REVIEW: Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea

montauk monster headshot

Hunter Shea has definitely become one of my favorite authors. Prior to last year, I had never read any of his works. I started at the beginning of 2014 with his fantastic novella, The Waiting (Samhain Publishing). I followed that with Sinister Entity (Samhain Publishing) and then with his Pinnacle debut, The Montauk Monster.  The man has his own style. It’s simple, yet well-written, stories that flow with ease. Mr. Shea graciously walks you through adventure and mystery, all the while, tickling the hairs on the nape of your neck and filling the pit of your guts with lead.

It’s this “I’m your friend who just might make you wanna sleep with the lights on” relationship the author builds with us that keeps us comfortable, but not too comfortable, and on our toes throughout his work.  I find that an extremely admirable ability.


Hunter Shea’s latest novel, Island of the Forbidden (Samhain, 2015), is another perfect example of the writer’s easy-access style. Island… is actually the third in a series of novels (all released from Samhain Publishing) and follows the two central characters from its predecessor, Sinister Entity. No worries if you haven’t read Sinister Entity, or the first novel, Forest of Shadows. I’ve told you, Hunter Shea is willing to take your hand. You can step into any of these three novels and not be lost or have that feeling that you’ve missed something. This is intentional. Hunter has stated in a few different interviews that it is something that he is very cognizant about. He gives just enough backdrop to fill you in without overwhelming you with the entire backstory. Like I said, I read Sinister Entity (book 2 in the series) and felt like it was a complete standalone novel. Island of the Forbidden is the same way.

This story follows Jessica and Eddie from the last novel. Jessica is trying to distance herself from Eddie because when they’re together, their two gifts are too powerful, too overwhelming. After the events with a powerful spirit the two faced together in New Hapshire, Jess is compelled to run from her gifts, her family, and her friends; Eddie also ends up disappearing into his own defeated world. But when three mysterious and beautiful spirits start showing up everywhere Eddie goes, saying Perfect, not perfect, Eddie starts to realize there’s something calling him. He is contacted and told of a family and their children who need his and Jessica’s help. He manages to track down Jessica and convince her to come back.  She resists at first, but ultimately, it’s the safety of the children involved in this new mystery that pulls her back into working with Eddie.

Ormsby Island is home to a legacy of death and bizarre happenings. The last of the Ormsby men is dead, and the small island and its glorious home, remain uninhabited. Except for the ghosts.  A young couple and their two children purchase the home (and its land), but get more than they bargain for.

Hunter Shea puts together a terrific cast of characters and builds this amazing story around a sinister family and their deplorable past. You will want to fight some of these people yourself! I know I did. There’s ghosts, there’s mystery, there’s some soft hearted moments, and there’s a boat load of suspense! This one is definitely worth reading. Go grab a copy today in Print or eBook from Samhain Publishing.

I give it 4 and ½ out of 5 stars!

For much more on Hunter Shea and Island of the Forbidden check out the info below.

Island of the forbidden tour logo

Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea continues the story of Jessica Bockman, the ghost-hunting heroine who has appeared in Forest of Shadows, The Graveyard Speaks and Sinister Entity, all published by Samhain Horror.

To read more about the series and Jessica Bockman, read Hunter’s recent article.

Island of the Forbidden Synopsis

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?




Enter to win one of five Hunter Shea books being given away! Two signed copies of Montauk Monster, one signed copy of Sinister Entity, and two e-books of choice of his titles are up for grabs! One book to each winner, given in order of random drawing. Enter to win at the Rafflecopter link. Must use valid email that winners can be contacted by. Print books are U.S. residents only. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Any questions, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at


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Purchase Links



Samhain Horror:

Barnes and Noble:

Raves for Hunter Shea

Forest of Shadows

“A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” —Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity

“This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don’t get much better than this.” —Literal Remains

“. . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!” —Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal

“Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare.” –Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre

“If you’re craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!” —Horror Novel Reviews

Hunter Shea, Biography

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity,  HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror.

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

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

Preliminary Stoker Nomination News and More

The preliminary ballot for this years Bram Stoker nominees came out this week and I was happy to find out that two books that I’m included in have made that list. This doesn’t mean either will make it through to the final ballot, but it is still pretty cool.

In the non-fiction catagory:  Horror 101: The Way Forward  (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2014) 

This one features a TON of authors and editors, etc.  The eBook edition contained the interview I conducted with Leisure Books/Samhain Horror maestro, Don D’Auria.


Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

The second book that made the prelim ballot is in the Anthology category: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction (Pleasant Storm Entertainment, INC, 2014)

This one is edited by Terry M. West and features a ton of great writers and one of my freakier pieces, “Killing Jessica”.


It would be cool to make the final ballot, but this is still rad, too.

