Annal: 2008 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel

Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2008.

Book:The Gentling Box

The Gentling Box

Lisa Mannetti

The philosophies of the Age of Enlightenment create sweeping changes throughout 19th Century Europe, but to Hungary’s despised nomads, the gypsies, the world is still a dark and very dangerous landscape. Adversaries both mortal and supernatural lurk in the shadows, waiting to strike without mercy. Imre, a half-gypsy horse trader, understands the danger to his small family all too well.

Cursed with a hideously-disfiguring and fatal disease by the vengeful sorceress Anyeta, he watches those around him suffer and fall. Mimi, his wife, who is tricked into cutting off her own arm to create a powerful talisman. His friend Constantin, struck mute by Anyeta’s wrath. And Lenore, his and Mimi’s young daughter, who has been placed in the greatest jeopardy of all. With his health deteriorating and death imminent, his wife possessed by the witch’s ghost and Lenore being groomed for a fate far worse than death, Imre turns to desperate measures and a hellish memory from his childhood—to still the sorceress and end her reign of bloodshed. A presence even more powerful and terrifying to him than Anyeta: the gentling box.

Book:Frozen Blood

Frozen Blood

Joel A. Sutherland

As Tara Stewart drives through the dark, winter night, from Charlotte to Ottawa, she’s haunted by ghosts from her past.

Summoned to her abusive father’s funeral, she hasn’t been home, or spoken to her family, in years. The last place she wants to be is in the company of her vindictive twin sister, Evelyn, and her brother-in-law, Peter.

The hail begins to fall.

Thanks to treacherous road conditions, she barely makes it to her destination. Upon arriving, she falls on the icy driveway, slamming her knee into concrete and compact snow. Evelyn and Peter pull her inside, just as she is losing consciousness.

Outside, the hailstorm still rages. Reports on the news suggest it’s a worldwide phenomenon. Globally, resulting damage and death is reaching catastrophic levels. …[more]

Book:Midnight on Mourn Street

Midnight on Mourn Street

Christopher Conlon

Reed Waters is the sort of middle-aged man few people notice. He’s quiet, polite, solitary. He doesn’t call attention to himself. Ever. Reed Waters has a secret…

Mauri Dyson is a teenaged runaway, impetuous and explosive. She lies, she steals, she prostitutes herself. Whatever it takes to survive. Mauri Dyson, too, has a secret…

When Mauri bursts into Reed’s life one rain-soaked night she sets in motion a series of events that will spiral out of control, taking the two of them through tears and terror to the brink of madness—and a confrontation that will change them both forever.

Book:Monster Behind the Wheel

Monster Behind the Wheel

Michael McCarty, Mark McLaughlin

As a child, young Texan Jeremy Carmichael fell from a Ferris wheel at a carnival. He landed on a beautiful young woman and his fall was broken. Unfortunately, so was the woman’s spine.

Years later, Jeremy is injured in a car accident while delivering pizzas. The accident opens the gates between the worlds of the living and the dead, awakening a malevolent supernatural presence—the spirit of cruel Frank Edmonson. Frank had been the policeman who’d arrived at the scene of the carnival accident, years earlier. The woman who’d died had been Frank’s lover.

Frank wants revenge on Jeremy and wishes to re-enter the world of the living by taking over the young man’s body. Jeremy finds himself visiting the realm of the dead in dreams and visions. But is that Frank’s doing, or is there another reason…? In his dreams, Jeremy is repeatedly drawn to the River of Time, which flows through the land of the dead. …[more]

Book:The Suicide Collectors

The Suicide Collectors: A Novel

David Oppegaard

The Despair has plagued the earth for five years. Most of the world’s population has inexplicably died by its own hand, and the few survivors struggle to remain alive. A mysterious, shadowy group called the Collectors has emerged, inevitably appearing to remove the bodies of the dead. But in the crumbling state of Florida, a man named Norman takes an unprecedented stand against the Collectors, propelling him on a journey across North America. It’s rumored a scientist in Seattle is working on a cure for the Despair, but in a world ruled by death, it won’t be easy to get there.

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