My Top 15 Books of 2018

I was initially going to hold off until late January to do my Best of Books list for 2018, but I’ve had a number of projects come up that will need my immediate attention. Knowing I won’t have time to cram in any last minute books, I decided to look back and compile my favorite 2018 releases.

*Note only books originally published in 2018 are eligible

  • As always, click on the covers to order

Here we go!

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  1. HALCYON by Rio Youers  This book was just perfection. It hit just about every button for me. I was terrified, I was angry. I was heartbroken. I was on edge. Yes, it dips into some recent real life events, but it was just so well written. I am in awe and now have a new favorite author on my top authors list.40874196
  1. THE RUST MAIDENS by Gwendolyn Kiste   Another book that hit all the right spots. A completely original story, fantastic writing, and a book that brought me back in time. Bob Segar’s Stranger in Town record is now spinning on a near-daily basis on my record player.

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3. PRACTITIONERS by Patrick Lacey & Matt Hayward    For a straight up horror story, this one was certainly my top pick.  Lacey and Hayward drew on their horror film influences to create a book that was scary, bloody, and awesome.  A Must-Read for you horror freaks out there.

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4. THINGS YOU NEED by Kevin Lucia   Another great set of stories from Lucia’s Clifton Heights world. Read it.

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5. THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King   This year marked the first time in a long time that I read both of King’s new releases the year they came out. Loved both of them. This one had my head twisted up the entire time.  The last quarter of the book had a surprisingly Bentley Little style to it.

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6. THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by Chris Sorensen    Another great debut, this one had some of my favorite characters this year. The story and demon Sorensen created were quite impressive, as well.  I had so much fun with this one.

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7. BONE SAW by Patrick Lacey   Wow, did you say horrific fun? Hell yeah!  For you Leisure Books fans out there, this is a Must-Read. I’m never surprised how insanely fun Lacey’s imagination is. He’s definitely one of my go-to authors.

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8. TWIN LAKES: AUTUMN FIRES by Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason   I wrote in my review how I thought this would be a cool TV series. There’s so much going on in this little novel. My favorite book from the “Sisters of Slaughter”.

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9. ELEVATION by Stephen King   At first, I was like, is this Thinner again? Then, I just fell into the story and the characters. This is NOT a horror novella, but it IS a fantastic story. Don’t miss it.

 

10. THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER by Jonathan Janz   Yeah, Janz nails so much of it in this one.  Lots of characters, lots going on,  but, man, those freaky neighbors, that was some Edward Lee type shit! (that’s a compliment by the way)  Can’t wait to read THE DARK GAME!  Come on April!

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11. BORDERTOWN by Robert Ford   What an amazing little novella!  This was a surprise for me. I started reading it and could not put it down. Another Leisure Books style story. Loved this one.

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12. OUT BEHIND THE BARN  by Chad Lutzke & John Boden   A beautiful little fairy-tale/ dark fiction tale from two guys that have VERY compatible styles. I’m not sure this one was quite horror per se, but it is dark and it is beautiful.

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13. THE GOAT PARADE by Peter N. Dudar   Anotehr wonderful slice of fiction from teh former Stoker-nominee. There’s a reporter, a gypsy lady, and a cult, what else could you ask for? Dudar is a talented writer that deserves much more attention.

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14. THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson  I’m a huge Everson fan and he never fails to deliver. This one has some FREAKY shit, but that’s why we love Everson. No one does it better. Definitely my second favorite of  the Flame Tree books so far.

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15. VIETNAM BLACK by Brad Harmer-Barnes   First time reading this author. This book was crazy, but crazy fun! If you missed it, check it out. A crazy take on a Vietnam story. I dug it.

Honorable Mentions:

There were SO many good books this year. I probably could have made a Top 30.

THE SWITCH HOUSE by Tim Meyer

SHILOH by Philip Fracassi

THEY FEED by Jason Parent

BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick Hicks

KILLER CHRONICLES by Somer Canon

I really loved  or had a lot of fun with each and every one of these books, and if you haven’t read them, I highly recommend them all.

I also read a number of non-2018 books. Here are my favorites:

CROTA by Owl Goingback

LIVE GIRLS by Ray Garton

MR.MERCEDES by Stephen King

MUERTE CON CARNE by Shane McKenzie

As always, be sure to check out my latest releases and those from Alien Agenda Publishing.  Have a happy and safe New Year’s!

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2018: For real?

2018

Wow, where did this year go?

As I’m looking over notes and posts, this year was freaking strange. I put out my second short story collection, LAND OF BONES, back in February. That feels more like two years ago.  Is that even possible?

Two anthologies I landed stories in won awards!  SPLATTERPUNK FIGHTING BACK won the Best Anthology (of 2017) from the first annual Splatterpunk Awards. My short story, “Molly,” was also nominated. And WELCOME TO THE SHOW won Best Anthology this year from the first annual Indie Horror Book Awards!  LAND OF BONES garnered an Honorable Mention in the Best Collection category.

Somewhere in all this madness I attended STOKER CON in Providence, RI (great times and bad times), and made it to and from SCARES THAT CARE 5 in Williamsburg, VA (oh, my wife’s poor car).

I did a successful book signing for LAND OF BONES at Barnes & Noble. They treat me good.

And did I mention Alien Agenda Publishing?

I put out three books- THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS  by Jackson R. Thomas, THE NIGHTCRAWLER by Mick Ridgewell, and SKINNER by David Bernstein.  It was an experiment to see if I could handle publishing properly. It’s only been six months since BEAST came out, but I’d definitely say it was a worthy trial run.  Ridgewell and Bernstein were re-releases, I love both books, so I’m still trying to figure out how to move them, but BEAST has been a surprising hit.   Overall, I fell pretty short of my own expectations as a publisher, but it’s a learning experience and one that I’ll continue to grind away on.

I am working on AAP first official charity anthology SURVIVE WITH ME and aiming for a second half of 2019 release. LOTS of cool authors are in, so I cannot wait to get this thing done and done right. We’ll be having Zach McCain doing the cover early next year, so I’ll share more info as we have deals in place.

Zach also did the cover for my first ever hardcover book (A BOX FULL OF MONSTERS, Thunderstorm Books), which I forget also came out (and sold out) this year… man, it truly feels like I crammed two or three years of writing projects into 2018!

And in September, I managed to put out my 4th novel, THE WINDOW. It has received some great reviews and seems to be a hit.  I’ll be continuing the blog tour (#TheWindowWorldTour) well into the new year.

Finally, here in December, I’m also happy to report that I have a verbal agreement in place with a new publisher for ASCENCION AGENDA (my follow-up to BOOM TOWN) as well as an exclusive e-Book re-release of my werewolf novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, and special edition of THE WINDOW.

The most exciting writing related thing of 2018? For me, it was this week’s completion of my very first outline… but that is for another post.

Thanks for all the support. Looking forward to a great 2019. All the covers below are links to each book. Feel free to do a little holiday shopping!

Until next time…

Stay tuned and stay positive!

-GR

 

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