Tag Archive | suspense

The End Is Nearer Than You Think!

Realistically, the end of me, you, or the entire world is always potentially the blink of an eye away. You just never know what the fates have in store. Isn’t that a pleasant way to start your day? I once studied with a Buddhist monk who taught me the most powerful meditation. In meditation, you can fixate on a breath or a singular thought – kind of like a mantra, something to center your mind.

The one he taught me was this – “I could die today.” We’d start by saying it out loud, getting quieter until it was an internal thought. The purpose was to realize how precious life was, and to savor each moment, not wasting it on endeavors and thoughts that would hinder our progress as human beings.

What if today is the day that turns your world upside down? What if everyone around you perishes, and you’re left alive, wondering what happened, why, and what the future holds? That’s the premise that started my summer release, TORTURES OF THE DAMNED. The release date is just 4 quick months away. With the world being what it is, the entire time I wrote it, I kept hoping it wasn’t a predictive tale.

tortures

To prepare you for Armageddon…I mean the book…I’ve posted an excerpt from the opening chapter. The events in the opening actually happened in my neck of the woods during the Christmas holiday in 2013. It scared the crap out of us, and no one buys the story the authorities gave us. You can click hear to read the ‘official’ story. Read on and prepare your survival kits…


boom. Boom! BOOM!

The trio of explosions ripped the biting, January night air in two. Daniel Padilla was dozing between commercials when the sky exploded. He bolted from his recliner, as did his wife, meeting in the middle of the living room.

“I think the furnace exploded,” Elizabeth shouted, balling her fists tight at her sides.

“We wouldn’t be standing here if it did,” Daniel shot back. A framed picture of the family at last summer’s picnic at Orchard Beach crashed to the floor, making them jump. That last explosion shook everything in the house.

Footsteps thumped above them. The kids ran down the stairs.

“Mom, Dad, did something just blow up?” Rey asked. His youngest brother, Miguel, clung to his leg.

Daniel motioned with his hands for them all to calm down. “I’m going to check outside. It sounded like a plane. Everyone just sit tight.”

Max, Gabriela and Miguel crowded around Elizabeth on the couch. Gabby’s cheeks were smeared with tears, her stuffed koala Cody tucked under her arm.

He ran to the closet and threw on the first coat he found. It was a track jacket that belonged to his middle son, Max. It was a size too big for Daniel but it would do.

“I’m coming with you,” Rey said, slipping into his sneakers that he kept by the front door. He must have been lying in bed listening to his iPod because his short, jet black hair was flattened on one side. His ear buds dangled around his neck.

There was no sense arguing. Rey was a senior in high school now. Some days he was more man than boy. “Okay,” Daniel said.

The frigid air stung his face and shocked his lungs when he opened the door. Lights were on in every house in the neighborhood. A good number of porches were filled with people searching the sky.

No one spoke.

There wasn’t a sound to be heard. Even the wind had stopped. Daniel didn’t feel the powdery snow around his bare feet.

He looked up and down the street and over the houses opposite them. With his high front porch, he had a clear sight line to the Bronx border. All he saw were stars blinking in a clear, black sky.

When Rey spoke, Daniel’s heart did a triple beat. “How come there aren’t any sirens?”

He was right. Whatever had happened sounded as if something massive had been blow to bits. The screech of police, fire engine and ambulance sirens should be echoing around them.

“I don’t know. Go inside and see if there’s anything on the news.”

It was still a half hour until the eleven o’clock news, but Daniel was sure this would be breaking news on the local channels.

Buck, his next door neighbor, was on his tiny porch dressed in full winter gear and wearing his cowboy hat. He was a solid guy in his early sixties with, as he himself claimed, a body made by good beer and medium rare steaks. “Holy shit, Dan. What the hell do you think that was?”

The silence was becoming more disturbing than the initial blasts. Daniel wiped a sweaty palm over his face. “I have no clue, Buck. I thought for sure it was another plane going down.”

They’d both worked in lower Manhattan on 9-11. Neither would ever forget the sounds those planes made when they hit the towers.

“I’m gonna call a friend of mine on the force,” Buck said. “I’ll come over and let you know what he says. In the meantime, you might want to put something on your feet.”

Daniel looked down at his snow-covered feet. The sight of lurking frostbite finally made him feel the cold. He shook each foot, flicking snowflakes, and went back into the house.

 


You can pre-order TORTURES OF THE DAMNED on Amazon today.

