(Review) THE JERSEY DEVIL by Hunter Shea

The Jersey DevilThe Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hunter She’s writing is like great comfort food. I mean, he’s like a wonderful plate of mashed sweet potatoes with a perfectly buttered ear of corn, and a breast of juicy barbecued chicken. Keeping with his previous books like The Montauk Monster, Sinister Entity, Island of the Forbidden, and They Rise, his latest, The Jersey Devil, delivered all the delicious flavors I have come to expect in a Shea novel.

The Jersey Devil is the epitome of paperback horror. The kind of story you expected every month from Leisure Books back in the day. The characters live and breathe within each beat, the evil creature (and star of the show) is scary as hell and will have you curled up, eager to see if anyone comes out of these woods alive. There are some great kills near the front of the book as Shea introduces the creature.

The Willet family has a history with the beast, one that comes to light by books end. Shea does a great job of weaving this main plot in with a couple handfuls of Devil fodder in between. While the side characters add some extra fun, the story really takes hold and stands up once Shea focuses on the Willets as they arrive at the Pine Barrens.

For me, the Pine Barrens, the home to the Jersey Devil, are as much a character as anyone or anything else in this book. Shea brings this devouring land of creepy trees, soft soil, and early graves to vivid life. The result is the reader truly being immersed into the story, adding to the near-constant fear factor.

In the end, I really enjoyed the hell out of this book. It’s the perfect end of summer read!
I give The Jersey Devil 4 stars!

Grab your copy here THE JERSEY DEVIL

 

The Jersey Devil tour graphic

 

The Jersey Devil, Synopsis

  • File Size:1261 KB
  • Print Length:352 pages
  • Publisher:Pinnacle (August 30, 2016)
  • Publication Date:August 30, 2016
  • Sold by:Penguin Random House Publisher Services

 

THE LEGEND LIVES

Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth…

THE DEVIL AWAKES

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth…

THE BEAST MUST DIE

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey…

Hunter Shea, 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 http://www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Hunter Shea

“Shea delivers a tense and intriguing work of escalating tension splattered with a clever, extensive cast of bystanders turned victims…An otherwise excellent, tightly delivered plot…Fans of cryptid creatures are likely to revel in this love letter to a legendary menace.”– Publishers Weekly

“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

Want to feature this book/author?

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature The Jersey Devil or Hunter Shea in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!

 

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View all my reviews

Update City: Let’s Get, Let’s Get, Let’s #GetRolfed

CHASING GHOSTS at Amazon.com PURCHASE NOW

CHASING GHOSTS at Amazon.UK    PURCHASE NOW

THE HAUNTED HALLS at Amazon.com  PURCHASE NOW

THE HAUNTED HALLS at Amazon.UK  PURCHASE NOW

If you’ve never been Rolfed before, September is the best time to acclimate yourself. August 1st saw the release of my Laymon-esque effort, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press), and this weekend (Spetember 3rd) offers those of you new to the Rolfe universe, a chance to own my first novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (Matt Shaw Publications). There will be a Facebook Release Party for THE HAUNTED HALLS Friday. Stay tuned for details.

Z-Dubz over at THE EYES OF MADNESS coined the phrase, #GetRolfed  We’re hoping it catches on.

For those of you new to my work, I have three novellas with Samhain Publishing (Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear). They are also available in a collected book called, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN (also from Samhain).  These three novellas find me branching my horror out into the edge of mystery, sci-fi, and psychological horror, but I’ve always had a thing for the Laymons, Keenes, and Ketchums of the world. If you read my werewolf novel, BLOOD and RAIN, you got a hint at my darker side. With CHASING GHOSTS, you got a full on kick to the teeth (Read the latest review HERE). And if you think that was rough you will be begging for mercy with THE HAUNTED HALLS. It’s my first novel,. It was originally self-published in serial format, then released by James Ward Kirk Publishing in 2014. I signed on with Samhain and they offered to republish it. When Samhain announced that they were closing their doors (which they later decided not to do), I got the rights for the novel back. Within days of getting the rights back, I signed an exclusive eBook contract for it with British Horror master, Matt Shaw. There’s a reason this novel found a home with Mr. Shaw–it is brutal and pulls no punches.  I’m super excited to see it coming back out and can’t wait to see what people think. An audio version will follow, narrated by the talented Joe Hempel (Voice of Joey) who did my audio book of SLUSH. Joe has also recently been busy with Adam Cesare and Mercedes Yardley. Print rights for the book are being shopped around. hopefully, we’ll find a happy home.

