2018: For real?

2018

Wow, where did this year go?

As I’m looking over notes and posts, this year was freaking strange. I put out my second short story collection, LAND OF BONES, back in February. That feels more like two years ago.  Is that even possible?

Two anthologies I landed stories in won awards!  SPLATTERPUNK FIGHTING BACK won the Best Anthology (of 2017) from the first annual Splatterpunk Awards. My short story, “Molly,” was also nominated. And WELCOME TO THE SHOW won Best Anthology this year from the first annual Indie Horror Book Awards!  LAND OF BONES garnered an Honorable Mention in the Best Collection category.

Somewhere in all this madness I attended STOKER CON in Providence, RI (great times and bad times), and made it to and from SCARES THAT CARE 5 in Williamsburg, VA (oh, my wife’s poor car).

I did a successful book signing for LAND OF BONES at Barnes & Noble. They treat me good.

And did I mention Alien Agenda Publishing?

I put out three books- THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS  by Jackson R. Thomas, THE NIGHTCRAWLER by Mick Ridgewell, and SKINNER by David Bernstein.  It was an experiment to see if I could handle publishing properly. It’s only been six months since BEAST came out, but I’d definitely say it was a worthy trial run.  Ridgewell and Bernstein were re-releases, I love both books, so I’m still trying to figure out how to move them, but BEAST has been a surprising hit.   Overall, I fell pretty short of my own expectations as a publisher, but it’s a learning experience and one that I’ll continue to grind away on.

I am working on AAP first official charity anthology SURVIVE WITH ME and aiming for a second half of 2019 release. LOTS of cool authors are in, so I cannot wait to get this thing done and done right. We’ll be having Zach McCain doing the cover early next year, so I’ll share more info as we have deals in place.

Zach also did the cover for my first ever hardcover book (A BOX FULL OF MONSTERS, Thunderstorm Books), which I forget also came out (and sold out) this year… man, it truly feels like I crammed two or three years of writing projects into 2018!

And in September, I managed to put out my 4th novel, THE WINDOW. It has received some great reviews and seems to be a hit.  I’ll be continuing the blog tour (#TheWindowWorldTour) well into the new year.

Finally, here in December, I’m also happy to report that I have a verbal agreement in place with a new publisher for ASCENCION AGENDA (my follow-up to BOOM TOWN) as well as an exclusive e-Book re-release of my werewolf novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, and special edition of THE WINDOW.

The most exciting writing related thing of 2018? For me, it was this week’s completion of my very first outline… but that is for another post.

Thanks for all the support. Looking forward to a great 2019. All the covers below are links to each book. Feel free to do a little holiday shopping!

Until next time…

Stay tuned and stay positive!

-GR

 

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The Alien Agenda Project

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2018 marked the expansion of my own publishing company, ALIEN AGENDA PUBLISHING.  I’ve used the name to self-publish pieces from time to time between traditionally published works, but this year I reached out to some fellow writers to see if they’d be interested in having some of their works under my umbrella.

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It is definitely a hard thing to do. Gathering covers, reviews, making sure the product looks good, and making sure everyone involved is happy. It’s time consuming,but it is a true labor of love.  I haven’t figured out how much I’ll have time for in 2019, but it looks good that we will get the sequel to THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS from Jackson R. Thomas  (RISE), plus my sequel to my own werewolf novel, BLOOD AND RAIN.

The biggest project will be SURVIVE WITH ME, our first official anthology. Aiming for July on that one. It should include a number of great stories from my old Samhain Publishing cohorts, with each tale built around the survival theme. This one will be for charity.  Stay tuned for much more in the months to come.

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Other than that, I have a couple projects that I’m looking at for possible release. I just want to make sure I can put the right amount of effort into each of them. Writing and promoting my own works certainly made things a little more difficult, but it was a learning experience and one I hope will lead to more success going forward.

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Thank you so very much to my team: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Jason Lynch, Michael Bray, and Lori Michelle for their contributions behind the scenes.

Also, thanks to David Bernstein, Mick Ridgewell, and Jackson R. Thomas for trusting me with their stories.

Extra special thanks to Michelle Garza, Melissa Lason, and Somer Canon for contributing to our freebie 2018 sampler (which you can get for free from Barnes and Noble  or Smashwords).

