Jackal by Erin E. Adams and The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco #bookreview #suspense #horror #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m still catching up on posting book reviews after Bad Moon Rising, so today I have a double feature that should please the horror fans out there (looking at you, Priscilla).

A young Black girl goes missing in the woods outside her white Rust Belt town. But she’s not the first—and she may not be the last. . . .

It’s watching.

Liz Rocher is coming home . . . reluctantly. As a Black woman, Liz doesn’t exactly have fond memories of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a predominantly white town. But her best friend is getting married, so she braces herself for a weekend of awkward and passive-aggressive reunions. Liz has grown, though; she can handle whatever awaits her. But on the day of the wedding, somewhere between dancing and dessert, the bride’s daughter, Caroline, goes missing—and the only thing left behind is a piece of white fabric covered in blood.

It’s taking.

As a frantic search begins, with the police combing the trees for Caroline, Liz is the only one who notices a pattern: a summer night. A missing girl. A party in the woods. She’s seen this before. Keisha Woodson, the only other Black girl in school, walked into the woods with a mysterious man and was later found with her chest cavity ripped open and her heart missing. Liz shudders at the thought that it could have been her, and now, with Caroline missing, it can’t be a coincidence. As Liz starts to dig through the town’s history, she uncovers a horrifying secret about the place she once called home. Children have been going missing in these woods for years. All of them Black. All of them girls.

It’s your turn.

With the evil in the forest creeping closer, Liz knows what she must do: find Caroline, or be entirely consumed by the darkness.

Liz bid good riddance to her small hometown several years ago, moved to NYC, and never looked back. Now several years later, she and her fiance have recently split up, and she’s returning home to be a bridesmaid in best friend Mel’s wedding. Let’s just say Liz isn’t looking forward to the visit and plans to stay only a couple days. The relationship with her mother is strained at times, especially when she mentions Liz’s weight gain and presses her to talk about the breakup – she blames Liz. The nightmare begins at the wedding reception when Mel’s daughter/Liz’s goddaughter goes missing while Liz was supposed to be watching her.

It gets off to a slow start, but initially the story presents as a mystery – who took Caroline? Soon it’s revealed that for years young Black girls have gone missing at the same time every year. But every death has been declared an accident, runaway, troubled youth, etc. It was maddening that no one noticed the pattern even when the missing girls’ families complained and pleaded with law enforcement to do more. Small town racism is alive and well in Johnstown. And then it’s not just a missing persons story – something evil is behind the abductions.

Early on I honestly thought I’d pegged the culprit and decided I’d be pretty disappointed if it was that easy. I was wrong, but my suspicions continued until almost the end. The first part of the novel captivated me and made putting down the book nearly impossible, but the last twenty percent confused me at certain points. I wasn’t sure what was real, but I won’t go into it for spoilery reasons.

Judging by other reviews, readers either give Jackal enthusiastic thumbs up or a meh. The ending didn’t work as well for me, but the mystery itself is compelling. Be warned – you may never go into the woods again after reading this novel.

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

An island oasis turns deadly when a terrifying legend threatens to kill off visitors one by one in this haunting novel from the highly acclaimed author of The Girl from the Well and the Bone Witch trilogy.

Pristine beaches, lush greenery, and perfect weather, the island of Kisapmata would be the vacation destination…if not for the curse. The Philippine locals speak of it in hushed voices and refuse to step foot on the island. They know the lives it has claimed. They won’t be next.

A Hollywood film crew won’t be dissuaded. Legend claims a Dreamer god sleeps, waiting to grant unimaginable powers in exchange for eight sacrifices. The producers are determined to document the evidence. And they convince Alon, a local teen, to be their guide.

Within minutes of their arrival, a giant sinkhole appears, revealing a giant balete tree with a mummified corpse entwined in its gnarled branches. And the crew start seeing strange visions. Alon knows they are falling victim to the island’s curse. If Alon can’t convince them to leave, there is no telling who will survive. Or how much the Dreamer god will destroy…

I’ve read other hair-raising horror novels by Chupeco, so I knew I was in for another chilling read with The Sacrifice.

Don’t let this beautiful island setting fool you. It’s an alluring disguise for the dangers that await these characters. The island reminded me a bit of the TV series Lost with its mysterious happenings, disembodied voices, and unsettling visions, all of which delighted me. Five lives have been claimed here, and folklore says three more deaths will follow. When a Hollywood film crew arrives, most of them hold no respect for local legends and beliefs, and the Phillipine locals refuse to talk to them. Only Alon agrees to work with them, mostly for their own protection.

Bizarre happenings occur almost immediately, and although it slows in some spots, pacing is pretty even. Once the bodies start dropping, you may wonder why the crew didn’t leave the island. It’s not that simple – the island keeps a firm grip on them. The setting isn’t the only culprit. Ambitious Hollywood execs who believe they hold the power soon find they’ve grossly miscalculated. I always love when Karma plays a part.

If you’re in the mood for macabre imagery, a cursed island, and tension-filled scenes, The Sacrifice nicely checks all those boxes.

