(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!

 

Hunter Shea 2

 

 

 

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(Review) A Mixed Bag of Blood by David Bernstein

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(Review) A Mixed Bag of Blood by David Bernstein

First, let’s begin with a bit about David Bernstein. This guy is one of the busiest, most prolific writers in the horror biz. That could mean that he’s shoveling out every crazy idea he can think of and half-assing his work, or….the guy is just an absolute writing machine. I choose to believe the latter. I’m still acquainting myself with Bernstein’s ever-growing catalog. I’ve read Relic of Death, Apartment 7C, and my favorite thus far, Goblins. All were quality works with Goblins making my top ten of 2015.

He’s got a one of a kind imagination. I mean this guy writes without fear. He tackles anything that his brain conjures up and does so full-on. His characters are instantly real. Their situations, no matter how far-fetched, become our problems.

With his latest release, the short story collection, A Mixed Bag of Blood (Sinister Grin Press, 2016), Bernstein is hitting on all cylinders and ready to take you for the grand tour through his mind of terrors. I’ll give you a rundown on each piece, but whether I give the story a 3 or 5 star rating, know that each and every one had me along for the ride within the first page. That’s a sign of a truly gifted storyteller.

Count me in on the David Bernstein Horror Express!

Next stop: A Mixed Bag of Blood.

If Kristopher Rufty’s forward doesn’t get you psyched up to read these tales, I don’t know what will!

“The Trojan Plushy”

This story has a deep-cutting set-up (not too different from Rufty’s fantastic Desolation), but Bernstein does take it in his own devilish direction. A stuffy that really wolf’s out in an act of revenge.

I liked this one, but it felt a bit rushed and the end came too fast for me. Definitely would’ve had potential as a novella.  3.5 stars

“The Booglin”

Okay, this one is crazy, but… Remember what I said about real characters and far-fetched situations that become our problems? Yeah, this one is that. Bernstein’s descriptions cause me to hold my nose as if the pain was happening to me. I did that several times while reading this one. He also gives us a fun little explanation on how the “Booglin” came into existence.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Eaten Un-Alive”

“Zombies were the vampires’ cockroach.”

Loved that line. In this tale, we follow Remington, a vampire trying to survive after the zombie apocalypse. Right there! That’s an awesome idea and fantastic set-up. Remington finds his way to a house and he hopes to his first good meal in weeks.  I won’t spoil it for you. It has an ending that reminded me of one of my stories from Slush. This…is a good thing.

Loved this one. 5 stars

“It’s Not Nice to Have to Share”

I figured out what was going on pretty much at the start of this one. How close can two sisters be? You’ll see. Again, Bernstein presents a tale only his mind could fathom.

I thought it was a great character piece. 4 stars.

“Invasion”

This one really centers on a bad seed named, Timmy. He’s not a nice kid. He deserves all that he gets. That’s all I’m saying.

Liked it, but it felt like it should have been bigger. 4 stars.

“Samurai Zombie Killer”

Wow! Can I give it more than 5 stars????  No, but I would. We get Kenji and his evil brother Makito. We get a great Japanese setting. Samurai action and zombies? I’ve never been a zombie fan, but David knows that in order to make this sub-genre work, you have to put in the extra work to keep it fresh and  engaging. This one succeeds in spades.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Small Town, Big Trouble”

Another fantastic idea executed perfectly. This one involves a town,  its curse, and a heck of an ending! I don’t wanna give anything away.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Bad Cutlery”

A haunted knife purchased from a yard sale.

This one is short and just okay to me. 3 stars.

“Potty Mouth”

Another one of David’s crazy ideas that he still manages to pull you into. An 18 year-old son’s usage of foul language gets him in the shithouse…..he, he, he. His witch of a mother has a lesson to teach him. Will he learn? Read and find out.

A little too gross for my taste, but great if you don’t mind some nastiness. 3.5 stars

“STD”

A one-night stand leaves a guy with an unexpected gift. You’ve heard and read it a million times, right? Not like this! Loved the beginning, kind of wavered in the middle, but the ending…oh, man. So good!

Really enjoyed it. 4.5 stars

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection. It definitely made me want to read more from Bernstein. If he writes another collection, I will be the first in line.

I give A Mixed Bag of Blood 4 very strong stars!

 

david bernstein

 

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

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