#BadMoonRising Corral of Blood (Son of Earp #5) by Chuck Buda #horror #western #vampires

This isn’t the first appearance at BMR for today’s author, but he sure has been busy writing since he was here last. Today he’s featuring the fifth book in his Son of Earp series. He’ll also make you think twice before accepting drinks from other folks. Welcome Chuck Buda!

Which urban legend scares you most?

The urban legend which scares me the most is the organ thief. It is horrifying to imagine waking up in a bathtub with my kidneys missing. Too many times in my life, I have accepted drinks in bars and at parties that could have been easily laced with a substance to render me unconscious. The thought of someone rooting around in my innards, removing the precious cargo and leaving me to fend for survival is truly terrifying. STAY OUT OF MY BELLY!

What’s your favorite season of American Horror Story?

Rather than show my age and admit that Season 9: 1984 is my favorite, I would choose Season 2: Asylum. I found the second season extremely satisfying in how the characters from the first season were reimagined with different roles and personalities. Yet, some of the intricacies of the first season were utilized to increase the depth of the story. I can’t remember enjoying such a twist in celluloid. The second season twist reminded me of Stephen King’s books, The Regulators and Desperation, which did something similar.

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

When I watch horror movies, I typically cheer on the monster or the killer. I do empathize with the protagonist but there is something visceral about living vicariously through the eyes of evil. Covering your eyes during the “good parts” defeats the purpose of the scare. And nobody should speak to the screen at home or in the theater. I’m not sure how one could fall asleep during a horror film but I am going to have to try it out. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre might be a good choice to attempt such a feat!

Would you and your main character get along?

I believe James Johnson, the main character in the Son of Earp series, embodies many facets of my own life. So I would answer in the affirmative. James and I would get along famously. James is young in spirit and tries to always do the right thing. Me too. James gets himself into lots of trouble, allowing his emotions to get the best of him. Me too. James is a champion of underdogs and stands up for what he believes in. Me too. James is a lover of adventure and a romantic dreamer. Me too.

What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?

My stories involve multiple character point-of-views. Jumping into different heads in alternate chapters allows me, as a storyteller, to add depth and perspective to the tale. Spending an entire novel in one character’s mind is not always appropriate for getting the most out of a story, but it can serve a purpose. However, I find the added value of multiple viewpoints refreshing and necessary to round out the tale. It also enhances the suspense of opposing motives between characters.

If you could spend the day with another popular author, who would you choose?

If I could spend a day with another popular author, I would have to choose Bernard Cornwell. His historical fiction is incredible. The characters are so rich and the realism of the settings and periods are breathtaking. In my humble opinion, his books are instant classics and should be revered as much as James Clavell and Gore Vidal. I would study at his side the entire day, absorbing the masterful techniques that breathe life into his fiction.

Dark forces collide in the O.K. Corral.

James Johnson, illegitimate son of the legendary Wyatt Earp, strikes out on his own with his mentally disabled friend, Carson. They travel to the legendary Tombstone, Arizona where fortunes are made or men die in their pursuit of riches. With gold in the nearby hills, folks are too busy toiling in the hot sun to notice the dangers that exist within their town.

After stepping boot first into a new line of work, the boys befriend an odd loner who doesn’t quite fit in. And James falls for an angel. But people have secrets and their pasts follow them like a dusty shadow. James and Carson must survive multiple threats to their lives as a new showdown comes to Tombstone. One which pits vampires against witches.

Can James and Carson avoid burial in Boot Hill? Or will the battle lines drawn in blood send their souls straight to Hell? This is a nerve-rattling tale of supernatural horror. Read this book to continue the terrifying series today! Corral of Blood is the fifth novel in the Son of Earp series by Chuck Buda.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Chuck Buda writes across multiple genres including westerns, horror, and crime thrillers. He loves to eat pizza, drink whiskey and craft beers, listen to Norwegian Black Metal and search for answers about Bigfoot and UFOs. Plus, he works very hard to fit quotes from Seinfeld or Big Bang Theory into every conversation. That’s a ton of fun in one man.

Join his mailing list for free stories and things of weirdness:

https://www.authorchuckbuda.com

Follow Chuck on BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chuck-buda

Follow Chuck on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/Chuck_Buda

Chuck Buda co-hosts The Mando Method Podcast on Project Entertainment Network with author, Armand Rosamilia. They talk about all aspects of writing.

