#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 I traveled to the Mabry-Hazen House in Knoxville, TN as a location in one of my Gifted Universe novels (they’re all unpublished right now) that I was brainstorming.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

https://ninestarpress.com/product/surreality/

https://www.amazon.com/SurReality-Matt-Doyle-ebook/dp/B0B355BSMJ

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

The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis #bookreview #ghosts #shortread #TuesdayBookBlog

Contemporary Southern Gothic meets weird horror in this new novelette from Priscilla Bettis.

Professor Claire Davenport yearns to be a mother. After suffering four miscarriages, the university microbiologist tries and fails to qualify as an adoptive mother. Then Claire’s husband leaves.

Alone and emotionally wounded, Claire takes a summer sabbatical from her microbiology classes and escapes to rural Virginia to heal. There, she meets local farmers with strange agricultural practices.

Claire moves into the historic manor house she rented for the summer, and an abandoned child greets her. Is the child real, an answer to her prayers? Or is he a figment of her tormented emotions? Perhaps the tight-knit locals are playing a trick on the science lady from the city.

Whatever the boy’s origin, Claire is determined to find the truth, but the truth may be bloody.

I’ve been anxiously anticipating this novelette after reading the description on the author’s blog. Southern Gothic, weird horror, and a historic manor house? Everything about that calls out to the horror fan in me.

What’s so scary about a hay bale you ask? Plenty. To microbiologist Claire, it can be a breeding ground for fungus and disease. It may also hide something else. Reeling after suffering four miscarriages, failing to qualify as an adoptive mother, and separating from her husband, Claire takes a step back from her life and rents a house in a small town for the summer where she can begin to heal. That small town is filled with odd people, and she soon learns disturbing information about her new home. And that’s on top of the fact that it also seems to be inhabited by the ghost of a young boy.

Atmospheric, unsettling, and full of creepy imagery (I felt some Midsommar vibes), this horror novelette can be easily read in an hour and will stick with you long after finishing. I’m anxious to see what this author does next.