Archive for October, 2015

Today’s post on The Horror Bookshelf comes from Hunter Shea, who recently released his excellent new novel The Dover Demon (review) through Samhain Horror. I loved Hunter’s unique approach to the famous cryptid sighting and the exploration of the “what happens after” aspect of paranormal experiences and I highly recommend this novel to horror fans and those who are fascinated by creepy, unexplained phenomena. Check out Hunter’s post below to hear about his own UFO experience. I have a huge interest in UFOs and aliens (despite them scaring the hell out of me), so I would like to thank Hunter for sharing his story with The Horror Bookshelf!

Before I turn over the blog to Hunter, I want to thank him and Erin Al-Mehairi of Hook of a Book Media & Publicity for having me on the tour. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour dates and enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a signed print copy of The Dover Demon!

Out of this World

By Hunter Shea, Author of The Dover Demon

the-dover-demon

I’ve never had a close encounter with a being from another world, but I did see something in the sky one night that deeply affected the way I view our place in the cosmos.

It was an early evening in the fall of 1987. My sister needed to be picked up from her job at Kids R Us at the mall. For some reason, three of us piled in the car to get her – my mother, my girlfriend (who is now my wife), and me. My mother drove, even though I was 19 and had my own car. We went to the top of the small parking garage and waited for sis to come out. It had been a nice day, giving way to a clear night.

I got out of the car to get some air, staring at the headlights of passing cars on the New York State Thruway behind us. Suddenly, cars started to slow down, pulling over to the shoulder. First it was one, then another, then several that were going in the opposite direction. People got out of their cars, all of them looking at the sky.

My first thought was, what the hell are they looking at? I craned my neck back to see what all the fuss was about. It couldn’t be a blimp. They flew over all the time. What I saw knocked the breath from my lungs.

In the middle of a star-filled sky was a huge black mass, slowly moving overhead. There were very bright lights on the edges of the mass, solid orbs emitting a white/yellow glow. I could track its movement by watching stars disappear behind it while others reappeared as it hovered to the south. Its size was breathtaking. I know people always use the football field analysis when they try to describe things like this. For my money, I would say it was roughly the size of two baseball fields.

The most terrifying part is that it didn’t make a single sound.

When my sister got to the car, she joined all of us as staring at this silent, floating city. She immediately started crying, begging for us to leave and just get home. My mother, girlfriend, and I were too entranced to move. We watched it progress down the highway, heading for New York City.

Eventually, we got in the car, keeping it in our sights. By the time we got to my house, the craft was turning towards New Jersey. Then the incredible entered the realm of the fantastical. Whatever it was exploded with light, zooming toward the heavens without making a single sound until it disappeared. My heart raced so hard, I could barely breathe. We looked at each other, dumbfounded. Was that what we think it was?

It made the paper the next day. Thousands of people witnessed the same thing. The official explanation – lightweight planes flying in formation. How those planes blacked out the stars between them could never be explained.

Needless to say, my passing interest in UFOs went into overdrive. I didn’t go full on conspiracy theorist, but I have educated myself as much as possible to all the potentialities. I do know one thing. We are not the only creatures in this vast universe. The question now is, what did we see that night? What have millions of people witnessed in the skies over the past 70 years, if not more?

In the words of the post on Fox Mulder’s wall – I WANT TO BELIEVE.

###

Purchase The Dover Demon: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!

Dover Demon tour logo

Follow along the tour using the hashtags #TheDoverDemon #HunterSheaLovesCryptids #Monsters #Cryptozoology #cryptids

Hunter-loren-museum

A trip Hunter Shea made to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine two years ago sparked the idea for THE DOVER DEMON. While he was there, he met famed cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman and talked about creatures he’s personally investigated. It turns out, he was the man on the scene in Dover, MA in the late 70s when the uber strange biped was spotted by several people over the course of two nights in April, Hunter reported. He also gave it its name, Dover Demon. 

Now, Hunter’s fictional world of The Dover Demon has been published as a novel and he was able to go back to the museum of cryptids in August and have a launch party for the book with Loren Coleman! To read more about that and see photos, head over to his site via this link: http://huntershea.com/2015/08/30/the-dover-demon-raises-his-round-little-head-cryptid-novel-release-day/

The Dover Demon Info and Synopsis

  • File Size: 1032 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?

