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Present Time!

It’s been a very strange week here in NY & CT where I live and work. We’re all trying to get in the holiday spirit, but the unthinkable events at Sandy Hook Elementary are never far from our thoughts. I had to write a blog of my publisher’s website on Monday. Hardest thing I ever had to write. You can read it here.

I NEED to be Santa today, in a small way, to help get me in the mood. So, I picked the winners from my previous Christmas post. Here are the winners and the booty you each get. Please email your address to me at huntershea1@gmail.com so I can send everything out.

And the winners are:

  • Jason Darrick : signed copy of Evil Eternal
  • Kimmie : signed copy of Forest of Shadows
  • Marinda Hatcher-Grindstaff : Swamp Monster Massacre T Shirt
  • Erin (from Hook of a Book) : signed copy of Forest of Shadows
  • Joe Pinto : signed copy of Evil Eternal
  • Jennifer Mathis : e-copy of Swamp Monster Massacre
  • Robert Stava : e-copy of Swamp Montser Massacre
  • Paul Dail : e-copy of Swamp Monster Massacre

Now, if any of you who won signed books prefers e-books, let me know and I can easily accomodate. I never know what folks prefer.

Merry Christmas to all of you and a happy, healthy and wealthy New Year! And please spread the Christmas love by sharing the Monster Men Christmas episode with everyone you meet. 🙂

All You Need for Christmas – And Presents,Too!

Ho, Ho Aaarrrrgggghh! ‘Tis the season of twinkling lights, the scent of pine, spiked egg nogg and paper cuts from wrapping presents. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy the Christmas season and make it a point to tell everyone ‘Merry Christmas’ as opposed to a non-committal, limp-wristed ‘Happy Holidays’. After I write this post, I’ll be on my way to putting up the lights around the house and ddoing a little shopping for the family.

Since I’ll be a very busy little beaver this month, I figured I’d post something that will remain relevant for the entire holiday season AND give away a bunch of stuff that you can put under the tree. Stick with me as I bounce around like a reindeer after 10 shots of tequila.

First, The Monster Men just put together our very first Christmas episode. We give our top 10 list of the baddest villains in Christmas special history. See how it matches up against yours!

In my house, we have a tradition of watching at least 1 Christmas special/movie a night from December 1st until Christmas Eve. Needless to say, we own a ton of Christmas DVDs and video tapes. I’m sure you all watch the standards like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Here’s a cartoon you may not have even heard of but should definitely become part of your viewing rotation.

My all time favorite Christmas cartoon is A Wish for Wings that Work, starring Opus and Bill the Cat (of Bloom County fame  – the second best comic strip of all time, next to Calvin and Hobbes). All poor Opus wants for Christmas is the ability to fly. But his smelly sidekick Bill, he of the tater tot brains, accidently thwarts him at every turn. This is one the parents will love even more than the kids.

Wish for Wings

Now, on the MUCH more adult side, thanks to my Monster Brother, Jack, the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia : A Very Sunny Christmas has not only scarred me, but become an instant classic in my twisted home. If you’ve ever wanted to see Danny Devito naked or watch a man chew a mall Santa’s throat out while asking him he he effed his mom, this is a can’t miss!

sunny christmas

On the opposite end of the spectrum, even though I write horror for a living, I do have a romantic side (or else I’d be a very lonely horror writer). For my money, hands down, the best Christmas movie ever made is Love Actually. Yes, it’s a movie about several interconnected love stories, but isn’t that what Christmas is realy all about? If you doubt the greatness of this movie, read the opening lines, then watch it.

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.

Love Actually

Now, on to the presents! I want to thank all of you for sticking with me over the past year by giving you some gifts. All you need to do is drop in a comment (and hopefully share this on Twitter, FB, etc). I’ll be giving away the following:

I’ll pick random winners on December 17th and send them out so you have them in time for Christmas.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

I’ve Got a Fever!

And the only prescription is more BOOK TOUR! I’m very excited to finally unveil the last leg of the Swamp Monster book tour that started way back in the first week of October. Sales have been great and everyone’s having a squatchy time. This last severed leg of the tour runs all the way until January 18th, unless the Mayans were right and we all but the big one on December 21st. Personally it’s been a rough time for me and my family, so the skunk apes have done a great job keeping us all sane.

