WHO

WHO'S COMING DOWN YOUR CHIMNEY TONIGHT?




Charles Stross, "Overtime"

2017: CTHULHU FOR CHRISTMAS

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Lamentation

Lamentation Lamentation by Joe Clifford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: LAMENTATION by Joe Clifford

I am totally in love with this fascinating New Hampshire Noir series, literate, intriguing, with a die-hard protagonist. Jay Porter is thirty, with an ex-girlfriend he still loves and a toddler son, Aiden. Orphaned at age eight, when both parents died in a suspicious vehicle fatality, Jay has long been the caretaker for his decade-old brother Chris, who failed the promise of his high-school wrestling stardom to fall into the drug abyss. Jay lives a purely working-class existence as a seasonal estate cleaner in a state where winter is a serious business.

But Jay Porter rises above his adversity. He is an individual of massive integrity. No matter what, failures and troubles, beatings and loss of loved ones, job loss, alcoholism, he perseveres, and he always strives to choose the right option. An admirable protagonist is he.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Yesterday, When We Died

Yesterday, When We Died Yesterday, When We Died by Chad A. Clark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

release June 28

Review: YESTERDAY, WHEN WE DIED by Chad Clark

Readers of my horror reviews know that I rate implacability as my highest criterion for Horror. Chad Clark's newest novella, YESTERDAY, WHEN WE DIED, contains implacability in spades. From this evil, you just don't escape. It has a way, not only of destroying individual humans, but of amplifying emotions and base desires, of finding the evil in a human soul, then expressing it, influencing humans to wreak dastardly deeds. Who can stand against it, after all?



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Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: The Han Agent

The Han Agent The Han Agent by Amy Rogers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE HAN AGENT

Science is one of my fascinations, and the science premise of THE HAN AGENT is not just fascinating, but highly topical and up-to-date. When a driven Japanese-American scientist with a genius at viral genetics is dismissed from UC-Berkeley for being a lone wolf and violating restrictions, she is snapped up by a Japanese pharmaceutical megaconglomerate. She thinks her value is her scientific knowledge, but she could not imagine what the family-owned corporation intends: to extend the medical depredations of Japan's infamous Unit 731, in the 1930's and 1940's, to eradicate the hated Chinese.

THE HAN AGENT is a thought-provoking, eye-opening, nonstop scientific thriller.

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Review: Whispered Echoes

Whispered Echoes Whispered Echoes by Paul F. Olson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WHISPERED ECHOES by Paul F. Olson

"Pure, uncompromising, excellence": this is my take on WHISPERED ECHOES, a retrospective-to-new collection from accomplished author Paul F. Olson. Mr. Olson's publication career has been unusual: originally published in the "good old days" of horror in the 1980's, he next took up newspaper journalism. After two decades, he returned to his lifelong love, horror. Clearly the absence did not dissipate his immense talent.

WHISPERED ECHOES is a special collection, a treasure chest of horror gens--thoughtful and thought-provoking, literate and intellectual, polished and glowing.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: One Perfect Lie

One Perfect Lie One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ONE PERFECT LIE by Lisa Scottoline

My heart did not drop from my throat throughout this novel. That is how highly the suspense is tuned. Author Lisa Scottoline successfully brings her trademark talent of bringing readers into the plot and setting subtly, enwrapping us unaware, so that we must see the plot through to its conclusion. The theme here is domestic terrorism, horrifying in itself. To see the ways in which formerly innocent individuals trap themselves in crime is also terrifying, and the last-moment suspense blows the reader away.

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Review: Goliath

Goliath Goliath by Shawn Corridan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: GOLIATH

We all remember the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizons environmental disasters. How much more terrifying, if the world's largest super-tanker was deliberately sabotaged--purposely grounded, filled with crude oil, at loss of life and environmental disaster.

