Tag Archives: horror books

#HookonWiH: Curtis Freeman Interviews Sadie Lou Who in His Female Horror Reviewer Series (#MotherHorror)

Today in the #HookonWiHM series, the honcho at Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews, Curtis Freeman, interviews horror reader, reviewer, and bookstagrammer, Sadie Lou Who, or as we lovingly like to call her “Mother Horror.” This is the first in his three-part series on women blogging in the horror genre. I’m glad we are getting the word out about other women in horror in addition to all the amazing authors. It takes a community to make the genre shine! Sadie is nothing but pure energy joy and helps so many, not mention really talks up books and authors! She’s friendly, kind, and fun and we all have a great time talking books with her on Twitter and Instagram.

I had been taking interviews by men and women with women in horror, as well as guest articles, throughout the month of February, but I have quite a few still set to post and so I decided to take them all year long. You can find information on this at the bottom of the post. Take it away Curtis – thanks for a great interview with Sadie!

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CHHR: What was the first horror book you ever read?

SH: The first horror book I ever read was Dracula by Bram Stoker

CHHR: What is the scariest book you ever read?

SH: I still think IT by Stephen King is the scariest book I ever read.

CHHR: When did you become a blogger? What made you want to blog about books?

SH: I have actually been blogging FOREVER. I only just started blogging about books though, I’d say like 2 years or so and it started as an overflow to what I was already doing on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Goodreads. I felt like I just had more to say than what I was able to get out in just a few “updates” or book reviews.

CHHR: What annoys you the most with your blog?

SH: That I don’t devote more time to keeping it current but I’m really very busy on lots of other social media platforms and the blog seems to have the least amount of engagement. (even when I do update)

CHHR: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror fiction? Explain.

SH: This is a no brainer. Yes. There is a gender bias. If you Google 50 scariest books and read the various lists, you’ll find that it is very heavily dominated by male authors. Here, I’ll do it right now and tell you the first top five off any random list: House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski, The Ritual Adam Nevill, The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson (which I think is a classic horror story but it’s not scary), Heart Shaped Box Joe Hill and Hell House Richard Matheson. The next 5 are all male authors. Actually, the next 15-20 books on that list were male authors with the exception of Night Film by Marisha Pessl (which again, I didn’t think was a horror book, actually.)

CHHR: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror book blogging? Explain.

SH: I think there are just very few women reading horror. That’s been my experience anyways. Being very active on Bookstagram (a bookish community on Instagram where readers have individual accounts dedicated to the sole purpose of posting books) and I’d say that most of the females are reading YA Lit or adult, contemporary fiction and then maybe the next largest genre being thriller but the girls reading mostly horror are few and far between. I think that it’s viewed as normal or acceptable for men to like books heavy on violence, horror and gore but that it’s unladylike for women to like that stuff.

CHHR: How can we fix the bias?

SH: Well first, we can stop with the sexist stereotypes that horror is for dudes. Men can start writing horror books that are not misogynistic towards women and create strong female characters that are not always the victims—maybe they’re the heroes. And we can all do a better job celebrating female authors that are writing horror. Off the top of my head, Nadia Bulkin, Kristi DeMeester and Ania Ahlborn.

CHHR: I find it sad that we still live in a world where women authors have to use initials to seem less female. What are your thoughts?

SH: I think this is the publishers. I think the authors have a very difficult time having a voice in the meetings where things like that are decided and it’s really up to the industry to make those changes. I’m hard pressed to come up with a way readers have any influence on those choices at all, unfortunately.

CHHR: What pushes your buttons with your blog?

SH: I guess I don’t have a lot of complaints. I couldn’t think of anything.

CHHR: Do you think the Horror Writers Association (HWA) should start recognizing horror book bloggers?

SH: I mean, that sounds like an amazing opportunity for people like yourself who put a lot of time and effort into their blog and it challenges me, actually, to be more productive with mine. I find more engagement on Instagram and Twitter, actually.

CHHR: How has the horror community treated you since starting your blog?

SH: I love, love, love the horror community. I think it is wonderfully supportive, creative and diverse and I’m glad to be a part of it. People like you, Curtis, have been over the top in meeting my expectations to be welcomed.

CHHR: What makes a good horror book?

SH: Always the characters. Any horror book worth its weight in salt will have engaging characters that the reader can invest in-that way, whatever horror is going on, the story is immediately more dangerous and risky because we fear for our characters. For me, anyways.

CHHR: What scares you?

SH: Ha! Pretty much everything. I have a lot of different phobias concerning spiders, sharks, closed in spaces, crowds, heights but I also have deep seated fears of something horrific happening to my loved ones—having to live through some kind of tragedy or health crisis.

CHHR: Who’s your favorite horror author? You have to pick one or three authors, but it can’t be two.

SH: Stephen King, Nick Cutter and Ania Ahlborn.

CHHR: What books are you most looking forward to in 2018?

SH: Stephen King’s stand alone novel, The Outsider. Paul Tremblay’s Cabin at the End of the World. People should anticipate The Listener by Robert McCammon, I already read it but it’s wonderful. Everyone should buy it. The Hunger by Alma Katsu. Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman.

Sadie Lou IMG_1157Who, or “Mother Horror,” Biography –

Sadie lives in Tacoma, Washington and loves to read horror and anything dark, dark, dark. Most recently, she was the co-founder of Night Worms, a group that reads horror books together online, then post photos and reviews.

Find her mostly on GoodReads, Twitter, and Instagram.

Follow her blog HERE.

About Curtis Freeman –

Curtis

Curtis is a lover of horror books and films and a passionate addition to the horror genre. He reviews at his site Cedar Hollow Reviews and has just begun to interview authors via his YouTube Channel. Curtis even grilled me for over 3 hours one evening. His heartfelt excitement for the genre shows. This is the first in a series of three women horror bloggers Curtis is interviewing for my #HookonWiHM project. You can also find Curtis on Twitter.

Watch for more to come in the #HookonWiH series….

February was Women in Horror Month but we are honoring them all year! It’s time to celebrate and show off what we got! For those of you reading, men AND women both, make an effort to read and watch more horror produced by women this year.

For the #HookonWiH series, or Women in Horror at Hook of a Book, we’ll be hosting interviews conducted by men and women with other women in horror. Watch for those spread throughout the year, and if you want in, contact me! Find more info HERE.

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#HookonWIH: Curtis Interviews Lilyn, Site Founder of Sci-Fi & Scary!

Today in the #HookonWiHM series, the honcho at Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews, Curtis Freeman, interviews horror reader, blogger, and founder of the site Sci-fi & Scary, Lilyn George. This is the first in his three-part series on women blogging in the horror genre. I’m glad we are getting the word out about other women in horror in addition to all the amazing authors. It takes a community to make the genre shine! Lilyn is one of the nicest and yet most brutally honest people working in the genre and she’s always looking on improving her site even amid her already busy regular life. She’s also a great proofreader! I am really thankful myself for all Lilyn has done for me and my clients.

I had been taking interviews by men and women with women in horror, as well as guest articles, throughout the month of February, but I have quite a few still set to post and so I decided to take them all year long. You can find information on this at the bottom of the post. Take it away Curtis – thanks for a great interview with Lilyn!

