Blog Archives

A Paranormal Casebook

A Paranormal Casebook by [Robert Lee Dean, Crissha Figarella, J.N. McLaughlin, R.L. Dean]

A collection of short stories from West Texas, A Paranormal Casebook by Robert Lee Dean starts strong. Unsettled spirits feature alongside our narrator, who begins as a deputy in a rural Sheriff’s Department. Each story weaves in elements of death, loss, and haunting as we learn about specters he encounters, year by year.

The tone of the chief character is sparse, becoming a welcome voice. We read terse descriptions, not unlike case reports, with the awareness of surroundings that law enforcement officers often have. This creates punchy prose with nothing outwardly violent, terrifying, or grotesque; we see these unexplained phenomena alongside one with feet solidly planted on the ground and who has a gun in their holster. Few ghost hunters can call for armed backup, although it may not be needed, yet it helps the reader maintain a sense of safety when confronted with the unexplained.

Ghostly folk tales as outsider art make this a unique entry in the genre. The author is not a writer by trade and didn’t set out to write a book. That these stories were recorded gives us a rare and unique perspective, as he had written them as fleeting notes and hadn’t kept them. Luckily, someone did.

Some tales in A Paranormal Casebook have the familiar feel of urban legend or folk tales but are fresh through the eyes of a cop. We follow this rational, friendly man with his worn cowboy hat and love of pizza into ghostly adventures easier than a skeptic or frenzied ghost chaser. This is a riveting collection of short stories, and if you are looking for something new in the paranormal genre and want just the facts, this is a great pick from the Lone Star State.

Pages: 89 | ASIN: B091N8ZCQV

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Walrus: Monster in the Mist – Book Trailer

Paul Tonetti, Jr., at 14 years of age, was on the verge of taking the darker dark path towards adulthood. But then George and Lucia Albert moved in next door and everything changed. Was George the superhero Paul perceived him to be, or something much less super and more sinister? And what about the vacant lot nearby, which seemed to defy the laws of nature? In the “shake, rattle and roll” world of spirts and demons, the Walrus knows all the answers.

Buy Now From B&N.com

A Fairly Straight-forward Haunting

Thomas A. Bradley
Thomas A. Bradley Author Interview

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow follows a group of teens that go into the Wickersham house and awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries. What was the inspiration for the setup to your thrilling story?

Wickersham Hollow actually started under the name Witch Hill and was intended originally to be a fairly straight-forward haunting. But as the characters developed, so did the story. The further I went, the more I realized it had to be told in both the past and present…each leading in circles to the other.

The story is told from the viewpoint of different interesting characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I think my favorite character to write and develop was Mother Cassandra. Getting the reader to hear her Jamaican dialect as they read, without pulling them out of the story by having to struggle with it, was a challenge – one I hope to (and have seemed to, so far) met.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I think the most important theme was relationships. It’s the ties between people, be they best friends or relatives, that drive any meaning into the telling of a story. Without relationships, without connections, characters become flat and one dimensional. I think that’s pretty true in life as well.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m nearing completion on the first book of a new series. The title of the book is The Bones of Sarah Golescue. The series is based around two characters from a previous novel, Blood Tracks. I see it as a kind of “Supernatural” meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

If all goes well, I plan to have it up for pre-sale by the end of March (2021)

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

On a Halloween night…
300 years ago…
…an evil was born of lust.
Now it’s awake … and hungers.
When seven teenagers go into the old Wickersham place in search of a Halloween thrill, they get more than they bargained for when they awaken a malevolence that has lain dormant for centuries.  Barely escaping with their lives, they learn that the past never dies.
For … in a house that hungers…
…no soul is safe.
When a young couple set about restoring the old place, the evil resurfaces.  And those who faced it once before just might be the couples’ only hope.
Will they find the courage to reunite…
…and face a terror they’ve tried to forget?
And if so…
Will anyone survive?
You’ll love this old school horror tale, because some things that go bump in the night are real.  Don’t forget your night light.
Get it now. 

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow

The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow: An Occult Horor Thriller by [Thomas A. Bradley]

In Wickersham Hollow stands a mansion, once splendid and vast, now rotting to the core. Newlyweds Brian and Annabelle purchased the property hoping to fix it up, but no amount of varnish and paint dissolves stains of the past. Decades ago Annabelle’s grandfather, Henry, along with six close friends, breached the threshold of that same mansion stirring up ghosts that demanded retribution then; and refuse to rest even now. As teens, the old house left them with nothing but nightmares. As adults, an undeniable connection between their thoughts and hearts persists no matter how many walls there are between one another. Living beside the old house all these years, Old Joachim Walcott enlists his right-hand man Ralph Strunk to see to his affairs. Aged but wiry, Walcott knows a lot more about the teens that broke into the Wickersham mansion that night than he’d ever let on. Renovations stall at the old mansion, and the group of friends that had broken in all those years ago are forced into a reluctant reunion in The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow by Thomas A. Bradley.