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Son of Earp Series

Gushers Series

Debt Collector Series

Beers And Fears Series

Keyport Cthulhu Series

#BadMoonRising The Things in Heaven and Earth by Michael Scott Hopkins #paranormal #supernatural #horror

Ghosts, demons, possession – all of these words excite me when any are mentioned in a book description, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when all three popped up in the blurb of today’s featured novel. It’s his first time at BMR, so let’s give a big welcome to Michael Scott Hopkins!

Have you ever had a tarot card reading?

Lots of times. When I was a kid, my parents had friends who claimed to be psychics. I had lots of readings, not one of which has come true yet. But it was fascinating at the time.

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ lantern?

Carve a Jack o’ lantern. I completely lack the artistic skills to make one that looks good, but I hate pumpkin so much there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with plunging a knife into one. There is considerably less chance of drowning as well.

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

When I was a kid, I did. Quite often. This was when I had a paper route (tells you how old I am), and the paper deliveries had to be made at four or five a.m. It was still dark outside, and the streets were deserted. I was literally the only soul around. But I would see movement out of the corner of my eye, look fast to try to catch whatever it was, scared as heck, and then there was nothing there. But I had a sense that something was always there and following me. That’s why I seldom managed to actually hit the porches when I threw the papers.

Would you and your main character get along?

We would unless he was on one of his murder rampages, since he kills people he likes.

What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?

I run. It’s a great way to clear your mind of the usual distractions and work out who your characters are, their backstories and motivation. I mean, aside from sweating, what else are you going to do?

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Hopefully, everyone. However, the novel is meant for readers who want to be challenged a bit, to engage with uncertainty of what is happening to the main character along his journey and his emotional growth.

“…plenty of the unpredictable chills and excitement horror thriller fans appreciate.” -Kirkus Reviews

Nash Baxter is a liar.

He’s the famous skeptic who rides his motorcycle across the country debunking hauntings everywhere he goes. Yet he knows ghosts are real – suffering remnants of the departed, held fast to this world and tormented by demons. Hell, it seems, exists all across the land, side-by-side with the living world. Nash has the power to see into that hell and destroy the demons by a force of will.

But sometimes demons fight back…

When they do, they possess Nash and force him to commit murder. Not that Nash minds. He does not feel emotions. Not fear. Not horror. That is until a mysterious woman comes into his life and convinces him nothing was ever as it seemed. He has one purpose in life – to save the world from the truest evil, an evil that lives and breathes inside of Nash Baxter himself. 

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio and Social Media

Michael Scott Hopkins grew up on San Leandro, California. He joined the United States Air Force out of high school and served for eight years, working as an avionics technician on F-4 Phantom aircraft. After being honorably discharged, he worked as a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service. While working for the Postal Service, he earned a BA in English and went on to graduate studies, earning his master’s degree from Governors State University.

After earning his MA, Hopkins started a career in public relations and as a speechwriter. He also taught English literature as an adjunct professor for his alma mater, GSU. While working in public relations, Hopkins started law school, graduating cum laude from The John Marshall Law School, where he was a member of The John Marshall Law Review.

He lives in Joliet, Illinois, with his wife of more than 30 thirty years, Carla, his golden retriever, Charlie, and two black cats named Lolli and Pop.

He and Carla have three grown sons, Tyler, Kyle, and Eric.

Hopsfiction.com

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelScottHopkinsAuthor

Sarah is FREE Today Only! #TuesdayBookBlog #freebook #YA #horror #paranormal

I hate to post twice on the same day, but my publisher let me know a few weeks ago the Sarah ebook would be free today only across all makets on Amazon – just in time for Halloween! It’s not a slasher/gore type of story, it’s more about the bonds of family and friendship – and a vengeful ghost just happens to be hanging around the house. But it also contains a good amount of humor and a really awesome black cat named Eby (inspired by my cat, Shadow, who gave me the idea for this book). I hope you’ll download Sarah today HERE!

I’m also over at Robbie Cheadle’s blog today answering some of my own Bad Moon Rising questions. Click HERE to visit. She’s currently on tour with her most recent release, A Ghost and His Gold, so make sure to check it out!

