If you like gothic horror meshed with dark fantasy or dystopian themes, filled with other cross genre bending twists like science fiction in the vein of Mary Shelley, then make room on your bookshelf as Raw Dog Screaming Press (RDSP) will be bringing a debut novel your way this Spring that you’ll need: Vial Thoughts by Van Essler.
Today, we have the reveal of the gorgeous cover by award-winning author Daniele Serra that just beckons readers on so many levels with its layers of haunting appeal. Daniele has created art for the covers on many award-winning books for RDSP and we are very thrilled he’s painted an eye-catching piece that helps complete the package of this book.
Vial Thoughts has been described as “an utterly readable mélange of steampunk and gothic horror… a milky shot of absinthe: hypnotic, hallucination-inducing, and highly addictive (Paul Goat Allen)” and take it from us it’s one thrill ride of a read you won’t want to miss.
You can now also pre-order this fantastic book
Pre-Order directly from us and you will receive a signed bookplate
and limited edition sticker! (US shipping only)
Pre-Order from Barnes & Noble
Pre-Order from Amazon
So, what’s it about?
Balanced on a thin wire between horror and steampunk, Van Essler’s debut novel Vial Thoughts is an acrobatic performance at the darkest of circuses. Lenora Leahill has recently inherited her father’s estate and is ready to take her place in the enlightened Age of Awareness where books can be instantly consumed as injections using an Aqua Peritia cuff. She has grand plans for securing her legacy, but navigating these new responsibilities alone is not easy, especially when it’s impossible to see clearly under the city’s ashfall.
When an old colleague of her father’s demands fulfillment of a promise Lenora knows nothing about, she discovers this new Age of Awareness is haunted by a dark history. Lenora must wade through the shadows of the past and gain her footing in the present if she has any hopes of a future—unless death or madness finds her first.
Praise for Vial Thoughts –
“From the ashes rises a truly outstanding heroine on a journey to self-discovery through generational trauma. Highly recommend, a masterpiece!” – USA Today Bestselling Author Virginia Nelson
“Van Essler’s debut novel Vial Thoughts surges through your veins with its frightening vision of a dystopian world where knowledge is bought, sold, controlled, and killed for. Feeling a little too possible for comfort, this steampunk dark sci-fi is a shot of adrenaline from the first chapter that will leave you tearing through the ash-covered streets sweating, panting, and begging for more.” – Bram Stoker Award Winner EV Knight, Author of The Fourth Whore
“An utterly readable mélange of steampunk and gothic horror, Essler’s stellar debut novel—the first installment of her Age of Awareness saga—is like a milky shot of absinthe: hypnotic, hallucination-inducing, and highly addictive. There is a lot to love here: the richly described pseudo-Victorian setting, the brilliant use of sensory descriptors throughout to create a fully immersive reading experience, the cast of memorable characters, the relentless pacing and tightly woven plotline… but ultimately the power of this novel is the story’s heroine, Lenora Leahill, a courageous and ambitious 23-year-old woman living in a patriarchal society where women have been systemically repressed for generations. After the death of her father, Leahill stands alone to battle a corrupt political system as well as a madman demagogue—not for her own personal gain but for the advancement of an ideal: the Age of Awareness. A darkly lyrical and stylishly stygian page-turner—literary opium.” – Genre Fiction Book Critic Paul Goat Allen
Van Essler, Author Biography –
Van Essler tinkers with devious devices and macabre magic. She writes a signature blend of dark edged, cross-genre fiction, creating fantastical settings to expose real world societal issues. Her work appears in Like Sunshine After Rain, Story Emporium Magazine, and Zimbell House anthologies and she won the Founder’s Award from the Professional Writers of Prescott for fiction. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. A tarot deck collector and believer in cat naps, Essler makes friends with all her dreams, whether they are sweet reveries or nightmares. She lives in the Seattle area with her family and spoiled, ginger cats. You can find her on Twitter @VanPunkAuthor or her Facebook author page.
Daniele Serra, Artist Biography –
Daniele Serra is an Italian illustrator and comic book artist. His main influences and inspirations arrive from weird and horror fiction written by H. P. Lovecraft and William H. Hodgson, Ridley Scott movies, Japanese horror films, and Clive Barker’s works.
His love for horror culture started before his painting career, making him quickly develop his signature style: high contrast paintings with bright, as well as strong dark colors, curved strokes and shadows, and a particular attention to his character’s gaze and expression.
Daniele’s works include many artistic credits with well-known comic book presses, over two hundred and fifty book covers for publishers from all around the world with many notables, and his illustrations have been used as the set dressing of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “CELL” directed by Tod Williams and starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.
Two-time winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist (2012, 2017) Daniele lives in Sardinia with his wife, his cats, a lot of exotic insects, and a huge collection of horror books and movies. Find more info about Serra on his website.
Raw Dog Screaming Press
Explore Raw Dog Screaming Press online or find us on most social media platforms. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on all our news and new releases including updates on Vial Thoughts.
Review copies, when available, can be obtained upon request, and interview inquiries can be coordinated, through Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at email@example.com or Twitter or Instagram (@erinalmehairi).
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