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We Leave Together featured at Kirkus

Today at Kirkus, Ana from The Book Smugglers takes a comprehensive look at J. M. McDermott’s Dogsland Trilogy and the newly-published concluding volume, We Leave Together. Here’s what Ana had to say:

“Throughout Books 1 and 2, it was really hard to predict how all the pieces of this puzzle would fit together. But by the time I finished We Leave Together, everything did come together beautifully. Finding out the exact circumstances of Jona’s death and what happened to Rachel (YES! Rachel! You go, girl!) just about broke my heart in the best possible way.”

We Leave Together by J. M. McDermott

Read the full review at Kirkus.

Recent Reviews: We Leave Together and The Children of Old Leech

Brand-new pre-release reviews are in for our two summer books, J. M. McDermott’s concluding Dogsland novel, We Leave Together (June 15, 2014), and tribute anthology The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron (July 15, 2014).

Here’s what the critics have to say about J. M. McDermott’s We Leave Together:

“McDermott’s third novel set in Dogsland brings closure to the saga of the deceased Jona Lord Joni, whose memory-filled skull yields the narrative. […] Readers will still find Dogsland a grittily imagined fantasy world, with a personality as vivid as any of its residents.” —Publishers Weekly

Read the full review at this link.

And here’s the Publishers Weekly review of The Children of Old Leech:

“Lockhart and Steele collect 17 original stories from some of the shining stars of modern horror, constructing a worm-riddled literary playground from elements of the fiction of horror maestro Laird Barron. The results come across with a coherent feeling of dread, without feeling derivative of the source. […] Hopefully Barron will enjoy this tribute; his fans certainly will.” —Publishers Weekly

Read the full review (including mentions of stories by Molly Tanzer, J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington, T.E. Grau, and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.) at this link.

The Children of Old Leech was also recently reviewed by C. M. Muller, Scrivener of Weird Fiction, at his blog Chthonic Matter. Of the anthology, Muller says:

“This multifaceted grimoire, and the talent associated with it, is staggering to behold. Its co-editor, Justin Steele, sets the tone in a highly entertaining introduction, one which pits his fictional self against the very ‘carnivorous cosmos’ he so innocently sought to collect. In many like anthologies that focus on the oeuvre of a specific writer, the works themselves rarely rise above pastiche—but this seems to be exactly what the editors wished to avoid when fashioning their tribute to Laird Barron. Steele brings this to the fore when singling out Ellen Datlow’s excellent Lovecraft Unbound as a source of inspiration. Potential readers who are not familiar with Barron’s work need not worry. The tales, while sometimes recalling certain tropes or characters from his fiction, can be enjoyed in their own right; and, I must say, the range of styles on display is consistently impressive.” –C. M. Muller, Chthonic Matter

Read the full review (including detailed mentions of stories by T.E. Grau, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Michael Griffin, Daniel Mills, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, Cody Goodfellow, and Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douhit-Nicolay) at this link.

Press Release: J. M. McDermott Returns to Dogsland in Much-Anticipated Finale

We Leave Together by J. M. McDermottWord Horde announces the June 15, 2014 release of J. M. McDermott’s We Leave Together, the third and final book in the Dogsland trilogy.

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA—In the decadent city called Dogsland, a desperate search is about to draw to a close. Mystical, wolfskin-clad agents circle their prey, Rachel Nolander, drawn to her by visions captured from her fallen lover’s skull. Rachel’s blood is demon-tainted, burning and sickening those around her as she hides in plain sight, passing as a servant in a strange and savage land.

Completing the saga began in the critically-acclaimed novels Never Knew Another (2010) and When We Were Executioners (2011), We Leave Together provides lush, character-driven, fantasy fiction for readers who revel in the small moments, movements, and truths of life. J. M. McDermott has created a world where mere survival—passing as human in a city filled with potential betrayers—is an ongoing struggle requiring heroic actions.

“I like fiction deeply rooted in characters,” explains McDermott. “If my characters act heroically, it is because people must act heroically sometimes. When you are an outsider to society, heroics are required just to lead something resembling a normal life.”

The long-awaited publication of We Leave Together is sure to satisfy those seeking the resolution of Jona and Rachel’s ill-fated romance and new readers alike. Publisher Ross E. Lockhart says, “Having worked with McDermott extensively on the two prior Dogsland novels, I’m proud to have We Leave Together as Word Horde’s first novel release. This is a book of endings and beginnings, lavishly told and peopled by a master storyteller.”

We Leave Together is distributed by Ingram, and will be available in Trade Paperback and eBook formats through most online retailers and better independent bookstores everywhere in June 2014. For more information about Word Horde or to request a review copy, please email publicity[at]wordhorde[dot]com.

