Posts Tagged ‘Samhain Horror’

we are monsters

BOOK INFO

Length: 308 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Release Date: July 7, 2015

I have heard nothing but great things about Brian Kirk’s We Are Monsters from other bloggers and some of my favorite authors, so the hype around this book reached monumental proportions for me. It took me awhile to finally read We Are Monsters, but I can safely say it was definitely worth the wait.

Kirk’s We Are Monsters is a psychological horror story that takes place in the Sugar Hill mental asylum led by two brilliant but very different psychiatrists, Dr. Eli Alpert and Dr. Alex Drexler. Dr. Alpert is plagued by self-doubt and haunted by the demons of his past, events that shape how he interacts with his patients. While he is not opposed to using modern medicines to treat his patients, Dr. Alpert tries to use more humanistic and less invasive approaches whenever possible and treating his patients with dignity and respect. His holistic approach makes him unpopular with the board despite his sterling reputation for helping patients reach high levels of recovery. They see him as stubborn and refusing to adapt to modern times and would rather see him utilize medications more in treatments. Dr. Drexler is more willing to utilize medication in the treatment of his patients. He has been testing an experimental drug in secret without his mentor and boss Dr. Eli Alpert’s knowledge. Dr. Drexler hopes that his drug will be able to cure his patients that are battling mental illness, but his medicine has not been performing up to his standards as of late as he is on his fifth trial patient and his backers in Philax Pharmaceuticals are quickly losing patience. Although he views Dr. Alpert as a mentor, they are often at odds with how to treat patients, which adds tension to their relationship.

The arrival of a new patient known as the “Apocalypse Killer” plunges Sugar Hill into a state of chaos and violence that brings these tensions to the surface. The board of Sugar Hill feels Dr. Alpert is losing control of the hospital, and turn to Dr. Drexler for help. They know all about his secret project and force him to use it on a patient through implied blackmail in an attempt to gain positive press. However, Dr. Drexler’s cure has horrifying side effects that will change the lives of everyone at Sugar Hill forever.

We Are Monsters has a very interesting structure and it is one that readers will either love or hate. Personally, I loved it. A majority of the novel is spent introducing readers to the cast of characters that help give this story life. We learn about their history, their desires, the darkness that haunts them and both major and minor characters are brought to life in an incredibly vivid way. Kirk’s characters are complex and it is in many of these scenes that We Are Monsters truly shines. A great example of this is Dr. Drexler. He comes off initially as a man driven by greed and as being cold considering his early interactions with his wife. However, flashbacks about his relationship with his parents and his schizophrenic brother Jerry show that while he may have faults, he isn’t that easily categorized.

These chapters of character building set up the events that unfold throughout the course of the novel and despite being loaded with flashbacks and switching from various view points, Kirk’s attention to detail and lyrical prose keep the reader hooked and it is never confusing. As a horror fan, I love getting to the parts where things go off the rails and whatever creepy monster, creature or event is finally unveiled in all of its terrifying glory. However, in the case of We Are Monsters, I was just as intrigued by the back story and the events that led to these scenes. I loved this approach because when elements of the supernatural are finally unleashed in the back half of the novel, their impact is that much more visceral.

I don’t want to get too much into the details of  what exactly the effects are of Alex’s drug are because it would ruin the discovery for new readers and that journey is part of what makes We Are Monsters such a great read. I will say that I thought the way Kirk introduces the more supernatural elements of the novel was brilliant and even with the reality-warping events that take place, the explanation for them was fairly plausible.

 I started reading Kirk’s debut with the thought that “Oh, I’ll just read a few chapters to get started”. That plan of attack quickly went out the window as I found myself hooked on We Are Monsters from the very first page. Any time I had to put the book down, I couldn’t wait until I was able to once again immerse myself in the world that Kirk created. I am glad I was able to read We Are Monsters before the end of the year because not only is this one of the most impressive horror debuts I have ever read, I am confident in placing We Are Monsters firmly in the number one spot for the best horror novel of 2015. I was absolutely blown away by the emotional resonance of the novel and the stunning quality of Kirk’s work. One thing is for certain, whether Kirk continues to write exclusively horror or branches out into other genres, I will be first in line to read his works. Regardless of what types of book you like to read, We Are Monsters is a book that belongs on your bookshelf.

Be sure to check out the giveaway below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Brian Kirk’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase We Are Monsters: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Horror or your favorite bookstore!

We Are Monsters tour graphic (1)

Use these hashtags to help spread the word about We Are Monsters! – #WeAreMonsters #asylum #mentalhealth #psychologicalhorror

We Are Monsters Synopsis

The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum. 

He’s the hospital’s newest, and most notorious, patient—a paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side.

Luckily he’s in good hands. Dr. Eli Alpert has a talent for healing tortured souls. And his protégé is working on a cure for schizophrenia, a drug that returns patients to their former selves. But unforeseen side effects are starting to emerge. Forcing prior traumas to the surface. Setting inner demons free.

Monsters have been unleashed inside the Sugar Hill mental asylum. They don’t have fangs or claws. They look just like you or me.

