Tag Archive | ebooks

Waiting for THE WAITING

Okay, another round of shoveling, another couple of Motrin. You will not defeat me, Father Winter!

I am comforted thinking about the release of my new novella, The Waiting, in just two months. In just 8 weeks, the snow will be history and I’ll be back in shorts and sleeveless shirts (ala Larry the Cable Guy, my fashion guru). With The Waiting, I’m diving right back into the world of ghosts, but with a twist. This time around the story is real. And it’s not one I got from secondhand accounts. This is the kind of stuff that turns people into insomniacs or ‘day sleepers’.

Intrigued?

Let me take things on step further. Here’s a sneak preview from chapter 13. You can pre-order a copy (it’ll be out as an e-book only) at Samhain, Amazon and B&N. Now turn off  your EMF meter, bathe yourself in a protective circle of light and read on….

Alice worried constantly about her daughter, but it wasn’t until recently that she considered there might come a day when she would lose her. When she had first arrived at the house, she could feel the hope that crackled in the air. Like all energy, it had come and gone, morphing into something new, in someplace new.

Now the house felt cold and expectant. Her negative thoughts weren’t helping the situation. All of Cassie’s pain and their worry were building a cocoon of despair. Somehow, they had to find a way to break free of it.

Well, today she would try her best to dispel the negativity. Cassie was going to come out of it. Things always get worse before they get better. She knew Brian never left the house without making sure all of Cassie’s machines were pumping and draining away. That meant there was time for a shower before heading downstairs. Better to start clean and new.

When she was done, she wrapped a towel around her hair, put on a nice shirt and jeans and walked down the noisy stairs.

“Good boy,” she said when she saw the half-full coffee pot on the warmer. He made it a little weak for her taste, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Alice had bought a handful of gossip magazines at the bookstore. She wanted to make today a silly girl day, even if Cassandra couldn’t laugh or groan along with her. Then maybe she’d take a cue from Brian and pop in a movie and watch it with her. The Waiting

As she walked out of the kitchen, she said, “Cassie, honey, you’re never going to believe who Brad Pitt is fooling around with.”

The mug slipped from her hand, bathing the floor and her feet with piping hot coffee. If there was pain, her mind was too stunned to register it.

A small boy sat at the end of Cassandra’s bed. One knee was bent and most of that leg was on the comforter. The other was locked straight, his foot flat on the floor. He looked at Cassie with beautiful, shining eyes and a round face with skin as flawless and smooth as fresh cream.

He didn’t look away, despite the crashing of the coffee mug and her sharp gasp of surprise.

The sun filtered through the window. It bathed him in a diffusion of soft, yellow light.

Alice’s heart raced and her hands began to tremble. She found it hard to keep her grip on the tabloids.

The boy moved with surprising grace, shifting off the bed and seeming to glide to the head of Cassandra’s bed. He bent forward, and Alice lost sight of him for a moment. When he straightened, he smiled, then reached out to the control panel of the infusion pump.

Part of her wanted to yell at him not to touch it. If she thought a real, living boy was in the room with her daughter, she would have.

But she knew what she was seeing was not an actual boy.

The certainty of what she beheld kept her mouth from opening and her legs from propelling her into the room.

She watched him turn his back and walk around the bed until he left the view within the doorframe. She was struck by how quiet the house was. The boy’s footsteps didn’t elicit a single tick from the cranky wood floor.

When he was gone, the infusion pump started to howl. It broke her trance and she walked over shards of ceramic, leaving coffee and crimson-colored footprints in her wake. She was not surprised to see that the boy had disappeared.

She was concerned about the warning chime on the pump. When she looked down, the floor by the bed was covered in a foul-smelling miasma of blood and clots of infected tissue. The drain tube in Cassandra’s stomach had slipped out. Her digestive acids must have flared up, spewing rot and gore from the open wound the surgeon had left until it spilled onto the floor.

The smell was overpowering. She clamped a hand over her mouth to keep from vomiting.

What do I do?

A Visit To The Asylum

It looks like a lot of potential inmates are hooked on Asylum Scrawls, my first short story collection packed with 6 original stories and a bonus story by Norm Hendricks. It was truly a labor of sick, sick love.

