Archive for November, 2015

sentinels

BOOK INFO

Length: 264 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of the Sentinels Blog Tour

My first introduction to Matt Manochio’s work was reading The Dark Servant on his blog tour last year. Manochio took the legend of Krampus  – the terrifying beast that serves as a dark foil to Santa Claus – and crafted a super fun read that was full of adrenaline fueled scenes and dark humor. Reading The Dark Servant, it was clear that Manochio was a talented author and I was excited to see what he would come up with next. So when I was approached to join the blog tour for his follow up novel Sentinels, I jumped at the chance.

Sentinels is a supernatural historical horror story set in Reconstruction-era South Carolina. It opens with a pretty intense scene as a rag-tag group of criminals led by Lyle and his friends Brendan and Franklin attempting to kill former slave Toby Jenkins in order to steal the deed for the massive farm he inherited from Charlie Stanhope for the nefarious land baron Thomas Diggs. As they encircle the property, they are attacked by mysterious, shadowy figures and barely escape with their lives.

Noah Chandler is a brand new sheriff’s deputy and was raised in South Carolina but fought for the North after attending Harvard for his law degree. He witnessed his brother die on the battlefield as they fought against each other, an event that still weighs heavy on his conscience. Despite his allegiances during the war, he moves back to his hometown of Henderson after the war in an effort to assist the Reconstruction efforts he deeply believes in. Noah finds himself quickly thrust into a bloody and bizarre situation in his first few days on the job when seven Ku Klux Klan members and two northern soldiers are found savagely murdered outside of a nearby plantation. Noah and the other sheriffs find little evidence and have no idea who would have committed the horrible crimes considering the victims belonged to two opposing groups. It isn’t until Noah talks to one of the survivors, Robert Culliver, that he gets any information at all. Culliver states that it wasn’t men that massacred those men, but wraiths. He said that they moved with precision and that even when they were shot by the soldiers trying to defend themselves, they didn’t bleed like normal men.

Noah chalks up Culliver’s ravings about supernatural entities to the shock of witnessing such a brutal attack and the injuries he sustained. Surely wraiths couldn’t be responsible for killing those men, even if the circumstances surrounding their deaths were a bit bizarre. It isn’t until Culliver is murdered in his heavily guarded jail cell and Noah witnesses a series of unexplained events in the attack that he begins to suspect that there may be some truth to Culliver’s claims. As Noah begins to investigate the attacks, he and his family are plunged into danger and he learns the startling truth about the wraiths.

I am a bit of a history nut, so I loved Manochio’s decision to use the period of Reconstruction as the setting for Sentinels. Lately, I have read a lot of horror books that take place in modern times, so it was refreshing to read a novel with a more historical setting. Manochio gives an unflinching look at the horrors of slavery and the violence that plagued the country during the Civil War and after it was over. There is one particular scene where Toby details his childhood to Noah while they are sharing drinks in the town’s tavern that is particularly gut wrenching. Even though it is clear early on Toby is somehow connected to the brutal attacks carried out by the mysterious figures that plunge Henderson into chaos, it is this scene that makes the reader feel a connection to Toby.

I loved the wraiths Manochio conjures up in the novel and they are definitely creepy! I don’t want to spoil their appearance, but there is a scene toward the end of the novel that had an old school horror feel too it that I enjoyed. While I thought the wraiths were a cool and interesting choice as a horror monster, I felt their history was a bit rushed and ambiguous. Manochio does provide some back story on the wraiths and how they were unleashed on the town of Henderson, but I feel it would have been more effective if it was handled in bits and pieces instead of having it all explained toward the end of the novel.

Manochio does a great job of bringing most of his main characters to life and giving them distinct personalities from the arrogant aristocrat Thomas Diggs to the often mocked criminal Franklin. Noah’s wife Natalie and widower Doreen Culliver seem to be one dimensional early on, but as the novel progresses they become much more complex and one scene late in the novel proves they are total badasses.  Although most of the characters are well developed, there are a few secondary characters that fall flat and get lost in the action. I also loved how Manochio managed to blur the lines between good and evil throughout Sentinels. There are a few characters throughout the novel that stay firmly on one side of the spectrum, but some of them are a lot harder to label. There are characters who start off as good but are forced to do bad things out of necessity and some who are seen as evil only to go against all odds and finally do the right thing.

