Congratulations to Brian Moreland today on the release of his novella The Witching House! Witches might be a new trending theme for books right now, but I’ve always loved stories of witches. Even when I was little, and not allowed to watch, talk, or even think about scary topics (my mom didn’t like it and I had horrible nightmares of a genie), I WAS allowed to read stories of witches. Maybe it was due to Wizard of Oz, or my paperback Tilly the Witch book, but regardless my mom was okay with storybook witches. I’d pretend I liked only good witches and then imagine myself dressed as an evil witch with only some redeeming traits. Ha! I was thrilled when she sewed me a black witches costume and cape one year for Halloween when I was about 8-years-old, so much so, I still have it.
Continually over the years, I’ve liked, hated, and either way been enthralled by witches. When one of my favorite authors, horror writer Brian Moreland, decided to put out a novella called The Witching House, I was ecstatic to see what kind of evil tale he had come up with that surrounded witches.
The Witching House, by Brian Moreland, and its short story prequel, The Girl from the Blood Coven, was a completely original tale in which we are led to wonder who a demented serial killer might be that murdered 25 witches who lived as a coven in the Texas woods. By the end of the prequel, I was entranced by some sick individual and needed to find out what heinous explanation he had for committing the atrocities we read. The shocking conclusion was enough to make me want to start right in on The Witching House IMMEDIATELY, which would take me forward into the present day.
The Witching House pulls us in at the start with a group of four, two couples, who go on a ghost hunt adventure. As I read, I catch myself waiting around every corner for something sinister to appear or happen. For a little while I am learning about the characters, especially Sarah and Dean, as Sarah works to overcome her fears. I listen to their banter and everything seems normal. As a floor board creaks or a shadow is seen out the corner of an eye, the book begins to seep in creepiness. Soon enough, we understand that the ghosts of the Blevins Coven are not the only supernatural forces in this cabin. As well, everyone is not who they seem!
It was pure entertainment to explore the musty cabin with them and even experience the horror they begin to unravel. Brian spins an unique and imaginative tale of what lurks in the basement of a secluded cabin. Being always torturously petrified of my childhood basement, I now have proof of why! I want to share with you so badly what is lurking there and why the whole idea is so incredibly cool. But I can’t spoil it, because I really want you to read this book! You’ll love it!
Instead, I will say that I did LOVE the way that Brian connected the supernatural entity in the basement to nature. It has been one of my very favorite things that I’ve seen him do with a book yet. Growing up in the woods, and with that eerie basement again where it was always damp and cold, mildew liked our old stone, and moss was forever on everything around our house, I could totally relate to how these parts of a property or home could also become a part of the supernatural as they take on a life of their own.
Brian manages to give us not only a fun story in these shorter works, but he packs in good magic vs. black magic and how they relate to each other, underlying themes of overcoming fear, attributes of cults in history and how they can lead to dangerous ends, family relationships (even strange ones), and romance! Plus he adds mystery, suspense, and additionally, hope! And curses….oh, the CURSE!
This book is a definite WIN, worth the money, and I urge you to read both The Girl from the Blood Coven and The Witching House before summer is over! They’re a manageable length for quick reading, but packed full of amazing prose that you won’t want to put down. You’ll read them both in one sitting and they are pretty inexpensive too. I hope I see more exciting tales like this from Brian in the future.
I would highly recommend this novella to any horror genre lover, but also to any mainstream readers who want a more pulse pounding tale. There is some romance, but not overly explicit, and he keeps it low on the blood/gore meter, which is why it’s great for overall reading by anyone who just wants a good creepy time.
* I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.
The Witching House, Synopsis~
In 1972, twenty-five people were brutally murdered in one of the bloodiest massacres in Texas history. The mystery of who committed the killings remains unsolved.
Forty years later, Sarah Donovan is dating an exciting man, Dean Stratton. Sarah’s scared of just about everything—heights, tight places, the dark—but today she must confront all her fears, as she joins Dean and another couple on an exploring adventure. The old abandoned Blevins House, the scene of the gruesome massacre, is rumored to be haunted.
The two couples are about to discover the mysterious house has been waiting all these years, craving fresh prey. And down in the cellar they will encounter a monstrous creature that hungers for more than just human flesh.
Author Brian Moreland, Biography~
Brian Moreland writes novels and short stories of horror and supernatural suspense. His first two novels, Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist, are now available. The Witching House released August 6, 2013, and novel The Devil’s Woods will release December 2013. He loves hiking, kayaking, watching sports, dancing, and eating cookies. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel. You can communicate with him online at http://www.brianmoreland.com/
Brian’s Horror Fiction blog: http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com
Coaching for Writers blog: http://www.coachingforwriters.blogspot.com