Ink by Jonathan Maberry #bookreview #horror #paranormal

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry comes a standalone supernatural thriller Ink, about a memory thief who feeds on the most precious of dreams.

Tattoo-artist Patty Cakes has her dead daughter’s face tattooed on the back of her hand. Day by day it begins to fade, taking with it all of Patty’s memories of her daughter. All she’s left with is the certain knowledge she has forgotten her lost child. The awareness of that loss is tearing her apart.

Monk Addison is a private investigator whose skin is covered with the tattooed faces of murder victims. He is a predator who hunts for killers, and the ghosts of all of those dead people haunt his life. Some of those faces have begun to fade, too, destroying the very souls of the dead.

All through the town of Pine Deep people are having their most precious memories stolen. The monster seems to target the lonely, the disenfranchised, the people who need memories to anchor them to this world.

Something is out there. Something cruel and evil is feeding on the memories, erasing them from the hearts and minds of people like Patty and Monk and others.

Ink is the story of a few lonely, damaged people hunting for a memory thief. When all you have are memories, there is no greater horror than forgetting.

Take a moment to appreciate this exquisite cover – the designer did a magnificent job.  It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jonathan Maberry book, and after Ink, I’m kicking myself and wondering why.

From what I’ve seen in other reviews, the town of Pine Deep is featured in other Maberry novels, as are Monk and Patty.  I haven’t read those, but never felt as if I was missing anything.  Newcomers won’t be confused.

Antagonist Owen Minor is compared to a “psychic vampire” – he feeds on the tattoos and memories of others.  With such a large cast of eclectic characters, he’s got a veritable buffet to choose from in “The Spookiest Town in America”.  Two of his victims are Monk and Patty, who are easily my favorites.  Their stories are tragic and profoundly moving, and the loss of their memories and tattoos is deeply personal and gut-wrenching.  I ached for both of them.  Minor is abdominable, revolting, and intensely disturbed, and I felt slimy after every scene he was in.  I’ll never look at flies in the same way again and will be quicker to swat them in the future.

And that action-packed ending!  Holy crap, I don’t think I blinked once while reading it.  While it was mostly satisfying, I did feel as if some of the characters’ stories fell to the wayside and were left unresolved.  As a warning to readers who are faint of heart, Ink contains some graphic, gory scenes so be prepared.

This novel is bizarre, freaky, horrific, and often times gut-wrenching, but it makes me want to read the Pine Deep series.  I’d also love to see Patty and Monk in future books, so I’m hoping the author has a plan.  Highly recommend for horror fans!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Speculative Fiction #Giveaway #freebooks

If you’re a speculative fiction fan, your time has come. I’m participating in a multi-author ebook giveaway featuring loads of subgenres sure to satisfy your craving. You have the month of November to register and five winners will be chosen – let the clicking begin!

Win the 18 Speculative Fiction Ebooks Shown Above

  • Explore a variety of subgenres, including science fiction, fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, alternative history, paranormal and magical realism.
  • Enter your email address to get started; share the giveaway to improve your odds of winning.
  • 5 winners will be randomly selected on November 30.
  • Click on each book cover or title to learn more about that book.

To enter and learn more about the featured books, click HERE. Good luck!

Teen Killer Club by Lily Sparks #bookreview #YA #thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

Framed for the murder of her best friend, a young girl joins a super-secret society of teenage assassins to avoid a lifetime behind bars–and discovers her own true self–in this mesmerizing debut novel.

Seventeen-year-old Signal Deere has raised eyebrows for years as an unhappy Goth misfit from the trailer park. When she’s convicted of her best friend Rose’s brutal murder, she’s designated a Class A–the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profile. To avoid prison, Signal signs on for a secret program for 18-and-under Class As and is whisked off to an abandoned sleep-away camp, where she and seven bunkmates will train as assassins. Yet even in the Teen Killers Club, Signal doesn’t fit in. She’s squeamish around blood. She’s kind and empathetic. And her optimistic attitude is threatening to turn a group of ragtag maniacs into a team of close-knit friends. Maybe that’s because Signal’s not really a killer. She was framed for Rose’s murder and only joined the program to escape, track down Rose’s real killer, and clear her name. But Signal never planned on the sinister technologies that keep the campers confined. She never planned on the mysterious man in the woods determined to pick them off one by one. And she certainly never planned on falling in love. Signal’s strategy is coming apart at the seams as the true killer prepares to strike again in Teen Killers Club.

I’m not sure what this says about me, but a camp that trains teens to be assassins had me requesting this before even reading the whole description.

The action begins almost immediately as Signal and another teen are introduced to the other campers.  For convicted murderers who have the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profiles, most of them seem so…nice.  Having been framed for a murder and lacking even a hint of a killer instinct, Signal is absolutely a fish out of water and is pretty helpless with the assigned tasks.  Speaking of tasks, the first one is how to dispose of a body without it being detected – and that’s when I was all in.  Bizarre?  Absolutely.  But a practical skill for assassins.

