Posts Tagged ‘Hunter Shea’

island-of-the-forbidden

BOOK INFO

Length: 288 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

When we first reunite with Jessica and Eddie, they are both struggling to cope with the horrors they witnessed in the Leigh household. Jessica dyes her hair, shuts down fearnone.com and cuts herself off from her family while she travels the country losing herself in physical work of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Eddie is a shell of his former self. His powers are nowhere near what they once were and he develops an addiction to alcohol and drugs in order to try to hide from the scores of spirits that appear to him begging for his help. Their partnership is nonexistent after the two having a falling out over how to handle Jessica’s unique gift as an energy source for EB’s.

However, Jessica finally reaches out to Eddie after her aunt Eve tells her Eddie has been leaving desperate messages on her phone. When she finally reaches him, he tells her that someone on the other side has been looking for her, leading to visions of EB’s that make it so he can hardly sleep at night. Just when Jessica is ready to give into her anger and frustration towards Eddie, he stops her cold when he tells her there are kids involved. Kids who have abilities like theirs and are being used as bait.

Jessica and Eddie are led to Ormsby Island, a deserted island in South Carolina after Daphne Harper contacts Jessica and pleads for her to help. She and her husband purchased the island on the cheap with the hopes that Jessica and Eddie could make the home safe for their two children, Jason and Alice. They immediately noticed that the island had some peculiar traits. There is an ominous chill that cloaks the property even in the humid heat of summer and the inside is immaculately preserved despite the exterior’s former splendor being ravaged by the passage of time and the elements.

Almost as soon as they step foot on the island, Eddie and Jessica realize Ormsby Island holds many secrets. There are well over a hundred spirits of deformed children all over the island, proof that gives some credence to the rumors concerning Ormsby Island’s brutal past. Then in the midst of the paranormal happenings on the island, there is the question about the Harpers. They seem like an average couple despite a hint of strangeness, it quickly becomes clear they are hiding something which could threaten everyone on the island. As Eddie and Jessica dig deeper into the mysteries of Ormsby Island, they discover the heartbreaking truth behind the activity in the house.

Island of the Forbidden was a great read and has the same excellent storytelling that made the other books in the series so enjoyable. There are multiple mysteries waiting to be discovered and Island of the Forbidden features the most diverse cast of characters yet. One of my favorites, not counting Eddie or Jessica of course, was Nina D’Arcangela. Nina is a psychic who has powers very similar to Eddie’s, but lacks the experience and control he has mastered. She is kind of like the anti-Eddie in the sense that where Eddie is confident and uses his gifts to help others, she is driven by the need to be appreciated by others and is looking to cash in on her abilities using any means necessary.

I also thought Ormsby Island is the perfect setting for a ghost story. It has a dark history that has made it a legend among the locals in the novel and is completely cut off from the outside world. Imagine that you walk into a reportedly haunted mansion and witness events that are not only unexplainable, but ripped straight from your worst nightmares. Normally, it would be easy to just leave the home, never return and that is the end of that right? But what if it wasn’t that easy? Having the story take place on Ormsby Island not only amplifies the horror because there is simply nowhere to run, it also forces all of the characters to confront the demons lurking in their past.

There are some chilling moments throughout the novel, but one that stands out is when Jessica and Eddie get a glimpse of  Jason and Alice’s powers. Jason tells them about the “Last Kids”, the spirits that Eddie saw when he arrived on the island. When Eddie presses him for more information, Jason gives one simple statement that sent shivers down my spine and further proves that children in horror books/movies are downright creepy! “Yes. There were lots of them on the island. This is where the last ones went to sleep“.

I also loved the further character development of both Jessica Backman and Eddie Home in Island of the Forbidden. Hunter takes these characters to some very dark places and that only adds to the realism of the novel. The events of Sinister Entity placed both Jessica and Eddie through an emotional ringer that tested not just their abilities in solving paranormal cases, but their core values. It would have been easy to have Island of the Forbidden show Jessica and Eddie tackling more cases and kicking EB ass, but Hunter takes a more difficult yet rewarding path. Seriously, if you have not read any of the books in this series, I highly recommend checking them out. Whether you start from the beginning like I did or work your way back from Island of the Forbidden, you are in for some great stories from a truly great storyteller. I know it is early, but I definitely anticipate having Island of the Forbidden in my list of top reads for 2015.