There are some nice twists and surprises thrown into Sentinels that I didn’t see coming while reading, but after finishing the novel, I realized there were clues to some of the mysteries all along. I love those sort of little surprises and they definitely added to my enjoyment of the novel. Despite a few minor style choices that didn’t work for me, Sentinels is a highly entertaining read that I would definitely recommend to horror fans and particularly those who enjoy historical horror. I am a big fan of both of Manochio’s works and I am looking forward to reading his upcoming novella, Twelfth Krampus Night, which is a medieval tale featuring the infamous Krampus and the equally terrifying Frau Perchta. Twelfth Krampus Night comes right in time for the holidays, hitting shelves on December 1st from Samhain Horror.

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Matt Manochio’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Sentinels: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Horror or your favorite bookstore!

Sentinels tour graphic (1)

Use these hashtags to help spread the word about Sentinels! – #Sentinels  #history #historicalhorror

Sentinels Synopsis

These are no ordinary killers.

They don’t distinguish between good and evil. They just kill. South Carolina’s a ruthless place after the Civil War. And when Sheriff’s Deputy Noah Chandler finds seven Ku Klux Klansmen and two Northern soldiers massacred along a road, he cannot imagine who would murder these two diametrically opposed forces.

When a surviving Klansman babbles about wraiths, and is later murdered inside a heavily guarded jail cell, Noah realizes something sinister stalks his town. He believes a freed slave who’s trying to protect his farm from a merciless land baron can help unmask the killers. Soon Noah will have to personally confront the things good men must do to protect their loved ones from evil.

Praise for Matt Manochio

“Matt Manochio is a natural born storyteller.” – Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Savage Dead

“A real page turner. Matt Manochio has gained a fan in me!” – David L. Golemon, New York Times bestselling author of the Event Group Thriller series, on The Dark Servant

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted. A clockwork mechanism of terror! Highly recommended!” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered, on The Dark Servant

About Matt Manochio

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Matt Manochio was born in 1975 in New Jersey and graduated from The University of Delaware in 1997 with a history/journalism degree.

He spent the majority of his 13-year newspaper career at the Daily Record in Morris County, New Jersey, where he won multiple New Jersey Press Association Awards for his reporting. He wrote about one of his passions, rock ‘n’ roll giants AC/DC, for USA Today and considers that the highlight of his journalism career.

He left newspapers in 2011 for safer employment, and currently lives in New Jersey with his son.

seeing-evil

BOOK INFO

Length: 232 Pages

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: July 13, 2015

Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

I was excited to read Jason Parent’s Seeing Evil after having heard tons of great things about his writing, so I jumped on the chance to read this book when Jason offered me a review copy. Seeing Evil is the story of Michael Turcotte, a teenager who has been in foster care since his parents death when he was just an infant. He has a close bond with Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly who was on the scene and rescued him after his parents murder-suicide.

Despite the trauma of his past, Michael is your average kid trying to make it through the trials of high school. He is a target for bullies and tries to keep to himself, but he is viciously attacked one day and the attack changes his life forever. After the attack Michael has a vision. It seems like a random dream brought on by the aftermath of his savage attack, but it feels all to real to Michael. He tries to warn the staff at his school and even begs Samantha to do something, but everyone thinks it is just a remnant of the anger and fear he felt from his attack. When he witness his vision unfold in real life, Michael realizes his life will never be the same. Although Samantha doesn’t believe Michael’s visions are real initially, once they come true, she has no choice but to believe him. While the stories of Michael’s visions make most of his classmates afraid of him, fellow outcast Tessa Masterson is drawn to Michael for a chance to glimpse her future. What Michael sees will lead him and Sam into a dangerous quest for answers that brings them face to face with a ruthless killer.

I have to commend Jason Parent for not holding anything back in Seeing Evil. There are plenty of vicious scenes in this story from Tessa’s heartbreaking interactions with her stepfather and the stomach-churning attack Michael endures at the hands of his school’s most ruthless bullies. While reading that particular scene, I was expecting things to go badly for Michael right from the start, but I didn’t expect that level of depravity.