Praise for Hunter Shea

This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

About Hunter Shea 

hunter-shea-photo

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk MonsterTortures of the Damned, Sinister EntityForest of ShadowsSwamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal,  and The Dover Demon. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. He’s currently working on or completed a few more manuscripts set to come.

His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors, and anyone else living in the horror lane.

He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaways

On this tour, win one signed print copy of The Dover Demon if you are in the U.S.! Just sign-up at the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIx/?

the-dover-demon

BOOK INFO

Length: 242 Pages

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided as part of The Dover Demon Blog Tour

2015 has been an exciting and busy year for Hunter Shea, who I am sure has to be part machine based on his crazy schedule! He has already released two great novels this year, the unique apocalyptic thriller Tortures of the Damned and the bone-chilling third novel of his Jessica Backman series Island of the Forbidden. This time around, Hunter tackles another famous cryptid in The Dover Demon.

Over a two night period in 1977, eyewitnesses in the rural town of Dover, Massachusetts reported seeing a mysterious and terrifying creature that defied any earthly explanation. The stories of a mysterious creature referred to as the Dover Demon filled cryptid hunters and tourists with wonder and they arrived in the town of Dover in droves, seeking to catch a glimpse of the legendary creature with their own eyes. But for Sam, his best friend Tank and their girlfriends Kelly and Stephanie, that two night period was more terrifying than exciting. On their way home from a double date at the movies on one of those fateful nights in 1977, they had their own encounter with the creature known as the Dover Demon. What they saw shattered their perception of reality and they vowed to never speak of it again and despite their best efforts to leave that experience in their past, that night changed their lives forever.

Sam Brogna, now in his fifties, owns a comic store and is married to Lacy, a businesswoman who is constantly trying to get him to go back to the corporate world he left behind to spend more time with his son, Nicky. Their marriage seems average, but tensions simmer below the surface as she judges her success on his and is embarrassed of his new career. However, the store helped Sam forge a strong bond with his son based on their mutual love of comic books and by working together daily in the store. Sam is still best friend with Tank Clay, who ended up marrying his high school sweetheart Stephanie. Tank and Sam used to get into trouble together as teenagers, but now the extent of their troublemaking involves them sneaking biscuits and gravy at the comic store and fearing the tongue lashing they may get from their wives. Tank followed in Sam’s footsteps by leaving his job as a high-powered CEO to chase his dream of being an archaeologist.

Despite Sam’s desire to move past his encounter with the Dover Demon, he sells copies of a book about the creature in his shop. Most of the townspeople hate the fact that outsiders flock to their town searching for the Dover Demon, but Sam almost seems proud that his comic book store is the one place in town that promotes the legend and harbors an interest in cryptids. His life seems to be perfect until a betrayal sends his life into a tailspin that causes him to run into his high school girlfriend Kelly Weathers.

Kelly has tried to forget that fateful night back in the ’70s, but the experience has rattled her so badly she has started drinking heavily and developed a bit of an obsession with Dover Demon sightings. She is afraid of the creature and despite living in a constant state of paranoia, she is determined to uncover the truth about what her and her friends saw all those years ago.

Sam’s son Nicky develops an interest in the Dover Demon and sets up a Google alert about the mysterious creature that lurks in the woods of Dover and that is when he stumbles across a new sighting, the first one in over 40 years. They were a series of blog posts from a man known only as Lando Solo, who Nicky recognizes as the man from his father’s comic shop that was asking questions about the Dover Demon a few days ago. The posts detail his trip to Dover and a sighting of the creature during a massive snowstorm a little after Thanksgiving. No one in town believes his story, so he turned to his blog in attempt to get the word out. The posts fascinate Nicky and inspire him, his best friend Roy and his sister Christine to go to the place of the sighting in an attempt to spot the Dover Demon for themselves.

