MeAuthor3This past summer, I met a lot of cool people at SCARES THAT CARE in Williamsburg, Va. One of those cool people is none other than the inimitable Aaron Dries. Not only is he one of the best horror authors slinging ink these days, he’s probably the nicest human being I’ve ever met. We had a lot of fun talking shop, drinking beers, and we even shared a magical car ride to the mystical lands of Wawa. He even let me butcher the sales pitch for his novel, The Fallen Boys! It was a great time and I was really happy when Aaron said he’d do this interview for the blog. So, without further ado, meet Aaron Dries!


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Every year I sit down to write this post, I’m constantly amazed by the amount of high-quality horror fiction we’re getting. I mean, in past years I’ve really struggled to rank my ten favorites because I wanted to make them all #1. This year, I struggled with narrowing down everything I’ve read in 2019 into just ten spots. Some have suggested adding more than ten, but ten is a good solid number, it’s tradition, and what can I say – I’m reluctant to change. Two quick things – one, to qualify, the book must have been released in 2018. And two, the books on this list are only there because I’ve read or listened to them. There are probably a dozen or so books that should be on here but aren’t because I, unfortunately, didn’t get to them. You can look at everything I’ve read this year by checking out my Goodreads page, and if I missed something, please blow up the comments section at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear from you and what you consider your favorite reads from ‘18.

So let’s get started!




10.  THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King

One part police procedural, one part creature feature, THE OUTSIDER is one of the more unique King novels to come along in quite some time. I really enjoyed this story and the characters, and its twisty plot kept me engaged the entire time. Definitely worthy of a spot in my TOP 10 of 2018. Might even be in my TOP 10 King novels.


nightmare room

9.  THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by Chris Sorensen

If my memory serves correctly, this is Chris Sorensen’s first novel and that’s hard to believe. This was a really well-written novel that brings the scares. There were times while listening to the audiobook that I had goosebumps. Chris really knows how to build tension and I was thoroughly impressed with his characterization. Looking forward to the sequel that, I believe, comes out soon.




If I were ranking books based on their titles, this would be #1. Besides having a kickass title and a sweet cover, the words that follow are pretty great too. This is a balls-to-the-wall apocalyptic thriller that never runs short on action and ultra-violence. Mix all that with socially-relevant themes and an interesting cast of characters, you have yourself one of the best Indie horror books published this year.




Okay, so I’m breaking a rule here. This isn’t a novel; it’s a collection. However, each story contains similar themes, all dealing with the power of addiction and the struggles of sobriety, and that makes them feel connected. It also happens to be one of my favorite books released this year, so I had to include it. Looking forward to more of Christa’s work.



6. CREATURE  by Hunter Shea

Hunter has made my TOP 10 each of the last three years. The guy puts out fun stories, stuff that I can easily digest without exerting much brain power, yet, his stories all have a lasting effect. CREATURE is a different beast. This story follows a couple dealing with some very severe medical issues as they decide to take a break from the every-day pressures of their lives to spend the summer at a cottage in Maine, cut off from the rest of civilization. Only, instead of relaxing and enjoying their lives (what might be left of them) they end up getting stalked by something in the woods. I think it’s safe to say that this is Hunter’s masterpiece, the best thing he’s written to date. It’s touching, heartbreaking, and the last thirty pages are pure mayhem.



5. SKULLFACE BOY by Chad Lutzke

While you may not consider this short novel horror per se, I think it checks enough boxes to at least be enjoyed by fans of the genre. At its core, SKULLFACE BOY is a road-trip story that rips through the heart of middle/western America. What I enjoyed most about it is Lutzke’s view of America and its people through the eyes of his main character – Levi. Lutzke sprinkles in some good social commentary and a long roster of interesting characters, combining laughs, thrills, and the gut-punches we’ve come to expect from his work. This book is a real gem and I wholly recommend it.




