Friday, April 22, 2016

David Bernstein's A Mixed Bag of Blood - Review #AMixedBagofBlood



My thoughts
I have to admit that I'm not a big reader of short stories. I prefer stories that require more of a time investment. In other words, novels. However, the exception to that are horror short stories. I love them. I read my first scary short stories as a child. Remember those anthologies of ghost stories you could order from the Scholastic book flyer? I later graduated to Stephen King's short stories and many of his are among my favorites. I think horror works for me in short story format (unlike other genres) because horror can be such a fast paced medium. For instance, horror films are usually no more than 2 hours long, but they still pack a punch. Did I mention that horror films are my favorite? But I digress. What I'm getting at here is that I love horror short stories, especially those that are as good as the stories in A Mixed Bag of Blood.

I love horror that pulls no punches and this author knows his stuff when it comes to that. Some of the stories are a play on our fears of foreign invasion, whether it be in our world, or our bodies. Others bring forth the monsters we're terrified of...zombies, vampires, Bigfoot (we lived in a house surrounded by woods when I was growing up, and yes, I was terrified of Bigfoot. Don't laugh). Some are very gross, yet funny in their message while still being horrific. I'm not going to go into detail because short stories are very easy to spoil for others. Suffice it to say that each story has something to offer.

This slim volume of 125 pages contains 10 stories. I enjoyed every one of them. This "Mixed Bag of Blood" is a must read for any horror fan. I mean it.

About the book
  • Print Length: 125 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.

Praise for A Mixed Bag of Blood 
“Dave Bernstein let his mind wander and his pen write where I know you'll want to read. With an introduction by Kristopher Rufty, this is a reason to stay at home and read on a pleasant Saturday afternoon like I did.” –Cat After Dark

Praise for David Bernstein 
"David Bernstein delivers a fast-moving tale of desire and destruction that gives new meaning to the words, 'Be careful what you wish for.' Relic of Death twists reality and will leave you reflecting on your own personal Achilles heel long after you finished reading…" —Allan Leverone, author of Mr. Midnight

"A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!" —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.” —Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

"A harrowing, brutal thriller, Skinner is Bernstein at his best!" —Peter Giglio, author of Shadowshift

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Purchase Links
Amazon

Check out Sinister Grin Press


About the author
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.



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Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Monster Underneath by Matthew Franks - Review #TheMonsterUnderneath


My thoughts
What if someone could enter someone's mind in their dream state and get them to realize their wrongdoing? That's exactly what Max Crawford can do in The Monster Underneath. He works with prison inmates by psychically entering their dream states as a means of rehabilitation. By seeing the error of their ways and feeling remorse for their crimes, the inmates are able to move on with reentering society no longer criminals. Max has quite a record of success in his methods.

When he is approached by an FBI agent to use his methods on a suspected serial killer, Max has his doubts, but soon is committed to bringing the man to justice. Unfortunately, there are some who just don't feel remorse, or that what they're doing is wrong.

The Monster Underneath is quite thought provoking and at times terrifying. To say it was a page turner is an understatement. The author has explored the ethical question of "How much should we really know about a person? It raises the question, "If you had the ability to enter someone's thoughts/dreams (perhaps a friend or family member), would you do it? Perhaps it's better to not know. Also, there's the realization...some people really are monsters.

This is an outstanding debut novel. I look forward to his future works.

About the book
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Samhain
Publication Length: 219 pages

Reality can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare…

Max Crawford isn’t a typical prison therapist. He uses his unusual psychic ability to walk with convicts through their dreams, reliving their unspeakable crimes alongside them to show them the error of their ways.

Max always has to be on his toes to keep himself grounded, but the FBI agent waiting for him in his private office immediately puts him on edge. The bureau wants Max to go way outside his comfort zone to enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox.

To get a confession and secure the future of his prison program, Max must gain Knox’s trust by any means necessary—and survive the minefield of secrets waiting inside a murderer’s mind. Secrets that could turn Max’s reality into a living nightmare.