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CHHR: What was the first horror book you ever read?

SF&S: I haven’t a clue. Probably something Dean Koontz, though.

CHHR: What is the scariest book you ever read?

SF&S: Scott Sigler’s Infected, but for a specific reason. I experienced this as an audio book and would (as I normally do) put it on to listen to as I fell asleep. Well, I wasn’t quite aware of the fact that he was going to make great use of sound effects in the book. I’m used to traditional narration! Anyways, I woke up at like 3 AM one night with the book right next to my ear going “We’re hungry! We’re hungry!” in that overlap of discordant tones. Scared the hell out of me. And I had that happen a few times with this book. It should come with a disclaimer: “Don’t fall asleep listening to it, you don’t know what you’re going to wake up to!”

CHHR: When did you become a blogger? What made you want to blog about books?

SF&S: About 2.5 years ago. Basically, Mira Grant’s book Feed is what turned me on to blogging. Even now it shapes the way I look at things, and how I want to handle the site as a whole. I still love that first book.

CHHR: What annoys you the most with your blog?

SF&S: I can’t make it perfect. Annoys the feck outta me.

CHHR: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror fiction? Explain.

SF&S: In published writing? Hell, yes. Of course there is. However, I think there’s a whole lot of women out there with scary stories tucked away, begging to see the light of day.

CHHR: Do you think there is a gender bias in horror book blogging? Explain.

SF&S: Not that I’ve seen. I know a lot of authors review books as well, so I see a certain predominance of men there, but when it comes to straight up just reviewers? I can name more women horror book bloggers than I can men, so I think it equals out.

CHHR: How can we fix the bias?

SF&S: By doing away with the idea that horror books ‘aren’t real books’ and showing people that it’s okay to have a little fun on the dark side.

CHHR: I find it sad that we still live in a world where women authors have to use initials to seem less female. What are your thoughts?

SF&S: Until we eliminate the idea that the female sex is somehow not as capable as the male sex in certain areas, women are always going to have to be a little tricky to get ahead. I don’t have any particular thoughts as to the trees because I’m looking at the forest, you know?

CHHR: What pushes your buttons with your blog?

SF&S: Authors not reading the bloody review policy and making me waste my time reading the entry forms that I’m inevitably going to reject because they didn’t read the policy!

CHHR: Do you think the Horror Writers Association (HWA) should start recognizing horror book bloggers?

SF&S: Oh yeah, this is the group that Michael Hodges sometimes talks about, isn’t it? They don’t recognize book bloggers? Shame, that.

CHHR: How has the horror community treated you since starting your blog?

SF&S: I’ve met lots of lovely people, and feel treated quite nicely, thanks!

CHHR: What makes a good horror book?

SF&S: A properly edited and proofread manuscript that has been researched as much as possible, with a coherent plot, believable dialogue, and any elements a reader finds scary.

CHHR: What scares you?

SF&S: In life? My living child dying. Having lost one child already, nothing in fiction can compare to that shit. In fiction? Demons and demonic possession.

CHHR: Who’s your favorite horror author? You have to pick one or three authors, but it can’t be two.

SF&S: Bill Schweigart, Danielle DeVor, and William Meikle

CHHR: What books are you most looking forward to in 2018?

SF&S: Courtney Alameda’s Pitch Dark, Jeremy K. Brown’s Zero Limit, and Rob Boffard’s Adrift

SciFi and Scary bio photo

Lilyn George, Biography –

Lilyn George is the founder of the book and film reviews and news site Sci-Fi & Scary, which focuses on primarily independent works.  Insomniac, rabid reader, spoonie, and afflicted by PTSD.  Also, there’s the tentacle thing.

And thank you to Curtis from Cedar Hollow Reviews for his fantastic interview with Lilyn. What a great addition to the women in horror series.

Follow her Sci-fi and Scary site for Science Fiction, Horror, Comics, Film, and More!

Find Lilyn on Twitter too!

About Curtis Freeman-

Curtis

Curtis is a lover of horror books and films and a passionate addition to the horror genre. He reviews at his site Cedar Hollow Reviews and has just begun to interview authors via his YouTube Channel. Curtis even grilled me for over 3 hours one evening. His heartfelt excitement for the genre shows. This is the first in a series of three women horror bloggers Curtis is interviewing for my #HookonWiHM project. You can also find Curtis on Twitter.

Watch for more to come in the #HookonWiHM series….

February was Women in Horror Month but we are honoring them all year! It’s time to celebrate and show off what we got! For those of you reading, men AND women both, make an effort to read and watch more horror produced by women this year.

For the #HookonWiH series, or Women in Horror at Hook of a Book, we’ll be hosting interviews conducted by men and women with other women in horror. Watch for those spread throughout the month, and if you want in, contact me! Find more info HERE.

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#HookonWiHM: Focus on Author Gwendolyn Kiste Via Calvin Demmer

February is Women in Horror Month! Though I agree women should be celebrated on the same level as men every day of the year, I like to partake in Women in Horror projects as a catalyst for spreading the good news and works of women in the genre in hopes that it will carry on throughout the year. It’s time to celebrate and show off what we got! For those of you reading, men AND women both, make an effort to read and watch more horror produced by women this year.

For the #HookonWiHM, or Women in Horror Month at Hook of a Book, we’ll be hosting interviews conducted by men and women with other women in horror. Watch for those spread throughout the month, and if you want in, contact me! Find more info HERE.

Now, without further wait, I’d like to introduce Calvin Demmer who has enthusiastically interviewed the amazing author Gwendolyn Kiste! I am more than pleased to say that I share a TOC with them in the Unnerving anthology Hardened Hearts and very much enjoyed both their stories. Further, I was excited to recently find out that Gwendolyn is originally from Ohio, where I currently live!

Take it away, Calvin – enjoy!

INTERVIEW WITH HORROR AUTHOR GWENDOLYN KISTE –

Gwendolyn Kiste_Black and White Headshot

Was it difficult to select which stories to include in your debut collection And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (Published by Journalstone)?

Overall, it wasn’t too terribly difficult, though it was so important to me not only to select the right stories but also to curate them in the absolute best order. This definitely took some time, and I was lucky to have my editor Jess Landry there to help me. All fourteen of the stories that I submitted to her for the collection made the cut for the book, but she helped with the order, opening with the avian horror story, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” and closing with the darkly romantic body horror tale, “The Lazarus Bride.” She felt both of those pieces focused similarly on themes of death and rebirth, and worked well in conversation with each other, and I couldn’t have agreed more.

As for other considerations in putting together the collection, several of the previously published stories are available for free online, so I felt it was important to offer readers something completely new. That’s what led me to including five stories original to the collection. Now that’s it been almost a year since publication, it’s interesting to take stock of the table of contents again and realize that I can’t imagine a different order or different stories.

These fourteen tales definitely cover all of my favorite themes: body horror, fairy tales, sisterhood, twisted romantic relationships, and of course, otherness and the role of the outsider in pushing back against the confines of society. I’m so grateful every day to Jess and JournalStone for releasing this book. It’s completely changed my career and brought me to so many more readers, which is the only thing that a writer can ever truly want for their career.