I’d expected the teens to be sent out on missions pretty early in the story, but they don’t happen until the last part of the book.  The rest of the time is spent on training, trying to recover Signal’s sketchy memories of the murder she was accused of, strange happenings around camp, and a prominent love triangle.  I’m generally not a fan of this trope and honestly didn’t see the need for it, but that’s just me and a personal preference.  Other reviewers seemed to enjoy it.

With an action-packed, brisk ending, don’t look away or you’ll miss some things.  I suspended my disbelief with the big reveal as some of it seemed to come out of left field, but I was also frustrated because many questions are left unanswered, particularly one central character’s backstory.  It’s set up perfectly for a sequel, but nothing in the title indicates one is in the works.

Dark, cultish, action-packed, and morally gray, Teen Killers Club is an engrossing read – just maybe not the best selection for more squeamish readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thanks From #BadMoonRising!

I’m always a little sad when BMR is over because it’s so much fun (and books!), but then August rolls around again and prep work begins. As of Saturday afternoon, BMR had nearly 5K views – that’s a 25% increase from last year, and it’s because of everyone who shared the posts on their social media – your efforts are deeply appreciated. I want to thank everyone who stopped by to comment and support the thirty-one authors who participated – hugs to all! Next year will be the seventh year – hard to believe.

Wishing high word counts and active muses to all of you doing NaNo! I’m not participating this year, but I’m going into the third week of an online writer’s retreat, and my goal is to come out of it with a completed first draft. Wish me luck!

#BadMoonRising Haunted House Ghost (Braxton Campus Mysteries #5) by James J. Cudney #cozymystery #ghostmystery

Happy Halloween! Here we are at the last day of Bad Moon Rising. I don’t know about you, but this month passed in the blink of an eye for me. A variety of books have been featured ranging from children’s books for the little guys up through adults. They’ve hit plenty of targets on the horror/thriller/supernatural spectrum from “What was that creak?” to “Think I’ll sleep with the light on tonight”, up to “I’m locking this book in a trunk and dropping it in the lake where nothing can escape.”

Today’s featured book is on the lighter end of the spectrum for readers who prefer their horror to be kinder and gentler. His book features a haunted house and judging by the three items he’d take to spend the night in one, he’s adequately prepared. Welcome James J. Cudney!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

This is a tough choice! I’d be okay with either one, honestly… but I’ll choose the haunted house. I love to be scared, and the opportunity to sleep in one, maybe for a million dollars upon survival, seems really cool. Wait… that’s a movie plot that didn’t go very well for some of the guests. I’m sure I would make it through the night; I tend to be lucky, and I’d be the one trying to solve the mystery. But if I did choose the coffin, I would sleep well as long as it was dark and I could breathe easily. I tend to toss and turn a bit, so that might be uncomfortable if it were too small.

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

Handcuffs to lock up the creep who was haunting it, since the likelihood is that it was not a ghost but a real human being. A heavy, thick bottle of whiskey to be sure I could drink some (for fun and energy) and knock anyone bothering me over the head with it. A camera to record exactly what is going on the whole night. It might also serve as footage for a future movie or to remember what happened when I write the details into a future book. I’m sure my cell phone would die, so that would be useless to bring… and guns and knives could easily be used against me, hence why those weren’t options. I’m trying to think ahead!!! Shall we partner up and protect each other, Teri?

Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?

Definitely participate in a séance. I have used a Ouija board and it really comes down to who you are playing the game with. If someone won’t truly focus, it’s kinda boring and not helpful. But in a séance, if it’s done properly (fake or real), you could really have quite an amazing time. In reality, I would love to connect with spirits just to ask a bunch of questions and learn about the past. Not mean ones though… they can leave me alone!

Do you write to music?

No! I need completely silence. I think music influences the words or emotions I would place into the book. Sometimes this is good. I suppose I could listen to sad songs when writing a tearful scene or haunting music when writing a thriller scene… but ultimately, I’d get caught up in the music and not be able to focus. I usually hide in a room where no one can find me for a few hours; then I get a lot done!

What was the hardest part of writing your author bio?

I don’t like to talk about myself, and there is not a whole lot intriguing about me. I broke it up into chunks to talk about different aspects of my life, but it feels boring… if I read it on a site, I’d scroll through to the next page. Ultimately, I personally choose my reads by the description of the story and not the author. I don’t care much if he or she is famous or indie, boring or exciting… so I think that’s why I skim over my own bio. It’s the same thing for LinkedIn or my resume; I have accomplished tons but I can’t possibly think about how to present it in any way that makes clear sense. I just know which job I’ll like and hate having to fix my resume to work for it!

What are you working on now?

I am editing my next book, Weathering Old Souls, a co-written novel with Didi Oviatt. It is a contemporary fiction novel that delves deep into one and half centuries of history. Here’s a brief description:

Abigail has always struggled with strange voices appearing inside her head. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that forever changes her future. There are moments from previous periods that serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, but they also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of these voices while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator. Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between some of the people they meet during the journey, and secrets long thought buried come to light in devastating ways. With the twisting of elements, numerical alignments, and the trauma of spiritual entanglements, no one will be the same… and just a few might not even be around anymore.

