Tag Archive | brian moreland

An Interview With Horror Master, Brian Moreland

I first met Brian Moreland about 4 years ago when we were part of Samhain’s initial horror line. We became instant friends that will last well beyond Samhain. His first book with them, DEAD OF WINTER, just blew me away. He’s since published a host of other kick ass novels, like SHADOWS IN THE MIST, THE WITCHING HOUSE, THE DEVIL’S WOODS, and THE VAGRANTSHis latest novella, DARKNESS RISING, is just phenomenal. Easily the best novella of 2015!

We here at the Monster Men have been trying to get him on the show for a couple of years. Our insane schedules made it almost impossible. Thankfully, we finally got on the same page…or Skype in this case. I was a bit woozy, having lost some blood during my tattoo process, and filling the void with beer. But, we made it! Enjoy this special episode with one of the best horror writers today.

And check out Brian’s Amazon Page to pick up his books.

Follow him on Twitter @BrianMoreland

Like him on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorBrianMoreland

Check out Brian’s blogs:



The #Horrortober Reading List For 2015

As always, I start my Horrortober reading in mid September so I can get to as many dark delicacies as possible. For those of you new to my Horrortober, it’s essentially my total immersion in all things horror from now until Halloween. During this special time, I only read horror and watch at least one horror movie a day.

Yes, there are a lot of Samhain books on here or books by authors who have published with Samhain. What can I say, they’re putting out some of the best new horror around, just like the good old days at Leisure. And yes, I have two, count ’em, two books on the list called The Deep. It’s an ambitious list this time around, but I think I’m up to the task. And of course there will be short stories, mags like Horrorhound, Rue Morgue, Fangoria and more. I’m buckling in as I write.

So, if you’re looking for some great spooky reading, come along with me…

BIGFOOT BEACH by Kristopher Rufty

bf bechA bizarre, brutal murder. A missing woman. And a giant footprint in the sand. Now, the dying beach community known as Seashell Cove finally has a hook to attract the tourists—a Bigfoot on the beach! As the summer season winds down, the tourists go home and the town begins preparing for the colder months.

Soon, more strange footprints are found, other mysterious sightings are reported. Then the deaths begin. Could there really be a Bigfoot running loose in Seashell Cove?

A tracker with a personal agenda, the local sheriff, a hero whose fifteen minutes of fame expired a long time ago, and a female reporter looking for a scoop will team up to find out for sure.

DARKNESS RISING by Brian Moreland

d rising

It’s all fun and games until…

Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.

THE DEEP by Nick Cutter

deep cutterA strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia”’—a universal healer, from initial reports—has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the ’Gets. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

TRIBESMAN by Adam Cesare


Thirty years ago, cynical sleazeball director Tito Bronze took a tiny cast and crew to a desolate island. His goal: to exploit the local tribes, spray some guts around, cash in on the gore-spattered 80s Italian cannibal craze.

But the pissed-off spirits of the island had other ideas. And before long, guts were squirting behind the scenes, as well. While the camera kept rolling…

TRIBESMEN is Adam Cesare’s blistering tribute to Cannibal Holocaust and Lucio Fulci: a no-bullshit glimpse into grindhouse filmmaking, stuffed inside a rocket of tropical non-stop mayhem.


we are mon

The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum.

He’s the hospital’s newest, and most notorious, patient—a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side.

Luckily he’s in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenia, a drug that returns patients to their former selves. But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge. Forcing prior traumas to the surface. Setting inner demons free.

Monsters have been unleashed inside the Sugar Hill mental asylum. They don’t have fangs or claws. They look just like you or me.

BLOOD AND RAIN by Glenn Rolfe

Blood Rain

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend?

One night can—and will—change everything.

DARK AVENGING ANGEL by Catherine Cavendish

avengin angel

Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.

THE DEEP by Michaelbrent Collings

deep mbcThere are places we were never meant to go…
A woman searching for a sister lost at sea. A man bent on finding lost treasure. A mother who has lost all hope. A maniac who believes all life exists for his pleasure. The man who would keep them all safe.Together, they will all seek below the waves for treasures long buried, and riches beyond belief. But those treasures hide something. Something ancient, something dark. A creature that exists only to feed on those that would enter into its realm. A creature… of The Deep.

THE RED HIGHWAY by Robert E. Dunn

the red hwyIn 1992, as Los Angeles begins to simmer in the heat of racial injustices, one dark man appears everywhere, spreading his message of race war. At the same time, Paul Souther, a homeless drunk, joins a strange group of outsiders. Some black and some white, they all carry the weight of broken lives and lost faith. They are all drawn to LA, for the arrival of a child, impossibly carried by Mary Prince, a sterile porn star.
Through back roads and freeways everyone is pulled into LA and Mary’s side just as the baby is born. None of them have any idea that the city is a ticking bomb of anger. As riots explode, the mysterious man reveals himself to be an ancient, dark spirit using the rage of the people to stoke his own, literal, fires. He demands Mary’s child as sacrifice to keep the city, and perhaps the nation from burning. It falls to Paul, a faithless man, and a drunk with blood on his own hands, to make the impossible choice between the child and the city, and to save the people he has come to care about.