The feedback on one of my stories, Stoned, has been tremendous. Author Russell James said, “Stoned is one of the best bits of horror I’ve read in a while.” I promise, I didn’t pay Russ a dime for that.

As my way to give thanks (see how I tied that in to the upcomnig holiday? Nifty), I thought I’d give you a preview of Stoned. If you’re hooked, come on over to Amazon and take Asylum Scrawls home for only $1.99. As Alfred E. Neuman would say, “Still cheap!”

OK, take a hit of thorazine, slip on that straightjacket and close your eyes as you travel to rural South Carolina. The sun is high in the summer sky, and the pummel stone sits waiting for today’s lesson….

The smooth surface of the Pummel Stone was ice cold against Kitty’s bare breasts and stomach, and despite the burning slash of the belt on her back and the fevered friction of Ed’s fingers as they worked in and out of her pussy like a trio of funny car pistons, it felt somewhat soothing out here in the blazing South Carolina sun. 

God she hated South Carolina. She’d made it out once, all the way to Wyoming. Now there was a place where you didn’t feel like dying come summer, where the heat of the day didn’t hit you like a wet towel fresh from a pot of boiling water.  If there was one thing she hated, it was the damn heat and humidity of the deep and nasty south.

He hit her again with the belt. This time, she felt her skin split. When she tried to move away he dropped the belt and used his free hand to grip the back of her neck, pushing her face harder into the rock.

“Where do you think you’re goin’?” he hissed in her ear. His tongue was thick with cheap beer and his breath reeked of day old diapers. “That’s right, bitch. You ain’t leavin’ the Stone until I’m finished up in here.”

 Ed’s favorite blasted from the speakers he’d had installed under their covered patio: Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla by Wagner. Lord in heaven did she hate that song. Ed had gotten hooked on Wagner after watching Apocalypse Now one too many times, what with the helicopters and all the bombing and that horrid music blaring in the background. He went out to the music store one day and shuffled through the Nice Price CD box until he found a copy of selected works by Richard Crazy Ass Wagner. There wasn’t much call for regular priced classical CDs in these parts. Kitty thought if the dead composer could see what his music had inspired, he’d approve. All men were bastards that way. Goddamn heathens.

AsylumScrawls-alt“Hidey-ho, in we go!” Ed shouted, and before she knew it, he was full up inside her, well, at least as far as his needle dick could go. Amazing how much damage that little pecker could do when she wasn’t properly greased. He grunted and rutted like a sick hog. She hitched slightly when his sweat splashed into the wounds on her back.

 Thankfully, it was over almost as soon as it had started.  He pulled out and away from her in one staggering motion. She slumped down to the base of the stone, resting her cheek against it, willing her tears away.

“Hey, you want me to help you inside?” He was a different person now, all that beastly rage seeping out of him with his semen and into her. He sounded apologetic, which meant she must be bleeding a lot. Ed always got that way when the blood was bad.

“Just…go…away,” she said without opening her eyes. She didn’t want to see his face or his limp dick crawling back into its shell or the belt on the floor or her torn clothes thrown in a pile by the back door. Because Ed killed her baby once upon a fucked up time and she knew for sure he didn’t have the guts to kill her. The only constant in her life was the Pummel Stone and no matter how far she ran or who she ran to, it would always be there, waiting for her.  

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

 Okay, it had always been like this, at least as far as she could remember, and probably always would. But damn, Kitty was for-shit-sure that if her ma hadn’t hanged herself from the tree that used to be in the front of the house, that was before her daddy tore the whole thing up, roots and all a week after the funeral, things would have been different. Momma was her protector, and Lord knows she needed protectin’. Her daddy was a ruthless old bastard, penniless, godless and brainless. One of her first memories was seeing him whup on her momma against The Stone. He was hollering at her something fierce and whacking at her with his boot, but ma didn’t make a sound. She took it like the man he could never be and that just made him crazier.

