(Interview) Talking Horror with the New Kid in Town, Patrick Lacey.

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I came across Patrick Lacey in 2015. He was one of the new authors signing with Samhain Publishing.  I reached out and invited him to the Samhain Author Secret Club I’d started on Facebook.  He seemed cool. I read his novella, A Debt to be Paid, and found that he was also talented. I suddenly realized that I’d seen his name before. Looking through my bookshelf, I found that we’d published alongside one another in an anthology called, PAVOR NOCTURNUS: Dark fiction Anthology Vol. II.  He had a great story in there called, “Pen Pals”.

We  all know Samhain collapsed shortly after firing Don D’Auria. Lucky for us newer guys at the company, Sinister Grin Press was there to catch our fall.  Shortly after announcing that my latest (Chasing Ghosts) would be published by SGP, Lacey announced that they had also picked up his novel, DREAM WOODS.

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The book was originally signed by Samhain, but after they announced their intentions to close, they allowed a number of authors to retrieve the rights to the unpublished books.

Between the release of his Samhain novella, and Dream Woods, Lacey also put out an amazing collection of short stories (which you should go buy right now) titled, SLEEP PARALYSIS.

I’ve only known the guy for about a year, but it already feels much longer than that. So, let’s bring him in and poke at his brain. Let’s enter Lacey’s Dream Woods….

 

 

Glenn Rolfe: The first thing I noticed about this book was how much it felt like a lost Bentley Little book…hell, it could have been called, The Amusement Park. I know you’re a big Little fan. We’ve both mentioned how great we think his novel, The Store, is.  Do you feel like his fingerprints are on Dream Woods?

PATRICK LACEY: Oh man, there’s no denying it. For me, Little is one of the all-time masters and one of the few horror authors that consistently scares me. Some of his imagery is so odd, bizarre, so out there, that it gets under your skin in a way you can barely describe. I mean, this is a guy who wrote a short story about a farmer falling in love with a potato and managed to make me lose sleep. He’s a freaking genius. So I channeled my inner Little in some of the scenes within Dream Woods. I, too, like to take every day scenarios and make them seem just a bit off before ramping up the weirdness factor.  There’s a certain vending machine scene that I think/hope would make Mr. Little proud.

GR: There’s some punk rock going on within the characters. I know you play, did you have a band, and how much of what Vince and Audra are going through personally have you felt yourself. 

PL: For sure. I grew up north of Boston and there was a decent music scene in my little town. Lots of punk and hardcore and metal. I spent almost every weekend in high school going to shows and eventually playing at them with my own bands. As far as Vince versus Audra, I actually don’t fall into either category. Vince is an aging punk rocker who’s taken to adulthood completely, whereas Audra is pushing it off as much as possible. I’m still as immature as I was back in high school. I just hide it well. I also don’t think one has to become a slave to the system just because they have a full time job and turn thirty. Rock and roll knows no age.

GR: This story takes place at an amusement park, but within that, you get to play in a hotel setting, too.  I love hotel stories. Hotels seem to be among the most perfect playgrounds for horror writers. Did you find that to be true?

PL: There’s this book. I think it’s called The Shining? Kidding. Yes, hotels are breeding grounds for horror stories. Whenever I stay at one, I like to wander the halls at an hour that would make me seem quite creepy. I think about all people who have stayed there over the years and start to get the heebie jeebies. Plus, I always seem to wind up at a vending machine. Sensing a theme here.

GR: I loved that you really made sure to make each of the main characters decipherable from one another. Each faces their own personal demons or struggles. Did you spend a lot of time crafting each of them, or was it one of those things that just developed naturally during the writing process?

PL: Glad you found them decipherable! I’m not a big plotter but I do have an idea of my characters’ main issues when I start a book. That said, they often end up steering me in different directions. For instance, I didn’t know one of the Carter boys was going to be diabetic until I started typing away on his first chapter. His condition actually became a big part of the book and I started to run off with the idea of a theme park knowing your true fears.

GR: Dream Woods was originally supposed to be a Samhain Publishing title. How exciting was it to hook up with Sinister Grin Press?

PL: I was a huge fan of Sinister Grin before working with them and they were always on my list of dream (pun intended) publishers that I wanted to work with. They are great to work with and saved the day when something came up just prior to this book’s publication. I’m talking a real eleventh hour scenario. And I’ll be working with them again in the near future.*

GR: You got to attend your first Scares That Care this past summer. What were some of the highlights and takeaways for you? And you can skip Saturday night (if you want).

