wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to
keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the
house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an
endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon.
Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room, a room now
stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers...except for her security
blanket, affectionately known as Blanky.
Blanky, old and frayed, with its antiquated patchwork of badly sewn rabbits
with black button eyes, who appear to be staring at the viewer...
Blanky, purchased from a strange old man at an antique stall selling "BABY
CLOSE" at a discount.
The presence of Blanky in his dead daughter's room heralds nothing short of an
unspeakable nightmare that threatens to take away what little light remains in
Steve's shattered world.
Because his daughter loved Blanky so much, he buried her with it.
A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of SOUR CANDY and KIN.
Date:September 12, 2017
Digital Services LLC
I received a free review copy of this novella from the
author. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story.
This masterfully written novella hits you right in the feels, evoking both
intolerable sadness and gut-wrenching terror. Steve Brannigan is living through
every parent’s worst nightmare, the loss of his infant daughter. To make
matters worse, his wife has moved back in with her parents, unable to cope with
living in the house where she died. I was in tears while reading the beginning
of this book, but then,,,,, Blanky shows up and the terror begins. I stayed up
until the wee hours of the morning reading this book, unable to escape the
siren’s song of just one more page. If you haven’t picked this book up yet or
had the pleasure of reading Kealan Patrick Burke, what are you waiting for?
Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of
Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to
be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving
mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end
up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written
five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four
acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for
his novella The Turtle Boy.
Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard,
an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a
bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a rock band, curriculum content
editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.
"I am in awe of his talent" - Bentley Little, author of THE STORE, THE POLICY, and THE HOUSE.
"BLANKY is an outstanding work, filled with macabre details and breathless scenes of "witchy" suspense and dread. An epistolary-styletouch at the conclusion of the novella only adds to its brilliance." - MORBIDLY BEAUTIFUL "...an emotional, literary work of art...BLANKY is another spectacular tale from Kealan Patrick Burke." - HORROR AFTER DARK
Welcome to TunnelVision – the premium channel streaming from the imagination of R. Patrick Gates to you!
What happens when you lose sight of the forest for the trees?
Wilbur Clayton has a personal connection with Jesus – Murder! Abused for most of his life, Wilbur and Jesus are out to make amends and take revenge. With Grandma in his head and Jesus on the TunnelVision, Wilbur knows what must be done and who must be made to pay for the sins of the father…
The only thing standing in his way are a cop with a gift for details and deduction, and a young genius whose reenactments of his favorite books are about to become all too real.
TunnelVision – streaming seven days a week, 24 hours a day!
On the air and in your nightmares!
Publication Date:January 27, 2017
Publication Length: 395 pages
I received a copy of this book as part of the Tunnelvision publicity tour for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. For more info or to join min the fun follow along the tour with these hashtags: #Tunnelvision #BloodshotBooks #HookofaBook. If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Tunnelvision or R. Patrick Gates in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To call Tunnelvision disturbing would be accurate but wouldn't begin to cover the depravity and horror found within these pages. The abuse suffered by Wilbur Clayton as a child is stomach-churningly brutal, and thankfully only revealed in snippets. He couldn't help but grow up into a twisted serial killer. Bill Gage is a recovering alcoholic and an ex-cop with demons of his own. Ivy, my favorite character, a clever and imaginative 12 year old boy dealing with the death of his father and a group of bullies. When I started reading this book I had a hard time getting into it. The character's story lines felt very separated, like I was reading three books instead of one, but then around a quarter of the way through the book they started to come together. By the time I was halfway through I didn't want to put it down. While this isn't my favorite book by R. Patrick Gates (FYI that would be The Prison), it's definitely worth a read. Full of tension and visceral horror that will lurk in your memory long after the last page is read. A solid 4 star read.
R. Patrick Gates has been a teacher and writer for over thirty years. Besides Tunnelvision, which is currently being published in a 25 th anniversary edition, he is the author of Grimm Memorials and Grimm Reapings, (which have achieved cult status and been called 'horror classics' by Rave Reviews) and seven other critically acclaimed adult horror novels and at least ten young adult thrillers. Mr. Gates resides in Massachusetts with his wife and dogs, and dabbles in painting and acting in his spare time. You can find him online at his WEBSITE or follow him on Facebook.