 Well, after ma died the old man gave The Stone a rest. It was just the two of them now and little Kitty at age seven had to quit school and take care of him and the house. One day the vice principal came to the house to insist Daddy put her back in school. He didn’t even have two sentences out before he was face to face with the wrong end of a shotgun and tearing ass back to his car.

 Life sucked worse than a piglet on a teat, but it was about to get worse. When she turned twelve, a timer went off Daddy’s twisted head, like one of those little plastic poppers they put in chickens to tell you when they’re done roasting.  Now it was her turn to lay against the Pummel Stone and get her deservins. No infraction was too small for The Stone. That big piece of rock that jutted up in their yard, slate gray and ugly as sin, so damn big they couldn’t even dynamite the thing out, it was kind of the family heirloom. The farm had been in their family for three generations and The Stone right along with it. Turned out, punishing the family for their sins, be they real or imagined, was also a family tradition. Her daddy had told her once that his granddaddy had named it the Pummel Stone, on account of anyone put face to face with the rock was about to get a pummelin’. Except if you were a girl you’d get that and more and Daddy carried that torch with flying colors.

 Kitty endured her father’s cruelty until she was eighteen, always staying as quiet as her ma because she knew it drove him crazy.  She hoped the bastard would have a stroke but of course he never did. When she turned eighteen she stole out of the house one night and took a bus to Florida.

 She spent the next seven years traveling all over from one crappy job and run-down town to another, leaving in her wake a string of ex-boyfriends as useless and mean as the old man. When a girlfriend once asked, “How do these men find you?” after her latest broke her nose, she realized, They ain’t finding me. I’m finding them.

 Things changed when she met Ed Blake. He was fresh from the Army and as good looking as a movie star. They met in Troutville, Virginia when she was waiting tables at a truck stop diner. He was smart and sweet and romantic and before she knew it they were happily married and living like a couple of lovebirds. 

 Then word came from her Aunt Mary that Daddy was dying. Kitty would have been happy to let him die alone but Ed said it was important for her to be there, no matter how bad a man he may have been in the past. That was Ed back then, kinder than a saint and a sight better looking to boot. So off they went to South Carolina, back to the farm and the round patch of brown grass in the front yard where the big dogwood tree used to be.

 Daddy was real bad with cancer. She was torn between wanting to hold in her piss and save it for his grave or washing his withered face with a soothing, damp cloth, telling him everything would be all right. It took him a month to die and in that time he responded mostly to Ed. She spied them several times, Ed’s ear close to her daddy’s lips, his words too feeble to carry into the hallway.

 Well, the old monster finally died and Kitty surprised herself by crying at the funeral. The house was left to her and Ed insisted they stay. A whole farm, even though it hadn’t produced anything in years, was better than a one-bedroom apartment in Troutville. So they stayed.

 And wouldn’t you know it, a year to the day later she found herself back on The Pummel Stone. Ed had taken to drinking on account of not being able to find work. Men were like that. The moment they felt emasculated, in came the booze. One day, decided to give her a spanking against The Stone because she burned their supper. Things progressed, or in this case, regressed, and she wondered just what the hell her father had been feeding Ed while he lay there dying. But then she realized it probably had nothing to do with him.

 It was the Stone. It possessed every man who lived by it and damned every woman unlucky enough to be with the abuse-loving fucktard.

Find out what happens to poor, hapless Kitty, as well as the fate of a recent amputee being plagued by his old toys, two couples faced with a ghost that will not leave or speak and six young boys stuck between a sewer creature and the Son of Sam at Asylum Scrawls, only available on Amazon.

 

Cooking Up Halloween Scares At The Asylum

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.

AsylumScrawls Cover

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.

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.

WitchingHouse-The72lg

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/

Dying To Meet You

This article first appeared on Jonathan Janz’s awesome website.

As you read this, know that I’m one day closer to my death.

I’m dying, little by little, day by day.

Then again, so are you. It’s as inevitable as death in Texas. Or something with taxes. Or Wesley Snipes.

Of all the uncertainties that we face in our lives, from wondering where you’ll get your next job to hoping that cute girl in accounting won’t call HR if you ask her out, there is only one thing that’s a surefire, foregone conclusion. We’re all going tits-up one day.