This is the premise of GOLIATH, a heart-in-mouth thriller, a novel which pits man against nature, and the underdog against wealth and against his own past failures.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos

Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos by Mark Cassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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Review: HELL CAT OF THE HOLT by Mark Cassell

Mark Cassell's constructed mythos is creatively imagined and original. He utilizes the concept of a veil between dimensions in a new way. He calls it the Shadow Fabric, a dimension which contains demons, shadows, and other entities. Demons whose physical form may be interred on this side, restrained by "containment stones," while their consciousness remain active on the other side.

HELL CAT OF THE HOLT focuses on a tiny English village of long history, seemingly ordinary on the surface. But a long set of containment stones and an influx of the Shadow Fabric brings increasing trouble and dangers.

Mark Cassell_Guest Post

From Simian to Serpent

It’s no secret the older I’ve got, the more difficult it is for me to face heights. Whether a balcony, a motorway overpass or a mountain, my calf muscles will twitch, my stomach churn, my heart pulse in my throat. And that sensation of the gaping chasm sucking me up and over the edge. Down, down…

Splat.

As a kid, I loved climbing trees; a typical trait of any young boy. Though I do wonder when it all changed. Maybe the catalyst for my growing phobia was when I was fifteen years old.

Allow me to tell you a true story:

Jon and I clambered up the tree, from branch to branch, agile as monkeys. We must’ve been at least fifteen feet up when we finally rested to peer out towards where his house was. Squinting through the woodland, I saw his conservatory with its white framework glaring in the afternoon sun.

If his mum knew we were there, tempting gravity beyond rusted barbed wire, she would've killed us. Feet balanced on a hefty limb, I stared up at Jon – he'd clearly climbed this tree many times. I had one arm wrapped around the trunk, the bark jagged and rough, while the other hand gripped what I assumed was a safe branch.

It wasn't. When it made a sharp crack, like an echoing rifle shot, my heart wriggled into my throat.

Gravity snatched my skinny arse.

Jon's pale face shrank into a blur of green and quivering daylight. His eyes grew wider. The stink of wet vegetation filled my lungs as I plunged into whipping branches. Twigs and leaves slapped the back of my head, clawed my flailing arms, and raked my kicking legs. Jon's face shrank away, now tiny. Why hadn't I hit the ground yet?

Still falling, and—

I slammed into the ground.

Dirt and sticks and dead leaves exploded around me. Arms and legs vertical, suspended almost... And the agony, the wind rushing from my lungs, the force much more than a punch to the stomach.

Help me! I silently yelled at my friend.

Why was he not helping? Didn't he care? Perhaps Jon laughed, perhaps he shouted something as he lowered himself from limb to limb. I had no idea. I could not see nor hear anything through the waves of pain, the roaring agony between my ears.

I writhed in a flurry of crispy leaves, my spine and shoulders and skull burning, throbbing. Heat spread into my legs and feet, into my toes, raging through my arms to numb my fingers. Colours and dark spots dotted my vision. I squirmed in the dirt like a dying snake.p I don’t remember Jon's first words, and I sure as hell cannot remember the return walk. Back at Jon's house, we somehow avoided his mum. My T-shirt was shredded from where twigs and sticks had stabbed my back. I'll give Jon some credit, he made a good effort in patching me up, pulling twigs and leaves from my skin. He swabbed the ragged gashes with cotton wool pads.

His mum never knew, but I told mine the morning after. I actually thought it was funny; I'd survived without a single broken bone.

Before breakfast with Mum standing behind me, I sat hunched over the table. Sunlight bled through the window, reaching across the tablecloth. With the occasional wince, I watched Mum's hand drop dirt and bits of leaves and wood onto a tissue. I even noticed the spiral curls of cotton wool Jon had left in my flesh.

Soon it was time for the disinfectant: its odour sharp and stinging my nostrils. I knew what was coming, my muscles tense.

Mum dabbed my wounds and I hissed, long and loud. Like a snake.

Whether this was the catalyst for my vertigo, I’ve no idea.