Check out all the releases from 2018 below.  Click on the covers to purchase.

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THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS by Jackson R. Thomas (June 2018) 37722398_10155587289225986_5092526805718401024_n

THE NIGHTCRAWLER by Mick Ridgewell (July 2018)

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SKINNER by David Bernstein (August 2018)

 

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LAND OF BONES by Glenn Rolfe  (February 2018)

THE WINDOW by Glenn Rolfe (September 2018)

(REVIEW) BLUE DEMON by David Bernstein

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When the meek need defending, they call on Blue Demon, a guardian of bloodshed and retribution. Its loyalty is forever, as long as you remain righteous. For those that oppress the demon’s flock, life grows short. It kills in the most brutal fashion, and maims those it most despises. It has no feelings, only loyalty and devotion for the ones it protects.

Of course, this is all from the Blue Demon television show and Cal Langston, Blue Demon’s biggest fan, knows such things can’t be real, at least not until the people who messed with him start dying in the most horrific of ways.

Frightened and not sure what to believe, he sets out to discover what is truly going on, and if Blue Demon is for real, does he want it watching over him?

First off, look at that freaking cover! Beautiful!

Here’s my review:

Blue DemonBlue Demon by David Bernstein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderfully entertaining and ruthless novella.

David Bernstein’s BLUE DEMON is about a blue demon action figure that holds the ability to exact revenge upon command. It’s a fun idea that Bernstein runs with and executes like a boss.

The main character here is Cal Langston. He suffers a horrible amount of shitty things in the 100-plus page story. There were multiple times I found myself saying, “Holy fuck, Bernstein!” There’s two scenes in the hospital that got me for different reason. The first shocked me, the second was just a perfectly executed horror scene. Great stuff.

I love how Bernstein’s twisted mind works. He has a vision and follows through fearlessly. I won’t give anything away, but even the most Sherlock of you readers out there are in for some surprises.

The blue demon’s viciousness might seem like a bad thing, but these people have it coming.

I give BLUE DEMON 5 stars!

View all my reviews

Blue Demon tour graphic

Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #BlueDemon  #SinisterGrinPress

 

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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 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 Link

Amazon

Check out Sinister Grin Press

Scares That Care: What a Weekend!

I recently attended my first Scares That Care Weekend. I have to start off by thanking fellow author and friend, Matt Manochio, who jumped in to save the day. I was about to cancel my trip when Matt stepped up and offered me a ride and a room. He said if I could make it to Jersey, he’d make sure we got there.

DAY ONE

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We got to Virginia, set up, and then…I had to go run the 5K. It was hot as hell and I hadn’t run in some time, but I did my best and finished 56 out of over 150 participants. I’ll take that. So, I come back in sweaty and with a cool new Scares That Care t-shirt and a cool medal. I’m happy. Matt and I worked the table and made some sweet sales. By the end of the night, we were zonked.

DAY TWO

Saturday was great for sales. We moved a lot of units and met a lot of fine folks. I think I finally got face time with like four or five Good Reads/Facebook friends that I’d never met before. Brian and Nick are the first two that come to mind. Thanks, guys!

At five pm , it was time for Patrick Lacey and I to do our readings. We found out David Bernstein had come in too late to make his reading Friday, so we pulled him into ours.

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We all read from our short story collections. Sleep Paralysis, A Mixed Bag of Blood, and Slush.

After the reading and before the mayhem….

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And then…the party started. We (Patrick and Carissa, David and Sandy, and Matt and I) grabbed a table and got ready for some dinner, drinks (lots of drinks), and Scareyoke.

It was here that i got to hang for a few minutes with one of my favorite writers, Ronald Malfi. He also kicked up some ’90’s dust with a great rendition of a Live song. I got up and did Vacation by The Go Go’s.Matt Serafini and Adam Cesare also grabbed the mic for some Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease tunes.

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And drinks. Did I mention the drinks?

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Yeah, it was pretty epic.

I stumbled across Bryan Smith and his new bride, Jen. We talked some Guns N’ Roses and somehow I started doing Ric Flair impressions until Bryan and Jen went back inside and some dudes I can’t remember let me share their Uber back to the Super 8.