SinisterEntity

When the 2012 mania was in full swing and I talked to people who actually believed that the world was going to end, I told them I looked forward to the apocalypse. You see, with my way of thinking, it’s better to slip off this plane with billions of people than alone while mowing my lawn. I honestly felt that some of these folks wanted the Mayans to be right. My New Year’s vow was to spend less time talking to them.

I’m amazed by how little we devote to contemplating our death. I used to study with a Buddhist monk. I’ve never been more relaxed in my life than when I was in his presence. He once gave me a meditation contemplative to use and I’ll never forget it. As I let my breathing flow, I would say, over and over, “I could die today.” It was really powerful and took my mind to some strange, but enlightening places.

Most people want to live while they’re alive because there’s plenty of time to think about death when you’re shaking hands with rigor mortis. Me, I have to know more. I want to see what’s waiting for us on the other side. I’m loving life, but I’m damn interested in what happens when life has played itself out. Ballgame over. Or is it?

This explains my fascination with ghosts. Of all the supernatural experiences recorded throughout human history, none is more prevalent and far reaching as sightings of ghosts, or spirits, or phantoms. What are they? Who are they? Are they proof of an afterlife, or an extension of the untapped powers of the living mind? Or glimpses of very much alive people caught in an inter-dimensional slip?

I don’t know. I’ve seen ghosts. We have one living in our house. He’s as much a part of the family as our vindictive cat. But I have no idea what he actually is. I just know that he shows up from time to time, only scaring my wife once when he wouldn’t let her pass by him in the kitchen. It’s creepy when you say it out loud, but when you live it, you get used to it. He’s far less annoying than my neighbors who think  10:00 at night is a great time to start a house party that will go on until the sun comes up – or the cops arrive.

So, I write about ghosts. I get invited to come to haunted places. I’ll even tag along with a professional paranormal team this year. Maybe I’ll find my answers. Maybe I’ll just find more questions. And maybe my neighbors will move. Dare to dream.

My latest novel, Sinister Entity, is, naturally, about ghosts. Or more specifically, about a 19 year old ghost hunter named Jessica who’s taken up the family business and still has a lot to learn. If you’re into ghosts, poltergeists and doppelgangers, take the plunge. Jessica’s quest is very much my own. She’s just a hell of a lot cooler than me.

Your Horror-Paranormal Round-Up for March

Today marks the start of something new for me. Every couple of months, I’m going to post a hodge-podge of places to go and people to see on the internet, all of them horror and paranormal related. These are the locations, people  and achievements that have captured my imagination and gratitude. They are wellsprings of inspiration, information, entertainment and mental edification. Find something that interests you and give them a lookey-loo…

Congratulations goes out to Robert Rumery on the publication of his first comic, The Grove, from WhatTheFlux Comics. If you know me, you know I’m a horror comic junkie. Nice job, Robert. I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

The Grove

Looking for great horror books at steep discounts…or even free? Author, editor and all around cool dude in a loose mood, Brian James Freeman has started eHorror Bargains, your one-stop-shop for the best in horror. All of your horror deals are right here. Stop by and load up your e-reader!

Book Reviews. I have 2 places where you can go to get tons of book reviews (and if you’re an author, query them to have your book spotlighted). The first is Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK. Super reviewer Erin covers multiple genres as well as author interviews. She is the hardest working book reviewer out there today and a lot of writerly types owe her our gratitude.

Another mega-review site is Matt Molgaard’s Horror Novel Reviews. Matt and his team do an excellent job of reviewing not only new horror works, but classics and older hidden gems. If you need to stock up your horror library, this is the place to go. Then head to eHorror Bargains and see if you can get some of them without busting your budget.

Bigfoot. You know I can’t help myself from throwing something about the hairy fella in here. Huge thanks to Scott Albright who brought this post to my attention (actually, it’s as large as a novella) about Bigfoot and why no one has found their bones or bodies. Author Robert Lindsay did some yeoman’s work putting this together. Must read for all you squatchers!