Praise for Brian Kirk

“Keep an eye on Brian Kirk. His ambitious debut, We Are Monsters, is a high-voltage thrill, like watching Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor and Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners on split screens. ” — Jonathan Moore, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Redheads

We Are Monsters is fantastic — a frightening and intense thriller and one hell of a debut novel. I was blown away. Brian Kirk is exactly what readers need — a talented new voice with original, awe-inspiring ideas that can push the genre forward.” 
Brian Keene, best-selling author of Ghoul and The Rising

“Brian Kirk’s debut We Are Monsters is a smart, elaborate novel that weaves together the best and worst of us. Complex, terrifying, and still humane, this book moved me to both horror and compassion, and that’s a difficult thing indeed. Easily the best book I’ve read this year.”  – Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy.

“A tightly woven tale from an author who has a heart, and that makes me excited to see what else Kirk has in store for us. The whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.”  – Ginger Nuts of Horror

“Brian Kirk’s debut novel We Are Monsters is a sure bet. A hippy-trippy jaunt that goes deep into the baser things we keep bottled up… and what happens when they’re freed. Highly recommended!”  – John F.D. Taff, Bram Stoker nominated author of The End In All Beginnings.

“A disturbing, gets-under-your-skin debut novel. I expect to read much more from Kirk in the future.” – Robert Ford, author of The Compound and Samson and Denial.


“Cleverly told. Psychologically complex.” Scarlet’s Web

“A gorgeous display of conceivable terror that resonates long after reading.”  – Ranked as one of the Top Ten Horror Novels of 2015 by Best-Horror-Movies.net

About Brian Kirk

brian kirk

Brian Kirk lives in Atlanta with his beautiful wife and rambunctious identical twin boys. He works as a freelance writer in addition to writing fiction, and is currently working on the second book in a planned trilogy. We Are Monsters is his debut release. Feel free to connect with him online. Don’t worry, he only kills his characters.

See more about Brian at: http://briankirkblog.com/ 

Follow Brian on Facebook and Twitter. He’s found on Twitter at @Brian_Kirk and looks forward to connecting with you.

Giveaway

Click the rafflecopter link below and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Brian Kirk! You can perform several tasks for entering each day here or at each stop that posts the giveaway link. Best of luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI1/?

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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

MattHeadshot

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.

blood-and-rain

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!

blood-and-rain-tour-logo1

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/?

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

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

Out of this World

By Hunter Shea, Author of The Dover Demon

the-dover-demon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

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

Dover Demon tour logo

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

Hunter-loren-museum

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

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

The Dover Demon Info and Synopsis

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

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

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

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

Praise for Hunter Shea

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

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

About Hunter Shea 

hunter-shea-photo

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

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

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

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

Giveaways

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

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

the-dover-demon

BOOK INFO

Length: 242 Pages

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Review copy provided as part of The Dover Demon Blog Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5/5

LINKS

Hunter Shea’s Official Website

Samhain Horror Official Website

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

Dover Demon tour logo

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

Hunter-loren-museum

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

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

 

The Dover Demon Info and Synopsis

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

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

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

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

Praise for Hunter Shea

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

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

 

About Hunter Shea 

hunter-shea-photo

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

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

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

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

 

Giveaways

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

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

 

Today I am happy to welcome back Russell James to The Horror Bookshelf for an interview in support of Q Island (review), which is out now through Samhain Horror. If you are a fan of apocalyptic fiction, this is one book you will definitely want to add to your summer reading list. We talk about Q Island, his upcoming work and horror conventions. A big thank you to Russell for stopping by to answer my questions and to Erin Al-Mehairi of Hook of a Book Media & Publicity for having me on the tour!

Be sure to enter the blog tour giveaway following the interview for a chance to win one of two audiobook copies of Dreamwalker. 

writer's stop1

Thanks for stopping by The Horror Bookshelf Russell, it is nice to have you back!

Thanks for having me back, Rich.

Q: What sort of events helped inspire you to create Q Island?

In 2008 I watched the events that unfolded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina came ashore. Parts of the city were isolated, power out, communications disrupted. The scariest thing was how quickly the structure of society unraveled. Looting seemed to happen instantly. There were stories of people abandoning their public sector jobs to save themselves before others. I remember a nightmare scenario about people in a blacked-out hospital who were too sick to be moved, but caregivers had to evacuate. The Superdome became Hell-on-Earth. This was real life horror on a big scale.

I wondered what would happen on even a bigger scale, in a scenario where there wasn’t the knowledge that eventually, waters would recede and help would arrive. I thought about a quarantine, and hometown Long Island was the perfect candidate. A few bridges, a tunnel and some ferries were all that would kept people from getting out. Pretty easy to contain and all of a sudden millions of people have their own Katrina scenario.

Q: In the acknowledgements you mentioned that you started Q Island a few years ago and shelved the story for awhile. What prompted you to start writing it again and were there any major changes to the story from the initial version?

The world building aspect of the quarantine zone got overwhelming. Is there power and water? Who pays for that when hardly anyone can work? How are the seas sealed off? What about food? How are separated families managing? How quickly would the island run out of gasoline? Cell phone and Internet traffic would swamp the systems. It was just one thing after another, with me double thinking each scene to make sure that whatever the characters were doing would really be doable in that environment. I didn’t think I could keep it all straight for the year it usually takes to write a novel.