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Island of the Forbidden on Amazon

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sinister-entity

BOOK INFO

Length: 264 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

Sinister Entity picks up the action immediately with Jessica Backman on an investigation at the McCammon home in Bronxville, New York where poltergeist activity has frightened the family. While we get a brief glimpse of Jessica in action in The Graveyard Speaks, this investigation shows what she is all about. She remains fearless and scientific in her approach of investigating the phenomena, taking notes even as the entity begins creating havoc in the home and attempting to frighten her.

We are also introduced to Eddie Home, a college student with a unique background. Eddie is a psychic with many unique gifts and spent a majority of his college years as a subject for the Rhine Research Center, a renowned research lab that studies parapsychology. He has the ability to see and interact with spirits, maneuver objects with his mind and many other gifts. However, he decides to leave the Rhine Research Center after connecting with a spirit tied to Jessica’s past. After six months of working on strengthening his connection to this spirit, Eddie realizes he needs to find Jessica because she needs his help.

Eddie finally reaches Jessica, who is initially reluctant to accept his help until he gives her evidence of his credibility that she can not explain away. Jessica still doesn’t know whether or not to believe Eddie, so she devises her own litmus test of his abilities and invites him along on her investigation of the entity haunting the McCammons. Despite her reservations, Eddie proves himself and his abilities when he comes to Jessica’s aid and helps her to banish the spirit once and for all.

Coming off their first successful investigation as a team, they receive a call from the Leigh family. They claim to experience unexplained noises and appearances that seem to hint at ghost activity, only the apparition they are seeing is that of their own daughter. Eddie and Jessica head up to the Leigh household and what they uncover is that there is more than one presence in the Leigh household and it is an evil far beyond their wildest imagination.

I really loved the introduction of Eddie’s character to the story. Jessica is headstrong and often throws herself into investigations with reckless abandon and Eddie is one of the few people who can help keep her grounded. Although Jessica doubts Eddie’s abilities initially and their partnership gets off to a rocky start, I think she begins to respect him for how he handles his abilities and dealing with the emotions of being able to interact with EB’s. Hunter also does a great job of giving Jessica and Eddie’s partnership a realistic portrayal. They don’t just become an instantly great team because they both have experienced some pretty intense personal experiences with EB’s, they clash. Even after their first encounter where they were testing each others limits, Jessica and Eddie each have their own approach to things and it occasionally brings up friction between them. However, they are a great team because of how they handle these differences and use them to bring out the best in each other.

While Forest of Shadows had occasional lulls, Sinister Entity is where Hunter Shea takes the gloves off and offers up nonstop action. This isn’t just a straight forward ghost story, Hunter adds a twist by having the Leigh family see an apparition of their daughter who is still alive and well. I don’t want to spoil the mystery behind the occurrences, but I thought it was original, creepy and highly entertaining!

Hunter Shea really hit a home run with Sinister Entity. It takes a lot to truly creep me out, but after reading Sinister Entity, I am not ashamed to say it scared the hell out of me. I live in a fairly old house and after marathon late-night reading sessions, the slightest creak of the floorboards had my adrenaline pumping. Sinister Entity is a pedal to the floor horror novel that is sure to be a favorite among any horror fiction fan, especially those seeking an original take on the ghost story genre. Sinister Entity was not only one of my favorite books that I have read recently, it also claimed a spot in my top horror novels of all-time. An absolute must read.

Be sure to stop by The Horror Bookshelf tomorrow for my review of Island of the Forbidden, the latest book featuring Jessica Backman and Eddie Home and Friday for an interview with Hunter Shea!

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Sinister Entity on Amazon

the-graveyard-speaks

BOOK INFO

Length: 51 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Continuing my review of Hunter Shea’s series of books featuring Jessica Backman, next up is the novella The Graveyard Speaks, which is a direct tie-in to Sinister Entity. While Forest of Shadows shows a glimpse of Jessica thirteen years after the events in Shida, The Graveyard Speaks is our first real look at what Jessica is up to and how she handled the trauma of her past.