Ghosts & The Supernatural. The definitive place to get everything you need about the world of the paranormal is Jeff Belanger’s Ghost Village. This is the Bible for everyone interested in what lies beyond the veil. You can also sign up for their free monthly newsletter.

Books. I’m super excited that my book release partner on April 2nd is the uber-talented Jonathan Janz. His new book, The Darkest Lullaby, comes out the same day as my Sinister Entity. Here’s a link to a review of his book. He has one of the coolest cover in the Samhain library.

thedarkestlullaby_v2

Podcasts. My newest podcast addiciotn is Darkness Radio, a radio show broadcast out of the Twin Cities. You can listen to their archives online or through iTunes. These guys have a damn good time talking about the world of the strange and the unexplained. Love their take on things.

OK, that about does it for this month. I hope you stop by some or all of these great places and supoprt them. If there are hot spots you think I should know about, send them to me and I’ll include them in future posts.

Happy hauntings!

A Swampy Preview & a Chance to Win a Monster

The day is finally here. Swamp Monster Massacre lives! To kick things off, I invite you to visit the first stop of the blog tour (as seen in the previous post) and take a gander at the following preview of chapter one. This isn’t your grandfather’s bigfoot story – that’s if you had a strange grandfather obsessed with the big ape. To check out all the stops on the first severed leg of the tour, click here. Dates will be added weekly because this bad boy is running until the end of the year.

And to make things extra special, I’m going to pick a random person who responds to this post to win a $5 Samhain gift card, which shockingly is more than enough to pick up your own copy of SMM with change to get a second novella.

Remember, keep your hands in the ride at all times and no flash photography. Skunk Apes hate that.

SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE

Chapter 1.

Rooster Murphy pried his knuckle out of Cheech’s shattered eye socket with a grunt of frustration. Goddamn guy’s skull must have been made of honeycombs to break apart like that. Cheech’s right eye, in all its smooshed, gelatinous glory, quivered on the knuckle of his middle finger. He flicked his wrist in disgust and watched the eye splatter against the floor, leaving a slick streak.

“I told you to cut it out, didn’t I?” he screamed at the Cuban man’s cooling corpse. “Did you think I was fucking playing with you? Huh? Jesus, Cheech! You know, you really put me in a tight spot. You really did. You fucked me good, man. You fucked me good.”

He hocked a wad of phlegm on Cheech’s chest for good measure.

Now what?

All Cheech had to do was hand over the guns, and all he had to do was give that entitled Cuban the money. Simple. A friggin’ retard could have handled that.

But Cheech, man, he always had to ride him. Always had something to say. Always quick with a joke at his expense. He was Luis Cortez’s son after all, so he thought that gave him a free ride to say and do anything he felt like.

And Rooster, he’d really been trying to hold it together. Five court-ordered stints at anger management, meds that made his head fuzzy and his dick soft, meditation CDs made by California fruits, and all that other shit out the window in under a minute.

So now he had the guns and the money and Cheech’s stiff with the surprisingly fragile skull. It was only a couple of punches. Must have been all that blow Cheech did, eating away at his stupid face.

Fuck it. Either way, he was a dead man. Rough Cheech up a little, you could expect Papa Luis to come down on you so hard you own mother would feel the loss in her old, empty womb.

Rooster took a moment to think about his options. The guy’s apartment was straight out of that Cribs show, full of all kinds of marble and hi-tech electronic shit. The air conditioning was on full blast and, as he discovered walking into the kitchen, there was plenty of Presidente beer in the fridge. He usually preferred the cheap stuff like Busch or Schaefer, but beggars can’t be choosers.

He twisted off the non-twist-off cap of a Presidente and sat back on the big leather couch. Rooster shoved Cheech’s legs away with the heel of his sneaker. The cold beer felt like heaven as it sluiced down his chest and into his gut.

This was bad. He’d been down shit creek more than his share of times, but this one took the cake, ate it, crapped it out, clogged the toilet and spilled out onto the floor. Cortez had guys all over Naples. Hell, his arm stretched down to Miami and up north to Jacksonville. Getting out of Florida was going to be like that Clint Eastwood flick, The Gauntlet. That was pretty badass when Clint fortified a bus to take on an assault from more guns than the French had surrender parties.

For the first time since entering Cheech’s apartment, Rooster smiled. He remembered seeing that movie with his dad at the old Big Star Drive-In. He must have been ten at the time. His dad would park a couple of ratty old lawn chairs in front of their Chevelle and they’d eat popcorn one of his succession of ‘aunts’ had made at home. And on special nights, like the night they saw The Gauntlet, his dad would share a few sips of his suds with him.

It wasn’t until Rooster had finished the beer that he remembered he wasn’t supposed to drink alcohol with his meds. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to drive, operate heavy machinery, walk, talk or screw when under the influence of alcohol, because no matter what you are in the middle of doing, you are about to take a world-class face-plant.

“Crap.”

The room spun and he thought he saw Cheech move. The bottle slipped from his hand and his mind slipped from this world.


Swamp Monster Massacre is available at Samhain Horror, Amazon, B&N and everywhere e-books are sold.

It’s Here! Evil Eternal vs. The World

It’s a great day here in the Shea neighborhood. My second book with Samhain Publishing, Evil Eternal, is now available and can be had a pretty damn good price (under $5!). I’m honored to be part of the Samhain family and have been impressed every step of the way since they took this orphan in last year.

Now, I’ve already given you an excerpt in a previous quote, breakdown of the book on my Books page along with some advance reviews. So, what the heck esle do I have to talk about (other than the various posts and article on  my blog tour—see previous post)? I figured I’d give you a little Shea family snapshot and show you how Evil Eternal grew from a tiny idea to a full-fledged, demon-killing novel.

Way back when Bill Clinton was asking the world to define the word ‘is’, I got a spanking new computer. The best way to test drive that Gateway was to write a short story, preferrably something with larger than life characters, demons and gore. Hey, it’s what I was in the mood for at the time. Well, I cranked out a short story about this undead priest called Father Michael who stumbles upon scenes of carnage wrought by a demon called Cain (he of Cain and Abel infamy).

I wrote it, I read it, I liked it. So did other folks I showed it to. I went on to write another story, placing Father Michael in the NY sewer system seeking demons in dark, filthy tunnels. About a year after I had written both stories, a Bram Stoker nominated horror website came to me to see if I had any ideas for a monthly e-serial. I thought, hey, I’ve got just the thing!

So for a few months, I wrote new chapters for the website, leaving each on a cliffhanger. It was great fun. Alas, the website shut down well before the story was finished.

There were plans to make it a graphic comic and a great friend started preliminary artwork. Comic publishers were contacted, but no one took the bait. Oh well. I may be a big comic book reader, but I was never too saavy about the business side of the medium.

I had an ending that was just itching to be written, so I went back and finished what I started and had a dandy novella. And that’s the way it sat for quite a while.

Enter Samhain, stage right. As I was digging through my drawer of misfit manuscripts, I showed my editor the novella. The next question was, “Can you flesh it out and make it a novel?” Hell yeah, I can! I dove back into the Evil Eternal world and added a new beginning, ending and beefed up everything in between. I had a ton of fun writing it. This is ‘let your freak flag fly’ territory.

And now it’s finally here. Be sure to check in at the ‘ol blog and chain and the various blog tour stops for giveaways and fun. Next time you’re in church, thank a priest. They may save you from death at the hands of a demon some day. ;)

The Blog Tour Cometh!

We’re just days away from the global release of Evil Eternal (poor, poor world). Not one to sit on my duff, I’ve been hard at work at some other exciting things, but I’ll save that for a later post.

Below is the official Evil Eternal Blog Tour. Be sure to check in at each stop because there will be all kinds of freebies and signed books.