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

#BadMoonRising Ailuros by Matt Doyle #horror #LGBTQ #scifi

If you’ve been a regular at BMR over the years, you’re probably familiar with today’s author. Their featured book is classified as ergodic (a new word for me!), and the format is explained below. Oh – and they might have lived with a ghost cat in a previous house. No biggie. Welcome Matt Doyle!

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ lantern?

Oh, pumpkin carving, definitely. It sounds odd, but I can’t swim, so apple dunking kinda freaks me out a little. Plus, I’ve been terrible at it the times I’ve done it. Pumpkin carving, I can do though. My brother is better at it, he does some really intricate designs. Like, he once did a Frank the Rabbit form Donnie Darko that was superb. Mine are a little more simple, but I still enjoy it.

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

I’m actually none of these. I do get frustrated with character choices if they’re poorly written, but never enough to actually shout at the screen. I’ve not fallen asleep in a horror film yet. I don’t cover my eyes, but I have been freaked out a few times. Like, the first time I watched A Tale of Two Sisters, for example. I was living with my parents at the time. There’s a scene with a girl under an oven, and my parent’s had a similar looking oven. I remember, after the film finished, my first thought was, ‘Now I have to walk past that oven.’ I literally ran to my room that night.

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Yup, a few times. I’m convinced we used to have a ghost cat in my old house. I’d catch sight of it running under the table, and a couple of times, my old dog would chase it. It was spooky, but not really scary. When it comes to ghostly type stuff, I’m more likely to smell something than see it though.

If you could spend the day with another popular author, who would you choose?

The sadly departed Terry Pratchett would be one, as he was notoriously a really nice person, and always willing to give advice. His books had a massive impact on my childhood too, and continue to be favorites now. Failing that, if we’re looking at living authors, Mark Z. Danielewski. His House of Leaves was a big influence on how I view fiction, and what I’m trying to do with AILUROS. He has a great mind for storytelling and trying something new, so I think he’d be fascinating to chat to.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Hmm…that’s a tough one, because AILUROS is an odd book. I’d say the ideal reader is one who is willing to try something a little different. The layout is unusual. The paperback is split with one story on the right-hand pages told through prose and audio transcripts, and a second story on the left-hand pages told through notes on the first story. Meanwhile, the eBook is the same but with the notes set up as pop-up endnotes. The ideal reader for it needs to be willing to embrace that, I think. Outside that, enjoying a sci-fi setting, more than a dash of horror, and LGBTQ protagonists certainly helps too.

What are you working on now?

I’m not actually sure, believe it or not! At the time of writing, I’m mostly working through trying to build hype for AILUROS, so I haven’t started anything new. Once I start the next one though…I have a few things to choose from. I have a choose-your-own-adventures style book that I want to work on. There’s also another experimental one that I’m thinking about, but I’m still trying to finalize the story in my head. And then there are the Simon Tell rewrites, plus a D&D campaign for friends…there’s so much!

#Begin

In the <present//future>, Josh and Alex must face <a//their own> monster if they are to salvage <their relationship//Ailuros Unit 23>.

These are/are not separate stories.

The following report represents a summary of the incident involving the abandoned microgravity holiday destination, Ailuros Unit Twenty-Three, and the crew of the Salvagers Guild Three ship, The Orca. The report is comprised primarily of the official transcripts of both the aforementioned events onboard the unit and my interview with Guild Director, Sarah Walker. The final entry consists of my summarizing thoughts on the case.

As is often the case in investigations such as this, in the end, Ailuros itself is as much the key to understanding the events as the people involved are.

Circumstances, as well as personal choices, are important, after all.

Purchase Link

Amazon – Fractured Mirror Publishing

Author Bio and Social Media

Matt Doyle is a speculative fiction author from the UK and identifies as pansexual and genderfluid. Matt has spent a great deal of time chasing dreams, a habit which has led to success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.

These days, Matt can be found working on multiple novels and stories, blogging about pop culture, and plotting and planning far too many projects.


Website
 – Twitter –  Facebook

#BadMoonRising Trapped by Armand Rosamilia #horror #action #indieauthor

Today’s author has participated in Bad Moon Rising every year since its inception, and I’m hoping he never breaks that streak. He’s got a mighty appetizing way to celebrate when he finishes writing a book – and he has exceptional (and expensive!) taste in bourbon. Welcome Armand Rosamilia!

Which urban legend scares you most?