To get exclusive info on Tortures of the Damned, be eligible to win signed books and more, join the free Dark Hunter Newsletter.

 

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An Interview With Kristopher Rufty On His Dog Gone Bad Novel – JAGGER

I love being a horror writer. Sometimes, it afford little perks, like not only getting to know an awesome writer (and human being) like Kristopher Rufty, but also getting a sneak peek at his latest book.

The book in question this time is JAGGER, a tale about an enormous dog who goes from cuddly to bat crap crazy. When I was done, I actually said, “Cujo who?” out loud. This is one you’ll want to devour in one sitting.


Let me start off by saying I loved your new book, Jagger. Why don’t you tell folks what this nail biter is about?

Thank you so much! I’m happy you enjoyed it. Coming from you, that means a lot. I’m a huge fan of your work as well. Jagger is about a scumbag named Clayton who takes Amy Snider’s mastiff to use in some dogfights. His showpiece pit was killed in a fight and cost some very bad people a lot money. He knows if he doesn’t come up with something quick, he’ll suffer the same fate as others before him. But the problem is Jagger is a domesticated canine, and his size wouldn’t be the only thing that could keep him alive in the fights. So Clayton enlists the help of an old friend named Stan, a medical school graduate who’s turned to developing meth and experimental drugs in his basement for help. Stan has whipped up a special kind of steroid that he sells to beef farmers and they try it out on Jagger. It works. But the side-effects are disastrous. Jagger can no longer feel pain, and he suffers from violent outbursts, rage, and insanity. Take that, and add in an abusive dog trainer, Jagger becomes the Jason Voorhees of dogs. Once he breaks loose from his captors, he goes on a bloody killing spree as he tries to find his way home.

I wrote the first draft of this book in less than six weeks. In the revision process, I changed very little. Though it got a little intense writing certain scenes, I had a good time with this one. It was one of those books I couldn’t stay away from. Being a lover of nature-gone-wrong books and movies, I tried to incorporate some of that with some classic exploitation-style characters and situations. Hopefully I succeeded.

jagger_v2

I know you’re a dog owner. Is there a particular dog you had that inspired Jagger?

I based a lot of Jagger’s traits and mannerisms before he goes mad on our dog, Thor. The personality, the huffing and puffing and sagging jowls that make propeller sounds, the unlimited supply of drool, the crawling into bed with you and nuzzling his wet nose into the nook of your neck—all of that came from Thor.

Jagger’s appearance was inspired by a dog I saw at the vet’s office one day. Sitting in the waiting area with Thor, I watched as he took pride in being the biggest dog around. Thor ways close to 135 pounds, so there aren’t many dogs bigger than him at any vet visit. On this day, that changed. A guy entered with this beast of a dog. He had thick brown and black fur, a scrunched up face that sort of resemble a Chow. Thor went to greet this dog and looked like a puppy standing next to its mother in this dog’s presence. I got to talking to with the owner and he told me his dog was a fuzzy mastiff, a form of bullmastiff but with longer hair. I found it slightly humorous how much the dog resembled Mick Jagger. On the way home that day, I kept thinking what would happen if that dog turned on its owner and the seeds for Jagger was planted.

I read up about mastiffs. They’re very gentle in nature, loving, and overly affectionate. So I had to work a bit at coming up with something that might make such a tender animal turn violent.

You’re not just a horror writer, you’re a director, too. Which hat is more difficult to wear? Do you have any future movie making plans?

They can be difficult in their own ways. In movies, I have to be a leader of a team and it’s my duty to make sure the movie is made with this team the best way it possibly can be. I have budgets to adhere to, actors to instruct and care for, and a certain number of scenes have to be filmed on a particular day or I’ll get behind schedule and risk throwing a wrench into all the aforementioned duties. But when it’s over and filming has wrapped, I get to take my footage and cut it together into my creation. That is the best part, seeing the fruit of everyone’s labors. The stress and bad moods of filming become a distant memory as I watch what we worked so hard to accomplish in a finished form. It’s a wonderful feeling that makes the entire process a wonderful experience.

Writing can bring its own stresses at times, but there is something therapeutic about writing stories that can’t be topped by film-making, at least not the kind of film-making I’m used to. Writing is magic, not only are you creating a world to play in, but there’s no budget sheets to worry about, nobody will throw a temper tantrum, nobody can get hurt (other than the characters) and you are completely limitless as to what you can do. It’s amazing. One of the greatest blessings I’ve been given is the chance to write stories.

