Hello horror fans! It’s been awhile since I’ve run a giveaway on the blog, and I am coming back to the giveaway game with a very fun prize package! Omnium Gatherum is an indie press that has a focus on horror and dark fantasy stories, and they were kind enough to send me a few titles that have lots of scares and bumps in the night! And not only that, I want to share them with a lucky winner! So let’s talk about the titles for the Omnium Gatherum Prize Package!
Book: “Bergdorf & Associates” by Thomas C. Mavroudis
After a suicide attempt, Abe has been working for Bergdorf & Associates, beings that are otherworldly and similar to djinn. They ask him to retrieve items or to complete tasks, and he doesn’t pry too deeply. But when a fellow contractor named Rayne manipulates him, takes his quarry, and puts him in serious danger, Abe has to find a way to complete his task. So he turns to the help of his twin nieces who seem to be telepathic, and a friend named Cruz who knows a little magic of his own. This novella is unique and strange, but Abe is a fun character to follow and his nieces are both adorable and a little creepy! Also, while Rayne is absolutely an antagonist, she has a very fun personality and at one point wears a delightfully geeky geology shirt that I won’t spoil here. It’s a quick and fun read, and one that dark fantasy fans will probably enjoy.
Book: “Entangled Soul & Other Stories” by Gene O’Neill and Chris Marrs
This is a bit of a hybrid collection, in that it features short stories from authors Gene O’Neill and Chris Marrs, as well as a novella collaboration that is the title piece. My favorite story by O’Neill is “Surfing Is My Life: Fear and Loathing on the Northern California Coast”. A reporter tags along with a surfer girl who is planning on entering a competition, and hopes to write a gonzo column about it for Rolling Stone. But while he has seen a lot of strange things during his writing, nothing can prepare him for what he encounters on this assignment. As someone who LOVES Hunter S. Thompson, this homage to one of my favorite writers is both well done, as well as unsettling in a way that sneaks up on you. For Marrs, I enjoyed “Paper and Pencil Skin and Ink”. A woman in an abusive relationship meets a mysterious man with strange tattoos all over his body, and she realizes that the tattoos aren’t just normal tattoos. The dark fantasy elements with ties to historical mysteries really worked for me, and I thought that it was properly mysterious and strange. And their collaborative novella, “Entangled Soul”, tells the story of a down and out boxer and an agoraphobic woman who are separated in many ways, but realize that their souls and consciousnesses are overlapping. They blend their voices together very well to tell this story, which feels part Sci Fi ‘what if’, and possession tale. I got a good feel for both their styles in this collection, and the collaboration is a nice way to finish it off.
Book: “Night Terrors & Other Tales” by Lisa Morton
This collection of short stories by Stoker Award Winner Lisa Morton span decades in her career, and were personally picked by her. From monsters to medical horror settings to magic, there is a little something for every horror fan. The two stories that really stood out for me were “Sparks Fly Upward”, a dystopian tale of a woman living in a Colony with limited resources. When she finds herself pregnant, she knows that she has to have an abortion, as a second child would tax the community. But when she and a party venture out to the abandoned clinic, zombies of former anti-abortion protestors still roam the property. This story is both a cathartic tale about the lingering obsession of the anti-abortion crowd, but also a bittersweet story about a person who may want another child at some point, but at the moment literally cannot afford to have one. I really, really loved it. The second story that grabbed my attention was “Black Mill Cove”, the tale of a man who goes searching for abalone and other creatures in tide pools, leaving his wife behind. But then he finds a human arm…. And realizes that this isn’t just a hunting ground, but a dumping ground as well, for a different kind of hunter. The tension in this one really builds, and I will definitely say that the end had me saying ‘oh SHIT’. I will say that there are definitely some stories in here that need content warnings, specifically “Poppi’s Monster”, which has depictions of child sexual abuse.
And here is a chance for you to get your hands on these fun books from Omnium Gatherum! It may be a little ways before Halloween season, but these books will give you a lot of spooky material in the mean time! Thanks again to Omnium Gatherum for sending these books my way!
The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents and ends on July 26, 2021.