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The Truth Behind The Montauk Monster

What’s cookin’ monster dudes and monsterettes? Hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am and catching up on some quality reading time. August is the month I rest up so I’m ready for my favorite month, #Horrortober! Already putting together my list of horror flicks to watch and books to read.

When I’m not lounging around searching for my lost shaker or salt, I’ve been visiting bookstores, libraries and horror cons, talking about The Montauk Monster. And not just the book, but the real story behind the myth and how I tied fact and fiction together and injected it with a human growth hormone/speed cocktail.

Fellow Monster Man Jack and I recorded one of our get togethers where we talked all about the Long Island beasts and how the book deal came about. For those of you who can’t get to one of my talks, I present it here for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure).

What monster do you think is under-appreciated and needs its own book? You may be the person to inspire my next monster novel! If you live in the US and give a suggestion in the comments here, you’re eligible to win a signed copy of The Montauk Monster. Let your monster freak flags fly!

HELL HOLE Excerpt : What Lies Beneath

Greetings from sunny New York where the crime rises with the humidity in July. Fear not for me. I’m safe in my air conditioned lair, my killer cat always on the lookout for dangerous interlopers.

It’s been a wild month and a half with 2 books coming out one after the other. THE MONTAUK MONSTER is flying off the shelves and devouring the beach read competition. I’ll be talking all things Montauk and monsters up in Maine a week from now. I have a signing at Bridgton Books (Bridgton is a town Stephen King once lived in and penned some great books) on Friday, July 25th from 1-3pm.

I’ll also be at the North Bridgton Library to talk writing and have a fun Q&A on Tuesday, July 22 at 7pm. I’ll make sure I have all of my books on hand.

OK, now let’s get down to HELL HOLE. I wrote this western/horror for my father last year because he was such a fan of westerns. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could read the finished product, but I sense he has his copy up there in the great beyond. HELL HOLE is just one of several horror westerns that Samhain will be publishing this year, along with Jonathan Janz’s excellent western vampire, DUST DEVIL’S. It’s strange how we all decided to head out west at the same time without talking amongst ourselves about it.

HellHole

 

Mine is a little different because it’s set in Wyoming in 1905, a couple of decades after the real wild west’s heyday. But it does have an old cowboy, Rough Riders, Teddy Roosevelt, a creepy abandoned mine, black-eyed kids, ghosts, wild men, Djinn and a hell of a lot more. And I’d be remiss if I left out a half-Mexican beauty named Selma. To whet your whistle, I’ve posted a little excerpt below. Take a gander and make the trip to Hecla, Wyoming with me, where things are never what they seem. Info on getting your own copy is on the BOOKS tab.


 

It didn’t take long to circumnavigate the hills, even taking it as slow as we did. By noon, it felt like the sun was sitting on the brim of my Stetson. We were about to call it a day when Selma pulled up her horse and barked, “Look over here! What is that?”

Peering down, I saw a footprint of some kind. It was made by someone that had been barefoot because you could make out all the toes. Odd thing about it was that there were only four toes.

And it was big. Longer and wider than any foot I’d ever seen.

“There’s another one over here,” Teta said.

About seven feet to the north of the first track was another. All told, we found six of them, though only two were deep enough to retain any kind of definition.

Que demonios?” Teta said, whistling as he walked around them. “I never saw a foot that damn big.”

I jumped off my horse and bent down to get a closer look.

“Awfully wide,” I said.

“You can see there’s a right foot and a left foot,” Selma said, pointing to the nearest set.

“And only four toes on each,” Teta added.

“Let me see something, try to gauge the size.” I put my boot next to the footprint. It was bigger than mine by a good five or six inches, and I wore a size twelve.

Selma said, “Maybe it’s an old footprint. Time in the elements just wore it enough so it looks bigger than it is.”

Tracing my fingers in and around the best print, I shook my head. “Nope. This one’s fresh. Couple of days old at the most. The ground up here is too dry to keep a print for long, even one that’s as deep as this. Had to have been someone awfully heavy to make it.”

“How do you know that?” she asked.

“He did this for a living, long time ago, back before you were born,” Teta said with a wry smile.

