The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is pleased to present the 2020 Ladies of Horror Fiction Award Nominees for Best Novella.
The nominees are:
The Bell Chime, Mona Kabbani
Beneath A Bethel, April-Jane Rowan
Cirque Berserk, Jessica Guess
Crossroads, Laurel Hightower
The Invention of Ghosts, Gwendolyn Kiste
The Worm and His Kings, Hailey Piper
The Bell Chime by Mona Kabbani
“Can you hear the bell chime?”
A girl suffering from paralyzing night terrors finds a missing poster hanging from the door of her apartment building. On that poster is a photograph of a frighteningly familiar face.
Only, she’s never seen this photo before and something about its grin scares her. How its eyes seem to follow her no matter where she finds herself in the room.
Over a series of strange events to follow—events that will make her question whether her sanity is still there or fleeting—she must discover:
What is real and what is the nightmare?
To learn more about Mona Kabbani, visit Mona Kabbani’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
Beneath A Bethel by April-Jane Rowan
Every youth of Elbridge remembers their Floris, the holy ceremony where their teeth are pulled out with pliers. It marks their ascension into adulthood and their right to have new porcelain teeth, ones that are embedded with magic, that grant the ability to make wishes.
Angora’s Floris will be upon the banks of the Eldwen river, the communal ceremony befitting his station. However he longs to remember his ceremony for the splendour of the Bethel, wreathed in candle light, drooping flowers and holy hymns.
Seeking to fulfil his dream leaves him the victim of violence and an outcast from society, living on its fringes until a chance meeting brings him to the heart of the Masters Guild, the place teeth are made. Learning secrets he never thought he’d be privy too, he eventually discovers the dark cost of their tradition.
Beneath A Bethel is a dark horror fantasy, set in a harsh, snow-covered city that hides its brutality with pageantry.
To learn more about April-Jane Rowan, visit April-Jane Rowan’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess
The summer of 1989 brought terror to the town of Shadows Creek, Florida in the form of a massacre at the local carnival, Cirque Berserk. One fateful night, a group of teens killed a dozen people then disappeared into thin air. No one knows why they did it, where they went, or even how many of them there were, but legend has it they still roam the abandoned carnival, looking for blood to spill.
Thirty years later, best friends, Sam and Rochelle, are in the midst of a boring senior trip when they learn about the infamous Cirque Berserk. Seeking one last adventure, they and their friends journey to the nearby Shadows Creek to see if the urban legends about Cirque Berserk are true. But waiting for them beyond the carnival gates is a night of brutality, bloodshed, and betrayal.
Will they make they make it out alive, or will the carnival’s past demons extinguish their futures?
Book 4 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood.
To learn more about Jessica Guess, visit Jessica Guess’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
Crossroads by Laurel Hightower
How far would you go to bring back someone you love?
When Chris’s son dies in a tragic car crash, her world is devastated. The walls of grief close in on Chris’s life until, one day, a small cut on her finger changes everything.
A drop of blood falls from Chris’s hand onto her son’s roadside memorial and, later that night, Chris thinks she sees his ghost outside her window. Only, is it really her son’s ghost, or is it something else—something evil?
Soon Chris is playing a dangerous game with forces beyond her control in a bid to see her son, Trey, alive once again.
To learn more about Laurel Hightower, visit Laurel Hightower’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste
It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.
Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography – you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.
From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line (one third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary), a tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens.
To learn more about Gwendolyn Kiste, visit Gwendolyn Kiste’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
New York City, 1990: When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.
Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.
Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.
To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.
To learn more about Hailey Piper, visit Hailey Piper’s profile in the LOHF Directory.
The Ladies of Horror Fiction Award winners will be announced later this month!