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

#BadMoonRising An Endless Darkness: The Novellas by Steve Stred #horror #shortstories

Happy Halloween! I always look forward to this holiday, but it’s also a little bittersweet because it’s the last day of BMR. Today’s author has made several appearances here, and he’s certainly no stranger to horror stories. His featured book is a collection of his horror novellas, some of them the first time in print. He shares a story that perhaps isn’t your typical ghost tale, but is just as terrifying. Welcome Steve Stred!

Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?

I’d definitely rather visit a haunted house, because there seems like more potential. More places to explore, more room to creep inside with who knows what waiting for you. And a haunted house can remain scary 24 hours a day. A graveyard would lose its spookiness once the sun came up! I’m a huge fan of watching Urban Exploration videos of old abandoned houses and mansions and every time they always seems so ridiculously scary, even during the day!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

Yes and no. For instance, yes, I absolutely believe we’re not alone in the universe. To me that seems like an impossibility with how vast space is. But I also don’t think every UFO sighting means little green men. If anyone reading this has read any of my work, they’ll know my love and fear in equal parts of the mountains. To me, the wilderness is so spacious, I find it perfectly reasonable to think that Sasquatch can exist. There are plenty of videos out there (sure some are fake) that are hard to push aside as ‘fake.’ It can be hard for people who’ve grown up their entire lives in a sprawling city to accept that, but if you’ve spent any time in the Canadian wilderness, you’ll know how massive it is and how easily it would be for any animal to remain hidden.

What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?

Piggybacking off my previous answer, the ghost stories I always found the spookiest were more related to the woods. And some of them are not even so much ‘ghosts’ in that sense. For instance, one story I’ve heard variations of over the years involves a little boy – 4 or 5 depending on the source – who goes into the woods playing hide and seek. He goes missing. A massive search is carried out. Some sources say 100 searchers, some have said even up to 1500 searchers. All they find is two sets of prints. One matches the boys shoe size and leads from about where he was. The other is barefoot. In some of the versions their footsteps disappear. In some they find the boys shoes and the tracks disappear into a cave etc. Or a river. Always something to prevent the searchers from finding anything further. To me, that entire story scares me so badly haha! So much potential for our minds to fill in the blanks with horrific details.

How do you use social media as an author?

I’m an anomaly in that I love social media. I think it’s because I’ve curated it into how I use my own social media, that is – support and promote others (no matter their market share), celebrate when people have big wins, give kudos when someone has a loss (ie rejection etc) and just enjoy seeing what others are up to. I genuinely want to see people’s kids first day of school photos. Cool things they’ve created, awesome concerts they’ve been at and movies they watched. There’s sooooo much negativity and horrible news out there. So, I try really hard to remain as positive as I can!

What books did you grow up reading?

I’ve been a voracious reader since I was little. I started out with Archie comics and Berenstain Bears etc, before moving into Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My grandfather also had an extensive collection of western paperbacks, so I read some of those. Louis L’Amour type stuff. Then when I was eight or nine, I was allowed to borrow a Stephen King book from my neighbor, Patti and I was hooked. ‘Skeleton Crew’ was my first of his, ‘The Mist’ opening that up and it scared me so badly. To this day, I’m still frightened of deep, dense fog.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?

I’m fortunate that I currently have three authors combined fill the ‘mentor’ aspect for me, whether they know it or not! The first is the awesome David Sodergren. David has been instrumental in making me a better writer. He is far from ‘yes’ man for me. I run stuff by him and our relationship is solid enough and we’ve developed a great enough rapport that I know he’ll give me his honest opinion. The same for when he is editing my work. His notes back to me reflect that and I can’t thank him enough for that.

The second is Duncan Ralston. Whether you like him or not, Duncan has a phenomenal catalog of work and has built a ravenous fan base. He’s seen it all and is always up to answer my questions. And, he’s not a ‘yes’ guy either. If he doesn’t think something will work or something’s not good enough, he’ll tell me and he’ll offer alternatives or suggestions.

Lastly, is Andrew Pyper. If you’ve seen any of my social media, you’ll know how much I love his work. Discovering his writing was a subconscious kick for my own writing. Seeing his ‘Instant Bestseller’ label on The Demonologist and his bio saying he was from Canada blew my mind. Wait? You mean Canadians CAN do this! When I retired from sports and focused my passions back onto writing (when I knew my time was ending I had returned to working on my in-progress novel of close to a decade), that mini-bio drove me. Over the last six years or so, I’ve been fortunate to have developed a friendship with Andrew, and he’s always been willing to answer any questions I’ve had that have come up. He’s been through it all, knows the ins and outs and is a truly kind person. I’ve said I’m fortunate to have him as a friend, but that never seems to be enough. Just like ‘thank you’ often doesn’t seem to be enough. But, Andrew has always inspired me and having his backing and advice on things has been a blessing.

As always – thank you so much, Teri for having me! I love being a part of these and seeing the other posts from the others involved!

From Splatterpunk-Nominated author, Steve Stred comes a collection of his darkest novellas.

Re-edited and released to achieve maximum despair, Stred gathers some of his earliest nightmares for your reading pleasure!

