David’s Haunted Library: Greylock

David's Haunted Library

27108969Alexei Georg was born to be a famous musician, his father was a pianist and Alexei’s only desire was to follow in his footsteps. Alexei has created a name for himself by writing and performing a sonata called October. At least that’s what people believe, Alexei has a dark secret. He found the sonata in an old 19th century Russian sea chest. When he performs it a dark creature appears and stalks him and now his career is going downhill.

To make matters worse Alexei is having an affair and his wife has been murdered with the evidence pointing to him. In order to revive his career Alexei plans to write a symphony based on the songs of the beluga whales while in isolation on Mt. Greylock. Though even alone on the mountain he can’t escape the creature that he has brought into the world or the accusations of murder. Alexei must face the darkness he has unleashed or it could use him as a conduit forever.

Greylock by Paula Cappa is a supernatural murder mystery where mythology and music create a dark mood. The music itself is like a character and what and how something is being played has an effect on everyone else in the book. It’s through the music that evil gets unleashed, but it’s also how Alexei expresses his emotions. Music is his life and it’s what makes him happy, even if some think he is not really that good at it. Alexei is a complicated character, at first I found I didn’t like him because he is having an affair, talks about murdering his wife and he is lying about the music he creates. Though as you get to know him you see him as someone who wants to live up to the family legacy and is willing to do anything to do so. This is a need that’s easy to relate to. By the end of the book you see a very different Alexei then you see a the beginning and its the character’s transformation that makes the book memorable.

Another thing I liked about Greylock was how the mystery unfolds. there are two different mysteries going on at the same time and in the case of the murder mystery there were times in the story where I was pretty sure that three different people were the murderer but I was wrong each time. This was enough to hold my interest throughout and the other mystery of who the dark entity is was just as compelling.

Greylock is not your average horror novel, it’s more personal. There is no over the top violence but you see Alexei deal with such personal horrors as abandonment, betrayal, wanting something he can’t have, his own insecurities as a musician and his need for fame. On a smaller level we also see the other characters in the book deal with the same issues and see what different paths their choices lead them in. Greylock is the kind of book you may have to read twice to catch all the subtle details, it’s about creating a mood and not in your face like some horror is. If you enjoy a good supernatural mystery then you should check it out.

Press Release: Chaos Territory

On May 5th 2016 Marc Severson released his first novel called Chaos Territory: Book One in the Chaos Series. Here is the blurb:

29602612Welcome to the Weird Wild West! Matthew Sandstrom is a Government Land Office agent in Chaos, Arizona Territory ca. 1900. He is drawn into a series of disturbing circumstances involving a family of homesteaders who are missing and a trading post that serves a mysterious tribe known as the Su’mok. When the wife of the trader at the post is found wandering in a nearly catatonic state and her husband has also disappeared Sandstrom is alerted to the dark advance of ancient dangers. Discovering that a primordial terror has been unleashed he sets out to do his best against unknown powers. With the help of some Indian allies and his friend Mose Broadaxe he challenges indescribable forces for control of humanity’s future on earth. Set in the southwest at the end of the most famous era in American history, the Old West, the story seeks to engage the reader in a historically sound adventure that also incorporates the eldritch charm of Lovecraft with primal lore and legend. This is the first book in a series that take place in the spectral, dying, mining town of Chaos, Arizona Territory.

https://www.createspace.com/6229483

Amazon.com

About Marc Severson:

Born in Elgin, Illinois as a life-long Cubs fan I know how to write of despair, terror and sadness. The move to Arizona in the mid-sixties allowed me to become a confirmed desert dweller of the first rank.

Trained at the University of Arizona as an archaeologist and educator I also am a self-taught raconteur. Despite the many rewards I have garnered, both physically and spiritually, from these disparate professions I have always said that one day, when I grow up I would like to become a writer. Recently I’ve decided that I don’t want to wait that long so I’ve entered the ranks of the published.

I no longer work as a teacher (after 32 years) or an archaeologist (I started in 1972) though I remain vitally interested in both professions and each has contributed greatly to my writing. I love to tell stories whenever anyone wants to listen or the spirit comes upon me. I have performed several times at Tucson Meet Yourself, Tucson Festival of Books and at various schools and libraries across Arizona. I am a member in reasonably good standing of Tucson Tellers of Tales, a professional storytelling organization that you may find more information about on Facebook.