From there, rather than put Matt through my possible puke moans, I stayed outside until I felt well enough to sleep without spinning. I ended up passing out on the sidewalk by our room and opening my eyes as the sun was just coming up.

 

DAY THREE (aka The Hangover 4)

I had to run around and let people know I survived. Matt took on a larger role as the salesman, letting me rest half-zoned out for the first few hours. Thank you again, Matt.

As the day headed to a close, I made my way to the bigger authors next door to our room. I got to chill for a bit with Kristopher Rufty, Ronald Malfi, and managed to squeeze in a quick hug with my bud, Jonathan Janz.

Then, I had a terrific conversation with Brian Keene. He bought a copy of my book and made me sign it.If you had told me in 2004, when I bought The Rising, that ten years later he’d be buying my book? Yeah, I would have told you to fuck off.

The gig was over. It was time to go home.

I suck at getting pictures during these types of events. The ones you see above were mostly from those I was hanging out with. Next time….next time…

Matt and I got back to Jersey by like 1 am. I left for Maine in the morning and got home safe and sound to my wife and three monkeys.

I have to say thanks (again) to Matt Manochio for everything. To my wife for letting me go do this. To Patrick and Carissa Lacey for being so damn cool. To David Bernstein and Sandy for also being wicked awesome. To all of those I met and hung out with. To all of those folks who bought copies of my books, and to Brian Keene and his guys that throw this whole event together. It’s to raise money for those in need, and it also gives us a place to chill out and get crazy.

AND…if you guys want to help out these families that Scares That Care take care of, you can do so year-round by going to this link: DONATE.

Until next year!

 

 

The Go Go’s Vacation from Myfanwi Meyrick on Vimeo.

Top Reads of 2016 (So far).

Wow, how is it July 1st already?

I’ve read some really awesome books in the first half of 2016, and I thought I’d share them with you. Now. there are plenty of books I expect to make this list at  year’s end (Tremblay, Malfi, Shea, and plenty of others have some great works out there or coming soon that I need to read), but these are the best of what I’ve read to date.

Novels

9. THE MONSTER UNDERNEATH– Matthew Franks

This debut from Samhain Publishing author, Matthew Franks, is an interesting psychological mash up of Criminal Minds, The Following, Silence of the Lambs, and something with a mind reader/dream invader. If you want to make a splash out the gate, I guess creating your own concoction that nobody has seen before is a good way to achieve that.    *THIS ONE IS ON SALE for 99 CENTS!

8. THE COMPLEX by Brian Keene

A lot of reviewers (myself included) mentioned how great is to see Keene return to form with this vicious, yet thoughtful horror ride. A gang of possessed people descend upon an apartment complex full of interesting characters. It pays to be on speaking terms with your neighbors! One of Keene’s short story character’s plays a major role in here, an added bonus for BK fans. I’m not sure THE COMPLEX will make my end of the year list, but I’m happy to see him back in any of my top lists.

7. CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz

Janz delivers another strong effort. This one has him reaching into the coming-of-age bag, pulls out of big, bloody ball,  and bats a solid hit. I’ve seen a lot of praise out there from the Janz-ites, and if you’re a big JJ fan, you will no doubt have this one on your 2016 list. COTD serves as a prequel to Janz’s SAVAGE SPECIES novel and I’m thinking we’re in for more from this universe. Stay tuned!

6. MAYAN BLUE by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Remember what I said about creating your own concoction to make that initial impact? Well, the “Sisters of Slaughter” have done just that. MAYAN BLUE has a very original story (Mayan ruins/artifacts in Georgia?) and showcases their unabashed taste in writing some pretty vicious scenes. I mentioned in my review how their style had me thinking back to Brian Keene’s original Leisure Books run. I stand by that statement.

5. THEY RISE by Hunter Shea

Hunter writes like he’s making these crazy horror/action movies. It’s perfect for that hungry horror bookworm who wants something good that reads like a match set to gasoline. This one has a lot of JAWS-like sensibilities which, I’m sure, suits Mr. Shea just fine. A great monster fish long thought extinct resurfaces and in numbers that would scare the bejesus out of any seaman…

4. PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES by John McNee

This is a haunted hotel story that reads like something hidden in Clive Barkers steamer trunk. The writing is smooth and exciting, and the story  is just about perfect. The evil creations McNee uses and the horrifying sights they show the guests in this ghost attraction hotel are top notch and scary. I really loved this book.

