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There’s a number of famous paranormal investigator duos with some truly great chemistry and banter – Mulder and Scully, Sam and Dean, Ryan and Shane, Geralt and Jaskier – and now Ronan and Byron from Improbable Press’ latest novel by author G.V. Pearce, Strangest Day So Far.

What’s it all about?

“A close encounter with a surface-to-air-missile is going to ruin anyone’s day.”

And so begins the story of one of the strangest days in Major Ronan Cox’s life, though it’s hardly going to be his last.  When Ronan’s helicopter is shot down in a war zone over Iraq, he certainly doesn’t expect to survive, let alone land on a jar containing a naked, winged man made of flames that offers him three wishes.  A wish to survive is logical enough when you’re already dying. A wish for the survival of everyone else is a no-brainer too. His last wish though – “I don’t want to be broken anymore,” – that one’s going to be the game changer.

Half a world away, Ronan’s going to awaken in a hospital in Washington D.C. next to a man who will irrevocably alter the course of his life.  Ronan’s new roommate, one Byron Slain, aka Benjamin Williams- who has the ink of a Hell’s Angel, the humor of a 12 year-old boy, the psychic powers of an X-man and the body of an Adonis- is plagued by his own supernatural being problems.  Despite an immediate almost epoch-making connection between the two men, the werewolf outside their hospital room door isn’t going to give them much time to question how they ended up together.


These two characters, thrown together by fate, and little bit of mystical intervention, will find their opposites attracting in more ways than one; Ronan with his nebulous otherworldly past experiences and Byron with his powers and habit of attracting both supernatural beings and metaphysical trouble.

Aren’t you forgetting something?

Usually this is the part in the review where I go, this book has some great LGBTQ representation but it’s definitely not a love story.  This time though I’m happy to inform you this book absolutely IS a love story! Along with being a horror, comedy, and urban fantasy.  Ronan and Byron aren’t just partners in supernatural shenanigans, they’re also lovers who get to try to work through all those new relationship jitters while helping cryptids sort out their problems and maybe thwarting a few evil spirits along the way.

Imagine two kids from different horror movies who managed to grow into functioning adults but never had a chance to deal with their childhood traumas.  They can relate, sympathize, and most importantly, believe each other’s struggles. Which really makes them perfect together.

Bloody hearts for everybody!

A fireside chat with author G.V. Pearce 

Pictured here – Byron’s summer house.

Your first book, Ghost Story, a modern day Sherlockian mystery, also had elements of the supernatural. What is it about the supernatural that you enjoy writing so much?

I enjoy looking at the world through different lenses, and the supernatural provides a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. It’s fun to consider the mundane through the eyes of something amazing, things often turn out to not be so ordinary after all. I have to admit that the world building possibilities are another major draw for me as a writer, there are a lot of preconceived ‘rules’ about ghosts, werewolves, vampires, etc but there’s no spook police to make me stick to those rules. What if everything you thought you knew about the supernatural was wrong? Or just good advertising? 

I feel like there’s an overlying theme of healing in your book: not just for Ronan and Byron, but for the supernatural entities they met as well.  Is that something that’s going to continue to be important in future Eldritch Roads stories? 


Absolutely. There are many kinds of healing, and not all of them are about going back to exactly how things used to be. Healing is just another form of growth. So much media around the supernatural is about how terrible it is – vampirism is a curse, ghosts have unfinished business, monsters only do harmful things. Why? Not all humans are awful, not all dogs bite – so why should every ghost be stuck moping around for a hundred years?  

What kind of books, music, or movies gave you inspiration for your book?

Where to start? One of my first loves as a child was the old black&white Addams Family and Munsters shows (I’m not that old, they were on TV a lot). They were strange, but they didn’t care because they loved each other and they knew that being strange was fun.

As an adult there has been so many influences, but I have keep going back to artists who can have fun with the unusual – directors like John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro whose love of their genres comes through in every frame; or writers like Terry Pratchett and Tad Williams who aren’t afraid to twist tropes into new forms. 

For Strangest Day So Far there was a very eclectic soundtrack. If you’d like to get an idea of how the book feels in my head, check out ‘Black No. One’ by Type O Negative, ‘Ghost Story’ by Charming Disaster, and ‘The Logical Song’ by Supertramp. 


Without giving too much away, where are the boys going to be headed next?