On the downside, my debut novel, The Haunted Halls (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014) was ineligible, because I had self-published pieces of it in 2013.  😦   Oh well, you live and learn.

HH Promo

Another thing that surprised me was the lack of consideration for any of the stellar Samhain Horror titles from 2014. The company (yes, they happen to be my publisher)  released a ton of terrific novels and novellas that I believe should have appeared….somewhere on the Stoker lists.

Releases from Adam Cesare, Jonathan Janz, Hunter Shea, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Catherine Cavendish, John Everson, David Bernstein, Eric Red, Matt Manochio, and many, many others all went unsung. That’s some sort of shame.

I proclaim 2015 the year of the SAMHAIN ARMY!   We will make our presence known!

Let’s get the word out starting NOW. Click the logo and grab some great horror.


UPDATES: Ascension Agenda, Becoming, Things We Fear, plus reviews, interviews, and Cons


First off, I want to thank everyone who has purchased, read, reviewed, or shared my debut novella, Abram’s Bridge. It has certainly been an exciting couple of weeks since its release. I am extremely proud of this story, and judging by the flood of reviews, so are you guys, so thanks! My newest review came courtesy of one of my favorite horror authors out there today, Mr. Hunter Shea:  READ HUNTER’S REVIEW 

This year I will be aiming to make it to three conventions: Horror Hound Weekend (in Cincinnati, OH, Late March), World Horror Convention/Bram Stoker Awards (in Atlanta, GA-Early May), and AnthoCon (in Portsmouth, NH, June). Like I said, that’s the plan…


I will be tightening up my next novel, BECOMING, with hopes to share it with my editor in March. I will also be sending him my finished novella, THINGS WE FEAR. The piece I’m most excited about right now is my Horror/Sci-Fi follow-up to BOOM TOWN (my next Samhain novella-April 7th). I started ASCENSION AGENDA a couple weeks ago, and I am loving it!

I will also be finishing up my fourth novel, WINDOW. The goal is to have TWF and BECOMING subbed by March. WINDOW by June and AA toward the end of 2015/early 2016.  Those are pretty lofty goals with all I have to do, but if I have to push them back, I will. I don’t want to just put out a bunch of books. I want to put out a bunch of really good books. That’s my promise to you guys, you’re putting in the time to read these tales, the least I can do is give each and every one the time they deserve to make them the best I can.

Coming up on the blog….

I will be re-posting the interview I did with Russell James over on I’ll be posting a few select reviews of things I’ve read the last couple months, endorsements if you will, and you may see a few more of my Samhain Horror friends popping up here with guest spots.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite jams right now…Cheers!

We’re on the Eve of Destruction: January Horror from Samhain Horror…Cool as Hell

island-of-the-forbiddenthe-nightmare-girldreamwalkerAB SAM

Hell yes! Samhain Horror unleashes new Hunter Shea, new Jonathan Janz, and new Russell James all on the same DAY!

January 6, 2015.  I’ve read Russell James’s Dreamwalker (Awesome! My interview with Russell will be up on on Wednesday, my review will follow next week). I just started Hunter’s Island of the Forbidden (so far, so good), and will be ordering Janz’s The Nightmare Girl tomorrow from Barnes and Noble.

Just a little sidetrack here…After following some messages between readers and authors recently, I came up with a plan. Maybe we can al jumpp on board with this. Here me out.  All Samhain titles can be stocked (though they usually are not) and ordered at your local Barnes and Noble store. My thinking is that all of you horror readers out there who love paperbacks make the trip to the B and N nearest you and place all of your Samhain purchases through them, maybe we can get horror authors outside of King and Koontz some love in their stores. It might not work, but I’m willing to try. I hope you will consider it, as well.

And of course the fourth Samhain release is my debut novella, Abram’s Bridge. I’m honored to be included in this amazing January line-up.  Thanks Samhain, thanks to our wonderful leader, Mr. Don D’Auria, and congrats to all my fellow January release buds.

Check the new releases out below and click on the covers to place your orders!  Or you can go order them tomorrow at the book store!


Playing with fire has never been more dangerous. 

When family man Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler, he has no idea of the chain reaction he’s setting in motion. How could he suspect the young mother is part of an ancient fire cult, a sinister group of killers that will destroy anyone who threatens one of its members? When the little boy is placed in a foster home, the fanatics begin their mission of terror.

Soon the cult leaders will summon their deadliest hunters—and a ferocious supernatural evil—to make Joe pay for what he’s done. They want Joe’s blood and the blood of his family. And they want their child back.


metimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?


Two realities. One hope.

What if you lived in two worlds, and could die in either?  Pete Holm can. He is a dreamwalker, able to travel to the realm of dreams, including the devastated world of Twin Moon City, where an evil voodoo spirit holds living souls in terror with his army of the walking dead.