The Graveyard Speaks follows Jessica as she re-launches her father’s website, fearnone.com, and attempts to continue his work investigating paranormal phenomena. She receives a message from Jimmy Felton, a night guard at Woodlawn Cemetery, who claims he has seen a ghost by the same grave night after night. Along with her friend Angela, Jessica sets up an investigation into the haunting armed with nothing more than her bravery and a tripod camera. Their first investigation into the mysterious events surrounding the Spooner grave gives them a bit more than they expected as they witness an enormous shadow form around the grave site before seeping into the ground  chilling screams can be heard coming from beneath the earth. Now that Jessica has confirmed Felton’s sightings first hand, she begins going back and gathering more evidence. As she uncovers the details about the life and death of Meredith Spooner, she soon finds herself in a dangerous situation that pushes her skills to the limit.

While The Graveyard Speaks features plenty of scares and an intriguing mystery behind the haunting at the Woodlawn Cemetery, the reason I loved this novella was the way Shea builds up Jessica’s character. In Forest of Shadows, Jessica is a six-year-old who has a very distinct identity, but it is largely John’s story. However, now in her late teens, Jessica has developed into an even stronger character who is fearless and does not let her age or anything else stand in her way. She is strong, confident and a bit of a smartass, which are only a few of the reasons she is such an endearing character. The events of Forest of Shadows could have easily traumatized her for life, but instead, she uses it as fuel to drive her passion of helping others. She even graduated high school early and now studies anthropology at Hofstra University.

We also learn that Jessica has a very unique ability in regards to spirits, or as she refers to them, “EB’s”. I don’t want to give it away for those who have yet to read the books, but it is something that sets her apart from your run-of-the-mill paranormal investigator. The Graveyard Speaks works well as a stand-alone story like the rest of the books featuring Jessica, but I loved this little twist because it builds off an important scene in Forest of Shadows that shows Jessica may have a truly special gift.

This was a pretty quick and entertaining read and for those who are on the fence about checking out the books featuring Jessica Backman, this is a good place to start. The book is available for free through Samhain Horror and captures Hunter’s excellent storytelling ability that is present in all of his books.

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase The Graveyard Speaks on Amazon (Free e-book)

forest-of-shadows

BOOK INFO

Length: 272 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

I am a huge fan of Hunter Shea’s work and it always amazes me how he is able to tackle a variety of horror topics in an interesting, creative way. Shea has covered monster tales, hauntings and everything in between and all of his works have become favorites of mine. So when I was offered a chance to join the blog tour for his latest novel, Island of the Forbidden, I jumped at the chance. The novel is the third book in a series following the journey of paranormal investigator Jessica Backman and although each book can be read as a stand alone work, I felt I had to start at the beginning. I am one of those people who can’t just hop into the middle of the action of a book or TV series, I need to experience the entire thing from the beginning. It is a quirk of mine, but what can I say I am a sucker for back story and losing myself in the mythology of a series! So, leading up to my review of Island of the Forbidden, I will be reviewing the books in order. First up on the review docket is Forest of Shadows, the book that lays the foundation for the series.

Forest of Shadows starts off with a bang, focusing on the Bolster family as they are being attacked by an unearthly force in the middle of the night and seemingly swallowed up by the wilderness surrounding their cabin.

Then we are taken to suburban New York, where John Backman lives with his wife Anne and small daughter Jessica. John and Anne struggle to maintain their relationship with the demands of being new parents, but it is clear that they love each other. They have a huge argument one night when their night of passion is interrupted and John sleeps in the living room, realizing he messed up, but figuring he can make things right in the morning. However, when he wakes up the next morning, his life is altered forever by the tragedy of losing his wife and winning the lottery.

Shea skips five years into the future, which finds John in a rough state. He has developed a crippling anxiety that stems from his wife’s death and has thrown himself full-time into his website dedicated to the paranormal, fearnone.com. He started off using the site to host videos, stories and pictures of the unexplained before moving into field investigations. Most of these investigations were into minor phenomena that he documented to help let those who suffered similar experiences know they were not alone. It isn’t until he gets an email from a man named Judas Graves that he feels he has stumbled across something huge. Judas was cleaning a mysterious yet beautiful cabin in a small Alaskan town called Shida when he encountered something ripped straight from his nightmares. John transports his daughter, sister-in-law Eve and her son Liam to Shida in order to get to the bottom of what sort of darkness has taken up residence in the cabin and finds something that even he is not prepared to face.