We’re hoping to negotiate a deal with a publisher by the end of 2020, and it will publish in 2021. I’ve also begun writing the seventh Braxton novel, and I’ll be revealing the title in the next few days! It will also publish in early 2021, assuming I can stop listening to music this month and finish writing the book by my 11/30 deadline!

Haunted House Ghost is the 5th of 6 published books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries. In this book, it’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.

Haunted House Ghost – Excerpt

My mother scooped a heap of aromatic fruit salad into one of Nana D’s cherished Halloween-patterned dishes—orange-glazed china with floating white ghouls—then passed the serving bowl to me. “I didn’t scope out your new place this morning, Kellan. Are you leaving those ghoulish turrets in place? If it were my house, I’d focus on fixing that exterior, so it doesn’t resemble a scary monstrosity.”

“I suppose,” I replied wryly, ignoring her accidental insult. Should I mention the weird, unnerving incidents the contractors had witnessed? I’d given little credence to their jokes about tools moving around while no one was home, but after my latest disturbing dream and the supernatural presence this morning, I second-guessed my decision. “Nicky Endicott offered me a good deal on the price of the reno, and he’s been handling most of the work. They even hired extra guys this week to complete the initial phase on schedule.”

“Are you still worried it’s haunted by ghosts?” Nana D drizzled syrup on her voluminous stack of fluffy pancakes—I suddenly recalled that everything was pumpkin-flavored for her in October—and ravenously swallowed a forkful. Between her tiny button nose and the lengthy, henna-rinsed braid she’d soon trip over, Nana D was an undeniably humorous vision. When she put on her tailored green twill suit, I’d call her my lucky charm. It usually resulted in a painful pinch on the underside of my arm, but the utter shock and frustration on her face was worth the temporary discomfort.

“There’s no such thing as ghosts,” Emma stated with the assurance of a much wiser girl. When raspberry jelly unexpectedly dripped to her chin, she snorted. “It’s just magic fairies.”

“Whatever it is, I don’t like it. Nicky separately chatted with the new workers this week. The crew claims someone in a white lace gown was floating on the second floor when they arrived to begin construction.” I’d thought at the time they must’ve drunk too much the night before, but after my own frightening and hair-raising experience, a cavernous dollop of fear stirred inexorably.

“What else happened? Maybe Eleanor can solve this hocus pocus nonsense.” My mother, already stuffed from a nonfat yogurt parfait and the miniscule morsel of pie filling she’d snuck earlier, aimlessly pushed fruit around her plate. No pancakes for her, mostly since her vanity echoed that of the queen from Snow White. Despite being ten years younger than my father and looking at least ten years younger than her true age, she constantly fretted about her weight and fading youth.

“Tools moved when no one was in the room. A minor overnight flood when Nicky supposedly turned off the water. Scratching noises inside the walls.” I swallowed the remaining food on my plate and pushed back my chair with a flourish. I wanted to unhook my belt to gain some breathing room but refused to admit defeat. I’d increase my upcoming workouts to counter the impulsive overeating. The stress of construction delays was wearing me down. “Eleanor threw angelica root around the house and volunteered to sing a freakish chant about poltergeists. She claims it’ll protect me against evil spirits.”

“I’m confident your prankster is the ghost of Prudence Grey. We’re approaching the fiftieth anniversary of her disappearance. She lived there with Hiram and is probably rolling in her grave, seething that he sold it.” Nana D unexpectedly shivered with excitement, then directed Emma to check on Baxter. “Little ears shouldn’t hear what I’m about to tell you.”

“Don’t even think about embellishing the story, Mom. We’ve heard you complain interminably about Hiram Grey’s past.” My mother was adamant about controlling Nana D’s gossipy nature. Though often careful with her words, someday, loose lips would bite Nana D in the you-know-where.

“Pish! Last time, I only told Kellan that Prudence disappeared. The truth would’ve scared him from buying the house, despite Ulan’s imminent arrival in Pennsylvania.” Nana D smiled sanctimoniously as she shared the troubled history of the infamous Greys.

Prudence was Hiram’s first wife. Hiram, four years older, had just finished his senior year at Braxton College and enrolled in law school, obsessed with becoming a judge. Although Prudence had once been a stunning ingénue, she entered a rough period after giving birth to their son, Damien, and surviving independently while Hiram focused on his studies. Her parents had also died in a tragic accident, leaving her an emotional wreck. No one realized she’d suffered from postpartum depression.

“On Halloween in 1968, a gigantic organized protest against the Vietnam War erupted on campus. Everyone, professors and students alike, participated. Some were for it, others against it. It was a difficult time,” Nana D explained while scraping our plates into the trash compactor. “Hiram insists he’d left Prudence at home with Damien because he had to attend a vital class, but the professor recorded him as absent that day. When a bunch of students turned violent, the protest escalated, and the college library caught fire.”