Parent does a great job describing the relationship between Sam and Michael. Ever since Sam rescued Michael, she has kept in touch with him and it is obvious they have a close bond with each other since that fateful day. Michael views her as a mother figure and the one person who has always been there to keep him safe, even as he bounced from foster home to foster home. They are both similar in that they are distant and stick to themselves, but it is obvious they both care for each other, even if they don’t admit it out loud. Tessa Masterson is a character readers will become attached to early. As a result of her stepfather’s cruelty, Tessa’s self-confidence is obliterated and the isolation imposed on her means she has no friends and is avoided by the other students who view her only as the “weird girl”. Tessa’s story is heartbreaking and I found myself rooting for her to escape the horrors of her day-to-day life.

Parent’s antagonist in Seeing Evil is one of the most frightening characters I have read in a while and shows that everyday people are every bit as terrifying as any ghost, monster or supernatural entity. He has a warped sense of morality and rules that he feels everyone should follow and if they don’t, he feels it is his responsibility to punish them. What makes him so terrifying is his ability to blend in to society and his inability to feel remorse when he commits his horrible acts.

I really enjoyed Seeing Evil, but there were a few things that didn’t quite click for me. Michael’s visions are a central part of the story, but it doesn’t feel like there is any real explanation given for them. A lot of times people who claim to be able to see the future either experience this ability at a young age or claim they have always had it. However, Michael’s visions seemingly come out of nowhere. Are they result of the violence he endured? Is there some kind of hereditary connection? Is it supernatural? I realize some people may like not knowing the cause for the visions and the author most likely wanted the cause to remain unexplained, but it was a little too ambiguous for me. I also would have liked to see a little more of the antagonist’s back story through his own eyes. Parent does a good job of giving clues to readers about the character’s past and we do get sections from the killer’s point of view, but it would have been interesting to know what caused this character to develop such a warped view of the world.

There are a lot of books out there that incorporate the ability to see the future or experience the past, but what helps Seeing Evil stand out is Jason Parent’s great action scenes, brutal descriptions of Michael’s visions, and a cast of interesting characters. There were a few minor issues for me while reading Seeing Evil, but overall, it is an enjoyable thriller that will appeal to fans of many different genres and Jason Parent is definitely an author to watch. This is the first book of Jason’s I have read, but I definitely consider myself a fan and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to check out an excerpt from Seeing Evil and a chance to win a copy of Jason’s work and a Seeing Evil bookmark!

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Jason Parent’s Official Website

Red Adept Publishing’s Official Website

Purchase Seeing Evil: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Red Adept Publishing

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Please join in the fun and keep the momentum going by using the hashtag: #SeeingEvil,  #suspense #thriller #crimefiction #supernatural

Seeing Evil Synopsis

Fate in plain sight.

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.

Praise for Seeing Evil

“… Parent writes in such a fluid, mesmerizing and realistic way that I found I couldn’t stop!” – My So-Called Book Reviews

Seeing Evil is one of those books that takes off at a fast pace and doesn’t slow down.” – Carries Book Reviews

“Jason Parent tortures us right alongside his characters. The world building is excellent and very real.” – I’m a Voracious Reader

“…one of the best suspense thrillers I have read in a very long time. In lesser hands it would have been a decent read but the author’s skill in setting the scene, character development, and story telling makes this a far superior novel.” – Book Nutter’s Book Reviews

Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There’s no denying Parent has talent.” Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, Boom Town, and Abram’s Bridge

“Wow! That was just brilliant! Every single chapter straight from the very beginning had me gripped.” – Andrew Lennon, author of Keith and A Life to Waste, a Novel of Violence and Horror

“Superbly fast paced from beginning to end meaning you will not want to put it down. A plot that will keep you guessing to the very end but not in a confusing way. Brilliant characters that gel together perfectly. A bloody good book.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

“This is one seriously entertaining, thought provoking read.” – Adam Light, author of Taken, Toes Up, and The Corpus Corruptum

“This book was a police procedural/thriller/psychological horror story-it doesn’t neatly fit into any category except for: ‘damn fine read’.” – Char’s Horror Corner

“The entire story was strong, driven, and merciless in all regard from beginning to end. Even when you think you know where it’s going, there’s yet another–logical–twist.” Horror After Dark

Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension. The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent’s writing here is top notch – sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.” – Evans Light, author of Arboreatum, Screamscapes, and Harmlessly Insane

About Jason Parent

jasonparent

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.