Looking ahead, I will have another 99 cent set of short stories for you guys before the end of the year. The stories included will be “The Death Wish” and “One of These Things…” along with a surprise that I can’t mention yet.

My next two novels, WINDOW and WAITING FOR DARKNESS (aka the sequel to Blood and Rain) will hopefully see the light of day before the end of 2017 or early 2018 at the latest. I think these are my strongest two novels to date and can’t wait to share them with you all. I’ll keep you posted.

As for now, I’ll be pushing these two latest piece, both of which I am hugely proud of, and I look forward to chatting with you guys soon.

Keep up to date with all my latest releases by following my Amazon Author page HERE

Stay tuned!

-GR

 

 

 

 

Bleeding Springsteen: How Bruce’s Writing Inspires this Weirdo.

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I recently posted a list of fifteen writers who have had an influence on my work. One of those writers was Bruce Springsteen. Does he write books? No, but he does write stories. He creates characters and places and moments in his songs that breathe just as well as Jack Torrance or Scout Finch. You’ve lived in his towns. You’ve felt the pain of losing someone close to you and the joy of doing the things you love. He writes about things that have influenced his day-to-day life as well as yours, and he does so effortlessly. Okay, he makes it seem that way, but I’m sure he fights for his words as hard as any of us writers do.

There are plenty of authors who mention the impact of his work in their own. Brian Keene is the big one that comes to mind (he does have a book called, Darkness on the Edge of Town). For me, it’s that magical ability to make you feel something. His stories are so heartfelt. And the fact that he usually shies away from simple nonsense lyrics, choosing instead to bust his ass conveying an emotion that won’t let him rest that makes all the difference. And you really have to be gifted to succeed at this time and time again.

His lyrics are beautiful, haunting, desperate, and celebratory. His characters feel real and his stories are our own. That’s the magic. His songs resonate. It’s how he started with his debut album in ’73 and is still going today. It’s why he is so beloved by his fans and why being in the crowd at a Springsteen show is like being at church on Sunday morning. His hymns are eternal, yet he takes to that stage night after night after night to earn our appreciation.

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He could ride off into the sunset, retire and relax, but he won’t. His wheels are always rolling, those gears always shifting. There’s always something inside that needs to get out. And that’s how I feel as a writer. It’s why I hear a line a Springsteen song and think–there. Like Brian Keene, I was moved to write a book based on Bruce’s words. When he sings, my wheels start rolling:

Tell her there’s a spot out ‘neath Abram’s Bridge
And tell her there’s a darkness on the edge of town
There’s a darkness on the edge of town

Well, everybody’s got a secret Sonny
Something that they just can’t face
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
They carry it with them every step that they take…”

I was trying to write a ghost story for a writing group and I had the album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, playing in my headphones. And it was like I heard those lyrics, truly, for the first time.  What is this secret? What’s going on under Abram’s Bridge? What is this darkness? I compelled then and there to discover all of this for myself. I wound up writing my first published novella, Abram’s Bridge.

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Like Bradbury or Matheson to King, Springsteen has provided me with my own desires and questions and what if’s and those moments of magic. I said in a comment on that post that his work bleeds into my own. The story above shows the direct line, and it is far from the only one. His catalog of songs is immense and still growing. For me, he is the Stephen King of songwriters. The body of work is incredible and inspirational.  Whether through sadness and despair of songs like “The Promise” or “Lost in the Flood”, the storytelling of “Jungleland” or “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, or the youthful energy and excitement of “Born to Run” or “Badlands” or the controversial and poignant, “American Skin (41 Shots)”, Bruce Springsteen ignites the fire inside this writer’s heart and soul, and I praise him for it.

The rangers had a homecoming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
The Rat pulls into town rolls up his pants, together they take a stab at romance and disappear down Flamingo Lane

Well the Maximum Lawman run down Flamingo chasing the Rat and the barefoot girl
And the kids ’round here look just like shadows, always quiet, holding hands
From the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand down in Jungleland

 

Burce’s official biography comes out next month, September 27th. It’s called, Born to Run, and it is the first penned by “The Boss” himself.