"Gates writes with such all-stops out intensity even Stephen King’s faithful will admit the presence of an heir to the throne." –Publisher’s weekly review of FEAR.
"Hail to the new king!" —The Journal Express (FEAR)
"A true master of fright, Gates will keep you on the edge of your seat!" –Rave Reviews (GRIMM MEMS)
"An expert in terror!" -- Gary Brandner, best-selling author of The Howling.
"[Gates] does what many in the horror field find impossible: something different!" —Ray Garton, author of Live Girls
"A master of pulse-pounding terror! Read at your own risk!" –Joe Citro, best-selling author of, The Unseen.
"A major talent!" -- James Kisner, Mystery Scene
"A Writer to be reckoned with! Gates spits in the face of convention and goes straight for the throat . . . rivals some of King’s best work!" -- Mike Baker, Afraid magazine.
"[Gates] knows the shape of our nightmares and peers with an unflinching eye into their darkest corners." —F. Paul Wilson, best-selling author of The Keep
"Grimm Memorials achieves…cult-classic status!" –Rave Reviews
"Grimm Memorials is a fairy-tale turned nightmare by an expert in terror. Gates leads us by the hand into a fearsome fairy-tale forest and outdoes the fabled brothers at their Grimmest!" –Gary Brandner—best-selling author of The Howling.
"[Grimm Memorials] is the ultimate ‘child-in-peril’ novel." --Mystery Scene
"Grimm Memorials twists like a snake on crack; daring perverse, and original…surprising blood-drenched fun! It had everything you could hope for in a horror novel: cannibalism, bestiality, Satanic rituals, necrophilia, scary monsters, child mutilations, dwarf orgies, and good writing!" --Afraid
"Fear is an excellent, chilling debut! [It] delivers on the promise of its title." —Robert R. McCammon, best-selling author of Swan Song
"Fear is a highly-charged thriller…action-packed!" –Publisher’s Weekly
"Fear is TERRIFYING!" –The Boston Globe
"Fear is GRIPPING! Filled with suspense and unspeakable horror!" —Rave Reviews
The truth is out there... and it will eat your face.
"Bigfoot is real." That’s what Sarah’s father told her before his academic disgrace and untimely death.
Now, primatologist Dr. Sarah Bishop is eager to restore her father’s good name. Survival show host Russ Cloud is just as eager to boost his plummeting ratings. They’ll both have a shot at redemption when they find themselves hired by eccentric billionaire Cameron Carson. After a series of his publicity stunts end in spectacular failure, Carson has a plan to redeem his tarnished image: capture a live Sasquatch.
Sarah and Russ join an expedition with an eclectic crew: an Afrikaner safari hunter, a ‘roided out former wrestling star, a Shoshone master tracker full of surprises, a heavily tattooed Russian warrior woman, a pair of wise-cracking nerds, and a cute gum-chewing intern with some hidden skills. Will they find Bigfoot?
There’s something in the woods… but it’s not what they’re expecting.
Publication Date:September 1, 2016
Publisher:Wild Yonder Press
Publication Length: 299 pages
I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
Do you wanna know the recipe for a ton of fun? You start out with a group of 'squatch hunters looking to finally prove that Bigfoot exists. Some good and some with nefarious purposes in mind. Then you add a group of elusive cryptids and a zombified geologist. Mix well with action packed adventure and terrifying narrow escapes well seasoned with just the right amount of gory goodness. Slow roast over a campfire and don't worry about those sounds you hear coming from the darkness,,,, Zombie Bigfoot is a super fun book that moves at a pace that will leave you breathless. This story is everything that I loved about the late night creature features I used to watch on the late night horror shows of my youth. A highly recommended 4.5 star read.
Born in East Tennessee, Nick Sullivan has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After recording hundreds of books over the last twenty years he decided to write one of his own. Zombie Bigfoot is his first novel. And yes, there is an audiobook version. Matt Damon wasn’t available so the author recorded it himself. Find out more on zombiebigfoot.com or on nicksullivan.net or follow him on Twitter and GoodReads
"No one can shift from gore to guffaws like Nick Sullivan!" - Michael Reisig, author of the Road to Key West series.
