Blood Mountain



In this mosaic of Southwestern Gothic Horror tales, a primordial goddess awakens deep within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The mountain hungers for revenge as invaders leave her emaciated 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 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?

What They’re Saying

“…a bloody mosaic novel that brings together smart writing and pure horror with beautiful prose and important topics. At once a powerful chant about Earth and womanhood, a shapeshifting narrative packed with blood that centers Otherness, and a strange literary creature that slides into your flesh…” —Gabino Iglesias, Coyote Songs

“A blood-beating, ancient survival song from Tolian and one hell of a first novel. Blood Mountain unearths the voices long-buried, many of whom should have stayed put in their graves. Still, Tolian doesn’t allow for pardons in this brutal landscape with characters carrying the burdens of beauty and grief, heartbreak and sins. Tolian never falters when the dead demand to be heard and the living is forced to reckon with the land and the mountain—just as alive as the people that claim her—watching, waiting.”—Hillary Leftwich, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock and Aura

“Brenda Sue Tolian never flinches at staring into the abyss and reporting precisely what she finds in the darkness. Her stark, provocative prose sticks in your memory like a fish hook into your eye.”—Stanley Wiater, host of Dark Dreamers

“Along the face of Tolian’s mountain: real horrors exist beside sudden, lavish declarations. Angsts and awes, polished and raw. A mosaic of mountain songs that penetrate all the way to the beating, blood heart. A tremendous knotting of setting, mood, and mind.”—Josh Malerman, New York Times best selling author of Bird Box and Goblin