Shea does an excellent job of developing his characters in Forest of Shadows. From the loving family dynamic between John, Eve and their children to the debauchery displayed by Muraco Fenton and his gang, Shea breathes life into characters and their relationships.  Also, if I am being honest, part of what made me love this novel was I couldn’t help but feel a connection to John Backman. John is fascinated by the unexplained and devours books on everything from UFOs to the Loch Ness Monster and I can definitely identify with that. One of my favorite things to do when I have a bit of down time is to read up on unexplained phenomena and it isn’t out of the ordinary for me to spend hours scouring the internet reading everything I can find and quickly losing track of time. From what I have read on Hunter’s blog and through following his excellent Monster Men podcast with Jack Campisi, it is evident Shea is a huge fan of the paranormal as well. That love of all things unexplained and horror bleeds through on every page of Forest of Shadows and is part of what makes the novel such a great read.

Shea also does a fantastic job of transporting readers to the remote wilderness of Alaska and brings the town of Shida to life. You know those scenes in horror movies when the characters show up to a small town and you get that unshakable feeling something is somehow off? Residents staring silently while the characters enter a diner or store and then that one creepy resident that says something that immediately sends shivers down your spine? That is the very same sense of unease that Hunter develops here and it sets an eerie tone for the story.

Forest of Shadows starts off as a bit of a quiet horror story with Hunter giving quick glimpses of the entities haunting Shida starting with weird noises and glimpses of shadows that slowly builds an ominous presence throughout the novel. By the time we get to the novel’s conclusion, Hunter dials up the horror to terrifying heights for a thrilling horror read that I found myself reading late into the night. There are occasional lulls in the story, but Forest of Shadows is a must add to the library of anyone who loves a great ghost story.

Rating: 4.5/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Forest of Shadows on Amazon

I am excited to welcome back Hunter Shea to The Horror Bookshelf! Hunter is back with a guest post about his latest novel, Hell Hole, and the Weird West genre. I am a huge fan of Hunter’s work, and Hell Hole is a wild thrill ride of a novel that is packed with horrifying entities and a must- read for horror fans. You can check out my review here if you happened to miss it the first time around. Check out his post below to learn about the Weird West genre, the inspiration behind Hell Hole and some other great authors! Be sure to pick up a copy of Hell Hole, I would also like to give a very big thank you to Hunter for his awesome guest post and to Erin Al-Mehairi of Hook of a Book Media & Publicity for allowing me to take part in the tour!

Weird West meets Hell Hole

Hell Hole

Did you know there was a subgenre of horror/sci-fi called Weird West? I actually had no idea these types of stories had a specific classification, even though I’d read a few books and had written my own, Hell Hole.

Now, what is Weird West fiction? According to our old friend, Wikipedia, it’s defined as : “a literary sub-genre that combines elements of the Western with another literary genre,[1] usually horror, occult, or fantasy.”

My first experience with this very special, wonderfully strange genre, was through comic books in the 70’s and 80’s, all within the pages of Jonah Hex – that burned up, seemingly immortal arbiter of justice in the wild west. As a kid, I just thought he was cool as hell, a superhero that was also a cowboy and mean as a pitbull. Jonah Hex combined my love for cowboy tales and horror.

As I got older, I found the amazing tales of Joe R. Lansdale, one of my literary heroes, in my local library. The first book I read was Zeppelins West, a mélange of western, horror, science fiction and humor. I’d never read anything like it and was blown away. I promised myself that one day, I’d write a book in that same vein, as Lansdale seemed to have the same loves as me. My practice run was my college honors thesis on cowboy culture in America. No horror there, but at least I was getting the history down.

Cut to many moons later. Embarking on my fifth book for Samhain Publishing, I said, “It’s time, dammit. Let’s circle the wagons, build a fire and tell one whopper of a tale.” Over the course of 3 feverish months, I spun the story of Hell Hole. Set in 1905, a decade after the official days of the wild west were dead and gone, a hero was born in the person of Nat Blackburn, former cowboy, Apache scout, Rough Rider and now New York copper. Of course, he had to have a right hand man, a mysterious bad ass called Teta, a Dominican gun for hire who had saved Nat’s life in Cuba under Colonel Roosevelt.

Sending them into what is today an actual abandoned mining town, Hecla, Wyoming, I threw the kitchen sink at my boys. Writing it was like immersing myself in absolute stream of conscious. The story is littered with ghosts, black-eyed kids, wild men (what we call Bigfoot today), and so many other bizarre creatures, I almost couldn’t keep up. When people asked me what I was writing, I’d say, “Uh, well, it’s this kind of horror western with lots of nuttiness and men being men.”

