Hollow Tongue



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After a major accident leaves her in a dire financial situation, Maxine Forest returns to live in her childhood home. The empty husk holds only the memories of her father’s abuse and her mother’s reticence to leave him: her parents are nowhere to be found. The cocoon of her past remains unchanged, yet wrapped in the ghostly remnants of her mother’s whispered insistence that things could change. Escaping the sins of her parents should be easy enough for Max, but those sins are intrinsic to her genetic make-up, so escape is impossible—succumbing, and metamorphosis, are inevitable.

What They’re Saying

“…equal parts beautiful and grotesque, with prose so alive it practically leaps off the page. Hauntings both familial and societal are deftly interwoven in this stylish and atmospheric Southern Gothic that feels truly contemporary—and the mystery behind safe box 236 will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the story’s terrifying and shocking conclusion.” —Catherine Yu, author of Direwood

“Eden’s voice from the very start of Hollow Tongue captivates you and does not let go until the end. This story moved in directions I didn’t anticipate. I want more of this in horror!” —V. Castro, author of Bram Stoker-nominated The Queen of the Cicadas

In this transformative novella, Royce deftly explores what it means to revisit childhood trauma from an adult perspective. With an arresting voice, stunning prose, and atmosphere thick enough to taste, Hollow Tongue is Southern Gothic at its finest!”— Kelsea Yu, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of Bound Feet

“Hollow Tongue revolutionizes the haunted house genre by embedding beating hearts into its walls. Royce balances memory, trauma, guilt, morality and immediate danger with a touch as delicate as a butterfly’s wing. She has gifted us a complex, layered and thoughtful tale with a stunning ending that made me gasp. Eden truly is one of the most outstanding voices currently writing horror. Read this book!”—Suzan Palumbo, Author of Skin Thief: Stories and Countess