Officially signed with FLAME TREE PRESS!

It’s been a while…

Happy to announce that I have signed with FLAME TREE PRESS for my vampire novel, UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND.

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UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND

It’s Old Orchard Beach, Maine in the summer of 1986. The pier, the fries, the tourists, and the sunshine blazing high above the Atlantic. For fifteen year old Rocky Zukas, it’s when he sees the beach side town he calls home come to life. Gone are the long, cold, quiet nights of the off season, and here, like magic, returns the beauty and wonder of the city’s heartbeat.

This summer brings her.

When a mysterious, dark-haired girl named November walks into his world, Rocky’s life is forever changed.

A story of love, loss, betrayal, and the undead, ends in explosive fashion after sundown.

In the tradition of such modern horror classics as The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon and Ghoul by Brian Keene, Until Summer Comes Around proves once and for all…the monsters are real.

Look for UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND to be released in mid-2020.

And I am so happy to be back with family like this.

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Stoker Con Providence, RI 2018 (Left to right: -JH Moncreiff, me, JG Faherty, and Don D’Auria)

From my first viewing of THE LOST BOYS to reading Anne Rice’s THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES, ‘SALEM’S LOT by King, THE NARROWS by Ronald Mafi, and LIVE GIRLS by Ray Garton, this  one has been percolating for some time.

See the below video from my old band, THE NEW 45- “I Wanna Suck Your Blood”

(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

 

RELEASE DAY! CHASING GHOSTS is HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

GET YOUR COPY HERE

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

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

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

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

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

 

OOR COVER

COVER REVEAL: My Next Piece,CHASING GHOSTS

Cover Reveal for Chasing Ghosts by Glenn Rolfe

We are excited to announce the cover for Glenn Rolfe’s Chasing Ghosts, created by graphic artist Scott Carpenter, from Sinister Grin Press! Get your next Rolfe novel fix in August! Pre-order available now!

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Chasing Ghosts, Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-order now in E-book! Paperback and e-book to release later this month.

Kindle US

https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Ghosts-Glenn-Rolfe-ebook/dp/B01HYKVYRQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467684693&sr=1-2&keywords=sinister+Grin+Press#navbar

Universal Amazon

http://mybook.to/ChasingGhosts

 Glenn Rolfe author photo

Glenn Rolfe Biography

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and his latest, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, was also released in March 2016. His next book is Chasing Ghosts (August 2016) from Sinister Grin Press.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Sinister Grin Press

Find more information on Sinister Grin Press at www.sinistergrinpress.com. We have “horror that’ll carve a smile on your face.”

(Review) I Kill in Peace by Hunter Shea

 

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I KILL IN PEACE by Hunter Shea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give I KILL IN PEACE  3.5 stars!

 

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I Kill In Peace tour graphic

 

Synopsis for I Kill In Peace

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

Killing gets easier…with practice. 

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

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

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

Biography

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

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

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

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

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

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

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

Praise for Hunter Shea

This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

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

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

 

Want to Feature Hunter Shea?

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

 

(Review) BLOOD SACRIFICES by Brian Moreland

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

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

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

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

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

  The Girl from the Blood Coven

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

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

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

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

The Witching House

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

Vagrants

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

I give it 4 stars!

Darkness Rising

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 stars. Easy.

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

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

Brian Moreland photo

Blood Sacrifices tour graphic

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

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

Synopsis for Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror

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

Some evils require sacrifices.

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

The Girl from the Blood Coven

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

The Witching House

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

Darkness Rising

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

The Vagrants

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

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

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

 

Brian Moreland, Biography

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

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

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

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

Praise for Brian Moreland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to Feature Brian Moreland?