Another author who seems to find his way onto this list every year is Jonathan Janz. He’s definitely become one of those must-read authors I drop everything I’m doing for when he releases a new book. THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER is definitely one of my favorite Janz novels, and he did a great job of drawing the reader into the mysterious aspects of the ghost story while incorporating a combination of high-quality prose and rich character development. This book has all the ingredients of a classic haunted house novel, yet it feels fresh and unique, and that’s perhaps its finest quality.  



3. THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY by John Horner Jacobs

I’d never heard of John Horner Jacobs until I saw this short novel/novella pop up on my Goodreads radar. But his writing is probably my favorite thing I’ve discovered as a reader this year. This short novel is engaging as it is entertaining, and Jacobs’s prose is something to be celebrated. It’s smooth and accessible while being totally literary, and, you know, the overall writing is just really fucking good. The story is solid too, and I’ll admit, I knew next to nothing about it before diving in. I recommend going in the same way. Read this book. You won’t be disappointed.



2. COYOTE SONGS by Gabino Iglesias

I read Gabino’s Zero Saints last year (I think) and I remember being totally captivated by his style. COYOTE SONGS captures the same essence, and again, his prose rendered me speechless. This book follows several different storylines which sometimes intersect. Each story deals with life near the border and the violent struggles that take place there. Not a traditional horror novel by any means, but I think the content and its gritty nature and the uber-violence portrayed here is enough to qualify. Plus, the reality these characters face and how closely it mirrors our own world is what really makes it scary, haunting, and unforgettable.



1. THE LISTENER by Robert McCammon

McCammon! I’ll preface my number one selection by saying Robert McCammon might be my favorite author of all-time. That said, THE LISTENER is a mesmerizing piece of fiction. What McCammon has always done well is characterization, and there is no better example of his mastery than this very novel. The words disappear and images form, and McCammon writes his characters like real people. THE LISTENER follows the story of a young man who can listen to other people’s thoughts even if they’re across the state. This special talent gets him mixed up in a couple’s evil plot to kidnap a rich business owner’s kids and hold them ransom. This book is all sorts of phenomenal and if you choose to ignore my first nine recommendations (even though you shouldn’t), please listen to this one.

Honorable Mentions:

Here are some other novels/novellas I really enjoyed this year, all of which could have made the list but didn’t for one reason or another. Check them out and their authors – I highly recommend them all.

PRACTITIONERS by Matt Hayward and Patrick Lacey

BONE SAW by Patrick Lacey

THE FAITHFUL by Matt Hayward

OUT BEHIND THE BARN by John Boden and Chad Lutzke

A WINTER SLEEP by Greg F Gifune


HALCYON by Rio Youers

THE RUST MAIDENS by Gwendolyn Kiste

TRIPLE AXE by Scott Cole

BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick Hicks


Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 6.19.31 PM.pngIt’s been a crazy-good year for horror fiction. Horror in general, yes, but the quality of content in the horror book world has been top-notch lately. It seems each year there are more and more exceptional works getting published, and there are so many kick-ass horror stories being told by unique, talented voices that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why I was truly honored (and quite shocked) that THE SWITCH HOUSE won an Indie Horror Book Award for Best Novel. I’m really proud of this short novel, and I’m so happy it found an audience. Huge thanks to all those who’ve read it, reviewed it, and passed the word on to a friend. You all mean the world to me. – TM



31693275_1745698738809211_5089394975695699968_nOne of my favorite reviewers in the horror community – Frank Errington – invited me over to his blog this week to write about anything concerning my new novel, KILL HILL CARNAGE. At first, I had nothing. Zippo. Nada. But then I thought, “wouldn’t it be cool to hypothetically cast the movie?” I’ve seen other authors explore that notion with their books and I thought it would be really fun. And it was! Even though the novel is a throwback to the cheesy horror flicks of the late 80s/early 90s, I used current actors and actresses. I think if you’ve read the book, you’ll get a kick out of my picks.