When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit Jason on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.

Excerpt

Stepping back so as not to alarm the child, Samantha scanned Michael for wounds, but she couldn’t find the source of the blood. She hoped it wasn’t Michael’s, but she saw no evidence, no tracks or prints, that suggested Michael had been anywhere near the bodies. Then again, shouldn’t he be in a crib or something? What’s he doing in here? There’s no part of this that he should have been forced to witness.

Samantha moved in for a closer look. His hands rested on his thighs, the blood on them dry and cracking on his skin. Something protruded from beneath them, something dark and metallic.

Samantha gasped. “Michael, don’t move, okay?”

Michael seemed oblivious to her presence, swaying to a beat only he could hear. It was as though she wasn’t part of the world he was seeing. Slowly, she reached for the object with the caution of one taking a bone from a snarling dog. Only Michael wasn’t snarling. He seemed uninterested in her, still rocking and staring blankly through her, unblinking and locked on that same focal point.

Maybe he’s in shock. Maybe he does understand what happened here. His unresponsiveness was certainly beyond mere willful ignorance. Samantha didn’t think he would notice if she lit a firecracker in front of him. He seemed out of touch with reality. For the moment, Samantha preferred him that way.

With a hand as steady as a surgeon’s, Samantha reached for the pistol Michael was huddled over like a bear protecting her cub. She avoided contact with him, fearful of what would happen if she disturbed his trance-like state. Her fingers treaded over the barrel, searching for its grip.

She pulled the handgun, a black Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, from beneath Michael. The barrel brushed against his thigh. With cold, empty eyes bulging open like those of the drowning, Michael gazed into Samantha’s. She felt exposed, as if with only a look, the child could delve into the recesses of her mind, revealing her every secret. The thought terrified her. So did Michael.

With reflexes beyond one of his age, Michael grabbed the gun with both hands. Samantha quickly pulled it away. Unnerved as she was, she still had Michael’s safety at the forefront of her mind. She removed the weapon from the boy’s reach, at all times conscious of its threat. When she found the safety smeared in blood, she clicked it on and breathed a sigh of relief. As she’d expected, there had been a bullet in the chamber. She dropped the gun into an open evidence bag held by Tagliamonte.

Michael’s eyes remained on her. They were blue and cloudy like the sky before a rainbow, a fire as bright as the sun burning behind them. His mouth creaked open as though tiny gears controlled its laborious motion. When his chin dropped so low it nearly rested on his throat, a sound, low and indistinguishable at first, emitted from somewhere deep within the boy. As it amplified, its sharp clamor made Samantha’s blood ice within her veins.

At once, Samantha knew that not only did Michael comprehend what had happened to his parents, but also that he felt it in the worst sort of way. His wail was ghostly and ghastly, the cry of one seized by agony. Samantha was afraid, both for him and of him, and of what such trauma might cause him to become. Backing away, not knowing how to comfort the lost child, Samantha knew it would not be the last she would see of Michael.

 Giveaway

Sign up to enter to win one of five books from Jason Parent! There is one print copy of Seeing Evil, one print copy of Bad Apples 2 collection, 1 e-book of What Hides Within, and one e-book of Dead Roses. All winners get Seeing Evil bookmarks! Random draw chooses winner. First name drawn receives first prize, and so on. Any giveaway questions may be forwarded to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Enter to win at the link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIz/?

Today’s post on The Horror Bookshelf comes from Glenn Rolfe, who recently released his thrilling werewolf novel Blood and Rain (review) through Samhain Horror. Glenn is one of my favorite writers and I knew I would read every book of his after I discovered his brutal and haunting debut The Haunted Halls. Blood and Rain is an absolute blast to read and offers a unique spin on the werewolf mythos, so I highly encourage any horror fan to pick up a copy of this stellar novel. I loved Glenn’s take on the werewolf curse and his characterization and attention to setting and pacing are top-notch. Glenn is an extremely talented author and already has locked in a few spots in my “Best of the Year list”, so I am happy to have him back on The Horror Bookshelf. Not only is Glenn a great author, but he is consistently sharing and promoting the work of other writers in the horror community. As an aspiring writer myself, Glenn’s post definitely hit home for me and his positive outlook and work ethic serve as an inspiration.