As the cover art for the book depicts, the 320-year-old mansion that takes up so much real estate within the story is wondrous and haunting. Its very walls appear to shift; very fitting for a house that we learn has a history of dark magic. From the abandoned well used to breach its foundations, to the heavy slamming doors and waterlogged stonework, there are torturous devices and demonic mirages at every corner. Set in the rural idyl of Pennsylvania the story does spend most of the time inside various homes or the sprawling mansion itself. While there are many characters, the story is written well in that we remain within the point of view of each character for fair amounts of time. Learning their backstories and how they connect, let alone their particular turns of phrase and attitudes, becomes part of the fun while the mystery unravels. Tina, Henry, Matt, Janet, Amy, Lucy, and Tommy are who make up the titular covenant. Emma, Brian, Annabel, old Joachim Walcott, and his confidant Ralph Strunk play heavily in this story and the cast thus far does not include ghosts, demons, and other entities at play. This populous cast has a singular plot in mind, however, which keeps the story flowing despite so many perspectives.

Those who enjoy a complex and overlapping storyline that keeps the reader busy from scene to scene between groups of characters will enjoy this novel. While there are quite a few names involved, the characterization really helps keep separation when the action moves from scene to scene. Each chapter takes place in a different location, so while jumping back and forth, tension remains high. Some chapters are further split into present and past. This is done clearly and it is enjoyable to see how the storytelling blends from the present to the past seamlessly with a unique style. Characters are often mid-sentence when their imagination takes over, pulling the reader into their memories. It is a fun tactic Bradly uses to great effect.

Along with the mystery and layered delivery, The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow is rooted deeply in horror. Injury, violence, madness, and possession are woven throughout and crescendo with a moment of profane ravishing coupled with demonic lust. Jargon and misspellings to reflect different dialects are used heavily throughout this novel and it is consistent so it’s easy to gather what the speaker means as it would be face to face. Whether you are a fan of using punctuation and spelling to portray jargon and dialect is purely subjective, but is used well here. While there are one or two points where an omniscient point of view nearly supersedes the character and appears to run contrary to them, there are very few instances of this, so it never takes us out of the story.

In the tradition of Ghost Story and Bag of Bones comes a haunting journey of a group of people bound by secrets forged in youth. Easily five stars for those who enjoy a fantastical ride through a malignant mansion and tainted history of a small village. There are some deviously dark notes heard in the music of The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow.

Pages: 354 | ASIN: B019EIBO1M

Buy Now From B&N.com

The Ghastly Horrors

Braedon Riddick
Braedon Riddick Author Interview

Ungodly follows the horrible occurrences that plague the campus of Calisade Mountain College. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this story?

The entire story sprouted from one single seed: when Amanda sees the silhouette in the red room. One night, (I don’t believe it was dark and stormy) that visual came to me as nothing more than a standalone image. It truly intrigued me . . . and also creeped me out in just the right way to take my curiosity to the next level. I was compelled to learn more about the reasons behind the silhouette in the red room and, make no mistake about it, I discovered way more than I had bargained for, leading to a slew of sleepless nights, and many questionable looks from my wife that suggested she was no longer sure of her husband’s sanity.

The book is filled with many great characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I met a lot of interesting characters during my time on Calisade Mountain — some wildly different than others, as alluded to in your review — but I connected with none more than Amanda. Her spirit expressed itself very early on, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Obviously, life deals us all hardships; the variables are the nature, number, and difficulty of the hardships we face, and how we choose to respond to them. How Amanda handles hers really speaks to me. Her resilience and sense of resolve in the face of adversity were contagions that infected me quickly and, ultimately, ended up being the driving force behind the novel. Honestly, were it not for her perseverance and strong personality, I might have lacked the courage to write about the ghastly horrors experienced on Calisade Mountain. So, indeed, I consider Amanda a dear friend.

What were some themes that you wanted to explore in this book?

