West of Hell: Weird Western Horror Stories (Dark Tide Mysteries and Thrillers Book 2)

Want to go on a Western Adventure?
Join three highly talented authors on a thrilling journey into the past that’s perfect for readers of Western thrillers, horror, mystery, fantasy, and of course the supernatural.

DEAD MEN by James A. Moore: And the Dead shall rise. Jonathan Crowley is having a problem with dead men. They just keep getting back on their feet. From the ghost dancers at a strange burial site to the corpse of a man he literally just killed, the dead refuse to lay down and die, and now it’s up to Crowley and his traveling companion Lucas Slate to try to figure out why the dead are restless and determined to kill whatever crosses their paths.

THE TRICKSTER OF PARADISE by R.B. Wood: Never trust a cave painting with an agenda.
In the old west, the people of Paradise live in harmony with the local Sioux tribe until the U. S. Army arrives with false accusations and their deeply rooted prejudices. While the strange newcomer known as “Mortimer” watches; a sixteen year old boy and an ancient legend must come together to fight the invaders, save the town and win the day. Can the desires of an ancient legend and the wishes of a young man survive the encounter with Death watching their every move?

LAST SUNSET OF A DYING AGE by Michael Burke: Ibuki Shibuya is a disgraced samurai, a fugitive from the vengeance of his former master. His flight leads him to the American Southwest where he discovers a mutilated body in the Arizona desert. He eventually finds himself in Copper City, a frontier town plagued by a series of grisly murders.
A motley cast of characters populate the town and Ibuki becomes embroiled in affairs both mundane and extraordinary as he resolves to assist the sheriff in solving the strange murders. Perhaps he will even meet the honorable end he seeks in doing so. All the while, a strange man, dressed in black, who knows more than he says, lurks outside of Copper City.
Events come to a head when the truth is laid bare. Ibuki, along with both friends and foes, learns that not all remnants of a dying age have given way to progress.

Crystal Lake’s Dark Tide series will continue soon with more tales of Mystery Thrillers and Horror Books, including themes of more Weird Western, Sherlock Holmes, Grief Horror, Body Horror, Halloween, Space Horror, Mystery fiction, and Psychological Thriller books.

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Tales from the Darkest Depths

Since its founding in 2012, Crystal Lake Publishing has quickly become one of the world’s leading publishers of Dark Fiction and Horror books. With multiple award nominations and wins (including the HWA’s Specialty Press Award), we put integrity, honor, and respect at the forefront of our publishing operations.

Join the Crystal Lake adventure as we strive to present only the highest quality fiction and entertainment, while also supporting authors along their writing journey

Beneath Ash and Bone by D. Alexander Ward

Selburn, Virginia: A quiet backwater town nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the days before the Civil War, Sam Lock keeps the peace as the town sheriff, like his father before him.

That peace is shattered during a raging winter storm when a boy goes missing at Evermore, the sprawling estate of the Crownhill family. Racing against time and the elements, Sam must mount a desperate search for the child—but what he finds in the snow, and the dark halls of Evermore, are madness … and murder.

As Sam searches for truth in a house poisoned by mysteries and haunted by ghosts, he hopes to weather the storm, but the harrowing secrets he uncovers may prove too terrible to bear. Will he escape with his sanity intact or will the dark presence rumored to hold sway over Evermore claim him as another sacrifice?

From Tormented Tides by Val E. Lane

Unravel the past. Break the curse. Pass midterms.
And don’t fall in love with dead pirates.

Katrina Delmar has no idea that Milo, the charming guy she meets at a college party, was supposed to have died at sea 300 years ago. She only knows that she’s drawn to him right away. But she’s also caught the attention of his crewmate, Bellamy, whose mysterious allure is hard to resist.

Falling for undead pirates is the least of her worries when there seems to be something sinister lurking beneath the surface. And when the ruthless captain of the ship discovers Katrina may hold the key to breaking the crew’s curse, he’s hellbent on taking it from her at whatever cost.

With time running out, Katrina must learn who she can trust and unlock the mysteries of the past before she and those she loves are pulled under by a curse of her own.

FTT is a Contemporary Pirate Fantasy with a slow burn romance. Suitable for readers 15+
Please note some potential trigger warnings for this book: Mentions of Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Alcoholism, Nightmares/Hallucinations, Drowning, Very brief implied SA threat, Violence, Death of a loved one, Brief torture, Case of a violent murder

The Unbroken: Magic of the Lost, Book 1 by C. L. Clark 

***Nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award and a Nebula Award***


Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

In a political fantasy unlike any other, debut author C. L. Clark spins an epic tale of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire.