Anyway, check out the post here: CASTING KILL HILL CARNAGE 

And while you’re there, check out Frank’s REVIEW!


meHey, gang. I have a new author interview for you! This time, Dale Robertson was kind enough to drop by the blog and answer some questions. Dale is a new-to-me author who looks like he has a promising career in horror fiction. His work has a appeared in a few anthologies and his new novella, THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, is now available on Amazon. Well, let’s get to know Dale a little better, shall we?

TIM MEYER: Hey Dale, thanks for dropping by the blog. First off, tell us a little about your latest release.

DALE ROBERTSON: Hey Tim, thanks very much for having me. My latest release is called The House that Jack Built, and tells the tale of three kids who try to gain respect from their peers by going to said house and conjuring up a local myth – a myth that has been told all around the playground for years. Stories, that’s all they are. But is there an element of truth? The kids decide to find out.

THTJB - Ebook coverTM: I see in your author bio that you were a GOOSEBUMPS fan growing up. Me too! I loved THE WEREWOLF OF FEVER SWAMP. Did you have a favorite GB book? Why was that your favorite?

DR: To be honest, I’ve never read any Goosebumps books (shame on me). I used to watch it on TV, along with Eerie Indiana and Are You Afraid of the Dark? These were probably my first experiences of “horror”. It had me fascinated.

TM: What books influenced you early on? What about later on?

DR: I wasn’t too much of a reader when i was younger – more content with my video games, drawing pad or listening to music. BUT, I do remember my mum’s bookshelf having several Stephen King and James Herbert novels, and being fascinated by the covers. It would have been my teens when i eventually picked them up to read (from what i can remember).

My later influences came mostly from indie authors (this was when i was into my thirties and I’d picked up reading fiction again) – the first I can recall was The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins. I still follow Rich’s work and have read most of what he has published. Adam Nevill is another influence that springs to mind. Richard Montanari, Karin Slaughter, Paul Finch, and Chris Carter are several others also.

TM: Who are some of your favorite authors today?

DR: Paul Finch, Chris Carter, Rich Hawkins, Justin Park, Stephen Leather, Jeff Menapace, Angela Marsons, Tim Weaver, Mark Dawson. You are also creeping up that list Tim – I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of yours so far.

TM: Of all the characters you have created, which one is most personal and why?

DR: This would be an animal, not a person – Broxy, the dog. He appeared in Dobson Drive and also in Man’s Best Friend. He’s a rescue dog I’ve had for about 9 years and he’s a great companion – very docile and brilliant with my kids. I felt the need to make him “famous”, since it’s usually when I’m with him that story ideas begin to formulate.

TM: What’s your writing process like? Do you outline or “wing it?”

DR: I started out by “winging it”, getting excited that I had a story idea and rushing off to jot it down before i forgot. I found that the story (and my enthusiasm) quickly ran out of steam and I was left feeling lost, twiddling the pen in my fingers trying to figure out the next part of the tale. I have a number of half (or quarter) written stories in my writing pad still waiting for me to go back and pay them some attention.

I find it much easier if I have a rough direction now, from start to finish, of where the story is going. I usually write down a couple of lines about each chapter, just to see me straight.FotoJet

TM: Where do the ideas come from? Has getting the stories out been easy or a struggle?

DR: My mind has a habit of wandering (often!) and there’s no better place for that to happen than when I’m out walking my dog. Several, if not all, of my stories have generated during that time. I just need to make sure I write the idea down when I get back home so I don’t forget them.

I’ve self published everything so far. Not that there’s been much – two short stories and two novellas (as well as short stories that have been included in charity anthologies), but getting my head around the process was difficult. I had a lot of help from Facebook friends who also self publish. Little tips and tricks they have offered – I couldn’t have done it without them. Iain Rob Wright offers a course, ranging from writing the manuscript to getting it published to marketing (and everything in between)- everything an indie author needs and it’s been a godsend. And it’s all FREE. I constantly refer to it.