With any horror tale, there’s usually a discernible dose of Good vs Evil. While the candidates on either side of the equation can have countless faces and may not be as easily identifiable as prior candidates, both parties should be represented well in order to create a compelling case. Although it is quite clear early on that there’s an evil force at work in Ungodly, its face is blurry, its nature unknown . . . which presents the underlying theme of the novel: Fear of the Unknown. As a lifelong fan of horror films and fiction, nothing moves my needle more than exploring the eerie extents of the unknown. Within that scary exploration, however, is where I seek out the beautiful, overarching theme of life: Survival. The undeniable instinct to survive at whatever cost, no matter the obstacles. The human spirit has always fascinated me in this way. No matter how bad or scary things may get, I’ll not bet against the collective human spirit to overcome the odds — even when certain sacrifices are required.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve got a few concepts in the works at the moment, moving each forward with organic progression. Being a methodical writer who enjoys constructing complex pieces, both structurally and conceptually, I tend to work judiciously, opting to err on the side of unpredictability, otherwise I’ll lose interest. In essence, if I can too easily predict a story’s ending when the pawns are in place, it’s not unlike me to abandon the tale and move along to another project. If I feel the story doesn’t allow for enough character freedom, if their actions seem too constrained, I’ll send it to the scrap yard for parts. Perhaps an analogy for my aversion to writing pedestrian, predictable fiction would be my inability to cook something commonplace. Let me clarify: I rarely cook, but when I do, according to my wife, I typically choose some exotic recipe that no one’s heard of or tried to make. Apparently, I strive for the culinary creations that require code deciphering to acquire a cryptic map to find the hidden recipe, and the ingredients for which can only be found with the guidance of a Sherpa and a mountain goat . . .

As for when to expect what’s next . . . well, much like how it’s said succinctly more than once in the novel: Soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Wicked phenomena strike the isolated campus of Calisade Mountain College. A homeless man sees his dead son in an abandoned dormitory, pursues the boy inside, and meets his demise. In the dark of night, a student witnesses a man plummet from a high-rise — a surefire suicide — but the detectives find no body. A campus police officer suddenly develops a taste for rape — and a homicidal hunger. The townspeople always sensed an intangible wrongness on the mountain . . . even before the evil enigma was afoot.

Iron Dogs

Iron Dogs follows a group of outlaws who are wounded and on the run. They seek shelter in a deserted New Mexico town. However, they soon realize that something is seriously amiss in the town. Something evil lurks in the shadows. The band of outlaws, once the ones bringing the trouble to town, are now the ones who must fight against it. Each man is tested beyond his limits. Who, if any, will survive the evil that lurks within this desolate town.

Iron Dogs book mixes horror with action and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story begins with Father Ramon, and immediately there are little tidbits that lead you deeper into an intricately woven story that continues to gain layers as the story progresses. The tone is set from the start, a blend of western thriller with modern horror. I could tell from the first page that the novel was setting a gritty and intense tone. The band of outlaws are close at first, but the challenges that lay ahead test their personal limits as well as the limits of their relationship when they must decide who will be sacrificed.

One of the characters, in particular, Virgil, reminded me of people I knew (in certain scenes) that had me feeling more invested. Especially as the book began to get creepier. One of the things that really thrilled me about this novel was the western feel that permeated the novel, reminiscent of George A. Romero’s gruesome and satirical horror films. Though Virgil was one of the characters who stood out the most to me, I enjoyed Frank’s character as well. As with any good book, the characters act the way they do because of inner motivations and characteristics, making the reader feel a connection to them. A word of warning Iron Dogs will pull you into the characters, but it takes a few chapters. They seem a bit shallow at first, but given time they develop into some intriguing characters.

Iron Dogs is one crazy good story. If you are a fan of riveting horror novels with plentiful action then Neil Chase has written a novel just for you.

Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07CV85D36

Buy Now From B&N.com

Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul

Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul: A Collection of Short Stories (Adam Frankenstein Short Stories Book 2) by [Sheila English]

A more modern and brutish man than one may expect, this monster embodies both of his namesakes rather well, the innocent first man of lore and the man-made of many. The monster we meet in the collection Adam Frankenstein: Search for a Soul by Sheila English is all at once stoic and terrifying—yet he counts Mary Shelley and Van Helsing among his friends here.

In this continuation of a story we thought we knew, meet the man-made man for hire, Adam Frankenstein. He is not without his charms, however hideously disfigured. Some characteristics we may remember do remain; he is a man of few words, gigantic in stature, and will kill in terms of black and white logic. Adam has an unsettling presence yet, is profoundly gentle.

Poetically, and by murky gaslight, Sheila English dazzles the reader with pressing adventures and a companion by our side. Adam travels with his loyal dog Bella, who he protects to the bitter end of all who cross them.

In the first novella, Marked, we meet the street-wise Sabine and her charge, the young Celeste, who require help though at a glance we know they must have tremendous problems as both are more than capable of defense and have made their way through dark city streets until now, however they could.

Then, a monster’s point of view short story Last Man Standing leads the reader through a terrifying nightmare as an angry mob hunts Adam. Written in first-person, the shift is not as jarring as expected. This story is at least a refreshing change of pace and being the shortest story does not overstay its welcome. We land again on the cobblestone streets of London in another tale where we meet a vampire ally in The Madame and the Madman. While this is another kind of Dracula all together, the weaving of cherished horror stories together always makes for an entertaining read, and here is it done with both flair and grit. The reality of the sooty and smelly 19th century is used to brilliant effect in describing not only the fast-paced and bloody action, but what scant leisure time Adam is afforded. Between the two, English gives the reader a glimpse into what our hero sees in mankind when looking out of a monster’s eye. A very thoughtful creature Adam Frankenstein is, and one that readers of historical fiction and horror alike will be glad to have met.

When we come to the modern world of 1976 in Freak Show, the stage is set since we now know Adam and his cut and dry way of reasoning. Considering the people he encounters, it is a balancing act in each story to decide which of the two sides are truly flawed – questions that good fiction raises in a reader reflecting on society, and our wants and needs as earthly inhabitants. While there is a bonus story in this collection, Doll Therapy, that fits in bleak outlook and poetic prose and is presented separately. Other stories by the same author feature the titular Adam Frankenstein and with luck, there will be a larger collection for them all someday. It would be an opportunity to update the cover art as it does not reflect the high-level character crafting and adventurous ideas here that lead to wanting to read more. Adam Frankenstein himself is all five stars of five in here and recommended for a highly entertaining read that puts a cavalier edge on this classic human monster.

Pages: 138 | ASIN: B07RG7JZ42

Buy Now From B&N.com

The World of the Supernatural

Keller Yeats Author Interview

Keller Yeats Author Interview

Wyndwrayth finds Nick living in an old farmhouse overlooking a mysterious island in Wales where he becomes intrigued by its ancient and deserted mansion. What served as your inspiration whilst writing this book?

Once, when travelling, I came across this deserted, majestic old mansion house. It looked ancient, decrepit, left mouldering to sink into the landscape. It was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by overgrown trees and shrubs. It had lichens and green moulds staining its walls, ivy had invaded its broken windows which seemed to stare at me menacingly. The house had a presence, a brooding, ominous spirit that looked like it could swallow you whole. I remember thinking that it must have many stories to tell.

Having moved myself from Manchester to Wales the landscape here was also a big influence. The ancient monuments, the Norse connection and the lakes close, by inspired my research and my story grew from those influences. The Celtic connection to water and their mythology along with the Norse mythology also wove their way into my consciousness, combining with the memory of the intriguing mansion and Wyndwrayth was born.

Nick Swann is an intriguing character that I felt gained layers as the story progressed. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating his character?

I wanted to create a male character who is childless, approaching and becoming middle aged. I wanted to explore how he became stuck in a time gone by because of the death of his wife and how he falls back on those times when he’s in trouble. The character has a deep loneliness, which creates a certain unhealthy introspection and self medication. In addition, I wanted to explore the usual problems of middle age; ill health and death of parents, changing of roles from son to carer and changing of profession. A lot of his character is established during the first book, Powderfinger, which creates his move to Wales. Nick knows he needs to shed the past and move on, to evolve. He is looking for a new place to be, a new profession, a new life. The unexpected appearance of Wendy Finch becomes an exciting turning point and I’m looking forward to seeing the long term effects it has upon him in the stories to come.

This is the second story in the Nick Swann Series. Where did you want to take this book that was different from book one?

In Powderfinger Nick is a probation officer who almost accidentally becomes embroiled in historical research into strange occurrences, which lead him unexpectedly into the world of the supernatural. His degree in History suddenly becomes of use to him and it reawakens his passion for discovery. It lifts him from his boring, hermit-like, everyday existence, bringing excitement, a sense of accomplishment and a possibility of a different future. It is this that I wanted to explore in Wyndwrayth. Here he moves from living in the past to exploring it. I wanted to establish him in this story as a professional researcher and investigator of both historical and supernatural events.

In addition I wanted to move his character forward, to becoming more pro-active in the story and to create a new partnership with Wendy Finch, to lift him from his lonely existence.

What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?

My next Nick Swann story has the working title of Shacklady Rest and is presently in its first draft. It will team Nick and Wendy together in another dark and mysterious adventure, set in the brooding mountains of Snowdonia. I anticipate it will be ready to publish sometime next year.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookFacebook Author PageWebsite

Wyndwrayth (Nick Swann Book 2) by [Yeats, Keller]This is the second horror novel in the Nick Swann series. This scary story finds Nick now living in an old stone farmhouse on the lonely and mysterious shores of Llyn Isaf, in Wales. He becomes intrigued by its mist-covered lake island, Ynys Y Niwl and its dark, ancient and long deserted mansion, Wyndwrayth.

Its moldering edifice holds many secrets and treasures, some of which draw Nick and his old friend Alan, into dangerous realms. Death stalks the island and as the dangerous spectral figures of The Millar of Souls, The Paladin and Gideon reveal themselves, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern between reality and dreams.

As the death toll rises, Nick finds himself, along with his new partner, Wendy and her Wolf, Mir embroiled in a struggle not just to maintain sanity but to stay alive.

Buy Now From Amazon.com

%d bloggers like this: