(Share the Horror Interview) David Bernstein stops in to discuss a Mixed Bag of Blood and more

david bernstein

David Bernstein is one of the hardest working, ass kicking, most likeable horror authors in our business. He’s armed with a crazy amount of originality and fearlessness. He’s uber-talented and more motivated by his craft than anyone I know.

His latest release, his short story collection, A Mixed Bag of Blood (Sinister Grin Press, 2016), is an excellent collection and perfect platform to showcase his immense talents and wild imagination. Check out my review:  A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD

We recently got a chance to chat…check it out.

 

Glenn Rolfe: Hey David, thanks for doing this.

Let’s start off with A Mixed Bag of Blood. Great title and totally appropriate. You bring the crimson pain when you need to, and I love that these stories vary from one another quite a bit. A truly nice mix.  What got you wanting to do the collection? Were these tales hanging around or did you pound out 10 shorts with this in mind?  

DAVID BERNSTEIN:  The collection came about after John Foley—the short fiction and novella acquisitions editor for Thunderstorm Books at the time—contacted me. He’d read some of my work and asked if I had a novella or enough short stories to put together a collection for possible publication with Thunderstorm Books. Since I had a number of previously published shorts over the years, many having only seen print before the e-book explosion, I put together the collection. I purposely wanted something that might appeal to a wide audience. Something for everyone. They liked it and I was thrilled to get my stories out there and published with such a great company. Then, Sinister Grin Press published the paperback and e-book and added an introduction by Kristopher Rufty. Both covers complement each other wonderfully too!

28963872

GR: I loved a number of them. Eaten Un-Alive and Samurai Zombie Killer come to mind. Can you take me through those two a bit?  What inspired them, what past mind warps may have stuck them in that brain of yours? 

DB:: Eaten Un-Alive had been sitting on my computer’s hard drive for four years before it finally found a home in Scarlett Galeon’s anthology Dead Harvest. I had written it at a time when the zombie genre was exploding. I wrote and published a number of zombie tales and wanted to mix up genres. What if vampires existed and a zombie apocalypse wiped out their food supply? But I had nowhere to publish it so it sat collecting dust. Anthologies either wanted zombie-only tales or vampire-only tales or no zombies, vampires, or werewolves at all, so it sat. Then one day I was contacted by Mark Parker who was putting together the excellent Dead Harvest Anthology, and I sent him Eaten Un-Alive since it takes place in the country. Lucky for me he liked it so it finally found a home.

As far as Samuari Zombie Killer . . . I’ve always loved watching Kung Fu movies—the Shaw Brothers films being my favorite—and ninja movies like Revenge of the Ninja, Prey for Death, and American Ninja. I also studied martial arts for years—Karate, Aikido, Kung Fu, and Tai Chi. After writing a number of “regular” zombie stories I came across an anthology call looking for historical zombie stories. So I started with a Samurai and that’s how the story came to be.

GR: Were there any specific collection by another author that you love? And maybe you can give us some of your favorite short stories by other authors.  

DB: I’ve read so many anthologies over the years it’s really difficult to say. I would read any antho or short story collection that contained stories from Leisure authors. Besides that, I think some of my favorites are the Dark Delicacies anthologies, anything by King. I studied Thomas Mann, Raymond Carver, Phillip Roth and a slew of others. As an English major, I read a ton of short stories.

GR: You work for so many publishers. How does Sinister Grin compare to the others. Is there anything they do specifically that makes you smile when you get to work with them?  

DB: I consider myself very lucky. I haven’t had a bad situation with a publisher yet. Well, the Samhain thing is happening, but it’s too early to really go one way or another with that. As far as Sinister Grin, they’ve been all I could ask for and more. They are so accommodating. Communication is super fast. They make sure the author is not just satisfied but happy and fulfilled. They really make me feel like they want me with them. Their editing is wonderful and their artwork is top-notch quality. I’d say if someone has the chance to work with them, go for it. You will thank me later.

GR: I interviewed Krist Rufty. Even he is intimidated by your massive output.  That’s some serious writing machine shit. What is your typical work week like when it comes to writing and work. Do you go to the day job and then hit the notebook after dinner? Does Sandy get you at knife point and demand you get to it?  

