With the Halloween season creeping up on us like Jason with a new hockey mask, it’s time to start getting our scare on. I figured I’d kick things off with an excerpt from my terrifying ghost novel, Sinister Entity. Read on, but keep the light switch nearby and make sure to keep your foot tucked in the covers. Oh, and don’t fear going to the bathroom in the dead of night…too much.
Let me know what you think of the excerpt (or the book) and I’ll give away a free signed copy to a random person who posts a comment.
The small bathroom was just off the kitchen and was her father’s sanctuary. A magazine basket filled with well-thumbed copies of Sports Illustrated and Newsweek sat between the toilet and sink. She took a moment to lean against the sink and calm her nerves. Even if Jessica and Eddie somehow managed to make everything go away, she wasn’t sure she could ever spend another night in this house.
Being scared or anxious always made her have to pee, and she was surprised she had lasted this long without letting off the mounting pressure on her bladder. She unbuttoned her shorts and pulled them down with her panties.
“Oh my God that feels good.”
It felt as if she hadn’t gone to the bathroom in weeks and the stream came out in a never-ending rush.
There was a soft tap on the tile floor, and she gasped when air in the cramped room changed, becoming icy and thick. It was like trying to draw a breath through a cold, wet towel. Her heartbeat burst into high gear until she could hear the pounding of its overworked valves in her ears.
She bent down to pull up her shorts and shrieked when a pair of arctic hands clutched her wrists, pinning them to her sides.
She barely managed to cry out, “No!”
The rest of her words were cut off. She was being suffocated. Something blocked her nose and mouth and she struggled to draw a breath while the cold, invisible hands moved to her thighs, slowly creeping inward.
Fillmore Street Park
He walked to the old bench at the Fillmore Street Park for his evening think. He'd done it for years. He was loving her that night. He'd done that for years as well. With a groan—his old bones protesting, he sat and smiled, wrinkling an old face. Children played while he slumped, his heart seizing. She came soon after, just to check on him.
Fellow Monster Man Jack Campisi is back, schooling all you monster dudes and monsterettes on the art of horror. So, turn down the light, sip the mind altering beverage of your choice and read on…
Now that the calendar has turned to October and Halloween season is upon us, it’s time to really dive into horror, and I mean headfirst. There are only 31 days, so let’s not waste any of them. Naturally, there’ll be plenty of scary movies and shows on TV, but it’s also a great time to pick up a good book.
Being good friends with a horror author has some great perks. Not only do I have a blast co-hosting the Monster Men horror podcast, but I also get exposed to a whole world of fantastic horror literature that I may not have found on my own. Reading is such a wonderful way to enjoy the genre. When you find a good book, you get sucked into a new world and your mind becomes your movie screen. You are much more connected with the characters and let’s face it, books can go to so many more places than any movies.
It got me thinking about how important books have been in my journey as a horror fan. When I was a kid, the school library and the public library were treasure troves of monster books. So, before I was even old enough to watch Dracula or Frankenstein, I was devouring books about monsters, ghosts and urban legends like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Here are a few books that helped fuel my imagination and molded me into the Monster Man I am today.
First we have Movie Monsters and Monsters from the Movies by Thomas Aylesworth. These books were in my elementary school library and I made a beeline for them every chance I could get. The photos of Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man and all those other wonderful creatures grabbed my imagination and never let go. One of the reasons those books got such a prominent place on the bookshelves was that Aylesworth’s wife happened to be the art teacher at our school. Pretty cool, huh?
Another book that I owned, and still have today, is Horror Movies: Tales of Terror in the Cinema (The Movie Treasury) by Alan G Frank. This book is amazing. Way before I saw most of the Universal Monster movies or the Hammer horror films, I had this book. It has chapters on vampires, werewolves, mummies and every other kind of fiend you can imagine. There are some terrifying photos, particularly of Christopher Lee, that had me leaving a light on when I went to bed. Then, as I got older, I had a great guidebook for movies to seek out. This book covers everything from Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed to Vampire Circus.
Of course, as time went by, I graduated to more traditional books like Salem’s Lot and Pet Sematary, but it really all started with monster books like these.
So this Halloween season, I urge to turn off the TV once in a while and curl up with a good, scary book. On the latest episode of Monster Men, Hunter and I suggest a whole pile of excellent horror novels. This includes terrific books by Tim Myer, Brian Moreland, Jonathan Janz, Jamie Evans and Frazer Lee. (And Hunter Shea, of course.) If you have not read these guys yet, you really ought to check them out. Not only will you be supporting some great people, but you’ll also be in for a hell of a read.