Many years later when I wrote my debut novel The Shadow Fabric, I did not include my fear. I intended to, but never had a suitable scene that would do it justice. So when it came to expanding the concept by writing short stories, my phobia featured in a story titled “Disturbed” and can be found in Sinister Stitches, a collection of stories in the Shadow Fabric mythos.

This particular tale doesn’t include a monkey, nor a snake, but there is a demon…p> So how about you? Do you have a phobia and can perhaps recall its inception?

* HELL CAT OF THE HOLT - a novella in the Shadow Fabric mythos
Available from Amazon
UK : http://amzn.to/2ruB1ux
US : http://amzn.to/2rJvqO5
* Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel THE SHADOW FABRIC is closely followed by the popular short story collection SINISTER STITCHES and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.

Mark’s 2017 release HELL CAT OF THE HOLT further explores the Shadow Fabric mythos with ghosts and black cat legends.

The dystopian sci-fi short story collection CHAOS HALO 1.0: ALPHA BETA GAMMA KILL is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.

For one of Mark’s FREE stories go to: www.markcassell.com

Or visit the website: www.theshadowfabric.co.uk

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review: A Pig's View of Heaven

A Pig's View of Heaven A Pig's View of Heaven by Stephen McQuiggan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: A PIG'S VIEW OF HEAVEN by Stephen McQuiggan

Something exists beneath the swampy Troughton's Moss, something evil, ancient, and very hungry--hungry for blood and flesh, for murder and mutilation. In the village, it can readily find malleable humans to carry out its desires. For its purposes, humans are virtually interchangeable. For no, that's sufficient; but eventually this Something wants to act on its own. A PIG'S VIEW OF HEAVEN is a dark look at evil, within the human heart and without, at deception and illusion, desire and dismay.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

SIT DOWN AND WRITE 9_June 15-July 15

#sitdownwrite

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http://stories-inside.blogspot.com/2017/06/sit-down-and-write-9-june-15-through.html

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse

A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse by Paul Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: A is For Asteroid, Z is for Zombie

This is not a children's book. {Shudder} If it doesn't give you nightmares and worries, you must be more jaded than I. This delightfully illustrated (in a horrifying fashion, reminiscent of the late, much-lamented, Charles Addams) compendium of eschatological woes is presented as a rhyming bedtime book read by a devoted father to his frightened son, who has been told about asteroid impact. By the time the father finishes, he and the reader are spine-chilled. Who knew the end of the world is possible in so many variants?


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel

The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel by James Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER by James Anderson

I am totally head-over-heels in love with this novel! It's perfect in every respect, absorbing and fulfilling. Deeply delineated characters populate the novel, along with the Desert, a character in itself, perhaps an even greater character than the human individuals, certainly a stronger and more enduring character.

Our very likable (even admirable) protagonist is Ben Jones, an almost middle-aged local haul trucker, orphaned from birth, who for decades has delivered on a single lonely and isolated Utah desert highway. Ben is always broke, poor, living on the edge in a society that only rewards wealth and power. If it rewarded integrity and merit, Ben Jones would be a king.

THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER is gloriously literate, mysterious, thrilling, romantic--and all around wonderful.



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Review: The Halloween Children

The Halloween Children The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN
by Brian James Freeman Norman Prentiss

THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN is a terrifying horror story which I couldn't set aside till I finished (and then couldn't get out of my imagination). Set in a quiet Maryland apartment complex, not far from a University campus, the focus of the story is a small family: Harris, Lynn, and their two children Amber and Matthew. Harris is the complex maintenance supervisor, with little to do because most of the work is contracted out to professionals. Lynn is a telecommuter, working in computer customer service from home. The “face” of the complex is a “little Napoleon” named Shawna, who rules rigidly and indiscriminately. Some of the residents are real terrors, in the human sense, and there are multiple layers of “reality” involved as well. Overarching this plot line of marital conflict, overprecocious offspring who might be both too imaginative and lacking in moral code, and Harris' own perceptions (which may or may not be “reality) is the approaching Halloween holiday. In conjunction is the theme of “the Halloween children,” as we come to find out, distinctly something (or someones) to be avoided.