DB: I have my day job Mon-Fri, and I’m fortunate that I can write a lot during it. I also write at home before work, but not as much as I used to since I can write at work. I get home around 12:15 a.m. so I watch TV and spend time with Sandy then. I don’t write on weekends except for maybe a little on Sunday morning. I was struggling for a while a few months ago. My output was small. I spent time writing short stories for anthos and after seeing A Mixed Bag of Blood come to fruition it got my juices flowing again. Sandy has been super supportive, always making sure I get my writing done, and she always makes sure to proofread and edit my work. Damn I scored big in the partner department!

goblins.jpg

GR:I’m working my way (slowly) through your back catalog (which sounds funny since you haven’t been writing all that long). Goblins really stands out for me. Like your short stories, the characters are engaging instantly, and your imagination, man, it’s impressive. Where did Goblins come from and how much frigging fun was this one to write?  

DB: One day I got the idea that I wanted to write a book about trolls or goblins, but not in the typical fantasy genre. I’ve always loved Dungeons and Dragons books, games and movies, as well as other fantasy novels—Drizzt books being my favorite. So let’s use traditional fantasy creatures in a strictly horror novel. I wrote a synopsis involving a troll but it was all over the place and complicated, so I moved on to Goblins. I wanted to write something scary involving fierce, small creatures. Nasty critters. But how to make it different? I’ve always loved the whole Roanoke story and figured hey, why not go there? So I did some investigating and what would you know—it was goblins that caused all the chaos! With Goblins I decided it was going to be simply a fun, gory monster book and I hope I succeeded at that!

GR: Out of the works you have out there right now, do you appreciate or have a warm fuzzy feeling for one or two more than the others? Obviously, you love them all, but is there a couple that make you smile wide? 

witch-island

DB: I love all my children equally! But if I was forced to choose . . . I’d say Amongst the Dead and Witch Island. Amongst the Dead because it’s a coming of age tale and an adventure. I love those types of tales best. I really connected with the main character Riley. Witch Island because I love the slasher genre and it entails a mix of shows I watch. Witch Island is like Pretty Little Liars meets Friday the 13th meets Fallen. I could sit and watch the most simplistic slasher film and never be bored. It was a lot of fun to write.

GR: I will be attending Scares That Care III with you and some of our Samhain brethren in July. That should be a blast. Anything you’re looking forward to there? Anyone you can’t wait to meet? 

DB: I’m truly looking forward to meeting readers and meeting up with friends. Last year was a lot of fun. It’s great just talking with everyone. Whenever I get together with like-minded writers anything can happen and the fun never stops—until Sunday. Then it’s like a tire deflating. Ugh, the ride home. But I’m looking forward to meeting so many of the guests, including William Zabka, William B. Davis, and Bob Gunton to name a few.

GR: Obviously we’re on a wait and see mission with The Blue Demon…we won’t go there. What else is in the pipeline right now?  

DB: Let’s hope that goes well for us. Moving on . . . Episodes of Violence is a novel coming out from Sinister Grin Press. It’s a revenge tale that deals with a group of really bad teens that have turned mailbox baseball into human baseball as they drive around with machetes, bats, axes, crossbows, etc. trying to take out joggers, bicyclists, and the like. Then there’s Retch coming from Bizarro Pulp Press, a novella about a man who is cursed to puke every time he has sex. The Sludge is a long novella coming from Great Old Ones Publishing. It’s B-movie material and involves a bank robbery, campers, a National Forest in Montana, toxic waste being dumped, and a monster. It’s got everything.

GR:Thanks again for sitting down with me, sir.

DB: It was my pleasure.

 

A Mixed Bag of Blood synopsis

  • Print Length: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016

From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person’s nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man’s night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre.

This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.

Biography of David Bernstein

David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Salisbury Mills. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs and wild backwoods people that like to eat raw human flesh. He’s grown used to the city, though hiding bodies is much harder there. He is the author of Amongst the Dead, Damaged Souls, The Tree Man, Witch Island, Relic of Death, Apartment 7C and the forthcoming Episodes of Violence. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. He loves hearing from his readers. You can reach him on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/david.bernstein.3. Visit him at his website: davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com email dbern77@hotmail.com, or on Twitter at @Bernsteinauthor.