Practice your bigfoot calls and stop by as this tour bus rolls on.

Swamp Monster Massacre Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, December 3

Book spotlight at Monique Morgan

Tuesday, December 4

Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Wednesday, December 5

Guest blogging at Monique Morgan

Thursday, December 6

Guest blogging and Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook

Friday, December 7

Interviewed at Examiner

Monday, December 10

Guest blogging at Allvoices

Tuesday, December 11

Guest blogging at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 12

Interviewed at Broowaha

Thursday, December 13

Guest blogging at Parenting from a Child’s Point of View

Friday, December 14

Interviewed at Review From Here

Monday, January 7

Book spotlight and Giveaway at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Wednesday, January 9

Interviewed at Digital Journal

Thursday, January 10

Guest blogging at Shine

Monday, January 14

Guest blogging at Bunny’s Reviews

Tuesday, January 15

Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, January 17

Interviewed at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Friday, January 18

Interviewed at Literal Exposure

Giving Thanks From The Abyss

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I started to think about this past year and the roller coaster ride I call a life. I’ve had great highs and scary lows that have left me numb, sometimes empty, sometimes full, but neither for long.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good that comes our way. But I’ve come to realize that what we have to be most grateful for are the hard times. When we face adversity, we learn a lot about our true nature and the importance of the people that surround us.

Case in point. For the past couple of weeks, my father had his first health scare, his first surgery, and his first brush with the big C. We found out today that the surgery was a success and he’ll be fine. But that 10 day waiting period to get the great news gave us all pause and made us realize how little time we have together. We’ll make the most of it on Thanksgiving. I can assure you that.

Another case. For the past year-plus, my wife has been battling an unknown infection and lupus. We’re at the point where the doctors think radiation is the only cure. Talk about a cure worse than the disease. It’s like watching the person you love most being tortured every second of every day as radiation sears its way through the cells of her entire body. It shows me, daily, how much she means to me, and how little everything else matters if you and the ones you love don’t have the gift of good health.

Looking back at what I’ve written, I saw that this is an overriding fear in almost all my work. In Forest of Shadows, John Backman’s wife dies in her sleep, forever altering his life and his mind. In Evil Eternal, a strong man named Liam watches his wife’s murder and offers his soul to avenge her death, becoming the undead Father Michael. His torment is sealed to go on for infinity. Even in Swamp Monster Massacre, my crazy skunk ape romp, when John’s wife is killed, so is his soul, and soon after, his body.  All of these things crept into my work, my conscious mind completely unaware. I’m forcing myself to look into the abyss so I can be grateful that though at times I’m at the precipice, I haven’t fallen through. My wife battles on, and so do I.

In hard times, we turn to others, or God, for strength and support. It’s at these moments where we’re truly thankful for all of the good people and happy moments in our lives.

So this year, when you look back at those moments of hell in your life, don’t ask ‘why me?’ Use them as touchstones and appreciate what they reminded you of, or how they brought you closer to someone, or even changed your life for the better.

Most of all, give thanks.

 

Tagged With 9 Questions On My Horror Work In Progress

First of all, as a New Yorker, my heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone or something close to them in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and my family is thankful that we came out of it unscathed, though the same can’t be said for millions of others. It’s going to take a long time to get back to normal, especially with a nor’easter in the forecsast this week.

Thanks to my main man from Amsterdam, author Paul Dail, I get to talk a bit about something that is not necessarily a work in progress. More on that in a moment.

I want to take a small break from all things Swampy (before the 3rd & most massive part of the tour starts December 3rd) and spotlight a story I had published last year called The Dig. I’m a big archaeology buff and I’d always wanted to write a ghost story centered around some remote site. The Dig follows the terrifying exploits of Felicia Tang on an expedition to Mongolia. What looks like a normal burial mound is actually the entrance to a centuries old chamber housing countless urns within rough hewn niches. Who built the vast chamber and why? What remains lie within the urns? Most of all, what is still very much alive in the dark? The Dig is only 99 cents and free for Amazon Prime members. I have big news coming up in the next month on the short story front, but this should keep you until then. 😉

I’m not a big TV guy, but there are a few shows out there that I love and some that have surprised me. So, what is Hunter rushing to watch On Demand these days?

I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m a huge The Walking Dead fan. I’ve loved the comics since almost the beginning and AMC is doing  a great job keeping even us hardcore fans guessing. I dressed up as Dale for Halloween in  his memory. R.I.P. Mr. Bucket Hat.

Of course, I’m back for more from American Horror Story : Asylum. So far, this season has felt like an acid trip through a haunted house at Playland. I’m hoping it starts to make sense soon. Are there really aliens adbucting people???

I’ve added 2 new shows to my weekly viewing and both have flipped me out with how good they are. The first is the newest take on Sherlock Holmes, Elementary. Lucy Liu as Watson? Sherlock in NYC? What idiot thought this up? Turns out, a pretty damn smart idiot with some of the best writers on TV. I can’t get enough of this show.

The biggest surprise is Nashville. Normally, I despise this soapy kind of stuff, but damn the music is good and the various story lines have sucked me in. And hey, if I can’t see Connie Britton on American Horror Story, I’m happy top get my Connie fix right here.

And of course you all know I’m counting the seconds until the return of Justified.

OK, enough about me and TV. The real reason for this post is because I was tagged by Paul Dail to answer 9 questions about my work in progress. Well, after months of intense writing, I’m taking a little break and doing research for my next book. However, I went into my time machine, set the dial for May, 2012, and answered the questions about my novella, Swamp Monster Massacre.
And I’m going to keep this going by tagging the super talented Adriana Noir. On with the show!

1. What is the working title of your book?

Swamp Monster Massacre

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

I was talking to my editor late one night and he asked me if I had a novella in the old desk drawer that he could use. I didn’t, but a tiny light bulb lit up over my pointy head. I had recently done an episode on Bigfoot on The Monster Men podcast. My buddy Jack and I are Bigfoot fanatics. I decided it was time I wrote my own Bigfoot book, but with a twist. So, I added a crime novel element to it and let the words fly.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Horror, most definitely.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Boy, this could be fun. For my hulking criminal, Rooster Murphy, I think I’d go with Chris Hemsworth. He rocked as Thor and has the size and wry sense of humor that can pull it off. For the super hot and darkly dangerous twins, Liz and Maddie, I’d have to go with Amanda Seyfried playing a dual role. Those eyes! I also think Sam Rockwell would nail the Jack Campos character. As for the crazed skunk ape clan, well, if I could find an actual Bigfoot family for the movie, I’d be one happy man.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?

Small-time crook on the run from pissed off mobsters kidnaps tour boat in the Florida Everglades only to find the monsters in the swamp are way more deadly than the killers on land.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It is published through Samhain Publishing, my home away from home. They’ve done a great job over the past year building a horror brand and getting the word out. Just a fantastic publisher to be with.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript.

This was a true lesson in meeting tight deadlines. I needed to get the story written and revised many times all in under a month. The first draft was done in 2 weeks where I did nothing but write. I spent the next 2 weeks revising. I think the frenetic pace I had to keep in writing it is reflected in the story. Thankfully, I picked something that was a blast to write.

8. Who or what inspired you to write the book?

Well, my editor asking for a book pronto lit the fire under my ass. The fact that I can’t shake my fascination with monsters gave the subject to me on a silver platter.

9. What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

I like to think that I did something with Bigfoot that hasn’t quite been done before. First, not much love is given to skunk apes. Making them bad yet sympathetic, just like their human counterpart, Rooster, was an interesting way to approach the book. In the end, whether man or beast, we all have our light and dark sides. And God help us when darkness descends.

My Halloween Boomstick!

October for horror writers and lovers is like April for accountants – pure madness. And madness is damn good. I’m gearing up big time for Halloween and have a lot of treats to share (so no egging my house!).

First off, Swamp Monster Massacre is tearing it up. So happy to see skunk ape love out there. The reviews have been nothing short of fantastic. Here’s what some folks had to say (you can click on each to see the full review):

” This is one to read with the lights turned down low at night!” — Charlayne’s Review

“My oh my did I enjoy myself when I read this book! 5 stars! — Turning the Pages

“A total must read for all thriller fans. 5 stars” — My Cozie Corner Reviews

Like a good little horror ghoul, I’ve been watching horror movies all month. Rememebr to follow me on Twitter and check out #Terrortober for the list and my reviews of each, as well as the books I’ve been reading. The movies have spanned from 1920 to 2011, so there’s a lot to see.

The Monster Men unleashed our second annual Halloween episode. We have a brand new theme song and some funny surprises peppered throughout. We go from The Great Pumpkin to hanted asylums and slasher flicks. Check it out!

Speaking of the Monster Men, Jack and I will be interviewed on The Secret to Everything radio show on Wednesday October 24th at 7pm ET. Lord knows what stupid things we’re apt to say. I’m sure it will be archived at the same link.

Coming later this week will be an interview with my favorite ghost hunting team, Pink Kitty Paranormal. Get ready for a wild ride!

On Halloween, I’m going to post chapter 3 of my free gothic story, MERCY. You can visit Pen of the Damned to catch up.

Last but not least, I had a fun book event at The Wicked Wolf Tavern in White Plains, NY this past weekend. I was there along with author Robert Stava, who premiered his new book, At Van Eyckmann’s Request. We had a tarot card reader on hand, giveaways, filmed Monster Men episodes and had many, many drinks. That Jeagermeister shot machine was the end of me. Thank you to everyone who came. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a glimpse…

   Forget the Avengers. This is the greatest group of guys ever assembled.

Jack and I with Jerry, the man behind the Monster Men logos. Ok, the Jaegermeister has kicked in at this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severed Leg # 2 of the Swamp Monster Tour

Now this leg is nice and fat and juicy, enough to gnaw on until your bellies are ready to burst. The first part of the tour was a great success and Swamp Monster Massacre is kicking butt. Thank you to everyone who got a copy and/or reviewed it. The skunk apes and I couldn’t be happier.

Also, don’t forget to follow my horror flick reviews (I watch at least one every day in October) by searching under #Terrortober on Twitter. And the Monster Men required horror reading list for Halloween is your one-stop-shop for Terrortober.

Now, grab your machete, bug spray and a full canteen and get swampy!

Second Severed Leg of the Swampy Tour

October 15- Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet

October 15 – Lizzy’s Dark Fiction – Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

October 16 – My Cozie Corner – Review/Giveaway

October 17 – Midnyte Reader – Guest Post/Giveaway

October 18 – Pink Fluffy Hearts – Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

October 19 – TE Garden of Books – Review/Giveaway

October 20 – Read Review Smile – Review/Interview/Giveaway

October 21 – Kimmie’s Bookshelf – Giveaway/Guest Post/PROMO

October 23 – Turning The Pages – Review

October 24 – Laurie’s Interviews – Interview/Giveaway/PROMO

October 25 –Disincentive Reviews – Giveaway/PROMO

October 26 – My Reading Addiction – Review/Giveaway

October 27 – The Book Faery Reviews – Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

October 28 – LovLivLife Reviews– PROMO

October 29 – My Reading Addiction – Giveaway/PROMO

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!

 

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.

The Swamp Monster Tour Countdown

In just 4 days, my novella, Swamp Monster Massacre, emerges from the Everglades. In it, you’ll see why criminals, tourists and skunk apes don’t play well together. It will be available as an e-book through Samhain Horror. The Swamp Monster Blog Tour starts on the release day, Tuesday, October 2nd. The tour itself is going to have 4 (severed) legs and will run until the end of the year. We’re talking between 30 and 40 stops!

The first leg is all set to go, with posts, reviews and more importantly, giveaways. All along the tour, I’ll be giving away signed books, e-books, gift cards, signed stuff and more, so make sure to drop by each stop and enter to win. And pick up a copy of old Swampy or give him a Like. Gotta keep the monster happy. It’s under $3 everywhere e-books are sold.

I’ll announce the other (severed) legs here and keep checking the Signings & Appearances tab for updates to the tour.

(Severed) Leg 1:

Oct 2 : Brian Moreland’s Dark Lucidity Blog

Oct 3 : Fictitious Musings

Oct 4 : Aniko Carmean, The Happy Horror Writer

Oct 4 : Lil Gracie Lou Blog

Oct 6 : Darlene’s Book Nook – Horror Spotlight

Oct 8 : Horror Author, Jonathan Janz

Oct 10 : Horror Author David Bernstein

Oct 11 : Midnyte Reader

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