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Friday, January 29, 2016

Wolf's Blind by W.D. Gagliani [4.5 stars]




From the Description



 
Nothing’s more dangerous than a wounded wolf!
Injured by an explosion, homicide detective Nick Lupo should heal right up…because he’s a werewolf! But something keeps him from shifting into wolf form, making him unable to heal. New Mafia boss Joe Rabbioso is after Lupo, seeking his very brutal form of revenge, and he thinks he has Lupo on the ropes. Can loyal Jessie Hawkins and Lupo’s partner, DiSanto, find Lupo before the hunter? Nick has a lot to deal withbut only if he can manage to heal his wounded body first!





 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.



Wolf's Blind, the latest in the Nick Lupo series, reminds me once again that W.D. Gagliani knows what he's doing when it comes to exciting world building! The continuation of Frank Lupo's story as Nick discovers more about his father's past as a werewolf hunter gives this series a richer depth. I can't wait to learn more about Frank and his fascinating past!! The action scenes are so engrossing that I felt like I was running through the woods with Nick, fleeing an unseen foe. The relationships between the characters in this series is very realistic. Filled with the mistakes and miscommunications that make them all too human. If you haven't read the rest of the series I would suggest starting with book one, Wolf's Trap, to better enjoy the ongoing storylines woven throughout the series. I have been a fan of the Nick Lupo series ever since I laid my hands on the first one, now that I've finished book six I'm still salivating for more! A darkly enjoyable 4.5 star read.




Buy the Book






Praise for W.D. Gagliani

 

"W.D. Gagliani drags you to the edge of your seat and keeps you there with the sheer power of his writing, all the way to the book's chilling conclusion. It's a helluva ride." -Len Maynard (Maynard Sims), co-author of Mother of Demons, on Wolf's Blind

 

"Gagliani once more proves that werewolves are scary as hell." -Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of The Dragon Factory

 

"The best werewolf novel since The Howling!" -J. A. Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour, on Wolf's Trap

 

"W.D. Gagliani has done more than pump a little oxygen into the tired werewolf thriller. He's resurrected the entire genre and added a rush of nitrous oxide excitement." -Gene O'Neill, author of Dance of the Blue Lady

 

 


About the Author

 

 


W.D. Gagliani is the author of the horror/crime thriller WOLF'S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF'S GAMBIT (47North), WOLF'S BLUFF (47North), WOLF'S EDGE (Samhain), WOLF'S CUT (Samhain), and WOLF'S BLIND (Samhain, Nov 2015). Gagliani is also the author of the hard-noir thriller SAVAGE NIGHTS (Tarkus Press), the collection SHADOWPLAYS, the novella THE GREAT BELZONI AND THE GAIT OF ANUBIS, and the holiday-themed short stories "The Christmas Wolf," "The Christmas Zombie," "The Christmas Mummy," and "The Christmas Vampire," all available for the Kindle.

A collection of collaborations between David Benton and W.D. Gagliani, MYSTERIES & MAYHEM (Tarkus Press), is available for Kindle and all other formats. Five collaborative short stories are included, as well as one solo short story from each author, and a guest short story.

Gagliani is also the author of various short stories published in anthologies such as ROBERT BLOCH'S PSYCHOS, UNDEAD TALES, MORE MONSTERS FROM MEMPHIS, WICKED KARNIVAL HALLOWEEN HORROR, THE BLACK SPIRAL, THE MIDNIGHTERS CLUB, THE ASYLUM 2, THE X-FILES: TRUST NO ONE, SNAFU: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MILITARY HORROR, SNAFU: WOLVES AT THE DOOR, ZIPPERED FLESH 2, MASTERS OF UNREALITY, DARK PASSIONS: HOT BLOOD 13, and MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR (the last seven with David Benton), and more.

He has also written book reviews, articles, and interviews that have been published in places such as THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, CHIZINE, CEMETERY DANCE, HORRORWORLD, PAPERBACK PARADE, CINEMA RETRO, HELLNOTES, FLESH & BLOOD, BOOKPAGE, BOOKLOVERS, THE SCREAM FACTORY, HORROR MAGAZINE, SF CHRONICLE, BARE BONES, and others. Also published in the Writers Digest book ON WRITING HORROR (edited by Mort Castle), THEY BITE! (edited by Jonathan Maberry and David Kramer), ZOMBIE WRITING! (Rymfire Books), and in the Edgar Award-nominated THRILLERS: THE 100 MUST READS (edited by David Morrell & Hank Wagner), published by Oceanside for the International Thriller Writers. In October 2011, THE WRITER magazine published his article on writing werewolf epics.

His interests include old and new progressive rock, synthesizers, weapons, history (and alternate history, secret history, and steampunk), military history, movies, book reviewing, and plain old reading and writing. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him at
http://www.wdgagliani.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter.





 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wind Chill by Patrick Rutigliano [5 stars]





From the Description


What if you were held captive by your own family?
Emma Rawlins has spent the last year a prisoner. The months following her mother's death dragged her father into a paranoid spiral of conspiracy theories and doomsday premonitions. Obsessing him, controlling him, they now whisper the end days are finally at hand.


And he doesn’t intend to face them alone.

Emma finds herself drugged and dragged to a secluded cabin, the last refuge from a society supposedly due to collapse. Their cabin a snowbound fortress, her every move controlled, but even that isn't enough to weather the end of the world.

Everything she knows is out of reach, lost beyond a haze of white. There is no choice but to play her father's game while she plans her escape.

But there is a force far colder than the freezing drifts. Ancient, ravenous, it knows no mercy. And it's already had a taste...

Wind Chill also contains eight original bonus stories:

-The Fear Merchant: The local king of Halloween finds himself outdone by a new neighbor and becomes compelled to discover what secrets lie in the haunted house across the street.

-Bang!: A rivalry between two creatures of the night takes a black-humored twist.
-Little Red Vest: A break down leaves a woman stranded on the wrong side of townand witness to a bizarre performance that can warp time as easily as it does flesh.


-Shadowplay: Still mourning his little brother’s death, an aging wave slave finds comfort in the local playground. But he can’t help but wonder about the strange child who lingers there after dark.

-Jump Cuts: Bitter and dejected, a spinster discovers a way to reconnect with the warmer shades of the human experience. And her own regrets.

-The Skin Trade: A one-night stand leaves a businessman with an unthinkable cargo.






I received an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.



Wind Chill is a taut thrill ride into terror. The location of an isolated cabin surrounded by an impenetrable, snowed in forest was a perfect backdrop for the escalating sense of claustrophobic terror and dread woven throughout this story. The characters are so well written that you can feel Emma's desperation and fear as she tries to figure out if her father is a prepper driven crazy by the death of his wife or a man desperate to save what remains of his family from the evil that stalks them through the snowy landscape. I highly recommend this fantastic 5 star read. The bonus stories are icing on the cake.




Buy the Book

 
 

Praise for Wind Chill

 

"At turns heart-rending and terrifying, Wind Chill plumbs the costs of love, family, innocence, and the supernatural with a grace rarely seen in horror fiction. Rutigliano understands the human condition, and we're prisoner as he leads us down a dark and claustrophobic hallway all too real, and, more importantly, actually scary. His career will be a long and fruitful one." - Ben Eads, author of Cracked Sky

 

Patrick Rutigliano's "Wind Chill" is a nice blend of old world meets new when an ancient myth comes to life for a modern doomsday prepper. Come for the title story and stay for more of Rutigliano's bleak short pieces. This is a good little bundle of terror in one sick package. --Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Little Dead Red.

 

"You are in for a treat. Wind Chill is a story of survival in the most horrific way. When a daughter can no longer trust her father she must find a way to save herself." - Horror Novel Reviews

 

"Patrick Rutigliano writes crisp and lean, with a deft delivery, a vivid imagination and an ability to immerse the reader in the fear his well-developed characters suffer. Wind Chill evokes atmospheres as cold, claustrophobic and as intense as the environment it is set in, and with it, Rutigliano crafts a memorable tale where not one word is superfluous. In addition to the novella itself, this book contains the bonus of several other short works, each one a diverse slice of horror pitching ordinary folks into extraordinary situations where anything can, and usually does, happen. Highly recommended for all those who like a clever mix of both the cerebral and the visceral." - Jim Goforth, author of Plebs


 


About the Author

 

Patrick Rutigliano made his way as a fry cook, cart monkey and feral cat tamer before going into business for himself. Working as an editor and proofreader in addition to writing, his first independent release, The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy, hit Amazon in 2013. His first novel, Surviving the Crash, was released by Retro Rocket Press in 2014.

During his off time, Patrick can usually be found attempting to recreate foreign cuisine, performing the solemn duty of feline waterbed and having spirited debates with his wife over the failings of Disney villains.

You can find out more at https://patrickrutigliano.wordpress.com/ or connect on Facebook or Twitter.






 

Monday, January 25, 2016

WOLF'S DEAL (A Nick Lupo Novella) by W.D. Gagliani [4 stars]



 


 

 
From the Description

He kills with a crossbow. His targets are Milwaukee casino employees. Local media labels him The Archer, and homicide detectives Nick Lupo and Rich DiSanto catch the case.

Nick Lupo became a werewolf when he was a teenager, but slowly his lonely world has opened up to include the lovely North Woods reservation doctor Jessie Hawkins. And he had finally begun to shed the results of a terrible condition that brought pain -- and even death -- to people he loved, when the Wolfpaw mercenaries proved he wasn't the only werewolf... in fact, there are many more of his kind, and some of them have roots that reach back all the way to World War 2 and much, much earlier.

But right now Nick Lupo is a cop first, and The Archer seems to be taunting the police as he takes one victim and then another. Only now that Jessie's in town unexpectedly does the game turn personal for Lupo, who has to decide whom to trust with his secret, and whom to use his curse against. In the course of this case, which takes place between the novels WOLF'S GAMBIT and WOLF'S BLUFF, Lupo will face a new phenomenon in his already cluttered life, and this time he'll find that his Jessie might be in the line of fire... because The Archer has a gripe, and he's willing to take his revenge on anyone at all.

WOLF'S DEAL is a Nick Lupo novella (41,000 words) by the author of Bram Stoker Award finalist WOLF's TRAP, WOLF'S GAMBIT, WOLF'S BLUFF, WOLF'S EDGE, WOLF'S CUT, and the upcoming WOLF'S BLIND (2015). Available exclusively for the Kindle. Warning: adult content.

WOLF'S DEAL takes place between the time frame of WOLF'S GAMBIT and WOLF'S BLUFF. Horror, Thriller, Crime/Suspense, and Urban Fantasy combine for one explosive mix! Urban Fantasy fans who crave edgy, graphic horror elements especially will want to take note of this series.


 
Wolf's Deal is a ferocious thrill ride in the Nick Lupo Universe. The action is intense and the characters are realistic. As a long time fan of the series it was great to catch up with Nick and Jessie. I also loved the dynamic relationship between Nick and Sam Waters. The Archer is a creepy and realistic villain. My only complaint is that the story ended way to soon! If you're a fan of werewolves or just great stories you should grab this fast paced 4 star werewolf tale.

 


Buy Wolf's Deal
 
 


Praise for W.D. Gagliani

 

"Gagliani has cemented his place in werewolf legend with a muscular and smart series that deserves a much bigger audience..." -- HorrorWorld

About Wolf's Gambit:

``"A great big bloody beast of a book that enthralls the reader on multiple levels. Vicious, gory, sexy, fascinating--part-supernatural thriller, part-police procedural, pure dynamite!" -- Edward Lee, author of Brides of the Impaler and The Golem

"If you're looking for the same-ol'-same-ol' werewolf story, W.D. Gagliani's Wolf's Gambit is definitely not for you. Gagliani takes a rehashed theme and breathes new life into it with a cast of memorable characters and relentless suspense. He masterfully weaves sensuality and horror throughout the story, taking the reader on a journey that redefines 'love at all costs.' Wolf's Gambit is one book you won't put down, and it's a story you'll never forget."
-- Deborah LeBlanc, bestselling author of Water Witch


"Wolf's Gambit is the equivalent of a North Woods rollercoaster -- with each brutal twist the body count rises, but you never want the ride to end! This one goes for the throat over and over again, and as you slip through the slayings with Detective Lupo in a desperate race against time, the pages seem to turn themselves! I couldn't put it down!." -- John Everson, author of Covenant and Sacrifice

About Wolf's Bluff:


"In Wolf's Bluff Gagliani once more proves that werewolves are scary as hell. The book is fast, vicious and thoroughly satisfying." -- Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Wolfman, Patient Zero, The Dragon Factory, and Rot & Ruin


"Wolf's Bluff is arguably the best novel in Gagliani's werewolf series. It's creepy, sexy, fast-paced and brimming with humanity." -- Gary A. Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of In Silent Graves, Coffin County, and Far Dark Fields

"Wolf's Bluff will keep you biting your nails right up to its blood-drenched final. Gagliani sets a relentless pace from the first page and never lets up." -- John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Covenant, Siren, Sacrifice, and The 13th


 
About the Author
 
 

 
W.D. Gagliani is the author of the horror/crime thriller WOLF'S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF'S GAMBIT (47North), WOLF'S BLUFF (47North), WOLF'S EDGE (Samhain), WOLF'S CUT (Samhain), and WOLF'S BLIND (Samhain, Nov 2015). Gagliani is also the author of the hard-noir thriller SAVAGE NIGHTS (Tarkus Press), the collection SHADOWPLAYS, the novella THE GREAT BELZONI AND THE GAIT OF ANUBIS, and the holiday-themed short stories "The Christmas Wolf," "The Christmas Zombie," "The Christmas Mummy," and "The Christmas Vampire," all available for the Kindle.

A collection of collaborations between David Benton and W.D. Gagliani, MYSTERIES & MAYHEM (Tarkus Press), is available for Kindle and all other formats. Five collaborative short stories are included, as well as one solo short story from each author, and a guest short story.

Gagliani is also the author of various short stories published in anthologies such as ROBERT BLOCH'S PSYCHOS, UNDEAD TALES, MORE MONSTERS FROM MEMPHIS, WICKED KARNIVAL HALLOWEEN HORROR, THE BLACK SPIRAL, THE MIDNIGHTERS CLUB, THE ASYLUM 2, THE X-FILES: TRUST NO ONE, SNAFU: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MILITARY HORROR, SNAFU: WOLVES AT THE DOOR, ZIPPERED FLESH 2, MASTERS OF UNREALITY, DARK PASSIONS: HOT BLOOD 13, and MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR (the last seven with David Benton), and more.

He has also written book reviews, articles, and interviews that have been published in places such as THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, CHIZINE, CEMETERY DANCE, HORRORWORLD, PAPERBACK PARADE, CINEMA RETRO, HELLNOTES, FLESH & BLOOD, BOOKPAGE, BOOKLOVERS, THE SCREAM FACTORY, HORROR MAGAZINE, SF CHRONICLE, BARE BONES, and others. Also published in the Writers Digest book ON WRITING HORROR (edited by Mort Castle), THEY BITE! (edited by Jonathan Maberry and David Kramer), ZOMBIE WRITING! (Rymfire Books), and in the Edgar Award-nominated THRILLERS: THE 100 MUST READS (edited by David Morrell & Hank Wagner), published by Oceanside for the International Thriller Writers. In October 2011, THE WRITER magazine published his article on writing werewolf epics.

His interests include old and new progressive rock, synthesizers, weapons, history (and alternate history, secret history, and steampunk), military history, movies, book reviewing, and plain old reading and writing. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him at http://www.wdgagliani.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter.
 







Friday, January 22, 2016

An Interview with Louise Herman

 







Welcome all.


Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Louise Herman author of The Orcus Games trilogy and the Split Blood series.




Hi Louise Herman, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?



Why do you write?



I currently write Young Adult Urban Fantasy novels but I am interested in trying other genres when I have completed the Split Blood series.



I love writing this genre because I have always been interested in magic, Greek mythology and alternative realms and worlds but I am also fascinated by the horror, thriller and crime genres.



 Where do your ideas come from?



I think my ideas come from my imagination (it can be a little bit odd as I have been told so many times!), my interests (films and music) and my interaction with people (past and present).


Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?




I think I am a little too organized (I think this is due to my career), so I have to outline the summary, plan each chapter, research the meanings of my characters names so they match their personalities, create lists of different governments around the world, so I can create a semi realistic magical world and then I start writing the first chapter.




So, what have you written?



 I have written and published five books to date (Dec 2015), with the third book in the Split Blood series to be published in April 2016.

 

 The Orcus Games: Blood Moon (Book 1)









Guilty until you survive all zones…The Orcus Games is ready to put you on trial…



The lives of a witch and wizard couple, a new vampire and a rogue Lycan intertwine in three magical tales of love, loss and revenge.



The Craft – When witch and wizard couple, Heather and Phoenix make that fatal mistake on that, ‘Blood Moon’ night, they never thought they would be forced to working with a loner Lycan but…is he the only one who saw the, ‘accidental’ fatal act?



The Clan – Ardan would do anything for his wife and daughter but he could not protect them from the new blood thirsty life that was about to be bestowed onto them but what happens when he risks his immortal life for them?



The Pack – Caleb was always the Lycan that wanted more! With constant schemes and risky deals, to increase the potential of a better lifestyle, he thought his latest underground deal was the perfect idea, until he loses more than just his money…



The first book in the prequel to the, ‘Split Blood’ series, this novella is a mind-blowing magical tale of belonging, sacrifice and revenge…The Orcus Games: Blood Moon will drag you, kicking and screaming, on this deadly journey with the ill-fated prisoners.




The Orcus Games: Mistress V (Book 2)












The Underworld as no fury like Mistress V scorned…



Mistress V had it all…looks, power within the vampire clan and men at her disposal but she wanted more.



She wanted Ardan, to be precise.



He was unlike any other vampire she had turned before and she wanted him, needed him and was determined to do anything to get him…



Frustrated by his lack of interest and constant rejection, Mistress V is dealt another blow as Ardan is accused of a crime and is thrown into The Orcus Games, leaving her to watch her obsession fight for his life, whilst witnessing a second by second account of his budding friendship with fellow vampire contestant, Luan.



Unable to admit defeat, Mistress V plots and plans ways of getting to her man before it was too late but with every minute he is in the show, he grows closer to Luan, enraging Mistress V, leaving her to become more erratic and mentally disturbed, which has disastrous results…



The Prequel to the, ‘Split Blood’ series, this novella is a deliciously dark tale of power, lust and obsession…The Orcus Games: Mistress V will leave you licking your lips, thirsty for more…








The Orcus Games: New Awakening (Book 3)









You can run but you can’t hide…



Escaping The Orcus Games, each of the fugitive’s dreams of a happy reunion with loved ones are short lived as they each find out there is a bounty on each of their lives.



Ardan finally accepts his new life as a vampire and enlists the help of Cathal, the vampire leader of the district, to help him make a proposal to the Elders so he can live…but what ulterior motives does Cathal have?



Heather and Phoenix return to their coven, only to find they have moved. After much searching, they find their circle and are reunited with their daughters. They beg their coven to hide them but why is the Grand Witch so reluctant to agree with the plan?



And with Mistress V agreeing to marry Cathal, have the damned foursome finally found peace and safety? Or is there one more ‘hurricane’ coming to destroy all they hold dear?



The last book in the prequel to the, ‘Split Blood’ series, this novella is an enticing end to a tantalising fantasy trilogy…The Orcus Games: New Awakening gives you the electrifying conclusion, with a seductive surprise, to keep your blood flowing for another possible bite…



Split Blood: The Ancient Codex – Part One (Book 1)









When Faith’s mother starts organizing the second stage of her arranged marriage to wizard, Damien, Faith knew she needed to escape, so she used her school as a place to retreat. Throughout her after school duties, she meets the intense, alluring Rohan, who changes her life forever. With his ice cold skin, transfixing eyes and enchanting voice, Rohan took hold of Faith’s heart and soul as soon as they looked at each other.



She knew it was wrong.



They were from two different circles and if the Elder’s found out, the consequences would be catastrophic for all involved, but the more time they spent together, the stronger they’re love grew, until one day someone sees them and they are forced to go on the run together.



Will their love be strong enough to combat their conflicting mythical needs? And what will they do when Faith is dealt a life threatening blow that forces her to make a heart-breaking decision?



INTENSELY PASSIONATE WITH EXTRAORDINARY TWISTS AND TURNS, SPLIT BLOOD IS A LOVE STORY WITH A DARK MYTHICAL DIFFERENCE




Split Blood: Rise of the Wolf (Book 2)











‘You are the oil to my fire and no one will ever extinguish us’ Enya said as she stroked the scar, which reminds him of his horrific childhood.



Lowell was always the outcast in his pack. Coming from a poor, abusive background, the only attention he knew was when his father used him in illegal Lycan fights. He never knew what love was until he met werewolf, Enya.



Experiencing a similar, isolated upbringing, Enya was the glue that helped Lowell stick together. She was intoxicating to him and he was her addiction. With every second they spent together, they gave each other the rush they needed – Unfortunately, this union was not to last as the rules of the Aliis World clearly state that Lycan’s are forbidden to communicate, let alone be romantically involved with werewolves.



So what happens when Lycan, Lowell tries to fight his attraction for lower class werewolf, Enya? And can they escape the wrath of vengeful witch, Raven when she finds out Lowell is partly to blame for her sister, Faith’s disappearance?



SEVERELY THOUGHT PROVOKING WITH A STING OF ROMANCE, SPLIT BLOOD: RISE OF THE WOLF IS A DELICATE TALE OF LOVE, LOSS AND VENGEANCE WITH A BITE




Books are available at Amazon ,Amazon.co.uk and Smashwords.





Give us an insight into your main character




In the previous two books, Raven has been a minor character, who has always been there for her older sister, Faith.


Happy to find out her new magically heritage, Raven tried to show her reluctant sister the benefits of their new life as she grew in power but Faith was not interested in the magic classes and her history as Raven was.


 Unfortunately, Faith felt suffocated from the endless rules and her curiosity led to her running away, leaving the Coven to deal with the consequences of Faith's illegal choice.


 This emotional departure left a scar on Raven, who struggles to cope with life without her sister and things get much worse when her parents are taken to the Underworld for questioning about their part in their daughter's detrimental rule breaking.


Alone, distraught and unable to deal with some members of her Coven turning against her, Raven becomes obsessed with finding her family, by any means necessary - with disastrous results...




What are you working on at the minute?



I am currently working on the third book in the Split Blood series, which will be published on Amazon and Smashwords by April 2016.




Do you have any future books/series planned?



 I am currently working on the third book in the Split Blood series, which will be published on Amazon and Smashwords by April 2016.


 It concentrates on Raven (Faith's Wiccan sister) and her fight to get her family back.


 Raven's character also changes due to the trials and tribulations she encounters on her journey and we also meet new magical beings and say goodbye to some favourites.


With lots more magic, lust and revenge Split Blood 3 promises to continue the emotional rollercoaster ride further into the Split Blood world.



Louise Herman Bio







Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

For more information, please go to: www.louisehermanauthor.com


 My Website | Amazon | Smashwords | Amazon.co.uk | Wattpad | Twitter | Facebook

















Monday, January 18, 2016

Desolation by Kristopher Rufty [4 stars]







 

 


From the Description

 
 
 

There’s no escaping your past. Especially when it wants revenge.


Grant Marlowe hoped taking his family to their mountain cabin for Christmas would reunite them after his alcoholic past had torn them apart, but it only puts them into a life and death struggle. On Christmas Eve, a stranger from Grant’s past invades the vacation home and takes his wife and children hostage. His agenda is simple—make Grant suffer the same torment that Grant’s drunken antics have caused him. Now Grant must confront his demons head on and fight for his family’s lives. Because this man has nothing left to lose. The only thing keeping him alive is misery—Grant’s misery.
 


I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. To learn more about Desolation or Kristopher Rufty follow along with the blog tour hosted by Erin at Oh, for the Hook of a Book.




 
 

Desolation is a fast paced descent into madness and revenge. The story is well written and gripping, peopled with wholly sympathetic characters. I felt horrible for both Grant and Dennis during the different parts of this story. It was as easy to empathize with Grant's need to redeem himself in the eyes of his family as it was to understand Dennis's need for revenge and closure. The result is bloody and terrifying. Kristopher Rufty has deftly captured the all too human flaws of these two broken men and the innocents who are caught in the crossfire. An intensely satisfying 4 star read.






Buy Desolation







About the Author



 
 
 

Kristopher Rufty lives in North Carolina with his wife, three children, and the zoo they call their pets. He’s written various books, including The Vampire of Plainfield, Jagger, The Lurkers, The Lurking Season, The Skin Show, Pillowface, Proud Parents, and more, plus a slew of horror screenplays. He has also written and directed the independent horror films Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood. If he goes more than two days without writing, he becomes very irritable and hard to be around, which is why he’s sent to his desk without supper often.



Praise for Kristopher Rufty




"Kristopher Rufty is the demented reincarnation of Richard Laymon!" --Jeff Strand



 

"A Dark Autumn is a wild gender role reversal of ‘I Spit On Your Grave,’ with gonzo nods to Norman Bates and ‘Friday The 13th’ thrown in for good measure. Kristopher Rufty delivers the goods yet again." --Bryan Smith, author of Kayla Undead and The Late Night Horror Show



 

"A creepy, gripping tale of horror. And it’s got one of the best death scenes I’ve read in a long time!" --Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller



 

"A powerhouse debut novel. Rufty’s prose will suck you in and hold you prisoner!" --Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Snow



 

"An occult thriller with a new twist. Rufty juggles captivating characters, breakneck suspense, and insidious horror in a macabre story that will leave you feeling possessed by the end of it. Next time you think about taking that old Ouija board out...forget it!" –Edward Lee, author of Lucifer’s Lottery and City Infernal



Giveaway

 
We have a lot of books to giveaway from Krist! We have two audio books,  Oak Hollow  and  Pillowface  in one link. In the second link we have a signed print copy of  The Lurking Season  and two e-books,  Vampire of Plainfield  and  Bigfoot Beach.  Winners are chosen random via rafflecopter and are given choice of prize of order pulled. Any questions on raffle, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com


Link for audio book giveaway:
 
 


Link for print/e-book giveaway:
 
 





 

 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Eidolon Avenue by Jonathan Winn [4.5 stars]





From the Description
 
 
 
 
Eidolon Avenue: where the secretly guilty go to die.

One building. Five floors. Five doors per floor. Twenty-five nightmares feeding the hunger lurking between the bricks and waiting beneath the boards.

The First Feast. A retired Chinese assassin in apartment 1A fleeing from a lifetime of bloodshed. A tattooed man in 1B haunted by his most dangerous regret. A frat boy serial killer in 1C facing his past and an elderly married couple stumbling and wounded from fifty years of failed murder/suicide pacts in 1D. And, finally, a young girl in 1E whose quiet thoughts unleash unspeakable horror.

All thrown into their own private hell as every cruel choice, every deadly mistake, every drop of spilled blood is remembered, resurrected and relived to feed the ancient evil that lives on Eidolon Avenue.
 
 
 
 
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from the great folks at Crystal Lake Publishing. This is in no way reflected in my review.
 
 
Eidolon Avenue is a collection of novellas that will take you to places that are disturbingly horrific and visceral. Places filled with hungry ghosts and monsters that are all too human. Some of these stories are definitely not for the squeamish. My favorite two in this collection, Click and Bullet are filled with such vivid imagery that made me cringe and my skin crawl. While Umbra was heartbreakingly sad and yet terrifies at the same time. All of the novellas in this collection are well written slices of hell. Jonathan Winn's captivating writing has earned him a new fan. A great 4.5 star collection for horror fans!
 
 
 
Buy the Book
 
 
 
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 
 
 
Jonathan Winn (Member, HWA) is a screenwriter and author of Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast (Crystal Lake Publishing) as well as the full-length novels Martuk ... the Holy (A Highlight of the Year, 2012 Papyrus Independent Fiction Awards), Martuk ... the Holy: Proseuche (Top Twenty Horror Novels of 2014, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll), Martuk ... the Holy: Shayateen (2016) and The Martuk Series (The Wounded King, The Elder, Red and Gold), an ongoing collection of short fiction inspired by Martuk ...

His work can also be found in Horror 201: The Silver Scream, Writers on Writing, Vol. 2, and Crystal Lake's Tales from the Lake, Vol. 2, with his award-winning short story Forever Dark.

Feel free to visit him at http://martuktheholy.com 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

They Rise by Hunter Shea [ 4.5 stars]





From the Description



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

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

The 400 million year old massive killing machines know no mercy, destroying everything in their path. It will take Whitley, his climatologist ex-wife and the entire US Navy to stop them in the bloodiest battle ever seen on the high seas.
 
I received an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book. Follow along for more fun and a chance to win in the giveaway at the They Rise Blog Tour hosted by the always wonderful Erin Al-Mehairi at Hookof a Book Media and Publicity.
 
 
 
Fans of sharks and sea monsters have a new reason to stay out of the water with the creatures lurking in the depths of They Rise. Hunter Shea should be known as the King of Cryptids! He writes B-movie fun that sinks it's teeth into you and won't let go until you've read the last page. This time it's the Chimaera fish, more commonly known as ghost sharks. I loved that this cryptid is actually alive, although smaller, and swimming in the depths as we speak. It makes this tale that much more terrifying. The characters are fun, flawed, and easy to care about and follow. I loved the relationships between Whit, Suzanne, and Nestor. Even though the action is non-stop you really get a sense of who they are and how they feel both about each other and the situation that they're in. They Rise is a superb thrill ride into the deep. A 4.5 star must read for cryptid fans everywhere.
 
Chimaera Fish or Ghost Shark
 
 
 
Buy They Rise by Hunter Shea
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 
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 http://huntershea.com/, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow in on Facebook and Twitter.
Praise for Hunter Shea
This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster
Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre
Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast
Giveaway
Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card for joining this tour! Get extra entries for social media follows, but get extra extra entries for signing up for his newsletter and five extra entries is you review They Rise and send the link to Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com!
Good luck!



Monday, January 11, 2016

Michael LaPointe & Unworthy

 
 
When I was asked to review Unworthy by Michael LaPointe I had no idea that I was about to embark on such a dark and gritty trip into desperation, or that I was about to become such a huge fan of this talented new author. I am lucky enough to have interviewed Michael right before Christmas. His first novel was number 3 on Horror Maiden's Top 12 of 2015. If you haven't read Unworthy yet you can check out my review after the interview. Then go buy this book!! Now sit back and let me introduce you to Michael LaPointe,,,,
 

Author Bio

 
I'm a writer, journalist and author, a literacy advocate, a lifelong lover of film and the written word, an avid archer, and a voracious reader. Unworthy is my first novel, with more to come. I also am the Resident Historian of and a regular contributor to the legendary UK-based horror site Zombie Hamster. It's been an amazing opportunity, allowing me to digress on all manner of scary stuff, and examine the sociopolitical aspects of work within the genre.

Which is a totally real thing.

I live in Huntington Beach, California with my incredible wife Stephanie and our furry children, Maggie and Homer.
 
 
You can connect with Michael LaPointe at his website http://roguehighways.com/  or on Facebook and Twitter
 
 
 
HM: Tell me a little about yourself.
 
 
 
 
I'm a lifelong fan of things that go 'bump' in the night; a lover of most things horror, an inveterate movie geek, an avid supporter of film preservation, and a hardcore literacy advocate. For several years I was the resident historian for the legendary UK film site Zombie Hamster, until it was time to focus on writing Unworthy. I live in Huntington Beach with my fantastic wife and our two loving cats.
 
 
 
HM: I loved the feeling of the writing in Unworthy. How much research did you do to so beautifully capture the gritty desperation of the people in your book?
 
 
It's difficult to say; my mother grew up in the South, and she was often taken to tent revival meetings when she was young. So I'd heard about those kinds of things for years. When I decided to get serious with Unworthy, I talked with her quite a bit to get a feel for what it was like in those tents, under the lights, with all the noise and crazed energy.
I also had the great good fortune to talk with a gentleman who has worked in the Los Angeles Health and Human Services Department for five decades, to get a better understanding of mental illness and religious hysteria, and read countless personal accounts of the Great Depression. We can never truly understand what millions of Americans went through, but I did my best to try to capture not just the poverty, but the despair of hopelessness.
 
 
HM: What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Hobbies?
 
 
I love movies and books and archery. My wife and I bought a house three years ago, and we've been spending a lot of time doing renovations. All those years of watching DIY Network are really paying off! We recently started running, and are now completely hooked.
 
 
HM: How long have you been writing?
 
 
Since grade school; I remember writing a play in seventh grade about gangsters during Prohibition, I believe that was the first thing I wrote. It's terrible.
 
 
 
HM: Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
 
 
Back in 2005, I'd been writing columns for a website, just for the fun of it. My father took me aside that Christmas, and suggested that maybe I should try writing for a living. Dad was a great guy, and of the generation that believed in putting in a hard day's work. His approval meant the world to me, and from there things started happening. We lost him less than a year later, and I learned that he'd taken to printing out my columns and taking them to work to show to his colleagues.
 
 
 
HM: What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?
 
 
 
Any good horror is about something else; it's allegorical, and I think that this genre, more than any other, allows us to explore those things that make us human, that scare us, that define us as individuals, or as societies, or countries, or generations. We wrap it up as monsters and madmen but, at its core, we're talking about people.
 
Crap, I forgot to answer the question. Is there still space for that? Okay. Anyway, I love finding the angle that lets me say what I want to say, in such a way that it doesn't immediately present itself or come off as obvious or preachy. I enjoy reaching deep to find that spark, that emotion, that makes the words ring true. This can also be difficult.
 
When I was writing Unworthy, there was a day when my wife found me out on our patio, obviously rattled. She asked what was wrong, and I replied that I had just killed a child. Loudly, so the neighbors could hear the context, she said "Oh, in the story you're writing?" To which I replied, just as loudly, "Yes, in the story I'm writing." It was funny, but at the same time we were talking about a person, an absolute innocent, that I had created and then destroyed. I wasn't quite prepared for that, but it really propelled the story because, to me, that kid was real. 
 
 
 
HM: What books do you enjoy in your free time?
 
 
A little bit of everything. I'm just finishing a marathon reading of the Harry Potter series, and after that I've got a stack of books that range from the Dyatlov Pass incident to the Vietnam war to folklore in rural America. And a huge stack of horror books, of course.
 
 
 
HM: Who is your favorite author/book and why?
 
 
It's actually a tie: my favorite books are The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. Each of those books are master courses in how to tell a story, and should be required reading for anyone who wants to be serious about writing. As far as authors, it's got to be Steinbeck. He captured the human spirit, the human condition, better than anyone else, before or since. The opening of Unworthy is a tribute to Grapes of Wrath.
 
 
 
HM: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
 
 
Write. Push yourself beyond what you think are your limitations. Read. Read a lot, and then read more. Tell your story, the one that you would want to read. Write for yourself, and don't pander or dumb down your ideas. Be true to yourself and to your craft. Don't waste time and money on gimmicks that claim to help you be a better writer. And don't ever, ever, give up. 
 
 
 
HM: Can you tell us about any of your new work? I can't wait to read it!!
 
 
I'm gearing up to begin a novel that focuses on rural America; the poverty, the isolation, the desperation. There will be a supernatural / horror element to it but, at its heart, it will be a human story.
 
 
 
HM: What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?
 
 
I pick up the phone, and the caller says, "Hi Mike, this is David Fincher. May I please make Unworthy into a movie?"
 
Yes, David, you may.
 
 
 
 

HM: It was great talking to you! Stop by anytime!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
From the Description

"Ask me terrible questions, and I will tell you terrible things."

Unworthy is the story of Ezra Kale, the twisted offspring of thrill killers, born into a world of depravity, bloodshed, and cannibalism. From the Dustbowl of the Great Depression to a notorious lunatic asylum, Ezra reinvents himself as a revival preacher, traveling the American South and using his calling to conceal his true nature, leaving a trail of ruination and death in his wake. At Ezra's side is Sister Randa, a deeply damaged woman with an unthinkable past, who finds in Ezra the only person she has ever trusted, and for whom she would gladly kill.

Only Danny Bloom, a retired carnival performer with a yearning for a more fulfilling life, realizes there may be more to the self-proclaimed Savior than anyone would dare imagine and, in uncovering an unspeakable horror, finds his destiny. Unworthy is a thriller both timely and timeless, a savage journey into the darkest heart of evil perpetrated in the name of faith.

I received a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

Have you ever read a story so engrossing that you are a bit surprised when you look up from the page and find yourself back in the real world? Unworthy is that kind of story! I was completely captivated from the very first paragraph. It's easily one of my top 5 best books of the year so far, and I don't think it's going to move off that list any time soon. The storyline is dark and very disturbing. I was extremely impressed by the way Michael LaPointe captures the hopelessness and despair of the depression era migrant workers and the fanaticism of Ezra's followers. The characters are completely believable. I loved Danny's character. He was easy to care about and root for. Unworthy is the kind of novel that stays with you long after the last page is read. This is Michael Lapointe's first novel, I can't wait to see what he does next! Do yourself a favor and read this fantastic 5 star read!!
 
 
 
Buy Unworthy at  Amazon