GR: Of course, I’ll skip over Saturday night. I mean, what kind of guy would I be if I mentioned the ten or so pitchers of beer that we split, or the countless karaoke videos I took of you, or one of us sleeping on a sidewalk. Anyway, it was the…best…con…ever. I got to meet so many awesome readers and writers and despite the debauchery, every single vendor and attendee is constantly aware of how amazing the charity is. My main takeaway, though, would be how delicious the hotel bar’s chicken wings were. #priorities

GR: Oh, the memories…all that beer…   Back to the interview. Which authors would you say have been a huge influence on you? Any that are under the radar?

PL: In addition to Bentley Little (did I already mention him?), there’s Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Stewart O’Nan, Graham Joyce, Elmore Leonard, Brian Keene, Richard Matheson, John Skipp, Sarah Langan, and Joe Lansdale for my formative years. For newer (relatively speaking, considering some of these folks have been at it for over a decade) peeps that are influencing me as we speak, you’ve got Paul Tremblay, Adam Cesare, Laird Barron, Kristopher Rufty, Jonathan Janz, Mercedes M. Yardley, Orrin Grey, Michael Weihunt, Aaron Dries…the list could go on forever. Also, this guy named Glenn something or other.

GR:  I know that guy! I also know you’re a scary movie guy. Do films play into your writing? If so, which ones and what aspects in particular do you feel find their way into your work?

PL: Maybe? I’ve had a plethora of people call my writing “cinematic” but I’m not good at self-analyzing my stuff. My favorite types of horror movies are those that bend reality. Think A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jacob’s Ladder, The Beyond, In the Mouth of Madness, etc. I definitely think they’re present in a lot of my work. I have a novel sitting with a publisher right now that’s my love letter to this type of story.

GR:  I loved Jacob’s Ladder. Very trippy!   Okay,  let’s do some rapid fire:

Best horror movie to watch: See above.  A Nightmare on Elm Street. Seen it more than any other film ever. It’s the first movie I remember watching and it never, under any circumstances, gets old.

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Favorite fancy beer: Belgian Strong Dark ale brewed with cinnamon, on oak chips with figs.

Favorite crappy beer: Gotta go with PBR. I mean it won a blue ribbon. Did you know that?

Favorite book to read in October: Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge is one of my favorite seasonal reads. It’s like Halloween Hunger Games. I wish I was reading it right this moment.

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Would you rather (Death Edition) …be hit by a bus or punched out of a helicopter: I hate to take the obvious route but I’d rather be attacked by two transformers that moonlight as a bus and helicopter, respectively. First, I’m riding the bus when it morphs into its robot counterpart, therefore crushing me within its robot bones. As I’m hurled out onto the street, with my last few dying breaths, I see a helicopter transform into its robot counterpart and guess what? Its fists? You guessed it. Both propellers. One punch and I’m all guts and gore strewn about. But like I said: obvious.

 

GR: Obvious?  Yep. What’s next for you? Books to read, book releases, conventions, podcasts?  Feel free to mention anything you want.

PL: Let’s see. I’m reading an ARC of Where the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries and Mark Allen Gunnells (to be released by Crystal Lake Publishing) and it’s great so far. For my next release, Sinister Grin will be putting out my second novel Darkness in Lynnwood. It’s a small town horror novel about a teenage cult and is the most personal book I’ve written yet. It may or may not have driven me to the brink of insanity several times during the writing process. That should be released early to mid-2017. Then for conventions, I’ll be at Rock and Shock this October 14th, 15th, and 16th, hawking my books alongside my pals Adam Cesare and Bracken McLeod. And you bet your ass I’ll be back at Scares That Care next year. In fact, I think I have a table with that Glenn guy I mentioned earlier.

GR:  Oh yeah…that’s going to be fun.  Anyways, thanks for stopping by, jerk. 

PL: It was my pleasure, bastard.

 

 

Follow Patrick’s Blog tour for DREAM WOODS below:

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Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #DreamWoods #ScreamWoods #PeskyBear

Dream Woods, Synopsis

  • Print Length: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Press
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2016

Follow your screams…

When Vince Carter takes a shortcut to work he notices a billboard that nearly sends him into an oncoming van.

The ad is for Dream Woods, New England’s answer to Disney World. It closed decades ago, but now that it’s back in business, Vince is eager to take his whole family, hoping the magic he remembers will save his failing marriage.