If I only knew I could have answered the question with 2 simple words : Weird West. That would have made things so much easier.

So now I’m one of those Weird West guys, along with writers like Lansdale, Eric Red and Jonathan Janz. That’s some pretty good company.

Think I’ll go out and buy me a new spittoon.

About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal and Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thrillerMontauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled Hell Hole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. 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.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

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 he reports that he sent a troop to investigate and they reported that even the Indians were terrified of the desolate town. To make matters worse, shortly after their report, the squad disappeared without a trace. So, with that, Roosevelt enlists Nat to head to Hecla in order to find out what is going on and how to best extract the gold from the hills for a fledgling United States that desperately needs more wealth. When Nat and his longtime friend Teta arrive in Hecla, it becomes clear that their mission is anything but simple and there is something evil lurking in the abandoned mines of the town.

Shea blends all of the best action elements of the western genre with the sinister edge of horror to create a book that is an absolute blast to read and impossible to put down. What makes all of Hunter’s stories so enjoyable is that he does not waste any time bringing you right into the action, giving you a glimpse of the evil waiting deep within Hecla’s caves within the very first chapter. Even when we learn the backstories of the characters and the town, there is no lull in the intrigue that drives Hell Hole. By giving a lot of the background from Nat’s point of view, these little tidbits are every bit as interesting as the main plot.

The characters in Hell Hole are, simply put, awesome. Nat and Teta are two no-nonsense badasses that forged a life-long friendship during their time in war together fighting Spain. Their friendship feels very realistic and it is obvious that they would literally follow each other to hell and back. What makes them my favorite characters is that despite the adversity they face in Hecla, they not only don’t give up, they relish the challenge. There are moments where they are terrified by what they see happening around them, but instead of tucking their tails between their legs and heading home, they use the hardships they encounter as fuel in order to destroy the source of the evil in Hecla.

Not only were the action sequences  awesome and highly entertaining, but from a horror standpoint, Hell Hole is everything you could possibly want. I mean the story is jam-packed with a host of horrifying entities including extremely creepy children with black eyes, Bigfoot-esque creatures and others that I don’t want to spoil for those who have yet to read the novel. Hell Hole comes with my highest recommendation and is a great starting point for those interested in checking out Hunter’s work. This story begs to be up on the big screen, so if by some small chance any movie producers are out there reading this, give Hunter a call!

Rating: 5/5

Links:

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Hell Hole on Amazon

 

montauk monster

BOOK INFO

Publisher: Kensington/Pinnacle

Length: 347 Pages

Copy provided for an honest review as part of The Montauk Monster blog tour

I have been fascinated with unexplained phenomena of all kinds for as long as I can remember. It started when I was younger, checking out as many books as I could from the library and continuing well into adulthood where I can honestly admit to spending countless hours trawling Wikipedia pages and falling down the rabbit hole of links contained within each article on things like UFO’s, hauntings, “The Bloop” and various cryptids. I honestly don’t know where this fascination came from, but I think these things continue to interest me because we currently live in an age where almost everything mysterious has been debunked and where is the fun in that? Sometimes it is good to suspend your disbelief for a while and hold onto whatever little mysteries are still left. That being said, when I first heard about Hunter Shea’s first thriller novel and that it would be based on the modern cryptid The Montauk Monster, I was instantly hooked and it made my list of most anticipated summer novels based on the strength of the synopsis alone. Now that I have had a chance to read The Montauk Monster, I can definitely say it has been worth the wait!

Shea wastes no time in grabbing the readers’ attention as we are introduced to the horrifying creatures right off the bat. Two Montauk residents head out to Shadmoor State Park to be alone and are confronted by a horrifying creature that quickly attacks them before they even know what is going on. Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton gets a call from dispatch reporting bodies on the beach and when he arrives, he sees a scene of extreme carnage that defies explanation. The police force begin to suspect that the deaths were caused by some sort of animal, and this theory continues to become more plausible as the residents of Montauk begin calling in reports of mysterious animals hanging around their property and even trying to attack them. However, as Dalton begins his investigation and the sightings quickly grow more dangerous, it becomes apparent that this is not the work of an ordinary animal. This is confirmed when Dalton sees the creature with his own eyes after responding to one of the most vicious encounters yet and Montauk’s animal control officer, Anita Banks, is attacked by the creatures. What follows is a descent into chaos where the creatures grow bolder by the day and the town is plummeted into chaos and confusion. Soon, every federal agency imaginable is descending on Montauk in order to control the situation, but it may be too late.