About the author
Matthew Franks lives in Arlington, Texas with his beautiful wife and children. He studied
psychology and creative writing at Louisiana State University then obtained a Master’s Degree in counseling from Texas State University. When he’s not working on his next story, he’s counseling adolescents or trying to keep up with his three highly energetic daughters. You can connect with Matthew at: authormatthewfranks.com.

Praise for The Monster Underneath 
“An assured, gripping, totally engaging debut, Matthew Franks will have you burning through the pages of this taut supernatural thriller at breakneck speed. If Christopher Nolan and Stephen King ever teamed up to write a novel, this would be it. Highly recommended!”
–Ronald Malfi, author of Little Girls

“What if you could see inside the dreams of anyone you came in contact with? Would you dare to look? Could you handle the things you’d find within? The Monster Underneath is a real nail-biter – one of those ever-spiraling stories that you just can’t put down until you reach the surprising end!”
–John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Covenant and The Family Tree

“The Monster Underneath is an intense and clever debut in which reality is more terrifying than the nightmares and twisted dreamscapes of a madman. Author Matthew Franks is a name to remember, his stories you won’t soon forget.”
–Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls

“Matthew Franks’ debut novel takes you through the darkest, twisted alleys of a killer’s mind and then drags you several steps further, beyond the status of observer and into the disturbing realm of accomplice. A harrowing tale of murder and delusion and moral ambiguity.”
–Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Damnable, Diabolical, and the dark thriller collection, American Nocturne

Purchase Links 
Samhain

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



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Friday, April 15, 2016

#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings - The Troop by Nick Cutter



I decided to do my Friday memes here at Castle Macabre today since I'm featuring a horror novel. So, to avoid confusion to those who visited me last week at True Book Addict...this is my sister blog. Welcome!

Since I'll be reading this for my Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon next week, I thought it would be a good one to feature.

Headline from The Weird News Network, online edition, October 19:

THE HUNGRY MAN OF PRINCE COUNTY
BY Huntington Mulvaney

Fearsome news, dear readers, from one of our loneliest outposts--the tiny fishing community of Lower Montgague, Prince Edward Island. A forlorn, foreboding spike of rock projecting into the Atlantic Ocean.

     The perfect location for devilry, methinks? Thankfully for you, we have eyes and ears everywhere. We see all, we hear all.
     Sadie Adkins, waitress at the Diplomat Diner in Lower Montague, had her late-model Chevrolet truck stolen from the restaurant's lot last night by an unnaturally emaciated thief. Adkins placed a call to our toll-free tip line after her entreaties to local deputy dawgs were cruelly and maliciously rebuffed, deemed--and we quote--"ludicrous" and "insane."
     "I know who stole my damn truck," Adkins told us. "Starvin; Marvin."
     An unidentified male, with close-cropped hair and baggy clothing, entered the Diplomat at 9 p.m. According to Adkins, the man was in a severe state of malnourishment.
     "Skinny! You wouldn't believe," Adkins told our intrepid truth-gathers. "Never in my life have I seen a man so wasted away. But hungry."
     Adkins reports that the unidentified male consumed five Hungry Man Breakfast platters--each consisting of four eggs, three buttermilk pancakes, five rashers of bacon, sausage links, and toast.
     "He ate us out of eggs," Adkins said. "Just kept shoveling it in and asking for more. His belly must have swelled up tight as a drum. He...well, he...when I came back with his third platter, or maybe it was his fourth, I caught him eating the napkins. Ripping them out of the dispenser, chewing and swallowing them."
     The unidentified man paid his bill and left. Shortly thereafter Adkins went outside to find her truck stolen--yet another malicious indignity!
     "I can't say I was too surprised," she said. "The man seemed desperate in every way a man can possibly be desperate."
     She fell silent again before adding one final grisly detail:
     "I could hear something coming from inside him--I'm saying, under his skin. I know that sounds silly."
     
For Friday 56:
We could die--this thought cleaved Ephraim's mind like a guillotine blade. One of us could start to fall, and someone will try to help--Scout Law number two: A Scout is ever loyal to his fellows; he must stick to them through thick and thin--then another and another until everyone gets pulled down like a string of paper dolls.

The Troop by Nick Cutter
Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—stumbles upon their campsite, Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected...and one another.