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How did you find the process from writing short stories to writing your novella Pretty Marys All in a Row (Broken Eye Books)?

It was a really wonderful—as well as daunting—experience to make the leap from short fiction to a longer form. In some ways, my approach to short fiction is a bit more free-flow: because the projects are shorter by design, I let them evolve much more naturally and then go back and edit the stories if I find that I ultimately didn’t need certain details or subplots. However, with a novella or any longer fiction, that free-flow approach can become more problematic. What’s easy to edit when it’s only 5,000 words can quickly become a nightmare for a 30,000-word story.

So I would say the main difference for me is how much more planning goes into my longer works. For example, prior to even starting the first draft of my novel, The Rust Maidens, I wrote out an 11,000-word outline. Almost none of those words ended up directly in the novel, but I knew every single direction the book was going to take. Every character, every setting, every scene. There were no surprises at all, which made drafting the book much smoother.

I took a similar approach with Pretty Marys All in a Row, though the outline was a little more informal with a page or two of notes for each chapter that included locations, character goals, and specific starting and ending points for all the scenes. Part of me really loves the spontaneity of letting a story evolve like I do with my short fiction, but when the moment comes midway through a longer project that it starts to become a bit of a struggle, I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve planned ahead. It’s definitely what’s helped to keep me going so far with my longer works.

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You collaborated with Emily Cataneo for the novella In Her Flightless Wings, a Fire (which will appear in Chiral Mad 4). How was the experience working with another writer?

I’d never collaborated with another writer before, especially on such a big project, so I had no idea what to expect when we started. Fortunately, Emily and I quickly worked out a good system for how to make the collaboration dovetail with both our visions. Once we had the basic elements for the story—ballet, sisters, witchcraft, turn-of-the-century Europe—we each crafted a point-of-view character, and wrote our alternating sections from our character’s perspective. Then we came together and worked to smooth out any inconsistencies and create a cohesive whole. Ultimately, In Her Flightless Wings, a Fire ended up in novella-length territory, and we were both very excited with how it turned out. When editors Michael Bailey and Lucy A. Snyder accepted it for Chiral Mad 4, I imagine you could hear Emily and I both squealing for joy for a several-mile radius.

Your debut novel, The Rust Maidens, will be published this year. Can you tell us a little about it?

Well, first off, I’m insanely excited and a little nervous about it! Obviously, it’s a big moment for every author to have a novel, but it’s so wonderfully terrifying too. And of course, you want to be sure that it’s the right book for your debut. Fortunately, I think I found a good balance with The Rust Maidens, since it at once includes elements from my short fiction while expanding upon my work in a number of ways that I hope readers will enjoy.

Based primarily in 1980, the book follows one Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood as the economy starts to unravel at the same time that the local girls begin transforming into something otherworldly. I’ve been describing it as David Cronenberg’s The Fly meets The Virgin Suicides. Lots of body horror, gruesome transformations, and coming-of-age themes in the Midwest, which is where I grew up. I never thought I’d “go back home,” so to speak, in my fiction, but once I came up with the concept for this book, I knew it was definitely a direction I was always meant to take. I wanted to write something about the economic losses so many people in the region have dealt with over the years, as well as the ecological disasters that have plagued Lake Erie for decades. To be honest, once I started writing about the Rust Belt, I realized just how much horror haunts the everyday recesses of the area, so it seems very naturally situated for a darkly supernatural novel.

We don’t have an official release scheduled yet for The Rust Maidens, but that date should be coming very soon, so definitely watch my website and the Trepidatio Publishing social media pages for those details!

Who are some of the female horror authors you believe people should be reading?

Honestly, there are way too many to list here, but I will do my best. I’m a huge fan of Farah Rose Smith, Brooke Warra, and Eden Royce in particular. We already mentioned Emily B. Cataneo, but her name certainly deserves to be repeated as well. My editor at JournalStone/Trepidatio, Jess Landry, is also a writer and a fantastic one at that.

Of course, I could go on and on: Lori Titus, Anya Martin, Nadia Bulkin, S.P. Miskowski, Denise Tapscott, Sumiko Saulson, Catherine Grant, Scarlett R. Algee, Rebecca Allred, Carrie Laben, Kenya Moss-Dyme. I usually focus on fiction, but in terms of horror poets, Christina Sng and Saba Razvi are two names everyone should definitely seek out. Truly, there are so many wonderful female horror authors working today, and it’s such an honor to be among their contemporaries

Gwendolyn Kiste_Black and White Headshot

Gwendolyn Kiste, Biography –

Gwendolyn Kiste is the author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, her debut fiction collection from JournalStone, as well as the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare MagazineShimmerBlack StaticDaily Science FictionInterzoneLampLight, and Three-Lobed Burning Eye as well as Flame Tree Publishing’s Chilling Horror Short Stories anthology, among others. A native of Ohio, she spends her days hanging out on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh where she lives with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. You can find her online at gwendolynkiste.com.

Book Purchase Links –

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe

Pretty Marys All in a Row

Thanks so much to Calvin Demmer for highlighting Gwendolyn!

CalvinDemmer

Calvin Demmer, Biography –

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His work has appeared in Broadswords and Blasters, Empyreome Magazine, Mad Scientist Journal, Ravenwood Quarterly, Switchblade, and others. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com.

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Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Haunted Halls Volume 2 in Glenn Rolfe’s Suspense Horror Serial Keeps Momentum Moving!

A few months ago I reviewed Glenn Rolfe’s The Haunted Halls, Volume 1. If you haven’t read any of The Haunted Halls yet, see this first review, which will really give you a feel for how the serial novel starts. Read the review of Volume 1 HERE, then read the rest of this blog post to see my thoughts on Volume 2. Releasing every few months, Volume 3 is also now available for purchase!

The Haunted Halls, Volume 2, Review~

HH2 PICGlenn Rolfe’s The Haunted Halls serial reading pleasure has continued for me with Volume 2.  With many moments of terror and psychological twists seeping and flowing exquisitely around action-packed scenes, Volume 2 keeps the momentum going. Volume 1 really had me wanting to read more and I wasn’t disappointed with Volume 2 as it picked right up for me and kept me engaged in the story.

I am extremely anxious to read Volume 3 now because Volume 2 had just enough suspense and left just enough clues and questions to make me crazy for Volume 3.   If I had the entire book, I’d probably stay up way too late reading it, so at least Glenn is allowing me some rest in between, but the pace of the book is propelling me into grabbing the next installment as soon as possible!!

His characters are developing even further and we begin to see some of their intentions or sinister plans, while with others we feel just enough to wonder what will happen to or with them as the story moves on. I am suspicious of almost everyone. I think he did a great job of juxtaposing between the past (in the 1980s) and the present, integrating characters and leaving us trying to connect the proverbial dots. And he did leave us hanging on many occasions, which is also a great move when selling a serial.

Glenn has just enough suspense, especially in the past scenes, intertwined with some great action scenes, especially in the hotel and the pool room, to mesmerize me. I love the shape shifting succubus avenue, and at least for me, I feel as if I am reading something original.  His writing is clear, characters well-developed (some very evil and sinister), plot seems tight so far, and he has those great elements of soft and haunting coupled with bold, blunt and action-packed horror scenes.