– YURI – a twisted haunted house story, Yuri follows a young man, forced to flee his home and find work at the mine, owned by the town’s richest man. The only problem – things are not what they seem. ‘Don’t Eat the Stew.’

– The One That Knows No Fear – they say don’t meet your idols, and this holds true in this high-octane novella. Set in the late 1970’s, young Timmy wants to find out how his favorite daredevil appears to be invincible. He’ll wish he never found out the truth.

– Wound Upon Wound – for the first time in print, the sci-fi prequel to Stred’s Empyrean Saga is filled with a growing dread. ‘What would you do if you knew today was the last day of your life?’

– Jane: the 816 Chronicles – telling the story of specimen 816, aka Jane, this prequel story tied into Stred’s smash-hit ‘Mastodon’ will grab you by your throat and not let go.

– Seth – for the first time in print, ‘Seth’ tells the story of a young boy faced with an impossible task – either kill his own brother or let the monster kill him.

– Daisy’s House – for the first time in print, Daisy’s House is the house at the end of the street that everyone avoids. That is, everyone but the local high school kids who want to prove they’re not scared.

Black Void Publishing is proud to release this collection – featuring three stories never before in print, from one of the most intriguing writers in all of dark fiction!

Purchase Links

Universal Link: mybook.to/anendlessdarkness

Author book link: author.to/stevestred

Author Bio and Social Media

A Splatterpunk-Nominated Author, Steve Stred lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with his wife, son and their staffy, Cocoa.

His work has been described as haunting, bleak and is frequently set in the woods near where he grew up. He’s been fortunate to appear in numerous anthologies with some truly amazing authors.

A proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant, he is also an Active Member of the HWA.

Website: stevestredauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: @stevestred

Instagram: @stevestred

#BadMoonRising The Doors of Chamberlain by Steve L. Clark #horror #thriller

It’s another BMR debut today! No haunted dolls for him, either – apparently there are a lot of homeless haunted dolls out there. But this author had a hair-raising experience with another haunted item. Welcome Steve L. Clark!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

I split the line on this one depending on which monsters are in question. As much as I’d like to believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, I think they are both unlikely. That said, I believe the oceans are home to ‘monsters’ beyond what we imagine. I also absolutely believe in aliens and life on other planets. The truth is out there!

If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?

This is an easy one. Dawn of the Dead. George Romero’s 1978 classic is my favorite movie of all time. I got into horror at a young age, and I was completely enthralled by the fight for survival against zombie hordes in a shopping mall.

Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?

Absolutely not. I do believe in ghosts and hauntings, and I had a personal experience with a haunted item. My father built several grandfather clocks for the family when I was young. One of those clocks went to my aunt. After she passed away, I was given that clock to keep in the family, as well as having something built my dad, who unfortunately had also passed away. My aunt was never particularly fond of me, and within days of having her clock in my house, both my wife and I noticed odd occurrences. There was a strange energy in the house that we had never experienced. Then, my wife saw a shadow walk through the kitchen from our bedroom. I connected the dots and moved the clock out to the garage. I told my mom what happened, and she agreed to trade me that clock for another one she had at her house. The incidents stopped immediately once the clock was gone. I believe my aunt did not want me to have it, and I obliged. So, yeah, I’ll pass on haunted items.

What books did you grow up reading?

I’ve always loved to read. I was in 4th grade when Goosebumps first came out, and I ordered them from the Scholastic book fair order forms we got each month at school. I devoured those, getting each new book as soon as it came out. As I got older, I moved on from Goosebumps to Fear Street, and then read my first Stephen King novel in my early teens. The rest of my teenage years were spent mostly on what I considered the big three, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz. I didn’t discover the independent horror scene until much later, so I still have a lot of catching up to do.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?

Consistency. I rarely have issues with writer’s block. When I sit down to write, things flow at a good rate. My problem has always been and continues to be maintaining any kind of routine. I do not do a good job of making time to write. I’m getting better, but I’m still not where I would like to be. It’s a work in progress. Always, looking to improve.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on my next novel/novella. It is a supernatural horror story set in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. I am on track for a December 2022 release.

When Janie’s boyfriend Mark goes missing while filming a ghost hunting documentary, she spirals into a deep depression. Three months pass with no leads or answers.

With all hope fading and facing the reality of a future without him, Janie receives a package in the mail with no return address. It contains a flash drive and a simple note…

Mark is not dead. I need your help. Watch the videos.

The truth is more sinister than she imagined. She shares the videos with Mark’s sister Leslie, and together they are pulled into a mystery that changes everything.

Sometimes the missing should not be found.

Purchase Links

The Doors of Chamberlain: Clark, Steve L: 9798528507927: Amazon.com: Books

The Collapse of Ordinary: Clark, Steve L: 9798529126295: Amazon.com: Books

Author Bio and Social Media

Steve L Clark is an author of horror and dark fiction from Southwest Ohio where he lives with his beautiful wife and three wonderful children. He is the author of the cosmic horror novella The Doors of Chamberlain, the short story collection The Collapse of Ordinary, and a contributing author to the anthology Dark Words: Stories of Urban Legends and Folk Lore edited by Matt Wildasin, all of which are available on Amazon.