Now Available for Pre-Order: The Children of Old Leech

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

There are Things – terrifying Things – whispered of in darkened forests beyond the safe comfort of firelight: The Black Guide, the Broken Ouroboros, the Pageant, Belphegor, Old Leech…

These Things have always been here.

They predate you. They will outlast you.

This book pays tribute to those Things.

For We are the Children of Old Leech… and we love you.

The Children of Old Leech

Featuring all new stories by many of the brightest lights in dark fiction:

Allyson Bird
Michael Cisco
Gemma Files
Richard Gavin
J. T. Glover & Jesse Bullington
Cody Goodfellow
T.E. Grau
Orrin Grey
Michael Griffin
Stephen Graham Jones
John Langan
Daniel Mills
Scott Nicolay & Jesse James Douthit-Nicolay
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Molly Tanzer
Jeffrey Thomas
Paul Tremblay

The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele
Cover Design by Matthew Revert

Pub date: July 15, 2014

Pre-order today!

Now Available for Pre-Order: We Leave Together, by J. M. McDermott

In a city where the rich stage decadent parties as the poor suffer in squalor, where assassins prowl and king’s men keep order with truncheons and force, where gangs of children run like dogs and addicts die in the streets, a demonic strain has taken hold. The shape shifting priestess and priest of Erin have come to Dogsland stalking a fugitive, half-breed Senta Rachel Nolander, and plot to burn her to cleanse the world of her demon-tainted blood. Led ever onward by Rachel’s corrupted lover’s crying skull, Erin’s agents seek their hapless quarry, a frightened girl guided by one promise, one hope, one prayer… We Leave Together.

We Leave Together

Cover Art by Julien Alday
Cover Design by Scott R. Jones

Pub Date: June 15, 2014

Pre-order today!

The Children of Old Leech are coming…

There are Things–terrifying Things–whispered of in darkened forests beyond the safe comfort of firelight: The Black Guide, the Broken Ouroboros, the Pageant, Belphegor, Old Leech…

These Things have always been here. They predate you. They will outlast you.

This book pays tribute to those Things.

For We are the Children of Old Leech… and we love you.

We are the Children of Old Leech... and we love you.

The Children of Old Leech
A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart & Justin Steele
Cover design by Matthew Revert

Coming summer 2014 from Word Horde

TOC to be unveiled soon

Reviewer inquiries to publicity[at]wordhorde[dot]com

PS: Happy Birthday, Laird!

Tales of Jack the Ripper: Just $2.99 for a limited time!

“It’s elementary, folks,” says Inspector Elinor. “Simple math. Two dollars and ninety-nine cents equals Tales of Jack the Ripper on your Kindle, smartphone, or tablet. So visit Amazon and download a copy of Tales of Jack the Ripper, edited by Ross E. Lockhart. Watson and I need the clues you will find in the ebook to track down Jack the Ripper and bring the cur to justice.”

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Buy Tales of Jack the Ripper for your Kindle right here.

For your consideration…

It is award season once again in genre fiction land, so I’ve been fielding occasional queries wondering whether Tales of Jack the Ripper (Word Horde) and its contents are eligible for various awards. In the interest of placing all the necessary information at your fingertips (and mine), here is some statistical information on the anthology that I hope will both inform and enlighten.

Think you know everything there is to know about the Whitechapel slayings? You don't know Jack!

The anthology Tales of Jack the Ripper was published August 31, 2013, and is comprised of seventeen stories, two poems, and an introduction. Of those seventeen stories, three are reprints, as are the two poems, and fourteen stories are original to the anthology. Tales of Jack the Ripper is a professional market, paying .05/word for original stories and .02/word for reprints. The anthology as a whole should be eligible for consideration in most industry awards’ Anthology categories. The book is 75,859 words total; 60,134 original [79.27%]; 15,723 reprint [20.72%].