Then I read Quarantine by Joe McKinney, about a city in Texas isolated as a plague hot spot. He really pulled off the world-building well. That showed me it was possible, and while I’m no Joe McKinney, I thought I might be able to pull it off.

Q: The last time you stopped by The Horror Bookshelf to talk about Dreamwalker, you described yourself as a “seat-of-the-pants” writer. Q Island has a few different plot points taking place, was it difficult to keep them all moving forward and connected?

There are three plotlines in Q Island. One is Melanie Bailey trying to get her son Aiden safely off the island. The second in Dr. Samuel Bradshaw working with the CDC to find a cure in a makeshift lab at the closed JFK airport. The third is Jimmy Wade, a low-life crook who gets the opportunity to rise to the top of a criminal gang. Eventually, the stories all come together, but they were nearly unrelated in the beginning. I wrote chunks of them separately, then had to sequence the chapters so the stories unfolded in parallel. There was a lot of rearranging and rewriting so that the big picture of when quarantine drops, when supplies get short, when the military intervenes, all happened at the same time for everyone.

In the end, I lost a scene I really liked, where Dr. Bradshaw’s infected wife breeches JFK security. It just didn’t fit anymore.

Q: I loved your creation of the Paleovirus and its ability to infect people in a myriad of ways. Did you have any specific inspiration for the creation of the virus and its spreading mechanisms?

The Paleovirus mutates through its lifespan. Tadpoles into frogs and caterpillars into butterflies are the most well-known physical species transformations. The gender of alligator egg embryos shift in relation to external temperature while they are in the nest. I just took those ideas down to a more cellular level. The spore manifestation let the virus spread much more quickly to accelerate the quarantine timeline.

Q: Speaking of the versatility of the virus and its ability to spread, I also thought the effects that manifested in the victims were pretty unique! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but while the victims display the same symptoms, it also has unique effects on each person. How did you come up with that idea?

It’s evolution. A million dead ends and a few successes. The virus did its last bit of dirty work tens of thousands of years ago on species now extinct. Now that it affects a new species, one with much more genetic diversity, a few outliers on the human genome bell curve will likely react differently. A few people in the story react VERY differently.

Q: The events of Q Island seem like they could take place over a few different books are there any sequels in the works? Possibly learning more about why the virus is so varied among its victims?

I’m 30,000 words into another novel set on Q Island. In this one, one main character, who was trapped off-island when the quarantine fell, has lost contact with his family and has to smuggle himself back in to help them. Life on the island has gotten even worse. The longer people exist without the framework of a moral society, the more depraved the scenario becomes. And it seems like evolution has indeed taken its next tentative step forward.

Q: One of the main characters in Q Island, Aiden, has autism spectrum disorder. What inspired you in creating Aiden’s character? Was it challenging for you to write?

Characters who seem useless or a burden can get very interesting when all of a sudden they are indispensable. People around them sudden realize, “Hey, that kid is a human being after all.” I wanted to have that happen here, and an autistic child is the kind of kid a lot of people just look at as an encumbrance they are glad they do not have to manage.

What did I know about autism? Nothing. But my wife knew it all. She is the principal of a private school for children with learning disabilities, almost all of them low and very low income. She’s had children all along the autism spectrum in her classrooms and worked with each parent on finding what their child needed to be successful. I spent an awful lot of time discussing Aiden’s character with her. The good news is it paid off because I’ve had a number of readers with autistic children tell that the portrayal rang very true.

Q: Put yourself into the shoes of a resident on Q Island. What would your plan be for survival?

It is all about self-sufficiency and security. Those two things are kind of mutually exclusive, because both are full time jobs. So people would have to band together to specialize in tasks. And I’m not trusting any of those crazy people trapped here with me. I’m kind of thinking sailboat, fishing tackle, and lots of firearms. Put some water between me and those Paleovirus victims.

Q: Similar to the previous question, based on a pure survival standpoint, which character of Q Island would you want to form an alliance with in the event of an outbreak?

I’m sticking with Tamara. She’s the kick-ass nurse who takes no crap from anyone and is so cool in an emergency that she can treat herself when she gets stabbed in the eye with a butterfly needle. She has medical skills, and her toughness is well-tempered with the compassion to apply those skills with care.

Q: Your next novel for Samhain is called The Portal and is scheduled for release next June. Is there anything you can tell readers about that?

The Portal is a return to seriously supernatural thrillers.

It seems that there is a device that can open a permanent doorway between Hell and Earth, and the two realities align to make that possible every three hundred years. The Portal is hidden in a small island community off the north Atlantic Coast and Satan has arrived to find it and open it up. Scott Tackett runs the hardware store and discovers a disconcerting family connection to the Portal. Allie Layton has limped home psychologically spent after a flame-out of a Hollywood career. These two former lovers see if they still have any common ground as they try to stop what would certainly be the end of the world. And the bad guys are sure lined up against them.

Q: You are going to be at Scares That Care in a few days. What are some of your favorite things about going to conventions?

I always go to horror cons, and the people are the greatest. Fans there are commonly characterized by non-attendees as sick, twisted weirdoes. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

They are people who love the genre, appreciate a scare, like to peer over into the dark side without actually stepping in. They get into the Halloween spirit out of season and wear some amazing homemade homages to their favorite characters. Everyone is just having a blast.