In the waking world, drug lord Jean St. Croix knows only the power of the dreamwalker can stop him, so St. Croix vows Pete must die.

Pete is the only hope to rescue the lost souls in Twin Moon City…unless St. Croix kills him first. Can anyone survive when two realities collide?


There is a darkness in this town, and it’s buried beneath Abram’s Bridge.

When Lil Ron meets Sweet Kate under Abram’s Bridge he is mesmerized. And when he realizes this beautiful girl is a ghost, it frightens him, but also draws him to her. Curiosity and a drive to make things right lead Lil Ron into a tangle of small-town secrets involving his own father and other members of this otherwise quiet community. Bit by bit, he will uncover the truth about Sweet Kate, a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.

Samhain Horrror

For more on these new releases check out these new interviews:

Glenn Rolfe talks Abram’s Bridge

Jonathan Janz talks The Nightmare Girl

What I read in 2014 –I Aimed for 45 books, but ended up reading 82!


A few years ago, just as I started writing, I saw Brian Keene blog a list of what he read that year. There were 100 titles. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe that that was possible. I always hoped to read between 12 and and 24….

This yea, I set my goal on Goodreads for 45. A nice, high number (for me). Well, thanks in part to the explosion of novellas, I managed to read 82 books this year! Some were short, some not so short. I started and couldn’t finish 3 books that I thought were awful. They are not listed here.

Here is my “read” list for 2014. I highlighted my favorites. You can check out my reviews here: Glenn’s Reading Challenge

Black-Max Booth III

Black and Orange-Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Professional Detachment or The Eternal-T. Fox Dunham

Gripped  -Jason Donnelly

Punk Rock Dad –Jim Lindberg

Radio Free Nowhere- Todd Keisling

Namesless: The Darkness Comes- Mercedes m. Yardley

A Requiem for Dead Flies- Peter N. Dudar

Bunnicula- James Howe

When Karen Met Her Mountain- Todd Keisling

Netherworld- Lisa Morton

Dust Devils- Jonathan Janz

Galvaston-Nic Pizzolatto

Habeas Corpse- Nikki Hopeman

Saving Granny from the Devil-Todd Keisling

Dead of Winter- Brian Moreland

Piercing the Veil- Mason Bundschuh

If it Bleeds-Darryl Dawson

Federales- Christopher Irwin

The Harbinger-Todd Keisling

The Nightcrawler-Mick Ridgewell

Things Slip Through-Kevin Lucia

The Indie Journey-Scott Nicholson

Three Graves Full-Jamie Mason

The Waiting-Hunter Shea

Throttle-Stephen King and Joe Hill

NOS4A2-Joe Hill

Cradle Lake-Ronald Malfi

Pride-Chantal Noordeloos

To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

The Stranger-Albert Camus

Dark Vengeance-Russell James

Decoration Day-Vic Kerry

Red-Jack Ketchum

Sinister Entity-Hunter Shea

The Vagrants-Brian Moreland

Hero-Wrath James White and J.F. Gonzales

Toxicity-Max Booth III

Devourer of Souls-Kevin Lucia

Relic of Death-David Bernstein

The Montauk Monster-Hunter Shea

The Sorrows-Jonathan Janz

Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit-Lucy A. Snyder

The Dude Abides-Alex Belth

Fairy-Shane McKenzie

Deep Like the River-Tim Waggoner

Off Season-Jack Ketchum

The Beast House-Richard Laymon

Exorcist Road- Jonathan Janz

Heroin in the Now-Terry M. West

The Summer Job-Adam Cesare

A Beautiful Madness-Lee Thompson

Hot in December-Joe R. Lansdale

Crooked House-Joe McKinney

Pretty Little Dead Girls-Mercedes M. Yardley

The Plasm-William Meikle

Conduits-Jennifer Loring

The Running Man- Stephen King

Last of the Albatwitches-Brian Keene

The Halloween Tree-Ray Bradbury

The Halloween Man-Douglas Clegg

Linden Manor-Catherine Cavendish

Tribesmen-Adam Cesare

The Dark Servant-Matt Manochio

Dark Harvest-Norman Partridge

The Exiled-William Meikle

House of Skin-Jonathan Janz

The Family Tree-John Everson

Apartment 7C- David Bernstein

The Martian-Andy Weir

Exponential-Adam Cesare

Charlotte-Stuart Keane

The Last Cannibals-Jens Bjerre

A Shrill Keening-Ronald Malfi

Legacy-JG Faherty

The Dead Zone-Stephen King

The Howliday Inn-James Howe

Dreamwalker-Russell James

The Black Echo-Michael Connelly

30 Days of Night, Vol. One-Steve Niles

Blood Red Roses-Russell James

The Lost Level-Brian Keene