Married for over forty years to the same incredibly patient woman, Susan, we have four daughters and currently spend much of our time herding six grandchildren.

“Chaos Territory” is the first book in a series that is based on several Lovecraft inspired short stories I wrote while in college. It is intended for adult readers due to language and situations.

I have completed the first drafts of the next two books in the series and hope to see them published soon. I am also at work on the first book of another series of mysteries set in prehistoric Arizona and a novel about archaeology called “Bits of Sky”.

A critical issue for me is finding some way to preserve the stories that I tell, at least those of mine that are personal ones and several that I have created for children. Because of that I have recently started uploading some of my storytelling from the Tucson Festival of Books on YouTube.

Thus shortens my story . . .

Book Review: A Head Full Of Ghosts

Title: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publisher: William Morrow
Review by Lisa Vasquez

unnamedSynopsis: Merry Barette are your average suburban family – until mom and dad find themselves faced with a layoff, financial problems and Merry’s teenage sister Marjorie who seems to be having issues that go beyond your typical pubescent problems.

When Marjorie stops eating and starts sneaking into Merry’s room at night, things start taking a wild turn into a dark tale reminiscent of Amityville Horror and The Exorcist. When seeing a psychologist doesn’t help matters, Mr. Barette turns to his faith by seeking out the priest of their local parish.

This book was on Stephen King’s recommended list and he said it “scared the Hell out of him”. Being the horror addict that I am, Ihad to snag this book and read it! It should be noted that when the “King of Horror” says something scares him, you go in with high expectation. It is with a disappointed heart that I tell you that I was let down.

The writing was OK and the story held my interest but I kept getting this build-up only to be left hanging. There were a couple of scenes that were creepy, and there was of course the obligatory “creepy wall walking” scene, but overall? I just kept sighing and thinking, “C’mon with the scary stuff!”

I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of “live footage” movies or “reality” television, so when Paul Tremblay added this element, I felt like it gave the reader the feeling of being staged. Which is really what The Amityville story was even though I know that deep down inside all of us were hoping for proof of a real demonic entity. And we were all pretty pissed when it turned out to be a sham.

As much as I want to give the ending away and save you all the time it took to read the book, I won’t. Not because the ending is what you’ll expect (unless you’re like me and you figure things out right away) but because the book isn’t a bad read. If you get creeped out easily, you might even enjoy it. To the writer’s credit, there are a couple of thrills dispersed throughout but I personally found the main character, Merry, to be irritating and distracting. Tremblay adds the element of Merry’s blog which was typical of a freshman’s Facebook page timeline complete with annoying caps lock and excessive exclamation points.

Did it scare the Hell out of me? No. In fact, I read it before bed every night and slept just fine.

Could it be that I hyped this book up because Stephen King was scared to death by it? Most likely. And for that, I apologize to Peter Tremblay because that’s a whole lot of pressure.

SCORE: 3 out of 5 skulls

http://www.amazon.com/Head-Full-Ghosts-Novel/dp/0062363239

Lisa Vasquez currently resides in Houston, Tx with her Brady Bunch sized family and menagerie of pets. She works for the Horror Writer’s Association as the Publisher’s Liason, Burning Willow Press as the Head of the Graphic Design Department, has her own magazine debuting in November 2015 (Inked Muse Press Magazine) and moonlights by day as an Executive Assistant.

Editor-in-Chief – Inked Muse Press Magazine
www.inkedmuse.com
Author of The Unsaintly Series
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www.unsaintly.com
Publishers Liaison – Horror Writer’s Association
www.horror.org
Creative Design Director – Burning Willow Press
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David’s Haunted Library: The Cliffhouse Haunting

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The Cliffhouse Lodge has a history dating back to 1887. Not only has it been a place to stay for people enjoying the beauty of Blue Lady Lake, but it was also a place with a dark history. In the twenties a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper terrorized the town and a ghost called The Blue Lady was seen when a death was about to occur.

Flash forward to the present and a new serial killer is terrorizing the town and the Blue Lady is making her presence known again. At the Cliffhouse Lodge, wet foot prints are being spotted in rooms, disembodied voices are being heard and when people look in the mirror they see the face of the Blue Lady.