I grew up in Belford, New Jersey, which is a small fishing village with a ton of legends surrounding it and the area. The most notable one I remember? The Spy House. There are allegedly 22 active ghosts that people have seen in there, including a ghost boy in the window, the ghost of a woman in white carrying a baby, and the ghost of Captain Morgan, too. The place dates back to Revolutionary War times. It’s called the Spy House because the former owner used to spy on the Red Coats who used to frequent the place. It’s a scary place at night.

Candy apple or candy corn?

Like, if I was forced to eat one or the other? They’re both incredibly overhyped. Let’s be honest. A candy apple has a sloppy shell that gets on everything, like stripper glitter. Then… there’s an apple inside. Big deal. You can eat those sour things all year round. No thanks. Candy corn is also awful. They taste like someone screwed up making delicious candy, and then they shaped it into a stupid shape, slapped some orange and brown and white onto them, and sold them to unsuspecting people. I’d rather eat the candy corn, though. No chance of accidentally eating something good for you, then.

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Who doesn’t? Am I right?! As a kid I used to see a black shadow that disconnected from the shadows around it and moved, but when I looked directly at it… not there. True story. I saw it all the time, and when I told my mother she just said it was Charlie, the ghost that lived in our house. No idea why his name was Charlie, or if it was a ghost or even a male ghost. It freaked me out. Around the time I was thirteen, I stopped seeing it. Feels like I lost a friend.

How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

I pour myself two fingers of Pappy Van Winkle 15-year bourbon. Order a large Philly cheesesteak pizza and eat it all by myself. Take a breather for the rest of the day, but keep writing the next project in my head, so the next morning I am right back at it. A bit hungover, a bit overstuffed, but ready to write.

If you could spend the day with another popular author, who would you choose?

The dream for me would be Dean Koontz. He’s the reason (one of them, anyway) that I wanted to become a writer. I’ve been blessed to have hung out and gotten to be friends with a lot of amazing authors over the years, too.

What are you working on now?

I always have several projects I work on at once. It keeps it fresh for me. A six-book thriller series that will debut in 2022. Another couple of Dirty Deeds crime thriller books. I have six more monster books for Severed Press to write. Lots of short stories. Chapters for my Patreon page. I’ll be doing live short story writing on Twitch as well. I cannot and will not stop. Until I run out of bourbon and pizza, of course.

Forget the conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport… this just got real.

When a massive snowstorm shuts down the airport and forces a plane carrying exotic and deadly cargo, those trapped inside the terminal have no idea what’s in store for them.

Can a group of passengers and airport workers band together to face the onslaught, or will they be ripped apart?

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 200 stories that are currently available, including crime thrillers, supernatural thrillers, horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, nonfiction and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He not only runs two successful podcasts…

Arm Cast Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing.

But he owns the network they’re on, too! Project Entertainment Network.

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

You can find him at https://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!

Social Media

https://armandrosamilia.com

Amazon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArmandAuthor

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/armandrosamilia

#BadMoonRising The Dead Boxes Archive by John F. Leonard #anthology #horror #shortstories

“This is one grim, twisty, short story that filled this horror fan’s heart with glee.” That’s what I had to say about Call Drops, today’s author’s short story collection, when I read it a couple years ago. Looking at his reviews, I’d say he’s made many horror fans happy. Welcome John F. Leonard!

Which urban legend scares you most?

I’m not sure any urban legend really scares me but one I find endlessly fascinating is the idea of the ‘dark’ village or town. Those vaguely anonymous localities where things aren’t quite right at first glance and something truly horrendous bubbles below the surface. It’s a concept that appears in a lot of my writing. Whitewood Heath in Bad Pennies is a place touched by the demonic. The Bledbrooke Works is heavily reliant on the notion. Newgate Wood from Night Service goes a step further in that Newgate exists beyond our everyday reality. Any unwary traveller driving in will find it very difficult to leave.

Actually, thinking about urban myths, freaky food is one that does cause me genuine concern. There are numerous disturbing food stories – chewing gum stays in your gut for years, bottled water causes cancer, fingers fried in with the chips. All tales that are mostly untrue and easily dismissed. However, I can’t shake off a more deeply-seated uneasiness about our modern diet. Here in the UK, the pandemic has accelerated a trend toward online grocery shopping. Plus, takeaway delivery companies have proliferated. It’s great in many ways and worrying in others. One consequence is a huge section of the population simply take what they’re given. I mean, why go to the trouble of actually inspecting what you’re going to eat before buying it when stuff can be thrown into your porch with a few clicks?