Now that I’ve been to a few cons more than once, I have returning fans that say how much they liked my last book and are back to buy an inscribed version of my latest release. That is just so amazing. I wrote for years with an audience of one, nearly every author does. When you finally get published, you wonder if the book will connect with people, if readers will enjoy it. Online reviews are a great boost, but inperson reviews can’t be beat.

Thanks again for stopping by The Horror Bookshelf Russell! Is there anything else you would like to let readers know?

A good portion of horror readers cross over into sci-fi. If you are one of them, I’m in several anthologies that benefit Doctors Without Borders. One is space opera, the other two are time travel-themed. You can go to my Amazon page and see all of them. They are under a buck or free through Kindle Unlimited, so give them a try knowing that every cent of the royalties go to Doctors Without Borders the day after the monthly the Amazon deposit happens.

LINKS

Russell James’ Official Website

Samhain Horror Official Website

Add Q Island on Goodreads

Purchase Q Island: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Horror

Q Island tour logo

About Q Island

Q Island is the sixth novel (a novella collection with three other authors makes seven) that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria! He’s also published various other books and short story collections that may be found on Amazon.

It’s an epidemic. An ancient virus is loose on Long Island, NY. Its black-veined victims become sociopathic killers, infecting others through body fluids or a post mortem release of spores. Chaos rules. The island is quarantined.

Melanie Bailey and her autistic son Aiden are trapped. Aiden is bitten, but survives. He might be the key to a cure, if she can escape what the world now calls Q Island. Further east, gang leader Jimmy Wade has also survived infection, and become telepathic with a taste for human flesh.

Wade sets his followers on a search for the immune boy who can make him a god, if only Wade can consume him. A scrappy, one-eyed nurse and a retired pipeline technician agree to help Melanie escape, but it’s a long shot that they can avoid the infected, Wade’s tightening grip and a military ordered to keep everyone on Q Island.

Praise for Russell R. James

“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”

Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”

Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you’re a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”

Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

James fills the novel with compete characters that are easy to care about and cheer for (or against) when appropriate. There is a very strong human element to the novel that allows the reader to sink into the story and become involved in its events.”

The Examiner

Dreamwalker is the first Russell James novel that I have had the pleasure to read and it was an absolute blast! I am definitely looking forward to exploring his previous and upcoming works. There is something for everyone in this novel – action, horror, fantasy and a hint of romance. Highly recommended!”

The Horror Bookshelf

“This could very well be the best horror novel of the year.”

Examiner on Q Island

About Russell James

Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has several horror short story collections, including Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, as well as some science fiction collections. Now, Q Island, released July 7, 2015 and he’s already under contract for his next book for 2016.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at rrj@russellrjames.com.

Giveaway

Rafflecoper giveaway for two audiobook copies of Dreamwalker. Two winners will each win one code for a free audio book, open everywhere. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends August 31, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Rafflecopter Code to Enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b19/?

 

 

QIsland

BOOK INFO

Length: 327 Pages

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Release Date: July 7, 2015

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of blog tour

Earlier this year I reviewed Russell James’ Dreamwalker, a book about the dreamwalker Pete and his struggle to save the real world and the dream world from the evil presence of Jean St. Croix.  It was the first novel of Russell’s that I read and I had an absolute blast following Pete’s adventures. What I liked about the novel besides a unique premise, was James’ ability to create interesting characters and the impressive world-building that went into Twin Moon City. It was through Dreamwalker that I became a fan of James’ work and when I heard he was releasing a book about an ancient virus epidemic, I knew I had to give it a read!

In Q Island, an ancient virus that was entombed below a sheet of ice for thousands of years has been unleashed across Long Island and has plunged the city into chaos. Those who are infected with the virus develop black veins and an insatiable desire to kill and cause destruction in their path. The virus manifests itself much like the flu in some ways with fever, bloodshot eyes, headaches, red streaks on the skin and dark veins. The virus turns the infected incredibly violent and they can achieve superhuman strength for brief periods of time. The disease sends people into a hyper violent mode in order to better spread the disease.

As the island begins to descend into complete chaos and insanity, the government quarantines the island in an effort to keep the virus in check which traps Melanie Bailey and her autistic son Aiden on the island. Despite numerous close calls and deadly run-ins with the infected, Aiden is able to survive the infection. He may be the key to curing the Paleovirus, but only if Melanie and her friends are able to get him off the island.

On the other side of the island, Jimmy Wade is embracing the changes on Q Island. Before the outbreak of the Paleovirus, Jimmy was just a scrawny, small-time criminal who was at the mercy of mobster Madman Mozelle. Now, Jimmy has risen through the ranks of the underworld to lead a gang seeking to rule Q Island. He has survived the infection of the virus, but becomes increasingly violent and has a penchant for feasting on the brains of his victims. When he learns of Aiden’s ability to survive the virus, he launches a manhunt to track him down. Jimmy believes consuming his brain will make him immortal. As Jimmy begins closing in on Melanie and Aiden, they must rely on each other and their allies in an attempt to escape Q Island.

There is a large cast of characters in Q Island and James is able to weave their individual plot-lines together flawlessly into a compulsively readable story. Whether you are reading about Melanie and Aiden’s struggle to survive, Jimmy Wade’s violent rise as a criminal warlord or Dr. Bradshaw’s quest for answers about the Paleovirus, each story-line is riveting and there is not a dull moment to be found in the entirety of Q Island.