You’re A Witch Girl – Catherine Cavendish’s The PENDLE CURSE

I have to admit, my fascination with witches has extended to Witchy-Poo from Bugs Bunny, Hocus Pocus and the TV show, Charmed, mostly because it had Alyssa Milano.

When it came to witches in horror fiction, I hadn’t even dipped my toes in the water until I read Brian Moreland’s THE WITCHING HOUSE, which was so good, I knew in an instant I was hooked on a sub genre. It came just in time, because I was getting pretty damn bored with vampires and zombies.

So imagine my delight when I found out that fellow Samhainer, Catherine Cavendish, came out with her own witch’s brew of horror, THE PENDLE CURSE. It only took two pages for me to realize I was in the capable hands of someone who is at the top of their game, and with that, I settled in for one of the best novels of this very young year.

pendleHere’s the scoop on the story –

Four hundred years ago, ten convicted witches were hanged on Gallows Hill. Now they are back…for vengeance.

Laura Phillips’s grief at her husband’s sudden death shows no sign of passing. Even sleep brings her no peace. She experiences vivid, disturbing dreams of a dark, brooding hill, and a man—somehow out of time—who seems to know her. She discovers that the place she has dreamed about exists. Pendle Hill. And she knows she must go there.

But as soon as she arrives, the dream becomes a nightmare. She is caught up in a web of witchcraft and evil…and a curse that will not die.  

As someone who has a chronically ill wife, my biggest fear is losing her. So right away, I’m completely sympathetic to Laura, a woman trying to cope with the loss of her husband. There’s a little touch of a ghost story here, too, just enough to make you wonder what’s coming next and to feel her pain and curiosity about the strange things happening in her home.

Cavendish expertly takes us on a ride between past and present as Laura is cast under the spell of the Pendle Curse. A simple trip to get away from things and heal turns into an absolute nightmare. She does a fantastic job creating what could have been cookie cutter characters into fully fleshed out human beings with strengths and faults that make you love them one minute and hate them the next. I literally had no idea what was going to happen, and for someone who knows how the sausage is made, this is high praise indeed.

Now, the witches in The Pendle Curse aren’t sporting warts or riding around on brooms, but they are terrifying in their own right. And there’s a little something extra within these pages for fans of classic VC Andrews yarns. I’m not giving away any spoilers, because you have to get the book and read it yourself.

Catherine Cavendish is now on my top 10 list. I give it 5 out of 5 brooms!

#Horrortober Reading List for 2014

Oh, it’s that time of year again, my dead little friends (you know, you shouldn’t play with dead things). I can finally tear into all of the books and movies and podcasts and TV shows I’ve been saving all year for Horrortober. Now, you all know that I watch at least 1 horror movie a day in October and rate them on Twitter using my Mummy inspired system of 9 tana leaves.

What I look forward to the most are the books and stories I’ve been collecting. This year, I plan to take on a heavy load, but it will be worth it. If you’re looking for a spooky to read, whether it be fiction or true tales of the unexplained, I hope you find something on this list to whet your bloody appetite! Get ready, this is gonna be a big one (insert crude remark here).


There are 3 novellas I can’t wait to read from my fellow Samhain Horror authors. You can download any one of them yourself for just a few sheckles (and I won’t stop you from picking up my true haunting tale, THE WAITING).


Exorcist road

Possessed by a demon…or by the urge to kill?

Chicago is gripped by terror. “The Sweet Sixteen Killer” is brutally murdering sixteen-year-old girls, and the authorities are baffled.

A seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his entire family and had to be chained to his bed. His uncle, police officer Danny Hartman, is convinced his nephew is possessed by a demon. Danny has sent his partner, Jack, to fetch the only priest in Chicago who has ever performed an exorcism.

But Jack has other plans tonight. He believes the boy isn’t possessed by a demon, but instead by an insatiable homicidal urge. Jack believes the boy is the Sweet Sixteen Killer. And he aims to end the reign of terror before another girl dies.



Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering.

Journalist Daniel Finley is determined to save the impoverished of the world. But the abandoned part of humanity has a dark side too. While living under a bridge with the homeless for six months, Daniel witnessed something terrifying. Something that nearly cost him his sanity.