Twitter @stevelc8349

#BadMoonRising Boondock Butcher by Chuck Buda #horror #suspense

Happy Friday! Many of us remember childhood sleepovers where we told ghost stories. But this author’s recounting of his sleepover will send chills down your spine. He also introduces his most recent writing distraction – and the cuteness is off the charts. Welcome Chuck Buda!

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

The Stephen King novel that unsettled me the most was Pet Semetary. I read the book late at night one summer, next to an open window. While the book was creepy, the scares were amplified by the nightly shriek of wild cats fighting outside my window. I would have to check under my bed before turning off the lights. IT was a close second because the story preyed on the fears in my mind. I suppose if clowns shrieked and fought outside my window then IT would have surpassed Pet Semetary easily.

Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

The unsolved murder that fascinates me the most would have to be the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I have read numerous books on the eerie event and the intrigue is overwhelming. Tales of strange lights in the area, a sketchy photo of a hairy monster and the random injuries or positions of the bodies check off all my boxes for things Bigfoot, UFO and unknown. If the event had taken place in more favorable conditions or a place less remote than the Ural Mountains, the potential explanations would make far more sense. It freaks me out to think about this crazy, unsolved murder.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

Hands down, I would much rather watch a horror movie marathon than go to a real haunted house. It is easier to shake off scares from celluloid. I’m deathly afraid of bringing home an attachment from a haunted house. I love to watch ghost hunting television programs and often daydream about visiting a real haunted location. But I couldn’t do it in real life. True story, I stayed at a friend’s house once, a documented haunted house, and I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I insisted my friends lock the bedroom door. In the middle of the night, I heard footsteps in the hall and then the doorknob jiggled as if the person tried to come inside but found it locked. Moments later, the footsteps were inside the room, approaching my bed on the other side of the room. I had the pillow jammed into my mouth and the covers pulled up over my head. Nothing happened but I trembled, awake all night. The next morning, none of the guys who crashed in the room with me had heard a thing. Goosebumps!

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing? 

Pets have never gotten in the way of my writing until recently. We welcomed a new puppy into our lives (a Cavapoo) and he is a handful. He gets into lots of trouble chewing furniture and tearing apart our clothing but he is sooooooo cute. His name is Bobo and he is almost four months old now. The interruptions are well worth it!

What books did you grow up reading?

I grew up reading Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, Edgar Allan Poe and The Hardy Boys. Then I moved on to James Bond novels. With all the suspense and thrills in my formative reading years, it was a natural progression to Stephen King books at age thirteen.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a six-book classic western series. The Sentinel series will be rapidly released over the next year (one book every other month) starting this month. I am very excited about this series. Fans of my Son of Earp weird western series have already expressed interest in this new venture.

Local legends aren’t what they seem.

Nestled within the remote Tennessee mountains, a small town hides an ugly secret. A bloody wound that has never healed.

Renee Hunter finds herself broken down on a dark, lonely road. A local Samaritan helps her out. But he may have just delivered her into the belly of the beast.

Renee discovers that young women like her disappear in these woods. Now she must fight for survival.

But the Boondock Butcher stands in her way.

Purchase Links

Boondock Butcher

Sentinel Series

Son of Earp Series

Gushers Series

Debt Collector Series

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

Follow Chuck on BookBub:


Follow Chuck on Goodreads:


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

#BadMoonRising The Haunting of Kinnawe House by Steven Rigolosi #horror #paranormal #ghosts

Another BMR debut today! I have a weakness for haunted house stories, and dual timelines make them even more irresistible – and just look at that eerie cover below. This author shares the spookiest ghost story he’s ever heard – but it happened to him. Welcome Steven Rigolosi!

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

Firestarter. For me, it fired on all cylinders (pardon the pun). There is something so elementally terrifying about fire and how quickly it gets out of control. I re-learned this lesson not too long ago when my mother’s kitchen burned down in the space of about 3 minutes. Something in the oven ignited, and before she knew it, the kitchen was engulfed in flames. Fortunately, she survived unharmed. But it was such a terrifying experience for everyone that I can’t imagine myself re-reading Firestarter any time soon.

Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?

I don’t believe in tempting fate, so the answer is a big No. Also, several years ago I wrote a short story, “Locked in the Basement with Bebe,” about a haunted doll. The doll (Bebe) ended up disturbing me so much that I’ve sworn off haunted dolls forever.

What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?

I think this one is the spookiest because it happened to me. When I was in college, I went to Barbados on Spring Break. One night during the vacation, I had a dream about my father’s oldest brother. In the dream we were just sitting at my kitchen table and talking. He kept saying, “You’re a good boy” and “You march to the beat of your own drummer.” The dream was very odd because I was not close to that uncle at all. In fact, he and my father didn’t get along and had almost nothing to do with each other. When I got home, I got a phone call from my mother telling me that my uncle had died—during the night on which I had the dream.

Have you ever traveled as research for any of your books? 