We trust the delivery, the origin of the contents, and what we’re told about the ingredients. Life was very different when I was younger. My mother used to feel fruit and vegetables before purchase was even considered. The butcher had to show her the cut of meat and name the source. She cooked our meals with the confidence of knowing precisely what was in them.

The possibilities for story-telling are endless and endlessly scary. However trustworthy the merchant, what are you really getting in that crate from the market or steaming bag from the takeaway? Will it contain something you don’t expect or want? A mutagen, an undetectable additive which could be changing you, altering the very fibre of your being? Muahahaha.

Have you ever had a tarot card reading?

No. I’m pretty sceptical, despite writing scary stories and being interested in the supernatural. Cartomancy is one of those areas which requires a considered distinction between the fictional and factual. In my experience, people who charge for this sort of stuff are frequently charlatans and those doing it for free all too often deluded. A measured dose of cynicism a day keeps the doctor away. It’s also likely to save a few quid and help you make better decisions.

That’s not to say I’m completely dismissive. There are definitely areas beyond our comprehension that defy logical explanation. But the world is also full of folk just itching to take advantage. A bit of harmless fun is fine, so long as you don’t get duped or dragged into infinitely dark realms : )

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

I watch horror movies and don’t usually do any of those things. Although, on reflection, I do recall that The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock made me hide behind the sofa when I was a kid.

Digressing slightly, but my early years were illuminated by horror movies. Hammer Horror and the like. They were a wonderful distraction from routine life. I’m well past the spring chicken stage now and the films I watched in my youth seem impossibly distant and yet still resonate. There was an innocence to it all. Those old movies are gentler, gore and guts weren’t necessary to create a sense of horror. Some see it as a golden era when the genre was more finely crafted. Subtler, atmospheric and quietly disturbing. Entertainment that generated some unsettling deliberation rather than the gag reflex. We were yet to reach the age of instant gratification and visceral repulsion. The drift toward the latter is understandable – the ante needs to be upped as you hit a certain level of saturation. Plus there was no continual internet assault to influence attitudes and dull appetites.

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

They appear with an alarming regularity. The moth memories smudged on reality, ephemeral and whispering the walls. Spectral things, slipping through a crack in the past and speaking of bleak tomorrows. That said, and being totally honest, it’s mostly when I’m the worse for drink. Mostly.


Would you and your main character get along?

I’ve written a lot of characters and generally identify with all of them in some respect. By that, I mean I’ve climbed at least part way inside their heads. Gone to bed thinking about the fictional person and drifted into an unsteady sleep thinking about how they deal with the mundane and the extraordinary. It’s the only way to write, as far as I’m concerned.

There are no ‘throw-away’ characters, they all have to contribute. It might not be in an obvious way. A reference to or association with another story. A figure that adds to and illustrates the general situation you want to portray. If they’re good, I don’t think you need to justify them too much. Relevant to the concept is what matters.

Which book have you read more than once?

For me, rereading an old favourite is one of the great joys of life. Especially with a decent interval between the visits. Enough time to have lost a little detail so the revisit offers an occasional surprise or forgotten moment in the story. There are quite a few books which I’ve read more than once.

Several Stephen King titles spring to mind – The Stand, a definitive apocalyptic horror novel. Salem’s Lot, one of my best vampire stories ever written. The Tommyknockers, a delightful take on alien invasion/artefacts. Just writing the titles has brought a smile to my lips. Radix by A. A. Attanasio is another which I’ve probably read half a dozen times over a thirty year period. A science fiction fantasy that fired my imagination as a teenager and is still intoxicating.

By the way, I’d love to spend some time with either of these authors. They’ve given me so much with their writing. If nothing else, it would be nice to shake hands and thank them face to face.

What are you working on now?

I’ve got a ridiculously long list of story ideas. Some are started or in progress and others merely rough sketches. Choosing the next to finish and publish isn’t finalised in my head. Odds are it will be an apocalyptic horror story from the Scaeth Mythos, set on an orbiting space station, with the provisional title of The Offearth Experiment.