His wife, Audra, isn’t so sure. She’s heard the rumors of why the place closed. Murder. Sacrifice. Torture. But those are just urban legends. Surely there’s nothing evil about a family tourist attraction.

The Carters are about to discover that the park’s employees aren’t concerned with their guests’ enjoyment. They’re interested in something else. Something much more sinister.

Welcome to Scream Woods!

Patrick Lacey, Biography

Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his Pomeranian, his mustached cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter (@patlacey), or visit hiswebsite.

Praise for Patrick Lacey

“This collection has it all, showing the world that Lacey can write and do it well. From frightening, eerie, soul-stamping to funny and gross, this book has it all. The man’s imagination is incredible. A must read!!!!” – David Bernstein, author ofA Mixed Bag of Blood

“It’s a rare and joyful thing for me to read a book and realize I’m in the hands of an author who can go absolutely anywhere, who works without a formula and without a net. Such is the case with this stellar debut collection.” – Russell Coy, Amazon Review

“This fast-paced novella has terror on every page and will keep you searching the shadows in your home far more often than needed.” – Russell James, author of Q Island, on A Debt to Be Paid

Purchase Links

Amazon

 

New Release, New Deal: Aliens and Things We Fear– It’s a 99 cent summer!

I have two sweet deals for you!

I grew up loving alien movies. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Flight of the Navigator, the TV series, V. These started my love affair. Then I found Alien, The Thing, Fire in the Sky, and The Watch. There’s a billion others, but those are some of my favorites.

After years of listening to Art Bell and George Noory on Coast to Coast AM, I finally scribbled my first alien-themed tale, my novella, BOOM TOWN.  It just wasn’t enough.

Today, I present to you three more tales of extra-terrestrial horror….OUT of RANGE.

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Edited by Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi (Hook of Book Media), with a fantastic cover from Jason Lynch (Jlynchgraphics.com), and an alien-tastic foreword by the great Hunter Shea (author of The Dover Demon and The Jersey Devil), this trio of alien/horror stories is coming at you for the nice price of 99 cents!

Featuring my stories: “Not of This World”, “The Astronauts”, and “Out of Range”

Grab you copy:   AMAZON US   AMAZON UK 

Also, my last novella, the thriller,  THINGS WE FEAR, is on sale until the end of August for 99 cents, too.

 

Summer has just begun, and fear is in season.

School’s out, and the faculty at Fairington Elementary School are free for the summer. Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her classroom, but she’s afraid of being hurt again. Meanwhile, Aaron is determined not to let his phobia of drowning prevent him from enjoying the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.

But they’re about to learn real fear. Fairington is home to a monster. Phys Ed teacher Matt Holmes has more to offer the ladies than a perfect smile. He’s a killer and he’s got his sights set on Emily. Who at Fairington will conquer their fears? And who will fall to a psychopath’s hellbent rage?

  • 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
  • “Whoa! Glenn Rolfe is on a roll! Following the success of his last book, Blood and Rain, he has another gripping story to tell, Things We Fear. This story has all the makings of a good horror flick. We have a plot within a plot that intersects at just the right moment. The chills are there, the characters are identifiable and the intensity of their actions all make for an entertaining time. All in all, well worth the price of admission!” – Horror Novel Reviews
  • “There is a definite old school feel about this novella. It isn’t an over the top gore-fest. Instead, what we have is a tense, psychological thriller that builds steadily towards a fitting climax.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror
  • “In this frighteningly real look at true horror, Rolfe manages to up the ante of tension while balancing genuinely heartbreaking moments, while showcasing his talent for creating unforgettable characters placed in equally unforgettable moments… a testament to Rolfe’s growing ability to spin a story that sets him apart from his peers and displays the talent of a horror author that wants to do far more than scare you – he also wants you to think.” – Beneath the Underground
  • “Glenn Rolfe’s new thriller (Things We Fear) is addictive. A quick, compelling read.” – Duncan Ralston,author of SALVAGE
  • Things We Fear is a taught,character-driven tale of terror that delves way too close to reality and makes you wonder who may be watching you.” – David Bernstein, author of A Mixed Bag of Blood and Relic of Death

Grab a copy :   AMAZON   BARNES AND NOBLE

Some sweet summer deals!

Stay tuned for the release of my next horrorific novella, CHASING GHOSTS (Sinister Grin Press, Aug. 1st) and the re-release of my novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (Matt Shaw Publications, Sept 3rd).

