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About Kristi Demeester
Kristi DeMeester is the author of Beneath, a novel from Word Horde, and the author of Everything That's Underneath, a collection of short stories forthcoming from Apex Publications.
Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year Volume 9, Year's Best Weird Fiction Volumes 1 and 3, Black Static, The Dark, Apex Magazine, and several others.
In her spare time, she alternates between telling people how to pronounce her last name and how to spell her first.
Find her online at www.kristidemeester.com.
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Best Horror Books by Library Journal * Publishers Weekly
“An outstanding story in outstanding hands.” - Josh Malerman
A biting novel from an electrifying new voice, Kristi DeMeester's Such a Pretty Smile is a heart-stopping tour-de-force about powerful women, angry men, and all the ways in which girls fight against the forces that try to silence them.
There’s something out there that’s killing. Known only as The Cur, he leaves no traces, save for the torn bodies of girls, on the verge of becoming women, who are known as trouble-makers; those who refuse to conform, to know their place. Girls who don’t know when to shut up.
2019: Thirteen-year-old Lila Sawyer has secrets she can’t share with anyone. Not the school psychologist she’s seeing. Not her father, who has a new wife, and a new baby. And not her mother—the infamous Caroline Sawyer, a unique artist whose eerie sculptures, made from bent twigs and crimped leaves, have made her a local celebrity. But soon Lila feels haunted from within, terrorized by a delicious evil that shows her how to find her voice—until she is punished for using it.
2004: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs everywhere. Snarling, barking, teeth snapping that no one else seems to notice. At first, she blames the phantom sounds on her insomnia and her acute stress in caring for her ailing father. But then the delusions begin to take shape—both in her waking hours, and in the violent, visceral sculptures she creates while in a trance-like state. Her fiancé is convinced she needs help. Her new psychiatrist waives her “problem” away with pills. But Caroline’s past is a dark cellar, filled with repressed memories and a lurking horror that the men around her can’t understand.
As past demons become a present threat, both Caroline and Lila must chase the source of this unrelenting, oppressive power to its malignant core. Brilliantly paced, unsettling to the bone, and unapologetically fierce, Such a Pretty Smile is a powerful allegory for what it can mean to be a woman, and an untamed rallying cry for anyone ever told to sit down, shut up, and smile pretty.
"Raw, beautiful, and haunting." - Camilla Sten
“A righteously angry fever dream.” - Paul Tremblay
“Brutal and shocking. - emily m. danforth
"Compulsive and horrifyingly entertaining." - Liz Nugent
“Darkly feminist.” - Karma Brown
“Razor-sharp. This one will cut you.” - Christopher Golden
Encompassed in the pages of The Best Horror of the Year have been such illustrious writers as:
Kim Stanley Robinson
And many others
With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this light creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.
What happens when we make monsters? What happens when we make monsters of ourselves? Grotesque beings lurch from our darkest dreams. Vicious beasts stalk our twisted pasts. Lost souls haunt our deepest regrets. They are the blood on our hands. They are the obsessions in our heads. They are the vengeance in our hearts. They are Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors. Edited by Bram Stoker Award-winning editors Doug Murano and Michael Bailey. Featuring a foreword by Alma Katsu, and illustrations throughout by HagCult.
As Cora begins to uncover the secrets concealed by a veneer of faith and tradition, something ancient and long concealed begins to awaken. What secrets do the townsfolk know? What might the handsome young pastor be hiding? What will happen when occulted horrors writhe to the surface, when pallid and forgotten things rise to reclaim the Earth?
Will Cora--and the earth--survive? The answers--and pure terror--can only be found in one place: Beneath.
Showcasing the finest weird fiction published in 2017, volume 5 of the Year's Best Weird Fiction is the final, triumphant volume in the acclaimed series. Editors Robert Shearman and Michael Kelly bring their knowledge and skill to this fifth and final volume of the Year's Best Weird Fiction.
Michael Kelly - Foreword
Robert Shearman - Introduction
Kurt Fawver - The Convexity of Our Youth
Ben Loory - The Rock Eater
Brenna Gomez - Corzo
Kathleen Kayembe - You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych
Daniel Carpenter - Flotsam
Michael Mirolla - The Possession
Ian Muneshwar - Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango
Claire Dean - The Unwish
Kristi DeMeester - Worship Only What She Bleeds
David Peak - House of Abjection
Helen Marshall - The Way She is With Strangers
Joshua King - The Anteater
Jenni Fagan - When Words Change the Molecular Composition of Water
Alison Littlewood - The Entertainment Arrives
Chavisa Woods - Take the Way Home That Leads Back to Sullivan Street
Carmen Maria Machado - Eight Bites
Eric Schaller - Red Hood
Rebecca Kuder - Curb Day
Adam-Troy Castro - The Narrow Escape of Zipper-Girl
K.L. Pereira - Disappearer
Camilla Grudova - The Mouse Queen
Brian Evenson - The Second Door
Nadia Bulkin - Live Through This
Paul Tremblay - Something About Birds
Crawl across the earth and dig in the dirt. Feel it. Tearing at your nails, gritty between your teeth, filling your nostrils. Consume it until it has consumed you. For there you will find the voices that have called from the shadows, the ones that promise to cherish you only to rip your body to shreds.