3. NORTHWOODS by Bill Schweigart

This book is a sequel to a novel I have never read (Beast of Baycroft). That being said, I had no trouble following along with the characters or their situations. A great sequel stands alone. Schweigart nails that model here in spades. I had a lot of fun reading this one and will go back and find the first book before Christmas.  If you like shapeshifters, cryptozoology, and action, you will love this! (Writing-wise, he could be Hunter Shea’s twin brother!)    *AND this one is on sale for 99 cents !

2. DESOLATION by Kristopher Rufty

Definitely a contender for my Top 5 at the end of the year, Rufty’s DESOLATION really hit me in the guts. With the most heart-wrenching opening I’ve read in years, this novel dares to go straight for your soft spot. There’s revenge, there’s right and wrong, there’s a family trying to keep itself together while trying to avoid being chopped to bits…it’s pretty freaking great.  I loved this one. You should make time for it, too   And, if you act now, you can get the paperback version from Amazon for just $7.23!

1. MONGRELS by Stephen Graham Jones

I LOVED this book!  Sounds like I’ve had a pretty good 2016 in the reading world, right? Yes, I have, and MONGRELS tops the list. SGJ writes this book like he has some sort of inside information on werewolves that the rest of us don’t. It’s not a fast and furious werewolf blood bath like Janz’s WOLF LAND (or that book that I wrote), but what it is is SOOO MUCH better. Not to kick any of the werewolf novels that came before it in the nuts, but I truly believe Mr. Jones is in or knows a real wolf pack. This is just a wonderful piece of literature wearing a horror jacket and being really fucking cool. The story of a werewolf family and the challenges they face trying to stay under the radar in the world around them, and a boy waiting to see if he’s ever going to change. A really wonderful book and one that should make everyone’s Top 10 of 2016.

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I’ll drop a few novellas and a collection that I really enjoyed here. Check out:

WOMAN IN WHITE by Kristin Dearborn

VICKI BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon

THE WINTER BOX by Tim Waggoner

and FLESH AND FIRE by Lucas Mangum

(Mangum’s is part of Journal Stone’s double down collection, and is paired with a new Jonathan Maberry piece-BONUS!)

And don’t miss A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD by David Bernstein, a fantastic and imaginative collection of perfect horror.

 

To see all the books I’ve read so far this year, go check out GLENN’s GOOD READS CHALLENGE  (I will add this link later-my computer is acting fruity)

 

CHEERS!

-GR

 

 

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

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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!

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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!

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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? 

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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

 

 

 

 

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) 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!

 

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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

 

Easter is Hell! New releases and a Horror Hound Recap!

It has been an interesting couple of weeks (or months!). We have the whole Samhain Publishing ordeal behind us (or do we? duh-duh-duh!), I attended Horror Hound  Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I get to be a part of a stellar cast of rowdy writers in a rare holiday anthology that releases Sunday!

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With a title like EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS, anEaster Sunday release date, and  a complete madman (Matt Shaw) behind the wheel, what could go wrong? Shaw, a mean SOB of a horror writer if ever there was one, hand selected a number of talented writers from around the globe to take part in this unique holiday anthology. I was lucky to be asked to contribute and couldn’t say yes fast enough. Alongside writers such as Chantal Noordeloos, Graeme Reynolds, Duncan Ralston, Kit Power, Stuart Keane, Jim Goforth, Michael Bray, and so many more, I just hope my story garners a second look.

“Little Bunny” is sort of like if you took a dash of Alice in Wonderland, a pinch of Pet Semetary, and added it to a batch of Glenn Rolfe…that might give you an idea what you find. I knew these authors would bring the guts and the blood and the strange (and they do!), but I thought I might take a more subtle approach. I hope everyone enjoys it.

You can read an early, piece-by-piece review HERE

EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS is an eBook only anthology and is available for pre-orders now, or you can purchase it Easter Sunday (March 27th).