***********

This book has been well-liked by people I respect in the horror, and general reading, communities. And Stephen King said this, "The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best." Enough said!

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Kristin Dearborn's Woman in White - Review #WomaninWhite


My thoughts
The author has brought together the perfect pairing of horror and science fiction. We're treated to a mysterious woman in white...seemingly a ghost by the traditional standard. Turns out she is much more. It makes for a spooky story indeed.

The character development in this short novella is extraordinary. Each character had such depth, I could actually visualize them in my mind. Usually in a novella, or even a short story, it's over so quickly, there isn't time to feel anything for the characters. That's not true in this excellent little novel.

Frankly, I couldn't put it down. Dearborn has grabbed my attention with this one. I now plan to check out her past offerings, the novels Sacrifice Island and Trinity, and I look forward to her future work. Well done!

About the book
Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn
NOVELLA
Available: Feb 4, 2016
Publisher: DarkFuse
Format: eBook ($2.99)

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 for the book
"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


About the author
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/

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Glenn Rolfe's Things We Fear - Review


My Thoughts
This book is exactly about what the title states...Things We Fear. Whether it be the fear of drowning, or the fear of being attacked, assaulted and even murdered, these fears can be very profound and affect the way we live. On the other hand, if ignored, they can also prove to be our undoing.

Each character, main and supporting, have a fear that they're dealing with. Aaron's is a fear of drowning due to an experience of near drowning as a child, where he also thinks he saw a monster pulling him under. Emily starts to feel fear when her tires are slashed and she wonders who could have done it. Could it have been Matt, the overbearing co-worker who always comes on too strong? Oh no, he's obnoxious, but a stalker (or worse)...no, surely not. And then there's Heather who works as a hotel desk clerk. Heather, whose friend asks her if she ever fears a guest will lure her up to his room and rape or murder her. This plants a fear in the back of her mind...and yet, she ignores it.

In each of these cases, the fears are either acknowledged or ignored, and in one case, the acknowledgement of the fear leads to tragedy. Of course, I'm not going to tell you what happens. You will just have to read it to find out.

Things We Fear packs a lot of punch in its novella format. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a short, suspenseful read with likable characters.

Read my reviews of Rolfe's other books:

Blood and Rain
Boom Town

About the book
Print length: 98 pages
Publisher: Samhain Horror
Publication date: March 8, 2016

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 also featured in Rolfe's novella collection...


Where Nightmares Begin
Print Length: 219 pages; 

A collection of the three novellas Boom Town, Abram's Bridge, Things We Fear

Publisher: Samhain Horror
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Available Print and Digital

Monsters can hide anywhere. Under a bridge, below the earth…or behind a smile.

Abram’s BridgeWhen Lil Ron realizes the beautiful girl he met under Abram’s Bridge is a ghost, he sets out to make things right for Sweet Kate. His quest leads him into a tangle of small-town secrets as he uncovers a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.

Boom Town
Thirty years after a notorious UFO encounter, the town of Eckert, Wisconsin, is besieged by mysterious rumbles from deep in the earth. As the earthly tremors grow stronger, two pre-teens discover a dislodged pipe spewing a strange, bubbling ooze. Their curiosity unleashes an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

Things We Fear
Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her Fairington Elementary classroom, but fears she’ll be hurt again. Aaron is determined to overcome his drowning phobia and enjoy the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.

But real fear lurks closer than they think. Fairington harbors a psychopath seething with hell-bent rage—and he’s got his sights set on Emily.


About the author
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, will also be released in March 2016. His next book, Chasing Ghosts, will be coming by 2017.

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


Praise for Things We Fear 
"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 

"Glenn Rolfe's new thriller is addictive. A quick, compelling read. Rolfe creates tension with a minimal amount of words. His characters are so well-drawn they come alive (before they die)." -- Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage

"Fast paced and tense, with one of the most interesting monsters I've read about in recent times." -- Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to Be Paid

"Glenn Rolfe is quickly establishing a name for himself as one of a number of excellent new writers to ensure the horror genre is kept alive and well. His previous books – Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town and Blood and Rain – have also served to show the extensive breadth of his imagination and Things We Fear carries on that trend. Quite simply, each story is fresh, new, exciting, and unpredictable." -- Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel

"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." -- David, Beneath The Underground

"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." -Adrian Shotbolt, at Ginger Nuts of Horror

Praise for Abram's Bridge (a novella within Where Nightmares Begin
"This is a stellar debut from Glenn Rolfe, a tale that will give you chills as much as it will make you question the hardness in men's hearts and the spirit of redemption." -Hunter Shea, Author of The Montauk Monster and Island of the Forbidden

"If you're looking for a page-turning who-done-it with a touch of the supernatural and a solid all around story that satisfies, then look no further." -David Bernstein, author of Goblins and Unhinged

Praise for Boom Town (a novella within Where Nightmares Begin
"Short and sharp, Glenn Rolfe’s BOOM TOWN packs in in for a novella. An excellent blend of horror and sci-fi, with way more character development than you usually see in a shorter work like this." -Russell James, Author of Q Island

"Boom Town is a fun, fast-paced read packed with action, copious amounts of alien slime and an aura of creepiness that is sure to appeal to both horror and science fiction fans." -Rich, The Horror Bookshelf

Purchase Things We Fear 
Samhain

Purchase Where Nightmares Begin 
Amazon (Kindle edition. Print link coming soon)
Barnes & Noble
Samhain

If you have any questions, would like a copy for review or to conduct an interview, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Phillip Tomasso's Wizard's Rise - Guest Post


From Zombies to Wizards
In 2012, I signed a contract with Severed Press for a trilogy of zombie novels. To this day, the three books in that saga are still my best selling books. I wrote two more zombie books after the completion of the series. People love zombies. People love horror novels. No way around it.

As a writer, though, I was ready to write something different.

When I started writing books in 2000, I focused on suspense novels. I landed deals with a few up and coming small presses. By 2006, I was doing very well, winning awards, and making a little name for myself.

Life stepped in, and tore my aspirations apart. My marriage was failing. My ex and I seperated. It was devastating. When I moved out, my world crumbled. I’d just finished writing a mystery novel under a pen name, Thomas Phillips. A larger press had bought it, and spent good money on promoting me and the new book (The Molech Prophecy).

My heart wasn’t in it.

To top it off, in December 2008, after 19 years working at the Eastman Kodak Company, I was laid off. I’d spent the last ten years in the legal department. I worked as an Employment Law Paralegal. I spent a full year unemployed.

In 2009, I managed to land a new job. It was working for the City of Rochester as a Fire / EMS Dispatcher at 911. It was a completely different line of work. I worried I’d never make it past the probationary period.

I did. And a whole new inspiration dawned on me.

I was working again. I was rebuilding my life. I was very unhappy. Angry. My ex had, I thought, ruined my life.

The Walking Dead was just gaining momentum. I wanted to tell a different kind of zombie story. I came up with the idea for VACCINATION. The tale revolves around a divorced 911 Dispatcher. When the zombie apocalypse breaks out, he is at work. He spends the rest of the book trying to travel fifteen miles in order to rescue his children.

It was an emotional book to write. The entire series was. The second (EVACUATION) and third (PRESERVATION) continue that journey as a small group of survivors look for somewhere to survive.

I continued the tale with a fourth book, DAMN THE DEAD, taking one of the main characters from the first trilogy to the next level of survival. (There will be more books in this “new” series).

But by 2015, I just couldn’t do it any more. I had grown tired of zombies. My anger, my grief, was spent. I needed a change.

I wanted something with more . . . promise. Something with more . . . hope.

I had notes stored away for a fantasy novel. Aside from fantasy short stories I had written in the ‘90s, I had never written a fantasy novel before. So I researched how to make this happen.

My energy restored. I became excited about the writing process. I had a different message I wanted to share with readers. While the zombie books focused on family, and surviving, and death, and destruction, my new fantasy series (SEVERED EMPIRE), is also about family, but it is also about hope. It is about strength in unity, and the ability to overcome. The possibility to conquer evil. Good rising above evil.

WIZARD’S RISE, the first in the Severed Empire series, let me explore me more. It allowed me to instill my renewed faith in good and in the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Do not get me wrong. WIZARD’S RISE has plenty of dark, plenty of tension, suspense, and grim . . . but there is more between the narrative I hope readers will take away from the books.