Construction of a new wing on the building had been in process. Workers had finished early and already left the site. The protest was most volatile directly outside the oldest part of the library, but the Chief of the Fire Department was never sure how the blaze had started. Multiple people had witnessed Prudence enter the library during the demonstration, yet they never saw her exit.

“Your father was there, Kellan. He was only a teenager but remembers all the commotion. It was awful, and although no one actually died,” my mother began, casting a warning glance at Nana D, “it caused widespread damage and delayed the library’s renovation plans. By the time everything sorted itself out, the temperature had grown too frigid to break ground again.”

“What does this have to do with Prudence Grey haunting my new house?” I sighed, unable to decipher the connection between the two events. Time to further reel in the busybody yentas.

“Patience, brilliant one. I’m getting there,” Nana D rebuked, waggling a finger in my direction. “Prudence vanished. Hiram never spoke with her after he’d left the house that morning. The last place he saw his wife was allegedly carting a box into your basement. She loved that home so much… at least she’s not stuck haunting someone else.” Nana D wearily glanced downward, fanning herself.

“It’s possible that Prudence got trapped in the library and died in the fire. The winds were gusty that day and made the whole tragedy hard to contain. The firemen checked as soon as the opportunity presented itself but never found a body. All hearsay, since I was hardly out of diapers,” my mother added with a wink, eyeing the second round of fragrant pumpkin pies Nana D retrieved from the oven.

“Hiram claims Prudence suffered from a severe depression that prevented her from being a proper mother to Damien.” Nana D grew lost in the heartbreaking tale, eyes deep with remorse and regret. “I didn’t know her well, but Prudence was an innocent young lady before she’d married that fool and suffered his folly. Men suck. Don’t they, Violet, dear?”

“I’m not sure I understand. What precisely are you suggesting happened to Prudence? Is she buried under the library and moonlighting as a vengeful spirit in my new digs?”

“That’s the fifty-year-old mystery. Hiram moved out the next day and into the Grey estate with his family. No one’s ever heard from Prudence since then, and everyone who’s dared to live there flees within a week after complaining about peculiar noises and unexplained apparitions.”

“Didn’t you think to tell me that part before I bought the place?” I shot an emphatic gander of frustration and shock at my nana for her borderline treachery. Exhaustion had made me irritable.

Upon finishing her coffee, my mother placed the cup and saucer in the sink. “I don’t believe in all that hooey phooey. Hiram waited the necessary time to declare her legally dead, then he remarried. For all intents and purposes, Prudence is long gone. You shouldn’t worry.”

“But you think she’s haunting me because I bought her house?” I growled at Nana D.

“I assume Hiram got away with killing her. Prudence’s spirit must be restless, stuck inside the last place she lived before dying so dreadfully. I doubt she’ll hurt you,” Nana D suggested impishly while patting my hand. “Just be considerate of sharing her space, and I’m sure it’ll turn out fine.”

My mother tut-tutted. “Hiram can be ruthless, but no one suspects the judge of murder.”

Were they for real? At the very least, I deserved to know this tidbit of history before Nana D had convinced me to buy the place. My mind theorized outlandish scenarios about what could’ve happened to Prudence Grey. I’d been known to investigate suspicious deaths ever since moving home to Braxton earlier that year, but I had zero time to explore a fifty-year-old cold case.

“How’d the Fall Festival meeting go?” Nana D interrupted, her brow wrinkled and mouth hanging slightly open, ardently waiting for a response.

“Belinda Grey was obstinate and ferocious. I think you underestimated how angry she’d be when you declared us the head of the planning committee.” My mother ruffled through her gargantuan purse for the car keys. Did she hide an entire cornucopia of useless clutter in there?

“Belinda was derogatory all morning long.” I recalled how Hiram Grey’s second wife had also refused to congratulate us on securing Madam Zenya as the upcoming spectacular’s resident psychic.

“Hiram and Belinda Grey were perfect for each other. I could tell you stories about that churlish woman. Too bad that cantankerous old judge feels the need to find a new spouse every few years. Five sons with six wives makes him a menace to society.” Nana D reminded us that our local magistrate was a modern-day Henry VIII, only instead of beheading his wives, he compelled them to disappear. “Some were probably murdered like Prudence. He tortured the others until each caved in to escape his tyranny.” She chuckled aloud, then lifted her old-fashioned, canary-yellow phone from the wall.

“He just divorced number six last year, right?” my mother nonchalantly questioned.

Nana D counted the judge’s wives by using the fingers on one hand, running out of digits after the fifth. “Yup. They seem to get younger each time. Now, skedaddle. I’ve got calls to make.”

