This horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago is an edge of your seat, chills up the spine, thrill ride. ‪ When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister’s body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he’s looking for payment he’s owed from her. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.

“Pelayo masterfully ratchets up the tension and the scares.” – Publishers Weekly (Starred)

With superior worldbuilding, a relentless pace, a complex heroine, and a harrowing story that preys off of current events as much as its well-developed monster, this is a stellar horror novel that fires on all cylinders, from the first page through to its horrible conclusion. For fans of dark fantasy based on fairy tales such as Seanan McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series or novels by Helen Oyeyemi, with just the right touch of Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski.” – Library Journal (Starred)

“”Pelayo has crafted a love story to Chicago, particularly the Latinx community, weaving history, culture, and landmarks into the fabric of the story until the city practically breathes. It is also a love story to fairy tales, and Pelayo intersperses retellings throughout the book, examining the structure, meaning, and value of the original tales. Pelayo’s dark, reimagined fairy tale will have readers leaving their lights on long after they’ve turned the last page.” – Booklist

“Part police procedural, all horror, Cynthia Pelayo’s CHILDREN OF CHICAGO is an immensely entertaining and thoroughly chilling novel, which just so happens to combine two of my favorite things: Chicago and fairytales. I challenge you not to have a good time with Pelayo’s book. The confidence and style on display here say she’s destined to become one of the greats.”―Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of SOUR CANDY, KIN, and THE TURTLE BOY

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Nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Into The Forest And All The Way Through is a collection of true crime poetry that explores the cases of over one hundred missing and murdered women in the United States.

“This book shook me, ripped my heart out, and haunts me still. Into the Forest and All the Way Through shines a harsh light on a subject society has been far too content to ignore…and it’s about goddamn time. This Is a vital collection.” -Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Sour Candy.

“This is not an easy book to read. It will shatter your heart, and anyone who has experienced life as a woman will know all too intimately the fear in these pages, the choking dread of what could happen if I go for a walk too late, go to the grocery store at night, find myself some place at the wrong time…” -Sara Tantlinger, Bram Stoker Award winning author of The Devil’s Dreamland.

“For readers of mystery and true crime, this is a heartbreaking but important read as it gives voice to the missing and the murdered, the lost and the afraid. By no means is this collection an easy read, but Pelayo approaches the subject matter with compassion, honesty, and an urgency that begs people to wake up, to speak out, and to continue to have hard conversations with their children and loved ones.” -Stephanie Wytovich, American poet, novelist, essayist and Bram Stoker winning author.


A mysterious virus sweeps across the country, mutating rapidly as it jumps from person to person. Cities are locked down. The skies are clear as all planes are grounded. Some people panic, while some go to heroic lengths to save those they love―and others use the chaos as an opportunity to engage in purest evil. In “Lockdown,” 19 of today’s finest suspense, horror, and crime writers explore how humanity reacts to the ultimate pandemic. From New York City to the Mexican border, from the Deep South to the misty shores of Seattle, their characters are fighting for survival against incredible odds. An anthology for our time, showing how the worst crises can lead to the best of us. Proceeds from LOCKDOWN will go to support BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, as it seeks to help booksellers recover from the devastating COVID-19 crisis. 

“Come Away, Come Away” was written by Cynthia Pelayo. This is an impeccable finish to Lockdown. I don’t want to ruin it for a reader, but it plays with a classic tale in the perfect way (and mentions the ocean).” – Crime Element


A collection of original and riveting stories that tackle one of the most important and controversial issues of time: The Border. La frontera is full of stories. Real stories, not the ones you see in the news. The border is a powerful place where countries collide. It’s a weird space of dreams, struggles, promises, lies, fear, and redemption. It’s a multicultural and bilingual space where people know that hustling to protect your loved ones or offer them a better life is a drive strong enough to blur ethical codes. Sadly, the border is also a place where drugs make people a lot of money, corruption stains everything, and violence fills the landscape with danger and ghosts. Now, some of today’s most talented authors will visit this space from their perspective―showing the world what they see on both sides. In a landmark anthology, acclaimed author Gabino Iglesias presents 15 stories from an incredibly talented and diverse roster of authors that look at all aspects of border crime―immigration, law, trafficking (both human and narcotics), and everyone trying to exploit the divide for their own benefit. Thought-provoking, shocking, violent, raw, emotional, and unforgettable,BOTH SIDES will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about borders, both domestic and international.

“Cynthia Pelayo’s “The Lament of the Vejigante,” which explores the casual racism faced by a Puerto Rican and her growing respect for her family’s strength and resilience.” – Publisher’s Weekly