Yes, for The Haunting of Kinnawe House, I traveled many times to York County, Maine, visiting towns such as York, Cape Neddick, and Ogunquit. Part of the story takes place in Northampton, Massachusetts, so I went there, too, to soak up the sense of history. Images from all of these places burned themselves into my brain and made their way into the book. Now I’m a big fan of traveling to research my books, though I hadn’t done much of it in the past. For fun, I am also attaching a photo of the real house (now demolished) that inspired Kinnawe House.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?

I can’t write in present tense, so if someone said to me, “You must write a novel in present tense, or you will die,” then I would die.

What books did you grow up reading?

At first I was going to answer this question by mentioning specific writers and books, but then another thought occurred to me. I don’t come from a wealthy family, so money was tight as I was growing up. Of course I made frequent use of the library, but as we all know, there’s nothing quite like buying books. Hardcover books were beyond my budget, and then I discovered the book clubs of that era: The Literary Guild, The Doubleday Book Club, The Mystery Guild, and Book-of-the-Month Club. They made hardcovers affordable, and they helped to form my reading tastes, in that I discovered a lot of writers through them. While I don’t remember them offering a lot of horror selections, there were always a few, and I still have my book-club editions of the classic haunted house stories that inspired my book, including Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and Anne Rivers Siddons’ The House Next Door. I also love mysteries, and the book clubs helped me discover a lot of the greats, including Agatha Christie, John D. MacDonald, Andrew Garve, Michael Gilbert, and Dorothy L. Sayers.

The Haunting of Kinnawe House is a ghost story that spans two eras in U.S. history: the American colonial period and the present. Matthew Rollins, an aspiring singer/songwriter, takes a job as caretaker of Kinnawe House in Agamenticus, Maine. The haunting begins immediately upon Matthew’s arrival. Threatening, ghostly strangers stalk the property. The cellar is filled with mysterious, foul-smelling barrels. And with each day, Matthew’s insomnia gets worse. The story alternates between past and present, as Matthew struggles with increasingly violent hallucinations, and the 1740s, as a dark preacher populates his town with a community willing to sell their souls for a comfortable life. Past and present come together as Matthew learns, little by little, of his family’s ties to Kinnawe House—and why the house will not rest until Matthew has taken his own life.

Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble

Black Rose Writing

Author Bio and Social Media

Steven Rigolosi is the editor-in-chief of Cambria & Calibri, an editorial services firm, where he specializes in editing psychology, economics, and business books. His other published fiction includes four mysteries, including Who Gets the Apartment? and The Outsmarting of Criminals. Both received the David Award for Best Mystery of the Year, andOprah’s editors selected The Outsmarting of Criminals as one of the best mysteries of its publication year. He lives in Northern New Jersey, where he plays classical flute with the Ramsey Wind Symphony. His other books are Circle of Assassins and Androgynous Murder House Party.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @srigolosi

Facebook: StevenRigolosiWriter

Email: stevenrigolosi AT gmail.com

#BadMoonRising Fiona’s Guardians by Dan Klefstad #horror #vampires #paranormal

Today’s author is making his BMR debut! I’ve been a vampire fan since I saw the original Fright Night, so his book immediately grabbed my attention. He names The Shining as the King novel that unsettled him most – but he poses an interesting theory that makes me look at the book and movie in a different light. Welcome Dan Klefstad!

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

The Shining. This is so much more than a ghost story. The theme of family disintegration is especially unsettling as the father, Jack Torrance, grows increasingly obsessive and violent, and Wendy and son Danny feel threatened by his behavior. I was also fascinated by how Danny’s presence at the Overlook Hotel seems to intensify the paranormal disturbances there. My own interpretation of this novel, and the 1980 film, is that Danny’s visions, or “shining,” hint that he may be consciously destroying his father.

What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?

A former cop in Rockford, Illinois, told me the story of a haunted apartment she rented. Her Sicilian mother refused to step into it, declaring something evil lurked there. She crossed herself and walked away. The former cop described various phenomena like faucets turning on, cabinet doors opening, etc. One night she was depressed and sat on the floor in the dark next to her fish tank, which provided the only light in the room. Soon she noticed all the fish had gathered in one corner near the bottom, as if they felt threatened by something. Suddenly, the cop was doused with water. Drenched, she went to a bar and called a friend who took her home. She moved out soon after.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

Oh definitely the former. I’d love to visit a haunted home — especially one with a well-documented history of hauntings. I’ve never experienced the paranormal first-hand.

How do you use social media as an author?

Mainly to co-brand with independent bookstores. I’ve been lucky enough to get my book stocked by 27 indie bookshops, so I mainly use Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to share pics of smiling booksellers holding my book. One shop (From My Shelf Books in Wellsboro, PA) sent a pic featuring their bookstore cats, which I’m attaching. I’m proud of my association with indie bookstores, and we both win because the pics they send usually get the most engagement. Of course, I also use social media to announce reading & signing events, or when a new book is coming out.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?

Noise. I can’t listen to music when I write. If I’m outside, birds are fine. But traffic and lawnmowers will drive me to a quiet place inside.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to my vampire novel, Fiona’s Guardians. In it, I introduce a species of vampire little known in the west called a penanggalan.

When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.

It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers. The 250-year-old Fiona needs 10 pints of human blood every night. As a result of this, Daniel and Fiona are always on the lookout for police, but fail to notice their gradual encirclement by Mors Strigae, an ancient order of monks dedicated to the extermination of vampires. Gone for a century, the monks start a new war when they destroy Fiona’s sire. This time, her vampire family is pushed to the edge of extinction — and the humans who serve them are hunted and executed.

After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave? 

Purchase Links


Barnes & Noble

Author Bio and Social Media

Dan Klefstad is a longtime radio host and newscaster at NPR station WNIJ. His latest novel, Fiona’s Guardians, is about humans who work for a beautiful manipulative vampire named Fiona. The book was adapted by Artists’ Ensemble Theater for their Mysterious Journey podcast. Dan is currently working on a sequel. He writes in DeKalb, Illinois.


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#BadMoonRising A Peril in Ectoplasm by Teagan Riordain Geneviene #horror #paranormal

I’ve got a treat to help you get through hump day!  I’m betting today’s author isn’t a stranger to most of you.  Her books are always guaranteed to be wildly creative, a little quirky, and filled with unexpected twists.  She’s here today with her novella that released last Friday!  Welcome Teagan Riordain Geneviene!  

Thanks for letting me participate in another fantastic Bad Moon Rising, Teri. Hello, everyone. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. Teri, I noticed you had some new questions this year. As always, they’re fabulous.

Fun Questions

Tracy Jentzsch, Unsplash
Tracy Jentzsch, Unsplash

Have you ever said Bloody Mary three times in front of a mirror?

Teri, this question made me snort, because I should be laughing — but no way am I tempting fate with this, or any mirror related legend. Nope! One of the first stories I wrote (when I was about 12) was a Twilight Zone-ish tale about a woman who was trapped in a mirror. To me, there’s always been something otherworldly about mirrors. Here’s some Teagan-Trivia. I’ve always decorated with several mirrors. I like that they add light and make rooms look bigger. However, what most people don’t notice is that hardly any of them are at eye-level for me. They’re there, but I don’t have to look at my reflection.

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

My mind works in unexpected ways. There are things that scare other people, which don’t phase me in the least. Yet some things that seem ordinary to other people can freak me out. Stephen King is a master at terrifying readers, including me. I think most people would think “Thinner” is about the least frightening story King has written. Even so, there is something about Thinner that stuck with me from the day I sat on the couch as a teenager reading about the gypsy touching and murmuring to the rude, obese man. It was so simple and mundane that it seemed all too possible.

Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?

Are you kidding me? What could be more mysterious or creepy than mirrors? Old dolls — triple that for haunted dolls, that’s what. If you want me to have a heart attack, just put a haunted doll in front of an old mirror. No.

Writing Questions

The Teagan Zone collage by Teagan Geneviene
Image by Teagan

Have you ever tried to write a novel in a genre you rarely or never read?

It’s probably a big draw-back, but I’m a multi-genre author. However, I never dabble in the romance genre. As a teen I read quite a few, especially Victoria Holt and Harlequins, but I moved on to other types of books. When I first started publishing novels, it seemed like everybody tried to get me to write romance. I did try, and several times… but I never got further than a page.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?

Maybe Rod Serling… There really are so many, but I don’t know much about their personalities. I can’t think of what famous author would be a personality-fit as a mentor, and that kind of compatibility is critical for a mentoring relationship. However, I’m answering this question to mention the “Film Courage” series of videos I watch on YouTube. Think of that series as my virtual mentors. No, I don’t write screenplays, but it’s transferrable information. There are several of the interviewed authors with whom I’d love to have long conversations and learn more from on a personal level.

What are you working on now?

I’m gradually working on edits and a better ending for The Guitar Mancer. It’s an urban fantasy set in 1970. I started it several years ago, but I was stumped for the right ending.

A Peril in Ectoplasm

Cover A Peril in Ectoplasm by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

A Peril in Ectoplasm, is a 1920s genre mash-up, part mystery, part suspense, with a dash of light horror. Famous medium, Daphne Moultrie receives a warning from the other side — there is a young woman she must find. If she doesn’t keep the girl with her, then she will die. Aside from the spirit’s warning, all Daphne knows about this girl is what her crystal ball showed her, a four-leaf clover, and each leaf had a human eye.

Meanwhile, Daphne’s fiancé seems to have designs of his own. He also pressures her to continue séances for a strange and very demanding woman. With each of those séances, Daphne becomes weaker and closer to death.

A Peril in Ectoplasm takes place in Coral Gables, Florida of 1926. This novella captures the Roaring Twenties in settings, descriptions, and language. The ensemble cast has a number of characters, including one you will love to hate.

Purchase Links

Kindle:  relinks.me/B0BJ9N1GBX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0BJBXGJ7L

About the Author

2022 Author Pic art deco Tegan

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene often writes whimsical and humorous stories. However, she also writes high fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and mysteries with historic settings. Yes, that’s a variety of genres. In addition to fiction, she has created the “Author Tool Chest” series of non-fiction works as resources for writers and anyone who loves language.