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

Blood, guts, and gory meet character and heart: The Gentle Art of Finding the balance

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This week, I started writing a brand new novel. Anyone who has paid attention to me knows that I’m already working on more than four other pieces. So, what the hell am I thinking starting something else? That’s just how my ADD writing brain works. Part of the inspiration was trying to choose my summer re-read (every summer I like to re-read one of my favorite books). This year, I was trying to choose between one of my favorite Richard Laymon novels, The Woods Are Dark, and Jonathan Janz’s Savage Species. Holding the two righteously vicious novels and thinking about my first Laymon-inspired debut, The Haunted Halls, I felt that old familiar pull to scribble another chainsaw attack of a horror story. One that would make Ketchum or the late Laymon smile.

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I decided to go with Laymon’s re-stored classic.

I got ready to read it and a light bulb went off in my brain.

I opened a new word document and started typing.

In less than 24 hours I typed up the first 8K words for a new novel I’m calling, The Last Show.

Unlike with The Haunted Halls where I had to go back and re-work the story to make it more than just a outright trail of blood and scares, this time around, I want to add great characters and a dump-truck load of heart. Will I succeed? That’s the real trick, isn’t it? Finding the balance between vicious and tender. Heart and outright gore-a-palooza.  Sometimes these mad romps of killers tearing apart semi-innocent campers and travelers don’t really call for any Love Me Tender moments, but I believe the ones that stick with us have other memorable characters outside of our violent death dealers. There can be more magic moments than the jaw dropping scenes that scorch our brains. Scenes like, well, almost any in Ketchum’s Off Season, or the fantastic kickstart opening to Laymon’s Woods…(A hairy, half-bodied man who chucks a severed hand at two girls driving down a back road????). These things stick with us, for horror writers, the do a little more. These scenes stain us.

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My favorite thing about a guy like Laymon is the surprising helpings of heart he manages to slip in between the line of entrails and the cock with razor sharp teeth that is also a pleasure machine. The Traveling Vampire Show’s childhood romance between its two main characters brought me back to those early episodes of The Wonder Years. Watching Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold kiss for the first time.

How can we replicate this masterful art of blood and beauty? Well, it ain’t easy or everyone would do it. I think the key is one word: honesty.  Keep it real (as real as your monsters will allow). It is far easier said than done.Our imaginations can get pretty fantastic. It is easy to get lost on the dark side. To get caught up in the crimson pool of guts that we paint the page with. Sometimes, that’s all a story calls for. I couldn’t write that way, but I know some authors who do and pull it off. For me, I have to push a couple more buttons on my readers. I have to hit those buttons in myself first. I bring up my own guts, my own pain, my own joys, and then I let the monsters terrorize the hell out of all that goodness, all those emotions, all of the honesty.

I hope when I write THE END on the last page of The Last Show, I’ll have accomplished all of that.I promise you one thing–I will give it my best shot.

Here’s to heart, horror, and that crazy Laymon inside of us all.

Cheers!

JONATHAN JANZ FOR 99 CENTS! Get some great horror for cheap!

Okay, it’s no secret that  I have read a bunch of books/authors from Samhain Publishing. So far, one of my favorites is without a doubt Jonathan Janz. This man has the potential to be one of the very best in the business. If you don’t believe me, you need to grab one or (I suggest) all three of his Kindle books that are on sale RIGHT NOW!

His early stuff is decent (The Sorrows, House of Skin), but his latest efforts have jumped him into a whole new level.

My personal three favorites by Janz–Savage Species, Dust Devils, Exorcist Road–are all 99 cents.

Hop on over to his Amazon page to find them HERE 

Dust Devils and Exorcist Road both appear on my TOP TEN of 2014—Check my lists out HERE

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And if you fall in love with Janz’s style (harvested from a love and appreciation of Ketchum, King, and McCammon)  be sure to pre-order his next great chunk of delicious death! The Nightmare Girl–Just look at the freakin’ cover!

the-nightmare-girlNot sure how long this sale is going on, so get your asses over there and snatch ’em up while you can!

You can thank me later.