In Everything That’s Underneath, Kristi DeMeester explores the dark places most people avoid. A hole in an abandoned lot, an illness twisting your loved one into someone you don’t recognize, lust that pushes you further and further until no one can hear your cry for help. In these 18 stories the characters cannot escape the evil that is haunting them. They must make a choice: accept it and become part of what terrifies them the most or allow it to consume them and live in fear forever.
***Winner of the 2017 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology***
Want to see something weird? Embrace the odd. Satisfy your curiosity. Surrender to wonder.
From Crystal Lake Publishing and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated co-editor of the smash hit Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories comes Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.
Sixteen stories and two poems take you into the spaces between the ordinary—and the imaginations of some of today's masters of dark and thrilling fiction.
- A travel writer learns the terrible secrets at a hotel that's not at all as it seems.
- A disfigured woman and her daughter explore methods of weaponizing beauty.
- An amateur beekeeper acquires an object that shows her the true
danger of the hive-mind.
- Drifters ride the rails seeking something wondrous that could change their fates forever.
- A strange creature that holds our very existence in its hands shapes the lives of two lovers to touching and devastating effect.
- A young man helps his grandfather—and something much more monstrous—atone for bargains made during wartime.
- And much, much more…
Featuring Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart. Brought to you by Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor Doug Murano and Crystal Lake Publishing. Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the editor:
What kinds of short stories will readers find in this anthology?
Doug Murano: I wanted this book to encompass a lot of the things I love about weird fiction, fantasy and horror—as well as give a tip of my cap to some of the things I loved growing up. So, it’s not exclusively a horror anthology, though you’ll find there’s plenty of darkness and dread throughout the book.
It was important to me that the stories throughout the anthology embraced and celebrated the odd—so you're not going to find stories of big-top exploitation or carnival freak shows here. The closest, perhaps, you'll find to this angle is in Lisa Morton's story—but that piece turns the freak-show trope on its head and aspires to something much more daring, interesting, and, ultimately, haunting.
Some tonal touch-points for much of the book are actually Jim Henson's work — like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal — particularly in the Undefinable Wonders section. I also drew tonal influences from Guillermo del Toro’s filmography, especially his Spanish-language films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone.
The Best Horror of the Year showcases the previous year’s best offerings in short fiction horror. This edition includes award-winning and critically acclaimed authors Adam L. G. Nevill, Livia Llewellyn, Peter Straub, Gemma Files, Brian Hodge, and more.
For more than three decades, award-winning editor and anthologist Ellen Datlow has had her finger on the pulse of the latest and most terrifying in horror writing. Night Shade Books is proud to present the ninth volume in this annual series, a new collection of stories to keep you up at night.
Table of Contents: Summation 2016 - Ellen Datlow Nesters -- Siobhan Carroll The Oestridae -- Robert Levy The Process is a Process All its Own -- Peter Straub The Bad Hour -- Christopher Golden Red Rabbit -- Steve Rasnic Tem It's All the Same Road in the End -- Brian Hodge Fury -- DB Waters Grave Goods -- Gemma Files Between Dry Ribs -- Gregory Norman Bossert The Days of Our Lives -- Adam LG Nevill House of Wonders -- C.E. Ward The Numbers -- Christopher Burns Bright Crown of Joy -- Livia Llewellyn The Beautiful Thing We Will Become -- Kristi DeMeester Wish You Were Here -- Nadia Bulkin Ragman -- Rebecca Lloyd What’s Out There? -- Gary McMahon No Matter Which Way We Turned -- Brian Evenson The Castellmarch Man -- Ray Cluley The Ice Beneath Us -- Steve Duffy On These Blackened Shores of Time -- Brian Hodge Honorable Mentions
It’s dangerous out there…on the road.
The highways, byways and backroads of America are teeming day and night with regular folks. Moms and dads making long commutes. Teenagers headed to the beach. Bands on their way to the next gig. Truckers pulling long hauls. Families driving cross country to visit their kin.
But there are others, too. The desperate and the lost. The cruel and the criminal.
Theirs is a world of roadside honky-tonks, truck stops, motels, and the empty miles between destinations. The unseen spaces.
And there are even stranger things. Places that aren’t on any map. Wayfaring terrors and haunted legends about which seasoned and road-weary travelers only whisper.
But those are just stories. Aren’t they?