Once my mother left, Emma, Baxter, and I visited our new house. Although it was the weekend, Nicky had paid his team overtime to tile the bathroom and install the kitchen plumbing. I parked the car and suggested Emma lead Baxter into the enclosed side yard to play fetch. A bulky, hairy spider had woven a fresh maze of silky webs across the front porch, swaying in the gentle breeze from my hasty approach. It cautiously sat in the center and bundled its most recent prey in a sticky clump of white threads, staring and mocking me to swat it, if I dared. As soon as I ducked and strode through the door, Nicky anxiously approached me with his grease-stained palm glued to his forehead.

“Kellan, I’ve called for hours. Didn’t you get my messages?” Exasperation clung to the young contractor’s words. His awkward body language denoted something disastrous had occurred.

Grabbing the phone from my pocket, I realized I had accidentally turned it off. “No, I’m sorry. What’s going on? Is there an issue with construction?”

Nicky repeatedly shook his head and pursed his tense, thin lips. “No, you better see this for yourself. Follow me.” While dragging me through the main hallway toward the basement entrance, my impassioned contractor agitatedly explained how he and his crew had shown up at ten o’clock. “We let ourselves in using the only key to the front door. Look at what awaited us.”

My heart immediately raced like a bustling train as I absorbed the pungent scent of shock hovering stiffly in the room. In the same red paint I’d rolled on the walls in Ulan’s bedroom, someone had written a scraggly message on the locked basement door. It read:

Author Bio

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

My Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. My first two books were Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I wrote a sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, for my debut novel, and they are known as the Perceptions of Glass series. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available. All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, large print paperback, pocket size paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Haunted House Ghost – Amazon Book Links

#BadMoonRising Raising Hell by Phillip T. Stephens #satire #darkhumor

Since today’s author was found in a pumpkin patch on the eve of Halloween, I guess today is his birthday? Harvest anniversary day? See which movie gave him night terrors for months as a ten-year-old. Welcome Phillip T. Stephens!

Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep?  Which one?

Absolutely. Believe it or not, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. I was ten, and my father, a Baptist Minister, dragged me and my sister to a high school retreat because he didn’t want to pay a babysitter. And the movie they showed that night was Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, which I’ve seen several times since then and find the effects in the scene that scared me laughable (a bomb destroys the mummy leaving nothing but a box of bones, over in an instant). I went to sleep that night, but in the morning my father insisted I go with the high schoolers on a walk and I saw a stick rising from a creek that looked like a bone and that triggered night terrors for months. Who knows why? My father was too cheap to send me to a shrink even if he wanted to, which as a Baptist minister in 1960 he would have found the equivalent of turning over to the devil. So, I slept with a light on for several months and finally the terrors went away.

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

If I were in a horror movie, I don’t think either one would matter. That’s how horror movies work. Bullets can’t hurt monsters, and your car always breaks down. I would choose a bus ride out of town. But then the monsters in my movie would be hive minded swarm creatures who upend the bus. I’m f$*%#d either way.

Would you rather put your hand in a box and feel something slimy or furry?

Furry, and hopefully the kitten will be alive, but we won’t know until I put my hand in there.

If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?

I don’t snack when I write, but I’m a coffee addict. Easy choice.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

It can be anything, an image, a setting, a situation, a person or a scenario.

Describe your writing space.

I prefer my living room or bedroom, but wherever I have my laptop or iPad, I can write.

A clueless optimist ruins a perfectly good hell.

Pity poor Lucifer. He rules hell with a vice grip. Demons and damned scatter at the sound of his footsteps. The Supreme Butt In hasn’t pestered him in eons. Lucifer’s future looks perfect, pitch black, until an administrative error sticks him with an innocent soul—an overweight optimist who calls himself Pilgrim and who believes he must be in hell to do good. Lucifer never considers sending him back. Why waste a second chance to corrupt an innocent soul? He orders his subordinates to torture, degrade and humiliate Pilgrim until he promises to become evil if only it will ease the pain. Unfortunately, Pilgrim makes the best of the worst possible experiences. Always polite and well-mannered, he makes Pollyanna seem like a prophet of doom. Even worse, the damned start catching on, and set about making hell into the most enjoyable place of everlasting torment they can. 

Purchase Link

Raising Hell eBook

Raising Hell paperback

Author Bio

Phillip T. Stephens was found in a pumpkin patch on the eve of Halloween by two teenagers looking to make costumes out of Jack-O-Lanterns. The Jolly Green Giant was a popular character in advertising, and they wanted to create the Jolly Orange Giant and his Jolly Orange brother. Not sure what to do with the child they consulted a local Baptist minister who realized a child in a pumpkin patch on Halloween must be the AntiChrist. So, the minister and his wife adopted him and exposed him only to the Bible and Gospel records.

When he turned 18, they realized they had raised a smart ass and not the AntiChrist, so, they turned him loose on the world where he spent the rest of his life chronicling accounts of these bizarre creatures called humans for his pumpkin kin. Unfortunately, he hasn’t met any.

His art was most recently featured in Maintenant and Duende, and most recent stories appear in the Kill Switch, Monsters We Forgot and On Time horror anthologies.

Other than their association with him, his wife and son are completely normal, although pumpkin pies are never served at their house.  