My favorite thing about Q Island is the unique creation of the virus. I have read a ton of apocalyptic fiction where a virus gets out and it usually spreads much like you would expect, through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. James’ Paleovirus, however, is a nasty creation that has multiple ways of spreading. I don’t want to spoil it, but I’ll just say that even if you are able to survive the superhuman psychopaths roaming the streets that are infected by the virus, you better hope you aren’t in the area after you take one down!

Not only did I enjoy the way the virus was developed, but I thought James’ portrayal of the infected was unique and pretty terrifying. When I originally read the synopsis for Q Island months ago, I thought that the virus was going to more or less turn people into zombies. While I wouldn’t have minded that approach, I was pleasantly surprised that James’ decided to go in a different direction with this book. While the virus transforms them into bloodthirsty maniacs who are technically dead, they do not lose all of their human attributes. They are still aware of their actions and have the ability to develop strategies and work in teams, which is what makes them so lethal.

Q Island was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I am happy to say it was everything I hoped it would be. It is full of great characters that you can’t help but root for (well, except for Jimmy) and offers plenty of action-packed scenes that will thrill fans of just about any genre. If you are have an interest in apocalyptic fiction, Q Island is an essential addition to your reading list!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a chance to win one of two audiobook copies of Dreamwalker, courtesy of Russell James and Hook of a Book Media & Publicity

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Russell James’ Official Website

Samhain Horror Official Website

Add Q Island on Goodreads

Purchase Q Island: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Horror

Q Island tour logo

About Q Island

Q Island is the sixth novel (a novella collection with three other authors makes seven) that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria! He’s also published various other books and short story collections that may be found on Amazon.

It’s an epidemic. An ancient virus is loose on Long Island, NY. Its black-veined victims become sociopathic killers, infecting others through body fluids or a post mortem release of spores. Chaos rules. The island is quarantined.

Melanie Bailey and her autistic son Aiden are trapped. Aiden is bitten, but survives. He might be the key to a cure, if she can escape what the world now calls Q Island. Further east, gang leader Jimmy Wade has also survived infection, and become telepathic with a taste for human flesh.

Wade sets his followers on a search for the immune boy who can make him a god, if only Wade can consume him. A scrappy, one-eyed nurse and a retired pipeline technician agree to help Melanie escape, but it’s a long shot that they can avoid the infected, Wade’s tightening grip and a military ordered to keep everyone on Q Island.

Praise for Russell R. James

“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”

Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”

Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you’re a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”

Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

James fills the novel with compete characters that are easy to care about and cheer for (or against) when appropriate. There is a very strong human element to the novel that allows the reader to sink into the story and become involved in its events.”

The Examiner

Dreamwalker is the first Russell James novel that I have had the pleasure to read and it was an absolute blast! I am definitely looking forward to exploring his previous and upcoming works. There is something for everyone in this novel – action, horror, fantasy and a hint of romance. Highly recommended!”

The Horror Bookshelf

“This could very well be the best horror novel of the year.”

Examiner on Q Island

About Russell James

writer's stop1

Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has several horror short story collections, including Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, as well as some science fiction collections. Now, Q Island, released July 7, 2015 and he’s already under contract for his next book for 2016.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at rrj@russellrjames.com.

Giveaway

Rafflecoper giveaway for two audiobook copies of Dreamwalker. Two winners will each win one code for a free audio book, open everywhere. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends August 31, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Rafflecopter Code to Enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b19/?

Today I am happy to have Samhain Horror author Glenn Rolfe on The Horror Bookshelf for an interview in support of his delightfully creepy alien novella Boom Town (review). Glenn talks about his writing, punk rock, being a part of the Samhain Horror family, his upcoming releases and a ton of other cool stuff! Also, if you happened to miss it the first time around, Glenn was kind enough to share a brand new story titled “The Astronauts” last week that you definitely don’t want to miss!

A huge thanks to Glenn for stopping by to answer my questions and to Erin Al-Mehairi of Hook of a Book Media & Publicity for inviting me to participate on this blog tour!

Glenn Author Photo

Hey Glenn! Before we get started, I just wanted to thank you for stopping by The Horror Bookshelf!

Glad to be here, man. Thanks you so much for having me.

You write songs and act as the front man for a punk rock band called The Never Nudes. How did you first get involved in punk rock bands?

I started playing and singing in bands back in 1997. That band was called The Skin Flutes (we were a 3-piece). We started off with original tunes right off the bat. We did two albums which you can still find on bandcamp for free! https://theskinflutes.bandcamp.com/

I’ve been in and out of bands ever since. The Never Nudes came along a couple of years ago after I started writing. We’ve actually just called it quits. Lack of time and arranging schedules is too hard.

It was all fun, man. I used to sing Green Day and Rancid tunes all the time. One of my friends heard me and said I should sing in his band. That was the start.

The punk rock community has a long history of Do-it-yourself ethics and there are a lot of parallels with how that could be influential to a writer. Has that carried into your work as an author and what lessons have you learned from it?

