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New Book Release – To The Devil, A Cryptid Pits The Goat Man Against Satan!

Releasing my latest foray into cryptid mania on Friday the 13th was no mere coincidence. What better time to give birth to a book that is chock full of Goat Man carnage, devil worshipping, revenge, and, well, love? Oh yeah, this has it all.

The ebook is available now and paperback will be quick to follow.

If that doesn’t have your horror motor running, here’s a quick preview of Chapter One!

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS

            The bleating of the terrified goat rode under the constant barrage of thunder. Lightning crackled against the starless sky, throwing up strange and twisted shadows in the woods. The first patters of rain plinked off the leaves. It sounded like a monsoon was barreling their way…fast.

            “What about the fire?” one of the black-robed figures asked.

            “It will burn for as long as it needs to burn,” replied the nude woman covered in blood and holding a heavy, leatherbound book. Her name was Lupita Saenz and she was the leader of their cult. Lupita had used a metal file to whittle her eye teeth into fangs the night before, and with the way the wind was whipping her jet-black hair, she was a vision of absolute terror.

            Perhaps not for Chuck Bugna, who had had enough of an unrelenting crush on Lupita to willfully join the group of weekend Satanists on the night of their big sacrifice. He couldn’t stop staring at her crimson breasts. There had been promises of a wild bacchanal when they were done. Chuck had been in charge of procuring all of the alcohol and the suite at the Hampton Inn a few towns away. The word orgy had been bandied about and that was not something Chuck was going to miss, even if he had to watch a goat get its throat cut. Normally an animal lover, he clung to the memory of being chased by a goat at the petting zoo when he was eight. It had traumatized him.

            Yeah, well fuck that goat. Chuck looked at the goat to his left as it strained against the rope, its eyes wide and terrified with each clap of thunder and flicker of lightning. Sorry you gotta take the fall for it, but at least you’ll be serving a higher purpose.         

            That higher purpose, Chuck was sure, was not the incarnation of the devil or satisfied Goat Man or some lesser demon. It would be him getting laid. With Lupita, if the fantasies in his head managed to play out.

            He just wanted this whole part to be over and done with. With his luck, he’d get struck by lightning. A whole year of chanting HAIL SATAN for naught.

            Think positive. And stop looking at the goat.

            Lupita motioned for Sandra on her right to hand her the chalice. She took a huge gulp and promptly spat the cheap wine into the large campfire it had taken Chuck and Dan the better part of an hour to build.

            Chuck thought the wine would make the flames roar. Instead, the bitter liquid sizzled and was quickly evaporated.

            She threw her head back and looked into the roiling sky.

            “It’s time!”

            Dylan took the book from her, dropped to his knees and held it open so she could read from it. Chuck had wanted that job, if only to get closer to a naked Lupita. She had insisted Dylan be the book bearer. For that, Chuck hated Dylan just a little bit.

            “Bow your heads and repeat after me,” Lupita commanded. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”

            The group of six Satanists around the fire intoned as one. “Amen. Everlasting life and body the of resurrection the sins of forgiveness.”

            When they finished, the rain started to fall in earnest. So many jagged spires of lightning sprang to life, it turned night into day for several seconds. Chuck felt his arm hairs start to rise.

            The rain washed the blood (pig’s blood they got from the butcher) off of Lupita’s tan, taut body. Chuck licked his lips.

            She continued. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”

            They responded. “The saints of communion the Church Catholic holy the Spirit Holy the in believe I!”

            Saying the Apostle’s Creed backwards was no easy task. They had been rehearsing it for the better part of a month. Chuck couldn’t count how many times he’d said it forward in church growing up. The priests used to stop random students in the school halls to make them say it until they knew it like the backs of their dirty hands. If they could only see Chuck now.

            When they finished the Apostle’s Creed, Lupita began chanting in a weird language that was so guttural, Chuck worried she might choke on her own tongue. His worry didn’t prevent him from ogling her.

            “Get the sacrifice!” she wailed. Chuck forced his eyes to lock on Lupita’s face. Her eyes showed too much white. Crazy eyes. He quickly and happily went back to looking at her chest and below.

            Rosie and Harold pulled the stake the goat was tied to out of the ground and led the skittish animal closer to the fire. Sandra passed the ceremonial dagger she had ordered from some seller on Etsy to Lupita. The fire hissed as the rain pounded down. Chuck could feel the thunder in his bones. This had better be quick.

GET YOUR COPY OF TO THE DEVIL, A CRYPTID TODAY!

Start Spreading the News…MANRATTAN is Here!