The biggest strength of this novel, in my opinion, is Shea’s creation of the monsters. Their origins have some basis in the real world, but they pretty much stop with the creepy photo of the carcass that washed up on the shores of Montauk back in 2008. Shea uses these factual bits of evidence as a starting point and fleshes them out with a pretty creative and plausible back story to bring these terrifying creatures to life.

The creatures are described as having a large, muscular body similar to a dog or wolf, a face that is a cross between an eagle and a pig and retractable claws. While Shea’s portrayal of the creatures are frightening enough based on their physical description, the creatures themselves don’t hold a candle to the deadly virus they carry in their systems. I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not read the novel, but let me just say the descriptions of the virus’ effects are truly horrific and definitely not for the squeamish!

The Montauk Monster is a white-knuckled thrill ride of a novel and one of the year’s best summer reads. If you are a horror fan who has an interest in cryptids, you will definitely want to add this book to your collection!

Purchase The Montauk Monster on Amazon

Rating: 4/5

Be sure to check out the other stops on Hunter’s blog tour for some other reviews and cool features!

 Montauk Tour graphic

Montauk Monster Truth or Fiction:
Is the Montauk Monster made up for the book or an urban myth? Is there some truth that propels the story? You can find out more about the real Montauk Monster story here

ABOUT HUNTER SHEA

Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal and Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled Hell Hole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. 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.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Today’s post on The Horror Bookshelf comes from author Hunter Shea, who recently released his excellent new novel The Montauk Monster through Kensington/Pinnacle. If you are like me and consider yourself a huge cryptid fan, trust me when I say this is one book you will absolutely want to add to your collection! I am a huge fan of Hunter’s work and excited to have him as a guest on the site. Check out his post below to learn more about The Montauk Monster and his thoughts on beach reads!

montauk monster

What, exactly is a beach read?

I was just at my local bookstore and saw a row of shelves under the banner: Great Beach Reads. Truth be told, most of them were geared towards female readers, with a lot of book club recommendation stickers on the covers. Do they think guys don’t read while soaking in the sun? Do we just check out the sports page in the newspaper, tuck it away, slip on our shades and watch the bikinis traipse on by?

Okay, plenty of guys do exactly that. But a great many others read actual books. So when it comes to deciding what to pack in the ol’ beach bag, how does one choose?

Beach reading to me is something light. When you have your toes in the sand and the surf is churning, you want an ice-cold Corona in your hand, not a pint of Guinness. When you’re hungry and you look into the picnic basket, some chilled fried chicken and fruit hits the spot, not a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

The same goes with a summer beach read. Crime and Punishment is NOT a beach read (though by all means, read it – a classic that you can’t put down). The theme is too heavy, like that meatloaf and Guinness. Jurassic Park was a great beach read when it came out. It was fun and fascinating and fast as hell once the dinosaurs got loose. Any book by Tess Gerritsen is a great beach read – superbly written mysteries that will make you forget to turn before you burn. War and Peace was demonstrated not to be a good beach read in the Jimmy Stewart movie, Mr. Hobbes Takes a Vacation. Every time he sat in the sand to read it, there was a distraction, and you can’t keep track of all those Russian names unless the book has your undivided attention.

Heavy. Light. The weight of words and ideas. These are the things that form the boundaries of beach and non-beach reads.

When I sat down to write my latest book, The Montauk Monster, knowing it was going to come out in June, I had the words beach read in the forefront of my mind. I wanted to create something that provided chills and thrills, a trip on the rollercoaster by the boardwalk. And if it was going to be a beach read, why not set it in a beach town like Montauk? Throw in some monsters and government conspiracy and let the good times roll. It’s not Crime and Punishment, but that’s because it was never meant to be. It’s a beaded bottle of Modelo and a slice of watermelon, the scent of coconut heavy in the air. The Montauk Monster is best read under a beach umbrella, the gentle roll of the surf in the distance. Just be wary of what you see out of the corner of your eye.

Was that a dog coming out of the water? Or was it something else? Push your shades up the bridge of your nose and keep reading. Everyone knows monsters are allergic to sunscreen.

