This is one hell of a review for my latest, HELL HOLE. No way I couldn’t share this one.
Publisher: Samhain Horror
Length: 282 Pages
Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Hell Hole is the story of former Rough Rider and current New York City Cop Nat Blackburn and his journey on a mission from his old war pal, President Theodore Roosevelt. The mission is seemingly simple: head to a little town called Hecla in Wyoming. Roosevelt tells Nat that the town was a huge source of copper and other minerals, causing it to explode in growth overnight. However, the copper veins eventually dried up and Hecla collapsed, despite rumors of gold being found in the mines. Not only did the town’s prosperity fall apart, but the residents of Hecla disappeared without a trace. Naturally, Nat thinks it is because of something easily explainable like Indians scaring off the settlers, who they see as intruders on their land. Roosevelt dashes that theory when…
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Let me start off by saying that I fully understand that all paranormal TV shows are entertainment. Some slant more to the entertainment side than others, but I’m not fooled into thinking everything I see on my television screen is a pure scientific approach to exploring the supernatural. The fact that there are no real scientists conducting experiments is enough to dispel that myth.
Syfy’s Ghost Mine has become, by far, the single best paranormal show on the air in very little time. Why it works so well is pretty simple and I’m sure other production companies will be working hard to imitate them.
We all like to be scared from time to time. If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be any amusement parks, and for real kicks, we’d watch reruns of Matlock. Even without the threat of ghosts lurking in the dark, an abandoned mine is scary as hell. It plays on our fear of the dark, claustrophobia and, well, you can die pretty easily in there. Mines are about as safe as Congress is effecient.
Ghost Mine focuses on a hearty band of miners looking for gold in the long abandoned Crescent Mine in the hills of Oregon. The mine itself has a rich history of the unexplained. They are joined by 2 paranormal investigators, the intense and gadget-loving Patrick Doyle and his partner, Kristen Lumen, a red haired beauty among the rough and tumble men. She can certanily hold her own and has to fight against the tide of supersitions about having women in a mine. It seems that other mining teams have bailed out on the Crescent Mine because of the supposed spirits that drift in and out of the tunnels.
What makes this work has nothing to do with the paranormal. It has everything to do with the miners themselves who make up one of the most interesting casts of characters on TV today. From the grizzled veterans Papa Smurf and Grey Beard (everyone has nicknames they’ve earned from years working in mines) to the fast talking Bucket and a pair of “Greenhorns” who are down on their luck and hoping to save their family’s finances. you can’t turn away. Just learning how these guys go about securing the mine and how much work goes into extracting gold is enough to hook me. Just think Axe Men with ghosts.
This is the first show that doesn’t zip in to a location and haul ass out the moment they think they’ve caught an EVP. We get to really explore the mine with them, and become emotionally invested in the miners.
Add in shadows that appear against laser grids, creepy voices and cabins being struck with the force to knock things off the walls, and you have must-see Para TV.
I admit to feeling my own walls closing in when Patrick and Kristen walk deep into the grave-black mines, searching for the heart of the haunting. The evidence they catch is compelling, but nothing can stop men with gold fever. The spirits in the mine, disturbed by the blasting, have also dispersed out of the mine, haunting the miner’s wives and children in a nearby B&B. Everyone’s on edge, including the viewers.
Ghost Mine is both informative and eerie. I’d be happy watching an episode dedicated only to mining as much as I would one centered on the ghost hunters.
As an added bonus, we get hints that the Masons might have something to do with the restless spirits. Conspiracy nuts, don your foil hats and strap yourselves in!
I’m a horror writer, and I’d be happy as a pig in you-know-what if I came up with a plot and characters this fascinating. So I’m not going to worry whether everything or not is real. I’m enjoying the ride.
The only negative is that the show has a very short run. Note to SyFy, feel free to cancel The Haunted Collector, find a new mine and get cracking on a full season.
If you’ve watched Ghost Mine, I’d love to know your thoughts about the show. Where would you rank it in the pantheon of modern Para TV?
The month of May has been flat-out crazy. And I mean crazy in a good way. I’ll start off with the great news. I signed a deal with Samhain for the sequel, yes, I said sequel, to Forest of Shadows. The next book is called Sinister Entity and takes several characters from the first book, over a decade later. Who made the cut to book two? You’ll have to wait until April, 2013 to find out. Until then, I can show you the amazing cover that just got into my hot little hands 2 days ago.
This wait is going to kill me!
As you all know, my second book with Samhain, Evil Eternal, was released at the beginning of the month. The promotional wheels have been spinning and I’m gearing up for the big Books Without Borders fair on June 9th. Word is there will be thousands of folks attending. I’m just offering up a few prayers to the sun god to keep it bright and dry.
I saw the first official review for Evil Eternal this week and it was a doozy. It’s from the folks at Ginger Nuts of Horror. Here’s just the beginning:
“Some horror books are excellent because they delve into the deepest parts of our psyche, and try and shed light on what makes us us. Some are excellent because the author has an amazing talent for writing wonderful prose, and some books are just excellent, because they entertain the reader with a blockbusting balls to the walls story.
I’m happy to say that Evil Eternal is one of the most refreshing entries in the balls to the wall type of horror novel that I grew up reading, in many a long year.”
I fininshed the first draft of an all new novella that will hopefully be out in the Fall this year. First revision starts right after I post this.
And now on to the fun part. I’m giving away signed prints of the cover for Evil Eternal to anyone who comments on this post. If you were a fan of Forest of Shadows, let me know what you think of the cover for Sinister Entity and take a guess at who the star of the show will be. If you read Evil Eternal, let me know what you think of it. Hell, just come by and say ‘what up’! I’ll start sending out the signed covers this coming week.