Stephens is a leading proponent of Pumpkin Squash Zucchini Cantaloupe Cucumber and Gourd Rights but has been unable to garner support for the cause. You can support the movement at pszccg.org.

Social Media

Wind Eggs. My daily publication

Medium

Twitter: @stephens_pt

Instagram

Facebook

#BadMoonRising Finding David by Stevie Turner #paranormal #horror #shortstory

Today’s author is making her first appearance at BMR, but some of you are probably familiar with her books – she writes in a variety of genres. Between sleeping in a coffin or spending the night in a haunted house? She’ll take the haunted house – she’s already lived in one, so what’s another to add to the list? Welcome Stevie Turner!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

I am claustrophobic, and so nothing would ever induce me to spend the night in a coffin.  When younger, a flatmate and I made a coffin for a party we threw at our new flat, but everybody had a go at climbing into it except me!  I spent many nights in a haunted flat as a child.  My bedroom was haunted by the ghost of a previous tenant who had committed suicide, and so yes, I’d rather spend the night in a haunted house.

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

I’d take my phone of course, just in case I needed to call in reinforcements.  I’d also take in a good time-lapse camera and leave it running, and lastly I’d take something to eat because I know I’d not sleep a wink!

Would you rather use an Ouija board or participate in a séance?

I’ve done both in the past, although neither one was very successful. 

If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?

Drinks, definitely.  My salivary glands hardly function at all due to 34 sessions of radiotherapy to the neck for thyroid cancer back in 2017.  The cancer is gone, but the after-effects linger for life.  I sip, sip, sip all day long…

Do you write to music?

No, I have to have total silence as I find music too distracting.  I cannot write a word if music or the TV is playing in the background.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished ‘Barren’, a family relationship drama, and am in the process of reading it through a few times.  By the time this promotion comes out, the book will be published.

When Karen and Mick Curtis attend a demonstration of clairvoyance for the first time, Karen is singled out by the medium, Rae Cordelle. Rae has a message from Karen’s son David, who passed over to the spirit world many years before. The message shocks Karen and sends her on a journey of discovery, rocking her previously happy relationship with second husband Mick, David’s stepfather.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas.  She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.

One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ which was included in the 2016 book ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to the charity MIND.  Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from an independent film production company based in New York.  ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. 

https://writers.coverfly.com/profile/writer-d3b3affc7-6104#accolades

Social Media

Website:  http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6

Blog:  https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105747643789021738179/posts/p/pub

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

 Email: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

#BadMoonRising Matching Costumes by D.G. Driver #childrensbooks #Halloween #picturebook

Today we have another book for the younger crowd, and it’s a new release with an adorable cover! This author has published works in the YA and children’s genres, but also has a MG fantasy and a women’s fiction she’s shopping around with agents. When it comes to sleeping in a coffin or spending the night in a haunted house? She’s done both. Welcome D.G. Driver!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

Back when I was 21, I was in this terrible play called Countess Dracula, and I played a crazy vampire. My first appearance was rising out of a coffin, so I had to get in it before the audience came in (no curtain at this theater) and lie in there for a good forty-five minutes. It was not fun. I have also spent the night in a haunted hotel doing a ghost hunt, which was scary but also fun. So….. I’m going to pick the haunted house and hope for the best.

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

Definitely the car. Ghosts and zombies don’t die when they get shot, and murderers and monsters always get back up. I vote for escaping.

Would you rather put your hand in a box and feel something slimy or furry?

Gritting my teeth and timidly speaking: Furry?

What was the hardest part of writing your author bio?

Deciding what to leave out. I’ve had a few things published now, but I don’t like bios to be long. For the bio at the back of Matching Costumes, my first picture book, it felt strange to mention all my YA books. Not the same audience. So, I focused more on the themes of my writing rather than the titles.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

The first thing that comes to me in the premise or situation that the character will be facing. With that in mind I come up with a basic plot. Then I decide who the characters are and adjust the plot to fit these people. Matching Costumes has less than 60 words to it and was based on this premise: a child wants to make costumes for her dog and herself, but the dog won’t keep the costume on. The point was to create a pattern and then give a solution that breaks the pattern. I didn’t even name the girl or the dog.

What are you working on now?

In a total change of pace, I just finished writing my first women’s fiction novel and am shopping it around to agents. I’m also seeking representation for a middle grade fantasy novel called Dragon Surf that I’ve co-written with Jeni Bautista Richard. I’m in the process of recording and editing a musical story called Songwriter Night with a wonderful composer named Caleb Dinger that is going to be sold as a full cast audiobook.