 

Praise for A Mixed Bag of Blood

 

“Dave Bernstein let his mind wander and his pen write where I know you’ll want to read. With an introduction by Kristopher Rufty, this is a reason to stay at home and read on a pleasant Saturday afternoon like I did.” –Cat After Dark
Praise for David Bernstein

 

“David Bernstein delivers a fast-moving tale of desire and destruction that gives new meaning to the words, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Relic of Death twists reality and will leave you reflecting on your own personal Achilles heel long after you finished reading…” —Allan Leverone, author of Mr. Midnight

 

“A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.”  —Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

“A harrowing, brutal thriller, Skinner is Bernstein at his best!” —Peter Giglio, author of Shadowshift

Add to GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon

Check out Sinister Grin Press

 

 

 

 

(Review) I Kill in Peace by Hunter Shea

 

i-kill-in-peace-cover

I KILL IN PEACE by Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is one of my current favorite authors out there. His style is easy access, yet fun and exhilarating. I tend to love the majority of his characters and look to his latest works for action-packed, character-driven  horror.

That brings us to his latest (and last) for Samhain Publishing, I Kill in Peace.

This novella is about a man named, Peter, and the sudden twist in his ordinary life. He gets a tip from someone referring to themselves as AO (I couldn’t help but think of Rocky saying that to Pauly–AO, Pauly, it don’t have to be that way…). AO’s “you’re about to get canned” tip comes true and he finds himself heading home that afternoon jobless and trying to figure out how to tell his wife. Peter thinks somebody is messing with him. Well, AO is just getting started.

Killing in the name of….now you do what they told ya….

AO starts sending Peter out on missions of death. His targets are pretty unsavory, but still, take a normal guy and set him out to kill? What the hell?  Peter has a wife and daughter at home that he loves very much. Shea did a decent job in setting it up to be reasonable as to why Peter would obey AO’s commands, but I’m not sure I would have followed any of these orders were it real life. But for the sake of fiction, it works.

There’s plenty of brutal stuff going on in here, and being that it is a novella, the set-ups are quick and delivered upon just as quickly. That’s not to say that they come across forced, it just moves at a lightening-quick pace. You do get a good dose of blood and satisfying kills here, for sure.

As for the characters in this one…I thought Peter was done well, but that doesn’t mean I cared for him. He’s crafted well, I just didn’t like him all that much. As I said, prior to AO’s involvement, Peter is pretty ho-hum/ordinary. The wife and daughter are definitely side characters here just to show Peter’s motivations. and that works. AO is pretty straight forward, but definitely an enigma. You have to find out who it is. And Shea does a great job setting that under your skin like a nice juicy tick.

My only real, not really problem, but just kind of huh? moments are the sex scenes. Alone, they work great. Hunter works them as well and as effortlessly  as Richard Laymon. That’s a good thing. My issue was that they just felt out of place in this story. Again, reader’s preference here, others will have no qualm with their inclusion and probably get off to Shea’s Laymon-esque stroke.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

And who is this “AO” that is giving these orders? And why the hell is Peter listening? Here’s where I KiIl in Peace gets an A in concept! While it takes a while to get there. I loved the idea of this book. I won’t give it away. You have to pick it up and read it for yourselves.

The execution had its ups and downs for me, but overall, behind a very strong idea,   I  KILL IN PEACE is totally worth the read.

I give I KILL IN PEACE  3.5 stars!

 

Hunter Shea 2

I Kill In Peace tour graphic

 

Synopsis for I Kill In Peace

  • Publication Date: April 12, 2016
  • Publisher: Samhain
  • Publication Length: 104 pages

Killing gets easier…with practice. 

Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.

Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.

By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.

Biography

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel,Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

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, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

 

Want to Feature Hunter Shea?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Hunter Shea, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com

 

(Interview)A New Voice in Horror: Talking Flesh and Fire with Lucas Mangum

I met Lucas Mangum in Portland, Oregon at 2014’s World Horror Convention. We were both there to meet n mingle, of course, but, being newbies on the scene, we were more focused on pitching our stories to the gathering of editors looking for new talent. We didn’t spend a lot of time together, but I liked Lucas right off the bat. He seemed serious, legit, hungry, and determined. These are all things I see in myself. I kept in touch with Lucas through Facebook and we’ve had plenty of great little conversations.