TM: Do you write with music on, or do you require complete silence?

DR: I usually write in silence as it helps focus my mind. But saying that, I’ve just completed a short story and I wrote half of it whilst listening to music. I thought I’d give it a try since I hadn’t done it before. See if it helps, or hinders. It didn’t do either; I found I could write fine with it on. I’ll definitely try it again.

TM: Favorite beer?

DR: Top of the charts is Peroni (Italian lager), next would be Mythos (Greek lager). Depends what’s on offer at the time haha. I do usually stick to what I know and like. Cobra is also quite nice.

TM: What’s next for Dale Robertson?

DR: Work on getting more of my own stuff out there, and to hopefully gain more visibility. The advertising/marketing side of writing is lost on me and I resort to Facebook and Twitter posts, hoping for likes and shares, to gain a wider audience.

I also would like to start on a novel, as all my works so far have been shorter pieces. I would definitely have to plot that out though so I would have a path to follow. The thought of writing 40-50 thousand words is quite intimidating to me. I know I need to stop thinking about the word count and just let a story flow, see where it takes me, but I’m obsessed with the word count for some reason (weird I know!).


It’s July. We’ve arrived at the heart of summer. The heat is almost unbearable and my A/C is working overtime. August is just around the corner and you’re probably gearing up for a family vacation, that precious escape before sending the kiddos back to school. Which means you’ll also be browsing Amazon for some new reads, something to bring with you, something to murder kill a little downtime. Well, look no further. A couple days ago, my summer camp slasher/creature feature novel, KILL HILL CARNAGE, hit the market, and in honor of that I’ve decided to recommend a few slasher/creature feature novels that I’ve enjoyed, or some new releases from authors whose work I really dig. Ready? Let’s get bloody!


5. SEVERITY by Dan Padavona – Dan consistently puts out great stuff. His novel CRAWLSPACE is a fantastic read, one I ripped through in almost a single sitting. SEVERITY promises to be just as addicting:

What if you discovered your husband is a serial killer?

Marissa is leading an idyllic life on The Cape – until a terrifying revelation tears her life apart. When two women are murdered, the evidence implicates the fastest rising business leader in New England — Marissa’s husband, Tristan..

Another body is found in the woods outside of Medford. Butchered.

But Tristan isn’t a killer. Is he?

When Marissa unearths the dark secrets of her husband’s mysterious past, she questions everything she knows — and begins to fear for her best friend’s life. Yet Tristan has no relation to the victims. Is someone trying to frame her husband?

Now Marissa races to stay ahead of a bloodthirsty killer and save her friend. The truth of her marriage reveals itself, too horrific for her to face.

“One of the most exciting writers to burst upon the scene in quite some time.” – Brian Keene

A page-turning horror novel with bone-chilling suspense. Fans of Dean Koontz, Richard Harris, and Stephen King should get to know Severity.

Grab this page-turner and start reading now!


4. TRIPLE AXE by Scott Cole – If the stories in Scott’s SLICES are any indication, then holy shitballs, TRIPLE AXE is going to be bat-shit crazy, yo. I really dig his style and creativity. TRIPLE AXE looks like it’s a short read, but one that will be certainly worth the monetary investment. Check this out:

Jesse Jinx is a porn star. She has dreams of starting her own adult film production company where she and the other actors will be treated more fairly. But there won’t be a production company if she can’t come up with the money—or if there aren’t any porn stars left. A deranged killer is on the loose, targeting adult entertainers, and choking them to death with a weapon that leaves no trace of itself. When the authorities refuse to help Jesse and her two closest friends, the three women decide to take matters into their own hands . . . with axes. As their colleagues fall one by one, they have a plan to stay alive—and they’re ready to hatchet!