Finding a costume to match a pet dog for Halloween isn’t easy. You have to be creative. Some ideas are funny, spooky, or pretty. Getting the dog to keep a costume on is the tricky part. Matching Costumes is a great picture book for infants-PreK

Matching Costumes is written by D. G. Driver and illustrated by Cason Rome. It is published by Huskies Pub, an imprint of MacLaren Cochrane Publishing. It is available at MCP Store and at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1643721607

Author Bio

D.G. Driver is an optimist at heart, and that’s why she likes to write about young people making an impact on the world. You’ll find among her books a teen environmental activist, a young girl teaching people about autism acceptance and to stop bullying people with special needs, a princess who wants to be more than a prize for a prince, a boy who wins a girl’s heart by being genuine and chivalrous, and a girl who bravely searches for a friend lost along the shore of a dark lake. She is an award-winning author of books for teens and tweens, but you’ll find some romance and horror stories published in anthologies, too. When Driver isn’t writing, she’s a teacher at an inclusive early child development program in Nashville, TN. She might also take a break from writing once in a while to strut the stage in a local theater production. You’re guaranteed to find her belting out Broadway show tunes anytime she’s driving. Learn more about her books at www.dgdriver.com

http://www.dgdriver.com

http://www.facebook.com/donnagdriver

http://www.instagram/d_g_driver

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-g-driver

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7867013.D_G_Driver

Twitter @DGDriverAuthor

#BadMoonRising Borne of the Deep (Salem Hawley #2) by Michael Patrick Hicks #horror #seaadventures #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s author is no stranger to Bad Moon Rising. He’s here with his newest release, part two of the Salem Hawley series. It’s currently a Kindle Countdown Deal priced at $0.99 for the next four days – take advantage of it now! He’s another author who has been kept awake by a King novel – but not for the reason you’d think. Welcome Michael Patrick Hicks!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

Oh man, this one’s actually a toughie! I’m a side-sleeper and I move around a lot in my sleep, which makes me think a coffin might not be ideal for rest. And would the top be open or closed, because that then raises issues of potential claustrophobia… I’m just gonna go with haunted house because even if it scares me to death, at least I’ll have room to move around!

Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep?  Which one?

Hmm… No, I don’t think so. I do remember reading IT as a teenager in broad daylight and having the crap scared out of me! And it did keep me up at night, not because I was too scared to sleep, but because I was so engrossed in the story and couldn’t put the book down.

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

My Kindle, loaded up with plenty of horror stories, obviously. Some whiskey! And I’m thinking I’d want some salty snacks, so probably a bag of chips or pretzel thins.

If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?

You’d think maybe given the answer to my previous question, this one would be tough, but no. I don’t tend to eat and write, so I’m very easily giving up snacks here! I do get thirsty when I’m writing, though, and water is a necessity, so I’m not giving that up!

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

Well, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers, there is a scene involving fish-people and impregnation that was a bit difficult to write, but it seems to have had its intended effect on readers. I’m happy to say I’ve turned a few people off of ever eating eggs again! 

What are you working on now?

I just finished up a short story that I’ll be submitting for consideration to an anthology I’m excited for just as a reader, but that I would absolutely love to be included in, too. I’m also slowly working through my first round of revisions on the third Salem Hawley book, and am working on a new horror book that I can’t say too much about just yet, but it involves a group being haunted in the woods. Stay tuned!

Emancipated during the American Revolution, Salem Hawley is a free man–until he finds himself indebted to a doctor for treatment for injuries incurred during the New York Doctors’ Riot. Recruited to recover the stolen grimoire, Al Azif, Salem embarks on a journey north, to Arkham, Massachusetts.

Plagued by rain and the incursion of strange, otherworldly creatures, the seaside town of Arkham has become a dark and dangerous place. Unable to trust the locals, Hawley is forced to rely on only his wits to track down the thief. He must also contend with Louise LeMarché, an outcast and suspected witch who is searching for the missing tome, as well.

Time is against Hawley. Something ancient and evil is rising from the depths of the Atlantic, and if Al Azif is not recovered quickly, it could spell doom to Arkham… and all of humanity.

Borne of the Deep, the second book in the Salem Hawley series, is a novella of Lovecraftian cosmic horror and continues the story that began in The Resurrectionists.

“With The Resurrectionists, Michael Patrick Hicks introduced us to Salem Hawley in a fresh take on cosmic horror. With Borne of the Deep, Salem has taken the crown as my favorite new horror hero. Compelling characters, a unique setting, mythology building, shocking horror–this series is the real deal for readers who want to be thrilled and terrified.” – Cullen Bunn, author of Harrow CountyBone ParishThe Sixth Gun

“Hicks has done it again, giving us a historical and horrific tale. Complete with deep Lovecraftiana, diverse storytelling, with a great protagonist in Salem Hawley, Borne of the Deep takes us back to the origin of all evil: Arkham, Massachusetts on the shores of the Miskatonic River. Michael Patrick Hicks has become one of the most exciting voices in horror. Hopefully, he’ll keep the stories of Salem Hawley coming.” – John Hornor Jacobs, author of A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror

“Michael Patrick Hicks delivers a stunning follow up to The Resurrectionists with Borne of the Deep, a well-deserved update on Lovecraftian lore. Gruesome, repulsive, page-turning goodness! I loved it!” – Steve Stred, author of Ritual