10985659_10153639647042494_2693153198160798933_n

Well, now the rest of you get the opportunity to meet this cool MoFo. His new novella, FLESH AND FIRE, is out now as part of Journal Stone’s DoubleDown series. FLESH AND FIRE gets to share the pages with a new story (DARK OF NIGHT)  co-written by Rachael Lavin and none other than Jonathan Maberry!  That’s a pretty great way to introduce yourself!

Now, let’s get to know Mr. Mangum a little better…..

 

Glenn Rolfe: Hey Lucas! How have you been? 

Lucas Mangum: I’ve been well. I’ll be thirty-two in April and I’ve been giving this whole adult thing a try and managing not to butcher it. Got a job with the city. Bought my first house back in September. Have my first kid on the way in July. Things are good, and not just on the creative front. I haven’t always been able to say that. 

GR: Give us a couple of things people should know about you

LM: I was born in San Diego, a ten minute drive from the beach, and a thirty minute drive from the mountains. Really, anything I would have wanted to do was at my fingertips, but I spent most of my time in the backyard acting out stories that I later wrote down. Sometimes I was joined by friends. Even though I was never the toughest kid, we almost always played the way I wanted to play because I had the ideas. I was lucky in that way. I think it reinforced my desire to pursue writing because it taught me pretty early on that my stories could hold people’s interest. 

I later moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania (yeah, where SIGNS was filmed) where it was cold all the time, except for when it was humid, so I stayed inside and nurtured my love of pro-wrestling, horror movies and reading. 

Now I live in Texas. Apparently, I enjoy giving myself culture shock every twelve to fifteen years or so. Maybe I’ll move to Italy when I’m forty-five. 

GR: Any cool or weird jobs in your history? 

LM: Oh, tons. My first job was dressing up in that awful-smelling rat costume at Chuck E. Cheese and dancing for children’s birthday parties. I also worked at Hollywood Video and Borders Books, managed a warehouse, worked for a small bank, and wrote marketing materials for a corset company. 

Now I take 9-1-1 calls on the night shift. You’d think it’d provide a lot of fodder for my stories, but really, most of the calls I get are just because of drunk people acting like fools, which I’d rather have at the end of the day. I’m actually quite squeamish when it comes to real life horror.  

GR: We met back in 2014 at World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. It seems like another life! How was the experience for you and was your upcoming release the piece you were pitching that weekend? 

LM: I enjoyed the hell out of World Horror Convention. Little too expensive for me to make the trip every year, but I definitely try, because I do think it’s worth it. You’ll make the right connections, and even if you don’t have a manuscript right away, those connections will be there when you do. I had already signed the contract for FLESH AND FIRE by the time World Horror in Portland rolled around, but I had a few other things I wanted to pitch. Plus I wanted to get facetime with all the wonderful authors and editors I’d already interacted with so much on social media. I did my first panel there, on romance and the erotic in horror. 

12670486_10154212646217494_143880807993486315_n

GR: The release of Flesh and Fire is here. I’m super psyched to read it! Where did you get the idea? How long was the journey from idea to release?  And what’s it about? 

LM: Thanks, man.  

FLESH AND FIRE is about a man in the midst of a midlife crisis who has to help his long lost lover escape hell. 

The idea came to me after I finished the sixth draft of a novel that no one will ever see. I do my best work when I pull pieces from my own life and there were big things going on with me at the time. I was about to get married, which was great. I was in a job that kept the heat on, but didn’t give me a sense of purpose, which was not so great. So I was thinking a lot about life decisions and where I would be in the future and how people end up where they end up. On top of that, I listened to my band’s CD for the first time in years, which brought a lot of other things to the surface. The band fell apart after the guitarist’s suicide, so a lot of memories, a lot of different emotions. 

With all that swirling around in my head, I wrote a very rough first draft in three weeks. As with most of my first drafts it was more like a detailed outline than an actual novel or novella. I sat on it for a while. Wrote some short stories. Tried to learn more about the craft. Tried to live my life (it’s important for us creatives to do that as much as possible). 