Also, I’ll be attending Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Virginia this coming weekend. Stop by the vendors room and find Matt Manochio and myself signing books and wearing masks–yeah, just look for Krampus and the Wolf Man!

 

Stay Frosty, people!

 

 

(#Share the Horror Interview) Kristin Dearborn talks Globe Trotting, Vampire Bunnies, and Writing her Wonderful New Novella, Woman in White

I usually get to meet new authors and get to know them through these interviews, this week’s guest is a bit of a different story.  We attended the same high school in Central Maine. We never hung out or anything, but after I started writing a few years back, we commented on the same Facebook post of a mutual writing friend. We talked about our love for the Bunnicula series of kid’s books. Then we realized we went to the same high school and she was friends with my cousins that were a couple years behind me. Small world!

Flash forward to World Horror Con 2013 New Orleans and then 2013 AnthoCon. We had some drinks and talked horror and books and the publishing world. She also beta read and edited a couple of my early short stories. And thus, a mutual respect and friendship was forged.

This month, Kristin Dearborn unleashes her excellent new novella, Woman in White. I demanded an interview with the talented Ms. Dearborn and was eventually granted the opportunity.

Here is said interview:

 

 

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Share the Horror: First off, Hall-Dale Rules!  Most people don’t know we attended the same high school up here in Central Maine. That’s pretty cool.

Do you think they did something to us there?

Kristin Dearborn: I don’t know…rural school, not too many people, plus those woods out back. You could be on to something there!

StH: You started reading horror pretty early on. I know we’ve previously talked about a shared love of the Bunnicula (Vampire Bunny) series by James Howe, but what were the first couple of grown-up horror books you read…how old were you and how did you get them?

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KD: Oh, Bunnicula, I love you so. My parents had horror novels lying around and I got my adult library card at the Hubbard Free Library (I’m gonna go to town name dropping places here, and Glenn and I will get all nostalgic and the rest of you will just be confused) when I was pretty young. I don’t ever remember anyone telling me, “no, you can’t read that book.” Movies I was pretty locked down on. I remember having to go to a friend’s house to watch all the Tarantino movies, and most of the classic horror works of art I didn’t see until I was in college or older. But I digress. My mom got Jurassic Park for my dad for Christmas the year it came out (I was 8), and it’s the only book I can remember the three of us all reading and enjoying. Darkfall by Dean Koontz made an impression on me, as did Children of Night by Dan Simmons. Everyone seems to think Summer of Night is the superior book, but I disagree. I wish I could tell you the first Stephen King book I read, but I honestly don’t remember which one it was.

StH: When did you decide to take writing seriously and which story was it that you wrote that made you go, “Oh, this is pretty fucking good”. I know for me, I’d written a bad version of Blood and Rain, but when I started my novella, Abram’s Bridge…. It had this surreal I wrote  this? vibe. Is there one of those magic moments for you, a short story or larger piece maybe?

KD: When I wrote Stolen Away, I felt like I was a conduit for the words coming from somewhere else. It required a really light touch editing, and it just flowed. I’d written 80,000 words of rambling garbage about ten years earlier on the same topic, and shoved it in a drawer, and then, while watching Breaking Bad I thought about those characters from so long ago. They’d matured in the time I was away, and the ideas more refined. I had a few 10,000 word days writing that one, and the whole book felt like magic.

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StH: I loved your previous novella, Sacrifice Island.  I’ve always wanted to travel across the world (Haven’t made it out of the US yet). You did some research for this one that included taking a trip overseas? Is that accurate or am I mixing something up.  And if it is true, can you really get a good feel for another culture in 1 to 2 weeks?

KD: I did spend two weeks in the Philippines in 2012, and I would argue you can not get a sufficient feel for the place in that short of a time. I spent two months in Egypt in 2011, a place I’ve visited in a short story (“Catacombs,” published in +Horror Library 5+) and an as of yet unpublished untitled novel. I spent eight months in South Korea around that time. With all that travel, I still don’t think I have enough of a feel for any of those places to write from the point of view of a native. Most of the writing I do about exotic locales I write from the point of view of a visitor, a stranger in a strange land.

StH: You have a book with Thunderstorm Books (Stolen Away). How did this deal come about and is there more on the way between you and Thunderstorm?