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081TPKFW4

Author Bio

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of several horror books, including The Resurrectionists, Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella, and Mass Hysteria. He co-hosts Staring Into The Abyss, a podcast focused on all things horror. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Finalist in science fiction. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

Michael lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

To stay up to date on his latest releases, join his newsletter at https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/q4f2k7

Social Media

Website: http://www.michaelpatrickhicks.com
Twitter: @MikeH5856
Podcast: http://staringintotheabyss.libsyn.com/

#BadMoonRising Of Witches… by Steve Stred #horror #occult

If you’re a witch fan or just looking for some creepy Halloween tales, this author’s collection of short stories and illustrations could be just what you need. Read below about his harrowing experience with a Ouija board after the tragic death of a friend and why he’s scarred for life by the Tristar Pictures music and Pegasus. Welcome Steve Stred!

Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep?  Which one?

When I was younger we had an unconventional ‘Christmas’ movie that we’d watch each and every Christmas. The Monster Squad. I don’t know why that ended up being our Christmas movie, but it did and when I first watched it I was maybe 6 or 7 and it scared me so bad. Each year, I would be petrified of it and it gave me a lifelong fear of Werewolves. Additionally, for many years after first watching the movie, I was terrified when the Tristar music and Pegasus would begin before any movie.

Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?

I’ve actually used a Ouija board before and had a very uncomfortable experience. Where I grew up, a friend died in a horrible car accident. After her memorial a bunch of us were at a different friend’s house. We were having a remembrance sleep over/party for her. Someone decided to try and ask the deceased some questions with the Ouija board. We all uncomfortably laughed, but later on the board was brought out and they started messing with it. I was laying on the couch (trying to snuggle up with a crush!) when I felt a pressure on my chest and infinite sorrow. I began to cry uncontrollably, but could talk just fine. I told my freaked out friends what was happening and they were unable to help me get off the couch. It was as though I had been super glued to the material. After another few minutes of this, someone took the board and put it somewhere and poof, I was free to move again and didn’t feel any of the sadness I had felt. I don’t think I’ll ever mess with another one again.

As for a séance, I think it would be a unique experience, but only if it was with a group of people who were taking it completely seriously.

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

I think part of this is situational. I mean if a car won’t break down, get in and drive, yeah? Leave Mr. Leatherface in the dust? But if you were trapped in a house, a gun would be much more efficient for your survival than a car parked outside.

Do you write to music?

Absolutely. Usually, I’ll have 2 or 3 albums specifically for each thing I’m writing. I listen to a lot of different music, but for writing sessions I’ll only listen to those specific works that make up the backdrop for emotional leverage of each release. For ‘Scott: A Wagon Buddy Tale’ which is the sequel to ‘Wagon Buddy’ I listened to Tom Petty and Arcade Fire. Currently for book three of my ‘Father of Lies’ trilogy, I’m listening to a lot of SepticFlesh and Dimmu Borgir. So, it really just depends on what I’m writing as to what I’m playing.

Describe your writing space.

BORING! Haha! Is that accurate? I do 99% of my writing at work on my lunch break, so it’s a computer on a desk with a fan beside it. Tada! I also do some very, very, very rare writing on my phone. So, it’s a Samsung and that’s really it. Not a very amazing spot like I’ve seen a lot of people’s set up!

What are you working on now?

Oh lord. What a loaded question! Well, “Of Witches…” just came out September 4th. So, that was my newest collection of 8 short stories about witches. It also featured 15 pieces of stunning art by Miranda Crites! I’m prepping my last release of the year, ‘Scott: A Wagon Buddy Tale,’ for its arrival. This is a sequel to my release ‘Wagon Buddy.’

Otherwise, I’m working on Books 2 and 3 respectively of my ‘Sermons of Sorrow Trilogy,’ Book 3 of my ‘Father of Lies Trilogy,’ my ultra-limited release ‘456 Blatchford Drive,’ my novel ‘Mastodon,’ the horror-western I’m co-writing with David Sodergren, and three other releases that I can’t share any more details on!

I’m always busy working on stuff!

“Of Witches…” the newest collection by dark fiction author, Steve Stred, brings together eight stories all revolving around one of history’s great curiosities – the witch.

Steve Stred will once again take you into the deepest, darkest places.

Accompanied by fifteen stunning photographs/illustrations, as well as an amazing foreword from Miranda Crites, this collection is sure to quench your crone thirst.

Within this collection you’ll find tales about;

-A watery reunion

-A story shared in a bar

-Letters left after a family member dies

A chance encounter while camping

-Three sisters who live on the outskirts of town

-The events that follow the loss of a loved one

-Strange occurrences at a property

-A teenager starting to work at the family business

“Of Witches…” is sure to become both a Halloween classic as well as a collection classic.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.

Steve is the author of a number novels, novellas and collections.

He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.

Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters in some fantastic anthologies.

Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.

Social Media

Website: stevestredauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: @stevestred

Instagram: @stevestred