The best horror collections that deliver the most bang for the bite

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child; but my preferences were witches and haunted houses, rather than princesses and talking frogs. As I developed my own writing, I wanted to tell stories that were reflective of my world but with a dark twist. My first completed story was "Patchwork", about a woman emptying the marital home after the breakdown of her marriage. I went on to participate in several popular horror anthologies. I really enjoy the challenge of writing a great short story because you have to get the reader in a chokehold early and then deliver that gut punch sooner than later.


I wrote...

Book cover of Daymares

What is my book about?

Daymares is a collection of seven disturbing little tales of terror. In "Baby Mine", a woman faces her ‘morning-after’ following a lust-filled night with a brutish ex; A landlord rules his building with sharp precision in "1st of the Month"; "Junebug/The Flat Earth" tells the story of a kid who refuses to lie down and play nice with his stepmother; In "Ride", a cop with a secret meets his karma in the cornfields; A grieving widower mourns the loss of his better half in "Her Thing"s; A game of tag takes a frightening turn at the "Playground"; and "A Colder Kind of Hell" reveals a crafty defense lawyer so good at his job that all hell breaks loose.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Night Shift

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did I love this book?

Originally published in 1978, I was still a bit young to be devouring such dark and twisted tales but this one became my own blueprint for writing short stories.

This wasn't my first SK book, I had previously read his other novels like Salem's Lot and The Stand. But once I discovered Night Shift, it was like getting a different story each and every time I opened the book. 

There are no 'favorites' here because each one is sublime, but if I were forced to select 2-3 out of the 20, I'd go with "Gray Matter", "The Mangler", and "Sometimes They Come Back", mostly because these have quotes that I still see and use here and there, some 40 years later.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Night Shift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King’s first collection of short stories, originally published in 1978, showcases the darkest depths of his brilliant imagination and will "chill the cockles of many a heart" (Chicago Tribune). Night Shift is the inspiration for over a dozen acclaimed horror movies and television series, including Children of the Corn , Chapelwaite, and Lawnmower Man.

Here we see mutated rats gone bad (“Graveyard Shift”); a cataclysmic virus that threatens humanity (“Night Surf,” the basis for The Stand); a possessed, evil lawnmower (“The Lawnmower Man”); unsettling children from the heartland (“Children of the Corn”); a smoker who will try anything to…


Book cover of Sycorax's Daughters

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did I love this book?

This was an obvious pick. As a Black girl who grew up loving zombies but could never find girls who looked like me slaying and slashing through hordes of monsters – this book cover had me at ‘hello’. Inside is all of the magic you could ever dream in color. And the title is explained in the introduction: Sycorax was the deceased African sorceress referenced in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Demons, vamps, witches (oh my!), and more compiled into more than 500 pages of both stories and poetry. I was floored to discover so many more Black women writers of dark and speculative fiction! I can’t pick a favorite but ‘Kim’ by Nicole Sconiers always comes to mind first when I talk about this collection.

By Kinitra Brooks, Linda D. Addison, Susana Morris

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sycorax's Daughters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A 2018 Bram Stoker Award Finalist! Thought-provoking, powerful, and revealing, this anthology is composed of 28 dark stories and 14 poems written by African-American women writers. The tales of what scares, threatens, and shocks them will enlighten and entertain readers. The works delve into demons and shape-shifters from "How to Speak to the Bogeyman" and "Tree of the Forest Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight" to far future offerings such as "The Malady of Need". These pieces cover vampires, ghosts, and mermaids, as well as the unexpected price paid by women struggling for freedom and validation in the past.…


Book cover of The Savage B's: A Tribute to B-Horror

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did I love this book?

I’m a big fan of themed anthologies! Most horror anthologies I find are similar to Night Shift in that they are all random stories of dark fiction but with no recurring theme. It’s extra fun for the reader (and the writer) when all of the stories reverberate around a single topic or scenario. The Savage B’s: A Tribute to Horror is a proclamation of love for B movies. I remember the fun and splashy gore of movies like The Blob or Swamp Thing. You were horrified at the splatter of brains but also tickled by the sheer absurdity of the splatter of brains. From flesh-eating monsters to toxic spills, each of these stories is finely crafted by authors with their own B movie-style spin. 

By David O'Hanlon, Mya Lairis, Killian Crane , C. Courtney Joyner , Zame Hill , Bert Edens , Bret Bouriseau , Jay Wilburn , Dennis Freeman , Christopher Dowell

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Savage B's as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join 13 authors as they take you on a gory stroll down Memory Lane in this anthology inspired by B-Horror! Relive the good old days of picking up bad movies from your local video store. We've got killer dolls, killer sludge, killer firemen, killer amphibians. This book should come narrated by Joe Bob Briggs if we weren't too low budget to afford him. Buy yourself a copy, because this is one you'll want to rewind and enjoy again!


Book cover of Accursed: A Horror Anthology

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did I love this book?

In the tradition of one of my favorite television shows, Friday the 13th, this anthology brings alive the idea that objects really do carry the spirits of their journeys. This one ranks up there with my faves because it’s packed full of stories about haunted objects, everyday things that you just might have lying around your home. From dentures to typewriters to mixing bowls, every cursed item has a story to tell about its past and its future. I can’t pick a favorite here because there are so many great pieces and I was so impressed with how well the authors weaved their evil objects into “day in the life” settings and let the magic do its thing. 

By Jonathan Lambert, Lori Titus, Angelique Fawns , Michelle von Eschen , Mya Lairis , Jordan Kerns , Justin Guleserian , Patsy Pratt-Herzog , Jami Baumann , Jeannie Warner , Sophie Kearing

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Accursed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Accursed items. Some people believe in them, some people don’t. With a truly cursed item, belief doesn’t matter. It’s gonna get you anyway. You might survive. Or you might not. Maybe you'll be compelled to do things you never would without its influence. Maybe it helped you at the casino. Did you think that was free? There’s always a price to pay, and one you can’t afford. That little lucky charm in your pocket may be doing more damage than good. Sometimes it’s not even an item, it’s a person or a situation. Be careful what you pick up. Be…


Book cover of Monster Brawl!

Kenya Moss-Dyme Why did I love this book?

Did someone say monsters? As much as I love the stories about the dark sides of human souls, there is nothing quite better than actual monsters. And this anthology packs them in, I’m talking the literal stuff of nightmares! Creatures designed by writers who obviously love monsters as much as the readers; demons with frames and features that only a mother could love. This parade of monsters was a lot to absorb in one sitting, which is the whole point of my list – collections that give you so much to dig into that it leaves you breathless. Short of being an all-out gore-fest, Monster Brawl! is so well curated that you might be surprised to find that you care about a few of them. 

By Ben Howels, Joshua Skye, Patrick Loveland , Mya Lairis , Hunter Shea , Scott Harper , Jennifer L. Barnes , T. R. North , Paul M. Feeney , Sergio C. Pereira

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monster Brawl! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author's imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It's time to get your…


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Ferry to Cooperation Island

By Carol Newman Cronin,

Book cover of Ferry to Cooperation Island

Carol Newman Cronin Author Of Ferry to Cooperation Island

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Sailor Olympian Editor New Englander Rum drinker

Carol's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

James Malloy is a ferry captain--or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by a "girl" named Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island’s daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a plan for a private golf course on wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, James is determined to stop such "improvements." But despite Brenton's nickname as "Cooperation Island," he's used to working solo. To keep historic trees and ocean shoreline open to all, he'll have to learn to cooperate with other islanders--including Captain Courtney, who might just morph from irritant to irresistible once James learns a secret that's been kept from him for years.

Ferry to Cooperation Island

By Carol Newman Cronin,

What is this book about?

Loner James Malloy is a ferry captain-or used to be, until he was unceremoniously fired and replaced by a girl named Courtney Farris. Now, instead of piloting Brenton Island's daily lifeline to the glitzy docks of Newport, Rhode Island, James spends his days beached, bitter, and bored.

When he discovers a private golf course staked out across wilderness sacred to his dying best friend, a Narragansett Indian, James is determined to stop such "improvements." But despite Brenton's nickname as "Cooperation Island," he's used to working solo. To keep rocky bluffs, historic trees, and ocean shoreline open to all, he'll have…


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