly, here are five fantastic releases to choose from!


Goodread Rating 4.75/5

What it is: full length novel.  For fans of creature features, haunted lighthouses and mysterious circumstances.


Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery

Goodread Rating 5/5

What it is: Collection of short stories.  For fans of bleak surroundings, dark occurrences and coming-of-age horror.


Wagon Buddy

Goodread Rating 4.15/5

What it is: Novella.  For fans of imaginary friends, revenge and mysterious occurrences.



Goodread Rating 4.75/5

What it is: Novella.  For fans of twisted tales, haunted houses and extreme circumstances.


Dim the Sun

Goodread Rating Unrated (Released December 1st)

What it is: Ebook only.  Collection of dark poems and a darker short story. All proceeds go to helping my friend Rob Derman support his Winter Olympic goals!


Other books:

So these are the other books that have been getting huge praise and buzz that I currently have, but have not been able to get to reading them yet!  They all sound fantastic and can’t wait to tackle them!


Kin – Kealan Patrick Burke

Goodread Rating 3.96/5


Creature – Hunter Shea

Goodread Rating 4.14/5


The Siren and the Spectre – Jonathan Janz

Goodread Rating 4.14/5


Bird Box – Josh Malerman

Goodread Rating 4/5


The Sea Was a Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

Goodread Rating 4.42/5


Widow’s Point – Richard Chizmer

Goodread Rating 4/5


A God in the Shed – J-F Dubeau

Goodread Rating 3.52/5


The Silence – Tim Lebbon

Goodread Rating 3.8/5


They Feed – Jason Parent

Goodread Rating 3.97/5


Train Thoughts – Jay Sigler

Goodread Rating 4/5


So there you go!  The books were so great this year, I decided to not list them in any particular order!

Thank you for checking out this list.  By no means is this the only great horror books out there, so if you have a favourite book or author, please tell everyone about it!

And as always, once you have read a book, please, please leave a review!