ABOUT HUNTER SHEA

Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal and Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled Hell Hole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. 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.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

montauk monster

I am super excited to announce that I have been asked to join the blog tour for Hunter Shea’s newest novel, The Montauk Monster! This is my first time participating in a blog tour and I am honored to be joining some other great horror sites and authors on this one. The tour is already under way and I highly recommend checking out the first few posts if you haven’t already. Here is what I had to say about The Montauk Monster in the first installment of “Most Anticipated Summer Reads:

The Montauk Monster is the first thriller novel from horror writer Hunter Shea and after reading the synopsis, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! I have always had a huge interest in cryptids and remember being completely baffled by the remains that washed up along  the shores of Montauk back in the summer of 2008. Theories ranged from a turtle without a shell all the way to a failed experiment from a government research facility before being determined by many to be the carcass of a raccoon.

In The Montauk Monster, Shea utilizes the failed genetic experiment angle to craft a story that seems absolutely terrifying. I mean, this book has it all! Creepy monsters? Check. Shadowy, top-secret projects from the government? Check. One thing is for certain after reading the synopsis of this book. Seeing how there is not just one but MANY of these creatures terrorizing the residents of Montauk, I will probably be afraid to ever step foot in the water again, fictitious story or not!

I will be featuring a guest post from Hunter on June 28th and a review on July 18th, so I hope you will swing on by and take part in my stop on the blog tour. A huge thank you to Erin Al-Mehairi of Oh, for the Hook of a Book!, Hunter Shea and Kensington Pinnacle for inviting me along for the ride!

Be sure to check out the main tour page to check out all the dates and for information on a special promo for The Montauk Monster!

Summer is now just a month away which means it is time for me to begin winding down my “Most Anticipated Summer Reads” series! Last month’s installment included books from John F.D. Taff, Tim Curran and Stephen Lloyd Jones. This time around I will be featuring Tana French, Mark Matthews and Hunter Shea!

secret place

Tana French The Secret Place (September 2) from Viking Adult

The Secret Place is the fifth novel in Tana French’s outstanding series of crime novels that focus on the Dublin Murder Squad and this time the focus is on Detective Stephen Moran as he attempts to solve the year-old murder of Chris Harper, armed with little more than a mysterious photo of the victim with the caption “I know who killed him.”

I debated on whether or not to include this book because it comes out right on the borderline of summer and fall, but I had to make an exception for one of my favorite mystery writers! French’s novels are highly addictive reads that are nearly impossible to put down once you start them due to the depth of her characters and absolutely brilliant plot twists. While French’s novels are not classified as horror novels, they usually offer terrifying glimpses  into the real-life horrors that other people are capable of. French also has a tendency to add subtle, creepy additions that would be right at home in a horror novel – Rob Ryan’s mysterious childhood memories in In The Woods and the unidentified noises originating in the Spain’s attic come to mind.

I highly recommend all of French’s novels in the Dublin Murder Squad series and I can’t wait to see what she has in store with The Secret Place!

milkblood

Mark Matthews Milk-Blood (Summer 2014) from Wicked Run Press

Milk-Blood is the upcoming horror novel from Mark Matthews and after reading his heart-pounding novel On The Lips of Children, this quickly became one of my most anticipated reads! Here is a synopsis from the author:

Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can’t stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.

For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly’s true father, and both want their daughter back.“

I read Matthews’ prequel, The Damage Done (available for free on Amazon), and it blends the horrors of addiction with a supernatural element to create a unique and horrifying short story that sets the stage for Milk-Blood, which is sure to be a truly terrifying and gripping read from this extremely talented author.

Hell Hole

Hunter Shea Hell Hole (July 1) from Samhain Publishing

This is the second time Hunter Shea has made my “Most Anticipated Summer Reads” list (The Montauk Monster was listed in Part 1) which isn’t surprising considering the slew of excellent novels he has published.

Hell Hole is the story of New York City Cop Nat Blackburn and his journey to Hecla, Wyoming on a mission from President Theodore Roosevelt. Hecla is an abandoned mining town that draws in explorers and fortune-hunters seeking to recover the supposed gold hidden deep within the depths of the mine, but those who venture into the mine are never heard from again. Nat and his partner Teta arrive in Hecla only to encounter “black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men” lurking within the cave.

I am a bit of a history buff, so Hell Hole’s historical western setting drew me in right away and I can’t wait to sit down and read Hell Hole this summer!