KD: Thunderstorm is great to work with, I had a really good experience with them. I don’t have anything currently up my sleeve, but I wouldn’t discount something coming in the future. The deal came about the way I’m pretty sure most everything in this genre comes about, a conversation with another writer at a bar.

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StH:  Ah…the horror writers best place to make new friends!

Okay, let’s talk about your current work, Woman in White. First off, holy shit is this good. Love the made up Maine town (Rocky Rhodes). I feel like I’ve been there. Love the isolation, the cold, and the creature we encounter. In my review I said it was like you took a dash of Carpenter’s The Thing and King’s Dreamcatcher and mixed it with a good healthy heaping of Dearborn…. How does that sound to you? And what made you write this story?

KD: Stop it, you’re making me blush. This book came about from a combination of reading Christopher Golden’s Snowblind and a trip to the Maine State Crime Lab where a friend of mine works. She got me a behind the scenes tour, and at the time I didn’t have a current work in progress, so my mind was kind of an open slate.

I’ve always loved “winter” stories, The Thing and Dreamcatcher like you mentioned, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, Malfi’s Snow…I could go on and on. I knew I wanted to write a winter book, and something about the blood analysis in the crime lab sort of clicked together for me. The finished book has very little to do with my trip to the lab aside from Lee working there and looking at blood, but it would have been impossible to write without my visit.

StH: I always love a good frostbitten horror tale, too. Especially, Malfi’s Snow.

As writers, artists, we always pull from experiences, but this one feels very personal to me.  Something about each character seemed to dig in beyond your average hero/sidekick/friend/ villain type. Did you find yourself going a little deeper with this one?

KD: I guess I did offer up a little bit of myself for each of the protagonists, Angela, Mary Beth, and Lee. I think it’s worth examining pretty closely how women are treated in horror fiction, and I wanted to write something where the ladies weren’t victims, weren’t passive bystanders. Some of the characters probably would have been happier in that role, but circumstances thrust them into the role of hero. I wanted to write a feminist horror story which didn’t feel like it was beating the reader over the head with the message.

StH: We’ve talked off the record about your future works. Even then, you keep pretty tight-lipped about any of these upcoming projects. Is there anything coming up that you can discuss?

KD: Lots of stuff coming up in 2016! This is gonna be a heck of a year. The paperback and ebook of Stolen Away will be out in June from Raw Dog Screaming Press. I’ve known those folks socially for a few years and am over the moon to get a chance to work with them. Coming this fall is a novella, Whispers, coming from Lovecraft eZine. This story is a modern re-telling of Whisperer in Darkness, the only H.P. Lovecraft story set in Vermont. I’m really excited for that one, as well, which will be out in paperback and ebook. There are some other treasures coming down the pipeline, but those ones I can’t talk about.

StH: And lastly, have you been, or do you believe you’ve ever been abducted by extra-terrestrials?

KD: Much like some of those upcoming 2016 releases, I can’t talk about that, Glenn. If I told you, I’d have to kill you, and nobody wants that. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to interview me. Go Bulldogs!

Standing Bulldog

StH: Thanks for taking the time, Kristin. Best of luck with Woman in White. It’s terrific.

 

Woman In White tour graphic

 

Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I’ll never forget.” —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

“Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!” —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

“Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like “But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?” A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin athttp://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

(Book Review) Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is one of the Best Releases of 2016

 

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I’ve read a few of Kristin Dearborn’s short stories and enjoyed them. I read her novella, Sacrifice Island, and I loved it. And now, I get this novella, Woman in White. Let me say this, this lady can write her ass off. She tells a story in a way that’s not overly writerly. By which I mean that she’s not throwing literary words in the readers face or writing above her head. That’s not to say she couldn’t if she wanted to, I’d bet it’s quite the contrary. The thing I like is that it’s just a great writer telling a fantastic story so that everyone can get it. The person who first comes to mind for me in this style is Stephen King. And to further equate it to people I admire…I liken her style to that of my favorite guitar player, Slash. He can fucking play, but what he does best, and better than anyone, is play within the song. He does exactly what fits the song instead of trying to show off. That’s exactly what Dearborn excels at within the framework of this fun, engaging, and terrifying tale.

From the opening chapter where a woman in white stands in the middle of a snow-covered road, and the unfortunate thing that happens to Dennis, to the cast of characters, each one as real as you and I, Dearborn is off and running and bringing the fictional Maine town of Rocky Rhodes and it’s bizarre troubles to life.

