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Creature Features, Cow Carcasses and Kindle Deals

I know, Hellions, that’s one strange ass title for a blog post, but that’s exactly what it’s all about.

Thanks goes out to an old friend, Brenda B., for sharing this photo and story with me. Somehow, during my research into the Jersey Devil, I missed this! Back in the 60’s in New Jersey, a cow and a deer carcass somehow made it to the top of a telephone pole. Locals attributed it to their friendly neighborhood monster.

cow

Cryptozoologists say the Jersey Devil has kept a very low profile since the early 1900s, but if you go out and talk to the people who live there, you’ll get a completely different opinion. And here’s another shocker – I can’t believe how many folks have first hand Bigfoot encounters in the Pine Barrens. I’ve spoken to quite a few, some of them still visibly upset, even if it happened years ago.

I wonder if this was the Jersey Devil’s idea of a pinata? Maybe she just wanted to throw a party for her horrid offspring.

And speaking of horrid offspring, Pinnacle has discounted all of my books for the month of February. You can snag an ebook of The Montauk Monster for $1.99, The Jersey Devil for 99 cents or Tortures of the Damned for 99 cents. Time to load up those e-readers on the cheap!

montauk monster cover

Jersey Devil Cover

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What’s the strangest thing ever found on a telephone pole? For me, we threw a Batman figure that had a parachute attached to our phone line. It stayed there for about 10 years, poor Batsy’s color fading with each year.

Happy New Year – Let The Top 10 Lists Begin

I hope you’re all planning to have an irresponsible…I mean safe and chaste…new year’s eve. For guys like me, you know, north of forty with a family, the amateur nights of NYE hustling from drunken party to drunken party are behind me. Now, I force myself to stay awake just so I can watch the start of The Honeymooners marathon. The day after, I switch between that and The Twilight Zone, sprinkling in some Odd Couple here and there.

This year we’re doing something different. A couple of families are going to an immense indoor water park and resort. I packed my bathing suit and a bottle of Fireball. I think that’s all I need. Looking forward to hitting the water slides.

And speaking of looking forward, this time of year is also about looking backward, which is why you see so many top 10 lists. When I get back, I’ll not only publish my annual Top 13 horror films of 2015, but a top TV shows and top reads of the past year as well.

Until then, here are links to some other top lists. The reason I include these particular lists is because one of my books is on each. I know, sly dog. But there are some incredible books on each list, more than enough to satisfy your  thirst for quality horror. So here they be…

Top 10 Horror Novels by Horror Novel Reviews (you’ll find THE DOVER DEMON there on one of the most prestigious horror review sites out there)

Dover Demon Large Cover

The Mouths of Madness 2015 Best-Of Books! (featuring ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN and TORTURES OF THE DAMNED…ZDubbz gives you not only the best, but what he’s looking forward to in 2016)

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Super Author Glenn Rolfe’s Top 10 (ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN makes another list, which makes me think I have to write another Jessica and Eddie book soon!)

I’m sure there are plenty more lists to come. I’d stay and write longer, but I have to get the car ready, stop at the store, and try to wake 2 teenage daughters up. No easy task.

Have a Happy New Year and stay thirsty, my fiends!

Our Fascination With The End Of The World

I know that post-apocalypse fiction and movies are all the rage now, but when you think about it, this is really nothing new. Ever since crackpots have held up signs proclaiming THE END IS NEAR, human beings have been both intrigued and terrified by the concept of a complete upheaval of our world. In modern culture, just look at the success of books and movies like On the Beach, The Stand, The Day After, Testament, Miracle Mile, Swan Song and the slew of zombie fare we’ve been inundated with. Whether it’s by the hands of a returned Christ, nuclear annihilation, undead hordes or pandemic, witnessing the downfall of all we have built and seeing how the few will survive is more addicting than reality TV (and fare more fulfilling).

Of course, when we read or watch these scenarios, we always imagine ourselves as managing to scramble out from under the rubble. I mean, what’s the point if I don’t carry on? I’m smart. I’m crafty. I can turn a blind eye to establishes mores in order to survive. So why not me?

When I was a wee one, I saw the original Dawn of the Dead at the movies. (Too late to call social services on my dad!) I came out of there obsessed – not with zombies – but wondering what I would do when the world went to shit. I made lists of stores I would go to in order to gather supplies. First stop was the sports store by me where I would load up on rifles, bow and arrows and other gear to make me a force to be reckoned with. Food and water would come later. Everywhere I went, I pictured how I would fortify that location so I turn it into a safe haven.

I’m an adult now – at least that’s what it says on my license – and I still think about these things. Except now I have to make plans that include my family. Hell, I’m so obsessed with it, I wrote a book about it, Tortures of the Damned.

Why does this attract us? Is it because an apocalypse presents a cleaning of the slate, a total do-over, a chance to ‘be a real man’ and not a pencil pushing geek who stops at traffic lights and pays his taxes? Yeah, I think that’s part of it.

We’re not far removed from being pioneers, settlers, survivors. I think a part of us still craves the adventure. So we fantasize about the end times, testing ourselves against impossible odds. We want to see if we measure up to the  generations before us that seemed to know how to do everything, whereas we can’t even tell you how anything we use every day really works.

q island 1

On the Monster Men, we recently talked about our apocalyptic obsession with author Russell James, whose latest book, Q Island, tears apart Long Island, NY in a very unique way. The start of the end is possibly the most original way to date, and most frighteningly, is being played out right now in real life. Kinda gives me the shivers.