Just in time for the Halloween season, my first short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, has been set loose on an unsuspecting world. To kick things off, I’m running a special from now until Halloween. You can get a copy of Asylum Scrawls for only 99 cents. After the ghosts and goblins have their fill of candy and egging houses, the price goes to $1.99 (still a bargain if you ask me). With fantastic cover art by Mike Chella and a creepy bonus story by my mentor, Norm Hendricks, it’s sure to make you question what’s real and what’s not.
As an added bonus, if you download a copy before Halloween and let me know through this old blog and chain, the FB fan page or Twitter, you’re also eligible to win a copy of any of my novels. You can’t beat that with a stick, or chainsaw, or hot poker, or machete. I’ll be giving away books all through the Horrortober season. That’s right, all treats, no tricks.
So, what’s cooking in the asylum?
- In PHANTOM FEELING, meet Hank, a recent amputee living in his parents’ attic. His childhood toys are coming out to spell secret messages to him – or is he losing his grip on his sanity?
- THE FACELESS GIRL follows two couples at a famous movie star’s mountain mansion. The master bedroom holds a terrifying secret – an apparition that will not leave.
- The last place you want to be is strapped to the pummel stone in STONED. Poor Kitty’s wasted her life on the stone, but things are about to take an unexpected and deadly turn.
- What happens when your religious zealot wife tells you about her special COMMANDMENT ELEVEN? You watch your life fall to pieces, bit by agonizing bit.
- Ready for a true gothic nightmare? MERCY starts with a demonic possession and only gets worse in the old manse beset by evil.
- FOUL BALL is a throwback to the 70′s during the Summer of Sam in New York. When a Wiffle ball rolls down the sewer, 6 boys devise a plan to save it from the muck and slime. Some things are better off lost
- In a special bonus story by Norm Hendricks, a child killer confined to a prison cell waits for the call of the PIPER. Truly haunting.
Help me get this bad boy to number one! To order your copy from Amazon, click here.
It’s a grand day here in the Monster Men dungeon. The Halloween season is in full swing and we’re feeding the Samhain beast with movies, books, TV shows and more.
This year, we have a couple of surprises, eat some Halloween treats, talk with our mouths full and behave like the monsters we are.
Check out the little contest we threw in to win copies of my books. We didn’t make it easy, but a true horror hound will get it. Good luck!
I have a special treat for you today (I’ll save the tricks for Samhain eve). Today’s guest post by Adrian Rawlings talks about the do’s and don’ts of fleeing from a crazed killer, ala Michael Meyers or Jason Voorhees. This is prime stuff, not to be missed if you live near a camp or broken down house with a sketchy past or anywhere in the Bronx.
Read on, then run to your TV and watch your favorite slasher flick!
You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide…
“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
A horror movie really cuts to the core of our psyches when it hits close to home. Literally.
Long before R. Kelly took the world by storm with “Trapped in the Closet” (some would call this a horror of a film, but I digress and disagree), Michael Myers was driving Laurie Strode into the same fate.
You know how it goes. You’re enjoying a nice bubble bath, thinking about life, relaxing and minding your own business, when all of a sudden, the call is coming from inside the house.
Your location has been compromised. There’s no rewinding the tape on that one. Now what do you do?
~ The worst place to hide is, as we all know, the closet. It’s the first place murderers are going to look, and there’s only one way out – the way he’s coming in, cleaver first.
~ Don’t hide in the shower. Not only can a bloodthirsty Psycho see right through the curtain or misty glass. Is that how you want to go? And how easy is that cleanup going to be? Prints destroyed, blood washed away. Don’t be so easy.
~ Come on, don’t hide under the bed. Monsters inherently live under there, so they’ll certainly look there first. Same goes for hiding under other pieces of large furniture.
~ Push that copy of Steven King’s IT and step into your rifle-and-canned-food-filled secret passageway. This may be an extreme, but every house has some secret hiding places. Here are 35 secret passages that can be built in to homes.
~ How flexible are you feeling? Can you hold yourself up near the ceiling using four points of contact? Serial killers too often wear masks or have parts of their faces missing, so peripheral vision is not their strong point. Try hiding in an unlikely kitchen cabinet, a bean bag chair, etc. Get creative in where you would hide to avoid becoming an easy target. Look for a piece of furniture you can fit into instead of under.
