Gather round, Hellions, I have a special bit of insanity to share. You can now pre-order my upcoming novella, JUST ADD WATER, coming out with Lyrical Press in June. It’s the first in a trilogy of connected novellas coming out this summer called the Money Back Guarantee series. They’re all set in the late 1970s/early 1980s and center around the amazing crap you used to be able to buy from comic books. If you grew up in that era, odds are you conned your parents into buying one of these awful ripoffs.
It’s fun! It’s easy! They only cost a measly dollar. Just clip out the ad in your comic book. Then ask Mom to mail it in. A few weeks later, receive a packet of instant Sea Serpent dust. Then:
Just add water . . . and watch them grow!
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Just ask David and Patrick. Their “instant pets” are instant duds. They don’t hatch, they don’t grow, they don’t do anything. So they dump them into the sewer where Dad pours toxic chemicals . . .
WAIT UNTIL FEEDING TIME.
It’s been years since David and Patrick thought about those Sea Serpents. But now, small animals are disappearing in the neighborhood. Strange slimy creatures are rising from the sewers. And once the screaming starts, David and Patrick realize that their childhood pets really did come to life. With a vengeance. They’re enormous . . . and have a ravenous hunger for human flesh . . .
The other 2 novellas are OPTICAL DELUSION and MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. You can pre-order all of them, though the covers aren’t ready for the last 2 yet. The best part is, they’re only $1.99 each. And if all goes well, all three will be bundled in a paperback in 2018. So grab your X-ray specs, grow some Sea Monkeys and head on down the road to ruin!
I just wanted to share the wicked cool signature page art for my upcoming limited edition hardcover, WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. Artist Zach McCain knocked it out of the park again. Now you’ll get to see what poor West Ridley had to look at every time he lay in his bed.
Make sure you’re one of the lucky ones to own a very special copy of this beautifully designed book. The folks at Sinister Grin Press are simply amazing.
About the book…
They’ve watched over the house for generations…
The move from New York to the decrepit Pennsylvania farmhouse is as bad as West Ridley thought it would be. His father’s crippling vertigo only seems to get worse, and even with his mother working herself to the bone, they’re out of money and options.
Grandpa Abraham is a drunk bastard and the living embodiment of the long neglected farmhouse. He claims the place is haunted. Ghosts roam the hall at night and their muffled cries fill the silence of warm, summer nights.
On the ceiling above West’s bed are the words WE SEE YOU. In a house plagued by death and mysterious visitations, West realizes something beyond the fiction of his favorite horror books has to be faced.
Dark secrets are buried deep, and there are Guardians who want to keep it that way. No matter where they go or what they do, West and his family know one thing…they are always watching.
A new Catherine Cavendish book always shivers me timbers. She really knows how to hit my paranormal sweet spot. To celebrate the release of her latest and greatest, Saving Grace Devine, I invited Catherine to stop by and give my Hellions some world class goosebumps. So dim the light, settle into a comfy chair and read the tale of the White Lady of Stow Lake…
In my novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.
From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls and young women, who are apparently bound to the shores of the lake where they died. They all appear to be searching for something, or someone -in dire need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.
And not all of them are benign.
One such wraith seems to constitute a deadly reason why I, for one, would think twice before venturing on a walk around Stow Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Her appearances have been frequent and well documented.
Golden Gate Park is landscaped on similar lines to New York’s Central Park. It hosts a museum, Japanese Tea Gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers, Sprekels Park and, of course, Stow Lake. It also houses a number of ghosts – and even an allegedly moving statue. But more of that later. We’re concerned now with “a thin, tall figure in white.” So said Arthur Pigeon, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle of January 6th 1908. Police had pulled him over for speeding and he told the newspaper that it had blocked his way as he drove out of the park, “…it seemed to shine. It had long, fair hair and was barefooted. I did not notice the face. I was too frightened and anxious to get away from the place.”
Of course, the temptation is to say the man was merely trying to avoid getting a speeding ticket. And if his had been the only report, then that could well have been the case. But it wasn’t. Over the hundred plus years since that Chronicle article, many other people have reported seeing precisely the same apparition.
So who is this mysterious ‘white lady’ of Stow Lake?
There are, as always, a number of theories. One of the more compelling is that in the late 1800s, a young woman was out, walking her baby in its pram around the lake. She became tired and sat down on a bench. Presently another lady came to join her and the two struck up a conversation. So engrossed was the young mother that she failed to notice the pram rolling away. Suddenly she realized it had gone. There was no sign of either the pram or the baby. Panic stricken, she searched high and low, asking everyone, “Have you seen my baby?” No one had. For the rest of that day, and into the night, she searched.
Finally, she realized the baby and the pram must have fallen into the lake. She jumped in and was never seen alive again.
Witnesses who report seeing her speak of a woman in a dirty white dress, sometimes soaking wet and, contrary to Arthur Pigeon’s assertion that she had fair hair, the other reports consistently state she has long, dark hair. Sometimes she is also seen on Strawberry Hill – adjacent to the lake. Her face wears an anxious expression and she has been known to approach people walking around the lake at night. She asks, “Have you seen my baby?”
As for the statue I mentioned earlier, this is called ‘Pioneer Woman and Children’. It has a reputation for moving around – and even changing shape. These phenomena always occur at night and seem directly linked to the white lady. Sometimes the statue’s face changes. Other times, it has no legs or head. Motorists have reported electrical problems. Different cars driving near the statue or lake at the same time have stalled simultaneously.
Finally, if you are brave – or foolhardy – enough, try going down to Stow Lake at night and say, “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times. It is said she will then manifest herself before you and ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say, “yes”, she will haunt you ever after. But, if you say, “no”, she’ll kill you.
Now there’s no documented evidence of the white lady committing murder. But are you prepared to put her to the test?