I returned to the manuscript about a year later and did a second draft and a third. Fast-forward to about November of 2013 and I had something I felt comfortable enough submitting. I did some proofreading for the Journalstone anthology OUT OF TUNE, which Jonathan Maberry edited, and we got talking about my manuscript. He liked the sound of it and passed it along to Chris at Journalstone who reviewed it over the holidays and offered me a contract in January of 2014. 

Because of the book’s length, Chris felt like it’d be a good fit for their Double Down series, instead of as a standalone title. Between more edits and waiting for Jonathan’s schedule to open up, the whole thing took about two years. 

 GR: The fact that it’s on the flipside of a Jonathan Maberry title has got to be blowing your mind. A young author in our business couldn’t ask for more. What was your reaction when you got that bit of news? 

LM: Jonathan is a hell of a writer and a great guy to boot. I owe a lot to him, because he saw something in me pretty early on. I remember once he messaged me out of the blue just to tell me he thinks I’m going to make a big splash in the publishing world. Now, I don’t know about that, but still, to have a guy like him say that about me and then later want to do a book with me is really humbling. I guess the most important thing to take from the whole experience is that if I’m ever in his position, I should do whatever I can to pay it forward, because this whole writing life can be hard and starting out you really need all the help you can get. 

He co-wrote his tale with Rachael Lavin, a great up-and-coming writer and professional cosplayer. The story is a direct sequel to his DEAD OF NIGHT series, but also features the warrior woman from his ROT AND RUIN series and Joe Ledger. 

GR: Before I let you go, any scary stories you can share that have actually happened to or around you? 

LM: My ex-girlfriend and I were once pursued by an asshole wielding nunchaku. I once had a bad trip where I felt like I was drowning for six hours. I almost actually drowned in a pool when I was a toddler and my memory of the experience is all too clear. 

I don’t’ know. My definition of scary has changed so much. Maybe because I’ve been desensitized or whatever, but more than that I think it’s because as you grow up you learn that “yes, that shadow on the wall really is just the tree outside and not some demon hand reaching through your window.” Nowadays, my bouts of depression scare me. Passing depression onto my son scares me. Taking a 9-1-1 call and having someone I love being on the other end of it scares me. Dying broke and sick scares me. 

I think as an adult with real world fears, I kind of miss the demon hands. 

GR: Best of luck with the new release!   

LM: Thanks, Glenn! 

 

Find Lucas on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lucas.magnum

And click here to grab a copy of DARK AS NIGHT/FLESH AND FIRE

 

 

 

 

 

 

All my eBook titles for $2.75 or less? Go check out the Samhain Weekend Sale!

Yep. Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear are all $1.75 this weekend. You can also get Blood and Rain for $2.75.  Insane deals good for the weekend. Grab my titles and any of your other Samhain Roster favs: Hunter Shea, Jonathan Janz, Russell James, David Bernstein, Adam Cesare, Kristopher Rufty,  Catherine Cavendish, Brian Moreland, Ronald Malfi, and many, many more.

(Thanks to Z-Dubbz for his “Kindle Shots”)

 

ALL eBooks 50% off!

Go now!

Click SAMHAIN HORROR

(Review) BLOOD SACRIFICES by Brian Moreland

(Review) Brian Moreland- Blood Sacrifices (Samhain Publishing, 2016)

blood-sacrifices-four-tales-of-terror

There are some writers out there who we look to for reliable work time in and time out: King, Malfi, McCammon, Ketchum…. The list isn’t super long, but I added this name after reading one book (Shadows in the Mist)—Brian Moreland.  And in the subsequent years, I have yet to be let down.

Like the King’s and Malfi’s, Moreland’s writing grabs you instantly. His characters are so real and vivid right from the get-go. His stories never veer off into over-written sessions of author masturbation. No, Moreland knows his story and knows how to keep you glued to the pages without any fancy tricks or unnecessary flourishes. He’s the kind of writer that I aspire to be.

In this collection of novellas, his skills are on full display. Whether it’s the witchy woman who will raise the hairs on your neck in The Witching House, or the mesmerizing journey of a journalist getting involved in the wrong story in Vagrants, these works will hook you and have you coming back for more.