“Then you think it’s real?”

“The print is,” I replied. “Can’t tell you about the person that made it. Hard to imagine a man big enough to leave a print like that. Maybe he was wearing some weird kind of boot. Could be ceremonial for one of the local tribes. Not every Indian is on a rez. I hear there are still Cheyenne and Crow about.”

I’d seen Apaches wear some peculiar stuff during their ceremonies. It wasn’t hard to imagine an Indian sporting something like this, though the depth of the impression bothered me. Could have been a man with someone on his shoulders.

“But why would someone do such a thing?”

“I’m just a white man. It’s hard for me to get into the head of an Indian. They have different dances and different ways of dressing for everything you can imagine. I’ve heard of some that believe in a wild man of the mountains. It’s kind of like some big, hairy bear that’s also part man. He’s said to be taller than any man, stronger than an angry bison and faster than a mountain lion.”

“Do you believe in it?”

Teta gave a quick laugh and I cut it off with a sharp look.

“No, I don’t. But they do. And when they believe hard in something, they do their damnedest to make themselves look like it. What this tells me is what I’ve thought all along. We have some rogue Indians out here keeping the white men away from their hills.”

The first cool breeze of the day whispered through the trees and shook the brittle leaves. It sounded like small bones rattling in a jug.

Teta instinctively placed his palm on the handle of his Colt. “Suddenly, I don’t like being here with so much cover.”

“Me neither. Let’s get back to camp. I have to rethink things.”

Selma was quick to mount. Her head swiveled from side to side, anticipating danger everywhere. Poor girl had no experience with things like this. I had a good mind to bring her back to her father myself in the morning.

We had only gotten a few feet from the tracks when a piercing howl erupted behind us. My insides went numb. All three horses reared.

I hoped to hell we didn’t get bucked.

Not with whatever was at our backs close enough to raise the hairs on our heads.

The Montauk Monster 2.0 Virtual Publicity Tour is Set to Party!

Final Montauk Tour GraphicAs if the heat isn’t cranking up hot enough, we’ve put some more wood on the fire to flame The Montauk Monster‘s virtual publicity party! Are you ready to join the party? I could sure use a beer or two to cool me off on this crazy ride of book publishing. So the hottest summer party will be right in my court, peeps. Be sure not to miss any of the action.

Last week we got The Montauk Monster 1.0 tour going with some great authors and friends whose blogs I’ve been visiting this June. You can view that initial list of stops HERE, though I’ll add them all to this list too so you can follow along however you wish. Be sure to take a peek at all their sites and books too. Thanks a bunch to everyone!

Erin Al-Mehairi, my amazing publicist and first reader, good friend, and bundle of laughs, has spent time behind the scenes setting up for me the virtual tour for The Montauk Monster 2.0! Thank you for your rockin’ efforts, Erin! I’m certain if you lived a tad closer we’d be tipping back a few extra.

We are stoked to give you an initial look at all the places you’ll want to be–it’s Monster approved! We’ll update the stops when more roll in, but we’ll update each website with the direct link to the appearance once it posts. Thanks to Kensington/Pinnacle for helping Erin and I to put all the books out to the publicity stops!

Static Page Schedule

Besides this post, you can view all the updates at a static page on Erin’s site at: www.hookofabook.wordpress.com/montauk-monster-tour

Twitter and Instagram Promotion

If you Tweet, use the hastag #MontaukMonster. If you have a copy of the book, snap a pic, upload to Instagram, and also tag #MontaukMonster. We’ll keep track of the photos this way for a special promotion at the end of July!

Shake, rattle, and roll!! Or to World Cup soccer fanatics, Ole!

The Montauk Monster Virtual Publicity Party:

Here’s a few past ones from 1.0....