One thing the pandemic did was lower the visible rat population. With so few people out and about littering and going to restaurants and stores, there was less and less for the furry bastards to eat. Gone were the days of rustling mounds of trash bags on city curbs.

You ever wonder what the rats were doing all that time?

Wonder no more! For those who enjoyed my ‘rats take Manhattan’ novella, RATTUS NEW YORKUS, comes a continuing saga of furry terror with…MANRATTAN!

If you dig the title, all credit goes to my daughter who came up with it when she was editing Rattus New Yorkus. It was too good a title to go to waste.

Manrattan finds exterminators Chris and Benny Jackson back in the big city battling it out with a new breed of vermin that might just be too much for the city to survive.

If you want to join the twitching, chittering carnage, you’ll need to head on over to my Patreon account at http://www.patreon.com/huntershea and become a patron.

And while you’re there, you’ll have access to the massive novel, Clash of the Cryptids, lost novella, I Kill In Peace, new Jessica Backman stories and so much more. Plus, you can join me with monthly live movie watch parties where the beer flows as freely as the comments on the horror turkeys and lost gems that we cultivate through careful thought and consideration. Sorta.

Let’s just hope you don’t end up like poor Charlie after reading Manrattan.

Anticipated Reads for Women In Horror Month #WIHM

February is Women in Horror Month and I’ve already got my TBR stack locked and loaded. I’m really looking forward to tucking into these tales of the strange and unusual. Some are brand new to me, and others are staples that never disappoint. What’s on your list?

New York City, 1990:

When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.

Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.

Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.

To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.

You’re next…

Carol and Nessa are strangers but not for much longer.

In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions – bending and twisting time itself – and where danger waits in every shadow. The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define.
Through it all, the words of Lydia Warren Carmody haunt them. But who was she? And why have Carol and Nessa been chosen?

The answer lies deep in the darkness…

Maria is a wanted woman. She’s wanted by and Aztec trafficker, a cartel boss, the people she fights for, and now the Devil she can’t resist.
Her journey begins as a would-be immigrant turned vampire in Juarez, Mexico until the injustices of the world turn her into somehting else. She’s not just out for blood, she wants answers.

Maria spends twenty-two years in motel cleaning purgatory trying to keep her faith and sanity intact. When she feels all hope is lost she meets an ex-boxer that offers her a new job and teaches her to fight. During this time, she becomes an unlikely bad ass enforcer of justice for the community that has embraced her. Is she a saint or an old God from a forgotten past?

Not only does she evolve into the woman she always hoped to be, but she finds her creator – Adam- he is nothing like she imagined.  He invites Maria to travel with him to England to join The Keepers, a vampire organization led by the ancient Mordecai and Dr. Elizabeth Appleton.

Learning that the true vampire way isn’t destruction but the safety of humanity, Maria joins The Keepers as they uncover a plot set into motion by Lucifer himself. The Keepers must end his corruption through political manipulation or watch as the world hurtles towards self-destruction.

Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.

Once upon a time, there was a woman, and she was tired. Tired of pushing. Tired of being pushed. Tired of feeling alone. Tired of so much.

So she gathered together a pack of wolves, a band of mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, partners, friends, lovers, survivors, victors and brilliant, shining things, and she told them to sing.

And sing they did.

The result is WE ARE WOLVES, a chorus of of terrifying, moving and heart-breaking stories from some of horror’s finest contemporary writers including Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower, Cina Pelayo, Sarah Read, Hailey Piper, V Castro, Sara Tantlinger, Sonora Taylor and many more.

All proceeds from the sale of this charity anthology will go towards helping the survivors of abuse and assault.

Reader Appreciation Day!

I have to say, I have the greatest readers in the world. So many of you have been posting pictures of my books (or yourselves with my books) that I just had to share. This is just a small sample of what’s happened in the past week or so. Please keep ’em coming. I may have to make this a monthly blog post going forward.

JoshuaMarsella

@JoshuaMarsella holding a copy of The Jersey Devil before he disappeared into the Pine Barrens, never to be seen again.

Ghost Mine Kim

@kimberlyyerina6466 created a hellish display for her copy of Ghost Mine. I hear she’s heading out to Hecla, WY with a pick axe, shovel, and holy water.

JaninePipe

You better not call @disneynine a Misfit. Though she does know how to rock the grunge look.

watching wellwortharead

@wellwortharead knows how to set the mood. I wonder what a haunted mansion candle smells like. Cobwebs and fear?

LouciferSpeaks

@LouciferSpeaks went old school with this one. Looks like the tips of her fingers are about to be bitten off by one of those nasty beasts.