For future movies, I wish I could say there are things lined up. I’ve been writing book after book, and haven’t had much time to pursue movies since we finished Rags (which will be released this year from Wild Eye Releasing). My dream was to be like Clive Barker—somebody who dabbles in both. And one day I hope that will happen again. But for now, I’m very happy with just writing fiction.

Some of my books have received interest from film-makers and producers. And I have a script that I wrote based on my novella Last One Alive. That movie might be my return to the director’s chair in the near future.

But nothing can take my love away from movies. The passion is still there, a burning sensation in my heart. I still watch all the movies I’ve loved since I was a kid on a regular basis. Roger Corman, H.G. Lewis, AIP classics, and the exploitation greats. Plus the splatter movies that set me on this path to begin with.

You’ve written quite a few books in just several years. How do you keep the writing wheels going?

I keep those wheels lubed! Seriously. There’s material all over that I can find influence in. Like with Jagger, the dog at the vet that day inspired an entire novel with the help of our dog Thor. My son inspired Proud Parents. My stepsister inspired Tracey in Oak Hollow. A close call at my old job inspired Angel Board. I’m sure this happens to you as well, something will just trigger your brain and these massive mortal shells start exploding ideas. Sometimes it can be a conversation you have with someone that just stays with you. My personal fears have inspired a good bit of my writing and still do. I just do a lot of people watching, read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers. I watch a lot of true crime and monster mysteries on TV. Material is everywhere. You know as well as I do that we never take a day off. Sure, we don’t sit down and write once in a while, but our gears are always cranking, always spinning possibilities for stories in our minds, even when we’re sleeping.

What’s one thing you’d like to check off your bucket list this year?

I want to finally read some of King’s The Dark Tower series. I know what you’re thinking, but please don’t beat me! I haven’t read any of those books yet.(We’re both in the same boat. They are some of the only King books I haven’t read!)

My wife swears they’re some of his best. I promised her I would read the first three this year. I’m actually about to start on The Gunslinger here soon and plan to read the following two this summer and fall. We have them all in both paperback and hardback, so they’re waiting on me and I’m excited to start.

I’m going to go opposite on this question – what’s your least favorite horror movie franchise and why?

Probably either the Paranormal Activity series or Zombie’s Halloween movies. I watched the first Paranormal and thought it was pretty well done, but the sequels were just mundane and repetitive. The fourth one was silly.

Zombie’s Halloween saga was just bad for all the wrong reasons. He did something you shouldn’t—tried to explain evil. It can’t be explained. That was what made Myers so scary in the first place. There was no method to his madness, no reason for it. Myers was just evil on two legs as Dr. Loomis stated in the original series. An unstoppable force that slaughtered anything in front of him without provocation, a wildfire that can’t be extinguished as it scorches everything in its wake. But I do give him credit for trying. He has a brass pair for tackling a classic character like Michael Myers and trying to make him his own.

Do you think you could beat Stephen King in an arm wrestling match?

Probably not. I’d be so distracted by being in his company that he’d use it to his advantage for the win. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed I’d lost until he’d left the room and I came down from my King-induced high.

Tell the world what’s coming next and where to find you and your books.

The Lurking Season just came out. It’s a sequel to The Lurkers. Jagger will be released in a couple weeks, with Bigfoot Beach following. The Vampire of Plainfield comes out this summer, and Desolation follows that. Thunderstorm Books are doing limited edition hardcovers of Bigfoot Beach and The Vampire of Plainfield, but they’ll also be available in e-book with a paperback following soon after.

My books can be found in a lot of the usual places, sometimes books stores too. I recently heard that some of my titles are in a few libraries, which I think is amazing. I love libraries and even now I get that same kind of nervous excitement whenever I’m scouring the shelves for something I haven’t read. It’s a feeling we should all get to experience as much as possible.

Thanks a lot, Hunter! I appreciate the chance to visit your blog. It’s always a fun time. Can’t wait to get together again and talk about writing, monsters, and horror movies.

You can follow Krist’s amazing journey at lastkristontheleft.blogspot.com . And if you crave some Jagger, click on the cover copy above.

A Two-Part Interview with Horror Meister – Jonathan Janz

To say we here at Monster Men central have been working hard to have legend-in-the-making author Johnathan Janz on the show is putting it mildly. So we figured once we had our claws in him, we weren’t letting go until we had enough for two episodes! In part 1, we talk about his latest horror thriller, EXORCIST ROAD, as well as everything else in the Janz growing library. JJ is the goods and also one of the nicest guys in the biz. I have to admit, he’s my writer brother from another mother. Here’s a great chance to see and hear the man behind the tales of terror. I do believe this may be the first video interview with the man who likes to spin our nightmares.