3. KILL RIVER by Cameron Roubique – This book. THIS BOOK. It hits on everything I love about 80s horror films. When I found out that Cameron takes self-publishing to the next level (the dude literally prints and binds every single book himself, a very cool process you can see here), I had to order myself a copy. Check out what KILL RIVER is all about:

In the summer of 1983, thirteen-year-old Cyndi and her three new-found friends, Stacy, Zack, and Brad decide to sneak away from their summer camp in the middle of the night by rafting down the nearby rivers. After spending a tense night lost in the woods, the four teenagers stumble into a mysterious water park that appears to be completely empty.

At first they are thrilled to have the rides all to themselves, at least until one of them disappears. Soon they discover that they are trapped in the park, and a dark figure is stalking them from the shadows, picking them off one by one. Once night falls, Cyndi will have to fight to escape the park, a masked maniac, and a living nightmare.

Kill River is a wild water park ride filled with blood, gore, and ’80s nostalgia. Slasher fans rejoice, old school horror is back!


2. UNDER THE BLADE by Matt Serafini – Serafini is a writer whose work should be widely read. Everything I’ve read from Matt, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The new edition for this book just dropped a couple weeks ago via Black T-Shirt Books, and it looks great. Hopefully it gets more eyes on it with its sexy new cover, however, the real treat is the story inside. If you’re into slasher-thrillers with a unique spin, stop here:

Some campfire stories are real.

It’s been twenty-five years since Cyrus Hoyt’s infamous killing spree at Camp Forest Grove. A quarter-century since teenage counselor Melanie Holden left him mortally wounded and escaped with her life.

Today, Melanie’s teaching career has bottomed out and left her with no choice but to return to the scene of the crime. Motivated by a lucrative publishing offer, as well as a desire to free herself from recurring nightmares, Melanie’s research into the murderer’s life brings resistance from all directions as she uncovers skeletons in Forest Grove’s past.

Because of Melanie, a long-held secret is about to be revealed—one that somebody is willing to kill for in order to protect. And Melanie is going to discover she has a lot more to lose than just her mind.

The stalk-and-slash suspense of Friday the 13th meets the small town mystery of Sharp Objectsin this white-knuckle horror story of a final girl’s revenge.


1. BONE SAW by Patrick Lacey – A horror film buff who gets to meet his favorite director and finds out he’s sort of a dick. A monster named Pigfoot. More carnage and mayhem than your favorite low-budget blood fest. If any of these things appease you, you’re gonna wanna check out this little gem from Pat Lacey:

Liam Carpenter spends most of his time above his aunt’s garage, watching obscure horror movies and drinking cheap beer. But this week’s different. This week, things are getting weird. First, there’s his favorite director, Clive Sherman, showing up in town unannounced. Then there’s the string of murders that all seem like something out of Clive’s popular Pigfoot movie monster franchise. Throw in Liam’s mysterious new crush and the cough-syrup-addicted private investigator chasing her down and you might gain somewhat of a clue of what’s going on in Bass Falls lately.

And don’t even get him started on she-demons and blood sacrifices. Bone Saw studios is in town and they’re bringing you the bloodiest sequel featuring a pig-human hybrid killing machine you’ve ever seen.


Hope you enjoyed this list and have found a few good reads for your upcoming vacation. As previously mentioned, my new novel, KILL HILL CARNAGE, is out now from Sinister Grin Press! Feel free to add that to your TBR pile, too. If you like dismembered corpses, dangerous woodland critters, and sound relationship advice, then you’re gonna love it.


Book review: The Switch House – Tim Meyer

Grim Reader Reviews


Tim Meyer’s The Switch House effectively mixes horror and reality television into a short, weird novel. Moving at a brisk pace with very little downtime, The Switch House is a fun slice of urban horror, one in which I made links to Hellraiser, Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror. I’ll be honest, I do enjoy it when I make these connections and it seems Tim Meyer and I come from a similar place.