Lots of violence and gore abound, but I'd be hard put to discern which is scarier: the “monsters” (if they exist) or the human evil. Unforgettable novel.

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Review: Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense

Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense by Laurie R. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of LOCKDOWN by Laurie R. King

Prolific author Laurie R. King has an immense talent for bringing her novels into the lives of readers. While reading LOCKDOWN, I felt I lived through its events and through the present and past lives of its character populace—yes, vicariously, but so vividly!

LOCKDOWN is the story of Guadalupe Middle School in tiny Central California farming community San Felipe, but its reverberations stretch also to the Midwest, Mexico, and New Guinea. Guadalupe could be a school almost anywhere, and because its students, staff, administrators, and parents are so realistic, they could be us, our neighbors, our family and friends. The events at and around Guadalupe are both joyful and horrifying, both hopeful and horrid—such is real life, is it not?

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: The Suicide Motor Club

The Suicide Motor Club The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB by Christopher Buehman

A literate road trip of horror, THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB in flavour put me in mind of Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS. But these constantly on-the-move muscle-car-addicted violent profane road-trippers aren't gods of any sort--instead, they are the original undead: vampires. With one possible exception, a gentlemanly sort and older vampire named Clayton, this group weren't likeable while alive, and much less so since becoming undead. Their big mistake is taking the five-year-old son of a woman with strong, unending faith. She can tolerate the death of her cheating husband, but the loss of her son pits her against the vampiric contingent--and oh, will the sparks fly now!!

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby

Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby by Martin Reaves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ROSEBUD HILL VOL. 1 by Martin Reaves

"Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!" describes my immediate and continued awe as I devoured this novel! Suspension of disbelief was immediate and permanent. I thought Mr. Reaves had delved into the Akashic Records and read my thoughts, dreams, and experience, then set those in a locale I've never been. ROSEBUD HILL VOL. 1 is so perfect, and I find no fault. I'm as excited reading it as I am a John Connolly novel in his Charlie Parker series--which is to say, over the moon and then some.

Mr. Reaves sets his tales on a haunted [really haunted, really preternatural] stretch of quiet, rural, isolated Oregon highway. Only sometimes this particular road is not quite as isolated as it should be. Sometimes there are impossibly tall mist beings, sometimes there's a town that shouldn't [and doesn't] exist. Sometimes there's inexplicable disease, too many missing young women, too easy to disappear. In this 12-mile stretch, the veil is very, very permeable, not just at Halloween.

There are some really nasty villains here--not all of them human. There are people who have committed really bad acts, but want redemption. There are good folks too. And then there's Rosebud Hill, the town that is, or isn't, depending; and a bloody camper hidden way back in the woods...

Mr. Reaves deftly weaves in the original Twilight Zone: if you remember it, you 'll love what he does. If you don't, no worry, he ensures readers' understanding. I am also reminded of the original Outer Limits series as well.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Converging

Converging Converging by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CONVERGING by Thomas Flowers

I don't come lightly to anything by this author. I bring my mind, my imagination, and my soul, knowing all three will be stretched. Mr. Flowers has a degree in history (which he capably demonstrates), but his understanding of Character, both of individuals and of Place, is positively Faulknerian. Whether he's delving into Houston, or East Texas, the Delta of Mississippi, or a tiny, smug, Appalachian community, Mr. Flowers comprehends the Character of Place; and when he finishes with us, so do we. He also understands the nature of evil, and how easily it conceals itself from less-discerning eyes. Delve into CONVERGING, and prepare to come away Changed.

