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"Along Harrowed Trails" is available now!
A western horror collection by Timber Ghost Press
The Old West was a time of lawlessness, violence, and danger. The threat of death could come in the form of bandits, outlaws, and even the very land itself. But what if there was something else? Something that lurked in the shadows waiting to strike when the stars were right?
In this anthology, over 30 authors and poets explore the weird and visceral side of the Wild West with stories of demons, ghosts, and creatures from myth and legend. From haunted towns to mysterious mountaintops, these tales will take you to the heart of darkness.
In the tradition of Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, and Louis L'Amour, this collection of stories and poems brings the Old West to life in all its bloody, gory glory.
So saddle up and hold on tight because you’re in for a wild ride.
Featuring stories and poems by: Keith Anthony Baird, Richard Beauchamp, Hank Belbin, Matt Bliss, Deborah Cardillo, Jeremiah Dylan Cook, Aristo Couvaras, Jennifer Crow, Ben Curl, Alycia Davidson, Robert DeLeskie, Rachel Horak Dempsey, David A. Elsensohn, Maxwell I. Gold, KC Grifant, Levi Hatch, Pedro Iniguez, Samantha Kelly, C. H. Lindsay, LindaAnn LoSchiavo, Winston Malone, Morgan Melhuish, LH Michael, Dermott O'Malley, Cygnus Perry, WR Platt, Daniel Powell, Craig E. Sawyer, Kathryn Tennison, Emily Ruth Verona, Adam Vine, Chris Wilder, and Ann Wuehler.
Includes Winston’s story, “Wrath of the Widowed”
In 2022, I submitted a short story to Timber Ghost Press’ open call for the Along Harrowed Trails anthology. I was thrilled to hear they enjoyed it and wanted to include it. Here we are, roughly a year later, and I get to talk about it for the first time! Here’s a short summary:
Wrath of the Widowed follows the restless spirit of Elia Worthington, who remains linked to the physical realm near the buried remains of everyone she’s ever loved. The last surviving member of her family is her husband, Cole Worthington, who has lived alone on the Worthington Ranch ever since Elia’s murder years earlier. Their lives are intertwined beyond Elia’s comprehension while separated by the spiritual and physical realms. Until one day, a vengeful ghost from their past emerges, forcing Elia to harness everything in her power to protect the last person she holds dear.
Prior to last year, I had never written a Western before. I had participated in The Great Substack Story Challenge (season one) called The Grisly Ghosts of Gruesome Time. My entry, Chapter Ten, heavily featured a Western setting in the second half.
I enjoyed the style, so I immediately jumped into writing WotW. It came to me over several days, and the ideas evolved drastically from the first iteration, which featured a zombie Elia instead. I’m mostly proud of this story for the elements that aren’t Western or Horror, as weird as that sounds. It challenged me to establish a character with a strong sympathetic pull and great personal stakes, something bordering on tragic romance.
I’m eager for you to read Wrath of the Widowed so that you can tell me what you think. Don’t forget to review and share it with others who might like these stories. Your support means so much to me and the other writers in this collection. Shoutout to Timber Ghost Press for believing in my work and making this book a reality!
What people are saying
Kim gave it “5 Stars” on Goodreads:
One of my favorite genres is the weird west genre, it doesn't matter if it's books or movies I love the genre. So I was super excited to read this anthology, it's not but westerns with supernatural elements. Let me tell you it was so well put together, each story worked for me and they only got stronger and stronger. My favorite story was And the Godless Shall Come to Dust and my least favorite, but still good was Behold! The Manifest Age. This was a strong collection and I would read more books from this publisher.
Eric gave it “4 Stars” on Goodreads:
Entertaining collection of weird west stories. The 33 stories and poems cover a wide variety of topics: buffalo soldiers, outlaws, vampires, ancient demons, etc… standouts include Wrath of the Widowed, Forty Miles from Hell, And the Godless Shall Connect to Dust, & Black Blood.
Leah gave it “3 Stars” on Goodreads:
As with many anthologies, Along Harrowed Trails has some hits, and it has some misses. The connecting thread between the blend of short stories, poems, and flash fiction is the thrill and haunt of the weird west. Being among my favorite genres to read and write, I had some expectations for what I was getting into. Some of what ‘Along Harrowed Trails’ had to offer met those expectations, and a few stories exceeded them. But there is also that spattering that fell a little short of the western-flavored fantasy horror I was hoping for.
Among the hits for me were: ‘Forty Miles From Hell’ by Robert DeLeskie, ‘And the Godless Shall Come to Dust’ by Keith Anthony Baird, ‘The Last Train out of Calico’ by Pedro Iniguez, and 'Black Blood' by WR Platt. And as for the misses, while they wouldn’t fix my craving for a bit of weird-western fun, the vast majority were still interesting and enjoyable. There really is a little bit here for everyone, and there is bound to be a good handful of tales that captivate you.
I’d recommend this as a casual read that you pick up, enjoy a story, and then put down to discover another one later, rather than reading straight through from start to finish.
Emily gave it “4 Stars” on Goodreads:
Step into a world of ghosts and demons and myths of the old west. Towns haunted by ghosts to mountain tops with terrifying legends. Saddle up for a wild west adventure.
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