The following original stories should be eligible for consideration in most Novelette/Novella/Mid-Length Fiction categories:
Barron, Laird: “Termination Dust” 10101 words
Kurtz, Ed: “Hell Broke Loose” 9796 words
Sargent, Stanley C.: “When the Means Just Defy the End” 12226 words

The following original stories should be eligible for consideration in most Short Fiction categories:
Drake, Ennis: “The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker” 4300 words
Grau, T.E.: “The Truffle Pig” 2840 words
Greatshell, Walter: “Ripping” 2302 words
Grey, Orrin: “Ripperology” 2800 words
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia: “Abandon All Flesh” 2200 words
Morris, Edward: “Where Have You Been All My Life?” 1900 words
Pulver, Joseph S.: “Juliette’s New Toy” 861 words
Rawlik, Pete: “Villains by Necessity” 2149 words
Tobler, E. Catherine: “Once November” 2400 words
Tumblety, Patrick: “Something About Dr. Tumblety” 4114 words
Yardley, Mercedes M.: “A Pretty for Polly” 1600 words

Editor Ross E. Lockhart is eligible to be nominated as Best Editor (Short Form) for Tales of Jack the Ripper, and as Best Editor (Long Form) for works published in 2013 (all of which are also worthy of your consideration), including Blind Gods Bluff, by Richard Lee Byers; Earth Thirst, by Mark Teppo; No Return, by Zachary Jernigan; Binding, by Carol Wolf; The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All, by Laird Barron, The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J. Martinez, and Reanimators, by Pete Rawlik.

Publisher Word Horde is eligible to be nominated (where applicable) as Best Publisher.

On behalf of Word Horde and the authors included in Tales of Jack the Ripper, thank you for your consideration and support during this year’s oh-so-competitive awards season.

Sincerely,

Ross E. Lockhart
Word Horde

The Double Event

They called her Long Liz, but she had been born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter in Torslanda, Sweden. Life was hard for Liz, by the age of twenty-two she had already been arrested for prostitution in Gothenberg, treated twice for STDs, and given birth to a stillborn daughter. In 1866, Liz moved from Sweden to London, taking a job as a servant to a “foreign gentleman.” A few years later, in March of 1869, Liz married John Stride, and until 1875 the couple ran a coffee shop on Chrisp Street in Poplar. In 1878, two steam ships, the Princess Alice and the Bywell Castle collided in the Thames, killing between six and seven hundred people. Liz would claim that the maritime disaster had taken her husband and children, and also blame the accident for the loss of several of her teeth, as she had been kicked in the mouth attempting to climb the sinking ship’s mast to safety, but records show that John Stride actually died in 1884, so many theorize that Liz’s dramatic tale may have been a plea for sympathy. Regardless,Long Liz falls into a cycle of poverty, addiction, crime, and occasional charity until late 1888.

Late on September 29, 1888, Long Liz was seen drinking with a short, mustached man in a billycock hat and mourning suit at Bricklayer’s Arms Public House on Settles Street. It was raining that night, and witnesses reported that the pair were very physical with one another, kissing and embracing. As they left the pub, an acquaintance called out to Liz, saying, “That’s Leather Apron getting ’round you,” referencing the recent murders of Mary Nichols and Annie Chapman. At midnight, Long Liz and her companion may have stopped to buy grapes from Matthew Packer’s stall. If this detail is true, Packer would have been the last person, besides her murderer, to have seen Long Liz alive.

Catherine “Kate” Eddowes was born in Wolverhampton in 1842. She was educated in charity schools and workhouses until taking up with a young pensioner named Thomas Conway at the age of twenty-one. Though the pair never married, they did have three children together, and Kate had Thomas’s initials tattooed on her left forearm. The couple split up in 1881, and Kate took up with John Kelly, a man who worked odd jobs, but had a regular gig with a fruit seller. For years, when the season would roll around, the pair would go hop picking. But like many residents of Whitechapel, the couple were often hard up for cash.

Though Kate did not have a reputation for heavy drink, the evening of September 29 found her arrested for public drunkenness. Over the course of the day she had pawned a pair of John’s boots and attempted to visit her now-married daughter in hopes of getting a little bit of charity, only to discover that the daughter had moved. When asked her name by police, Kate responded “Nothing.” Hours passed, and at 12:55 am on September 30, Kate, now sober, told her jailers that her name was Mary Ann Kelly of 6 Fashion Street, and was released. At one in the morning Kate leaves the police station by a route which would take her home by way of Mitre Square.

Shortly after one am, the body of Long Liz was discovered in Dutfield’s Yard, off Berner Street. An artery in her neck had been severed. About fifteen minutes later, Kate Eddowes’ body was discovered nearby. Her throat had been cut and her abdomen ripped open, an ear severed, her uterus and left kidney removed, her intestines pulled free and draped across her left shoulder. A piece of graffiti, chalked onto a wall near where a bloodied piece of Eddowes’ apron was found read “The Juwes are not the men who will be blamed for nothing,” sparking myriad conspiracy theories.

The next day a mob took to Whitechapel’s streets, demanding that police bring the killer to justice. On October 1, a letter signed “Jack the Ripper” would arrive at the Central News Agency, taunting the police and revealing details that had not been released to the press. The letter read, in part, “you’ll hear about Saucy Jacky’s work tomorrow double event this time number one squealed a bit couldn’t finish straight off. ha not the time to get ears for police.” A couple weeks later, on October 16, president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Commitee George Lusk would receive a small cardboard box in the mail. Inside was a human kidney preserved in wine and a letter reading (in full):

From hell.
Mr Lusk,
Sor
I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

signed
Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

This post is brought to you by Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology of seventeen stories and two poems examining the bloody legacy of the most famous serial murderer of all time. Ask for Tales of Jack the Ripper by name at a bookseller near you, or order the Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack from Word Horde.

Tales of Jack the Ripper: Reviews Round-up

Tales of Jack the Ripper has been pulling in some outstanding reviews. Not bad for a book that’s only officially been out for less than two weeks. Here are just a few of the reviews…

JTRShelf

FEARnet.com‘s Blu Gilliand begins his review by asking the question, “is it okay to base a piece of entertainment on a real-life serial killer?” To find an answer, Blu takes an in-depth look at the anthology’s stories by Orrin Grey, Alan M. Clark & Gary A. Braunbeck, Joe R. Lansdale, Patrick Tumblety, and Walter Greatshell, then concludes, “What Lockhart has done with this anthology is to show that the Jack the Ripper story has grown far beyond who- or whatever murdered those women all those years ago. It’s become a myth, grounded in fact, and the reason it continues to hold power over us today is because we still don’t understand what happened, or why, and we likely never will. Stories like that are the stories that continue to frighten us, and until we can banish those shadows forever, there will always be writers wrestling with them on the printed page. Tales of Jack the Ripper manages to walk that fine line between entertainment and exploitation with real finesse. It’s a gripping group of stories about one of our most enduring mysteries, and well worth your time.” Read the full review at FEARnet.com.

At first concerned that he may not know enough about Jack to fully appreciate the anthology, SR Jones of Martian Migraine Press examines closely the tales by Ennis Drake, Pete Rawlik, Stanley C. Sargent, Ramsey Campbell, T.E. Grau, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Laird Barron, E. Catherine Tobler, Joe R. Lansdale, and Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. Admittedly thrown off by some of the anthology’s more experimental pieces, Jones awards Jack a five-star review, saying, “Editor Ross Lockhart (Book of Cthulhu and Book of Cthulhu 2, Chick Bassist) has done a stand-out job with Tales of Jack the Ripper. This one’s going out to certain names on my Christmas list, that’s for sure. You know the ones. With their ‘funny little games’. Recommended.” Read the full review at Martian Migraine Press.

Shock Totem‘s Mason Ian Bundschuh writes “There is a definite ‘weird tale’ edge to many of the stories (and poems) in the anthology, which in this reader’s opinion is a GREAT thing. It might even be expected from Lockhart, who also brought you The Book of Cthulhu and its follow-up, The Book of Cthulhu 2. This doesn’t mean you can pigeonhole Tales of Jack the Ripper.” Bundschuh singles out stories by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ramsey Campbell, and Mercedes M. Yardley for their chilling excellence, concluding, “you need to get up off your lazy duff and buy this collection.” Read the full review at Shock Totem.

The Arkham Digest‘s Justin Steele ponders our societal fascination with serial killers and the Ripper’s legacy, finding insight in Orrin Grey’s tale “Ripperology.” Other stories considered and ruminated upon under Steele’s eye include those by Ramsey Campbell, Alan M. Clark & Gary A. Braunbeck, Joe R. Lansdale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ennis Drake, T.E. Grau, Ed Kurtz, Edward Morris, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Pete Rawlik, Stanley C. Sargent, Mercedes M. Yardley, and Laird Barron. Steele concludes, “Tales of Jack the Ripper marks a strong debut for Word Horde. Lockhart, in usual fashion, has managed to put together a strong, multifaceted anthology that explores the Ripper legend at length. If this book is indicative of what’s to be expected from his new press, than readers have much to look forward to.” Read the full review at The Arkham Digest.

Editor Ross E. Lockhart

The Arkham Digest have also just featured Steele’s interview with Tales of Jack the Ripper editor and Word Horde publisher/editor-in-chief Ross E. Lockhart. This interview includes not only insights into Lockhart’s aesthetic and goals in putting together Tales of Jack the Ripper, but a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Word Horde’s origins and future. Check out the full interview at The Arkham Digest.

This post is brought to you by Tales of Jack the Ripper, an anthology of seventeen stories and two poems examining the bloody legacy of the most famous serial murderer of all time. Ask for Tales of Jack the Ripper by name at a bookseller near you, or order the Saucy Jack Deluxe Pack from Word Horde.