Dreadful Tales (5/1)

Wodke Hawkinson (5/1)

Cate Gardner (5/2)

Jonathan Janz (5/3)

Joseph Pinto’s Horror (and things not so horrible) Blog (5/4)

Paul D. Dail’s Not So Horrific Blog (5/4)

Oh, For The Hook of a Book! (5/5 for National Comic Book Day!)

eBook Swag (5/7, 5/15, 5/16, 5/22, 6/11)

The Happy Horror Writer (5/7)

Last Krist on the Left (5/10)

Frazer Lee (5/14)

J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer (5/17)

Damien Walters Grintalis (5/21)

Macabre Republic

PromoteHorror (5/2 & ongoing)

Interview with Author Russell James

The great thing about being part of the new Samhain Horror family has been meeting some of the new and seasoned authors that they have brought together. Russell James is one of those cool dudes in a loose mood. He has a chilling new novel out, Dark Inspiration. If you want to read a book that will actually make you sleep with the light on, look no further. This is classic horror at its best. Russell was nice enough to sit down for an interview with yours truly. Enjoy!

1. Your novel, Dark Inspiration, is right in my personal sweet spot. It
has a haunted house, creepy old cemetery and sinister secrets. Tell us a
little more about the book, especially something that will put chill down
our spines!

Doug and Laura Lock try to fulfill many couples’ fantasy.  They quit their
jobs and move to a country dream house and hope to re-fire their personal
and professional lives.  But Doug finds a hidden attic full of some creepy
taxidermy left by a deceased former resident and starts doing some twisted
experimentation.  You experience Doug’s personal descent from inside his
head, and it’s not pretty.  His plans for his wife are…well, you’ve got to
read it.

Laura is influenced by the spirits of two twin girls and Doug encounters
the spirit of their uncle.  Neither of them shares their experiences with
the other and so start living parallel, secret lives.  When the lives
finally intersect, it goes off the rails.  Way off.  Honestly, the two of
them could have used some paranormal advice from John Backman from your
Forest of Shadows.

2. What was the aha moment in your life when you decided you wanted to
become a writer?

I remember having a short story published in a junior high literary
journal and thought that was the coolest thing ever.  But the idea of
seriously writing and having other people want to read it was so daunting
a task, I never considered trying.

I would tell my wife stories I thought up when we went on long drives in
the car.  She kept bugging me to write them down.  Tired of my lame
excuses not to, and knowing I worshipped at the paperback altar of Stephen
King, she bought me his On Writing for Christmas a few years ago.  Reading
that made me realize that I could write something, if I applied myself.

3. Every writer has a special journey to publication. How did you come
about having your book published by Samhain?

Again, credit goes to the wife.  The next Christmas after On Writing
arrived, she got me an online writing course at Gotham Writer’s Workshop.
Two short stories I worked on there ended up getting published.

Nice start, but several unsold novel manuscripts later, success wasn’t
knocking.  I took an advanced Gotham class to see what I skills I was
missing.  During that class, the instructor alerted us that Samhain was
having the equivalent of open auditions for horror books.  I had Dark
Inspiration fresh off a tour of publisher and agent rejections, so I sent
it in.  In a million-to-one-shot, Don D’Auria bought it.

Trust me, I wake up every morning thankful for the stroke of luck that got
me here today.

4. What book have you read that really scared you and made you want to
sleep with the light on?

I really like reading collections of true ghost stories.  A personal
experience when I was kid made me a true believer.
There are times I’ll read about an event and both arms go to goose pimples
and my heart skips a beat.  That’s the good stuff.

5. OK, suppose you had to hire a monster as a contract killer. Out of
Jason, Michael Meyers, Freddie and Pinhead, who would you choose and why?

I have to send Freddy Krueger.  He can kill someone in their dreams
without a trace.  Plus in his free time I can have him Edward Scissorhands
my backyard shrubbery.

6. In three sentences or less, describe what you’re currently working on.

I have a short story coming out in December on a podcast called Tales of
Old. It’s historical fiction about a World War I fighter pilot.  So you
can read it on the website or download and listen to it.

The next novel is called Sacrifice and will be out sometime in 2012.  A
group of kids destroy an evil demon in 1980, but thirty years later find
out they may not have finished the job.  They return home to confront the
demon, their own aging, their past mistakes.  The demon isn’t going to go
quietly, and this time has friends.

Visit Russell James’s website to learn more and order a copy for the holidays!

And if you want even more reasons to be afraid of the dark, check out Forest of Shadows.

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