Even though I may never be able to swim in a hotel pool again, it will be worth it to have gotten to read such a well-written, modern, and psychological horror tale.

I am eager to know what these characters are up to next and look forward to Volume 3!

Author Glenn Rolfe, Biography~

GlennGlenn Rolfe is an author from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have two girls, Ruby, and Ramona. They currently reside in Augusta, Maine.

His short story, “Sins of My Past,” was published in December in “Paranormal Horror Anthology” (edited by Elle Pryor). His next short story, “Skull of Snakes,” is set to be published in October of 2013 in the anthology, “Coins of Chaos,” from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (edited by Jennifer Brozek).

 For all the latest news on Glenn Rolfe, check out his Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/glennrolfehorror

 The Haunted Halls, Synopsis~

HH1 coverWhat lies in wait at the Bruton Inn? Where did it come from? What does it want? People are checking in, but the little voices, the nightmares, the deep cold sinking into their marrow is changing them. What haunts these halls will alter those within its confines. Something big is unfolding, something dark- something evil. The haunted halls of the Bruton Inn welcome you. Checking in?

The Haunted Halls – A six part serial horror novel being self published throughout 2013. There are plans for a one book paperback version to be released in early 2014.

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One Killer Interview with Author Hunter Shea, Master of the Paranormal Horror

Today on the site we have one of my most favorite authors ever–the never elusive, extremely funny, and all around great guy Hunter Shea!!! Let’s see how much he tries to scare our socks off this time. He told me he has revealed more in this interview than anywhere before…..and I’m kicking myself for not asking him even MORE questions! If you like paranormal, creepy, horror, and the like, then you’ll want to check out what Shea has to say.

Or maybe start with a kiss……

Hunter kissing a skull

Hi, Hunter! So happy to have you stop by the blog today so I can infiltrate your monster of a mind. 🙂 One of my favorite times on the blog is when you are hanging out…

Hunter: Thanks Erin. Glad to see you lifted the restraining order so I can come around again. I’ve tried to stir up all the cranial beasties and spirits, just for you!

Erin: You sure know how to rub a girl the right way….! I’m anxious to ask you some questions to let readers get to know you and your writing better, as well as catch up on your news for 2013!

Q: When did you first start writing? Have you always had a love affair with the pen?

A: I started writing with the aim of doing more than just killing time in the mid 1990’s. I was in a dead end job and my friend Norm who sat next to me was working on a book whenever he had some down time in the office. I was going through a tough time and Norm both inspired and coached me along the way. I thank him every chance I get (and dedicated my book, Swamp Monster Massacre to him). As a kid and a teen I used to write zombie poems and dystopian stories littered with tough guys who said inane things and battled creatures. Then college came and writing only became something you did to get a good grade on a paper…or writing flyers for wing night or free keg. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when the bug burrowed under my skin and became a passion. And boy, it only grows with each passing year.

Erin Comments: “My friend Norm” sounds like a Cheers episode. Boy am I glad your friend Norm was writing novels and not just tipping back beers. Otherwise you’d be a drunk not an author….lol! Now I’m wondering what happened to Norm and if he published anything….

Q:  Your writing is pretty polished. You have a nice tone to your writing voice. How did you perfect this over the years?

A: Now you’re making me blush. Lots of practice, trial and colossal error. I didn’t even attempt writing a novel in my favorite genre, horror, until I’d been working on short stories and novels in other genres for almost 8 years. My very first full length book was a romantic comedy, of all things, but the voice wasn’t quite mine. It was hard getting the voices in my head to translate onto the page. I realized early on that everything I was writing was not solid gold. I have a vampire novella in a file that induces nausea quicker than a shot of Ipecac. I learned from my mistakes on that one and moved on to another that was slightly less horrible. I just kept at it until I was comfortable with my voice and style.

Erin Comments: Would love to see a vampire novel from you! And I can see why’d you write comedy, you’re so funny.

Q: Where do you come up with all the evil stories you churn out? What gives you inspiration?

A: I was raised a good Irish Catholic altar boy. I know evil when I see it! I thank God that my father let me watch horror and sci-fi flicks from day one on this big blue marble. We had a drive-in theater by our house so I got to see all these wonderfully awful B movie monster and biker flicks. We had Chiller Theatre on TV and this new writer called Stephen King giving everyone nightmares. I’ve loved horror for as long as I can remember and I was blessed with an overactive imagination. Now I get to put it to work!

Erin Comments: It’s always those preacher kid and good little altar boys isn’t it? Ha!

forest of shadows

Q:  When following a creative lead, how do you write? Outline first or just write what comes into your head?

A: I’ve heard other writers talk about their process and I guess I fall into the ‘organic’ category. I despise outlines. I did too many of them in school. Whenever I think of doing one, I get the feeling there’s an angry Brother behind me tapping a ruler in the palm of his hand. I develop a basic idea for a novel and kind of let my subconscious turn it around for a few months. If I still want to do it months later, I’ll start research (on locations or events or people), then pick a day to sit my ass down and start typing. I let the story kind of write itself and I’m always surprised by how my novels and characters end up. It’s pretty cool. Kind of like a medium and automatic writing, except it’s just the dark recesses of my demented brain doing all the heavy work.

Erin Comments: Knowing you, I am determined you just press your finger to the screen and say download. I don’t know how you write so fast….but glad you do.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?  Who inspires you? I think you are unique in your writing style, an original. Would you say so, or are you compared to any certain novelists in how you approach your stories?

A: I’m sure there are bits of every author I admire in my work. I do make a conscious effort to not sound like anyone else, but it’s hard to keep all your influences and loves at bay. I re-read several Hemingway books every year. If you want to learn brevity and the power of words, you have to study him. For horror, aside from the master, King, I’ve devoured everything by Robert McCammon, Brian Keene, Richard Matheson and Bentley Little. Oh, and I can’t forget my pal Norm Hendricks.

Q:  I know you are a huge video and film buff. What are some of your favorite all-time movies? Why?

A: Me likey movies. Hell, I started the Monster Men podcast with my bud Jack Campisi because we both loved scary movies so much. For my money, Alien is the best horror and the best sci-fi movie of all time. I mean, holy cow. There is nothing scarier than that creature, especially when Dallas was going through the air ducts with the flame thrower and they can see the alien on the radar coming up on him and he can’t! I still get chills.

The Big Lebowski is my #1 favorite movie. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is funnier. The Hunter abides. I love Excalibur and its grandiose story, music and action. King Arthur kicks some serious ass. The Haunting (the original, not that abomination of a remake) is proof that you can make a terrifying ghost movie without special effects. Rosemary’s Baby is just plain creepy, as is The Sentinel. I could go on forever (and you can all see Jack and I pontificate at The Monster Men…and it’s all free!).

the-graveyard-speaks

Q:  What movies are you looking forward to this year?

A: I haven’t been too thrilled with movies the past few years. I really can’t think of anything I feel like I absolutely have to see in 2013. I’m sure something will come out of the blue and surprise me. Of course, I’ll watch anything with Salma Hayek. Hence my ponying up money to see Here Comes the Boom. I’m so shallow.

Erin Comments: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was awesome!!