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Pre order your copy HERE

 

REVIEWS for CHASING GHOSTS

My latest book, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press), came out just under two weeks ago.  I set out to honor some of my horror idols (Richard Laymon and Brian Keene) with this piece, and judging from the early reviews, I just might be hitting my mark.

 

Chasing Ghosts is a vicious backwoods romp that gives you nary a moment to collect your bearings. The narrative escalates quickly, savagely, maintaining the amped-up speed through to the finale. It’s a blast of a read, especially if you’re a root-for-the-antagonist type of fan.” – The Eyes of Madness

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“Chasing Ghosts is a disturbing bloodbath, with some moments of extreme gore, and is an emotionally draining read, but it sure was a nice diversion.A bloody, disgusting read…I loved it!” -Frank Michaels Errington

“With shades of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, Rolfe also summons his inner-Laymon and, in my opinion, outdoes what his predecessor couldn’t do.With Chasing Ghosts, the characters feel like people that we already know facing problems that you can honestly believe – a missing son, infidelity, working stiffs looking to blow off some steam on the weekend. It’s all there and done very well by Rolfe.” – Into The Macabre

CHASING GHOSTS is gory, violent, and very, very scary. If you have a fear of isolated rural forested areas; if you ever wonder if the legends of backwoods inbreeding cannibalistic clans are true; if you just believe in genetic mutations; then this is the story for you.” – Mallory Heart Reviews

“There was a great predatory atmosphere going on. The anticipation of something being just around the corner but never quite sure just when, where or who was going to be next made it a very enjoyable read. There was a nice balance of detail and visuals with just enough given to allow you to picture the scene but at the time allowing the imagination to fill in the gaps, and boy was my imagination happy to oblige. I’ll be steering clear of the woods for a while.” – Scarlet’s Web

” Chasing Ghosts is a blistering, mile-a-minute ride into fear, desperation, and depravity. The villains, the notorious Cobb family, are suitably creepy, with a definite throwback to the near-primitive maniacs found in Richard Laymon’s mountain novels or Jack Ketchum’s cannibalistic ones.” – John Quick, author of Consequences

“(Glenn Rolfe)holds nothing back…with Chasing Ghosts, he brings us – for me at least – his most explicit horror story thus far. The violence is graphic and had me physically wincing. The story grabbed every one of my senses and the ending left me wondering … ” – Catherine Cavendish, author of The Devils Serenade and The Pendle Curse

 

Be sure to follow the reviews and the blog tour by clicking on the photo below:

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Grab your own copy HERE

 

The Origins of OUT OF RANGE

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In the days prior to the release of my new novella with Sinister Grin Press, CHASING GHOSTS, I put out a set of alien short stories called, OUT OF RANGE. Since most of the press and guest posts I’ll be doing on my promotional tours will be centered around CHASING GHOSTS, I figured I’d share some info on OUT OF RANGE here on my site.

When I heard from Max Booth III that Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing was doing an anthology called, LOST SIGNALS, I knew I had to write something for it. The very first thing that came to mind was the title, “Out of Range”.  I stole the title from an Ani DiFranco song. I wrote this story and absolutely loved it. I sent it in to Max and he messaged me this: “That was a hard one to let go, definitely. People will love it once you release it…” I mentioned  to him that it would go into my next collection. I was going to put that collection together this summer, but with two releases set for August and September, I decided to try something different. I had this one story that I loved, but I also had two other alien horror stories sitting around that I thought were awesome, as well. So, at the end of the day, I decided to put the  threesome together and release them for 99 cents.

Here’s a quick bit on each of the stories contained in OUT OF RANGE.

“Not of this World”

First, it’s a Danzig song, second, it was going to be the title of the next short story collection. When I decided to write a story to match that title, this is what came out. What I ended up with is the story of a pregnant couple that turns upside down in a horrible way. It is my ode to John Carpenter’s The Thing.  I thought, “What if that creature or something like it, landed in a suburban neighborhood instead of the icy Antarctica?”  I love how it turned out.

“The Astronauts”

This one is a step above a Flash Fiction piece. It is very short, but I think equally potent in its delivery. The aliens (the Astronauts) have come and taken over. The cluster of humans that are left are huddled together in little pockets and living in squalor. The aliens keeping track of their every move and every secret. I can’t tell you more without giving it away, so you’ll have to check it out. This story originally appeared for a week last year on Rich Duncan’s blog, The Horror Bookshelf. Rich is a supporter of my work and I thought it’d be cool to give him something special. Thanks again, Rich!

