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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

Brutality, Motherhood, and Art: Nightbitch Review



“In the distance, she heard her husband in the backyard call for her , but she was not that woman anymore, that mother and wife. She was Nightbitch, and she was fucking amazing. It seemed she had been waiting for this for a very, very long time.” -pg 89, Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

Nightbitch is the debut novel of Rachel Yoder about a stay-at-home mother coming to terms with the loneliness and brutality of motherhood. The main character, only referred to as The Mother, begins to undergo a frightening change as she sinks deeper into a depressive state. She transforms into Nightbitch, an animalistic creature full of anger, bloodlust, and freedom. The Mother must utilize the help of a strange book and a group of multi-level marketing mommies to harness her newfound strength before she loses herself or her family.

The novel is a stunning commentary on the everyday violence of motherhood centered within the context of werewolf and mystical woman mythos. The Mother spends much of the book contemplating her future and the abandonment of her dreams. Specifically, she grapples with the loss of her ability to create art, her longtime passion. On a larger scale, Nightbitch examines how many women are asked to stop being individuals after having children and only become mothers–existing only in the presence of their child. The message is clear, poignant, dark, and at times, hilarious. The prose and structure of the book are abnormal, however, it works with the overall messaging and plot. 

As far as negatives go, Nightbitch was pretty ambiguous. This was by design, and created an aura of magical mysticism around many of the characters and events. The Mother is the definition of an unreliable narrator. However, towards the end of the book, I would have liked a little more clarity in what certain characters knew. 

Nightbitch is a must read for any parent. As a non-parent, I highly recommend it for those interested in feminist horror or more avant-garde approaches to horror narratives. Those who don’t like books with heavy introspection or ambiguous storytelling may enjoy something else, however I still think it is an interesting read nonetheless. 

4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

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Book Reviews

Gothic, Ghosts, and Tlachiqueros: The Hacienda Review



“Dread washed over me. Had she been sitting there, watching me sleep, the whole night? Her skin gleamed like candle wax in the light; then she grinned and whatever color her eyes had been before, now they turned red. In an instant, her skin transformed, dried and desiccated into leather, and her teeth grew long and needle sharp.” -pg 214, The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

The Hacienda is a gothic horror novel by Isabel Cañas set in the wake of Mexico’s War for Independence. The debut novel by Cañas, it delivers a classic haunted house tale with a twist of Mexican high society. Recently made homeless by the execution of her father, Beatriz marries Don Solórzano to escape her cruel treatment by her relatives. However, once she joins him on his estate, she finds that the promise of a new life holds dark secrets and darker spirits. She enlists the help of a priest, Andrés, to uncover both. Together, they find the home has more dangers than they bargained for. And more threats both supernatural and far too material await every corner.

I adored The Hacienda from start to finish. Cañas’s prose was accessible but full of deep imagery. While told from the perspective of both Beatriz and Andrés, neither outweighed the other. The perspectives were interesting and the transition between the two was well executed throughout the novel. I usually don’t seek out romantic books, but I loved the romantic and sexual tension between the two main characters. Specifically since the romantic tension developed within both perspectives, the relationship’s “will-they-won’t-they” felt both plausible and full of stakes. And of course, The Hacienda was spooky! I loved the way the spirits manifested and the impact that had on the characters.

My only minor criticisms would be the resolution was fairly quick and mostly offscreen. Though maybe I’m just saying that because I wanted to keep reading, even after the book ended! I also found myself slightly annoyed at the characters for not picking up on some of the more obvious clues to what had happened in the house. 

A thoroughly enjoyable gothic (and dare I say, romantic) novel that kept me on the edge of my seat, I highly recommend The Hacienda. If you enjoy haunted house tales, you will enjoy this book. 

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Preorder Isabel Cañas’s new book Vampires of El Norte now!

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Book Reviews

“The Family Game” Glimpses Into The 1%



Are their traditions innocent or are they darker than they seem?

The Plot

Harry, short for Harriet, is a British writer gaining popularity after the publishing of her first novel. She meets Edward, a member of the widely known Holbeck family, and the two strike up a relationship. The Holbecks are high powered executives, running family businesses that bring in massive amounts of wealth. When Harry learns she is pregnant, the couple decide that it is finally time for her to meet the family.

During her first meeting with the family, Edward’s father, Robert gives Harry a vintage tape that he says holds a story that he’d like her to listen to. As Harry listens to the tape, she begins to believe that the Holbecks have done some very bad things.

As she continues visiting the family, their strange traditions are revealed to her. The games that they play traditionally involve darkness and fear. Can Harriet find out the truth about the mysterious Holbecks?


The Verdict

Catherine Steadman outdoes herself in The Family Game. She creates such a mysterious family in the Holbecks and their dynamics are intriguing. Readers will follow Harry as she tries to determine the truth about Robert’s misdoings. The cast of family characters are a wonder to watch. We’ve all always wondered what the extremely rich live like. Harry shows us their virtues and misdeeds.

The novel really remarks on the power of wealth and the wealthy’s ability to commit audacious crimes and pay for them to go away. Robert, as the patriarch of the family, is a prime example of such. As Harry begins to discover that Robert may be confessing to a series of murders on the cassette tape, she must decide how to proceed. She knows that the power that Robert holds cannot be taken lightly.

As Harry navigates potentially deadly Christmas traditions, she races for the truth, unable to forget once she finds it. Harry is such a compelling character – a developing mother willing to risk life and limb to protect her unborn baby. Harry is brave and unapologetic and is a true testament on how to write a female main character.

It was very difficult for me to decide between 4 and 5 Cthulus, so we will call it 4.5. This is a novel I highly recommend thriller lovers check out. 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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