Find out for yourself as you get behind the wheel with some of today’s finest authors of the dark and horrific as they bring you these harrowing tales from the road.
Tales that could only be spawned by the endless miles of America’s lost highways.
So go ahead and hop in. Let’s take a ride.
- Introduction by Brian Keene
- doungjai gam & Ed Kurtz — “Crossroads of Opportunity”
- Joe R. Lansdale — “Not from Detroit”
- Kristi DeMeester — “A Life That is Not Mine”
- Robert Ford — “Mr. Hugsy”
- Lisa Kröger — “Swamp Dog”
- Orrin Grey — “No Exit”
- Michael Bailey — “The Long White Line”
- Kelli Owen — “Jim’s Meats”
- Bracken MacLeod — “Back Seat”
- Jess Landry — “The Heart Stops at the End of Laurel Lane”
- Jonathan Janz — “Titan, Tyger”
- Nick Kolakowski — “Your Pound of Flesh”
- Richard Thomas — “Requital”
- Damien Angelica Walters — “That Pilgrims’ Hands Do Touch”
- Cullen Bunn — “Outrunning the End”
- Christopher Buehlman — “Motel Nine”
- Rachel Autumn Deering — “Dew Upon the Wing”
- Josh Malerman — “Room 4 at the Haymaker”
- Rio Youers — “The Widow”
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the editor:
So what makes Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road so special?
Lost Highways comes at the theme of road stories with the desire to push the boundaries of what that theme means. Because of that, it collects authors of diverse levels of experience and notoriety in the worlds of horror and dark fiction. This brings together voices like Joe R. Lansdale, Cullen Bunn, Josh Malerman, Damien Angelica Walters, Rio Youers, Bracken MacLeod, Rachel Autumn Deering, doungjai gam with Ed Kurtz, and Kristi DeMeester. All of these unique voices bring a fresh and often unexpected take on the theme.
What made you think of this theme for the anthology?
Road trips can be fun but they can also be long and boring. And while you can read a book to yourself to pass the time, it’s not a very social experience.
“The editor’s claim that the first season of True Detective was a big inspiration for this anthology is evident: Ashes and Entropy sports a finely balanced mixture of grit, crime and blood along with the irrational, occult and weird.”–Rue Morgue
Stand on the precipice and prepare to dive down through the event horizon into the bleak and mind-shattering void of both the cosmos and of humanity.
Nightscape Press is proud to present ASHES AND ENTROPY edited by Robert S. Wilson, an anthology of cosmic horror and noir/neo-noir. ASHES AND ENTROPY is beautifully illustrated by Luke Spooner and includes brand new stories by Laird Barron, Damien Angelica Walters, John Langan, Kristi DeMeester, Jon Padgett, Nadia Bulkin, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, Lucy A. Snyder, Tim Waggoner, Jessica McHugh, Paul Michael Anderson, Max Booth III, Lynne Jamneck, Greg Sisco, Lisa Mannetti, Nate Southard, Erinn L. Kemper, Matthew M. Bartlett, Autumn Christian, and more.
Is there wisdom in insanity? Enlightenment in blackest despair? Higher consciousness in the depths of chaos? These are the stories of the men and women who choose to cast off from the shores of our placid island of ignorance and sail the black seas of infinity beyond. Those who would dive into primeval consciousness in search of dark treasures. Thos who would risk the Deadly Light for one reason: it is still light.
Martian Migraine Press presents fifteen diverse tales of enlightenment and horror from some of the best new voices working in Weird Fiction today. Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis features poetry from Bryan Thao Worra, stories by Gord Sellar, Kristi DeMeester, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and the groundbreaking Mythos novella from Ruthanna Emrys, The Litany of Earth. With cover art by Alix Branwyn, interior illustrations by Michael Lee Macdonald, and an introduction by editor Scott R Jones (author of When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R'lyehian Spirituality), Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis will plunge readers into a seriously entertaining contemplation of the mysticism and magic inherent to Lovecraft's fantastical world of cosmic horror and dread. Take the Cthulhusattva Vow! Enter the Black Gnosis!
Table of Contents
The Pearl in the Shadows — Bryan Thao Worra
Keys in Stranger Deserts — Vrai Kaiser
Mr Johnson and the Old Ones — Jamie Mason
Antinomia — Erica Ruppert
Heiros Gamos — Gord Sellar
Mother’s Nature — Stefanie Elrick
At the Left Hand of Nothing — Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
The Litany of Earth — Ruthanna Emrys
Emperor Eternal — Konstantine Paradias
The Wicked Shall Come Upon Him — Kristi DeMeester
Messages — John Linwood Grant
That Most Foreign of Veils — Luke R J Maynard
We Three Kings — Don Raymond
Feeding the Abyss — Rhoads Brazos
After Randolph Carter — Noah Wareness