The stand-out pieces in here are The Girl from the Blood Coven and Darkness Rising. Here are my reviews for each piece:

  The Girl from the Blood Coven

This is a short story that serves as a precursor to The Witching House, but oh man does it pack a wallop! We get creeps, setting, and character in a short but perfectly executed blast of I’m-all-in horror.

“Then he heard the singing. Only it was coming from he backseat. A lilting song in a language Big Mike had never heard before. He whirled in his seat. Abigail sat up suddenly. Her eyes were rolled back to whites.”

I re-read this one prior to this review and was just as blown away the second time around.

Short story, but I’ll give it 5 stars anyway!

The Witching House

This was a quick and fun read. Who can resist an evil house haunted by a witch! After reading the lead-up to this one, Moreland’s even quicker, The Girl from the Blood Coven, I was expecting a little more. That’s not to say this one isn’t good or even a disappointment. It has more to do with how much I loved the other story (short as it was). What I got in The Witching House was great fun, but what held the promise of an absolute work of horrific brilliance may have overshadowed this one. That said, The Witching House is a nice addition to the Samhain collection, and another great slice of horror from Mr. Moreland. I would recommend this one to any horror fan.
I give it 4 stars!

Vagrants

Vagrants is another great piece of horror from Brian Moreland. I’ll read anything this guy puts out. Vagrants is the story of a writer who decides to live as a homeless person for half a year to better understand their way of life. His heart is in the right place as he plans to bring to light one of the biggest issues plaguing our country today, but it might not be that easy.  At the end of his time on the streets, Daniel stumbles across a crazed homeless cult leader and the adventure really begins.
Moreland can proudly hang this one next to Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist.

I give it 4 stars!

Darkness Rising

“…a wise man once told her, Poetry has an invisible power that transcends the soul.”

Far and away the best new piece of fiction I’ve read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he’s one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum…etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I’m a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it.

Darkness Rising goes so many places; it’s hard to get across just how awesome this novella is. It is dark and gritty in places and beautiful and poetic in others. It is completely vicious in spots, but counters that with moments of uplifting magic.

I connected instantly with the main character, Marty Weaver, the same way I did with Laymon’s Ed Logan in Night in the Lonesome October (my favorite Richard Laymon book). That alone speaks volumes for me. And much like that Laymon novel, Moreland’s ability to balance the light and dark sides in a romantic waltz over a floor made from dead flesh and macabre visions is nothing short of inspiring.

Add in a soundtrack featuring the Stones, The Doors, and possibly some Alice Cooper…and you’ve got me hook, line, and sinker.

Darkness Rising is a perfect example of how amazingly good novellas can be. This is a Moreland masterpiece.

5 stars. Easy.

This collection needs to be on your shelf. Worth every penny!

I give Blood Sacrifices a total and overall rating of 5 stars!

Brian Moreland photo

Blood Sacrifices tour graphic

Blood Sacrifices houses four tales of terror by one of the masters of horror, Brian Moreland. Previously only available in digital format, these stories are compiled into one book and can now be ordered in print!

Follow along the tour with the hashtags: #BloodSacrifices #4TalesofTerror #BrianMoreland

Synopsis for Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror

  • Publication Date: April 5, 2016
  • Publisher: Samhain
  • Publication Length: 282 pages

Some evils require sacrifices.

From the author of Dead of Winter and The Devil’s Woods come four tales of blood-tingling horror:

The Girl from the Blood Coven

In this short prequel to The Witching House, when Abigail Blackwood claims her hippy commune family has been massacred, Sheriff Travis Keagan and his deputies investigate. They discover there’s more than weed smoking going on at Blevins House. Much more.

The Witching House

Sarah Donovan is scared of just about everything, but she helps her adventurous boyfriend investigate the old, abandoned Blevins House, scene of a forty-year-old unsolved massacre. Little do they know the house is hungry for fresh prey…

Darkness Rising

When Marty Weaver encounters three killers who like to play sadistic games with their victims, his own scarred past is unearthed. And when his pain is triggered, blood will flow…and hell will rise.