Before I turn over the blog to Glenn, 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 some of Glenn’s books!

Staying Positive

By Glenn Rolfe, Author of Blood and Rain

blood-and-rain

Positivity breeds positivity. That mantra can get a writer through many situations big and small. It helps you keep the belief and faith, even when you hit a wall, that your story will tell you where it wants to go and how you plan to go about getting the finished draft published. Not everyone is going to get your story or love that you wrote a werewolf story without leaving the werewolf’s identity a mystery. You will get rejected, but if you have written the story you wanted to write (which, it most certainly should be if you’re submitting it) you must have faith that your baby will be adopted and find a home.

Tomorrow, Annie… the sun will come out tomorrow.

Another place where staying positive comes into play is in promoting yourself and others in your genre/field. Once you get published (and you will-see how good that positive thing feels?) you will get hit with a bunch of nice or great reviews by people that get your story and love your characters. Brace yourself. You will also get someone that hates it. You’ll get someone who doesn’t understand, or can’t relate to your characters or say…all of your great ‘80’s references. And you know what? That’s okay. Nobody writes a story that everyone likes and just because that one reviewer speaks poorly of your beloved work, it doesn’t make that person an asshole. Read it and let it go. Or do as some in our field do and don’t read it at all.

No means no, and that’s okay, too.

I had only been writing for eight months when I did the unthinkable…I emailed one of my favorite horror writers and asked him if he would be willing to beta read the first three chapters of my very first novel. Was this ballsy? Maybe. But you know what? The worst I was going to get in response was NO. And that’s fine. But you know something? That writer said, “sure.” He read my first three chapters and gave me a bucket full of great advice. Nuggets like “even if you’re going to kill a character that only appears in one chapter, you MUST bring that character to life, otherwise it comes off like a big screen cheap thrill” …that’s not quite verbatim, but you get the gist. Since then, this writer has remained one of my mentors in the horror writing business. It pays to try. It pays to go forward with a positive mindset.

We can only control what we do, not what others do.

In our world as writers, we can only control what WE do. We write our story, compromise on parts when we have to, and sell our story to anyone willing to listen. That’s what we can do. Once you sign a contract, you become an employee. Once you work for someone else, you have to play by the rules and policies of that company. Regardless of what happens, you can always choose to quit, but if you signed your contract that story is staying put until its contracted time expires (there are exceptions, but hopefully you don’t run into a crazy publisher that intentionally fucks you-makes changes without your approval, refuses to pay you, etc.). But we’re staying positive, remember? Publishing is a business. It’s not always pretty, but you can only control what YOU do. Sometimes our bosses will make changes in management, marketing, and other venues for a variety of reasons. Some we understand, some we do not. It has happened in my day jobs too many times to count. It has also happened in my real job. It sucks, and it is scary, but I can only control what I do and the attitude that I carry forward. And that is what I choose to do. I took a few days to consider all of the information received and realized what in the heat of the moment I forgot, to stay positive, and that, I can only control what I do. It sounds naïve to some I’m sure, but I had to make myself look at the bigger picture. Right now, I’m walking in the big unknown. Only time can show us whether or not the shake up is for the best or not. Whether that happened to your Customer Service Manager at Wal-Mart or to the CEO of your Hospitality Group, only time will tell. If you want to keep your current job, you must learn to roll with it. You must learn to roll with the punches. You can always choose to punch out; I’m staying on the clock and getting back to what I control. I’m getting back to work.

Good, good, good, good vibrations…

Please put positive vibes out there, people. Life is full of cheap shots. We must learn how to take the hits and figure out how to keep moving forward.

I hope this post makes someone feel good.

Pay it forward. Lift up someone in your field or your life that you think deserves to know how much you think of them or their work.

Stay tuned!

-GR

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LINKS

Glenn Rolfe’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Blood and Rain: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!

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Use these hashtags to help spread the word about Blood and Rain! – 

#BloodandRain #Werewolves #WereRolfe #Horrortober #horror #halloween #scaryreads

Blood and Rain Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past.

Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Praise for Blood and Rain

Praise for Blood and Rain~

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!” –Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark

About Glenn Rolfe

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Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Excerpt

Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.

He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.

No, Harold, I’m something far worse.

Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.

Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.

Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.

Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.

As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.

If you could see me now, Harold.

The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.

He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.

In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.

He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.

Giveaway

For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b22/?

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BOOK INFO

Length: 202 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Review copy provided as part of the Blood and Rain Blog Tour

During the spring of 1997, the small and quiet town of Gilson Creek, Maine was rocked by a series of attacks that left nine people dead. While the official cause of death was announced as an animal attack, some residents believe it was the work of the “Full Moon Monster”, a savage creature that leaves death and destruction in its wake. Now, years after those initial attacks and with summer arriving in Gilson Creek, there are reports of attacks that re-awaken the fear and paranoia of the town’s residents. Sheriff Joe Fischer is the only hope for this small town as he was there for the attacks in 1997 and knows what he is up against. Struggling to protect his daughter and the residents of his town, Sheriff Fischer must confront the secrets buried in his past in order to stop the carnage once and for all.

While I went into Blood and Rain excited about reading terrifying werewolf scenes, what I loved most about this novel was the little things Glenn does to bring the story to life. Glenn creates a large cast of characters but each has their own distinct personalities that help them from getting lost in the story. Glenn does an outstanding job with the characterization of his main characters, but what impressed me the most was the way Glenn brings even the most minor characters to life and weaves them into the fabric of Gilson Creek. Gilson Creek felt like a real town and the care and attention to detail Glenn shows in building up the town and its residents made me feel like I had lived there my whole life.

I also loved the tension Glenn created in this novel. Sure, the werewolf parts were awesome and among the best I have read, but it is the build-up to those scenes that makes them so great. Blood and Rain’s prologue introduces a character who is afflicted with the werewolf curse and Rolfe crafts a terrifying atmosphere that permeates the rest of the story by using great descriptive language to detail the gruesome transformation process that is jump started on every full moon. Blood and Rain opens pretty action packed with that scene and the blood-soaked attack on Brian Rowel, the creatures first victim in years. That opening attack on Rowel is brutal and vicious and is the same sort of straight-up horror that first made me fall in love with Glenn’s writing in The Haunted Halls. However, it isn’t just the monster and brutality that make this scene so great, it is Glenn’s attention to setting. We see the beast early on, but I loved how Glenn doesn’t simply rely on the beasts appearance to inspire fear. It is the cracking branches, the shadows in the trees, the raging storm and the ominous howling that gets the readers nerves on edge. When Brian sees the beast in a flash of lightning, those details make the scene that much scarier.

Glenn opened the novel with tons of action and great descriptions of the werewolf attacks before introducing readers to the residents of Gilson Creek. These moments of character-building are enjoyable and the attacks are like a shot of adrenaline that keeps the reader hooked. That approach to pacing is what made this novel such an enjoyable read for me.

I don’t want to spoil the werewolf’s identity in this review, but I loved how Glenn handled the character and how they dealt with the curse. It would be easy to have the character simply be at the mercy of a condition he cannot control or an evil person who uses the curse to his advantage, but Rolfe takes a more complex approach. The curse plays a part in the events that unfold throughout the course of Blood and Rain, but there are other factors that motivate the character to commit the savage attacks on the residents of Gilson Creek. Rolfe utilizes common themes from werewolf mythology, but he also sprinkles in some unique elements that helped this novel stand out. If you are a fan of Glenn Rolfe’s writing and have read his other stories, then you will enjoy the cool easter egg  hidden in the pages of Blood and Rain that connects to one of his other works.

I started reading Glenn’s work last year when I reviewed his debut The Haunted Halls and have been a big fan ever since. I have been impressed with the range of styles he utilizes in his works thus far – The Haunted Halls was no-holds-barred horror, Boom Town was a downright creepy sci-fi adventure and Abram’s Bridge was atmospheric with a dark beauty. Blood and Rain incorporates all of those styles to create a thrilling werewolf tale that is sure to delight horror fans. If you haven’t read any of Glenn’s work before, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his stellar releases. Glenn is one of my favorite newer writers and no matter what book you decide to pick up first, I guarantee you will have a blast!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for an excerpt from Blood and Rain and a chance to win a copy of Glenn’s work!