I live life one day at a time. It is not always easy, and though I smile, it is not always good. However, I sincerely hope that my books (from The Vaccination Trilogy, to the Severed Empire Series) provide more than just entertainment to readers. I hope the story in some way resonates with them, that they can see bits of themselves in the characters I’ve created, in the scenes that unfold, and . . . just want more of it.

I will write more horror novels. I am sure of it. They will just be written from a different perch than they had been written on before. I love telling stories. They mean something to me. If I am lucky they will mean something to those who read them as well.

Phillip Tomasso

If people are interested in keeping up to date on my work (fingers crossed), below are some ways!

Website
Email
Twitter
Facebook


Wizard’s Rise
Print Length: 390 pages
Publisher: Mirror Matter Press
Release Date: Feb. 11, 2016

A war is coming. There is no way to prevent it. The only thing for certain is that there will be one loser. . .and one winner. WIZARD’S RISE (A Severed Empire Novel)

For over two hundred years the Rye Empire enforced drastic measures outlawing the use of magic. To avoid capture a handful of remaining Wizards escaped royal persecution and made it into hiding. Shortly after the decree the empire crumbled, but the laws remained in place. . .

The Mountain King’s ambitions of becoming the next Emperor will be realized. With forced help from an enslaved sorceress, he will stop at nothing until he achieves his dreams. The easiest path to victory can be obtained by retrieving buried talismans. With those enchanted items in his possession he can summon the Wizards, steal, and harness their power.

In an effort to save the Old Empire from a growing, sinister magic, seventeen-year-old farmboy Mykal and five friends begin a desperate journey. They must collect the talismans before the Mountain King. Their trek will force Mykal to face fears, and accept truths he’d never known existed. There isn’t much time. A war is coming.

Their chances of winning will depend on whether they succeed or not. If they fail, a terrible darkness will steal the light from the Grey Ashland Realm. . .forever.


About the author 
Phillip Tomasso is the award-winning author of over 17 novels. He began his career writing mystery and suspense novels in 2000. Since, he has gone on to publish books in a wide variety of genres, including Horror, Young Adult, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.

His first short story was published in 1995, and he was paid a penny a word. It was an 8,000-word western.

However, it being a Canadian publication—and at a time, when the U.S. dollar was worth more—his check was for just under $40. It was a great starting point, and has been selling regularly since then.

Although not a full-time writer, Tomasso works a full-time job as well. After 19 years at Kodak as an employment law paralegal, he’s spent the last six plus years a Fire/EMS Dispatcher for 9-1-1. He works the midnight shift, First Platoon, and has found the hours conducive to his creativity.

Tomasso prefers to both read books in the same genres he writes. He has been inspired by the likes of Walter Mosley, the entire Easy Rawlins series. Anything by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, John Saul, Warren Hammond, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt novels, and Jim Butcher’s Dresden series. Just to name a few!

Tomasso lives in Rochester, NY with his 3 kids—who are not little any longer. Aside from reading and writing, Tomasso plays guitar, and is an self-admitted horrible singer. He is always at work on a next novel.

For more information, visit Tomasso’s website.

Praise for Phillip Tomasso~
“This is different … confident, addictive storytelling, great characters, and an intriguing plot. You’ll read it fast but remember it for a long time. ” —Lee Child, best-selling author of One Shot and the Jack Reacher series

“(Tomasso) takes the standard fare of the private investigator genre and adds twists and turns to make it anything but standard. Tomasso’s writing is crisp and clear … thoroughly enjoyable.” —Joseph Nassise, author of Internal Games and King of the Dead

“Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is one of my all time favorite adventure yarns . . . Tomasso has managed to preserve Stevenson’s characters and pacing as the story enters this terrifying new adventure into the land of the living dead. I hadn’t counted on loving this story as much as I did, but it surprised me and delighted me and terrified me every time I turned the page. Great adventure, great thrills, and a terrifying glimpse into the jaws of death. Highly recommended!” –Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dog Days and Plague of the Undead

“Blood River is a thrilling blast of cryptozoological fun, a wild ride down tropical rivers in pursuit of a terrifying legend. It will leave you hungry for the next catch!” –David Sakmyster, author of The Pharaohs Objective and Jurassic Dead

Purchase Links~
Amazon

To find out more information about Mirror Matter Press, visit their website.


