Archive for the ‘ Hell’s Hollow ’ Category

Faithful Readers About to Have Straightjacket Memories!

Straightjacket Memories cover_with lettering

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the new cover art by Natasha Alterici for Michael West’s new short-story collection, Straightjacket Memories!

Featuring 10 tales of horror, including both previously published stories and brand new ones,Straightjacket Memories will be released Friday in eBook format with a print version in trade paperback to follow one week after. Straightjacket Memories is Michael’s second collection of short fiction, following the critically-acclaimed Skull Full of Kisses.

On the new release, Michael said, “I am just so crazy about this collection! Gathered from various magazines, anthologies, and eBooks–some in print for the very first time–these stories represent some of my best work to date. I’m very happy with the way in which Seventh Star Press has put them all together, and excited that my faithful readers will be able to share in more of my nightmares and slightly twisted imaginings!”

Straightjacket Memories includes the following stories:

“Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”

“Flowers in Winter”

“The Grove”


“In Vino Veritas” (Written with Tim Waggoner)

“For the River is Wide”

“Masako’s Tale”

“Hell’s Hollow”

“Inner Goddess”

“Unknown Caller”

The new release continues a banner year for Michael that saw his novel Cinema of Shadowsbecome a national bestseller in horror on and his Legacy of the Gods series take the next step with the recently-released Hades Disciples. For further information on Michael and his work, please visit his site at

Synopsis of Straightjacket Memories:

There is a fine line between love and madness, between insanity and pure evil.

This is Michael West at his terrifying best! From heart-stopping horror to the strangest of fantasies — these are tales from the darkest regions of his twisted imagination! All the usual tropes are here — vampires and shapeshifters, ghosts and witches, gods and monsters, mummies and zombies — but none of them are exactly what you would expect…

A dream vacation takes a nightmarish turn when a couple finds they did not come home alone…

A man agrees to a meeting with his estranged wife and learns the horrible, obscene truth of the old saying: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…”

An American platoon, cut off from the outside world, discovers an unbelievable enemy they were never trained to fight…

And a man struggling with depression and grief receives text messages from beyond the grave, messages that push him to the edge of sanity…and beyond…

Ten more reasons to say your prayers.

Ten more reasons to check beneath your bed.

Ten more reasons why you may never want to close your eyes again.

Straightjacket Memories Author Photo


About Michael West:

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, The Wide Game, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

Writing keeps him sane.

Blood Sucking Geek Finds “Hell’s Hollow” and Loves It!


Blood Sucking Geek just posted a review of the Appalachian Undead anthology from APEX Books.  Here is a bit of what they had to say:

Appalachian Undead, edited by Eugene Johnson and Jason Sizemore, is a collection of twenty-one short stories written by twenty-two authors.  The anthology is themed on an Appalachia where the dead rise and roam like festering tooley fog among the hills and hollers, and the stories shamble off in different, entertaining directions.”

And the Geek especially liked my story, “Hell’s Hollow:”

“‘Hell’s Hollow,’ by Michael West. ANOTHER RESOUNDING YES!! I’m not even going to give you a hint as to what this one’s about. It’s a great story with a terrific twist. Absolutely LOVE this one. Probably my fave fave.”

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Read the full review here!

And get your very own copy of Appalachian Undead here!


Hell’s Hollow for Mountain Dead!


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From APEX Publications:
Cover artwork by Cortney Skinner.

Apex Publications is pleased to announce that the MOUNTAIN DEAD zombie anthology will be arriving soon!

Almost heaven… or is it?

The mountains’ enduring beauty holds something dark. Something dreadful. Something hungry for our flesh, our brains. Something dead yet not quite dead, driven by magic as old as the coal seams and the hills.

Come see the dark side of the mountains where the undead walk. Appalachia stands against an ever-hungry, never-tiring army created by the region’s own mysteries and lore. Mountain Dead collects intriguing zombie tales by some of the best names in horror, including John Skipp, Jonathan Maberry, Geoffrey Girard, Gary A. Braunbeck, Tim Lebbon, Elizabeth Massie, Lucy A. Snyder, Bev Vincent, Tim Waggoner, and many more.