The Vagrants

Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering. While living under a bridge with the homeless, journalist Daniel Finley witnessed something that nearly cost him his sanity. Now, with a book published about the experience, he’s caught between the Irish mafia and a deranged cult preparing to shed blood on the street.

This is a collection of books previously published in digital format.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

 

Brian Moreland, Biography

Brian Moreland is a best-selling and award-winning author of novels and short stories in the horror and supernatural suspense genre. In 2007, his novel Shadows in the Mist, a Nazi occult thriller set during World War II, won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest. The novel went on to be published in Austria and Germany under the title Schattenkrieger.

Shadows in the MistDead of Winter, and The Devil’s Woods are his currently available novels, as well as his Kindle short-story The Girl from the Blood Coven and the novella it led into called The Witching House.  Now, he has released the full-length The Devil’s Woods. His novella, The Vagrants, was released in 2014, and another, Darkness Rising, in 2015.

He loves hiking, kayaking, watching sports, dancing, and making guacamole. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel.  When not working on his books or books for other writers, Brian edits documentaries and TV commercials around the globe. He produced a World War II documentary in Normandy, France, and worked at two military bases in Iraq with a film crew.

Brian lives in Dallas, Texas. You can communicate with him online at www.brianmoreland.comTwitter, or Facebook.

Praise for Brian Moreland

“For horror fans wanting a healthy dose of the small-town stuff a la Stephen King, be sure to pick up a copy of this (The Girl from the Blood Coven) memorable and frightening short story, a wonderful teaser that will whet your appetite for the main course, The Witching House, where the twisted story continues.” -DarkEva/Hellnotes

” Very much in the tradition of HELL HOUSE, THE WITCHING HOUSE is a creepy, modern turn on the haunted house story.” -Tim Potter

“Far and away the best new piece of fiction I’ve read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he’s one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum…etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I’m a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it.” -Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, on Darkness Rising

“Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist. I know, when I’ve got one of his books in my hands, that I’m going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He’s just that good.” -Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters

“A thrilling, wholly-engrossing read that masterfully crosses multiple genres and leaves the reader breathless. Moreland weaves one hell of a history lesson, rich with brilliant characters and incredible plot twists. Highly recommended!” -Brian Keene, bestselling author of The Last Zombie and Ghoul, on Dead of Winter

“Dead of Winter is an exceptionally well crafted horror novel that tells a gripping story of dark religious doings, a horrific serial killer, and a sympathetic Inspector, in a dark and fascinating historical setting of 19th century Canada. The atmospherics are outstanding and the story offers plenty of surprises right up to its shocking and violent conclusion. Highly recommended.”
– Douglas Preston,  New York Times bestselling co-author of The Monster of Florence and Cold Vengeance

Brian Moreland’s fiction is taut and spellbinding, often blending varied themes to form a dark genre very much his own.  From his WWII occult thriller Shadows in the Mist, to the haunting chiller The Devil’s Woods, Brian’s work is at once versatile, original, and deeply engaging.” Greg F. Gifune, author of The Bleeding Season

“The Devil’s Woods is an awesome horror novel, filled with nerve-wracking suspense and thrilling action!” – Jeff Strand, author of Wolf Hunt

Want to Feature Brian Moreland?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Brian Moreland, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Bag of Bones is Another Reminder of Stephen King’s Magic

 

 

81rPOdibXVL

Bag of Bones is one of King’s bigger books (just over 700 pages). As with another of his larger novels that I read and loved recently (The Tommyknockers), this one veers off maybe a tick too long here and there, but here, the off-trail jaunts accomplish what they should-they draw you deeper into the story. And what a deep tale it is.