Creature spookymermaids

I just love this pic by @spookymermaids. Makes me want to head up to our place in Maine and…wait, maybe not!

Monster Men For Your Ears

AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!

First, thank you to everyone who has watched and supported the Monster Men video podcast for the past 10 years. It’s a true labor of love and we’re honored that folks tune into our insanity.

Monster Men Logo 1

Well, after being video-only for all this time, we’re finally adding audio to the mix! Right now, you can catch interviews with authors Chad Lutzke and Laurel Hightower. More back episodes to come. Click here to get the full list of places to find our audio podcast. We’ll be adding more in the coming weeks. We hope you dig it and maybe this can open things up to longer form interviews just for audio. Let me know what you think.

Monster Men Set

 

Flame Tree Friday presents – an interview with Executive Editor, Don D’Auria.

It’s not often we get an interview with horror’s premier editor, so this is one not to miss. The wizard behind the curtain tells all. Well, maybe not all.

Janine's Ghost Stories

I am honoured to feature an absolute LEGEND on the blog today. This is the man who said yes to my own three most favourite writers – Glenn, Hunter and Mr Janz.

Welcome, Don D’Auria.

Thank you so very much for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog.

First off, please could you tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m always proud to say I was the classic example of a Monster Kid when I was growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. I read Famous Monsters and watched Creature Features religiously. I still have the copies of Frankenstein and Dracula that I got from the Scholastic Book Club in grammar school, as well as my favourite Aurora monster models. So you can imagine what it’s like for me to work in the genre that I’ve been a fan of since childhood. It was a huge thrill for…

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GHOST MINE on Sale for Just 99 Cents!

That’s right my hellion pardners, you can get your hands on Ghost Mine from now until July 9th for only 99 cents.

Ghost Mine Sale

If you dig cowboys, ghost towns, abandoned places, cryptids, black eyed kids, ghosts and pure evil, you’re my kind of person! Take a trip into GHOST MINE today.

MISFITS Is Coming – Pre-order Now

Do ya like urban legends? Were you rocking your flannels during the grunge craze? Do you think people who believe high school are the glory days are clinically insane? Dream of retribution for a deed done dirty to you?

Well, my friend, you just may be a misfit. And believe me, in this day and age, that is an honor. Boy, do I have the book for you…

Misfits HUNTER SHEA v02

I’ve always wanted to write a book about the dreaded Melon Heads, and man, a fucked up book like Misfits is just perfect for a fucked up year like 2020. Oh wait, you never heard of the Melon Heads? Well, just think about a lost tribe of humanity with large heads and all kinds of deformities who are territorial and sometimes, cannibalistic living in the woods of Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. Intrigued. Check out the below video that does a damn good job delving into the mystery of the Melon Heads.

 

 

Now, since this is a Hunter Shea book, I’ve taken some liberties with the urban legend and cranked it up to eleven in terms of murder and mayhem. Best part is that it’s all set in the early 90s against the backdrop of an economy in the tank with a killer soundtrack provided by the likes of Nirvana, Hole, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and the rest.

Here’s the trusty ol’ synopsis:

During the height of the 90s grunge era, five high school friends living on the fringe are driven to the breaking point. When one of their friends is brutally raped by a drunk townie, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Deep in the woods of Milbury, Connecticut, there lives the legend of the Melon Heads, a race of creatures that shun human interaction and prey on those who dare to wander down Dracula Drive. Maybe this night, one band of misfits can help the other. Or maybe some legends are meant to be feared for a reason.

Look, if you love horror, you were probably on the fringe as a kid like me, or still living comfortably ‘out there’, again like me. If you’ve ever felt like the world didn’t understand or want you, you’re going to love the five teens in this book – Mick, Chuck, Vent, Marnie and Heidi. Misfits, one and all, but also all for one.

MISFITS drops in the US on September 8th. Let’s just hope the coronavirus has slunk into a dark corner at that point.

You can pre-order today by clicking here.

Misfits will be available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio through Flame Tree Press.

Top 13 Horror Comedies

Things are finally opening up and we’re all slowly going to crawl out of our houses over the next few weeks. After what the world has been through the past three months, I’m very concerned about the impact this will have on the horror genre. Will people want more scares after the coronavirus? I have a strong feeling that therapists won’t have a free hour in the day for years to come. This pandemic has given birth to a host of new fears for many, some still lurking under the surface and waiting to leap out the moment folks start to regain their equilibrium. I speak from experience, having grappled with a crippling anxiety disorder twenty years ago. If you’ve been sheltering in your house for months watching the news and worrying, it’s going to leave a scar.