Teagan’s work is colored by the experiences of her early life in the southern states and later in the desert southwest, as well as a decade in Washington, DC. She had a successful career as an editor and writer in the information technology field, working for Federal executives. Now Teagan lives in a high desert town in the Southwest of the USA, and she is devoted fulltime to her own writing. She also makes book covers and promotional images. In free time she enjoys conversations with friends, singing karaoke, and playing her piano.

Social Media Links

You can also visit me at these sites:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

♦ ♦ ♦

Teri, thanks so much for hosting me. I’m happy to answer questions from your readers as well. Happy Halloween, everyone!


Copyright 2022

#BadMoonRising The BEK Curse by Jonathan Pongratz #horror #paranormal #shortread

I read an early draft of this author’s book, and until then I’d never heard of the urban legend of black-eyed kids. After I finished this unsettling story, you can bet there’s no way I’d let these creatures in my house. If they came knocking at my door, we’d be pulling up stakes and packing up the wagon. His work in process has me all kinds of excited (haunted ruins, something dark and malicious – woohoo!). Welcome Jonathan Pongratz!

Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?

Despite it not being my favorite, Salem’s Lot probably unsettled me the most. Vampires are tricky, slippery creatures, and we find out first hand what a nest of them can do and how it can impact entire towns or even the world. That kind of scale is truly terrifying, especially when you think how thin and fragile the protective layer of civilization is.

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

Oh, most definitely! As a teenager I encountered what I believe was a being that was invisible to the eye, but was affecting the physical plane (I don’t believe it was a ghost). It was terrifying.

I also have seen shadow people numerous times up through my late 20s. They’ve been quiet for the most part nowadays, and I’m very grateful! Once those flood gates are opened it’s hard to function as a member of society because you’re always looking behind your back.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

Ooo, I’d love to go to another real haunted house please! Here in Missouri I’ve been to the Vaile Mansion, Belvoir Winery, and stayed a night at the McInteer Villa. The McInteer was probably the closest to an active haunting that I’ve seen, but I would love to stay at the Sally House in Atchison, KS. It’s supposedly inhabited by demons, and I’ve never braved something so extreme before. One of these days I’m going to do it.

Have you ever traveled as research for any of your books? 

Only once, but it was really exciting! I traveled to the Mabry-Hazen House in Knoxville, TN as a location in one of my Gifted Universe novels (they’re all unpublished right now) that I was brainstorming. Actually being there gave me so much inspiration, and I saved all the photos to social media so I could get the details right at a later time.

I also love to AirBnb anywhere remote for a change of scenery to get the creative energy going.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

Madeline Miller please! She wrote The Song of Achilles, which blew me away earlier this year. Her ability to write a story set in a world full of rich detail and intriguing characters is amazing, and I would love to take any and all pointers from her.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on an LGBT Horror/Fantasy novel called The Ruins. A gay travel vlogger and his boyfriend journey to Peru to find the location of these supposedly haunted ruins that no one’s ever filmed before, and they unearth something far darker and malicious than they ever thought.

I’m nearing the end of my first draft and hope to see this published sometime in 2023.

“Just let us in. This won’t take long.”

Early retirees Maria and Richard Wilcox adore their new home out in the country. The past six months have been sheer bliss as they settled in and prepared for their golden years.

Until the night they answer a knock on their door.

The unexpected visitors are a pair of children. Richard tries to be cordial, but something about the kids is off. Something sinister, something menacing, something inhuman.

And then the children demand to be let in.

What do they want? Is this all a prank? Can Maria and Richard get them to go away, or will their dreams of a peaceful retirement together go up in flames?

Purchase Link

books2read.com/jonathanpongratz (yep, just the one! Check it out. I love how just one link does everything on Books2Read)

Author Bio and Social Media

Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, fantasy, and other speculative fiction stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his Halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Website: http://www.jonathanpongratz.com

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/jonathanpongratz

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathanpongratz

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/jonathanpongratz/

Tumblr: https://jonathanpongratz.tumblr.com/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@jonathanpongratz

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jonathan-pongratz

#BadMoonRising SurReality by Matt Doyle #horror #paranormal #shortread

Today’s author is certainly no stranger to BMR having appeared here numerous years, and possibly from the start. If you’re a sci-fi/thriller fan, I highly recommend their Cassie Tam Files series, and if you’re looking for a quick read to put you in the Halloween mood, check out today’s featured book. Visiting a haunted house or haunted graveyard? Not even a challenge. Matt is debuting as an actor in a haunted fort this Halloween. Welcome Matt Doyle!

Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?

I could go one better: a haunted fort. See, the fort near my house is a well-known haunted spot. Which is why they do Halloween tours there every year. I’m actually debuting as a scar actor there this year. The cool thing with it is that it’s the longest running tour in Europe at almost 40 years now, and a few of the staff have been there since the beginning. Will something legitimately ghostly happen during the tour? I kinda hope so!

Have you ever said Bloody Mary three times in front of a mirror?

Yup! Alas, it didn’t work. It was a big thing when I was a kid though, and I think it was an introduction to creepy rituals for a lot of people who were kids around the same time as me. When my own kids came home with the same thing too, it did make me a smile a little. Bloody Mary seems to have some real longevity as spooky tales go.