Like myself, Ronan grew up in the UK & Ireland, and although he’s travelled with the army, it can be hard to translate the sheer size of the United States into the sort of distances we’re used to on our little islands. Which is to say that I think he’s going to be underestimating how long they’ll be on the road for, or where they’ll end up along the way. Byron will make sure they stop for waffles regularly though. Perhaps at that diner that just appeared on the road up ahead. Was that always there?

Do you have any tips for other horror writers that are looking to get their own original works published?

Have fun with your stories. Experiment to find what you really love so that telling your stories can be a joy. Even if they’re terrifying stories. Share your stories with others so you can find your people, your audience who will love the specific stories you have to tell. There are a lot of routes to publishing, but there are even more ways to get your stories to readers. Having an audience behind you can open doors you never knew existed.

Final Girl Thoughts

A great big thank you to both Improbable Press and author G.V. Pearce for allowing me to enjoy such a fantastic book a little early.  My only complaint, I have to wait for the next book to find out even more about these captivating and hilarious characters!  Strangest Day So Far (An Eldritch Roads Novel) is available now for pre-order on the Improbable Press website and available everywhere starting January 31, 2021.  Five out of five Cathulu. I can not wait to read the next one.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Book Reviews

The Roots Grow Into The Earth



Launching next month The Roots Grow Into The Earth was a delightful read. It’s the premiere novel by horror author Bert S. Lechner. And after reading it, I hope it’s not his last. 

The stories

The Roots Grow Into The Earth is a collection of nine short stories and novellas, including three previously published stories. The tales are all part of one larger story. A story of darkness, and madness. A story of a creature released that should never have been. That begins then to sink its roots into the Earth and infect innocent people far and wide. 

One such example is The Wall. This is the story of a man named Sam and his wife Nat. They have a lovely normal life full of morning coffee and weekend pizza nights. Until Sam notices something on the wall of their home. While it appears to be nothing, a vision starts taking shape. With Sam’s help.


Another story that really moved me was The Orchestra. 

Let me first stay that this was not a particularly fleshed out story. We do not see The Conductor before she’s infected. We don’t see the fallout. No real picture is painted for us, it’s more like a sketch. 

In the case of The Orchestra, though, this is exactly the right choice. We don’t need to see the whole picture in gruesome technicolor to get what’s happening in this ill fated concert. We understand perhaps too well what’s occurring. And I thought that was brilliant. 

What worked

I just want to start by gushing over this storytelling style. Short story collections always have a soft spot in my heart. In the case of The Roots Grow, all of the short stories come together to create one truly dark tale. 


I also loved the clear Lovecraftian influence of this story. It’s clear that this was something that the author was going for, from interviews and social media comments. But I could tell before I saw any of that. 

The story in The Roots Grow is one of madness. But more than that, it’s one of madness and destruction that the victims could not have avoided. There was no being clever enough to avoid these dark roots that touched them. There was no being strong enough, or selfless and good enough. If the roots reach out and touch you, you’ve already lost. 

Finally, I want to extend some praise to my favorite character, Joanne. She is dealing with her own madness, her own demons. But she still finds kindness and strength to help others when they need her. Even against some truly dark odds. 

What didn’t work

All that being said, I will say that some of the short stories felt incomplete. One prime example is What Lies In The Icy Soil. This appears to be nothing more than the tale of a person possessed by the need to dig. He digs up something that for sure shouldn’t be dug up. But there’s nothing more to the story. We don’t know who this person is. We don’t know who might be missing him, or what might come of this thing he dug up. As a part of the whole story, it fits. But if we are to consider every tale by its own merit, this one doesn’t have much of anything going for it. 


That being said, this is one story in a round ten that wasn’t much of anything. The rest of the stories were wonderfully eerie, both on their own and as part of a whole. 