June 12:

Guest Appearance at Author and Screenwriter Keith Rommel
http://keithrommel.weebly.com/blog/horror-author-hunter-shea-talks-about-monsters

June 16:

Guest Appearance at Author Brian Moreland
http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com/2014/06/guest-post-from-hunter-shea.html

June 18:

Guest Appearance at Author Jonathan Janz
http://jonathanjanz.com/2014/06/18/hunter-shea-and-his-montauk-monster-attack/

Kicking-off 2.0…….!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 19:

Interview with Author Glenn Rolfe

June 20:

Guest Appearance with Aniko Carmen
www.anikocarmean.wordpress.com

June 22:

Guest Appearance with Jack on Back in Jack, his co-conspirator on Monster Men Podcast
Talks about his live signing event and party in New York!

June 27:

Guest Appearance with Gef at Wag the Fox
www.waggingthefox.blogspot.com

June 28:

Guest Appearance with Rich at The Horror Bookshelf
www.thehorrorbookshelf.com

July 2:

Guest Appearance with Jenna at Girl With Book Lungs
www.girlwithbooklungs.com

July 7:

Guest Appearance with Author Mary San Giovanni
www.marysangi.wordpress.com

Interview with Author Kristopher Rufty
www.lastkristontheleft.blogspot.com

July 8:

Joe Hempel review at Top of the Heap Reviews

July 9:

Spotlight and Excerpt with Michelle at Castle Macabre
www.castlemacabre.blogspot.com

July 14:

Review from Christina at Creating Serenity
www.creating-serenity.com

July 15:

Review by Jennifer in Ohio’s The Entertainer Magazine
www.entertainerohio.com

July 17:

Guest Appearance at Author Matt Manochio
www.mattmanochio.wordpress.com

July 18:

Review by Rich at The Horror Bookshelf
www.thehorrorbookshelf.com

July 21:

Review and Guest Appearance at Author David Bernstein
www.davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com

July 22:

Review by Des and Guest Appearance at Bookie Monsters
www.bookie-monster.com

July 23:

Review by Author Glenn Rolfe
www.glennrolfescribbles.wordpress.com

July 24:

Guest Appearance at Author W. D. Gagliani
www.wdgagliani.com

July 25:

Review at Editor/Writer Tim Busbey
www.timbusbey.wordpress.com

July 28:

Review and Guest Appearance at Paul Dail
www.pauldail.com

July 29:

Review and Interview with Ira at The Rage Circus vs. The Soulless Void
www.ragecircus.blogspot.com

July 31:

Review by Melissa at Little Miss Zombie
www.littlemisszombie.blogspot.com

Also coming:

Date TBA, review on HellNotes

READY FOR AUGUST: TBA soon! Want to join?

If you’re late for the date, we’ll hold the monsters at bay. To join the tour, email Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com or drop me a line so we can fit you in! The more the merrier!

And don’t forget I’ll be at Scares that Care, which is a horror convention in VA raising money for charity, during the weekend of June 27-29!

And in case you haven’t heard, or picked up your own copy:

montauk monster coverPublisher’s Weekly named the upcoming thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, one of the best summer books of 2014! Not only that, they gave it an awesome review. Here’s a snippet:

The urban mythologies of the Montauk Monster and the government labs on Plum Island unite to cause staggering levels of mayhem when mutant animals with toxic blood descend on a Long Island town. This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley. — PW

The Montauk Monster, Synopsis and Advanced Praise:

“Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror, and modern style.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author

It Kills. . .

On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

It Breeds. . .

In another part of town, a woman’s backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What’s clear is that they’re hostile–and they’re ravenous. . .

It Spreads. . .

With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can’t help them;FEMA can’t save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

“Hunter Shea is the real deal.. . .intense.” –Gord Rollo, author of Valley of the Scarecrow and Crimson

“Shea delves deep into the unknown. A thrill-ride of a read!” –Alexandra Holzer, author of Growing Up Haunted

Amazon Purchase HERE

Montauk Monster Blog Tour Taking The World One Town At A Time

Like the Blob, the tour for The Montauk Monster is loose and will keep on growing, terrorizing the citizens of our fine country and beyond all through the summer. And this time, there’s no young Steve McQueen to stop it!

I’ve been working hard getting posts and interviews together between binge watching the latest seasons of Game of Thrones (Khaleesi!!!) and Orange is the New Black (and now season 3 of my favorite show on TV, Longmire). I’m not a big TV guy but this time of year, they seem to cram all of my favorite shows on at the same time. Don’t they realize I have writing to do???