Now, two years later, he’s published a book that exposes a deadly underground cult and its charismatic leader. And Daniel fears the vagrants are after him because of it. At the same time, his father is being terrorized by vicious mobsters. As he desperately tries to help his father, Daniel gets caught up in the middle of a war between the Irish-American mafia and a deranged cult of homeless people who are preparing to shed blood on the streets of Boston.



 Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

Eighty-two-year-old Beth Baker can hear the cop in apartment 7C beating his wife. Again. She’s also having dreams—or are they visitations—of her dead daughter, Alice, who was killed fifty years ago by an abusive husband.

The message is clear—Beth has to take care of the cop. But he’s a decorated detective and over two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle, so what’s a little old lady like her going to do? When things turn ugly and the cop threatens Beth’s own life, she realizes she needs to resort to extreme measures. Blood must be shed.





Headaches. Hunger. Pain.

Leo needs something . . . his stomach growls, but it can wait. That’s not hunger he must feed. He has to get to his next high, but without money he knows he can’t buy what he needs to sate the voice inside telling him to get more, get more.

Voices. Visions. Addiction.

No luck asking his father. His mother is in no position to help. After failing to steal the money he desperately needs, Leo must appeal to his dealer, the dangerous and infamous Saint Nick—despite the inevitable beating he’ll take for showing up empty-handed. Still, anything to keep the voices and flashbacks at bay . . .

Demons. Addiction. Death.



Haunted Halls

The Bruton Inn, located outside of the small Maine city of Hollis Oaks, is home to something special. An icy presence has made its way from a dark past to the present day. Cold spots, shadows, and whispers permeate the halls, and guests are beginning to change.For two front desk employees, Rhiannon and Jeff, the dark rumors are about to come to light. They call upon Lee Buhl, the urban shaman, and his connection with the spirit world to dig up the truth.Will they be able to stand against this malevolent force? Or will they come face to face with something beyond even your most frightful dreams. Welcome to the Bruton Inn. The Ice Queen has arrived.





This book takes you to Yonkers , New York .This is based on a true story of a real life haunting. Donna and her family endured several years of horrifying incidents that scarred them for life . No matter how many years have passed that house still remains as does the haunting . Although Donna and her family have been out of the home over thirty years … This is one story that needed to be told .
DEMONThe Cranmers seemed fated to own the house at 3406 Brownsville Road. As a young boy, Bob had been drawn to the property, and, just when the family decided to move back to Brentwood, it went up for sale. Without a second thought, they purchased the house that Bob had always dreamed of owning.But soon, the family began experiencing strange phenomena—objects moving on their own, ghostly footsteps, unsettling moaning sounds—that gradually increased in violence, escalating to physical assaults and, most disturbingly, bleeding walls. Bob, Lesa, and their four children were under attack from a malicious demon that was conjuring up terrifying manifestations to destroy their tight-knit household. They had two choices: leave or draw on their unwavering faith to exorcise the malicious fiend who haunted their home.
The author of the controversial bestseller Brain Trust brings his scientific expertise to the chilling true story of unexplained phenomena on Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch — and challenges us with a new vision of reality.For more than fifty years, the bizarre events at a remote Utah ranch have ranged from the perplexing to the wholly terrifying. Vanishing and mutilated cattle. Unidentified Flying Objects. The appearance of huge, otherworldly creatures. Invisible objects emitting magnetic fields with the power to spark a cattle stampede. Flying orbs of light with dazzling maneuverability and lethal consequences. For one family, life on the Skinwalker Ranch had become a life under siege by an unknown enemy or enemies. Nothing else could explain the horrors that surrounded them — perhaps science could.

JACKBOOTS FOR JESUS BY CASEY CRISWELL (of the Bloody Good Horror Podcast!)
BENT METAL BY NINA D’ARCANGELA (a true mistress of the damned)

There are so many more I’d like to add, but there just so much time. Somwhere in there, I actually have to finish the next monster novel I’ve been working on, too! I plan to dive into my Horrortober reading pile today to get myself in the proper mood.
What reads are you looking forward to diving into this Horrortober? Every person that replies with a book they want to read will be entered to win a sign copy of my book, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, delivered just in time for Halloween! If I get a lot of replies and recommendations, I just may select 2 or 3 winners, so bring it on.

Your Horror-Paranormal Round Up for September

It’s been a tale of two summers here in New York. The first half felt like we were living on Mercury, and the second half was mild and sunny on the San Diego-ish side. I’m not a big fan of summer and I’m happy to see it go. Bring me colder, darker days and falling leaves and, most of all, let the true horror begin!

Here are a few things you should be looking out for to get in the mood.