 

In part 2, we focus on vampires, both in books and movies. His spring release, DUST DEVILS, is one of the best vampire books to mosey along the Ponderosa and naturally made us gravitate toward the bloodsuckers. We know how much you all dig your vamps. Enjoy!

Hunter Shea “Hell Hole” Review

This is one hell of a review for my latest, HELL HOLE. No way I couldn’t share this one.

The Horror Bookshelf

Hell Hole

BOOK INFO

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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Calling All Bloggers!


Shady’s back from the mountains and lakes of Maine. It was nice to totally unplug for a whole week and just let my brain relax along with my body for a change. Every time I leave Maine, I leave a little piece of my soul.

Now that I’m getting into the swing of things, I have a couple of announcements (no worries, I’m not releasing any more books in 2014…don’t want Hunter Overload).

HellHole

First, as you all know, my latest novel, HELL HOLE just came out earlier this month. It’s an insane mash-up of western and horror, the likes of which have never been seen before. If you would like to be part of the blog tour for HELL HOLE, reply to this post or email me at huntershea1@gmail.com. I’ll send you an e-copy of the book for review and will be happy to do a handful of guest posts and interviews. Hey, you’ll get a free book out of it! I hope to start the tour in late August, early September and roll until Halloween. If you know of a blog that fits the mold, let me know. There’s a reward for those who see something and say something.

Second, this Thursday I’ll be hosting my first ever Ask The Author Day. Hop on over to my Fan Page (link is on the sidebar) and feel free to ask me any questions about the writing biz, my least favorite zoo animal, how to spackle a ceiling, you name it. I’ll answer questions throughout the day and night. Should be fun.

Last but not least, if you’re on Goodreads, I’m giving away a signed copy of HELL HOLE to 1 lucky winner. Head on over there to enter.

 

Swamp Monster on Audio

Almost 2 years since its release, SWAMP MONSTER MASSACRE is still rolling along. The world has much love for skunk apes. It’s now available as an audio book and was just given a 4 star review on Audio Book Reviewer. I want to give a big thank you to them for not only taking the time to listen to the book, but also to post such a great review. Now let’s see what we can do about getting the Skunk Ape family on the big screen where they belong!

Swamp Monster Audible

I want a no holds barred, hold on to your seat, massacre. Bloody, nonsensical, all out war on humans by the Big Feet, Swap Apes, Sasquatchs, yetis, whatever you choose to call them. There is a whole lot of room for interpretation on what they will do, being that they may or may not exist. 

B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea has brought you the ultimate tale of bloody terror! It starts off very quickly with lots of action. We are introduced to Rooster, not a very good man at all. He kills a drug lord, in self defense of course, and is now on the run from his minions. Hijacking a tour boat full of as random a cast of colorful characters as if Shea picked them out of a hat. This is not a bad thing, but very reminiscent of my favorite B-horror flicks. Soon shipwrecked in the middle of the Everglades, they find out the hard way that they are not alone.

After accidentally killing a furry ape like creature, our band of hooligans are now in a race to survive the primal revenge of these beasts, finding that primitive monsters have tricks up their proverbial sleeves.

With an original and engaging writing style that I enjoyed a lot, Shea has created a unique and fast tour of the Everglades full of ridiculous violence, very descriptive gore, severed limbs and all. Straight up monster horror through and though. I look forward to more!

How many of you have ever gone squatching? It’s number one on my bucket list. I’m even willing to travel far just to have the experience. Where are the best places to squatch?

 

Keith Rommel Is Not A Cursed Man

Talk about a coup! Jack and I ran into author Keith Rommel at last year’s Monster Mania in New Joisey. His absolutely chilling novel, The Cursed Man, is currently being made into a major motion picture. When I say it is one of the most original, thought-provoking novels you’ll read all year, I ain’t kiddin’. I can’t wait for the movie.

Keeping up with our vow to bring you interviews with the best in horror, the Monster Men snagged Keith for almost an hour to talk about his books, his path to publication, what it’s like to have a movie made from his book and his favorite monsters. If the publishing gods are paying attention, Keith will become a household name in the very near future.

So, kick back, pour a mug of your favorite beverage and get to know Keith Rommel.

 

 

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