I ought to give the above statement some context. The last book I published is The Dead Boxes Archive, a collection of shorter stories and novellas written between 2017 and 2020. Seven stories, five available to buy as individual books and one with limited availability. The last was new for the collection. Compiling and publishing this felt like a watershed moment. I hadn’t set out on my author odyssey to write lots of stories. My original intention was to publish one book. My second, 4 Hours,  featured a spin-off character and was entirely down to reader request. After that, I just got kinda caught up in the process.

By the time of The Dead Boxes Archive it felt as if things were spiraling out of control. My other writing, non-fiction and consultancy for websites, was putting increased demand on me and there are only so many hours in a day. So, I reluctantly decided to slide fiction onto the back-burner and make sure the mortgage was paid. Writing fiction is fabulously enjoyable and taking the indie road offers maximum freedom. However, freelance commercial stuff offers greater predictability on the income front.

All of which makes me treasure The Dead Boxes Archive. It won’t be my last fictional publication and that was always a possibility when I’d finished it. Instead, it stands as a personal marker – a ‘you are here’ kind of thing. I think it’s a good representation of my writing so far. Quiet horror that gets somewhat louder in places : )



The Dead Boxes Archive is a chilling collection of short horror stories and horror novellas. Together for the first time in one volume, seven tales from the critically acclaimed Dead Boxes series.

Dead Boxes are scary things. Wonderful and dreadful secrets hiding themselves in plain view.

On the surface, they often appear to be ordinary, everyday objects. Items which are easily overlooked at first glance. Perhaps that’s just as well because the Dead Boxes are as far from ordinary and everyday as you can get. They hold miracle and mystery, horror and salvation, answers to questions best not asked and directions to places better left unfound.

This collection offers an insight into some of these delightfully eerie articles. A stunning omnibus of old school inspired horror, the brooding and ominous variety. Not to say that there isn’t a little gore and gruesome in the mix. But one of the beauties of horror is that it comes in many forms. Blood and guts don’t need to be stars of the show for a story to be dark and disturbing. Something that will stay with you long after the reading is done.

Our diabolical banquet opens with Call Drops, a deliciously dark look at second hand shops, car boots and the infernal treasures which sometimes lurk within them. It might give you pause for thought about our ever-increasing reliance on the ubiquitous mobile phone.

“10 out of 5 stars” – Erik Henry Vick, author of Demon King.

Next up is the rather beautiful and deceptively innocent Doggem. In many ways, this short story defies description. It’s about a toy dog and school days and so much more. Ordinary families with folklore legacy, mundane existence amidst vaguely mythical settings, witchcraft and the supernatural. All mixed with apocalyptic undertones.

“The Velveteen Rabbit meets Rosemary’s Baby” – Barb Taub, author of Do Not Wash Hands In Plates.

A Plague of Pages is a nightmarishly enjoyable look at the perils of writing fiction. Betrayal, revenge and instruments of ultimate evil are blended into a mesmerising and horrific cocktail. Written well before the terrible events of 2020, it also touches upon historic pandemics and the prospect of present day apocalypse.

“ a wonderfully creepy read” – Gingernuts of Horror, premier UK horror review site.

Night Service is a tale of travel and terror that quickly gets up to speed and then doesn’t slow down until the haunting finale. A warning for all the night owls out there who use those last dance, last chance darktime buses. It can sometimes be a helluva ride!

“ flies by …excitement, chases, tension and bloody gore galore” – Char, leading Horror Aficionado and Vine Voice.

The ghostly Burntbridge Boys might initially appear to be about professional football. Don’t be deceived. When a Dead Box is involved, fraud and corruption in sport are only the tip of a demonic iceberg that spans dimensions and stretches into the dim and distant past.

“Sammy’s meeting with Burntbridge’s Chairman Millicent is stunningly good” – Terry Tyler, author of The Devil You Know.

The spooky old house, a gothic horror staple, gets a fresh lick of paint in Linger. Inheriting lots of money and a gothic mansion from a father you never knew sounds like some sort of dream come true. This revisit breathes new life into a horror classic.

” the Gothic …concentrated to its essence, with the richness this implies ” – Ramsey Campbell, British Horror Legend.

We conclude with The Screaming Mike Hawkins Story, a darkly inventive final twist from a mind filled with bleak and creative twists. Part author’s note, part biography, the shadowy career of Michael Hawkins is a mystery wrapped in more than one conundrum.