"Zombie Bigfoot is one of those stories that will stick with me... I would put this up with the adventure greats Preston & Child and David Wood." - Brian Krespan of Brian's Book Blog.
"Imagine a zombie stumbling through the woods of the Great Northwest, where dozens of campers are enjoying nature. Now imagine it to be ten feet tall, with the strength of a lowland gorilla. Fantastic story telling from a very gifted writer." - Wayne Stinnett, Down Island Press: author of the Fallen series.
"Zombie Bigfoot is a thrill ride from beginning to end. It delivers laughs and shivers in equal measure. I predict that Nick Sullivan has begun a franchise that will have fans panting for more." - Tom Alan Robbins, playwright of The Amish Girl's Guide to Armageddon.
"Great fun and highly recommended...wonderfully wacky characters." - Bill Pronzini, author of the Nameless Detective series.
Streetwise Romeo and Juliet meets Stephen King’s Firestarter.
HER MAMA ALWAYS SAID SHE WAS SPECIAL.
HIS DADDY CALLED HIM A DEMON.
BUT EVEN MONSTERS CAN FALL IN LOVE.
Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as ‘Apocalyptic’ Montessa and her doomed ‘Nuclear’ Lulu crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge. Montessa carries on the proud tradition of Joe Hill, Clive Barker, and Laird Barron.
Publication Date: February 26, 2016
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication Length: 168 pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novella. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
When I received a challenge from a reading group to read a book by a woman author for Women In Horror Month I thought 'Let's kill two birds with one stone' and pulled this one out of my review queue. I'm so glad I did because this novella blew me away! Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love is a love letter between a serial killer and his victim/trainee. The love story between Montessa and Lu is heart-felt and touching, while their killing spree is gory and twisted. I found myself caring for them and rooting for them to get away instead of relishing their bloody end the way I would with most serial killer books. Not an easy thing to accomplish! By the time I finished the last page of this brilliant story I had added all of Mercedes M. Yardley's books to my wish list and become a die-hard fan. I can't recommend this one highly enough!! A fast paced and phenomenally written 5 star read.
Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novellas Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and Little Dead Red, and the novels Nameless: The Darkness Comes and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City with her family and menagerie of Strange and Unusual Pets.
"MERCEDES WRITES WITH SUCH POWER, CONVICTION, BEAUTY, and sadness that as you read her work you will experience one of those rare occasions where the pillars of your soul begin to shake, and as frightening as it will be to lose yourself to her talents, it will also be heavenly and unforgettable, and so, so, worth it..." - Lee Thompson, author of When We Join Jesus in Hell
"Quite possibly the best book I've read all year." - MAJA, THE NOCTURNAL LIBRARY on Pretty Little Dead Girls
"Mercedes writes with a fluidity and accessibility that instantly draws you in. The characters are by no stretch heroes, and this makes them all the more compelling to the reader. The story plays out like a gleefully twisted dear diary, and moves along at a pace which makes turning the pages almost effortless. There's an intimacy to this book that makes you feel like you're being spoken to individually, and a turn of phrase which is simultaneously dramatic, witty and poetic in equal measure." - James Walley
"Praise for her earlier work compared to favorably to Joe Hill and, with Nameless, she proves again why this is. Mercedes has a strong, unique voice that brings her brand of dark fiction straight into the reader's mind. She has an effortless, dynamic turn of phrase which feels natural at all times." - Jay Faulkner
"This is a book that doesn't shy away from the dark and disturbing choices that we, as humans, make. Life is precious, and yet sometimes we seem to accept our own mortality far too easily. Suicide is not an easy subject to write about, but the author writes about it with sensitivity as it's a pivotal moment for so much that happens in this story." - LITERAL ADDICTION's Vivacious Valkyrie - Marta
"Fans of Mercedes M. Yardley's work will have no trouble gobbling up her first novel-length work, and it is definitely good news that there will be two more books forthcoming in the series. Although it's an urban fantasy novel, it involves demon hunting, and there's plenty of action and fight scenes to go around, the novel is inflected with Mercedes's unique voice, which shines through in each of her works, and sets this one apart from the pack." - Reviewed by Hellnote's Dark Eva
#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the thriller with a provocative, page-turning walk among evil.
Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes.
Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her.
Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn’t sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her.
An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide bestselling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human.
Publication Date:November 15, 2016
Publication Length: 432 pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
Nest is a gripping race to escape a group of serial killers. I found the theory behind the root of evil presented in these pages to be an interesting one. Jack and Kate are easy to root for as they struggle to stay a step ahead of the killers hunting them. The action is fast paced and at times terrifyingly brutal. The ending left room for a sequel but wasn't a cliff hanger. I hope that there will be a part two of this totally engrossing story, especially since I was hooked from the very beginning. I highly recommend this edge-of-your-seat thriller. A solid 4.5 star read.
Terry Goodkind is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and the creator of the most controversial new thriller of our lifetime. His work is often called "provocative", "courageously original", "terrifying", and even "dangerous".
More than anything; Terry Goodkind's books are character driven stories that take a brutally honest inward look at ourselves. With a focus on the complexity of the human psyche, Terry Goodkind has an uncanny grasp for crafting compelling stories of people like you and me, trapped in terrifying situations.
With his latest novel, NEST, readers will be drawn into an original story of the driving forces behind those who take lives and those trying to save them, a struggle that will take readers into a dark world as we search for the origins of evil.
As a resident of Nevada, Terry Goodkind deeply appreciates the rights and freedoms of the United States, although worries about how quickly those rights are eroding. His passion for writing is a parallel to his passion for life.
Terry Goodkind is a part-time race car driver, a devoted husband to Jeri, the love of his life, and is a friend to animal-kind.
"My privilege in life is the joy of writing books and telling stories about people who fascinate me, the good and the bad. I am grateful to all of my readers for the critical role they play in making these books possible. Your passion is my passion, and I thank you." - Terry Goodkind
There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.
Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.
Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.
Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.
This emotional, political novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.
It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.
Publication Date:November 28, 2016
Publisher:Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication Length: 197 pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novella. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
Let's face it,,, the horror genre is glutted with zombie stories. Some good, some not so good but there is a ton of them. But every great once in awhile I'm lucky enough to come across something special. Books like The Awakening by Brett McBean or Cadaver Dog by Doug Goodman that bring something new to the table. Something fabulous. That's what I found in the pages of Where The Dead Go To Die. This novella touched my heart with the humanity it gave the 'Smilers' and ultimately broke it with mankinds intolerance and cruelty. All of the characters found here will sink their teeth into your heart. From Emily, a single mother trying to provide the best life she can for her daughter, and a hospice nurse trying to give those in their last days a measure of comfort, to the Crowners, who do a job that no-one else will. This is not an easy story to read but you'll be glad you did. I highly recommend this phenomenal 5 star read.
Author, illustrator, and filmmaker Aaron Dries was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. When asked why he writes horror, his standard reply is that when it comes to scaring people, writing pays slightly better than jumping out from behind doors. He is the author of the award-winning novel House of Sighs, and his subsequent books, The Fallen Boys and A Place for Sinners are just as--if not more--twisted than his debut. ChiZine Publications, Samhain Horror, Crystal Lake Publishing, Scarlet Galleon Press, and a number of international magazines and online venues have published his fiction and art over the years. As a filmmaker, Dries’ short films have garnered awards in Australia, the UK, and the USA, and he is currently hard at work on multiple feature screenplays as well as novels. Feel free to drop him a line at aarondries.com or contact him through Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads. He won't bite. Much.
Mark Allan Gunnells
Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig A. Metcalf, and blogs at http://markgunnells.livejournal.com/ or contact him through Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads.
"Where the Dead Go toDie is a chilling, post-modern reimagining in thezombie canon . . . you don't want to come back as a Bone Eater!" - John Palisano, author of Dust of theDead, Bram Stoker ® award-winner
"Where the Dead Go to Die is the kind of zombie tale horror fansand horror writers always hope for - something original. Aaron Dries andMark Allan Gunnells have taken the worn-out tropes and turned them inside out." - JG Faherty, Thriller- and Bram Stoker-nominatedauthor of The Cure, The Burning Time,and Ghosts of Coronado Bay.
"Two authors, both with a strong talent forcharacters and emotion. They take a familiar lump of clay-Zombies and what theypummel and prod and pull and mold turns out to be a story that is anything buthackneyed. It is a story of survival and loss. About grieving and striving. Itis honest and painful and scary. It reeks of carrion, like we all do." - John Boden, author of JEDI SUMMER and DOMINOES.
"WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is one of the bestbooks I've ever read--and this is coming from a jaded horror fan who tends toavoid books about the 'Z' word like the plague (if you'll pardon theexpression)! Dries and Gunnells have written a timely tale of the living deadthat is not only horrifying, but heartbreaking on so many levels. If thisone doesn't leave you in tears, you must be among the infected already. Bringon the Crowners . . . ." - James Newman (author of ODD MANOUT, ANIMOSITY, and UGLY AS SIN)
"Just when you thought the undead had been bled dry, Dries and Gunnellshave created an original, compelling novel that breathes new life into the genre once again. Highly recommended." - PatrickLacey, author of DREAM WOODS and SLEEP PARALYSIS
A tale inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness...
Hurricane Irene tore through the dark, wood-choked Vermont hills. In its passing, the rivers bled thick with fallen trees, wildlife carcasses, and, if you looked closely, stranger things. Sarah Sorrell made the mistake of looking very closely indeed. Even so, it all might still have been all right—if she hadn’t felt the need to dig further.
One afternoon in late fall, she finds a girl out in the driving rain, running from brutality. The wise choice is to leave the girl to chance. But Sarah knows the secrets that the forests hide, and why so many hitch-hikers vanish around here. She decides to give the girl a lift. As the two of them drive off into the storm, they have no idea of the journey they’re starting out on...
A chilling novel of the deep Vermont night, Whispers draws on the rich traditions of H. P. Lovecraft to weave the darkest of spells.
Publication Date:November 29, 2016
Publisher:Lovecraft eZine Press
Publication Length: 100 pages
I received a copy of this book as part of the Whispers Publicity Tour. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novella. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. If you’re a media site, blogger, or radio/podcast host, and you’d like to feature Kristin Dearborn or review Whispers, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at email@example.com.
Whispers is filled with a sense of dread and menace that will keep you hanging on every word. Sarah starts off as a prickly, distant, and cold character but the reasons for that quickly become apparent. Neveah is more sympathetic,,, at first. The tension and disquieting sense of unease escalates rapidly as these two very different women face not only what lurks in the darkness surrounding Sarah's cabin but also the man hunting Neveah. A fast paced tale filled with suspense and terror. I highly recommend this 4.5 star read.
If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. Kristin has written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. StolenAway 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. Kristin’s latest DarkFuse release is Woman in White.
"Another winner from Kristin Dearborn, Whispers is full of monsters and mayhem, madness and paranoia, but also boldly-realized characters who live and breathe and feel like flesh-and-blood. Highly recommended . . . now bring on Dearborn's next one!" -- James Newman, author of Odd Man Out, Animosity, Ugly As Sin
"Dripping with dread, charged with suspicion and betrayal, terrifying in its otherworldly loss of human agency and control -- Whispers ranks among horror maven Dearborn's best and most unsettling works to date. It's always cause for celebration when Kristin Dearborn unleashes a fresh nightmare and this is no exception." --Ed Kurtz, author of The Rib From Which I Remake the World, Nausea
"In Stolen Away, Kristin Dearborn writes with a confidence and ferocity that demands you keep turning pages. Where lesser writers would flinch and look away, Dearborn tells the tale the way it should be, with cruelty and fascination for both her characters and the story. Kristin Dearborn isn’t just a writer to watch, she’s a writer to watch out for. If she’s swinging, you might want to duck, because she hits hard!—Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain and Stranded
"Kristin Dearborn’s fast-paced horror thriller, Stolen Away, will possess readers as they strap in for a demonic thrill ride of sin and redemption."—Stephanie M. Wytovich, author of An Exorcism of Angels
"Gripping nonstop suspense and unsettling horror that blazes the pages from start to finish. You’ll swear Stolen Away was written by a seasoned veteran of best-selling novels. Expect to want more after reading the second novel by Kristin Dearborn, an author whose work will shoot her straight to the top of reading lists."—Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Evolutionist
"Kristin Dearborn catapults readers into an intricately layered world that is bleak and terrifying but never so damned as to be without hope or redemption. If the devil, so to speak, is in the details, then this book raises hell, exploring not just demons internal as well as external, but also all the beautiful, heart-wrenching, contradictorily complex, powerful little things that define human experience. This book earns a prominent place of the bookshelf of any fan of demonic fiction." —Mary SanGiovanni, author of The Hollower trilogy and Chills
"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
"Dearborn has a wonderful sense of the macabre, along with the ability to balance the spookier aspects of her work with well-rendered, solid characterizations…Sacrifice Island is a blazing fast read, with engaging characters and a compelling narrative." —The Maine Edge
"Sacrifice Island is a fresh and interesting take on a tried and true horror setup." —Examiner
Join me in welcoming Robert E. Dunn back to Horror Maiden's. Robert is the author of some truly fantastic books. The latest, The Harrowing, is a super fun adventure into the nightmarish depths of Hell. You can find my review of The HarrowingHere and follow along the publicity tour hosted by Erin Al-Mehairi with these hashtags: #TheHarrowing #badasshorror #angelsatwar.
THE BIG CANVAS
By Robert Dunn, author of The Harrowing
First of all I want to give a huge thanks to you, Angela. And it is not just for giving me this bit of your world to ramble on about the noises in my brain. You have read and reviewed my books and those of so many others. The small press world is made so much stronger by reviewers who take on the, often thankless, job of pointing out our foibles and achievements.
Today I’m definitely talking about one of my achievements. If you know my work at all, you have probably noticed some reoccurring themes. One is of place. There are two that show up most often. They are the Missouri, Ozarks. (Home.) And the road. (The In Between.) There are machines as well that crop up. I’m a car guy from way back. Finally you might have noticed that women, hopefully strong, dynamic people, tend to play a big part.
All of us who write tend to mine the same ground multiple times when we find rich veins.
In my novel, THE RED HIGHWAY I used the road, and a 1971 Impala convertible as characters. There were two women, one the mother the other the child and both echoed in subtext by and unseen goddess, Inanna. Okay, I guess you can say religion is another theme I keep kicking your direction. In MOTORMAN the machines are living parts of altered people. This includes two women, one half machine, the other unaltered but more than simply human. In that story, the road runs straight into the Ozarks and never leaves.
The Red Highway & Motorman covers.
They, my themes and ideas, come up other times, but in my latest novel, THE HARROWING, I took them all and painted large. I have written horror books, mystery, and even romantic suspense. When I began developing the idea for this one I needed a bigger canvas. THE HARROWING fits best under the fantasy umbrella. It contains a lot of horror. And it is definitely an adventure tale. But it all exists in a fantasy world framework of Hell.
Now to be honest, I’m not nearly as self-aware as I make myself appear. This is all hindsight on my part. When I started writing I knew that there would be a strong female. She’s Satan herself. And I knew that the road, again kind of a reimagined yellow brick road that would carry my main character on the journey. That’s about all I really knew aside from the inkling it would be a bigger story.
It was the inkling that made me push. THE HARROWING was born of a simple thought—what would happen if an action hero, think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, was sent to hell. I wanted to write a horror/action movie book. The thing is, I’ve never written the book that I started off to write. Anyway the thought was horror with lots of action. It started realistically enough. Read that as horror story realism. An angel visits an ex-military, now part-time mercenary, biker and recruits him to rescue an innocent from hell.
Immediately I set my character Jack Presley on the road then let it take a turn. Of course there has to be a quick stop in the Ozarks. Then I sent him to hell. That required a bit of world building that turned everything from what I expected to what I needed. Hell took a shape and in turn shaped the story to it. In order to deal with all the requirements of the world and the new ideas it inspired I watched my horror story become fantasy. Now, to be fair, it is really a modern fantasy, with lots of horror elements, more Jim Butcher than Tolkien. Still, it was a bit of a surprise.
Something else began to creep in that I didn’t anticipate. Yes, I seem to have a lot of themes. But that’s what I’m trying to say. This book took them all and rolled them up into one. Just like in THE RED HIGHWAY poetry became important. It was organic. One of my characters was Edgar Allan Poe. How could I have the original American Romantic poet and ignore his verse?
So that became another layer.
Machinery or objects as character began to show up in the writing of a motorcycle named Legion and a magic sword named Hillary. Strong women, imprinting their presence on the story were inevitable but the book began to fill with their presence. Satan, or in the book, Sataniel, along with a half-angel name Orissa, a full angel leading civil war, an Earth Goddess, and the Queen of Ghosts. You see how my story became bigger than my usual horror canvas.
Now I’m not saying that horror is smaller than fantasy. I’m saying that my story couldn’t fit in my usual realistic world. That’s a good thing. The new kind of world gave my characters room to play and fight in. And, it gave me a new way to write. Maybe next time I’ll have the sense to choose my canvas before I start writing.
Thanks for being here Robert! You're welcome back anytime!!
About the Author
Robert Dunn was an Army brat born in Alabama and finally settled in Nixa, Missouri. A graduate of Drury College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications/Film he also earned a second major in Philosophy with a minor in Religion and carried an emphasis in Theatre. This course of study left him qualified only to be a televangelist.
An award-winning film/video producer and writer, he has written scripts for or directed every kind of production from local 30-second television commercial spots to documentary productions and travelogues.
A writer of blognovels and contributor to various fiction websites his work has also included the book length prose poem, Uncle Sam, the collection of short stories, Motorman and Other Stories and novels Behind the Darkness, A Living Grave and The Red Highway.
Mr. Dunn now resides in Kansas City where he continues to write genre fiction and experiment with mixed media art projects using hand drawn and painted elements combined through digital paint and compositing.
Andrew Jackson Presley, mercenary and nomad biker, learned the hard way—never trust an angel. Recruited by archangel Puriel for a harrowing, a descent into hell to rescue the innocent, the next thing he learned is that no one is innocent.
Hell is a prison not just for men but for the old gods as well. Heaven is an insulated club for angels, no humans allowed. The two worlds are locked in an eternal war that may soon be coming to an end. It turns out Jack has been to hell before and there are secrets buried in past lives that make him the key to victory for both sides.
As he tries to finish his mission, Jack finds that the woman he’s to rescue is Orisa, someone he had loved and killed for in life. But Orisa is half-angel with her own secret role to play in the war. While magic, burned into him by angels, gets stronger, and the mystery of his past unravels, Jack becomes Demon Jack, and learns there is more at stake than one innocent person. With the help of Edgar Allen Poe, the Queen of Ghosts, an Earth Goddess, and the most beautiful woman in hell, Satan herself, Jack must stop the angel’s final battle from consuming Earth. Even as the truth takes shape and the plans of eternity are playing out, Jack raises the stakes. To save the world, he sets loose the gods of antiquity, risking the entire universe.
"The Red Highway is not one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year, or that I’ve read in a long time…it’s one of the best books that I’ve ever read! It was an incredible read, one that has so many layers that I was completely enthralled with the story. 5+++ stars!" -2 Book Lovers Reviews
"This is hardboiled fiction at its best. We're talking Elmore Leonard territory. A fantastic read and I hope there's more to come." – Hunter Shea, Author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon on A Living Grave
"Dunn's lyrical descriptions of Katrina's inner struggles and demons read almost like poetry as he weaves an intricate and deadly plot of motorcycle gangs, the MOB, cancer survival, and child abuse into a novel so rife with complex feelings and life-situations, you are compelled to read it slowly, so you don't miss a nuance of the gut-wrenching emotions he elicits from his characters." - Peggy Jaeger, Author of The Voices of Angels
"Parts of this book moved me to tears while others made me want to cheer out loud at Katrina's kick-ass-atude. The twists and turns in the story kept me on the edge of my seat until the entirely satisfying ending. I'm so happy that this is just the start of what promises to be a totally addictive series! I highly recommend this phenomenal 5 star read." - Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews