“One of the Best Works of Horror Poetry”…

H.H. Holmes committed ghastly crimes in the late 19th century. Many of which occurred within his legendary “Murder Castle” in Chicago, Illinois. He is often considered America’s first serial killer. In her second book of poetry from Strangehouse Books, Sara Tantlinger (Love For Slaughter) takes inspiration from accounts and tales which spawned from the misdeeds of one Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. Fact and speculation intertwine herein, just as they did during the man’s own lifetime. There’s plenty of room in the cellar for everyone in The Devil’s Dreamland.

“…chilling poetry…” –Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of “How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend” and HWA Lifetime Achievement Award winner

“…morbidly creative and profound crime documentary…one of the best works of horror poetry I’ve read in years.” –Michael Arnzen, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Grave Markings and Play Dead

“…fascinating and absolutely riveting…powerful and vivid prose…will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.”–Christina Sng, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Collection of Nightmares

“I feel like not only did I get a good & frightful read, but I even gained more knowledge on one of America’s most notorious serial killers. I strongly recommend this for both readers of horror & those who find interest in the mind.”

“From dark poet Sara Tantlinger comes an evocative take on malevolent charmer H. H. Holmes. Sara’s tome is part biography, part blueprint, and part history. All wrapped in poetry that will leave you breathless. Through Sara you will realize all the hallmarks of a killer in Holmes’ upbringing. Psychologic knowledge that we didn’t have in Holmes’s time.”

“I’m in awe of this collection of poems. I already knew plenty about HH Holmes—I’ve read several books about his crimes. This is something else entirely. The scholarship is excellent, and she clearly knows her subject inside and out, and I mean way inside. The blending of fiction with fact is seamless as she explores the thoughts of the killer as well as those of his victims. There are some truly magnificent insights here, and some of them are beautiful, and some of them are chilling. And, on top of it all, it’s good poetry.”

Tantlinger uses history as a grotesque operating theater for her imagination, cutting into the enigma that was Holmes from an array of angles, unfolding the psychopath with an unflinching sense of morbid curiosity. It lends depth to the stories we’ve heard, while at the same time showing that there’s so much more to the story than we can ever really know. Plus it’s just creepy as hell. Definitely a must-read work of contemporary poetry, sure to be a hit with true crime and horror fans alike.”

Here’s a sneak peak from one of her poems in the book titled “Scarlet Siege”

Scarlet Siege

Insanity splits through the air
like a serrated knife cleaving
melons in half, juice pools out,
lightly blood-tinged, flowing into
the mob mentality of fair-goers
flies stick to the glistening liquid
churning out tiny spawn to harvest
inside the mind of crowds

stop and sample the new
flavors of candies,
watch in awe as Tesla
sparks electric excitement,
conducting lightning through
his body like a melody,
marvel at the Ferris Wheel,
that monstrosity of a ride
hovering between adrenaline
and a drop straight down to skull-
cracking fear

within the White City’s celebration,
the water stays pure, the air cool,
horrors belong on the outside
where suicides have popped up
like cherry-tinted daisies,
where horses drop dead
in the streets from exhaustion,
muzzled and blinded
they never stood a chance,

where blood runs thick enough
to brew gurgling tarns
around the great fair,
drown all the attendees
beneath a scarlet siege,
consume that split of insanity
cleave the city in half as it bleeds

You’ve read the reviews and gotten a taste of the poems, now it’s time to get your copy at:

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About author Sara Tantlinger

Sara Tantlinger resides outside of Pittsburgh on a hill in the woods. She graduated from Seton Hill University with a BA in English literature and creative writing, and later with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. Her love of horror started in middle school where she discovered the Fear Street and Goosebumps books. Some of her favorite writers include Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Kate Chopin, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Caroline Kepnes, Clive Barker, Gillian Flynn, Richard Siken, Sierra DeMulder, and Catherynne Valente. Sara’s debut poetry collection, Love For Slaughter, was released in 2017 with StrangeHouse Books. Her most recent collection is The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes.

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