“Out of Range”

In this story, the aliens send a signal that they are coming….and it’s not exactly friendly. The story has more heart than the previous ones. I imagined what it would be like if single Glenn lived in this world and had to help take care of his niece and nephew. It was pretty easy to create the relationship between the main character and his niece, because I just imagined myself and my teenage niece, Jillian, in this setting. I believe this one to be the most well-rounded of the batch. The first is viscous, the second is thought-provoking, but “Out of Range” has a bit of it all.  Funny story, a reviewer who had just finished LOST SIGNALS read OUT OF RANGE a couple weeks later and mentioned in his review that it would have fit perfectly in the anthology.

The set is available now in eBook exclusively through Amazon. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can nab a copy to read there, too.Reviews are welcome!  Good or bad, honesty works best.

You can grab a copy of OUT OF RANGE HERE

CHASING GHOSTS is also available in eBook and Print. Purchase a copy HERE 

And here is the over , cover art, cover copy, and Amazon link  for the LOST SIGNALS Anthology from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing:

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What’s that sound? Do you feel it?

The signals are already inside you. You never even had a chance.

A tome of horror fiction featuring radio waves, numbers stations, rogue transmissions, and other unimaginable sounds you only wish were fiction. Forget about what’s hiding in the shadows, and start worrying about what’s hiding in the dead air.

With stories by Matthew M. Bartlett, T.E. Grau, Joseph Bouthiette Jr., Josh Malerman, David James Keaton, Tony Burgess, Michael Paul Gonzalez, George Cotronis, Betty Rocksteady, Christopher Slatsky, Amanda Hard, Gabino Iglesias, Dyer Wilk, Ashlee Scheuerman, Matt Andrew, H.F. Arnold, John C. Foster, Vince Darcangelo, Regina Solomond, Joshua Chaplinsky, Damien Angelica Walters, Paul Michael Anderson, and James Newman. Also includes an introduction from World Fantasy-award-winning author, Scott Nicolay.

Purchase the eBook or Print edition of LOST SIGNALS HERE

 

 

 

RELEASE DAY! CHASING GHOSTS is HERE!

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The Cobbs were ignorant woods-people that died off and left nothing to fear. Locals in Naples, Maine think they know this story. But are they wrong?

Luke Howard and his mom move to Naples and Luke’s eager to make new friends. When Jason and Davey invite him out to the abandoned Cobb place for a game they call “chasing ghosts,” he’s ready and willing. However, the boys will come to discover that some vacant houses are better left to die alone.

Meanwhile, a punk band set to play in a rented cabin out of town feel eyes upon them. Somebody’s watching, but not their usual audience. When their lead singer strays too far from the group and disappears, his band mates set out in the darkness to find him.

Police Chief Walt Henderson is about to discover that there’s more going on out in the woods of his town than he ever imagined.

Chasing ghosts is more than just some children’s game.

GET YOUR COPY HERE

Yes, the day is here. My latest novella, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press), is out today and available in eBook and Print. This is my first piece for Sinister Grin Press and I think they are the perfect home for the piece. Last summer I started re-reading The Woods Are Dark by Richard Laymon. twenty pages in, I got the overwhelming urge to craft my own piece of Laymon-esque horror. He’s long been a favorite of mine, and I walked that Laymon line with my first novel, The Haunted Halls, but I hadn’t  written anything as rough as that since. Well, maybe some parts of Blood and Rain fit the bill, but as a whole, I purposely tried to force myself out of that box. Well, I was compelled to jump back in.

I dedicated this novella to Laymon, Brian Keene, Jack Kecthum, and Jonathan Janz. That should tell you the direction I wanted go in.  I’m not any of those amazing writers, but I sure had fun scribbling this little story into existence. I think it has that old Leisure Books paperback feel to it, and I hope, if you do decide to buy a copy,  it gives you a few hours of fun or at least makes you think twice about venturing to see your favorite band play a show in the woods. 🙂

Anyways, I hope you dig it, and as always, any shares/re-tweets/word-of-mouth is greatly appreciated. #SharetheHorror

You can follow all the forthcoming reviews and posts for the promotional tour (courtesy of Hook of a Book Media)  here:

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And be sure to visit my Amazon page for some sweet 99 cent deals (Things We Fear and Out of Range) .   Glenn Rolfe at Amazon.com

 

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