Looking for a great Horror Con to attend? Why not try Rock & Shock in Worcester, MA (10/4-10/6), Spooky Empire in Orlando, FL (10/25-10/27) or, my favorite, Chiller Theatre in Parsippany, NJ (10/25-10/27). I’ll be at Chiller, as I am every year. Where else can you drink next to celebs, be surrounded by like minded maniacs, catch some indie movies, stock up on horror gear and have the time of your life?

I’m a big fan of the movie V/H/S (and the tapes as well. I must have watched hundreds of horror videos in the 80s when I should have been in school). I wasn’t convinced that they could catch lightning in a bottle twice with the sequel. I’m here to tell you I was dead wrong. V/H/S 2 is actually better than the first. The segments are tighter and creepier, especially “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” and the ultra gore-fest, “Safe Haven”. This sequel is a must see. I hope they get the band back together for a third.


Speaking of sequels, one of my favorite paranormal TV shows, Ghost Mine, gets a second season starting September 4th. I know I’ll be writing more about this in the next month, but you really should check it out. If you never heard of the show, read my post about the first season so you’re ready to dive in to season two.

Often when I write, I have music going in the background. There are a couple of rules I have when it comes to writing music. First, it can’t have lyrics. Hearing other words screws with my head. Two, the music has to match the mood of the scene I’m writing. Naturally, I listen to a lot of soundtracks. I just picked up the soundtracks to Sinister and The Innkeepers. Both helped me finish my last book and will take me well into my next. Warning, Sinister, like the movie, will creep you the hell out! Both are excellent.


Calling all squatchers! Yeah, that means you! Are you ready for the new Bigfoot flick, Willow Creek? Click the movie poster below to watch the trailer and get as amped as I am. I’ve heard nothing  but good things about this one by Bobcat Goldthwait. You all know I’m a sucker for sasquatch.


Need something to read? I’m not going to sugar coat this one. I fucking loved Brian Moreland’s The Witching House. His latest novella reads as fast as an out of control freight train and has genuine scares. Read the description and tell me if you can resist.

Some houses should be left alone.

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.


Season Of The Witch – A Guest Post By Brian Moreland

I’m always happy to hand over my blog and chain to a truly gifted writer, Brian Moreland, who is not only one of my favorite horror writers, but also one of my favorite people in this crazy ass world. Do yourself a favor and pick up everything the man’s ever written. They are treasures to be added to any collection. Before you do, take Brian’s hand as he leads you through The Season Of The Witch…

They come from mythology, folklore and fairytales and go by names such as crone, conjurer, necromancer and witch. Male witches are called warlocks and wizards, although the archetypal figure is predominately depicted as an ugly old woman–the hag. Some live as hermits in hovels in dark forests. Others gather in secret places and form covens. They operate in the realms of magic and have the power to cast spells and charm us. They can tell our fortunes or curse us with the evil eye. Old, wicked, beautiful, seductive–witches of all forms have enchanted our stories since the dawn of storytelling.

In Norse mythology there were the Norns, three immortal women who controlled the fates of gods and men. In Greek mythology, the Graeae were three old crones who shared a single eye. The hero Perseus met these witches on his way to fight the snake-headed gorgon, Medusa. These ancient myths most likely inspired Shakespeare to include three “weird sisters” in Macbeth. Even King Arthur of Camelot had his dealing with witches. One of his greatest enemies was an evil and powerful sorceress, Morgan Le Fay. King Arthur also took counsel from a wizard named Merlin.

As a child I remember witches from bedtime stories and movies like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and my all-time-favorite: the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. In stories, there are good witches who operate in the light–like Oz’s Good Witch of the North–and evil ones who practice black magic, such as the Old Witch in Snow White.

As I got older and started writing historical horror novels, I discovered that history is rich with stories about real witches. In Pagan times, witches honored the sun and moon, the winter solstice and the coming of spring. We owe our holiday of Halloween to the Celtic pagans who celebrated the festival of Samhain on October 31st at the end of the harvest season.

Witches are even warned about in the Bible in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and Exodus 22:18. Scriptures like “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” gave religious people a reason to believe that all practitioners of magick were evil. In Europe and America from the 1400s through the 1700s, righteous men went on witch hunts and burned men and women at the stake.

These fears of the terrifying witch inspired several horror movies in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. Films like Season of the Witch (1972), The Wicker Man (1975), Eyes of Fire (1983), Warlock (1991), The Blair Witch Project (1999) and The Lords of Salem (2012) are just a few that come to mind. For the past decade or so, vampires and zombies have dominated books, movies, and TV, but there are signs witches are coming back into the spotlight.

Already in the first half of 2013, there have been a number of witch movies to hit the theaters. Beautiful Creatures, based on the YA novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is about a family of witches living in a small town in South Carolina and the secrets they keep. In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, the brother and sister from the famous Brothers Grimm fairytale are all grown up and now hunt evil witches, which are depicted as monstrous hags.

This is also the year that Hollywood did a remake of one of my favorite horror movies of all time, The Evil Dead. It opens with a witch performing a ceremony and involves five friends finding a demon book that’s filled with witchcraft and evil spirits. I counted 13 new witch movies that will release later this year and next, including two that I find intriguing: The Last Witch Hunter and Lords of Magic.

I don’t know if it’s happenstance or if something mystical is at play with all these witches making their way into current books and movies, but last year I wrote my own witch stories: The Girl from the Blood Coven and The Witching House. Both will release as ebooks this summer through Samhain Publishing. As a horror fiction writer, I like to combine history and legends with scary supernatural stories, as I did in my first two books, Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist. While both of those stories deal with mysticism and evil forces, it is my next two stories that allowed me to have fun creating my own legend about a coven witches living in the backwoods of East Texas.

My first story, The Girl from the Blood Coven, is a short story prelude to The Witching House. It’s the year 1972. Sheriff Travis Keagan is enjoying a beer at the local roadhouse, when a blood-soaked girl enters the bar. Terrified and trembling, Abigail Blackwood claims her entire family was massacred at the hippy commune in the woods. Sheriff Keagan knows that Abigail’s “family” is a coven of witches that inhabit the Blevins house. They’ve been rumored to be practicing blood sacrifices and black magic. When the sheriff and his deputies investigate the alleged murders, they discover what happened at the Blevins house is more horrific than they ever imagined.

Girl From the Blood Coven150

My second story, The Witching House, is a novella that unravels the mystery of what happened to the Blevins Coven. It’s forty years after the massacre at the hippy commune. My main character is Sarah Donovan, a young woman recovering from a bad divorce and boring life. She recently started dating an exciting, adventurous man named Dean Stratton. Dean and his friends, Meg and Casey, are fearless thrill-seekers. They like to jump out of airplanes, go rock-climbing, white-water rafting, caving and do anything that offers an adrenaline rush.


Sarah, on the other hand, is scared of just about everything–heights, tight places, the dark–but today she must confront all her fears, as she joins Dean, Meg and Casey on an urban exploring adventure. There’s an abandoned house set far back in the woods, they say. The Old Blevins House has been boarded-up for forty years. And it’s rumored to be haunted. The two couples are going to break in and explore the mysterious house. Little do they know the Old Blevins House is cursed from black magic, and something in the cellar has been craving fresh prey to cross the house’s threshold.

Writing these two stories allowed me to research the long history of witches, from Biblical times, to Norse and Greek mythology, Celtic Paganism, the Christian witch hunts, as well as the modern-day practice of Wicca. In fact, Sarah Donovan’s grandmother is a Wiccan who practices light magic and becomes Sarah’s voice of reason as she is confronted by dark forces. I also studied the differences between White Magic and Black Magic, even combed through a 17th Century spell book for conjuring evil spirits. As with my other books, I have interwoven much of the historical facts that I learned into my stories to offer readers a richer reading experience. My short story, The Girl from the Blood Coven, releases July 2, 2013, as a free ebook, and my novella, The Witching House, releases August 6, 2013.

Witches and witchcraft have been a part of storytelling for centuries. At times they sink below the surface of human consciousness, as other monsters take the stage in books and movies. Some years it’s werewolves, mummies or Frankenstein. For the past several years, we’ve seen a countless number of vampires and zombies. While these monsters are still popular, you can rest assure that witches are back for another season of witchery.

Author Bio: 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. His third novel, The Devil’s Woods, will release in December 2013. Brian livesAuthor Brian Moreland in Dallas, Texas where he is joyfully writing his next horror novel. Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianMoreland. Visit: http://www.brianmoreland.com/

For Veteran’s Day : War Hero Inspires WWII Thriller

Captain Dawson Moreland

To honor and remember all of our veterans on Veteran’s Day, I turned to fellow author and amazing guy Brian Moreland to talk about his family’s military past. The story is pretty amazing. It also was the spark that lit the flame for his novel, Shadows in the Mist. Our past shapes our future. You’ll find no better example than this. Brian, take it away…

Sometimes life has a mysterious way of imitating fiction. A prime example is my relationship with my grandfather, retired World War II pilot, Captain Dawson Moreland. When I was a boy, I used to visit my grandparents in West Texas at least twice a year. Behind their house, they had an outdoor cellar. It had a metal door that opened up to concrete stairs that led underground. The cellar was full of boxes, antiques, and furniture gathering dust. I loved exploring that cellar as a kid.

One day, I came across an army footlocker that my grandfather kept secured with a padlock. Curious, I took him down into the cellar and asked him what was inside the locker. “Just photos and documents from my war days,” he said. As a kid, I was a huge fan of war movies and my concept of World War II was based on what Hollywood had shown me: courageous men like John Wayne and George C. Scott (playing General Patton) being tough war heroes and feeling proud to be a soldier fighting in the war.

I had been thrilled to know that my grandfather had been one of those war heroes. I asked him to open the locker and let me see his war photos. His eyes clouded over. “Sorry, Brian, but I can never open that locker. There are just too many painful memories.” Like so many veterans of his generation, he never talked about the war. Growing up, all I knew was that he had been an Army pilot and flew airplanes. The rest of his story was left to my imagination. Who was this man who worked hard all his life, lived with high integrity, was the patriarch to my family, and said the blessing at every meal? What secret life had he experienced before I was born?

 My burning curiosity to know my grandfather’s secret life inspired me to write my WWII novel, Shadows in the Mist, a supernatural thriller set in Germany. It begins in present day. My main character, retired war hero Jack Chambers, has kept a dark secret from the Army for over sixty years. As nightmares of his platoon’s massacre begin to haunt him, he decides it’s time to reveal the truth. He gives his grandson, Sean, a German map and a war diary. “The map shows where my platoon was buried. The diary explains what really happened. Deliver these to General Mason Briggs at the U.S. Army base in Heidelberg, Germany.” Sean Chambers reads his grandfather’s diary and discovers in October 1944, Lt. Jack Chambers had been a part of a deadly top-secret mission where he and his platoon encountered a supernatural horror created by the Nazis.

Shadows in the Mist is both a war story inspired by my grandfather and a horror novel that explores the Nazis’ historical fascination with the Occult. It is based on true facts about Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the Waffen-SS, and his circle of Occultists who met secretly at the Wewelsburg Castle and practiced mystic rituals.

I was determined to create a platoon of misfits that people cared about. And for that to happen, Lieutenant Jack Chambers had to care about his men. So I made it his mission to do whatever it takes to get his men out of the Hürtgen Forest alive. They call themselves “the Lucky Seven” because as a unit they have survived so many combats together. They believe that they are charmed with some kind of strange luck. Two of them, Private Hoffer and Private Finch, are comic book writers. They believe that the Lucky Seven are invincible soldiers destined to be super heroes. They’ve all become superstitious. Each platoon member carries a good-luck charm and they do a ritual before every battle. Lieutenant Chambers believes his good luck comes from the silver watch his father gave him before he died. My grandfather gave me a silver pocket watch when I was young, and I cherished it.

I finished writing Shadows in the Mist a few years ago and now it’s published. My grandfather read the book and told me it brought back a lot of memories for him. He suddenly began sharing his personal war stories with my family. I learned that while training to be a pilot in England he roomed with Norman Rockwell’s nephew “Rocky” and enjoyed riding bicycles around London with the other pilots. They called Captain Dawson Moreland by his nickname “Hank.” He flew C-47s and dropped paratroopers over Normandy during the D-Day invasion. Thirty years after that day I was a curious kid in the cellar with my grandfather, he finally pulled out his World War II photos and showed them to me.

My grandparents, Dawson and Alma Moreland

Dawson posing in front of his house before heading off to war

This is my grandfather’s first plane, nicknamed “Dabo” after my grandmother, whom he always called “Bo.” During the war, my grandfather got sick and spent a few days in a hospital in England. While he was grounded, another pilot flew “Dabo” into battle and got shot down. The Army found my grandfather’s parachute with “Moreland” on it and assumed he was dead, so they sent a letter to my grandmother telling her that Dawson had been killed in combat. When he found out the Army’s mistake, he sent a letter to Alma assuring that he was very much alive.

Captain Dawson Moreland (far right) standing with his crew

During the present-day portion of my novel, Jack Chambers’ grandson, Sean, flies to Germany. While riding in an airplane, Sean examines the mysterious war diary his grandfather had written. A photo of a platoon slides out. On the back is written “the Lucky Seven” and the names of each platoon member.

Lieutenant Jack Chambers

Master Sergeant John Mahoney

Sergeant Buck Parker

Corporal Duece Wilson

Pfc. Gabe Finch

Pfc. Rafe Hoffer

Pfc. Miguel Garcia

While writing and researching my novel, this fictitious platoon became like a “band of brothers” to me. My grandfather shared that in addition to being a pilot, he had done some routine field training. He showed me this photo of his unit. It looked identical to the photo I had imagined in Jack Chambers’ diary. When I counted seven soldiers in the photo, I got goosebumps.

My grandfather is standing in the center.

In my book, Jack Chambers’ war diary reveals where a secret Nazi relic is buried in a German graveyard. By strange coincidence, life began to imitate fiction in 2008 as a relic from my grandfather’s past resurfaced. Two months before his 90th birthday, he received a phone call that his long lost airplane “the Snafu Special” had been found in Sarajevo, Bosnia. A French soldier found the Douglas C-47 parked at an airbase. Riddled with bullet holes from the Bosnian war, the plane had been abandoned in a snowfield. Curators from a D-Day museum in Normandy identified “the Snafu Special,” because the C-47’s tail number was still intact.

The WWII relic might have been lost forever had it not been for a team of French enthusiasts who were determined to rescue the plane and return it to the battery museum in Merville, Normandy. Against all odds, the members of Team SNAFU, along with French and American diplomats, convinced the presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina to donate the plane to France. French engineers then disassembled the Snafu, loaded it up on three trucks, and transported the plane all the way from Bosnia to Normandy. Once it arrived at the museum in Merville, the curators restored the aircraft to its original glory and veiled it for a ceremony on June 7th.

My grandfather, being one of only two surviving pilots to fly “the Snafu Special,” was invited to return to Normandy to be honored with his airplane. My family and I got to go with him.

For a week that I will never forget, we attended several events that featured him as the honored guest. We visited the Merville Battery Museum where his Douglas C-47 is on display. Above, I’m standing (left) with my father, Keith, and grandfather.

The French media treated Captain Dawson Moreland like a celebrity, snapping photo after photo. He did several interviews for the local news and a French documentary about his airplane. Everywhere we went my grandfather was thanked for helping liberate France from the Germans who occupied the beach towns of Normandy back in 1944.

Many of the local French people were brought to tears by his presence and asked for autographs. When I asked him how he felt about the French treating him like a hero, he said, “I was never welcomed anywhere as great as I am over here.”

Together we toured D-Day museums, saw the Normandy beaches, and walked through the fields of white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. I could see that reflecting back on history was allowing my grandfather a chance to see the war from a new perspective. Surrounded by fields where paratroopers landed over sixty years ago, my grandfather began to open up and share his war stories. As a lead pilot in the 95th Squadron, he touched a part of history that involved missions in Africa, the Normandy invasion on D-Day, Operation Market-Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. He dropped off paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne, including the Easy Company depicted in Stephen Ambrose’s book and HBO series Band of Brothers. My grandfather’s squadron also dropped off the infamous Dirty Dozen and delivered supplies to General Patton and carried out POW’s.

My grandfather’s Douglas C-47, “the Snafu Special,” is a historical relic that brought together diplomats from France, Bosnia, Herzegovina, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among them the U.S. Ambassador to France. On June 7th, the Merville Battery Museum unveiled “The Snafu Special” as a new exhibit and honored my grandfather in a historical ceremony. My eyes whelped with tears as I watched him climb up into the plane and wave back to the hundreds of people applauding him. Below, you can watch a 7-minute clip from a documentary I made of my grandfather’s ceremony.

YouTube : Unveiling the Snafu Special

After we returned home, I asked him what it was like seeing his plane after all these years, he said, “It was good to sit in the cockpit again.” My grandfather earned seven medals. He would never call himself a hero. To him, he was a pilot just doing his job.

In my novel, Jack Chambers misses his platoon who vanished mysteriously over sixty years ago. His grandson reads the war diary and learns his secret past. Like life imitating fiction, my grandfather finally shared his stories after sixty years of silence, and I finally got to know the secret history of the man and war hero I had always looked up to.

To honor my grandfather, I dedicated Shadows in the Mist to him. One of my most cherished moments is when the novel released and my grandfather joined me for my first book signing and autographed books alongside me. As of Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2012, he is alive and well at age 94.


Author Bio: 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. His third novel, The Devil’s Woods, will release in 2013. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel. You can communicate with him online and join his mailing list at http://www.brianmoreland.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorBrianMoreland

Twitter: @BrianMoreland

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1150022.Brian_Moreland

Brian’s Horror Fiction blog: http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com

Coaching for Writers blog:  http://www.coachingforwriters.blogspot.com

Horror Reading List for Halloween

It’s Terrortober and I have the books you should be reading right here. Now, those of you following me on Twitter know that every day I post what horror movie I’ve watched with a rating and the hashtag, Terrortober. To add to the fun, the Monster Men have put together an episode dedicated to a plethora of great books available at Samhain Horror.

Also, I’ve been posting chapters of a new gothic horror story called MERCY. You can read chapter one here and chapter two here. Chapter three will be posted on my blog on Halloween.

OK, grab a pen and paper and get ready for your mandatory reading list. This will count for 75% of your grade!


Notes from the Underworld : Horrorfind 2012

I think the best way to talk about this past Horrorfind Weekend is to roll with the random thoughts and pictures. So, here’s what’s dripping out of the old brain pan, 24 hours after we departed our little horror shangri-la.

Attendance wasn’t as, shall we say, robust as it has been in the past. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot going on. This was my first time at Horrorfind as a guest. I was at the Samhain horror table with 7 other talented authors. All of them were as nice as can be (not evil, devil worshipping sex maniacs like people think horror writers are) and it made me realize I’m in some stellar company. Big time twisted love to Brian Moreland, Ron Malfi, Mick Ridgewell, John Everson, Damien Walters Grintalis, David Bernstein and Russell James. You don’t need to be a psychic to know the future of horror is right here at Samhain.

From L to R : Hunter Shea, Brian Moreland, John Everson, Damien Walters Grintalis and David Bernstein

And I can’t forget the Samhain staff, including Don (our amazing editor), Dawn and Jacob, he of the mighty kilt (though he is wearing jeans in this pic)!

As the fates would have it, my hotel room was right next to actress Meg Foster’s (the actress with the amazing crystal blue eyes of They Live fame, not to mention about 100 other movies and TV shows). We got to talking about ghosts and meditation, hugged, and even exchanged a copy of Forest of Shadows for a signed picture. She’s a fascinating, caring woman. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and tell the teenage me that I would one day meet her and hand her my book that she said would be her plane read. Teen Hunter would have said, “Yeah right, hammer. Keep dreaming.”

I was in the bar with author Norman Prentiss and saw an old dude walk by. I said, “That guy looks like Rob Halford.” Norman corrected me. “That’s Pinhead!”

I watched Dee Wallace hold court one night, sitting with a few other celebs while a ring of onlookers gaped at them. Dee and the gang were just having some drinks, but it was like they were on a little stage. Not wanting to be part of the rubberneckers, I trained my attention on the scraggly guy singing karaoke tunes from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Disturbing.

Actress Kim Darby (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, True Grit) was also near my room and I happily led her down to show her where the celebrity room was. She’s a kind and seemingly fragile woman. For some reason, I kept checking on her to make sure she was having a good time.

We met the cast of Pet Sematary, with the exception of Fred Gwynne, of course.

My favorite attendee was this little guy who walked around in dress pants and dress shirt, wearing a lucha libre mask and sometimes carrying a brain on a stick. Over 3 days, he never once took that mask off.

I also met a pretty cool guy who hand crafted an entire Ghost Busters costume. It was impressive to say the least.

I rode the elevtor with Count Gore De Vol and we talked about what we had for dinner the previous night. The Count had yogurt for those keeping track. Wonder if it was blood flavored?

During my slot in the author reading room, I showed a Monster Men best -of episode and talked about ghosts. That was fun and I kept people awake, which is always a good sign.

For lunch one day, I had a hot dog that looked like a cooked baby arm. Not by intention. As someone said to me, a hot dog that big had to be filled with lots of snouts and assholes.

My wife bought me a skull for my writing area. Here I am showing my appreciation.

On the last night, all of the Samhainers went out to dinner in Gettysburg. It’s amazing to see how all of the history has been put aside so they can stress the paranormal. The sidewalks were even painted with little ghosts. Ghosts sell. We did see a bunch of Civil War re-enactors having dinner outside an old tent. Keeping to tradition, they munched on McDonald’s.

Oh yeah, and I was signing copies of Evil Eternal and Forest of Shadows. Great weekend. I have 4 days to prepare for Horrorhound in Indy. Wonder what I’ll see there?

Beware the terror of Evil Eternal!

Monster Men Halloween, Campfire Tales & More Ghoulish Fun

Another crazy week, but lots of good stuff to share. Aside from promoting Forest of Shadows like a door to door Bible salesman, I have been busy actually writing. I finished the first draft of a story for an anthology with Toys in the Attic as the theme. Going to start working on a couple of flash fiction pieces for another antho. Aaaaand, I’m ready to start the finishing touches on my first horror novel for kids. Ah, so many young minds to corrupt.

First up, I was interviewed on Jim Harold’s Campfire Tales podcast. It will be part of episode 87 where I talk about the phantom boy who may have come around to heal my ailing wife.

Next is an interview awesome author Brian Moreland did with me on his great blog. While you’re at it, check out his book, Dead of Winter. Great, spooky reading.

And now for the fun stuff. The Monster Men Halloween episode is here! We talk about our ghosts from Halloweens past (specifically my embarrassing little drummer boy costume), and give you tips on what to read, watch and do to make the season the best ever. So, without further ado, I give you The Monster Men. And why the bucket hat, Hunter? It’s to honor the character Dale from The Walking Dead. New season starts tonight, so get to your TV as soon as you’re done watching The Monster Men!  And then come back and like our brand spanking new Facebook fan page.



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