‘Clark’s debut introduces a remarkable LGBTQ+ culture amid a story of colonial conquest, exploitation, prejudice, and brewing revolt in a land with a lost history of mystical powers . . . Fans of epic military fantasy will eagerly await more from Clark’ Booklist

‘High adventure on a human scale – don’t miss it’ Alix E. Harrow

‘This strong debut is filled with exciting action and worldbulding, intriguing characters . . . and an explosion of feelings. Readers will be clamoring for more of Touraine and Luca before they finish’ Library Journal: Starred Review

The Unbroken is something special. I’m going to need book two asap’ David Dalglish

‘A compelling and persuasive reimagining of both heroism and heroics’ Evan Winter

A perfect military fantasy: brutal, complex, human and impossible to put down’ Tasha Suri

‘This book feels like one of those deep conversations you have with someone you respect at 3am on a Saturday night. It’s wonderful, you know you’re going to miss it before it’s even over and you’ll think about it for a long time to come’ FIYAH Literary Magazine

‘C. L. Clark’s epic fantasy debut reveals all the ugly, painful, deeply personal complexities of revolution against empire. I’m in awe!’ Shelley Parker-Chan

‘A bold and exciting work that helps steer the evolution of the genre into the next decade’ Marshall Ryan Maresca

Get ready to fall in love with Touraine and Luca in one of the best fantasy debuts I have ever read!’ Matt Wallace

‘THE UNBROKEN is a utterly remarkable fantasy debut. A heart-rending, unflinching tale of love, loyalty, and making the right choices despite the repercussions. Clark had me completely engrossed in her prose, her world, and her characters from beginning to end’ FanFiAddict

‘A riveting epic fantasy about a city on the knife’s edge of rebellion’ K. A. Doore

Dellia (The Ever-Branching Tree) by David Scidmore

Dellia is an epic high-fantasy romance about ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It blends alternate worlds, action, adventure, and dire peril, with political intrigue, a generous dollop of romance, and a pinch of humor.

All Jon ever yearned for was a simple life with few responsibilities and someone to share it with. In the middle of an ordinary day, a shattering accident rips him from his uncomplicated life and plunges him into a baffling world that defies the physical laws he knows so well. Stuck in a world of impossible phenomena, terrifying creatures, and mystifying prophecies, his only hope of returning home is a harrowing journey that would propel him through three distinct realms.

But his arrival has not gone unnoticed. Suspicious of the circumstances of his appearance, a jittery ruling council requires someone to investigate. So they send the one warrior best suited to the job: the dedicated and compassionate Dellia. She lives to help people. It is what gives her life purpose and meaning, but as a protector, her duty binds her with an unshakable devotion to the council.

Dellia’s heart calls her to give the desperate Jon whatever aid he requires. Yet, how can she when every step walks a knifes edge between her own deeply held convictions and a nervous ruling council determined to see him as a threat?

Lost and alone in a vast world with no food or water and his all his technology broken, Jon is in dire need of help. Skilled and knowledgeable, Dellia is just the help he needs, if only he can keep from falling for the one woman whose duty might compel her to stop him.

Pound of Flesh by D. Alexander Ward – An instant classic of rural horror.


“No one knows the darkness that lives at the edge of town like D. Alexander Ward. POUND OF FLESH is an instant classic of rural horror. A dizzying descent into the blackest pits of the human heart and a revelatory journey that takes you to the pinnacle of resilience. Not to be missed.”
—S.A. Cosby, NYT best-selling author of RAZORBLADE TEARS and BLACKTOP WASTELAND


“D. Alexander Ward is as fine a writer as any in the field today. There’s a complete confidence to his voice, teamed with an irrepressible red streak of humor, just visible beneath the horrors.”
—Josh Malerman, NYT best-selling author of BIRD BOX and MALORIE


When Noah Belton’s father loses his job, the young man’s roots are ripped from the ground as he’s forced to move away from everything and everyone he knows. His mother believes it will be a fresh start for their little family but everything about this new place fills Noah with a paralyzing dread. He soon finds his fears vindicated, for at this lonesome spot on the edge of the lake, with Cross Mountain looming in the distance, it’s terrifyingly clear that the dead are many and restless.

As his father’s violent temper worsens, they are plunged into a downward spiral of cruel punishments that become a beacon for something wicked; the Huntsman, a malignant presence that roams the lakeshore. Isolated, Noah’s mother strives to protect her son even as the Huntsman takes a terrible interest in her. But what if she could give the Huntsman what he wants and, in turn, be rid of her tyrant husband? Could she even trust such an unholy pact?