Introduction by S.G. Browne author of Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament
Afterword by Rebekah McKendry of Fangoria Magazine
Edited by Hugo and Stoker Award-nominated editor Jason Sizemore

MOUNTAIN DEAD contains most of the lost stories from the Appalachian Undead project from last winter, along with four new exciting works of zombie horror. This has been a bit of a secret project as I assembled all the pieces together to make it happen. I am ecstatic about bringing these dead stories back to life!

This one comes out in June. Keep your eyes open for the Early 50 order announcement!

Table of Contents:Introduction — SG Browne
When Granny Comes Marchin’ Home Again — Elizabeth Massie
Sitting Up with the Dead — Bev Vincent
Company’s Coming — Ronald Kelly
Repent, Jessie Shimmer! — Lucy A. Snyder
Black Friday — Karin Fuller
Calling Dead — Jonathan Maberry
Times is Tough in Musky Holler — John Skipp & Dori Miller
Reckless — Eliot Parker
The Girl and the Guardian — Simon McCaffery
On Stagger — G. Cameron Fuller
Long Days to Come (New version) — K. Allen Wood
Hide and Seek — Tim Waggoner
Sleeper — Tim Lebbon
We Take Care of Our Own — John Everson
Miranda Jo’s Girl — Steve Rasnic Tem
Being in the Shadow — Maurice Broaddus
Almost Heaven — Michael Paul Gonzalez
Twilight at the Zombie Game Preserve — S. Clayton Rhodes
Hell’s Hollow — Michael West
Brother Hollis Gives His Final Sermon from a Makeshift Pulpit in the Remains of a Smokehouse That Now Serves as His Church — Gary A. Braunbeck
Let Me Come In — Lesley Conner
Deep Underground — Sara M. Harvey
Zombies in a Church — Geoffrey Girard
Afterword — Rebekah McKendry

Note: This is not the official, final table of contents and order of stories.

Turning Another Page

Well, here we are again.  Another year over, and a new one just begun.  And what a year it was; filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows, with professional triumphs and personal tragedies, and the hope that 2013 will bring something better.  But before we look ahead to what the new year has in store, let’s do a bit of review…


The year started off with the release of my short story “For the River Is Wide and the Gods Are Hungry” as a digital download for $0.99 through Seventh Star Press.  This was the first time that I had ever released my work in a purely digital format.  The publisher also re-released my award-winning short story “Goodnight” in the same fashion.


March saw the release of Poseidon’s Children, the first novel in my epic Urban Fantasy series The Legacy of the Gods.  The project introduced me to a world-wide audience, and to date, it has been sold in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain!  This was a project that I had been kicking around for many years, so it was incredibly gratifying to see so many enjoying my story and falling in love with this cast of characters who had been so close to me for so long.


Then, during my publisher’s Summer Open House, my novel Cinema of Shadows became the most downloaded Horror novel on!

Growing up, I can’t tell you how many times I dreamed of having a #1 book, and it was so surreal and exciting to see it actually happen.

With Jamie Lee Curtis

I traveled a lot this year in support of my novels – appearing at conventions, book stores, and book fairs in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia.  It was great to meet my faithful readers face-to-face, to introduce my work to new people, and to get to know a lot of stars from film and television, celebrities I have been watching  and idolizing for most of my life, including Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Army of Darkness) and the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night).

But 2012 still wasn’t done with me yet.


October saw the release of my third Harmony, Indiana novel, Spook House.  A mash-up that featured the first meeting of Robby Miller (The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows) and Earl L. Preston Jr. (Poseidon’s Children), the novel proved to be my best reviewed work to date,  even making its way onto some year-end lists as one or the year’s best reads!  The novel also sent me on my first virtual book tour.  For thirty days, I visited various sites from around the world, posting guest blogs, doing interviews, and just generally blown away by the overwhelming response.


And the year ended as it began, with more short story news.

“Trolling,” my tale set during the events of Poseidon’s Children, saw publication again as part of the Beast Within 3: Ocean’s Unleashed anthology.  And a new story,, my first real zombie tale, “Hell’s Hollow,” was part of the very limited Appalachian Undead anthology.  Hopefully you got your copy of that one before it went out of print!

With Sara Birthday

While 2012 was the best year of my career, it was a year of personal struggles and tragedies.

Sara Larson, one of my closest and dearest friends, and a founding member of the Indiana Horror Writers, lost her long and painful battle with breast cancer.  The cancer had moved into her bones and her brain, and the year began with her in hospice care.  I visited her often, and she fought hard to stay with us, but on March 17th, she left this world behind and left a huge hole in a lot of people’s hearts.