“Then I got back to the house, and all I worried about was my story and the people in it–bags of bones which were putting on flesh daily.”
As a writer, I fell into this novel more so than some of the others I’ve read (even King’s). We have Mike Noonan, a writer who is facing an entire Walmart of problems. Besides ghosts, small town mysteries, what his since-deceased wife was doing in the months before she died, how he could help a young girl defeat and evil, rich, scaly old SOB and keep her daughter safe, author, Mike Noonan, was struggling with a severe case of writer’s block. I felt like King was giving us a look behind the curtain. He noted in the afterward that he was also writing or set to write On Writing at the time, as well. I’m sure those thoughts were floating in his brain at the time and seeped into this larger piece. I found the writer’s side of Mike Noonan’s adventure (or misadventure) just as captivating as the rest of the amazing story (until I hit the last couple hundred pages…then it was full-on holy hell-what’s going to happen!) But prior to the last quarter or so of the book, I was pulling for Mike to write again, I was excited for him when he did, I wanted so bad to see him get to write THE END with his new story. Once he does start writing again,King talks a lot about getting “in the zone”, and for us writers, that’s where we dive in and swim until we’ve got no choice but to come up for air. And when we do break the surface, it’s the sweetest air.

Which brings us to a fine piece of horror in this book that has Mike coming up for air….

The scariest scene in the entire book for me was definitely when Mike gets cornered by Max Devore and his aid, Rogette, on The Street. If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I mean, if you haven’t-you will (picture that being said in Yoda’s voice when he’s telling Luke he will be afraid! I think Yoda actually says “you will be”, but whatever, you get the point). We hadn’t seen Max up until that point and man, King delivers a horror home run. Rogette turns out to be just as scary (with her softball rock throwing skills on full display!).

“Her lips were painted so brightly red she seemed to be bleeding from the mouth.”
The heartbreak and magic of the book centers around young widow, Mattie Devore, her 3-year-old daughter, Kyra, and Mike. When I tell you there’s some hard hitting stuff in this novel, I’m not kidding. I usually see things from a mile away, but what goes on in this novel caught me by surprise and flipped me on my head. I thought I knew what was around the bend….and each time I got that line of thinking King walloped me, leveling me and leaving me needing to come up for air. Only problem was, the story burns like gasoline in the last two hundred-plus pages….finally finished, I am exhausted.

“It was as if the heart had been burned out of her and the sadness that remained was just another ghost , the memory of love haunting the bones of hate.”
King packs punch after punch of pure heart and soul in these pages. It is a thing of beauty and awe. He has that intangible that all of us are striving for- the honesty and emotion- and does it so effortlessly. He’s mastered that chi of writing that makes characters completely real and these worlds of fiction take form around us making everything else fade into the background. Pure magic.

Slider-author

Bag of Bones is definitely one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever read. A brilliant and completely engaging work by my favorite writer.

I give Bag of Bones 5 stars!

Win a Trade Paperback of my Werewolf Novel, Blood and Rain

Arrrrroooooooooooooo!

 

That’s right, people. You have 29 days to enter over at GoodReads for your chance to win a signed print edition of my howling novel, BLOOD AND RAIN. Edited by horror editor extraordinaire, Don D’Auria, and with a fantastic cover created by Scott Carpenter, this edition will soon be a thing of the past. Get yours while you still can.

12316196_10208568666521051_9183959466895367802_n

  • “With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel 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 ofDecember Park and Little Girls
  • “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
  • “Many authors nowadays get lauded for writing ‘throwback’ horror fiction, but none of them quite goes the distance like Rolfe does in Blood and Rain. Werewolves, silver samurai swords, and small New England towns: it all makes you wish this was twenty years ago so you can take the paperback off a supermarket spinner-rack and huff the yellowed pages.” – Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House and Exponential
  • “Rolfe is the real deal, folks, and anything he writes is well worth checking out.” – Gord Rollo, author The Jigsaw Man and The Crucifixion Experiments
  • With solid writing, Rolfe will once again make readers take notice of our beloved and vicious, hairy beast. I guarantee after reading this book you’ll be watching the sky for the next full moon… ’cause nobody want to get caught ouside when something this blood thirsty is on the hunt! Highly recommended!” – Ty Schwamberger, author of Escape Lucidity, DININ’, and The Fields 
  • “Brutal, tension-fueled and captivating…Blood and Rain is the best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.” — Horror After Dark
  • Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction.”-Beneath The Underground
  • “It’s Silver Bullet on speed!…a mix of early Stephen King and Bentley Little…” – Aaron J. French, author of The Dream Beings
  • .Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author  of The Montauk Monster

Enter for your chance to win below!

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blood and Rain by Glenn Rolfe

Blood and Rain

by Glenn Rolfe

Giveaway ends May 01, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway