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Slowly We Rot
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Kayla And The Devil
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Depraved
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Exorcist Road
Go Kill Crazy!
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HORROR REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, AND MORE 

 

Tuesday
Nov172015

Nerding Out with Jason Parent

Today on Nerding Out, I chat with author Jason Parent on a variety of topics including bad-ass women in fiction, and time-travel. Check out his latest novel, Seeing Evil. Synopsis and purchase links are listed at the end of the interview.

Duane: I’m an easily distracted reader, but your story “Easy Pickings” managed to snare me in without a single pause in reading. The story is a great Halloween read. What really grabbed me was how you were able to build tension in one particular scene, to the point it was almost popping off the page, but our dimwitted and cruel protagonist couldn’t be more oblivious to his pending doom. I enjoyed that aspect of the story. How do you create that kind of heightened tension, especially when presented through the eyes of a less-than savory character?

Jason: Work. Creating tension, maintaining tension, amplifying tension, all at the right times — that’s key to being a horror and thriller writer and one of the toughest parts of the job. It’s great to know that at least for some readers, I got it right (in one story, anyway). How to create it with an unlikable character like Trevor in “Easy Pickings”? You just need to hint, then hint some more, then a little more that there’s something worse out there than Trevor, something that wants to do more vile things than Trevor could ever imagine and has the power to do it. And though you can’t see it, it’s right behind you, hot breath tickling the hairs on your neck. Was that a raindrop you just felt? Or drool? Trevor may not mean much to you, but what this thing can do to him… well, who’s to say you’re not next?

Duane: Time-travel. I cannot think of a more fascinating “what if” scenario than time-travel, other than parallel dimensions, that is more creatively ripe for exploration. In this hypothetical, you have time (ha!) to prepare before you leave; including making sure your wardrobe is consistent with the date and place of your time-journey. But you must not disrupt anything, in the past or future, if at all possible. You are to be a passive observer only. If you could go back in time to one specific place and date, where and when do you choose?

Jason: I’d go to my funeral to see if I die alone or ever matter. Just kidding! Damn, that was dark and depressing. Nah, I’d just hide out at 29 Hanbury Street in the Whitechapel district of London on September 8, 1888. Um… yeah… It’s not like I’d be taking notes or anything. I just… like to know things.

Duane: Your newest novel Seeing Evil has a strong lead female protagonist. I bring this up because I’ve been a proponent of kick-ass girl characters in fiction for a long time. Not just for fairness, but because ladies tend to have more layers. More depth. This naturally leads to more creative options when crafting the personality traits and emotions of your hero. Was making your lead character a woman a conscious decision, or did the story determine that aspect?

Jason: Actually, Seeing Evil is not the first time Detective Samantha Reilly shows up. Though her role in What Hides Within, my first novel, is slight in comparison, she has been, is, and perhaps will be again my moral center. Not that she isn’t without her flaws.

Without getting into the whys for fear I can’t do so without alienating both genders, I did feel I could make a more complete character in choosing a female having some stereotypically male traits. Plus, I just like her, I want to root for her, and I hope my readers do to. Until I turn her into a psychopath. :)

Duane: You are stranded on a desert island. For some strange reason, you have a CD Walkman and enough batteries for a week. You also have three CDs of your choice. What are your top 3 desert island albums?

Jason: Okay, so nothing that’s going to make me suicidal, like Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World” in an endless loop. Something I can play while I’m working—you know, making ham radios out of coconuts and hammocks from bendable palm tree—White Zombie (yes, pre-Rob Zombie), La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. For crying my lonely nights to sleep while mosquitos transmute into me every disease known to humankind—Peter Gabriel, Shaking the Tree. And for after the realization that I don’t know how to hunt, can’t build shelter from what nature provides, and that I ate a dung beetle during a fevre dream brought about by yellow fever—that album by Hanson. That should send me over the cliff’s edge.

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick? 

Jason: Elektra – beautiful, kicks ass, and does so with ninja stealth. Michonne – beautiful, kicks ass, proficient in zombie slaying (though Carol is a strong contender for this position). And Black Widow — beautiful, kicks ass, has a sexy accent and is played by Scarlet Johansson. Hey, that’s the honest answer. Yeah, I could have picked Batman or Punisher, but where would that leave me? Think about it. Momma didn’t raise no fool.

Duane: I’m looking forward to reading more of your work. Is there anything you have coming up in the near future that you would like talk about?

Jason: I do have several works out for consideration that mix and match elements from horror, science fiction, thriller, and dark comedy. Publication dates are still up in the air, however, except for a novelette that blends horror and dark fantasy that should be released before the end of the year. I will have another novelette following soon after, that being my one (and only?) werewolf tale. I am excited for the release of both and think my readers will really enjoy them.

Thanks for having me on your blog! These have been some fun questions to answer.

Duane: Thanks for the awesome interview!

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Seeing Evil, Synopsis

Fate in plain sight.

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.

Biography, Jason Parent

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit Jason on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.    

Praise for Seeing Evil

“… Parent writes in such a fluid, mesmerizing and realistic way that I found I couldn’t stop!” – My So-Called Book Reviews

Seeing Evil is one of those books that takes off at a fast pace and doesn't slow down.” – Carries Book Reviews

“Jason Parent tortures us right alongside his characters. The world building is excellent and very real.” – I’m a Voracious Reader

“…one of the best suspense thrillers I have read in a very long time. In lesser hands it would have been a decent read but the author's skill in setting the scene, character development, and story telling makes this a far superior novel.” – Book Nutter’s Book Reviews

Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There's no denying Parent has talent.” Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, Boom Town, and Abram’s Bridge

“Wow! That was just brilliant! Every single chapter straight from the very beginning had me gripped.” – Andrew Lennon, author of Keith and A Life to Waste, a Novel of Violence and Horror

“Superbly fast paced from beginning to end meaning you will not want to put it down. A plot that will keep you guessing to the very end but not in a confusing way. Brilliant characters that gel together perfectly. A bloody good book.” – Confessions of a Reviewer

“This is one seriously entertaining, thought provoking read.” – Adam Light, author of Taken, Toes Up, and The Corpus Corruptum

“This book was a police procedural/thriller/psychological horror story-it doesn't neatly fit into any category except for: ‘damn fine read’.” – Char’s Horror Corner

“The entire story was strong, driven, and merciless in all regard from beginning to end. Even when you think you know where it's going, there's yet another--logical--twist.” Horror After Dark

Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension. The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent's writing here is top notch - sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.” – Evans Light, author of Arboreatum, Screamscapes, and Harmlessly Insane.

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Evil-Jason-Parent/dp/1940215498

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeing-evil-jason-parent/1122319614http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeing-evil-jason-parent/1122319614

Red Adept Publishing

http://redadeptpublishing.com/#!/Seeing-Evil-by-Jason-Parent/p/49303160/category=12051051

Giveaway!!!

Sign up to enter to win one of five books from Jason Parent! There is one print copy of Seeing Evil, one print copy of Bad Apples 2 collection, 1 e-book of What Hides Within, and one e-book of Dead Roses. All winners get Seeing Evil bookmarks! Random draw chooses winner. First name drawn receives first prize, and so on. Any giveaway questions may be forwarded to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Enter to win at the link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday
Oct182015

Amazing Hitchcock & Kubrick Mash-Up

Sunday
Oct112015

Poltergeist 2015

I think we often allow the power of nostalgia to interfere with our viewing experience when dealing with the remake/reboot dilemma.  Some are great.  See Evil Dead (2013).  Some are serviceable.  See A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).  It’s true.  I don’t hate the Nightmare remake.  It’s not earth-shatteringly good, but it’s not an awful film. 

Some observations gathered while watching Poltergeist 2015:

MILD SPOILERS:

- It is interesting watching the poltergeists in the remake play with modern technology, and it doesn’t feel like a cop-out “gimmick” to make the movie more accessible.  Well-played by the film-makers.

- Great house and set design.  Check.

- Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams smoking a joint in bed in the original was early 1980's cinematic gold.  That sort of magic can be only captured once in a lifetime.  Don’t expect anything like that here.

- We are treated to a rather unenthusiastic "They're here." Whatevs. 

- This version of the melting face in the mirror is rather inventive, but with no gore.

- The flick is a fairly faithful adaptation, minus the Spielbergian magic.

- Sam Rockwell plays a decent 2015 facsimile of Nelson's lovable everyman.

- Most of the film's attempts at humor fall flat.

- Almost every iconic scene from the original gets a reimagining.

This is modern popcorn horror.  You can have fun with this movie.  But it isn’t going to leave a lasting imprint.

 

Sunday
Oct042015

Nerding Out with Glenn Rolfe

First off, I would like to thank Glenn Rolfe for taking the time to answer some of my questions.  This is my first entry into the blog tour world and I’m honored to be part of it.  I’m a big fan of Rolfe’s work and I’m currently reading his new novel Blood and Rain, a badass werewolf tale released just in time for the Halloween season. 

Glenn and I took a few moments to discuss a subject of the utmost importance.  I am, of course, referring to pop-culture.  We are around the same age which means we shared roughly the same cultural POV, with similar points of reference influencing the world around us.  So let’s take a trip back to when Goonies NEVER SAY DIE, the Fat Boys were disorderly, and Dokken dared to challenge that bastard son of 100 maniacs, Freddy Krueger, with unwavering courage fueled only by the power of rock.

Note: Not all questions will pertain to the 1980s. Any semblance of continuity here is completely coincidental.

Duane Mincel:  What is your favorite werewolf flick?

Glenn Rolfe:  The Howling. As much as I love Silver Bullet (I mean, Gary Busey and Corey Haim? C’mon how rad!), The Howling is just untouchable. From the story to the special effects…that werewolf transformation is the shit. I also tend to get turned on by it. My wife rolls her eyes every time I mention that movie. Elisabeth Brooks as a horny werewolf? Everything about this movie brings out the beast in me.  

Duane Mincel:  Give me your top 3 desert island albums.

Glenn Rolfe:  Appetite For Destruction by Guns N’ Roses; Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen; and for some fun and sun 1989 by Taylor Swift.

Duane Mincel:  What would your dream film collaboration be between two different artists, be it director, actor, writer?  I’m talking about a teaming of talents from any era.  Envision, in an alternate-universe, Hitchcock directing Britney Spears in a psychological thriller version of Crossroads.

Glenn Rolfe:  Ha! I like that one. I always thought Adam Sandler could have made a good badass in a Tarantino flick. Not the funny version, but that psycho explosive version of the Sandman, ya know? I think 10 years ago, that might have been awesome.

And with all the rumors of Scarlett Johansson doing Creature from the Black Lagoon? Imagine if she did and that was directed by Clint Eastwood? His movies always look so great. He’s a phenomenal director. I’d love to see him take on a horror flick.

Duane Mincel:  Seriously, how great is Stephen King?

Glenn Rolfe:  The best storyteller out there, man. I look to him most. He doesn’t go by all the writing rules. He’s not as clean and perfect as “writers” want him to be, but dammit if he can’t spin the tale, any tale, like nobody else. His characters are always so real. His voice is perfect every time. ‘Salem’s Lot is my favorite book ever, but I also love stuff like Joyland, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and The Green Mile. I’m reading Bag of Bones right now…so good.

Duane Mincel:  What is your impression of the horror community as a whole and how has being a part of this community influenced your life?

Glenn Rolfe:  There’s a lot going on. From classic, to literary, to bizarro, and all the rest. I won’t discuss what I don’t care for. I like to keep it on the pros, but yeah, man, it’s a fairly healthy beast right now. You have the top dogs like King and Barker, then you have guys like Maberry who is right there. Then you have our amazing independent scene. Publishers like Samhain, Dark Fuse, Deadite, and upstarts like Crystal Lake and Perpetual Motion Machine…You also have a slew of self-pubbed guys like Iain Rob Wright and Scott Nicholson who are killing it.

As for how I fit in, I’m just happy that since horror is still that misfit when it comes to “real” writers, we tend to gravitate toward one another and share this very cool unifying family vibe. All Hermies and Rudolphs are welcomed on this island of outcasts. I’m happy and grateful to be allowed through the gate.

Glenn showing his gentler side

Duane Mincel:  If you had to be a monster, while still generally adhering to the universally agreed upon mythos of said beast, what type of monster would you be?

Glenn Rolfe:  Wererolfe. :) You know, the change would suck, being away from the wife and kids every full moon would bite…but, heck yes! Let me howl at the moon and race through the woods at night. You wanna talk about running out your problem? Getting some aggressions out? Perfect, man..

Duane Mincel:  Choose Your Zombie Apocalypse Team:  You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors.  The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts.  Who do you pick? 

Glenn Rolfe:  Okay, Black Widow (film version)…Scarlett? I mean how could you not, right? She kicks ass and she’s gorgeous. John McClane-yippy-ki-yah, mother fucker. You wanna talk about surviving? And last, but not least-- I’m bringing in The Bride, baby. Beatrix Kiddo. My team is going to smoke the hell outta the zombie wasteland.

Duane Mincel:  Basically, all life experiences and general themes can be filtered through the lens of a horror novel, short story, etc.  The creative versatility that can be utilized within the horror genre is one of its main appeals.  Do you have aspirations to dabble into other literary genres? 

Glenn Rolfe:  Absolutely. I’ll never stop writing horror, but I don’t want to be pigeon holed into any genre. I want free reign. I have a couple of stories set aside, just basic ideas, that are non-horror. One is a mystery/thriller; the other is a total drama piece. I’m hoping to continue building my writing skills through horror and hopefully, when I feel like I have this writing thing down, I’ll write these other two novels. And to suggest that horror is any less than other genres…that’s not what I’m implying. I just think in horror you have your monsters and your killers to lean on, for me, I think writing without those crutches is a terrifying prospect. And I think that’s what makes me want to do it more.

Go pick up Glenn’s new book, Blood and Rain, from all major booksellers.  Links provided below.  And join me next month for the second installment of Nerding Out, as I sit down with another rising star in the horror genre to discuss all things slightly serious and certainly silly. 

______________________

Blood and Rain, Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man's terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can't even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

Find Glenn Rolfe at: http://glennrolfe.com/ as well as Facebook and Twitter.

____________________

Biography, Glenn Rolfe

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.

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

______________________

Praise for Blood and Rain

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

"With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we're in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!" -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon

“Some good ‘ol fashion violence and gore…” – Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil

“Glenn Rolfe takes a swing at the werewolf genre and hits a home run.” – Russell James, author of Q Island and Dreamwalker

“…not just another werewolf story, Rolfe has managed to take the werewolf to a-whole-nother level…” – Horror Novel Reviews

 “The best werewolf novel I’ve read since Jeff Strand’s Wolf Hunt.”–Horror After Dark

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Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Rain-Glenn-Rolfe/dp/1619229854/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443335652&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+and+rain

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-and-rain-glenn-rolfe/1122198363?ean=9781619229853#productInfoTabs

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5587/blood-and-rain

Giveaway!!!

For a chance to win a print copy of Glenn Rolfe’s short story collection, Slush, or a chance to win your choice of any of his titles in e-book format, go to the link below for the Rafflecopter sign-up. Good luck! The print copy is only good for those in the United States. Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b22/?

Monday
Sep212015

Boom Town by Glenn Rolfe

Originally published on Goodreads: read April 2015

Boom Town is a fast-paced sci-fi horror thriller which conjures to mind elements of some of my favorite alien flicks from the 80s (Night of the Creeps, The Blob). In my opinion, it’s Glenn Rolfe’s best work to date. It’s fascinating to experience the growth of an author as his work progresses and Rolfe is clearly in tune with his latest novella.
Buy Boom Town


Boom Town is a classic race-against-time story in which two teenage protagonists attempt to unravel the mystery of the unexplained tremors that have been rocking the small town of Eckert, Wisconsin. And then there’s that curious case of the strange blue ooze to contend with. Take them. Bring them. Ascend.

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4 out of 5 STARS

Sunday
Sep202015

The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz

Originally published on Goodreads: Read from October 20 to 23, 2013
 
The Sorrows is the best debut horror novel I have read since Jack Ketchum’s Off Season. Granted, I haven’t read every first fright book in existence, but that’s not the point. Jonathan Janz has woven a formidable introduction into the horror genre with a true tour-de-force that simultaneously pays homage to the classics while effortlessly lacing an original work with a contemporary and confident narrative.
Buy The Sorrows

Within these pages are rousing echoes of Matheson’s Hell House, mixed with the wanton and deathly nuances of the late Richard Laymon, with shades of superlative character work to rival that of Stephen King. I would surmise that it is the latter that truly makes this novel click.

 

The Sorrows is a compelling and tense story that contains an ingredient that many genre writers forget to include in their fictional concoctions; characters who you actually care about. The protagonists are deftly fleshed out with real emotions, scars and all. Their collective fates resonate well past the flip of the final page and ultimately leave the reader begging for more.
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5 out of 5 STARS