Friday, July 10, 2015

Ronald Malfi's Little Girls - Review and {Giveaway}

My thoughts
As I've grown older, I've come to really appreciate the beauty of a horror novel that is creepy yet not so "in your face" with the scary. Little Girls delivers in that respect. Right off the bat, we are treated to a gothic premise, complete with the Lurch-esque man waiting on the porch when Laurie Genarro arrives at her childhood home. Her estranged father recently committed suicide there and Laurie is confronted with dealing with his estate and the memories of a childhood without a father (for the most part).

As I said, the creep factor starts off almost immediately when Laurie is alone in the house and hears footsteps when she knows she is the only one there. Later, we learn that something bad happened in the past in the old greenhouse on the property (I saw something nasty in the greenhouse. lol). And there's a creepy little girl running around and befriending her daughter who largely resembles a girl who died tragically when Laurie was a girl. Yes, creepy.

This is my first read of a Ronald Malfi book and I can clearly see why he has been previously nominated for a Bram Stoker award. He clearly has a talent for the subtle scary that I appreciate in a horror novel. Not to mention a true talent for prose. There is no cheesiness in his writing whatsoever. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Gothic horror ghost story.

About the book
File Size: 1769 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2015)
Publication Date: June 30, 2015

From Bram Stoker Award nominee Ronald Malfi comes a brilliantly chilling novel of childhood revisited, memories resurrected, and fears reborn…
When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, and hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods…

At first, Laurie thinks she’s imagining things. But when she meets her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail, she can’t help but notice her uncanny resemblance to another little girl who used to live next door. Who died next door. With each passing day, Laurie’s uneasiness grows stronger, her thoughts more disturbing. Like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Or is something truly unspeakable happening to those sweet little girls?

Praise for Ronald Malfi and his novels
“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”

"Malfi is a skillful storyteller."—New York Journal of Books

"A complex and chilling tale….terrifying."—Robert McCammon

"Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting."—Publishers Weekly

"A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed."—Suspense Magazine

Links to Purchase
Barnes and Noble

Or pick up or ask to order at your local independent bookstore or anywhere e-formats are sold!

About the author
Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.

Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi's dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at


Sign up to win one of two paperback copies of Little Girls by Ronald Malfi by clicking the link to the Rafflecopter below. Be sure to follow the specifics you can do each day to gain more entries.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Glenn Rolfe's Boom Town - Review

My thoughts
Being a fan of The X Files (it's still my favorite show even though it's not on the air any longer), I love a good alien plot. In this book, the town of Eckert, Wisconsin has experienced it's share of strange occurrences. First a UFO sighting in the 70s and now, earthquake-like tremors underneath the town. When pets and people start disappearing, things start to looks suspicious. Brady decides to investigate based on the rumors he's heard around town and, along with his best friend, Kim, goes to the source of the last rumblings (not a smart move for pre-teens). Some dangerous stuff goes down and all I can say is, not everyone gets out alive.

I really enjoyed the suspense and general creepiness in this story. For a short novella, Boom Town certainly packs a punch.

About the book
File Size: 722 KB
Print Length: 81 pages
Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 7, 2015)

Terror from below!

In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.

Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

"...Stephen King-lite. (Boom Town) is quick, punchy and goes places you may not see coming before the final page is swiped or turned." - Horror After Dark

"Boom Town is quick and entertaining read that harkens back to the 1980's brand of small town (or intimate invasion) alien pieces. Like a reader’s digest version of Late Night Horror Television presentations (every region had one, for me it was "Fright Night Theatre") of "Invaders From Mars", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Night of the Creeps" or "Xtro"” – Zachary, Mouths of Madness Podcast

“Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!” – Hunter Shea, author of Island of the Forbidden and The Montauk Monster


Samhain Horror
Barnes and Noble

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 ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM'S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, Jan. 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN (Samhain Publishing). A full-length novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, will come out this Fall from Samhain Publishing and THINGS WE FEAR, a novella, is set to publish from Samhain in 2016.

His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).