So, what will the wave of the horror future be? I think what people need now more than ever is laughter. We’ve dwelled in the darkness for too long. We need the light. Luckily, if you’re a die hard horror fan like me in need of a chuckle, there are a lot of good movies out there to satisfy your craving while letting in the light. Here are 13 movies guaranteed to give you a break from your worries. What are some of your favorites?

EXTRA ORDINARY

 

EVIL DEAD 2

 

ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK

 

SHAUN OF THE DEAD

 

SIGHTSEERS

 

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

 

SATANIC PANIC

 

FINAL GIRLS

 

A HAUNTED HOUSE

 

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE

 

STUDENT BODIES

 

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

 

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

I Remember The Alamo

I was recently talking with my friends…remotely, of course, and we got into some of the things we’ve been missing since the pandemic went all horror movie on us. As a writer, I have enjoyed the benefits of less distractions and more free time to do what I love most. Working from home has eliminated my hellacious commute. And it’s saved me hundreds of dollars on gas a month. Spending much more time with my family has been a godsend. Eating out less has been beneficial to my wallet and my stomach. Though we do honor Take Out Tuesday and get delivery from a local restaurant each week. I’ve been able to read more, watch a ton of movies, fix things around the house.

Man, I guess there’s been more positive than negative (like our coronavirus tests) here at the end of the world.

But there are two things I do miss dearly. One is baseball. It feels like those spring training games I was watching happened in another lifetime. Not being able to catch a game every night of the week, or devour the latest stats every morning, has been depressing. What I wouldn’t give to go to a game right now, smell the fresh cut grass, hear the crack of a bat, feel the sun on my face, be one with the roar of the crowd.

That being said, what I miss most of all is going to my local Alamo Drafthouse theater.

alamo

I had finally bought the season pass that entitled me to 30 movies a month for a mere $20. Over the course of January and February, I had gone to the Alamo twenty-three times! When I had a total crap day, I would pull up my app, look for a movie (hoping they were showing an old horror or exploitation movie that night) and download a ticket. That one minute action would completely turn my day around. I instantly had something to look forward to and daydreamed about their popcorn (best ever), craft beer, curated trailers by Birth.Movies.Death and if I was lucky that day, a theme party with perhaps a giveaway or two or the chance to check out a slew of movies to buy before the show, Vinegar Syndrome titles laid out under the big screen. (I can never resist. I’ve added titles like Berserker, Threads and The Incubus to my shelves thanks to those impromptu shopping opportunities.)

What I miss most is just the place itself. It has a vibe that says to me, you’re home. Come set a spell. The Alamo by me used to be a six-theater multiplex called Movieland. That’s the theater where I always took my first dates and where the girl who would become my wife made me rip off the black rubber bracelet my ex had given me as a way to show she was staking her claim, the ex was history.

yonkers alamo

Over the past few years, the Alamo has been my place of choice to celebrate my birthday, which is coming up this month and will make the temporary loss cut a little deeper. A steady on the horror revival flick programs that were part of Alamo’s signature series presented by Video Vortex, Prints of Darkness and Temple of Schlock, I got to see and know a lot of like-minded people who just wanted to see a bit of horror history we may have missed or wanted to revisit in a theater with a bunch of people wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with horror movie images.

I miss my Alamo home, my Alamo family, cold glasses of Wrench IPA (from Industrial Arts Brewing), carpet from The Shining, cool merch in the lobby, talking about films with strangers and most of all, their NO TALKING OR TEXTING policy. Wish I could enforce that at home. But, I have to pick my hill to die on, and that ain’t it when we’re all stuck in here together 24 hours a day.

There is good news. The Alamo has made some changes to bring their experience to pining people like me. You can now stream movies through them for less than the price of going to the theater. We just went through Alamo to check out Fangoria’s latest release, PORNO and it was great. You can see our review below.

 

Certain Alamos are delivering food (alas, mine is not…really could go for ten bowls of popcorn right about now). You can also buy merch online before or after you stream a movie so you can trick your brain into thinking you’re out of the house.

The last movie my wife and I saw at the Alamo was The Thing in early March when we knew the coronavirus was out there but didn’t think it would send the world scurrying for the darkness like rats. Seemed a fitting way to end our run.

Whether I have to wear a hazmat suit or sit in a plastic hamster ball, I will be back, sooner rather than later. We can’t run from everything. The less we give our immune systems to fight against, the weaker we’re getting. Maybe a trip to the movies is exactly what we need so we don’t up dying from the common cold.

Until then, support your Alamo in any way you can and look forward to the day when we can all don our Amityville Horror t-shirts, knock back some beers and enjoy the show.

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