What can I say about The Cliffhouse Haunting by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross other than it left me with a huge smile on my face. I’ve been a fan of Tamara Thorne going back to the mid nineties. I like her writing because her books have great characters and she creates a detailed mythology. Also her stories have just the right amount of horror, smut, and humor that I look for in a book.

The Cliffhouse Haunting is no exception, it was obvious that Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne had a lot of fun writing this and it was hard to put down. I would love to know the writing process behind this book because all the characters are so detailed and a lot of them reminded me of people I knew. I’m not sure who wrote what in this book but by the end of it I was wanting to read any solo work that Alistair Cross has out along with re-reading Tamara’s books.

The best part of The Cliffhouse Haunting is without a doubt the characters. The serial killer referred to as Hammerhead who hates everyone including the ghost who helps him is a perfect villain. We also have characters who are self-centered and egotistical but at the same time are fascinating because we’ve all met people like this. Authoress Constance Welling thinks she is God’s gift to the world but no one else seems to like her. I kept hoping that nothing bad would happen to her in the book because the scenes that she is in were so entertaining. There is one scene when she is doing a fortune-telling act that’s one of the funniest and most outrageous scenes I’ve ever read in a book. Another great character is Dr. Siechert who will want to make you stay away from doctors for the rest of your life and is part of a very funny scene which takes place in a supermarket.

In addition to memorable characters in this book I also loved the detailed history of the Cliffhouse lodge and how the mystery of the Blue Lady unfolds. I loves how The Cliffhouse Haunting goes back and forth from being funny to scary and it was hard to predict where the story would go next. There are some gruesome death scenes in this book and one in particular had me laughing and cringing at the same time. All I’m going to say about it is beware of the chocolate wanderer. You want to know what it is? You need to read the book; you won’t be disappointed.

25968318Another book I read recently was a novella by Paul Di Filippo and Claudio Chillemi called The Horror at Ganico Rosso. Set in the early 1900’s, this story tells the tale of retired detective named Joe who gets called back to work to solve a series of murders that’s related to a case that he worked on years ago. The murders are linked to the mummies of the Capuchin Catacombs and they may hint at a threat that is coming to earth from another dimension.

The Horror At Gancio Rosso is a short but entertaining read that is inspired by the works of H..P. Lovecraft. This story includes monsters, mummies,parallel dimensions and occult happenings.It also has a good mystery with intriguing characters in an eerie setting. The book had a pulp fiction type feel to it, the story is simple, entertaining and throws a lot of strange creatures and villains at you in a short period of time which is all a true horror fan can ask for. All in all this book is a lot of fun and reminded me of the type of stories that I’ve enjoyed in Weird Tales magazine and it’s a must read if You are a fan of Lovecraft.

25405077If you’re into works of strange fiction set in a futuristic world filled with violence and terror then you should check out Alessandro Manzetti’s Massacre Of The Mermaids. This book contains six stories in a futuristic Rome ruled by a She-Pope. Some of the items you will see in this book include women who get fishtails sewed on them and then are brutally tortured as part of a new religion, human landfills, a slaughterhouse prison and much more. This book is not for the faint of heart but it’s interesting to see how some of the subjects talked about in this book mirror some of the things we have in the present day.

This is a hard book to talk about, the stories were confusing to me but the imagery in each story was so good I wanted to keep reading. The way things are described here are dark and disturbing and the stories are so off the wall that I had to keep reading to find out where each one would go next. Alessandro Manzetti describes things like no other author has and Massacre Of The Mermaids shows how much of a work of art bizarre fiction can be. This book may be ultra-violent but the settings described give a great idea of how creative a horror story can be and it would be interesting to see a novel set in the world that Manzetti has created here.

 

David’s Haunted Library: The Ghost Sisters And The Girl In Hallway B

23183676Kat and Marie Bench are not like other girls, they may be interested in make-up and boys but they are also obsessed with ghosts. They love telling ghost stories, they read all the books about ghosts that they can find, they watch movies about ghosts and TV shows about ghost hunters. They even have a blog called the ghost sisters and hope to become ghost hunters and see one someday.

