The best books for horror with fantasy or fantasy with horror

Who am I?

I've had many professions over the years: theatrical stage technician, stage manager, scenic artist, teacher, writer, driver, husband, and father. I've always had a love for horror and fantasy stretching from the classic Gothic to the incredible worlds of Tolkien, Pratchett, and many more. I never set out to write, but I love the escapism and freedom that both reading and writing allows. I was a military child and having followed my father across Europe, I settled in the beautiful cathedral city of Lincoln, UK, which itself has its horror, hauntings, and history. Fantasy writing seemed to be the next stage of my development, combining macabre with the fascinating task of creating a fantastical world.


I wrote...

50 Berkeley Square

By David J. McCran,

Book cover of 50 Berkeley Square

What is my book about?

50 Berkeley Square was my second attempt at writing a horror adventure. Having been on a London City Ghost Walk, my wife and I arrived at the supposedly most haunted house in the city being immersed in the scary tales surrounding the black, Georgian, townhouse. 

The seemingly unwitting facade of the eighteenth-century Georgian townhouse hides a secret of unfathomable horror and violence. A young employee of the London International Gazette is mysteriously drawn to a suicide at the infamous ‘ghost house’ of Berkeley Square that triggers a series of unnatural events. Unaware of the true horrors that lie within the walls of number ’50,’ Jim is exposed to the truth, and the journey he's forced to take leads him to his destiny—a destiny that he would have never expected… or wished for.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Sign in the Moonlight: And Other Stories

David J. McCran Why did I love this book?

I love compilation books, as this style of book works fantastically well for horror. In a short period of time, you can be transported from London to the Black Forest, from deepest Africa to the frozen climes of the Arctic. This book does not disappoint in this respect, taking the reader on a discovery of differing locations and also styles of horror writing. As you read this book of David’s, he takes you through a deeply reflective journey of horror writing genres, from Lovecraft to Poe and beyond. With great artwork to boot. Utterly fantastic!

By David Tallerman, Duncan Kay (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sign in the Moonlight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this work to fans of Lovecraft, MR James, Algernon Blackwood et al as Tallerman can take his place amongst those, and other, master craftsmen of the dark tale." - Peter Sutton (Bristol Book Blog)

Written by David Tallerman and Illustrated by Duncan Kay, The Sign in the Moonlight Includes the original novelette, The War of the Rats, and 13 other haunting tales.

A doomed mountaineering expedition attempts the slopes of Kanchenjunga, following in the footsteps of notorious occultist Aleister Crowley. A young soldier witnesses omens of another, vaster conflict in the ravaged trenches of the…


Book cover of Ten Tall Tales

David J. McCran Why did I love this book?

This is another title from NewCon Press. I like the way this company produces anthologies, Ian Waites chooses with the stories stringent precision, creating fascinating collections. This anthology of stories delivers a mixture of varied and impressive styles, each unique in their conception of chilling tales. I love the extreme and this book does not dissatisfy the appetite for true terror. 

By Ian Whates (editor), Ramsey Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith , Sarah Pinborough , James Barclay , Maura McHugh , Edward Cox , Lynda E. Rucker , Simon Clark , Paul Kane

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The final anthology produced in celebration of NewCon Press’ 10th anniversary. Ten Tall Tales of horror, dark fantasy and dark science fiction, commissioned from some of the most twisted imaginations writing today. Each story is inter-leafed with a Twisted Limerick from that master of terror, Ramsey Campbell.

Contents:
1. Introduction – Ian Whates
2. Ten Twisted Limericks – Ramsey Campbell
3. The Power Of… – Paul Kane
4. We Know By the Tenth Day Whether They Live or Die – Simon Clark
5. One Little Mouth to Kiss You Goodnight
– Lynda E. Rucker
6. The Fruit of the Tree…


Book cover of Firestone

David J. McCran Why did I love this book?

This author has just started on his writing journey and has produced two parts to his trilogy. This debut story takes on high adventure within a Fantasy/Steampunk-esk world. This tale has marvellous characters and exciting settings and takes the reader on a journey through hidden pasts, unknown evils, and surprising twists of fate.

By E A Purle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"When all seems dark, I will light the way."

On the world of Tellus there are two ways of doing things: the Old Way and the New Way. In the city of Portis-Montis, these two ways and their worlds collide.

Hugh Geber is the alchemist at the University of Science and Progression. In a world where everyone follows the family career, he has found himself the last in line to carry the torch.

When a meeting with Chancellor Robert James Smithson leaves him with an impossible deadline and a mysterious package, Hugh is left with no choice but to try…


Book cover of Song of the Fae

David J. McCran Why did I love this book?

My wife was given this book as a gift, unfortunately, much to my joy, she gave it to me. This fast-paced adventure is a testament to all that is fantasy. Darkness, light, good fighting evil, this is everything any Fantasy fan requires from a book of this genre. I shall (and have already) embarked on reading more of Tricia’s rich and vibrant works which connects fabulously with her audience.

By Tricia O'Malley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She sings the song that only his heart can answer.

His loyalty lies with the Royal Fae Court and with his people. Love is a distraction that royal warrior, Nolan, will not let ruin his future.

Alone and distrustful, Imogen refuses to accept her attraction for the warrior after he steals her ship and forces her on a quest where Dark Fae battle good and magick rules the night.

A prophecy realized.

The Dark Fae have risen, determined to wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting people of Ireland. Their goal? To destroy the woman in the prophecy before she discovers her…


Book cover of Dracula the Un-Dead

David J. McCran Why did I love this book?

This is a terrific take on the ‘what if…’ scenario that Dracula survived. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, twisting and turning through the streets of Paris and London setting the scene for another blood fest of vampiric terror. Dacre has certainly captured some of his ancestor’s penchant for horror and this book takes you on a mysterious trip through the minds of its fascinating yet disturbing characters.

By Dacre Stoker, Ian Holt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dracula the Un-Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The official sequel to Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula, written by his direct descendent and endorsed by the Stoker family.

The story begins in 1912, twenty-five years after the events described in the original novel. Dr. Jack Seward, now a disgraced morphine addict, hunts vampires across Europe with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school to pursue a career in stage at London's famous Lyceum Theatre.

The production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed and produced by Bram Stoker, has recently lost its star. Luckily, Quincey knows how…


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Fourth and Long

By Britt Belle,

Book cover of Fourth and Long

Britt Belle Author Of The Earl Was Wrong

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Romance reader Romance writer Sports lover

Britt's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Britt's 6-year-old's favorite books.

What is my book about?

Fourth and Long is a novel written in the first person with dual POVs.

Ellie: When I meet Slater, an infamous quarterback trying to salvage his career, I know better than to form expectations. Our relationship starts out casual, but I can’t help falling for him. The problem is, that he’s leaving as soon as he signs with a new team, and I have no choice but to let him go.

Slater: I can’t risk distractions, so when I hook up with Ellie, I tell myself she’s nothing but a pretty girl. We keep it casual because as soon as the ink is dry on my new contract, I’ll be hundreds of miles away. She follows my rules and lets me go without a fight, but even though football consumes me, I can’t forget her.

Fourth and Long

By Britt Belle,

What is this book about?

Ellie
My professional life is a failure—I’ve convinced more couples to divorce than to work on their marriages. My personal life is a mess—my mother wants my attention, but not my advice, my father is pushing me to bond with his second family, and my sister, who likes to meddle in my love life, thinks I need to get laid.

When I meet Slater, an infamous quarterback trying to salvage his career, I know better than to form expectations. Our relationship starts out casual, but as our lives become more intertwined, I can’t help falling for him. Problem is, he’s…


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