The Roots Grow Into The Earth comes out on October 7th. And I think it would be a perfect addition to your Halloween reading list.  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Strange Eons Review: Cornfields and Eldritch Gods



“The elder gods arrived in the sky in early September, like an unholy aurora borealis stretching across a midnight sky. Their vastness blocked the sun, an unending eclipse, a liminal state, a breath that was inhaled but never let go. Lovecraft got it wrong, I think. It was not the sight of the gods that made humanity go mad. It’s what they destroy that hurts us. Somehow, these elder gods, these aliens, had killed time itself.” – Strange Eons by Keria Perkins

Strange Eons is a short story published in Bourbon Penn Issue 30 by Keira Perkins. Perkins, is an Indiana writer of short fiction and poetry that has also appeared in Non-Stalgia and The Heartland Society of Women Writers. Bourbon Penn is an online and print journal that specializes in speculative, odd, and surreal fiction. All issues are available to be read online for free or can be purchased as a paperback from

Strange Eons follows a young woman struggling to adjust to a life post-Lovecraftian apocalypse. This is a cozy story, the majority of which takes place as the woman lays in a cornfield and hides from well-meaning but unhelpful family members. While cozy, the piece is ominous, tackling the terror associated with pregnancy. Specifically, the terror that comes from living in a Red State and finding a significant lack of resources or options.

As a Hoosier capable of becoming pregnant, Strange Eons resonated with me. The imagery of cornfields and cicadas were very Indiana. However, so is a young woman covertly asking her sister to drive her to Illinois to receive healthcare. I loved how Perkins merged cosmic horror with the horror of receiving reproductive healthcare in Indiana but also the United States as a whole. All that was missing were predatory billboards advertising fake pregnancy centers! Talk about maddening and terrifying! Throughout the short story, the most horrific part of the young woman’s ordeal is not the eldritch gods appearing but her rather typical, hellish circumstances.

Aside from content, Strange Eons is well-written. It keeps you guessing where the story will go next. If you like a non-tropey cozy take on Lovecraftian horror or have struggled to receive reproductive healthcare, I highly recommend checking out Strange Eons! You can also check out the other stories in this issue of Bourbon Penn here. Or you can see what else Perkins is up to on her website.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Walking Practice – A Book Review



Walking Practice is Dolki Min’s debut novella about an alien named Mumu, who must learn what it is like to perform as a human. Victoria Caudle, the translator of this unique Korean story, experiments with the English language to properly convey Min’s style. This, complimented with Min’s various drawings of the story’s protagonist, creates a poetic, outlandish reading experience that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.

Walking Practice: Never Enough Practice

After the destruction of their home planet, Mumu crash lands their spaceship in a desolate forest far from human life. They survive by having sex with humans then, with graphic violence and great diligence, eats them.

Mumu has a strict schedule and regimen for this process; they must shapeshift their body to the specific gender and personality their date is attracted to. While this process of gender conformation is a difficult one (as the alien will often tell us), it is nowhere near as hard as the ridiculous habit humans have of walking on two legs. This is one of the many obstacles Mumu must struggle with while playing the game of life.

Dolki Min with the Korean Herald
Dolki Min in an interview with the Korean Herald

Mumu is a rich, self-aware character who seems to trust only one human: the reader. They address us directly, asking questions and indulging us with their theories on what it is to live on Earth. They are knowledgeable about the complexities of personhood, and aware that a person’s gender and sex are complex and not one-size-fits-all. After years of experience in multiple genders, the alien theorizes that humans are treated as people as soon as they have a sex and gender assigned to them. However, depending on the sex and gender, that treatment is never equal.

While Mumu performs various genders and personalities to match the sexual desires of their future prey, they do not identify as human. At the end of the day, they go home, stock their human leftovers in the fridge and freezer, and unleash their natural form. Their only priority is their own survival and pleasure (which, arguably, is their most humanlike quality).


“I’ve learned that my face arouses homicidal impulses”

Walking Practice uses horror, science fiction and satire to create a passionate queer narrative. While Mumu is a serial killer who prides themselves on their murderous skills, it is hard not to feel for them when karma strikes back and they are hurt. The poetic elements of Min’s story and Caudle’s translation support our empathy for such a vicious character

Min’s artwork, depicting Mumu’s alien forms, complements Caudle’s stylistic choices. There is enjambment in several paragraphs, (which can be interpreted as the alien either having a flair for the dramatic or genuinely pausing to find the right words), thus enhancing their internal dialogue. There are moments when the Mumu’s stream of consciousness confuses reality from imagination. They will also lose all learned human skills and revert to their mother tongue; words either run together or are spaced apart, and sometimes there are unintelligible symbols. At the surface, it looks like a linguistic nightmare. Once immersed in Mumu’s narrative, it is a work of art.

The Verdict

Walking Practice‘s balance of ambiguity and transparency keeps the reader close while also allowing an array of interpretations. It is an eccentric piece of fiction that plays with the literary status quo, resulting in an entertaining affair with an unforgettable alien. 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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