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Friday, January 8, 2016

Jonathan Janz's Wolf Land - Review and {Giveaway} #WolfLand


My thoughts
Boy oh boy, what a werewolf novel! We're not given long until we're served up a truly scary massacre by one monstrous werewolf. At that point, that's it...you can't put it down (or stop thinking about it when you must put it down). I keep asking myself, "Is this really my first Janz read? What the hell have I been waiting for!?"

Let me tell you though. He doesn't just do gore. Oh no. There is some serious character development here. So much so that you're either rooting for the good guy, or seriously hating on the bad guy. Also, he writes werewolves the way I think they would/should be. More like a man-wolf beast rather than a wolf in the traditional sense, a la Twilight or True Blood. But it's not just the look. The charisma and self assurance that I also feel would accompany a werewolf's physique is also here. We're treated to downtrodden characters with low self esteem suddenly becoming confident and enigmatic. Never mind that they're also becoming monsters. Good stuff!

Janz has written a good many horror novels that I will be scooting closer to the top of my to-be-read stack (or the queue in my Kindle). This novel, Wolf Land, is not only a true masterpiece of werewolf horror. It is also just a damn good novel. I can't help but think of Stephen King. You get the scares, but you also get great writing. This book definitely fills the bill. Read this one...now!

About the book
“A 10-year high school reunion is the catalyst for lots of furry, toothy scares in this gruesome yet entertaining gorefest.” –Publishers Weekly on Wolf Land

An unholy predator on the prowl!
The small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.

The werewolf.

The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf’s fury are changing. They’re experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They’ll prey on the innocent. They’ll act on their basest desires. Soon, they’ll plunge the entire town into a nightmare. Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.

Praise for Wolf Land and Janz
"One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites." –Brian Keene, best-selling author

“It’s the best of its kind I’ve read in years, such that I’d call it “The Quintessential Haunted House Novel.” You’ve taken the old school traditions of the form which readers want and then have injected modern style, characters, and macabre, hard-edged mayhem into the guts of the story. THAT’S the way to do it, my friend!”-Author Edward Lee on HOUSE OF SKIN

“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, this should please readers who appreciate a good haunting.”
—The Library Journal

“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.”
–Tim Waggoner, author

“A 10-year high school reunion is the catalyst for lots of furry, toothy scares in this gruesome yet entertaining gorefest.” –Publishers Weekly

"Probably the best werewolf novel I've read in a decade."- Pete Kahle, author of The Specimen

"If you like werewolves, you will think you have died and gone to heaven. Highly recommended." -Confessions of a Reviewer

"This fast-paced read was a frenzy of carnality in epic proportions. Visceral and surreal, Janz has outdone himself with this newest title."
-Nikki, Horror After Dark

"For years now, the werewolf has been hijacked by the shifter romance genre. Well, Jonathan Janz has claimed a bloody morsel back for the horror genre!"
-2 Book Lovers Reviews

"Janz is the literary love child of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum (with a little Joe Lansdale DNA in the mix), with all the terror that implies. Try him out. You won't be disappointed." -Pod of Horror

“Jonathan Janz has created a realistic world and peopled it with characters that could be people you know then introduces a whole new werewolf legend to rip them to shreds. I highly recommend this relentlessly fast paced story. A hair raising 5 star read.” –Horror Maiden Book Reviews

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Samhain



About the author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a way, that explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."

2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, "Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror--Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows--will find much to relish." Jonathan's Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.

Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a "Rousing-good weird western," and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014's top three novels by Pod of Horror. 2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan "Horror's Next Big Thing." His newest release is Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called “gruesome yet entertaining gorefest” with “an impressive and bloody climax.” He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Jonathan at www.jonathanjanz.com. You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.


Giveaway
Enter to win ONE (1) print copy signed by Jonathan Janz of WOLF LAND! Click the link to enter. There are several things you can do to get multiple entries each day. Forward any questions to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

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