Q:  What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

A: I have a whole wish list of books from other authors at Samhain that I can’t wait to dive into. I’m finally going to get around to reading NightWhere by John Everson. I hear it’s kinky and twisted. John is a super nice guy. Hard to imagine that coming from him…that is, until I went to one of his short story readings. He’s a sick puppy, alright! I also can’t wait to read The Narrows by Ron Malfi, another awesome dude and Tumor Fruit by bizarro master Carlton Mellick. Carlton is an acquired taste, but he hooks you like a drug. I’m also looking forward to reading The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk. My Amazon wish list is about 60 books long. I’m hoping to get through all of them this year.

Q:  How did you begin to take a turn with your writing in regards to being published or publishing your work?

A: I wrote my first horror novel, Forest of Shadows, with the intention of sending it to editor Don D’Auria who was at Dorchester/Leisure horror at the time. I was an avid fan of the entire Leisure line and wrote my book to make sure it fit in with the tone and style they were looking for, which was also the style I enjoyed writing. I submitted it only to Don and waited…for 3+ years. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from Don saying he wanted the book. For the first time in my life, I was speechless. Before I could sign the final contract, though, Dorchester went under. Luckily, Don signed up with Samhain a few months later and asked if I wanted to head up the new horror line. It’s all been wonderful since then.

evil-eternal-cover

Q:  I know you set out for Evil Eternal to be a comic book.  Why do you describe it as such?  Do you still have hopes of it becoming drawn? 

A: I grew up loving comic books and have always wanted to write one. Evil Eternal is so over-the-top, so visual, so gory, I still hope we can get this in graphic comic form some day. It doesn’t read like anything else I’ve written. The characters are larger than life and dammit, they need to be drawn! 🙂

Erin Comments: Yes, it does and the cover is awesome. You can see my review HERE.

Q:  Have you written any other comic stories? Movie scripts? Tell us a little bit about what other writing you do besides on your novels.

A: Over the years I’ve written tons of stories in all genres except romance. I’ve never read a romance novel and I feel you can’t write something you have never read. Just a rule of mine. I also wrote a darkly comedic suspense novel back in 2000.

My one experience with script writing was, in hindsight, a funny disaster. A friend of mine met the head writer of a very, very popular crime show on network TV. He told him about my desire to be a writer and the guy asked me to write an episode of one of the top comedies on TV at the time. I spent 2 weeks watching every episode to get the characters, cadence and overall flavor down. Then I spent another 2 weeks writing and polishing the script. Turns out I did a good job, because the script was stolen by a staff writer and pitched to the producers. I didn’t get credit, but I did learn some valuable lessons about protecting my work, especially in a script/screenplay environment.  

Erin Comments: That sucks!! But glad you take it as a compliment.

Q:  Where is the best place for you to write? Do you make set times to do so, or try to do it wherever and whenever the muse strikes?

A: I have a corner of my bedroom that is my writing cave, but I’ve learned to write wherever I can. That could be in the kitchen, in the living room surrounded by my family, in libraries, my car, airports, hotels, you name it. When I’m knee deep in a project, I make sure I write at least 6 days a week and you can’t always do it in the place or the time you want, so you make do with what you have and where you are. You know what they say, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Erin Comments: Remember the post about writing in the kitchen….read HERE.

Q:  I know you have a Monster Men podcast and I enjoy listening to some of them. How did this come about? Can you tell us more about it?

A: Jack Campisi and I worked together for many years and discovered that our childhoods intersected but we’d somehow never met. We have the same sensibilities, likes, and passion for movies and horror. We’d always said we should just do a show where we talk about the things we love, like watching us sit at the bar and debate the state of the zombie as a genre.

When my first book, Forest of Shadows, was picked up, Jack decided it was time we put our money where our mouths are so I could also use the show as a way to promote my books. This summer we’ll have been doing it for 2 years and it gets better and better (and funnier). We say we have a lighthearted approach to dark topics. I do think we take a unique angle when it comes to talking about movies, books and the paranormal. It’s all about having fun.

Erin Comments: JACK is the MAN!!

swampmonstermassacre

Q: Tell us about your previous novels/novellas first, then let us know what is upcoming for you this year. What will be published?

A: My latest novella is Swamp Monster Massacre, a sweaty slog through Florida’s Everglades with a pack of vicious skunk apes on the trail of a group of shipwrecked tourists led by a crook named Rooster. It’s non-stop, relentless fun, and a chance for me to give some love to Bigfoot’s wet, smelly cousin. People have really taken to it and it’s my most successful book to date (as of January 2013).

In April, Samhain released my next novel, Sinister Entity, and a short story that precedes it, The Graveyard Speaks. Both are sequels to Forest of Shadows and center around a 19 year old ghost hunter with nerves of steel and unknown paranormal abilities of her own. She’s joined by the descendant of famed spiritualist D.D. Home and together they go up against angry poltergeists, malevolent spirits and the terrifying doppelganger of a young girl.

They’ve hit top selling lists on Samhain’s website and TGS has hit a top list on Amazon. The Graveyard Speaks is still free, for now, and introduces my ghost hunter. It takes the reader right into Sinister Entity and should give folks a chill or two up their spines.

Erin Comments:  You can read reviews of Forest of Shadows HERE, The Graveyard Speaks HERE, and Sinister Entity HERE.

sinisterentity

Q: What are you currently working on? What is on the horizon for Hunter Shea?

A: I started my next novel already, as a matter of fact and have a first draft done to turn in at the end of the month. I don’t want to give away much, but I will say it’s set in Wyoming in the early 1900s and Teddy Roosevelt will be a minor character. And no, he’s not hunting vampires or killing zombies. That’s already been done. It’s going to be a unique story with a lot of true history behind it. I also completed a novella that is based on the actual paranormal events my wife and I went through over a decade ago. More on that to come…

Erin Comments: I can’t wait, sounds amazing!

Q:  Your favorite movie snack?

A: Popcorn, without a doubt. I could eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And theaters, don’t give me that pre-popped in a giant bag crap. Pop it fresh. It’s not that hard to do.

Erin Comments: Mine too, extra butter! It’s how I keep a nice round butt!

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Q:  How can readers and fans connect with you?

A: The best place to find me is on my web lair at www.huntershea.com. There you can read my blog, excerpts of my books, free short stories, every Monster Men podcast and more. You can find the Monster Men on our You Tube channel, Monster Men 13. I also have a Facebook fan page (Hunter Shea, of course) and you can follow me on Twitter at HunterShea1.

Erin:  Thanks so much for joining me. It was a lot of fun, as always, to talk to you.  You’re a great writer with a friendly side.  Your books scare me more than you do. *wink*

Hunter:  Thank you for having me. I love what you’ve done with the place. And sure, you say my books scare you more now. Wait till I visit and stay for a week. Then you’ll see. *wink*

Author 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 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 huntershea1@gmail.com. Writing is lonely work.

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Readers Caught in Siren’s Spell: Feature Article with Horror Author John Everson on Relaunching a Book

Giving new breath into a novel that is a few years old can sometimes be difficult for authors.  But sometimes the novel just never really got its best lease on life. Kinda like when you are in the right place at the wrong time?  This is the case for Bram Stoker Award winning author John Everson’s novel, Siren.

If you haven’t heard of Siren before, here’s the synopsis and amazing cover:

siren-leisure-180Night after night, Evan walked along the desolate beach, grieving over the loss of his son, drowned in an accident more than a year before.

Then one night he was drawn to the luminous sound of a beautiful, naked woman singing near the shore in the moonlight. He watched mesmerized as the mysterious woman disappeared into the sea. Driven by desire and temptation, Evan returned to the spot every night until he found her again. Now he has begun a bizarre, otherworldly affair. A deadly affair. For Evan will soon realize that his seductive lover is a being far more evil…and more terrifying…than he ever imagined.

He will learn the danger of falling into the clutches of the… SIREN.

Sounds amazing, right?

Amazon has picked Everson’s fourth novel, Siren, to feature in their February 2013 “hot 100” list! They’ve put the e-book on sale for just $.99! At the time of this post, there are only two days left to purchase at the low sale price.

You can see Siren listed in the 100 Kindle Books Science Fiction/Fantasy section or visit their book page directly here:

SIREN: http://www.amazon.com/Siren-ebook/dp/B003YUCGAA/

So, what’s the story behind Siren?

Published to mass market in 2010 by Dorchester/Leisure Books, Siren is finally again on the rise on the Amazon sales charts.  But why now?  The first clue about Siren’s lull in readership is its publisher. Notice it’s Leisure Books, which closed its 40-year mass market line in September of 2010.  They were the only publisher in the U.S. to have a horror line up until the current decade.

“Two years ago…..Siren had its legs cut off, because two weeks after its release, Leisure declared an end to their mass market line,” said John Everson, author of Siren. “Siren died a quick death since books quickly disappeared from stores when they couldn’t reorder it.”

The sudden surge of e-books hurt business, but Dorchester (Leisure’s parent company) tried to recreate its trade paperback line, ultimately not succeeding very well. They had reissued Siren in trade paperback to shelves in Barnes & Noble and Borders, just in time for Borders to go bankrupt.  Since stores liquidated or returned stock, Siren lost momentum again.  In 2012, Everson said Dorchester “threw in the towel and sold the rights to its entire 40-year catalog to Amazon.” 

Everson’s first five novels, including Siren, have now been rebranded as 47North titles, one of Amazon’s labels.  They have given Everson a promotion for Siren during the month of February during its big Amazon Kindle 100 sale. As previously stated, readers can get it for .99 cents in e-book format until the end of February, but if you’ve missed the promotion, it still might be worth the regular price if you like award-winning horror authors.

Siren can cross genres enough that readers who enjoy fantasy, supernatural, and erotica, as well as horror, can enjoy it.  With the current publishing and reading trends, and it now being accessible in e-book format, the time seems ripe for Siren to make a comeback.

What do we know about sirens?  Remember those awesome evil female creatures in the Pirates of the Caribbean series?  They brought the sinister sirens to us visually as evil mermaids. Based on Greek mythology, the first sirens were supposedly the daughters of river-god Achelous. Wikipedia states that sirens “were dangerous and beautiful creatures, portrayed as femmes fatales who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.” Many various other writings place them at various locals, but almost all generally are on ocean cliffs and rocks.

Leonardo da Vinci even wrote of the siren, “The siren sings so sweetly that she lulls the mariners to sleep; then she climbs upon the ships and kills the sleeping mariners.”

So what inspired Everson to write about sirens?

About four years ago, when he was trying to decide what to work on for his fourth novel, he had a couple of ideas that had been with him for awhile (one of which was NightWhere… which he ended up writing  last year and publishing with Samhain Publishing’s Horror line). Since he wanted to present his editor with a handful of ideas to choose from, and realizing he’d published three novels at that point that all dealt with occult supernatural themes (and gotten increasingly extreme in terms of their erotic horror elements), he decided to brainstorm about something new.

“I wanted to write something that dealt with a corporeal creature, but not just a hulking monster – something with a brain,” Everson said. “I didn’t want to work with a “monster” that was typical — no zombies or vampires or the like. I tried to think about more classical monsters from our past that may have been forgotten.”

Thinking succubi still had a demonic theme, he began poking around at mythology and ran across a classical painting of three Siren sisters from old legends, lying naked in the midst of a pile of half devoured carcasses. “That (painting) clicked it for me,” Everson related.  ” They were living, fleshy creatures, full of seduction, yet, cannibalistic and dangerous. Perfect!”

 He didn’t do any exhaustive research to prove it one way or the other, but he said he hadn’t noticed any horror novels in recent years that focused on a siren. “I instantly began envisioning Ligeia, and the reasons that Evan, my protagonist, would fall for her when he absolutely shouldn’t,” Everson continued. He very quickly wrote up a 10-12 page outline.

“It ended up being almost a coin toss to decide whether to go with that or an idea called The Pumpkin Man… in the end, I went with Siren, and I’m glad I did – I am really proud of the way the novel turned out… and actually I wrote The Pumpkin Man immediately after,” Everson exclaimed.

While Siren is still a horror novel, Everson said it has themes of romance and erotica, as well as a “heavy” backstory about a father who has lost his son through his own weakness (aquaphobia).

“I think it touches the fears of parents who want to do whatever they can for their children, as well as those who have strayed, but want to do whatever they can to go back to their partners,” he explained. “People seem to either love or hate the ending, but I really felt that this book was accessible to far more readers than just “horror” fans.”

The first week of the promotion Siren was #1 on Kindle Horror list, then later it hit #1 on the SF/F list. 

“This promotion is exposing the title to a lot of new people,” Everson said.  “I’m hoping as many people as possible will pick it up on this Kindle 100 sale and give it new life moving forward. This could really be the “rebirth” of Siren, which actually has been looked at as a possible movie for Chiller Network….still have my fingers crossed on that!!!!”

It seems like Siren might have a good chance at breathing above and below water. Now, it’s up to the readers to decide and propel it forward.

Everson continued, “this book was a very important novel for me and I’m really excited that it might be getting a new lease on life this month! I am  hopeful that finally Siren might reach some of those readers it missed in its last two paperback releases. I know that given this placement, there will probably be more than a thousand new readers of the book.  I hope they enjoy it, and encourage others to read Ligeia’s story!”

siren-leisure-180Siren Information and Amazon Purchasing Link~

  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0843963549
  • Publisher: 47North (July 27, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

http://www.amazon.com/Siren-ebook/dp/B003YUCGAA/#_

John Everson, Biography~

john-everson

John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of seven novels of erotic horror and the macabre, including his most recent, NIGHTWHERE, as well as COVENANT, its sequel SACRIFICE and the standalone novels THE 13TH, SIREN, and THE PUMPKIN MAN. His novel VIOLET EYES, which is well-fortified with spiders, will be released just in time for Halloween, 2013.

John shares a deep purple den in Naperville, Illinois with a cockatoo and cockatiel, a disparate collection of fake skulls, twisted skeletal fairies, Alan Clark illustrations, and a large stuffed Eeyore. There’s also a mounted Chinese fowling spider named Stoker, an ever-growing shelf of custom mix CDs, and an acoustic guitar that he can’t really play but that his son likes to hear him beat on anyway.

Sometimes his wife is surprised to find him shuffling through more public areas of the house, but it’s usually only to brew another cup of coffee. In order to avoid the onerous task of writing, he occasionally records pop-rock songs in a hidden home studio, experiments with the insatiable culinary joys of the jalapeno, designs book covers for a variety of small presses, loses hours in expanding an array of gardens and chases frequent excursions into the bizarre visual headspace of ’70s euro-horror DVDs with a shot of Makers Mark and a tall glass of Newcastle.

Learn more about John on his site, http://www.johneverson.com, where you can sign up for a direct-from-the-author monthly e-newsletter with information on new books, contests and occasionally, free fiction.

Want to connect? Follow John on Twitter @johneverson, or find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/johneverson.

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Hunter Shea Talks about Writing on Swamp Monsters from His Kitchen!

On Monsters, Deadlines and Space

Guest Post By Author Hunter Shea
Giveaway of Swamp Monster Massacre after the post

 I’m such a silly bastard.

Way back when I started dabbling in writing (in a time before cell phones were common and Toni Braxton won the Grammy for best new artist), I had all these fanciful ideas about what a writer’s life would and should be. To write, one had to have a magical place to retire to, preferably a study with heaps of books, the smell of sweet pipe smoke, a view of a rolling green and utter silence and privacy. One book every couple of years seemed like a prodigious enough output. There would be lavish lunches with publishers and agents and my first book contract would set me financially for life.

Cut to many years later and as I’m signing my first bonafide book contract with a class-A publisher (Samhain Publishing), my editor (the best in the biz) asks when he can expect book number two. Oh boy. The second contract, signed a few months later, was followed by a request for book number three and…well, you get the point.

It was book number three, Swamp Monster Massacre, that completely changed my view of the writer’s life. My editor and I were emailing each other at midnight and he asked if I had a novella that I could send him for publication around Halloween, which was only 6 months away. I told him I could write a new one that would be more in line with my current ‘voice’.

                “Great!” he said. “I’ll need it in 3-4 weeks.”

                What the?

                Naturally, I said, “No problem. I’m on it.”

                “Can you tell me what the story will be?”

Somehow, despite my insomnia, I was quick on my feet and said, “How about a book about skunk apes (the Bigfoot of the southern swamps) who try to murder a criminal who crashes a hijacked airboat full of tourists in the Everglades?”

 I hit SEND and cringed. Thanks to a lifetime devoted to all things monstrous (God bless Leonard Nimoy and In Search Of,) coming up with a beast to write about was easy. Hell, I love Bigfoot…and the Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, Jersey Devil, you name it. I know more about them than my neighbors or even 90% of my family. Monsters are mystery and magic and everything that keeps my spirit young and wondering.

To my surprise and delight, he replied, “Sounds pretty cool. Have fun with it and shoot me over a first draft as soon as you can.”

Great! Now I had a concept. I only had to tap out 30,000 words and do about 5 revisions in less than a month. Cue the loud slap to my forehead with the palm of my hand.

It felt like Catholic high school all over again. I was just given a deadline that would make a grown man cry. Failure to meet it was not an option. So the very next day, I did some research on the Florida Everglades and started writing.

 Remember when I mentioned the dream study earlier? I do have a nice spot in my house where I do most of my writing, but for some reason, I could only keep up the pace in our very busy kitchen. Here’s where I wrote every line. Pure chaos!

Writing War Zone

Somewhere between the microwave and bottle of Gatorade, I lived in a balmy swamp filled with vengeful skunk apes. It made me think of Stephen King’s book, On Writing, where he talks about writing Carrie and Salem’s Lot in the laundry room of a trailer. Also, after his major accident in the late 90s, his wife set him up with a folding table outside the pantry so he could write again. He had a fan, some pencils and paper and his laptop. That’s it. And man, did he write.

I learned a lot about myself and the writing process thank to Swampy, and for that, I’ll always love the book. A deadline can be a very good thing. You don’t need to have the perfect conditions to write. Just the passion. And skunk apes make very good companions.

 A little about Swamp Monster Massacre:

swampmonstermassacreThe swamp belongs to them. Humans are only prey.

Deep in the overgrown swamps of Florida, where humans rarely dare to enter, lives a race of creatures long thought to be only the stuff of legend. They walk upright but are stronger, taller and more brutal than any man. And when a small boat of tourists, held captive by a fleeing criminal, accidentally kills one of the swamp dwellers’ young, the creatures are filled with a terrifyingly human emotion—a merciless lust for vengeance that will paint the trees red with blood.

Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Swamp-Monster-Massacre-ebook/dp/B009AZ818O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358094581&sr=8-1&keywords=swamp+monster+massacre

Samhain : http://store.samhainpublishing.com/swamp-monster-massacre-p-7109.html

B&N : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/swamp-monster-massacre-hunter-shea/1113083308?ean=9781619213890

GIVEAWAY~

ONE lucky reader will win an electronic copy of Swamp Monster Massacre just by commenting below or on the Facebook link. You may also email me at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.  Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts, but a comment is enough to enter. Anyone can enter, so don’t be shy. The contest will be open until Jan. 23 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be notified by email on Jan. 24. Please make sure to leave your email with me so I can contact you.

Hunter Shea, Biography~

hunter-headshotHunter Shea is the author of the novels Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal, Swamp Monster Massacre and the upcoming Sinister Entity. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the upcoming Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He is also half of the Monster Men video podcast, a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

STAY TUNED for more on my blog from Hunter Shea as we have an interview next week and discuss his upcoming novella The Graveyard Speaks and novel Sinister Entity!!  Both are set for April release. The Graveyard Speaks takes place between Forest of Shadows and is a prequel to Sinister Entity, the sequel to Forest of Shadows.

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Jonathan Janz STEALS My Blog Today! Get the Word on His New Ghost Story!

Today, we’ve got a guest post by the jovial Jonathan Janz, a horror author who is only slightly mad. But I’ll let him post anyway because he makes me laugh and I like his work. Today he’ll be talking about his upcoming House of Skin.

Ok, guest post starts here…………take it away Jonathan:

First of all, a huge thank you to Erin for allowing me to commandeer her blog for the day. And thank you to my doctors for letting me out of my cage. 

My new novel is called HOUSE OF SKIN. Here’s the incredible cover and a brief description of the tale: 

 

“Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate—and Annabel—have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?”

So that’s the skeleton plot of the book. What I wanted to do today was to give you a glimpse into the novel via a short excerpt. The passage I’ve chosen to share with you today is the moment in which Paul Carver first enters his newly inherited Victorianmansion. Any of you who’ve ever bought (or inherited) a home can probably relate to the anticipation Paul is feeling here. So read on after the photo of MY BETTER SIDE for some free fiction!

When Paul came to an opening in the forest, he made out a wooden mailbox whose carved, ornate letters spelled out WATERMERE.

Finally.

He signaled despite being the only living soul for miles. When the Civic left the thick gravel and disappeared into the woods, its wheels aligning with the twin tire paths that doubled for a road, he felt an odd twinge of recognition. The hickories and oaks and maples leaned over the road like knights with swords drawn, admitting their king.

