a new novella out March 18, 2023 from Off Limits Press
cover art by Evangeline Gallagher
For the past six years, Ronnie has worked selling merch for a perpetually touring band. Late nights, sweaty clubs, dingy motel rooms, endless roads—as rough as it’s been, there is no other way of life for this band of hungry succubi leaving bodies in their wake.
Until she meets the enigmatic Helene.
Helene is just as restless, just as lonely, and just as full of secrets. With Helene in tow, Ronnie and the band make their way across the Pacific Northwest, trying to outrun not only their mistakes, but the mysterious disease stalking the band, a disease that devours succubi from the inside out.
The hunger is as endless as the road, but maybe Ronnie doesn’t always want to sleep alone.
"J.A.W. McCarthy is a spectacular rising star in the horror genre, and Sleep Alone is a fantastic entry in her indelible and growing body of work. This fast-paced and creepy tale will rock your world and keep you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended!"
-- Gwendolyn Kiste, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens and Reluctant Immortals
"Sleep Alone is a feral howl of longing for found family, a gory road trip, a sensual rock & roll adventure through human and inhuman hungers. McCarthy's language satisfies like a gorgeous and intoxicating feast. While the book drips with insatiable desire, it also asks us in the most heartfelt way to take responsibility for our love in its many forms."
-- Joe Koch, author of The Wingspan of Severed Hands
"A sensual, synesthetic tour through the dive bars of the Pacific Northwest with a most unusual band, SLEEP ALONE grapples with ethical questions about responsibility and care even as it revels in sex, drugs, and body horror. I couldn't look away."
-- Christi Nogle, author of BEULAH
"Instantly intoxicating. Sleep Alone thrives in a lustful, hungry ballad, where McCarthy's horror beats with yearning hearts and carnal desperation. A classic trinity of sex, blood, and rock and roll."
-- Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Queen of Teeth
McCarthy’s all grunge, sex, and distortion in her latest offering Sleep Alone. You feel the bass reverberate through your bones, smell the sweat and sensuality of the downtown club buzzing with anticipation, and there—the eyes of someone, or something, coaxing you in as the van door slides open, but by then it’s too late.
—Scott J. Moses, author of Our Own Unique Affliction
"This queer rock 'n' roll road trip from Hell is an endlessly inventive exploration of desire, control, and companionship. Sleep Alone had me cheering for an encore."
-- Eric Raglin, author of Extinction Hymns
"A beautifully dark and seedy tale, Sleep Alone reaches its tendrils into the reader and pulls them close, with an urgency and humanity impossible to deny or look away from. A story of monsters and people, of the harm we do each other when we can't let go, and the sacrifices we make for family. McCarthy is a master storyteller."
-- Laurel Hightower, author of Crossroads and Below