A rash of disappearances where the only thing left behind is loads of the victims’ blood, stirs up the small community. Inside this mystery, we get real people with real problems. A girl who has an abortion in this tiny town without secrets, shunned and shamed by people she’s grown up with her entire life. Her ex-boyfriend is a jealous no good asshole, and her boss at the diner is truly a hero in waiting. Officer Staghorn (what a great name!) and Lee Dudley, a forensic chemist who just so happens to be sleeping with the married officer, are sent up to Rocky Rhodes to see if they can make any sense of the missing bodies and/or the blood left behind. It isn’t long before these two are ensnared in the mayhem and the madness descending upon this small town.

The way Dearborn paints this frozen town in the grips of a Maine winter will have you chilled to the bone as much as the horrible creature haunting its population. I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of my favorite films and novels. The disappearances brought back that unsettling feeling I got the first time I read ‘Salem’s Lot. The snow and isolation, along with the fear and paranoia of what the hell is out here with us gave me flashbacks of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The overall vibe and style also reminded me of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (the novel, not the terrible adaptation).

I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t give anything away. Just believe me…. if you love King, if you enjoyed The Thing, you cannot miss this read! One of the best novellas I’ve had the pleasure of reading and certainly an early contender for my 2016 Top Ten list.

I give Woman in White 5-Stars!

Woman In White tour graphic

IMG_1693

Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I’ll never forget.” —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

“Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!” —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

“Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like “But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?” A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin at http://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

(Book Review) THEY RISE by Hunter “Action Jackson” Shea

they rise

Hunter Shea knows how to write a great, crazy horror/thriller. He should be writing movies for the Syfy channel! I love reading his novels though, so I hope he keeps doing this, too.

What Hunter knows even better than plotting out a seat of your pants adventure…is how to craft great characters to make you want to go on those mad journeys. In They Rise, we get a number of fully developed significant players and some well-written extras. We get Whit, the ichthyologist, and his sidekick, Nestor. We get Whit’s ex-wife, Suzanne the climatologist (their being forced to work together again is great), and her team, which includes my favorite extra (Shirley with her Mohawk and Doc Martens). He pulls us in with these very real characters right from the get-go and makes us invest in this “Ghost Shark” of the sea.

When a ship is attacked by this huge “fish” crew members die, but not before they kill the odd beast and bring it to shore. Whit is called upon to check it out since he is a”Ghost Shark” specialist. He decides to hire out Travis and John (father and son fishermen). The group, including Whit’s new buddy, Nestor, head out in search of more of these out of place monsters. Suzanne and her gang are checking on some serious methane releases in the the same vicinity when they too run into a mass of chimaera-like fish.
Once the bloody action kicks in, we get some ode to Jaws type stuff (naturally) and some fun Indiana Jones references. Once these beasts bubble up from the depths chaos conquers the open seas.

If I had any issue with this piece it was this- like Shea’s novel, The Montauk Monster (there’s even a reference to Plum Island), it takes a turn for full-on action movie in the final four or five chapters. Too many crazy booms and blasts and too much military presence for me to deal with. I’d prefer to have had the beasts vs survivors more isolated, but then, maybe Shea didn’t want to make it just a Jaws copy. I can totally respect that.

There are some underlying themes here with Shea brushing on global warming, but I don’t believe it is meant as the main moral play of the novel. They Rise is a pure thrill ride with a fun cast put through hell as the unbelievable is made believable.

In the end, I give They Rise 4 Stars!

 

hunter-shea-photoThey Rise tour graphic

They Rise, Info

  • Print Length:162 pages
  • Publisher:Severed Press (January 4, 2016)
  • Publication Date:January 4, 2016

 

Some call them ghost sharks, the oldest and strangest looking creatures in the sea. Marine biologist Brad Whitley has studied chimaera fish all his life. He thought he knew everything about them. He was wrong.

Warming ocean temperatures free legions of prehistoric chimaera fish from their methane ice suspended animation. Now, in a corner of the Bermuda Triangle, the ocean waters run red.

The 400 million year old massive killing machines know no mercy, destroying everything in their path. It will take Whitley, his climatologist ex-wife and the entire US Navy to stop them in the bloodiest battle ever seen on the high seas.

Biography, Hunter Shea

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 in 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 They Rise

Amazon

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card for joining this tour! Get extra entries for social media follows, but get extra extra entries for signing up for his newsletter and five extra entries if you review They Rise and send the link to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjMx/?

Good luck!