Amazon Links:

The Dead Boxes Archive UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08P7VHWS7

The Dead Boxes Archive USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P7VHWS7 The Dead Boxes Archive Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08P7VHWS7

Author Bio

John messes around with words for a living. He was born in England and grew up in the industrial Midlands. That was where he learned to love scrawny cats, the sound of scrapyard dogs and the rattle and clank of passing trains.

His official education mostly involved English, Art and History. Everything else came later. The employment record is somewhat difficult to summarise. Chequered is probably a good word for it. Shop worker and office boy, sculptor and odd-job man, fraud investigator and thief. It’s all the same, when you boil it down. Pay your way and try to have a good day.

He enjoys apocalyptic stuff, horror, comedy and football (not necessarily together). A family man, John now lives a few miles from the old Victorian house in which he was born. Scribbling scary stories seems to keep him vaguely sane (accurate at time of writing). Current projects include more tales from the Dead Boxes, another everyday cosmic horror novel from the Scaeth Mythos, and new books set in the post-apocalyptic world of Collapse.

Social Media

Say hello on Twitter: https://twitter.com/john_f_leonard

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/14953570.John_F_Leonard

#BadMoonRising Fear Farm No Trespassers by S.J. Krandall #shortstories #horror #indieauthor

Today’s author is making her debut appearance at BMR with her collection of short stories. Read on to see which book has become almost a summer read tradition for her. The novel and movie made plenty of folks wary about going into the ocean. Welcome S.J. Krandall!

What’s your favorite season of American Horror Story?

I am a big AHS fan and my favorite is season one, Murder House.  It was our first introduction to the series and talented cast. I was immediately drawn to the emotion of the characters and their stories. I also liked how they portrayed the dead throughout the show.  

Candy apple or candy corn?

Candy corn always.  I have a major sweet tooth so anything sugary makes me happy. 

Which urban legend scares you most?

Which Urban Legend that scares me the most is the one about the Spider Bite.  I love all things horror except spiders and having them crawl out of your skin is the creepiest.  I shiver just writing this.  

If you decided to write a spinoff of a side character, who would you choose?

If I decided to write a spin-off of a side character choosing which one would be a toss up between a little girl and the killer.  I think it would be nice to know what happens to the girl as she grows up but I also believe the killer has a back story that has never been told.  

Which book have you read more than once?

As a long time fan of the movie Jaws I have both seen the movie and read the book many times.  It’s almost a tradition now as the early Summer season rolls around to give it a read.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

My book’s ideal reader would be anyone who loves short stories and quick reads.  It would be someone who loves a suspenseful scare and edge of your seat fun. It blends modern day with old fashioned horror like the ones you listen to around a campfire. I suggest anyone over 15 due to some gore content. 

Within one year, reports of several missing people took over the media. The victims, all had ventured to parts of the deep wooded countryside never to return. Rumors, posted from local townsfolk, of what might have happened to them caught the attention of the public. Some said the undead may have taken them. Others believed that quick changes in weather patterns played part in their disappearances. A survivor, the only witness, was committed for madness as her story went uncredited. Even though some information was strange investigators, family, friends and adventure seekers all looked into them finding nothing. The lack of any evidence baffled the minds of the people involved as they continued to search for answers. Among them, a young woman so obsessed with these stories in her past that her own nightmares become a reality as she stumbles upon unspeakable horrors playing out before her very own eyes. Are they made up in her mind? Are they a dream? Or is she next? Whether real or fantasy, a story was unfolding before her and she could not stop the images that played out as she confronts who or what was responsible for these individuals grotesque fate.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Author Bio

S. J. Krandall is a self-published author from N.J. with her first book released in July of 2020. She was born in Florida but raised in New Jersey where she resides with her husband, her two sons and two dogs. . For more than twenty years she has enjoyed working with children as both a teacher and an aide.  Now, a stay at home mom, she cares for her family and takes time to enjoy other interests such as writing, traveling, art and photography.

Social Media

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin #bookreview #YA #horror #gothic

BLACK MIRROR meets Darcy Coates in this exploration of the dangerous, dark side of beauty in the digital age, with a gothic, haunted-house setting.

When Izzy is dragged from Brooklyn to a tiny town for her parents’ new job, she’s not thrilled. The silver lining is the gorgeous old mansion she’s moved into: the former home of an artist’s muse who died tragically in a fire. But the house has its quirks: whole floors are closed off, paintings are covered up, and cell reception is nonexistent.