The Montauk Monster had a monster week in sales for week 1, and I hope we can make week 2 even bigger, thanks to the awesome peeps who have agreed to be gracious hosts for my tour.

Here are the 5 to kick things off. If all goes according to my evil plan, we may have dozens more taking us through the dog days of summer. Stop by all of the stops and discover some great writers and bloggers along the way!

June 12 – Keith Rommel (author of The Cursed Man, soon to be a major motion picture!)

June 16 – Brian Moreland (author of The Vagrants and The Devil’s Woods)

June 18 – Jonathan Janz (author of Dust Devils and Castle of Sorrows)

June 20 – Aniko Carmean (one of the most eloquent bloggers in the world & author of Stolen Climates)

June 24 – Back in Jack (you know him, my man from Amsterdam and co-host of the Monster Men podcast!)

Be Afraid To Go Out Tonight – The Montauk Monster Is Here!


That’s right lasses and lads, my very first thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, is finally here. Available everywhere in paperback and ebook through Pinnacle, this non-stop monster-thon is breaching the Montauk shores and spreading like a contagion across the globe. It’s always been my dream to have one of my books in paperback. I don’t know, there’s just something special about them, and this story is very special to me.

When I wrote this one, the original title I had in mind was Night of the Montauk Monster because my little pets like to do their dirty work when the moon is high and the skies are dark. Somewhere along the line my editor chopped it down a tad – maybe because it fits better on the cover.

Just last month it was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. The early reviews have blown this monster lover away.

Hunter lets it all fly, and as horrific as it may be, it’s absolutely glorious.” — Horror Novel Reviews

I suspect you’ll be seeing copies all over the beach this summer.” — Beauty in Ruins Reviews

“One of the most anticipated summer reads of 2014!” — The Horror Bookshelf

It being release day and all, I figured I’d start thing out with a little excerpt from the first third of the book.


 

Margie plucked a pack of Kools and a lighter from the table and went out the kitchen door. Their house had central cooling, and it felt good to get some fresh air, even if it was slightly warmer and about to be laced with cigarette smoke.

The first cigarette disappeared like it was a prop in a magic act. She lit another with the dying stub of the first and took a long drag. Insomnia and chain smoking weren’t ingredients for a long, healthy life, but they were her crosses to bear. On nights like this, three or four coffin nails put her in the frame of mind to get a few more hours sleep.

A blazing white moon hung large and heavy in the sky. The soft, steady night wind carried the smell of mint from the patch she’d planted in the back of the yard.

“I have to make mojitos tomorrow when Les comes home,” she said, tapping her ashes into the dented tray they got from a long ago trip to the Catskills. It was sad knowing the ashtray outlived the resort.  montauk monster cover

She walked around the yard, enjoying the quiet of the night, eventually finding herself in the front yard. Every house along both sides of the street was dark. More than one of her neighbors had told her they slept better knowing she had an eye on the block. Her inability to sleep made her the unofficial neighborhood watch. In no small way, it made her embrace her condition. Everything happened for a reason.

Margie jumped when something crashed in the backyard. Flicking her cigarette into the street, she dashed along the side of the house. She pulled up short when she entered the yard.

“What the – ”

Her patio table was turned over on its side. The folded umbrella had snapped in half from the fall.

It would have taken a hell of a breeze to knock that over. She sighed with relief when she got close enough to see that the glass top hadn’t cracked. Les would have a fit when she told him they needed to buy a new umbrella.

She thought about waking him up to help her right the table. It was lighter than she thought and she was able to do it on her own.

“Unbelievable,” she said, inspecting the break in the umbrella stand.

Snap!

Margie whipped her head around to see what had made the noise. It had come from the impenetrably dark strip under their dogwood tree.

Stupid kids, she thought. Late night pool hopping was common in July, and her yard was part of the route between the above-ground pools to the left and right of her house.

“You’re going to pay for a new umbrella,” she called out. “I know you’re there. Swimming’s over for tonight.”