A house swap, a troubled marriage, a lost child; it’s a combustible situation, and one that erupts very early on.  Angela is an empathetic character. She has been through a lot, as has her husband, Terry. After the house switch is complete, things begin to get a little strange, to say the least. This is where Meyer incorporates some of the movie style horrors I mentioned earlier. The Switch House is very easy to read, the prose…

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It’s here! THE SWITCH HOUSE is finally available for pre-order. You can enter the EVERYWHERE by clicking here. There will be an audio version, too. Details on that coming soon.

PRE-ORDER CONTEST: If you do pre-order THE SWITCH HOUSE, send a screenshot of the order confirmation to tfmeyer3(at) You’ll automatically be entered in a lottery. On July 31st, I’ll draw one name and that lucky person will receive a signed copy of THE SWITCH HOUSE and (yes, and) another one of my books. Winner’s choice. There’s only a few entries so far, so your chances of winning are pretty good! 

That’s all for now. Now, feast your eyes on this gorgeous cover! 


CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve won a role on LET’S SWITCH HOUSES! Your life is going to change. We promise. Your dreams will come true. Everything you’ve ever wanted, we have it. This is a chance of a lifetime. Come inside. Switch with us.

Angela and Terry return home after several grueling months of filming the popular television show, LET’S SWITCH HOUSES!, only to find their residence in ruin. Sure, the décor and framed photographs are the same; the color of the walls hasn’t changed; the furniture sits unmoved. But something is off. Their quiet New Jersey home feels tainted. Angela can sense it. Crawling inside her. Infecting her mind. Poisoning her thoughts.

Then the nightmares begin. Awful, lucid visions that cause her to question her own reality. What happened at 44 Trenton Road while she was gone? Just what did she do, that bizarre woman who claims she can communicate with the beyond? Who is she exactly? Angela aims to find out, but the further she investigates, the deeper into madness she descends. How far will she travel before she loses the trail of clues? Or worse—before she loses her mind.

THE SWITCH HOUSE is a short novel for fans of supernatural thrillers with a dark twist.

“…[Meyer’s] best work yet. Unmissable.” – Matt Hayward, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? 

“An odd, tragic, and mind-bending tale.” – Glenn Rolfe, author of BECOMING and LAND OF BONES
“Brilliant twists… creepy occult… story stayed with me long after reading it. Tim at his finest!” – Chuck Buda, author of THE FIRST CUT and PAY UP AND DIE

Equal parts nightmare and thriller, Tim Meyer’s THE SWITCH HOUSE drags the reader into its darkened halls of insanity. Don’t miss it.” – Todd Keisling, author of THE FINAL RECONCILIATION  and UGLY LITTLE THINGS  
“If there’s one book you read this year, make it this one.” – CEDAR HOLLOW REVIEWS


Last Spring, some horror authors (Armand Rosamilia, Chuck Buda, Frank Edler, and Dan Padavona) embarked on a small book tour. For some strange reason, they let me tag along. We stopped at local breweries across the Garden State and drank most of their beer, and hey – we also sold a few books. This year, we’re getting the gang back together again, and this time we’ll be hitting up five breweries. Most of them are located in New Jersey, however, we’re upping the ante and we’ve added Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the list of places to get sloppy-drunk. Also this year, we’re expanding the roster and adding super-cool Todd Keisling, the lovely Somer Canon, and Krampus expert Matt Manochio to the author list. Be sure to check out the tour’s FACEBOOK PAGE for more info and feel free to let us know if you’re coming (we love that!). The following posters will let you know where we’ll be and when (click on the posters to learn more about these awesome venues and support our local breweries!):





Lutzke 2017 Bio photoThis week I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite writers – the always-entertaining Chad Lutzke. I’ve read a few of Chad’s novellas over the last few years and each one has hit me right in the feels. The dude does horror well, but he also knows how to sucker-punch you in the gut. With his words. Not with his fists. That’d be mean and Chad isn’t mean. He’s actually a really nice guy. Okay, just read this interview and judge for yourself. Also, check out his newest novella from Bloodshot Books, Stirring the Sheets. It’s on sale now and you’re not gonna want to miss this. 

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