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Glenn Rolfe’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Blood and Rain: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!

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Use these hashtags to help spread the word about Blood and Rain! – 

#BloodandRain #Werewolves #WereRolfe #Horrortober #horror #halloween #scaryreads

Blood and Rain Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man’s terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen.

Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past.

Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can’t even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Praise for Blood and Rain

Praise for Blood and Rain~

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!” –Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

“The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark

About Glenn Rolfe

glenn-bw-profile

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Excerpt

Stan Springs stared at the curse in the night sky. His curse. He clenched his jaw, and bit back the grunts that demanded release from within his sweat-covered body. His muscles tightened and took turns throwing fits. He could feel his heartbeat’s thunderous barrage at work inside his heaving chest. It was only a matter of minutes before the changes would come.

He ripped his gaze from the clouds, moved away from the window and knelt down next to the bed against the concrete wall. He slipped one shaky hand beneath the mattress and found the small incision he’d made when he first arrived at the institution. He had traded a guard, a heavyset fella by the name of Harold Barnes, his prized Ted Williams rookie card in exchange for a copy of the key. Parting with this gold mine had been necessary. Stan Springs had nothing else of value with which to barter. Harold trusted him enough to make the swap; he told Stan there were crazies here by the dozen, but he could tell that Stan was not one of them.

No, Harold, I’m something far worse.

Key in hand, Stan stepped to the unlocked door and cracked it open. The hallway was clear. He moved down the corridor, as stealthily as during his heydays working on the force in New York. Hearing footfalls ahead and to his left, he fell back and pressed his large frame against the custodial door. Hidden by the entryway’s shadow, he watched Nurse Collins—a tall, thin woman with a dark complexion—pass fifty feet from where he stood, before she disappeared into the nurses’ break room.

Barefoot and dressed in only a Red Sox T-shirt and his sleeping shorts, Stan made a break for the staircase across the hall. His breaths were coming faster now. If he didn’t hurry, he wouldn’t make it outside. He crept down the steps leading to the main hallway.

Through the small window on the stairwell door, he could see Harold Barnes’s haunted jowls illuminated by the laptop screen in front of him. The old man’s eyes were closed, his mouth open. Harold hadn’t even made it an hour into his shift before he was out. Stan knew Harold also ran his own antique shop in the neighboring town of Hallowell. He’d told Stan that working both jobs on the same day, which was sometimes unavoidable, made it difficult for him on the night shift. It was another shared nugget Stan had stored away for nights like this one—the nights the beast in him needed to get out.

Easing the door open, Stan skulked his way along the shadows on the wall, and tiptoed to the main entrance door. Despite the cramps now rampaging through his calves and thighs, he slipped the procured key into the lock, slow and steady. The door clicked open, and he stepped out into the night.

As the cool breeze brushed against the sweat of his brow, the tendons and bones in his face began to shift. The rest of his body followed suit. He dropped to one knee and cried out. His skin, his scalp, his eyes, his muscles were all too tight. He reached behind him and managed to push the door shut.

If you could see me now, Harold.

The private roads out front were deserted. He launched from the building’s stairs and landed on the lawn below, making a beeline for the woods to the left of the large property.

He was twenty feet from the forest when the change hit him like a massive wave, crashing him to the ground. His muscles clenched and squeezed and tore, while the bones of his face continued to crack and grow. His teeth began to fall out in place of the monster’s. Down on all fours, he crawled to the tree cover and vomited. A mix of last night’s cafeteria meat loaf, black coffee, loose teeth, and blood splashed the ferns before him. Stan’s fingers extended as his claws dug into the soft soil of spring’s floor. He moaned and grunted his way through the rest of the fluid process.

In full beast mode, Stan Springs stood and howled at the cloud-covered sky. The creatures of the night became ghosts among the trees. He felt the strength flowing through him and the hunger begging to be sated.

He burst forward, headed north. Despite Stan’s best effort to control the beast’s killing zone, he found himself heading home.

 

Giveaway

For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b22/?