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Moving right along…

This year’s Horror Hound Weekend in Cincinnati was supposed to be a gathering of friends in the Samhain Publishing world…well, with the company shutting down, they of course, pulled out of the event.  It really sucked. I had worked last summer with editor, Don D’Auria, to have my novella collection together and released just in time for the annual convention. WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN was put together and ready to go!  And a month before release– BAM!  Damn.

My in-laws live  45 minutes from Cincinnati, so we made the hike anyway! I bought a pass for Horror Hound Weekend and carted my books around in my Samhain backpack. I had no table, but thanks to the many connections made last year and the months that followed, I was able to sell a decent amount of copies by setting up face-to-face meetings with a number of Samhain fans. So a HUGE thank you to everyone that met up with me and conducted sketchy business in the halls of the convention center!

Here are some pics from my 2 days:

It was great to see some familiar faces and make some new friends!

Lastly,

We’re all waiting to see what comes out of these behind closed door meetings from our Samhain boss. She’s trying to find a  way to keep us going or our books available. We’ll see. I’ve been approached by a couple of other publishers about future works, so we won’t be waiting long to land elsewhere. Sinister Grin Press is certainly going to be there for all of you Samhain fans. They’ve been publishing Kristopher Rufty, David Bernstein, Adam Cesare, and most recently, Jonathan Janz. I’ll have a novella with them in January and possibly more… we’ll see, but good things are on the horizon for the company and I’m happy to be a part of the SGP future.

I’ll also be publishing my next collection of short fiction sometime later this year along with attending Scares That Care this July in Virginia.

Be sure to check out my interviews and the latest  reviews for THINGS WE FEAR and WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN

I have interviews coming up on the blog with reviewer, Duane Mincel, authors David Bernstein and Lucas Mangum, and I’ll be posting reviews for books from David Mitchell, Brian Keene, Tim Waggoner, and many more.

Oh, and the Guns N’ Roses reunion gigs are just around the corner! PUMPED!

Happy spring!

 

 

 

Best of… and close calls, Plus WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN.

Yep. Blood and Rain made some Best Of lists. And Abram’s Bridge and Boom Town also sneak in there!

Top 5 Confessions of a Reviewer!

Top 10 Horror Maiden Reviews

Top 3 Beneath the Underground

Honorable Mention Hunter Shea

Top 10 Scarlet’s Web Book Reviews

Top 10 Paul from Horror After Dark

Top 2  The Mouths of Madness podcast

Top 5 THE EXAMINER

Russell Coy also listed Abram’s Bridge in his top 10 reads of 2015. Thanks, Russell!

I started the year off with some great support for Blood and Rain from people I’ve admired like Ronald Malfi and Nate Kenyon, then I got judo chopped by Publisher’s Weekly….and finally, to see it make so many of these lists…It’s an amazing feeling. Thank you all for the love, the time, and the effort you’ve each made in supporting and promoting my work.

Turning to the future….

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“Where Nightmares Begin is an excellent collection of harrowing and terrifying tales that clearly show Rolfe knows horror! A MUST read for any horror fan!” –David Bernstein, author of Goblins and Witch Island

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods… small town horror is back, with a vengeance!”–Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock,Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

COMING  MARCH 8th  FROM SAMHAIN HORROR.

Boom Town is an alien invasion novel with teeth…blue, gelatinous teeth, to  be exact. Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!” -Hunter Shea, Author of The Montauk Monster andTortures of the Damned

“Glenn Rolfe’s writing is a breath of fresh air, followed by a jolt of adrenaline.” – Iain Rob Wright, author of The Final Winter

“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

THINGS WE FEAR is a compulsively readable tale of obsession and dark suspense, with one of the creepiest villains I’ve encountered in recent years.” — Tim Waggoner, author of THE WAY OF ALL FLESH and THE LAST MILE

“…Through written word or poetry in motion Glenn Rolfe’s supernatural soiree is a bona fide thrill ride for the ages.” – Horrornews.net on Abram’s Bridge

“(Abram’s Bridge is) literary horror at its best!” – Mallory Heart Reviews

 

Features all three of my eBook novellas for Samhain (Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear) in one print book!

 

Check the link below for more info.

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5780/where-nightmares-begin