Living so close to New York City, I have to prepare for the worst. We here know it’s a matter of when, not if. The hope is that it’s nothing like people like me and Russell and many other have written.

But I’ll be loaded for bear, just in case.

 

The Best Holiday Present Ever – Free Books!

All righty, I’m not exactly ho-ho-hoing just yet, but I am painfully aware of how few paychecks there are between now and the holiday season, no matter what day you celebrate. Sure, Festivus counts.

I’m going to make your shopping a wee bit easier. All subscribers to my Dark Hunter Newsletter are eligible to win several pretty cool gifts next month. First up, a 3 pack of signed Jessica Backman ghost novels. That’s right, FOREST OF SHADOWS, SINISTER ENTITY and ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, all wrapped up and ready to go under the tree.

ho ho hoNext up is the 6 CD set of the audiobook of THE MONTAUK MONSTER, expertly done by the incredible cast at GraphicAudio. You’ve never heard an audiobook like it.

Last but not least, I’ll also be giving away one signed copy of TORTURES OF THE DAMNED.

And all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. 

I also have some big publishing news to announce. Being a subscriber means you’ll be the first to know.

So, what are you waiting for? Help me play Santa!

Book Reviews To Get You All Caught Up

On the fence about picking up one of my 3 book releases this year? Take a gander at Erik Smith’s Low Budget Review show. He’s one of the few people out there doing video reviews of some of the best horror novels around. I think it’s pretty awesome that he takes the time to do this, with over 100 episodes loaded up on YouTube. I figured this is a great way for you all to get a preview of ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED and THE DOVER DEMON.

Best part is that I never had to pay Erik off for a positive review. 🙂 Subscribe to his channel to get reviews on all of the latest horror has to offer. Erik, take it away, my good man…

TORTURES OF THE DAMNED

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“A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book.” – Cemetery Dance

“One of the best novel’s I’ve read this year!” – The Horror Bookshelf

THE DOVER DEMON

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“A fantastic monster story! Hunter Shea gets horror, and knows how to make it work.” – 2 Book Lovers Reviews

“This is my favorite monster novel of the year and I can think of few others in recent years that can rival it.” – Examiner.com

ISLAND OF THE FORBIDDEN

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“One of the top 10 books of 2015.” – iHorror

“A deep and great read.” – The Scary Reviews

October Appearances – Where In The World Is Hunter Shea-diego?

It goes without saying that the month of October is the busiest time of the year for horror writers. I’ll be bouncing around, spreading the gift of terror. If you want to join in the fun, here’s where you’ll find me…

Saturday, October 17th – Signing and Reading at Fleur Bookstore in Hadlyme, CT

Fleur is a brand new independent bookstore owned and operated by my friend, Wendy Vincent. I’ll be doing a candlelight reading from The Dover Demon and talking about monsters. Very cool idea. And it’s one of the very few times I’ve agreed to do a reading. This is as rare as a Bigfoot sighting!

FleurDover Demon Large Cover Friday, October 30th – Signing and Discussion at Barnes and Noble, Yonkers, NY – 7pm

I’m making my annual return to my hometown B&N, this time talking about Tortures of the Damned,my ode to the destruction of Yonkers. We’ll have plenty of books on hand and the usual after party. Everyone who comes to the store is welcome! I promise this will be a great way to kick off Halloween weekend.

torturesThursday, October 29th – The Horror of it All! Writing and Publishing horror at the Yonkers Public Library – 7pm 

I grew up going to this library, hitting that card catalogs hard back in the day. I didn’t destroy the library in Tortures of the Damned because I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’ll be fun to host an even where I’m going to share my road to publication, love of horror and writing and take on the first chapter of attendee’s works in progress. We’ll have lots o treats, no tricks! And there will be books on hand for purchase.

Saturday, October 24th – Chiller Theatre Convention in Parsippany, NY

I’m not going to have a booth, but I will be on the prowl with my growing posse! If you plan to attend, let me know so we can meet up for libations. The gathering at the bar grows every year. I love going to this con and have met so many of youover the years. The robot from Lost in Space will be there, so you’ll probably find me chained to it.

Chiller

Who Wants The New Issue Of Fangoria?

Growing up, I decorated my room with 2 things – pictures of beautiful women like Victoria Principal, Bo Derek, Cheryl Tiegs (I know, I’m dating myself here) and horrific images carefully cut out from the pages of Fangoria Magazine. It was a very confusing room for visitors, which is why I was ordered to keep my door closed at all times. When family and friends found out I’d become a horror writer, it surprised no one.

Fangoria and Famous Monsters of Filmland were my bibles, places where I could explore the origins of horror as well as the new wave of splatter terror that fueled the 80s.

So you can imagine my reaction when I saw this one page ad for Tortures of the Damned in the latest issue. Needless to say, I bought every copy that my local Barnes & Noble had. I’m tempted to plaster my walls with it.

Tortures Fango adAnd because I hate celebrating alone, I want to share this issue with you. I’m giving away 2 signed copies of Fangoria. How do you win? Anyone who signs up for my Dark Hunter Newsletter between now and September 28th and lives in the US is eligible. Just click the above image or go to the Newsletter tab on the site to enter. Already signed up? Refer a friend and if they win, grab it from their mailbox.

At the very least, you get a free copy of Fango. Come on and join the fun. Horrortober is just around the corner!

This is the cover of the new issue. Pretty creepy.

This is the cover of the new issue. Pretty creepy.

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