Do shadows lurk around the corner of your home? Press against your window, claw at your door? Does evil claim your territory for their own devices? No, well….you’re not having any fun then. I suggest you get your fix like I did by reading Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea.
Until you pick up your own copy, or possibly win the giveaway mentioned below, maybe this blog post will entertain you. Lurking shadows of the night won’t envelope you just from reading this post, BUT if you don’t read it you’ll miss the review of one of the best scary stories I’ve read in years. Published by Samhain Publishing’s horror line, Shea is one of the best writers currently out there and I don’t say that lightly.
Here’s the synopsis~
John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.
Reading Evil Eternal by Shea first, I was not sure what to expect from Forest of Shadows since Evil Eternal is a rip-roaring bloody demonic action adventure. I know Shea is a big fan of ghost adventures and the paranormal, so I was hoping this was some kind of ghost story I could really settle down and get goosebumps from. I wasn’t disappointed!
Primarily taking place in an extremely remote town in Alaska that is more like a makeshift modern Native American village that belongs to the dump, Shea takes time to develop his characters and the town’s visual details. But not in any way that makes the story seem slow or going nowhere…in fact, he builds his characters and his suspense like a master professional with just enough alluding paragraphs, chapter endings, and out of nowhere sentences that made me jump out of my seat or my spine tingle.
His verbiage is supreme goodness, his prose so smooth like ghostly vapors, and his foreboding and mystery perfectly ominous and flawless. I was SUCKED right in and couldn’t stop turning the pages. I refused to want to stop reading to do normal tasks such as shower or eat.
His protagonist, paranormal hobbyist John, and his young daughter, Jessica, hail from New York and take up residence in this unlikely outpost based on a ghost hunting tip from a resident intelligent Indian delinquent who has a fancy for the local librarian and unexpectedly encounters a strange phenomena in John’s soon to be home. But this town doesn’t like white folk, or outsiders, and furthermore, doesn’t like its secrets told or history uncovered.
I really enjoyed how Shea was able to write a clean novel, without a lot of crass sex or bloody gore. When he did write some in during the bursting at the seams finale, he did so in a way that shocking and fast-paced. He was toying so much with my emotions that I barely saw the blood I knew must be there as I was focusing on feeling for the characters. I won’t give the ending away, but he had me guessing till the last. It was redemptive and sad all the same, with a message of good vs. evil you won’t want to miss.
He was able to scare the living daylights out of me–had me listening to the creak of my house stairs with more than passing notice and out my back window at night, even walking and looking over my shoulder–by utilizing straight-forward story telling at its finest. If you are a fan of authors who write augur ghost stories, then Shea is a must read and I recommend him highly.
Forest of Shadows has a sequel coming out this Spring from Samhain called Sinister Entity. Shea also has written a novella called The Graveyard Speaks, which is a prequel to the sequel. (Yes, you can laugh at that). To make it more confusing, it’s a sequel to Forest of Shadows, but also a stand-alone and the start of a new series. The Graveyard Speaks takes place some 13 years after Forest of Shadows ends and one month prior to Sinister Entity. Shea utilizes one of his most endearing main characters from Forest of Shadows for Sinister Entity.
We’ve got a lot of cool things coming up from Shea, including an interview this month where he divulges more to me than he ever has during an interview. It’s one you’ll want to be on the watch for. We’ve also got reviews and news of these new Spring releases coming up with giveaways on tap!
The Graveyard Speaks Novella (Short Story)~
The dark, moaning apparition that rises from the same grave night after night has chased away even the most skeptical cemetery caretakers. Only one ghost hunter has the will to face the unknown, but at what price?
The Graveyard Speaks is your introduction into the mysterious and at times dangerous life of the paranormal’s most powerful spirit explorer. Read it with the lights on, and if you’re brave enough, follow the trail to Sinister Entity. This isn’t ghost hunting you see on TV!
Get The Graveyard Speaks by Hunter Shea FREE on Samhain’s site (www.samhainpublishing.com) this April (or pre-order now), you’ll need to register with the site for free and put in cart for free, but you’ll pay zero…well, because it’s free. 🙂
The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With nowhere else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to be able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.
Pre-order now, it releases in April from Samhain Publishing (www.samhainpublishing.com):
Also, pick up or order either at your other favorite retailers nationwide!!
MY BLOG GIVEAWAY~
Hunter Shea is giving away one (1) ebook copy of Forest of Shadows to any reader that comments with email below, comments to my (www.facebook.com/almehairierin) Facebook page, or emails me directly at hookofabook(at)hotmail.com just in time to get it prior to the new books releasing!
You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 15, 2013 to enter to win!
For extra entry, follow my blog and let me know. For +2 extra entry, follow Shea’s Facebook page and let me know.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY~MARCH 1-3, 2013~HUNTER SHEA’S FACEBOOK FAN PAGE BLITZ:
From now until Sunday, he’ll send a free copy of his story, The Dig, to any new fans of his Facebook page. If they drop a note there that they were referred by an existing fan, he’ll send that fan a copy as well! Make sure you say Oh, for the Hook of a Book! sent you! Here is the link to his fan page–
About The Dig~
While digging in the Mongoloian heat, Felicia Tang enters an archaeological mystery. What looks like a normal burial mound is actually the entrance to a centuries old chamber housing countless urns within rough hewn niches. Who built the vast chamber and why? What remains lie within the urns? Most of all, what is still very much alive in the dark?
Hunter Shea, Biography~
I’m the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. I don’t just write about the paranormal. I actively seek out the things that scare the hell out of people and experience them for myself.
My novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre and Sinister Entity are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. I live with my family and untrainable cat close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.
I’m also proud to be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with my partner in crime, Jack Campisi. Our show is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. We explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun.
Feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Writing is lonely work.