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

So, this always makes me happy as a question, because I have an interest in cryptozoology. The way I see it, there are three possible types of people who say they’ve seen monsters like this. The first is the person that makes the story up because they think it’s funny. The second is the person who saw something, has mistaken it for a mythological beasty, but was terrified. The third is the person who saw exactly what they claim they saw. See, I do believe that a lot of these monsters probably do exist in one form or another out there. It really isn’t hard to believe that something hasn’t been discovered yet. Angler fish, for example, would have made people think of horror movies if they saw a picture of one before they were discovered. Are they exactly like the stories we hear? Probably not. We do tend to exaggerate things, and fear does funny things to you. Does that mean shadow people, dogman, and so on doesn’t exit at all; though? In my opinion, no.

How do you use social media as an author? 

Very poorly. LOL. I’m on there a fair bit, at least on Twitter, but I want to start trying to make use of Facebook and Instagram a bit more too. I tend to use it all for a mix of stuff though. Book promo, of course, but also just random posts about stuff. I feel like readers want to know you, not just the story you’re selling. So, I try to be fairly open on there.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

That one’s easy: Terry Pratchett. He was such a big part of my reading journey, and I’m really sad I didn’t get to meet him. The thing is, he was notoriously nice too. He was so open to people and always took time to speak with fans at signings. Not to mention that his writing was just so, so good. I’d love to have had the chance to pick his brains about how he created the balance he did with his stories.

What are you working on now?

A couple of different things. I’m currently pushing The Beast of Loughby Island out to a few publishers. It’s a werewolf novella, and probably both the bloodiest, and the angriest book I’ve ever written. It really came from a dark place in terms of the point I’m making with it. I also wanted to put a new twist on werewolf stories, so once it’s out there, I do hope people can get something new form it in that regard.

I’ve also just finished the first draft of Malfunction, which is a rewrite of the first story I ever wrote. I won’t say too much about it just yet other than to give you a three word preview: Robot. Clown. Horror.

Tony Cork and Benny Marks were ‘The Princes of UK Paranormal Television.’ Then, while investigating an urban legend for their 2015 Christmas Special, the couple found themselves torn apart by tragedy. Told through a series of blog posts written by the fans that loved them, this is Tony and Benny’s story.

Three murders over three days, the same time every year. These were the final days of the paranormal investigative show, SurReality.

Purchase Links



Author Bio and Social Media

Matt Doyle is a speculative fiction author from the UK and identifies as pansexual and nonbinary. 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, voice acting, and plotting and planning far too many projects.

Website: www.mattdoylemedia.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattdoylemedia

#BadMoonRising Blood Ending (A Vampire Novel) by Michael McGovern #horror #thriller

It’s a double debut for today’s author – his first published novel and BMR debut. You guys know how I feel about black cats, and he states black cats are his spirit animal. Obviously, he’s good people. Welcome Michael McGovern!

If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?

I would choose Peter Cushing as Van Helsing in HORROR OF DRACULA. Can’t get much cooler than that!

If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf, etc.), which would you choose?

Black cat definitely.  Black cats are my spirit animals.

Would you rather go to a real haunted house or watch a horror movie marathon?

A horror movie marathon. Horror to me is an art form. Facing a real horror would be far too upsetting!

What books did you grow up reading?

As a kid I read a lot of Greek and Roman mythology. Biographies through school book clubs were another favorite. Once I was in high school, science fiction was of interest (especially DOC SAVAGE), as well as classics like FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA etc. And Shakespeare! Also read a lot of Agatha Christie novels. Another absolute favorite was THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be? 

Stephen King. ‘Nuff said.

What are you working on now?

WITHIN THESE TAINTED WALLS is about a curse and subsequent haunting that starts off wrong and goes awry. Horror takes on many forms as madness, innocent deaths, and a terrifying decay takes root inside the walls of Weatherly House. She made mistakes! She made mistakes!

With elements of Gothic horror, alchemy, sex magic, and science, BLOOD ENDING chronicles the rise of master vampire Severin, his Trinity of female vampires, and the obsessed love-sick alchemist Praetorious Biederbeck.  As one century ends and a new one heads towards devastating war they find that the “old ways” are no longer viable–the lure of sex and blood now competes with the lure of science.  Assisted by the doomed vampire bride Justine, Biederbeck chases after Severin and the Trinity through the decades.  And what a chase it is!

            From an ancient school of black magic to the slave auction block in Syria; from the decadent vampire society of old Vienna to Berlin’s 1920s cabaret scene, a fetish club in London, the fires of Dresden, and ending in the streets of New York, these preternatural beings are affected not only by their own whims and foibles, but also by a world that is changing itself, and the state of magic, at a frenzied pace.  If  you’re seeking a pulse-pounding, blood drenched vampire saga quench your thirst with BLOOD ENDING.

Purchase Links (preorder for November 10th release)

https://www.blackrosewriting.com/horrorsuspense/bloodending (At checkout use the code PREORDER2022 for a 15% discount.)


Author Bio and Social Media

Twitter — @Michaelwrites9

Facebook Michael McGovern-Writer