~ Run outside… with caution. It will most likely be night time. Are you wearing white? A negligee? A white negligee and it is raining? These things make your capture all the more likely. However, if you live near a police station or a town with an unsexy nightlife, you are going to be fine. Hopefully you don’t have to run through the woods, if you do your chances of surviving decreases tremendously.
The serial killer trope will always be alive and well, no pun intended. That’s why they’re serial.
The more they murder, the better they are at hide-and-seek. Deep in our fragile cores, we’re all pretty terrified of a home invasion that results in the ultimate, undignified, drooling-and-shitting-our pants-sacrifice. Hide-and-seek is a universally loved childhood game. Keep your head, don’t move or breathe, and you’ll live to see the sequel. Stay up on the chiller horror shows on Directtv to see how people are being found by their killers. Avoid following those same footprints if you find yourself in those unfortunate predicaments.
Adrian Rawlings is a TV and horror blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, horror, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.
It’s been a squatchy week here in the good ol US of A. I was a little shocked to see reports of definitive proof of Bigfoot on all the news outlets. Some of them actually reported it without their usual snarky comments or rolling of the eyes.
The folks at the Sasquatch Genome Project just released some startling (if it’s real) footage of Bigfoot, including one sleeping (below) and a clear, full-on image of a face, which looks an awful lot like Chewbacca. If this is real and Bigfoots look exactly like Wookies, do we need to interrogate George Lucas? Click here to see the news report and video footage.
Now, I know there’s been some controversy recently about Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA evidence and it’s so hard to get your hopes up. Look, I’m not going to be on this planet for another 100 years. Can one of these legendary cryptids please be proven real before I’m sharing beers with Jesus?
Some eggheads put together a pretty cool visualized Bigfoot map so you can see the clusters of sightings. A great tool if you want to pick your next squatchin’ hideout.
More than anything, watch the video and tell me what you see and think. Has the Bigfoot myth finally been dragged into the harsh light of reality? Or is this just another hoax? The kid in me tends to get a little over excited, but the adult side is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I was recently at Monster Mania Con cruising through the vendor tables, checking out celebs and attending a screening of Frankenhooker when I ran into author Keith Rommel. His booth was tucked away between a couple of others selling tons of horror merch. Now, I’m a huge reader, so when I see books at a horror con, I’m all in. (On a side note, it’s depressing to watch people pay $40 for an autograph of Screech or a dude who played a Jawa, then walk past author tables like they have the plague. The best horror isn’t on screen, it’s in a book!!!)
I digress. At first, maybe because I’d had a few cocktails, his name and book, The Cursed Man, didn’t register. Once we got to talking, we realized we’d both spoken to each other through various social media over the past year. Small world. Keith was kind enough to give me a copy of his book, which is now going to be a major motion picture. Let me tell you, I read it in one day and it was time well spent.
Here’s the official description of this amazing book:
Alister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.
With his family deceased and a path of destruction behind him, Alister sits inside a mental institution, sworn to silence and separated from the rest of the world, haunted by his inability to escape death’s preferential treatment.
But when a beautiful psychologist arrives at the institution and starts offering him care, Alister braces himself for more killings. When none follow, he tries to figure out whether he truly is insane or if death has finally come to him in the form of a woman.
As a reader, I’m always on the lookout for fresh, original ideas. The Cursed Man is all that, a bag of chips and a bottle of grape Nehi. Writing like this is as delicious and hard to find as the favored beverage of my youth.
The Cursed Man is tight, suspenseful and at times, downright terrifying. Death follows Alister Kunkle like a loving shadow. The book flashes between the past and present with perfect transitional timing. The twists and turns in Alister’s story left me dizzy. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen next, to the point where I just sat back and let Rommel take me on a joy ride to hell and back. He does an excellent job sucking us into the mind of a tortured man, to the point where neither he nor the reader can discern what is real and what is fantasy. I don’t want to say too much or give away any spoilers. This book is too special.
The Cursed Man is part one of the Thanatology Series. Rest assured, I’m picking up a copy of the second book, The Lurking Man, right after I finish this post. I’m not saying this just because I met the author. I was truly blown away and can see why Hollywood snapped it up. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You can thank me later.