Look for his punk rock band, The Never Nudes, on Amazon and Facebook.
Check out his website:

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hunter Shea's Island of the Forbidden - Review and {Giveaway} #theislandawaits

My thoughts
Can I just say wow!? This is my first foray into this author's work and I'll tell you, it won't be my last. I was hooked from the very first word. I can always tell when an author really has something to offer, especially in horror, and Mr. Shea definitely has it.

One premise that makes a great horror novel in my eyes is the creep factor and this book has that written all over it. Eddie sitting in his apartment surrounded by various dead figures brings new meaning to, "I see dead people." Man...I would NOT want to be him. The visual of the pretty blonde women with the black eyes, speaking to him psychically, "Perfect, not perfect. Perfect, not perfect" over and over again was completely unnerving. Throw in the creeptastic Ormsby House (and island) and its history and it's nail biting time, folks!

Jessica and Eddie are terrific characters. Just the right shade of messed up, but with a quiet strength in both of them that comes from enduring a lot in their short lives. I realized that this book is a continuation of the Jessica Backman series and so I will most certainly be getting my hands on the other books...sooner than later.

This was an impressive horror novel. As I said before, the creep factor is what draws me in and keeps me. It's what I deem a must in great horror stories. This book has it and I highly recommend it.

About the book
Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea continues the story of Jessica Backman, the ghost-hunting heroine who has appeared in Forest of Shadows, The Graveyard Speaks and Sinister Entity, all published by Samhain Horror.

To read more about the series and Jessica Bockman, read Hunter’s recent article.

Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

Buy the book

Barnes and Noble

Raves for Hunter Shea 
Forest of Shadows "A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won't soon forget." --Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity "This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don't get much better than this." --Literal Remains

". . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!" --Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal "Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare." --Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre "If you're craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!" --Horror Novel Reviews

About the author
Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror.

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Enter to win one of five Hunter Shea books being given away! Two signed copies of Montauk Monster, one signed copy of Sinister Entity, and two e-books of choice of his titles are up for grabs! One book to each winner, given in order of random drawing. Enter to win at the Rafflecopter link. Must use valid email that winners can be contacted by. Print books are U.S. residents only. Contest ends March 25, 2015. Any questions, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at

Monday, February 23, 2015

Russell James' Dreamwalker - Review and {Giveaway}

My thoughts
It would be pretty freaky to dream like Pete does in this book. Especially considering that he can die in either world because he's a Dreamwalker. I kept thinking about all the dreams I've had where I've come close to dying, or being chased by someone/something. In Pete's world, dreams like that would be life or death.

There were two things I found really interesting about this book, and I learned about two real world phenomenons I did not previously know, or knew little about. One was Pete's disorder, Visual Processing Disorder. VPD happens when a person has trouble processing things he/she sees in the world...information gets scrambled. Pete's VPD starts manifesting in a strange way when he starts to receive messages from words in incorrectly processed street signs, like only seeing the word King in a No Parking sign. He soon realizes that these are indeed messages that are pointing him in a certain direction. Very interesting. The second was the practice of Voodoo. We find out in the book through the character of the villain, St. Croix, that the practice of Voodoo was actually against the law in Haiti up until the 1950s, the power of the practice was so believed and feared. As the author so aptly put it in his afterword, "You don't see anyone pushing to make tarot cards illegal." This kind of gave me the creeps. A supernatural practice so feared that's it's outlawed? Yikes!

This book is creepy in all the right ways. I mean, please stop with the snakes already. *shudder* And then you have an evil spirit that can come and manipulate your dreams. No thanks. The story was definitely "edge of the seat" throughout and Pete was such a great, and likable, character. It's so much easier to get really scared when you care about the characters.

This was my first Russell James novel and I will definitely be checking out his other books in the future.

About the book
Dreamwalker is the sixth novel that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria!


Two realities. One hope.

What if you lived in two worlds, and could die in either? Pete Holm can. He is a dreamwalker, able to travel to the realm of dreams, including the devastated world of Twin Moon City, where an evil voodoo spirit holds living souls in terror with his army of the walking dead.

In the waking world, drug lord Jean St. Croix knows only the power of the dreamwalker can stop him, so St. Croix vows Pete must die.

Pete is the only hope to rescue the lost souls in Twin Moon City…unless St. Croix kills him first. Can anyone survive when two realities collide?

Praise for Russell R. James
“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”
—Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”
—Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you're a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”
—Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

Russell R. James, Biography
Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Q Island, releases in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at and read some free short stories.

He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at

1) Open reviewer giveaway: Anyone who reviews Dreamwalker on Amazon and one other site like GoodReads, etc. and sends Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, their links to will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. This contest ends on Feb. 28, 2015.

2) Rafflecoper giveaway for two copies of Russell’s previous books. Two winners will each win one of two books, Black Magic and Dark Inspiration. US only, no international shipping. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Matt Manochio's The Dark Servant - Guest Post and {Giveaways}

Do you ever wonder what Stephen King’s first book signing was like for Carrie? I’m guessing it was probably at a little Maine bookstore. Was he nervous? Antsy? Trying to find out what type of pen his favorite authors use to autograph books? I’d like to know the particulars. Here’s why:

Every author dreams of a book signing—the event that marks your arrival after years of writing, rejection, rewriting, landing a book deal, editing … you get the idea.

Prior to any of that happening, you envision throngs of adoring fans queuing around the book store, waiting for their chance to bask in your glow, and perhaps make unwelcome romantic overtures—which you of course decline with a polite: “Sorry, Miss Kardashian, I’m a married man and your butt is blocking the fire exit. Please move it.” This was the case—well, except for the Kardashian butt part—at the Stephen King book signing I attended last week at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, New York City.

People lined the perimeter of a city block—not a bookstore—just to get five seconds with the man. Fans clicked photographs, thanked the author, probably said strange things to him, and then held that prized possession (a signed copy of King’s newest work, Revival) in their hands.

That’s the dream. But here’s the reality. That’s the exception, not the rule. I’m guessing King wasn’t nervous prior to his November 11 signing in New York. He knew he’d move at least 350 books just by waking up that morning. Me? I’m on pins and needles that I won’t move 25 books on November 22, my first-ever book signing for The Dark Servant (Samhain Publishing). I’ll be signing at a Barnes & Noble in Bridgewater (NJ) at 6 p.m., and you’re invited!

I’m labeling this event as a book launch party, even though it’ll be more than two weeks after the official release date. It’s the only event I wanted to do. I’m not egotistical enough to think that if I arrange multiple book signings, people will magically appear.

There’s a scene in This is Spinal Tap where the band members appear at a record store to sign copies of their newest album, Smell the Glove, and two people show up—one presents the band with an album that isn’t theirs; the other fan complains when the band autographs the all-black album cover with black Sharpies.

I don’t think that’s going to happen to me. The good thing about a launch party is that family and friends (theoretically) will be there. The daunting part is convincing complete strangers to give your book a try. And I have no idea what that feels like—it’s nerve-racking and exhilarating just thinking about it. But Saturday will be here fast, and my journey as an author will continue. More than anything—and I believe this—at this stage of my career, selling books is important, but so is meeting potential readers and making a lasting impression. I worked as a newspaper reporter once upon a time and am used to speaking with new people. Hopefully, when it’s all said and done, it’ll have been fun, and potentially the first of many. Here’s to hope.

About Krampus 
December 5 is Krampus Nacht — Night of the Krampus, a horned, cloven-hoofed monster who in pre-Christian European cultures serves as the dark companion to Saint Nicholas, America’s Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas rewards good children and leaves bad ones to Krampus, who kidnaps and tortures kids unless they repent.

About the book
Santa's not the only one coming to town ...

It's older than Christ and has tormented European children for centuries. Now America faces its wrath. Unsuspecting kids vanish as a blizzard crushes New Jersey. All that remains are signs of destruction—and bloody hoof prints stomped in snow. Seventeen-year-old Billy Schweitzer awakes December 5 feeling depressed. Already feuding with his police chief father and golden boy older brother, Billy's devastated when his dream girl rejects him. When an unrelenting creature infiltrates his town, imperiling his family and friends, Billy must overcome his own demons to understand why his supposedly innocent high school peers have been snatched, and how to rescue them from a famous saint's ruthless companion—that cannot be stopped.

“The Dark Servant is everything a thriller should be—eerie, original and utterly engrossing!”
Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted, Matt Manochio’s The Dark Servant has taken an esoteric fairy tale from before Christ and sets it in the modern world of media-saturated teenagers—creating a clockwork mechanism of terror that blends Freddy Krueger with the Brothers Grimm! Highly recommended!”
Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor

“Matt Manochio is a writer who’ll be thrilling us for many books to come.”
Jim DeFelice, New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper

“Matt Manochio has taken a very rare fairytale and turned it into a real page-turner. Matt has constructed a very real and believable force in Krampus and has given it a real journalistic twist, and he has gained a fan in me!”
David L. Golemon, New York Times bestselling author of the Event Group Series

"I scarcely know where to begin. Is this a twisted parental fantasy of reforming recalcitrant children? Is it Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Nightmare on Elm Street? Is it a complex revision of the Medieval morality play? In The Dark Servant, Matt Manochio has taken the tantalizing roots of Middle Europe’s folklore and crafted a completely genuine modern American horror story. This is a winter’s tale, yes, but it is also a genuinely new one for our modern times. I fell for this story right away. Matt Manochio is a natural born storyteller.”
Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Savage Dead and Dog Days

“Just in time for the season of Good Will Toward Men, Matt Manochio’s debut delivers a fresh dose of Holiday Horror, breathing literary life into an overlooked figure of legend ready to step out of Santa’s shadow. Prepared to be thrilled in a new, old-fashioned way.”
Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Damnable, Diabolical and The Angel of the Abyss

“In The Dark Servant, Manochio spins a riveting tale of a community under siege by a grotesque, chain-clanking monster with cloven-hooves, a dry sense of wit, and a sadistic predilection for torture. As Christmas nears and a snowstorm paralyzes the town, the terrifying Krampus doesn’t just leave switches for the local bullies, bitches, and badasses, he beats the living (editor’s note: rhymes with skit) out of them! Manochio balances a very dark theme with crackling dialogue, fast-paced action, and an engaging, small-town setting.”
Lucy Taylor, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Safety of Unknown Cities

“A fast-paced thrill-ride into an obscure but frightful Christmas legend. Could there be a dark side to Santa? And if so, what would he do to those kids who were naughty? Matt Manochio provides the nail-biting answer with The Dark Servant.”
John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Violet Eyes

“A high-octane blast of horror. A surefire hit for fans of monsters and gore.”
Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown

“Have yourself a scary, nightmare-y little Christmas with The Dark Servant. Matt Manochio’s holiday horror brings old world charm to rural New Jersey, Krampus-style.”
Jon McGoran, author of Drift

Photo Credit: Eric Schnare

About the author
Matt Manochio is the author of The Dark Servant (Samhain Publishing, November 4, 2014). He is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and he hates writing about himself in the third person but he’ll do it anyway.

He spent 12 years as an award-winning newspaper reporter at the Morris County, N.J., Daily Record, and worked for one year as an award-winning page designer at the Anderson, S.C., Independent-Mail. He currently works as a full-time editor and a freelance writer. 

The highlights of his journalism career involved chronicling AC/DC for USA Today: in 2008, when the band kicked off its Black Ice world tour, and in 2011 when lead singer Brian Johnson swung by New Jersey to promote his autobiography. For you hardcore AC/DC fans, check out the video on my YouTube channel. 

To get a better idea about my path toward publication, please read my Writer's Digest guest post: How I Sold My Supernatural Thriller

Matt’s a dedicated fan of bullmastiffs, too. (He currently doesn't own one because his house is too small. Bullmastiff owners understand this all too well.) 

Matt doesn’t have a favorite author, per se, but owns almost every Dave Barry book ever published, and he loves blending humor into his thrillers when warranted. Some of his favorite books include Salem’s Lot, Jurassic Park, The Hobbit, Animal Farm, and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

When it comes to writing, the only advice he can give is to keep doing it, learn from mistakes, and regardless of the genre, read Chris Roerden’s Don’t Sabotage Your Submission (2008, Bella Rosa Books). 

Matt grew up in New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and son. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in history/journalism.

See more about Matt and his book on his website: and follow him on Facebook, Twitter (@MattManochio), Pinterest.

TWO Giveaways!
For everyone! CREATE a PINTEREST board by choosing one of the following themes: Krampus, Old World Legends, Vintage Holiday, Old World Christmas, Christmas Around the World, Traditions and Legends, Myths, Monsters, and Horror, or something very similar.

Second rule: You must pin Matt's book cover and Amazon purchase link or Samhain Horror Purchase link. Third Rule: Follow Matt Manochio and Erin Al-Mehairi.

Third Recommendation: Extra points for pinning extra things about Matt, such as tour page, articles, etc.

Your board will be judged on the above PLUS your creativity and effort in the project! Send Erin at your Pinterest page to enter by Dec. 8. Of course you can continue to use it through the Holiday if you wish!

Prize: A "Santa Checked His List and I'm on the Naughty Side" package. This will include your choice of Krampus themed apparel (t-shirt or sweatshirt, men or women, visuals to come) and a signed paperback of the book.

There might be shipping limitations. Check back to tour page before entering if you live outside the U.S. for updated information.


And a board about Matt:

Giveaway for Reviewers!
Anyone on the tour, or outside the tour, who reviews The Dark Servant on Amazon and GoodReads and sends their review link into Erin (Publicist for Matt Manochio) at, now through Dec. 31, 2014, will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

A Special Halloween Treat! Ira Gansler's Things in the Darkness - Excerpt and {Giveaway}

Father Frank hung up his robe on a hook next to the door. He offered Kevin some coffee and Kevin accepted. Father Frank brewed the coffee and chattered while he did so about the recent activities in the church and how much he had missed the Tremmels’ presence, not only on Sundays but at many of their outreaches that had taken place since Kevin’s accident. He came out with a tarnished silver tray carrying the pot of coffee, two mugs, cream, and sugar. He sat the tray down on a table that sat on the inside of the L formed by the couch and chairs.

Once he and Kevin had fixed their cups of coffee, Father Frank sat back in one of the chairs as Kevin sat caddy-corner on the couch near him. Father Frank sipped his tea, while waiting for Kevin to start talking, which was another trick Kevin was sure he must have picked up during his days in the mental health field.

Knowing that it was up to him to start, Kevin decided to just lay all his cards on the table and blurted out, “I think I’m possessed.”

Father Frank did not bat an eye at this statement and Kevin felt himself able to breathe. This did not mean that the priest believed him, but it did indicate that he was willing to listen and that was all Kevin could ask at the moment. Finally, the priest spoke up. “When did you start to feel this way?” Kevin felt no judgment in the question and began to feel even more relaxed.

“Shortly after the accident,” Kevin said. “Maybe even right after it. I can vaguely remember some of the dreams or visions I had before I briefly came to in the operating room...” He trailed off and hesitated for a moment to share the point he thought might be vital, but one he didn’t know if the priest had any knowledge of. He thought to himself, “You’ve gone this far, you might as well not stop now.” He took a deep breath, looked into his coffee as if trying to read the future in the swirls of cream, or at least discover some vital secret behind existence, and then finally stated, “When I was dead.”

Father Frank did not drop his gaze and only took a brief second before saying, “I assume you mean clinically dead? Your heart had stopped?”

Kevin shook his head emphatically, “Yes, they used some kind of new resuscitation technique on me, but even so, they said I set some kind of record for how long I was dead before they were able to bring me back.”

“And you think that perhaps you brought something back with you from the afterlife?” Coming from anyone else, this would have felt like they were placating or even teasing him, but Kevin heard the sincerity in Father Frank’s voice and was willing to go on.

“I don’t know exactly. I only know that I haven’t been myself ever since I woke up from the coma.”

“How so?” Father Frank leaned forward and studied Kevin’s face and body language as he asked the question.

“I have been extraordinarily short tempered. I have felt rage at the slightest perceived or real threat or insult. I find myself critical of the very things I used to believe so strongly in, like my students and my family. I am
suspicious of everyone I meet and see ulterior motives in every action.” “Surely there must be more. You are an educated man. If this was all you were experiencing, I imagine your first thought would not have been demonic possession, but a mood disorder of some kind resulting from the trauma of your accident.”

Father Frank’s eyes bored into Kevin’s as if he could read the truth behind them. Kevin felt exposed and for a brief moment wished he had never came. Then he thought of Sarah, Chloe, and Jacob and the grisly visions he had seen when he lost his temper the previous day. He knew that he had to continue, no matter how crazy he would sound.

“I’ve been hearing a voice,” Kevin looked down at the floor. He was determined to get this out, but he could not meet the priest’s eyes as he said this part. “It urges me to do horrible things. Things of such a level of depravity that I find myself disgusted with the very thought of them once I come to my senses. It speaks of this darkness and urges me to join with the darkness. I dream every night of a pitch blackness, with creatures of some sort in the swirling in the background which become clearer every night.”

He looked up at the priest, and the look of desperation in his eyes was impossible to miss as he continued on. “These creatures, Father, I think if I see them in their entirety I really will go crazy. I don’t think any human mind was ever equipped with the ability to see them as they are.” Now the tears began to flow, but he had given up any pretenses at maintaining a sense of dignity or pride in this situation. “I see the most horrible things as if they are really happening. Violence, death, sexual perversion, and it is like I am actually committing these acts, it seems so real. My wife and children…I saw myself hurting, torturing, and killing them, and for a brief moment, I actually enjoyed the images until I came to my senses.” Kevin completely broke down into tears at that point and Father Frank placed a hand on his shoulder, but said nothing.

After a couple of minutes, Kevin was able to continue. “I would never actually harm them, Father. I would sooner damn myself to an eternity in Hell through taking my own life before allowing any harm to come to them. But it is so real. If this isn’t the work of a demon, then I don’t know what to think anymore. Six months ago, I would have thought that the notion of a demon in the literal sense was laughable. But I don’t know what to think.” Kevin grabbed the priest’s hands and the desperation blazed in his eyes. “You have to help me, Father, you just have to!”

About the book
An accident puts Kevin Tremmel into a coma. Upon waking, he is not the same. Is it psychological trauma or something darker at work?

Until recently, Kevin Tremmel was at peace with his life. He had a wonderful family, a meaningful career, and his life is finally settling down. Everything seems to be going great - until the night he dies in a car accident.

When the doctors revive him, it's evident that he's not the same. Strange urges and images haunt his waking hours, and he finds himself fighting frightening new impulses. Has the trauma of the accident caused a mental illness -- or has he brought some malevolent being back with him?

In order to save his sanity, his sense of self, and his family, Kevin must discover what force is at work on him and how to overcome it. It’s that, or give up all he loves and become a servant to the things in the darkness.

"Terrifying and engaging, impossible to put down." Henrique Couto, Writer/Director of Babysitter Massacre and Director of Haunted House on Sorority Row and Scarewaves.

"Creepy, contemporary riffs on Lovecraftian themes!" John Oak Dalton, Screenwriter - Among Us, Haunted House on Sorority Row, and Scarewaves.

About the author
Ira M. Gansler is the father of three girls whom he adores and hopes to one day mold into fellow horror fans! He has been married to his fantastic, supportive wife for almost twelve years. Ira focuses on honing his writing craft through fiction, blogging, and screenwriting. He was one of the writers for the film Scarewaves, having written the screenplay for the “Office Case” segment.

Ira has been an avid horror fan since the time at age five when he ran screaming back to his bed after having witnessed the scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street where Freddy was dragging a bloody and dying Tina across the ceiling. Since then, he has embraced all types of horror. The Shining, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, and the original Night of the Living Dead will always hold a special place in his twisted heart. He prays that when the zombie apocalypse does come that it consists of slow zombies and that the Elder Gods show mercy on us all.

You can follow Ira M. Gansler on his blog, The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void at, on twitter @RageCircusBlog, or on Facebook at Ira also writes reviews and conducts interviews for the From Dusk Till Con Network at

Enter to win one of two great prizes during the #DarknessEmerges Tour. Ira is giving away a GRAND PRIZE of a signed print copy of his book, The Things in the Darkness, plus a signed copy of his “Office Case” segment from the movie, Scarewaves. As a second prize, he’s giving away another signed print copy! Enter to win through the Rafflecopter below. Enter now until Dec. 1, 2014. This is a tour wide giveaway, and open to U.S. Residents only due to shipping. If you want to enter from outside the U.S., and you can, but if you win, you’ll receive an e-book.

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