Soon, Noah finds himself pitted against a phantom become flesh, battling for his mother’s life and his own. They should never have come to this dark corner of the wilderness in the shadow of the mountain, where they have learned a hard lesson all too late: the Devil always gets his due.

About D. Alexander Ward

D. Alexander Ward is an author and anthologist of horror and dark fiction. In addition to his latest novel POUND OF FLESH, he is the author of numerous short stories and the novels BLOOD SAVAGES and BENEATH ASH & BONE.

As an anthologist, he edited the Bram Stoker Award-nominated anthologies LOST HIGHWAYS: Dark Fictions From the Road and GUTTED: Beautiful Horror Stories (co-edited) from Crystal Lake publishing as well as the anthologies THE SEVEN DEADLIEST and SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET, Volumes 1 and 2 (co-edited).

He is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and very involved in the small press publishing world of horror and dark fiction, where he runs Bleeding Edge Books.

His online footprints can be found everywhere and he can regularly be spotted on various and sundry social media outlets.

Along with his beloved wife and daughter and the haints in the woods, he lives near the farm where he grew up in what used to be rural Virginia, where his love for the people, passions, and folklore of the South was nurtured. There, he spends his nights penning, collecting, and publishing tales of the dark, strange, and fantastic.

The Nosferatu Conspiracy (2 book series)

From Book 1: A sprawling Gothic supernatural thriller set in Saint Petersburg, Russia, against the backdrop of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty. Evoking elements of Jack the Ripper and Vlad Dracula, the first book in the Nosferatu Conspiracy series is an action-packed and suspense-filled alternative retelling of Rasputin’s diabolical influence over the final days of the Romanov Dynasty.
History states Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their five children were executed on the morning of July 17, 1918 (OS). This contrasts suppressed documents citing the royal family mysteriously disappeared after fires ravaged Saint Petersburg in December 1916 (OS).

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was supposedly murdered by high-ranking Russian officials on December 16, 1916 (OS), for his unprecedented and perceived nefarious influence over the royal family. He was poisoned, shot twice, and clubbed into submission, yet remained alive. His attackers finally drowned him underneath the icy Neva River.

Rasputin’s autopsy was reportedly performed three days later by Professor Kossorotov, a high-ranking Okhrana agent and future Kremlin operative. Cause of death: drowning. The document states Rasputin broke free of his bindings and his fingernails showed signs he’d tried to claw through the ice.

The stories surrounding Rasputin’s death are gross falsifications. His body was never recovered for examination, and his status within the Russian intelligence community to this day remains: At Large.

This is the true story of Rasputin’s paranormal coup d’etat and his conjuring of ancient vampires that destroyed Saint Petersburg, Russia, in December 1916.

History is a lie. The truth will be exposed.

Beware the Demons Betrayed (Seldom Forgive the Sorcerers Book 1) by Alan L. Perkins

To survive and stay a step ahead of the competition during the Wild West years, entrepreneurs had to cheat. So it was without compunction that one group of prospectors raised spirits of the dead to pinpoint the most profitable ore-bearing veins up for grabs in Colorado’s gold rush. But during one incantation they overstepped an unwritten rule, conjuring a demon that refused to go away.

Over a century later, the demon incarnate has resurfaced, only to wander the mountains while trying to regain its memory — and a purpose. But time is running out. The awakening has created a rift in the spiritual world, and to prevent a cataclysm, powerful magi converge on Colorado. But the one thing greater than the sorcerers’ fear of one of Hell’s mightiest roaming free is their hatred for one another, though little do they realize that the fiercest obstacle in their way is a sociopath high school teacher and Lorissa, a tough-minded woman who will do whatever necessary to protect her home and her family.


“Everything goes to hell pretty quickly thereafter. Between the pacing and evocative language with which Perkins writes, this story moves quickly. In fact, it’s downright gripping.”

But during one incantation they overstepped an unwritten rule, conjuring a demon that refused to go away.

Nolyn (The Rise and Fall Book 1) by Michael J. Sullivan

New York Times Bestseller & Amazon Editor’s Pick!
After more than five hundred years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reassignment to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the stronghold does not exist. But whoever went to the trouble of planning his death to look like a casualty of war did not know he would be assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same.

Continue reading Nolyn (The Rise and Fall Book 1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Six Crimson Cranes: Six Crimson Cranes, Book 1 by Elizabeth Lim (Author), Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)

New York Times Best Seller

A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse….

Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

“A dazzling fairytale full of breathtaking storytelling.” (Stephanie Garber, New York Times best-selling author of Caraval)

Continue reading Six Crimson Cranes: Six Crimson Cranes, Book 1 by Elizabeth Lim (Author), Emily Woo Zeller (Narrator)
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