Castle of Ambition: Walking the Halls of Darkness with Author Jonathan Janz

I got a chance to interview one of the most fun and prolific horror writers from the Samhain family, Mr. Jonathan Janz. His debut, The Sorrows, brought him high praise from Brian Keene and a rabid following. He’s tackled ghosts, vampire westerns (Dust Devils), serial novels (Savage Species), and soon, exorcisms (yikes!). I admire his style, his effortless ability to churn out one quality piece after another, and his accessibility. He doesn’t shy away from his fans. You can find him responding on a daily basis to his faithful followers on Facebook or his blog.

This month, Janz returned with his latest effort, Castle of Sorrows, the sequel to his highly praised debut.  He took a few moments out of his hectic writing/family schedule to chat with me.

JANZ

Thanks for taking the time, man.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!

What was your main profession prior to writing? Do you still work, or is it full-time writing for you?

I’m a high school and junior high English, Film Literature, and Creative Writing teacher. I write during summers, before school, and after my family has gone to sleep.

What really kick started your interest in this gig?

Stephen King and a car crash. When I discovered King when I was fourteen, I discovered the joy of reading. When I crashed my car during my eighteenth year and nearly died, I spent several weeks in bed with nothing to do but read and write. I realized I loved to write, even though I wasn’t any good at it back then. 

Your talent seems so natural. What really helped your writing early on? When did you think ‘I can do this’?

Thanks, Glenn! I had several people who encouraged me. My family, some teachers…but I still doubted myself until some people I really trusted to be objective—Don D’Auria, Louise Fury, and Brian Keene, to name three—said positive things about my work.

Those are some pretty nice people to listen to.

Your vocabulary is off the charts. I find myself looking up words pretty regularly in your novels. Where did this come from and where can I get some?

Hah! Thanks again, Glenn. It’s all organic for me from my reading. Like you, I’m in love with the language, and when I read a word I really like, it sort of sticks in my brain and germinates and awaits the right moment to be called into action. But it has to fit; otherwise, it’s just pretentiousness. Most of the words I find myself writing down in my daily life are normal words that I’ve simply neglected to use. Words like indicated or slashed.

When did your serious writing begin?

I didn’t really get serious about writing until I quit coaching basketball (I was a varsity basketball coach for a decade, as well as a varsity track coach and a coach of several other sports and levels). So that would have been about seven years ago. I didn’t know what it would take at that point, but I did begin to take the craft more seriously and begin to develop more self-discipline, which I think is one of the primary ingredients of success in any endeavor.

Do you have an agent?

I do. Louise Fury represents me, and she has been incredible for me and my career. An agent isn’t for everyone, but for me, it has been indispensable.

What’s a day in the writing life for you look like? Any routines/rituals?

During the summer, I spend the morning and early afternoon with my wife and kids. Then I write from 1:15 until 4:45. I listen to baroque music and sit in my chair by an upstairs window. I drink coffee, water, and munch on almonds. Oh, and invariably, my three-year-old will wake up from her nap and come in to visit me. On some afternoons this happens about fifteen or twenty times.

I have three, too. I hear ya. I know my at home writing schedule is constantly changing. Sometimes I have a few hours before the clan wakes up, sometimes I sneak in a midnight scribbling session, but usually someone wakes up and pulls me from the “writing zone”. How do you find the time to write?

I basically cut out everything else that most people enjoy doing. I don’t watch movies unless I’m with my wife, my kids, or working out. I almost never hang out with friends. I almost never watch sports or television (unless I’m sharing the experience with a family member). So basically, I’m either with my family, teaching, or writing for the majority of my life. It sounds dull, but I’m incredibly happy.

Samhain….

What’s the best thing about being a part of the Samhain family?

Working with Don is great. Another thing I love is developing relationships with my fellow authors. I’ve met some great people both on the writing side of things and the business side of Samhain. 

I’m right there with you. Don and the other authors I’ve had a chance to meet so far have been amazing and welcoming.

