BOOK DEAL: BLOOD MOUNTAIN by Brenda S. Tolian

Raw Dog Screaming Press is excited to announce signing Brenda S. Tolian’s debut release Blood Mountain. “The moment I heard the premise I was intrigued,” says managing editor Jennifer Barnes. “I was really hopeful after hearing Brenda’s pitch during StokerCon but once I started reading I was completely hooked. Brenda has a magical way with words, a talent for bringing out the beauty in a landscape while also revealing the most terrible twisted truths. The mountain setting ties all these stories together in a way that reads like a novel but allows her to explore many characters and situations.” 

Tolian explains about Blood Mountain, “I wanted to explore topics relevant to women in parallel to that of the often-feminized body of the earth. But this is not a feminist text. Instead, it is a book that asks the reader to go forward into the vortex, understanding that great darkness often exists in the most beautiful places. I write horror, and my book, of course, seeks to frighten the reader, but I also hope it opens conversations around the heavy themes within the fictional work.”

And about the deal she comments, “Raw Dog Screaming Press has been on my radar since the beginning. The press has uncommon bravery in what they publish. The support they give their authors is, in my opinion, without equal. They champion works that are as diverse as they are unique. I am genuinely humbled to find a home for my book with RDSP.”

Blood Mountain Book Description

In this mosaic of Southwestern Gothic Horror, a primordial goddess awakens deep within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The mountain hungers for revenge as invaders leave her emancipated with their greed and brutality. She cries out for blood, infusing the minds of those who do not belong—twisting them outwardly into the dark forms of their true intentions.

An Under Sheriff struggles to grasp brittle threads of hope within the valley and mountains, his soul tormented by the unanswered questions of crimes he can’t explain and the dead and missing he could not help. The demented Red Women fracture the meaning of being maiden, mother, and crone within the shadows of twisted belief systems. Men and women devolve into the grotesque, drowning in their greed and violence transmuting into creatures too hideous to name. Others find seduction on her rocky hips and release within the baptism of her blood. The valley steeped in cults and crime hides something dark, where mirage plays with the senses, disappearances go unexplained, UFOs and creatures await watching in hunger.

This composite novel of interwoven stories and brief vignettes invites the reader to hear the hypnotic call of the Blood Mountain. Will she ask you into her vortex or swallow you whole?

Tolian defending her thesis at Regis University via Zoom

About the Author

Brenda S. Tolian is a member of HWA, HAG, and Denver Horror Collective.  She earned her B in Secondary English at Adams State University and her MFA from Regis University in Creative Writing and is currently earning her Doctorate in Literature at Murray State University. Brenda is a lead instructor at Denver’s Alchemy Writing Workshop in Dark Fiction. Her work appears in Haunted Mtl.com, the Anthology 101 Proof Horror, Twisted Pulp Magazine issue 3, the Denver Horror Collective’s anthology Consumed Tales Inspired by The Wendigoand the forthcoming The Jewish Book of Horror. She also co-hosts The Burial Plot Horror Podcast with Joy Yehle. Currently, she writes about the haunted high San Luis Valley surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and the San Juan Mountain ranges—known for its eerie tales of cannibals, skinwalkers, UFOs, cults, vortexes, and other strange occurrences.

You can find her on Twitter @BSTolian, Instagram bstolianwriter, and at brendatolian.com