Wow, is this long overdue. When Samhain Publishing went the way of Beanie Babies, I had decided to keep the three Jessica Backman books for myself because, well, she’s my favorite character and I don’t want to share. In 2017, I re-released Forest of Shadows with a cool, new cover and promised the next two would be close behind. Boy, was I wrong…and late! But fear no more, the lost Jessica Backman books are lost no more! Guess it’s high time I wrote book 4.
How can you escape the ghost of yourself?
The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With no where else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.
Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.
Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.
But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?
GRAB BOTH BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. SEE, SOMETHING GOOD DID HAPPEN IN 2020.
Samhain and I want to make your Friday the 13th the creepiest ever. From now until March 15th, my first two ghost novels, FOREST OF SHADOWS and SINISTER ENTITY are only 99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold. If you’re new to my madness and just read ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, this is the perfect chance to catch up on where Jessica Backman’s obsession with the dead began. You’ll think twice before visiting a haunted house, learn what an EB is and why it’s sometimes best to let the dead rest in peace…or turmoil. So fire up your Kindles and Nooks and iPads before time runs out on the best offer Samhain has ever made!
The dead still hate!
Something dreadful happened in the remote Alaskan cabin. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.
“With Forest of Shadows, Hunter Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror and modern style. Highly recommended!” — Jonathan Mayberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot and Ruin and The Dragon Factory.
“Forest of Shadows is a frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” —Night Owl Reviews
How can you escape the ghost of yourself?
The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With nowhere else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to be able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.
With only 5 days until the release of my next book, ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, I thought it was time to talk a little about my brave ghost warrior, Jessica Backman. This is her third book and it’s strange how life is starting to imitate art, years after art was created to imitate life.
It all started with my very first book, FOREST OF SHADOWS. When I wrote FOS, my two girls were toddlers. My oldest was just about the same age as Jessica in the book, 6. Naturally, characteristic traits of both girls were woven into the fiber of Jessica – curious, precocious, at times braves, other times unsure and afraid. My wife and I back then talked about having 4 kids, all girls if possible. Jessica had long been a frontrunner on our list of baby names. When my wife’s sister had a baby and named her Jessica, even before she knew I was writing about a little girl with the same name, well, it kind of seemed as if this little character had come to life and joined the family. I ended FOS on a pretty definitive note and thought, that’s that. Ain’t it cool that we now have an actual little Jessica in the family?
The book was done, years later it was published and I suddenly couldn’t stop thinking about Jessica. What would become of a little girl who’d seen so much? Where was she now? How would she look? How does she hide her scars? (and I was quietly happy that my niece Jessica had led a normal, uneventful life) When my editor asked me for my next project, I said I was going to write one where Jessica was the main character. I moved the story ahead 13 years so she was now 19, smart, witty, foul mouthed and following in her deceased father’s ghost (or as she says, EB) hunting footsteps. A person could go two ways after experiencing what she had in Alaska. They could never think or speak of the supernatural again, or they could press on, armed with the feeling that lightning never strikes twice. In SINISTER ENTITY, Jessica is pretty much a know-it-all badass with proof that there’s a whole new life after death and she isn’t afraid to chase down its secrets. And like all teens, she doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does. Staring into the abyss without hesitation, something glares right back and it rocks her.
When I wrote SE, I had one girl in her teens and the other right behind her. My youngest was starting to gain an interest in the paranormal, just like Jessica. Both were unafraid of ghosts, mainly because we live with one. I don’t presume to know what it behind the unofficial fifth member of our family, but he’s here, just the same. As Jessica grew, so did they, and their personalities had started to meld.
With more tales to tell, I’ve brought Jessica back in ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN. Now in her early 20’s, she’s scared of herself and for the first time is afraid of both the worlds of the living and the dead. A grown woman now, she can’t just plow forward without thinking of the consequences. Once youth is lost, there is no getting it back. With that loss comes the flowering of fear.
And with age comes the complications of relationships with family, friends and for Jessica, a man. I see those girl-boy complications all the times with my girls. It makes me glad I’m not single!
In a strange way, Jessica has become a third daughter to us – albeit one who doesn’t need new clothes every season or leaves dirty dishes all around the house. She’s growing right along with my kids, though a little faster. I may have to slow her down so they call catch up. The best and most complicated parts of Jessica come from my own girls. And I do see them adopting some of her traits, even though they haven’t read the books (saving that for a couple of years from now). It’s fascinating to witness, and an honor to write. These 3 particular books have been the most personal to me. Art always intersects with life in some fashion. I’m excited to see where the family goes next.
Once again, Thanksgiving ruled. Great company, tons of food and my Seahawks won. Now, today is a day of rest for the Shea clan. I plan to do a lot of reading and work a tad on my novella.
For all you readers out there, today is a very special day for you. Samhain Publishing is having a huge Black Friday weekend sale, starting right now. Every single book in the store, print and ebook, is 30% off until Monday night.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about diving into the deep end of the horror pool, now’s your chance to take that leap.
You can catch up on any of my books you’ve missed for less than a cup of coffee. Here are the sweet deals waiting for you. Happy reading!
Hell Hole – ebook now $3.85, print $11.20
The Waiting – ebook now $2.45
Sinister Entity – ebook now $3.85, print $10.50
Swamp Monster Massacre – ebook now $2.45
Evil Eternal – ebook now $3.85, print $9.80
Forest of Shadows – ebook now $3.85, print $10.50
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.
A couple of weeks ago I had a little contest to see who would be a character in the next book I’m writing, which happens to be a sequel to Sinister Entity (which was a sequel to Forest of Shadows). Obviously, the book will be all about ghosts and the paranormal, though I can tell you that things will take a far, far darker turn this time around.
So, I wrote all of the names, put them in a well worn Rockland County Boulders cap and did my drawing of the three. Here are the winners and the names that will populate the book:
- Nina D’Arcangela
- Daphne (love that name!)
- Paul Dail
As to what I’m going to do with those characters, my subconscious is already busy at work. Will they live? Will they die? I have no idea…yet. I plan to start writing the book in October and should finish in February. Congrats to Nina, Daphne and Paul. May God have mercy on your character’s souls.
As the summer winds down, I’m putting the finishing touches on a secret project that will be revealed soon, I promise.
That also means I’m gearing up for my next project, which will be book 3 in the Jessica Backman series. Things are going to take a wicked turn as our fearless ghost hunter takes on a case that will forever change the way she sees the worlds of the living and the dead.
As I start to gather the pieces for that book, I need some character names. That’s where you come in. Everyone who responds to this post will be in the drawing to become a character. I’m going to pick 3 winners and announce them next week. If you’re a winner, I’ll work with you to create a character that is truly your own.
You can also go to Goodreads this week and enter a drawing to win a signed copy of Sinister Entity. This is your chance to get your hands on the book that Literal Remains says : “This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don’t get much better than this.”
The giveaway ends August 23rd.