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Review: Collected Easter Horror Shorts

Collected Easter Horror Shorts Collected Easter Horror Shorts by Brandy Yassa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: COLLECTED EASTER HORROR SHORTS (ed. By Kevin J. Kennedy)

CHILLING: that was my takeaway from Kevin J. Kennedy's earlier horror anthology, COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS, and it's my takeaway here as well. These stories are implacable, cold, and very, very, scary. I expect nightmares. I expect flinching at sudden sounds and glancing over my shoulder. I expect trying to forget, and finding these stories lingering on. A feast for the horror lover, indeed.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: THE GATEKEEPER by Kevin J. Kennedy

THE GATEKEEPER relates the tale of a rather feckless, morally meandering, alcoholic, who is offered a strange, even frightening, once-annual job. Every Halloween, he hosts a gateway from Hell, and literal monsters pour out, spending Halloween night wreaking havoc. Must be difficult on one's conscience. I'm uncertain whether to feel sympathetic for the protagonist or not, but am leading toward "not." I'm rating this 18+ for language, sexual situations, and events that some readers will consider offensive.

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Review: The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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Review: Collected Christmas Horror Shorts

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts Collected Christmas Horror Shorts by Brandy Yassa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS

A great gift choice for horror lovers or gift to oneself, COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS provides a wide range of eclectic horror, to read straight through, or sample a story or a poem at a time, like poisoned candy. The anthology showcases 24 authors, including publisher Kevin Kennedy, and includes a foreword by Nev Murray (edited by Brandy Yassa).

Curl up with frightening Christmas horror.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

SAVAGE JUNGLE by Hunter Shea_Review &Tour

Savage Jungle by Hunter Shea

Severed Press

Media Kit

Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi

Contact:
hookofabook@hotmail.com

__________________________________________________________________ Follow along the tour with these hashtags:

#SavageJungle
#HunterShea
#creatures
#legends
#monsters

Savage Jungle, Synopsis

File Size: 2679 KB
Print Length: 189 pages
Publisher: Severed Press (April 7, 2017)
Publication Date: April 7, 2017
They are called the Orang Pendek, masters of the steamy Sumatran rain forest.

Henrik Kooper watched his father die at the brutal hands of the orange-haired ape men. Having barely survived helping twins Natalie and Austin McQueen discover and destroy the beasts lurking in Loch Ness, it’s now his turn for vengeance. Within the treacherous jungles of Sumatra lies the fabled lost city of Gadang Ur. Its secrets are guarded by a savage band of Orang Pendek who lord over the strange and deadly creatures of the hidden land. Utter madness is the lifeblood of Gadang Ur. Henrik’s journey into darkness will take them to the ragged edge of hell on Earth.

Some places were never meant to be discovered.

Available in e-book and print

Hunter Shea, Biography

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon, The Loch Ness Monster, and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at http://www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Savage Jungle

“Sharply written action scenes are balanced with great dialogue and a depth to character usually missing from horror novels in this genre.” –Russell James, author of Q Island 

Praise for Hunter Shea

“Loch Ness Revenge is not only monsterific, but it's also comedic.” – Tim Meyer, author of Worlds Between My Teeth

“Shea delivers a tense and intriguing work of escalating tension splattered with a clever, extensive cast of bystanders turned victims…An otherwise excellent, tightly delivered plot…Fans of cryptid creatures are likely to revel in this love letter to a legendary menace.”– Publishers Weekly

“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

Purchase Links
Amazon

Want to feature this book/author? If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Savage Jungle or Hunter Shea in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Savage Jungle: Lair Of The Orang PendekSavage Jungle: Lair Of The Orang Pendek by Hunter Shea


Review: SAVAGE JUNGLE by Hunter Shea

SAVAGE JUNGLE is a direct sequel to Hunter Shea's earlier LOCH NESS REVENGE, with twins Natalie and Austin McQueen keeping their promise to aid Henrik in tracking the bizarre Orang Pendek of Sumatra, believed to live in the environs of a city lost in antiquity, Gadang Ur. Of course, revenge never comes easy, even when eaten cold, and Henrik's exploring group finds amazing sights and seemingly impossible creatures. Mr. Shea neatly mixes in some metaphysics and an effective suspension of disbelief.