Something moved in the dark. There was no muffled teen laughter. She felt whoever was under the dogwood tree was watching her, waiting to see what she would do next.

Margie’s chest turned to ice.

She stood motionless, her hands atop the table. Try as she might, she couldn’t see a thing back there.

Scritch!

It was the sound of something sharp dragging across the bark of the tree.

There was more movement than ever now; the sound of shuffling feet amidst her rhododendrons.

She slowly reached into her pocket. Running her thumb over the wheel of her lighter, Margie hoped the flame would discourage any strange, stray animals from getting any closer.

Whatever was in her yard brought a palpable weight of menace.

The night breeze shifted, blowing from the dogwood’s direction. A sharp, terrible odor bit into her. She recoiled, and the light went out.

A large paw emerged from the shadows, followed by another.

Margie’s heart thudded into overdrive when its hideous face emerged.

And it was not happy.


Oh, poor Margie. The surgeon general never thought of maniancal monsters when they came up with the warning on packs of cigarettes.

If you like what you’ve read, take the plunge and pick up a copy. I believe right now, Amazon gives the best deal. Or stop by your local book store or Walmart or anyplace that sells books. If it’s not there, ask for it and it shall come! Then pack it in your beach bag next to your sunscreen and towels. You may just eye the water in front of you a little differently.

The Montauk Monster – Publishers Weekly Best of Summer Reads

 

Publishers Weekly logo

I was a little numb when my editor recently sent me a link to Publisher’s Weekly. They named my upcoming thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, one of the best summer books of 2014! Not only that, they gave it a hell of a review. Here’s a snippet :

The urban mythologies of the Montauk Monster and the government labs on Plum Island unite to cause staggering levels of mayhem when mutant animals with toxic blood descend on a Long Island town. This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley. — PW

Saul, Koontz and Benchley? That’s crazy. I’m just a guy who likes writing about monsters. 🙂

The buzz on the book has been fantastic. The Horror Bookshelf also named it one of the most anticipated reads of the summer, right next to Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes. Here’s what they had to say :

IThe Montauk Monster, Shea utilizes the failed genetic experiment angle to craft a story that seems absolutely terrifying. I mean, this book has it all! Creepy monsters?

 

montauk monster cover

Check. Shadowy, top-secret projects from the government? Check. One thing is for certain after reading the synopsis of this book. Seeing how there is not just one but MANY of these creatures terrorizing the residents of Montauk, I will probably be afraid to ever step foot in the water again, fictitious story or not!

THE MONTAUK MONSTER hits shelves as a Pinnacle paperback on June 3rd. For those of you who have been following me these past 3 years, I promise you, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for.

I’m Now A Thriller Writer!

Man, has it been hard to keep this one under my extra-large Mets cap (which has been replaced by my Seahawks snap-back). Well, I can’t hold it in anymore. I’m incredibly excited to let you all know that my first thriller novel, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, will be out as a Pinnacle paperback this June. This is part one of a two book deal. I’m busy at work putting together the framework for my next thriller (while finishing the final draft of the Sinister Entity follow up where things go in a totally new, and darker direction).

First, what do you think of the cover? Nice choppers on that bad boy, huh?

montauk monster cover

Here’s a little bit about the book:

It Kills. . .

On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

It Breeds. . .

In another part of town, a woman’s backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What’s clear is that they’re hostile–and they’re ravenous. . .

It Spreads. . .

With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can’t help them;FEMA can’t save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

I have to tell you, I held nothing back with this one. And for you horror hounds out there, I can assure you there is plenty in the pages of The Montauk Monster to satisfy your blood thirst. You can pre-order a copy at Amazon. Believe me, there is more to come about this. I just needed to get it out before I exploded. It’s been an amazing experience working with a new publisher (and yes, I’m still very much with Samhain, too!) and taking my writing in a different direction. And I’ve always, always wanted to publish a paperback, so I can finally check that off the list. Think of this one as a roller coaster on speed. No one’s getting off with the ability to see or walk straight.

Stay tuned for more and be careful when you take out the garbage at night. That just might not be the neighbor’s dog sniffing around in the dark.

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