The ghost girls along with their divorced mom have just moved to Pueblo Colorado and will start school at Apache Middle School. Starting at a new school can be hard and classes at Apache are even harder because the ghost of a young girl haunts the hallways. She opens lockers and slams them shut, makes the lights flicker, leaves mysterious messages around school and can be heard crying and shrieking. Kat and Marie’s dreams of seeing a ghost are about to come true and their career as ghost hunters are just beginning. Hopefully they can find out why the ghost is there and save the school from any further damage.

The Ghost Sisters And The Girl In Hallway B by Patricia Santos Marcantonio may be a Y.A. novel that is meant for kids but it’s a story that adults will like also. Despite me not being the intended audience for this book, I really enjoyed it because a good story is a good story and I like anything that has to do with the supernatural. I also liked the ghost sisters and wanted to see how they dealt with a real ghost. Kids will love this book because they will be able to relate to the problems that these middle school kids are dealing with.  I liked that the girls have to deal with going to a new school because of a divorce which is something lots of kids deal with. These girls deal with it well though thanks to a passion for ghosts.

There was a lot to like about this book, in particular I liked when we first meed the ghost sisters and they talk about their love of the supernatural. Though I have to say my favorite part of The Ghost Sisters And The Girl In Hallway B was the message on how bullying affects kids. In the book Kat and Marie have a friend named Trini who has to deal with bullying.  I liked that Trini doesn’t want to tell adults about the bullying because she is embarrassed about it. Its pretty normal for a kid to not want to admit to being bullied and I liked seeing how Kat, Marie and the adults in their lives deal with the problem.

The Ghost Sisters And The Girl In Hallway B is everything you would want a YA novel to be, there is a good mystery to it, some scenes with ghosts that kids will really like and some good humor. One of the funniest parts was when one of the sisters says that 10 years was so long ago and the other sister says “In adult time that’s not very long.” Patricia seems to really know how young kids think. I hope this is the beginning of a series so we can have more adventures with The Ghost Sisters.

David’s Haunted Library: Containment

20563870Life is different in the late 22nd century. We’ve had wars, drones watch all of our movements and ghosts are used as a power source. When someone dies their spirit is taken to a containment unit where for eternity their energy is used in place of fossil fuels to light up the city of Charlotte. One of the workers at the Spectral power containment facility is a devil-human hybrid named Feast. Feast is a rare breed and different form most people in the city. He has had his run ins with the city and the dead seem to be more attracted to him than anyone else.

Feast doesn’t necessarily agree with the way the city is run but goes along with it because he appreciates the benefits he gets from working for the city. All of that changes when Feast has to help bring down a powerful entity that has the ability to make you see your worst fears or your greatest desires. Feast starts to see that he is more than he thought he was, but it might not be enough to keep him from becoming a ghost trapped in the containment unit.

Containment by Eden Royce is a book that hooked me right away. The concept of ghosts being used as a power source in the future is an original idea unlike anything I’ve read before. I also love how the book starts off, Eden makes you feel compassion for Feast as you hear what he thinks about the ghosts trapped in the Containment unit. Feast has a sense of hopelessness, he sees what happens to spirits when they die and knows everyone ends up in the same horrible space. You also sees how he lives in a society where there is little freedom.

Despite what looks like a bleak existence for  Feast he is still grateful for many things, he likes the benefits from his job and he talks with the ghosts in the containment unit despite being a little freaked out by them. He may not like how things are but he doesn’t see everything as bad either. One of my favorite parts of this book was when Feast tells how he thinks we should live life and later says that the ghosts in the containment unit are not the only ghosts there are. Feast is a fascinating character and the descriptions of the world he lives in are equally as interesting.

Another thing I like about this book is how the story is told. In the beginning the story seems deceptively simple. As the plot moves along its like Eden is adding more layers to the story. There is a lot going on in this book which leads me to my one complaint, its short. From reading Containment you get the impression that it is part of a much bigger story and there are unanswered questions. On a positive note there is a sequel to Containment available so I’m hoping that this becomes a series. Containment is a beautifully written story that shows that there are a lot of original story ideas out there.

 

HorrorAddicts.net 116, Kristin Battestella

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Horror Addicts Episode# 116

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

kristin battestella | new years day | only lovers left alive

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