Can the living help the dead…and at what cost?
When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.
But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.
You can find Saving Grace Devine here:
And other online retailers
Other books by Catherine Cavendish include:
And are currently available – or soon will be – from:
Catherine Cavendish lives with a long-suffering husband and ‘trainee’ black cat in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century, which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV. Cat has written a number of published horror novellas, short stories, and novels, frequently reflecting her twin loves of history and horror and often containing more than a dash of the dark and Gothic. When not slaving over a hot computer, she enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.
You can connect with Cat here:
As a devout reader of Cemetery Dance Magazine since the early 90s, I still can’t believe I now have a monthly column on their online mag. VIDEO VISIONS is a look back at what it was like growing up a horror hound in the 80s, the golden age of horror.
I start things off with a little tale of the first movie my father rented when he bought the family’s original gangsta VCR – VIDEODROME. Little did he know how much it would change the lives of both his children in profoundly different ways.I hope you take the trip back in time with me each month. Hopefully it brings a smile to your face and a shiver down your spine.
So, what was the first horror movie you ever watched on your VCR?
I’m beyond excited to not only share the brilliant cover art for my upcoming novel with Sinister Grin, but also show you the progression of the art and how it came to be in artist Zach McCain’s own words! WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING is a chilling tale of isolation and deep, dark family secrets set on a withering Pennsylvania farm. Here’s the official Sinister Grin press release and a rare behind the scenes peek into how book covers are born.
Last month, Sinister Grin Press was very excited to announce our publishing deal with the best selling and fan favorite author Hunter Shea. This is the first time Sinister will publish work by Shea, and as well, we are honored to publish his first limited edition! In January 2017, we’ll start the year off in horrific style by making WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING available in a hardcover Limited Collector’s Edition. We’ll be offering the paperback and e-book versions a few months later.
Today we are anxious to reveal the cover for WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING by Hunter Shea, with art and design by the amazing Zach McCain!
Here are some of Zach’s thoughts on his artistic progression and thoughts when making the cover…..
The direction I got for this cover was very simple and straightforward: A run down farmhouse with a yard overgrown with weeds and the shadow of a person stretching out towards the house. At first I didn’t think there was much I could with this and it reminded me of many covers I had seen from small press horror publishers years ago.
I started drawing the house straight on and large on the page. Something about this started to look boring to me and I found myself struggling to continue.
At this point I decided to start completely over. This time I would draw the house from an angle and looking slightly up at it. And I decided to make it much smaller.
I felt much better about it after making the changes and quickly finished the pencil drawing portion of the cover.
I was still concerned about it looking like so many other similar covers that I had seen of a spooky house so I decided to give it a harder edge. More “Texas Chainsaw” and less “Haunted Hill.”
The final step was adding the text. It ended up being way better than I had originally expected it would. I’ve found that if you aren’t “feeling it” then it is better to scrap it and start completely over than to continue with something that you aren’t confident with.
At Sinister Grin Press, we love how it turned out. Watch for more news to come on ordering the limited edition from our website. And as always, we welcome your visit to our site and your patronage. We hope to make 2017 our best year yet and continue to produce quality “horror that’ll carve a smile on your face.”
Over the course of writing The Jersey Devil, the elusive cryptid and I have gotten pretty close. He recently told me, over a cup of what he said was mulled wine, but I suspect it was something far more disquieting, that he wanted to get out and travel the country, if not the world. After over 200 years in the Pine Barrens, it’s time to spread his wings, so to speak.
“There’s just one teensy weensy little problem,” he said to me, tapping his cloven hoof on his chin. “I’m afraid there are too many monster hunters out and about nowadays. You see them bumbling about with their night vision cameras. I fear for my safety as much as my anonymity. The last thing I want is to be featured on some reality paranormal show…or shot!” Shivering, he added, “I don’t know which would be worse.”
Point well taken. We sat against the pygmy pines in the dark of night, contemplating his dilemma. As a cloud obscured the moon and the howl of a nearby Sasquatch got our attention (“Oh, that’s just Larry,” JD said), an idea came to me.
“How would you like to live vicariously through my book?” I asked.
Old JD flicked his tail excitedly. “How so?”
Knowing he’s a big fan of Instagram and Twitter (whereas Bigfoot prefers SnapChat & the Loch Ness Monster is partial to Facebook), I told him that I and my Hellions could take the book wherever we go and post pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #JerseyDevil. That way, he could see the world while in the relative comfort of his forest preserve.
“Oooo, I like that. Can you take me to a cemetery first? I’m so tired of the ones around here. It’s so…so…dead out here in the Barrens.”
The next day, I did just that, taking the book to the oldest cemetery in my city.
He wrote me back immediately on Instagram. “Love it! So nice to see new headstones. Where to next?”
Indeed. Where to next?
That’s where you come in. Help old JD out and tote your copy of The Jersey Devil with you when you’re out and about, on vacation, even in the house puttering around. Post your pic on Instagram using #jerserydevil and @huntershea2017 or Twitter using #JerseyDevil and @huntershea1 so the beast and I can collect and enjoy this little travelogue.
We’ll pick people at random every week to receive free books from the Hunter Shea library!
It’s the holiday season. Be kind to cryptids. And have fun doing it. It will be interesting to see where The Jersey Devil ends up. Plus, it’s always a smart idea to keep a monster happy. You wouldn’t want an angry Jersey Devil tapping on your window late at night, would you? Don’t end up the main ingredient in his ‘mulled wine’. Just saying.
I have a little something special to share with my Hellions. Here is the cover to my second novel with Severed Press, LOCH NESS REVENGE. Ain’t Nessie just beautiful? I love the art department at Severed. The book will be available on November 3rd.
Until then, wear some tartan, drink some whiskey and have a shortbread cookie or two.