Then, in September, cancer struck even closer to home when my wife Stephanie got the diagnosis shortly after our 20th wedding anniversary.  Thankfully, it was a slow-growing tumor that was confined to the bone in her arm.  Surgery replaced the infected bone with metal, and no chemo or radiation was needed.  As I type this, she is cancer free, but, because she can no longer physically perform the duties of her nursing job, a job she’s had as long as I’ve known her, she is also job free.  We are getting by, however, and I hope that the new year will bring good news.


Which brings us to 2013.

The new year will see the release of a special anthology, one that I’ve been editing off and on for over a year now; an anthology that will donate money to cancer research with each and every purchase.  This is, obviously, something that has a personal importance to me, and I am thrilled that it is finally coming together, and coming together so very well.  Look for an an official announcement on that one soon.  I hope we can do a lot of good with this one!


There will also be a new announcement in the Harmony, Indiana series in May, something faithful readers have been asking for for some time.  Sorry to be such a tease – there are a lot of moving parts to it, and some have yet to be set into motion – but trust me, it is something that will make a lot of people very happy, myself included.  *nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more*

Now, on to the stuff I can talk about in detail.


My short stories “The Grove” (Shroud Magazine #13) and “Unknown Caller” (Cadence in Decay) will be released during the next twelve months.  Stay tuned for exact release dates and more information as those dates draw near.


And last, but certainly not least, I will be working on the next two chapters in my Legacy of the Gods series, Hades’ Disciples and Zeus’ Warriors.  Look for the first of these two entries to be released before 2o13 ends, with the second coming out in early 2014.

CoS Author Pic

So thanks to you, all my faithful readers, for your kind words and encouragement over these past twelve months, and for your continued support in 2013 and beyond.   Happy New Year!  May the future be a bright one for us all!

Appalachian Undead Elevates Zombies to “Hellish New Levels!”

Fearnet has posted an excellent new review of Appalachian Undead, the anthology featuring my short tale “Hell’s Hollow.”  Here’s an excerpt:

“The fact is, it’s difficult to pinpoint a weakness anywhere in the anthology. Johnson has built the book with a mix of established names and newer talent, and the finished package does not come close to wearing out the welcome of its central idea – it does, in fact, leave the reader wanting even more. Appalachian Undead is an absolute blast to read, and should serve as the perfect antidote for those dreading the end of the Halloween season.”

Click here to order your copy of Appalachian Undead!

Appalachian Undead Finds “Hell’s Hollow”

As if the sound of dueling banjos wasn’t frightening enough, later this month, APEX Publications will unleash Appalachian Undead,  a new anthology dedicated to mountain folk who just won’t stay in their graves.   The amazing cover art was created by Cortney Skinner, and I am pleased to announce that my short story, “Hell’s Hollow,” is among these hair-raising hillbilly tales.    Here is the full Table of Contents:

Foreword by S.G. Browne (author of Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament)
When Granny Comes Marchin’ Home Again – Elizabeth Massie
Calling Death – Jonathan Maberry
Hide and Seek – Tim Waggoner
Twilight of the Zombie Game Preserve… – S. Clayton Rhodes
Being in Shadow – Maurice Broaddus
Sitting up with the Dead- Bev Vincent
The Girl and the Guardian – Simon McCaffery
Repent, Jessie Shimmer! -Lucy Snyder
Almost Heaven -Michael Paul Gonzalez
On Stagger – G. Cameron Fuller
We Take Care of Our Own – John Everson
Sleeper – Tim Lebbon
Reckless – Eliot Parker
Company’s Coming – Ronald Kelly
Black Friday – Karin Fuller
Spoiled – Paul Moore
Miranda Jo’s Girl – Steve Rasnic Tem
Times Is Tough in Musky Holler – John Skipp & Dori Miller
Hell’s Hollow – Michael West
Long Days to Come – K. Allen Wood
Brother Hollis Gives His Final Sermon from a Rickety Make-Shift Pulpit in the Remains of a Smokehouse that now Serves as His Church – Gary A. Braunbeck

Special afterword by Fangoria Magazine editor Rebekah McKendry

I am so honored and excited to be a part of this anthology, and I hope my faithful readers will check out all of these great tales!

Click here to order your copy today!