Oh yeah. 100%. We used to walk through the crowds selling cassette tapes that we manufactured in my crappy apartment. Spray painted t-shirts, too. You learned to push your art. It’s never easy to walk up to someone who has no idea who the hell you are and ask them to buy your work for $3. Who knew I’d be doing that very same thing with my eBooks 17 years later! But yeah, I developed the tough skin needed to keep alive in this business. And a cool book cover can be as effective as a great album cover. Then there’s the whole word of mouth, grass-roots movement that bands and authors have to do at the start. There are a lot of things the correlate between the two.

Does music play a big part in your writing? Do you have any artists you like to listen to while writing?

Music almost always plays into my writing. I can’t tell you how many times a random tune comes through my headphones and works itself into my story. Off the top of my head…I know Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is in the novel I’m working on now. It came on while I was in this scene and it just fit perfectly. I had to add it in.

And my first novella, Abram’s Bridge, pulls its name and inspiration from a Bruce Springsteen song.

How did you make the transition from a musician into writing fiction? What inspired you to finally go for it?

Well, punk rock isn’t what it used to be. People moved and I started a family. I lost my job in 2010 when the hotel I worked at closed. After a couple of months at home, I needed some sort of outlet. I had chicken-scratched a couple of horrible short stories in a notebook in the early 2000’s, but it wasn’t until I typed up something fresh during that jobless time that something sparked. I shared this short piece with some horror friends on Facebook and they wanted to know what happened next. They cheered me on until I had a sixty thousand word novel. I haven’t stopped since.

What drew you into the world of horror and what is your favorite thing about the genre?

I was always being subjected to creepy movies from my older brother. He would use them to scare the piss out of me. The Howling, Maximum Overdrive, A Nightmare on Elm Street… something about that powerful, resonating emotion—that fear—stuck with me. It definitely got me into reading. The bass player from The Skin Flutes gave me Stephen King’s The Dark Half and I was hooked.

My favorite thing about horror is how much you can do with it. To me, with horror, you can do almost anything any other genre can do–love, mystery, fantasy, drama, heartbreak– plus you can scare the crap out of people. You can push every button the reader has.

What is a typical day of writing like for you?

I’m usually writing blogs or reviews during the week. I do the majority of my fiction writing on my two overnight shifts at the hotel I work at now. I get three or four hours to sit with my laptop and go. Making time during the week for fiction writing is freaking hard. I have three kiddos that like to keep my attention.

When I do write, I almost always have music playing in the background. And I will use certain bands to set the mood. Danzig gets a lot of play. Bruce, hair metal, and whatever comes across the old shuffle.

Samhain Horror is one of my favorite Horror publishers. How did you end up connecting with them to release your work?

I tracked down Don D’Auria. He was the mastermind behind the Leisure Books horror line. I found out he was brought on to handle duties for Samhain and just targeted him. He was the only guy I really wanted to work with. Those LB titles were instrumental in making me want to become a writer. Abram’s Bridge was my most refined piece and Don loved it enough to offer me a contract.

Samhain Horror authors seem to be pretty supportive of each other. How has this helped you as a writer?

I just tackled this in a guest post last week for fellow Samhain author, Tamara Jones [in] “We’re a Happy Family”. And it is so true. Everybody is here for each other. I was fortunate to connect with guys like Jonathan Janz, Russell James, and Ronald Malfi while I was still honing my craft. Hell, I’m still fine tuning this thing. But even before I was on the Samhain roster, these guys were giving me advice and rooting for me. I felt like getting that first contract validated their time and faith in me. That first round of welcomes moved me.

I try to return that faith and encouragement. I try to pay it forward. I think we all do. It is a pretty special group. I’m honored to be a part of it.

You have mentioned in other interviews that you don’t really outline or plot out your novels, but instead take a more spontaneous approach. What are some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages to that approach?

The advantage is you are learning what happens as it happens. Hopefully that translates to the readers surprise of what happens next. How can the reader know what’s coming if I don’t?

On the flip flop, I’m driving blind and can run into dead ends. But since no one sees that, I am able to delete and try again. I’m not afraid to fail or crash and burn in a story. You can always go back and try again. I can usually tell when it feels off.

Your debut novel The Haunted Halls started out as a serial work on Jukepop. What was the experience like? Would you try this style again?

It was good and bad. It gave me The Haunted Halls, but it was difficult. You had to write a chapter, edit it, and throw it up live. Once it was live, you could not edit it. They have since changed that. My ugliest mistake that I could not get down—Chevy Mustang. Yep, I like to say it was an alternate universe, but writing while you’ve been awake all night sometimes causes brain cramps. That was my big one.

I wouldn’t do it again. It takes time and commitment. I wouldn’t be able to do that now. If you are just starting out though it’s a good way to learn how to make a story that pulls people along. I think that was the best thing that came out of the experience for me. If you are writing and posting one chapter at a time, you learn to make sure that that each chapter makes people have to read the next. That’s something I see as a common thread pointed out by the reviews of my work so far. People can’t put the story down. That was my A+ in Jukepop 101.

The Ice Queen is one of the most original antagonists I have come across in quite awhile! How did you get the idea for her abilities?

I work at a hotel. The idea came to me there. I thought of all the things that would make my skin crawl and gave those abilities to her. I’m sure there is movie and novel influences in there, too. But yeah, she was a lot of fun to work with. I had goose bumps at three thirty in the morning numerous times. That’s how I knew I was doing something right with her.