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Let’s dive into some of your Samhain novels. Starting with The Sorrows. I thought there were a lot of hugely impressive pieces in there. From the building of your characters– Ben, Claire, Eddie, and even Chris, and even Daniel’s journal–to the way you weaved back and forth through the past to the present. The novel was praised as ‘the best of 2012’ by Brian Keene. How did you not let that go to your head? Did it at any point paralyze you? Or was it motivation?

The Brian Keene mention, as you have guessed, was very important to me. It did feel incredibly validating to have this awesome writer who I admire say such positive things about my work. But it didn’t go to my head or make me relax. Like you said in your question, it really motivated me to do even better. For me, everything is motivation—from the soul-crushing disappointments to the breathtaking highs. It all motivates me to improve.

JANZ

Obviously, you know I enjoyed Savage Species…loved the Laymon and Ketchum vibes you had going in there.  How did you like the serial experience? Would you do it again?

Thank you! I loved the serial experience and would love to do it again. It wouldn’t work for every book, but for the right one, like Savage Species, I think it’s ideal.

 

 

You have some new works coming. Let’s talk about Exorcist Road. Is this going to scare the hair off of my nuts? Can you tell us a little about it?

Hah! Well, I hope it scares you that badly. It’s inspired by several sources, most recently John Farris’s Son of the Endless Night and the novels of William Peter Blatty. As you’d imagine, there are demonic/spiritual overtones in the book, but what I really like about it is the mystery/suspense angle. It’s kind of a horror whodunit. And I really love the characters in this one. It’s also the first story I’ve written entirely in the first-person, which was a blast to do.

COS JANZ

 

Sounds awesome. Can’t wait to read that one. Next, we have Castle of Sorrows. Beautiful cover!  For me, the best part of The Sorrows was that it pushed on every emotional button I have. What can we expect to be put through this time around, and (without giving too much away) how is it going to be different?

Castle of Sorrows is the darkest thing I’ve ever written. It’s bleaker and more violent than my other stuff, but again, there’s a real emotional core there that anchors the book. Ben Shadeland is a lot like me in that he’ll do anything he can to protect his family. But like most dads, he sometimes questions his ability to do that. In Castle, he faces just about every horror imaginable.  

What made you want to write a sequel?

The story really lent itself to that. I love the setting, the premise, the main villain, and the protagonist. There’s a great deal of growth potential there, even after two books. I’m probably going to write a third book to complete the trilogy, but that won’t be for a couple of years.

Any timetable on book 3?

Yep! It will likely be written in 2016 and will hopefully be published in 2017. But those are just guesses.

There are some classical references in The Sorrows. What bands or artists do you crank when you ride alone to the store?

Boring answer, but I almost have a kid with me. If I don’t, it’s a book on tape or silent time to think and develop my ideas. But musically, my favorites are George Strait, Metallica, The Doors, and anything classical.

I like the variance in artists. I’m the same way.

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For me, The Exorcist is the scariest move all-time; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the best horror film all-time. How about for you? Scariest all-time, and best horror all-time?

Great choices! I’ve gotta agree on The Exorcist. For me, the best horror film would be Jaws because of what it did to be psychologically and because it’s simply a perfect movie.

LOVE Jaws! Give me a personal favorite from each of these greats. Doesn’t have to be your favorite, but maybe one that holds a special place in your heart:

King‘Salem’s Lot or The Stand

LaymonThe Woods Are Dark

KetchumRed or The Girl Next Door

Rapid Fire:

What’s in your DVD player right now?

 The second Percy Jackson movie (I just watched it with my son for his birthday).

Burger or Pizza?

Beer or Wine?

Does your wife ever read your work? (Mine refuses to)

Sorry to hear that! My wife has read a couple of my books, but she doesn’t usually get into horror, so she’s got some catching up to do.

Thank you for talking with me!

Thank you so much for talking to me, Glenn! 

 

Find Jonathan Here!

His Amazon Page: Jonathan Janz

His Blog: Jonathanjanz.com

His Samhain Horror Page: Samhain-Jonathan Janz