And wasn’t that the truth? Unless the pictures the lawyers had sent him had been doctored in some way, Paul was about to take possession of a mansion. He chuckled, giddy with disbelief. He was a modern-day baron, a landed count.

Bushes thwacked the Civic, reeling him back toward reality. He’d need to do something about the flora threatening to overtake the lane. He knew Myles had been an old man, but he still could have employed someone, a local kid maybe, to keep the road from going to seed.

The woods opened up, and all he could do was stop the car and stare. Watermere was beautiful.
 He couldn’t believe that this sprawling Victorian home was his.
 As Paul pulled forward, he took it all in. Though majestic, the house needed work. He noted the way the porch awning sagged, the cracks in the brick façade, the dead ivy. He doubted the old man had spent much time on upkeep in his twilight years. He studied the detached double garage up ahead and wondered whether either side was occupied.

Paul stopped, threw the car into park. Getting out, he entered the side door of the garage. Flicking the switch, he saw it was empty. The closed air smelled vaguely of kerosene. He scanned the wall for the automatic door opener but couldn’t find one. Then, he spotted the rope attached to the garage door lying there on the floor. He crossed to it, bent and lifted.

The garage door roared up on its tracks. It made a frightful racket, but something about the noise appealed to him, as though he were announcing his ownership of the house by startling it awake.

Climbing back into the Civic, he shifted into gear and rolled into the stall. He cut the engine and got out, relishing the simple pleasure of housing his car in a garage. It was the first time, other than parking garages, he’d had the Civic indoors. He patted its roof fondly and went out.

Paul stared up at the house. He’d never imagined he would live in such a place. In fact, he never thought he’d own a house period. His father always told him how silly it was to waste money on rent, but Paul feared ownership, as though purchasing a home in the city would somehow bind him to it for the rest of his life. It was admitting defeat to buy a home near his family, he reasoned, so he kept his crackerbox apartment. Now he understood the pride his father had talked about.

He trotted toward the porch and mounted it in three strides. It winded him. He stood there panting, his belly drooping over his waistband.

He resolved to get into better shape.

Cupping his temples, he pushed his face close to the beveled door window and discerned a foyer made of checkered tile.

A manila envelope lay at his feet. He picked it up and ripped the top open. Bypassing the papers crammed inside, his groping fingers found the key, pulled it out. Taking one more deep breath, he sighed and slid the key into the lock. A dull click sounded. He thumbed the steel button.

Paul went in.

*And…cut!*

Thank you again to Erin for being so awesome. She really is awesome, by the way—she’s easily one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve met since becoming a writer. I hope you all read HOUSE OF SKIN. You can get it now anywhere e-books are sold like Amazon, or Samhain’s website, or Barnes and Noble… (with the paperback coming in October). And if you want to learn more about my books or me, go to www.jonathanjanz.com.

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Hunter Shea Releases Cover Art for Paranormal Sequel Sinister Entity!

Another Samhain published author also debuted an AWESOME book cover this week. I am loving their graphic art!! Hunter Shea, author of Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal, will publish a sequel to Forest of Shadows, called Sinister Entity! It won’t be out for a little while, but doesn’t the cover look….well…sinister? Creepy? Alluring in an evil way? What do you think?

Here’s the blub from Publisher’s Weekly about the upcoming book: 

In the follow up to the paranormal hit, Forest of Shadows, a young, brash ghost hunter teams up with the ancestor of the world’s greatest psychic-medium to confront a doppelganger that is terrorizing a New Hampshire teen.

If you’re curious and haven’t read the first book yet, here’s the synopsis for Forest of Shadows too:

The dead still hate!
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.

So, what are you waiting for? Forest of Shadows released January this year and is available in paperback and e-book.  Get caught up on it while waiting for Sinister Entity to release.

Available from Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/forest-shadows-p-6675.html or other places like Amazon, etc.

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Can U Finish This Sentence to Win, The Cursed Man, during #SpringHorrorRAT?

Blog includes~

*My update

*Challenge Housekeeping

*CHALLENGE 5~Co-Hosted by amazing Horror writer, Keith Rommel. He’s helping to host this challenge and we’ll use both our blogs so pay close attention to the directions. It’s a “finish this sentence” challenge for a chance for 1 (one) signed hard copy of his book and for 1 (one) e-book!! Due Date: SUNDAY at 11:59 p.m.

My Update~

I finished the supernatural horror book that I was reading for an author in the editing stages. All I can say is that this book is one you won’t want to miss when it comes out. I’ll be sure to tell you all when it does. So sorry for not being able to tell you now. But I really needed to get it finished as well. So I’ve got two books finished so far. And I’ve busted my butt blogging and arranging challenges and promoting like crazy. I’ve got the most hits on my blog EVER……

Challenge Housekeeping~

…….Which leads me to ask, why aren’t more of you taking these challenges? They aren’t hard. Some questions mostly, some typing. Come and join in the fun, these are great books we are giving away!

Don’t forget you can enter Challenge 2, 3, 4 and 5 anytime up until SUNDAY at 11:59 p.m. EST. This gives you time to do them this weekend. You don’t want to miss out on these books!

Challenge 2~Click HERE!

Challenge 3~Click HERE!

Challenge 4~Click HERE!

Challenge 5~Keep Reading…..

This challenge will show your creative side! Take the beginning of sentence given to you by going to Keith Rommel’s site at http://keithrommel.weebly.com where you need to click at top on the word BLOG. There will be a post with the sentence and some content from Keith. You’ll need to finish his sentence in 250 words or less, so write as much as you want to up to that limit, or as little as you want.

You’ll need to POST your writing in the COMMENTS of KEITH’S blog you went to at the link or post the link to where you wrote it (blog, etc.)! Don’t forget to come back to mine to leave regular comments and for extra entries.

Keith will be judging these and the winner will win a signed copy of his first book The Cursed Man. AND the winner will win a guest post on my blog where you get to feature your writing and a blog or anything else you want to promote. Plus free promo by me, a professional PR person! 

All the rest of you that participate will be put in for the drawing for an e-book copy of The Cursed Man.

The Cursed Man, by Keith Rommel, is the first in his Thanatology series. I loved this book when I read it. It’s got that old fashioned horror feel, as in a  short story by Edgar Allen Poe. It’ss totally psychological in nature. You can read my review of it HERE

Extra Entries~

For extra entries for the e-book you can follow me on Twitter @ErinAl-Mehairi for +1.

You can tweet this challenge for +5. Tweet Challenge 4 for +4. Tweet Challenge 3 for +3. Tweet Challenge 2 for +2.

You can follow @keithrommel on Twitter for +2.

You can click “like” on the Amazon page for The Cursed Man at http://www.amazon.com/The-Cursed-Man-Keith-Rommel/dp/1934597031/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1335582085&sr=1-1-catcorr for +5 extra points!!!!!

Follow Keith on GoodReads here http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10798544-the-cursed-man for +2.

Rules: You need to be in the U.S. to win the paperback due to shipping unless you want to contact me for other arrrangments. Anyone is eligible for the e-book!  This challenge 5 is due on Sunday by 11:59 p.m. EST, but the sooner the better!! Winners will be notified next week.Happy reading AND writing!! I really can’t wait to see what you come up with!! 🙂

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Filed under Book Reviews, Read-a-Thons