Abram’s Bridge originated as an idea for a ghost story for your writing group. Do you still participate in the same group and if so, how has it helped you with your writing?

The Tuesday Mayhem Society. Yeah, there a bunch of great people, friendly as hell and just as twisted! I still get with them some, but not as much. Again, it’s a matter of time. I just can’t get there.

While Abram’s Bridge definitely shares the same voice as your other works, it is a little bit different in terms of style. What was it like exploring a different side of your writing?

Fun. I have to thank Mercedes Yardley for that. I read her collection, Beautiful Sorrows, and was blown away by her style and the things she dared to do and places she went with her horror. Sweet Kate would not have been who she was if Mercedes hadn’t opened that door for me.

Ronald Malfi’s Floating Staircase made an impression on me that I think bled into Abram’s Bridge, as well. The obvious line is that they are both ghost story/mysteries, but the atmosphere Malfi created in his novel, I definitely tried to re-create that a bit in my novella.

Boom Town is based on actual reports of underground booms in Wisconsin. What is the scariest true alien encounter you have ever come across?

I always point to the abduction story of Travis Walton. Whether you believe it or not. The movie, Fire in the Sky, has the scariest scene ever for an alien flick. When Travis is having flashbacks to what the aliens did to him…that gets every time. It’s one of my nightmares.

I loved the portrayal of the alien presence as a mysterious ooze. What inspired you to take that route as opposed to relying on more traditional entities?

Ah, the ooze. In the first draft it was more like the ectoplasm in Ghostbusters 2. But that just didn’t feel right to me. I wanted an alien connection and I just didn’t have the balls to go for it. I thought, “I’m a horror writer, I can’t write science fiction…” But once I got over the fear and added the opening scene and then the closing scene, the rest of the story fell into place and worked like I wanted it to. I had it in me and didn’t even realize it.

You’re upcoming Samhain novel Blood and Rain has been in the works for some time in various forms. What has the process been like re-working that?

Oh my. Blood and Rain, the first draft, was the first novel I wrote, the one I showed a couple of Facebook friends. It was much more Laymon-esque in its original form, but way less well-written. I sent it to an editor. He fixed all of my horrible writing issues, but the story was still less than good. I tweaked it and shopped it a few times. It was rejected by three or four indie presses including Don and Samhain thankfully! Yes, I’m glad no one took it. After Samhain took Boom Town, Don asked me when I could deliver a novel. I love the characters and the main story in Blood and Rain and I wasn’t ready to give up on it. I called upon two of my most honest and well-read friends to help me re-shape the novel. My best friend, Ben, kicked my ass. He told me if something sucked, or asked why a character would do this? I ended up re-writing about 50-60 percent of the last version I had. I had Erin (Al-Mehairi) clean it up and sent it to Don. Mind you, did all of those major re-writes over a four-week period last summer. It was intense, but the results were perfect. And Don agreed.

What was your inspiration for Blood and Rain?

Well, like I said, my brother showed me The Howling. He showed me Silver Bullet. He always seemed keen to werewolves. That rubbed off on me. One of my favorite werewolf bits is actually the beginning of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. That scared the hell out of me as a kid. That was done by the same guy who did An American Werewolf in London. After writing a couple terrible short stories, I started this werewolf bit. It started growing past my comfort zone. I remember thinking, “this is a novel”. I stopped, but I kept that notebook. I saved this story. When I started writing for real in 2011, this is what I knew I had to write.

I get my kids howling at full moons. It is hilarious. Plus, look at my name– “Rolfe: The unusual English surname Rolfe derives ultimately from the Old Scandinavian and Germanic pre 5th century personal name “Hrodwulf“. This was composed of the elements “hrod“, meaning “renown”, and “wulf“, a wolf.” [Source: Wikipedia]

It seems it was only a matter of time.

What horror novel has had the biggest impact on you as a writer and who are some of your favorite current writers?

Biggest impact: ‘Salem’s Lot. I kind of think Blood and Rain is my werewolf answer to ‘Salem’s Lot. I’m no Stephen King, but this is special.

For current writers out there…Ronald Malfi, Hunter Shea, Brian Moreland, I loved Jonathan Maberry’s Pine Deep Trilogy. A couple of writers I just got into last year that I really dig would be Adam Cesare and Todd Keisling. I could fill this list with Samhain authors. If Don gives them the thumbs up, that’s good enough for me.

If you could choose any writer to collaborate with, who would you choose and why?

Outside of King, who I’m sure I could share any idea with and he would make it amazing. I think I’d love to do something with Ronald Malfi. I love his style so much. I think we could make something deep and beautiful.

Horror writers are generally big fans of the genre as well. What sort of horror novel have you always wanted to see that has not really been explored?

Personally, I like what’s out there now. I like the classics. I like seeing someone drip their DNA into a “tired” trope. It’s like music, man. There are only so many chords and chord progressions that work, ya know? It’s what the individual has inside of them that makes their take special.

What other works are you currently working on?

I have two novels close to finished: Becoming and Window. Then I have a new untitled novella underway and plan on putting out my second short fiction collection, The World Comes Down, in the first half of 2016.

Thanks for stopping by The Horror Bookshelf Glenn, I am definitely excited to read your upcoming works!