Kelly also stumbles upon Lando’s blog posts and it startles her. She has been investigating any story that seems like it could be connected to the thing her and her friends saw years ago and she begins to think there is a pattern, that the creature her and her friends encountered has been appearing more frequently. These are all just suspicions she has until she reviews her security cameras footage from the previous night. It is then she discovers someone or something has left footprints in a perfect circle around her home. It was as if something was dropped from the sky, walked around her home and then vanished into thin air. She is unable to determine what left the tracks, but when she watches the footage from inside her home, she makes a shocking discovery that will change the lives of her and her friends. I don’t want to diminish the thrill that comes with reading this scene for readers, but I will say that while I was writing my notes for this review, I tagged this page with the words “nightmare fuel”. It was a truly terrifying scene that stuck with me even after I finished The Dover Demon and will probably pop up in my nightmares for the next several months.

Kelly shares her research with Sam, Tank and Stephanie in an attempt to warn them that the creature they saw back in 1977 may be coming back for them. They refuse to believe in Kelly’s theories until Nicky and Christine go missing after searching for the creature themselves. Fearing the worst, the four old friends set out to rescue Nicky and Christine and are plunged into a reality bending fight for survival.

What initially scared me the most about reading this book was the Dover Demon’s resemblance to an alien. As a horror fan, I pride myself on not being scared of much, but the stories surrounding aliens and particularly this type, scares me more than just about anything. I grew up reading about cryptids of all forms and the story surrounding the Dover Demon stuck with me through the years based on the unusual facts that make it stand out from other sightings.

The setting and atmosphere that Hunter creates in The Dover Demon is perfect and adds a creepy factor to the story. The small town setting and relative seclusion really helps lend itself to this story. I live in a small town and I couldn’t help but imagine this story taking place right in my back yard, which made it even more frightening.

I really loved Hunter’s take on the Dover Demon as well. I picked up this novel expecting a straightforward alien novel, which would have been fine by me, but ended up being treated to something different and original. Hunter does make some allusions to the Dover Demon being an alien of some sort in the early chapters of the book, but as the story goes on, the truth behind what the Dover Demon is becomes a little bit murkier. I personally liked the ambiguity that surrounds the creature and thought Hunter did an excellent job of staying true to the events that inspired the novel while putting his own terrifying spin on it.

Also as a fan of creepy, unexplained mysteries and stories, I loved the approach Hunter took with his characters. Often times with cryptid sightings or other unexplained phenomena, we hear the stories about the sighting and once the creature is gone or the phenomena is over, that is the last you hear about these people and the situations they have gone through. Hunter sets his story in the aftermath of the Dover Demon sightings which is an interesting style choice. We learn about the groups interactions with the Dover Demon through brief flashbacks interspersed throughout the story. I thought it was awesome that Hunter decided to dig explore the “what happens after” aspect of paranormal sightings. We learn about the characters immediate reactions to seeing the creature, but the most interesting parts of the story is seeing how that fleeting moment changed them forever. Each character handles the aftermath differently – Kelly spirals into paranoia and alcohol dependence, Tank pushes it from his memory but subtly searches for answers by becoming an archaeologist, Stephanie blocks it out completely and Sam handles it in a unique way that I don’t want to spoil for readers. Even when the Dover Demon returns after a nearly 40 year absence, the characters are still undergoing a process of moving on and understanding. They take their experiences from years ago and approach the situation from a different perspective. They are older and have seen this creature before, so they use what little knowledge they have from their personal experience to deal with the creatures.

It is no secret that I love Hunter’s work and The Dover Demon is another excellent entry to his impressive collection of releases. The thing that I love most about Hunter’s books is his obvious love and passion for the subjects he writes about. If you read any of his interviews or watch his great podcast Monster Men with Jack Campisi, you will learn that Hunter is a huge fan of all things horror and the unexplained. As someone who shares similar interests, it is pretty cool to read a book that seems tailor-made for those who are fascinated with the unexplained. There were a few instances where I was confused after the group encounters the Dover Demon the second time around, but it didn’t significantly impact my enjoyment of the story. If you are a fan of cryptids, aliens or just enjoy a good story that will scare the hell out of you, be sure to squeeze The Dover Demon into your Halloween reading list!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for your chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book!

Rating: 4.5/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror Official Website

Purchase The Dover Demon: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!

Dover Demon tour logo

Follow along the tour using the hashtags #TheDoverDemon #HunterSheaLovesCryptids #Monsters #Cryptozoology #cryptids

Hunter-loren-museum

A trip Hunter Shea made to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine two years ago sparked the idea for THE DOVER DEMON. While he was there, he met famed cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman and talked about creatures he’s personally investigated. It turns out, he was the man on the scene in Dover, MA in the late 70s when the uber strange biped was spotted by several people over the course of two nights in April, Hunter reported. He also gave it its name, Dover Demon. 

Now, Hunter’s fictional world of The Dover Demon has been published as a novel and he was able to go back to the museum of cryptids in August and have a launch party for the book with Loren Coleman! To read more about that and see photos, head over to his site via this link: http://huntershea.com/2015/08/30/the-dover-demon-raises-his-round-little-head-cryptid-novel-release-day/

 

The Dover Demon Info and Synopsis

  • File Size: 1032 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (September 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?

Praise for Hunter Shea

This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

 

About Hunter Shea 

hunter-shea-photo

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk MonsterTortures of the Damned, Sinister EntityForest of ShadowsSwamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal,  and The Dover Demon. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. He’s currently working on or completed a few more manuscripts set to come.

His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors, and anyone else living in the horror lane.

He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Giveaways

On this tour, win one signed print copy of The Dover Demon if you are in the U.S.! Just sign-up at the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIx/?

 

milkblood

I am excited to help spread the word that Mark Matthews’ stellar novel Milk-Blood has been optioned for film by Monkey Knuckle Films! I am extremely happy for Mark on his huge accomplishment, he is one hell of a writer and I highly recommend picking up his books. The option also includes the rights to The Damage Done, a prequel story that introduces readers to the mentally ill heroin addict Jarvis. I remember when I read Milk-Blood last year and I was impressed with the originality and rawness of the story. Matthews’ strong characterization and descriptions of Brentwood – a dangerous part of Detroit that is filled with abandoned, burned-out homes and drug dealers – seem like they will translate extremely well to the big screen. Here is the announcement:

MILK-BLOOD, a novel by Mark Matthews, has been optioned for a full length feature film by Monkey Knuckle Films. The option includes rights to the short story, The Damage Done, a companion piece to the novel.

MILK-BLOOD is true reality horror with supernatural elements that only serve to make it more believable,” explains executive producer Michael Bradford. “The story will certainly hold an audience.”

MILK-BLOOD is the story of a ten-year-old girl named Lilly, born with a heart defect, who lives on a Detroit street where poverty, urban despair, addiction, and both the living and the dead threaten her outside her doorstep. The author has tapped into this experience as a social worker to create what one review site calls, “an urban legend in the making.”

Monkey Knuckle Films is a newly created LLC, but the founders have a long history of horror, and have worked with actors such as Sid Haig from The Devil’s Rejects, and much of the cast of The Evil Dead. They are currently in post-production for the horror film, “Elder Island“, set for release in 2016. MILK-BLOOD was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Best Kindle Book Awards and is available in paperback, Kindle, or audiobook on Amazon.

I praised the novel in my review and the balance of real-life horror and supernatural made this one of the most original horror novels I have read in years. I didn’t formally publish a “Best of” list last year, but if I did, Milk-Blood would have easily been near the top. I promise that I am not just saying that because Mark was kind enough to put my blurb on the cover, which has to rank as one of the coolest achievements in The Horror Bookshelf’s history. If you want to get a head start on the story, pick up a copy of The Damage Done, which is currently being offered as a free download on Amazon. You won’t be disappointed!

Mark’s announcement also comes with a few other surprises for fans of his work. He revealed that a sequel to MILK-BLOOD is scheduled for release in early 2016. Here is what he had to say: “The sequel is some twisted material,” says Matthews, “but with a purpose. Horror without heart doesn’t appeal to me, and I don’t think to many readers.” In addition to the big news, Mark is offering up a free download of Milk-Blood to the first ten people to email him at  WickedRunPress@gmail.com . No word yet on distribution for the film, but I will definitely be watching when the film is released! Be sure to stop by Mark’s blog for more information about his writing and check out some of his other great books on his Amazon page.