Izzy throws herself into starting an Instagram fashion account using the gowns and jewelry she finds hidden away in the house. She looks perfect in the photos–almost unnaturally perfect–and they quickly go viral. Soon she’s got a new best friend, a potential boyfriend, and is surrounded by a group of girls who want the photoshoots and fame for themselves. But there’s a darkness in the house, and a darkness growing in Izzy, too. When girls start dying, it’s clear that something–or someone–in the house is growing in power, with deadly intentions. 

I have to admit – I would have passed up this book if it hadn’t mentioned Black Mirror, Darcy Coates, and a gothic, haunted-house setting. The cover didn’t scream horror to me.

The descriptions of the old mansion Izzy and her family relocate to paint a picture of a beautiful home that’s falling into ruin. I could easily imagine the architectural details and understand Izzy’s unexpected delight when seeing it for the first time. This haunted house had the potential to offer those delicious spine-tingling chills horror fans chase after, and I was excited to delve into its darkness. Maybe I’ve read so many books in this genre that I’ve become immune, but I never felt the chills. There are some eerie moments, but when the situation really starts to become intense, the scene never plays out. Something would interrupt it, leaving Izzy to rationalize what happened. Without giving away spoilers, the reader isn’t given much time to get to know Izzy before she moves into the house, and it was difficult for me to emphathize with her – she’s a difficult person to like. The final scene builds up to a tension-filled, creepy climax, but then ends abruptly and leaves several questions unanswered.

Kudos to the author for an admirable job of calling attention to the dark sides of vanity and obsession with social media and the effects both can have on a person. While this is an enjoyable read, I’d recommend it for the younger YA crowd.

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

The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates #bookreview #horror #thriller

Sometimes the dead reach back...

Leigh Harker’s quiet suburban home was her sanctuary for more than a decade, until things abruptly changed. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms in the shadows of her bedroom door at night, watching her, waiting for her to finally let down her guard enough to fall asleep.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her home, Leigh struggles to find answers. But each step forces her towards something more terrifying than she ever imagined.

A poisonous shadow seeps from the locked door beneath the stairs. The handle rattles through the night and fingernails scratch at the wood. Her home harbours dangerous secrets, and now that Leigh is trapped within its walls, she fears she may never escape.

Do you think you’re safe?

You’re wrong.

I’ve read a few Darcy Coates novels, but this one is unlike any of those I’m familiar with. It’s creepy, chilling, and guaranteed to have you leaving lights on all over the house – but the premise is something I haven’t come across in other horror novels. Which is why this review will be brief since I don’t do spoilers.

I’m not the first reviewer to say they almost DNFed the book, but most of those reviewers also encouraged readers to stick with it, and everything would soon make sense. The beginning is slow, filled with the monotonous details of Leigh’s everyday life interspersed with some terrifying moments that didn’t seem to make sense. I couldn’t imagine why the author chose to begin the story this way. Trust me when I say you’ll be rewarded with a jaw-dropping reveal later on. Everything will click.

Something else resides in Leigh’s house with her. The doorknob of a locked closet under the stairs rattles at night when whatever is on the other side tries to get out. It watches while she sleeps – if she ever manages to get any. Then there’s the harrowing encounter with sharp tools in a gardening shed when the door mysteriously slams shut and traps her inside. There’s no shortage of gripping scenes that may have you holding your breath while reading. Coates draws the reader in and makes them feel as if they’re right beside Leigh experiencing every terrifying moment with her.

Surprisingly, the story also contains some bittersweet and heartfelt scenes – and I can’t say that about most horror novels I’ve read. Part of the ending shot out of left field for me, but it comes with an explanation. If you’re looking for a different spin on the haunted house tale, give this novel a chance. Just remember to hang with it a few chapters.

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

Calling #Horror, #Thriller, and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors for #BadMoonRising

I’m not sure how we got here so fast, but it’s time for Bad Moon Rising again!  Thirty-one authors for thirty-one days in October will be featured right here at Books & Such.  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal/supernatural books and would like to participate, send me an email.  FREE publicity, book sales, new authors to follow, loads of fun, and more books added to the TBR – woo-hoo!

Each post will feature one of your releases, a book description, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m always open to suggestions.

This is the seventh year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.