Thanks again, Rich. My pleasure.

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About Glenn Rolfe

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 ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM’S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, Jan. 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN (Samhain Publishing). A full-length novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, will come out this Fall from Samhain Publishing and THINGS WE FEAR, a novella, is set to publish from Samhain in 2016.

His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).

Look for his punk rock band, The Never Nudes, on Amazon and Facebook.
Check out his website: www.glennrolfe.com

About Boom Town

BoomTown

Terror from below!

In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.

Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

Reviews for Boom Town

“…Stephen King-lite. (Boom Town) is quick, punchy and goes places you may not see coming before the final page is swiped or turned.”Horror After Dark

“Boom Town is quick and entertaining read that harkens back to the 1980’s brand of small town (or intimate invasion) alien pieces. Like a readers digest version of Late Night Horror Television presentations (every region had one, for me it was “Fright Night Theatre”) of “Invaders From Mars”, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Night of the Creeps” or “Xtro”Zachary, Mouths of Madness Podcast

Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!Hunter Shea, author of Island of the Forbidden and The Montauk Monster

Add on GoodReads

Purchase Boom Town:

Amazon

Samhain Horror

Barnes and Noble

theluciferglass

BOOK INFO

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Length: 57 Pages

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

Daniel Gates is known as a “fixer”, someone who uses a variety of skills in order to collect obscure artifacts for his clients. He recently completed a high stakes mission in obtaining a a mirror made from human bone for a powerful corporation and is set to collect his payday before he is offered another job – travel to an obscure Scottish distillery to obtain a large bottle of mysterious whisky known as The Zero Malt. Gates is unable to turn down the offer with the promise of quadrupling his fee and having his history wiped clean with new papers.

Gates boards a train to Scotland and with plenty of time to kill and daydreams about calling it a career after this one more job swirling around his head. He decides to take a peek at the package given to him by Rothschild to use in exchange for more of The Zero Malt. The book is a custom leather-bound book that bears the marking “Choronzon’s Grimoire” and is filled with handwritten script that details the history of numerous occult objects and is full of indecipherable drawings. It is here that Gates discovers the true meaning of the mirror he handed over to Rothschild.

Gates loses the book on his travels but decides to take the meeting anyway, hoping he can salvage the deal with some smooth words and a more enticing offer. When he arrives on the island of the famed distillery, he is stunned by what he finds. Abandoned on the island with no way back, Gates has no choice but to try to make a deal. The distillery is seemingly empty, but Gates can’t shake the feeling that someone or something is watching him. What follows is a fever dream of events that finds Gates struggling for survival as he is plagued by horrifying visions that make him question his sanity.

Gates is an interesting character, a suave confident jack of all trades who has connections to black market items. He is a shadow, someone who manages to get his business cards to potential clients at just the right time. The air of mystery around him is what immediately draws the reader in, but what makes him standout is his very realistic portrayal. He has very real faults and has made numerous mistakes throughout his life and career. Despite his professional reputation and the things that he has undoubtedly seen, he also doesn’t seem to have all the answers. He finds himself in very real danger and at times you begin to see a vulnerability appear in him.

Lee is a supreme talent when it comes to building a sense of atmosphere and that is evident not only in The Lucifer Glass, but his other works as well. His writing is detailed and full of rich imagery that engages all the senses and helps immerse readers in the worlds that he creates. The novella format works extremely well for The Lucifer Glass, creating a fast-paced read that quickly drops the reader into a world of psychological horrors. While certain aspects of the story seemed to be a bit confusing at times, I thought The Lucifer Glass was a fun read and I think it will appeal to those who enjoy occult-based horror. Lee has at least another two books planned in the Daniel Gates universe, but I hope the stories continue well beyond that!

Rating: 4/5

LINKS

Frazer Lee’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase The Lucifer Glass on Amazon

abramsbridge

BOOK INFO

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Length: 85 Pages

Release Date: January 6, 2015

There is no better feeling than discovering a fresh new voice and that is what happened when I first found the work of Glenn Rolfe a year ago. Going into Abram’s Bridge, I may have been a bit biased as to what I expected. Rolfe’s debut, The Haunted Halls, was a scary as hell novel filled with supernatural horrors and violence and I expected a bit of that style to seep through the pages of this novella, but I was surprised to find this novella was a bit different.

Make no mistake, Abram’s Bridge has its fair share of violence and evil, but this time around it manifests itself in the flesh and blood characters and relies more on tension and evil lurking in the hearts of its characters than it does on any supernatural entity. While there is plenty of Rolfe’s trademark style evident throughout, Abram’s Bridge is a bit of a departure for Rolfe and finds him blending a much more atmospheric element and beauty into his work that shows his versatility as an author. A touching coming of age story that featured a heartbreaking ending that literally had me screaming “No!” in disbelief as the events surrounding Lil Ron’s investigation into Sweet Kate’s death finally reached their conclusion.

I love all of Glenn’s work, but this is by far his best in my opinion. Definitely an early contender for the year’s best novella and I expect you will see this on a lot of “Best of” lists at the end of 2015.

Rating: 5/5

LINKS

Glenn Rolfe’s Official Website

Samhain Horror’s Official Website

Purchase Abram’s Bridge: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain or your favorite bookstore!